I want a gumball machine

Warning:  This is a silly sort of post. :-)

I was creating something for my classroom using Ashley HughesGumball Machine clipart, and I was hit with the strangest thought: I want a gumball machine. Oh the things I could do with a gumball machine!

So I spent part of my morning shopping for gumball machines, even though I really don't need one and don't really have any money for it.  Oops.  (No, I didn't buy one!  But I wanted to!)
(My sister actually has a gumball machine that I've wanted to steal for years, especially since it collects dust!)

How much fun would it be to play games with a gumball machine?  Or to use it for treats?  I think it would be awesome!  If you had a machine designed for capsules, you could fill the capsules with words, or math problems, or even small objects for the kids to count.  

I found these on the same website I found the gumball machine above on.  The kids could use them for adding or subtracting numbers.  They could get 2 balls out of the gumball machine, then they could add them together or subtract the smaller number from the bigger number.  Or they could even add together 3 numbers!

Unfortunately, those are bouncy balls, and I can foresee them being a huge problem with students.  You could get some 1" or even 1/2" wooden balls and write or paint the numbers on them.  It would be a little more work, but it would be less... bouncy!

Doesn't that sound like fun?  Oh if I only had money!

So in the spirit of gumball machines, I've created this money freebie that I hope you can use.  I'm working on money with my students right now, so I definitely will be printing and laminating this little activity!

Your students will match the coins to the amounts on the gumball machines.  There is also a blackline version, because if you're anything like me, you don't have any color ink left!   
I hope you enjoy the freebie,and if you do, please leave feedback!

Five for Friday

Happy Friday, everybody!  Apparently I had some sort of a crazy week this week, because I just signed up for a 5k.  It's tomorrow evening.  It's called the Glow in the Night 5k.  I don't walk.  Or jog.  And I certainly don't run!  What was I thinking?!  Ok, I know what I was thinking.  A friend of mine from school (as in Grad school) wanted to do it with her cute little boy, who is about 6-7 months old.  She posted something on Facebook, and nobody was interested.  I was supposed to babysit, but they decided to stay home, so I agreed to do it with her.  My gym shoes are over 10 years old and I own nothing athletic except t-shirts.  No kidding.

So yeah, if I never post again, you know I collapsed. :-)

Anyway... back to real life!

1.  I hauled my dogs into the car and drove an hour and a half up to visit my mom for Mother's Day on Sunday.  I bought her a present (2 snowmen candleholders made out of metal that I bought at a craft show), cut her some flowers from my yard (which I put in a cleaned out pizza sauce jar.  Yeah, I'm that cheap), and made her dinner.  OK, I made the part of the dinner that didn't include grilling steaks.  I just paid for them. :-)

It wasn't much.  I made red potatoes with cheese and bacon.  Dad grilled steaks.  I bought some King's Hawaiian Rolls and we ate those.  And we had strawberries with yummy strawberry dip.  I was going to make fruit salad, but a watermelon was $7.50 and I decided that was an absolutely obscene amount for a watermelon, and luckily my mom agreed!  Yeah, no vegetables, because I hate vegetables.  And my mom didn't request any, and I don't know how to cook them anyway.  Everybody ate and seemed happy.  And nobody complained about the potatoes, which I was surprised about.  (I made sweet potatoes one year for Thanksgiving, and my dad and sister complained so much I said fine, I won't cook you anything anymore!)

I brought these 2 silly dogs.  Molly knows she has to stay out of the kitchen, but we had to teach Edison.  He doesn't like spray bottles, apparently, but he finally learned to stay in the living room!  My little sister loved him.  The cat... not so much.  *My other sister is living there right now and she has a cat named Cho who hates dogs.  Molly is scared to death of her!

2.  I got some exciting news today.  I mentioned part of it last week, but now it's official!  Due to some serious screw ups at the college where I'm getting my Masters Degree, I was set to graduate in December.  This didn't sit well with me.  Mostly because I need the pay raise!  There are 4 others in my class with the same problem, so our Professor made it possible for us to potentially finish our papers with our classes this school year, finish our papers over the summer, and graduate in August!  Woot woot!  So I wrote up a plan, and she approved it today!  This may be the only year I'm totally thankful that we have to go to school until June 5th, because this means I get to graduate in August!  Just wish me luck that I can get these small group lessons and the pre-test and post-test finished in the next 12 school days!  (We have testing next week, which totally screws up my schedule, so this is actually going to be some serious work!)

