I Believe in Freebies

This week is our 100th day of school. It is Thursday but shhhhhh don’t tell the kiddos we’re not celebrating until Friday. It just makes more sense don’t you think? After Thursday we on have about 75 more days left. We go less days in the year because we have an extended school day. Which means we go more hours per day but less days in the year, I really like it that way, but I have a feeling Mr. Principal wants us there more days next yearL.
Tomorrow we do not have school. We have a PD day. Which is another day Mr. Principal just likes us to be there, so no kiddos, but I still have to get up early.
Anyway today is “I believe day” and since it’s almost the 100th day of school I “believe” everyone likes a freebie. So here is a little booklet I made up to make with my kiddos. 

It has a little math, a little writing, a little coloring, and a scavenger hunt. I hope you enjoy it. It’s free until our REAL 100th day Thursday. Grab it here at my TpT store!
Happy Believe Day!  


GREAT find at Wal-Mart in the Pickle Aisle

I just found the best App... (lol there is a voice behind me reading over my shoulder “ who found it???) Ok, ok hubby dear just found the best app for my phone. It is a bar code scanner for AR books!
You all know my love hate relationship with AR and how it is such a BIG DEAL at our school, right? Well one of the reasons I HATE it is because I buy books that I LIKE or think the kiddos will like (I know! Huge Gasp here! How dare I right?) 
I never check to see if they are AR or not I just buy them. Then of course here comes the reading challenge and I have all these great new books and I don’t know if they are AR or not (don’t really care either), but the kiddos want to take tests on themso I have to “look them up” what a pain. Usually I con my bestests teacher buddy into doing it for me.but you know, she has her own to look up, I don’t want to take advantageall the time.
Anyway! Back to my hubby’s great findwe were strolling through Wal-Mart this morning (I know, ick but I HAD to have groceries) and as we pass the book section I am looking at all the great kids’ books and I said “I wish they had an app to scan books and see if it is an AR book or not, you should invent one for me.”
Hubby says “huh.”
We walk on, without any new books in my basket.
About half way through the store, in the middle of the pickle aisle hubby dear hands me his phone. On it is an app called AR BookScanner!!!!!! WOW-O_WOWIE! It scans the barcode on a book and tells you if it’s AR, test number, the level, and how many points!!!!  It’s $1.99 but oh is it going to be SO worth it! 
I really love that man!
This app is going to make my life soooooo much easier. .. I can see it now-“Mrs. Klinger is this book AR?” “Well I don’t know sweet pea let me see it.” Scan barcode with phone “Why yes it is, here is the book number, level, and how many points it is worth!!!” LOVE IT!
So I not only got my hubby to go with me to the store this morning, I got all my groceries, Sonic for brunch, beautiful weather, and a really great time saving app for my phone!  I think it’s going to be a great day! 
I hope yours is too!  


Comments Please

I'm joining the weekly Slice of Life writing challenge today with Ruth and Stacey the Two Writing Teachers, and gearing up for the Month long challenge in March I can hardly wait! 
Our report cards went home today. I always hate report cards. I think they are a very small (and sometimes not so accurate) glimpse of a very big task. 
I mean really, how can you sum up a child’s progress in a “P” or “S” check mark, or A, B, C or D for that matter.
I always feel like the comment section says much more about a child’s progress (or lack thereof) than all of the grades I give out.
When my own kids brought home a report card I always flipped to the back to read the teacher comments before I looked at their grades. 
I already knew what kind of grades they made from the work they brought home. What I was interested in was-were they kind, did they use good manners, were they good citizens, helpful in the classroom, and a caring student. Or were they struggling, disrespectful, lazy and falling behind-the words said much more thank the letters or check marks.
I was disappointed when the comment section was blank. The grades may have read 4.0, but the lack of comments left me feeling deflated.
I craved the feedback. I knew my kids were great students. I wanted feedback of my parenting. I wanted to know my child was worthy of the teacher’s comments. I felt the comments were as much a reflection of me and my parenting as my child.
So last night I stayed up late. I marked all the right boxes, and checked all the scores, but what kept me up late were the comments.
Tonight each parent will read a comment from me about their child, and hopefully feel pride in their parenting.  


I Believe in Change

I believe in change.

I change furniture often at home and school. I change my hair style, (but not as much as I did when I was a hairstylist). I change my toe nail color and the color of my walls. I change music on my radio and on my iPod. I change what I cook, favorite restaurants, and hobbies I enjoy. I change the way I teach (sometimes daily) with the groups of children I am teaching-no two are the same.  And I am female, so of course I often change my mind.

