Saturday, January 28, 2012

In 24 hours......13.1 just exactly 24 hours from this moment I will begin my first half was about a year ago that I registered.....I can't believe it is actually here! This week has been really intense and busy....I am just wishing time would move really show for the next three days so I can enjoy this time with my mom, sisters, sister in law, and friends! 13.1 miles.....I know I can do this....and I can't wait to finish it! So why am I up so stinking early? Well.....the only stuff I have packed are my running gear and the super fun shirts I had made for my sisters, sis in law, and mom.....I do believe I have a lot of packing to do. I am hoping my brain will wake up in the shower so I can move quick. I have to make a quick stop at Denicas for a couple blueberry muffins (one for this morning and one for race day breakfast) and a coffee so I can be wide awake....then I plan to sit in the parking lot and paint my nails so they can dry while I drive to Tracy to pick up my sisters....multitasking at its best. So wish me luck....I will post pics and my race details when I return!

Friday, January 20, 2012


So I began to start the Decluttering process today in my is going to be a slow weekly process but I am proud to say that I made it through 3 desk drawers and one drawer along the cabinet.  I filled up my recycling bin, cleared off my desk, and found some goodies to share with other teachers as well as will my class (in the Coop Cash store).  The kids noticed me going through my desk while they were working on some snowman art and you wouldn't believe how much they wanted to was awesome!  They are great at sorting and putting materials in the proper place....they are not so great about seeing what I threw away.  Many of them wanted what I was getting rid of...YIKES!  I didn't get pictures of what I purged, but you can see some of what I will be giving away in my picture here...

I am so glad that clutter free classroom is doing this project, I need all the help I can get to keep motivated to get my room organized and cleaned out!!!  Head on over to so you can link up too!!

WHEW...this week flew by...time to catch up on EVERYTHING!!

So I realize I have not blogged since Monday but I have so much to share with you all!!  I had quite a busy week....trying to fit in all my reading for my book club book, presenting at the PTA meeting about NYRWP, attending Jury Duty, Book Club, oh yeah and being a teacher and a mom!!!

So first off, I think that the "teacher's prayer" rings so true this week with everything I was trying to fit in with my class in just three short days (I had Jury Duty one day and the Monday holiday).  I feel like I truly fit in a lot and I feel very happy about how this week went.  Here is a sneak peak into the triumphs and successes of this week in Coop's Class...

Today....while the kids were busy painting snowmen and rewriting their How-To-Build-A-Snowman pieces, I got busy with my Clutter Free Classroom Project...
One of my favorite blog loving teacher
 friends enjoying my fancy desk!
One of my drawers along the counter cleaned out as well...
I found some amazingly old things in this drawer!

Desk Drawers all cleaned out and re-organized!
 I even found a color ink cartridge for my printer....
a gift from last year's teacher!

Here are some pictures of the art work the students created inspired by and Snowmen at Night...

I was so impressed by the kids ability to take a small idea from me and then create amazing pieces of work.  The writing portion was a "how-to" that they wrote last week for homework.  They art work was created first with oil pastels to create a night city scene, then they used white and blue paint to create the snowman....each one looks so different, I will have to capture some finished work next week to share!

We are heavy into our Non-Fiction unit of study....the children spent time today on the COWs both researching their animal as well as learning more about endangered animals.  We then worked more on our challenge based learning project....more on that later!! I am loving the Lesson Plan SOS blog and her Animal Research Unit....this is a must buy....head on over to teacherspayteachers and check it out!!

Penguin Paragraphs....

Penguin Tear Art...

Here is our writing wall that changes every few weeks...
Right now it is showcasing the student's New Year's Resolution Paragraphs!!!

The students started the week by thinking about Martin Luther King Junior....we started by listening to Martin's Words on Scholastic Book Flix, then the students wrote down what they were thinking, we read another book and they added to their thinking.  Finally, we read the poem for the week and they added that thinking in the speech bubble and illustrated the poem.  I love this one....sorry the picture is on it's one of my super reading/writing/thinking students...

I felt so successful this week in the teaching I can look forward to a weekend with my littles!!  Tomorrow morning we will start off with Waffles at Momo and Papa's followed by a trip to the Library....a favorite Saturday tradition!  I am hoping to get a couple of good runs in too this weekend....maybe there will be a few hours of no rain so I can get out!!!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Four Day work week

Nothing like a three day weekend to get you all in a frenzy because now you only have four days to fit in all that teaching that you thought you had five days to fit into!  Many teachers gripe because they miss the prep they had on the Monday they had vacation on...not me, I am thrilled because that gives my class a few extra nights to complete their science homework and we get a full morning together with out an interruption at prep time on our first day back together!!

