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! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Race for the Cure

I ran/walked the 20th Annual Portland Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure today with my best friend Ms. Baseball and her family. We have made a tradition out of racing together the past couple of years and it has been such a fun event! I love all of the support that is shown for survivors, free goodies and of course all of the pink!! Such an amazing event! I highly recommend being a part of your local race if you can! We have learned that it is best to sign up for either a timed event (but then you pay more for the race chip) or the coed/women's RUN not walk. If you do the walk, you are in a cattle herd for at least the first 1.5 miles. We learned the hard way the first year...

I love telling my students about the races! It's a great way for them to get to know me as a real person and for them to feel a part of my life outside of school! I hang all of my race bibs on my wall above my desk. I've also found it sparks a lot of conversation and common interests between volunteers and parents who come in the room! Do you do anything like this?

Happy Running!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Great end to a great week!

I am LOVING that I can look back on this first full week and LOVE what I'm seeing! Sure, life is crazy busy and no not every child has been an angel, but it has been overall-awesome! Here is the highlights :) (some non school related)

  • My niece and nephew had their joint birthday party last sunday. I <3 them more than words!!

  • We had our first SL2 (church plant) KidsRock meeting at the new house! Only 3 weeks to the launch and things are looking great! ( did I manage to sign myself up to make the blog for KidsRock, too? Oi) This is the view from the living room! wow!

  • Our new rug came!! Finally I don't have to call it the invisible rug and can actually begin teaching again! haha

  • And my favorite of all...I have so many bucket fillers in my room! oh my gosh, they are soo sweet! One little girl continues to show me a heart made with her hands (bucket filled!) Another little girl constantly shows me I love you in sign (any dipping from other kids is gone!) a 3rd little boy keeps commenting on how full my bucket must be and my personal favorite is a little girl who literally over 10 times today told me with growing enthusiasm and vocabulary that I am the "bestest teacher in the whole wide world" and modeled this with her arms stretched wide. My bucket is literally running over! I need to remember all of this love when I am feeling drained. Because there is nothing like kindergartners to fill you right back up with love!
Happy Friday Bloggy Friends!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Life is Busy (with a capital B!) It always feels like this at the beginning of the year, but right now I am having a harder time balancing than usual...maybe it is because...

  • I am a kindergarten teacher. enough said :)
  • I am a part of an exciting church plant opportunity in our community! We are launching October 9th, so there is a lot going on to get the children's ministry ready to begin! Think inflatables, exploration, music, snacks, and FUN! Sooo excited for this!
  • I am waitressing part time still
  • I also want to be the best wife I can be :)
  • We just began doggie sitting for 2 of our best friends pup Kirby, an adorable bulldog. he's here with our big boy and having a lot of fun! Pics to come :)
Understand why I'm exhausted??

Well here's a quick recap of life!
  • We're in our first full week of school and I must say I am loving my class! Sure, there are the usual suspects ;), but as a whole they are doing SO well and the number 19 just seems to die for! Today we even had our first fire drill and while my expectations were very high, for the more part they held up to them!
  • We're still waiting for our new rugs to come, so management on the "invisible carpet" has been rough to say the least. It should be coming by tomorrow afternoon! woohoo! I am trying to hold off official reading instruction until it comes. right now we are doing more intro work and I am itching to begin Fast Track Phonics (Love this program!)
  • Back to School night was monday. it was our first time participating in kindergarten and having 2 sessions was REALLY hard with all of the questions kinder parents inevitably have. The first intro from our staff went over, so by the time they got into my room and sat down we were already behind. And of course my presentation went over, so by the time it was time to talk to my second session (only 1 parent) there was only a few minutes left. The poor mom felt pretty upset about this and left in tears. After crying myself I talked to my principal and agreed to email that mom right away. I apologized profusely for it and we agreed to meet and talk through "Back to School night info" on friday after the kids leave. hopefully this will go well!
  • My Donor's Choose science supplies arrived today! I was so excited to break those bad boys open and am now looking forward to using them during our travel tuesday rotations! I plan on using 1 exploration station a week for science (along with our new curriculum). During travel tuesdays we will also be having a reading station and a word work station. 
I so badly want to share all of the fun stuff we've been doing, but it will have to wait. Hope you're all doing fantastically in your new classes!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New class of bucket fillers?

**Repost** Check out the Lesson Plan Diva's behavior management linky party for more great ideas on how to document behaviors!

