Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Liebster Blog Award...I am humbled.


I have been nominated for the Leibster Award....twice.  Yup  two times, I am totally floored that someone would think I deserve a nomination, let alone two people.

The Liebster Blog award is for up and coming (isn't that nice that someone thinks I am up and coming) blogs with less than 200 followers (I can't wait to get to 100 so I can give away one of my mom's books).  It is to show that we are appreciated and to spread the word about new blogs.

The rules:
- You must post 11 random things about yourself.
- Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
- Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
- Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
- No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!

The rules say I must post 11 random things about me:
1. I  didn't think I ever wanted to do Kindergarten again, but I am so glad when the opening came up last year I said yes.
2. I am the grandmother of 10...
but how can that own children are all still babies (don't they stay that way forever?)
3. I wanted a cool grandma nickname (because I don't feel old enough to be a grandma), but I never got one.
4.  I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it is a big part of who I am.
5. I am a book addict.
6. My first major in college was dance...I couldn't decide, but I think I made the right choice.
7. I can stick out my tongue and touch my nose.
8. My mom is a writer (I made her edit my first three blog posts...even though I didn't fix everything)
9. I run through the house jumping up and down squealing like a giddy school girl whenever anyone comments on my blog.   If it is a compliment...I go a little bit crazy.
10.  I love crafting and holidays and crafting about the holidays.
11. My favorite new word...craftivity!  Whoever made that up was brillant.

I was nominated by Covered in Glitter and Glue
Questions I'm asking my nominees:
1. How long have you been blogging?  I started blogging in July of this barely 4 months.
2. Favorite food?  Married a I better say beef, but seafood is high on my list.
3. Best thing you've learned since becoming a blogger?  Toss to make little books in powerpoint and how to write the html code to link my blog when I sign my name on a comment.
4. How many siblings do you have?  I have 2 brothers and a sister.
5. Who was your favorite teacher?  Mrs. Heckman in 3rd/4th (looping back in the 60's).  She made me feel important.
6. Do you play any sports? Not really....I swim, hike, dance.
7. What music do you play to put you in a good mood?  John Denver...I'm old
8. Who was your first roommate?  Other than my sister....Nancy Ware, Val Depew, Gayle Schlosser (we still stay in touch)
9. Did you leave your home state to go to college? How far did you go?  I went from NJ to Utah.
10. Favorite thing about being a teacher?  The kids!!  The funny things they say and the light in their eyes when they "get it".
11. Favorite form of take-out food after a busy day?  If I don't cook at home I would rather go to a restaurant.   We have a good mexican "dive" here my husband and I go to a bunch.  If there is a crowd...then Chinese.

I was also nominated by Lisa at Lower Elementary Cottage

1.  What is your favorite subject to teach?  Lately it has been math...which is funny because I have a million books and I love to read.
2.  Favorite holiday tradition?  We light a bayberry candle on Christmas eve, then turn out all the lights except for my oil lamps, other candles, and tree lights then we read the story of the first Christmas, sing carols, drink a little egg nog.  We hang our stockings and read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.
3.  Favorite book to read to your class?  Stand Back Said the Elephant I'm Going to Sneeze by Patricia Thomas
4.  Favorite guilty pleasure reality show?  The Apprentice (would watch it twice...but now I am not sure it is on any more)
5.  Favorite movie?  I am an old musical fan...Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Brigadoon, Singing in the Rain, High Society, Mama Mia (new ones are good too).
6.  What is your best childhood memory?  Camping with my family...we went all over.  Between my traveling as a kid and traveling as the parent I have been to 49 states (I only have Hawaii left).
7.  What is your least favorite household chore?  the dishes
8.  What are you afraid of?  Failing...I procrastinate a lot because I am afraid to start.
9.  Salty or sweet?  Usually sweet.
10.  Where is your ideal vacation spot?  Anywhere with trees, water, and quiet.  I would take the beach, a mountain lake, a tumbling creek...fresh air and I am happy.
11.  What sparked your interest in blogging?  Reading all the great Kindergarten and First Grade blogs last year after I changed grades.

Questions I'm Asking
1. How long have you been blogging?
2.  What inspired you to start blogging?
3.  What is the best thing you've learned since you started blogging?
4.  What is your best childhood memory?
5.  How many states have you visited?
6.  What is you favorite book to read to your class?
7.  Favorite teacher? 
8.  What is the best part of being a teacher?
9.  Do you have a real tree or fake?
10.  Favorite Christmas tradition? 
11.  Dream vacation?

 Blogs I'm nominating:



Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am thankful I get to work with a wonderful staff and the sweetest 5 year-olds.  To be truthful some are already 6...they would want to be sure I told you that.

I wanted them to be sure they knew they were loved...both by me and by their parents.  When their parents came to conferences last week I had them write something nice about their child on a turkey feather.  We are reading a few each day and adding them to our turkey out in the hall (there was not a bulletin board in the classroom big enough to hold all the feathers).  We have been doing this right after lunch and it is quickly becoming the favorite part of their day.  I wish I could capture the look in their eyes when they are the ones being talked about.

Students who feel good about themselves are going to learn better...easier...and more completely.

I am thankful I have discovered this bloggy world of great, kind, and generous friends.  Friends that make me a better teacher.  They have rekindled my excitement and offered me fun new ideas.  For that reason I am linking up with Hadar at Miss Kindergarten to share a couple of teaching tips.

