Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween garland

Yup, I said the "H" word - because I am on vacation.  So, you can say that word when you are on break.  Here is an activity we did the week of parent conferences.  I was going to do more activities, but the grand baby came, so we just got the art project and beginning graph made.  The inspiration came from a garland that I saw on Pinterest (can't find it) and I just kept making more.  It was a lot of fun.

Each kiddo was able to pick one candy corn to make, all the pieces were ready to go.  Since I have 29 kiddos, I made 5 of each one.  I put them on my board from easiest to hardest - then let the kids pick which one they wanted to do.  I guided a couple of kiddos to make the ghost, so they would feel successful.  After, they made them - we voted for their favorite ones and came up with the title.  I was going to take the 3 favorite ones and make a smaller version for them to take home - but the grand baby came.  I love that guy.

A few pictures of them hanging on the clothesline in my classroom.

I was going to post the patterns, but I forgot them at school.  I might run to school later this week and get them uploaded for next year.  Let me know if you would like a copy of the patterns and I will send them to you.

** On a sidenote, I love watching my new grand son sleep.

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Monday, October 29, 2012


The kids made the cutest Jack-O-Lanterns last week.  We did a glyph.

I made some samples and we analyzed them using the glyph.  They did a great job with this.

Then they picked their own piece of scrapbook paper - orange/girl and green/boy.  They used the tracer depending on their age.  Then put the rest of the Jack-O-Lantern together.

We then read the book below, several times.  They really enjoyed the story and were following along.

We brainstormed adjectives.  They had a hard time with this.  So one of the girls was our model.  The kids shouted out words that described her and we wrote them on post-its and stuck them on her.  It was so much fun - everyone wanted to do it.  Making the Jack-o-Lantern adjectives was so much easier by doing the other activity first.

They picked their favorite adjectives and wrote them on the bubble map.

We glued the Jack-O-Lantern to the top of the paper, completed the sentence frame "_____ _____ jack-o-lantern you don't scare me."  They picked two adjectives from their bubble map to fill in the sentence frame.

The completed jack-o-lantern wall.

I love using scrapbook paper.  It makes a really cute bullentin board.  The kids like picking their own background paper.  One Halloween tablet was enough for 3 classrooms, I had to add a few more papers from my stash.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vacation has started

I am now, officially, on vacation until after Thanksgiving.  I spent yesterday afternoon making Kalua Pork for my grand daughter's luau today and two trips to the hospital to see the grand baby.  The second trip was more to check on Mom and Dad since the baby levels went up and they needed to put him in the incubator with UV light.  I am waiting to hear from the kids to see how he did last night.  Today, I need to get some more cooking for luau done and fix my grand daughter's dress.  Then, tomorrow my vacation will start and the baby should be coming home.  It will be a busy, fun filled vacation.  I have a lot of pictures to post of our Halloween activities but, it will need to wait another day.  Have a great Saturday.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012


Keahi Tiago born on October 24 at 6:35 AM.  After 36 hours of labor and mommy not dilating, doctors made the decision to do a C-section.  Mom and baby were doing great the entire time. 

Everything happens for a reason, but at the time we didn't know why she was not dilating.  She really wanted a natural birth.  The answer became clear.  He was a bouncing 9 lbs. 2 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long.  His head was 13 1/2 inches.  He would not have fit in the birth canal and the cord was wrapped around his neck.  He would have been in distress.  The newborn beanies that I knitted for him are going to last about a week.

I am so grateful for the doctors and nurses that took care of my daughter in law.  I was with them the entire time until they went in for surgery.  I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to see my grandson for several hours, I was wrong.  My son came running into the waiting room, smiling and yelling for me to come.  The wonderful nurse, stopped in the hallway, so I could see my beautiful grandson.  Tears came rolling out of my eyes at an extremely high rate. The first thing I said, "He has Japanese eyes".   When my son was born it was important to my husband and brother in law that my son had Japanese eyes.  I thought it was stupid at the time, 23 years ago.  But yet, in this perfect moment - it was the first thing I said.  Then i looked at him again and thought oh my gosh he is huge. 

