The Hotdogmobile

We were robbed of a snow day today. We got 6-8 inches, but we're not close enough to Lake Michigan to have gotten the full effects of the snow :( I have so many things on my "to do" list that I could have crossed off today. Oh well...

I'm linking up with Ms. Jessica from A Turn to Learn to share a funny one of my bunnies said today. I was doing a running record with him and I was asking him comprehension questions about the passage:
Me: What is a bookmobile?
Bunny: It's a mobile with a bunch of books in it.
Me: (not sure if he knew what a 'mobile' was) What's a mobile?
Bunny: A car or a truck. Like a hot dog. You know, like the Hotdogmobile? I saw it in the Pick 'n' Save (a local grocery store) parking lot once.
I rarely ever break from "teacher mode" when doing a running record because I don't want to break their concentration, but I bust out laughing. I looked at him, and said "Thanks for the smile today!" 

I'm still laughing. At myself. I hope the hubs doesn't come into the room anytime soon to see me smirking and laughing at the computer...

Link up with your kids' quotes!


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No Talking Punch Cards

So Tonya over at Tonya's Treats for Teachers is celebrating 700 followers, and besides hosting an AMAZING giveaway, she's also doing a pretty sweet sale in her TPT store! I was browsing through her store the other day and I came across this freebie:
Click HERE to grab your copy!
Basically, you give every student one of these NO TALKING punch cards, and every time someone is talking when they shouldn't be, you use a hole punch to punch out a letter. Ummmm.... why didn't I think of this???

I copied a bazillion (give or take) of these punch cards on red construction paper yesterday, and we tried it out today. I told the bunnies that they would have one "freebie," because everyone makes mistakes. But for every letter punched after that, the individual student would owe me a minute of afternoon recess for each letter punched. If every single letter was punched, that student would owe me their entire recess (15 minutes). Oh, and if they lose it.... then they owe me their whole recess! If there were no punches on the card for the day, I would give the student 2 Gotcha stickers for their chart. Gotcha stickers are a K-2 incentive system we use at my school... Whenever we catch someone being good ("Gotcha being good"), they get a little smiley face sticker. When they fill up their Gotcha cards, they can go to the Gotcha store and get a little prize. Their names are also read on the morning announcements.

So how did it go today? Well I would say it hasn't been that quiet in my room for a loonnnggg time!! Although I need to make myself a little necklace with the hole punch attached to it, because I kept leaving it around the room and then would forget where I put it. Oops! I had a couple kids in at recess with me, most for 2-3 minutes, with one student owing me 5 minutes. Most of the bunnies didn't get a single punch on their cards... I was giving out a ton of gotchas at the end of the day! Those kids were super excited that they could use the same card tomorrow... they said that they were recycling their cards! So cute! I had one guy lose his card, and he was on the verge of tears. I guess I'm too much of a softie though, because I didn't keep him in at recess. I'll have a little chat with him tomorrow about being more responsible, because if he loses it again, I have to follow through and keep him in.

I'm so excited about this change in behavior in my class! Hopefully it keeps up!!!
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Giveaways Galore + Inspirational Monday Linky

Happy Monday friends! I wanted to share THREE giveaways that I'm a part of!

Up first is the A-MAZE-ING Tonya from Tonya's Treats for Teachers. She's celebrating 700 followers!
I L.O.V.E. Tonya's blog because not only does she have FAB ideas, but she is SO generous! She is always giving away her products, and I was lucky to win her Math Journals a few weeks ago. Click on the image above to go to her giveaway!

Second is one of my best bloggy friends, Jean from Diving Into Second. Jean is celebrating 100 followers on her blog!
I "met" Jean when I first started blogging last summer, and we have a lot in common. I'm convinced we'd be best real-life friends if we lived near each other! Click on the image above to go to her giveaway!

Lastly YAY for Ciera from Adventures in Room 129! She is celebrating 600 followers!
I just discovered her blog a few weeks ago, and I don't know how I wasn't a follower earlier! Oh, and she has the most ADORABLE newborn twins!  Twins... I don't know how you do it! Click on the image above to enter her giveaway.

