Sunday, April 29, 2012

The DAY has arrived!! {well tomorrow actually}

They are finally here.  State tests will officially begin in my room tomorrow morning at 8:30.  Well technically not state tests but they are but they're not but really they are.

Let me try to explain.......

So in TN grades 3-8 take TCAP tests and this is the first year that the state is requiring 2nd grade to take a state test but they aren't taking the TCAP they are taking the Standford 10. {geez that is a run on sentence BAH}  For YEARS it seems 1st & 2nd grades have taken the Standford as required by our district and because our district opts in for these tests we are required to follow all TCAP protocol as set by the state.  Geez that was a mouthful.

So anywho on to what I really was wanting to say........

I was talking with my mom the other day {I know this doesn't sound like a end to the testing post but just hang with me}.  Ok so I was talking with my mom the other day about how my kids are wild banshees not putting their best foot forward.  She suggested that we "Dress our BEST" on the first day of testing.  You know like you would for a job interview.  She went on to say that when you are dress in this manner you perform better, you act better, you just do BETTER all around.  {p.s. mom's a retired music teacher and has a very strong opinion on dressing professionally}  I LOVED IT!!!  But then it got me thinking about would my kids be inclined to do this everyday during testing??  So of course I had to 'tweak' it and here it is.......

MONDAY - Dress your BEST for the test!
TUESDAY - Favorite Shirt Day {don't you just feel better in your favorite shirt?!}
WEDNESDAY - Wacky Sock Day {the kids don't know it yet but we are going to test without our shoes on.......this happens to be a table reward so it is not too out of the ordinary.}
THURSDAY - 1st Grade t-shirt Day {pulling together as a team for the last day of testing}

I hope this eases their little minds and bodies a wee bit.

I also have special treats for them lined up for each day.  I hope I remember to take pictures all week.  Don' t know if there will be any further posting this week due to the exhaustion of test week.  Oh did I tell you that we have to follow time limits even when the tests say on them THIS IS NOT A TIMED TEST.  AHHHHHH!!

If there is state testing in your future I hope that your wee ones ROCK IT OUT and if you have already done your state testing CONGRATULATIONS!!  It's over!!  And if you don't have state testing SO JEALOUS!!!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moths vs. Butterflies

It's that time of year......yeah you know what I am talkin' about..........


So here is the question.............moths or butterflies?????

Here is the cacoon {hint}.  Little One will be revealing itself in 2-4 weeks {hopefully before school is out}.  My assistant is the official Mist-er for Little One since it must be misted everyday {not something I would be good about remembering to do}.  But anywho.  The kids have started their observation journals.  Totally just hit me that we need to name Little One.  This could get interesting.

Since the K kids do Butterflies we {me and my 1stie BFF} chose to do moths.  The kiddos are so excited about our Luna Moth!!!  That was until I told them, as we were researching about the Luna, that our Little One will only live about 10 days.  Sadness fell over our room so of course I had to continue reading about how their only purpose is to make babies lay eggs so the sadness quickly turned into giggles.

Well onto a new topic.

My room {minus my clip chart and calendar board} is completely covered in preparation for the lovely state tests {that 1st is not required to take but our district chooses to take}.  Today we also had our state testing faculty meeting/principal evaluations/AdvanED visit info.  Yay.  I have nothing else to say about that.  Ya'll as excited about these things as I am???


{p.s. I totally added more pictures to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly post}

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Good, the Bad & the UGLY!!

Holly over at Crisscross Applesauce in first grade has challenged us to show all

and for some reason I got really excited.  I took some pics but when I got home I realized that I forgot to get some pics of my closet, cubbies & cabinets.  These pics may show up in a day or so.  I will let you decide which is the good, bad & ugly.

 {the beginning process of covering EVERYTHING for testing}

These pics were taken Friday afternoon right before I picked up the kiddos from gym.  I am now minus a microwave since Husband stole it for his truck.  I guess since I used it about 5 times this year he should get dibs.

I am going to leave you tonight with the first fire of the season......

While Nana{my mom} and I enjoyed the fire Bopa{my dad}, Husband, C & my nephew kept the sticks coming till bath time!!  The good that came from the nasty storm.......lots of wood for fires!!


{Disclosure: I actually added these next pictures on Tuesday cause I couldn't help myself}

So those are pics of my closet and the kids cubbies and the cabinets above them.  I know, I know I am a little backwards.......desks, counters, tables, bookshelves all cluttered.  Closets, cabinets, drawers.......organized.  That's just who I am.  Don't try to figure it family has been trying for years.  No one can explain.

