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Monday, November 16, 2015

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Well, I'd say Operation Gratitude was a Success! Almost all of my kids brought in a bag of their sweets from Trick-or-Treats.  I'm pretty positive that some treat bags were a little smaller by the time they arrived at school. I'm grateful for their generous hearts and their desire to give what they had. Even some of my teacher friends brought sweets.

We sorted and separated the chocolates, made circle maps of things to share in our letters, and wrote letters to the soldiers.  




I LOVE that they wanted each person to receive their favorite candy and some were concerned about allergies.



We ended up mailing 17 lbs of candy and 21 letters.  November 15 was the deadline to send candy but 
you can visit Operation Gratitude if you would like to get involved another way.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Font FREEBIE Friday

Yes, that just happened.  Three FABULOUS "f" words.  Fonts. Freebies. and Friday.  I just LOVE fonts!  Something about fonts make me happy. Trust me, if I could play with the fonts while writing this I would....I'd have each sentence in a different font. Too much?!

Some of these fonts were left over from FOURth grade that I had started working on and finally finished...better late than never ;-)


{click here for NEW fonts}

I'm loving the "donut talk about it" the most because my little mini me worked on that one.  




Don't forget to visit Teaching Blog Addict for lots of wonderful freebies today!


Happy Friday Fabulous Friends!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Candy, Candy and Operation Gratitude

Have you heard of Operation Gratitude?  I am beyond thrilled that I found this wonderful opportunity for my 2nd graders to take part in.  This organization takes your child's excess candy and provides care packages to our military personnel. 


I think I'm in LOVE with the idea of kid's giving up something that they love for someone else.  It's a lesson that goes beyond the curriculum and the school day.  

You can find out more about Operation Gratitude and how you can get involved by clicking {here}.  I am also very thankful for Just Reed blog because she has created a letter to send home and templates for letter writing.  Stop by her blog and print them out if you would like to do this with your class.  I had to rewrite the letter without asking for money from students for postage.  You are welcome to use it if you'd like.


I sent letters and gallon ziplock baggies home today and EVERYBODY was ready to give up ALL their candy.  I will let you know what the candy status is on Friday.  
  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sweetest Seconds

Well, where do I begin...I didn't share a room reveal because I think I might have been pouting.  I haven't given you at least a monthly up to date because I have been trying to wrap my head around my teaching career.  There is no doubt that I LOVE teaching and the indescribable thrill I get when kids are excited to learn but things have changed so much.  Yes, I prayed and prayed about my move and I really feel like I'm exactly where God wants me to be BUT it's been hard.

14 years of teaching and I feel like a new teacher again.....lost, scared, and constantly second guessing myself.  In my new school no one knows me, there are rules for everything that I do, and at least 10 meetings per every rule to train me in the rules.  I left a place where everyone stopped and hugged to a very different environment.  I really wallowed in self-pity the first few weeks but I have since realized that was not going to work for me.  I need to pick myself up, smile and make a difference.......in whatever I'm doing.

I think it's so interesting that I changed the name of my blog to "sweetest seconds in a day".  I liked that name because it could refer to my sweet second graders or a small moment in time during my day.  At first all my "sweetest seconds" were only at home with my favorite people but I needed to transfer this mindset to school.   Honestly, that is what I have really clung to these past few months while at school.  I tell myself "just pick a sweet moment and hang-on to it".  

Some days it's one of my little guys saying: "Mrs. Kirby, can I ask you something?" Me: "Yes, of course." Little guy: "I love you."  Haha! Yes, we discuss a question and a statement every time but it still makes me chuckle.  I hang on to this.

Some days it's a kiddo literally working up a sweat trying to read, I seriously have NEVER seen someone work so hard and be so determined to figure out words and sounds.  I hang on to this.

Other days it's listening to the kids repeatedly say "thank you" for bringing them a treat.  I hang on to this.

Sometimes it's the kids' BIG hugs when you put a secret little note in their folder telling their parents just how amazing I think their kiddo is.  Their appreciation for being recognized and celebrated is some of the sweetest seconds in my day and I hang on to them.

I made a quiet deal with myself after the first few weeks of school.  I made myself promise to pick at least one positive thing each day to focus on and hang on to.  The positive "sweetest seconds" are sometimes the fact that it didn't rain and I didn't have to transport 21 second graders from a portable with 5 umbrellas to a building across a parking lot.  

I have a lot to be thankful for and I am blessed in so many ways that I feel guilty for sharing this post.  I think we all need reminders to focus on the what is important and how our mindset can effect everything that we do.  "Conquer mind, Conquer all" - My favorite airman lives this motto and there is so much truth in that little statement.

