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!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday for the WIN ! (part one)

I know what you are thinking...
...Lorraine isn't the athletic type so she couldn't have won a tournament or any kind of sport.
...There isn't a napping competition or a coffee drinking competition so she couldn't have won those.
...The name of this post isn't I quit suckers so she didn't leave Greg to marry Adam Levine.
...The lottery numbers haven't been called yet so its not that.

Nope, you are all wrong! It's none of those!!!!

Well, what did I win on this lovely Saturday? 

(Don't be jealous my North and East coast friends, it was a beautiful sunny 75 degrees today)

 I didn't win a thang (my attempt to sound Texan) but my students sure did!  Yep, it's true my 4th grade little froggies are the winners of my participation in a FAB-U-LOUS literacy training that has changed (and continues to change) the way I teach.   I was going to wait until the end of the year to write about this but for some reason after my day of training today I felt the need to share. 

So what am I talking about you ask?   Abydos learning ( also known in my district as WIN (Writing in Northside).  You can find them on facebook here or click their name above to see their website.   

It's my 11th year in Northside Independent School District (15th in teaching), all 11 years at the same school by the way... yes, I love my school that much to stay over a decade!  
Anywho, I never even heard of NJWP (New Jersey Writing Project) or Adydos or WIN until about 6 years ago when I was teaching third grade.  

DON'T KILL ME 4TH GRADE TEACHERS, I REPEAT, DO NOT KILL ME ... but as a 3rd grade teacher I thought, "why would I need to take a writing class? I already know how to teach Writer's Workshop and do so every day when its not close to Reading and Math testing season.  I'm an awesome teacher because I have had 100% pass rate on Reading and Math TAKS (the state test at the time) and that's what its all about here in Texas, right?" 

Then I looped up to 4th grade with my class.  Yes, it crossed my mind that now that I was teaching 4th grade I should attend this WIN training which I didn't know anything about except that was offered for three weeks from 8:00 - 5:00 during the summer.  Low and behold, my first year teaching 4th grade I didn't have 100% passing TAKS but I had two students earn a score of '4' (out of 4) on the writing state assessment - the only 2 in the entire grade level at our school.  That must of meant I knew what I was doing.

Long story short... (Ha, I know, too late for that!)

I went to writing workshops in the summer throughout the years to perfect my craft (I say in my sarcastic voice).     The state test became way more rigorous, in addition to being  renamed STAAR AAAANNNNNDDDD - hold on to your britches folks -  students in Texas were actually expected to start thinking.  That's right, not just thinking about what book to read or thinking about what friends they'll hang out with over the weekend, but critically thinking about their learning!!!!  Wha - What?

Did this new expectation of including rigor in my teaching change how I taught writing?  Nope, why change a good thing? Don't you remember, I went to workshops... I am a life long learner, taking writing workshops in the summer and perhaps some after school throughout the year.  

I've decided to make this "Saturday for the WIN" post several parts.  This post is already getting too long and I haven't even told you what I've done in WIN yet.

I signed up for the three week WIN/Abydos summer training and then dropped it before it even started, not just once, but several years in a row.  Something always came up, my kids needed to be driven to Orchestra camp/Volleyball camp, or a zillion other activities, and to be honest I wasn't sure I wanted to give up 3 weeks of my summer for a "workshop".  What would I learn in three weeks that I couldn't learn in the 1 hour workshops I was going to?  WIN just wasn't a priority to me.   

Fast forward to last year when I asked  myself, "Self, why do my students hate writing?"  After some deep, deep soul searching  reflecting I figured out that my students didn't like writing because I didn't like teaching writing!  Woah!  I hate teaching writing and I'm a fourth grade teacher?  Yep, it was true!   At the same time of this gigantic revelation in my life, I get an email from my district asking if I would be interested in taking the infamous WIN training if they offered it throughout the school year.   Still not knowing much about WIN, I put myself on the "interested" list.   Well, the stars aligned and everything must have been right with the world because I was invited to take the training this year.  I don't mind giving up an occasional Saturday and I heard this WIN thing was pretty darn good.  

Surprise, another *SQUIRREL*moment
Ha! Don't you just love "Saturday for the WIN"?  Get it, we take the training on Saturdays and its called WIN training.... we are winners because we are taking this Abydos training... on a Saturday?   

I'm ending this 'Part 1' right here, but before I do let me tell you that taking this WIN training has changed me as a teacher (for the better).  I am only 1/2 way through this journey and I cannot tell you how much I LOVE teaching writing!  I am so much more confident about teaching writing and the most FABULOUS part about the whole thing is that my students are excited to write!!!!  Who knew that going through the PROCESS would make such a tremendous difference?  

