Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's CURRENTLY November!

Seems like I only make time these days for the Currently link up.
And tons of great things have been going on in my classroom to share!
But I haven't made time for blogging. 
I really should be working on a Grad School Paper due today (I will after this).
I'm swamped lately. 
Go ahead and link up with us over at Farley's page. 

LISTENING- Not a sound in my house! Girls are still sleeping (this surprises me), dogs are quiet, no TV on…So weird. 
LOVING-Last night my two oldest girls and I stayed in and watched a couple of movie off of Netflix. We watched Can't Buy Me Love…you know…the one from 1987 with a very young Patrick Dempsey.
The girls said it's just like the movies they watch now…but old. We enjoyed…
THEN…I was SO STUPID and suggested we watch My Girl. UGH! Why in the heck would I do that to myself??!?!?!?!?
They enjoyed that movie, but I sobbed (yes, I've seen it several times) and sobbed… A LOT.
THINKING-Last winter SUCKED. I know there are lots of you that loved it…but I HATED it. Record snows and record lows in Chicago…NO THANKS! I'm hoping it's not too bad…but they keep saying it will be… I'll just ignore them for now.
WANTING- It's simple…I need my Paul Mitchell Dry Wax. I've been out of it for about a week…bought something else to hold me over until I can get to Ulta…and it's not doing the trick. 
NEEDING- You've all heard me complain about grad school…but it will continue…(the complaining)… I'll be glad when it's over and I'll be happy I did it. SO MUCH WORK. Yes, I'm learning lots… it's just these papers and assignments. Especially another paper on School Demographics…more about assessment systems…classroom profile… blah. My principal, reading specialists, and school secretary were AWESOME in helping me get the info I needed! Now…to write it all out…in a 2-3 page paper (I know it's not that bad). 
READING-The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks…I actually haven't started it yet. I have been making myself read more for pleasure during the school year. I always said "I don't read for fun during the school year". How dumb is that? Now I force myself to find time to read. A few minutes here and there. I've read 5 books so far (besides all the grad school books and stuff).

Here's something I'm sure you saw on my Instagram…
Every year I have my 3rd graders write what makes them "batty". This time my whole team joined in!
Bats Everywhere!
One of our classroom aides made the awesome, gigantic Haunted House for a title!

Enjoy your "extra" hour!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Currently October 2014

Well, October is already here! 
Blogging has taken a backseat to the rest of my crazy going-ons. 
But, I'm popping in to do a quick Currently with Farley. 

LISTENING- My girls are downstairs watching Disney. Whatever they are watching…the girl's voice is going right through me. Some shows drive me crazy.
LOVING- My husband is off tonight. He's been working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. We actually have NO OTHER activities today (holy moly-it's a miracle)! So we are headed out to the pumpkin patch. So excited!
THINKING- Pumpkin patch! It's a little too chilly for me here in Chicago, but the sun is shining and we have nothing else to do (well, besides cleaning and grocery shopping and grad school homework and entering grades into the computer).
WANTING- I wanna get my Halloween and Fall stuff out and up! When my husband got home this morning, he went to bring up all my stuff from the basement…well, he turned on the wet/dry vac to get some dirt up from last year's decorating and MICE ran out of the vac!!!! UGH UGH UGH!!!!! We live next to a farm so it's expected to get mice every year in the basement…but it still GROSSES ME OUT. He set some fresh traps. Don't really care if I offend anyone…the only good mouse is a dead one! HATE THEM. Knock on wood…they haven't made it to the rest of the house in previous years… Did I just jinx myself?
NEEDING- I need my hair cut and colored SO BAD. I need to get an appointment with my girl. I know she's been super busy too…
TRICK OR TREAT- I have a little trick. I delayed setting this up this year in my classroom, just because it was crazy trying to get my room together with a move and construction… then I realized how much I needed it!
My trick is…
Table Leaders. I know everyone has their own version. Each group in my classroom has a beanie baby or webkinz. I started the rotation at the left front person in each group. Whoever has the little animal on their desk is the table leader for the day. 
When I'm collecting something or need to grab things for groups, the table leader does this. It's super easy for me to say "table leaders bring me the spelling tests" or "table leaders grab white boards for your group" or whatever. 
This is not one of the jobs in our classroom. Our class has 27 kids and 27 jobs on the job chart. We are all responsible for something to make our classroom run efficiently and effectively. 
The next day, the animal is passed to the left and that person becomes the leader for the day. It makes lots of things much easier on me and the kids love it too!
Enjoy your Sunday!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Currently September-Feeling content

Haven't been on lately…with the start of a new school year in a new school…
been a little busy…but I made it to the Currently party hosted by the one and only…
LISTENING: Little kid has a friend sleeping over and they are watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs…they were giggling, now it's silent. Wonder if they fell asleep.

