Sunday, May 21, 2017

10 Day Balloons

I know I have shared this every year, but you never know who might be new to the

Each morning, I will pop a balloon. 
Inside is a piece of paper with a fun activity or treat written on it for us to enjoy.

I have two simple rules for the balloons that help tremendously with the final days of craziness.

1. If you get in trouble, you don't do/have the next balloon activity/treat.
2. If you complain about the activity or treat, you don't get to enjoy it.

This year our 10 day balloons included the following:

10-gum (Wed)
9-write with pen (Thurs)
8-Art Day (Friday)
7-Nature Walk (Monday)
6-Mystery Reader (Tuesday)
5-Move Desks (Wednesday)
4-Extra Recess (Thursday)
3-Kickball (Friday)
2-Movie (Monday)
1-Ice Pops (Tuesday)

We have 2 more days left for our balloons!
The kids get so excited about the balloons and popping them each morning!

1.  We started with gum day and they were so excited to be able to chew gum in school!!

2.  Pen day-I was amazed of how careful they were when they did their work because they knew that they couldn't erase the pen.  (I might have to let kids use pens more often :-)).  

We had a math competition in math and worked with our partners to finish up our math books.  These two boys were so excited and really thought they were "hot shots"  because they finished their math books and started on Crystal's 2nd grade hotshots packet!  Plus they got to use their pens on the packet!

3.  Art Day-The kids got a white piece of construction paper and used their markers (they were extremely excited to use markers because we don't use them a lot in first grade) to draw and color whatever they wanted.

4.  Nature Walk-Sorry I forgot to take my camera outside and take pictures of the kids on this day.  The kids got to go outside in the field and explore nature with a magnifying glass.
5.  Mystery Reader-We have a nice little patio area outside our room and we got together with the other first grade class and read our story with them outside on the patio area.  It was a beautiful day outside!

6.  Move Desks-They got to move their desks anywhere in the room that they wanted to move them.  They thought this was the absolute best!!

7.  Extra Recess-You know they loved this one for sure!

8.  Kickball-We had planned on going outside and playing a game of kickball against the other first grade class, but it was storming, so we went to plan B.  It became a paint or sand art day.  They got to choose either to paint or use colored sand to make a picture.  

9.  Tomorrow will be movie and popcorn day!

10.  Tuesday will be ice pops day!

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wisdom for I Guess Thursday!!

Well, after making a little fun of Crystal for missing her Wisdom for Wednesday, I forgot all about Wisdom for Wednesday as well this week.  So, I'm making up for it with a little Wisdom for Thursday!

We have 3 days left of school and I always forget how busy and tired I can get this time of year.  I found some cute little sayings that I thought says a lot about how it is like at the end of the year. 

Finally, as the year starts to come to an end, I thought this says a lot about our years as teachers:

If you are finished with school, I hope you are enjoying your summer.  If not, I hope you are getting enough rest!

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

End of the Year Craziness = More Than Five for Friday!

Hey there! 

How are you holding up? Are you done yet? Still plugging along?

I have 8 more days...which is especially painful after my FB memory this morning was from the last day of school last year! Now don't misunderstand, I love my kiddos, but this teacher is completely past end of the year teacher tired. ;-)

So tired, apparently, that I completely spaced the Wisdom post on Wednesday. Sorry about that. It did not even cross my mind until last night! Kristi says that I have to make up for it by posting for the next six months. LOL! 

Anyway, all this end of the year craziness that is wearing me out has at least given me PLENTY of pictures for Five for Friday.

Let's get started, shall we?


Prairie Day!

Our little rural school is in the heart of the Flint Hills, and we received this map exhibit as part of an effort to give students a deeper understanding of the place where they live. 

The Flint Hills Map & Education Center gave a presentation earlier in the year at an inservice and encouraged teachers to try more place-based learning. As the K-2 science teacher, I felt like I needed to give it a try.

Fortunately, one of the teachers with many of the lessons on the website is one of our own former teachers. She agreed to come out of retirement for the day and help with Prairie Day! We had six rotations throughout the day where students learned about the Flint Hills, prairie grasses and plants, old sod houses, and prairie wildlife. Next week, we will visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve for our field trip.


Balloon Countdown

Yes, I do a countdown.
No, I am not a bad teacher.
Sorry, I get tired of some of the "articles" I see floating around on social media.

Every year, I do a balloon countdown. Inside each balloon is a special activity or treat for my kiddos to enjoy. It makes the last 10 days a fun way to celebrate a great year together (it also could be considered bribery for good behavior). 

I had to miss our first balloon this year for a teacher training. :-(

But I prepped the kids and they handled it well. So far, we have had Bubble Gum Day and Art Day.


Mother's Day

We baked muffins for our moms and made these cute paintings.


