Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sale and a Messy House.

Happy Easter to all of you.  Many friends are joining the Sunday and Monday sale, and I am thrilled to be part of that.  I may do some shopping tonight!
But most importantly, I hope all of you are enjoying time with your family and loved ones.

Hubby is off (can't remember the last holiday he was home, but he is today). I have been nagging asking for a variety of things for our living room. You see... the rug is besides nasty, the lighting makes me want to cry, the paint is something we did not choose... I could go on and on, but I won't. :)
After months and perhaps years of nagging begging, he has given in.  For some reason yesterday and today are the days we decided it was 'the' day.  So, no Easter plans for us, but cleaning and making a mess.

On the other hand there are paint swatches, lights, electricians, painters, flooring, and a handy hubby to work with.  I guess that is what the Easter bunny brought me.

Have a fantastic holiday!  Trying to keep my self sane around all this mess :)  But happy about it!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Back From Vacation

Hello friends! We got back from vacation last Wednesday.  This girl is so relaxed, and I still have one more week off.

I have been working on pictures all afternoon.  I took 440 pictures and I got lucky to be in a few of them.   

Are you ready for a billion pictures of our Disney Cruise?  This post has no school content :)

This beauty took us on a 5 day family journey of relaxation.

Miami is a cool city! I wanted to do the Conga...just because :)

Mr. Disney himself and Mickey were could not help but to smile A LOT. 

We were greeted with a fabulous lunch right after boarding.

Our fabulous cabin had everything you could possibly need.  The best part was the verandah...a super nice touch!

Daily shows by the pool with the big!

The views, the boat, the entertainment, the wind, the heat....just what we needed :)

First port of call...Grand Cayman.  Snorkeling for the boys, movies by the pool for the girls.

Second port of call...Cozumel.  We met this super cool looking friend.

I had a change to take some pictures of the boat when we were in Cozumel.  It was hot...steamy hot.

We did some shopping. Hubby bought a cool hat and a mask. I just took pictures.

OK...let's talk about the food. Oh! the food you guys.  I am pretty sure I gained a ton of weight.  I am staying away from the scale. I am too afraid.  I tried to eat a ton of salads and a daily small dessert. 
I am telling you, the food is to die for. I was the only one who ate Mickey's waffles, and I felt like a kid in a candy store :)

We ate at a different restaurant everyday. Each restaurant had a different theme and some gorgeous menus.

The daily towel animals and the mini chocolates are such a great touch.  One of them borrowed my daughter's bathing suit.

Baby crawling raises, Disney characters, and the gorgeous princesses made it to the central atrium the place to be.

I had to take this picture. It reminded me of my bloggy friend Jaime :) I took it for you girl!

Came home to a ton of laundry...and I cannot wait to do this all over again.  Have you cruised before?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Currently April

I am tracked out.  The sun came out again (woohoo!). I need to go on a diet.  I just got a speeding ticket this morning. Hubby is working on the yard (without asking for help). What else could I need?  :)  Join the party with Farley and wish her luck. Good luck to all of you who have begun testing!  

Listening:  We have an old dell computer. We would love a Mac, but honestly, I am not ready to spend that much money on it, and learn something new.  I cannot handle the learning curve right now. My brain may explode. For right now, the humming noise and the only noise in the house is coming from our old, old computer.

Loving: Here is the truth: I do not take good care of my face. I like to touch my face (and not in a nice way). My face looks beat up, and I do not know much about make up.  A friend of mine recommended her make up (Bare Minerals) , so I went shopping for it yesterday.
I have worn it one day and my face feels smooth and I look radiant (just kidding- I thought I sounded like a commercial, so I had to go with it). I took notes yesterday about application. There are too many bottles and containers on my bathroom counter ...and brushes. I am so confused with the brushes!  I guess my handy dandy label maker is going to have to help me label them. I need a checklist too!  Such a teacher. So OCD :)

Thinking: Thursday cannot come fast enough :)  I will be sure to take a billion pictures. Mickey must kiss me again...I will have nice make up this time. 

