Thursday, December 29, 2011

Survey Says....

A lot of the teachers I work with are pretty upset that we have to return to work on Monday the 2nd. I must admit I am one of those teachers. The reason for most of us being upset is that the 2nd is considered a business holiday, meaning most businesses are closed INCLUDING day care! Which means not only are most teachers having to pay their monthly day care bill but also pay for a babysitter for the day (defeating the purpose of working for a day when you turn around and give a babysitter your pay).

Which begs the question, What in the world are they (the board) thinking?!?!?! I mean do you not realize that probably 70% (if not more) of your employees have children, let alone children under the age of five that have to be taken care of?!?!? Maybe we should all bring our children to work that day and take a little visit to the main offices of the county. Now looking ahead to next year's calendar New Year's Day is on a Tuesday, and guess what...we go back to work on the 2nd, and the kids come back on that Thursday...two days....really!?!?!?

So here's my survey, when do you go back to school? What are your thoughts about this?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snow Circles Freebie

Pretty simple, yet effective. Click on the picture to download.
I will post a picture of a finished one when I can. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

What are your plans?

This is why I started back on the treadmill today! I have done nothing but eat and lounge, lounge and eat! And don't be jealous of the ever so famous fingerprint plate...I know you have a fingerprint _______(insert item here) laying around your house or classroom! Fess up...what do you have????

My mind is still on vacation, which is okay...I think. I have jumbled thoughts about what I want to do in the classroom when we get back...well the county already tells me what to do, but mostly I guess how to do it. My school bag is still sitting unopened in the corner of my room, take that back my daughter did open it to try and find something exciting to get into and all she found was binders with she lost interest.

I have tons of ideas "butterflying" around in my head. I really need to harness the energy and be productive. The reason I say this is because I know what it will be like the Monday we get back if I don't do something now. I will have ALL of these ideas, get some of them started...then get frustrated that I didn't have enough time to get things done. If you guys are like me I am thinking hard about the next 9wks. I really need to make a lot of progress in the curriculum as well as getting those low kids where they need to be. We don't have long until those benchmarks (again), as well as the big CRCT and we've got A LOT of work to do!

So my daughter goes to day care tomorrow. I have an errand or two to run and all that's left of the Christmas decor is the tree and outside lights that need to be put away. I am hoping I can get my thoughts together, maybe a few freebies made, and other things. Oh not to mention I have three crafts I'm in the middle of that I should probably finish. Pretty high expectations for one day...good thing I have a few more days off. 

I did manage to sneak a peak (mostly to remind myself) of our instructional calendar for the next nine weeks...superlative adverbs, using commas, persuasive writing (which I enjoy), point of view...that's just some of the reading and writing.

I do vaguely remember that this time last year I think I had finally gotten the hang of my guided reading/Daily 5/center Reading stuff. So I am anxious to review my plans from last year, to get that spark back. So I ask you...what are your plans looking like? what activities/center items are you looking for?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Like most of you I have been busy getting all things Christmas done. I have fought traffic, lines, rude people...but have also gotten together with a few friends, had play dates, made cookies, put together a HUGE doll house, and wrapped all the gifts. I think I only have to "pre" make our traditional family egg bake and monkey bread, stick them in the fridge and then I will be ready for tomorrow. 

I can't wait to see how my little girl is going to react this year! She is so excited and actually is sort of getting this Santa/Christmas thing. It's too cute! The biggest thing is that she is giving her pacifiers to Santa, so he can take them to the little babies. In return Santa is going to bring her a special gift just for giving away her paci. She's been all talk, so I am anxious to see how this is going to go down. We have her down to only using her paci at night (I type this and she is sitting next to me, enjoying her last day with the paci as we speak), but on a "normal" day she only uses it at night. When she wakes up in the morning she throws it down and says "I don't need a paci, I a big girl!"....but at night she asks for it anyway.

