Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Linky, A Freebie and Some Fun!

Whew!  I finished my power point and packing for my presentation tomorrow!  To celebrate I am sharing a helper for writing workshop that I used years ago when I taught third and fourth.  This is a clip chart for writing workshop.  Students place their clips on the stage they are in. This may only be a freebies for a short period of time, as I might put it in a TPT store – still debating about that!


I am linking up with Amanda Madden at Teaching Maddeness for a Resolution Linky!

Resolution #1: I’d like to share more pictures and ideas on my blog.  Hopefully, with a fresh start in a new grade, I can start without being, and staying, overwhelmed!

Resolution #2: Stay organized!  With moving into a new room, I am starting fresh – purging and organizing.  My goal is to keep it that way and keep control of the paper clutter and grading.

Resolution #3:  Have confidence.  That’s hard to admit, but I think I have been feeling a lack of self-confidence the past few years.  I think with a grade level that I love and feel great about, some of that confidence will return. I really want to be myself and “compete” (for the lack of a better word) with the strong personalities around me.

Resolution #4:  Work smarter, not harder.  I pushed the morning time to the very limit the last couple years just for sanity sake.  I want to start getting to work earlier and being productive during that time.  I want to streamline my procedures and leave work between 4:00 and 4:30, like I used to when I taught 3/4.

On a related note, I found this little piece of subway art at TJ Maxx.  I was a lonely drop-off on the shelves by the register and I had to pick it up the second time I saw it there.  I thought it would be great to hang in my room to keep my perspective.


Oh! My!  I just found this Biscoff Spread.  LOL!  I am currently eating it with a spoon.  It tastes like those spicy windmill cookies you can find in the bulk section of some grocery stores.  A little bit like a spicy girl scout shortbread cookie. I guess Trader Joe’s sells it for 8.99, but I found it at Wegman’s – the grocery store of all grocery stores – for 3.99!  We don’t have a Trader Joe’s anywhere in the area yet. I don’t think I will have enough left to do anything with it! I think it would make a great substitute for peanut butter in sandwiches this year – and there are no peanuts in it.

Off to close everything up before the much-needed rain arrives! Have a great one!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Made It Monday!


I am cheating a little here. I actually made this stuff last week, but was excited to share and actually finish something for a post on Monday. /here are my projects:


(Please ignore any stray cat fuzz from my fuzzy long-haired cat or muddy foot prints from the dog!)

Since I changed room again, I am back to scrounging for furniture.  I had such a nice matching set of chairs in my other room Sad smile I am just plain tired of hunting stuff down and I’m not sure there is a whole lot of extra up for grabs in my new building.  I was browsing through Erica Bohrer’s site

and found these lovelies! I just hate the time and distraction it causes to have kids moving seats during reading, so I was obsessed with seating.  Erica found these at Big Lots.  Since I decided to go with Dots on Turquoise, they were just about perfect. But, they were bought last year.

Erica Bohrers First Grade

I headed off to my local Bog Lots with high hopes.  They did not have any collapsable ottomans, but I could tell the colors this year are royal blue, black, hot pink, and plum purple.  Hmmm.  Between two days and 4 stores, I finally settled on and traded ottomans until I had six black ones.  They have 3 different patterns on top though.  I was sick of driving.  I think I drove at least 100 miles to find these babies. 

At any rate, I saw another post somewhere of someone who made the crate seat, which I thought were too low and would take too much time, and they made the seats out of vinyl.  In between trips, I stopped at Joann Fabrics and haunted the clearance isle for about 90 minutes.  I have vowed to save money and recycle, despite all of my spending so far.  I found the turquoise vinyl on clearance for $8 a yard and bought three yards to cover the ottoman tops.  I was stumped on how to attach the vinyl because staples and nails were not working.  I though about hot glue, but didn’t want to ruin the tops in case I decided to change them.  And  I have no idea where my 3 glue guns are.  So it was duct tape to the rescue!!!  My fingers are so sore from rolling tape! I think they turned out great!

I found the rolling chair at goodwill for $7.99 and covered it with some fabric.  Not bad if I do say myself!The fabric folded on the one ottoman are the others I picked out to make curtains and other things for the room.  You can see the Dots on Turquoise colors in the dots I printed of to take with me to match colors.  I love the stripes!


