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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dr. Suess.... Read Across America

Tell me what you all do for Dr. Suess week? My colleagues say they incorporate Dr. Suess and do their regular lesson plans.  I'm struggling to achieve the things I have planned, let alone add in additional reading, crafts, writing, etc.! How do you do this?  I am looking to do a week of planning matched with CCS about Dr. Suess and using Dr. Suess activities. Who does this? Or do you teach curriculum and supplement with Dr. Suess? I really want to know! Leave comments, links to your activities, email me, etc.  It's not rhetorical people! I am an information gatherer, it helps me make decisions. So please, please, please, help this first year teacher out.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Five for Friday... a linky party!

Five for Friday!! Hooray! I love linking up for Five for Friday. And I just realized I forgot to take pictures of the things that I want to post. Grrr.

Hope over to Doodlebugs and link up! Read, type, link! :) And comment. Five Random things from the week or the day.

1. Monday was a no school day for President's Day. I worked at school all day. What is great about Monday is actually the days that preceded it. I had a WEEKEND for once! I left all my work at school and didn't do much planning at all on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I would say I didn't do any planning but Saturday night I did make a new seating chart for my students. Sunday I actually cleaned and organized my bedroom. It is much easier to move around in there now and I can find stuff. Hooray! Monday I was professional and didn't even wear sweats to school, I had to record it. And my hair dresser changed the color of my hair a little and it looks flattering. Anyway, the pic is in my "new" room, I even got my posters up over the weekend. 

2. We are working on what an equation is. I had students come up and write the equation. One student struggled with what and equation was and so I had the other student help out. What do you do if a student struggles in a core learning situation? I tend to have another student help them. I try to give sufficient wait time and if they still don't know what to do, I ask them if they want to phone a friend. If they phone a friend, "the struggler" chooses a friend that has their hand raised and then the friend shares the answer with the one that was struggling, "the struggler" then says the answer and they both take credit. In this case, the friend came up and helped the struggler write the equation. After I took the picture I told the friend that he needed to look at his numbers and make sure they matched the numbers on our number line in our classroom. I didn't want to emphasis to be on the inverted number but on the students' success writing the equation. 

3. I blogged about this already but yesterday during the couple hours we had school I changed things up because it just didn't work to ignore the snow and try to do the activities in my planning. I know of others who did "snowball" activities earlier in Winter and decided to try one. We brainstormed adjectives that described the snowy day. Students wrote down an adjective, crushed it up, and then we split up and let the snowball fight commence! When I said "freeze!" they had to stop, open the snowball up, and read the adjective on the strip.  Then they had to use the adjective in a sentence! 

4. Snow Day! Thursday we let out school at 10. By the time that all my students were gone and I went to get my daughter at the high school there really were blizzard-like conditions, as witnessed in the photo above. I brought home Teacher Editions so I could do planning, but instead I surfed blogs, played games with kids and indulged in a sweet treat. The girls had cocoa and I made coffee and mixed coffee and cocoa and topped it off with Rediwhip. It was bliss. 

5. Abe Lincoln's hat. I didn't take pictures. We've been talking about how Lincoln kept important papers in his hat. So we wrote about what we would keep in it if we were Abraham Lincoln. The most popular answer was a pencil.  The students had to "kid-write" the ending of their sentences. I helped with some words, but they had to phonetically spell what they would keep in their hat. Some students are going to keep a cake in their hats, and several of the spelled it "kac." One student is going to "kep a wolit" (keep a wallet) in his hat. Today was such a strange day and we practiced flexibility today, so we worked and worked to finish our hats. Somehow I forgot to take pictures! Argh! How could I?! Hopefully I will add some later. I am going to put them on the bulletin board this weekend. 

We started a George Washington craft also. I can't wait to see how they turn out. 

That's my five! This weekend I will be planning for Suess week! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hall Pass! A linky!

I found a new linky! Hooray! I saw this popping up on blogs I follow and thought I didn't need a new blog linky.  The more I read, the more I liked the idea. So I am linking up.  Thanks Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for starting this linky! 

As far as I can tell, these are the only rules. I would say it's always a good idea to find another blog to comment on when you link up. I have made more blog friends through reading and commenting on blogs than any other way. So... here I go! 

Product: I don't create, so I will talk about my favorite purchased product. I love everything about Teachers Pay Teachers. The best, most useful product I have purchased so far is: Miss Kindergarten's January Math and Literacy Centers. You can purchase it here.

Not only is this really helpful, well-made and easy to use, but it's all aligned with common core standards. It is awesome. 

