Friday, January 27, 2012

Great Giveaway!

Ok, I had a pretty busy day today, but now, I'm home and relaxing with Say Yes to the Dress and blog stalking!  One of my favorite times of the day! :-)  As I was doing so, I saw that Christina over at Mrs. Bainbridge's Class, was having a great giveaway!  Not only do I love the giveaway, but I found K&K Designs on Facebook and saw some samples of some of their things and I LOVE them!  It would be great to win this giveaway, but if I don't, I will definitely be figuring out a way of getting some of the cute things I see.  The cup Christina has is so adorable, would love that!  So, I will definitely be checking them out lots!  Head on over to Christina's blog and join in on the fun!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Multiplication Times...hee hee

Denise from Yearn to Learn just clued me in to a Multiplication Linky  Party by Adrienne over at Wiggins World.  She is looking for some good Multiplication ideas, head on over to her blog to help out, I'm sure she would appreciate it.  I figured I would write a post to share some of the ideas we do in our class.  We have a great time learning our multiplication tables.  They have already learned some of the tables in second grade, but when I introduce it to them, I use candy (usually Starburst) in baggies.  The candy gets their attention!  I put 2 or 3 starburst in each baggie.  I write out the number of baggies on the board, then write out the number of candies in each bag with it and show them that multiplication is just a faster way of adding.  Of course if they do well listening and learning their multiplication, they can have a piece of candy.  I also use an egg carton to show six rows of two equals 12.  Candy or other objects can be used to put in each cup to make other multiplication problems.  Sometimes I will have a few students come up to the front to stand in front of their friends, each student has two eyes, how many eyes total.
Then comes the really fun part, we have charts for each table and review each table several times.  We say them doing head, shoulders, knees, and toes.  One problem as they point to head, next problem as they point to shoulders, etc.  We also "ping pong" our tables.  Split the class into two groups (boys, girls, rows), first group says first problem, second group second problem, and so on until table is done.  If either side takes too long or makes a mistake the other side wins.  My kids often like to stand next to their desks and pretend they are hitting a ping pong ball to the other group.  Sometimes the girls will say the problem and the boys say equals and the answer, and vice versa.  Another fun review that my students like is having the first person in each row say the first problem, then they walk quickly to the back of the row, and the second person in each row comes to the front to say the second problem, then they go back while the third person in each row comes up, that continues until the table is finished.  That one is always helpful to hear smaller groups say the problems to make sure they are all getting it.  Other times I have each row or group stand and say the problem, then sit back down, while the next row or group stands to say the next problem.  One other thing  that  I actually just thought of would be to put the answers to a table around the room, call out the problem, say equals and have a couple of students see who can find the correct answer around the classroom first.  Keeping them moving in a fun controlled way helps them to learn many times without even realizing it.  My students really enjoy these.  We also of course do flash cards.  Around the World of course is fun, but I also play Four Corners, four students pick a corner and whoever answers correctly gets to move to the next corner, whoever gets back to their corner first is the winner.  Another challenge that I enjoy doing with them is having them add the answers to two flashcards together, really makes them think.
I also found that has great math games for kids, and they can be customized to where the kids are in their math skills.  I also love pages that have 100 problems on them, have the students work on them several times.  They have 5 min. to finish, then see if they can lower their time.  I remember doing that when I was first learning my facts and it helped me so much.
There is so much fun to be had!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Second Grade Sugar and Spice Giveaway!

I'm sorry about another post tonight, but I just visited Second Grade Sugar and Spice, and saw that she was having her first giveaway.  I had to share that because giveaways are always so much fun!  If you haven't been to her sight you should go check it out!  Some really cute stuff!
So, I hope you can forgive me for two posts, but thought this was definitely worth it! :-)

For Love of Teaching...

