Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013- Last post for the year…heading into 2014…can't wait!

It is hard to believe that 2013 has come to an end and tomorrow will be 2014. Our school opened 6 years ago and it has been a tradition since then to have a school wide PJ day the last day before our winter vacation.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pj day! Yes I do shower and then do my hair and makeup before going to school. Here are my firsties for a serious picture, OK not sure what Shaner is doing but the rest of us are serious right?!?
Then of course, we have to have a goofy face picture.  LOVE Emily and Reese, Rick & Shaner crossing those eyes!
 Speaking of Reese…Reese's family decides to order these cute snowballs and then gift  them to all the boys and girls.  She tells her mom it would be so much fun to have a snowball fight.  Reese's mom (a former teacher herself) tells her I am not sure Mrs. Wright would be ok with that.  Reese immediately informs her, "Don't worry mom.  Mrs. Wright is so fun and she won't mind."
 How can I disappoint?!? A SNOWBALL FIGHT…OF COURSE!!
 Their smiles and laughter sum up my year! I am so blessed to be surrounded by these firstie friends and I can't wait for 2014 and all that we will learn and share.  Thank you to all the families for being extra special people and sharing your most prized possession with me.  I promise to take the very BEST care of them!  I hope you are reading a book and playing outside a bunch.  Happy New Year Wright's Rippers!  See you in 2014!




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!  We are out for vacation and I promise I am going to catch up on my blogging.  I could not let today pass without saying Merry Christmas.  I am so blessed with my hubby, my kids, family, friends, and a career I adore.  A few years back I started taking head shots while on our Marine Science Center field trip.  I print them in black & white and modge podge them on canvas frames.  They are amazing!  Since you can't see them take a look at these cutie pies.  What a great looking group of chickens.  Hope your Christmas was as relaxing as mine and see you soon.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy turkey day! There are so many things to be thankful for it would take me hours to type.  I am so thankful for a career where I see the good in the world on a daily basis.  I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams with a fabulous husband, amazing kids, loving family and friends.  Thank you one and all.  Every year November's family project is to disguise the turkey so the hunter won't make him Thanksgiving dinner.  The creativity of the families is my favorite part.  This year tops last year so sit back and let these fabulous firsties explain how their families disguised the family turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

When I was little and people called me an "Air Force brat", I thought what I am not a brat! Little did I know that I would take for granted what people in the military have done for us for so many years.  This morning my husband and I stopped at the Veterans Nursing Home after Crossfit to drop off some pictures from the students.  There were people getting ready for the annual cook out, lining the grass with flags, and getting ready for friends and family to visit.  I made the comment to my husband Tim, "It really is a shame we only celebrate Veterans like 2 days out of the year."

My dad served in the Air Force for 22 years and I LOVED growing up on Homestead Air Force Base. There were so many happy memories and it makes me tear up now thinking how precious life is every day and how thankful I am to live in America!  Well after a lifetime, my parents are moving up here to live in Port Orange.  I know it will be difficult because they built a lovely life in Homestead and left behind many loved ones from work, the neighborhood, and church.  However, they are moving here to see their grandchildren and me :) Seriously my brother lives like 4 miles from me and my parents are moving like half way from each of us. I am so excited!  I was able to take my favorite Veteran out to lunch at the Olive Garden today.  YIPPEE!! and it was so yummy.  Thank you Olive Garden and my dear sweet dad made sure to stop at the hostess station and thank them for a lovely lunch. What a thoughtful gesture and genuine role model for my son.

A big BONUS is that my firsties and I made some super cute American hats and waited out front to take a picture with my favorite Veteran.  Can't wait to say thank you more as the year goes on…Happy Veteran's Day to all the vets out there and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being our real heroes around here!
God Bless America!
Thank you daddy for everything!  I am who I am thanks to you and mom and the values you taught me! I love you more than I could ever tell you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pumpkin Patch 2013

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fall weather… we are in Florida so we wait for this time of year and then there is the annual trip to the pumpkin patch.  It is so much fun and I just love lunch with the firsties and  picking pumpkins.  I can hardly wait to get all the pictures together.  Watch as our firsties and moms have fun at the pumpkin patch!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Family pumpkins 2013

Each year the students take home a pumpkin worksheet and using supplies laying around the house, they decorate it as a family pumpkin.  The project is to encourage family time and it is so much fun to hear what goes on during the creation of the family pumpkin.  I wanted you to get in on the action so I video taped the kids while they shared.  Aren't they the cutest firsties ever?!?  A BIG thank you to Ms. Aubrey for making pumpkin crispy treats so we could enjoy a snack while sharing.  It took me a while to put it all together but oh so worth it.  Sit back and watch as they share their family pumpkins.



