Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This morning I'm laying in bed feeling guilty for sleeping through two calls from the school. When I finally called back, I was already going to be late so I told her I wasn't available. Now as I lie here I can't help but think of all the things I should be doing on my morning off. I'm so busy lately that I actually feel guilty for resting. Do you ever feel this way? In a little while I will get up and I'm sure I will do something productive before going to work.

Hoping you all have a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Working World

So I'm sure all 9 of you have been going out of your mind wondering what happened to me.

Shortly a few weeks after school started back I still hadn't received any calls to sub. I was beginning to worry since my student loans were due. One afternoon I got a call from my aunt who is a guidance counselor at one of the schools in my district. Their after school daycare was looking for subs and she wanted to know if she could give them my name. After talking to the director I was booked for the following week. After that first week I was able to move to my school of choice for a permanent position. Then the calls started coming in for subbing. Even though I can only sub at the one school now I have been subbing several days a week. Last week I subbed 4.5 days and worked 15 hours at the daycare. It makes for some long weeks considering there are days I am at the school with kids in my care for 11 hours. But I am grateful to have a job and a way to pay my bills.

I've also been staying busy with Girl Scouts and we will be having our first sleepover in 1.5 weeks:-)

Well I've got to get ready to sub half a day, but I wanted to let you all know I'm still alive.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

I got a JOB

About two weeks ago I got a call from my aunt. She works at one of the schools I sub for and she had gotten an email from the director of their afterschool program. They were looking for subs and my aunt wanted to know if I was interested. I told her I wouldn't mind subbing in the after school program but Subbing in the classroom would have to come first. In other words, If I was subbing in a classroom at one school I wouldn't be available to sub in the afterschool program of another school. She relayed this information in an email to the director and the next day I got a call.

The director over the Extended day program for the whole district called to follow up on the email. I explained my situation and she asked if I had scheduled any sub jobs for the next week. I told her know and she asked if I could sub every day at the after school program (at the school where my aunt works).

Last Monday I walked into the school a little nervous about how the program would be run. I worked for an after school program in the past but it was for at risk students and was focused on education (we taught lessons and everything was very structured.) I knew this school would be different the question was, how different. I liked the set up of this program though it was much more relaxed than the program I worked for before and I liked the kids. Unfortunately the school wasn't in a convenient location for me. When the director for the school told me they were going to be looking for someone for the following week. I told her I didn't think I could do it.

I called the director for the district and told her my situation. I asked her if there were any openings ant the school I subbed for the most last year and she said no. Then she told me there was a possiblilty she could switch someone.

The next day she told me she was able to switch someone from the school I wanted so I accepted a job working every day in the extended day program! And I'll still be able to sub for that school.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where it all goes down Wednesday

Hi again, It's teacher week at Blog Hoppin and today is "Where it all goes down Wednesday" I don't have a classroom this year so i will share my Girl Scout room with you all.

Last year I had 7 girls, this year I have 15 and a waiting list. I would actually like to cap it at twelve so we will see how our first meeting goes on Saturday. (my plan is: If the don't come to the parents meeting, they are on a waiting list)

We meet in a church's youth house that used to be a parsonage, I have what would have been a bedroom. I love that I have my own bathroom and my girls don't have to leave the room.

As you can tell, it's a small room. This picture was taken from the bathroom door. Right now, I only have table space for 8 girls. I am trying to decide if I want to try and add another table, take away the table and get clipboards, or split the group in two. The couch it too heavy and big for us to get out the door, so it will be staying. I also have a dry erase board.

This picture was taken from the table, you can see we have two closets that we share with the other troops, our bathroom, and the door to the rest of the house. It's hard to put much on this side of the room because we will block a door. I have a small bulletin board over my chair and a larger one to the right. The small one will have a copy of our news letter and the larger one will have my girls work displayed and some other things throughout the year. The rug is where we will sit to read from our journey book.

I'm worried about how this will work with 15 girls. Hopefully I will find a way to make everything run smoothly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

Hi everyone, if you're visiting my site from welcome! Today is Meet the Teacher Monday.

A little something about me

I'm a 24 year old Early Childhood Major. I just graduated in December and wasn't fortunate enough to get my own classroom this year so I will be subbing. I have 4 nieces and 2 nephews. I'm also a Daisy Girl Scout leader.

How long have you been teaching?

I have not had my own classroom but while I was in collage I taught at risk students in an after school program. I have subbed for almost a year. I Student taught in 2nd grade, and I am a Daisy Girl Scout leader.

You might not know...

I don't have a drivers licence. Yes, I'm 24 and I can't drive. I was in a wreck in High School and I didn't want to drive. Now, I know I need work on getting it but I honestly don't know where I would get the money for gas, insurance, and car payments.

What are you looking forward to this year?

This year I really hope I will get my own classroom. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something will open up. If not, I'm hoping to get some long term sub positions.

What do you need to improve?

I am a big procrastinator. I need to work on being more prepared. Of course right now I have no idea what to prepare for.

