Monday, April 30, 2012

Word Wall Linky

I'm joining Jen at The Teacher's Cauldron for a Word Wall Linky party.  Look at her cute button!  I still can't get the pic to be a link so join her  Word Wall Linky here.

I do Word Walls largely based on the Four Blocks model.  Did anyone do Four Blocks back in the day?  There are things about my WW that I wish I could change.  I wish I had a space in my room where the word wall could be closer to the floor so the kiddos could manipulate it.  But I have to use the space that I have.  We do enough activities that the wall isn't invisible to them, and they also have their own word dictionaries with the word wall words in them.

Here's a snippet of the wall.  My shelf was too junkie to give you the whole wall! Ha!

Here are a few things we do...
Spotlight!  They LOVE this.  We shut the window blinds and turn out the lights.  I give one child a flashlight, call out a word, and they have to find it.  There's a cute little jingle that goes with it but honestly...after a few times I'm over it lol.  I'll find it if you like songs and jingles.  Once we get good at finding the words, we go into teams with dueling flashlights.  Haha, no we aren't sword fighting like on Star Wars (although they'd love that)!  I call out the word and we see which team gets it first.  On rainy days they come into the room telling me it's a good Spotlight day.

Be a Mind Reader  We played this today so I could take pictures.  They know we are going to play Mind Reader when I come out looking like this...

I swear I have on a decent shirt! It looks like I'm about to fall out!  Please ignore the horrible shelf and counter behind me!  I didn't know that was showing!  **groan**

Okay, back to Mind Reader.
1.  I give the kids a sheet of paper.  I could make some really cute paper, but honestly we are being fussed at so much about paper consumption that we just use good 'ole notebook paper.  I have them number 1-5.
2. I use a different voice and tell them that I'm thinking of a word on the word wall.  I really play it up here.  I love being silly with them.  I stroke my hat, hum, and go around touching them on the heads.  
3.  I give them clues and they write down what word they think I'm thinking.  The example below will help me explain.
My first clue was that the word started with an F.  So they chose one of the words on the wall that started with an F.  My second clue was that the word ended with a D.  Her choice still fit the clues so she wrote food again.  My third clue was that the word had an I in it. Whoops! It can't be food so she had to come up with a word from the wall that started with F, ended with D, and had an I.  She chose friend.  My next clue was that the word had six letters.  Yay, she wrote friend again because that works!  A lot of the other kids had "find" as the word so they had to change words here.  The fifth clue was that everyone has one and Ms. Kinzalow is one of mine.  Friend!  They all had it by then.  We did it a few more times because we were actually ahead of schedule today.  Miracles!

I had more to share today, but that wore me out!  It's too late for a nap, huh?  Happy Monday night!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blog Stalk Saturday and Catch Up!

Wow, what a busy week!  Besides our normal school craziness, I went out with friends twice this week for dinner.  I mean, really, who is going to turn down drinks and calories with the girls?  I had my monthly pedicure with my mom on Wednesday night.  It's our girl time together.  Not that you care about any of that but that's where I've been!

We did an author study on Laura Numeroff this week.  I just love her books and thanks to my AWESOME librarian we had an amazing collection.  I didn't know she had written so many!  We did a super cute pie graph on our favorite If You Give but I forgot to take picture yesterday because I was dealing with a ticked off parent.  Not one of my parents, thanks goodness!  Apparently I was the only person in the building yesterday at 4 pm besides the janitors so I got the ear-full meant for the principal.  So I listened and managed to not tell this crazy person that she was being ridiculous and come be a teacher for ONE day and see what she complains about then calm her down.  Gracious! You could not pay me double to be a principal and deal with this stuff all of the time.

Anyway, when we graphed our favorite a lot of my kiddos wanted to know why they couldn't vote for this book as their favorite.
You'll have to turn your head (lol) because I'm computer challenged today and can't get the dang thing to rotate.

It is such a cute book!  We did a writing assignment based off of it.  I got some very imaginative writing.  I took some pics but beware they probably won't rotate either.  You are getting a workout (haha, neck at least) on my blog today.

His monster's name is Big Guns.  LOL!  I love this kid!

