September 23, 2013

Trendy Tot Tuesday

Hi guys!
I'm super excited to be guest hosting with the fabulous ladies from Trendy Tot Tuesday- Megan, Lindsay, and Kelly! This is always one of my favorite link ups and I look forward to seeing all of your cute kids and their precious clothes each week.

Don't forget to link up! 

The twins turn 1 on Friday! 
I can't even deal!

I won't be sharing their birthday outfits quite yet, but I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of Reagan's birthday outfits from the past. 

Reagan's 1st birthday party was farm themed.
We first took some pre-party pics with a cute little farmer outfit from Gymboree.

For his birthday party he dressed the part of a farmer.
So I got him overalls from OshKosh and paired it with a basic white onesie. 
We tied a red bandanna on as well. 

Reagan's 2nd birthday was an Elmo theme.  I randomly found a personalized tee from Walmart that fit our needs perfectly.  I found him a little Elmo hat from Party City.

Reagan's 3rd birthday was a train theme. We went the overall route again (this time from Target) and a white tee.  I ordered him a personalized train conductor hat from Etsy and added red bandanna as well.  

For Reagan's 4th birthday, we had a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party.  I ordered him two pirate tees from Etsy- one for his actual birthday and one for the party. 

 I also tried my best to have the twins match the pirate theme as well! 

I am looking forward to the party this weekend! 
And celebrating my precious babies first birthday.

Where is your go-to place for birthday outfits for your little ones?

Congrats to Harleigh from Sweatpants and High Heels who is the Tot of the Week!

September 19, 2013

Five on Friday

Oh my word.
Another week has gone by without me blogging.
I'm sorry guys! But life has been busy and the last thing on my list tends to the computer.
Thanks for those of you who continue to stick with me! :)

Here are 5 things on my mind this week:

Nick and I became addicted to the show "The Killing" on Netflix. I think I first heard about it from Megan on Instagram.  So Nick and I tried it. And boom. We became obsessed.  We watched 1-2 every night after the kids went to bed.  It's really good. If you haven't tried it- do it! We are all caught up and just waiting for the current season to get to Netflix!

Keep the good Netflix recs coming!
I know there are 2 Nick has  lined up! Now if only I could stay awake!

I have been exhausted this week. I kept trying to convince myself it was allergies. But no. I think it's a cold. Blah. I feel like my head is going to explode!

Holy smokes. I can't believe the twins will be 1 next week.
Doesn't it seem like just yesterday was their actual "birth day"?

I seriously need to get in party planning mode.
You know me. Typically have party decor and crafts done months in advance.
Oh ya. I started teaching again and have 3 kids under 4. Everything is just sitting in a corner collecting dust. Awesome. 

Halloween is coming up! What are you guys having your kiddos dress up as? We are planning on doing a Peter Pan theme. Need to get on that as well! 

Here is a picture of the kids from last year's Halloween (Toy Story theme- the boys were Woody and Harper was Jessie). 
Just love these kids.

I'm trying to get more into reading again.
Trying to find more "me" time at the end of each day.
I just put a bunch of books on reserve at the library including : The Kitchen House, Family Pictures, and The StoryTeller.

What are you reading lately? Anything I should add to my list?


What did you guys think of the Big Brother finale? I was happy. But seriously Gina Marie made the entire episode. She is the biggest ding dong. I could listen to her ramble forever. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.

September 11, 2013

Our 4th Week of School

Week 4 in our class was a busy one.

In reading, our focus skill was inference. 
One of the activities we did was Babbling Abby's activity- "What is in the teacher's bag".

In Science we started our 5 Senses Unit.
I found a great pack- I can Be a Scientist: 5 Senses from Teachers Pay Teachers
Thanks Little Miss Kindergarten- I loved it! 

For sight, we played the missing object game.
My projector came in really handy to show the kids all of the items first and then teach one away at a time.  The kids LOVED it.

For smell, I put various objects in little cups and the kids passed them around to smell.  After they smelled each object they had to make a guess about what it was.

I had cinnamon, pickle juice, coffee grounds, barbecue sauce, a Christmas tree Scentsy stick, and mustard. 

For hearing, I put various objects in Easter eggs and the kids had to rattle them and predict what was inside of them. Some objects I included were beans, rice, paper clips, and pennies.

For touch, I had mystery bags with various objects in each bag.  The kids had to reach in, feel around, and predict what they think was in each bag.  Items included a toy car, a soccer ball, cotton balls, tin foil, and string.

And I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of our taste test!
Oops. We had chocolate chips, pickles, pretzels, and sour skittles. Of course I think the kids liked this activity the best! 

For math we continued to learn about graphing and collecting data. 
We ended the week by graphing colored goldfish. 

The room got 2 new data walls added this week as well.
We have started our bi-weekly math timed tests for math facts.  The kids popcorn get to move up each time they get 100 % on the math facts tests.

We also added our fluency Friday board.  Each Friday after the kids take a fluency test, their bookworms move to a new book.

A letter from a reader....

I had a sweet email written from a wonderful reader, Terry, a few weeks ago. 
It came at such a perfect time and I thought many of you would like to read it as well.  I asked her if I could share it with you all, since many of you are also teacher-moms!

So thanks again for the sweet email, Terry.  I really appreciate your support and advice.

