Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday-Finding Good in your Day

I love this quote!   I don't know about you, but when something goes wrong in my day or if it isn't the best day, I tend to focus only on what didn't go good that day.  I always think back and continue to run it through my head. 
If you look back throughout your day and not focus on what went can always find something that was good!  I am very guilty of not looking back and finding the good in the day, so that is a new goal for me!  For me, if I look more at the good things, I believe it will help me to have a better and more positive attitude.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  Proverbs 17:22


Monday, January 27, 2014

Difficulties, Telling Time, and Jeggings Anyone???

I never thought I would say that I owned a pair of jeggings...nor did I think I would ever say that I want more pairs of jeggings. In case you don't know...jeggings are leggings that look like jeans (I guess).
Disclaimer: I am not a fashionista...not even close.
Anyway...these are the boots to blame for my sudden need for jeggings:
I got these boots for Christmas (wow, they look dirty in the picture). Okay...really I bought them for myself for Christmas. But hey, they were $80 boots and I got them for $20. PLUS I had a 25% coupon and PLUS I got Kohl's cash back on my entire purchase so technically they were like $0.
Speaking of Kohls and Christmas, my mother-in-law was a dream shopper. Got her entire basket for free! She had to have her picture taken and everything...
I was not a dream shopper.
In fact, I hate shopping.
I did my Kohls shopping online.
Sorry...back on topic here. I loved the boots! So warm and toasty. I quickly realized however that I had pretty much nothing to wear with them. Hmmm...
I had seen the leggings with warm and toasty boots.
It looked cute on other people.
While out and about several weeks ago, I was brave enough to try on leggings with a big sweater.
It was as I expected... :-(
No, leggings were not for me.
Fast forward to Wednesday night. Away basketball game planned for Thursday. Temperature expected like -15 with the wind chill. The girls voted to dress up (rather than wear our team shirts and jeans). An hour and half bus ride with cold toes is not my idea of fun. I was desperate to wear my toasty, warm boots.
While shopping for groceries, I slipped over to the ladies clothing section, threw a pair of jeggings and a big sweater in the cart, and raced out of the store before I could change my mind.
When I got home I realized I no longer had a full-length mirror (long story) and had to take my hubby's word for it that the outfit didn't look bad. The next morning at school, I found the closest thing to a full length mirror and here you have it:

 Apparently, I'm not good at taking selfies...but as you can see it turned out okay for not even trying it on at the store. I still say the jeggings look cuter on other people. But they are so comfy I may have to get another pair...

Okay, enough about jeggings.

Thank you for all your sweet comments after my heavy heart post. Circumstances no different, but The Lord has been sending all kinds of encouragement my way. Check out this quote taped in the front of my Bible:
It has been in there for years, but read it with fresh eyes this last week. Isn't it great?

Last, but not least (and probably why you're reading a teaching blog), telling time! Every spare moment I have my kids playing Time to the 5 Minute Connect Four from our Telling Time Mega Pack. I absolutely love the clock graphics in this pack from Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs. The hour hands are in the correct position(meaning when it is 2:55, the hour hand is almost to the 3 instead of pointing at the 2) and my kiddos are really improving at their telling time skills. Hooray! Just look at these hard workers:

I'm also excited to try a little experiment this week. My students have loved the "scoot" games I've found lately. I thought...I should find one for telling time. Then I realized I already have all the I Have...Who Has? cards ready and laminated from this pack. I think it should be easy enough to turn it into "scoot." I'll let you know how it works.
Hope you have a great week!

Try some jeggings! ;-)

Sunday, January 26, 2014


This week we worked on the long o sound and I found this cute song through to help the kids remember the sound of long o.  I have always used songs (usually on a CD since I have a terrible voice) to teach the various sounds in reading.  The kids have always liked it, but when I found this I thought it would be something different and fun.  Here it is:

So, I had to spend Sunday night and Monday morning before school practicing this song so that I could remember it and sing it right LOL!  I taught it to the kids Monday morning and they loved it.  On Tuesday, I had so many kids walk in and tell me that they had practiced the song during the night.  They were begging me all week to sing it every day.  Then one of the kids was trying to sound out a word toward the end of the week and he said, "Hey that has those vowels in it and we have been singing that song that tells us the sound it makes.  Now, I can sound this word out!"  I was so excited about it and was glad that I had decided to do it even though my voice isn't good.  :-)  

Now I'm on a search to find more songs like it to teach them the various sounds in reading.  They were all asking me what we would be singing this coming week.  Anyone have some cute songs that you use?  

