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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Is Driving Me Batty!!

How long has the followers button been down again?? I noticed it's even gone from the top this time. What the heck? You would think they would get this fixed already!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Love Giveaways!!

I love giveaways!
Jump on over and join a sassy new blog all about management and organization. I don't know about you but I'm always looking for help/ideas in those departments!

Clutter-Free Classroom

Ahhhhh At Last!!


I do believe summer is here at last!! The AC is officially on at the Lutton house! We had a wonderful day playing in the sun with great friends. I could soooo get used to this! Thirteen more days of school and we will set sail for our first camping voyage! A four day stay at Cedar Point.  This pic is a few years old but the two boys up close and the little lady sitting down low up front are my babies!  We are ready to make more of these memories!

Check Out This Cool Blog!

My friend and co-worker has recently started up her own blog called Technology, Teaching, and Talking. 
She is one of the few upper elem. blogs to be found on blogger. 

I posted a couple months ago about her classroom blog which is wayyy cool! I reposted so you could check out some of the cool stuff she is doing in her room. 

Click on over and leave her a comment, grab her button, or follow!! I know she would love it if you did!

Technology, Teaching, and Talking


More Video Fun!!

I was on someones blog a while back and they were tossing around the idea of having their students do a weekly summary for their blog. I have a co-worker who is putting her weekly summary together with technology and it has turned out really cool! She has lots of neat things on her blog so go check her out here - Ms. Metevia.

Here is a sample of her work:




These videos are so fun for me to watch because I had many of them when I taught fourth grade last year. Ms. Metevia really works hard to integrate technology into her classroom.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cool New Blog on the Block! + Giveaway!!

Mrs. Lazenby is hosting a giveaway!! 
She is a new blog on the block and 
she teaches 4th grade! 
Jump on over and follow along!! 
Maybe you will be the winner!

Super Cool Blog Designs!

I stumbled upon this blog design site and 
it is super cool!! 
Type on over there and take a look!




What do you think??

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

I just realized that this didn't get posted during the blogger crash!! So, a little bit of a late thank you shout out!
I won!! I won!! Mrs. Randall drew my name for her big Pottery Barn giveaway!! I'm so stinkin excited!! 
Yippeeee!! 

Thanks so super duper Kelley!!!
If you haven't been over to her site then you better get clicking!! Trust me you'll be glad you did! 

She has ideas, downloads, and pictures galore!




Did I mention that I'm excited and I appreciate this gift so very much!?!?! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Just Can't Help Myself!!



I Did It Again!!

I just can't help myself this layout is so stinkin cute!!OK!! My blog is going to wear this one for a while. I decided it matched my button the best.

Thanks Adori Graphics!!

Fun Surprise!

On Friday we had a wonderful surprise!! We all walked out to the track, sat in the bleachers and waited to see..... well we didn't know what we were waiting to see. To our surprise, in celebration of our fundraising success for Pennies For Patients, it had been arranged for our principals to....... kiss a horse!!

The kids went wild!!

It was hilarious!! The "horse" was adorable and the principals were very good sports. They even went so far as to put on chap stick! Too funny!!


Such dedication! Ha!
I have to say it was a g
reat time. It is so nice that as a school we can do good deeds, celebrate good deeds, and then have fun while doing it! We want kids to remember everything we teach them but being a good citizen that contributes in a positive way to their community has to be one of the most important.

I don't think
these little ones will ever forget this day! The day their idols kissed a horse!

I'm soooo ready for summer but I'm really going to miss these cuties!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lovin It!!

Skip over the shopping list if your thinking -
Lady who cares what you bought!!
The good stuff is below!!

I hit Walgreens today and saved big time!!
Total bill after coupons and sales = 16.30
I saved 47.37!!!
I only bought items that were on sale and I had a coupon for.
4 boxes of General Mills Cereal
6 pks of Oscar Meyer Hotdogs
1 jar of Miracle Whip
2 6pks of Charmin double rolls
1 8.3 oz MiraLAX
Which came with a year's free subscription of Good Housekeeping

The MiraLAX itself is reg. 12.00. I'm just excited about all my savings!! I'm heading back on Wed. to stock up on some other things.

