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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Five for Friday on Saturday.... Christmas style (bah humbug)

Sadly, my laptop bit the dust last weekend.  Amazingly enough, my friend is lending me his desktop.  I haven't figured it all out yet and I emailed all my photos from my phone to myself this week so I could still post my five! Five for Friday (which often happens on Saturday for me), a weekly linky hosted by Doodlebugs. Read about everyone's week!

1. Holidays. I am just going to take a minute to be honest here. The holidays invoke in me all sorts of things, the least or which are peace or joy.  It wakes the "keeping up with the Jones's" beast, the perfectionistic (it has to be perfect or my "fill in the blank.... friends, children, students, colleagues" won't like anymore) beast, the "grass is greener" beast, and the general selfish, greed-monger that says that I need more, more, moRE, MORE. I need more gifts to give, more goodies to share, more projects to do, more. And holiday blues run rampant as well.  Mostly it's a guilt-filled thing because I snapped at my child when I should have, could have shown love and kindness and patience. I could have shown her the path to serenity but I didn't. Then there's that illusional (disillusional?) perfect relationship that is portrayed on the radio, in Christmas carols, Christmas movies, COMMERCIALS, and everywhere in-between. Every year, I want to hang some mistletoe and just see what happens. Kind of strange because there are no prospects on the horizon! I will pull it together and it will all work out, but this is the "usual" start to my holiday season. And the instant the majority of my kids leave to visit other families I will cave in to the lonesome Christmas blues (so if you wanna see an ugly sight there's one that will commence around here on Christmas Day in the afternoon). Sorry, but I am blurter, and it carries over to my blog and this has been a real battle this week. So now that it's no longer hidden and lurking, maybe it will lose its power.

2. Okay, since you've just read my confessional about frazzled-mom syndrome, you will completely "get" that it didn't matter HOW LATE I was up, my daughter's classroom treats were going to be amazing! Or pretty darn close! We made these same cupcakes 2 years ago, but they turned out oh-so-cute this time and I have to say, my cream cheese frosting had a large portion of awesome in it! 
I couldn't get a great picture, they really are not all mis-shapen and elongated and such.
They really were pretty awesome. 

3. Go with the flow. So much easier said than done. But there comes a point in all the holiday buzz when I say, these students don't need one more person telling them to crack down and get serious so how can I have some fun with them and still incorporate some learning? We had a snowball fight in second grade guided reading and also in Kindergarten guided reading. Second graders have been reading and learning about snow in my group for about a week and so I put questions or directions on their snowballs.  It worked like this: we numbered off, split up, and everybody got a snowball. Then I said go and they started throwing! Then I said, "freeze!" and we sat down with some popcorn and juice, opened our snowballs and answered them. I also read them my favorite snow story of all time, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. We discussed the images that the words bring to mind and then how the illustrations are so captivating and draw the reader in. Then we wrapped up our session with one last round of throwing snowballs. One of our reading assistant's left early on her trip to Texas for the holidays and I absorbed her guided reading group, making my group a whopping 10 students on Friday morning. So... I made snowballs with Kindergarten sight words that they have already learned.  We threw, read the snowballs and then colored a snowman color-by-sight-word freebie from the Moffat Girls! They have some awesome stuff. 

Below are pictures of the second grade groups experience! 

Here are what the snowballs looked like before they were crumpled and thrown.
Here is my all time favorite snow book. Check it out for yourself if you are not like me and have it memorized from your own childhood! 

4. Christmas joy. My 17 year old hung out before a Dr. appointment so I could finish my planning.  Here is what happened to the white board! Which also begs me to say, "have you seen Frozen yet?" We went as a family and we all loved it. My own kids visiting me at school = joy.

Student love = teacher joy. One of my second graders wrote a poem last weekend and couldn't wait to show it to me on Tuesday (I was home with a sick kid on Monday).

 Here is the note that a student brought me this week! This is from a second-grade guided reading student! I have a happy teacher-heart when I receive gifts like this!

More student love. One of my students gave me this JOY ornament which I added to the special ornament wall in the hallway.  It brings me joy to teach students to read. I brings me even more when they get how important it is and that I truly want good things for them!

5. My little choir kid. This girl is learning so much in the McPherson Arts Council Children's Choir.  One thing she is learning is perseverance. She doesn't like memorizing words and learning the songs, but she is getting SO MUCH better at it. And since she has been working so much harder and achieving this, she likes choir more. Loves it. They performed a Christmas Cantata with the adult choir at the First Christian Church last weekend. It was lovely. And can I just brag a little bit? She has raised nearly all her funds for her Choir trip over Spring Break! We entered this last fund-raiser owing $411 and she now owes $34. I think we will be able to get this last little bit donated no problem! I am so proud of her! 

Sunday morning was not a "required" performance, so not all the Children's
Choir was present. I didn't get a picture in the evening when all were there and
they wore their uniforms.
Random things from a random week (or is the proper term for that week before Christmas "chaotic week"?). I crammed a lot into my five. I am going to try to break this habit and blog more often.  Wish me luck! 


  1. Cute cupcakes! I always think it's fun to make them into something : )

    FYI I’m having a giveaway at my blog for my 32-pg place value book (PDF version)--if there are enough entries everyone will be a winner! Feel free to share about it and enter.

    Lucy Kids Math Teacher

  2. So neat that your kiddo is learning great skills in the choir. I hope you have a very merry and special break from work.

    1. Thanks! Have a great break yourself!

  3. Hello! I found you on the Five For Friday link-up. Snowy Day was the first book I ever got in a book order in first grade - which was 47 years ago - and, it is still one of my favorite books. I do think the cupcakes are adorable, and I bet the cream cheese frosting was delicious. I love that your daughter visited you in class.
    Happy Holidays!

  4. Hello from a fellow Okie! I love using snowballs in my classroom! It is a nice change of pace! I'm a new follower! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    The Aud Classroom