Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Things You Might NEED but don't know about

Hey people! I'm two glasses of wine down, one episode of The Office in, and my hunny's making me dinner. That means it's a nice day.
I made an effort to actually leave school at a decent hour today, instead of 6:00. I've been pulling some long days, but I think the hard work now will pay off later when teachers have our routines established. 
Anyway, there are two things to share today.
One: My awesome book scarf came in. I have been counting the days until I received my super book scarf of Jane Eyre. It's from the awesome part where Jane tells Mr. Rochester that she can't be second banana to Bertha. Ooooooo - Jerry Springer moment, 18th century style.
How better to clothe thyself, than in the words of a Bronte?
 Now I just need some cold weather!
You can get your own wordy scarf from Storiarts on Etsy! You might NEED Jane Eyre like me, but maybe you NEED Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, or A Tale of Two Cities. They're a bit pricey for a scarf, but you really only need one...forever.
Two: have you seen this clipart? Doodle Darlin' is new, I think, but she has some cute stuff you might need. Not want, need.

On top of that, she's having a giveaway! So you definitely, definitely need to check it out.
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ding Dong! Trick-or-Treat! Freebie

Oh, people, I am so desperate for cold weather. This horrible in-between season keeps taunting me. It's nice and cool in the morning and I put on a short-sleeved sweater and pants. And then by about 11:30 I am incredibly hot and disgusting. I want to peel the layers off and walk around with no pants, but I can't because I'm a member of society.
So I keep making these products that are fall themed so I can live vicariously through the adorable KPM Doodles clipart.
The newest product is my Trick-Or-Treat! Halloween Math Centers. It includes a bonus freebie, which you can also get below.
Check them out at TPT or Teacher's Notebook.
And grab your odd and even freebie at TPT or Teacher's Notebook! Couldn't help but make it. Look at this odd little guy.
Also, don't forget to check out the Happy Fall, Y'all blog hop sale at TPT
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Even though it's almost 100 degrees here, I'm pretending it's fall and having a super fall sale this weekend at my TPT store, along with all the other bloggers participating in Casey's Second Grade Math Maniac's Fall Sale TPT Blog Hop!

Check it out and get some cheap stuff!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Adventures in Video

Today my heart did little happy smushes in my chest. This was because one of my teachers brought me a little tin full of tasty brownie muffin things and said, "This is just to say thank you from our grade level." 


I would have taken a picture, but I was too busy shoving tasty brownie muffin things in my face. Hence the happy little smushes in my heart. However, this did not exactly help me with the next problem: the problem of seeing myself on camera.

I don't know anyone who likes to see themselves on camera. Oh, sure, there are some ego-manicas out there who maybe like to see what they look like + ten pounds, but most people I know spend a lot of time avoiding camera footage including themselves.  

But tomorrow, I am going to deliberately film myself 

I say film as if I am using a fancy camera and not the 'flip video' provided me

doing a guided reading lesson with a group of kids. I'm giving a Guided Reading training on Friday, and I figure the best way to learn it is to see it happen with kids! In order to have the best video possible (the one in which I look the skinniest), I did a little pre-filming filming. Meaning, I took a video so I could figure out the best way to take a video.

I worked with these kids (three special dumplings) yesterday, so we could go through the routine of guided reading and establish some basic principles. These included...

-when I say to point at something, point at it.
-while I say something, wait until I'm done saying it to say what you want to say
-when I say read, .......... wait for it ........... read.

This was the training portion for the kids. But upon reviewing the video, I came across a few issues that I think I will have to address before making my real video. These included...

- Wearing sleeves. No one needs to see that.
- Choosing a blouse more carefully so as to hide my side rolls.
- Lowering my guided reading table. It's incredibly high for my short little torso.
- Not looking down. It creates additional chins.
- Learning how to speak without a lisp. Self-explanatory.
- Being smarter. 

And last but not least, putting a sign on the door that says, "Recording in progress." Hopefully this will eliminate the voice-over from my K-2 buddy shouting, "Are you EVER gonna go to lunch?! Is this the SAME group as before?!"

