Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently...missing snow days!

Oh, the glories of a snow day!  I remember how nice it was to wake up and hear that announcement on the radio.  Jumping back into bed...snuggling under the covers...just heaven!  I used to live in Ohio, and I remember the joy of those days.  Alas, here in Florida,  the chances of a snow day are pretty much nonexistent!  For all of you getting a snow day tomorrow, sleep in a few extra minutes for me!  On to this month's Currently...

Listening:  I love Law and Order!  Actually, I'm flipping stations between this and a Cops marathon.  Maybe I was meant to be a detective.   Oooh - have any of you watched the new show Nightwatch on A&E?  It's on Thursday nights at 10:00. It's pretty good too!  I was also listening to some horrible music while waiting for 35 MINUTES to ask Groupon a simple question.  Why can't they at least have some good music on hold?

Loving:  This beautiful weather - it's been about 70-72 degrees in the afternoons.  So nice.  I know, I know...I just said I wanted a snow day, but this weather is nice!  How about a 70 degree snow day?  That would be perfect.  Then, we wouldn't have to go to school, and we could still go out and play in the snow.  Actually, I think the schools down here should build in perfect weather days like northern schools build in snow days.  Can you imagine?  Waking up to an announcement on the radio, "The weather is going to be gloriously sunny and 75 degrees today causing all of the districts in the North Florida area to cancel classes!"  How nice would that be?!

Thinking:  How nice would a Sunday afternoon nap be right about now?

Wanting:  Spring break can't come soon enough.  Not because I wanna get away from my class.  Actually, we are just starting to get into our groove.  I want spring break to come because my mom, my aunt, and I have a girls trip planned.  We are headed to LA to see my sister!  She went out there to work as a traveling nurse and loved Hollywood so much she stayed.  I've never been to California and we have some fun things planned.  Plus, we haven't seen her since she moved out there in 2008, so we are SUPER EXCITED!!!

Needing:  I'm reading all these blogs and seeing that a lot of you have your own laminator at home.  How nice would that be?  Sigh...Hopefully that will be my next big purchase!  That would make things so much easier!

Pageant Title:  Yep, that's me!  I usually wait until the last minute to do things.  I tend to focus better when it's crunch time.  Some of the best grades I got in college were on paper when I wrote them just a few hours before class.

I can't wait to check out your Currently posts.  But before I go, if any of you have some must sees in the LA/Hollywood area, please leave me a comment and let me know!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm Back!

So, right after my last post, my computer died. Yep, bit the dust. So I haven't been able to post since before school started. I tried to do it on my Ipad, but things went all wonky and I finally gave up. But the hubby just found a great deal on a laptop package and here we are!'

I have to say that this year has been the TOUGHEST year I have had in a long time. For the first half of the year we had a student who was extremely violent and would often run out of class and around campus. Needless to say, establishing routines and procedures was practically impossible. It felt like we were entering a war zone ever morning and we never knew what to expect. I really feel like this has thrown my whole year off. I feel like we lost the whole first half of the year and now many of my kids are so behind due to the constant interruptions of this one student I don't know how we are going to catch up. That student has been placed at another school in a behavioral program and we are hoping will be then placed in a permanent behavioral self-contained unit once his time in this program is finished. Meanwhile, we will soldier on, pushing as hard as we can, to learn as much as we can in the last half of the year.

Now that I'm back, I'm hoping to blog more regularly. What are you guys studying right now?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dollar Store Challenge Part 1

Our teachers don't start back until next week, but here's what it looks like outside school right now:

 Yep, teachers' cars lined up and down the street.  We're all here getting ready now! Is it like that in your neck of the woods too?  Anyway... I made a trip to Target the other day.  I had been seeing all of the great stuff you guys were buying and I had to go check it out.  When I was there, I found some really cute things.  I was planning to do my room in Carson-Dellosa's boho birds this year, but finding all this stuff at the dollar spot got me thinking.  Could I make a really cute room using only the stuff I had left over from previous years or things that were $2 or less?  There have been years that have been really tight on money, so I thought it might be fun this year to do a Dollar Store Challenge. 

