Saturday, December 13, 2014


Hey friends,
So I am on overload- school and home- it has been so cray this past month and a half. With my grandma passing away, selling and buying a new car, Christmas shopping, end of the year wrap up with school grades, planning etc,getting lice (yes its true)...needless to say I am looking forward to some slow down time to decompress and refocus. I am trying not to get caught up in the business side of things and all the to-do's of this season and just take it all in stride and enjoy each moment, the beauty around me. Not to forget the real reason for the season and a very special birthday coming up! The reason I even breathe and are able to pull through tough times. 

So I hope you enjoy a small re-cap of the past few weeks.

 We went to the Texas Renaissance Festival over Thanksgiving and everyone there seemed to have something to say about my shirt...mainly because it was Saturday and I was “3 days late” for hump day...well I didn't put just a whole lot of thought into my outfit, we didn't have a chance to actually dress up all medieval. Anyways, we came upon elephant riding and.CAMELS!!! HA! In their face it was Hump Day after all!!!!

We also came upon the Hocus Pocus witches! I watch that movie every Halloween. I couldn't get over how much the one in the middle really looked like Bette Midler!

We held a Thanksgiving feast with our team and brought all kinds of yummy goodness before we left for the short break.

I also made some sweet/salty treats for my friends to let them know I am thankful for them! (I know the tape looks pretty sloppy but I was rushing)

Some management tips!
Our school started this management technique this year called “Tardy Tater”. Every class gets a Mr. or Mrs. Potato head and anytime none of your kids are tardy to class you get to add a piece to the head. When the head is full your kids get to take it on announcements and show it as well as get a certificate. It really works well fostering the motivation to be on time.

Yacker Tracker I have had this thing for 7 years now and LOVE it! I use it all the time to help keep the kiddos voice levels under control during certain things during the day. I put it up high so they can all see it. Whatever the level needs to be, I put that particular light on. For example, if we are testing I put it on red. If they are buddy reading or working independently I will put it on yellow for whisper and green gets used every so often when we are group working. You can also change the knob to change colors automatically for you depending on the level of sound in the room. It’s wonderful!!

Go Noodle I am sure everyone and their dog know about this already. I have been doing it since last year and just now getting around to blog about it. We do brain breaks throughout the day to keep the wiggles at a minimum and to re-load our brain. They LOVE it! And best part for me is it is FREE!!! No dolla, HOLLA! If you haven't checked it out, it is totally worth the time and well worth the few minutes of stopping your teaching. 

Something I have posted before on here and on TPT are my Fun Friday coupons. 
Throughout the week we are power packed into learning so many new things and working on all kinds of various activities that on Friday afternoon I feel like they deserve a bit of a break to enjoy themselves and be kids, get to do things they don’t have a chance to anymore in school. So on Friday morning I write all the activities I am checking that day and want/need to be completed for the end of the week. I write the assignment and the kids magic number up on the easel for the kids that have not yet completed those particular things and do not have a Fun Friday coupon yet. That way they know personally what it is they are lacking for being checked off my list. When they finish an activity they put it on the corner of their desk signaling to me they want me to check it and if it is done top quality then I check them off my list on my clipboard and they get to go erase their number to get their pass. 
It really has cut down on me even having to remind them or dig through their desks looking for stuff. I still have the occasional friend who has not mastered the art of OCD organization and will have to complete their work during that fun time :/ but for the most part it really has worked to motivate them to look forward to that time during the day when I say “If you have a Fun Friday coupon please hold it in the air!"

OH yea did I mention I had Lice!! AWFUL! 1st time EVER..never agian..

Click here to see the coupons

I hope everyone has a BLESSED week!! You can do it!!!

"But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others Good News about the wonderful grace of God!"
Acts of the Apostles 20:24

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday scoop!

Happy Sunday!
Just a quick update on a few things before I have to go get started cooking something that's edible for our lunches this week :)

First time linking up with Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!!

 All pretty self explanatory, I'm living on the edge people haha...I digress

So I had an incident happen in my classroom about 2 weeks ago and it was epic.

