Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Sweet Summer Fling Update

Here we are at the end of another month. It feels like we just started. It has been a busy month and I haven't completed much of what I wanted to, especially in the book area. Here's my recap for my Sweet Summer Fling.

This is the only book I finished this month, and it wasn't even on my list. I am very much ok with this though, because it is spindiddly. I am now reading it to my students and they are hooked!

As for my list, I am making my way through...
I am enjoying it, just haven't had the time to sit down and just read it. I have slept more this month than I have spent exploring the Amish land. I hope to finish it either before or during spring break. Then I will promptly watch the Lifetime movie staring Mariska Hargitay, which is really the only reason I am reading the book.

Slow month in my challenge, but hopefully once state testing is finished and I am not drained as much, I can pick up the books again.

What books have you read this month?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Neela Girl

Every once in awhile a student comes along that just reaches into your heart, grabs on for dear life and won't let go. Neela is that student for me. I call her "Neela Girl" based on Anne of Green Gables (my favorite book.) when Aunt Josephine calls Anne "Anne Girl." It just seems to fit her.

I have known Neela for a few years before she entered my classroom. I had her older brother and sister and will have her younger sister in a few years. Her mom is my beauty magician and the whole family is pretty smashingly rockin! I took this picture of Neela on the Fourth of July when she was in kindergarten for my 365 picture project. It was one of my favorites and I even framed it!

So why is Neela my Neela Girl? Her attitude mostly. I don't know if I have ever seen her in a bad mood. She always smiles at me when she walks in my room, she is funny and she works hard.

She is participating in my Slice of Life project and I have enjoyed reading her honest slices and learning more about her.

On Monday, St. Patrick's Day, she walked in to get here sticker for SOL and exclaimed "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" and promptly flung homemade shamrock confetti. It made me smile. She did it again when she came to my reading group that afternoon, and that time, it made me smile even more because it was perfect timing.

Today, the first day of spring, she brings me a flower made out of her hand with a, "Happy first day of spring!" that was so catching you couldn't help but to smile.

Every time I pull out the read-aloud book, she gets so excited.

Such simple things, but they make such an impact on my day.

I love my Neela Girl and the kindred spirit that she is!
We were playing cards, I look over and she has the soda
box on her head. Crazy thing is, she rocked it! 
Perfect definition of *heart flutter* to the fullest!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Guest *Heart Flutters*

I have come to the conclusion that guest posting could be really cool! I was a guest blogger over at Brielle and Me and you can check it out here if you missed it.

Today my team teacher/good friend told me that she had a *heart flutter* for me. So I got the idea, that maybe she would like to be a guest blogger! She said yes!

First, I want to tell you a little bit about Kris. She is my Yoda. She is my voice of reason. She is my sounding board. She knows my weaknesses, my fears and has caught many of my tears. Most of all she is my friend and so much more.

We started teaching 4th grade together six years ago and have lots of stories to tell. We work well together and where I have weaknesses, she is has strength and visa-versa. Every Friday we celebrate making it through the week with a breakfast burrito and a frappacino. Best. Part. Of. The. Week!

Rival colleges and annual College Friday Kickball game.
Ok, now onto her *heart flutter*

You know the kid.  The one that won’t stop talking.  The one that can’t sit in his seat for more than 15 seconds at a time.  The one that always has a story to tell you about his weekend, and insists on telling you about it at the most inconvenient time.  The one that always brings some memento to school from ______, even though he’s been told repeatedly not to bring toys to school.  The one that NEVER has his spelling packet turned in on time.  The one that consequently stays in from PE or recess to finish that assignment every week.
So there we were in my classroom, just the two of us.  I was grading papers, and he was working away on the spelling packet, music playing from the Pandora Frank Sinatra Station on my computer.  Suddenly I heard a voice quietly singing “What a Wonderful World” along with Louis Armstrong.  It was a surprisingly sweet voice that was even on key!  I listened for a few lines, not really sure what to say or do.  I don’t think he even remembered that I was still in the room.  Pretty soon I said, “It makes me happy that you know this song.”
He replied, “Oh, I have Louis Armstrong on my iPod.  I really like him.” 
Every once in a while a *heart flutter* happens when I least expect it.  THAT is why I love teaching.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

School Days

It has been a long times since I have participated in FTSF, so I am excited to join back in. This weeks prompt is:

"I'm done with school, but..."

I had an idea when I sat down to write, but then thought of something else. Now I am not sure which one to go with! Ok, I'll go with both.

1) "I'm done with school, but..." I miss having a locker. I loved having a locker from the time I got one in fifth grade and cleaned out my last one my senior year. I shared a locker in seventh grade with my best friend, Holly, and we had it decorated in the coolest way! 
I actually still have a few of the things we had in our locker!

My freshman year I shared with Aimee and all the fights happened in front of our locker! It was so exciting!

The other three years were strategically placed next to my friends, and we all had access to each other's lockers. We were cool. 

I can't really put my finger on why I liked having a locker so much. It was just so cool to me.

2) "I'm done with school, but..." we still have 34 days left. This one applies more to today and my teaching. I have sever summer-itis. I am having a hard time getting up each morning and getting dressed each morning is like climbing Everest. It isn't like I don't like my class, but truth be told, I want to be a little lazy for a few days. Maybe spring break will help with this.

All the other aspects of school pretty much still apply to me. I get to go school clothes shopping, I get new school supplies each year, I go threw the first day of school, school pictures, school lunch, school work, homework, just on a different level at times.

