Monday, July 21, 2014

My "friend", Jen Hatmaker + GIVEAWAY!


Okay…my close friends (well anyone who I am friends with on Facebook!)  know that I LOVE the author, blogger, mother, teacher; Jen Hatmaker.  I even got to pick her up from the airport as she was speaking at conference for my church.
This is a text I received from my friend, Zach before I picked her up….


 So I was COOL. Well, maybe! 


This women has CHANGED my life and continues to do with each blog post she writes!  Did you read her post on Valentine’s Day? I must of read it 100 times!

 Jen Hatmaker recently re-released her book, Interrupted. I am so excited to share a bit about this book with you and the impact it has had on my life.

Almost five years ago I went through a personal crisis. I was dealing with the aftermath of some really stupid (for lack of a better word) decisions I had been making. I was lonely, scared, anxious, thought that Jesus could never forgive me, and embarrassed by it all. I spent about a year and half in counseling trying to recover. It was a rough time in my life. I had few friends during that time, but they were amazing people that stood by me as I figured life out and talked and talked and journaled and journaled  as I figured out why I did what I did (many times over). I am so grateful for those people who spoke TRUTH into my life during this time when it was pretty dark.

A couple of years later I was doing better, much better. I had a job I loved! A super group of kiddos in my class and some terrific parents to work with, and  wonderful co-workers. I was figuring out things, but still dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, but they were less. In some ways I kinda of thought the panic attacks were the “cross I was to bear” for the dumb things I had done.

I picked up the book So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore and just loved it. This was not a book I could just sit and read in one sitting, as it was SO MUCH to process. During the same time I came across the book  Seven by Jen Hatmaker.  I was thinking WHO IS THIS LADY? I would literally LAUGH OUT LOUD as I was reading it!  I met for lunch with a dear friend and we talked for a couple of hours about what I was learning through these books. Deb then let me know that Jen had ANOTHER book out Interrupted and she told me “YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!”

I left lunch that day and I went to the local coffee shop, found a comfy chair, and purchased Interrupted on my Kindle. I sat there for eight hours as I read this life-changing book. I would stop to refill My coffee and send off an email (OR FIVE) to Deb about how great this book was, but that was about it.

WHAT DID I LEARN? What am I learning?

*Tension is not a BAD thing and we can learn SO MUCH FROM IT!



*Neighbors 
Living on mission is about WHO! For me, right now, those are my neighbors!



*Barefoot Church-Let's come as we are 
Jen and her husband, Brandon, had a tremendous experience of giving up their beloved cowboy boots (I know it sound silly, but you gotta read it! IT IS POWERFUL).  I as well had my “Barefoot Church” experience.  A couple of weeks after finishing up reading “Interrupted” I left on a missions trip for Haiti with High School students from my church. Here is an exert from the blog post…

 “A lady was kneeling with two little ones at her side and one little sitting her lap. She was braiding her hair, or at least trying to, I don’t think the little one wanted it braided. She pointed to her feet and asked if she could have my shoes.  I just walked away, as I didn’t know what to do. One of the Haitian leaders asked me what she said and I told him. I asked him, “Should I give her my shoes?” and he said, “She most likely needs them.”  Zach came up and asked me what was going on and I told him. He said, “Do you want to give her your shoes?”  I told him yes.

Now here is the thing, theses were my very nice, beloved shoes! My comfort shoes, these were not the $1.00 flip flops that I purchased before the trip. I LOVE THESE SHOES.

Zach said he would walk over with me. We walked back and I took off my shoes right at her feet. The lady said, “Merci” and she put on the shoes. We walked away and our leaders were so worried about me walking barefoot. They said that the gravel, glass filled road would be a problem. They also said that there are tree branches with thorns and the thorns were all over the road. I walked about  5 minutes. My feet were hurting, hurting badly. I already had cuts from the sharpness of the rocks and the thorns…just in 5 minutes!

The night before we left for Haiti I had prayed, “Lord please let me give until it HURTS!”  In my mind it was more of a mental hurting for what I would see, but here it was, I am hurting physically.


For the next two years in ANY conversation I had Jen’s book “Interrupted” would somehow come up! (how did that happen?). How can I live a missional life? What does that mean for me? And the list goes on and on. 



A few things came up for me pretty quickly, but it was not easy to implement.

