Monday, April 30, 2018

One busy day at a time...

I feel lucky to have now taught on both sides of the elementary teaching spectrum.  From kinder all the way to third grade.  Though I miss kinder, I feel like third grade fits too.  Now if I can only figure out how to balance teaching third grade and blogging.  So I ask for your grace as I run through some of the thing that have happened second semester at K.E.S. in room 203!
For the 100th Day at KES "Old Man Flores" made a reappearance!  My costume worked so well that some students and staff didn't even recognize me.  Most of my students dressed up and those who didn't were transformed when they arrived at school.  We had computer lab and our Achieve 3000 assessments on the 100th day, students who made a 100 on the 100th day took a picture and received 100 jellybeans.
At the end of February I attended the Cowtown Children's 5K with our running club (shout out to coach Lewis).  I went to the race early so I could decorate our booth, since last year I saw so many other schools had done the same.  Just my Cricut and paper plates for the banner, in front of a black table cloth.  Unfortunately we we not able to run.  Anyone who is from Fort Worth knows Mother Nature loves to make an appearance at most outdoor events.  It stormed and it poured delaying the race for almost 3 hours.  This ran into our parent pick up time, so we had to go home.  At least we had fun at the warm-up!
After that we had benchmarks, then fast-forward to Spring Break.  Our school chess team made it to state!  Through the guidance of  the chess coach Mr. Agosto and hard work from the students, they qualified for the state tournament.  It was a race to get district approval for a trek across the state, but it came through!  Our wonderful parents drove their children to Houston to make this an experience they will never forget.  We gathered snacks, raised money, and even had one of our local news channels to run a story about them.  The competition was though in Houston, but they played hard and made us proud.  I'm happy I was able to be there to support them.
Time out from all if these school events to present to you my adorable baby niece Gemma Eloise Chavez.  We are all CRAZY about her!  Aaaaaaaa, she's so adorable!
This school year I had the honor of being chosen by our staff as The Kirkpatrick Elementary "Teacher of the Year."  It is not something I take lightly.  I work with many hardworking and passionate people who have on many occasions helped me get through the journey from Kindergarten to third.  I appreciate their kind words and help whenever I needed it.  Thank you to my administrators for supporting me and mostly thank you to my third grade team.  As a small token of my appreciation I made the staff some banana pudding.

 Now we're in full STAAR countdown mode!  The pressure is on and the kids are taking on the challenge.  Our principal, in efforts to alleviate the stress of keeping up with bulletin boards, let us put up inspirational bulletin boards.  I used a the Pinterest inspired board.  My student's names are on each star. The scrapbook paper squares are to spotlight any students showing use of their test taking strategies.  Our principal was excited with their work and sent us some pictures.  They could not believe we had received a text from her!  Now my STAAR countdown chain has 9 links left...We can see the finish line and we're working hard to get there.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Spring Break & a little bit of Dr. Seuss

Hey Friends!!

Spring break was about 2 weeks ago and I’m barely recuperating from my trip! It was such a whirlwind. We visited 5 countries in 10 days and it was AMAZING and exhausting at the same time. We went to Milan, Italy then to Lucerne, Switzerland, then we headed to Vaduz, Lichtenstein, then Salzburg, Austria and we finished our tour in Germany where we went to Munich and Regensburg. I took way too many pics to post them all here but here are a few of my faves from each country.


Next year we are headed to AMSTERDAM!!! Can't wait.

I know this is late but I love, love, love Dr. Seuss and all the activities we do!! Here are some activities we did for Dr. Seuss’s birthday in our class and in the library. We made Green Eggs and Ham in the classroom and then my little friends wrote a “How To Make Green Eggs and Ham” paper. YUMMMMM!! How delicious does that look??

We also did a Cat in the Hat directed draw from the They always turn out so cute.
Our librarian had RIF in the library and then had my little friends do some Dr. Seuss centers. My friends loved them and they were so engaged in the activities. 
 In the first center they tried to see how many hats they could stack. In the 2nd center they sort goldfish crackers.
 In this center they tried were putting "apples" up on top and then they were reading sight words on green eggs
In this last center they were matching capital letters to lowercase letters. This last pic is a pic of the library ready for RIF and Dr. Seuss's birthday.
This past Thursday was opening day for the Texas Rangers. For over 20 years my friends and I have attended opening day and we always have a blast. Here’s a pic of Cindy and I at the game.

Thanks for stopping by and reading our blog!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February...a little bit of everything!

