Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer, Week 1

Well folks, summer is well under way here at my place. I have completed one whole week of choosing what time to wake up, how much water to drink, when to read/watch movies and when to use the restroom.

Since I can go whenever I want, I don't need to go as often. What kind of weirdness is that?

On to the important topic of the day...

Hosted by the fabulous Kacey @ Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1. This was yesterday, but it was important.

My school buddies and I had ELA basal training. We are getting the series Wonders by McGraw-Hill (and I am tickled pink) and got our first look at it yesterday. The presenter had us make a foldable (kinda different) to write our notes in (bottom photo). Of course, Mrs. Jones and I whipped out our pen bags and our colorful pens and took the required notes. I color coordinated the notes (which drove Mrs. Roux crazy) which made me happy. 

2. One of the best things about choosing my schedule (in the summer) is that most days I get to listen to my boys practice the piano. They both dislike taking lessons, but being the good mom that I am, I force them to go, to practice and don't listen to much complaining.

I snuck a picture of this guy playing his new piece, The Blue Danube.

3. My new teacher planner came today!

The box and tissue paper are so pretty!

And so is my lovely, new teacher planner. Next week Mrs. Jones and I will get busy adding to it. :)

4. I've been hankering for a good black bean salad.

I found this one from Rachael Ray here. I made a double batch, had 2 big bowls for lunch and another bowl for supper. It didn't take much to make, so maybe I could make this for lunches next school year. Until I am sick to death of it anyway.

5. It's just me and this guy tonight.

So we got these...

Happy weekend friends. For those of you on summer break--enjoy! For those of you with days left--God speed to the end!!
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Popping in for a quick linky party. Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice is hosting her weekly party. 

Here's my picture.

And my question... What will you use to teach positive character traits to your students next year?

P.S. This is the first of my Pinterest inspired projects this summer. I hope the rest are as easy, quick, and rewarding.
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

This Summer

It's that time again when teachers think--what am I going to do this summer?

*Take a class?
*Sleep in?
*Read novels? Just for fun.
*What am I now that I am on hiatus?

Thankfully I have a blog and blog friends and parties to go to. That will keep my a little busy.

Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump's Class is having a party. Ten things I want to do this summer. Sounds like fun, right?

Naming some things that I want to do is a wonderful way to make sure that I am productive in June and do not wait until the end of July to do fun stuff for me and with my family.

1. Take my children bowling, to a movie and to a local zoo.

2. Participate in an online book study on Making the Most of Small Groups by Debbie Diller. The study is being organized by Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs. Mrs. Jones and I got this book in January, read some of it, but I am totally pumped to read it and "discuss" it with some of my favorite online friends.

3. Go to and cheer on my high-schooler while he plays Summer League basketball.

4. Go and cheer on my middle-schooler while he plays baseball.

5. Spend two weekends with Mrs. Jones while we learn about workstations (at a local university).

6. Summer vacation to see my parents at the end of July.

7. Go to Lake Michigan with my family. Maybe see a MLB game? 

8. Read a novel. I need a recommendation. I love Karen Kingsbury, but have read EVERYTHING, so who next?

9. Deep clean my basement and organize my "stuff" that gets stuffed down there throughout the year.

10. Choose one pinterest project a week and DO IT!

Ok, now that I have a plan, I feel better. Let the summer begin!!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Hug

The Hug. The one that knocks you off balance.

Have you gotten one before? 

Today I got one. I wasn't expecting it. But I received it and returned it.

What a special little first grader (who is ready for second grade, even if she doesn't know it).

I think she knows that tomorrow is our last day in our current roles.

Me--her teacher, she-- my student. And we are both trying to let the other know how much we mean to each other.

She has been hanging around a lot at recess and homeroom. She has been holding my hand more.

I don't know how many days we have had school this year, or how many hours that translates to, but it is a lot. When I spend that much time with someone a bond forms. This one is STRONG.

Like a Force. A Force that will connect us for many years.

Tomorrow we will share more hugs, smiles, and moments. I hope to savor each one. Then send her on to her next adventure.

Without being sad that our time together is done.

But with much gratitude that I could know her and anticipation to see what her path looks like.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

S'Mores Day

Secret word of the day--S'Mores. But they had to wait until the afternoon to eat any.

They decorated binoculars in the morning. We went on a scavenger hunt/nature walk after lunch.

