Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

It’s Currently July!

Wow!  2 days in a row for me!  Twice in one week!  Definitely loooooooove being back!  And I love it when Farley does her Currently Linky!  Click her button below to go see her post as well as others!

Listening- My son is happily playing with whatever toys he can that makes as much noise as possible.  Definitely a boy in this household!  Lol!

Loving- Okay so at the end of the year, my house becomes SORELY neglected as I only concentrate on getting school finished.  Now that I can give it some TLC I’m loving that if someone walks in, there will be no dust bunny tumbleweeds blowing by.  😉

Thinking- Well as I type this the storm has started.  I’m in East Texas where it rained for literally the entire month of May.  Lots of flooding here.  And while the river is still very swollen and flooded, it’s been so hot that the plants need more rain.  So this storm is sort of welcome- waters the plants, cools things down, BUT keeps us stuck inside.  Luckily my kiddos are resourceful!

Wanting- So I kinda got the BEST gift during teacher appreciation week.  It’s kinda a free massage for 1 WHOLE HOUR!!!!  It helps that my student’s momma owns the place, ya know.  Now I’m really wanting to make my appointment and enjoy an hour of nothing but ME.  Just gotta get the kiddos situated…

Needing- Okay so the entire house isn’t clean.  We won’t discuss the master bedroom, bathroom, or our study.  The study is our next big project.  While I’m all for working in comfort, I do actually enjoy sitting at my desk to work; not on my couch hunched over the coffee table.  So yeah, that is our next big to do.  Then I’ll be able to start organizing files that are long overdue for it and getting ready next year.

All Star- So my next door neighbors are going through a sad time right now.  They have been awesome, awesome neighbors for us.  We help each other out- watch pets, get mail while on vacation, etc.  Well now I’m just working to be there when they need us.  Not pushing, nagging, showing up all the time.  Just being a presence.  And you know what? It’s working.  This is not the first time I’ve done this.  It’s just nice that it works.

What are you currently up to?  See what I did there?!  Hahaha!

Happy Teaching!

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Currently August

Wow.  It’s August.  I think this meme pretty much sums up how teachers feel about August…

Fun in First had that on her FB page and I was like YES!  But while that may make us depressed to a point, it’s also exciting.  New kiddos!  I’m ready for a great year after the slightly rocky, not quite there year I just had.  So I’m working to get myself PUMPED UP!

And while I ‘m at it, I’m linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for the August Currently!

Listening- My 7 week old (yikes!!!!) is starting to sleep in longer stretches through the night.  Yay!  So while he’s sleeping I’m blogging.  The sound of him breathing as he sleeps is just so sweet.  Sigh… 🙂

Loving- This is awesome!  It didn’t look like I was going to be able to get into my classroom until after the 12th so yeah…I’m EXCITED!

The rest pretty much speaks for itself.  🙂  So click the button below and go read more great Currently posts!

Happy Teaching!

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Monday Made It

Hey y’all!  I’m back!  I finally get to participate in the awesome Monday Made It linky by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  This is not school related but it was crafty.  So I’ll share.  I actually did this at the beginning of the summer the day before I had my son.  I knew I wanted to join up with this great linky that I even took pictures of how I did it.  Go me!  And here it is…

I wanted to find white letters, but Michaels didn’t have enough of what I needed.  So since I only needed the outer edges to be white I decided to go with the natural wood and paint them myself.  Plus I was able to get all the letters I need.  Lol!  Then I picked out some cute scrapbook paper, grabbed a bottle of Modge Podge, and some brushes.  I was all set!  So basically my process was as follows:

I turned the scrapbook paper to the back and flipped the letters backwards and traced them.  I set the paper aside and painted the edges white with acrylics I already had.  While the paint dried, I cut the letters out.  I then coated the front side of the letters with Modge Podge.  PLEASE NOTE: I had never used Modge Podge before this and yet figured it out!  I was always given the impression that it was tricky to use.  Well if it was then I got lucky!  Lol!  I then stuck the paper letter on top with the pattern face up.  After that I coated the top of that with more Modge Podge to seal it.  I made sure to over the edges too.  This way the paper will not come off at all.  Once all that dried I put 3M velcro strips on the back (I did have to cut them to make them fit the letters) and stuck them on the door.  That’s it!  Several hours after completing this I headed to the hospital for baby time.  Yay!

