Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currently November!!!!

Ohmygosh....It's currently November.  I can't believe how fast this year is flying by.  I have the best students ever, and I want the year to go slower, so that I can enjoy them.  It's one of those years that you could feel like you could just loop with your class forever.  Ya know?  Plus, my daughter is an 8th grader, and I am just NOT ready for her to be a high schooler...that is the last stop before college and leaving me.  :(  I'm just not ready.  Slow down, Mr. Time!  Well, at least I got an extra hour this weekend to hold to it all a little bit longer.  Time to link up with one of my faves, Farley, from Oh Boy 4th Grade.  Here we go!

My old teammate got me hooked on Dateline.  I love to record it on Friday nights, and then watch it early on either Saturday or Sunday.  Keith Morrison's voice is so soothing, and I now associate it with weekend me-time.  LOL  I'm also listening to my annoying refrigerator.  It buzzes and drives me cray cray.  :/

Last weekend it was 88° last weekend, and it felt even hotter.  Yesterday to welcome November to central Texas it was a delicious 46° when I woke up.  The high was only 68°.  It will be a little warmer today, and even more warm Monday and Tuesday, but the rest of the week looks like it cools back off.  I can't wait for the cool to be here to stay for a while.  I hate hot weather, and I am one of the few central Texans who enjoy the chilly weather.  I am going to soak it in while I can, because it never stays cool for very long. 

My daughter's trick-or-treat bag is next to me on the coffee table.  I just keep chanting in my head DON'T eat the candy, DON'T eat the candy.  ;)

I had my PDAS, my formal observation for you non-Texas folks, last Wednesday.  They have like two weeks to get it back to us, but I am so impatient with things like that.  I was always the kid who wanted my graded papers back immediately, etc.  I just want to know whatever it says.  I do not do well with delayed gratification.  I'm sure it's good, but I just want to know.  Ya know?

I had been doing so great with my exercise.  ALMOST every day for about three months.  Then I hurt my shoulder, and I could barely move my arm for about a week.  So I was resting it.  I think that was good, but it's been two weeks since then, and I've only exercised about three times.  NOOOOO!!!!  I must get back on the wagon.  This week will be different...I will NOT give up.  I have lost about 20 pounds, but I have a ton to go, so I will exercise and eat healthy.  I'm making my exercise journal/diary today to help get my motivation back.

I'm finally reading The Fault In Our Stars.  I know, I know...I'm way late to the party.  My daughter read it last year, and she was so mad that I didn't read it in time for the movie.  I won't see the movie until I'm done reading it.  So, I am going to finish it today, and then we can FINALLY see the movie.  I bought her Mockingjay Part 1 tickets for the day it comes it, so that kind of makes up for this...right?  I'm off to read it right now in fact.  I gotta finish so we can go to the zoo to visit the lions, my favorite, when my daughter wakes up.  :)

Monday, September 1, 2014


I am always excited to link up with Farley for Currently!  Here goes nothin'...

Listening:  I am currently listening to HGTV's Flipping the Block.  Does anyone else love that show as much as me?  I can't wait for the season finale next week, but I will miss Josh shouting, "People of the block!!!!"  haha

Loving: I love HEB's packaged guacamole in the produce section.  It is fresh, so it tastes pretty much like homemade without all the work.  It could use a touch more lime juice buuuuttt....  Anyway, I never splurge on it, because it's cheaper for me to make my own.  Plus, my daughter doesn't like avocado, so I have to eat it all by myself.  (This is really not a problem, but I SHOULDN'T.)  Well, today I splurged and got myself the little container of the spicy kind, and it is soooo good.  I had it on a whole wheat low carb tortilla with some chicken for lunch, and it was awesome. 

