Monday, December 23, 2013

Student Interview- Social Studies

Student Interview

If you had to explain to a stranger what social studies is, what would you say?

I would say social studies teaches us history.

What is history?

Like life long ago, it’s stuff that happened a really long time ago.

What kind of stuff?

You know, school and life.

What are important social studies topics?

Timelines, life long ago, transportation, communication, and school long ago.

Why are transportation and communication important social studies topics?

Because of all the inventions.

What kind of inventions?

The invention of the telephone, the invention of the car, you know, inventions like that.

Why do you think you are learning social studies?

Because Mrs. R wants to teach us about life long ago.

How can you use social studies in your everyday life? Can you give some examples?

No, I only use social studies at school.

Your teacher says, “It’s time for social studies.” What is going to happen? What will you be doing? What will Mrs. R be doing?

We will put our math book away and sit on the floor close to the board. Mrs. R will be teaching and I will be listening.

When you see someone who is good at social studies, what kinds of things can this person do?

They listen, know how to do the activity and they learn.

Do you think everyone can do well in social studies if they try?


Is social studies something that is useful to know? Why?

Yeah! If you know about social studies you can compare life long ago to now.

Are you good at social studies? Why?

Yes, because I try my hardest.

How do you best learn social studies?

Mrs. R and you teach social studies the best.

So, you learned social studies best when you have a good teacher?


Is social studies your favorite subject? Why or why not?

No, Social Studies is okay, but I like math better.

Student Interview- Math

Student Interview: View of Mathematics

If I had no idea what math meant, what would you tell me? Or what is math?
Math is math books, which are kind of like homework. In math we do math stations and Mrs. B and now you help our class with math stations.

What are math stations?
Math stations are where we get in our small groups and go around the room doing different math activities. Sometimes we play math games on the mini iPADs and sometimes we play games like Money Bingo.

What are important math topics?
Subtraction, adding, knowing the minus and plus signs and learning about money. Math Bingo is important too because it helps us learn how much a dime, quarter, and penny is worth.

What do you think you are learning in math?
We are learning subtraction and have a test on Wednesday. I hope I am in your group! (They take their tests in small groups too).

How will you use math? Can you give me some examples?
I use math to add, subtract and count.

What are some examples?
Oh, um, 5+5=10 and 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.10- That is counting.

Is there usually one-way to solve a problem or more than one way?
More than one way, that is the fun part about math!

Your teacher says, “It’s time for math.” What is going to happen (what will you be doing, what will the teacher be doing?)”
We don’t do whole class lessons. Mrs. R works with kids at stations. Us kids go through stations and we play games like Face Off and Math Bingo. We work in small groups in stations and sometimes we count coins other times we do our math page.

When you see someone who is good at math, what kinds of things can this person do?
They can do lots of things but they do it well. If they are really good, I say to myself, “Wow! They are really good!” It makes me happy they are working so hard.

Do you tell your friends they are really good at math?
Yes! It makes me happy!

Do you think everybody can do well in math if they try?

Who is good at math?
Me, Mrs. R, Anders*, my mom and my dad are all good at math.

Is math something useful to know? Why?
Yes, it’s fun and we use it every day!

Are you good at math?

Why do you think so?
I am good at math because I try and I don’t give up even when I get the wrong answer.

How is math best learned?
Math is best learned in the classroom with Mrs. R or at home with my mom or dad.

So you like to be in small groups or working one on one with a parent or teacher?
Yes, I don’t like big groups.

How do you learn math best?
Um, sometimes I learn best in small group and sometimes I learn best in large group.

Is math your favorite subject?

Why is math your favorite subject?
Because adding is easy but we are doing hard subtraction and it challenges me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Handprint Parent Gift

6 steps:
1. Make Salt Dough
2. Get child's hand print
3. Let dry
4. Paint hand print
5. Modpodge
6. Add ribbon 

To Make the Salt Dough:
**No baking required (Takes a few days to harden)
1/2 cup Salt
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Water


Monday, December 9, 2013

A Timeline About Me

During our social studies unit about life long ago, we learned about timelines. Each student created a timeline and above is my example. I used this template and altered it because I wanted students to use dates instead of writing prompts. Students shared their timelines with the class and we all learned a lot about each other.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

School Long Ago

In November, we started our social studies unit on life long ago. I taught a lesson on school long ago. I looked at our social studies book and it had two pages of information on school long ago. It was 3 paragraphs and I knew these first graders were capable of more than that. I kept the lesson objective the same as textbook, "Compare and contrast your school to one of long ago." I did research on Google and created my own PowerPoint. The PowerPoint was 20 slides long and covered Hornbooks, Dunce caps, quill pens, one room school houses, child responsibilities, subjects taught and more.

