Monday, December 3, 2012

catching up

Let me try this again..I have spent the evening dealing with how to upload pics from my phone, how to figure out what I did with the download button on the bottom of my dock, and how to try and put this all together. I really need to start doing this at least three times a week. So, here are the pics from Thanksgiving:

So the left is the turkey cheeseball and the right is the melon turkey with grape and cheese "feathers". Aren't these the cutest ever?

SO I have also been working on a new word search pack for TPT. I have sold a few of last year's word search sets with a winter theme so I thought I would try one on elves. I have actually had more sales in the last week then in the entire 12 months prior. (Course, I have had VERY FEW sales to begin with.) Anyway, I hate bloggers who only share the stuff they are selling, so let me make this quick:

So here is a page as an example. ALl of the pre primer, primer,
and grade 1 Dolch words are included. it is.
Check it out...
Add caption

busy busy busy

Hello friends....well, as usual it has been too long since I wrote here. I try and then get sidetracked and then oops, weeks or months go by. I have been spending a lot of time on pinterest looking at teaching ideas as well as holiday things. I have been quite creative these past few weeks. I made some wonderful Thanksgiving appetizers from pinterest. I will try and post a pic but I/m not so good at that....

Oh Im getting frustrated, Let me go discover how to post these pics from my phone and I'll be back.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy has Arrived!

Well, Sandy has arrived. The storm moved west as it got nearer to New York, so Maine is not getting the brunt of the storm. We are getting wild winds, but we're talking under 60mph compared to like 100 or something. And we have had spurts of pouring rain. School got out an hour early today as they were predicting the late afternoon as the star of high winds, and we wanted to make sure all kiddos got home safely. As of right now, I am grateful because we have electricity. They were expecting huge outages, and there are some nearby, but as of now, my neighborhood is okay. Hoping it stays that way.

At school we are finishing up the NECAPS. How frustrated do you feel when you watch the kids take a test and you know they would get it if you could just explain what they were being asked. It drives me crazy....I mean if I could as one question the kids would get what was expected. It just seems how accurate is a test that kids don't understand. I think as teachers we need to make sure our kids have the test taking skills necessary. We NEED to do some activities that resemble test questions..maybe mini math meets in the classroom and kids do an individual test and a team test. It could be made fun, but I think they need to understand the way tests work and the expectations of writing out their answers. ANd then I have the kiddos who say they're done with a 45-90 minute test in 10 minutes. Not a single answer even making sense to the question...ahhhhhh. frustration. I am not the classroom teacher and many of these kiddos I don't work with at all. And I don't do any math this year. But wow! I just wish we could better prepare them. I mean, I know it can be done. But many folks at my school think that is teaching to the test. I think it is getting kids aware and comfortable with the way questions are what do you think? I would love to get some folks to weigh in on this.

Off to find the candles, just in case.

Oh my, a tree came down two houses down...gotta go see how bad it is.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Teacher Blog Hopping

Well, it HAS been a long time since I posted. Everything has been so hectic, but we are getting back to normal at school. Only the two classrooms that were burned as well as the office of some  specialists are still closed. They are due to reopen in all their brand new glory by the end of the year 2012. Ahhhh, then I will get  MY classroom back. I gave it up for a classroom and moved into a smaller space. It is just a bit chaotic cause I just cannot find all my stuff.

SO I got a new computer from the school. A macbook air! I love it. But I am feeling weird about using it as my only computer. My home computer broke, and I am wondering if I should get another one. What do all of you do? Do you design activities and things you sell on TPT on your school laptop or personal laptop. It just seems weird to have two laptops, with things on different computers, but do I really want all my stuff on a computer owned by the school district and they can access it at any time? Big Brother is always watching! I'd love to hear from all of you as to how you keep it all together. peeve....I have spent a lot of time in last few days blog hopping. I am addicted to teacher blogs and materials teachers make. But I am frustrated that so many teacher blogs have turned into stores. I mean I went to at least three blogs this morning that ONLY talked about the item they were trying to push. I mean, I might share something about an activity I did, but not exclusively. I would rather read about their day, their lives, their students, not their sales. I guess that is the issue. I wonder if the market is getting saturated with teachers selling their materials. I will probably never be a Deanna Jump. Her work is amazing and she knocks it out so quickly. I really want to get better at it, but I just don't have enough knowledge of graphic design. I also need to know how to create my own graphics. I need to update and jazz up this website, but I am clueless as to how and I just don't feel spending money on it right now is justifiable. But then agin, if it brings in some followers, then that could be a good thing.

SOOOOO I have been on a rampage here it seems. I am really going to make sure I come in here more often and write. And I need to get my address out there so I can get some followers. ANyway..thanks for reading this. Leave me a comment! Please????


