Social Media Icons

 photo CarrieH-Email_zps4241b962.png  photo CarrieH-Facebook_zpsf1571023.png  photo SocialMediaIcon1_zps5c7e5298.png  photo CarrieH-SocialMediaIcon_zps6e33496e.png

Saturday, June 28, 2014

In Search Of.....

Hello friends! I had the best of intentions of getting my mind and blog in order for my Five for Friday, but that didn't really happen. Today I woke up thinking that I really want to re-read some books I have started previously. But I need a partner in crime. Does anyone want to be my reading buddy/accountability buddy/study partner? Here are books I am interested in reading: Guided Reading: The Next Step; and/or The Daily Five. Last summer my vision was short, let's just be honest. I just couldn't wrap my head around teaching grade levels above first grade and so when it started talking about teaching guided reading in Third and Fourth Grade I just couldn't stay interested. I am embarrassed to say that since I taught guided reading for a year and I taught it through Fourth grade. Now I will have fourth graders in my classroom. What a huge transition. I think I am ready. I have a made a huge mental shift this year and I have gained so much experience and knowledge about teaching reading to multiple grade levels. But I digress. I am really looking for someone to read this book and discuss it with me. Any takers? And/or The Daily Five. I think re-reading The Daily Five would make it easier to teach guided reading and I think reading the Guided Reading book would have a completely different meaning for me this summer. So I am in search of a partner to hold me to my task at hand! Help!

I am also in search of: Pen Pals. I am looking for Fourth grade, Third grade and Second grade pen pals. I won't have a lot of each grade level. But I want them to interact with other students through email and/or Skype, or maybe Facetime. I am not familiar with Facetime yet, but we have apple computers in our classroom.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday!! June 27

It's Friday! Time to link up with Casey at Doodlebugs! Time to read about everyone's week and get some ideas and share some too!
1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear week. We read, we discussed the characters, the colors, and then we sorted M & M's. Yum. We were forced to consume the final sort! *sigh* Hard work, but someone has to do it! 

2. Baked potato and frosty from Wendy's. It sort of defeated the purpose of tutoring when we spent more on a convenient dinner than we made!  But the other way of looking at it is that we would not get to go out, even for fast food, if not for tutoring. We tried to make it in time for the Mac Dog Park fundraiser, but we missed it by a few minutes. However, we did find food that the gluten free Punkin can consume, so that was awesome. She said, "this is awesome, you should take a picture!" So I did. 

3. More Brown Bear! We cut and glued this sequencing paper. Then we "read" it! The students know all the words by looking at the picture prompts. Pretty cool. 

4. Mt. Hope Elementary School. I couldn't figure out how to share the Youtube video and perhaps I am not supposed to, it is "unlisted" on youtube. But there's a great promo video about the school and I am really excited now (again? still?) about the upcoming year. I am also concerned.... can I do it? It's a tall order. And the shift for my child.... can she do it? Elation/deflation. Sometimes at the same time, but I am so thrilled to be taking on Project Based Learning (PBL) and teaching in a place that meets those needs for a world that is "outside" the box. Feeling Blessed. 

I am pasting in link, I don't know if you'll be able to use it. But it's exciting. :)

5. It is harvest time in Kansas. If you live in Kansas you know what this means. If you live on a farm, you won't read this for several days yet. Happy Harvest! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Casting out the self-doubt and KNOWING I found the right place for me to be

Most of you know that my heart is overflowing with elation, gratitude and anticipation right now. I wanted to take a minute (?) and reflect. For this last year I have been questioning the powers that be (school administrators, God, myself... don't take that wrong, I am just saying I have some influence over what happens in my life), and asking (crying? whining? perhaps) why (insert whiny voice here), oh why, do I not have my very own classroom? The answer came this week. The job I was offered will have definite challenges, and I am more than a little bit terrified. It is not the job for just anyone. But the reason for that is because God saved it just. for. me. It is the "just right" job for me. When Mr. Martens called to offer the position he said I could have 24 hours to think it over and I told him that I didn't need it. Everything can look "just right" on paper and if there is a bad vibe, or a communication snare (let's be honest, some people intimidate me), or a general difference of teaching philosophy, then it is probably not meant to be. Now don't take that too seriously, I think God has allowed me, asked me to, or "let me" work outside of my comfort zone many times and it is good to learn from the materials, the people, the karma. But I knew from the ease of discussion with my new teaching partner and with my new principal that I was in for the right job. I didn't need to sleep on it or pray about it or discuss it. All I have done for a year is pray about it and wait (and none too patiently either)! I know me and it is necessary to have a healthy respect for the person who is your supervisor. It is also necessary to know that they are on your team and you are stranded together and that just like in marriage, you are stronger because you're wrapped up in the same general goals. So I knew that I would thrive in this job. And guess what? I am a force to be reckoned with. I say that jokingly and yet.... each one of is. When we believe in ourselves and we feel empowered to follow our passion, we have the power to change the world. I may not change the world, but I will definitely leave a mark. And I don't mean like.... "ouch, that's gonna leave a mark!" The other day I plead with God, all the way to Mt. Hope (and since the bridge is out, that 45 minute drive was more like 55 minutes to an hour), to just let me be genuine and authentic and that I would not be too crushed if this were not "the job" for me. And I walked into the longest teacher interview I have ever been in. And I don't mean that the time dragged (drug?) on and on, but it was literally an hour and half before it was all said and done and I said to myself, "wow, that time went so quickly." That is how I anticipate my year to go.... so quickly, in a double-edged-sword kind of way.... exhausting and energizing... all at the same time! I am not good at interviews, so when I was able to relax and be myself and have no doubts about my thoughts and beliefs (I don't know why I doubt myself, it never changes my beliefs), I knew that if the offer didn't come in, this was not the right job. So many times I go into interviews and I fail to show who I am and my passion for teaching and then I am crushed that they couldn't see me and chose someone else. But this time, I know I was genuine and that if I got the job, it was meant to be, and that if I didn't get the job it was meant to be. I sometimes fail at selling what I have and sometimes that is because in interviews I feel like I am supposed to sell something that I don't have. And I know it's part of the game, but I've decided not to try and sell a set of goods I don't possess. End of story.

