Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday - Rest

Good morning! Here's a little...

Last week after conferences Wednesday and Thursday, I was so excited to have Friday off...a chance to rest up and do absolutely nothing. As it turned out, I did just that for the entire weekend due to a bad cold. I woke up Friday and felt awful...literally spent all day in bed or on the couch. Then again Saturday...and Sunday. Not quite what I had planned.
It seems this happens to me quite frequently on my vacations from school. I think the Lord knows that I need to rest, and I'm stubborn enough not to do it on my own. :-)
The rest in this week's quote doesn't really have to do with our physical rest--but our spiritual rest--in the midst of our busy lives and the trials we may face. I'd like to think I am better at resting spiritually (than physically), but this quote makes me I guilty of letting the things "without" affect my resting in the Lord?
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him...
Psalm 37:7

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Visualizing and Short u finds!

I am always searching for new ideas and things to do to teach my reading and math.  This weekend, I found some neat things to incorporate into my reading.  The first thing that I found had to do with teaching visualizing.  I always teach it and have the kids take a piece of paper and draw what I read about.  This year, I found this cute worksheet from Life of a Someday Teacher:
Just a cute little worksheet that I will have the kids draw his/her picture in this week.  I will post some completed ones this coming weekend.
The other cute idea that I found has to do with teaching short u.  I found this idea of introducing
short u at:  Ideas by Christy:
I don't know how we ever taught without the internet and pinterest LOL!  There are so many neat ideas out there and I'm glad that we now have a way to share with others those things. 
Hope all of you have a great week!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday-

Welcome to another Wisdom for Wednesday:
What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. 
-Author Unknown
Wow!  When I saw this quote it really made me think.  Life is very precious and short.  It made me realize how I take some days for granted and grumble about things throughout the day.  Then I thought about how I really wasted those days and did nothing that was important and helpful to others.  I need to start to remember that every day is important and I will never be able to get that day back.  On a daily basis I should be remembering to make the best out of every day that I have left here on this earth. 
"Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" Psalms 118:24

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One More FUN Teambuilding Activity!

What a busy week! I had a training last Thursday so I had to prepare for my first substitute this year--which always seems to take me forever. This week is a short week (early dismissal tomorrow for conferences) and planning for those always seems more difficult...out of the routine I guess. Not to mention preparing for conferences. I found myself having to focus on one thing at a time--otherwise I get too overwhelmed by it all.
I did want to share another teambuilding activity that my kiddos just loved. Sorry no pictures. :-(
One of the nice things about being in small school is the gym is available most of the day, so on Friday after lunch I took my kiddos in to the gym and split them into teams. Then I assigned each team a short (3-4 letter word) that they had to spell out with their bodies. They did a great job working together and the activity went over well (but not without a couple of dizzy letters - HA). 
Today we are getting new shoulder buddies, color teams (desk arrangement), and assigned floor seats. I change them out every 9 weeks. The kiddos are so excited.
Wish me luck... :-)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

This week will be our first parent teacher conferences for the year.  Last year, I found some neat ideas to add to conferences.  The first one that I liked, I found at What the Teacher Wants.  It is a kid's personal grade card.  I found it very interesting to see how each kid felt they were doing in a variety of areas.  Here is what it looks like:
The second thing that I found that I liked was just something to give out to the parents at the conferences.  It gives a lot of websites that the kids can go to and work on various academic areas.  I found this very helpful especially since we are living in a technology world.  I found this at Mandy's Tips for Teachers:
It also includes websites to help with math, spelling and grammar.  It is a great resource.
How do you do your conferences and have you added anything that you found helpful to your parent teacher conferences?  I would love to hear about them. 
Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday - J-O-Y

Down in my heart...
Deep, deep down in my heart...

Jesus put it there...
And nothing can destroy it...
I just love that song from when I was a kid. Every time I think of joy, I start to sing it! You should see the looks I get in public...just kidding. I will admit I have broken out into this song in class before and some of my students look at me as if I've grown two heads. Ha!
Anyway, I've always known there is a big difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is temporary. It can be with you one minute and gone the next depending upon your circumstances.
The joy of the Lord, however, goes deeper than our circumstances. It is based on Him and our relationship with Him...and just as this quote suggests...that kind of J-O-Y becomes our strength!
Now go ahead...sing the song...and don't forget the actions! ;-)
...the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Patch and Teambuilding!