Side note: did you know that a mouse family is called a mischief? Just saw that on Leap Frog video (thanks netflix) my daughter is watching.
I am currently racking my brain on what I want to share with you all, what I want to make, and what lessons I want to plan for the week back to school. I am pretty sure I am going to use a Snow theme. There is so much going around "blog world" about snowmen, snow, and such. A few ideas:
  • I have a unit I purchased called Snow Day, and it has inferencing skills with it (it will be a review for my class). 
  • Sort through multiple snow day type books to decide how to use them (note: must see what Reading skills I need to be addressing for the third nine weeks) 
  • Math center...make really cute snowmen out of circles, reviewing the parts of a circle. 
  • Have an indoor snow ball fight, with wads of paper (have something written on the paper from each student, wad it up, throw, try to figure out who wrote what).
  • Snow ball movement (use cotton balls and straws for all types of moving snow balls around)
  • Snowmen glyphs
I know there is more, I have bookmarked a ton of blogs and soon as I get it all together I will hopefully be able to share more with you all. 

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas and enjoy spending time with your families!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A few new crafts!

Just thought I would share...

Love how my ring turned out! Check out my business while you are at it...Quite a Pear

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Checklist, not checked!

I woke up my daughter to only hear her "barking" cough.UGH! After much mental debate ("it's just because the heat is on, have some juice, okay it's stopped, nope there it is with gagging") I got her to lay back in bed with her daddy and tried to relay my thought out plan of attack for the day to a groggy moody husband (he doesn't wake up nicely, pretty much ever). He could take the morning shift, make sure she got food in her stomach before starting her on the medication (fortunately the doctor gave us 6 extra doses "just in case"), I would head into work and then take 1/2 a day so that he could go work his part time before having to work the night shift. My little girl wasn't fond of the idea and really really wanted to go to school, she kept saying "I better mommy, I go to school" (oh to cherish those words now, soon I will be dragging her to school).

I was mad because I had ALL that extra time this morning that if I had known she was going to stay home, I would have headed to the classroom EARLY. Oh well. I was still running a little ahead of schedule so I stopped at Walmart, picked up the darn glue sticks (which they were pretty low on, so I am guessing it's not just my class that has the eating problem), picked up cups for little bits Christmas party and a gift to exchange (just in case due to her possibly being sick the rest of the week I could drop off at her day care), and caved into my making cast, print, and molds idea.

Unfortunately the rest of the day was not as productive (at school that is). I immediately made plans for the second half of the day (meaning I had to rotate my schedule slightly to leave particular things for the sub and try to get through the other stuff in the morning). I only made it through 1/2 of my running records that I wanted to do, and don't know if it was good or bad but left the play dough and molds for the sub (guess I will find out in the morning). 

So that means tomorrow morning will be Guided Math and Reading Centers while I call you over to work on your ornament or something like that. Then our Winter Party in the afternoon. Plus side to being home this afternoon I graded a few papers, did a few loads of laundry, snuggled with my little one, and got to take these adorable pics of her drawings while I made dinner. And drum roll please....FOUND the vintage Christmas T-shirts!!!!!!!

As for the Christmas presents for my kids well that worked itself out...because I didn't get to stop for anything this afternoon or go anywhere (so homework pass and pencil it is!), thanks for the other ideas. I too would give my kids new crayons and colored pencils (that I had bought at the beginning of the school year when they were on sale), but when I changed schools in September I had to use my back up supply to "supply" my new class with some. 

Enjoy the pictures:
Drawing mommy

This is how she explains it: "Those mommy's ears (the extra pair of arms coming out of my head), that's mommy's boo boo (the lovely replica of my lines on my forehead), that mommy's hair (the little tuft on top)

The best purchase ever (and we didn't even have a kid at the time) This is a dinner tray we bought when my husband had surgery. The top is white board...PERFECT, and she loves it!!!

Now drawing the whole family

"That me as a baby (the tiny person on the bottom)"

Up and at 'em!

5:20AM and I am completely dressed and ready to start the day. Too bad I have to let my kid sleep...and her day care doesn't open until 6:30. I guess those two extra hours of sleep on Monday really messed with my sleeping patterns.

If I didn't have to take my daughter to school I would totally be on my way to my classroom to start checking off the "To Do" list I made in my head while laying WIDE awake at 3AM! I finally gave up ANY hopes of falling back asleep (around 4:15) and got ready to face the day (I'll pay for this....if not tonight, for SURE by Friday evening).