Four years ago, last Thursday was a day that changed my life.  It was a Saturday, January 19, a day I was supposed to go to see my favorite college team, the UCONN Huskies play!  It ended up being a day I spent in the hospital.  I spent it with my dad whose struggles with leukemia and diabetes were getting the best of him.  My mom and I were by his side, and we were blessed to also have my best friend.  Her mother, who was a good friend of our family, was there also.  My mom and dad's pastor was also there with us.  That day my dad did lose his battle with cancer and diabetes.  It was the saddest day of my life.  Things changed so much for mom and me without him.  Dad, or pappy, as I called him, died on Saturday night.  Sunday mom and I stayed home together.  Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so I was home with her again.  But on Tuesday, guess where I was?  I was in my favorite place, the place I really felt I needed to be....the classroom.  My mom's sister had come to be with us, so I knew mom would be OK.  I needed to be with my kids, and I wanted them to know that I was OK.  That year I had 22 kids, and they were wonderful!  They were so caring and sweet and so concerned, and I'm so glad that I was able to be with them that share with them, to laugh and cry with them, to let them see me, and see how special they were to me.  My love of teaching and being with my kids compelled me to get back in that classroom even though my dad had just passed.  Teaching means so much to me, it is my place of reprieve and joy.  It is what I have wanted to do since I was in 4th grade, mainly because I loved my 4th grade teacher so much!  It has filled me with joy for the past 16 years and I am so thankful to be able to be a part of such a wonderful occupation.  So thankful to be doing what I love!  Also, so thankful to find so many wonderful teachers and wonderful blogs to follow and learn from!  I continue to miss my daily, but as I think back on that time, that love of teaching and my wonderful kids, helped me through that tough time!  So thankful!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Franky Friday

Fridays are always great days, aren't they?!?  Today we had fun in third grade!  It was Franky Friday.  Because of all of the amazing blogs I have been stalking, my mind has been thinking more creatively!  So, today, the students student...yes, the one student that I had today made their her own Franky the Friendly Letter person.  She named hers Frankenstina.

The finished Frankenstina Friendly letter girl :-)
A fun way to review our friendly letters.  It was fun as a teacher to watch her enjoy it so much and to see her use what she had learned.  She even chose to try to make a mini, mini one with her notebook paper.  
It also happened to be Fun Friday, where one of the parents came in and taught her how to make a 3D snow flake, while showing pictures of and telling fun facts about snow crystals.  Quite a creative, fun-filled, learning day!  Is there anything better?  Well, knowing that I am finally going to be getting some decent snow tomorrow...that comes close! :-)  

OK, I already posted about Frankenstina, but I finally got my other student back the other day and he made his friendly letter person.  His is named Friendly Frank, the Friendly letter guy.  Here are the pictures of Friendly Frank.

 Labeling the parts of his friendly letter guy, Heading (where three important things are stored, the street address; city, state, ZIP; and today's date), Greeting (by the mouth because that's where we greet the person to whom we are writing, with a comma after), Body (the meat of the letter), Closing (on the left side, with a comma after), and Signature (name written neatly).
The finished product...a letter to his mom. :-)  Fun review!  We reviewed again today, where I even incorporated the song, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...Heading, Greeting, Body, Closing, Signature, Body, Closing, Signature...these are the parts of a Friendly Letter, Heading, Greeting, Body, Closing, Signature, Body, Closing, Signature.  The students said, I looked funny doing it (with some motions)...that's all part of the job of an Elementary teacher isn't it...looking a little funny every once in a while?!  But don't you know as they were working on their review page trying to remember the parts, they were singing the song, hahaha!  Love that!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Giveaway!!

