Sunday, June 30, 2013

Currently, July ?!

A new month means a Currently!

Link up to Farley's blog.

I know we say this every month, but seriously where has the time gone?
We are more than half way through 2013?!

Since it is just a day out from somebody's bday, (Anoinette!), I will let her go first!
Emily's thoughts are in red.
Antoinette's will be in blue.

I am a huge fan of The Food Network Star.
This is my 3rd or 4th season of watching it.
I love seeing all the different recipes the contestants come up with and all the obstacles that are thrown in their way.
Tonights episode is when they have to cook on live TV and Food Network throws curve balls at them to see how they handle it.
Some contestants were missing ingredients, lights went out while they were cooking, an alarm goes off to name a few!

I am a sun lover!
BUT...  I do not love the extreme hot temps that MO tends to get.
The last couple weeks have been in the high 90's.
But lately it has been low 80's and I am LOVING it!

This time of year is bittersweet.
Yesterday was my birthday!
Happy birthday to me!!!

Here is a pic of one of my bday gifts:
You all know I love baseball and the Royals!
So this gift is perfect for me. :)

I love my birthday... No matter how old I turn.
Coming from a super huge family- 1 of 11...
My birthday is the only day of the year that is all about me.
Which is why I am wanting it to be my birthday again.
I am having the day after bday blues! lol

Now that my bday is over, it's like summer starts dwindling away.
I want it to slow down because I am enjoying it WAY TOO MUCH!!!
I have been hanging out with family and friends.
Spending tons of time in the sun.
Relaxing it up.

So with it being summer and my bday...
I haven't been doing too awesome with the weight loss.
I did reach my bday goal, but I have been celebrating ever since.
So my grand total as of last Thursday is 63 pounds.
I want to kick it in high gear in July
and have to go on a shopping spree for new, SMALLER clothes before school.
Wish me luck!

As far as tips, tricks, or hints...
I need this advice also.
I find when I am posting consistently, I get more comments.

I LOVED "Gilmore Girls" back in the day.  It happened to be on today.
The pop culture references! 

I have yet to meet a teacher who doesn't love summer!!!
My tan is coming along.
I had my first small sunburn last week, must be careful.

You would think grad school would be over, but not yet!  Three more weeks...
I will make it!!
Is anyone else out there taking summer classes?  

This week is definitely to do list week.  I need to get some things together that are worth sharing on Made It Monday.

Shakespeare in the Park is awesome.  It's 'by donation." Here's my sticker to get in.
The production is "As You Like It."  It's a 60s rendition.  (The play's theme is love.)

This is the play that includes the quote
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts..."

The best part, is that you can bring your own food and drinks.  That means cheese and crackers, grapes, and beverages!  So "fancy."  
Any one else have a play in the park?

I love when bloggers show pictures.  
First, 'cause I can pin them!
Second, 'cause I can make more sense of what the person is describing.

What are you currently up to?
We would love to know!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Talk Thursday...from the AP list

Wow, it's been forever since we have posted.

We have been too busy enjoying summer, I guess.

I have spent many hours reading for fun and reading for grad school (3 weeks left!).

I wanted to take a minute to blog about my 'just because I can' read as part of Reading Toward the Stars Book Talk Thursday.

A moment of background, I have a sister who just finished her sophomore year in high school, where she had to pick a few books off the AP English list.  I have a great friend who used to teach high school English, and now teaches middle school.  She gave me some good recommendations for my sister and some of them actually piqued my interest!

One of them was The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles.
First, I LOVE the structure of the chapters.  Each chapter starts with two quotes from other published works.  One to explain the time period, Victorian England, and one to supplement the story line.
Also, the ending!  It has three possible ending, and you as the reader have to decide what you think really happened.

*I teach upper elementary kids, so I can't read the story to them, but I do plan on using this idea in one of my reading lessons about structure.

Second, I LOVE that the writer puts his voice in the story!

Quote from the book:
“You may think novelists always have fixed plans to which they work, so that the future predicted by Chapter One is always inexorably the actuality of Chapter Thirteen. But novelists write for countless different reasons: for money, for fame, for reviewers, for parents, for friends, for loved ones; for vanity, for pride, for curiosity, for amusement: as skilled furniture makers enjoy making furniture, as drunkards like drinking, as judges like judging, as Sicilians like emptying a shotgun into an enemy's back. I could fill a book with reasons, and they would all be true, though not true of all. Only one same reason is shared by all of us: we wish to create worlds as real as, but other than the world that is. Or was. This is why we cannot plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine.”

