Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Here we are again at another Not Me Monday, courtesy of MckMama. I am so excited to share with you some things that I, in NO way, shape, or form, did this week!

1. I didn't go with Kevin and Lindsay (my 16 year old sister) to Freebirds in College Station for a huge burrito the day after Thanksgiving. And even if I had, I would have never teamed up with Lindsay to build a crab out of foil. And even if THAT had happened, I would NOT have tried to stick all different kinds of foods into his pinchers before finally deciding on a piece of fajita steak and a tomato. I then did not take a picture of said crab, because I did NOT think it was brilliant. I'm an adult.

2. I did not give up on Texas A&M during the first quarter of the t.u. game. Then, I did not start hoping only that t.u. did not make the 35 point spread. I then did not almost cry when in fact, they crushed us by 40 points.

3. After spending a fair amount of time painting mine and Kevin's names onto our Dollar Tree stockings, I defintely did NOT get really angry when Kevin, while making his second dinner, scraped his plate across my name and messed it up terribly. I did not get even more angry when he said "It was just an accident. My plate was laying right there." I then did not take a HUGE amount of pleasure in what I was doing as I took out the scissors and chopped his stocking in half, while saying "It was just an accident. The scissors were laying right there..."

4. Speaking of stockings, I did not already stuff Tex's and Bella's with their Christmas goodies. Why would I do that? It's still 15 days before I even start giving them one each night until Christmas. And if I HAD already stuffed them, I certainly would not have done it in front of them, squeaking each toy in front of their faces and then shoving it in their respective stocking. Then I wouldn't have made a huge deal of placing their stocking on the mantle, just above their reach. I didn't start feeling guilty immediately after and decide to start the goodies tomorrow, either.

5. While getting ready to hang our Christmas lights, I would have NEVER allowed my husband to back his truck up next to the roof, place our 6 foot ladder into the back of it, and climb onto the roof that way. And I POSITIVELY did NOT come up with this idea myself.

6. While hanging lights on the bushes and trees, I did not get scolded by Kevin for "wrapping before thinking," in respect to how my creations were going to be powered. I never get ahead of myself. Pshhh...

7. I did not wrap every single present that is already bought simply so I could place them under my tree, because I felt sorry for it. Whay would I feel sorry for a dumb tree, just because it's so cold and lonely with nothing under it? I do not personify trees, or anything else for that matter.

8. I did not choose not to read an email that was sent to the church listserve, only to find out that it contained some very important info about bible class - namely, that there was none. I then did not show up an hour and a half early to church. Then, I was not called out during the service greeting by a man that said "I would like to give you an attendance count from bible class today. There were two people here. I won't mention any names, but we love our nursery teachers." I did NOT turn bright red and slink down in my seat.

9. I didn't discover today that Kevin wanted me to arrange for friends to go out to dinner for his birthday tomorrow, after assuming that we would just spend it with the two of us like we usually do birthdays. I then did not feel so bad about it that I went out and bought two more presents for him, even though we had agreed on zero presents.

10. I did not open my big fat mouth before thinking about it and invite our friends over for chili this week. I am not regretting this decision because I, in fact, have never made chili in my life and, as a rule, am not particularly great in the kitchen. I ALWAYS think before I speak.

What have you NOT done this week?

Check back tomorrow for Tattle-tale Tuesday! !

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and hanging lights :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! Kevin and I got home this afternoon from our trip. We started in Temple with Kevin's mom's side of the family. We had a great Thanksgiving day lunch with everyone. I made these excellent things called Oreo balls and they were delicious! I have been instructed to make a triple batch for Christmas.

From there, we drove to Bryan/College Station to see my family. We had leftovers there for dinner and then just hung out. Friday Kevin and I took my sister Lindsay into town to visit A&M. She's a sophomore in high school and plans to go there in a couple of years - good girl. While we were there, Kevin and I took the opportunity to take a few pictures under the Century Tree. Tradition says that "If two lovers walk together under the branches of the Century Tree, one of the oldest trees on campus, they will spend their lives together." Of course, Kevin and I are already married, but it was still fun. Here are some pictures from our visit to A&M.