Here is my checklist, that I hope to get through today (I'm sure all of the teachers out there can relate to some if not ALL of these):

1. GLUE STICKS, what the heck...I completely forgot to buy more glue sticks when I was at WalMart the other night! I swear my students EAT them. I know we use glue A LOT...I do Guided Reading, Guided Math, and Interactive Note Taking. But I constantly get on to them about not PAINTING and smothering the paper that needs to be glued. And despite the fact that we were down to one glue stick per table (kid you not), they were STILL "coloring" with them. So for now we are using bottled glue (which I detest). They also use too much...yes I teach third grade and they still use too much glue and I believe eat it. The problem is with bottled glue, it gets EVERYWHERE and when they use it smears and oozes out the edges, then the other pages in their journal stick to them. So now I REALLY need to pick up glue sticks.

2. Man, I still have those six kids I need to re-Rigby (Reading Level)...when am I going to fit that in?? I guess instead of meeting with small groups during Guided Reading today I can do that, oh no wait...I have someone  coming in to observe Guided Reading! Okay so maybe I can squeeze them in during BIG 5 and Morning Work, then again right after wait we are trying to finish our Response to Literature (it's holiday related, so I really need to get it done before the break....side bar if you haven't read or don't know about a book called A Light in the Darkness....READ it with your kids, especially third fits in with our SS character traits, if you are familiar with Tumble Books, it's on there) Okay so I will cross my fingers and hope to get these Rigbys done.

3. CHRISTMAS ornaments! I haven't even started them with my students. I was going to yesterday but I had half a day planning...when I got back into my room for the second half of the day, I spent the whole time "redoing" the first half (if that makes sense), catching up, and trying to get through my fossil lesson...which brings me to #4

4. Should I or shouldn't I do imprints, casts, molds????Hummmm??? Now I wouldn't go ALL out and do the whole plaster of paris mess (I mean isn't the ornaments with mod podge and glitter going to be messy enough??) But I could get my students and early (by one day) Christmas gift of a small container of play dough (you know the ones you get for party favors). It could be fun and we could make the imprints...we have a few molds in our science tub. Maybe...ugh Christmas gifts...#5

5. What to get my students. I really hate to say this but....well I'm just going to put it out there...At my other school the bar was set pretty high when it came to what you do for your students for the holidays (Christmas, Halloween, etc.) So being that I was there for seven years I always gave my students a holiday plastic cup (from Walmart 4 for $1) filled it with a candy cane, new pencil, maybe an eraser, some candy, and a homework pass. We would also do this cute stocking fill. Where each student would bring in an empty stocking and 22 (or how many students) small items...22 packs of gum, 22 pencils, etc. I would then fill ALL the stockings and at our holiday party the kids got to go through them. Which brings me to the holiday parties...WOW...they were huge! The room moms (yes momS) would plan it, come in with food galore, a craft of two for the kids, and a student made teacher gift (that they made for you when you left/went on your 1/2 day shopping day), and a small presentation of a few gifts from me to my parent volunteers (yes that is plural). I tell people that the one year I was 7mths pregnant and went through the holiday party I swear I almost went into labor, twice! Well this year is very different. My new school the expectations are not as high...which can be good. I saved some money by not having to buy parent gifts (no room mom, no PIR mom, no folder stuffer). So one less thing on my list. My students don't really expect much from me either, I did get them a pencil and a homework pass...half of me says keep the expectations low...the other half says this kids would be so excited to get something. I run to the Dollar Tree after school today??? If so what do I get???

6. I really need to enter grades...I wanted to have that done before the break. But I really need to grade a few more papers (especially some that I left with the sub yesterday).

7. It's Polar Express Day on Friday! Which means I need to buy chocolate milk, yep chocolate milk. A co-worker said that she took her crock pot in to class, filled it with chocolate milk, let it simmer, spooned it into cups topped it with marshmallows and tada HOT chocolate! So much easier and not as messy as 22 hot chocolate packets) Anyway it's PJ day on Friday, so do I be a sport and wear the comfy PJ bottoms with a festive T-shirt, or maybe participate in Tacky Festive Shirt/Sweater day for the staff, or just wear a holiday shirt? 

8. Speaking of holiday shirts...where the heck are mine???? I have two adorable vintage T's (from Target 2years ago), one with vintage Santa and another is the Charlie Brown Christmas tree...I can't find them to save my life!!!!!!!

And the list goes on and on! I know some of you can feel me. Well it is now officially time to wake up my daughter and begin our morning of..."Go away mommy, I wanna sleep (on any other day she would be up), I don't wanna wear it, I want Dora panties" and so on! Have a GREAT Wednesday!