Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ouch Stories!

We have been working on the ou/ow sound in class and the kids were so excited when they found out that they got to write an ouch story!  This is a story about a time when they got hurt.  For some reason, kids seem to love to tell these stories and I think they could have wrote all day long about their ouch stories if I would have let them do it!  LOL!  So, here are just a few that were written:





Throughout the week, we also worked on sequencing, so they worked on this skill as well by telling what happened first, next, then and last.  I love it when you can combine more than one skill into an activity.  

Hope you are having a great week! 




Friday, March 27, 2015

Five for Friday--Sight Words, Following Directions, and Addition with Regrouping!

Hey there. I remembered to take pictures this week--woohoo! That means you get a peek at my first week back after spring break. As I said yesterday, it has been quite a struggle to get back into my groove. I'm sure next week I'll feel like I'm back on track!

1. Super Sight Word Check-In


I use our Super Sight Word Packs to give my struggling readers extra practice. After testing them on the lists, I print cards for each student with the words that need more practice. They practice reading them and eventually writing them--which they love to do on the table with dry erase markers! :-) Fridays are perfect for this because I usually don't meet with my Daily 5 groups.

2. Following Directions Game - Morning Edition


So this one is a bit of an "aha moment." I have blogged before about what I consider the easiest, best, and most loved management trick ever

Every year, I have had to remind kiddos to do their lunch choice or check their GO Books or do whatever else I have posted on the board. 

This week--probably because it was my first week back from spring break--I just couldn't take it anymore. 

I wanted to shout a few of the following things...

"Read the board!"

"Follow the directions!"

"Why are you working on your work folder when there is a spelling page listed on the board?!?!?!" 

"Why have you forgotten everything over spring break?!"

I did not shout. I promise I did not. I mean, I rarely raise my voice and with this particular class barely have to use my "let's get serious teacher voice." After giving them a few days to "remember" the morning routine, it dawned on me that my handy, dandy "Following Directions Game" would totally work! Oh, the success! Why didn't I think of it before?

Seriously. Go read about the game and try it. You won't be disappointed.

3. March Teacher Birthday Lunch


Every month we celebrate staff/faculty birthdays with a lunch of their choice. We all bring in the requested items and it is always delicious. This time, I signed up for dessert--chocolate pie and crunchy caramel apple pie. Yummy!

4. Regrouping Scoot


I threw in some "fun" math this week. We reviewed addition with regrouping and place value with these scoot cards. This game can be found here from Teaching and Tapas.

We also did an activity where we made a robot on graph paper and found the area and perimeter of it's head, body, arms and legs. That, however, did not turn out as much fun because apparently we need to review area and perimeter...moving on...

5. After-School Visitors


Our secretary has two little sweeties in our school. The one in blue is in my class. The one she is reading to is in Kindergarten. I don't mind them visiting me--especially when it includes reading! On this particular day, she was reading to her little sister and then showing her how to take a Book Adventure test. :-)

That about covers it other than a funny story about me getting stung by a wasp during my most rowdy music class but no picture and you probably had to be there, so...I'll spare you.

Go link up with Doodlebugs if you have a blog!



Enjoy your weekend (and your spring break if you are off this week)!


Wisdom for Wednesday (I mean Friday!)

So this is the first week back to work after spring break, and I have been complaining that my kiddos have forgotten things (like how to alphabetize--wait, maybe they were never very good at that one--and how to do subtraction with regrouping). They have just been off this week!

Well, apparently so am I! I knew at the beginning of the week this was my week for the Wisdom post, but I completely spaced it until I sat down to work on my Friday post. Guess the kids aren't the only ones having trouble getting back into the routine!

So thanks for your patience and I'm glad you're here for this week's:




This particular print is actually for sale on Etsy

I spotted a version of this quote on Instagram this week, and I was immediately intrigued. As I started researching it, I became even more interested when I found out it was authored by Jim Elliot. If you don't know, Elliot (October 8, 1927-January 8, 1956) was a missionary to Ecuador, where he and his missionary friends were killed by Auca warriors when they went to try and witness to them. Later Jim's wife, Elisabeth, returned to that village to minister to the people. Amazing story of God's grace and forgiveness if you ever want to find out more!

