Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reading and Hiking

Every summer I use the time to catch up on the reading that is popular among my third graders.  My kids were raging about the I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis so I used some of my bonus points from Scholastic to purchase a couple of the books.  I got the I Survived Pearl Harbor and I Survived 9/11.  I thought both were good and brought the content and magnitude of those events down to something a third grader could understand.  I read the Pearl Harbor book first and thought it did a good job of explaining what happened during the beginning of WWII for the United States.  It explained some world events at the time that helped lead to the United States entering the war.  I then read the 9/11 book.  Prior to reading it I thought it might be a good book to read around the anniversary of 9/11 to help students understand what transpired on that day and why it is such a "big deal".  After reading it I am not so sure.  I have never said much about 9/11 to my students and have always thought it was more of their parents' job at their age.  They are still so little and I try to leave tragic events up to their parents to explain.  I guess I am just struggling a bit about whether or not 9/11 is history enough for me to talk about it with my students.  I feel they need to know about it, they were born into a world that was greatly impacted and changed by the events of that day.  I just have this heavy feeling in my heart when I think about how I would teach this historical event.  I guess my question to you is what do you do with your students when it comes to September 11, 2001.  Do you talk with them about it, do you say nothing, what are your plans when it comes to the anniversary each year?

On a much lighter note I had the privilege of hiking in my beautiful mountains today!  Yes, I just called them MY beautiful mountains.  I realize I share them with hundreds upon thousands of people each year but I still consider them mine :)  I have lived here since I was born and find the mountains to be one of the most peaceful places on earth.  My mom and I went on a short hike but saw some beautiful scenery.  It is still spring run-off time and so we saw many small waterfalls and some really great larger falls as well.  We were also able to hike through some snowfields where the snow was up to our knees! 

The wild flowers were just starting to bloom.  I am excited to go back to this same trail in a couple of weeks to see them in full bloom!  It is going to be absolutely beautiful!  We came upon a wonderful spot just at lunch time.  After hiking through all the snow and laughing the whole time because we kept sinking through up to our knees we came upon this gorgeous waterfall.  There is supposed to be a lake at the top of the waterfall but we could not get to it because of all the snow. 

Best of all this was a great way to beat the heat here in town today.  It was 98 Monday, 100 yesterday and in the high 90's today.  I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am!  


Monday, June 10, 2013

First Monday Made It (for me!!!)

I have been blog stalking for a year and finally decided to jump in.  One of the very first blog posts I happened across was a submission for Tara's Monday Made It over at 4th Grade Frolics.  I have been blog stalking Tara ever since that day!  I try to be a crafty and made it kind of person.  Sometimes it works out, and some times (if you ask my hubby, it is more than sometimes) it does not work out.  I am soooooo excited to finally be able to link up with Tara with some of my own Made-its!
Classroom Made it #1 and 2
My first classroom made it is something I hope will work but only time will tell.  I have seen all of these beautiful tulip starters all over pinterest and I think they are just beautiful. 


I had a student give me a HUGE container of water started tulips for Valentine's Day years ago and I have tried to start some of my own tulips in the same container but they totally BOMBED!  Before I started them, I did all my research and I found many sites that said they needed to be started in a dark location, similar to what the ground would be like for them! :)  So I put them in the container, filled it with a little water and then put them in a closet.  I checked on them every few days and some of them finally started to grow!  YIPEEE!!!  I was so excited.  I closed the closet door and let them stay in there for a bit longer, and when I checked on them again I had mold!  I was so disappointed I threw the whole thing away and pushed my bag of tulip bulbs into the back of my gardening supplies. 
When I saw these beautiful things on Pinterest, I decided to start again.  You might be asking at this point how this is a classroom made it.  Well, I am hoping that once these begin to grow I will be able to take them into my classroom for some fresh flowers and a little pep.  I am not sure how long these will take to grow, but in my little dream world, I am able to put them at some tables at back to school night in the fall. 
Here are mine....I did not put them in a closet this time (hoping to ward off the mold!)
Classroom Made it #2 is something I am quite proud of! 
I always make my teacher planner for the year.  The problem is, I always wait until I get back to school and then I pull it together quickly and it is always very BORING!  I hate BORING!  Sooooo...this year I decided to get it done now.  I think it turned out very cute!  I also made a few variations of it and I am not quite sure which one I am going to end up with!
You can find this and the other variations at my store.  :)
I am even more excited about my home made its. 
Home Made It #1
I bought these curtains quite a while ago and never did anything with them.  They had a couple of problems I had to fix.  Problem one was that they were too long.  I found them and then hemmed and hawed about buying them and when I finally made my decision the correct length was gone.  So I bout the longer length, cut them, and hemmed them up.  Problem two was that the window they are one is a small window and was eaten up by two full panels so I cut one panel and hemmed the sides of each.  I don't know why this took me so long, but it did.  I finally got my stuff together and hung them up today!  I think they look great! 

Home Made It #2
This is my favorite of all!  I mentioned in my June Currently I was listening to my new homemade fountain!  I (my hubby) used flower pots to create a small fountain for our back porch.  I love sitting out there, reading a book and just listening to the sound of the water.  I forgot to take pictures of the construction process (and quite the process it was) but here is the finished project. 
Whew!  I am exhausted now....I think it is time to grab some sweet tea and a good book and sit on the porch listening to my fountain!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Work!

I know, I know, summer and work are not supposed to go together.  I am hoping the work I did today will help me in my data collection come next school year.  I spent my whole day today in front of a computer putting formulas in Excel.  I now remember why I do not work in an office at a computer every day, it would drive me CRAZY!!!  I have only been on summer vacation for a week now, but I am already going a bit stir crazy.  I think I need to get going on some of my summer projects.  I have soooo many things on my to do list and I need to get started before I lose my motivation.  Although, I have already accomplished one of my summer to do list items, start this blog. :)

I have spent a year watching everyone else link up to some super fun linky parties and I have always been jealous.  I am so excited to join in the fun with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade at and her June Currently.  I cannot seem to figure out how to add her button so if anyone can tell me how to do that, it would be great!  So here goes, I hope I am doing this right!

I am excited to see what the rest of you are up to as your summers begin!

The beginning

After spending the last year looking at what was for me the new world of blogs (yes, I know, I am kind of late to the party!) I have decided to jump in with both feet and start my own blog!  I have played around with it over the past school year but was always frustrated with the design portion of the blog.  I know what I have is nothing fancy, but trust me, it is WAY better than what I have had thus far. I am excited as I begin on this new adventure and cannot wait to learn from all of you out there in bloggy (is that even a word?) land!  Thanks for reading, and coming along on this ride with me!