 The other I'm going to show you is from my Class Diva.  I don't say that in a negative way.  I want her clothes in big girl sizes!  She is always dressed to the nines with even toenails and fingernails matching.  She's the one who always notices if I'm wearing something new, cute shoes (she loooves my new platforms), nail polish, and jewelry.

I'm off to blog stalk some more.  My printer has been working hard this morning!  Love all of you out there in teacher blogland!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Charlie Brown's teacher...

Rain+no outdoor recess+no walking on track+slooow internet so Adventures in Fitness wouldn't work+birthday party=??  Crazy teacher!

Well, today apparently I was Charlie Brown's teacher.  They heard "wah wah wah, wah wah lunch"  or maybe "wah wah wah wah wah Snack."  They just heard the magic words they wanted to hear and nothing else.  Am I the only one with this problem this week?  Even my super fabulous kids didn't listen!  Grrrr! 

We still managed to get quite a bit done today however.  I LOVE this time of year when they are such good readers and problem solvers.  It's just the magic of first grade.  You all know!

I found these CUTE little butterfly boxes on sale at Kmart last week.  I modge-podged numbers on the boxes. My kiddos always seem to rub the permanent marker off so I'm going to try this.  I put coins in the boxes to let my darlings practice counting coins.  They have managed to keep all the coins in the right boxes so far which is a miracle.  Aren't they cute??

Here is the recording sheet if you'd like it.  Grab it here.

So sad that Dick Clark died and Pat Summit is not returning as Head Coach of the Lady Vols..  It just won't be the same!
One of my college roomies is coming through town tomorrow so it will be wine and movie night. Yay!  Should I blog after a bottle of wine?  Haha, goodnight!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's the Best Day Evah!

Don't you just LOVE it when you hear the kids telling each other that and it's because of something you did?  We really got into our writing today.  We have been using this graphic to help us organize our thoughts before we write. I got this from someone last spring, but I do not have a CLUE from whom.  If you know, please tell me so I can give them credit for it. 
During my initial lesson, I showed them a picture of a boring hamburger from McDonald's and then a giant double Whopper. We discussed how the two are different and which we'd rather eat.   Haha! We talked about how the buns help keep the "stuff" in the burger and how it just wouldn't be a burger without them.  I transitioned that into talking about topic sentences and concluding sentences. Those are the "buns".  The details in the writing are all the "stuff" on the burger.  We have practiced a bit but today we created some schema about "stuff" in a burger.

I brought in White Castle burgers and every topping I could think to bring.  I warmed up the burgers and then let them have at the toppings.  Cheeses, pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, mayo, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce!  They went crazy!  So now during writing time when I tell them they need more details, I can reference back to this burger mayhem.  It was so fun.  I took pics with my phone but they aren't that great. So use your imagination lol!

We have been reviewing time to the half hour this week as well.  I put laminated clocks up all around the room.  They have to go read the room every day for practice.  I created a recording sheet and put it in page protectors so they can practice this over and over and over until they get it (without wasting paper).  I change the times every afternoon.   It's super simple.  Here is the sheet if you'd like it.  Get it here

Okay, almost time for Dancing with the Stars!  Please love, hug, and appreciate your loved ones.  I had to go to another funeral yesterday.  My second this month.  :-(  Enjoy every second!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Furry Friends Linky Par-tay!

Wow, as I wrap up my Sunday planning it suddenly occurred to me that most of us really only get one day off a week.  My Sunday goes like this (I'll bet yours looks similar), nap, planning until bedtime.

It was a looooooooooooooooooooooooong week.  I came home Friday and C-RaShEd on the couch.    And here it is time for Monday again!  It's going to be a GREAT week!  <----being perky and positive.

You know I have to join the Furry Friends Linky Party hosted by Sandy at Soaring Through Second.  Go check her out!  She is having a giveaway AND is going to donate money to her favorite rescue for every new follower she gets.  Awesome!  I can't miss the opportunity to show off my furry girl.

This is Bella (and no she was not named after that whiner from the Twilight Books---don't get me started on that lol).

