Friday, March 30, 2012

Voices From the Land

Earlier in the week I mentioned a project called Voices From the Land here.   The students did a fantastic job and I wanted to share their artwork and poetry.

I was so impressed by their artwork and the poetry inspired from it. 
I love everything about each and every one of them.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Need Your Help

I need your help.  There are two more days to enter this contest. 

If I win, I could get $25,000 in technology for my school, an iPad for my class AND 30 iPod touches!  Our school is hurting for technology or at least technology that wasn't created by cavemen and require a hamster that runs in a wheel behind the screen to get it going.

If you could just take a moment these last few days to enter me, I would be beyond appreciative!

You can click on the image above or go HERE.

Here's what you need to know:  Deborah Haynie, Fairfax County, VA, Spring Hill Elementary

The best part????

If you enter me in the contest, you are entered in a separate contest where YOU could win an iPad for yourself!  So what is there to lose?!

Thank you in advance and thank you to those that have already voted!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Voices From The Land

Have I mentioned that we have an amazing science teacher?  Well, she's fantastic.
A month ago she approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in "Voices From the Land."  It is a wonderful project that incorporates art, nature, and poetry.  I of course said, "YES!" 

Visit a link to the read more about the project here.

In science class, the children were introduced to the work of Andrew Goldsworthy and were then shown portions of the project they were about to do.  In art class, the groups sketched out what they would create using nature.

Finally this past week, they went out to make their creations.

While the children worked, parent volunteers, the art teacher, and myself quietly observed and recorded what the children said.  

This week, the science teacher and I are going to share the annecdotes with each group.  They are then going to use these words to create poetry for their creation.

Here is a quick snapshot of what my group made.

I cannot wait to see everything put together!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Milkweed Mural

I'm not sure if you remember, but I helped pilot a new 2nd grade unit last year: Monarchs, Milkweed, and Mexico. It is a fantastic unit that our county created which covers a number of standards for our grade and spans 2 quarters. Yup, it's that big. 

This was also the unit that I had inserviced other teachers in our county on back in January.  Remember all of my nail biting?
Well, last week I did one of my favorite lessons in the unit. 

After discussing the importance of milkweed and creating a milkweed diagram during the prior lesson, we went into discussing the ecosystem surrounding the milkweed habitat.  We explored many of the insects, plants, and creatures you may encounter and then the children worked together to make a mural of that ecosystem.  They have such a great time working together to create the following.

I love this lesson because the children are introduced to a whole new part of the milkweed habitat.  It is also open ended so all of my children can participate. 
Notice the GIANT milkweed beetle attacking from above.  I love every part of this mural! :)
As morning work the next day, I had the children create labels for each of their items.  They wrote a brief description of the importance of their item as well.  That way passers by can 1. identify everything and 2. learn something.  The children loved #2 because they felt like experts teaching other kids in the school.
Just a fun lesson which can be used for so many other subjects.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wa atch ooo?

When my son can't find something he says, "Wa atch ooo?" (Where are you?)  I'm sure many of you were saying this verbatim during my absence this past week. 
I actually took a brief break from the internet so I could spend my evenings with my kids and then on to read The Hunger Games after they went to bed.

That's a good excuse right?  

The weather has been fantastic lately so my kids and I have been living it up.  I just love spring!!!!

As for the book, I have an obsession with reading a book before seeing the movie.  My hubby and I were planning on going to see it this weekend, so I had to get cracking.  It was a great book and I desperately need to start the next one.  I just hope the movie does a good job portraying the story.

So why am I back on the computer after spending all of that quality time with my family and reading such a good book you may be asking.

Well, for one, the book is finished(but not for long since I need to start the next one.)  But more importantly my in-laws have my kids this weekend. 

Yes, you read that correctly.  My husband and I are childless this weekend!!!

In between my husband coaching swimming, we will be getting a lot accomplished which I am looking forward to. 

Sadly, my internal teacher clock has me up at 6  a.m., so sleeping in was not an option this morning.  

Lucky for you, here I am telling you my life story instead of staring at my eyelids dreaming of Ryan Reynolds.  I mean, my husband...I only dream of my husband.  Never steamy heart throbs coming in to save the damsel in distress, starring me.  Never.

So after I finish blogging, blog stalking, and pinning, I will be off to spend my Saturday doing many things that I don't normally get to do. 