Now I have to say I’m not usually very crafty/creative.  I learned this from Pinterest or somewhere.  But I was proud of myself for doing it.  My mom was impressed!  <insert cheesy smile here!>  But if I can do this then ANYONE can!  Now click the button below to go check out other fabulous Monday Made Its!

Happy Teaching!

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Helloooooo? Anyone out there? Five for Friday

Howdy!  No your computer is not broken.  Yes you are seeing correctly.  I’m blogging.  Have you picked yourself up off the floor yet?  You have?  Good!  I wanted to kind of explain my absence and what I’ve been up to and decided to do that through Doodle Bugs Teaching’s weekly Five for Friday linky.  Warning- this will be a bunch of randomness.  But then again, that’s how my school year went so it seems appropriate… (click the title below to view other Five for Friday posts)

 

So my year was starting out pretty good.  Until it didn’t.  Family situation came up that put us in a bit of tailspin.  It was definitely interesting trying to get back on our feet and get school going.  But God is amazing and so is my family.  We pulled through.  So here I am holding Bert…

Yes Bert is a snake!  He lives with our reading specialist and he’s over 20 years old.  He’s a California King Snake, a type of constrictor and he came to visit to show us how snakes eat.  And I captured it on video.  Very interesting to watch.  But I won’t gross y’all out.  Needless to say the kiddos loved it!  We try to have him come every year.

Shortly after Bert came, my husband and I discovered something…

A new little Landry was on the way!  Thankfully, I was due at the end of the school year.  This being my second, I figured I had this handled.  But I had my first 5 years ago.  I forgot how exhausting pregnancy could be.  This little one quickly reminded me!  So I then had to drag myself to school despite bone-deep exhaustion and your other typical pregnancy symptoms.  But it was all worth it!

The year went on.  I felt as though I did not do as well with my stations like the year before.  I was on fire then!  This year, for some reason just seemed overwhelming.  But I managed to pull it together…

Here we have the 100th Day of School.  We had fun at our stations that day.  I truly did have stations going all year.  It just felt like harder work this time around.

I had to show this one off as it was my favorite bulletin board this year…

My team decided to do a theme for our whole hallway for Texas Public School Week- “Deep in the Heart of Texas”!  So we all had a verse from the song.  This was my line.  I was really pleased with how sharp this looked.  Thank goodness for my Cricut!

The school year continued without too much incident.  My kiddos and I, we took care of each other.  The last week of school was so hard physically.  You see, I was due the day AFTER school got out!  There was a lot of question as to whether or not I’d make it.  Well technically I did.  I ended up missing the last day due to a false alarm.  <insert really big sad face here> But I was already done.  Completely.  Including my room.  So it wasn’t too bad.  However, Baby Landry still took his time…

He came a week later!  Here is Mr. Landry along with our first holding the new addition.  Our little family is quite pleased with the new baby and we cannot get enough of him!  Needless to say, from that point on to right now, our lives have been a bit consumed by this tiny addition.  I’m only just now able to get a sort of routine down to attempt getting ready for this year.  And yes, I’m starting back with everyone else.  So I’m hoping that this next year is better in every way for me- personally and professionally.  I have truly missed working on this little blog of mine and I hope to give it lots more attention from now on.

Happy Teaching!

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Currently March

I’m baaack!  Yes I know.  I hinted that back in January.  So moving on!  I’m linking up with Farley for another monthly Currently.  She’s had a blog makeover and it looks awesome!  Go check her out!