Lindsay, over at My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher, is having a great giveaway to Target!  As she calls it, the greatest place on earth and I totally agree with that!  It ends on January 20, so hurry on over!  :)  And again, if anyone can help me figure out how to put a button on my blog, that would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Whirlwind...and A Shout Out

OK, not a literal whirlwind, although as I sit here, it is definitely quite gusty outside right now!  So who knows!  But it describes how I have been feeling lately.  I missed three days of work last week because of major lower back pain.  Last Wednesday, I woke up about 2 a.m. with terrible pain in the lower back.  It hurt to sit, stand, walk, or lie just plain hurt!  I thought, as I'm sure many of you would have too, that maybe I can at least make it half a day at school.  I got up and was brushing my teeth, when I broke out in a cold sweat and felt light headed and sick to my stomach. maybe I shouldn't try to make it in...OK, I give.  I texted our secretary and told her I wouldn't be coming in to school.  I still had to take Bella out and make sure mom got up to go to the bathroom.  I tried laying down or sitting in different positions to see if that would help, but it didn't.  I called my doctor as soon as I thought the office would be open.  The earliest appointment was for 3 in the afternoon.  I took it, at least I had one.  I still made breakfast for mom and myself and took care of Bella.  I managed the rest of the day sitting in the recliner with a heating pad on my back, pressing into it, as that helped it not to kill as much.  I got to the doctor's and said she thought it was probably a badly pulled muscle, gave me some medication, and told me to come back in a couple days if the meds didn't help.  I left to go get the meds and went home.  I took my first dose not long after I got home and was pretty much knocked out...dizzy and drowsy.  I rested with the heating pad.....took more medicine...went to bed.....woke up feeling dizzy and drowsy, but a little better.  I knew I couldn't drive 25-30 min. on the highway to school feeling this way, plus my back was still hurting some.  So, again I texted the secretary to tell her I wasn't coming in.  Friday I woke up the same way and again didn't want to chance it.
Sunday came, I felt much better and headed off to church.  Then, I got the wonderful news that I won the amazing giveaway that Meg over at Teaching in the First State had, a gift certificate to the TpT store!  That made my day, obviously!  Monday, of course, was a day off.  So, I got more rest to be ready for school on Tuesday.  I couldn't wait to see my kids.  Monday night I got a text from the secretary to ask if I would sub for the kindergarten teacher....wha..????  So..... I said I would?!?!?  Really??  Tuesday, I woke up to about 2-3 inches of snow on the ground, the first snow since October!  We had a 90 min. delay, but there was still kindergarten.  Too bad most of the kindergarten didn't seem to know that.  I got to school to only have one student in K4 and K5.  Don't worry there are normally only 6, but one little girl is all I had.  We had an interesting time with a shorter day, trying to cover some things, but not too much so her teacher wouldn't have to find other things for her to do the next day when all the kids would be back.  The day went by quickly, but this little girl kept me going with her boundless energy.  After she left, I went back to my classroom to set up for my kids for Wednesday.  I put Franky the Friendly Letter man up on the board and some math problems. 

I was ready for my kiddos.  That night I got a text to take K4-K5 again today!  Of course I said I would, but I am missing my kids!  It's now been a week since I have had them. :-(  But I am willing to help out.

So now for the shout-out.  To all of you amazing, miraculous, wonderful kindergarten teachers, bless you...bless you...BLESS YOU!!!  I had 5 little students in K4-K5 today, but to keep my K4 focused on what they were doing as I helped the K5, or to keep the K5 from having play time with their desk nametags, while I worked with K4 was quite the interesting fete.  It's funny how this class is set up, the 3 K4 kids are all girls and the 3 K5 kids are all boys.  We started the day with pledges, had restroom  break, K5 drew and colored triangle boats, while K4 had time to play with the play dough, K4 were learning to print the letter t, s, l, and h, while the K5 boys were practicing their names in cursive, we had a Bible lesson, they had snack.  I was thinking, wow we have done a lot of work, it must be almost time for them to go home, which is 11:45.  I looked at the clock and nearly choked as I saw that it was only about 10 o'clock.  Wha???  Wow, it is definitely a different world down there.  A high energy world.  After snack was recess time, then it was time for numbers, phonics came next, restroom again.  The girls colored a mini book on the five senses while the boys worked on a Math page.  We did reading circles and then it finally was time for home.  Phew!  They were very good, and finished their work, but it's just a whole different world.  It was a fun day, the kids were adorable, I love seeing them walk down the hallway, and wave and smile really big.  But boy, teaching them seemed to take a bit more energy than I had.  We did have lots of fun and I think they learned some things, at least I hope so!  I know I definitely did.  So to all of you Kinders out there, you have a special gift!  It's pretty amazing what you do all day everyday!  I enjoyed my little time with them, but I hope to be in my third grade classroom tomorrow...missing them!
OK, one more thing, if you're even still awake enough to read this far down. haha  But, I was trying to figure this out on my own and haven't figured it out yet.  So, if someone could please help me learn how to make a cute button for my blog, please!!  I would love to have a cute button for people to grab, and would rather have a cute button, than my face on my links to the linky parties.   Thank you in advance!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Day in My Shoes Linky Party