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I am so tired of losing everything I write on this bloody computer! Anyway. Sunday night we had a fire at our school. A security light on the roof short wired and caused a classroom to catch on fire. It destroyed the room totally! And the sprinklers went off, preventing the fire from spreading in our old wooden school, thank goodness, but it did cause water damage. Today we spent the day looking at a local Catholic school to see if we could use it as a temporary building, but after talking with the recovery staff it appears that the building will be ready for Monday except for two rooms! So we are NOT going to relocate for only a couple of days. We will remained closed this week and help the two teachers relocate their classrooms..the bottom line? I will probably be losing my classroom in the meantime. I am a specialist and not a classroom teacher so my room makes the most sense to use as a relocation room. It is temporary so it will be fine. It is necessary. So, I will be back in a couple of days with some more info. cindi

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the paperwork is alive!

Hey everyone, MY GOODNESS there is a ton of paperwork at the beginning of the school year. I got all of my littles tested except for one. Now I need to do the "biggens." But today my partner teacher reminded me of a few things we needed to get done. Since I do most of the emails and computer work, I got started. Step one, cross reference three different caseload lists from three different sources. OH MY! By doing that I learned I have two more kiddos who speak NO ENGLISH AT ALL arriving in a few days. So that led me to double checking and finding other new students. UGHHH. SO basically, I was doing scheduling and paperwork stuff all day. I didn't see a single student. I want to finish my benchmarking, but all of this stuff had to be taken care of. AHHHHHH I love my job, I even love my paperwork sometimes, but I don't love benchmarking time with the biggins...course the littles are fun..Takes all of ten minutes.:) SO here's to a day tomorrow spent with kiddos and not my computer! cindi

Monday, September 10, 2012

Purging is such sweet Relief

Ahhhh, It is such a wonderful thing to purge oneself of junk. I threw away and gave away a LOT of stuff today. Posters I hadn't even looked at for two years are gone, blocks, math manipulatives, STUFF! I don't have a classroom per se, so I do not need them. I gave a lot of things to two new teachers in our building, so I feel that I did some good. This weekend I designed new covers for our union rep team. I loved the ones I saw on craftybycindy so I adapted it for our team. I also did a back with education quotes. I was pretty impressed, though next year I will make them with different designs. Here are Cindy's which can be found at
o and here is my version. Sorry, the sun was shining onto the lamination and I was using my iphone so not the best pics."
I also put together some notebooks. One for each of the ELL team members...I only got a shot of one because I already gave them out to use. ANd I also put together a teachers notebook..again pics aren't the best but they really are neat! Man, I spent a lot of time putting these together. I really want to look into taking a graphic design class. SO here they are...til tomorrow, cindi
so that was my notebook and an inside divider page. My theme this year is sunflowers, so I love some of the photos I found. this is the ELL notebook and one of the divider pages:

Monday, September 3, 2012


Evening everyone, In a few hours I will be returning to school for our first official day of school. Yes, we start really late in Maine, even later in Portland. Our teacher contracts start on Sept 1, so it guarantees that more often than not, we start after Labor Day. We have two days and then the kiddos come. YEAH!!! I wanted to join the MONDAY MADE IT linksy party that Tara at 4th Grade Frolics hosts.
I am new to the blogging world. SO not sure I even know how to link. But I'm gonna try! (I also would LOVE to have more than 7 people ( 6 are family I think) reading my blog! So here goes.... This year we have three new teachers. I wanted to do something very simple (read inexpensive) for them. SO I copied this great idea on Pinterest. It is from CUte as a Fox teacher',s ANyway, I thought they came out pretty cute...
Gotta go get ready....make breakfast, make lunch,. take care of clothes...etc Okay, so I also want to try and link up to Oh Boy 4th Grade's September currently...let's see if it works nope...cannot figure out how to post the link and then type into it. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Hey everyone, I have spent every spare minute of the last three days "trolling" through this wonderful linky party at 4th Grade Frolics site. OH man...wish I had found this in June when we got out of school. But I am determined to make 10 things in the next two weeks before I have kids coming to me regularly. I am soooo clueless about blogging but here is my attempt to post a link to her site. No idea if it will work, but try it if you can. will that lovely boggle of letters and numbers actually translate into a button when I publish this...probably not. But I will try. cindi

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Busy Day


Why is it =I seem to mess up the typing whenever I use a laptop? My son says it is because I allow my palm to touch the mouse pad as I type, but if that is the case, then why when the silly curser jumps around to another line it also erases anything I have typed in that line! It is so dern frustrating.

I spent the morning testing some little cuties at the Intake  Center. They just arrived from Jubuti, via France, so they spoke minimal , minimal English, but they were very sweet. (Did I spell Jubuti correctly? oris it Jabuti? I have never written the word forgive me for any misspelling. I will look it up when I am done posting.

