Monday, April 30, 2012

Testing WEEK

This week is THE week. Testing begins today. All morning long. No related arts classes.  All week.

Room is boring=all words, letters, numbers are removed or hidden. I tried to do it in a calming way so there aren't any distractions.

Teachers=stressed.   Students=not a clue. I think some of the kids will be nervous. Some won't care. Some will love the extra snack breaks and extra outdoor playtime in the afternoon. Did I say no related arts? Well, we can pair off with another teacher/teachers and take turns having play duty/movie showing, etc. But we also are on a countdown. Our school year ends May 22. We also have three days of teacher inservices when the children don't come. That means only a few days of actual regular classroom days. One day is our end of the year field trip. One day is afternoon Field Day. And so, we also need to do some computer testing our district requires. So we must may squeeze some of that in this week too.

I'm exhausted just thinking about this. But, off to school now! Let the fun begin!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Working toward testing time

This is countdown week.. Five days left to make sure the kiddos know everything that I've taught this year. Sounds rather promising  doubtful! I've been away from the kids for two long weeks. One week=Spring break. Last week=emergency trip to check on Mr. Spouse's mom--900 miles away. The good thing about being gone for a week was my student teacher was doing her "week" of teaching so I wouldn't have been doing the talking.

This week our basal is using a non-fiction animals theme. I'm incorporating a camping theme and doing lots of necessary fun review! First you need to check out Cara Carroll's Camping unit over at TPT. I'm using almost 100% of it. And I got to pick it up when she had her three year old son's birthday $3 sale. Love. I also made a few things and found another great one for., at TPT. Click on the picture above to check it out.

I am going to work with bears, skunks, deer, owls.

Our basal phonetic pattern is /au/aw. I made a powerpoint activity to work/review antonyms, synoyms, homphones, and more.  I also am working with editing a letter since that is part of the STANFORD 10.

Camping Theme Treasures

The study of pronouns was a find! AND it was using a camping theme AND it was free.. I am planning to do most of the review in work stations.  Click here to find the great work station activity.,

It's nice when things come together. Now...if my kids will just retain a little bit of what we are doing in preparation for the big test.

I'm off to pack up the car and prepare to make my room really ugly. Does it bother you when you have to strip the room of any letter, word, or number? I don't think that there is anything that would help the kids but rules are rules. And of course the "P" does a walk through to see if indeed there is no cheating going on by having a letter of the alphabet randomly peeking out.

This is home for us. Not stripped bare.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

What I'm thinking today...
  • I'm on Spring break! Late--yes. But still I'm on Spring BREAK!!!!!
  • My student teacher's week of is NEXT week. That means no planning for me! After all this actually almost equals two weeks of Spring BREAK!
  • We / I/ only have 23 1/2 student days left. The kids actually get three days off because of no snow this winter. And we/I go thirty extra minutes every day to build in 13 snow days. Could it--maybe---mean that teachers will have a chance to work on records, paperwork????
  • I'm sitting in my PJ's after sleeping in with my Kindle Fire and laptop close--really close. I have hot coffee in my cup--a regular cup. This means that I'm not drinking out of a McDonald's cup with a lid at school. This means that I'm not reheating the same cup of coffee 29 times because I haven't had a chance to drink it?  BTW, I love McDonald's coffee. I tried to find out the brand but no go. I would buy it. I would buy it here or there. I would buy it anywhere!
  • I'm sitting near my hubby. He subs at a local school and has a business that he works on weekends. So we never have a day together. This is nice--even though he is watching Gunsmoke every chance he gets.
  • I can see WalMart in a different light. I actually walked/browsed through WalMart yesterday--during the day and it was, well, enjoyable. No dash to get through the aisle and grab needed items, throw them in the car, and run home to cook.
  • I had my nails done...on a Monday morning with calmness in the shop.

What are you loving?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our week past...

Insects, insects, insects. We've been learning, researching, and having some insect fun. What bugs you came out of Deanna Jump's fantastic Insect Unit.

What started out as a fun I was going to put on display...ended with a few children pouring their innermost thoughts onto their writing. Bullying...issues with parents...but they enjoyed it!

We also learned about fractions using Cara Carroll's "fractionpillar". Loved the idea and so did the other teachers that saw it. So, my grade level got to express out "looooovvvvveeee" for teaching fractions in a fun way. How does Cara come up with these wonderful ideas? 

This is our first year using Envision math and this skill was perfect!

We began our research! FREE from

I divided the kids into teams to research insects. Each team worked together to gather their information and then used a graphic organizer to begin their project. They then wrote their findings, published, and shared!

I got all the ideas from the blogging world and units on TPT. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog changes

Are you the type of person that thrives on This blog stalking leads to so many "pretty" ones. I paid to have my blog designed by Jumpin Jax Designs. Love the way it is designed. But I wanted a "springy" type background and didn't want to put out the $$$ since...well...I haven't done our taxes yet. GULP! Procrastination because we usually have to pay. But you really don't want to read about that.

Blog Designs by Dani has some wonderful tutorials. Click here to read the directions I used. I have overcome my fears of actually going to the edit HTML. I am good and cutting and pasting after all. Think: Word. Powerpoint. So if I can copy and paste in those programs I can do it here. I have purchased several graphic sets that have various paper elements.

My background went from:

To this:

I did play around with the size in Paint so that I could get the dots in a good size.

Now...I have to get up and get moving. I have painting of the foyer to attempt. (I hope I don't end up with polka dots on it though).