Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 08

We had a great Christmas this year and I thought I would post a few pictures. We spent this Christmas with Chris's family here in Florida.

It is a tradition in his family to go out to Carrabbas every Christmas Eve.

Here's the family. Chris, Colin, Debbie, Me, baby Calla, Mike, and Camie.
We went to his parent's house on Christmas morning to open gifts, cook, eat, movie watch, and play games.
Now I know to be scared to leave our kids someday with Chris. Good babysitter, huh?
Our niece Calla is really cute and a super good baby!

Calla showing off her tricks.
Sitting down to a delicious meal.
This picture makes me want that food all over again! We were so stuffed though we could basically only eat one helping of each thing. I made my first turkey all by myself and it was delicious!
More sleeping for Chris. We couldn't resist messing with him a little...
Poor guy. (By the way Aud, thanks for the cute apron!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Odds and Ends

Sorry for the lack of posts! I have been keeping busy with all kinds of Christmas festivities, end of the school year parties, and family get togethers. Chris's sister, Camie came into town with her husband, Mike and daughter, Calla. She is so stinkin' cute and such a good baby. It has been fun to spend time with them (especially the shopping!). Pictures to come. I am excited for Christmas and hope everyone has a very merry one. 

We had a Christmas PJ party at school. This was the highlight of the year for some of these students! You would have thought I was telling them they could run the school for the day. We made really cute reindeer door hangers, played Christmas memory, ate lots of food, made gift bags, and played some other fun Christmas games.
One girl brought her stuffed animal and decided he needed to wear her crocs. She had already changed into her slippers!
Gotta love the Iron Man pajamas
This was a YW activity where they had to stand on one leg and pick up a paper bag using only their mouth. The ones that get it stay in for the next round where inch by inch the bag is torn down lower. Yes, more PJ's!
This is actually the beginning of the game.
Another fun game with the YW. Chris and I have played this game at couple's parties. You put an orange in one leg of the panty hose and tie the other leg around the waist. You have to "thrust" (sorry for the word :) your hips forward to hit the other orange across room and back. It is a relay game.
We did a static electricity science experiment that the students thought was really fun. We only popped about 4 balloons and only 2 students lost "experiment privileges".  Overall it was a success. Now all I have to do is explain how it works. Yay.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prize Day

One of the things I do in my classroom to try to motivate my students to behave is to move pebbles from one jar to an empty one with a ribbon around it when the whole class does something good. I also take pebbles away from the ribboned jar when the whole class is misbehaving. When all the pebbles go from one jar to the ribboned one, the class earns a secret reward. Believe it or not, this method works super well and my class has worked really hard to earn all their pebbles. They couldn't wait to see what their reward was to be! I couldn't wait to see what it would be either since I had no idea and just kept telling them it was going to be really good. I did come up with something they really liked though. 

Since we just finished this book as a class, I decided they might like seeing the movie. I was right! They loved it. By the way, it warmed my heart to no end to see that even as much as children today have changed (overall) they still appreciated the beautiful simplicity of one of the most classic children's books. It wasn't as exciting as some current books, but they couldn't wait each day to find out if Mary would find the secret garden, or if Colin would be able to walk. Okay, sorry, I'm a little passionate about books.

Now of course a movie would not suffice as the full reward for all their hard work, so a treat had to be added.

I set up a table with graham crackers, frosting, sprinkles, and a bunch of candy toppings. They each got to decorate some graham crackers with all the sugar they wanted. Don't worry, I did this at the end of the day. I'm not completely delerious! Sorry parents!

This one is not so bad, but I swear some kids made it so that you wouldn't know a graham cracker is what was holding up all that sugar!

I had to make one too. (I used frosting and candy their sticky little hands hadn't touched yet.)
This may not seem that exciting, but they were over the moon about it all, and that's what keeps the pebbles working!

