Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sick days

It is no secret that teachers get sick. With all of the bugs that go around schools we are often found sniffling and coughing. It rarely takes a teacher out of the classroom though. Simply because it is just too much darn work to prepare for a sub. It might be just me, but unless I am really sick I do not miss school. I am completely confident in my amazing sub pool, it is just so much work to come back that is usually isn't worth it. And more than 1 day? ya.right.

Well, this week has been another story. I have been hit with a nasty cold that has had me down for the count and missing my voice all week. I tried to go back wednesday, but barely made it through the day. Have you ever tried teaching kindergarten without a voice?! It is HARD!

So, I'm stuck home again today...wishing I was at school. Crazy, huh? I plan on going back tomorrow, no matter what. maybe it is because I am going to be gone monday....oh geez. Will my students even remember me?!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ipads in the classroom

This year we have 1:1 ipads in all of our kindergarten classrooms thanks to a digital learning grant we applied for last year through our district. I was so excited to have them (and still am!) but had no IDEA how much work it would be?

Why is it that technology never seems to work the way it is supposed to? the biggest challenge has been wireless syncing, so that you don't have to plug in each device one at a time. it is supposed to work like a breeze, but for whatever reason the ipads are always disconnecting or not being recognized. ugh. My patience is slim because of being pregnant, and these issues don't help!

It is a good thing that all of the stress goes away once you see the kinders using them! (or at least it goes away for the rest of the session and comes back as soon as they leave) It has been so cool seeing the excitement in the kids faces when they get to do something as simple as whiteboard applications. they are just so much more fun on an ipad! I am also loving the ipads as a behavior management tool. Aka, you are following my directions? No Ipad. It is that simple!  (Disclaimer: I only take them away if they are doing things they shouldn't be WHILE we are using the ipads, not just as a punishment for negative behavior)

Here are some of the apps we are loving right now. I'm sure we'll add to the list, but here is what I have loaded on the ipads to use on a daily basis.
Line Em Up
Story Kit
Letter School
Hungry Fish

What apps are you loving? what grade do you teach?

Friday, September 7, 2012

First week down!

Has it really only been 4 days? It feels like it has been 2 weeks! :) 

Is it just me or does the first week always feel like a blur? Between the get to know eachother activities, expectations teaching and practice, school tours and re-teaching of expectations it gets a little hazy. I'll give you a quick recap to my week and hopefully as things quiet down I will go back to more detailed posts about lessons I am loving!

Right now 
*I have 23 kiddos. sounds like a small class, but having 18 last year spoiled me! It feels huge!!
*So far I have a great group of eager volunteers!! I am hoping this keeps up! It will definitely help me keep my sanity during this pregnancy! I <3 consistent volunteers!
*There are 2 kiddos who are really testing me right now. I know it will get better, but right now it is hard to see how they will ever shape up. They are also very low academically, so I think it is more of a lack of structured school experiences than anything else. Yesterday when they were sent back to their seats for not listening on the carpet I overheard them plotting their "escape". oh boy...Wish me luck!
*I told the class I was pregnant! They loved it and it was so cute to hear them sharing baby names and predictions  I think this baby bee will make a great topic for brainstorming sessions! Mr. Bee liked the idea of baby name help! too cute.
*We have read MANY books. I love teaching beginning of the year social skills through books. I wish my collection was bigger, but luckily Mrs. Sneaker has an amazing collections that she so graciously shares with me! What are your favorites?
*Although I wished I could be full time, I am definitely happy with half time right now. between the countless extra hours before/after the kiddos leave and my other part time job I am exhausted!! I came home today at 3 and took a 2 hour nap. That would be a lot harder if I came home at 5... :)

How is your start going? How are you handling the ones that just don't quite get it yet. I'd love your feedback!

Happy Friday!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What I've been up to

Hey friends! wow, it has been a long time. Wondering what i've been up to (since it is obviously not blogging!) Here is a clue....

Don't all teachers sleep a little bit extra during the summer? Well, usually I would say yes but this summer it was an unusual amount. and when I wasn't napping, I was thinking about napping. Want to know why?? Well, here is another clue...

Yes, I'm pregnant with a baby duckling of my very own!! I'm 12 weeks today and consider myself very lucky to have my only big symptom be being extra sleepy. I'll take it!! 

So what else have I been up to? Besides working on my dye cutting, I have been working in my room to get ready for my cute little kinders who start tuesday (who thinks it is a good idea to start the day after labor day?! NOT ME!) 