Our county holds an annual food drive through our School Way Cafe-cafeteria :).  So our caring community came through with 69.5 pounds of canned foods.  WOW!! We won our grade level challenge but really everyone won because our 1500 pounds from Cypress Creek Elementary went to fill pantry shelves throughout Volusia County.  YIPPEE!  Thanks for being the school that cares!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mathematicians use strategies!


Yeah, but we don’t even know what strategies are?

Mia you are so cute but really we have been learning them since day 1 of 1st grade.  Let me explain.

Cameron has 9 Legos and some fell on the floor.  How many does he have to look for...there are 5 on the table.

Kids were given a whiteboard and a marker.  We reviewed what we knew and what we needed to find out.  Then I let them use any “strategy” they felt could best solve for the number of Legos.  Some drew pictures, some used subtraction, and some even used addition to find the missing Legos. 

So Mia here drew 9 and then drew circles with lines through them like she “sees on signs” to subtract 4.  She then walks through how she minuses 4 to get to the 5.  She even uses a related addition fact to help solve.
Shaner uses his knowledge of the 10 frame to help him find the missing addend. He knows that 5 and 5 would make a ten frame. He also knows that 5+4 would equal 9.  5 is the number of Legos on the table and there’s 4 on the floor.

I am so proud of these kids and their ability to reason.  They are using connections to things they know from their world, like how Mia sees it on signs and Shaner knows 10 frames.  We will continue to keep working on their reasoning and explaining to justify their answers. Make sure to check back and see how we grow as mathematicians!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

New York, New York!

Today was filled with mixed emotions and yes I am in New York, New York!  I met up with one of my oldest, dearest friends from junior and high school.  She made reservations and I was so excited to visit the 9/11 Memorial.
Now the hard part, what an emotional place.  The place was filled with people taking pictures, remembering the day, and then a moment of silence to reflect.  I told the group about Michael Roberts and his family.  Did you know you can google his name and it tells you where his name is on the Memorial?  We were standing right there taking pictures.  When I saw his name I had to take a deep breath and say a prayer.  Thank you to all those represented on the Memorial.  
My friend Amy and I are here in New York to attend the Teacher Town Hall tomorrow at NBC Education Nation.  I am so excited! You know Education is near and dear to my heart.  I am so excited about teaching using the Common Core Standards.  The next 50 years are going to be different in so many ways and we cannot continue to teach the same way as the past 50 years.  We need to raise problem solvers that can collaborate and create.  I am excited to hear the message tomorrow and get back to my chickens! I can't wait to get back for Monday morning.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Apple Day 2013

Johnny Appleseed's birthday is big news in 1st grade.  A day filled with apple stations and apple tasting!!  YIPPEE Anything with food is BIG hit.  We enjoyed parents donating apple goodies and some moms even found time to help us out with apple centers.  I tried to capture the day's events and ended up with 133 pictures.  I know a sickness I have.  The funniest thing was at the 5 senses station, there seemed to be loose teeth after eating some apples.  Well low and behold 2 kids had a tooth come out.  Check out the video and see that Isabella and Logan lose a tooth on Apple Day 2013.  Extra special surprise was the cupcakes, singing-cha, cha, cha, and present from my class.  Soooo sweet and can you believe these 6 year olds kept a secret?  Thank you to all the families because it was a great day!  Check out the video for the pictures.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kids Know my Favorite Number is 10

In first grade we spend quality time grounding the students in the number 10.  10 is my favorite number and they KNOW it!  We talk about all the combinations of ten and how 10 is a foundation number.  Let me explain.  If a child can get to 10 they can get to a decade and that is a beautiful thing when adding or subtracting larger numbers.  I know why now when it is only the 23rd day of 1st grade?  I am laying the foundation or the progression for when we work with larger numbers.  Each day they identify mystery numbers on a blank 100 chart. This day we just happened to be talking about 18, 48, and 88.
How many until the next friendly number?  "2" and "how do you know that?"  "I can count 2 boxes." or "2 more and I get to 20, 50, and 90."  YES!! now why? After some questioning someone pointed out... well check out the video and see why.  Aren't they the best mathematicians ever?!?
video

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Is it ever too early to think about college?