Saturday evening we went down to "the bottom' for a country meal with our family. My aunt had shot a deer the day before, and her and my uncle fried the backstrap for everyone. I was a little nervous about eating deer, but it was very good!

When we got home today, Kevin and I hung our Christmas lights on our house. It was a lot of work but it was also good time that we got to spend together. Here are some pictures of our lights:

Tomorrow it's Sunday school, church, and then off to Fort Worth to celebrate Kevin's birthday with his family. His birthday is actually on Monday the 1st. He'll be 27!

I'll update later in the weekend, have a fabulous Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A First Grade Thanksgiving

Yesterday was a day filled with Thanksgiving festivities! Our day started with some last minute practice for our play and a "dress rehearsal" during which I recorded the performance. We still had some time to kill before the parents arrived, so we played some Sight Words Bingo, which the kids adore.

At about 10:45 "Mr. Kevin" arrived to meet my class. If they weren't already hyper enough, that put them over the edge for sure! He stayed throughout our feast and performance and hung out with us. As he was leaving, I jokingly asked him "Would you like to trade jobs with me?" With a dead serious look on his face he replied "Not in a million years."

Shortly after Kevin arrived, the parents started trickling in. I found out later that the Kindergarten classes were having their feasts at the same time as first grade, so apparantly there were over 200 parents trying to sign it all at once in the office. Next year we'll have to coordinate better. We ended up with over 60 adults in my classroom for the party! Only two students did NOT have someone come for them, and luckily the other parents were very attentive to them so that they felt included.

We started out with our play. The video is too long to post, so I'll just post a couple of pictures. I wish you could see the whole thing, though. They were AMAZING. So many parents commented on how "polished" they were. I was a proud teacher :)

Then they sang their two songs, which were also adorable. My favorite is a funny one about having too much turkey on Thanksgiving. The other is a spin-off of the Twelve Days of Christmas, called The Ten Days of Thanksgiving. Both are too long to upload and post, but you don't know what you're missing!!! After the performance was over, it was time to feast! All of the parents brought something to contribute to our table. I unfortunately did not get a chance to snap a picture of it before everyone dug in. Several of the kids decided to change into their "fact family headdresses" to eat. Here are some pictures of the kids (and parents) enjoying the food, which was delicious.

The parents had all cleared out by a little after noon. We took the kids outside for a nice long recess to give them a chance to run off all of that sugar from the feast. Some of them decided to sleep instead. Here's 'Jake' enjoying a nap in the afternoon sun, on a nice bed

Other kids took the opportunity to play very silly games, such as the one below, in which a raptor attacks other students on the playground:

When we got inside, we read some Thanksgiving books and watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." Just as I had remembered from last year, it was a crazy day, but also a wonderful day. I really enjoy the opportunities to just spend fun time and "hang out" with my class. Unfortunatly, there are not as many of those times as I would like!!!

I hope you all have safe travel and a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!

Monday, November 24, 2008

(Another) Bad Case of the Stripes

Some of you may remember the story I wrote in September about 'Jake' and the book that he is absolutely terrified of - A Bad Case of the Stripes. Basically he has a paralyzing fear of even SEEING this book. If you weren't a reader back then, or need to refresh your memory, just look here.

Today the worst possible thing happened. I had allowed my kids to go to free centers (I know, brave right?). I was working with a small group when all of the sudden I heard terrible screaming and looked up to see Em running toward me yelling "Something is wrong with 'Jake!!!' He is freaking out and I can't calm him down!!!"

So I sprung to my feet and ran to the library center, where I found him. He was curled up in a fetal position on a bean bag with an open paperback book in his hands. He had his face shoved into the book all the way into the spine of it and had it clamped tightly around his face. He was screaming, yelling, hyperventilating, and crying all at once. Of course I could not calm him down. It took me 2 minutes just to figure out the problem. He had seen the book. He wouldn't take the other book off of his face, either. I know him well enough to understand that, as long as he was in the same room with that book, he was not going to calm down.