Since I am obviously lacking blogging motivation lately I'll leave you with some photos from my classroom that I took today! It is starting to come together :) 
our new ipad setup! In the fancy locker I have ipads for every student! they will each take their ipad out of the locker and put it in their own tub daily. They will keep the tubs at their desk which will hold unfinished work, the ipad and a set of headphones. We got the ipads through a tech grant and will use them primarily in reading but we are so excited to use them in every way possible!! 

my "new" library area. I use this rug less frequently but love to have it set up for comfy reading for the kiddos! We also use it when doing any type of circle/community activity.

my main teaching area. I LOVE this rug!! it is the best management tool ever! seriously, worth every penny!! Thanks Mrs. Sneaker and our co-teaching partner for finding these last year!

my new desk area! I moved it across the room (well, Mrs Sneaker did!!) and am loving the new placement! 

my room doesn't accommodate all the tables well, so this is my "usual setup".  

love having both carpets!

Hopefully the start of the school year and my 2nd trimester with give me an extra boost of energy and blogging inspiration. Until then, my friends...Hope you all have a great start to the new school year!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer projects

Here is the view from my office today :) Sorry it has been so long since my last post, but I have been in a "blog funk" and haven't been able to think of anything interesting to write about. My summers are filled with dye cutting letters for the following school year, and this summer is no different. however, I do enjoy being able to catch up on my DVR while I work (latest obsession, RetroMTV episodes of The Hills!!)
Each person on my team takes home a summer project (or has another big job to do) and when one of my co-workers retired I took on her job of dye cutting enough letters for all classes to make the word of the week (12,000 in all!!) This year I had a parent count how many of each letter were left from the previous years so that I could hopefully cut back how many I needed to make. I am so happy I did that, because it cut my letter making down to 6,077! That's almost 1/2! 
I am so thankful for this because we also have a big job this summer in finding the apps we plan on using on our new ipads! I only have 7 letters in the alphabet left and then it's on to children's ipad app exploration!

What else is up with me this summer? Funny you ask! I have spent most of the summer without a voice/sore throat and finally saw a specialist today. Turns out it is a virus that is holding on tight as well as acid reflux. Well, that is no fun!! Doesn't my body know I want to be singing at the top of my lungs with the windows down or outside on a run enjoying this beautiful weather we've been having? Rude!
Hoping it goes away soon....

What have you been up to this summer?

Monday, June 25, 2012

happy to teach k!

Can I just say how happy I am that I teach kindergarten?! I am helping my mother in law with her preschool VBS this week and spent almost the entire 3 hours today switching off between 3 year old twins who were screaming bloody murder for their mommy. It was heartbreaking, but drove me nuts at the same time! once one of them stopped, the other would start in and they both would go into hysterics. I'm talking so loud that I had to go in the hallway and sit with them which was even loud for the older kids. Man oh man, am I exhausted!!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I was honored to wake up to an email this morning letting me know that I had been nominated for the "2012 fascination awards" as a kinder blog. I honestly don't know what would put me in the "fascinating" category, but regardless I am very honored! Thank you!

 If you are inclined to vote for me it starts June 25th at 1:01 am est (random time!)

Happy monday everyone!

fast degree programs

Summer is here!

Today is our first day of summer break...and wouldn't you know it, it is raining! oh well... beggars can't be choosers, right?

I spent the morning helping my dear friend move out of her classroom for the 4th time. We started teaching the same year and became friends through our new teacher orientation group and kept it touch sharing the trials and triumphs of kinder teaching over long walks with our pups and coffee dates. She is such an inspiring and loving teacher and because of this horrible teaching economy we came into at just the wrong time, she has been temporary status every.single.year! seriously?! I swear, all of the "budget saving measures" have made each year as a newer teacher completely heartbreaking. I love her so much and so wish we could have been doing something else instead of packing up again. But regardless I count myself blessed to spend time with her and know that whatever group of kids that gets her next year will feel the same way!

I love you C!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last day

Today was the last day of am kindergarten and i couldn't feel more loved by my class! Look at how sweet their gifts are? I teach at a title 1 school so it means so much to me when they reach out and even write a heart felt card, let alone shower me the way they did today!

The rest of the school has a half day tomorrow but because there would't be a pm kinder we finish half day a day early! After a super busy week of field trips, 2 different placement meetings for next year and the overall craziness of the last day I am definitely looking forward to a quiet day of packing up my room for summer tomorrow!

But for now i'm off to my other job :)

Happy summer!!!
I think we are one of the last states to be getting out for summer break, but if you are still in school i wish you all the best!! Just keep reminding yourself you get to start later than everyone in the fall! Everyone will be jealous come august! ;)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Class Award, Assessments and General Randomness

Considering there are 8 days left of school, 2 of which include field day and a field trip, i'd say i'm doing pretty well! But as the title of this post might suggest, my brain is a little scattered! :)

Class Award
My class won the Golden Dustpan award for the month of may! This may not seem too exciting to you, but I was FLOORED! Kindergarten is not known for its "tidiness", but my OCD tendencies and extra push for cleanliness lately I think is really helping! My kids were so thrilled to hear our name over the announcements, and I was doubly thrilled to see that this award comes with my very own parking spot! It's too bad I get to school so early that I have up front parking every day already! haha. but honestly, being 1/2 time, if I leave and come back there is almost never a parking spot for me! I have at least 2 days in the next couple weeks that I will be coming back for meetings, so this makes me a very happy girl! 