What teaching supplies can you not live without?

I LOVE having a smartboard, of course I could probably learn to live without one if I had to. I also love Bold tip pens.

Of course my biggest addiction would be children's books. I don't even have a classroom yet and already my house is full :)

If you are visiting, I hope you come back soon! I'll be planning some kind of giveaway soon maybe when I reach 10 or 15 followers.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Before and After

I told y'all I would be re-organizing my Daisy room. I am planning on significantly growing my Daisy troop this year and we don't have much room. Somehow my room has become storage for several of the other troops. This is what I saw when I walked in to clean it the other day.

To add to the already cluttered room, someone had had a party at the youth house and moved all of the random items onto my table. As you can tell, I had a lot of work to do. My plan was to move the couch and table out and put two new tables in. To the right of the picture you can see a cabinet. This is ours but the stacks on top and around belong to the brownies, most of this has been in my room for a year. Here's a closer view.

I also have the gifts in a jar that the older girls made and couldn't sell, these have also been in my room for a year. I had to get all of that out if I wanted to fit more 5 year olds in :)

I had this cute little helper (my nephew) and my mom and my other assistant leader.

After about 4 long hours of work in which we discovered the couch would not fit through the door. We had taken the table apart and put it in another room, vacuumed, steam cleaned, Clorox wiped. We ended up with this!

I still don't have enough table and chair space but I am planning on adding a small table that will get folded when we are not using it. I LOVE the large floor space for group activities. And my carpet area with my new bulletin board (that I had to hot glue).

While I was doing all of this the other leaders were working on their room and the youth house looks GREAT! I can't wait for my parents meeting and our first meeting to see how it works out.

I hope your classrooms turned out just the way you wanted them :) and that you all have a great weekend!

- Ms. JoAnne

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Filling in the gaps

As if I didn't already have enough on my plate, I was recently ask to take on an additional responsibility with Girl Scouts. This year the individual service units(in our case it's any troops within two school districts) will be inputting their own registration forms. This responsibility will be given to two members of the Service team. My sister in law and I were asked to take on these jobs. This should make the process go much faster than previous years. I'll give you an idea of how slow it's been in the past: My first year as a leader, I started in August and got an email in February that I needed to do more paperwork, They had just gotten to putting my info into the computer!

By accepting this position, I became part of the service team and was able to go to a service team kick off yesterday. Over all I found out a LOT of new information and I'm excited to take the info back to other leaders.

This week I will be "filling in a gap" Since I don't have my own classroom to be moving into, I will be rearranging my Daisy Scout room. I plan to add 1/3 more girls this year and we were packed in last year. Look for a post soon because I plan to take before and after pictures. :)

I hope you are enjoying the last part of summer!

-Ms. JoAnne

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I love a good deal!

Hi! How is your summer going? I've haven't had much insperation for blogging lately until now. This weekend I went bargin hunting :) I've always been frugal, I don't buy anything unless it's on sale (or $1). This weekend I found some great deals.

Saturday My mom and I headed off to Hamricks. We had received coupons in the mail for 15% off our entire purchase and we couldn't pass this up. Almost EVERYTHING in the store was on sale already but of course, I went straight for the clearence racks. I tried on 20 things but most of them didn't fit. I ended up getting a brown skirt (originally $22.99) , some gray dress pants (originally 22.99), A shirt (orignially 16.97). Three pairs of flip flops (Originally 6.98 for the set) and a giraffe welcome flag for my (non-existant) classroom(originally 3.99). My total after all of the discounts and tax was $25.78 I saved $89.79!! Actually compared to the suggested retail prices, the savings would be much more because the original Hamricks price is already lower.

Our coupons came with one for us and one for a friend. We hadn't given our away so we planned on giving them to other shoppers in the store. My mom ended up not using hers so we were able to give three away. I left with a smile on my face because the people we gave them to all looked a little shocked, then smiled and were so appreciative.

On Sunday we headed to Kohls because again, I had a coupon. Actually I had two. I got them in the mail about a week ago and was very happy to see them. One was $5 off any purchase and the other was 15% off my entire purchase. I didn't have much money to spend so I again went for the clearence racks (My only issue with Kohls is that you can't use coupons on their Kohls cares for kids products). I finally found a top, tried in on, and knew that's what I was getting. The top was originally $30, it was 80% off! So it had been marked down to $6.00. My $5.00 coupon brought it down to $1.00 and I got another 15% off of that! My total came to $0.91 with a savings of $29.15!!! The best part - she gave me both coupons back to use again so I'm headed back sometime before Saturday night :)

I love getting good deals :)

Today, I'm headed to our local AC Moore for a family event. I'm taking one of my nieces and we are going with friends. They are doing lots of family friendly events including t-shirt decorating (free if you buy a shirt), puppet making, tattoos and body art, marshmallow candy making, and making cards veterans. They are also having give-a-ways evey half-hour!!

Mostly I'm looking for to spending time with great friends!

