Monday, April 30, 2012

Measurement Mania: Length *Song Freebie

You know how there are some things you just don't like to teach?

Oh, come on.
Please don't tell me, "Oh, no! I LooooooVe to teach EVERYthing! There is not one single thing I don't just loooove!" Cause I don't believe it. Everybody must have something. I can't be the only one.

The thing I hate is measurement. 

I hate it all. Length, capacity, and mass and weight. I don't really know why I hate it. Maybe because it's always toward the end of our sequence, right at the time I'm already behind in math and I have to teach double time to fit in the tested standards. This year was a little different in third grade. There were fewer tested standards, so I felt like I had a little more time, but it's still not my favorite.

However, what all teachers know is 
you can't let them know you hate it.

If they know,
they hate it, too.

And it's all over.

So what do we do?
We fake it.

We walk in after lunching, singing, "I LOOOVE measurement! I LOOOVE it! Look, kids! See this stupid grin on my face?! Measure, measure, measure! Love, love, love! I looooovvvveeee it!"

And they're little, so they believe us.

One thing that helps me looove stuff I hate to teach is by teaching it in superfun ways. I love songs. Songs, to me, are superfun. I think they help my more struggling students (and my more able students as well) remember concepts that can be abstract and untouchable. 

So this is the song I used for length. You can grab it for free at TPT below. 
It's only great if you do the gestures. I included those on the second page. But I left off one important part.
I told my students that the song would only help them remember landmark units of length if they shook their bottoms during the third and fourth lines of the song. This is, of course, ridiculous, but it sure helped me feel better about teaching length. So basically, this is how the song went, to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. The black words are the song verses, and the red words are the gestures.
Centimeter, Meter, Kilometer
Centimeter – hold up pinkie
Meter – spread arms apart
Kilometer – mimic driving with a steering wheel
Inch, Foot, Yard, and Mile, Mile, Mile.
Inch – hold up thumb
Foot – point to floor tile
Yard – point to ceiling tile, or three floor tiles
Mile – minic driving with a steering wheel
We use units to measure length.
Shake bottom shake bottom shake bottom
Metric and customary too, too, too!
Shake bottom shake bottom shake bottom

It worked for me.
You can grab it at TPT.





Then we did our foldable. It's a shutter-fold. On the outside kids recorded the customary and metric units to measure length. 

Inside are the abbreviations and student-drawn pictures of landmarks to remember the approximate length of the different units.






I cleaned it up and made a nice template as part of my Length Activity Pack at TPT, and at Teacher's Notebook so grab that too!





So tell me the truth. What do you hate?

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just a Sunday *Bookmarks Freebie

This morning, I was sitting on my couch, working on some bookmarks for my sister-in-law. I heard the ice cream man drive down my street.

My first instinct was to stand up and race outside, waving my dollar in the air frantically, shouting, "Ice Cream Man! Ice Cream Man!"

Those instincts don't fade. I didn't actually do it, but it was hard work keeping myself indoors.

I continued to sit on the couch, watching Law and Order SVU (no, I don't know why I watch it. It's so awful) and I finished the bookmarks for my sister-in-law. She's a fifth grade teacher in the district next to mine and she wanted her kids to have bookmarks they could color to use in their shared reading books: Shiloh. I didn't know what book she was reading when I made them, but luckily, one is a dog!

Anyway, I thought you might like them. There are four pages, and each page has four bookmarks. They're black and white so the kids can color them. 
Four different styles:
*Pizza
*Lemur under a tree
*Lion under a tree
*Dog with a bone





Grab them for free at TPT!
And don't forget to check out 3-6 Free Resources for more updates on free stuff for grades 3 - 6!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guest blogger! Whooo fancy.



Ok, so I was grouchy yesterday. So sorry for the grouchy post. Today's post isn't grouchy! It is a little silly. But most importantly, it's not here! 

I'm a guest blogger today at Misty's Think, Wonder, & Teach! Check it out and grab a couple of freebies, too.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The cherry on top of testing.

