Sunday, April 29, 2012

Socks and a Wedding!

Just like kids, these socks love sugar!

They were caught reading!

These socks were caught red-footed running through the halls at school.

Teaching in a parochial school sometimes means that you have to be a bit creative with your resources.  We don’t have Smart boards, or ipads.  We do have laptops and computer projectors.  I try to utilize these to the best of my abilities.  I like to make Power Points for and with my students.  I love making Power Points with pictures of my students  or the stuff they bring.  They get so excited when I share it with them. at school and send it to their families in an e-mail. 
The most popular PowerPoint I’ve made was one with my student’s socks!  Early this year we had “Bring a Sock to School Day.  We did all kinds of things with socks during the day, but the fun really started for the socks after the students had gone home for the day.  You and your students may enjoy this silly sock story.  Even better, host your own Bring a Sock to School Day and make a PowerPoint for your students to treasure! A Silly Sock Story...(Click on the blue link!)

My nephew and his blushing bride greet the congregation as Mrs. and Mr.!

It’s been a busy and very wonderful weekend. A wedding and a nature hike were the highlights! Last week I promised you pictures of the newlyweds!  They threw a wonderful party and it was so good to spend time with my four sisters and brother and their families.  After seven years of romancing she finally said, “I do”!  I love them both and wish them many years of happiness!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sentimental Journey

Thank you KPM Doodles!

Oh my goodness!  So much to do and so little time!  I have something big planned for the next four weekends.  The best big weekend will be the one coming up when I get to go to a much anticipated wedding!  My nephew Ben is FINALLY marrying his sweetheart, Leah.  They have been together for what seems like forever, but usually separated by the state of Michigan!  They'll finally be together and they'll practically be our neighbors.  I know those newlyweds are going to want to spend TONS of time with their aunt and family!!  Be sure to come back next week and see a picture of this cute couple!

I've been doing lots of blog hopping and getting fresh ideas to help me finish out the year.  Because it is National Poetry Month and because I am feeling very sentimental about my class I've written a poem.  My challenge to you is to write a poem for or about your class this year. Include special memories and treasured thoughts that you have regarding your year.  This year has been particularly special for me as I have been with my class for two years in a row!  They are the first group of firsties I have had since my maternity leave 21 years ago.  I have enjoyed them and loved them so much.  Well, I'll let my poem tell the story...

Thanks for joining me on this sentimental journey!

Thank you so much to my new friend, Renonda for helping with my button!  Snickety Things has become a favorite blog of mine.  Now Renonda has started blogging about books...Which I love!
She makes the most beautiful cakes...Yum!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bees, Buttons and Bribery...I Mean Persuasion!

Today my firsties had another word search.  This time they had to search for bees scattered around the room.  Once found they  used giant fly swatters I found at a dollar store to bop the bees.  One student calls out the word to bop while two others race to be the first to bop.  After five words, they trade places.
Ready to bop a bee!

Bee Bopper graphics by Digital Bake Shop!  My favorite!

I found dig!

I have wasted two evenings trying to make a grab button!  I think they're a nice touch on a blog and I used a Digital Bakeshop design to create one that I love.
Wouldn't this look
nice sitting a little to the

Every time I think I have it, it shows up five times bigger or with letters all over outside the place the code is supposed to rest.  In the meantime laundry has piled up, birds have gone unfed and I have a headache.  I'm not giving up, but I'm taking a vacation from trying!

Today we worked on persuasive writing again.  I wasn't very pleased with our last attempt.  When the kids work is not what I hope or think it should be, I suspect that something went awry with my teaching.  I haven't done much writing for them in the area of persuasion, so I wrote an example of what I had hoped from them on convincing the Little Red Hen's friends to help her next time she would be planting, cutting, threshing, and baking bread.  I thought I was very convincing.  If I was Red's  friend I would help!

I used some of our music time to continue with our persuasive talk. Since they had just come in from recess, I asked them what it was like outside today.  They told me how nice it was. I said I’d like to go out, but I’d have to be persuaded.  Someone said they’d bring me $100.00 tomorrow if we went outside. Someone else promised me chocolate!  They had a hard time knowing the difference between bribing and persuasion.    
The listening to birds was what persuaded me!
I am expecting some chocolate tomorrow...
I love the woods next to our school.  Wouldn't you love to set up  a  guided nature trail here someday?

The kids got so excited watching this chickadee. They held sticks up in the
air hoping the pair working on their next would land on them!

He was building a nest inside this dead tree branch.

These girls decided to build a hawk's nest.  I love letting them experience playing in the woods.

I would really like to persuade someone to help me with buttons and blogging!  I can’t get my post to format today the way I want it.  Good grief!  Technology is not my friend this week, but I’m glad you are!  Thanks for stopping by. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm a Winner and You Are, Too!