Hope your week is great!  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday - Heavy Heart



There are some things going on right now that have given me a heavy heart...the kind of trials that stay with the back of your mind as you go through the motions of your life. 
I continue to take them to the Lord because they are all out of my control. One day this week, this quote and the following scripture were included in my morning devotional book. The Lord's way of reminding me to simply trust Him and wait a little longer.
I'm clinging to this promise from His Word:
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30:5
I've always heard a Christian is either heading into a trial, in the midst of a trial, or just coming through a I'm hoping my choice for a quote isn't too personal today. Praying it can be an encouragement to someone - maybe now or in the future.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Place Value Penguin Fun!

I just had to share this little note...
I feel pretty inadequate as the K-2 music teacher so this did my heart good. This is from one of my 1st grade sweeties. It is kind of fun to get to know the kids I will be getting next year for 2nd grade. :-)
As of a great little place value activity. I was actually able to snag this during our last blog hop, but when I went searching for it to give credit it is still listed as free. So lucky YOU! This place value penguin pack came from Stephanie at Falling into First. I used the penguin cards (both sets - it comes with tens and ones and hundreds, tens and ones) for a little game of "Scoot."

Before "scooting," I called on someone to come up and write their numbers in expanded notation. This is also something we've been working on. It was great! The kids loved it and they were learning. So win-win!
Also included in the pack was a simple dice game. Roll the dice to make a two (or three) digit number. Then write it in expanded form. More fun practice - PERFECT!

 Finally, the kids loved it so much that I even let them do some more expanded notation on white boards with partners later that day.

This was one of my favorite types of activities. Little prep work for me, lots of practice for the kids, and FUN! Best of all, I tucked the cards and master copies away for next year.
Thanks Stephanie!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chinese New Year-EARLY!

This week in our reading series, we had a nonfiction story about Chinese New Year.  Chinese New Year isn't until Jan. 31 this year, but we figured since we were ready for it in our reading, we would go ahead and do a little bit with it.  I found this cool dragon mask over at momstown Burlington Blog:

During our extra fun thing this week, we looked at different colorful Chinese New Year dragon masks on the internet and then the kids colored this mask and attached a craft stick to it.  They were so excited about it and worked really hard on them.  Here they are working hard and some of the finished products:

We had a lot of fun with it and it was really easy to get ready for them to do!

I hope all of you have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday-Health

Welcome to another:

Oh boy do I know this quote too well now.  I guess, I don't really think about all those days that I have been healthy until I got sick.  Over Christmas break, I ended up with a sinus infection and bronchitis and got to the doctor to get some medicine.  After 6 days of being on medicine, it was time to go back to school from our break.  The only problem was......I still didn't feel good.  But decided that I could make it through at least one day.  Well, as the day went on my body began to ache and I began to run that dreaded fever.  :-(  Long story short, I went back to the Dr. where I found out that now I also had the flu and no medicine would help, I would just have to let it run its course.  UGGGHHHH!!!  So, listening to my Dr. I went in and did lesson plans for the whole week (she told me it would take at least this long to get better).  :-(  I'm so lucky to have wonderful teachers that I work with that were so kind to offer to help me constantly when I was gone.  Not only did they help out, but they were praying for my health as well.

I did take the whole week, hoping I would wake up everyday feeling good, but it didn't happen.  I slept constantly and continued to run a fever all week and into the weekend.  Finally, my fever stopped on Saturday!  YAY!  But the only thing was, I still didn't feel good.  :-(  By Monday, with no fever I decided I would try it again.  Unfortunately, I still didn't feel very well but like I said, I had no fever.  I survived the day and needless to say was extremely tired by the end of it.  

I am slowly getting better but I am still coughing and don't feel 100% better yet.  So, I have realized how much I do appreciate my health and will not take it for granted anymore.  I will be so happy when I feel myself again and can appreciate having my good health back!  

Hope you all have a great week!

Psalm 103:2-5

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Too Many Great Ideas Syndrome - Do You Have It?

