Friday, November 29, 2013

Discovery Time

Friday's are such wonderful days.

Especially when I have planned ahead and have five photos to share at Doodle Bugs Teaching's party. But I have no photos or lessons from this week.

What I have is a discovery. Today I made some connections. Let me explain.

I love being at school. When it's empty, full of students and teachers, or just a few.

I love looking through my resources and books.

I love planning and creating.

I love having time to make lessons better.

I love organizing.

Today, instead of spending money on Black Friday sales, I went to school. I planned. And planned. And planned some more. I organized books, files and binders. I rearranged the student's desks.

It was then that I made my discovery. I love being at school because I can organize, create and read my books.

Pretty nice that my occupation is also my hobby, and that my family is old enough to have hobbies of their own. 
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our Feast

Friday was a huge day. The kindergarten and first grade classes prepared and ate a Thanksgiving meal together.

The teachers were so tired at the end of the day. I slept long on Friday night, had a nap Saturday afternoon, and slept long on Saturday night. I think I am rested enough to tell you about our fabulous day.

Four classes divided up the meal. The students in each class brought the ingredients for the meal, and everyone helped prepare on Friday morning. And thankfully we had two handfuls of parents volunteer to help.

One class brought ingredients for the hamburger/vegetable soup, another brought for zwiebach (bread), another brought for cheesecake (individually made in muffin tins), and my class brought for fruit salad.

The parents cut the fruit into pieces, and then the kids cut the pieces into bite sizes.

I am so thankful to have my nephew at my school. I love having regular interactions with him.

Isn't this bread delicious looking? It was!!

80 kids, parents, and teachers eating in the basement of a local church. So thankful that the church was available to us. We prepared the food at the church in 5 rotations and then set the tables to eat.

Soup, fruit salad, bread, cheesecake, and a cornucopia filled with trail mix.

When the feast was over we headed back to school for some R & R, and then specials time.

Our students don't have school this week. But the teachers have meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully our time will be full of ideas, excitement, and validation. 

Happy week off!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Wow

Thanks to my friend at Curious Firsties for providing me an opportunity to share some good stuff.


I've been dragging my feet lately, but over the weekend I began to write a social studies unit. I decided to use a STEM format. The more I got into it, the more excited I got.

What a relief.

But come Tuesday morning when I was going to start it, I got nervous. 

It's not good enough. The kids will not like it. It doesn't cover enough standards. On and on.

The wow part is this: it went pretty good. And the kids came up with their own questions. So, it looks like I will be trying more units that follow this structure.

Hop on over to Curious Firsties to read more and celebrate, or link up your own Wow on the Wednesday Wow linky parrty.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I crave change.

And I dislike change.

I crave change when it's my idea, or when my mind is open to the new idea, project, way of doing things.

I've been feeling stuck. 

Change is coming and it is not going to be easy. It will be (and already is) extremely mentally challenging.

My task: to make space for the new. I need space to ponder, create, explore. All in a safe environment. 

What am I certain of?
1. This will not happen during a planning period.
2. A safe environment = me and my very closest friend(s).

What do I fear?
1. That I lack the ability to make this change.
2. That my best will not be good enough.

Well, now I think I can get to work, because I've named the fear, and it is not so scary anymore.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Schedule

Do you like seeing what is going on in other classrooms?

I certainly do. That is why I love blog reading so much. I see lesson plans. Ideas. Meet friends. Get inspired.

I have been amazed at how daily schedules are so different. Depends on your state, district, building.

Some lucky teachers have loads of teaching time. Others serve breakfast in their classrooms.

Susan from 

has created an opportunity to share our schedules. I'm sharing mine.

Everyday is a bit different. Yet each day begins the same.

7:50-8:00     Pick up students from the gym. Unpack and get ready for the day.
8-8:05          School announcements and Pledge of Allegiance
8:05-8:25     Homeroom (cross-grade groups meet with ALL teachers in the building, one room does the chores and the rest exercise--walk outside when nice, dance in the gym if rainy or snowy)
8:25-8:45     Morning meeting: go over jobs, schedule, sing and then read aloud a story.
8:45-10:15   ELA block (SSR--my aide and I meet with some groups to work on reading strategies and sight words; Working with Words; and Guided Reading) My district has implemented a Four-Block framework so that is my guideline in planning this block.
10:15-10:30   Recess
10:30-11:05   Writing (M, TU, F), School Counselor time in the room (W), Computer lab (TH)
11:10-11:50   Lunch and Recess
12-12:30       Brain Building time (Intervention groups)
12:30-1:30    Math
1:30-2:00     Wrap-Up (read aloud a chapter book, finish up, birthday parties, etc)
2-3               Specials (this varies by day, the students go to Science, Library, PE, Music for 30 minutes)
3-3:10          Pack-up
3:10             Dismissal

My kids also have Art (with a real art teacher) on Tuesdays from 12:30-1:15.

The two times in my day that I have an aide are during the SSR and Brain Building times. I like that because we can meet with groups (and the groups change frequently, depending on the skill and need of the students).

Hop on over to Thank God It's First Grade to look through other schedules. That is where I'm headed!
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Currently

Yippee! It's time for one of my favorite linky parties. Currently, hosted by Farley.

Watching (rather listening, because I don't just sit and watch something) Forrest Gump with my boys. They haven't seen it before.

Loved that today was somewhat lazy. Time for a haircut, a nap, a choir program and some lesson planning.

Last night and today I watched Forks Over Knives. It definitely got me thinking. I want to make some changes, but they have to be small, I have some males in my life that LOVE meat.

I have pinned several focus boards. But I didn't create one at the beginning of school, because of my impending move to another classroom. Now that the move is not happening, I want to put one up. Here are two inspirations for me: First Grade Critter Cafe and Life in First Grade.

The crud is circulating my classroom. I've had something for about 9 days. Now I have this cough. Not really anything, but annoying.


I love sandwiches. Paninis. Find the recipe here.

That'll do it for this month's currently. Happy November everyone!
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