Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

I woke up this morning and just wanted to write something on my blog before I have to undecorate it and take down my tree {lol} - but "I got nothin'."

And then I thought - I could do a best of - which of my posts got the most looky-loos. 

And then I realized, I just want to say "Happy New Year!"

I hope you have a great day - and a wonderful night {if you are a stay up late person!} and it's the start of a most wonderful year. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

13 for 13 Linky Party

Ahh, the perfect thing to get back into blogging after a week plus of break.
13 - Favorite article of Clothing!
Has got to be my new cordourary shirt I got for Christmas. From Land's End, it's a beautiful green color. Can Not Wait to wear it!
Raspberry Plum Thumbnail 0
 (Who doesn't love this teeny-tiny picture? Ha!)

12 - Favorite Movie you watched -
This is a toughie. I have a very difficult time shelling out $$ to go to the movies - and when I do I Have to have popcorn lol. But on Christmas, we watched A Christmas Story - and I have to say, that is one of my favorites of all time!

11 - Favorite TV series -
Man, all my TV shows are getting weird. However, I do still like Major Crimes. It's a kinder, gentler version of its predecessor, Closer.

10 - Favorite Restaurant - 
Has to be Panera - and the sad news, we don't have one here in my little town/city. So I have to get my fix when I'm traveling. Just went to the Big City on Christmas Eve and went there and had potato soup - yum, yum, yum!

9 - Favorite new thing you tried - 
Hmmm, hmmm. Thinking, thinking - - -
I've got it! I took one of my centers and made it a fluency center. First the kids time each other on a passage. It is pretty structured - it's from a book and it has those little numbers so the kids are supposed to put their finger on the last word they read when the timer went off and count how many words and then graph it. After they do that for each other, they get a book they are reading and read a page or a couple paragraphs to a buddy who rates their reading with smiley faces. Then they re-read the same passage. This has been going pretty good.

8 - Favorite gift you got -
My girly got me a seat warmer for my poor little car that doesn't have one! It plugs into the {what used to be called} cigarette lighter. I can't wait to use it! {Of course, we are having a heat wave here - in the 50s!}

7 - Favorite thing you pinned - 
This yummy potato bacon casserole which we had for Christmas breakfast - too yummy and very easy to make. 

6 - Favorite blog post -

This Might Be the Year  I love the optimism in this post {which has, for the most part, remained through the year} and the hopefulness and the feeling that I want to enjoy teaching. 

5 - Best Accomplishment - 
I started my ESOL endorsement. I'm going with the slow and steady method - one course a semester. {I'm not sure that's an accomplishment, because I'm just starting. Or maybe the accomplishment is getting one course under my belt!}

4 - Favorite pic - 
Any that have me and my girly! 

3 - Favorite Memory
My bubby and I took a weekend trip to Denver over Labor Day and it was so fun. And we took a day trip to an area wildlife refuge and it was so fun. Just enjoy being with that guy!

2 - Goal for 2014
Yikes! I don't know!!

1 - One Little Word 
I've never done one little word before - but I'm thinking 

I want to be more open to new ideas, more open to what my kids tell me {and not jump to conclusions!}, so just open, open, open!
What a great way to end the year! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Consonant Blends

Here's a little something I put together right before Parent Teacher conferences - because you know nothing says "I'm a good teacher" like having cool stuff hanging in the hallway - ha! I didn't even think to share until I was getting ready to take them down. 

We had just finished studying consonant blends. So I wrote a whole bunch of blends on little pieces of paper and every kiddo picked a piece of paper. Then they made a poster with that blend on it. I only took one picture - but this is a good one. {Well, except for the now I see not really school appropriate "slap!"} 

And just now, I'm thinking I should have kept these after I took them down and made a book. Because that's what Tammy over at Forever in First would have done :)
OK, that's just being silly. But it does seem to be something that now that I'm thinking about it, I realize - that would be a cool class book, we could make that into a book - and so on. And the kids do really seem to enjoy their self created books. 

Anyway, a little easy thing to reinforce a phonics pattern we studied. 

