Thursday, April 26, 2012

Behavior Fairy?


I have had an IEP meeting e-v-e-r-y single day this week. 

My meetings on Monday and Tuesday were during my planning period at 8:45.

Yesterday, my meeting was at 1:30.  My planning is at 8:45, so I needed someone to watch my kids.

I have an associate teacher who is in my room for at least half the day.  We both provide reading and math interventions daily to all of my kids.  So she is obviously very familiar with them.  Normally during this time, she is with the other third grade teacher helping during centers.  The principal said to have her watch them and it would be good practice for her (she'll be a first year teacher next year).

So, off I went to my IEP meeting.  I told my kids I wasn't sure if I would be back in time for dismissal, so I told them to have a good evening, do their homework, and behave for the associate teacher.

Sure enough, I was not back in time for dismissal.  I headed up to my room around 2:30 and asked the associate teacher how it went. 

"Great, up until the last 5 minutes."

Not what you want to hear.

Turns out there was a fight in my room.  I'm talking one kid pinned against the wall fight.  She said she called and buzzed the office and no one came. 

I was in shock.  They were FINE when I left.  What on earth caused this?!

I pulled both boys outside in the hall this morning and asked them what happened.

In science, they were talking about mimicry (a defense adaptation animals have) and I guess the kids were mimicing each other.  Well, Student A kept mimicing Student B.  Over

and over

and over.

So, Student B got mad.  Evidently, Student B threw his book bag at Student A.  Then, the fight went into full swing.  Student A eventually had Student B pinned against the wall. 

They were obviously written up. 

Okay, I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I just don't get it.  I've told my kids time and again that I am not a Behavior Fairy who sprinkles magic fairy dust on them to behave.  I pride myself on having a good relationship with my kids and for the most part, my class is well behaved.  If they're not, I can get them in control quickly.  So I just don't understand it.  I mean, it was only 45 minutes! 

I know that when kids aren't with their teacher, they act differently, but she's in our room daily for probably half of the day!

So, what happens when you're gone?  Do your kids lose all knowledge of proper behavior when you're not right-there-with-them-at-all-times?
I am so glad tomorrow is Friday.  It's our field day and I am in it to win it!  I told my kids to come ready to win.  I am ultra competitive and it may rival my freakishness around all things Carolina Football.

However, I am not looking forward to dealing with my mess of a room!  I had an IEP meeting at 2:30 this afternoon that lasted until 3:10.  Then, I had to book it to another meeting that started at 3:00!  Busy Busy Busy.  (I hope you read that like Professor Hinkle.  If not, go back and do it again :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Steve Spurrier's Ladies Clinic & Gift Exchange

I am a total slacker!  I have big plans to post.  And then I just don't.
I have a good reason (somewhat). 

This past Friday night my parents came over and had dinner here.  My mom was spending the night so we could go to Steve Spurrier's Ladies Clinic!  I won't post too many pictures but here's a few:

Waiting to get in.  In this picture from L to R is me, my mom, my sister, and my friend Ashley who teaches with me.

I was pretty embarrassing for them.  See that big ol' grin?  I was literally giddy with excitement.  What you don't see in this picture is that in front of me is a looooong line of people waiting to get their picture with the Lattimore goodies.  They were all cracking up at me because it was slightly ridiculous! I ♥♥♥ Marcus Lattimore!  If people hadn't seen me with that medal, I may have taken it!  (totally kidding of course...but seriously, my obsession runs deep).

I totally started the trend of putting the pads on!  Those gloves are seriously SO sticky!  There is NO excuse for dropped passes.  You can also see I don't hesitate to go in full on freak mode. Which would be why...

I had to ask some random stranger to take this picture (and many others!) for me.  My family and Ashley totally left me.  They claim it wasn't because of my behavior, but I don't blame them ;)

I hate the way I look in this picture, but I could not get over how tall Devin Taylor is!  I'm 5' 8" and I just read today that he is 6' 7"!  Seriously though, I look like I've just been enlightened about something great or like this.

