Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trip to "Little House on the Prairie"

Before I start this post can I just say that today I made a "quick" trip to the mall to exchange a couple of things. Umm, what was I thinking?? It was complete craziness there! Ugh. I'm definitely not a crowd shopper, the deals are just not worth it! I was planning on doing a little "school clothes" shopping spree to update my wardrobe (I dress by far the oldest and frumpiest at my school, how sad!!) I made it out with a couple sweaters and a pair of jeans...I've got a long way to go. maybe I'll brave it again in a couple weeks. the line at victoria's secret alone took 40 minutes to get through! yikes!

Anyways...onto my post topic....

My aunt and grandma went to visit the "Little House on the Prairie" while on a trip last summer, and they picked up some awesome posters for me! I just HAD to share them with you all!

Aren't they cute??? Pretty funny, too! I was saying how weird the "marry or engage in improper conduct" rule was, and my Grandma told me that her mom was dismissed because she got married and pregnant! wow. My favorite rule was the one for male teachers who can "take one evening a week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly". Oh my gosh, I died laughing! Too funny!

 I really want to frame them and put them up in my classroom...but I'm thinking i'll only do that with the Teacher's Prayer. :)

Hope you guys got a smile out of these like I did :) It's time for me to finish packing for our annual NYE trip! Each year we go to a different place with the same group of friends from college. We leave in the wee hours of the morning for San Diego. I can't wait to enjoy the sunshine with some of my best friends!! It'll be a nice break from the torrential rain in Oregon that's happening right now....

Happy New Year! (a little early)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, friends!

I've been on a blog hiatus, spending time with family and such! It's been wonderful!!

Today we drove up to visit my family in washington. Mom, Dad, my niece and I went to Christmas Eve service at their church complete with a candle lit carol by the insanely large outdoor tree and a live nativity. too cool! We got there late so we were going to sit separately, when the kids sitting next to my parents asked if we would like to have their seats so we could sit together. How sweet is that?? I LOVE Christmas. and I love my parents church :) Here is a picture from their parking lot. Gorgeous, right?? It's on an old golf course.

Now we are relaxing and enjoying "The sound of music" with a glass of wine. aka Heaven. My niece, who is 4, said the funniest thing at dinner tonight. As I grabbed the bottle of Cab Sav to fill everyone's glass, she proudly called it "Auntie Bee's milk!" haha. Classic :) (btw, she has never seen me drink this was so cute!)

I hope your Christmas is filled with love and family! Blessings to you and yours as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ! He is GOOD!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family traditions

Wow! I am so sorry (again) for how long it has been since I last blogged! I have noticed similar posts on many of the blogs that I follow, so at least I'm not alone! right?! But, I still feel bad! life has been a jumble of commitments and minor meltdowns lately. I figured that wasn't the best time to post on my matter how "anonymous" I am. haha.

This year my class joined Mrs Sneaker, my amazing teammate, is creating family traditions projects. We already do family projects throughout the year that give children a chance to decorate a project in whatever fashion they would like (snowmen, turkeys, eggs, etc). I have loved getting to see the creativity that comes from these kids! Last year, Mrs Sneaker had her class create family traditions projects where she sent home a letter with instructions and some ideas of traditions, and they got to decide what that would look like for them.

I am LOVING learning about my kids and the traditions they have in their homes! I have learned about (and therefore been able to discuss) many different religions, cultures, and special events for each child in my class. One of my favorite things about this project is that it doesn't have to been one holiday or religion-oriented, but it is open to all interpretations! We even talked about how my family could do Duck football as our tradition :)  With so many different religious preferences and backgrounds in my classroom, I love not needing to worry about offending anyone with this project :)

Here are some of the awesome projects I've received (I wish I could share them all, but many of them had lots of photos and for the protection of their privacy I have not included them) By the way- sorry about the ugly cropping of's been a long day! Did I mention when it was time to get coats and backpacks we had a fire alarm go off? ya....

We learned about one student who is a Jehovah's Witness, it was pretty cool!

I learned this student is Hawaiian!