But through it all, through the changes and need for change- some things stay the same. 
I’ve been married to the same sweet guy for almost 28 years. I have lived in the same house for 12 years and the same town for 30 years. I have only taught at one school, and although I have taught first, prek, second and fourth grades, my heart has always been in first.
It’s because of these constants that I can be secure in my changes.

The same can be said for our kiddos. It’s the security they feel when they walk through our doors that give them the ability-the “want-to” to change-to grow.

I tell my parents that this is the time of year that we will really see growth in their child (or lack thereof).  It’s around this time that they really take off in reading and writing. I love to watch their faces when they realize they have moved to the next level.

The common core is a fast approaching change that will affect almost all of us-teachers, parents, students, and administration. For some it is very scary.  I believe it’s our approach to this change that will make it a joy instead of a hindrance.  
Just like our kiddos that find their wings and fly in January, next year, when we delve full force into the common core, I believe we will find it to be not too far from the safe shores of teaching we already know, and we too will soar.   

Some people are afraid of change, some worry about the unknown and what it will bring.
I believe change is the constant that keeps our teaching relevant, our lives operative.
I believe in the power of change, and I believe you will be the constant that helps your kids, and colleagues through this new adventure in teaching.
Embrace the change. J


Kim Adsit in OKC!!!

Look who I met this week!!!! Yep that’s me, Ms Delighted my bestest buddy, AND Kim Adsitfrom Kinder Gals! She had a two day conference in OKC that Delighted, my kindergarten teacher friend Terri, and I all attended. It was soooooooo fun and informative! I loved her sweet funny accent and her energy, she made me want to be a better teacher.  

The theme was Destination Common Core. Kim asked first off if anyone in the room had a blog. Yep Ms. Delighted and I raised our hands, and then scanned the rooms. WE WERE THE ONLY ONES! I couldn’t believe it! The room was packed and there were only TWO of us bloggers (well 3 with Kim). What is up with these Okie teachers? They need to get up with the times! LOL. Of course some of them had principals with them and may not have wanted to admit to having a blog!
Kim was great! She was engaging and funny, but mostly she was real. I love that she knows and acknowledges the real aspects of teaching life.
My favorite part of the workshop was of course when she talked about writing workshop. She makes “How To” books almost every week. WOWSER!   
Some of my favorite things she said (other than her hilarious stories) were “What I like about the common core is that it puts the ball back in our (teachers) court.” That’s what I have always said!
And “don’t do handwriting practice, show kids how to write through authentic writing.” Ditto that!
She talked about Sarah Cooley’s (First Grader at Last) Sticky Note Research unit. Love it! We are using parts of it right now with our informational writing. I thought it was cool that she promoted it even though it wasn't hers.  You should check it out too.
I like that she said you should start your mini lessons with the phrase “remember yesterday when we…” and then “let me show you what I mean…” Love that!
Writing and reading filled up the first day, along with laughter and great ideas.
Math was next. Kim started out by explaining much of the vocab and terms in common core, things we all think we know…but do we really? For instance, do you know what subitize, unitize, cardinality, number benchmark, concrete, abstract, and representational mean? Or what five frames, ten frames and a rekenrek is, or how to use them? Well I have to say I thought I knew most of the terms and how to teach them, but I didn't know diddly compared to Kim. In the coming weeks I’ll share more of what I learned and how they are working in my classroom. I’m anxious to try them out!
A few things I discovered Kim I have in common are that we each have a son and daughter. She is about to become a grandma and wants to be called “Gammy,” I want to be called Gammy someday too (like Betty White on the Proposal) not TOO soon though! Gammy Tammy sounds too cute.
I thoroughly loved Kim’s conference. If she is coming close to your town you should do your best to get there!   


You Know it's First Day Back When....

You know it’s the first day after Christmas break…

-When all the teachers are standing in line in the bathrooms at the 10:00 recess, 12:00 lunch, 1:35 recess, and after school. No more potty breaks on your own time
-When you hurry and box the Christmas tree up and store it away before the first bell rings
-When you actually use the computer lab on your day…even though most of the computers don’t work
-When you get to school early to scroll through TpT for things to do
-When you forget to take attendance until lunch
-When both your diet Pepsi’s are gone before lunch.
-And when all the teachers pull out of the parking lot at the same time!
Hope if it was your first day back it was a good one, and remember tomorrow will be one day closer to SPRING BREAK! 