1)       Foster Care- I am a single gal who will be turning 40 next year (AHHHHHHH). I LOVE kids! I want my own kids! Foster to Adopt seemed like a great option form  me. I had several friends praying for  me as I went through the 12 weeks of Foster Care classes. It was a HUGE amount of work and PAPERWORK (agh!), but in September of 2012 I received my official certificate! I mostly do respite care  (just on the weekends). This has been a hard and amazing journey for me. I love, loving on kiddos! I have a kiddo who is coming to stay with me for a few days…excited about pool time, zoo time, and cookie making time! As a single gal, my time is MY TIME. God really has worked with me on NOT being selfish, making sure that when I have kids in my home they are my priority…not my instagram account!

2)      My Neighborhood- THIS is SO HARD FOR ME. I can hang out with kids ALL DAY LONG, but adults make me a bit nervous. Stepping out of my comfort zone is NOT EASY.  I created a neighborhood map and placed it on my fridge so that as I learned things about my neighbors I would write it down and then use that information to help them out! For example, one of my neighbors is a single mom and has three wonderful kids! She LOVES brownies! It is pretty easy for me to make a batch of brownies and take them to her. I  love doing Random Acts of Kindness, but this is NOT about RAKS. This is about developing RELATIONSHIPS with my neighbors! It takes TIME…a lot of time. BUT it is well worth it. So well worth it. You gotta check out the book The Art of Neighboring ….such a great help to me! 

3)      My Classroom- SO how does this message of Missional Living work in my classroom? (By the way, did you know that Jen was a 4th grade teacher? She LOVES teachers...check out this love note she left us).  I teach at a public school so talking about Jesus is not an option. BUT developing RELATIONSHIPS is an option. Helping my students understand that we should LOVE PEOPLE is an option. So we went on an adventure of MISSIONS this past year. My kids loved it when the theme music to “Mission Possible” comes on as they know that means we have a task to complete to HELP others.
My dear student, Joey,  would always name each of our missions “Operation Snickerdoodle” or “Operation Snowman” or my favorite “Operation Coffee Cart” 

At the end of the school year when we wrote and drew pictures of our “Top Ten Learning Experiences” of my 20 kids, 19 put down on one of their spaces one of our “Missions” …..that is just plain awesome. I get to loop with my students this school year so I am looking forward to more and more missions and more missions with depth. 

4)      Healthy Carmen- This past eight monthsI have been on a healthy adventure and I really do feel it is all part of this missional journey! I am able to do SO MUCH MORE now that I am eating well, exercising, and loosing weight. That developing relationships part is much easier, when you LOVE YOURSELF. It is much easier when you are not dealing with panic attacks (not one in eight months)!  Praise Jesus on that!

I look at the school year ahead of me and think about how will I live on mission in my classroom? in my school?  in my community? In my neighborhood? In my home? So much to think about and pray about, but I don’t want to just be sitting…I want to BE DOING! I can't do it all, but I don't have to.



I am excited that my friends at Tyndale have a  copy of “Interrupted” for me to raffle off! A winner will be chosen on Friday.  Just leave a blog post comment on what have you been learning this summer!

I hope you have a wonderful day, 







Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Made It: Map Name Tags!


I love Mondays....in the SUMMER! One of the reasons is that I get to Group Power & YOGA & ZUMBA at the gym! YAHOOO! My three favorite classes all in one day!


Another reason I love Mondays is for MONDAY MADE IT!  Make sure you check out all of the awesome ideas!


I have just one really simple #mondaymade it to show you!

My fifth grade team chose the theme of ROAD TRIP for our classroom décor. I have SLOWLY started thinking about things. I really want my classroom to be fun, invititing, and organized. I wan to decorate with those ideas in mind.

I had a container of mismatched map puzzle pieces and I knew I wanted to use them, but didn’t know how. I then came across Creative Teaching Press' new Chevron Solids Stickers.  I wonder if I could create nametags on the map pieces for each kiddo?


I set down to try and four packets of stickers later (I have A LOT of kids with “A”s in their name!) I had finished and I LOVE how they turned out! I can’t wait to put them up in my classroom! 

 Happy Day friends! I am off for a lovely iced coffee and conversation with a dear friend #summertimeisthebest 




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Guided Math Conferences Book Study Chapter 1




How can it already be JULY? This is my first summer since I started teaching (umm...16 years ago) that I am not working/traveling. I struggled that first week of summer trying to figure out what I wanted to accomplish...but now I think I have it down! Coffee first thing, Gym time, Coffee Shop Time, Pool Time, Friend Time! This equals a pretty, darn good summer for me! Loving every minute of it!


Before we jump into our book study for Guided Math Conferences I wanted to give you a little background on my teaching in Guided Math.

