Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I won an Award!

The Versatile Blogger award! I am in shock. I've had my blog(s) for a while, but have not been a very active blogger. One of my summer "To Do's" was to be more active as a blogger. I certainly have been and apparently am starting to be noticed by other bloggers. :)
There are some rules that come with this award. The rules for this award are as follows: 
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
Thank you Tonya! I was pleasantly surprised. 
2. Include a link to their site.

3. Include the award image in your post.
(See it up there?) 
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
1. I grew up in South Dakota.  I moved to Arizona for a teaching job.
2. I met my husband in a chat room in 1998.
3. We got married on 4-4-04! (in a gazebo on a rainy day along a creek by a friend who was ordained online without our parents in attendance...  We later had 2 wedding receptions. One in South Dakota with my family and one in NYC with his family.)
4. I taught special education for 10 years before switching to 1st grade.
5. I love to use coupons at the grocery store.  I love getting FREE and cheap things.  I have a small stockpile built up. (nothing crazy like Extreme Couponers though) BUT- I don't cook! (usually)  My husband loves to cook.  He gets home before me and usually has dinner done when I get home! {are you jealous?!}
Spent $48.64, saved $261.64 (85%)
6. I love post-it notes.  I own a ridiculous amount of them.
7. I took our son to a birthday party that had a magic show.  I got picked from the crowd to have a sword put through my throat.  I still don't know how this trick worked!

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
I am sure many of these ladies have received this award before.  These are blogs I have recently discovered or go to frequently for inspiration.
Tara at 4th Grade Frolics
Heather at Heather's Heart
Janaye at Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes
Lory at Lory Evans' Page
Cara at The First Grade Parade
Rachelle and Natalie at What The Teacher Wants
Katie at Queen of the First Grade Jungle
Mel D. at Seusstastic
Miss Nelson at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera
Diane and Kelly at Made for 1st Grade
Clutterfree Classroom
Amanda at One Extra Degree

6. When nominating, include a link to their site. 
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.
I'm working on it.

Thanks again Tonya!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Made It #4

I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for her 4th Monday Made It.

I love Monday Made It so much, I even made stuff on vacation!  I just got home from the airport a couple of hours ago.  I can't wait to finish this post so I can hop around and see what everyone else has been up to.  The month of June is almost gone and I feel like I have done NOTHING.  My sense of urgency is really strong.  LOL

OK, while staying at my parents' house, I signed my son up for private swimming lessons.  They live right next to the swimming pool and the lessons were super cheap compared to where we live in Arizona.  His teacher was incredible and totally deserving of a cute appreciation gift.  My Pinterest addiction sure comes in handy!  Here is my "pinspirational" item:
Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

This is what I made:

First, I gathered the supplies:
A rose bowl my mom had leftover from a wedding project, Goldfish crackers, and 2 bags of red, white, and blue M&Ms (we found them at Wal-Mart).

Then we sorted M&Ms.

We filled the bottom with "pebbles".  We filled little condiment cups (my mom has EVERYTHING!) with goldfish to fill the middle of the dish.

Then we added "water" and let a few fish swim in it.

We topped it with a piece of blue tissue paper and Glad Press 'n' Seal wrap. Then tied curly ribbon around it.

I think it turned out super cute!  His swim instructor absolutely LOVED it!

What have you been making?  Link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics so we can check it out!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Daily 5 book study: Chapter 2

The Daily 5 is a book written by the "2 Sisters", Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  These are my thoughts and opinions about the chapter.  

Questions to think about while reading Chapter 2:
1. What goals do you have for your classroom as you work to implement the principles and foundations of the Daily 5 discussed in Chapter 2? What support do you need to do this?
Looking back at my classroom during the short time I was using Daily 5, I realize that I did not completely implement every foundational principle. I trusted most, but not all of my students. I allowed choice in seating, but not for order of the Daily 5 (or in my case, 4). My students did not have a good sense of community. They did NOT like to share books. Only some of them had a true sense of urgency. We did build stamina, but only because I chose to ignore behaviors from 2 or 3 students. I really need to trust in the D5 structure and not force it to come together before students are ready. A big part of my only partially implementing these principles was due to it being started in the last quarter of the school year. My goal is to completely implement all of these principles. I don't think I need support, but I definitely need a way to monitor myself. Any suggestions?

2. What stands out as the most significant aspects of this chapter?
One thing that really stood out to me was in the stamina section. How when given praise, the students weren't really independent.  I had many students who were independent, but a few that were not. (Remember my students I said I ignored in order for everyone else to build stamina?) I need to really work on that to ensure all students are independent.

3. How do the foundational principles of the Daily 5 structure (trust, choice, community, sense of urgency, and stamina) align with your beliefs that support your teaching strategies and the decisions that you make about student learning?
I am not sure there was an alignment. I would say it was more like a whole new way of thinking about student learning. The Daily 5 has really made sense to me. It seems so simple, it makes me wonder how I never thought of it before. I am really glad that I was curious enough to order the book. You could read every blog post about D5 or pin every D5 chart, poster, station idea, etc. that you can find, but you MUST read the book in order to really understand and change your thinking and teaching of reading.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amazon giveaway!

Check out this giveaway!  $25 to Amazon.  Who couldn't use that?!

You could win classroom scratch tickets!

Tonya made the cutest scratch tickets for her classroom.  You could win a set by entering her contest.  Check it out!

Monday Made It #3

I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics again this week.  You should definitely check out the links to everything other creative teachers have made.  I guarantee your To Do list will grow!

I am still on vacation.  I've been helping my mom make things for a city's 125 year celebration.  She is on the museum board and we've been very busy painting fabric to make a skirt for a float and also the back of the trailer for the float.  I toured the museum and took some pictures to put together a facebook page for them as well.  We made posters to hang in area businesses.  Hours and hours of projects, but I didn't take pictures of any of it! Here's a picture of the museum instead.

For Father's Day, we put this together for the grandkids to give to Papa:

Not a lot of creating into this, but I'm on vacation, remember?  We gathered the kids near Papa's barn and took their picture.  We found this cute candy card online:

and I turned it into a typed version with pictures:

We put all of the candy into jars like this:

I can't wait to see what everyone else has made.  I need to catch up when I get home from my vacation!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Huge Giveaway for a Bloggy Birthday!

Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics is having a huge giveaway in honor of her blog's 1 year birthday.  Head on over to her blog to enter for your chance to win!