Here is one what my mentor teacher wrote about my lesson, "Ms. S taught a lesson in social studies about history. Our unit is comparing life long ago to now. She compared what school was like long ago to school now. She created a wonderful PowerPoint presentation complete with excellent photographs and visuals so students could compare and contrast school long ago to now. She also created an assessment where students had to write a sentence or two about school long ago and had to cut and paste pictures from school long ago into a school house. Both the PowerPoint presentation and assessment will be ones that I use in the future. They were so appropriate and engaging. After grading the assessment, we could truly see which students met the standard and which will need some re-teaching."

This is usually a lesson my mentor teacher skips so I was pretty excited when she asked if she could keep and use my PowerPoint and activity for the future. Below are some student examples of the assessment I created:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

G is for Grace

I have thought about doing this craft with the girl I nanny for for months now. I kept pushing it back because I didn't think she could do it. She is 17 months now and I thought for sure she would be more interested in the pom-poms instead of the craft itself but I was wrong. I cut out a letter "G" and put it on the table. I put three dots of glue on the paper and opened the bag of pom-poms. She immediately grabbed a pom-pom, put it on the glue and said, "Push!" I didn't even tell her what to do... I think I nanny for a genius! Seriously, I was amazed. Once she put all three pom-poms on she reached in the bag for more and said, "More, more, more!" I said, "More glue?" She showed me her pom-poms and said, "More gue!" 

So simple and yet so freaking cute don't you think?!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Leaf Craft


G and I did this leaf craft back in September. It turned out so cute! 

1. Cut paper into small squares
2. Put glue on paper
3. Put squares on paper
4. Find a leaf template online
5. Use template to cut project out

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Back in October we were reading tons of books about Halloween. One day we specifically focused on Bats. We read Stellaluna, made upside-down hanging bats and watched this YouTube video called, Echolation. We also had Mrs. R stand in the middle of the room and a student hide somewhere. The student and Mrs. R would "beep" at each other and eventually Mrs. R found her. The kids loved that and they really seemed to enjoy learning all about bats! 

Since I was in such a batty place, I wanted to introduce the 16 month old I nanny for to bats too. She enjoyed my singing of the Echolation song and the cute bat song below:

Flutter, flutter little bat,
How I wonder where you're at.  

Swooping through the darkest night, 
You find your way without a light.

Flutter, flutter little bat, 
How I wonder where you're at!

Thankful for You!

I always share the devotions I write to my team. Although I do not serve this weekend I wanted to send out an e-mail to my team wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving! Here is the e-mail I sent out a few minutes ago:

Hi Team!

I was reading Jesus Calling this afternoon and wanted to share today’s devotion with you.

Let thankfulness rule in your heart. As you thank Me for blessings in your life, a marvelous thing happens. It is as if scales fall off your eyes, enabling you to see more and more of My glorious riches. With your eyes thus opened, you can help yourself to whatever you need from My treasure house. Each time you receive one of My golden gifts, let your thankfulness sing out praises to My Name. “Hallelujahs” are the language of heaven, and they can become the language of your heart.

A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles. Instead of trying to be in control, you focus on Me and what I am doing. This is the power of praise: centering your entire being in Me. This is how I created you to live, for I made you in My own image. Enjoy abundant life by overflowing with praise and thankfulness.

Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Psalm 100:4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do for the kiddos and families in our church! I am so thankful to serve alongside each one of you. Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you and your families!


Elizabeth Mary

Monday, November 25, 2013

How to Make A Turkey

On Wednesday November 20th, we read the book, "This is the Turkey" by Abby Levine. After reading the book we talked about the steps it takes to make a Turkey. Students were given the paper below and drew the different steps of making a Turkey. On Thursday we had parents come in and dictate their pictures turning it into a story. On Friday we typed the dictations and cut out the pictures turning this fun activity into a class book.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Date a Girl Who Teaches

I read a blog post called, "Don't Date a Girl Who Teaches." It had some really great points. I would have to say my favorite was, "She will bring home every strain of every airborne disease within a 25-mile radius. Hope your immune system's perfect." 