Let's draw conclusions. It's a good reading skill.
Here are your clues:


  • I am almost done with a double sized bottle of white zinfandel. I opened it yesterday.
  • I have watched 12 episodes of Law & Order SVU since Monday.
  • One of the kids asked me today, "So, what happens if we fail this test?"
Conclusion: This week is state testing.

Today stunk. As I was driving into the parking lot - literally about to turn left into the parking lot, a police officer pulled up behind me on a motorcycle. He did his little siren thing and had me pull over - not into the parking lot, but across another lane of traffic in a school zone. So apparently that's not a big deal, but I'm pretty sure that in itself was ticket-worthy.

Anyway, I'm sitting there, completely puzzled as to why, and I can see my students and parents looking at me as they walk and drive to school. That's nice, right? Seeing your teacher pulled over the morning of your state assessment?

The police officer came around and said, "Do you realize your inspection is expired?"

Actually, no I didn't. So I said, in a surprised and honest tone, "Oh my gosh, I didn't realize that!"

He said, "Don't you ever look at it?"

I said, "Uh, it's been a little stressful lately," and started to cry. To cry, people, in front of my school, being pulled over, while my students watched me with pity in their little nine year old eyes. 

But there was no pity in his forty year old eyes.

He said, "It's almost May." 

Oh my God, people. It's almost May! Do you know when that sticker expired? March! So it's been 25 days! Twent-y-five-days!! The horror! Don't look at me! I'm hideous!

Wait- it gets better.
He said, "And don't blame this on your husband."

What.the.heck. I am censoring. That was not my thought at the time. Is this 1950? Are we ok with making snotty gender remarks while being obnoxiously ridiculous about the date on my inspection sticker? I mean, I am usually good about getting my sticker. I am well aware of the 5-day grace period, and try to get it done on time. This time, I was in the middle of a crying jag and working Saturday School because my kids are struggling so much. So, yeah, it slipped my mind. Figures.

I had to go down the street and make a u-turn and sit through the school zone again to get back to the parking lot entrance. And then I had to walk down the hallway, ashamed and late, and apologize to my AP. She was upset for me, too. So were my kids. They were horrified. Madie was outraged. It made me feel a little bit better.

 Anyway, this lovely gentleman gave me a ticket. Yes, a ticket. Not a warning.

The crossing guard told me the officer went back and forth down the street for a while. He gave out five tickets for stickers. Glad to know that was the best use of his time. I feel safer already.

I need to stop talking about this, because it's about to get ugly.

Do you know how warnings work, because I've never gotten one. It's all or nothing, I guess.
How was your testing?
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Monday, April 23, 2012

A last ditch effort to prepare for the test...

...Gone bad.



Tomorrow is the Test.

Waaaaah I hate the test. I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it. It doesn't help that during the training on how to administer the test, all directives are punctuated with "or you can lose your license."

Such as...
Cover everything on the walls, or you can lose your license.
Read the directions verbatim, with no additions or substitutions, or you can lose your license.
Record the time each child finishes The Test, or you can lose your license.
For any unauthorized question, repeat, "I can't help you with that. Just do the best you can," or you can lose your license.
Walk around the classroom constantly during the day, actively monitoring, or you can lose your license.
Pick up all tests at 1:00, regardless of whether the student is finished or not, or you can lose your license.

Gee, I wonder why I'm having anxiety about it.

Then, our principal came in at the end of the day today and told the kids, "Don't worry! It'll be easy. The work Ms. Beltran gives you is WAAAY harder."

Great. Now they think it's easy. And it's not. 

Math is tomorrow and Reading is Wednesday. Reading will be worse.

We spent the day doing various review activities. I will post about one of these activities on Misty's blog, Think, Wonder, & Teach, on Thursday. But I will share this one.

We were reviewing a reading passage the kids had done last week. Just to be difficult, they had done well on the really hard questions and missed the easy ones. Why? Cause they think they know the answers to the easy ones without going back to find evidence. And they don't. (Thanks, principal.)