I will say to check out Coupon Geek!!


Get her emails and she will send you all the updated finds!! She has links that break down the sales/savings/coupons for CVS and Walgreen which are my favorites! I love their register rewards and Extracare bucks!!

The sites she shows for CVS and Walgreens are:


Anyways, check it out and maybe you could get on board and save some big money!! I've been really wanting to buy a Thistle Girl License and with all these savings I might just treat myself. I just wish she had a coupon or had a big sale coming up!! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coupons Anyone??


I stumbled upon a cool site today. I was over looking at The Krazy Coupon Lady deals when I stumbled upon a site that you can order coupons from. Ordering coupons might seem wierd but I'm really getting tired of stumbling upon a deal and seeing it was in an insert from three months ago. Well, this is no longer a problem. Head on over to Coupons & Things by Dede!! Here you will find the coupons you need for mere cents. I thought it was worth sharing for all my couponing buddies out there!!

Storage

OK Kelly here you go!  Only for you would I broadcast my clutter. :) 
My hubby recently got tired of our lack of storage space in the bedroom. It could be my clothes taking up our entire closet. hehe! I came home on Fri. with this storage rack in our bedroom corner. It tucks right behind the door which is usually open. So you can only see it from the angle I took the picture when  the door is open. Not California Closet by any means but it will do the trick. I haven't really organized it yet so don't judge me to harshly. :)


This one has wheels so you could move around the room easily. We have black in the garage which would be more stylish especially if you made some curtains for it. Something fun and stylish. I would anchor them somehow if you have tiny climbers. So this is my storage tip for anyone looking for fitting lots of stuff in small spaces!

D5 Book Bag Organization

I've noticed a lot of Daily 5 posts here lately. I thought I would repost this. I originally posted this way back in my blog beginning (Jan. :) and so many more have blogged up since then that I figured it would be useful.



If you scrolled down and checked out my Daily Five posters you may have noticed that I say, "Grab your bags." Daily Five calls for the use of "book boxes". I didn't like the table clutter that caused. I decided to run out to Staples and buy some hooks to put on the sides of my desks to hang book bags. The bags contain the necessary supplies to smoothly transition into Daily Five. The kids stock their bags in the morning as a part of their morning routine. They need four books in the bag, one non-fiction magazine/book,  one picture book, a just right AR book and a just right AR back up book. When I say that it is time for Daily Five the kids grab their bags and find their comfy spots. Here are some pics of my set up. 

Let me know if you do something similar or if you have any suggestions!









Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Would You Suggest?



My thoughtful hubby found this piece at a U of M auction in Ann Arbor. He thought I might be able to use it in my room. It has 24 doors/cubbyholes for whatever our imaginations can come up with. I could keep center activities in it. It would be like everyone who uses rubber maid storage but I would have this. Is it too cumbersome? The holes are 11x15. It's sitting on the tailgate of our truck and that is my little cutie Ty who is five standing by it.

What do you think?? What could I use it for?? 

If nothing else he figured we could take off the doors and make it a shoe holder for the garage.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Woot Woot!!

I just kicked some coupon butt!! Fern I think you will be very proud of today's purchases!!
I worked up some coupon magic!!

Tape - I got 34 rolls Correction - it was 51 rolls of Scotch Magic tape for $2.03!! That is total not a piece!
Mind you it is $5.49 a roll at Staples!!

I realize I'm using a lot of exclamation marks, but so would you!! :)

Running in second place for super cool was my body wash purchase.
4 bottles of Sweet Honeysuckle Softsoap body wash for $12.00 and recieved $8.00 in register rewards!!
Keep in mind it is $5.79 reg. I plan to go back in a few days when they restock and get two more which will be free with my register rewards plus they will give me $4.00 more in register rewards!!

I'm so stinking excited!!

Yesterday I bought 22 boxes of cereal for around 1.20 cents a piece. Good cereal!! Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheat, Fiber One Honey Clusters, Cheerios, etc.The little old lady at the check out was all worried. She kept saying - Ohhh how will you ever eat all this?!?! I said don't worry mam my family of five will have it gone in no time. In the end she was going -- Ohhhh what a great deal you got!!

