Category Archives: Learning something new

Flexible Seating: Stools, rockers, rugs, and seats…For READING??

Why flexible seating?
When I was in elementary school
( Way back in the DINOSAUR days )  
1970’s
 
 
We sat in rows.
Many rows.
All of us looking straight ahead.
At the teacher, at all times!
No flexible seating, here.

 
We kept our hands & feet to ourselves.
We kept our books in our desks.
And we read QUIETLY to ourselves.
Shhh…whisper!
 
We read.
Some people enjoyed it.
Some people just pretended.
Most did what we were told.
We didn’t ask…WHY?
or
 
Is there ANOTHER WAY?
How to bring flexible seating options into my classroom?
 
Because at home…
 
I would lay on my bed and read for HOURS!
(picture by Dreamstime.com)
 
And that is how I  LOVE TO READ!
 
I want my students to LOVE to read!
 
So I have “changed it up!”
I have added flexible seating options in my classroom for kids to 
read in a comfortable, relaxed, enjoyable experience.
 
Every day after lunch my first graders do
 
READ  TO  SELF.
 
If you have not read the book
 
from “The 2  SISTERS”      YOU  NEED  TO!
My first graders read to themselves.
 
Not to me,
Not to a partner,
JUST TO THEMSELVES!
 
Therefore…READ  TO  SELF!
 
I set the BIG TIMER!
 
 
 
I use THIS one.
 
We start the year at 6 minutes.  Read.
We work on increasing our reading STAMINA.
 Read longer.
Today, we are at 18 minutes!
 
18 minutes of uninterrupted reading 
of books THEY choose!
 
BUT there is MORE!
 
They don’t sit in rows.
They don’t sit at their desk.
 
We have flexible seating choices for reading.
 
READING  ROCKERS

 

TALL STOOLS

 

SHORT  STOOLS

 

SHORT  STOOLS  at  SHORT  TABLES
 
CHAIRS  by themselves

 

READING  RUGS

 

 
CORNER  NOOKS

 

FLAT  OUT  ON  THE  FLOOR
 
And when we are done?
Stools under the tables.
Rockers stacked in baskets.
Rugs in the tub.
And chairs stacked.
 

 

 

 

 

 

They MOAN when the timer goes off. 
 
They ask during other times of the day
to Read in the Rockers.
 
THEY  WANT  TO  READ!
 
I have taught them to LOVE to READ..  
 
ANY HOW…ANY WHERE!
Flexible seating choices have made a HUGE difference
in the reading choices my students make.
 
They want harder books.
They want to read MORE!
 
It’s hard to walk into a first grade classroom
 
and hear…SILENCE.
 
But the “whispers” of reading are heard, daily!
UPDATE
More flexible seating CHOICES!
 
I won ..yes…won  these
4 AMAZING Stools at our recent
NorCAL Teachers Meet UP
in Pleasanton,CA!
 
Check out the fun at:
Instagram
 
I was the BIG..WINNER  WINNER! 🙂
Yes…I won ALL  4
WHOOP!  WHOOP!

 

And these Bad boys…
They are wooden rocking chairs,, and they SQUEAK!
I love to hear the squeak, squeak as they rock & READ!
Thank You Donor’s Choose!
 
My “flexible seating” is complete!
Now to “arrange” it into 
WORKSTATIONS!

 

 

 

I absolutely LOVE IT!

 

( SO DO THE KIDDOS!)

 

Some of my “bloggy friends”
have also posted about
their experiences
with flexible seating.
Check them out.
 
 
 

 

If you want to learn MORE about reading
check out these blog posts:
 

Can reading be the #1 predictor of academic success?

First and Foremost,

Reading is the #1 predictor of academic success.

Students NEED to READ!

Consider this my DISCLAIMER…

I am NOT  A  College Professor.

I do NOT have a MASTERS ( or above ) 

in ANYTHING!

I am just a teacher.

A first-grade teacher.

A first-grade reading teacher.

