Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Herman! You Have a Herman Too, Don't You? *FREEBIE*

Hey Sweet Cheeks,

Yeah, so this post isn't really much about Herman, it's more about getting your kids moving...Herman just seemed like a title that would make you want to come and read...sorry for the trickery, but now that you're here, you might as well stay!

Happy Tuesday...that would make tomorrow Wednesday, which makes us 1/2 way through the week, which means I have Media AND whatever special I have {I have a hard time keeping track of my specials because we have an A, B, C rotation...I can't even begin to tell you how many times we waited at the gym doors only to find out we have Music...} which makes for an "easy" afternoon.  Lord knows we need it.  Our mornings remain the glorious wonders they've always been, but for some reason we come back from lunch and HOLY TOLEDO...the kicker is, we have the early lunch {brunch} so that means the afternoons are   l    o     n    g!

It's time to pull out the brain gym.  I used to do brain gym a ton, and for whatever reason {crazy-full-absolutely-no-wiggle-room-curriculum} I stopped.  We had a PD day on Friday and part of it was spent refreshing our memories on brain gym activities.  Do you use it in your classroom?  I started today and plan to incorporate it daily..it's quick, easy and effective.  Click {HERE} for more information. We do the series of movements called PACE.  Which is described in the linked article.  This video shows how do do the various movements...it's a little hokey and they do each movement for a LONG time...in the classroom you'd shorten it, and you don't have to all do it simultaneously. 

Another activity our school does to help our kids stay focused, cross the midline, the whole nine yards is Motor Parents {Motor Moms and Dads}.  Parent volunteers run the program out in our hallway.  We have balance boards, balance beams, tunnels, Sit n' Spins, mats, mini-tramps, etc. all set up in stations.  The kids are pulled for 5 minutes tops.  They go through each station, practice counting by 5's, 10's, add, subtract, spell, etc. while doing these quick motor activites.  Read about it {HERE}.

I'm also thinking of incorporating yoga.  Do any of you use yoga in the classroom?  What do you think of it?  Our OT gave us some yoga cards that use kid language to explain the different poses.  I'm willing to try anything at this point! 

Now for Herman. I wish I had a picture of Herman.  He's our scrap box.  Whenever we do craftivities we feed our scraps to Hermie.  He just gobbles those scrapple-ies right up.  Click on the picture to grab your own Herman.


P.S.  I have a new blog look coming soon...I'm so dang excited!!!!

P.P.S.  We are having a Michigan Bloggy Bash!  Head on over to Amy's blog @ The Resource{ful} Room!  Bloggers AND followers are welcome!!!!  Hey, if you don't live close by...come anyway, I have a blow up mattress with your name on it...only the best for my bloggy friends!


Saturday, January 28, 2012


It's no surprise, I've been tagged and now I'm it - I run slower than molasses in January.  Mrs. McNutt over at Be a Nut with Mrs. McNutt tagged me. She's a new blogger and I was her 2nd follower.  She's up to 7 followers - maybe you could click {HERE} and make her day by following her newbie blog!!!

I really like my questions {at the very end}...so if you weren't tagged - feel free to answer any or all in a comment below {See how I try to trick you into leaving comments?!? I'm pretty good, eh?}

So here are the rules:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

Twelve Fun Facts:
1.  I can roll my tongue
2.  One leg is smaller than the other
3.  I like to listen to NPR
4.  My nostrils are my least favorite part of my body
5.  I'm doing Biggest Loser at my school, sadly I usually win or come in the top three...I say sadly    because I rock it out when it comes to weight loss...I just can't keep it off
6.  I'm running a 5k on Super Bowl Sunday
7.  My ears are pierced but I never wear earrings
8.  I like bubble baths - Mr. Bubble is my favorite

9.  My biggest pet peeve is people who talk, talk, talk but don't listen
10. I have really good friends
11. Perfumes give me a headache, but I can wear yummy smelling lotions, my current favorite is Jingle Bellini - Bath and Body Works

12. I love being a mom to two boys!

Twelve Questions - Answered...