This week I am hoping to cram in a very ambitious Non Fiction Reading Unit and tonight I must sit down to get it all down on paper in my plan book.  I am happy to say that I have WAY less grading to complete tonight because a very fabulous parent graded all the daily geo and spelling tests for me on Friday!!  WOOHOO!  But at the same time I have a few other fish to an empty plan book, journals to read/letters to write in return, realistic fiction stories to grade, and grades to record.

Along with all that awesome "work stuff" I need to do tonight....I also have about 150 pages of my book club book to read...Cutting For awesome book!  I am super addicted to reading it which is so great...just wish there were more hours in the day!!!  If you have not read this one yet...I highly recommend it!

I am hoping that as soon as I plop my two littles in bed I can read until 9 (not sure where I will fit in the work stuff) so I can accomplish this goal....then it will be time to watch.....The Bachelor (which I am recording on TIVO)....the drama this season is the BEST...too bad I don't love Ben's!

  I just love Monday nights....I think they are even sweeter when I have spent the entire day relaxing and hanging out with my family!!!  If only we could have these kind of weeks all the time!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just a few of my favorite authors coming out with new books next month....

You all know I love my "Chick Lit"....I will keep you all posted of what is coming out each month....all my favorite authors have a new one coming between now and August...get excited!!!  It is always best (if you plan to purchase) to "pre-order" on Amazon for the best price, free shipping, and no tax!!  Happy browsing...

I’ve Got Your Number-Sophie Kinsella  February 14th

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

Lone Wolf—Jodi Picoult    February 28th

In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky.  Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward’s younger sister, Cara.  Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father’s fate together. Though there’s no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?

Saturday, January 14, 2012


So today was the big day to get my longest run in before the Tinkerbelle half-marathon....I was nervous when I woke up this morning and there was no turning back since I had a babysitter all lined up!  I ate half of a plain whole wheat bagel and choked down some water as soon as I got up so I would be ready to run!

I mapped out two routes that would equal to 10 miles because that was the goal I had set for myself.  I ended up changing my first route and I knew that my second route would be about 5 miles so I cruised along.  After the first loop I stopped at my house to fuel up on water and...

I love these sport Jelly Beans....they taste great and with a huge gulp of water I am good to I downed about half of them, I think that at the half I will eat all of them because I am going to need more energy and fuel for 13.1.  So I headed back out for loop number two and I was excited because I knew that I was more than half way finished with my run!!!  At about what I thought was mile 10 (but was really 10.5) I started to hit my "wall".  OMG...I just thought I wouldn't be able to go any further...I powered it out and was motivated by the two different parents from my class that hollered at me from the road....having a cheering squad really helps.....that and the new version of Footloose!!!

Once I got home I sat down and checked out map my run....and guess what????  I actually ran 11.47 miles.  The first loop was 6.23 miles and I ran it in 1:17, the second loop was 5.24 miles and I ran that in 1:10....I obviously slowed down a lot at the end but my average minute mile was 12:81.  I was so excited with how well I did and then told myself that if I can run all by myself in my neighborhood, I can surely run 13.1 in the Happiest Place On Earth....

After I drank a million ounces of water I had a nice yummy chocolate milk to recover....YUM!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


HAPPY WEDNESDAY!!!!  Here is what I'm loving today...

Starting my day with my favorite beverage...
Skinny Vanilla Latte....yum!!
Mike got his new schedule today....woohoo he is day shift again which means family dinners every night!  I am thrilled!  Days off are different...not weekends but at least he has Fridays off in case we want to plan a little date day!!  He also got vacation so that we can celebrate the 4th of July in Texas with my parents and enjoy our trip to the LAIR in August!!

Getting out for an awesome run right after work 
with my favorite pacing partner Hank...  
I can't believe that four miles is such an easy task these days!!

Yummy Chipotle Rice I made for dinner....

Spent the evening in a small library finding out that as long as enough are interested, my daughter will attend Transitional Kindergarten in the fall.....I am beyond thrilled!!!  There was a LOT of interest in that room!!!
Ending the night with a movie, my hubby, 
a glass of wine and my favorite candy in the world!!