Hope y'all have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


So I typed a long post about what it means to "be a sister to every Girl Scout" it was deep and meaningful. Then I clicked publish and it went away! Honestly, I don't feel like typing the whole thing all over again.

The post was brought on by the fact that I have a new "sister" in Girl Scouts. She is going to be my assistant next year and she is GREAT. I already think of her like a sister and cosider her daughter like a niece. We are fast becoming close friends.

This week I am looking forward to spending quality bonding time with her. We are going shopping and will most likely be discussing the upcoming scout year. I know one of our stops will be at the Girl Scout Store.

I don't have a lot of friends that I hang out with all the time. I have friends from school, and a few close friends that meet for lunch when we can. I have friends from church but I don't live close to them so we don't get to see each other very often. Mostly I have my family, I love my sister in law and love when we get to spend time together. I've also recently started getting closer to my cousins. It's not very often that I meet someone and we just click, but that's how it is with me and my new "sister" she even gets along well with my mom (who's my other Assistant Leader) I feel blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Sub Survival Kit - Tutorial

Two of my best friends just graduated. They are facing the facts that they will probably not have their own classroom come fall. They are both planning on subbing. For graduation, I gave them both Sub Survival Kits. I put a lot of thought and reflection into them looking back over the last 6 months at the things I had used and wished I had in the classroom with me.

Step One - Find a cute bag

You want something that is big and sturdy but not something that you don't want to get messy. Sometimes the classrooms are dirty and you never know what the students might do. This bag came from Dollar Tree. I have several of them that I use for Girl Scouts, Teaching, and carrying my laptop. They are big and strong.

Step 2 - Make a treat jar

I bought a three pack of these left over containers and decorated it with reward stickers that I already had. The containers aren't super sturdy but they will work. Again, you don't want to put too much money into them. I can't tell you how many times I've left my jar in a classroom. Luckily,all of the teachers have saved them for me but you never know.

Step 3 - Fill it with candy!

In this case I basically just took candy out of my own treat jar...But I made sure they had a selection. Whey buying candy, make sure you think about the age of the children. I try to give softer candy or safety pops to the Kindergartners. Also, think about the rules at the school, can the kids have gum? My own treat jar also has small toys, pencil sharpeners, and cap erasers.

Step 4 - Stickers

This step is pretty self explanatory. I cut up some sheets of stickers to split between them and made sure they had a good variety.

Step 5 - First Aid

Now for the basic first aid items: tissues, Hand Sanitizer, wipes and band aids

Step 6 - Note pads

I like to have several types of notepads. There's always something to write down. Behavior problems, other notes to teachers, hall passes etc. I also added safety pins.

Step 7 - Office supplies

A pencil pouch with all of the "little" items. Pencils (sharpened), pens (several different colors), erasers, paper clips, a highlighter, pencil sharpener, and a dry erase marker. Don't assume you'll be able to find these things in the classroom.

Step 8 - Whistle

This is to bring the kids in from recess.

Step - 9 - An activity book

Add an age appropriate activity book. This is great for kids who finish early. You can give them a page to work on quietly.

Step 10 - a game

For the final step I added a copy of my 6 in 1 bingo game. I featured this game a few months back as a give away. It is good for children in kindergarten through 5th and covers math skills from number recognition to division.

Would you like a copy of my bingo game???

Leave me a comment telling me what you like about my blog or how I can improve. Be sure to leave your email address and I'll send you a copy :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Over the years, I have seen many different awards ceremonies. Even within Girl Scouts itself, there are many ways to recognize the girls. My troop meets with several other troops in what used to be called a cluster (troops of several age levels that are associated with one meeting place) We have almost always done our awards together along with a bridging ceremony. This is good because it gives the girls and parents a chance to see what the other troops have done throughout the year. In the past troop leaders have called each girl up individually and listed each award the girls have earned. Since many of these awards were earned with the group you can imagine there were lots of "repeats" and the ceremony seemed to drag on. However simply saying what your troop did doesn't seem to give the girls enough of their well earned recognition. So this year I sat down to come up with a new plan.

Daisies rarely earn badges on their own because they earn Petals for their daisy and they represent the parts of the GS Law. They can also earn a set of patches for completing a journey book(again, we did this as a group) and Fun patches for any trips or activities they participated in. Unfortunately when you call each girl up individually and list each award they earned it's not only very repetitive, it also highlights which girls earned more than others. At this age the only way they don't earn the badges is by not coming and unfortunately this isn't always the girls fault. The last thing I wanted was for them to feel like they weren't good enough.

I finally decided to call the troop up, tell the parents everything we have done this year, and then give each girl an individual award for one of their strengths. The awards were:
Helping Hand Award
Big Heart Award
Bright Idea Award
Stick With it Award
Best Foot Forward Award
Shining Example Award
Good Sport Award

They were a REALLY big hit. Some of the parents actually teared up at their child's award and I feel like the truly appreciated the fact that I got to know their girls over the year and showcased their individual abilities.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that my Daisies, the youngest group, totally rocked the socks off the other groups as far as how much we did this year! I totally had a GREAT group of girls and parents and have only great feelings about how the next year is going to be.

