Monday, July 30, 2012

I ho, I ho, It's back to school I go! A freebie too!

Today I headed back to work :( Is it me, or is time just going by quicker and quicker lately? I thought I'd share two classroom voice level charts I made (Pinterest inspired originally from Mrs. Parker's class). In the past I have used the five (technically six) different voice levels in the classroom but I found, most kids didn't know the difference between low flow and normal formal no matter how many times we practiced it. (see chart below)

What I thought worked better (pinterest inspired) was keeping it very simple and straight forward. This worked a lot better. I put a colored clothespin on the voice level for certain activities.

Both charts are 11x17. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Theme Freebie

I'm so excited to watch the Olympics! I plugged in the tv antenna this morning so, I'm already to go. I haven't had cable since 2000. It was one luxury I gave up when I quit my job to stay home full time with my daughter many years ago. I honestly didn't miss it and when I started working again, I never bothered getting cable again.

In celebration of the Olympics starting today, I made a math story problem rubric that I hope you can use.

I would model the difference between silver (2) and a gold (3) with students so they fully understand the difference. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gluten-free and O' my buns!

I recently read parts of Wheat Belly by William Davis and I am on a journey of eating gluten-free. Since everything in my house contains some type of wheat, I decided this eating lifestyle is going to be a gradual change.

For about 5 years I have been having some stomach problems to the point where eating out is just not worth it. I did get tested for celiac disease and it was negative. Wheat has never caused me problems but I do believe people that eat gluten-free eat a lot healthier and really that is my goal.

At my local mall there is a new place called "O' My Buns Cafe". They serve coffee and these light fluffy sweet buns that are very similar in texture to my favorite Chinese pastry.

Since I know I will be shortly giving up wheat I decided I ought to at least help out this new place in the mall before they are out of business and buy one of the buns today (the location this place picked in the mall is horrible, it's been open for almost two months and I just discovered it).  Wow, I was in gluten heaven and I had a full wheat belly after eating that!

I know this gluten-free lifestyle is going to be challenging at times especially since I am known in the teachers lounge for bringing PB&J sandwiches EVERY day but I think it will be beneficial in the end. If you eat gluten-free, what are some quick and easy lunch ideas for work?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Random Facts About Me

I thought it would be fun to share some random facts about me by participating in Step into 2nd grade with Mrs. Lemons linky party.

1. My parents named my Cynthia but to this day they have never called me by that name. I have always gone by “Cindy”. The only people that call me Cynthia are phone solicitors, doctor offices, and people I don’t know.

2. I keep all my good/funny fortunes from fortune cookies and throw away all the bad ones.

3. I can’t sleep unless I am wearing socks on my feet, even if it is one hundred degrees outside. During the winter I wear two socks on each foot at night.

4. I am very competitive at board games.

5. I am a compulsive hand-washer. I wash my hands constantly.

6. I do not hold a pencil properly. I discovered this when I taught kindergarten.

7. I have played the piano since I was nine. When I was 14, I got third in state for “Instrumental” in the Arizona Teen Talent Search.

8. When I was a child I didn’t like playing with Barbie’s because I couldn’t stand the way they smelled.

9. I love Disneyland and can’t get enough of that place. It truly is the Happiest Place on Earth!

10. Whenever I’m at a public place people (strangers) always talk to me - ALL THE TIME!! I have heard a lot of interesting stories from strangers in grocery store lines, parks, and elevators.

Monday, July 23, 2012

One week left of summer!

I'm down to my last week. It's going to be hard to get up early again. I've gotten into the habit of waking up at exactly 7:50am.

I feel out of sorts since I don't have to set up a classroom this year! In fact, I'm having withdrawal from not buying class sets of colored folders, pencil boxes, and spiral notebooks! I have to live vicariously through my teacher friends.

I made this lesson plan cover for my teacher friend.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CAPTCHA Incompetent

Total randomness today!

While I was checking out another blog amwalk21, I realized I'm not the only CAPTCHA incompetent person out there.

I have never been able to discern what those crazy letters are! I usually have to do it 3-4 times before I get one right! Can anyone do it on the first try? 

