Thursday, January 30, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 1/29/14

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky party Wednesday WOW.

At school this past week, we have been giving the easyCBM (it took the place of DIBELS). I was a little worried that the scores were going to go down when the passage reading was added. Fortunately I only had two that dropped a level from the first time. One is a little girl that we are getting ready to start testing on and the other is a girl that lets her behavior get in the way of her education. On a good day she may have went up a level, but apparently it wasn't a good day and she went down a level. On the flip side, I had one more move into above level. I felt better about my scores after going to a meeting and the presenter saying that there was a teacher in our district that had like 22 out of 24 in intervention. Whoa!

My personal WOW is all about blogging! My friend Em, @ Curious Firsties and I have been building a slow but steady friendship through blogging. Who knows if we will ever meet? I live in Oklahoma and she lives in Ohio, but as we have commented and replied to each others posts, a friendship has been built. I don't know if she feels the same, but I am always very happy to see and email from her. Anyway, I was lamenting the fact that I have let myself get terribly out of shape since my divorce and was really needing to lose weight to be healthy. She has offered to help me out! I would like to say I'm one of those people who has the will power to just do it, but apparently I'm not since I need to lose 40-50 lbs. I'm one of those people that needs to be held accountable, at least when it comes to trying to lose weight. So I am very happy and grateful that Em has offered to try and help me. WOW! Isn't the blogging world terrific?

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

 Five for Friday 1-24-2014

I'm joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky party a day late.

I am going to start with something from home. This is the type of conversations I am having with Delaney when we go out to eat.

The next time I got gas, when I got back in the car, she said, "You smell like gas, 6 x 6 is 36, 7 x 7 is 49 ...." She is crazy and delightful!

 I got this idea from Nancy @ First Grade WOW

As the kids were bringing me their hands, I had the idea to make the hands show the I Love You sign. I didn't have a chance to put it together until after school, Delaney was helping me, she thought I should add the two hands shaking. I thought it was a good idea. I totally forgot to have the kids sign the heart before I put it together. As you can see, some of my kids are still needing to work on their cutting skills.

We went to Texas over the weekend. While I was there, I found these cute flyswatters at Walmart. They will be perfect for a sight word game.
. I was inspired by Em @ Curious Firsties post about making snowmen from triangles. It was a great demonstration that not all triangles look the same. Here are some of their creations.

This one reminds of Mother Goose with her bonnet on.

Hmmm, what happened here....

This one cracks me up, it looks like the snowman is sticking his neck out,
 but wait, snowmen don't have necks!!!

This one looks more like a duck. lol

A pointy hat on a pointy head! hahaha

 Is a fabulous find. I was at Target last night and they had these in the Dollar Spot. They looked like they would be perfect for book bins for Daily Five. I have never tried the Daily Five, but I think I am going back today to get some of these.

Have a Terrific weekend!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 1/14/14

I'm linking up with Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky party Wednesday WOW.

For the first time since school started, all of my students were able to have their own computer in the computer lab. Last year when we had moved from the main building so it could be renovated, all of the computers from the computer lab had been divided and put into all of the classrooms. I'm not sure what happened, but when they were moved back into the computer lab, mice, cords, keyboards, etc... were missing. We only had eighteen out of thirty computers working. I just had everyone work with a partner. When I got the kinders, we never went as a class. 

So Friday we went to the computer lab for the first time after moving students back to their original classes. I was looking forward to all of the firsties having their own computer, but most of them were not able to log in since by themselves, so spent the entire time helping them to log in. I gave them each a card with their log in info on it, but they still had problems. Hopefully once we start going regularly, they will get it. 
One of our kdg teachers refuses to help her kids, she says they need to do it by themselves, some spend the entire time trying to get on. I just don't have the heart to do that. 

I tried something a little different at least for me last week. I was reading Sara at School's blog, actually catching up on some older posts. She was talking about having a fluency center. I had read about one somewhere on some blog before, but never did anything. Anyway, I needed an activity to for my early finishers to do when they finished their writing center. I just spur of the moment gave them a sand timer and a letter sound fluency page to work on. They really seemed to like it. I decided I am going to keep it rather informal for now. I will have a couple of sand timers, sound fluency pages, sight word practice, and some reading passages.

We are just starting our midyear testing, I'm afraid I am going to have a lot of firsties scoring "at rick" or "low". Several that left my room needed RTI started on them, but it didn't happen so I'm getting ready to start that process. I was thinking about starting some after-school tutoring, but since I have to leave ASAP to pick up Delaney, I wasn't sure how it would work. I was talking to one of our evening custodians today, I asked her if she thought parents would be willing to bring the kids back at 4 so I could tutor them. She cares so much about our school and the kids that she offered to watch them after school until I get back to school from picking up Delaney. WOW!!!