See Y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So after lots of thoughts and prayer, I went in to my second interview Friday ready to talk to the supervisor. I wanted to find out if there was any possibility for a summer position instead of a year long commitment. My four hours in the classroom were supposed to start at 8:30 and I found out when I arrived that the director wasn't going to get there until 9:00. I told the girls at the front that I wanted to talk to her and they told me they would tell her I was there when she got there. I went to start my time in the classroom. I was in a toddler classroom which are the 1 year olds. There are 10 in that class and there were 2-3 workers in the classroom during any given period not counting me. I love this age for a lot of reasons. They are mobile and verbal, they can do so much for themselves and its so fun to watch them try new things. At the same time they love to sit on your lap, bring you books, and they still need to be tucked in at nap time. I didn't particularly love having 10 1 year olds in a small room with 4 adults. Also, many of the teachers have recently been moved to different classrooms so they teachers weren't completely comfortable with each other and the kids yet. After 4 hours I had helped with breakfast, playtime, outside time, lunch, and naptime. I was exhausted. If I had taken the job I would have been working 10 hour shifts. I went to the directors office and she told me she would get back to me once she got my evaluation. I then told her I didn't feel comfortable making a year long commitment because I felt like I should be in the School system. She thanked and told me bye.

I felt awful turning down a potential job when I really need a summer job. But it just didn't feel right in so many ways. I think I have enough money saved to make it through the summer (even though my student loans are now due) and I am planning to sub in not one but two districts this fall so I should have a more steady paycheck coming in then.

This week has felt so weird with no phone calls to sub and nothing to plan for girl scouts. I am planning on getting a head start on plans for GS next year, and we are going to do a few things this summer but this week has been about relaxing. I am planning a trip to the beach with my cousins and trying to get some stuff cleaned out for a yard sale my aunts are planning soon.

I do plan to start blogging more (and hopefully bring in some more followers). Tomorrow, I plan to tell you all about our girl scout awards ceremony.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The district I want to teach in has be hit hard by the budget crisis. They are closing a school drastically changing the set up of two others and letting all first year teachers go. Before there is any chance of new openings, they will hire back these teachers (this is fair and good for them, but not for me). The district where I live is opening a new school next year but is planning on doing so many shifts in teachers they don't know if they will have any openings. While subbing I have met many teachers who graduated a year before me and STILL don't have classrooms.

I am facing the fact that I won't have a classroom to call my own in the fall. I am also facing the fact that my many students loans are due NOW!

Today I went for a job interview at a GREAT daycare center on campus. I was truly hoping I could teach there for the summer and then make a decision about whether to stay there or continue to sub in the fall.

During my interview she told me she would want me to make a 1 year commitment if I got the job. I go for a second interview Friday so I need to make a decision. My heart is telling me I need to continue to sub in the fall. I am in the schools and getting to know the principals and office staff. I have also had several people tell me subs get moved in to full time positions all the time because the staff know you.

I need a job NOW but I want it to be a job that's good for me. I don't want a job that will hold me back in the long run.

So, fellow teachers and bloggers, what is your advice? Should I (if hired) take the job in the Child care center, or look for a "summer" job and sub in the fall?


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sub Plans

I've posted before about the different behavior plans in the classrooms where I sub. Today, I want to write about sub plans. Since every teacher is different and has a diffrent teaching style, it is expected that teachers will have different styles for their sub plans. What amazes me is the vast difference in the amout of details teachers leave.

Since I am a teacher I can pretty much go with the flow no matter what the sub plans, or lack there of, look like. However, I do appreciate plans that give lots of details. When I enter the classroom I want to accomplish everything the teacher has planned for the day. I don't want her to come back the next day to a mess or to find out nothing was done the way she had imagined. With that being said, I am not a mind reader. If you want things done a certain way, please let me know.

Monday I subbed in a Fourth and Fith grade classroom. The teacher had known for over a month that she would be out I know because I had scheduled the day a month in advance. I enter the classroom to find Hand written (or more like scribbled) sub plans that took up 1 1/2 sheets of paper. In fact, I copied them down with this post in mind and in my writing they took up less than one page.

Sub plans for

Monday, April 25

7:30-8:00 Read silently

8:00-8:30 Read Health Pg289-297 answer questions on pg 297

8:30-9:20 Computer Lab/ Special Area

9:20-10:30 Math packets

*Complete and when done read. NO games

10:30-11:20 Science Weekly and finish Health from this morning

11:20 Switch classes


11:20-12:05 Math complete Math packet

12:05-12:45 Recess or Lunch

12:45-1:15 Finish Math from ths morning

1:15-1:45 Science Weekly

1:4-2:20 Health Read pg 282-287 discuss and answer ?'s on page 286

That was it. That and a stack of worksheets. Oh yeah and the bus evacuation drill schedule (guess when, right during my planning) No classroom procedures, I had to hunt for her behavior chart. No roster. No seating chart. Not even a "thanks for coming." Obviously her plans left me with a few questions. Especially what she meant my recess OR lucnch. I can only imagine what it would have been like if I wasn't a certified teacher, or if it was my first day subbing. So, I would like to give all of you teachers out there some tip from a sub on what helps us have a productive day.