Another fun linky party that I just had to get in on.  I hope I can figure out how to do this correctly. It sounds like fun!  Katie over at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher is hosting her very first linky party.  Go check it out at her blog!  I have enjoyed reading other teacher's posts about their days!  So, now I'm going to give it a try and pray that I don't bore you to death!! If you have read my One Little Word post, you already know that this is not a typical year for me, so this is not going to be a normal look at what a day in my shoes would usually look like when I was teaching my normal class, but I still wanted to join in the fun.  So, here goes...
5:08 my alarm on my phone goes off, but isn't that first alarm more of a suggestion?  Well, that's how I think of it and I snooze it a couple of times. If I accidentally turn it worries, I have another alarm set that goes off at 5:30.  By 5:30, I roll out of bed and get washed up.
6:00ish I go into mom's room to wake her up and remind her to get up to use the restroom(she has Alzheimer's).  I also get Bella (our dog) off of mom's bed and take her out to go potty.
6:15 or so we head back inside, I check to make sure mom is in the bathroom and that her bed is OK, if so then Bella comes into my room to hang out on my bed with me while I get ready.  I put my makeup on, (so as not to scare anyone) and watch the news, and figure out what I am going to wear.
6:55 I head out to the kitchen to scramble an egg and get some toast for mom for her breakfast.  I make toast for myself to bring with me to school.  I also put mom's medicine by her plate.  I get Bella's water and food ready for her.  Go back into my room to finish getting dressed and accessorize my look.  I like LOVE jewelry, especially rings.  I find the right rings to go with my outfit, as well as a necklace and earrings.  As I often tell my students, "I put my makeup on today, have my hair looking nice, have my sparkly jewelry on, so you will look at me, not out the window or at the ceiling, or at your friends." :-)
Almost all of my rings, there were a couple missing, hee hee
7:20 All set and ready to go (most of the time), say goodbye to mom and Bella and get in the car.
7:55 or so (OK, really closer to 8 if not after somedays), get to school, and head to my classroom, drop my bags off and head right to the teacher's lounge for my daily pick me up of coffee, definitely a very important part of my day.  I also get my instant oatmeal ready.  I head back to the classroom and have my oatmeal with toast and my coffee.  Since this is a different year for me, I don't have any students come in until 9.  So, I sit in my room, make sure I have everything ready for the day and blog stalk a bit, or start a post.
9:00 my kids come in ( all 2 of them), and we have Language.
9:30 is restroom time
9:35 (remember there are only 2 of them, so, many times it doesn't even take that long) We have Arithmetic class.  We have some fun review games and then learn our new concept.
10:30 is Spelling, where I always try to keep them on their toes by making them spell their words in all different ways.  They think I'm crazy, but that's goooood!! :-)
10:50 Reading class
11:15 Lunch time -the kids go with the 4th grade teacher and if I remembered to bring something for lunch I will also eat at that time.  The 4th grade teacher does lunch everyday, so she doesn't have to be outside, especially on the colder days.
11:35 Students come back from lunch, and we have our afternoon Reading time.
12:00 Recess: 1st -4th grades all have recess together with the 1st and 2nd grade teacher and myself on duty each day.
12:30 we head back inside.  My third graders are back with the 4th grade for the afternoon.  I head to my classroom to get it ready for the next day. From 12:30 to 1:33, I have free time and classroom prep time.
1:33 on M, W, F, I go to the computer lab to help monitor the 9th grade keyboarding class.  T,Th, I help the finance secretary in her office.
2:30 on M,W, head back to my room to finish things up if needed, and T,Th, lead the 5th and 6th grade handbell group. Friday at 2:30 I go back and help the finance secretary, usually doing a deposit for her.
3:00 getting ready for flute lessons on M and F, and getting ready to tutor on Th.
3:30or later on lessons or tutoring days, head home
4:00 get attacked by the cutest little bundle of joy, Bella, who is so happy to have me home, say hi to mom, take Bella out.
? Whenever the little diva decides, we go back in the house.
4:30 have a bowl of cereal (a mixture of Honey Bunches of Oats with strawberries and Special K with chocolaty's like having chocolate covered strawberries...with a little milk....and some flakes....OK, it might seem weird, but it really does work!  Love cereal!)
5:15 or so, start dinner for mom and I, check email, facebook, pinterest, and my blog on my phone
6:00 or a little after, have dinner
6:30 on Thursdays, head to my ballroom class!
7:00 take a shower and take Bella out again before I go hunker down in the basement to get on the computer and watch TV at the same time.
10:00ish  take Bella out once more before bed, give mom her meds and Bella a fresh breath treat (definitely needs that) pray with mom, put Bella on the bed with her and say goodnight.  Then eventually some time before 11 hopefully I get in bed, to rest up for another day.
OK, you can wake up now, I'm done! :-)  Pretty pitiful and a bit boring, but hope I didn't bore you too much.
Click on the link at the top to go join in the fun and/or read some of the other posts...some actually good ones.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homonym Echoes Worked Well.....well...

