Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Thrill

Had a little excitement this evening.




The tornado touched down about 3 miles from my home, but we were safely ensconced in our fraidy hole.  There was some property damage, but there are no reports of injuries so far.


This is NOT the kind of thrill I like to have!  Please keep Oklahoma in your prayers as we're in for more stormy weather tomorrow.






Wednesday Wonder

Oklahoma University President David L. Boren has throughout his career been a strong supporter of public education.  During his time as Governor of Oklahoma from 1974-1978, he was instrumental in several key educational initiatives from which our state continues to benefit.  In 1985 while he was a U.S. Senator, he  implemented the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.  Each year it recognizes outstanding public school students and teachers and helps establish private local foundations to help give academic endowment grants to local public schools.


In 2009, 2010, and 2011 I was honored to be a finalist for this prestigious award.  This April when notified I had won this year's Medal for Excellence in Elementary Teaching, I was thrilled!  It has been a week and a half since a very magical night at the awards banquet and ceremony.  I'm still basking in the wonder of it all.


In the top picture below you see on the right Patti Mellow, President of the Foundation, who introduced me.  She has worked with and supported the Foundation since its inception.  I received one of the illuminated glass sculptures you see on either side of me.  It is called "Roots and Wings" and was created by the late  Oklahoman, Ronald T. Roberts.  In the bottom picture you can see the medal given to me.  Such an honor!!


Photos by David Wheelock

   

Click here to view my video.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

PSA: "Back to School with a Healthy Smile"

Attention Oklahoma Parents:  

Mark your calendar for July 31st. 


There is a NEW Oklahoma Dental Association program providing free dental screenings to elementary school children just before they go back to school. This event will help Oklahoma elementary school children and parents gain knowledge about their child’s current dental health in hopes to improve their oral health and academic performance in the classroom.  

The dentists listed on the ODA web page are a part of the "Back to School with a Healthy Smile" program.  Contact a dentist on this list who is in your area and make an appointment for your child's screening on July 31, 2013.  If you don't see your dentist on the list, call and ask if s/he will be participating.                   

Book your appointment right away.  I'm sure spaces will fill up fast!




Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Salute

My sincere thanks go to all the American armed forces personnel who served and are now serving, some giving the ultimate sacrifice, to provide my freedoms.


A special thanks go to my own family members:

CMy dad, Jack Edwards, served in the Air Force in the European theater during World War II.

CHis brother, Gail Edwards, served in the Air Force as well during World War II and had a stint south Korea.

CMy uncle, Wayne Wilson, served in the Navy during World War II.

CMy brother, Mike Edwards, served in the Army in Viet Nam.

CMy uncle, Bill Babcock, served in the south Pacific during World War II.

CMy uncle, Delbert Simmons, served in the Army in the Korean War.

CMy cousin, Bill Powell, served in the Army Signal Corp. in Germany in the fifties.

CMy cousin, Jay Lockman, retired career Air Force, served in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Guam.

CMy cousin, Dan Simmons, served in the Army in south Korea, and Bosnia.    

CCurrently serving, my 2nd cousin, Robert Allen, is a career Marine, who served in  Iraq, and Afghanistan .

CCurrently serving, my nephew, Blake Adair, is a veteran of Afghanistan's war.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Slip-up

Bloggers,  have you ever tinkered with your blog's template, then decided you didn't like it?  I messed it up today in playing around with it.  Maybe tomorrow I can repair the damage.  



Friday, May 24, 2013

In Memory

Please continue to pray for the families of these precious little ones lost in Monday's tornado.  

