Sunday, April 24, 2011

The One With NOTHING Related To Teaching

Hey sweet friends!!! HAPPY EASTER!!!!!! What a beautiful, stormy day{here in Texas} to celebrate our Savior!


Y’all…straight up…we serve an AWESOME GOD!

I’m currently reading this book & I HIGHLY recommend it!! A Mom After God's Own Heart: 10 Ways to Love Your Children (Geor... Cover Art

My oldest little has been OBSESSED with this sweet Bible…

To hear him retell the story of Jesus is TOO much!!!!!!

I’ve had a few comments and lots of emails from some of you that wanna know where I got this cute birthday shirt for my little itty…


Well, just incase anyone else wants to know, I thought I’d post it here. I got it from the most darling little Etsy shop…FLY DUDS! Super cute, super inexpensive. My kinda shop!! HA!!!

I also got this darling shirt for big brother to match…{My little brother Grant ROCKS!} LOVE!


The owner was a doll and so great to work with!! I ordered these shirts at the last minute and she got them to with a crazy quickness…just in time for the big day {with a day to spare!}

It was a bittersweet weekend for me. I had to say goodbye to a companion I’ve had for the last 7 years…

My sweet little Liberty {aka: Libby Lou}.

I’ve loved her like crazy. She’s been paid off for almost a year. I would’ve driven her A LOT longer if Mr. Spouse didn’t want me to get something new. She was the BEST car EVER. NO complaints {except for the seats…the interior seat material was the WORST!!!}. We were dead set on staying with Jeep. Randomly, I get to test drive lots of different cars {for about a week at a time} and write reviews on them. I’ve had several different Mazdas, a Kia, and a Subaru. Y’all, I was impressed as heck with the Kia. Totally squashed all my former impressions of Kias and what they had to offer. Anywho, because gas is such a dang beating, Jeep was off the table pretty quick {the Commander has TERRIBLE gas mileage!!} We knew we wanted a third row and we narrowed down our choices down to the Mazda CX9 & the Kia Sorento. I LOVED the Mazda {as I have with all the Mazdas I’ve driven}, but y’all…that dang Kia Sorento was just perfect!!! It stole my heart from the minute I sat in it and I never looked back! We drove it off the lot with a whopping 5 miles on it! Take a look at the newest member of our little family.

Meet Pearl…

She’s cute, right?! We’ve already become best friends and my boys just LOVE her! She even talks to me!! And I can stream my Pandora stations {on my iphone} through her speakers!! Can you tell I’m a little excited?!

We have a BUSY week ahead of us for sure…3rd-6th TAKS test {state testing}…field trip to the zoo…and LOTS more!! We’re finally on the downhill slope to the end of the year! CRAZY!!!! Where’d the time go?!?!?!

Hope y’all had a blessed Easter!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oviparous Animals, Earth Day, & a Diphthong

As much as I can’t stand those slimy little suckers, we’ve been learning about frogs the last few weeks. Amphibians {and reptiles} to be exact. Let me start by saying that our sweet little frog, Hopper, is officially DEAD. I found him belly up…on the bottom of the tank….this morning. YIKES. Apparently, my green thumb, or lack thereof, extends to aquatic animals as well as plants. Anyhoo…since reptiles & amphibians hatch from eggs, we’ve also been learning a little bit about oviparous animals. The kids LOVE that word…oviparous! We did a little craftivity today that the kids just loved!! Meet some of our oviparous animals…



I had the kids write the definition of an oviparous animal {in their own words}, and then write a sentence about an animal that is oviparous. They loved it! Since we’ve been polishing our dictionary skills, this was a great way to reinforce definitions :)

As you all know, Earth Day is Friday. If you don’t have any Earth Day activities on your radar just yet, check out Rachelle’s Earth Day Unit {free!!!}. It’s packed full of fun stuff!! I like to have a Reuse/Recycle picnic on Earth Day. Just send a little note home telling the parents to pack a lunch for their kiddos and head outside. As the kids are eating, I have them sort their lunch trash into three little piles…reuse/recycle/trash. We gather up all the recyclables and recycle them together and then we all take turns throwing away our trash :) My kids have always loved that!!! When I taught Kindergarten, I had my kids make an Earth Day promise. Shockingly, I found one of my kids’ examples from 2006!! HA!! I’m definitely doing this with my firsties on Friday…

Dang! Look how faded that is!!! HA!!!oviparous5

This week’s diphthongs are oi/oy. Food must be on my mind because my kids did another activity that involved “feeding” an inanimate object. Dang. I switched it up a little a cut a little hole in piggy’s belly for this one. The kids had to feed the pig /oi/ words because, as one of my firsties said, “duh…pigs say OINK!!!” HA!


