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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Busy, exhausting, rewarding.

I have so much I want to post about it's a little big ridiculous.  But I am so, so tired, I don't know if I can finish this, so we'll see how far this goes.

Yesterday was my first day back after my class finished a four day week with a sub. Yikes. We spent most of the day practicing our five classroom rules and discussing what that meant. Someway, somehow, my class has turned into these mumblers who look at the floor and mumble words and half-ways make motions when doing our rules. So we practiced that. And we practiced again. And again. We had a little time for science squeezed in with all that practice and so we observed our marigold seedlings and wrote about them. They totally didn't follow directions about drawing what they observed. Some drawings I could not tell what they drew, maybe a ferris-wheel?  But that student definitely used five colors on her drawing! One student wrote that they saw a beautiful flower, even though his one plant only has a couple little leaves on it. *sigh* And grrr. One bad day could be barometric pressure, or a bad kid day, but more than that, I say it is the teacher. But then that means that this teacher fails a lot. I am not sure what to do. But we've got to have some good learning days in the near future. Because the near future is all we have left, these kiddo's leave me in three short weeks. *big sigh*
Our class working on their marigold papers.
This is a big week in our town. So today we walked down and watched the cowboys do steer roping at something called "Slack." I don't know what that means exactly, if it is practice or if they are qualifying activities, but we walked down to the arena all sunscreened, capped, and shaded. I told students they would have to be responsible for whatever they brought, and to put on sunscreen at home and think about a hat and some possibly even sunglasses.
ever see anything cuter?

This little guy is one I will miss SO MUCH! He is learning so much english and talked to me all the way to the rodeo arena. And he loved the cattle and horses. And when he talked to me and I didn't understand him he would try to say things in a different way.... SO EXCITING! 

We were so exhausted when we got back to the school for lunch! Here is the deep intellectual learning we did when we got back.
That's right! Tom and Jerry!

Here we are, relaxing for a little while.
Then.... ROUND TWO of exhausting activities for the day! Yikes!   Er, I mean, YeeHaw! Fantastic! Fabulous! We did our outdoor Pioneer Days activities. We did a relay where students put on clothes (shirt, pants, hat) run to the other side, the other teach helps them take them off and they put them on, run back... and do it all again. Another relay we played was the egg toss, then we did the stick horse race and lastly... the bucket race (passing a bucket down the line, and dumping it in the trashcan, running up and doing it again).  The last game was guaranteed to get students wet, especially with the "help" of those running the game. Here are a few of the highlights.

Love, love, love to see this smile! 

he was so proud of himself for drinking down his water so quickly! 

Do I think textbook learning happened today? No. But maybe we practiced rule 62 a little bit today and we didn't take ourselves quite so seriously. Maybe we practiced teamwork and good sportsmanship.  Maybe we learned about the horses and steers at the rodeo. Maybe we just had fun.

*so here I sit at 11 p.m. as I finish this post and it is just now dropping into the 70s, but the wind is howling and the high tomorrow is supposed to be the same as the low tonight. Crazy barometric pressure anyway! My kiddos don't know how to act anymore! (When all else fails, blame the weather, not the teacher, right?)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday....

It's Friday, Friday! Yesterday was the NEW Friday for me, but I was only in my classroom two days this week because my little Punkin was sick and was generous and shared with the rest of us! Yikes! Link up with Doodle Bugs for the all the lastest! I love Five for Friday, from posting to reading what is going on and gaining perspective, to reading about other people's struggles, to venting my frustrations, to finding the good things to dwell on from my class.

My Five this week feels a lot like a rehash to me. I guess I am stuck on the same thoughts over and over and over. So bear with me faithful few, I have always heard you talk about what is going on and if something is wrong you talk about it until it doesn't hurt (so much) any more.

1. My Punky got sick Wednesday morning and I went up to the school early and wrote sub plans and came home and put my head in the sand and tried not to imagine what was happening in my class without me. Anyone else feel this way? That NO ONE can take care of your kiddos like you can, and that a sub will certainly ruin your class even if for only one day? But it turned into two days.... I felt... sluggish the first morning and as the day wore on I felt less like myself and less like myself. By evening I had such a horrible headache I considered crying but I didn't dare because it would hurt worse. And then I look over at my daughter on the couch and she is shivering and saying how cold she was and she's flushed and I touch her and she was burning up! Yikes! So I called my blessed principal and she found me a sub for the next day too.
Finally able to rest...