So let’s do this!Listening- So I’m way behind the times and finally read the series this last summer.  Being a sucker for a good love story I got hooked.  Then my wonderful husband decided to aid my new addiction and bought me the complete series on Blu-Ray.  It’s taking me forever to do this post because I’m watching so intently.  Try to focus…try to focus…

Loving- I think spring weather is coming to East Texas and I’m loving it!  While we didn’t have the snow that most teachers I follow got (or my parents for that matter) but we did get ice.  Let me tell you.  East Texans and ice do not mix.  At all.  Simple as that.  So needless to say that this warm weather is a welcomed thing!

Thinking- I need to file papers.  Both at school and at home.  It’s getting bad.  In both places.  Hoping to get a good jump on it during spring break.  We shall see…

Wanting- How many of us just want one day?  One day.  Sigh…

Needing- If I can feel it on my neck, it’s time to cut.  Loving my short hair!????- Why this number?

Well that’s it.  I’m getting things prepped for next week and I’m going to share.  I know!  Shocking!  But I promise.  I’ll share.  🙂  So anyways go click Farley’s button above and read some other great blogs!  See y’all soon!

Happy Teaching!

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Currently January

Yep.  It’s January.  And I’ve been MIA for a while.  Let’s just say life took some unexpected turns both great and challenging and so several things normally on my list (like blogging) had to take a back seat for a while.  But I’m back (hopefully!) and starting the year out with Farley’s Currently!  Sooooo…

So let’s see…  Listening is pretty self-explanatory.  I’m up late and everyone else is sleeping.  Thankfully the husband doesn’t snore.  The dog on the other hand can really saw some logs!  Although tonight is a quiet night.  🙂

Loving- My husband has been working on his masters for the past 2 years and just before Christmas he finished everything completely.  Yay!!!!!  And he did it with excellent grades throughout while we dealt with some super challenges (i.e. our house- read here).  Double Yay!!!!!  Now my daughter and I can enjoy him again as a normal person and he can relax.  Triple Yay!!!!

Thinking- So I’ve got a lot of goals I want to accomplish this year.  Like most people at the start of the new year.  So I guess I need to start a list to help me out.  No problem there.  I like lists.  And crossing things off my lists as they get done.  🙂

Wanting- Need I say anything more?

Needing- Yeah…

Memory and/or Tradition- So my child asked Santa for a guitar.  So Santa got one that was pretty cheap from Toys R Us.  That’s when Santa discovered how cheap it was.  So what did Santa do?  Santa decided that a better one was needed.  Only problem, it was DAYS AWAY FROM CHRISTMAS!!!!  YIKES!!!!! So after much searching and thinking and questioning, Santa found a real ukelele that fit the bill and the child.  The look on her face when she opened that special gift told us that Santa hit the nail on the head.  Nice job Santa!!

Well there you have it!  You can go visit Farley to see other great Currently posts.  I’m hoping to be sticking around more and sharing all the ideas swimming in my head (that never really stopped) as well as just what’s been happening in the Land of Learning.  Until next time!

Happy Teaching!

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I wanna talk about…ME!

Yeah I know. I’ve been MIA for a while. The time moved too fast for me. But that just means that this is the perfect time to get on this Teacher Week 13 bandwagon and get back in the swing of things! So here’s the first one: (WARNING: Facts may be a bit random…correction…they WILL be random!)

1. I helped make a movie with Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas. No joke. It’s called “Shining Through” and it was made in the early 90’s in Germany while we were stationed in Berlin. I was a stand-in for one of the characters. So I wasn’t in the movie. But my sister was! I know where she is but you wouldn’t know it’s her. Only brief glimpses but still cool!

2. I sing. Classically. I used to be quite the high screeching soprano. Time, lack of training, and acid reflux have cut down my range. But I can still sing. Classically. Love it too. Only really do it at church but I also have fun singing lullabies to my little one. 🙂

3. Going along with that, I played flute in high school. Yes I was a band geek as well as a choir geek. Proud family lineage too! I went on to march in my college marching band. “The Boldest Sound from the Oldest Town” of Texas! GO JACKS!

