Thursday, June 30, 2011

1st Grade with Miss Snowden: 400 Followers= 4 Winners and 4 Freebies!

Check out this AWESOME giveaway from the lovely 1st Grade with Miss Snowden---four winners get a personalized blog design!!!


1st Grade with Miss Snowden: 400 Followers= 4 Winners and 4 Freebies!: " I am totally amazed that this ol' blog has reached 400 followers! I know I've told you all before, but I just love you! I love y..."

Coolest Site

Courtesy of my fellow bloggin' teachers, I found this AMAZING website and had to check it out for myself. I can see many hours of procrastination, if I'm not careful. So, my first attempt.... I made a hand print (awwwww) with my teaching philosophy/hopes/dreams for next year in kindergarten! Enjoy!! Sorry---the picture's kinda fuzzy!! I'll redo when I have more time and it'll look a thousand times better!!
www.tagxedo.com 

Thank You Gifts from First Graders

Beautiful flowers from one family!! They also sent me the sweetest cards--
one from the kids and one from the parents!
Happy Friday everyone! It's been a great week here in Lancaster, Pa. Mom came up to visit for the week, and w had a wonderful time together. On Tuesday, I had a workshop in the morning so Mom went and got her hair cut... then we went for a small shopping trip---I snagged a few deals--and then Mom took me to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. It tasted yummy, but it made my stomach so upset! It was not a fun night for me. :-( Regardless, we had a good day Wednesday...after my stomach calmed down...just pretty calm but still fun to visit together. On Thursday, we went out for breakfast (IHOP), and then went to tour Nemours. It was BEEEAUTIFUL!! We couldn't take pictures inside, but we got a few outside! I'll post more about Nemours later. The workshop that I attended on Tuesday was really interesting. It was all about incorporating technology into your classroom. I came away with a lot of awesome ideas and things to share. I CAN'T WAIT to implement some into my classroom next year.
from one of my boys---such an original gift!! And one I'll
always remember since he LOVES baseball!!

But, I wanted to share some of the wonderful and sweet gifts my little ones gave me as end of the years presents. I have been so blessed to work with them (and their families).  Needless to say, they are very GENEROUS!!! I'm looking forward to working with several of the same families again next year with my kiddos siblings!!!
from one of my girlie girls!!! She knows I <3 my coffee!
from one of my co-workers' kids!!! :)
Stickers to add to my Dr. Seuss collection!!
from one of my families!!! :)
love love LOVE it!!! Who knew that there were high heel tape dispensers!!
So excited to have it grace my desk next year!
gorgeous heart charm bracelet from my mini-me!!


One of the most touching gifts I received--several families got together and got me a Bible!! 
I had a few other gifts, too... a cute "prayer changes everything" sign to put on my desk, a fun fun monogrammed lunchbox (that happens to match one of my girls' lunchbox), a framed picture of one of my students with me, and lots and lots of homemade cards and signs!! So special! My first year of first grade was an absolute blast. I hope and pray that I touched the lives of the students that were in my care.  I know that my own life and heart has been touched by each and every student that I had this year. They will always hold a special place in my heart, as I know every class will... but MY first class.... wow. They'll always be uber special to me!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Creation of the Teacher

I LOVE this!!! :) Thought I would share with yall! Enjoy!

THE CREATION OF THE TEACHERAuthor Unknown
The Good Lord was creating teachers. It was His sixth day of 'overtime' and He knew that this was a tremendous responsibility for teachers would touch the lives of so many impressionable young children. An angel appeared to Him and said, "You are taking a long time to figure this one out."
"Yes," said the Lord, " but have you read the specs on this order?"