This blog post was written in reply to this blog post. Date a Girl Who Teaches was just as cute. I nodded my way through the entire article. As a future teacher who has over 300 children's lit books I especially enjoyed reading, "Date a girl who teaches children. Date a girl who enjoys more in a bookstore for school supplies and children’s books rather than in make-up store. She has problems with storage space because she has too many trinkets and storybooks to keep. Date a girl who has a list of stories that she wants to have and read, who has a collection of Aklat Adarna, Leo Lionni and Eric Carle’s books." I also really enjoyed this bullet point, "A girl who teaches won’t require much of your time. She will hardly see you on weeknights because she prefers to finish her lesson plans and worksheets and catch up sleep. Unless she had a really bad and long day, she will randomly ask you to have dinner or coffee with her. But if you insist, she will try her best and make it to the last full show of Inception even on a freakin’ Wednesday night just to be with you. (Please cooperate and pretend with her that she enjoyed the movie by not asking details of the show anymore.)" 

If you are a teacher or you are a future educator take ten minutes and read both of these blog posts. You won't regret it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Owning Cats

Found this great article called, "Owning Cats Can Inflict Permanent Damage To Mental Health But Nobody Bothered To Warn Us. You can read the article here. I am clearly a cat lady because I related to this article 100%. I also have an Instagram for my cat. Yeah, I am that girl. In all seriousness though if you have an Instagram look him up. His username is @mister_biebs.

This was one of my favorite pictures from the article with the caption, "We're more annoyed than scared when there's a loud noise at 3am in the morning." Biebs does this all the time!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Live for Today

James 4:14 “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

On Sunday November 10, my dog was running down the steps to go play Frisbee when she either miss stepped or missed a step and fell. She started squealing and could not walk. We took her to the emergency vet where they did an x-ray. She had fractured her elbow and would need surgery. She fractured her other elbow when we was six months old. We gave her surgery and she made a full recovery. This time was different though. Because of her age there was no guarantee she would make a full recovery and surgery cost several thousands of dollars so we made a hard decision and decided to put her down.

That day started off just as any other day and then the unexpected happened. Throughout the whole day I kept thinking about how short life is and that none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. I find myself pushing things off until tomorrow whether it is really tomorrow or a month from, a year from now or even five years from now. I get so caught up in today and what needs to get done that I need to start living life as if there is no tomorrow because tomorrow may never come. I need to do things like stare in wonderment of the starry night, actually stop to smell a rose, really and truly do unto others, and love those He has placed in my life especially those who are hard to love. 

Thank God for today, for giving you breath and enjoy the simple things in life. I know I will.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kids Say the Funniest Things

- I wore a my hair in a bun to school. I knew I was going to get questions and comments but I didn't know how many questions and comments. "Miss. S, why is your hair like that?" "It's in a bun because..." "Do you need a hotdog to go with that bun?"

- I have been sick and the kids knew that. A girl motioned me to come closer so I bent down thinking she was going to whisper to me. She cups her hand over her mouth and starts yelling into my ear. 

- During snack time one of our students was looking sad so I walked over to him and before I could say anything he said, "Miss. S, I don't think it's very funny when kids laugh at me during lunch." "That isn't funny. Who laughs at you? Anyone from our class?" "J and L from Mrs. R's class." "Why?" "My mom writes love notes to me in my lunch box and they think it's funny." "Oh, that's not nice. My mom used to write me special notes and put them in my lunchbox. Now, I write my mom special notes and put them in her lunch box." He had the biggest smile on his face after I said that.

-  "I love you, Miss. Schweiter!"

- "Are you teaching a math lesson today?" "No, Mrs. R is." "Oh man, I want you to teach us!"  

- "Who made you?" "Huh?" "Who made you?" "What do you mean?" "You know, like you were once in your mommy's tummy, but how did you get there?" "You need to talk to your mom and dad." "How did you get here?!"

- "Miss. S, what does envious mean?""You would feel envious if your friend moved to a house with a pool." "I have a house with a pool." "Okay, I am envious of you because my house does not have a pool." "Oh, jealous!"

- "Miss. S, I don't mean to tattle but..."

- "What are your super hero powers?" "Flaming ear wax and flaming snot!"  

- Two boys were spitting as they waited to go out to recess. I went over to talk to them and one boy turned his head threw his wrist to the side and said, "Oh, you know boys!"  

- Ms. S, you look beautiful! Do you have a date after school today? #iwish

- "Do you have kids?" "No." "Oh, that's okay. Some people are not meant to have kids."

- "How old are you?" "24." "You're still in college when you're 24?" 

- Drops her Chocolates on the floor and yells, "Why, God, Why?"

