Sunday, April 29, 2012

You're Appreciated (and Monster Math Freebie)

This past Wednesday was Administrative Professional's Day.  Oops! You forgot too.  As usual, I had to be reminded of this special day. I'm not a slacker, but I truly struggle with managing everything that goes on from day to day- events, meetings, unofficial secular holidays and so forth.  Yes, I have a handy dandy planner that has all my son's baseball games, practices, family birthdays, SST and IEP meetings, parent conferences, Spring Festival, the Van Halen concert and so forth. Even with the planner, I just get wrapped up with life. 

Life Happens~  
At times, it overwhelms me~

I'm the one who always has good intentions. I want to do it, I need to do it, but then....well...the occasion has come and gone. I struggle with just running down to the local Walmart to pick up something quick and easy.  It's a personal thing for me, but sometimes not always I just feel like it has minimal thought. It's last minute.  I want the recipient to know that I really, rEaLlY, REALLY, thought about them.  So I really need to work on getting with the program and plan ahead.( A lot of "really's")

We received a friendly email from our principal on Thursday maybe Friday to remind the staff to thank our five WONDERFUL, AWESOME Secretaries and Office Staff. They are truly out of this world.  How they manage all that they do is truly amazing to me.  Maybe I should ask them for a quick tutorial on how to keep it all together because they truly have it together.

So today, I headed into my craft room to "Create."  About an hour or so later, I emerged  with the following handmade cards for Mrs. B, Mrs. M, Mrs. W, Ms. M, and Ms. B. I still have time to redeem myself...(I hope!)





AND a simple, yet cutesy notepad for each of them



   
Front and Back 










Don't forget this freebie:






Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mother's Day, A Freebie, And Shabby Chic

I'm always a day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes. I know holidays are coming, however by the time I get around to planning and completing a related activity with my students, it's too late. So I file it away until next year.  Sadly, for some activities, next year hasn't come yet.   Trying to find a "just right" place within my lesson plans as well as meet the weekly expectations on the district's pacing guide make it difficult many times to integrate seasonal fun ideas.  (Insert sad face here.)

Friday was an Early Release day for year round schools in our county.  The kids had no specials for the day, like music, art, media, P.E. or technology, so I crossed my fingers hoping I would not see my AP walk in with her laptop to do her final observation of the year. I closed my door and pulled out the construction paper. My kids lit up with excitement. "A Craft project," they yelled.  I led the class in creating a TLC Iris Art Project. (See this link for another TLC project we have done.)  You can't have Mother's Day without flowers, so I thought I could easily fit this into the math curriculum of congruent shapes and figures and combining shapes as well as create a unique flower for our moms.  Well all I can say is ~ they are unique.  Here's a few samples of the finished product.

Our mommies are just going to love them~







As educators, we celebrate the small things.  Many times, if it wasn't for the small things, there would be no big things.  So with that in mind-

 Woo-Hoo! I have reached 25 followers. That deserves a FREEBIE.  

So for ONE WEEK~ 7 DAYS~ Monster Mania will be a FREEBIE.  However, after this time the games  will be $1.00 in my TpT store.  Either way, it's a great deal. This is such a fun math game of creating equations with three numbers.  For younger students, like second graders, I would encourage a calculator but definitely not necessary.  Click below for the download.
A shout out to Casey for walking me through the steps to creating a layered preview screen and for listening to me vent after the Staff Development on Friday. She had interim reports to complete, but she listened to me ramble for at least 20 minutes.  Thanks~

On a simple note, I wanted to share two pics of one of my favorite "shops" in an Antique Marketplace.  In this Marketplace, one can rent a space to sell various items.    I've debated on whether or not to rent a space in this cute Marketplace to sell my wares. However, that decision is still up in the air.  I'll keep you posted, but enjoy  "The Shabby Chic" spot.



  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Justify Your Thinking, Please!


How many times have you asked your students a question, received a verbal response, then you follow up by "How do you support your answer?" or "Why do you think that?" or "Do you have any supporting information?"

This type of questioning requires some higher level thinking. At the beginning of the year, when I would propose this type of questioning to my second grade friends, I would receive nonverbal responses of shoulder shrugging or looking over my shoulder into the wild blue yonder- avoiding any eye contact with me hoping I would move on to someone else. Or verbal responses of "Because!" or "I don't know." and even "Uh-Uh!"

