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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Troubles and Poop du jour

Happy Happy Tuesday!!!
Is it going well for you?
I hope so.

Mine started off okay. Just a normal day in the Squirrel-hood.
I was getting my clothes ready this morning and I hear knock knock knock on my bedroom door.

They never knock.

Knocks are almost always usually followed by something bad.
Historically, "post-knock sentences" are not ones that you want to hear from the other side of the door.
A few examples:

"Mama, do we have any big bandages?"
"Mama, do we have any super glue?"
"Mama, did you know Nana was coming over?" (often followed by "She's here.")
"Mama, what kind of cleaner am I allowed to use on the floor?"

This morning's post-knock sentence was the one that I dread the most though-
I do not like it  any time.
I would not like it late at night.
I will not like it when it's light.
I cannot like it, it's just not cool.
Especially when IT'S RIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL!!

Can you Mama's guess what it was?
"Mama, I don't feel good."

Luckily (or unluckily) for me, depending on how you look at it, it was Chickadee.
She is old enough to articulate exactly what it is.
And she's been around the longest and I can totally tell when she's lying:)

Once it was established that she would not be attending class today, the knocks started coming more rapidly and with more force.
Remember, I am outnumbered. At any given time, The Mr and I are under attack - there are three of them and only two of us!
Both of the boys thought they would try their hand at the "I don't feel so good" game.
You will be happy to know though, that I won.
I was able to detect the smell of deceit and they were both sent to school- just fine.
Chickadee on the other hand may be coming down with something.

Moving on to the rest of my day-
once I had her settled and we all left the house, we found out that it was going to rain. ALL. DAY. LONG.
With the possibilities of thunderstorms.
Aye ye ye.....
So it did. It rained all day.
For many reasons- construction, rain, cold- you name it, my class has not seen the playground in a month!
We have inside recess instead. (no comment).

My favorite pen ran out of ink while I was signing planners today.
 I actually screamed, "Nooooooooooooooo!"
and I began scribbling frantically on another piece of paper- like maybe my pen was just playing a trick on me and it really did want to finish writing my name.
It was not to be.
The day was so crappy, that even the pen decided to skip out. Smart pen.
Boo. Hiss.

Once home we unpacked, took off our rainboots and headed in for a snack-
only to find that someone (totally not me) left the refrigerator door open.
I'm not one to go accusing people of stuff, but I know for a fact when I used it this morning, I closed it!
I have an alibi!
My scarf got stuck in the door and I had to open it back up ....and ...nevermind- this is not looking  good for me.
Let's change the subject.

I have a good one- Remember when I had that linky for Easy Recipes for us Teachers-

No? Oh, that's right. It flopped.
But I tried, darnit.

here's a good recipe that we could have added-
It was something new tonight. Pretty easy.

 You need:
I bag of cubed hash browns
1 can of sloppy joe mix
1 can of cream of potato soup
1 to 2 pounds of ground beef
shredded cheese.

One bag of frozen cubed hash browns (thawed) in a greased pan.

Cook the meat. (no picture here, I was busy stirring).

 Drain the meat. Add these two cans.
These guys are total photobombers!!
Pour the meat mixture over the hash browns.
Bake 450- covered- for about 20 mins. Take off cover and then about 10 mins more. Add cheese. Five more minutes.

 The Mr said it looked like corned beef hash- the Littles said it looked like poop. Truman and Barkley said they didn't care what it looked like, just set it down and we'll eat it!!!

 It was not pretty- but it got pretty good reviews after they all tried it.

There were only two things that could make this day better.
Coffee or ice cream.
We opted for ice cream- a little trip to our local Coldstone and I was feeling much better.

We are all hoping that tomorrow is going to be a better day. I have to imagine that it will be. And I say this after I have
just turned it from the Weather Channel only to find that not only will we have more rain, the temp is dropping- fast.
I am not a meterologist, but I am predicting more ice cream in tomorrow's forecast.

Have a great Wednesday!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Facebooking" With Dr Seuss

Happy Weekend!
Didn't we just have one? Where is the time going?
It seems like I just posted about the Christmas ornaments we made, and now here I am decorating my door for
Read Across America Week!
We are not so slowly approaching the 120th day of school!!

I had an Amazing weekend last weekend.
It was full of milestones for me-
I drove for almost 5 hours BY MYSELF!!!
And if you have followed me for a while, you know that driving is one of the top five things that makes me crazy!!

I may already BE crazy- the driving DOES NOT HELP!

