Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This was cool

... and cooler than I thought it would be.

Yesterday, we had the dairy people come to our school. 
 Never mind that both the temperature and the wind were hovering at around 40. Yes, that's 40 degrees and 40 mph. {Makes for a lovely combination if you're outside!}

This is the dairy lady and Tiny her cow. 

The dairy lady was pretty smart. She started off by having us all say "ewwww." And after we did, she said we couldn't say that again during the whole day, because everything that Tiny did was natural and what she was supposed to do. 

And then she talked about using cow poop for fertilizer. Ha, good thing we had already said our one Ewww for the day!

Then she explained that Tiny had to be about two years old and have a calf before she would produce milk. I'm such a city girl {even in this rural community} that I didn't know that - what a duh! And that cows don't have udders - they have one udder with four parts. {Oh, I bet my blogging friend Alyce is laughing at me now!}

The dairy lady said that the milk we drink from the store has never been touched by human hands - hmm, interesting. She wiped the udder, and dried it and hooked it up to a pumping machine - and there came the milk!

I wasn't sure how much of this connected with my kids - especially since we might have spent some of time thinking about how really freezing cold we were. But once we got back inside {and I left my coat on!} I asked them about it - and they could name all the steps to getting the milk, including the calf part. 

Oh yeah! this was good!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Counting Down

After my whiney-biney post on Thursday, {and yes, whiney-biney is a word - I use it a lot!}, you might be surprised to read this, but....
My daughter and I were texting each other on Sunday, and during that she asked me how many days I had left. It was 19 then, and after today it's down to 18! What??? How did this happen???

I've still got writing ideas I want to try; and I don't understand why 5 of you can't read 92 words in a minute, but you're close enough we're going to try {even if it's just for my own benefit}; and really, shouldn't you be able to retell a story a little better by now - we're going to keep on working on that; and math - why, oh, why can't you remember how to tell time, or show expanded form, or make a fraction. 

Not that any of that bothers me. No, nope, not really. 

But we've got three good weeks - and then a play week. So we're got three weeks of working hard. Get ready!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm doing 5 for Friday after my downer post yesterday - gotta think about the positive!
I did my {unintentionally on my part} emergency DRA testing last week. Some of my higher kids either didn't pass or barely passed. So this week, we were reading what I considered a rather blah story during Guided Reading {our district requires that we follow the Journeys curriculum}. Anyway, these little guys were retelling and asking each other questions and really acting like they knew the story. So I said something to them - and they told me the reason why was because the story was interesting {?What??} and they could talk to each other about it, so that helped them remember. Ah, that I can understand. And really, if you think about real world collaborations - talking is how we figure things out a lot of times. So that makes me feel good about all the times I have them stop and talk to a partner while we're reading our story for the week.
To go along with that - this week, I gave the kids sticky notes before we started our story - 

The Dog That Dug for Dinosaurs

and asked them to write a question that could probably be answered as we read the story. It was fun to watch how interested they were - especially when they got to read their question to the class and we'd discuss the answer.
To go along with that, during guided reading, after we had read their story, I gave them a sticky note and asked them to write a question for the other kids in their group to try to answer. The best part of that was when I asked the child with the question - did that answer your question and they would say no - we'd have to keep digging.
I had this grandiose plan to encourage better writing from my kids, following some ideas from Sugar and Spice but I think I was rushing a bit and my kids didn't get it, so I stopped and regrouped {yeah, me, sometimes I'm not smart enough to do that!} So they each had a magazine - Ranger Rick - and they had to do simple research on their animal. Then they were to write about where the animal lived, what it looked like, something the animal does, and something unusual about the animal. Then, I had them find a picture of their animal and put it on a powerpoint slide. And then - oral presentations - with their animal picture showing on the slide behind them. They turned out pretty good, so yeah there!


I made a cute little poster/sign thing for my blog. I just love being creative - especially when I like how it turns out!