Do you do anything like this in your classroom? If so, I'd love to hear how it works for you! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A peek at our big day

Wow! we had an action packed day today in kindergarten!
(This is a copy of the post that I wrote on our classroom blog, it was such a fun day I wanted to share it on here, too!)

Reading/Writing: We learned about the sound /sh/ and reviewed /ng/ as in ring. The class is doing great with these blends! We have been working on "Stretching and counting" words into sounds and today was the first time that we used that skill to write words! We stretched out the words ship, shop, hat and run. The class has been noticing words we write during sound writing, so this was a natural progression to begin purposeful writing of words. It was wonderful! Look for word writing to come home on friday.

Math: We practiced putting together our "number parade" of 1-10 and connected number partners with "5 groups". one example of this is 7 has 5 and 2 as its number partners. We will continue working on this, as it can be a tough concept for some kids. Using fingers, square inch tiles and visuals like dots can help your child visualize what number partners look like.

Book Fair: today we browsed the book fair at the durham library! the parent-staff organization (PSO) graciously donated 50 dollars worth of books to each class, and by having our class look at the books today I was able to get a great idea for what they would like added to our classroom library! If you are interested in getting a book from the fair it is open before and after school for families to come check it out!

*did you child tell you about our special visitor today? My niece and sister came to visit and joined us at the book fair and participated in part of class time. The kids in our class did such an amazing job at welcoming my little 4 year old niece into our classroom. My bucket was overflowing at how sweet they all were :) My sister commented on how awesome our class was! We really are a great group of kinders :) 

Social Studies: We learned about Nepal and shared some fun facts about the country. Nepal is the home of Mt Everest and the "Abominable Snowman". The kids loved this fact :) We also learned that they speak Nepali and say hello/goodbye by saying "namaste". two weeks ago we learned they say this in India as well.

Star of the week: Asti brought the star backpack filled with many things that begin with the sound /n/ today. The kids loved seeing all of her fun ideas including "Nice clothes" and a "Neon necklace"! We then shared our star snack of nutrigrain bars. Thank you, Asti!

Today your child brought home a blank white paper with directions stapled to it. This is our December family project where you will get to help decide what your family traditions are and display them on the paper. When your child has completed their family project, you can send it back with them and they will get to share about their family in the classroom. Some ideas we talked about today were:

Football (my example was the Oregon Ducks! A BIG family tradition for me!)

I can't wait to learn more about your child's family traditions! :)

My favorite part of the day was my niece visiting. It was SO COOL seeing her blend in with the class! I read a counting book and she was chiming in right with my class! We did "n and 1 more is" and she would know the answer every time! I was so proud :) I thought behaviorally it might be harder for her, but she really did blend in with the class so well! I think i've talked about this on here before, but she is a september 14th birthday, which means she won't be 5 until after the next school year starts. this is such a tough one because normally I don't think kids should start at 4, even if their birthday is so close. But with her, I am really torn! She fit in so well! What do you think? Am I biased? lol. probably!! I'd love you input!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving break

Sigh...I love thanksgiving break :) We have the whole week off (well, sort of.) Monday and tuesday were inservices that I LOVED and then today was a furlough day. bummer to have a day without pay, but not so bad when it's connected to a holiday break!

I did waitress last night and have another shift friday...but other than that I am relaxing and enjoying getting caught up on life! Sunday school plans, cleaning, walking the dog. Life is good! :)

Now if only I could kick this darn cold....

Tonight I'm going to see Breaking Dawn for the 2nd time with my DEAR friend Cristen! She was a 1st year teacher with me years ago so we bonded through new teacher trainings and the like. She has been in another district for the past 3 years, but we still love getting together to walk or get coffee, and of course share our love of Jakeward! Sigh....Team Jacob all the way!!!

Tomorrow we'll spend the day with my in-laws and my ADORABLE niece Stella. I am so blessed!!
Isn't she precious???

Hope you all are having a great start to the thanksgiving holiday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Assessment time

I obviously did not plan well when I decided this would be the week to finish up our math and reading units. I have been really pacing my lessons so that the kids were getting the materials, but then I realized that meant either assess yesterday and today or wait until after thanksgiving break. I chose today because I didn't want the kids to "forget" what they learned while on a week vacation, but I didn't think about the fact that their brains were already on vacation!!!