Anyway, we were reviewing a question that said, "What happened after the buzzer sounded?" A lot of the kids had put "The main character scored a basket." What was their evidence? This line from the text: "As the buzzer sounded, the ball swished through the hoop."

Hmph.

This resulted in a long conversation about what "as" means. Not that we haven't had this conversation before, mind you. I decided to model something memorable. 

"As I pat my head," I declared, patting my head, "I rub my tummy. It means they're happening at the same time." I rubbed my tummy as I patted my head. They were pretty impressed. Needless to say, this turned into class-wide attempt to rub our tummies while patting our heads. About five of us were really good at it. Mostly kids were patting heads and tummies or rubbing tummies and heads. Some kids were patting heads and tummies while excitedly exclaiming, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" 
Nope.

After that, I couldn't help myself. I told them to lick their elbows. 

And then I told them to bite their own ears.

And then I sent them out to PE (thank God because they were W-I-L-D.)

Pray for us.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kite Day = Problem Solving Conundrum *Freebie!

Problem Solving is rough. If your kids are like mine, they would rather just add all the numbers in the problem up together. It's easier than doing all that thinking.

To illustrate my students' problem with problem solving, I place before you this story.

Thursday and Friday were Kite Day at our school. Kids bring kites. Kids giggle and wiggle and generally ignore their teacher all morning until PE. Kids go out to PE and run around, trying to fly kites in the sadly less-than-normal wind we had last week. Kids come back inside overestimulated and red-faced from racing around, dragging a kite through the dirt behind them. Picture Charlie Brown.

But that isn't the problem solving part. This is:

I walked toward my classroom from one end of the hallway. My students had been sent in from PE by the hall monitor. As I neared the door, I found them all bunched together, shouting. This is a no way, Jose. We do not shout. Ever. Cause it makes Ms. Beltran nuts.

What were they shouting?
"AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!" and waving their hands in the air. 
"What is going on?!" I demanded.
"We're all tangled in Jasmine's kite!!"

They were. They were all tangled in Jasmine's kite. Tangled? Yes, wrapped up. As in trapped. As in caught in a web of Jasmine's kite string. My class, the class that I have worked with and dedicated my love and soul to all year, was netted in a string held by a child. They were helpless, like a rat in a trap. Dancing in circles, shouting with their hands in the air were the only things they could think of. It didn't help.

It took us a while to sort them out. We finally did. I slowly removed a child at a time from the kite trap, with Jasmine giggling diabolically in the background. All right, maybe Jasmine wasn't giggling diabolically...but she was giggling. There were only about four kids involved, but with the crowd of screaming bystanders, it had initially seemed like more. Also, they were standing right in the doorway, blocking other traffic, so there was a bit of a bottleneck effect. 

Everybody's ok.

So anyway, back to problem solving. This week, we were reviewing for The Test. We used various stations to review concepts like 2D shapes, 3D shapes, money, length, fractions, time, and...problem solving! This is the worst, so I had 2 problem solving stations. I was at one and my intern at the other. Lots of guidance. These are some of the things we did.
We made this foldable to help them remember how to differentiate between the different operations.


On the front, we sorted cards with the four operations, the action each one represents, and the name of the answer (product, sum, etc.)

I gave the kids a sheet with four word problems on it. They had to read the problem, draw a picture, identify the operation, and glue it inside the correct flap.


On the middle of the inside, we wrote observations (I noticed...) and we recorded some problem solving tips, such as drawing a picture with labels, thinking about the relationships between numbers, and setting a purpose for our problem solving.


We have one more day till The Test. I am not happy about it. But whatever will be will be. We don't even know what the passing rate will be yet! The state will set it once they decide how many kids they want to fail. Nice, huh. I heart Texas.

Anyway, if you want to do this problem solving activity, and many others (including a fun bonus mad libs-type activity that I'm excited about), you can grab this activity pack at TPT or Teacher's Notebook.

