Saturday, January 31, 2015

Five for Friday (a day late)!

Good morning!

I hope you have a great weekend plan with your idea of fun…mine right now includes a lot of relaxing. Hee hee!

I'm headed out later to watch my little kiddos play basketball. Several of the boys and girls in my class are playing "little league" and have been wanting me to come watch them. I can't wait! Reminds me of when my own kids were just little ones running around on the basketball court. 

But first I thought I'd pop in with some pictures from my week, so here goes…

Be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs!

First, I was finally brave enough to try writing on our table with dry-erase markers. I have seen this all over, but was always to afraid to try it. 

What if it didn't come off well and I ruined the table?
I tested a small area first because I'm cautious that way...

It made subtraction with regrouping so much more exciting and I was the "best teacher ever." Ha! 

And look:

Afterwards, a Clorox wipe and good as new! 

You should try it (if you haven't already) and then you can be the "best teacher ever" too.

Math problem types…I posted this last week, but didn't have the shading. Here's the problem types by grade level:

K - Green
1st - Orange
2nd - Blue

This definitely shows how much ground work is laid in the K-1 classroom. Thank you K-1 teachers (and I really love teaching 2nd)!

I am a dark chocolate kind of girl. I have a piece (or two) after lunch every day. I came upon this wrapper twice this week and it gave me a chuckle.

And finally, the reason that I don't post on Friday evenings. 

I am supposed to, you know. That is the deal during the school year. Kristi posts on Mondays. I post on Fridays Saturdays.

The green arrow is pointing to my son.

He is a freshman. Last night was the first time he got to suit up for varsity. He looked so short (even though he has outgrown me and nearly his dad too)! I love cheering on my kids…and I'm really glad they love to play basketball. It is my favorite sport.

My daughter has two more weeks playing in middle school, which means I have two more weeks coaching. I love to do it, but I am definitely ready to have more time on my hands. 

Speaking of basketball…Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! KU plays K-State today. I told my littles that I'd wear purple on Monday if we lost…hope the Jayhawks don't let me down! ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-God will bring me through it!

Welcome back to this week's:

I have heard this before and always loved it, but never really thought much about it until it really started to relate more to my life.  This last year, I have had some health issues come up that has on some days caused me some aches and pains.  This last couple of weeks it has been extra painful for me and I happened to come across this quote.  I think it was a quote that I was supposed to see because as I try my hardest to not let the pain get to me and try not to complain too much about it......well, let's face it, it got hard for me to try to ignore it.  It was wearing on me and when I saw this, I thought.....he has brought it to me.....but the great news is that he will bring me through it.  It's so easy to focus on the negative and not realize that God is here for me and it may take time, but he will bring me through it.  So, my goal is to focus less on the pain and more on knowing that God is here for me.  

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

                         Have a great day!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Sick, Tired, and Lessons!

After today all I can say is that I am exhausted.  I missed 3 days of school last week because I was sick and running 103 temperature....UGGHHHH!!  I kept thinking each day that I was going to get better and be able to get back to school, but it didn't happen.  So today was my first day back since last Tuesday.  It is amazing how tired you get after a day of teaching.  I believe that I will definitely be sleep very well this evening.  

I happened to come across a blog post by Taming My Flock of Firsties and thought how great this would be to have.  You know those days when you are really really really sick and can hardly move but sub plans have to get done, well I think this would come in handy for sure.  I am truly blessed where I work because I have friends that were more than willing to help me out and do whatever they could for me while I was gone and I didn't even have to come in one of the days to do sub plans.  Talk about being blessed!  So, if you don't already have something set up for those days for subs, make sure you check out the ones that were set up.  

Hope you have a great for me, I believe that I will be going to bed very shortly!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Math Problem Types

Good morning! 

If I were to blog about anything personal this week, it would be one big whining post about how I am simply E X H A U S T E D! 

So instead I'm going to focus on our staff development from Monday, which seems like forever ago.

We had the opportunity to join in with some other schools for a staff development day that provided several different sessions. It was nice to get to choose what we wanted to go to (kind of goes with what they say about letting our students have some choices in their education).

Anyway, I spent two sessions on math. I didn't really choose this. My principal chose for me (Ha!), but I didn't mind. He thought it would be good for me to know what 3rd graders might be facing on assessments so I could better prepare my 2nd graders. As it turned out, there was actually a lot of good stuff for K-2 teachers too so it was a win-win.

One thing that I found the most helpful and easy to implement was these problem types:

These are addition/subtraction problem types for K-2.
Sorry, I realize now I should have cropped the screen shot…but hey, I even had to look up how to do one since I am now working on a Mac so give me a break!

We had a whole activity with sample problems that we had to sort using these problem types. My friend (3rd/4th math teacher) and I totally rocked it out. We even had to send a picture to the presenter to be her answer key because we were so speedy and correct (of course). 