we had our end of the year DIBELS assessments this week and we were all anxiously awaiting our results. Our reading specialist is ah-maz-ing and so she got them out to us before the day ended (I seriously love this woman!!) I was pretty bummed to see some of my kiddos didn't score as highly as I thought they would. don't get me wrong, the class still did really well as a whole, but a couple of the kiddos (2 of my brightest readers!) scored in the strategic category and had their scores DROP significantly. This floored me, so I talked to our reading specialist about it and she agreed that assessing them one more time might be a good idea. I am so happy to report that their scores significantly improved the 2nd time and overall I can tell that dibels day was an "off" day for some of my kiddos. I know it shouldn't bother me like it does, but it can be so frustrating when they show you such an accelerated reading level on a daily basis and then their "official" scores show them as needing extra support. Even if they were to retest at the original score, it puts me at ease to be able to check back one more time to make sure. Am I just crazy?

General Randomness
one of my little girls came back from the bathroom today with a tissue next to her lip. she showed me a small bump that was a little bloody and said that she "popped a zit"...umm, seriously? Is it even possible for a 5 year old to have a zit?! She loves to tell fabricated stories, but it definitely looked like a popped zit (not that I know about those...ugh) I just can't figure this one out!!

What about you? any general randomness for the week? :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are they ready?

I just got back from a informational roundtable about the latest kindergarten readiness assessment that our state is looking to pilot in the fall and roll out officially the following year. It was a really interesting meeting that brought up a lot of excitement about the possibilities of a common assessment as well as concerns about how this will really look...Who will give the assessment? Will it be done before the school year starts? How will we find the time to fit it in if the assessment falls on the plate on the classroom teacher?

One thing that REALLY surprised me was that only 6 kindergarten teachers were at the meeting, 4 of which were from my own district! This could be a potentially huge development in kindergarten and classroom placement, yet the majority of people at the meeting were early childhood specialists. Do you find this odd, or it it just me? I think this is mostly due to the fact we only found out about the meeting (or the possibility of the assessment even!) last week. Most teachers are busy with their own family lives on a tuesday evening, so i'm sure a lot of them couldn't make it even if they wanted to.

 I am really concerned that if not enough kinder teachers are involved it could end up being created for the "ideal classroom" and not realistic with the demands already on our plate.

I really enjoyed being a part of this roundtable and felt like our notes and opinions were taken into account, but am still a little nervous about how it will all turn out.

The council began this process in january and are implementing it with little time for change or feedback. I am crossing my fingers that it turns out to be a positive READINESS assessment and not another kindergarten assessment for the teacher to add to their testing agendas.

I am dreaming of something that can be done before the school year starts and help evenly distribute students between classes with valuable starting information on each child.

So this leaves me wondering, What do you do to assess your kindergartner's readiness before they start school?

**P.S. sorry if this is a poorly written post. I tried to keep it coherent but I am running on 3 1/2 hours sleep...Off to bed now!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What would you do?

Can I just say there are 14 days left of school and I am feeling it?! I know this isn't the subject for my post, but I couldn't help it.

Onto the real subject. What to do when your (school) children are being naughty under someone else's care. Another teacher, an aide, their own drives me nuts! My students have learned what to expect with me. They are not perfect, and neither am I, but they know that misbehaving will NOT be tolerated.

So what do you do when you catch your students misbehaving for someone else? I am always torn between speaking up or letting the person in charge handle it. For instance, it is easy to step in and stop the behavior when it is happening during a parent led lesson or library. But it is harder for me when it is outside of "my control" like before/after school. Like when you are talking to their parents and they are being really disrespectful.

Or what is happening currently in my school. Some of our kinders go to "extended day" letters class (read title 1 interventions) while the rest go home on the bus. I send the letters class off to lunch, put the others on the bus and then it is my prep time for the day. Letters class is taught by our reading specialists and then at the end of their day they listen to a story read by an assistant in the hall outside my room until their bus arrives. This is about 15 minutes. I haven't had them in my "control" for over an hour by that point and recently they have begun acting up big time during the story.

Let me say that it is not just my kids. All Title 1 serviced 1/2 day kindergartners are involved in this story time. Even a few pm kinders arrive early to listen to the story. It is a lot of tired kids, ready to go home and play, trying to sit and listen to a story. The assistant always says "you don't have to listen, but you need to be quiet". needless to say, it is not working. they are LOUD and she is constantly stopping to redirect them. I have gone out there a couple of times to talk to them and told her she can always send them to me, even if they are not in my class. But, it is just getting worse. I feel like i've stepped in but don't want to step on her toes at this point.