I'm also linking up with Dana from Fun in 1st Grade for an Inspirational Monday linky. This saying always helps me get through tough days.
Thanks Fun in First Grade for the poster!
Especially now that I have two kiddos of my own, these words really hit home for me. Everything I do and everything I say impacts 21 little people each and every day. A teacher's job is truly one of the most important jobs in the world!!

Lastly, thank you so much for your kind words about the passing of our dog, Pedro. His passing has definitely left a void in our house :( My kids don't quite get it (although Sly said last night, "I miss Pedro. I'm not done with him yet." Brought a tear to my eye.), but I feel sad for our other dog, Daisy, who is missing her partner in crime.
Daisy on the left, Pedro on the right.
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Five for Friday 2/22

Happy Weekend Everyone! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching again for another installment of.....

1. We'll get the sad news out of the way first...
We had to put our dog, Pedro, to sleep today. We've been in denial for a few months or so. After running many tests on him that always came back negative, the vet came to the conclusion that he basically had dementia. We rescued Pedro from the Humane Society 9 years ago, and they estimated him to be between 3-5 years old (although our vet said that was probably a low estimate). He lived a long life, but we are still very sad and will miss him very much :(

2. I had parent-teacher conferences last night. It makes for a long night, and while I always get those butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling, I love meeting with parents. Seriously, I do! I like to take the team approach when meeting with parents; we both truly want what's best for their child!

3. We had an inservice day today. It was nice because we got most of the day to work on what we wanted to... although I had a hard time staying focused (see #1) so my time wasn't as productive as I would have liked. We had to work 7 hours and the start time was flexible. So I arrived at 6:20, and while I could have left at 1:20, I actually stayed until about 2:30.... I always find just one more thing to do! But it was still nice to leave earlier than normal. I decided to wear my pink fuzzy slippers at school today. Everyone was jealous. As they should be :)

4. My son was in the newspaper! The hubs is an associate principal at a high school. He oversees the Robotics Club, and they were having a competition last weekend. Sly loves robots, so the hubs took him, and POOF! He ended up on the FRONT PAGE! Unfortunately, since there was no article (just the photo was in the paper), the photo isn't online, so you'll have to settle with a picture of the picture.
He was SO excited to drive the robots like the big kids do!
5. Lastly my half-birthday was this week. I normally don't celebrate it, but all the teachers at my school bring in treats for their birthday, and I wanted to too. So I brought HALF birthday snacks:


Get it? Half-Birthday? Half? Everything was either cut in half or half-and-half. COME ON! IT'S FUNNY!!! The hubs says that if I have to tell people it's funny, then it's not funny. But I don't agree. It really IS funny! HAHA!

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Hall Pass Linky

I'm linking up tonight with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for this fun linky: 

Here are the rules:
Here we go!

P: Product
I don't have a ton of stuff in my store {seriously, how do you people find the time to create your amazing units?!}, but I would say my most favorite product is my I Have, Who Has Differentiated Telling Time game.

What I love about it is that anyone can play, regardless of their level. The cards are color coded, so the students don't even know that the color of their card signifies the difficulty. I found that this version is geared more towards a second or third grade class, so I'd like to make a second version that first graders and beginning second graders could play.

A: Area
I'm not the most organized person, but this sure does help! This area is where I store all the papers my students need throughout the day. In the rainbow cart is writing paper, drawing paper, graphic organizers for writing, spelling test papers, etc. On top of the cart is where my students turn in their classwork. This system for organizing work has lowered that oh-my-goodness-I-haven't-graded-papers-all-week-and-I-think-I'm-going-to-have-a-panic-attack feelings. If you want to read more, click here!

S: Signal
Most of the time I use the standard I clap, students repeat the clap. Although I'm also the kind of girl who can get wrapped up in the learning and so I constantly have a timer close at hand. The obnoxious beeping of the timer is often a signal to transition in my room. When I'm near my computer, the bunnies also love the Cool Timer

I like the Gong sound because it makes the bunnies smile, but it doesn't make them go silly {ex. the clown car horn sound}.

