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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ugh!

That about sums up how everything has gone this past week.  Since my last post, I got sick.  Wednesday night I only slept 3 hours because I was in the bathroom all night.  However I didn't have a fever and I felt fine in the morning so I went to school.  It was completely fine.  I didn't feel tired or anything.  Everytime I woke up during the night I was wide awake and couldn't fall back asleep so when the 6AM alarm went off I was up and out of bed getting moving, which never happens.  I hadn't known how I would feel in the morning so I had typed up sub plans during one of my wide awake spells so they'd be ready to go just in case.  I really didn't want to miss school though because we had a visit from the fire department coming that went along with our fire story for the week, we also had a fire drill (which completely freaks out one of my kids), and my kids had spelled out COMPLIMENTS! so they had earned toy day.  I did not want to leave all of that for a sub, but I had it ready to go just in case.  Made it through the day no problem and was relieved.  Then Friday was Institute Day so we could start getting ready for conferences.  Let me tell you it was a good thing there were no students because I was totally feeling the effects of my sleepless night then.  We had so much information given to us too in some meetings I had in the morning that my brain was full.  We also found out we had to add more data info to our conference forms which we weren't happy about.  We only have 15 minutes for conferences so to talk about what we see in the classroom and then all of that data is going to be pushing it.  Yes it will help support some of the goals that we will be writing for the students, but not in all cases.  So after a long day at school going through all of that and getting ready for this week I went home and cleaned my house and did laundry.  I did all of that because I was baby-sitting my niece Josie on Saturday and we had a busy day ahead.  We made birthday brownies for my sister and then later on went to my niece Mandy's baptism and then back to her house for a baptism/birthday party for her brother Ryan who is turning 12.  So that was a hectic day too.  Then there was today.  I got all of my grading done and half of the info on the conference forms for my kids filled in and done.  I did not get the huge pile of dishes done that I had left in my sink from Saturday, but oh well.  Luckily I think I did catch up on my sleep.  Now this week I will be working, working, working to get all of the conference forms done and trying to keep up with everything else as I have another busy weekend next weekend and then it's conference week!  This is why I say Ugh!  lol  There is so much other stuff I want to do, but I just don't have the time for it right now which is driving me a little batty.  Oh well.  I'm going to leave you with some pics of my room that I took after my last post and wasn't able to post since I was out of commission.
My bulletin board to the right of my door.  It's my start of the year welcome bulletin board.  Each banana has a student name on it.  It will be taken down soon for student work.  
My Wish for 2nd Grade papers my students did.  You can find the paper in a past post.  Just click on freebies in the Label section.  These will be coming down soon too to go in their writing portfolios.  I have matter things we did that will be displayed here instead.  
My "Who Am I?" board from the first day of school.  I have done these for years so it was funny to see them pop up over blogs and pinterest.  The students fill out clues about themselves and then when you flip up that top paper there is a self-portrait and photo of who it is.  These too will be coming down and going in their portfolios.  
Now on to my Writing Center.  As you can see I have the fabulous writing center from A Cupcake for the Teacher on a pocket chart in my writing center and then on the back of the blue pocket chart are mini red pocket charts that hold the ideas for writing cards from Lori.  
Here is a picture of where all of the writing center supplies are held.  I got the drawer table thing at Costco a few years ago and love it.  It has the class shared journals there and other prompts, a baby name book for picking out fun names in stories, a dictionary and thesaurus.  There will be more paper added to the clear pocket chart and drawers, they are just at our copy center getting copied.  The other drawers hold crayons, markers, and glue sticks.  This way if any of those items are found lost on the floor they can be put there and if anyone needs one they can take from there.  
The wall to the left of my door.  This used to hold the All About Me posters my kids made to teach the class about themselves, but those went home and here is our writing process of the class personal narrative we wrote about the first day of school.  This way the students can go look at it if they need a refresher on what step is next and what that means.  

