Saturday, February 28, 2009

Want to waste time???

Do you like cats?

From their mouths

One of my students sneezed during our group time of Reading Workshop. No problem, right? Wrong...he covered his nose and went and got a Kleenex. One of my students got it..."Burgers." My students couldn't leave it at that...they corrected him and said, "It's boogers." Giggles occurred...Thanks for the clarification!

Same student who sneezed came up and showed me a picture of a bunny/duck (depending on which way you look at it) and told me it was an obstacle illusion. I just grinned and agreed with him.

Flicker Friday

A day late...but this is what we ate together as a class. Made by me...yum! You should have seen the students' faces as they were trying it. My room smelled like fish that day...but it was so worth them understanding what Gooney Bird brought for lunch.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You said it...

I was conferencing with one of my students about his thinking during Reading Workshop. Problem...I couldn't read it. I handed it to him and asked him to read it to me. Problem...he couldn't read it. I said, "Well, I guess you need to rewrite it so you can read it." His friend who was sitting next to him (whom I love) said, "Jesus can read it."

Nothing left to say...I just walked away agreeing.

Their Ideas...

A while back I posted about my room and the desire I have to be as neat and tidy as the others around me. One thing that I enjoy is the student ownership of their classroom as evidenced by their signs here.

One of the classroom jobs is to take care of the computers, which he did.

I have a couple of students who stay after the bus students leave and they are dismissed. They have taken it upon themselves to name the day and write what they know will be on the board. I told the girl today that we were going to pick up new covers since we are starting The Tale of Desperaux tomorrow (so excited)...and this is what she created. If you were to walk into my room, you'd follow the arrow and then see the second sign. Very clever!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Slice from Sunday

We had finished lunch and I was dying to open my presents. Two boxes covered in a beautiful aquamarine awaited me. My mom instructed me to open the card last. I called my sister, put her on speaker phone (since she wasn't able to be there) and grabbed the boxes. I opened the first one and to my surprise (I should have known) found several small items wrapped in multi-colored tissue paper. This will be fun, I thought. As I opened each one, I laughed out loud. Decks of cards and sports beans. Inside jokes from my sister. She had told me that I would love my present...I guess I did. We recently discovered that we both love hand and foot, so now we can play when she comes up.

I opened the second box...waiting to find the gift card to Ann Taylor Loft (I always get at least one). Nope...more cards and sports beans. There has to be a catch.

Grabbing the card and ripping open the envelope proved to be even more disappointing. I was honestly expecting a check or gift card, but to my shock, there was NOTHING in the envelope but the signature from my mom telling me she and her husband loved me.

My brain started working in overdrive. My mom was videotaping this and I was trying to hold back the tears that were collecting in my eyes. She finally said, "Denny has to go get your present." Whew...I was wondering what in the world she had hidden. Was it my sister and her boyfriend hiding? A tv? I had casually mentioned wanting a new one eventually...but my stepdad brought out a white box with the word KitchenAid on it. Oh, yeah!!! A 10 speed, 5 quart, Artisan cobalt blue mixer with a handle and shield. The tears fell finally.

The reason behind wanting a mixer like this??? Other than the fact that it's awesome? My mom makes home made angel food cakes (she learned from her mother) and in January she taught me how. Now I can make my excited! A tradition lives on...

How Smart is He?

My students and I have been talking about the lessons we learn when reading. We've also been trying our hand at synthesizing and watching our thinking grow. This is what one of my boys (who is a struggling reader) came up with for Pezzettino (a book by Leo Lionni).

1. Being alone stinks like that.
2. If you have a friend, you feel good.
3. If your heart is weak, you won't be able to love.
4. Even if you're by yourself, you can be tough with God.

It just melts my heart. Can't wait to share this with the class tomorrow.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So Cute...

I think my blog is cute...maybe not all of the posts, but the background. Thanks to my "working" on school stuff, my friend Sarah showed me where I could get new backgrounds. Enjoy all of you bloggers!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Flicker Friday

I took this over Christmas break when we had an ice storm...breathtaking!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Day

Today was a great day. It was a long day, but well worth it. We held a celebration tonight in honor of their non-fiction books they wrote. I had several parents say thank you and tell me what a great job I am doing, but what I am most proud about is the fact that 11 out of 14 writers came. They came back to school and brought their parents. They read their books to their parents and they read each other's writing. It was a beautiful night and makes long days well worth it when they end the way today did.

And tomorrow is another exciting day because we're going to create Flubber...I'm sure there will be pictures!

Turn your head...but these flowers I got for free!!! I asked our local floral shop if they had any flowers they were going to part with and could I use them for our celebration? Ask and you shall receive!

A Helpful Reminder...

Because my kids need stayed clean today!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Synthesis Thinking...

I was using a spiral lollipop to help explain synthesis to the class. But first I asked how they thought it related to synthesis. I had previously made a cake with them to demonstrate that many "thoughts" go together and create something new.

Here is what they said -

- it's good.
- ideas are swirling around.
- mixture of ideas - questions, predictions, inferences, etc.
- one big idea - come up with something new
- grows like our thinking grows
- we keep on learning

Not bad for second grade!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anyone else feel the pressure?

I'm a pile may look like there is lots of clutter, but I know what's in the piles and where they are (unless someone moves it on me).

Does anyone else feel the need to conform though? I was in another co-worker's room and noticed that her room seemed like nothing was out of place. I got to thinking, why can't my room be like that? My students have stuff overflowing off their desks and out of their desks. I picked up 34 items off of the floor this morning before the kids came.

I think there's a balance, but...what is it? I feel like my room is lived in, worked in, loved in...but does the clutter come across as negative rather than positive?


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Doldrums

I am having the doldrums...maybe it's when I become overwhelmed with work. Currently, I am trying to challenge 5 students who are very bright and need a push, but two of them keep pushing my buttons by not working when they're supposed to be, work with 4 students that have IEP's, remediate students who are behind in reading and writing, push the students that are at the middle of the road, work with one student who I am not sure if they have something that affects their learning academically and/or socially, and set up a behavior contract with another student who has every right to be an upset little child. That would make any non-educator any educator. I know we all have things that cause us to be tired and down in the I am going to make this week a week where I take one thing at a time...nothing more, nothing less. And I'm really excited to get back into my routine of working out...that will most likely help a lot!!!

Green Grass

They always say that the grass is greener on the other side and it definitely sometimes seems that it is. Today, I am blessed and amazed at how many people love me and the support of my friends, family, and church family. For those who don't know, there's no easy way to say it, other than I'm no longer dating the guy...I'm not going to bash him. Rather I'd rather write about what I learned about myself...I have no regrets. I put myself completely out there and didn't hold back. After having read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, I know that I need to be open to "love" and I'll never find it, if I'm not willing to risk getting to know someone and take the chance of being hurt.

What did I learn? I learned more about what I want in a guy and in a relationship, that I am comfortable with my physical body, and know that I am pretty. I have learned that I need to stop overanalyzing (as much as I can), that there are relatively good guys out there, and God's best is ultimately what I matter how much it might hurt at the time.

What's next? I don't know...but I'll update if there is anything.