S: Sanity
Besides chocolate? LOL! I would say the things that keep me sane at work are my coworkers.
Here are a few of us at our end-of-the-year celebration a few years ago. This is our "Charlie's Angels" pic :)
 We really do all get along, and what I love most about my school is that there honestly isn't one bad teacher at my school! For real. Sometimes when you're having a "moment," you just need to pop your head in your neighbor's room and ask, "Is this for real?" or "Is it just me?" or "You'll never believe what just happened." We are so supportive of each other and will do anything for each other. I {heart} my school!!!


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PLEASE READ: Safety Message

I just wanted to share something very scary that happened at my school today, in hopes that this never happens again, at my school or at your school.

Yesterday the temps here were in the 40s. A front came through that brought a crazy amount of rain, and then the temp dropped big time. I don't know exactly how cold it got last night, but today during the day it was about 10 degrees with a strong wind.

My school sits on top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill is "the field," where we have recess and gym holds class when the weather is nice. There is also a subdivision at the bottom of the hill, and the kids who live in that subdivision walk to school.

This morning one of our students was walking to school alone. The student decided to walk across the field instead of walking on the sidewalk.

Well because it had rained the night before and the ground is frozen, the rain water collected at the bottom of the hill. And because it was so cold last night and this morning, it started to freeze over, but it wasn't completely frozen.

As the student was walking across the field, the ice broke and the student fell through. The water came up to the student's chest. As the student was trying to get out of the water, the ice kept breaking. Thankfully there was person standing at the top of hill who saw this unfolding and reported it to a staff member. I don't know how the student was rescued, but from my understanding, it involved using a tractor to pull the student out. The student is understandably shaken, but other than that, fine.

Water and ice is one of my biggest fears. A few years ago in the community I live in (but not where I teach), a 10 year old boy died because he was sledding in the park by the river and the ice broke away.

If you live in a community where water can freeze and it's not unusual for people to go out on the ice, all I'm asking is that you PLEASE talk to your class about staying AWAY from the water/ice. I have that conversation with my class every year. I tell them that they they can only go near water and ice when they are with a responsible grown up. We discussed it again today, and hopefully it will prevent incidents like these from happening in the future.

Thanks for reading.
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WINNER + Something Good Linky

And the winner of my Valentine's Day Giveaway is....

True Random Number Generator  Powered by RANDOM.ORG
{I don't know why it says 100 for max, but I did enter the max number as 8!}
That means that the winner is E Reyes!!! Please email me: angelanerby (at) hotmail (dot) com so I can send you my Nonfiction Genres Posters!

So I'm a little late linking up, but I really love this linky party:
Thanks so much Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade for organizing! What a great way to focus on the positives, especially when the cold and YUCK weather in Wisconsin does a great job to put a damper on your spirits.

Something Good at Home:
My hat making business, Baby Ella Millinery, is really taking off!!! Here are some of the hats/projects I've made in the last month or so:

Scalloped Beanie with Flower
Garden Bonnet
Puppy Hat
"Beverage" Mitten... I made these for a girl I play hockey with. Willing to bet she didn't put Diet Coke in hers :)
And you MUST click HERE to check out a mermaid photo prop I made for my favorite local photographer {she's the mom to two of my former students!} Seriously, go to this link!! I don't feel right sharing her photo on my blog since I didn't ask for her permission, but I am SO happy with how it turned out!

Right now I don't have an Etsy store, and I'm totally fine with that. I'm a teacher, I have two kids and a hubs, I make things for TPT, oh, and I have a life too... I don't need to add that to my plate as well! Right now I just make things to order, but I'm thinking about making up some hats during spring and summer so I can start up an Etsy shop :)

Something Good at School:
In 2010 my school won a contest through Goodwill. The school that donated the most items to Goodwill during a certain time period got a visit from Donald Driver, a famous Green Bay Packers player {and Dancing with the Stars champ! LOL!}. We donated something like 35,000 items!! It was such an awesome experience to see our school decked out in the green and gold!

