Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Break is Here!

We had school on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  On Monday, we had a pretty normal day.  On Tuesday, the kids dismissed at 1:00 and teachers stayed the normal contract time.  So, Tuesday was a pretty busy day. 

1.   Kids opened their presents from me:
I'm like Crystal-I get the kids a scholastic book from the scholastic book club.

2.  Those that earned the movie watched a movie.

3.  We had our Christmas Party
The kids made these adorable ornaments.

The kids decorated me as a Christmas Tree-they thought this was pretty funny!

It was a busy day!

I am now on Christmas Break and was able to enjoy having my mom visit for a couple of days.  We decorated the Christmas Tree and sang Christmas Carols.  We were so into it and talking that when we looked at the clock it was 4 am!!!!  I don't even remember the last time I stayed up past 11 pm, let alone in the early morning!  Needless to say, I loved the time that I had with her!

Here is the decorated Christmas tree:
As you can see, my cat is guarding it.  He did pounce on it one time and knocked it over.  So, we had to do some redecorating.  

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesday-Important things in Life

Welcome to this week's:

Each year around this time, I realize how true this statement really becomes.  As a kid, I can remember all those toys that I wanted to get for Christmas.  Now as I get older, when I'm asked what I want for Christmas, I really can't think of anything.  The important things in life like:  friends, family and faith become what you really want and what is really needed in one's life.  As I get older, I realize how important all of those things are and how they are way more important and precious than any gift I could receive.  

I hope all of you have a great Christmas and have some time to spend with your family and friends.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Break...Soon?

Happy weekend (and Christmas break to some of you)!

First, an update on my son. We're praising the Lord for good news from the doctor. The MRI showed the ACL was fine. They couldn't really see the problem, so they think it could have been a scar tissue or meniscus issue. Based on how he is doing, they are going to let him rest it another week and try to play basketball again. If he continues to have problems, they will want to go in and clean it up. We're praying that isn't least not until basketball is over. 

Second, I have my student gifts wrapped and ready to go!

I always do Scholastic books. They are easy and come in handy if we have extra time to fill on party day.

We have two days this week. 

Monday morning we'll be making our parent gifts. We've planned some fun rotations for the kids in the afternoon. 

Tuesday we are giving them some movie options in the morning. Caroling after lunch. Then it is PARTY time. :-)

I plan to embrace the crazy and survive!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesday - Empathy

Good evening!

I hope you are hanging in there as you approach your Christmas break. I know my class was especially challenging today, so I am already thinking about how I need to be more prepared for "battle" tomorrow. Ha!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by for this week's Wisdom post. Let's get to it!

Some of you may remember when my son--then a freshman--blew out his knee almost two years ago. It was a challenging time for him (and me having to see him go through it). The recovery was long, slow, time-consuming, and painful. He really had a great attitude through it all…no pity parties here! 

The damage was extensive (including complete rupture of ACL, torn meniscus on both sides of the knee, micro fractures of the bones). The doctors were not very optimistic about repairing one part of his meniscus, but they wanted to try since he was so young. As a result, he wore a locked straight brace for six weeks. He was on crutches for ten weeks. Physical therapy went on for months. His dedication to getting better--and getting back on the basketball court--was admirable.

On Saturday during a game, he injured his knee again. :(
He was devastated, fearing the worst.
I was devastated, fearing the worst, but trying to be strong for him.
Every time I woke up Saturday night, I prayed over the situation. That the Lord would help us accept whatever happened in a way that would be pleasing to Him.

We spent the next few days answering questions, listening to stories of other people's experiences and advice, and hearing what I have begun to recognize as "God speak" from well-meaning people. 

I'll be the first to admit that I have been guilty of "God speak" in the past--and may resort to it without meaning to--but I am trying to learn other ways of comforting people.

What is this "God speak"?

 Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Job, and we have been studying the responses of Job's "friends". Who needs enemies, right?

Anyway, through this study of Job, I have learned that it is okay not to have the answers. It is okay to not understand or be able to explain why something has happened (to me or) to someone. I don't need to have the perfect words or the perfect explanation or worse still the standard "everything happens for a reason" comment (which I do believe, but I have learned that hearing that in the midst of a trial isn't all that comforting). 

It really is just better to say something like, "I'm sorry, and I'm praying for you."

All this to say... 

 I've just been thinking of that word empathy, and I'm pretty sure we could all do a bit better at it (myself included)!

Have a blessed week!

P.S. We don't know the extent of the damage yet, and we're pretty optimistic that it is a minor fix with a short recovery time.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Love Notes, Subtraction with Regrouping, and Christmas Break

Happy Weekend!

I'm trying to get my household and blogging responsibilities taken care of before racing off to a basketball tournament later in the day. We're playing for third place--and I'm trying to be okay that it isn't first! Ha! 

