Sunday, September 25, 2011

the A to Z's of Clare

I found this meme from a blog I follow, Wardrobe Oxygen. Since it's Sunday morning and I'm feeling lazy, I thought I'd share it with you. Here's all you needed to know about me, from A to Z:

A: Age: 26

B. Bed size: Full. It’s the bed I (and by “I” I mean my parents, lol) bought for my senior year in college when I lived off campus. Seriously considering upgrading to a queen, just waiting to win the lottery.

C. Chore that you hate: Unloading the dishwasher. Even though it takes just a few minutes, I always put it off.

D. Dogs: Biscuit, my adorable 2 year old miniature poodle. I love him!


E. Essential start to your day: a hot shower. I’m not awake until I shower.

F. Favorite color: pink

G. Gold or Silver: Silver. I don’t think gold looks good on me for some reason.

H. Height: 5’3.5” after my surgery I was 5’4” but I think I’ve settled a half an inch

I. Instruments you play: I took piano lessons for a little while when I was 9-10 years old. But it’s hard to play anything when you can’t really read music! My siblings got all the musical talent.

J. Job title: Kindergarten teacher extraordinaire

K. Kids: currently I have 17 (my students, lol)

L. Live: in my hometown

M. Mother’s name: Mom, Mama or Mommy. Usually Mama

N. Nicknames: Clare-Bear by most of my friends, Clara-belle by my parents, the Belle by my cousin, and my sister calls me Sister (I call her Sister too)

O. Overnight hospital stays: being born, brain surgery when I was 5, spinal fusion when I was 26

P. Pet peeves: cracking knuckles, people who aren’t on time, people who drive with their turn signal on

Q. Quote from a movie: I can pretty much quote Legally Blonde in its entirety, but my favorite is “whoever said orange is the new pink, is seriously disturbed”

R. Right or left handed: Right.


S. Siblings: Sister. She’s three years younger and probably my best friend. Although we still fight like we’re teenagers a lot of the time. Going to visit her in a few weeks and I can’t wait! (she’s a super genius and currently at Brown University getting her 2nd master’s degree) And my brother is 2 years old and my hero because he beat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is now in law school.

T: Time you wake up: my alarm is set for 6:02, but in reality that’s 5:53 because my bedroom clock is 9 minutes fast. It’s odd but works for me.

U. Underwear: I’m a VS girl

V. Vegetable you hate: raw tomatoes- I like them cooked, like tomato sauce and tomato soup, like ketchup but if you give me a sandwich, I will pick them off.

W. What makes you run late: Facebook and Pinterest

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Oh lord, I can’t even count how many x-rays I’ve had. I’ve had scoliosis since I was 5, so that’s 21 years of x-rays several times a year. Add that to several for my right ankle (sprained 6 times, never broken) and a few wrist/hand x-rays. I’m surprised I’m not glowing right now.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Where to start? Last night I made apple dumplings and chocolate-chip oreo brownies. Both got rave reviews. I also make a killer macaroni and cheese.

Z: Zoo animal: Flamingo. Because they’re pink!


my students at the zoo this past spring, standing like flamingos

So there you go! If you want to fill it out and share, please post a comment. I'd love to learn more about you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I wish the title of this post meant that I'm back in marathon training. Not quite. I have started running, but VERY slowly and for short distances only. I was getting a little down on myself about it, but then had to remember that I had 2 metal rods and 22 screws implanted in my back only 4 months ago.! (p.s, I've been discharged from PT. woo hoo!!)

No, the title of this post refers to training my children. Not potty training (thank goodness!), classroom training. I had forgotten this year how hard it is to start a new school year. A new year full of kids who don't know my way of doing things. We have to start at the beginning...the very beginning.