*GASP* yes someone drew on my bookshelf! I had to do a double take because MY kids would NEVER! Right?!
Well I proceeded to ask if anyone would like to be honest and let me know who did it or if they did it themselves...of course they didn't  have to say it in front of everyone but could discretely come see me....crickets....hey I have hopes..

So since its my all amazing "fun friday" shelf it was going to be shut down until I found the culprit :)

One of my sweet little friends from last year was distraught over this as well and decided to add her own sign haha

So it went on like this for about a week and Fun Friday was quickly approaching and still no word...I kept thinking...ok I have worked so hard teaching them about honesty and having good character why oh why? lol I was NOT giving in..I wanted justice! Well long story short I found out...not by the persons own accord a friend "ratted" them out in passing not even knowing it. Once I did ask this sweet little friend I eventually got the truth and all normalcy was gained again for everyone to have fun friday YAY! All in all this offender did not do it out of naughtiness just kind of impulsive haha...

My sister is helping me to redo our master bedroom!! We are picking out paint colors for the wall and decor! I can't wait to start- helps she has an interior design degree!

ok this is going to blow your mind! I promise- so my mom and I stopped by the new CVS near my house yesterday looking for a lice kit....another LONG story....well we saw a sign for the leftover Halloween candy was 90%off...too good to be true? NO! We grabbed a basket when we saw what kind was was there not a mass hoard of people knocking each other over for this sweet gold?! So here I am at the checkout and the HUGE bags of family size candy you can get at the store for like $13.00 were $1.49....YES that is correct. I can't even go to the Dollar Tree and get two boxes of candy for that. I paid $8.40 for ALL of this candy! ALL!!!! Then I looked at my receipt afterwards and it said I saved $77 dollars! I almost fainted! It was such a rush haha I had a natural shopping high and didn't even eat one piece.  oh the little things.
Then I came home to this sweet muffin watching football with my dad. 

Lastly, I finally finished another product for TPT..I had a lot of time this weekend so I was able to sit and stare at the computer for awhile! We are teaching verbs and I started just a few little pages for my team to use then it kind of got out of control into a complete unit on past and present verbs ;) 
29 pages of various activities. Take a looksie! 
Click here!

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 20

This has rung true this past month for myself and my family. We lost my grandma very recently and it has been very difficult on all of us. My sister and I were very close to her and she helped raise us along with my parents. I prayed every night that my dad's heart would be healed and protected. He is so strong but I knew this was difficult for him. My heart broke for him- it was his mom. We have always been a very close knit family, and this just proved that. God wrapped his arms around all of us and provided the strength for everyone. I didn't really talk much about it except to them and my husband mainly because I normally rely on them and God to help so I just pushed forward at work and knew he would provide the path and strength. I keep wanting to call her her throughout the week to chat like I used to and that will take some getting used to. Finality of things are very hard for me, even being a believer and knowing the glorious outcome of leaving this earth. Still hard to wrap my head around, I had just spoken to her 3 days prior. I talked to my husband about how nonbelievers deal with the sadness and difficulty's of this world. What do you have if you don't have the Lord to lean on and go to and know he will provide his will? My heart breaks for them and pushes me to pray for that so maybe they will be lead. 

Hope ya'll have a BLESSED week!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currently November and some updates

So I am linking up with Farley for the Currently November edition!

Listening: I love listening to my lovey play his drums! He is so talented!! And it also is giving me a chance to blog which I feel I have neglected horribly lately :(

Loving: I know some are already enjoying snow. but I am just thankful we have some cooler temps here in the Lone Star State. I actually got to enjoy being outside and working in the yard, taking a walk and leaving the doors open!! It's not everyday I can leave the doors open here people!

Thinking: I have already had two glasses of tea and an energy chew and I still can't kick it into gear...for some weird reason Friday after the long week I always feel motivated to work on stuff and then dang football, reclining couches,cozy blankets, and my hubs on Sunday just does me in.

Wanting: ok yes I am one of "those"'s like a switch goes off inside of me when November hits, cooler weather sweeps through, and I have access to Pandora's Christmas channels. I slowly am already putting things out...I have good reason, last year we were in the process of looking for a house, selling a house and boxing things up I never got to decorate and really enjoy the holidays, so I am taking full advantage of it now!

