Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bittersweet, Awkward, and Gratitude!

Well, the year is over and we all finally have a chance to breathe, relax, and reflect on our students and our teaching.  With my new position in a new district next year, it was definitely a bittersweet week.

 I have had a student all year who randomly says "awkward" during the middle of a lesson.  Nearly every time it doesn't fit the situation, but it is kind of funny.  Anyway, on the last day of school I started to tell them how great they were, how lucky I was, and that I would never forget them.  As I am talking, I start crying and the kids get all weird.  Right in the middle of me crying, this boy says "awkward".  It was perfect!  At that moment I knew I had taught at least one kid something.  He finally mastered what was truly "awkward".  **Proud teaching moment!** Haha.

At the start of this week, my classroom was still intact and looked similar to these two pictures.  Knowing I was leaving, I had a lot TREMENDOUS amount of work to do to clean out my room, cabinets, classroom library, and all of the other crap I had accumulated for "someday" activities and time.  I knew I was just putting off the inevitable...

So after spending Memorial Day in the room, dragging my mom in all day on Wednesday, and loading up her van, and my car, twice, my room finally looks like this.  I must say walking out this evening was  sad.  The teaching profession is all about creating a safe, learning environment that encourages collaboration, critical thinking, and well rounded students.  To be honest, all I could do was cry when I looked back and this was all I could see of my last 5 years in this school.  
 I walked out, said good bye to The Riley Ranch (or what once was), and looked on to the great new beginning that will be!

And for the gratitude.  The teachers and staff I work with are the most amazing individuals I have ever met.  They have pushed me professionally, allowed me to pick their brains constantly, let me make crazy mistakes, made me laugh, made me cry, and most of all made me a better person.  I have the utmost gratitude for all of them, and would not be the teacher I am today without all of them.

And to top it off, they nominated me for Teacher of the Year this year!  Crazy, right?  Right!  Do they even know how much I have learned from them!? Boy I hope so!  Photobucket

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blogging Recess, Indy 500, Mickey Mouse Countdown, Wax Museum

Okay, so I haven't posted in over 2 weeks and I'm calling it my long term blogging recess.  Yes, you can yell at me now!  Here are my excuses...interviewed for and accepted a new position in a new district (Yippee!!!), went to Florida for a wedding, interviewing 18 candidates for positions for next year, meeting the staff at my new building for next year, having a new puppy, new puppy having a parasite and worms, old pup getting the parasite and an eye infection, a field trip, and acting like a first year teacher just trying to keep my head above water! Whew!  I'm worn out just rehashing all of that.

I do have some exciting things to share with you all though!  First, the month of May is a racing craze in Indianapolis with the Indy 500.  We started our celebration with our racing Mickey Mouse who introduced our "Racing to the End" countdown!  Each day this little Mickey delivers a note to a student desk or cubby to introduce the next day's activity.  The activities range from relay races to pajama day to an all grade level read where they get to go read in another 2nd grade classroom of their choice.

Here is Mickey waving the checkered flag for our relay races!  He was our turn around point on the hill!

Did I tell you we had an Indy 500 Princess come visit us!  She shared a book about racing and gave all of us racing flags!  We loved her, and thought it was really cool that she used to go to school at the same place we do!  Here is copy of the letter they received after the princess came.  You can click on the letter to link to the PDF with all of my letters so you can create your own ideas from those!

Release of the Butterflies!

So our adventure with our butterflies had to come to a close as we let them out by our nature center.  I thought this picture was hilarious because they were so distraught about releasing them!  This pretty much summed up their thoughts of this activity...haha.  

Finally, we had our Wax Museum!  Here we have Tony Hawk and Helen Keller.  Helen decided that since she was deaf, blind, and mute she would have her friend record her speech on an iPod and present her speech that way!  I love the creativity they come up with.  Although I didn't make them memorize their speeches, it was a great experience for them to research about a person, practice point of view, and work on their presentation skills.  The day we shared with the other 2nd graders, it was beautiful outside, so we set up our locations and shared about our lives.  It was a really fun activity for the end of the school year.

Cheers to only have 5 more school days left, and to not waiting 2 weeks to post again!  For all of you on the homestretch, enjoy the last days with your students and remind them how great they will be!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Giveaway Winner, Weather Unit, and a Confessional!

