Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prayers for Friends

Please be praying for Chad and I's high school friends: Kathryn and Luke. They just had their beautiful baby, Madelyn, who has been having some complications breathing. If you click on the link on Kathryn's name, it will take you to her blog and explain their situation further. I can not imagine the emotional tolls they are going through right now, but I know they need to be lifted up.


Chad took me on a spontaneous little trip this afternoon to Mary's Paleteria! YUUUM YUMM! I had not been in a very long time and I was super excited. (It was supposed to be a surprise, but I guessed it on my 2nd guess. I always do this with surprises and it gets him everytime...hehe I love it! And he does get a good laugh out of it) Chad got strawberries 'n' cream in a waffle cone and I got a pineapple popsicle. And, of course, I could not have went without getting Horchata! I was one very happy young lady.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back in a Flash

We went back to San Antonio this weekend for a very short last minute trip. This summer Chad and I had bought 2 day Sea World passes to go with my brother, sister-in-law and niece. Our trip got cut short this summer and we still had our 1 day passes left to use. Because of my brother's work schedule, this is the last weekend he could go. So, we packed our bags and left right after work on Friday. It was a beautiful drive:We made it to San Antonio just in time to eat at Mi Tierra's.Saturday we headed out to Sea World. Victoria could not wait to arrive at "Sea Wowuld" to see SHAMU!We all had a great time. Especially Angela, who lucked out because the day we were there, her favorite Latin Pop Star: Gloria Trevi was performing. She described her to us as the "Latin Lady GaGa."It was a FUN concert, and we were all very tired at the end of it. Next we loaded up for the trek back home. Great, great, great, quick trip!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Prize Patrol Visits Abilene Schools"

Each year, Abilene Education Foundation offers the "Star Grant" to provide funding to teachers with creative and innovative ideas to benefit their students. Teachers submit a grant asking for up to $1,000. This summer we worked on a grant for the First Grade Team, asking for leveled books for each classroom that our students could read during the Daily 5 to work on reading and comprehension strategies. Surprisingly, when we walked out of the lunch room Thursday, there was a group of 10-15 adults dressed very professionally with balloons, noise makers, camera crew, news reporters and one of those giant checks. Nerves set in immediately! I jumbled over my words when the news asked me to tell a little about the grant. Oh well! We were all so excited that we had received our grant! The article is here.
My students were quite confused and also slightly shocked when I picked them up from lunch and they saw SO many people. When I got them to the classroom I explained what everything was, and then they were very excited too! Can't wait to order the books now! :) THANK YOU ABILENE EDUCATION FOUNDATION!!!

The 2 Sisters!

Last weekend was spent in San Antonio attending a workshop by "The 2 Sisters". The 2 Sisters are like celebrities to my first grade team so we were all very excited.
While on our trip we did a few "touristy" things. We had breakfast burritos in Coleman at a local burrito shop. We stopped at Fredericksburg. (Chad and I had never been and had heard so much about it). We sampled and bought some chocolate from the chocolate store.
Very yummy liquid filled centers! Then, we ate lunch at a German restaurant. It was all pretty good!
While in San Antonio, we walked the mall and met up with the other half of our team who had just finished their workshop. We had some time to waste so after walking around we headed into the Ripley's Believe It or Not attraction.
We had never been to a Ripley's Believe it or Not, and it was very interesting!
Finally, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
(Which is now Chad's favorite restaurant) By the end of our dinner we were all very tired, so we headed back to the hotel to get rested up for our workshop the next day!
The workshop was interesting, informative, and fun! I'm so excited to now implement the CAFE in my classroom. The Daily 5 is slowly growing in my classroom. We are working on building our stamina for Read to Self, but hope to soon introduce Work on Writing! **For those of you who have no clue what the program is, you should really check it out. It is a literacy program that gives children independence in reading and writing. (kind of like centers, but not really at all). The CAFE is basically the assessment tool of the Daily 5. We learned so much at the workshop about working and conferring with students one-on-one and small groups, how to organize an ongoing assessment notebook for when you meet with students, how to plan, etc. The workshop was GREAT and we learned A LOT!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mr. Spiky Ball

Last Christmas, I was the only one to receive the same gift as my, at the time, 2 year old niece. We laughed at the irony. (It is pretty fun when you are 23 and receiving the same gifts as a 2 year old.) We also laughed at the site of the gift:
This year Mr. Spiky Ball has been utilized greatly by my class:
-We used him on the first day to pass around as we introduced ourselves.
-Today, after hearing the idea from another teacher, we used Mr. Spiky Ball during an alphabet exercise. I would say a letter, (ex: "G") then pass the ball to a student who would say the letter that came after mine (ex: "H"). They had so much fun with it because when the ball bounces it lights up. What better to 6 and 7 year old children, a ball that not only has eyes and spikes and is squishy, it even lights up!!! They just love it.
-Last but not least, he has shown up on students' work. When asked to draw a picture of the number of the day (5), Mr. Spiky Ball showed up. And there, is where his name was born. She was so excited and called me over real quietly, just to tell me that it was a "picture of that spiky ball back there". All the while, pointing to him sitting up on top of my bookshelf. I was quite amused and she was quite proud of her creative thinking.
**I'd say Mr. Spiky Ball is a KEEPER.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend!

This weekend Chad and I headed out to East Texas to see our families. We were very excited since we do not get to see them very often. Our weekend started off like this:

**Lots of Rain which ended up in Heavy Traffic. BOOOOOO.
Once we arrived, the trip was wonderful as always. We visited with both of our families which is always so much fun.

**Especially entertaining was my niece...
I would never trade my time with her of being told what to do and where to sit, drinking imaginary coffee, acting like mama and baby dog, cleaning ice cream messes, being a tickle monster, sharing my pizza, singing songs and making up songs...

**Her new love, "The Hairbrush Song" by Veggie Tales. What kid doesn't love Veggie Tales?
**Saw this on our trip, which we found interesting:
**Chad and I were able to stock up on my new favorite wine that Ma-in-Law had gotten for us for our anniversary. SOOOOO Yummy:
**Finally, thanks to my mom, these landed in our home:
All in all, one fabulous trip. Again. Ready to go back already, but will have to wait until Thanksgiving.

Be Cool. Stay in School.

So today was the nationally debated "President Obama's Address to Students". AISD had chosen for this event to be optional and that if parents requested it not to be shown to their child that we respect that. I decided to allow my students to watch a small portion of the address today (the first 10 minutes.) Considering my students are 6 and 7 years old, I figured this is what they would gather from the speech:

1. WOW! THAT is the President of the UNITED STATES!
2. Maybe I could be the president one day.
3. He is talking to ME?
4. Yeah, I really should stay in school and do my best so that I can do something great one day.
5. This is historical.
6. This man is in an authority position, and I may not always agree with his decisions, but I should respect him.

We were only able to view 10 minutes of the beginning because we had to leave for lunch. This was all their attention spans could handle anyway. As far as the first 10 minutes, I thought it went well.

After I turned it off, I asked them what was one thing they learned from the video? And most of them said that they should stay in school and do their best. I think it was good for them to be reminded of that.

P.S What a great honor it was for the senior in high school who introduced the President of the United States while millions of viewers were tuned in around the nation. I can't even imagine what an unforgettable experience that was for him.