When the students came in the other day I started speaking in echoes.  It definitely piqued their interest.  They looked on the board and noticed the information about homonyms,and Hairy Harry, and I could see their little brains working to see if they could make a connection.
 That is always fun to see!  They started speaking in echoes as well.  We discussed what homonyms were and played the +10 game.  They each started out with 10 points, I would say a word, if it was a homonym the students would have to repeat it.  If they didn't when they should have or did when they shouldn't have, they lose a point. Whoever ended up with the most points at the end was the winner. The winner was able to keep Hairy Harry's cousin, Herman at his/her desk.
My little girl was the first to get him and she really enjoyed his visit. :-)
Then I had a worksheet that I made up for them to review with. I revamped it a couple of times since I gave it to the students, so now I have a new sheet for them to work on. It's not as great as some of the other wonderful worksheets I have seen on other blogs, but I was inspired by you and excited about doing it! I finally finished it today as I was sitting at home trying to rest my back. It's getting better, slowly.
I also have no idea how to really put it on here, but looked at some other blogs for an idea. So, we'll see if this works.
Homonym Echoes Knight Story
Thanks to you all for your wonderful inspiration!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No School!

Yes, there was school today...just not for me.  Not for a good reason either.  I woke up two o'clock this morning with severe lower back pain.  Nothing I did helped...not sitting...or standing...or walking...or laying a different way...nothing.  As I was brushing my teeth, I felt sick to my stomach and broke out in a cold sweat.  So....I took that as my cue, that whether I wanted to or not, I really needed to stay home, and make a doctor's appointment.  That's just what I did!  My appointment was not until 3, so I figured what a great day to blog stalk and get and come up with new ideas!  Well, the pain was pretty bad, so I didn't get as much stalking or anything else done as I would have liked.    Even tonight I didn't, because the medicine the doctor gave me made me drowsy.  The doctor said it seemed like a badly pulled muscle.  She gave me a couple of different prescriptions.  They seem to be helping some, but still have lots of pain.  I'm not sure about school tomorrow, I will have to see how I feel.  The meds make me a bit dizzy too.  So we'll see.  But if I do stay home, maybe I will have better opportunities to stalk and create and find great ideas!  We'll see...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Currently January