1. Why did you decide to create a blog?  Honestly, I'm not sure why - maybe because I wanted to reciprocate all of the generosity that is found in blogland.  Maybe because I wanted to stretch myself and learn something new?!  I didn't really mull it over, I just did it on a whim...
2. How did you learn the tricks of blogging? I did a lot of stalking and Rebecca over at Teaching First was so patient with me and answered my many questions!
3. Do you have any hobbies? Running, reading, blogging, teaching, watching my boys play sports and one day I will get that piano! {So I can re-learn how to play}
4. In my spare time I like to chat on the phone, blog, or do any of the above hobbies.
5. My biggest challenge in the classroom is knowing that many of my kids do not get the support they need at home...I carry that burden on my shoulders...helping them overcome this lack of support.
6. What is your go to behavior modification plan for little ones who struggle with your whole class behavior plan? I don't really have a "Go To" behavior mod. I'm chef's surprise when it comes to that.  I always try to figure out WHY they are doing what they are doing and go from there.
7. What is one funny thing a student told you? When I was pregnant with my first one of my little girls came up to me and said "Mrs. W. I found out how your baby is going to come out {I wasn't fast enough to stop her...she kept going} and you DON'T want to know"...HA!
8. Does your school use a reading and math curriculum? We use Bridges/Number corner for math and Reader's Workshop for reading. 
9. Where is one place you would love to visit? Hawaii
10. What is your favorite store?  Target
11. What is your favorite meal? Meatloaf, stuffing, fresh green beans
12. I couldn't be organized without Binders.

Tag Twelve People...

Kelley - Buggy for Second Grade
Rebecca - Teaching First
Stacy - 2nd Grade Paradise
Jen - The Teachers' Cauldron
Cheryl - Crayons & Curls
Traci - Dragonflies in First
Laura - Peace, Love and First Grade
Mrs. Nunley - First Grade Magic
Lisa - Stories From Second
Lisa & Beth - Made in the Shade in Second Grade
Amy - The Resource{ful} Room!
Heather - Heather's Heart

Here are my questions for those tagged:
1. What is your favorite kind of candy?
2.  What is something you are really uptight about?
3.  Is your car clean right this very minute?
4.  What's your "favorite" household chore?
5.  Do you miss Oprah?
6.  Do you play an instrument?
7. What's your favorite piece of technology?
8.  Do you have a social life?
9.  Are you a phone talker?
10. Do you text?
11. What's your favorite piece of furniture in your house?
12.  Does anything make you squeamish?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Drip. Drip. Drip. {Some Pictures, a Freebie and a Giveaway!}

...Nope, that's not a faucet dripping...that would be my nose. Okay, I'll admit it - at more than one point today I stuffed a tissue up my nose to prevent drippage.  No worries, my kiddos weren't in the room, but I HAD to prepare my cute little craftivity for today and the bending/cutting combo with my nose left me no other choice. 

I'm not quite sure what's going on in Good 'ol Room 8 but my kiddos have been a wee bit off the wall.  Yeah, probably a little bit more than a little bit...they were off in a big way.  I'm guessing it might be because we haven't gotten any snow. Seriously, that's my theory.  The kids are used to exerting their extra energy on the sled hills and there's no sledding to be had.  Next week will be better, right?!?

Since most of my kiddos brought their silly with 'em we went with that and read some Tacky the Penguin.  Love that penguin!  Didn't our "Tacky's" turn out cute?

We've also been working on solving number stories in math.  I'm still wrapping my brain around our new math series {Bridges}. This is my second year with it and I'm just starting to find the holes.  The kids do a lot of creating and solving number stories but it doesn't seem like the program does enough explicit instruction.  So, I've tweaked...the kids are getting good at recognizing the "Magic Math Words" and what they tell us to do.  I pulled out an oldie but a goodie...ADD Math.  Are you familiar with it?  I used to do it daily {Arithmetic Developed Daily} but have since exchanged it for Number Corner. One of my favorite pieces of ADD math is how it breaks down solving a number story...the acronym is TIPS which stands for Think, Information, Plan, Solution.  Each half piece of paper looks like this:

You can click on the picture and it will take you to their website if you are interested.  I know, I know...some might think it came from the time of dinosaurs...but I'm telling you some things stand the test of time and this is one of them!  Sometimes you just need direct, explicit instruction.  Really, you do!

