Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Response

Happy Wednesday!

How are you holding up? I'll admit I'm having a rough week! 

It makes me so sad because last week we really focused on behavior and expectations. I thought we had made a lot of progress, but…well…now, I'm not so sure. This right here could lead me on a tangent, so maybe I should just save that for Friday's random post about my week! Ha!

Moving on to our wisdom for today…

Response vs. Reaction

I don't know about you, but there are a lot of things "flying at me" this time of year. From my students. My administrators. My coworkers. It's just a busy time of year, and that causes an elevated level of stress in the workplace.

I've also noticed this with my students lately. I don't know if it is because we are such a small school or if this happens everywhere at the end of the year, but the kids have less patience for their classmates. Lose their tempers more easily. Or just say or do mean things.

It got me to thinking about this quote from my study, There's a Fly in my Tea! I actually even tried to "teach" this today in an effort to get my kiddos back on track.

To briefly summarize what I discuss in the study (and what I attempted to teach my kids):

When we react to something, we do or say the first thing that comes to mind…like an impulse, something that has not been thought through. 

A response is different from a reaction in that we take time to think and consider the results of our actions or words.

I know that I needed the reminder as I respond to the demands the end of the year can bring for a teacher. I'm hoping my students can grasp the concept as well to help us finish strong.

Finish this week strong! You can do it!

P.S. When is your last day? I go until May 24th…seems like FOREVER since we got out so early last year (13th).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

ABC Order, +10/-10, and Contractions

We have been practicing a variety of skills this past week.  It started with working on ABC order.  After teaching a lesson on it,  the kids got some cups and found 10 different words in their reading books and wrote them on the cups.  They then had to line them up in ABC order and then stack them up.  It was amazing how focused each on of them were during this time.  I had several even come in the next day asking if we were going to do that again.  I guess I better figure out some more ways to use the cup stacking.  :-)

The kids have been working a lot on +10 and -10 and being able to do it mentally without using a number grid.  They are getting pretty fast!  We played musical desks with it.  Each kid wrote with their expo markers (love that they can write on their desks) a 2 digit number.  Then the music started.  When the music stopped, they had to find a desk and write the number that was 10 more and 10 less than the number on the desk.  If they were right then they got to stay in the game.  Toward the end of the game, they begged me to let them do a 3 digit number.  We did a few of them and they did pretty good.  Some did 100 more and 100 less instead.  :-)

Finally, we worked on contractions.  I love doing contraction surgery when teaching contractions.  I told the kids that I was a Dr. that day and that I was going to be doing surgery.  I did a couple of them and then told them that I was really getting tired.  Then I told them that I was sad because I had all these patients that needed surgery.  They were so excited and raised their hands saying that they could do it for me.  So I told them they could finish all the other ones.  I gave them a pair of gloves and some band aides and they got busy.  I found these awesome worksheets to help with the surgery from Common Core Corner.  

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Forgiveness Part 2

Welcome to another week of:

If you read my last Wisdom for Wednesday, I talked about how I was working on true forgiveness.  In all honesty, I'm still working on it, but I will have to say that I think I am making gains.  I saw this quote the other day and thought it was also helpful to remember when working on true forgiveness for someone. 

I think that a lot of the times, we can continue to destroy ourselves while the person who hurt us just carries on with their lives.  Forgiveness itself doesn't excuse their behavior, but it can allow us to move on with our lives without allowing their hurtful behaviors to control our thoughts and emotions.

Have a great day! 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Five for Friday--A Whole Lot of Random!

Happy Friday (a day early)!

If you are like me (and are off tomorrow), all day today felt like Friday and you are completely confused.

For some reason, I could not wrap my mind around that!

Add to that Spring party day, and I was completely confused. 


This was a real conversation this morning...

Student: "Yay! It's party day!"
Me: "What? What party? 
Student: "Easter party!"
Me: "Rrrrriiiigggghhhhttttt." (said slowly, as I thought, Is that today?)

Thankfully, our PTO is in charge of getting room parents who will plan parties, so I knew everything was fine for the actual party.

Despite my confusion, I did manage to snap some pictures to share this week (two of which made this teacher do the happy dance). 

Kacey even has the linky ready early!


 I have a cabinet of games (inherited from previous teacher) that we pull out for Fun Friday. This is my fourth year at this school and this is the first time my students were curious enough to open up a bag that was unmarked. They were excited to put together and play this bean bag toss game. :-)


Let's just say last week didn't go so well... 
However, I'm happy to report that with me being EXTREMELY consistent (sometimes that is so hard--can I get an amen?), we had a much better week!


This was such an exciting moment, I had to snap a picture! 
I had a student actually transfer what we have been learning about open number lines to his counting coins on his HOTSHOT!
P.S. Open Number Lines task cards came from Blair Turner.


These boys were actually choosing to read during our Spring party! We are having a friendly AR competition between the boys and the girls, and right now the boys are behind. The party games didn't last quite long enough, so everyone was working on some Easter coloring pages. These three opted to read instead. Insert heart emoji here. :-)


Our church recently hosted a ladies retreat for about 300 ladies. I had my table set up in the craft room to sell copies of my Bible study, There's a Fly in my Tea! The retreats are always a good time and the messages were wonderful. It was also fun to meet people who had been reading the study and those that were seeing it for the first time. I pray daily for those who are reading it--that it would be a blessing and an encouragement to them. If you are interested in my writing, please visit me here.