Grab this KeyWord sort at TPT!
*Just updated to adjust for the size of the cards so they fit better on the tree map!



Warning! The following is a commercial:
This problem solving activity pack is geared toward 3rd and 4th graders. It includes activities to practice identifying operations and solving one-step word problems with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Useful for reviewing for state exams!
Addition Problems include adding numbers up to 3 digits
Subtraction Problems include subtracting numbers up to 3 digits
Multiplication up to 2 digit by 1 digit
Division only includes fact families - no remainders

This pack includes...
*Problem Solving Strategy Song
*6 math actions posters
*Keywords Tree Map Sort & sorting cards
*Problem Solving Foldable Directions, Pictures, and cards for students to sort and build foldable
*Problem Solving Sorting Activity: Identify the Operation. 12 Addition/Subtraction Cards, 12 Multiplication/Division Cards & 2 Sorting Mats
*5 pages of problem solving practice (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, and Mixed Review) + Answer Key
*Bonus: Create-a-Problem: Mad-Libs like Activity to build problems



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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Best Blog Buddy Ever Award



Ok, so I got a "Feel better with alcohol" package in the mail today from the best blog buddy EVER!

Natalie Lemacks of Teachery Tidbits,

You 
                                      Are
                                                                                  the
                                                                                                                             Best!

After work today, I trudged up the sidewalk carrying my bazillion teacher bags. As I took my key out of my purse, I saw, sitting next to my door, a box! A box addressed to me! A box addressed to me from Natalie!

I opened the box, and a bright light shone forth, blinding me momentarily.

This was what was in the box.


Pineapple wine and some tasty sweet things from Okinawa. WOW! That's the longest trip anything I've eaten has ever taken! I chilled the wine for a while, and when it was cold, I popped it open and tried it.

You know how some wine bottles say "refreshing hints of apple" and they taste nothing like apple? This wasn't like that. This pineapple wine tasted like someone had made a tasty alcoholic beverage in a pineapple and shoved a straw in it. It was a tasty delicious sweet pinappley wine. I love it.

I'm gonna share one with my friend who used to live in Okinawa. I wonder if she's ever tried it before.

I know this post is not school-y. I'm working on a post about the measurement stuff we're doing in class along with a product so you can do stuff too! But today, my giant ringkie finger is super annoying and I've typed about as much as I can do - I just HAD to thank the best blog buddy ever. I actually started to put together a cute award, but my finger got in the way WAY too much! 

So it;'s back to watching Raising Hope. 



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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poetry Stations & Scavenger Hunt *Freebie


I think my posts will be brief until I get this splinty thing off my pinkie and no longer have a giant ringkie finger that gets in the way and keeps pushing letters and does NOT help me capitalize things with the shift key and just generally hurts because I can't rest it on anything.
But I really really wanted to share this activity we're doing to review poetry. 

This week, the kids are working in poetry stations to review the characteristics of poetry. We read a poem for shared reading and spent some time identifying important ideas and language in the poem. There are four stations for students to rotate through. Each station includes a matching activity and Test-like questions to practice the skill. I work with kids when they reach the most difficult station (station 2, this time). We analyzed a practice test to see where they were struggling. After we stopped crying, we created stations to address the worst of these areas.

These are the four stations:

1. Word Work. Matching activity: match synonyms and antonyms to words in the poem. Questions: context clues, synonyms, and antonyms.

2. Making inferences. Matching activity: statements from the poem to conclusions/inferences you can make. Questions: The reader can tell... type questions, and questions about why the author chose to include certain lines/stanzas.

3.  Features/Characteristics of poetry. Matching activity: match words like, "stanza" and "line" to examples from the poem. Questions: using features of the poem to answer questions.

4. Figurative Language. Matching activity: match lines from the poem to two things: the poet included this line to show... and this line means... Questions: interpreting figurative language. 

I know this is vague... I can probably clean up the files a little to show you sometime - but typing hurts. waaah.