LOVING: I know we've only been in school for a week and a half, but I truly needed this 3 day weekend! Saturday my oldest and youngest ran/walked a 5k- Color Vibe…I tagged along (insert chauffeur here) and watched all the action. It was really fun! And Mid Kid was crowned Homecoming Queen! If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the fab photos I've posted!

THINKING: I got TONS accomplished today! Bagged 3 garbage bags of clothes to donate, threw out 4 bags of garbage, finished my last assignment for a grad school class, partly organized my desk area in the loft… Monday I'm tackling laundry and grading papers..

WANTING: I'm loving seeing all the mums at the grocery stores…I need to get me some! My summer flowers are all dreary and half dead. 

NEEDING: I moved to a new classroom and desperately need some book shelves! I have tons of book baskets lining the walls. It's driving me nuts. But it's costly and with BTS expenses for the girls, among other things… it ain't happenin' any time soon.

3 TRIPS: I've always wanted to visit California (plus my sis, her hubs, and 2 beautiful nieces are there), Australia, and New York. One day I will make it to all three. 

And, that's all for now! LINK UP!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Freaking the Freak Out

Feeling slightly overwhelmed.
We have open house-which is really…come check out your classroom time and try to tell the teacher all  about your child that the teacher won't remember time-on August 14th.
We gained access to our classrooms yesterday.
Let me rewind…
I asked for a transfer to another building. It was granted.
The district newly remodeled an old section of the building I've moved to.
I went in yesterday…
You can't walk to my classroom through the hallways because there's still construction going on…
You have to get to my classroom by walking outside and entering a door near my room…
To use the restroom, you have to leave the building outside and enter another door (just until construction is finished).
Well, I went to check out my new room…
The ONLY things in there were my stuff from my old building.
NO Teacher desk
NO Student desks
NO shelves
NO file cabinets
NO anything (except my crap)
<I heard it's coming soon>
Then I'm told we only get 3 book cases of 3 shelves…

UMMMMM, I have a wonderfully fabulous collection of books for my students.
THREE will not hold my collection! How the heck am I going to decide which books to NOT expose my students to???
I know what you're thinking…."Carrie, just bring in your own book cases"…
I'd LOVE to…BUT WE'RE NOT ALLOWED to bring anything "personal"…I struggle with this word…"personal" because almost all that stuff is MINE.
AND I cannot bring in my cute little benches you all raved over (you can see my classroom from last year under the my "my classroom" tab---it's not organized, but I threw the pics in there). Nothing.

YAY!!!! GREAT news! We can bring in our stuff! YAY! So happy!
Woo hoo! Comfy reading zone coming to students soon!

SOOOO, I had a VERY short visit, came home and stared at this in a bathing suit for about an hour….

Decided I'm not going in today…I'm going to stay home and plan out my bulletin boards…create some stuff for my walls (now that I know what I'm dealing with on my walls-which is good).

I DO have my class list…So I can start doing name stuff and labels-YAY!
Here's my clean slate of a room-not good quality pics…should have used a flash on my phone.
It's a nice room…looks big to me…can't wait to see furniture in it…Plenty of board space-which I'm excited about. Love the cabinets. Two tiny windows that will NOT be covered in any way-I love me some natural light...

Ok, If you're still with me…I actually completed a product. I didn't want my old cursive set hanging above the white boards…so I created a cursive pennant banner to put together and hang! I'm super excited to use it!
We have to teach Zaner-Bloser in 3rd grade and I definitely need it hanging in the room for student reference…
You can grab this on TPT-click on the pic and it'll take you to my store! Get it while it's on sale!
Enjoy your day! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

It sure is Currently August!