Anyway, when I first read it, I thought of how I am often distracted by all that is going on in my life. I am constantly trying to "multi-task" in order to get everything done. The quote made me think of times when I am with my family and I am also trying to "work." It also made me think of the times when I allow my phone to be a distraction from my present company. I try really hard to ignore the alerts and texts that come in while I am in conversation with others because I find it so rude when people I'm talking to are checking their phone. I also know I'm guilty of it--sadly, it most often happens to my family. I think we all have a tendency to take our family for granted. :-(

However, once I found out the quote was by Jim Elliot I knew the meaning went much deeper. Here's what the rest of this quote says, "Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." 

I know my first thoughts still apply, but now with more information it also makes me examine my "situations," my activities. Are they all the will of God? Am I wasting my time--God's time--with some of my endeavors? Are the things that keep me so busy and distracted things I want to do or are they the will of God? 

Those are my thoughts for today. Have a happy Friday!


P.S. My real Friday post will be up tomorrow! :-)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Break and I'm Jealous

Spring Break is officially over and today I hit the floor running again.  I have to say that I have a very hard time when we have a long break.  The reason why I have such a hard time with it is because I love going at my own speed and doing things on my schedule.  It is hard for me to get back into routine and schedule.  Once, I get going it isn't bad, but it's the first few days that seem the hardest for me.  The nice thing about going back is getting to see the kids again and it is amazing to me how after only 11 days, they look like they have grown a lot!  

I said that I was jealous and this is why:



This is what my babies will be doing all day long today and I would love to be doing the same with them (well at least getting a nap in would be nice)!  

It is amazing because every day during Spring Break, I woke up on my own at 5:00 am wide awake.  Now, guess what, I am tired and not wide awake at 5:00 am, why is that?  

Everything will be great once I get back into the schedule again and routine of things.  I'm sure the kiddos have a hard time getting back into schedule and routine as well.  

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Break = March Madness, Physical Therapy, and a Photo Project

It's my spring break, so I won't apologize for this being completely and totally unrelated to teaching.

I've done a lot of this...


After yesterday, I was a little worried about my Jayhawks and the Big 12 but today we are 2/2 so far. Woohoo! And yes, sadly, I do sit and watch the games all day flipping from one to the other during time-outs, etc. What can I say?

I've also done a lot of…taking care of Chaz. I'll admit that at the beginning of the week this mom was exhausted! On Monday he was frustrated, realizing for the first time how difficult and long this recovery will be. He perked up after a reminder of Who was in control and has made a lot of progress over the last few days. We even had good news yesterday at therapy! The therapist said that because he was doing so well with his exercises at home we can back down our visits from 3 per week to 2 per week. This is HUGE for us (when you live 30 minutes from town).

My daughter actually took on a project in between watching games and helping take care of her brother - HA! She changed out a display in her room that my sister made for her about 7 years ago. She has always had a love for horses. This picture shows the old pages with a "borrowed" horse.



She was so little!

Here's the new display:



She's growing up too fast--and no more borrowed horse! ;-)

I took all these pictures with my iPhone. When we went to develop them, they made me sign a release because they looked too professional. Cool, huh?

She wrote this poem for her "old guy."

That's all I've got…back to basketball for me! If you're on break, I hope you're enjoying it. If you're not there yet, hang in there! :-)



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Faith

Welcome to another week of:



Have you ever had a time in your life that is just really tough......everything just seems hard and your faith begins to weaken?  I found this quote and it was so fitting for me right now.  As I see things in my life that I would like to change now, but have no control over and can't change myself, I have to keep my faith and know that there will be light soon!  Waiting and being patient, I think is the hardest part.  As the waiting becomes longer, I feel my faith getting weaker.  Instead I need it to get stronger and I need to remember that God will bring me through it and there will be light at the end.  

Matthew 17:2o- And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Have a great day!





Monday, March 16, 2015

Paleo Diet and Spring Break

Today is my first official day of Spring Break and of course I woke up at 5:30.  Why is it that when you can sleep in, you wake up early, but when you have to get up, you could sleep forever?  :-)  Anyways, the weather here is amazing!  Does it get any better than this?  Of course Wednesday and Thursday is a little chilly for me, but it's not snow so I can deal with it!  It seems like it has been a long time since we have had a Spring Break that has been nice.  In fact, I believe that last year it snowed.  UGGHHH!