Thanks so much Fern for getting me into the couponing!! I owe you big time!





Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fern Has A Giveaway Going On!!

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas is having a giveaway! 
So....get clicking on over there and check it out!! 
It will end on 5/15 at 5:00!! 
Cool huh?!

That Was Torture!!

I don't know about the rest of you but our little Blogger downage was painful!! I can't stand that I lost so many of your comments and a couple posts!
I'm glad we are back in the swing! 

Catch up - 

On Fri. we had ACES day. (All Children Exercising Simultaneously) The whole school was out on the track getting our walking groove on when yours truly walks into the kid in front of me (my daughter) and stubs her toe on their shoe. 
Yep, I have one purple toe!!! OUCH!! It turned purple right away and I toughed it out. I pointed out that I should have been wearing the right shoes and I DIDN"T need ICE!! :)  My kids ask for ice for EVERYTHING! I was wearing flip flops. I know, not a good example. But I was only walking for goodness sakes.  

The countdown is on and summer breakitis is really setting in! I hope everyone had a good week!!

If you didn't get a chance read the message post I put on before this and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Powerful Message I Received Today

I received  this today and it moved me. I know it's long but give it a start and I bet you finish it. 

Comment and let me know what you think, especially if you're from Michigan. 

I have to clarify that this was not sent from my actual superintendent. My building principal forwarded this to us. I felt his passion to reach teachers and I felt compelled to post it.  

CCS-Clarkston Community Schools
Superintendent's Call to Action: Part I of a Four Part Series

May 8, 2011

Fellow Citizens of Michigan:

I did everything that was requested of me, and so did you. The majority of our elected officials did not hear our voices and instead chose to unnecessarily reduce K-12 educational funding, which will negatively affect our schools (the ones in our neighborhoods), our children (the ones with the first, middle, and last names who attend our neighborhood schools), and their teachers (the ones who teach our children in our neighborhood schools). I'm angry with and disappointed in those elected officials who chose to vote this way. It's left me wondering about the long-term agenda of these elected officials (first emergency financial managers, now cuts in funding, what's next?). Is this the beginning of the end of public education as we know it (neighborhood schools, children, and teachers)?
No! Not on my watch.

As the superintendent of the Clarkston Community Schools, I am not just the supervisor of employees, I am the "lead teacher and lead learner," a steward of the learning process as a whole, and an advocate for children and their learning. It is my responsibility--to the community, teachers, district employees, administrators, parents, and students--to ensure an excellent education for  every child. Further, I serve all children in Michigan, regardless of the district in which they reside. I fully intend to fulfill my responsibility, especially now when many of our elected officials have seemingly abandoned us.

In response, I simply choose to say, "No. I will not idly accept this devaluing of public education. I'm going to act instead in accordance with my values." And, I believe that we must act collectively. Instead of 500+ school districts individually cutting budgets and multiple agencies (e.g., PTA, MASA, MASB, MASSP, MEMSPA, MASCD, Learning Forward Michigan, MEA, MAISA, and even non-educational entities) singularly developing and acting upon agendas, let's act as one voice for our children. Should you choose to join me, perhaps we could brand our collective cause,  EducatioNO!: We're Not Going to Take It.

Here are my values:

Locally controlled schools; excellent teachers; engaged, globally connected students; and collaborative communities & parents.

What do you value?

Here are some points, representing a possible platform for  EducatioNO!:

1. Every child deserves and shall receive an exceptional education with an excellent teacher, every minute of every day of every year.
2. Improving schools is not the function of government. Governments do not improve schools.
3. The governor, state representatives, state senators, and the Michigan Department of Education are not knowledge authorities on education.
4. Education is not political. Education is fundamental.
5. Local communities must control their school systems.
6. The government needs to get out of the education business. Instead, the government needs to act to make an excellent education a fundamental right of every child.
7. Excellent schools require consistent funding. Local schools require options for raising revenues.
8. Research and practice have informed us, and will continue to do so, as to the elements of an excellent education. Technology is one of the quintessential tools in this pursuit. We must use research and practice to inform our work, constantly.
9. Local school districts must work together, with other (e.g., collective bargaining, governmental, not-for-profit, higher education, early childhood education) entities to increase efficiency, decrease redundancy, and improve effectiveness.
10. One size does not fit all--children, families, teachers, schools, communities, people, alligators, onions, fruit trees, fingernails, political parties, transmissions. Schools require different options, depending on their needs.