Well Donald Driver retired a few weeks ago. It was kind of a big deal around these parts. When he came to our school, one of our students was battling Leukemia, and Driver made a special visit to him. All the news stations remembered this and they aired a special story about it! Click on the picture below to watch the video!
{That would be me in the Reggie White jersey walking right in front of the camera at 33 seconds... Oops!}
I had this little sweetie when he was in second grade. He is a really awesome kid! It was just a really fun atmosphere these past two weeks to celebrate Donald Driver and to remember how awesome it was when he came to our school!

Happy Weekend Everyone!!
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5

Five for Friday + Freebie!

How's that for an alliteration?! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another installment of Five for Friday!
1. We've been learning about resource books this week. Not the most exciting topic. Today's topic was encyclopedias. Ummm.... do they even still make those?! We have the 2008 edition in our library, so I took the bunnies down there to check them out. As you can imagine, it wasn't all that thrilling. Then I said, "So, do you think Justin Beiber is in here" {It kind of felt like word vomit coming out, but whatever works to get their attention!}? We looked him up, and of course, no Justin Beiber. We discussed how the print copy of encyclopedias are out of date as soon as they're printed.

Then we went next door to the computer lab. My district has a subscription to World Book Online:
I don't know how much it costs, but you should definitely find out if you have it at your school, because it is AWESOME! I showed the kids how to browse and search, and gave them 5-10 minutes to look around. They were SO engaged!!

We are working on writing informative/explanatory texts in February, so I gave each student a web graphic organizer and they chose a topic to research. I had everything from Taylor Swift to Tim Tebow to World War 2 to black holes to worms... ewwwww!! Thankfully I don't have anyone researching Justin Beiber, although one little girl was quite upset that there wasn't any information on One Direction... We ran out of time, so we'll have to finish researching and prewriting next week. I'm SUPER excited to see how these writing pieces turn out!


2. I love National Geographic Kids magazine! Here's this month's issue:
We've been working on determining importance in reading and not only are the articles high interest, but they're also short, making mini-lessons truly "mini."That's one thing that I need to work on... Anyway, we read the article Extreme Ice and completed this graphic organizer together:
Click on the picture above to snag a FREE copy :)
This was such a great way for kids to visualize and grasp what's really important, versus the interesting details! We did this as a whole class, so next week I'm planning on having the bunnies read another article and complete this with a partner.

3. I went to spinning class tonight. I haven't been to Spin in like four years. A coworker and I decided we'd start going together. It was supposed to be an "express" class, only 30 minutes. The instructor showed up, and it ended up being a mom at our school! I never had any of her children, but my coworker has! She was so funny, making comments during the class like, "I don't tease the newbies, but especially today because my kids go to their school and I don't want to get them in trouble!" She also said, while she was running us through a super hard sequence, "These teachers are probably thinking, 'If this lady's their mom, no wonder her kids are crazy!" HA!

OK, so remember how I said it was a 30 minute class? It was supposed to start at 4:45. The instructor was a few minutes late {I don't think she's the normal instructor of the class}, and by the time she checked in with everyone, we started at maybe 4:55. When 5:15 hit and we didn't stop, I wasn't too surprised. Maybe she was trying to give us our full 30 minutes. Then at 5:30 when we were still going, I was thinking, "Maybe she just wants us to get a full-fledged workout." At 5:45, I'm about to die, and she FINALLY stops. Thank goodness!!! We do some stretching, and I'm ready to go aannnddddd... she tells everyone to get a mat because we're going to do some arm and ab work. Wha wha WHAT?!?!  Sorry, but I have to go. Not just because I'm sweaty and smelly, but mostly because the hubs was expecting me home about 20 minutes ago! Hopefully I'll be able to walk tomorrow...

4. I had my first Shamrock Shake of the season today!!! Hey, after working my tail off at Spin, I deserve it! And I've already burned it off anyway!
YUMMM!!!
5. Today is my grandpa's 82nd birthday!!
Here he is with my babies about 10 months ago :)
The cool thing is that today is also his sister's 93rd birthday! Yep, brother and sister, same birthday, NOT twins!! Oh it gets even better... if my great grandfater {their dad} was still alive, today would've also been HIS birthday! How crazy is that?! Three people in the same family with the same birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA AND AUNT HARRIETTE!!

