Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wonderful Speaker

This weekend I had the opportunity to go hear a phenomenal speaker with several schools. It was a Saturday morning - hard to get teachers motivated on a Saturday just before Christmas break. We were all blown away. If you ever get the chance to hear Dr. Adolph Brown - GO!!! You will love it. There are video clips on his website. I bought one of his books to read and can't wait. I know my description will never be close to seeing him in person, but I promise he is worth the time. One thing that stands out is that if you can't picture all your students graduating college, then find a new job.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our Christmas Wishes

Our school has a door decorating contest. I really don't care for them because it usually is what teacher spends the most time decorating, not showing off the what the students do. I came across this idea for a bulletin board at Caffeinated Teacher and decided to adapt it for our door. I had my K-2 students tell me what they wished they could give or do for someone else for Christmas. We had a discussion about people less fortunate than us, so most of them caught on. We made a small letter to Santa that folded into an envelope from here. Then my 3rd-5th graders wrote a longer wish explaining why they wished that. We put their stories inside a gift box to open and read. I thought it came out cute!
tag to encourage people to read our wishes

inside a letter

a box opened

Friday, December 3, 2010

Field Trip

Yesterday I went with kindergarten on a field trip to see Babes in Toyland. It was a pretty good trip and somehow I ended up with the most talkative kid ever as my seatmate on the bus! I'm not kidding, he talked or sang the entire way there and back! I heard about his dad's truck, his uncle's car, how his sister is white, but his other sister and him are white and black, last year they took food on a field trip, I've been there, I live there, and he sang the green, red, and blue songs for me! He also got very excited about a building and thought that should be our field trip. I turned to see, expecting a fire station or something but it was . . . a uniform cleaning building! Got to love the mind of a 5 year old!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Oh I love teaching about Thanksgiving - being thankful, pilgrims, Native Americans, and food! Some of my kids give interesting answers when we discuss what we learned. Did you know that the Pigwams came over on the Flower? Love it. Oh and the things we're thankful for! Here are a few from my older kids - helping anyone in help (need, maybe?), my frinds (exact spelling), my family for coming to my house, having the best parents, and my mom because she brought me to life (aww!). My younger ones had lots of ideas too - food, toys, no not my brother, trees, school, my dog, my bunny rabbit that we had to give away to someone that doesn't have any pets, not my baby sister, my hampster, grandma, my friends, my teacher, my fish, learning, my dog and my sister (in that order) and my favorite - Jesus. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Great Book

I ordered a bunch of books from Scholastic the other day and noticed a new one by Audrey Penn (author of The Kissing Hand). I had to buy it. I noticed the title - Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories. I figured it was some sort of fall book and didn't read the description. I was quite surprised when I started it and realized it was about Chester having a friend pass away. It was so sad; I was almost in tears walking down the hall (bad idea to read new books while walking around)! It was very well written though, and would be great for a class that lost a student. I would've loved to have it the year our school lost 3 kids from one family. I highly recommend this book - just read it alone the first time!

Monday, November 15, 2010


One of my 2nd graders needed to finish a quiz for his classroom teacher. I set him at a table and let him work. Here's one of his questions and his answer! It was all I could do not to laugh!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love Is in the Air!

I started my day covering a 2nd grade class whose teacher had a doctor's appointment. While in there, I intercepted a note that a little boy was trying to pass!

I thought it was too cute to get upset over!

I worked with my kindergarten group who did much better than yesterday. When they were lining up, one little boy (with the same name as my hubby) looked up and said, "I love you!" Aww, he's a cutie! Look out JZ - you've got some competition, lol!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Yesterday we were discussing pets in my first grade group. We made a graph of the pets our class has at home. Here's the graph:

Can you see the last pet? Turkey?! Sure hope someone's pet isn't missing after Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Did that really just happen?