TEACHER:
…must stand above all students, yet be on their level
... must be able to do 180 things not connected with the subject being taught
... must run on coffee and leftovers,
... must communicate vital knowledge to all students daily and be right most of the time
... must have more time for others than for herself/himself
... must have a smile that can endure through pay cuts, problematic children, and worried parents
... must go on teaching when parents question every move and others are not supportive
... must have 6 pair of hands.
"Six pair of hands, " said the angel, "that's impossible"
"Well, " said the Lord, " it is not the hands that are the problem.  It is the three pairs of eyes that are presenting the most difficulty!"
The angel looked incredulous, " Three pairs of eyes...on a standard model?"
The Lord nodded His head, " One pair can see a student for what he is and not what others have labeled him as. Another pair of eyes is in the back of the teacher's head to see what should not be seen, but what must be known. The eyes in the front are only to look at the child as he/she 'acts out' in order to reflect, " I understand and I still believe in you", without so much as saying a word to the child."
"Lord, " said the angel, " this is a very large project and I think you should work on it tomorrow".
"I can't," said the Lord, " for I have come very close to creating something much like Myself. I have one that comes to work when he/she is sick.....teaches a class of children that do not want to learn....has a special place in his/her heart for children who are not his/her own.....understands the struggles of those who have difficulty....never takes the students for granted..."
The angel looked closely at the model the Lord was creating.
"It is too soft-hearted, " said the angel.
"Yes," said the Lord, " but also tough, You can not imagine what this teacher can endure or do, if necessary".
"Can this teacher think?" asked the angel.
"Not only think," said the Lord,. "but reason and compromise."
The angel came closer to have a better look at the model and ran his finger  over the teacher's cheek.
"Well, Lord, " said the angel, your job looks fine but there is a leak. I told you that you were putting too much into this model.  You can not imagine the stress that will be placed upon the teacher."
The Lord moved in closer and lifted the drop of moisture from the teacher's cheek.  It shone and glistened in the light.
"It is not a leak," He said, "It is a tear."
"A tear? What is that?" asked the angel, "What is a tear for?"
The Lord replied with great thought, " It is for the joy and pride of seeing a child accomplish even the smallest task. It is for the loneliness of children who have a hard time to fit in and it is for compassion for the feelings of their parents. It comes from the pain of not being able to reach some children and the disappointment those children feel in themselves. It comes often when a teacher has been with a class for a year and must say good-bye to those students and get ready to welcome a new class."
"My, " said the angel, " The tear thing is a great idea...You are a genius!!"
The Lord looked somber, "I didn't put it there."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Design

**I'm working on updating my blog's look....giving it a makeover, so to speak**

feedback would be greatly appreciated as I can't quite make up my mind what I want it to look like!

Summer Reading List

So my long-awaited summer reading list... a few professional books, a few to stretch the brain, and a few just to loose myself in. :) Drumroll please...

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Book seven---definitely a reread for me, but since the last movie is coming out in July, I wanted to refresh a little. Total dork, I know. 

2. Creed's Honor by Linda Lael Miller. It's a romance but hey, everyone needs a little diversion. 

3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I've had this downloaded on my Nook for quite a while, but I just haven't had time to sit down and read it. I want to have it read before the movie with Reese Witherspoon comes out on video. I do know how it ends, but that's okay. 

4. Phonics from A to Z by Wiley Blevins. I'm hoping that this will be a helpful tool for teaching kindergarten next year. I've read a lot of reviews, and many many people have cited this book as a great book to read. 

5. A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. This is about the five women in the Old Testament--Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathesheba, and Mary. It basically presents each women in a fictional story, then presents a Bible study on the women. 

6. Literacy Work Stations by Debbie Diller. Another professional development book, but I have heard so many wonderful things about Debbie Diller and her books. I'm really excited to read this one, and how it can help me put together work stations in my kindergarten classroom. I've used centers before but I'm excited to see how this can change my perspective on learning centers/work stations. 

7. There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith. This will be the third Rafe Esquith book that I'll have read. I'm really excited about it! His books are humorous, inspirational, and very instructional. 

8. Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. A friend of mine, Laura, at Tenacious Truths, recommended this one to all of us newlyweds out there [Laura is, by the way, another teacher and a fabulous lady]. I'm looking forward to reading it. It actually sounds like it echos some of the premarital counseling we received we were preparing for our wedding and marriage with Rev. Kevin McGhee. 

9. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. A book about a Chinese-American mother and her desire to raise her two American daughters in a disciplined way. This book has prompted a lot of discussion in education and parenting circles, so I'm looking forward to reading it. 

10. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to eat, love food, love to cook, and I love to read about food. I've heard so many mixed things about this book, so I wanted to read it for myself. I'm not sure how it'll hold up to Julia Child, but we'll see. 

Truthfully, I have a pile of about, oh, fifty books to read about teaching this summer. Most of them are fairly practical books but there are a couple books about theory and professional development for teaching primary students, especially kindergarten. And of course, as everyone knows, I'm always reading, so I'm sure that there will be many more books to read this summer, but these are the ones I'm starting with. 