*I plan to use excerpts of this quote with my students, as a lesson in thinking like a writer.

Third, I LOVE the character development.
The characters actually seem relatable even though they're in Victorian England, with social norms that are far different from the day.
The French Lieutenant's woman is a woman who was jilted by a lieutenant that comes to her town during the war.
The people in her town see her as an outcast.  All but one person, who realizes the woman, named Sarah, is actually the smartest and most real person among them!

Finally, I LOVE the vocabulary.
As an elementary teacher I read a number of books and stories that are meant for kids, but don't push me as a reader.  This book has totally made me think about vocabulary with words like: platitudinous, ruefully, banal, tetchy...the list could go on and on and on.
The logophile in me has been giddy to see what words are next.

**If you haven't switched to an e-reader, you totally should!  I love how easy it is to highlight passages and create notes!

*** My next 'just because I can' read is a book written by my uncle, currently titled Timm.  He is in the process of trying to get it published.
It's Science Fiction.
I know NOTHING about Science Fiction!
If you consider yourself a lover of Sci Fi, could you please leave a comment to help me understand what makes a good Sci Fi novel.  I would really appreciate it!

Have you been reading something that you just can't wait to share?


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We are joining in.
Joining the Bloglovin' movement.

This is our claim to our blog!
<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mazel Tov! to learning something new!

Yesterday I attended a coworkers wedding.
My former 3rd grade team member Megan married an amazing guy.
All my former team members were there.

I have been to a number of weddings, but none like this.
It was my (and my former team members) first time attending a Jewish wedding.

It was simple and beautiful.
Rich with traditions I had never seen before.

As I sat there with my hubby watching the ceremony I was trying to understand the symbolism of each ritual.

As we sat down in the reception hall, one of my former team members said what I, and apparently the other ladies, had been thinking the whole time.

"I just kept thinking about Patricia Polacco and The Keeping Quilt."

The chuppah, the 7 circles, the breaking of the glass

Yep...  you know you are a teacher when life events remind you of books!

I am now reflecting on that statement.  Thinking that I am thankful for Patricia Polacco because she offered my team members and me background knowledge into a world we hadn't known.
(BTW, Megan is a HUGE Patricia Polacco fan, so I am sure she would see this as a compliment.)

Have you ever had a life event that reminded you of a book you read with your students?


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's Summer... Or is it??

Hey All-

Last Friday was my last day of school!
If it's not yours yet, I hope the last days goes by quickly for you!

So what have I been doing with my days off???
Let's see...
Monday- Revisions to 5th grade Writing- Launching Unit
This unit includes...
procedures for getting writing workshop off to a successful start.
Setting up writer's notebooks
Reading like a writer.
Building writing partnerships
Taking a piece through the writing process

Tuesday- Revisions to 5th grade Reading- Unit 2
This unit includes...
CCSS RL.5.1 and RI.5.1 Quote accurately from text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, setting, or events in a story or drama, drawing specific details in the text.
CCSS RI.5.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Wednesday- Revisions to 5th grade Writing- Unit 2
This unit includes...
Writing feature articles
CCSS W.5.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly
CCSS W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach

Have you ever taught feature articles?
I would love to hear some of your great ideas!!
I found this website with amazing information.
Check it out if you are interested.
Feature Articles 3-6

So is it summer when I have worked every day so far this week?
I think not!
Maybe if the weather was nicer, my attitude would be more positive.

I have tomorrow off and I am going to eat Indian food with Emily!
After that, I am going to hang out with my adorable nieces.
Love them!!!

On the positive side...
Tracy, my co-writer for the units of study, and I should be able to accomplish a ton by only meeting a couple times a week.
That's not too bad, right???
See- a little sunshine!
Wish mother nature would follow suit. lol
She seems to think Missouri is in desperate need of rain.
Rain, rain go away!!

Are you on summer break yet?
How are you enjoying your time off?

