Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Flashback: Tell All Tuesday!

I've discovered a fun linky hosted by Teach Talk Inspire and My Day in K.  It's called Tell All Tuesday.

This week's topic encourages everyone to share a summer flashback memory.  I don't have many summer photos of myself as a kid.  Lots of memories. Not lots of photos. So, I perused my files to find some oldies but goodies of my kids!

Photos from when my kids were little... We came home from work/daycare, and they played outside together in our shady front yard. Even then Seth was a patient and fabulous big brother to Gabrielle.  

This is Seth on the playground at my school. It's a summer tradition for the kids to come with me to my classroom. Then, sometimes, the kids get some time to play out on the playground.  

Another summer tradition is to go the fair in the town where I teach. It's always held on the weekend closest to my son's birthday.  This is Seth and me in 2010 on the Ferris wheel. He wanted me to tell everyone that he is NOT having a bad attitude in the picture. I think he looks adorable. He thinks he looks snotty!

Just for reference, here are some up-to-date photos of my kids from just a few days ago. You can only appreciate their little-kid cuteness if you compare it to present photos! They're actually pretty darn cute now, too!

For more summer flashbacks, head over to Teach Talk Inspire or My Day in K.  Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Sneak Peek at our Last Week

It's my first full week off for the summer, and I'm loving it!  I was tired last week from keeping a room full of third graders engaged, so I'm just getting around to sharing some photos from the last week of school.

Our last full week was spirit week.  It was nice to save the nuttiness for the end!  We had one day where students could dress like either a super hero or their favorite book character.  Thursday was stuffed animal day, so the kids did lots of reading with their fluffy friends. 

We also read biographies, made timelines, and did camping-themed centers during our final week. Students could work by glow stick light in a "tent" (king-sized sheet draped over furniture). Other options were to sit in camp chairs or to read or write by the campfire.  My friend kindly shared the fake fire she had created.  It had a fan that made crepe-paper flames flutter! The center materials pictured above were created by Cassie Thomas. My students loved them! Click here to find them in her Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I'm going back now to my cup of tea and my stack of books. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Happy Father's Day to any dads who may be reading this blog.  And happy summer to me! I'm finally on summer vacation. Friday was my last school day.  I'm linking up with Kristen, Juliet, and Cassie at The Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop linky. 

Tomorrow, I'll be heading into school even though I'm technically on vacation.  I still have some filing to do.  My classroom is my home-away-from-home, so I don't really mind.  I can't think of a third "have to do". It's summer, after all! I suppose I could've written "shower" or "get dressed"!

I need to revise my first grade emergency sub plans.  They're too easy. I made them easy on purpose. They are meant to be plans that you copy and put in a sub tub so that if you can't write plans, they would be set and ready to go.  For that reason, I didn't want them to be materials that first graders couldn't do in October.  I made them a bit TOO easy, though. So, my first Teachers Pay Teachers work will be to make them a bit more challenging. 

I have a stack of books to read, and I plan to spend some significant time enjoying them.

Now...for the Father's Day gift. My husband really doesn't like getting gifts.  This year, we found the perfect present. It's sentimental and sweet... NO. It's NOT!  I'm kidding. It's hilarious.  You might be appalled, but I think it's a BLAST. Here it is...

Get it? A blast?  When school starts, I'll have to rein in my 4-year-old sense of humor!  Have a wonderful week, and don't forget to head over to The Teaching Trio for more Sunday Scoops. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Teachers Love Summer Linky

I'm linking up with Aimee at Primarily Speaking for a summer celebration linky party.  Yesterday was our last day of school.  We had something like six snow days during the winter, but it's summer now!  Why does this teacher love summer? Here are a few reasons!

Time with my family and my friends... It's so nice to have time to just hang out at home, but we also have certain places that we visit and certain people that we spend time with.  In the summer we usually head to the zoo or the aquarium at least once.  There's a huge sunflower field that is fun to visit. They create paths through the field that you can traipse through.  I've already made plans to hang out with some good friends this summer.  During the school year, there's no time to get together.

The beach... We live about 45 minutes from the ocean, so we make a point of fitting in at least 3 or 4 beach days each summer.  Sitting in the sun and listening to the waves are two of my favorite things to do.  

Time to read... I already have a stack of books to read.  The kids and I visit the library regularly over the summer. We hit used bookstores and thrift stores, too.  I used to combine beach visits with reading,but since I have children to watch now those days are long gone!  

Why do YOU love summer?  Head over to Primarily Speaking to link up and join in the fun.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Five for Friday

I'm happy to be linking up again with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. In no particular order, here are some happenings from the last TWO weeks! 

Some members of the Coast Guard came to do a water safety assembly for our students. They brought this little robot with them. In the photo above, he's winking at me because I took his picture. I've never been winked at by a robotic tugboat before.  

We read Leah's Pony, a fictional story about a family living during the Dust Bowl. The students chose a project to do:  a timeline, a thank you letter from Leah, or a poster displaying Leah's character traits. The letter-writers even created their own envelopes and stamps. One student shaded the INSIDE of her envelope with brown crayon. Her reason was that the dust would've been everywhere. 

We had our field day this week.  The staff ordered shirts to wear.  On the back of each shirt is a quote from our former P.E. teacher, who passed away last year.  It was bittersweet to see all of those shirts that said, "If you had fun, you won."  Our PTA generously supplies water bottles for all of the students each year.  

I've been grading and grading and grading. I have one more set of prompts to score and then I can start report cards.  This photo is a "prompt" that my daughter's stuffed cat, Orange Kitty, wrote.  You can see that Gabrielle has corrected the spelling. I was asked to assist with the scoring of this prompt. Apparently, Orange Kitty needs to work on spelling and capitalization.  You'll be relived to know that her use of punctuation is just fine. 

In this picture Herbie looks like I feel!  Tired!  Five more days until vacation!  Once I get my report cards finished, I'll feel a lot better.  

This is a photo of Herbie keeping my company last night while I sat grading writing assignments on the couch.  He kept "helping" me by leaping up onto my papers.  He lives to serve. And sleep. And eat. And attack our cat Sunshine.  

Have a great week!  Is anyone else working on report cards this weekend? 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ribbons and Graphing

I found a fabulous freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd share about how I used it in my classroom.  Jaimie Jenks shared an activity that required students to measure lengths of ribbon and then create a line plot with their data. My students LOVED it!

I spent at least 30 minutes at Hobby Lobby last Saturday shopping for ribbon.  It was fun, and my children helped me select colors and designs. I spent two evenings in front of Netflix measuring and cutting lengths of ribbon.  It was time consuming, but worth it! That's my husband's yardstick. My son's silver ruler with teeny-tiny little black lines was NOT working for me.  It might be time for reading glasses.  

I decided to give each child their own set of ribbons in a baggy. Having kids work with partners or small groups would save on prep work.  The children measured their ribbon pieces to the nearest quarter inch, recorded their data, and then created a line plot.  

We got just a little silly with the mustache ribbon! Perhaps those pieces need replacing since they were so VERY close to 9-year-old nostrils!

If you want to grab Jaime's freebie, just click here or on the image below.  Have a good week!