While I found many assessment results exciting, I also found a lot more holes in them than I expected (especially sound recognition!) Next year I will have to make sure I finish the unit a few days earlier so that I can assess before kids get "holiday brain" (haha)

I guess I have the next round of assessments to look forward to. I know they have a better understanding than I saw today!

What do you do when you find yourself in this situation?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Teaching about Giving Thanks

Giving thanks isn't just an idea for Thanksgiving. It's not a one day thing. Being Thankful should be a part of your everyday life, especially if you are a Bucket Filler! I loved talking about this in my class today for thoughtful thursday (theme of the day during ELD pullout).

As you might remember from a recent halloween post, I've been having a hard time figuring out how to talk about the holidays (all of them) when I have a few students in my class who don't celebrate for religious reasons. Whenever I bring up a topic related to a holiday or celebration, my little ones will chime in that they can't do that. I was very proud of how I handled talking about Thanksgiving!

You see,  I've been reading a book for transition between cleaning up and when the kids come back from ELD, and I find myself continuing to gravitate towards my collection of holiday related stories. I try to read them and not have much personal dialogue on the topic, but today I found a great way (and the courage!) to talk about how thanksgiving isn't just meant to be a one day thing. It's about being thankful for everything you have and showing that in your actions (hence, Thoughtful)
I borrowed this lovely book from my teammate and was able to talk to the kids about how being a person who gives thanks is a great way to fill other people's buckets because we are showing them how much we love and care for them. Yes, the story talked about thanksgiving the holiday, but that was not the main topic. I loved the illustrations in this book and how it got the kids talking about all of the things that they are thankful for.

We did "I am thankful for ___" writing too. I loved these :) I'll have to post some pics soon! One cutie said he was "thankful for Jesus and all of the presents he gets from Him." haha. He's sort of getting the picture ;) He then said "Jesus is SO BIG! Bigger than anyone!" which prompted another little guy to say he was "big, too!" The rebuttal from little guy #1 was precious. :) "No way! He's bigger than all of us!"

I love when they talk about Jesus, even if I can't chime in other than to say how much I loved that thought. :)

Today I am thankful for books that give honor to a holiday while showing how it can practically relate to the lives of our children. I am also thankful for my teammates wonderful collection of books :) 

And of course I'm thankful for all of you in blogland and that I have a place to share my silly teaching stories! 

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Progress Reports

This week was a short week with 2 days off for grading/progress reports and Veterans Day! I love short weeks! (On a side note...did any watch Private Practice last night? I wanted to kill the mom who said her son "forgot" to tell her that there was no school that day. Umm hello?? Obviously she didn't read any of the notes or newsletters that get sent home from school with that information! haha. I know it's just tv, and  Mr. Bee laughed at me for reacting negatively to her comment, but really! there are way too many parents who do that! lol)

Anyways, this brings me to my questions about progress reports! Maybe you can help. You see, last year our district added a progress report in the fall to supplement our report cards that don't come out until february. I like that parents can get an update aside from their conferences, but it has brought up some questions for me.

On our report cards there are MANY different areas that each have an individual grade (plus, check or 0) and it seems pretty comprehensive. But, the progress reports only have 3-4 categories. Math, Reading and Writing (and we add behavior). Under the categories are 4 options. Above standards, meets standards, working towards standards and doesn't show any understanding (paraphrased, obviously). These vague areas make grading go pretty quick, but they make me question how parents are going to interpret them. You see, they could be interpreted in (At least) 2 ways
1. Standard=end of the year goals (which would make most students at working towards meeting)
2. Standard= where they should be right now (which would make most students meeting standard)

I have talked to my team about this before, but I can't remember what we decided. I think it was #2, where they should be right now. This makes the most sense to me, because it shows parents if their child is on track or not, but it also brings up the possible confusion in the winter/spring if their child is not meeting the standard but they were in the fall. Hopefully this won't be an issue, and all the kiddos will still be meeting standards, but realistically i'm not so sure. Some kids just "lose their flow" for a bit and fall behind. They all catch back up (usually), but it leads to some questions right around report cards. I know I would be able to explain this to the parents if needed, and we do talk in between report cards, but I still want to make sure parents truly understand what I am telling them through these progress reports.