That does it! I'm officially ready to start my long weekend!

It is going to be a wonderful weekend to celebrate The Risen Savior!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Words

Happy Wednesday!

I'm glad you stopped by for Wisdom for Wednesday!

I'm going straight to the source for our wisdom today. Take a look:

My speech, my words, my tongue, my lips, my BIG mouth.

I hate to admit that I haven’t yet overcome what James calls “…a fire, a world of iniquity…” (James 3:6) and “…an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (3:8)

But it’s true.

This school year has been particularly difficult for me. I can’t really explain it. I can tell you that it has nothing to do with my kiddos. It has everything to do with the other “stuff” that comes with teaching. There were many changes this year…with the calendar, schedule, conferences, technology support, etc. Not all of these changes have gone smoothly (that may be an understatement), nor were some of these changes what I wanted.

These things (and a few others that I don’t wish to share) have caused me to have a negative attitude and critical spirit, and we all know that it doesn’t take long for those things to start spilling out our mouths. In many ways, I found myself becoming that “Negative Nellie” teacher that I never wanted to be.

I’m so thankful the Lord revealed this to me and gave me the opportunity to get it right before Him. I’ve determined to change my attitude, to be more careful with my words, and to try harder to change the course of conversations that are leading toward a negative spirit.

It has definitely helped that I have found myself in Proverbs during my daily Bible reading. There is plenty of wisdom there in regards to controlling our tongues!

Here's just one of my favorites:

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Proverbs 17:27-28

P.S. This is an abbreviated version of the blog post titled Spiritual Growing Pains that you can find on my writing website.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


This post is coming late in the week because I have been at a Priscilla Shirer event.  I have been lucky to see her already 2 times through a simulcast.  This time I got to see her live because she was a little over 3 hours away and I made the trip with some amazing ladies!  It was awesome!  If you haven't ever heard her speak, I would highly recommend her.  I have come out of every one of her events with a lot of great information!

I wanted to post something that made me smile all week long.  I have always loved teaching 1st grade.  It is so fun to see all of the kids growth throughout the year and watch them get excited about how they are really getting good at reading etc.  Another thing that I notice is that they start to become a little more independent by the end of the year and some even begin picking out their own clothes.  This boy that I have is the sweetest thing and he was so proud of himself this week because he picked out his own outfits.  Every day this week, he wore shorts with a t-shirt and his cowboy boots.  Every time I saw him, it made me smile!

I had my own fashion statement as well.  My fashion statement made one of my co-workers smile as well.  

Let's just say that I need to invest in some new slips where the elastic hasn't worn out!  LOL!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Forgiveness

Welcome to another week of:

I have to admit that this is something that I have really been struggling with for awhile now.  I thought that I had forgiven until I saw the person that I feel caused me some pain.  When I saw them, the feelings were not the best and I realized that I had not really completely forgiven them like I should have done by now.  For me, it is easy to say that I have forgiven them, but true forgiveness where you really let it go is a bit harder for me.  I know that in my heart that I want to truly forgive this individual but not sure how to do it.  I have been told to pray about it and ask to have forgiveness in my heart so that is what I am starting with and I'm praying that soon I will be able to say that I truly forgive this individual and can move on from it all. 

 Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 

Have a Great Day!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Five for Friday -- Games, Magnets, and my Awesome Closet!

Woohoo Friday!!!

This was my first week back after Spring Break, and it seemed like a LONG one! We made it though and I even snapped a few pictures to share with you.

As always, I appreciate Kacey hosting this linky!

1 (and 2?)

It was a good day for games!

These Connect Four games are awesome--easy differentiation. They have the high-frequency words of the week on one side (great for my struggling readers) and the vocabulary words on the back (great for my higher readers who have to read the word AND use it correctly in a sentence to claim their space). 

The kids also love to play "I have...who has...?" so we split our group time in half between the two games.

All of these games were made to go with our Reading Wonders series,  but they are in the Sight Word section of our store if you are interested. 


Magnets exploration day! 
The 1st and 2nd graders have been learning about magnets so we had an extended science period to explore with them.

One student had the great idea to put a paper clip in a balloon and see what would happen so we gave it at try! So FUN!

We even did one station of exploring magnets with water, but I didn't get any pictures! :-(


This is my post-spring break seating arrangement.


My kids were so talkative right before break, I thought I'd give this a try. I like "groups" much better, but eliminating the "face partner" has seemed to help at least for now!


Worth waiting for...

When my husband and I bought our fixer upper nine years ago, we did not have a closet. We used one in another bedroom. Then when that bedroom became the laundry room, we shared with our kids. A couple of years ago, we FINALLY started piecing this walk-in closet together. Over spring break, we bought and installed the last "shoe shelves" and "corner shelves." 