Anyway, this is the freebie for you: if the kids finish their station early, they can work on the poetry scavenger hunt below. I included two levels to make it useful for different grades. Grab it for free at TPT or Teacher's Notebook.





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Monday, April 16, 2012

Pinkie Drama


So, today I wore a splint-y thing on my pinkie cause I think I have a hairline fracture in there. 

I was gesticulating madly as I got into my hunny's car about a month ago. Who knows what story I was telling! Waving my right hand in the air, I shoved my pinkie head-on into the door frame. And it hurt. Big time. But I mistakenly assumed that it would stop.

It didn't.

So five weeks later
twice I've banged it against the gear shift in my car - ow - ow
and twice I've wrenched it away from the rest of my hand - ow - ow
I'm using the backspace like never before because I only have use of parts of my right hand. Instead of a ring finger and pinkie, I have this weird morph of the two: a ringkie finger. It's enormous and useless and just sticks off the side of my hand inappropriately. 

It's not good for typing.
Or writing.
Or anything involving fingers.

I went to school today wearing my splint. Of course, my kids were horrified.

Kid: What happened to your hand?! look on face of complete mortification. 
Me: I hit it against my car and it hurts sometimes, so I put a splint on it. 
Other Kid: Does it hurt?
Me: Not much. Only if I hit it on something.
Third Kid: Did you break it?
Me: No, I'm just trying to protect it so it can heal right.
Fourth Kid: Does it hurt?
Me: repeating Not really. Only if I hit it on something.
Kid enters classroom, tardy: Ms. Beltran! What happened to your hand?! picture hands and face like McCauley Caulkin in Home Alone - AAAAAGGGGHHHH!
Other Kid: She broke it.

Oh, my children are good listeners. 

It happened several times during the day that the kids made up reasons for my 'broken finger'. 
My favorite? "I'm gonna tell my mom you got in a fight with a school box and you lost!"

hahahaha kids are silly.

Today is the last day for my Teacher's Notebook Sale! Go grab some cheap stuff!


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Furry Friends Linky! *2D Shapes Freebie

Several things today.

One:
So I know I just recently mentioned my little fuzzy pants in a post, but when I saw how precious this graphic was from Soaring Through Second, and what a cute linky party it was, I decided to reblog. (reblog: v. to blog again)




These are my little fuzzers.

This is Lucy. Lucy was dropped off at my house one morning by somebody who found her in his backyard. She was just a little ball of fluff with a face back then.
 Lucy is a great dog. People who don't like dogs like her. She's smart and learns quickly, which is good, because even though I'm good at teaching children, I know next to nothing about teaching dogs. With Lucy, I still feel like the dog whisperer. That's how smart she is. She knows what I want her to do when I don't know how to tell her to do it. Smarty Pants. 
From Lucy, I've learned:
Just be nice. People like that.

This is Penny. Penny is a dachsund who was given to me by one of my students about five years ago. He and his family had to get rid of her, so she became mine. She has diabetes, the poor baby. When I feed her in the morning, she gets so excited that she bounces on her three-inch-legs.
From Penny, I've learned 
the value of a good appetite. 

This is The Professor. I got him from someone whose cat had kittens and they didn't know where to put them. He's a smarty pants, too. He looks like he's dead, but he's not. This is his preferred position: back on the floor, legs (usually all four, unlike this picture) in the air. Out of the two cats, he's the boss. 
From the Professor, I've learned:
Let it hang loose. Who cares, anyway?

This is Jeannie. Jeannie's a weenie. But I didn't know that when I named her. Just got lucky. She meows incessantly for attention. She wants to be loved, but is terrified of attention. 
From Jeannie, I've learned:
If you need some love, ask for it!

As you can see, some of my lessons are conflicting. I guess it depends on whether you're in a dog mood or a cat mood; a safe mood or a dangerous mood. Lately, I've been in a dog mood. In the winter, I'm more of a cat.
This may not be normal; I really don't know. Pets are lovely. Until you have to clean up their poop.