So last year, they had a whole autograph session with the players where you got to meet them, take pictures, and get autographs.  I was so pissed bummed they didn't have it this year.  However, this is where my stalking and nosiness came in handy.  I noticed there were a lot of people in a hallway and cameras flashing so we went over and there were like 6 players!  SCORE!  Otherwise, I wouldn't have hardly any pictures with players.  We were also super close to getting Bruce Ellington's (Bruuuuuuuuuce) autograph, but the coaches made him leave.  Big bummer. 

I told my family it's a good thing I didn't go to USC because I probably would've failed out trying to meet all of these players around campus :)
Then on Sunday I had to take care of everything I neglected during the rest of the weekend.

You know, crap like laundry, getting groceries, and working on school stuff.

Monday I couldn't post because I went to see my mom in the hospital after her surgery.  She's doing great now.  And yesterday I had class.

So there are my excuses.

Did you participate in the Pinterest Gift Exchange?  I did and here's what I got from my super sweet partner who was Leisa Clayton.  She does not have a blog, but she totally should.  She is SO creative!  Here are the goodies she sent me:

This adorable picture frame that even included a picture of the Giz!  It's currently sitting on my window ledge at work.  It makes me super happy :)

This super cute tote bag that she made herself!  Amazing.  See now why I said she needs a blog?!

These great, homemade bookmarks!  My dog bookmark I have right now is SO worn (its over 4 years old!).  Seriously, how cute.  I cannot get enough!

These great writing helpers.  The president one will be great come November!

Okay, I don't know why this picture won't rotate, but I love these bookmarks to give my kiddos and the tabbed clips too! 

She was so sweet and I just love everything so thanks again to Leisa and please let me know if you ever start a blog!

So did you participate?  Make sure to head over and link up!

 totally forgot to take a picture of the gift I made, but head over to The Resource(ful) Room and check it out.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Blues & Parent Communication


I don't want to go back!

Spring Break has been such a tease for summer.  I did not do a lot, which is kind of what I wanted.  Although yesterday I went to Carolina's Spring Game.  Here are some pics :)

Marcus Lattimore.  I am definitely obsessed!

With George Roger's Heisman Trophy & SEC Eastern Championship Trophy

With the trophy the winner of the Carolina/Clemson game gets. 

With the Capital One Bowl Trophy
It was a lot of fun, but I missed my hubby!  He didn't go but took care of lots of things around the house which I am super thankful for!

Today, I'm getting ready for heading back to work tomorrow.  In all actuality, there is not a lot of time until summer.  When we get back, we have only THREE weeks until the PASS test.  That is not a lot of time.  It will definitely be a busy and stressful three weeks. 

While avoiding doing work, I noticed that Lorraine from Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies is having a linky party for parent communication!

I've posted a little bit before about how I communicate with parents. 

In the beginning of the school year, I send home a parent information sheet that I keep in my room with parent information.  I found this a couple of years ago and don't know where I got it from.

Student Information Sheet

This way I always have the information at hand.  A lot of the stuff we send home goes to the office and instead of having to copy that, I just send this.  What's one more piece of paper to fill out, right?!

I keep it in a binder with this on the cover:

Communication Log

Inside the binder, I keep this as my documentation for contacting parents (although I do admit I'm not very good about recording the information).

Communication Log Form

In our communication log, I print this out and glue it in there.  Next year, I will probably change it to reflect Class Dojo points since I don't really use my clip chart anymore.

I also send home a weekly newsletter.  I started off using the template provided by Education World.  Here's our most recent one:

April 2

I'm not sure why it shows up so funky in the preview.  I also include a picture of the student with the highest number of points (for reading and exercising) next to the calendar, but I removed it since I'm sharing it on the blog.  I send the newsletter home every Monday.

That's how I communicate with parents.  How do you?  Head over and link up!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break & New Goodies!

Today starts my glorious week off!  I am SO excited!

I have BIG plans. 

Unfortunately...I've done nothing yet. 