  1. Typed sub plans are normally easier to follow double spaced also gives us room to write notes about how the activities went.

  2. Please leave a list of the classroom procedures (things like entering the classroom, unpacking, sharpening pencils, classroom rules and disipline...)

  3. Make sure I know what to do about: attendence, homework, tardies, and how to work equipment.

  4. Make sure I know where to find a roster, dry erase markers, paper, pencils and the emergency kit and procedures.

  5. A seating chart is wonderful because it allows us to immediately call the students by their name. It also helps with attendance. If you leave a seating chart please make sure it is current. (I've seen some where the room arangement isn't even the same)

  6. Please give accurate times for special areas, lunch and recess. Also, let me know what my duties are during these times. Should I sit with the kids, do I have recess duty?

  7. Finally, please give as much detail as possible when writing your plans. There's no such thing as to many details. Am I supposed to read to them or do they read it? Aloud or silently? Should the work independently, with a partner, or as a whole class? If there's part of an assignment they shouldn't do please let me know, even if it's a section they class normally skips.

There you have it. 7 simple steps to helping ensure your sub has a good day. Many of these things could be typed once and left in a sub folder (just make sure they're still there after each sub visit).

I hope this helps. Let me know what you think!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My happy place

Whenever people say "go to your happy place" most people picture the beach, the mountains, etc... It's normally somewhere far away from their home. I realized this weekend where my happy place is as I was taking these breath taking pictures. That's why it's been so hard for me to say goodbye...

Camp Congaree was a place many Girl Scouts experienced camp for the first time. What a BEAUTIFUL place to fall in love with mother nature!!

And of course I had to have one more S'more before it was all over. I also got ashes of friendship from the fire and we lit eternal flames. I'm really glad I was able to spend one more day out there. Even if I did threaten to sit down on the ground and refuse to leave. Regardless of what our council plans to do in our area, to those of us who grew up doing the "Congaree Wig Walk" there will never be anything close to Camp Congaree.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And the winner is...

Gladys at Once Upon A Time in First Grade! Congratualtions Gladys and thanks for following my blog! Please contact me so I can send you the file. Want a chance to win more goodies? I will have another give-a-way when I reach 10 followers! Thats only three more, so tell your friends :) I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent Saturday with my two younges nieces and my Daisies at Brownie Daisy fun day. This is a great event that our local girl scout service unit puts on each year for all of the Brownie and Daisy Troops. The girls are split up from the rest of their troop and put into groups with girls they may not know. This years theme was "a day at the fair" so the girls visited 7 stations including facepainting, fishing, ringtoss, balloon pop, bean bag toss, musical chairs, and a pie eating contest(whip cream and sprinkles). After the girls had visited each station they were given a snack of popcorn, chips and cotton candy. The girls LOVED it and made lots of new friends. This coming weekend, I am throwing my girls a surprise party at build-a-bear. I decided to do this for several reasons. I'm not sure if I told you but our local Girl Scout camp was sold and our planned campout was canceled. My girls were heartbroken, we had told them about all of the history at the camp and this would have been many of their first campouts. We decided to have a sleepover at the church where we meet because many of the other camping sites around our town are very pricey. So, I'm using the money we would have used for our cabin rental for the party. My second reason for wanted to do this is so the girls will ALL have a stuffed animal to bring to the sleep over, their won't be any teasing. One of our girls wasn't going to be able to come because Her mom had to go to NY for a play she is in and she was really upset about missing the sleepover. I also thought doing the B.A.B party the week before would work because she could take her bear with her to NY. Her trip has actually been canceled so she will be able to come to the sleep over after all. On a related note, There will be a farewell party at our camp this Sunday giving us a last chance to walk the trails take pictures and sing the songs I grew up singing at that very same camp. Most of my girls will not be going to this event because, even thought they wanted to camp there, they never have before and do not have the attachment to it that many of the older girls and adults have. I hope your week is off to a great start! JoAnne

Friday, April 1, 2011

My first GIVEAWAY!!

