Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas conversation

I don't have time for any of these fun linkys!
It's December 23rd and my tree is STILL in the driveway!!
And I'm late for this particular linky but couldn't resist!
Thank you Abby of Inspired Apple for a fun way to procrastinate!
I think I was too wordy and I don't know how to make the font bigger!!
You'll need a magnifying glass...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fourteen in '14 Linky Party

I really don't have time to do this fun linky but I needed a break from the holiday hooopla that's going on at my house. I was so busy last week getting my kinders ready for our celebrations and preparing parent gifts and on and on, that my poor family had to wait. 
My Christmas tree is still in the driveway!
I'm sure you can relate!
Anyway, here goes!
What a year!
Thank you Kristin, Hadar and Traci!

How could I pick only one? I had to post at least two!!

My Craft Closet: Organization Tips and Ideas Part 2 (small home/ BIG IDEAS) - Simplicity in the South

work hard + be kind.

Most of you reading this are young and beautiful. I'm old and not so beautiful and my choice has little to do with fashion... I would have to say that after the week I had (the wild few days before break), anything cozy that belongs to my husband is my favorite article of clothing. At this very moment, I'm sporting his Patagonia hoodie. It's big and soft and warm. He runs a rafting company and owns the very best sweatshirts and outdoor gear! Lucky for me!!
So, I didn't see anything that knocked my socks off.
I don't think that's a good sign.
I'm such a hermit.
Survivor for sure!
I'd make it until I got cold.
Or  hungry.
Or couldn't sleep in a bed.
Or somebody said something mean about me.
We live in a small town and my favorite restaurant is anywhere where someone else is cooking.! HA! I'm tickled to get to go out anywhere!

Selling aprons
Oh my.
Learning about buying, cutting and sewing fabric
(I don't sew, folks).
I'm the CEO, marketing (we need to find a new marketing exec, I'm really bad), and shipping department.
I'm also the one who hears all the complaints and have shed many tears!
Dealing with some disheartening situations
but so appreciative of all the good.
And working very, very hard.
After school.
And loving it!
I treasure any note of appreciation from parents and have kept them all.
They are in my trunk, ready for a rainy day.
I have also received the sweetest five year old phone calls.
My mommies know that I don't mind phone calls from home.
I'm an empty nester and there is nothing better than a five year old voice and conversation.
I consider those phone calls a gift.

This iguana is the best thing EVER!
My kids loved making theirs.

This has to be my walking pocket chart apron.
I can't begin to tell you how scary it was for me to finally show people. I took a very frightening leap of faith and got a booth at the I Teach K! conference. I truly believed we'd sell maybe two if we were lucky. I was also fairly sure that I'd be laughed out of existence. If you were at the conference, you know what I mean when I say I was overwhelmed. Nothing like that has EVER happened to me. I didn't sleep the entire time I was there because I couldn't believe any of it-meeting and talking with the presenters, selling out in three hours, and speaking with amazing teachers from all over the country! I am truly grateful to the incredibly kind ladies who wore my apron during their presentations. They changed my life!
Well, this is sad.
I don't post pictures of my students and I can't find any pictures from our summer trip so I'm going to post an old picture that I still use!!!

Here's our 2009 Christmas card:
As you open the card, it's us, all grown up!

My oldest graduated from Law School and my youngest
drove all the way from Colorado to cheer him on.
They are the best!

To be present and remember to stop and enjoy instead of thinking about what's coming next.


Happy holidays to you all.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Five for Fun

Oh my.
I didn't have time for this last Friday or this weekend.
Or on Monday.
So, instead of a Five for Friday, this is a Five for Fun post.

Here we go with the last 5 days before break. This quote made me laugh.

I hope you have a fun week with your little people.

Hold on to your Santa hat!

Our Holiday Program is this week.
The tutus are unpacked and ready to go.

The necessary props are made for Rudolph buns...

The boy's vests are ready for our wild interpretation of the Russian Soldier's Dance ( this looks very similar to ours).
Seriously, I get hives when December rolls around and it's time to practice.
Every year there are some near misses as we run across the stage.
In fact, I'm amazed no one falls off the stage!
All it takes is hearing the music to make me sweat...
Why bother you may ask?
The parents LOVE it and request it every year.
We close the program and always have a standing ovation.
Coming on Friday...
I love this gift exchange idea.
I posted about this last year. Each child brings a wrapped gift for a boy or girl. It's placed in a box with a string attached. On my word, they pull to get their gift.
So much fun!

We built paper chains.
This is the perfect thing to do at this time of the year when we all make the Christmas countdown chains.
"Ten and Some More Chains" to teach those pesky teens.
We let the Person of the Day put our base ten number cards in order every morning.

It's supposed to be Wants and Needs but at this point of the year, our classroom needs seem  important. What we NEED  are glue sticks, pencils, paper towels and other supplies. Did I say we need glue sticks?  How can we possibly use up the hundereds of glue sticks that we get in August? They are all gone.
All gone...
This was a quick writing project. Each child made a present with the cover that flips open.
The present was supposed to have a WANT for our classroom.
We talked and talked about the difference between needs and wants.
This was my personal favorite for a NEED. 
I'm sure we couldn't possibly live without a lemon shark.
Or Legos.