Hey! Where the heck did the summer go?!?!?
Well, in Chicago…it never really got here!
This was a cold summer and I know some peeps loved it…
Dang, all I asked for is 3 hot months after 20 feet of snow and polar vortexes
and we even had a summer polar vortex…

I know my southern friends have been graciously wanting to trade me their 100's for my 70's
AND I'll TELL YOU…I'd TOTALLY do it! I LOVE it HOT in summer!

Linking up with Farley for her monthly CURRENTLY.
Link up! It's easy, fun, and you'll meet new bloggers.
Here's MY Currently...
LISTENING- You all know my love for music. It gets me going, it brings back memories, it just makes me happy! Holy Grail is long over and now You're Gonna Go Far Kid by The Offspring is playing…Another good Jam!
LOVING- Mid-Kid has been wanting her cartilage pierced…we were at the mall today, she wanted to get it done-didn't want to do it alone (she still would have)…SO I did mine too! (We had a hard time taking a selfie-THIS is what we got after about 8 tries)-can you see my tiny dot? haha!
THINKING- I really really really have a lot to do. I moved buildings-we are finally aloud in our rooms   on Monday. I'm already overwhelmed about unpacking. Building still closes on Fridays for summer hours…so that means I have EIGHT days to get it ALL done. But subtract getting Mid-Kids braces off Monday and other prior commitments…YIKES! I know, I know, it'll all come together…Plus this whole grad school thing…yeah, a little much
WANTING- Who doesn't want a longer summer? And like I said…this summer was a little less than a summer. 
NEEDING- Gotta get my mind on work. Need to still create stuff I want to decorate my room with… Need my class list…
FIRST DAY!- I can't even deal with how early the High School starts!!! On top of that…my daughter has had a TON of homework to complete this summer! I get that she's insanely smart and takes all these honors and AP classes…but what is the point of having all this summer work? 
AND WHY OH WHY do we keep starting earlier and earlier…ohhhhhh, testing, that's it! 
I vote for after Labor Day like in the good ol' days! 

IN OTHER NEWS- My kids participate in our local summer reading program at the library… This year, Little Kid won her own Kindle! How exciting is that?!?! 
Enjoy what's left of summer!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Using Technology in Literacy and Math

Hello All! What do you think of my new blog design?!
I LOVE it!
The fabulous Lindsey was fabulous to work with on this design!
Check out her teacher affordable work at

I'm linking up (late) with iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for their weekly technology linky party.
Technically you are supposed to link up on Tuesdays…but it doesn't matter…Who doesn't like a tech idea for the classroom at ANY time?!

The first week was about technology in reading and the second week was technology in math…
I have two little things to share…
I'm currently in grad school working on getting my Reading Specialist's degree (which is one reason I can't find time to blog-and the site is down for my discussion responses-so here I am).
One assignment was incorporating technology into literacy.
I don't know about you…but I love using for ideas.
One of my classmates found this on that site and I CAN'T WAIT TO USE IT!!!!

This is a Trading Card Creator… After you type in your name you are given this screen to decide what you are creating a trading card about -
IMAGINE the POSSIBILITIES! Not only can you use this in reading, you can use this for Social Studies (I'm thinking famous people, land marks, landforms, etc.) and Science (planets, vocab, animals, habitats, etc.), and Math (vocab, shapes, etc.).
I went ahead and chose Fictional Person to show how I would use it in reading. 
Every year we read How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. I chose the main character, Billy to demonstrate.
You can even insert a photo! 

Here's my card. Students are able to create up to 8 cards at once. Then when they are all finished, they have the choice to PRINT, SAVE, or SHARE.
I just LOVE this find!
So exciting, right?!

Next up is Math… We are fortunate enough to have a cart of 27, and two carts of 12-15 iPads for our building. I usually have a decent chance of being able to grab them at a moment's notice. Other than that, we have a schedule-I'm signed up for 3 days a week.
I like to use the iPads during guided math time. I find free apps on the subject matter we are learning.
Our district has an annoying and long process to get apps approved…Well my secret…which might get me into trouble right now… is that I download the free app onto all the iPads we will be using, knowing that when they update the iPads "weekly" what I put on there will be erased.
Ya know what? I'm fine with that! We don't stay on a math topic long anyway (that's another story).