For this activity, I had the kids roll a dice I labeled with the oi/oy diphthongs {using garage sale sticky dots}. The kids played in pairs and the person who fed the most /oi/ words to the piggy was the winner :) To keep track of the “feedings” I had the kids tally each time they rolled an /oi/. When they were finished feeding, they recorded the /oi/ words on a corresponding recording sheet.

Click on the pig to download the activity.

Happy hump day, sweet friends!!! Time for American Idol!! GO LAUREN!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The cOOkie Monster & A “Bag”pack

We finished up learning about the /oo/ {as in cookie} sound last week and I was so proud of my kiddos when it was time for our spell check on Friday. They did AWESOME!! One of the little activities we did for word work last week was “Feeding the Cookie Monster”. The kids had to sort through /oo/ words on little cookie cut-outs and feed the cookie monster with the cookies that had the /oo/ {as in foot} words.

oo sortoo sort2

Click HERE to download :)

We celebrated our learning with a little “Cookies & Bookies” party on Friday :) {I just passed out cookies while they read during D.E.A.R time. Put the word “party” in front of anything and the kids are bound to think it’s something extra special ;)

I’ve received lots of emails asking about the cute little “bag”packs we made for our kids for Open House. I figured it would be best to share it here just incase anyone else wants to make these for your babies, too!!

You’ll need regular size grocery sacks for this little project. If you’re like me, commission a sweet room mom to cut and assemble all the bags :)

Flip the grocery sack upside down.


Cut across the seam on three sides…the two small sides and one long one.


It should open up like this…


Now lay it flat {with the little mouth wide open} and then fold UP the bottom half toward the center of the bag.


Fold the mouth {the top part that was cut open in the first step} over the bag opening, toward the center of the bag.


You’ll need velcro for this next part. We used the little velcro dots, but any kind will do! Just place both strips of velcro on the underside of the flap/mouth. “Close” the bag and the other end of the velcro will stick to the bag.


The little bottom pouch that was folded UP toward the center can be used to store little items…little art projects, papers, etc.


The pouch on the top will fit all sorts of things, too! Recording sheets, art projects, etc. The kids just LOVED this!!!

For the straps, just flip the bag over and staple to pieces of ribbon to either side of the bag. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!


These really don’t take a long time to make and they can be used for absolutely ANYTHING!!! The girls on my team have been making these for years and they used them as little bug backpacks. TOO cute!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stomp Your Feet

I’ve been a little MIA lately. In all honesty, I’ve had the blogging “blahs”. Not a whole lot of motivation to sit down and post anything. I’ve just been lovin’ on my boys and spending an insane amount of my “free” time just having fun with my little family of four {and some out of town visitors, too!!}. Since my last post, things at school have been, ummm…CRAZY. Since Friday, I have…

…sanitzed my hands…and the hands of 17 littles…NO LESS than 2,347 times.

…successfully cleaned up a few cases of the pukies {talk about gag reflex}

…counted 6 kids absent on Friday & Monday…and sent two pukies home today.

…cloroxed {yes, it’s a verb ;)} the desks NO LESS than 100,000 times.

…immediately came home from school 4 days in a row, stripped off my clothes, threw them in the washer, and hightailed it to take the HOTTEST showers before picking up my boys from the sitter.

Did I mention that our sweet little school is experiencing the CRAZIEST bout of sickness EVER?!?! Last Thursday, there were 17 kids throwing up…simultaneously…in the office right before dismissal. On Friday, a little over 300 kids were counted absent…or had gone home due to spilling tummies…before 10 am. Nurses from other schools had to come in and help. Crazy to say the least!! Our sweet little school was even on the news! HA! I’ve never been a germaphobe, but ohmylawd. I think the worst is definitely behind us, but I’m still mentally recovering :)

Anyway, we’ve been *trying* to keep busy learning and here’s a little activity I introduced at the beginning of the week. Our focus vowel digraph this week is /oo/ {as in “cookies”}. Of course, I also thought it was important to reinforce the long /oo/ sound this week too, so we played a little “Stomp the Yard” game that my kids just adored.


