ETA Hand2Mind

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Break, Dojo, #BestSchoolDay, and a Get Together

#1 Spring Break
Hello Everyone!  I am on spring break right now and just got back from the best, quick vacation in San Diego.  It was so much fun.  We went to the beach, which being a New Mexico person for 13 years and originally a Maryland person (where I grew up my entire life prior to moving to NM) always is wonderful!  I love the beach.  I grew up going to the beach every summer, almost.  I lived about 3 hrs from the coast for most of my life.  NM has very small areas of water sources- man made lakes and ponds and such.  There is the Rio Grande...but who wants to get in that?!?!   

My kids did not want to leave when it was time.  Poor desert kids, they love the water so much and rarely get to be at the beach... if only NM had a real shore.
We went to the San Diego Zoo and only did a day's worth of exploring.  We plan on going back to do more another time.  The best part...was when my super quirky 9 yr old saw her favorite animal of all time- The Fennec Fox.  It put its head down when I took the pictures, but oh my gosh, is it adorable.
I loved that my kids already knew that there are warm weather penguins (African Penguins)... everyone around the exhibit did not and it was funny to hear everyone surprised about it.  Yay for learning!
My kids swam and swam and swam at every pool we could.  We don't have a pool at home- just a hot tub.  So, when they can stretch their swimming muscles, they do!

#2 Dojo
I will be presenting with other teacher blog friends at our NM get together (see #4) this weekend.  I requested from ClassDojo some swag.  As it is a small get together, I didn't expect to get anything this time.  So, I was shocked that this came in the mail!!!  In the box were several bags and stickers to give out to the teacher bloggers who attend this weekend.  It also came with a handwritten postcard from Jenna over at Class Dojo.  I knew her name right away because I see it on my Dojo mentor emails that are sent from her.  Thanks Jenna- you rock!
#3 Best School Day
I had recently been funded on my Donor's Choose project request page.  I was beyond thrilled when I got the email saying my request was fully funded.  The wobble chairs I wanted came right before break.  Score!  The kids were crazy excited to try them out.  Since I know someone might ask- it was superhero day when I took this picture.

#4 Get Together
As mentioned in #2, I said there is a NM Teacher Blogger get together this weekend.  It will be held at a private residence and not a hotel as our numbers are small and we want to make it a quiet retreat.
There is a limit to how many people may attend, due to parking space.  Please be sure to see below to sign up.

Possible discussions or presentations for the evening:
*ClassDojo, Behavior Tips, and Family Communication
*Social Media for teachers such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, etc.
*Teachers Pay Teachers
*GoNoodle and Student Motivation
*Technology in the Classroom
*S.T.E.M. themed activities
*Helping Struggling Readers
Presenters for the event:
**Suzy Palmer from On The Go Teacher Mama
**Laura Bryant from Tchr888
**Amy Chevalier from Albuquerque Amy and Academics
This will be a fun and casual event.  To sign up, click {HERE} or on the picture below.
You do not have to be a blogger or be a New Mexican to attend.  You can be a blog-stalker, teacher, or even a teacher in training.  Those who attend may possibly get some of the items below.  
I am in process of creating some bath bombs and homemade chapsticks (natural ingredients) to add to the items below.  I love being crafty and I actually have a little time for it since it is spring break!  
We hope you are able to attend this blog get together.  
Happy end of March!!!  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

5 for Friday...

It's been awhile since I have linked up with Doodle Bugs for a 5 for Friday list.

My bloggy buddies and I are organizing a Blog Meet Up for NM teachers.  We are very excited.  It will be a lot of fun and there will be some great presentations!!!  Click on the above picture to check out the FB page that shows what we will be doing.  Check out my blog post about it here.

I LOOOOOVE Indian food.  On Sunday, we went to one of my favorite places to get some awesome food.  I was super excited when I realized they had pakoras!  Mmmm, delicious.

I don't know if you can see it, but there is a bird on the bottom left-hand side of this bird feeder.  This feeder is hanging on my class window.  Yes, this is our view outside the window- it's pretty because I live and work in the mountains outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.  My view last year was much more beautiful though.  It was of the giant mountain that we have near our school.  It was lovely.  I moved classrooms though.  Anyway, back to the bird.  We are learning about plants and animals right now and we put up a bird feeder (thanks to our STEM teacher) to encourage bird visits for observations.  The first bird that visited made the entire class yell "MRS. CHEVALIER, THERE IS A BIRD AT OUR WINDOW!!!!"  This was in the middle of math.  So, I froze and slowly went over to the window to snag this picture of the first bird.  They were super excited.  

