I am a Blue- Slice of Life

I am a blue. I am not blue. But I am the color blue. For one of our in service meetings this year our principal invited a man from our local career tech school to come and speak to us. He gave us the “true color personality test.” It was supposed to help us better understand each other and how we interact with each other and our students.
I discovered I am a “true” blue. I got a perfect “blue” score.
Here is what the “blue personality” looks like.
I see myself as:
empathetic, caring,
nurturing, a
communicator &
valuing feelings
flourish with
rather than

In relationships:
seek harmony,
warmth & romance

As a child:
was imaginative &

Yep that petty well sums me up. All my other colors were pretty close in score, so who knows what that means. The funny thing is I raised two very real GOLDS!
Here are their characteristics.
I see myself as:
consistent, goal oriented,
realistic, prepared,
dependable, loyal,
responsible &
having leadership
I believe that work
comes before play

I am serious & tend
to have traditional,
conservative views
of love & marriage

As a child
I understood &
respected authority
& wanted to follow
the rules

I think maybe our colors change as the phases of our life change. I can see me in many of the “colors” at different stages of my life. If you’d like to discover your color you can take a version of the test here.
The premise of the whole test was to help us connect better with our students and colleagues. Funny though I didn’t realize we weren’t connecting. I love everyone! I’m BLUE!  


I'm Wasting My Kiddo's Time!

First full week of school done and gone. Boy was it a long one. One day of inside recess. On pair of wet pants (no not mine). One ruined pedicure (yep mine). Many trips of practice lines. Two recess duty changes. Numerous schedule changes. A few tears (mine again). And one parent meeting. Done! It was a very eventful looooooonnnnngggg week. But hey! It is one week closer to May!

My kiddos are a super sweet really cute group of firsters this year. They are anxious to please and ready to learn. They really did work very hard at “getting it right this week.” Until the afternoon. When they forgot everything we’d practiced that morning. But I know next week will be much better, and the week after that, and the week after that.
I am happy to say my kiddos parents are just as sweet as they are. The parent meeting was a success and I even discovered I had a parent from Arizona just like me! That’s a first. Because nobody ever WANTS to move here. But they like it here too. It’s a nice place to raise kids.
We had a fun conversation after the meeting. She informed me that her son said told her “I keep wasting his time.” That was a first as well. The look on my face must have confirmed my puzzlement because she quickly added “for recess.” Ahhh that explained it.
Each time my kiddos interrupt or decided to talk while I am teaching I politely tell them “I’ll wait until you are through but if you’re wasting my time I will be wasting your time.” And by their time I mean 2 or 3 minutes of recess time. Of course 2 or 3 minutes of recess time to a first grader is an e-ter-ni-ty!
I explained my classroom management. She and a few other parents that had been listening laughed and decided to try it out at home!
So tell me do your kids “waste” your time? What do you do about it if they do?
Next week we will be working on colors, color words, coloring, color poems, color counting, even color eating!
Here’s a little graphing activity I made to start the week off. Grab your copy for free here!

My girl is home for a bit this weekend. We had a nice supper with her, my son and his girlfriend, and my bestest teacher buddy and her hubby last night. Lots of laughing, fun and SHRIMP! 


An Empty Nest and News

been so long since I’ve sliced. I’ve almost forgotten why Tuesday’s have always been so special. But hopefully things are settling down, and I am beginning to settle into my new role as an empty nester and life may be getting back to normal. Let’s just say I’ve been eating more than my share of cupcakes and Sonic Blasts these dayswhat’s another mile on the treadmill right?