Hi everyone, I hope this blog finds you all well. I also hope you'll forgive me for my long absences from blogland especially since I'm about to give one of you a gift :)! I'm currently working on my Sub bag - a tote with must haves for all subs. Lately, I find myself with free time at the end of the school day. I hate giving the kids extra work and depending on the age of the kids independent reading can only last for so long. So, last night I spent a few hours working on what I hope is the first of many projects. I have created a 6-in-1 Math Bingo game! I created a bingo game for up to 26 kids that will work for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The game contains Calling cards and 26 bingo cards that will adapt for 6 math operations: 1) Number Recognition (1-31) 2) Addition 3) Subtraction without Regrouping 4) Subtraction with Regrouping 5) Multiplication 6) Division I'm sure it could be adapted for even more. So, Who wants a copy? There are two ways to enter!! 1. Become a follower leave a comment on this post. (Or, comment and let me know that you are already a follower) 2. Mention my blog or this giveaway on your blog, then comeback and leave a comment letting me know! This giveaway will end at midnight this Sunday and I will do my best to announce the winner Monday. I hope you all have a great weekend! JoAnne

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blasts from the past

I'm a girl who loves traditions. I am very sentimental and I HATE change. Over the past few weeks I have subbed a lot at the school I attended as a child. It's full of memories and has changed but I have to admit it's changed for the better. PE no longer meets in a portable and there are beautiful murals on the walls. Of course some things haven't changed including some of the teachers. It's been fairly easy making the transition from student/teacher to coworkers. Many of the teachers and staff are very happy to see me back in the school. With that being said, there are times when I'm walking down the hall way and I hear them fussing at a student and I stop dead in my tracks, remembering what it felt like to be those students.

I received some devastating news this week. The girl scout camp I grew up going to and planned on taking my daisies to this April has been sold and we will not be able to attend. The news wasn't a complete shock since the property has been up for sale for two years but it still upsets me. There was a clause in the deed saying the property had to always be owned by girl scouts but our council found a loop hole and sold it. The woman who called seemed to have no remorse when telling me my girls trip would have to be canceled. This comes after many changes in our local council. Many of the smaller councils were merged several years ago and very little is offered for girls in my area because there was "better property" in other areas and our things have been closed. It's not fair to the girls. Many of them can't afford to travel to get to camp in other areas. Not to mention the fact that this camp was open for MANY years and generations of girl scouts have camped their and grown up to watch their daughters and granddaughters camp there. Some of my fondest memories of girl scouts are at that camp. I found out today that I can go out there and take some pictures in the next week or so. Keep looking for a tribute post.

Today I subbed for a class that was going on a field trip to the philharmonic! It was great and the kids were super! I miss playing violin so much. If only I had the time to practice. :( After the concert we took the kids to play at a local park. The park was one I frequented as a child. I enjoyed a nice afternoon watching the kids play for several hours in the wonderful 75 degree weather.

So, are you sentimental? Do you have a hard time saying goodbye to things from your past? Have you had to deal with loosing a favorite spot from your childhood? How did you deal? I'd love to hear from y'all!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Full Moon?

Do you think full moons really affect how people act? If not, visit an elementary school classroom during a full moon and then again on another day (say the middle of the moon's cycle). I never really bought into this theory until I student taught. That was the first time I was spending every day with the kiddos. Today I went back to sub in the class I student taught in. Today the moon is at 100%. It was very obvious. I had to wear a mic which I don't normally like to do. A third of the kids had to get a note written home. I was just here on Monday (Valentines day even!) and they were perfect angels. What happened??

It leaves me feeling a little nervous about girl scouts tomorrow. I have 7 very energetic little girls in a room that is not very big. We meet in a building that used to be a church parsonage. There are three small bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. This used to work out perfect because we all had small troops. One of the bedrooms is now used for storage for the church. My girls are in one bedroom. We have a table that gets very crowded, a couch and a large chair. The other bedroom which is next door to ours is used by the juniors (4th and 5th graders) there are only five of them. just outside of the bedrooms is the dining room where the 17 brownies (2nd and 3rd graders) meet. This gets very loud and because they are in a common area there is no real way to close them off. Unfortunately, the storage closet with all of the supplies is also in our room (you'd think that would be a good thing for me) we get interrupted 3 or 4 times per meeting by people needing something from there. Sometimes its way more.

I'm also a little stressed because after reviewing the calender I've realized this is our last regular meeting for the year. Starting next week we will be doing cookie booths, then a Brownie/Daisy fun day with other troops in our area. Then it's time for camping. I have to cancel our last meeting in April because I have some training to go to. In may we are going to the beach and then it's our awards day. I'm glad we are getting to do all of these fun and educational events but I had so much more to talk to them about. Now I'm trying to figure out a way to do some of the things while we sell cookies at the booths. I know, I'm crazy. I do have a really fun activity planned for tomorrow and I hope to post pictures of it soon.

I have to keep reminding myself to breath. Tomorrow after scouts I will be doing First Aid/CPR training. Sunday is church and time with my moms family(I'll have to miss this for a few weeks because of cookies). Monday I'm subbing for a 4th/5th grade class and Tuesday I'm going with the same 4th graders on a field trip then I have a training session to go to that night. Wednesday I have jury duty. Thursday there's another training session and Friday cookies come in. Of course Cookie booths start that Saturday!!! When am I going to have time to relax?!?