4. Another tie-in. I love my college. It was some of the best 4 years of my life. I met some great friends there, my husband, and got to become a teacher. Totally awesome all around!

5. I’m the oldest of 5 children. 3 girls, 2 boys. Yes my mother needs continued prayers for her sanity. She really is a saint! Love you Mom!! 😉

6. I was of legal age to drink alcohol for 3 days before I could even drive a car. Why do you ask? I turned 16 while stationed in Germany. So what? Well, the drinking age there is 16 and the driving age is 18. Yep. You read that right. They take their driving VERY seriously so that’s why. I turned 16 three days before we moved back to the States for good. So what did my family and I do on my birthday? We went to a local gast haus (restaurant) and my dad…bought me a beer!

7. I used to live just minutes and hours from the different places that “Sound of Music” was filmed in. The German Alps were my backyard view.

8. I learned to ski in those Alps. Haven’t done it since though. :/

9. I hiked around 80 miles in 10 days at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. I was a Venture Scout through the BSA and an opportunity came up for me to go with one sister and my mom. I’m so glad I went! It was a truly awesome experience! We saw bears, I almost sat on a rattlesnake (seriously), and I hiked the tallest peak faster than the rest of my crew. With a knee brace and trekking poles. Granted by the last day, I was in 2 knee braces (one on each knee). But again. Totally. Worth. It.

10. Chocolate is my lifeline. Without it, I can’t survive the school year. Or the summer. Or any time for that matter. It’s a separate food group for me. But funny thing? I don’t like dark chocolate. At all. Yuck. I give it to my husband every time. Luckily he loves it. So it all works out. 🙂

Well there you have it! Go check out other great fun facts about other great teachers!

Happy Teaching!

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Teach Like a Pirate Chapter 3-Rapport

So once again I’m back with the book study of Dave Burgess’ book Teach Like a Pirate!  So…  Aaaargh you ready?

So chapter three is r in pirate- rapport.  I will say, that reading this chapter reaffirmed what I do in my classroom in this area of teaching.  Let me explain.  Burgess starts out talking about how his class is so different and the reasons he doesn’t have behavioral issues that other teachers do- engagement.  His students are engaged in what they are doing in his classroom.  But you can’t get to that stage until your students feel comfortable with you.  That’s where rapport comes in.

You need to find out their interests and use those to create lessons that grab their attention and hold it.  When it comes to rapport, we need to remember that our kiddos are people, just like us.  I think we forget that when we get too buried in what’s happening in our room.  Our kiddos are people.  We need to get to know them as people if we really want to reach them and teach them.

“Kids can tell the difference between teachers who only seem to care about them when they are sitting in the classroom, and those who see past the ‘student’ to the unique person who resides inside.”  (pg. 21)

Now I will say that getting to know my kiddos takes time for me.  I will be working this year to do more activities in the first week of school that gives me more direct information.  But I will say this- I know a lot of teachers who follow the rule of no smiling before Christmas.  Rule with an iron fist until then.  I don’t follow that.  I smile.  I laugh.  If I make a mistake or something goes wrong I say, “Oops!” and we move on.  I work to get to know my students through our small group work and just watching and observing.  While that has worked for me, I realize from this chapter that I need to do more direct investigations.  So I’ll be combing TPT and Pinterest for great ideas.  🙂

Burgess then talks about how he runs his first three days of class.  But before he does, he starts out with this statement:

“No content standard matters to me until I have established the safe, supportive, and positive classroom environment I need to successfully teach my students.”  (pg. 22)

I’m going to say wow.  I wish I could take luxury like that.  This past year, I had to have my kiddos already functioning in math stations of some sort so I could start my beginning of the year math benchmarks on the third day of school!  Yes you read that right.  Now fortunately I had a great class that made that possible.  So it was no big deal.  But I’ve had other groups where that was not going to happen on this universe at all!  But I did get to exercise this thought this past year with a student and I really want to share that with you (I have full permission from the parents to do so).