2. The transition from centers to more independent writing activities is starting to smooth out. I got to look at and assess some of the students work, they are figuring out how to work quietly, and they are staying on task! Yay!!!
Rule 2 is: Follow Directions Quickly.  Was this too harsh? (seriously, I want to know)

We are focusing on finishing old projects. The above project was discovered stashed in a students' desk.... since some time before the middle of March. I have been stressing to students that they need to finish their work and not let it pile up.  This is one of the things we will discuss in our writer's conference this week.
Here is this delightful rubric again. I got it from a free download and I posted about it last week,
get more information here. 

3. The new pet! Whoo! We got a hamster for our classroom. My children are thrilled. I have said over and over and over and over (and over?) that we will never have a rodent in our house.  But guess where classroom pets go over the summer. That's right... I am the proud (?) owner of a hamster. Here are a couple photos. Most of the photos I took didn't turn out because this little guy is "not snuggly and cuddly" (translation: not friendly and doesn't like to be held or touched), so she runs when you touch her or try to even watch her too much.  I have plenty of blurry photos of my little hamster running as fast as she can on her little wheel. Yes, I am a little bit excited about this little rodent. 

I'm sorry, snuggly or not, she's cute! :)

4. Boo-hoo.... pity party in progress. You can join it right here. Leaps of faith seldom work out the way I have them planned. And I have noticed that God seldom ever asks me for input in regard to my life. Boo hoo. I would love, love, love to work in my own town.  But my own town won't even look at my resume or call my references! So I am sad for myself and licking my wounds even though I know that my God has a job out there for me. Here's the whole pity list: I am now applying for jobs as far as an hour commute away, I can't get my hometown to look at me professionally, I will be leaving a teaching team I love and students I adore and so far I cannot figure out how I'm going to pay my bills. So I am counting on the prayers of my family and friends to help me remember that my God will supply all my needs and I am so grateful that friends and family support me in every way possible. 

5. Gratitude reigns (rains?). I am SO grateful that I will be living in MY HOME again in two months! TWO MONTHS! Whooo..... 
This is the house we are renting in our current town.

Our Home that God put in our lives and I miss terribly.... see you soon lovely home! 

P.S. Only 16 days of school with students and 17 days for teachers, then a mass exit-us (haha... exodus, get it?) for me, clearing out my classroom so they can a) move my class across the street, and b) so the new Kinder teacher can get it organized how she wants it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tell Me Something Good... a Linky Party!

Tell me something good. Link up with Rowdy in First Grade and read about something good. She made a great point, we are in need of some good news these days with all the tragedy recently. The "rule" is to tell one good thing from home and one good thing from school.

Here is my good thing from school... you'll never believe it if you know me at all. We got a classroom pet. A hamster. Yes, a hamster. A rodent will be living under my roof for the summer. Are you kidding me?! I don't know how many times my children have heard that we will NOT have a rodent of any kind and I don't care what your reason is or how cute you think they might be! Some weird lack of skepticism overtook me when I read that email: Teachers: free to good home (blah, blah, blah)... and here he (she?) is.

The lady we got him from thinks that "he" is a "she." She is not particularly cuddly (I took this to mean that she isn't friendly), and she is very fast, the fastest kind of hamster there is. Well.... I guess we won't hold her and cuddle her. She is also very small.  Her name is (was) Cottonball.  We will discuss names tomorrow and students will write a journal entry about what they think will be the best name for her. Anyway... I was surprised at how excited I was to have her and how comforting and enjoyable it was to watch her. It was fun and I am happy about it.