In part 2 of  Saturday for the WIN,  I will share what an incredible impact going through this process has made in me as a writer and how I implement what I experience in WIN with my students almost immediately (which I couldn't have done in the summer training).  I also want to share the friendships and bonds I have made with my peers taking this training (who I didn't know previous to this) and tell you about my incredible trainers but that might have to wait for part 3. 

Here is the book we use.... it has become my best friend.  I was blessed to receive it through this training but I can tell you it is worth every single penny! 
Have a wonderful weekend my frogilicous friends!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Sunday Scoop

I was blog surfing and found this fun linky and thought I should take a break from grading (any excuse to procrastinate) and participate.  Check out The Sunday Scoop by The Teaching Trio! Just click on the pic to the left to see who else joined the linky.

Many of you are off tomorrow because it's President's Day or because you have a snow day.  I have to go to work.  The students are off but the teachers go in for an inservice.  It's 10:00PM here and I am watching Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Special.  Perhaps I should get this post finished so I can do all the stuff I HAVE to do before bed tonight.

Time to go check out everyone else's Sunday Scoop!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently in February

I can't believe it's February already!  Heck, I can't believe it's 2015 already!  

The first of every month I participate in the Fabulous Farley's linky party called Currently.  I normally try to be one of her top 10 to link up but I see I am already too late.

Listening:  I am watching The Donut Showdown and really craving donuts, even though I had one yesterday :)  I guess I shouldn't be watching this while I am hungry.

Loving:  I was so tired after school on Friday but I still stayed to make copies that I need for the coming week.  I am glad I did because now I am ready to go and don't have to worry about doing it in the morning.  It's going to be a busy week!

Thinking: I am thinking about the huge pile of papers I need to grade including expository compositions.  I need to start grading soon and not wait until the last minute.  I need to stop leaving grading for the weekends.  I liked it when I grade daily at work and didn't have any work on the weekend.

Wanting: I want more energy!  I am tired of being tired all the time!  I know it would help if I exercised and ate better but I don't so what else should I do to get energy?

Needing: I need to start planning my weekly dinners, well really all meals.   Those of you who do meal planning... do you have any helpful hints to get me started?

Pageant Title:  If I have a pageant title  it would probably be Queen of Snarkasm but Farley already won that crown so my second choice would be Queen of Laughter.  I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh.  I even have a funny laugh which my husband fondly calls my a turkey cackle.  

Make sure you go and link up at Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Currently in December

Whaaaaat????  It's December already?   I can't believe it!  
You know I didn't realize it was December if I am just now doing my Currently from the ever so awesome Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!  I usually try to get in the top 10 if not the top 5 and the last time I looked I will be 158! YIKES!

Listening: Right now I am watching The Tonight Show with Jimmy Falon... that dude is a hoot!

Loving: Today we had a cold front come in and its cold enough to wear jackets!  I love the winter to feel like winter.   Living in South Texas we don't get very cold.  In fact, this week our highs have been in the high 70s and low 80s.... not so fun for holiday weather.  Today our high was early this morning at 66 degrees....a cold front came in mid morning and we stayed in the low 40s all day.  By Thursday we will be back in the mid 70s but for now I am enjoying the cooler weather.

Thinking: I should be in bed instead of on the computer.  Today was the first day back after a week's long Thanksgiving break and I could hardly keep my eyes open all day.  I left work around 5:00 and told myself I would be in bed by 9:00 but here I am wide awake and its almost midnight.  

Wanting:  I want a new laptop.  I don't need one but I want one.  My daughter has a Dell touchscreen and my son has a Mac.... I like both of theirs.  

Needing: I really don't need anything.  Maybe I NEED to go to bed. I definitely NEED to lose weight.   I probably NEED an attitude adjustment too but when I think about it I don't need anything materialistic.  I have wants (like a date with Adam Levine) but no needs.  I am so blessed in all aspects of my life.  

Giving: Let's see, I give my hubby a headache,  I give my students tests,  heck I give my self  heart attacks with my lack of time management but I don't think that is what my friend Farley meant. 
I should be awesome like Farley and I will try but I know I won't honestly do RAKS every day.  I am a very giving and generous person and bring treats to my team frequently but I wanted to do a special "Giving" for this Currently so I have donated a decent amount of money to our local Battered Women's and Children's Shelter today.   I will also donate my time this month at a Homeless shelter here in town.

I better stop talking writing here so I don't wind up number 200+!

Good Night my friends and like Farley said, "Give, Give, Give!"