The challenge was to not purchase any decorations that were more than $2.  I shopped at Dollar Tree and Target a lot.  I also found a lot of things that other teachers were giving away for free.  I don't know how it is at your school, but here it's like Christmas this time of year.  Teachers who are changing their room themes for the year very often just set stuff out for others to take if they want it.  So, I went shopping in the hallway.  I'll give you a little preview of some of the stuff I got:

I thought it might be fun to post pictures as I get everything set up and ready for the year.  Check back to see how it turns out!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Dead Computer and Some Sparkling Words

Last week, my poor computer kicked the bucket.  Yep, dead as a door nail.  Sot I can still get online and check out all your cool blog posts, but I can't save or print anything.  This is KILLING me!  I usually spend most of my summer printing things and getting ready for the new school year.  Now, we only have black and white printers at school, so I can't print anything in color.   GRRRRR!

On another note, I wanted to share an idea I had while I was sitting in some boring intriguing summer workshops this week.  Last year,  I had a "Sparkling Words" wall where we put the words introduced in our Making Meaning Vocabulary program.  These are those tier 2 words that kids will encounter in their reading.  After the words were introduced, I would write them on sentence strips and place them on our Sparkling Words wall.  When the kids used the words in conversation, they got to put a sticker on the word.  When they used the words in their writing, they got a jewel on their paper.  I used some of those sticky jewels I got at Dollar General.  You would not believe the way the kiddos would work for those little jewels!

So this year, we have both a new principal and a new AP.  Our theme for this year is "Wild About Reading!".  To tie in with this theme, I came up with some animal ideas for the word wall.  I thought I would share them with you in case you needed some ideas.  Most of these are jungle animals, but I've added a few others I've thought of.  Here goes:
                           Alligator/Crocodile: "Snapping Up Great Words" - add the words on the teeth
                           Lion/Tiger/Jaguar etc: "Words to Roar About" - add the words to the mane of the
                                                                  lion, the stripes of the tiger, or the spots on the jaguar
                           Parrot/Macaw: "Colorful Words" - add the words on feathers
                           Monkey: "Monkey-ing Around With Words" - add words to bananas on trees
                           Birds: "Words To Tweet About" - add words to the leaves on trees
                           Owls:  "Owl-standing Words" - add words to the leaves on the trees
                           Giraffe: "Spotting Great Words" - add words to the spots
                           Cats: "Purrrr-fectly Wonderful Words" - add words to balls of yarn
I hope you can use some  of these ideas!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Currently...It's Almost Summer!

Summer is so close, I can taste it! We made it through water day today, my memory books are finished, and report cards are in mailboxes waiting for the kiddos to take them home tomorrow. Let's kick off the summer with a Currently!

Listening - One of my most favorite summer shows is America's Got Talent. I'm just amazed at some of these acts!

Loving -  My favorite substitute teacher teaches a workout class.  I started last month and she is kicking my butt.

Thinking - We only have a half day tomorrow.  We'll spend it cleaning and watching movies.  Hey, if I made it through Water Day today, I can make it until 11:45 tomorrow!

Wanting - Hey, who doesn't wanna lose weight, huh?  I bought a bunch of clothes last summer and they already are too little.  I guess the stress of this year helped me put on some pounds.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some of it off before we go back to school.

Needing - My room looks like a tornado went through it.  Any of you who are out already for summer, feel free to come by and help me clean up!

Summer bucket list - 1.  Through the school year, I very rarely get to read for pleasure, but it is really my very favorite thing to do.  My goal this summer is to read a book per week.
                                2.  I really NEED to organize my files (both paper and digital).  I have things in too many places and just need to get them all together and organized.  I'm thinking this might be a project that takes the whole summer!
                                3.  I can finally see the light at the end of the renovation tunnel.  The only room left to do is the kids' bathroom.  We still have to add baseboard and trim throughout the house, and build a bookshelf, but other than that the rest is finally done!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

So Close...

