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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Bonus:Cash or Compliments?? Close Reading

As a teacher I only know of the "Christmas Bonus" from the stories others tell me. Teachers may get a gift or a hug but not money! I love my job so I am ok with this set up. (If you were planning to send me a check go ahead!) Anyhow I have been studying up on "Close" reading and trying to figure out ways to make it appropriate to use in kindergarten. So I came up with a little a passage to use with my kinders! First we had already read Chris VanAllsburg's Polar Express  then I read the passage with it projected on the board. We read thru the passage twice on Wednesday.
Then on Thursday we reread the passage and I handed out their papers and we highlighted the title on my paper. Then they went back and highlighted their title. Then we went one at a time thru the sentences discussing the "important" words thru out the passage. They would then return to there seats to highlight the same one or two things that we did as a group. Then they would also draw pictures to help them remember the words.

As you can see they did AWESOME!!!! Well I shared this lesson with a coworker to get some feedback......She then shared with our principal whom then shared with several other administrators. I then received several complimentary emails!! But to top it off my assistant superintendent also tweeted about it!! I was seriously blushing!!

So excited to use more of these passages with my students!!! Putting the finishing touches on this pack which features a non fiction passage on moose and one on polar bears. I also included vocabulary cards, an alphabetical order activity, writing paper, and a label the animal paper!

Much Love and Merry Christmas,
Autumn & Ruth

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Made it Monday
We are linking with 4th Grade Frolics. Yes, it is that time of year when everyone is busy. Fun stuff first.
Yes, this is my granddaughter and Autumn's daughter. She discovered that with her Santa pajamas on and the hat with beard from Nana that she looks JUST LIKE SANTA! She knows that no one can tell who she is.  So yes, we made her. Ho, Ho, Ho!

I decided to create 2 Las Posadas Units. I have sold several and waiting for some reviews.

And then we created some more Christmas Themed Center Units.
Staying busy with friends parties, church, and family. And school. Maybe soon, we can get around to our homemaking crafting. Have  a jolly season, laugh, and stay warm.
Much love,
Autumn and Ruth

Friday, December 6, 2013

Where oh where have I been?
Have you ever had a really great friend and then made a new friend that you liked even better? Well it happened to me. I had blogger first then I went and met Instagram.... Which made me kinda forget about blogger.... So that blogger doesn't turn on me I'm gonna to try to divide my attention! So today we are linking up with Doodlebugs 5 for Friday... OK is that cheating all about pictures?
Last week we spent the long weekend traveling! First to Omaha to spend Thanksgiving with friends so close they might as well be family!

Then we trecked thru Iowa and made a 3 hour stop to watch the Hawkeyes take down the Huskers! 

Then we headed on over to Illinois to watch our nephews last football game as the quarterback for  the University of Illinois! 

So I have been warn out this week! But teaching all about Hanukkah! More on that in my next post!!

Much love Autumn & Ruth

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Hanukkah!

It is a wonderful time of the year. It is the first night of Hanukkah. I got Poppy a new menorah and a laser dreidel. I have to say we both loved it and had a great time just playing with it like a top. It has a wind up key and just goes and goes. None of our kids are coming in this year. We usually do all of our family things in the summer, when the weather is not so much of a concern.

So here is wishing all of our family and friends happiness during this time of Thanksgiving and Miracles. Turkey tov!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Football Lover Sale!

I have been absent from blogging...Sorry! My mom has been trying to pick up my slack! Thanks mom! I was having some health issues! But I am much better now!

I have a lot of kids that come in with no previous school or academic experiences! Which I am sure many of you can relate to. So this year I took a little different approach. We did very little(almost none) "writing" for 1st quarter. I have spent years feeling frustrated and felling like I was just frustrating my kids! So we just spent 1st quarter working on letters, sounds, and words. I did model writing but didn't expect them to do the writing! Then we moved to them simply helping me write a story and them basically copying the same story. Now we have moved to me giving them a topic and sharing a book or creating an anchor chart and then they go off to write.

I have a small group of about 5 that I give them a traceable 1st sentence. Then we do authors chair at the end!

But I am amazed at the writing that is happening and feel like I made a great decision to wait! Now they are so excited and LOVE writing time. Especially free write Friday. I know some with disagree with me about giving them topics, but this helps me balance it by giving them Friday to write anything they want!

Mom is under the impression that she controls the Jacksonville Jaguars score outcome today! So she put everything in our store on sale!
Much Love Autumn & Ruth

Monday, November 11, 2013

Time Saving Tip

We are joining Blog Hopin's Party.
Quickly this morning the only time saving tip I could think of was storing my storybooks and CDs in crates with each storybook and CD stored in Ziplock bags by the month.
Mom converted all her tapes to CD's when she retired. She put labels on each CD that was the same picture that was on the cover of he book. This helps me stay organized and helps students match book to CD.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veterans Day 2013

This has always been a special day to me. I come from a line of men that have served their country. 
 I have my flags out and made a center piece for our snack candies and our glasses out ready to have some wine later.
I like history and regret that I did not get my grandfather to tell me about WWI. He was from Mobile, Alabama. I have found photos of him from 1919. The postcard says Remount Depot #33. I need to investigate and see what I can learn. It was sent to his mom in Whistler, Alabama. No first names, No Address, but does say USA. My grandfather is seated and looks like he has a pinky ring on. Interesting.