If you've got some good stuff to share, you can link up!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

End of the Year Blues

Any body else having the - well, what else can I call it but the end of the year blues? I was sick about 2 weeks ago, and missed 3 days of school - and I'm still tired and my throat still hurts {I had to suck on cough drops yesterday - just love that sugar coating on all my teeth!} 

On top of that - and this is a good one - last Thursday, I went to school, put my stuff in my room and went to the library to get some books. Came back to my room and immediately noticed a perfume smell. Then another school bag - not mine. Yes, I had put in for a sub - but for the wrong day. Boo hiss on me. So I ended up doing my DRA testing that day. It went OK, but I was totally not ready for that! 

A biggie at our school is WPM Aims testing - and my kids {overall} dropped in that - boo hiss - we even work on it at least once a week. 

And those behaviors that we worked on in August and September are roaring back - I'm trying to think of new strategies to get my little friends' attention. 

And this is a total aside - but I've come to sorta think that sometimes it's those kids that move in during the middle of the year that make life just that much more exciting. For example, of my 5 top offenders, 4 of them are newbie kids. {So, of course, that gets me thinking that some of that might be me - not explaining expectations well enough - ok, maybe not much at all!}

So if you guessed that this was just a venting post - well, you guessed right. And guess what else - I'll be gone again tomorrow as my husband is having a medical procedure done that I need to take him to. That's another boo hiss.

It's gotta get better next week - right?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Talking Strips

I have a little sweetie. She is very needy.

Haha - I'm a poet and didn't know it!

OK, for real now. I have a young lady in my class. And all of the sudden, I noticed, especially during centers, when I supposed to be working with my small group, she's coming over and asking me tons of questions. And being the caring and giving teacher I am, I'm answering them. But then I realize, she's interrupting like 6 or 7 times. So I gave her these:

So she gets these 4 little pieces of paper. And she has to give me one each time she comes up to talk to me. If it's really bad, I make her give me one whenever she comes up, not just during centers. And if she's out of little slips of paper - - - well, she can't talk to me. {And I'm just crossing my fingers that it isn't a biggie that she wants to talk about - LOL} 

This young lady caught on pretty quick and I'll probably not continue with her. I had a sweetie last year - I don't think he ever caught on. I had to go to 4 strips in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. I have another sweetie in my class this year - I had done this with her before, but she's been gone a lot lately, and now she's interrupting during whole group work. So I'll probably start her back up - and hers are any time. And I don't even have to "threaten" anything - just have her hand me a strip when she interrupts. I think, somehow, it's just making some of them conscious of what they are doing. And making me conscious, too, of what is irritating me and doing something about it. 

What do you do for your interrupters - to break the habit?

Happy Day to you!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


This.... now this is what I love about spring!

{And apparently a little section of my finger - oh well.}
Ah, all that just makes it fun to go outside and walk around... if I can just ignore the weeds that are growing taller than my grass, and the dog poop that hasn't been cleaned up since winter... well, then I'm just a big fat happy camper! 

Ooh, Ooh... in my little rant on Saturday - about being sick and trying to get a sub and all. I forgot to add this! I was gone Monday. Tuesday, I'm back and I ask the kids to get out their writing project that we've been working on for a week and NO, we're not done yet {Some of you may know where this is going!!} and they told me, "The sub said to take it home."  What???? What??!! Nooooooo!!!!!

However, some of my little sweeties {obviously} do not follow directions well. And some of the rest of them never empty out their mailbox. And maybe some of them had the sense God gave them. So most of them still had theirs at school. And the couple that took them home were able to redo it pretty quickly. So yeah! 

But really, I subbed for 5 years before I started teaching. I never sent anything home unless the teacher said to send it home. One year, at Christmas I had a sub, and I had the kids make Christmas cards and I specifically wrote on my plans, "Pick these up so we can send them home with the present." and they went home. 

And I have to say - first, most subs are terrific and follow my plans {as best they can, because reading my mine would help sometimes!}; and second, we'd be lost without them, and third, I remember what it's like to be in a different room every day.

