Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What's Not Wrong Wednesday

Happy Leap Day!

I'm joining Mrs. Davis at




Carried Away In Kindergarten


for What's Not Wrong Wednesday!!!


Here's what's NOT wrong today!!!


We've been enjoying Dr. Seuss all week. It's not wrong we created this adorable board for our door to celebrate all of our reading and learning!



(There's nothing really educational about this... However, it is pretty adorable!)


It's not wrong that we finished our money unit today and 85% of my kiddos scored at grade level! Yipeeee!!!!


It's not wrong that tomorrow is Thursday! And then it's Friday!


The TPT sale today is not wrong!!!! Thank you everyone!!!! I am so excited (and I know my kiddos will be to!!!) 


Mexican food for dinner is not wrong!!! Yum!!!


Random acts of kindness aren't wrong. I am so excited to create these this weekend and anonymously slip them into a few of my teacher friends' classrooms who need a little pick me up! 




                                                                              Source: eighteen25.blogspot.com via Cassie on Pinterest


And in celebration of Dr. Seuss week, this quote isn't wrong...

                                                                                        Source: media.tumblr.com via Mary on Pinterest


I love those pink shoes!!!

We are going to bed now! 


Happy Leap Day! :-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What a Day

I'm following in Reagan's steps... she started her post off yesterday with: You know it's Monday when...


Well, you know it's going to be one of those days when...


It's raining and you have a million (and one) bags to carry (this is actually an everyday occurrence- having lots of bags and lots of stuff)- and no extra arm to hold the dang umbrella. = soggy wet teacher and soggy wet papers.


The power is out when you finally make it to your classroom. This means no copying, no pencil sharpening, no checking emails, or prepping the SMART board for the day. And no light. (Don't worry- it came on by 7:15!)  


You see the students all dressed up and looking very pretty/handsome... It's picture day. And you forgot. And  haven't washed your hair since Saturday. (Don't judge me). This wasn't a pretty situation people. 


There is a glue explosion before 8:00. Glue everywhere. I'm not kidding. How can that much glue come out of one of those little Elmer's bottles...?!?!?


Anywho- it turned out to be an okay day after all of the morning mishaps.


We've been enjoying learning about Dr. Seuss! FYI- there is a FREE BrainPop video on Dr. Seuss- you don't have to subscribe to access this video! Click here to check it out! 


We've also been using these reward charts to keep track of how many Dr. Seuss books we can read!!!


The kiddies can't get their hands off the Dr. Seuss books I jacked checked out from my local library. 




Let's just say, the library isn't all that big, and there was a very nice display with all of their Dr. Seuss books. Well, I needed them. So I destroyed the display checked out the books. They're in the hands of kids! Who are reading them!!!! So I don't feel all that bad. But the nice librarian lady did give me the evil eye as I was stealing excitedly checking out the books. My hubby said I'll probably get blacklisted from the library for this. (Can they do that?!?!) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Letter to You!

This little note made my day. I hope it makes yours a little brighter too!

Thank you for helping us learn. If you dinet help us learn we wouldent no enething. You are a very good teacher. Your are nicer then eney other teacher. 

Thank you for all you do, everyday. From all of your students, parents, and administrators out there who may not ever say it as often as they should! 


Hope you had a good Monday celebrating (or not) Dr. Seuss! I know we did!!! LOvE lOvE LovE Horton Hears a Who!!!! Beautiful story with a wonderful message! 



                                                                              Source: mdpapillon.tumblr.com via Elle on Pinterest

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Favorite Pinterest Finds

I know everyone is getting ready for Read Across America this week! I thought I'd share some of my favorite Pinterest finds that I'm going to try to work into our schedule this week! It should be tons of fun!!!



                                                                               Source: obseussed.com via Sandy on Pinterest


                                                                     Source: survivingateacherssalary.com via Sandy on Pinterest


                                                                        Source: teacherspayteachers.com via Sandy on Pinterest


                                                                        Source: teacherspayteachers.com via Sandy on Pinterest


                                                                 Source: shenanigansinsecond.blogspot.com via Sandy on Pinterest


                                                                Source: whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com via Sandy on Pinterest


We are also looking forward to reading our favorite Dr. Seuss books to kindergarten buddies, a Dr. Seuss read-a-thon, and (hopefully) trying green eggs and ham (if we can beg talk a parent volunteer into helping us!) 

What are you doing for Dr. Seuss' birthday???

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Take a trip to the zoo!

Hi bloggy friends! And happy weekend! I LOVE love LoVe weekends!!!! There's nothing like sleeping in, spending time with family, and blog stalking to cheer me up from an exhausting week! 