A few years ago I started seeing all of these blog posts about Guided Math or Math Workshop. I was intrigued, but didn’t see how to actually do it in my classroom. I received my class list at the end of May for the following school year and when I saw the WIDE RANGE in terms of academics I knew that I was going to have to dig in and try this Guided Math out.

Jodi, from The Clutter-Free Classroom was a life saver to me! She published several blog post about how she managed math workshop. I poured over them. In fact I printed it out, highlighted it, post-it notes every where on it, and made copies for my co-workers. (Jodi now has a wonderful math workshop product in her TPT store that talks about routines within math workshop that is an excellent resource).
 I was very blessed that school year, as I had our Special Education teacher in my room during math workshop time. We were able to team teach the Whole-Group lesson and then she was there to help with the mini-group session! That first year was a lot of trial and error (and it continues to be!)  

My biggest learning that year was in how to plan together so that math time was seamless! We ended up creating a Google docs folder for our lesson planning. This helped us tremendously. The other learning came from realizing that this type of format for teaching math is NOT easy and it takes WAY more work on the teacher’s part, but I know that my kids are doing what THEY NEED TO DO in order to be stronger mathematicians! That makes me SO HAPPY!  This will be my third year using the Guided Math format and I am so excited to share my journey with you this summer through the book study and during the school year!

Now on to our book study! So thankful that Brenda  from Primary Inspired created this book study for the summer! I had read Laney Sammons first book “Guided Math” two years ago,  I am excited to be reading through this one! Here is our schedule!


I know we are suppose to be talking about Chapter 1 today, but I am SO loving a few things from the PREFACE!  First of all this quote…



I love this quote so much! ( SIDE NOTE: I immediately got on Amazon and ordered the book “Visible Learning” by John Hattie. Oh my friends…this is a MUST READ!)

As teachers we “…must see learning through the eyes of our students and students need to see teaching as the key to their ongoing learning.”

I think we get this right when we are teaching reading. I could listen all day long to students talk about their reading experiences! I love hearing “I LOVE THIS BOOK” or “I HATE this book because…” These conversations about books/reading help me to really “see learning” through their eyes! It only makes sense that we have these same type of conversations  about math so that students can showcase what they are learning. I have a feeling we are going to learn a lot interacting with our students in this way. 

Moving on to Chapter 1
 
Let’s just start with the title of this chapter “Conferring with Young Mathematicians.”  I love it so much when in our classrooms we use words such as “mathematicians” or “scientists”  or “engineers.” AND we use them in talking about our kiddos! What does a mathematician do? S/He works with math! What do our students do every.single.day work with math! I think this is great power with using this type of vocabulary with our students. We don’t just have FUTURE mathematicians, scientists, engineers in our midst….we have them RIGHT NOW! (Okay I will get off my soapbox!)

I THOUGHT I used math conferences with my students, but as I read through the differences between a math conference and a math interview, I realized that I always gave them a task to do and I always and only used this time as an assessment tool. I love using math interviews with my students, but I am seeing how important the conversation piece is with my students as well.

I think about teaching writing in the classroom, so much of the learning is through the conference time. I learn so much about my kiddos when I conference with them over their writing. I am able to immediately see skill areas that we need to work on, as well as celebrate with them on advancing in their writing.  I am guessing the same will be true about the math conference times. To be able to listen to them explain what they have been doing, why they chose that problem solving tool, and as well to  just have a conversation about math is SO exciting to me.

I am excited to start developing a classroom environment where students are expected to talk to me about their learning not just in reading and writing, but also in math!  I honestly can’t wait! 

Make sure you check out the other bloggers who exploring along with us! We all have SO much to share with each other! As well you are welcome to link up your ideas/thoughts here!
Blessings Friends! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Made It Week #3


http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-summer-week-4.html 
I am pretty excited about Monday Made It! I have a love affair with chalkboards! Since we don't really use them in the classroom anymore I love finding ways I can use them in my home! 

When I found out that there is this amazing product called Chalkboard Coating and that I could make a chalkboard in ANY COLOR I was simply FLOORED. When I realized that this is the EASIEST project EVER I was even more excited!



Here is what you need: 

1) What you want to paint!   (11X17 board from Lowes $3.53)

2) Clear Chalkboard Coating (I got mine at Amazon!)  (16 oz bottle for $8.94)

3) Your color choice of paint  (.97 from Wal-Mart)

4) Cheap foam brushes (that I had on hand) 





First step:  PAINT with your color choice. I gave it two quick coats. 

