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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, What's ahead, & Currently

I wish you all a super prosperous and happy new year!  It's New Years Eve  around 8:15 and I decided to write this one last post of 2012 (yup, I'm a party animal...don't hold that against me).

I've joined Michelle's "What's ahead 2013. Visit Making It As A Middle School Teacher to join the fun! Here is what's ahead for me in 2013!  

Oh and then there's Farley's Currently..... apparently she has a life because she posted the January Currently early.  Well I refuse to be number 7, 568 so I needed to get to it right away.  Make sure you go to Oh Boy 4th Grade and link up now!
I'm embarrassed to say I finished a whole big bag of peanut butter m&ms!  Which is why I will be joining Weight Watcher (AGAIN!!!!) this week.  

For my OLW (one little word) I chose Encouragement.  I am very discouraged with our world today.  It makes me sad that there are so many people who feel unloved, unproductive, and useless.  I am making it my goal to encourage others.... from my own family to strangers and everyone in between including myself.  I have a habit of taking care of everyone but myself but as my mom (and my doctor after a recent health scare) said to me, "If you don't take care of yourself you will not be around to take care of your family".  So I will start with encouraging myself to "stick to it" and take care of me! I will find a way to encourage someone, anyone at least once per day.

Love you all!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

First 12 in the Last of 12 Linky Party!

As I reflect on 2012 I thought it would be fun to post the first 12 blog posts of 2012!  I'm sure a lot of the "old" posts will have subjects that pertain to right now anyway!  I would love if you join my linky!

 Here are the rules:
  • You must use the linky pic above
  • Your blog post must link back to mine
  • List your first 2012 blog posts starting with the earliest
  • Use Farley's rule of 3! (comment of the first 2 people who link up before you and comment of the 1 person who links up after you)
Ready, Set, Go!  Here are my FIRST 12 IN THE LAST OF 12!
  1. 1/01/12 ~Hahaha, my first 2012 post is a linky party...Farley's January Currently
  2. 1/14/12 ~It's report card time again
  3. 1/16/12~ I had a huge appreciation giveaway
  4. 1/21/12~ And then the winner were announced
  5. 1/23/12~Messy desks and the "Froggy desk fairy" 
  6. 2/04/12~Some Valentine Freebies
  7. 2/06/12~ Farley's February Currently... It's funny how now I don't sleep on the first of any month until I link up with Farley's Currently so I can be in the top 50 instead of 7,689!
  8. 2/08/12~ A fun 100 day activity
  9. 2/10/12~ Spelling City Review
  10. 2/11/12~You know you're a teacher when...
  11. 2/18/12~Fun Picture Writing prompts I shared!
  12. 2/24/12~ Teaching life cycles in my classroom (using the "cotton pickin'" Boll Weevils)
Apparently, I started out the year with a lot of linky parties. That's funny since I am ending the year with one and I am planning on joining some of the New Years linky parties!
I look forward to reading your First 12 from the Last of 12!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

We have some catching up to do and CANDY!

Boy, do I have some catching up to do!  It seems like I haven't blogged or posted on Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies Facebook page in ages!  I had bronchitis on top of my allergies and it kicked my butt!  I'm on the mend now, so no worries!

Soooooo, lets start with the weather.  I grew up on the east coast (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey) but now live in South Texas.  Here in San Antonio it doesn't feel like we have 4 seasons like I did growing up. South Texas seasons should be renamed to "I'm melting hot"(3/6 of the year) , "Wow what a great day warm"(2/6 of the year), and "WooHoo it feels like winter coldish"(1/6 of the year).  Today is "WooHoo it feels like winter coldish". Right now its 39 degrees and the high should only get to 50!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colder weather!  However, on Christmas day, my son was wearing shorts.  I miss having a white Christmas but I love living in Texas.  How is the weather where you live?  Did you have a white Christmas?

Right before the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy I was planning on blogging about an awesome opportunity that came my way but considering the circumstances I didn't think it was right so I waited. However, it's not fair to Spangler that I waited this long so I will share my post now and will do another activity with the remaining candy ASAP for Valentines day.