Favorite Area? I would have to say.... the carpet. I love the learning we do on the carpet and we spend a lot of time there. We do most of our core instruction on the carpet, plus transitions, plus read aloud, plus.... (see what I mean? We do a LOT on the carpet).

My "go to" signal is "Class-class" from whole brain teaching. I say "class" in some form or other and students have to respond with "yes." They have to match my "class" with their yes. If I say, "class-class" they say "yes-yes." If I say "classity-class-class," they say "yessity-yes-yes." If I say "Oh... Class!" they say "Oh... Yes!" 

A signal I use a lot is: "freeze!" and students have to stop whatever they are doing. I usually make sure I put my hands in a strange position and freeze them there.  Then they freeze their mouth and their movements. They wait for instruction and when I am finished I say, "un-freeze." 

Sanity? What is that? I don't know if I remember what sanity is! I take solace in food: rich, indulgent, comforting, fattening. I also like sweets and the more stressed I am, the more I just shovel in some chocolate or sugar. I have started to find a small niche in my school and I grab a glimpse of sanity by talking to another teacher in the hall or during a break or sneak over to the other building to talk to the other Kindergarten teacher when students are at music or P.E..  

Stupid, mindless television can be a sanity saver. Here is what we've been watching lately: 

Friends. We don't have cable. Or television to speak of, so we rely on dvd's, netflix, and Hulu.  I have also been watching Psych, Cheers, and Frazier on Netflix. 

Hop over to Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits (at the top of this blog) and read, comment and link up! Thanks! 

Bring on the snow!

We got up this morning to about a quarter inch of snow. As we got ready for school, it started snowing again. This photo was taken around 9 a.m.. How do you think the kiddos were this morning? Yeup.... wound up. Excited! Yeehaw! So I decided to go with it. 

I made the students some sentence strips. We thought of adjectives to describe our snowy day. Then students wrote those adjectives on their strips. Next... 

Students crumpled their strips into snowballs. It was very exciting!! 

We split the class into two groups. And the snowball fight began! Then I said "freeze!" Students un-crumpled the snowball they held and read the word.  Then they used the adjective in a sentence! 

 About this time we got the announcement that school was letting out at 10! So we packed up and while I called parents, students wrote about something of their choice. They suggested we write about Abe Lincoln, George Washington, the Snowday, or our snowball fight. I thought these were outstanding choices.

This is my Punky cleaning off the car while I wait on the last of the students to leave. The pictures below are taken on the drive home. Near white-out conditions.

With my teenager's help, we managed to get the car off the street...

but not up the big hill that is our drive. So we had to trek up the hill to the house! 

I'm grateful for my warm house, a snow day, potatoes to bake for supper and so much more. I'm grateful we could practice flexibility this morning and learn something fun and snow related. I am grateful we are safe. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The "green basket," math equations, and pajama pants....

Little green basket. This is where finished papers go. Finished papers and returned homework and notes. Important papers for Ms. Horn. We call it the "green basket." I know, it's not really green, just the ribbon. But that is our basket. I took the pictures so I can make some small pictures to post with our daily work reminders. Students trickle in between 8 and 8:20 each morning and so I find myself repeating instructions over and over again. So this is part of an elaborate (or not-so-elaborate) plan to help students become more independent.  Yay independence.

Working on math during calendar time. These two boys worked on this equation together. One of the things we bombed in the math assessment last week was writing an equation. Why? Their teacher didn't teach them the right words. They know how to write an equation. But what we've talked about is writing a math sentence. So now I have to expand what they know and re-assess. I should have taught them how to write an equation from the very start. But we'll learn now. 

We had fun with subtraction today. I called up groups of students and then we took some students away.  Then we learned what the equation looks like. 

Today it rained and was cold. This afternoon was "brrr!" on the porch waiting for parents to pick up students. But so far no freezing rain and no sleet.  I suppose that is okay. But let me tell you, teachers pray for "snow days" as much or more than their students do. I brought home Teacher Editions so I could do planning on our "day off" tomorrow. But at this point, it is still a big unknown as to whether or not we will even get the day off tomorrow. I hope that if the roads are slick they will call school.  I don't want to hear about any busses in ditches or anything else like that. I want to know that all my precious Kinders are safe and warm and that their families are safe as well. 

I am hoping and praying for a "snow day" but I am not counting on one. I predict that we will go to school tomorrow. 

