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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday-Praying

So glad you have joined us for another week of:

I have been guilty of this on several occasions.  When something goes wrong, then I am praying to God to help out.  But the truth is, it shouldn't take something going wrong for me to go to God.  I should be talking to him at all times. 
I know that as I begin back at school, I often get wrapped up in all the business that I don't take time to stop and talk to God like I should.  As the school year begins, I need to remember to just take a few moments throughout my busy day to pray and talk with God.  It really doesn't take that much time and if I have time in my busy day to get my other things done, then this is one thing that should be something that is at the top of my list! 
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day in the Life...

I am on a mission...mission impossible possible! Can you hear the theme song playing in your head?
No? Well, I can. Maybe it is because I've been working on my Mission impossible Possible math slides to go with Hope's FREEBIE and I searched for the song to play in class while we work on our math missions. :-) I am on lesson 31 (out of 135) so not bad...
Anyway, my mission:
Work feverishly to get as much school stuff done this week as I can and then I have a goal to STOP THINKING SCHOOL until I report back August 16th. My hubby says, "Yeah, right!" LOL!
But, hey, I'm going to try...
To take a break from turning boring calendar activities into engaging, secret missions, I'm linking up with Jessica at the Second Grade Nest for...
This was my day yesterday...definitely not a typical summer day.
The first difference was that we left a car in town after church Sunday, so I had to ride in with hubby early in order to make my son's orthodontist appointment at 10:00.
The other difference is the weather! I am wearing a jacket - in Kansas - at the end of July. It has been cooler here since Saturday (I think). I even went to bed with a fuzzy blanket the last couple nights!

Well, back to my mission... :-)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Many Monday Made-Its = Freebies!

Let me apologize in advance...this post is kind of all over the place, but it does have lots of pictures! You will want to stick with me - our 400+ Giveaway is at the bottom. :-)
First my daughter's "made-it"...she's been busy! Check out how she dressed up some of her school supplies from last year in preparation for back-to-school:

Made-It #1 - Flower Bed

This summer I finally put in a flower bed...we moved to the country in 2007 and there was so much dirt work to be done around the house, I kind of gave up the idea of having flowers like at my house in town. I had hubby move a giant rock out by our driveway and created the flower bed around it. Here's my first Dahlia bloom. Beautiful!

Made-It #2 - S'mores Pie
Birthday picture - not a great one! But hey, I told you I would let you know about the S'mores Pie (pinterest inspired). I think it should be called S'mores Candy, but it was pretty tasty. :-)
Made-It #3 - Rules Posters (Freebie)
Click the picture to grab it!
 Here they are up in my room!
These posters were inspired by Stephanie at 3rd Grade Thoughts. I loved hers, which are also free, but I didn't want...
"Raise your hand for permission to stand."
(which was part of her rule #3)
My posters say:
1. Listen when your teacher is talking.
2. Follow directions quickly.
3. Raise your hand for permission to speak.
4. Respect others. Respect yourself. Respect our school.
5. Be safe. Be kind. Be honest.
Just had to add this picture too...it is my Reading Focus Wall coming together (below the rules). Hooray!
Please note - if you downloaded my free Focus Wall Headers, I changed the yellow to orange so they would be easier to read (same with my thought bubbles - see below). You may want to redownload.
Aren't they cute??? Love how they turned out.
 Made-It #4 - Binder
This binder part goes along with a great linky going on over at:
I blogged about the binder pack I purchased here. It comes from Bridget at Little Lovely Learners. The made-it part comes as I have put it together and added to it... I was going to wait to post this because I'm not all the way done, but I know some of you are already back at it and thought you might benefit from seeing how I'm putting mine together, so... 

First thing you see when you open it up is my daily check-list. I know my check-list will change this year, but I went ahead and put it in to remind me to include it. This truly saved me so much time last year!

Monthly Calendar - The binder pack comes with a good 1-page calendar...it took me awhile to choose, but eventually I went with this FREE 2-page spread from Marshall in the Middle.

Weekly Calendar - I wanted to combine my binder...personal and school...so I wanted a weekly spread to keep me organized with all our activities through the week. Grab them here free if you want.

A place to write dinner plans at the bottom = one less page in my home management binder.

Okay, back to more school sections:

I made this yearly planning calendar.
I got the idea from someone else - it was chevron backgrounds. If it is you, let me know and I will point people in the right direction. I also don't want to give this away in case that person had it for sale. Sorry... :-(

The binder pack comes with MANY more covers and pages for inside your binders. I plan to make at least three more binders: Student Information/Data, MTSS (Bridget made by special request), and a Sub binder.
***I also absolutely LOVE a work skills/behavior checklist that Bridget includes in the pack.
Okay, if you've stuck with me this long, you deserve a giveaway! Kristi and I are so excited that we reached 400 followers on Bloglovin' that we wanted to celebrate. We figured anyone can enjoy a $25 gift card to Target! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to link up your Monday Made-It with Tara!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorite Friday Pinterst Pins!!

I love looking on pinterest and finding so many neat ideas!  We are joining The First Grade Parade in her Friday Favorite Pins 
Here are some of my favorite pins this week:
Favorite Teaching Pins:
1.  This comes from Kindertrips.:
She attached baskets to the bottom of the chairs for extra storage for the kiddos.  What a great idea!!

She does the Daily 5 and has some really awesome ideas for Word Work.  I love the idea of having the students have his/her own word work notebook.   

3.  I have been wanting to do something different about my calendar time and this pin gives a great idea on how you could do your calendar time and some of the math so that every student is participating.  She makes it fun for them as well.  It comes from Second Grade Shenanigans Cutting Class.

