Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Looking 100 Years Old...

We celebrated 100 days of school today, and Kristi had the great idea of having our kiddos dress up. I told her it would mean that we would have to dress up too... She wasn't crazy about the idea, but when our principal suggested pajamas, robes, and curlers we went for it!
I mean who can say no to wearing slippers and jammies to school?

Well, what do you think?
Please don't say we look 100 years old.
Kristi wasn't too happy that I had the morning off for my son's doctor's appointment. We had a lot of subs in the building and she said they were all looking at her like she was crazy as she hobbled down the hall in the morning before school.
I threatened my 13-year-old son that I was going to wear this "get-up" to the doctor's office. He looked at me with a horrified expression and said, "I am NOT sitting by you!" LOL!
I made it at lunch time and just being here for 1/2 day has worn me out. I feel like I could be 100 years old! :-)
Here's my kiddos. They were so cute! Check out my girl in the orange shirt. Her glasses were hilarious (I tried to let you see part of them). You can't see it, but the boy in the hat (second row) even had age spots on his arms! Also the boy in the blue shirt on the second row holding a $1...what is up with that?

The girls were especially cute...

It was a fun day, but I'm exhausted! I like my routine too much!!! ;-)

Have a great rest of the week!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

100th Day Fun!!

We will be celebrating the 100th day on Wednesday this coming week.  The kids are so excited and keep asking what all we will be doing to celebrate the 100th day.  Our Kindergarten teachers do such a great job with celebrating the 100th day that when the kids get to us, they are very excited for it and always want to know what we will be doing in 1st grade for the 100th day. 

So, this year we found something new that we could do to celebrate.  We found the following at Mrs. Jumps Class:

When we told our students about it, they were so excited!  It will be fun to see how they dress.  We will post pictures of them sometime next week.  So, come check them out! 
Hope you have a great weekend!  Kristi

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Math Teams

Thanks to all the well wishes for my daughter. We saw the orthopedic doctor again yesterday. It had moved a bit (the bump is more visible), but they still don't recommend surgery. Hooray! We go back again in 2 weeks to see if she can take the sling off.
Here's what she thinks of the really, the first picture was pouty. I made her smile for this one. :-)

Okay, on to the math teams...

This summer, Kristi and I got so excited about Daily 5 that we thought we should do math groups too. Well, it has been a trial and error throughout the first semester but we have finally found a system that is working for us.

We divided our classes into 3 "teams" and rotate them through 3 "stations."

Math Teams - posted for all to see. It is week 3 and I am still checking the board constantly to see who goes where. Fortunately the kids are picking up on it faster than me. LOL!

Our three rotations...Math Journal (the page or pages out of our math books), MM is Mountain Math, and Fact Dash is an Everyday Math online game.

Math Journal - Having only 6-7 kids working on these pages at a time makes it easier to help them and get them graded.

Mountain Math - We got these center charts and had been looking for a way to consistently use them. There is a lot of Common Core (excuse me Kansas teachers as I'm not ready for another new name yet***) skills on them so we think they are very beneficial. At first pretty much all of my kiddos needed help navigating through these, but now it is just a few.

Fact Dash (or other math game) - online fact review or today we played KABOOM! (another Teacher Tipster idea)

This is our Mountain Math center chart.

We found this kid friendly worksheet to go along with the Mountain Math (the one that comes with the center leaves much to be desired) from the Teacher Tipster. We copy the worksheet and cut it into sections so that we work on one chart page each week (for now).

I'm loving it...although the room is very busy. Tuesday my principal came in for my formal evaluation and I kept looking around thinking this is chaos!!!! Then I found a nice note on my desk about her visit and the first thing she said was how organized and structured my groups were... Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought! :-)

Have a great rest of the week!

***RE: Kansas Common Core - We just spent an inservice day on Monday going over "Common Core" again only now Kansas is calling it something else...College and Career Readiness maybe??? I promise I *did* pay attention! Feel free to chime in and correct me Kansas teachers. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013


One thing that I love about first grade is to watch students grow and really start to read.  They develop that love for reading and get so excited about reading.  At our school we have the AR (accelerated reading program).  This is where the students read a book that is on his/her level and then takes a test on the computer over what they read. 

Many first graders don't start until around December because this is when they really begin reading on their own at the level that the AR books are on.  My whole class is now in AR and they are so very excited about it.  In fact, that is all they want to do.....I think if I told them that all we were going to do for the day was AR read, they would be thrilled LOL!  