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY too!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I think I got my groove back....

So I am super excited that I feel like me, the teacher me again!!  I had mastered the Mommy me over the last three weeks and had a hard time getting back to the old grind of teaching!  Today it was like clock work, I love the days where we get a lot done, everything seems easy, and the kids seem to have fun too!

We are jumping into Non-Fiction work that we began last week.  I did have two lessons last week that I was with text sets where one was fiction and the other non-fiction.  They worked with a partner to create a t-chart about what was "story-like" and what was "scientific".  I took a picture of the whole class example but my phone was all silly today, I will try to post that later.  Then, on Friday we went through our local library website databases to the scholastic flix story books on animals.  It was just the same....text sets!!  So they did another t-chart, but this time, independently inside their reader's notebook.  The best part about both these lessons was how engaged they were!!

This week we are beginning the text features introductions and then the students will work on collecting facts about penguins with their partners.  In the end they will practice their paragraph writing with a guided writing activity about penguins.  This work will bridge us into independent research and a great animal informational writing report.  I found an amazing unit on teachers pay teachers that was created by lesson plan SOS!
Partners at work, finding text features and recording examples!!

And now I am at home being mom again.....we read plenty of books tonight....first I read to Caroline....and then Kevin read about 5 books to us (he began only wanting to read one and then when I asked him to read two he got so excited and brought out 5).....after he read each of his little books, Caroline picked them up and "read" them too!  Glad we all share a love of books!  The kids are off to bed now while Kate is at dance with Daddy....I am ready to put on Bachelor while I respond to journals, fill out eagle award certificates, and write thank you notes!!  I am impressed with myself that I brought something home today....last week I just couldn't bring myself to work on school at home, I was so sad to be back at work!!  I guess everyday it will get easier to get back into the swing....until the next vacation!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Time to De-Clutter!!

So I am joining many other teachers who are fans of the clutter free classroom blog....time to get my classroom in better shape! I moved into this classroom at the end of last school year and quickly jammed most of the "junk" that I found in my tracks into the cabinets. The teacher who was in my classroom before was retiring after being in that room for 12 years! That being said, I had a lot of work to do and since I was going to be new to the grade level I decided to put all that "junk" away and told myself I would dedicate my Wed prep time to a cabinet of cleaning out a week. Have I done that? NO! And to make things worse, my clutter is all over the place because I have no place to store my stuff. This PROJECT on clutter free classroom couldn't have come at a better time!!

Here are my before pics:

One cabinet filled with old teaching manuals, books, and a few containers for sorting!!

Another cabinet--lots of good tile math stuff, just needs to be organized so I can use it!

The dreaded pencil sharpening area with a printer that I can't connect to!

Math Manipulatives.....yuck!

This is suppose to be for small groups but seems to be more like my planning/grading area.

One of a dozen other cabinets with unused binders....and paint...when do we have time for that?
My counter that just keeps growing with piles....organized clutter!
Inside of one of my many disorganized desk drawers
And....the top of my desk....yikes!

I am looking forward to this coming week's challenge which is to make a plan. I have my sorting containers ready and I am about to print the we go! If you want to join the organization party, you can just click on the button below...

Clutter-Free Classroom

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Given the opportunity....I WILL RUN!!!!

Welcome to my new blog!! I am so excited to start this blog which will include my classroom, my running journey, fun with friends, date nights, managing my household, and of course crafting! I hope you enjoy as most of this will be about my frantic wild and busy life!!

Today after my husband sent me a picture of a very disturbing flyer, I learned that he would not be home for me to get my run in. So....I decided to hire my biggest big, Kate, to stand by and guard while I ran....during naptime/quiettime of course! She happily obliged when I gave her a cell phone to contact me on and her dad's ipad!! Thank goodness for Kate.....Caroline stayed asleep the entire time I ran and with enough time to shower after, Kevin was busy on his 3DS in his room so neither one of them had a clue I was gone!!

Today's run was a 3 miler that took about 34 just three weeks I will be running 13.1 miles which is crazy! I know that I can do this since my 9 miler went so well last weekend. I will do a 10 mile run this coming Saturday and then that will be it for distance before the big day!

I am really excited about the half because it is going to be a fun girl weekend with my sisters, sister-in-law, and my mom! Mom will be cheering us on from the sidelines. I know that my sport beans, cinnamon bread, and extra fun running music from Drea will get me through.