Tuesday, September 9, 2014


 Hello friends!  Its been a thousand years since I posted anything and for good reason...I am swamped!  Second grade is not what I remembered it to be.  And, I am finding myself resting on my fourth grade laurels in order to get through each day.  We teach common core and I have word study and writing as well as small groups and I just don't know how I am going to meet everyone's needs!!!
So I come to you my fellow teacher bloggers, can I get sample schedules or advice.  I have read the Daily 5 book and have been trying to do that, but until I get my second grade feet wet or at the very least, get into the pool, I need to get a handle on the basic literacy structures.  Could I do nothing but small group?  What will the other students be doing so that I am not wrestling behaviors the whole time...So many things, so many things...I love second graders, they are so eager and willing to learn and they love to show off what they know...that much I have learned in the last four weeks.  I hope I can get some really good advice...Thanks!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Creative Playground Blogger Product Swap...


What a fun time I had reviewing Paula Shaw's products with the Creative Playground Blogger Product Swap for Back To School.  Paula shared with me a wonderful little Goldilocks and the Three Bears Product for writing a fairy tale.  I have a kindergartner who loved looking at the pictures of the bears and Goldilocks.  She especially loved playing with the puzzles and putting the events in sequence. This video shows her working on the matching portion, using fine motor skills, sequencing, describing story events...Its a pretty long list for a little girl who just got out of preschool.  I like how she used her own schema to connect the story to her own "Daddy Bear" who comes to sit in his chair each night after a long day at work.  

Another thing I enjoyed about the product is how colorful it is.  An added bonus are the Melonheadz Illustrated Graphics she used in the product.  I love Melondheadz...they added just the right amount of whimsy to an already sweet and playful fairytale. 
The directions are easy to follow and there is so much presented in the package that you dont have to do it all or you can...You will get so much for your money's worth.  
Here is one of the parts I can do with my second graders...the story sequence
I would do a sample from Goldilocks and the Three Bears and then have them repeat the activity during our writing block with a fairy tale they are working on or maybe even writing a different version of a famous fairy tale. 

This was really was a fantastic product and I was proud to be able to review Paula's product and get to know her a little more.  The product is Common Core Aligned as well as aligned to Australian Standards! 

You get all these goodies for only $4

She is wonderfully sweet and I want you to go visit her at her Teachers Pay Teachers Store or her blog Paula's http://shawpaula.blogspot.com/Place...She has quite a few upper elementary products to offer and a wealth of math knowledge as well!!!

Please make sure to check out the linky over at Creative Playground and all the wonderful back to school products other bloggers have reviewed and shared!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'm on Facebook...

So I had a facebook account of my own but I didn't do much to it because I love my blog so much.  My fear was and still is, how in the world can I keep up with everything I want to post.  I love my blog...It's a beautiful, cute place in my world.  but I won't post unless its just right.  You know what I am talking about #teacherperfectionists
So, I went over to my personal facebook page and made it my personal/professional everything I love about my life page..with the exception of my kids...I am still too scared to put my kids fully out into the online world.  My husband is a police detective and to say the very least, it ain't a pretty world no matter how pretty your blog and facebook pages may be...
I am going to try to cross post as many things as possible from here so I can keep my blog current (goal being twice weekly, once during the week and then on the weekend.)  I know I will be late to linky parties and currently's and Monday Made Its...that is unless I use those days to schedule posts.  I love thinking out loud and that I have place to do it :)  
Here are some things I have been posting to facebook and I hope you will click my facebook button on the left over there and be my friend or just like my page to get notifications!

Got some stuff moved into my classroom...check out the classroom library...I am in love with that space!  I am not done yet.  It will be post all by itself...Paper puffs and a tattooed teacher product to make the space come alive...that's all the teaser your gonna get!

 I have no shelving in my classroom...until NOW!!!  See how beat up this dumpster shelf was...I think the Rustoleum Company should send me some freebies to try because let me just tell you...I have spray painted two shelves and I don't know how many cans, tubs and bins...My feet even got in on the action from the backspray!!!

