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Friday, May 31, 2013

Testing! Testing! BlogLovin?

Please help me out. At the top of my blog is a brand new oh-so-awesome link to BlogLovin. Can you click on it and go there and then leave me a comment telling me how painless and great it was? Thanks! Thanks Lauren at TeachPrayLove Designs for your help! You are amazing!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More about BlogLovin'

I have to claim my blog, so that BlogLovin' knows that I am the author of this blog. So here it goes: <a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

The next step is to find out how to make a button. Baby steps! One step at a time.

BlogLovin.... help!

The way I read you all's blogs is when I go to my dashboard I go to the page that shows "all blogs" and it says, Reading List: all blogs. Then scroll through and read the synopsis and when I have time I read the posts. Is that going to change? I think I understand that the way my blog is followed (and how I follow others) is going to change.  At first I thought this wasn't going to change for me because I don't use Google reader (right?). But I am realizing that this a big change, affecting us all. I figured out how to sign up for Blog Lovin' and imported the blogs I follow. Now I think the next step is to add the option on my page. Is that all there is to it?
~Clueless in the panhandle....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five For Friday!

Hop over to Doodlebugs and link up people! Or just read and enjoy and smile.  That is what I do. Read, smile, repeat. And comment and add new friends. Five random things from your day or your week.

1. My Punky auditioned for and was accepted to the McPherson Arts Council Children's Choir.  I am so excited for her! They are going to Nashville, TN for Spring Break! The director encouraged the MACCC kids to donate a case of water to tornado victims so we did! I can only see good things coming out of this! My girls are not athletic and I have never been a soccer mom.  They haven't done great at following through with musical instrument lessons, tae kwon do, dance, etc. But I am super excited about this! Being a part of something bigger than herself is going to change my child, whether she realizes it or not!

I am having so much turmoil about leaving. Last night our local emergency crews were collecting donations at a local bank. I just thought about what a great community I am a part of and then I was sad that I am leaving. 

2. End of year packet for kiddos.  I put in 2 laminated sheets and an fine tip expo marker.  One sheet listed high frequency words that students should practice and I gave suggestions about how to practice.  The back side of this list has lines for writing on it. The next paper is name writing practice! I got worksheets from and made their first and last name to practice. I put in two envelopes, one is blank, and one is addressed to Ms. Horn.  I put in two of our handwriting sheets so they could write and illustrate! I put in 2 pieces of sidewalk chalk and one piece of colored chalk and a pencil. I also put in a bookmark where they can record the books that they read. We took photos during Pioneer week and never got them posted anywhere, so I put in their photo! It ain't much, but it's something.

3. Our little friend Tyler came back to visit yesterday on the last day. He moved to an adjoining town and his school let out last week. Tyler was a valuable part of our Kindergarten Class Family and we really missed him! Thanks Tyler for coming to visit!

4. Last day of school! Here are two cuties. They are my cuties!

almost a senior! 
Last day of 3rd grade! 
5.  School's Out for Summer!! Here it is, Alice Cooper's "School's Out"! Students left at 2 on Thursday. I had an inservice and workday on Friday, but school is officially over! And no, I do not have my room all packed up yet, but I am taking the evening/night off to just glory in the fact that school is out!

We've agreed (well, okay, I told the kids... ) that tomorrow we start WORKING. Packing at home, packing at school, catching up laundry, packing, cleaning and well, you get the picture.  IF we work hard tomorrow we will play on Saturday by going to the museum in Liberal. Whoot! I didn't want to waste time that I could be using to work on my bucket list.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer Bucket List!!!

I've been dying to fill out this bucket list! And now that the time has come I am dragging my feet. One reason is because then it means my first year of teaching is over. And once summer begins so does the reality that I still don't have a job. I will be a fabulous teacher wherever I go. But I will be a better teacher if I have the summer to acclimate to my surroundings (just sayin'). *sigh*

1. My teacher clipboard.

I bought the stuff to make this LAST year (2012) Spring Break.  I planned to make this over the summer. Well, maybe over Christmas break.... it's summer again! Maybe I will actually get it done now! 

