Sunday, September 28, 2014

Younique make up line...

Ok, so I said I was going to post more frequently but that didn't quite work out this week!  I also need to get in the habit of taking more pictures when my class does activities, because there are definitely things I can blog about that have worked in my room...I promise to take pictures this week and blog a few times about them!  To give you an idea of what I will be blogging about...1) Math stations, 2) Word study and 3) Classroom Management.  

Maybe one of the reasons why I haven't blogged more is because I essentially have a 2nd job (well 3rd job if you count being a mom and wife as one, which it definitely is a job!)  I have started selling Younique makeup and I LOVE it!  It's so much fun and is so rewarding to have people buying the products and loving them!  Our biggest seller is our 3D Fiber Lash Mascara and I can't seem to keep it in stock!  

I buy a few sets, post about them on Facebook and I've sold them within a few days.  Some ladies at work have gotten on the bandwagon and LOVE it!  I figured I would share the good news with you, too!  We sell more than just mascara but this is our biggest hit.  If you have any questions, or are just curious about the other products, too, feel free to browse my website and see if anything else interests you!  

Until next time!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Writer's Workshop-ish

It's been a few days since I've blogged last, but the beginning of the year is always so crazy busy (and exhausting!) that I just can't seem to find the time or energy to blog as much as I would like.  I promise that I'll do my best to write more often!

This past week was quite busy, as my coteacher (Allyson as I'll start referring to her as) and I are trying to get our students on a schedule that works for all of us.  Our schedule each day is pretty much the same and looks like this:
8:15-8:30: Morning Meeting
8:30-9:15: Readers Workshop
9:15-9:30: Brain Break
9:30-10:15: Writer's Workshop
10:15-10:30: Snack
10:30-11:15: Math Workshop
11:15-11:45: Project/Read Aloud
11:45-12:30: Recess and Lunch
12:30-1:15: Special
1:15-2:00: Word Study/Shared Reading
2:00-2:30: Science/Social Studies
2:30-2:45: Pack up and dismissal

Geez, when I type it all up like that, I realize why my students are pretty spent by the end of the day.  It's a lot for these little ones to be able to keep up with all of this each and every day!  Some days are busier than others but we somehow seem to get it all done!  

One subject I would like to talk about is Writer's Workshop.  We are working on building our students' stamina during this time, as they seem to struggle to keep on writing even after they think they are done.  Here are a few anchor charts we have made so far to remind them of the expectations and what they can do during writing time.   We frequently refer to the charts to let them know the great things we notice them doing, and some of the things we haven't noticed, but would like them to start trying. No judging on the drawings!  I'm not too bad with my illustrations if I have something to look at and copy.  The drawings still aren't the greatest, though!

Speaking of my own illustrations, one book I love to read to my students at the beginning of the year is the book titled Ish.  The story is about a little boy who loves to draw and thinks his drawings are good, until his older brother starts teasing him about them.  He crumples up his drawings but doesn't know that his little sister has been collecting them and putting them on her walls since she thinks they are wonderful!  When he finds out that his sister has them on her walls, they start talking about how the pictures don't need to be perfect and how they can be "ish" drawings.  They point to a few and call them "a tree-ish" or "a sun-ish" because the drawings are close enough!  Throughout the year, when I'm trying to draw in front of the class, I always refer to my drawings as "ish" so that they learn their drawings don't need to be perfect either!  It has seemed to work the past few years as I'll hear students refer to each other's drawings and say, "well, it's a car-ish" when they are conferencing with each other.  Too cute!

Let me know if there are any books that are a must for you to read to your class each year.  I'd love to get some other ideas!!

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

School stuff and a gluten free crockpot meal!

We have gotten through a whole week of school and are beginning our second full week.  It has been going pretty good so far! Our schedule is beginning to take shape and the students seem to be getting the hang of it all!  

What was really cool today was during Readers Workshop, I was teaching the mini lesson about how readers will go back and reread if they get distracted while reading.  A bunch of my students gave me the connection sign (or the "me too" sign, which is using your thumb and pinky and pointing to yourself and then towards the person talking...not sure if you can picture that!) and they had all remembered learning that in kindergarten!  They were experts at rereading!  Then, during Writer's Workshop, the mini lesson was about things you can do when you think you're done.  The anchor chart looks like this, and while I was making it, the students were telling me everything to add to the chart before I had a chance to write it down! Again, they were experts about continuing to write and work the whole time during Writer's Workshop!  How awesome is that?!  What a great job the kindergarten teachers are doing, especially when the students are remembering mini lessons that most likely happened about a year ago but clearly have stood out for the students.  

Now, to switch gears, I thought I'd share another gluten free recipe with you!  I don't like making things that require so many gf things that I need to buy, so I tend to look for recipes that can just be tweaked with one or two gf ingredients.  Here is the recipe from The Sweets Life:

-2 1/2 lbs (or 3 cups) chicken breast cut into 1" chunks (I just buy a package of chicken breasts and chop them up.  I don't measure this out!)
-1 cup chopped onion
-1 cup chopped celery
-1 cup chopped carrots
-4-5 cloves garlic, minced
-2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 cup chicken broth (This has to be GF because many broths have wheat flour or some other flour that is off limits to GF folks.  I like Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp cayenne (1 tbsp for major spice!)
-1 tsp paprika (1 tbsp for major spice!)
-1/2 tsp cumin (1/2 tbsp for major spice!)
-1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
-blue cheese crumbles, for topping

1. Add chopped veggies and garlic to the crock pot. Pour the two cans of (drained) tomatoes into the crockpot. Add black beans, chicken, broth, and spices.
2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours (may be done sooner than this!). Before serving, stir in hot sauce. Divide among bowls and top with blue cheese.
*keeps for several days, or can be frozen!

