Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Linky, Linky, Whooo's got the Linky?

Lovin' me some Linky Parties this week!

First Up, Latoya's Let's Get Acquainted Linky - man I missed last week's, but it must have been a doozie, because I'm reading about all kinds of lies y'all told during her party. What's that about???  This week, it's simple:  nouns.  Well, actually, my favorite nouns...as in my favorite person, place, thing, and animal.

My favorite person has to be my husband, Brady.
Y'all, he DROPPED a huge client in "New York City" (say that like on those old Pace Salsa commercials) to be able to spend more time at home with the girls and me.  I am loving that!  He's the kindest, most thoughtful, funniest, and most wonderful husband and father anyone could ever hope for.  Oooh!  That reminds me of "our song",                                                     by Edwin McCain (a hometown boy),
 "I Could Not Ask for More".

That leads me to my favorite place.  The Beach.  Any beach.  Any time, anywhere, with anybody...if it's the beach, I'm there!  Here's "my beach"It's Sunset Beach, N.C., and I've been visiting since I was about five years old.  It's changed a lot since then, but it is still my absolute favorite place to be.  Is it not gorgeous???

So, a favorite thing?  Hmm..... let's see, there's the smell of Pine-Sol, some home-made key lime pie, writing, teaching, learning?  I'll have to say my favorite thing is laughter,
especially when it's my girls'.  I came into my classroom today after school and heard them giggling away.  Pure joy!

And my favorite animal is so easy.  
It's LuLu, the wonder-dog (really my yorkie)...
She's so spoiled, it's not funny, but ya gotta love her!

Now for the biggie - we start SPRING BREAK on Friday!!!  Praise!  So I'm linking up with Brigid's Spring Break Bucket List Linky:
1.  Hit the road for the beach.
2.  Hit the sand.
3.  Get me some sunshine.
4.  Read, read, read...LOVE to read!
5.  Play putt-putt with Callie.
6.  Build a sandcastle with Clare.
7.  Walk in the moonlight with Brady.
8.  Stay on Weight Watchers, even on Spring Break.
9.  NOT grade anything!
10. Love very minute of every day God gives me.

Simple, relaxing, beautiful, and oh so needed!

Thanks for hosting, ladies...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Made It!

Another Monday, and I made it!  Even though I left the house this morning with four hours of sleep, leaving behind a sick daughter and husband, dashing out the door with a well daughter and self, I did make it!  Seriously, just about everyone I know has had the most awful stomach virus - it's in both school districts in town, and running rampant through my family.  My mom, dad, brother, his kids, wife, mother-in-law, my husband and daughter have all caught it within 24 hours of each other.  I keep praying not to catch it, spraying Lysol everywhere, wiping down everything with Lysol Wipes, and using hand sanitizer like it's going out of style.  I can NOT miss another day of school, and would almost rather die than have a stomach virus!

On to the Monday, and the Making:
We've been reading and writing about Rosa Parks recently, as a part of our study of the United States Regions.  I always begin with the Southeast, because it's where we live, and move clockwise around the country.  We read Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni last week, and made a flow map of Rosa Parks' fight for equal rights, according to the book.  I had a brain-blast at the last second and decided to make buses for the top of our graphic organizers, to visually represent the "back-of-the-bus mentality" for my kiddos.  They absolutely loved the book, and were very excited to read about Rosa and her battle.  In fact, I've found that this class LOVES biographies!  That's a new one on me...I can't remember ever having so many kids interested in reading biographies before.  Well, we make some brown-ish people and some cream-ish people to ride in our buses, and then glued it all down to large construction paper.  We used 5"x 5" post-it notes, cut in half to serve as our flow map boxes.  Then we did some shared note-taking, independent drafting, assisted editing and revising, and finally are publishing our finished writing on some paper I found that has a bus full of kids at the top.  The paper is perfect, too, because it's just black-line, so my students can color in the correct skin tones for the sections of the bus.  Here are a couple of cute flow maps:

Yesterday was my birthday, and Friday I was surprised when my kids brought in flowers for a vase that my Room Mother brought.  Some kids brought single roses, others brought spring bouquets.  I brought them all home and arranged them in the vase, and thought they were absolutely gorgeous!  What a great idea for getting everyone involved, without anyone spending a ton of money on a teacher gift!  I did receive some really nice gift cards, too, and great cards from the kiddos.  Callie, my sick little one, "made" me a birthday party for yesterday, as well.  She is super-creative, and had games, crafts, musical instruments, snacks, and cards all made and ready.  It was the best party I've ever had!

My students have recently been in STAR testing, to potentially qualify for the gifted and talented program at my school.  For those who were involved, I made up these little STAR Test Survival Kits.  They have 2 pre-sharpened number 2 pencils, a Starburst, a star-shaped note of encouragement, and a little snack (too bad i couldn't find star-shaped snacks) all in a Zip-Lock bag.  The kids were so excited to take their survival kits, i think they forgot to be nervous about the test!