I'm working with a small group on retelling, so we're using a retelling glove.  I kind of threw these together, so they aren't that pretty, but I was too lazy to color the pictures and I didn't want to use colored gloves to reduce arguing!

3.  We're testing next week, so we had some KPREP (our state test) events, including a little pep rally.  On Monday, we had a local celebrity who came to our school.  The kids were all so excited, the older students even bum rushed her when she tried to leave.  

We always recognize the students who scored proficient or distinguished on the tests the previous year, but this year we recognized the teachers.  This is one of the certificates I created to honor our teachers.  We just filled in the teacher's name.  The kids loved cheering on their teachers.  

4.  We went on a field trip to the Nature Center today.  It was only a 2 hour field trip, but I think the kids learned a lot and had some fun too.  We went on an hour long Nature hike in the woods, where we saw a few skinks and way more rolly pollys than I wish to count (especially since they all had to yell "It's a Rolly Polly" every.single.time.they.saw.one.  Until I wanted to crush all the stupid bugs just so they would stop talking about them!

Funny little story from the Nature Center today:
Nature Hike Lady:  (talks about boxing turtles and how they would be found down by the creek where we aren't going, blah blah blah)
Student:  What are they called again?
Nature Hike Lady:  Boxing Turtles
Student:  Are they called that because they box with other turtles?

So funny.  I didn't even think about boxing!  I thought she was going to ask if they had a box or something, seriously.  Too funny.  

5.  I was super frustrated and a little upset when I left school this evening, due to the fact that I realized that next Friday I took a personal day so I could go to a friend's wedding in Dallas, but my selfish sister insists on driving alone (LONG story) and not only can I not afford to drive alone (it's like 13 hours!), I certainly can't afford to fly ($519- yikes!) so I can't go.  It's a friend I've had since I was 9- the first friend I made since I moved to Kentucky- and I really was looking forward to going.  Grrr.  So I stopped at Qdoba on the way home to make myself feel better.  Yum yum.  And my neighbor called me to let me know that she had put my dog Molly inside because Molly insisted on standing by the gate to wait for me instead of taking shelter in her dog house or under the porch or anywhere else.  How cute- my baby girl was waiting for me!  And she was so excited when I got home!  I love coming home to that cute little girl!

We've been working on reading short stories and writing short stories this week, and I can't wait until we get them finished.  I really hope that the way I did them this year (which is way different than I have ever done them in the past!) helps the kids really come up with a good story that makes sense!  I feel like I am so bad at teaching short stories (probably because it is always crammed into the end of the year!) so I hope to see some serious growth this year!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Please think of me tomorrow night when I'll most likely be gasping for air!  

Five for Friday

My favorite day of the week:  Five for Friday!

1.  I got to see this adorable little cutie on Sunday!  Who couldn't resist this little face!  What a good way to end the week!
2.  We spent the week learning about weather. Specifically, wind and clouds.  Here we are outside observing clouds.
The kids loved being able to go outside.  They think it's really cool to see how the clouds affect the weather. :-)  Me too!

3.  As most of you know, it was Teacher Appreciation Week this past week.  Well, since our Principal "forgot" about TAW (don't get me started!), I decided to appreciate my own self with some Buy One, Get One Free Chipotle.  Yum yum.  And since I didn't have anybody to go with me, I got to eat Chipotle for dinner, and lunch the next day, and the day after.  :-)    

I also got a gift from one of my students today.  A yummy Kit-Kat and a $5 Subway gift card!  This student's mother also sent me a note earlier in the week on his weekly sheet to wish me a Happy Teacher Appreciation Day.  Since we got pretty much nothing else this week, I was extremely thankful.  Our secretary put together a candy bar for us in the office this week, and our counselor mentioned that it was Teacher Appreciation Day on Wednesday, which prompted the same student who brought me the gift to say "Teacher Day was yesterday!"  Yep, it was.  Makes you feel good to be forgotten, huh?  *No, I'm not at all bitter or upset about it!  Ha!  However, I can't express my actual opinion on the entire subject here on my blog, because I don't really have anything nice to say about it.* 

3.  My first knockout roses bloomed this week!  Usually I have a bush full of roses before Derby (I cut a bunch off and gave them to the Kindergarten teachers last year to give to their students).  But they're finally popping up!  I had 2 yellow roses yesterday, and several pink and dark pink.  I have 6 Knockout rose bushes in my backyard.  :-)  They're so pretty!
4.  I sucked it up lost my mind and joined Instagram this week.  What was I thinking?  Yeah, I'm not sure either.  I've been enjoying Clutter Free Classroom's May Instagram challenge.  

