Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Don't Be Scared...

I'm still alive, y'all, this isn't a ghost posting on my behalf!

I swear I keep waiting for the moment when I'll finally feel like my head is above water. I thought that would happen after parent/teacher conferences were over, but then I had to finish up a few wedding projects for one of my BFF's weddings (she lives in LA but she and her husband met here in Austin, so they got married here!). They got married on the 21st and this past Thursday, we had our first field trip, which began with one of the buses being 45 minutes late and ended with us coming back to school an hour and a half before we had originally planned!

This week, I've been working hard to make tomorrow fun for the kids while also making things align with our curriculum, but as soon as school's out, I have to go visit my doctor for (what I'm hoping will be) a quick out patient surgery, but I have to take Thursday off to recover, so I'm also trying to make sub plans! And, not only am I preoccupied with thinking about this surgery; I've also been thinking non-stop about my friends in New York and on the East coast, which currently includes my boyfriend. JJ has been in Boston for the past few days, and although Hurricane Sandy didn't hit hard where he was staying, I'm hoping he'll be able to get home without any delays. 

Anyway, let's move on! My students have been working hard these past few weeks, but of course my camera is still at school. So, I'll share what my class has been up to soon, but for now, I can at least tell you about something else that's new...

I've made a few new fonts and they're now up for sale in my TpT store! First up is Curly Sue:
Then there's Sandy (I told you I was preoccupied by the hurricane!): 
And last, there's Maggie, which is named after my crazy cat: 
In what little spare time I've had, I've really enjoyed making these! Definitely more fun than making lesson plans and grading papers! Also, just in case you didn't know, all of my fonts can be used for personal + commercial use, which means once you purchase them, you CAN use them to create and sell your own products on TpT!

I hope to be back soon to share what we've been up to at school! And, as a thank you for your patience with my lack of posting, here's a little freebie for you! 

 All you need are individually wrapped packages of Halloween marshmallows, M&Ms, and pretzels!* I plan on having my sub do this on the day after Halloween - this way my kids will get a little day after Halloween treat, but only after they use it to help them practice a little math and measurement! Click here to grab it - I'd love to know if you get a chance to use this in your class!

I hope y'all have a happy Halloween! Enjoy!

*You can also buy these in bulk and put a little of each into a small baggie - as much as I hate the waste of individual packaging, it does make for a much easier hands-on math lesson, in this case!

Monday, October 8, 2012

October Currently

Hey there friends! As I'm sure you all know, Farley hosts these wonderful Currently linkys every month, and even though it's four days late, I'm linking up for the month of October - better late than never!

A note about those hot drinks - I don't drink coffee, but I do drink tea (chai, to be specific) and hot chocolate. I've heard a million and a half wonderful things about the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, but since I don't drink coffee, I thought I wasn't ever going to be privy to the taste of pumpkin spice. Well, this morning one of my co-workers brought in Coffee Mate pumpkin spice creamer, and she told me to add a bit to my chai. Let's just say my mind is BLOWN. It is the most deliciously fallish drink I've ever had. I'll be heading to Target tonight to get me a bottle (or 12) to keep at school to add to my tea in the morning! 

As for my book choice, The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey is always a favorite in my class because the town I teach in hosts a Wiener Dog Festival every spring (yes, for real), so they super love this book since the main character is a wiener dog!

Now I'm off to finish up my parent/teacher conferences! Have a happy Columbus Day, y'all!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bucket Fillers

Hey friends! Can you believe it's already October?! I love this month because it means cooler weather and fall colors, flavors, and fashions are finally here! However, it also means it's parent/teacher conference time for us, which will quickly be followed by open house, so I'm going to be one very busy teacher! Today I just wanted to pop in real quick to share a little about how I use bucket filling in my classroom. This is my first year to read the book and use that phrase with a class, and so far, I'm really loving it. Already, this model has reduced the amount of negative choices, words, and behaviors because now, if a student (or I) notice a friend making a not so great choice, we remind them that what they're doing might be dipping in someone's bucket and that we should find a way to be proactive and be a bucket filler instead! 

After we read the book, my students brainstormed these lists of what it means to be a bucket filler and a bucket dipper:

Then, on the back side of the shelf near my door, I posted my students' "buckets." Instead of using small pockets or actual buckets, I just used some leftover report card envelopes I had from last year. The size is great, and I like that my students got to decorate their "bucket" with things that were a reflection of themselves. Since we made these on the second week of school, my students were still getting to know each others' names, so I included a small picture of each student on the bottom corner of each envelope bucket.

On the open side of the shelf, there is an envelope that holds the blank bucket filling slips as well as my bucket. My students have been writing me the sweetest things, and I've really enjoyed this new opportunity to share a little love with my class!

My students can fill someone's bucket by completing one of these strips. I made these because I wanted to give my students enough space to write a few sentences, if they wanted, and I made the space blank so that they could also draw a picture, too! I've encouraged them to fill someone's bucket by recognizing a good choice a person made, by saying thank you to someone if that someone did something nice to or for them, or simply by saying something nice to someone they may not interact with much during the day. 

Bucket filling has provided my students with the chance to have meaningful, positive interactions with each other, and now that we're getting deeper into learning about the 7 Habits, I'm hoping to see a few kids fill each others' buckets when they notice a friend making a healthy habit choice! If you'd like to use my bucket slip, you can find it on Google Docs here!

Do your students practice bucket filling? I'd love to hear how it works in your class!