In this video the funeral procession of one of the young tornado victims in Moore.  They were escorted by the Oklahoma Freedom Fighters.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Welcome Wagon

With all the tragedy going on in our state and my own busy-ness in ending the school year, I have been remiss in introducing my newest Wagoneers.  Everybody, meet Stephanie at Polka Dot Palace, Danielle at Apples, Ink and Mischief, Brandee at Creating Lifelong Learners, Jay (If you have a blog, please let me know and I'll link it here.), and all the way from Thailand, Being Inspired.  I'll need an extra-large wagon for all my newbies.  If I've left someone out of the introductions, forgive me and please let me know so I can give you a shout-out too.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DISASTER RELIEF

It has been heartening to see how many people across the nation have reponded to all the needs created by the recent devastating outbreaks of tornados in Oklahoma.  Moore, Oklahoma has received a great deal of media attention following the monster storm.  The communities of Shawnee and Harrah were struck on Sunday. Luther, Little Axe, Newcastle, south Oklahoma City, and Carney were hit Monday as part of the storm system that demolished Moore.


If you wish to make a donation by credit card or check that will be used 100% for the victims, go to the  Oklahoma Southern Baptist Disaster Relief link.  Here is some information about about them.  You'll be assisting local people help local people.  Feel free to post this on your blog.


Another positive thing happened this morning.  I received the following email from Anna Doherty, Senior Marketing Manager of DonorsChoose.


Jill,
Our team’s thoughts are with the people of Oklahoma. We hope you and your family are safe and sound in the wake of tornado.
In the coming weeks, we’ll do whatever we can to help schools in Moore rebuild. We’ve created a page to collect donations for classrooms, and shared it with our Facebook and Twitter communities.
If you have any other ideas for ways we can help in the coming weeks, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Again, we hope you and your loved ones are safe today.
Sincerely,
Anna

 

It speaks highly of this organization, headquartered in New York City, that reaches out to our Oklahoma teachers in crisis, as they did for Joplin's teachers.  They have already received over $21,000 already.  Please visit their page and pass the word.

I just ran across this site listing online mental health resources for victims of  disasters.  It was put together by Dr. Sue Jacobs, associate professor of counseling psychology, of Oklahoma State University.  If any of my readers has contact with any of the victims or helpers from this (or future) disaster, please pass the information along.

Monday, May 20, 2013

PLEASE PRAY

This is the second day of major storms in Oklahoma.  Right now my family and I are awaiting the storm system that cause major damage in Moore, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City in the center of the state.   A mile-wide tornado decimated an area of that city.  The students at the 4th-6th grade center that was hit are all accounted for.  Another school there with K-3rd was devastated, but we haven't heard that they've found those children yet.  


In 1999 Moore was hit with an EF 5 tornado (over 300 mph winds and much destruction) which caused millions of dollars of damage and the total destruction of hundreds of homes and businesses.  It was so powerful, it sucked the grass out of the ground and completely leveled homes to the foundations. They are telling us today's tornado has caused greater damage than the '99 tornado. It's so horrible they are going through this again.

The latest word is 7 children at the school are dead and 24 are still missing. Just received word from my daughter's friend in Moore 75-100 head of horses died at a horse training center there in Moore.

Monday Musing

What foundational essential do you strive to instill in your students?


Leave me a comment with your response as well as your grade level.

I strive to provide my students with enough positive experiences at which they are successful so they leave my class with a solid can-do belief in themselves.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welcome Wagon

My count-down linky party brought one more Wagoneer to my wagon train.  Hello, Jeanette!! So glad you're following along.  


Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers, you'll want to roll right on over to her blog, Third Grade Galore.  So many good ideas are just waiting for you.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fun


I am joining a Budding Blog Linky hosted by Jess at I {heart} Recess.   If your blog has less than 200 followers please join the fun, link up, and showcase yourself.

Leave me a comment about where you found me and a link to your blog.  Then post the answers to the following questions on your blog.  Include the cute image above and link back to Jess at I {Heart} Recess.