Friday (before Halloween), I went to get my 4th graders. There I was, just strolling along the boardwalk - since my room is in the trailer park behind the school. I'm almost to the main building. I walk close to a trash can. It starts to move! Yikes! Then a possum JUMPS out at me!!!!!!!!!! I probably jumped 10 feet and am amazed I didn't scream or pee on myself! It ran under the boardwalk and I ran inside. All these years I thought possums were nocturnal.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Wow, it's been a while since I wrote! This year has been crazy so far. The grant I was working under ending last year, leaving about 20 people in our district needing jobs. My campus (let's call it L) also combined with another campus (M), leaving some teachers needed to be placed somewhere else. I ended up at a different school (F) teaching pre-k. I packed up everything and spent several weeks (and hundreds of dollars) getting my room ready at F. I loved it! I had a great class, wonderful colleagues, and a friendly principal (what a change!) Then the principal got hired in another district. Ok, interim principal was great! Still happy! I bought 2 guinea pigs for our classroom pets. The kids loved them! Then one day (the 4th week of school) I was called back to campus from a training. I found out they needed another 1st grade teacher and had to lose a pre-k teacher. The teacher hired after me volunteered to go because she liked older kids. I lost my planning partner, but she was still next door so we were happy no one had to move. Last Monday, the 5th week of school, I was called to the office after lunch. Found out they needed a bilingual pre-k teacher and I was going to have to move. I ended up back at my old school :( teaching ESL as a pull-out. I had 1 day to pack up. I was devastated. I got to my campus (now called M) and the principal really doesn't want me because I'm not bilingual. That was a mess. So now I'm trying to learn another job and get settled. Until we move to our new school over Christmas break. I can't bring the classroom pets because I'm in a portable that has terrible insulation and I can't keep the temperature even. None of my friends from M have even bothered to come see my classroom, much less see if I need any help. Guess I better get back to getting settled. Still waiting on all my stuff to be moved and the teacher that was here just got her stuff out yesterday. There's a mess in here! I have no energy left to make this room look good! Hopefully I get trained on all the paperwork that is required soon. Sorry for the long rambling post! I really hope everyone else is having a better school year!

Friday, May 21, 2010

How Sweet

We're closing in on the end of the school year! Hooray! Of course that means we're super busy. I don't know what I'll be teaching or even what school I'll be at because the grant funding my position is ending. Hopefully I'll hear soon where I'll be next year!

I had a picture laying on my table of a 1st grade teacher, a 2nd grade teacher, a retired teacher who subs, and myself. One of my students saw it and said, "My favorite teacher!" I had to ask, "Which one?" Sweet boy answered, "2nd grade teacher and you." Aw, smart boy.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I work with a few students who are next door with a 2nd grade teacher (we'll call Mrs. Blue Eyes). The other day one of these students told her she had "scary eyes." Mrs. Blue Eyes asked why they were scary and he just shrugged. So she asked what color they were. He responds, "blue." As she was trying to convince him that blue eyes aren't scary, another darling yelled out "Mrs. Z has red eyes!" I do? Really? I know they change colors, but I always thought they were green or bluish-gray. Hmmm. Do I turn into demon teacher when they're in here?

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Love Free Stuff!

Oh, how I heart free stuff!! Over at Confessions of an Untenured Teacher, she's giving away this awesome pocket chart from CSN stores!

Here's more info, copied from her blog!

Up for grabs is this pocket chart, perfect for your classroom, your home office, or as a gift to your child's teacher (did you know National Teacher Appreciation week is May 2-8?):

Patch Products - 747 - Organization Center Wall Pocket Chart
This pocket chart has 27 pockets that hold standard sized file folders. It also includes 27 dry erase cards so you can reuse it year after year!

All of us out there could use a bit more organization in life! But because I practically live in my classroom, I thought of some potential uses:
  1. Student mailboxes
  2. Student portfolios
  3. File folder center storage
  4. Storing extra work for independent activities
  5. Storing teacher memos and random paperwork you can never seem to find a proper place for!
So hurry over and enter!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maybe we need some work on /i/ and /e/. . .

Yesterday I had a group of 1st graders. We have a part in their lesson to practice spelling with sounds we've learned, so sometimes we make a game of it on the white board. They love this! I had two students at the board racing to see who can spell the word correctly first and the loser picks who goes next. Here's a small part of our game -
Me: OK guys, your word is "tent"
Spacey Boy swiftly wrote "tit" and was so proud for finishing first!
Challenger got it right (thank goodness) and I quickly made sure no one was peering in the window to see what I was teaching!