I'll leave you with that today.  Hope things have been going well with you and hopefully I'll get everything done that needs to get done!  :)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things and Writing

So I haven't posted in a little bit, so I was determined to come on tonight and post something, even though I'm tired.  When I started the blog in the summer, I had plenty of time but not enough stuff to write about every day.  Now I have enough to write about, but no time!!!  lol  My weekends are jammed packed from now until Columbus Day.  It's crazy.  More craziness is coming though!!  We have conference week coming up.  We do goal setting conferences where we set goals for the students to work on during the year, so we have them early.  This year because of the way Columbus Day falls, they start October 1st!  Plus, we have that intervention block I mentioned in a previous post where I'm trying CAFE for the first time.  Then I was asked to be on my district's writing committee (which was really nice, as I'm the lone representative for 2nd grade in the whole district), but it's another thing.  We also have whole faculty study groups starting, a new state teacher evaluation system that I had a meeting about and the list goes on.  So with all of that I'm also teaching.  lol
Last week I introduced my class to personal narratives and the writing process for writer's workshop.  I also do shared writing to introduce whatever new type of writing we are doing so they have a model. So everyday last week they helped me with writing a class personal narrative about the first day of school and I modeled the writing process for them.  We talked over and over about it and the next day I would review everything we had done previously.  So this week we start Writer's Workshop where they have to write their own personal narrative and you'd think I hadn't done any of that last week!  lol  Most of them tried just jumping right into their rough draft.  I was like wait!  Where are your ideas and brainstorming sheet?  Remember when we did this?  And I pulled out the huge chart paper we had used   and referenced everyday last week with our ideas and brainstorming on it.  And of course, as I'm sure you all know, you have to re-explain it pretty much individually to each child because even though I just told the person next to them what to do, they are doing it wrong, so I tell them, and another person nearby is still doing it wrong!  lol  After 20 minutes of re-teaching the idea/brainstorming process again everyone was on the right page.  Then miracle of miracles one of my plans that I came up with this summer for writing, worked!  I decided to make my students special pens to use during writer's workshop.  I got the idea when I read somewhere online about how it's a good idea for students to use pen when doing their rough draft for writing so they don't erase and worry about it being perfect.  I thought let me turn those pens into something fun for kids to write with, how about feathered plumes?  So I bought some ballpoint pens from the dollar store and a package of feathers from Michaels (I already had floral tape from when I made flower pens with my class one year for a mother's day project) and I turned all of the pens into plumes.  I picked ballpoint pens, so we wouldn't have to worry about a cap, they could just click and go.  Let me tell you, those pens were a HUGE hit!  They were so excited to be able to use them I had like 5 kids come up to hug me afterwards (awww, 2nd graders).  I told them that they were special pens to only be used when working on stuff for Writer's Workshop.  They keep the pens in their writing folder along with all of their other writing things.  They are so excited to write now!  We also began Work on Writing this week for Daily 5, which we do in the morning (writer's workshop is at the end of the day) and they were excited about the fact that they could write pretty much wherever they wanted in the room and they could write about whatever they wanted.  Plus I have so many references for them.  I have the fabulous writing center from A Cupcake for the Teacher, the wonderful writing idea cards from Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter, the class shared journals from one of the Monday Made-its (sorry I can't remember which one right now!), and the calendar cards that have the writing prompt on them.  So they were happy doing that and using all of those things.  Now I had also told them that they could use Work on Writing time to also work on things for Writer's Workshop (we hadn't started it yet).  The next day after Writer's Workshop had been introduced with those pens, that's what so many of them picked to do for Work on Writing.  lol  This afternoon we had to take our district writing assessment instead of writer's workshop and they were bummed!  I gave them the option of doing writer's workshop as they finished their assessments (their other option was Read to Self) and they cheered!  lol So it's the little things!  I took a picture of my plumes, but it's on my old phone (I upgraded to an iphone 4s this weekend, my first iphone.  Didn't want the new one.  Got this one since it went down in price with the new one coming out).  So once I transfer the pic off my old phone I'll post it so you can see them.  I'll also try and take a picture of the pens in action during writer's workshop tomorrow.  lol
