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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 in 12

I am linking up with a teeny tiny teacher and miss kindergarten for their 12 in 12 link party. 

12. Favorite movie you watched.

My favorite movie is the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." I have a group of friends that are like the characters, and I love their relationship in the movie.

11. Favorite TV series

Boy, this is a hard one. I love so many shows. I love "Grey's Anatomy." A guilty pleasure of my husband and I is "Dance Moms." I know, so much drama, but we just love it!

10. Favorite Restaurant
This one's also really hard. My husband and I love to try new places. We really enjoy BJ's. Not so much because they have the absolute best food but because they have excellent service.

9. Favorite new thing you have tried
I love this new adventure of blogging. It has been great getting to know new people. 

8. Favorite gift you have received
Let's see... this one is hard too! I love all the little things that my husband does for me. We love to exchange cards and get each other little things all the time.

7. Favorite thing you pinned

This one is all about me. I just love this dress and the way that flows. 

6. Favorite blog post
I love my post on the structure quiz-quiz-trade.

5. Favorite accomplishment
My favorite accomplishment is finishing up my credential. I'm almost done and this will be the biggest thing that I've ever accomplished. 

4. Favorite Picture
So, I love both of these pictures. I snapped this first one of our dog Max and his girlfriend Molly while they were playing.
This next one was taken just a couple weeks ago while we were decorating the house for Christmas. It was such a cute picture of our family. 

3. Favorite Memory
My favorite memory was my family's couple of trips to Hawaii. My husband and I love Hawaii and we would love to one day retire there. 
We also loved our trip to Seattle and cruise to Alaska. We went with our really good friends from church and it was great spending time on this trip with them. 

2. Goal for 2013
My goal for 2013 is to finish my teaching credential. I am so close to finishing, and I just have to keep plugging away to accomplish it. 

1. One little word
Let's see, I think for me it is "faith." I have to have faith that everything will work out. God has everything under control and He knows everything and works everything out. He is in control of everything. 

A sneak into my life

Life has been so busy the last couple weeks! I am so sorry that I have not been on much the last week and a half to post. But I am here today. I stayed home with a terrible migraine. I've slept a lot and am finally doing a little better, so I thought it would be nice to get a post together. 

Here is why I have been a little busy... I have been teaching for nine years, but never finished my credential. I finished all of the classes right away, but I have really bad test anxiety and was afraid to take all the necessary tests. Last year I decided, with some pushing from my principal, that I should get it done. So I buckled down and studied really hard to finish up all of the terrible tests you have to take to become a credentialed teacher. The great news is that I passed them all, but then found out that my school was accredited with the National Lutheran Schools Association instead of WASC so I would still have to do student teaching. 

I have been spending the last month or so getting everything ready to submit for student teaching. The new battle I am facing is doing the full 80 days at a public school rather than doing part of the days at a public school, and then part of the days in my own classroom. I keep getting the run around on what to do. I am not able to do part of the days during the summer because all of the districts around me have gone back to traditional schedules. At least my school is really supportive. All of the teachers at the school are really excited for me. They all know this is what has to happen for my future, and they have all been talking to the principal making sure I get to do what is best for me. 

So it looks like this spring I will be taking a leave from my school and working on finishing up my credential. I am a little scared, but also excited about the opportunities that this will bring. Does anyone have any advice for me during student teaching? 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I am linking up with Farly at Oh Boy 4th Grade and taking part in her December Currently. 

Come and check out her blog

I am really wanting an iPad. I see all the great things that teachers are using them for and I want one too. I am hoping Santa might bring me one. 
I am also in desperate need of a hair cut. The split ends are starting to show. 

Come and join in on the fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I wanted to take a couple minutes tonight and tell you about another structure that I did in my class. I  originally wanted to tell you about this structure last night, but I was so tired I fell asleep at 8:30! Sometimes these school days take a lot out of me. 
OK, so back to the structure that I did with my class. I did an activity called quiz-quiz-trade. You start out by making flash cards with questions that you want your students to practice. You put the question on one side and the answer on the other side. The kids each get a card. They find a partner, and each one answers the question. When they are done answering the questions they trade cards and then raise their hand and find a new partner. Then the whole thing starts over. It's great because the kids can quickly practice the skills that you want them to learn. I did this yesterday to review for a quiz that they were going to take today. 
Here are some pictures of the kids doing the structure.

 Here is what the cards look like. The kids have a question on one side and then the answer on the other side. They look at the answer. 

 Here is the class working hard. 

 Here they are giving a high five to show that they are ready to work as partners. 