Thinking: Any other Texas teachers frustrated with TEA and the gaps created by the new math TEKS.  I am struggling trying to figure out where to start my instruction this year.  Grrrr

Wanting: My daughter and I are healthy eating and exercising which is great!  I feel stronger and healthier, and I am less hungry most of the time.  I am never going to NOT want pizza, or dipped cones, or chocolate, or bread, but I.CAN.NOT.EAT.THEM.EVERY.DAY.  Soooo...we are sticking with our eating healthy and exercising three weeks at a time, and then we get a cheat day.  Day 22 is coming up on Wednesday, and I have Starbucks fall latte and a pizza dinner with a pumpkin beer for dinner planned already!  I am pumped.

Needing: Three more days off...or a math planning fairy.  Ya know...whichever.

Trips: I want to travel everywhere...seriously.  I've only been to a few places too, which makes it so sad.  If I had to list three of my top travel destination dream locations it would be these.  I have always wanted to go to the redwood forest ever since singing "This Land is Your Land" when I was a kid.  New York is a dream of most.  I'm no exception.  Hawaii too.  Tropical paradise??  Yes, please!  And a little edit with a fourth location (#sorrynotsorry for the cheat) Wizarding World of Harry Potter really has to happen soon.  I love HP!

You should link up with Farley too!  Or at the very least, head over to her blog and read about what other bloggers are Currently up to!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday! Holla!

Hey y'all...I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another edition of...

Can I get a Holla!!

Check out some of the great things I bought at the big TpT sale earlier this week.  I got Clutter Free Classroom's Hand Signal Signs.  I've been using hand signals, but these graphics are just too perfect.  I got Jen Jones hello fonts, task cards from Teaching with a Mountain View, and 4mula Fun's Commercial License for the flippable templates.  I can't wait to start creating with those babies!  Also, I am hoping that Schroeder Shenanigans in Second's Blo(r)ganized pack will help me make (and more importantly KEEP) some creating and blogging goals this year.  I MUST do better.  Okay...full confession...this is only a portion of my purchases this week.  I may or may not have filled my cart FOUR times.  Ah, was worth it!  I got several clip art sets, digital papers, Pond Fonts from Graphics from the Pond, and added more licenses for my KG fonts.  Eventually I had to stop because I.  Wanted.  It.  All.  For realz though.!/MsWilsonsWolves?sk=insights

So, I am doing a superhero theme in my classroom this year, and I wanted some d├ęcor that had more than just red, blue, and yellow so that I could continue to use my current table colors and caddies.  I decided that I would get myself a set of superhero clipart and make some flair pieces to match just what I wanted and needed.  One thing I did was buy several different black-and-white patterned borders, and when I can start setting up my room next week I will start with those and black paper.  Then I will add colorful tissue paper poofs, and I am going to print some of these flags to mix and match and string together for little banners.  I decided it would be a good idea for me to create my Facebook Fan Freebie tab!!!!  (Lord have mercy...that was some work.  I was having technical difficulties.)  Can I get another Holla!!!  Anywho, these cutie patootie banner flags are there for your downloading pleasure.  I would LOVE it if you would like me on Facebook and invite your teacher blogging friends to do the same.  I only have 9 likes, because I have NOT been using it, but that is about to change.
So I made this activity back in ummm February.  I never did get around to adding the cover page and credits so that I could put it in my little shop.  Today, I finished it up and it is for sale right now...just click here or on the pic!  Yay!  I'm putting it on sale for 20% off for the next two days since I missed the sale.  If you teach 5th grade math in Texas this is something you can use...I PROMISE.  Our students have such trouble with the 5.12 B TEKS that says use experimental results to make predictions, and so that is exactly what they practice using this fun, hands-on, activity!  They spin the spinners various amounts of times (on the booklet page directions) and they tally the results.  Then they make a fraction to describe the results. (TEKS 5.12A). After that, they use their fractions to make predictions by setting up equivalent fractions.  My students REALLY enjoyed doing this last year, and I know it helped some of them GET.IT...ya know what I mean?  Now, I'm sorry...I'm not sure about you common core folks, but if it does meet one of the CC standards, I'd love for you to tell me which one in the comments.  It looked like maybe they did this kind of thing in 7th grade, but of course then the numbers were more complicated.  I don't know...I only speak TEKS.
I took a road trip to Blue Bell factory with my munchkin, my momma, and her friend from college who was in town for a visit.  It was H.E.C.T.I.C. let me tell you, but that free scoop of Magic Cookie Bar ice cream made the waiting soooo worth it.  Ohmygoodness Yum!!  I really enjoyed the little tour, and now when I see Blue Bell in the freezer case at the store I want it even more.  I might have bought some from HEB the next day.  #igotnosugaraddedchocolate #itsnotasgoodasmagiccookiebar