Two: Teacher's Notebook Sale through Monday. Go grab some cheap stuff!


Three: New 2D Shapes Pack for second & third grade.
Grab it at TPT or Teacher's Notebook!


Four: And for being awesome, have this freebie for...free!!
2D Shape Hunt Tree Map and 2D Sorting Chart: Quadrilaterals vs. Other Shapes
Grab it at TPT.





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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pep Talk *Teacher's Notebook Sale




I can't tell you how much better I feel today than I did one week ago. 
One week ago, I was not good. Hence, my post titled: Blogging Therapy. You don't go to therapy to say everything's awesome. Well, I don't. 
Which leads me to my next comment - why I only posted once this week. First of all, it was a busy week. Second of all, I needed time to not think about being a teacher. It was hard, people. Real hard. I only managed it a little. I bought a new leash for my dog (the big one) and took her on walks again. I saw a movie. I went out to eat. I watched TV without a laptop on my lap. I didn't know you could do that.

I was a normal person. Not a teacher person.

I mean, I was still doing all the normal teaching stuff, but it wasn't the only thing I thought about all week. It was nice, and it was good for my heart. But now I'm back.

This week was good in a weird way. All year, I've been documenting and working with parents of several of my students who have really struggled. And this week, we put a plan in place to get them some extra support. That was great.

Also great: parents at parent night who had nice things to say. 

Another great: my colleague and I planned some awesome test preparation stuff for reading and math that we have really loved for the past week and next week. It's going super well and it seems to be working. It includes stations for reading and math, and it involves a nice connection between real experiences and application to testing. I'll post about it soon. 

One additional great: my student teacher had her final observation from the university and her evaluator told her she had really improved from the beginning of the year. Yay.

So if you're in the place I was in last week (which my friend is now in and totally stinks) try (I know it's hard - so hard I didn't do it till this week) to remember these things:
  • Even the most struggling child in your classroom is learning something from you
  • Those children have been given to you by God to help them grow this year
  • They may not have much at home, but at school you give them structure, love, and the promise of learning
  • A conscientious teacher is the best thing for a struggling child. you will question yourself with the purpose of growing as an educator for the benefit of your students.
  • No other teacher is just like you, so no other teacher will give your kids what you do.
To quote Mr. Rogers, "You. Are. Special."

I don't know if you've had the opportunity to check out the new Teacher's Notebook site, but they revamped it and made it a little more user-friendly. You may want to hunt around and see what you can see. In honor of spring (my favorite - current- season) and the new site, I'm having a Spring Sale at Teacher's Notebook through Sunday. Check it out and grab some stuff on the cheap!



Also, check out the giveaway I'm hosting, as well as other great giveaways here!
Enter for a chance to win my Government Social Studies Activity Pack!


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Marshmallow Math & Kids at Parent Night *Freebie Repost



Today we got ready for Parent Night.
I mean, I like parents and all, but...
well...
I stress about parent night.

I'm not sure why. I just expect parents to come in with a frowny face and angry eyebrows.

Maybe because I'm deathly afraid people won't like me. That's sad.

But they don't. I usually get nice feedback, or none at all.
It's funny to see the kids explain things to their parents.

On Reading...
Kid: This is my prediction.
Parent: Of what?
Kid: Of what I'm reading!
Parent: Oh. reading "Why do spiders spin webs." Hmm. Why DO spiders spin webs?
Kid: I have no idea.

Nice. I'm really making an impact there. lol

On Social Studies...
Kid: This is our tree with the three branches of government. Get it? Trees have branches!!
Parent: Yes.

Can you feel the excitement?



On top of their desks, the kids put several of their notebooks to share about, including their math, reading, science, and social studies, as well as their science collection. Kids also write a brief note about parent night to their parents and put it in their Write On Wednesday notebooks. This parent night, on top of all that stuff, the kids had their marshmallow 3D shapes we made as part of our 3D shapes unit.

It went super well.