I created this poster {Click HERE}  if you're interested in creating your own:

Clipart: Scrappin' Doodles

Our math program uses the spiral approach {Which is something else I'm trying to wrap my brain around} so in addition to number stories we worked on fact families. We did a fun activity that I found over at Kelley's blog. To grab it click ---------> Buggy for Second Grade!  They loved it and it was a little challenging for them.  A perfect combo!

I have got to give a shout out to Sheree over at Peterson's Pad!

First Grade Fun

She finally has reached 100 followers, but I'm telling you, she should be WAY past that.  Her blog is awesome. I can't tell you how many activities I've downloaded and used in my classroom.  She's so sweet and so creative and is having a giveaway!!!!! {Please take a minute and head over and be sure to follow...I'd love to see her reach 200 before she can even annouce her giveaway winner!!!!}.  She's giving away a $10 Amazon gift card or any one of her awesome TpT packets. 

And last but not least...I won this super cute shirt over at Heather's giveaway.  Luckily, I wore it today because I got so many stinkin' compliments on that thing, nobody noticed the tissues hanging out of my nose at our staff inservice in the afternoon... {It's a bit blurry which is a good thing...you'd call me Rudolph otherwise}.

Note the tissue in my hand...at least it's not shoved up my sleeve...how old am I?
If you want to purchase your own...I advise wearing it on a bad hair day, a day when you've got a pimple the size of Gibraltar...nobody will notice because all they'll see is your cute lil' shirt.  You can purchase one at Sewing Sassy {HERE}.

Happy Weekend!!!!!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Writing for Readers

Happy Monday!

I'm not so sure those two words should be used together...but you know what they say "Fake it 'til you Make it". 

Really, though, don't you just love it when your guest teacher gushes about your class?  Between a sick boy and a gimpy hubby I was out three days last week.  So it was a happy Monday...I spent lunch with my guest teacher {She was subbing in another classroom} and she just went on and on and on about how they just know what to do and do it...they really are a sweet bunch of kiddos who have come a L O N G way!!!!

We wrapped up our Calkin's unit: Writing for Readers.  It's one of my favorites.  Read more about it {HERE}.  The kids have been working hard to peer edit their pieces.  I'm amazed at how well they worked together, how they really took to heart "take care of your partner's feelings" when you help them out. I heard a lot of "I really liked how you made your 'a' but it needs to be uppercase".  So cute. 

If you're familiar with Calkins, after you "fancy up" a writing piece you have a celebration.  I'm a sucker for any kind of celebration - click {HERE} to read about some of our reading and writing celebrations.

Tomorrow we're going to celebrate our writing by having a "Sharing Circle".  This is the perfect time of year to celebrate this way because most, if not close to all, of the writing has been written with the reader in mind, so they should be pretty "easy" to read.

The way the Sharing Circle works is we all sit in a circle on our carpet.  We start holding onto our own story - when I say "switch" the kids all pass their stories to the left, right, left, right left.  Yeah, at first it's a discombobulated mess but they get the hang of it.  You read the story and if you finish before it's time to switch you look at the pictures or you read it again.  We do this several times, for as long as we can without getting the wiggles too badly.

Once we finish up we all say a big HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!!!!

And using this...

It doesn't look big here - but it's huge...SO fun!!!!  They haven't seen it yet, so they'll get a big chuckle when I pull it out of my closet!
...they each get called up one at a time to receive one of these:

And one of these {Pick up a copy for yourself by clicking on the picture - there's black and white and color...whatever tickles your fancy}...

Clipart: Scrappin' Doodles - I found the poem somewhere on the internet and can't remember where -if it's yours, let me know so I can give credit where credit's due!
Time to get back to The Bachelor....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friendly Letter Song *Freebie* And an Award

I'm Here, I'm Here!