So I have my work cut out for me.
I'll let you know how it goes.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Poetree. or Poetry. Either way.

So I have to train third - fifth grade on guided reading on Friday. This means I get to make a video of myself, giving a guided reading lesson. Video = ew. I'm not the most photogenic.

I guess I'll share it with you when it's done and you can laugh, too.

It's not exactly poetry in motion. And....segue.

So, speaking about poetry, that's what our fourth grade teachers are working on. 

*Just aside: did you know that's how you spell segue? Not like the scooter like the excellent Gob uses on Arrested Development, but like the transition? I didn't know. Good thing I checked.*

Anyway, our teachers have been working on explaining how the structures of poetry relate to their form, so I made these sample anchor charts so they could use them in their rooms. 

Then I took pictures of them for you. Awww, nice.

One of the things the teachers did is to glue the poem into the students' readers' notebooks. Then they took the poem and color-coded these structures in it. From there, they took one of the poems and cut it apart to glue into the "examples" section. 

Do you like my poetree? lol I crack myself up.

This chart is an anchor for the different forms of poetry. This one is a tough one for kids & teachers, I've noticed. (Technically, there are three types of poetry, but we don't work with the dramatic form, so I kept it down to 2, even though three may have been prettier.)

If you notice, there are some weird lines clearly from the back of the paper that criss-cross throughout the poetree. That's because I had to sketch it more than once to make it look right. Cut me some slack, ok? I'm sleepy.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Planning & Perks

Brain = not good.
I'm very sleepy today. *scoff* say all of you with small children.

I think I am finally getting used to my new position. These are the ways in which I am getting used to it:

- I no longer have a set lunchtime because I don't have a class of kids to walk to the cafeteria. This means I have to schedule my lunch based on the events of the day. This means I forget to eat. When I forget to eat until 1:00, I get very very hungry and I eat everything available. The other day I took apart one of my leftover pencils (Rollo pencils) and ate all the candy at once.

- I am getting used to having half of my meetings in the hallway. Teachers are running from one place to another - the cafeteria back to class, from class to the library, from the library to the bathroom, and back - and sometimes that's when they can talk. So we do. We talk & walk, or talk & trot, usually. 

"I was going to ask you if I can get a copy of X"
"Sure! I'll put it in your box, and I also wanted to talk to you guys about X."
"Okay, great, we have four and a half minutes during PE."
"Perfect! I'll schedule you in between X and X."

Successful meeting completed.

- I went in and modeled my first lesson in a classroom the other day. It was intimidating. I'm always paranoid I'm not sharing something the teachers need, or that the kids won't respond because they have no clue who I am. The kids were absolutely lovely, though.

- I have modified, modified, and remodified the lesson plan structure we're using it to plan. I'm going to put it on google docs so you guys can use it if you'd like. This is version four, I think. Which means it's also the last version. This is the plan and we're sticking to it.

I think.

P.S. I don't feel guilty about going to the bathroom whenever I want. I still only use perk this maybe once or twice a day. But it makes me happy.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Praying for fall

I am so sick of summer. I am tired of 100 degree days. It is September, and somebody should tell the weather that.

On Friday, our school went to watch the parade. What parade? you ask. Our feeder pattern high school homecoming parade, which is always the first homecoming event of the district because this school is the oldest in the district; established 1927. This means it happens very early in the football season, aka the second week of school.

The problem with attending a homecoming parade in a desert in early September, even if it is at 9:00 in the morning, is that it is hot. Incredibly hot. It was around 90 degrees and continued to climb. We stood on the side of the street and the children shouted for candy.

"Candy! Candy!" they shouted at the passing cars.
"Candy! Candy!" they shouted at the passing cheerleaders.
"Candy! Candy!" they shouted at the passing horse.

Some of the time, they actually got candy. That was an adventure in itself. The candy was tossed into the crowd of children. The children dove wildly and shoved the candy into their little ziploc bags. Then they continued shouting "candy" and sweating.