On the other hand, I did use recycled fabric.  I have been the party queen with showers and anniversaries the last few years.  I have bought a few tableclothes or plain white sheets at the thrift store to use as table clothes and no longer need them.  I bought some die and ended up with fabric for 2 small and 2 huge bulletin boards for less than $8. 


I also painted a table I found on the side of the road and a chair I bought at the VOA for 1.99 for my desk.  I’m not quite ready to share those yet.  Maybe next week Smile

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Teacher Story Linky–Part 5 (yes, 5!)

Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes is having a linky party on the story of how you became a teacher.

My Teacher Story

Click here to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

Lesson 9: Networking is Your Best Friend!

Still reading? I was hired at an amazing district. I happened to chat with an old colleague who told me my former principal’s wife, who is a principal at another district, was hiring first grade teachers. I interviewed – not my best interview. I had flown there in my car from school and went through the interview on edge and exhausted. I’m sure my answers were far from the best answers, but I was hired.

The district is a great one. My principal is a former reading teacher and extremely passionate about reading. We even went to the same college. The expectations are high and sometimes very stressful for the teachers and kids, but over all, I am so pleased that I have the freedom to teach the way that I teach and have people who have confidence in my skills. I teach staff developments and have served on many committees in the last 5 years. I have so many amazing colleagues.

However, I work in a K/1 building. As much as I love so many things about it, I am not a natural first grade teacher. I find I struggle more with patience every year and I so miss teaching pure content. So…

Lesson 10: Take Risks and Do What You Love

I have wanted to go back to school for a long time. I would love to teach at the college level. I would love to teach future teachers how to teach reading. I have wanted to pursue a doctorate in Literacy for several years (this will be my 12th year coming up if you have been tallying). I finally found a program that was workable about 30 minutes from my house. It is in teaching and curriculum, with a focus on literacy. I am hoping that I will be able to teach reading classes even though it won’t be a pure reading degree. I will begin part time classes, taking one class per week after school. To facilitate this, and in a quest to strengthen my love of teaching, I have decided to return to teaching third grade. I loved third and fourth grade. Teaching first has been wonderful, but I have felt like it was forced. As I look through all my third grade materials, I feel inspired and excited. This is a new road for me, one that looks towards the future.

It is funny how you feel like you have a direction and a plan all through college and then real life throws you curve balls. My road has been winding and full of road blocks, but it has also made me a flexible and responsive teacher. It has also made me who I am as a professional. In some ways I am more cautious, due to experience. In others, I am brave and seek challenges. I used to say that I wouldn’t trade my experiences because they have all contributed to who I am, but that is the P.C. answer. I wouldn’t wish this road on any teacher. The good parts have far outweighed the bad, but I can’t help but think there has just been too much bad. I am that teacher that listens to young teachers complains and just shakes my head. I so want to say “Honey, that’s nothing…” I know my experience may seem mild. I haven’t worked in impoverished schools, or totally lost my job. I haven’t watched fights or had other awful experiences like that. I still would not wish my difficulties on others. I can see why many new teachers do not make it more than 5 years in the profession.

It has also made me look forward to the next step professionally. I love to teach and I love education. I’m just not sure what my role will be in it in the future. The direction my state is going in concerns me greatly and I think will damage the system. It perpetuates the problems that already exists, assuming that teachers are not working hard enough. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are some who are only in it for the paycheck, but by in large we are the most conientious and evaluated profession.

I am by nature a very black and white person. I am practical and analytical. Somehow, there is a part of me that has that seed, that spark, that some have. That idea that I can make a difference in the larger picture. I usually squash it down in favor of the practical . However, every once and a while I think that maybe, just maybe, I can make a difference in the profession and help the system, support our field, by teaching the future teachers. For, the teachers are what really make this profession. No matter the hurtle or the hoop, we continue to work harder and do what is best for our students. Even if that means spending hundreds or thousands of our own dollars on our classrooms and spending untold numbers of unpaid hours in our classrooms, sweating bullets or crying tears for our kids.

