Sunday, April 19, 2015


The decluttering continues:
23. a pair of too small gloves G for Goodwill. one glove T for trash
24. a little magician cape from Halloween. I have pictures, don't need the cape. G
25. an ice tray specifically to make water bottle shaped ice G
26. four summer placemats G
27. Easter decorations I don't remember buying G
28. Two DVDs H for Huntington City Mission
29. Mommy and me cookbook G
30. Six VHS tapes G
31. little wooden sailboat kit. OCC- in my boy shoebox
32. two popcorn holders that our hands never really fit into G
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 18, 2015


     I am a basically a homebody. Travel is wonderful, but there's always that point when it's time to head home. With Daylight Savings time it's a little easier to get stuff done in the evenings, but we're usually home right after school. Until this week...
Monday- I fixed baked ziti, yum, then we went across the street to Ladies Circle meeting. Fun evening discussing upcoming plans for church with sweet friends.
Tuesday- We'll start with this picture:
Yes, indeedy, that's me and my friend Sarah spinning the big wheel at the Price is Right Live show!! We were not picked to go on stage, nor did we win any consolation prizes. It was still a wonderful evening. Most of the contestants played along and had fun. We got home at 11:10. Super late for an old, spinster teacher.
Wednesday- Made chicken fajitas with beans and rice for dinner.Went to church. 
Thursday- stopped to get Colton a haircut on the way home. Ordered $4.98 large Papa John's. Did absolutely nothing else.
Friday- ate leftover pizza, and again, did absolutely nothing else
How was your week?

Friday, April 17, 2015


Sweet little nature-loving girl loses her parents
lives with a harsh stepmother
loves a tree and a mouse
delivers eggs to beloved friends.
My first-graders predicted an ending:
Her tree grows back.
Her stepmother turns nice and doesn't spank her as much.
She cries on the stairs.
After we read the real ending, a sweet boy said,
"I wish there was another book to tell us the rest."
I predict you will love this book
and the beautiful pictures.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


     Borrowed Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke from the library. (It's overdue but I'm almost finished) She suggests writing down what you declutter and sorting it into trash, donation or sell.  Here goes:
I started before my beach trip and haven't stopped yet.

1. Lots of magazines. I cut out a few recipes we still want to try. T for Trash.
2. Three of Colton's swim trunks, a sweat jacket, two West Virginia T-shirts. Like items Colton's clothes, no matter how many, count as one. HCM for donation to Huntington City Mission.
3. My clothes A pair of really-wide leg jeans, a WV sweatshirt. G for donation to Goodwill. Two blingy, V-neck Quacker Factory T-shirts. HCM  Blingy denim jacket Gave to my mom.
4. Snow cone maker shaped like a snowman. Colton received this as a birthday gift and the gift-giver's mom insisted we make snow cones during the party. Only used once. G
5. Toy shark for school that's too realistic for me. G
6. Two bracelets I got at Disneyworld. G Pirate necklace T
7. Metal/spring thing to hang a plate on the wall. G
8. Sunglasses I borrowed from the Lost and Found for playtime one day. HCM
9. Four tiny Halloween toys that spring-up. T
10. Skeleton magnet T
11. Two eyeshadows and two foundations. T
12. Three frayed bristle toothbrushes. T
* Found two hair-dryers and two bags of cotton balls *
13. One of those hair-dryers with the diffuser. HCM
14. Too-wide animal print headband that always hurt my head. HCM
15. Three bunches of artificial Fall flowers. Gave to my mom.
16. Two boxes that a watch came in, some old medicine T
17. Scarf that I made from an old T-shirt. T
18. Two CDs, two cassette tapes T
19.  A whistle. T
20. Two snack/drink twist-on carriers, snack boxes. Never used. HCM
and I am just getting started :)
Edited: 21. Pair of Colton's tennis shoes, washed and drying in the sun G
22. Two little buckets G