Spangler Candy, the makers of Dum Dums, Saf-T-Pops, candy canes, and circus peanuts, sent me a giant box yummy Dum Dums lollipops and some candy canes for me and my students to use in a craft or recipe. When the students saw the great big box they were crazy excited!  I explained to my students that I wanted them to think of a creative way to use the Dum Dums in a Christmas craft.  I had several suggestions and we voted on our favorite one... introducing the DumDums Christmas tree!

Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes and here are just a few of the student samples.   After the students started these I thought it would be really cool to do the same thing but have enough lollipops to have a countdown to Christmas.  Every day in December you would eat one DumDums until Christmas!  I may try that with next years group!
Thanks to Spangler Candy for this opportunity.  You can see even more fun recipes and crafts by visiting Spangler Candy's craft idea page   or their holiday recipe page.

I don't want to make this post too long so I will stop here but be reassured I am back to blogging and back to "normal" routines...whatever that may be.  Come back Sunday evening to see what Christmas fun my students and I had.

Until then my friends,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My heart aches...

I am heartbroken and don't even have the words to explain how sad I am.  Yesterday, I learned of 2 different children, that I personally know, who not in safe hands.  My friends (who are all educators) made sure these 2 kids got help and were going to be safe.   Then the shooting in CT......... I just don't have words.  All I can say is I'm praying!  I'm praying a lot! I am praying for every single person affected by hate. (Thanks to Nikki from Melonheadz for the remembrance pic above)

A fellow blogger and friend Erica shared this poem on her blog

 And finally I thank Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for thoughtful idea. Please join Farley, Me and several other bloggers in a day of silence for teacher bloggers on

Sunday, December 16, 2012,
by only posting the picture below on your blog 
and titling your post as "Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary" .

Hugs to all of you!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Yes, I already blogged today (click here to read the post & pick up a freebie) but it's the 1st, so you know that means I must participate in Farley's December Currently. Hop on over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and join the linky party.
O.K. back to blog stalking before I start grading :)

The Season to be Merry (with a freebie)!

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah! Joy to the world...........happy happy happy!  I truly love this time of year but not everyone is always so cheerful, especially stressed out teachers.  Many times the teachers students have "holiday fever" and are grumpy, needing vacation extra energetic and extra unfocused on school work.  I have learned the more  we stick with our normal routines the better! However, who wants to go through December without fun activities? Well, I guess the Grinch but besides him everyone wants to decorate and have fun - without the stress!
(knocking on wood) Throughout the years my classes are well behaved and work hard during the holiday excitement.  My secret? Keep with the curriculum but plan one fun activity a day and do the activity at the end of the day.   Christmas activities can be used as a bribe.......yes, I said it. I'm not to proud to bribe my students.

My fourth grade team, a.k.a. The Fab Fourth, has already planned our fun!  Here's some of what we have in store (with help from Pinterest)...




Friday, November 23, 2012

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Clipart bargains and more!

I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving!  I sure did!  Lots of family, food, and laughs!  Don't tell anyone but I even had left over mashed potatoes and gravy for breakfast today.  I can never get enough gravy!!!!!

Today is black Friday.... did you go out to fight the crowds and get a bunch of bargains?  Not me! I use to be a black Friday shopper but not anymore...I do most of my shopping online.  Today I made some purchases at Amazon and Scrappin Doodles.  I bought so many awesome sets of clipart!  Including the cute elf frames that I used above.  Look at this deal! I got $12.70 off of my purchase! WooHoo!  If you use the code BLACK2012 on your purchase of $5 or more at Scrappin Doodles you will get 40% off!  I think this black Friday deal is over on the 26th to make sure you don't miss it!                             

One of the things that is still in my shopping cart is this Xryon sticker maker.  My teammie has one and uses it so much in her classroom so now I want one. :)  Uncle Milton brand stuff is on sale right now for 40% off right now so I am thinking of getting the volcano and ant farm for my classroom.
I bought some other goodies from Amazon for my kids but I will not mention them on here just in case they snoop!  
And incase you didn't know, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a big sale too but it will start on Monday!  I have an account with TPT but don't sell anything.... haven't made up my mind if I ever will or not.  However, I shop at TPT all the time.  I couldn't possibly include all the wonderful sellers so here are a few of my very favorites are (Runde's room store at TPTJennifer at Runde's Room  (who is having a great pin it to win it contest right now....make sure you check out her drama circles and cootie catchers), Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6, Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade and Ashleigh from Ashleigh's Education Journey.   

