old wood shabby background

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A letter to next year's teacher foldable

It must have been a good day. . . because my brain was working in full gear and I feel like I accomplished a lot!

Maybe it's because my husband is in Texas until tomorrow and I have more time to get things done. .. 

Nah. . . that can't be it.

Maybe it's because the heat broke and we had a normal spring day!


Maybe it's because I'm anxiously waiting for my grand daughter to be born anyday now and my students (and a couple sneaky teachers!) made a Shutterfly book for me with photos of how I could be a good gramma!

What EVER! I'm just glad it was a good day.

I created this foldable for my students to do while I assessed them on DRA2. Does anyone else use DRA2? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you have something better to suggest? I'm really torn on this.

I know that DRA2 tells me a lot about what my kids know about reading and where I need to work with them to get them to become better readers. . . . .but holy cow!

They take so long to give. Especially when they get to higher than 28. 

I know that some schools rely on Dibels, but I don't think that accurately tells much about the reading skills of the student except if they have fluency or not. If it's too hard for them, then they don't read well.

End of story!

Wow! I really got off track . . .so sorry!

Every year I like my kids to write a letter to their (unknown) 3rd grade teacher. They don't find out till mid August who that teacher is. I want that teacher to see how well they write (or not!), spell, and what their perception is of themselves. This activity turned out cute. I made mine on white construction paper, but they could be cuter if you made yours on various colors of construction paper.

So I created this foldable.

 Child writes their name under the words "All About" I've included in this pack several different fonts. I copied about 4 for each one and let the kids choose one that they liked best. Then they cut it up (again showing how well they can cut and glue (dot, dot, not a lot!).
 On this yellow paper they describe themselves, age, siblings, interests, etc. (I copied the lined paper on a variety of colored copy paper so each child could choose their favorite. I insisted they write their descriptions first, then cut and glued them down.)
 On the second yellow paper they write about  the best part of their character or personality.
 Under the 3rd flap the write about a subject (not recess or soccer!) that they are strong in and why.
Under the final flap they write about an area they know they are weak in and why. They could even put HOW they could improve this area.


Go ahead and grab it, just let me know if you like it or not. And if you take my idea and change it to make it fit your needs, please remember my feelings and pass along the original idea.

Thanks. . .

Only 11 days minus one day for field trip, minus one half day for field day. . . . jeesh!

Would the end just get here!

But I'm not counting. . .  heh heh heh!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flashlights, Reading, and a Question

Something new this week. . . . my kids want to work under my desk. . . .

That may not seem so unusual, but it just started.  They've never asked all year long.

When I checked on them this week to see what they were doing under there, I noticed that it was pretty dark down there.

Not that they minded, but the mother in me wanted them to have more light. (Didn't your mom always turn the light on if you were reading in a dim lit room? MINE DID!)

I found a flashlight and gave it to them and BINGO! They were all set to stay there for ever! Well, not forever, but you know what I mean!

Today I looked under to see how they were doing and it was so cute, adorable, creative to see the flashlight somehow attached to my desk so they didn't have to hold on to it while they worked! (Follow the purple arrow!)

That made me think about giving my kids little flashlights for end of the year gifts. I can just see them reading under their own kitchen tables, or behind the couch, or under the covers, or where ever else they have a small dark space! Funny how kids like this. But if it works we have to foster it.

Tomorrow night we are meeting with parents and students. We call it Summer Math and Literacy Night. We have asked parents to come at 4:00 (right after school dismisses) or 5:30. They will go to their child's grade level room. In each room there will be pizza (if you feed them, they will come!), water and lots of information for them.

We are going to show them where their child was at the end of last year in DRA2 and Rocket Math, where they were when the school year started, and where they are now. This will show them the slippage that happens over the summer.

We will also show them where they need to be when the school year starts. We have put together a workbook for them to work on when ever during the summer. They will bring this to their 3rd grade teacher in the fall. Those teachers will send them to us, and we'll award a prize to anyone who returns it finished. We also have dice and decks of cards with games to play with them so they can keep their math skills in place.

The summers that you and I had are long gone. The stakes are too high and the slippage is too much. We need to get parents on board with us to help their child become more successful.

Now for the Question!

