Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Literature **Need your Help!!**

Hello friends,

I'm sorry I've been MIA for a few days! Almost a week! EEK! I have been a busy girl!! I finally got to cleaning out some of that mess I showed you in my last post... and I got to see my new classroom on Monday!!! [I'm SOO excited! I have counter space, cupboards, a SINK with a drinking fountain, and most exciting--a WINDOW!!] Now I just have to come up with a solution for backpack hoods and cubbies... That is the one thing I will miss from my old closet of a classroom... *sigh* Any suggestions??

This year marks some changes for me as a teacher...
I'll be at a new school first of all (which is exciting but nerve wracking...), but I will also be teaching ALL subjects. I'm new at this you see...
My first two years in the classroom were as a "primary reading" teacher. So I saw one class of Kinders, firsties, and seconds everyday for 90 minutes each. JUST for Reading.
NOT Language Arts.
Not writing. (They had a separate writing teacher they saw for 90 minutes later in the day).
...very different.

Now, my passion is literacy. I loved focusing on reading. But--the more I thought about it, the more I thought there was probably something missing from isolating reading and writing especially in grades K-2... Many of the things I noticed the kids struggling with in reading, they would struggle with in writing, and without cohesive and CONSTANT collaboration, having two separate teachers was tough.

ANYWAYS. Long story short... I'm SO excited to teach all subjects. I'll be teaching second grade... ALL DAY LONG! (Well there's still a chance I may be asked to teach a 1/2 split. But we're waiting to hear on some ELL numbers.)
However, with these big changes, I have A LOT of work/research/pinteresting/LEARNING to do about best practices for math, science, WRITING, etc... I'm a bit intimidated.

I love readers workshop and Daily 5 (well I modified it in my reading classroom to be a bit different, but I'm familiar with the procedures). And I LOVE teaching in small groups (guided reading etc...)
I'm curious--especially those of you teaching first and second grades, what do you recommend? Writing Workshop? Math workstations? guided math?
What books do you recommend I read this summer to wrap my head around these things!!

I've been scouring amazon, but I can't decide! I figured I should ask you all what you recommend and suggest, instead of spending money on something silly!

Side Note: I know I'm a little behind but... I just bought Teach Like a PIRATE! And I cannot put it down! I've been reading it for fun and I'm almost done!
Thank goodness I sold back some of those textbooks from my Masters classes--I love having that Amazon gift card in my account! :)

So, I was looking at some Lucy Calkins books? (I've heard good and bad things--maybe a different writers workshop author??) or the Debbie Diller MathStations book? 
So, teacher bloggers--what do you think?? What do you recommend? What have you read? What works? and What does NOT? 

So many great choices, I have no idea what to do!! I'm also nervous because I have bought books before that just SIT on shelves... I want to get some that I KNOW will be engaging, and helpful to me--not just a waste of money and something I never use!

Thanks for all your help and suggestions!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday-reading, working, eating, and celebrating!!

It's Five for Friday time!! Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for this fun Friday Blog Tradition!


I bought Teach like a Pirate and LOVE it!! If you haven't gotten on that bandwagon yet-- JUMP ON! 
It's such an easy read--I was worried it would be content laden, or just like every other book on my shelf, but it is funny and engaging (one of his biggest points in the book to begin with!)...


I'm working (slowly) on some products for TPT. I'm new to this creative product thing.... I am learning! Slowly... 
I'd love to make a few reading units before the end of summer! I'm working on some reading strategies resources and some vowel practice games (etc.) right now, but I have two vacations coming up--so it may be awhile before I get my act in gear.
Does anyone have any suggestions of where to look/what to read to learn how to make things look so pretty for TPT?? I'm technologically challenged... This is a new world to me! :)


I'm really excited because I'm (hopefully) going to get to be able to see my new classroom on Monday!! I'm so nervous about switching schools, but I'm really excited to see the space I'm working with because I think it will really help me start planning and organizing things in my head! It's such a big change.... going to a new school, new environment, new subject matter.... etc! I'm getting more and more nervous/excited just thinking about it! But boy will it be nice to finally clean out the front of my entryway with all the boxes and crates and stuff from my old classroom!

Yikes this mess is SO embarrassing!! I can't believe I'm showing you this!


Boy Blue and I have been working on a more plant-based, whole foods diet. We're not going super far overboard right away, but I like researching and learning about health benefits and thinking about what is right for me. I've been reading and doing research almost daily now...
I've cut out meat and most dairy now (that part is a slower process...) and I feel great! It's for mostly health and nutrition reasons, trying to just stay healthy, feed my body the right vitamins and minerals that it needs and craves... I was a vegetarian back in high school (ALL through high school...) but I'm excited to start this journey. It has been so fun trying new foods, and exploring new recipes together. For one, I know it's brought the two of us closer together, and it has been fun figuring out how to cook and eat new veggies and new whole grains.... 
I bought wheat berries and chia seeds today, and I'm planning some fun dinners this weekend--one is a sweet potato lasagna (with tofu, broccoli, and big thick tomato slices), and the other one is a wheat berry mushroom pilaf! Yumm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Anyways--if you're interested at all in where this came from-- watch the documentary Forks over Knives. (Now I'm a documentary person-- I watch them for fun, but this one is NOT your standard documentary--it is engaging, entertaining, and very informational... It really makes you think! I couldn't stop watching it!)