Can you hear me hooting?  I'm so excited!!  I just won one sweet prize. I'm a huge fan of the Digital Bake Shop!  I've been working on a project using Jaime's artwork.  If you have never seen her work follow the link to be amazed at her talent!The Digital Bake Shop has yummy fresh baked designs!
It is my pleasure to thank Erica Bohrer who writes a blog I love following: Erica Bohrer's First Grade!  Erica has also written teacher resource books for Scholastic that would be a great addition to your professional library!
Now it's my turn to share something!  I created two games using Digital Bake Shop's latest cinnamon buns! production.  I noticed it when I was entering the giveaway and I had to have it.  It has owls...You know I love owls!  

Showy Owl Game
The first game is helping children learn the sounds that "ow" stand for.  There is a making word part and a sorting part to the game.  My kids tested it today and wanted to play again and again! It is my newest word work station. Click here to get the game: Showy Owl Game  Please leave a comment if the link doesn't work...I'm trying to learn all that I can!  

The other game we played today is in my math work station.  The kids also enjoyed playing this.  Owls always open their beaks to the greatest number!  Here is a game to work on comparing numbers.  Comparing numbers game  I hope you can use this.  I love paper clip spinner games...Kids get to work on small motor skills and build math and reading muscles at the same time.
Thank you again to Erica...I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.  Maybe I'll finish 11/22/63. I'm on page 171 of 849 pages...I should have saved it for a summer read!
Owl be following you!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great Gator Day

Equal, Lesser and Greater Gator!

I had too much fun with my Cricut last night!  The result is a great work station.  My students loved working with their Greater Gators and playing cards to generate greater than an less than sentences.  If someone got an equal... I did the "Equal Dance" with the gator named Equal!  I got a little suspicious when  many of my workers drew cards that were equal.  I took it as a compliment to my dancing skills...hee hee hee!  They'll never forget that equal means the same.

The day started out a little rough because I forgot the anchor poem chart that I had written at
home. . . GRRR(eater!)  Luckily my room connects with the 7th and 8th grade room and they were more than happy to read with my first graders while I drove the one mile to my house and back with my great(er) poem.   The best thing of all was that when I returned they were disappointed and wanted to keep reading.  Task master that I am, we had to move on to greater things!

RECKreational Lanes!  Open for business!!
I found some great things on clearance and at the dollar store to make some new work stations.  The bowling station is quite popular.  Children recorded subtraction problems after they rolled the bowling ball down the  alley at the pins.

With Big Sums children recorded with big pencils the sum to three addends.  They love using these giant pencils that I found on clearance at Target!

I love hearing kids saying to each other, "This is the best day ever!" After the rather bumpy start to my morning I didn't expect it to turn around, but first graders are AMAZING people.  They are loving, forgiving and honest.  I am so blessed to be able to spend time with them.  Today ended up being a wonderful day.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing my joy!!

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mars...A Planet and a Daughter!

 The first day back after spring break was a little rough, but I made it through.  I've had fun listening to stories and telling stories of my own!  My favorite memory of the week will be the time I spent with my family at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids.  My daughter whose name happens to be Mars (Her nickname  for Margaret since she was three!) came home from her studies of chemistry and biology to be with her family for Easter.  There was a traveling exhibit at the museum all about going to the planet Mars.  We had a Mars faces Mars adventure.  It was a very well thought out exhibit with plenty for us all to do.  Mars is more sure than ever she wants to travel to Mars.  Her dream job would be to work for NASA!
Reporting for duty!

Her siblings aren't sure they want to face Mars.

A perfect surgical procedure completed!

Mars experiences the gravity on Mars.

Back on planet Earth...Scrambled eggs and Scrabbled eggs are big hits this week in first grade. Of course, I left my camera at home.  I had wrote sentences containing spelling words and cut them into individual words before putting them into a plastic egg.  Six eggs in all told a story when the sentences were properly put together.  I was so pleased that most of the students were able to work independently and I was able to work with individual readers on fluency.

 It's such a thrill to get to this point in the school year and be able to see how much my students have grown in wisdom and in wanting to learn and grow.  This anchor chart I redid over spring break is one I refer to often and  helps our class refocus on objectives.
Out with the old!

In with the new!
My students are adding some "illustrations" this week!
It's off to bed for me.  I had no intention of blogging tonight, but I thought I had a chance at winning something if I mentioned this other persons  blog.  GUESS WHAT! I'm a day late. I went to the blog to get the URL and found out after I had done all this work.  Who is surprised?  I notice no one has their hand up.  If you know me, you know I have ADD...Attention to Date Disorder...GRRRR!  I did not win...I do not even collect $200 dollars!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Scrabbled Eggs

Please someone tell me that there was a mistake on the calendar and we have one more week of spring break...Please!  I've had such a delightful week with my own children. New spring migrants are arriving daily in my yard...Someone needs to be here to greet them, give them water and encourage them to stay and nest right here.  
Dr. Mr. Hermit Thrush, Thanks for arriving during my spring
break.  I'll try to get home early from school each day to check
your water and food situation.
Love, A friend!