Last week sometime, I copied a dice game from someone. It is called Have a Rollin and Shakin Good Summer! and it was in a baggie with a pair of dice. I have a question for that author but I don't remember who made that game up. It has a game called HFW Roll It! but I don't know what HFW stands for. It says to use 18 HFW flash cards. Does anyone know what that stands for or who made this game?
Help a girl out, please!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning Resources Rocks

A couple weeks ago many of you had a microphone from Learning Resources that you were giving away. One of the ways to enter was to like them on Facebook. So like all of you, I "liked" them. But while I was there I looked around at their stuff. They were having a contest of their own. All you had to do was to write down a teaching moment that meant a lot to you. They would pick a random person to win a box of their stuff.

Of course I had to enter that too! I wrote about both my own kids becoming teachers and how it made me very proud that they joined the teaching profession.

A couple days after that they notified me that I was the random winner! Me!!! ME! Me! ME!!!

Today my box arrived. I want to ask you. . . when someone says you'll receive a box in the mail, what size box comes to your mind? A book order box? A shoe box? A kleenex box? A jewelry box? That's what I was thinking. . .

But I was wrong. . . .

Dead wrong. . . .

Look at this box!

It was HUGE! and Heavy too!

Inside I found so many fun things! There were 4 different pocket charts, a science game (similar to Guess Who) 3 bingo games, a finger pointer (you know the kind!) some math shapes that when put together become 3-D shapes, an electronic scheduler, (not sure what to do with that yet), several rulers and semi circle rulers, another math game, fraction flashcards, dice with money on them, and dice with verbs, nouns, etc. on them, 5 barn shaped dry erase boards, 2 bags of BIG pencil top erasers, and much more! I just couldn't believe it!

Look at all that! And it was just for entering their contest.

Moral to the story, when they want you to enter, they make it worth your while.
And to answer your next question, yes, I'm sharing it with my staff. There's too much here for me. I know they would love some of this too.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish all of you Mothers, Grandmothers,  About to be Mothers, and those who have MOTHERED me in Bloggie Land  a big THANKS for all you do. You have mothered not only me, but all of your own children, neices, nephews, grandchildren, and the students in your classroom. None of us are perfect, but we sure as hell heck try to be.

 I continue to learn all the time even at the old age that I am. I so appreciate your taking the time to teach me. If you are this kind to me, I can feel secure that you are even more wonderful to your own kids.

Spend your day doing something you love, (even it it's like me still in my PJ's at 11:30 and sitting at the computer!) with those you love (I am going out to dinner with my husband and kids later today!)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yucky Word Verifications!

Do you hate those Word Verifications?

I do!

I get that they keep some predators out, but mainly they are a nusiance!

If you'd like to get rid of them, go to see Alyce at Blossom Heart

She has some great step by step directions on how to remove that from your blog.

She even has pictures too.

Gotta love pictures!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am so excited! For many reasons!

Let's see  . . . . 

First. . . . I received beautiful flowers this morning from my daughter and her husband in Houston.

Aren't they PURDY!!!!

Second. . . . It's a beautiful day in southern Michigan. Just the right temperature. Beautiful sunshine. No humidity.. . PERFECT!

Third . . . . it's FRIDAY!!!! Need I say more?

Fourth. . . I found out I am a winner from Learning Resources! Whooopeee!

Many of the blogs are advertising a microphone recorder thingie from them. So of course I have to sign up to win one. One of the ways to enter was to "like" them on Facebook. Well, that's easy enough to do!
When I went to their Facebook page they said they were having another give away. . . . all you had to do was to write about your favorite teaching moment. And they would randomly draw a winner.
Holy Moly! That's all?  That's easy enough. . . but to narrow it down to one is the tough part.
So I wrote about my own two kids being teachers and having good jobs. And since my son teaches in the same district that I do and he teaches 3rd grade many parents request him because they figure if they like me, they'll like him too! It's a very proud moment for this old teacher!

Well Lo and Behold, they said I won! and when I checked it out on FB. . . . sure enough, I was the last entry and they had picked Me! . . . yes, Me!

Another Whoooppeee!

But I don't know what I won. They are going to send me a box of stuff soon. . . I just have to be patient and wait. . .



I used that all up during the daytime! I don't know if I can be more patient. 

But that's the way it is, and I have to wait.

Stay tuned. I'll fill you in as soon as it gets here.

So, Moral of the story. . . enter contest people.. .. you really can win!

Also, I found a brand new blog that is very cute and boy does she need us!

She's working on getting 10 followers! Come on ladies. . . we can do this! Especially on Mother's Day weekend. . . (but I don't think she is a mother yet! Maybe, I guess it didn't say on her blog!) Anyway, go visit Ms. Storie at her blog and share some lovin'. There's also a prize involved too!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Help a friend reach 100! and Win!

