Tag Archives: All about me

What is TRUE Teacher Appreciation? It might SURPRISE You!

I am a VETERAN teacher.

NO.

 I have NOT fought in a WAR.

I have taught in GRADE 1

 ( exclusively )

for over 25 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!

I will say this ONE TIME..

IT  IS  NOT  ABOUT  TEST SCORES!

The teacher’s 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!

No where is there a box to check that says:

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

___ Couldn’t sleep because parents were arguing LOUDLY!

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

or

___  not in a good “mind set”  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 ,

Teacher Appreciation.

Where? How? When?

Admin’s…

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

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!

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 17 years!

We are going to retire together 

the same year…in 7 years.

( We “pinky sweared”…

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

Her mom works in her room.

I call her MOM!

Our student’s 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 transfered to another school in MY district..many times!)

NOT LEAVING!

LOVE MY

CRAZY TITLE 1 school!

and then..

Your students..

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 interuupted 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!

Do YOU Know the SECRET to LIFE? I DO! Nibits for Newbies 4.17.16

If it’s SUNDAY..

It’s time for

NIBITS FOR NEWBIES

Sorry I was MIA  last week..

I have a great excuse..

 Gma & Gpa ( & Daddy )

took little one

to see…

MICKEY   MOUSE!

So fun!

OK…So

 I KNOW the

SECRET TO LIFE!

No…I have NOT climbed the highest mountain..

or whatever…

I just “FIGURED” it out!

I do my BEST  “THINKING”

when I am GARDENING!

No…the SECRET to LIFE is NOT GARDENING!

It’s great…but I don’t think it’s the SECRET!

Here it goes…

There are 3 things 

you need to KNOW

 to be SUCCESSFUL

in ANYTHING!

Have a PLAN!

DUH!

Heard this before.

BUT, it makes sense.

I am gardening.

If I don’t have a plan for my garden, some things will grow.

Not EVERYTHING in this world needs MY touch!

BUT…If  I really think about the VARIABLES ( Sunlight, water, plants next door..)

I can ENHANCE the outcomes with just a little THOUGHT!

If I have a “PLAN” I know where to put all of my HARD work!

In my classroom…

If I know where we want to go..

I can “PLAN” HOW to get there.

“Winging it” only works for a short time.

You gotta know where you want to go!

I am NOT saying you can not DEVIATE from the plan ( it may enhance it)!

BUT,

having a goal

is the #1 SECRET to Success!

OK..I have a PLAN!

Now what?

The #2 SECRET TO LIFE is….(drumroll)

Have the RIGHT TOOLS!

I am working in my garden.

I have lots of energy…I know where I want things to go.

I have a MASTER plan..

GO!

So I did!

I wore my good athletic shoes!

UGH! Silly!

Now I have to clean them.

REALLY GOOD!

I started with a shovel!

Farmer’s tools!

DUMMY!

Forgot the GLOVES!

OUCH!

Many blisters & very SORE HANDS!

Finally…got out the ROTOTILLER!

To the RESCUE!

I should have gotten ALL of the RIGHT TOOLS

BEFORE I started!

Would have saved aches & pains!

In my classroom,

Have the CORRECT tools READY TO GO!

If I am teaching GUIDED READING,

Get my whiteboards, HFW word cards, books,

EVERYTHING I will need

CLOSE AT HAND!

I don’t need my SCIENCE TE on my reading table when I teach small group reading!

Have the RIGHT  TOOLS for the JOB at HAND!

SOunds like good classroom ORGANIZATION!

So..the #2  SECRET to LIFE is….

Have the RIGHT TOOLS for the JOB AT HAND!

and last…

The # 3 SECRET to LIFE is….

BE FLEXIBLE!

I know how I wanted my garden to be…PLAN

I used the correct tools….TOOLS

BUT….

The SPRINKLER PIPES ARE IN MY WAY!

So…

With the best of intentions…

AND

FLEXIBILITY…

My straight rows ..

are

NOW…

ROUNDED!

Same ending RESULTS…

Just a “LITTLE”  different!

Don’t be afraid to change your “PLAN”

to get to your goals!

It may make YOUR LIFE

a little EASIER!

And so my friends..

There are the 3 Secrets to LIFE!

Are they REALLY SECRETS?

I dunno.

NOT TO ME!

Happy Spring My FRIENDS!

Enjoy the “FRUITS” of your “LABORS”!

🙂    Tee Hee

Nibits for Newbies 4.3.16 Planting Seeds

If it’s SUNDAY

It’s time for

NIBITS FOR NEWBIES

This weeks theme…

Gardening with First Graders!

This week we planted our seeds!

Now in NORCAL it’s getting warm enough.

So…

We are trying

PALLET GARDENS

this year!

We wrapped our pallett’s with shade cloth to

hold the soil in.

