Thursday, October 30, 2014


I'm in the middle of Crazy week! Late night of conferences Tuesday night, followed by Fall Party {synonymous with Halloween party}, and today - a full day of conferences. I think I've been working too hard. And how do I know that? Look at this:

Yes, my shoe pretty much broken into pieces. Ack! Yes, at school. Yes, while I'm trying to meet parents. Oh my goodness! 

I had noticed this piece of black stuff on the floor and I just thought the janitor hadn't vacuumed all that well after our festivities. Nope, it was me. 

And I shall leave you with that! Happy Friday!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Not so much fun

A couple little things have come together to make blogging just not as much fun as it used to be.

First, I keep getting this:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain by [].

The error that the other server returned was:
554 5.7.9 Message not accepted for policy reasons.  See

Along with a whole long line of other stuff every time I try to comment or reply to comments on blogs. Bleck! Don't like. Not sure what the problem is. Don't know how to fix it. 

{If anybody reading this does know how, give me a holler, please!}

Second, the new update on my older iPad makes things sllllooooow. I like to read blog posts as I'm munching on my cereal in the morning, but it seems that it is taking more patience than I have for that. {The head tech guy from our school sent an email saying don't do the update - and of course, that was after I had - pooh.}

And third, when I try to post a comment on somebody's blog, it takes forever and a day {when I'm on my iPad} and like this morning, I did get a comment typed, but it just kept spinning and spinning to get it posted. 

I like to use my iPad to view and comment on blogs - because I can be in the same room as hubby. But it is leading to quite a bit of frustration. And that's a big Don't Like!

So basically, this is just a venting post. Thanks for listening!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Five for... 10/25


Five for..... whatever day it is!

1 - Work day yesterday!

That's a Happy dance for any teacher. My district probably comes out pretty good, because it's really only a half day, but a lot of us stay past. I got a lot done - grades entered, my file box emptied, a little room straightening, and sorting some books for my mentee. Am I the only one -- I feel like I'm moving and grooving for the first two-plus hours. Then I look at the clock and I only have an hour left, and whoosh! It's gone in a minute.

2 - I have these four little friends - their reading skills are low, low, low. And I had this thought. I was thinking about how my daughter learned to read - we read fun books that she picked together. OK, I read, or her dad read. So on Fridays, or the last day of the week, I gather my 4 little friends, and we read something fun. I read to them. No expectations of them reading. We look at the pictures, and talk about them. Yesterday, we read about Bats. And we looked in the table of contents, and only read the things we were interested in. It's probably naughty. But I want to bring some joy in reading to these little friends.

3 - This turned out pretty good - 

and I'll admit, I totally stole this idea from some anonymous person {anonymous, because I don't remember who}. 

They are little spiders with our phonics pattern from last week. I assigned one of the double consonants to buddies and they made a list of words that had those letters. I checked the words for spelling, and then gave them the parts to make spiders. If I do it again, I'll probably make the legs a little thinner. I like how my little friend in the top picture gave her spider 8 eyes. Making it realistic! Of course, these are a couple of the better ones. I had a couple that looked like spiders that had been stepped on. :)

4 -

I'm trying reading journals this year, sometimes with a little help from Deanna Jump, like here. We were looking at main idea and details about thunderstorms. It's so funny, they enjoy the coloring part so much, but we can't do that until our reading block is done. You know how that goes.

5 - We started this book
and I found that owls are rather fascinating. I'm hoping we can get through the rest of the book and then try to draw an owl and label it's talons, ears and some other parts. 

Hoping you are enjoying your weekend. I'm thinking mine's going to be a lazy one!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Touching Base

Maybe you read this post by Angela at The Cornerstone.

For me, it was a good reminder to touch base with all the little warm bodies in my room. I've been a bit of a slacker this year. 

Each morning at my school, our students head to the big gym to wait for us and for school to start. We've had to pick our kids up 5 minutes earlier than last year because of scheduling. For some reason, this has meant that many mornings, I just don't get to the "check my email" part. So I've been checking it as soon as I get back to the room  - with the kids. They are supposed to be reading. 

After I read Angela's post - I just started wandering around the room. I'd stop every once in a while and ask, What are you reading? Do you like it? Why do you like it? {And to somebody that has two books sitting on their desk} Which do you like best? 