This preseason tournament is two hours away and started off on Monday, getting us all home about midnight. :-( Our girls (and boys, though I don't coach them) are exhausted and many are coming down with a nasty virus of some kind. Both my kiddos are fighting it...and I'm afraid I'm next. Ugh!

Anyway, let me jump in and give you a random peek at my week!


My class this year has an interesting dynamic that I don't know that I can fully explain, but one thing is for certain: I have a bunch of ornery boys! They try to make up for it with "love notes" in their writing journals, which I truly appreciate. ;-)

Here's one of my favorites...



The only prepackaged cookies I will eat. 
I figure if I'm going to blow my attempt at healthy eating, it better be on something homemade.

I have a sweetie who brought a HUGE stash of these for snack time. Then I was reminded of when I had her sister a few years ago, and the struggle I had with these cookies... So if history repeats itself, there will be more coming. I'm happy to say that when I feel the need to have a bag, I am showing some self-discipline and making it last me all day. ;-)


Subtraction with regrouping...

I was seriously dreading this week because of subtraction with regrouping, but I think I'm getting better at teaching it--maybe?
It wasn't so bad after spending two days on the "concrete" of the process using Base 10 blocks. I'll see what they remember next week before declaring this a victory.


Speaking of next week, I know from posting this on IG and FB that many of you are looking forward to Friday so you can start your Christmas break.

I, on the other hand, will have kids until the 20th and staff development on the 21st. :-( 

Don't misunderstand me. 
I actually voted for an even shorter Christmas break so we could get out earlier in May (that calendar didn't win), but once you start hearing about other schools in the area being done this week, you can't help but feel a little jealous! :-)

And about that staff's hoping admin somehow makes it "merry."


And finally, I'm taking Christmas back!
You can read about that here.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesday-Being Offended

Welcome to this week's:

We had a sermon on Sunday about being offended.  I have to admit that I am a people pleaser and I take many things personally.  I often rehearse things over and over in my head and feel bad about things.  Hearing this was good for me because life is too short to be offended at little things.  Our preacher said that sometimes some of the bad responses we get from people are not always about us.  We need to stop being offended and ask ourselves, "I wonder what they are going through and how could I help them."  There are also those big offenses (betrayals, hurts) that are even harder to overcome at times.  With these big offenses I need to learn to forgive in the same way that I have been forgiven.  It doesn't change the past but it changes the future.  It is easy to say but hard to do, but some things you just have to Let it Go!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Marvelous Monday-Measurement, Gonoodle, Tic Tac Toe, and a Funny

Last week was filled with a lot of different activities and you know you can never go a week without a funny saying or happening in the classroom.

1.  Candy Corn Measuring-The kids loved measuring this last week because they got to use candy corn to measure.  They were so excited because they knew that at the end of it all, they would get to eat their candy corn.  They had to measure a variety of things and write down their answers.

2.  Gonoodle-My kids never get tired of doing gonoodle and it is such a great way to take a quick little brain break.

3.  Tic Tac Toe-I made up some tic tac toe boards that had the student's sight words for the week on it.  They loved playing tic tac toe and I loved that they were practicing their sight words at the same time.

4.  Funny-I had a student that I was talking to about his writing in his journal.  He had capitalized some words in his sentence and I was reminding him that we don't usually capitalize in the middle of our sentences unless it's a name etc.  He looked at me with this serious look and said, "Mrs. Torrey, this isn't the middle of my sentence, this is the middle of my sentence and I didn't capitalize there."  I had to laugh.  He was right, if you looked at the sentence, where the actual middle of it was, he didn't use a capital letter there.  I sometimes forget how literal kids can be.  I had to explain the capitalizing in a different way so that he understood it.   

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Geometry - WBT Style

Howdy! I hope you had a great weekend. I'm late posting--and I even knew my blog topic for days! Oh well, hope you enjoy these videos. ;-)

Last week, we kicked off our geometry unit by studying polygons, 2D shapes, and lines. I really enjoy some of the "mirror with words" (Whole Brain Teaching) actions that I use with the kids and so do they. Thankfully, I have our school secretary's cutie in class this year and she agreed to let her teach you a few of our sayings and actions.

Take a look:


Vertical, Horizontal, and Diagonal Lines...

Parallel Lines...

She was a little nervous, but she did great! Such a cutie! Love having her help me out before and after school sometimes. 

If you have trouble viewing the videos on the blog, try our YouTube channel.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesday - Trust

Hi there!

I hope you're having a great week. I'm struggling a bit to get back in the swing of things…and so are my kiddos! WOW! So talkative and getting some of them back into routines...


That's all I can say.

Well, that, and I'm a little worried about what my first week back after Christmas break will be like! Ha!

On to the reason you are here on a Wednesday...

Check out this quote from Oswald Chambers about Peter's walk on water:

Isn't that true? 