It's cold in the house. Drafty. Breezy. Cold. The animals act like it's all about how much they love and miss me, but I think maybe they are just cold. This is the view once I got comfortable and sat done to get on the computer: Sammy is on my lap and Hundley is as close as he can get. Speaking of the word "comfortable" we are discussing that word this week and what it means if you get comfortable. I (shame on me) gave my example of comfortable before students talked to their shoulder partners. So 20 students said that when they get comfortable they watch a movie in their pajama pants. Hmmm, they are all SO much like me! Okay maybe I have a lot of influence over little minds. 

We started final copies of our Lincoln's Hat papers. More to come... 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Check out this... 100 follower giveaway!

Look! A give away! Christina from Apples, Books, and Crayons is having a 100 follower give away! Wow! I can't wait until I have 100 followers, but today I will be grateful that I have 18 followers. Hop over to Christina's blog here to see what great packs are being given away by her and her blog friends! One day it will be me giving away... :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Five for Friday....

I know I am not alone in this. This was a tough week in Kindergarten. We've been discussing character development and discussing and discussing. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.... Throw in Valentine's Day and sugar and the word "party."  So I will look for Five Random reasons to be grateful and not focus too much on the negative. Five for Friday. Join Doodle Bugs Teaching for a linky party! Five for Friday, five random things from your week or day, from school or home. I don't think that there is a "rule" for comments, but read other blogs and comment, it's a great way to be encouraging and to build your own community of web friends.

1. Gorgeous snow. It didn't get cold enough to stick really and it didn't snow enough to call school.  But it was beautiful. Monday night it snowed.

2. Valentine Fish. I could have played this up a lot more than I did. The idea for this comes out of a Mailbox magazine for teachers. Does anyone else still use these? I could have added a cute phrase to my bulletin board that said "Fishing for Valentines." But I wanted the students' writing papers on the board. Also, normally when I develop something for a bulletin board, it is a final draft that has been written, corrected and written in "personal best" handwriting.  This one just came about and we did our handwriting on the papers we could use to add with our fish and that was that. I am proud of these because I see where some students' handwriting has improved, some students' letter shape/fine motor skills has improved, and some students' confidence has improved so they will venture into "kid-writing" (phonetic spelling). My students are working so hard and improving so much. Sometimes I forget how much they have already grown and changed. During writing time today I was working with a student and decided to video her.  I didn't start right when I walked over to her, but I got a lot of hard work recorded (sounding out, identifying the letter, writing the letter, reading the words/sentence that she wrote). I should have it up by the end of the weekend. 

3. Today we read Have You Filled a Bucket Today. We've read it before an we'll read it again. I just realized as I was typing that my students are able to sit through it now, but at the beginning of the school year it was too long and "complex" for them to handle all at once. I found some resources to use with this, some post cards to encourage and praise students who fill buckets, and a chant to say as a class. To get bucket filler resources, look here.

4. More character development... today we watched Jessica's Daily Affirmations on youtube. Then we developed five affirmations that we can do daily in our class. After we finish saying them, we agreed to say/yell/chant: "Let's Do It!" We are planning to post a video after we've practiced a bit more. So be watching next week. 

5. We made a video of our class saying our Five Classroom Rules. I am aware that whatever drawl I had before we moved here is nothing compared to the drawl I have developed. This is somewhat curious to me since my friends and neighbors don't have that strong of a drawl. But listening to myself on the video cracks me up.  How will my poor students learn English when their teacher's English is hidden behind a great big southern drawl? Hmmm. Anyway.... character development, rules, etc. Here it is.

That is my Five this week. I am looking forward to having Monday without kiddos. And technically we have it "off." But I usually work on school every weekend, and generally I work on school stuff all weekend.  So this weekend I am not doing that. I am not doing ANY of it until Monday.  What I'm saying is this... I will be at school Monday morning, just like usual, working, but without my students there. Just because the calendar doesn't say "Teacher Workday" doesn't mean we aren't working. 

Happy Weekend! I would love to hear about classroom rules, and what you do for character development. I had a room full of girls who were not kind to each other today: laughing at another's misfortune, tattling, making up things to tattle about, being rude, hurting feelings. :( What do you do in your classroom to stress to students that we care about each other and do not treat each other this way? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day.... learning?

