Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring "Break"?? I think not.

It has been a little while since I posted and I am on Spring Break this week. I HAD planned on spending my Spring Break resting, relaxing, and looking for great ways to integrate the new smart board I just got in my classroom. Well that all went down the drain almost exactly 2 weeks ago (1 week before Spring Break started). 2 weeks ago my sweet 79 year old Daddy (who suffers from Alzheimer's and dementia) fell down the stairs at his house and broke his hip. He was rushed to the hospital and had to have emergency surgery to replace the ball part of the hip and repair the break which was just under the ball. My daddy lives an hour away from me and the hospital is an hour and a half away but it didn't matter I was going to be there as much as I could. My dad stayed at the hospital for a week before he was moved to rehabilitation nursing home to begin his rehab therapy. While in the hospital we began to notice that my dad was having trouble with simple skills like feeding himself and his hand eye coordination was terrible. Now his doctor believes he most likely had a mild stroke either at the time he fell, right before the fall, or right after. My dad has been in the nursing home rehab center for a week now and is making progress He has physical, occupational, and speech and cognition therapy daily.

My father's wife is 88 years old and she is unable to care for him, especially now, so the therapy team has deemed it unsafe for him to return home so I have spent my entire Spring Break either sitting with him (he hates to be alone) or touring nursing homes trying to find a place for him to live when his rehab is completed. This has been so hard because he is so confused about where he is and what is going on. When I go see him he always asks me to take him home. Next week is going to be even worse for me because I have been with him almost daily since this happened and I go back to work next week plus I start working on my 2nd Master's degree so I am only going to be able to see him once a week.

So, that is why I have been MIA. I have been living on stress overload, thank goodness I have my brother and sister as well. The great thing about her family is that at times like this we all pull together to get things done. My momma passed away 20 years ago and my daddy is all I have left. Even though Alzheimer's has stolen most of him away from us, I love him so much and I worry about him even more.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reading Reading Reading!!

This week is going to be a very hectic week, we have a science program tomorrow, a mock FCAT test on Friday and I am being observed on Friday as well, the first time I have been observed in like 8 years ugghhh I really can't stand Mr. Marzano and his ideas of teacher evaluation right now. Anyway, this morning started out hectic and when the morning starts hectic it usually doesn't get much better LOL My students were rowdy this morning as well, I hate the time change, and I thought "Oh boy, this day is going to give me a headache" Thankfully things got better this afternoon and the last 20 minutes of the day were amazing and reminded me how muchI love my job and my kids. 

Before I get into that let me show you my reading rotation board!!! Elizabeth over at Fun in Room 4B created a reading rotation chart as a companion to the Math rotation chart that was created by Clutter Free Classroom  I LOVE my math and reading rotations boards now! (for pictures of my math board check out this post - Math Rotations  or Math Rotations Rock

 This is the entire board - I have my groups set up by color and the kids names are on post-it notes then placed on laminated colored paper, this works great if I need to move a student to a new group. 

 The set Elizabeth made has a header for all 4 areas but since my teacher table and Read to Self center never changes I only needed these 2 pages. I just put the headers onto a pier of card stock, trimmed it and laminated it. That way I can write on it exactly what they are to do for At Your Seat and Enrichment Stations
I put the board right next to my class library

Now, onto my day...

This weekend, my husband and I went to a couple of local Goodwill stores and bought some "new to me" books for my classroom library. We finished up all our work for the day so I was letting my class read silently for the last 30 minutes of the day while I labeled the books and prepared to add them to my class library. My class was still a bit rowdy and were not into their reading much at all so I thought, "Ok I'll tell them about the new books I got and that will kill a little time before we pack up" so I called their attention to me and told them I had gotten some new books and that I wanted to show them what I got. As I started showing them the first couple books I got some "ohhhh"s and one of my students asked if he could have the book I was showing so I said yeah of course and handed it to him, all of a sudden my desk was flooded with my students all asking me for books which I started handing out. By the time they were all goneI on;y had like 5 books left to put on the shelves LOL. All of a sudden the room was silent and I looked up and this is what I saw - 

Isn't that a beautiful sight??? Its one of my favorites!

As I said, it was near the end of the day and at dismissal I was out at car rider duty, which is always such a crazy place, the kids are loud and rowdy and ready to go home. I was standing near the 4th grade car rider waiting area, waiting for my duty to be over so I could get out of the chaos when I glanced over and I saw 2 of my students, who are usually part of the rowdy crowd, sitting on the ground waiting for their car to be called and this is what they were doing:

Another beautiful sight!

Now on to tomorrow, which I hope is a lot more like the last 20 minutes of today LOL

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New TpT stuff

I just added 3 more items to my TpT store. I added genre posters, book basket labels, and Daily 5 posters all with a super cute monkey theme. Check out my store at the following link -

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wild About Reading!

This week has been Literacy Week at my school, our theme has been Wild About Reading and we have had all sorts of fun activities. Monday they had Wild Hair Day (I didn't participate - I spend too much time keeping my hair from getting wild on a daily basis LOL), Tuesday was Animal Print day where we all wore animal print clothes. Yesterday we had a "Book Drill" similar to a fire drill except when the book drill was called everyone stopped what they were doing and began reading, the kids loved it because they got to carry their book around with them all day long. As part of the festivities we are having a "Wild About Reading" themed bulletin board contest. My kids just finished up the book Matilda today (we are watching the movie tomorrow) and we read The BFG before that, so they love Roald Dahl right now. So for our bulletin board we did "We are wild about Roald Dahl books" with a zebra print theme, and I had each student make a "book jacket" for their favorite Roald Dahl book. On the front the had to write the title and a draw a picture of their favorite scene from the book. Then on the inside they had to write about who their favorite character was and why along with a picture of the character and they had to write a description of their favorite part. They LOVED this activity and most of them did an amazing job! I doubt we will win because I have some very creative teammates but the kids really enjoyed it and I like how it turned out. Below are some pictures of the board itself and some closeups of some of the book jackets.

 a picture of the entire board

 The BFG

The Twits 


 The front of the Matilda one

 a closer shot of the title

 a picture of Roald Dahl with some of his books surrounding him

 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 Another depiction of The BFG

 This was done by one of my lowest students - It says 
"My favorite character is Matilda because she is smart, brave, and tough"

 The BFG was by far the most popular

This student said that she drew The BFG's shelf with all the dreams he collected