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend as well!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Word Play, Adult Style

You may have seen this floating around the internet. 
Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are the winners:
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
14. Dope-ler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

Hilarious right?
Not remembering seeing anything about it in my Washington Post, I decided to search a little further on the internet. It doesn't seem like there actually has been a contest in the past few years. 
Wherever the origin, it is a great idea and these were so creative. I am personally partial to #5 and #15, but they are all good.   I would love to know which ones you enjoyed!
I am actually tempted to try this with my students next week, using kid friendly definitions of course. ;)  I'll let you know how they turned out if I try it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gonna Git That Leprechaun!

My daughter must have read about leprechauns at school the other day because when she got home she immediately went into her room to create a trap for them.  At one point, she popped out and asked for some tape. Eyebrow raised, I handed her the roll of tape.  She then disappeared into her room to continue working.
When she finally emerged, she began taping things to her door. 
Here is what I found when she finished:

I gave my proud Mommy response of "Oh wow, you did a great job!"
(Not having a clue what I was looking at.)

This is what I figured out.

I had her tell me about her very clever and elaborate trap. 

There you have it. 

Maybe after ALL the leprechaun traps created through the years, my child will be the one that gets lucky.  She, at least, is forever hopeful. 

Wait until she gets a load of what the leprechaun is going to do to our house!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fairy Tale Venn Diagram

Just wanted to share a Fairy Tale Venn Diagram I made this past week.  It's nothing fancy, but does the trick when comparing the classic fairy tale with the great "mixed-up" versions out there.  Head to my TPT store to grab this and my Fairy Tale Recipe worksheet.


Sunday, March 4, 2012


It's that time again.  Here is my monthly currently:

Be sure to stop by Oh Boy 4th Grade to check out some great Currentlys and link up!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Award!

Thank you so much to
Tammy at Forever in First AND Jada at  Daisy Days For Learning for nominating me for the
Thank you SO much ladies!

There are a few rules for accepting this award:

1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.(check)
2. Pass the award onto 15 other lovely bloggers.(15? Whew!)
3. Follow the person who sent it to you :)(check, check)

Here are the great blogs that I nominated.  Be sure to check them out!
Heather's Heart
First Grade Delight
First Grade at Klinger Cafe
Funky First Grade Fun
Inside the Classroom
Ms. Rachel's Room
Sister Teachers

There you have it, 15 fantastically LOVELY blogs.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gotta Keep Reading...

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
In honor of Dr. Seuss' ability to inspire so many to learn to read and continue the reading journey, I would like to share a video that Ocoee Middle School created to continue inspiring those young minds.

And finally, some words to live by the great man himself...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Health and Sanity

Have you ever felt like this?

Bet you have.

But yet you find yourself going to work anyway because you have one or more of the following below going on.
  •  Too much to teach.
  • The week or day isn't very "sub friendly" OR You just don't want to take the time to make sub plans.
  • You have IEPs, eligibilities, screenings, or conferences.
  • You teach an after school activity or tutor and you don't want to make it up.
  • You think the next day you will feel better so sticking out one day won't be so bad.
  •  Fill in your own reason here
Well, that has been me the past week and a half.  But, I had too much to cover and was teaching after school activities so I couldn't really take time off.  Each day I thought, "I'll probably feel better tomorrow." The next day would come and nope.  I even lost my voice last Friday but still came in because of an IEP that I had to attend. 

I know, bad.  I should have just taken time, but I thought this annoying sinus cold would go away already.

Now if I could rest up at home maybe that might help.  However, if your household is like mine, there isn't necessarily time to rest. Kids, making dinner, cleaning, dealing with pets, husbands, grading papers, or any other end of the day routines usually come into play.

So today I had a small window of opportunity where I didn't have any meetings, after school activities, and it was a light enough teaching day that I could do plans easily.  I decided to take a day off.
1. For my health
2. For my sanity

The kids have been dropped off at preschool and daycare and here I sit in silence.  It is pretty nice.  

Now that I have this unexpected time on my hands, man do I have a laundry list of things I want to do! 

I am going to try VERY hard to take it easy so tomorrow I can come to school feeling like this.
HA HA HA, yeah right!

A pedicure may be in order though.  I think I can drag my sorry butt out of the house for that. :)