Welcome to my teaching blog! I am an SEI teacher for kindergarten and 1st grade students, and this is my 3rd year of teaching in my own classroom. Every day is a new adventure, and there's never a dull moment! Please consider following my blog. :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Half Day before Vaca

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • The kids were so cute singing during the Poetry Slam-- so what if they sang the songs out of order and were shaking-scared?...
  • Photo shoot with the majority of the class after snack time
  • Some of the kids didn't understand why we had vacation or why we wouldn't be coming back to school for 10 days...so sweet
  • My principal says that I am not allowed to go in during vacation :)
  • Passed another MTEL! :) *secret*

Biggest Concerns:
  • how to enjoy every minute of my vacation before going back to the grind =)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Twas the Night before Christmas Vaca

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • Today was my little L's last day. :( A day earlier than expected!!! Freaked out; made my para run out to pick up my prints from Walgreens b/c I wanted to give her 10 pictures before she moves away...So sad...obvi almost cried and got so emotional.
  • PJ party with the DLC...very cute, and my kids loved having snacks and hanging out with other kids, just relaxing...AND they loved wearing pajamas. (Wore my sweatpants too!)
  • Gave out our gift bags today ...crayon rings, memo pads, glitter pencils, class picture, and monogrammed gloves :)
  • Gave out gifts to other teachers--- stressful shopping, but it's always worth it. :)
  • videotaped the kids while they were rehearsing this morning-- teaching about "reflection" ;-)

Biggest Concerns:
  • Our Poetry Slam performance and costumes tomorrow
  • new schedule in January

"F" is for frog!

Monogrammed gloves sewn by me :]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

1.5 more days!


Highlights/ Low-lights today:
  • The kids L-O-V-E-D gingerbread houses today!  Thank goodness my para is more organized than me and it was controlled chaos in our room this afternoon.
  • Our Poetry Slam rehearsal went well, and the kids are actually learning the songs. :)
  • Gingerbread voting was cute today
  • Finally finished shopping for everyone at school!
  • AP lost a write-up for one of my students...now we have to write it again (waste of 40 minutes the first time...)

Biggest Concerns:
  • fitting in everything in before holiday vacation!
  • assessing my first graders
  • running records
  • surviving the next 11 hours of school before vacation


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Today is Tuesday, all day long, all day long

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • My kids absolutely LOVED the gingerbread men that I baked last night!  The eyes and buttons were made of frosting.  Tomorrow, we will be making gingerbread houses out of milk cartons.
  • My gingerbread door theme is a success!  Lots of compliments. :)
  • ESL went well today, and the kids are really picking of their high frequency words and/or letters!
  • Finally have access to the K Level A Reach program online!
  • Ate so many baked goods today...what a glutton...
  • Actually started planning ESL and Math for the week after vacation-- hmmm...
  • I will have to include photos of our symmetrical snowflakes, frogs, elephant puppets, and my gingerbread doorway for this blog...

Biggest Concerns:
  • PJ party on Thursday
  • Poetry Slam costumes/ songs for Friday
  • My grade for my grad course-- so nervous because the course kicked my butt this semester, and it was so hard juggling a job and class at the same time...
  • Latkes for Thursday with gelt
  • Gingerbread graphs for tomorrow
  • Retention after vacation


Gingerbread Doorway

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Monday?! I thought it was Friday...

    Holy smokes!  Vacation fever has hit the teachers, and now I don't know if there's hope for anyone!

    Highlights/ Low-lights today:
    • Average scores for Unit 2.1 Key word exam today for First Grade-- they are getting better!
    • pacing in math worries me...but I like whole-class lessons followed by the independent work
    • My kids love the "If you're reading and you know it" song... :)
    • staff meeting was short, yay!  but no snacks...got the shaaakes

    Biggest concerns:
    • schedule this week w/ parties and special events
    • gingerbreadmen tomorrow, latkes/gelt on Wednesday, gingerbread houses on Thursday (and pj party?), and poetry slam on Friday-- b-u-s-y

    Photo :
    Still under construction...but veryyy cute!  My inspiration: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squigglybee/3105418306/

    Saturday, December 17, 2011


    Yesterday was Friday--  *celebration dance.*  So exhausted from these long weeks, just absolutely insane.