Now, I have a really great and skilled Daddy!  He built these shelves for me to go under the bulletin boards of my classroom.  You can see it action in the library picture above.  He did say that from now on, any other shelf building projects would be more of a team effort and when he said team he meant for me to come learn how to use power tools so I could do the job myself :)  #worldsbestdaddy #doityourselfer #noshelfclassroom

 Been doing some organizing and digipublishing...I loathe being able to see what is inside of my sterlite organizers, so I made some cutey patootey covers for the drawers.  I have found printing on photopaper is much better but photopaper is expensive and someone gave this package to me...#printingonphotopaper #colorprintingisexpensive

 For my bestie...I have been making these dry erase boards to put outside of my classroom and the classrooms of those I adore!  I am thinking of giving one a way (all custom and tricked out with colors and fonts of your choice...)  Whatcha think?

This is from an tip and trick I got from Krista Wallden's Summer VIP Club...I have learned so much from her this summer.  She should teach a class in cute!  And yes, I made these and yes, you can get them here by clicking the picture!  

Lastly, this is how far I have come in my #digipublishing endeavor since starting this little blog and joining the TPT community...(also inspired by the Creative Chalkboard)
So much more visually pleasing...interesting...higher quality...completely made by me!!!!!

I am so supercharged for the school year to begin...it has been a quick summer but in my situation with all the anticipation and unknowns, it has kind of been like waiting for Christmas and Santa Claus...I will likely be up all night the night before school starts like I was when I was a kid...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Long Time I know…Needed To Get My Head Together!!!

I have tried to sit down and write this post eleven thousand times really…I just couldn’t get out what I wanted to say.  As you can see from the change in my blog, there have been some really big changes going on around here.  I was reassigned schools and grade levels after 14 years.  I am no longer a 4th Grade Shearer Shark.  I am now proudly a 2nd Grade Conkwright Colt!  Now you can see why I had to change my blog name, my store name, my facebook page etc…
I don’t do well with change AT ALL!  When I got my letter, I didn’t even look at it at first.  Then I read it and saw that I would be leaving my school for another school.  After being in a place for 14 years, building the relationships there and finally feeling like I was being accepted for the person I am, the powers that be decided I needed a change.  God knew I needed a change.  I had been wanting out of fourth grade for a couple years.  I am being placed in second grade and I couldn’t be more happy.  I have been stalking all sorts of second grade and primary blogs.  My old principal texted me the other day and said she knew I was busy trying to become the best second grade teacher in this county, but reminded me to slow down and enjoy my family.  God must’ve thought I needed a really big change because he brought me out of my little hole in wall at the end of an isolated hall and placed me in one gigantic classroom!!!!!  

I mean that is one really big place.  When we got to enter the building back on June 10, you could hear my big ol’ mouth ring out into the whole downstairs of my new building “OMG!!!  THIS ROOM IS HUGE!!!”  Sometimes I have trouble containing my feelings :)  Every person who will be working in my new school will have a new experience.  This is a newly remodeled building and we aren’t even allowed into our classrooms to work/setup/decorate/cute-i-fy until July 14 (first day of school for students is August 12, so not even a month for all the moving in and the planning)  This is all helping me accept the change I have been given. I don’t know if any of you have seen Evan Almighty.  It was a religious/political comedy with Steve Carrell playing Noah.  In the movie, Morgan Freeman mentions to the Lauren Graham, who plays Carrell’s wife, that God isn’t going to just give people what they pray for.  He will give them opportunities to embrace what they need or just the opportunity to grasp what He knows you need.  God is giving me an opportunity to start over and recreate so many areas of my life.  I can be a better mommy, wife, teacher, learner, friend and daughter.
I know it may seem a little far fetched that a change in my job placement/grade level could have this many life altering implications, but I tend to live in every aspect/moment of my life.  I put all of myself into things and my job is an easy one, because I truly in my heart love what I do.  I love being Mommy and Honey first and foremost.  That is the most rewarding part of my life.  Having someone learn from me and make something of themselves and I get to be a part of that, have an influence on that…that is the fluffy frosting on the top of my life cupcake! 
So, there you have it.  My reasons for being MIA from the blogosphere.  But I am back in the game.  I have so many post ideas to share with you in the coming weeks and I create my hiney off getting things ready for my second grade sweeties! 
I’m off to start on a little first day of school assessment fun pack to get us started off!  Until Thursday my friends!!!
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Great Book List from Burkins and Yaris...

