Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter and Tagged... from Las Vegas!


Happy Easter, 

After getting myself into trouble being tardy with my blog assignments, I am not going to do that again! I've been tagged twice three times, and I am going to answer my questions quickly, so I don't have to type another mile-long entry with all the things I left unfinished.

Honest truth: I really just wanted a chance to type in a post: I'M BLOGGING FROM LAS VEGAS!

Sorry. I might have yelled that, but I don't get out much.  A big deal for me is when I go to Starbucks and Micheal's craft store in the same week.

We met up with some of our extended family members as their Spring Break begins and mine ends {sob}. They are off to a camping adventure in Zion and I am off to a teaching adventure in OhGollyTheTestIsTwoWeeksAway land.

Second best part of Las Vegas for me? Our hotel is high up and has a beautiful view of the lights.

VERY best part? Our hotel has a Starbucks in the lobby! {heart does happy dance}

I am sipping while I type!

I am determined to complete my Tag responsibilities...

First, I was tagged by Amy at Crazy Adventures of a University Grad. Did you know she's a quilter too? You should check out BOTH of her blogs!

Here are Amy's questions:

1.  If you could live anywhere where would it be and why?
I would probably live in my own little house. If I had to move to a new house, I would have to clean up this one... No, thanks!

2.  What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
RELAX! Rest. Watch old movies. Blog. Read. Plan. Ahhhh. I love Sunday afternoons. It's Sunday evenings that make me crazy.

3.  What is the best book you've ever read and why?
I'm going to interpret this with respect to teaching (because it's too hard to answer in more global sense). There are three:
  • Teaching Children to Care (Charney)  The full title is Teaching Children to Care: Classroom Management for Ethical and Academic Growth, K-8. Who can argue with that concept? I read the 1992 version. The 2002 version is good too!
  • First Six Weeks of School (Denton and Kriete, 2000)  What teacher can live without this one? This book reminds me of the importance of routines.  I use it every year! 
  • Invitations (Regie Routman, 1994) This was one of the first books to discuss a "workshop approach, this book introduced me to a new way of teaching literacy. Reading Essentials, Writing Essentials and Teaching Essentials are good too. In fact, I love all of  Routman's  books!
4.  What is your favorite classroom book and why?
This is a tough one. I'll have to say Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (Coerr). I think this book gave direction to my teaching in so many ways. It made me realize the importance of teaching about "real life."

5.  What is your favorite non-teaching blog?
Oh! There are blogs that AREN'T about teaching?! This is NEWS!

6.  If you could go away on vacation, where would you go?
I honestly don't know.  I like home. I like comfortable. If I chose to go (and my house was cleaned my schoolwork was ready and I had comfortable-fitting vacation clothes), I might choose Lake Como in Italy... very beautiful and serene. Or Switzerland... So clean and orderly and I love the flower-filled window boxes.

7. Which blogs do you stalk routinely? 
 Too many to list! I'm on vacation... in Las Vegas... and I am blog stalking. What does that tell you!

8. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
Lately, I've been loving teaching math. Social Studies is a close second! 

9.  What grade do you love teaching?
Well, of course, I have to say SIXTH grade. It's my "very best favorite"! 

10.What is your favorite animal?
This one I have answered before in a different post. Sloth and manatees. They're slow moving, on the chubby side, and rather unconcerned about things.  And they both have smiles built into the shape of their faces. Gotta love a smiling animal friend!


Marcia at Learning in Bliss was the second person to tag me. Her blog is so fun to read; Marcia puts a little bit of herself into each of her posts.

Marcia's questions are below:

1. What is your favorite holiday project for your classroom?
We don't celebrate holidays at my school, for the most part. But I love to read the kids' letters to their mothers/grandmothers on Mother's Day.

2. Which do you prefer reading/writing or math/science?
You forgot social studies! I'm cut-and-pasting from above... Lately, I've been loving teaching math. Social Studies is a close second! 
3. What is your favorite piece of technology for your classroom?
I use my Promethean Board every day (although I still miss my white boards). I'm getting faster at creating flip charts--which means they take me four hours instead of nine! 

4. What was the last thing that happened in class that made you cry?
I copied this from another post: A few weeks ago, I held my second round of parent-teacher-student conferences. I had 32 out of 33 families attend a conference. I was talking about how much one student had TRULY grown and changed and become a more successful student... and I just fell apart.

5. Who is your favorite children's author?
I like Margaret Haddix, Gail Carson Levine, Sharon Creech, Gary Paulsen, and many others. A new favorite is Gabrielle Lord, an Australian author, who wrote Conspiracy 365--a favorite series of my boy readers.

6. What is last song you listened to on your iPod or radio?
I love "Blessings" by Laura Story. This song puts the trials of my life in perspective.

7. If you could go any where on a trip, where would you go?
Copying from above... I honestly don't know.  I like home. I like comfortable. If I chose to go (and my house was clean and my schoolwork was ready and I had comfortable-fitting vacation clothes), I might choose Lake Como in Italy... very beautiful and serene. Or Switzerland... So clean and orderly, and I love the flower-filled window boxes.