Something good from home. Hmmmm. That one is harder. Well, there are some good things in my life, but they are not really at home or school. They are sort of just life. Okay, this is something I've talked about a lot lately, but... I think my other "good thing" is the four day week. Oh yeah. Because I am officially "over the hump" this week. We have SO MUCH TO DO in the next weeks/months as we move back to our HOME and our friends and family and the stress level is high so an extra day to pack, clean, organize and SLEEP IN is very, very welcome. So while you all are having a regular "hump day" Wednesday tomorrow, I will secretly counting my Wednesday as Thursday since Thursday is the new Friday in my world. Can you hear me grinning? I don't have a picture of this. But here's a screen shot of the weather forecast and it includes Friday and Saturday. Lookin' Good! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

*Housekeeping* ....and Testing is a BEAR

We have the BEAR test tomorrow and Wednesday still. So parents, make sure your lil Tiger goes to bed and eats a healthy, hearty breakfast as well. Ms. Horn is going to do her best to remember to stop and get a healthy snack in the morning.  I vote for bananas. Now the goal is to make sure three girls at this house are ready to roll a couple minutes early tomorrow, especially since there could very easily be snow on the ground. or sleet, or "wintry mix." *sigh* Bring back Spring!

Love the linkys. I am sitting this week's "Let's Get Acquainted" out. I have favorite activities and I've had favorite areas. I've worked hard on the organization throughout the year, but I just moved desks and did a big change-everything-in-our-room so I don't have favorite places and spaces right now.

If you are the parent of a Kinder.... help them read their reading list (long vowels this week, easy-peasy for many), make sure they get plenty of rest, and encourage them to drink more water. Most of the Kinders I know do not drink enough water.

That is all the "housekeeping" agenda I have. Oh! Wait! I almost forgot again.... next week we have the Kindergarten Rodeo on Thursday, May 2, so I could really use a parent volunteer or even two! I am responsible for the face painting station, and need a parent to accompany our class and help them to be responsible little citizens.

Oh wow... more housekeeping. Wednesday and Thursday of Next week please make sure your child wears sunscreen to school in the morning and if you want it re-applied, send it along with your student so I can be sure to re-apply. They also need to consider the sun on their face and could possibly wear a hat, cap, or visor.  Water will be needed.  Please send a disposable bottle of water to school with your child both days.

That is all I can remember at this point.  Wednesday we are planning to go to Slack, and since I am not from here, I don't really know what that means, but we'll watch the cowboys work for awhile, and then we'll do activities with Academy C in the afternoon. Thursday is the Kindergarten Rodeo and we will be there in the morning, with Western activities in the afternoon.

Please support your child in these last weeks of school. They are excited for the next grade with so much still to learn and they need their rest.  Thanks! I appreciate it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Creative Writing and Bullying

I was grading papers this weekend and look what I came across.... last week when I was gone I had the class watch the free Brainpop Jr. video about bullying and I printed out the accompanying worksheets. I asked the sub to help them brainstorm but to encourage them to use "kid-writing" or phonetic spelling. Most students did not complete it or did not understand what was expected. And I tell myself.... that is okay, sometimes that happens when I am there, but it is certainly acceptable when I am not even there.... right?
 Bubble number one says: ignore them? Do not pinch them. Bubble two says: don't punch. Don't bite their finger.  Bubble three: Don't kick them. Don't choke them. Bubble four: Don't shut them in the locker. Don't say bad words.

These may not have been my first choice to respond to a bully because I would like to know how students would protect themselves or others, but I love, love, love this student's paper.

Here is the creative writing that students worked on when I was gone. April showers bring.... (fill in the blank). We brainstormed before I left and students had to finish the sentence and draw an accompanying picture, adding details and plenty of color. Some of my favorites are lacking color, but I love them. Here is our bulletin board.

Our April Bulletin Board

This student didn't use color, but I love his detail and depiction of storms.

"April showers bring bunnys."
"April showers bring mud."
April showers bring little buns." 
Love to watch their minds work! I love their phonetic spelling! Look how far they have come! Wow!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday

Five for Friday. I love Friday and I think all week about what I might post. Head over to Doodle Bugs and read, laugh, and link up.

