Friday, June 29, 2012


I made it to Colorado!  I keep thinking about the weigh in challenge as well and this is how I started my morning today:

Yes, I exercised and burned 350 calories on the elliptical.  YEAH!!!!  Good thing my friend lives in an apartment with the exercise equipment.  BUT, don't feel too bad for me because after this, I did this:

It is a very nice pool and boy did it feel good after a long workout. 

We were planning on going into the mountains for a hike later this weekend, but looks like we won't be able to get there due to the fires that are going on. 

Even though, I'm on what is like a vacation, I still can't keep from thinking about school.  My friend is actually teaching summer school right now so I had some time to look more stuff up on school.  So today, I started to think about pencils, yes pencils-I really dislike those pencils.  I don't allow the kids to sharpen them because I believe that some may stay over at the pencil sharpener all day long LOL!  So I take charge of that and our pencil sharpener is not the best.  It seems like I spend hours sharpening pencils.  In fact, I'm surprised that I don't have blisters*** all over my hands because of it.  LOL!  So, this is what I found:

I found it on pinterest and it is from A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Anyone else use one like this or have a favorite?  What is your pencil sharpening policy in your classroom?  Eager to here how you handle it and if you have some time saving ideas on this issue.
Hope you have a great weekend! 


***Crystal here just letting you all know that as Kristi's student teacher, I DID have blisters from sharpening all those pencils!

Weigh-In and Liebster Award! :-)

A much better weigh-in today -- Hip! Hip! Hooray!

How'd I do on my goals?

Workout 5 days - check
Eat no ADDED sugar M-F - Hmmm...the kids went to Grandma's on Monday and made pies. Harley (my daughter) made my favorite - Chocolate (what else?) - so I did have a couple of pieces throughout the week. :-)

Pounds lost - 2.4 for a total of 6.4 (over halfway to my goal!!!)
Inches lost - 2 for a total of 6.25

This "weigh-in" is definitely holding me accountable! Last night, I was seriously craving "pie crust cookie" (pie crust with cinnamon and sugar on it) which of course must be eaten with my chocolate coffee drink but I refused because I knew I was posting my results today! Ha!

If you're just joining me on my journey, you can click here to see what it is all about.

Now on to some exciting news! Erin at:
First with Franklin

has given us the  award! Thanks so much, Erin. You truly have been an encouragement to us since we have started blogging.

The purpose of this award is to highlight new bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:
1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

So.... here are our picks for the Liebster Blog Award:

Oh First Grade Friends

WILD About First Grade!

Thanks again for the award, Erin! That makes THREE awards in one week - whew! There has been several ladies that have welcomed us and encouraged us through comments (everybody loves those, right?) with our blog. We thank you all! We're creeping ever closer to 50 followers - can't wait for the giveaway - we're already talking about it! :-)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award!!!

WOW! Two awards in one week! Just after I posted about the One Lovely Blog Award, Lisa from Learning is Something to Treasure let us know that she had nominated us for this award:

We're so excited! Thanks Lisa!
The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
See Below - Check!
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

See Below - Check!

Kristi's 7 Random Facts:
  1. I love chocolate!  I think I love it too much!
  2. I am a K-STATE and Kansas City Chief Fan.  Love watching both football and basketball.
  3. I have 1 cat (persian) and 3 dogs (Siberian Husky)
  4. My favorite type of food is Mexican.
  5. I am a little bit big control freak.
  6. I get a little antsy if my house becomes a mess-I like it to be clean and stay clean.
  7. My new favorite exercise is ZUMBA

Crystal's 7 Random Facts:
  1. I love BASKETBALL! I'm a huge KU fan, but I will watch any college basketball game. In fact, we normally have the very basic Dish package, but when basketball season rolls around, we upgrade and use DVR so I can try not to miss any Big 12 games. :-)
  2. I make my own laundry soap! Made my first batch in February and just now need to make again - SO COOL! I use the OxiClean scoop so may be using more than the pic below if you want the recipe.
  3. I am married to my highschool sweetheart...going on 16 years and LOVING it!
  4. I have had two inspirational fiction books published (years ago).
  5. When asking my children (11 and 12) to describe my husband, their first answer was patient and for me...NOT patient. It is a family joke. I will not even frost the cakes I make because I lose patience with the crumbs coming up on the spatula, so hubby does it for me!
  6. My favorite type of food is Mexican - hey, Kristi, we need to go out sometime!
  7. A few years ago, I tiled the backsplash in my kitchen on Good Friday while hubby was at work. Looks good, right? :-) Yes, my counters are always this clean...I'm a little funny about the kitchen being clean.