A Veteran (27yrs ), a first-grade teacher,

in a TITLE 1 SCHOOL!

I have seen a LOT! Done a LOT!

Students NEED to READ!

Hear me ROAR!!!!!

 So, I repeat.

I am a teacher. I teach reading.

(Aren’t they cute????)

I have been through:

Whole Language

Environmental Print

Interactive Writing

Phonemic Awareness

Leveled Readers ( DRA, GSP, AR, Lexile)

Phonics

Words Their Way

HFW

Sight Words

High-Interest Reading Books

SIPPS

Read Naturally

Daily 5

And 

A MULTITUDE OF PUBLISHER’S CURRICULUM!

New sets every 7 years!

Next, having said this…

1 thing most curricula have in common :

Students NEED to READ!

READ A LOT!

And then…READ SOME MORE!

So …

My little sisters…

YES…both of my LITTLE SISTERS  are 

PRIMARY TEACHERS!

We were discussing school.

Yes… we do that!

 We are trying to WRAP our minds around the

“READ…READ…READ more”

and they will 

“GET IT!”  (way of thinking.)

Well, maybe

I  LOVE reading with kiddos!

See my post here about the

 GUIDED READING TABLE!

But then my concern is…

When I “release” them to read,

When I want them to become INDEPENDENT readers,

Where do they “learn” the skills to use when they “get stuck”?

Will they use strategies, when they don’t know what’s happening?

When a story isn’t making sense…do they keep reading?

If they keep reading…

Will all the skills and strategies come TOGETHER?

Students NEED to READ!

At a recent PD, my little sis said she understood the 

READ, READ, READ philosophy.

Integrate science, social studies, math, technology

INTO  literacy!

YES!

Writing and Reading
COMPLIMENT  and Coexist
WITH  each other!

You can’t have one without the other!

Students NEED to READ!

BUT…

-Me  SPEAKING-


There needs to be a BALANCE of:

Skills & Strategies

in conjunction with independent reading & writing!

THERE!

I said IT!

Reading & Writing SKILLS:

Letter Sounds

Blends

Vowels

Word Families

Chunks

Grammar

Punctuation

High-Frequency Words

Capitalization

Handwriting

and MORE!

Comprehension

Questioning

Summarizing

etc, etc, etc…

(I sound like my Education College Professors!)

I was listening!

ALL of these “lessons” MUST be taught

IN CONJUNCTION with 

Reading & Writing!

Yes…To be a better reader…

Students NEED to READ!

BUT…to be a better reader who UNDERSTANDS…

You must have skills and strategies  to use

WHEN  you read and write!

NOW…CAUTION!!!

Unless you are teaching ADULTS in a COLLEGE CLASS…

A 40-minute LECTURE on diagramming sentences

IS NOT…I REPEAT…

NOT

the way to do it!

If you WANT to spend 40 minutes discussing grammar…

CHUNK IT!

Read a little.

Discuss it.

Let it soak in.

And do it again. And again. and again!

READ!

Do 2-3 MINILESSONS over a few days…

Let it SINK IN!

Show  kiddos:

  What it looks like.

Where to find it.

How to use it.

Why we use it.

When to ask for help.

Kinder-Grade 1-Grade 2 teachers…

UNITE!

Mini-Lessons with a WORKSHOP!

Use SMALL Groups for STRATEGY & Skill Groups!

Let kiddos have a chance to PRACTICE

what YOU have taught them!

Let it SINK IN!

And Then…

Students NEED to READ!

and 

READ!

and

READ!

and then

WRITE…and write, some more!

Skills, Strategies, Reading, Writing

They will become “BETTER”…

and isn’t that what we ALL want to be?

BETTER!

Need some HELP?

My friend, Alison, at 

Learning at The Primary Pond

 

learningattheprimarypond.com

has a great post about

What Does Reading Workshop Look Like In The Primary Grades?

Here are some “HELPERS” for YOU!

Click HERE for more reading & writing products!

   

  

How to Make CHUNKY CRAYONS for your classroom.

