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February 25, 2013

Open House: Flower Wagon theme

This is a very specific question for my 4th grade L.A. peeps: What do you do/put out for Open House?

Normally, our Open House is May, so I have plenty of time to create cute projects. Plus our Texas STAAR testing is over in May.

Open House is tomorrow night. I have never felt so unprepared. Fortunately, I still have our wagons up from our Colonization unit and saved a few good theme billboards. I am, also, going to try to quickly make "ed" ending flowers tomorrow.


"ED" flowers idea came from Kristin @ Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten.  (That's right! We are still teaching -ed endings in Fourth grade.)


February 24, 2013

Houston Area Blogger Meet-Up

Not an ordinary Sunday afternoon! I went to the Houston area blogger meet-up 
at the Cheesecake Factory in the Galleria.


February 23, 2013

Anchor Charts Away!

Language Arts skills weighing you down. Try an anchor chart! I have been making anchor charts like crazy lately. Here are my recent additions.

Complete Sentences...

 After giving the middle of the year writing benchmark, I discovered that my students had difficulty recognizing a complete sentence and its parts. I created this anchor chart to help remind them. I, also, use the  circled CS symbol to indicate when I want them to write a complete sentence. When they don't write one, I let them know by using the same symbol crossed through. 


To help them write, complex sentences in their writing. I taught them AAAWWUBBIS from Jeff Anderson's Mechanically Inclined. This chart is a combination of my favorites from Pinterest.

I saw this one on Pinterest, also. I knew I needed to make one to remind them about their beloved FANBOYS and their new favorite, AAAWWUBBIS. Fingers crossed! They will use them in their next expository composition.

Author's Purpose

Another Pinterest mash-up! We, also, made paper plate pies.

Word Study
~ing endings

Pinspiration struck again!

~ed endings

An ~er  version will be coming soon!

Kindness Counts

During the month of February, my class has been filling out Tickets of Appreciation (from Jon Gordon's Energy Bus for Kids) for each other. Every Friday, I pull them out of the box, read them aloud, and acknowledge their kindness with a bulldog token (our school's spirit store currency). The poster arrived shortly after I started this program. It came from values.com.

This past Friday, one of my sweethearts asked, "Are we going to keep doing this after February is over?" My reply, "Yes, yes, we are." Sometimes what we teach isn't in always in the curriculum. 


February 4, 2013

Monday Made It - February edition

I'm back! I haven't posted a Monday Made It since November.
 I meant to post in December and had time in January.
Here is what I've been up to...

#1 Homemade Tootsie Rolls

Not as good as the real thing, but they were fun and easy to make.
They, also, made some of my teammates happy.
If you try them, I recommend refrigerating before you eat them.

#2 Valentine's treats for students

(My Pinspiration)

(My Version)
Of course, I used Tootsie Roll pops. 

#3 Snow Sign

I  had this great idea! I wanted a sign for my front yard to go with my 4 inflatable snowmen. I bought a piece of plywood, 2 cans of spray paint, a can of sealer, and some tinsel garland. Being from Kansas, but currently living in Texas, I thought it would be funny to do a little play on words. I spent hours tracing and cutting out the letters. I spray painted the wood white, taped the letters down, then spray painted the sign red. You can tell where the tape was, so I bought some white acrylic paint to touch up the letters. I just haven't had time to finish painting. Once I do, I am going to seal it, so it will be water-resistant. Then I plan to staple tinsel garland around the edges. Hopefully, it will be complete by next Christmas. Stay tuned!

#4 Argyle Wreath

(My Pinspiration)

(My Version)


In progress...maybe next month.

Head over to 4th Grade Frolics and check out what Tara and her friends have made.


February 2, 2013


My friend and former partner, Diane is hosting a fun new linky. It is a photo challenge. Two things I can't resist; taking photos and a challenge. All you have to do is take a photo that fits the theme. Check out my entry!

Thursday, I was having a really bad morning. I hadn't slept well the night before. I was running "late" [Wee my last post about tardiness.] I had a PLC Writing meeting [A meeting to discuss the latest writing benchmark scores, which were not great.] during planning. I had already worn my United Way t-shirt and jeans earlier in the week, so I had no choice, but to dress-up. [We can wear jeans any day we want to if we were our United Way t-shirt with it. To get the t-shirt, we donated $75. Totally worth it!] You get the idea!

Well...I have a "buddy", who comes to visit me nearly every morning before she goes to class. She was assigned to me by the counselor at the beginning of the year to help her with friendships. Thursday morning, she arrived in my room. We chatted briefly, then I sent her off to class. I took my class to the computer lab and went to my meeting. It ended just in time to pick my class up from Music. While walking back to my classroom, my "buddy" finds me in the hallway. She is holding a card for me. My hands are full, but I manage to free two fingers to take the card. I thank her and scurry off. The rest of the day was so crazy, I didn't get a chance to read it until after school. It is hard to tell from this picture, but she drew me taking a nap on the beach in "paradis". This is love! Somehow she knew exactly what I needed. 

If you read my last post, then you know I've been reading The Energy Bus. This week's rule was #4 Love Your Passengers. My "buddy" is definitely on my bus. 

Head over to Diane's blog and share the love!


February 1, 2013

February Currently

January *Blink!* February

Wow! January whizzed by. I think I blinked and missed it. 

It is time to link up again with Farley. She may be happy to know that I made time to do her February currently, but didn't change my February calendar at school. Priorities, right?

I haven't blogged a lot about my dog, because my blog is supposed to be about education. However, he is my "boy" and I am trying to teach him a new trick. We bought him a new kennel, because his hexagonal pin allowed him to jump and bounce around. Being slightly overweight, this caused him to injure his knee and resulted in a limp. Trying to avoid a costly trip to the vet, we restricted his bouncing with the new kennel. He HATES it. The first night I put him in it. He looked up at me with his big brown eyes [cue Sara MacLachlan music]. The next morning when I tried to put him in again before school, he snapped and snarled at me. After 15 min. of trying to trick him, I had to go and left him in the office with my husband. It broke my heart to see him so upset and distraught. This continues for several days. Finally, Tuesday night, I told him to go to bed. He walked past me and into his cage on his own. No bribe! Tonight, he is whining, because he is hungry. I, also, put him on a diet this week. Upside, he will do just about anything for a treat now, including going in his kennel.

All aboard the Energy Bus!
I have been working really hard to be more positive this year. I started by reading this over the winter break. When we came back, I started reading a few pages of the kid version each Monday. This week was rule #4,  "Love Your Passengers". 

Norovirus has hit my classroom. 'Nuff said.

I really don't want anything. I'm pretty happy right now. Sure, I could want a new pair of red Keds or a bling t-shirt, but I'm good.

I need to take my dog for a walk, but I got home too late. I don't like walking after dark. 

And my pet peeves are beginning a sentence with "And". Fortunately, all I had to do was tell my kids that this drives me crazy about authors, AND they became the "FANBOYS" police. One boy found about 20 examples in Stone Fox

Tardiness...Yes, I will judge you if you are tardy. Yes, I am working on not being so judgmental. However, if I can make an effort to be on time, then you should respect my time, also. I set alarms on my phone to ensure that I am on time. My attendance alarm sings "Good Morning". I giggle every time I hear one of my kids singing along to the alarm. 

It is doughnuts, not donuts. Actually, I dislike "text" speech. Fourth graders don't understand the difference between casual and formal language. I cringe when I see misspelled words on public signs. 

Phew! Got to get back on my energy bus! Have a great weekend! It is going to be a beautiful warm one in Texas!