Don’t want it to “leach” out.

So the seeds will go in next week.

Next…

individual seeds.

We recycle water bottles.

Cut them in half.

Turn the “top” portion UPSIDE DOWN

IN the bottom portion.

The bottom will hold the water.

I screw a string through the top.

The string becomes a WICK to

suck up the water to the roots of the plant!

Soil in the top, water in the bottom!

VOILA!

A little SUNSHINE, a “mist” of water her & there!

Hopefully…we shall see sprouts SOON!

I made some big ones too!

I will plant MORE seeds next week!

Try it!

The kids will LOVE it!

Nibits for Newbies 3.27.16 Learning Something New

If it’s Sunday

It’s time for

NIBITS FOR NEWBIES!

This week’s theme…

Pinterest Pins!

I don’t know how many of you are pinning to PINTEREST

BUT

I am on a MAJOR LEARNING CURVE!

I have been pinning for about 3 years.

I thought I knew what I was doing.

BOY was I wrong!

 I know..learning takes time.

We learn from our mistakes.

OK..OK…

I AM LEARNING!

I have hooked up with some MASTERS!

If you are interested…

Abagail, Beth Ann, & Emylee

from

Brilliant Business Moms

Have a great course for learning how.

( I am NOT saying this is the ONLY course out there..

Not Getting Paid or anything..)

Just need a “landing pad” for my learning.

And so…

My suggestion for YOU is

If YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO SOMETHING…

Reasearch,

 be active in YOUR learning,

 and TRY IT!

I am becoming a

PINTEREST QUEEN!

I know hubby LOVES that!

More time on the computer!

My goal is to get it

SELF-Pinning!

Then…Less time on the computer for ME!

Well….just a little into what I am doing on Spring BREAK!

Now…time for Easter Eggs & Family!

Hoppy Easter EVERYONE!

Finally, It’s GARDEN time!

I hear it’s snowing on the East Coast.

(Sorry GUYS!)

Here in Northern  California…

San Joaquin Valley

GRAPE & WINE COUNRTY

We have had rain!

Finally!

If you don’t know…we are in a drought!

BUT…

It has rained ONLY ON THE WEEKENDS!

COME ON!

REALLY???

So.. FINALLY

It’s WARM!

The sun is out on  SATURDAY!

WAHOOO!!!

For hubby and I

It’s time to GARDEN!

Now every year

we start our own seeds.

Here is our newest hothouse.

(Last year we made our own…too  big!)

This year we went for a smaller version.

This way we can start seeds,

when they become seedlings we can plant the seedlings, and then,

we can start MORE!

Can you see the upside-down water bottle?

Cut off the bottom & fill..

Keep it full…humidifies the hothouse.

My own little “rainforest” 🙂

Each little “pod” has seeds ready to grow!

This year we have

tomatoes,

sunflowers,

melons,

lettuce,

cilantro,

green beans,

peppers,

watermelon,

and

nasturiums ( need flowers for BEES!)

BEES are a gardner’s friend!

We already have a few tomatoes ready, some zucchini squash, and yellow squash.

NOW WHAT?

Here are my BEFORE garden pics.

Don’t judge! 🙂

Wait until you see them LATER!

Onions are doing well…BUT the rest?

WOW! Let’s get to work!

Ick! Needs some HELP!

WAIT! That’s NOT a garden..it’s a bale of STRAW!

We are trying something new this year.

GOOGLE  “STRAW GARDEN”..

Hmm…you “condition” bales of straw for about 2 weeks

and then

PLANT RIGHT IN THE BALES!

The conditioning makes “STERILE” SOIL for the plants!

Bigger & Better yields!

We shall see.

If it works? We get more.

If NOT?  We have A LOT of compost!

Either way…we are OK!

I will let you know how it goes!

Here is some of our produce from LAST YEAR..

We shall see…

If you need some help teaching your class about

GARDENS…

Here is some help.

Available HERE.

Don’t let GMA go to the EASTER STORE!

What?

Yeah!

TRY TO STOP ME!

It’s EASTER WEEK folks!

The grandkids are coming!

I have food to make, pictures to take, baskets to prepare.

EB will do his own baskets.

These are from GMA & GPA!

I MUST GET ON PINTEREST!

Ok…BREATHE…

I started my day with coffee…relaxing…no stress!

BUT, then…

THE KIDS WILL BE HERE IN 3 DAYS!

OMG!  I Am NOT ready!

RUN!!!

So I ran screetched the wheels of the car as I drove  to the store.

Only need to..

PICK UP A “FEW” things. 🙂

( I really didn’t know what I NEEDED..until I got there!)

I got my “GOODIES” and headed home.

A few more hours until hubby gets home…

how many PINTEREST “crafts” can I do before dinner?

MANY!

So I began…

First up:

GoldFish CARROTS!