Yes, that is me "the cow." :-)
Last week, we headed out to our field trip at a nearby pumpkin patch. It was great! There was so much to do...corn maze (lost in that for about 45 minutes as I let the kids "lead" the way out), jumping pillows, slides, pedal boats, and various playground equipment. We were exhausted!
~~~~~~TIME JUMP :-)~~~~~~
This week in reading, our theme is "teamwork." I spent the day looking for opportunities for the kids to practice teamwork. It was a fun day and we learned a lot about what makes a good team. I have some plans tomorrow that include this:
Click here to check out the tin foil and pipe cleaner team building activity.
I hope you're having a great week!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Telling Time Blues and Cures!!

I always get very excited when I teach the kids to tell time because we start with the hour and they get it with no problem.  Later on in the year, we introduce time to the half hour and there is just something about that half hour that throws the kiddos for a loop. For some reason after teaching the half hour, they seem to forget how to tell time to the hour.  I think it has something to do with now the hour hand moves to the middle of the numbers and now we have to count by 5's with the minute hand.   
Well, this year it happened again and I found some things that I tried this year that seemed to really help the kids with it.  By the end of the week, I can say that the majority of the kids had telling time to the hour and half hour down and were excited because they could do it without any problems. 
Here are some of the things that I used to help them with the telling time this year:
1.  This was a really cool idea to help the kids remember the difference between the short hand and long hand.  I found it on
I then added to this and told the kids that the ladies liked to count by 1's and would stop at 12 because they counted a shorter amount of time then the men.  We then talked about how the men would count for a longer amount of time and they loved to count by 5's only. 
2.  I found this cool game board over at First Grade Fanatic.  I just changed it a little bit so on the game board it had time to the hour and half hour.  When the kids finished his/her page, then they went and got the game board and the data sheet that went along with it.  They loved this game and it was great practice for them.

3.  Finally, we played our TPT I have, Who has Telling Time to the hour and 1/2 hour to practice some more. 
Using all of these resources really seemed to help the kids more this year with telling time to the hour and half hour.  YAY!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday-Rest

Welcome back to another week of:

Throughout this week, I continue to hear this verse in my head.  We have been doing a lot of testing this week for grade cards.  Along with the grade cards, comes the preparing for the first
parent-teacher conferences.  It seems like it is always about this time of year when I start to feel very tired.  Not only do I become physically tired but also emotionally tired.  I have been saying this verse daily because I know that he is the only one that can give me the peace of mind and rest that I need. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Thinking Outside the Box!

We are "thinking outside the box" and loving it! The kids start with an outline of a shape and are challenged to think outside the box to complete the picture. Here's a few of my favorites from last week:


On Fridays, during our Daily 5 rounds I like to reward my kiddos who have all their work completed for the week.  A couple weeks ago, our iPads were down and I had to think of something fast. I found these Think Outside the Box activities at First Grade WOW. Thanks, Nancy!
The kids ended up loving them so much, they are begging for more! I even had kids choose these instead of our usual "Fun Friday" choices last week. It's really fun to see how creative they can be.
Are you thinking outside the box???

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Individual Math Review Games

I have started to have 2 rotations during my math time so that I am able to give more individual help to the kiddos.  I teach a whole group lesson and then dismiss.  Nine of the students begin with the book page while the other 9 work on a fact practice page and then we switch.  On Tuesday and Thursdays, instead of fact practice, the kids will work on writing numbers (we are working on writing our numbers to 1,000).  I am lucky to work in a school where I get an aid to help out during the math time, so while I'm helping the kids with the book, my aid is helping with the fact practice and the writing numbers.
Some of the kids finish the fact practice early and I am trying to find some game type ideas of things they can do quietly by themselves at his/her seat.  I found this cool idea that they have loved to do this week at Math Coach's Corner:
I would like to find ideas for counting money, telling time, addition, subtraction, and/or odd and even numbers.  These are a few skills that we have been learning about so far and I would like to find something to reinforce those skills.  Something like a game that they can work on quietly and by themselves if they finish early.  Any ideas?
Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday - Prayer Rights

Have you ever gotten used to seeing something hanging in your home or classroom and rarely gave it much thought anymore? That is what inspired this week's...

This quote has been on a piece of scrap paper posted on my husband's desk for at least a year. He wrote it down as a reminder.
I remember reading it when he first posted it, but over time I had stopped considering what it meant.
All that changed as I recently sat at his desk to do my morning devotions. I was seeking peace in a situation that I had been praying about and my eyes fell on the quote with new interest.
All I could think was PRAISE THE LORD!
I'm so thankful that answered prayer is based on God's grace, mercy and unfailing love! It would be a very scary thing if my prayers were answered based on my "rights" and what I actually deserved. I'd much rather trust in Him and His Goodness for my answers to prayer!
Have a blessed day!

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