Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Currently

Another month, another currently!


Listening: What we thought was going to be overnight for observation is going to be a long, slow recovery. I mentioned in my last post that my 19-month old has pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital. He is getting better, but it has been a lot of ups and downs. He was almost admitted to the PICU Saturday evening. I am staying with him in the hospital and am almost getting used to all the noises.

Loving: My little guy has been sleeping a lot, so I have spent a lot of time feeling alone in the hospital room watching my sick boy. Most of our family and many of our friends live far away, so we have been staying connected. We are posting on Facebook, e-mail, and the family blog. This afternoon we talked via Facetime to Ireland, Houston, Montana, and home with Daddy. We also watched streaming cartoons on the iPad to pass the time. Technology is amazing!

Thinking: Even though it has been a pretty crummy few days, I am thinking about the positives. My fantastic husband took our daughter to Easter Sunrise Mass at the beach this morning and sent on beautiful pictures.

A good friend invited our daughter to join them for their family egg hunt and dinner. The Irishman and I were able to relax with this little fella.


We even got him to sit up and smile during a game of throw-the-empty-eggs-out-of-the-crib-and-watch-Mommy-and-Daddy-chase-them-around-the-room.

I keep looking at pictures to make myself think of the positives!

Wanting: I would love to do something completely frivolous for myself right now. I am not even sure what – just something a little selfish and unnecessary just to do it. (This from the woman who has not had a pedicure in years…)

Advice: My blogging/TpT advise would be to find your community. My husband teases me about this. He will ask, “Is this a real friend or a pretend computer friend?” This was big for me. I have found a group of bloggers I enjoy reading with similar interests. We have helped out in each other’s giveaways and are getting to “know” each other.


My 100-Follower Giveaway ends in just a few minutes! If the little guys naps tomorrow I’ll be back to post the winners then. If not you can expect to see it on Tuesday!

Have a great week!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday: The Hospital Bedside Edition

What a week!



The Good:
I’m on spring break so there isn’t much school related here. The week started great. My dad was in town and we went to the beach, spent time at my grandparents house, and took my daughter to see Disney Princesses on Ice.


The Bad:

Soon after posting this picture


on Facebook, we were at the pediatrician with my son. He had a high fever, but it was just a virus. Yesterday we went back to the doctor and were told that he was showing some signs of walking pneumonia. We were worried about his breathing last night and made an appointment with the doctor first thing this morning.


The doctor sent us to the ER and they have admitted him with pneumonia. He is already looking better than before, but his stats still are not great. I spent last night hoping to avoid the hospital and now I am hoping we are home before Easter.

The little one was just given oxygen and is finally sleeping despite the iv, tubes, and wires. The Irishman brought my laptop and some PJs for me earlier this evening. He is at home with our daughter. We just said good night via Facetime, but I don’t think anyone is happy with the situation.
This is NOT how I wanted to spend my spring break!


The Sale:

I’d planned on holding a sale in my store but hadn’t gotten around to entering it yet. I tried to enter the Spring Cleaning Linky, but it has closed. So, I’ll announce it here.


There are a lot of sales going on this weekend, but at least my title is unique! 


The “Who me?”

I got a blog related e-mail this week that included my name on a list with some of my favorite bloggers. It made my day! I’m not there yet, but to have my name on the same short list made my day!


The Giveaway

My 100 Follower Giveaway ends Sunday! If you haven’t entered yet, you can click on the picture below to find the link.



Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Enjoying Spring Break

Thank you to everyone who is taking part in my giveaway. I was a little nervous about how it would all play out, but it seems to have worked out okay. I'll name the winners on Monday. I am thrilled to come across kind friends who have shared it on their blogs.

I told myself today that I would finish and post my clothesline fractions to TpT. I planned to write a blog post. I've spent the last couple of days thinking of my favorite person, place, thing, and animal with intentions of linking up there, too.