The whistle has not been blown...nope, the whistle my colleagues provided as a practical joke {On me - I deserve it, one day I'll tell you the poop story} for my hubby has not been blown...not even once.  Why?  Because I didn't give it to him, that's why. Do you think I'm crazy?!?  Really, he's been a wonderful patient and I've gladly been helping him out.  He feels WORLD'S better...still slow moving, but he'll heal quickly...cuz that's how he rolls! {Smile}

Another thing that makes me smile is our school "Post Office".  Our third graders go to our State Capitol each year.  To earn money to defray the cost of transportation the kids, teachers and parents run a school-wide post office.  The third graders make "stamps" and the rest of the school can purchase them {Can't remember how much - but they do pay real money for them...obviously, because this is how they raise the money}.  Our postal carriers are our third grade students and parents/students help sell stamps on certain days during the week.

Teachers use whatever they want as mailboxes - I use this:

I definitely use the excitement surrounding the post office to teach my kiddos how to write a friendly letter.  Talk about a real-life application giving the kids a reason and motivation for learning how to write one!

Before we even start the post office or I start teaching how to write a friendly letter, I put the mailbox outside of our classroom without telling them.  Oh my goodness...the thrill of it all.  That first kid who notices it is beside themself...either because they remember it from Kindergarten or because they can't believe a real life mailbox is sitting outside of our classroom and they wonder what it's all about. 

I let the kids talk about it and wonder about it for a few days.  When they either ask about it or check to see if they are correct in their assumptions I just smile.  They know or they think they know and they can't wait!!!!

Then, one day they walk past the mailbox and I nonchalantly ask one of them to "check the mail".  I remember as a kid, back when people still WROTE letters or SENT cards how excited I was when I saw the mailman {Mr. Brown...yeah, growing up we always had the same mailman and he drove his own car down those rural routes} pull away. I'd run out to the mailbox hoping there was something in there for me!!!

I send the first letter to my kids {I don't have a copy of that at home} explaining how important it is to know how to write a letter and that they are not only going to learn how to write a friendly letter but they are also going to SEND them AND receive them from anybody and everybody around the school....gasps and cheers ensue!

I have lots of cute templates for the kids to write on, and I'll post those once we get hot and heavy into the process.  For now, I have two songs to share with you that I use early on and throughout the unit. 

Click on pictures to download your own
Clipart: Scrappin' Doodles {the pencil}

Here's what our third grade teachers created so we know each zip code for every staff member in our building. {I removed names}

I use the friendly letter songs to send home, put in their writing folders, and post by our work on writing materials. I also put them on chart paper. 

This is my first year having an interactive white board {Mimio} so I'm going to search Mimio Connect to see if there are any activities that can be used for learning about friendly letters {Like label the parts - and, if I can't find one, I might try to brave it out and create one myself}  Can't wait to add that component to our mini-unit.


I received this award {Created by Mrs. Lamb!}...

From Sara over at Kindergarten is a Hoot and Kelley at Buggy for Second Grade.  Funny thing is, they think I'm their favorite follower..but truth be told, THEY are some of MY favorite followers.  Think it would be against the "rules" to give this award right back to them?!?!  Thank you girls for thinking of me.  You really made my day!!!!!

Oh goodness...have I ever told you how bad I am at making decisions outside of the classroom?  I think it's because we make, like, 500 million decisions each and every day...you should see hubby {who is also a teacher} and I try to decide on what we'll have for dinner or what restaurant we'll go to...oh, it's brutal. 


After much hemmin' and hawin'....I must say two of my favorite followers {I really love you all - I mean, you follow ME...how could I not?!?!?} are:

Stacy @ 2nd Grade Paradise
Because she's always so appreciative, funny, light-hearted, and HELPFUL to me!!!!  That, and she's sure to post a comment which makes me a happy girl!

Another person who posts the sweetest comments and thinks I'm a good bloggy friend to HER {Little does she know that SHE'S an awesome bloggy friend to ME}...and who can't pass some love on to a fellow Michigan Girl!!!!!?