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my "sweetest seconds" in my day.






Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Planning for the New Classroom

This new school year brings with it a lot of NEW.  I will be in a new school district, a new grade (kinda-just different from last year), and a new classroom. So in order to simplify and make things a little easier my plan was to keep the same classroom decor (I know, BORRRING) but I loved the black and white with turquoise.

.....and then I walked into my new classroom.  I was swept away into a world of wood paneling. There is faux wood everywhere!  Not far from the door was a large box fan propped against the wall along with a note stapled to the beautiful faux wood wall. The note read:

I'm thinking that was very kind of someone to share the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke with me in my classroom. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?? At this point I'm beginning to sweat a little, not because of faux wood,a box fan, and this new sign that is posted in my classroom but because I live in the state of Texas and it's HOT!! 
 Seriously, it was dark in there and HOT.  So I didn't stay long but I did decide that I will need bright colors.  I have to brighten this den of faux wood. No fear HOBBY LOBBY can fix this.  I will definitely keep my black and white but we need bright colors.  The room has 4 windows but I don't really want to cover them I just want to brighten them.  I bought ribbon, dowel rods, and command hooks to make my own curtains.



I think they'll brighten the hut up a little. I also bought lime green wrapping paper to cover the walls and made a few labels for the room.


{table labels here}
{clock labels here

Now I just need to get back in there and make it feel like home. I can't wait to show you the before and after. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

So many CHANGES...

Well, why not change the blog too. Plus, it's summertime and it seems to be my favorite time to change the blog name. Actually, I'm going back to 2nd grade but just not at the same school that I've been at for the past 13 years. That's a HUGE change but wait......there's more, the hubs is going to be a teacher. Wha?! Yea police officer to teacher. 
Ya'll that is his new classroom.  Seriously....what an insane entrance and he won't have to decorate his bulletin boards.  Can you imagine being a kid and going into a classroom that looks like this? How fun?!


I'm not done.....we are moving house. We put our house on the market 2 weeks ago and the very first showing it was sold. Yes, sold. We are patiently waiting to close on our new home. Which is barely pictured below...
The waiting is hard because I just want to get my stuff in there.

There's more....the man child has left for college.  He is currently going through what Air Force calls "The Beast" and we are unable to talk with him for another 2 weeks. This momma is missing her boy.




Go USAFA!!

Ummm.....is it time for a mid-life crisis?!?! 
No, I believe it's a growing experience in faith. I'm excited about the changes, a little nervous but excited. I believe with all my heart that we are right where God wants to use us and that is exactly where I want to be.

I have enjoyed my summertime with this sweet girl. She makes me laugh and makes me take selfies with her.  This is what it looks like when the camera is stuck in selfie mode.

Okay, well that was a little catch up with all my personal changes. I can't wait to share my classroom changes. 
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Late But Loved....Mother's Day

To say we've been busy would be an understatement.  It's funny because if we are home at least one day out of the week it's considered a slow week.  I'm not complaining. I love my family and the time we spend together. I do have a small confession though...I've been running around like crazy mom that I almost forgot about getting my Mother's Day gift ready at school. It seriously became a last minute gift but I think it turned out precious and hopefully none of the mommas felt as though they were a last minute thought.


 Hobby Lobby had everything I needed.
1) 1X1 mosiac tiles
2) ribbon
3) necklace loop (this is not the official name)
4) Modge Podge
5) strong ceramic glue (to attach the necklace loop)

Considering I was running a little behind I'm happy this project was fast and easy. The kids wrote an "I Love You" message on the back of the tile and then Modge Podged their picture to the front.


I made 1X1 pictures in Microsoft Word.
The problem solving that took place when I asked them to measure 24 inches of ribbon was greatness. They make me giggle.  That was probably the hardest part of the project for them.  They looked at me like I was crazy because the ruler was only 12 inches. Thankfully most of them figured it out and some needed a little guidance but everyone was successful.
I just love adding pictures to things. So we added a picture to our card and it was ready to send home.
I took a sneak peak at some of their messages to mom. They were so thoughtful and sweet and some I didn't really know what to say....


{this one says that their mom is so "awesome" that the other moms brag about her to their husbands}
{this one says "thanks for all the stuff you do and for breastfeeding me, I hope I can repay the favor one day"}
What?!

Despite running behind I think they turned out sweet and thoughtful.  Of course if your reading this now you can save this for next year. 

My little Honey Bunny entered a Mother's Day contest at one of our boutiques in town LaRue and won.  WOOHOO! She entered so many times I was afraid they were going to block her from their site.  It just made my heart happy that she wanted it so bad.  
She won!! I cannot believe she won.  We had fun trying to spend all that money. Thank you LaRue!!