I had planned on going into my classroom each day to work on different projects.  I made it twice!  I did bring stuff home to do, but it's still in my bag.  My son was moaning about all the things he wanted to do over spring break, but didn't.  I told him I felt the same way.  He replied, "Ya, but you love going to school."  He wins...again. I do love going to play work each day.  I don't know why I try to argue with a seventeen year old!

How many words can you make?
How many points can you score?

I did come up with a new "game" for my firsties to "play" tomorrow.  Scrabbled Eggs is a making words activity that can be used as a word work station.  My own children played it and gave it their seal of approval. I used an old Scrabble game that I found at a yard sale for the pieces. The directions for making and playing should be found by following the link below the pictures. 

I'm excited to see my students tomorrow.  Our room will be filled with stories, sweet hugs, laughter and learning. We are all excited to  find out who Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is helping next.   Yes!  I do love school!

Friday, April 6, 2012

This Joyful Eastertide!

Music has always had an incredible presence in my life.  My father, whom I adored, was church organist and choir director.  He loved music and our house always reverberated with sounds from Bach to James Taylor.  The love of music was passed on to all six of his children and we all think of him any time we hear the song "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg.  Easter was a big time for a church musician and he loved the hymns of Easter.  All morning I have been humming a favorite hymn of his and I can almost hear his voice singing...
This Joyful Eastertide
This joyful Eastertide,
Away with sin and sorrow!
My love, the Crucified, 
Has sprung to life this morrow:
Had Christ, who once was slain,
Not burst his three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain:
But now has Christ arisen, 
arisen, arisen:
But now has Christ arisen!
My dad died almost eighteen years ago, but sometimes it seems as if I saw him yesterday because of the love and memories he and my mother gave to us.  Because of Easter, I know I'll see him again.

My students made Easter eggs before spring break which, sadly, is coming to an end.  I asked them to write a psalm of praise for Easter.  Many of them turned them into letters, but their messages to Him are what I was hoping for.  I can't say I have a favorite because each child worked so hard and really put their hearts into the project.  I'll share a couple with you!
I love that she tells Jesus about how her dogs died.


I didn't ask her to include me...but I was touched she did!

I wish you a joyful Eastertide!  May all your Easter bunnies be dark chocolate!!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Magic Kingdom and Curb Appeal

The Fairy Forest at Hoffmaster State Park
The Magic Kingdom
  Spring Break has got to be one of the sweetest times of the      year.  A kind friend commented to me that teachers should have two weeks off for spring break.  One week for resting up and one week to get ready for our last burst of teaching.  I have to say I like the idea.  Don't you?

  I started my break with the stomach flu and stayed in bed for about thirty-six hours and slept!  I haven't had a sick day in many years, but it seems I always get sick in time for a weekend or holiday.  Being in bed for the whole weekend almost felt like luxury and now I'm back to new.  Luckily, I don't feel well enough to cook, clean, or do any laundry!  That's what Sunday evening is for!

Building a fairy boat at the Haunted Pond
  Every year we have managed to squeeze in a trip to The Magic Kingdom!  Well, it's my magic kingdom because it's filled with birds.  No lines.  No heat.  No crying.  I think I've convinced my children they don't want to go to the "other" Magic Kingdom!

  Our school is very excited about the opening of a new Magic Learning Kingdom (pre-school classroom).  We have been busting at the seams and we need more room.  Because of this we converted two old locker rooms, rarely never used into a gorgeous classroom. (I admit, I used it a couple of times when our power was knocked out to shower and blow-dry my hair!)  Now I am no longer the room at the end of the hall.  Each day four sets of 15+ three and four year old  children and their parents now pass by my room.  Time for some curb appeal!
   I had been using a password with the children to enter my Magic Kingdom the room each morning.  It wasn't very attractively displayed.  I wish I had taken a before picture!  I did add a "secret" knock as well.  The password is changed daily and is usually a vocabulary or spelling word.  The secret knock is a rhythm in 4/4 time, so I sneak a little music theory in as well.
The "pink" message changes from time to time!  I love silver Sharpies, but they are shy when it come to being photographed.

Lifting the flap is part of the fun!

knock, rest, knock, knock, knock, rest, knock, knock!
The door slowly opens....

The flap is opened...

The password is whispered...You may enter The Magic Kingdom the classroom!

Make your own magic in whatever kingdom you are in!  Four more days of magical spring break!!