It is so easy for us to trust God in some areas of our lives, but "…then self-consideration enters in and down we go." 

Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, June 18) writes about how if we are recognizing God for who He is, we can't help but trust Him. It is only when we focus on the circumstances around us that we become overwhelmed. 

And why should we? 

God doesn't panic! And neither should we!

We can trust Him with every aspect of our lives, not just some of them. Not just the easy things.

I love the way Chambers says it… "Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him."

I know, I know. Easier said than done. Why do you think I have to keep reminding myself? ;-)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving and TPT Cyber Sale

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.  I actually cooked a turkey meal this year at my house and I didn't burn it....YAY!! 

I did eat way too much of course and you know after eating how you get tired and need a nap.  Well, after dinner, I was looking for my dog and found her taking a nap.  LOL!  I guess our pets feel the same way!

I was really excited to see that TPT is having their yearly cyber sale starting today (Monday-Tuesday).  I'm ready for it and am excited to get some good deals.  Don't forget to check it out!

Have a great day and happy shopping!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Five for Friday - Precipitation, New Student, and Daily 5!

Hi there! 

It's been awhile since you heard from me. 

Mostly because when it was my turn to blog, I was having computer/internet problems. I think I've got that all sorted out now. 

And more recently I've been a little consumed with getting my online presence started for my book. Things are really falling into place fast now! Eeek!

Linking up with Kacey at Doodlebugs!

Now for a random peek into the last couple of weeks:


We've been learning about the water cycle in science, so I was looking for some quick and easy experiments we could do. I even took some pictures, but when I went to put them in here... I must have deleted off my phone. :-(

Anyway, here's the pin (and pic) that inspired our experiment and the kids thought it was pretty cool. I loved how many times I heard the word 'precipitation.' Ha!


If you do not have new student bags, you need them. I found out late last Friday that I would have a new student on Monday (odd for a new student to start on a two-day week, but hey...). My new student bag was a LIFESAVER (old pic). 


Since we only had two days this week AND a new student, we spent some time reviewing and practicing our Daily 5 procedures. I miss using my PowerPoint (I don't give "choice" until 2nd semester).

My technology problems have not just been at home, but also at school. We have had internet problems--still can't connect our iPads. :-(  

I've also been without my projector for about a month. I realize I am SUPER spoiled, but I miss it. A LOT. We are "this close" to me having a working projector again. Cross your fingers? Say a prayer for me? ;-)


My son (17 years old) first started asking to take piano lessons when he was 4 years old. I put him off for three years because I did not want to have to make him practice. He has played the piano for ten years now and I have never had to make him practice!

In fact, his desire to practice far exceeds my desire to listen! Please understand, I love to hear him play, but the piano is in the living room. We have only one television in the house, so we are constantly running him off the piano when we are ready to relax. In fairness to him, I know he plays the piano TO relax so I had a crazy him a keyboard to have upstairs in his room.

It took some trial and error, but we found one he likes at an affordable price. 

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to him! 

He is thrilled. 

We are thrilled. 

Everyone is thrilled. :-)


Last, but certainly not least.

Here's where you can follow along with me and my writing (hoping there will be more than one book someday):

Website/blog (not active yet, but getting there)

I attempted to use WordPress instead of Blogger based on several recommendations for authors. It has been a learning process! I think I'm almost there, but still a few tweaks to make. 

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the extended break! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesday-Thankful

Welcome to this week's:

This is a quote that I need to remember daily not just during the holiday seasons.  I personally can focus on things that I feel like I don't have and want when in reality, I have a lot and sometimes forget to be grateful for what I do have.  I need to remember to be grateful daily and what I have will be enough.  

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Madness!

Happy Monday!  I had to title this one Monday Madness because I have random things that I am posting about so hang on for this madness.  :-)

1.  Connect Four Game-my kids love playing connect four games.  Here they are practicing their sight words with the connect four game.

2.  Dice solution!  I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure this one out.....but it did.  I personally have a hard time listening to dice rolling around in the room on the floor or tables.  I finally realized that if the kids had a folder to roll it on, it would be a lot less noise.  I also told them that if their dice goes off the folder then they lose a turn.  Boy are they really careful when they roll their dice now.

3.  Sight Word Prize-In one of my earlier posts, I told you how my co-teacher and I had given a pinwheel to the students that practiced and learned their 1st nine weeks sight words.  I'm excited to say that this second nine weeks they are trying to earn these pencils.  I love how first graders think things are the best.  When I showed them the pencil that they could earn if they practiced and learned their second nine weeks sight words, they were so excited.  

4.  Finally, I had a student come in to the classroom in the morning and hand me this note.  He told me that he had written the note to me the night before because he knew he had to leave for an appointment early and that I was going to miss him.  He said that he hoped the note would make me feel better since he had to leave early.  I love these notes!

Have a great day!

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