The accents are blue glass tiles...and now the toekicks are tiled to match the floor tile.

Our Nominations:
 (you'll notice alot of them are the same as for the Lovely Blog Award, but hey,
these are some of our favorite blogs, so...)


First with Franklin

Castles and Crayons

First Grade Blue Skies

Fluttering Through First Grade

The First Grade Splash

Thanks again for the award, Lisa!

Kristi and Crystal

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award - Pass it on!

Sorry for posting twice in one day but...

Thanks to Sara at...

for giving us the...

{Here are the rules for this award}

Once you receive the award, you must:

1. Follow the person that gave you the award.

2. Link back to the person that gave you the award.

3. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers.

Passing it on proved to be quite difficult. I've seen this award on a lot of blogs! So here goes:

Castles and Crayons

First Grade Blue Skies

Fluttering Through First Grade

Teachin' first


The First Grade Splash

To be honest, We're surprised some of these blogs hadn't received the award yet, so if we made a mistake and missed the award on their site, please forgive us. :-)

We'll work on notifying everyone over the next couple of days!

Thanks again for the award, Sara!

Kristi and Crystal

Questions About Anchor Charts, Schedules, and Obedience - D5, Ch. 3

So I must be the only one who wakes up at 6 a.m. ready to blog...Ha! I always get my D5 post ready and then...



wait to link up!
So I'm publishing and will link up later when everyone else is up and going! :-)
What can I say? I'm a morning person even in the summer! :-) I wake up with hubby to do P90X, make him breakfast (he is spoiled in the summer), check blogs and/or blog, then go right into my Bible study and prayer time. Remember that book I'm writing? Well, after a difficult chapter three, I'm on to chapter four and finished half of it in one day! Praise the Lord! BTW, the book is related to Bible study time because it is a devotional book...thought I should clarify because according to my husband, I tend to say things assuming people know what I'm thinking. LOL!

On to Daily 5...Our hosts are:

Thinking Out Loud

Gathering Place - check! My whole group teaching area is at the front of the room and I tape balls (sports theme) on the floor and assign students a seat the first day. For the last nine weeks, I rearranged and had students assigned by their shoulder buddies (I gave new ones each nine weeks) and that worked great!

Good-Fit Books and I PICK - Loved the mini-lesson with shoes. What a great illustration! I have to admit that I haven't had a huge part in this before as my students go to the library for books and she has her own way of teaching them how to choose books.

Book Boxes - Still wondering how I will get the books I need in my classroom...think this may be my #1 obstacle. :-(

Anchor Charts - I've seen so many great anchor charts on Pinterest! Do you all have an easel and large chart paper pad? I've been looking online for what I would need to purchase... Anyone have a picture of their anchor chart pad and how they are hung in the room? When I use this idea, we usually write on whiteboard and if it is something I really want the kiddos to remember, I later make it into a poster of some kind...takes more time for me that way.

Repeated Practice - Like I said last week, I have not taught "stamina" intentionally. I like the idea though. I don't know that I agree with this statement from page 38, "Even though it was not three minutes, the one student who was unable to stay in one spot gave us all she was able for the was the best she could do at that time." Here's that skepticism coming out, I guess, but some students just don't want to OBEY and this statement sounds a little like making excuses for them! Am I the only one who feels this way?

Signals - Signals, check. I use lights off anytime students are spread out and there is some noise in our room (from working together). They know when lights go off they freeze and look at me for an announcement. We also use the "give me five" signal school-wide and in my room when they are working quietly, I will say, "First graders, you have 3 seconds to have your hands on your hips and eyes on me...1, 2, 3."

Check-In - I've used the thumbs up/thumbs down in several ways before. Good thoughts on why it should be thumbs to the side instead of down...

