ETA Hand2Mind

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Heaven

I was just over at Happy Teacher Heaven and she is having a mega-big giveaway.  Go check it out!  Click below to get there.

Happy Teacher Heaven

Happy Saturday Folks!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The truth and the 5

I am tripling my linky fun today!

First, for those who checked out my 2 truths and a lie from the acquainted linky, here is your info.
          1.  TRUE!  When I was in high school, I was on a dance team that competed in MD (where we I grew up), close by states like PA, and even Canada!  BUT, this was before passports were a big deal going from the US to Canada or the US to Mexico.  Pretty sure we just had to show a student ID.  My, how things have changed.

          2.  FALSE!  I wish I had done this....I really do love the humpback whale.  I have never gone whale watching.

          3.  TRUE!  My husband got his pilots license before his drivers license at 15.  He took me up in his acrobatic plane on our first date when we were 17.

Well there you have it!  Thanks for playing along.  Here is the rest of the 5.


We have been working hard in the class to get our power point presentations on Endangered Animals completed and the kid's finished them, presented them to our 4th grade buddies on Wed, and today to their parents.  They did a great job!  They remembered all the hard words, and used loud (enough) voices.  Below I have my first ever screen shot!  I used a students work, but took out all names.  Each student had 10 slides to read.


Total randomness...if you read my blog, you heard about my shoes falling to pieces....well here are my cool new spring shoes- love them!


This was our first week back to school after spring break.  I think the week off was good for everyone.  The kiddos were making good choices, getting along well, and working hard.


In phonics, we have been discussing dipthongs oi and oy.  I do this silly thing with them, where I say dipthong oi and oy- than I make the oy sound while I hit my head with the heal of my I made a mistake.  The other sounds of dipthongs ow and ou, is the hurting or pinching dipthong sounds.  We pretend to be hurt when we say the sound- ow.  They have a good time with the silly gestures and sounds, and they remember it!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Somebunny loves you!

I am linking up with Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge in a fun linky.

I should probably only put up one blog but I have soooo many blogs that I follow and read on a regular basis.  I find myself looking forward to reading a few specific ones.  I get excited when there is a new post.

1.  I LOVE reading Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland.  I laugh so hard, I cry when I read Khrys' funny posts.

Grab My Button

2.  I love Abby's energy of The Inspired Apple...although, I know that she has a million and 2 followers, so I am certainly not the only one who likes her blog!!!  I appreciate all her fun ideas and happy outlook on her life and job.  I also love the products that Fluttering Through First Grade creates!  Their products are well written, creative, easy to implement, and well priced.

The Inspired Apple     Fluttering Through First Grade

3.  I have had an easier time keeping my room organized with the help of 2 blogs.  They have fabulous ideas on organizing that inspire me to keep my room together!  


What a joy to be able to connect with such wonderful people that have such wonderful ideas!
Thank you to all those people out there who blog about their edu-world.  I love learning from you fabulous educators.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Clutter-Free group areas

I am linking up again with The Clutter-Free Classroom for another installment of organizing my classroom!

This time we were to show how we organize/run our group areas.
Here is the shelf where I keep all the the things I need for reading group, but it wasn't "flowing" and it certainly wasn't pretty.  Sooo, I fixed it to work for me a bit better and look neater.  This area also serves as any small group work and individual meeting space.  


Before- front of shelf
I added this pic so you could see where the group table is situated.

I removed the excess items that I thought I would use and ended up not needing.  I moved the baskets to be spaced out more so I didn't have to move any basket to get inside them.  All items are now easily accessible.   

Here is my circle area.  I didn't change anything here.  I use this area for read aloud, calendar time, and class meetings.  It all works well for me and the kids.  We have all items necessary for each job and all baskets are labeled to find things quickly.

Happy spring cleaning!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I don't lie...

I am a VERY honest person, so I am hoping this will be at least a little tough for folks....

I am joining Flying into First Grade's 2 truths and a lie, for this weeks linky.