I wanted to share a great app with you that I've been using my classroom for research, reading, and writing.


Our current writing prompt is "Write a letter to a friend about an animal at the [San Diego] zoo." (We are going on a field trip there soon, lucky us!) so I thought it would be fun to have them learn about an animal there. I also wanted to incorporate some nonfiction research, reading, and writing because the Common Core is filled with nonfiction (I love it!). 


And my first thought was, oh no, I'm going to have to hit up the library, find 21 different books at 21 different reading levels about 21 different specific animals- that would take all of my precious Saturday.


Enter the (FREE!!!!) San Diego Zoo mobile app.


Here's what it looks like! 


We used the Animal section where all of the animals are broken down into groups:


Each kiddo picked out an animal they wanted to research and write about. 




I have NEVER seen them so motivated and excited! (Well, except when we were doing Abby's Sweetheart Snatcher on Valentine's Day, but that was a whole different kind of sugar-driven candy-eating motivation :)


I thought the reading might be a little bit difficult, so I had them record their interesting facts" on this organizer: 
There was no rhyme or reason to it, I just wanted them to get their thoughts and facts down on paper. It turned out though, the kids were so motivated to learn about their animal they had no trouble reading or pulling out facts- I was pleasantly surprised!!! (If you'd like a copy of this organizer, just leave a comment and let me know- I would be happy to email it to you....I was just too lazy busy to upload it to Google Docs. :)


This also had them talking up a storm about their animals and who has the "cooler" animal. One of my friends said he had the coolest animal because "Naked mole rats role in their own poop! Which is also called feces!!!!" (See the impact here, people! A vocabulary and synonym lesson in one!) And another one of my friends said he had the coolest animal because "Gila monsters swallow their food whole! AND they eat baby birds!" This will probably be an ongoing debate in our classroom... 


Once their first organizer was filled up, I created a three bubble graphic organizer with three sections: "Where it lives," "What it eats," and "Other interesting facts." (Sorry- I don't have any pictures of this.) They cut out each box on their first organizer, and had them glue that facts into the appropriate column. And voila- our prewrite was done!   


I will let you know how the final products turn out! :-)


Even if you don't live in San Diego, you could still utilize this app (with a class set or just one) device to learn about ALL different kinds of animals!!! There are even live webcams for all sorts of animals like the polar bears, orangutans, and pandas! You can find more info about the app here.  


And it saved me a Saturday at the library trying to find books for each kiddo! :-) Not that I don't love the library- just not all Saturday. :) 


Have a great weekend!!! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Thanks to Jeannie at 



Kindergarten Lifestyle


for hosting this super fun linky party!!!

Kids really do say the darndest things! (This is one of my favorite parts about our job! :-)


You can link up here! Happy (almost) Friday! :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Future Leaders of our Country & a Question

We have been talking about President's Day this week. We did some writing using Ginger's adorable "If I were president" template. (Thank you Ginger!!!) You can find it here!


It turns out, I have many future leaders in my class. Here's what you can look forward to in the presidential election of 2056:


"If I were president, I would eat all day."


"If I were president, I would have pretty dresses and my guards would protect me."


"If I were president, I would make a rule. The rule is no dogs fighting."


"If I were president, I would make everyday a field trip. And I would make milk shakes for everyone. And we would have four hours of recess. And I would make the cafeteria have Slurpees."


"If I were president, I would build new libraries so people could read for free."


Apparently, we need to talk more about what our president really does...


PS- I have really enjoyed reading about everyone's adorable President's Day ideas and seeing what all of your student's have created! I just wish I had more time to fit more in!!!! There's never enough time!!! Next year! :-)


Now a question for you...


1. How do you decide whether or not to post pictures of your students on your blog??? All of my students have signed slips saying their pictures/videos can be published online, but I am still hesitant. Does that just mean on our school website? How do you handle this???


Happy Wednesday! Tomorrow is Thursday which means the next day is Friday!!! My favorite day of the week!!!


And... Idol is on tonight! :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Lock Down Drill & An "Earthquake Drill"

So today we had a lockdown drill at school. Hmmm...


Of course, before the drill, I had to sit the kids down and have a talk about appropriate behavior, what do not/not do, and why. This lent itself to a very, um, well, let's call it a very lively and animated conversation(s). You know- the ones where they all start talking. At the same time. And they all know everything. And they're all talking gibberish and nonsense. Here are a few gems I was able to pick out the chaotic conversation:


"Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! We have to lock down in case someone comes to our school to steal something!!!! Like our lunch from the cafeteria!!!!" (Um, friend, I'm pretty sure no one will be stealing those...gross!)