- Girl I babysit (7): "I wish I was an only child. I don't understand how some families only get one kid but we have three." 

- Grace (16 months) greeted me at the door and said, "Missed you!"

- Conversation with the 16 month old I nanny: "You're the best girl." "Ever."

- Liz (to Baby E): Do you want some food too?
Grace: If you want food you need to say please Baby Eloise. (I walk over with a jar of Carrots.) Say thank you Baby Eloise.

- Grace was reading books. She started to get up suddenly and said, "My back is sore." She's hanging out with too many old folks.

- Grace spilled her milk. I was cleaning it up when she said, "I bet the ants would love some milk!" There were ants under her chair not even 5 minutes prior that we picked up and put outside. :-)

- This was totally out of the blue but during dinner Grace said, "I need some camera phones." 

- "Do you see that pile of birds up in the sky?"

- Me: "Gentle hands or you will take a break." 
  Grace: "I wanna take a break!" 

- Grace (2 years old): "Hey! Stop talking to each other and talk to me instead!" 

- G: "Are those kids bullies?" 
  Me: "Yes!" 
  G: "Should we go attack them?"  

- Stranger to Grace (17 months): "What's your babies name?"
  Grace: "Jesus." 

- Within the first 3 minutes of the first day of school one of my 2nd graders asked, "Do people who kill themselves go to Heaven?" "You have to talk to your family about that, everyone believes something different." "Okay, well, murders go to Heaven."

- Within the first 15 minutes of the first day of school I was asked, "How do babies get here?" "That a good question to ask the people you live with." "My mom won't tell me. She won't tell my brother who is 13 either. Please."

- Grace (24 months) saw a birds nest and asked, "Is it made from man's hair?" 

- Tons of flooding in our area like to the extent that roads and walking trails are closed and you cannot be on the lakes or rivers. Grace and I went for a walk when she exclaimed, "Look Liz the trees are taking a bath in the water!" 

- I cheered for Grace (2.5): Good job good job. Good job good job. G-O-O-D-J-O-B good job good job!" Grace loved the cheer but instead of asking me to do it again she yelled, "Good job L-M-N-O-P good job good job!" 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Worst Day of my Life

Sunday November 10, 2013 was the worst day of my life. It started out like any Sunday. At 11:30 I was microwaving leftover pizza and my dad took the dog outside to play Frisbee. I had just sat down to eat when he came inside holding Sophie. He said she ran down the steps and started squealing. She either missed a step or miss stepped, we'll never know. My dad was holding her and she was panting and wouldn’t let him touch her paw. She couldn’t put any weight on her paw so we took her to the emergency vet.

We waited for an hour and then they brought us back. Even though she had just been at the vet a week ago they put her on a scale and she fell right over. It was so sad. The vet technician even made us put her on the table so she could take her temperature and whatnot. It was so frustrating because she couldn’t stand and it was painful not only for our poor little Sophie but for us too!

The vet technician left us alone in the room and my mom sat there just shaking her head no. It was like she was saying prepare yourself, this is not going to have a good outcome. I knew that too but was in denial. Forty-five minutes later the veterinarian came in and looked at Sophie. She said she could feel the bone moving around so she wanted to do an x-ray. That meant broken. That meant most likely we were going to be putting our dog down within the hour. All the praying, all the begging I did to God did not change the outcome. The veterinarian came back in with the news all four of us had been dreading.

Sophie had fractured her elbow when she was 6 months old. We gave her surgery because she was 6 months old; she had her whole life ahead of her. Now though, she was 12. She would be 13 on December 21, 2012. She had the exact same injury but on the other leg. Surgery was thousands of dollars and there was no guarantee for a full recovery. My dad started crying, then I started crying, then my mom started crying and my sister who apparently mourns loss differently said, “I think we know what we need to do.”

They kicked us out of the room and put us in the waiting room. I was a mess and my mom and sister were telling me I couldn’t be in the room because I couldn’t handle it. Their comments irritated me. This is my time. This is my goodbye. This is my time to mourn. I can be in the room and I will be in the room. They called us back and brought us to the biggest room. This is the room that I saw two other families in earlier. Both put their dogs to sleep and both ran out of the veterinarians office crying.