Amy @ The Resource(ful) Room
But, really, thanks to everyone who follows my blog...it really is pretty darn cool!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Word Wall Word *Freebie*


Wow, what a day!  Took some orchestrating but with the help of a dear friend and a wonderful Granny it all worked out just fine.  Two things you need to know:

1. Hub's surgery went very well - the pain in his leg {nerve} is GONE! 
2. Fourth graders do A LOT of HARD work at school which equates to a MOUNTAIN of homework to catch up on after missing three days of school...{we climbed. we conquered.}

I slept maybe two winks last night...

So this will be short.

I do a weekly newsletter. In that newsletter I put the following week's word wall words.  I usually put a blurb in there about how important it is to practice the word wall words nightly {Because it is}.  How if you recognize the words quickly - you'll read more fluently {Because you will}, and fluent readers more easily comprehend what they read {Yup}. 

I felt like I should provide something specific for the parents to do at home with these high frequency words - while it might seem obvious to us teachers what could be done to build automaticity, isn't necessarily obvious to our accountant, doctor, or mortician parents. 

I decided to steal borrow what my own son's first grade teacher has us do nightly with their weekly words  It's specific, it's quick and it's effective. No worries, being the nice teacher that she is, she told me to use anything she sends home and often times sends me an electronic copy...isn't she the sweetest? {Click on the pictures below to grab a pdf copy}

No Dates
An example of one with dates.
When you look at it in Google Docs it doesn't look very cute - but when you actually download it - the fonts are cuter!! {Of course, who could make something without cute fonts?!?}

If you like it, but want to be able to tweak it yourself, let me know and I can always send you an editable copy...I tweaked mine, so I understand it you want/need to tweak one for yourself!

It's almost Chai Tea Friday girlies!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Subs and Lesson Plan Template


I'm falling apart over here...okay, not really - right now I'm sipping coffee, blog stalking and praying my oldest who is on DAY THREE of being sick is all better tomorrow because he HAS to be - that's when hubster goes in for his surgery.

Yesterday was like any other day...it moved along at hyper speed, like it always does and then I called Grandma to see how my sick boy was doing and she uttered the words I REALLY didn't want to hear, "Not good, hasn't eaten all day"...

Of course I'm sad he's sick, of course I want him to be better, of course when he hurts I hurt...


"Not good, hasn't eaten all day" = another day of sub plans. I already knew I was going to stay late to plan for the two days I'm going to be out for hubby's surgery - tack another day onto that = not getting home until 8:00 PM!!!


I'm so lucky to have a retired teacher as my sub. I taught with her for years. She's awesome. She rocks it out like no other.  She knows the kids really well because her granddaughter is in my class.


Why do I insist on compulsively planning?

Seriously, I should have taken a picture of the gloriousness called "organization".  I'm really proud of myself this time. I had three bins, color coded {pretty primary colors} and color coded my plans with the same color sticky note tabs {to match the bins}. They really were a work of art.  You would have been impressed.  Necessary? Probably not. 

Then, I had to organize my room. I had to tidy up. I had to make it look all pretty for my Guest {Guest Teacher}.  Why do I do this? 

Anyhoo - I hope she sneezes on cue...cuz Lord knows I probably put that in my plans.

Christina, over at Mrs. Bainbridge's Class {Click Here} is hosting an "unofficial linky party".  She posted a picture of her lesson plans and others have done it too.  I thought I'd put mine up for you to peruse. 

I'm surprised by how detailed some of the documents are that I've seen. I think I must be pretty bare bones when it comes to this. I'm with Christina, in that I like to pencil in more details, I guess I'm still holding on to a piece of "old school". 

Here are mine:

Click on picture to download PDF - you'll be able to see it better!
I print them back-to-back, three hole punch, and put in a binder. Where you see multiple subjects: i.e. word wall, word study, handwriting or social studies/science - I circle or highlight what I'm working on for that day and pencil in some small details - maybe a page number or a short phrase describing the lesson.  In the small boxes next to the subject I will pencil in more info if necessary, or put the page number{s} there.

With all the changes in legislation and the "threat" of my current principal soon retiring {I'm trying to stop that from happening} I'm guessing my lesson plans may have to change and include something about the Common Core {which Michigan has adopted and our district is fast and furiously implementing}...until then, they'll stay nice and streamlined...

