Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Monday...

Happy Monday, friends! Is there such a thing as Happy Monday? At 5:15 this morning when I hit the snooze for the 2nd time, I would have said NO WAY...but it was a pretty laid back day that just flew by, and the kiddos worked hard for me, and now it is a beautiful afternoon, and I have a few peaceful moments to catch up on blogging...and, and, and...I guess you get the point. :)

Since I have been out of my room so much these days, (letting go so my student teacher can learn is sooooo hard!) I do not have any earth shattering or mind blowing lessons to share. haha....No worries though....lots of fun still happening around our as usual, I will share in pictures. :)

Our sweet teammate, Sarah, suffered a frustrating allergic reaction to a dental visit and was tormented with a sore and swollen mouth...after we knew she was OK...we just had to do a little teasing! Aren't we such a loving and supportive team. haha

Centennial Bank stopped by to offer our kiddos some
advice on saving...I loved their chore chart ;)


I love seeing their faces!
These kiddos sure enjoyed this visit and learned a lot!

My sweet hubby has worked days lately: something that has not been the norm for our family, so we have started taking long walks in the early evening to get back on track...this was one of the lovely views as we walked this week! 

Our team came together again to celebrate
Sarah's upcoming wedding!

OK...this one cracks me up!!!
After Sarah's bridal shower, we stopped by a friend's
house to pick up a few things for her wedding.....
while there, she talked our friend's grandson
(one of my students)
into letting her ride his bike...
HAHAHA my crazy friend!

We had some crazy looking weather blow over....
just look at those spooky clouds!

Mrs.Whitt is our honorary class photographer...
she works magic :) I LOVE this pick of
a couple of our sweet girls!
Such a picture of friendship and laughter!

My crazy, beautiful, smart girls!

My boys were so proud that they accidentally wore
their jerseys on the same day!

OK...I have mentioned I have been missing my kiddos a bunch. I love the process of having student teachers. There is so much for them to learn and experience, and just as much for me to learn and experience as well...but I can't wait to get back in full time. :)

Because I have been missing them, I have not been sharing as many of my picture books lately. :(

That makes me sad, too....but I have a couple that I can share with you here tonight...

My first book is a shout out to the amazing Roald Dahl! As we continue our journey with James and the Giant Peach, here is a fun look at poetry in true Dahl fashion! Revolting Rhymes! Each one is quirky and interesting, and yes, even sometimes revolting! He in not one to hold back the punches as he shares a perfectly perfect moral in each and every poem. 

Just one more for tonight...this precious story, Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino, is such an easy story for some kiddos to relate to...which is so sad! Sometimes it is so much easier to believe the bad than to believe the true...this sad little pug, Alfred, meets a friend that just might help him find the lovable in himself! I love talking about the theme of this easy to find!

Well, with that ladies and gents...I must bid you goodnight! Maybe my Monday is truly a Monday after all cause I sure am worn out. ;)

Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Springing into Earth Day

Happy Spring! Such a pretty day! I sure am loving the cool, gentle breezes and the smell of my blooming wisteria...even if trying to contain the wild, aggressive vine takes a lot out of a person; I should emphasis TRYING since it refuses to cooperate. ;)

Sweet jasmine, too!
This week was slow and easy for the most part. Well, as easy as it can be with me aching to get back into my class. Our student teacher has begun his full teach, and boy do I miss my sweet kiddos.  Mr. Hall is doing an awesome job, but sometimes it takes all have not to walk back in and selfishly take over reading James and the Giant Peach.

My kiddos are enjoying one of my all time favorites! I just love the mischievious magic of Roald Dahl. The language and characters of James and the Giant Peach are so fun and full of life that I can just imagine them as being real. Only Roald Dahl could do that!

Reading this treasure has become an annual event for my class. So much so that as I greet my new students each year, I am always asked about James and the giant peach party they have heard of in rumors passed by siblings and friends. Each year when we complete this story, we celebrate by watching the movie (don't get me started on the movie though ~ NEVER judge a book by its movie!) and eating all things peach! Peach ice cream, peach yogurt, fruit salad loaded with peaches, peach candy, fresh peaches name it ~ we try it!


I will be sure to post pics of this year's celebration!

Because I have not been in my room much this week, I have lots to share from my teaching partner, Mrs. Whitt. She has both of our kiddos gearing up for Earth Day, Monday.


We sure have some talented kiddos in our rooms!

This is how my kiddos came back to me from Mrs. Whitt's
after planning ways to save the earth! :)

In honor of Earth Day, I have a few great picture books to share.

Of course one cannot think of Earth Day without thinking of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss! I love sharing this with my kiddos each year, but usually Mrs. Whitt beats me to it. ;) Seuss has a way of really driving home his message wrapped in the magic of fanciful language and creatures, and I just love the magic of his messages! 

The next book I have shared once before in a previous post. I love this story for a number of reasons. How perfect it is for reaching for and achieving our dreams, but it fits just as perfectly in the celebration of Earth Day! I love following Liam's quest to be outside and turn our busy and sometimes gray world just a little bit greener. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown is a beautiful masterpiece with its creeping, green gardens!

Still in honor of all things green and earthy I have to share a new addition to my library. And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano and illustrtated by Erin E. Stead is a breath of fresh air! I enjoyed this sweet story even more that I thought I would. Just as with The Curious Garden, we follow the patient hopes of a sweet boy tending his garden. Erin E. Stead is an amazing illustrator and this sweet story is now one of my spring favorites!

