Five for Friday

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello there,
After a fun, food-filled, fantastic Thanksgiving Day spent with family and friends, I thought I would connect with all my blog buddies out there to share Thanksgiving good wishes with everyone.
I'm connecting with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another fun Five for Friday linky.

My guilty pleasure- Starbucks.  I usually like hot coffee, but it's been so hot here in Southern California that I needed a cold drink this week.  Poor me.. I know.  I'm always thankful for the great weather in San Diego- I've never had to shovel snow just to get to work- I'm super lucky!

Here's my tip to you as you begin to wrap your holiday presents...
Save the toilet paper or paper towel rolls and use them to keep your gift wrap from unrolling when you don't want it to.  Just cut a strip down the side and wrap the tube around the wrapping paper.  Works like a charm and costs nothing!

Super proud of my youngest daughter.  She was a captain on her JV field hockey team and she was awarded MVP for the season.  So proud of her efforts.  She is the first one the field and the last one off.  She has a great work ethic, a positive attitude and the skill and athleticism to make an all around great player.  BTW-This award was voted on by her teammates.  

Just got done framing and hanging a collection of birds that my family painted.  It was fun working together to create art for our home.  The pictures are hanging over our TV and they make me smile every time I glance up.  The best part is we have room for more.

The final thing I am thankful for this week was the opportunity to share in a major life event with my husband's family.  His uncle and cousins were in town for a half marathon.  While they were here, one of them got engaged!  Everyone was in on the secret except for Kaitlyn.  The proposal took place on the beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado.  This photo was snapped by some strangers on the beach who realized what was happening and wanted to capture the moment for the happy couple.  What a magical moment!  Congratulations Kyle and Kaitlyn!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Turkey Tail Patterning

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I just got a shock today when we were working on patterning.  My kids have been working on patterning since school started in September.  We pull out the pattern blocks, teddy bears, and other items and we make patterns.  All of my kids understand the simple AB pattern and most can make lots of more complicated patterns.

Well, imagine my shock when I did this cute project with them....

turkey tail patterns in a circle.

circle patterns

patterning activity

use pattern blocks to make turkey tail patterns

What's so shocking you wonder?  Well...

I began by cutting the circle and modeling a simple AAB pattern with red and yellow pattern blocks.  I put the blocks around the perimeter of the circle and asked, "Is this a pattern?"  I expected a resounding "YES!" but to my surprise, I heard,"NO!"

What?? No??  Umm, perhaps they didn't understand?  I asked, "Are you sure?  Let's see.  Red, red, yellow, red, red, yellow, red, red, yellow, red, red, yellow..."

As I was on my second loop they finally said, "Oh wait!  Yes it is!"

I then realized that we always make our patterns in a straight line.  I didn't give it a second thought.  But when I did this simple activity, they were thrown for a loop.  We had never made patterns in a circle shape.  What seemed so basic to me, was actually a challenge for them.  It got me thinking about so many other things that I teach.  I need to mix it up, keep them on their toes, keep challenging their thinking.  Isn't this really the root of the Common Core?  Challenging kids to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.  To do that they need to look at things in different ways.

I LOVE it when we have a day where they aren't the only ones having that "Aha" moment.  I had it too!

So, I got this cute idea from Pinterest.   I saw a lot of pins for "Symmetrical Turkeys" using pattern blocks.  I decided to change it up and make patterns for the tail feathers.  I think the project turned out very cute, but the best part is that I challenged their thinking and gave them a new way to see patterns.  I've got to do more of that... and I will.  If you want to challenge your kid's thinking too, you can click on any of the photos and you will go right to the blacklines and directions for doing this project with your own kiddos.

Veteran's Day

Monday, November 10, 2014
I always get thoughtful in the month of November because everybody posts things they are thankful for during the month.  I too reflect on all of the things I have to be thankful for and the things that I take for granted.  Life is good in the Irick house.  Everyone is healthy, we live in a nice neighborhood with great friends and neighbors, I love my job and work in a fantastic community with great kids and parents, my car is still hanging in there, etc, etc.