 Hi Mandy,

 I am Terry from Helena, Montana.  I will be starting my 29th year of 
teaching tomorrow.  I teach 2nd grade.  I taught 1st for 13 years and K for 6 
years and other grades in-between.  I have been reading your blog for awhile 
since you started sharing about having twins.  I love all of your sharing.  I 
am not a member of pinterest as I just google it and of course love it, but I 
am not into pinning…..yet!

 I just wanted to reply to your venting since I didn't see this comment for 
you.  I sure feel for you, but the best advice we should all give you is to 
stop" and take a breath.  One of the things all teachers do is make sure 
everything is "perfect" for the students.  Then we go home and make sure 
everything is "perfect" there!  It is easy to go overboard and spend all of 
our time doing and thinking school.  In fact, teaching was not only a job it 
was also my hobby.  Now more than ever there are so many cool things out 
there because of pinterest and TPT.  We could all go crazy!
>Now that I am older, I tend to see many of my past students.  It is shocking 
when they tell me they are 30……...YIKES!  (I am 52 but still think I am 35!)  

Some of these students don't even remember me, but I remember them.  I 
remember busting my butt by coming up with ideas night and day and weekends 
and I liked doing it!  !  I realized after seeing these students that they 
would have made it no matter what I did.  There is a place (and a job) for 
everyone.  So, me working night and day and weekends didn't change their 
future.  I was just so committed to teaching (like we all are) that I gave up 
so much of my "personal" time in order to make a "difference"!

 What I realized (and this shocked me) was the time I spent on those students 
and my classroom making it beautiful (when the student didn't remember me or 
my cool bulletin boards)….instead of being with my own two children.   My 
boys are now 25 and 16.  What I finally realized a few years ago when our 
district started common core and other additional requirements was that I had 
to have a balance.  It is SOOOOOO easy for school districts/personnel/us to 
think and require teaching to be a 24/7 job.  We let that happen.  I finally 
had to set my time I wanted to arrive/leave.  The most important change I 
made was to leave "school work" at "school" and when I was home, I had to 
mentally/physically be "home"!   No more mixing the two!  At first I way 
dying, because I would have some time at home and thought I could have 
brought something home, but instead I learned to exercise, go for a walk, 
call a friend… something for me!  I had to stop
 thinking that my classroom had to look like pictures on pinterest.  I had to 
write a list of all that I would do at home and school.  Then I had to 
prioritize what was taking all of my time and if it 
was making a difference 
in the students' learning or at home with my family.  If it didn't help them learn or help at home, then I stopped doing it.  I found that I was doing a 
lot just because I liked it…..things that the students didn't even notice or 
my children/husband didn't notice.  In other words, I had to let go!

 Oh, and about moving to a new school.  I changed to a new school after 
teaching at one for 22 years.  The first two weeks I went to my car at lunch 
and cried.  I thought a change would be good for me…..URG!!!   I had special 
reading training and new teachers needed some help, so I changed schools.  It 
did get better, but it does take time.  I had to quit comparing myself to 
those other "younger" teachers.  

 So, Mandy…….get a balance for your, your home and your school.  Don't mix 
school and home.  Make sure you have time for yourself… sure deserve one 
of those "calgon take me away baths"!  Remember we can't fix every student, 
so do your best at school and put your main efforts at home as your own 
children will be there with you for only a short time. 
Can't help when it comes to getting those "your child is sick" 
calls……URG!!!  I remember those days… husband and I would switch off 
 You are such a sweet person.  Try to let some things go and it will all come 
together.  When you don't feel stress, add something back if you 
want…..however, you will realize that going home with nothing else to do 
except be with your family is awful nice.  We are the ones that are adding 
the stress………Let go!  

September 2, 2013

Our 3rd Week of School

We had a fun and busy 3rd week of school.

In math we focused on seeing numbers as tens and ones.  To help visualize this we sorted Fruit Loops in groups of tens and ones and practiced counting. As you know, anytime you add food in the mix, the kids are all about it! :)

We also continued to work on tallies.  
We rolled the dice with partners and made tally marks next to our results.  
The kids loved this activity.

We worked on graphing and ended the week graphing M&Ms.
I got the graphing page from Rowdy in First Grade. Thanks girl!

In Science we started talking about scientists and science rules and expectations within our classroom.
 I loved seeing the kids' sentences about why they are scientists.

(I am a scientist because I am smart.)

(I am a scientist because I am organized).

(I am a scientist because I dream.)

We practiced using our science skills by completing our first science experiment.
I found this milk experiment here.

Our experiment didn't go quite the way I had hoped, but they had fun and felt like "real scientists" so that was good.

Our focus skill in reading this week was sequencing.  We sequences all throughout the week, but my favorite was sequencing the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.  The kids orally sequenced the story and made a craft to go along with it.

I got this adorable idea from Life in First Grade. I think her Humpty Dumptys turned out way cuter, but I didn't have a lot of time to prep.. so it is what it is!

In Grammar we worked a lot with nouns.
Here are some of our anchor charts from the week.

In other news.... the kids' desks were starting to get a little crazy. So the "desk fairy" had to start making an appearance in our classroom. And let me tell you guys, it totally worked! I got the little notes from here.

Have a great week at school!
It's been a lovely 3 days off.
But I had better sign off and get to sleep. XXOO