I'm linking up with Doddle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday.............

 Here are five random things from this week.........
These are the amazing centers I got from Angelia at Extra Special Teaching all laminated and waiting to be cut out! We have been working on short/long vowels sound and these games have been perfect! My kids have loved them and asked for them every day this week!

I won this brand new BLACK pencil sharpener from Ashley at the First Grade Brain. I love the new black!! Matches my room :) And works great!! One of my students used his free time to sharped 100 pencils to get us read for ISTEP!

This package arrived from Carson-Dellosa! I'm so excited to give my classroom a little facelift! 

This is a stack of sticky notes I removed from our books after school today! That's a whole lot of thinking about our reading going on!!!
My husband and I at a Valentine's Banquet for the youth of our church (we chaperoned) I know looks a little like a prom picture. We never went to prom, making up for lost time!!

There ya have it! Randomness from the longest short week ever!! Now head on over to Doddle Bug's blog to see what everyone else has been up to this week! Happy Friday!
We've been swamped! I can't seem to keep my head above water, and behaviors have just not been on target this past couple weeks. I barely manage to get my family meals and hit the bed for a couple hours rest before dragging myself back up to do it all over again, as you can tell by the lack of posts here lately!!

Today I was ready to have some fun with my students. To just enjoy them and enjoy a special day! I know everyone feels the pressure of meeting all the standards and engaging all students all the time. If I'm feeling overwhelmed then my students must be too! Learning is hard for them and sometimes it's just nice to do something fun!!

Now I didn't throw out the standards for the day and just play games or anything (I am sure no one does that these days right!!!) but I found some awesome valentines activities that met the standards and were still fun!! I don't have my students with me all that long and I still want to make everyday productive, but I wanted all of us to just relax a little. It's so funny how much kids can get done when it doesn't look like actual work, or is disguised as a game! We had a great day, here's a look at what we did..........

 My 2nd graders read Valentine books and filled out this Valentine Story Elements Map (I can't remember where I got this, I've had if for since last year, if it's your please let me know I'd love to give you credit)!
 Then we enjoyed cupcakes an juice of course!!!

 My 6th graders started off with this math game I created. I used round button shaped cutouts I got from the Target dollar spot at Christmas time and cute Valentine scrapbooking stickers from Walmart for 88 cent to make problem cards. The stickers covered the four white dots that made the circles look like buttons and made these perfect! I wrote problems on the back of each card and placed them all around the room. I numbered each card from 1-24 and then gave each student a recording sheet with 24 boxes on it. They worked their way around the room answering each question, recording their answers in the correct boxes so we could correct them together easily!
Here they are making  their way around the room! I was surprised how much they liked this and how well they worked, I think similar activities will be used in the future!!!

Once they finished the "around the room review" we had some conversation heart fun! We recorded the number of hearts we had and specific colors in fractions, then found the decimal and percentage that each color represented. We shared the data as a class and then found the mean, median, mode, and range of the class data we had recorded. Again, add some candy hearts and all the sudden math is not so hard!!

We weren't done with the hearts, we played a "minute to win it" type game and recorded our data for that as well. Students were given one minute to see how many hearts they could stack on top of one another. They recorded how many they had for each of five tries and then found the mean, median, and mode of that data.

During reading we made words using the letters in the word "valentine" in the word work center, we read about valentine's day and filled in a main idea/details graphic organizer in the comprehension center, and in the writing center we used this adorable activity from Savvy-Second-Sixth Graders.
 Students used these conversation heart stickers I had (they came in boxes of valentines I bought over the years) to write letters using at least four heart phrases. They turned out so cute!!
 They struggled a little at first but this freebie came with an example that really helped!!

Finally we played another minute to win it type game that was a big hit! I cut up ten different valentines day cards I'd bought on sale last year and placed all the pieces in these baggies....
each group was given a baggie and one minute to put as many valentines back together as possible. They loved it!!

We had a great fun filled day! And to top it off I had a couple of students I don't normally see stop by to say hi! They were in my room a few times for testing and they asked when they could come back to "The room of Happiness", I asked what they meant and they said they just love my room because  it felt so happy there!! Apparently they told their friends and now they are all referring to my classroom as "The Room of Happiness" and that makes all the work I do worth every minute of it!!

Hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Day!!! I'm off on a long weekend and can't wait to create some new stuff to work with next Tuesday when we return!! Have a great weekend everyone!
Here we are already flipping the first page of the calendar on 2013! This is what I am up to Currently......
The house is empty! Let me tell ya this is rare - and I am enjoying it!! Don't get me wrong I love my family but some peace and quiet is sometimes necessary and after a few days of constant arguing and ridiculousness (more about that when it comes to excuses!) from my two teenagers, believe me today it was needed!! So I opted to stay home - alone - while the Hubby took the teenagers grocery shopping!!! Now I will just have to live with a house full of junk food for the week because I am reasonably sure that when they do the shopping they just walk down isles and throw what ever looks good at the moment into the cart. But I will take it for a few hours or quite and the blessing of not having to do it myself this week!!!

God has been so good to me! I am always thankful for his goodness and grace in my life. He continues to provide for our family is ways that amaze me! I know he is in control and that makes everything ok!!

I really need to do the dishes (dishwasher is broken - UGG!) and some laundry. I need to get going on my lesson plans for next week. I have some IEP paperwork that needs to get done. I need to work on some schedule changes. I need to cut out, laminate, and prepare centers for next week. I need to stop thinking about everything I need to do and get started! What I am doing instead - reading the 500 updates in my Google reader, and creating more units for my TPT store!

I really really want and iPad, I am hoping that at the end of this quarter I will have earned enough on TPT to buy one! I got a projector and document camera for my classroom through Donor's Choose, but my classroom computer can't really be set up in the right way to use them because of the way my room is set up and where computer hookups can be installed. If I had an iPad it would be super easy to hook up and use!! I also put a project on Donor's choose for one, we'll see if I can get that one funded!

I need some inspiration for some really great, engaging, lessons on fractions for a group that really struggles. I've tried everything I know of, and it's just HARD, the work is hard for them, and it is not clicking! I can't make it "fun" when it's so hard for them to understand. Anyone have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I'll let you all know if I figure out something great!

Pet Peeves - EXCUSES! Too many people live life making excuses for everything!!  I am sick of hearing about why things can't be done, why I just had to do this or that, why I can't remember to do what I need to do. Why I can't get off the coach and take care of things!!! My teenagers have become exceptionally good at excuses all the sudden! I can't clean my room because I need a shower. I can't take the trash out because it's to cold. I can't get my homework done because I don't have this or that! I can't help it that every month I keep going over on my data allowance because people keep sending me emails and I HAVE to check it!! Needless to say they may have choose to go grocery shopping today (which they rarely do) because it was a whole lot better offer than staying home with me!! I am tired of the excuses!! I see this pattern in some adults I know too and I will not allow my children to develop the mentality that other people or circumstances can MAKE you do things you don't want to do or KEEP you from doing what you know you need to do. I am a firm believer is taking responsibility for yourself and your own actions! My kids may have gotten quite the lecture on that this weekend :) 

OK, now that I am done with my little rant, let me remind you that their is a little thing going on tomorrow called the Super Bowl! And while I don't ever always pay attention to football, I love a reason to throw a sale! So don't forget to head on over to TPT and check out the great deals at the Super Sale!
Click on the picture to head on over to my store!

Don't forget to head over to Farley's blog and see what everyone else is up to this weekend! 
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