First, I had the kids predict the number of marshmallows they would need for vertices and toothpicks they would need for edges for each shape we made. 





We compared the prisms to pyramids, in the hopes that students would notice the major differences:
- pyramids have a base with a vertex opposite of the base
-prisms have two faces opposite each other

You can get both of  get the activities from my TPT store.

 At TPT and Teacher's Notebook.
Also, grab the marshmallow model recording freebie at TPT!


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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Last Day for 15% off at TPT!


Just a little reminder for those of you who'd like to get some shopping done for less!
Check out my TPT Store for Easter specials.


You can get 15% off on all my products, including these Easter, Spring, and otherwise cute specials:
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

I'm a slow runner

I know I'm a slow runner cause I got tagged twice.

The first one who caught me was Simone at Busy as a Honey Bee.

This is what she wanted to know.
1. What sport - if any- did you play in high school? If you didn't play a sport, why not?
Did I mention I'm a slow runner? Most sports require some sort of running.
Nope.

I was in band. And I was THE band nerd. Like, my level of nerdliness what amazing. It's in the record books at my high school under, "Nerdiest Flute Player of All Time".

2. How many hours do you spend each day reading different blogs? What are your Top 5 blogs?
I try to keep it down to half an hour, but I could easily spend an hour or so. I am trying to learn limits.
I check lots of blogs frequently, so it's hard to do a top 5. I tend to check out the ones who recently commented on my blog, because it makes sense to me to do that!

3. What has been your favorite blog post that you have written?
Oooo I don't know. Maybe the one about the Pigphony. Odd but completely me.

4. If you are married, getting married, or dream of getting married, where did you take a honeymoon to? If you aren't married where are you planning on going or where would you like to go?
I am not married, and am not technically getting married yet (cause no ring, no wedding) but we have already talked about it - let's say it's in the works. Coming soon to a family near you.
Anyway, we (mostly I) want to go overseas. I've been to London and Paris before, but my hunny hasn't and I think he would love it. BUT I love to travel and so does he, so we're up for pretty much anywhere pretty (I need pretty).

5. What does your hubby/boyfriend/significant other think of your blog and do they read it on a regular basis? Or is your blog your domain alone?
We-ell.... he does read it, but not on a regular basis. He'll read it, like, once a week or every two weeks. And then he'll only read the personal stuff and scan through the teachery stuff, which I would do, too, if he wrote a blog about photography - I'd scan for stuff with his personality and blow off the technical.
I know how often he reads it because he'll comment on it. "So, I read your post about Channing Tatum today," or "Yes, you did ruin the symphony for me."

6. What is your favorite beauty product that you use on a daily basis?
I'm so not a girl. I wish I knew more about that stuff. I use shampoo & conditioner, some sort of cleansing product (clearance rack), some sort of mascara (clearance rack), and some sort of eyeshadow (clearance rack). I'm not loyal to any product and don't wear too much stuff, so I'm not good at answering beauty questions.

7. What was the last thing you bought at Target!!!???
Well, my cart had several items in it the other day.
A gift for my best friend's baby. If you open the little flap on the submarine, you can see the Beatles inside. I don't know if she'll liek it much, but I think it's adorable!!



A leash for Lucy with a choker chain (she's too strong for me to walk!)

And this, my old stand-by. THE BIG ONE.

8. Do you sing in the car? In the shower?
Not the shower, but I sing AMAZINGLY in the car. And only in the car. I think it's because I turn the volume up so loudly that there's no way to actually hear myself, so I think I'm really talented.

9. Sunrise or sunset?
Is it just me, or are you hearing Fiddler on the Roof? 

Sunset. For sure. If the sun's barely waking up, I should be in bed. But I LOVE sunset because the light comes through my front window and turns my living room walls a gold-ish color. And it's cooler.

10. What is your favorite meal to cook for yourself and others?
Well, I try not to eat too many carbs (lol, please don't think me too hypocritical after you finish reading this post) but people have appreciated my lasagne. And I make a mean salad. I don't really care what I make for myself. I'm lazy when it's just for me. Eggs & bacon, any old things are good enough for just me.

