Saturday, January 28, 2017

Measurement, Perimeter, Fractions and Fun!

Happy weekend! I’m so excited to actually have a Saturday at home (well, mostly). 

Last Saturday was a very long, exciting—which means emotionally draining—day. We won the league tournament championship! This is the first time our girls have won the tournament championship since 1974 so we were pretty pumped.

 Pictured: My brother (head coach), my niece, my daughter, and me (assistant coach). 

We have spent the last couple weeks measuring. This week we added perimeter and an introduction to area. The kiddos love the actions and words I came up with for remembering them. I use WBT, so we do mirror with words. “Perimeter is…” Index fingers touching in front of my chin. “…the distance around the shape.” As I make a rectangle in the air. Then… “Area is…” As we make spirit fingers in the middle of our imaginary rectangle. “…in the middle!”

 Gotta love seeing those math helpers handy!

If you’ve followed our blog long, you know that in my building I teach 2nd grade and K-2 science. This year the 1st and 2nd graders are combined for science. It has been pretty neat to organize my class in a way that encourages the 2nd graders to be helpers. This week as we learned about properties of matter, it was the perfect opportunity to let the 2nd graders “teach” the 1st graders how to measure. 

Bonus: The first grader teacher is excited that they will have some background knowledge when she gets to her measurement unit!

We have spent the last couple of weeks learning all about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. The timing is also perfect to learn how to write a biography with all of their new knowledge. :-)

Fractions, fractions! I’m getting ready to start fractions with my class next week. Kristi’s fraction pack makes it easy to combine some fun activities with a few practice pages to supplement my plans. Easy Peasy!

That wraps up my Five for Friday post! 

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Personal Relationship

Good morning! I hope you are having a wonderful week! 

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here! We even went outside for math yesterday. That opportunity in the Kansas winter was just too tempting to pass up.  :-)

This week's wisdom quote is from my soon-to-be-released Bible study, There's a Fly in my Tea! I love doing these wisdom posts, but sometimes I do struggle to find a quote--especially if I'm not currently reading a devotional book. And Kristi said if I didn't use my study for some of our wisdom posts, she was going to! Ha!

This quote is from the first chapter where I am taking a look at the difference between our personal salvation and having a personal relationship with the Lord--although I think it really applies to all of our relationships. Take a look:

As I considered using this quote for today, I kept thinking of the time and effort we put into earthly relationships we care about. We constantly invest in those we love…spending time with them, talking to them, doing things for them, calling and texting them (if they don't live nearby), and encouraging them. If we didn't do those things, there would be no relationship. It is ongoing. It is a daily decision we make to invest our time and effort into those relationships.

The same can be said about our relationship with the Lord. We have to make an ongoing, daily decision to spend time with the Lord through prayer and Bible reading if we want to have a relationship with Him.

And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:23

How's your relationship today?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our Week at a Glance!

Here is a look at what went on this week in our classroom:

1.  The kids had a fun time practicing their spelling words in shaving cream!  The other good thing about it was that it made the room smell good too!  :-)

2.  We practiced our sight words by having a snowball fight!  The kids loved this one and they were able to tell me their sight words for this week quickly.  Each student wrote down a sight word on a piece of paper and crumbled it up.  I told them to throw the paper in the room and then they had to go pick one up.  When I came to them they had 3 seconds to tell me what the sight word was on their paper.  Then they crumbled it up and we continued playing.

3.  Find Someone Who-This was something we played when we first came back from Christmas Break (we didn't do this one this week).  I made up a page of the Kagan Strategy of Find Someone Who.  For example, one box says find someone who can show you how we line up.  So they had to find someone in the classroom who could show them that and then have that student sign his/her name in the box.  It was a quick and fun way for us to review our rules after our Christmas Break.

4.  We worked a lot on our nonsense words playing the nonsense words connect four games on TPT.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Our Thoughts

Welcome to another week of:

That is a powerful saying if you really stop and think about it.  Think of the thoughts that you had recently.  Were they positive, negative and what message did they send?  How would God want us to think about everything in our lives and about ourselves?  I know that it is hard to always think positive and have the joy daily that God wants us to have because of all the trials and tribulations that we have in this world.  Although I do believe that God wants us to see ourselves through his eyes and wants our thoughts to be positive.  I know that for myself when my thoughts are negative then my attitude becomes negative, but when I make an effort to make my thoughts positive, I tend to have more joy that I believe God intended me to have in this life.  