But honestly. They are obnoxious and in the hallway. If I was her, I would be going NUTS. heck, I am going nuts just listening to it from my classroom!!

So tell me, what would you do in this situation? Or in general when a student of yours is being disrespectful? Do you step in and stop it at the risk of undermining the adult in charge? Or do you leave it to them and let the naughtiness continue??

I have a feeling the kinders can feel the 14 days left as well...even if they don't know what it means! Sigh...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I've been thinking a lot in the last couple of weeks about how happy I am when the sun comes out and warm weather comes around. It's no surprise that in Oregon there is no shortage of rain or cloudy/cold days, but it might surprise you that we have one of the most beautiful summers you could ask for. Yes, it still rains occasionally during the summer. But I swear it makes us appreciate the sunshine that much more!

This beautiful sunshine usually peeks its head out of the clouds for a day or two during may, but doesn't normally last long until at least June. This year we are extra lucky and it has been sunny with little to no rain for at least a week! I'm talking sunshine and weather in the 70's and 80's! wow!

I find myself in a happier mood and filled with "extra" patience in my classroom. Is this what it is like teaching in warm and sunny places?? Maybe I should move to warmer pastures! (everyone who knows me says YA RIGHT!!)

I'm an Oregon girl born and raised!

I guess I'll just continue to bask in the glory of Oregon sunshine (when it decides to grace us with its presence)

32 days!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Butterfly update

As I got to work this morning I was filled with dread as I walked over to where I had left the butterflies yesterday.

Would they still be there? 

Would they be alive?

I am happy to report that there was only 1 butterfly left in the grass! All of the others had flown to find food or other butterfly fun. I took the lone little butterfly to the nearest rhodie bush with blooms and he seemed to be content. Or at least he didn't fall right off the bloom. phew. 

Crisis averted!

My favorite quotes from the day:
*"I saw one of our butterflies in my backyard! really, I did! I know it was ours!"
* During "fun friday" (yes, he got to go outside!) " Look! our butterfly is over there!" -all the kids ran to see. They swear it was ours.

I love the optimism kindergartners share with the world! It brightens my day! (and so does the 80+ degree forecasts throughout the weekend and into next week! woohoo!)

Hope you all had a happy teacher appreciation week and have a fantastic mothers day! I'd love to give a big shout out to my mom. She is truly the best! I can't imagine a better mom and friend and am so blessed to have her in my life!! Thank you mom for always putting up with me and showing me what true patience and love looks like. I hope to be half as wonderful as you are when I am a mommy!

Happy mothers day to all of my other special friends and family who are mothers!! Grandmas, Sissy, Mother in Law Cathy and everyone else who is wonderful! thank you for all you do!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Butterfly fail

Our class has been patiently waiting for our butterflies to emerge from their chrysalises. As of today 4 of the 5 had come out and looked like they were ready to leave the classroom, but we were waiting on the 5th little guy. Today I noticed that one looked like he was stuck in the tray with cotton ball soaked sugar water...upon further investigation I found the problem...all of the water had evaporated from the balls and it was now pure sticky sugar lining the tray. Oops! I tried to rescue the guy and keep some dignity (I am GROSSED out by touching insects!) but then I got nervous that the new sugar water would cause the same sticky mess.

Our 5th guy came out early this morning and looked pretty happy. Wings dried and he was moving around. I jumped at the chance to let the butterflies go outside at the end of the day so that I could calm my "butterfly suicide" fears and lessen the classroom distractions that have been a daily occurrence.

The class was super excited to let the butterflies free! only problem is, there were no flowers blooming outside! What?! the only rhodie bush that had blooms on it was in the middle of the parking lot, and it was am kinder dismissal time. I was NOT going to go down that route with the kiddos in my class this year!

We let them out by one of the other rhodie bushes and hoped they would fly away quickly. 4 of the 5 immediately fell into the grass. I thought for sure the kids would crush them in their excitement. I sharply reminded them to stay back so they wouldn't step on one by accident. Only 1 flew away. the rest sadly laid in the grass....

The kiddos seemed happy to have let the butterflies go. But after I put the kids on the bus I went back and they were still there. so I left the sugar tray and hoped they would get a little bit more energy up so they would fly away on their own to find real flowers to eat...

part of me is really nervous that when I go to school in the morning they will still be where I left them...not sure what I will do if that happens?!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OMG it has been forever!

Wow! I thought life had been busy before, but right now it is at an all time high for me! (all mostly good stuff, too!) I haven't even had time to read my favorite blogs, let alone update you all on life in Bee's KinderGarden!