Here are two pictures I've taken on Instagram this week.  This is my dog, Molly, on her way to agility.  This little stinker is ready for a dog harness in the car now- she decided the other night on the way to class that she was going to jump out of the car window when I was stopped at a stoplight!  Thank goodness I saw a flash of white tail and realized she wasn't in the car before I drove off, or I would really be freaking out.  I should also mention she is capable of putting down windows in the car, and yes, she does it on purpose.  Too smart.
For those of you who missed it, this is my foster dog, Edison.  He's a 2 year old Cattle Dog/Beagle mix, and he is so sweet!  He's also very, very smart.  He loves toys, and has pulled every single toy out of Molly's "toy bin" in the living room.  Molly rarely goes and pulls a toy out of it, but Edison pulled out every single toy.  Silly dog.  Here is his foster information if anybody is interested in a very good dog!

5.  I just began another class this week (I'm almost finished!)   This particular class was supposed to stretch into the fall, because it is a research class that requires you to have access to kids to complete the research paper.  Due to some serious advising screw ups on their part (complete with a program switch in the middle of my degree!), I ended up with this class in the summer instead of in the spring, when I could have finished it.  Grrrr.  Several of us had the same problem, so our professor is going to give us the opportunity to attempt to do our research papers in the few short weeks we have left of school and turn it in by July so we can graduate in August instead of in December.  Since this affects my pay, I really want to get finished asap, especially since this is literally my last class.  

So... I need some great fluency activities!  I have some students in my class/reading group that completely ignore punctuation, and are just word callers, and therefore have no comprehension of what they've read.  And they read at an end of first grade level, so they really need to start comprehending what they're reading! Please let me know if you know of anything great I can do with this group!  

I'm very excited.  I took advantage of some of the great deals on Teachers Pay Teachers and Scrappin Doodles this week, and purchased some awesome clip art and a great unit that I absolutely can't wait to use next year!  

This was a total splurge, but I am so excited!  It comes from The Brown Bag Teacher, who is student teaching here in Kentucky!  She's looking for a job, and I could only hope that she would come teach at my school!  :-)   Seriously, if you read her blog, she is awesome.  I was too overwhelmed during my student teaching to be as together as she is!

I also bought some clip art from Ashley Hughes and Krista Wallden that I can't wait to use, as well as some great stuff from Scrappin Doodles! :-)  I hope you got some great stuff in the sale as well!

Have a great weekend!

Mother's Day

My students and I worked on our gifts for our moms today.  

This one is mine.  I haven't put their names on their gifts- wanted to give them plenty of time to dry!

Want to know what we did?

I bought a 6x6 inch tile at Lowes for each student.  I used acrylic paint to paint their hand.  They used their thumbs for the heart in the middle, and then I just filled them in with more paint.  (I was going to mix Glass and Tile Medium in with the paint, but I couldn't find mine and JoAnn Fabrics didn't have any last night! :-(  So I bought some clear coat instead, and sprayed over the entire tile about 4 times (to give it a nice thick coat and protect their little hands!)  Tomorrow we're going to wrap them in tissue paper or decorate colored lunch bags (so they don't get scratched up in backpacks!) and send them home for their moms, or another special person in their life!

We almost had a serious issue today with these!  I had the kids help me walk them outside (each kid took one and brought it out to the garden outside our window).  I gave them a quick spray with the first layer of clear coat, and left them outside.  After school, I had SCM (Safe Crisis Management) training, so I didn't bring them in right away.  Just as SCM training was letting out, it started RAINING.  On our work!  I literally RAN down the hallway to bring their gifts inside!  Luckily, the clear coat I used dries in 10-15 minutes, so I was able to bring them in and they weren't ruined.  Whew!  

^This stuff is the best!  Dries in 15 minutes! :-)  

I borrowed the idea from Pinterest.  It came from the blog Totally Terrific in Texas. While I liked the scrapbook paper idea, I thought it would be cuter to use their actual hands.  I talked to my mom, and she confirmed what I was thinking.  So I went with paint instead of scrapbook paper. :-)

The kids also made a card in library today, so they have a card and this gift for their mothers.  Sounds like a great gift to me!

