Saturday, October 3, 2015

Currently in October..

I try never to miss my Fabulous friend Farley's Currently Linky but I did last month and I swore to myself I wouldn't miss October... so it's a bit late but that's better than missing it altogether.

Listening - I'm watching Tanked (on the Animal Planet).  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for them to build me a tank... a girl can dream.

Loving - that I am using Google Classrooms for my homework this year.  Thanks to my new and terrific teammate, Courtney Martinez, I am creating little videos for homework that guide students through some math problems.  It's working out FANTASTIC and the kids love doing homework!

Thinking - I need to buy a new purse... looks like me and the hubs may do a little shopping tomorrow.  Vera Bradley here I come!

Wanting - the weather to cool down.  It's October for goodness sake!  Here is South Texas its still HOT, HOT, HOT!

Needing - ice cream! Well, really its the last thing I actually need but I am sure if I ate some ice cream right now I would be more willing to do some grading.

Boo-tiful - that would be my little sister Sharon!   She is kicking breast cancer's butt right now.  She is so amazing.... she is staying positive and fighting hard!  I am so proud of her and humbled by her fight.

Keep Sharon and everyone else fighting cancer in your prayers!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Carson Dellosa Goodies

Howdy my Fabulous Friends!

I've recently become a Carson Dellosa Brand fun is that?  Carson Dellosa sends me products to use in my classroom and then I get to review them.  I love learning about new resources to use with my Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies!

The two new product I used this month were the Learning Targets and Essential Questions and one of many Spectrum Focused Practice workbooks.

I bet you can guess what book I chose....  that's right, I chose Writing! Wouldn't any 4th grade teacher?

This books takes the students through the entire writing process with a lot of lessons in between and even reinforces language art/grammar skills.

I love that this books covers many types of writing and well as writing for a purpose.  However, my favorite part of this book is that it is so user friendly!

I look forward to checking out the Spectrum series in other subjects.  Watch this short video so you can see how great this series is for yourself!

The Learning Targets are great too!  We are required to post an essential question for each subject we teach.  It can be written on the board or written/typed on a sentence strip and put in a pocket chart but it has to be posted somewhere so everyone can see it, especially the students.  I like to say that every single student is able to answer the essential questions posted after I have taught the content.  Not completely true but I can say that they all know what the essential questions are and that our goal is to be able to answer them.

One of side of the card there is an "I can" statement and on the other is an essential question.  I have only used the essential question side but I wish I had set for every subject and every standard we teach here in Texas.   The cards are a perfect size to post and not take too much room.  I don't use a pocket chart but I post on my board with one small magnet.  I love not having to write the questions on the board.  It is so much easier to look in the box and pull out the card to post.   The essential questions are very easy to read and plain enough not to clash with any decor.   Can't have something that clashes with my frogs, right?

The cards are housed in a sturdy box that even includes dividers. I love that these cards lead my class to such great discussion and encourage my students to think critically.  But I am going to be honest, the best thing about these cards is they are such a time saver!!!! The only thing is dislike about these Learning Targets.... they don't come in Science and Social Studies!

Watch this video to see how you can use these Learning Targets in your classroom.

What great products, huh?  And did you catch the adorable elephant border in Learning Target video?  If my room wasn't all about frogs, I would have to get that border!

Review Disclaimer: I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Visit Carson Dellosa on Facebook and tell them your Froggy Friend Lorraine sent ya ;)

Happy Fall Y'all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently in July!

I think I missed June's Currently.... Oh my!   Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade!'s Currently  is my very favorite linky, I try to never miss. Boo!

Oh well, it's July and I in!  

Listening:  I am listening to the book Wonder by RJ Palacio on Audible.  I am testing the 30 day Audible free try out period.  I love it! I think I am going to subscribe!  The first book I listened to was A Girl on The Train.  It was really good!

Loving:  My new Happy Planner by Me & My Big Ideas!  I have a Erin Condren notebook for work/school with a calendar insert and this Beautiful Happy Planner for everything else.  I will save the details for another blog post. 

Thinking: I can't believe it's July 1st!!!! What? What?  Summer is flying by!  I am not ready for July yet but I guess I don't have much of a choice, huh?  I better enjoy and be somewhat productive every single day of July because once August hits I say goodbye couch and hello work!

Wanting:  I want to take my two rescue dogs to the beach.  I think mid July would be the time to go.  The coast of Texas is only about 2 1/2 hours a day and we can even make a day trip out of it.  I love my pups!  We rescued Daisy (the blond) 2 years ago at 8 weeks old.  She was going to be euthanized  if she wasn't adopted and we were at the pound that day so she was meant to be ours.  Bruce (the brunette LOL!) is a new dog to us.  They found him roaming downtown and my husband happened to be at the pound when he came and and started playing with him.... He fell in love with him within minutes and needless to say, he came home with us.  He is about a year old and we have only had him for a little more than a month.   They are so different but both so sweet.  Daisy is a Basenji mix  and is extremely smart!!!! Bruce is a staffordshire terrier mix and well, not so smart.  LOL!  I love them both!!!!!!!!!!  And the best part is they love each other! By the way, don't let the dog bed fool you.  Daisy sleeps with my son in his bed and Bruce sleeps with my daughter in her bed.  Spoiled doggies!

Needing: I have been spending so much money on what my hubby likes to call random crap!  Well, crap to hubby but fun stuff to me!  I've bought a ton of stickers and washi tape to make my calendar and planner pages extra cute!  I've also purchased so many new books! Professional reads and books for the classroom.  I haven't had time to read except one so far!!!!!!  I am going to try to do a NO SPEND JULY only on non necessities, well except for eating out.  I let you know how I do (I wouldn't hold your breath!)