The vet technician brought Sophie in. She had a little IV and was wrapped in a towel. It was horrible. They gave us time to say our goodbyes. We all held her one more time. We were probably with her for a half hour before the vet came in. She basically gave Sophie an overdose of meds. Within 5 seconds of injecting the meds into Sophie, my precious little dog was gone. Her eyes were still open, her body just got cold and her jaw dropped open. The vet came over listened for a pulse and said the two words no one ever wants to hear, “She’s gone.” I asked for a pair of scissors so I could take a lock of hair and my mom took Sophie’s collar off. We handed Sophie to the vet and that was that.

I know the Bible says animals don’t have souls meaning they don’t go to Heaven but as an animal lover I can’t believe that. I’m going to have a child like faith because I need to right now. I can’t bear to think that when we put Sophie down that was the end like she’s just gone and all she is is ashes now. That brings me no comfort whatsoever and she was too great of a dog and holds too special of a place in my heart for me to believe that.

I believe that God greeted her. That he was there by the gate when she took her last breath to hold her in his arms and show her around Heaven. I picture him re-introducing her to Maty, our old cat. I picture Sophie hanging out with our neighbor, Bob who lost his battle with cancer in June. I picture Sophie wagging her tail at all the mail carriers in Heaven because our mailman was one of her favorite people on Earth. I picture Sophie sleeping on a cloud, playing Frisbee and eating all sorts of delicious treats. She’s having a great time and even though I miss her dearly, I know she’s watching over me. She’s my angel dog and I think about her everyday.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Below is the sound of the week lesson I am teaching tomorrow:

This is Thumper. He is a rabbit from the movie Bambi and he always taps foot like this and that is how he got the name, Thumper. Thumper starts with the letters th. Does anyone know what sound the th in Thumper starts with? That's right, th. To make that you stock your tongue out a teeny tiny bit in between your teeth and when you blow, you'll make the th sound. On the count of three, we are going to say th as a class. One two three th. One more time. One two three th. And again, one two three. Great job, you all sound like thinking Thumpers! This time, I want us to tap our foot as we say the th sound. In just a minute, everyone will stand up and as a class we will tap our foot and say th. We are not going to stomp or foot, we are going to tap our foot. Your heel always stay on the ground. Alright, everyone stand up. On the count of tree, we are going to tap our foot and say th. One two three, th. Again, one two three, th. Last time, one two three, th.  Nicely done! You may sit back down.
On the white board is a poem called, My Thumbs. I an going to read it and as I am reading be listening for th words. My thumbs help me do so much. There's so much they can do. Throw a ball. Pull a thread. How about you? I am going to read it one more tine and I really want you to turn your listening ears on because I am going to ask four students to cone to the board and circle the th words. My thumbs help me do so much. There's so much they can do. Throw a ball. Pull a thread. How about you? Put your thumb in the air if you see atleast one word in or poem that starts with the th sound. I see lots of thumbs, let's see who will be the first to the board...

Thumbs, there, throw, and thread all have the th sound in the beginning of the word. The th sound can be at the end of a word too. Take with for example. The th sound is at the end of the word. What's this word? Path, that's right and where is the th sound in the word path? Yes, it's at the end of the word... Path. We know with, path, thumbs, there, there and thread all start or end with the th sound but I am curious to see what words you guys know so we are going to create a list. Raise your hand if you know of a word that starts or ends with the th sound. Wow! I am impressed, you guys know lots of words that start or end with the th sound.

I have one more challenge for you. I am going to read a list of words and just like we did before, I want you to tap your foot and say th when you hear the th sound. Alright, everyone stand up. This first word is practice, I am going to say a word and you are going to tap your foot and say th when you hear the th sound. Here's the word... Math. Good! One more... Teeth. Good job, now I need you to really turn your listening ears on because I am going to start by reading the words slow but then I am going to get faster and faster. Give me a thumps up if you're ready to play! Alright first word is,Earth. Math, thank, thick, thirty, sixth, Thanksgiving, wreath, tablecloth, throat, thunder, bath, earth, thread, thumbs, teeth, math, mouth, third, thing, underneath, birthday. Show 5... Show 5. Raise your hand if you know where the th sound is in birthday? That's right, in the middle. We know a lot of words start or end with the th sound but sometimes, the th sound can be in the middle of the word. Great listening, that was a tricky one! You may sit down. 

**I plan on using this lesson again but next time using words that do not have the th sound in them while playing the game. Kids were constantly tapping their foot but other than that, this lesson went great! Every child was able to list words that start or end with the th sound so it was a successful lessson. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Emancipation Proclimation

For school the other week we had to create a 4 Door Diorama. I did a timeline of important dates leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation. I am obsessed with Abraham Lincoln and I always have been so whenever I have a history project 9 times out of 10 my topic has to do with Abraham Lincoln.

