Friday, March 28

Chester, and the least expected of ways...

Everybody has heard of "that" dog.

Yes, you know the one I'm talking about: the dog who chews on everything, breaks well-known (and well-taught rules), and generally drives its owner bezerk.

Well, that dog???

That's my dog.


Chester
Don't get me wrong: Chester is not a bad dog. Sure, he chews with the tenacity of a Rottweiler and runs like Lassie on steroids in the sweet moments he escapes his leash, but he also has moments of greatness. Just last week my heart beamed proud as Chester stayed in a long-down with the most tempting of treats literally at the tip of his little black nose, and never once did he even lick it.

Brilliant? Yes. But Chester and I have worked long and hard to come to this point of most-of-the-time obedience. Yes, it's been a long road, but in the words of our vet "Chester has grown up into a nice young man," despite his wild-child beginnings.

But even "nice young men" have their days, don't they?????

Enter flashback: Yesterday, Chester and I were cuddling on the couch circa our normal routine. Wrapped in a blanket, eating lunch, Chester nuzzled into my side.

Picture? Dog owner bliss.

So, there I was, immensely enjoying this cozy companion of mine, until I look over at him, and what should my cozy companion be doing???

Peeing.  All over the couch.

Now this is the point when some people, some better-than-me-saints, would've reacted with holy harmony and patience, but not me. Nope. At the top of my lungs I screamed, "JESUS, HE'S PEEING ALL OVER THE COUCH!" And don't you know in my unholiest of moments, all of Heaven had to be dying of laugher?  Because, you see, only 48 hours before, God had encouraged me to take all of my Chester-woes to Him, and I prayed with all tenacity that He would help me do just that.

So, it may have been at the top of my lungs, and it may have even involved the word "pee" more than once, but God did answer my prayer for help, even if it was in the least expected of ways...

Father, thank you for loving me on even my craziest days with the craziest of dogs. I thank you for Chester, my good gift from You, and ask that You would help me love him in a way that honors You.

I love you, Jesus.

~Alex

Monday, April 18

End of the Year Testing Printables

Yowsers.

So y'all... Can I just take a moment to tell you how BUSY my life has been for the past two weeks??? AYE-YI-YI!!!! Seriously, there has been nary a moment to fix my mascara much less log into Blogger as of late.  But, I am very pleased to announce the end of the madness because... let's face it- life without internet-laden free time is

HOR.EN.DOUS.

And that is why I am back.
Backety-back-back-back and oh-so-excited!

Well, wanna know what I've been up to while I've been gone?

I have been testing the willies out of nineteen of my favorite First Grade friends.  DIBELs, sight words, math, you name it, they've done it. And if they haven't done it, they probably should have. 

Of course having all of this testing to do, I was naturally faced with the age-old teaching dilemma of what to do with the nineteen students I wasn't testing while still managing to maintain a silent classroom for the one student I was testing.

Answer?
I used Cut and Paste friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  These little buddies occupy AND assess. 

TOTAL. BONUS.

 I use them to assess my Firsties knowledge of various components of language (syllables, parts of speech, etc.) while I get my testing done. Keeps the kids occupied, gives evidence of learning, and gives me a product to send home for parents to enjoy and admire (refridgerator work, anyone?) 

These buddies aren't much, but having TOTALLY saved my life in the past two weeks, I just knew I had to share them. (And don't mind my tacky Easter-themed syllable sort. What can I say? Giant chocolate-dispensing rabbits just gets me in the mood to decorate syllable sorts.)

Want your own cut and paste friends?
Click any picture preview to download.

Compound Word Sleuth 


Contraction mania!


Easter Syllable Sort


Homophone
Match-Up


Synonym
Match-Up



Verb and
Noun Town





Wishing you a marvelous Monday!

Monday, April 4

Easter Workshop!

Alright, y'all. Want to hear something that is sooooooooooooooooo not funny?!?!?!?!!

Here it is. And, you can't laugh:



There is a mouse LIVING in my classroom. 




TOTAL EEK, right?!?!?!

And, you'll never guess when charming said-mouse chose to make his first grand appearance. SMACK-DAB in  the middle of a parent-teacher conference.