SO-here are a few of my favorite free apps for math-
Telling Time (OH! I JUST looked the one up I used and now it's $.99! UGH-there are plenty of others)
I just search "free -whatever topic we are studying"
Here's the one the kids loved that I used when it was free...
Here's another one that's free for telling time.
Of course, I'm sure all of you are aware of Greg Tang's site. It's FABULOUS and FREE!
He allows free access to his games, books, and other activities! If you click on the screen shot below, it'll take you to his site.
I've used QR codes a few times, but haven't fully implemented them in my rotations yet. 

Go link up your techy ideas! I'm always game for new ideas!
ahhhhhh, felt good to blog! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five for Friday-July 4th

Happy Fourth of July!
I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for her Five for Friday Linky!

We decided to play some mini-golf this week and it was a blast! Hubs came in 1st, I took 2nd, and the rest of the girls took the rest. I would should have won, because there were two holes where my golf ball went in the hole and popped back out. I should have googled the official mini-golf rules…my family made it count as an extra stroke. hmmmmm
Grad School-As you know, I'm working on Master's Degree number two. I'm workin' on getting a Reading Specialist's Degree. At this point, I'm not interested in being a Reading Specialist (I don't think), but it's something good to have in my pocket-just in case I want to leave the classroom for something else…Above everything, I'm looking forward to learning more about literacy for my future students.
My assignment last week was about how teachers integrate technology into literacy.
Research shows that technology does not improve literacy…BUT I'm a firm believer in a balance of everything…Below are four of the books for my current class (sorry for blurry photo-not retaking).

How do YOU incorporate technology into your literacy time?
I  was an Instagram Giveaway winner! HOW EXCITING IS THAT!? Who doesn't love to win?
This is an awesome pack of work stations for literacy from Jessica over at The Teacher Talk! You should check out her TPT store. I linked the photo to her store for you! Thanks to Jessica for the giveaway! I'm super excited to incorporate this with my 3rd graders!
Last night we went to the county fair to enjoy the carnival and watch fireworks. They truly have THE best fireworks show! The carnival was slightly disappointing this year. The rides were tin rides from like the 1960's or something. I rode "The Octopus" (we call it the spider for my generation) with my daughter and laughed my butt off. The steps to get into the ride were wooden and had a screw poking up. I think part of the thrill was wondering if the ride was going to fall apart.
The top right photo is my FIFTEEN year old riding on the swings…she wouldn't look at me-she knew I was taking a photo.
Woke up today and the fish the girls won at the fair are still alive…
A call has been put into a garage door repair guy. We got into the garage just fine last night and my hubs went out to cut the lawn and the garage door is busted. BOO. Broken Spring. BOO. We were able to get my car out…So it's really not a big deal…just inconvenient.
Looking forward to barbecuing today and hanging out with my family!

Enjoy your 4th! Be safe!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Currently JULY?! WHAT?!

ARE YOU SERIOUS?! It's already JULY?
But no! We just got out of school!
And softball just finished.
and my summer just started.

Well, here we are again. I totally missed June's Currently. I think that's the first time I've missed since forever.
but let me tell you, I was ALL KINDS OF BUSY.
Had to pack up my classroom for a building move
AND I started Grad School again…
And just, you know, end of year stuff.
Linking up with Farley…click on her button and it'll take you there!

LISTENING- Friends is ALWAYS on in this house. 15 year old is addicted. I JUST saw the one where Ross gets sprayed a million times in the spray tan booth…

LOVING-SUMMER! I feel like I just started my summer yesterday…with a bang! Here in IL, we were POUNDED with nasty nasty storms! My sister's block was destroyed…well, not the houses (thank goodness) but mature trees uprooted throughout her whole neighborhood. The town next to me, lost over 300 mature trees and have been without power for 24 hours… Right now I am thankful I'm in one of those new subdivisions with newer trees.
It's time to be a little leisure for a short time…reconnect with my family. Do some light, fun reading. Stay up late and sleep in a little.