I love to hear about all your bargains!  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Get your shopping on...

I always like to start my holiday shopping early but I haven't even started it yet.   However, I saw the November special that Thirty-One Gifts was having and couldn't resist having an online party! Click here to see the terrific special! For every $35 you spend you can get a medium tote for $5!!!!! This medium tote is a perfect gift for any teacher, mother, friend, heck anyone!  I am so getting some.  Yes, not just one but several for gifts (and one for me too)!   They even have an limited time snowman print that is ADORABLE!

To start getting your shopping on... click here

If you happened to have"attended" my last Thirty-One online party you will know that my fabulous friend and consultant, Blair Beck, donated incredible prizes.   Well, guess what?  Yup, she did it again!  Princess Blair, as I fondly call her, has donated 6 incredible prizes!   For every one item you purchase your name gets in the drawing automatically.   Just for fun, I would love for you to tell me (in the comments which prize # you would want to win the most).

And if that isn't enough I thought I would offer a $25 Amazon gift card for any lucky follower of  Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies!   All you have to do to win the gift card is already be or become a Fabulous Follower!  My party runs through Friday, November 16th so I will run the $25 giftcard giveaway until the same time.   If  your are a follower(old or new) you get 1 entry and if you make a purchase you get an extra 2 entries towards the Amazon gift card.  Just enter below & GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 2, 2012

Currently in November...

Can you believe its already November?  This year seems to be flying by!  Only 10 more school days before my Thanksgiving break! YAHOO!

A new month means a new Currently from Farley's Oh Boy 4th Grade! and a new coupon code from Scrappin Doodle!

First check a small sampling of the newest clipart from Scrappin Doodle.  I prefer frogs over koalas but I will admit those little animals are adorable!   My favorite set is the Veteran's day set.... that is a definite purchase for me!   This months discount code is: NOVEMBER2012.  You get 15% off any purchase $5.00 or more.

Ok, let's play Currently...

I am so tired today (after 13 hours at work) that I just want to sleep through the entire weekend and wake up Sunday afternoon for some football. 

Yes, its true! I am having a Thirty-One Gifts online holiday party again.  It's going on right now but I haven't blogged about it yet.  Just like last party my super great friend and consultant, Blair, has super great prizes!  Make sure you come back tomorrow afternoon for more details. And by the way, the special is "tote-tally" awesome!

I love the Music for the Mind series of CD from Kagan!  My kids and I call it thinking music.  It really does help them think!

Until tomorrow my friends....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Multiplication x 3 &Tell Me Something Good Linky

Happy Sunday!  I'm doing my usual Sunday activities.... watching football, doing laundry,planning for next week, and grading.

Doesn't that sound like fun?  LOL! What do you do on Sunday afternoons?

When I saw that Jennifer from Rowdy in First Grade was having a "Tell Me Something Good" linky party, I really wanted to participate!  Too many times we focus on the negatives instead of the positives.  Click on the linky pic below to read about others "something good" and maybe participate yourself!  By the way, am I the only one that sings "tell me something goooood" when I read that?

Something GOOD at School:  Besides working at an awesome school, I will have to say that my 4th Grade team this year is great!  We work so well together and there isn't any drama (Knocking on wood as I type)!  For the first time in a long time I feel like we all have each other's backs.  Our team is made up of 6 very opinionated, strong willed ladies (and 1 collaborative teacher, a man who just sits backs and listens) but we all respect each other and know we all have the best interest of the students in mind.   It sure is nice to want to go to work each morning!