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
3. Describe your teaching style.
4. Give three interesting facts about you.
5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)


1.  Why blog?  Seeing so many wonderful teacher-blogs, I knew I should jump in and try it too.  I've managed to glean lots of kernels of wisdom over my decades in the classroom and can still come up with an original idea now and then.  It was high time to pass those things along.  As you skim through my blog, you might stumble onto some usable ideas for your classroom.
2. Fav subject and why?  As a reading specialist, I've always loved reading and am comfortable with every facet of reading instruction.  The last couple of years, though, I've grown to love math almost as much.  I see how much my secondies benefit from our math workshop and all the hands-on practice it provides.  Creating and finding (from wonderful blogs and TPT stores) just the right activities to promote effective skill development is a blast!
3. Teaching style? Structured, but flexible as needed.  Firm, but loving. Much attention to learning styles through songs I write to reinforce skills, movements to enhance/emphasize skills, manipulative usage, etc.  Cross-curricular lessons as much as possible.  Flexible groupings for a variety of reasons.  Community building.
4. 3 facts? I have been in the classroom, on one side of the teacher's desk or the other, for 57 years.  I began my career teaching first grade in the same classroom where I was a first grader.  I have been blogging for less than a year.
5. TPT store?  My store, Little Red Wagon, is a newborn infant.  I plan to get rolling with feeding the li'l fellar this summer until he's full!  Stop by Little Red Wagon.

That's all from me.  Now leave me a comment, please, and become one of my Wagoneers, as long as you're here.  Then go link up with Jess!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Thrill

It happened!  It happened!  My school year finished today!  It's hard to realize year number 42 is behind me, and I've sent my cherubs on to their next teacher.


What's in store for the summer?  Rest and relaxation, restoring my house after a school year's worth of neglect, rest and relaxation, reclaiming my poor flower beds from the wilderness, rest and relaxation, scrapbooking, rest and relaxation, blogging and TPTing, and of course, rest and relaxation.  Seeing  a theme here?  The school year was hard on this old antique teacher!


Parents, in a few days, check my new page, Summer Sizzle.  There will be lots of ideas to keep your children's minds engaged throughout the summer.


That's all for now.  I may even go to bed early tonight since I don't have papers to grade or lessons to plan!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Welcome Wagon

Your attention please.  

Now announcing my newest Wagoneer, Shannon, my friend and former co-worker.  

Glad to have you fall in line with your wagon, Shannon.  


Wednesday Wackiness

All year long my kids have followed our class guidelines of healthy snacks.   Occasionally, when someone brings a non-healthy snack, I tell them to put it back in their backpack and use it as an after-school snack at home.  


However, there is one day in the school year when junk food is allowed: the end-of-the-year 2nd Grade PIGOUT.  That was today!  Each of our four classes brings a different kind of junk: cookies, chips, candy, or popcorn-or-pretzels.  Parent volunteers come in and use gallon-sized zipper bags to divvy up the goodies. 


They work at a variety of usual tasks and intersperse them with a step in making a pig hat.  I don't tell them at first what it is they are making.  They think they are so clever to figure it out before they have even completed all the steps. 


You know how difficult it can be to get kids to do their work those last few days.  Well, it was easier today.  They had to EARN their Pigout. :-)  Here are my cute little piggies.

















 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Blogger

I went by the doctor's office after school today to see about my sore throat.  Sure enough, it's strep.  Not what I wanted to hear.  Only 3 days are left to finish up all the activities I wanted to do.  Now I have to miss one. Fortunately, my terrific student teacher stands at the ready to fill in for me.  Thanks, Rachel            
Glad to help out, Dr. Steeley!

It is already the end of the year and my time with Central Elementary.  It has flown by so quickly and now begins another chapter in all of our lives.  As I look back at my time in Dr. Steeley's Learning Garden, I am overwhelmed by the realization of how much I have learned and how close I have become with each and every student.  The whole class welcomed me from the very beginning, and I have had so much fun helping them learn and grow.  It has amazed me the feats we are capable of achieving when we all work together as partners.  