Have YOU ever made

CHUNKY CRAYONS?

ALL kids LOVE to draw.
They LOVE big, chunky crayons!
 
MAKE THEM!
 

Use the broken crayons from your classroom…

AND

BEG OTHER TEACHERS FOR THEIRS!

 
Teachers LOVE to get rid of broken crayons.
 
Then …start searching stores ( including thrift stores, Goodwill, etc )
for silicone shaped candy molds!
 
If not… my BFF…AMAZON PRIME!
You are NOT making food…
They can be “recycled” …wink , wink!

 

I found some snowmen, trees, and gingerbreadmen 
at Goodwill for $1.00 !!
 
Now what?
 
Have the kids…
YES THE KIDS
…take off ALL the paper wrappers!
 
DON’T  TELL  THEM  WHY!  🙂

 

 

 

Paper wrappers …I did them MYSELF!
 
Should have had kids do them…
they would have ENJOYED IT! 🙂

 

Gingerbreadman

 

Christmas Trees

 

Lots DONE… FAST…EASY
If you don’t have a LOT (it takes a LOT) of broken crayons,
ask for donations from other teachers.
 
Bring the unwrapped, broken crayons home.
 
Break up the crayons into LITTLE  chucks!
 
Put them into the molds…press them down a little.
 
Place molds onto a cookie sheet.
 
 Bake 60 minutes (1 hour) at 200 degrees.
 
Take them out & let them cool.
If rushed…PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER!
 
(Don’t POP them out…until they are SOLID.)
 
POP them out…
 
and   VOILA!
 
 
 
I also made them in the SUMMER.
 
Check out this blog post.
 
More fun making CHUNKY  CRAYONS!
 
Have fun! 
 
Let me know if YOURS work or not.

YOU want to…P.P.Paint ????

Just hearing the 

“P A I N T”

word.

Sends shivers down my back!

I have nightmares of 

spilled water, ruined paintings,

our janitor YELLING ,

“NO!  STOP! NOT ON THE NEW CARPET!”

 Ok…NOT yelling…but  you know…”NO!”

So, I guess

24 …   6-year-olds

sitting at desks, 

painting beautiful pictures

was NOT was I thinking about!

AND

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

I admit…it was ALL about ME!

WHAT WILL  I  HAVE  TO “Deal With”?

And you know what?

NOTHING.

Every time we paint

(and I try to do it once a month)

THEY AMAZE  ME!

Clean, quiet, detailed, HAPPY!

They worked for about 45 minutes…

TOTALLY  ENGAGED!

(I wish some of MY lessons were SO ENGAGING!)

I start with my BFF…

PINTEREST!

I have some GREAT pins on my boards.

Check them out!

This months “painting inspiration”came from

Elyse 

@

PROUD to BE PRIMARY

And now we are…
ALL ready for JANUARY!

Here’s a few of ours!

They are sooooo cute!

AND

NO   SPILLS!

I think they are getting the HANG OF IT!

Duh…   you mean with

PRACTICE

we get BETTER!?

I wonder what wonderful teacher gave them that ADVICE???

Anyways…

we will PAINT!

And we will PAINT..a  LOT!

Next month… 

I’m thinking SNOW, and Penguins, and Nature Scenes.

Maybe some “still life”…    Hmmmm.

MONET!     DEGAS! 

Watch out WORLD OF ART…

HERE  WE  COME!

Check out pinterest for more ideas!

WHAT TIME IS IT?

WHAT TIME IS IT???

How many “times” today have you been asked…

WHAT TIME  IS  IT???

 
For me…
WAY  TOO  MANY!
 
And so…
WE  TEACH!
 
Hour hand.
Minute hand.
O’clock.
Thirty.
 
And OVER…And OVER…And OVER!
 
Big ones for WHOLE Group. 
Little Ones for Small / Independent Practice.
 
(Practice  MAKES   Perfect!)
 

To help out…

 

                                        I have created a much-NEEDED Packet…

 for ME AND  For YOU!