How would you finish this sentence?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

Well hello! It's been what seems like forever! I have missed blogging and hopefully you have missed reading.

It has been busy here and for the next three weeks, I don't see it slowing down much. Oh wait, unless you call the slow walking I have to do around my classroom during state testing, slow.

I decided that I would do another Thinking Out Loud post and hopefully get out a few of the things I thought about blogging about all week.
We had parent teacher conferences this week, which equaled two 12 hour days at the office. I like the spring conferences better because they are quicker. Everyone has figured everything out by now and are 4th grade pros. It is more of a huddle with a plan for the fourth quarter and how to finish out the year.

I finished this book and gave it five stars! My students are loving it as a read-aloud and would be plum ticked if I read it the whole reading hour. I also got my signed sticker-thingy to put in my own copy (when I find one) from the author. I decided that I REALLY want to be Natalie's best friend. Where do I find an application? She wrote a sweet note to go with it and I showed my class with a whole lot of enthusiasm. Spindiddly!

The SOL project with my small group is going AMAZING! They girls are enjoying it and I am enjoying reading their slices. I had a few parents mention it at conferences and how much they are enjoying it. Mission accomplished.

My sister came to visit this weekend and we made a day of yesterday! We started out with a 5k for St. Patrick's Day and now I can barely move, but it was a bonding moment for the two of us. We had lunch with some work friends of mine and then went to get coffee and ran into our high school teacher from back home. It was probably the craziest thing to see he and his wife walk in the store, five hours away from home. It was good to see them even it was only for a few minutes.
We ended the night at the Ranch with breakfast for dinner. How happy is the syrup bottle? It was nice to share a meal with family and friends followed by a few friendly games of Spoons and Dominoes!

And now this is my goal for Sunday....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Guest Staring....ME!

I think it is official. I have been asked to guest blog! Does that mean I have made it in the blogging world? In my book it does!

Hop on over to Brielle and Me and check it out!

I have really enjoyed getting to know Kerith and her family through her blog and we have even chatted about meeting up. How cool is that?!

Huge *heart flutter* for sure!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Do OCD Moments Matter?

OCD, quirks, whatever you would like to call them, we all have them. Sheldon Cooper may be the current king of OCD. I also thought of Monica from Friends and her moments. I mean she has a label for the label maker!

My train of thought stumbled upon some of my own quirks this morning and I got to thinking more about them. Are they things that I can over come? Do they really matter?

I was thinking about my SOL challenge in my classroom and how on Monday I am going to give the ones who wrote their slices over the weekend a sticker. Would I let them pick what sticker they wanted, or would I control what sticker they picked? I like to use one sheet of stickers at a time and use them as they come on the sheet. (As I type this, I am thinking how silly this sounds! They are stickers for cryin' in the night!)

Another example, back in December we had a high intensity situation at school and the whole day was spent with the teachers just trying to make sure that the students felt safe. At one point some of my students asked if they could draw on the board. I despise students drawing on my board. They always manage to make a mess out of it and there is always a lighter color marker that is now stained a darker color when they are finished. Yet that day, I knew that they needed to have that moment, so I sucked it up and let them and tried not to watch.

You know what, I lived through it. My markers weren't destroyed and the board was easily cleaned after they went home.

It wasn't that big of a deal, and neither will the choice of sticker they use.

In one of my favorite books by Sharon Creech, one lesson learned by the characters is:

"In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter?"

Does it matter in a week if they used the fifth sticker on the sheet and not the next one in line? Does it matter in a month if the orange marker has a little blue in it when it writes?

Nope, the marker still writes what I want to write on the board and the sticker did it's job at rewarding the student. 

I am going to try to remind myself of this lesson whenever I want to cringe and say no to something that might be an OCD/quirk moment, because in the course of a lifetime, it probably doesn't really matter.

What is one of your OCD/quirks? Can you overcome it?

Saturday, March 1, 2014


As I stated in yesterday's post, February is over and that means that March is here! I am indifferent when it comes to March, but I do like the beginning of any month. It just seems like a new beginning and new adventures.

This March is bringing a new adventure for a few of us in fourth grade. We are unofficially participating in the Slice of Life Classroom Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. I since it is so new to me, I am only doing it with about seven or eight students. They all volunteered and seemed excited about it. I hope that they remember that it starts today even though it is Saturday and we aren't at school. I am participating also, but won't be posting all of them as blog posts. I hope to show case some of my student's slices at some point during this month. Kind of like a guest blogger.

On another note, I have three new obsessions, one being only hours old:
Diet Dr. Pepper
Almond Roca
Natalie Lloyd

If I could get all three together in the same place then I might just be in heaven! The dogs needed to use the loo around four this morning and then I couldn't get back to sleep so I picked up A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and couldn't put it down! The language in it is superb! The way she describes things is an explosion for the senses. I then went and looked for her on-line and found her blog. I want to read every post she has ever written! I have just found my new read-aloud book starting on Monday!

Here are a few other things that will be happening in March:
~The Prattes return from NZ and I move back into my own humble abode
~Parent/Teacher conferences
~A day off after conferences (love these days!)
~State testing (possibly the longest two weeks of my life)
~St. Patrick's 5K
~My dad comes home from working in Kansas since the beginning of Jan.
~Guest post over at Brielle and Me
~Hopefully some unexpected adventures

What are you looking forward to this month?
Do you have any new obsessions?