KinderGals: June 2014

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Working On It Wednesday—Vegas!!

Megan and I have been working on different projects this week. So first, what have I been working on?  VEGAS!!!!!
I can’t believe it is almost here! Time to go to Vegas! I am working this week putting finishing touches on all of my power point presentations, collecting and packing things to display in my presentation room, and finishing up a few new units for tpt. Two of my newest sessions, Math Small Group and Words Mini Lessons, will make their debut appearance in Vegas! So, I’ve spent a lot of time working on those two! I love the presenting, but it is crazy how much time it takes to prepare for a 75 minute session! First, the topic! Trying to decide what is the best topic to present on seems easy. But, there are so many things I want to share that I have a hard time narrowing it down. Then, there’s the title! Oh my, it is hard to think of a name that is catchy while still letting teachers know what the session is about.  Then it’s time to plan the outline for the session, come up with the ideas, take the pictures, make the power point, take more pictures, pick clip art, fonts, frames, and backgrounds…..But, when it is all done…there is nothing like it! It is such a moment of excitement and nervousness all at the same time. Will the teachers like it? Will you remember what to say? While it make a difference in the lives of the children we teach?
Another thing I am working on is a series of units that we use to help differentiate our small groups during math. I’m super excited to be partnering with Michele again! We are working on a series of math units that will be helpful when we are trying to differentiate our small group during math. We finished Unit 1: Shapes this past week. Even before we were done with it, we started talking about Unit 2: Counting. I’m super excited that it will be done by this weekend!
Now how about Megan? Megan is working on remaking some classroom d├ęcor/management items. See that tablet? It has a list of all the things she wants to get made!Slide5
Oh…and we have managed to squeeze in some fun…to go to Lane’s Packing Shed a few times, swim with friends and family, go to lunch to our favorite place—The Perfect Pear, plant a few more flowers and snuggle with babies! We can’t wait for the weekend to once again cheer Tyler on in his bike race! He will finish up the season taking over all first or second place.  So proud of him! So grab the button and link up with what you are working on.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Open House-Working On It! Wednesdays

Thanks to all the teachers who linked up last week. I read each of the posts and loved seeing what you were working on both personally and professionally.
Last week I was so focused on blogging, I blogged every day! This week, well other things seem to be the focus! So here’s what I would have said on Monday for Me Time…And it’s What I am Working on personally…Slide7
Now to say that I love working out, would be a big lie! As a matter of fact, I kinda hate it! So… many of my blogging buddies have joined this “get healthy” life style inspired by my good friend Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants.  She has also started a fitness blog, For Blogness Sake.  They are all looking so good! Now they will tell you that they are doing this to be healthy, not skinny, but I bet none of them mind the weight loss they have seen! To be quite honest, I want to be thinner! I know healthy has to be the real goal, but I will take skinny! So….Megan and I have started. We have printed out our 12 week calendar that tells us what to do each day and we are finishing our first week. I know a week isn’t very long, but it’s a start!
So that’s the Me Time that I am working on! Now, what about Family? What am I working on there?
Of course you all know that I am crazy about my Matthew and my Brody! Megan and I keep Brody every Monday and Wednesday while Ginny is finishing her masters! One more week and she will be done! This week on Tuesday I had my 3 littlest nieces and nephews. Who knew that you could have so much fun with some old badminton racket puppets. I sat them out earlier in the week to give to Ginny to put in her Home Living Area for her prek class. It was hilarious watching the girls hide behind the trees and bushes and make their character voices. We had a little play time in the water table and a shopping relay with an old shopping cart from my classroom! They spent 30 minutes pushing the cart up and down the driveway while I told them what to go and buy. I would tell them what to go and buy. They had to push the cart to the car, “buy” the food,  push the cart back and tell me what they bought. Could they remember what I sent them for? You can tell they don’t eat Brussel sprouts at their house! When I sent them to buy those, along with a few other vegetables, they came back with “pretzel plant”! We almost died laughing!
And finally, what am I working on professionally? The biggest thing is….I am getting ready for VEGAS!!!!! Can you believe it is in just a few weeks! I hope lots of ya’ll are coming! I have two new sessions that I have never done before: One on Word Mini Lessons and one on differentiating your small groups during math. I also spruced up some other sessions with lots of new ideas! You HAVE to come! It is the best professional week of your life! No kidding!!!
We are also working on getting things ready for Megan’s Open House.
We used the items from this pack to get ready.
We collected all the folders and ran one copy of each of the letters we will need. Megan will wait until she can get in her building to run off all the other letters to go in the folders. The covers are editable, so we will wait until we get her list to type in the names.
We printed, laminated and cut out all the props for the “Photo Booth”. We also attached the sticks to the props with a little hot glue.
We went ahead and ran the copies for the treat bags and the parent treats. We picked up the supplies at the Dollar Store and Target Dollar Spot to stuff the bags. We still need to glue the tags to the scrapbooking paper and add the raffia bows.
We reproduced the pieces to make the craftivity and collected all the parts needed. Still need to pick up some paper clips to add to the front of the scrapbooking paper.
BTW, for those who asked, we are working on making the ABC’s of School and the scavenger hunt editable. Give us a few days and we will have that ready. Then, you can go to your “My Purchases” and get the updates.
So that’s what I am working on. What about you? Grab the button and link up!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