I had a new student coming to me after we got back from Christmas.  This was at the end of January beginning of February time.  While a new student is no big deal, I’ve had them before, her circumstances were definitely different.  She had only been home schooled.  She had never been to a public school at all.  So the counselor and I thought it best to tell my kiddos ahead of time so that they would not swarm her or anything.  So I did and the kiddos promised to give her space and help her as needed.  Well the new girl came the following week and we got started.  First week was good.  I thought.

She was doing okay and seemed to be meshing well with my class.  Then the weekend came and then Monday.  No new girl.  Okay.  Tuesday.  Absent again.  Then when she did start coming, she was late and it was all they could do to get her to come. It had started.  She panicked.  While I tried hard to be diligent about her needs and remember that she was not used to school, I still, somehow, missed something.  The mom was ready to pull her out as my poor kiddo was getting sick every morning and just would not come at all.  The parents wanted to stay the course but worried if it was the right thing.  I promptly got on the phone with them asked what they ultimately wanted for her.  They said to go to school.  I said then let’s find a way to make that happen.  I told them my only priority for their child for the rest of this year was to get her at school every day, all day.  Academics would come second.

So I sent them to the principal to see about reducing her hours.  I got a visual schedule from the counselor for her and we started.  She also could have a security toy in her backpack and I had 2 reliable kiddos be ready to help her as needed.  Well it was a bumpy start and she was constantly coming up and asking me when she was going home (which was at our lunch time) and that she missed her mom or felt sick.  I stayed patient and kept redirecting her to her schedule, her toy, or to get a trash can if she felt bad.  Bottom line, we made her stay for her shortened time.  Now I will say that just as we got this started, I was moving back into my house after our renovations were done (read about why here) and she did not take that real well.  The school ended up calling me so I could talk to her (while on my knees scrubbing my floor) and reassure her I would be back as soon as I took care of my family.  It worked.  She stayed.

After a couple of weeks, she was ready to stay longer.  So we slowly increased her time.  After a month, we had her in all day and no longer being sick.  Yes!  Her grades were just fine (like we already predicted) but I wasn’t concerned about that.  I made sure the counselor knew my plans and she was good with that. By the last day of school, the girl was a pro!  I’m so proud of her and I know she’ll nail second grade.  But bottom line, she would not have gotten there if I had not built up that rapport with her.  Now she calls me her best friend and is nervous about the future.  But I know she’ll be fine.  Besides, her mom has my number if they need me.  😉

What Burgess describes for his first 3 days were his techniques of building rapport with his students and getting them engaged with him.  After that, he was ready to teach.  Just like my special girl, we all need that with our kiddos.  Burgess says it best with this:

“I’m selling education…a life-altering product that can transform the human spirit and literally change the world one student at a time.  Surely, such a product is worthy of any and all efforts, techniques, and methods required to successfully persuade.”  (pg. 32)

I agree Mr. Burgess.  I agree.  So what do you do?  How do you establish rapport with your kiddos?  Have you had a special situation like mine that required a different approach?  Please share!  Oh and check out these other great posts and this chapter (just click the buttons)!

Thinking Out Loud

Happy Teaching!

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Favorite Pins Friday!!

So part of the reason I haven’t posted much lately is I didn’t want to inundate you with nothing but my 2 book study posts.  I’m behind on those as it is so I’m about to double time it with them.  But in between, I want to have other things.  So I was kind of bummed when Doodle Bugs halted the Fab Five linky party on Fridays.  😦  They were fun and didn’t necessarily involve much thought.  Just pictures and brief talk about them.  Perfect!  So The First Grade Parade has decided to take up the Friday linky party baton for the summer with Favorite Pins Friday!  Hurray!  Something to fill my Fridays as well as feed my Pinterest addiction (which frankly I’ve been neglecting so this is great)!!  So here we go:

