Thursday, August 2, 2012

How Life Has Changed

My, oh my, how life has changed! 

I read back through all my posts from LAST summer while my 2 month old baby girl quietly naps beside me. 

My, oh my, how life has changed! 

I had created an entire list of things I wanted to accomplish, places I wanted to go, progress I wanted to make in my classroom.  This summer has been a drastic turn around from all of my adventures just 12 months ago.  This summer, actually my FIRST day of summer, I gave birth to baby June, and I couldn't feel more blessed. 

We've spent an amazing 2 months at home together-- nowhere to go-- nothing to do.  Looking back at all that I did last summer, one would automatically assume how bored I must be.  But alas, I am loving every minute of this slower pace. 

The days are slowly creeping up on me for when I have to make my debut back at work.  I am excited to get back, because I love what I do-- and I hope you can tell that from looking back at this blog.  However, I will miss these quiet days at home, just loving on my baby girl. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

100th Day, Hooray!

It's hard to believe that the 100th day of school was over 60 school days ago--and that we only have less than 20 days left! 

Either way, I still wanted to share with you the excitement we experienced on the 100th day of school!

The children were very engaged in creating a 100th day crown that truly challenged their mathematical thinking. We had pre-made the base and stapled 10 strips to the base. Each strip was a different color. For each strip, I gave the children a task. This really challenged their oral listening skills, too!

Austin is writing the numerals from 1-10 on the green strip.

Abby is writing her name 10 times on the light blue strip!

Here is a completed crown! 10 items on each one of the 10 strips means-- 100!

Audrey is sporting her 100th Day Crown!

Now, what would a special day be like in Mrs. Lochel's class without a snack to compliment it??  That would be unheard of!  So, we soon got to work on a 100 piece snack-- here are the options and a blank 100 grid.

Giovanna got started with 10 marshmellows and 10 M & M's.

Nathan continued on with Cheez-Its and Goldfish.

Kailyn added pretzels and chocolate covered raisins.

10 pieces of 10 different snack items means--100!

We ate a handful and packed the rest up to take home.  It sure was interesting to see just what a 100 piece snack looked like!  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Picked a Strawberry

We are so lucky to look across the street from our school and find one of our town's strawberry fields.  On Friday, we took a tractor ride across the street to do some strawberry picking!  We've been learning in class about life cycles of plants and animals so this was the perfect trip to see what some plants can produce.  These plants produce something red, sweet, and juicy!

We've also been singing this song all week to the tune of "Clementine"--

Picked a strawberry, picked a strawberry,

that was growing in the sun.

Then I washed it, and I ate it.

And I picked another one!

And, speaking of eating one, the man in charge told the children that they could certainly give some strawberries a taste test before putting them in their containers to take home.  Here is a picture of Megan and Austin--see, Megan has already given that strawberry a little taste!

The sun stayed behind the clouds for us on Friday morning and the cool breeze was so nice.  The children definitely had fun picking and eating and picking and eating!

When our tummies and containers were full of strawberries, we headed back to school.  What a great experience we had! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dr. Seuss

The first week of March is typically dedicated to celebrating Dr. Seuss.  The anniversary of his birthday is March 2nd and every year I debate on what to do in my classroom.  This year, the celebration seemed even more exciting because of the soon to be released movie to the big screens, "The Lorax."  Many of the children had actually already seen the movie when we got around to reading it that week.  It was okay, because it's a book with a BIG message!  And, they seemed to pick up on it quite easily! 

We had a GREAT week reading lots of books, having special snacks, and being engaged in math and literacy related activities. 

We started off the week by reading One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.  If you've been following our blog for a while, you know I love to make anything I can out of a hand print-- so here is another! 

That same day, we did some sorting, graphing, and counting with multi-colored goldfish!

Then, of course, we had to have some of these yummy goldfish for snack! 

The next day that week, we read The Cat in the Hat.  Many of the children were already familiar with this story because they've heard it before or seen the movie that came out a few years ago.  It is always fun to hear what the children in my class would do in the same type of situation. 

Megan and Samuel made hats like the Cat and then we enjoyed a Cat in the Hat snack!

On that Friday, we finally read The Lorax .  Like I mentioned earlier, the children really picked up on the lesson, or message, that Dr. Seuss was trying to convey.  We had fun recreating the Trufulla trees in many different ways--

One way was edible--

All you need is some skewers, large marshmellows, white frosting, paper plates, and various colors of sprinkles. 

 And, voila!  Trufulla Trees!

We also made them on paper using some leftover Easter grass!

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Nope, I'm not grabbing a cab to go anywhere special----but I am running for a position on the CERRA Advisory Board-- know as CAB!!

CERRA is a great organization located in my county and is the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement. 

I have been involved with CERRA since I was a senior in high school and took part in a class called Teacher Cadet (This would be part of the Recruitment aspect).  I learned so much that year and it only added to my interest and passion in teaching. 

I have since been involved with CERRA through trainings in becoming a Mentor teacher (This would be part of the Retention aspect).  I have learned about mentoring and working with new teachers to make sure they get off to a strong start in this profession. 

Most recently, I have had the opportunity be involved with CERRA as District Teacher of the Year (This would be the Advancement aspect).  CERRA supports the Teacher of the Year program to celebrate, recognize, and empower teachers to share their voice and strengths.  They also provide many great resources for the Teacher Forum that I have been leading this school year. 

I would like to stay involved with CERRA through this Advisory Board, but I need your help! 

Please click on the link below and choose Region 3-- Midlands. 

And, vote for me!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Birdhouse Building

This Friday morning our day began with muffins, juice, Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas, brothers, sisters, and a whole class set of birdhouses!  Our local garden store, Chirp 'N Chatter, gave us a great deal on birdhouse kits, so we decided to make a morning out of it! 

Audrey said, "It was cool because I like the top of the birdhouse." 
Chloƫ said, "It was fun because my Dad was there."

Zachary said, "I liked it because it was fun.  I got to do screws and build with my Dad."

Giovanna said, "I built a birdhouse with my Daddy and my brother.  It was fun."

Samuel said, "It was fun because I liked building it.  I had fun with my Mom."

Jennifer said, "I helped my Daddy to build my birdhouse.  I liked it."

Jack said, "I love my Dad. I like to build birdhouses with him."

Reese said, "I had fun because my Dad let me use the screwdriver."

Nathan said, "I like building birdhouses. I'm glad we got to have muffins and juice."

Megan said, "I like building birdhouses and it was really fun.  Pops let me use the screwdriver and I did most of the nails."

Abby said, "I like building birdhouses because they are fun to make and you get to paint them.  You'll be surprised if you see a nest in there.  I'm glad my Mom got to come in and work with me."

Caitlyn said, "This is my Daddy.  He is very nice to me.  I got so excited when we got to build a birdhouse."

This child said, "This morning I built a birdhouse with my Grandaddy.  I loved it."

Kailyn said, "Grandmommy and Papa came with me to make a birdhouse.  It was fun because I got to help build it."

Dallas said, "I was helping Mommy by picking up the wood."
Austin said, "I used the screwdriver and I helped Mommy.  I used the screws to help Mom."

Hopefully we'll all start seeing some blue birds flying around very soon!