11. What inspires you each day?
The Test.

HAHAHAHAHA! I think that's what politicians think, though, don't you? That they're helping motivate us!?! HAHAHAHAHAHA

I think knowing that these little people are people and they are somebody's children. They have little hearts and need love and education. They will someday grow up and need to take care of themselves and try to fulfill their dreams, and without an education, they're helpless. They need us in a way that no one else can give them: every day, we go to work to try to help them open doors for someday.

What is your favorite dessert?
Anything with sugar. 

But there used to be this amazing apple caramel thing at Carino's. Oh my god, it's a good thing they took it off the menu. I love anything chocolate, peanut butter, cookie, candy, ice cream, cake, pie, and fruit. It stinks, being so easy to please.


Then, I slowed down to catch my breath and got caught again!
This time it was Second Grade Silliness.



1. Cash or credit?
I haven't carried cash in years. I'm not good at it. I never know how much I have or in what pocket. So I just use debit. It's like cash only easier.

2. Math/Science or Reading/Writing?
Even though I post about math all the darn time I really love to teach reading and writing. Although I feel like math is easier - there's a specificity to it, whereas reading and writing feel so open-ended.

3. Real book or e-reader?
I prefer real books but I do have an ipad on which I read some things.

4. Dog or cat?
Have I mentioned I'm a sucker for animals?
Big time.
I just keep ending up with these pets that other people don't want. Poor babies.
So I currently have two dogs and two cats (Dogs: Lucy and Penny. Cats: Jeannie and the Professor) and I love them equally, depending on my mood. Dogs are nice if you want to be outside and cats are nice if you want to be inside.
Lucy the Border Collie. She's
remarkably sweet and smart.
Penny the Dachsund

Jeannie.  She's a weenie. And that rhymes.
This is the only picture I've ever taken of the Professor where he
doesn't look like a furry black blob with eyes.
5. Chocolate or vanilla?
Oh, definitely chocolate. Why eat something bland? Not that I won't eat sugar that's bland - oh, I will - but if I have a choice... well, chocolate is tastier.

6. Coffee or soda?
Num num coffee. I love it. I drink it all day long, if I can. In the summer, I make myself a tasty cup of coffee to keep from snacking on the aforementioned sugar. 

But soda will do in a pinch.
7. Heels or flats?
You're gonna make me cry! I LOVE heels. Tall ones, pointy ones, heels with bows, bright colors. What I really want to wear is something like these:


 









But guess what?
Two years ago I got plantar fasciitis. What does that mean? Excruciating pain in my arch because I tore it. Or should I say them, because I got it in both feet. 
Waaaaah. 
SO now I have to wear flats most of the time.But not the cute ones - oh, no. Those are TOO flat. I have to find the holy grail of shoes just to make it through the day. This rarely happens that I find a shoe that is adorable and has the right height and amount of arch and heel support. So I just wear the same old shoes every day. Booohooooo. 
So it looks like this:
8. Mac or PC?
I was a PC girl back in the day, BIG on PCs when I did web design (instinctively and crappily) for the small engineering company I worked for (family business). I could do anything - it was nice. But then I started teaching, and they gave us macs. Now I heart Mac. And it helps that my hunny is a mac through and through - won't use anything else.

9. Book or movie version first?
Book Book Book!
But then, I usually don't want to see the movie anyway.

10. Winter break or Spring Break?
Tough question. I love both seasons, but winter break is 2 weeks (yay) and spring break is one week (boo). Winter break is mid-year, and spring break means almost...
But I think I prefer winter break. There's more time for family. Oooh! Can I choose summer? Summer break! Summer break!

I'm not going to tag anybody (sorry boo) because it seems I'm late to the party and lots of people have been tagged already. At the risk of re-tagging and giving someone a question-answering heart attack, I am going to sit down, take a break, and let everyone else tag each other until they pass out.
I'm in time out.
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