What do you think? Am I making sense? What do you do?? I'd love your feedback!!

And on another note, Happy Veterans Day!! I am so thankful to be able to live in a place that respects our Veterans and supports all of those people who have or are continuing to fight for our freedom. I pray that we will never take this freedom for granted! Veterans- I truly appreciate all that you have done for us!! Thank You!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ducks Vs. Huskies!

family photo minus Mr. Bee and my nephew!
Tonight is a very big night for the Ducks! We are playing our (arguably) bitterest rivalry of the Pac! This is a very big game in my family, because my sister went to UW and married a husky, while the rest of us have been born and bred Ducks! I'm sad that this is the first year I won't be with the whole family during the game, but I just couldn't make it this year. Cheering for the ducks from home!!
my sis and I :) (date stamp wrong, obviously :) )

Friday, November 4, 2011

Is it just me, or does the week after halloween seem to take FOREVER to end?? Maybe it is because it is 1 of 2 full school weeks in november, but boy it seemed to last forever!! Hope you all had a great week :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Parade and party

Well, we survived our first party of the year! and it was pretty fun! I was super tired this morning and not too excited to get dressed up (I've had something to dress up for every day since friday!) but the kids always get me in the spirit! <3

We didn't get too much "school" in today, which I kind of expected. We did a pumpkin sequencing activity and a story, and then it was time to go on our parade! We do a short walk across the parking lot to the alternative school and get to parade through all of the classrooms. The kids loved it!!
Then we came back and started our party. I had a few amazing parents plan the whole thing, so it was definitely more fun for me to sit back and watch! We had snack first with pretzels, a cookie, string cheese, apples and juice (A LOT!) then we had 2 activities that the kids got to choose from. One was a ghost toss and the other was pumpkin carving. This kids were so well behaved and had a great time!

 I was really happy with how the carving turned out because the dad in charge of it had reassured me how well it would go, he's done it before, but I was skeptical! He proved me wrong!! It was amazing how well the kids followed directions and shared taking turns!
A few things he did ahead of time that really helped were
*pre-cleaning the pumpkin and then putting some pulp and seeds back in so they could "clean" it out
*traced the design on the pumpkin 
*brought a bowl, scoops and carving tools to share

There wasn't even a mess when he was done! Wow!



Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head for the buses! a parent had made non-food goodie bags to take home and each of the kids had their treats from the parade. 

We'll see how everyone is feeling tomorrow. Candy Coma's? Sugar Highs? Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blog on Fire award

A big thank you to Teacher Tam at Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures for nominating my blog for the blog on fire award!! I have been feeling really bad lately about not blogging enough, and it brightened my day to see that she thought of my blog!! Teacher Tam has a lot of great ideas as well as fun anecdotes from her classroom and her life. Any woman who can be a preschool teacher, kinder teacher AND a mom is truly a hero in my book! Go check her out!!

So here are the rules: I need to share 7 things about me and then nominate 7 more blogs for the award. Here we go :)

  1. I love taking my dog, Mac, to the dog park. watching him frolic with all of the other pups brightens my day!! His big goofy grin is the best :)
  2. I love facebook. It's been so fun connecting with friends from my childhood and it is amazing (and kind of sad) how often you find things out about people you are super close to through facebook. For instance, this week I found out one of my best friends went into the hospital for appendicitis. I wouldn't have known because she was too sick to get the word out. It felt so good to be able to visit her and spend time with her while she was recovering, and I can thank facebook for that! lol
  3. I am dressing up as a sailor for halloween :) I wore the costume for work last night and it was a hit! I'm wearing it again tonight to a costume party. This is big for me, because I am almost always a...BEE! haha. 
  4. I don't know what I would do without my droid. It has my phone numbers, calendar, to do lists, camera, aka everything on it. Good thing there is a backup assistant on it!
  5. I haven't run in weeks! I am recovering from an injury and am REALLY missing running. I'm sure my body is too, lol. 
  6. My husband taught me to golf and I love it!! I am not that good, but I really enjoy going out with friends and family. my mom and I even take lessons together occasionally. My uncle in law is a famous golf pro and so Mr. Bee grew up surrounded by golf. I hope our children grow up loving it as much as he does! 
  7. Mr. Bee says I am the most lazy "OCD cleaner". haha. I am really obsessed when it comes to cleaning or working in the yard, but I am also so lazy at getting it started that I wait until it is really bad. Thus the whole cycle of obsessiveness begins :)
Ok! Now onto the fun part- 7 of my fave blogs! Check them out and let them know how much you love them too by following them! You won't regret it!