One more little chuckle, I just read this on my sister's FB. She is a school secretary.

"A mom spelling her son's name to me on the phone today: J as in jump; a as in apple, apostrophe as in semi-colon..."

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 1/8/2014

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky party Wednesday WOW. I think my WOWs or more like wows, but I've only been back to school two days.

We (teachers) had to go back to school on Friday for a professional development day. The kids were supposed to come back on Monday but our school closed due to extreme temperatures. I was so happy to have one more day off.  Wow does that make me lazy or what??? So I went back with students yesterday. It was my last day to have the kinders. I have to say that I really enjoyed having them in my class. 

Yesterday I needed to do some final assessments to finish their report cards. I was assessing Brenna, she was supposed to be counting some little erasers. She was trying to count them w/o moving them and as I'm sure can imagine she was counting some of them twice. I told her to try it again and move them as she counted them. It was so funny, she would move each one in a different direction as far as her arm could reach. I had the hardest time not laughing. But she did count them right! :) After that I asked her to count for me, she said she could count to 10. I told her I knew she could count higher than that, I ask her to try to count to 50. She said, "How about 110?" and preceded to do so! I'm going to miss having that little girl in my class. :D

Today was I got my students back from the other first grade class. It was a pretty smooth transition. they were happy to come back to my class, which is kind of funny. When I told the kids who would be moving to the other class, they all started cheering as their name was called. I had a few that kept asking me if they could move too.  Anyway, now we are all back together and I am starting the days with rules and procedures. I have a positive outlook for the rest of the school year.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

 Weekend WOW & OLW

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her linky party Wednesday WOW. It is a time to look at you week and share WOW moments big and small in your personal or professional life.

My first WOW is professional. Since a new kdg teacher was hired, I went to school during the break to return tables and other things I had brought into my classroom for the kinders. Before the kinders came, I had been clinging to this large round table that took up a lot of space, but I just loved the table. When the kinders came, I had to move it out. So I decided I would try replacing it with desks, all of the other kids were at desks except the 6 that sat at the table. Then if I still had space,  I would put it back in the room. Sadly, I did not have room for the table, but I feel rather like Chrysanthemum's parents about all I can say is WOW. I can't believe how much more room I have!

My personal WOW this week is I got my first iphone yesterday! I had what they called a "Green Smart Phone". It had internet and everything, but you didn't have to pay a monthly fee to have it. You couldn't do much on it, it was very slow. I would tell people it was a smart phone that wasn't very smart! haha  I haven't gotten to do much with it yet, but I did sign up for Instagram. I think I am going to have to watch Delaney, she keeps taking pictures of herself and posting them. lol

I have been trying to think of my OLW, I had decided a couple of nights ago I was going to use priorities. This past year, I have come to the realization I have really let my priorities get all out of whack. I didn't have this problem while I was still married. My ex husband would not have allowed me to stay at school and spend hours upon hours. I doubt he would have been happy with me bringing all the stuff home that I do. I guess it kind of started to fill a void that was in my life, but as time went on, I let it get out of hand. Anyway, I said I was thinking about using priorities as my OLW, but I feel like once I realized my problem, I have made changes to correct it. I still have things to work on, but I am going to continue to make changes.

So it was back to the drawing board for my OLW.  What makes a year, month, week, day, etc... good or bad? I was reading a FB post and a girl was talking about the tough times that she and her family had gone through this year. As I was reading it, it hit me, it's all about your perspective. Is the cup half empty or half full? She stated one of the bad things was to narrowly escape the Moore tornadoes, when I read it, I thought to myself, that sounds like a good thing. Not, of course, the damage done to her home or how frightening it must have been but if you put it into a different perspective she could have put escaping the the tornado as one of the highlights of her year. 

That's when it hit me, I have definitely had a major problem with perspective.  I have had a very negative attitude about all things school this year and even last year.  I know that I need to start changing my perspective because I was ready to quit teaching, but I hadn't taught long enough to retire. It's rather ironic, we do an Organizational Health Inventory every year at school. We went over our scores today and  one of our lowest scores was in morale. Apparently, I'm not alone. During our meeting, we made a list of things that caused our low morale. It had such things as large classes, new curriculum, new teacher evaluation, not getting subs to come to our school which leads to classes getting split up, new, very time consuming lesson plan, etc... After the list was made we looked it over and realized that most of the things causing us stress, negativity, etc... were things that were completely out of our control. It basically confirmed what I had already realized at home...I need to change my perspective. So that's my OLW this year, I think as I work on changing my perspective it will help me deal with stress better. I think I will be a better Christian, mom and teacher.

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