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It's amazing how I start each summer exhausted and end it ready to get back to school.

This year...not so much. I had a horrible school year last year. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that if I had won the lotto, I would have been out of there quick, fast, and in a hurry.
I've spent my summer just relaxing. No vacations...just home and family. But summer doesn't last forever, and I have to go back in two weeks. I can't have a replay of last school year. I don't deserve it and the kids don't deserve it. So what am I going to do differently?

1. Work on ME: I intend to do my ding-dang-darndest to avoid power struggles with children. When you get so pissed that you feel your blood pressure rise...no bueno. Deep breaths...in through your nose, out through your mouth... proactive, not reactive.

2. Reach out to THEM: How? Character education. I've always had mixed feelings about character education. Maybe I'm old school, but it has always been my belief that this should be taught at home. But the reality is that many kids aren't being taught to be polite and respectful by their parents. I remember last summer I read a fantastic blog post by Sarah Plumatillo, and I thought that it sounded great. But...I didn't implement it. This year I'm going to...From day #1.  Yes, this is a product, but it is also a program,  and as is the case with all programs, the results lie in the fidelity of the implementation. No, I do not know Sarah and she has no idea that I'm sharing/promoting her post.  What really struck me about her post is her compassion for her kids and her passion about helping her kids be better. By making our kiddos better aren't we making.ourselves better. I encourage you to read her post regardless of what type of character education you may (or may not be using). It's worth the time.

So, my question for you is: What are you going to do differently this year? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great week!

My poor neglected blog. I haven't done much of anything at all with it. No. I haven't done anything with it. In a long time. I've had ideas. I've taken pictures. I've come home thinking about it. And then....I'm T-I-R-E-D. Seriously, I came home last night and went to bed. At 7:00!!
Thank goodness I only have nine days left!!! That's right! NINE DAYS!
Okay, on to fun stuff.
Kelly from An Apple for the Teacher has organized a giveaway for a $25 TpT gift card. What perfect timing! Especially, if you need something to keep the little angels engaged during these last few days/weeks. 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 5/28/16 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Have fun, Good Luck, and....
Y'all have a great week!

Greetings, Greetings, Greetings!! Why am I so happy? Because spring has sprung! I LOVE springtime and just about everything about it (except stormy weather...I live in tornado alley). In my humble opinion, Texas has the most beautiful springtime anywhere!  It's warming up in my neck of the woods, the trees are blossoming, the bullfrogs are croaking, and the first bluebonnets are appearing along the roadsides...makes me downright giddy!

Today I'm teaming up with Kim from Elementary Antics for an fun blog hop: Springing into Learning! I teach second grade science and math, and this time of year we are planting and observing seeds, taking cuttings of house plants to learn about roots, observing the tadpoles in the aquarium, and exploring measurement.

So... I'm sharing a fun measurement freebie:

Before we  start working with this activity set, we spend some time actually measuring common objects around the class like markers, staplers, clipboards, etc... to help build a little schema about measurement and how long certain objects are. This helps them to be able to make reasonable  estimations.

Then, I place these picture cards around the room. The kiddos rotate from picture to picture and estimate the length of each image. Then they measure the images in either inches or centimeters depending on which unit of measurement that you're currently learning about.

This is a simple, but effective way to help children learn about estimating measurement. I like to tell my kids that when we look at something and estimate its length or width we are "eyeballing" it. For some reason that helps them to understand what we are doing. Of course, I teach them the word estimate and the concept of "about", but they seem to like "eyeballing"!

You can get this freebie here!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Saturday Friends! I thought I'd share with you the latest development from my school, which I think is awesome. His name is Gus, and he is a therapy-dog in training!

Gus is a five year old Golden Doodle (it is a breed...I asked), that belongs to one of our school counselors. Jill and her family got Gus specifically because of his breed. Because he is part poodle, his hair is just that: hair. Not fur. So this makes him an allergy friendly pet for her children, one of whom has animal dander allergies. Gus is super friendly and very, very sweet (and well-behaved!).