2. Make Bandana dress for my neice.  

3. Move. Okay, not really a "bucket list" item, just reality. There is joy and sorrow in this. I cannot wait to be back in my home! I don't look forward to packing up all this stuff. Ugh. And packing up all this stuff. And have I mentioned.... I don't really look forward to packing up all this stuff. That is because I have too much stuff. But it is something we are doing and it will take a lot of time and commitment. 

4. Paint, organize, unpack. I kind of want to do a little painting in my old new house. "Huh?!" You might say.  Well, my old house, where we used to live, and we are moving back into, is really a new house built for us only five years ago.  So that is why it is my old new house. 

5. "Move into a new classroom" she says optimistically. With that comes organization, preparation and more organization.  Here is something that would make an awesome addition to a reading center! Praying for J.O.B. is what I am doing. 

6. Hopefully a new school to learn curriculum for. So... reading is on my list! Reading and PD. I want to become more educated this summer. 

7. Read for pleasure! I want to indulge in a good book or two or three. Maybe the new murder mystery club book.  I don't think I've read book number 11, but if I have, the 12th book just came out as well! 

8. Explore! Adventure! Time with loved ones! I want to visit the Sedgwick County Zoo with my kids and grandkids. I want to go to Coronado Heights for a day. If you live in or near Central Kansas, you should check it out: Coronado Heights, Lindsborg, Kansas.

9. More exploring! I want to spend a day in Liberal before we head home: there is the Air Museum, the Dinosaur exhibit (housed at the air museum), and Dorothy's house

10. I really, really, really want to take my kids somewhere before we move. I want to visit the four corners, or some place in New Mexico, or Amarillo. Because we are so close to these places right now and in a month they will be a far cry from us again!

That is my bucket list. I couldn't wait for the opportunity to share it to come up and then it took me all evening to put it together! Ugh! Every year at the beginning of summer we make a list of things we would like to do.  Some things can cost money, some can't. But we almost ALWAYS put a visit to Coronado Heights on the list. Tomorrow is the last day with my beloved kiddos. I have to release them and let them grow up and be ready for their next teacher.  Connect, read up, leave comments, and add your own with these Bloggy friends of mine! I am linking up through Miss Kindergarten a blog I follow! Check it out!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornadoes and My Maria, I need Help!

I have been praying for those in Moore, Oklahoma.  I don't even know what to say about that.

Help! My principal gave the custodians thank you gifts.  However.... "my Maria" was not included because technically she's not "our" custodian. I am off in the other building, away from the other girls. And the custodian that cleans across the street also cleans for the other teacher who is "displaced" in the same building that I am in. So... to get to the point of this story, the other custodian got the gift. And the custodians at my principals other buildings got gifts. Maria did not get one. She works hard. So... I was at the store tonight and I got some of those $.50 candy bars. I was going to make one of those posters that talks about how great they are using candy bars. But I just kind of went blank. If you've made some of these, give me a shout and help me figure it out. Please! Please! Please! Please! Help! I have an Almond Joy, Milky Way, Butterfinger, Cookies-n-Creme, and Payday.

Here's the update! WE (and by we I mean me) made a poster for Ms. Maria and the students all signed a paper that we attached at the bottom. P.S. I vowed not to get choked up but when Maria got choked up, I did too.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Five For Friday on May 18

Five for Friday! The favorite part of my week! Hop on over to Doodlebugs and read and link up.  Post five random things from your day or your week. Here is a glimpse at our week.

I was too tired to post Friday night, I kept falling asleep. So, here's my five on Saturday. 

1. We re-read Bear Feels Scared and students had to discuss with their carpet partner a time when they felt scared and what comforted them, or what made them feel better. We discussed how Bear felt scared but this friends helped him to feel safe and loved. I am including our list. I think this list could qualify for "kids say the darndest things." And don't judge, I did question a couple students about what they shared, but we didn't make a big deal about it in class. What I noticed was how some students could not do what I asked in fall when we read this but now every student was able to tell their partner about a time when they felt scared, and their partner was able to share what they said. I think I only had one "I forgot" when I asked a student to share what their partner said.  Whoot! We've talked ALL YEAR LONG about the value of speaking and listening and what that means when you are in school. (Okay, not ALL our class was on the carpet... there are only 11 items listed and we have more than 11 students!)

