Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Rewind

It was another crazy busy week, but I FINALLY feel like I have a handle on things.  I made some changes to our daily schedule last weekend and feel like our day flowed so much better and I was able to get everything done!  I made a purchase from the wonderful Jivey that changed my life!  I bought her Mentor Sentence pack for the first 10 weeks along with the notebook companion pack.  Oh. My.Word.  I am in LOVE! (P.S. I just checked and it looks like they are on sale today!  click on the links above to check them out).   If you haven’t had a chance to check out her video on using mentor sentences in your classroom yet, click here and go now!
Okay, here we go with the rewind!
Some of my cuties play together on the same little tackle football team.  On a side note, this is why God did not give me boys.  I could never watch them get tackled, their mothers are much braver than I am!  Anyways, they came in on Friday wearing their jerseys (brought back memories of my high school cheerleading days!). 
They walked in the room that morning and said, “Mrs. Wood, we’re ready to tackle hard work!”  Too cute!
A new round of math workstations began.  We just finished up our first framework, so I wanted all of the stations to be review of their facts.  Years ago, my daughters got the game Headbandz for Christmas.  We sat around playing it with friends and my friend, who is also a teacher, and I got to thinking how fun it would be to use that game in the classroom with an academic twist.  And so, Multiplication Headbands was born.
They each place a card in  their headband without looking at it.  The direction card lists 3 things they must write/draw on their whiteboard. 
headbandz whiteboard
They then show their whiteboard to their partner and their partner uses the information on the whiteboard to figure out which fact is in their headband.  You can grab the cards and directions for free here!
I think I finally have a routine figured out for Wednesdays.  My girls have dance at 4.  We get out of school at 3.  I have to leave by 3:10, run to the high school to grab my oldest, swing by Chipotle and feed them, and rush them to the studio by 4:05.  It’s the best I can do.  Then, I head back to school, get there by about 4:30 and stay until about 6:30.  The husband is on his own for dinner.  I have 2 hours to bust out lesson plans for the next week and still have time to head home and relax for a bit before I pick the girlies up at 8:00.  Whew……it’s crazy but it works for us.
Tuesday was an exciting day for us!  Several years ago, my husband judged the talent show at his high school.  He came home that night and said that he heard the next big thing.  She was a sophomore named Destinee Quinn and she won the talent show.  My husband likes to claim that he discovered her….Ha!  Anyways,  we have followed her career for years now, seeing her perform locally whenever we can and my girls are huge fans/groupies!  Well, Tuesday night she appeared on The Voice and chose to be on Team Cristina!!!!  We are so excited that the world gets to see what an amazing talent she is and what a beautiful person she is!
Excited to see what the future has in store for this young lady!
Monday  began my “new” daily schedule and my love affair with  Jivey’s mentor sentences.  Seriously, if you haven’t already clicked the links above what are you waiting for…..go there now!  I am off to grab the next 10 weeks of her sentences while they are on sale! 

Speaking of whole store will be 20% off TODAY and TOMORROW!  I am celebrating that cooler temps finally came in over the weekend.  No more 100 degree weather...fall is finally coming! Click on the picture below to check out my store!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Five for Friday…..On Saturday Morning {It’s been that kind of week!}

It’s been a week.  I. Am. Wiped.  I finally caught the yuckiness going around school and found myself asleep on the couch at 8:00 last night. 
Here’s what we’ve been up to.
rainy day
We had a rainy day not too long ago.  Which for where we live is unusual.  The kids go crazy.  It’s like they have never seen water fall from the sky.  Our playground looked like this before school, so they called rainy day schedule and let all the kiddos in the building before school.  One of my little angels greeted me at the classroom door with, “Yes!  Now we have an extra 12 minutes of reading time!”  My teammate was standing by her door rolling her eyes.  I think they all hate me!  There are several perks of having the gifted cluster, this was one of them.  However, it’s not all reading happiness and sunshine {in this case rain clouds}!  It is a lot of work too!
Common Core ELA is in full swing and we have been doing lots of reading with a pencil in our hand.  I am IN. LOVE. with a few products from Amanda at One Extra Degree.  We have been using her Close Reading pack and Interactive Reading Notebook and I am loving them!
This year I have a kiddo in class whose dad is the varsity football coach at our high school.   Last week, coach came in and surprised my whole class with Mustang Football t-shirts.  It was perfect timing because our first school assembly was the next day and the football players and cheerleaders visited us!
workstation 2workstation1
I am loving Math Workstation time.  Each afternoon we have a 90 minute block of math.  We do our math lesson and practice and then we move into station time.  I love this time because they are reviewing skills from the previous week and I can pull groups and reteach or enrich!  This has been some of the most valuable time of the day.  Next week, I start having parent helpers come in during this time and I think it will get even better!
group work
King and Queen of math time.  Well, it started out that way.  I found these foam crowns at Dollar Tree and brought them in for math time.  My kiddos were having a hard time settling down after lunch and were having an even harder time when I asked them to explain their thinking.  It started with me giving the crowns out for brilliant thoughts, when students made connections, thought deeply about a concept, etc….  Well, I had to make a return trip to Dollar Tree and purchase more crowns.  We now use them all day long, not just at math.  They are loving it!  When a classmate makes a great connection or explains their thinking well, they will all start saying, “I think that deserves a crown!”  I place it on a student’s head and they all cheer," All Hail King/Queen ____,”  It is so funny!  They also love wearing them outside the classroom to lunch, recess and even specials so they can share their brilliance with everyone!  They are cracking me up!
I feel all caught up now after my absence from the blogging world!  It’s been an interesting start to the year.  LOTS of changes happening all at once at school have me feeling like a new teacher again!  Not to mention the craziness at home.  My girls auditioned for The Nutcracker….THE Nutcracker….with Ballet Arizona. They both were cast!!!! 
So exciting, but it has added a new element of craziness to our lives.  Now, in addition to dancing at their studio just about everyday of the week, the have Saturday rehearsals downtown with Ballet Arizona!  It’s going to add so much excitement to our holiday season!  Can’t wait!
Talk to you all soon! Have a great Saturday!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Keeping it Real and September Currently

Hi.  It’s been a while.  I know.  Sorry.

I titled this post Keeping it Real so here goes, confession time.  I am not Super Woman.  I try to be.  I want to be.  I want to be the woman who has it all together all the time.  The one whose family is always eating healthy meals and wearing beautiful, wrinkle free clothes.  The one whose house is clean and beautifully decorated and makes cute little crafts for her co workers.  I try.  And  I have learned not to beat myself up about it though.  I have learned that when life gets busy and overwhelming, I need to prioritize. So, my co-workers haven’t gotten any cute encouraging treats lately, my floors just got mopped for the first time in 2 weeks, and my husband’s work pants may or may not get ironed this weekend.  But, we did spend a ton of time with our family this weekend.  We hung out with cousins, grandparents, and friends.  I watched my husband baptize our nephew, I spent quality time with my husband and our girls and I got a menu planned for dinners for the week.  I have learned to not focus on the things that I haven’t gotten done and to do the best I can on the things I can get done. 

Blogging and TpT has taken a back seat as we have ventured into this new year and a new world with my oldest in high school now.  I am finally starting to feel like we are settling in.  Maybe….a little.  My goal is to get back on track this month.  Here is my September Currently…complete with 3 goals for the month!  

Currently Sept 

This month I will not get discouraged. I will get up each morning and try again!

Happy Labor Day everyone!