I picked him up and carried him, paralyzed with fear, into the hall. I sat him down and he finally removed his face from the other book. He was panting, screaming, and crying so hard that I thought he was going to throw up. Finally he told me what happened:

"I saw the rainbow colors," he said, "and THEN I saw the S. The S that goes with the STRIPES!" He was afraid that someone was going to get it down and show it to him. I assurred him that this book was on the UPPER shelf, and that children were not allowed to touch those books, only grown ups. That's where the story gets even better.

In the most sincere (irrational, but still sincere) little voice ever, 'Jake' asked me the following question:

"But what if you make a machine? A machine that turns little kids into grown ups? And then two kids from our class jump in it when you're not looking and they pop out as grown ups? And then they grab that scary book and SHOW IT TO ME??? Oh I can't even think about it! It's too hard, it's just too hard!!!!!!!!"

Yes. A machine that turns little kids into grown ups. If I had such a machine, I would put him it to make him grow up and not be scared of BOOKS! Anyway, he had to sit in another room while I "removed the book from our classroom." When he believed me that the coast was clear, he came cautiously back in.

But he didn't go back to the library center.

He may never.

Only time will tell.


Tomorrow is our bog Thanksgiving feast day at school! All of the parents signed up to bring different foods and the kids have been working so hard to prepare some songs and an adorable play for them. It will be a crazy day, but one of my favorites all year long, no doubt. Kevin is joining us for our feast, so I'm excited about that, too.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bella's New Spot

Bella has found a new hiding place in our house. She now spends most of her time under our christmas tree. Here are some pictures that are too cute not to share (that is, if you are an animal lover like me)!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!!!

Today Kevin and I spent the day (after Saturday School) shopping and decorating for Christmas. We were so excited because it's our first year in our house! We spent what seemed like forever at Walmart picking out our lights and other decorations, then we headed home to put together our tree. We bought the tree last year in the after Christmas clearance sales in hopes that we would have a house this year, thus needing more than our little table-top tree. God has truly blessed us since then!!!

Kevin doesn't like real trees, but he compromised with me by allowing me to buy a whole set of evergreen scented candles so that I can PRETEND that our tree is real. Haha. Not quite the same, but I'll live.

We haven't gotten to the outside yet, because by the time we wanted to start it was dark and even colder. We might do it tomorrow, or maybe even next weekend. I'm just happy to have my tree up! Kevin wanted to put the tree in the other living room and I threw a pretty huge fit because I NEED my tree to be in the room where I spend most of my time so that I can just look at it. Man I love Christmas!

Here are some pictures of the inside so far...outside to come soon :)

This is our tree!

Here is it from another view, also showing my favorite stuffed snowman and my cute table decor!

The mantle in our TV room with all of our stockings :)

And this is looking over our dining room table into our living room.

The living room and the mantle on the other side of the fireplace. See that adorable sign with our name on it? Kevin's sister gave that to us last year :)

The only thing that IS decorated outside already is our front door. I love this wreath I found for half price at Garden Ridge today!

I hope that you all are having a fun, relaxing, and happy weekend! Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Grade Fun

Let's see if I can sum up my week with a few pictures...and a few short captions:

Me: "Don't worry guys; I'll just make my queso for the teacher birthday lunch during planning time. Good thing I have this cool can opener to open my Rotel with. Wait, did this thing just run out of batteries mid-can? What, it's stuck? Oh well, I'll take it home to Kevin. That's what he signed up for when he married me."

Jake: "NO! I will NOT wear that birthday STICKER! I hate stickers! Why do you always ask me to wear a stupid dumb sticker???"

Note the sticker PINNED (paper backing still adhered) to his shirt.

Two small words, one HUGE disaster: D's desk.

K: "Mrs. White, um, I'm having a little problem with my take home folder. Would you mind just taping the note onto the front of it?"