We had a Valentine's Day party today. Students were WOUND up. How were the students in your classroom? My teaching partner, Janice, said that they accomplished everything on the lesson plan today. What?! Really?! Because my students were wound up and cray-ZEE early in the day. We did do some character building lessons. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. That must have been what they've heard. I had some planning in place for Valentine's Day. We were going to play the Valentine's Day Bingo game that I purchased from "Valentine's Day Literacy & Math: Oh, Lovely Learning!" by Linda Nelson, but it was too crazy. Time just disappeared. I guess because we spent a lot of time talking about respect and how to treat our school. One of my kiddos has started destroying property in our room, and taking things from others. I don't know what to do about it. I have talked about our Five Classroom Rules, what they mean, how they need to be part of a school family, etc. So I determined that we needed to do something festive and all about Valentine's Day. I made a quick pattern for some Valentine Fish that we used to make in preschool. After we made the fish, we brainstormed descriptions about our fish. We worked together on the first three words: My (a "popcorn" or high frequency word) fish (we spelled that together, they did a great job remembering what two letters we put together to make the sh! sound) is (another "popcorn" word).... then the students filled in their describing word. They had to "kid-write" it, sound it out phonetically. I had some students write their word on the white board for us.

Our Valentine Fish bulletin board
My fish is kofl (colorful).

My fish is sile (silly). 
I don't know if anyone thinks these are great or not, but I do. I loved them. I feel good about my students developing ability to sound out words. I feel good about that fact that they tried and weren't intimidated! Woo-hoo! 

Now, I do want my teacher friends to comment... what do you do when your students destroy property? How do you handle this? Also, how do you handle stealing? (A side note... the camera thing DOES work at Kindergarten level! I found this out because the substitute used it!). 

Valentine's Day with my loves.... I had a meeting after school and my children were doing chores at home. I finally got here and we ordered pizza. That was about all there was. I sat down to bang out this blog and have been dozing off repeatedly since. I am too tired to spend "quality time" with my children. *sigh*

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning Happens... snow, the Alphabet, and addition

First things first. I really wanted a snow day. I really wanted a snow day. I REALLY wanted a snow day. But in the words of the Rolling Stones.... "you can't always get what what you want...." But we did get some snow. And it was beautiful. So pretty. Here are a few photos. 
The view of our drive and yard from the porch this morning. 

The snow clung to the trees, it had a magical quality.

On our way to school... 
I tried to bring snow into our learning today. I tried to be flexible and put on my "go-with-the-flow" attitude. Because the students wanted a snow day as badly as I did. And today the snow was magical and I remembered that snow is always magical to children. So I did my best to use the snow as part of our day and not fight against it. We read about animals that live in the snow. Interestingly enough, it talked about predators and prey, and the reading story tied together with the Read Aloud nicely. 

I took some pictures of the class doing what they are supposed to and doing the actions to the song when we practiced our alphabet. We practiced by singing along with the Alphabet Song from funwithteaching which you can see here.  Most of my class came to Kindergarten knowing Zoo Phonics, so that is what we use. The ones who knew something else or didn't have actions to do with letter sounds learned these quickly. 
I love that you can see by the blurry arms that the students are moving along and doing the actions.
For math my mind turned to Valentine's. We previewed the Bingo game we are going to play on Thursday. The students have the do the addition to cover the space on the bingo board. The calling cards have the equation on them (3+1) and the Bingo boards just have the sums on them. We are talking a lot about different words that are used in Math when talking about addition. I might say.... "3 and 2 is the same as 5." What is another way to say the same thing? Students are starting to give me the answers I am looking for: 3 joined with 2... or 3+2=5. We made different groups and joined them. Yesterday we did this with marbles. We joined groups and write the equations. We took the end of the unit test first as a pre-test. So I am working on an assessment to do at the end of the unit. I hope it will show growth in leaps and bounds. 

How do you teach math? What is the vocabulary that you use? Is it preparing students for assessments in grades to come? 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tell Me Something Good.... February 10 edition

Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade is having a Tell Me Something Good party. She said that after seeing the news about the snowstorm she decided we needed a Tell Me Something Good Linky. She's right you know. The more you focus on good, the more good will happen. How does that work exactly? I don't know. But I know I've had my fair (or un-fair) share of worries and disappointments this week and I need to look at all I have to be grateful for. So... here goes. The rules are: Tell something good from home and something good from school.

Something good from home.... 
Where to begin? I don't love my home right now. But a good thing at home right now are my pets. My cat gave us a scare a couple weeks ago. The animals had dental work done- they got their teeth cleaned. They are anesthetized for this.  Our 11 year old kitty did not come out of the anesthesia very well. It was a long, scary 24 hours waiting to see how he would do. He's been a love since then. Throw in a couple trips to Kansas where he had to be home alone and my gratitude at being back in the panhandle to snuggle with my kitty is growing. I missed him so much. He really is the love of my life. Don't tell the kids, because technically he is Red's cat, she got him for Christmas 11 years ago. 

