Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Old Loves, New Loves & My Soul is Shrinking

So, last night was Meet the Teacher for my track at my school. For those of you who are new here, I teach in a year round school. This means that I am on for about 9 weeks and off for about 3 weeks (sometimes more, sometimes less). So my current kiddos (whom I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) will leave me on Friday, and my brand spankin' new kids will come in on July 9th. I think that this is insane, I mean I haven't even sent off my current little cheese crackers and my new little firecrackers are already chomping at the bit to get in my room. 

I would love to go into a great deal of detail about my meet the teacher night, but I did make the choice to slap my name all over this blog. Any details that I would be allowed to share with you would be bland, very bland. Lets just say that next year is going to be I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T-I-N-G, and I may need to start an anonymous blog . . . . And, I think that some of these parents if they had it all to do again wouldn't have said some of the things that they said . . . or maybe they would . . .

I forgot to take pictures of everything, but trust me this classroom has NEVER been so clean or so inviting. I even played my Caribbean steel drum music and bought myself flowers to set out. 

The worst part about last night was that 3 of my current kiddos came into my room crying and one of them needed a pep talk before she could get up enough courage to meet her new teacher. Can I just say that the love I have for my little lovey dovey's is mutual, they need me as much as I need them. I guess I need to work on cutting the cord sooner next year so they are ready to sustain life on their own before they go to third grade . . .  :(
This week we have had a theme for each day: 

Monday: No SCHOOL!!! YEAH!! 
Tuesday: Snow Day in May (Thanks Rachel from A-B Seymour for the idea!) 
Wednesday: Crazy Game Day (Thanks Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for sharing!!) 
Thursday: Snuggle Up and Read Day 
 Friday: School Memories Day 

So things haven't been a total loss here, I mean I at least have had a PLAN for how the last week should go. But I am DONE. So DONE, although I love these children and would love to take most of them home with me for track out to clean my house. But, the paperwork is slowly stealing my soul. Feel me?

Do you have theme days at the end of the year? I would love some ideas for next year! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bobby the Apple

This amazing, fabulous, intense, psychotic, whirlwind school year of mine ends on Friday. I only have 4 days left with these little green beans, whom I have devoted all of my time and my soul for 176 days. It is hard to believe that in just a few short years they may not even remember my name, maybe even next year.  Hopefully if they don't remember me it will be because they felt safe and secure and nothing happened to them that was damaging in second grade. Yes, there have been times that I was frustrated with them this year, but this group of kiddos make me smile EVERY single day! They are absolutely hilarious.
Below is a picture that Jen took for me one day at recess last month. This is Bobby the apple. The little darling that is holding him adopted him as her friend instead of as her snack. On this particular day he spent a good deal of time jump roping and playing tag. Because my girls are so kind, after being introduced to this apple by little darling they immediately accepted him as one of the crew. Unfortunately, after taking a spill, Bobby had to receive some first aid. I told Jen on this day that if I could put band-aids on apples for the next 30 years then I thought that I could keep going.

So while I am TRULY looking forward to some long days on the beach, catching up on my reading and breathing and sunshine intake, I will miss the camaraderie and love that I share with these particular lemon drops. I love them so much it hurts.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sharing is Caring & Giveaway Reminder

Paying It Forward: 

I would like to share with you one of my new favorite sellers on TPT. You may have already experienced the amazing games from Games 4 Learning. Well you should SO check it out!! These four games are free and SUPER DUPER cute!

I also appreciate the person who pinned the Composing Numbers flowers from my post yesterday, it received over 300 repins! This sent me spiraling into a black hole of guilt after I realized that the person who actually created this wasn't receiving the credit. I did some internet research and found out that it actually came from The First Grade Parade. I can rest tonight knowing that the picture is appropriately sourced. Whew!

Giveaway Ending Soon!: 

Don't forget to go enter my pal Jen's giveaway before tomorrow night!!! There are 10 amazing blogs participating (myself included!). There are some terrific prizes to be had so head on over to Hello Mrs. Sykes

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fantastic Math FREEBIES and SUPER Giveaway!

Hi folks! I meant to write and and thank you each individually for your supportive comments last week but there were just so many and well I am already stressed. I did read each and everyone of them and appreciate that you took the time to say a few words of inspiration. I was in a much better place just after venting all of that and now after 2 really good nights of sleep I think that I am capable of facing my little minions again tomorrow. ;)

I wanted to share some super cool math FREEBIES that I found this week that will keep your kiddos busy for a while so you can work on end of year paperwork!!! 