Something GOOD at Home: My teenage kids are so darn wonderful and I am so proud of them!  In a time where many kids are so disrespectful to adults and defy authority, I can honestly say my husband and I have raised our kids right! My daughter is a senior in High School and my son is a freshman.  Both of them do well in school and participate in extra curricular activities as well as volunteer in a variety of places.  They are very thoughtful and plain ol' good kids. Today my daughter is going to a concert (the Penatonics) in Austin with her HS choir and she made sure to have her laundry &  homework done before leaving since they will be home late tonight.  My son, came home from  his friends house this afternoon and cooked dinner for us..... fajitas and onion rice (easiest recipe ever).  It was so yummy!   Now don't get me wrong, they are teenagers so they occasionally roll their eyes or suck their teeth but overall they are awesome kids!

Another thing that is going good in my classroom is double digit multiplication.  Most of my students are finally getting it! I taught them three ways... partial product, regular algorithm, and lattice.
The students who didn't master their multiplication facts like they should have last year struggle a bit more and need to count on their fingers or look at the number line.

Here are some you tube videos that show each method. These aren't my videos but I googled them so perhaps if you didn't know what I was talking about you could see it. :)   How do you teach 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sub binder freebies, Clip Art, & new blog

Hi friends,

Happy Sunday! I don't know about you but for some reason I can't "catch up" this year. I have a great class and an even better team so I can't blame it on that but I feel so behind and kinda overwhelmed.

This year my principal is rewarding teachers for perfect attendance every month.  She announces all the teachers who haven't been absent (our announcements are  televised in all our classrooms). The  students love hearing our names. Then she has a student broadcaster pick out one teacher name for a prize. In September the prize was a $25 gift card to a yummy restaurant named Perricos.   I didn't win but my team leader did so I was happy.  I don't know what this month's prize will be but I am sure it will be great!  I haven't been absent yet however I am feeling sick right now.  The allergens in South Texas are absolutely re-donk-u-less!

Speaking of absences, how do you call in sick or take a day off?  Do you have a sub tub or a sub binder or use a folder?  We put in for our own subs through the computer or phone.  We can request a favorite sub or just get one assigned by the sub system.
I leave my plans in a sub binder.  Click here if you want to download this cover to use for your sub binder. In my Substitute Binder I keep everything from the sub plans, daily schedule, & info about my students to the fire drill & tornado procedures. I also keep a  generic easy peasy word search to use in case of emergencies (or that I didn't leave enough planned).  Click here to get download a copy of the School Rocks word search to use in your sub binder. What do you keep in your sub binder/folder? For more ideas and/or freebies visit Elementary Matters' Sub Tub Linky Party by clicking the pic below.

I get asked a lot where I buy my frog clipart. One of my favorite places is Scrappin Doodles. I also know a lot of you are Owl lovers so I wanted to share this new clipart that was just posted. Who woulda thunk that someone would make germ clipart but Scrappin Doodles did.
Make sure to use the discount code: OCTOBER2012 
to receive 15% off any purchase of $5.00 or more.

There's a new collaborative blog in the teaching world and I am a part of it.  Tips For Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources.   It was created today and it already has several great post and freebies!
Tips for Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources

Also make sure you stop by Classroom DIY to see my Halloween DIY post..... pumpkin poop!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Currently, Diabetes, and Turning in Homework

Happy October! I can't believe it's already October! New month means new Currently from Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade!   So here ya go...

