Sunday, February 24, 2013

A-Z of Teacher Me Linky Party

I'm linking up with The Polished Teacher for her A-Z of Teacher Me! Linky Party.  

A: App: Class Dojo!  Keeps my class in check wherever we are, as long as I have my phone!

B: Book Character: Fergus, from Good Boy, Fergus!  He's exactly like both westies I've owned in my lifetime and I LOVE him for it!
Click for source
C: Clip Art: I'm not addicted to clip art, I haven't ventured into making my own products for TPT yet, but I just LOVE JW Illustrations!  So cute, new to me, and modern.  I LOVE it, especially her themed sets. Look at this Wizard of Oz set, so precious!  If I ever do create a product I will be using her clip art.
D: Dollar Spot Find: Timers.  I use them ALL the time.
E: Essential To Start Day: Breakfast. I cannot survive without breakfast.
F: Font: I think this is an impossible task.  I have over 1500 fonts on my computer.  Some I like for printing things others are my favorites for cutting out with the Cameo.  Digs my Hart and Wish I Were Taller are some of the top contenders, since they're the only ones I remember the name of!
G: Game: I LOVE games.  I get kind of addicted.  Right now I'm on a Ruzzle kick. My favorite Card game is Skip Bo, board game is Clue, dice game is Yahtzee.
H: Holiday: Honestly I like EVERY holiday for different reasons.  But at school Valentine's Day is my favorite! Hands down, LOVE V-Day every year.  SO much love shown by my sweet kiddos!
I: Ice Cream: I'm an ice cream snob.  I know what I like, for sure!  This is an easy one depending on where I am and/or what brand of ice cream is available to me.  If I am on BYU campus, it is hands down a mint cookies and cream shake. I lived off of these things all those years ago as a freshman on campus! 
However, since I am rarely on BYU campus these days, it is Private Select cookies and cream or Breyers Rocky Road or Dryers Thin Mint if it's Girl Scout Cookie Season!  
J: Jewelry Piece: This was my birthday present, a complete surprise, a couple years ago.  I'm hoping to add a new one to my collection this year for my big 30th birthday and 10th anniversary.  
(Are you freaking out because you husband didn't buy you a huge 2 carat diamond ring and mine did and I'm wanting another one?   Click here and find out why I can hope he follows through!)
K: Kid-ism: Santa-tizer instead of Hand Sanitizer! Or pack pack rather than back pack. Or "I'm winning you!"
L: Location To Travel: I LOVE to travel. Especially to big cities.  Last year we went to San Francisco and Alaska.  Both I loved, both for VERY different reasons. 
M: Management Technique: My Clip Chart! It is by far the best thing to happen to my classroom this year.  It works SO well! 
N: Nail Polish: I have no idea.  Whatever looks great when I go once a year for a pedicure.  I can't paint my fingernails... it ruins them, and they are usually really nice, so I just leave them alone.
O: Open House Idea: We don't have open house before school starts rather Back to School night a week or 2 after it starts. I always type up summaries of everything I present so EVERYONE has a copy of classroom procedures and such in writing even if they can't make it.
P: Pinterest Find: My favorite Pinterest find is all of my projects I have ready to go this summer. I have my Silhouette Cameo that I never would have convinced my mom to buy if it weren't for pinterest. Plus, I am GOING to make me a maxi dress or skirt!
Q: Quote: I have so many favorite quotes.  But since my one word goal for this year is Leap, this is my current favorite.

R: Read-Aloud: Frindle 

S: School SupplySharpies!!!!
T: TPT/TN Product: I Have WAY too many to choose from, since I don't make my own, yet... maybe one day.  However, this one is the one that gets the most use in my classroom.  My kids use it all the time to spice up their writing!  LOVE it! 
U: Un-Official Hobby: Either making earrings or crocheting.

V: Video Brain Break:  If you've read any of my blog posts you know I LOVE me some Piano Guys! This one is my personal favorite.  I actually use this one in my descriptive writing lessonSo, then maybe it's not a brain break? Oh well.
W: Way To Spend A Day Off: Either in Vegas (an hour or so away)
 Or at Zion National Park (also about an hour away)
 Depends on the mood.  Do I want natural beauty or Big city with yummy food?
X: X-tra Special Blogs You ♥: I subscribe to over 200 teacher blogs alone... that's not counting the 150 or so I follow with my other email address! (Honestly, some of you are followed by me under both emails) There are some that I won't ever skip.  Some newer (to me) ones.  I haven't made any BFFs blogging yet, but I sure have those ladies I look up to!  Here are a just a few... Click on their buttons to go check them out. 
Adventures of a Third Grade TeacherMy PhotoMy PhotoOne Extra DegreeThird Grade TidbitsTonyas Treats for Teachers
Ms. Fultz's cornerCollaboration Cuties
Hello Mrs. Sykes

Y: Yummy Dessert: Easiest lemon cheesecake EVER and SO Yummy.  Yes I did make this, even before Pinterest!
Z: Zoo Animal: Giant Panda
***All photos are linked to their original source unless they are my own pictures.