 

Snowmen TIME

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT  TIME  IS  IT  SNOWMAN?

 

These games will help my kiddos practice

Hour & Half-Hour

in 

MULTIPLE GAME  Formats!

 
 
Those who like SORTING…SORT!
Those who like a MATCHING GAME…MATCH!
Those who like to write…WRITE!
 
And so we work..we play…we practice!
 
And then…
 
WHAT  TIME  IS  IT??
 
RECESS!  LUNCH!  TIME TO GO HOME!
 

I also have a MARCH goodie to practice telling TIME!

 
 
  
Check out my WINTER Pinterest board!
LOTS  of Winter GOODIES!

First Grade Writing – NONFICTION

First Grade Writing

So…we have taken the step  jump  LEAP into writing

NON-FICTION.

As a Title 1 teacher

with half of my class CELDT Levels 1&2 ( low English),

I am ALWAYS trying to give my kids more vocabulary, visual clues, and

FRONTLOAD information

…before we WRITE!

So this week…was

REINDEER  WEEK!

I was going for REAL REINDEER.

We read books, watched VIDEOS, did real research ( yes, ONLINE!)

We even attempted to watch the

REINDEER.CAM

Can’t show kiddos in my district…

TOO MUCH SANTA!

I know…don’t go there!

So …I kept it real!

ONLY REAL REINDEER!

I was going for NON-FICTION!

They did great!

As an adult, I felt they had mastered

 a LOT

of information!

What do reindeer LOOK like?

Where do they LIVE?

What do they EAT?

( One of our movies mentioned MUSHROOMS…

BOY did they pick up on that!)

And then…

what makes them different

 (special )

from

other ANIMALS?

Here are some of our writings…

(Don’t judge….we have NOT edited for CONVENTIONS..

Just  CONTENT!!  🙂

Sorry pics are turned…

Can’t get them to TURN! UGH!

No where…no how…

did I   MENTION

SANTA  or   RUDOLPH!

99%  of my students wrote

that the important thing about REINDEER is…

THEY PULL SANTA’S  SLEIGH

AND

THE LEADER IS…RUDOLPH!

And THAT is NON FICTION!

HAHAHAHA

But that is their

 PRIOR  KNOWLEDGE!

SO CUTE!

They brought it into their writing!

Let their VOICES be heard!

And so…

ADULTS  BE  AWARE!

The little ones WILL be HEARD!

I LOVE TEACHING FIRST GRADE!

They make me GIGGLE!

If you need some writing help…

WRITE  ON!

ENJOY!

Write On! Journal Pages with Support!

 

Primary Teachers are Quirky!

Primary Teachers are QUIRKY!

HUH???

Quirky is defined as…  

”  something that is strange/not normal but cool. Unconventional, surprising, odd.”

You mean ME?  I am… ODD?

YES! YOU!

Here are the top 5 reasons PRIMARY Teachers are QUIRKY!

Number one reason Primary teachers are Quirky

We like to “DRESS UP”!

Now in most professions, there is a RULE of  PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE.

Profession attire for QUIRKY teachers?

In Teaching…we are a little “QUIRKY”!

Elementary teachers dress up in tutus. QUIRKY?

Minions teacher costumes. Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

Yo Gabba Gabba! Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

Character costumes…QUIRKY? Thank You https://teachinginroom6.com

We tend to “go the extra mile!”

And it’s a GOOD thing!

( May have to add that to THING 1 & THING 2).

You get MY drift!

How many TEACHER Tshirts do YOU own?

Do YOU wear SCHOOL shirts on FRIDAY?

Do YOU OWN a Dr. Suess HAT?

Do you DESIRE a pair of shoes or socks that look like a PENCIL?

See?  Just a LITTLE  QUIRKY!

 AND …HEELS??? 

 Who can chase little ones

 or grab the glue bottle

 before it puddles 

on the floor..

in heels?

You see…QUIRKY!

NUmber two things that teachers do that are QUIRKY!