What I often forget to reflect on is how lucky I am to live in this great country.  We live just minutes away from Mexico, and while it is a great country as well, it is very different from the United States.  This stark contrast often gets me to thinking how lucky I was to be born in America.  I've always had stability and comfort living in America.  I know that I'm lucky- being middle class in America is a great thing.  But I need to give credit where credit is due- to the military.  Because of the soldiers who are willing to put their lives on the line for our country's values and beliefs,  my family and I live comfortable lives in a stable country.

Thank you military members and their families!  You sacrifice so much to defend our way of life.  You should be thanked every day, not just on Veteran's Day.

To help out the military spouses out there who also might be educators... I'm throwing a sale in my TpT store.  November 10-12 everything will be 10% off.  If you've had your eye on something or just want to's the time to head over.


Currently November

Sunday, November 2, 2014
Well, its the start of a new month and that means it's time for the Currently linky party.  I look forward to blog hopping and seeing what everyone else is up to.  I always find a new blog to add to my Bloglovin' list.  Leave me a comment and I'll make sure to stop by your blog too!

Listening to the sound of rain.  In Southern California we don't get as much rain as we need and we are currently in a drought.  We Californians conserve water all year long and when extra measures are called for, we really feel the pinch.  I'm loving the sound of the rain, but I already see blue skies among the rain clouds so I fear the small rain showers will be over soon.  Does anyone know a good rain dance?

Loving this time of the year.  The weather is finally turning and I can break out some cool weather outfits.  I've been jealous of the posts I read where folks have been talking about wearing sweaters for a month now.  Although I'm super glad that I live in Southern California where our worst winter storms involve rain and the occasional hail.  No snow shovels for me.  No icy road to drive on.  I'm happy with the comparatively mild winters.  (And I know that I take the beautiful sunshine for granted).

Thinking about my family members who are no longer with us.  My mother passed a couple of years ago and my grandmother just passed this month.  Holidays are never the same with loved ones missing from the table.  Thank goodness for memories!

Wanting the new Apple Watch.  I'm a technology geek and I can't wait for the watch to be released.  My current watch is a solar powered EcoDrive and I've had it for at least ten years now.  I love it, but feel that it is time to get a new watch.  Plus, the Apple Watch keep track of fitness data.  Now that I'm almost fifty (yikes) I need to ramp up my fitness.  No more being lazy.

Needing more minutes in the day.  When did life get so busy???

And reading... no time for pleasure reading during the school year.  Is it summer yet?  Summer is when I catch up on my reading.  I have a stack of books next to my bed that grows all school year long and I happily tackle it during summer time.  I would read during the school year, but frankly, I'm just too tired.  I fall asleep within the first page or two and don't have the continuity that a good book calls for.

Thanks for reading my Currently post this month.  Hop on over to Farley's blog to see what everyone else is Currently doing.

Frightfully Fun Halloween Party

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Teaching Kindergarten is always fun.  One of my favorite days of the year is Halloween.  The kids spend the whole month talking about their costumes, changing their minds, then finally settling on the perfect costume.  My school has a costume parade and I love to see all the cute, clever and scary costumes the kids pick.

Later that day, we have a Halloween party in our classroom.  We are allowed two parties a year so I choose Halloween and Valentine's Day.

If you are looking for some fun activities, here is what I do in my classroom.  We have a Cookie Decorating station, a Witch Hat Ring Toss station, a Candy Corn Bingo station, a Ghost Bowling station, a Touch It If You Dare station, a Spider Hat station, and a Dem Bones station.

At the cookie station we use unfrosted sugar cookies from the grocery store.  We ask the bakery department to mix up bright colored frosting in orange, green, black and purple and use popsicle sticks and sprinkles to frost and decorate.  You will need Bag of Bones Cheetos for the Dem Bones station.

This year we didn't make the Spider Hats because that parent volunteer was home with a sick child, so there is no picture of that.  I post a sign up sheet for supplies and volunteers and I make do with whatever we get.  If the supplies and/or volunteers don't come in, then we just don't have that station.

(If you like the activities below- click on the photo and a link will take you to the original website where I got the activity)

The kids have so much fun on Halloween.  Between the parade and the party, they say that it is "the best day ever!"  We make sure to say "Thank You!" to all of our fantastic parent helpers.  Without them, we wouldn't be able to have this fabulous and frighteningly fun Halloween party.

I hope this gives you some fun ideas for your next Halloween Bash.

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