What do you do with your class to review concepts?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another nomination

I received another nomination for the Liebster award. Thank you so much Ms. H over at Live, Love, Laugh in 2nd Grade.

Here are the 11 questions that she asked:
1.  If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
I would want to be Wonder Woman because I think she is cool. 
2.  Who is your favorite music artist?
I really love Point of Grace and Jason Mraz
3.  Name your most memorable student.  Why is he/she memorable. 
My most memorable student was a boy in my second year of teaching. He was such a sweet kid and wanted to always do his best. He had a hard time with school but he always worked so hard. 
4. If you could go back in time, which era would you want to live in?
I would want to live in the 1940's. I love that time period. I love the clothes, hairstyles and music.
5.  Pepsi or Coke?
6.  What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Taking all of the tests for my credential
7.  What is something you would like to learn to do?
I would love to learn to play the piano. I come from a very musical family and I play the flute, but I never learned the piano. 
8.  Name your guilty pleasure.
I love ice cream
9.  Dogs or cats?
10.  What can't you live without?
My family
11.  What is your favorite children's book?
This is more of a young adult series, but I love the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" books. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leibster Award

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a restful few days off! My Thanksgiving break is almost over. It has been a very busy few days. I spent the first part of the week in Las Vegas for the LEC (Lutheran Educators Conference). I sure did learn a lot of new things for the classroom and I am excited to share all of that with you. But first, before I do that, I was very surprised today when I found out that Tracy over at Multiage Days nominated me for a Leibster Award. Thank you, Tracy, for the nomination!

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It’s to show that new bloggers are appreciated and help spread the word about our little pieces of cyberspace.

Here are the rules:1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

Ok here we go! Here are the 11 random things about me.
1. I am an only child and my husband is as well.
2. I have the best family ever. My cousins are like brothers.
3. I have known that I wanted to teach since I was in 4th grade. I come from a long line of teachers. There are about 8 of us.
4. I am married to the most amazing man anyone could ask for. He is my best friend and we love doing things together. 
5. I love to travel, I have been to about 20 different countries.
6. I love to craft - quilting, scrapbooking, any kind of craft, I love them all! 
7. I am a huge Disney fan. I go to the parks a few times a month. It helps that my husband works there. 
8. I walked the 2003 LA marathon. Hardest thing I ever did! I don't think I will ever do a full marathon again, but at least I can say I did it. I have since done a few half marathons. That is more my kind of race. 
9. I love all kinds of gadgets and electronics. I always have to have the new and upcoming things. 
10. I love looking at Pinterest and other great blogs to get ideas for my own classroom.
11. I love stationery and pens. I never can have too many. 

Here are the questions from Tracy. 
1.  What is your favorite comfort food?
My favorite comfort food is a good hamburger and a scoop of ice cream. I love ice cream. 
2.  What is a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?
The song that always makes me happy is Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat's song "Lucky." My husband even created a flashmob at our wedding to sing the song.
3.  What sound do you love?
I love the sound of birds chirping in the morning.
4.  If you could throw any kind of party, what kind would it be and who would it be for?
I love dinner parties because we love all kinds of food. I would have all of my best friends there to enjoy the delicious food.
5. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would love to learn to play the piano. I have lots of musicians in my family, but I never learned how to play. 
6.  If you could be any fictional character from a book you read aloud in your classroom, who would you be?
I would want to be Ramona. She seems like she has so much fun in life.
7.  What is one chore that you dislike the most?
I really don't like doing the laundry.
8.  Who do you admire most in your life?
I admire my grand-ma-ma. She is an amazing woman. She helped raise me and each of my cousins. She is loving and caring and she lives each day to the fullest, even at her 92 years of age.
9.  When your school days are over, where do you want to retire?
I want to retire in Maui, Hawaii. It is beautiful there and I always feel so relaxed when I am there.
10. When you have 30 minutes to yourself, what do you like to do?
I love to read a good book. 
11.  What is something that you treasure?
I treasure my marriage. My husband is amazing and he takes such great care of me. 

Blogs I am nominating:

Nominees here are your questions
1. Where is your favorite place to travel?
2. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school?
3. What is your favorite blog to follow?
4. What is your favorite thing to do with your class?
5. What is your favorite Christmas song?
6. What is your advice for a new teacher?
7. What is your favorite site to get cute clipart?
8. What is your favorite children's book?
9. What is your favorite grown up book?
10. What is your favorite food treat?
11. What is your best accomplishment?

