Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Let There be Voice SOL

I'm linking up with the Two Writing Teachers Weekly Slice of Life. I am late, and I have been gone far too long. But the great thing about this community is that they always welcome you home! 

Today was a good day in Writer’s Workshop! This week we started a study on “voice” and how writers use voice when they write.
We have been doing a Laura Numeroff study in class and she was a great way to kick off the unit on voice.
Yesterday I read Mo Willems Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus to show how voice can make a story. I first copied a few lines from the story on chart paper and read it out loud. I then read the story and we compared the two. This helped them start to understand the importance of voice in writing. 
Today was what really hit home though. I had the kids sit in front of me, but with their backs to me. I told them I was going to read some books and when they recognized the “voice” of the author they should raise their hands.
I started with an easy one “The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play.” Boy did the hands shoot up.
I did the same with Laura Numeroff, Jan Brett, Mo Willems, and more. They LOVED it. And they loved comparing the different authors and their type of voice.
When it was time to “have a go” they were off and running. They each wanted to give their own voices a shot, and did they ever!
It was  good day in second grade today, and I can hardly wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

All Kinds of Wonderful!

I have had all kinds of wonderful happening in my life in the few months and I have been all kinds of too busy to writeon here.
It all started about two weeks before school started. The buzz was there was only going to be enough students to make one first grade class (according to the powers that be that is), to me 27 first graders is too many for one class, but I don’t get to make the deciding so there we were. One first grade. Two first grade teachers.
So since I was the one that had asked to go to second grade in the spring (even though I was told no, no way) I was on my way to second grade. Two weeks before school started. In a different room.
So one weekend my mother in law, my kids and my hubby and myself went to the school and moved alllllll my things from one end of the building to the other. To my new old room. I have been in this room before when I taught second grade ten years ago. That year, 2004, the current second grade teacher was student teaching. The kids I had that year were in my Pre-K class, my first grade class, and I had them again for second grade. They are seniors in high school this year. I had a milestone birthday and the other second grade teacher passed away suddenly before the end of the school year. It was a memorable year to say the least.
Thanks to my mother in law and my kids my room was moved, cleaned and painted all before Monday. Here are a few after shots. It was drab, boring brown to begin with. 

We have been in school a full three weeks now and I have to say it’s been tough. The first few days I was a little lost. These kids KNOW.SO. MUCH. I know you think that’s a good thing but really it.was.hard. I’m used to my darlings NEEDING me. I mean really in first grade they NEED you for EVERYTHING. But these kids don’t need ME. Not really. They already know how to read (thanks great first grade teachers uhhh hum), they can already spell, and add, and think. It’s like “why am I here?” “What do I do?”
But then I had a long talk with myself and decided, really? Why did you want to come to second grade? To do MORE of course! So that’s where I started. With building more into writing workshop. It was AMAZING I tell you! They can read and add and spell but they can also WRITE! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I have already had kids publish and share. And it’s only the third week of school. I feel so inspired and ready for more.
So yes I am still adjusting to my whirlwind move and adjusting to not being needed quite as much (they do need me some thankfully) but I am also so excited to see how far I can travel on this path to MORE with these amazing second grade kiddos!
Just one small note of more bragging on my own kids. My daughter is in her third year at OSU and on her way to becoming a teacher. She text me the other day to tell me she absolutely loves her education classes and believes she has found her calling (I of course knew this all alongJ). And just this past week she told me she was starting a blog! REALLY?? After all the teasing she has given me about mine?? We kicked around a few names and came up with “Haphazardly Hadley.” It is the perfect fit for her. You can read her first post here, and if you have a moment please welcome her to this wonderful blogging community. I am so proud of her.
My son and daughter in law have settled into their new home and jobs. My daughter in law started a new position at a company in Tulsa last week and loves it. They have been coming every weekend to help Donnie with his new shop/building he has been building. I cannot even express how grateful I am for them. We finally got the wedding pictures and I can’t stop looking at them. Disclaimer wedding photo bomb to begin...
 Mother son dance.

 As Deanna is coming down the isle. Tears even though they'd already had a first look. Love.
 First dance.
 As we were getting ready to walk down the isle.
 Bride and groom and parents.
 The entire wedding guests.
 First dance.
 My favorite baseball moms from the good ol days!
 The 75 jars of jelly my mom and I made!
 Our table. Donnie and Kanten made the flower boxes.
Hugging his dad. Tears from everyone. 

I tell you life is good and I can’t begin to put into words of how truly blessed I feel.
Have a wonderful weekend y’all!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Revamping and Turmoil

It is AUGUST people! I can’t believe July is out the door. I don’t know why I can’t believe it. It happens this way every year, July 4th rolls around and BAM summer is gone. Over. Finished. Nothing but a memory. It’s sadsville I tell ya.
And now here it is August 1st and I’ve been in my room one time. ONE TIME! I am usually the one sitting back saying “well you should have come sooner.” But not this year. This year I will be one of the late nighters trying to stuff things where they don’t belong. I can see the tears now.
Why am I this way this year you ask? Well it could be that the wedding wore me out (and we are STILL waiting on pictures). It could be that I am living in lazy-land. It might be that I’m in denial. OR it could be that I STILL don’t know for sure what grade I’ll be teaching.
Yep you read that right. School starts in twenty days and I still don’t know for sure if I will be teaching first grade again, if I will be teaching second grade, or if I will be doing a first second split! WHAT??? Yep a first second split. I don’t even know HOW to teach a 1-2 split!! How is that possible? How does it work? Please if you have insight enlighten me, cause I have a sneaky feeling that is where my year is heading. HELP!
SO I haven’t been completely unproductive this summer. I have made a few new things, and revamped a few others. This week I overhauled my first of school assessment book. If you own it you can go and re-download it here. If you want to see how I use them you can read about them here. And if you’d like a copy of your own leave a comment and I’ll send it to a few of ya.

