Sunday, February 22, 2015

Five for Friday (Early or Late?!)

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday on Sunday. I'm feeling random, so I thought it would be appropriate! Now you can either claim I'm a couple days late or you can think like I do and figure I am five days early. I'm not going to explain my thinking because I don't know that anyone would understand my explanation. It is just the way I think!
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This week was short. Three days short. Monday was a scheduled day off. Friday was a snow day. That leaves only three days of teaching this week. I can't believe I'm about to say this but here it goes, "I've had enough snow days for the year." My house is so clean, I follow my kitty around and take pictures of her. I even use kitty treats to get her to pose for some of them.

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Does anyone else feel like February is way to short to fit all the awesomeness there is in the month? Ground Hog Day, Valentines Day, MLK Day, President's Day, Black History Month, Dental Health Month, and  Chinese New Year plus Hundreds Day always comes in February. Who decided to only give this great month 28 days? I'm starting a petition to add an extra week in February. We all want a longer winter anyway. Right? 
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And now for a joke...What goes clink, clank, clink, crash?   A robot laughing his head off! Get it? I told that joke to my Owlets and they thought it was pretty funny. When I was a kid I told a similar joke quite a bit...What goes ha-ha-ha plop? A man laughing his head off! Get it? 
I love you a-bot! Get it?!

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Here are some of my favorites!
This year was my Third Annual President's Parade and Luncheon. Each student researches a different president and makes a poster about him/her(someday there will be a her). This year I invited participants from the last two years to participate if they wanted to. Several of them decided to be first ladies instead! We marched through the halls to the sounds of John Philip Sousa's President Garfield's Inauguration March. Candy was thrown and streamers were waved!
Some how we ended up with two Tafts! Only one was stuck in the tub!




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Speaking of Taft....Have you seen this book? Hil.ar.i.ous! My students love Taft because he was the um the um largest president of anything including the United States of America. Chris Van Dusen's illustrations are always a win with me. For that matter, Mac Barnett hasn't written a book I didn't like either. I'll keep reading everything he writes to make sure he keeps up the good work! 

I should warn you that one of the reviewers said it wasn't appropriate for the classroom because of all of the pictures in the tub. Apparently Taft bathed without clothes on...gasp! That is why I think it is especially engaging! Kids love this kind of humor!!

It's never too late early to link up with Five for Friday!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Letters With Big Time Literacy

I'm linking up with Michelle at Big Time Literacy for Sunday Letters. You should too. It is fun!


Dear Chessie,
When we brought you home I was doing it to appease my daughter's desire to have a cat. Oh sure, I wanted a kitty too. It's just I wanted a cute little kitten of 8 weeks. You weren't that cute. You were rather big. I think you were older than six months. I felt sorry for you living in the back of Petco for months. 
Now when I look at you, I see the most beautiful cat in the world. The way you hold your tail straight up  like an exclamation point makes me smile. I adore the way you greet me when I come home. Throwing yourself at my feet begging for attention is just a blessing. Your silly antics with yarn and turkeys fills me with delight. 
Some day very soon I'm going to read you the book Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. For good reason, it is the oldest American picture book still in print. Perhaps it would have won the Caldecott in 1929. Since Caldecott awards didn't come into existence until 1938, it had to be happy with the Newberry! You'll love the repeated phrase, "...hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions, and trillions of cats." So, dear Chessie, I want you to know that I have seen a lot of cats...maybe a few less than a million...but you are the kitty for me. Your sweetness and unconditional acceptance of me makes me happy to be in your presence. Thank you for choosing me to be your person! Love, Momma

Dear Couch,
I love long naps and cold winter days. I love the way you hold me and support me after long and sometimes trying days at work. Thanks for always being there and catching my coins and crumbs for later. I promise a massage with the vacuum. Just not today. I'm busy napping today.
You got my backside, Me

Dear Kazumi Guy,
I am still amazed at the way you caught that egg in your hat. I wonder if you've ever forgotten it's up there. Has one ever broken? I wonder if a chicken sat on top if that egg would hatch. I know that's impossible, but it is fun to think about. My friends and I loved the way you could shoot saki into our mouths without getting any on our faces.  Do you spend long hours in front of a mirror practicing? Your talent amazes me and I now see why your place is such a popular eatery.
Growling,
A Hungry Tummy