Remember to link back to me so I can learn more about you. Have fun!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

FInd Someone Who

   Today I decided to do some review with my third and sixth graders. The English program that we use is pretty difficult, so I wanted to make sure that the kids were practicing all the skills that we had learned. We did an activity called "Find Someone Who." All of the kids did a really great job with it. For this activity, the kids walked around the room and found people who could answer each of the questions. Then they had that person sign their paper. 

Here are some pictures of my third graders having fun with this activity. 

They all had lots of fun and enjoyed walking around the room. 
I also did this same assignment with my sixth graders and they did a great job as well. Here are some pictures of them having fun: 

I think the sixth graders got more into this assignment than the third graders did. It was really fun to watch them get so excited that they knew one of the answers. 
 I am going to include the activity for you to try in your classroom. I even added some fun Thanksgiving clip art to make it a little more festive. 

I also changed my AR bulletin board for my second graders today. Here is a picture of what I created. 

I am really happy with how it came out. Every child in my class has a different point goal based on their reading level. They will get to move the penguin for the different percentages that they complete towards their goal. 
I hope you all have a great rest of your night. It is time for bed for me. 4:30 a.m. comes pretty fast! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Teaching tips

   I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten with her teacher tip linky party. I have loved reading everyone's great tips.  Here's a great tip for you!
   With my second graders, I use folders for everything that they do for the day. On one side of the folder it says "Finished Work" and on the other side it says "Unfinished Work." I love having the kids put their work in a folder because when I collect them, all of their work is already in number order. If a child forgot to write their name, I know whose paper it is. Also, I don't have to take lots of time to put all of their work in number order.

   Be sure to go over and link up with Miss Kindergarten and take a look at all the other great teacher tips. Enjoy everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A freebie for you

Here is a fun way to display your classroom rules. I cut them out and laminated them. Then I put them up on the wall for the kids to see. The kids really enjoy the fun colors. I hope you all enjoy them too! Just click on the download button and have fun!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rally Coach

   Recently, I had my third graders do a rally coach activity. Rally coach is one of the structures designed by Dr. Spencer Kagan. I love using his materials in class. His structures are easy to tie into any lesson. There is hardly any prep that has to be done.
   This activity worked out to be a great review for our test on sentences. The kids all really enjoyed getting to work together. When I told them what we were doing for the day, all of the kids got so excited! They remembered doing this activity several time last year and were ready to get to work. Below are some pictures of the kids working hard on the activity:

The kids all worked really well together. I was so proud of them and all of their hard work!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

   It has been a while since I have been on. Life has been super busy! I just finished taking all the tests to finish up my credential. I have really bad test anxiety so it took a really long time to work up the courage to take the tests. Well, I am happy to say that I passed all of them on the first try! Who would've ever thought I could do that? Now I am fighting the state about my teaching experience and it looks like I will have to do student teaching, even though I have been teaching for eight years. Oh well! I am just so happy that I am almost done with this adventure.
   Sorry for all my ranting! Now let's get to the real stuff. I wanted to take a few minutes and show you around my classroom. It's not very big, so make sure you don't blink or you might miss it!

                                       This is my AR points board. The kids get really excited
                                       about moving the Woodstock as they get closer to their
                                        This is a view from the side of the room, near my desk.
                                         This is a view from the back of the room to the front.
                                         Finally, this is from the front of the room looking back.
   My classroom is basically the size of a large closet. I have a small group of kids for all my classes so there is not really a need for a huge classroom. There are definitely times that I miss my large classroom at my old school. It had a huge counter, tons of storage space, and even a sink!
    I have added some new things in the last few weeks, so I will be sure to get them up so you can see the latest improvements.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fun with 3rd grade

   I work with several grades each day. Today I wanted to do some review with my third graders. I had them do a rally coach activity on pronouns. I use a lot of Dr. Spencer Kagan's ideas. I love his structures, and the kids love them too. As soon as the 3rd graders realized what we were doing, they all got really excited. It is fun to see them get excited about learning.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Entry

   So this is the first post on my new blog. Let me take a couple of minutes and introduce myself. My name is Katie, and I am a multi-age teacher at a small Lutheran school in Venice, California. I teach 2nd grade reading, spelling, math and English, 3rd grade English, 4th grade reading and spelling, 5th grade math, 6th grade English, 1st and 2nd grade Spanish, 3rd and 4th grade computer, and 3rd and 4th grade art. I make myself tired just listing all those classes.
   I love to create lessons and try new things with my students. It is always fun to look at other blogs and see what others are doing with their classes. There are so many great blogs out there that have been popping up with such talented teachers. I hope that this blog will be a place where teachers can learn and share new ideas.


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