Hopefully I'll be better about coming on here too because I really do have tons of things I could talk to you about.  Hope all is going well with you and your kiddos!  :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Treasures Unit :)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have gotten such great feedback on my Treasures units I have made.  It's so great and makes me feel good that I'm helping out a lot of people.  It blows my mind!  I have another unit now ready to go.  This one goes with Unit 2, Week 5 (Staying Fit - There's Nothing Like Baseball).  If you're interested you can go to either my tpt or teacher's notebook shops to get any of my past unit packets.  For Manic Monday, I am letting you know about a game that I have that goes with this unit.  If you click on the picture below, it will take you to my tpt shop for this packet.  If you click on the download preview button, you will get a Long O uno type card game.  It goes with the spelling pattern for that week (o, oa, oe, ow).  You can have it for free!  Maybe it will work for your word work centers.  Happy Monday!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Surreal

Okay I just want to start off by giving an update about my last blog post.  I went to the dentist on Thursday and she found absolutely nothing wrong with my mouth and after x-rays and examination came to the same conclusion that my 2 aides did, that I must have a sinus infection.  Well I'm guessing they are all correct because my "cold" is getting better after being on antibiotics and I haven't had any more mouth issues.  Crazy!
Now for the reason for the title of this post.  Last night I went on to pinterest for my nightly checking up on what I've missed since I've last been on, and found my weekly behavior chart freebie pinned that I have here from one of my posts a bit back.  That totally threw me for a loop, seeing something of mine from this little blog, pinned by someone and then it said it had 209 repins!!!  What???  So crazy.  So I clicked on it myself, which led me to the part at the bottom that said other pins from C is for...and I found other things of mine that people had pinned.  I couldn't believe people had actually pinned some of my stuff!!!!  So strange and surreal to me!!!  I just can't get over it!  I'm glad people like it!  Another thing that I still can't wrap my head around, my stuff being purchased on TPT.  I'm amazed every time when I get the e-mail saying that one of my products has sold!  I have also gotten really great feedback, which is so nice!!!  It definitely motivates me to do more (I just have to find some time) since it's helping so many people!!!  I guess I didn't realize how many people use the same reading series as we do and how much it would help.  I knew it would help my team, which is why I created it in the first place, but to get feedback that others are loving it and it's helping them too is so fabulous and surreal.  I just had to comment on all of that because it's so bizarre to me!
The next thing I want to discuss with all of you is CAFE.  Now just like the rest of you, I love the 2 Sisters and everything they are about.  Last year, after reading The Daily 5, I implemented it into my classroom and loved it.  I so connected with everything that the sisters said in the book and followed it to a T and was happy with the results.  I knew I wanted to use it again this year and felt even better about it after doing it last year.  We had to tweak it a bit because we didn't have enough time to get to all 5 centers a day, we do 2 or 3 depending on if it's a recess day or not.  Since I wanted to get really solid in it, I had decided to wait on CAFE.  Then my school decided to implement an intervention block during the day.  We already do RTI, but they wanted this block of time to really be differentiated to meet the needs of all of the students.  So for the first 30 minutes of the day we are supposed to do what we are calling "Target Time" (cause we're targeting skills).  Our principals said they weren't going to tell us how to run it but it should be smaller groups to get the instruction they needed.  It was so hard to wrap our heads around this as we are just getting to know our kids and we don't yet KNOW what they need.  So during our team meeting last week, we were talking about what we were going to do and how we were going to go about it.  I said to my teammate, this would be a good time to do CAFE. She had already decided that she was going to try and implement CAFE this year, but hadn't worked out how she was going to fit everything in, especially since we do guided reading and Daily 5 together.  She loved the idea and once we talked about it with the rest of the group, they loved the idea too.  2 of my teammates already have the book and so they copied the first 6 week plan out for us as a launching pad.  However, I need the actual book so I can read how the sisters implemented it, so I ordered the book on amazon and it will be here this week.  Now we're supposed to start "Target Time" this week, but we were still a little sketchy on if we could or not because we were each supposed to be getting assistants that could work with a small group too on a skill and we didn't have those yet.  We didn't want them to walk in our rooms the day we begin and we say, "here are the kids you're working with and this is what you're doing" 5 minutes before they do so.  So my plan this weekend was to learn more about CAFE.  I knew the basics behind it because I had gone to a presentation on it by some co-workers who implemented it.  I also went out to get the stuff to make my CAFE board.  I don't have any more bulletin board space in my room so I got a presentation board to make my CAFE board and used the fabulous LadybugsTeacherFiles headings to make it.