We have come a long way baby. Those days are over.  After a lot of practice, we have reversed our weakness of questioning and justifying to somewhat of a  strength. Yay~  My students are even better at questioning than I am. So I must be doing something right. A few of my students are truly destined to be lawyers.  I literally have to ring the bell sometimes to bring the questioning and justifying to a halt.

The following is a follow up activity for our third  quarter read aloud- Charlotte's Web. The students were given four main characters from the story.  In turn, they were asked to use a character trait to describe the character and an example or evidence from the novel to support their thinking.  We listed the responses on chart paper.  Overall, I think they fared well.

We also used TLC Art to create Wilbur, the Pig. I love TLC Art.  If you haven't tried it, you're missing a treat.

Enjoy ~





  
   

Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting my groove back...and a CAS birthday card


Today I tracked back in. I know Track 3 folks jumped for joy when they saw Track 4 roaming the hallways today. It's now their turn.  It's only fair.  I can't "hog" all the track out time.  Share the Joy~Right?

After three full weeks of waking up to my internal alarm clock , today I'm totally bushwhacked.  7:00 came mighty early this morning.  I started the day with an energetic pep in my step.  However I'm ending the day with...a drag.  On the other hand, it was great seeing all my colleagues today.

I was inspired by a card I saw in the March 2012 issue of CardMaker. So, today I would like to share this super quick CAS (clean and simple) card I made for my wonderful mother-in-law (to be.) She rocks like nobody's business.  Her birthday will be on Wednesday.  This card doesn't compare to all she does for us, however we want her to know she is loved and appreciated.

Happy Birthday Carol~
Outside of card

Inside of card




  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's Over....and a mini scrapbook album

Today is my last day of Spring Break Track Out.
No long face~
No whining~
No tantrums for me~

For the last three weeks I have had limited exposure to school related "stuff."  I did substitute for a few days.  I always find it refreshing to visit the other local schools to see how others "live" and to get ideas that I could possibly use in my own classroom . For the last three weeks, I have not checked my school email account.  So tomorrow, when I return, I'll have a million emails to read with 3/4 needing to be purged because they won't relate to me. Then I'll spend the remainder of the day in Race to the Top workshops with some very funny track mates, so it won't be torture.

That's A-OK, because....

for the last 3 weeks I've marked off basically everything from my To-Do list, crafted til I dropped, enjoyed this marvelous spring weather, got new tires, tried a yogurt bar for the first time,  read a good book, and everything in between~ Ahhh~Life Is Good:-) 

Wednesday when the kids return, it will mark the beginning of the fourth quarter. Ten weeks until the end of the school year.  It will most likely FLY by like the first three quarters. I will definitely have to start bracing myself for the promotion of my students.  I get choked up just thinking about loosing them.  They've taught me so much and I truly love them.  They are a challenging group of students, however they make me smile... more on them in a post at a later time.

During the break, we had a visit from Todd's nephew, Charlie.  He was just shy of turning 9 months old.  It was his first visit to Uncle Todd's house. We visited Pullen Park and a couple museums downtown.  We had tons of fun.  We haven't had a baby around in ages, so we couldn't get enough of that little fellow.  To remember his first visit, I made a mini scrapbook using Elsa's YouTube Tutorial and tutorials from My Sister's Scrapper.

Enjoy~
















 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Day Out...

The weather has been picture perfect.  I've been tracked out a little more than two weeks now. Trying to limit my time on "school stuff" because I know when the kids track back in next Wednesday, it will be Go, Go, Go until June 28.  So I decided to spend some time enjoying the Historic District of a neighboring town.  I love "old stuff" -the feel,the history,  and sights. Curiosity of what used to be is one of the reasons I have a concentration in History.  The stories that buildings,  benches, and even sidewalks could tell if they had actual words to say would be astounding.  Hopping into my truck, I drove to the Historic District to enjoy a few of my favorite shops. 

 Enjoy the photos (There are lots and lots of them!) and have an abundantly blessed day~ 




Lilly's







When WAS the last time you did something for the first time?  Hmmmmm~

Love, Love, Love Lilly's


The cozy front porch of My Girlfriends Closet


The metal flowers were made from hurricane debris.

I was tempted to drop a quarter in the slot and ride away into the sunset.

Welcome to My Girlfriend's Closet. One of the best consignment stores in the area.
The front of MGC- a remodeled house~ Love it!



   
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