My hope that she would miss me so much she would beg to come home and live happily ever for the rest of my life is NOT going to come to fruition. She loves her college life. She loves her dorm. She has even decided she loves her name because whenever she meets someone new they say “I love your name!” I am happy for her. Really I am. But did she just have to “love” it so much?  
At least I have had school to keep my mind off my heartache. We have been back in school four days today. My kiddos are very sweet and very chattyall the timeeven in lineand when the teacher is talkingor other kiddoswe are working very hard on procedures.
I do have some interesting news. I have been chosen to write a post for the “Really Good stuff” blog (you know the people that have The Really Good Stuff teacher supplies). I got the email last week, and will submit it in September. I am very excited. And nervous. And worried.  I am writing about the common core. Of course I’m not sure what about the common core I’ll be writing about. But lucky for me I have plenty of time in the evenings to think about it!


Do You Like Your Neighbors?

What do you do on the first day for an ice breaker with your kids?

My first few years of teaching I always went to “Great Expectations” every summer for professional development. It was started by a really nice man named Charlie Holler who (m??) was from right here in Ponca City. He was a business man who saw the need of manners and children rising to new standards in school. He put together group of educators and community leaders and out of his idea “Great Expectations” was born. It is still being taught and offered as professional development here in Oklahoma every year. Charlie Holler passed away this past school year, and his passing was mourned by teachers across Oklahoma and many other states. He suggested that if you just show students what is “expected” of them they will rise to the occasion. It is what we try every day to show and teach in our school.
A fun “getting to know you” activity I learned at GE is called “Black Socks.” It is based on an old Girl Scout ditty with the same title.  We get in a circle with our chairs; with one less chair than the number of children, and one child standing in the middle of the circle. I teach the kids the song, and we all sing it to the child in the center of the circle. When we come to the end of the chorus we all chant: “Insert child’s name-do you like your neighbors? That child in the center then answers: “yes I like my neighbors especially those that.” As he or she calls out a specific detail all of those children that fit the description they then “race” to find an empty chair including the child from the middle. The last child standing is then “it.” I don’t let kids push or run, and they have to find a seat across from them not next to them. Here is what it may sound like:
Hadley is the child in the center.
All Sing
Black socks, they never get dirty.
The longer you wear them, the stronger they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them,
But something inside of me keeps saying
Not yet! Not yet!

 Kids Chant:
“Hadley, do you like your neighbors?”

Hadley would answer:
“Yes I like my neighbors, especially those that:
Use good manners” (can choose any type of detail)

At this point all the children who think they use good manners get up an quickly try to find an open chair (remember there is one less than the number of children) including the child in the center. The last child standing then gets to be the next child “who loves their neighbors!”
My kiddos always love this activity and ask to play it throughout the entire year.
This year I have an extra treat to go with this activity. I found this book- Smelly Socks by Robert Munsch 
It will be perfect to read before we play Black Socks, and as a follow up we will be designing some of our own “smelly socks” to hang in the hallway with a sign that says “Do you like you neighbors?” And the kids will write the answer “Especially those that____” won’t they be cute hanging in a row”

Here’s a pair for you and your kiddos and the words to the song! Enjoy!
Back to school for me on Monday meetings and then the kiddos start on Thursday (weird I know). And tomorrow we move my baby girl in her dorm L I can do this. I can do this. I can do this

Currently Lonely

Gosh here it is August 5th and I am just now getting to Farley’s currently. To say that I am happy to see her August Currently would be a lie. I have done everything I can to keep August away this year, but no luck. I have no magic power hidden away anywhere to make that happen. Anybody have some I can borrow? I just need to turn back timesay 10 years or so
My hubby is out fighting fire tonight. I was hoping they were over. We have had an over-abundance here in the sooner state. But it did rain some last night and the temps are down a bit, so maybe the heat and fires will soon be over for good.
I put my baby on a plane last night. The first time she has flown since she was three, and the very first time on her own. She made it all safe and sound and is enjoying a few days with her cousin. I was born in Arizona and haven’t been back in over 30 years. This is her first visit to the valley. She was shocked there were palm trees! Ha Ha she hasn’t even seen the pretty part of Az. yet.
Here's a picture her cousin snapped when she landed in Phoenix. 

I am doing my best to get ready for the 16th when we start school. I seem to be spinning my wheels this year. I’m sure it will all fall into place soon.