I subscribe to the Burkins and Yaris blog and today they had a great post on their top ten children literature books and how they can be used to teach different things.   I wanted to share the Burkins and Yaris blog post today and will share their post on Thursday over nonfiction mentor texts!  
This is exciting for me...Real reading begets real writing and vise versa!  I am always looking for ways to teach using real children's literature.  My wish is that instead of investing big bucks in a basal, schools would go to putting real books into the hands of children.  Text book companies could still make their teachers guides and supplemental materials but the book experience would be so much more meaningful to have a real book in hand...as you can tell, I'm not a basal gal...Nothing against them, but the real deal is the real deal...plain and simple.  
Please go to that list and check it out...New titles and old titles...there is something there for everyone!!

Check back Thursday for the second post on nonfiction texts or simply subscribe to their blog!  A big thank you to Jen Jones (Hello Literacy) for turning me onto Burkins and Yaris!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

CH CH CH CH CH CH Changes!!!

 I posted about all the crazy things my school district is up to about 6 weeks ago.  Today the bottom fell out of things completely!  All of elementary and middle school principals were demoted to classroom teachers a few weeks ago and had to re-interview for their jobs.  My principal had a group interview this past Friday and had to find out for herself that she would not be called back for a second interview.  Needless to say, this has crushed me.  She has been the absolute hands down bar none the best principal I have ever ever worked for!  I know she will be fine and land on her feet.  My concern is now for my staff and me....Who will lead us?  Will they let us stretch our professional legs and teach from the standards or will they try to put us back in and make us teach a big box program for reading and math.  I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK INTO THE BOX!!!!!  My kids have actually learned something this school year and retained that knowledge.  I don't even know if I will be in present position or not...I have many prayers that God is answering...I believe that God will have me where I am supposed to be and have me working where I am supposed to be working.  I know that God has a plan for who will be my little girl's teacher next year for Kindergarten...I just have to trust in Him that he will do what is best for me.  He knows what is good for me...I just have to let go and let Him lead me.  

Thanks for listening and I will keep you posted!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An Ocean of Water….

One good decision and stick to it all week…that is how I am going to go about this weight removal process.  Dr. Pam Peeke from Body for Life for Women calls it weight removal.  Weight loss would imply that I have lost something and we generally want to find things we have lost like our keys or our tablets etc.  I most certainly don’t want to find this weight once its gone.  So…my one good decision this week was WATER…and a whole lot of it. 

I need to drink 89 oz of water daily. I figured this by taking my weight and dividing that by 2.  Don’t judge :)  I have a long road to travel here :)  I have been drinking right at 5 bottles of water daily.  I am recycling each and everyone, because that quite the carbon footprint…I have been to the restroom like 1834 times today.  I am about as far from the staff restroom as a person can get at my school, so getting to go is a challenge. BUT, I can already tell my body is kicking out some impurities.  The only movement I have done this week is picking up after my kids and playing outside with them.  No formal exercise. 

I had a free health screening last week provided by my insurance company.  It indicated that I was technically obese as determined by the BMI, I am pre-diabetic and I have high cholesterol.  All of this can be remedied by exercise, but not by exercise alone.  I have to get control of what I drink and eat first and then the exercise will come shortly there after. 

That is fine, when I am ready for that, I will do it…This journey is a process and I believe that slow and steady wins the race.  The more gradually I remove this weight, the more likely I am to stick to the good habits I will develop.  My students noticed that I was not drinking my usual soda drink and one even asked what was up with the water…literally…”Hey, Mrs. Sadler…What’s going on with the water bottle.  Aren’t you an ale-8 gal?”  (Ale-8 is our regional softdrink around here and since its bottled in our town, most of us are weaned from the baby bottle to the Ale-8 bottle…I promptly and replied “well, its time to get healthy kids and I am starting with ale-8…They just laughed and said sure!  They know how I am about my Ale-8 so they have no faith in me. 

Well, I’m checking out for tonight.  Thanks for stopping by…Have a great day and a wonderful tomorrow!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

In a giveaway, winning is everything!!!

Congratulations to the following winners of my Spring Fever, Just because I wanna Giveaway!!!

Emily L, Darlene V. and Jarlene B.  Check your email to see what you won!!! 

Congratulations my friends and thanks to everyone who entered and followed me.  A big thanks to those of you who are already followers!  I love connecting with you and sharing what we do! 

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Summer Online Book Study…

I am sponsoring an online book study for the summer…I have a few reasons for doing this…

  • As an educational specialist candidate, leadership opportunities don’t always need to present themselves,  they should be created and declared :)
  • 21st Century learning encourages us to connect to others and engage in global professional learning communities
  • As a National Board Certified Teacher of literacy (who is now in the 5 years before re-certification) that makes me a teacher leader.