Last, but not least, we got some new little patio furniture on sale.  I love it.  :)  (BTW...ignore the crazy paint job...they are in the process of painting our apartment complex.  They will come back for trim and doors later.)  We sat out there and enjoyed coffee the other morning.  It's the little things y'all.  Well...I'm off to enjoy my last *sniffle* weekend of summer.  Let the work begin full force on MONDAY! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Currently....Testing Season

It's time to link up with the super funny Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade for another month of Currently!  Are you in test mode like me???

Listening: Y'all...It is 8:00 am on a school day, and I am listening to the glorious sounds of nothing!  Isn't that the best thing you've ever heard?  We had STAAR tests on Tuesday and Wednesday, but today I took a personal day.  WooHoo!!!  I never take true personal days, but today I did.  My daughter and I are going to go out to breakfast, go shopping, go see Divergent, and maybe take some bluebonnet pics on the side of the road.  It is going to be amazing!!!

Loving: I am loving my math center activities that I made for my 5th graders.  They did them on Monday as a review before the big day of some basic skills, and let me tell you it was good.  They enjoyed them, but even better than that I got information.  I saw some things we still need to work on for division and some things they've forgotten about decimals.  Let me just say, I will be spiraling those things in over the next few weeks.  There are six, super easy-prep centers to do with dice and cards.  Usually I glue my centers to file folders and laminate, but this time I was in a rush so I just slipped them into page protectors.  That made it even easier.  You can click here or the pic below to check them out in my store.  There are several pics of them in action below. (Ignore that 10 card in the thousandths place decimal picture...I forgot to take them out at first.  We fixed it.  Whoops! LOL)

Thinking: I am thinking that there are only a couple of weeks left before the science STAAR test.  We need to finish up life science and review, review, review!  I will be using my Electric Circuit Task Cards, and I'm hoping to make some other things as well to practice the things they are really struggling with.

Wanting: I am wanting some more cutie patootie antique toolboxes or other antique boxes to put stuff in like this one that my mom gave me.  I put some games in it that we play regularly, and I love it!!!  We used to keep the games in the closet.  Now they are close at hand, but don't make it look messy.  Maybe we'll hit up an antique store today while we're out.  :)

Needing: I am needing my math STAAR test results.  I was anxious the last few weeks for how my kids would do, but know I just need to know.  I.Can't.Stand.The.Waiting.  #idontdodelayedgratification

Hours and Last Day: My contract hours are from 7:10-3:40, and my students hours are 7:40-2:40.  Can I just say reading everyone's currently this month has made me really jealous of some of your schedules.  Why is my required day so long?  Of course, I also work later than that most of the time, but I am getting better about letting things go until the next day so I can go home!  Our last day of school is June 6th now because of weather make-up days.  And then we have a teacher workday the following Monday.  I'm still debating about whether to apply for summer school.  I have done it for two years, and I could use the money, but I want a nice long summer.  We'll see....

