Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday (March 29, 2013 Edition)

Happy Good Friday. A day off of school. I slept late, ate french toast that my husband made, and then shopped for a dress. 

I do not wear dresses. But maybe I will start.

The dress I bought is really cute. Now, for some sandals. Next weekend.

On to my five randomnesses. I'm choosing Thursday (and a bit of Wednesday) to highlight.

1. After staring at a jar of jelly beans for 3 days, and estimating how many were inside, we finally got around to counting them. But it wasn't ordinary counting. The beans must be sorted and counted by two's. Love that my kids who struggle with math, did not struggle with this very engaging activity.

2. Each group wrote their number on a paper, and we worked together to figure out how many jelly beans we had all together.

3. Next they used the jelly beans to measure some bugs. They loved this also.

4. This was their favorite part. Eating the jelly beans that they had touched all morning long. They counted out 10 jelly beans (by two's of course) and then could eat them.

5. Before spring break we had another newspaper visitor. We were not all that excited about it. We were tired of visitors. But we pulled through and did it. Now we are super glad we did! On Wednesday a story about my school was the feature story on the front page of the Kansas City Star! A huge photo above the fold. My husband informs me that this is INCREDIBLE. We are truly ecstatic about this coverage and what it means for the future of our school. You can read the story online here and see more photos here.

(Photo by Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star)

Now, hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up, read, enjoy and be encouraged.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

National Geographic Young Explorer

My kids love when we get another issue of National Geographic Young Explorer (NGYE).

Today we dug into the first article in the March issue. All about seasons and arctic foxes.

We covered some science (why are the days longer in the summer, earth's tilt), text features, and writing.

They created a paper that listed changes in weather and the fox as the seasons change. Then we made a class list on the SmartBoard.

They drew a fox for each season and colored it according to how it looks each season.

In writing, many chose to write about seasons or the arctic fox.


Here are some pictures of the groups working on the changes paper.

 It was a bit noisy.
 I let go of some control.
 I think most learned something (while practicing reading and writing and sharing).
 This type of activity really stresses me out. But I have to get better at it. I want to get better at it. The kids and parents and principal want me to get better at it. 

So, I will practice and get better at it. Tomorrow's article is "It's a Small World." An opportunity for me to get better. Wish me luck.

And some kids got to work with the lovely Mrs. Schmitt on sight words. She pulls kids for 10 minutes or so to practice sight words, play a sight word game and be their cheerleader. 

I hope every teacher gets to have a Mrs. Schmitt in their classroom for a bit.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Noun Game

It certainly has been fun reading linkies (like Currently, and book studies last summer). It is also fun to participate.

Mrs. Reed at
Flying into First Grade

has been having weekly parties. It is about getting acquainted. And the current theme is "The Noun Game."

What is a noun? SchoolHouse Rock taught me about nouns even before I was in school. I could sing it, but had no idea what a noun was. I loved Saturday mornings and SchoolHouse Rock. If you have no idea what I'm talking about (or if you do and want a to take a trip down memory lane) check this out...A noun is a person, place or thing.

Favorite Person: Larry (my husband). He chose me. I choose him. 

Favorite Place: My bedroom and the wonderful furniture that we bought from my uncle in December.

Favorite Thing: Fancy notebooks and pens to write in them.

Favorite Animal: I don't have any pets, but our lambs at school are adorable, so I will say--lambs. (It has been too snowy and wet to get any new pictures.)

Head on over to Flying into First Grade to read, comment and link up. Mrs. Reed reminds us that if we link up, visit/comment/follow the two blogs ahead of you. I am excited to learn more about my old friends and make new friends.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Break

Last fall I told my husband I wanted to take our kids to Disney World. So, he made that happen. Our Christmas present to the boys was that trip. 

Eight days ago we finally opened that present. We flew to Orlando, Florida.

I went to Disney World twice before. When I was 14 with my family and when I was 16 with my friend and her family. That's a long time ago!

My biggest shock--the palm trees are real. I guess I knew that, but somehow, all week I kept looking at the palm trees and wondered, are they real? I guess they are. And these are the trees from Palm Sunday.   Wow.

We explored Epcot.

And Universal's Islands of Adventure.

 I didn't go on the roller coasters, but this was the favorite of the week.
 I do not know these super heros, but their rides were awesome.

Then I got tired of carrying the camera, so, no pictures from Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. 