Inspired by Nancy at First Grade WOW, I made a hula hoop clock like hers while we studied telling time.  The kids had so much fun rolling some inflatable time dice I have and setting the correct time on the big clock.  I set it up so that the hours were inside the hoop, and the minutes (counting by fives) were outside.  then I screwed together a part of a yardstick and a ruler, added the minute and hour hands, and put it all down on the rug.  We tried to keep the whole thing centered over four squares to emphasize the quarter hours, but we're a little wiggly, so it kept moving around.  Anyway, the kids and I had a blast playing with it, and a great online game called Stop the Clock.  You can click the title to find the game.  It has four levels of difficulty, and is super-fun!

We've been studying matter in science, and got out the safety goggles for making Gas in a Bottle.  This is just a simple chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda, but the kids have no idea it will make the balloon inflate, so seeing their faces is such a delight!  I also used balloons to show that gas always fills its entire container, and to show that it takes the shape of its container.  I bought all kinds of odd-shaped and sized balloons and pumped them up (too hard to blow).  We even made one of the long, skinny kinds into a triangle (no balloon animals, not enough talent for that!).

So, for a rainy, sick little Monday, we did pretty well, I thought.  Thanks, Tara, for hosting!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

Hey, Y'all!  I'm linking up with Latoya Reed of Flying Into First Grade for her fun, and first, linky party.

Her directions are to share three things about myself with you, based on my initials.  My whole name is Sherron Brooke Gravett, although no one ever calls me Sherron, unless it's a new doctor, or something.

So, for S, I'd have to go with Sassy!  My New Year's Resolution was even to zip it!  My smart mouth has gotten me in more trouble in my life than anything else.  I try so hard to teach my little ones that life is not easy with a hard head or a smart mouth, but I guess some of us are just destined to be that way!  My family's really sarcastic, and I grew up with all of us always teasing each other, so my sense of humor is the same.  Lots of people don't get it, and think I'm really mean, so I have tried and tried to change that about myself.  Goodness knows, I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings or intentionally be mean - it's just the Sassy in me!

B is for bees.  Even though I'm allergic to bee stings, I think decorating my classroom with bees is so dang cute (owls are new for me)!  I love the colors, the flowers that naturally go with bees, and just find so much cute bee stuff; I love it!

G has to be for God.  I am so grateful to have been raised in a Christian family and to know that God created me just the way He intended (sassy, or not).  I cherish the "moment of silence" at our school each morning, and have a horrible day every single time I get distracted during that time and fail to pray for my students and their learning, my family, and for myself to be the best teacher I can be that day.  Today, our asst. principal didn't call for the "moment", but I told my class we'd be taking one anyway.  They know not to talk, or come up to me, or disturb me in any way until I raise my head.  Now, whether they know I'm praying or not, I have no idea, because my eyes are closed, and I have no idea what they're doing.  It's 30 sacred seconds, if that many, but God is right there in those seconds, and remains with me at all times, praise!

Don't forget to read and comment on the two entries before your own, and join Latoya each week for her Get Acquainted Linky!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Five For Friday, March 8th

Oooo, Oooo, Oooo!  I can't wait to tell you all the things I've been up to this week!

1.  I decided on a theme for our school's Retired Employees Luncheon:  Kentucky Derby...LOVE IT!  You might remember our school theme this year is Keeping on Track?  Well, I always try to match the theme to the luncheon, and this year's going to be the best yet!  Just look at some of my pins...

2.  You know it's my birthday on St. Pat's, so I've been working away at all kinds of fun learning activities for that, all integrating social studies, math, reading, and writing of course, and all following the CCSS.

3.  Bought new glasses for my beautiful fifth grader
(DKNY, no less, even if they were on sale).

4.  Went all out at Goodwill to find "music t-shirts" for the girls and me to wear for Music in Our Schools Month.  I SQUEEZED into an old AC/DC tee (thank goodness for the 60 or so less pounds I weigh than last year!).

5.  Stayed up way too late, slept way too late, and am NOT ready for the Spring Ahead (worst time of the year)!

The best thing about Friday, though, was that we were out of school (sorry!), and I spent the day with my girls and hubby!
See you on Made it Monday,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We're in the Money and a FREEBIE for you!

Wooo Hooo!  Finally finished with teaching about telling time, we are beginning counting money next week.  I'm excited about introducing my Pot O' Pounds St. Patrick's Day Money games to my class, and to you.  Click on the cover to link to my TPT store to get yours.

Each game has three levels of play, beginning with counting the same coins, moving to mixed coins in order of amount, and finally mixed coins in no particular order.  We'll be playing these games this week, along with reviewing three-digit addition and subtraction, without algorithms, with this FREEBIE for you (just right click to copy, then paste into word, publisher, or your choice of programs).  I plan on just calling out the answers, using green jelly beans as markers, and letting the kiddos try to get four in a row to win...

St. Patty's is my birthday, too, so I bring on the Irish this week.  While we study the cultural contributions of other nations to ours, I always use holiday celebrations to demonstrate these.  For example, Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and St. Patrick's Day are fun, easy holidays to use to show second graders differences in our country and others, as well as what immigrants have brought and added to our melting pot!  This week, I have plans for reading these books.  With a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction, we should be able to learn plenty of reading strategies and skills, as well as learning about Ireland and St. Patrick.

Be sure to stop by my store later in the week for my "Happy Birthday to Me Sale"!