Tag Archives: All about me

Change YOUR mindset..work-play-work-play

I LOVE my job!

Really!

I love to plan, to create, to share with YOU!

BUT…

I   LOVE   VACATION!

Who  doesn’t?

I am in GMA mode.

Disneyland Parade!

Princess staying with us for a while.

Family at the beach!

WHAT A VOLLEYBALL GAME! 🙂

And so…I have been playing!

BUT…

My brain won’t STOP!

And so…I am trying to

CHANGE MY MINDSET!

Instead of:

I MUST STOP!

I MUST LET IT GO!

IT’S SUMMER…STOP  WORKING!

I am changing my mindset to:

I AM GETTING ORGANIZED FOR NEXT YEAR.

I AM CREATING PRODUCTS THAT WILL HELP OTHERS.

I AM ENJOYING THE CREATIVITY I CAN EXPRESS!

This will make my classroom “work” easier & more engaging!

And so..

I create..

If YOU are in need of new & exciting products to help

 your classroom, homeschool, and students

become “independent learners”..

check these OUT!

                                Daily Proofreading Practice                                        BTS  HFW “DOTS”

MEGA BUNDLE

This is HUGE!

YOUR  entire  year  in one MEGA  BUNDLE! 🙂

( Who  doesn’t LOVE to be organized for the WHOLE  YEAR?)

*  It correlates to CA JOURNEYS but….can be used for ANY  curriculum.

Hide & Seek BUNDLE

5 packets of HIDE & SEEK ( Kiddos LOVE this!)

 These products are also available individually!  🙂

And for YOU!

A FREEBIE to help your kiddos when working on close reading!

ENJOY!

And so…

I am back to work, play, work, play!

I LOVE VACATION!

ENJOY YOURS!

Nibits for Newbies..5.15.16 WHAT ARE YOU PACKING?

If It’s SUNDAY

It MUST be time for

NIBITS for NEWBIES!

What am I packing?

NO! NOT “THAT!”

I mean…

WHAT ARE YOU

 PACKING IN BOXES

 FOR THE END 

OF THE SCHOOL YEAR??

Here is my list:

It’s ALL about ME!

What will I need the first week?

My TE’s…Sticky notes inside to remind my “aging” brain…what I INTEND to do!

What MATERIALS will I need to accomplish this?

USE THOSE STICKY NOTES INSIDE YOUR TE!

You will NOT remember months from now… what you are thinking about TODAY!

Use the next few weeks to make your NOTES!

Don’t forget…hide a few

 water bottles, mints, chocolate, and Tylenol

 for the first week back…FOR YOU!

Never know how that FIRST WEEK will go!

BE Prepared!

Student materials ( packets, papers, journals, etc ).

RUN THEM NOW!

( Nothing feels better than pulling out MUCH NEEDED

things…ALREADY DONE!)

Whew! SO glad I prepped these BEFORE school was out!!

Get some puzzles, games, blocks, etc. out.

THEY WILL NOT BE INDEPENDENT!

Have a few things ready so they can have “down time”…

while YOU are doing ONE-TO-ONE assessing!

You know you will HAVE TO…prepare for IT!

Last….MANY BOXES for centers, games, things you need to go through

LATER!

I know you NEED these..

BUT

You will “SURVIVE” looking at them LATER!

NO STRESS!

( YEAH, right!)

Prepare today…

after a RELAXING Summer…

the thought of coming back

and redoing everything in a day or two is

 EXCRUTIATING!

Breathe…relax…make your lists…stick to them…and PREP AWAY!

The payoff is HUGE!

Now…where did I pack that STAPLER?

* PS…I just found out I have three weeks to pack up

MY ENTIRE CLASSROOM!

I am getting NEW Carpet!

I am happy…I think!

PACK UP 26 years of stuff?

In 3 weeks?

EVERYTHING?

Time to PURGE!

( My Materials…HAHA)

I think I need a LOT MORE BOXES!

Hi HO..HI HO…It’s off to pack I go!

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!