Jill and Gus are currently in training to become a super-duper, counselor/therapy-dog, tag-team-duo. I think it is fabulous that she is willing to share her beloved family pet with the children at our school. Right now, Gus just comes to school once a week to become familiar with the building and to get the children used to seeing him, but he doesn't actually interact with kids. He and Jill will continue their training over the summer, and next school year, Gus will be on campus once or twice a week working with children. Jill explained some of the details with me, and I took notes. But...I left my notebook on my desk at work. I don't want to misstate any details, so let me just say how cool I think it is that next school year Jill and Gus will be working with and changing the lives of kids.

Jill and Gus showing how smart and well-behaved he is!
Isn't his little vest cute?

Click here to see a video that Jill and Gus made for our kiddos!

Y'all have a great week!

Happy Thursday to you!! Today I'm joining up with Brooke from Countless Smart Cookies for a fun blog hop. There are over forty blogs participating, so get comfy...you're in for a fun ride!

The theme for this blog hop is "Lucky to be a Teacher". You know, when you are in the thick of a rough school year, it is hard to think about why we are lucky to be teachers. I often feel like it is one step forward and two steps back. And...it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, I've been thinking. Why am I lucky to be a teacher? The main reason is the human aspect...the bonds and connections that I have made with both students and fellow teachers. I've reached a point in my career that I am seeing former students as adults and even beginning to see some of those students' own children in my school. That is really something! I also work with a wonderful group of really supportive and fun teachers, and they are a huge part of the reason that I keep coming back each year!

To celebrate being a lucky teacher, be sure to enter the giveaway below. Some teachers are offering specific prizes and others are offering a winners choice (ME) from their stores!

Have fun!

Happy Sunday! I thought I'd link up with the ladies over at the Teaching Trio blog for their weekly Sunday Scoop. I usually read these, but have yet to contribute, so here goes:

I have only one thing to say. Don't judge me about my Christmas tree! Lol.

Y'all have a great week!

Happy Monday!! Yes it is Monday, and I am home because it is a three-day weekend! Wooohooo!! Okay, enough of the exclamation marks.
So...I am starting a new monthly linky and I would love other teachers to link up with their favorite funny teacher stories. Face it, the dealing with the general populace and the concept of funny are a natural match.

So here goes.

Five years ago I was moved to second grade. From fifth grade. With two weeks notice. Nothing funny about that, especially since I had never taught below fourth grade and I had never been self-contained. I started my year not knowing what in the world I was doing. I had this group of little people in my room...all...day...long. And mixed into this group were the two second grade behavior problems.
One of these little people (we'll call him Johnny) was especially difficult. We'd walk down the hall and other teachers would see him and you could see it in their eyes..."Oh you've got Johnny..." Of course, Johnny was never absent. If there was ever a time that he didn't feel well and put his head down on his desk, I just let it go and hoped like hell that my administrator didn't come in to observe me.

The poor kid had some issues at home. His dad had something like twelve kids in three states with numerous women, and he was in and out of jail regularly. Johnny was being raised by his grandmother who was in poor health. Please don't think that I find any humor in his family situation. I don't. However, Johnny's jacked-up home life was the last thing I was thinking about when I  had to drag his little butt out of a cactus patch in the neighbor's yard across the street and then carry him because he refused to walk. Lordy. Not to mention the time he glued himself into his chair and then ate (not chewed on....ATE) his pencil. His tongue was black!
At the end of the year his dad actually had the nerve to point to my full-on silver hair and say to Johnny "Look what you've done to her! Look at her hair!" Thanks Dad.
Hehe!  Teacher meme!:

I survived that year, and I learned to like second grade. The following year I started strong and was then side-railed by a surgery that I didn't know was going to be so complicated. I ended up being out for a full month. Right before I went back to work I had a dream that I was getting my classroom ready when I heard someone knocking on the window. I turned around, and there with his little body and face pressed against the window was....Johnny. He was yelling for me to let him in. I actually started screaming! I woke up sitting straight up in bed, sweating with my heart beating really hard. OMG!
Y'all have a great week!
I'd love for you to link up with your own story! Join in below, but please be a polite reader and leave kind feedback for at least two other blog posts! 
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