Cheers!!  {again}

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I have always been the worst freeze tag player.  We used to play all the time after church as kids and I was IT alllllll the time.  Heather Shelton over at Mrs. Shelton's Kindergarten has tagged me with these questions.

1.  What grade do you teach now?     1st
2.  What grade would you teach if you couldn't teach where you are now?     I would love to do a K-3 technology class, you know if I could invent my own position.
3.  What is your favorite TV show?     NCIS & NCIS:LA
4.  What is your favorite book?     Currently The Princess Academy by: Shannon Hale
5.  What is your favorite physical activity to personally do?     Walking, whether through the woods around our house, on a trail or with C & Husband just anywhere.
6.  What is a food you would NEVER eat?     Beans & Greens
7.  What is your favorite drink?     Cherry Coke {but I am trying to let it go}
8.  Football, Basketball, or Baseball?     FOOTBALL {High School or College only}
9.  What is your reason for blogging?     An outlet
10. If you could change one thing about teaching what would it be?     Oh there are so many things to change!!!!  My current pet peeve is the ridiculous amount of paperwork required...........and that is all I am going to say about that hot topic.

I feel like I am so late to this game that I am not going to tag anyone because it seems like everyone has been tagged.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cleaning Out My Camera & TN Bloggers Meet Up

I know I should've posted this earlier just to give the shout out about it but life gets in the way and it has been a very eventful 2 weeks.  I am so very excited about it though!!!!  Husband got a new driving job and should be home EVERY WEEKEND now!!  So much better than every two months!!!  He is loving this new job & I hope the newness and love of it doesn't fade too soon.  So he is gonna have a boys day out with C while I am meeting up with some new friends!!


We use to have all these rolls of used film lying around the house and drawers of very unorganized photos when I was growing up.  Now I have developed that behavior into a new one of lots of file folders {exploding with photos} on my computer, jump drives full of folders and CDs labeled {mostly} with random dates on it.  Now don't get me wrong I still have boxes of unorganized pictures that need some sort of organization but it is the one project that gets moved around and put on the 'I'll do it on our next break' list.  I must admit that list seems to get longer instead of shorter.  Can't really recall when the last time I was able to mark anything off that list. But anywho........Here are some of random {reeeeeally random} pictures that I took with full intentions of posting about but have they have since lost their meaning.
Time idea off of Pintrest.
 Classroom Behaviors {school wide-ish}
 School wide noise levels {just wanted to say they were in my room first}.
 Writing Center {looks like right after Christmas break}.

I know why I took these next pictures!!!

Our 2 coaches and over in the far left our art teacher are on top of our cafeteria as the official egg droppers.  On Thursday before spring break one of the other 1st grade teachers and I held an egg drop.  The kids were so stinkin' eggscited {couldn't help myself}!!  We had a total of 32 dropped eggs {not everyone brought an egg project} and you will see the ones that survived {minus the one that was broken when trying to get the egg out of the jello and the one that just got thrown away because the firstie didn't want to get down in the peanut butter to see if hers survived or not}.

 We had a nasty nasty storm come through and we had some major flooding in our area {including my brothers house}, trees down {took out my dad's new fence} and hide and seek with our porch furniture.  I also got to play pick up sticks {and branches and logs and.......}.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Farley's April Linky!

I know I broke the rule only one post a day but hey you gotta do what you gotta do for FARLEY!!

Thanks Farley for so much fun each month!!  I look forward to the beginning of each month just for these Linky partys!!


Stacks of Papers GRADED!!

One of the big pains in my rear end changes when moving {as a teacher} from K to 1st in our system is GRADES.  I have found that I really dislike grading papers.  That sentence really doesn't give justice to how I truly feel about paper grading but I didn't want to be censored for any reason. 


Where is the balance of how many grades taken each week in each subject?  Is it bad that one subject has a TON of grades and the others have just a few? Our system does not have any requirements to how many tests/grades you record.  I am still struggling with this but I am on my way to finding balance.  I try to get at least 1 test grade each week in our 3 areas {Reading, Language Arts, Math}.  They get participation grades each week for their work in stations {it is only 10 points and weighted 1/2 credit}. Which brings me to PowerTeacher grade book.  I do love the fact that we are required to do our grades with this software.  The computer does all the work & the office prints out report cards!!  No averaging, no recording on the report card and best of all NO WHITE OUT!!!

I struggle every week with the fact that they are only firsties don't want to overwhelm with testing & grade taking.  What do your district require you for grading?  How do you handle grading in your class?