Saturday, March 30, 2013

 AR, Construction and a Sale

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!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

 Am I a Hoarder? and How I spent my Spring Break.

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!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

 A Mostly Wonderful, a Little Bit Terrible Week

Yes, I know it is Monday and a little late. We had a church meeting that kept me happily busy for the week. Now back to last week, fortunately for me the wonderful outweighs the terrible. The best part of week, besides being refreshed each night at church,  was knowing it was our last week before my 2 week Spring Break. ; D I am teaching intersession the first week, but it is good pay, I will only have 9 of my students each day and we do lots of fun learning activities. Several of my high kids were disappointed that they weren't able to attend. ; P

I'll tell some more wonderful later so I can end on a positive note. I have a student  that has been having some behavior problems. Mom doesn't seem to know what's going on and I surely don't. If I correct him at all, he will start sulking and then start acting out. On Thursday, he and another boy were playing instead of reading so I told them both to go back to their desks. He went, but then he kept standing up and then he knocked a basket of books off of a shelf. I told him to move the table. He scooted his chair to the table, got on another chair and then turned the other chair over. One of the other students picked up the chair and put it back. He then got a chair from the table and started turning it over, picking it up and turning it over again. I thought that if I ignored him he would stop. WRONG. He continued doing it and I guess since he wasn't getting any attention, he decided he needed to do something more. The next thing I knew, he threw the chair about 8 feet across the room and hit a file cabinet (fortunately none of the other children were close by). I sent a student to get the principal and then he threw the chair back the other way. When the principal got there, he refused to go with her, so she asked me to take the rest of the class out. I took them out for a recess for 15-20 minutes to give her time to get him out, when we came back they were still in the room so I had to find someplace for us to go. As I have said before, we are currently under construction, so space is kind of limited. I ended up having them sit in the entry of the building. As I am trying to keep them quiet, I looked out and saw the spy for the admin building coming up the sidewalk. The kids were great and as she walked in, I was giving them an impromptu lesson about the history of the school. A little after that, the boy who was having the problem's mother came up and again the class did great. We were out of our class around 45 minutes. when we went back, we found a mess. The boy had thrown the kids work folders around so all of their pages were mixed up. I have some of those mats that snapped together and he tore them all apart. It took another 20-30 minutes to get the mats and papers straightened up. Once it was straightened up, we got back to work and some wonderful things happened.

I have always felt like my weakest area of teaching is writing. I have always felt unsure of how to go through the whole editing process. Well, all of our school was supposed to be teaching about US history in Core Knowledge and the principal wanted to see samples of writing that had gone through the editing process. Yikes! I told the kids they were going to do a 4 Square writing on either George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ben Franklin. We reviewed what we had learned about them. I told the them they could not write, "He had a wife.  He had children.  He was nice.  He died." When we wrote about Ben Franklin earlier, I got several that were that generic. I told them this wouldn't work because we wouldn't know which one they were talking about. We were running very short on time, but all of the kids wrote and I helped them edit it. I probably did too much of the editing, but next time, I won't be so rushed. Here are a few of my favorites.           

This one tells about a story from the book "Abe Lincoln's Hat".

Abe Lincoln had letters in his hat. When he was walking, some kids hid to make his hat come off. when the hat came off all of the the letters fell out. Then Abe laughed.

I thought he did a great job!

I loved this one!

Ben Franklin invented a birdbath. He invented those little glasses that help people to look up and down. He gave some food to people that were hungry.

I love the description of bifocals! It cracks me up every time I read it!
: D

Ben Franklin lived in  Boston. He always made new toys. I know because I read lots of books about him. I know he made a bird bath. I know he made some glasses. I know he made up counting by 5s.

I love that she learned all of this from books!


George Washington fought in a war. He won the war. He was happy. All of the people went home. All of the people went home to finish their gardens.

Haha,  I'm so glad they were able to go home and finish their gardens! I don't think that was in any of the books we read. ; P

This boy also wrote about a incident from "Abe Lincoln's Hat".

A boy and a boy were fighting over a colt. One boy said, "This is my horse." The other said, "No, this is my horse." Abraham Lincoln said, "Let the horse run to it's mother." He solved the problem.

I suggested to write two boys instead of "a boy and a boy" but he didn't want to change it. lol

We also wrote some "important papers to put in the Abe Lincoln hats we made. I told the kids they could write a letter to someone they loved, make a birthday list, a wish list, etc.. , This is one I got! This boy is only 7, my daughter is getting ready to turn 10 and is just now asking for cash. lol
The hats have an envelope on the back to put their important papers in.

I don't know why my format got messed up, oh well. We had our first day of intersession. I had 7 kids, we did a lot of reading and making words. They all had a good time and want to come back!
Hope you have a great week!

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