Sunday, December 30, 2007

Challenge - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
I am offering a challenge to all who read my blog...I did this last year and finally opened it and read it this year...confused yet? I wrote a letter to myself last year telling about my highs, my lows, what I wanted out of 2007, what was going on around me at the time of 2006...Today, I wrote my letter for 2007 BEFORE I read last year's letter. I hope this becomes a pattern in my life, where I take more time to reflect on the past to help shape my future (for the better). I then gave the letter to a trusted friend who mailed it to me whenever they got around to it...I held onto the letter and didn't open it until the end of this year. I had my small group girls do it last year. I am interested in hearing what they thought of their letters (if they feel like telling me), but would love to hear how many of you accept the challenge!!! If you want to, feel free to give me the letter in a sealed envelope and it'll find it's way back to you in several months!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snow Days

Ugh! I am getting tired of being in my house! I was really looking forward to having a work day today...I have so much still to get done this week at school. I was planning on having the kids walk to the post office to drop off their written letters...we'll see if that can still get squeezed in. We're going to watch The Polar Express because we'll read the book and then do a Venn diagram to compare/contrast (woo hoo!). And of course there's the ornaments still to make (sorry to all of my parents who it may no longer be a surprise). And yet still in there, we'll do math (telling time and adding), a couple of worksheets to review when to use commas, learning that readers questions as they read (that's why I'm at the library right pick out some great books), and finish up their letters (only 4 to go). And only three days to accomplish it!!! Oh yeah, I forgot...I want to do centers involving words too: antonyms, synonyms, and compound words. We'll see what gets actually accomplished!

Friday, December 14, 2007


We went and saw Cinderella today. It was the Rodgers and Hammerstein version (spelling?). It was so neat to watch my kids through the show. Their faces were so sweet and especially one boy who just lit up when he caught the humor. He's currently studying the Titanic...isn't it cool what reading does? I also loved how they were predicting and inferring throughout the show.

In January, we are going to study non-fiction and the art of questioning. I am going to start questioning next week. Does anyone have great books they use that spark lots of questions?

Should be interesting...I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Going Nuts...

I think I am going nuts...I am letting cardboard take over my classroom, I cannot access school e-mail here (the third day without it), and I'm fretting over phone calls and what a boy thinks about me...I am going nuts! I've almost filled one of my first journals (Ruth would be so happy). Probably by the end of tonight, it will be full and I'll have to start a new one. It's almost refreshing with the thought of starting a new journal. It's a new me who's writing...someone healthier, happier, and closer to God (hopefully than when I started the journal 4 years ago). Right now, this is a random blogging, but it allows me to get my thoughts out, which I normally do in quick e-mails to thanks for reading and tune in to see the destruction of my brain. (not really)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Transferring their Knowledge

I have two great stories that illustrate the transferring of what happens in class to my students' brains...A mom shared with me as her child was drinking out a Styrofoam cup that had a lid on it. She took off the lid and was staring into the cup with one eye. When the mom asked what she was doing...she replied, "I am going to peer into my cup." I put up our vocabulary poster and peer is one of our words...Go vocabulary!

Then this morning in our morning meeting, I greet the children, sometimes with new languages. Today, we practiced Aloha...which means: hello, good-bye, and I love you. After the students practiced it...I turned our attention to our reading workshop. We wrote all of our schema for Cinderella. One boy stated that the prince wanted Cinderella to stay because he liked her. I said, "Yeah, he liked her, he loved her." Then one of our boys said, "He aloha(ed) her." (not sure about correct spelling, but putting it how he said it)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Deep Thoughts

On a snowy, wintery day, where I am at the library working on school stuff since we have no brain is overwhelmed with many thoughts. Thought I'd write them out because then my brain always seems to feel better.
  • After attending the Carl Anderson study group, I want to make sure during my conferences that I am showing kids in their writing (and reading) how a writer does something, why, and how I do it (since I'm also a writer).
  • I am amazed at how patient I think I am, but yet I'm not. I was checking my e-mail to see if my friend wrote me back yet and was surprised when I was disappointed that she hadn''s only been 10 minutes since I sent it. I feel like in this day and age and especially in my own life, there are things that I expect to happen right away...students to learn basic math concepts (don't you know how to borrow YET?), losing weight (but I ran more than I did last week), spiritual concepts and discplines, and even receiving phone calls (however, I am starting to convince myself that even though he got the number, he won't be calling...I mean, come on, it's been over 10 days since he got it...but out of all of the things I want to wait on, that's the one I really don't want to).
  • The other night I just felt of the things I enjoy the most (when I actually do it) is reading over past journal entries, reflecting, and then writing. I feel like most of the junk that I am carrying around is then lifted off of me and vanishes. So I got my journal out and wrote. I think I haven't journaled in a while because that journal is almost full. Did you know that I have NEVER completely filled a journal? I am almost sad. When I look back and reread, I am sometimes amazed at what I write in it...some very profound thoughts come out of me (thanks only to God). I do have a new's green (my favorite color) and says the word LIFE on it. I am hoping that in my new journal that I begin to see what the abundant life is all about.
  • Wish I would have started sooner - I saw in another elementary classroom where they post ONE vocabulary word a week for kids to practice using in their vocabulary. They then keep up the past 9 others and bag the old ones. Kids have access to them if they want to use them in their writing. We have two words up: peered and jubilant. More info will come as I discover how it affects my students and their work.

On just another note, I just want to say thanks to all who read my blog. It means so much to me, that you would take time to hear what I have to say and then even possibly comment on it. I've actually had a couple of parents who read my blog and I also want to say, what an honor it is to have your child in my class. I am blown away by my class this year and it makes me want to be the best possible teacher for them. They deserve so much!