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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Currently in April

OMG!  I have a chance of being first in the Fabulous Farley's Currently so I am going to link up and then come back and write more. BRB!

OK, so I wasn't first but I am second!!!! That's a new record!  WOOHOO (It's the little things in life, folks).   The terrific Miss T from Journey of a Substitute Teacher beat me to it and is first....she's a sweety so I guess I can live without being first. 

Listening:  I am listening to the Apprentice but I wish I was listening to the rain.  We need rain here in San Antonio!  I could also go for some cooler weather but it hasn't been too bad.

Loving: All staff members at my school can wear jeans the whole week because we have STAAR testing on Tuesday and Wednesday! That is the absolute ONLY thing I like about state testing.

Thinking:  Report cards are due tomorrow and I still need to finish up a few more comments.... why am I blogging instead of doing what I should....story of my life peeps! 

Wanting: My students are taking the writing STAAR tests on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I want them all to pass. Not necessarily for me but for their own self-esteem and to show them that hard work pays off.

Needing: I said coffee but I am really needing to get back to report cards!!!!!!!!

Advice: Society as a whole is getting so serious!  I think we all should stop being so serious and take the time to smell the roses (or the chocolate, it smells better) and laugh your boo-tay off!  I love to laugh! I love to make others laugh! And I especially love to see others laugh!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

5 for Friday...

I am joining the masses who participate in  Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday's linky party!

Here are 5 random things from my past week:

It is now testing season here in San Antonio which means I stress out for my little froggies.  They are so young to be tested so rigorously!!!!  Anywho, here is one way I deal with the stress......... a 5 lb bag of  Haribo Gummi bears!

This is my team (minus our team leader).  We are dressed in our camo during our annual week long   "Camp Write Along"!  The kids love it and so do we!  (I'm the one in the middle holding the sign)

This is Ainsley and Cadence.  Aren't they ADORABLE!  They are the daughters of my favorite Thirty -One Gifts consultant and one of my dear friends, Blair.  I went to see Cadence play in softball this week.  Ainsley was there to watch too.  Love these girls! (Blair is to the  left of me in the picture above).

The fourth grade team won a grant to plant a garden!  I will blog about this soon but the kids are           loving having their very own garden.  Here is one one our strawberry plants that produced a baby        strawberry!

This last picture is of  my little froggies telling ghost stories around the "camp fire".  I used real logs,           tissue paper, and a lantern to create our fire.  We all loved how it glowed when he shut off the lights.

That wraps up my week!  Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hoppy Easter to my peeps! (Freebies)

Just a quick post to share a few Easter freebies I made last year.  Hope you can use them!

 Download Making Words here                                 Download Word Search here

To get even more freebies click on the linky pics below:

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Hoppy Easter my friends!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Fat Amy" and Adios Spring Break :(

Yup, it's true... the end of Spring Break is here and now the preparation (besides everything we have been doing all year) for the state tests starts.  Don't worry, I am not going to get on my soapbox about testing such young kids so rigorously (you're welcome!) however the fact is that my little froggies are going to take some very stressful state tests soon whether I like it or not.  I am not a worksheet person and have found some fun resources to use but first....

....today's adventure.  As you may know, I have a class pet named Lola. She is the cutest, chubbiest, dwarf hamster eva!  Well, my son (who is pretty darn cute himself) decided he wanted his own hamster. He's 15 and has his own money so I thought why not? Well last night he went to a local pet shop that breeds hamsters and fell in love with one (between you and me, Lola is way cuter).  When he brought home the hamster we laughed at how fat it was and he decided to name it "Fat Amy" from one of our favorite movies Pitch Perfect.  Making a long story short... Jake went to put "Fat Amy" in her hamster ball this morning and saw she had babies!!!!!!!!!!  HOLY HAMSTER, the darn thing wasn't fat because she ate too much. she was fat because she was preggers!!!!!!  Jake and I freaked a little bit and off to the pet store we went.  Everything is good now.  The baby aliens hamsters are with another mother hamster and "Fat Amy"(who isn't as fat anymore)  is home with us now. We decided not to keep any of the babies. The pet store owner apologized over and over saying "Fat Amy" is so young that he was surprised to see she was pregnant. Anywho, we went back in the afternoon to make sure the babies were still doing well (and we will probably go back tomorrow to make sure they are still doing good).  What an adventure!!!!

Now back to "Testing Season"... YUCK! I'm not afraid of the tests or the scores but I HATE HATE HATE that these tests are so stressful for our kiddos.  In Texas, our first two state tests, called  S.T.A.A.R, will be administered on April 2nd & 3rd and will cover writing.  Both days the students will need to use their revising and editing skills and write compositions. I don't want to stress them even more or overwhelm them with too many practice passages/compositions so I am planning on using these great resources created by a fellow Texan blogger, the fabulous Lindsay Noren, from My Life as a Third Grade Teacher.

The first one I am going to use is call The Big Game - Introducing Standardized Tests to Elementary Aged Students.  This is a FAB-U-LOUS way to start talking about the test.  By the way, it is good for any state test not just the STAAR.

The next awesome resource I am going to use is Root, Root, Root For the Home Team! (Baseball Themed Literacy Activities). My students will have a blast practicing the ELA Skills using this home-run of a resource.....HAHAHAHA!  Sorry, I just had to go there!

Lindsay has a ton of other terrific resources that you need to check out in her TPT store.  Visit her blog or her TPT store and let her know I sent you.  She doesn't know I am blogging about her (or that I stole borrowed her preview pictures to use here).