So, anyone else have any recommendations for me to add to my list? 
Happy Reading!

Summer Vacation

School ended on Wednesday. It was quite a week, to be sure. I'm enjoying a little downtime at home, but I am looking forward to getting everything ready for kindergarten next year. I have lots of things to share about the end of the school year but I'll probably do a post or two at a time on those things!! For now, just a few small updates. Mom is coming to visit this week, and I'm really excited about her visit. We've got a little shopping planned, a dinner out, and just catching up! :) I have two professional developments this week--one on incorporating technology in the classroom, and another on math in the classroom. The math one is a long one, but that's okay. I think that they'll both be beneficial. Next week, I start working at camp... I'm working as an instructor at DelTech for their summer camps. I'm doing five weeks of half days... :) Super excited about it.
Capt. Jack Sparrow and Angelica (Blackbeard's daughter)
Edmund took me out last night for a date...it was so much fun! We went to see the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which was actually pretty good! I really enjoyed the movement away from Elizabeth/Will Turner. It was definitely more of a pirate movie... including an appearance by Blackbeard. I loved Penelope Cruz--she was definitely a fierce pirate!! Plus, the movie presented an interesting view on mermaids. It was really neat! Then, we went out to eat at a restaurant called Gibraltar. It was really good! I had the crab cakes, and Edmund has the rainbow trout! Both were delicious! My crab cakes were practically lump crab with bits of veggies and spices.... they served them with a side of steamed snap peas, and whipped mashed potatoes topped with fried onion curlies. They were delicious. We started with calamari (one of our favorites), and we both got dessert. I had the chocolate molten cake (no surprise there) and Edmund got the rice pudding. So yummy! It was such a relaxing evening out, and it was fun to get dressed up!

me and my Daddy on my wedding day!
Anyways, I'm hoping to post lots more over the summer, especially as I prepare for KINDERGARTEN!! Hooray! I'm already browsing the internet for lots of great ideas. I love how much the internet has transformed teachers and their communication. I've found free resources, pictures, ideas, and lots of people to ask questions of.

Happy Fathers' Day to my Dad (and my father-in-law)! We love and miss you!! Can't wait to see you for the 4th of July!!

Yall take care!! :) More posts soon---pinkie promise!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Week of School

This week is the last week of school---not even three full days. Grades have been turned in, so it's really just closing up shop and end-of-the-year memories. Fun things ahead this week for 1B:
Monday
1. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
(while the teachers work on their cumulative folders)
2. prayer partner activity--we're making ice cream in a bag 
So the ice cream in a bag activity was FABULOUS!!! We had several parents come and help out and between the four classes, we had a messy, cold, happy bunch o' kids!
3. first grade memory books

Tuesday
It's our school picnic in the morning! It'll be a fun-filled, crazy year.... including when I (yup, me) goes in the dunk tank for forty-five minutes. Sure to be a good time. :)

Wednesday
Closing prayer for half an hour
Students dismiss at 10:30 a.m. 

It was one of my students' last day on Friday. So hard to say goodbye, but she brought me the sweetest end of the year present: a glitzy framed picture of the two of us together, and the cutest card that she made. Her mom, who is a 5th grade teacher at one of the public schools in our area, wrote me a sweet note, too. 


I had a bit of an epiphany this week on Thursday morning. Our school library is moving to a different room this summer, and so they have been sorting through all of the books. They've been giving away some of the books that they are not planning on keeping, so I've been frequently checking their 'free books' to add to my classroom library. Well, on Wednesday after school, I found a great coffee table style book on Disney World, probably from the mid 90s, so it's a little outdated. But still, lots of wonderful pictures and short captions. I put it out on the kids' reading shelf on Thursday morning, and after the kids had finished their morning work, I found a sight that made my day. 
One of the girls had pulled the book, and was seated at the reading rug. As kids were finishing up their morning work, they head to the reading rug, and had joined her. They were all seated/laying around the book, looking at the pictures. They had a completely student-led discussion about the book. They took turns reading the captions, identifying the components in the pictures that were mentioned in the captions, and then related those to their own personal experiences. It was INCREDIBLE. I realized that I had done my job....they were readers. They were students. They were having a literary discussion and they DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT. When had this happened? When had my little ones changed from needing complete guidance to being able to hold their own discussion and learn from each other? I realized they are ready for second grade. They don't need me anymore. It's such a bittersweet feeling, because I really will miss this crowd of kiddos, but on the other hand, I am so proud of how much they have grown and matured over this year. 