Hope you all had a good day at school..I'm now going to try to squeeze a little school work out of my sick boy.  You miss a couple of days as a fourth grader and OH MY it's hard to unbury yourself!!!!!

{Okay, I'll do that right after this next cup of coffee...promise}


Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Day in the Life...

Oh my goodness...a linky party like this is right up my alley.  Hubsy would absolutely cringe, though, if he knew I was doing this. "Why would anybody in their right mind care what a day in YOUR life {or in anybody's life, for that matter} looks like, SERIOUSLY!?!?"  So, thank goodness he doesn't come two steps close to this blog...

But I'm guessing there are a lot of people just like me, AKA: "the-person-who-likes-to-look-into-people's-houses-when-she-goes-for-a-jog/walk" Yes, a linky party like this, is like looking in your windows...which, I would do. I'm sorry. I would. I mean, if you were doing something I shouldn't see, I would look away. Probably. Remember, I'm looking at your decor - not you.

Could not pass up this nosy fun opportunity to see into other people's lives so I linked up with Katie Klohn over at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher.

Are you ready?!?! Get comfy, grab a latte, or some soda...and get ready for some boredom fun...

 5:32 - the alarm goes off {Which is really 5:26 but my clock is intentionally set 6 minutes ahead} - why "32"? It's all a mind game...5:30 seems way too early to me...5:32 is closer to 6 than 5:30...don't even remind me that my clock is set 6 minutes fast and that I'm actually getting up BEFORE 5:30!!! I'm not a "snoozer" I have to pop right up as soon as that alarm goes off and get going...usually moving at a frantic pace because getting up "this late" definitely does not allow enough time to get ready before the boys wake up at 6:15...but I can't bare the thought of getting up any earlier.

5:40 - If it's a hair washing day I gather up all my "materials" and bring them downstairs to...okay...I don't know if I can admit this...I don't know if I should....should I really own up to this....okay...I can do this...I gather up my hair washing/drying materials: towel, shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer and bring them downstairs where I wash my hair in the kitchen sink.  Okay, see...my shower is right next to my littlelest's room.  I'm always afraid I'm going to wake him up if I shower in the a.m. So I shower/bathe at night {cuz he's sound asleep then} and if it's "hair cycle day 1"  {Clemsongirl and the Coach is a non-teacher blog...but she's a hoot} that's when I go through the whole ordeal of washing it downstairs. {Thank goodness I don't wash my hair every day and if it's the summer....well, that's a whole 'nother story...love me some baseball caps}

5:50 - If it's not Day 1 of the hair cycle - I can set the alarm for 5:56 {which is really 5:50} and do some blog stalking, Facebooking, and email checking.

On a hair washing day:

6:10 -I'm not done blow drying the ol THICK mop until now...no joke, it takes a good 15/20 minutes to fully dry my head of hair.  Now you see why I don't wash it every day.  BUT - I could never go 6 days like Clemsongirl, though I wish I could!!!! 

6:15 - I head upstairs to wake up my "baby" and hubby wakes up my fourth grader. {Hubby wakes up, literally 10 minutes before he has to get the boys up...must be nice to get ready in t-minus 10 minutes!!!!}

**I lay in bed with my "baby" for about 5 minutes while he's waking up...this is probably my most favorite time of the day {along with laying down with him after books at night}.  He gets dressed {of course clothes are picked out the night before} and heads downstairs.

6:25 - Hubby gets the boys their breakfast and I flat iron my hair {doesn't matter what day of the 'ol hair cycle I'm on...I flat iron}, put on "the face" {which is super minimal - I hardly wear any makeup} and get dressed {I try to pick out my clothes the night before too}.

6:40 - I come downstairs and say "Come on boys, you need to pick up the pace, let's go...seriously, you haven't finished your blueberries yet?  Are you kidding me, you have THAT much cereal left...what have you been doing?  Let's go...."

6:41 - Start the coffee maker - if it's not a Chai Tea Latte Day - yeah, I try to limit this to Fridays...cuz, geez - those suckers break the bank, but admittedly, sometimes I cave and go twice a week.