Usually I have them sound out incorrectly spelled words so they can hear the difference, but I hurriedly moved along!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Art Museum

I went along with 2nd grade on a trip to a local art museum. We were divided into groups, so I was with 11 kids and a docent. She stopped in front of a picture of a covered wagon on a trail with snow tipped mountains in the distance. She asked the children what season they thought it was. In our part of Texas it hardly ever snows. So they saw snow and answered winter! The docent frowned and asked if there was snow on the grass - no. Well there's no snow on our green grass either. Last I checked it is still winter though! She told them the mountains her higher up and could have snow year round. So she asked again what season it looked like. Now the kids are confused! Finally someone guesses spring. She asks what else. Fall? OK, what else? Summer?? Puzzled looks were on every one's faces. She said, "The only season this could NOT be is winter!" Poor kids!
We continued walking and one girl excitedly pointed at another painting, saying, "Look! A pot bellied pig!!" The docent looked and replied, "No. That is a wild hog."
The docent brought us to another painting with four men in it. She asked what they noticed about the faces. One child said, "PIMPLES!!" I couldn't help it, I snorted! She asked for it!! Of course, the ever positive docent replied, "No. Those could be moles."
Thank you docent, for encouraging these young minds!

Friday, February 26, 2010

When I Grow Up

This week my kindergarten class I teach at church thought about what they wanted to be when they grow up. This is always entertaining!
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A police!
Me: Oh good, and how about you E?
E: Um, a dentist?
Me: Oh, wow, that's great! How about you C?
C: I don't know!
Me: Ok, think for a minute and I'll get back to you. How about you N?
N: A police man.
Me: That's good. L, how about you?
L: A football player
Me: Alright! C, have you thought of something?
C: Yes! I want to be one of those people at Toys R Us that puts the toys out.
Me: That would be a fun place to work with all the toys.
C: Yeah, I just love that place.

Lol, I bet he does!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I was walking around the cafeteria on my lunch duty the other day and noticed one of the kindergarten students wasn't eating. I told her she better eat before lunch was over. Her reply? My momma says bread makes your butt big. I told her I thought she'd be fine eating her roll and walked off before I cracked up!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Reading

In honor on Valentine's Day this weekend, I had my kids reading a book about it today. This one was a little step by step instruction book on how to make a Valentine. Little L was reading along, "Now write a romance." Nope L, that's not romance, that's rhyme! Hey, he got the right beginning sound AND it made sense!

Yesterday one of my little girls was working hard and getting answers right. She looked up and said, "Mrs. Z - I'm getting smart!" Too cute.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Another teacher sent a student down to me with a box (1st grade). We'll call him Droopy Pants. His friend, one of my students - Sneaky Boy, decided to come along. Apparently this box was closed when it left the other teacher. When Droopy and Sneaky found me, they excitedly told me about what was in the box. Later in the day I talked to the teacher who sent the box. Apparently Sneaky wasn't even supposed to be with Droopy and the box. And the box was closed. I asked the boys how it got open then. Sneaky's response? "Our indivisible friend opened it!" Oh really? And what's your friend's name? "Oh, he said we can't tell. It's a secret!"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Teachers Work

I was working with my first graders the other day and we were reading about teachers and police. One of the "thought provoking" questions before we read was, "Why do people work as teachers and police?" J raised his hand excitedly to answer, "People need to do those jobs to get money and pay the bills so the lights don't get cut off." Well, that's true - not what I was going for - but very true. Later in our discussion I asked them why we had police. J's answer? "To pull you over if you go over the limit." Hmm, limit? Drinking limit? Speed limit? Hoping he meant speed limit since he had obviously seen this happen, I asked (not smart, when I think back on it!) what he meant. He said, "you know, that limit sign!" Phew! Speed limit!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I had more excitement on the way to school Tuesday than I planned. I turned into the parking lot and heard a loud crash and it felt like my car hit a brick wall. No, I didn't hit anyone or anything! My wheel fell off my car. Yes, you read that right. Just fell off.
Apparently, when my transmission was repaired they failed to tighten a nut so it worked off. Lovely. At least it happened here and not on the highway. Of course plenty of kids saw me sitting there in my car as I tried to figure out what had happened! Here's my conversation with one of my 3rd grade darlings
Darling: Mrs. Z! I saw your wheel fell off your car this morning!
Me: Yes it did Darling.
Darling: I know cause we saw you when we got to school.
Me: Well, why didn't you stop to help me?!
Darling: I don't know how to fix THAT!
Lol, she was too cute! Her mom did check on me after school. She had gone home to get her dad to come up to look at it for me, but he'd left for work. Glad someone was worried!