That doesn't matter though. It is spring break and we have company in town from across the country. I watched my kids play at the beach with their grandpa and his wife. I took a sick kiddo to the doctor. I've relaxed and eaten dinner at my grandparents house.

So I might blog this week. I might not.

Either way it is spring break and I am going to make the most of it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

100 Follower Giveaway


I feel blessed to have found such a lovely community of bloggers. To celebrate, I am holding 100 Follower Giveaway. The donations spanned K-5, so I decided to break it into two prize packs.


Up first is the K-2 Prize pack.

Next is the 3rd-5th Grade Giveaway.


This pack includes:

Going with the theme, I’ll announce the winners on April 1st. Thank you to everyone who has helped with the giveaway and to all who have helped my little blog to grow!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five for Friday (and the lie revealed!)

This was a TGIF kind of day!



I’ll start with my Two Truths and a Lie from this post. We’ll start from the bottom up.
I DID see a shark while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It was a once in a lifetime kind of trip. The day was overcast and REALLY rough.

It was a little reef shark quite a bit away from us, but the guide we were with confirmed it. I made sure not to mention it to my husband until we were safely on the boat!

Speaking of the Irishman, we DID meet at summer camp. We were both counselors at the same sleep away camp. He *might* have been my supervisor when I started.


We kept in touch after the first summer and he flew to Arkansas for my sorority formal after I broke up with my high school sweetheart. We both returned to camp the next summer and started dating. The rest is history!

The lie? I did not set any track records. I did (barely) make the track team in 7th grade. I was in Latin Club and Marching Band in high school.



While I’m wrapping up things from last week, Amanda from Learning to the Core was the winner of my QR Code Math Games.



While I was blog hopping last week, I visited the lovely Kathy of Third Grade Doodles. I mentioned how I loved the look of her Ultimate Book Club Guide and she sent me a copy.

Book Clubs

I LOVE it! My student teacher started book clubs last month with the students who are not in an intervention group. The kids were flying through books and I was having a hard time trying to explain to her how to plan activities for them to do as they read.

I am usually with my intervention group during this time, but they got pulled for picture day on Thursday and I had a chance to walk with the book clubs. They were making predictions, working with challenging vocabulary from the book, and summarizing. One of my students actually said that it made the book easier to understand.

I hate when you buy something that turns out to be more fluff than content. I started using all of this set right away! It is fantastic!



What a day. I got to school this morning when my husband called to let me know that I had his car keys. He worked late last night so we had to switch cars. I had to turn around and drive home.
I was late for school. I had a meeting at 9 that let to me running around for the next hour. I had just finished entering the final round contests for our school wide Math March Madness when I had to leave to take my son to the doctor.

In all the craziness, I decided to take the kids back to school with me so I could wrap up a few things I hadn’t gotten to before I left. I had visions of my son playing quietly with the basket of stress balls. I thought my three-year-old daughter might like to practice her letters on the chalkboard door.

Instead it looked like this:


At least they had fun!



It is finally spring break! 

The Irishman took the week off as well. We have family coming to visit for part of the week, but mostly we plan on hanging out and spending time with each other!

I should have my 100 follower giveaway posted Sunday. I am hoping to set things up tomorrow. If you would like to contribute, you can fill out this form.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Painted Copy Box Storage

I had a pretty big parent conference yesterday. It went well, but it lasted over two and a half hours. By the time I got back to my classroom it was 10am and I was worn out.

I needed a brainless activity after school so I finally decided to tackle this bookshelf.


I did a lot of work in my room this summer and I ran out of time to finish this shelf. I had the office staff save some paper boxes for me. After the day I had, I needed to do something relaxing and fun. I put on my Kokomo station on Pandora and started painting. When the internet went down I pulled out my Phantom of the Opera CD. My student teacher was making fun of my music choice, but that’s okay!


I used acrylic paint. I bought the foam stampers from Michaels. They make it easy! This morning I took my overflowing drawers of center activities/task cards/games and organized it into my newly painted boxes. They are now organized by subject and topic.


