Monday, December 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For School:

I got my Junior Library Guild subscription in last week.  So I read through all the picture books.  It's my favorite time of the month!

Pine and Boof: the Lucky Leaf by Ross Burach: Boof the bear has a lucky red leaf.  The red leaf gets swept away in the wind.  Luckily Pine the porcupine walks by at just the right time with his lucky compass.  The new friends set off together on an adventure to find the lost leaf.

All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle:  A boy and his family take their old family car that makes lots of noises to the city of Havana, Cuba.  As they drive they see the sights, hear the sounds, and watch the neighbors & the musicians performing, and see all the colorful cars driving along.

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy (Charlie & Mouse, #2): by Margarita Engle: This is a beginning chapter book.  It's the second in the series.  The two brothers are excited for their grandfather's visit.  They pounce each other, sings the wrong songs, build forts out of blankets and do other fun things together.

Catch My Breath by Paul Briggs:  This is a fun little book!  This book is full of puns related to breath.  Like catch my breath,  babies breath, and many others.

For Pleasure:

The Christmas Secret (Christmas Hope, #5) by Donna VanLiere:  I listened to this sweet story.  I don't always enjoy a "sweet" story but around the holidays all I want to read are heart warming stories.  Like all heart warming stories, life works out for this single mom of two.  She gets they guy, though it's not the guy she thought.  Her ex-husband gets his life together and becomes a better father and she gets to go back to college.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Five for Friday

1.  We are one week closer to Winter Break!  Two more weeks to go!

2.  Jay and I are going to the movies tonight.  It's been forever since we had a date night.  Life has just been busy.  And if we've had a free moment we've been too tired from all the other busyness to take advantage of a date night.

3.  I couldn't find the zipper on my coat yesterday.  I looked all over for the zipper.  I finally ask a friend at work if she saw the zipper.  She did... on the other side of the coat.  Yeap.  That was my day.  lol

4.  My library has been freezing this week!  I've worn my coat and sometimes my gloves while indoors.  I've been drinking coffee in the afternoons to help warm me up.  I split it all over my papers.  Yeap.  That was my day.  Ha!

5.  One more Friday till break!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cold In East Texas

It's been cold here in East Texas.  It's been rainy the last couple of days which makes it seem colder than what it really is.  We don't get much cold weather here so I love when we do!

My library has three walls that are 2/3 windows.  I LOVE being able to look outside all day.  I don't feel like I've been stuck indoors all day.  But mercy!  In the summer, spring and even the fall it's so hot in my library.  It doesn't help that my body runs hot anyway.  And during the winter it's like an iceberg in the library.

Yesterday I didn't think I'd ever get warm again.  I was even cold at Bible study.  I friend nearly fainted when I told her I was cold... cuz I'm always hot. Ha!

I'm cooking cheese soup for us for dinner tonight.  It's my mother-in-law's recipe and one of Reagan and my favorites. 

It's going to warm up to the 60s next week.  So I'm enjoying the upper 40s and mid 50s this week!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elderly Saints Party

We had our yearly Elderly Saints Party last Friday. It was a lot of fun!

We rented a building and decorated it. This year's theme was "Hat Off To You" so our colors were black and red. We had top hats and black and red checks decorating the tables.

We had one of our younger couples help too. The wife took polaroids of all the couples (the hosts and the guests) while the husband made sure everyone signed in.

One of the hosts made top hat cookies. After the polaroid was taken another lady taped the picture to the package the cookie was in. At the end when everyone was leaving they got their cookie (s) and their picture to take home. It was a nice little party gift. I LOVE this idea!

After dinner some of our musically talented people sang and played Christmas songs for us. There were also a couple of tables of 42 being played.

Since it was Jay's birthday the first song the group sang was "Happy Birthday" to him. He hated being the center of attention ... not me, I would have loved it! lol

Everyone had a great time and thank us for a lovely evening. It's a lot of work but so worth it!

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For School:

I read Blocks by Irene Dickerson to PreK-1st grade.  Blocks is on the Texas 2x2 list.  This is a simple book filled with so much teaching opportunities!  With the book being titled blocks, I'll start with the obvious, we talked about shapes.  We identified colors.  The characters in the books had names that started with the color of the blocks they were using like Ruby used red blocks.  So we identified the sound of 'r' and discussed the placement of that sound.  Most of the sentences are punctuated with a period but there were a couple of sentences with explanation points.  We discussed why the explanation point was appropriate for the sentence it was used in.  With my 1st graders we also took note of the quotation marks and talked about why they were used.  The last thing we focused on was feelings and better ways to handle situations.  One boy takes one of the girl's blocks.  There's a little fusing and fighting.   We explored ways to solve problems other than fighting. The only thing I'll do different next time I read this book is I'll add a block station so they can build like Ruby, Benji and Guy did.

To 2nd-5th I read Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau.  It has been nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award.  After reading about this real life community project, students and I compared and contrasted our school's garden club verse the Lights Out for Loggerheads community project.

For Pleasure:

It's the Christmas season so I've been devouring Christmas stories.

I listened to All is Calm by  Colleen Cobie and Starry Night by Debbie Macomber.  Both are sweet stories with Christmas themes.

I'm half way through Hot Flash Holidays by Nancy Thayer.  It keeps me laughing!

I'm also half way through listening to The Christmas Secret (Christmas Hope, #5) by Donna VanLiere.  A single mom is down on her luck.  Money is tight.  She has a deplorable ex-husband.  She looses her job.  But she saves a woman's life.  The woman's family is going go save her life too.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Five For Friday-Elderly Saints Christmas Party

1.  The middle age church members host an Elderly Saints Christmas Party every year.

2.  We rent a pretty building.  We decorate it to the nines.

3.  We each cook part of the meal.  This year one person is doing all the meat while everyone else is doing a side and/or dessert.

4.  After we eat we take pictures in a "photo booth" and listen to some of the members sing and play their instruments.  Some bring dominoes to play.

5.  Everyone has a blast!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jury Duty

I had jury duty Monday.  I dread being picked.  I don't want to sit there being questioned.  I hate the whole process.

One of the things I did find interesting was that the judge said that our jobs were not an excuse to get out of jury duty but he did make an exception to that rule.

He allowed medical people to be excused and teachers during the STAAR test (our state assessment).  At first I was super excited!  Being an educator would mean I got to get out of jury duty but then he clarified.... Since it was STAAR test time we weren't being excused.

Then I got a little irritated.  Not because I had to keep sitting there going through the process but because that's what the STAAR test has become.

Not only do students and educators dread it but now a judge of the courts thinks it's so important that an educator can get excused from jury duty because of it.

That's where we are in life now.  A standardized test has been made so important not only in education but out in the world too.

I agree there does have to be some standards.  We do need to know we are teaching our students what they need to know.  But all this standardize testing has just become one big monster.