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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky.... Favorites Survey

I copied and pasted, so hopefully you won't have to! :) Here is this week's Let's Get Acquainted Linky from Flying Into First. 

Here is the theme for this week...............

Favorites Survey
Favorite Place to Shop

Favorite TV Show

Favorite Sweet Treat

Favorite Food

Favorite Restaurant
Be sure to include the linky graphic and link it back to me so others can join in on the fun!!!

Don't forget to visit the 2 people that linked up before you and leave them a comment/follow/or just read their post.  

Okay, those are the instructions. So hop over, read up, link up, enjoy. :) Here is my Favorite's survey. (*okay, that copy/paste idea didn't work out as slick as I thought it would. I still had some formatting issues).
Favorites Survey
Favorite Place to Shop

Is this one hard for anyone else? Okay, they are all hard for me. Favorite place to shop.... hmmm. For professional wear, probably Maurices. I like STAGE, but it's a lil pricey for this first year teacher. I like different places for different things, and I love what I call hippie stores, but my daughter would probably call them head shops, so I have to be careful because although I have some street knowledge, I am also painfully naive at times. We went to Third Planet last night and that was fun. I also like Oriental Trading Company.  I thought that The House of Sight and Sound (a Salina, KS staple for many, many years, an icon if you will) was a fun place, but everybody knew that place was a head shop. Shopping for shoes? Famous Footwear. Simply because I can usually find what I need there. The list goes on. I have a favorite place to shop for cosmetics, and a fave for meats, and a fave for.... you get it. Okay, I really do like Kohl's.  So maybe Maurices, maybe Kohl's. 

Favorite TV Show

I will say Grey's. It's a little worn out and tired and I need a new fave. I think that Parenthood is my new fave but it's over for the season and so I will say Grey's Anatomy.  I wait impatiently each week for the next one to post to Hulu. I watch a lot of Psych and Monk on Netflix as well.
McDreamy is still a looker

Favorite Sweet Treat

Cheesecake. Just about anything made with cream cheese is delicious. Whether is is alfredo or enchiladas or dessert. My daughter makes some of the best cheesecake ever and I usually request it for holidays.

this is from peanutbutter cup brownie bottom cheesecake. Just add a strong cup of coffee. 

Favorite Food

Mexican food. Enchiladas. I like fajitas also. Okay, I love most Mexican food. I make some pretty good salsa considering I don't actually have any Latina blood in me. I love guacamole too. And queso. And....

this is not enchiladas, but my mouth watered a little when I saw this photo
Favorite Restaurant
I am between favorites. Our favorite has been Pueblo Nuevo, a little restaurant that is along the stretch of road between where we live currently and our Kansas home. But the last few visits have been disappointing. I love Martinelli's in Salina, KS. They have good food, very good steaks. But the truth is that I probably love it because I go there with my friends. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Six for Saturday?

I wrote (and posted) my Five in the morning yesterday, but forgot to link up until today. I guess that is okay. The life of blogger means that you now take pictures of things you might not have taken a picture of before you became obsessed with sharing your personal story with countless strangers. Who else has noticed that? This is a perfect break for me so far. It is supposed to be a little rainy today, and last night there was a hail storm here (at 3:30 a.m.). Tomorrow is supposed to be nice and then the temperature is supposed to plummet and there is supposed to be snow again. Really?! I love snow when it starts and when it gives me an unexpected snow day, but now, it is just getting ridiculous.

I got to eat out at noon with my teenager yesterday and if you live in McPherson, you will know where we ate. If you live in Mac and you saw anytime after that, you knew where I ate because you could smell it. Yeah.... one of those places! Love it!

We did a little shopping and went to a family get together. We had a wonderful Ham dinner with potatoes and rolls and cherry moos. I must be slipping, I didn't get a picture. After dinner I we had an Easter Egg hunt.  The kids are ready to go in this picture!! My teen is a good sport and participates and helps the little ones. 

We spent the evening in the company of good friends and topped it off with some Applebee's 1/2 price appetizers. Yummo. Fun times. Here's a picture my daughter took when the kids were messing around.