As I travel across our school district observing kids, listening to teachers and other district employees, and conversing with parents and community members, I feel as though I have let them down. I asked them to remain hopeful. I promised that we would figure things out, no matter how bad they get. Our people work very hard; doing whatever they have to in service of each child (A substitute custodian came by just to introduce himself. He told me he's studying to become a teacher. He then went outside and directed traffic as parents dropped off their children--and he wished each one of them a great day--my state representative wasn't there to see it, but I was, and I won't forget it). Our educators, parents, and citizens were hopeful that their elected officials would notice and support them. When I told the teachers of the House's vote to cut funding, I could see the hurt in their eyes. Not one of them said, "What about me? I need more money. I need my retirement. I need my health care." Just as I would expect of people who love kids, they said, "What about my kids? What about our colleagues?"

You see, schooling is local. It's people. It's relationships. It's first, middle, and last names. It's personalities. It's laughter. It's school spirit. It's hope. It's service. It's collective and collaborative (come to one of our football games, attend a concert or a play, visit a talent show or school fair, or travel with our robotics team to a national competition--you'll need to squeeze yourself in because the seats are full of people who love their children, neighbors, and friends). It's fundamental.

So, I'm standing up. Who is with me? Please send me a note to let me know what you think. I will have more to say next week.


Sincerely,


Rod Rock, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Committed Servant of Children, American, Michigander, Teacher, Voter, Citizen, and Fervent Advocate of Local Education
Clarkston Community Schools

rdrock@clarkston.k12.mi.us

Claimer: I make no apologies for standing up for the people I serve. The stakes are high, the challenges great, and the possibilities profound.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pottery Barn Giveaway!!

I love Pottery Barn and I love Mrs. Randall's Learning Library! I have been a follower of Mrs. Randall's Learning Library since my blogging beginning. She has wonderful ideas and great resources to offer. 

If you haven't been over yet to sign up for her Pottery Barn giveaway then get clicking!!

Congrats on 200 followers Mrs. Randall!!





Hook a third grade teacher up and follow along here before you leave!! 
A comment would rock too!! hehe

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Behavior Management Freebie!!

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!! 
I had promised I would give out a copy of this. This is how I track behaviors. I keep this sheet on a clipboard and at my desk. I can carry it with me to bathroom breaks and to specials if needed. I call them up in the morning and check off homework on the right side and I keep track of checks (behavior reprimands) on the left of their name. It looks very formal but it does the trick. If a parent calls I have the info. by name at my fingertips. 

Classroom Management Graph 00-11
Anyone out there have something similar they use that is cute??

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What is going on???

My comments button isn't working! 


Ok It was working the entire time! I had the font set to white on a white background. How smart is that?  No, don't answer that! I can't take the answers.  :)

Thanks Ladybug!

While the Kids Are Away Mama Will.......Clean??

Grandma so very generously drove away with all three of my little soccer players. As I waved goodbye I smiled to myself thinking about all the things I would tackle today. As I opened the door and walked into reality my smile drops away and I wonder who bought all this stuff!! Does anyone out there ever feel like they are drowning  in "stuff"!!??

I have cleaned since she hauled them away and I can say I have one room clean!! The boys won't recognize their newly polished haven. You may be thinking I'm crazy for celebrating one room. My husband I'm sure will say something like - What did you do all day?? Baby steps!!

Tomorrow to celebrate Mother's Day we are all jumping in the car and heading to a Mud Hens game. It will be my kiddos first BB game. Makes everything much easier that both grandparents are coming with us!! 
I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Back to work!!
  :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Help??

Is there anyone out there that visits ProTeacher on a regular basis?? I have been over there for several months and I don't know how to move up in membership and every time I put my blog address under my name the site ###### my blog name. I thought it was a blogspot thing but others work fine. Have I been blacked out or something? How do I contact them to complain/ask for help?? I've been finding this very frustrating and I thought I would throw it out there for help!