I find myself opening the doors and just looking at it! LOL! I'm pretty sure there is a devotional coming soon about things being worth the wait all because of this closet. ;-)

Hope your weekend is happy!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Quieting a Noisy Soul

Good afternoon!

This is so strange for me to be able to sit down after school and blog! I'm still getting used to not coaching after school. :-)

Before we get to the wisdom, can I just say…WOW! 
Today was quite a day with my kiddos. 
We came back Monday from Spring Break and I was pretty pleased with how things were going…until today. It just seemed like I was dealing with one student after another for behaviors that I hadn't seen in weeks (or months…or maybe even ever). I knew I should have reviewed routines and procedures on Monday!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by for today's wisdom post! 

Did that post title catch your attention? 
That phrase, quieting a noisy soul, certainly got my attention as I began a new devotional book called God is More than Enough by Jim Berg.

The full quote is this: 
If we are going to quiet the noise in our souls, we will have to track our thinking not our feelings, and then we must evaluate those thoughts against the Word of God. Where our thoughts are wrong, we must repent of them and replace them with thoughts that honor God.

There is so much in those two sentences to think about it!

Quieting a noisy soul. 
Yes, please!
Jim Berg explains noise in the soul consists of our thoughts.

Evaluating our thoughts against the Word of God. 
Yes…with a little apprehension.

It doesn't take much evaluating on my part to know that I have some areas in my thought life that need work.

I love the next sentence because it gives us the action plan.

Repent and replace.

It isn't enough to repent. 
We must also replace.

If we don't replace our wrong thoughts with God-honoring thoughts, those wrong thoughts will find their way right back into our hearts and minds.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
II Corinthians 10:5

I'm so excited to dig into this study. 
I know I've got some work to do, but I do long for a "quiet" soul. ;-)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Break!

We had parent-teacher conferences this week and officially started Spring Break on Friday.  I was so excited to sleep in on Friday and was sleeping very well until my alarm went off!!!! 

Yes, that's right-5:30 a.m.!!  I have my alarm set for the week and I completely forgot to turn it off.  I was so disappointed-anyways, I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep.  So much for sleeping in on my first day on Spring Break.

I have been spending some precious time with my babies (pets).  

I have already been out enjoying this wonderful weather as well and have worked out in my yard.  The weather is beautiful and it is 88 degrees outside right now.

My other plans for the break is to be able to see my family and hopefully take a quick day trip with Crystal.  

I have also been trying some Paleo and now that I have a little time, I'm going to try to make my own paleo bread (we will see how that goes).  

I hope if you are on Spring Break, you are enjoying your time!  

Crystal and I have decided since we are on Spring Break, we will not blog this week, but will return the week after Spring Break!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-He will be with You!

Welcome to another week of:

I love this verse and let's just face it, there are seasons in our lives that this is exactly what we need to remember.  When facing those tough times, knowing that God is with us is what can get us through it!

Have a great day!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Repost - Free Math Resources!!!

Happy Friday!

If all goes as planned, I'm watching KU in the Big 12 basketball tournament today so…

I decided to look back and find an old post that I thought was worthy of putting out there again. I found this one--which shows me at a KU game--HA!--that has some links to great FREE math resources. Hopefully, if you missed them the first time around, you can snag them this time.


Hey there! 

I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodlebugs for Five for Friday again! Lots of math stuff this week--hopefully you'll get a few ideas. :-)


This Five for Friday has to kick off with pictures from last night's KU game. We decided it was time to take our kids to Allen Fieldhouse for a game--before their basketball seasons got started. The Jayhawks did not disappoint!

This picture actually made it on the big screen! I'm pretty sure we are famous now. ;-)

This was our attempt at a family selfie. The usher felt sorry for us and took the one above. Ha! And yes, if you're keeping track, I am now a "coppery" brunette.


Math Rotations!

They are in full swing! 
I just love it. 
The kids love it.  

Here's how it works in my room:

I have three rounds of math rotations each day. 

This PowerPoint is projected on the board. It is a basic pie chart and I just added the names to it. Easy Peasy!

The activities change daily and are written on the whiteboard (in the example - Math Game, MM/ML (Mountain Math/Mountain Language), and Mrs. R. When I change slides, the groups move to the next activity.

We rotate groups every 15-20 minutes.


Here's a snapshot of one day of math rotations (including links to some great free math resources):

Note to Self - rounding to 10 is okay this time of year...100 not so much. 


I was asked to make sheet cakes for the Booster Club to sell at our theater production--Wizard of Oz. I can't wait to see it tonight! I couldn't resist tasting them, so I made minis for my family and me.

 P.S. Peanut butter wins for me, but hubby says chocolate!


We're rocking and rolling on our HOTSHOTS
We do one 2-3 times a week and the kids are pretty much working by themselves now. They get excited when I tell them to get out their "Hotshots" folder.

Our first grade teacher has a math smartie who needed an extra challenge, so she is actually using the 1st grade HOTSHOTS designed for later in the year.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a snapshot: 

Sometimes I project on the screen so we can work through it together or to explain a challenging problem. 

These are a great way to get some daily math review along with a "Fix the Sentence." Easy to differentiate too. LOVE them!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Spring break is just around the corner for me…how 'bout you?

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