SMELLS..

Who doesn’t LOVE to walk into a room smelling of…

LAVENDER

COFFEE

FLOWERS

COOKIE DOUGH

etc.,  etc.

We all DO!

And so we PACK IN THE SMELLY STUFF!

Sweet smelling sprays

Air fresheners are NOT QUIRKY!

Quirky teachers make the classroom smell sweeter.

And then …24 LITTLE ONES go outside for RECESS.

AND they come back in…

UGH! Quirky teachers DON”T like the smell of WET PUPPIES!

SMELLING LIKE WET PUPPIES!

UGH!

 And SOME of those 6-year-old WET PUPPIES…

NEED  DEODORANT!

And so…we retreat to our OLD FRIEND…

Yeah CLOROX!

* in MY district you NOW must obtain a 1 hr. PD and get a “CERTIFICATE” to use CLOROX wipes in the classroom.

A Little QUIRKY!

But…we do what we need to do to survive!

Myself…I prefer cookie dough candles…  

JUST  ME.

DON’T LIGHT THEM…

JUST SMELL THEM! 

Number three for Quirky teachers

Lunch.

A Primary teacher’s lunch is a LITTLE  QUIRKY!

First, it has to have pieces that can be held in

ONE  HAND!

The Quirky teacher can do more in one lunch period, than most people do ALL DAY!

I always laugh when someone says,

” You HAVE 40 minutes for LUNCH?”

Yeah…after I get 25 kids to the cafeteria.

AND…one doesn’t forget their lunch and we have to walk back & do it AGAIN!

AND…if I don’t have to call a parent.

AND..if I don’t need to run off papers.

AND..if I don’t need to correct spelling tests, prepare the SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS, write a note, 

AND…HEAVEN FORBID…

GO TO THE BATHROOM!

( Don’t forget to EAT…it will be ANOTHER 4 hours until you are FREE!)

So…bring a lunch that can be eaten in ONE HAND!

The other hand MAY BE BUSY!

A LITTLE QUIRKY!

Number four for Quirky teachers

DIY? Quirky?

Those DREADED WORDS!

Do  It  YOURSELF…NEVER!  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

I don’t think I have EVER started a DIY where I didn’t involve someone else!

 Thank YOU to my WONDERFUL HUBBY…

He puts up with my QUIRKINESS!

Spray PAINT!

Quirky teachers LOVE NEON SPRAY PAINT! Raise your colored finger!

Did YOU feel your hands get clammy?

How your heart rate INCREASED?

Do you have a smile on YOUR FACE?

NEON    SPRAY   PAINT!

Do YOU feel the “NEED”…to  spray

SOMETHING?

I know..it’s OK…

I think some people are “wired” with it.

The NEED  to PAINT!

And we do…

Sterlite drawers

Tool Kits for BRAG TAG drawers

Ahhh..organized storage for ALL. Quirky or NOT!

We will SPRAY EVERYTHING!

And…it’s OK!

( I’m sure SOMEWHERE…there is a 12 step program for this!)

QUIRKY?

YEAH!

Number five for the quirky teacher

Are you QUIRKY about BAGS?

No.Not grocery bags.

I mean BIG, LONG HANDLED, BRIGHTLY COLORED, (maybe) on wheels,

BAGS!

“I Like BIG bags & I cannot lie…”

(I think it’s a SONG)

Me dancing…

Quirky teachers LOVE big bags…and I cannot lie!

Colorful Big Bags!

Organized BIG Bags…be still my heart!

Bags on WHEELS! OH YEAH!

But…

LOOK AT THE BRIGHT COLORS!

We will carry 50-80 POUNDS of STUFF in ONE BAG…

GOTTA keep MY hands FREE!

And not think twice about it.

I AM NOT walking BACK to MY classroom AGAIN!

Yes…I can carry it ALL in one trip!

(Why do my shoulders & my back hurt so much?!)

But LOOK at the BRIGHT COLORS! So cute!

