Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pretty Planners?!?!

Ok friends and followers....I need information and I need it now!!!

I spend "some" time on Instagram and browsing great teaching blogs (I see the shock on all of your and something I have been seeing EVERYWHERE are these Erin Condren planners!!  People seem obsessed with ordering them, tracking them (yes I said tracking!!), and celebrating when they receive them in the mail.

So first I wonder....who is this Erin Condren???

Why haven't I heard of her before now??

And what the heck makes these planners the MUST HAVE of the teacher blog/instagram world??

Can someone please fill me in because I saw the price on a blog and I am in a little bit of sticker shock BUT don't even care because I am still feeling like I need one of these....I mean they are SO cute!!!  And I (much like many of you) am a sucker for anything cute!

  Help me out this planner really a MUST HAVE?

~Sister 1

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer, Summer, Summertime!!!

This little picture collage says it all!!  Summer is in full swing and to say we have been out of the "school" mode is an understatement!  I can't speak for all of the Sisters but this Sister is now in full summer mode!  This is officially the second week of vacation but the first week I finally feel is all mine.  Last week consisted of lots of running around, taking the Math Menu workshop, and finishing up a few last minute classroom things plus your typical "should do" list before the "want to do" list starts! :)  I don't know about all of you, but it takes me at least a week to wind down and relax into summer mode. I still feel like I should be up and somewhere all the time....being at home takes some getting used a good way of course!

Last night I opened my laptop for the first time and re-discovered all of my TPT plans!!  The Sisters and I came up with a lot of ideas of things we wanted to do this summer! I spent a little time revamping something I started and now cannot wait to finish it!  My new project is classroom packs!  A pack filled with just about everything you need for a classroom made to a specific theme!  Last year I decided on a "movie theme" for my classroom.  I searched for things to hang and use all matching my theme.  There was some good stuff out there but I couldn't seem to find a pack with everything I liked.  Here and there I found pieces that I liked but ending up spending so much buying lots of packs just to use a little from each because nothing seemed complete!  I decided then that I would try to make my own set of classroom materials that all matched and all were exactly the things I needed to theme a complete classroom.  So that's where I am now....finishing my first classroom pack!  It's a "Sea Life" theme and it is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E if I do say so myself!!!  But before I finish this first pack, I am asking for some input from all of you wonderful followers.....

What items would you want to make sure are included? 

What themes would you like to see?

Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated!  I want to make the best, most complete packs I can and the more I hear from all of you, the better it will be!

Enjoy the sunshine....and relax, you all deserve it!
~Sister 1

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Math Menu

Yesterday, the sisters and I spend the day at Math Menu training at our local ISD.  It's basically Daily 5 Math.  We are obsessed with Daily 5 so we knew we'd love this too!  We are going to start Math Menu in the fall.  Our math block will look like this.. mini lesson the the math topic for the day, students will be divided into 3 groups, they will rotate to the 3 choices, and we will meet back to talk about what we learned.

The three rounds are:
1. Math practice- this is the worksheet or activity they will complete based on the mini lesson.
2. Math review- this is practice problems from concepts they've already learned.
3. Math games- this can be computer games or any math games you have or find. They don't have to be the specific topic you taught that day.

The three groups should not be based on ability level, everyone should be mixed up so you have time to pull those who need extra support. We all decided that we will be assigning groups and posting the rotation schedule, there will be no choice for Math Menu because everyone has to do everything everyday.  Each of the three rounds will last for 15 minutes.

The presenters showed us this great K-5 website. There are wonderful resources. Just a warning... you might get lost in this site! So much good stuff.

This is our plan for fall... we will update you on how it's working for us!  Does anyone use Math Menu or something similar? We'd love to hear how it's working for you!

- Sister 3 -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Last Day of School and a Linky

It's the fourth day of summer break and I have to tell you it feels much longer.  I'm not complaining, at all, I love that feeling.

Wednesday was our last day of school, a half day.  The kids were excited for summer break but I had to think of a way to entertain them for 3 hours.  I knew a summer "fun pack" wasn't going to do it. So I had them push all the desks into one big table.  Then I ripped off white roll paper to fit the length of the table.  I told them they had to either write or draw their favorite memories of second grade.  They were loving it!  The conversations were priceless. They worked on it for a good 40 minutes. When they were just about checked out I had them stand up, push their chairs in, and carousel around the table to look at all the second grade favorites.    