D: "And he likes to bite noses!!!"

A few other noteworthy happenings that were NOT captured on film, mostly from today:

-Jo: "Mrs. White, when you grow up, are you going to be a cheerleader?"
Me: "Well, J, I already went to high school and college, and those are the times to be a cheerleader, so I guess I already grew up PAST being a cheerleader."
Jo: "WERE you a cheerleader, then?"
Me: "Nope."
W: "Well, were you a dancer?"
Me: "As a matter of fact, I was."
3 kids at once: "Can you do the SPLITS?"
... This is where I made the mistake of promising to do my splits (in jeans) for MY show-and-tell at the end of the day, if the class earned show-and-tell. Then of course they did. So I did the splits. It hurt. The bright side is that it prompted Jake to share his Soldier Boy dance with the class, which is always enjoyable.

-Jake, during show-and-tell: "These are the little men that were on my birthday cake when I was turning one year old, so they are so special to me."
Aa, interrupting him: "NO! Those were actually on your cake last weekend."
Jake: "NO!!"
Aa: "Actually, yes they were, Mrs. White."
Jake, turning to me with his back to Aa: "Anyway, Mrs. White. These were on my cake when I was turning {turns dramatically to Aa}...ONE... and I was so thrilled!"

There were many more bright spots in my challenging week, and I would love to share them with you but I am exhausted and I must get to bed. I have to teach Saturday school in the morning.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tattle-Tail Tuesday!!!

Howdy, all! As promised, here we are for Tattle-Tale Tuesday!!! I must preface this post with the dissappointing news that for the latter part of last week, the tattle book was lost and thus not "tattled" in. Rather, I should say the tattle book was "accidentally" misplaced into somebody's desk. A certain somebody who loves to write in it multiple times a day. Hmm...suspicious.

We'll make do with what we have!

Here we go...

1. S on trew a rack at my fase.
translation: S threw a rock at my face.

2. I was like wely disponted at G and R bous they was not pintisht to you Then they look at me like ment.
translation: I was really dissappointed at G and R because they were not paying attention to you. Then they looked at me like mean. (See picture below, in case it was not detailed enough of a tattle for you):

3. S was paly with the poty.
translation: S was playing with the potty. UM....when was this and why did I not know about it? Maybe we need to have another talk about when it is OKAY to in the rock incident above as well. I'd say splashing around in a public toilet warrants a verbal tattle, wouldn't you???

4. R open my locr and pot my baback undr Erin.
translation: R opened my locker and put my backpack under Erin.

5. I was wrceg in my jrnl then S stardid to play with his floose box and he toked lowd in his wispr fon.
translation: I was writing in my journal then S started to play with his fluency box and he talked loud in his whisper phone.

6. K stiked his tung at A and A. For Mrs. White. love A and A.

7. D dot let me rit to they are mesinup my sesint.
translation: D doesnt let me write. They are messing up my sentence.

8. N wet down the cher.
translation: N went down the chair. What does that mean? You got me.

9. K hit me on the sint win K hit me like four time and he wen bac and I omos crin.
translation: K hit me on the side. When K hit me like four times and he went back I was almost crying.

----------------and my favorite, accompanied by a very detailed picture--------------------

10. A was skreme at me and I tod him to bles stow he did not lisin. I did not like it.
translation: A was screaming at me and I told him to stop but he did not listen. I did not like it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hi everyone!

Before I update about our wonderful weekend, I have a hilarious story from school on Thursday. We left for Houston early Friday morning and I have been itching to write this all weekend long!!!

So on Thursday I had a parent conference about T, the little boy who causes me a ton of problems in my class. We met after school with the boy's mom, our principal, the speech therapist, his behavior teacher, and myself (his mainstream teacher). We talked seriously about the issues that we are having, but also laughed at some of the more humorous T stories. There are a bunch of those!