*Sorry, mom, for ruining your Mother's Day present surprise.  :-)  Not that you didn't already know what I was making.

**And yes, I am actually going to give my mom the one I made.  Last year, we made frames out of puzzle pieces, and I gave my mom the one I made with a picture of my dog in it.  She still has it hanging on the fridge- with the picture of Molly in it!

Happy Mother's Day to all my teacher mom friends!

TPT Sale/Freebie/New Product/What we're up to!

I hear all these stories about teachers who get these elaborate gifts from their students, fancy lunches catered to their schools, gifts from their PTAs or principals, and I wonder where in the world I'm supposed to sign up.  I guess I will just have to feel appreciated by you wonderful people! :-)  I'm so glad to be a part of such a caring, helpful community of teachers.  Over the weekend, I stumbled across a website called Get Off My Internets that was just FULL of negativity towards different websites out there!  Yikes!  I always feel like we're here to help each other, not talk badly about each other and put each other down, and I am thankful for all of you!

So I'm having a SALE!!!  My store is 20% off tomorrow, and TPT is offering another 10% off on top of that, so my store will be 28% off if you use the code TAD13. :-)

I have added 2 new items to my store in the past few days. 
Spring Sight Word Bang! is FREE for Teacher Appreciation Week only!  I am reminded each and every time that I upload anything to TPT that any freebies should be under 10 pages or so, but this is 22.  So after this week or so, I will probably price it at like $1.  Just so it isn't free.


I also added another informational writing unit.

Here are a few sample pages from this unit:



 Can you guess what we're working on in my classroom!?  :-)  I can't believe how many different versions or fractured versions of different folk tales/fairy tales I have!  Wow!  I'm wondering how we are going to get these all read in the 21 days we have left!

I still can't find my camera, and I'm really, really freaking out.  I went back to work today thinking I would find it there, but I didn't.  I called a few places I went over the weekend, just in case, tore apart my car, my work bag, and the bags I brought home this weekend.  I checked under my couch, under the seats of the car, even under some papers where I KNOW it isn't.  Nada.  I have NO idea where it is.  So not only am I freaked out because it isn't technically MY camera, but I'm freaked out because it has all kinds of pictures of my students on it! :-(  Including all their cute Derby hat and parade float pictures!  I NEED MY CAMERA! 

:-(  :-(  :-(

I think I may cry. :-(  Please send good camera finding vibes my way!

Five for Friday and Currently

Happy Friday!  It has been quite a busy week for me, and I'm thankful that this week was a 4 day week and I'm currently enjoying my 3 day weekend!

After reading Doodle Bugs' (Bugs's?) post, now I want an instagram account.  I've never had any desire to have an instagram account.  Ugh.  NOOOOOOO.  I will not give in!

1.  My week started out with picking up this guy.  He's a dog I'm fostering through a rescue group until he finds a home.  His name is Edison, and boy is he keeping me on my toes!  He has separation anxiety (spending 3 weeks an a crate in an animal hospital would do that to you, I guess) so we're having issues with him wanting to go in his crate when I leave for work.  (I'm supposed to work on crate training him through the rescue I'm fostering for, so that's why he's in a crate.)  I've tried everything I can think of- giving him a special treat, leaving plenty of treats and bones in the crate with him, turning on the radio, but he just doesn't want to go in.  He tries to bite me and the crate door.  It's very frustrating!  He's VERY sweet, though.  We spent some time in the yard this afternoon playing fetch and tug of war, and it was fun.  He wants so badly to do a good job for me.  He wants to cuddle and be right near me.  And he's very smart- so smart he found the bottle of dog aspirin the other night and ate a few, forcing me to induce vomiting to remove the aspirin from his stomach.  OMG.  But he's going to make someone a great dog.

2.  Coming home from agility class the other night, I was rear-ended by some jerk in a teal truck.  And the jerk drove off.  And I was unable to get his license plate number.  So I posted a note on my neighborhood's Facebook page, and it turns out that this guy has hit several other people in the neighborhood.  Another person said he hit him and 10- yes, 10- other people.  And drove off from each one of them.  So if they can catch him, it's a hit and run- and that's a felony.  So I'm bound and determined to make sure this jerk ends up in jail.  Don't mess with a redhead!  (I do have a name of the person who hit me.  So I'm making it available to the police.)