Antoinette :)

Monday, June 3, 2013


Antoinette and I love Currently!
We might break the top 210!  (LOL)
Maybe not... lol
It's my (Antoinette's) fault!
Emily texted me but my internet has been misbehaving.
Bad internet...
Unplugging the router finally saved the day! :)

We had our last day of school on Friday!  Holla!
Those of you who still have more to teach, good luck and Godspeed!

For the Currently Emily's answers are in red. Antoinette's answers are in blue!

I love a good summer movie! "Major League" reminds me of being a kid and watching movies with my dad.  
Oh Jobu!
On my first weekend of summer vacation, hubby and I went to see The Mowglis, Cold War Kids, and The Lumineers.  It was a great show!  

I am also taking a grad school class this summer. Policy and Decision Making.  Doesn't this topic just sound riveting!  (I know you are jealous!)

Last week my dad had an angioplasty.  (To see how open his arteries are.)  The test results were better than expected.  The challenge is after the test there is a chance some of the plaque can break loose and cause a stroke.  (This happened to my dad 20 years ago, and he almost died.)  
Well it happened again.  
He suffered a minor stroke.  He is using a walker to get around and his left hand isn't as strong.  
I am going with him this week to talk with the neurologist about what that means for his future.  
Also he starts physical therapy this week.

My hair needs help.  
It is just hanging there.  Time for a cut and color.  
Anyone else need to go get their summer hair do?
Sorry to interject, but I bought dye from Sally's and dyed my own!  I have black hair now. lol

Summer Essentials
Books- It's time to read for fun!
This summer I am planning to start out reading The French Lieutenant's Woman.  Then my mom insists that I read Gone Girl.  
Any suggestions after that?

It's also time to read for professional development!
Antoinette and I are going to be creating a series of posts about Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst.
Another interjection, sorry...
I am loving this book so far!
It is a must-read for Common Core teachers.

We hope you will join us in the discussion!

So summer is finally here!!!
I am not a huge country fan, but I'm lovin' the song Cruise!
The song just feels like summer!
Summer is a song
It makes me wanna
roll my windows down
and cruise!!!
(Creative huh? lol)

So about this currently...
I just got off the phone with a fellow TLC (Teaching and Learning Coach)
So at this very moment,
I am listening to absolutely nothing but my ceiling fan.
I like that it needs to be on though
because winter seems not so long ago
(oh wait a minute it snowed in April, so it wasn't too long ago)
and I am loving the nicer weather.
It's been in the 70's lately
which is A OKAY with me!
I like Spring-like weather.
Not too hot and not too cold.
Juuuust right!!!

I am loving that it is summer.
What teacher doesn't?
Well maybe those teaching summer school.
It's not really my thing.
I am working on revisions to ELA units of study.
So I am kind of working.
My summer kickoff was a end of year party with my OH SO MISSED co-workers from my old school.
I had so much fun hanging out with all of them.
Especially my co-blogger, Emily!

June is a special month.
I come from a super HUGE family.
I am one of 11 kids.
So there is only ONE day outta the ENTIRE year
And that day is June 29th!!!
Birthday's are a huge deal and my family.
So it doesn't matter how old I am...
I love me some birthday fun!

So as you all know, I have been on a weight loss journey.
Things have been moving pretty slow lately.
Lots of ups and downs.
I am still plugging away though
and there is no way in h*** I am giving up.
I am so so happy to announce... (insert drum roll)
I have lost 59 pounds.
I joined a gym but am so busy that I only make it a couple times a week.
Better than nothing.
I went tonight expecting this hip hop workout (which I'm actually getting somewhat better at... somewhat lol)
Substitute workout lady tonight...
Some kind of Turbo Kick or something like that.
But I'm loving it! :)

My Apartment is in desperate need of cleaning.
That is all I wanna say about that! LOL
Except... Why can't magic be real??

Sounds good to me!
The phone is a given.
But the last two places I went to actually had horrible service.
I survived. ;)

Some pics to end with...

Can you tell how dark it is??
I'm more of a chestnut brown, normally.
Excuse the messy hair and lack of make-up.
I took it down from a ponytail.
And I worked out, remember???

These here are a surprise for my blogging buddy, Emily!
For your patriotic classroom!
Because I LOVE YOU!!!