I have purchased three titles from Amazon Notice and Note (recommedation from the inspirational Jen Jones from HelloLiteracy); The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and Daily 5 2nd Edition from the 2 Sisters. 

Daily 5, The (Second Edition): Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades

Daily 5, The (Second Edition): Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades [Paperback]
By: Boushey, Gail
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child [Paperback]
By: Miller, Donalyn
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading

 Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading [Paperback]
By: Beers, Kylene
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

I don’t plan to start until after my school lets out.  I do plan to do all three books this summer and upcoming school year, but will do them in the order of request.  Basically, the one that is requested the most will be first and so on and so forth.  If you are interested, I would like to have at least 5-10 participants.  I will create a schedule for the summer and incorporate different technology platforms for us to converse about the book.  Please check with your principals because you may be able to count this toward Professional Development credit. 

If you would like to participate, fill out this google form.

This will submit your information to me privately.  I look forward to making this happen and meeting some new teacher bloggers!!!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

100 TPT Followers Baby!!!!!

 I just hit it...I just got my 100th Teachers Pay Teachers Follower!!!!!!!  Get ready to a nice little giveaway to hit the gate next week sometime!  Thanks to everyone who follows me and to those of you who just got on board!!!!!  I am excited to be hosting another giveaway sometime in the next week or so!  This little because I feel like it giveaway ends Friday!  Sign up for one of two $10 TPT gift certificates or a 5 item shopping spree from me at my store, Shearerly Sadler 4th Grade where I just got my 100 followers baby!!!
I am so pumped!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much you all!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A bittersweet return to the grind…

I am writing this post right now and to say I am a zombie would be putting mildly.  I AM SO TIRED RIGHT NOW…I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night because, well, it was Sunday night and I don’t usually get to bed real early because there are so many monday morning preparations(school and personal) that must be done Sunday night…So needless to say really; it was a four hour night 
However, when the students filed in this morning, it was so quiet and calm, I didn’t even have to break out classroom dojo to keep them in line…I didn’t even have the calendar math work out because the copier was all jacked up this morning (Mondays…Yeesh!)
Most of the morning went that way.  Things were calm and work ethic was good.  It was really a good day to go back to work with the exception of little to no sleep.
Now my read aloud after recess went too long and math was a rushed and writing got the back burner…typical afternoon stuff but the behavior was still in check.  So I deal better with lags in schedule when I am the cause of it and not the talkers. 
FAstfoward to this evening after supper…I am grading papers from earlier that day and some that I just put off from Spring break.  I AM SO FINISHED TAKING LATE ASSIGNMENTS…I decided that starting tonight and for the rest of my upper elemtentary career, I will not take another late assignment unless a parent notifies me.  I will give extra credit opportunities, but this turning in assignments when you feel like it is over with.  I am sick to death of grading things late or giving making kids extra copies and then grading it again.  We just had our copies numbers limited, so I am limited on the numbers of extras I can make.  I always round out my copies and there are a few extra copies, but the latest I will take it is during recess time.  After that or if I run out of extras, you can do extra credit for half a point per assignment.  I am tired of enabling children to work up to a portion of their potential and having lowered expectations.  Deadlines and due dates are for a reason.  Is this too harsh of me?  I am flexible, I will allow an assignment to be turned in a day late with a parent notification/request but that is the best I can do on that.  I want my students to be responsible…85% of my students grades come from right in the classroom and the other 15% from homework and independent projects.  So, I am posting this information on my classroom blog in just a moment and sending home a note about this tomorrow.  I know it seems like a little late in the game to get all over this, but it has just recently become a much larger problem.  I made this product to keep students accountable for what assignments they are missing as well help me spot trends in what assignments are not being turned in. 
 Missing Assignment Log-Editable for TPT
Thanks for letting me sound off about this… This item is in my TPT shop and because you let me vent, I am marking it down to 50% off for the next two days!!!  Just click on the pic for a link to the product!!!!  I will GIVE IT AWAY TO FIRST FOUR FOLKS TO BRING THE FOUR FOLLOWERS i NEED TO MY TPT SHOP.  They need to leave me their follower number in comments along with the name and contact info of the person who sent them my way.  That is a grand total of eight of these…for FREE!!!
Also, don’t forget about the giveaway going on here at Shearerly Sadler 4th grade…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, April 6, 2014

Looky Looky at my classroom blog update!!!!!!!