We thought this deserved going to lunch early, but instead we got to be last and there was barely any chicken and no cheese left for my Chipotle bowl…

Anyway, then we had to team up and write some more problems. I was excited to snap a picture of them all because I'm always writing story problems for my Mission Possible Math slides. Here's the picture if you need some more ideas for story problems.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Reliable in Crisis

Good evening! A little late for this week's post, but Kristi is not feeling well so I'm up. There seems to be a lot of yucky stuff going around here. Ugh!

This will be a short (but good, I hope) one! I'm going to let the quote do all the "talking."

I'd like to think I would be found reliable in any crisis…but I also know that may not be the case. Definitely worth considering…

Well, what do you think?

Monday, January 19, 2015

More Sight word fun and More Go Noodle!

I blogged before about some of the ways that we had been practicing our sight words.  Well, after checking the internet, I tried a couple of other ways to practice those sight words.

1.  Shaving cream!  Oh, how much the kids loved this (maybe not so much the teacher because of the stress of worrying about cleaning it up).  I showed them the sight word, then said it, then we wrote it in shaving cream while they spelled it out loud.  Then after practicing all our sight words for the week, I put all the words on the board and called out one of the words and they had to spell it in their shaving cream.  They were all smiles during this and the clean up wasn't too bad.  :-)

2.  Guess my word-I placed a word on the kids' backs and they had to find a partner to give them clues about their word and then they had to try and guess their word.  If they guessed it right then they took their word off and tried to go help give clues to other kids that hadn't figured their word out yet.  They had a lot of fun with it and came up with some good clues.  Some gave the definition of the word while others found words that were in the word (for example they said your word has the word out in it and the word was about).   I did make it clear to them that they could not spell the whole word out as a clue or just tell the word.  It was a fast and fun way to practice those words.

Our internet has been down at our school for a few days and we weren't able to do go noodle (which the kids love!).  So, when we got the internet back up, the kids were so excited because they knew that we could do go noodle again!

Have a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five for Friday - Join Me for "Fun Friday"

Happy Friday! 

Around here that means "Fun Friday" which is often just too much "fun" for me. ;-) My husband is always teasing me about it…the kids are pumped and excited for "Fun Friday" every week and at some point in the morning as I get ready I will sarcastically say, "It's Fun Friday!"

Why is it so much fun (for them)? 

Well, let's just say we break away from routines. 

I love routines.

I thought it might be fun to invite you along for today's "Fun Friday" for my Five for Friday (thanks DoodleBugs). 

We usually start Fridays by practicing our spelling words on a whiteboard with partners for a few minutes before taking our test. So exciting!

Then we do a shortened version of Daily 5. The group on Time with Teacher usually gets to play a game while I'm conferencing with other kids. This week they played our "I Have…Who Has…?" game. They love to play these…we have one for each unit and as you may know an insane amount of them for different phonics skills in our TPT and TN stores. This particular group is so quick with the words that they get to time themselves and see if they can "beat their time." 

After Daily 5, I send the little kiddos off to recess. Teachers do not have recess duty this year. Whoop! Whoop! This was sort of a trade-off because we don't actually have a plan time during the day since we teach our own specials. Technically, our plan time is before and after school. 

After recess, we have MTSS (maybe RTI where you are at) groups. 

When they get back, we have a little time to work. All of their work must be finished if they are going to do "Fun Friday."

Math on Fridays is usually a game day or a test day or both. Today was game day. We played "Scoot!" using our "I Have…Who Has…?" game cards to practice telling time to five minutes. Click here for an explanation about how I easily turned these cards into a "Scoot!" game.

We also played "Connect Four" to get even more practice!

Both of these games are from our Telling Time Mega Pack if you're interested.

In the middle of math, we take a lunch break.

After math, we do an activity as a reward for STAR homework (idea from Amanda Madden). Today we went outside for extra recess because we have been stuck indoors for weeks and it was finally in the 50s today! I hope parents forgive me…as the information letter about STAR homework says we will earn learning game time.

Then we came back in and the "fun" really begins. I announce Dojo points for the week and the students sign up for their reward. 

Then the kids choose their "Fun Friday" activity. Some of the favorites are board games, legos, write/draw on the whiteboard, painting, and play-doh. Think indoor recess activities. I totally stole this idea from Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher. This 20-30 minutes of "fun" gives me a few minutes to get some things done for next week. It's definitely a win-win. The kids earn a fun reward for working hard, and I get a few minutes of prep time…unless I decide to sit down and do a puzzle or something with one of my kiddos which is my kind of "fun." :-)

Thanks for joining me for "Fun Friday!" Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Circumstances

Good Morning!

What a week--and it's only Wednesday! 

I'm definitely praying for strength this morning. I am already so tired. Monday was a busy day--left early for a funeral and then coached basketball. Last night was my son's game, and my daughter (who had not been feeling well) started running a fever and feeling icky. I think it might be strep…headed to the doctor this morning. :-( 

I'm trying really hard not to think of the big game she has coming up on Thursday, but this was the same team we played when she was recovering from the stomach flu so we really want a shot to beat them. 