Needing: I think I am always saying this every Currently I have ever done...

Reading: I don't normally have a chance to read just a bunch during the school year, I usually save it all up for breaks and summer. However, at church the other day the book of Daniel was mentioned and I have never really dove into that particular book so I am a little each night!

Moving onto other news:

We have been working really hard on Missing Part(addend) in math. This always seems like such a difficult concept for the little ones, it can be very abstract. So I really try to make it fun for them by enlisting their help as math detectives! We were already being reading detectives for inferencing so it coincided well!
We used the part part whole mat to work hands on alot. We teach them to look at what they do know and lock that in their head and "punch out" on their fingers until they get to the whole. For the mat I had them write the whole with dry erase marker first so they could see what their goal number was. Then they put the part they knew in the first part section in red. After that, they put down yellows one by one counting until they said the whole. I had them count the yellows for their missing part and then bring them all up to the whole double check it was for sure the total they needed.

On an organizing note: 
I just wanted to share how I store extra supplies I have so I can get to them quickly when the kids need something. Warning: I have an addiction and will go crazy at the beginning of the year when those things are on sale. I literally have stuff from 3 years ago because I buy it cheap and then will wait until I am desperate to use it haha...some of it is what the kids bring in from their supply list and I can distribute that stuff faster since it's theirs. (the clear divided plastic bins I got at Ikea )

I have some things I have made recently I want to share soon! That will have to wait until another post though..hubs just came in and informed me we need to walk to CVS and buy eggs...

I hope ya'll have a fabulous BLESSED week!!

"The Lord is close to all who call on him,yes,yo all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him;he hears their cries for help and rescues them." Psalms 145:18-19

Monday, October 13, 2014

Five for Friday!

Happy Monday! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday..or for me the Five for Monday. I honestly don't know how people blog multiple times a week. I am barely scraping by to get a post during the school week. Anywhoo, here we go!

If you haven't been able to tell yet I'm a tad OCD ;) I also like my classroom to be that way too. I try to teach organization for my kids desks, imagine that. If they can keep their desk organized and clean they can earn a clean desk award coupon and stickers for their sticker chart. I used to do the desk fairy and keep it a mystery but then just got to the point where it was no mystery how OCD I wanted that to rub off on my kids haha. So one strategy to help with that is color coding. Basically, I got two different colored labels and placed them on each side of the desk. I then labeled everything inside the desk with a color. This way when the kid is putting things back into their desk it is easy and fast to match the colors and the items have a spot always and don't get shoved in. This has helped some of them be able to stay a little more organized than they normally would be and it keeps my sanity for a bit longer as well.

We have also been hitting addition and subtraction. I threw together these anchor charts these past two weeks with the kids. We discussed key words for each and what the equation looks like etc. as far as the names, it was literally on the fly. I liked "Add"ison addition because it was catchy and the kids were able to connect easily with it. As far as Shubert it was just because it started with an s. Nonetheless the kids had fun with me:)

Non school related, I found these protein bars. I like trying out different kinds because I get bored easily. Oh my word people! If you like Girl Scouts thin mints then these are for you! For real! I took one bite and was like "mmm pretty tasty" but then I put it in the freezer like I do with thin mints and it was like heaven in a wrapper! I promise if I closed my eyes I wouldn't have known the difference. The even better part is that they are packed with protein and low on sugar. They are very light and wafer-y (I think I just made that word up), not heavy and too chewy. I also got the peanut butter one and seriously tastes like nutter butters. Simply amazing!

Back to math: we have also been working on even and odd numbers. I had this book in our planning room and decided to give it a try. It was perfect! As we read I stopped and we created this anchor chart to show how we know each number is odd or even. Now I am not an anchor chart queen by any means so this is what you get in my class haha. Yes the OCD in me wants to remake them afterwards, but somehow I have been able to avoid this.. Maybe because I have sooooo many other things to do. We read the entire book and went all the way to 10 with the chart. I then discussed how to do double digit numbers . When we don't have time to draw a picture to check for odd or even I teach them how to look at the number in the ones place and once they determine that number they know what the entire number will be.