Aside from sleep in of course.  Thank goodness the pup let me sleep!  We are constantly trying new things to help him (and us) at night.  Yesterday, after Easter dinner with my family, we stopped off at Petsmart and got him these:
This is supposed to help him relax.  We had some pills we gave him before, but they didn't have melatonin in them (we've read online that melatonin is supposed to help dogs relax).

 Gizmo has been peeing a lot in our upstairs hallway.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned that before.  Well, two nights in a row he peed in our bedroom.  We're hoping this helps, but when I woke up this morning I saw that he had peed (again!) in the hallway.  In a way, the hallway is better because we're going to have to get that carpet replaced when we replace what he tore up.

A Thundershirt.  Yep.  Giz feels all safe and secure now (hopefully).  In fact, he still wearing it now and is sleeping in my lap as I type this. 

Hey, does that mean I can use it as an excuse for why I haven't really done anything around the house today?!

You may have noticed (or maybe not), but I updated my blog button to coordinate with my header.  I realized I better do it quick before picnik shuts down since that's what I used to help create my header.  I'm excited!  I think it turned out pretty good!

I also have started My Fitness Pal again.  If you are looking to lose weight, I strongly recommend it.  It helped me lose about 10 pounds last summer.  I kind of stopped once school started, but I realized I need to go back to it.  I think it's pretty similar to Weight Watchers, but best of's FREE!  I started it back up last Monday and lost about 3 pounds (even though it says 5, that's based on my weight from when I first signed up last summer).  I won't lie...Monday was HARD!   I was starving pretty much all day!  I could've eaten a lot more though because I got this message when I completed my food diary:

One of my favorite things to eat is an ice cream bar that is only 45 calories!  I've seen these on Pinterest, but I've known about them for a long time.  I remember my sister telling me about them back when I was in college.  Wanna know how to make it? 

Here's what you need:  Graham Crackers & Cool Whip.

Lay out your graham crackers.  You could use a full sheet if you wanted.

Put about a tablespoon of cool whip onto half of the crackers.  It does not have to be pretty!

Take the other half and gently press on top of the cool whip.  Place in freezer for several hours or until frozen.

After it has set, wrap individually in plastic wrap.

They are really yummy and a nice sweet treat (for very few calories).

I also made a shopping list for the hubby and I to use.  I was inspired by the one featured over at IHeart Organizing

Here's ours:
Grocery List

Much thanks to Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher Files for the tutorial about the font!

Also, I got tagged again by Run!  Miss Nelson's Got The Camera.
I've been tagged before, so I'll just answer her questions :)

1.  Which do you prefer teaching:  Reading or Math?  Hmm, that's a toughie.  In the intervention program I teach, I chose to teach Reading over Math.  I guess overall it would be reading.

2.  Where's your favorite place to find clip art?  Okay, I am a total clip art newbie.  I like any place that has cheap (or preferably free) clip art!  Some of my favorite places are:  The 3AM Teacher, Scrap Ems, & I also have some Thistlegirl clip art.  I have lots saved on my flash drive though that I'm not sure where it came from...

3.  Do you count spelling tests as a reading or writing grade?  We actually do not do spelling tests this year (gasp...I know).  But when I did, I counted it as writing.

4.  What is your favorite website for your students?  My students have access to VMath Online & Ticket to Read through the intervention program I teach.  I love it!

5.  Do you have a Point and Shoot camera or a DSLR?  I have a point and shoot.  This is the camera I have.  It was on sale at Target around Christmastime for only $99. 

6.  Do you arrive to school early or stay late?  I am no early bird, but I actually get to school early.  Teacher's don't have to be there until 7:00, but I get to work around 6:30 (more like 6:40 recently).

7.  Coke or Pepsi?  Cherry Coke Zero or Diet Dr. Pepper!
8.  Michael's or Hobby Lobby?  Ugh, there are NO Hobby Lobby's here!  I wish there were though!