Death in the Family

We woke up to the phone ringing a little before 8 this morning. We were both still in bed sleeping. We (ok, I) generally don't answer our house phone, however as soon as it stopped ringing John's phone rang and when he answered it all I heard was his mom crying and the words accident. I knew it wasn't good.

We lost two wonderful people from the earth on Saturday night. A wonderful father, son pair (or uncle cousin pair to us). John and I are both kind of in shock still. I'm friends with all of the family on Facebook (John doesn't believe in Facebook so I get to stay in touch with all of them, which I don't mind, but then he sometimes gets annoyed that he doesn't know as much about them as I do). Johns cousin and I interacted at least weekly... Sometimes daily. The family hasn't had easy lives. They've suffered through many trials over the years. And I'm so sad they have to endure this loss of their father and brother at the same time.

Of course, I know we will see them again. I know that we can be an eternal family. I love that about the gospel. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I have a testimony of these eternal truths. So while, it still hurts, there is salve for my wounds through the comforting arms of my Savior.

Please pardon my absence as I run around like a crazy woman during this extremely busy week while preparing for a sub.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I survived!

Wow you guys, this week, while only 3 days for me (PD on Friday) was rough!  I was already having some serious anxiety about Tuesday and my friend coming back to school and his wheel chair, the other kids, our 'sleep' party, the adults that accompany him, etc.

I COMPOUNDED that problem by taking my wrong medicine Tuesday morning.  Its a medicine I usually take at night because the side effects are tiredness, anxiety, and forgetfulness. Not things I needed Tuesday. I was kinda freaking out before I left for school, because I had basically doubled up on my dose having taken it Monday before bed, too.  Lucky for me, I'm not on a strong dose to begin with, so my doubling up was only the same amount as most people's normal doses.  But, boy my anxiety was through the roof and I'm surprised I remembered my own name! Our sped teacher was also having some sever anxiety (or so it seemed).  So, I had to hold it together.  Really, the only reason anyone figured out anything was wrong with me was because I got so flushed and HOT!  I couldn't shed my layers fast enough! I blame my fuzzy socks I wore for our sleep party! I did share with the secretary and my principal what I'd done, just in case I made anyone extremely upset with me, they could defend me ;)

Needless to say, I survived Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  We still have some MAJOR communication issues to fix between the other adults and myself.  I'm a fly by the seat of my pants, go with the flow, kind of teacher.  I follow my plan, but I'm always interjecting additional activities, rearranging things, or leaving things out that we just don't need. This seems to have created a problem.  But I'm not quite sure how to fix it (cause I'm not willing to change that aspect of my teaching personality).  Hopefully next week we can iron out an actual schedule of when people will be in my room or not, at least for next week, and then I can have a better idea of when I can juggle and rearrange and go with the flow, rather than annoying the people that are there to help because I'm not needing them at that exact moment.

The rest of my kids are FABULOUS with him.  They want to be more helpful but aren't allowed due to all kinds of laws (so they and I have been told). #1 Rule, Don't touch the wheel chair. They're all so glad he's back in school and in our classroom.  They were very concerned the whole time he was gone and asked about him every day.  We're glad to have our classroom family whole again.

Here's to week two of our readjustments.  We have our mock state test to take, Math Night for families, and end of quarter assessments. (and yup, I'm in charge of all of that for the whole school!)  Let's be sure I take my correct medicine at the correct times this week!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Entertain me! Updated

Update: I learn more from collaborating (seeing, reading, and commenting) on your blogs than I did in 6 hours today. However, we played some fun games. I totally stumped my coworkers with my two lies and a truth (can you find the truth?) and I got called controlling and a dictator based in which jellybean color I picked. (which is mostly true!) Also, we had really excellent food!!! (See pictures)

I hate PD days! In my 9 years I've spent over 200 days/parts of days in PD. I'd say 10 of them have been worth my time. Today's is not looking good. I would so much rather be teaching kids or at home grading the gazillion things I've let accumulate.

How do you feel about pd? What's been you're favorite one? How often do you have pd at your school? District?

Tweet me @MrsEReyes to keep me entertained today! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tell Me More Linky Party

You know, there are SO many linky parties out there in teacher bloggy land!  I LOVE it! Hopefully you don't mind me linking up with all of them! It gives me things to blog about, especially since I'm NOT great at taking pictures of all of the awesome things we're doing in class.
So, today, I'm linking up with Primary Possibilities.

Click to go link up!