I. could've. died. 

Life lesson learned? It's hard to appear professional when standing on a table in the middle of a parent teacher conference yelling, "Mouse, mouse" to everyone you see. Let's face it: these are just not the kinds of situations that professionalism conferences cover, people.

With that being said, there have been two mouse sightings since the aforementioned incident on Friday. Do you think it would be wrong to call a Code Red the next time I see my fuzzy little friend? Because I'm pretty sure he is an unwelcome intruder and I for one want to see him removed from the building.  IN HANDCUFFS.

But, seriously, that would be extremely unprofessional, which is why I am just going to call an exterminator. That, or a cardiologist. Because let me tell you, I will never stop having a heart attack at the sight of my newest little class pet until he is safely and soundly relocated... in Saudi Arabia.

Whew... Did I mention that it's Monday???

Well, with all of the nature moving into my classroom last week I just had to take a trip to the Dollar Tree to cheer myself up.  Normally shop therapy isn't my thing but rodents must bring it out in me....

Here's what I found:

Exhibit A: Darling Easter containers. These little buddies were PERFECT for sentence scrambles. I filled each little container I had with the words for a sentence. Then, my kiddos unscrambled the words to form a sentence which they wrote on their recording sheet (see download below). Super simple, cost $2, the kids love it, and the containers are precious. SOLD! 


April Sentence Scramble
Recording Sheet
(Click any picture preview below to download the entire file!)


Exhibit B: Read Around the Room Easter Egg Pointers! AHHHHHH!
LOVE them!!!!!

Any mouse extermination advice? Y'all gave me the *greatest* ideas for an end-of-the-year bash so I know you must be mad mouse exterminating geniuses, too.

Wishing you a mouse-free classroom full of learning and fun!!!!!


Saturday, April 2

Word Work Fun

Alright, y'all, so want to see one of my fav, fav, favorite children's books of all time?!?!?!?!!



I Ain't Gonna Paint No More, by Karen Beaumont. 

LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!
Seriously,  it's hard to say who gets more excited about reading this book: the Firsties or me... HA!

With that being said, it's a classroom favorite so I just had to incorporate it into our workshop. Here's how:

First, I had my kiddos read the book in pairs. Then they come picked up this little rhyming activity to complete with their partner. The low down?  This activity is just a variation of concentration that uses rhyming words from the book. To play, kiddos flip over two cards at a time, read the words on the cards, and decide if they rhyme. If they do, the kiddo keeps the pair of cards. If the words on the cards don't rhyme,the cards get turned back over and it's the next kiddo's turn. After all of the cards have been picked up, the friend with the most cards wins.  They ADORE this activity.  Want a copy of your own? Click on any picture preview to download the file.


I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More
A Rhyming Activity

(Click on any picture preview to download the entire file!)






And what workshop activity wouldn't be complete without a Show What You Know?  Hence this little buddy.   I use him to make sure all of my Firsties REALLY know how to read the concentration words and identify the rhymes.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More
A Show What You Know Activity
(Click on the picture preview to download the file!)



Have a spectacular weekend, Y'all, and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL spring weather!!!!

Saturday, March 26

Vowel Sort

Hey there y'all, and happy weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, can I share some happy news?

I JUST woke up and it's 10:30 A.M.  And if that isn't wowie wow wow, I don't know what is. AMAZING.  Why is it amazing, you ask? Because working for the  man has completely destroyed my ability to sleep in on the weekends. SO SAD.  Seriously, my crazy brain gets me up at the ripe old time of 5:30 AM every single Saturday. It is devastating.  It is as though my brain just cannot understand the concept of weekends.  But, not today!!!!!!  Good job, brain!!!!!!  I'll be sending some positive, reinforcing thoughts your way :)

In other news, our district just announced our last day of school  for this year: May 24th.  Um.... excuse me?  May 24th??? Seriously?!?!?!?!?!   I practically cried. That is waaaaaaaay to early, and I am definitely not ready to bid my babies goodbye.  <<<complete sadness>>>

Moral of the story? I need to start working on our First Grade farewell tado. So, I'm wondering: how do y'all celebrate the end of the school year with your kiddos?  I want this party to be SPECTACULAR because not only does it celebrate the kiddos' last year of First Grade (or so I hope... ha!),  it's also celebrating their last year at our school (since our building is closing). So, any ideas?  I'm drawing a blank and I would LOVE your help.