Congrats to you guys who have already started your summer!  Only 2 and a half days left for us! I think I can, I think I can... Actually, these last few days are just fun days. Monday we have movie day and a math bee in the afternoon, Tuesday is Game Day (kids bring board games from home and we play all morning - well, they play while I clean up, lol) and Water Day, then the half day on Wednesday is just a clean up and get ready for summer day. I just finished my report cards and I've got the gifts ready for my son's teachers. I always try to find an unusual or personal gift for the teachers. This year, I made A to Z baskets for each teacher (he has 2). I started buying little items for the baskets a couple of weeks ago and I'm really pleased with how they turned out:
I got the idea from Pinterest (where else?)!  Here are the things I used for each letter:
A - apple
B - banana
C - homemade cookies
D - diet coke
E - eye shadow
F - folders
G - granola bar
H - Hershey bar
I - index cards
J - juice
K - kleenex
L - lotion
M - M&M's
N - nail polish
O - orange
P - post-its
Q - Quaker cereal bar
R - rainbow pencils
S - Skittles
T - Tic Tacs
U - University bumper sticker (for their favorite college team)
V - votive candle
W - spring water
X - Extra gum
Y - yellow highlighters
Z - "zigzag" (chevron) mini notebook

These were a lot of fun to put together.  I just put all the objects in a $1 summer colored bowl from Wal-Mart.  I had some alphabet stickers that I used to put on each item.  

The next time I post, I'll be free for the summer!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm never on the ball to link up with these weekly linky parties, but this week look at me!  I did it!


Calming the Chaos: End of Year Blog Hop and a great Giveaway! 
I've been repeating this to myself a lot over the last few weeks.  We have 12 days left.  I have to admit, this year has been ROUGH!  So many changes - we switched to Common Core Standards, we got a new report card, we switched to a standards based grading system, we got new reading and writing curriculum, we departmentalized for the first time, we lost a teacher, and we just found out our principal is leaving as well.   Even though it's been such a tough year and I've been counting the days since spring break, there's still a touch of sadness at the end of every year.  Maybe it's just because (even though some of them drive me cuh-ra-zy) I've really gotten to know them and it's hard to see them go, or maybe it's the fact that I sit and think (for some of them), "If only I had a little more time, they might be able to catch up".  I get really reflective this time of year and try to figure out what I could have done differently to make an impact with those struggling learners.  Anybody with me on this one?

 We were enjoying the weather today at recess time, and I snapped some photos to use in their memory books.

 Tonight was our annual Night Under the Lights track meet for our elementary school kiddos.  It's not a competitive event (everybody gets a ribbon if they run), but the kids think it's a big deal because they get to run on the high school track!  My son has been talking about it since January, lol!


We've been doing math journals all year.  Last week, I was starting to get discouraged.  I guess it was just one of those weeks when the kids seemed to have all of their brains ooze out of their ears. Then, this week, I did the problem you see in the pictures above.  What I love about these journal entries is that each person solved the problem in his/her own way and they are all different, but they are all correct.  It's these moments when you see that they are getting it that make it all worthwhile!

This is completely not teaching related (unless you count it as a mental health break which every teacher needs this time of year).
I'm in charge of our ladies ministry at church and tomorrow we are taking some donations to our local Fisher House
For those of you who don't know about Fisher House, here's a blurb from their website:

"For members of our Armed Forces, retirees, veterans, and their families, the Fisher House program offers shelter and support during a medical crisis. Fisher Houses offer a comforting "home away from home" while a loved one is receiving care in an unfamiliar environment. This special support is even more important to a family during the most stressful time – the hospitalization of a wounded or injured service member involved in military operations like Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom."  It's like a Ronald McDonald house for families of wounded warriors. 

After that, we are headed out to lunch and then to the movies to see Mom's Night Out.
Watch the Trailer 

This movie looks so funny I can't wait!  Have any of you seen it yet?