Today is more packing up and going to visit the rest of my family, church, dinner and maybe some movie time. I stuck a couple in my bag. I thought after the "kids" went to bed, the "adults" could watch Rock of Ages.  That is probably not six. I just thought it was funny that I had so many photos and memories made when I just posted on here yesterday. Part of the reason I don't have six is that I am out of time and even though I could say more, I won't. Well, one more thing.... sometimes I feel guilty that I am not a creator and that I don't make great centers and activities that originate in my own brain. But then again, I think that if it ain't broke don't fix it.So I take advantage of my blogger friends freebies, cruise TpT for freebies and pay for and download those things I can't live without.  I feel fortunate and blessed to have TpT, Teacher's Notebook, and world-wide web to help me plan and teach. Whoops, maybe I have two more things. Yikes! It's time to be packing up the car! But... who else is going to introduce plastic egg activities in centers after the break? I have a few ideas for them. One idea is to write numbers through 10 either on paper or on the inside of the egg. Students choose two eggs, open them and write a math sentence. I also might put sight words in them and have students write sight words and read the words to someone. I just downloaded a jelly bean freebie.  It's not too late! We will do it this Spring yet! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Finally! Friday! My Random Five for Friday, less school, more me this week

Today's Five for Friday. Five Random things from my week. Then I hook up with Doodle Bugs and read and comment and get a laugh and I also get great ideas.

1. Cool Beans! We reached our "Cool Beans" goal!! Whoot! If your familiar with our class, you know about our "Cool Beans" positive reward incentive. Students can earn stickers on their chart for positive behaviors. An example would be when I see a student sitting the way they are supposed to on the carpet (which can be difficult for Kindergarten), I might say, "I love the way (insert name here) is sitting on the carpet! When we are finished with reading (he/she) can get a sticker!" I've noticed that I don't "catch" students as often as I used to, and I know that the more I do it, the more positive behaviors I will get back from my students. When students get 20 stickers, they turn their chart in for a reward, they can choose a ticket to wear slippers in class one day, to be the line leader for a day, or to bring a fluffy friend to class for a day (this is my best TpT purchase to date. Check it out here). I might have to reprint some tickets. It's time to switch out rewards but I can't find them (I'm sure they are in a SAFE place)!! When a student fills their chart we also do a Kagan? Dr. Jean? (not sure who? I want to give credit, but I am not sure who's they are) cheer for them and then we get a "big bean" on our Cool Beans bulletin board. Another thing we do is we get whole class beans for good choices or good class behaviors. When we get 20 cool beans in our cool beans can, we get a big bean on the bulletin board. So... we filled the board (20 beans).  The last Cool Beans party we had we voted and the vote was 10 for the last reward we chose and 9 for the pajama party, so we agreed that we would have a pajama party for our next reward. So... we got our 20 beans, and earned a pajama party. On Thursday we could wear pajamas to school and if our work was finished we could watch a movie instead of doing our handwriting and we got juice boxes. It was a happy ending to our short week.

2. Look at this picture of Sweet to the point being Rotten. I haven't see her for Oh.... five or six days! She even had a hug for her Auntie Carrie last night! Oh the Joy! Ani, my baby, you are completely a flower, a Marigold to me, a happy, hardy, perky flower that is absolutely perfect. I couldn't convince your Mommy and Daddy to name you Chrysanthemum, or Delphinium, or Marigold.  But every time you see a Marigold, remember how much Aunt Carrie loves you and what a miracle it is that you came to all of us, your Mom and sissies especially.  You'll probably never know just HOW loved you are and how much healing your life has given but I am grateful to be a part of your life, your Mommy's life, and to know your Daddy and your sisters. 

3. Easter break. Ahhhh. I am grateful for the break. I am more grateful for the chance to celebrate my beliefs. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my "Mom" who is technically no longer my Mom (10 years and counting now) but who will still greet me on Easter morning with a hearty "He is risen!" And I will respond with an equally emotional, "He is risen indeed!" 