Bella is a rescue golden that I got when my sweet golden, Sarah, crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  She was 4 when I got her and she is an absolute dream.  I will always get rescue dogs now.  She is so smart that she gets trained without me knowing it!  Like she figured out right away that when I take off my bra I'm not leaving again.  If I come home and don't take off my bra, she follows me around hoping that she's going to get to go bye-bye (and to sulk when she doesn't get to).

This is bedtime..see if you can figure out where I sleep lol!

I have learned so much from her but the big thing is that there is nothing that a treat, a snuggle, and a nap can't solve.  Haha, amen Bella!

I worked on lots of things today, but I'm not ready to share all yet.  I must test drive them in the classroom first.  Our reading story this week is Fishing Bears.  This non-fiction text is one of my favorites in our series.  I made this go with it.  The pic cut off part of the lines for some reason.  I really need a class to learn how to do all of this right!  I'm winging it!

Get it here if you want it!  Bears Map

Good night all!  Have a mah-vel-ous Monday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm a big kid now (with class pets)!

Evening, friends!

Gosh, the first day back after a break is tough!  It's amazing how quickly I forget that I can't go the bathroom any old time I want to.  My classroom is honestly and truly a football field away from the restroom.  The new teacher across the hall measured it, haha! So several times today I found myself doing the peepee dance myself, lol.  TMI I know, but y'all understand!  If you have a restroom in your room, be thankful!!  And am I the only one who needed a nap by 11am?

Anyhoo, my sweeties came in so wonderfully this morning showing off new clothes, missing teeth, and full of stories.  And hugs!  My bucket was overflowing by 8:15!  They immediately noticed the stack of new writing journals on my table and began begging for them.  This group really loves to write.

These aren't any old writing journals.  These are the I'm a Big Kid Now and Almost a Second Grader journals.  Haha, really just regular Mead composition books with wide ruled paper.  But it's REAL PAPER, people...not the paper with the chicken doesn't cross the road lines.  Paper like GROWN-UPS use!  Haha, we can sell it, can't we?

I let them free write, but since I model wrote about what I did over break all of them did too.  It.was.awesome.  Best writing all year!  I had to give 3 Class Dojo points to the class, it was that awesome.  They wrote and helped each other with lovely thoughtful words.  I took pictures but left the camera on the table of course.

They are also excited that we now have class pets...sort of.  As we grilled out for Easter yesterday, I noticed something moving on top of my pool cover.  Tadpoles!!  I was so excited until I realized how gross it is that frogs are developing on top of my pool, lmao!  We managed to catch 4 of them--2 big ones and 2 itty bitty ones.  They really are super cute.  My boys wanted to know if they could hold them.  Hopefully they won't kick the bucket like the fish always do.  I took pics of them too but that stinking camera didn't jump into my cart like it was supposed to do.  :-)

Thanks so much for the kind words about my rough start to spring break.  It got better.  My home office no longer looks like a paper bomb went off.  My flowerbeds are sans weeds and I can actually allow people to get inside my car now lol.  And I read 2 books! For pleasure, not for school!

Okay, time for DWTS and my last Reese egg until 2013.  I'm going to savor every last morsel.
Happy night and Tuesday!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Currently, Shoe Ho, and major SADNESS...

This is my first Currently!  Link up with Farley HERE

SPRING BREAK is HERE!!  Don't hate me, but I spent my first day of spring break in my pjs catching up on NCIS and Castle.  I haven't watched either since February.  I <3 Nathan Fillion.

I went out on a Woohoo Spring Break dinner with the girls on Friday.  3 Italian margaritas later and I was ready to shoe shop!  Um...I bought 4 pairs of shoes in 30 minutes so you can just call me the Shoe Ho.  I tried to post some pics but I'm lazy tonight.  Imagine 3 inch platforms with ankle strap--in black and taupe and RED!  I'm so tall in them!!  I may need an intervention from all the C.U.T.E shoes that are out for spring.

My spring break didn't start out well.  I got a text from a dear friend on Friday even before my last kiddo left. Her brother killed himself.  :-(  I just don't know what to say or do in these instances.  I have been texting her but haven't been to see her yet.  I'm terrible...and she was so awesome and was so THERE when my Daddy died.  I avoid bad things which is such a terrible flaw of mine.  This is not about me at all.  I am definitely going to see her tomorrow.  Say a prayer for her and her family please.