While they were working on their memories I slid the last piece of the time capsule in.  I had written a letter to the class of 2023 [how crazy does that sound!?!?] the night before.  I found myself tearing at the thought of having to let them go... my babies!  In the letter I touched on some of the stand out moments of second grade and also put a "spotlight" on each child.  I wrote one or two sentences about each one. The best part was/is I didn't tell them I had written it. My letter is going to be a fun little surprise when they open their time capsule in the future.

Have you hear of Mrs. Spitzer's Garden? I found it in the Scholastic book order and knew I just had to have it.  It is a teacher must have!  It's about a teacher who knows about children and gardens and how similar they are if they are nurtured.  Before we said our goodbyes I read this precious picture book.  Almost to the end of the story one of my little cutie's shouted out, "Hey those seeds they're talking about ARE children!" I cried, he was so right! 

It was tough to send them on their way but I know they are ready to be big third graders!  

That afternoon the sisters and I took some time to hang out before we started closing down our rooms.  I was putting it off because I knew I had to tackle this filing cabinet. I seriously cannot fit another piece of paper in this thing. How did I accumulate so many papers in 3 short years of teaching?!?! Needless to say, I'm heading back to school on Tuesday to finish cleaning, organizing, and putting things away. 

Friday night my mom, aunts, and cousins went to see 50 Shades! The Musical. I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting but this show was something else.  It was funny to say the least, lol. 

I also thought I'd link up today with First Grade Blue Skies.  She loves cases and so do I!  So here's my phone case... a Target find!

I'm off to spend some more QT with my daddy! 

- Sister 3 -

Monday, June 10, 2013

2 Days Left and My Report Cards Aren't Finished...

So you're probably wondering why I'm posting?  As I'm sitting here typing this, I'm wondering the same thing! It's not like I don't have a million things on my "to do" list.  Everything always seems to "get done" so I'm not stressing... yet. These posts are kind of like my therapy.

This weekend flew by!  Remember in our last post I told you about our "staff field trip" to the Detroit Tigers game? We got a party bus and squeezed 32 people in.  It was so much fun! I'm not much of a baseball fan but I love the atmosphere and hanging out with all my coworkers! Something I didn't love was what a huge rip off the concessions are!  I mean seriously $14.50 for a Hot and Ready!?!? Unreal. Good thing it was a beautiful night, the Tigers won, and everyone had a blast!

I also went to a local comedy club to see an old friend do improv. I'd never been before so I wasn't really sure what exactly to expect.  It didn't disappoint! It was so funny, we'll for sure go back.

Soooo, maybe those are some of the reasons I still have so much to do?

Today at school I cracked down. I took down all my bulletin boards and put the kiddos to work putting away their books and supplies, organizing the library [it looked like a tornado went thru], and cleaning up the room. I'm pretty impressed at how much we got down in an hours time!

In addition to that we finished our chapter book, How To Be Cool in the Third Grade. Super cute book! I found it in the Scholastic book order and had to have it! One of my cutie's ordered it too... he thought he was pretty slick and read the next chapter at home every night so he could tell everyone he already knew what happens. Hey, whatever gets them reading!

We also learned how to write our names in cursive. That was probably the highlight of the year, you would have thought we won the lottery, they were so excited!  We also continued working on our ABCs of Second Grade.  

Tonight I did get, End of the Year Gifts, checked off my list!  If you're looking for a super cute and super cheap end of the year gifts for your little cuties I suggest these!  I found those adorable tags at It's All Small Stuff.  I have a feeling my kids are going to go kRaZy over those straws! Hehe

I don't know about all of you but I have a ton of parent volunteers. I like to get them something small at Christmas and the end of they year to show my appreciation.  I wish I could remember where I found those tags... but, I don't. Sorry. If I remember or stumble upon them again I'll def link up. I think all my wonderful mothers will be excited when their cuties bring these home to them!  Who doesn't love salted caramels?!?

Okay seriously I need to get my report cards done... I'm off to make some nachos, errrrrr log into the report card program.

- Sister 3 -

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Fun

We can't believe it... it's our last Friday of the year! But you know what that means... Five for Friday linky.