4. Home. I am home. I am sitting in The Well, sipping a Mocha and blogging and just breathing. I would not normally do this but I am getting tires on my car. All these road trips are hard on the tires. My heart is torn and I have expressed this a lot lately. And I will continue to because I was taught that you talk about it until it stops hurting. For people like me, it is dangerous not to talk about feelings. I am super excited to be sitting her in central Kansas in Mactown and enjoying my community. I have lived her for seven years (prior to our move to the Panhandle), and it is more home to me than the community I grew up and raised my first set of children in. It is home to the core. But I nearly teared up yesterday when discussing some school issues with my principal.  She was a Kindergarten teacher last year, a perfect principal for this first year teacher. And she is vibrant, helpful, and totally invested in the success of both her students and her teachers. I am so fortunate. And my heart is heavy that I am leaving my teaching sisters at Academy C and my community of learners and their parents as well as the principal. These things make me sad and cause me to question my choice to move back even though I have no job waiting for me. But then I get here and I really am home. The closer we get, the faster I talk, the more I smile and laugh and get really giddy and it is really sort of exhausting when the adrenaline wears off. Last week I didn't even notice how excited I was until after I ran into my cooperating teacher from student teaching who is now my friend and she's also a sister in Christ which is hugely comforting because I know that she truly wants the best for all, she is so unselfish. Wow, I am on an emotional roll, huh? Can you feel the adrenaline (and the coffee drink)? Anyway, after seeing her, I walked away and my mind was RACING and I realized that I was probably talking fast and making a lot of gestures and acting a little like I was on speed because the adrenaline was really pumping. *ah....* and I was SO tired when it wore off. Whew. 
My home that I love and miss and cannot wait to move back to.

The coffee drink I indulged in at The Well, even though I did not need it! 
5. Nutrition and exercise education. Mrs. Dawson's seventh grade class came and shared some of what they learned about nutrition, sugars, fats, the food pyarmid and exercise with the Kindergarten and First grade classes at Academy C. It was as educational for the seventh graders as it was for our students. One thing the seventh graders discovered is that time flies when conversing with 40 talkative Kinders! I only have a few photos I can post because a few kiddos don't have media releases, so here is just a little glimpse of our time with the seventh graders. A really cool discovery was that a lot of students don't realize when they are exercising, and this is not necessarily bad!! :)

I think I am missing a 7th grader in this photo but I had to crop out a kiddo who does not have a media consent :(
Thank you Seventh Grade and Mrs. Dawson!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lets Get Acquainted Linky!

I am addicted to, er, in love with, linky parties. This week the Linky with Flying Into First is: 

The NOUN Game
The noun game is where you simply just name your favorite person, place, thing, and animal. Read up, hop over, link up if you dare! Lol, just kidding about the "if you dare" part. 

Favorite Person
Yikes! Just one? I better not pick my family then, so I think... maybe.... Sara Jane. I have so many faves. I have no "significant other" to speak of. However, Sara Jane comes close. She is my best friend in the whole world. Well, er, I mean, except for Beanhead. My lifelong friend. And there's a few bff's along the way, what can I say, I don't make friends "lightly." 

Favorite Place
I think I will say my home in Mac-town that we are moving back to. It is cozy and peaceful and I love it. Central Kansas as a whole. Maybe even North Central Kansas. Some of my favorite people live in the country by Marquette (close to Kanopolis lake) and it is Bee-you-tee-full. So I've always loved going down on the creek with a fishing pole and grilling and maybe even camping. I've always thought my family's land along the creek over by Peabody is a slice of heaven. And it is, but I think it is even more lovely where my friends live. 

Favorite Thing
I think my favorite thing is my electronic toys. I know that would mean things, not thing. If I have to choose one, it would be my computer. I think I am going to *love* my new Kindle fire HD 8.9. My computer (and other electronic devices) allows me to stay in touch with my family and friends and blog-friends.

Favorite Animal
Hmmm. Animal as a whole? Horses. Love them. Favorite Pet? I love my pets, but I LOVE my Sammy-cat. He is a delightful companion. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Break, A Shout Out, and so much more!

The snow has stopped falling and the highways are clear (boo hoo....).  Today we head back to the OK panhandle for four days and then we come home again!

Over the break I had to time to do one of my favorite things.  I had time to stalk my favorite blogs! Whoot! And I found this giveaway! More than Math by Mo is having a 100 follower giveaway.  So hop over and check it out!

I am happy that I feel refreshed after the break. I am happy that I had a chance to see my family. I am happy to be going back to our house that is sort of a home, a temporary home, where our cat, Sam, is waiting for us.  And where my new toy er, teaching tool, er, ereader, is waiting for me! I can't wait to load it up!

Guess what? I also can't wait to see my Kinders and spend oh-too-many hours at school and dive into this "daily 5" thing. Yikes. Did I just say that?! I think that if I start now, I can master several areas of this by the end of this year and have a pretty good idea of how I want to begin implementation of it next year.