I wanted to blog about this mainly to remind myself when I forget it in 45 weeks (that's how long until the start of school next year, fyi). And to remind myself that it does get better! My kids are slowly but surely getting the hang of things and learning how to do things my way. Because in my classroom, it's my way or the hallway :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

math journals

This week I introduced math journals to my kids. These are just some spiral bound notebooks I got at Staples for about $0.12 a piece. The kids got to pick what color they wanted and then decorated them with stickers! They were so excited. Here they are decorating their journals:

We have "worked" in our math journals twice now and both times it has been great. The kids love it because it's pretty much the one time I let them lie down on the carpet. They get 2 crayons to use (so I can distinguish between problems) and have shown some great creativity! So far it's just been "draw me 3 balloons, write the number 4, etc." type of problems. If you have any suggestions for using math journals in Kindergarten, I would love to hear them!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kitchen update!

A few weeks ago, I blogged about making curtains for my Home Living center in my classroom. Well, I finished them and was so excited to hang them up! They turned out so cute. I inherited some dress up clothes, so I hot-glued some clips to the wall and added them to the center.

What do you think?

The kids keep asking me when Home Living will be "open." But then one of them reminds the others that they haven't learned the rules yet. Once we go over the rules, procedures, where things go, etc. the kids will get to visit this center. Can't wait to see what they make me! (that's their favorite thing- making me food)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My class

I just uploaded a bunch of pictures from my camera, including this one from yesterday. We were about to go outside for recess when I realized I had all 17 kids present AND I had my camera with me. Perfect photo op! I took individual pictures that I'll use throughout the year for various things, then of course had to get a group shot.

Here's our "crazy" picture:
For privacy purposes, I had to blur out their faces, but they are still pretty cute! This type of picture definitely shows their little personalities. Check out little man in the red shirt in the middle :)

Posting Standards

Have I mentioned already that I'm having to submit super detailed lesson plans? Ok, I know I have and I know I probably sound like I'm complaining about them. I'm sure in a few weeks, they won't seem so tedious and I'll get the hang of it.

One of the parts of this new lesson plan template requires me to list the standards that I am covering. As a way to remind myself what we're working on, as well as inform anyone who walks into the room what we're doing, I decided to devote an area of my whiteboard to the standards.

I decided to just post the English/Language Arts and Math standards, since they make up the "meat" of our day. Not that science and social studies aren't important, but at the Kindergarten level they are more about the process than the content. However, there is a little bit of extra room to the right (where the class rules are posted, those can be moved) so if I decide to add them I can.

So far, I really like it. I have the Common Core Standards we are addressing that week listed, as well as just a short list that helps me focus on what we're doing. I already feel like it's making me a better teacher. Time will tell!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Roll and Write

Whew, I am exhausted! I have to submit lesson plans on Friday for the week ahead (which means I can't wait until Sunday night to write them) and they are way more detailed that I'm used to. I know it's making me a better teacher, I just have to keep reminding myself.

I wrote my math plans for next week this evening, and came up with this cute game. I can't take total credit because I got the idea from my district pacing guides, but I did make the sheet that goes with the game. You can find a copy HERE. My kids love dice so I know they'll like playing this "game". I am thinking I will pair them up, that way they'll also practice taking turns. Maybe even turn it into a Bingo type game where the person who fills up the sheet first wins a prize? We'll see.
p.s. I got to use some of my fun new fonts! The words are "Smiley Monster" and the numbers are "MTF Cutie Patootie" (I had to switch because the Smiley Monster 4 is a pointy 4 instead of an open 4) Both are free online, just do a Google search.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm still here

I was talking to my friend Hillary on the phone tonight, and she was like "I keep waiting for a blog update but there's nothing!" To put it simply, I do not have any time. I am literally doing well just trying to keep my head above water. The start to the school year has been crazy: 20 kids (in a room designed for 15), new administrator, new evaluation process, 3 new team members plus that little part about having major back surgery only 3.5 months ago.

So yeah, I'm still here. My kids are doing much better but we have a LONG way to go. I promise I'll update soon with some pictures. And it's my favorite week of the year, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" week- so you know I'll have pictures of that.

For now, I'm off to bake some cookies for Open House tomorrow night!