Wichita Kansas forecast

I have so many things that I need and would like to get done during Spring Break, but Dr.'s orders said that I should really rest the whole time.  Rest when it is 83 degrees outside, how do you do that?  I suppose I can sit outside and soak up some of the sun.  But it will be hard not to do things around the house.  :-)  


On another note, not school related-sorry!  I started the Paleo diet on Saturday.  It really hasn't been too bad so far.  I started doing it more for health reasons-although I could stand to lose weight as well, so If I do lose weight in the process, I definitely won't get mad.   :-)  So I was wondering if anyone else is doing the diet and have some really good recipes that you would share with me.  It is pretty limited on what you can eat and I think you have to get really creative with recipes.  Please share if you have any that you really liked.

Hope you are having a relaxing Spring Break if you are on it!

Have a great day!




Sunday, March 15, 2015

Post-Op Update, Big 12 Tourney, and Spring Break is (officially) HERE!

Hi all! 

I first want to thank every one for the prayers and well-wishes for my son. His knee surgery went "perfect" according to the doctor. They did have to stitch the meniscus which means a more restrictive healing process--he is locked nearly straight-legged in a brace for the next six weeks and can't put any weight on it. 

Here he is trying to bend his knee…working toward a mere 30 degrees.

He started physical therapy on Friday and is doing well with it. It is hard for this mama to watch though…and believe me, I am not the babying type! It just amazes me how much muscle he has lost in his leg already and how difficult the seemingly simple physical therapy exercises are for him. The therapist said that he is actually starting slower because of the meniscus. If it had just been the ACL surgery, they would have started much more intense with therapy. Yikes!

Because he was doing so well after surgery, hubby and I were able to go and support the Jayhawks at the Big 12 tournament (thanks to grandmas who were willing to look after Chaz).

We continue to be bad at taking selfies…what can I say?
Could not even believe we gave up a 17 point lead to Iowa State in the championship, but I really don't want to talk about that…Ha!


The tournament is always fun. There are booths with freebies and picture opportunities…hubby and I jumped in with Sherron Collins and got his autograph for the kids.

Now spring break is officially here!

What will I do with myself? 

I'm not really sure, but I know a lot of PT appointments are in our near future.

Have a great week!



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday Rerun - Fretting

Good morning! This post is a rerun because I need it! Today is my son's surgery and a reminder not to fret and worry is exactly what I need so I decided to repost this "oldie but goodie."

From June 25, 2014:

Hi there! I almost forgot it was my turn for the wisdom post (Kristi and I take turns). Too much unstructured summer relaxation, I guess. No worries...I had the perfect quote in mind. Take a look:



I don't know about you, but I had to read that again...and again. Then I had to admit how true it is! Ouch!

Fretting (or worrying) really does stem from me wanting to get my own way. For example, the last thing I was "fretting" about was our horse, Cosmo. My way was that the horse would be fine, and we would not have to tell Harley it was time to put him down. Thankfully, that is how it ended up (for now), but fretting about it certainly didn't help anything.

I don't think I am a 'worry-wart,' but there are times when I start to worry. After reading this quote, I can see that those times are fueled by my determination to get my way. When I worry about my family, it is always because I want them to be fine and everything to turn out okay. As for school, I will sometimes worry about getting things done so that all will run smoothly. Or maybe I will worry about a situation with parents because in the end, I want them to like me and feel like I'm doing what is best for their child.

The reality of it is that things are not always going to go my way and fretting doesn't help my situation. It only causes me to feel anxious and perhaps lose sleep! Please tell me I'm not alone here.

But what good is that? Why not leave it with the Lord?

Here's one of my favorite verses...and I think I need to remember it even more after realizing what causes me to worry and fret!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I Peter 5:8

Thanks for stopping by for:



After my son's diagnosis, I started researching the injury and the surgery online. All the information and statistics were making me start to worry and fret. I had to make myself STOP researching and START trusting. 