I'm not a pushy food/diet person. I'm not a pushy person at all. In fact I'm not certain that *this* is the perfect diet for me, or that it will last, but I am feeling good, and I'm making better choices. I definitely get enough servings of fruits and vegetables and I know I won't be deficient in anything because of those choices. So far, I feel great! I even wake up hungry and ready for breakfast (which I NEVER used to do. I used to always skip breakfast because it made me feel so sick to eat in the morning). And surprisingly enough, I really don't miss meat or dairy yet. (ok maybe cheese a little bit... I'm from Wisconsin after all!) But I've considered myself lactose intolerant for 5 or 6 years now, so I've been limiting my dairy consumption for quite awhile anyways. 
Anyways, that was a lot longer explanation than I anticipated... Sorry about that!


Lastly, it's my baby girl's first birthday tomorrow!! She is turning 1!! ahhh! I guess I can't call her my baby anymore can I? 
Here she is! So proud in her Green Bay Packer collar and her pink bow!! 
Please ignore the mess in the background!! :)
So I'm planning to make her and the other two rascals pupcakes!! (instead of cupcakes...) I'm really excited! I want to buy them little birthday hats too! :) :) I think my may dogs hate me...

Have a fabulous weekend! Summer is slipping away already and it technically just started! Ack! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Teacher Always Says... Linky!

I just HAD to jump on this bandwagon... I have so many little phrases, sometimes I feel like a broken record! I know that many teachers do this, so it sure has been funny to see some similar ones floating around the bloggy world!
I'm linking up with Forever in First for this linky party! What a great topic! :)

So without further ado, here are some of my go-to phrases in the classroom!

I always use this to get my kids settled on the carpet, and they repeat it with me quite well. Usually all I have to say is "Criss Cross Applesauce..." and they join right in! Sometimes we do a little call and response and they like shouting out that last word in each line instead.

I use this one all the time when students start to tattle. We do a BIG push on the difference between tattling to get someone in trouble and telling a teacher if something is unsafe. The kids do a pretty good job of reminding each other what they can solve by themselves, what they should stay out of, and what they need to tell the teacher. This also ties in with taking personal responsibility for themselves too--a BIG lesson in second grade!

This one is for all my little kiddos that love to decide to go to the bathroom while I'm giving directions, or waste time sharpening a pencil right as the independent work begins instead of finding another one and getting busy!! Is now the right time? Usually they know they're busted right away!

I'm coming from a school that did just about all station based learning. SO while I was teaching in small groups (just about all day, every day), the rest of the class is busy at stations. The standard "Ask 3 Before Me" was HUGE in my classroom because of this model.

These last two are my favorites and my kids would repeat them ALL the time. SUCH a hoot. 
This is my GO TO statement during those guided reading groups I was talking about. The kids know they cannot interrupt me while I am at teacher station and have my green feather boa on (my invisible scarf!). 
I don't remember how this started, but it came out one day and it stuck. I think I was trying to think of that BBB rule that some teachers use? Blood? Barf? and something? I don't know. But this has been my go to phrase when kids come up and interrupt me. There are always a few little sunshines that don't understand and think that if they stand there long enough they'll get what they want from me! So I ask them: Are you bleeding, dying, or is your hair on fire? and they run right away. The funniest part is when the kids in my guided reading group (or other passer bys) tap the interruptor on the shoulder and ask them the same question!

Ahh, yes. I got this one from my mother. My poor mother must have gotten sick of me shouting "Mom, Mom, MOM" all over house after awhile and she'd tell me: "Mom left. She went to China." I never understood, "but mom, you're right in front of me?!" And so one day it slipped out with my class... You know those days when you get sick of your own name? or worse, the dreaded "Teacher, Teacher"?? Yeah, that's when I pull this one out.
They certainly didn't get it at first, and I sure had a lot of questions about China, but I use it sparingly! 
I always have a few gems who tell other students (who, of course, without permission got out of their seat and made their way over to me where I'm in the middle of something else to interrupt and whine my name to my turned back), "shhh, Ms. Runde's not here! She's in China!" :) 

Dang my kids crack me up! I miss my little nuggets so badly! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Made It & Super Summer Giveaways!!