That's all for this month's I must get out and enjoy this day.  :)


Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Made...zzzzzzzzzzzz...It..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all.  I am soooo tired.  The time change is still taking its toll on me, and then today was the first day after spring break.  It was rough.  To top it all off, I could not go to sleep last night for the life of me.  I'm pretty sure that it was anxiety about going back to school when I didn't feel ready.  I was awake until 3:30, and I was up and out the door by 6:30.  All I can say is TGFS aka Thank God For Starbucks!!!!   Who's with me?!?!
I'm going to make this a quick post to share the things I made that I want to share with you all.  First, I needed some examples of various electric circuit setups to test my kids on their ability to decide whether light bulbs would light or not in each one.  I just could not find what I was looking for.  I decided to make my own.  I'm so glad I got them done just in time to review the last month before STAAR happens in April.  (That is our state testing here in Texas.)  There are 40 different black-and-white circuit task cards included in the set, four sorting mats, a recording sheet, and an answer document.  There is a directions page with a four different ways of using the cards that I thought of, although I'm sure there are plenty more.  I have put the preview picture below.  I will give one set away for free from my blog, one on Instagram, and one from my Facebook.  Leave a comment below including your email address to enter the giveaway here.  To enter your chance to win on Facebook, click here to head over to my Facebook page.  Become a follower and leave a comment with your Facebook username under the giveaway post.  To enter on Instagram, click here.  Follow me on Instagram and comment on the giveaway post for your chance to win.  I will choose a winner from each place Wednesday night!  (We have a softball game tomorrow.)  If you are interested in buying these circuit task cards after the giveaway ends, click here!

Secondly, I said I would share this little Valentine freebie.  I know it's too late for this year, but you can always download and save it for next year.  There is four quick pages of practice turning improper fractions into mixed numbers.  I made it really quick to leave for a sub. Just click on the picture to download the file.  :)
This is how my sweet little Valentines turned out, and I have to say I think my students really liked them.  We watch CNN student news most days, and each episode ends with Carl Azuz telling puns related to the final story.  I think some of them really liked these punny Valentines even more because of that! :) 
To see other awesome things made by fabulous teacher bloggers, head over to 4th Grade Frolics for another link-up of Monday Made It! :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Currently...5 School Days from Spring Break!!!!

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh...  It is only 5 school days away.  Actually only 4 days for me, because we have a grade-level planning day on Wednesday.  I can smell the fresh air, Starbucks sit-ins, and I-finally-have-time-for-home-cooking days coming my way.  How about you?

And now....It's time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for Currently...March!!!
Listening: Are you guys as excited as I am about Scandal being back?  I LOVE it!!!  I had to DVR it, because this week has been crazy, but I am finally getting to watch it.  Soooo good!
Loving: I am loving my new fraction anchor charts, and I promised I'd share them on the blog this week.  Here they are in all their glory:

Anybody have suggestions to keep them from fading?  The sun in my room is doing a doozy on them already, and it's only been a couple of weeks.  (The blinds are closed already, so that is not helping.  I was hoping I could keep them for a little while, but now I'm not sure they will last.  Help!!!)
Thinking:  Spring Break is sooo close.  I want those days of recuperation so badly.  It has been a stressful year, a year of chaos in my mind.  I need days to get my thoughts in order, my files in order, my plans in order, because our math standardized test is just around the corner.  I have got to do my students justice, and I need time for myself in order to make that happen. 
Wanting: My "running" shoes are getting a hole, and my big toe is going to pop out the top of one of them soon.  Heading to the outlet malls during spring break to find some more.  I call them "running" shoes, because I jog...barely.  But I'm trying.  See the needing section for more...
Needing: Working out is new for me.  I have been going to the gym regularly since the beginning of January...until last week.  Last week was insane.  Today's the day to get back in the game.  I have TONS of work to do in the get healthy department, but I am trying.  I am doing couch to 5K, which for most people is a program that progresses a little more each week.  My progress happens at a much slower pace.  I have repeated week 2 one time, and week 3 two times, and I think I'm going to be on week 3 for a while yet.  It is hard when you are as out of shape as I am, but I am trying.  And...I.Am.Not.Giving.Up.Dammit.  This is what I keep telling myself anyway.  That's why I must get myself to the gym.  TODAY!
???: And now the question category.  My answer is Vitamin Water Zero.  Any guesses?
Enjoy your March teacher friends!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The one in which I explain my absense...Golden Girls Style

Hello there, dear teacher friends. It's been forever since I blogged. I'm going to channel a little Sophia Petrillo when I say... Picture it. August. The hustle and bustle of back to school night. Parents would be there in t-minus 12 hours, and the first day of school was four days away. I was finished setting up my lovely first grade room, and I was getting ready to do a reveal blog post of my classroom. I had made these precious burlap banners for each word wall in my room, and had chevron-burlap ribbon borders around them all too. I was so excited.