    Highlights/ Low-lights:
    • ESL groups went well again with K and Grade 1 divided
    • love having L substituting in the building so that we can chat throughout the day!
    • made foam gingerbread men today...the kids don't know that we will be having real ones on Monday =)
    • sent in my next course for credit approval
    • sent in my version of the new schedule for January
    • tested Grade 1 on their spelling words and also pretested them-- good thing I remembered

    Biggest Concerns:
    • preparing my kids for the math quarterly assessments
    • finishing my final grad paper for Tuesday when this weekend is already feeling crazy-busy
    • packing in the gingerbreadman stuff for next week!
    • putting the student gifts together in time for Friday
    • pj party on Thursday
    • planning for next week...I feel like the whole week is going to be discombobulated

    foam gingerbread men with glue concoction, whole-punched buttons/smiles, beads for accessorizing, googly eyes, glitter, and blue or red yarn for hair

    My updated Word Wall

    Thursday, December 15, 2011


    Tomorrow is Friday, and I am just so so so excited!  This week just feels so long, and I think it's because the consistent 5-day weeks are wearing me down.  I.can't.wait.for.vacation.  5.5 more school days!

    • My twinsies birthdays today...6 years old and they were wearing matching outfits today!  I love it when my kids can wear crowns around the school-- they get so excited.
    • 2 math CPTs again because I really needed to see how the quarterly 2 assessments will look like, and whether or not my kids will be successful!
    • asked my para to pep up her energy today...I hate being put in a position like that...
    • Kindergarten "cupcakes" for the letter C came out cute :)
    • Grade 1 choral reading/singing was nice
    • my first Staff holiday party tonight-- It was more fun than I thought, but it's exhausting to work all day and be social with the same people at night!
    • #s 1-10 in shaving gel today with suspects 1 and 2...#1 loved it, and it seemed to be working (for the time), and suspect 2 was just being foolish.

    Biggest Concerns:
    • Suspects 1, 2, 3, and now 4!
    • quarterly assessments are on the back of my mind
    • Will my students forget everything they've learned after the break?
    • schedule changes
    • pacing my kids and meeting their different needs
    • pj party next week?

    Shaving gel and Elmer's glue cupcakes for the letter "Cc" (with pink sprinkles)

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011


    So I woke up thinking that today was Friday...rough.  Then I found out that my dad ate my leftover pizza last night; so I was forced to make myself a lunch.  Lastly, I spilled half of my coffee the moment I stepped into my classroom this morning.  FML!  It was also all over my white gloves.  my life.

    Highlights/ Low-lights:
    • Math sorting went well today, and so did the dice roll game-- woohoo!
    • New schedules for all grades to try to accommodate more CPT time and flexible scheduling-- I hope it works out.
    • Second book into the Gingerbread series.  We read the Gingerbread Man yesterday, and we read the  Gingerbread Girl today.  Hopefully, we'll be able to read Gingerbread Baby tomorrow.
    • My aide was 2 hours late to work today, and I don't know why.  It stinks when your kids show up in your classroom before you do, and they don't understand why they can't be in the room without an adult...ughh!
    • ESL groups went well today, and my low group did really well with "Write the Room."  I was so proud!

    Biggest Concerns:
    • preparation for next week
    • busy day tomorrow with my new hire meeting and staff party-- nervous about parking there, too!
    • Gingerbread cookie decorating, gingerbread house decorating, snowflake making, and poetry slam preparation...and pj party possibly on Thursday?
    • comp pay for covering Music today

    "What did the sixth snowman say?"
    "My nose is cold."

    "I like my snowman friends."
    another alphabet poster in the room...

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011


    Highlights/ Low-lights:
    • Working all day at school and trying to complete my work for grad school at the same time-- CraZY!!
    • Suspect #1 in my class can't count to 10...I am going to seriously drill him every day until vacation...might make his life miserable.
    • Suspect #2/3 poopsied in his pants AGAIN...#4!!! I was so mad!!! Missed 25 out of the 30 minutes I get for lunch today...ughhhhhhhhhhh
    • ESL groups were kind of rushed today-- hate that!  But my group #2 is really trying hard to practice phonemic awareness and blending...so proud :)
    • Glue and shaving gelled snowmen are hanging up, and I will try to include a picture when all of them are complete!
    • Grade 1 QQ4 in math were actually pretty good!  Only one straggler who is already on my radar...tisk tisk!
    • Last grad class of the semester tonight with only 1 project due next week...such a great weight off my shoulders.

