Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting zen, spending time with me and hitting the jackpot!

OK, just a warning I am gonna start off boring and not at all teacher related but then I will get to the good stuff. So if you don't want to read the boring stuff about my crazy life right now then just skip on down to the paragraph with the pictures! I'll meet you down there. If you are a glutton for punishment and want to read all about the craziness that is my life then read on...

For the past week and a half I have had daily horrible, miserable, headaches. I am subject to occasional migraines and I have medication for those but I don't get them very often, I have had like 5 in the last 3 years. So when it all first began I thought it was the beginning of a migraine, I took my meds and laid down for a little while, which is usually all it takes, if I catch it soon enough. Well this did not help, the headaches got worse and would last all day long. I would literally wake up in the morning with a headache and it would persist all day long, it would subside some but it was always there. Finally, yesterday was the worst and my husband made me go to urgent care to find out what is going on. I expected it to be a sinus issue but after asking me all sorts of questions and checking me out the doctor diagnosed me with Severe Tension headache brought on by stress. He gave me a shot in the backside to relieve the pain and basically said that when I lose the stress I will lose the headache. Yeah well easier said than done, especially since the stress is coming from the fact that my sweet daddy is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and dementia, back in March he fell down the stairs at his home and broke his hip. He had to go into a skilled nursing facility for rehab and it was during all this that we (my brother, sister, and I) found out how much his AD had progressed and we found out that his wife (not my mother) had not been properly caring for him. So we made a decision that he would need to be placed into a nursing home on a permanent basis. This was a very difficult decision to make especially because my dad never wanted to be in a nursing home. I am very close to my dad so my life has been turned on its ear since March. Originally he was in a nursing home facility about an hour and half away from me but since I am his medical power of attorney we decided it was best to move him to a facility closer to me. I thought this would relieve some of the stress but it hasn't. I go see my dad almost every day and when I don't go I feel guilty. I have seen how quickly my dad's condition is deteriorating and it breaks my heart. Since March 16th my entire life has revolved around being there for my dad and it has caused a great deal of stress which has manifested itself into this brain splitting headaches. It has also caused me to gain back about 7 of the 32 pounds I have lost so I figured I need to do something that will help with both things. I usually get my exercise by walking on the treadmill, but with this horrible headache walking on the treadmill is torture. So I did some research and found out that tension headaches are caused by stress in that when you are stressed you tense up the muscles in your neck and shoulders. The neck muscles are connected directly to the muscle that runs over the top of your head and that is what causes the headaches - which is why my migraine meds made no dent in the pain. So several websites suggested Yoga as a way to not only stretch out those muscles but also as a stress relief and a form of exercise! So I went to my very first yoga class today! I LOVED it and the best part is I have been almost headache free all day long! I can't wait to go back again! I think I am going to try to do it 3 times a week.

After my yoga class I decided that what I also really needed was some "me" time, so I made the difficult decision to not go see my dad today (and as my sister said "he really doesn't know if you come or not") and I decided that I was going to spend the day doing what I like to do. So I went and had a nice healthy lunch all by myself, and then I went and did some shopping for my classroom! I have had a few pangs of guilt throughout the day about not going to see my dad but I know that if he were to all of a sudden be healed tomorrow he would not be angry or upset with me for not being there every single day, he would actually get after me for not taking better care of myself. Although I will go see him tomorrow, I know that once school starts back up again I won't be able to go every day so I need to start weaning myself to like every other day. Anyway, after spending my yoga class and then my shopping trip I have felt so much better today! I am so glad I did it.

Now onto the good stuff! As I said I spent some time today shopping for my classroom and I also spent some time making some stuff too! I hit the jackpot at Dollar Tree and Target! I am so excited about the stuff I got! Check out my haul for today!

These are some bubble wands I got from the Dollar Tree and I am going to use them for Read the Room and/or Big Book pointers

Got these from Target - a cute little notepad can't have too many of these I am always making lists, and a perpetual calendar for my desk. 

Got these are Target for $2.50 each they are bulletin board backs! 

Got these at Dollar Tree, they are butterfly and flower erasers I plan to use them for counters or patterning. I am thinking about making a game mat of some sort to go with them, just not sure yet what it will be. 

Also from Dollar Tree - Robot erasers that I can use as counters or for patterning. I also thought about making phoneme segmentation game with them because when I teach the kids how to segment words I usually call it robot talking or turtle talking. Not sure how that would look or work but it is bubbling around in my brain trying to come together. 