So, we go to line up at the end of the day to go home the other day and I look over at the line and saw the following from those that I had lined up. 

I was so excited and happy to see those that had lined up for the day just standing in line reading!  I couldn't believe that they were that excited about it and that they were taking any time that they could just to read that AR book!  So, of course I had to snap a quick picture of them.......they were so involved in their books that I don't think they even knew that I took their picture!!  LOL!!
I so love seeing kiddos get excited about reading!!  What a wonderful thing!!!  I hope their excitement for it continues for a long time!! 
Hope all of you enjoy your weekend!  Kristi


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Command Center Revisited

I've been seeing a lot of pins lately about Command Centers or Home Management Binders so I thought it would be a good time to direct you to one of our early blog posts (hard to believe we are approaching a year of blogging!).
Command Center and Home Management 3/20/12

As you will see, I started this up last year during Spring Break and I'm happy to report that I still use it and still absolutely LOVE it! I have slacked some in the Meal Planning area, but I plan to be more *disciplined* (there's that word - my OLW - again) with that this year.

Check it out for more pictures and more explanation!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Solids vs. Liquids - What *Did* I Teach Them?

Coming back after having a substitute is sooooooo hard! I felt like in one day, my kids had completely forgot the rules of my classroom. It was exhausting...

Has anyone found the secret to motivate students to behave for a sub? Anyone ever came back to a "glowing" sub note and had your colleagues actually agree (because they know how your kids are supposed to act normally)?

Just curious...

This is my 3rd year teaching and I think I'm giving up on it...

As promised, here is the pictures of our Solids vs. Liquids Venn Diagrams. We did these last week. We thought it would be the perfect way to incorporate science into our reading skill for the week - compare and contrast.

I didn't get the chance to look them over until this weekend - and some of them had me laughing out loud. Take a look:

And solid can hurt you? Really? I don't think we ever talked about that one... Or eat a solid for that matter, but hey, they had drink a liquid on the other side so I'll give them that one. :-)

Good examples. I especially like the blood and spit...but giving examples of each was not part of the directions. :-)

This one was close - soooooo close. I appreciated that they remembered liquids flow. However, I spent a good five minutes demonstrating and discussing that solids were not always hard (even had them feel a towel and talk about its properties to prove my point). Hmmm... Wonder where these two kiddos were during that demonstration...

Just to prove that I did actually teach the differences between solids and liquids, I had to show this last one.

Hope you are having a good week! I'm hanging in there...


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Basketball and Broken Bones

Well, I am home with my daughter today, but not because she is sick.
She broke her collar bone in her basketball game last night. L

Harley is quite a go-getter on the court and spends a lot of time on the floor.
She always gets back and goes some more.

That is why last night, when she drove to the basket and had what looked like a minor collision with a player from the other team, I assumed she was fine.
People she did not even fall down. They just sort of bounced off of each other.

Harley grabbed her shoulder and looked at her coach (who happens to be my brother). He took her out of the game which surprised me because she never volunteers to come out of a basketball game. It is her favorite sport.
I was sitting across the gym, watching. I am not the type of mother who is going to rush over to the bench. I waited to see if the coaches would call me over. Thought maybe she just got the wind knocked out of her…

My brother and his assistant were checking her over, she was obviously in pain. At the end of the 3rd quarter a few seconds later, they called me over.
They didn’t know what to think – neither of them had seen a broken collar bone – and well…neither have I. They tell me her shoulder feels “squishy” and showed me the “bump” on her left collar bone that was not on the other side.

She was also in pain, but not crying anymore.
I felt bad for thinking she was fine!

Anyway, I took her to the ER to confirm our fears. We were about 20 minutes away from the hospital. Harley didn’t say much on the way there. She said it hurt really bad.
The triage nurse asked her to rate her pain 1-10, 10 being the worst.

“Um…10,” Harley grinds out.
Not-kid-friendly nurse with sarcasm asks, “Really? Worst pain in your entire life?”

I explained, “She is really not a complainer, so I think it must be pretty bad.”
I wanted to add, “She’s an 11-year-old girl with nothing to compare it to. She’s never had any other serious injuries.”