So I got a little brave today and googled how to make a blog background…I found three web sources and played  around with them all.  I ended up using PowerPoint for the back ground of the classroom blog…I have to say, I think it turned out just darling if I must say so myself.  I will unveil it to my class tomorrow when they get to the classroom.  They love it when I get creative. Heck, I love it when I get creative.  I had so much fun doing it.  Click this link to check it out…Sadler’s Super Stars

Please leave me some love if you like it! 

I just downloaded and am using Windows Live Writer

I am just trying this out and so far, I think I kind of like it…I am trying to use different fonts to make Things more interesting to look at!  Found this Windows live writer from a blog post I was reading on bloglovin…I cannot remember, Faithful In First I think is the name of the blog…Any who, I know like three blog posts in one day!  I could be going crazy!!!

I liked the idea, really really liked the idea of being able to use the fonts on my computer in my blog posts!!!  Love it so far!!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Blog Face Lift...

 I do not know how to design blogs but I can sure create a blog header...Maybe this will make my blog more attractive...In the spirit of changes in my life...I can't afford a totally blog make over right now...I would like A Bird In Hand Design for my blog...but for now, I am going to have to get creative and learn to do it myself...I think it looks good right now...
Don't forget about the giveaway I have going on right now!  

Sometimes the "real" truth can crush you....

 My momma always said the truth will set you free.  It does, it takes a huge weight off your shoulders.  I should know, this past year I had to be truthful with my husband about our finances and the weight was lifted from me and my marriage is on the mend...But when I mention the 'real' truth, I am talking about a deeper truth.  The truth my momma didn't tell me about...The truth you have to admit to yourself.  

This is me today...really, I just took this pic like ten minutes ago...

I am the average gal...I am a wife, a mother, a professional.  I am a daughter, a sister and a friend.  I find that on most days, I put my own needs on the back burner because the needs of those I love take precedence over my own.  It seems almost easier to be the caretaker for others than to be a caretaker of myself.  Its not that I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for it, I just can't seem to get around to it.  I have let myself go in ways that I can't believe.  I just keep buying bigger clothes instead of taking the time to get myself back into shape.  Its either do it at night before I go to bed, but we all know how that turns out, I am so wiped out by that time, I barely get into the shower and into the bed before I fall asleep...Or there's getting up and doing it first thing in the morning.  WEEEEELLLLLL, when my three year old who doesn't sleep through the night (STILL) wakes me up twice in the night and I have to be the one who gets up, getting up at least an hour earlier than normal to work out and shower just doesn't happen either.  I give myself excuse after excuse...I even blame my husband.  I say that I have so many things to do around  here and he just won't do it.  I just don't have the time.  I blame him for me not having the time (even though if I seriously committed to something he would pick up the slack)...However, I don't have the time to be dead either.  So I don't know what to do...

BUT, I have to...I stepped on the scale this morning and the rest of my life literally flashed before my eyes.  My worst fear in life is my three children growing up without me.  I have said it to my husband before, I have even admitted it to myself before, but today, it just hit me really hard as a reality.  I am 45lbs over weight today.  That increases my chances for type 2 diabetes (which I had gestational diabetes while pregnant with all three of my kids), high blood pressure (which runs in my family) and heart disease (the number one killer of women...I think back to ten years ago.  I bent over one day to tie my shoes and my belly was in the way so that it was hard to breathe and tie my shoes.  Also, my papaw asked me one day if he bought me some SlimFast would I drink it...I am not sure why he just didn't call me fattie :)  But, I knew he meant well.  So, I bought my first at home workout program and while I finished my Master's degree and was dating my now husband, I lost 32 pounds.  I started out slowly, but in six months I was one fit little fiddle.  Fast forward ten years and here I am about to turn 40, 45 pounds over weight, and scared for my health...Looking good would just be a side benefit!  Most people hold onto their fat clothes just in case...Not me, I held onto the clothes from ten years ago.  Here are a few of the outfits I am going to work myself back into...