Now that I have felt the love of reaching 100 followers, I'd like to help another friend reach that level of love! Go to visit Michelle at  Our Sweet Success

And while you're at it, take a look at Second Grade Sparkle She is looking for some new followers too. I just fixed this, because I noticed it wasn't working . .. now it is!

It's crazy at this time of year isn't it? I feel so scatterbrained and wonder if others are noticing it? You all know what I'm talking about. We think things are going smoothly and you take a minute to breathe, and then you realize you are way behind because there was something else you were suppose to do by a certain date! YIKES!

I have the best class possible this year. . . (even though lately, they are choosing to be more chatty than I've ever heard them!) and yet, I'm still doing the countdown to the end of the year. Not actually doing it, but I know that it's there!

And the class that is coming up next year, could be a nightmare  the reason I should retire THIS year. . . But I won't. I love this profession so much. . I'm here for a while longer!

But hey, tomorrow's Friday. . .Let it be shouted from the mountain tops. . . . . 

I love Fridays!!!! 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

baby shower for teachers. . . just for fun

This will be a short post. . . I am supposed to be completing my midterms. . . let me be honest. . . I'm suppose to be starting my midterms so they can be sent home on Friday.

Plus it isn't really about teaching. . . but it is about teachers, because my daughter, my daughter-in-law, my niece, and myself are all teachers! So play along with me!

Somehow blogging and stalking is so much more fun. . . I'd like to know what I did with my time before I found these blogs!

This weekend my daughter came home from Houston for the weekend. She and her cousin were giving a baby shower to our son's wife. Does that seem confusing? Anyway, she did a lot of pinteresting (a new word meaning someone who searches Pinterest a lot!) She found some very awesome ideas to give her sister-in-law a very special shower. The theme is Jess is Ready to Pop!

Everything revolved around "Pop!" There was popcorn, pop cans, balloons, lollipops, and even rice krispie treats because they "snap, crackle, and pop!"

 Party Favors for everyone who came.

My daughter-in-law, my neice, and my daughter

My mom is amazed at how big she is and she still has about a month to go.

Everyone signed a block instead of a guest book. So when this baby plays with them, she'll see how loved she is by all of these friends.

It was a huge success and everyone had a good time. I've included a few pictures to give you an idea. My daughter rocks at planning things and making sure every detail is perfect.

That's all. Now on to those Mid Terms! I will get them done, I will get them done, I will get them done!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

100 + more new blogs

I made it! I reached 100. .  in fact I'm over 100. Do you remember how that feels? All of you who are sitting at numbers so much higher than me?

It is exuberation! (is that a word?)

It's accomplishment! (Well I did work hard at finding all of you!)

It is worth telling you about so you can go find someone else who is needing this same feeling.

I have found some other blogs who would love to have you as a friend. Please stop in and visit them. And if you do add their blog to your list, please remember to update your blogs you follow so their name shows up when they post new messages. That IS how we see who to check out.

Here are some that you might be interested in:

Sandra at Classroom Companion
Ashley at live to learn
Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory
Jill at Tales From Second

Ok Friends, Let's share the love on this Wednesday in May!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Final $$ For Home Service Project

Our service project is now done. The K-2 students in our community raised over $2,000.00!!!

Read that again!!! OVER $2,000.00. . . . That's in just 2 weeks. . . . that's enough to build a home. . . . AND a bathroom. . . . and some left over to help this family out.

Each day we get a 6-8 page powerpoint to share with our students the progress on the home. Our kids are stunned to see this home being built with shovels and sticks to dig with. There are no back hoes, or large motored tools to do the work. Our money mainly pays for the materials. The family and friends build this home on their own.

What a proud moment for us. We knew our students would give a lot. . . but this is over the top!

On another note. . . .
Yesterday many of you bloggers mentioned casually that your students were:
A. going bonkers
B. Out of their minds
C. Driving you crazy
D. Noisier than ever
E. Ready for summer vacation

I read those comments and thought,  not my kids. Nah! They are in great shape. You must have some off the wall kids.

Big problem!

I thought too soon!
Today MY students wer A-E and more! I will not tell them we are nearing summer. . .but they do know they have about 6 weeks left. We'll see if they do the math and figure it out!

So glad that I can join the ranks of the rest of you and say the same things about my students too.
Thanks a lot!