Second step: Use the Chalkboard Coating! I painted first against the grain and then when it dried I painted with the grain. I let it dry for 24 hours. (I only used less than a 1/4 of the bottle, so PLENTY more for additional projects)

Third step: Use a piece of sidewalk chalk to cover the entire chalkboard. From what I understand this helps to prime your chalkboard for great use! After I did that, I cleaned it off with an eraser. 

 
 Final step: Go for it! What do you want to write on your chalkboard? Also did you know that you can SHARPEN chalk so that is easier to write with? I learned that trick a few weeks ago at my cousin's wedding. Just use a pencil sharper! I like to use the ones that have a cap on it to hold all of the shavings! 

I am thinking of the many Christmas gifts I will be making this year! So excited about this! 

Make sure to check out the rest of the Monday Made It projects! 

Blessings, 







Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Made-It!

Oh SUMMER how I love you!


I am so excited to join many of you with Monday Made It! I can never do this during the school year, but this is one of my favorite things to do during the summer! 



 I have several things to share with you today! I am so excited about all that I have had the blessing of working on over the past few weeks of summer! 





My dear, sweet cousin April got married on June 1st in Portland, Oregon. I had the privilege of helping to set up everything and be the coordinator the day of the wedding! We used vintage plates, plum color napkins, burlap and lace, and flowers from the local market to create the table-scape. I loved it so much! What I loved even more is that the mason jars and burlap and lace could be used over and over again! I actually set my table up at home with some! So pretty! 





Okay..you might be wondering...what is this? It is a WATERMELON CAKE! A dear, sweet kindred spirit of mine (she is a fifth grader)  loves WATERMELON. A lot of our texts consist of watermelon things I see on my travels and so I take a picture and send it to her. I know it sounds silly! Anyways, we found this awesome recipe for a No-Bake Watermelon Cake. So my advice is follow the recipe to a T! The hardest part is cutting the watermelon. Mine watermelon did not come out in a nice, pretty circle, but it still worked and the cake still looked pretty awesome. I did put mine in the freezer until it was time to serve it. 







I know this is kinda of a weird "Monday Made-it," but I really did do this so I wanted to share! So last October I had a bit of a meltdown. Things were just TOUGH in my life. I have suffered from panic attacks and anxiety for a few years and things just kinda of came to head. I KNEW something had to change. Thanksgiving weekend I walked into a new health club that opened up in town. During the first two weeks I knew that my body would be able to do pretty much anything...but it was really my MINDSET that needed to change. I have some amazing support during this journey! I feel so blessed!
I can't wait to see what the next six months hold! (oh and NO PANIC ATTACKS since I started at the gym!) 


This past December all of the 4th graders at my school had the amazing opportunity to explore "The Nutcracker." We dove into this adventure not only during Guided Reading, but also in science, music, art, and writing! It was SO MUCH FUN! I am working on a few products to put up in my TPT store as we had such a blast with this theme unit! I know it is EARLY, but wanted to offer a freebie for you!  I created some happy nutcracker bookmarks for my kiddos to use and I am sure your kids can use them as well. I didn't have access to a colored printer, so I just printed them out on colored paper and laminated them! They turned out WONDERFULLY!
You can get them here for free!

Be sure to check in with 4th Grade Frolics for many more ideas!
http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-summer-week-3.html

Blessings! 

 



Friday, June 13, 2014

Let's Learn About Guided Math Conferences! Giveaway!

Happy Summer! 



I finally felt that TODAY I was on summer vacation! I love that feeling of no schedule and anything is open up to do! 

One thing I can't wait to start doing is READING! I love reading pretty much anything! This summer I have several professiaonl books I can't wait to dive into! 

I am joining with several blogging friends in exploring the book "Guided Math Conferences" by Laney Sammons! There are not many books out about Guided Math, but Laney has two out about this topic! She knows her stuff! 

I have used a Guided Math workshop format in my classroom for the past three years and I honestly don't know how I taught math before! Guided Math works SO WELL for me and my kiddos! I am excited to learn about how to integrated conferences better into our workshop time! 

You can follow along with the book study starting on June 19 (ending on July 22) and of course we want you to add your own comments in and your own blog posts about what you are learning as you read! 

I hope you will order the book soon so that you join on with us! We do have a chance for you to win a copy! We have two copies up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and can't wait to discuss all of our findings! 

 

Friday, June 6, 2014

CTP WINNER!

It's been a GREAT, CRAZY month! Just wanted to let you all know that Markisha Herring won the CTP givewaway! Yahooo for Markisha! I just sent you an email and CTP will get your prizes out to you very soon! Excited to share all of the FUN I have been up to as well as some new TPT products! I LOVE SUMMER! Thanks friends!

Carmen