Hubs asked me today what I was going to do about this...no humor, no fat remark or jab, just genuine concern...
I wrote all my stats in dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror...height, weight, measurements, pants size, shirt size, if I can shrink it, I wrote it down...and my husband saw it.  I wasn't going to hide it from him anymore.  I am not hiding from myself anymore.  I have to face this weight and remove it, as well as removing the reasons I overeat, refuse to exercise and the many other underlying reasons why I have just let myself go...He loves me so much, but he doesn't love what I have done to myself.  My kids don't deserve it either...I am sort of lazy, I am overworked, overwhelmed and if I don't take care of me, then I won't be around to take care of anyone else...There is my real crushing truth.  

SSSOOOOO, what are you going to do you ask and why are you sharing this with us...I know what to do and the reason I am sharing is because there are no more supportive people than you guys in the blogosphere...

I just have to do it in baby steps but my reality wants to wake up tomorrow with the body of 23 year old fitness model.  I mean come on, feels like I put the weight on that fast :)  Shouldn't it come off in the same amount of time :)  All kidding aside, this is the seedling of my plan...  It has to be realistic or it just won't work...

Baby steps Phase 1
REWARDS!!!  Do something for myself once a week for my good choices throughout the week.  Since I love soda and chocolate, that is going to be my first reward.  I can have it once a week.  
This week, my goal is to eat clean for a week allowing myself a cheat meal once this week.  According to Dr. Pamela Peeke in Body for Life for Women, this is a necessity. 

You have got to read this book...Something for every woman in every stage of her life!!!

Depravity will kill change.  I think for me, to deprive me of soda and chocolate would be like not attending any other addiction.  I would get it somehow.  This way, I can work for it.  Any exercise I do this week will be a bonus tangible reward like a new pair of shoes or scarf or something fun like that.  
Short term goal:  Size 10 by the time my son's 2nd bday (July 4th)
Long Term Goal:  Size 7-8 by our Disney Vacation, 2nd week of October...I have never been the cute little mommy at Disney, its high time I am!  

I plan to check in weekly and I hope you all don't mind going on this journey with me....Please encourage me, I feel like this is going to be the hardest thing I have ever ever done because this time, its not just about me...

Here is a little something I made for motivation...

Backgrounds are by MyClipArtStore, fonts by MissTiina, HelloFonts, and me...Frame is HelloLiteracy and of course a Melonheadz Graphic!!!

Please save it, copy it, post it; especially if you need it like I do!!!  I am not sure who coined this phrase, but it is another real truth for me!  

Thanks for sticking with and following me in this chapter of life!!  This can only make me a better person, wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister and friend!!

I am in the mood for a giveaway!!!

I love a good giveaway!   I haven't done a giveaway in some time and I am totally in the mood for one!  

Enter with rafflecopter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I will choose my winners next Friday!

Little Secret...I am planning a big giveaway when I cross 100 followers...if you are interested in helping out with that giveaway, leave me a comment with contact information.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April's CURRENTLY!!!!!!!

 Yeah!  It's currently time!  I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her monthly currently Linky party!!!  I just love these because I love to read all the differently currently's that are linked up and find some new blogs to stalk follow!  So here goes!!!

I am seriously listening to some Japanese Educational content for children.  My five year old loves it and watches it on the I Pad all the time.  I love the intonation in the Japanese language, it is interesting to hear the highs and lows in the songs.  I can understand why she likes the sound of it!  

I purchased IFontMaker from the APP store and I have been going to town.  My five year old, (some one who loves Japanese culture) is all over font making.  I have made 5 so far and one of them in right here on my currently.  Here is a link to three free downloads of the first three fonts I have made.  Its just a few posts back from this!  Riley has made two of her own and loves to "make her letters"  She thinks its neat to see her own handwriting appear when I do something in word or powerpoint.  

My house it a huge mess, especially with five of us here and only one person really manning it all.  My hubs picks up some and I am working with my five and three year old to pick up after themselves...I can't seem to get to the real cleaning needs until I get all of everyone elses stuff organized and put back in its proper place.  I will probably still be spring cleaning in the fall and winter...for real!

I am freaking out a bit because our state testing is the third week in May and I still have so much content to get through.  Our state has made strides in making sure that our testing is truly summative and that we aren't left with months of school left where kids aren't really being accountable for learning anything.  Our K-Prep test keeps them focused on something, that and report cards.  Six more weeks before the test would be fabulous!!!