This is the view from my lap immediately after I typed about how much I love him Sam jumped up and made himself comfortable. He is the sweetest kitty ever.

p.s. let me just add that it is a good thing that I have no drama at home. I have a 16 year old and no drama. Yay. 

Something good from school.... 
Students are starting to "get it" that I want them to sound things out phonetically and do "kid-writing." I've loved reading what they have written this week. We will do more Valentine writing this coming week.

I missed two days of school this week and I haven't been there yet to see how they did for the sub on Friday. I hope it was fantastic. I reminded them that they are fantastic before I left. I hope they remembered! 

It's been a rough week in our family and trusting God to take of things that are bigger than we are has been a necessity not a luxury. So link up with something good or leave me a comment. I'd love to hear about what is going good in life, or the underlying good that remains no matter how messy or chaotic things might look on the surface. 

Hop over to the linky and read and link up: Tell Me Something Good

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Love Notes Link Up

These are the instructions that I followed: Create a post with your “love notes” and link up!! It will be a super fun way to get to know more teacher bloggers... and provide some fun reading for the last full month of Winter!

“Lovely List”
Name: Carrie 
Grade you Teach: Kindergarten 
State: Oklahoma (this is the state we currently live in and I teach in, but my state is KS)
Birthday: July 4 
Favorite Colors: Black and ??? maybe purple
Lucky Number: 87 (there's a story here...)
Favorite Subject to Teach: Literacy!! (this is what my friend put, and I can't argue, I love teaching anything remotely related to reading)
Go to Snack: Hmmm... Power snack: cheese stick and apple slices; having-a-bad-day-and-need-help-coping snack: Coke with any form of sugar (brownies rank high here but Hot Tamales will do, or M&M's, or...)
TV Show: I miss everything FoodNetwork (Chopped, tripleD, etc.), but discovered Parenthood on Netflix (and now Hulu since we are caught up on Netflix)
Last Movie You Watched: Pitch Perfect
Music You are Loving Right Now: lovin' the same music I've loved for 30 years: rock: BonJovi, AC/DC, Mellencamp... the list goes on. Boston takes me to a happy place. Oh, opposite end of the spectrum: Chris Tomlin, Matthew West. 
Always shopping at: Walmart and TpT
Word of the day: acceptance. "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today."

“Love Links”

share links to…

a blog you are loving right now:
all of them! I have discovered a ton of teaching blogs in the last month or so and I love reading them and the ideas I get from them! I love them all but here is a new friend I am learning from:It's "OWL" Good in Kindergarten.

Your Valentine or February pin board:
I am not sure. I search Pinterest for everything, but I don't think I have a favorite. *sigh* I'll look, just a minute.... 
I love lots of things online, but I really love how Pinterest have revolutionized meals and made it so easy to find something to eat. Here is a pin I hope to make/bake soon: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole.

This is THE BEST product I have purchased from TpT so far. 

“We’d all love to know…”

What are your favorite hobbies or what do you enjoy doing during your free time? 
I love the stock car races, they don't have them where I live now, but central Kansas is rich with race tracks and we WILL be making time for races this summer. :)

Your favorite vacation destination?
This is tough for me because we just don't go on vacations. We went to DC right before I started working on my teaching degree and visited family out there. It was awesome, educational, and fun. I like vacations where you don't have an agenda and I think I'd love to rent a cabin in the mountains sometime.
The best advice you’ve been given?
Beg, borrow, and steal. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." "Don't reinvent the wheel." I was told/taught that teaching is about what works to reach students and if a colleague or other teacher/education guru had figured out what works and is willing to share their insight, use it! Don't make it harder than it has to be! 
Most rewarding part of teaching?
Feeling the love. I have a hard time identifying a "most rewarding" part. Any type of light-bulb moment or occasion when I realize that a student has grown, whether it is social, emotional, or academically, and I had a part to play in that growth, then I feel overwhelming satisfaction.
What are you known for?
I had to ask for help here. I don't know what I am known for that I can list here, so I asked my daughter. She said cooking/baking. And that my grandson is really excited because he thinks he'll be a good cook because his Grammy and Momma are good cooks! :) I'm sure you will be Mr.! 
2 random facts:
I love Harleys. I want to own one one day. :)

I went back to school when I turned 40 to become a teacher. Love it. 