**I pack up their lunches {Everything is in it's containers, I just have to put it in the lunchboxes - don't ask why I don't put it in there at night. It's a "thing". I guess because they have items that don't necessarily have to be kept cold: chips, raisins, bagels...you know...so I don't want those in the fridge with the other things...like I said, it's a "thing" that I have.}

6:50 - pack up snowpants bags {Because their things are laid out after school the day before to dry on my AWESOME boot/mitten dryer} If you live in a snowy climate, I *highly* recommend you get one...


The Thermanator

...and pack up backpacks...

7:00 - pack up car - send boys to get on shoes, coats, etc.

7:05 - Jetta-proof the house {close bedroom doors, find the cat and put him downstairs, close that door too}.  Our puppy girl does such a nice job out of her crate...but you never know...I mean look at this face...she might look sweet, but she can find herself in a whole heap of trouble if we don't doggy proof a bit.

7:10 - out the door we go - drop boys off at their school. Chit chat with Ms. PrimeTime Lady {Before school care}, God love her, she LOVES to chat me up every morning.

7:20 - I can breathe...sip my coffee, eat my breakfast, listen to talk radio, chat on the phone, drive to work...ahhhhhh.  Reading that, I think "What a flippin' marathon...all before I even get to school"...

7:45 - At school...bust a move like I'm on fire to get my reading groups planned, my morning message up, and chatty chatty with a few friends before the kids arrive at 8:30.

Here's what we get through each morning:

*Word Study/Word Wall/Handwriting {Depending on the day}
*Reader's Workshop/Daily 5
*Morning Meeting/Number Corner
10:45 - Brunch {we have the early lunch - which I thought I would hate, but I actually love} I run down, warm up my lunch, chat a bit, check my mail in the office, head back to my room to eat/work
11:45 - Pick 'em up

Most of our afternoons look like this {other than those that we have Media or Learning Stations}

*Writer's Workshop
*Special {P.E., Music, Art - we do our specials on a rotational basis so we have A, B, C days} Usually I get myself ready for the next day...if I don't have a meeting
*Finish up snack if we got a late start
*Read Aloud
*Science/Social Studies {alternating days}
*Prepare for home
*Dismissal at 3:30

After school I might chat it up a bit with my cronies, then I usually run around some more after they leave, cleaning up, making sure my "tomorrow basket" is in relative order "just in case".

4:20 - I usually leave for home {To decompress I listen to NPR - don't make fun of me - or drive in silence. OR I chit chat with a friend...depends on how my day went...HA!}

4:50 - I'm finally home - hubby is finishing up dinner makings {yes, I'm that lucky}

**Hug my boys, talk about their day, unpack their backpacks, lunchboxes, fill out notes for school RIGHT THEN AND THERE - as soon as I pull them out of the folders, I fill 'em out, and put them right back in there.  Set out their homework in our little homework station {The bar at the counter}. Eat dinner, {If either one of them has practice of any sort: football, baseball, basketball...we have to rush through dinner, rush through homework, and get out the door as fast as we possibly can - I hate that}  play a board game, do homework, play {I might do some blog stalking} then it's shower time, video/snack, bedtime routine, books, and they are in bed by 8:00 {youngest} and 9:00 {oldest}. 

ETA: Of course I have to  squeeze in lunch packing and my wogging {walk/jogging} on the treddy {I'm aiming for three days a week - two of those on the weekend and one during the week}. I signed up for a 5k on Superbowl Sunday...what was I thinking?!?!?...so I have to turn that wogging into all out jogging at some point...

And then I'm free to grade papers, watch t.v./blog stalk!!!!!!!!!

11:00 - I usually hit the hay and tomorrow....

We do it all over again....

And seriously, if you read all that, you just have to leave a comment telling me that you did.  Because I can't believe that anybody would! HA!!!!!!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Love to Joplin Linky Party and a *Freebie*

I'm so happy to be participating in this linky party.  Deedee over at Mrs Wills Kindergarten received an email from a teacher in Joplin, MO, whose town was cut in 1/2 by the F5 tornado that ripped through last May.  Many of the elementary schools were either detroyed or damaged.