Well I'm off to rest and relax after my crazy workout today.
PS: My Valentine's Day Giveaway is still open for the next 2ish hours. Any item from my store! WOO!!! Check it out!
PPS: My super creative bloggy friend Jean from ~Diving Into Second Grade~ is TWO FOLLOWERS away from 100!! She's planning a FAB giveaway, so getcher buns over to her blog and FOLLOW HER!!! :)

5

Valentine's Day Festivities + FLASH Giveaway!

I'll be honest. I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I don't really have a reason why... just not a fan. We will still celebrate in style in our classroom though! I actually put some thought into my valentines this year and came up with these:
Get it? Hippo? Hip?! Yeah... I'm a dork. Hippos are my trademark though, so it had to be done. I attached a snack sized sleeve of Oreos to each valentine. Other than the fact that I need a new color ink cartridge, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

Next up: Valentines Containers. In the past, I used to supply brown bags and die cut hearts, and I would give time in class for the bunnies to decorate a bag to collect their valentines. Not only did I not have time for that this year, but I also wanted to give them the chance to create something. So this year I sent a note home along with some colored construction paper and asked families to create a "container" for their valentines. I love how they turned out! We also had a little voting action going on. Here are the winners:
Prettiest 

Most Creative... we actually had a 4-way tie!
It's hard to tell, but this one had teeth like a monster and in the corner he made a "Hello, my name is..." badge and he named it after himself: "Student" Jr. LOL!
Most Original
I wish I didn't have to blur out his name, because he actually made his name with small stickers that looked like Lego guys' heads. It was SUPER cute!
What do you think???

This one is mine. I use the same one every year. I know, I know... I need to up my game.

How We Celebrated: I have a hard time throwing an all-out party in my class. Call me a Valentine's Day Grinch if you will, but that's how I roll. Because of my district's nutrition policy and the junk that will inevitably come in anyway, we have a "Healthy Heart" party. A few days before the party, the bunnies voted on what kinds of healthy snacks they would like. The party started at 1:00. First, they passed out their valentines. Students put their containers on their desks, and then they all just walked around, passing them out. While this is going on, the parent helpers and myself are getting the food situation under control.
Look at these HEALTHY Jello snacks a parent made! Super tasty!! 
Once everything was passed out, they were able to choose 2, yes TWO, valentines they could eat. I don't need bunnies bouncing off the walls here! The rest they can take home. Then I turned on a movie.  And because I'm a Grinch, of course it was educational. We watched Magic School Bus Lost in Space. We just finished up our solar system unit, so I don't feel so bad taking time out of our day to watch this "educational" video. While the video is going on, I called up groups of students to the snack table to make a plate of food. I try hard to make sure we don't have too much food and/or too many choices, or else I end up with a ton of leftovers and the bunnies end up with a belly ache from eating so much.

After the movie was over, we cleaned up and headed outside for recess. I like to do my parties at the end of the day {so I don't have to worry about how I'm going to get them focused back on school and learning}, but today I had music at the end of the day, so I had to do my party early. I'm sorry, Ms. Music Teacher, that I did this to you... hopefully the bunnies burnt off some of their energy at recess.

The hubs informed me a few weeks ago that he has to work late tonight, so it's just me and my little valentines hanging out tonight. I think we're going to lay in my bed and watch a movie after dinner :) And speaking of my own little babies, check out the awesome hockey valentines I made for my son to give to his preschool friends:

Yes friends, those are hockey stick pencils! How cool is that?!

Because I'm feelin' all lovey dovey {yes, this Grinch does have a heart!}, I wanted to do a quick giveaway! Go to my TPT store, pick something out, and leave me a comment including your email. Aannnddd, if you pin something from my store and leave an additional comment with the link, I'll give you an extra entry! Do all of this before Friday 2/15 at midnight, central time. I'll randomly choose a winner on Saturday and BAM! It's yours!!!

Have a LOVEly night!!
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