 Isn't that funny that this kiddo thinks a home costs $100.  Cute.
 I was proud of the above writing.  This kiddo has struggled all year and has made such great progress.  He did this work all on his own.
 So nice that this kid is going to share.
 "I would be rich of gold."  Funny.
 I'm not sure what decades of jewels means but it sounds good to me.  I like that they would get a pot of chocolate too, my kind of kid!
We took some time on Thursday to celebrate some St. Patty's Day fun.  I used a tiny pot and plastic coins to encourage good behavior.  When each group of 2-3 kids had 10 coins, they earned a super bouncy ball and 2 of the plastic coins.
We read about St. Patty's Day with the DogoNews website.  It's kid's current events and I love it!  We do at least one story a week from it.  This week it was 2.  The other current event we talked about was Earth Hour!  Check it out.  I encouraged my class to do Earth Hour tonight.  You should try it too.  :)

Nothing like a visit from firefighters and forest service folks to end the week.  Being mountain people, like we are, we have great connections with the forest service.  There is a program that allows them to come in once a month to present great info to the kinder and 1st grade kids about our mountain environment and how to keep it beautiful and healthy.  It's excellent info.  This is the big event though- the kids go crazy for this one.  They are so excited to get inside the fire truck, here the sirens, handle the hose, look at all the tools from the trucks, and hear the funny stories from the fire and forest folks.  

Busy week!  Next week is our last week before break.  I am super tired and am really ready for having a nice spring break with my family.  So, I will have to come up with some fun events for the coming week to keep up the energy and keep the kids focused on learning.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NM Blogger Teacher Meet Up

Anyone else out there totally jealous of the fun all those awesome teachers had at the French Lick, Indiana Blogger Retreat?  Yup, me too.  I couldn't make it and I am already going to be doing a really big PD in June...RCA....tehe, sooo excited!!!  So, my teacher buddy Suzy Palmer over at
said, "We need to do another meet up!"  We have had several NM Blogger Meet Ups for a few years now, but nothing like the one in Indiana.  So, the blog buddies, Laura Bryant over at
and Melissa Cloud over at 
and I all decided to create a blog meet up that was a bit more exciting.

We want to include many others teachers.  We also wanted to make it fun and have people learn something from each other.  So, we decided to create some presentations.  We will have a variety of topics to discuss, some yummy food to eat and a lot of talking and collaborating to do.  I didn't want to spend money on a venue, so it will be hosted out of my home which is in the mountain area east of Albuquerque.  In my area there are lots of trees and lots of peace and quiet.  Here is what my backyard looks like.  
 Come and relax, learn and laugh with us!
(Cute clip art and digital paper, right?  Check out Creative Clips by Krista Wallden and The Hands-On Teacher in First to get the paper or graphics.)

Want to join us in the blogger meet up?  Click the picture above and it will take you to the Facebook page that tells you the information you need and shows you how to contact me to get signed up.  Please note, the get together is limited in size to 20 people, so sign up fast!

New Mexico Bloggers and Blog-Stalkers- come and have some fun with us!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My 1st Donor's Choose!

Hi all!!!  I am super excited to tell you this fun thing that happened today.

I was doing my thing getting ready for school this morning when all of a sudden I checked my email....and SURPRISE...I saw the most amazing thing.  I was fully funded for the 1st Donor's Choose project that I have ever done.  It was over $500 worth of a donation for 7 wiggle chairs.  I am sooo excited.  I am so grateful to the anonymous person, using the tag #BestSchoolDay that donated to my project and many others.

Kids Kore Wobble Chair 14"
Thank you for your help!

It will make a difference in my classroom for my children.
Thank you so much!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Seuss Week and Currently

Join me in the awesome, Farley's Currently.  See below to find her blog.
Oh Boy It's Farley
We had a week long celebration of Dr. Seuss!  1st Grade loves Dr. Seuss.
On Mixed up Monday, we created and wrote about a mixed up animal or character that would fit well in a Seuss book.  We also, pretended to be doctors (which Seuss technically was not), and performed surgery on various parts of speech such as verbs, adverbs, nouns, and adjectives.  We dressed up like doctors to do the activity, of course.  Thanks, Kim Bearden for the inspiration in this activity!!!
 My daughter demonstrating what my students wore.
On Top Hat Tuesday, we read The Cat in The Hat and made paper top hats that discussed the plot of the story.  Below is an example of what I used to do- now I changed it to plot as we really needed work on understanding problem and solution.   I also enjoyed dressing up as the Cat in the Hat....because I could.

On Wacky Wednesday, we wore silly socks, read Seuss books and created silly rhymes.  Then I stayed extra long after school- cleaning up and working on taming the paper monster that was living in my drawers.  It is sooo much better now!  I walked out to my car around 7 p.m. and saw this....nothing but my car.  I thought it was funny so I took a picture.
On Theodore Thursday, we read biographical information about Theodore Geisel (Seuss' real name) and read his first book And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.  Below it shows an activity I used from someone's blog (too long ago to remember who) where the kids silently figure out which star belly sneetch was their sum match.  It was fairly tricky for them doing it silently but most got it.
On Funny Food Friday, we watched a short video of the read aloud, Green Eggs and Ham. The kids ate green hardboiled eggs with Sam I Am apple juice.  We also discussed how characters change and used a character mapping page to demonstrate that information.