UPDATE (7/1/15): No Spend July is an epic fail!  Oh well, on to shopping!

All Star:  I am an All-Star at laughing and being a smart ass  witty.  I love to laugh and make others laugh.  Being witty usually causes laughter and I love to hear others laugh as much as I love to laugh!

It's your turn to join the Currently linky!

Happy INDEPENDENCE DAY to all!  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summertime is here... time to relax, rest, and READ!

Happy Summer my Fabulous Friends!

Once again, I am hoping going to blog regularly again. It should be easier since it summer time!  I thought I would start out by sharing what is on my Professional reading list.   I've started reading Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz.  This is the perfect read for practical strategies that you can use to create a student-led classroom, which I definitely am trying to have and want to improve on.

Creating Cultures of Thinking  by Ron Ritchhart is the second book on my list. I've noticed more and more how my students expect me to think for them.  I know their (and their parent's) lives are packed with sports, scouts, competitions, etc. and they may not have time to be "thinkers"  but in order for my kiddos to be successful adults they need to be!  I am hoping this book helps me help them with that.  I am hoping this book has all the answers ;)

The third book is Move Your Bus  by Ron Clark.  It isn't even available until June 30, 2015 but I pre-ordered it from Amazon.  As the team leader of my 4th grade team and the "leader" of my classroom I thought this book would be the perfect read.  Plus its by Ron Clark... need I say more?

Then we have The Unstoppable Writing Teacher.  You knew I would have to have a "writing" book on my list since I am a fourth grade teacher, right?  Just reading the table of contents got me hooked.  For example; Chapter 2: I don't know what to teach this student, he is a better writer than I am.   Or Chapter 9: I teach grammar but my kids don't learn it.     I hope this books is as good as it seems.

Last on my professional reading list is Genre Study: Teaching with Fiction and Non-Fiction books  by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.

If I have time, I plan to I will make time to re-read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.  This is one of the best professional reads I have read!

What professional books are you reading this summer?  Please share in the comments any and all great books that I MUST read!

Happy Reading my froggy friends,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Currently in March...(and in Jamberry)!

It's March 1st!  Can you believe it?   The first of March means a new Currently and the Spring/Summer Jamberry Nails Spring Catalog is out!   I am crazy excited about the new designs, especially the Sister Style exclusive this month.  I already ordered two of them!  March also starts the stress of the testing season... BOOO!

Let's start with Currently from my fabulous friend Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!

I love the Food Network and I love to cook.  I am not a gourmet cook and I am a very picky eater but cooking and baking is relaxing to me... not as relaxing as naps but relaxing none the less.
Now saying this about cooking, I am fat!  Yup! Big, fat, obese, pleasantly plump, whatever you want to call it, I am very unhealthy and I need to change that.   I don't even know where to start.  I can't tell you how many times I've been on a diet, or joined Weight Watchers.   WW always worked and I lost weight each time but I never stuck to it.   I really need to figure this out!  I turned 47 in February and its only getting harder and harder to get myself fit.   I don't want to look like a bikini model (OK, that's such a lie - I would love it!) but I just want to be able to wear shorts or a cap sleeve shirt and not feel humiliated.  I live in South Texas, its a million degrees most of the time and I am always in jeans/pants and 3/4 sleeve shirts.  No bueno!   I have several health issues that would be eliminated if I lost weight but I can't find the motivation. If you can help me at least head in the right direction please please please let me know.

So I may not be happy with my body and my way of eating but I am thrilled with my nails!  As you may already know, I became a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant just for the discount because I love the nails so much.  I change out my nails weekly not because I need to but because there are so many awesome designs!!!!   I ordered a starter kit and got everything I needed to have FAB nails. I've never been an acrylic nail girl but I like to have my regular nails painted with cute designs. Even just getting a manicure every two weeks adds up.  For just $15, a full sheet gives you 2 manicures, 2 pedicures, and a few extra for accent nails.  These nail wraps are made from a vinyl material and don't chip or scratch!

You can check out my Jamberry Nails site here.  The Spring/Summer catalog came out today and the new wrap designs are beyond terrific!   Jamberry doesn't only have wraps though.  They have hand and nail care  and nail laquer as well.   Right now I am holding a special for March.  If you schedule a party with me and you and your guest purchase a minimum of $200 at the party (an average party is usually $300-$400) I will buy you a Jamberry heater.  If you join my "Team Fabulous" I will send you two wraps free since you will get a heater with your starter kit.   Click here to schedule a party and Click here to join my team.
Like I said, I joined not to "make money" but just to buy myself wraps and without having to put in much effort I've already made a good chunk of change that allowed me to buy everything I bought at our recent vacation to Disney World in cash (and I bought a lot!).  I've only had online parties and it takes the same time I am already on facebook.
They even have a wrap that Farley is going to love...  it's called, Oh Deer but it screams Buck!  My favorite happens to be this month's sister exclusive called Spring Break (only available in March)

And there's testing season, yuck!  I feel for all upper grade students who have to take these state tests.  It's just so stressful for them and their teachers.  I think most students can pass the state test if it was seen as just another assignment or assessment in class, not something that decides their future.  Such hoopla is made over the test and the nerves and stress itself make kills fail.  As educators we need to remember that the test is just one snapshot of the students progress.

It doesn't matter if I like the test or not, my 4th grade froggies will be taking their 2 days of Writing STAAR on March 30th and 31st.  Next week will be SPRING BREAK and the week after Spring Break will be doing Camp Write Along (see a previous post about it here) and then test.  Our Math and Reading STAAR isn't until mid April.   At least the state doesn't make fourth graders test 4 days in a row!

Now to go do laundry and grade.   Have a fabulous week my friends!