THINKING- Tomorrow is supposed to be a chilly 70 degrees…trying to figure out what to do with the day… THERE'S NOTHING ON THE CALENDAR!!! Do you know how RARE that is in this house?!?!? Mini-golf has been brought up. I want to go to the zoo or something….hmmm what to do, what to do

WANTING- I'd love to get our family a "real" pool. We've had Intex pools and they usually last 2 summers. The filter went out on this last one, so we took it down… Now my girls just have a little blow up pool…and boy, do I mean Little…but they are great kids and entertain themselves in it…Maybe next summer…

NEEDING-Like I said-I started another Master's Program. My first Master's Degree is in Curriculum and Instruction. Now I'm working on a Reading Specialist Degree. I have a major project due next week. Need to get that going. Doing this Master's online…I'm SO NOT an online class person, so this is difficult for me. I need people…real live people… I'll be done with this Master's in ONE year….I think I can, I think I can…

4th Plans- Every year we go to the town's fireworks display. They are fab. Free entertainment leading up to the show. Love it. I LOVE FIREWORKS! We will probably go and see the county's fireworks display on the 3rd too.

Oh, and yesterday, I got to meet up with some fabulous ladies and a gentleman at a Chicago Blogger Meet Up! So fun to meet everyone in person. I wish we could have chatted more!
Enjoy your day!
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Meet Me and I'm Going to a Meet Up!

Today, I'm joining The Teaching Tribune for Meet Me Monday…Link up!

Our four foot pool (one of those Intex pools) didn't survive, so hubs went out and grabbed this little bitty one for staying cool this summer… My girls find fun in anything. 

A few photos (of the hundreds) I took at the softball tournament.

I have not done ONE THING for the upcoming school year! NOT A THING! And I'm just fine with that… Grad school, softball, family, and breathing have kept me from creating a darn thing.

Storms…stay away! I'd rather not drive in pouring rain! But I'm still super excited to meet Bloggers from my area! Woot! 

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday-LOTS to LOVE!

It's quite obvious I haven't blogged in some time…Let me count the ways…
1. End of year hullabaloo
2. Had to pack up my classroom because I'm moving buildings! :)
3. Started Grad School AGAIN (what the heck was I thinking?!)
4. My kids have had crazy schedules! two in softball, two in dance, end of year…blah blah blah
5. Jamberry busy (this is good)
6. Car broke down-BOO... Got a brand spankin' new car=YAY!
7. On my 15 year old's high school "keep class rank" committee
8. Messing with my blog to make a Genius Hour Tab for all my "Genius Hour" posts…Yeah, I don't really know what I'm doing and now my blog looks even more like a hodge podge…
9. Ortho appts

Now I'm linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for WHAT I'M LOVING WEDNESDAY!
And I'm loving lots!
ONE- Today is my youngest daughter's birthday! ...but now all three of my beautiful children are double digits!
LOVED that we went out to lunch at TGIFridays for lunch (her pick)…then we rushed to the orthodontist for mid-kid's appointment…then rushed home for big-kid's softball game (drove allllll the way there and it was rained out) 
TWO- Softball season is BUSY--especially with two of them playing… but I LOVE watching the games. Last night was a playoff game that started at 7:30 pm and didn't end until after 10 pm… girls kept tying the game. We won! And my oldest is a pitcher for 16U and that's crazy-exciting to watch… With all the softball they play, I thought it was funny they chose a baseball/wiffle ball slip and slide to play on. 
THREE- LOVE…LOVE...LOVING that I used my Jamberry commission to get Rascal Flatts tickets!!! We sat in the 17th row! AMAZING! I've always wanted to see them in concert. This concert is definitely in my top ten (so far, nothing tops P!nk). Rare photo of myself (I don't like seeing myself)…and daughter. We had a BLAST! Didn't sit the whole concert.

FOUR- SOOOOO, I LOVE Melonheadz Illustrating! I'm a Melonheadz Member after all!
Anyone who knows me, knows my love for the novel How To Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. I've been teaching that novel for more than 16 years (discovered it student teaching 18 years ago-Thanks, Mrs. Brown)…
Well… I asked Nikki to help me out with some clip art for the novel and she made it! Now I can fix up my novel study stuff and put it on TPT for all to use! Her clip art is available at TPT and Etsy-click on the pic to take you there…
I'm sooo in love with this! (and it's named after meeeee)
I have so much more I love…Maybe that'll keep me blogging!
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