Blogging has opened a door for me. I was reflecting on how my voice has changed. I was challenged to write posts with voice at the beginning and weary of saying something others would think wasn’t okay. I have started to write like I think. I won’t say like I talk, because I am not a naturally talkative or social person. I have learned to just be myself with that. Blogging, though a conversation through the computer, and sometimes a one-way conversation, is very social. It has made me reflective and helped me to be organized, or more organized.

I hope that someone finds something helpful in my story. If it helps you have an “Ah ha” moment, that would be great. If it inspires you to have a different, more beneficial mindset, great. If it just makes you say,” wow that’s crazy,” that’s fine too :) !

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Teacher Story Linky–Part 4

Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes is having a linky party on the story of how you became a teacher. My Teacher Story
Click here to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
This is part 4 of how I got to where I am…
Lesson 7: Greener Pastures Are Not Always Greener
I looked for another job at the end of that year. I dearly wanted to go back to the classroom. This was caused by the stress level of the reading position, but also by seeing my class with their new teacher every day and thinking about how much I wanted to be with them. I sat through their poetry reading choking back tears because I wished I was their teacher. It was a great group!
Teaching reading is my passion, but when you only teach reading, the job loses some of it’s appeal – at least for me. I didn’t get to know my students and I missed teaching science and social studies (math, not so much). I knew I could make more of a difference every day with 22 students than I could 25 minutes four days a week with 82 kids I hardly knew.
To be honest, pay was also an issue. Everyone gasps when a teacher mentions pay! I could move to
a district the same distance from my house and make $12,000 more. I’m not even kidding. So, I did. I was hired in a small city district that had an amazing reputation for guided reading. HAD is the important word here.
Okay! So I was hired as a k/1 multiage teacher in a teaming teaching classroom. There were two of these types of classroom and both of the teams had an open classroom setup. I had 22 students in my “homeroom”, but taught all the kindergarteners combined for math and first graders for language arts. We taught science and social studies to ALL 46 kids at once. Yikes! Does that make sense?
Sounds okay, but here’s the real story – and there always seems to be one in my life! The teacher I was teaming with and her former partner teacher had developed the program and worked together for like 15 years. The other teacher was done waiting for retirement and decided to leave. There were reasons the other one wasn’t retiring, but I won’t go there. So, I was the young replacement who had some really strong experience, but was no match for the other teacher and how she wanted the program to run. I was basically an aide in the room. I couldn’t change anything on my side of the room (including the color kittens that had been up since I was in first grade!), create behavior plans, or even follow the prescribed curriculum. Since we were our own program, we had our own thematic thing going, but I was still expected to cover everything I couldn’t.
BTW, my mentor was my partner teacher’s former student teacher and she had all 3 of my mentors kids. Not exactly a situation where I could talk openly and honestly! There were many awkward and just plain awful situations that year. I actively worked in both k and 1, so I had 14 colleagues in each grade level and double the meetings. We were also part of a Reading First Grant that year, which meant that we were working from a prescribed basal, and basically taught phonics all day long. I actually received negative feedback on an observation because I did not read all the blue words in the basal during my lesson, I only read three of the five example words. Too bad my kids had it and were ready to move on to actual learning! Forget reading actual books and writing actual stories. I cried over how I taught reading that year – literally sobbed. I was trained to teach reading and had the instinct to do it well. I did not need the blue words in a reading series to tell me how to teach my kids.
This grant took an amazing and high achieving program and destroyed it, all for a couple million dollars that could not be used with the flexibility that was anticipated. The parents were tough, the teaching was heartbreaking and the adult interactions were disheartening. I talked to my husband quite a bit about how maybe teaching wasn’t for me. I still loved education, but I didn’t love teaching. Not a single thing about it. Now, looking back, I am very angry about that. How could that institution take a teacher who was good at her job, experienced, and confident, and completely break her? I actually started to think the reading the blue words and teaching kids to read non-sense words was okay. (I’m sorry if that is part of your reading program or philosophy, but it is the antithesis of mine. I was trained at a college where basals viewed with moderate distaste. I am fairly whole language in my personal philosophy.) To think that maybe I should get rid of my boxes and boxes of trade books because they were not being read and that not doing ANY art with kids was okay because there wasn’t time. It makes me furious that I was preparing to give up 6 years of college and my 6 years of experience because of that place. I was desolate and had no idea what my future was. I vowed that, if I were to ever teach again, I would only teach somewhere that met with my philosophy. Even then I knew this was crazy, but I knew I would be miserable if I didn’t.
My grandmother passed away that June after 4 years of kidney dialysis. She was my best friend. We actually graduated from the same high school and college, and taught kindergarten 60 years apart. She was my foundation and if I can be even a fraction of the person and teacher she was, I will have lived a good life. I would come in every day, waiting for the call that she had passed, to two co-workers who were plainly manipulating me and enjoying watching me try to extricate myself from uncomfortable situations. I secretly think that I was hired because they thought I would challenge and push the teacher I was working with. Little did they know that I am not a person who chooses to punish my-self and, rather than be used as a bulldozer, I would just find another job. Astoundingly, I orchestrated my acceptance of a new position right under their noses and left without saying a word at the end of the year.
When I came to pick up the last of my boxes, my partner teacher had the audacity to say “You could have talked to me.” As if to say I hadn’t tried all along and she was clearly being wronged in all this…she enjoyed drama and the world wasn’t right without it. I thought of so many things I wished I had said days and even weeks later. It was better that I just left.
find out where I am now! Click here: My Teacher Story Linky–Part 5 (yes, 5!)