After about an hour of this, one of the sticky, sweating kids told me, "I wish they would throw water instead."

Me too, kid. Me, too.

The rest of the day was pretty gross, mostly because I felt like there was a layer of dried sweat in between me and my clothing. Ew.

The next day, though, a storm blew in and it has cooled off about 20 degrees or so. It is so much nicer. I can wear jeans without feeling like I'm going to pass out. It is lovely and beautiful and I just know it isn't going to last. 

In honor of me pretending that fall has begun even though I know it hasn't, I am sharing my Fall Word Work Pack with you. I will happily email this to the first ten people to follow my facebook and comment here! The pack is appropriate for second and third grade. Includes contractions matching, word family sorting, alphabetical order, and parts of speech in a cute fall theme.

So first ten commenters, follow my facebook, include your email address, and I'll send you my fall word work pack! 
And if you miss it, you can grab it at TPT or TN.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

People Like Candy, Right?

So, I wrote this post last Sunday....but this is the first time I have sat down since then, so I'm posting it today.

I have just completed my first week of being a Schoolwide Project Coordinator. aka. Literacy Leader.
It was kind of cool. At first I was very, very lonely. My room was exceedingly quiet and I was a little depressed. I turned on my ipod dock and listened to some music as I worked to keep my ears busy. You know your ears are always busy in the classroom, and this was sad and silent. It helped a little. I had a lot to do, but I didn't feel very useful. In the classroom, there is always some little person in your face who needs you right now! But this was different. I was preparing things for much later and I felt not very helpful.
But then teachers started to schedule meetings to plan with me and I set up a daily schedule for myself. I said things like, "Sure, I think I'm available on Wednesday at 1:45" and "I can put that together for you - no problem!" and "I have some sample anchor charts up in my room if you'd like to check them out," and I feel useful again.
Tomorrow is my first official planning day with teachers. They have a modified schedule every Tuesday to allow for a 90-minute planning period instead of their usual 45-minute-scramble. And I'm the one who's supposed to help them plan!
I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I hope I'm helpful enough. Because I've had a lot of my time wasted by people who intended to be helpful to us during planning....... but not so much. I'm trying to be very well prepared by breaking down our curriculum and having a planning document ready. I'll share those with you in the next couple days.
More important than all my instructional preparation, though, is the candy. I think candy is a pretty essential component of a successful planning meeting. I mean, it doesn't always have to be candy. It can be a variety of other sweet or salty snacks, but in my opinion, the tastier, the better.
I mean, people like candy, right? So I'll be like, "Here's some candy! See? I'm nice!" and I'll make through friends through the subtle art of coercion. I'm not above it.
A while back, I saw this absolutely precious idea on pinterest and it has really stuck in my mind. 
I first planned on doing something simpler
a bag of candy with a clever tag that would take seconds to assemble for the around forty faculty members I am trying to get to know

but then I remembered the cute pencils
a masterpiece of candy cleverness that would take hours to assemble for the many faculty members I previously mentioned

and I thought, "PERFECT!"
TIP: Buy rollos that are in rolls. I went the cheap(er) way out and had to glue my rollos together first. About a third of the way through, I remember thinking, "Whose stupid idea was this?!" and I was not happy with whoever that was. I also considered just giving people tubes of glued-together rollos and kisses instead of making them into pencils, bt I thought that might be weird.

Finally, upon nearing the home stretch, 

I was proud and happy.

P.S. - after the fact - they were a hit. People DO like candy.

You can get the directions at Simply J Studio and then you'll be suckered just like me. Have fun gluing and making new friends. Grab the cute labels below if you're on a roll with some sweet people too.

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Monday, September 3, 2012


Just currently. That's all.

It's adorable, isn't it?

And now I'm off to dress the wound on my kitty's arm and check out the other currentlies.
Definitely go and link up with Farley at Oh'Boy Fourth Grade!
Happy Labor Day!

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