Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Giveaway for Multiplication

We started multiplying last week, topic 19. (Only one more topic after this!) My second graders KNOW they are big kids now. A few of them are doing really well because they have already figured out this is just fancy skip counting. To keep them excited and challenged, I created a game that lets them apply strategies to break apart some of the harder multiplication facts. I am giving away two copies in my Teacher's Notebook store on May fourth. Go over and enter.
I'm trying to upload a multiplication freebie but Teacher's Notebook won't let me :(. It's up on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I'm also trying to be REALLY GOOD to clean up, organize, and start packing for the move. Every stack of school papers at home has been sorted this weekend. I found lots of good stuff to leave for the teacher moving down to second grade and organized everything at home to add to everything that I organized at school on Friday. And I taped and packed one box of reading materials. This week I will put all of the math printables back in order... long task.. haven't been put away too well..... and sort through Science and Social Studies. Hopefully I can pack up two cabinets this week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Math Night

Our Math Night was a huge success, and I added on to what I had done for my school and decided to share. We used the posters, grade level posters, Sudoku and We Built a Zoo. Then I got kinda carried away. By the time I was done, this unit was 65 pages! Please check this out as one of my featured items at Teacher's Notebook or even repin it. I might redo this with the theme of your choice as a giveaway for 50 followers.Can someone explain how to do the random number generator?

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'll rest next week

Do you keep track of blog guests from other countries? I'm always amazed when I see a new flag pop up in the Feedjit. Since I've been recording, I've been visited from South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Philippines, Slovakia, Bahrain, Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Indonesia, and Pakistan. I think there was a Japanese guest, but that was before I was writing them down. Teachers everywhere are trying to learn from each other, and find something to make our lives easier and our students learning more successful.

This is a busy week at school. It's our spring book fair, so our media time is moved around and I won't have planning with my team tomorrow. Today was a math committee meeting to prepare for Math Night on Thursday and our staff development presentation next Tuesday on the Common Core. Tomorrow night is Chick-Fil-A night again :) Wednesday my class has a dance party incentive that we won for having the best attendance for two months. I am still working on the problem solving activities for Math Night Thursday, and Friday is our field trip to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and report card day.

Math Night Problem Solving Activity for our theme: Wild For Problem Solving

And I need to complete end of year running records for all of my students. I only made it through 2 students today. 2!! They both read level Z. I started with my high group to help me think about who should be ready for a fourth grade reading level and who should be ready for a fifth grade reading level. It will be difficult to sort them at the end of the year.

Have a good week and don't let them figure out that the end is near!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Giveaway at the newly improved Teachers Notebook

One of the new features at Teachers Notebook is the Giveaway Promotions. I entered a few, and decided to try one myself. If they are popular, I'll do more. I am giving away my Bug Collector Blends that includes all three games. Please check out the new format and and I hope to figure out how to get a good link from this page later on today.

 Giveaway Promotion

We're getting ready to go horseback riding. Instead of doughnuts for breakfast, I switched the sleepover bunch to scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. Pray for a quiet ride.

Update- The ride there was noisy. Horseback riding was AWESOME, lunch at McDonalds was subdued, ride home was sleepy. Very good idea for 9-13 year old birthday party.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

She WAS Looking at Me!

This is working now! My browser was no longer supported on Blogger. That is a problem.. so I changed browsers. Problem solved.

Tuesday I was only in for the half day. When I got in to school Wednesday, my teammate told me that the principal had been trying to reach me. She called my house (got the fax) and called my cell that I wasn't answering because we were at the hospital. So with that warning, I knew it was me. Remember how I said that at the staff meeting I thought the principal was looking at me? She was.  My teammate that had volunteered to leave second grade told me she was moved to first but that my name was on THE LIST with hers. I found out before first bell yesterday that I am going to third. Another teammate is going from second to kindergarten. Then a k to 1, a 1 to 2, and a 3 to 2. How many moving boxes will all that take?
Switching grades makes you take stock in your life. What do I believe is important? What do I have that I need, and what am I holding onto for sentimental reasons. I need to stop being sentimental. The Winnie the Pooh that I painted for summer camp 17 years ago will probably never be used again. It's time to let go.
I've downloaded my new pacing guides, made new labels for my reading series and am starting to make posters for the theme questions.
Unfortunately now that we know we are not teaching these grades any more, our minds are shifting to our new grades. I don't want to plan for second grade. I don't want to kick butt at my job. I want to get ready for next year. I am evaluating what I want to teach really well to make my life easier next year. I'm not thinking so much about refining a unit but getting it done. That's sad.