Speaking of next year, it's no secret I love my Kinders and I love the diversity of the community and I feel like God brought me here. But it is also no secret that I love my Kansas home and have tendered my resignation for the sake of economic responsibility and the sake of my children's happiness and well-being. So please, continue to hold us in your prayers as we seek the best things for our family. I am walking blind here, with no job secured and trusting it will open up.

Happy Spring everyone!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five for Friday, Spring Break Style

It's Friday!! :) It's Spring Break. I didn't realize HOW BADLY I needed a break. I've been exhausted and sleeping every chance I get.

1.  Over the weekend the leprechaun came our classroom one last time and brought his buddies to play.  They left a mess of leprechaun dust everywhere, but they also brought us some "Lucky Playdough" full of leprechaun dust that sparkles. Poor Maria, the dust will be coming up in the carpet for a long time.

2. Parent-teacher conferences.  Some had to be re-scheduled but most of them were accomplished and most went well. I love the chance to connect with parents and talk about their children's progress. 

3. MY Spring Break officially started at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night after conferences.  Whoot! Then we headed out to see family and friends on Wednesday. 

4. We got to see some of "the Fam" and go shopping and the girlies got some walking shoes. We are going to participate in at least one 5K this summer. Perhaps a color run or maybe.... the glow run 5k. There is one in Wichita in August. Whoot! The "break" is not over. We are hanging out with more family and just relaxing. Nothing beats being with my kiddos. This is what makes this Momma the happiest. Hooray! I am going to work on things I don't always get to do, like reading (yay)! I am in search of the book The Daily Five.  This will likely revolutionize the way I teach in the future. That is what I understand anyway. 

5. Last but not least!! Last Friday I was getting ready to browse blogs and I got an email from my friend saying to be sure and check out a blog makeover giveaway! So I did! And I won! Big changes coming soon!  I am so excited! Thanks Lauren at Teach, Pray, Love. I can't wait to experience the changes! 

I probably could have done a Five just for Spring Break and another one for everything else! Sorry, I crammed a bunch of stuff together there, but I couldn't leave anything out! I love Kindergarten, and I am grateful for the break. 

Here are a couple more pics of our break:

my girlies and a BFF at the mall

painting toe nails and finger nails. Love this picture. 

Punky with my grand-daughter

Punky with my grandson

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Conferences, Spring Break, and Sixlet Subtraction

The thing I love about parent teacher conferences are spending time with the parents. The thing I don't love is how much time and energy it drains from me. Conferences ended at 8 o'clock last night and I actually got lesson plans written too. So that was a wonderful thing.  That means that Spring Break has actually begun. We were going to leave "bright and early" for Kansas this morning and I am just too tired. I fell asleep at the computer last night and I am not packed. Sometimes I think that our report cards don't always assess correctly and sometimes I just don't like what they say. I had to be honest with parents and admit that I had not pursued some areas as rigorously as I should have and that is why students scored low in a certain area. Talk about an assessment! Yikes! A smart teacher probably would keep her mouth shut and for sure wouldn't post it in her blog.  I am really just interested in becoming a better teacher and sometimes (for me) that involves admitting my faults in a public sort of way.  This is something that encourages real change in me, so I am skipping out on being smart and trying to do the thing that will help me become a better teacher. Confession is good for the soul I think.

Sometime today we will head out for our beloved town and we'll stop at our favorite restaurant on the road Pueblo Nuevo. Look for it on Highway 54 in Greensburg. Not only is the food scrumptious, but the family that owns and runs it are a lot of fun! We love stopping and eating there. 

Spring break. I have to admit that I am a little jaded about Spring Break. I get a shorter one than many of my teaching friends and I am trying to remember that starting on April 26, we will not have school on Fridays. The other thing that is disconcerting is that last week the weather was very Spring-like and warm and wonderful. But it's supposed to snow in Kansas Thursday and Friday and then snow here in the panhandle on Saturday night, just in time for us to come home. We took "zoo" out of the itinery, and Coronado Heights, and, and, and.... Boo! But we are going to get some much needed merchandise. Both girls need GOOD shoes. And thankfully (at the moment) I can afford to do this for them. 
This is how I started my break.... a large pile of homemade guacamole provided by another teacher, covered with home made salsa, and chowed it down with some tostitos. Yummo! 

