Friday, July 20, 2012

Someone stop this train I want to get off!!!

It has been a crazy couple days. Yesterday I spent the day working on school stuff like ALL day long, took pictures and had every intention of posting a blog post after dinner. Well, apparently my sweet daddy had other plans. Right as I was setting the table for dinner I get a phone call from his nursing home, they tell me that my dad was found unresponsive, they did a sternum stimulation to revive him which it did, but  not by much, he was still pretty out of it and unresponsive so they called 911. Thankfully the hospital is directly across the street from his nursing home. When I got to him at the ER, my sweet daddy was so confused, he has advanced Alzheimer's disease and dementia. He doesn't know who I am but he knows that I "belong" to him, when I got to his side I took hold of his hand and he held my hand and he said "don't leave, stay here with me." I told him I wasn't going anywhere I would be with him the whole time, he pointed at my husband and said "you too!" WHen he started joking we knew he would be ok. The doctors ran a series of tests and determined that my dad had another mini stroke, this makes 4 since March. There is nothing they can do about them since they are caused by a fluid build up on the brain and the fluid build up is caused by the Alzheimer's. So after 6 hours in the ER they sent him back to his nursing home and once he was resettled I was finally able to go home and sleep. Then this morning at 5am I woke up and could barely move. My back, shoulders, and neck were SO sore, can you guess where I carry my tension/stress???? So at 5am I took a muscle relaxer and fell back to sleep until almost 10:00am LOL Then around noon I started getting this strange pain in my stomach. It has lasted all day long, hubby wants to take me to the ER but I don't think its that bad. If its still hurting tomorrow I'll go to the doctor.

Somehow in the mess that has been my life for the last 24 hours I was able to actually get some stuff done for my classroom. OH yeah I almost forgot! I received an email from my new principal yesterday asking me to be part of a Common Core/Marzano planning team for my new school. I felt so honored, I am BRAND NEW to this school and have been asked to be part of this team! She said she could tell by the communications we had over the summer that I was a teacher leader and she wanted me to be part of this planning team. I felt so valued! A feeling that has been long missing from my teaching career. I am so thankful and so blessed to have received the opportunity to move to this school!

OK On to the good stuff. Now yesterday and today I spent a lot of time working on stuff for my classroom. I made my Retelling Rope that I found on Pinterest, I made my students' Common Core assessment folders, I made my job chart, and I was able to buy a few little things for my classroom as well. Check out my goodies!!

First up is my Retelling Rope, I gotta say this was SO easy to make and it is by far one of my favorite things I have made!!! Thanks to Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives for the great idea!!

How stinkin' cute is this?????

This is the whole thing, I did it on a 3/4 yard piece of wavy black ribbon. I looped the top over itself and used hot glue to make it into a loop for me to hold and to hang it on a hook in my read aloud area.

This is the castle at the top for "setting"

The bee is for the character(s) and the boot is for the "kick off" of the story

Next comes my 3 little fuzzy balls, for 3 main details or beginning, middle, and end

Finally at the the bottom is a bow for what ties it all together at the end
like the solution to the problem

That's my retelling rope! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Not sure why I like it so much its so simple but I just do! I am SUCH a teacher geek LOL

OK on to my assessment folders. I have been trying to wrap my head around this beast that is Common Core and I am a very data driven teacher. I am constantly assessing my kinders (I just love to see the growth). Now I have my data notebook (with the super cute binder cover I made) that I will keep all their formal assessments in but I wanted a way to keep track of their mastery of Common Core Standards. SO I created an assessment folder (ok actually, I made 18 of them) and I put in them a baseline reading and math assessment that I created for the very beginning of the year just to give me a very quick snapshot of where they are. The reading one has upper and lowercase letters/sounds, and the sight words that go along with our reading program. The math one has number identification, rote counting, and plane shape identification. Nothing fancy just a quick peek at where they are starting. Then I included a Common Core assessment I found on TPT. It has an assessment for each quarter!! It is GREAT!!! I showed it to my principal and she wants me to bring a copy of it to the planning meeting! The best part is its FREE!!!!! Check it out HERE. Here are my assessment folders:

The front of one and the inside of another - nothing fancy schmancy

This is the page I will use for their baseline - I know part of the words are covered by the brads but this is just for me, I made one that is the student view - the letters and words are a little bigger

This is the math baseline that I made - again  know that some of the numbers and part of the square are covered but its the same thing, its only for my view, I also made one of these in a student view