Michaels only had colored boards, but I thought the black would work nicely.  Then I used green ribbon to divide the sections.  
I then found online chapter 3 of the CAFE book to read to see how to start it off, as well as reading the previous blog entries about it from the summer book study.  That got me to see that we could start it this week because you start off whole group with it anyway.  However I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what books you used for the first few lessons.  Any other tips you'd like to share?  Also does anyone have a suggestion of where to get a cute graphic to use for a Target Time card for my schedule?
Thanks again for taking the time to read my entries!  :)  Have a fabulous day!  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Day

So had yesterday off for the lovely 3-day holiday weekend.  Knew that I had a team leader meeting first thing this morning so I got to school early to finish getting everything ready for the day before hand.  Made myself some tea, as I have caught a cold.  Pretty much every other team leader also had the sniffles.  We were quite a bunch let me tell you.  lol  Meeting went until the bell rang for students.  Came in my room to find my students all staring at the open wall, as they have not yet seen the wall open yet.  My teammate had kept the wall open to watch out for my kids until I was back from my meeting.  Great morning with my kiddos, keeping my cold in check (can breathe, having no issues).  It's a recess day (we only get recess 2x a week and 1 of those times we have duty), but not my duty so I get 15 min. of getting some stuff done quietly.  Come in finish something, take the kids to lunch.  Sit down at my computer (I don't eat in the teacher's lounge.  I love the quiet of my classroom and it gives me time to catch up on thing on my computer) and bite into my sandwich.  Big shot of pain in my lower right jaw!  I try to just chew on the left side of my mouth and still not good.  I start rubbing my jaw with my hand and try to take another bite.  Not happening.  Then I feel my face swell up.  I say to myself, "no, no, no, this can not be happening."  I run to the bathroom, yep, from the bottom of my ear to almost my chin is slightly swollen.  Not hugely, badly swollen like Will Smith in Hitch, but still swollen none the less.  I'm freaking out a little bit.  It no longer hurts, but I really don't care for the small protrusion coming out of my face.  I decide to take an ibueprofin as that's what they had me take to help reduce the swelling when my wisdom teeth were pulled.  I also put my cold hands on my face, to act as an ice pack, lol.  My kids come back from lunch and I continue holding my face.  Amazingly enough no one asks me why!  lol  I do my after lunch read aloud and we do math.  Then I take them to music.  I go look in the bathroom to see if the swelling has hopefully reduced some in the hour and half since I've taken meds.  Nope.  I look online to see what maybe it could be, and self-diagnose myself with an abscess.  lol  So I call my dentist, voicemail.  I e-mail them instead.  Get an e-mail back from the assistant, "she's out of the office on vacation, we're prescribing you meds."  We go back and forth with a few more e-mails and then also set up a time for her to look at it when she comes back Thursday.