Anyway, I did it-
and I am working on the post to share it with you- fishing for more pictures.

Meanwhile (back at the corral)
My class is gearing up for next week.
Read Across America Week.
We are going to get cozy with a book ("kajamas"), wear crazy socks (I don't know why, really), have many colored kiddies (each grade level is assigned a color on Wednesday) and favorite book character on Friday.

We started the celebration by "facebooking" (it's a verb) with Dr. Seuss himself!
They thought this was pretty cool!
Maybe you could send him a "friend request".

We also talked about our favorite books (that we will share on Friday).
A birthday would not be complete without a cake!!

source of craft- A Cupcake for the Teacher
The empty spaces are a reflection of the tummy bug that is running through my room!

Gotta love the Fire Extinguisher-!

Check out this itty bitty cake made by one of my sweeties! Love her!

My train of thought on getting this up early (on my door and in my hall )
was that if we wait to do it all when the week is here, then it will be up for too long after the special week is gone-
and boards/displays that outlive their welcome drive me bonkers!!!!


Our school had visitors this morning from around the district. They came to see all the great things we are doing in math.
So there are a few teachers (one of them, I don't think she recognized me, but we used to sleepover at each others' house's in middle school!!!) a few admins, and our admin and AC.
Here I am, sprawled out on the floor- "doing math" with them.
We lay on our bellies alot
(believe it or not, they are more still on their tummies than they are sitting crisscross......there's no where to go.....)
We've got our response papers inside sheet protectors, our markers, our maniuplatives
and our -not-so-tiny-teacher huddled down there on the floor when all these people walk in.
One of them is carrying her iPad to record the whole ordeal.

As I 'hoist" myself to a new position, I made a grumbling rumbling noise that most of my crew is used to -
I made some snarky comment like "Yikes, we may have to stay down here til lunch".
One of my precious sweeties, who ALWAYS looks out for me says
"Miss Squirrels, if you get stuck on the carpet- can I give the spelling test?"

Always thinking ahead, they are!!

As usual- a search to giggle with-

I am going to look for this Jose Nutty Doodle could be tasty....maybe.

I hope that everyone has a terrific Saturday Morning! I know mine will be full of coffee and blog stalking!!!
And when I am done with that I to go around town and shop for some items on my very odd list.
Keeping your interest piqued.....


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Place Value Practice and A Lesson in "Squirrelese"

Happy Wednesday!!!
Know what Wednesday means in "Squirrel"?
Well, loosely translated- it means TWO MORE DAYS TIL THE WEEKEND!!!!

But that is just a loose translation, of course.

When the end of this week gets here, it will just shrivel up and fade away in to some weird black-hole-time-warp-space-continuum-thingy. It will be as if it never happened.
Why do i think this week will just disappear?
Because next week I have to teach it all over again.
Monday- 4 absent
Tuesday- 5 absent, 2 sent home ill
Wednesday- 4 absent.

And oddly enough, it wasn't the same children each time!! So I get to reteach it all!!!

Luckily for me, we are ten school days away from the 120th Day of School!! So they will ALL be reviewing and practicing. Reviewing and practicing. Reviewing and practicing.

And thanks to new CCSS and our standard for fluency through the 120 chart- we are making it a special day.
In my room.
I am not the only one who didn't make a big deal (didn't even mention it) when the 100th day came 10 days ago. but I am pretty confident I will be the only one who is celebrating the 120th day in my building.

I have a great resource I have been using since the beginning of the year. It is Doodle Bugs Number Practice 1-120. Check out that link at the bottom of this post!

To move through the chart( by adding one, taking away one, adding ten, taking away ten) has been a fun experience for us.
We are working on place value and watching them make that connection when they realize that they are adding 1 or taking away 1 when i have them go left to right, and that they are adding ten or taking away ten when I have them go up or down is just great!

To test their skills, this morning I had them color a 120 chart (from the Doodle Bug Pack) like Tetris pieces. The rule was there had to be at least four connected squares. They were going to cut them out, so I wanted to the pieces to not be too small.

I knew a few friends would struggle getting the coloring part done, so I outlined a few shapes for some of them.

When they were done with the coloring they cut out the odd shapes that they made.

I had them switch desks with a neighbor for a bit and had them try to put the chart back together---- they liked that they were making the puzzles for each other.

Then I had them switch back and they glued their cool shapes onto large construction paper.
And as you can see below- they had to "outline" the shape they glued down with the number that would go above, below, left or right, of the squares that were there-
It was definitely a brain tickler for some- and others breezed right through. It gave me a great opportunity to observe their thinking
(and they thought they were just making puzzles)
We're so tricky!!!

