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Sunday, March 31, 2013

I'm not HERE! Go to Christina's Blog!

I'm glad to see you found me from  Christina's blog!  If you don't know what I'm talking about, head over there and then come back here when you're ready to enter to win!

 Now that you are here, stay a while, check out my blog, follow my blog so you can stay connected. Leave me your comments that I told you about on Christina's blog and cross your fingers to hope that you win!

I'll announce the winner on Monday, April 8th.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Truth be Told

I know that I was a little late to the 2 truths and a lie party, but I did it anyway. But since no one commented,  I'll go ahead and give the answers. . . I am sure that you were dying to know!

The lie is that I sang a solo on Christmas Eve at my church.  YOU would NOT want to hear ME sing ANYWHERE! My voice is soooooo bad a dog would howl at me.

It is true that Michael Kennedy did sleep in my bed at my parent's house. I was not there. I was living in Coldwater, Michigan at the time. Michael was in Flint, Michigan (near my parent's house) campaigning for his Uncle Ted Kennedy who was running from President at the time. Michael was sort of quite  the partying young man at the time. HIS people didn't want him to wind up with the wrong crowd or some sleezy girls who would love his fame. 

The people from the Democratic Party knew my dad as a democrat and a good man and that he lived about 10 miles out of town in the country in a big farm house. They thought this might be a safe place for him to spend the night instead of a hotel. The secrect service came out and did a check of  my parents and the farm and gave the approval for him to stay.

My bedroom has a bathroom off from it, so it made the most sense to put him in that room. Mom couldn't tell anyone, not even me, about it until after he left. My mom wrote me  a letter and told me all about it. What a shock to think that someone so famous was in my bed!  

As you know Senator Ted Kennedy did not win the Presidential election. Michael married Frank Gifford's daughter, but he was killed in a skiing accident a few years back.

The last truth is that my parents have been married for 69 years. They were married on October 30, 1943. Dad is now 91 and mom is 90 and in pretty good shape. They still live on that same farm and that is the farm house that Dad was born in. This fall they will celebrate (God willing) 70 years of marriage! That's a wonderful legacy for all of us. They have 5 kids and all of us are married and have never been divorced (or even thinking about it!)

And that my friends . . .  is the rest of the story!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Some lies or truths! You Decide!

Have you seen this floating around the blogs? 
Mrs. Reed at Flying into First is hosting this linky.

I think it's kind of fun to see what people are really about 
and just how well they lie or tell the truth. 

Here are my 2 truths and a lie, in random order. . .
 try to guess and leave a comment, then come back tomorrow or Tuesday 
and I'll post the actual truths to them. 

Gosh these are  harder to come up with than I thought!

1. I sang a solo on Christmas Eve at our church.

2. Senator Robert Kennedy's son, 
Michael slept in my bed.

3. My parents have been married for 69 years. 

Ok, make your guesses. Come back on Monday or Tuesday 
and I'll have the answers for you!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Are you Exhaustipated?

I. Can. Breathe. Now.

Assessments are done and as of 9:00 last night so were the report cards. If the public only knew how much time it takes to effectively get all that done! They would pay us like they pay the Basketball players! 

Now that we assess each standard in the Common Core it takes FOR EVAH! But in the end, our parents know exactly what their child can and can not do. This year I even put the assessments in order of how they are presented in the report card, so when the parent looks at the report card math section, and wonders why the score is so low, they can look at the math test packet that came home and see the weak areas. 

I had a conference with a parent tonight. The dad proudly stated how he helps his child with math and that his son is doing so much better. When I pulled out the test packet I was able to show where his weaknesses and strengths in math were. I asked the dad if he was doing math like these at home. He was very shocked and admitted that this was not the way he was doing math with his son. Bless his heart, he was trying! So with this test packet, I hope that he can make up story problems or similar things like we are testing him in to practice with.

So now that those are done, I can relax for a bit. We have another four day week, but this one is a great one, because at the end of  the week, we will on Spring Break! Whew! 

That means we made it through the winter, the snow, (of course there could still be more of that coming!), the early dark evenings, and the bitter cold. Spring is here in Michigan and I'm all for it!

How was your week? Did you feel like you were "Exhaustipated?" 

You know. . . to tired to give a crap?

That was then, now I'm better. And life will surely resume!

I'd love to hear how your week is going. Stop by and let me know! I have time to read now!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hey Denise! Somebody Loves YOU!

I'm linking up with Christina Bainbridge and sharing with you one of my GO TO BLOGS.  I admire a lot of people in this blog world. But one of the first blogs that I began following and that I STILL follow on a regular basis is Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade.

Since she is a second grade teacher (and much MUCH younger than I am!) and I'm a second grade teacher, I look to her for lots of ideas, fun stuff, moral boosts, and general help for the everyday stuff we all need. Maybe I like her because she is in Sunny Florida and I'm in Michigan. . . and in my secret world I sometimes wish that I lived in Florida!