I Believe Sunday

I believe in Santa Claus
When I was in my first year of college our professor asked us to write about something we believe in. My paper started out “I believe in Santa Claus.” 
As a professor you may think that you just begun to read a flippant college kid’s paper, but I was a thirty year old mother of two. I was a nontraditional student, and I was scared to death I wouldn't be able to carry on with my dream of becoming a teacher.
I had never written anything for another person to read before. I was terrified she would rip my paper apart and quell my desire to fulfill a lifelong dream. Although there were some technical errors (still my problem sometimes), she encouraged me to revise and continue my paper. 
At the end of the assignment she asked to read it to the class, and to keep it to read to future classes. She believed in me.
The paper of course was not about Santa Claus. It was about childhood memories of a father that often drank too much, and a mother that tried her best to make up for it. The paper conveyed the importance of having something to believe in, and my professor conveyed the importance of believing in your students.
Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the day to day craziness of the teaching world. Sometimes it’s easier to dismiss a student instead of taking the time to hear them. Sometimes the politics of big business trickle into our lives and try to dictate that we lump our kids into the same standards, the same categories.
But isn't it the most important part of our job to look beyond all that? Shouldn't we look beyond the traditional and find the nontraditional to encourage and grow? We need to remember to show them that although they may be terrified to show us who they really are, we can and do believe in them.


New Friends, New Posts, New Year!

It’s a brand new year and I have a brand new friend here in blogging land. Learning is Rosey With Mrs. Josey, she is a gal from down under. I had the honor of being her very first follower! She has a brand new adorable blog and already offering really great products at a TpT store. She has a great idea for bringing science into the classroom by taking the kids OUT!
If only we had her balmy January weather here in the states, but I know it’ll be handy come this spring.
You should check out her store and her blog right away so you can have a brand new friend tooJ
Like many of you it’s back to school for me on Monday, but unlike most of you I have done NOTHING “schoolish” over the break. 
Both brothers and their families were here for Christmas which was Wonderful. And then the weekend after Christmas Hadley and I drove up to KC and spent the weekend with Grandma Linda (Hubby’s mom). We had a really fun time-just us girls.
Now it’s almost over, almost time for Hadley to go back to school, and almost time for me to get back into teacher mode. I hope I can pull myself from bed before 8am!
I have been rolling an idea around in my head thoughMy OLW this year is Believe (you may have read that slice). 
I have been trying to come up with a weekly post that I can actually stick withand a day I will be able to stick toso I have come up with I Believe Sunday’s (fitting right?)  
I love Tammy at Forever in First’s, Saturday’s Sayings, and the Two WritingTeacher’s SOL weekly challenge was my first blogging experience. They are there every week for me to count on and I always look forward to them.
So I Believe I’ll give a weekly post a go and make it my goal for 201352 things I Believe, in and out of the classroom. Number 1 coming up tomorrow-January 6th.  
Stop by if you’re out and about blogging around, and don’t forget to visit RoseyJosey you’ll be glad you did! 
I'm leaving you with a picture of my baby and me, it was taken at a wedding in November. Isn't she pretty? She is now contemplating changing her major to education...upper elementary, no little ones for her...so she says...anybody have any advice for my girl? 


Currently I Believe!

I’m double dipping by linking my Slice of Life post from yesterday with Farley’s Currently from Oh Boy Fourth Grade. If you have never joined in either one you should join this year. They are both filled with amazing bloggers, teachers, and writers.  You will be so glad you did. 

I'm linking up with the Two Writing Teachers weekly Slice of Life. The first one for 2013. I am anxious to get to March and Slice daily! You should too!

I believe this has been one the best Christmas’s, and New Year I've had in a very long time.
I believe the New Year is going to be full of new ideas, new learning, new challenges, and new rewards.
I believe the power of love, family, and friendships can heal almost all wounds, and life is richer because of them.
I believe life doesn't have to be easy to be fulfilling and rewarding.
I believe if I set my mind and believe in myself I can accomplish great things.
I believe listening is just as important as speaking.
I believe in the power of learning and the need for growing.
I believe writing is my passion, and will one day be my way of life.
I believe sometimes we just need to let it be.
I believe I will become who I want to be.
I believe that when I lose I also gain.
I believe that a bad habit needs replaced with a new skill or habit.
I believe in faith, hope and love.
I believe in me, and I believe in you.
Can you guess my word for 2013?
I believe it is right before your eyes.
What do you believe?