Sunday, March 31, 2013

Calling all Wichita State Fans! Go SHOCKS!

The great state of Kansas was pretty lucky to have THREE teams in March Madness! One team got knocked out right away! My beloved KU Jayhawks were knocked out on Friday night after an UGLY game! I might have cried a few tears! I know some of my students did!  Saturday night Wichita State University played and wow they were AMAZING! The last five minutes were a little nerve wracking, but they did it! WSU is going to the FINAL FOUR!  I am guessing schools across Kansas are going to be supporting the SHOCKERS this week! I created a simple little freebie using the AMAZING Ashley Hughes' clip art to help us all cheer on the SHOCKERS all week long! 

You can download the product for FREE here!  If you don't need this, but know a teacher at a Kansas school please forward it on to them! Thank You! 

Happy Week Friends! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankful on Thursday

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” 
 ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

I love this quote from L.M. Montgomery, but for me right now I am thankful that it is March...almost APRIL! We had SNOW this past weekend, but today it felt like SPRING was in the air! I am OH so thankful for sunny skies, crisp weather, and the fact that we have a four day weekend to enjoy it all!

Please ignore the messy desks!
Focus on all of the kids READING! 

I am thankful that today my students read for 42 minutes! Building Stamina! Building Stamina! I have said that 1,000 times this year! "In order to be better readers we have to READ!" Today, I felt like it finally ALL came together! Seeing the kids engaged in their reading was and is PRICELESS to me! 

One more thing I am thankful for this Thursday is that I finally finished my FIRST for sale TPT product! I am so excited about this product and I hope (fingers crossed) others will be as well! You can check out the product here

Click Here to go to Tara's Blog to share what you are thankful for! :)

Happy Spring Weekend Friends! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

State Testing Notes of Encouragement!

Encouragement is SO important! As teachers we spend so much time motivating kids that "YES, YOU CAN!"  At  my school we use the 8 Keys of Excellence terminology "THIS IS IT!" which means to make the most of every moment! Last year I must of said "This is It!" to one student EVERY SINGLE DAY as meltdowns occurred, but you know what? This year NOT ONE meltdown! I actually heard him tell another student "Don't forget...This Is It!"

I found out about Kid President from another blogger friend and let me just say .... LOVE!
My third graders LOVE Kid President and especially his PEP TALK video. Have you seen it? Go check it out NOW! (please!)

My students  know the video word for word. I love how they talk about "his fluency and use of interesting word choices," as well as how motivating he is!

With State Testing I knew I wanted to use HIS words of encouragement for my kiddos. I created simple cards with some of Kid President's most famous sayings on them. I cut them out and taped a simple piece of candy on it and placed them on their desks before each test.

I also created some posters of his most famous quotes from "Pep Talk" and hung them around the classroom! 

The kids LOVED the notes! Hopefully they will help you out as well! You can get them HERE! I posted them on TPT as a freebie! 

Good Luck with State Testing!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

I love this linky that Flying into First Grade is doing...

The idea is sharing 3 things about yourself that you like or like to do using your initials.

My initials are CJRZ (oh I have a feeling that "Z" is going to be hard!) 

Favorite coffee from Guatemala!

Coffee!  Oh how I love my coffee! I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to my love of coffee! The interesting thing is that I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 30 years old. I backpacked through Guatemala one summer and all over the country you could get a cup of coffee and a sweet treat for $1.00 in the afternoons. I was on a tight budget and just couldn't pass it up! SO I started drinking coffee and just feel in love. In Guatemala coffee is a social drink. You drink it to be able to SHARE your life with someone. I so love that.

Just might have been a little windy on The Great Wall ...

Journeys!  I love taking a anywhere! Maybe a better word is ADVENTURE, but I had to stick with a "J" word!  I started my journeys when I was right out of college, I took a job teaching in Mexico and it was for one year. I figured I could do ANYTHING for one year. Well, I ended up staying for 10 years! I was able to travel all over Latin America and as well went to Europe several and made it to CHINA as well! I moved to Brazil for three years and got the blessing to travel to Buenos Aires (another Pinterest board!). I LOVE, LOVE Buenos Aires. I remember my good friend Kathy and I sitting down on a bench and planned out how we would live in BA one day...we had only been there for an hour! I love all that I learn as I travel...not only the history or language, but so much about people and perspective!  

