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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ok...I feel really bad...I start a blog, but I haven't been posting!!!  This will definitely be a time management issue.  It is almost 10:00 p.m., and I am just sitting down to start looking at my computer.  I have some literacy centers that I have created that I want to post as a freebie...but I have not been able to figure out how to get my word document posted.  I will keep trying and get some things up here soon.  I may not have any freebies for people to take advantage of, but there are a lot of great giveaways out there right now...so make sure you go check out these blogs so you can sign up to win!!!

ashleigh's education journey is giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon.com.  Go check her out...but hurry up because this ends on the 28th!!!


Crazy for First Grade is giving away a $25 gift card from Office Max!!!  All teachers need supplies...and what is better then free supplies!!!  Her give away also ends on the 28th...so get there ASAP so you can have a chance at that $25 gift card!!!

Mrs. Saoud at Primary Graffiti is giving away an Easi-Speak USB Recorder!!!  How fun is that!!!  I love any type of technology I can get my hands on!!!  You can actually enter 5 different times for this great giveaway!  This giveaway ends on the 29th!  Hurry up so you don't miss your chance to win this awesome gift.

Time 4 Kindergarten has a giveaway that will be ending on the 30th!  There are 7 different ways to get your name in to win her What Comes Next packet. 

Sunny Days in Second Grade is giving away the most awesome package of goodies from the Dollar Tree.  And...as if the Dollar Tree goodies aren't enough...she's also giving away 6 adorable owl cards!  What a great giveaway!!!  This giveaway ends at midnight on the 30th!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, Monday!

I wonder if all teachers go crazy on Monday!!!  No matter how late I stay at school on Friday, or how much work I do over the weekend...Monday is always so crazy...at least it feels like that!  I was at school till 7:00 on Friday night, worked at home on Saturday on the computer for at least 4-5 hours, and worked in my room on Sunday for about 3 1/2 - 4 hrs...and I still wasn't 100 % ready for the day!  I still had to cut some things out for some games I made for my centers, I had papers that had to be run off, as well as getting my test papers together to go home...which never did happen until after 3:00!!!  I stayed after school till 5:30 today and finished getting things ready for the rest of the week...now I feel better about things.

Ok...enough of that!  We have an exciting week ahead of us...a lot to learn and a lot to do!  We are on our second descriptive paragraph.  We use the Write Source program for our Language curriculum.  This is our 3rd year using this program, and I'm really just feeling comfortable with it.  The 3rd grade ELA teachers at our school did an in-service this summer for all of the teachers in our district, and the tips and strategies they showed us really made me feel a lot more comfortable teaching this program.  I can truly say that I feel like my students are getting so much out of our ELA time this year!  It amazes me how just a few great tips and strategies can take you from feeling like something is impossible to feeling like this is really a great program!

I really believe that part of the reason our school has been able to achieve such great strides is because of the Reading and Math series that we have been using.  Five years ago we began using the DEEP Math program, along with the Everyday Counts program.  If you have never seen the DEEP Math program, I think you would be amazed!  It's nothing but word problems...starting in 1st grade!  It really teaches the kids to think analytically!  We only teach short lessons at the beginning of some lessons.  The students work with a partner to figure out how they can get the answer to the problem.  After the students learn how to be a good partner, this works great!  Our students have improved dramatically in Math since we began using the program.  This is our 4th year using Harcourt Storytown.  Before Storytown we used SFA for 12 years I think!  It was PAST time for a change, and a good change it was!  I really like Storytown...a lot!!!  I poured my heart and soul into creating and making meaningful center activities for my students!  I plan on sharing all of the games that I made.  My students love center time...I love knowing that their center time is not being filled with just some time consuming activities, they are enjoying some really great educational activities that I believe are helping to enrich their learning.

If you have time to leave some comments, let me know what curriculums yall are using and what you think about them!  If you use any of the curriculums we are using I would LOVE to hear what you have to say about them!

I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 2!!!

I have done nothing but think of my blog all day long!  As soon as I got to school I showed my students...of course they loved the fish!!!  Our school colors are red and black, hence the Hattie Watts fish swimming in my tank.  They wanted me to leave my blog page up so they could keep watching the fish...but that wasn't possible because we had a day loaded with learning and tests!

We have all been very excited at school today because we were recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.  This is such a high honor and we are all so proud.  There are 2 different ways that a school can be recognized as a Blue Ribbon School, and we met both of those requirements.  One requirement was to have increased scores on high stakes testing for 3 consecutive years.  CHECK!  We met the 2nd requirement by becoming a High Poverty/High Performing School.  Forty percent of our high poverty students had to score high for high stakes testing...well...SEVENTY-FOUR PERCENT OF OURS DID!!!  Our students and our teachers have been working so hard, but we have to take our hats off to our awesome leader...our principal...Mrs. Niki Fryou!!!  She is STUPENDOUS!!!!!  Great leadership means everything!  

I will be "studying" a lot of blogs this weekend to see what types of posts are being made on the blogs that are A+ blogs...I want to become an A+ blog! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Very First Ever Blog Post!!!!

Wow!!!  I am excited...and nervous at the same time...my very first blog post!!!  I have thought about starting a blog since last school year...I am the QUEEN of procrastination!!!  I started out this school year following A LOT of educational pages on Facebook, which directed me to sooooo many new educational blogs...and I have quickly become addicted to searching out as many blogs as I can every night when I get home and finding as many freebies as I can get my hands on!!!  Since so many other teachers have been helping me out by posting valuable information and resources on their blogs...I decided it was time for me to just go ahead and jump in...so here it goes...Second Grade Swamp Stories is now official! 

 I figured tonight was as good as any other night to get started...the perfect way to end an awesome day!!!  Our school received GREAT news today...HATTIE WATTS ELEMENTARY IN PATTERSON, LOUISIANA IS A 2011 BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL!!!!  WOO HOO!!!!  WE LOVE OUR WEE JACKS!!!!  We also received a reward for High Performing/High Poverty School!  I love my school, I love my students and their parents, and I am sooooo thankful for the most awesome principal in the world!!!  With her guidance and direction, our school has really been soaring!  I can't wait to see what awesome things will take place this year!