"We need to lock down if there are police helicopters swarming around to catch bad guys and bank robbers!!!"


"Oh! I know exactly why we need to lock down!!!! It's 'cuz of nuclear war." !?!?!?!!? What !?!?!?!


We all survived the lockdown, and after I quieted them down, hopefully they learned why we need to practice locking down...(and it didn't (really) include any of the reasons above."


This whole ordeal reminded me of my very first earthquake fiasco drill. Ever. My very first year of teaching. Ya know, the year where you are trying to please you principal, and new colleagues, and parents, all the while trying to figure out what in the world the kids should be doing and learning, and trying to manage them...terrifying. Yes, it was that year.


I was all prepared for that earthquake drill. My kids knew when the alarm rang, we would get under our desks, crouch up like rollie pollies, cover over heads, and be COMPLETELY still and COMPLETELY silent. Piece of cake.


So, the alarm went off and we did exactly what we talked about. Even I, being the exemplary role model for these growing young minds, got under my desk. We were still. We were quiet. We were crouched up like little rollie pollies.


5 minutes later (Me thinking...this is a long earthquake drill, but whatever...)


Enter principal (AKA- the person who would determine if I would have a job next year or not...)


Principal: "Um, Miss B."
Me (crouching under my desk): Yes Mr. MacIlwee (with a smile, thinking for SURE he is going to compliment me on my quiet, calm students under their desks...)
Principal: This is a fire drill. We should all be outside on the field lined up. We were worried about you.


YIKES!!!!


HOW embarrassing!!!!


Believe it or not, I survived the embarrassment, and I am happy to say I did get a job the next year. And every "earthquake drill" after that (even to this day), I checked with everyone classroom within a 50 yard vicinity to MAKE SURE it really is an earthquake drill!!!!!


Well, Sunday night I felt like this going to bed knowing wouldn't have to get up early on Monday:



                                                                                 Source: corgipals.org via Sandy on Pinterest


Tonight, I'm feeling more like this: 

                                                                                 Source: google.com via Sandy on Pinterest


Oh, and do you have any funny lock down/fire/earthquake drill stories to share!?!?! Or any embarrassing teaching stories??? :-) It will make me feel better because reliving that "earthquake drill" embarrassment was not easy. PLEASE share!!! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Transitions Transitions

This is how I felt going to bed last night knowing my alarm would NOT be going at off 5 a.m. this morning!!!


I LOVE three day weekends!!!! I don't know about you, but Mondays are the hardest for me. Especially Monday mornings when the whole entire week is still ahead of you. Because by Tuesday, at least it's not Monday anymore. And Wednesday we're half way there. And Thursday who cares because tomorrow is Friday. And then Friday! Yipeee. 


I was wondering about how you fabulous teachers transition your kiddos from one activity to another during the day. We all know that the faster we transition them, the more learning time....


I went to a Rick Morris (the classroom management guru. In fact, my classroom management idol) training my first year of teaching and was hooked on his method of transitioning kids. I use music!!! Songs like "Billy Nye The Science Guy" and "Mission Impossible" and the theme music from "Jeopardy" and "Password." I teach my kids at the beginning of the year what each song signifies. I have a song for pretty much everything- coming to the carpet, lining up, talking to your neighbor, transitioning from work station to work station, cleaning up... For example, when they hear the Mission Impossible song, they know they need to start cleaning up. By the end of the song, they need to be sitting up tall in their seats, everything put away, feet on the floor, hands crossed on top of their desks, and a big smile on their faces. 


It actually works, too! Whenever anyone comes into our classroom (okay, okay- when my mom comes in) she is always so impressed with how well "trained" they are. In fact, she says they are more well trained than my dogs (which isn't really a huge feat at all because they have all of about two manners between the three of them. In fact, they are barking ferociously saying hello to the neighbors walking by right now... On a positive note, I don't have to invest in one of those fancy shmancy security systems because of them...Here's what you might see walking by my house:




Who would want to break into that house with those vicious doggies...???)


Back on track!!! Here are three reasons why I love using the music for transitions: 


1. It eliminates me from having to say "Time to clean up" over and over and over and over and over again. I don't have to say a word. When they hear that song, they know. And then I can save being a broken record for phrases like, "Capitals!!! Periods, people!!!" and "We always start in the ones place!" and "Did you wash your hands after going to the restroom!? No!?!? How many times do I have to tell you!!!???"