Update on my foot (I know, I've been blogging about it for SO long). I've been doing my strength exercises each day and it does feel a little bit stronger. I have started working out on the stationary bike. I have good and bad days. Today was a good day! Two days ago was a bad day :(  When I ride the stationary bike I have to concentrate the whole time on not moving my right foot AT ALL because if I do - it is VERY painful! That's what happened two days ago. I had so much pain, I had to just get off and go home. I truly think God is trying to teach me patience. Because of this injury, I have really learned to slow down (literally) and enjoy the things around me that I normally would overlook. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Student Information Freebie

Happy Friday the 13th! I'm not superstitious so Friday the 13th is just another day to me. However, in my younger years it was tradition to go and watch the Friday the 13th movies with my good pal Mike. I think we watched all of them. Yes, they were bad and I have no desire to watch any of them again but it brings back fun times.

I thought I'd share something I have used just about every year in my classroom. I know parents already fill out all those registration forms but the office is so far from my classroom and it's nice to have my own copy of important information. I keep them in a file and I often refer back to them throughout the school year.  

Click here to get your free copy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Food Post

I promise you won't see too many food posts! My tween daughter, who is a huge Hunger Games fan made some cheese bread from her Hunger Games Cookbook.

She loved the character Katniss so much, she even begged for archery lessons. Here she is at archery lessons last night! It's nearly impossible to get a good "action picture". There is always another student in the picture or the bow rack is in the way. Believe me, I try every week to get a good picture and they all look like this. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where's the fan?

Has it been hot outside or what? It was actually 104 degrees, my car always reads 5-6 degrees higher but after 100 degrees, does it really matter? It's just plain HOT outside.

I live in the desert so this is not unusually hot for me but I never get use to it. I try to avoid going out during the day unless it's necessary but lately since I have district training at 1pm (why, must they have training in the middle of the day??) I've had to escape my vampire ways and go out in the bright steaming hot day!

I just realized that it's been a year and nine days since I started this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I have learned so much from this blog community.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will be taking on a new job role next school year. My main job will be helping teachers incorporate technology in the classroom but I will also have many other job responsibilities besides that. I won't lie, there have been a few nights recently that I have been up to the early morning hours panicking thinking about all my new job responsibilities. All these years in teaching I have had excellent mentors that have really helped and supported me. Now, I kind of feel like I'm on my own and these new teachers that will be starting at my school this year will be looking to me to fulfill that role. It's kind of scary!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I can take pictures with my cell phone?

I finally upgraded my ancient standard cell phone to a smartphone. I have to say, the best feature on the phone and why I wanted it was because of the camera. Here's some pictures from my Target shopping trip today (remember I said Target is less than half a mile from my house).

Very cool Crayola color packs!
(Pink Princess, Over the Rainbow, Mermaid Shimmer,
Metallic Magic, Glitterati, and Rocker Girl)

fun duct tape!

and my favorite - giant sticky notes!

Oh how I love school supplies! I didn't actually buy any of these items. I just oohed and aahed over the new school supplies. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Target School Supplies

Have I mentioned that I have always LOVED school supplies? Even before I became a teacher I was obsessed with school supplies. I noticed yesterday that Target is starting to put out their "Back to School" supplies.
My husband gently reminded me as we were walking by the newly formed school supply aisles that I won't have a classroom this upcoming school year so I shouldn't need to buy ANYTHING. For the last 7 years he's been forced persuaded every July and August to stand in line with the maximum amount of notebooks and folders you can buy. I admitted he was right but I still just wanted to "look" at all the goodies.

You know I'm going to be looking through those dollar bins as soon as they fill them up with all those Back to School items. Target also happens to be half a mile from my house. It's my "go to" store for everything.

I had a nice relaxing day enjoying my "free" Starbucks drink. Apparently, I went there quite often last month during all my district training days. I got a free drink for having 15 transactions. Sadly, my carefree days are coming to an end again next week. Starting next week I go to more district training. Five times to be exact. Anyhow, I enjoyed my day off today by going to the mall with my daughter. Eating pretzels and drinking an ice tea lemonade. It was abruptly put to a halt when my daughter said she had enough and my foot decided it could take no more walking (we didn't last long).

I've been playing around with Evernote. I don't know why I never looked at it sooner. So far I like it. It looks like it will be useful. I love technology but I still need to write things down the old fashioned way. I find if I don't physically write things down (especially appointment), I won't remember it. Therefore, I need to go buy a new calendar/organizer since mine only goes to July.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I just love reading Farley's Oh'Boy Fourth Grade monthly "currently" linky party! Here's mine for July.

If you have never checked out her blog, head on over and link up!