Classroom Update and Linky Parties!

Whew!  I went into my classroom on Thursday and almost finished unpacking.  I keep forgetting my camera, so I don’t have any pictures Sad smile. Maybe next week.  I have a presentation next week and needed to grab a few things from my classroom, so I spent a lot of time digging through boxes.

I decided to go with the Dots on Turquoise patterns for my classroom!  I am so excited! I’m trilled to find so much of my stuff already matches and think it will look great in my new classroom.

So far, everything is fitting so well into my room.  I have tons of shelving and containers that I have bought for different classrooms and they never seem to fit when I move, but they all seem to be working here.  I am taking that as a good sign!

I am linking up with a bunch of linky parties!

Haley at Following Optimism, is hosting a "Say No to Stress" Linky Party.

The first thing I have done is to leave work at a reasonable time.  I used to stay until 7 or 8 at night, but really try to leave by 4:30 or 5:00. I like to read or quilt on my down time.  Quilting is very methodical and relaxes me. I also have a nice 20 minute drive home and I sometimes stop and pick up a milkshake at the gas station (I know, I know, but its literally the only place I pass on the way home!) It is so bad, I when I taught in a town where we had a McDonalds,  I would stop and get a medium Coke and a Medium Fry with lots of Ketchup!


My guilty pleasure is thrift store shopping!  It has been just a bit out of control lately!  I love clothes and bags and belts and jewelry and book and dishes.  You can find so many great things at Goodwill and keep things out of the landfills.  I know some folks think “eww!”, but really, just give everything a good was in the washer or hot soapy water.  It can’t be any worse than all the stuff that kids bring into our classrooms!  Coffee and chocolate are a very close second and third!


I send a weekly newsletter home.  It talks about what we are learning in every subject, give activities to do at home, and reminders about upcoming events.  My new grade level does a weekly student letter home. I’m not sure about the amount of time this takes.  Is it more beneficial to spend 30 minutes having students write letters to their parents or creating varied and meaningful writing pieces. I also maintain a website with a great deal of information.  I think I will try using it blog style this year with my students.  Maybe we could write a weekly letter together and put it on there.  I try to make bi-weekly phone calls to each family just to keep in touch. It can head off a lot of concerns.

Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

I'm linking up with Traditions, Laughter, and Happily Ever After to share with you what I've been up to this summer.  I’m not really sure what I have been up to! 

I have been spending a lot of time on the computer – hopefully getting some units ready for TPT.

I have been putting together two workshops for next month.  On is a regional conference and I am presenting a 3 hour course on Technology in Literacy Centers.  The other is a workshop for my district and focuses on Hands On Grammar Activities for the the new CORE Curriculum.

I planned a 50th Anniversary party for my in-laws. It was 10 times more complicated than planning my wedding!

I attempted to plan a 15 year high school reunion – which we ended up cancelling.  Say yeah for lots of work for no reason!

