Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Name


What's in a name.  I read this post by... I can't even remember who, so if it's you, please let me know so I can link it back to you.  I'm so sorry!  Anyway, I thought I'd let you know about my name and what I've been called in the seasons of my life.

I was born Maria Jane.  Each name was from a grandma.  Maria was one of my grandma's names (she had 5 names... she was from Spain) and Jane was my other grandma's middle name. Put them together and you have me! :)  Maria Jane is something I was only called when I was in trouble.
As a child, I was called Maria by my family but my dad called me "Ri" (pronounced like this... ree). He still calls me that today.  I'm not really sure if I can recall a time when he called me by my real name.  Hmmmmm...... probably when I was in trouble.
I was called this and Maria as I grew up on the softball field and volleyball court during grade school.  One of my coaches called me "Rae (said like.. Ray)" in softball.  I can still hear him say it. One of my dad's church friends also called me that and still does to this day.
Once I entered high school I was still called Maria by most of my friends except those who I played volleyball with.  My coach called me "Ri", just like my dad, and my teammates called me "Ria".
In college everyone called me Maria except the girls I coached.  They called me Coach Maria.  I had one friend who called me ria10 because that was my AOL sign in.  I miss hearing him say that... he's been gone almost 3 years now.
In 1999 we were blessed with the first nephew in our family. He's been a joy to watch grow up.  When he was old enough to say my name, he called me "Bia".  I don't know why it came out that way, but it stuck. We were buddies.  I watched him all the time.  We look alike so people always thought he was mine because I had blonde hair and my sister had brown.  And now... he's 17. He still calls me Bia along with all my other nieces and nephews. I adore it and I will cry if he ever stops calling me that.
I'm still called all those names above, but most importantly, I've added momma to that list.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Little Help?!?!

Dear Friends,

I need some advice.  We are on spring break and my girls have been asking (well... pretty annoyingly begging) to go outside and play.  I am not a hater of the outdoors by any means.  I love for them to be outdoors.  Here's where my dilemma is.  I don't want to be out there with them.  I have stuff to do!  I have grades that need to be entered, research reports that need grading, bathrooms that need to be cleaned, closets that could definitely use a cleaning, and a multitude of other things that I want to do on spring break.  And by multitude I mean, sit by myself, on my couch, watch a few tv shows, maybe a bowl of ice cream and fall asleep. Because sometimes... isn't that what spring break is all about if you can't be sitting on a beach somewhere?!?!?!?!?!
The problem I'm facing is.... fear.  Can I let them play outside without the fear of someone taking my sweet little angels?  Right now, I can't.  They like to play in the front of our house even though we have a giant backyard.  Our yard is not fenced in, which again adds to the fear.  How can I get past this?  I don't know what to do except pull up my chair and sit outside watching over them, making sure they look both ways when crossing the street, and monitoring the trampoline jumping (across the street at our neighbor's house) they just have to do even though I HATE IT! (another fear)
Our oldest has been getting bolder and asking to bike around the subdivision.  I'm trying to be ok with it.  She usually goes with a sister or friend, but I'm not going to lie, I'm scared to death!  The other day I heard the sirens and all I could think of was, what if.  I'm sure this feeling will never go away, because it'll turn into other things that I'm afraid of......  Going out with friends to the movies, going on a first date (hopefully when they are 25), and more.  Our oldest is 11, but our younger two are 9 and 6.  They want the freedom too, but aaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!  How do you do it?  Any advice besides just trusting them and the plan that has been already written for us?  I'll take anything, especially if your advice involves lots of ice cream or Speedy Freezes after Lent. :)

You're the best!!!!!  Thanks for your help!