And Happy Sunday to you!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

No Fun Week

This has been a no-fun week. 
Sunday evening, I just had no energy. Subs are sometimes scarce in our district, so I called in for one, because I was afraid I'd be really bad on Monday.By Monday, I didn't really feel that poorly, but I went ahead and stayed home and rested because I had a sub. 
Tuesday, I went to school - felt pretty good. But my voice was in danger of leaving. Even some of my sweeties asked if I would be there Wednesday. I was. But had no voice. It is very interesting who you can get to help you out. My listening signal is "Stop, Look, Listen" and I had about 5 sweeties that were looking for that. Thank you, my little friends. 
Wednesday night I got home and decided there was just no use struggling through another day with no voice. So called in and got a sub for Thursday. Thursday late afternoon - I was really thinking I could pull through and go Friday - but blah, I still didn't have much voice, and now had a red, oozy eye. Maybe I should stay home. So I did. And didn't get a sub. So they pulled the sub from PE. Sorry to my teacher friends who had PE on Friday. 

Well, that all is entirely NOT school related, and basically me just whining. 

We did have this pretty cool thing come to our school called Body Venture


I helped Tuesday night set up this humongous thing {yes, that might have contributed to me not feeling super duper.} It's a big long tunnel thing that shows different parts of the body. This picture shows the start - the mouth. We traveled through the lungs, the heart, the intestine, and a couple others. At each stop, nursing students {from our community college} gave a little talk about what that body part did. They combined that with some information about healthy eating and bad habits. It was a pretty interesting deal and I'm glad we had a chance to have it at our school. 

I'm still not feeling too good and my eye still looks quite strange. I'm hoping lots of rest this weekend will help me be ready for next week!

Happy weekend to you!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five for Friday - 4/4

I think I can, I think I can... actually write a blog post tonight - LOL!
Here we go....
Our school had "spirit week" for the now not happening state testing our 3rd and 4th graders were supposed to do next week. Kansas has had some glitches, so first our school, and then our district postponed the tests. However, we went ahead and had spirit week this week... culminating in a pep assembly... next week. Yup, makes sense to me, too. 

However, today was 70's day. Yeah, kinda like the 2nd pic on Doodle Bugs' post. And our first grade team, a lovely bunch of ladies, dressed up like that. It was fun to see!

I got this new little guy right after the first 9 weeks. He's one of those kiddos that I'm thinking might have just gotten shuffled around under the guise of "boundaries." He's interesting... he seems to take forever to answer when I ask him a direct question, but then he's always blurting out answers when I'm not wanting him to. What a dichotomy. And today, he was reading this short little story, and I asked him to retell it. And he was doing that... very sloooooooowly. And I teased him just a little, and this little smile appeared. And I was thinking that might be the first smile I've seen all year. Which made my heart smile a little.

My two lowest readers {yes, one of them is my friend right up there under #2} wanted to read poems this week during guided reading. So I told them they had to practice and then read them to the class on Friday. They did. But they were both so fast, and reading right into their paper, and a little soft spoken {even after I made them go to the front of the room and practice 1 word to see if I could hear in the back of the room!}. But my class did me proud. They all clapped for the two boys, just like they had heard every word! Yeah team!!

I decided to see if I can't get a new desk at school. If you have read any of my posts, you've seen a couple where this is a major decision-making undertaking for me - LOL. I don't know how these things are decided but last year I did get the 20 some students desks I requested. 
Along with that, I've been purging, purging, purging my files. Except I started going through my math centers today, and Did Not do a very good job of tossing. 

This is a big yahoo who and praise the Lord for me! Let's see, how did this merry-go-round start? Oh yeah, our art teacher is retiring, so a 3rd grade teacher is moving there. A Kindergarten teacher is taking her place. And a 2nd grade teacher - my co-teacher is moving to Kindergarten. And a 1st grade teacher is moving up to 2nd. While I'll miss my co-worker {well, she'll still be in the building, but you know...} I'm excited to teach with this new gal who seems full of ideas and energy and really cares for her kids. I had thought about trying a different grade level myself, but I think this shaking up our team a little will be the fix I need.

What about you? What's new, exciting, uplifting, fun, or just worth sharing about in your world?