I moved my crazy-huge classroom to another building and am getting ready to teach a third grade again.

I am trying very hard to purge and simplify both my classroom and my house.

So, yeah, I haven’t been up to much!

Check back this afternoon to check out the 5th and final part of my teacher story and how I got to where I am now in my career!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What I Could Not Teach Without Linky Party


I am linking up with Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory and Rachelle at Life is Sweet... in Kindergarten for a Teacher Must-Have linky party. 

Here is what I cannot live without!

1. Coffee - We have a Keurig in our staff room, so the little containers of coffee are like gold in our building! Thank goodness I have an awesome group of friends who share!

2. My Vera Bradley Cups with Lid - LOVE THIS! I received this cup as a teacher appreciation gift and have been wanting one for a long time. I have since bought 2 more. Coffee is a must-have for me, but I am a slow drinker. Sometimes I even reheat my cup around lunch time. The lid has been awesome!

3. Kidney Table - I call mine a Jelly Bean Table. I have taught in classrooms without them and I can tell you that teaching guided reading just isn't the same without one! Surprisingly, I didn’t have one in the room I have moved to and one showed up!  Love it!

4. Teachers Pay Teachers - I cannot tell you how amazing this site has been for me! I had lost a lot of creativity over the years in my practice, and blogging and TPT have helped me to find it again! It is amazing to support fellow professionals and benefit from their genius ideas. I will just keep it to myself just how much I have spent on this site!

5. Blogs! - Oh, my! I just discovered teacher blogs last year and I am overwhelmed by the amazingness of folks in our profession! Again, tapping into the blogging world has made me a better and more knowledgeable teacher, made my classroom more fun, and has put some spirit back into my practice. I cannot express how bummed out I had become about work and how bogged down you can get in "how we do things here" stuff. It is refreshing to see how the rest of the world teaches and benefit from the joy others have in their jobs.

6. Google Reader - This is blog related. I would never be able to get so many ideas from blogs without the benefit of Google Reader. It is genius!

7. Google Doc/Google Drive - Again, this has become key for organizing things from blogs. imgres

8. RGS Book Bins - LOVE these! I bought a class set a few years ago and have used them for book boxes, the leveled reader library, and the picture book library. Unfortunately, every time I find a different use for them, I have to find containers for whatever I steal them away from. I wish I could afford to supply every area in my room with them.

9. My Promethean Board

I love using the board and it has become such a cornerstone of my teaching.  Lately, I have been trying to mix the use of the board and ether chart paper or pocket charts, just to change it up.

10. Markers, Markers, Markers

These are my favorite and no one is allowed to touch them!


Check back later today for part 4 of my teacher story! Click below to read the first three parts of how I got to where I am now as a teacher.

My Teacher Story Linky–Part 1
My Teacher Story Linky–Part 2
My Teacher Story Linky–Part 3

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Teacher Story Linky–Part 3

Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes is having a linky party on the story of how you became a teacher. My Teacher Story

I decided to expand the story and tell you how I got to where I am now.

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2

Lesson 5: Stick to It and You Will Find Your Calling

So, I moved off to third grade. At that time, all 4 fourth grade and 4 third grade teachers looped back and forth. We had a group of aids, a reading teacher, and a special ed. teacher who worked exclusively with us. I LOVED my team and the model was great. I looped from third to fourth and then went back to third. I was hit with all the state testing and somehow whatever I was doing was working. And I loved it. We lost and gained a member of our group every year, but it only made the group better and closer. I got married the first year I taught third grade and finished up my grad work that summer.

At the end of my 3rd full year, I was again presented with an opportunity for change. Now looking back, I think “Why didn’t I just leave it alone?!?” because I would probably still be teaching 3/4 at that school if I did. But, a reading position opened up and I had just finished my masters in reading. It was a Coaching/Remedial/Consultant and all around quasi-administration position. I went into it feeling like it was not the best choice.

I left my loop and chose a new teacher for my class – that hardest thing I had to do up until that point. I had to call all the parents with the principal and tell them I was leaving. It was awful. Like crying awful. Nothing like being put on the spot and answering tough questions while sitting next to your boss on speaker phone! I was also told by the super that I could not go back to the classroom. They were 2 separate tenure areas and I was causing a stir by leaving the loop. Did I mention that my principal was really interested in having me moving to this position? I am a pleaser and, even though I was not going with my gut, I made the move.

