November 29, 2011

Cyber Monday Coma

I shopped until I dropped yesterday! Let's just say my next paycheck is going directly to TpT! And the best part was that I was in my pj's on the couch under a blanket with a Christmas movie on the tube! Then fell into bed and slept like I was dead. Shopping wears me out like that. ;)

I bought way more stuff for the next few weeks of school leading up to the holiday than I can possibly use and may have to give my next paycheck to WalMart for printer ink. I also bought some great things for upcoming units/lessons. I love knowing I've got new and exciting things coming up! Thank you all!!!

Just so you know, in case my husband gets on here and some how tracks down a few of you...the story is that you all make me buy stuff, okay? When he gets the bank statement that I use for my PayPal account he always huffs and clutches his chest dramatically. (And not only is he my hubs, but he is my banker so I get the double whammy!) If you all didn't make such marvelous stuff it would help! whispered so Mr. can't hear.... but please don't stop !!

So blogger wasn't letting me make comments on a lot of blogs tonight which really ticked me off because I love leaving comments. Occasionally it wouldn't show the "secret code" that you have to type in. How can I type a code I can't see?? Come on people. So I actually tried clicking the handicap icon. Didn't do anything! What does that little bugger do anyway??? It isn't like parking in a handicap spot without a sticker is it? Cause that is something I would not do. But I thought maybe if you couldn't see the code then you by-passed it with that thingie (like if you were visually impaired) but then it occurred to me if I was visually impaired I wouldn't be able to see the little handicap guy either. Duh.

Stupid side story here.

I love my dogs a LOT. So once I wanted to take my little dog along to a movie so she could snuggle on my lap and keep me warm. (Sorry, don't hate me if you are not a dog lover.) My husband (the party pooper) was all "No way! They don't allow that and you'll get caught!" To which I said "If I do, I'll just pretend it's my seeing dog." To which he had to point out, "Why would you go to see a movie if you couldn't SEE it?" Another duh. Hadn't thought of that. For those of you wondering. I did not take the dog...even though I wanted to and I know she really wanted to go.

And no disrespect was meant to anyone handicapped or visually impaired. So don't go up and stop following me. Please, don't do that. And I am not blonde although I sometimes feel and act like I am. No disrespect to blondes intended either. Again, don't stop following me. (If any of my friends or coworkers are reading this, I know "shut up NOW, Erika!"

Back to the comment issue/problem:

Or I'd type my comment, the code, and click submit or whatever and then I'd get a "service
unavailable" message. Oh, technology stinks when it doesn't work and unfortunately I can't grab the cell and call you all up or text. Which is seriously what I wanted to do!

I'm thinking about doing my first linky party but don't know how. Anyone have any suggestions or places to go for help, tutorials, etc.?

My brain is scattered tonight as you can tell. I can't believe I am up to 80 some followers. I so appreciate you all. I'd like to make 100 my the end of the year and have a give away. I see these other blogs with thousands of followers and it is mind boggling! I think I'd have performance issues...do they make a pill for that like they do Viagra??

Now I am getting a little orange message at the bottom of my post saying "Could not contact Blogger. Saving may not be possible impossible" because you've offended too many people. Or something like that. Is God trying to tell me something?
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November 27, 2011

Reindeer Rounding



It's Sunday night after a five day vacation and I gotta be honest. I'm more than a little depressed! Don't get me wrong. I love my job, my class, my co-workers/friends. But this five day break just wasn't long enough. Boo Hoo Hoo!! Anybody with me? On top of that I've got a bugger of a cold winding up. Blah!

Sunday nights are the worst, except during the summer. Then I luv 'em! It helps now that I've taught my 12 and 14 year old daughters how to do their own laundry. Don't miss those "Mom, I neeeeeeed these pants washed for school tomorrow!!" right before bed time! Now if I could just the hubs trained....

So in math this week I'm doing rounding to the nearest ten. Fun! This is so hard for some of my kiddos. I found a rounding chant way back and I don't know who the author is. If you do please let me know. Anyway, I made this cute little game for my friends to use for practice. Hope you can use it. If you do, please leave me a comment! Click here to go to my Teacher Notebook store to download. Everything is on sale today for Cyber Monday!