Team Builder

I organized a painting party for our staff. Due to busy schedules this time of year, I included some other people too (i.e. my daughter on the left). We had a fun time and I liked my painting until I say hers... ;-)


Farm Day

Our FFA teacher and members put together a great Farm Day where we got to learn about farm equipment and animals. We also made ice cream (baggie method) and planted flowers. 


Date Night

Nice weather means we get the hotrod out for date night...only this time we had a little trouble. Thankfully, this guy knows his engines. We coasted to the parts' store. He bought a new alternator, put it on, and away we went. My daughter has decided she should marry a mechanic too. :-)

That about covers it! 
Hope you have a wonderful, rest-filled weekend!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Field Trip

We made it through our field trip to the zoo on Friday!!!  I don't know about you, but field trips exhaust me (mentally and physically).  I tend to worry the entire week, praying that I have done everything and set up everything that needed to be done and set up.  Then on the field trip, I'm praying everything goes well and nothing happens.  I saw this saying and thought how true it was.........

I don't know how many times I counted on Friday!

The kids had a great time and it was a beautiful day to go to the zoo (74 degrees!).  I think some of the animals at the zoo were feeling how I was feeling (many of them were asleep).  Here are some of the pictures that I snapped:

This is exactly how I was Friday night!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Trusting God

Welcome to this weeks:  

Have you ever had a time in your life when you find your self asking "Why God?  Why?"  A time when you just don't understand why what is happening is happening and you just don't understand it?  The truth is God loves us and he has good for our lives, but that doesn't mean life is always easy.   We all go through difficult times and things happen that aren't fair.  Jesus tells us in John 16:33, " In the world you have tribulation and trials and  distress and frustration." I feel like it is important for us to understand this so we won't be confused and lose our faith in him when life is hard.   

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Five for Friday - Push and Pull, Sidewalk Spelling, and Getting Orgnaized

Hey there!

It is a cold, dreary, rainy day here. Perfect day for curling up on the couch and doing a whole lot of nothing. I did try to muster up the "motivation" to at least go price some wood for my next home project, but even that didn't seem so appealing as I stood at the door and thought of running to my truck in the pouring rain. So I settled back on the couch and here I am...

Here's a peek at my week Five for Friday style:


I just love the way I have been able to teach science this year! Our little school has kind of a creative schedule without anyone to teach "specials" and in the past my prep time for teaching K-2 science was nonexistent. This year, I get a few minutes during morning recess to get ready and I have been able to prepare and do so many more fun activities. 

Here are some pics from a Push and Pull activity we did (idea from here):


I bought sidewalk chalk for my kiddos a LONG time ago with the intention of doing some sidewalk spelling. We finally had a nice enough day on Monday to go for it. When they were done spelling, of course, we had time for free drawing. 


This is my favorite thing from this week--a new calendar and message board in the teachers' workroom! I had this crazy idea because during our lunch period, we are always making plans and then forgetting to tell someone who wasn't there at the time. I shared my idea with two of our amazing paras and they did the work to get it done in time for this busy time of year. Did I mention they are amazing? 


We had an extra FUN Friday yesterday because I broke out the paints and brought a washers game from home.

These paint trays are awesome!


Each year, our students make a quilt square and we have a wonderful lady who turns it into a beautiful quilt. The quilt gets auctioned off at our spring program. This year we did one with our school colors and mascot. It turned out great!

Have a great rest of your weekend (hope you get some sunshine)!

P.S. Does anyone else think Apple sabotages your old phone camera in an effort to make you upgrade? My pictures used to be AMAZING and now...ugh! Maybe I'm just crazy, but...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Response

Happy Wednesday!

How are you holding up? I'll admit I'm having a rough week! 

It makes me so sad because last week we really focused on behavior and expectations. I thought we had made a lot of progress, but…well…now, I'm not so sure. This right here could lead me on a tangent, so maybe I should just save that for Friday's random post about my week! Ha!

Moving on to our wisdom for today…

Response vs. Reaction

I don't know about you, but there are a lot of things "flying at me" this time of year. From my students. My administrators. My coworkers. It's just a busy time of year, and that causes an elevated level of stress in the workplace.

I've also noticed this with my students lately. I don't know if it is because we are such a small school or if this happens everywhere at the end of the year, but the kids have less patience for their classmates. Lose their tempers more easily. Or just say or do mean things.

It got me to thinking about this quote from my study, There's a Fly in my Tea! I actually even tried to "teach" this today in an effort to get my kiddos back on track.

To briefly summarize what I discuss in the study (and what I attempted to teach my kids):

When we react to something, we do or say the first thing that comes to mind…like an impulse, something that has not been thought through. 

A response is different from a reaction in that we take time to think and consider the results of our actions or words.

I know that I needed the reminder as I respond to the demands the end of the year can bring for a teacher. I'm hoping my students can grasp the concept as well to help us finish strong.

Finish this week strong! You can do it!

P.S. When is your last day? I go until May 24th…seems like FOREVER since we got out so early last year (13th).

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