Happy Monday! Last week!! 
{Not that anyone around here is SOOO ready for a break!}

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread People

Because these are just too cute:

This is one of the fun-nest activities I do all year. And I do it every year. {{See Here}}

I just use a people die cut and brown construction paper. I send home baggies if they want to bring in their own stuff - this year some kids brought in marshmallows, lids, cupcake liners (never thought of that!), yarn, string. {But NO glitter! I am just not a glitter girl.} I put out my tub of scrap paper; I have some yarn I'll cute for them; I have some sequins I let them dig through. It is so much fun! 

And this year, I'm going to have them write about it. Monday, they are going to describe their gingerbread person. Ooh, ooh, and I just thought of this as I was typing this. LOL Then I'll have them read their description and see if we can figure out which one is theirs. Oh, I am sooo good! 

What's the fun-nest thing you do all year? Is it at this time of year?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Mish Mash

Happy Saturday morning! It is so much more pleasant here than it was last Saturday. So we're heading out for some shopping this morning. 

But First! 

Don't ya hate it when you have to say, "Oh, Pooh!" Like this:
 Can't see what I mean? Try this:

Yup, that's my room and Thursday night I was sitting in a student's chair while a friend of mine presented an in-service, and I realized - yuck, all this stuff on my cart is blocking about 4 students' view to the SmartBoard. Ahem. I guess that's why their desks are always being scooted here and there. I'll be thinking how to fix this little problem over break.

And this - 

I saw this idea on another blogger's site, and my first thought was Oh Brother, who needs a checklist for every week?!? But guess what happened that very next Monday? You probably have. In the middle of teaching, I realized I had forgotten to do this, and forgotten to do that. Blah! So I typed up a list. Can you tell by my list all the things I have subsequently forgotten? So I'm going to pretty this up over break so I'll have me a nice little - "Don't Forget Me" list. {By the way, it really did help me stay organized on Friday!}

And finally, these are the parent gifts {part 1} we made this year:

The little circles are supposed to make a tree. {I pretty much borrowed this from First Grade Parade.}Some of them did a little better than others with that concept. 

Where are you on parent gifts? Last year, I realized/ came up with the idea that I needed to have 2 parent gifts because a heck of a lot of my kids don't have both parents in the same house. This year, I've about decided not to do gifts next year. I have one kid living in a foster home and another with grandma {but that's fluid} - and I'm thinking that maybe I've caused unintentional hurt there. So I told my husband, I think next year, I'll have them make an ornament that they can hang on the tree in whatever house they live in and then maybe paint a picture or something - and not really call it a present, but they can sure give it to whomever they wish. Quite frankly, it would be less stressful for me - and give me more time for some of the other things I'd like to do - like Christmas around the World learning. 

I have another cool thing to show you... but I'm waiting til later. Ha! Sorry, it's like a soap opera, you'll have to tune in tomorrow. 

Have a terrific Saturday! I plan to NOT think about school at all.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Guided Reading Question

Oh, I have so much to tell you! 

First - another round of thinking out loud. {I got really good feedback on my desk question! Thanks!!} Do you do this? In Guided Reading, I jot little notes while my students read.  I've been putting it on a form like this:
{And you may be saying, of course I do that! Jump into the 2010's Mrs. S.!} I have each students' number and I put my little notes there. I try really hard to jot something about each child at least once a week. 

As I'm jotting these notes, it's good because it helps me stay focused. And when my student gets done reading, I have something to say besides, "Good job." But I've been thinking that I don't really refer back to that too much - I think because each student is on there - so I'm not really able to see what a particular student has been doing over the course of a month or whatever. So I made a form like this:

 And my thought was I could have a sheet for each child and basically have 9 weeks of data about one child on one page - and might see some patterns, etc. But then I started thinking - this year, that would be 18 piece of paper. I was sorta imagining myself trying to keep that organized - and finding the one child that is right at that second reading to me. 

So I'm wondering - any thoughts. Do you jot about your students while they are doing guided reading? How do you do it?

And this is pretty cool to me. We had indoor recess at least 3 of 5 days last week. And 4 of my little sweeties made a book. {I really wonder about their choice of a cover, but whatever!} I think it's about volcanoes - they are learning about that in science. Anyway, they wanted to put it in the class library. And what teacher wouldn't say "sure" to that! So not only do we have some class books {thanks to some posts at Forever in First}, but we also have one totally created by students book. 
I know I said I had a lot to tell you, but I'm going to save the rest for later. Heck, I might post every day for the next couple days. Ha! 
Happy Friday - and one more week to go!! Ho Ho Ho