1. Math Mosaics from The Lesson Cloud

2. Skip Counting Racetrack Board Game from Pitner's Popourri

3. Math Challenges from Aunty Math

4. Number Forms Shutterfold from Sunny Days in Second Grade (Yes, this is an old post but a great idea!) 

5. Composing Numbers Flowers Craftivity from The First Grade Parade

6. Real Estate Math from Teaching in Room 6 (I am super excited about this. I know my kids will LOVE it, and I know they could do the math if I pair up my high/lows!)

Okay, that's all . . . I hope you found something useful. 

Super Fantastic Awesome Giveaway!

I am also participating in a giveaway that Hello Mrs. Sykes is hosting for her 200 followers giveaway. There are 10 blogs participating in this so the winnings are HUGE! Be sure to go over and enter! She is using Rafflecopter so it is SUPER easy! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Perfect Publications, Giveaway Winner, & Guilt

Linking Up:

My first order of business tonight is to share with you my All Time Favorite Read Alouds! I am linking up with Miss. Nelson from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!!

I was planning to link up already but then she commented that she LOVES Molly Lou Melon and now like her even more! ;)

Check out my compilation:

They are all great. Read them all!!!!!! :)

We Have a Winner!!

I also need to announce the winner of the Flash Giveaway that I hosted along with Second Grade Sparkle. I am SO excited to announce that my friend Cassina from Field of Poppies is the WINNER!!!! And YES I used the random generator through Rafflecopter so no friend preferences going on here!

And I ABSOLUTELY LOVED using Rafflecopter for this giveaway and it was SO easy! (That is for all of you who haven't been brave enough to try it out!!!) 

Slightly Unbalanced (or off my rocker):

I've been particularly moody lately and thought that I may even been depressed, but I have finally found the correct label for what I am feeling. It is guilt.

My largest feeling of guilt stems from not being able to spend the time I want to with the people I love. 

My grandparents live next door and I just saw the for the first time in a month yesterday for Mother's Day. Lame. Really Lame. . . . and those aren't the only people that I am neglecting . . they are just the tip of the giant iceberg of delinquency.

I also have guilt about not feeling that I am doing my job well enough . . . when ALL I am doing is spending time on my job.

I don't even have my own children.

Why do I feel so guilty?

I should only ever have cats so I don't die from the guilt of spending all of my time with other peoples children!

Some of you know that I am second year teacher, many of you are in the same boat as me being beginning teachers. 

It is not easy and it gets more and more difficult!

Every single day.

More and more and more and more to learn about and to do and to say and to sing and to dance . . . and to illustrate and to adhere to and to follow and to lead and to RELEARN

Next year we are going to be moving to Common Core and switching rooms as we track in and out! I spend SO much time pretending that I know what I'm doing and just trying to decide just exactly how many minutes I want to spend with the Hippo group . . . ! I can't wrap my brain around learning a new curriculum!!! In fact, I have totally blocked it out and have decided not to worry about it. 

Nice attitude, right??

Sometimes it gets me thinking that I should just get a "normal" job . . . here are some prospective employment aspirations: 

1. Golf Ball Diver
2. Citrus Fruit Dyer
3. Chicken Sexer
4. Water Organist
5  Celluloid Trimmer

. . . okay j/k . . . I wouldn't last 3 seconds in a real job . . . I mean my bladder would go into hyper-shock because it wouldn't know what to do without our predetermined schedule. . . .

So now that I have labeled this feeling I have, I need to learn more about this word: BALANCE

Is it possible? Is there anyone out there who teaches and feels like they have balance in their life?? Is there a pill I can take?? ;)

On a lighter note, a month from yesterday and I will be on the beach and will have probably forgotten about all of my current stressers. 14 days. 14 days. 14 days. 14 days. 

Any encouragement is welcome. :) 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Just Call Me . . . Knot Hand & Flash Giveaway Reminder!

So Knotty: 

Well I guess you wouldn't say that I am SO knotty, just a little, like a one knot wonder. I have this hard painful knot right where my pointer finger meets my palm on my left hand. 

It hurts. I have had it for a year. It has tripled in size! SCARY! 

On Monday I realized that I was basically not using my left hand at all anymore unless I had too. I decided that it was probably time to go to the doctor. 