Check It Out!!

Mother's Day Fun!
Our projects turned out pretty good! I had a couple turkeys, one with a very bad headache, and one that slammed his hand in the door, but we had a ton of fun! I need to stop avoiding crafty projects and hit them head on, so this was a good start for me. 

If you have never used Slide then you should really check it out! It's easy and they have some cool choices! 


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WOW!! Talk about Hairy Canary!

Today was a bang your head on your desk kind of day. I don't know if a full moon is upon us or if it's just spring fever but wow, my day was crazy. Kids were just over the top! I don't know how many times I had to count to 10 and take deep breaths. I think the rainy days and cool weather have worn out their welcome!! 

I'm excited about all my TpT buys though!! I've been downloading them and showing them to co-workers who have been ohhhing and ahhhing over them. I can't help but look off into the distance dreaming of all the cool things I want to do next year and thinking about new beginnings. I remind myself sternly that this year is full of promise with room for growth. I'm excited about the mother's day projects we are doing on Fri. I downloaded the cool lesson from Lesson Plan SOS.


How are all of you doing as we pull towards the end of the school year? Any tricks, complaints, favorite ideas, grade level changes or wild stories going on??

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cool Free Downloads!!

Click on over to What the Teacher Wants and eighteen25! They both have some super cute downloads that would make great gifts or classroom decorations!






Photobucket


I don't know about you guys but I spent wayyyyy too much money over at TpT today!! I gave most of it too the girls over at Lesson Plan SOS and 
One Extra Degree!! 

Have fun shopping 
with all the money I just sent your way girls!!







Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting To Know You


I was over at I Teach For A Living..... What's Your Super Power and she had linked up to this sassy site that hosts getting to know you Sundays. 


button


I thought it sounded fun so here I go!!


1. Did you watch the royal wedding?

I woke up early all set to workout. I clicked on the tv and that was it! I proceeded to almost run late for work watching the royal wedding. I woke up my seven year old daughter to tell her a prince and princess were getting married. She rolled over and said, oh mom your just trying to get me out of bed. We could hardly get her in the shower. She kept yelling to my hubby - Dad did they kiss yet??? Too cute!

2. Tea and crumpets or coffee and a scone?

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a green tea junkie!!  So, tea and crumpets please! (better yet donuts)

3 Who's cuter..prince william or prince harry?
Neither one does it for me. I guess I'm so old they remind me of my sons! Ha, I'm not that old yet!! I guess they remind me of what my sons will become!!  (they are 4 and 5 but my oldest is a redhead)

4. Can you speak in a english accent?
Heck Yea!! I love to switch into accents when teaching. It cracks my kids up and holds their attention.

5. Do you own a fancy hat?
No way!! I hate hats! I'm an 80's girl that never lost the bangs!

6. Would you rather live in a castle or an english cottage?
I would go cottage. Ahhhhh, I can see it now all quaint and surrounded in flowers!! 

7. How old were you when prince charles and princess diana got married? Were you even born? 
I was seven years old! Wow! I'm old! hehe

 
8. Have you found your prince? 
I'm married to my high school sweetheart and yes he is my prince!! 

Way Cool Math Website!!

I stumbled upon the coolest blog today!! If you haven't been to see Guided Math a blog run by Mary then you better get clicking on over there!!
She featured a way cool math site called  XtraMath!

This site is dedicated to helping children master math facts. I'm psyched and I can't wait to try it out!

Thanks Mary!! 

Taking A Second Crack At Newsletters - Freebie!!

Under Construction in Room 519

OK - Now I think I have it loaded. I had to do it all over in Power point. Ugh!


Newsletters have never been my specialty. I was just chatting with a co-worker on Friday about how I would like to be more consistent with sending home newsletters.

I saw some cute templates online and I decided to play a little. I'm not sure if this can be changed after being downloaded from Scribd. Let me know if it works this time. 

I attached this tracking your reading activity. I ended up copying the theme for the newsletter because I think the whole construction theme is cute.
BK Construction
 
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