My son, daughter in law and grand son were in the "golden hour" and were bonding.  Again, my son flew into the waiting room and told me to go in.  Now, I didn't want to get kicked out of the hospital - but I got worried and went in.  The nurse said it was fine that they wanted me in there.  So I sat next to my daughter in law and grand son while he nursed for the first time.  I am the luckiest grandma in the world.  My son wanted to call his dad and tell him the news - so I became the stand in (a job that I love).  My hubby flies into tonight and my son wanted to pick him up from the airport - so he could tell him everything on the two hour drive home. 

I had parent conferences to do in the afternoon, since I had to reschedule a bunch from Tuesday - so I was forced to go to school.   I was able to hold him last night after school.  It was a perfect moment. 

Oh, his name is Hawaiian Brazilian Japanese.  Keahi means "breath of fire" and he is born in the year of the Dragon.  They took a lot of time finding the perfect name for him.  He has a cry that comes from his belly.  The world just kinda of stops when a baby is born.  It is like floating in clouds - being able to watch everything.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Parent conferences and a baby

My parent conferences started last Friday, they went well.  I have some today and the bulk of them tomorrow.  But, guess what - my daughter in law is being induced tonight at 8.  Sooooo, all of my conferences tomorrow need to be moved to another day.  My darling grand son isn't even born yet and already he is a little squirt.  I had a serious talk with him this weekend about trying to bribe him to come out yesterday.  His response was doing flips in his mommy, it was really cute.  His mom wasn't sure she like the flip and jab thing.  I took her walking at the mall and nothing from her.  I slept for 2 1/2 hours because I was tired.  Oh well, I think I need to have another talk with him tomorrow, but in my arms, I can't wait.

I have some jack on lantern ideas to post, but they will have to wait until Wednesday.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Going Batty

My babes had so much fun making bats last week.  Thanks to Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher and Jen at The Teacher's Cauldron.  They both have some great bat units right now.


This is from A Cupcake for the Teacher and it is free.  I am not sure how to do a direct link, but you can click above on her site and it will take you to her blog.  We changed the bat head to Halloween theme scrapbook paper.  They turned out so cute.

One of my teacher buddies made the cave for me and put all my bats up.   It turned out so cute.  Thank you Mrs. Garvey.  Three of us stayed until after 6, laughing so hard in the hallway - making jokes about bat caves and bats.  I think we were really tired.

This is one of the activities in the packet.  We brainstormed words and then, they were able to pick one.  They loved this.  There are some writing activities too.

"Label a Bat" is one of the many activities from Jen Ross' packet.  Definitely, worth checking out.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Okay, who took Fall away from southern California?  I was enjoying the cooler nights and much cooler days.  I love wearing jeans and a sweater with boots.  Well, actually I dislike shoes, but I do like my ugg boots in the winter.  Last week was heaven, this week - are you kidding me - we are back up in the 90s.  Tomorrow, it is suppose to be 99.  So the best part of this weather, the air in my classroom died yesterday.  Yup - no air.  But, the good news is that I finished my District Math Assessment yesterday - in a room that had air conditioning.  So it is all finished and scored.  My kids did pretty good.  Super proud of them.  So I wonder what we will get done today, with no air, in another empty classroom - because it is really difficult to pack up all of your kids and move to a classroom that has air.  But, I am being flexible by moving. 

People, I don't know about you - but some days I am tired of being flexible.  How about you?  So I will keep repeating 9 more days, 9 more days......

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Monday, October 15, 2012


My Language Arts District Assessments are finished, woo hoo.  Part of the test is whole group, the other half is individual.  The District gives us two weeks to administer and score it. Let me tell you - it takes a long time to individually test 29 kids.  Then all their scores need to be entered into the computer.  I, usually, have the test completed the first week.  Not this year, I didn't get it finished until the last two days.  Then, as a cruel joke - grades were due the same day the district assessment was due.  Come on people, are you serious????  So, I was at school until 6:00 last Thursday - inputting all my grades.

This week, is the District Math Assessment.  Yup, one week to test 29 students in a group setting with 46 or so math problems.  So, they need to be tested and scored by Friday at 3:00.  But, wait - we will throw in the district wide Disaster Drill on Thursday, followed by a Staff Meeting.  On Friday, we have parent conferences starting at 12:30.  This means, I really have 3 days to give my babes their very, successful District Math Assessment.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  On October 26 at 12:20 I will start my one month break as a reward for doing all of the above items.  Hubby is coming home for the month - so no flying for me. Luckily, this year I don't have to pack up my entire room  and move to another one.  I feel sorry for my partner, she does - it isn't much fun.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thank you

I need to thank some very special people for sending me some goodies this last month.  It was very sweet of them.