Don't forget I am having a THIRTY ONE GIFTS online party, if you need any graduation gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, or just a treat for yourself come shopping with me by clicking here.  For every item you purchase you get your name entered to win one of three prizes!!!!!!

Hoppy Testing my friends!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Take some time during Spring Break to SHOP TIL YOU DROP!!!  And...you can do it all from your computer!  This month, every $31 you spend, choose any tote for 50% off! (Choose from: Retro Metro Tote, Cinch Sac, Retro Metro Weekender, Lil' Expressions Tote, Easy Breezy Tote, Cindy Tote, or Inside-Out Bag). Shop for a graduation gift, Easter basket, Teacher appreciation gift or something for yourself just because you deserve it!!!!


And as always, my fabulous friend (and Thirty-One Gifts consultant), Blair, has donated some fantastic prizes!  For every item you purchase you will automatically get your named entered to win one of these fabulous products:

IMG_5333.jpg   IMG_4955.jpg   IMG_6241.jpg

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Open House Display ~ Historical Figures

YAY me! It's Spring Break and it couldn't have come at a better time. I was getting stressed and tired and needed a break before I start thinking about the state testing that is coming up at the beginning of April. Today I spent the day just relaxing. I wouldn't have even gotten dressed but I had my Weight Watchers meeting this morning.... by the way 1.4 pounds down for a total of 9.6 since January.  However they do say "slow and steady wins the race" so we shall see. When I got home from WW I changed right back to PJs and watched hysterical movies with my kids.....Pitch Perfect was one of them and it cracks me up every time!

I shared this idea on my blog last year but I just had to share again because we had such a great turnout and parents loved the 4th grade hall display!  This year our theme for our school's open house was "Ott Night at the Museum" (My school is named Paul W. Ott Elementary).  Each grade level had different "displays" for the parents and students to took browse and view.  In 4th grade we did historical figures.  Here are some examples of our student's work.

We gave each student the directions (download here), a "head" of the person they chose to research, and the specific paper we wanted them to use.  We tied this learning opportunity to our Expository Writing standards and had the students hand write their papers instead of typing them up.  This really helped with preventing the "copy & pasted from the internet type papers".  The students completed the projects at home and boy were they creative!  Of course we had the exceptions of the students who didn't follow any directions but for the most part everyone earned an "A" and did fantastic!!!!

I'd love to hear some ideas of what you display for Open House!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fire Drill, Speaker, and Product Review

We had two fire drills (not on purpose) this past week and it made me wonder how other schools practice emergency drills.  For fire drills the alarm goes off (duh) and the kids know to drop what they are doing get up from their seats and in an orderly fashion go down the hall, down the stairs, down the ramp and outside.  I am always the last person out.  The first student (or the first to remember) takes our "crisis bag" with them and holds it until the entire class is outside safe.  Once outside I take the bag and hand a sign (laminated paper) to the first person to hold up.  Green means everyone is accounted for, Red means someone is missing (they may have been in the library or with a specialist, etc.), and Yellow means we have an extra child with us (like if someone was in the restroom and comes out with us. We have almost 900 students (sounds like a lot???  Naaah, we use to have 1400!!!) at our PreK- 5th grade and our school is two stories.   
I got my "crisis bag" from Vistaprint.  I was lucky enough to get it for free with the special they had going at the time (3 years ago). My crisis bags contains a whistle, activities for the students (I have a set of Scholastic News magazines, a pack of pencils, and a pack of loose leaf paper), a folder with our class list (attendance roster) and Emergency contact info for all the students, and the three laminated signs (red, green, & yellow).  Our school has been open for 9 years and we have never needed to use our crisis bags.... hopefully it will stay that way! :)

How do you guys handle emergency drills in your school?

In fourth grade we study Native Americans from Texas. We were super lucky to have one of our Special Education teachers share her culture with us.  She did a great presentation and the kids loved making connections to what they learned to what she shared with us.  Here are some pics from Friday's event.
A super sweet gal from Shoplet.com asked me if I would be interested in trying a product and reviewing it... Suprise, I said yes and I am glad I did.

I received some awesome gojo products... a Purell Pal Instant Hand Sanitizer Desktop Dispenser, a Purell Portable Size Hand Sanitizer Jelly Wrap, a Purell ADX7 Dispenser, and the Purell Advanced Non-Aerosol Foam Hand Sanitizer that goes in it. All were super cool and super useful but my absolute fave is the desktop dispenser!

As you see in the picture it's absolutely adorable!  My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  At first I selfishly had it on my desk and kept it for myself to use but then I decided to share.  The desktop dispenser now sits in between a couple of student computers.  The kids know to get a squirt before using the computers so hopefully no germs are spreading on our keyboards.   I am thinking of purchasing a couple of more to use as my bathroom passes that I blogged about sometime this summer, I am sure the kids would love me for it!

Hoppy Weekend my friends!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Currently in March...

I'm not going to say much (friends will be surprised to hear that!) because I'm trying to be one of Farley's first 10 to link up to her Currently....

Yup, its true! I am obsessed with Duck Dynasty!  It makes me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!

I like leftovers.... especially lasagna or  baked ziti !
I LOVE laughter..........I love to hear laughter, I love to laugh, and I love to make other people laugh!
I hate legumes...... I pretty much hate anything healthy... even the word legume is ugly!

Go to my friend Farley's Oh Boy 4th Grade to join in on the fun!!!!