Funny 19 years teaching and I still get asked why do you talk about the Seminoles when you teach 1st grade?  Is it ever too early to think about college?  I do teach in Florida and yes we live and LOVE our college football-especially the Seminoles of FLORIDA STATE every Saturday!  Last year I had the pleasure of teaching Tye and his mom volunteered every chance she could.  She is the Media Specialist at Bethune Cookman University and she is the BEST ever! What a mom and inspiration as a truly genuine person! Today FSU takes on Bethune Cookman so my friend Lucas, who comes from a family full of Seminole fans, and I are putting our game faces on!  Check us out! Win or lose thinking about college is always a good goal to have...one day way too soon for my chickens.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shake Those Beans

One way of practicing addition and subtraction together is playing Shake Those Beans!
Yes, it does get a bit loud in the classroom but the math you hear is incredible!  They shake the beans and spill them out on the placemat.  Sort the red and yellow, then compose an addition sentence using the red number as the 1st addend.  I love when they put them in a pattern like my friend Reese who put them in a 4 dot formation like on dice to reveal the number sentence 4+4=8.  They are such mathematicians!  Check out as Timmy and Logan play a round of Shake Those Beans.  I notice at the end they each have something close to what the other has...do you notice too? Make sure to pay attention to the part where the music is in the video.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 Never Forget

I have seen this everywhere today and stopped throughout my day to think back to that day.  I remember it like it was yesterday not 12 years ago.  I sat with Kaile and Carson this morning and told the story.  Kaile was 6 months old and at Ms. Linda's house.  I was teaching 2nd grade at Horizon Elementary and my husband was working that day as a police officer.  We went to a lockdown but didn't know why and then Tim called, "Have you heard?"  Heard what we are in a lockdown.  "Someone flew a plane into the Twin Towers."  You have got to be kidding me and then it was all over the news, the papers, and in every conversation.  The days were filled with sadness and who could imagine the torture one lived through waiting to find out about loved ones.  Police officers, firemen, and first responders became heroes. It still makes a lump in my throat today, 12 years later...

We were greeted with our very own local Fire Chief and Fire Marshall.  Mr. Weir is a former Wright's Rippers parent and what a fabulous family!  Thank you both for everything you do each day to keep us safe.
Then Cypress Creek made a lovely dedication to Fireman Michael Roberts.  He is a cousin to a family at our school.  The children will never know what a hero Michael was since he was one of the first to respond and lost his life.  These kids were younger than 12 so they weren't here to be part of this but the effects live on within this family and hundreds like it across our country.
We observed a moment of silence in honor of these heroes and their families.  Thank you Cypress Creek for the dedication-and Ms. Garver.  Thank you to the Fire Chief and Fire Marshall.  Thank you to the family of Michael Roberts.  Thank you to my fabulous husband who works everyday to keep peace and order in our community.  You are all heroes and we will NEVER FORGET your importance, dedication, and sacrifice you make daily to keep us safe.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Have you played Garbage lately?

While teaching Thinking Math we try to share games to teach the students and then they can practice with one another or their family at home.  Here is a new favorite...Garbage.  Watch as Mia and CJ lead you through a game and find out who wins.  Make sure to practice with your parent and leave us a comment on what you think of our game.

Hat Day parade

We worked with the short a for 2 weeks and learned many words in the -at, -ap, -am, -ack, and -an word families.  What better way to end the week than with a hat parade?  Check us out in our finest.

The 10th day of school was met with a surprise delivery at 10 am from these 2 front office lovelies.

We couldn't wait to get it open and see what was inside.  Turned out to be a surprise from Zero the Hero.  There was a letter, some balloons, a cape, a mini Zero the Hero and DONUTS-shaped like you guessed it zeros!!


YUMMY donuts!  So after reading the letter to the class I asked when Zero would be back.  One answered "the next zero day" and when will that be "day 20"!  I have some smart cookies this year.  Thank you Zero!  We can't wait for you to visit again.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 1 was FABULOUS!