Correct Model/Incorrect Model - I do this already as we go over classroom rules; however, I am the incorrect model. I had never thought of having them do that! Something to consider...

Okay, on to my schedule questions about D5...

Here's my schedule for next year:

8:10   Students in Classroom
8:30   Reading block (90 minutes), tricky part here is that 30 minutes of that will be reading groups using Pathways to Reading with my Title help so really I have 60 to myself for D5.
10:00  Tier 2 Reading (MTSS - our school is doing it swarm style, so all available adults will swarm K-3 at this time, students are grouped by needs, and worked with in small groups.
10:30   Recess/Restroom
11:00   Lunch
11:30   Deskercise/Change Shoes/Math TT
11:50   Math
1:10     Story/Milk/Writing
1:50     Science/SS
2:10     Computer/Library every other day (not Fri.)
2:40     PE/Music
3:20     Dismiss

I have 60 minutes to myself during reading block for D5...I had planned my writing workshop at 1:20-1:50, that could be another D5 block???
That would be 90 minutes. Is it possible that students would get through D5 each day? My thought is to take basal series and do it in small groups while D5 is going on so it would be necessary for me to see all groups each day...I'll have approx. 20 students.

Tier 2 time - during this time Tier 1 students must be engaged in reading activity (could they get extra D5 time?)...

Just thinking outloud, I guess. D5 users, please HELP and comment below with your thoughts!


Go to Chapter FOUR

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prize Box Question

I spent all day yesterday trying to get things in order to be ready to go on my trip to Colorado.  I think I have everything ready-I hope anyways.  I was a little disappointed because we have started to hit the triple digits in heat here in Kansas.  So, I thought I bet Colorado is going to be a lot cooler.  I was wrong-my friend called and said that it was going to be triple digits there as well.  Oh well, at least there will be mountains to see.  :-)

Today I started thinking again about school.  Crystal and I have been thinking about getting rid of our prize box and doing something different this next year.  We have been searching for ideas and I looked some more today and found some really neat stuff.  One of them is the following from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations:

I also came across this neat idea as well at First Grade Fever:

Anyone else do something like this and if so, how does it work in your classroom?  Or do you do something else in place of a prize box?  Excited to find out what you do. 

Hope you have a great week and weekend!  Kristi

Monday, June 25, 2012


Well, my weigh in didn't go so well again.  I was up on my weight, but when I checked my inches, I dropped on those.  My husband has been on this healthy, working out kick lately and all he wants to do when he is off work is go workout at the YMCA.  So, I go with him and workout as well. I shouldn't complain because it gives me someone who keeps me accountable on my working out.  When I stepped on the scale and saw that I had gained weight, my jaw dropped.  NO WAY!  I have been eating really healthy and working out hard almost every day this last week.  I was ready to go get a box of doughnuts and eat them all!  LOL!  So glad that I had taken my measurements because I felt much better when I saw that I had lost inches!  I guess no doughnuts for me afterall.  I had always heard that you shouldn't just look at the scale because muscle weighs more than fat-etc., but I have always wanted to try to stay at a certain weight and when I see it increase, it definately makes me nervous. 

My summer seems to be busier than I had planned.  I haven't been able to blog for awhile because my dad was put into the hospital.  He is now out and doing better.  I thought maybe I'd be home for awhile now that he is out, but one of my friends from Colorado invited me down and I am leaving this week to go see her.  I'm excited to get away on what I hope to be a RELAXING trip!

Luckily, my cat is doing better and he has fired me or given me some time off from being his nurse.  :-)  He still has his days, but is doing much better.  The only thing now is that he is an indoor cat, but we have always taken him outside with us when we go outside.  He now thinks he needs to go out ALL the time (he is declawed, so we only let him out when we can watch him).  He loves the outdoors except when it is 103 degrees outside LOL!

My bucket list from before said that I was going to organize my house this summer.  I'm still planning on that, but things keep getting in the way of me being able to get to it.  LOL!  Although, I was very proud of myself because finally after a year, I was able to organize my coupons (they are all probably expired LOL!  But at least they are organized).   YEAH!  Check it out!

Don't forget about our Super Summer Sale going on now through June 25th! Stop by and check it out!

Have a great week!  Kristi

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