First....the best thing I pinned this summer.  Scrap Baskets!  I found them here, actually I am no longer sure where I found them.  I can't seem to find the pin.  If you are the one who made the really cute scrap baskets let me know....I want to give you credit!.  Mine are not nearly as cute...but they work!!  I put the baskets on the tables whenever we are doing a cut and paste project.  Kids stay at their seats (no more running back and forth to the garbage can) and cleanup is much quicker (and more complete).  Now I don't even have to remember to grab them, they remind me whenever we start our project or learning page.

 Second...the best thing I accidentally did.  I didn't have the space for a pocket chart and I wanted to use ducks with 5 Little Ducks (you know take them away, count, take another away), so what's a girl to do??  I put a strip of velcro on the front of my bookcase!!  Perfect!! I don't know if you can see it, but the black velcro is as wide as my top board (which is kind-of thick) I now have a spot for any of my retelling, counting, little phonic and rhyming activities.  I did not expect it to become one of my student's favorite activities during free choice time. good idea taken a step further.  My kiddos like the retelling with velcro so much that when I saw this idea at Making Learning Fun, I knew I needed to make it my own.  Putting velcro on paint sticks makes a great portable retelling "stage".  Home Depot gave me all the paint sticks I wanted, so I grabbed some big ones for the classroom and little ones to send home.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy me!

Yesterday was my birthday and I wanted to have a party.  What better way to celebrate than with 26 excitable Kindergarteners?

First I needed a cake....and a cake needs candles.
So....if a cake can only have 10 candles how many cakes will we need?  GREAT discussions and thinking going on (and yes I bit the bullet and confessed my true age).  Then they went to work drawing me some cake.

I just love the first two cakes....then I guess I am just too old.  She ran out of steam making the last ones.  Candle burning hats? hair?  I just love it!  She counted to 56 for me...and she just ignored the extra flowers and unfinished I did too.

This student wanted me to know each of the cakes he made for me.  Do you see the ghost cake?  He was the most proud of that one.  But there was also the heart cake and the chocolate chip one too.
They all wanted to know if I was going to blow out the candles.  Of course I will....candles have to be lit, don'tcha know?

After cake we need a party and some party games.  What better game than musical chairs? 

More good discussion of more, less and the same.  We are starting to be more and more comfortable using the word equal!!  I LOVE math!

Surprise!!  Do we have more students or more chairs?  I snuck that one in on them and they were surprised.  It was so funny!!

 I have just two questions...
Do you celebrate your birthday in class?
What fun things do you do when you are teaching math?

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Currently

I am thankful this month to be hooking up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her November Currently.  I wait each month (with baited breath) to see what we will post about, and then I love hopping around seeing what everyone is up to.

I came home tonight and found soup bubbling on my stove...yumm-o!  My husband is so sweet.  He had the day off and after doing all his get the house ready for winter chores he made soup.  Once again...yumm-o!

My principal has been coming around doing observations this week...yea, I know Halloween.  Great timing.  He did skip Wednesday and Thursday...but was back around with his laptop today.  Our focus is math, so we were warned that he wanted to come watch a math lesson.  My kinders collected empty candy wrappers and today we were to sort them and compare them.  First we decided how to to sort.  What rule should we, not the one that says we shouldn't rip them....which sorting rule?  By color of the wrapper?  Great suggestion (but don't call out).  Now that we have them all sorted What do you notice?  Stunned silence...Think about our math words, what do you notice about the candy?  How can you tell?  Let's think about what we could do...count, there any other way?  We can do partners while we count.  Lots of good discussions about which has more, why do you think that?  Why not the gold wrappers? (only has 4...pretty obvious)  Lots of trying to use the right words, and communicating a plan for solving the question of which has more.  Good chance to use those math practices we have been discussing in our Wednesday afternoon in-service.  It was so fun to watch the conversations.  It turned out brilliant.  My principal would have been so impressed.

The end of the quarter was this week and I have been so stressed about testing.  I seem to keep teaching and interacting with my students so much that it is tough to get enough one on one time to test.  I am not very good at planning activities that keeps everyone constructively engaged and out of my hair long enough to do all the one on one testing that Kindergarten requires.  But as Pete the Cat says...will I cry?  "Goodness No!"  In the end..."It's all good."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thanksgiving Preview

As much as I love October and Halloween...I love November and Thanksgiving more.  It is my birthday month, but I don't think that is the reason.  We are getting closer to Christmas, but I don't think that is the reason either.

I like history!

I like food!

I like saying Thank-you!

and....I like playing dress-up.

I go a little crazy...I admit it, maybe a little too crazy.  With the help of my students (and sometimes their parents) I cook a Thanksgiving Feast.  Yup...turkey, carrot and celery sticks (I have seen a 5 year old peel a nice fat carrot down to one carrot stick, yum!...others are using a peeler for the first time), rolls (I use frozen rolls, but I bake them in a dutch oven...outside), homemade butter (made in a jar), ground cranberry/orange relish (I have an old-fashioned grinder), baked potatoes (wrapped in foil in the coals), apple juice and sometimes we get ambitious and make pumpkin pie with the pumpkins we played with at Halloween.

With all this fun there is great learning going on.  I wanted to give my kinders chance for more practice with positional words.  Turkeys seem like the perfect way to do just that.  Follow this turkey around the farm...

If you want to download it, just click on the cover.  Then, please leave me some love.  Follow my blog and watch to see how my feast goes this year!