Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections on the last day of 2015...

The last day of 2015... there was so much to be #thankful for this past year.  I have a Top 10 list:
10.  #miamidevice was amazing and this time I had 7 other friends learning right along side me.  I can't wait for all of us to share and take 2016 to new levels remember #youmatter and our very own #ottersmatter My BFF at school was a part of this group and we are working along with our team to share and collaborate, even more to come in 2016...
9.  Finally made the trip to Georgia to see Aunt Alice and Uncle Gene.  They were our neighbors when I was a baby in Taiwan and helped my parents with everything and anything for a young couple.  They were there when I took my 1st steps and took me to the deep end of the pool.  They are my family.  Uncle Gene broke his leg last year so I didn't get to visit.  Aunt Alice needed back surgery so we didn't visit this summer.  It was almost 3 years since our last visit so with our Christmas break we took a few days to make the trip to Georgia.  I am so thankful I got to see them, hug them, and listen to stories about my life.  They are 83 and I don't know hoe many more years I will get to see them but I made sure to tell them how much I love them!  
8.  Twitter yes Twitter.  Anyone that knows me knows I work-A LOT and on Twitter I have found my people!  I read the best blog posts, gather the best ideas to use in my classroom, and have the best PLN to grow as a global teacher.  I am connected to teachers all over the world and share the message-use Twitter.  Still working on furthering that message. 
7.  Volusia County Schools where my daughter started Spruce Creek High School and our son is enrolled in 7th grade at Creekside Middle.  Kaile ran Cross Country and I cheered as she practiced day after day to see that mile time come down and her 1 mile PR is lower than mine.  Guess I will be working on that time in 2016.  Carson played the saxophone and right before Christmas took on the bassoon.  I am thankful for a school system that offers extra curricular activities to enhance education.
6.  Apple yes, tech Apple because I use it daily in so many ways.  YIPPEE I got an Apple watch and it is a game changer people, trust me ask and I will let you know why-I am sold!  Apple also offers schools a discount when you buy in packs of 10 and thankfully we have had grants and Parents Night Out to grow our iPad program at school.  We are changing education for students throughout Cypress Creek Elementary.
5.  Disney World-what?!? We bought annual passes last Christmas to share with our kids.  See Kaile is 14 and pretty soon she will be driving and not hanging out with us:( We went to all the Disney parks and made a total of 25 trips.  25 times I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, hug my kids a little tighter and see pure enjoyment on some faces during our trips.  We rented a camper for Spring Break and even stayed at the Boardwalk-thanks Uncle Randy.  It truly was a gift to our family that kept on giving all year long. I took more pictures than you could imagine and I will have them forever. :)
4.  Crossfit Diehard where I push myself everyday to be better than the day before.  I finally learned to do rope climbs with confidence and overcome my fear.  I can record my progress and see the results.  I choose to eat healthier, get to workout with Tim at least 3 times a week, and together talk to our kids about a healthier lifestyle.
3.  My firstie class because they keep me on my toes.  I celebrated my 23 years on December 17 and I can honestly say I enjoy going to work every day to interact with the future.  I have a class of 18 amazing kids that make me smile, challenge me to create interactive lessons, and show that I make a difference in their thinking, reading, writing and ways to see math in the real world. I just love them!
2.  My parents and Sunday night dinner.  My dad and I try to outdo one another each Sunday with a dessert war comparable to Top Chef.  It fills my heart with joy to have our children laughing and talking with the whole family over dinner.  Sunday might be the best day of the week.
1. My family because without Tim, Kaile, and Carson where would I be? Truly I am blessed beyond words to share this life with this crew. Love them more than I could ever tell them. We are thankful God has blessed us with one another.
Well that is really just the tip of the iceberg and I could go on an on but I am hoping you get a sampling of the things I find making me a better person and I can't wait for 2016 and what is in store for me.

50s day

Every year I look forward to the 50th day of school.  9 years ago my Aunt Alice made a pink poodle skirt and I bought a pair of saddle shoes so every year around this time I get to go to the back of my closet and pull those gems out.  I love counting those days with the kids and Zero the Hero, then the BIG day arrives.  We talk about clothes, cars, and other things from the past and now.  The wheels start turning for parents and how to dress them up.  By the picture below you will see they did not disappoint.
My fabulous 50s firsties.

We rotate through the other 1st grade classrooms for a variety of activities.  Here we are getting ready for some root beer floats and we got to watch the chocolate factory episode of I Love Lucy.  Can you believe these kids hadn't ever seen a black & white TV show.  We laughed and laughed.
Get ready for some drag racing!  Here we used our breathing power to race those cars. Can we get a cheer for these kids?!?
Some of us really get into our work right?  Who could blame him he was having a ball!
Who remembers coloring contests?  These kids are getting their creations ready for the judge!
What 50s day wouldn't be complete without a hula hoop contest?  

The firsties had to come up with their favorite parts to an amazing day and we used ChatterPix to tell you all about it.  Watch and see all the fun we had main it to the 50s day of school.
This is our crew and they are amazing!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Turkey Carving and some beautiful drawings...

Tony Vincent is an #edhero of mine and he used Periscope to highlight his tradition of turkey carving.  You might be thinking how can you turkey carve at school? I did too and made sure to watch the Periscope since it caught my attention.  Tony used a graham cracker and only using your mouth chew a shape of a turkey.  I had to show a few images from Google on what a turkey silhouette would look like and then we got down to business.  
off to a great start...

trying to make it look like a turkey

careful not to crack the graham cracker

like those feather outlines along the top

careful to make sure I am working it the right way

a class engaged in turkey carving

the class is voting on Ms. Clutter's or Mrs. Wright's turkey

We used the directed drawing steps of Pilgrim boy and girls and Native American girls and boys, from and I thought they were the cutest thing ever! I love how different they look and I do believe kid personality came through with the colors, backgrounds, and accessories.  

They were too cute to keep all to ourselves so we ran them over to the Veteran's Nursing Home to brighten their day.  Might need to be a monthly trip.  Thanks First Grade Blue Skies.

Where Oh Where is the Turkey?

The yearly disguise the turkey family project was a big hit as usual.  Even after all these years I cannot believe how creative some of the families are!
The Mermaid 

The Golfer








The American Flag




These are the cutest right?  I don't think the hunter will recognize any of these turkeys.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

More Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

Seriously the best read aloud ever!  Of course what does a teacher suggest?  Everyone bring in something made of chocolate to share while we play Jeopardy and then watch the movie?!?
2 tables of chocolate fit for 2 classes and yes we were on chocolate overload but it was so well worth it!

I loved reading each day and watching their faces light up with the increasing adventures. We broke out the buzzers to play Jeopardy regarding the book.  It was amazing to listen to the answers and the details they could recall.  
Fun times answering the Jeopardy questions.
Funny story Kaleb went to the doctor and through some talking the doctor asked what is your favorite book.  Caleb immediately said "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" funny right coming from a 6 year old and very few pictures. No problem we created them in our mind before we ever watched the movie.  Just love when they spread their inspiration to others.

Catching Up...

Sock it to Drugs always brings out the best socks right?!?
Special Area sponsors a walk a thon each year to raise money for art supplies, PE equipment, or musical instruments.  Each child in the school ventures into each area to hopefully find a strength.  We are so thankful for each special area teacher.
The best is the kids have 30 minutes to accumulate laps and they are off and running.  Of course each one wants to have the most laps while I try to tell them slow and steady wins the race.  When I get back to get them they are all red in the face and wanting water.  Thank goodness Joseph's mom sent in water bottles.