Saturday, January 21, 2012

Punch Cards and Hot Chocolate

Hi Friends!  Have a I mentioned lately that I am so excited I can add an "s" to that word?! Thanks, guys!  :) 

So, in my neck of the woods, it's stinking rainy and just plain cold (AKA low 50s, so I know I'll get no sympathy out of some of you guys)!  A great day for being lazy, right?  Hmmm, let's see:  Strike One, had to leave the house at 7:20 this morning for my youngest son's 8:00 basketball game.  By the way, my older son had a game at 11:00, so we stayed at the center until then.....Talk about numb bleacher butt.  Strike Two, we have a birthday party to attend at...wait for it...Chuck E. Cheese.  I think I'd rather take a bullet.  The total antithesis of relaxation.  And, finally, Strike Three.  The five loads of laundry staring me in the face.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow.  (Come on, am I conjuring up any pity from you people? LOL)

Well, here's what we have been up to this week!  We made some hot chocolate mugs from Abby's adorable Hot Chocolate Unit.  They turned out so cute!

I love them!  We will be making hot chocolate in the crock pot on Monday.

I also wanted to share with you guys somthing that I started doing this year.  You should all know that Vista Print offers free business cards!  So, I wanted to find a way that could work for me in the classroom.  And this is what I came up with!

On their website, I made up a business card for myself with my school email and the school phone number, figuring that would be a great way for parents to have my info readily available when they need it. 

Then at the bottom of the card, I added some capital O's with reasonable space between each one so I could also use it as a Punch Card for my students!  They absolutely LOVE it! They are able to earn punches by completing homework and for getting everything right on their morning worksheet (a review worksheet that is on their desk when they arrive at school in the morning).  When they fill their cards, they have several rewards they can choose like: Shoes Off Day, Lunch With a Friend, Change Desks With a Friend, Show and Tell, Pet Shop (where they can bring a stuffed animal from home to sit at their desk with them all day).  They get so excited about these! 

And, might I add, it puts all of the responsibility on them.  I am ALL FOR building responsible kiddos.  I don't have to keep up with the card or special stickers or anything like that.  They are responsible for their own cards, so if they loose theirs, they must start over.  And no one wants to do that.  This has worked wonderfully in my classroom. 

Oh, and can anyone offer me advice on how to post documents on the blog?  I can't quite figure it out!  I'd love some help from you pros!   :) Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

(Wishing I Was) CLUTTER FREE

 Boys and girls---whoa, can you tell I'm used to saying that a million times a day?--I mean, fellow teachers.  If you have not yet visited the Clutter Free Classroom blog, I so recommend it.  I mean, we all know that teachers seem to have a slight holding-onto-stuff-forever problem.  I am guilty of it, and I've only been teaching three years!  Now, I know one of the worst things I could come across as a private school teacher with a !TINY! classroom is one of those "free to a good home" boxes sitting in the office.  *sigh* Dag-on it, why can't I resist??!  But, fellow teacher, I hereby announce that I am going to (attempt to) stop it. 

All joking aside, my classroom is sooooooooooo small!  I need more space!  Now, aside from me donating a large sum of money to the church which is my school, I just don't see a room enlargement coming up.  So, my only option is to be creative.  And that's what I'm trying to do.  Wish me luck!!

While I was visiting Clutter Free Classroom, I came across this wonderful Substitute Teacher post.  That's when it dawned on me that compared to what she has going on, I totally stink at preparing for a substitute teacher.  I dare you.  Check it out.  You'll probably leave feeling bad about yourself too. 

Also, I just wanted to say thank you to my new followers!  Yay!  I finally have some! LOL!  Thanks for the support!  Keep it comin'.  :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Do we really have to go back to school tomorrow???!!

These are the words coming from my five-year-old right now as I tell him it's bed time.  I feel your pain, buddy, I feel your pain. Hey, don't judge. You know you feel the same way too! I swear, three day weekends just don't do it for me anymore.  I'm always left on the eve of return, wanting!  :)

Ok, enough whining, let's get down to business. Guys, I have a confession.  I am a big.ole.slacker.  Yeah, I said it.  Admitting it is half the problem, isn't it?  Around November-ish, I took up my class' "I'm Finished Notebooks".  It was time to replenish the sheets with new material and do some good ole cleaning.  The plan was to get all that done over Thanksgiving break and bring back brand new stuff in the notebooks when we returned to school.  You can see what's coming next, can't you?  It seems that I was--dare I say--"overly ambitious".  Because I STILL have not done that. Hmph.  My poor first graders.  It's a good thing they didn't hold their breath.   Maybe I'll try again tonight....

Happy Short Week!  Don't be a slacker! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hockey, Money, and Cookies......Sounds like a good combo!

Happy New Year!  So I'm a little late......forgive me.  I've had a lot going on...haven't we all?  My hubby and I went to a hockey game the other day--only the second one I've ever watched.  It was so much fun!!  I totally recommend it!  Go Canes!! :)

a nice shot of my husband with his eyes closed. Ha!

On another note, my first graders are doing better than ever!  I am so proud of their progress!  It's that time of year when we are on to harder topics and more work, and they are just relishing it (most of them)!  I am so glad!  We are working hard on money, and that is SUCH a doozy for first graders.  It's all good til we start combining.... So, it has been practice, practice, practice for us.  We use this little rhyme to remember who's on what:
Lincoln penny, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickle, One more time!   I know I certainly need a refresher once in a while-LOL!  Does anyone else use this? 

On the fun side, we made some adorable cookies and wrote about our favorite kinds of cookies.  I am pretty sure I got this idea from Teacher Wife .  Love it! They made a darling bulletin board.

These are so cute, right??

 And, of course you know we had to make snowflakes--Even though it's been a nice 60 degrees here for the past few days.  LOL!  Next up is making our hot chocolate mugs.  I can't wait for this one! :)
On the personal front, my husband and I began Nutrisystem last Tuesday......I am bound and determined to finally do this once and for all.  *sigh* It's been a long week.  Haha!  The first few days I was pretty sure I was starving, but at this point, I think I am used to it!  I'm already seeing a loss!  Woo hoo!! 

So, what were your New Year's Resolutions, and how are they coming along??