After a while, we decided to bring T in to our meeting. We all agreed ahead of time to keep a straight face, no matter what hilarious comments T made, to show him that there is nothing funny about his behavior. So he came in, and the first thing that almost made me laugh was the way he sat his little body in his grown up chair and darted his eyes around the room nervously, observing the fact that every person who is capable of punishing him was in the same room at the same time, specifically to discuss his poor behavior. So my principal started to talk to him sternly and about that time, her boss showed up unexpectedly. He cracked open the door and peeked his head in to tell her that whatever he needed could wait. She introduced him to all of us as her boss. Right then, T shot his hand up toward the man to shake his hand. While shaking the man's hand for an extended amount of time, he announced:

"Hello Mr. (insert name). My name is (insert name). I am very dissappointed to tell you that the reason I am sitting here is that I have disrupted your employees three times today."

This kid is seven years old, remember. Disrupted? EMPLOYEES? The story is made more humorous by the fact that, by "disrupting," T means kicking, screaming, yelling, and being drug out of my classroom and into the office. Oh man.

So then he came up with a list of things that he was NOT going to do ANYMORE in my classroom. These things include:
-ripping things up
-flipping over desks/chairs
-climbing up the filing cabinet and jumping off <--------------probably my favorite.

We'll see how it goes.


So about the weekend. Kevin and I went to Houston to enjoy a weekend with our friends and attend Chad and Julie's wedding. Chad has been Kevin's best friend since High School so he was in the wedding. They're a great couple and we are so glad that they finally got married, and also happy that we were a part of their special day. We really enjoyed a weekend hanging out with old friends and I enjoyed meeting a few new people that, surprisingly, I had never met.

We had two really good nights. We went out after the rehearsal dinner and after the wedding. They were the kind of good nights that are really good that night, but then not so fun the next morning. :( Kevin says I need to drink more often so that just a few of drinks don't make me feel so bad the next day. He says he has practice and I need some more. No thanks. If practicing gives me a headache and makes me unable to eat for several hours, I'm fine being an amateur.

We stayed at a good friend's house. He lives on the same street with several of the other guys that Kevin grew up with and their families. It always makes us a little sad that everyone else lives there in their happy little neighborhood and we moved up here all by ourselves. We know that eventually we'll end up back in Houston, but we both have a lot of growing to do and experience to gain in our careers first. We both love our jobs, and even though that's one of the few things we DO love about living up here, it's enough to suffice for a while.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Did you like that last one? Yeah. Me too. NOT!

Have a wonderful week! I will not be participating in Not Me Monday this week, but drop in on Tuesday for my first Tattle-Tale Tuesday. I promise you will not be dissapppointed!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funny First Graders

Here are a few reasons today was a funny day!

1. When T first entered my classroom mid- morning today, the first thing that he did was state matter-of-factly to me: "Next time I'll go to the cafeteria and ask for a new free and reduced lunch application instead of screaming bloody murder." Two things are funny about this situation: his mztter-of-fact attitude about the whole thing, and the fact that he really DOES scream bloody murder. Good words, boy, good words.

2. As a first grade teacher, my mouth is moving ALL DAY LONG. Giving instructions, redirecting kids, getting people's attention, etc. Sometimes I get to a point where I start saying things that don't even make sense. The good thing is that my listeners are 6 years old and usually don't notice. Well not today. Today I introduced the sight word "all." I wanted to use it in a sentence, so I said "You can't hear me....all....if you decide to talk." What? As you can see, I kind of threw "all" in there hoping to slide it by them. Too bad I was bombarded with about a dozen shouts of "WHAT??? THAT doesn't even make SENSE!!!" Oh to be corrected by babies...

3. We were reading a story in Reading today. I was trying to question the kids to get them thinking.
Me: "Yes, E, you're right. Maybe the plant will grow into a fruit or a vegetable, or..."
'Jake': (shouts out, interrupting me): "Or maybe MEAT!"
Me: "Well, Jake, plants dont actually grow into meat.

Do you see yet why I desperately crave adult conversation by 3pm each day?

