Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Snookie "Waaaaaah"

Cue my best impersonation of Snookie's waaaaaaaah.

Ugh Ugh Ugh.

I was braaaagging at school recently. My first two years, I felt like I was sick all the time. Head cold here, sinus infection around every corner, my allergies were killing me everyday, no matter the season. One day, my eye even swelled shut. Yep. But this year, I had a great winter and early spring. I've only taken one sick day.

I'm a sick day hoarder, inspired by advice from my first friend at work!

Then today, boom. Woke up, and I felt like I got hit by a car. My entire head was congested, even after my daily, half an hour shower experience [I've already told you I'm a water waster, I'm sorry.] So, I texted my work bff, who has enough to do every morning anyway, and I sent her some plans and copies. I've done it for her, but I always feel so guilty.

I feel guilty for taking sick days, period. I feel guilty that my administration has to find a sub, I feel guilty that work friend has to run around for me, I feel guilty that a substitute has to deal with my crazy bunch, I feel guilty that my students don't get their real teacher. Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I crazy?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Countdown Continues!

Hello readers! 6 teaching days and 1 PD left, in case you're keeping score!

I got a new friend today. I have a few assumptions of how the rest of the year is going to go with her, but I'm trying to stay positive. Really. Trying.

A couple tv/movie things I'd like to discuss!

Have you seen the preview for "The Lucky One"? I first saw it when I saw The Hunger Games. I read this book a few years ago, and I loved it. But UGHH. Zach Efron? Not at all who I pictured when I read the book. I can't even take him seriously in the preview. Gr. Can't even be excited about the movie.

Any Dancing with the Stars fans? Who do you guys think is going home tonight?! If I were a bettin' gal, I'd say buh-bye to the tennis broad. With Gavin Degraw [and his creepiness] in a close second. Why couldn't my school have a DWTS pool in addition to the March Madness bracket? I'd have that on lockkkk.

I'm going to link up with a Survey Linky going on right now at Fifth Grade Rocks, Fifth Grade Rules! [Such a cute name BTDubss] Was anyone else a survey fanatic about a decade ago? [Ew! Time is going fast!] When I was in high school, we would all email these surveys to each other, some with the most ridiculous questions.

At any rate, I was feeling nostalgic in that regard, so here we go! Go link up by clicking her button below!

5thGradeRocks, 5thGradeRules

1.  Are you married, do you have a bf, or are you flying free as a single lady/man?
I've been with my boyfriend for a little over a year now.

2.  Where did you grow up?

Suburb of Philly. Moved to DE for my current job. I miss everything about home!

3.  Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind and what is his/her name?

I still consider my two cats at my dad's house to be my pets! Their names are Elvis and Glub. No, that's not a typo. My sister named him Glub. "My" cat, Elvis, is obviously much more sophisticated.

I do not have any pets of my own, but I foster animals through local rescues. Right now, I have  Tonkinese kitty named Baja sitting on the other side of the room.

4. What is a favorite tv show you are embarrassed to admit to watching?
Psh, no embarrassment here. Teen Mom, Real Housewives of OC, Dogs 101, etc. I watch ridiculous TV, along with some legit stuff!

5.  Are you a saver or a spender?
A saver for the most part.

6.  What is your favorite children's book?
I love everything Patricia Polacco, Eve Bunting, and Mister Seuss.

7.  Were you the class clown, teacher's pet, or neither?
Neither. I flew under the radar. I was always smart, but not the smartest. Helpful, but not the most helpful, etc.

8.  Who is your favorite athletic team?
Phillies baby!

9.  Where did you go on your last REALLY fun vacation?
I'm looking to the future. Jamaica in a week and a half!

10.  Who is your favorite actor?  Actress?
I'm majorly in love with Jason Segal. And Emma Stone is so cute! It's really hard for me to pick faves!

11.  Tell about the last time you cried because you were happy.
Oh gosh. I have no idea. There haven't been many happy tears recently, just stressed ones.

12.  What is your favorite season?
Spring! Flippy floppys, light weight hoodies, Spring Break, and long days!

13.  What is your biggest regret?

Honestly, not sure that I have one. If I had to, I'd probably say not appreciating my high school/college years. I was so excited to get out and grow up!

14.  What food do you just NOT like at all?
Bacon. Any breakfast meat for that matter. Sausage, pork roll, scrapple? YUCK!

15. Who was your most memorable teacher, and why?
Sadly, I never really had a teacher who truly made a difference in my life. I did have one that was memorable for the WRONG reason. She was my Adv. Math & AP Calc Teacher. I had her two years in a row, and she was seriously mean to me. Like I said, I was smart, but not the smartest, and I was in a room full of smarty pants! I've always wanted to show her all the good this "lazy" "unmotivated" kid has done.

That's all I've got. Check back tomorrow for a freebie! =)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slowly, But Surely...

ccrrrraaawwwwlllliiinngggg toward Spring Break. Oy.