8. Which do you prefer winter or summer?
This is a cheater response, because I like winter IN CALIFORNIA. Our cold weather is more like "cool." I can wear long sleeves, and maybe a sweatshirt and be comfortable. No special shoes required. Rain... but not too much. I like the freedom of summer, and the "possibilities" that lie ahead, I don't like to be hot.

9. What is your most memorable teaching experience?
When you've been teaching as long as I have, that question is too difficult. I'll go with my favorite memory from last year. I had a child with autism in my classroom. He learned SO much and taught us so much. It was such a great experience for everyone.  This student was a big Lakers fan, so when he received a "Shining Star" award, his classmates lined up and high-fived him all along the playground as he ran to to the line-up. It was a PRECIOUS moments.

10. Why did you decide to start your blog?
Last year, I spent the whole summer blog stalking. Clutter-free classroom was on the screen every morning. I just wanted to be a part of something that seemed to wonderful.


Before I could click the Publish button, I was tagged by Michele at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera. She's a relatively new blogger and I am enjoying getting to know her.

 Her questions were as follows:

1. Which do you prefer teaching Reading or Math?
Recycling now...  You forgot social studies! Lately, I've been loving teaching math. Social Studies is a close second! 

2. What’s your favorite place for clip art?
Great question! I don't know the answer... yet! I am just becoming familiar with the amazing clip artists out there!

3. Do you count spelling tests as a reading or writing grade?
We don't have spelling in sixth grade at our school--or in any organized fashion at any grade.  Guess what?  Many of my sixth graders are terrible spellers.

4. Favorite website for your students?
This is new for us.  We have used Raz-Kids and Learning Upgrade. I have been checking into Spelling City as well.  

5. Point and shoot camera  or DSLR?
Since I don't even know what DSLR means, I will confess to having an old point-and-shoot camera. I got this particular model because it was too big for me to lose easily--and I can almost read some of the settings without my glasses.

6. Do you arrive to school early or stay late?
I get up VERY early (sometimes at 4:00) and get to school early, too. But we START at 7:45, so you have to get there pretty early to get organized!

7. Coke or  Pepsi?
Starbucks. Oh. Wrong question. I drink Diet Coke. Too much of it.

8. Michael’s or Hobby Lobby?
I saw my first Hobby Lobby today! But there are TWO Michael's within two miles of my house and one close to my school.  There have been days when I have had to hit all three to get enough of what I need!

9. What is your favorite read aloud?
I have always loved reading The Cay by Theodore Taylor. I love the rich discussions inspired by this book. Kids always laugh at the funny parts and a few get close to tears at the sad parts. The dedication alone is conversation-worthy.

10. Winter Break or Spring Break?
That one is a tie. I like both. But I love when Christmas falls early in the Winter Break and I have lots of time for doing things after my holiday shopping, wrapping, etc. is completed. 


There you have it. I'm taking the lead from Holly at Criss-Cross Applesauce and doing a lesson adaptation.  Since I don't have the time or energy to see who has/hasn't been tagged (I'm in Las Vegas, mind you!), I will pass that opportunity to someone else. Thanks Amy, Marcia and Michele for tagging me.

My homework is done! I'm going for a walk to check out the sights.

I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Easter!



  1. Enjoy Vegas before back to Testland!
    I'm heading into testing on April 16th.

    Yearn to Learn Blog

  2. I hope you had a great vacation. Thanks for playing along. I enjoy your posts so much, we have a lot in common.
    Learning in Bliss

  3. I like comfortable, too . . . SO fun that you're in Vegas!

    Easter blessings, my friend.


  4. I love Vegas! I've been there a few times.

    Where are you staying at?

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  5. Enjoy Vegas!!!!!!!!!! You deserve the break!!!
    Happy Easter!


    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  6. Enjoy Vegas! I love it there...find time to relax :)

    I love Sadako...I like your spin on how it reminds you to teach about real life.

    I'm going to have to pull that one off the shelf. Thanks for the reminder.


    Fun in Room 4B

  7. Three times? You've been busy. Thanks for playing. Have a great week.

  8. I hope you're having a FABULOUS time in Las Vegas!!! Now that's a great way to celebrate Easter.

    Runde's Room

  9. Kim! I've missed you, and I loved reading this post! Did you visit the Hobby Lobby?! I have one a mile from my house: dangerously close! I'm a total Hobby Lobby girl!

  10. You are too funny! I love reading your posts!...hahaha....animals with smiles built in their face...LOVE IT!!

    Have fun in Vegas...there are relaxing spots in Vegas too...but I don't think the word, relax or relaxing" fit well in the vocabulary of a teacher's life! I feel guilty when I relax...hehehe


    The 3AM Teacher

    Visit The 3AM Teacher FB Page

  11. Hey, I was in Vegas for Easter too! Went to see Rod Stewart for his closing show. It was really great to get away for the weekend. Hope you had as much fun as I did!
    I am also WAY behing in my tagging responsibilities! I am working desperately bton get the kiddos ready for testing next week. I hope to get all my blogging caught up over the weekend!

    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie


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