Stopping by for a quick update! I hope to write more soon :)

  1. In the classroom
  • We have caterpillars in their chrysalises! Can't wait for them to come out!
  • Last day of CARE training was yesterday! 5 seminars and lots of hours have made for a really great experience! can't wait to share more on it later :)
  • my mom subbed for my class again yesterday :)
  • I have a new student starting tomorrow! I knew 17 kinders and 1 more for reading wouldn't last! It's still great, though!
  • Gearing up for our fishing trip in june!
  • missing Mrs. Sneaker!!! She had her beautiful baby girl and is out on maternity!
2. Mrs. Bee's life
  • running a 1/2 marathon (my first! can you believe it?) at the end of this month!
  • Got into the Nike Women's marathon half in october with some of my running besties and sorority sisters! This will be my 2nd time running in this race, but thinking I like the 1/2 training WAY better!!
  • Left the restaurant and am now working in the pro shop at the same health club! loving the hours and pace of the new job! Much better for me! (I get home around 8:30 now!)
  • Tonight is my first night on my own in the pro shop! wish me luck!!
  • No longer have our kitty, LONG story but things are so much better for us now!
I'm sure there is a lot more to update on, but that should do it for now! I'm off to get ready for work!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding ways for movement in time intensive kindergarten

I got to to thinking after reading some of your thoughts on the lack of Play in kindergarten that there must be ways to get kids moving and having fun that still fit within the constraints of "curriculum centered, time intensive" kindergarten. Our day is jam packed with curriculum (read: reading, reading, math, science and more reading that is all scripted) that I think I had forgot about what it means to have fun.

You see, even specials have been cut for us 1/2 day kinders. No recess, playtime, pe, music or computer time. Art lit once a month, library once a week (during eld!). That is our fun. The rest is time stamped and pretty closely monitored. where does that leave time for a fun lesson? silly time? anything???

Well, this week I decided that any moment that I found, no matter how short it was, I was going to do something fun! So far it has been through short Mark D. Pencil songs that get the kids doing silly things while following directions and incorporating movement and exercise. The kids have LOVED this time so far and I am actually finding that it is an awesome positive behavior support for my lessons! I told the kids about my goal and that whenever we finished our lessons and had extra time we would do something fun!

I am shocked that I just figured this out...but I am loving it!! I think I had become so focused on trying to get everything in that I forgot what it felt like to be a kindergartner. They need this time!

 I'd love to have you join me in the challenge of "doing something fun!" and hear your feedback of what you try!

(This post was written in response to the Five Star Blogger Challenge posted on the Organized Classroom Blog. I <3 Charity Preston!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

multi-administrator observations

Have you ever heard of instructional rounds? Well, we just had them at our school today!

A group of principals and district administrators visit each of the schools for a day and spend 20 minutes observing each classroom looking for one specific "problem area" that the principal addresses ahead of time.

Sounds scary, right? Well, I thought we were exempt because we were originally told that kinder would not be participating. I was surprised to find out (when I opened the schedule last week!) that not only were we in fact a part of the rounds, but we were first up AND the superintendent was going to be in my room!


I have been a ball of nerves for the past couple of days. 3 principals and the superintendent were going to watch my class during 20 minutes of a reading lesson.

Would my kids behave? Would they feel my nerves and act crazy?
Would the kids get the "first grade sound" that I was teaching?? (we have moved on to blends and today was /ar/) Or would I just get blank looks and zero engagement??

Well, I am happy to report that it went well!! The super didn't end up being able to make it, but the other principals and district admin looked happy and my kids were awesome!

I'm interested to see if we ever hear about what the feedback was...

phew! now it's time for a nap! ;)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


My principal emailed me asking me for my schedule a couple of days ago. At first I was scared that it was because I was doing something wrong (I won't get into that) but it turns out it was because another principal really liked what she had been telling him about my 1/2 day program and he was interested in how we did things.

I got a chance to talk to her a little bit more about that today and apparently the other school is having problems with fitting everything in, (aka they still have playtime daily). Their scores are reflecting that fact.

 This made me really conflicted and sad.

On the one hand, I am SUPER proud of the accomplishments of our 1/2 day kinders at our school and would LOVE to share how we do things at our school. We do some things that other schools in our district do not (i'm sure they have wonderful things we don't do, too) but it saddened me to think that what we are doing might take away playtime from another school.

I told this to my principal and we talked about how I feel that play is seriously lacking in our program, but given the standards we are working towards it is simply the only way to get it all in. We try as best as we can to get "fun" in while teaching to the standards, but it doesn't come close to free play. I SO wish it did. but it doesn't. Our playtime is limited to once a week on fridays as a positive behavior support incentive.

I am so torn.

Do you have time to play in your 1/2 day program?
Bee's Kinder: once a week

 How long is your day? 
Bee's Kinder: 2 hr 20 minutes

How long do you play?
Not long enough (about 15-20 minutes)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Growing Grass

Today when my students came into class they were VERY interested in what I was doing. Our mornings are normally very routine. Me at the door saying hello and checking in with the kids while they do their morning work. this morning, all was the same except for one thing....Mrs. Bee was at a table with dirt and cups.