4. We've, again, been working on higher level words to express our emotions. T came up with this one today:
T: "I know another word we can use to express our feelings, Mrs. White. Ticked. T-I-C-K-E-D. It means you are so mad and frustrated. I think I should get TWO stickers for that one, because it's not even on our wall yet."
Me: "Yes, well there's a reason for that."

5. I found that N was hiding all of the class supply of extra crayons loose in his desk. We're talking at least 150 crayons in there.
Me: "N, put ALL of these crayons back. You are stealing from our classroom. Do you want to steal from your friends and from me?"
T: "Yeah, and do you want to GO TO JAIL?"
N: (rolls eyes) "I'm seven years old. How the heck am I going to go to jail?"

6. T got really mad and threw his pencil across the classroom. We went out into the hall to talk about how this is not a safe choice and to brainstorm different ways to handle our frustration. When we went back in he wanted to make an announcement to the class.
T: "Listen up everybody. Throwing pencils in your classroom is NOT a good choice. You could really hurt someone bad. Like if the pencil gets stuck in their leg right here (points to leg.) Like one time when I was 6. No I was 5 years old or something, my mom got mad at my brother for doing that and trying to give me lead poisoning. So that's why you NEVER throw a pencil when you're having a melt-down."

He then proceeded to give an example of what not to do, which resulted in him, again, throwing his pencil, which hit S in the legs. Ironically close to where T had given his example of getting hurt. I guess we really learned a lot from that lesson on pencil safety, huh T?

I could really go on and on all day with this stuff. Days like today just brighten my week because I love to laugh and find humor with the kids. Sometimes they just stare at me while they most likely think "What is wrong with this lady? Why does she think that is so funny?"

I have some really exciting tattle book entries for you guys, but I'm waiting to collect some more before I post about them. I'm thinking about starting "Tattle-tale Tuesday." I'll start next week. What do you think?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Here we are again, and it's time for another Not Me Monday! Check out the original Not Me Monday here:

Here are some things that I in no way, shape, or form would have EVER done this week:

1. Kevin and I would NEVER sit at a wedding reception and speculate whether or not the bride and groom together...previously. We do not buy into the gossip scene.

2. Before leaving school on Friday, I definitely did not glance under the heat lamp to see that my students' plants needed water before the weekend. I then did NOT decide to let them take their chances over the weekend, instead of filling them with water, because I was not going to spend one more minute there last week. I'm super teacher! I would never do that...

3. After urging Kevin for over a week to clean off the pile of his papers and mail on the kitchen table, I did not crack and toss it in the trash. I certainly did not think to myself that there was obviously nothing very important in there, considering it had not been touched in over a week.

4. I did not eat Cheese-It's for breakfast every morning this week. I did not justify it by telling myself that they were the DUOS kind of the two best flavors ever created.

5. I did not decide to reward my first graders who received no color changes all week long with a piece of candy on Friday. And if I DID do that, I WOULD NEVER take a small amount of pleasure and revenge in the tears that my color changers shed as they got passed up for candy. It wouldn't matter if these color changers were repeat offenders or not, I still wouldn't do it.

6. I would never find humor in the VERY SERIOUS tattles that my students write for me in the Tattle Book. And if you reference the previous post in argument, I will NOT claim that I did not write it.

7. I certainly did not turn off the election coverage at the point where Obama had 170 electoral votes and McCain only had 70. I am an American, I watch those things until the end. And I certainly did not go to bed the least bit dissappointed or worried about our future.

8. I did not cave into peer pressure and sign up to play in our church's Turkey Bowl football game. I then did not immediately regret it either, and I did NOT cross my name off of the list at the last minute and BEG my friend's husband to take my spot. I them did not relax on a blanket while WATCHING the Turkey Bowl today and play with latest favorite new thing to do.

9. When Kevin came up to me after the game, I did NOT try to use Nate (the most adorable baby ever) to convince him that we needed one of our own. I'm patient and I can wait until the time is right...