1. We are developing more independent writing activities into our classroom. Last weekend I downloaded and printed, and printed, and printed..... and I have writing activities for oh.... forever. Am I crazy? Introducing new procedures and new ways to do things this close to the end of the year. I don't know because I've never done this before.  I just think that I might as well start now and figure out what works and put them into place for next year. I got new journals ready. I have started conferencing with students about what I expect and what they need to work on. Here is the writing rubric I found. It is so cool. I can't find where I found it now, but it is from Miss Francis's Class. So check it out! She has a link to TpT on her site so check it out.

writing rubric from Miss Francis's class

Cover of new journals

Title page of new journals
2. We are really restless with Spring and paying attention and listening to the teacher have been really hard for us! So I decided yesterday to reward my kids after all their hard work with some dancing.  I brought up Youtube and I found "The Twist." I love this photo SO MUCH because of it's blurriness. I love the blurriness because it means the kids are MOVING! It was great.

3. We are doing a some science learning about plants. I bought this unit from TpT, and borrowed from my friend Alyce who shared that they planted flowers last week. I love Marigolds, so I went out and bought some marigolds, potting soil, and colorful dixie cups. We are planning to observe our plants and record observations as well as doing an experiment to see if the plants really need light to grow.  Students plants are receiving water and sitting in our classroom.  My plant will be getting watered, but is in the supply cupboard in the hallway.

4. My daughter wanted to celebrate her birthday at school this week. Her birthday is in July and she wanted to take treats to school. She made sure she helped frost the cupcakes. Here are a couple of her favorites that she decorated. She watches DC Cupcakes and Cupcake wars and gave me strict instructions for how to make them look. I was supposed to try to make them taller and more puffy in the middle and make them flatten out at the edges. I tried but seriously, I could not make them look as nice as she did.

5. 20 days left. Wow. I vacillate between excitement/relief and panic/dread. Excitement to be that much closer to summer, lazy mornings and late nights, time with family and friends and getting reunited with my gardens an my home.  Dread to think my precious Kindergarten family will be spreading their wings. I am skeered that they won't have learned everything they need to know to be ready for First Grade. I am terrified that I will not be able to prepare them adequately for their next school adventure. I probably shared this last week.... but oh well. Our school doesn't have school on Fridays for the rest of the school year. So it's four day weeks from here on out. 

Okay, that's my Five this week. I am still on the quest to find a job. So prayers will not be turned down. Thanks for reading! Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted. A linky party

It's time once again for the "Let's get Acquainted" linky! Here is what this week's topic is all about! Hop over, read more, link up. It's fun.

TOPIC - Skittles Game
Here is the code:
Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Orange- Favorite Memory from College
Yellow- Favorite Sports Team
Green- Favorite Fast Food Place
Purple- Wild Card(Tell anything about yourself)

Favorite Ice Cream flavor: this is a trick question. My all-time favorite for home made ice cream is vanilla (and I make a pretty mean freezer of ice cream).  "Gourmet" or specialty ice cream: mint chocolate chip.  If I am going to Braum's I never debate over what in the world do I want to get. I know what I want, mint chocolate chip. Except that now I have discovered that their soft-serve frozen yogurt in a waffle cone is CHEAP and I love me some chocolate yogurt! All this from a girl who would really rather have another heaping helping of lasagna, or pizza, or salad, or steak than have ice cream for dessert.  I guess it's grown on me. And I have some sinful tub of coffee flavored ice cream stashed in the freezer and it is really tasty also... especially at about midnight. 

Favorite Memory from College????? Which time!? lol. The FIRST time I was in college was so long ago that many of those memories are fuzzy. But the SECOND time I was in college, getting a degree in a Organizational Management, I remember that for our marketing class we had to market something and we chose something called ugly dip.  For our presentation we had T-shirts printed and they said: Hot Mama's Ugly dip: get ugly, feel hot. We had so much fun. I don't remember our grade, but it was a good time and we had a blast. 

Favorite Sports Team: hmmm. Now I have to think again. I'd say the KC Royals since I am a Kansas girl, but I will just admit to a dirty little secret. The NY Yankees are so pleasant to look at, not to mention a top rate ball team.  And as you can tell, I love baseball.  I have no idea why, but I do. 