One of my favorite treats is a delicious caramel apple.  I love caramel with almost anything but something about caramel and apples just make my taste buds dance!  I also LOVE caramel apple lollipops and here in San Antonio I can only find them at Target and only during the Halloween season. If you haven't tried one you must! 
One of my favorite fall books (which was new to me this year) is The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg.  Here is South Texas we don't really have 4 seasons... well, we do according to the calendar but not according to the weather or the change of colors in the leaves.  Before Texas I lived in N.J., N.H, and Mass. so as you can imagine I really miss the real fall season.  However, luckily for me, my dear friend Stacey (who works with me) has a cottage in Vermont where she spends her summers.  She also usually goes for a quick trip in October.  This year when she went for her yearly October visit she brought me and my class a bunch of beautifully colored maple leaves. What made the leaves even more special is that Stacey came to our class and read us a story by her favorite author, Chris Van Allsburg called The Stranger.   Stacey first shared some fabulous pictures of the incredible foliage that surrounds her cottage and the lake where the cottage sits. Then she told us that she had a story to share with us.  She turned her book upside down and zillions and zillions of leaves fell out on to the floor.  Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but the book showered fall leaves. My classroom was full of oooohs and aaaaahs.  Stacey read the story and pointed out clues that would help us guess who "the stranger" was.   We were all so into the story and absolutely hypnotized  by the illustrations.   After the story the students were told to pull out their Reading Notebooks and write down who they thought the stranger was and some of the clues that made them make that guess.  Then Stacey gave them their very own Vermont Maple leaf to tape under their writing.  You would have thought she was passing out $100 bills. Some of the students didn't want to tape down their leaves but instead put them in a baggie to take home and share with their families.    I am so sad that I didn't take pictures to share with you but it's something I will never forget.  I plan on doing this same activity with my students every year.... which means I'll be asking my dear friend Stacey to pick me up a leaf or two on her annual trips :)

Now that I share with you that I love caramel apples and caramel apple lollipops I will share with you that I SHOULDN'T be eating them. You see I have type 2 diabetes.   In early November, I will be participating in the Diabetes Walk here in San Antonio.  If you live close to SA I would love you to join me.  If not, you can still show support by making a small donation under my name to the American Diabetes Association by clicking HERE.  Thanks in advance for your support!

I'm curious about homework...  How much do you assign each night? Do you grade it and put it in your grade book? How do you collect it and check it?  I use this pocket chart to collect my homework. It is part of my morning routine for the students come in the classroom, unpack, turn in  homework, etc.  I numbered the pockets with numbers but you can easily label them with the students names.   I can see who didn't turn in their homework with just  a glance.  I only use this for homework and other items that are to be turned in from home.   The students turn in their daily classroom work in a basket. Comment below and share how you deal with homework.

Have a frogilicious week!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I really haven't fallen off the face of the earth!

What can I say except I'm sorry! I'm sorry I  haven't blogged in so long!!!!

The beginning of the year, both at school and with my own two kids, has been overwhelming.
In fact right now I should be putting grades into the grade book but I thought I needed to write a quick blog post to let you know I am still alive and kicking! :)

This coming week will be our 6th week in school.  Most of my students are adjusting to our routines and procedures, but as you know there are those few that still need some reminders every ten seconds every once in awhile.  I love my class and know we will have an awesome year!

My daughter is a senior this year and my son is a freshman.  My daughter goes to the high school closest to our house and has her own car so its really convenient. She is busy in school with not only academics but she is Secretary of Student Council,  an officer for Varsity choir, etc.  My son, on the other hand, doesn't drive yet and goes to a high school (Health Careers) that is about 10 miles away in the medical center.  10 miles doesn't seem that far away but as I said the school is in the medical center and the traffic is horrendous!  It takes 50 minutes on the school bus and about 25 minutes if by chance we can drive him.  Of course the school is the opposite direction where my school is.  Anywho, we make it work but it took us a while to get our own routines down.
On a side note my son Jake has his first High School golf tournament tomorrow!  WooHoo! Go Jake Go!

Did you notice my awesome "Melonheadz Me"? I love it!  Nikki got me!  I always have sunglasses on my head and a coffee in my hands and of course the frogs!   Don't you just love it?  I sure do!   Go check out her blog and see her incredible clipart or get a Melonheadz of your very own by visiting http://melonheadzillustrating.blogspot.com/.   Tell her Lorraine from Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies sent ya!

Now to go put in those grades.  I plan to start leaving most of my work at school from now on so I can dedicate more time to my blog. I promise to to leave you hanging again. :)

Hope your year is off to a great start!

Monday, September 3, 2012


I know I just posted but I am determined not to be number 3,715,002 in Farley's Currently linky party so I am posting again.  No extra words just the currently info!  

Ha I did it!  Got my currently done before Farley's linky went to double digits!  I gotta go link up quick! 
Bye for now.   Hope you link up to Farley's Currently on Oh Boy 4th Grade!