Thursday, March 15, 2012


It has been days since I have posted last, but "sickness" can do that to a person and a family for that matter.  Families...we share everything, including the germs.  It's just the getting rid of those germs that can sometimes be so difficult. ugh.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

student interest

This year, I have learned that the best laid plans can always be changed.  Although you can get a vision and weeks of work planned out, your vision can be altered due to one thing...student interest.  And isn't this the most important of things to consider?  Without student interest standards, projects, and exciting books are left in the dust! And I am writing this down, so I too don't forget.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Family Fun Night!

I love it when our kids can go to an event, and when you look around, you don't feel threatened.  I love it when they are in the same room with you, but you don't have to watch their every move.  I remember the days growing up with those type of events and I think to how the world and how the task of parenting has changed, my parents were so lucky!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Online dependence

It is crazy how much I have come to depend on the internet and its usage.  It was yesterday throughout the entire day that I tried to blog at school, and the internet just wouldn't agree.  I felt cut off from the world, as I couldn't complete the task at hand and couldn't receive any new messages via email.  It makes me did we communicate before "on-line" began?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kindergarten Storytelling

I sit here tonight uncertain of what I should write.  I honestly don't feel like writing either.  I guess this is how students feel when we tell them..."go write a story".  My kindergarten partners and I have been working hard to incorporate verbal storytelling into our writer's workshop this year.  We know that kindergarten kids can tell all kinds of stories, but when it comes time to write a story they freeze up.  I'm sure some of it is the fear of not knowing how to write certain words, but I think a lot of it is they don't realize that the stories they come in and tell me with excitement can be the same stories they write and publish. 

This very idea is what we are trying to accomplish with verbal storytelling.  We spent many days just telling stories during writer's workshop, trying to work our way up to the bridge that takes us from telling to writing.  Many of my students have crossed over, but not all.  Only with time, practice, and comfort will they be ready.  It is our jobs as teachers to guide them and give them the tools they need to make it to the other side. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Party's Over

Ah, the amazing yet painful feeling of sitting down at the end of a long and productive day.  We had a birthday party tonight for my youngest daughter and all my hard work is done.  She had a great time and I was excited that I was able to do all the "little things" I had wanted to do for her to make the evening special.  My feet and back ache, but tonight the pain feels like accomplishment instead of annoyance.  There is nothing like a 6 year old birthday girl.

sleeping children

No matter the wear and tear of a day, there is noting better than "checking" on my children after they have fallen asleep.  Something about those deep breaths and a calmness that can't be explained, it's just amazing. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kindergarten Authors

Last week I announced to my students that they were going to be published authors and illustrators.  It is always so great to see the spark in their eye when this time of year comes around.  My reluctant writers suddenly open up and begin feverishly writing away.  Today I handed out several students' typed up stories for them to illustrate.  They were so excited to get started on their pictures!  I can't wait to send their "published" books homes for them to share with their families.

chocolate chip waffles make the world go round

The planned supper for this evening was chicken alfredo, but due to a last minute request from my husband, chocolate chip waffles and bacon became the meal of the evening.
This resulted in a peaceful dinner, where everyone ate every bite, and there were several unprompted "thank you mom for supper" comments made. 
Since then the house has been peaceful yet productive and just has a relaxed vibes, and I've decided that chocolate chip waffles really make the world go round!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

We're going to the zoo!

We are starting a new unit this week about animals.  We will be working with all the features of non-fiction in addition to learning quite a bit about diffferent types of animals.  As my colleagues and I tossed the idea around, we decided we would "google it" and see what we came up with.  All of the things I found were cutsie fiction pieces, not much meat.  So, I headed to our local zoo website and from there the unit took a shape of its own. Who knew a local resource would have so much information right there ready for me to use?  Sometimes a little inspiration goes a long way!
I can't wait to get started!