Favorite Fast Food Place: McDonald's. I am not even going to make up some story. I love it. The fries, the greasy fried food, the big Macs, and everything in between. They even serve Coca-cola. I can hear it now.... I'm lovin' it! 

Wild Card: I used to dream (daydream and night dream) about horses all the time. I just wanted to have a horse farm, or work at a stable, and be around horses night and day. I wanted to live in the country and ride, ride, ride. I passed that passion on to my children. My youngest is smitten in a totally unrealistic way. The redhead used to be exactly the same. In fact, she was mad at me for several years because we didn't move to the country and get her a horse. I still love horses, but my dreams have changed. One of my dreams I am living right now, teaching school. 

More Reminders for Student Families!

Testing is a BEAR! Next week we will be taking the BEAR test in Kindergarten.  Please make sure your Kinder is well-rested, eats a good breakfast and comes to school alert and ready to learn. We have not been having snacks lately, your students are adjusted now to their school schedules but we will be having a snack on the days that we BEAR test.

School supply kits can be purchased until April 25th.  Fill out the form and return it with payment to your child's teacher.

School yearbooks. They are $25 and are first come- first served. In other words, when they are gone, they are gone! Order today!

Third and Fourth grade are taking the OCCT this week and we will continue to be flexible with our schedule!

Thanks for supporting your students!

*funny of the day**  Today the 3rd and 4th graders had a pep rally for the OCCT test and afterward the principal reminded them to get to bed early! My students then said.... "and drink lots of water! And do your homework!" That's our mantra. Drink a lot of water, go to bed early, do your homework! Ironically enough, I forgot to get homework in folders today.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Important Stuff for my lil Tigers and their parents!

  • Book Orders were due Friday but I didn't remind students, so I will still accept orders on Monday. If you order online you receive a coupon for your next order (yay!). I will receive an email when you order an I'll place the order including the online order with mine. Thanks! Scholastic books are a great way to add to your child's library at minimal cost. 
  • Testing. 3rd and 4th grade are taking the OCCT test this week and we might have to be extra careful in the halls and remember to be flexible. Our class is pretty good at this, so I am not worried. 
  • Reminder! Tis the season. For water bottles. Students cannot drink enough water from the water fountain to meet their body's needs even if they could drink to their heart's content and with 20 students in line, they cannot drink enough and still be respectful of their classmates. So please consider sending a water bottle to school for your child. It needs to have a sport top lid. 
  • Kindergarten students need plenty of sleep. One study says they need as much as 13 hours a night but the study that seems more appropriate says they need about 11 hours of sleep. So if your child gets up at 6:30 in the morning, they need to go to bed as early as 7:30 in order to be rested. Most of us have Spring fever, but there is still so much to master before the end of the year! Rested bodies will make it easier to focus.
  • We have talked about respect all year and I've modeled it. But apparently not enough. So we will be practicing respect for our school and doing character development exercises.  Kindergarten students are expected to be responsible for their actions. 
These little Tigers are fantastic! They can do it! Thanks parents for your support.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fretful Friday. My Five for Friday is full of worry and fret this week.

This week has been a roller coaster ride of emotion. I left my Kinders for two days to attend Grandma Katherine's funeral. I don't care how good my sub is, my class is a mess when I get back. And I should know to prepare emotionally. I am way too much of a control freak to put my personal books in the classroom library, but the sub let them "read" my books. They are bent, ripped and torn. Some brand new that I haven't read myself yet. I am crushed. Nice Ms. Horn went home early and cranky Ms. Horn was there all afternoon. Not to mention, I actually teared up. Yikes. So the excitement of being back with my beloved class was overshadowed by happenings in my absence, that in all honesty, were not (entirely) the students fault. I am so discouraged tonight I am avoiding my Five for Friday, which I usually cannot wait to address. Mmmmph. I am completely discouraged. And I'm wallowing in my misery. So I am going to do a Five for things I am fretting/sad/concerned about. Maybe some of my friends will say a prayer.