So, what thoughts will you have to start your day tomorrow?  

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

More than Five for Friday! ;-)

Hey there!

When I sat down to start my Five for Friday post, I couldn't believe all the pictures that I had to share. We had a great first FULL week back after Christmas break, and I just have some fun things to show you--including two success stories that are making my teacher heart happy!


This year I implemented the Whole Brain Teaching Super Improver Wall. I was a little nervous to move away from the things I had used before, but I have been very happy with it. The best part is the kids are LOVING it! They get so excited when someone moves to another level.

Notice the white paper behind the yellow name cards.

When a student gets to yellow, they take a picture with two friends. I let them choose a silly or smiley picture. Then I print it and we put it on the board. They don't get to see the picture until they reach the next level. :-) Then we turn it around and post it in the classroom for all to see. This brings me to my first success story...

This little guy right here...he is my little autistic friend. He is absolutely brilliant, but as you might expect, struggles with social skills and appropriate behavior. He has been doing wonderfully! One day after another day of smileys on his behavior chart, he said, "I have never been this good before at any school!" Insert heart emoji right here. ;-)


This is another one of my special friends. When I saw her  so focused on her fluency passage during read to self, I just had to snap a picture!

She has made amazing strides since Kindergarten! Really I can't even begin to explain her whole story, but she has improved so much. It has been so neat to watch her gain confidence and grow academically and socially this year. Insert another heart emoji here.


It was nice to get back into our routines this week! The kids especially love Daily 5 on Fridays because during "Time with Teacher" we play games. These are the Connect 4 and I Have...Who Has...? games that we made to go with Wonders.


This is why I love MobyMax!

This little smartie pants is practicing 4-digit addition while in class, we have only been working on 2-digit addition. I do my whole group lesson as usual and then use MobyMax during our math rotations.


Our stories in reading this week all had to do with music and instruments, so I challenged the kids to make an instrument at home and bring it to school on Friday.

These six students took the challenge. The creativity was impressive!

I wish you could see their faces..I really think I'll ask parents to sign a picture release next year.

I narrowed it down from 9, so you can thank me later. Ha!

My Bible study, There's a Fly in my Tea!, is now available directly from me! It is also available for pre-order at Amazon here. If you would like an autographed copy from me, I'm selling them for $10 each (retail price is $13.95) plus shipping. Just hop over to my website and use the contact form so we can work out the details.

I've been selling copies at my church, and  I came to services on Wednesday to find this REAL fly on my poster. My pastor is such a prankster! LOL! 

 Have a great weekend! 

Stay safe if you are in the icy areas...guess it is coming for us!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Rest!

We're back!

I'm hoping you missed us!

Kristi and I had a business meeting--via text messages, oh, how you would laugh if you saw some of our conversations--and decided that this year we needed a real Christmas break. That meant a break from all things teaching, even our fun little blog.

Our little break should give you an idea of why I picked this week's Wisdom quote...

Yes, you've seen this one before. 
I apologize for that, but the Lord just brought this quote to mind and it is exactly what I needed to hear. I have to believe someone else needed this reminder as well.

I know I am not alone in taking on too many things at one time. Sometimes these things are necessary and cannot be helped. Sometimes we need to be more careful (and dare I say prayerful--why is that not our first response?) as to what we are agreeing to do. And sometimes the timing of things just makes us feel swamped.

Most of you know that I have been waiting for my Bible study to be published, and I'm excited to tell you that IT IS HERE
I had hoped my author copies would arrive over Christmas break to give me the needed time to work on getting orders and promotions completed, but…

Well, let's just say the timing has made me feel a little swamped.

But I refuse.

I refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life.

Instead, I will remember Matthew 11:28-30 and choose to rest.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

With that in mind, you'll notice a change in our blogging schedule this year. Instead of three posts a week, we plan to do two (one Wisdom post and one teaching post) to give us plenty of time to…well…rest!

I'm starting to think "rest" might be my one little word this year...

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