2. It is the end of the year! One day we wrote sight words on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.  That afternoon I let them take the chalk out and just play! They USED UP that chalk! It was gone! I received a very sweet note from a student. 

See my chalk! They used up their piece and came back for more! 

"It's ice cream Ms. Horn"
3. Letters of thanks. We wrote letters to Mr. Gonzalez thanking him for bringing his pony to our class.  If you missed my post, check out the Five for Friday from a couple weeks ago. These letters show how our writing abilities have progressed. One reason for this is because of the awesome rubric I keep posting about! Notice the detail in the illustrations, the colors, the attention to writing rules! Look how hard these students worked!!! Yay!

Here is the rubric, check out the post about this and how to download yours for free (and with credit where it belongs).

Here is the definition I created. 
4. Visiting Kansas! We were JUST here, this was not a planned trip.  But I had a job interview on Friday so we made the trek on Thursday night. I went to my interview, and I am still waiting to hear back about it, which is SO hard. The waiting is the hardest part! :( Well, and the disappointment if things don't go how I hope! But I digress! I went to my interview and then I drove to a town close by to see my dear friend Alyce Bartel from Mrs. Bartel's School Family! They are in the middle of a camping theme! I was able to hangout while they made a camping graph! So fun to visit other classrooms!
Mrs. Bartel creating the camping graph with her students! 
5. Family time! Last weekend we were "home" but I over-scheduled and we did not get to see my parents, on Mother's Day weekend, yikes! So I said that maybe we could go to the farm and not have a big shin-dig. My Dad tried, bless his heart, but Shin-digs are his thing. So... he got the fishing poles ready, got picnic stuff ready, and invited "The Fam." The kids just have to ride the 4 wheeler. And Grandpa has the biggest and the best, of course. We went to my uncle's pond and fished, hung out enjoying the beauty of nature and all Kansas had to offer (including sticky humidity), rode four-wheeler, roasted hot dogs, made smores, and talked and talked and talked.
Punky wanted a picture together, so here we are.

Red on the 4-wheeler

My Dad.... 

First fish of the night. 

"The view"

Punkin said she caught the most fish, but looks to me like her sis is fishing for her!! 

I love five for Friday even when it happens to get posted on Saturday (which happens frequently). I love reading about everyone's weeks, or a particular day. Happy Weekend! We have four days of school when we return! How about you? How many days do you have left?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

Hooking up with Flying Into First for the "let's get acquainted" linky.  Head over and read up or link up, or both. This week we answer the three questions. 

Linky Questions
1.  What made you decide to become a teacher?
2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?

1. What made you decide to become a teacher? Seriously... I was interested in the "time off." I know, that sounds funny now. I was working in a daycare and teaching preschool skills to three year olds, so I knew that working with children was both demanding and rewarding. I saw the parents of my daycare students pulling their children out for summer and I thought... "Hmmmm, I can do that." And after three grueling years of school, student teaching, and finally graduation, I landed that first job. I now have year number one under my belt (well, we have five more days of school). 

2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher? I think it is the progress I have seen in my little non-english speaker from Burma. He is coming so far and it is so much fun to see his growth and to talk to him now! That is my biggest reward so far this first year of teaching. 

3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be? Good question! I would most likely still be teaching preschool skills to three year olds in a daycare center.  I am grateful I am not potty training students anymore. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

End of year packets to send home with students?????

What are you all sending home with students over the summer? I am kicking around a lot of ideas in my head and could really use some input. I have some leftover prizes I might put in some little bags, and I found some name writing practice for students. I have thought about including a card addressed to me with a stamp on it and ask them each to write to me over the summer. I have such amazing bloggy teaching friends, I know you all are putting together some great packs, and I just want to glean from your wisdom! So share the love and help this first year teacher out!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

End of year reviewing, and Five classroom affirmations

This week we are reviewing basic Kindergarten skills in the common core standards. I suppose that we should try to accomplish more curriculum. But I want to make sure that my kiddos are on track for the next grade. Is that backwards thinking? I want them to review, but I also want to know what they know. I am still assessing like crazy for report cards so I thought that it would be best continue reviewing with a more flexible teaching schedule. The truth is, I don't like the days when we change our routine and schedule. Some kiddos don't do well with changing schedules, and I get the value of keeping our schedule the same as much as possible.