Fret Number one. The alien has landed.
Punky getting a breathing treatment

comfort food: mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy

rainbow sherbet
We went to the Doctor on Tuesday and they didn't hear anything suspicious in her lungs, no prescription. By today the cough is horrible. We used the rescue inhaler twice today and came home to a breathing treatment.  Before we got home I said "What do you want for supper since it's Mom and Punky night?" And she said, "I don't know, something soft? Maybe applesauce?" Heartbreak. I said... "How about mashed potatoes? Those are soft." Therefore we had mashed potatoes for supper. And rainbow sherbet for dessert. Tonight I put the Punkin to bed with a strong cough suppressant.

Fret number two. Little Miss Punky. They didn't find anything wrong with her lungs, but I remembered to mention all her pain in her knees. My little girl might have rheumatoid arthritis. They X-Rayed her knees and prescribed Naproxin. So my baby might have rheumatoid arthritis. 

Fret number three. Not a fret. Just a little sadness. I can't be really, really sad about Grandma Katherine, because she lived such a beautiful, full life and survived to be 100.  I am just a little bit sad. More sad to have the fact of our immortality driven home, that our bodies grow frail even when I our minds stay strong. Somber to wonder what the end of my own life will look like and if I will have made a tribute to society, to my children, to the world? I don't have a photo. Due to late meetings and Dr. appointments, and inclement weather, we missed the viewing/visitation, but I was told that she didn't look like the vibrant woman we know and love, so I am not even terrible sad that we don't have that photo. 

Fret number four. The ominous responsibility that lays on my shoulders to teach these children, to teach them to read, to prepare them for first grade, making sure they know their numbers and how to add and subtract fluently within five. 

Fret number five. All of the above. Not really. But the fret or worry that I won't be able to let my fears go and give them to God and be the best person I can be today. Because fear is crippling. And I don't want to be grumpy Ms. Horn, I want to go to school each day excited and full of anticipation for the great and wonderful adventure that is Kindergarten. 

Some weeks we have Fantastic Friday. Some weeks we have Flexible Friday. Some weeks it is Fabulous. Today was just Freaky Friday. Okay, I was just hanging on waiting to reach my destination. Now it's the weekend and almost Saturday (and now it is officially Saturday) and I have SO MUCH TO DO. I guess I'll just tackle one piece at a time. I finished my Five for Friday and I am determined to have a more positive post next week. Good thoughts and prayers will not be discouraged. 

Hop over to Doodle Bugs for more random Fives. Most of them will be much more upbeat than mine tonight. Because who wants to read about all this worry and fret? I promise, I'll find something more positive to post next Friday. 

My gratitude thing tonight is that next Friday is our Last Friday. Strange right? I mean, I thought it was strange when I heard of this thing that my district does. As of April 26 we will not have school on Fridays for the rest of the year. It might be a mixed blessing, I have so much to do, it might not be a "real" day off, but a day to work full-stream ahead without my students being there. I am grateful for the Fridays off that are coming up soon. Thanks for reading and caring. I am posting a gratitude list this week sometime. Either a stand alone or a Five for Friday gratitude list for the next week, but I will do it! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Random Moments

The life of a blogger.... I now take pictures of EVERYTHING. I take pictures of what I made for dinner, a plant, my pets, my kids (I took those already), new activities for school... everything. Who else has changed the number of pictures they take, or what they take pictures of? Most of my pictures this week are random and not-so-school-related, so watch for them in my Five for Friday, or some other upcoming random post.

Today I trusted my Kinders to a sub and we made the trek to Kansas to say goodbye to Grandma Katherine. Who else hates to let go of control long enough to let someone else teach their class? I hate it. But it seemed important to me to go back and pay tribute to a woman who was the matriarch of several families throughout the years and lived to be 100 years old. She was an amazing woman and it was good to be with family and celebrate her life.