9.  What is your favorite read aloud?  Probably The Lorax!  I love the message behind it :)

10.  Winter Break or Spring Break?  I'm obviously loving Spring Break now, but I love that Winter Break is 2 whole weeks (except next year...they shortened our break by two!)
Okay, I'm off to go lay out!  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lattice & Plants

2 days.

2 days.
I think I can, I think I can.

In all honesty, my kids have not really been to bad this week.  Except for one. 

I'm not really sure what else I can do for this kid.  I'm (and my associate teacher) running out of ideas. 

At one point a couple of weeks ago I had to freeze him out.  I tried to have a private conversation with him about his math (ie: he does nothing).  He proceeded to cross his arms, turn away from me, and humph and haw.  So I froze him out.  I totally ignored him for the next hour or so.  He tried to participate and I just didn't respond.  He seemed to get the hint because when they came back from special area he was a lot better. 

He just can't get along with others.  Any tips?  I use Class Dojo and this kid gets negative points pretty much every single day.

Anyways, onto some school stuff.

We've been working on seeds lately.  Last night we had a Science Fair.  We were supposed to do an endangered species project, but we just made a poster of what we'd done in class.  I will forwarn you, it is definitely kid made :) 

Okay never mind.  I thought I had a picture.  Trust me, you're not missing much.

Anyways, we experimented with if you could grow seeds without soil.  A lot of the kids said no.  Well, you can!

Our sunflower seeds never grew though (whomp whomp whomp).

Today our FOSS kit said we needed to compare the germinated seeds to what we started off with.  I've kind of realized I can move away from the FOSS kit and create my own things.  So instead of using their response sheet, I made this one. 

My Changing Seed

Here are some pics of them working hard today.  Some of them really take pride in their work!

My friend who doesn't really listen or follow directions?  Here's his page.  You'll notice lots of mistakes and erasures.

In Math, we're working on lattice multiplication.  I've been really impressed with their multi-digit by one-digit multiplication and a lot of them really like lattice.  I couldn't really find any blank lattice sheets this morning, so I made these up real quick.  I left them blank so I could use them as a master copy for them.  Today they solved 4 problems and my more advanced students could make their own up. 

Blank Lattice

I'm off to sadly clean out our freezer.  I went to take my lunch out this morning and realized the door hadn't been shut all the way.  Pretty sure everything in there is ruined.  Ugh!

Happy Thursday!! :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Currently

It's that time again!  Farley has her April Currently up!

This weekend has been glorious!  I've gotten lots of sleep and yesterday I went with my mom and sister to the Flowertown Festival.  There's one booth we go to every year that has the best necklaces for cheap.  I'll post a picture of the new ones I bought but here's the first one I ever bought from them:
They come with earrings all for like $16.  I always get tons of compliments on them so I am obsessed to say the least.

I also saw The Hunger Games again today.  It was just as good the second time!  I also found this video with some behind the scenes action for all of you fans out there! 

One hand.

That's how many days until Spring Break.  I am SO excited! 

I found out a couple of weeks ago that the program I teach will not be around next year as we know it.  It's good and bad:  Good because 3rd grade will take the PASS Writing next year and I have NO time to formally teach writing now.  Bad because it means a huge increase in class size.  I currently only have 9 kiddos (I know, I know), and next year I could have up to 20.  It's nothing compared to when I started as a first year teacher:  I had 25 fifth graders in a very high needs school.  Can I blame that stress for my weight gain?!  Hahaha

I have lots of things I've been doing with my kiddos, but I always forget to take pictures!  Here is one activity we did where we learned about things that cause heat:  the sun, rubbing, burning, & electricity.  After we discussed it and made a bubble map, I gave my kiddos this and they had to sort it based on whether or not it produced heat or not.  Overall, they did really good on it and ALL of my IEP kids got a 100!

Sorry, I don't have pictures of any of the completed ones, but they basically just cut these out, folded a piece of construction paper in half, and labeled it as Produces Heat & Doesn't Produce Heat.  Maybe this can help some of you, if you teach about heat!

I'm off to watch the OC and cook dinner.  Only 5 more days!
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