Click {here} for a freebie of the rounding chant.


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November 23, 2011

Thankful However...


I laughed SO hard after reading Jennifer's post over at First Grade Blue Skies on what she is not thankful for! Yes, you read that right. NOT thankful. That girl is funny and I wanted to link up to her party right then and there, but I had just posted and somewhere I read it is against blog etiquette to post twice in one day. (Okay. I try to follow the rules sometimes!)

So here is what I am not thankful for (today).

1. Snot and boogers. (Is that two or one?) Specifically snot strings, snot bubbles, snot plugs in the nostrils and boogers dried on anything especially my clothes. Yeah, what profession do you know where you find dried boogers on your clothes as you undress after a long hard day? Nobody tells you that in college!

2. Ice. Nothing wrong with ice in a glass or ice sculptures or ice on a day when I can stay home and admire it from my window. My problem is ice on the playground that makes kids slip or tempts them to slide on it. Ice in the parking lot as I attempt to walk into school (Okay, run. I'm late again.) Playground ice that is so bad that recess has to be inside even though it is beautiful out in all other ways. Ice belongs in a peach bellini, that's all I'm saying.

3. Professional development days. Mind you, not the good ones...although...are there good ones?? Anytime someone has K-12 teachers together for one topic of discussion it most likely is going to f.a.i.l.  Insurance and budget talk PD days definitely make the line between life and death hell blurry!

4. Beans. What idiot in the federal lunch program thought giving a school full of kids beans for lunch was a great idea?  (I'm not talking nutrition people.)  Do the bean farmers that provide for the program just sit back and laugh their heads asses off? 

Wow, I can't think of a fifth thing! However, number one could be considered two things especially from a scientific view point...liquids and solids.  I must be on vacation or I am pretty sure I'd have a hard time limiting it to five! ;)  Thanks Jennifer, for putting together this fun linky party!

Well, there you have it. The four things I am unthankful (if that's a word) for today. I hope nobody got so grossed out that they had to click away from my post. Although if they did they probably don't teach at the primary level.

Before you go, check out this adorable treat one of the Kinders in our school brought yesterday. It is one of those jumbo marshmallows. Too stinkin' cute!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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November 22, 2011

Vacation Ramblings

Ahhhh, I've got my sweats and fuzzy socks on. The couch is cradling me and the dogs are snuggling up to me. I've officially begun my five day Thanksgiving vacation. WOO HOO!

Today and yesterday weren't extremely productive days with all the kids who take the whole week off for family trips or are sick from the recent stomach flu outbreak. Don't you just love the ones that take off on those short weeks...especially when the parents want to take school work with just to keep the kids busy. Uh!

So we did some "fun" work like the fraction turkeys Becky over at Dots-n-Spots created. We played Odd and Even Turkey Trot from Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade and I was planning on playing her Turkey Scoot Game and doing the awesome Odd Thankful writing activity too, but some interruptions (unscheduled assembly, kids getting sick in class, and incredibly unfocused kids) kept us from getting to everything on my list. Well, that's part of the joy of being a primary teacher, correct?

Now, forgive me, I know it's almost the end of November, but I finally have pictures of a few of the activities we did in October. And I am a firm believer in "better late than never" so here goes.

I taught a "how to draw an owl" lesson from Art Projects for Kids which we did on black construction paper after practicing on scrap paper first. Then I went over the drawing lines after school with white liquid Elmer's glue. The next day the kids used chalk pastels to color their artwork. In spite of all the smudging, I think they turned out great and each is unique. To set the chalk I sprayed each with a light coating of hair spray. (FYI we've been told we aren't supposed to do art since we have an art specialist once a week, but let's just say her stuff leaves a little to be desired. Guess who walks in while the kids are working on these? The PRINCIPAL. She immediately asks one of my little innocents "What are you doing?" The innocent says with glee "ART!" Uh-oh!)





