Monday, March 27, 2017

1st Ice Cream of the Season


One of our favorite ice cream places opened up last Friday. We couldn't not stop there on our way to bible study.  I was the only one to get ice cream!  I love me some vanilla, soft serve ice cream. :)  Here's to many many more ice cream visits with these three sweet little ladies.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Thief Among Us



There is a thief in our school building.
This thief comes in after hours.
Once the door is closed and locked.
The thief comes in dressed as a cleaning person.
The thief sweeps (well... sometimes that is questionable) and mops (or is supposed to).
The thief empties the trash and puts a new bag in nightly.
But....
The thief also took $5 that a student brought in for raffle tickets.
The thief took $4 that was sitting on my counter for 2 WEEKS untouched.
The thief recently took two bites out of a cheese block I had left in my fridge after a bridal shower.
The thief also took a Coke (OUT OF MY FRIDGE) that I had opened and drank out of since I drink one Coke over several days.
The thief took my cheese stick (OUT OF MY FRIDGE).
The thief has not just taken from me, they have taken from many others in my building.
Then, an experiment....  I left a donut on my counter, on purpose, Friday when I left school.
Then, the thief struck again.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Safari Part 2

Each year I have done research with my firsties and each year, I think, it keeps getting better.  This year was no different.
Here's a little bit about our process.
We start off with a class research project on Sharks.  I gather up all the books I can and we begin so I can work a few days ahead of the class.
Day 1: It starts out with reading the book Sharks! by Anne Schreiber.
On Day 2: I introduce the chart students will use to collect their information.  Each column has a color that corresponds to the tabs students will use to mark the information they find.

During our writers workshop time, students are browsing books and making their top three choices for animals they want to research.
Day 3:  Students are matched up with books and tabs are placed on the front of the books so that they can tab the information as they read.



Day 4 and beyond:  Our firsties begin to take notes.  By taking notes I mean they bullet and write one or two words until they have 3 or 4 facts.
Once notes have been taken, our firsties begin to write their chapters for each column.  A few of the minilessons throughout this 4 week period are on nonfiction text features.  Students will have to add 2-4 in their stories.  Now.... I had prepped my students from the beginning so they knew they were writing this piece twice since we were presenting to other classes and their parents.  I did not expect them to put these in their rough drafts.  Once this rough draft is finished, students begin working on their Title Page.  When most of the class is finished, I start working with small groups to edit/revise their work.  After this,  I take home all the reports for a final revision because.... I'm a little on the nutty side and 60 firstie pieces on a Friday night sounds amazing, right?!? :)  Then, my firsties write their neat copies, adding in nonfiction text features.  Our Safari is the culminating activity for our firsties to show off their writing to others.  It's a great day for all our firsties and they are so proud of their work. And quite frankly, I am too! :)






I know I'm leaving out things like.... we go over what we do if we can't find enough information in our book.  (look at others, go to the internet, etc.) If you have questions or want to know more, let me know!!! I LOVE to talk writing! :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Safari Part1



Today was the day before spring break starts.  :)  I decided 4 weeks ago that today would be the day of our "Safari".  My students began with choosing an animal to research.  I taught them how to read carefully and tab information that would fit on our chart.  After that, I taught my firsties how to transfer what was tabbed into bulleted notes.  Once that was finished, I modeled how to write a story from the notes.  It's been a looooonnnnnnnggggggggg process, but an amazing one!  Our firsties truly see themselves as authors.  I mean, they really believe it now!  Here are a few snapshots from today.  This weekend I'll give you a more detailed description of what we did. :)






Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Most Important Thing.....

Man.. I have got to start eating dinner when normal people eat.  I grabbed a few fries from my girls when I picked up the youngest from hubby who got home today!!!  Can I get a yahoo?!?!?!?!?! I was full-ish, probably because fries are a weakness and honestly, I didn't eat a few.  I ate almost all of them.  I have no self control. Fast forward 4 hours and I'm hungry... again.  Don't worry, I won't ask for anyone to get me a bowl of cereal, but I'm pretty sure I see a bowl of that in my future again even though it's almost 10:00 PM! hahaha

The other day I wandered over to see Angela at Slowing Down the Moments and found a post inspired by The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.  It was about her daughter and it was beautiful.  Since I teach writing enrichment during our school-wide intervention block, my wheels started turning.  So this week, to kick off my new group of 2nd graders, we read The Important Book.  Then, students were allowed to choose what they wanted to write about.  Here's what they had to say:
 A tree.

 Water.

 A car.

 A tree.
 This was our K friend who joins us!  I love what she said about her house.

 A clock.

A bed.

I guess if I was doing this right now it would be The most important thing about dinner is that you EAT IT, at an appropriate time. hahahahaha

Happy *almost* Friday, Friends!!