I saw these..so  cute!

So..Here I GO!

* disclaimer…Though I know carrots should be triangular..

WALLY WORLD DOESN’T HAVE

TRIANGULAR CLEAR BAGS!

so.. be flexible!

Started with “Pretzel Rod” bags..

Long & skinny for “little” hands.

I “MacGyvered” it.

(If you are too young to know who MacGyver is…GOOGLE IT!)

The toilet paper roll was too wide to be a funnel.

So I slit it down the side to shrink it.

Worked like a charm!

I can fill baggies with the rest of them!

Baggies DONE.

Added some green ribbon..

VIOLA!

Goldfish Carrots ALA GMA!

Next…

EGGS!

Filled & NAMES on them!

These are from GMA & GPA.

The EB hides his OWN!

and  LAST…

Shhhhh…Don’t tell ANYONE.

I went a “LITTLE” overboard!

Oh well!

HIPPITY, HOPPITY… EASTER’S ON IT’S WAY!

Have a Wonderful EASTER!

I know I will!

🙂

5 Lessons EVERY Kindergartner should know..BEFORE starting First Grade

5 Lessons EVERY Kindergartner should know..BEFORE starting First GRADE!

I hear it a lot.
How do I know if my child is ready for FIRST GRADE?
He /she  will be six.
Is he/she ready?
Well..as a “veteran”
 FIRST GRADE teacher,
there are a few
lessons EVERY Kindergartner should know
BEFORE starting FIRST GRADE.
Here are the
5  MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
you can teach your
kindergartner
BEFORE
they enter FIRST GRADE.
First and foremost…
they need to be able to
TIE THEIR OWN SHOES!
And KEEP THEM TIED!
There is NOTHING worse than kids running on the playground
tripping on
THEIR OWN SHOELACES!
I cannot teach 25 students to tie their shoes.
Parents…please…teach your kids to tie their shoes!
In first grade…they will might..maybe will,
LOSE A TOOTH!
They will might have a “wiggle” tooth.
I WILL NOT PULL IT OUT!
“I promise not to put MY hands in YOUR mouth,
AND you will NOT put YOUR hands in MINE!”
Please..discuss this AT HOME!
If your pants are too BIG…
get a BELT!
Not a belt with multiple straps, or a buckle that requires PLIERS!
PLEASE..a belt that can be put on
and TAKEN OFF…QUICKLY!
Odds are..if the belt needs to come off…it needs to come off  FAST!
Parents, please…teach your kids how to use it!
Pencils are for writing with..
NOT CHEWING ON!
They are NOT TEETHING RINGS!
Please keep them (and most other first grade tools)
OUT OF THEIR MOUTH!
and last..
and MOST IMPORTANT..
I am your TEACHER.
You may call me Mrs.
You may call me MOM.
I answer to GRANDMA.
I may  probably will answer to GRANDPA.
Treat me kindly.
Say nice things.
Be Polite.
Follow our rules.
Smile.
Give me a hug.
And we will have a wonderful year in
FIRST  GRADE!
OK..kindergarten parents…
GET THEM READY FOR FIRST GRADE! 🙂

Nibits for Newbies..Spring Cleaning

If it’s SUNDAY..

It’s time for

Nibits for Newbies

This week’s theme…

SPRING  CLEANING!

Not  your house..not your closets..

It’s time to CLEAN YOUR CLASSROOM!

Now I don’t mean put on the gloves and scrub down the walls.

( Might not hurt to have some rags & cleaners though. )

So where, oh where, to begin?

YOUR  PAPER  FILES! UGH!

I know…start here.

I have been called many things..

PACK RAT,

KEEPER of EVERYTHING,

A “Professional” Piler..etc..etc…

But it’s time…time to

THROW  IT  AWAY!

Grab a JUMBO Garbage bag ( actually two )

and get started.

Here is my criteria:

If a paper can be printed from my computer

RECYCLE IT!

(I can always print another one!)

If I have NOT used it this year…

OR last year..I usually give myself two years..

TOSS IT!

 ( You won’t miss it..I promise!)

Clear out EVERYTHING..files, crates, BINDERS…

IT IS LIBERATING..and SCARY ( What if I need “that”? )

It’s on my computer..

that is NEXT!

Computer FILES!

I create file folders on my computer so I can find my documents fast & easy!

First I do  ELA  &  MATH

Then I do this:

ELA

..Qtr 1

…August/Sept/Oct

…Aug> Back to School

…Aug> CVC

….Aug> Handwriting

etc.etc. etc

I create folders within folders.

This way I can go directly to BACK TO SCHOOL

OR

WHAT AM I DOING IN AUGUST?

I can also go directly to Johnny Appleseed…

Same with MATH

…Qtr 1

…August/Sept/Oct

…Beg Year Assessments

…Numbers to ten

etc..etc..etc..