Prayers for Chaz today…and the rest of us! Thank you!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Bouncy Balls and Our Scavenger Hunt

I have used this site for a long time, but I had forgotten about it this last 9 weeks until the other day when I felt like my kids were getting a little loud (which I'm not one that likes a lot of noise :-(  so I'm a little controlling when it comes to noise level) while playing a math game.  I went and pulled up the site and put it on the board and it was like magic.  The kids remembered it and immediately their voices went straight to a whisper.  I have used it almost every day since.  It has a microphone on it and when the kids talk the balls will bounce.  If they get really loud the balls bounce really high and if it isn't very loud then the balls will barely bounce.  I love it!  Check it out if you haven't already used it.


Today, we did 2 math boxes for our Everyday Math.  If you aren't familiar with Everyday Math, the math boxes in first grade give 4 review problems for them to complete.  Instead of sitting at our seats and working on the problems we did a scavenger hunt.  I made a copy of the problems and spread them throughout the room.  The kids had to take their math books and find the problems and answer them in their math books.  They loved it and had a lot of fun doing it.  It is amazing how excited they get over the littlest thing.  The coolest part about it was everyone finished their math on time today!!!  YAY!!!!  I think I will have to try that again sometime soon!  Check them out:





Hope you have a great day!




Saturday, March 7, 2015

Five for…Well, You Understand!

Good morning! What a week this has been! 

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs to show you some of the highlights. 


We celebrated Read Across America Week with dress-up days. Each day was something different and comfortable (my favorite part). On Wacky Wednesday, we were all "Things."

I'm the large one--in the middle. They stuck me in the middle and crowded around, all turned to the side and looking skinny. Obviously, they are more skilled at taking pictures than me! Ha! I didn't even think about it until I saw it plastered on Facebook (thanks, Debbie!) so I figured I'd share it on here too. Might as well, right?
By the way, I was Thing 23 with a trivia question. 
What famous basketball player wore this number? 

So for fun…you can play too. First three to respond correctly WITH an e-mail can pick a freebie from our store. Leave me a comment below. :-)

On Friday, we wrapped up our celebration week by dividing up our 48 (yes, 48) K-2 students among three teachers and two fabulous paras. Each of us did an activity centered around a Seuss book and then we rotated kids every 25 minutes.

Last year, I was ambitious and made Oobleck…fun and messy!

This year I wanted something a little simpler and I found this graph online at Oopsey Daisy for One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. The graphing activity was great, but I was bored with the book after reading it to the third group and my tongue was thoroughly twisted! In the last two groups, I let the students take turns reading and that was fun for me…hearing those future second graders reading. :-)
My class has started exploring MobyMax!
This note is from my little gifted student. She is always leaving me notes on papers. Moby has been great for her because she is really being challenged! Equivalent fractions--yikes!
Stay tuned…giveaway coming soon. :-)

If you have an iPad, you must check out this app! It will put whatever is on your computer on your iPad so you can use it remotely. PERFECT for me since my projector is at the front of the room and my computer is at the back of the room.

I have this brilliant little mind in my class who told me about it. He is amazing with technology. I mean, really. The possibilities for him are exciting…I hope he remembers me when he becomes a millionaire. I'll be able to say I was his second grade teacher! :-) He got me all set up at recess yesterday and I am so excited to use this app more!

The highlights of the week would not be complete without a basketball picture. This is of my daughter, Harley, (left) and niece (right) last summer. They have been "separated" this season with Harley in middle school and my niece in high school. 
We spent Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings at sub-state basketball this week. We were lucky enough to host it at our school so that was fun. I love watching the girls team because I coached most of them back when they were little and we cheered on my son's team (even though he is out with that knee injury). Both teams made it to the semi-finals and fought hard against the #1 teams in the tournament, but weren't able to pull out the wins.


After the girls lost, my niece said she was sad to have the season end, but excited that her next game would be with Harley on her team again. Harley feels the same way. I love that they are so close and share a passion for the game. 

 Well, that sums up my week! 

Next week is a short one for me...I'll be out Wednesday and Thursday for my son's knee surgery. Friday officially starts our Spring Break. :-)



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Life

Welcome back to this week's:



Wow this is so true!  We have so many choices that we get to or have to make in life.  One major choice is how we spend each and every day that we have.  It is all up to us and how we want our lives to be lived.  The time will pass either way so which way would you rather spend your life-creating that life you want or spend it living the life you don't want?  

Have a wonderful day!




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