And I'm having the Sunday blues. Double Oy.

Had a pretty eventful weekend! Went to bed early on Friday night & was a bum all day today, so I guess the eventfulness pretty much took place on Saturday. Went down to the Outlets with the boy, went out to lunch, saw Hunger Games, and bought a new bathing suit top and cover up for Jamaica.

I agree with the majority of reviews I've heard about the movie. [I don't want to be a "I read the book" snob, but I've read & finished the trilogy.] I really enjoyed the movie, but there are a few things I would have changed!

  1. More character development! I feel like we only scratched the surface of everyone. I'm obviously not a movie maker, and it must be hard to cram everything into a movie. As a viewer, I wanted to be "in Katniss's head" more than I was.
  2. Shaky camera. I was prepared for this, so I sat all the way in the back. But lord. During a few scenes, especially the tracker-jacker scene, I had to close my eyes because of the craziness of the camera!
  3. A few little things, too. Gale looks old. I liked how she got the pin better in the book. What happened to the hovercraft getting the bodies in the arena? And a few other things. Nothing that really threw off the movie, though!
So, all in all, I really enjoyed the movie. My boyfriend, who didn't read any of the books, needed clarification on a lot of things, so if you haven't seen it yet, just read the first book! It's quick and easy, and it will make the experience much more enjoyable!

I have been so fortunate to receive this award from a few fellow bloggers!

So thank you to the following ladies!

WILD About First Grade!

and Courtney @ Teaching in Paradise!

We're plowing through our persuasive writing pieces. I'v conferenced with all my friends and led them toward the topic that would make the best argument! Now we're starting our graphic organizers. I was inspired by a graphic organizer that came from Fulton County Schools. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to link to it! So if you'd like to see it, google "persuasive graphic organizer" and it will be one of the results that opens as a .doc.

Here is my spruced up version. No fancy clip art, we needed as much room for writing as possible! Just added writing lines & a cuter font. Grab the freebie if you'd like it!

Persuasive Essay Graph Org

I have eight teaching days and one PD day until Spring Break.

I think I can...
      I think I can...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I know I've been slacking lately. Haven't done too much commenting. I let my Google Reader get up to like 600 for goodness sake!

BUT, according to my dashboard, I just got my 100th follower! I'm pretty sure I got my last few followers from the 3-5 linky party that I joined. So thank you & welcome! I hope you enjoy and/or get something out of my posts. =)

So I posted last week about my observation. I was worried and freaking out. Long story short, everything turned out fine. I was worried about nothing [as usual]. I wish I could get to the point where I'm confident. I get great feedback from my colleagues and administration. When will I believe what they say wholeheartedly? Ever? Anyway, goodbye novice teacher status. This girl is going to be in the "experienced" category now!

I wanted to spotlight a few cute ideas I've come across in hopes that you might also find them helpful. I'm too exhausted to think of things on my own these days! [and too scared to pin/use clip art/etc]


First, Lesson Plan SOS!

They used a Reading Raffle as a reading incentive! I'm going to use it in a different way, but this was such an inspiration. Once I get around to it, I'll post how my version goes. Go check out their idea!


Next is Sunny Days in Second Grade!

Sunny Days in Second

First of all, I LOVE all of the items she makes! My faves are her weekly word [and now math] items and the monthly BUMP boards. I see SO many bump boards out there, but I love hers the most! Anyway, she has a super cute idea for remembering that there are three feet in a yard. Go check it out!


Last, we have Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes!

Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes

She posted, in a lot of detail, about her math notebooking strategies. Well, I'm hooked. Unfortunately, we're way too far into the school year to do this idea this year, but next year, this will be a must! I'm sure my third graders notebooks will be pretty shaky at the beginning of the year, with their 2nd grade handwriting and maturity, but I hope they will blossom into a great tool!


That's all I have for you. Lots of blog friends are finishing up their spring break! Mine is not until April 6th. Counting down the seconds minutes hours days!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The One Where An Angel Appeared!

Today. Just another exhausting day. Ugh, I sound so blegghhh.

Today, I got a practicum student!

[[Flash back to last year. I got a practicum student for the first time. He was over six feet tall.

He scared me.

He sat at my small group table and did his homework instead of listen, observe, and learn. I did nothing about it, because honestly, I didn't even feel confident enough. But it irked me. A lot.]]

But this girl! SO super sweet. Willing to learn. And I told her about my challenging class, as she came during my planning period, and I was able to prep her. I told her, in generalities of course, the struggles that  these kids go through both in and out of school, and how we play a huge part in their lives.

And then, not one hour after she arrived, she asked if I wanted her to grade my spelling tests from last week that are still sitting in my grading drawer.