I made a letter s-word write the room paper to add to centers this week. I also spiffied up the centers. I put "cool" pencils in the write the room center and put the pencil top erasers on them and finger grips.  In the writing center I added new markers, new crayons, and stickers, new stationary and different colored writing papers, as week as new envelopes and some papers for making lists, and lined paper for writing. I even brought up a table just for the writing center. Due to how small our room is, we've been getting the supplies out of the center and going to a table (desk area) to do writing centers. I wanted all that organization to stay in one place though. After commenting about photos... I didn't take a picture of this! Ugh. Maybe I'll add it later. We are still in Kansas, heading home tomorrow, after meeting up with the cousins in the morning for a cup of coffee. I took a picture of the "write the room" paper I made, which was tedious and time consuming considering I thought it would easy and quick. These were part of the reason I spent the afternoon at school on Sunday and my very own dear children walked up to the school in the afternoon because I told them we'd go find the vendor that was selling funnel cakes. I mean, who doesn't like a funnel cake? The truth be told, I don't like them as much as I thought I did. After about 5 bites, I was overwhelmed with their sugary sweetness and I forced myself to eat about half of it. Maybe I'll split one with one of my other kiddos next time. Look.... don't you just want one now?
funnel cake anyone?
Here we are doing a wiggle song. Why do I love this picture? Because you can see by the blurry bodies that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing: moving! We are wiggling to one of our favorite songs by Harry Kindergarten: If You're A Kid. They love the "and stop!" They dramatically put themselves in different positions right before the "and stop" so they can be stopped in cool poses (like in the photo).

The ice here in central/south-central Kansas is beautiful and I didn't take pictures of that either. The heavier ice is really, really pretty but it is wreaking havoc and devastation. The trees with the ornamental blossoms are suffering. The ice must really cling and get heavy because those are the branches I have seen lying on the ground the most. I hope that the budding trees will be protected inside the covering of ice, and won't die. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Let's Get Aquainted... on a desert island?

Three things I would take with me if I were stranded on a desert island? Hmmm.... There is a certain piece of literature that is helpful to my daily living that I'd like to have. And I am not going to expound on this because it is not "Christian" for me to name a book other than the bible, so I'll leave it nameless.

Secondly, hmmm. There are about a million things I would like. My kids. My dog. My KITTY! My phone. My computer. Aaaaaaaa. What to choose. I would kind of like my Kindle. But if I were truly stranded then there would not be a way to charge it. So angry birds would not save me with it's mind-numbing obsessiveness. Shucks. So.... now what? I wouldn't want textbooks, or teachers, or even students. If I could choose one other human bean, I would choose... I still can't decide! Either Sara my right now BFF or Beanhead, my life-long BFF. They each know me way too well. The kind of friend that you keep forever because they know too much! Exactly the case here. So that is the closest I can get, one of my two best friends. I could live a long, happy life deserted with either of these besties.

Third, I would want.... don't laugh too hard, bottled water. I am such a water snob. I know water is best for me but I really don't like it. I don't like the taste of it. I sort of detest it. But water. I need it to live. And I would not drink whatever I found in a stream or pond or whatever or boiled the salt out of. So... I need bottled water. I sort of like good bottled water: Dasani, Evian, Deja Blue.

Recap: number one, I would want my "book;" number two, I would take one of my BFFs; and three, I would take bottled water (really?!).

Hop over and link up.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What? Friday? Already? or Finally? Five for Friday

Whoot! Five for Friday! I look forward to this all week! Some of the best parts of my week I already posted about here! So check it out.

1. The dry spell. I know every teacher feels it. I knew it would be devastating for me because I take everything SO PERSONAL. It's been quite a dry spell. I've been banging my head against the wall about behavior management/character development since Christmas break. After awhile, it kills the joy. We've been working on becoming bucket fillers. My kiddos know that one way to fill my bucket is to give me a hug. Somehow they have started doing this during bathroom breaks (...okay.... ????), but it never ceases to make me smile and last week on the Friday that came on Thursday we even did a group hug. It was silly.  It was good. I was sad when I filled out third nine weeks report cards because I thought I'd see more magic than I did. So I fall asleep wondering how I can be a better teacher and how am I going to ensure that my students succeed both academically and socially. It's draining and I see why good teachers quit. Well, in some areas I am still seeing red flags, some social situations still perplex me, but the magic is starting again and I couldn't be happier about it.When the magic happens, that is when I start to make centers out of love, prepare intervention activities and cheerfully give up a few more minutes of "non-teaching time" to prepare to be a better teacher with a cheerful heart. 