My oh my! This post is super late! I thought about linking up with Monday Made it this morning, since I loved doing the Currently linky in my last post... But I was rather lazy instead of creative today. I did get to "makin' it" in my kitchen recently, so I thought I'd share that while I'm at it!! Cooking and creating are two of my favorite parts of summer time!!

So, I'm linking up with 4th grade frolics today for Monday Made it!!

Made it #1: KALE CHIPS!

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try my new Kale Chip recipe. Well, They turned out GREAT! I made them last night, and I seriously ate some kale chips and guacamole with jicama for dinner. (I woke up starving at 4am with my puppy whining at the door, but that is another story!)
They don't look beautiful, but they tasted delish!!
This is the first batch before they went in the oven--seriously, a few handfuls of baby kale (or you could chop up the bigger leaves into bite sized pieces) tossed in LIGHT olive oil. Seriously. It takes WAY less than you think. and a little salt ( I used garlic salt). We thought about doing chili powder or some other more exciting flavors, but I was nervous since it was my first time making them. 
Toss the pan in the oven at 350 for just 8-10 minutes. Watch them. They get crispy fast! This pan took 8 minutes, the second pan i did was much fuller with kale and took 10. Just don't go far! :) Delicious, and SO healthy. Did you know 2 cups of kale (one serving according to the package) has 870% of your DAILY value vitamin K ?? That totally blew my mind. And like 250% of your Vitamin A. SERIOUSLY. Talk about power food. Go buy some Kale! :)

Made it #2: Crock Pot Pinto Beans!

Yes, it's another kitchen thing. Seriously, Kaitlyn, sometimes I think you treat this as a food blog! My oh my. Anyways, I sent Boy Blue to the store yesterday for avocados  That's it. And limes. Sorry, I lied. 2 items. 
Needless to say...he came back with 4 grocery bags filled with fresh fruit and veggies... margarita mix (SHHH!) AND dried pinto beans. ??? Random, right? I never buy dried beans. They scare me. I know their cheaper but my mom always bought canned, and I grew up with canned beans.... plus don't dried beans take FOREVER??? What was he thinking?? 
Well I got to thinking. We've been migrating slowly toward a more vegan diet (more on that to come in a future post).... but anyways, beans are a great protein, etc etc. But I got to thinking about my amazing "crock pot". I told my mom I wanted one for christmas (Talking like a $20 or $30 one max... I'm young, I don't need expensive things. I'll ask for those on my wedding registry!) But she talked to our family friend who works at Williams & Sonoma and she is like seriously 5x better than Martha Stewart. She knows EVERYTHING and does it all with class.. like for real, and she's the most humble person I know. LOVE her. They're like family. 

ANYWAYS. I ended up with this SUPER pot I like to call it. (no pun intended...) It is AMAZING. it does everything. Check it Out! It's beautiful. It does everything. It's a Cuisinart 4-in-1 Multicooker. I can brown, sautee, slow cook (high & low), steam, and roast ALL in one pot.

Talk about easy clean up. Anyways, they're not paying me to say this, but -- I LOVE this thing. So I did a few searches this morning, and put my dried beans in on low around noon today. They have been smelling up a storm!! Yumm. Little cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic, lots and lots of garlic actually..., cilantro, pepper, tomato, red onion.... YUMM. They smell so good. I've had them on the heat for about 7 hours, and they're pretty much ready, but since Boy Blue is working late tonight (he won't be home till after midnight... zzzzzz!) and I have trouble eating full meals when he's not here, I just left them on the heat and they're absorbing those flavors even more! I wish you could smell them through the computer!

These pictures certainly do NOT do them justice.
I think tonight I might eat some with some quinoa. And I'm planning on mashing up the leftovers in a few days and pureeing them like refried beans and making a dip. DELISH. I love my kitchen!


Super Summer Giveaways!

On another note: In my lazy blogging/internet creeping today I found some super AMAZING giveaways, and I had to share with you all! :)

 Congratulations to both Hippo Hooray for Second Grade! and Reading Toward the Stars for their great follower milestones! 300 and 600?? Wow! I can only dream!! :)

These ladies are super teacher stars and I'm so excited for their giveaways!! Seriously, They're giving away TONS of stuff.

Hippo Hooray for Second Grade! is on day 2 of a 3 day giveaway extravaganza. Get in on it now!! Click here for day 2 and here for day 3. DO IT! You will NOT regret it :) Some of her prizes even include surprises MAILED to you?? How neat!!

Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

Reading Toward the Stars has reached 600 followers!! Can you believe that! I'm so impressed! Click here for her HUGE summer giveaway!!

Seriously, anyone would be lucky to win one piece of these fabulous collections! 

While I'm at it, another fabulous blogger opened her TPT store this week and is celebrating with a giveaway of EVERYTHING in her store! WOW!! Can't believe this one!
Click here to learn more about Curious Firsties giveaway! It ends soon!