2. The kids are more motivated by the music than me- SHOCKING, I know...


3. The kiddos internalize the music and know exactly how much time they have to do a certain task. This eliminates wasted time (which I hate!!! I tell my kids I have nightmares about wasted time in second grade...) 


You can check out Rick Morris' website here. He's got some amazing classroom management tips and tricks!!! And you can find more info on using music for transitioning here.  


Now, I had EVERY intention of going into school today to get stuff done! To prep and plan and copy and sharpen and laminate and get ahead of the game (that's always my goal but NEVER happens...when it does happen it lasts for about an hour, then my to-do list has piled back up). Going to school didn't happen.


I did NOT stay home and watch a Four Weddings marathon.
I did NOT stay home and read Taylor Armstrong from RHOBH's book. (if any administrators ask, I was reading a book by Robert Marzano!!!) 
I did NOT take a nap. 
I did NOT get Panera for lunch.
I did NOT do any of those things.... 


So, two questions for you. Did you have a productive day??? (Please say no to make me feel better!!!) 


And, what do you do to transition your kiddos during the day!?!?


:-)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

100th Day Fun

Apparently my kiddos and I were a little late to the 100th Day of School party...


We start school late (I think...)- after Labor Day. Which means our hundredth day of school was on February 15th. As you know, this happened to be the day after Valentine's Day. And I was just too tired and too exhausted to have our 100th day shindig then. Soooo, I pushed it to Thursday. 


WHICH, might I add, REALLY was TECHNICALLY our 100th day of school because of the Power Outage Day. Yes, some of you lucky ducks get snow days, but we here in Southern California are not so lucky. We get Power Outage Days. Yes, the power was out from here to Mexico to Orange County to Arizona. That's right- no power anywhere from 3:00 in the afternoon to who-knows-when, anywhere. So, not knowing when the power would be back on, the Superintendent of schools CANCELLED school for all schools in and around San Diego county the next day (which happened to be a Friday!!!!!!!). This was the best, most unexpected news we've had all year! A completely free day!!!! When we should have been working!!!!! With kids!!!! Which then turned into a three day weekend!!!! The power ended up coming back on around 3 in the morning, but by then, school was already cancelled. They couldn't take that away from us. 


And I must say, I'll take sitting in the dark eating chili that was warmed up on the BBQ and Goldfish for dinner (there was no power!!!) anytime to have a free day off school! :-) 


Anyways, back to our 100th day fun! 


We used Hope King's 100th Day Craze packet to celebrate. I would have loved to do more than I did, but our schedule didn't permit. Next year, though! 


***Sidenote: I often wonder what I did before I discovered teacher blogs- I must not have been a very good or very fun/exciting teacher. Thank you for all of your amazing ideas!!! ***


These were my faves!!!: 




"When I am 100 years old I would have gray hair. Me and my husband would chase the kids (off the lawn). My garden would be beautiful. I will have a weird voice. I will live in an apartment."




My favorite quote from this one was: "When I'm 100 years old I hope I am still alife still."  


Others said: 


"I will be grouchy that no one will visit me." (How sad, right?) 


"When I am 100 years old, I will need a seeing eye dog to help me." 


"I will be a grandmother and I will tell all of my grandchildren all of my awesome stories."


"When I am 100, I will have a wheelchair with flames that goes 100 miles per hour." 


And the art that went with the writing turned out adorable!!!




His writing said, "When I am 100 years old I will still ride a motorcycle, have gray hair, be a retired U.S.M.C. soldier, live alone, watch T.V., and use Rogaine." 




Love the overalls!!!...




And the mustache!


Hope you're having a wonderful three day weekend!!!


:-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cute Valentine's Story

I know Valentine's Day is over (and many of us would like to pretend it never happened, i.e. cracked out suger-high kiddies all day long), but I just remembered this story and I had to share (and I was amazed I was able to find the pictures that go with the story too, because this happened almost six years ago!!!)


When I was completing my student teaching, I had the most AMAZING cooperating teacher, Miss T. She was the most loving and caring kindergarten teacher EVER, and even when I am in a pickle today , I still ask myself, what would Miss T. do??? Amazing!


Soooo..... on Valentine's Day one of her cutie-pie kindergarten boys brought in a gift for her and I (mostly for her, but since I happened to be there too it was for both of us...)


He was SO excited to give this box of chocolates to Miss T. Grinning ear to ear, biggest smile ever, so proud of this little box of chocolates because he wanted so badly to be her "Prince Charming" on Valentine's Day. 


