Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RtI: Ready to Implode

I am not sure where I have been since the beginning of August. I seriously have a list of about 20 blogs posts to share with you that I have not gotten to. I have TONS of *freebies* to share with you and about 8 packets I cannot seem to wrap the finishing touches on to post on TpT. My brain is having to go in too many different directions!!!

At the beginning of the year, I make my daily schedule implementing all of our district initiatives and how much time I have to teach things like Word Study, Shared Reading, Shared Writing, Read Aloud/Comprehension Strategies, etc....the schedule always looks nice on paper. In reality, it is like Noah building the ark in 7 hours. It is NOT realistic when it comes to teaching little ones with short attention spans, bathroom breaks, transitions, the "questions" that are really stories about a little one and his momma, dog, or catastrophic injury.

I visit other blogs in ALL of my spare time and feel about this big !!!! I stink as a teacher is how I often feel at the end of the day. We have some great days too! Visits from Chester, Squawkers the Parrot, Eagle Eyes, Pete the Cat and in the next few days Lips the Fish, Stretchy Snake, Cranky Crab, and a very special alligator. There are fabulous lessons that go along with all of these.

But meeting after meeting leave me feeling overwhelmed with too much information about everything I have to do. We have been doing RtI at my campus for 3 years. It is nothing new. The interventions are things that I already have made and DO so that is a HUGE help. I am even blessed to have a wonderful person who comes into my room everyday to help me with my interventions.

But here is the NEWSFLASH every teacher is trying to broadcast:

We are NOT magicians!

We offer and provide all of these interventions which are kiddos need but then it seems we still have to give every child the same assessments and hold them to the same standards.

Plus, for so many of our little ones, we are the place where they might be getting the only love and attention of the day.

It is so easy to get overwhelmed by our "to-do" list. The curriculum and standards seem to be the only focus.

I need to remember that I am not teaching just standards and a curriculum but 17 little kiddos that God has placed in my room for a reason.

I also pray that I remember this poem each day.

I will be back very soon to share the give away winners. =)

Question of the Day: Do you want a *freebie* for Stretchy Snake, Lips the Fish, or ten frame math games?

Leave me a heart note and let me know. =)

Do you feel frustrated too at times with EVERYTHING teachers have to do???

From My Heart to Yours,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bloggy Blessings Give Away

In February 2011, I started this blog and had NO IDEA what I was doing. I didn't stalk other blogs, comment on blogs or even post on my blog because of FEAR and a battle with Google Docs. I finally started to figure things out in August of 2011 and my 5 followers hit the ground running with me.

Never in a million years would I think 1 or 100 people would follow my blog. I still worry about my posts and often think I don't have anything worthy of sharing. I sometimes think y'all might be a little cray cray for following me when there are times I feel as if I can barely keep my head above water in my classroom! =)

But each one of you has blessed me in ways I could never imagine. I am a better teacher because of you and the many awesome blogs out there. I wish I could chat with each of you (on the beach of course) and tell you how much you have touched not only my heart but the heart's of my kiddos. Since I cannot afford to fly us all to the Cayman Islands, please hear me now when I say THANK YOU for being a blessing to my heart!

To show my appreciation I am so happy to share with you this give away. =)

2 lucky winners will each win a prize package worth $100.

Here are all of the ways you can enter. =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck friends! =)

 I am so excited about The Great Paw Hunt tomorrow and the fun next week with Lips the Fish and a VERY special vowel visitor. I am finishing the final touches on those activities and am THRILLED to share them with you. =)

 From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Heart Words

I big {PUFFY} heart manners. It could be because I am a Southern gal but good manners make my heart smile. So, several years ago I started teaching my kiddos about heart words. These are the words that Our School Family considers very important because heart words show others that you care about them and respect them.

Since the first day of school, we have talked about being helpful or hurtful to others. To help us out, Squawkers left us the book Chrysanthemum to read.

Before the story, I cut out a large paper heart. As we read the story, we crumpled the heart each time we heard someone in the story say or do something hurtful. We passed the heart around as we read the story so each child had a chance to crumple the heart. We talked about what the hurtful words were doing to Chrysanthemum's heart. When the story was over, we tried to fix Chrysanthemum's heart.

We realized that even though we tried very hard to make it better her hurt was still a wrinkled mess because words can be hurtful.

We then thought of helpful words that we could say to Chrysanthemum. Each child had a band-aid with his/her name on it. As they said the helpful and kind words they put the band-aid on Chrysanthemum's heart to make her heart feel better. This helped us learn that we can make mistakes and be hurtful at times BUT we can then change our choices and try to make it better. Even though our heart was hurt, it can start to heal.

We then wrote about the heart words we want to use in Our School Family with interactive writing. I LOVE how my district encourages interactive writing since I am not capable of creating cute anchor charts. =)

You can get the adorable Chrysanthemum heart mouse from First Grade WOW
Check out Nancy's will LOVE it. =)

I also want to share with you the door to our room....I think it is a-door-able! =)

I will be back soon with The Great Paw Hunt with Pete the Cat, Lips the Fish, and a lesson on Growing Kindness. If you have a few minutes, I would love for you to leave me a heart note. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Visit from Chester

I feel as if I have been too tired to even think about blogging. I was afraid if I actually stopped that I would fall asleep right then. Going through the first week of Boot Camp building your School Family is draining on my mouth. By the end of the day I feel as if I have met my word limit for the day. =)

Squawkers has really been watching and keeping his parrot eyes on us last week.

He sent us another package with shaving cream to practice writing letters, color words and word wall words. In the package, he also sent marshmallows for a lesson on using our marshmallow toes and marshmallow voices. Squawkers also told us a new friend would be visiting. This friend LOVES to sleep during the day. We brainstormed a list of animals that are awake during the night.

FYI: Be prepared for learning interesting information about what some of your babies see and hear during the night.

When we returned from lunch on Friday. the book of The Kissing Hand was on the rug. At the end of the book Chester left a note sending us on a Scavenger Hunt around the school. As we traveled around the school, we practiced using directions to tell us which way to go next. The last Scavenger Hunt clue led us back to the classroom where Chester had left us a package. We even spotted HIM!!!!!

In the package was a recipe. We had to follow the recipe telling us to add a certain amount of what was inside each bag (I am sorry for no pictures of the bag and the recipe). After following the recipe, Our School Family realized we had made Chester! =)

Aren't those so stinkin' adorable??!!????

the ingredients are:
*a rice cake
*apricots for the ears
*prunes for the mask
*purple grapes for the eyes and nose
*a banana slice for the mouth

Chester also left brain workout activities to help the Smarties in Our School Family exercise their brains. Here is one of the activities.

I would love for you to take a few minutes and leave me a heart note. Each one brings a smile to my heart.

From My Heart to Yours,