SO good and very easy and one that is frequently requested by the hubby!!  I hope you enjoy it if you try it!!

One more thing...if you are interested in trying out this awesome new 3D Fiber Lash mascara, check out my Younique website to learn more and order!! 

Until next time!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back to School Night...

We had Back to School Night (or Open House as some districts call it) on Thursday night.  It always makes for such a long day but it's worth it to be able to meet with the parents and let them know what the routine and expectations are like in the classroom.  We had a decent turnout for it so I was happy! 

I thought I'd share two little things we made for the night. My coteacher and I both made something to put out on the students' desks for the parents when they came in.  The first thing was the lifesavers complete with the saying "Supportive families are a LIFESAVER!"  This is so TRUE in so many ways!!  Having families that are supportive and open about their own child makes such a difference when trying to work through a variety of things throughout the year.  I hope parents know that we truly appreciate them!!

Another thing we put on their desks was a bag of popcorn with the saying, "Welcome.  Thanks for popping in!"  I have done this for a few years now and it's always a big hit with the parents and the students, too!  I think it's a nice gesture just to have a little something extra for the parents, although it is definitely not necessary!
Overall, the night went well, although I was super tired the next day!  I'm happy we were able to hold it on a Thursday night so that all we had to get through was Friday.  There were a few years when it was held earlier in the week and it was just so tough to get through the rest of the week because you never truly felt like you caught up on sleep or just relaxing.  

Until next time!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First 2 days!

Well, the year has officially begun since my students started this past Thursday.  I will say that my group is a really good one, full of really sweet kids!  I am super relieved because the group I had last year was a really, really tough mix which made for a VERY long year.  I can already tell, even after only 2 days, that this is going to be a good year!  I'm also excited that my co-teacher is wonderful!  This is her first year teaching but she really knows her stuff and isn't afraid to jump in and do what is needed.  That is a big relief, especially when teaching in an inclusion setting.  Both teachers need to be strong in order for it to truly be beneficial for the students.  

I thought I'd share a few pictures from our second day of school.  I didn't have a chance to take any pictures from the first day since it was a busy one!  You always forget just how busy that first day is and just how little you feel like you accomplish...or am I the only one who feels that way?! 

One procedure I feel is a must at the beginning of the year is teaching the students how to handle the math manipulatives.  We use these A LOT for learning and often the students feel like they are math toys instead of learning tools.  We spoke about the correct way to use them and then let the students explore the different things they could do with them... 

This group enjoyed making shapes with the base ten blocks! 

This group loved just connecting the cubes together and then taking them apart!

And this group was so excited to showcase all the pictures they were able to make using pattern blocks.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but after we finished exploring the math manipulatives, we made an anchor chart about Mathematical Practice #5 about using appropriate tools strategically.  We had the students think about what they could use the math manipulatives for and they wrote their idea on a post it note and then placed it on our anchor chart. Doing quick post it note activities (you can call them stop-n-jot) are a good assessment for multiple reasons.  One thing I could see was how the students were able to write independently, and how their spelling was.  Another was just to see if they even understood what they had to do once they got back to their seats.  We have a wide range of learners in this class so this stop-n-jot was a great informal assessment.  Most of them said to help them count, make patterns or learn more about math.  Those are all great answers!

Well, I'll share some other activities that we did tomorrow.

Until next time!

Monday, September 1, 2014

This is my first Currently post!  Woo hoo!  It took me a bit to figure out how to do this, but I'm excited that I was able to make it work!  To explain it a little:

listening...I always turn on a sound machine for my daughter Marissa whenever she goes to sleep. Her machine has different sounds on there but I chose to use the ocean sound. It has become part of our "night night" routine and she often looks at me funny if I happen to forget to it.  She's 21 months and I can't believe how much she has changed even just since the summer began! 

loving...I really am grateful to have a job that allows me the summers off.  This summer I have especially enjoyed it since I spent the entire summer with my daughter.  She is talking up a storm, on the go all.the.time. and just a joy to be around.  Whenever we go to a store, people are constantly stopping me to tell me how her smile has made their day.  What a nice compliment to receive all the time!  She's the best!

thinking...that it is going to be tough to get up, get ready and out the door tomorrow morning.  I know I'll get to school on time after dropping my daughter off, but I can't help but worry that I won't be able to spend my time wisely!

wanting...for my Younique business to take off.  I have been looking for something to do on the side and came across this new crazy lash business.  They sell more than just mascara, but they sell this 3D Fiber Lash mascara that is a HUGE hit!  It is amazing and people can't resist buying it. I've had some good sales already but I'm hoping it continues to pay off and be worthwhile.  Fingers crossed!

needing...there are always things we want but often not many things that we need. I truly don't feel like I need anything right now.

3 trips...they are all self-explanatory I think!  Hawaii and Bora Bora would be to see the amazing sights and beaches, and Vegas to see the craziness that goes on!  

And that's all for today.  This is my 2nd post so I'm done for the day!
Until next time! 

New look...

So what do you think of the new look?  I L.O.V.E. it!!  Thanks so much to Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs!  I contacted her on Tuesday and she finished my blog makeover already today!  She was amazing and answered lots of my questions =)  If you were looking for a blog makeover, I would totally recommend her! 

I'm trying to get ready for the first day back tomorrow.  While we don't have students tomorrow, it is still tough to get back in the swing of things.  Plus tomorrow will be lots of mandatory training and things like that when all we can think about is setting up our rooms to be ready for the little ones to walk through the door.  I'll keep you posted on how the first few days go!

Until next time!