Found all of these at Dollar Tree - I got the small containers to hold the eraser/counters I bought, the large sectioned tubs for community supplies, the small sectioned tub for my writing center and the others just because they were 2 for $1 and I can find a use for them somewhere LOL

LOVE LOVE LOVE Target's Dollar Spot!!! Got 6 of these dry erase boards to go in a literacy center!!

More from Target and their Dollar Spot, the name tags have cute little frogs but they also have colorful puzzle pieces on them so they totally go with my Bright and colorful theme! The border is 2 sided, it has cool geometric colorful squares on one side and colorful flowers on the other!

These were my BEST deal of the day!! I got these at Dollar Tree for, of course, $1 each the best part is there are TWO posters in each set!! This one shows Ordinal numbers, Happy Birthday, Opposites, and ABC

This is the other posters from the packs above; They are numbers, position words,  a tracking chart, and patterns! These charts were basically 50 cents each!!! 

I also was feeling a little crafty today so I made some stuff for my classroom as well!

This is what I started with - 4 inch wooden letters, some little wooden "flower" shapes, some cute scrapbook paper, and some Mod Podge. 

And this is what I ended with. I plan to put these across the top of my classroom door. 

Here is an up close look at the letters and the "flower" shape thingy. I thought the colorful polka dots and the colorful balloons would go well together and they do,  I can't wait to hang this up!

I also decided to make my clip chart.
I have used a clip chart for the past 2 years in 4th grade and I have LOVED it. When I moved back to kinder I was afraid it would be too "mature." So I had to revamp it. I know in this picture the orange and yellow are backwards but I fixed it before I connect it all together. I am taking it to be laminated tomorrow. At the top it says "I am a shining star", then it says "I am making great choices", then "I am ready to learn", then "I need to think about my choices", then "I need to fix my day", and finally "Parent Contact." Since I use their daily agenda to communicate their behavior each day with either a happy, straight, or sad face I decided to incorporate that into my clip chart. 

My Marzano scale

My state has recently adopted the Marzano teacher evaluation model and part of the model is the use of scales in the classroom. In 4th grade this was a much more detailed event and we had to have them for each topic with a description of what each number on the scale would represent. In kindergarten it is a little easier, I made this scale that goes from 0 - 4.  0 = I am trying but I still don't get it, 1 = I need help, 2 = I need some more practice, 3 = I get it, 4 = I get it and I can help a friend. What we have to do is use this scale throughout our lesson and have the kids tell us where they are on the scale in reference to their understanding of the lesson. We do this in Kinder with a simple showing of fingers. We are supposed to have our scale visible as well as our learning goals and essential questions.  My plan is to hang this up and then hang up the Marzano and Common Core  inspired Essential Questions and Learning Goals by Katie Jones  that go with what we are working on at that time next to this scale.

Finally, the last thing I did today was to think ahead LOL novel idea I know! As we count out the days in school when we get to a "tens" day I always chose 1 child in my class to be Zero The Hero, that child gets to make a headband that identifies them as Zero the Hero and they get to spend a few minutes in the morning decorating their headband with stickers. I usually start out pretty good and write out "Zero the Hero" on the headband the day before or the morning of but as the year goes on those doggone "10's" days sneak up on me and I would always find myself scrambling to get a headband ready while conducting my calendar routine so today I pulled out 17 sentence strips (We don't do it on the last day of school) and I got them all ready so now all I have to do is remember where I put them when the time comes!

Well that' all I have for tonight so I will bid you all a fond farewell for the evening and retire to my recliner to watch The Bachelorette and Glass House.


  1. So glad you figured out what was causing your headaches. Seeing all of your good finds makes me want to go shopping!

    Lovin’ Kindergarten

  2. Cindy,
    I am so sorry about everything you are going through with your dad. I have been where you are and I'm sending you cyber hugs. Thank you for sharing all of your finds. I especially like your idea about Zero the Hero. I'm going to try to use it in my classroom this year. Keep taking care of yourself.


  3. I have migraines, too, They are no fun at all! All your purchases are great and your projects are too cute!

  4. Great purchases, I grabbed a few of things from the Dollar Tree but haven't made it to Target yet. Love welcome sign.

    The Wonderful World of Kindergarten

  5. I'm a new follower!! Just found your blog YAY!!!! I hope you'll check out my blog sometime:)

    1...2...3...Teach With Me

    1. Hi

      I read this post two times.

      I like it so much, please try to keep posting.

      Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.

      Source: Kindergarten teacher interview questions

      Best regards