Friday, February 13, 2015

Five For Friday


Valentines Day would not be complete without talking about the greatest love of all! John 15:13 tells us what the greatest love is. "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friend." Each day teachers put the needs of their students ahead of their own, they are loving like that. My Owlets read 1Corinthians 13 with me yesterday and looked for words that gave evidence of love. We want our hearts so full of love that there isn't any room for hate. Sharing God's word with my students every day is the best part of my job.
I can't imagine living somewhere that doesn't have the hope of a snow day once in a while. There is something really awesome about hearing that phone ringing at an odd time in the middle of the night. Then being able to climb back under toasty warm covers while listening to the winds pound the windows asking to come in is priceless. Much to my daughter's disappointment I spend a snow day at home and off the roads. I search for unusual crafts to make using hangers and milk jugs. I drink coffee, take naps and watch birds. 

I think I finally figured out how to give Hundred's Day the time it deserves. Stretch it out over the first several days of hundred. There is no way anyone can fit in all the wonderful and educational ideas associated with the day. My favorite activity this year was 100 balloons. After blowing them up I was going to use them until they popped of natural causes. The best time we had was taking them out of our classroom tepee and covering the associated number on a unifix cube 100 frame. The Owlets had to find a cube the same color as the balloon to cover the corresponding number with. We could easily use the cubes to build a graph to see which color we had the most. Because we can't go outside if the temperature is ten degrees, they ended up being a great indoor recess activity too.
Valentine's Day, how I love you. My Owlets get so excited about sharing their cards and treats with each other. This year I the most unique Valentine ever. One of my kids made wooden Valentines for me and each of his classmates. He was so proud to have made them all by himself. What great parents this kid has. He came up with this idea and executed it on his own. He brought them to school three days early!
My baby turned 16 this week. 16! She is a constant source of sweetness in my life. Even when she kicked my hand yesterday during some wild dancing we were doing in the kitchen, I can't imagine life without her laughter and energy. Drivers Ed. Starts in two weeks. I hope I can survive this last student driver's 50 hours!
Happy birthday to her. Here is a set of bookmarks for you. They're free until March!






Saturday, February 7, 2015

100 Eyed Monster!

Have you made it to 100s Day? Snow Days have certainly put many of us behind on our celebration! Last year we had way too many Snow Days, but this year we've had just the right amount...two! You won't hear me complain if we happen to get one more. Three is just such a perfect number!
I wish our tee-pee had held all 100 balloons! Alas, I was only able to squeeze in 80 !
I numbered each balloon from 1 to 100 on random colors. We used markers to fill in our 100 chart by matching the color of the balloon to its number. It really helped kids see patterns and relationships between numbers. Some of my Owlets would start at the beginning of the chart and count all the way up to the right number every time. Others figured out quickly that they could use the chart to see ten more or start at a number close to the one they were looking for and count on. I wasn't sure I'd ever want to blow up and tie one hundred balloons again, but I would definitely repeat this activity. Next year I think we'll do it for the 50th day of school!!


Have you seen those cute T-shirts with monsters with 100 eyes? Kids are wearing them to school all over the place. I wish I'd had time to make one for myself. I did have time to be inspired by them! Here is my 100 eyed monster!


Of course I had my own little "monsters" help me finish this guy up. When they arrived at school there was only one eye! I wrote a poem to go along with the Put-an-Eye-on-the-Monster activity and we traveled around the school to read it to our friends.(friends:  preschoolers, and kindergartners!) HERE is a copy of the poem to use for your own celebration. I'd love to see your 100 eyed monster too!



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hump Day Highlight!

I am linking up with the AMAZING Jessica from Mrs Stanford's Class to share a Hump Day Highlight.




With three days under my belt this week, my highlight occurred when an Owlet gave me a huge thrill. We've been reading books and poems about snowmen all week. Today we brainstormed words we would need to use to write directions to help others build a snowman of their own. We used this cute snowman from Digital Bakeshop to organize our thoughts.
When it was time to unleash my authors, they were ready to go. I wish I had brought home the piece written by the student who started the year out being unsure of letter sounds. The student who would write random letters down without any seeming organization. Her paper was covered with words front and back. The difference 82 days make is why we teach! I could read the whole thing with very little trouble. Sure, some of the letters were capital where they shouldn't be. Yes, it was missing most of the needed periods. BUT! It had voice. It had order. It had pride. It had attitude! What happened? No one told her she couldn't...so she did.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Trifecta!