    Biggest Concerns:
    • Speaking to parents about expectations in the classroom-- below grade-level kids and kids who are behaving like babies...I am not their mother!
    • packing in my gingerbread activities for this week and next before break
    • staff party on Thursday right after my new-hire meeting...busy day!

    new HANDS-OFF policy @ school

      Monday, December 12, 2011

      Monday Monday

      Highlights/ Low-lights:
      • THIS GIRL was at Dunks this morning at 6:10 to pick up her Box of Joe for her workshop beginning at 7:30am!  I also halved apple turnovers and croissants as breakfast treats for my super nice participants.  I ended up having 8 professionals at my workshop, and I was so nervous.  I was only expecting 4-5 people.  My principal and the other teachers LOVED the Pictures Books for Reading and Writing Workshop packet, and my principal wants to use it for a future PD...how exciting!
      • Math was dragging in K today, but it was interactive, and gave the kids something new to do...unifex cubes with whiteboards and equations...hard stuff for 5-year olds!
      • ELA went okay today...it's nice when each group of students has a teacher with them so that they don't make extra noise or run around seeking attention.

      Biggest Concerns:
      • How can you tell if a student isn't understanding a concept because of a lower IQ or because he is developmentally "not there" yet?  I wish there was a checklist for these things...
      • Last grad class tomorrow night!  But still needing to finish up my projects...
      • How do I write language objectives for my students? ughh...

      Sunday, December 11, 2011

      Last Friday

      To be honest, I don't remember much from last Friday because my whole day was so busy, and then my weekend just flleeewww by! but I'll try my best...

      • The office para called and told me that there was something for me in the office. FLOWERS DELIVERED FOR ME! I was so unbelievably excited. :) Made my day. :)
      • Expanded and redesigned my word wall
      • "beaded bracelets" for the letter Bb today and also for the day's random act of kindness

      Biggest Concerns:
      • obviously worried about this entire week and being observed by anyone
      • my PD workshop tomorrow morning
      • finishing my projects for my last grad class of the semester on Tuesday


      "Encouragement" flowers from my mentor :)

      Thursday, December 8, 2011


      Today was a Thursday that felt like a Friday...I hate it when that happens!  Gosh, I am so tired-- it's crazy!

      Highlights/ Low-lights:
      • My K lesson with the new phonics song book and my own activities worked really well.  They loved the song AND the puppet "Froggy."  However, it was so distracting to my 1st graders who were taking a test at the time! oops...
      • The positive energy and excitement from my kids in the morning is so special. :)
      • They enjoyed reading The Mitten again...which was nice because I was worried about hem being "bored."
      • The new HF song works really well (to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it").  They loved it!  And it's not difficult to carry the tune. :)
      • Cried again when telling my story about yesterday's PD to my mentor-- she felt so badly about my situation, but I think I'm just just oversensitive about everything and anything...

      Biggest Concerns:
      • Observations next week. 
      • Math quarterly follow-up
      • organizing my chaos in the classroom!
      • my PD for Monday-- is there enough time to plan and photocopy!?!?!

      Stolen from the blog First Grade Parade...a story map template for The Mitten

      Wednesday, December 7, 2011


      Today was a bad day.  Not with my kids, but with everything else.

      Highlights/ Low-lights:
      • Half day today for professional development= fun snowman activity with the kids.  They loved using the glue and shaving gel mixture to make their "sixth snowman" for our "Five Little Snowmen" poem.
      • Cried during my PD meeting today-- embarrassing. :x  Just so stressed, tired, and overwhelmed of everyone's expectations for me.
      • I have a little bit better idea of what is expected of my first graders and kindergarteners.
      • I think I am going to start locking my door after school so that no one comes in...is that being anti-social? probs...

      Biggest Concerns: 
      • my entire life.
      • re-designing my classroom to best suit my students' needs
      • the solutions to my problems = more hours in the day and more space in my classroom
      • wishing I could celebrate Christmas with my kiddos :(
      Photos from today, etc:
      New ones/tens/hundreds chart holders for Calendar
      Snowmen made from equal parts glue and shaving cream

      Tuesday, December 6, 2011

      Crazy Tuesday

      Today was another action-packed day, and I am exhausted...I can't even muster up the energy to correct homework and work on my PD workshop for grad school!  At least we have a half-day tomorrow. :) (minus the PD in the afternoon...)