I really think you all probably know her, but IF, just IF you don't know her blog,  you need to Zip on over there. I even subscribe to her newsletter. She's an awesome friend who loves to share. Not everything is free, and that's ok. I make decent money and I can buy things when I need to and so can all the rest of you. If you see something worth it, buy it! Denise has lots of good things for sale and some good things for free too. In other words, she is worth every penny you spend on her stuff. 

One of my favorite things that I got from her site is her Shaker Bottles.  You can see them on her site, by clicking that title. I have a post about how I did it on my blog and you can see it by clicking here. And she has one more here with compound words.

I guess you could say I've become addicted to these shaker bottles. . . You should see the amount of orange juice that I am drinking! 

If you would like to find a blogger friend to highlight and share the love, you can hop over to Christina's blog and get all the scoop of how to do it! And by all means check out Denise's Blog.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

St.Patty's Day - It's a Day for ME!

Tomorrow is a day to celebrate ME. .. . ME! That's because I am Patty and haven't you seen the signs everywhere? St. Patty's Day! And don't you feel lucky knowing just WHO that Patty was? 

Now you do!  Consider yourself lucky! 

I am not usually that conceited, but since it was the name my mom gave me and since it's on the calendar, I'm going to take it!

Look at this little leprechaun who came to visit me early this morning! Isn't she just adorable? I don't think I've posted many pictures of her lately, because I don't want to be one of  "THOSE" grammas!!!

We just finished another 4 day week because we had a PD day yesterday. (professional development - we all call them different things!)

We listened to a video with Eric Jensen. He's a pretty neat guy. His gig is all about poverty. I get it. . . I teach it. . . I am trying to get my kids to see their way out of it.

Some of our teachers went to a reading conference last week and listened to Richard Allington. He's a reading guru. . .who doesn't really like Dibels. . . well who does?

He said that in a typical 12 years of school, if a child doesn't read during the summer and try to keep current with some math, they will lose about 4 years of learning. 

Does that sound amazing? 4 years! That's like just leaving school as an 8th grader and trying to survive. I know about summer slippage, but I never thought about adding each summer together and seeing what that totals.

We as parents and teachers need to really reinforce that with our students and their parents each spring so they don't have that summer slippage. Sometimes a strong statement like that will be enough to make them see that they need to be firmer with their kids and make more of an effort to read with them during the summer.

If you have stayed here long enough, I want to share what I just made. It's only $2.00 on my TPT store.

There 8 sheets like this but each one is different. I'd love for you to look at them and see if they are something your kids could use. 

Next week is a five day week. . .whooo ooooh! I don't know what I will do with that many days! Then the following week is another 4 day week because Good Friday is at the end. .. And it will be a Good Friday indeed, because I will be in F.L.O.R.I.D.A. Yea! Look out beach babes, here I come!

St. Patty

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh PEEP! I miss You So!

Do you know Caitlin Orsborne from Learning Ahoy? If you don't, I'd recommend that you check her blog out. She just made a new game that she let me try out with my class. I teach 2nd grade, but my RTI group is 15 first graders. This game uses the first 100 Fry words and it's called Oh PEEP!

Caitlin didn't know that I'm a PEEPS Freak

Her game was perfect for my 1st graders. They had so much fun playing it, 
that they were sad when the bell rang and they had to go back to their class.

The idea for the game is similar to playing BAM! 

(I want to say DAMN! when I lose all my cards! 

So maybe that's why it's called BAM!)

Each child draws a card and IF they can read it, they can keep the card in their pile. But IF they can't read it, they put the card at the bottom of the pile. AND the card needs to be face down. All of this is a great thing for kids to realize. . . we had to work a lot on how to put a card AT the bottom AND face down! (Two great skills for life!)

We put the words on a paper plate to pass the cards around the group. It keeps the cards a bit more organized and it keeps everyone from having to reach to far to get a card.

There are some zinger cards that you may or may not want to get.

 The first one is called OH PEEP! If you get this one, 
you have to put all of your cards back in the pile 
(preferably at the bottom of the pile face down!)

When you get the Oh PEEP! card, you say OH PEEP!

 (and if you were me, you'd want to say Oh BLEEP! 
or Oh SH_ _! but you don't because your mother
 is waiting for you with a bar of soap!)

 Then you make a face, and have to give your cards back! So SAD!

 The game continues as before until someone pulls another zinger!

 This one is called Trade Cards with Another Player.
Oh this one is fun! They get to think about who they know has the most cards.
This young lady traded her 15 cards with another player who had 11 cards.
 But she didn't know that he had less than her! So in the end he got the better deal!


Right after I took this picture, the bell rang to go back to their classes, so I didn't get any other shots of this group!  The game ends when all the cards are passed out (or your bell rings!) The winner can be the person with the most cards. However, they all win because they have practiced reading words that they need to know.

I hope you get the idea. It's a great game and a great way to learn those Fry or sight words. Caitlin used some KEE-UTE clip art from My Cute Graphics. Maybe that's why it's so KEE-UTE!
You can pick these up  for $2.00 at her Teachers Pay Teacher's store. 

