Friday, May 26, 2017

Our Final Newsletter of the 2016-2017 School Year

J I find myself wishing for a little more time (Maybe even A LOT more time).  I want more time to work on our writing.  I’d love more time to sit down one on one with each 4th grader and work to perfect their animal report.  I want  more time for reading so that we could read one more novel together (although finishing the year with The Westing Game was pretty fantastic!).  I want more time to truly watch the 4th graders master their multiplication facts.  I have come to the conclusion (once again) that no matter how I plan out the year there will always be “one more thing”.  Again, I thank you for allowing me this wonderful opportunity of working with your child and family this year.  I truly have been blessed by the year we’ve spent together.  J

Here is a link to this final NEWSLETTER.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wrapping up the week

We were able to get 2 FORWARD tests in this week along with the Pioneer Farm Field Trip and a virtual field trip to Wolf Farms.

As if that wasn't enough we enjoyed animal visits with Braxton's dogs and Leah's rabbits!

Enjoy the long weekend.  If you are looking for the latest newsletter or spelling list, click HERE.

Monday, April 3, 2017


WARNING---This post is not related to school At All!

Saturday I ran 1/2 marathon #27 in my quest to finish 30 before my 40th year is over.  First of all I have to say that 13.1 miles is no small feat.  Anyone who takes it on is brave.  While I had 3 goals set (A, B, and C), for this race, I was too scared to really share those goals out loud with anyone except for Roger.  This race was the Parkinson's Half Marathon in Cottage Grove.  I was excited about so many things that went along with this event.  I was excited because it was for a cause.  All the proceeds benefit Parkinson's research.  I was excited because I knew many people that were running and I was looking forward to meeting up with them.  I was excited because my kids were running
the 5k and that meant we'd get to enjoy some hotel time/pool relaxing on Friday night.  I could continue this list....I was excited.

The kids and I had planned to leave Lancaster as soon as I got home from school.  The bags were packed and I just needed to run in, grab everything, and we would be off.  It was a little later than I had hoped but we were on the road by 4:00.  The sweaty hands, sweaty back, nervousness that I get before races set in as we were driving.  I don't know if that feeling will ever stop.  Smooth travels got us into Cottage Grove for Packet Pick Up by about 6:15.  Just minutes away was our hotel.  Check in went easily and the kids were ready for the pool by 7.

The rest of the running crew arrived a little after 8 and pizza delivery was ordered.  It was nearly 10 pm when we settled in for pizza in hotel room and then we were quickly catching a few zzzzzs.  We watched the weather and then turned on some Friends reruns.  Felt almost like home except that there were no cuddly black cats crawling on the bed and I didn't have the 6 billion pillows and blankets that I usually sleep with!  I was out in no time but it didn't last long.  I woke up about 1 am thinking it was time to get up.  I woke up about 2 am to check on Will and see if he was warm enough since he had no blanket.  I woke up about 3 am to go to the bathroom.  My alarm went off at 5 am to get ready.

By 6 am we were downstairs having a warm pre-race breakfast.  Mmmmm.  Oatmeal.  Perfect race day fuel.

We were going to need a late check out since the race didn't start until 8 and we didn't want to miss any of the after race fun.  The lady at the desk assured me that if I just let them know in the morning, it would be no problem....well, it was a problem.  I talked to the gentleman at the desk and he said there was no way that he could approve a late check out for us.  Panic feeling filled my whole body.  What would do?  We were leaving in minutes and we were not prepared to take everything with us.  We had hoped to return to the hotel to shower after the race.

Attempting to get the late check out was frustrating to me.  They were very unwilling to really budge about giving us time.  The best we could get was noon.  Frustration seemed to continue as we prepared to leave...As we got outside there was a layer of frost on my car--no scraper so I used a knife I found in my glovebox.  The key turned in the ignition and instantly the low fuel ding ding ding began to sound.  There wasn't going to be time to get gas before the race....I just hoped I would have enough gas to get to the race!