Thanks to Meg at Third Grade in the First State, I was able to get my Currently January to sort of work.  So here it is in the way it was supposed to look!! :)
Colors may be off a bit, but hey, I did it!! Thanks, Meg!  Now once again I need to link this to Farley's blog, Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  Feels great to be able to join in...yay! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Currently January

Another fun part about teacher blogging!  I have been enjoying reading people's Currently January posts!  So much fun, I had to join in!  Farley has a January linky party called Currently January.
This is the template she used which is so cute.  Unfortunately I don't have the computer skills I thought I had to fill it in as all the cool kids have done, lol.  So I will just fill it in below.  She also is giving away an amazing pencil sharpener that seems pretty cool.  So head over to her blog to join in the fun!  Maybe you can figure out how to link it properly on your blog! :-/  :-)  So here are my answers:
listening: to the Bachelor ( not sure why, but I always watch those shows, lol)
loving: this new teacher blog world, so many amazing teachers with some incredible ideas!  So exciting!
thinking: that I want to learn how to do some of the cute teacher bloggy things
wanting: some snow!!!
needing: to learn how to make great worksheets and fun pages for my kids
olw: fresh (fresh start, fresh ideas)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Idea...Another Great Giveaway!

I'm telling you, this teacher blogging is really getting my creative juices flowing, trying to think of some different ideas.  This week we will be learning homonyms, I am going to spend some time stalking blogs to see some of your ideas.  The idea that came to my mind to help my students a little is to think of homonyms as echoes.  I'll review what we learn about homonyms by saying certain words, if the students think that word is a homonym, they echo it after me.  Still thinking it all through, but I thought they could start with 10 points a piece, if they echo correctly they get to keep their points, but if they answer incorrectly they lose one point.  When I finish my list of words whoever has the most points left wins and will be the Homonym Whiz.  Also, thinking of making up a worksheet to go along with the idea.  Any other ideas or help, even help making up a worksheet would be greatly appreciated!
Then, Meg from Third Grade in the First State is having a giveaway!!  $25 to spend at TpT!  Go check it out!

Oh yes, and can I just say, I was so super excited to check out my blog yesterday and see that my followers increased by 50%!!  I went from 2 to 4!  I know, how pitiful am I??!?  Haha, hey...I just like to make new friends!  So, I know I don't have much going on here right now, but I would love to meet new teachers to share ideas with!  Thank you to my followers, I will try not to disappoint you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Pay it Forward Giveaway

Ok, I know you may be getting sick of seeing all of these posts recently.....overkill??  Oh well, as I said before there is so much going on around here, it's pretty exciting!  I keep seeing all of these great things.  I feel like the dog on Up....SQUIRREL!  Pretty much my attention span right now... with all of these pretty blogs and buttons, giveaways, and......SQUIRREL!  Sorry, yea, that's pretty much how it is!  Well, I just found another blog with another giveaway that I love!  Holly over at Crisscross Applesauce In First Grade is having a great giveaway, where whoever wins will get to choose a charitable organization where she will donate $30 to the organization in the winner's name! Such an awesome idea!  I would love to have that money donated to the Alzheimer's Association.  That is very near and dear to my heart right now as I am taking care of my mom, who is dealing with this awful disease.  Fingers crisscrossed, hoping to win!! :) Well, go check it out, this giveaway ends on Sunday.  Well, off to bed now, I'm wearing myself out with all of this excitement! Good night!