This is the beginning of the first quarter CCSS assessment. I LOVE how this assessment is set up and it is SO easy to use!! Cant wait to share it with the planning team. It would be great if we all used it but if not then I'll just use it as an informal assessment.
OK, I also made a job chart to go with all my owl stuff! I don't call it an owl theme because my room isn't all owls, its still a "Cute" theme LOL I do my job chart a little different than most Kinder teachers. I tried doing the whole everyone-gets-a-job thing but I found that over half the jobs I had were meaningless and were never done so I decided to simplify and I now do 2 teachers helpers each day. I have 2 happy face magnets that I use. I have a chart (this year with owls) that has the kids names on it in alphabetical order (this also helps in the beginning of the year when they are learning how to line up in ABC order for lunch (I call it lunch line order). Anyway on day 1 I start with the first two kiddos on the chart, the top one is the line leader and the 2nd one is the door holder, and then they are also my messengers, paper passers, and anything else that needs to be done, for the day. Then the next morning I move the happy face magnets down ONE place, so the kiddo who was the door holder the day before now gets to be the line leader and they are the "main" helper for the day. So in essence everyone gets 2 days in a row of helping out. It also eliminates the "WHen do I get to be line leader? I never got to be line leader" conversation because, once they learn the system (and they pick it up pretty quickly) they are able to figure out for themselves when they will get to do it. If I have an absent student then I just move that happy face down 1 more, if it happens to be their day to be line leader then they get to catch it the next time around I don't go back. Anyway... here is my helper chart (warning - not my best work and it still needs to be laminated but I still like it)

Ta Da!!!! 

the crooked cut is bugging the daylights out of me but I didn't have my paper cutter at home with me :-( 
Finally, today I was out grocery shopping and I stopped into Wal-Mart to pick up a couple things and I just couldn't stay away from the teacher aisle!! Check out my goodies!

88 cent bulletin board sets!

LOVE the 88 cent stuff!!! Got some metallic hooks that look like bright colored polka dots , 2 super cute notepads, and look at the owl post its!!!! Had to get them!!!

This was NOT in the 88 cent section - I WISH!- but I was looking for blue painters tape and found this in the Home DIY section - they are peel and stick primary colored polka dots!!! I can't wait to get these up on my wall!!!They are going to be SOOOOO cute!!!!

Last but not least - These were at JoAnne's and I just had to have them - they were a little overpriced in my opinion but the teacher heart wants what the teacher  heart wants so I bought them. I will use them in small group for blending activities and I can use them in a pocket chart for a center too!
Finally, I am so excited that I get to start working in my room next week. The custodians will be done with the floors and carpets by Monday so anytime after Monday I can go in and get crackin' on setting up! I am super excited about it and can't wait to post before and after pictures. I can't wait to see how all these things I have been making over the summer will come together to make one super cute and inviting kindergarten classroom. I can't believe I only have 3 weeks left until preplanning begins! Next week Tues. - Thurs. I will be slaving away in my room., the following week I will be working on the planning team, and then the following week I will hopefully be finishing up my room and then I will be going to south Florida to help my baby girl (ok, she's 24 but she will always be my baby girl), set up her very first Kindergarten classroom!!!

Oh one final reminder! Don't forget to enter my giveaway!! Time is running out!! Click HERE to enter!
Have a GREAT weekend!!



  1. Oh have had a few crazy days! I hope your dad is doing better. I can't believe you fit in work, too! You need to relax and take care of yourself! {hugs}

    1. Thank you, I try. I have started going to yoga to help with my stress relief.

  2. I just noticed... You are only two away from the big 100! :) congrats!

    1. I saw that too! I am SO excited! I can't wait to see that triple digit!

  3. Prayers to you Cindy. I pray that you find comfort in this stressful time and that your dad is doing better.

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

    1. Aww, thank you Heidi! I appreciate prayers so much. There is so much power in prayer. My dad is doing much better today, he's pretty much back to his version of normal. :-)

  4. Wow you have been busy!! Sending thoughts & prayers for your dad. Great news though about being on the CC planning team. I also love your retelling rope!! I think that's an awesome idea!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  5. Oh my goodness. Praying for your dad. Parents are so precious. I can't believe how much you got done! The retelling rope is so cute!!

    Lovin’ Kindergarten

  6. Wow love all of your "cute" things :) I am your newest follower and I make 100! Congrats on a great blog!