Planning Web

A few weeks ago in my Social Studies class, we had to create a planning web. I did mine on Lewis and Clark and I decided to post it here so I can reference it again at a much much later date.

Grand Canyon Little Book

One of my assignments for class this week was to go on a virtual field trip and create a little book. A little book is a six page book with a title page. I did mine on the Grand Canyon.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I am sad to say that we are not handing out candy tonight. I enjoy Halloween but after years and years of trick-or-treaters coming to our door who are not from our neighborhood and who are way beyond age we decided to pass on handing out candy. Last year, we went through 3 bags of candy in 45 minutes. 90% of the kids who came through I didn't even recognize. By the time we were out of candy the kids I recognized, the ones who were really from our neighborhood, were just starting to trick-or-treat. I think what we will do from now on is create candy bags for the kids in our neighborhood and personally drop them off at their house. This way, we still participate in Halloween. We will still get to see the neighbor kids in their costumes and hand out candy. It is really sad how a few people can ruin something fun for a whole lot of people. I looked down our block tonight and our whole block is almost dark. I think everyone is sick of the cars from the "ghetto" driving through our neighborhood and dropping off kids. I find it annoying when kids who are clearly in high school are trick-or-treating with not one but two pillowcases and expect you to drop candy in both. I think it is sad that kids just expect candy and do not say thank you. What happened to manners? Halloween is a great night to practice them! :) I also think it is really sad when the child doesn't say thank you and the parents are standing right there and do nothing about it. I get annoyed when I drop one piece of candy into a child's bucket that I don't know and they stand there waiting for more or say, "I don't want that. I wanted the---." And this one always gets under my skin, when a parent will go trick-or-treating with their infant baby and have this bucket they want to fill with candy. The child doesn't even have teeth so who is the one trick-or-treating?! It wouldn't bother me nearly as much if the kids were from our neighborhood, but they come from all over in vans and just run our streets. It is irritating and I don't want to be bitter towards Halloween because I have great memories of trick-or-treating as a child. Anyway, that is my rant. Below is a picture of Mister Biebs in his Halloween costume: 


Saturday, October 26, 2013


Yesterday, in my first grade class we sang a song called, "Pop! Goes the Popcorn!" When I got home I wanted to find that song and print it out for future use with the girl I nanny for but I could not find it anywhere! This morning I stumbled across, Popcorn Storytime which included finger plays, songs, poems and more. On the list was the song I was looking for- YAY! I adjusted the actions to match what we did in class but you can find the alternative actions and other poems, songs, crafts, books and more here.

Pop! Goes the Popcorn!
(Tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)

Sizzle goes the popcorn oil (wiggle fingers over head)
Click clack go the kernels (snap fingers)
Now we're waiting, (look like you're waiting)

When will it start? (Put up hands like you are wondering)
Pop! Goes the popcorn! (clap hands)

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Case of the Mondays

Last night at 10pm I was scrambling to get all my stuff ready to go for today. I was printing off and reading all my methods class lab expectations because lets face it, I am a procrastinator so I hadn't even opened these documents yet. I showered and got everything ready to go because I am most definitely not a morning person. I thought I was set up for a smooth successful morning but I was wrong. I woke up at 6:40 but my alarm wasn't set to go off until 7:10 so I tried to go back to sleep. At 7:10, I rolled over to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail and of course my text messages. At 7:12 my mom came in, "Aren't you supposed to be there at 8?" Oh crap!! I don't know what I was thinking but I needed to be at the school by 8am. I quick got up and ready to go in 20 minutes (this is why I showered last night) and I was out the door. Thankfully, I didn't hit any traffic on the way but I got to my exit and went left. My GPS told me to go right but I was convinced I knew where the school was. My GPS kept telling me to make a u- turn, but I did not do it. I got to the school that I was sure was it and guess what? That was the wrong school!! Keep in mind now it is 7:52 at this point. I quick pull in to the parking lot to turn around and of course, I can't get out of the parking lot... Cars just kept coming. So at 7:55 I pull out and I now have 5 minutes to get to the school. My GPS is saying I'm only four minutes away so I stay hopeful but know I will hit every light along the way. Amazingly, I hit all green lights so I pulled into the right school at 7:59. I practically darted out of my car and into the building. I got there and the doors were all locked. I pulled on one and this lady came over and directed me to the office door. I was in such a hurry I didn't even notice that there was a door to my left with a giant sign that read, "OFFICE." The lady in the office needed to make my nametag and said she would show me around the school so it did not appear that I was late even though I pretty much was.