I cut out lots of different feet programmed with /oo/ words. I divided the kids into 2 groups…left & right :)…and then each firstie that paired off against each other had to "stomp” the foot that had a word with the same /oo/ sound as in “foot”. If they stomped the correct foot, they got to keep it and their team got a point. After the game, I passed out all the long /oo/ feet that were left over and the kids had to read their feet and then sort the words accordingly. Nothing too cute, but definitely effective!!


This was a great little game for reinforcing the “flip the sound” reading strategy we love so much…and the kids had a blast!! They said we need more, “stomp our feet!!!!” games like this one :) LOVE! Click HERE to download the game & recording sheet.

Hoping to get my blogging motivation back again soon :) I have lots of fun things to share!! We’ve been learning about reptiles, amphibians, and life cycles. And this teacher…who’s oh so terrified of frogs…definitely has one in my classroom! GASP! I also must mention that I’ve successfully managed to kill two tadpoles :/

Happy {almost} end of the week!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two Hours Only

Today I’m busy celebrating the birthday of my baby boy, Grant! However, he’s not such a baby anymore. He’s a BIG boy who throws BIG tantrums and brings us BIG joy :) Dang…I love this kid!


In honor of my 2nd born turning TWO years old today, I’m throwing a little sale in my TpT shop for TWO HOURS ONLY. The sale starts now and ends at 7:30 p.m. {Central Standard Time}. Everything in my shop is on sale for $2!!! {two hours only!}

Happy birthday to my favorite itty bitty!! They weren’t kidding when they said it goes FAST!!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fractions in Action

Ummm…would you think any less of me if I told you that I was NOT excited about teaching fractions?! When I saw what our TE was offering in terms of lessons and activities, I fell asleep. NOT my idea of a good time. So I spiced it up and made teaching & learning about fractions fun for me AND the kids!! I really do believe in setting high expectations and BELIEVING that ALL of my kids are capable of meeting those expectations…and y’all…they never disappoint!! After a couple of weeks of fraction activities, I’m excited to say that my kids now know the difference between a numerator & denominator {and use that verbage to distinguish between the two!!!!}, and they are absolute ROCKSTARS at creating/modeling/writing/and identifying simple {and some equivalent} fractions!!! What started out as a daunting task has now turned into one of my favorite things to teach! And the kids are loving it, too!!

I introduced the concept with a SMARTboard activity I found on the Smart Exchange. After that, my kids created a fraction booklet to keep in their math journals and use as a reference. Loved it! If you’re interested, this little booklet & the instructions are in my Fraction Action Unit on TpT!!


Speaking of the SMARTboard {my new BFF}, I found the most wonderful online game site that reinforces fractions in a FUN way and we LOVE playing these activities on our SMARTboard…both whole group and for math stations/tubs!! You can check it out HERE {TONS of fun games…for lots of different concepts…but our favorite fraction game is FRACTION SHOOT!! SO fun!!} And these aren’t specifically designed for the SMARTboard, so your kiddos can play these when they visit computers!!! Mine visit this site during their math rotations and they love it!!!

We’ve been playing LOTS of fun, hands-on fraction games in our math tubs, too!!


I’ve included 5 games and 8 activities and printables in my Fraction Action Unit on TpT, so if you’re interested you can head over to my little shop and check it out.

Speaking of activities, here’s a little craftivity included in my Fraction Action Unit. My firsties will be making these this week!!!


For this activity, you’ll need construction paper, pom poms {or multi colored stickers} and the printable {which you can download for free HERE}. Have your kids choose three different colors to create their own fraction caterpillar. They can add googly eyes, antennae, and legs, too!! Once they’re finished with the creating piece, they will record the fractions for each color of their caterpillar. Can’t wait for my firsties to do this…they’re gonna LOVE it!!!

If you’re looking for more fraction activities and games, you can check out my little Fraction Action Unit on TpT :)

Happy weekend, friends!!! Enjoy every last minute!!! I hope the weather is as beautiful where you are as it is where I am :)

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