Now besides all of that, last week my ABS light came on in my car and I have been slightly freaking out over that, because I obviously want all of my brakes to work, so I had decided to go to the dealer after work to have them look at it.  I still go because I'm getting antibiotics, so it's fine.  lol  I leave right after school (which I NEVER do) to beat traffic and people to the dealer.  I get there, tell them my problem and they say I will probably have to leave my car with them because they won't have enough time to fix it tonight.  They hook my car up to the diagnostics computer to find out the exact reason the light is coming on while I wait in the waiting room, with my hand on my face.  lol  They then tell me that one of the teeth on my gears broke off and it needs to be replaced along with an axel.  $350.00.  They can't fix it tonight because of there not being enough time.  I call my friend Tina to pick me up.  No answer.  I call my sister and she lovingly lets me borrow her husband (she shares with me for things like this and fix it type things, lol).  So I get all of my teacher stuff out of the car and wait for him to come in traffic, also letting her know that he will also have to take me to Walgreens to pick up my prescription.  My friend Tina calls me back, she just so happened to be at the dentist herself when I called.  I told her it was okay because my fab bro-in-law was coming.  We chit chat until he does.  He then super nicely picks up my teacher crate and puts it in his truck for me, drives me to Walgreens, and then home.  My lovely team mate had already agreed to pick me up the next morning if need be, so I had texted her while at the dealership to let her know that she'd need to.  Luckily she lives like 5 minutes from me, maybe less.  Once home, I decided to eat some chicken rice soup, (figured it'd be good for the cold and mouth), took my amoxicillian, and watched some tv on the couch.  Then showered put on my pj's and have been in bed since quarter to 8.  You can do this when you have no kids or significant other.  lol  I'm hoping that my face will be fine in the morning since it wasn't that bad and I already started the meds.  I also hope that my cold will be better and not worse as well.  I'm a half-full kind of gal anyway, so I look at it this way.  I have a cold, but it's not as bad as some peoples.  I can breathe out of half my nose and my throat and chest are clear.  Sure my mouth decided to act up on me for some unknown reason, but I'm getting it taken care and am already on the right track.  Yes, it's no fun having no car and paying $350 for repairs, but I'm lucky to have a great team mate close by and I'll feel good knowing it's taken care of and fixed.  So that was my day today.  How was yours?  lol  :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

     I always love having this holiday right away.  It makes it easier to relax and catch up on some things now that the school year is in full swing.  I had Back-to-School Night (open house basically) this past week so there was a lot of getting ready for that.  You can read all about that here.  So I don't really have a lot to add to the Monthly Monday Made-it, except some desserts to show you.  I did make a new Treasures unit for my tpt store, but I don't have it up yet as it's being looked over to make sure I don't have any typos.  So onto my desserts.
     My first dessert is this Brownie Cookie Pie recipe.  I watch my 4 year old niece Josie a couple of Saturdays when she's in town.  Every time I watch her, we bake, which we both love.  So this time I went through pinterest to see what desserts I had pinned and if I had the ingredients to make them.  I had the Betty Crocker cookie mix, but not the brownie mix so we made brownies from scratch.  Came out delicious.  Definitely very rich, so small slices are the way to go.
 This is the pic from pinterest.  I didn't take a pic of mine, but it looked just like this. 
We brought it to my parents house.  I go there every Saturday for dinner and when I have Josie, my brother picks her up from there and stays for dinner.  My brother-in-law was out of town so my sister and her daughter also came over for dinner.  My eldest sister lives half a block from my parents, so my Dad invited their family over too since so many of us were coming over anyway.  The funny thing was that my mom had made dessert and my eldest sister also brought dessert.  It was still yummy.
     Now every Labor Day my eldest sister hosts the family cookout for the holiday.  I'm also on dessert patrol so I went through my pins again and decided to make pie pops.  I just changed it up to be circles instead of rectangles and I put blue frosting on them instead of pink so they'd be more patriotic.
Here they are finished, waiting to go.  
I'm pretty excited to have one of these as they smelled delicious.  Also I got 10 out of the recipe, which I think is good so there won't be any leftovers.  I'm also bringing the rest of the brownie cookie pie that wasn't eaten as well.  
     So those are my made-its this week.  I hope everyone has a fantastic day!  :)