For the home pins:
This one comes from A Scoop of Sherbert Sweet DIY on the Cheap.  You know how rugs are very expensive to buy especially the big ones.  Well, here is a great idea that I pinned and it doesn't cost much at all. 
Finally:  FOOD!!  YUMMY.
This is one of my favorites that I found at Recipe Diaries

Hope all of you are having a great week!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Bday to Me (and Reading Comprehension)!

It's true. Today is my birthday! I sort of have a tradition of celebrating my birthday for an entire week...which basically means I use it as an excuse for the week to not do anything I don't want to do or to do things I don't normally do.
Here's a few examples I've used in years past...
"I don't want to make supper. It's my birthday."
"I don't want to exercise. It's my birthday."
"I want to take a nap. It's my birthday."
"I'm having dessert. It's my birthday."
I know you're thinking these seem very reasonable on my birthday, but these are things I might say several times the week of my birthday. Ha! My husband teases me mercilessly over this, which of course, has prompted me to make it even 'bigger.' I can come up with all sorts of things now... ;-)
Maybe I should try...
"I don't want to watch another car show. It's my birthday." :-)
Anyway, this year has been a bit different because I'm still having the gall bladder/stomach issues. I have to have another test tomorrow... I did make supper for my father-in-law on Tuesday, which was his birthday. I even ate some of it and didn't feel too bad. Tonight the kids are making me grilled hamburgers, fries, and Smores pie.

I found the pie on Pinterest. Not my normal request, but I know the kids will love it (since I probably won't eat much of it). I'll let you know what I think.
Okay, I really wanted to keep linking up with Kelli for her schedule spotlight series. This week's topic is comprehension.
I'm afraid I might diappoint a little here. We have a basal--which I love--and I base my comprehension strategy and skill lessons off of that each week. I know some of you don't like to be tied to a reading series, but I like the direction it gives me.
I'll just share some of my favorite things for a few of the things on Kelli's list.
Main Idea and Details - Give students each a picture that leads to one big idea...for example: flip flops, beach ball, sunscreen, and beach towel. Then ask what all the pictures have in common. What is the 'main idea' of the pictures? This really helped my kiddos this last year. I had several different sets of pictures and they had to agree on the main idea. It was very interesting to hear their reasoning.
Making Predictions - The biggest challenge I have found on making predictions is getting the kids comfortable with making an incorrect prediction. They always want to be right! I keep reminding them it is just a guess of what we think will happen next.
Making Inferences - Kristi does an amazing job with this. The first time we teach it each year (with the basal we spiral back around several times within the year), she has her room all decked out with "bird prints" and bird seed...all leading to a paper bag and a note. Of course, I try to copy her because she is the Super Teacher! I have seen a crime scene pin on Pinterest that looks pretty fun too.
Summarizing - I like to ask, "When you go home tonight and tell your mom or dad about the story, what will you say?" It really helps them get the idea that they have to make it SHORTER!
Visualizing - "Take a picture in your mind. What do you see?" This seems to work well for me. A lot of times when I'm reading during story time after we've focused on visualizing, I will read a few pages without showing the pictures. They love trying to visualize what is happening and then check to see if they were right.
That's all I've got today...after all it is my birthday! Hee hee...

P.S. Did you notice we are really close to some follower milestones? Almost 400 on Bloglovin' and almost 200 on Google!!! Kristi and I are thinking...giveaway! Stay tuned for the details...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wisdom for Wednesday - Struggles

Hi there! I'm so glad you came back for another Wisdom for Wednesday!

This phrase was taken out of an even more powerful quote that I'd like to share...

"...whatever struggles may come, whatever temptations may overwhelm, or whatever thunderclouds may burst over your heads, you shall not be deserted, much less destroyed." 
 ~Charles Spurgeon

What a comfort to know the Lord is always with us--no matter our circumstances. Sometimes it is hard to see how He can be at work through the difficult times in our life, but we can trust Him. He has not deserted us.

Several years ago, after one of my friends died in a car accident, these are the verses the Lord gave me to cling to:

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

As long as we live on this earth, there will be trials and tragedies that we don't understand. I have to hold on to my faith and believe that God is good...all the time. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

List Making and Commenting Survey

It's happening...that small sense of panic as I realize that my summer is slipping away and I have so much left to do. I had to do something...

As you may remember, I like to spend a lot of time planning to be organized. Ha!

 And I was at Target the other day and picked up a nifty set of metallic gel pens so I felt inspired to start a to-do list...secretly hoping that will inspire me to get motivated to get busy so I can cross some things off my to-do list.

I'm sharing my to-do list today...maybe it will help you remember something you have forgotten. :-)

Yes, I know...I do not have cutesy teacher handwriting!

So what have I forgotten? I'm sure there is something--or somethings. Leave me a comment with some of your big "to-dos" before you go back to work.

Kristi is already jealous...I don't even report back until she has already started WITH kids. Hee hee! I am going to miss everyone over there though.

Speaking of comments... Notice the poll in the sidebar?

I really like responding to comments via e-mail, but then I fear people reading my blog will think we don't care about our comments because they won't see the replies on the post. Plus sometimes I like reading the blog writer's response to comments and it ends up being helpful to others.

So please vote! Tell us how you would rather a person respond to comments.

And...something else I'm curious about...what makes you want to comment on a post? What makes you decide not to?

Personally, I like to comment and encourage other bloggers (we all love comments), but I do hate the "prove you're not a robot" step.

If you're not sure if you have this...follow these steps:

From your Blogger Dashboard, go to Settings.
Click on Posts and Comments
Show word verification: Does it say yes or no?

When we first started blogging, we didn't know it and that was default to yes.

Don't forget...what'd I miss on my to-do list? ;-)

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