I hope all the mommas had a wonderful and relaxing day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What'cha Reading?!

We just cannot get enough of the book Pictures of Hollis Woods!  Have you read it?  It's been a fantastic book that has generated so many thoughtful and meaningful conversations within my classroom.  

Is it bad that I secretly LOVE it when the kids beg me to read....ONE....MORE...CHAPTER...PUHLEEEAAZZE?!  
It makes my teacher heart happy, happy, happy. 

We spent some time writing letters to Hollis giving her helpful advice. I have the most thoughtful and kindest kids!

We've looked for similarities and differences between Hollis and a close friend of ours. Wow, I learned a lot about their friends!

Student partners had jobs that I assigned from my Literature Circle group packet from the fabulous 4th Grade Frolics.  They completed and shared their questions, connections, and favorite parts with the class to create their own discussions.


I LOVE this packet! It has been a fantastic unit to use with my literature circles so I just changed it up and incorporated it with the whole group while I was reading this book to the class. They enjoyed completing their jobs and our class discussions were ran by the students. 


Have you heard of Plickers?? Well, I tried this app in the classroom to check comprehension of our story. Seriously.......it was the coolest and strangest thing ever! It's free and I REEEEALLY think you should check it out.

The kids hold up their answer and you scan the room with your phone or ipad. You will need to type the student's names in the computer but that's easy peasy. Type the questions that you want them to answer and you're ready to go.
Then you immediately can see who got it wrong and who got it right. You can print a report from your computer if you'd like to use the data. I showed the kids how it worked and they were amazed by it too. 

How does it do that?! 

So COOL!! Oh and it's FREE. Seriously, you should check it out. A great change from paper and pencil. 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nerves, Words, and Slime

It's finally here....the BIG. TEST. DAY. My fabulous fourth graders will be sharing everything they have learned so far this year. I told myself not to get nervous or worried but goodness my tummy feels like butterflies are wrestling.

The littles at our school thought they'd leave us some LOVE and ENCOURAGEMENT. Awww!

My kids LOVED all the notes that were personalized to them. They were cracking me up because they couldn't figure out how  
 the younger kids knew their name. ;-)


We all wore capes on Friday and left a little note with a fun new pencil for our SUPER writers. 
{click here for notes}

I tried to keep myself busy this weekend and not spend too much time reading and rereading this book...boooorrriiinnnggg. I'm not sure why I felt the need to reread this but I did.



So we took our little princess to see Disney Frozen on ice. LOVED it!!  
Then we came home to watch the Kids Choice Awards. Of course after watching everyone get slimed on the awards show we had to make our own and try it out. 

Just in case you're wondering how to make it.  You will need:

it needs to be green but I don't think it matters what brand.  We poured about 1/4 of the soap into a pitcher.


Then we added 8 heaping spoonfuls of baking soda to the pitcher of soap. We mixed it up and then planned the perfect opportunity to pour it on someone's head.(not mine) This was all planned out by the creative Jenna for her next vloggy video.  

It actually turned out great and I had a lot of fun pouring it over her head. 

Well, I think that I have rambled enough but not because I'm freaking out...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What's Going On In Your Room?

So....where do I begin? Well, I have finally finished all my classes for my master's degree.  I've turned in my ARP paper and I'm just waiting to hear from the university. It has been weird making plans to do something without first checking to see how much I should read and how many papers I should write before I make plans.  I have so much {mind} time. It's great!

Mind time.....my mind has been racing with ways to get my kids prepared to be a BIG 5th grader.  I want to fill their learning gaps and help them to continue to grow and learn. Let me show what is going on in my classroom.

After my students' last test I printed out each individual student's data chart for that assessment.  



They placed this chart in their data folder and highlighted the objectives that they scored below 75% on.  
I have placed tubs around the classroom filled with activities and games that will help reinforce the objective that the student struggled with and needs to learn. Each tub is labeled with the different student objectives.  
The kids will be in charge of looking at their objectives and choosing a skill that they need to work on. During this station time I will be meeting with small groups for guided reading instruction. My goal for my students is for them to be aware of what they are struggling with and become responsible with their time to become better.  They will become independent learners in charge of their own learning!


Well, I realize that I have been rambling and if you have stayed with me for this long I've got a goodie for you...

I made these activities to help with the student objective 4.2A 
{I can determine the meaning of grade-level academic English words derived from Latin, Greek, or other linguistic roots and affixes.}
{click here}

You can stop by my tpt and pick it up for FREE until tomorrow. Hurry!

Have a fantastic week!