I mentioned our classroom affirmations recently. I got them recorded the other day. I plan to use this video next year.   I have not decided yet if we will use the same affirmations next year or if we'll make our own.  I have done a lot of voting on things with my students this year and have given them a lot of ownership in the way our classroom is run. I don't know what I am planning to do this next year. Here are my children doing their affirmations, after we say our five affirmations, we say... "let's do it!" just like a team in a huddle ready for the game! Whooo! My students who do not have a signed media release are just outside the camera range.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five for Friday!

Friday! Friday! I am lovin' this week on Friday! I can never wait for Five for Friday to get here because it's my favorite linky to read and post in! Whoot! Hop over to Doodlebugs and read up!

1. Mother's day fail. The marigolds we planted. No success. Was it my fault from not enough tlc? Was it the dixie cups? Was it all the fingers in the dirt? What was the cause of our fail? I am not sure. But Mom, you won't be getting a marigold for Mother's Day. At least not from our class. So here's the last minute project we made (parents, don't look if your Kinder did not give you their gift yet). We made tulip pictures using their hand for the flower pattern. We voted on the wording. They could choose between 1) My love for you grows and grows, or 2) My love for you grows and blooms.  They chose option number 2. I posted the sentence on the promethean and gave an example on my page.  Some students wrote the sentence perfectly, some still struggled.

Personally, I think these turned out adorable. I am more than a little disturbed that some students wrote words in no particular order and their sentences did not make sense. But overall, I was really pleased with this project. 

2. Five Classroom Affirmations. After Christmas we started watching Jessica's affirmations and we came up with five of our own. After we say all five, we finish up with "Let's do it!" It's more inspirational than any football huddle! Okay, maybe not MORE inspirational, but it is inspiring! 

3. Our Alphabet books. We are SO far behind on these! Yikes!! I am thinking of what I am going to do differently next year! I do have a plan. :) We are on Hh. If we do two letters a day we will not finish, so we will sneak in some extra times and some days we will do three letters, or maybe four because we really need to finish them this week! Here are their directed drawings and sentences. 
My example is really hard to see, sorry! 

One of the things I love is seeing the improvement of language of the little guy in the white and tan.
He told me he didn't know what to draw, so I asked if he wanted to do his drawing on the carpet to see better.
He worked really hard and did a great job! 
4. Kansas! Love it. I will miss my place in the panhandle. There are so many things I'll miss and none of them are actually things: I will miss my students of course, I will miss the girls I teach with. Those are the biggest things (that are not really things).  But I find myself getting giddy on the trip to Kansas.  We were silly and wild and crazy and goofy by the time we got to Greensburg last night! By the way.... I wondered last night if I had gone to heaven, there was green grass, so much moisture that the dandelions were growing, and green trees, and did I mention green?! I actually took a picture of the grass and dandelions on the trip.
Look Hundley (our little red dachshund)! We are not in the panhandle anymore! 
5. All School's Day! Love this "holiday!" More later. We are headed into town to find a place to watch the parade (ahem... South Main is where I'll be my friends, across from the Cake Lady)! The All School's Day parade features all the Kidnergarten classes in the county (I LOVE Kindergarten), and all the bands in the county and the surrounding counties.  It is a HUGE parade. And afterward there is the carnival.  More later, but we are late already. This is not about my current school, but about the town I call home and where I hope to one day teach. However.... I'm trying really hard not to treat God like a fast-food God: I'll take a job in McPherson with a side a fries and a large coke! I know God will place me where He wants me. Thanks God!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This, That, and the other....

Sooooo.... I was going to post on here today about the upcoming Mother's Day holiday, but I know that some of my students are planning to keep their project until Sunday, so I am trying to keep it under wraps! Boo! I want to share! I'll try to wait though.