Thankfully, from this point on my day went up. My classroom teacher is very nice and I think her and I will get along. People in the office said she was VERY excited to have a student teacher in her room so that is a good sign. She gave me a tour of the school and introduced me to other teachers and specialists. Her and I got to talking and realized we went to the same grade school. She was in middle school when I was in elementary school (same building though). I didn't recognize her maiden name but for all I know, she was my spirit buddy. I also taught her daughter when I did childcare. She was like, "I knew you looked familiar I just couldn't place you!"

Pretty much all I did today was observe her teaching and their routine. During morning meeting we played a ball toss greeting game. I thought I should probably sit down but then I thought I really should play so it looks like I have enthusiasm (we get graded on that you know). I played and at the end it was me and two boys. The teacher said, "J, you can greet Miss. S or K." He had a huge smile on his face and greeted me. I was to toss the ball to the other kid who of course had a name I could not pronounce. I had no idea how to say it so I took a guess and it was wrong. Oh well, I tried. I am determined to get his name right next time and I will. After all, isn't everyone's favorite word their own name? I had a win in the classroom today though. The kids had the opportunity to listen to books, read with a partner, read silently or do word work. My classroom teacher had a reading group so I was just walking around talking to students, making sure they were on task and observing. One girl who was working on word work came up to me with a card that showed a picture of a trick or treat bag. She asked me what the words said. I told her to try sounding it out. I wasn't sure if that was the right approach because everything I am reading for school pushes away from sounding out words. Anyway, she tried sounding it out and she got it! I celebrated quietly with her because the room was quiet but I feel as though I should've been more enthusiastic or asked for a high five. Next time that situation comes across, I will be more prepared- I'll get that high five!

Monday, October 14, 2013


On Saturday, I met up with my 8th grade graduation class for our 10 well technically now 11 year reunion.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chevy Cruze Card

Three weeks ago I bought a 2014 Chevy Cruze! During the weeks leading up to that, I worked very closely with the sales manager, Josh as he was helping me through the GMC Buyback program. I felt like a thank you was in order. Some people told me that buying a new car was his thank you but I didn't agree with that. I really felt that he fought for me to get the full buy back amount. He was also great at keeping ongoing and open communication about the entire process. I decided to make him a card because if you think something good about someone, I believe you should tell them. Here's the card I came up with:

I woke up in the middle of the night with this idea in my head. Turned out pretty cute didn't it?!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


About a month ago I brought a board book about dinosaurs to my nanny families house to read with their 15 month old and she loved it! We read it at least twenty times that day and now, her newest obsession seems to be dinosaurs. The weather around here has been cold and rainy so I decided to do a craft with her and it only seemed necessary to make a dinosaur. I put a few drops of green finger paint on a piece of paper and let her paint away. She wasn't all that interested in paint which surprised me because she spent 45 minutes (not exaggerating) coloring a piece of paper green the other night, but anyway, I gave her a fork and spoon and then she showed more interest in mixing the paint. I brought her painting home, found a dinosaur template online, printed a cute little saying out and here is our final creation: 

G apparently loves her dinosaur craft because it is three weeks later and apparently every morning the first thing she says is, "Dino!"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I always share the devotions that I write for church on the weekends I serve. I didn't write this one, but it is good so I thought I'd share it here anyway. It is an excerpt from Jesus Calling. I read it in January, but it is really hitting home with me now. Enjoy!

I am with you and for you. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don’t be discouraged- never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very- present Helper, am omnipotent.

Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My Presence.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chevy Cruze

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I thought my cars transmission was on its way out... Again! I dropped it off at the mechanic and low and behold, it was the transmission. The mechanic told me I had a 3 year warranty on the transmission though so I should be covered. Not true, he called back two days later and asked, "Do you love this car?" You know that is not good. He told me that the warranty company will not put a new transmission in my car because the cost of repairs is greater than the value of my car. Don't even get me started. Like what was the point of a warranty? Anyway, I asked what my options were and the mechanic told me to drive it until it dies. Well, that wasn't really an option considering every time you try accelerating the car veers into another lane and skids like you are sliding on ice. He told me I could trade it in but the value would be $500. Let me tell you, my old car which was a 2003 Saturn Vue had a great body and wonderful inside. The problem was the VTI transmission that GM put in... That was their fault.