I have a problem happy habit with having to make things our planning room cabinets were boring...plain....not ok. So I made these little signs to put on the outside so it makes them pretty but also identifies what is in them so people can find what they need easier!

Have a fabulous BLESSED week!
"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." Psalms 16:8
What a powerful verse! If that is not comforting I don't know what else is. 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Five for Friday...or Saturday

Hey ya'll!

So I am here to link up with Doodle Bugs for the Five for Friday..although today is Saturday that's ok! I was exhausted last night all I wanted to do was eat an amazing salad from my favorite salad stop, drink a Sonic Dr. Pepper (not even diet! the hardcore real kind), and lay on the couch to watch a movie with the hubs.

I am trying so hard this year to have an even more organized guided reading block. I have 6 different groups this year and only can get in 2 rotations in the morning schedule. I also have time in the afternoon during our "ELT" extended learning time to pull 1 more group. I will project this on the smartboard and the kids will know where to go without me having to really do much. I have infinite cloned the images so I can just pull over different ones if needed. I have made one for everyday AM and ELT so its already done each week and each group hits each spot at least 1 or 2 times. I hope it works! It sure looks pretty haha but we all know how that can go. (clipart from My Cute Graphics)

We have been learning about Community Helpers this week. I made a chart with them about what they already "knew" and then we watched a video and read some books and they added what they "learned" in a new color. This lets them see clearly what their new learning is. 

We wrote why we loved living in the USA on Patriots day on 9/11. This kid cracked me up. 
" I like living in the USA because we can have a lot of chillin (children).

Working on complete sentences in 1st grade is never ending. I am by no means an anchor chart guru and I am sure the ones I make are not "pinterest"material haha but I think it gets the point across and they can use it as a reference on the wall throughout the year. 

To introduce writing workshop this year I read "Rocket Writes a Story". They absolutely love this book! In the story Rocket has a word tree of words he knows and can write about. So after reading I quickly threw together a word tree for us to use when writing. I then stapled different picture icons of things they can write about: sports, swimming, summer, cars etc.

We are also plugging away at word families. I try to incorporate a few different things each week with our poems. They always include the word families (one of my teammates is a genius at writing these poems for us!) we also will focus on grammar and conventions as well as poetry aspects. An example of the week might be:
M-build the words from the word families
T-introduce poem and read it together clapping when we say and hear a word family word.Give poem to the kids and they put it in their poetry folder to practice at buddy reading or read to self
W-Read the poem again and circle the word families as well as number the sentences-kids highlight or circle the word families in their own poems
TH- Read poem again and maybe look at punctuation, nouns etc
F- Have S visualize and draw on their poetry sheet

I found these printouts from "Teaching in the Tongass". They are think time sheets. If a child is having an issue with participating, working appropriately or interacting with others they can use this to reflect. I put them in bags (boy/girl) and put a dry erase marker in each bag. If needed, I will point to the think time bag and they can go grab the appropriate one, go to my teamies room next door, fill it out, reflecting on the problem and how to solve it, and come back to discuss it with me. 

We have been studying the body organs:stomach, lungs,brain,heart. Every year for the past 5 years or so I have let my kids make a brain.  They get a brain template and we staple it onto a sentence strip. They color the brain and then glue macaroni on top. I always tell them the macaroni represents all the new things we have learned in first grade so far. They seem to think that's cool. After it dries we make a hat out of it and they wear it during the day. 

Another project I have been doing for awhile now is the body shirt. (I blogged about it last year) We ask the kids to bring in a white t shirt. We use their hand to create the different body organs we have studied. They look so cute when they have the shirt and the hat on!

Well I am so proud of myself for blogging this week, because it has been an exciting 4 weeks of school this year ;) Until we meet again, have a BLESSED weekend!

"So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you. Patient endurance if what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." Hebrews 10:35-36

Don't know about you but that's all I need to know and hear to keep the faith when things get rough. :)