Think about everything that was lost, most importantly, think about what it would take to rebuild emotionally as well as their personal classroom materials/files.  I can only imagine what kind of school year this has been for them.

I just went into my files and started clicking away - giving anything and everything I've created over the years.  You don't need a blog to do the same.  Here is the email address of Erica, the teacher that contacted Deedee.  She would like to go to her grade level meeting {Kindergarten} on Monday with a whole slew of goodies for her colleagues to help sparkle up their day. 


 If you would rather send a gift card to TpT where teachers are selling so many classroom goodies you can go {HERE} and have it sent to the above email address. 

Thanks so much!

Here's a freebie for a game I usually play at the beginning of the year, but have since modified to use throughout the school year.  The original idea came from my dear friend from way back when, {4th grade!?!?} Christy, who also teaches first grade all the way on the other side of the state...waaaaa, I miss her!!!!!!

Hope you have a nice long weekend to enjoy like I do...



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today In Pictures {Daily 5 Version} etc....

Oh my gosh, I need to go to bed. I was SNORING on the couch just five minutes ago.  Woke myself up with my loudish snorts and realized I wanted to blog tonight.  You've gotta call this dedication...right?

Thanks so much for the good vibes for hubby.  He has two herniated discs.  Lots of PT, cortisone shots and time weren't doing the trick so he had an MRI. They found bone fragments that need to be "shaved down" {ouch}, so the surgery is scheduled for next week.  Yikes.  Just can't wait to get my healthy, happy hubsy back.

Here was my morning this morning...

Daily 5 in Room 8

Roll and Write {Thanks Barb} Word Work

More Word Work With Pipecleaners

Work on Writing

More Work on Writing

Read to Self

Read to Self - I Love This One!

One More Word Work

Listen To Reading - Starfall

Today was one of those magical days where every....single....kid was so into what they were doing.  Not one of them was off-task {this is not an every day occurrence}.  I ran and grabbed my camera and HAD to document this gloriousness!!!!!!

This was me during Word Study...Look familiar?

Now I'm off to saw more logs....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Currently ~ January

I'm loving that I can count on Farley's monthly Linky Party...

1.  I  find new blogs to stalk and of course follow!
2.  I don't have to use many brain cells to participate
3.  I love reading other people's "Currently's" {I also love going for walks/runs at dusk when I can sort of peek in people's windows - to see "house stuff" decor/etc...not the actual people. Now that would just be weird, people watching,  gossiping...not mean gossip though...don't want you to get the wrong idea}
4. Farley always picks the cutest little templates so it dolls up my blog!

Here we go...

There ya have it!  You should link up with Farley, it's fun, and all the cool kids are doin' it! {Don't even say it "Then what are you doing here?!?"...that wouldn't be nice, now would it?}


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Giveaway Winner!!!!!!!! *FREEBIE*

Today is the day...

Do you ever go out to a restaurant and wish to be one of those people who can leave a $1,000 dollar tip? Or you wish you could do something "Oprah-y" and pay it forward to the whole dang restaurant?  I think that would be so much fun!!!!!

We all have so many wonderful charities we hold near to our hearts for very special and sometimes sad reasons.  I wish I could give to all of them...don't you?  This giveaway definitely reminded me of all my blessings and to say a prayer for those less fortunate.

So here it is...

           Christina said: 

I am still in love with this giveaway!!!

I'd like to give the $ to
Kisses from Katie

Her story is remarkable and I am currently reading her book. She is in her early 20's and started her own organization. Amazing!


If you aren't familiar with this awe inspiring girl, Katie, check out Christina's blog {here} or go to Katie's blog Kisses From Katie. Such an amazing girl/mom/teacher doing wonderful things for the children of Uganda.  Christina, thanks so much for opening my heart to this girl and to the children of Uganda!


A couple of people asked for the Daily 5 graph to have all five choices. Click on the picture to grab it! Click {HERE} to read more about it.

Clipart: Scrappin' Doodles

Here it is if you do Daily 5 five days a week {I only do it four}

Happy Sunday!

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