Super cute, right?  It was to be my fourth year teaching first grade, and I had made almost everything I needed for each unit, and this was the year I could take my time doing even more creating of the things I wanted to add. All I had left before the first day of school was to finish-up my plans and copies and I could relax on my final weekend before the littles arrived...or so I thought. The principal had mentioned the night before that they were going to be able to hire another fifth grade teacher, because the numbers were high. (Here is where I should mention that I used to teach fifth grade at my school, but when the number were too low four years before I had moved to first grade.) She jokingly asked if I wanted to move back to 5th. I could not shake the thought out of my mind all night long, and here on the morning of back to school night, I went into her office to say I thought I thought I would like the change. She was excited, because as some of you may know, it is very difficult to find 5th grade teachers who have some experience and almost impossible four days before school was starting. So, it was set.

 The next few hours were a complete blur as I went down to meet with my old teammates to decide what to do first, and how that evening would be handled. The principal called in some interviews for first grade, and my replacement was there in a few hours. I carted off whatever I could take out of my old room without turning it into a disaster, but the rest would have to be done after the parents had all gone back home. I left my room in tact for the firsties that would be seeing their new classroom that evening, and I partnered with another 5th grade teacher to greet parents as my new room was an utter disaster. I kept telling myself that the weekend would be hard, but then it wouldn't be so bad. I had done 5th grade before, and I would know what to do. I realized almost immediately that this was going to be so much harder than I thought. I fought back tears all day. That night while I smiled and greeted 5th graders and their parents one of the moms said, "So why are you in here. Your room isn't ready or something." Inside I was like Chrysanthemum, and I wilted. I had NEVER, not ever, not been ready for this night. I wanted to scream at her that my room was ready, and it was beautiful, but I had given it away. Instead, I just smiled and said, "Yep, pretty much."

 Once the parents were gone, my daughter and her father helped me pack everything I needed from my old room and cart it across the school to the new room. I left a lot of things there for the new teacher, including all my precious banners and borders. I cried all night long. I cried all the next day as my daughter and I put my things away in my new classroom. I cried all weekend as I did a little bit of decorating and lesson planning, so that I would be as ready as possible for this new bunch of students.
(This was the transformation from Friday morning to Friday evening.  Not many decorations, but I have added since then of course.  I was just happy that it was presentable!)

For the next six months, until just recently, I was in mourning. I fought back tears whenever I passed by my old room, by the old craftivities hanging in the hall that would have been mine, when the new Pete the Cat book came out, when the 100th day of school rolled around, and when I remembered each little thing I wouldn't be doing anymore. I didn't look at a first grade blog, or any blog for months, and I barely even looked at my Instagram. It was so strange. I know I have so many fun and wonderful things for my students to do...they are just different things, and I am getting used to it. I finally have a few creative juices flowing again. For the past six months, I have been a TpT buyer, not a creator. It is good to do that of course, but it is even better when I can be doing both. This month, I am happy to say that I am starting to get my mojo back.  I updated my blog and Instagram name from First Grade Wolves to Ms. Wilson's Wolves.  I have made several anchor charts, a cutie Valentine, and a little fraction page with hearts for a Valentine flair that I left for sub-work. I will do a post on those things later this week to share them with you.  I even read through the past six month's of sweet Reagan's blog, and I only cried a little. Mostly I felt inspired again. It's nice to be back...I hope you'll have me.