I really cannot believe a week ago I was up late waiting for the 1st day of school. Where does the time go? Where am I now? Trying to catch up the blog and putting those last minute details for this week's lessons. First thing first here is our 1st class picture!
They are a great looking bunch aren't they?!? So let's get a sneak peek into the week. Each year I start their personal journals on day 1 and we write EVERYDAY! I love reading and listening to them. We have lost teeth, lost family members, had brothers/sisters born, contests won, riding our bike without training wheels, and even attendance at the FSU games documented. GO NOLES! This one is extra special, CJ's mom got her first teaching job and CJ wrote about how each person in the house was "iksidid" for mom now how stinkin' cute is that?! We are very excited for you Mrs. Asbill and those 1st graders are lucky to have you.
We read bunches this week and wrote in our reading response journals. We used our face partners to read our writing to and it was too cute to hear them tell each other, "Thank you for sharing."
We learned about scientist tools this week and I think the exploration part can be summed up by this one picture...yes we got to wear the goggles.
I handed out the ActivExpressions and YIPPEE there was excitement that could be felt 6 doors down each hallway. We could share answers and text in number combinations. You should check out our class Instagram and Twitter feed to get the latest updates. Check out our friend texting his number sentence.
Who doesn't love a good book? Well reading Pete the Cat makes for an extra special time singing and joining in the fun because ..."It's all good."
and then before you know it it is time to leave and go home.
This is absolutely the BEST way to spend your days. These new chickens are ready each day for anything and they do so with a smile on their face. It is going to be a fabulous year so check back often and see us along for the journey. What do I have ready for them next week?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oh my goodness school starts tomorrow...

I cannot believe another summer has passed by. My daughter Kaile will be a 7th grader and Carson will be a 5th grader. Where has the time gone? Thursday was such an exciting day I got to meet a new batch of firsties! I have 18 on the roll and 17 showed up to take a look around, munch on doughnuts, and get ready for first grade! I am so excited for these kids and the adventures we will take this year. I cannot wait to chronicle it here on the blog so the world can see them in action. I gave them some Night Before School confetti to sprinkle on their nightstand and here is a sneak peek into the room they will walk into tomorrow morning. YIPPEE for my I just love first grade! I am emailing this to all my families right after I post and if 5 children tell me "First grade is the best!" there will be a super surprise at 8 am. Wonder how many will say it? Let's see if I can get the 5 first right?

Friday, July 12, 2013

We are on the Teaching Channel website!

Really where does the time go?  I might be sad how time flies by.  I promise I will catch up on the blog in the next weeks with the bazillion fun things we did to end the year BUT there is something even more important...

We were invited to be part of a series of videos to showcase the progression of mathematical reasoning from Kindergarten to high school. YES our firsties!  The lesson showcases our daily math routine and a situational story concerning leprechaun traps-our March family project.  THEY (I do mean the kids) were AMAZING!! Wait the video hit the Teaching Channel website today.  Here it is...
I am so proud of these kids! I am honored to be a part of this AFT and Teaching Channel endeavor.  I tell my firsties when we have visitors we are changing math for their students.  "Just think if we have 20 teachers and they have 20 students we have changed math for 400 kids."  How many kids are we changing math for this coming year? WOW...Just watch out these kids are going to change the world.  Remember my like chickens...I just love you!  I am so proud of you and can't wait to see you walking the halls to 2nd grade knowing you are mathematicians.  Thank you for letting me be part of your life and oh thank your parents too.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013

Wednesday was our annual Muffins for Mom and it was fabulous!  There were muffins, doughnuts, and cinnamon rolls.  The kids are always so excited to give their Mother's Day presents and show their beautiful paintings they did in art.  It is quite a magical time.  This year a fellow teammate thought it would be great for her class to read Robert Munsch's Love You Forever.  Well after I saw the first line videotaped I knew I had to copy her idea and make it my own.  So I recorded the kids reading it and then found pictures of them and their mom from my thousands of pictures this year-YES I know I have a problem taking pictures but they are the cutest little firsties you ever did see!  I picture in pictured or side by sided the video with the picture and the Oscar goes to...me!:)  Just kidding it was so very cute.  Here is a little slideshow of some of the moms.  Enjoy.
video

decorating our door...

Every year our Media Center sponsors the Character parade where everyone in the whole school is invited to dress up as their favorite characters.  Every class then parades carrying books and excitement along the way.  A favorite is the door decorating contest.  Here is our door "Don't bug us we're reading!"  along with our creative bugs holding books.  Our reading buddies from upstairs helped us research some insects last week.  We made an ebook with our information and pictures that we created on Doodle Buddy.  Our ebook was creative enough to put us at the top but it sure was fun being creative and showing our door off.  Check it out!  Can't wait to send the epub book to the families so they can read all about the different insects.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Doodle4Goggle Meryl oh my!