We wrote some facts about spiders using Reagan's (Turnstall's Teaching Tidbits) spider writing idea. Learning about spiders when you have a tarantula for a class pet is essential! And even though spiders truly creep me out, they ARE fascinating and amazing creatures. The kids are always surprised to find out that I don't really like spiders. (Okay, I'm a wee bit scared of them!) But hey, Kiwi (our pet) doesn't crawl around the room. If she happened to get out . . . STOMP . . . STOMP . . . and the shoe(s) would go in the trash . . . that's all I'm saying!



Then we made the adorable silly spiders from Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching. But we bumped it up a notch (since we aren't supposed to do art because we have an art specialist once a week...remember) and used our spiders to practice different ways to write numbers. On the spider's nose each child wrote their number in standard form. The body had a portion of the hundreds chart (think tic-tac-toe grid) with the child's number in the center and the numbers one less, one more, ten less, and ten more written around it. Each leg had a different form of the number such as tally marks, expanded notation, symbolic form (using base ten blocks), comparisons using greater than and less than (two separate legs), odd or even, word form, and money. The kids LOVED it! I gave my little friends the choice of choosing an easier or a harder number. Then knowing their abilities, I gave them the number I wanted. But they didn't know that! ;)

Well, enough ramblings for tonight. I need to go check out everyone else's blogs and catch up on Pinterest! Happy vacation to all!
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November 21, 2011

Rules for Survival

Originally I made this sign for my daughters after seeing it somewhere on the internet. Then this weekend, while going through some files, I decided to print it out for my kiddos at school, too. After seeing it, a few of the other teachers asked me to make them a copy for them to use with their own children (ah, teenagers, gotta love em!) and that got me thinking that maybe some of you might like a copy as well. So if you can use it, enjoy! I can't find the original source. Let me know if you know who to give credit to, please! Click on the picture to download.

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November 20, 2011

I'm Thankful

I saw Rachelle's (of What the Teacher Wants) "I'm Thankful" linky party and had to join in the fun.  I have so much to be thankful for...friends, family, and more, that it is hard to choose just a few things.  


1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?
I am thankful for my Promethean board and the delightful kiddos I have this year in class.


2. What person are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my husband.  He has always been my strongest supporter, best friend, and hero.  He makes me laugh and helps me keep things in perspective.  He is a great father and the best husband a woman could ask for.  Since I was diagnosed with lupus over the summer, he has taken on responsibilities that most husbands would probably cringe at.


3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?
I thankful for The Teeny Tiny Teacher because she cracks me up!  She could make a professional development day fun!


I am thankful for Ladybug's Teacher Files because her tutorials have really helped me in setting up my blog.  She also has great freebies and ideas!

I am thankful for Lory's Page because she has awesome and fun ways to incorporate math into anything and everything!  I get depressed when she doesn't post for a while. 

 
4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?

I am thankful for my once-a-month facial.  My hairdresser pampers me for an hour and I leave feeling fresh and relaxed.  It's a win-win for everyone who knows me! :)

5. What are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my faith.  I am lucky to have a family, friends, and a job that support and nurture my faith on a daily basis.  I am truly blessed!

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November 14, 2011

Writer's Eyes for Students


Each of my students has a writing folder. The folders are the heavy-duty plastic kind with three prongs. Inside there is a sheet protector with their heart map. My kiddos loved this. (I got the idea from Mrs. Carroll over at The First Grade Parade. You can check out her awesome heart maps here.) Then I redid Debbie Candau's Writer's Eyes. (Click here to see her version and here to see mine. Side note--I absolutely love her polka dot border. If I ever get tired of the bee theme, I am so doing polka dots.) My kids love this too. But... they weren't really applying it to their own writing as I had hoped. So, I made this cute copy to put in a sheet protector in their writing folder along with their heart map.
{click here to get a copy}

I gave each student a paper clip to slip over the Writer's Eyes paper in their folder. They put the paperclip on Writer's Eye 1 and check their paper for that rule (capital letters at the beginning of sentences). Next they draw an eye in the top left corner of their paper and put the number one after it. Then they slide the paperclip down to 2, check their paper for "finger spaces", and put a 2 in the corner of their paper by the eye. This continues until they are done checking for all nine of the Writer's Eyes rules. Once they finish, they are able to turn their paper in. I can quickly see who has (supposedly) checked their writing. My class has been SO excited to do this and they think the paperclip slide on the paper is the coolest thing ever! I've tried a LOT of different ways to get my students over the years to check their writing before turning it in and I have to say, so far, this is a keeper in my book. And then, drum roll please, I let them keep the paperclip on their paper in their writing folder for next time. The kids cheered! Can you believe it? By the way, I bought the large, colored clips from the Dollar Tree. The kids have asked everyday if we are using our Writer's Eyes for checking today. Love it!
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November 09, 2011

Leveled Library Help!!