I have also been fortunate enough to observe Dr. Steeley’s impeccable teaching skills and interactions with the students.  She has been a fantastic role model through this process and even as I go on to teach my own classroom, I know I will always have her support and guidance.  Dr. Steeley has shown me and taught me time and time again the power of respect, making learning fun, and the importance of having an understanding heart.  I am very blessed to have been a part of the Learning Garden and to have the pleasure of getting to know all of the students as well as Dr. Steeley and everyone else, both staff and students at Central Elementary School.  This has been an experience I will treasure for ever and will never forget. 

Thank you all so very much!

Ms. Christy


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Salute

One more shout-out to all the moms, moms-to-be, and she's-like-a-mom-to me-s.  This light-hearted delight was created by Jordan Weston, Andrew Dale and their  cute little helpers from Church on the Move in Tulsa.  Click on the link below.  Then leave a comment to let me know how you like it.


Welcome Wagon

Attention Wagoneers:  We have a new member who has pulled in line with our wagon train.  Welcome, Hailey of Autism Tank!  Your little red wagon makes number 60 in our train.  

Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers, you'll want to roll right on over to her blog.  It's FULL of teaching ideas.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Saturday Survey/Linky

Are you counting down weeks or days of school left?  A few of you are already out of school for the summer.  My grandson finished Thursday, and his cousin got out on May 3rd!! 

We only have 4 days next week here in Coweta, Oklahoma, and my students are definitely excited. 

Leave a message with your countdown number and where you teach.  Don't forget to link up with your blog address.



Happy Mother's Day Weekend


This will be my first Mom-less Mother's Day.  I hope all the Moms reading this will get to enjoy a pleasant time with their families.  I ran across this special video and just had to share it.

Friday Fun

A great big thank you to our librarian, Heather, and all her helpers, who made the AR party a smash hit for our kids.  They loved it and had a ball!!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Welcome Wagon

A great big shout-out to my newest Wagoneer, Amanda.  Hope you find this site to be helpful for you and your son.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Welcome Wagon

I just love Farley's Currently linky.  It makes it so easy to discover bloggers I hadn't read before.   It works both ways because some other bloggers have found my little red wagon:  Nicki of Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten, Lucy of Kids Math Teacher, Teresa of Confessions of a Teaching Junkie, Melinda of Sprinklelicious, and all the way from Ireland, Wendy of Teacher's Toolkit. Thanks for rolling in line with my wagon train.  Lucy if you have a blog, please let me know and I'll post it.  

There's always room for one more, and here comes Michelle of Just Wild About Teaching.  

Welcome one and all!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday Survey

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her May "Currently."  Here's the survey of my current status.


Listening - Although at 45° it feel more like winter than over a month into spring, at least we're getting some badly-needed moisture. 
Loving -It's nice not having to race off to this, that, or the other for a change on a Saturday.  That rarely happens.  I have so much I need to catch up on here at home. 
Thinking - How could this school year possibly have flown by so fast?  There is only ONE Friday left!! 
Wanting - I want to ruthlessly thin out my "archives" and reorganize a bunch of things before school ends.  Perhaps I can actually accomplish this while my student teacher is still here! 
Needing - I finally launched my TPT store, Little Red Wagon, but haven't had time to load my first unit yet: f-ANT-astic Ants
Summer Bucket List - I'm looking forward to having a very relaxed summer catching up on all the things that get lost in the shuffle of a busy school year.

Now for the fun!  Leave me a comment here, please.  You're welcome to join my wagon train as well.  Link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  Then visit the 2 links ahead of yours + 1 after yours. 
Ready, set, GET ACQUAINTED! 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Fun

We've been studying ants this week.  Today we had our principal and our student teacher be our guinea pigs to try tasting "ants" and "larvae."






                                                                         

The students took great delight in tricking them with raisins and gummy candy.  Someone got the trash can and put it next to them "just in case."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thursday Thrill

I'm seeing stars again! I had to make one more special t-shirt for one of my Learning Gardeners.  Woohoo!  100 books is a lot of reading!! 


One of the nice features of the AR program is that it gives an approximate time a child spends based on the number of tests they pass.  It clearly shows those who spend more time engaged in reading are more skilled readers.