I spent the afternoon doing two projects. One was researching e-readers for a grant I need to write for the 5 e-readers I am getting this year. I actually want to have 15 so I also want to write a Donors Choose grant as well. The rest of the day I did some research on the common core and decided to do a workshop on vocab development and the common core with ELLS.  I am excited about  providing prof dev for the city. It should be something different and will only make me more accountable in my own teaching practice;. is my question to the blogging world...well first I want to ask..IS ANYBODY READING THIS???

Next question is DO you use e-readers or ipads in your classroom, and if so, what do you use and how do you use them?

I really want to use KOBO ereaders because a neat program  is attached called Reader's Life. It keeps track of pages read, minutes read, books completed, and you can earn little awards. I think my students will find it exciting.  You can also share notes and so it becomes more like a book club that goes everywhere with you. How fun is that?

So please share your ideas..I am going to try and link this to pinterest so I can see if there are more readers out there....

Talk soon,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer School Continues

Today was day 12 of summer school. We have a pretty good attendance and a pretty good routine going. We do word work for an hour a day. They are all working in neat sticker books with sight words, and some are using the National Reading Vocabulary. They have to not only read the words but also know the meaning. It is soooo interesting to see the words they do not know the meanings to. Really interesting. For instance, the word barter. The child could read it perfectly but when asked the meaning he thought it was someone who cuts hair.. We are also working on number fact families and word problems. Oh my! There are some kiddos  entering 4th grade and they still count on their fingers. They do not know how to use the commutative property and some went so far as to write  9-12=3 ! WOW! So the  work we are doing this summer may seem easy and trivial but it is building foundations under some structures that are wobbling....Have a great evening...

Oh yeah, and if anyone knows how to link to pinterest pins and put them here I would love to know.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hey all, summer school is going extremely well. I am really pleased. Because the children are in such varied ranges it just didn't work out for reading groups. So I am trying to get reading time in on a one on one basis or with a couple of kiddos on the same level. We are focusing on vocabulary, using the NAtional Reading Vocabulary lists. They must be able to read the word, but also know it's meaning. It has been enlightening to see the number of words I assumed they knew, but didn't.  In math we are focusing on facts, fact families, and word problems....again, another eye opener. They really struggled with the commutative property today. We had cute little tents with the number families and they had to write two addition and two subtraction facts, or two multiplication and two division facts. I really had some 4th graders writing   9-14=5/ !!! WOw, glad I decided to have a narrow focus. But we are doing it all with fun ways and they are really learning. SO I am excited. Until tomorrow,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

my computer screen

Okay, so here is a piccture of my laptop screen...the picture in left corner is tv on in the background! HAHAHA Sad, though huh? My 17 year old has a macbook pro, and I have this. Now is that fair? why does it keep posting sideways...anyway, you get the idea...I have to move the screen around constantly to see the print! Ahhhhh. til next time friends,



I need to be here more. I am going to commit to posting at least once or twice a week. Well, we got out of school on the 21st. I am going to teach summer school in my own classroom so I decided to go with a camping theme. I must admit I went WAYYYYY overboard purchasing camping and summer things on TPT! I need to put some of fmy own things on there. I haven't posted anything new in a while. ANyway, I leave Mondat for New Mexico to go to an NEA conference/summit on teaching ELLs. Not really sure exacrly what is  involved. I was expecting this huge event, only to find there are only about 45 peoplgoing, s not exactly sure. But it should be fun. I have never been to New Mexico and it is all paid for by NEA.

Please excuse any typos you find, my computer is dying a very slow and labored death. The screen is cracked, the curser jumps all around,  and it erases entire paragraphs as you type for absolutely no reason. Add to that the fact that the battery is dead and it needs to stay plugged in.

I wanted to buy a new MAC but tires for my car, as well as my teenage sons trumped a new puter,. I may just buy an inexpensive PC when I return, since I am told we are getting new Macbook Pros this fall. That would be something else because the elementary teachers have never got any computers except the castoffs from the middle school kids! You can imagine what they were like.

I am making so many spaces so the entire thing doesn't get deleted. I am going to try to post a picture of my sad computer but not sure I will know how. I can be prettycomputer savvy, but blogging is a whole new ballgame. ANyone know of any tutorials for bloggers? I think I might check it out when I finish this..
Okay, signing off now. Have a wonderful week. Not sure I can post from my ipad so I maynot be back til next weekend.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

I 'm back!