I cannot believe it has been over a month since I last posted anything. It seems to me that since I have gotten my Ipad and gotten sucked into games like Trivia Crack, I've been far less productive in most areas of my life. Enough said...I'm back and ready to share some thoughts. I'm going for the trifecta today. (Trifecta: a run of three wins or grand events)

The first grand event will contain the second which will contain the third. It is like opening a gift, to open a gift to open a gift! It is your lucky day!
First link is one of my all time favorites...fiveforfriday2_thumb[3]

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It may be tricky to come up with five because I've been spending most of the last two weeks in my pajamas eating cookies for breakfast. Enough said...That is my number one. Cookies make a wonderful breakfast because they beg to have milk with them, so this way I did get a serving of calcium. Right? RIGHT?
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Remember how I said I had a present inside a present? Well here it is the second grand event. I'm linking up with Farley, too! It is time for Currently...

It isn't too late for you to link up! I'm linker 266. Maybe by the time I'm done it will be 267, but that's okay. It's a great party.
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Kitty is sitting on the table  my purse watching me right now. I've trained her not to get on the table.

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I'm not a big one on making resolutions. I do (here comes the tri- of fecta!) like contemplating one word for the year.  I can do that. I can just think of one little word. Link number three come on in......

My one word: Listen
I realize I spend a lot of time talking. I finish sentences for my family. I tell God what I want Him to do in my life. I quite often feel like I've got all the answers...I'm the teacher after all. I realize I have a lot to learn. I want to listen to God's Word and soak it in like never before. I want to listen to my husband and children with not just my ears, but also my heart. I want to listen to my students and better understand their needs as learners. 

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I spent hours re-doing one of my favorite TPT projects. I think it is better than ever. I think I spent more time fixing it than creating it in the first place. If you think you could use it just click on the picture below to get it on google docs. If you would like to buy it, I'm cool with that. You can. Just click here to go ahead and put it in your cart!

Happy 2015! May your year be filled with amazing people. It is who you are with that makes the journey worth travelling! 



Saturday, November 22, 2014

I Love You and Some Other Stuff Too!

I love you. What power these words hold. Last spring was the first time I remember looking at a student, making eye contact and saying, "I love you, Tucker." What a floodgate of love was opened with those words. That child wasn't real easy to love, but I did because I knew I couldn't give him anything else of value until I could give him love. It works both ways. Several weeks ago I walked into the after school latch key program to return a student's lunchbox. A future first grader smiled at me and said, "I love you, Mrs. Reck." I teared up. My heart swelled. I have made a connection with a child I don't even have in my classroom yet!  As a teacher, I know that I will sound like a grown-up from Charlie Brown's world if I don't have love to back up what I'm teaching. I can't help but think about 1 Corinthians 13:1

Speaking of love...my daughter is marrying her best friend. You couldn't ask for more than that for your children. We got their save the date card in the mail this week and I am giddy with excitement! Can you identify all these famous couples?

As long as I'm stuck on the subject of love...I found a new friend on Instagram. She made my students think that I was a creative genius! Art with Jenny has some truly amazing and fun art projects to make any special occasion pop! I reluctantly took down our Veteran's Day mural, but will soon replace it with one of Jenny's other creations. Go give her some love, but check this out first..

Click HERE to visit her TPT store. 

My students are falling in love with reading. I love watching first graders grow into readers so quickly. I gave my class a challenge to read 50 books outside of school in two weeks. Each time they read a book they got to place a turkey feather on the turkey decorating our classroom door....they did it!

Because we met the challenge, I get to...well, see if you can decode Tuesday's morning message...

Well, that's embarrassing! What the heck is a pacake? Looks like I have some fixing to do. Please don't tell anyone that I occasionally make mistakes. Just when I thought I was really on top of things!


 I leave you with one last picture. As I was sitting here tapping away look who stopped by! There is a whole flock in my backyard, but this hen came right up to the window. Maybe she is looking for kitty! Maybe the idea of a warm oven sounds inviting on this dreary day? Poor Chessie slept through all the excitement!