Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Howe Stairway and a walk to Portage Bay

Seattle, WA

My mom discovered a new-to-me Seattle spot called the Howe Stairway. It is the coolest!
We started at the top and took a mapped route through an underground mountain biking skills park (it's under the I-5 and first ever urban mountain biking skills park-it's insane rad), up and down more stairs, and a look out to Portage Bay, then back up. I loved seeing many people getting their workout on the stairs.
After the stair tour we went to Volunteer Park and went up the water tower, over to the statue with the famous Space Needle shot and reflection pool.
This is a to-do when you go to Seattle.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chris Hair sugar cookies

Hair Home

Last Wednesday Bitty invited us over to her parents house to learn how to make Chris Hair sugar cookies. It was so fun to be in a nice, big kitchen where we could all help and learn from the best. The cookies were unreal; big and soft and perfectly baked. I haven't tried to bake them by myself yet, but it might be my new go-to sugar cookie recipe.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Highlights in the Classroom

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We are working on Christmas books where each day we write about a something that starts with a letter in the word "Christmas." This day was "I" for "I love Santa." After we write we do a craft and for this was Santa masks. I made them sing "Up on the Housetop" for me cause it was so cute. Their masks are pretty creepy and I heard one kid get in another's face and say "Whhhhyyyy ssooooo serrioussss" like the Joker. So funny.

On the "R" day of our Christmas books we did Rudolph. I guided them through this art project, and I get a kick looking at their finished art work because they all turn out so different and unique.

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"this is the best day of my life" ---over heard from a little first grader
We cleaned out milk cartons and hot glued them to foam board with a sugar cone. They took frosting and candy goods and went AT IT!

For a writing block activity I took inspiration from First Grade Parade and read "Santa's Stuck" and we brainstormed ways of what we'd do if Santa was stuck in the chimney. They then wrote from the prompt "If Santa was stuck in my chimney..." My favorite idea was from a boy who said "I'd shake salt and pepper on him and then he'd sneeze and blow out of the chimney."

I taught Art during our 1st grade rotation for the week and I decided on a tear-ish art Santa.
These two made me laugh every time I looked at them. The hats! I like art projects that let the students really do it themselves instead of all die cut or stenciled. This way it shows creativity and also some of their development.

I used this in a center. Word family trees! The star was the word family (_ump) and the ornaments were different words from the word family (jump, thump, lump, dump or whatever word they could think of).

Parent gifts! I did not know what I was going to have the kids do for their parents, but ornaments are always ideal and I spotted some scrapbook stuff in a stack and pulled this together. We get free stuff from Stampin Up sometimes and I had snagged this pile of cardboard cutouts and Christmas paper. It turned out to be really great, all pre-cut and everything! I had the kids write on the back and then create the packaging.

Last year I had Maggie write this poem for me. It's so great. I like giving them school supplies because they need them so much by mid year. It might look scrappy, but the kids freak out for them and are so grateful. Who knew a pink eraser would be such gold? The candy isn't necessary, but I want them to go home with something.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Recess chat

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these boys vid chatted me during recess.
they were pretty blown away that school is still in session on the 23rd of December.
me too boys, me too.
Only district in the Nation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

teaching writing

I just taught a unit on fables to my first graders and had a lot of fun. I selected a handful of fables from the library and read them one a day. Everyday we reviewed and discussed what a fable is. "most often has animals as the characters and teaches a lesson"
With their help I filled out the chart after I read the story. It was a great way to discuss the lesson and go over what we had just read. I loved the lessons that were taught too! Important one's for first graders (anybody) to hear.

The writing assignment I gave them was to write about a time when they learned a lesson. The prompt was "I learned a lesson when________." I stressed that they needed a topic sentence, detail sentences, and a closure. It took a few days to finally complete this particular assignment, with rough drafts and then a final draft that we "published."

This little girl's lesson she wrote was so great I had to share.
I learned a lesson when I bought shoes. The shoes were purple and if you stomped your feet they would light up. I got in trouble because as soon as I got home I did not like them. I learned that I should get what I like best on me.

Good huh!!! For a first grader to think and write such a thoughtful lesson she learned! This is when I get so excited about teaching, because these students are capable of so much more then I expect.
And I die over her illustration. cool.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

that's leather

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this Christopher Kane cotton shirt with leather collar and cuffs is worth blogging about.
Lana Del Rey
W magazine

Monday, December 12, 2011

December classroom

Holidays are like Gold as a teacher. So much good stuff to integrate in. I love the stories, art projects, writing, and singing that we get to do this month.
I taught this to all the first grade classes during our 30 minute rotation each day. The kids freaked out for the paint and it was practically mess free, very simple, and turned out way good. I love how small the little light bulbs are because their fingers are so small.

How to Build a Snowman. They filled out graphic organizers before they wrote in their journals and I had them write First, Next, and Last to tell the steps.

This was a center, they cut out all the pieces with two papers so they had a front and a back. Then they glued it with a pipe cleaner in between. I like how it was free hand and you can see how unique they all came out.
(there's always that one kid)

Our art teacher taught this and I was really impressed with how they turned out. I loved that they had to do such little details and really didn't rush it.

Tri-angle this.


3 1/2 cups Rice Krispy cereal
1 cup pretzel sticks broken up
1 cup almonds (or peanuts) chopped

6 ounces of chocolate chips

combine melted chocolate and 1/3 cup peanut butter

pour over rice krispy mixture

melt 1/2 stick of butter and add 10 oz. mini marshmallows

add to mixture and press into dish (and probably add sprinkles)

refrigerate until ready to serve

cut into triangles

Sunday, December 11, 2011

vid chat coolies

"raise your hand if you love jane"

thanks tanner.

my favorite

see more at Nova Granola

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011


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3rd Annual Favorites Party
hosted by Courtney Lee

It's really our favorite girlfriend party of the year.

Breakfast for Dinner:
steel cut oats
with toppings galore (berries, nuts, fruit, honey, coconut)

crepes and nutella

pear and cranberry muffins


egg white+spinach+pepper bake