At the beginning of the year our AC gave us all a 100 chart cut into ten strips and then laminated.
Today I had pairs work together to add reward coins on top as they counted.

After they were all on, I took one off and exposed a number.

Then I did some pointing, Asking what was under the coin that may have been above it or below it- if the student got it right- he got to keep the coin. If he was wrong, he had to give it to me.
I set the timer for 5 minutes-
I only got to do this with 5 students today, but while several are working on their "puzzles" tomorrow, I can do it again!!!
This was great for working one on one and getting to hear them, rather than just reading what they did.

Only two more weeks and you get to see all the great stuff we will be doing!!!
For now though- a link to Doodle Bugs great packet!
Well "Cheers" muchachas-
I am headed off to bed with dreams of full ,healthy class tomorrow so that we can celebrate and have out Valentine Exchange!
Have a great day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

WTH Wednesday

What is Squirrels doing? It's not Wednesday!
She must need to check her calendar!!

It has been a week of WTHs- trust me!
So much going on and so little time to tell you all about it.

First off-
What The Heck is going on in the hallway?
There are monkeys everywhere!!!!

And my firsties couldn't be happier:)
We had a great time getting ready for Valentine's Day with Stephanie's Bananas About You Pack !

Falling into First

We used her adorable monkeys to help us get some feeling into our writing.
What are you excited about?
What are you crazy about?

This monkey is bananas about eating your face apparently. Scary.
This monkey looks "schmarmy"...He could sell you a monkey car.
This monkey is the envy of the monkey ball!
She is bananas about her iPhone.
(WTH?? I teach first. They are 6. I got an iPhone at 39.)

What a beautiful monkey!!

I assigned the graphic organizer that was with this pack as homework one night.
You know parents are like
"WTH??? Miss Squirrels wants us to  talk about being "bananas"!!"
Their responses were terrific! I have always assigned writing projects in the class because I wanted their work to be their own- but I think it was a good thing to let the parents and families help them look at things from a different perspective!

They still did the writing in class- but they had several choices to choose from because they had gone over them with their families at home. I have to admit. lightening that load a bit was nice.
I will have to remember that for the next time!

I don't want to overload you with all we did this week- so I will post more tomorrow:)
Enjoy your Friday night!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Smelly Markers and Super Sales

There are a few words in the title of this post that bring excitement to both the firsties AND to me.
Them = Smelly Markers!
Me= Sales!

I'll start with them and end with me.

I started scooping up these markers this past summer and they love any time we use them.
(Their moms probably don't appreciate it, but  I pass out a box full of wipes to get their little noses clean afterwards!)

I started playing a game with them during whole group for spelling.
It's super simple.
But super fun.

I have each student get a dry erase board, sheet of lined paper and one smelly marker. The board is just to have the hard surface under the paper- clipboards would be ideal, but I don't have a class set of those.

They stand in line, and I write one spelling word on the top of paper. They then make a HUGE circle that spans the room,
and set down their board and marker.

After that I grab my phone and click on my commercial playlist- of course you can use any music you like- HA HA!. When the music starts, they start roaming. When the music stops, they stop in front of a board and write the word that is at the top onto the paper.

Now- NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can write UNTIL they have SNIFFED the marker.
Not my rule.
Even if they have smelled that particular marker 5,297,107 times!!!

You can tell my friend already used a cherry one, eh?

She started out smelling "gently".

And obviously got more excited!!

They really like moving around the room.
I really like that all levels are practicing the words.
I know that they are all seeing spelled correctly- no one is struggling. The ones who are not practicing at home are getting some extra practice in the room and having fun!

Once everyone is standing, I will say-
"Raise your hand if you just wrote the word....."
"Hop on one foot if you just wrote..."

And even my lowest ones get to do the "being silly" part because the others will whisper "Hey, you have that word!!!"

I found these recording sheets and activities that are perfect for this group of smelly marker lovers!

Jennifer from

First Grade Blue Skies

created these and they are a ton of fun!!! My room smelled like "fruit salad" when we were finished.
Click on her pack to check it out in her Tpt store!
Speaking of shopping-
I was going to tell you about the word "sale" in the title.
I am not a huge sports fan- BUT
this sale button that Ashley Hughes made, may have converted me to a love of all things football!

Check out these other great sellers as well!
Good Luck to your team tomorrow!!!

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