Cue children who were SO confused!

You see, it's time for us to plant our own grass! If you know me personally, you know that I LOVE to work in my garden. Spring is so fun for me because I get to watch my yard turn from a dormant yucky winter mess to a beautiful green , ok kind of greenish yellow (work in progress) with lots of flowers blooming.

In our classroom we get to see the same thing. We each get a cup of dirt and grass seed and by caring for it each day we get to watch it grow and eventually take it home. We write about the changes we are seeing and get to learn about how each seed grows at a different rate, even when they come from the same mixture.

It is a great reminder to the class myself that we are all growing still and some faster than others. Planting seeds and watching them grow is just what I needed right now!

Now all we need is a little bit of sunshine to speed up the process! ;) C'mon, dreary Oregon weather!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2 hour delay

This is what was happening when I went to bed last night. It might not look weird to everyone, but as an Oregonian in March this is strange! We have had LOTS of wet snow mix in the past month or so, but it has mainly been a tease that only stuck south of us. No snow days or delays, just enough excitement to get the kids distracted.

Well, today is the 3rd day of naturally, this is when the snow was ready to stick! I was a skeptic, but still didn't sleep well because I was constantly checking my phone. I was VERY excited to see at 4:56 this morning that the school district issued a 2 hour delay which means NO AM KINDER!! Perfect scenario for me, no snow make up day, but no kids either! I still have to go in for a couple of hours but I will get to spend that time prepping. Next week is spring break so this is the perfect timing for me to get planning done and then head out for break right when the kids get out tomorrow.

Can I get a heck yes?? Finally we've got some good coming from this cold weather!! But, now I am ready for the gorgeous Oregon summer :) C'mon warmth! **Disclaimer- I am an Oregonian through and through. We are so used to rain that we are a little bit bi-polar when it comes to weather changes :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I'm sure we've all had those moments where we wonder if we heard a kid correctly. Those "out of the mouths of babes" type comments that there are even linky parties about. Well, today I had two of them! Hope you get a good laugh :)

1. A little guy showed me a cut on his hand and explained that he got it in his new house that is REALLY old. I was thinking he meant like a 1950's or so house. He said it was built in the 90's...REALLY??? that's OLD?? hahaha

2. We are focusing on the letter u this week. While brainstorming u words with the class I pointed to my stomach and said, "what about your tummy...?" before I could finish saying how it feels when you don't feel good one boy shouted excitedly "BIG!" (ouch!) Well if that's not a reminder to count my WW points, i'm not sure what is! haha. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Going for a run

One of my super sweet coworkers just had twins and with her already big family of 5 decided to make some room and get rid of her treadmill. How did I get so lucky??

Today i am going to run inside! I feel really guilty doing this to my dog, mac, but am just not feeling up to freezing outside! Maybe it is because sundays run was almost entirely a fun!!

Maybe I will give in and go for a walk with him after i warm up on my inside run. Ohh that puppy sad and confused look is getting me already!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Teddy Bears

Every year the kinders at my school get a chance to sew their very own bear. It starts as two brown pieces of felt. They get to sew on buttons for eyes and a felt heart. Then they sew the sides together (a slow process), stuff the inside, and finally add a nose and mouth. The last thing they do is name their bear and give it a birth certificate. This is a project that we spend quite a bit of time on, with parent volunteers coming in as much as they can to spend time helping the kids sew. It is a super fun project that the kids love! At the very end we go on a parade around the school to show off our new bears to the older kids. The best part is that the kids who went to kinder at our school bring the bear they made and the kinders get to see how special their bears are! Today was our teddy bear parade :) Aren't they cute???

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

random gifts

Don't you just love the look a kid has in their eyes when they have something to give you? I don't live in a community where teachers get elaborate gifts or presents all the time(I've heard of vacation homes, baby showers, etc!). In my classroom, and at this age, a lot of the time it is a random note they wrote or a sticker. they are so proud. and I love it. In the past few weeks I've had quite a chuckle from the gifts i've received... *One little girl gave me a pretty heart foam thing after valentines day. a couple of days later she asked me if I remembered it. I told her it was being treasured on my desk. She said she was just letting me borrow it, and she wanted it back the next day. Oh yes, the next day she took it back. haha. I thought this was odd, but didn't talk to her about how when you give a gift you can't take it back. or else you have to tell the person you would like to share it with them (right?). Well, a couple of weeks later she gave me a silly band and a button. she said she wants it back. hahaha *An adorable little boy in my class gave me a "sticker" today. he pulled it out of his pocket and BEAMED at me. It was a 3cent stamp. bahahaha. I asked him if his daddy gave it to him. he said no, he found them. there was a whole pad in his pocket. I smiled and kindly told him that they were used for sending letters in the mail, and his daddy would be really happy if he gave them to him instead of me. I couldn't help but smile, it reminded me of when I was in kindergarten and got ahold of my mom and dads checkbook....yes, I passed out blank checks to the whole parents got a shock out of that! The neighbor told them they found ripped up checks lining the street. Good thing we lived in an uncorrupted city at the time!(That wouldn't fly in Eugene anymore! haha) What random gifts have you received?