We made it to the start of the race with time to spare.  We got an awesome parking spot super close to the start/finish line.  As we walked over to the start I ate a UCAN breakfast bar.  While I do think it helped me never have stomach issues while I ran, I am not sure if I really liked it.

Headed over to the port a potties and found my long-time virtual friend who had "told" me about this race!  

With the release of the balloons and the singing of The Star Spangled Banner by Mariah Carey (a recording), I was off and running!
This girl amazes me!  She ran her 1st ever 1/2 on Saturday and never walked a step.
She is super fit but hadn't run more than a couple of miles at a time
since our 10 mile race in October 2016.  She is a ROCKSTAR!

 These cool cats did the 5k that started a 1/2 hour later and then they watched and cheered for the 1/2 marathon finishers.

as I crossed the finish line!

A PB was set by this great runner on Saturday, too!  
Love getting to see running friends! 

 We truly are #fiercelyunited!

I was able to complete #27 with a better time than any of my 2016 halves....In 2016, I never beat 2:13.   This season started out with a 2:05:05.    What a great way to kick off the 2017 running season.  What did I do well leading up to the race?  WATER.  I still had my diet Orange Sunkist but every day the week before the race I drank 80 plus ounces of water.  Decent diet.  I was eating cereal every day for breakfast, yogurt and apples for lunch and a pretty balanced dinner.   The only day that I strayed from this was Thursday of race week.  What can I improve on?  My running miles.  I'd like to run more double digit runs.  A PR might not happen in Nashville, but I know that if I work at it, I can PR before the end of my 40th year!  I will definitely be planning to run this race again in 2018.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Fabulous Friday

It's hard to believe that another week is nearly done.  With today being a 1/2 day for students, I am sure it will fly.   Check out what's been happening in our classroom HERE!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Meet our pre-student teacher--Mr. Nussbaum

Today we had our first day with Mr. Nussbaum.  He will be spending the next two weeks with us.  Check out more about him HERE!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Video for Collaborative Inquiry Class

My final meeting for the class I've been taking is tomorrow.  I have really enjoyed the class and I know my students have benefited from what I've learned.   I put this quick video together as a wrap up of what I've brought to my classroom because of this class.   There are 2 things I wish I could change:  the quotes stay up longer and get rid of the "text here" slides at the end....

I'm still pleased with the overall final product:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spring Break Count Down

It's always great to get a little break and recharge!   It's even better when the weather is warm and sunny....doesn't look like we will have the warm weather but I hope you will all make sure to enjoy some sunshine when spring break starts on Friday, March 10 at 3:20!

If you'd like to read our newsletter for the week or check out the spelling list, you can find it HERE.

Friday, March 3, 2017

This Week's Newsletter

Want to read the weekly newsletter?  CLICK HERE!

You can also follow along with us on our classroom facebook page:  HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Collaborative Inquiry

Yesterday was the first day of the class that I am taking this year.  (Each year I take a grad class to keep ideas fresh and stay up to date on new things in education---usually I take the class at the beginning of the summer.  This year I found an amazing opportunity that is 3 Saturdays and will be done just in time for spring break!!).  I knew this class would be great because the instructor is one that I absolutely love.  Every time I've taken a class or even a workshop with her I have left with ideas that I could use right away.  Yesterday was no different!!

I left the house at 6:30 because I wasn't sure about the directions.  I made my way with no hurry or worry about time because google told me I would arrive by 8:30.  Even with a stop at Wal-mart and a gas station, I arrived at 8:28.  (Next time I will leave about 1/2 an hour later).

Went inside, picked my seat, chatted with Deb, and took a quick little walk around Shannon before class started.  Once everyone arrived, Deb went over the class layout and collected fees.  Everyone completed the registration process and the day began.  GAMES GAMES GAMES.

My notes:

How can I get kids to learn the content with games?   What about taking the learning to the next level?

If you’re playing games for fun that’s okay but honor that.

