The town has been devastated by a huge tornado this afternoon. Two elementary schools were flattened. At least 7 children have lost their lives in one of the schools. They are still looking for up to 30 children. Wonderful, brave teachers at these schools laid on top of children to protect them. Prayers go out to all affected. So Sad!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Wow, it's been a while since I have posted. where has the time gone? I hope all of you mothers have had a wonderful Mother's Day! I started mine early by going to a Scholastic Warehouse Book sale with Delaney and a good friend and her daughter.
We used Skittles to worked on fractions and graphing. They of course thought this was the best day ever! Here is a link to the page I made, if you need one. I put a few lines at the bottom and had them write about their experience. I made the graph small because I always have kids who do not want to color them in so this way there isn't much to color.
Skittles Math Freebie
Love the seahorses! They took some careful cutting.
For all the Angry Bird fans.
We also made symmetrical butterflies using finger paints. the kids had a great time doing it. I thought they turned out so cute, I decided to use another one of Kathy @ First Grade a la Carte color by codes. We used the MOM one to make the cover of their cards and then they each wrote their own message to their moms. It was another good chance to go through the editing process.
This student is Hispanic and her mom doesn't speak English. I used one of those translating sites so she could write her message in Spanish also. I sure hope it makes sense.
On a personal note, our district has a track meet every spring for 4th and 5th grade. My daughter Delaney decided she wanted to try out for it. She was all bummed because she said she was one of the slowest runners in her class. I told her they also had the long jump as an event, so she started practicing. When they had their "tryouts" and she made the team. She is so excited. I'm really happy for her. I am taking a much needed
My "mom" is still in my class every day, pretty much all day. I guess I am just a slow learner. I finally realized that I need to keep her busy so she can't sit and watch every little thing that is happening in my room. She keeps jumping in and sorting out problems instead of letting the kids do it themselves. I actually think the behavior has been worse since she has been in there. If I tell the kids to line up and it is not in any particular order, she gets on to them for taking cuts. My thought is if the other student doesn't care, why should she? Even worse, I don't think she is helping her son. She sits by him and prompts him all day to keep doing his work. The minute she is not in there, he does something. The other day, I was
Another day he came in the room and turned on the Smartboard and DVD player and sat down to watch a movie because the breakfast line was long. When I told her about it, she said I just don't think he understands since you sometimes will watch a DVD at the end of the day. I told her he is smarter than that and he knew that wasn't right. Later, I thought I should have told her, "He is so smart, he has you and your mother sitting right beside him everyday giving him one on one attention. Now that's a smart kid! I'm hoping my plan to keep her extra busy will work. If it doesn't, I can make it through the next 13 days, I can make it through the next 13 days, I can make it through the next 13 days....
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I'm linky up with Rowdy in First Grade for her Tell Me Something Good linky party. As you know if you had read my post lately, it has been a trying year, so I more than anyone need to be reminded to focus on good things. When I start doing it, I'm always amazed at how much good there actually is out there.
So the deal is to tell something good at home and something good at school.
At home, I was so glad that I decided to pay to get my lawn mowed and weed-eated last night. I usually mow my yard, but me and the weed eater have never been very good friends. I was evener happier about my decision when it poured down rain all night. Obviously it doesn't take much to excite me!
At school, I have been challenging the kids to answer questions in complete sentences instead of a one word answer. I tell them I will give them 5 bonus points for doing it. I loved it the other day when one of the boys asked the kids around him how to spell because. There was some discussion and then one of my girls got out her mini word wall and told them all how to spell it. Yes!
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I feel so much better after my downer of a post from yesterday. Today I found a song in our songbook from church that I'm going to make my new theme song. It's called The Best Day of My Life. When I read over the words, it hit me that I am letting school problems completely overtake me. I can't go around letting others rob me of my happiness, I realized that is what I have been doing.
Here's the first verse and chorus from the song.
The Best Day of My Life
by Kerry D. King
Every morning when I wake up here
I hold anticipation near,
For this could be the best day of my life
For if I could lend a helping hand,
Could guide someone to that fair land,
Then this could be the best day of my life.
Fix my eyes on the prize
Some tomorrow soon I'll realize,
No more sorrow, endless pain or strife,
This will be the best day of my life.
I wanted to share a couple of cool things I found at on of my favorite stores, Dollar Tree. The first are these large foam dice. I put them next to regular dice to show their size. They were 2 for $1.00. They were in the toy section.
I think I am going to use these 2 sizes of dice along with a giant foam dice for a place value activity. The kids will roll the giant dice for the hundreds number, the large dice for the tens and the small dice for the ones.
They also had these neat little containers. They had several sizes, some were sandwich size and then these are about half that size and they were 2 for $1.00. They were in with the kitchen containers.
They come in green, red and blue. I have thought about using them for"dice shakers", not sure yet.
I have had so much stress at work that I have fallen behind in posting some pictures of some of our activities. We read The Kite from the Frog and Toad books. I was wanting to do a craftivity for our Literature Response. Here is what I came up with.
I made a kite-shaped form for the literature response then I used manilla folders to make kite tracers.