My day is an early one...Plus, I have three children to load and pack.  I have to be up at 5 just to make myself look presentable and then get everyone loaded and strapped in to pull out by 6:45 to make sure we make the school bus by 7:05 and then I have to haul my little boy into my mama's house!  I wish I started just a little later so I could drop the girls off everyday, but that just doesn't work out.  Oh well!  Students last day is June 3, and the state forgave 10 of our 14 snow days but teachers still have contract time to work out after that...I am really not sure when my last day actually is...but who are we kidding, I have summer school for educational specialist degree and then I have all my new stuff I want to have ready for the next school year ready to go.  I don't yet know what grade I will be teaching or if I will even be back in my old school yet...So many unknowns in my future right now!!!

I hope you all have a groovy day no matter where you are or what you are doing!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Cleaning Day 1...down and accomplished!

 I made a list.....
I am sticking to that list...No matter how much I want to get it done!
I usually spend my spring breaks from school spring cleaning.  Many of us do it, I don't usually do like spring breaker crowds and take my vacays in the fall, so this is prime time for me...
Today I tackled the most difficult room of my home... The master bedroom and bath!  My room is like the catchall.  I take our laundry upstairs and just drop the baskets because I have those three kids that need my attention and they will either destroy anything I have already cleaned up downstairs, or come up and strip my bed down and use the bed as a trampoline...So there is no way to get the clothes put away so we live out of laundry baskets.  Did I tell you my husband loves loathes that!  I was beginning to feel trapped in there.  I was not sleeping very well and there was no real relaxation that could go on in there.  AND, my bathroom looked like a hair and dust bomb went off in there!  Hubs was about to move into a hotel!  So, I piled everything from the floor and furniture in the room onto the bed and went to dusting and vaccumming.  Every sqauare in of carpet and dusting every nook and cranny of my furniture.  My back hurts from moving furniture to clean underneath.  But, you can see the top of all my furniture and there isnt a speck of dust in site.  So that makes for a happy me...

I wanted to show an after picture, but I still have a few things to organize and put away.  And, right now at this late hour, hubs in sleeping in there.  No dice on a before pic...I'd be too embarrassed!  I will post an after though!

Good night my sweet friends! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Too Ambitious...

 Boy that should've been my motto today!!!  I got a little cocky when I started those fonts and borders.  I went ahead and downloaded the free 30 day trial of Photoshop Elements 12 and watched a couple videos on how to make digital papers...Wwwwwweeeeeelllll, I should really have checked my pride at the open of the program.  I am still so much of a novice with this whole graphics thing...I think I will reside myself that God puts people on this earth to do certain things.  I don't think he meant for me to make digital paper and other such graphics without the aid of my trusty friendly program I like to call PowerPoint.  I couldn't get my nose out of the Photoshop program long enough to even get my kitchen cleaned up.  So, after I pulled all of my hair out decided that bald was going to have be a good look for me, I went into my dropbox and took stock of how much digi-paper and graphics I already have...I think I am good since I am going to have to find a new cloud storage for just my graphics folder :)  

I've got enough Melonheadz to last me two lifetimes, a blue million files of digital paper, I can now make my own fonts on my font maker and borders in ppt...I'm good!  I am officially on Spring Break as of tomorrow at 7:20am.  I am going to spring clean like a mad woman and spend some QT with my family.  I hope you have a blessed evening and a wonderful tomorrow!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I made some fonts today...

 So I taught myself how to do borders...that was fun.  Now all I need is a way to convert my ipad into a drawing tablet.  Today I purchased ifontmaker and made three fonts.  My five year old made her own font as well.  Thats how easy it was!  I am including them on here for you.  Please feel free to download and use...no credit required at this time!!!  I had so much fun doing it and can't wait to make more!!!

Here are links to the fonts...I still have so much work to do before I become awesome




 I hope you enjoy them.  Stay tuned for when I learn how to make digital paper...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reference Check...

 I am at a stand still emotionally about all our elementary and middle school principals.  I had stood up for this new facilities plan because it felt right to me as a parent and a fourth grade teacher.  Never did I think my principal would be demoted to a classroom teacher and have to reapply for her job.  I am a people first kind of person and I feel so bad this has happened.  Makes me want to never ever want to open my mouth about anything again at the district or school level.  
BBUUTTTTT, if you know me, my voice is the most powerful weapon I have in my arsenal.  I think words are powerful when they are spoken with honesty, truth and integrity.  I decided that I would try to organize my staff to write letters of recommendation for our principal, I am even going to have my outgoing fourth graders to write letters for her as well.  Can you imagine my surprise when my principal sends me a text message with much embarrassment in her tone.  She said she could not believe that she was asking me, but asked me for a reference.  Was she reading my mind?  I support anything my principal would want...she supports me in all my hair brained ideas and plans for my classroom.  I said "absolutely"!  I did not tell her about my plan or that this plan is the plan of some of my fellow teachers as well.  

