Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015

Sooo I'm a little behind on the blog. Like 2 years behind. What can I say, I've been busy! The last time I posted, the hubs and I were about to start undergoing infertility treatments. Since then, we had a successful pregnancy and our sweet baby boy just turned 1 year old last week! Pregnancy did not agree with me in the least (really--I'm a monster when I'm pregnant), but the outcome was so beyond worth it! Hubby also finished grad school, got a grown up job, we bought a house, and I went part-time with teaching.

As for teaching, it's been a rough couple of years. Last school year was rough because of my pregnancy. This school year has just been rough. I haven't enjoyed my job this year, which makes me so sad to admit. Teaching just isn't about teaching anymore, at least in many places. When I don't allow myself to think about all the extras teachers have to do, I love my job. I love the kids, I love connecting with them, I even love the curriculum. But when I think about the 6 billion other things we're supposed to do, with a smile and a happy-go-lucky attitude, all while maintaining a balanced and fulfilling personal life, I get angry and sad and depressed.

I don't know if teaching is for me anymore.

The thing is, I'm so at peace with that. Usually I'd be a huge ball of anxiety, stressing over what I'm supposed to do with my life, how I'm supposed to help support my family, yada yada yada. But I truly feel like God is preparing my heart and mind for something bigger and better (not that teaching isn't one of the biggest and best things you can do!) I have no clue what it is, but I'm thrilled to figure it out with the Lord's guidance.

And I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, it has to do with my trip to Ghana next week.

Stay tuned for my Ghana adventures!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Make-at-School Mother's Day Gift Idea!

My class made their Mother’s Day gifts this week! This is a project that I’ve done for three years now, and it’s always such a big hit I just had to share. It takes a little bit of effort, but the outcome is worth it, and more importantly, it’s something different that Mom probably hasn’t gotten before. So what is it? Grass Heads! (basically home-made Chia Pets)
This may seem daunting, but I’ve done it with 1st, 2nd, and 5th graders so I know kids of all ages can handle it! Obviously with the younger ones, you just have to model very clearly and be explicit with your directions.
Here is all you need to know to make these cute, springy Mother’s Day gifts:

The Materials
1 knee-high stocking per kid (I get the kind that come as a pair in a plastic bubble for 33 cents at Walmartthat’s around 4 bucks for my whole class)
grass seed
hamster bedding (1 bag was enough for 25 students)
2 googly eyes per kid
1 rubber band per kid
1 styrofoam bowl per kid
8 ounce plastic cups for measuring and scooping
any materials you want to accessorize with (pipe cleaners, scraps of material, etc.)

The Directions
*The kids need to work in pairs to help each other. One student will need to hold the stocking open while the other stuffs it with grass seed and bedding. *

1) Put about 1/8 cup of grass seed in the bottom of the stocking.

2) Put about 4 cupfuls of bedding in the stocking
3) Smush the stocking to turn it into the shape you want.

4) Tie a knot in the bottom of the stocking and cut off the extra material. 

5) Write the student’s initials on the bottom of the grass head near the knot. Hot glue on the googly eyes and have the students create their grass heads’ noses by pulling a little bedding outward and wrapping a rubber band around it.

7) Soak all the grass heads overnight.

8) Put in a sunny spot and water regularly (spray bottles are great for this!)

9) Decorate with accessories, if you so desire. (I had first graders hot glue on “dresses” and stuff. They also like to make things out of pipe cleaners to glue onears, mouths, glasses, barrettes)

10) Send home for Mother’s Day!
I recommend you do this outside...it gets messy!
This is a great book to invest in! It has lots of great ideas. I got mine on Amazon.com for just a few dollars.
I will post update pics of the Grass Heads as the grass grows. Like I said, this is just something fun and different you can have your students take home as a gift for Mom on Mother's Day. Have fun! I know your students will!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Break SALE!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on Spring Break this week and it’s been glorious! The weather is finally warm, I haven’t had anything to worry abouttotal bliss. Sadly, tomorrow is already Friday. L When we go back to school Monday, we’ll be in that home stretch! Nine weeks til summer! Anyway, to brighten my mood (and hopefully yours, too!), I’m throwing a sale! Check it out! Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

{FREE} Emergency Sub Plan Idea!