Well, I am finally feeling like I can sit down for a minute and update you all on my classroom. We started tuesday, right after labor day, and jumped right into a new year of kindergarten! The kiddos are cute but very young (a lot of later 2006 birthdays!) and I always seem to forget how little they are when they come. I've got a really sweet group of kids who have been doing such a good job at learning how to be successful in school (maybe this is due in part to 2 of my little girls coming from my mother in laws amazing preschool?!) I love them and and am so excited to get expectations and behaviors down so we can begin our typical daily schedule!
Right now we are going over a lot of positive behavior supports with my "stick" program (Thank you Mrs. Sneaker for this awesome tool!) and it is working wonderfully for most of my class. Each child starts with 3 sticks and they lose a stick if they are not following directions or acting out. Eventually this will be a weekly system where at the end of the week if they have a stick left they earn extra playtime.
 However, the first day of implementing this I had 2 kiddos lose their sticks right away (1 with impulse control issues that are developmental and another whom I think it is his lack of structure in the past) I complained to Mrs. Sneaker that I had no clue how it was going to be an incentive for them if they had already lost their sticks. Mrs. Sneaker said she is doing it as a daily system right now (genius! :) ) and at the end of the day students who have all their sticks get a sticker. I began that today and it is working much better! The first little guy lost all his sticks and had a meltdown, but I was able to talk to him about how it doesn't mean I am mad at him or he is in trouble, it's just a way for us to practice remembering to follow the rules. After school I talked to his dad, who was really receptive and on board with it, and we agreed that we will continue to practice and work on one thing at a time. Tomorrow it will be raising his hand to talk. We'll see how behaviors are tomorrow :)

I had a bit of a frustrating moment today when my class was talking when we were repeating a cleanup transition that hadn't gone well. so of course, I needed to take a deep breath, and made them put their heads down. I just hate doing that and kind of wish I hadn't. but I needed them to know I was serious. After this couple of minutes and explaining how I felt, I scrapped our original art project and instead read "Have you filled a bucket today". I felt like the kids really needed this illustration of how I was feeling when they had to put their heads down, and I love the book so much. The kids were so sweet after reading the book and shared ways to help keep a bucket full. One kid said he could reach inside his brain and fill his own bucket. haha. A little reminder that we only fill our bucket by being kind and helping others or when people do the same for us was needed. :) Such a sweet little guy though!

Then, after my kids left, I was talking to Mrs. Sneaker and our other team member who told us about a clear bucket she found at michaels and used as an illustration for her own bucket in class. every time the class or a child does something to fill her bucket she puts in a cube. Well of course, I had to copy her (haha) and ran right to Michaels when I left to buy the bucket. I can't wait to share this with the class tomorrow! :)
my new bucket! :)
What do you think?

Oh ya, and then I went to weight watchers and weighed in for the first time in almost a month. Down 1 lb. That filled my bucket :) hahahaha

How is your start going? Any behavior issues? What are you doing??

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you ever get in the mood where you're just That's how I feel right now. there's so much to write about, but really I am just not in the mood to do it. I'm sorry friends :( I promise i'll get back in the swing of things soon!

Until then!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Have a Ducky Day :) Go Ducks!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Supply Night

I have been thinking of so many things that I want to write about, but just don't have the energy! Like getting the classroom ready, trainings galore, and oh ya, the 200 mile relay I ran last weekend. I'm still trying to get back into my sleep patterns! whew!

Well, last night was supply night and I sure did not feel ready. however, I got my room set up and was excited to see all of the families that came. We did it a little differently this year, which I wasn't too keen on, but I figured I would try it and then give my input for changes next year. In the past we have called it our kinder meet and greet. only the kindergarten families came, checked in and got their bus information verified by their teacher, and then went into the classrooms to sort their communal supplies and get their pictures taken. this gave them time to explore the room a little and find where they would be sitting. Then they would go to the cafeteria and get ice cream and mingle while the teachers finished checking in students. Then we would give a speech/intro to kindergarten and show them all of the highlights/important information for the year. During this time the kinders would get to go on a short bus ride and then play on the playground. the parents LOVED it!

Well, this year the school decided that we would ALL have supply night at the same time (k-5) and it was from 3:30-5:30, not our normal 5-7:30 (the early time is hard for working parents!) I enjoyed being in the room and getting to talk with families, but the turnout was horrible. normally all but 1 or 2 kids come, this time I only had 12 of 18! I'm bummed because I didn't get to meet them, check their bus info, and get their picture taken. I like to have their pictures up the first day of school so that they can easily do their attendance. Now i'll need to catch up on the first day, not to mention the new kids I'm sure i'll get over this weekend...

Add to that the loss of a prep day we used to have on the tuesday after labor day. Now the kids start that day. Needless to say, we are all feeling a little unprepared....I'm pretty much all set for school to start, I just need to get my mind wrapped around the kiddos coming! I'm planning on doing some more work from home tomorrow and then heading to washington to visit my sis and the kids for the weekend!

What do you do for supply night?