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Spring Break!
We left bright and early Monday morning,
had our toesies in the sand by 4:30.
Besides walking on the beach, sunning by the pool and eating fried shrimp...
(a little sightseeing)
(too close for comfort)
and the Aquarium.
So relaxing.
Rested up on Friday and Saturday.
Wonderful Easter dinner on Sunday.
Hope yours was just as fun!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


     I'm reading Hope Against Hope by Sarah Carr, about charter schools that opened in New Orleans after Katrina. One thing that stood out to me are the rules some of these schools have to enforce. For example, saying thank you when someone gives you something. Sounds automatic, but there are many children that haven't been taught basic manners or kindness.
     My class and I discussed how we thank each other all day long (we're a grateful group :) and made a goal to thank our cafeteria server and look her in the eye at lunch today on purpose. I reminded them as we walked down the hall. It was corn dog day so appreciation came easily.
    "Thank you for making us this food!!" resounded first with a beaming smile back at me, making sure I heard. Many more thank yous followed. One friend even whispered a reminder- Look her in the eye. A small slice of life that made me happy and proud.

Monday, March 23, 2015


     After a wonderfully relaxing weekend including lunch out with my parents, walking outside and an afternoon nap, it was back to real life. First-grade style!
Monday's goals:
Reading DEA- finish test with three students. Met this goal with a few extras! Tuesday- only three kiddos to go
Math DEA- finish test with four students. Met this goal, too! Worked with one of my most challenging wiggle worms first, then three others. Rest of the week- Fifteen to go.
Reading project- read third story in Book 2 with my little buddy. She only read four words in a minute today, but the first line included people and neighborhood. Disclaimer: She made the n sound at first, then said city, which shows she understands the context. As I learned during Whole Language days, I said, "It means the same as city, but it starts with n." She read many silent e words independently. Changing my ending goal to finishing Book 2 the second week of April.
Fluency check- Fresh Read one-minute timing with sixteen children. Only had time for one-my next to lowest reader.
     These individual activities are interspersed with all our regular, on-level work: Yellow book phonics, new story, new spelling words, ai/ay word sort/ find, Read-to-Self, RtI centers, Writer's Workshop and new for today...a Number Talk. It was too easy for them, but okay for a first time. Outdoor playtime topped off the day.

Friday, March 20, 2015


     Each school year starts with children watercolor painting a chameleon after reading A Color of His Own. Inch by Inch is in a year-long math center with snap together inchworms and addition fact cards. But I never expected the reactions from this week's Leo Lionni author study. It was a hit!
    They knew of Swimmy from Kindergarten and enjoyed Frederick saving up colorful memories for winter. Let's Make Rabbits got a few laughs.
    This week's all-time favorite? So much so we read it again Wednesday? So much so that I overhead, "I love this!" as I was reading aloud. So much so that a little friend asked for "my book" back for her Read-to-Self folder?
 Fish is Fish.
Minnow and Tadpole start out together in the pond.
Frog grows legs and climbs out of the pond.
Frog hops here and there, sees extraordinary things,
and comes back to the pond.
Frog tells Fish about birds, cows and people.
From Fish's point of view, he imagines this:
 which absolutely cracks my kiddos up.
Fish decides he must see these amazing things, but...
I won't give away the happy ending :)

I see library/ bookstore visits in my future this weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Thursday evening
chicken potpie
Diet Coke
clean dishes
folded laundry
Candy Crush
warm bath
good book
cozy jammies
coffee cake
hot tea
fleece Snuggie
Law & Order
sleepy time

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


     Once a month, all the first-grade teachers in our county meet together. A sub watches our classes and we head to McDonald's first, then the Board Office. This afternoon, a friend and I were called out for talking (shame) but were also dismissed at 2:50 (yippee!)  Sweet freedom! 
     I picked up my son at the High School and we discovered our new-to-us City Walking Trail. It's curvy, it has trees, picnic tables and benches, it's by a creek that looks like a river right now because of localized flooding. We walked two laps, me still in my school clothes and shoes, but it was wonderful. I'll bet we do it again tomorrow.