Monday, March 5, 2012


In my district we are given one personal day a year where we can take it for whatever we want, as long as it does not extend a holiday or vacation. They call it our "floating holiday". I decided to take my holiday on friday (don't worry, I lined up my amazing sub ahead of time!) so that I could attend a friend's funeral. I figured this was something I could not get the time off for normally, but would be a perfect (albeit sad) way to use my floating holiday. I wanted to honor my friend and be able to celebrate his life, so I lined up my sub and filled out the necessary paperwork before I left thursday. Unfortunately, thursday I also had a minor (cosmetic? mole) removal done and between that (I swear, they could NOT numb me up!!) and the tickle in my throat I woke up friday SICK! Not only did I feel like crud and have stitches next to my nose, I had the most terrible migraine i've had in a long time. I could hardly get out of bed to move to the couch, let alone get ready for the funeral. I had to miss it, and was really sad to not be able to share the memories of my friend. I know that it is not the end of the world, but I would have liked to have been there. :( So not only did I take my holiday for a not-fun event, I ended up missing said event on being sick. If only I could have changed it from a holiday to a sick day.... don't worry, I asked. The answer was "no" (color me shocked...) At least I had the long weekend to sleep (think-all day, all night!) I returned to school today feeling almost back to myself, and the kiddos were super sweet. they barely even asked what I had on my face :) (Stitches come out tomorrow, hopefully!) I didn't even begin to explain where I was friday....they just think I was at the doctor. Well, that's close enough!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Awkward moment

A couple of weeks ago I had to get a last minute sub because I was sick. Sounds normal, right? well, due to the fact that I could hardly even focus enough to think let alone make a phone call to my favorite subs asking them to come in, I had to leave it up to the "sub-finder gods" and hope that one of my top choices could come in. Well...they couldn't. Darn it. You would think that because we live in a place where there are LOTS of amazing, highly qualified and awesome teachers without jobs (How awful is that????? but really, there are!) whoever the sub list got for my room would be awesome and I would come back to glowing reports. unfortunately, that was not the case. I just don't understand how sub lists can be closed and it is so hard to get on them, but then more than once I have had an inadequate sub. Is this because kindergarten is such a different world?? I'm not sure, but I wanted to give this sub the benefit of the doubt. I emailed her my plans, sent them to my teammates, and had them check in with her to make sure she was all set. They said when they talked to her she acted like everything was ok, but later reports from parents in the room and my aide were that she was anything but in control. First off, some of my kids were NOT helping her out by any means and running amok. believe me, they did NOT get away with that when I got back! I can't blame it all on the sub, but the more I heard the more upset I was. She was talking on her cell phone, letting kids run around the room (ooh boy, did they hear it from me!) and overall had a "oh well" attitude towards the class. (as reported by my aide) I know that the world does not end when one day doesn't go well, but I did have concern about her coming back. I talked to our head secretary who asked me to fill out a report on the sub and that she would be taken off of our school's call list. I felt awful doing this, and even questioned if I should just let it go, but decided that if the reports given to me were true then I did not want to risk having her in my room again. (and, lesson learned, no matter how sick I am I will make sure I know who my sub is even if I have to have Mr. Bee make the calls). The secretary and our sub coordinator let me know that she would not be coming back. Well, imagine my surprise when just a few days later I get our daily in school sub list and she is on it!! I almost dropped to the floor thinking about all of the different scenarios that could play out. Would she come and talk to me? does she know I wrote her up yet? Is she mad? I went and talked to the secretary again and she was also surprised the sub was back, and said that she would call the sub coordinator and make sure it didn't happen again. Well, during my prep period the sub came into my room and introduced herself. I was sooo nervous, but I don't think she had any idea. I quickly greeted her and then pointed her on her way to where she was going (not rudely, she asked) Then I wiped the sweat off my brow and hightailed it to Mrs. Sneaker's room to tell her about my close call! This got me thinking....Maybe I should have taken the time to give her feedback on what had happened in my room? Was I a coward for pretending like I had not written her a bad report? What would you do in this situation?? All I know is I am so glad given the fact she came back, that this was the only awkward thing that happened. I pictured tears and screaming...overdramatic me, I know. I hate confrontation!! (hopefully, this glitch is fixed! When I commented to the secretary about how maybe she was good in other areas the response was "NO!" from her own interactions with the sub. hmm...) Needless to say, it was an AWKWARD moment in an otherwise "Typical" day. What do you do when you have a bad sub? Is there a way for you to make sure they don't come back to your room? Or your building?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Help Cloverdayle record in Nashville!

