Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wowza... and a Winner Too!

Friends, my head is spinning!  My life has been Crazy Town.  For real.  :)  Last week, was benchmark week, and we had to wrap up the first nine-weeks before I left for a much-needed girls weekend in Chicago!  So, I did what any teacher would do, I went into autopilot mode.  I graded papers non-stop and spent countless hours plugging grades into the gradebook so that I'd be done by that Thursday night.  Our grades closed last Sunday, so I wanted to be sure that everything was recorded and in mailboxes before I left on Thursday.  I was also a little behind on updating my Sub Tub, so I had to make time for that too.  I wanted to be prepared, and now I'm ready for any unexpected absence to boot!   Goodness gracious... all of the stress was SO WORTH IT!  I had SO MUCH FUN, and for the first time in seven years, I didn't spend the entire report card weekend working on papers.  I spent the weekend exploring the city with my bloggy buddies and hubs instead!  :)

Seriously, when I started blogging about two years ago, I never ever imagined that I would make real, legitimate friends online.  Nevertheless, over time and as a result of lots of emails, friendships developed.  It's so nice to have a group of women who can completely relate to your life... the ups and downs... the frenzy of elementary school.  It's also nice to have a group of ladies to chit chat with about real life struggles and celebrations.  As unexpected as it was, I made real friends that I can be myself around... that I can talk to about anything... that I can laugh with until my stomach hurts.  These girls have been such an absolute blessing!  LOVE THEM... and their sweet spirits! As precious and talented as they are on their blogs... trust me when I say that what you see is what you get. 

 Cheryl from Primary Graffiti
Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants
Kim Adsit from The Kinder Gals
Lindsey from the Teacher Wife
Kathleen from Growing Kinders
Michelle from Fabulous in First
Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class

Erica, yours truly, Abby, & Rachelle!  Love these girls!
Sarah, Abby, and I. 
Since we are all scattered across the country, we decided to meet up in Chicago, which seemed like a pretty central location.  We managed to surprise sweet Amy with a baby shower to celebrate her impending adoption.  She totally thought we were teasing her for showing up "late" to our earring exchange, but friends, the look of absolute shock on her face was PRICELESS!  :)

We spent a lot of time sight-seeing around the city... and standing around talking on street corners.  We're a very chatty group.  :) Seriously though... it was such a beautiful weekend.  We couldn't have asked for better weather in Chicago in mid-October! 

I know I've said it before, BUT I am so thankful for ALL of the friendships I've made through my blogging journey.  I am SO THANKFUL for each and every one of you.  Thanks for always being inspiring and supportive.  :)  Thanks for always stopping by!

Now that I'm back in Ohio, I've been pounding out grad school papers and getting ready for student-led conferences. All 29 sets of homeroom kiddos will be coming with their parents over the course of three days... starting on Tuesday!  So, to say that I am a tad busy would make me Captain Obvious to say the least.  :)

On top of that, our third grade team has been working on an economics/math project: "The Great Pumpkin Raffle".  A local pumpkin farm donated a pumpkin to each classroom in our school, then each classroom decorated a pumpkin to raffle off.  Our kiddos were responsible for promoting the raffle... selling tickets... counting ballots for awards... and figuring out our total profit.  (All profits will go to our PTO.)   Tomorrow is our final day... and so far... it's been a success.  The kids are loving it!  Can I be honest though?!  I think I took the laziest approach to my pumpkin.  We made a mummy!  Since I had to have it completed before the Chicago trip, I totally convinced my kiddos that it would be such a cool idea, because I knew it would be cheap and easy to do!  All we needed was white crepe paper, a glue gun, glue sticks, and large googly eyes!  Viola!  Done!

Imagine running into this guy in a dark hallway!!! Scary!!!
Now that our Lemonade Economics unit is coming to a close, I have to admit, I am a little bit sad.  My students ate it up with a spoon... and they just don't want to stop.  We're moving on to study communities this nine-weeks, but pictures like this are still popping up all over the classroom... especially after indoor recesses.  Can we say PRECIOUS?!

In other news, we have been reading "Penguin Chick" this week.  As it turns out, my kiddos are penguin experts.  We used my sweet friend Lindsey's free penguin packet to spice up good ole' Reading Street.  I had the kiddos choose a few facts to add to their web before filling out a KWL from the packet.  This was a great way to activate prior knowledge before reading.  :)

I used Rachelle's 123 Spell With Me packet to practice syllabication this week.  The kiddos LOVED the rainbow words... even though we had to adapt how this looked due to time.  The kiddos colored in the numbered boxes instead of writing the words in crayon.

We also spent some time talking about being a good citizen at school, at home, and in our community.

In closing, I'd also like to take a moment to announce the winner of my Jumbo Safari Counters giveaway!  Grace B, you are the lucky gal!!!!  I will be emailing you sometime this weekend to send this fabulous classroom tool on its way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wow you do sound busy! I was just wondering where you've been lately... my week isn't complete without reading one of your posts! :) The trip looked like a blast! It's so awesome to see how many friendships have been formed from the world of teaching blogs. Good luck with conferences.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  2. Amanda, your post is super cute, I enjoy reading them! Love the pumpkins!!
    Amy Howbert

    Little Miss Organized

  3. Looks like you girls had a blast!!!
    Fun In First

  4. Wow - I just started blogging a few weeks ago and I am already amazed at the community feeling and friendly advice. It's amazing to see that you all connected in this way and have become such great friends. It looked like such a fun weekend - girls weekends are needed and so much fun. You are all very inspiring to this newbie :)

    First Grade Smiles