Wanting: There are some decisions I need to make that involve my career, my family, our future.  I am hoping I choose what is best for all of us.  I need to choose to be happy instead of just surviving and living day by day. I must make a priority to find my happy place :)

Needing:  I feel content. I nee nothing!  I have more than I deserve. I do. 

Hours and last day: Our school day hours are 8:45 - 3:45  I usually arrive around 8:15 and leave around 4:30. I may add, I never leave school with a bag full of things to do at home.  I live 3 minutes from school, so when I sleep in...I can still make it to work right before the bell rings.  Don't tell the boss I confessed I love my sleep!
June 27th is our last day this year, and my count down has not begun yet. I have so much to teach and enjoy :)

Link up and say hello to new friends.

I hope spring reaches you soon and sticks around. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tracking Out and Cleaning Out.

Tomorrow is track out day. Woohooo!

It is also a not so happy day.  We will be saying good bye to our student teacher. I am hoping to blog about our day... if I can compose myself from crying.

Until then... spring cleaning and spring sales are going on. What are you doing (or have done) for spring break?
I will be...

I hope the sun comes back and sticks around.  My pale Mexican color is not highlighting my best features :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Money Jars

Counting money could be fun...or painful.  I rather say it is fun because it reviews so many math concepts our students have been practicing since kindergarten (counting by ones using a hundreds chart = counting pennies, or counting/skipping by tens= counting dimes). Once they realize it is not such a brand new concept, they begin to believe it is easy.
When we talk about quarters and combining all the coins...well, I always tell my kids that is the brand new thing they must learn as second graders and that step by step, they will certainly be able to do it.

Counting money is not always easy, and this time, we used 'jars' to learn how to count money.

Check it out HERE :)

We began by exploring coins and looking for ways to describe them.  

After finding out that a few kids did not know their coins, we used these jar to find them. 
I made a quick reference half sheet for them to use when needed. 

Then the counting began...

We used our jars to count one type of coin at a time (only pennies, only nickels, only dimes, only quarters), then two coins (pennies and nickels, pennies and dimes, pennies and quarters...), and lastly three coins (pennies, nickels and dimes...). You get the idea.  I was taking  notes of where they got lots, and then met with them in small groups. 
The kids were told to put their coins on the top of the jar and move each coin while they counted nice and slow (one-to-one correspondence). Touch, count, move...

Once we got to having the four different coins together, they were told to put each coin with their 'relatives'. I told them I like to be with my family so if I was a penny I would like to be with all my penny family members. Then we put them in order from highest value to lowest value. I remembered to emphasize it is not about the coins size, but their values.

I showed them two strategies. On day one, we worked on using the counting up strategy or what you may call number patters.  On day two we worked on counting each family of coins, then using an addition algorithm to get the total.  We practiced both, but they are able to use the one that makes the most sense when it comes down to take any assessments.

We got busy using our money jars. I mainly worked with my kiddos who struggle at this point.  72 jars later and they can count much better than they did before.  

Would you like to check it out?
Find it HERE.

I will send this to two friends who help me pin this (leave your link and e-mail).  Any other secrets you use to help your students count money?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

More Templates and Character Clouds

The day is gorgeous outside.  The kids are practicing their rock climbing skills with daddy, and the house is nice and silent.  I decided that while I think of what to do with my 'mommy-free' time, I'd like to share two quick things with you.

Last night I worked on adding 10 more desktop templates.  After I posted it, I received a few ideas, and I got around to adding them last night.  I added fruits, watermelon, owls, dogs, baseball and superheroes...keep sending me your ideas.

Find them HERE.

42 Templates as of right now :)

Let's move on to today... school... painful, but quick :)  

Beautiful morning. 73 degrees right now. I really need to get out!

Then came the clouds.... 

My student teacher finished teaching about character traits. First, she read this super cute book.  She created a trait anchor chart as a review.  The kids traced a cloud to make and describe the main character in the book.  

Then came the traits...

They added character traits about Cloudette.  She created a chart of inside traits and outside traits.  I wish I had taken a picture of her chart. The kids are coming up with amazing descriptions.