 1. A random fact about my school: Our current building was built in 1999.  Before that they were still using the one room school house about 2 miles away (plus several portables).  My husband attended school in the one room school house before they needed portables. Small town living at it's finest!
Click for source
2. A sport or hobby: I bleed blue! It's a fact. Actually all 3 years of my college career I held season tickets to EVERY sort of sport on campus! Football was the one sport I never missed a game! I was always a daddy's girl and dreamed of going to BYU my whole entire life, just to make him happy.  One of my most favorite memories was flying my dad out to Utah from Indiana for the big rivalry game between BYU and UofU. It was a total surprise for him, and by far the highlight of my freshman year.  Now, that he's gone... I'm so thankful for that fabulous, dream filling weekend!
Click for source

 3.  Something that makes me Smile:  There are so many things that make me smile... but Tuffy for sure, is the one thing in my everyday life that no matter what, brings a smile to my face!

Also, this little girl (and her parents) make my life better. We get almost daily pictures and sometimes we even get to face time.  We get to go see her for spring break. I'm so excited!!! Being an auntie is the best!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tell me Something Good Linky February

I'm linking up with Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade for her monthly Tell me Something Good Linky Party.  I love focusing on the positive.  

Something Good at Home: Taxes are done and we are getting a nice chunk of change back.  Almost the exact amount of our new washer and dryer so I don't feel so guilty for buying them anymore!  Yay! AS you can see, Tuffy things it ruff doing taxes, too!

Something Good at School: My student that had a stroke in December has been released from physical therapy at the hospital (8 hours away) and is coming back to school tomorrow. He still has a long road ahead of him, but we had made SO much progress before the stroke, that I'm determined to help him make it back to where he was academically before the stroke by the end of the year.  He'll most likely be behind after missing 2 months of school, but I can't just write him off.  He's a smart, fun, energetic little boy.  We'll see how this goes tomorrow! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Third Grade Common Core

The LONG awaited day is here! Are you a third grade teacher?  Are you worried about covering all of the new Third Grade Common Core standards? The third grade version of the Common Core Workbook has finally been released.  I cannot wait to get my hands on this thing!

third grade common core standards workbook Free Giveaway   Third Grade Common Core Workbook Download

This thing is HUGE!  It is over 840 pages of activities directly aligned to the common core.  I'm fairly certain, any standard I would ever want to teach would have sufficient practice having this resource at my fingertips! If you download the small sample, you get to see 88 pages of example activities.  You guys, these activities are cute and rival things I've purchased from TPT and TN!  I cannot wait to start using these resources in my classroom and allow my students to participate in these fabulous activities! I have heard RAVE reviews from Kindergarten, First, and Second grade teachers about their grade level versions.  Be sure to check it out and see if it's something you HAVE to have. You know it was something I HAD to have. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday Five with the 3AM Teacher on Saturday

I'm linking up with the 3 AM Teacher for her Friday FIVE, which I'm posting on Saturday... Oh well, it's getting posted :)  I've never done this linky... so I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly.  However, here goes nothin'!  

1. My favorite freebie I used this week was an idea from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  It was a Love Is... book.  Some of my kids had the BEST answers.  We used her book cover and pages from the Bubbly Blonde Teacher. I can't find her post, or the freebie on TPT, but she had super cute stationary! 

2. My favorite find for the week was walking into the church for our big fundraiser dinner and finding all the tables up with chairs and already decorated!  I know that's nothing I can share with you, but, see #4 for why this was such a big find!

3. My funny for the week came during Math on Valentine's Day.  My grade level buddy brought her 3rd graders over so we could do our fun valentine math together. (You must know she has her son in her class this year.)  We've both had lots of sick kids, so we had less than 30 combined.  We were having a ton of fun graphing and finding fractions with our candy hearts.  I had a kindergartener in my room trying to finish up some work so I was at the back table  helping him for a minute when all of a sudden the whole room erupts with laughter.  My teaching buddy proceeds to tell me that her son had said, "Hey, this heart says 'let's kiss!'" She had replied, "Ok, come here!"  My new student was turned around looking for my reaction... his eyes were HUGE.  I then had to explain that my teaching buddy was the student's mom.  That turned out to be even funnier! 

4. My frazzle for the week was our HUGE fundraiser dinner for the youth ages 12-18 at church so they can attend their summer camps... Lucky for me I'm in charge of the 12-18 year old girls so that also made me in charge of buying, prepping, and cooking the food, as well as decorations. Which meant John got to cook the spaghetti, sauce, meatballs, and veggies; while I dealt with salads, condiments, garlic bread and setting tables. I always get so stressed. Everything went relatively well, I think.  I didn't kill anyone.  Not even the kids that were throwing rocks at the glass doors!  I'm just SO glad it's OVER!

5. My feature for the week are The Piano Guys.  I LOVE them.  My class LOVES them.  In fact, they released a new video for Valentine's day that we watched to kick off our party, (didn't need all the games and books after all!) and then they spent the rest of our party time rewatching their favorites: Me and My Cello, Mission Impossible, Cello Wars, and this one...(enjoy, and you're welcome!)