The polka dots match my $1 seat sacks and this cabinet I painted over the summer. (More about that another time!)


I still have some work to do, but I am happy with how it came out!


In other news, I am working on my 100 follower giveaway. I think I’ve almost got it all figured out. If you would like to take part, leave me your e-mail address and I’ll send you the Google Form to fill out. My Math QR Code Game giveaway ends Friday. Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

QR Codes in the Elementary Classroom

I posted a flash freebie last weekend with QR codes and I had a few questions about how to use the cards. While this isn’t new to a lot of people, I wanted to share how I’ve used QR codes in my classroom.



When I first saw QR codes I was intrigued. I found some freebies on TpT that were worth trying. I’ve since become a big fan! Here are a some of the ways I’ve used them in the classroom.

Giving Praise

I found 75 Ways to Say Good Job on Teachers Pay Teachers. I downloaded this awesome freebie. I mounted the cards on construction paper, cut it out, and laminated it.


This isn’t the best picture, but you can see my QR Tag Folder on the left under Celebrating Success. I will send a student over to scan a tag to celebrate positive behavior.

There are so many free and paid files like this. Once you get started it is easy to create your own!

Self Checking Centers
I have purchased and created several sets of task cards with QR codes built in. The students love them.


Better yet, the cards provide instant feedback. I love the fact that students can check their answers without me standing right there.

This has become my favorite way to use QR codes. I’m working on a QR game for classifying triangles now.

Creating Our Own
Last year I had my students create word problems with the answer embedded in a QR code. There are multiple free websites for creating QR Codes. It was a project done at home, so most of my students created their codes at home. Those without access to a computer and printer could create and print the code at school.

I wasn’t blogging last year when we wrote our own, so I do not have pictures. We will be doing it again after our state testing.

How Do I Get Started?
To read QR codes, all you need is a smart phone/iPad/tablet with a camera and an app for reading QR Codes. There are many free apps for this! We have downloaded several on our school iPads.

For generating your own QR codes, I’ve been using though there are many other websites. There are many options – try a few sites and see what you like best!

Some people may say QR codes are dying out, but they are still a great tool for an elementary classroom!

Want to try it out? 

Operation Snowball Fight

Time is GoldenTwo

I’m planning a 100 follower giveaway next week, but I wanted to try out the technology first. As a trial run giving away these two files from my TpT store.

I’m linking up:

Monday, March 18, 2013

What is Old is New

I had plans to research rafflecopter and start to plan out my giveaway, but that didn’t happen tonight. Instead I had two little ones who had no desire to go to sleep! 


Our spelling list this week is a review of high frequency words. We hand out our high frequency word list at the beginning of the year. The other two teachers on my team decided to use our geometry words as spelling words, but have opted to test over the high frequency words instead. There are about 200 words on the list and they have no idea which ones I will pick.

My student teacher was supposed to do a game with the class to review some of these words. At recess she told me she didn’t like the game. After talking about a few ideas, I suggested we use the shaving cream that she’d found while looking for supplies in the cabinet last week.


They may be in third grade, but they still love to write their words in shaving cream! It never gets old.

This week is spirit week. The Irishman was kind enough to drop off some PJs for me this morning. Tomorrow is Time Warp Tuesday. I wore my mom’s old dress last week for our Harlem Shake, so I am at a loss now for what to wear. Right now I am thinking of wearing my late grandmother’s Cookie Monster PJs with pigtails. I also have a pretty big parent conference in the morning and I am not sure I want to be in costume for that. Decisions, decisions!


I love playing Two Truths and a Lie with my summer camp kids. I can answer any question they throw at me with a straight face. I love the game – and the linky!

Here are my three:

1. I broke the school record for the 400 meter run in high school.

2. I met my husband at summer camp.

3. I saw a shark while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

** Leave a comment and let me know which one you think is a lie. **