The comprehension skill that week was Problem and Solution so I made tail pieces for the kite. The small ones say. Somebody. Wanted, But, So. The larger pieces were blank for the kids to write on. This picture isn't too good, but I think you can get the idea.
Since we were reading about Frog and Toad, I wanted to talk about the differences between frogs and toads. We did a Life cycle of frogs and toads. They both lay their eggs in the water, but toads live most of their lige on land. I tried this activity last year and it was rather a mess. I have refined it a little this year, but I'll probably make more improvements to it next year.
I was going to share a copy of the kite page, but I have been having computer problems and I just found out that Powerpoint isn't working. If I get it fixed soon, I'll share it. I'm sorry, but the frog and toad pictures are a mixture of some packs I bought and some I googled. I'll try to get a set that I can share.
Make tomorrow the best day of your life! ; 0
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I know when I look back at the posts from this year, they will have an overlying theme: Negativity. I'm really not a negative person, but this has been the most trying year I have ever had.
I have some of the most wonderful students, sweet, kind, eager to learn, helpful, etc... I can't say enough good things about them. They are being totally overtaken by about 8 other kids who totally suck the life out of our class everyday.
I can't send them to the restroom by themselves anymore because several were playing in the bathroom and one, in particular would run up and down the hallway when I sent him, even if I sent him with an escort. I had to take all of the crayons from their desks because several boys were breaking them into small pieces and throwing them on the floor and someone colored inside one of our brand new desks. I didn't catch the culprits so everyone had to pay.
Last week, a girl is bawling her head off because someone had written a hate note to her. When I was looking for evidence to find the culprit ( they had written the note with a red marker) I found some very disgusting things written in a little notebook. So I went through the desks and took pretty much everything out of them. Next year, I'm going with tables.
Several of the eight are just mean spirited, they call names (of course, I never catch them), My principal and I were discussing it the other day and I guess one way to sum it up is they are very reactive to everything that happens to them. They can turn on a dime with their emotions. One of my sweeties said a boy took her pencil. I could see he had 3 pencils on his desk so I told him to give it back to her, he looked at me and threw it in the trashcan. That's just a sample of what I'm talking about. I can even count how many times I have heard "I HATE this class!", "I HATE you!", "I don't like you." or "I want to go to another school!"
The worst thing that has happened wasn't from a student, but from a parent. Her son was the one that threw the chair across the room. They are just certain that his behavior is learned from things he has seen in my classroom. All I can say is he is the only one who has thrown a chair, stood on top of a tall trashcan that he turned upside down, ran away from the principal, turned a desk upside down and stood on it, etc... Anyway, she decided she would come to my class for the day to observe. My principal and I thought she was coming to observe her son, that's not what happened.
She sat with a notebook and wrote down times and events that happened through out the day. There was not one positive thing one her 3 page typed report that she gave me. She also didn't see any negative behavior from her son ( the minute she left the cafeteria, he started doing jumping jacks). It was ridiculous! This is the type of stuff she was writing. 9:05 - Girl says she can't see board, teacher ignores her. 10:05 - Teacher gets poked with a pencil gets visibly upset and leaves the room. 11:20 -Girl tells teacher that another girl called a boy a name, teacher tells her to stop tattling.
First, the girl that said she couldn't see has been sitting in the same spot for weeks and has never had a problem. Second, I had sharpened the pencils with the World's Quietest Pencil Sharpener, it sharpens the pencils VERY sharp. The lead went into my leg 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Yes, I was visibly upset, it was throbbing like crazy. I went to the office to put some antibiotic cream on it. I couldn't do it in the classroom because it was my upper thigh. Lastly, do you let a third party tattle? I told the mom that if something needs to be reported, it needs to come from the person it happened to. I also told her that we have talked about the difference between tattling and reporting. She said she has never heard of that and she would like to sit in the lesson sometime.
Mom said that I should let him take a timeout with the principal when he is having problems. So one day, he just seemed out of it, he wasn't doing any work, so I asked him if he needed a time out, he said yes, took one and then came back and worked. When I told mom about it, she said she didn't want him taking a time out if he wasn't upset! Another day, he asked for a time out, he didn't seem upset, so I said no, then he proceeded to crawl all over the floor, emptied his desk, and continued to escalate in the cafeteria crawling under the tables, saying "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo " to the principal when she told him to get up. So the next time he asked for a time out, I gave it to him and he came back to class and refused to go to his center and get to work. He kept saying he didn't know how to to it even after I showed him what to do and offered to help him. He was walking around the room bothering kids, throwing the brooms on the floor, etc...
Mom says her son is getting upset because some of the kids are getting away with things. She told me that she doesn't want him to get away with things. Does she really mean that? He had one of his biggest blow ups because I told him to sit at his desk and read, because he wasn't following directions. He won't make in in my class an hour if she seriously wants me to address every time he is not doing the right thing. I guess she would like me to sit and take note of every action of every student all day long. How much teaching would I get in? NONE
I haven't posted because this situation has drained all of my energy. I have tried to please this mom and tried to do the right thing for her son, but there doesn't seem to be a right thing.