Wish me luck next week I should know after Tuesday what my year will look like LTurmoil. Every year. Just once I’d like to try CALM J  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Currently Alllllready (insert whine)

Just a quick post to link up with Farley and her monthly currently. I am off to Tulsa today to spend some time shopping with the girls and dinner with the kids. I hate to see July it always means summer as I know it is almost over :( 
I will return to comment on at least 3 but I have to say my favorite part of currently is scrolling through the blogs that link up and reading the new names. I have found some great blogs with some fun names!
I’m off to T town and thinking cheesecake may be in my near future!
Have a great day y’all!  And don't forget to link up with Farley

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, Monday

I promised myself I would blog today. And clean. And put away the laundry. And cook. So far I have put away the laundry. I cleaned our bedroom. I am in the process of cooking supper. And I have put off blogging.
I don’t have anything exciting to blog about. No wedding pictures yet. No vacation plans. And since our great state has done away with the common core my professional development I had planned has been cancelled.
I have been reading though, and am excited about the latest book I ordered. It is called The Writing Thief written by Ruth Culham. 

It is so good. I’m already about half way through and have already found many great tips and ideas. I like that she has asked different authors how they have “stolen” from other authors and who they are. She has snippets from people like Lester Laminack, Ralf Fletcher, and Toni Buzzio.
You may know Ruth from her books about the “6 Traits of Writing.” I read those years ago, and seem to be the base of many writing workshops and writing curriculum. There are shadows of it in my first grade writing workshop, but I have never actually “taught” the 6 traits. Meaning I have never “named” them that in my teaching. Like the title of her book suggests I have taught my kids to be “writing thieves.” We study other great authors and then have a go at that type (or mode) of writing ourselves.
There are many things I like in this book, and one of them I have marked to refer back to is at the beginning when she states “ Start Here: Stop Doing Dumb Things” You can’t get any more plain than that! She even gives a list of “dumb things” And a list of ways to correct them! Score!!.
That’s about it for this Monday. My kids are home from their honeymoon in Jamaica

and my girl is gearing up for her trip to the Cayman's in a few weeks. We are off tomorrow to find a cute suit for her to wear. I am staying home watching helping Mr. Klingercafe on his new shop/garage. So goes the never ending excitement of my life!
But I WILL blog again this week. I have some things to SHARE! Lookie what I found to go in the classroom this year. 
And can you guess what a water bottle, Oriental Trading, and a birthday bash have in common? Check back soon and you’ll find out! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

So Sorry Winner Jennifer!

I’m late! I’m late for a very important date! I’m so so sorry I am a day late on announcing the winner of my giveaway. I was just so exhausted from all the fun weeding festivities.
IT. WAS. AMAZING. I wish you all could have been there. It was truly the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to. I know I am probably partial but really it was just breathtaking. The weather was perfect. There was a full moon, temps in the low 80’s and the slightest of breezes. Just perfect. But ohhhhh I was tired. And my poor ankles are still swollen from the up and down of stairs, standing in the kitchen, and of course the dancing!!! Below was the mother-son dance. Could not even look at each other without the tears rolling. 

I’ll give more details later when I have pictures, but I’ll tell you that the photographer said this was only the second time in eight years he has “snotted up” (lol) at the bride and grooms first look. Kanten (my son) was so emotional. I have never seen a boy try so hard to make the perfect day for a girl.
We were all “snotted up” through the ceremony. Kanten’s best man reached over and handed Donnie (hubby/daddy) his hanky to wipe his tears, the whole place was sniffling then. It was.I have no adjectivesperfect.

I tell you if you ever need a wedding photographer Brett Birdsong from Tulsa, Oklahoma is the man to call. He was fun, professional, and teddy bear at heart. Here is his blog, he travels all over.
So on to the Giveaway the topic of this post! The lucky winner is Jennifer! Thanks to my cutie pie random number generator Hadley!

Contact Paige at Copper State Cowgirl for your bounty! And don’t forget to give her a sweet shout out on your blog I know she would really appreciate it. Congrats!
It’s been an exhausting, exhilarating, emotional, most amazing few days ever. I haven’t felt like this since giving birth. J    

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meet Me Monday!

I just found another new blog to visit. There are so many new places out there. Although I don’t think this one is that new. I’m just behind in the blogging industry apparently.
Anyway it’s called The Teaching Tribune. Get it? Like the news. I take it it’s a collaboration blog with lots of different cool authors. This summer they are having a different link up every day and today is Meet Me Monday. Cool huh?

So even though all of you know me. And know all my ins and outs of this crazy life I lead there may be someone out there who is still dying to meet me!
So I’m linking up! You should too. Someone might be dying to know you too!

There you go that’s me in a nutshell! Don’t forget the awesome giveaway I’m having this week! Read about it here.