“Workin’ On It! Wednesdays

So I know….my northern friends might still be in school…so you might find it a little crazy to even start thinking about next year. But, some of us in the south have already been out of school for almost 3 weeks!
That Back To School rush can be very overwhelming. Too much to do and too little time to get it done. My problem was always that if I didn’t get it done before the kids showed up, sometimes it never got done at all.  I am a super, organized person and can drive my family, and even some of my friends, absolutely crazy! I like things put away in the right place, I like things to be cleaned up as soon as you are done, …you get the point. Now, I have tried to lighten up a little, but I still think the ability to organize and get things done, have played a big part in who I am as a teacher.
So, I decided to do a little linky on Wednesdays to see what others are working on this summer in order to have a smoother start to the new school year. I am taking one task a week and spending a little time each day working on it. This week I decided we would get the carpet bags done. Now, you know I am helping Megan make these things for her room. It might seem that she is one lucky girl to have me to help her, and well I guess she is, to be honest. BUT, she is soooo helpful to me in sooo many ways. (Can’t wait to share my Open House pack next week. Megan has helped me make the documents editable! I wouldn’t have a clue how to do that!)
So this week we have (or will have):
*assembled our word families book
*assembled our unit vocabulary notebooks (we already have our large chart from last year so we don’t need to remake it)
*our alphabet charts and yes/no sticks are still in good shape tooSlide3
*assemble the Book of Lists
*assemble the Nursery Rhyme Books
*make the traveling word walls
our working mats are still good from last year, no need to remake
The good thing is….Megan copied all of these before she left for the summer. So now just to assemble. If you counted, we have 5 things to do…one a day, about an hour each morning, and we are done!
Last year, I finally got all of the carpet bag supplies together into a package called “Pack It! Learn It!” It has everything that you saw in those pictures above ready to print!
If you are like, “Carpet Bag? What in the world is a carpet bag?” Then, you will want to read this post. It was one of the very first posts that I did!
I went to the dollar store today to pick up a few things I needed for the Open House pack  and look what I found:Slide6
These are perfect for carpet bags!
Now some random thoughts about a few other things at the Dollar Store….Slide4
Those Happy Birthday “things” go on the back of a chair. How fun to let your little ones have the special cover on their chair for their birthday!
Get your flag stuff now for your American Symbols celebration. 
Love these alphabet stickers. They are the vinyl stickers that you decorate your walls with. I love to use them to make games…a lot cheaper than printing all that with color ink!Slide5
And finally….now is the time to get the pool noodles to make the large rekenrek.  Find the directions here.
So what are you Working On this week? Grab the button and link up your post on what you are doing to make for a smoother start to your year.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Me Time Monday Linky!


Today I am linking up with my friend Amanda at One Extra Degree to share how I spend my “me time.” To tell you the truth, I’m not very good at it! Probably like most of you, I am pretty much in “go mode” most of the time. Most of my life is spent working on presentations and traveling to workshops. It is sometimes hard to find that balance between work and play. I have a few distractions that are helping me find that balance—Brody and Matthew. My most favorite way to spend my “home time” is with these two boys! Yep, that’s right, TWO! Baby Brody was born just two weeks ago!  Matthew and Brody are 1 year, 3 days apart in age!  I just can’t imagine how much fun they are going to be growing up just a few miles from each other. I have baby proofed my den, kitchen and breakfast room. Andy built us a rather fancy gate in the hall to keep them in those areas. Tyler built us an awesome playscape (calling it a swing set doesn’t do it justice), the gate has been secured on the pool to keep them either in or out, picnic tables and water tables are added to the back porch, toys are organized in bins placed on a bookshelf hidden behind the sofa, books are in a basket placed on the “school table”, baby swing, changing table, bottles,  sippy cups and diapers are stocked….I am sure there are many things we will find that we need to do as they grow older but, yep I would say we are ready. Andy and I are so excited to be Gam and Pops! We can’t wait to build forts, go swimming, camping, hiking, cycling, scouts, baseball, “mud boggin”…All this fun, and we don’t have to worry about bedtimes, getting up at night, or any of the other “not so fun” things that come with being the parents.

BUT….when I  want some me time. alone time….


you will find me outside. I love being outside, especially in the spring and summer. I don’t mind being hot. Sweat doesn’t bother me. I love to dig in the dirt! It’s a perfect stress reliever. I started loving yard work after my kids were born. After a long day of parenting, when Andy would come home from work…I would hand them off and tell him I was going to mow or edge or plant something. It was quiet and peaceful. No one calling Mom, or fighting, or chattering…just me and the good ‘ol outdoors. But, it also made me fell like I had accomplished something! I am super task oriented!


I do a lot of container gardening as it is so hot and dry. Containers makes it easier to keep things watered. The pot in the bottom left is a special pot. It was made by one of my room mothers 10 years ago!


I would rather be on the back porch than inside! We are still wanting to add that outdoor kitchen, but …..$$$$$$! Someday!


Here are some pictures from my back yard.


The other day I was cleaning up this baker’s rack on my back porch. I picked up the vase to put it away when out flew a bird! I looked inside and there was a nest with 5 little blue eggs. I carefully put the vase back on the shelf. This weekend my 10 year old niece was over at the house. I told her to go and look in the vase to see the eggs. She carefully approached the vase and tried to peek inside. She said, No eggs! Could it be, did the cat or the squirrels find the nest?! I carefully picked up the vase and looked inside. And there were baby birds! So tiny, like just hatched tiny! I have loved sitting on the back porch watching the mama bird fly back and forth carrying things in her mouth back to the babies. As I was writing this post, I was thinking, how does that mama bird find any down time? She is much like “my girls” Megan and Ginny. Busy being a mom. Flying around, taking care of her babies, but still takes the time to fly to the tree, sit on a branch and sing!

Be sure and hop over to Amanda’s blog and read how she, and other bloggers, spend their “me time”!

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