All I can say is FEBRUARY!!! Who's with me?? February is such a short month but jammed packed with lots of themes. I'm going to blog about the 100th day, Valentine's Day, a Field trip and President's Day. We also covered Texas & the rodeo, dental health and Black History but I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted so I'll write about the pictures that I have.

Let's start with the 100th Day, which I LOVE!! We usually start a lot of our 100th day projects the week prior so that on the actual 100th day we are doing a ton of math activities and 100th day rotations. We had a project for the kiddos to bring in something created with 100 items on it or wear a 100 of something. These are always interesting to see because you just never know what you're going to get. I have the kiddos present their project to the class and explain why or how they made it. My favorite project this year was the dinosaur made with 100 popsicle sticks and of course my shirt that says I Survived 100 Days of Kindergarten lol.
100th Day Project
100th Day Crowns
The week prior to the 100th day we made our 100th day crowns which are a little time consuming but they turn out super cute. Then we wrote a "How To Make a 100th Day Crown" paper during writing.
100th Day Fruit Loop Necklace, Snack & Coloring page
Every year we make the cereal necklace and every year we struggle with the yarn fraying but this year I used this nylon cord and it was AMAZING!! No lie, it took about half the time it normally does. I also found these coloring pages and some glasses at Party City. We did 100 day rotations including: build a structure with 100 Legos, 100 pattern blocks, 100 red solo cups, make a drawing with the number 100, but the kids favorite 100th day activity is the snack!! Who doesn't love a snack?!? Click here to check out our other posts for more 100th day ideas.
Valentines Day
Next up was Valentines Day! Which was just a few days after the 100th Day. We have the kids/parents make a Valentines day box for the cards. I usually take a ton of pictures but for some reason I only took one this year of this awesome unicorn. 
I always make the kids a non-candy valentine card and this year I did dinosaurs for the boys and bubbles for the girls. I also made them some treat bags with all this cool stuff I found at Walmart. We then made unicorn and puppy cards, friendship fruit salad, played Minute to Win It games with conversation hearts and then had a hot dog party. Click here for other Valentines day ideas.
Field Trip
The day after Valentines day we went on a field trip to hear the Ft Worth Symphony and Kids Who Care perform Aesop's Fables and then we went to the park for lunch. Exhausting but we had a blast.
President's Day
For President's day we made our usual book about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. Click here for other President's day posts.
This year my students got really interested in Mount Rushmore, because I went there this summer and bought some really cool books and took some really great pictures. They were really interested in the dynamite used to carve the mountain and this led to videos and more discussion.

Don't you just love those moments where you end up teaching something you didn't have in the lesson plans?

Thanks for stopping by and reading our blog!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Late post: Christmas Party Fun!!

I'm a little late in posting about our class Christmas party but we had so much fun I thought I'd share. Our day was jam packed full of activities. We started the day with a school wide sing-a-long in the gym and watched a snippet of Polar Express. All the kiddos came in their pajamas and they looked adorable.
Then we headed back to our class to decorate graham cracker houses. Sometimes I think I'm a glutton for punishment with the things I decide to take on, but then it all works out and we always have a blast and I realize it was all worth it.
Like the time I decided to make eighteen graham cracker houses by myself instead of getting help from our parent helpers. I usually have the parents hot glue the houses together but this year I had the crazy idea to put them together using royal icing so that they'd be edible.As I'm constructing them I'm thinking I must be crazy, but then the kids had so much fun with this activity that I can't wait to do it all over again next year...with some help. 
To pull this all off I made the houses the night before, then I put all the candies needed into muffin tins for the kids to share and I put multiple cans of frosting with popsicle sticks on all the tables. The kids were so excited and concentrating so hard on adding candies without breaking the houses that they were SILENT!! Yes! SILENT! In a kindergarten class on the last day before Christmas break. It really was a Christmas miracle lol. They were so proud of their little houses they couldn't wait to show their parents.
After lunch we played Minute to Win it games with marshmallows and it was so much fun!! First we played Marshmallow Toss where the kids had to see how many marshmallows they could get in their partner's cup in a minute.
Then we played Build a Snowman, which sounds so easy but they were only able to build 2 snowmen. For our last game we tried to see how many marshmallows we could get in a cup using a straw. This was hilarious!! I'm gonna say my kids are either cheaters or geniuses. Instead of sucking the marshmallow with the straw they stabbed the straw into the marshmallow to move it.

After the Minute to Win It games we had our book exchange and then our Christmas party and whew the day was done...thank goodness. Busy, busy, busy!!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Hey it's me Cindy!

Where to begin…
So much has changed for me.  I’m now one year and a half into my trek from kindergarten to THIRD GRADE and this is my first blog post.  GASP!  Never the less here I am ready to share some of my journey with you all.  From kinder through my first year as a third grade teacher in one longish post haha!  Thank goodness for winter break!