1.  I have competed Nationally and Internationally on a dance team during my high school years.

2.  I have gone whale watching while in British Columbia, Canaada.  I got to see my favorite whale, the Humpback.

3.  My husband is a pilot.  He took me in a Citabria (small airplane) on our first date.

All of them sound like fun, don't they.
So which one is the lie?  :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 5

Happy St. Patty's Day!  Don't let the leprechauns get too silly today!

Well, I am a bit late on my 5, so here they are today


1.  Today is my last day of spring break.  I had a ton of fun with my family.  We biked a lot, played outside, spring cleaned the girl's rooms, and lots of other things.  Not an ounce of school stuff was completed...just the way it should be during break!  One fun thing we did, was take new and improved pictures of me and the girls for our "extras" work possibilities this summer.  I have us signed up to be considered for movie extras here in NM.  We have a ton of westerns and military movies filmed in our area.  FOR EXAMPLE- one of the hottest fellas ever was recently here filming a little bit away from my home area- Johnny Depp.  Yes, you heard me.  He was filming Lone Ranger with Armie Hammer.  
Then shortly after that was my other favorite hot fella, Mark Wahlberg!  He had 2 movies here in a row...Lone Survivor and 2 Guns (which also had Denzel Washington).  Wow... was it fun to hear about all this stuff.  Anyway, we are on a website to be considered for extras work, but we needed to update as the pics were old.  Here are a couple of the pics.

2.  Today I have all items in my store 20% off.  Don't forget to check out the other's who are having a sale too.  Click {HERE} to go to the post about the sale.

3.  I have offered to a few ladies to be part of their giveaways.  More info to come on that soon.  Yay, fun!

4.  With the weather warming up in my area, I realized I needed to paint my toes!!!  I broke out some cute sandal heels I have.  I was putting them on when the strap crumbled into pieces...has that ever happened to you?  First time for me.  Obviously, they were way old!  OH NO, now that means I have to get another pair of shoes.  Yay!  I've been looking at all the new styles and really like the look of these.
BUT- I'm I'll see if I can't find something like it at Payless or Shoes On a Shoes String.  
Product Details
5.  I am back to school tomorrow.  It will be good to see the cute little faces of my students again.  I have a lot to do from here until the school year ends.  I have 10 weeks to cram it all in!!!  Wish me luck.  We also have our testing week coming up very quickly.  Yikes!!!  Too much to do in very little time.  

Hope your week is great!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Green linky reminder

Just a quick reminder that the sale at my TpT store and the stores of the lovely folks who joined the linky (look under the post a few days ago- Hosting a Green Linky) will begin tomorrow!
I hope everyone has a super fun, and mischievous, St. Patty's Day!
 May the luck o'the Irish be with you!  Have a great Sunday everyone.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Acquainted link up

I am joining in on the getting to know you linky that Flying into First Grade is hosting.

So three things that go along with my initials.

A- R- C are my initials... yes arc.  Before I got married (ages ago) it was ARJ...not as silly.

A: I love my "Adult" dance class.  It's for 18 yrs+ and is a jazz class.  I have been dancing almost all my life.  It is one of the 2 things I thought I would do as a job when I grew up...teacher or prima ballerina.  Unfortunately, I am short and not skinny, and certainly no professional at dance...just LOVE it with all my heart.  Each week, I look forward to having my dance class with my sweet dancerella friends.

R:  Reading would be the obvious one here for a 1st grade teacher, so I will choose something different (even though I do love to read, to teach reading, have my Masters in Reading Ed, etc).  I am actually going to say Relaxing with my family.  I love going camping, watching movies, and Relaxing with my family.  We never feel like we have enough time together as work is long, hours are crazy, and life is busy.  So, when we can unplug and just be a family together, it's the best.
My Dad with my daughters

C:  Creativity!  Yay, I love crafts, scrapbooking, stickers, fun paper, hair bow making, etc, etc, etc.  Sadly-there is no time to do these things.  Well, until summer hits and I get to play with my kids and do all the fun things that take lots of time.  Wow, summer is only a few months away.  Crafty fun, here I come!

