Monday, September 1, 2014


I'm linking up with Farley today for a little Currently action!
Listening:  to silence...perfection on a Monday morning
Monday mornings are normally pretty rough for me.  I'm not a morning gal by any means, so the fact that I woke up at 9:00 and haven't done anything since then just makes my heart skip a beat :)  I mean, I am fairly certain that our nation should declare 3-day weekends become the norm.  Whatcha think??

Loving:  Kendra Scott jewelry
Tomorrow morning will come, there's no doubt about that!  One thing that has added a little spice to my morning routines is my new Kendra Scott jewelry.  Cara and Hope introduced me to Kendra, and I'm addicted now.  And, she just happens to be throwing a sale this weekend!
Thinking:  I'm too old to skate
No matter how many 3-day weekends I have, or how much sleep I get there is one thing that I've realized... I'm not quite as young as I used to be!  For Joelle's birthday I bought her some super cute skates from Zulilly.  Well, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea for me to have a pair also.  So, I ordered this pair from Amazon, and off to skate we went!  Our first time skating together resulted in both of us on the ground time and time again because I was holding Joelle's hand, and when she fell... I fell!  We are doing a little better now (as long as I stay far away from her, ha!) but I still find myself eating cement every once in a while!  Last week I was sore for several days and couldn't figure out why... it's because I'm old!
Wanting:  more summer time!
 We really had such an amazing summer these past few months.  We went to Vegas, student camp, on our cruise, and to Colorado.  It was jam-packed and all kinds of fun!  I would really love a summer repeat with calmer temps and relaxing weeknights.  I don't need all the travel plans, just a good restaurant and my family!  So, I'm really wanting a little more summertime!
Needing:  to input my lesson plans
What I'm really NEEDING to do right now instead of blogging is get my lesson plans ready for the week of Sept 8th.  If you don't see me sharing my visual plans this year, it's because I have to input my lesson plans in a whole new way.  We've used an online system called Eduphoria for years, but I have to give details on each part of our Dual Language lesson plan cycle.  Last week it took me an hour and a half, and that's with my plans roughly written out in my Erin Condren planner.  So, while I really NEED to be typing lesson plans, I really don't WANT to because I know it's going to consume a whole bunch of time!
3 Trips:
And, as far as my 3 trips go... yes, I've been to the Congo.  But, I really really really want to go back to get my little boy!  Did you know we've been in the adoption process for him since LAST June... as in 15 months ago?!  And, it's almost been an year since we first saw his sweet face!  This time around is going to take a lot longer, but I can't wait for the day when we get to pick him up!  So, I had to break the rules a little bit, but I can't leave him out of my top destination choices!

Alrighty, now I'm going to head out for a family lunch date (then hopefully get a pedicure before tackling those pesky lesson plans), BUT you should visit Farley's blog and see what everyone else has going on!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Playing Around With Place Value

Happy Sunday, friends!  I've spent the past 30ish hours lounging around my house.  I haven't put on nice clothes, my hair is a mess, and there has been no makeup on this face for that time.  I believe every teacher deserves a little veg time after the first week of school.  You're welcome and amen, hallelujah.  

In that time I have managed to be a *little* productive (in between naps and meals that is).  I finished my Playing Around With Place Value unit just in time for the new week... well, I still have two weeks until I teach it... but I know lots of teachers are going to start hitting place value hard on Tuesday!

So, in efforts to make this as quick as possible (afterall, I have approximately 48 more hours to do nothing) I'm going to take you on a quick tour of the unit :)  It's formatted very much like my most current math teaching units, so if you have one of those you will be familiar!

I've included lots of posters for reference...
And, quite a few activities!  I won't talk... I'll just let the headings and pictures do the work for me :)


I have added two new activities since originally posting my unit!  If you happened to purchase already, please go re-download!
You can find everything that is shown above (plus a few extras) by clicking on any of those pictures or HERE!
I'm going to church and then my couch and I have a date for a little afternoon nap ;)  I hope everyone enjoys their 3-day weekend!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Wednesday!

Well, it's Wednesday and I'm pretty much pooped.  I guess I have been running off of pure adrenaline since Monday morning, but I have finally hit a wall... the wall of exhaustion.  Anyone else out there feel the same way?!  The first week of school is full of fun and excitement, but it's a lot of work, y'all!  Seriously, my paperwork, to-do list, and pile of forms is never-ending and even if I stay awake until midnight I still have a ton to do the next day!  Phew, just give this sister a nap and let's call it a day!