Let me start by saying that I LOVE KINDERGARTEN.  Their sweet little faces so eager to see you every morning, their toothless smiles, the hugs.  The look on their little faces the first time they read a word, count to 100, heck sometimes it was just counting to 10!  The pride in their little faces melting every bit of your heart.  To say I miss it is an understatement, but what I miss the most about kindergarten is the people I worked with.  All my friends, especially my bestest (I don’t care if that’s not a real word lol) amiga Sandra.  It’s a scary thing leaving what you know for something you know NOTHING about, but I felt like the time was right.  It was an easy decision knowing I had their full support no matter what.
Third grade…
So M.G. Ellis is an Early Childhood Center with a campus full of pre-k and kindergarten students.  To move up I had to switch to a “regular” school.  YIKES!  So, there I went.  From the first meeting, to setting up my room, I felt like I was swimming upstream.  The term learning gap was the mantra of my year.  I was amazed with what my 8 and 9-year-olds were expected to do.  New grade level, new administrators, new colleagues, it was all so overwhelming.  I was placed on a three person team with two hardworking educators who helped me make it through this very though year.  Thank you, Mrs. Sanchez and Mrs. Martinez.  I taught reading, writing, science and social studies to 3 very different classes.  Two dual language classes and one very culturally diverse ESL/Regular Program ELA class.  Not only did I have Spanish speaking ELLs last year, but I also had students from several countries in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.  I learned that third graders are still sweet, still love to hug their teacher, and know how to push buttons haha!  So now not only do I love kinder, I also…LOVE THIRD GRADE!
The year flew by…
Before I knew it, my first year of third grade was over!  It felt like my first year of teaching many days, but with the support of my teammates and upper grade vets that came to my rescue when I needed it, I survived.  I missed my friends and the familiarity of what I had been doing for 10 years at the same school and feel stronger for having taken a leap for myself.  More than anything, what helped  me make it, was the fact that I was never alone.  Sandra was always there giving me her unwavering support through all of my struggles, even when she was learning to navigate without me too.  I feel like our friendship is stronger than ever.  Thank you for everything, amiga, I love you to pieces.  Here's to a new year of love, friendship and becoming BETTER bloggers in 2018!

Coming soon…
KDLD Winter/Snowman Unit! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving feast, crafts, experiments and a Freebie

Our Thanksgiving break is coming to an end and it’s time to get back to work. Hopefully everyone had a wonderful time with their friends and family. I know I did!! I love being off but I also love my little amigos and can’t wait to hear about everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) they did over the break. Kindergarteners are so awesome and LOVE sharing every minute of their lives.
Now, I’m going to share a few things we did prior to the break and haven’t had time to blog about.
During the month of November we spend a lot time discussing Pilgrims, Native Americans and the Mayflower. We discuss how the Native Americans helped the Pilgrims who then had a bountiful harvest and they had a meal to celebrate it and we added all new learning to our schema chart. Then we have a Thanksgiving feast with all of kindergarten. There are 10 kinder classes at our school so usually 5 classes are Native Americans and 5 classes are Pilgrims. The kids get to make costumes and dress up for the feast, make a Thanksgiving handprint placemat with a pattern border and have a Thanksgiving meal. Many of our students are bilingual students and have never celebrated Thanksgiving before. The feast always turns out so cool. I love it and so do the kids!!

I love reading Turkey Trouble and then having the kids think of other foods we can eat instead of turkey for Thanksgiving. These projects always turn out so cute. 
We also make a list of what we are thankful for after reading Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks. Then we make this turkey craft and write what we are thankful for on the feathers.
Also, before the holiday we were discussing sources of energy and changes caused by heat. We did several activities trying to melt chocolate, marshmallows and butter but the activity they loved the best was popping popcorn in an air pop machine. I love their faces in the pictures. We had so much fun, but we should’ve kept some of that melted butter for our popcorn!

For Veteran’s Day we made the veteran craft from Deanna Jump’s Veteran Unit. I made it half the normal size and they came out super miniature but kind of cute. Then the students wrote thank you notes to the veterans.

We also did a few activities from our Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere unit. We measured our pumpkin with cubes, estimated how big it is with yarn, tested to see if it would float, carved it, took out the seeds and roasted them. 

Lastly here’s a freebie that’s on our TpT site. It’s a clip it game in Spanish called Clip It! Initial Sound Cards. Hope you can use it!! 
Thanks for reading!!
Sandra & Cindy