Lesson 6: Go With You Gut

I loved many things about the reading position. I loved teaching reading and kindergarten through 4th grade. I loved some parts of the quasi-admin things and we were restructuring the remedial program from the ground up with RtI as the focus. However, it caused enormous anxiety. I struggled seeing my old team and really feeling like I wasn’t part of it anymore. I struggled to guide teachers who had been teaching longer than I had been alive, I struggled convincing them that assessments and RtI were important. I struggled with having much of the instruction and training for grading state assessments on my shoulders. I struggled with writing 82 quarterly reports, some for students that I never even worked with but only consulted on. I worked with 21 teachers in 5 different grade levels and I was stretched really thin.

I worked with a wonderful teacher in the reading room and she was a great friend, but was also very relaxed. This was hard for me because I am very type A and by the book. I ended up doing all the reports for the students we co-taught because I wanted them to be done on time. The coaching model was wonderful, but doing that on top of being a main part of the RtI team and training teachers and consultant work, and still teaching, made me crazy. Can I tell you that I literally sat through the Lion King at the theatre and do not remember half of the show because I was agonizing over quarterly reports. I really think that I had an ulcer that year. My godsend that year was a lovely aid for the library. She literally brewed coffee every morning and would walk in the room to plunk it on my table as I taught. She then kept the coffee brewing all day. Some days, that it what got me to work and through the day with some piece of sanity.

Daily 5 Book Study–Chapter 7

Putting it All Together and Trouble Shooting

surfin' Through Second

I have used D5 for 4 years in my first grade classroom.  I am so excited to start it in third grade and see how my year progresses.  I am confident that it will be a great system in my classroom.  I have found over the years that, like any system or philosophy, you have to make it meet you needs and your students’ needs.  (Check out the freebies at the end).

Here are the ways I have modified D5":

  • I still do traditional guided reading groups.  I truly think this system benefits my students.  I have incorporated the conferencing aspect in with my guided reading groups.  The student that I do a running record with is the one I conference with and give feedback to while others are giving their book a first and second read. I have found that some teachers feel that D5 takes the place of leveled reading instruction and I personally don’t agree with that.
  • I control the center rotation.  I just haven’t found that the choice aspect works well for me. I traditionally have classes with many pullouts and they are incorporated into my center structure.  Therefore, I want to control what the students work on when they are only present for part of the time.  I also found that my students liked having a schedule.  Every year I try both ways and they have told me over and over again they like having me set the schedule. It surprises me every time.  However, I do incorporate limited choice into my rotations.

  • I try hard to merge content and curriculum with D5.  I love the idea of reading and writing every day – it is truly what makes this system so great.  It is just that I need that time to be as productive as possible.  I do not give extensive tasks, but I find that I have put more control into D5 so that students are writing pieces that compliment what they are learned, they are reading and using specific strategies we are learning, and word study is very structured to get the most use of the time. I just feel, that for this day and age in my state, I need more structure in what kids are doing.(Don’t get me wrong, I love D5 and it has dramatically changed how I run my time.  It would be great for the way I was teaching 5 or more years ago.  Presently, our curriculum has become so skill-based and packed in my district and state, that I really felt I needed to strike a balance between the D5 way and what I need to actually accomplish.)
  • I do 4 or 5 rotations.  I really feel that students should have focused practice in all areas of D5 every day.  I tend to leave partner reading out in favor of handwriting sometimes in first grade.  With this number of rotation, I find that 15-20 minutes is just the right amount of time for practice and I can fit my groups in.  I tried the 30 minute thing, it was just too much for my little guys.
  • I do 1 mini-lesson to kick off D5 and one lesson in the middle, after 2 or 3 rotations.  I found the mini-lessons after each rotation was too much transition for my kids and I lost my instructional momentum.  I started to feel like a spinning top and I really didn’t like that feeling.  The “break” in the middle is extremely helpful for my kids to regroup and refocus on their learning.

Ways to Troubleshoot:

  1. Spending the time at the beginning of the year to introduce and practice expectations is critical. 
  2. Having expectations posted and consistently reminding students of those expectations.