I don't know if I'll feel this way every year, or if this is just a new-teacher syndrome... but regardless, I'm proud of the year that the kids in 1B and I have had together! :) 

Monday, June 6, 2011

New URL

Warning: 
For those of you that have my modest blog address saved into your favorites, the URL has changed! :)

Since I'm no longer going to be teaching first grade, I felt that a (another) change was in order. This just matched up the blog URL with the actual blog title. Anyways.....enough technical speak... on to more fun topics! :)

Yes, you read that correctly. This first grade teacher is moving to kindergarten next year, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've read nine books in the past three months on kindergarten, and I have a huge stack to read through this summer. Reasons I'm looking forward to teaching kindergarten: one of my best friends will be my grade partner, integrated curriculum, more hands on learning, and fun fun fun!!! :) I'm so excited to be a child's first introduction to school, and to really teach them to read words, and to connect the words together. It's a daunting task, laying the foundation for a child's educational career, but I am so excited and humbled to be heading in that direction.
I've been browsing through several blogs by kindergarten teachers trying to learn and get a sense of how I want to run my kindergarten classroom. I am so thankful for this age of technology and the internet community of teacher-bloggers! Especially the ones that post pictures! :) The old adage that a picture speaks a thousand words is so so true.

adorable Paige with her project for her grandma
Two weeks ago, we had Grandparents Day at our school. It was an incredible day....one of the hottest we had, and it was wonderful. We had hundreds of family members visiting our school, and the kids truly had such an exciting, memorable day. Grandparents are so cool to have come and visit. Many of my students had both sets of grandparents come and visit. The day started out with pre-k through 3rd grade attending church with their grandparents. (note, this was truly a wonderful church service on my part because I actually got to listen to the homily instead of worrying about all of my kiddos). Then, the grandparents and students walked back to the classroom.
My guys sang the cutest song called "If I Were A Butterfly" to their grandparents. I'm pretty sure that there wasn't a dry eye in the classroom. They did a great job. Once I download all of my pictures from my camera, I'll post more about Grandparents Day. Just wanted to give yall a little preview. :)

My class recently visited the Philadelphia Zoo. It was my first trip there, and we all had a blast. Again, still uploading pictures from my camera---I'm so behind on that--- but I had a few things to share with everyone. My wonderful parents volunteer to go with the kids, so we wanted to give them a thank you note for joining us on our trip. We've worked on manners all year, and I like to reinforce that with the students. The class thought it was so funny that I used a hand to make the thank you notes but the parents were so appreciative...

I was just thankful that we had so many parents willing to go on the trip with us...otherwise, it would've been very very challenging.



 We are starting to wrap up things for the end of the school year. I'm beginning to pull things off the walls, put things away, and do some M-A-J-O-R sorting. I mean MAJOR. yikes. Thats what I get for procrastinating on it. Shoulda woulda coulda. Oh well. I have confidence I'll get it all done.... the question remains how much coffee I'll need to do it. :)




On a more personal note, we were fortunate enough to have E's parents drive all the way up from Augusta to come visit us for a few days. Our first overnight guests. :) We had a really nice visit... we took them out to the school and E's plant to see where we work, and drove by my parents old house in DE. We also enjoyed some  yummy yummy ice cream at the Strasburg Ice Cream Parlor. I mean, major yummy. :) I made a kahlua white chocolate cheesecake, which we, of course, did not finish, so E and I are going to have to force ourselves to chow down. Such a rough life. hehe.

one of my students signed her poem with her family's nickname for her
They brought with them a wedding gift from E's mom's friend.... a beautiful watercolor painting of the aquaducts in France. It's now  hanging in our dining room. We love it. So gorgeous. Very architectural and a nice combination of modern and classic. :) Oh, the other thing that they brought was the wedding announcement from The Augusta Chronicle. I've linked it here for you: our wedding announcement. So fun! :)

Be looking for my post on Grandparents Day, the zoo trip, and pictures of my cooking!!! :) Also, I'm putting together a summer reading list, so if anyone has any suggestions, please leave comments!
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