And when they returned from Art class, there was a surprise on their desk...s'mores in a bag. I thought they would just eat it, but nope! 

"Look Mrs. Bartel! A s'more!"

Happy kids. Happy teacher. Good day.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Last Week

It has begun. A week of lasts.

Today was the last time we had to leave recess early to make it to science on time.

Today was our last Monday together.

To commemorate a wonderful year (and that my grade cards are done, reports are turned in, and I am such a fun teacher) we are having a modified "Classroom Campout" this week.

I say modified, because I am doing it differently than last year (no tents, no special snack). It is not such a big deal, but still a big deal.

Have you ever made a catapult? And what does that have to do with camping?

No? And you don't know? Me either.

I told the kids--camping is a whole bunch of science experiments (like building a fire) and got by with that explanation.

Heck, they didn't need an explanation. I had them at "we are going to make a catapult."

At least half of the kids had made some form of catapult in the past, so not new, but the materials were new, so that was good, and they got to shoot mini marshmallows.

Here are some photos of kids being proud of the catapult they made.

But, even more fun than shooting marshmallows across the room (and being very loud about it), they loved their snack...

For writing we wrote a "How to make a catapult" essay (use the word essay loosely, please). Should have snapped a picture, but, I was too busy packing up their chore boots that I sent home today.

And how do I cap off such a fun day?

Planning for next year. Specifically the first 6 days of school with my best teammate, Mrs. Jones. You know, we even finish each other's sandwiches (that's what she told her teacher mentor today--who has not seen Frozen, so the comment fell flat).

Those 6 days are going to be theme days related to character traits that relate to a fantastic picture book. See, how can someone not get excited about that?

As she left today, with a twinkle in her eye, she asked, "shall we get together tomorrow? And do more planning? We  can add math into those 6 theme days."

Yes, please!!
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Monday, May 12, 2014

The Force

It's true. I teach first graders and we like to play. They learn by playing, they respond better to me when I play with them.

So... Today we played. 

It's end of the year time. Hard stuff has been taught. Now for fun and games.

My buddy (Mrs. Jones) and I thought--let's have fun this week, make it a theme week. Let's go with Force and Motion.

We bought a unit on TpT last year and it would be a shame to not use it. (Force and Motion by 1st Grade Hip Hip Hooray)

Today was Force day. To get in the mood, I dressed as if I was strong with The Force.

Kids and teachers alike stared, but it was cool.

I primed their minds by reviewing the story of The Three Little Pigs. Then I read aloud The Three Ninja Pigs. Oh, it was quiet in the room.

A Jedi teacher reading about ninjas! The boys thought they might be in heaven!!

Blowing is a force, you know. That is the connection. 

One of the experiment in the unit is to "Huff and Puff" a variety of objects and record the distance moved. 

That was fun. We didn't record our data, because we measured in cm, and the sheet included was in inches.

One group was not satisfied to not record the results.

A super fun morning. Integrating ELA, math, science and a spoonful of play.

Tomorrow: speed. What could I dress as?

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ag Fair 2014 is In The Books

A really cool part of my school is our Ag Fair.

Each class, each student (either individually or in a group) creates and presents some type of ag related project. Then in May (when we are crazy with Mother's Day and EOY testing) we host an ag fair at our school in the afternoon and evening.

Today was the culminating day.

I woke up nervous. So I tried something new. I took a photo of my ootd (outfit of the day--learned that on Instagram) and posted it.

Got some work to do on taking a good picture (and finding nice clothes).

Our kids "worked" their project from 1:30-2:45 this afternoon and then again from 6-8 tonight. What a long time for 6 and 7 year olds to be good presenters. But they did it. I sent let some students go home early, especially when Mom or Dad mentioned that bedtime is 7 or 7:30.

 Out by the barn, telling about Freckles, our calf.

Telling about Mr. Williams' farm.

Now, what did we learn on Pizza Day?

We grew potatoes in our classroom and in our garden.

Trees. How they help us, do we have school supplies made from trees?

And to end the evening...PTO gave each teacher a hanging basket of flowers.

So pretty. Now to share it with someone who will not let it die (because of neglect or over watering, both of which I am known to do).

Off to bed. Tomorrow is "Muffins with Mom" at 7:15 am! Before Mom leaves for the day, she will come to our classroom and be given a special gift, so I need to be there, can't just arrive before the tardy bell rings.

Why did we schedule a late night and early morning right next to each other?
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