The news at the Doctor was that I shouldn't really be worried about it. It is a cyst on my tendon and that it doesn't seem to be going away on its on as they sometimes do since mine is getting bigger. (Yeah, lucky me!) My options are to: 

A. Take IBProfen to reduce the swelling and hopefully be able to just ignore the damn thing. 
B. Go see a hand surgeon and HAVE IT CUT OUT! 
I've decided I'll keep him. Yes him, lets name him "Marty." Now that I have given him a name we simply can't part. . . . it's just like naming a stray cat . . . right?? 

You see, I haven't had a needle stuck in my body since I was 15 and my Mom did a SURPRISE flu shot on me! Like I thought I was going to the Doctor for one thing and she was all like "While we are here Casey would like a flu shot." What could I do? What I wanted to do was scream and run for the parking lot . . . that's only cute when your a wee lass . . . 

. . . All of this SHEER TERROR was because I was TRAUMATIZED when I was 11 and they gave me a shot in my BUTT and it HURT REALLY BAD . . . and then that same year they gave me a MACHINE GUN SHOT for hepatitis at school . . . . Okay, so it wasn't a machine gun, it was an air gun . . . but it hurt . . . a lot. I am DONE with needles. Can I just make that known???

Anyway, so while I was hoping for magic today at the Doctors office what I got was sludge. In my future are not only needles but KNIVES!! 

He said that I shouldn't be worried about this happening to my other fingers . . . that I am just unlucky. Wow, how did he know???

So here is my medical history for this year: 

2. Marty the Cyst

Flash Giveaway Reminder:

Don't FORGET to enter! It ends in 6 hours 3 minutes!!

I am now off to enjoy the rest of my weekend off! Tomorrow I am going to go see WICKED with my Mom!!!!  So excited!!!! Maybe I'll learn some tricks to use in my classroom with these INSANE ready for third grade MONSTERS! ;) 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flash Giveaway!

I've recently been chatting with a awesome new blogger, Kate from Second Grade Sparkle! I really like her blog and she needs some followers! So . . . drumroll please . . . .

Okay, here's the deal . . . it ends May 11, 2012 at 11:59pm. That's right, that is why it is called a FLASH giveaway, it ends TOMORROW!  

I am SUPER excited to be trying out Rafflecopter! :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Alright then! That's it! Go ahead and enter before it is too late!!!! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Love Chicken Soup with Rice

I didn't read Chicken Soup with Rice until a few years ago when I was student teaching and I picked it up off of the floor of the third grade classroom. I was immediately, absolutely SMITTEN. My cooperating teacher thought I was crazy, I literally read it everyday until she gave it to me! I loved the simple rhythm. I couldn't believe that I hadn't read it before. When I was a kid I read like a fish swims.This school year I found out that there is a SONG. (Some of you are going DUH, but I just learned this so give me a break!) My kids and I sing it sometimes just for fun.

I grew up with my a copy of Where the Wild Things are in my house. I didn't learn about many of his other books until I was older but that particular book was one that I would read over and over and over and over again. I remembering being a little afraid that the monsters in this book may actually be real and may appear to me in my dreams.

I am so thankful that Maurice Sendak played a role in pioneering modern children's literature which now shows the vast complexity of a child's imagination and mind. Thank you Mr. Sendak.

Today on the playground Jen was telling me about this Stephen Colbert interview with Maurice Sendak. You absolutely must watch, it is hilarious. This is actually part II, I definitely recommend watching part I also.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

“But the wild things cried, “Oh please don't go- We'll eat you up- we love you so!”
― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Monday, May 7, 2012

How Molly Lou Mellon Made Me Cry


I wasn't planning to post tonight . . . I've been trying to only post every other day, BUT last night I gone an e-mail from Maria at Be the Difference and knew that I just had to link up with her Make a Difference linky party. 

This week's theme is respect. I wanted to share a book with you that I refer to often in my classroom to teach respect and tolerance. Many of you probably know and love this book.
Molly Lou Mellon is a quirky, remarkable girl who never lets life get her down. Oh, the world tries to take her down, but with some good advice from her Grandma she takes life by the horns!  She is extremely short, has wonky teeth, and can't carry a tune in a bucket but the kids at her new school are eventually able to embrace her because she is talented in other ways.

Here is an okay video of this story from You Tube:

Hanky at the Ready:  

This book is actually special to me in more ways than one. I am tearing up right now just thinking about how this book came to me. 

