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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Currently in July (early) ...

I did it! I really did it!  I am #1 on Oh Boy 4th Grade's Currently!  Yes, I cheated again and had a little help from a friend....thanks Farley!  Farley put on her fan page that Currently would be up today and then a little bird (named Farley) let me know it was up!!!!!   Love ya Farley!  

It's officially summer and here in San Antonio is Hot, Hot, Hot!  In fact today should be 103 degrees with a heat index of even higher!  I am not one who loves the heat.  In fact, I HATE it! I despise it!  I can't stand it!
So far this summer I have gone to Professional development and spent time with my family...plus a few doctors appointments here and there.

I went the PLC conference held in San Antonio and I went to Depth of Knowledge and Common Assessments too.  All great PD!

My "thinking" above I need to do A.S.A.P!  I will get my list and linky together and have it posted mid-week.  Make sure you come by and link up!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Know your students (& their parents)

Throwback Thursday....I saw this linky and thought it would be fun to participate.  Check out all the other participants at Mrs. Carroll's First Grade Parade!

Here is a "throwback" post from back in the day (well, when I started my blog two years ago - July 2011). There are no cute pictures but it does have a useful freebie.

     Get to know your students (& the parents)   

As teachers, we get to know our students pretty quickly but we don't always get to know the parents right away. I use this questionnaire I created to send home on the first day of school (or sometimes on Meet The Teacher Night).  Not only does this help me get to know my student's needs better, but it gives me an insight on the parents or guardians.

The first question asks what makes your child special.  I've had answers from... "nothing, my child is normal just like his friends" to "My child has 27 trophies in dancing, has always been the smartest in her classes since kinder, takes painting classes, plays soccer, is in girl scouts...."  and everything else in between.  There is no right or wrong answer for this question but you can learn a lot by the answers.

P.S. This is a two sided questionnaire and when it comes back only filled out on the front...well, that can tell you a lot too! ;)

click here to get this document

I still use this same form today and find it very helpful! :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013


It looks like "Google Friend Connect" is going away in July (you probably already know that but I am always the last to find out). I was kinda freaking out because I didn't know how I was going to keep up with all the blog stalk read.

I found another option called Bloglovin........it only took me seconds to join.  It is free, there is even an app for my phone, and the best part about it is that all the blogs I follow through google friend connect just transferred over with one click.

Over 1,000 of you fabulous friends follow me through google connect.  If you are one of them I recommend you move over to Bloglovin now.  It was easy peasy to sign up and you won't need to worry about missing any great posts from you favorite blogs.  Just click the link above this post.

I gotta go back to watching my San Antonio Spurs! 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ch-ch-ch changes, & Great Reads!

School is out and my summer has begun! YAY!!!!!!  My poor classroom is empty! No posters, no nothing! It would be shocking for my students to see since I usually have so much stuff out....mostly frogs. :)   My last day was Friday, June 7th and so far I have been a total couch potato!  Yup, it's true, I've wasted the last 3 days just chillaxing!  I needed to "do nothing". It's just what the doctor ordered....... Well, actually my doctor wants me to exercise but we don't need to tell her about the last 3 days.  
I don't know about you but I hate the end of the year.  I get all emotional on the last day with my students.  And to top it off.......my principal of 9 years is leaving to another school.  I will miss her a lot but we always have facebook - HA!  The principal coming in is just what we needed.  I think sometimes teachers get to stuck in their ways and need a little shake up. :)  

Not only are we having a new principal but the fourth grade team is going to give "team teaching" a try.  I will be teaching ELA and my partner will teach Math then we will both teach our own homeroom integrated Science/Social Studies.  I think our schedule will look kinda like this:
7:45 students arrive to homeroom, unpack backpacks and watch announcements.  When announcement are over, lets's say at 7:55. 7:55 - 8:20 will be school wide morning reading (maybe). At 8:20 I will teach ELA to my class and my partner will teach Math to her class.  At 10:10 we break for specials rotation).  At 11:00 I will teach Sci/SS to my own class and my partner will teach Sci/SS to her own class.  11:55 recess and then lunch at 12:15 for both of us.  12:55 - 2:35 my homeroom will go to my partner for Math and her homeroom will come to me for ELA.  
I wish I would have a bigger time block for teaching ELA but I will do what I have to do.  We have 6 teachers on 4th grade and we will all partner up with the person across the hall.  I will let you know how it works throughout the year.   I really need to think this all through......desk tags, student supplies, etc.  If you have team taught before PULEASE let me know your secrets....any advice or tips would be so helpful.

A new principal and team teaching are enough changes but there is another big change..... my daughter has graduated High School!!!!!!!!  How can that be when I still have my fat from my pregnancy with her????  Actually her graduation ceremony is Thursday.  I am not sure I can handle her growing up!  How can I be old enough to have a college student?  My son is going to be a Sophomore so I have a few years before I have 2 in college.  Holy Old Lady Batman!  Time flies!!!!!!
Bella's graduation announcement - isn't she beautiful?

Enough about change.......well, kinda.  I am reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.

O.M.G. its one of the best teacher resources I have ever read!!!!!!  I am hosting a book study on it on my other blog We Read, We Blog, We Teach.  The first post will be up by Friday.  This book will CHANGE the way you look at your reading instruction.  If you read only one "teacher book" this summer this is the one you MUST read.  Here are some other great reads I have on my summer reading list.

Looks like I need to get a non-teacher book list started.
Hoppy Reading and Hoppy Summer friends!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Currently in June

So they say cheaters never prosper but they sure get in the top 10 of  Farley's Currently.  Yes, guilty as charged.  I saw that the linky was up and I quickly filled out the Currently template and posted it to my blog without writing anything else.  Then once I linked up I am now writing ....  I feel a little bad for cheating but super happy I made top 10. :)

School ends for students on Thursday and we have a teacher work day on Friday.  Friday we will be saying goodbye to our current principal with some fun surprises.  Looks like I will still teach 4th grade next year and while I hate state testing I am not ready to leave 4th grade.... I love it too much!
Speaking of love, many of you share my obsession... office supplies!!!!!! I just bought the sharpie highlighters pictured below (too good of a deal to pass up!) and ordered some new pens, also pictured below. Have you tried the new erasable gel pens by Pilot?  I hope they are as fabulous as they sound!  My favorite pens right now are papermate flair but I can be swayed ;)


When does school end for you?  What are your summer plans?