The Loves of Your Life:
Share a picture(s) of your LOVES.
My Punky. She is in 3rd grade this year.

The Redhead. She is a junior this year.

No pics of my oldest and her fam but they are my loves. Love and prayers fam. I love you all. 

Hundley. Who wouldn't love him????

Sam the Siamese. He enriches my life. I can't even explain how much. Love my pets. He was very needy after we got back from a roadtrip to Kansas.

Link up here: Love and Literacy: Love Notes Link Up

Okay, this was time-consuming and involved a LOT of copy/paste. So I tried to make it simpler by putting the copy/paste stuff all-together for you. I hope you'll link up, it won't take you as long as it did me because everything you need to copy/paste/answer is listed below. :)

“Lovely List”
Grade you Teach: 
Favorite Colors: 
Lucky Number:
Favorite Subject to Teach: 
Go to Snack: 
TV Show: 
Last Movie You Watched: 
Music You are Loving Right Now: 
Always shopping at: 
Word of the day: 

“Love Links”

share links to…

a blog you are loving right now:
Your Valentine or February pin board:
a product you adore:
“We’d all love to know…”

What are your favorite hobbies or what do you enjoy doing during your free time? 
Your favorite vacation destination?
The best advice you’ve been given?
Most rewarding part of teaching?
What are you known for?
2 random facts:
The Loves of Your Life:
Share a picture(s) of your LOVES.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Five for Friday

This week I have more of a balance of rewards with frustrations. Yay! I was a whiner in my February Currently, A Linky Party. So balance is good. My five this week is a little slim because I didn't teach five days this week, only three. :(

Monday I had an appointment out of state and I missed out on teaching and my children missed out on learning because we could not be in two places at once. Okay, that happens.... 

Five for Friday is a linky party created by Doodle Bugs, hop over and link up here.  Include five random things from your week from school or home. One of my favorite things to do is toot my own horn (horn, get it, hahahahahaha), and another fave is to read what others are doing at home and at school. 

1. Rhyming. wow. I still have a lot of frustration. Here's an example of the rhyming center they are supposed to do. Find the two cards that match and write the rhymes, draw a picture and then add a rhyming word and illustrate it. 
Hmmm. I can't figure out if I am not explaining it, if students are not listening to me, or if they honestly don't get it. Because let me tell you, this is not an isolated incident. The only rhyming papers are the ones who copied my example exactly. They can rhyme on the porch after school. So I just don't know what happened!  If you have great rhyming activities that students could do in centers, please send me an email!

2. Valentine's write the room. I printed these before I got new ink for the printer and I just decided that ink is too precious, so I kept them. Anywho... the kids love them! I know a lot of Kindergarten teachers have been doing write the room all year, so I am behind. But I am just glad we are getting started! The first one they are doing is letter Hh. Here are a few. 

This one has fewer than any of the others. 

This one has the most words and this girl has less English than many of my students. I was excited that she understood the assignment and was so enthusiastic. 

I will ask students to go back and count the words they found and fill in the last blank. It was a good beginning. More to come. I love what my teaching partner does with her "write the room" center. She has fancy glasses and big pencils and students use them in the center. 

3. Kids. I love, love, love my children. I love my school family, yes, but I'm talking about my own kids. This week I thought about how precious they are to me when we drove the road back from Kansas to the panhandle on Monday and again last night when we detoured around an accident on the way to Kansas and when we did not get squished by a semi in spite of his best efforts. I thought about how some of the crazy we share is not positive and some is a really good thing. Like when we sang along to the YMCA and did the actions with a long line of cars behind us and they had to see our crazy actions.  Mine were one-handed since I was driving. Thanks Red for doing the YMCA with me!! :) Punky asked us how we got so good at it and we said, "practice." A little crazy might be a good thing.... 

4. Due to circumstances beyond my control, we made an unexpected trip to Kansas. So I was getting ready for a sub while my students did writing activities. First they practiced letter Yy, then they were to find words that had a y in them.  It didn't matter,  the beginning, middle or end. Once they found the word, they wrote it down. One student just made up words. Can I just say.... "love it!" Here it is. 

5. Overwhelming sadness. On the personal side.... I love my family and when they hurt, I hurt. I can't fix it and there's no band-aid big enough. I am spreading around as much "mommy-love" and "grammy-love" as I can, but it's desperately inadequate. Love and prayers my dear family. You are my heart and soul. So I have to say... "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." And I might have to accept that fact that sometimes crying is okay.