I found Molly Lou at my local thrift store last year. I have never heard of this book before and it looked really cute. I opened it up in the store and some papers fell out. One of them was a letter in an envelope, it was addressed to "Grandma" from a girl in South Carolina. 

I immediately teared up. I knew that this book probably belonged to someone who had passed away, because I remembered that a lot of my own Gramma's things went to good will after she passed. 

I wish that I could find the letter right now to show you but it is jumbled up in some papers. :/ But in the letter the girl thanked her Grandmother for being the voice in her head always believing in her and giving her good advice, she said that this book reminded her of her and that she couldn't wait to visit soon. 

By this point I am trying to hold in the tears.  Then, a postcard falls out, it is from her grandson who had written to say that he loved her and missed her. 

My own Grandma died in 2004 but sometimes the pain of losing her still feels just as fresh. I know that those of you who have lost someone will know what I mean. For days after I bought this book I would think about my Grandma and cry.
Every time I read this book to my class I remember the special lady who once owned it. I will always take care of this book, in memory of this Grandmother that I didn't know and mine who I knew and loved and who loved me. :) 

So, how do you teach respect in your classroom? Go link up! :) 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Super Cute Bookmarks and Sale

Yes, I am going to be one of THOSE bloggers and remind you about the sale going on at TPT! I am participating! I have many really cute games that would be great for centers, so stock up now and use for next year if you don't need it right now!


 BUT, I am also going to give you these super cute bookmarks just for clicking on this post. They are all available in one download from Google Docs. :)

I am going to try and laminate these to give to my kiddos as end of year presents. Any ideas for something cheap I can throw in with them? I am not totally thrilled with the selection in the $1.00 from Scholastic right now . . . 

Happy Monday everyone! :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fabulous Five Friday & Currently

The Fab Five 

I am not organized enough to do this every Friday but I wanted to share some post that have inspired me this week, both personally and professionally. 

1. Famous New Discovery: from {panka} with love, Glowing Jar Project

2. Floral Craftivity: Spend a Day in Second Grade, May Day Basket

3. Freebie: My Owl Barn, Summer Owls

4. Fantastic Heartfelt Post: The Corner on Character, Own the Prom Night

5. Far-Out New Blog: Second Grade Sparkle

I feel like I JUST did the one for April, anybody feel me? Anywho, love Farley, go link up!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Let the New Kid Blow Away, Super Sale, New Favorite Song

Our New Friend, Newton:

Yesterday Jen asked me if I had read Farley's post about wrinkles. I hadn't (can you believe it?) so I quickly hopped on and read about how she introduced a new student to her class. The goal was to model how when you are hurt by someone else you are "wrinkled."

Today we had a new student, Newton. I set him up this morning with his own seat and everything. I even included a math workbook and a journal in his chair pocket.

I didn't introduce him to anyone and waited until someone noticed that the blue table had a new friend. One of my little pudding pops came over and asked me why I had taped a stick person to a chair. I told them it was our new student. He said "okay", and proceeded to help Newton with his morning work AND he introduced him to the rest of the students in my class. 

I was shocked. All I did was tell my kids that this piece of paper was a new student and they immediately began taking care of him. There was an argument over who was going to "get" to take him out to recess, to the bathroom, and lunch!

I kept listening in on their conversations and waiting for the opportunity when I would be able to wrinkle him. You know, the whole point of the new kid was to show the kiddos how people become damaged when you hurt their feelings and it can never really be smoothed out again. 

Well, I didn't have to give a wrinkle until after math when someone made fun of his part blue and part orange arms. I then had to give him another wrinkle when we were lining up for lunch and he was poked in the mouth. 

Here I was trying to teach them a lesson and it completely backfired. I know that my kids damage some of the other students in my class sometimes. I am just going to have to figure out a different way to teach them. 

They simply won't go after the new kid.

Here is Newton's after picture from the end of the day. You will notice that he now has clothes on. One little dreamsicle whispered to me that Newton would probably feel better about being at school if he had clothes on today.

And, if his after picture doesn't look so fresh it is because he got hit by a ball and because he was blowing in the wind at recess. :/ 

Super Sale:

I also wanted to announce that I will be taking part of the Teacher Appreciation sale over at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store from May 6 - 8. 

New Favorite Song:

I dare you not to like this song. I makes me happy. :)

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