It's not exactly 2 minutes with my worst, ummm, most exciting and interesting students {I have a really good class this year!!}, but it is a chance to connect with some of the quiet ones who would never come over and talk to me, but will talk if I go to them. 

What easy little strategies are you using to connect with your students? 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Not a Race

My district is using Engage NY for our math curriculum. 

Personally, it's been hard for me to figure out where I'm going with it.

Our district at first told us to do one lesson a day. 

Then they told us we could take two days for a lesson. 

I took that to mean, take two days for a lesson. 

Then I found out that I was behind my teammates at my school. 

Then I found out I was behind other teachers in the district. 

And I started to get heart palpitations. 
And started wondering how I could get us caught up. 

Because the first teacher to the end of all the lessons is the winner. Right?  Right????


What would I tell my kids? 

It's not a race. 

That's right, Mrs. S. It's not a race.

For myself, I really need to continue to figure out how best to teach this math, so I can do my best to help my students.

Now if I just had a witty comeback for anybody who asked what lesson I was on!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

5 for Friday - 10/11


 1 - This is The Best! Thursday evening, I was home alone {well, of course with lovable mutt} because hub-bub was at a work meeting, coincidentally in College Town - so that lucky duck got to see College Girl. I was locking up the house, getting myself ready for bed, and the phone rings. It's College Girl. Which is super strange because that girl Never Calls!!! And she told me she was an hour from home!!!!! So of course, I stayed up and waiting for her {and quick thew a brownie mix together and baked it :)} and then we ate brownies and gabbed for an hour. Then she told me she had to go to bed - like I was keeping her up! But whatever!! So glad to have her home for the weekend.

2 - I really do have the insect pics my students drew - Finally!
What our eyes see - what an insect's eyes see

 Love all these colorful dragonflies!

3 - Last Friday, I gave the Engage NY math assessment for measuring.
Who won the contest? Sarah  How do you know? She threw it a little more.

Explain your choice - It is a very long thing to help us measure.

It is the right amount - yup, there you go!

It is good measuring.
Use that centimeter cube because it is a great idea
The last one made me laugh out loud. No explanation is needed except it's a great idea!

4 - We had apple day - if you want to know more what we did - basically the same as last year - except I wasn't there this year - Smiley face. OK, apparently that was two years ago. We, or should I say they, did apple themed relays and then apple tasting of four kinds of apples and then apple juice and apple cider. I had left in my plans for the sub to have them draw an apple, but apparently they were too busy, or having too much fun with something to do that. So we did it on Monday when I got back. 

Most of them turned out pretty good.

5 - Leaves - I love to do leaf activities!

 The kids voted on which of three leaf activities they wanted to do. They picked the leaf painting one, and boy, do I think they turned out terrific. {Much better than the first time I tried this!} I sent home baggies for them to collect leaves - about half of them did. And Thursday night, while it was drizzling, I collected some from my yard for those that didn't bring their own. Friday, they painted a thin layer of paint on the leaf and then pressed the leaf on the paper. If they painted the side with the veins - not always a given - they turned really cool! 

And now I'm off to enjoy dinner with College Girl and Hub-Bub and College Girl's friend who is a boy. Happy Weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five for Friday 10/3

Is it Friday yet? Wait, yes it is! How exciting - and come on weekend!!


1 - Ok, I hardly ever raise my voice in class, so today, when I hollered "STOP!" they sure did. LOL. 

2 - I have lesson plans {except for a little tweaking as we get closer} done for the next 6 weeks! Doing the happy dance on that deal!


3 -  The librarian at our school has been working on fiction/ nonfiction with the 2nd graders. This is what she thankfully! put up on the bulletin board outside my room {Thankfully because I don't have to :)}

4 - Apparently the pictures I took of our Mudge pictures from Henry and Mudge were just in my imagination - because they aren't on my phone! They did turn out pretty cool though.

5 - My sweet newbie teammate put together a scavenger hunt type deal to review our math before the test today. The kids loved it! I actually put 6 "stations" around the room, and they went to each one and did the measuring activity that was there. It was a fun way to review and I hope it stuck with them through the test today :)

I hope you have a great weekend. I have a little school stuff to do, and then I'm putting all of that out of my mind! Happy Friday!!