Before I totally fall off the adrenaline bandwagon, I want to share what we've been doing this week with you.  I fully intend on sleeping all weekend, so this is my only chance :)

On Tuesday we made our Class Promise to one another.  I actually haven't done this in a couple of years, but am so glad I made the time yesterday!  We wrote our promise together, signed the bottom, and made our little mini-me's to go around it.  I hope to keep this up all year, but I'm a sucker for changing out student work!  I used Krista's little people that you can find HERE!  My 2nd class did the same thing and they are on another wall, so I have 40 of those little people hanging up in my room and two classroom promises :)
Today we read The Recess Queen.  Last year I would hear my students play this story over and over again using the Storia app on our ipads.  Well, I knew if they loved it all year then I needed to incorporate it this year!  PTL for Michelle and her precious unit!  Because I have two classes, I'm trying to work smarter (not harder) when it comes to making charts.  I'm going to try and use my white board easel more so I can save paper.  I'm so glad I did today because I got such different responses from my two classes when I asked, "What do you know about Mean Jean?!"
My little Mean Jean character is from Michelle's unit!
After we listened to The Recess Queen, discussed the main character, and made our very own recess rules, my students worked with their partner to tell me why they are NOT a bully!  It started a great conversation about bullies and the appropriate reaction to their behavior!
And boy do they look cute on my wall!  My room is already covered with student work, and I absolutely LOVE it!
In math we have been going through my Let's Get Started! unit.  We've explored manipulatives, had discussions about our math tools, and even started using our math spirals!

My kiddos have really loved our Number Talk time!  This takes all of 7 minutes, and I have found out so much about my students and their number sense through this quick intro activity :)
One of my goals this year is to incorporate word problems as much as possible.  I would LOVE to say I'll start every math block with them, but that's probably not going to be my reality.  However, I started them first thing this week so I would get in the habit of including our problem solving time!  

We've done some of the word problems as a class on chart paper...
but mostly we have been solving them in our math spirals.  This really helps me see how my students solve their problems and find their answers.  We've had several conversations about coming to the same answer but in different ways :)
I think the biggest hit with my kiddos was decorating our journals with stickers!  After seeing Abby's post about her son's journal, I knew I just had to do that this year!  I've done magazine pictures before, and they also loved that!  This was just super easy and very exciting for them!

PS... LOD stands for Language of the Day.  It's a Dual Language thing :)
After decorating our covers, we wrote our first journal entry!  They chose a sticker to write a short story about :)  Easy, simple, but oh so fun for little ones!
There's been tons more in between, but those were the highlights!  Oh, and I'm getting really close to finishing my Playing Around with Place Value Unit!  It should be posted this weekend :) so stay tuned!
Until then I hope you have a wonderful end to your week and someone pampers you {or just lets you sleep instead of cook ;)}

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our First Day

I survived the first day of school and am actually awake to blog about it!  I'd say that is a success in and of itself!  Our day went by so fast and furious that I barely had time to breathe!  I talked more than I ever will on a normal day and tried to cover all of the basics... bathroom, drink, kleenex, pencil, lining up, recess, lunch and all other procedures!  

When my students walked in I had their locker nameplates ready for them to color.  I actually got these laminated after school and will be hanging them up tomorrow!  I'm exciting to have even more kid-art hanging up in my room :)
Since our first day of school morning procedures take a good hour I also had our Back to School Memory books on their desks.  We worked on our covers and self portraits!
Once everyone was in the classroom we started our first day read aloud.  I'm so happy I stumbled upon this book and unit from Linda Kamp because it was the best first day read aloud EVER!  I made a huge deal about my kiddos doing all these fun things while I had to WAIT and WAIT on them!  They were all over the world... Jamaica, Mexico, Brazil, Florida, California, New Mexico.  I also mentioned that I will definitely be traveling with them next year instead of working all summer ;)  It was so funny watching their reaction to my overly dramatic behavior :)
My kiddos wrote one sentence to tell me what they had been doing and where they were while I was waiting!
I wanted to extend on their summer plans and incorporate our school theme of superheroes for an activity that I could display in the hallway.  So, I called on all of my uber-talented teacher friends... and Deanna Jump came to my rescue!  She made this cutie patootie superhero craft that was perfect for today!
 I was able to notice right away the type of writers I have in my class.  I have so many different levels, especially with about 20 native English speakers, 3 ESL students, and 18 native Spanish speakers!  Such a variety!

 They look absolutely precious hanging up in our hallway!  To make this bulletin board I used wrapping paper, burlap chevron ribbon (from Wal-Mart), Superhero clipart from Krista Wallden (blown up), and fonts from Kimberly Geswein!

OH, and this happened today!  You can read about Joelle's first day of Kinder HERE!

Phew!  Now I'm tired and ready for that nap!  We have a week full of fun activities that I just can't wait to do!