Check out the lightning! 

Lastly... the one thins I dislike to do right before track out. 

Wish me luck,

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Winners and a Few Pictures

I have been meaning to blog all week. I had all sorts of ideas, then I got tired.   I am also guilty of watching too much TV.  I have a serious couch problems.  

Thank you to all of you who came to visit this week, those who entered the giveaway, and all my new friends and Facebook followers. Nice to meet you :)

The Winners of Share Your Opinion are: Marcy B. & Shannan N.  Check your e-mails ladies, we hope you love our products!
I'd like share a few pictures about my trip with you.  I enjoyed being surrounded by so many passionate educators.  Meeting new teachers and learning from each other was certainly the highlight of my 4 day trip.  
I drove 5 hours in company of Madonna. I do not remember the last time I just felt like singing and enjoying my loud music.  I am pretty sure drivers got a good laugh if they saw me singing the way I did.  I know I had a huge smile on my face.
I do like driving fast. I mean, I know I drive a mommy van, but this thing can drive fast!  I am pretty sure I encountered a few cop cars.  Lucky me, no speeding tickets. 

I arrived a little early so I went for a quick walk and took some pictures.  This is the front of the building were the seminars took place. 

Front part of the seminar building.  

Our luxury hotel :) located right across the seminar building. I did not get a nice view, maybe next time. 

My room was on the back of the building where a beautiful cardinal came to see me almost every day, but refused to pose for a picture. 
We talked about reading, writing, teaching, testing... you name it.  Nothing like venting with a bunch of educators who get how you feel (no offense to hubby). 

We even went on a field trip to a tiny cute town nearby. Our first stop was a cute little book store where we heard about the latest in children's literature. I resisted and did not buy anything. Boo!

Can't wait to go back...soon!  What was the last professional development you attended?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Swap 'til You Drop! and a Giveaway

Swapping time has come!

17 cool ladies teamed up to swap a product we needed for our classrooms.  May I present to you...
"The" Main Idea Mania! unit. This is a 129 page unit with everything you need to teach, practice, and review main idea. 

Angela loves hippos. Do not think this is a unit about hippos, I put it in there in honor of her blog title :) 
Let's begin...

Angela included a variety of circle maps for your kids to talk about the main idea, and then write about them. These circle maps pair up with a variety of writing paper too. I  am so sorry for the white and color copies :( We did a lot of talking about main idea first by only using the circle maps. Then we wrote. I mean, they wrote.  

Angela included passages, where the task is to find the main idea. We used a crayon to find and support our choices. Having the A,B,C options helped them out a lot. Did I hear text evidence?  Color and black and white copies are included. 

You can always pair up your students to discuss any of the circle maps, writing assignments, or passages. I know my girls loved talking to each other and checking to see if they were correct. They were even asking each other questions about their choices. I called that 'thinking aloud' with a buddy :) Score!

There are also passages that include the main idea, but this time, the kids supported the main idea with details. They really liked that!  For some reason, they think that was easier for them to complete. They, once again used their text to support their evidence. 

You really can find everything in this unit: circle maps, writing paper, graphic organizers, color and black and white documents to save you ink, and ideas on how to differentiate and implement in your classroom. 

This is Angela's top seller, and now I know why :)  

Angela is reviewing one of my products. You must visit her blog to find out which one. 

Now, here are the details for the giveaways!

1. Start anywhere on the map below.
2. Stop by each blog and read about the products swapped between each set of bloggers.
3. Enter to win the resources that are featured by each blog pair. Each pair of bloggers has the same raffle, so you only have to enter on one of the two blogs.While you are at each blog, if you are not already a follower, sign on to follow!
4. The raffles are open until midnight March 15th.


      A Burst of First
Lucky to Be in First        First Grade Smiles
Second Grade Perks         
Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!     

The Tutu Teacher   Happy Teacher Heaven
Meet Miss Parker   

Good luck! 

Update: My apologies for being late to the party.  I just came back from my seminar and the scheduled post did not go live. I am not sure what I did wrong. 

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