Good news! We got back to calendar time today! Whoot! Calendar time is my favorite time.  It is also something that gets shorted, shortened, rushed, etc. So I really enjoyed having all my kiddos there this morning for calendar time!

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow... 

weather prediction!
Today we participated in "Walk Like a Tiger" and walked to the track and walked around twice.  Some of my Kinders voluntarily walked around more than twice.

When there are situations like this that are far from the norm, students get rambunctious.  Some students struggled with following directions today. I was exhausted afterward.

I have been dangling a possible recording of our classroom affirmations in front of kiddos and they've been practicing their little hearts out. I anticipate posting a video of this soon.

Tomorrow is Thursday, which is the new Friday here in the panhandle. Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Five for Friday.... rodeo-style

Today is Friday? I call it my First Saturday of the week! ha! We don't have school on Friday anymore this year. Woohoo!! Five for Friday. One of my favorite linkys. I think about it all week... what am I going to put in my five this week? Should I take a picture in case I put this in my five? Maybe I should take more pictures so that I can put this in my five. Hop on over and read about everyone's week, visit Doodlebugs and maybe even link up.

Seriously I am not sure how much of this is school related and yet, this week in my town everything is somehow related to the events of Pioneer Days and the rodeo.

1. Going to Slack. Tuesday morning we went to something called slack. These are qualifying events for the big deal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is about 10 blocks and we walked together with the other classes from our school.  Tuesday is the day that temperatures reached the 90's. So I had encouraged sunscreen, hats, and water bottles.

This little guy here had so much fun and spoke to me in English more than
he has all school year! It was so exciting! 

I love her hat! :)
2. Outdoor activities! In the afternoon, after walking and being the sun all morning we took naps! Nope, just kidding. It was an action-packed day and we played games outside with the other Kindergarten, First and Second grade classes at our school. We did a relay with dressing and undressing, an egg toss, a stick horse race, and a bucket relay with water.
Karsyn with her clothes on except she forgot her hat! 

Cooling off and getting drinks! Ah! 

Than Zaw Tun wanted me to see how much of his water he had consumed! 

I love this for so many reasons,but the biggest reason is that it shows the teamwork involved! 


Aaron is looking good! 

"It's heavy Ms. Horn!"

3. Wednesday afternoon we had a special visitor! Jose Gonzalez brought his 5 day old miniature pony foal to visit his daughter's Pre-K class! He asked if we would like to see her also. My Kinders did a great job of asking questions and after he left we made a list of all the information we gained about the horse and caring for it. This little girl is named Cookie and lives with her Mom and Dad at Mr. Gonzalez' home.  Mr. Gonzalez carried her on his shoulder like a puppy.

Look at her in our class! She's really that small! 

Students came up to meet her in groups of 3 or 4.

The first time she whinnied in our class Mr. Gonzalez said that
Cookie was saying "hello."  
We will still journal about this and include it in some writing.  This is was a fun and exciting way to learn! 

4. Kindergarten Rodeo. All the Kindergarten classes get together and do activities, usually outdoors, but it was so cold that morning! Yep, snow on the ground this morning! So activities were in an activity gym.

My station was face-painting. Unfortunately I didn't have a parent take photos of my students at all the different stations. I had 6 volunteers from a high school art class, my daughter being one of them! So... I only have photos from my own station. My students did a great job rotating with a parent and a grandparent and the volunteers did a great job also! Special thanks to Ms. Patterson's art students for helping out: Shaniece, Aurora, Felicia, Karli, Shyla, and Carolyn. 

PRCA rodeo royalty

High school volunteers.

face painting

This is my Carolyn. I was so incredibly proud of her and how she
talked to each student and engaged them and made them feel special. 

5. Rodeo! Thursday night we went to Slack in F-f-f-f-freeeeeeeezing cold! But watched some bronc riding, steer roping, and saw the Clydesdales! Whoo! It is really cool to watch those horses work as a team. Wow. 
My folks came out from Kansas. This is my Dad and I.

Aren't they beautiful?!

My daughter and I! So cool that she went and stuck it out in the COLD!
Did I mention that it was COLD?!