The stories I do remember, he took care of the horses. So my mom said they always got treated like the horses were when they got sick as children. True or her mother license to exaggerate?
And I found of a photo of my Grandma close to the same point in time.
Now that I am 58, I can understand how my Grandma could have been young once. How our perspectives change with time.
Hmmm. I wanted this larger. I am not sure if this when Daddy left for WWII or after he came home. The wheels on the cart are bare. He left high school before he had graduated, so that he could be in the Navy and not get drafted to the Army. I do know that the older sailors took care of him and tried to protect him. He cooked on his ship and was the best at making mashed potatoes!!
I now have a grandson that is in the Air Force and is stationed in London. Autumn will have to go in and add his photo.
I am proud to live in the USA and thankful for those who fight for our freedoms. Thank you!
Much Love, Autumn and Ruth

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall Friday

Friday is here. Nana has a scratchy throat either from classroom of  5 year olds, coughing teenage granddaughter, flying on jet planes or just one of those fall things.

We are linking up with:
When I was in Missouri, Autumn's kindergarten class was really getting into their daily writing topics. Her students felt comfortable with the same format of writing paper each day. (Yes, they have various types of writing formats during centers: cards, lists, etc.)
Her writing paper is decorated slightly (mainly for her to tell at a glance what it is about). There is a space for an illustration and then a dotted out sentence. For that week they all started with the same sentence. This gave everyone a comfortable beginning that they can do this. (Yes, this was a directed lesson, but not threatening.) 
After reading a book, she would select a type of anchor chart to make together.  Label a sketch she made, adjectives about character, lists,... you get the idea.   
Students were encouraged to write more on there own or some chose to continue another sentence with her and copy. They write 7 minutes with quiet music playing.
  Students then were asked to do line only illustrations with their pencils for 5 minutes while music continued to play. 
Then they were requested to color their illustrations using at least 3 different colors that made sense.
And then closing as a large group, 4 students shared while Autumn gave compliments and sometimes suggested something to make it even more spectacular!
This week they are really getting into it and they are giving the compliments and suggestions. Their favorite topic this week was football. Maybe because the KC Chiefs are winning! Or could be High School Playoff times? Or perhaps because their teacher loves football????
Well, I know all the chants and cheers come next! I love watching my daughter teach.
Now, Nana is heading to the mall for the jump on Veterans Day sales. We have a Veterans Day Product and continue to add to it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November-Count Your Blessings!

Nana is finally home in Hilton Head. I go to the Midwest to see family and start the holiday season off early.
*My first blessing is a caring step-dad to my kids and grandkids. I am able to fly away and go spoil kids.
*My second blessing is a son-in-law that actually loves me. I try to help them and give them their time alone.
* My third blessing is being able to go to work with my daughter and see her bless children. Yes, I know I am her biggest fan. She comes from a family of teachers. Myself and both her aunts were teachers; then her second cousins were high school and University Professors.
 When I am there her students call me Nana. I know there were days I would get in her way. You know how each teachers does things differently. I would think I was helping and do things one way and then find out she does it differently. I would just try to undo and fix it her way.
 I got to see the walk through checks and all the data recording, and remember why I retired. (Yes, I would leave the room when they walked in.)
 Funniest thing was after I had been there 7 days, they were working on a project; Mrs. Gill says, "Mom can you grab me some more paper?"   Her students all gasped, "Nana's your MOM???"
Her and I both thought they had already made that connection!!! Don't assume anything.
*My third blessing is a son that travels with his family for 3 hours one way to see me for a weekend. I do know in families how important your weekend hours.
* My fourth blessing was having time with all my granddaughters!
Yes, there were all kinds of fall/winter clothes purchased. No girl can ever have to much animal print clothing. I tried to break it down and give each their bounty at different times. It tends to cut down on the mix ups. Our hardest times are trying to determine the differences in brands and their sizes 2,3,4. I am fortunate that all the cousins love each other. The house had an array of various baby dolls. But somehow at the end of the day all the babies are naked and are lucky if they are left with panties or diaper. Some things never change! I love it!
*My fifth blessing was that I left families and extended families that love each other. I know as a mom I did many things wrong, but I know that my children know that I loved them. But God is the one that blessed us
 We keep many photos posted on instagram. But wanted you all to know we have just been busy with family time.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Making it Monday

Not sure if anyone is a bad as I am (Nana) at finishing projects. I have spent the summer collecting items to make myself a wreath for the World Series. I collected baseballs at the thrift stores for 25 cents a piece anytime I saw one. I also got softballs, miniature bats (one that is an autographed collectable), helmets, trophies, and dolls. I drilled holes in the baseballs and strung together on a coat hanger. My problem is getting my bat, helmet, and trophy attached.
So it's taking a little longer.

But I did complete making a center piece with left over balls and an Atlanta Cabbage Patch Kid I got.
I took all the left over balls and put them in a glass bowl from the resale shop and added team flags that I made.

I made an new unit for the Series.
"We're Talking Baseball-World Series"
So I did get that done.

Way to go Mom!! Looks cute!! My craftiness is still in the JoAnne's bag...Hold on I'll add a picture! Just so I can say I helped out the post LOL!!!

OK, Naomi wants to be a ghost for Halloween and for those of you that have seen my family.....My hubby said she is absolutely NOT allowed to wear a sheet over her head...Then she decided Daddy should dress up and be a ghost too! I am guessing he will wear a white tshirt and that is it. So for her outfit I have sparkley white tulle and elastic to make a tutu then the sticky felt to make a face on a white tshirt. Then black and white leggings or tights tada ghost. I'll share when I actually make it! What great costumes are you all creating? Also do you dress up with the kids?

Go check out all the craftiness over at Tara's!

Much Love, Ruth & Autumn