Reading!  Such a teacher answer, I know! I LOVE reading! I remember growing up reading and loving all the books that I read. I use to HATE having to read from the basal readers. My brother bought me a Kindle for my birthday, two years ago, and I SO LOVE it. I love to read for fun, but lately I have been reading for information. One of my favorite new authors is Jen Hatmaker! She has written some amazing, thought provoking books, her words have really changed my life. My ALL TIME favorite author is Robin Jones Gunn. Robin's books are intertwined in my teen years through now! A few years ago I got to meet her! Oh my goodness, I was SO excited, I couldn't sleep the night before. Robin's words have made such an amazing impact on me, she writes fiction books, but she gets what life is like and how Jesus can make such an impact on us. Honestly, Robin's books are, at times, my best friends. 

This represent Gezellig for could you not want to love this
little one. (Haiti, 2012) 

GeZelligI know I cheated a little bit, but I seriously couldn't think of a word that started with "Z'! Gezellig is my ONE WORD for the year! I wrote about it at the end of December. 
"Gezellig is the warmth of a fire in winter, sharing a blanket with a friend on the couch, and wrapping your fingers around a hot coffee.  Being gezellig was the ever sought after goal of my parents and all their friends during my childhood." -Jillian Burden. 
 You can read all about it here!   What I have learned is that it is not EASY, you have to be truly intention in order to have the Gezellig moments, especially for a single gal like myself. I live by myself, so I am not always around people, sometimes I prefer to just hang out at my house, so I have to make the connections and put forth the effort.  (Oh I do have another Pinterest board!) I am trying and learning lots in the process! 

Well, I hope you will join in on the linky fun! I would love to get to know you better! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

KS Blogger & State Testing!

Happy Spring (fingers crossed) day to all! After being piled with snow for what seems WEEKS it is nice to hear the rain falling outside today and there is hope for a 70 degree day this next week!


 So I am a little late to this really cool linky party! I'm linking up with Fifth in the Middle for this fun linky. I am SO excited about the all of the Kansas Bloggers already linked up! I see visions of KS Bloggers Meet Ups in the near future! Link up your blog as well! 

This past week was STATE TESTING WEEK #1 in Third Grade! Oh Joy! Oh What Fun! OH NO! State Testing in third grade is such a big deal because they have NEVER taken a test of this magnitude before, there are lots of nerves, technology issues, and since tests don't match up to CCS YET it makes it a wee bit stressful for ME as well! We created a SMART COOKIE recipe from the lovely ladies at Lesson Plans SOS.

This is my favorite recipe that one of my third graders wrote!
I would love to take a test with a "cozy blanket and pillow!" 
This is the SMART COOKIE recipe that
we wrote as a class! 

Here is my Fast Finishers Board for State Testing 

My biggest challenge is always what to do with those fast finishers! You have some students that take 1 hour on the test and others than finish in 15 minutes. How do you keep them quiet, but working on things that MATTER! Well, I think I figured that out for my classroom! We are studying Ireland for two weeks, so everything that I set up for those fast finishers had to do with Ireland, thanks to Teachers Pay Teachers! 

 We went over the directions on Monday morning before testing started. I wanted to have a visual for the students so that they did not have to ask lots of questions while other friends where testing. 

I found some wonderful activities on Teachers Pay Teachers to help with the actual fast finishers work! 

A FUN creative writing activity from Rachelle Smith. This unit is
JAMMED pack full of tons of activities for St. Patricks Day!
I HEART Rachelle's work! 

I LOVE this critical thinking packet from Golden Rule Days

Chankyna  created this was a fun activity for the kids to do! 

My kiddos did VERY WELL with this format! It was easy for me to set up and the kids just fell right into the routines! I am looking forward to posting new assignments for this next week (and LAST WEEK of testing)! 

I hope your testing goes well! 

Oh and by the way....I simply ADORE Sweet Fonts from Sweet TImes in First Grade! My favorites are  "sweetseven" and "sweetsevenbigdots" which are what I USE all the time (and all of the posters above!)