Takes a little time…BUT SO WORTH IT!

Then when I need the masters ( because I already RECYCLED  them)

voila! 🙂

SUPER  SUGGESTION…

Back UP all of your files on a memory stick!

Better SAFE than SORRY!

MATH MANIPULATIVES!

UGH!

My nemesis!

OK…reality check.

Do YOU have math manipulatives

YOU JUST DON’T USE?

The little teeny tiny ones some publisher somewhere thought kids age 6 would

LOVE to use?

( USE FOR WHAT? TEETHING..FLIPPING…THROWING???????)

BAG them, Pack them up, BOX them, STORETHEM AWAY!

I can teach most math lessons with a few cubes, white boards, & smartboard.

I don’t need 700 little beans!

GONE!

The “tissue paper” booklets SOMEONE thought my firsties would need to practice fact families!

(PUBLISHERS…little fingers need CARD STOCK!)

And so…away they go!

I try to keep this to ONE box.

Don’t want to store this either.

and LAST for today..

Classroom library!

Should be this…

Don’t let it go to this… 🙂

Can be messy!

Really take a look at WHAT KIDS ARE READING!

Old ones?  DONATE!

Torn ones?  FIX

Need to level? I suggest LEXILES!

( Redoing  mine this summer..We use DRA/Guided reading levels)

CCSS  is all about lexiles..

Learning As I Go! 🙂

And so ..a little cleaning will make your teacher heart happy!

There is MORE..under the cabinets, construction/ writing paper, the dreaded

Storage drawers…I really don’t know what’s in the BACK of those drawers!

And so on & so on!

Enjoy the weather..spend a little time each day…recycling

and HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!

The “WEE” Little Ones are a’WATCHIN

The “WEE” Little Ones are a’WATCHIN

‘Tis the month of MARCH!
The “WEE LITTLE ONES”..
are a’watchin..
(Like my Gealic?) HAHA
MARCH?
ALREADY?
BTW…
There are 294 days …until CHRISTMAS! 🙂
Just wanted to  FREAK YOU OUT!!!!!
OK….It’s ONLY  MARCH!
Whew!
As an “official” IRISHLASS.
( Well…kinda…married a McCarty…IRISH TO THE MAX!)
And ..I carry Scottish/Irish genes.
So I am an “IRISH  LASS”.
One of my fav. poems..I know it’s a song!
I love the lyrics!
“When Irish Eyes are Smiling”
The chorus…
When Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring. 
In the lilt of Irish laughter 
You can hear the angels sing. 
When Irish hearts are happy, 
All the world seems bright and gay. 
And when Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, they steal your heart away.
Awwww….
Makes me heart HAPPY!
I have been to the “EMERALD ISLE”.
I have “KISSED THE BLARNEY STONE”…kinda gross.
( Story another time )
So I want  to share some “Blarney” with YOU!
And
Celebrate the WEARIN OF THE GREEN
on St.Paddy’s DAY!
Go n-éirí an bothar leat
(May your journey be successful)
* Don’t forget to wear YOUR GREEN on St. Patrick’s Day
…don’t want to get
PINCHED! 🙂

If it’s Sunday

It must be time for..

NIBITS FOR NEWBIES!

This week’s THEME…

ME!

Sorry.

 I am heading out for

SPRING BREAK.

Report Cards are done.

Assessments have been recorded.

Assemblies  enjoyed.

AND I AM EXHAUSTED!

So as we RECHARGE..

And yes FOLKS…YOU NEED TO RECHARGE!

Give yourself a break!

WE WORK HARD!

It’s OK to say NO!

No…I don’t want to go to….

NO…I don’t want to go out tonight… ( I plan on going to bed EARLY!)

NO…I don’t want to …

YES!

I just want to stay in my COMFY clothes ( PJ’s, sweats. yoga pants, etc)

I want to eat JUNK FOOD

and

I am binge watching whatever the remote lands on..

I AM NOT MAKING ANY DECISIONS!

YIPPEE!!!  Spring Break!

Now…I am a GMA!

After a few “ME” days…

I am having 3 ( of 4 ) of our grandkids to spend a couple days!

I am NOT wasting a minute of it!

IN COMES PINTEREST……………..

St. Patrick’s Day  GREEN FEAST!

We are having a party!

and…  PAINTING!

Painting CLOTHES…. Painting T-Shirts…TUTUS!

I AM SOOOO  EXCITED!

PINCH ME!

NO!

I’ll be wearing MY GREEN TUTU!

HAHAHA

Now…I am NOT making ALL of these…

Just getting ideas! 🙂

Of course…Corned Beef & cabbage!

And GPA’s HAT!

And then..

Gma & Gpa will…..

SLEEP  FOR  A  WEEK!!!  🙂

So…enjoy YOUR time OFF!

I know I will!