BUT it IS only a game. 
It IS only a game. 
It IS only a game.

If I say that enough, do you think it will work? Ha!

I really can't complain about her being sick though.
My mom was going to help out by taking her to the doctor this morning. She asked me which pharmacy we used in case she needed medicine, and I couldn't even remember! It took me a few minutes because it has been so long since ANY of us have been sick. I ended up calling for a sub, though, because she is so sick (103 fever this morning--poor thing).

Okay, enough about me. Take a look at this:

I love this quote. Reminds me of some of my favorite verses the Lord used in my life after a friend had been killed in a car accident.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 27:13-14

Sometimes it is hard to see the Lord's goodness when we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances, but we just have to believe in His goodness and His plan.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Go Noodle Sanity Savers Linky

I have linked up with Kickin it in Kindergarten  for their Go Noodle Sanity Savers Linky!

Go noodle brain break-I love go noodle and so do the kids.  They are always asking if we can do go noodle and they never get tired of it.  I love the one with the Happy!  Happy!  Happy!  song and dance.  I love that beat and it just makes you happy

Happy Place-Somewhere warm.....I've been so cold here in Kansas.

Guilty Pleasure-Pinterest-I could spend hours on it!  I have to watch the time when I do have some time to get on it.

Keep Calm and Eat a cookie!  Sometimes that just makes everything better!

Don't forget to head over and link up!
Have a great day!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

5 for Friday (and the easiest, best, and most loved management trick ever)!

Happy Saturday!

I made it through the first crazy basketball week - hooray! 

We made it home at 11:00 last night so forgive me for posting my Five for Friday on Saturday. :-)


This gave me a giggle this week. I did give her full credit, but had her try again so I knew she understood the meaning of the words.


We continued our work on writing lab reports by following one of Lucy Calkins' easy experiments. We built catapults with plastic spoons, rubber bands, and a ruler. Then we launched ping pong balls and cotton balls to determine which went farther. The kids had a great time!


After my latest survey, I was reminded about how much my kids love this easy classroom management tool - the "Following Directions Game." I don't take credit for it--learned it from the best (Kristi - :-)).

Kristi uses her points game for many things throughout the day, such as coming to the carpet quickly and quietly. I don't necessarily do that anymore because I use Class Dojo. Every so often I will give some points during the day, but I definitely use the points for the "Following Directions Game." 

Here's what it looks like on the board:

This is rare - me in the lead! I told the kids I had to take a picture because it never happens!

My students sit in color teams, so there is also a scoreboard for them as a team (Kristi uses boys vs. girls so that is always an option as well).

The game is pretty simple. At the end of the day, I will get their attention and tell them we are starting the Following Directions Game. I then give them a set of directions that I want followed such as:

Pick up your mail.
Pack up your GO Book and library books into your backpack.
Check your floors (for trash).
Clean off your desks.
Push in your chairs.
Line up.

Then I say something like, "If you talk, you're out. If you run, you're out." 

Sometimes to joke around with them, I'll add things like, "If you laugh, you're out. If you sneeze, you're out." Anything to make it fun. Of course, they know I'm kidding on these.

Then I say, "Go," and the magic happens. Complete silence while they are following my directions quickly. They even remind each other to pick up mail, etc. without their voices (of course). I am left with a clean classroom and they think it is the funnest thing ever.

The best part is I leave them in suspense and they have to wait until the next day to see who won the game. The waiting kills them! LOL!

Rewarding points works like this…if I get no one out, the class and all the teams get the points (right now it is worth a million, but we have worked up to that and will continue to go higher). Let's say I get one person from the red team out. Each team other than red gets the points. The class gets 750,000 and I get 250,000.

During the game, I also say things like, "Who's going to talk for me? Oh, I know so-and-so wants to give me points. Make sure to leave your chairs out." Hee hee. It is so much fun.

On Mondays, we read the points and determine who won for the previous week. No prize for the class winning (which is almost a given). They just like to beat me! I will sometimes give the winning color team a sticker, piece of candy, but even that is not necessary to make this game work for you. 

Seriously. Try it.


It was cold this week! Yuck! I am not a fan of winter.


Can you see the #6 sentence? I explained all week what kind of "there, they're, their" this was and they still struggled. How do you teach it??? Ideas?

With my crazy week (four nights of basketball), this is the first time all year I have brought home papers to grade. :-(

Enjoy your weekend! 
I'm resting up for another crazy week ahead!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-plans

Welcome to this week's Wisdom for Wednesday!

I am one that always likes to have a plan and if I don't, I feel very flustered!!!  I saw this quote and thought that I really need to do it.  God already has a plan (one that I am sure is much better than my plan) for me and I may at times need to just relax, sit back and let his plan work in my life.  

Have a great day!

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