Hey all! Sorry I've been gone so long. My dear grandmother passed into a better world in January and things got pretty crazy for a while. Seems like things are calming down so I am going to try to stay on top of this blog. Since I've been gone I have become addicted to pinterest. I will put a link here as soon as I figure out how. I also have spent a lot of time trying new things from and crafting so I am excited to share. The school year is wrapping up. We go until June 20, so summer isn't here quite yet, but soon. I am excited to post some new things on TPT and I will be making new activities to use for summer school. Well, can't stay much longer. It is almost 1 am and the dog won't stop barking! That's his new thing, he doesn't like to be alone downstairs but he can no longer get up the stairs, so he stands at the bottom and barks half the night! Ugh!,, will write more soon! Glad to be back! <3 cindi

Thursday, January 5, 2012

another day of joy

What a great day! My dear sweet boy I see first thing took a spelling assessment today. This child who didn't know the  names of all the letters at the beginning of the year, can now spell some of the second and third grade words. And he has had two days in a row of wqrking nicely and cooperatively in the classroom. I am overjoyed. How hard I have worked with him to learn how to "do school." And the smile on his face when he realizes he is actually getting it and doing things the way others are, well, it's priceless!

On the homefront, I am glad to be home. We had a team dinner for the basketball team, which we do every Thursday, so I am glad to be home, on my computer. I am going to go read The Hunger Games. I just bought it for my ipad and I am enjoying it immensely! It is really good.

I want to post some freebies I have been creating. but not sure how to post a link to TPT. How does one do that? I welcome any assistance.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

glad to be back

Well I hope everyone has had a great return to the classroom. I had a bit of a rough day yesterday, not because of school actually. but more because of my lovely high school boys! Ahhhhh, parenting 17 year olds can be the best of times and the worst of times. My own personal Tale of Two Cities. HAHAHAH

But today has been great so far. My little guy that I have the pleasure of working with one on one every morning had a great day! He was out yesterday and I  worried that he would be all over the place after such a long break. But he fell back into routine and remembered all he has learned these past few months about "doing school"!

I got the opportunity to make some activity sheets for the first grade class and they were excited. So all in all, a good day.

I feel as if I have very little to share with all of you today. Guess I will sign off for now and be back later!



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Okay, so I am whooped! Today was my first day back. My little guy I work with one on one was absent. That was too bad.I love working with him and worry when he is away too long. I had three kiddos move since we were in school last and three more move in! UGHHHHH. Sometimes that is the hardest part of teaching ELL,  the inability to always complete the work you start with kiddos. And having to constantly start in the middle of things.

Anyway, long day at school, then two basketball games. Then home to get "yelled" at by one son for speaking to an ex girlfriend who came and sat with me at the game, and by the other for telling his girlfriend he needs to spend a bit less time with her and a bit more in the gym. (AFTER she brought up the fact that coach said he wasn't playing like a D-1 player!) great day ended up being a pain in the but!

On the positive side I made a great new game for one of my students and my principal caught me coloring and laminating after schooland commented that I was just "way too creative." Sometimes making materials gives me such peace of mind.

So here's to a great day tomorrow. Happy first day back for some of you! And happy creating , whether it's materials, shining teachable moments, or just a moment of peace....create away!

Much love,

Cindi   (wish I could adda cursive fint to this blog!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Greetings to all.
I am soooo new to all of this. I love technology, but I'm self taught so sometimes it takes me a while to get on board. I have spent my vacation reading so many teacher blogs that are amazing. SO I decided to venture out and start one of my own. I cannot say that I will be able to keep up with everyone, but I will learn as I go.

Guess I should tell everyone a bit about me. I assume there is a profile I should post this on, but since this is my first post I will do it here. I can add it there later" (When I figure it all out!) I have been teaching since 1983, so that makes this my 29th year? WOW! I am so so blessed because I still love doing what I do. If I won the megabucks tonight I would still go to work tomorrow. Okay,, well maybe I would take tomorrow off to claim the money! But I'd keep on teaching.

I began teaching in a Catholic school in grade 3. I loved it and did that for 5 years. Then I spent a year as a Chapter 1 reading teacher, which I did not like. I missed having my own classroom. I moved to public schools and taught Grades 3/4, and 2/3/4 and then K, I wanted to try K because I adopted a baby in 1995 and I wanted to experience the younger side of things! I loved it, but it was a 1 year only position, so I then moved onto ELL Grade 1/2. I moved to a new school when the program changed and finally got to teach full day K! I taught an ELL K for 9 years. When the program was eliminated and all of my ELL Ks were put into mainstream classes I began as the ELL specialist for my building, providing services for mainstream ELLs in grades K-5. I was shocked to discover I love what I do! I missed having my own classroom that first year, but this is my third year and I am enjoying the chance to work with individuals as well as small and large groups in all different grades. I get my first grade literacy fix first thing in the morning and end with my older students doing Read 180 and SYstem 44. I am truly blessed. I am hoping to keep up with the blogging and welcome any tips and ideas. I just started posting on TPT last month and I am loving that, so I am sure I will enjoy meeting many new friends here as well.

Have a wonderful first day back tomorrow!