No…I will NOT buy 24 folders at TARGET for 17 cents each!

 I just bought the CUTEST  “31”  BAG..  🙂

A LITTLE  QUIRKY!

And so…

Some of us were meant to be PRIMARY TEACHERS.

AND some are NOT!

To those who are…

HOLD YOUR SPRAYPAINTED FINGER UP HIGH…

WEAR YOUR T-SHIRTS PROUDLY…

AND  SMELL  the QUIRKINESS  in YOUR  WORLD!

WELCOME  to the CLUB!

If you have HUNG in here for this LONG  POST…

Keep GIGGLING…

Here is a FREEBIE  for YOU!

Back to School Vocabulary Banner from 1stgradefireworks

Check out OTHER fun things from 1stgradefireworks!

Pin IT! 🙂

What does READ AT HOME really look like?

I am a BLOG STALKER!
I admit it.
 
I am ALWAYS trying to find the BEST, FASTEST, & EASIEST ways
to make my classroom run smoother & more effective while being 
academically successful.
I want my students to continue to practice their reading & writing skills and strategies 
AT HOME!

BUT..What does Read at HOME really look like?

 
Aren’t we ALL?
 
So each year I try to “change” a few things for the better.
NO THROWING THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER!
 
(  For YOU youngin’s…  Don’t get rid of the good stuff while trying NEW stuff! )
 
So here is something “NEW” ( or New to ME )  that I am doing this year!
 
I am NOT ( Ugh…),
NOT  
choosing the Student’s TAKE HOME BOOKS each week.
( Let it go! Let it go!)
 
I LET THEM!
The power is in the CHOICE. 

I thought if I chose reading books that were ON their reading level

THEY would MAGICALLY fall in LOVE with READING!

NOT!
I have RAH ( Read AT Home ) envelopes…
Purchased at REALLY GREAT STUFF
BUT ANY envelope will do!
 
Each WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY they bring their RAH folder back.
I have them choose 2 books…YES…2 books to put in their folder.
( I place a pile 20 or so, of books at each level …
 
*disclaimer…right now I have 5 Guided Reading groups..I group their 
PILES of books by the Guided Reading group level…
 

So they really are taking home books at THEIR reading level.

Just a little teacher “nudge” in the right direction!

 
They choose two books, put them in their envelopes, and put them in their cubbies.
They keep them for 2 nights..hence bringing them back WED. & FRI. 
We change them for two NEW books … and here we go again!
 

Some nights I add a READING RESPONSE page to their homework.

USE ONE OF YOUR RAH BOOKS!

( Your choice!)

 
You can get my READING RESPONSE Packet HERE  
Some nights I have them do a page or two from my
Book Reports.
Accountability?
I do have a paper…lined…for parents to sign each night.
DO ALL OF THEM SIGN IT?
 NO!
If YOU take a horse to water…Can you FORCE it to drink it?
NO!
Let it go! Let it go!
So then what?
If you have a parent who won’t support reading at home…
 READ, READ, READ at school.
 
YOU may be the ONLY adult who reads with “THAT CHILD”..
We ALL have “that child”.
 
Don’t fight it!
Don’t PUNISH the child.
IF he/she could read it BY THEMSELVES…..THEY WOULD!
 
They can’t.
So
Let it go! Let it go!
BUT…
I do REWARD those who make the continued effort to read at home
EVERY NIGHT!
 
When they bring their envelopes back, I check the paper.
IF the parent HAS NOT SIGNED…I highlight in RED that date.
 
At the end of the MONTH,
I give a reward (and a SPECIAL BRAG TAG ) to those who have read
EVERY NIGHT!
 
I know…NOT fair for “that child”
Fair is NOT Always EQUAL!
 
I want my kiddos who 
DO THE WORK
to know…
I NOTICE!
 
And so my friends…
I keep stalking.
 
LOTS of great ideas out there in 
BLOGGY LAND.
 
And PINTEREST  LAND.
 
AND  INSTAGRAM LAND.
 