Sixlet Subtraction. Yesterday we needed something "fun" in our class. I had some Easter/Spring Sixlets in my teacher closet (I thought I might need them for conference week.... hee, hee). I gave them each a packet with instruction to open them and NOT to eat them. Some students were more adept at this skill than others!  Some packets had 9 candies and some had 8 candies, but I had to give some students another sixlet so everyone could start with 8 (that meant some students had to eat one before we started). Everyone started with 8 sixlets. Then I instructed them to eat two. We stopped and wrote out our equation and they counted how many were left. We used that for the beginning of our next equation. It was fun. They did great. Sixlets are gluten free so even my student who has been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance was able to participate! I forgot to take photos as we were equating. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday.... Link up!

I am almost too tired to post anything. But there's so much to do this weekend and I just want to touch base with my bloggy friends. This week was pretty random in Kindergarten. I guess that is completely appropriate  since it is my random five from the week this week for Five for Friday. Head over to Doodle Bugs and read and link up.

1. Organizing my room! I spent all weekend knee deep in chaos organization. Parent teacher conferences are coming up and I had the kidney table taken to the basement because it was just a catchall for junk and because my room is so small. We usually do guided reading sitting on the floor. My friend and I brought it back upstairs.
My kidney table back from the basement... it took how many seconds to get piled high with "stuff"

stuff to sort through and file.

I think there are some desks under there.... 

more stuff I "needed" from the basement
2. Blogging, Linky parties, and more...

I joined a writing/blogger challenge to post a "Slice of Life" every day. You can read them here. Linky parties. Love them. I always see the "What Did They Say Wednesday" Linky Party and think "too bad I don't have anything amazing to contribute" but this week I had something to contribute! So I did! Whoot! Look at the post here and get a chuckle. I also found a "Let's Get Acquainted" Linky and I couldn't resist it.  It talked about some likes/loves starting with the initials in my name. Letter H I had to go with "hot dog" in all forms. And we were going to eat hotdogs but I have been working at the school like a mad woman and we are so hungry when we leave. We went to Sonic for supper and here is what I ordered:
Footlong chili cheese coney.... oh yeah! 

This is my oh so cute side kick number one.

side kick number two.... 
3. Naughty little Leprechauns....
The Leprechauns visited our room this week. Thursday our leprechaun left a message on the board and made a mess playing in our room, and left footprints on a desk and he also left marshmallows on desks. 

I have the sweetest picture of students gathered around the footprints on the desk, but I don't have a media release on one of the students (insert sad face here). We brainstormed a letter to write to the Leprechaun, here is what we finally decided to put in our letter: 

Here are a few samples of what student wrote: 

This student went with her own idea, and not the sample....
I was thrilled and laughed and laughed at what she wrote! 

This is from a student who doesn't usually do his writing assignments,
so this is really good! 

This little guy has never written anything but his name on his writing assignment before,
I was beside myself excited!!! 
Today the Leprechaun got into our room during lunch and left green cookies! Yum! He left a note on our Promethean board too and signed his name! 
Yum! Lime flavored cookies! Yeehaw! 

"Our" Leprechaun is named Lucky! 
4. Mother nature did it again! It is gorgeous here this week! I hear that it won't be this awesome for our break (which doesn't start until Wednesday). I have photos of kiddos on the playground one day this week:

Tonight I went walking with my one friend I've made in the panhandle. We went to the park which has a mile walking path and is literally only 2 blocks from my house. We went shortly after 6 and it was HOT! Side note: I think we are going to do a color run in May! Maybe I'll blog about it soon! :)

5. Mazzio's Pizza. Need I say more? Punky said she didn't want any pizza which meant Red and I could order whatever we wanted to, and we did! Yummo! 
If you're wondering, it is called Napoli.
Yes, it was every bit as tasty as it looks! 

That is my Five. Tomorrow I will busily work in my class room and try to get ready for conferences on Monday.  Our PTSO doesn't provide dinner for us during conferences, that isn't judgment, it just leads to my next point. Monday before conferences we (Academy C girls) are going to have dinner together. We are having a baked potato bar. I am providing potatoes and dessert. Go ahead and leave awesome (but easy) dessert ideas.  Preferably cut and carry type of dessert, like some sort of to-die-for brownies or bars. The truth is, my Redheaded assistant is going to help with the dessert.