I don't understand this...it is so unsettling...it's scary.  We have just gotten off the ground with our principal, she's part of the team, she's made us a family. So I am going to write her reference with pride.
I will keep you posted!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I still love my work...

 This is a follow up to my post from yesterday...I need some advice, some counseling, some consoling and then I need to share about my awesome kiddos!!
I do love my work...I like my work directly with students, I do not like the bureaucracy that has become education!
CRAY CRAY things are going on in my school district...I cannot make this stuff up!!!
First of all, a new facilities plan had to be drawn up due to closing of some really old elementary schools.  So the first plan built us a new high school and proposed to close one of the two middle schools and combine them into one mega middle school.  This first plan closed two elementary schools and combined them into one.  This called for the closing of 4 more smaller elementary schools at the end of this year, remodeling both the old middle school buildings and turning them into new elementary schools.  This is the plan we started the year with.  Are you lost yet?  I was at this point last year...
NOW we have a new plan...This one makes a little more sense to me and I like it a lot, especially for my own children.  Our elementary schools are down to four buildings and they are all now configured for grades k-4...The next level in one of the old middle school buildings is a grade 5-6 intermediate school (middle school prep experience with and elementary feel).  The next step in our children's academic career is the middle school grades7-8 where its traditional middle schools experience.  And the last stop in this train of Clark County KY education is the high school grades 9-12.  I voted for this plan, I spoke in front our local board of education in support of this plan.  I like how this walks our preteens in baby steps through some really tough emotional milestones.  This configuration of grades gives our county two tested grades (at least) at each level.  

HERE IS WHERE THE TRAIN SEEMS TO DERAIL...I went to a redistricting committee meeting last night.  OMG, the numbers are totally changing at each elementary school and the district lines are now completely different.  I have been fortunate enough to teach in my children's district, NOT ANY MORE...My kids will now have to get permission to come to school with me and my oldest is starting K next year.  That was a hard pill to swallow.  Plus, the community where my road is located, I have spent 14 years developing relationships with parents, students and futures students and now those will be severed...because these kids will be bussed right by their old school to a school further away.  
Here is the worst part of this whole thing.  We are going from seven principal this school year, to six principals next year...today all our principals were informed they were being demoted to classroom teachers next school year and would have to reapply for their jobs.  Teachers had to choose two schools they would want to work at and two grade levels they would like to teach. We all chose to stay put to be with our principal!   We had no idea that this would happen and now we are left hanging in the wind with no clue who will be our leader...Anger, despair and woe spread across the elementary and middle schools like wildfire this afternoon...I just don't know how to feel right now!!!  Our school decision making councils are dissolved which traditionally chose the principal so we have NO SAY...Our superintendent is making the decisions, no one is sure who will be on the committee that interviews...the positions are being opened to anyone...AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH  I just want to pull my hair out.  Change can be good, but this it too much!  There is going to be much prayer involved in this one!  

Now, for my good news.  I love my job for this reason.  Yesterday I had a student face time my ipad for some homework help.  He was S-T-R-E-S-S-I-N' about the homework before school and was almost in tears.  I told him to just call me and we would work it out.  He was at home working on his homework and sent me a facetime chat at around 5:30  We worked through the hard part of his homework in about 5 minutes.  He then texted me later to get permission to do an assignment in the morning.  He did not ask his parents, he asked me!!!  He is not the only one either, another one of my students asked permission to do an assignment in the morning  I almost always so no because they just want to get out of doing it that night and don't want to try.  I have children who stay in contact with me during the home hours about homework or other things that go on outside of school.  The asking my permission has cracked me up though!   So in reference to all my district level craziness...I love my work but am not loving the bureaucratic state that my district seems to have become.  This too shall pass and I just need to listen to God and let him be the guide.  

Thanks for letting me vent...If any of your out there have been through anything like this, I would like to hear from you!  Please leave me a comment and some support...I need some strong shoulders to lean on!