If you need some ideas..
 
 
 
 
Happy  Reading my Friends!
 
 

I need to apologize to my grandma & my MOM!

I am such a SLACKER!

I think I have it all together..

I DO NOT! HOW? HOw to do it?

My Grandmother & MY MOM

raised a family, worked at home & outside the home,

and we always had stuff when we wanted it.

AND I NEVER ASKED HOW?

My Grandma & Grampa

This is my GMA & GPA…

I miss them both.

They lived on a dairy.

 My GPA taught me about cows, HARD work, & what “silage” tasted like! ICK!

My Gma always wore a dress & heels. She was a petite little thing.

She wore toilet paper around her hair at night, so she would look “good” in the morning.

My Gpa didn’t give us candy.

 When we left his house, he would give us a teaspoonful of brown sugar

, from the jar in Gma’s kitchen.

 Nothing fancy..but it meant EVERYTHING to us!

They owned a peach orchard.

 40 acres of peaches.

I never really thought about it when I was little.

 It was just a “lot of trees”. HOW to keep it all together?

Mom & Dad’s ENGAGEMENT photo

This is my MOM & Dad ( I just found this engagement pic.) HAHA

59 years together!

They worked hard.

My dad went to work every day.

 Dressed in his suit & white shirt

( that my mom ironed..I know ..with an iron & ironing board! )

And my mom worked a self-owned business,

was ALWAYS there when we got home form school,

 and helped us with EVERYTHING we ever did ( sports, clubs, school, etc).

And I never asked HOW?

How do you do it ALL?

And now this….

Both my GMA & My MOM canned fruits, made pickles, and baked goodies!

Now I don’t bake ( leave that gene to my sister, Susie).

I have NEVER made pickles..& probably won’t..BUT

I   CAN  FRUIT!   

I CAN FRUIT, A LOT!

I  remember walking into GMA’s garage & seeing shelves FULL of canned goods.

I grabbed bottles of canned fuits from my mom’s shelves in our garage.

Peaches, pears, cherries, etc, etc, etc,,   whenever we wanted!

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

It didn’t matter…it was always there.

HOW????

I never asked.

So now..I apologize to GMA & MOM.

I should have asked to help you peel, or slice, or wash, or……..or….or……

But, I cannot take it back.

SO?

I will follow in your steps.

I will teach MY DAUGHTER to can!

And my granddaughters!

I will continue the family tradition.

Only…we will use the recipe on my laptop.

( I know GMA & MOM didn’t do that!)

So here was my day TODAY ( from start  to finish ).

Canning Peaches – jars

canning peaches

Wash the jars ( hot water & heated dry) in dishwasher.

fresh peaches

washing peaches

blanched peaches

Wash..rinse…BLANCH (  Boil  whole peaches, then put in pan of ICE WATER!)

Their peels  just  slide right off!

Slice, Slice, slice!

Hubbies canning station

Too hot to cook inside!

Set up our campstove OUTSIDE!

Pan on the left is a sugar/water mixture.

Cook the peaches in for a short time, then pour into jars!

Hubby is sooooo  good at this!

Peaches in jars

Sliced peaches in jars

peaches in jars

Then…

Boil in a water bath ( 25 minutes ) to seal.

seal the cans

 and…

VOILA!

Canned peaches

canned peaches

There we go!

11 quarts of fresh canned peaches!

They will be sooo  good  this winter!

(Daddy gave us more peaches

…so I am thinking peach cobbler for dinner!)

or maybe…..

I SHOULD MAKE JAM!

Gma made jam……so did MOM….WOW!

This is HOW!

I should THANK them.   🙂

Here are some more posts to help me “get it all together!”

Planting Seeds

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE You!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

I am a VETERAN teacher.

NO.

 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1

 ( exclusively )

for over 30 years!

WOW!

( Never “graduated” to second grade..as my students tell me!) 🙂

But…

I have changed my “VIEW” on teacher appreciation.

We ALL want to be appreciated.