 Still by far one of my absolute faves :) Isn't her button cute, too??

Miss Bee, Busy Bee
Pray Teach Love
You Say It Best- my dear friend Mandee's blog, she posts about her adventures in fitness and food! You'll love her recipes!
Eat Pray Run- my newest find and LOVE!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almost done with the big week!

Phew! We've made it through wednesday! A big chunk of the busy week is over and was AWESOME! All that is left is tomorrow's full day of conferences and then it's a 3 day weekend for me! (well, if you don't count waitressing friday night. haha.) Of course I forgot my camera cord at school, so most of the pics will have to wait until tomorrow. But here is a quick update :)

5 little pumpkins

Monday we made a picture to go along with the "5 little pumpkins" poem. I love this one and was having a hard time deciding what to do about my students who didn't celebrate halloween. I decided to talk about how not everyone celebrates halloween and that pumpkins that grow in the fall and how they are used to decorate even if they weren't carved. We talked about how we were going to see pumpkins at the pumpkin patch at that children could choose if they wanted to make the poem or 5 pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. One of my students was still concerned that she couldn't make the craft, so I reminded her that they were not halloween pumpkins and that she could make hers on blue paper for daytime instead. She was happy with this idea and it went well! The other child made her picture on black paper and I reminded her about how they didn't need faces and next thing I know she has made 5 jack-o-lanterns. Oops! I talked to her parents today at conferences and explained it to them, which they handled really well and we all got a chuckle out of it. I think the best part was when the dad told me that in the end what she decides to do is her own decision and that with their help they will guide her and be supportive of what she decides. Awesome parents!

Pumpkin Patch
Mom and daughter sack lunches :)

Tuesday we went to the pumpkin patch and had a blast!! My mom came along and met the kids (she was subbing for me the next day) and we had a lot of fun! All 4 kinder sessions and their families come and it was a great turn out! We ride the bus 45 minutes away to a patch where the kids can ride on a boat, see a petting zoo, learn about wheat, pick out a pumpkin, play in a hay maze and ride a train. I love this place and so do the kids!!
 The only problem we had the entire day was a child who is having a really hard time separating from his friend. He's cried a couple of times because he couldn't find her on the bus, but he usually calms down pretty quickly. I've talked to mom about this before, and we both agreed that the best way to handle it was reminding him what was happening (maybe she is sick, it's ok to have other friends, etc) and that we should not encourage the behavior. Well, this trip was a BIG problem in his eyes. He was happy every time he was with her, but when they were separated on the bus, train or in their groups the world was ending! I'm talking alligator tears and bellowing wails! HUGE deal. Parents thought I was crazy for ignoring it, but I had to reassure them that he was ok and that his mom and I were communicating about this and had a plan. Talk about unnerving. Well, on the bus ride home I had each child who had not gone home with their parents in their own seat so they could rest if they wanted to, and he was sooo upset. He cried for the entire ride home, even after I talked to him. I could hear him from the back of the bus. What was interesting was that he would stop crying when we got to train tracks and would get louder whenever he made eye contact with an adult....Hmm...I emailed him mom and said that I was really concerned about this (in a kind and loving way, of course) We are going to talk at his conference tomorrow but hopefully we can figure something out!! Have you ever experienced this??

Tuesday night I also had a shift at the restaurant. Can you say long day??

petting zoo

learning about wheat

great pumpkin!

enjoying the boat ride

hay maze

Mrs. Sneaker and I :)

Wednesday Sub/Conferences
Today my mom subbed for me while I held conferences. I love having my mom in the room and getting her feedback with the kids, and it was even more fun for me when I got to pop in and visit on breaks. She is an amazing teacher and the kids love her! :)

It was weird not being with the kids while they were at school, but conferences went well and I am excited to meet with the rest of my families tomorrow!!