Flipped Out Giveaway

I don't know if you have seen flippy books before, but with me being new to the teacher blogworld and all, I hadn't ever heard of them....that is until tonight! So this is a big deal to me. :) I went here and saw the post for this great giveaway!
I was so excited about it, I had to post it.  You need to check out her blog, but also her Teacher's Notebook Store where these adorable flippy  books are.  OK, going to stalk some more of her things!  Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sweet Friday!

So thankful it's Friday!!  As if this were the longest week ever or was only 4 days!  What am I going to do next week when I have to make it through 5?!?!  In my pitiful defense, I had a wonderful two week (+ a day) Christmas break!!  This was a good week, but I was tired and ready for today.  
Even though I did get a bit of a late start this morning, there were some pretty sweet moments today!  Class went well, we did use the synonym/antonym twins (David and George), and I did add some more words around the classroom and on my list.  At recess, I was able to witness some true sweetness!  As I was looking around the playground I happened to see a little 1st grade girl on the monkey bars.  As I watched, I saw her call to one of my former kids, a 4th grade boy, who in turn called another of my former boys (both of whom had been playing hard).  I was just getting up and heading over there to see if everything was OK, when I saw those two boys thinking and working together (one had the little girl's feet, while the other had climbed up on the platform), and they both managed to sweetly get this little girl safely on the platform before I could even get over there.  I guess she got on the monkey bar and realized it was more than she bargained for and got a little scared.  So how sweet and impressive to see these little boys take time out of their recess to help her out!  I had to sing their praises to their teacher, because I was so proud of them.  
Another literally sweet moment came when one of the parents offered me one of the cupcakes that she had made for one of the high school teachers for his birthday.  How could I say no to that?  It was delicious!
Then the sweetest moment of my day came when I was helping to monitor a high school keyboarding class.  As I sat in the computer lab, one of the Senior guys asked me to come out into the hallway.  I went out and he and the other Senior guy both serenaded me, with a cute little song...just for the heck of it! :-D  Yes, it was a sweet Friday!  Now I get to relax and stay up and blog and blog stalk!!! Yay!  Happy sweet Friday to you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Even today's kids know Pacman, so what better way to get their attention in Arithmetic when teaching the concept of greater than, less than, or equal to.  I used yellow construction paper (will use yellow poster board next time), traced some circles and cut them out with a mouth, and placed them on the board with the math problems.  When I first did this, I also put dots on the board with marker in a pattern around the problems, and placed the little pacmen on the pattern.  When teaching it, I asked the students which number would help Pacman win faster.  Of course he wants the higher number of dots because that would help him win.  So if the number is on the left that number is greater than the number on the right, so the mouth faces that way, and vice versa for less than.  Then I have the students come up and answer the problem by placing the Pacman the correct way in the math problem.
When they first walked into the classroom it definitely got their attention to see the little Pacman characters on the board...wondering what we were going to do with them...yet having to wait until we got to Arithmetic class to find out.  Great teaser!!  They enjoyed coming up to the board and putting them the proper way.  It was a great, fun lesson!

Synonyms and Antonyms

Because of inspiration from all of these wonderful teacher blogs I have been stalking, I wanted to do something a little differently to review synonyms and antonyms with my kids today.
synonym and antonym twins
 I used some cutout stars that I had gotten from the dollar store and put different words on them.  I placed them around the classroom in plain view.
words on the bookshelf
word on a desk

 I had a list of synonyms and antonyms that went with those words, and I would say a word and ask for either its synonym or antonym and the kids would race around the room to see who could tag the correct word first.  I used some different words that I hoped would make them think, and that could be used with both synonyms and antonyms. I used words such as chilly, big, tiny, stroll, right, mad, ajar, start, damp, on, clear, chuckle, quick, and throw on the stars around the classroom and then came up with a synonym and antonym word list to match with them.  I think I will add some more words for tomorrow to keep them on their toes.  They really seemed to enjoy it and really had to think a  few times!  Love that!!  I also plan to use the twins tomorrow...each student will have all four at their desks and when I call out two words they have to choose which two to hold up the syn. or the ant. twins.  I don't know how to do all of those great worksheets and things yet, but I feel my creative juices flowing!  Thanks, teacher bloggers!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Little Word

