Three Weeks Down

Today wrapped up the third week of school.  It’s been interesting so far.  This class is definitely going to need a lot more structure and constant rules/procedures reminders than my last class.  They are very high energy.  I’m finding myself relying a lot on the “calming” section of  We’ve been doing a lot of breathing and a lot of coordination.  It’s really been working!

Today, we finished off our first art project.  It was based off the first story in our reading anthology, “Dragon Gets By” by Dave Pilkey.  I traced Dragon from the story and we colored it with crayons, then went over it with water color.  They loved doing it and it turned out really well!

IMG_0363 IMG_0364 IMG_0366 IMG_0368 IMG_0370

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What I’m Reading Wednesday

What I just finished

Yes Please by Amy Poehler.  In her book, Amy Poehler recounts events of her life and her musings on her life so far.  She shares stories of her professional history, the birth of his son, and her trip of Haiti, among other things.  The book is also peppered with advice and personal documents like poetry, pictures, and lists.  It was an interesting read told in a very rambling, stream of conscious way.

What I’m reading now

blackbirdI am now reading Blackbird by Anna Carey.  I know, I know, I said I was going to read Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar, but then I remembered this book and how the sequel was supposed to come out soon.  Turns out, Deadfall came out in June.  Since I only remember that a) I liked Blackbird, b) it’s about a girl who can’t remember who she is and c) it’s written in second person, I figured I should reread this one first.

What I’m reading next

deadfall a careyDeadfall by Anna Carey.  And I’m going to get the physical copy, too.  I like to have matching sets.

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Big Blue Live – Seals and Sea Lions

I maybe have posted this poem before, but in honor of Big Blue Live, I’m posting my “Seals and Sea Lions” poem.

If it barks like a dog, has ears and a snout,

Then it’s a sea lion

of that there’s no doubt

If it’s round like a tube and a face like a cat

Then it’s a seal

You can count on that

While they’re all Pinnipeds, don’t get them confused

‘cause sea lions are vicious

and will f!%k you up, dude

While seals are calmer and don’t bark and bite

But they’re steal wild animals

So keep your distance, all right?

sea lion seal

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Cats of the Week – Tea and Captain


This is Tea.  Tea is a loving, friendly kitty with a serious case of happy feet.  He likes playing with feathers and chasing after balls.  He does not seem to be so fond of baseball caps for some reason.  I hope whoever adopts him doesn’t have a fondness for them.

Tea also has a nifty little bowtie.


This is Captain.

IMG_0352 Captain is a kitten.  I think he’s about four months.  He has incredibly sharp claws (got me through my pants!) and is very athletic.  He just got moved out of a condo and into a colony, so thankfully, he has a lot of room to move around.  And other kittens to play with, too!

This adorable baby kitten is one of his roommates.  I’m not sure of his name, but he is so tiny and and so cute.  I love him!

IMG_0353This was my last day at the shelter for awhile.  Next week, I start rehearsals for the play “Tortilla Curtain.”  Until its over (or on days I don’t have rehearsals) cat of the week will either be suspended, my cats, or random cats I meet.

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What I’m Reading Wednesday

What I’ve just finished

Lost Won by S.E. Culpepper.  I really enjoyed the other stories in this series, but this one leaves me a little flat.  I’m just not interested in Christian and Kevin the same way I was in Jeremy and Rafe or Mark and Zane.  The writing was still good, but the story wasn’t as compelling.

What I’m reading now

yes please

Yes Please by Amy Poehler.  I’m about 17% of the way in (and wish I had the hard copy; she’s got some copies of poems she wrote as a kid that are hard to read on Kindle).  I’m really enjoying it so far.  I love Amy Poehler so much.

What I’m reading next

Probably Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar, unless something else catches my interest.

What I’m obsessing over

The Man from U.N.C.L.E OST.   Daniel Pemberton did the score, but there’s a lot of period music, too.  It’s just such a fun soundtrack.  I can’t stop listening to it.  Circular Story is probably my favorite song followed by Breaking Out (The Cowboy Escapes).  Roberta Flack’s Compared to What is the opening song in the movie and soundtrack, and I listen to it every time.  Seriously, even if you don’t like the movie (which is awesome) the soundtrack is great.

The YouTube links will probably get taken down soon, so go listen and then go buy it!

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Cat of the Week – A bunch of cats

IMG_0338 - Copy There were so many cats today at the shelter, I couldn’t decide who to feature.  So, I took pictures of almost everyone in colony 2.  First is Frankie.  I was unable to get a shot of his beautiful blue eyes, but even without them, Frankie is gorgeous.

IMG_0340Here are Caspian and Cassie, hanging out on the chairs.

IMG_0339 - CopyMissy, who was a little cranky, guarding her favorite toy from Rider (the escape artist) and Smokey.