10. I did NOT just run out of Not Me ideas and decide to write this for number 10. I would never do that because I am not OCD on any level and I would be perfectly fine with only having nine items on my list.

What did you not do this week?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tattle Book

Ahh...the famous Tattle Book. How I love to read it and laugh at it's ridiculousness.

Could you decipher these "sentences?"

I can. It's the gift of a first grade teacher.

So allow me to share some of the more amusing tattles of the week.

10. I fusursis uv s and e uay are men to me
translation: I am frustrated of S and E they are mean to me.
9. N frod a ofis.
translation: N threw an office. (Offices are our privacy folders).
8. K tak my pesooway.
translation: K took my pencil away. (We have problems with pencils, as evidenced by these
last two tattle book blogs).
7. T si bos.
translation: T is boss. (Yes he is.)
6. D always boter me.
translation: D always bothers me. (true).
5. We were lining up from recess and w made me a bad face.
4. I was dizapoyntd at G us not lren.
translation: I was dissapointed that G is not learning. (sticker word :))
3. R hit frod a boc in my bac A. Wan I wus cumin in the culrom.
translation: R hit and threw a book in my back when I was coming in the classroom.
...Next entry: "From R. that was only a litel." HAHAHAHAHA defending yourself in the tattle book is a new one.

The accompanying pictures make the next two the best:

2. G was mesing with me.

My all time favorite:
1. "D was under the writing table after intervention. From: A"

This picture makes me think "Ha-ha! You're not getting away with anything because I SEE YOU!!!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First-grade Fluency Fanatics :)

Yes, we are First-grade Fluency Fanatics!We've been working on two new things that I am really excited about to improve fluency. For those of you who are not teachers, fluency is how smoothly a student reads. In testing, it translates into how many words per minute they can read.

The first thing that we've introduced this week in my class are our fluency boxes (I finally found a total of 24 containers between the 4 Dollar Trees I visited)! Inside our fluency boxes, we have a baggy for nonsense words, a baggy for sight words, a baggy for sight word phrases, and a baggy for reading passages. Each Monday the students add five more flash cards of each to their baggies, with the exception of the passage, which is only one per week. The boxes also contain a "whisper phone" which Kevin made for me over the summer out of PVC pipe. The kids are so excited about the boxes and seem to be working very well with them! Here are some pictures of our fluency boxes in action:

The next thing that I am SUPER excited about is something I am doing with my leveled intervention group. I named it "Fluency Friends." I have the "medium" readers in first grade, so for 40 minutes each day the 18 kids from all 3 classes come to me for on-level instruction. I decided to try to do a program with them in which they read a passage to a partner while their partner marks their own laminated copy of the passage with their miscues (words skipped or read incorrectly). The kids read for 1 minute (my timer ticks down on the overhead) and then the partner draws a line where they stopped reading at the end of the minute. Then the words read correctly are counted and recorded on a somewhat kid-friendly table that I made for each student. In case you didn't know, this is A LOT for six year olds to handle. I was worried that it was going to be too much for them, but they are bright kids so I decided to give it a shot. After only two days of practice, they are PROS! They enjoy "being the teacher," and it gives me an idea of who is making progress throughout each week and each passage without me having to sit down with each one to monitor. My teacher friends, if you want the documents I made please comment to let me know. I highly reccommend the program! Here's a really cute video of Fluency Friends:


In other news, I have a funny kid story today. I walked into my classroom after herding children back into their own classrooms following Intervention, and I heard this extremely SERIOUS conversation happening on the rug:

N: "I wish God was here."
Other kids: "Why?"
N: "Because then he could teach me Kung-Fu."

This was NOT a joke - the kid was serious. The funniest part is that the other kids didn't even laugh. They simply pondered the thought for a minute and then nodded their heads in agreement.

I guess the bible says that God can do all things, right? Ask and it will be given unto you... but Kung-Fu? I guess if you're 6 years old and you hear that God is mighty and strong, it means He can do Kung-Fu. Oh, to have the innocence of a child...