I think the rest were unimpressed with "It's a Small World" and "The Jungle Cruise" rides. So was I, but those are what I remember from my previous trips and wanted to ride them again. So sad that the line for Peter Pan was long, I didn't get to ride it.

Our last park day started at Universal Studios. A fun ride was E.T. (the first movie I remember my mom taking me to), and then a funny adventure.

We were trying to get to Men in Black and got stuck in the "Kids Zone." Seriously, the map was wrong--it did not show the construction--and I could not get us out. Barney, Woody Woodpecker and teeny tiny toilets.

I got a picture on my phone with a great star...

Later that same day we crossed over to Islands of Adventures and revisited some favorites.

Our last full day in Florida was finally a relaxing day. We slept in, swam, sat by the pool.

And went to a NBA game. Orlando Magic versus Oklahoma City Thunder. I am so glad my family had fun. High-fiving some players (they were excited about it), and being loud. 

Yesterday we flew back to Kansas. And drove home in a snow storm. I waited until we got to our house, but I did the snow day dance. Looks like that luck is over.

Now it is time to look over my lesson plans and get my head back in the game. I have been totally not thinking about school for 8 days. I'm not sure the last time that happened.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Random Pictures

Well, they are sort of random. I wish I could share more about each one. You know there is a whole story behind each, but I will shorten it down, because (skip down to #5 for the because answer...).

I love linking with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching. It is a way to condense 420 things that happened at school into 5 memorable/picture worthy moments. (7 hours at school, 420 minutes, surely something happened every minute. Wow, that makes me tired just thinking about it.)

1. I was on duty for two wonderful weather recesses today. 50 degrees and sunny at 9:45. 70 degrees and bee you ti ful at 11:35. I spent the entire second recess by the sheep. The ewes and lambs loved eating from our hands when we brought fresh green grass from the field. They have eaten everything in their pen.

2. It rained in our class today. We created water cycle bags and hung them in our window yesterday. Today it rained. We loved looking at them.

3. Speaking of water... I led a directed drawing of a water fowl. A duck. Thank you Art Projects for Kids. My teaching neighbor came in and grabbed some photos of us working. 

Their finished ducks were soooooo much better than mine! Haha. Please don't laugh too hard at mine.

4. 21 amazing ducks went home at 3:00 today.

5. I am now on Spring Break!

Please hop along to 

and read more Five for Fridays. Or link up. It is fun.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Isn't it the best when, unexpectedly, a student shows that they really know what we have been talking about for the last two weeks?

That happened at lunch today. I am fortunate (or crazy) to invite all the children to eat lunch in our classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get to be an invisible listener to many conversations.

While I was at my spot today I heard a friend yell across the room (which is not part of our "eat in the classroom standards"), "Look Mrs. Bartel, quarters." And he smiled.

Yes, we are knee deep in CCSS Geometry standards last week and this week. Being able to name something is Standard 1.G.3. Awesome, mark him off. He found it and described it in "real life." 

And that my friends, is what we are all about. Transferring school knowledge into other part of our lives.

Good thing I thought about grabbing a camera. Next comments went something like this..."Will you post that on Facebook?" "Hey everyone, get on Facebook tonight and see the picture!"

I totally L.O.V.E. this class. With my whole heart. I smile so much when I am around them.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Funny PIcs

The best way to spend a Saturday is in a room with other teachers. Right?

Well, not really, I wanted to be home with my family, but I did have a good time.

Kansas Foundation for Ag in the Classroom and Kansas Farm Bureau sponsored a Be Ag-Wise professional development workshop yesterday. I went with 3 other teachers from my school, and there were 5 teachers there from the town I live in.

The day was awesome for networking.

(Thank goodness Rhonda brought chocolate!)

The day was great for being goofy.

I took notes and pictures throughout the day. In Evernote. I loved trying out something new. I missed my notebook, but my notes and pictures are all in one spot.

My goal is not to create farmers in my classroom. I want my students to know where their clothes and food comes from (and I don't mean Old Navy and Dillons) and these days give me ideas on how to do that. I also want my students to be advocates for themselves and the people who raise the crops that they need to live.

The presenter is working at aligning the lessons to the CCSS (or as we call them in Kansas--Kansas College and Career Ready Standards).

So, next year the day could be even better...aligned and ready to go.

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