Would you like to help a couple of friends of mine? They are in a VERY talented band that has the chance to record in Nashville with Jason Aldean's band, but they need to reach 15,000 in pledges by SUNDAY in order to get there! Do you think I am just saying they are talented because I know them? WRONG! Check them out :)

 Here is a little bit of their story:

Here’s the scoop…

We are Cloverdayle…a Country duo from the great Northwest.  You may know us, ("Hey!"), or we might be new to you, ("Nice to meet you!").  Either way, we're ready to record new music and need your help to make it a reality!  We have SO many new songs that have yet to be recorded and now's the time to bring as many of them to life as we possibly can!  We're doing this whole thing grassroots style and without a record label, so we'll be relying solely on the support of our amazing fans...
Since the birth of Cloverdayle in 2008, we've had the privilege of sharing the stage with some phenomenal country artists like Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw to name a few.  And this spring, we have the incredible and rare opportunity to record with Jason Aldean’s band in Nashville!  For those of you not familiar with Jason Aldean, (you should definitely google the guy!), he’s sold 7 million records and had 6 #1 singles.  The band’s production company, (the one we’ll be working with), recently scored a #1 hit with the band Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”.  Here we are after a Nashville show we played with the guys in May of 2010....
In just a few short months, we're needing to raise a minimum of $25,000 to cover the cost of studio time, engineers, mixing, production, instrumentalists, mastering…and that doesn’t include artwork, getting CDs pressed, or marketing and promotion.  This sounds like a lot of money -- and it is -- but for a project of this caliber, it’s really a very low projected budget.   We've already got a head start on the fundraising and have raised enough to record the first single and are headed to Nashville in March to make that happen!
Your support will help make it possible for us to have the most important part finished first - the music.  Please think about what music means to you and contribute what you can.  Every single dollar will go straight into making this album…any extra funds will go into recording additional songs and promotion.  Feel free to help us spread the word via email or your favorite social network. 
We’ve put together some packages as a “thank you” for supporting this project…check out the donation options on the other side of this page.
We believe that together we can make this happen!!  We’re so excited to deliver our best album yet with the most music possible to YOU, our fans!
XOXO ~ Chad & Rachel (Cloverdayle)
P.S.  To our international backers, please make sure you include shipping in your donation amount if you are outside the United States please and thank you! :)

Want to help them get the last 2,500 to reach their goal?? Pretty please??? Just go here
You'll even get your name in the Thank You's of their album :)

Hip Hip Hooray!

Today we celebrated the 100th day!

We had a BLAST in kindergarten doing everything the 100 way!
*Read "The 100th day of School"
*Drew pictures of what we will look like when we are 100 years old. (I had the kids guess my age, and the range went from 19-101! one student even guessed my real age!)
*Wrote about and drew what we wished we had 100 of and what we were glad we didn't have 100 of.
*"I could eat 100 _____" drawings. We drew 10 rows of 10 to make 100
*Counted to 100
*Did 100 "disco dancer" moves
*Stamped 100 stamps
and finished in our favorite activity....
*100 snacks! We counted out 10 pieces of 10 different snacks to total 100! Then we each had a chance to eat 10 pieces of the snack when we were finished. 

Phew! It was a BUSY day in Kindergarten! Check out our pictures below for more of the fun!

 I could eat 100...
 100 stamps
 I wish/I'm glad:
Great thinking!
 When I am 100...

100 Snacks:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

100 penny flip

Today, in preparation for our 100th day of school tomorrow, we played a game where the kids get to flip a penny 100 times. I used the cute little containers from the dollar store to manage all of the pennies, and it was MUCH quieter in the classroom! No more pennies flying all over the room! and, the kids LOVED it!  I'll be posting more photos from activities tomorrow.

oops, upside down!
perfect dollar store find for pennies!

What do you do for 100 day??

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mrs. Sneaker's baby shower!

Today was Mrs. Sneaker's baby shower! We had a great time!! I especially loved the pinterest inspired "build a baby" activity...they were so creative! I really enjoy the friendship that I have with Mrs. Sneaker! She's not just my coworker; she is a really great friend who I would do anything for! Isn't it great when things work out that way? I loved being able to celebrate her new baby girl!

 Enjoy the shower through some of the pics I took today :)
pinterest inspired :)

the winning baby

Mrs. Sneaker! 

one of the moms at school made these!

hard at work

an unfinished baby...

funny inside joke from one of our sped staff :)

Mrs. Sneaker and her gift from the staff!

the finished babies :)

our team
table decor/advice cards

Do you do showers at work?? It was so fun! working half time, I don't always get to make it back for them...but I definitely want to come to more! It is so fun hanging out with everyone is a relaxed atmosphere! I miss out on so much leaving at noon...