I mean, it is not like she has experienced childbirth or anything…so YES it probably is the worst pain in her entire life!
Long story short, the X-Ray confirmed it. When Harley saw it, she shed silent tears because she knew basketball was done for this year. That is when this mom got teary… I know it broke her heart.

On the way back to the game (we went back to watch my son), she was talking more (pain medicine had kicked in).
She says, “I knew I was really hurt because I heard a pop and I couldn’t talk.”

Turns out, she couldn’t even answer when my brother asked her if she was okay. He said she just stared at him with her mouth open. I’m assuming that was due to the pain or shock…or both. She is one tough little cookie.

Blessings in all of this…

1.       We were at a home game so closer to the hospital. Our away games are all over an hour away.

2.       They did not have to “set” it or anything. She sees orthopedic doctor tomorrow.

3.       She seems in good spirits today and not in too much pain.

4.     Almost forgot a big is her left collar bone and she is right-handed.

I’ll be back at it tomorrow. I’ve got the *funniest* pictures of a Solids vs. Liquids Venn diagram assignment that I’m planning to share with you. :-)

Have a great evening!




Thursday, January 10, 2013

Snowman Pictures Have Arrived!!

Sorry, that we didn't get this posted earlier, but we were having troubles getting the pictures to upload. 

Here they are.....the variety of snowmen :-).  It is funny how the same directions were given and how different they can come out in the end.  LOL!  Anyways, we thought they were pretty cute and the kids had a great time making them. 

Hope all of you have had a great week!  Kristi

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cottonball Snowman Craft!

Well, we went back to school for in service day on Wednesday and then kids on Thursday and Friday.  All I can say is that I can really tell that during Christmas break I was extremely LAZY!!  I knew on Wednesday that it was going to be hard for me because I was so tired after the day.  Therefore, by Friday I was really dragging. 

I definitely needed to get back into a routine and was glad that I had just 3 days of the normal routine.  Hopefully, next week I won't be as tired since I have been broken back in.  :-)  I will have to remember this during Spring Break and try to stay more active so I am not so tired when I go back LOL!

Crystal and I decided that we needed to change our bulletin board outside our rooms as soon as we could since we had reindeer on them.  So, we found this cute cotton ball snowman craft and decided to combine our classes and do it as a fun activity Friday afternoon. We found this craft idea at the following and tweaked it a little bit:

We ended up running out of time and not everyone finished it.  As soon as we have them all up, I will post a picture of it.  We did have a few finish and realized that we definitely have a variety of snowman and not one of them looks the same.  LOL! 

I know that many of you don't go back to school until the 7th, so I hope you have a great first day back!  Kristi

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and Currently!

Happy 2013! I don't know about you, but I can't even believe it!

I love the new year.

To me a new year represents a fresh start.

I'm one of those people who usually likes to sit down with a brand new notebook and write down my goals for the year. And no, I do not always reach my goals, but I enjoy the process of setting them anyway...LOL! I also like to look back at what I have accomplished and what I need to work on for the new year.

This year, I resisted the urge to crack open a new notebook and put goals on paper. Instead I have just been thinking about what I would want to write down...and it is all summed up in one little word.

So...Farley's Currently OLW - one little word - challenge was perfect for me this year...

I'm listening to the news. Does anyone else miss the news when they are working? It is not that I necessarily enjoy the news...just the fact that I can sit down and watch if I want to.

My hubby is off today and the kids spent the night with grandparents, so we are just relaxing together - LOVE!

We are back to work tomorrow for staff development. :-(

My officially broken. I may have spent too much time on it during this break! It was a hand-me-down so it is possibly older than me anyway, but yesterday when I sat down...

...I heard a crack...

...and I sank...

...nearly to the floor (maybe a slight exaggeration)...

This had nothing to do with all the Christmas goodies I enjoyed and everything to do with the age of the couch!

I brought home my work laptop and haven't even powered it up...enough said.

OLW - Discipline - This word has been the theme of our house for this school year, but I have been slacking...

If I were more disciplined, I would spend more time in God's Word.

If I were more disciplined, I would spend more time in prayer.

If I were more disciplined, I would work out more and make healthier food choices.

If I were more disciplined, I would be more organized.

If I were more disciplined...

Well, you get the idea.

Being more disciplined would take care of anything that I could write on that's it...that's my goal...

In 2013, I will be more disciplined in all areas of my life.

What's your OLW? Link up with Farley and share.

Happy New Year!


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