She put on the show and oooohhh-ed and aaaahhhhh-ed at her box of chocolates. (You know- "I LOVE it! This is exactly what I wanted!!! How did you know!?!?!?! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I just can't wait to eat it!!! Yuuummmmyyyyy!!!!) He was beaming. So proud. 


Somehow at the end of the day, Miss T. noticed the box didn't have the plastic wrapper around it. Interesting... Sooooo... she opened it up. And here's what we found:


He had opened it up and taken a little bite out of each one of the chocolates. Probably on the way to school. He was probably hungry. Or curious. Or loved chocolate. Can you blame him... he was five!?! Nonetheless, he was still so proud to give it to her- not one bit embarrassed. He probably didn't even think anything of the little bites taken out of the chocolate.  


We were dying laughing at the ridiculousness and cuteness of it. Some people get bonuses at their jobs, or kickbacks, or discounts.  A half eaten box of chocolates and hugs from dirty little hands are what teachers get! :-) 


Here's by box of gifts from all of my students this year:



Like Hadar said, if only we could turn it all into Target gift cards!!!! (At least my dog looks semi-interested in the goods...)


Hope you're having a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Be My Valentine Exchange

It was so fun to participate in the Be My Valentine Exchange!!!!

Be My Valentine


I was so excited to receive my Valentine's gift from Kim at Patton's Page. Go visit her here!!!



Thanks Kim!!!!!!!! I LOVE everything!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Fun

What a day! (Valentine's Day that is...) One of my teacher friends posted on Facebook- "I survived my first Valentine's party with 32 six year olds." It's almost like a rite of passage- once you do this, you can pretty much survive anything life throws at you, right? 


Here are some of the fun activities we did to celebrate Valentine's Day yesterday!


For our reading block, we did Abby's Sweetheart Snatcher and made inferences to figure out who the Sweetheart Snatcher was!!! This was perfect because we have been working on inferencing for weeks now!!! Plus, there was no way this group of kiddos was going to sit still, so we were up and about trying to find the Sweetheart Snatcher! It was perfect! 


One of the kiddies exclaimed, "This is like work, and FUN too!" Imagine that! :-)


For our writing block, we read Love, Splat by Rob Scotton. LOVE Splat!!!


Then we used our iPods to log onto Edmodo to finish the sentence frame, "I feel loved when __". 


Check this out:


For our math block, we did all sorts of lovey-dovey math activities thanks to Lisa at Stories From Second and Lindsey at The Teacher Wife!


Can't Buy Me Love math station to practice counting money:


Yummy Valentine Math with conversation hearts:


And the Love Game to practice place value: 


Finally, we celebrated the afternoon by passing out cards and goodies. 


Every kiddo left the classroom with a disgusting ring of sugar around their lips, icing in their hair, and a huge smile on their face. 


I teach after school tutoring to a small group of ten kids, and it was going to be a miracle to make it through that. After all the sugar and Valentine's fun, let's just say it was NOT easy to get them to focus. Half of them complained of a stomach ache from "all the candy", and one even had to sit with the trash can next to her because she felt like she was going to "barf from all the sweets." (Her words- not mine.) 


But we all made it, and hopefully will come down from that sugar high soon! I hope you had a great Valentine's Day!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is In The Air

Happy Valentine's Day!!!


Today was exactly what you would expect- my kiddies on a complete, 100% sugar high, acting like whack-a-dos, me trying to calm them down by bribing them with more sugar, a big headache at the end of the day, but overall tons of fun thanks to all of my bloggy friends and their brilliant and engaging ideas!!! (I'll post more about our crazy fun day tomorrow! :)


In celebration of Valentine's Day, I thought I would join Ms. Chrissy B at Buzzing with Ms. B and share my "love" story and how I met my hubby... And I apologize in advance- it is a super boring story. :-)




We met through a mutual friend. That's it. Nothing exciting or overly romantic. We met, laughed, we all went to a Clipper game together, we laughed some more, he spoiled me rotten, and now I'm married to the man of my dreams. And, I'm 100% positive that I am the luckiest girl in the world because he is for certain my prince charming. And we are living happily ever after.




And, on Valentine's Day, how can I not mention the other man in my life...




This was the first time we ever laid eyes on each other.


Four words for you: love-at-first-sight. :) Like my hubby and I, we too were made for each other. I knew it when he first smiled at me from his little puppy pen. Then when he peed on the concrete and started chasing a cat, I knew he was coming home with me. We are also living happily ever after. I mean, how could you not adore waking up to see this every morning-




(Yes, I sleep with my dog- please don't judge me!!!)


:-)


I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and are letting all the people you love know just how much you love them!


xoxo