Fruits of the Spirit

So I know that I am very OCD a teacher at heart.... But when I am working on a church project and complete lesson plans for myself, it hits me. I AM A TEACHER!

My best friend and I are putting together a Mom's Morning Out/Bible Club for the kids in our church and their friends.  We wanted a theme that would reach from ages 4- 5th grade.  The Fruits of the Spirit seemed like something that would have application to all the age groups while at the same time one lesson would work with everyone (we have a small children's department).  That is where the lesson plans come in....

We even had a positive behavior system at church. (Can we say OCD structured?) The kids could earn Fruit Bucks by participating, positive attitude, showing a fruit spirit.  

 The kids surprised us both and LOVED the Fruit Bucks as well as the curriculum.  We can't wait until next week!
Our Main Verse and Our Theme Verse for This Week
Getting Excited about Bible Club
Craft Time
Crafts and Bible Verse

Blessing and Lunch

My Favorite Quote

This summer I Heart Grade 3 is having a weekly linky party.  I am super excited about linking up with my first linky party. The topic for this week is my favorite quote.  Oh, how hard this is for me. I would have to say my favorite quote applies to home and school.  

My students and my own kids know that this quote will be said to them in two different situations.  One situation will be if they need help with a task that I know they can do independently.  Such as "My pencil is broken" or "I'm thirsty". If I supply them with the answer or solution immediately, then I am not promoting independent learning.  By just pointing to this quote in my classroom or stating the quote to the child, he or she knows that this situation is something they can solve on their own.  

The other manner that I use this quote is if trouble is brewing between friends. We have all been there and know that murmuring sound of someone about to tattle.  There are times when an adult needs to step in.....BUT in order to build those lifetime learners,  sometimes kids need to work it out on their own.  I love standing back at a distance and watching kids work together to solve a social problem whether it be "But I want to go first" or "She/he says I can't be in their group".  Many times the kids solution is so much better than mine would be and they are happier because they had an opinion in the solution.  

I love this quote and love the lifetime learners that it makes!

Now off to more learning, laughter, and loving! 

Activating Our Math Block

During the 2014-2015 school year, my 2nd graders worked very hard on basic skills in Math. What I found was that the students needed a daily spiral review of skills they struggle with to master. The solution I found for this was the Number of the Day spiral review.  

With this review, the students are exposed daily to place value skills that build upon each other. The stronger of a foundation the students have with basic 2 or 3 digit numbers, the more successful they will be with more complex numbers in higher grades. Along with the place value skills, students also have a daily word problem to answer.  Many times this word problem is multiple steps or asks the students to explain how they know something is correct.  The students love the structure of the review and know what to expect everyday at the beginning of our Math block. 

Wow! The 2014-2015 School Year Kicked My Boo-Tay!

The title of this post says it all!

I had quite the interesting school year in the 2014-2015. Between having all three of my personal children at school with me (more on that later), to my mom retiring, to an immediate death in the family, to parent conferences, to IEP meetings, to field trips, to doctor's appointments, to sick days,  this school year was a whirlwind year.   Thanks to a wonderful coteacher, fantastic team, and patient administrators, I OFFICIALLY SURVIVED!

If you noticed the last post I wrote was in September of last year.  I had no idea what it would be like having all three of my kids at school with me. 

In the beginning of the year, it was like a three ring circus every morning to get out the door. Who's kidding, it was that way til the last day of school.  Between school uniforms, breakfast, missing homework, lost shoes, I needed an IV drip of coffee to get out the door. AND this was with a supportive husband herding helping us along. Then the drama all started when they walked in my classroom door in the afternoon.  I went from 2nd grade teacher to snack getting, homework helping, agenda signing, refereeing, loving Momma.  Whew! I love my kids but oh the clock striking 8 on some nights was the best thing since sliced bread.  

As I reflect on this past school year and what I would do differently in my classroom as well as at home, I have come to the same conclusion.  I want to grow more independent learners.  Now I am not going to just throw them all (my babies and my school babies) out of the nest and hope they fly.  I am going to start with Day 1 with Day 180 in mind.  My students will have set expectations when they walk in that 1st day of what it means to be an independent learner.  My own children will be independent learners of home expectations and when I say we leave at 7:15- we will leave at 7:15 unless I forgot my coffee on the counter (which NEVER happens).  This summer, my family will be developing routines that will be implemented during the school year to make all of our lives calmer and less circusy (yes, that can be a word).

Now off to learning, laughing, and loving on my own babies for awhile!