Really, they just love them all, especially when they're funny!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Five For Friday Linky Party


I LOVE linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Friday Linkies.  Plus, I'm SO random anyway, these are right up my ally.   

1. Last Saturday was John's birthday. So Thursday after school we headed north to our old stomping grounds.  I was fine with it because it meant many things: big city, good food, lots of visiting friends and FAMILY, and most of all, SNOW!!! You can't tell, but the snowflakes coming down are HUGE!

2. Tuffy was SO happy when we got home Sunday night! He snuggled right into his spot, in between my leg and the side of the couch.

3. Using some of Ashleigh's I HEART COMMON CORE activities instead of our normal basal reading program on Valentine's. This one they're sorting nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  There were some GREAT discussions going on, because we haven't covered adverbs formally yet.  It was so cool to hear them talk it out!
I Heart Common Core

4. We did a candy heart graphing and fraction activity that I made (my first, cute, made on power point try... also, somehow I upgraded to a seller account on TPT... although I have NOTHING to sell) at 11 o'clock Wednesday night because I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. We for sure found some errors.  Most of which, what's the deal with the BLUE hearts and NO WHITE?  The white ones were my favorite!

 5. We got to spend Valentine's evening hanging out with this little one.  She LOVES John.  We had a blast watching her.  One of the biggest blessings in my life is good friends who trust us to watch their kids!  SO LUCKY!  She even fell asleep in my arms, that's the best!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Student and Returning Student

First if all, I'm posting this from my phone, in the car. So, I apologize for any errors I promise to fix them when I get home!

We got our first new student of the year. (This is shocking since I've lost 7 kids this year) He started on Tuesday. He seems super nice but lacks some serious self control; which I forgot how far my kiddos have come in that regard until he showed up and all of a sudden they reverted back. We spent Wednesday and today reviewing expectations with the whole class and he's already made HUGE leaps and bounds of progress.

I just have the best class. They are such amazing kids! I'm so proud of them!

I'm curious... What kind if information do you get about a new student before they start? Within the first week? Do you call their previous school/teacher? Do you have to fill out screeners?

We are also anxiously awaiting the return of our classmate who had a stroke in December. Did you even know an 8 year old could have a stroke? i sure didn't until it happened!

We have missed him terribly. Someone in my class asks about him everyday. It will be an adjustment for our class, but especially for the district. He is in a wheel chair now and has had to learn how to write with his opposite hand. I'll admit, I'm nervous. I'm unsure of what to expect and how everything will pan out. I'm also not being kept in the loop, it seems like everyone else knows more than I do. I have a really hard time with the unknown... I'm a planner!

So, any suggestions for me for classroom arrangement, procedural things, possible things to expect? I'd love to hear if you've been in a similar situation or have some ideas for me. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her monthly Currently.  My students are LOVING her Currently for the Classroom, too!

 In my years of teaching (all in the same district) I've had 3 (soon to be 4) superintendents and 5 principals.  One of my greatest pet peeves is when things get sent home that are not correct by myself or the office. We have had a principal with ZERO grammar skills (Written or spoken) However, our opening newsletter this year from the superintendent had 43 errors on it!!!! (i think that takes the least it didn't go out to parents) Yup, I edited it, yelled about it, and then trashed it. GRRR!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Five for Friday

 Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five For Friday Linky Party.


#1 Today was "We've got the HOTS for school!" day.  Our principal and janitor (he built a fireplace in the middle of the desert out behind our district offices!) barbecued up some hot dogs and we drank some yummy hot chocolate.  My principal, is amazing!  She tries to do something purely fun with the kids (always involving food) for EVERYONE at least once a quarter.  

#2 Today was the worst day outside my classroom.  EVERY.SINGLE.THING went wrong that could.  I'm thankful for my kiddos, who were the definition of perfection today, though.  They always seem to make everything better! It also helped that it was 62 DEGREES today!  So when I came home I got a nice cold DEW and sat out back in the sun until I didn't feel mad anymore.

#3 Today we entertained one of my buddies daughters for a little while.  She was working on some stuff for church at our house and so John, Tuffy, and I were entertaining her :)  She's a cutie!!!

(And yes, my husband is in fact wearing a customized apron, which he got for Christmas, as he is the cook in our family and he made amazing P.F. Changs-like crispy honey chicken for dinner.)

 #4 Thursday, my kids were AWESOME!  We got SO much learning accomplished.  You can see from all of my "off the chart" clips I'm wearing.  They were SO excited!

#5 We used activities from A Class Act this week during math to extend our symmetry and flips, slides, and turns lessons.  My kids LOVED sorting out the cards as a whole class and discussing why certain cards went in different places.  It was great to get them thinking!