3.  I found out on Saturday that one of my friends from high school passed away.  I was very sad to hear of his passing.  He was the first in our class to pass away, and is honestly the first person I've known personally that was this young.  He was 28.  I had to call a friend of mine and let her know, and that was really difficult. Then another friend of mine called me, very upset.  So last weekend wasn't really a great weekend for me.  Luckily, 2 of my friends and I went out for a bit Saturday night, which helped distract me a bit.  I didn't get to go to the visitation or the funeral, because it was up in Northern Kentucky (where I'm from) and I had to work since it was on a Monday.  I also had a meeting for my practicum, so I would have had to turn right back around and come back.

4.  I spent some time working in my yard again this weekend!  I hate the process of working in my yard (particularly mowing the grass and edging!) but I love the results!  (Except for the inevitable sunburn.  That's no fun.)  I did some weed pulling and mulching 2 weekends ago, and today I followed up by planting a few flowers and cleaning up my patio.  It looks much nicer now! :-)

This is my pergola in the back yard.  I love having a porch swing!  I dug out around the pergola last year, but I laid down some landscape fabric and planted some tulips.

I planted this clematis today.  Eventually I will finish the pergola and it will climb up it.   

I also planted a few more dahlias.  These are pretty cute, but nowhere near as pretty as the dahlias in the front of the house! 

5.  We spent our week having some Derby fun!  And we had a BLAST.  We made Derby hats, had a parade, drank "mint juleps" (minty-lemonade), and did some Derby Mad-Libs.  Almost everything we did came from my Derby unit.  I will write a full post on all our Derby fun as soon as I find my camera.  I really got some great pictures, and now I can't find my camera!  Uh oh!  I don't think I left it at school, but I can't find it, so I'm slightly concerned that it's there.  (Crap!  Now I'm worried about my camera!  I wish I could get back into my building so I could look for it.  I can't stand not knowing where things are!)

And now onto Currently... 

Listening:  I LOVE the Big Bang Theory.  And last night, Bob Newhart was on the show.  He was hilarious.  I was rolling.  I mean, every episode is great, but I think this was one of the better ones. People have told my dad for years that he looks like Bob Newhart (and he does.  The resemblance to younger Bob Newhart and my dad is uncanny.  Actually, Bob Newhart reminds me of my grandfather.  My dad looks just like my grandfather, so... this must be my dad when he's 83.  He he he.)

Loving:  3 day weekends are the best!  We didn't have school today because it's Oaks Day, so Derby weekend around here is always a 3 day weekend.  It's the best.  :-)  

Thinking:  See 4 above.  Flowers are awesome.  A mowed yard is awesome.  The process isn't quite so awesome.  But I'll live.

Wanting:  I have a few spots in my yard that need more flowers!  I'm trying to figure out how to have a yard that has flowers blooming in every season.  So far, I've failed, but I'm really trying.  I won't be happy until my yard looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens.

Needing:  See 1 above.  Poor Edison.  I feel so awful leaving him in the crate during the day.  But I don't crate my dog, so I really have no idea how to crate train a dog.  I'm not sure if I'm doing it wrong or not!

Summer Bucket List:  I haven't been to a beach since my ex and I went to New York in 2010, and it was cold, since it was September and all!  So I am in serious need of a beach!  My best friend lives in Virginia Beach, and I fully intend to visit her this summer sometime.  I haven't been there since she moved in 2011.  Bad friend.  (It didn't help that I was in school all summer last year, so I didn't have time!)  

Make sure if you link up with Currently that you follow the rule of 3!  Sometimes I see that people don't, and it makes me a little upset.  :-/  

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I will be spending mine panicking about my camera.  I have the pictures to make Mother's Day presents next week on it, and I NEED them.  Plus, it isn't mine.  It's the camera for my classroom.  So yeah... panic time.  No bueno.  

Kentucky Derby Freebie!

We're having a blast celebrating the Kentucky Derby this week, and I can't wait to share our celebrations with you!  We don't have school tomorrow, so today will be our last day of Derby fun.  I'm kind of sad, but glad for a long weekend!

I whipped up a quick making words activity to use with my class, and I thought I'd share it in case anybody is interested!

It is not in my Kentucky Derby unit, though I may go back and add it in later.  If you are interested in some more Kentucky Derby activities, check out my Kentucky Derby unit.  

Have a great Thursday!