Congratulations to Krista on winning the grand giveaway!  I will contact you with further information about obtaining all of the goods!  

Weather Madness

We wrapped up our weather unit last week, and it was a great week for it!  The temperatures were warm and there were various weather related alerts.  To record the highs and lows we watched the video on our local tv station's webpage.  They LOVED watching this, and it brought up a lot of other things about the weather too. We have been filling out our Weather Super Files for the past few weeks, and we wrapped it up by finishing our graphs on Friday. 

With our Weather Test on Wednesday, the students used their Super Files to quiz each other today before taking them home as their study guides.  As teachers we always say, "Don't forget to study," but we often forget to teach them how to study.  The kids had so much fun quizzing each other, and they learned a lot along the way.  We'll see if it pays off on Wednesday (fingers crossed)!

If you want to snag a copy of my Weather Super File Unit, it's on sale right now!  Grab a copy for yourself, and join in on the fun!


Okay, I am now in my 5th year of teaching and I have never done a life cycle unit with my students!  I know, I know, some of you are saying where do you teach?  How do you still have a job? What were you thinking?  Shame on me...I'm aware now!

Teaching 3rd grade, we didn't really cover the life cycle of animals, but I feel like I have let my students down!  I can't believe I never made this a priority!  I'm sure many of you have done butterflies, frogs, or chicks, but I have had a BLAST watching the changes.  The best part, though, happened today.  The butterflies started emerging from their chrysalis and they were in awe!  I even had kids donating their oranges from their lunches to feed them.  I guess this is the best part of never know what a change in your curriculum/grade can offer!  It was a great day on the Riley Ranch! 

 A little extra tidbit. This weekend we headed to Nashville, TN for my sorority sister's wedding and it was Gorgeous!!  I mean I couldn't get over it, and unfortunately pictures don't do it justice.  It was all outdoors on an old plantation with a big red barn, chandeliers, and these hanging Ball Jars with tea lights on all of the trees.  The ambience was beautiful, so I had to share a snip it!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

4 Teacher Appreciation Specials!

The best part of Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrating those we work with, AND it comes near the end of the school year!  The end is in sight!  To celebrate, I have several things for you!

1. My TpT Store is 20% off through Tuesday to go along with TpT's 10% off sale when you enter the code: TAD12.  When combined, that's 28% off!  Merry Christmas in May!
Thanks Erica for the image!

2. Last day for my GIVEAWAY!!  3 easy ways to enter for 3 things worth a total of $82!  A 12-month subscription to Sumdog, 12-month subscription to Runner's World Magazine, and $10 at my TpT store that will go even further with the sale!  Click here for your chance to win!!  Start your Teacher Appreciation Week off by being the big winner!  

3. Lastly is the Freebie I shared last week to celebrate the teachers you work with!  Easy labels to put on candy, drinks, or flowers for the people you appreciate the most in your building! Find them at my TpT store by clicking on the picture below.

4. My Teacher's Notebook store is 40% off right now, and they are having a HUGE $100 giveaway each day to spend on items! Can you believe that!?  Click on the image below to get my items 40% off and check out all of the other great sales!

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of surprises from your students, colleagues, and families!!  YOU ALL DESERVE IT! 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Currently, Giveaway Reminder, and New Puppy!

Good evening!  It's a crazy night here, but I thought I drop in with a few quick things!

First, it's Farley's May Currently Linky Party!  I love the pageant title at the bottom.  It's a great way to dream at the end of the school year.  Link up to see what our other genius teacher friends are up to!

Giveaway Reminder!!!!
Next up is my reminder about the giveaway that ends on Sunday!  A 12 month subscription to the math website and data analysis amazingness at, a 12 month subscription to Runner's World Magazine, and $10 to spend at my TpT Store!  Yes, $85.00 in giveaways!!!  Click here for the post and to enter for all of the GREATNESS!

New Running Buddy! Meet: Addie!
The Mr. called me at school the other day and said he had found a white german shepard and he really, absolutely had to have the cutest little thing on the planet!  I went home, met her, and now we're a family of 4!  

She is so playful, and then wipes out cold!  Love her to pieces, and can't wait for her to build her stamina for a good run! 

I hope you all have a LOVELY Friday, and a wonderful weekend!  We'll be in puppy world!