There are some positive things going on in my room. I have a lot for budding writers. When they write, they are writing interesting things, not I like, I like, ... One of my little writers has totally shocked me and the principal. At the beginning of the year all I ever heard from him was I hate school. He could have cared less about learning, he has done a 180. I had several kids who were not passing our Treasures unit tests and they have now started to pass them. Yes!
Enjoy your weekend! And 5 more weeks!!!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Wow, what a week! We came back from a 2-week Spring Break and it's like I'm having to start completely over teaching procedures. Ugh! I just don't have time for that being so close to the end of the year, but if I don't "crack the whip" I'll be paying for it for the rest of the year.
We did a couple of really cute things this past week, but since I forgot to take pictures, I'll save them for a post for next week.
If you are interested in any of my 2, yes I said 2 products on TPT they are 20% off through Monday.
Our school is in the final stages of construction and it is never boring. We haven't had a parking lot since before Christmas. Two different teachers have gotten their cars stuck in the mud when we had a lot of rain. This past week, they had dug trenches on the playground to put in some sort of underground pipes so we had lots of loose dirt and big piles of dirt on the playground. We also had all of those little flags stuck in the ground so the construction guys would know where not to dig. Then on Friday, there was a big pile of large rocks on the playground. We couldn't stay in, it was the first week in a long time that we have had nice weather. I lectured the kids before we went out and they did a pretty good job staying out of all of the tempting goodies! ; P I'm just glad the rocks were probably
too heavy for any of them to pick up too heavy for any of them to pick up and throw!
My class has been doing a really good job on their AR tests! We were the second class in school (behind a 5th grade class) to make it to 500 points. Our school doesn't have any set goals for AR, it is up to the teacher and what she wants to do. In fact, we had never had anyone get 100 points until a couple of years ago. Our principal takes any kids who make 100 points out to lunch and she said any class who got to 500 could have a party of their choice. Last year, I had so many low readers, we never really got into AR. I've had a class that made more points, but these kids are doing much better on the tests. I have half of the class at the 85% level or above. Our class average for the year is currently 79.9%. That may not sound great to a lot of you, but we have the highest percent in the school. I have challenged them to get 85% as a class for 4 weeks and we will have another party. I don't know about you, but I have some kids that just don't seem to get the grade thing even though I had explained it to them several times. I have one boy that will announce to the class in a happy voice, "I made a 20!" He just doesn't seem to get it. Luckily, it makes sense to most of them, or we would be failing tests right and left.
Have a great weekend!
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I'm not going to count the first week of spring break because I taught intersession so it wasn't really like I was on break. The only think of importance that happened that week was Delaney turned 10.
Wow, I can't believe she is growing up sooo fast. I love the young lady she is growing into.
My real Spring Break started with a trip to Dallas. Delaney and I met some friends at the American Girl store. Delaney and Hope have birthdays that are just 3 weeks apart so we met in at the store for them to buy their American Girl doll. Then we went to eat and have birthday cake. Here is a picture of the two girls with their new dolls.
After the birthday weekend in Texas, I came home and made a To Do List of all of the things I wanted to get done during Spring Break. I am happy to say that the list is almost completely checked off. Fortunately for me, Delaney was very happy staying around the house playing with her new doll and her new basketball goal. I can't say it was fun, but it feels great to get so much accomplished, Delaney and I went through allof her clothes to get rid of the ons that don't fit, we went through her dvds and toys to weed out the ones that she didn't want anymore.
I have my grades all entered and ready to go for report cards. I finished my taxes! I sorted papers and sorted papers and sorted papers.Yuck! I finished my lesson plans. I created a new product for TPT (my second one for sale). Here is a look at what my kids did. It's called Funny Fish, Funny Fish. It is an activity for learning compound words. My kids loved it!!! Here's a link if you are interested. Funny Fish, Funny Fish on TPT
I cleaned up the extra bedroom, my bedroom, the living room and my office area, now I'm just hoping I can keep it cleaned up. Now I need one more day to just relax. Oh well...
I worry sometime that I am hoarding stuff. I do save a lot of stuff to use at school. We saved tissue boxes all year so I would have enough to use for Valentine boxes. I've been saving Pringles can for another teacher who is using them to make rain sticks. I have a tub with toliet tissue rolls that I started saving. Then I read a blog about how gross it was and how many germs were on them so I stopped. But really, I don't take the roll off with "bathroom hands", plus I was thinking about spraying them with Lysol before using them so I still have them. I have 12 of those little milkcrates that someone was going to throw away, I saved because they are perfect book baskets. We have several new teachers that I thought could use them. I have about 7 or 8 nice shoe boxes stacked in my garage in case we do diaramas. In my defense, I also save them in case Delaney's class needs them. Am I a hoarder? I can still walk in every room of my house without turning sideways. I am still sleeping in my bed and I can still cook in my kitchen. I do have a couch in my office that has a bunch of stuff laying on it, but I'm thinking about taking it out of there so I will be forced to put stuff up. What do you think do I have a problem? After watching Hoarders the other night, I don't think I'm to a point to need intervention.
Hope this is the start to a great week for you!