Here is some more of the fun that I was talking about that I want to be a part of!  I found the blog last night and right away saw her post about her OLW and I loved the idea. I too am not much of a New Year's Resolution type person.  But I can handle focusing on one word to remember and encourage myself with.  There are so many words that come to mind, things that I definitely need to be focusing and working on in my life right now.  But this isn't "a bunch of little words", it's "One Little Word".
The word I have been thinking about seems an odd one for me to use, but as I went to the dictionary to see the different definitions it used, I knew it would definitely be the right word for me this year.  My One Little Word is FRESH.  I loved some of the definitions I found!   
Fresh: 1. Novel; different;
          2. Bright and clear
          3. Revived or reinvigorated; refreshed
         4.  Novel; original
         5.  Having a healthy appearance
         6. Not stale
Now, just a little insight into why this means so much to me this year.  (I'll try to stick to the short version.)  This year has been quite different for me.  The enrollment in our elementary has gone down a bit, because of this the plan was made to combine 3rd and 4th grade.  At first I was asked to be the secretary while teaching a couple of third grade classes.  For someone who lives, eats, breathes, and bleeds teaching that was extremely difficult for me.  Then someone came to the school who was interested in the secretary position.  So part way through the first quarter since I was no longer needed in the office, I was able to get back into my classroom!...but....only for four classes (which is basically from 9-12, minus the 20 minutes the kids are at lunch).  The rest of the day is spent in other places around the school helping out.  Not my ideal, but I am teaching more.  I miss not having my kids all day and not teaching some of my favorite classes.  Since I have never had so few students before (2 to be exact!) and since I don't have them all day, it has been a challenge to find things to keep them focused and challenged.  So now maybe you can see why this word fits this year.  I am approaching this semester with a fresh mindset...a fresh start.  I am going to really work hard and strive to think of things differently, finding new and different and original ways to keep them motivated regardless of the circumstances.  I want to be refreshed and revived for a new semester that can be bright with new and fun ideas.  I want to have a healthy, happy appearance, even in difficult times.  Then I need to realize, because of a smaller class, because of a shorter time with them, because of things being different for me, this can give me the opportunity not to grow stale in my teaching methods and practices.  So, I'm looking forward to a fresh start to a new year, and a new semester!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Start

I have become an avid Pinterest fan!  I have spent a lot of time pinning about nails and makeup and shoes and style.  Then, just a couple of days ago, I got wise and started looking at educational pins, which in turn introduced me to some amazing teaching blogs.  As I read some of these blogs, I just wanted to get in on some of the fun!  So, since I love blogging, I thought it might be fun to start a teacher blog.  I have made some great blogger friends from my other blogs, and have been so blessed and encouraged by them.  So as I start this new endeavor, I am excited to meet more friends and get more wonderful ideas, this time for my classroom!  I have already taken part in a couple of giveaways!  One that I am taking part in now is from Pitner's Potpourri.  She is giving away a gift card to Amazon, love Amazon, so have to give this a try! :)  Feel free to check it out here.  This is some of the fun I am talking about!
So, as the new semester of school starts, I am excited to start this new blog.  I love teaching and I look forward to sharing and learning many wonderful things, as well as sharing and hearing some fun stories.  Though my class is extremely tiny this year, we still are having a great time learning, and they can definitely be quite a hoot at times!  Such as today when my little boy said that now it's New Year's Adam (since we already celebrated New Year's Eve).   Hee hee.  I am so excited to start this, so please stop by and visit often, and please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.  And I would love to have you follow my blog as well.  Let's be new blogger friends!  Looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you!