I love the staff at the school that I worked in this last year. They are amazing and I call them my colleagues. And they are in so many ways. They cheer me on, they help me succeed, they applaud, they hold me up, and they are (gently) honest with me. It's not because I am special, it's because they are. They do this for any/every person who ventures there. It is a true blessing. I have no regrets that I taught in a classified position this year. I learned SO MUCH. I made so many friendships! The kind that will last my entire teaching career. And here's the butt.... but for as much as I applaud Cody and think he's a wonderful and powerful presence in their building, he intimidates me. Which means that sometimes I am able to be myself around him and sometimes I withdraw into this quiet, uncertain person. Or else I use bravado, which looks like arrogance. Neither is very attractive and both will hurt me as I strive to be the best teacher I can be. This is an area I must work on. Even very charismatic people like Cody, should not intimidate me.  I am a great teacher and I have a lot to offer. (How's that for humility?). I realize that as time wears on, I will grow in this aspect. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

If I had not worked with so many grade levels this past year (ironically, Kindergarten through 4th grade), I would not have known that I can do this job. Were it not for the encouragement of my colleagues, and let me just say... the Second Grade Teachers, I would not have known that I was able to plan extension type activities, the type of activities that cements learning into young minds and makes them thinkers instead of copiers. I would still have the dream, it's always been there. But I wouldn't have had the confidence born of being scared to death and saddling up anyway (thanks John Wayne for that great quote). Missy kept telling me that one day I would know God's plan for me. And I have enough experience to know that there are some things I will never know the why of it, but I can see so much more clearly now!

What a blessing. It is going to be a great adventure. I feel like God has handed me the exact job I desired and it isn't because I "deserve" it, (I AM qualified, don't mis-read that), it is because He chose to do it out of His great love for me. For me! So happy father's day God, I am so glad you love me and show me your love.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Searching for resources and overflowing with gratitude....

Good morning to my beloved blogging community. I did my best to sleep last night, but I started tossing and turning and generating about 100 ideas a minute somewhere around 5 o'clock this morning. This was with the help of some melatonin! (Can you say excited?!). In so many ways, I am a first year teacher again and yet.... The biggest difference I see is that I trust myself more and realize that my ideas are valid and good. And I know I can draw off the incredible mentors I have already had in my young teaching life (wait for minute while I tear up thinking of each one of you). But there are many paths to forge and I will take them on with a vengeance.

I found and created a teacher/student blog site a couple weeks ago at the request of my daughter, who wants to blog about her feelings about bullying and to encourage kids not to bully. Seriously, I say no to this kid a lot, but who could say no to a request like that?

About a year ago, many of my bloggy friends were talking about the option to text parents without giving them your phone number. It is a free app. Help! If you do this, or know about it, can you steer me in the right direction?

More help! I am THRILLED about this.... my students will have one-to-one laptops in class. As I understand it, the 5-8 class will be issued a laptop to take home, but my kids will not. I am not complaining, I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that we will have this much access. Now.... since I don't exactly know my class population yet, I can't be sure what my needs are, but I do know that I have friends that work with students of all ages, so please comment or email me ways that you use technology/computers in your classroom.  I am not concerned about finding useful ways for 2nd, 3rd, 4th graders to use the computers, but I know there are wonderful resources out there for Kindergarten and 1st also.  Any insight shared for any of these grade levels will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Lastly I just want to say that I am sure I will forget someone instrumental, but here are few of the people I thank God for (in regard to learning to teach, and to becoming a better person) on a regular basis....

I am so fortunate to know these people: Stephanie Hamilton, who has taught me so much about using positive classroom management, building relationships, and focusing on positives in people; Kim Herron, an incredible and innovative sixth grade teacher with passion for teaching and reaching students that makes me exhausted just thinking of it, I hope to catch just an nth of your passion; the fabulous mentors/supervisors I have had in this journey so far: Kelli, Jana, Cody, Melissa Watson, Janice (and all you Academy C girls, I love you and miss you); and colleagues the likes of Melissa Beede and Emily Greer, and the rest of the staff at LES really.  I have said this before, but I had no choice but to succeed there, because of the great people. I am so grateful my friends, church buddies, recovery people, blogger friends, and my colleagues have held me up in prayer. I don't think the journey is over, but I certainly think it would short-sighted of me not to take a minute to be grateful for all the success as human-beings that I have seen, and the great examples of how to live my best life.