So I’ve seen this idea around the Internet before. It’s not mine (please let me know if it’s yours so I can give you the credit!), but it’s so great I had to share.

Most elementary teachers know and love the Miss Nelson books by Harry Allard. And most elementary teachers dread creating plans for those days we can’t be at school and have to have a substitute. So here is a super easy idea to add to your emergency sub plan file.
All you need is a copy of Miss Nelson is Missing and a paper for each student. (Click on {HERE} to download it for free.  Copy back to back, using whichever versions are better for your students.) Have the sub read Miss Nelson is Missing to your class, then discuss with them some ideas about where you might be. Then have the sub give each student a sheet, and have them write and draw about their ideas. Viola!

 Your kids will absolutely LOVE doing this, no matter what grade they’re in. Mine came up with some super creative ideas and their drawings were adorable. Several thought I wasn’t at school because I had fallen in a volcano, been eaten by a shark, gotten stuck in a waterfall.there were a couple who thought I wasn’t there because I was out getting a divorce. Haha. (I swear I’ve never given them a reason to think that!) One thought I was out having a baby. (Definitely not prego.)Anyway, it’s just a lot of fun for the kids to create, and a lot of fun for you to read, as well! Enjoy!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Take Me Out to the {Verb} Ball Game!

So my hubby is an athletic trainer and his life revolves around baseball. His baseball players get to see way more of his handsome face than I do! I was sitting at a game last weekend thinking about how it’s a darn good thing I love baseball or my life would stink. And I was also thinking about verbs, because what else would a teacher be thinking about on a Sunday afternoon?
I had recently done a week’s worth of verbs with my cute 2nd graders and the next Monday when I asked what a verb was, they had no clue. UGH!!!! I swear I’m not that bad of a teacher! So I knew I needed a game. Kids always learn from gamesbaseball and verbs, baseball and verbs.how about a Verb Baseball game? What would apparently be the best game my kids had ever played was born. J

The game focuses on the different verb tenses, rather than just the idea that a verb is an action word. My kiddos have never had so much fun with grammar. I played the game in my small group and the kids just couldn’t wait to have their small group turn! Some of them thought it was rigged. Haha. Anyway, you should {check it out}! And if you are one of the first three readers to leave your email address in a comment, I’ll send it to you for free!
Five days ‘til Spring Break!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Personal Narratives Made Easy!

I’ve been really stressed lately about my kids’ writing and the things I should be doing and haven’t, and all that great stuff. Where has the year gone?!
Anyway, to help cement the things they’ve learned about personal narratives so far this year, I put together a unit on personal narratives. It includes an introduction to personal narratives, an example personal narrative, blank personal narrative templates, and a personal narrative checklist. We also have Literacy Night coming up in a little over a month, and we have to display some of our kids’ writing. I thought it would be sweet if they each wrote a book about their families, and then included a personal narrative about their families at the end of the book. This is included in the Personal Narratives Made Easy unit. As usual, the first 3 readers to comment and leave their email addresses will get the Personal Narratives Made Easy unit with the bonus family book for FREE!
What advice do you have for other teachers who are stressed about teaching writing? I’d love some fresh ideas!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Research Reports Made Easy! {Get yours free...}

This week we are tackling the oh-so-exciting research report! I threw together a unit to help teach this concept to my kiddos. It includes planning advice, organizers, a checklist, and templates. One thing I debated including was information on bibliographies. I don’t want this to be too complicated for my second graders, but I still want them to know the right way to do things. In this day and age, it is too easy to “steal” information and not give credit where it is due. I want my students to know the proper way to cite others from an early age, but like I said, I don’t want it to be too complicated.
So I included just a little on bibliographies.
I'’m hoping this unit will make teaching this concept a cinch! We are getting library books on animals, and that is what they'’ll write their reports on. You can get your copy of this unit {here} and the first 3 people to comment below, including their email addresses will get the unit FREE!
Let me know how it goes for you!
Have a great week!

Geaux Ravens!
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