Alright, well with over two weeks out of the classroom my teacher wheels are finally turning again. Took forever but ya'know what finally inspired me?  The free digs at Lettering Delights.  I'm sure I was the last person in the world to hear about the free cuteness, but can I gush anyway?  ADORABLE!!!!!!!! You MUST go!!!!!!  And if my gushing isn't enough to convince you to go, check out this phonemic awareness/sound discrimination Long Vowel Sort that I made especially for YOU.  The precious clip art is all FREE from Lettering Delights.  So, moral of the story?  Go get you some free clip art cuteness.
Enjoy the downloads!!!!!


By Gum!
A Long Vowel Sort

(Click any picture preview to download the entire file)





 By Gum!
A Show What You Know Cut & Paste Activity

(Click any picture preview to download the entire file)
  



Wednesday, March 23

Giveaway Results & NSF Giveaway Info!

Alright, y'all. It's the moment we've been waiting for all week (ha! or me at the least)!
<drum roll, please>
And if you didn't win, don't feel too sad because this little giveaway has gotten me ADDICTED to all things giveaway. Seriously,  I have a feeling that I will be doing TONS of these guys in the future ;)

Speaking of giveaways, have y'all heard about the NSF's Scrub Club giveaway? It is FABULOUS.  Snap a photo of your kiddos with shiny clean hands and you can enter the Scrub Club Clean Hands Giveaway to win one of five $100.00 gift cards.  One picture for a chance to win $100 bucks?!?!?!? I am all over that!!!!! And, did I mention that the Scrub Club website is ADORABLE.  So perfect for teaching all about germs.  Want to enter??????? Click here.

Alrighty, so I'm always a little bit on the fence about sharing personal info for the whole world to read (unless of course it's my love for Star Trek. Classy, right????), but for once I'm going to make a special exception and share something close to my own little heart. Enter MAYO CLINIC, ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA.  Y'all, I have been up here in the Northland for the past week on "vacation" to be treated for a bleeding disorder and, let me tell you, the doctors here are INCREDIBLE.  While I originally planned on keeping this little "vacation hot spot" a secret (because sharing medical info on the WWW seems a little creepy), I just knew that I was called to share what an awesome place Mayo is with you fabulous people after experiencing the amazing medical care they provide.  So, if you or anyone you love ever needs medical attention (which I pray never happens), head up on north. You may get snowed on, but I promise you that the medical treatment  and tax free clothes at the Mall of America will make the trip well worth your while. Moral of the story? Minnesota  rocks.

So, wanna know what I'm doing tomorrow? Driving back to reality, that's what. After two weeks of Spring Break and my little "vacation,"  I am soooooooo excited to return to my classroom, sleep in my own bed, stop smelling like a suitcase, and post some new freebies for y'all to use in the classroom!!!!!!!  Vacation= Over. We'll just see if I ever get back to cookin'.  A week and a half of eating out can really spoil a girl. But don't worry, Mr. Handsome. I will feed you even if I don't resume cooking. It just might require the help of my new best friend, Carry Out.

Hope you are having a FANTASTIC Wednesday, Y'all!

Wednesday, March 16

Giveaway!!!!

Alright, Y'all. So  I think it's high time I had my first giveaway.  Sooooo overdue!!!!  And let me tell you....

I. Am. Excited!!!!!!

Seriously, if my husband has to hear about this giveaway one more time, I think he will go CRAZY.

So, what am I giving away? A $20 gift certificate to the most DARLING clipart website in the world: www.scrappindoodles.com.  Y'all, I get all of my clipart there and I LOVE IT!

Want to win???  Here's how:

1. Become a follower of my blog and leave a post telling me you did so. If you're already a follower, leave me a post letting me know you already follow.

2. Want a bonus entry? Link to this post or stick my button somewhere on your blog.  Leave me a link to your post or my button and you'll have 2 entries.

3. Finally, check back in a week.  I'll announce the winner of the giveaway on Wednesday, March 23rd.

Wishing you a FABULOUS day!!!!!!!!