I think it's back to the drawing board to clarify needs and wants!!

I'm wrapping the aprons up for the holidays.
If you order now, this is how they'll arrive.

We'll be at both the Northern and Southern California Kindergarten Conferences!
I hope to meet lots of you!

I picked up our parent presents at the ceramics shop this weekend and bubble wrapped them all,
after I pressed tutus and vests (busy, busy weekend for us all).
I love these and have two of my very own.
We've been making these for as long as I've been teaching Kindergarten.
I'm now teaching children of my first generation kinders, so the entire family could possibly have little handprints!!

I LOVE this idea and hope to wrap our hands in these precious little houses.

Mrs. Renz' Class: Pinterest Top 3 Pins {Inexpensive Gift Ideas}

Hang in there, everyone!
Love this atta-tutude!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five for Friday

cute funny unique toddler baby holiday christmas photos little tikes car
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my kindergarten world. 
We had a busy week!

Thanks to Doodle bugs for hosting!
I can't believe I actually posted on a Friday!

It's all about gingerbread this week and next.
We made these little houses and loaded them with sweets.
They're a simplified version of a gingerbread house and our kids had a blast decorating them.
Kid Friendly christmas cookies & other Christmas cookie ideas
My picture is lost somewhere in my camera so I had to use this one.
We used regular frosting for decorating but used royal frosting for building.
I don't know what it is about royal frosting, but before I know it,  I'm covered from head to toe.
It has to be the messiest stuff ever.

We made Rudolph's Crazy Cousin but I couldn't convince the kids to make silly eyes.
Last year's class made him/her look really silly and then I couldn't get them to make uncrossed eyes on any of our art projects for the rest of the year!
This group is so serious!
These bows were so easy and the kids helped put them together.
No problems!
My high school helper is generous with glitter.
And she doesn't even get it all over!!!!!
She's magical.
I'm usually covered and look ridiculous when I go to the grocery store or bank.
In fact, I'll probably die from glitter lung, if there is such a thing.

I guess we hadn't made a big enough mess, so next we made ornaments (you have to look closely to see them in the picture down below) and gingerbread babies. 
We read two versions of  The Gingerbread Man and will spend next week comparing and contrasting. We'll also be using Deanna Jump's 
It's wonderful!
Gingerbread BUNDLE  Math & Literacy unit with Centers
Gotta love the tutus!
Look closely for the ornaments!

We began a quick study of wants and needs.
What a perfect subject for this time of year!
Sharing Kindergarten has a cute Wants and Needs Print and Play Pack that we're using.
Wants and Needs {Print & Play Pack}

In reading...
I still have a few kids struggling with sound blending and they absolutely LOVED these wonderful activities from this CVC pack by Growing Kinders.
The word sliders worked really well and brought lots of smiles.
This is one of the best packs I've ever purchased.
CVC Intervention Kit - RTI {Short A}

We wrote a wish list for Santa this week.
Deedee Wills has a wonderful writing unit that we're using.
I recommend all of her writing units!
Writing Work Station for December
I can read the whole list!!!

This little sweetie wants:
a make up kit
Elsa dress up
bounce house
swimming pool
I can also see that we need to work on capitals and when to use them, and where in the heck is Spaceman?

Deedee also has an amazing Math Journal that we are loving!
Daily Math Journals for December-CCSS aligned
I really believe in math journals.

How cute is this?

I use my apron for songs as well as math and reading.
This week we started off on Monday with a quick game of hangman
to figure out the word I had hidden in the pockets.
Once they figured out the word ,we sang
"I Know a Round and Jolly Man" to the tune of Bingo.

We turned over one card for each verse and substituted a clap for the letter. 
I'm pretty sure you know the routine.
Boy, can they spell Santa now!

It was Ugly Sweater Day today at our school and look at the sweater the secretary (and good friend) made for me!

I decided to make an ugly Christmas apron...

but then I decided I liked the bow and stopped!
Here's a shameless and blurry plug for the aprons!

It's raining in California!!
I had forgotten what a puddle looks like. 
In fact, if you have a puddle in your yard in my town, you're fined(watering restrictions).
So, you can imagine I was a little off my game reminding my kidlets to stay out of puddles.
One of my little buddies rounded the corner to our building running at full force, heading towards the biggest puddle in the yard (It's a spectacular puddle, if I  do say so myself. We use it to learn about evaporation).
Anywho, I could clearly see what was about to happen.- I raised two puddle jumpers of my own.
I'm pretty sure I had this look on my face as I yelled, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Nobody move! I dropped my nut.
It was too late. 
That puddle was calling his name.
The splash was epic!
LOVE the composition and LOVE that the girls reflection is included in this shot - makes me want to go jump in a puddle :)  Photo by Danielle Donders (Mothership Photography) - http://danigirl.ca/photo/. Second place for the "yellow theme" Iheartfaces photography competition.

My only regret was that I didn't join in.
I've got the whole weekend to find the perfect puddle!
Now, if I can just find my rain boots!
Go find a puddle!