Competition does different things for different kids.

Where the Cool Wind Blows (add content)
With spelling words
With vocab
With topics
Card Games
Canadian Salad
Spades Rule

I've never taken a class that holds people over but nobody complains.  That happened.  We were all so busy and enjoying what we were doing that at 3:10 when we realized it was past the dismissal time, we just kept playing!  Deb wrapped up the day and gave us our "assignment" for next class.  I'm so excited to create my games.  I got home and had to share some game time with the family, too!  

Friday, February 3, 2017

Wrapping up the Week

This week was such a fun-filled and fabulous one!  Here is a link to our newsletter.

I also wanted to share some fabulous resources that go along with our IMMIGRATION Unit.  We started with a 4 corners poster activity to brainstorm what we knew and to record some of our questions.    Then we did a literature log to go along with this story:  Dreaming of America by Eve Bunting.  If you follow the link, you can listen to the story again.  There were so many great thoughts and questions as we read the story.  Afterwards Michael did some extra research about the main character.   Here's a link to one of the sites that he read.

Next week we will be welcoming a new friend to our classroom.  Thanks for checking out what's happening!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Writing with Different Purposes

This week I shared a couple of lessons on Author's Purpose with the class.  I'm really happy with the end results even though our time was cut short due to a snow day on Wednesday.   Below you will find examples of what students wrote to show persuade, inform, or entertain.   Enjoy!   Feel free to leave us a comment here or on our facebook page!

     Everyone should have a cat.  If you had a cat you would be healthier and happier.  Cats provide an instant feeling of calm that you would enjoy.  Take it from someone like me, everyone should have a cat.

     When was the last time that you went for a walk with a dog?   If you were outside in the cool air holding on to the leather leash of a fine, divine dog, you would know just how wonderful taking a walk with a dog can be.

    Dairy cows are very interesting animals.  They are raised for producing milk.  Cows have 4 stomachs to digest many things that we can't. The four stomachs are the Rumen, Reticulum, Abomasom, and Omasom.  You may think the only way to milk a cow is by hand but there are many ways to milk cows.  You can milk by hand, by machine, or with a robot.  Calves are young cows.  Calves drink milk.

     I'd like to tell you all about dogs.  Let's get started.  Sometimes dogs can get a fever and to tell that a dog has a fever your dog might be vomiting, have a dry nose, not eat, and so on.  The way to get rid of a dog's fever is to put wet towels over their ears and paws.  Rest is also important.  After awhile try to give them some food and water but don't push them to eat it.  Give them time and space.  After a little while they should be feeling better.  If the dogs ears are hot, they might have a fever.  These are excellent ways to tell if your dog has a fever.

   I have a husky named Lexie.  Would you believe that she cleans my room and does my homework?  She is very happy.   She even looks like a leopard.   She is so cute to watch especially when we are having Nerf Gun wars.  We have so much fun together.  While I am at school Lexie usually sleeps in a tin can.  She's a tiny husky.  One time she got stuck in the tin can.  We got her out with a silver spoon.  This little husky named Lexie weighs just one pound.

   Have you met Zoey the Zebra?  You haven't?  Well I will tell you her story.  Get comfy.  This might take a while.  Zoey is one of a kind.  She was a rap star like no other:  funny, nice, and rich.  She had one problem.  Her problem was that she was the sassy kind.  One day she was bragging on and on telling everyone that she had so much money.  A witch came along with some words to warn her.  The witch let Zoey know that if she didn't stop bragging, Scarlet the pup would disappear.  The witch was very specific with her expectations. She said that at noon the next day Zoey would lose Scarlet.  Everyone knows to trust a warning from a witch but Zoey didn't think it could be real.  She really thought the witch had been part of a dream.  Well sure enough when 12:00 came, Scarlet the pup shrunk away.  Some people say that she still runs around Zoey's house late at night or early in the morning.  There are even reports that the witch and Scarlet check out Zoey's house every day at noon.      

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017