If you are able to join the Green Linky I started a few days ago- hope on board!  Anyone having a St. Patty's Day sale is invited to join in on the linky to post their sale.  Feel free to grab the leprechaun button/sign I created.  Please just link up back to me.  Happy Tuesday!

Not to rub it in, but the weather here has totally changed.  We started spring break with snow but today is supposed to be 70ish.  YAHOO!  We'll be outside enjoying it while it lasts.


Monday, March 11, 2013


Well, as teachers, we are never at a loss of paperwork coming in and going out.  Certain times of the year I become overwhelmed by the paper avalanche.  Right now, we just finished up p/t conf and are in spring break, so I was at the overflow point with paper.  I did a massive purge and grading session.  I passed out a ton of papers to go home.  Now I am back at square one.  Here is how I try to stay on top of the paper monster:

1.  I try to always have papers going out.  I try to grade papers as quickly as possible.  Sometimes in a minimalist way.  My phonics pages I grade in this way- I take a quick glance, I have a correct sheet in front of me.  If anything looks horribly wrong I write about it on the page, but mostly I am just doing a quick once over.  

2.  I recycle everything I can.  I write my notes down in my planner and purge the papers.

3.  I file as quickly as I can.  I try to do the filing as soon as something is leaving my hand, but this sometimes is not a possibility.  So, I will put it in a stacker to file at the end of the week.  On Thursday or Friday, I take time to file my papers.

4.  As we are working on projects, I leave the unit/themed files in my stacker.  This way, it's easy to return originals to their files fast.  Then when the unit is complete and all original papers are back in the file, it goes back into the file cabinet.

5.  I send home a folder with any/all papers to go home with the kids, daily.  I sort the graded papers into their "mailboxes" and they put it in their folder to go home at the end of the day, while they are packing up.  The folders have 2 labeled pockets- stay at home and return to school.

6.  There is a basket that the kiddos turn all finished work into.  I dump the basket over at the end of the day and take it home to grade.  Yes, I said take it home.  I know, not what you want to hear...but I use all my planning time doing things like- make copies, grade big spirals from reading group, grade heavy workbooks, and any other item that is too heavy to lug home.  I always have papers coming home with me.  Booo!
This is a sadly blurry pic of the "unfinished file" crate (green) and the "finished basket" (wicker).

7.  Kiddos save unfinished jobs in a file (seen above) or folder, depending on what it is.  BUT, I think next year I will do it in a more visible way.  I have them "clean out" their folder in front of me on a weekly (or so) basis so I may see what they truly have left to complete.  Not, what they feel like doing.  Although, I have to remember to do this with them.  If I had the unfinished work more visible- it might be harder for them to "forget" they have left over work to do and easier for me to see who keeps having work left over.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hosting a Green Linky!

Hi everyone!  I am hosting my very first linky!  Anyone who is having a St. Patty's Day sale on TpT, please link up below.  I just added a St. Patty's Day packet to my store.

Even that will be on sale.  Check it out on March 17th for 20% discounts on all my items.

I hope you take a minute to check out the great deals that each of these great bloggers are posting.
The usual link up rules apply: please only link your page that shows your St. Patty's Day sale information.

5 and Spring Break!!!


1.  Well, we are officially on Spring Break people!  Albuquerque area schools are on vacation.  Thursday and Friday were P/T conferences for my school.  The weather was pretty great too.  It was about 70 in town, 65 or so where I live (not exactly in the town of ABQ but close).  I was loving it.  Then today being my first official break/day off, I woke up and this is what I saw out my front door.  Ahhh, spring.  Birds sing, butterflies flutter, everyone wears a sweater and snow boots!!!

Well, this is not what I had in mind for "Spring" break but at least we are getting moisture.  We need a lot more or we will end up with a big fire season during the summer months if we don't get some liquids.  Soooo, that's alright.

