summer background

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

School is NO Joke. .. . but it can be funny!

So this is what getting back into the routine of school means. . . .
Less time to blog! Geesh! Can we bring summer back again!

So if you have missed me (ha!) then let me fill you in a bit.

I have 27 kids in my itty bitty classroom. It's way too many kids for this old gal! All 10 second grades in our district have 28 or 30. So I bet you're telling me to count my lucky stars that I don't have 30! Well, I'm not. 

This group is a wonderful group and I can see a lot of potential with them. 

We just took the MAPS (or otherwise known as NWEA) and most of my kids scored in the 165's in both math and reading. Did anyone else see such low scores for their group? Last year our first graders took this same test, but they had headphones and it was all read to them for math and reading. So this year when it's not read to them, and I see such low numbers, I have to wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they didn't have to read it on their own last year.

Here's what I have been working on. Most kids love to read jokes and it's a great way to help them enjoy reading more. So I did some digging for some kid friendly fun jokes to welcome them back to school. 

You just have to copy them, laminate them, cut them and then tape the whole apple (the question) to the open apple (the answer) so the kids can flip them open to see the answer. 

This is how they look on the lockers.

Sorry about the shine. :(

You can grab these at my store for only a couple dollars! 
How's that for some cheap fun?

I'm off to see my dad this weekend. We are going to take care of mom's clothes and give them to an agency that helps women who need nice clothes to wear for job interviews. 

I'm sure this will be an emotional weekend, but my 3 sisters and my brother will also be there, so I know we'll find lots of reasons to laugh. Plus we are celebrating my dad's 92 birthday. I can't imagine being around for that many years. At my age, sometimes I feel so whipped. . . imagine adding 30 more years to it! Another GEESH!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Here are MY Favorites. . . What are YOURS?

I'm joining Jennifer at  Teaching With Grace to show what our favorite blogs or sites to go to are. You know. . . when you get home from school, kick off your shoes, start dinner, and sneak away to the computer to see what the latest thing is. . . YOU KNOW YOU DO THIS!

Here are the places that I always go to:

I resisted buying her stuff until recently.  . . .I'm not sure why, but I guess I didn't think I could afford it or that I could use it. But NOW I know it's so worth it, that I've begun to buy more of it. Finding the time to make things with it will be a chore, but I will figure that out soon.

I just have to check in on my local friend. Christine and I live only a few miles from each other. I've leaned on her a lot and I've learned a lot from her. I would NOT be where I am without her. So it's only understandable that I have to check in to see what she's up to. 

This was probably my first clipart addiction that realized that I had. For a long time I have followed DJ's stuff in the teacher stores and then found that I could buy her clipart on line and I thought I had died and gone to hog Clip ART Heaven! You can click on the picture to see for yourself. They run many sales and sell smaller sets for a very affordable price.  
I have been fortunate to have them purchase 4 things that I have made and that validates my work when they like it too.

4. Then the other blogs that I regularly check in with are:

There you have it. Those are my favorites! I hope maybe you'll check them out and see if they'll become your favorites too!

Don't forget to go back to Teaching with Grace and see the other favorites that others have signed up to share with you.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thank Goodness for BUMP Games (and Sunny!)!

I don't have time to create anything cutsie, fun, or important. 
So instead I'm going to share what someone else is doing that is cutsie, fun, and important!

These pictures show a Bump Game that Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade makes. She actually has several of them made for different seasons and holidays of the year. 

And here's the kicker. . . 

They. . . ARE. .  . FREE!

This particular one has the kids rolling 3 dice and counting their totals. This is a great skill for them to review since they have been away from learning school stuff since last June!

Can you see the happiness on their faces? 

I love that they snuggle in close together to play the game.

This also gives me a chance to do some assessing 
with students while they are busy playing.

If you are interested in grabbing some of these for yourself, 
you can find them at 

Not sure how your weather is where you are at, but here in south west Michigan it was HOT today. (My car said 94 degrees at 1:00.) Fortunately our school is air conditioned and we are still able to work fairly comfortably. I just can't imagine how other schools do it. Wearing jewelry makes me hot, Hot Flashes make me hot, sweaty kids wanting hugs make me hot! And we have the air on! If you are one of those schools with out air, please know that I do feel your pain. I do remember teaching in my school on these kind of days before we had a/c. 

That's all for now!
Stay cool!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Remind 101

Have you ever heard of Remind 101? 

My son who teaches 3rd grade and 
who loves technology shared this app with me. 

It's a one way communication between teachers and parents. It's used to just remind parents of things. You only get to use 140 characters, so you can't write a long message. You can send it to their cell phones or their computers, depending on what's easiest for them and how they signed up for it.

It's a great way to remind them of book orders, picture day, projects due, tests dates, homework due, field trips, etc.

When you send a message out, it goes to everyone who signed up. So you can't write something about a student in particular because every parent will see it. 

Parents can't reply to these messages. If they want to reply, they'll have to send a separate private
 message to your own email. 

I love this because parents can't see my cell number, I can't see theirs, and it's quick and easy. 

The one other thing is it's FREE!
Just go to

Tonight I sent the papers home. It's only 9:20 and 10 of my 25 students have signed up. I just sent them a message to thank them for signing up. The actual time of the message was 9:12 and it said to me, "it's a little late, do you still want to send this message!"

I loved that it was reminding ME that this 
could be past someone's bed time!

Is there anyone else out there that has been using this? Do you have any positive or negative thoughts on this?  I'm open to hear what you think.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Lunch labels

That's IT!

IT's OVER!! wa wa waaaaaaa!

I hate when summer comes to an end so fast.

I've had a very good summer with many highs and one extremely low. But I have to move on and getting ready for school has actually been very therapeutic for me. 

Even the weather tonight feels like fall. . . 
We actually turned off the A/C for the first time in 2 weeks, 
and the wind is blowing a cool breeze. . . .  
I could almost get a sweater on!

So tomorrow our kids come for just a half day. I love that. It's a huge perk for our students to not have to jump right in to a full day right off. 
We'll do that on Wednesday. 

For tomorrow I'm going to do Deana Kahlenberg's School Sleuth. She has the kids taking a tour of the building by using clues to find the next space. I have it all set up and even invited other classrooms to join us on this adventure. It also has the QR codes to use if you'd like. It will be a lot of fun and it will also kill some time make the day go by faster.

I'm also going to go over some of our procedures. I hate to kill them with too many on the first day. . . so I'll be gentle and only do a few.

One that is very important is the lunch count. If they don't have their lunch count tag in the right space, they might not get to eat! Yikes! 
(I'm just kidding! They'll eat no matter what!)

This is the system that I use. Each morning, everyone's name will be in the Absent column. Like the picture on top shows.
 (I made these cutsie apples on my cricut! 
They each have a magnet on the back) 


Then they move their own name to the column that tells what lunch they will be having, hot or cold. For anyone who is absent their apple stays in the Absent column. 

The labels are made with backgrounds from Surfin Through Second and the clipart is from Melon Headz.

If anyone would like my lunch signs, leave me your email and I'll mail them to you for FREE!

That's all for now. I hope to get back here soon. . . 
but with the start of school comes that sinking feeling of not having enough time to do everything. 

Until then. . . .