2. What a crazy week weather-wise that is! Wednesday there was snow falling most of the day. It was too warm for it to stick, but it was dark, damp, gloomy, and cold. Yesterday it reached 70 and today it was 81 degrees when we went to afternoon recess. CR- AY- ZEE! My adorable little monkeys had a blast on the playground today! I am posting a few pictures. As I was taking pictures of them today, one student says to me "Hey! We can post these pictures on our blog!" Yes ma'am, we can!

Saydi can do pull ups! Impressive! 

"Look at me Ms. Horn!" 
While we "enjoyed" the 80 degree weather it was blowing like we were in Kansas! Hey, that sounds like something a Kansan would say. Okay, you got me there. I am and always will be a Kansas girl. This made me think of our learning time today. I was tired, the kids were tired. They were sleepy-heads even. So AFTER we did umpteen wiggle songs, we had to do some stretches. Who else has their kids do crazy weird stretches or follow the directions, imagination movement sort of stuff? We had to reach up high and grab a little sunshine and sprinkle it on our neighbor. Then we grabbed ahold of a big gust of wind and "whooshed" it all the way to Kansas! I just thought of this when we were outside and I thought of how crazy it would look to the outside world. But the kids tolerate me at the least and most of them love my goofy antics. Finally, if it wakes them up without hyping them up like speed demons, my goal is accomplished. I thought for a minute today that the wind really might WHOOSH us into Kansas as it came whipping up from Texas! 

3. Today my students were in a second grade class for a little bit and discussed Penguins. We are into penguins in our room. It was probably almost a month ago that we read the book If I Could Go to Antarctica. My class LOVED this story and will write about Antarctica to this day if I get them the chance. Anyway... someone suggested to the second grade teacher (one of my Kinders of course) that penguins live in South America. She said they didn't and looked to me for support. I said we should research it because I thought that we had just found out that they can and do live in South America, but I wanted the facts to back it up. Look it up. My Kinders knew the score, they remembered accurately. Yeehaw! Which brings me to today's writing assignment.

4. Somehow, somewhere, I have misplaced a book for my lessons. Sometimes I borrow my teaching partner's book, and sometimes I make a copy of the story. I have the textbook, really, I just don't know where. Somehow my copy for today is missing print. It looked as if it was missing print at the top and bottom of the page. I found this out AS I WAS READING! Yikes! So.... I improvised. The end of the story is missing. So we made out our own. It is a story about a girl who can fly in her dreams. My students stories mostly ended with flying to some place special. Oh... I have to share this... sorry.... ADHD is in full swing here.... one of my students who does not speak English and is not native to the United States, is enamored with Idaho. I have no idea why or where he got his infatuation. But today his story ended with the girl flying to Idaho. It was precious. Some students' stories ended with the girl flying to Mexico, or the park, or the movies.... 
I love writing! I love seeing them grow and flourish. I love their imaginations. See? Magic. I'm telling you, the magic is back. I love that we could make up our own ending to the story. I told the students to think of it in their imagination and keep it there until handwriting so we could write about it. 

5. I felt so poor as I started my five. I felt like I really didn't have enough material to write about and what in the world could I blog about. Well, here I am at number 5 and I can't decide if I should write about a random something from my personal life (I have two of them, wait, three!), or something else from school because it was adorable. Okay... school! While were having a lovely time outside today a student comes up to me and tells me some "fact" that totally doesn't make sense and I am scratching my head about this one. And I get set to argue with her and she hits me with it... "April Fool's Ms. Horn!" Ugh! I've been April Fooled! It would be so much funnier if I could remember what silly anecdote she told me. But look at this sweet face? Who would think she'd April Fool's me? 

"April Fool's Ms. Horn!"
Read em and weep people! Okay, no weeping. Just hop on over to Doodle Bugs and read em. And maybe link up. Enjoy. I know I certainly do every week. My Saturday morning ritual is to read everyone's Five for Friday and drink coffee. Happy Friday everyone! I'm off to the movie with the Redhead!