Ok, I'm getting up from this computer and going outside. It's almost 80 today and I'm wear a t-shirt for the first time in ages. I'm going to sit in the sun and enjoy some Sudoku. I hope you enjoy your day.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Behavior Management

Over the past few weeks, my subbing has picked up. Each classroom is vastly different which was surprising to me (but probably shouldn't have been) The schools are even more different. When entering a new school or classroom, I'm given the chance to see how each teacher works. Their behavior plans, their rewards/consequences, and their classroom set up. You can also tell a lot about the teachers by the way their kids act when they aren't there. Here is one thing I've observed this Winter.

One really interesting thing I have observed has been behavior plans. At one of the schools I have subbed at several times, many of the teachers us a clip board for their behavior chart. The chart has each child's name listed and columns for each day of the week. Each of the five days are separated into 5 smaller columns (Warning, Lonely Lunch, No Recess, Note home, Office). If a child misbehaves, the teacher marks in a box by the child's name. This is also coded by which rule has been broken. There are 5 school rules (be respectful, be responsible, be safe, be cooperative, be peaceful.) From what the kids have told me they earn weekly points and loose a point each time a mark is put by their name. I haven't quite figured this part of the system out since I'm normally only in their classroom one day.

What I like about this system: At the end of a crazy day, you are able to remember what the student has done, and why you are writing a note home. You are able to identify patterns. If used correctly. There aren't lots of verbal reminders and you mark by there name after the first warning.

What I don't like about the system: The students constantly ask if they have lost any points. Because the teacher is in control of clip board, the kids don't always know if she is or isn't taking points. When a student has to get up to "flip a card", "change a color" or even right their name on the board they have to, at least temporarily, stop the behavior and move across the room. With the clip board system nothing is stopping the student from continuing the behavior. Even when you tell them "I'm taking a point because you are not being peaceful when you talk during independent reading" seconds later most of the children are continuing their conversations.

By observing these behavior management systems for a few days, I am able to see what I like and don't like and I haven't committed to it in my classroom. Hopefully before I have a classroom of my own, I will be able to come up with a system that meets My students, and my needs.

So, how do you manage behavior in your classroom? Does a student's age matter(would your plan be different if you taught K5 or 5th grade)? Do you pull cards? Move names/clothespins/ spoons? Write rules? Write names? Do you manage it all yourselves or do the children take part in it? Tell us how your system works, what you like most and any problems that have occurred.

I hope you have a GREAT WEDNESDAY! I'll be subbing tomorrow and Friday so I'm sure I'll have some more inspiration by the end of the week :)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I got a call!

So, after sitting at home for the past month I got a call today!!! I will be subbing in a Kindergarten classroom tomorrow. At the elementary school I attended 15 years ago! I'm excited for a few reasons.
1. This is my first sub job since New Years
2. This is my first sub job in a school other than the one I student taught at

So, I'm a little nervous. But I'm VERY excited.

Wish me luck :)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something Sweet

So, I spent the last hour typing a post only for it to dissapear before I could hit publish. I took this as a sign that I shouldn't post it. Instead I'll give you something sweet to think about :)

Hungry yet?


Friday, January 14, 2011

Tiny Little Salespeople

Today is the first day of GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SALES!!!! I would like to take a minute to encourage you to support your local Girl Scouts. Cookie sales are not just a fund raiser, it teaches the girls many life skills including: Goal Setting, Planning, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills and Business Ethics.

Don't be afraid to ask the girls questions. Some great ones are: What is your goal? What will your troop do with their proceeds? What are some of the things you have done with your troop?

Don't like cookies? On a diet? If you don't want to purchase a box of cookies for yourself, feel free to order a box for soldiers. You will pay for the cookies as usual and the local girl scouts will make sure the get to a soldier! Or, you can make a donation to your local troop.

As the girls participate in the cookie program, they will: Discover a strong sense of self, gain practical live skills, connect with their group members, Take action as the learn to work together as a team.

100% of the porceeds stay in the local council!!

- JoAnne

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How To Talk So Kids Can Learn

I recently worked the local Scholastic warehouse sale for the first time (it's a GREAT way to build your library). I found this book in the bargan area and tossed it in my box. I pulled it out around christmas and slowly began reading it.
It really is a fast read, I just keep getting caught up in other things. I've finaly finished the first two chapters and I LOVE the way it is set up. Each chapter describes a senario that a teacher is going through, there are cartoon drawings of how not to handle the situation and suggestions of how to handle the situation. I love that it goes into the details of why not to do something as well as why you should do it another way. One thing about my education so far is that our classes on classroom management have focused on what not to do leaving us to guess about what we should do. Following the chapter are letters from parents and teachers stating how these strategies have helped them.

Here are some tips from the first chapter which focuses on the childs feelings:

  • Instead of denying feelings, put their feelings into words (it makes you feel, or you don't like)
  • Instead of criticism or advice, acknowledge their feelings with a word or sound (mmm, oh, or I see)
  • Instead of reasons and explinations, give in fantasy what you can't in reality (wouldn't it be great if...)
  • Instead of ignoring feelings, Accept feelings even as you stop unacceptable behavior
Have you read any good professional development books lately? I'd love to here which books have helped you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On my honor...