Number 1: We've been trying to wrap up the end of the year.  We bought Hope King's, The Ultimate End of the Year Writing Bundle. We are in love with the Time Capsule! Since our kids will be graduating high school in 10 years we told them they can't open them until 2023. How weird does that year sound!?!  Our parents were loving the letter they had to write to their children, even though quite a few of them told us they teared up and some even sobbed! We also decided to write a letter to our students and tuck them in. It will be a fun surprise when they eventually open it!

In addition, we made an ABCs of Second Grade book to tuck in the time capsule. You can grab our freebie here!

Number 2: Today was our end of the year bowling field trip. It's always interesting, to say the least. 120 kids trying to figure out what size shoes they wear, serving the pizza, and getting pop. But it's always fun!

Number 3: Sister 1 and Sister 2 went on their annual pen pal trip this week.  They are pen pals with a school not to far from us.  They meet them at their school and then walk to a park nearby.  One of the teacher's with them was freaking out about ecoli being in the water. Obviously there wasn't. haha They had a blast... I'm going to try and get in on that next year!

Number 4: Sister 1 went to her friend's wedding last weekend.  It was an outdoor ceremony and reception. She's hoping she's next!  Check out how beautiful everything was.

Number 5: Tonight we are having a school staff field trip to the Tiger's game downtown!  We are getting a party bus and all heading down together.  Sister 2 and I are going but Sister 3 is celebrating her boyfriend's birthday tonight.  We are looking forward to a "silly" night! If you know what we mean! 

Go Tigers!!!

- Sister 3 -

Thursday, June 6, 2013

4 Days to Go!

You know it's the end of the year when you walk into a classroom and see this...

Yes, that's one of my little darlings desks pushed right up in front of mine. Never good. 4 more days... we can do it! 

I'm kind of a shopaholic. The first step is admitting it, right? Sister 1 and I hit up Lakeshore last week to spend a little PTO money, they gave all of our teachers some cash to spend on classroom materials!  We're spoiled.  Check out "some" of the things I got... a few more items had to be ordered and will be in next week!

See that adorable striped border and those chevron name tags? They are for next year! I'm loving the color scheme. I just have to decide if I'm going to have a theme or just do a cutesy, cozy room. This year I did pirates. I'm really going to miss my pirate ship... but I def need a change. New year, new room. :)

I also had a little bit of time to do some retail therapy. Yes... I'm a "Maxxinista."

This week we've really need trying to finish up all loose ends! Cursive. Check. Graphing. Check. Government. Check. Memory Books. Check. Tomorrow we're going on our end of the year bowling trip! Strike! Then year book signing. Uhhh time needs to slow down.. I still have report cards, inventory, end of the year gifts, CA 60s, taking down my room, and organizing! Lots checked off but tons left to do. 

- Sister 3 -

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's Monday!

Another weekend just flew right by, but on the bright side we only have 8 more days of school!

My boyfriend and I did round four of yard clean up.. boy are my legs sore from all my hard work. I'd love to say we're finished but we have at least 3 more weekends worth of work. These weeds are ridiculous!  

We took a little break from all of our work and had date night at Orange Leaf! It's a new frozen yogurt place near his house. It's soo yummy! They have about 16 different flavors and tons of toppings. Not trying to sound like a loser but they have the coolest spoons, they are actually like little shovels. Which really worked out in my favor because I couldn't get it in my mouth fast enough. 

Tonight I decided that I really needed to crack down on my homework. I'm just so not in the mood to do my assignments because the weather is soo nice! Sooo here I find myself writing this post instead of getting my papers written.  What's more fun that writing a paper called, "Software Application Analysis"? Writing this blog post! Hey, at least I'm writing something! lol As I was blog stalking researching for my paper I found a fun linky and decided to link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade and enjoy a little June Currently.

Last week at school, we finished up our government flap book. It was a fun way to learn some definitions. 

This morning we watched a short movie on the three branches of government. I gave everyone a Three Branches of Government tree and had them fill in facts they learned while watching the movie. I knew if they didn't have a "purpose" for watching the movie spring fever would quickly set in!  You could have heard a pin drop they were so into taking note like "big kids."   

Tomorrow we're starting our end of the year memory book. I've been putting it off because I just love my class so much! I told them they all have to stay back with me next year... there response to that was, "Come to third grade with us!" Melt my heart. The end of the year is so bittersweet. 

- Sister 3 -