Mommy Pressure

My girls have birthdays about 3 weeks apart which can be fun but a bit stressful.  I do admit that the stress is self-inflicted but I just can't seem to help myself.  We usually do a small family party but I always try to make it special by "crafting" up some decorations or making a special cake.  This year I've gone back to teaching full-time and knew staying up till midnight or one o'clock making that "perfect cake" wasn't gonna happen so we opted for yummy ice cream cake.  But.... I just couldn't help myself, I was doing my nightly Pinterest "research" and found some party ideas I just had to do.  So much for taking it easy this year, I see all these pictures of beautiful things moms do for their children and I want to do them too! So needless to say I just spent most of the day with my Cricut cutting out things for the birthday banner and have a list of food and things I need to make after school tomorrow so I'm ready for the party on Tuesday.  I'm excited to see how it all turns out but not looking forward to the work it will take to get it ready.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Great Expectations

After attending several sporting events at our local high school, tonight set the scene for my own children's future. After debating whether to even take the kids for a second night of high school ball in a row, we packed the kids up and headed out. For my kids it was the game of their lives and they weren't even playing. The excitement of the evening ended in a sectional title, but it was much more than that. I watched one of my daughters cry a few tears, but she couldn't even really tell me why. It wasn't until later in the evening that she could say, "mom I was just so happy for them and...I just had to cry a little." At the end of the game, during the net cutting, the head coach invited all future panthers to come out to the floor. At that time he cut the net and made sure each child received a piece. Talk about great expectations...right there I felt as though that coach just told my children this is something you can do and be. It starts now. ~carrie

Who Needs Sleep?

I'm wondering if anyone else has kids who always seem to sense when I've stayed up too late on Friday night and wake up super early Saturday morning?  Yikes!  This morning I awoke at 6:30 am to my youngest daughter standing beside my bed wondering if it was time to get up yet.  I use to just have them crawl into bed with me and turn on the tv so they could watch PBS and I could roll over and fall back to sleep. But over Christmas break we got a puppy and that has put a wretch in my nice little "get some more sleep" plan.  He sleeps in a crate in our room and if he hears anyone up around the 6:15 to 7:30 am hour he is barking and ready to get up.  And once he is up, everyone is up....he's jumping and licking and biting.  Oh the love!  I love to sleep in so I'm not a fan of this getting up early when I don't have to thing.  I'm hoping once summer comes my girls will get use to sleeping in again and so will Max.  Gotta figure out how to make that happen by then. 

Friday, March 2, 2012


I agree with Carrie, Fridays do seem to bring a sense of craziness for me too.  Instead of enjoying the goodness of a week well done, I'm usually stressing about any last minute things that need to go home and trying to figure out what I am going to do the next week.  Sometimes I think I try to take too much on with the kids too.  I forget that they know it is Friday too  :) But the day is now over and I'm tired and ready for the weekend.  See you all tomorrow!

Frantic Friday

For me, Fridays seem to provide more of a frantic feeling than a feeling of freedom.  There is planning ahead, catching up left from behind, and what all do we have planned for the weekend?
In writing this, I am coming to realize that I haven't had time to appreciate those things I have accomplished this week.  Let's see...there was closing up the fairy tale unit, watching  my students become excited about becoming published writers, listening to them read in small groups and seeing them apply the skills we've learned along the way.
As I smile and breathe, I realize there is nothing to panic about.  My kindergarteners are learning and even having a little fun along the way.
~Happy Friday! Carrie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goin to the zoo zoo zoo

We finished up our fairy tales unit this week and will be introducing nonfiction next week. I'm excited to see who gets excited about nonfiction. Many times my more active boys who get easily "bored" with typical kindergarten topics suddenly become engaged as I introduced nonfiction units. This year we are going to be studying zoo animals and their natural habitats. I am thinking about doing a "survey" of sorts with the students to see what animals interest them most and go from there. If anyone has any good/age appropriate survey ideas for kindergarten kids let me know. I'd love to hear them!

Fairy Tale Conclusion

I never thought fairy tales could be so much fun for kindergarten.  We are closing this unit this week, and it is so great to see how much the kids have learned throughout this experience.  Not only have they learned different story elements (characters, setting, problem and solution) and started comparing/contrasting different versions of each fairy tale, but they have a new "Fairy Tale Ball" experience that will forever be a connection when reading in this genre.