Did you know there is such a thing as “Too Many Great Ideas Syndrome?”
In case you are worried that you may be suffering from this condition, here are a few of the classic symptoms:
1.       You find a lot of great ideas and resources for your students.
2.       You get excited about all of them and picture them working wonderfully in your classroom.
3.       You then exhaust yourself trying to implement all the amazing ideas.
4.       You then find yourself not being consistent with any of the great ideas.
5.       You then feel discouraged and defeated.
Does that sound like you?
Don't worry!
You're not alone.
I felt the very same way on Friday after school. :-(
It was time for some soul-searching.
My syndrome seems to be in the area of classroom management. I believe a good classroom management plan has many layers to it and it takes time and consistency to manage my classroom well. I use a "scoreboard" (a bit different than WBT), Class Dojo, positive reinforcement, and the clip system. The only thing different this year that I have added is Class Dojo--and I like it. The kids like it. It takes the place of 10 good color days and pick a fun thing to do (i.e. show and tell, no shoes for a day, a sticker, etc. - things they enjoy that cost $0).
Anyway, I was all ready to get back to it last week. My class does not really have behavior issues - just VERY chatty and struggles to listen and follow directions at times. I knew I would need to be firm and consistent after such a long break.
I planned to use my "scoreboard" more to promote good behavior (and peace and quiet).
I planned to praise more. 
We reviewed our rules.
By the end of the week, the kids were so talkative I was ready to pull my hair out. I mean, really!
As I reflected on my week, I realized I hadn't used my "scoreboard" effectively. I hadn't praised more. I hadn't been consistent with my clip system.
Is it too much?
Too many great ideas?
I decided it was more about time for me. I need to remember to take the time to give clear expectations such as:
"Please go back to your desk quietly."
"Remember to line up quietly."
I also need to remember to take the time to praise, praise, praise such as:
"I love the way soandso is sitting so nice and quiet."
"Thank you to those of you who are waiting quietly."
That and a little prayer made for a great day yesterday--hope we can repeat today!
P.S. As for the "syndrome," I still believe I have it sometimes and must constantly evaluate what truly works for me and my students--whether it is activities, curriculum, or classroom management!

P.S.S. I had a great activity to share that we did for place value...will get it posted next time--with pics! Can you believe it? I remembered to take pics...even while I was taking time to praise! Ha! ;-)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Celebrating our FB Followers with a SUPER Sale!

And we do mean SUPER!
Our little Facebook page has blown past 1,000 followers and is quickly approaching 2,000 so we wanted to celebrate. As a little thank you to our FB and blog followers we decided to have a sale like we have never had before!
Here's the scoop:
3 days...
3 packs at 50% off
3 most wish-listed items are also 50% off
(which means they are just $1.00)
Here's a list of the sale items:
Telling Time Mega Pack $8.50 - $4.25

Head on over and do some shopping! At these prices, you can't go wrong!
Better hurry ends Monday. :-)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday - Growth

Hi there! I hope you're staying warm wherever you are. :-)
I'm glad you're joining us for...

This quote seems fitting for this time of year...reflecting on last year...thinking of the new year...
For me, the Lord brings to mind some questions (sometimes difficult to honestly answer):
Am I closer to Him now than I was at this time last year?
Have I grown spiritually or am I standing still?
Have I been obedient to all He has asked of me?
In what areas is He prompting me to grow?
There is one thing I know (and it would seem Charles Spurgeon knew as well) for certain in the area of spiritual growth. I must be moving forward on my Christian walk, ever closer to my Lord and Savior. If I'm not, I begin to "drift" away from Him and that is not what I want for my life. That's why it is important for me to honestly evaluate my growth (or lack of) and surrender to what the Lord asks of me. There may be growing pains...but they will be for my good. I can trust that!
How 'bout you?
Are you moving forward?
Standing still?
Be careful not to drift!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mission - Closet Organization

First I want to say what a great HOP we had this weekend. I got so many great resources for FREE! I started working on getting some of them ready today. To celebrate our new Facebook followers, I'm planning a big sale stay tuned.
Moving on...despite our freezing temperatures, we went back for inservice today. Kiddos come tomorrow. The one thing that I wanted to accomplish on my two week break was to organize my closet. I have a closet right next to my room (thankfully). The problem was this summer by the time I got to this point in moving, I was ready to be done and just "shoved" things in there. The last few weeks before the break, I was getting extremely annoyed to go stand in the closet and say, "Where did I put..."
You understand, I'm sure.
Anyway, I waited until the last possible day (last Friday) and went for it...

The empty shelves are due to the fact that I *almost* forgot to take before pictures.
Here's what was on the shelves...yes, I know. Way too many baggies!
More Before Pics




It turned out great! Everything labeled and in its place. Wonder how long that will last... ;-)

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