Okay people, I need your help! I have a huge classroom library. Like many of you I am slightly seriously addicted to books.  My books have always been organized by genre, topic, and author or series.  After seeing all the blog posts about leveling classroom libraries, I was planning on doing this next summer.

HOWEVER...yesterday I got a wild hair up my rear when I saw the mess my kiddos have made of the classroom library and instead of just putting it back the way it was, I began leveling books using the Scholastic book wizard.  Holy crappin-apolis!  What a mess!  There is no turning back!

Here is where you come in.  I'm giving away free airline tickets to the first five people willing to come finish the job for me!  I wish!  At my school, we use DRA levels.  So although my kiddos are all leveled, I've never made a big deal with them about their level number.  Do I put numbers on my new leveled boxes?  Will kids get wacko about their numbers?  Bragging, whining, etc.  I could be worrying about nothing and I know the kids know who are the great readers and all.  But, I'm still unsure.  Please give me your opinion.  Be honest.

Also, how do you level a book that isn't on the Scholastic book wizard?  I have a LOT that aren't!

Tomorrow afternoon I have a sub so I can attend a math curriculum meeting and right now I should be  torching organizing my room because I have piles of books everywhere.  The kids today were literally climbing over piles to get behind my desk.  What was I thinking??  The end result will be worth it, I know.  The kids are excited about what I am doing (as if all the books are suddenly new) even though they don't know what exactly I am doing.

PLEASE help if you can!!
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November 08, 2011

Place Value (Regroup Ones to Tens)


We are still working on this place value thing where my kiddos have to write the number and remember to regroup the ones to tens. Uh, they get it when we add two double digit numbers! But when it is written in expanded notation form and they have to regroup they fall apart. Not sure what it matters if they can do it when adding...but it's on the test and so we plod on. Here is a boring practice/assessment sheet I made to follow up the "Birds of a Feather" center activity. The only thing exciting about it are the new graphics from KPM Doodles on it. :) Click here to get it.


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November 06, 2011

Birds of a Feather Flock Together


I am thrilled to announce the opening of my Teacher's Notebook store! Drum roll please...I just sold my first item for $1. Wooo Hooo! I am so excited! Mr. Hubby is a little less ecstatic being that he is in the banking business and he's figuring in the store start-up fee and the Paypal fees. But he isn't bursting my bubble! No way, no how!

I created a center activity for my kiddos to use this month called "Birds of a Feather Flock Together" that will reinforce writing numbers in different ways. It includes numbers with two and three digits, place value blocks, expanded notation, number words, and counting bills and coins. I added a tricky skill that my students are tested on...hundreds, tens, and ones with trading. This is what I mean--75 is 7 tens + 5 ones. But it is also 6 tens + 15 ones. Are your kids tested on this skill too?

If you are interested in this activity head over to Teacher's Notebook and grab one. You will probably hear me doing another happy dance if you do and the hubs doing an eye roll!!
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November 04, 2011

Herding Kats (or Cats)

I got a really nice email from Jennifer over at Herding Kats in Kindergarten letting me know that my blog link in my comments wasn't working. Thank you Jennifer! Naturally I don't often use my own link to find my blog so I had no idea...I suppose I should have tested it, but obviously I didn't. So now, thanks to Jennifer's kindness, it is fixed and any new comments I leave will hopefully lead some people over to my little part of the blog world. Jennifer had noticed my comments everywhere and thought they were interesting. HA! Why should my blog life be any different than real life where I have a comment for everything! Anyway, thanks again, Jennifer! Good or bad, now people will be able to track me down. This hilarious cat herding video is for for all of you who, like Jennifer, herd cats in K. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7yqlTMvp8



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