IMG_0344IMG_0341Misty was in a different room, but I love this shot.

We adopted three cats while I was there: on adult and two kittens.  I believe the adult was FIV positive, so that was a win.  He was only there three weeks before finding his forever home!

My cat, Brycee, who is 11 years old, was very active and playing this morning. The minute she saw I had started to record her, she stopped, sat up, and refused to play.  *sigh*  One day, I’ll get her without her knowing.


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Exhausted but triumpant

I made it through my first week!  The class is great!  Still a little talkative, but they did a fantastic job this morning working independently while I pulled students for assessments.

I started the week by reading Decibella and Her 6-inch Voice by Julie Cook to help kids understand voice levels.  I also made a poster that I refer to before sending them to work:

IMG_0314It’s helped in the classroom, although we still need a lot of practice on 6-inch voices (especially in the afternoon).  Now, we just need to work on using it in the lunchroom.

I only had one morning crier all week!

And now, a nice, relaxing weekend before doing it all again.

first day of school pic

first day of school pic


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What I’m Reading Wednesday

The school year’s off to a great start, and I’m still finding time to read!  (Being in the dentist chair for almost two hours yesterday actually helped me find extra time.  Silver lining).

What I’ve just finished

Question Mark by S.E. Culpepper.

question mark

It’s a romance novel about a 911 dispatcher, Mark Newland, who meets and falls in love with movie star Zane Whitlow.  At the same time, Mark, who’s been unlucky in love, finds himself the object of Christian Blakley’s affection at the same time.

I really enjoy this author.  This book is the second in the Dangerous Liaisons series.  She creates great, fleshed out characters and has some good dialogue.  I find the romances to be emotionally satisfying.

What I’m reading now

Lost Won  by S.E. Culpepper.

lost won

What I love about the first three books in this series is a character is introduced as an obstacle or annoyance in one, and then in the next one gets his own story and romance.  This one is about Christian, who is an extreme sports events coordinator.  He once had a one night stand with Kevin McGuire, but since he was closeted, never called him again.  However, he never forgot him, either.

What I’m reading next

I’m waffling between Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Louis Sachar’s Fuzzy Mud.  I’ll probably read both.


Yvonne_Craig_BatgirlRIP Yvonne Craig.  When I was a kid, I loved Batman so much.  I thought Crag’s Batgirl and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman were the coolest people ever.  I wanted to be them so badly.

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First Day!!

This week flew by so quickly!  I moment, I was in a room that was completely backward from how I left it, the next, I was walking out ready for the students on Monday.

A few pictures.  Here is my room at the end of the day on Monday:IMG_0287

This is the board where I post my students’ writing (behind the TV).  This board stayed up from last year.  The only thing I added were my clothespins that I made a couple weeks ago.  I had some break as I was putting them up, so I was a few short.

IMG_0294IMG_0295This is my ELA focus wall.  I tend not to put up the title of the story, instead focusing on the skills and strategies anchor charts as well as word work.  I also moved my alphabet down lower.  It used to be at the top of the board, but at every workshop I’ve been to, they’ve said to put the letters where the kids are.  Later this week, I’m going to have them get a letter and line up in ABC order.

IMG_0290The crate seat that I made.  I think it turned out well.  There’s a tub of books I don’ t use with second graders next to it. I might make a cushion for that, too.

IMG_0288The beginning of my clip chart.  I tried to use the color suggestions given by Rick Morris, but didn’t have all the right colors.  So, I improvised.  I think it turned out well:IMG_0297

I just need to laminate it and buy more clothespins.  Unfortunately, since they’re redoing out teachers’ lounge and office, the laminating machine has been put away.  At least we finally have toilets again, though!


The nearly finished “Out of Room” board.  I’ve since added a ribbon and the passes to one side.

This is what the room looks like now:

IMG_0306Storage for our Eagle Dollars, are school wide reward system.  Every time a student is Safe, On-Task, has an Attitude to Achieve, or is Respectful, they can earn an Eagle Dollar.  Every other Friday, students with 5 or more dollars get to go to the store to shop.  They love it!  Last year, I had them keep track of their own at the desks.  While they students were very responsible with their dollars, it got a little messy.  This year, we have a central place for them.

IMG_0301 IMG_0298So, that’s my room for the year!  I’ve got my lesson plans all done, class lists made out, most of my copies for the week.  All I need now are the kids!

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Cat of the Week – Willa and Milo


I have to admit, I’m not 100% on these twos’ names.  I was only at the shelter a short time, but these snuggle bugs caught my eye.  The fluffy one (Willa) was very excited when I came to pet her. She started purring right away.  Milo was more interested in snuggling with her, but he did let me pet him for a big.   They were just too cute.

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