What has your week been like?? Is it conference time??

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Busy week coming up!

This is going to be a fun and crazy week in kindergarten!! I can't wait!! Here's a sneak peak :)

Monday- the only "normal" day at school. I plan on integrating our regular reading program and math into the day. Since we don't have a letter of the week this week I'm going to take advantage of the extra bit of time and do a halloween art activity with 5 little pumpkins sitting on a fence. For the kids who don't celebrate I will have them make regular pumpkins and not jack-o-lanterns and they will not have the poem on theirs. Hopefully this will be enough of a way to get around the "halloween" aspect. But it's too cute of a project to pass up. I'll post pics of the final product!

Tuesday- pumpkin patch day!! We go on a 45 minute bus ride to another town so the kiddos can have a real experience with a pumpkin patch that they wouldn't go to on their own (the local ones are awesome, but overdone in my opinion. everyone goes there a million times) This place is awesome because it has a lake that the kids get to ride on a small boat across to pick out their pumpkins, a small hay maze and a fun train that takes you back to where we eat lunch! The kids also get to learn about wheat and how it grows and they get to look at a few animals in a "petting zoo".Best pumpkin patch :) AND my mom is coming with us :) So special!!
Tuesday night I am waitressing, which means it will be one long day!!

Wednesday- my mom is subbing in my classroom while I conference with parents. I LOVE having my mom in the room!! she is an amazing teacher and the kids fall in love with her every time! She is so inspiring. She used to be my sub whenever I was out, but now that she is in washington it's a little harder to get her down to sub :) However, she is still on the sub list for me so when she can come down for a pre-arranged day she does :) So awesome!! I have to do my conferences wednesday to be able to fit them all in. My school will only pay for my normal hours which being 1/2 time is only 4 hours, but it will definitely take longer than that for a full class of 30 minute conferences. So, instead of paying me for extra hours, they chose to get a sub for me and have me conference during already paid hours. I guess it saves them money...but that's a whole different story.

Thursday- more conferences but no school. It'll be a long day, but it will make it so I don't have to work friday! score!

Friday- sleep in :) and waitress friday night.

Again, it's going to be an action packed week. I'm sure i'll be tired, but I know there are so many fun things going on that it will be a blast! I just have to remember to get my sleep, eat right and get in a couple of runs for sanity. Oh ya, and of course lots of prayer to be calm and stay in the moment :)
What's your week look like??

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sitting on hold with

One of my best friends and bridesmaids just had her 2nd baby and our group of friends decided to get her a double jogger (she's an avid runner!) as a gift. Such a fun idea to go in on something that would otherwise be super expensive to get! We all chipped in as much as we could, and then I went on the hunt for the best stroller for our money. Well, we finally settled on a Schwinn Double Swivel jogger, which had great reviews, and although the ordering process took forever, we finally had it ordered and on its way! Then, much to my dismay, I got an email saying it would be delayed because it was now on backorder. What?? I had already sent out the card and info to our friend saying it was coming TODAY! Now it wasn't coming until 11/17. Needless to say, I was super annoyed and called target to let them know that. Then, after a (sad) discount off of shipping, they said it should be fine. THEN I get an email yesterday saying it had been cancelled. You have got to be kidding me!! I called our friend with my tail between my legs to tell her about the stroller being cancelled, and she told me she actually liked the Schwinn Turismo Double Jogger more (since it works for infants). That was great news and today I started this new order.
 Now, I am on the phone with target (again) trying to place this new order and get at least some type of discount for the horrible experience it has been so far. I am not someone who complains normally but I will stick up for myself when I feel that I am being treated poorly and this experience has definitely fit in that category. I keep getting tossed around from person to person and STILL the only discount they can give me is free shipping. seriously?? This is already a promo being advertised on their website. I don't consider that compensation for this mess. I am supposed to be hearing from this woman's supervisor if they can do anything else for me (It's Target, c'mon! of course they can give me a measly discount off the product, right?)
 Am I asking too much?? Should I just get over it?? I Love Target and this is just making me not want to shop there anymore! Beyond frustrating. :(