I took some time to think over my options. Trade in value would mean I need to get a car from a dealership. What  could I get if I sold the car on Craigslist? How much money can I afford to spend on a car? I suddenly became very discouraged. After looking at cars, both private owners and dealers were selling cars with 168,000 miles for 7 to 9 thousand dollars. That to me is ridiculous! Then, something wonderful happened. The sales manager at the dealership called me. He told me the car was brought to his attention and there is an option where GMC will credit me for my vehicle but the catch is that credit goes to a brand new GMC vehicle and my old car will get crushed. We started the paperwork even though I wasn't sure this was the option to go or that I could afford it.

I went to look at other cars during this waiting period. My parents saw a great car online so I called on it, arranged to meet the guy and five minutes before we got to his house he sold the car. Another time, I looked at a Nissan Maxima. I prayed that if this car was a lemon God would make it loud and clear. He did. The guy was not where he said he would be so we drove to a Home Depot to meet him there. We got in the car and the seat belt didn't work but he acted like he had no idea. My dad asked why he was selling the car and he hesitated to answer. We took it out for a drive and brakes were pulsy and the car didn't go into overdrive when you hit 60mph. The seller was also oblivious to that. God was loud and clear that that car was not for me and I am grateful. Then I test drove a Mazda. It had a great body but the material from the ceiling inside was falling down, he had tried to repaint the rust, and it had 118,000 miles on it. I didn't like it and the guy kept trying to sell me on and he told me all ceilings look like that. I am not dumb, all ceilings do not need push pins in them. Anyway, I told him I'd take it for $5,800 and he was insulted. He told me I wouldn't find anything better but I was determined I would.

THREE WEEKS LATER after filing the paperwork and one day after test driving that Mazda, I received an enthusiastic call from the sales manager at the dealership. They got me the full credit for my Saturn!! I could not believe it. That was a TOTAL GOD THING. The answer was clear, take the credit and buy a brand new car. I looked at super small like European style cars- Chevy Spark and Chevy Sonic. Those I could have paid off right away and not had a car payment but the catch was that I cart kids around and those cars were too small to fit a stroller and too small for me to feel comfortable driving kids in. I ended up taking a BIG risk and bought a 2014 Chevy Cruze. God worked his "magic" and I was able to get a crazy low interest rate on the loan and incredibly low monthly payments. During this time I also learned my credit is higher than I thought and that was a very pleasant surprise.

I ended up with a 2014 Black Chevy Cruze and I love it! On Star and Bluetooth are amazing! I have an app on my phone where I can lock and unlock my car. The app tells me tire pressure, miles, gallons of gas, miles per gallon, tank life, oil percentage and fuel range. I can type in my destination and it will send directions to my car and more, it is amazing! Oh, and inside the car, I have USB and AUX port! I am spoiled, but I am going to enjoy every minute of this because I have had five cars in the past eight years. I cannot begin to tell you how great it is to be able to drive my car without worrying if today is the day my transmission will go out and I'll be stranded on the side of the road.

What did I do to deserve this car? Absolutely nothing. All I did was trust God. Trust that He would provide and He did.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sister, Sister!

Friend: "I wish I had a sister."
My sister: "Oh no! Trust me you do not want a sister!"
Me: "I like having a sister."
My sister: "Why?"

At first, I had a hard time nailing down reasons why I enjoy having a sister. I said, "I like having you as my sister because you bring home lots of free hair products!" My sister didn't like that answer so I've thought about the question for the past two days and here's what I came up with.
I love having you as my sister because...

- You are my fashion consultant!
- You cook! Not only will you touch chicken or any other raw meat for me, but I can ask you any questions about cooking or baking and you've got my back!
- You are patient.
- You can do my hair and make up for me. You give me lots of tips as well and even though I don't always use your tips I appreciate the suggestions.
- You are very accommodating. I mean look at “our” bathroom for example!
- You are headstrong.
- You kill centipedes and spiders for me. If I spray them but don't feel brave enough to pick them up from the floor I can usually pay you and you'll get them for me!
- You listen to my pointless stories and let me ramble on for hours.
- You go places with me. I know I never have to go shopping or run errands alone.
- You keep my secrets.
- You forgive even when it is not easy and you don’t hold grudges.
- You are not afraid to take a stand and defend your beliefs even if they are the opposite of everyone else. 
- We can share clothes!
- You help me with my homework and always encourage me to use critical thinking.
- We stay up late talking about all sorts of things from school to hopes and dreams.

“A sister is a friend forever by your side.”