One of our kids had a really bad day today. He's been having problems for a while, getting better, getting worse.Yesterday he almost smashed the computer in the AP's office. Today he told about his plan to go downstairs in the night to get a knife to kill himself. He had all the details worked out. This is a second grade baby. He's eight. He can make plans on what to do after school, but can't think a week ahead. Which means he meant to do it. His mom was upset that she was paged at work. REALLY??? I pray that he gets help, that all the children whose parents can't be bothered find someone to listen and take them seriously before they feel like there is no way out.

My daughter is ten toady. We have a tradition that we ask them about their favorites on their birthday. It is the official day to change their favorites. Now that you're ten what's your favorite color? What is your favorite food now? There are probably forty questions and then they ask for more. Try it. It lets them make new decisions. My daughter's favorite colors are now bright turquoise, purple, and seafoam green. We bought three shade of pink paint for her bedroom a few months ago, but fortunately never started painting. Tomorrow night is the sleepover, then horseback riding with her friends, then back home for the family party. I'll rest next week.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Four Days? Really?

I was at Kelly Hall's blog and I was going down her blog roll because I figured out how to change my favicon (:)) and saw that I hadn't blogged on my board since Monday. Really? I've been online plenty. Mostly pinterest and blogs. And I worked on dolphins and Sonoran Desert and today plan (fingers crossed) on starting giraffes after cleaning the house a bit. One of the cutest things I found were the printable iPhones, iPads, and iPods for spelling work. I have a student that received his iPad last year in first grade ( I don't have one. Why does a six year old need one? How come they have cooler tech than I do?) and he would be thrilled to show off skills on a fake appliance. Find them at Mrs. Bremer's Kindergarten.
Link to all three printable i-devices

My daughter is growing up. She had made some comments before we left for Target that let me know it was probably time. She's turning ten and heading off to middle school in the fall, but I didn't want it to happen. She helped me purchase some things in the holiday section of Target. Sorry for being somewhat cryptic, but I don't know if your children ever read over your shoulder. And December she will be ready to help me find great items for her younger family members.  Maybe a few more years with my son? I know I'll miss the magic of joy and amazement.

I think I am getting a blog makeover. It makes me nervous  to give up control but it will probably turn out just fine. I figured out this year that that is why I/teachers don't like field trips. We have to give up control and trust that someone will make the right/constructive/positive choices for the growth and development of something we love. I have three designers in mind, but would LOVE to hear your suggestions.

My new word to mistype is because. I have been typing becasue for the last few weeks. I wonder if one of my fingers is getting info from my brain faster than the other side? My classic is hte for the. I need to sssslllooooowww down and concentrate.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April's Currently

This my first Currently. I'm not sure how much explanation they should get.

My husband is at work, my daughter is still sleeping, and my son is away in DE for a few days with a friend. No TV, radio, or game system in earshot. Ahhh!

Pinterest is a problem. It goes on forever. Everyone likes really cool ideas and I want to find even more cool ideas. Which leads me to my thinking.

I'm spending way too much time on the computer and not enough time moving. My body can tell.

I want to get ahead. If I can get ahead, I can breathe and tackle what I need to do... the box and piles of papers. I do a pretty good job with tests, quizzes, and easy to check papers, but papers with longer answers take more time. And I've put away some of my reading materials in the correct folders and binders but not all. But a little tiny voice inthe back of my head is telling me the principal is moving me to another grade because I swear she was looking right at me.

My chocolate eggs are awesome. Every egg that left my house is sold. My two kids bring their money to buy my eggs from church becasue I will not give them any freebies. They are that good. And since they are sold out, I have to make more for Easter baskets.

Now it's time to get to work. I started working on place value yesterday, it might be done later this week. When we get back from break, we are adding and subtracting tens and hundreds and comparing and ordering three digit numbers. I wonder what I'll come up with.