      • The Hat is not my most favorite book. :/  It was also difficult for the students to follow...
      • Admin stuff made me leave lunch to go to the office and then it turned out to be a pointless drive and appointment! curses...
      • Impromptu indoor classroom recess= kids showing up 15 minutes earlier than expected in my classroom.  I was not a happy camper.
      • Day 4 of Kindness= Share a Hug! headbands

      Biggest Concerns:
      • PD workshop scheduling-- argh!
      • a snowball of things to do is getting quite large and I'm overwhelmed.

      Random Acts of Kindness project

      Winter Word Splash
      Color, cut pieces, & dress your own snowman

        Monday, December 5, 2011


        What an action-packed day!  This week is going to be a doozy...

        Highlights/ Low-lights:
        • Found out that my little kindergartner is leaving next week...so devastated.  I hope her new school takes care of her. :(
        • Kindergartner strikes again with poo-oopsies in his pants...so gross...fml.  We took a trip to the nurse together this time...
        • Meeting after school from 3:50 until 5:15pm...thank goodness my aide was there or else I probably would have lost my mind!
        • Observation with my mentor scheduled for Wednesday...
        • Math was quick today, but it went well!  The kindergarteners are beginning to understand addition concepts...
        • First grade practice sheets were definitely a good idea...thank you Math director for the bonus and supplementary workbook. :)
        • Read The Mitten today-- the kids loved it!
        • Day 3 of Kindness= helping me clean the room and wash the tables!  Our first time doing it together; usually I do it by myself, but the kids loved helping out.  I'll have to make it a weekly routine...

        Biggest Concerns:
        • Changing my literacy instruction to meet the expectations of my director and L
        • Report cards due tomorrow and still need to be completed-- they are sitting right in front of me-- ughh!
        • Flexible grouping in my classroom
        • My PD workshop at the end of this week?
        • My work for grad school is beginning to overlap and take over my work-life-- I hope I can survive the next 2 weeks...

        New crayon holders from my para! How exciting :)
        Math Word Wall *under construction"

          Saturday, December 3, 2011


          • I had a good write-up for my observation in Science today...woohoo!  She said that my students were very attentive, my pacing was good, and my classroom is conducive to visual learning where the expectations and routines are clearly stated-- hoorah. :) 
          • Taking pictures with our little one today who might be moving! so sad!!
          • Random Acts of Kindness Day 2--> "Draw a picture for a friend."  Then, I labeled the pictures with "For _______, From ______" before gave them to friends and took them home.  It was interesting to see who the recipients were!
          • Finished my 3 observations of my para today for my grad class...woohoo! Now just have to complete the post-conferences with her.
          • Sent out a message about doing a workshop on multicultural literacy in my school at the end of the week-- I hope I get lots of responses/ I hope it doesn't turn out to be a bust!
          • Disappointed that I didn't finish one of the group's unit 3 assessments yesterday-- I'll have to remember for Monday!

          Biggest Concerns:
          • Finishing Gr. 1 report cards to be sent home on Tuesday
          • my 3 projects due on Tuesday for my grad course
          • meetings on Monday and Thursday after school
          • holiday celebrations in the classroom-- what is/isn't allowed
          • my PD workshop!

          Science Vocabulary

          Science easel

              Thursday, December 1, 2011


              First FULL day without my aide today -- what is a girl to do?! JK, we were fine, and we had such a nice day!  There was a sub, but she was very pleasant and "obedient."  Get what you get...

              • Sub today: "I really enjoyed being in your room today.  I like what you do with the children, and I like how you walk around with them.  I liked being here today."  SO NICE TO HEAR!  I have been feeling really scrutinized and criticized lately by other professionals, and this lady was so nice. :)  Not the sharpest tool, but very nice and genuine.
              • One little girl might be moving today or tomorrow-- I'm terrified! :( so sad.
              • First random act of kindness= get well cards for my aide...impromptu since I forgot to email myself the documents from home-- oops!
              • New hire meeting this morning 7:30-8:15; then ELL departmental team meeting after school 3:30-5:15...wacko.
              • I went to 2 CPT team meetings today (one for K and one for 1st grade).  I loved being included in both, but I hated missing my prep time.  However, I like that I feel comfortable with going to both, and I NEED that information and feedback about my quarterly results compared to the mainstream classes!  so importante.
              • December is getting packed with events/meetings-- as well as projects.  I kept referring to and adding to my planner today!

              Biggest Concerns:
              • Grade 1 Report Card due tomorrow for Tuesday--aksdjf;lawjelf;kjsaldfjldsjfljf.
              • math data used for instruction
              • holiday celebrations and instruction