Our local university has sent me an angel! I only have her on Wednesdays for the next month or so. I hope to be a great model and help her in any way that I can. She's only a junior, so she just has to observe, then do a lesson or activity for her professor to observe. Since we're creeping up to the DCAS test, we're in spiral review mode! I asked her what her favorite subject to teach was, and she said math. So I gave her some topics that we're going to be reviewing like crazy-- 3d shapes, area/perimeter, division.

I saw a linky party going on for upper elementary teachers! So I joined, obviously! Go link up at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies! Just when I got my google reader down to a managable number, I'm going to add more blogs to my feed. Great idea, Meg. But I can't help myself! I don't want to miss any of the ideas you all have to offer!

One last note. Teachers are special people. We are multitaskers. We get more done in an hour than most get done in a day. But there's one special group of people who deserve even more recognition.


Honestly-- I don't know how you all do it, teaching all day then having a family to take care of. Last night, I passed out on my couch at 8pm. I have no one to worry about but myself [besides my boyfriend. And my foster cat who is currently hiding from me], so I have that luxury. So this last tidbit should serve as a KUDOS! to all of you teachers who deal with what we have to deal with ALL day, then go home and lead a family. You are admired!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm back!

I'm posting again. Maybe I'm back in blogging business!

I hope that some of you will get some use out of my freebie. Like I said, I'm using it as a brainstorming piece. Once we conference and decide which will be the best topic, they will fill out the more specific graphic organizer.

So I was observed on Friday. Let's just say it could have gone better. My usual suspects were being ridiculous. Not doing what I asked them to do, whining, playing with their manipulatives, etc. I was pretty much putting out fires the entire lesson. On top of this, it was a new concept [equivalent fractions], so of course there was going to be a little bit of confusion. My post-observation meeting is on Monday, and I'm sure we will talk about everything. I was hesitating on even posting about this, but I think it's important. Everyone knows I have a handful this year, and I just hope that my administration knows that I do my best everyday, and that, honestly, teaching is my top priority. I live an hour from my friends and family, I don't have a family of my own just yet. Teaching is my life [for better or for worse]. I give 110%.

Have you heard of Mr. Anker's Test? It is a website with test questions, broken down by grade, subject, topic, and even skill within a topic. I've been using it to supply an element of "test prep" with each skill we're passing. My students get their white board and their dry erase markers, and work a few problems. It has definitely been beneficial. Click the picture to see what I mean!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Persuasive Writing

We are trudging through persuasive writing. I chose the verb trudging because composing a well-written writing piece is such a struggle for my kids. They HATE the idea that they have to brainstorm, fill in a graphic organizer, write something, edit it, and write it AGAIN. Blows their little minds.


Because I said so!

Because following all of these steps make certain that you have high quality work that is neat, organized, and focused, my beautiful children!

So I came up with an activity to engage them into persuasive writing. First, we visited our "heart" maps, which include things that we care and love. These things would be the best to write about because we are passionate about them! Then, we brainstormed aspects we'd like to change about these things to make them better.

For example, I obvi wrote teaching in my heart map. I told them one thing that I'd like to change is higher pay smaller class sizes more resources less drama goodbye state testing a bigger classroom! We decided I could try to persuade the school officials. And we brainstormed reasons why that would be a great idea!

My other examples were wanting people to adopt a pet and asking my sister to come visit more often. We are doing these one at a time, and I am challenging them to think of one "world" issue, one "personal" issue, and then whatever they want.

Once all of these are filled out, I will conference with each student and we will choose which idea would probably be the strongest to write about for their writing piece. This is key, because I'm SURE some of my friends are going to want to "persuade" the most RANDOM things.

Anyway, here's the freebie. Now, there's a Gandhi quote on the worksheet. Is this legal? I mean, I'm not selling it, right? And I gave him credit! I'm so paranoid now, I almost don't want to post anything! [Insert Snooki WAHHHH.] Don't get me started on Snooks.

Anyway, click the preview & let me know what you think!

Persuasive Writing Activity

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I haven't posted in two weeks.

I'm sure ya'll have heard the saying.. "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Well, I have nothing nice to say about school right now. I love my job, I really do. But I truly believe that I am being tested. I'm over handful of troublemakers. I'm taking it day by day, week by week, month by month.

Which brings me to this post! I was waiting for a positive reason to post, and here it is! Farley's monthly currently! I'm so happy that it's that time, I needed a reason to pop up on your google reader feed! =)

Like many of you,  I needed to google adjectives! Right now, "firm" is probably the nicest way to describe me in the classroom. I am faithful to my friends, 100%. I take their sides, and they can depend on me to listen or anything else really, even though I live over an hour away from most of them now. My family probably thinks I'm focused. Right now, I'm trying to figure out what to focus on in regards to grad school, but at least I'm focusing on being focused, right? =)

Go link up with Farley, who shares my initials! I'll be interested to see other people who needed to use F. Maybe I missed some better adjectives!

Hopefully I'll be back sooner than later with something insightful. Or at least positive!