We want to be recognized for

SOMETHING “GOOD”

 we have done!

But..

things can get a little …

OUT OF HAND!

I believe..

YES…

I believe there are

those who

are APPRECIATED

and those who

WISH THEY WERE!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

I will say this ONE TIME…

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!

The teachers with the SUPER highest test scores

are NOT, always,

the teachers who are

APPRECIATED the MOST!

Now…disclaimer…teachers work WAY TOO hard!

I got that!

Some are SOOOOOO  focused on the “data”…

they forget, or can’t “document” the traits of the child the “data” came from!

Nowhere is there a box to check that says:

___  Didn’t have breakfast ( or dinner the night before ).

___ Couldn’t sleep because my parents were arguing LOUDLY!

___ No one would help with homework/reading ( for the past two weeks!)

or

___  not in a good “mindset”  today.

BUT…

these are kids!

This is life!

To attach a “number” to a student, 

based on “today’s testing module”

is NOT  what teaching is all about!

( Ok sorry…OFF my soapbox!)

So,

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

Where? How? When?

Admins…

Please… I don’t need a new pen with my school name on it.

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

If YOU really want to show me your appreciation…

HAVE MY BACK during an IEP

when ‘the team” says

I NEED TO DO MORE!

By the time I have gotten to his stage…

I HAVE DONE ALL I CAN DO!

Take the stand that I AM DONE!

SEND ME SOME HELP!

Now I have great admin’s…

I know they have my back!

THAT’s  APPRECIATION!

If you want to “give” me something…

…TAKE MY RECESS DUTY!

…Take my class for an hour at the end of the day, if MY child is home sick!

… Come in and do reading groups once in a while

( an extra adult doing centers is ALWAYS appreciated).

You see…it’s NOT about the “things”

it’s about WHAT you DO!

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

How do you know if your “team” appreciates YOU?

Do you “share”?

Do you “follow through?”

Do you “care” about each other?

My “teaching partner”…

( I said “partner” one time..it took on a WHOLE DIFFERENT meaning!)

and I have taught next to each other

( rooms 3 & 4)

for 24 years!

We are going to retire together 

the same year…in 3 years.

( We “pinky sweared”…

..as long as nothing catastrophic happens before then).

Her mom works in her room.

I call her MOM!

Our students think we are

SISTERS!

See the family “resemblance”?

In my heart…

SOUL SISTERS!

We run homework for each other.

We share our students.

We laugh, we cry, we CARE about each other!

We are NOT the ONLY grade 1 teachers.

We have 1-2 others who teach with us.

( Depending on the year and student numbers).

We ALWAYS include them!

This is NOT a

CLOSE YOUR DOOR & DO YOUR THING!

NOPE!

WE DO!

Together.

Feel appreciated? YEP! Daily.

( I could have transferred to another school in MY district..many times!)

NOT LEAVING!

LOVE MY CRAZY TITLE 1 school!

and then…

Your students…

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation?

When do they make YOU feel appreciated?

Is it when you are passing out report cards?

Is it when they forgot their homework?

Is it when they have interrupted you for the 1000th time that day?

Probably NOT!

It’s when that SAME little girl walks in EVERY morning

and says…

“Can I have a HUG?”

or

When the little boy who STUTTERS ( severely )…

asks if he can READ his newest story

TO THE CLASS!

( And EVERYONE cheers  for him!)

or

The “behavior problem” child

who knows ( his MAMA tells him a lot )

that he is a PROBLEM…

and he hands me a heart he made with a picture of me & him!

( Melts my heart..right before he hits another student!)

and last…

the “older students” who come back…

just to say HI!

or…

“I got my driver’s license & I promise to be safe..just like you said!”

“I got a full-ride scholarship…to HARVARD!”..yes  it did happen!

“I want to be back in first grade so I can PAINT!”

“Thank you , Mrs. McCarty, for listening to me!”

Giggles, Grins, Hugs, & High Fives to 

ALL of YOU!

YOU make a difference!