On a funnier note,
Today a mom came into my classroom *an hour after the kids had left* and when I asked her how she was and if she was waiting for her daughter to get out of extended day kinder (title reading class) she said she was here for her conference. Conferences are not until next week. Oops! Turns out she had completely jumped a week in her brain and thought it was this week, even telling the kids that they didn't have school tomorrow. :) I told her that I wasn't prepared for her conference or else I would have just done it for her today, and that next week everything would be set. She is so sweet and i'm sure she was embarrassed, but I just thought it was cute. I love the parents in my class this year! I can't wait for conferences to begin! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Can't celebrate holidays....

I have a couple of students this year whose families don't celebrate holidays or birthdays for religious reasons. Because we want to respect their choice and "celebrate" each others differences (didn't mean that in a bad way, but it's the only word I can think of haha) we do not celebrate holidays in the classroom other than a short party on the day of, where the child can go to another place during that time. I'm having a hard time with it this year because I am seeing all of your super cute Halloween themed games and lessons! I so badly want to talk about them and explore themes in the classroom, but am afraid of offending certain families (we have had this happen in the past).

It's not that we pretend holidays and celebrations don't happen, we just don't make a big deal out of them. I can tell I am going to have a HARD time with this at Christmas! It's already hard for me to not talk about the meaning behind Christmas, even when families do celebrate it! :) Do any of you have advice for me?? What do you do??

Oh the joys of public schools.... :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Equity Training

Hi bloggie friends! First off, I apologize for how long it has been since my last post! I keep thinking that I want to write something, but when it comes right down to it I just have dropped the ball! New goal is to blog at least a couple of times a week (since I've been once if lucky lately! haha) Hopefully you'll all still stick around ;)

So today we team was out of the building for an equity training. This was my first time with a sub and my new class, which always makes me nervous at first. However, I talked with the kids with it a lot before I left and I am very confident in the teacher who was in for me today. She is a retired teacher at our school and has been one of my main subs since I began teaching. She is wonderful :) I'll be out at least 4 more times for these training's, but for the rest of them I am going to be having my mom sub (she lives in another state now, so she drives down and stays at our *her* house when she subs for me. Aren't I lucky??) I am so blessed to have so many amazing master teachers who can step in for me when I am out. I don't know what I would do without them!

Now onto the kinder team has been invited to be a part of the CARE team (collaborative action research for equity). We are on the team with one of the special education teachers at our school and our principal. This is my first experience on a team like this (besides committees) and I must say I really enjoyed the seminar today!! It was lead by an extremely charismatic woman who has a passion for deepening our own understanding of race and culture and making a "space" for all children to be on a level playing field in the classroom. Our district has been focusing on Courageous Conversations about Race for 2 years now, and this years cohort is going to be completing action research and implementing culturally relevant instruction in our own classrooms.

While I consider myself to be continuously learning about my own understanding of race and culture as it applies to my own teaching, I think that I have a lot to learn. especially when it comes to applying this to a scripted curriculum like we are expected to teach now days. I am really excited to have the chance to focus with my peers on such an important topic, and can't wait to reflect back on this as the year progresses!! I'll be writing more about this later i'm sure. But for now I want to leave you with two of my favorite phrases our instructor taught us about her own culture today:

1. "We all add our own 'pop and shine' to a lesson. what works for her might now work for you"
2. "Don't make me 'catch a case'!" - Loved this one :)

Does your district do something similar? What does culturally relevant instruction look like in your classroom? I'd love to hear more about your experiences and am excited to share my own soon!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

M Week: Mexico and Mosaics

Can I just say that I am loving my kids so much?? Sure, they are not perfect but they are so sweet it's ridiculous!  They are constantly telling me things like how great I am (Sigh) and giving me sign language/hand signals to say I love you. They make my heart melt!!

This is our first week of having letter of the week and it is the letter m. We do a lot of activities around the letter, but these 2 new ideas have been my favorites!!