On a side note, you have to check out our class's Christmas tree. Isn't it cute? You can't tell in the picture, but it even has battery operated lights. They decorated it themselves and it was very good practice for me when I have kids. It was truly hard not to throw away the tinsel one student brought in and to hide the uglier decorations in the back. I know, I have to get over that! 
Here are some other Christmasy things we have around the classroom. I let them listen to Christmas music while they do their morning work before the bell rings too. I guess it's a good thing my one student who I really don't think celebrates Christmas has joined in wholeheartedly with all our festivities! I don't think she really gets it... 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Recent Happenings

I am going to have to go with just captions for this post because I am so behind! Luckily, it is because I have been having too much fun. 

Before you get worried, this is a nice police officer that came for our Great American Teach In day mid November. He was telling the students about his career and just to demonstrate he picked me out of the kids and HANDCUFFED ME and put me in the back of the police car. The students' response was cheering and, "Who's gonna teach us now?" We also got to tour a $600,000 RV with heated floors, we had a boom operator from the Air Force, and a lawyer who taught them about the government. 

All of 2nd grade has a Thanksgiving feast together in the cafeteria. Our class's assignment was stuffing. Yes, we made stuffing for 150 2nd graders! It was fun and the students loved helping, especially with my cuisenart chopper! It only made me slightly depressed when during the feast I realized the person I asked to take the stuffing out of the oven forgot, and so the first 4 classes were done eating and didn't get any of it! Bummer.
My mom and dad came to visit for Thanksgiving and decided to join me at school for a day. You better believe I put them to work! They both helped with the Thanksgiving projects we made.
Here I am trying to make sure all my students get to help with the stuffing equally!
The fruits of our labors. We wove placemats, made potato turkeys, and a flower decoration on which they wrote things they were thankful for. 
I put my dad's storytelling skills to use by making him tell my all time favorite story, Rindercella. If you haven't heard have to! My students LOVED it!
Thanksgiving day. Here is my table all set for dinner. My mom made the flower centerpiece which was beautiful! 
Chris and I decided that Thanksgiving is just more fun with a lot of people, so we invited our friends, the Alvarez family and our buddy Craig.
Too busy cooking to do my hair! Oh well. Here we are happy and full.
Believe it or not we ate after dinner! Who can say no to See's chocolates and Craig's homemade salsa and guacamole?
On Saturday we went to Orlando and went to the temple. It was nice to be in the beautiful building and have some quiet time.
After the temple and some shopping we went to Downtown Disney and walked around the fun shops. We had to stop at the most crowded place there too...the Ghirardelli ice cream shop. Mmmm! We should have gotten a picture of that!
On Sunday my mom helped me decorate my Christmas tree. Too bad we had to struggle with the million plugs to get it lit! Oh, it only took 2 hours! You would think the things would be labeled, but no. Before that thing goes down, you better believe I am labeling those suckers! My tree has no star because it snapped! I have to get out the glue gun. Thanks to mom and dad for already bringing presents! It helps my house look so Christmasy. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Future Fashionista!

I have this 7 year old girl in my 2nd grade class this year that I am going to be keeping an eye out for in about 20 years. The last time I said this was because I believed I would see this other student's name and mug shot on America's Most Wanted. Luckily, instead I will be looking for this girl's face at New York Fashion Week. After morning work I give students who finish early time to either read or color. This girl picked a notebook out of my prize basket earlier this year and has been filling it with what you will see below. By the way, she comes up with the ideas and the NAMES all on her own! I think it is awesome!

How cute are these straps?!
"Just in case you're mad in the morning" she explains.

There's nothing like a fish bodice to hide the hips

Notice the hanger and the word "life." She told me the dress is in a life bag to keep it safe.

How smart to add a turtle neck so you can wear summer fashions in Fall!
She told me she felt she had to add an outfit for the boys. I hope it's for Halloween!
So culturally minded!
This is one of my favorites. Who can resist a dress called "Summer all the time?"
Don't most of us want to extend our legs?
Shocking! :)

I believe she was inspired by Snow White