Well, at least I could sleep in today.  There I was, sleeping super hard, when at 6 a.m. I hear my beautiful daughter singing REALLY loud- the one Disney song I don't like....those Disney fanatics like me know exactly what I am talking about ...
"It's a small world after all!"  So, I very unhappily woke up and got to my day.  Maybe tomorrow they will let me sleep.
Ok, back to my regular school related postings.

2.  Earlier posts I promised I'd get my Seuss bulletin board on here, so here it is.  The scribble marks are my way of taking off the kiddos names.  I wouldn't want someone posting my kid's work with their name on it, without my permission.  So I do the same for others.  I really like the Lorax trim.  It's a bit hard to see in the pic, but I leave up the trim of Lorax until April-ish when I do a Lorax/Environmental bb.  I LOVE that time of year- Earth Day!  Yay!  Yes, I am a tree hugger and proud of it.  :)

I love the one above, "I like this character because he is a trouble maker."  Isn't that great?  I laughed and the kiddo thought he was pretty clever.  Cute.

3.  I got a fun new rug for my room entry area.  I found it at Target for about $3.

4.  I bought a new binder specifically for organizing my blog/TpT store/ TN store.  I have Jan-Dec dividers, and will be filling it with blog notes, ideas, project notes, etc.  But for right now, it's empty.


I love this black and white pattern.  Can't wait to start my planning and organizing.

5.  I need to add to my behavior modification plans.  I have a variety of things in effect, but I am working on an added piece.  I want to highlight my student's positive points to help them make great choices.  I will be working on the "Wall of Kindness."  I do this each year, usually in the beginning of the school year, but this go 'round I want to do it now.  There are a lot of sibling behaviors occurring and I want them to start focusing on kind acts rather than- "He looked at me sideways!"  I will be doing this when we return from break.  I will post more as we get started and have something else to tell about it.

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A late 5


Well, I had 3 posts yesterday, so I figure I should do my Friday "stuff" today (Sunday), since things were so busy yesterday.

1.  I contributed a free product for a giveaway that has just started!  This is my first time doing a group giveaway, so I am excited!  There were a bunch of people signed up to give all sorts of cool things away.  If you wish to sign up, go to the blog below.  Should be quite a lot of product coming to the winner.

2.  I just connected with a fun blog site.  Diane at Fifth in the Middle, has a spot for all bloggers (depending on state) to link up.  I noticed I was the only New Mexico edu-blogger so far!  Where are all the NM peeps?!?  If you want to join your state's fellow bloggers in connecting- check out the page below.  There is a spot for all the states.  Just find your state and link up!

3.  This was Dr.Seuss week for us in 1st at my school.  It was full of fun.  I posted about it a bit yesterday.  
I hope you did all sorts of silly Seuss-a-rrific things this week too!
4.  This coming week we have 3 kid days and 2 P/T conference days.  It is our last official conferences for the year.  Makes it feel like the year is almost over!!!!  Yikes.  Too much to do.

5.  I just joined TN- Teacher's Notebook recently.  I have a link to my very minimal store on the right hand side of this blog (need to make some products soon!!!)  I already had joined TpT awhile back, but finally added TN to my "list."  
Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Currently

Ok, 3 posts in one day- yikes!  I don't mean to bog you down with reading material...just catching up.

Oh' boy fourth grade

Here is my March Currently put on by Farley.  Go to the link above to join the "Currently" fun.

I also created a tutorial to go along with this post, in case you don't know how to do a Currently and need help.

Listening-  It is Seuss' b-day after all!
Loving-  I have been contact paper-ing everything that has been holding still lately.  I used to do that all the time when I first started teaching.
Thinking-  I had report cards to write this week, so no papers got graded this week- eeks!
Wanting-  Too much left to do before the end of the year comes....
Needing-  Yumm, pancakes.  Ok, so I signed myself up for some fun 5 K that means I have to prepare for them with lots of exercise.  Yikes.  Wish me luck.

I messed up and didn't follow directions for the last space, but whatever!

Here is the tutorial.  Please comment if this is helpful to you or not.  I tried my best.  :)