Sorry, that was rather personal, but if you know me, you already know I am a personal kind of gal. And I'm sentimental on a regular basis.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Time for Lucky Five for Friday the Thirteenth.....

Yay! It's time for Five for Friday. It's time for my favorite linky party of the week! I am linking up with Doodlebugs to tell about five random things from me week. And I finally feel like I have something to share!

1. This is not the first day this week that this little one has worn shoes like this. On this particular day, she had two right feel instead of two left feet. She walked to the library and back like this! 

2. Exploring magnetics at the library. We had a scientific adventure at the library this week! Lots of fun! 

3. Um... yeah. Ms. Carrie forgot to start Father's Day Projects early in the week and I didn't think about the fact that I had Thursday off. Oops. So today we quickly.... very quickly.... made a Father's Day Card.  I typed up and printed out a little poem on my lunch break to put inside, we painted our finger tips the colors of the rainbow, and then painted one hand yellow. We put the rainbow on front and added "clouds" with the words Happy Father's Day and the year 2014. Inside we pasted in the poem and the hand and then students signed their name. 

4. The upside to tutoring at the library! I checked out three just-for-pleasure books. However, drumroll.... I might be too busy to read much, because..... 

5. I got a job!! I got a J. O. B. !!! I will be teaching in a very small elementary school, teaching grades K through 4 in a town about 40 miles from here! I am ecstatic! I will be stretching students to think deeper and we will focus on project based learning! Whoot! We are doing a happy dance at our house! 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Five for Fraturday

I can't seem to get my five in on Friday! Eeks! Seems like it should be getting easier since I am not teaching this summer, right?! But being a working girl is exhausting! It's time for Doodlebugs weekly linky and time to see what everyone else is doing this week!

1. This week we read Laura Numeroff books in the 3/4's classes. It was themed If You Give a Mouse a Cookie but we read a lot of them. And did activities that were from If You Take a Mouse to School also. I love these books. Yesterday my students and I made up some stories putting in their names and saying what they would do... "If you give Ms. Carrie a cookie, she will ask you for _____________".  Then we kept building on it. It was hard for them to think about. Most of them said chocolate chips for every answer. But that's okay, they were thrilled that I used their names. :)

We made a finger mouse to wear when we read our mouse stories and we also made a little mouse brown bag puppet.  Thanks Ms. Angie for the too cute pattern for this brown bag puppet!

Mouse puppets!

aren't these adorable? 

2. Swim lessons! Now that I teach elementary school I forget that part of swim lessons at this age is just getting kids used to the water, teaching them to stay afloat, etc. I don't have photos (and boy am I glad).  We are fortunate that we have a red cross life guard/swim instructor working at the daycare, and she taught each group and we also helped students get wet, and play in the sprinkler. Can you say... exhausted?! The walk to the Y is about 2 blocks, but those little legs are tired after we walk there and walk back and swim in between.

3. Library time! Whoot! We also walked students to the library on Wednesday! This was a fun and exciting addition to our week! It is amazing how this half hour activity consumes our entire morning.... sunscreen, bug spray, nap mats ready for our return, and review the rules, walk to the library, walk back....

4. Let the tutoring begin! I started tutoring one my Lions from school. We are just trying to maintain his reading level since he was caught up and AT GRADE LEVEL at the end of the year! Are you all doing a little jig? I think that anytime a struggling reader is caught up with their class everyone should celebrate! If you need a quick jig to get your happy on I have included the Big Pig Song to dance to.


 p.s. I am going to start working with another student this week and she is in the same situation, she grew leaps and bounds this year and is currently reading at grade level! How exciting?! I just love being a teacher!

5. The Art Council Children's Choir gave it's final performance of the season last night at the Relay for Life. I love my little choir member! Not to mention that I am SO PROUD of her!! 

That was our week in a nutshell! Or in five random tellings. Now to relax and enjoy the weekend and get ready for another busy week! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Currently....

It's a new month! Hooray! I can't believe it! It's time for Currently with Farley. Here we go....

Listening:  My daughter is watching Johnny Test. There's no escape from it! Help!

Loving: I made fruit salad with home grown strawberries yesterday and put 100 strawberries in the fridge. Hooray! There will be more to pick after work today!

Thinking: I am always thinking about the future. I am still hunting for a teaching position.

Wanting: an easy button. Sometimes life feels hard.

Needing: time with my besties would really improve my outlook on life about now.

Bucket List: I have been talking about painting my living room for a year. It is time to just do it! I still have a tub full of stuff I never got unpacked when we moved back last summer! I also have a ton of organization that can be completed in the basement now that the work is done!  I want to Mushroom Rock State Park with kiddos this summer and I also want to go to Guymon and visit my friends and colleagues from last year. Miss them.

I can't wait to read and find out what everyone else is doing this summer! Happy June everyone!