On my honor I will try:
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout
The Girl Scout Promise, something that I learned when I was very young and have strived to live by for my whole life. Because I respect the promise I made so many years ago, I want my daisies to learn to equally respect it and strive to live by it and in turn the girl scout law. For those of you who don't know, Daisies are the youngest Girls Scouts, they are in kindergarten and first grade. Because this is their first experience with Girl Scouts they don't earn try its or other interest patches as the older girls do, they spend these two years learning exactly what it means to be a girl scout. The petals that they earn represent each part of the girl scout law.
I will do my best to be:
Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful,
Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to respect myself and others,
Respect authority,
Use resources wisely,
Make the world a better place,
And be a sister to every Girl Scout
For the past several months I have spent a lot of time going over what each part of the law means and discussing with the girls how they can do each thing. As you can imagine 5 year olds have very interesting answers to these questions. It is important for me to let them come up with the answers on their own (with guidance from me of course) so it has been a little trying at times.

We've probably spent the most time talking about how to "help people at all times" or "be Friendly and helpful." In September I sat in front of a group of 7 girls five just starting kindergarten and two in first grade. All but one were new to Girl Scouts. I asked them "how can you help someone" at first they all seemed to thing they were too young to help anyone but after some coaxing, one said "we can help someone up if they fall." True, that is a way we can help someone and I was very excited that they had come up with this answer. Maybe I was a little too excited, they seemed to get stuck on this example and not just for that day but for several weeks. Of course they all thought they had come up with different ways to help by saying the could : get an adult if someone was hurt, help someone up, tell an adult, get someone a band aid... the list seemed to go on and on but always revolved around someone falling down.

As time went by a began to slip some suggestions about service projects or actual service projects into their activities. We drew pictures for service men (and women) for veterans day, talked about things we were thank on thanks giving and I made sure to bring up the "big" things like a house and food, and we made Christmas ornaments to take to the senior center when we visited to carol at Christmas time.

This past Saturday, I held a cookie training and spent some of the time talking with the girls about what they wanted to do with their cookie money, and any activities they wanted to do with girl scouts before the end of the year. They all told me they wanted to go camping. Then I told them I thought we should use some of the money for a service project, I reminded them of the things we had already done(specifically the senior center). I asked them if they could think of something else we could do to help people. As I held my breath scared of what they would say in front of all of their parents, i called on the oldest girl in the troop, "we could draw them pictures" I smiled, reminding myself that she's only 6 and this was a step forward from "helping someone up if they fall." Then one of the younger girls raised their hand and said "we could help the Ronald McDonald house" YES!! thank you, something has worked! I prompted her to explain to the other girls what the Ronald McDonald house was. Fortunately, I had already been in contact with them and knew some of the things we could do to help. Our newest girl scout then raised her hand and said we could help the homeless!!! I then asked the girls what kind of things they thought homeless people needed and got wonderful responses including: give them toothpaste, food, blankets, clothes... we ended the conversation talking about a local family shelter. I can't tell you how proud I am of them. It makes my heart swell to know they came up with these things on their own.
I can't for the snow to clear up so I can contact both of these organizations and find out if I can plan visits for girls this age and ways we could help!!
Sorry for such a long post I was just too proud not to write the whole story.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!!

Woke up this morning to a snow covered yard and closed schools!! ok, so maybe I'm not that excited. I do LOVE snow and it's very pretty. I'm just not that excited about a day off. I haven't been called to sub since Christmas break and I was really hoping this week would be the week. Unfortunately schools closed because of the snow today and will most likely close because of the ice tomorrow. Wednesday is the last day of their semester so they have holidays on Thursday and Friday and of course Monday is MLK day. So it's not doing much for my self esteem.

My dad got laid off in December, right after I graduated, so my mom is the only one working in our family. Needless to say, we are a little stressed out right now.

Since the last time I posted I've had a birthday. I was lucky enough to be able to have lunch with two of my best friends! They are about to start their student teaching, so their may not be much time for us to get together this semester. In fact today was supposed to be their first day student teaching and it was canceled because of the weather. I wish them the best of luck this semester and I know they are going to LOVE it!!

Saturday I started the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program. At first I was a little nervous and I didn't actually start counting points until yesterday, but I did great. At bedtime, I had two daily points left over so I rewarded myself with a cupcake (4 points) and used two of my 49 weekly points. So far today I've only used a third of my daily points so it looks like I may get to eat that last cupcake tonight ;)

Saturday I also held a big parents meeting with my Daisy parents. Cookie sales start THIS FRIDAY and since daisies are 5 and 6 years old this is the first time most of them have participated in cookie sales. Believe it or not there is a LOT that goes into this and there are many rules that the girls and their parents must follow. The parents meeting went really well and we were able to stay and plan out the rest of our year, and the girls came up with a great service project (I'll explain more another day). We even got a new girl!

I hope all of ya'll had a very happy New Year!! and be on the look out for girl scouts starting Friday!!! If you live around Columbia, SC and would like to buy from my girls just let me know :)