Doodle4Google was at our school!  Can you believe it?!?  Doodle4Google is an annual contest and this year's theme is best day ever...  Well after 130,000 entries there is 1 state of Florida winner!  AND she is at our school...AND she is in my son Carson's class!  YIPPEE-Meryl Lui is a talented 4th grader and WOW I sure hope her doodle is chosen over all 130,000!!
This is her doodle enlarged. As Junie B. would say WOWIE WOW WOW!  We are on the campaign across the state to get your vote!  Make sure you take each device in your home-phone, iPad touch, iPad, computer, Kindle and then forward to everyone you know...Let's show those Google people we want Meryl's doodle4Google to win.  What does she win?  Well a $30,000 college scholarship and $50,000 to our school for technology?!?  WOWWIE WOW WOW x2 right!  Vote and don't delay until May 10th.

shorter-less characters for twitter: http://tinyurl.com/cqdb7py

It's all about the attitude...

I know it has been a while and we have had so many things happen! I will take time each day to highlight a few things and hopefully get us back on track. 
 My friend Chad Keller is the Assistant Basketball Coach over at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. They have a fantastic academic program and sports adds to the overall well rounded student. Coach Keller brought along Assistant Coach Blake and Daniel to talk to the kids about hard work, attitude, and making good decisions. I loved his talk about attitude. He said you wake up each day and you have the choice to make sure you have a good attitude or not. With a good attitude you make good choices, you learn, and you can influence the world all with waking up and putting forth a good attitude. I just love these guys!  Thank you so much for coming out and talking to the kids.  A highlight was the slam dunk at the end.


Monday, April 8, 2013

JW Beanies open for business...

Reading Counts is an extra bonus for us. Not everyone is ready for Reading Counts at the same time. I usually save the last nine weeks for the opening of my store, JW Beanies. Kids read books and then sit down to take a short multiple choice test based on the book. Sometimes it is straight from the book and sometimes they have to really use their reading skills to come up with the correct answer. It is an extra and some kids are in to it while others need some encouragement. Soooo shopping can really get one encouraged... Each point earned becomes a dollar and kids keep track of spending and saving on account sheets (yippee math too!) Drawers range from $.50 to $25 and then I have a stash of stuffed animals for $50. There was MUCH excitement and reading going on! There was something for everyone and it made my heart so happy to see the smiles from spending every dollar to those that saw a stuffed animal and wanted to read over the weekend to earn more. Who doesn't like to hear on Friday, "Can I take some books home to read on Saturday and Sunday?" Of course you can chicken and then some... The top readers so far...Sophia, Juliana, Gianna, and Jack. Wonder who will have the most points read next week?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter 2013!

Happy Easter!  We celebrated the week off this week and I had so many BIG plans for the blog and my house to get cleaned and...you know the week was spent with my kids and it was FABULOUS!  Tim and I had the best time with Kaile and Carson and now I am back to my other kids...my firsties!  Thought I should post these fun ones before I go to bed... tomorrow will come very soon. Enjoy...
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patty's Day 2013

Our annual Green Party on Friday was the best!  Yummy green broccoli, celery, pickles, apple, kiwi, Hawaiian Punch, and of course leprechaun juice.  The leprechaun traps and rainbows were a highlight! Make sure to check out the slideshow and see the creative families come together for the annual March family homework project.
video



QR codes in pictures

I am working on a project with QR codes while practicing place value.  Can't wait for the firsties to try this!    Make sure to ask them all about it.









Saturday, March 16, 2013

Teaching Channel in the room!

Seriously a highlight of my teaching career and I got to share it with my firsties! Check this out.

The Teaching Channel filmed our class this week.  They are working on a series to highlight the Common Core Standards for Mathematics and the Mathematical Practices.  In particular, Reason abstractly and quantitatively.  We were filmed by Kevin, Al, and Gary of Luna Productions.  They were the BEST and Ms. Alice Gill was there too!  She is the mother of Thinking Math and a hero to yours truly.  The kids were amazing and I am so proud of them, their math, and their thinking they did out loud for all to hear.  I can't wait to see the final product but I can tell you they rocked it and I couldn't have asked for anymore.  We will have to have a launch party once it is done so stay tuned...