  1. Mexico. 
  • We are focusing on a different country each week that corresponds to the letter. We colored a flag of mexico... which I was surprised that they did great at following the specific coloring directions!
  • We learned that many of my students had experiences in Mexico! family, friends and vacation. We talked about Mexico and then learned some words in spanish.
    • We learned:
      • Hello: Hola
      • Good Day: Buenos Dias
      • Thank you: Gracias
      • Goodbye: adios
      • We counted to 5
  • I loved seeing the class so excited to speak in spanish!! It was really cool for the Children who spoke Spanish at home because they already knew so much!
  • Since we learned these words my kids have been saying "Hola" and "Gracias" to all of our volunteers! LOVE this!
2. Mosaics
We made name mosaics. The kids were so into this project it hardly took any direction! I was amazed! We made the templates for each child's name on word art and then the kids cut/glued paper in the order they would write their name. 

Friday, September 23, 2011


Today was jog-a-thon day for our RoadRunners!! We had so much fun! This day is always one of my favorite days because I get to share my love of running with my kids!! It was already warm when my class ran at 9:30, and it was supposed to get much warmer, so I'm feeling a little sorry for the classes that are running right now!!

 Here are some fun pics from the event :)

Yesterday we did a triathalon style survey where the kids chose their favorite activity. Only 1 other student chose running with me, but today they were all amazing runners! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Oh my goodness, Thank you so much to Chrissy at Read Write Sing for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!! I am so excited!! I've read so many other blogs that I adore that have been nominated for this before, and needless to say I am beyond honored to be among the ranks with you all!! If you haven't checked out Read Write Sing, GO NOW! :) Chrissy's blog rocks! She shares all her fun stories from kindergarten as well as materials she has created for free!! AND she gets to work in a christian school, which is like my dream!! Can you imagine being able to share all you really felt about God's wonderful goodness to your students?? way too cool!!
Click on the button below to visit her blog

So now onto the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award.
1.  Thank the person/people that nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Pass this award along to 15 other blogs that you have discovered

Seven things about me that you don't know....and is not shared on my "about me" section...hmm...

1. I am blessed to have many best friends in my life, all of which mean more than words can explain! however, there is one extra special lady who has been in my life since the day she was born. yep, that's right! Her mom and my mom are best friends. We are so much alike it can be funny. because she is teeny tiny 4'11.5" tall and I am definitely not ;) We can go months without seeing each other and come back with the same exact hair cut, color and (at one time, leopard) pants! no joke! Love you Ms. Baseball :)
2. I live in my childhood home. My mom and dad moved to washington last winter and my husband and I began renting it from them. Way bigger than we could afford right now, and we get a reduced rent! Sweet! :) (my landlords are pretty cool, too...)
3. I was a swimmer and a cheerleader for most of my childhood. I was much better at swimming, but cheerleading was my passion. in high school I had to choose between the sport I could potentially go far in or the sport I loved. I chose cheer :) AND we won state my senior year, which shows dedication can pay off!
4. My mom subs in my classroom. Even now that she lives in another state, she is keeping her sub number current so she can sub for my kinders. SO COOL! Last year some of the kids thought all "moms" in the school were teacher's moms. So cute :)
5. I <3 Sex and The City. Even the 2nd movie. I quote it constantly :) My senior year of high school I bought all of the dvd's on ebay (this was pre- boxset) One season has japanese But, we still watched them constantly in college!
6. I love traveling and my favorite place is Mexico. My husband does not like to travel much and is not going to get a passport...probably because he knows I'll beg him to vacay with me :) But...he doesn't mind me traveling with the girls! woohoo!
7. I had 9 bridesmaids in my wedding. 5 of which were sorority sisters. I am blessed :) A group of us travel with our families every new years. We stay to the west coast, but have a lot of fun!! The first official group new years was when I "met" my hubby. (we had known each other for 4 years, but we'd both been in relationships. It was our first single new years together!)

Had enough of me? Go check out these awesome bloggers!! I blog-stalk each of them regularly :)

Diary of a Pitcher's "Wife"
Sneaker Teacher
Tales of a Teacherista
Herding Kats in Kindergarten
The Teacher Wife
What the Teacher Wants
Adventures from Room 129
All The Weigh
Eberhart's Explorers
Little Warriors

Enjoy! :)