Click the button above to see who else did the linky!  I’m just going to do the last 5 pins I did for this week as I haven’t been as diligent a pinner lately.  Gasp!  I know!  I’ll fix it!  I promise!  😉  Click each image to go to the direct post the pin is from.  Pin number 1:

Okay so I follow several Kinder blogs that are doing a book study on the above book and I pinned about this chapter from Kindergarten Smiles (click the image to go to the post) because I liked what she had concerning what to routine to follow for guided reading books.  I’m considering getting this book so I’m pinning my favorite posts on what they share to go back and reference for later.  🙂

Pin number 2:

Same chapter, different blog.  Kinder-Craze had a good post about the same thing so I pinned that to have another perspective.  Really good posts!

Pin number 3:
So Nicole over at Teaching with Style! started a new blog called Whole Brain Teaching with Style! to go along with her WBT studies she is currently doing.  This was a great post with a fabulous freebie.  I had to pin it of course!  Go visit both her blogs!  They’re great!

Pin number 4:
Jennifer over at Simply Kinder had this great free pacing guide to download that is good for any grade level.  I downloaded but I also like to pin these things just in case something happens.  You just never know!  Cute monsters too!  🙂

Pin number 5:

This is a linky that a bunch of blogs are participating in and this particular one came from First Grade Garden.  It was on picture books to help with math.  Yep.  Always need those.  So I pinned.  🙂

So there you have it!  The last five pins I did this week!  Pretty much anything I pin I love.  It’s why I pin.  😉  So There were a lot more but I want to be more aggressive in my pins for both work and home so hopefully next week you’ll see a greater variety.  🙂  Oh and you can follow me on Pinterest to see what else I have.  Click here.  Have a great Friday everyone!!

Happy Teaching!

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Currently July

Hey lookee here!!  I’m on time for something!!  😉  So Farley is doing her famous linky called Currently and I, of course, just hhhhhaaaaaddddd to join in!  Sooooooo… Here you go!

Listening- I’m doing this very early in the morning and right now my hubby is getting ready for work.  Poor him!  He also doesn’t feel good so that makes it harder.  The dog likes to kind of grunt whine in the mornings and he was squeaking on his favorite squeaky bone.  If he wakes the child up he may be missing a tail…Kidding I think!  😉

Loving- So while I really dislike the cleaning part, I am starting to like the unpacking and then redecorating my house.  The cleaning part is from all the clutter that keeps accumulating from not having places to put the stuff.  Yet.  Oh and my sister is coming in a couple of weeks to help me paint and do other things to make my house look purdy.  🙂

Thinking- I missed my weekend run.  Bummer.  😦  I had better get my rear in gear and go tonight.

Wanting- I hate cleaning bathrooms.  If I could only afford one chore to be done, I would have a maid just for the bathrooms.  I really don’t mind doing the rest.  Definitely in dreamland over here…

Needing- I finally managed to buy an external hard drive last night.  Now I need to get my files organized and start transferring them onto it.  I’ve had too many close calls where a hard drive starts to crash but then comes on just long enough for me to save my files.  I may not get luck again and I refuse to lose my pictures and all the free teacher stuff I’ve accumulated.  I refuse.  Okay.  Off the rant…

Tips, tricks, or hints- So I’ve come to learn in this blogging experience that I need and want to do this for myself.  Especially since I’m not a constant creator and seller, I have to just blog from my experiences and goals.  And you know what?  I think it’s working.  I mean I’ve got followers and thanks to Blog Lovin (are you following me btw?!) they are growing.  I know I’ll always have one.  😉  Thanks Mom!  But what I’m getting at is if you do it for yourself, you’ll put more into it which draws more people.  I’ve had a rough start to this experience.  And I thought I’d end up quitting.  But I didn’t like NOT blogging.  So here I am!

Well that’s my Currently!  Click the button below to go see others!

Happy Teaching!

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