I have enjoyed a little reading myself this weekend. I picked up The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch. I am a huge fan of the Dystopian genre, and this is a great, action packed read! ....Can't wait to do a book talk on this with my kiddos tomorrow! 

With that I will say good afternoon: for now...until next time :) I am off for a walk with the hubby and a little more reading for the night...Happy Reading yourself!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Benchmarks, Carnivals, and Painting with a Twist ;)

Goodness! What a week! I am not even sure where in the world to begin, so I thought I would (late of course) join the Five for Friday linky party with Doodle Bugs! I have wanted join in forever, but I just can never seem to make it by Friday...LOL. However, since this Friday was part of the fun, I thought I would join late anyway!

Be sure to check out Doodle Bugs by clicking on her link. :) Whew...wee...lots of great blogging out there!
This is going to be another long hold on to your we go!

All our bright anchor charts are gone for testing :(
1. Let's start with the Super-Big-Get-Lots of rest-and a great breakfast-Deal....This week our third and fourth graders survived their Arkansas Benchmark exams! I sure had a hard working, sweet group of kiddos! I am nervous and excited to see the results of all our hard work!

We had to cover anything that might give our kiddos a clue...sure makes my room look sad...

2. Okay....confession time! I am failing miserably this year at our Biggest Loser Competition...I did so well last year, but I just cannot seem to wrap my mind and soul around the changes I need to make to maintain the weight loss I had last year. Now I am not saying that I am giving up! I am going to continue chugging along making small life changes as best as I can , so that I can lose what I gained having said all that....our lovely office staff and PTO do not make it easy to lose...hahaha
Snacks everywhere you turn...
to help sooth the fretful testing teacher
So one day after testing, I walked out of my class for a moment only to run into Ms. Shewmaker trying to burn off a couple of those snacks (with a smile even!).....ah...the things we do! LOL

We actually made it OUT for lunch one day this week...
talk about tempting....
walking away from these was harder than the Benchmark!
I sure do LOVE my girls!!!! So FUNNY!!!!

The hubby and I managed
a few walks through the week...
this was my favorite!
Slow & Steady...

3. Each day after testing...we tried to make it relaxing and fun for the kiddos.



4. Our kiddos worked hard all week to earn points/tickets to spend at a Benchmark Carnival...I was pleasantly surprised by how fun and successful it was! Not to mention ~ EASY! 


Mrs. Hanna joined in on all the fun!

5. The kiddos got to celebrate with a fun and sugar-filled carnival, but all the adults decided to get together Friday afternoon for fun at Painting with a Twist! It was so much fun! 

Now here is the funny part...when we walked in, who do we see...most of my class...LOL...we always seem to find each other :)

Crazy, crazy, sassy girl! Love her!


Sweet Ella was celebrating her birthday :)
After checking out their work...we headed in to do our own painting and venting and giggling and just good ol' de~stressing!
Look what Mrs. Hanna found....


I love how all of our paintings had our own personality!
We even made it to dinner at my fave...KanPai!
OK...I have a 5 1/2 LOL....When I pulled into work Saturday to get my room ready for the week...this is what greeted me! haha...

Yes! Ladies and Gentlemen...that is a CIRCUS! The circus has come to Cabot and parked right on our playground! I spent the day working to the sounds of the Big Top...elephants and all! (Even made me think of The One and Only Ivan)

Holy Cow....what a week. I have slept since then, and I am tired just from reading this LOL...

Now for some picture books!

I want to start with another sweet, lyrical picture book. The illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are what first caught my eye in The Dancing Tiger by Malachy Doyle. However, the graceful poetry of the story is what keeps me coming back as a the little girl moves through the seasons with her secret friend, the dancing tiger. The reader in me loves the precious rhyming story, but the teacher in my loves pointing out all of the prepositional phrases...haha.

Okay, Okay...since I am into confessions today, I must tell you that this next hysterical picture book...I ALMOST missed out on! I judged it by its cover...GASP...yes, I took one look at it and thought oh another alphabet book...I will skip it for now...then my good friend, Sarah, told me how her and her class could not stop laughing as they read it. Well, I always love a good recommendation, so I picked it up. I am sooooo glad I did. She was so right! This book is too funny to miss out on. I love the the conflict between poor Zebra and Moose as Zebra desperately tries to "produce" this story. You just have to love the ending of Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham.

Katie Byrd came to help me in my room this weekend, so I asked her to pick out a couple of her favorite picture books. I was not surprised to see how much we are alike in our picks! ;)

I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse was her first pick. She chose this one because she remembered me reading it when she and her brothers were little...ahh...sigh. So sweet! I remember it, too! It was always one of my favorites as a mother, and I love it just as much as a teacher! This has a treasure of mini-lessons within these beautiful pages. Organization and word choice jumps out the most, but I always love to see if kiddos pick up on why the title is "the purplest."

These next two she chose because fairy tales are her favorite. She could not have picked two more beautiful books!


Little Red Riding Hood retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman and Beauty and the Beast retold by Mary Pope Osborn and illustrated by Winslow Pinney Pels are both breathtaking reads. SO beautiful! I love both of these books, and you will never go wrong with a classic fairy tale!

Welp...don't know about you, but I am worn out!....Happy reading!