My room mom, that helps every Friday, brought me this box of yummy.  Oh my gosh they were wonderful.  I did share with a couple of teachers.  We give it a thumbs up. 

To spoil me even more she brought me my favorite ice cream.  I found these the last time I was in Hawaii and they sell them in California at the asian markets.  I highly recommend getting a box of these, or two.  The flavors are mango, strawberry, melon (honeydew) and banana.  The first three are my favorites.  They are sorta like a creamsicle, but so much better.  You can really taste the fruit.  My grand kids have been eating them when they come over.  There is a candy version, but I can't find them.  Apparently, they can't keep them on the shelf long enough in Hawaii.

I received this common core Math assessment from Sarah at Wishful Teaching.  She asked me to review it and I love it.  This one is the end of Kinder assessment, so I gave it to my beginning first graders.  A lot, of my babes knew the answer, but the didn't know how to get there.  You really need to check it out.  She has assessments for Kinder, First and Second.  I am definitely doing the end of first grade assessment before I move my babes on.

I received this from Corinna at Surfin through Second.  My kids love it.  It is numbers to 10 in Hawaiian.  My kids love Hawaii, even though most of them have never been there.  It must be all the Hawaiian goodies in the classroom, so this was perfect.  Two of my little ones take hula - so they especially loved these number cards.  They already know their numbers to eight so know they can learn a couple more.  I believe, there are 3 different style cards.  It is wonderful.

I won this from Michelle at Run! Miss Nelsons got the Camera.  It is the cutest lunch bag.  The bottom has a zipper container that holds a food container - perfect size for a salad.  Underneath the handle there is a zipper area that you can put a fork, water bottle, dressing and a snack.  I think I need a couple more of these.  Probably should check where she got them.  I, always, forget my bag at school, ugghh.

Well, that is enough for today.  I am off to chaperon the 6th grades at the UCLA/Utah game.  I love UCLA.  Have a great day.
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Bags

I finished sewing my kiddos - book bags and I love them.  It took awhile to make 29 bags, but it was worth it.  The classroom library is staying neater.  I don't have to worry about them breaking, like plastic containers.  They are about 11x13 inches with two 16 inch finished handles.  They hold 5 books perfectly.  The kids store them on the bottom shelf of the gray crates, too easy.

The kids were really excited about them.  My room mom tried to sneak one home with her.  We have 6th grade reading buddies on Friday.  Half of the kids go to 6th grade and half stay with me - so they will just grab their bags and go.  Easy peasy.

Did everyone's weekend streak by or was it just mine????

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Week 3 - Monet

Our PTA pays for our "Art Smarts" program and I love it.  This program provides an assembly to tell the kids about the life of the artist and show some of his/her work.  Then an art teacher comes to our classroom once for 45 minutes during a two week period.  It is extra special for me, because my art teacher is always a former student's parent.  I had her son when I started teaching and we have remained friends.  Don't you just love those kind of parents.   My kids love it and I love it.  This time I was smart enough to take pictures of the kiddos creating their works of art.  Kinder and First created "Poppies"

The other thing that I love about this program - not every grade does the same project.  Second grade does a different art project than Sixth Grade.  It is wonderful.  When I grow up I want to work for Patrice the owner of "Art Smarts".

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Thursday, October 4, 2012


Ok, these are from the 2nd week of school, I am getting closer (not really).  I bought "Color Fun" from TpT (sorry I don't remember who the author is) and I love it.  It has a book suggestion and a couple of activities for each color.  Unfortunately, with  the extra students this year and not being use to having all those extra kiddos - I only got two colors finished.  Yup, red and yellow.  So now I can throw all the rest of the crayons out of the crayon box - just kidding.  I have a creative bunch of little ones this year.  Love, love their illustrations.  I wish I had more time to do the creative part of teaching - I miss it.

The book was "My Yellow Shirt" or something like that, giggle.  Aren't they cute?

This little one draws the best trains, it is his passion.

Maybe,  I can finish the rest of the pages in February - maybe I should do the orange page because it is pumpkin month, hmmm.
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