Do me a favor and check out Caitlin's blog! 
You will probably find some other things you like that she does too!

Only 16 more days and I can finally eat all the PEEPS that I bought 
since I gave them, and any other kind of candy, up for LENT.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bam with Vowels

We have had a snow day each week for the last three weeks. . . . 
don't get me wrong. . . I love snow days. . . but enough!

Trying to teach and assess in 4 day weeks is nuts. 

But during those snow days, I have been creating a new Fact and Opinion activity. I'm so excited to tell you that DJ Inkers bought it from me and now you can buy it from them if you like it.
Click DJ Inkers to see it. It's very similar to my other fact and opinion activities, except that this one comes with a full set of color slides and a full set of black and white slides in case you can't print in color.

It will be perfect for your class for the whole month of March, not just before St. Patrick's Day. It's a good activity for centers, or small groups. If you grab it, I'd love for you to come back and tell me what you think of it. 

Last week I won a giveaway. I love to enter all of your contests and I win every once in a while. 

Laura Martin from Peace Love and First Grade created this fun game to practice words 
with silent e.

The pictures below show my kids playing a BAM! game. This one has the Super E words on them. Each card has a super hero boy or girl on them. They were so very cute and my kids loved them instantly.

They started making piles of the characters. I think they liked the characters more than the learning of the words. 

Do you see that paper plate there? We used that to pass the stack of cards around. This way no one has to reach too far to try to get a card. Just take a card, read it, then slide the plate to the next person.  It works very smooth. We do this at home with my family when we are playing a card game with  many people. I bet you already knew about this trick didn't you?

They fell in love with this game. It only took one time for me to teach it to them in this big group and now I see them playing it in a smaller group all the time.

Sad face because she pulled a Lose a Turn card!

Happy face because he pulled a Draw 2 Cards!

One little guy even started arranging his like this! A little OCD I do believe.

I sure hope you check out Laura's blog and try this game. I think your kids will really like it and learn from it!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

March is Reading Month With Eric Carle

Word of warning to all of you bloggers. . . Don't use the word BOOBS in your title! I received so much spam and junk from that! I wanted to be funny, but in the end, I learned a lesson. So now you know!

Last week I tried an inferring activity that I saw on someone's blog (and I'm so sad that I can't remember who's it was). It was very easy to do and I thought I could do it too. They used pictures from magazines or characters from a book. So I took the idea and tweaked it a bit for me. I blew up enlarged some pictures from my DJ Inkers collection and put them on top of this chart paper. I asked them to just look at the pictures and make some inferences. They got it! They clearly were able to not only tell me what they saw, but they also were able to infer what they might be feeling or going to do. I told them this helps them to understand characters in a story if they can make inferences about them so they can get to know them better.  Go ahead and try this with your class. .  It's easy, quick and very fun for them to do.

Every year our school picks a theme for 
March is Reading month. 
You can see last year's theme of Let Your Imagination Fly here.

This year we are celebrating Eric Carle Books. Each classroom decorates their door or a wall to highlight his work. The kids love it and are very respectful of keeping the walls and doors looking good. I've included a few of the pictures below. 

My favorite has to be Lisa's door. She used the Lonely Firefly and put Christmas lights behind this paper. I'm not so sure you can get the real effect in a picture, but in person it's WAY COOL!

This is my door. The kids made the flowers and I found some Easter grass to use at the bottom. Yes, it's coming off a little when people bump into it, but the kids are doing well with not pulling it off.

This is the back side of the door.

This is a Connie's door. The Bear is filled in with cotton balls.

Right next to her door on this wall is the Brown Bear and he is filled in with
 brown paint and coffee. 
It's a very cool textural thing to make him look furry.

This wall is right by the door when you walk in, so the first thing you smell is coffee!

Cathie's room is the Hungry Caterpillar. 

I love that she has little caterpillars
 eating the books!

This is a bulletin board in the main hallway. 

Even the office and Library doors get decorated!

This is inside the Library.

We have T-Shirts being made that say this slogan below.
We're having a contest to see which room can read the most books. In the gym each teacher has a caterpillar head. For every 10 books they read they get a circle to add to the body. These caterpillars will spread out around the gym. 

Our principal has challenged our 150 kids to read 4,000 books in one month. If they do, she will kiss a calf. 
My kids took on the challenge right away, I couldn't keep them from reading on Friday afternoon. Stay tuned at the end of the month to see how we do!

Do you all know Christina Bainbridge from Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge? She just started a newsletter that you might want to go and sign up for. She will be giving some cool ideas in it and she has freebies too. . . just for those who subscribe! And who doesn't like freebies? 

Plus that little stinker surprised me and highlighted me in her first newsletter. She is such a peach and has been the one who helped me get started. She's been there all along for me and answers any question that I have. You would love her as a friend. . . so if you haven't signed up, get on over there and find the form on the right side of her page.