Looks Like / Sounds Like

4.   Revisiting the rules when needed.

5.   Be flexible and change what isn’t working to meet your needs and your kids needs.



I know that the “rule” is to post only once a day, but rules are meant to be broken!  The third part of how I got to where I am as a teacher will post later this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tell Me More Linky

Amy Lemons is throwing a linky party!  I am a bit late to the party, but I thought I would share a bit more about myself and link up!

First, I have a blogging question!  I switched over my blog to a new address and everything that goes along with it to Leaping into Third, but the posts still come up as written by Hopping into First Grade.  How do I fix that?  I am still getting emails to my old email address and it is not even on the blog any more.  I'm confused...  Can you help?

1. I am a quilter! I started quilting when a friend dragged me into it kicking and screaming. It has since become very relaxing and I love making baby quilts.  My job really gets in the way of my sewing.  Sadly, I haven’t worked on a single quilt this summer.

2. I collect frogs (in my classroom). I started to collect frogs to avoid getting all of the teacher themed gifts. I thought that, if I was going to get generic gifts, at least it would be fun to display frogs. It has been fun and I have a few really cute pieces. On the other hand, I really dislike the frog around my pond.  I walk down there and end up screaming because they jump into the pond.
3. I will celebrate my 10th anniversary this October.  I was crazy to get married during the school year.  I met my husband at 19, was engaged at 20, and got married at 23.  My hubby proposed on Christmas morning and had me open my ring by wrapping it in several larger boxes so that outside box was a very large shoe box.  Each layer had a gift. Gosh, I look so young in this picture!

4. I am obsessed with books and reading.  I have hundreds of books at home and on my kindle.  I have thousands in my classroom.  I read everything from teenage vampire and fae novels to dystopian novels, to historical romance, to amish (yes, amish) fiction.  Lately I have thrown in a few memoires too.

5. I LOVE coffee.  I like plain old coffee with cream and sugar.  Lately I am less for the sugar – my tastes are changing.  I occasionally like blueberry flavored coffee.
6. My husband and I have a dog named bear (I wanted to name him Moose) who is more like our child. He was dropped off at our house as a puppy and has the most beautiful eyes.

7. I grew up on a grain farm and married a dairy farmer.  Hubby’s hours make it easy to spend way too much time at school.  I just recently held myself to leaving school by 5:00 instead of the 7 or 8 I used to do.
8. I can cook just about anything, except steak. I usually don’t use recipes, just go on instinct.  Sometimes I like to research cookbooks for combinations of ingredients and proportions, but by-in-large, I make it up as I go along. 
9. I own over 50 pairs of shoes! (Maybe more…) I had a student challenge me to wear a different pair every day for the last 2 months of school and I believe I was successful.  High heels, wedges, flats, you name it.  I only have 1 pair of sneakers and I really don’t like or wear them.  I only bought them for outdoor field trips.  Disclaimer: this is not my shoe closet…but I really wish it was!

10. I LOVE to shop in thrift stores and 90% of my wardrobe is second hand. You can find anything at Goodwill! It saves from the landfills and helps others.
11. I can my own jam, salsa and pickles (when it isn’t so darn hot!).  I make a sweet salsa and love to can pear ginger jam.
12. I am obsessed with junk food and have horrible eating habits.  I eat what I want when I want and know it will catch up with me some day.  I really like Mediterranean food.  I am known to go to craft shows, festivals, and other types of gatherings and leave with only food.  I am trying really hard to eat three regular meals and add protein to my diet.
13. I do not exercise.  I mean it.  Never.  I know I should for better muscle tone and energy.  But, I have so many other things I would rather do.  I tried yoga for a day or 2.  Teaching is my exercise.  I do walk a lot though – like I’ll park the car in the middle of a plaza and walk everywhere.  I’m good with that.
14. I have never played a sport. I used to be obsessed with watching tennis, but am so hopelessly uncoordinated that I avoid any sports at all costs.  Now that Andre Agassi is retired, I don’t watch tennis too often.
Well, that’s a bit about me that most of you didn’t know!  Stay tuned for my 3rd post about my teacher story tomorrow!