GOOD LUCK! :) :) :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013 June!

I'm linking up with my first Linky Party today from Oh' Boy 4th Grade!! Can't believe it's halfway through June already! June 15th-- wowza. I feel so behind! I've already had 3 weeks of summer. NOOOO!
Anyways, here's my Currently on a lazy Saturday...

Now I'd love to hear from you--are you on vacation yet? Being lazy or enjoying the summer weather? Link up!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm a little obsessed...

**WARNING** this post has, well, NOTHING to do with teaching... Because it's summer, and I sometimes we all just gotta take a break! :)

Anyways...I'm super obsessed... with my breadmaker! I hate cheap grocery store bread. I won't eat it. My roommate buys the "White Wheat" bread and talks about how good it is and how healthy it is. It's gummy white wonder bread. That's all I can think of. I like thick hearty bread. I like french breads, ciabatta breads, beautiful loaves you can smell in the oven... I like toasted bread, bread that doesn't fall to pieces...
Excuse my messy kitchen!
So when my friend was trying to get rid of her breadmaker--I jumped on the chance! I made 4 loaves of bread the first weekend I had it.... I couldn't stop! The house smelled amazing. Well, I gave it a break for a week or so, but now we're out of bread again! So, guess what I'm doing today? Yup. I just made the most beautiful loaf of bread with yummy yummy whole wheat flour. It smells delicious!!!

I wrapped it up nicely, but I'm feeling a rumbly in my tummy... I may not be able to wait to share it with everyone else. My goal is not to have to buy bread at the store anymore. I love making things at home...
Ideally one day I think Boy Blue and I would like to be pretty self sufficient. I mean, how cool would it be to have everything I needed in the garden right out the back door??? J is really good in the garden (I'm NOT...) but the Phoenix heat tends to kill things! :( His mom does a lot of horticulture stuff and he grew up out in the country, so he knows a lot more than me... I leave most things green to his expertise.

We have a small garden growing some beautiful heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, melons (yet to see those growing...), squash, peas, an orange tree... and other things that I'm not thinking of right now! But, I would love to  be able to keep things growing year-round. I'm learning! :) My favorite things right now are my basil, cilantro, and oregano plants on my kitchen windowsill! Yummm, nothing better than fresh herbs!

I guess I'm a little bit of a foodie. Or a wannabe foodie. I'm a wannabe-lot-of-things... haha!
Look at my baby!!

Until then, I guess I'll stick to getting discounts at the grocery store and loving my costco membership. And cuddling with my baby puppy... But I guess she's really not much of a puppy any more. {but I can still call her that because she's the littlest...right??} She's turning 1 year old this month though!! YIKES.

Well excuse me, I think I hear my breadmaker--the cinnamon raisin loaf is done!!! YUMMMM! 
Can you smell it from there??

She destroyed a pillow.... I was sweeping up
her mess and look at that face!!
Sleeping on my pillow... Not spoiled at all!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Excuse me, I'm new here! **FREEBIE**

Well... here I am! I am definitely new to this whole teacher bloggy thingy but I'm SO excited to join this great online community!

I guess I should tell you a bit about me...
My name is Kaitlyn, I'm going into my third year of teaching and my third year living in Arizona. I grew up in Seattle, but have family in Wisconsin, and I was an army brat as a kid, so I've lived all over! I love the sunshine here though...! It's going to be hard to ever move away!
For two years, I was a primary reading teacher (Grades K-2), and this year I'll be a self-contained second grade teacher for the first time. I'm really excited to start gathering math and science resources and learn best practices for some new subject matter!
I live in a crazy house with my man, aka Boy Blue, our 3 (big) dogs: Milo, Mimi, and Abbey, a roommate, and her diva cat!

I've just begun creating resources and units for my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, and learning how to use powerpoint and all that jazz! I've never been very tech savvy, so I may look for advice or assistance at times...

To get started, I'm posting a freebie here today for you all-- FREE blank BINGO cards.
I created these 3 x 3 BINGO cards to be used with ANY topic you want to review or play a game with. Because they're in an editable powerpoint format, you can use them for any grade level, or any subject!

Click below to grab a set!

Click here to GRAB your own BINGO cards off TPT. They are FREE!!

I also made a set of Contraction BINGO cards. My kids ALWAYS struggle with contractions, and who doesn't LOVE playing BINGO, so ta da! 

I present Contraction BINGO!! {This links up with TPT}

This red card is an example of a mixed (contraction and the words that make up the contraction) card. I also included cards that have just contractions, and just the words so your students can work on multiple levels of difficulties, or you can modify to fit the needs of your classroom!

Hope you can use this Bingo FREEBIE! Or Contraction Bingo with your class this year!

What are some games you like to play with your class to review tough skills?

Enjoy your summer "break"! :)