Tuesday, January 29, 2013

High Frequency Words...

Our county has been using the Houghton Mifflin reading series for quite some time now.  This is my second year using it, and there are things about it that I love and love a little (slash a lot) less. One of the things I do love are the High Frequency words that are incorporated.  The High Frequency words directly relate to the story being read that week, and they are common words first graders would see in on grade level text. Last year, we sent a chunk of words home each week and quizzed the students on recognition every Friday.  Borrressvillleee USA.  This year, with Common Core and homogeneous grouping, my low babies were the ones who REALLY needed to learn these words. I have volunteers working with these kiddos weekly on Dolch words and these words, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about tracking progress without boring my kids (and volunteers) to tears. I finally put together a booklet that I am so excited to use to track each child's progress!  The pack also includes the flashcards your volunteers can use to quiz the students. You can use this pack one of two ways....

1. Laminate the pages and put them together with a binder ring.  Once laminated, you can write the child's name with a dry erase marker (or overhead pen) and put a check next to each word the child learns.  This way, you can reuse these books year after year!

2. Because I'm crazy and know that my above mentioned way of using this pack could get bent up and nasty, you can also simply give each student his/her own booklet and put a sticker next to each word the child learns!  Yay for yearly printing, copying, hole punching, and laminating....a waste of paper you say?  Sure, but it saves my sanity :)

Click HERE to check it out on my TPT store!  I hope you like friends!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Always Sunny With Him...

This is an AWESOME YouTube video!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Always Slacking....

Hey long lost friends!  No worries, I'm alive.  Man life can get tough, stressful, crazy!  In the last two weeks, I have honestly had one thing thrown at me after another.  On top of dealing with one of the most trying times I've had yet as a teacher, I'm also getting my Master's and attempting to buy a house.  Between teaching, planning, college, and dealing with meetings with my amazing realtor, looking at tons of houses, filling out paperwork for offers, and waiting for them to probably turn down my offers, I'm stressed!  And I have to admit this blog was the first thing that got put to the back burner :(  It did make me feel good though when Shafer and the amazing Mrs. Tucker asked about my Always Sunny With Him post that I didn't do last Sunday (I promise you'll get one tomorow!).

If you haven't figured this out yet, sometimes I can be a tad dramatic.  Yea, all the above things are true and I've had a crazy two weeks, but I'm truly fine and really not all that stressed...just stressed enough to forget to blog.  My bad!

What have I been up to????

This has nothing to do with what I've been up to...I just had a share a picture of my cuddle buddy...I really wish I was this relaxed.  And that they would show these types of pictures during that ASPCA commercial with the Sarah Mclachlan "In the Arms of an Angel" song.  I can't even watch those commercials because they make me so sad and depressed...my thinking is that if I feel that way, most people do!  So how many donations are they really getting, if people are turning the channel to avoid seeing those poor abused animals?

We had a snow day!!!!! Yes, friends.  In Maryland, they cancel school for flurries.  

I have a new obsession/addiction.  GOOD DOGS!!!! This is a hot dog joint that opened up in the next town over.  Holy goodness!!!! I have gone three times this week...gross. You can get ANYTHING you want on a hotdog.  And the best part...they give a half off discount to teachers that show their badge!!! My favorite so far is putting bbq baked beans right on the dog....oh yea!  My colleagues and I went the other day during our inservice lunch break, and they have encouraged me to become a patron, so I can get a hot dog named after me.  The SPURDOG! Holllaaa! 

I spent an amazing Saturday night with my sister.  She went with me to a church we had never attended to see one of my students perform with her praise dance team. It was such a cool experience.  It is truly amazing to see people, especially children, worship without any inhibitions.  After a three hour service of getting our praise on, we got our Plaza Tapatia on.  My favorite moment of the night....

Waiter: Would you two ladies like one check or separate checks?
J: OMG he thought I was an adult...it must be because I am finally 5 feet tall!!! 

Cami girl has started this new thing where she brings in a stick from outside after a potty break. The sticks get bigger and bigger and it gets more laughable each time.  I honestly think she believes if she runs through the door and under the coffee table fast enough, we won't notice the half tree entering the house. 

And as always...I have been enjoying the view out of my windowless classroom...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DJ Spurry Spins a Bad Week Around...

Ever have one of those weeks where you can't catch a break and your head hurts so bad you figure life must actually physically be pushing down on you?  You want to cry, take a personal day, hide away and eat until you can't eat anymore.  And then just when you think you can't take much more, God drops a beat boxing white guy from Baltimore City in your school.  And this beat boxing white guy puts on this awesome assembly for your kids and just when you think the assembly is over he asks for a volunteer.  And a good chunk of the staff and students begin yelling YOUR name at the top of their lungs.  So beat boxing white guy calls you up to be his assistant and you beat box together, in front of your school, with a microphone, while its all being videotaped....and for just that beat boxing moment, you forgot everything else that was going on and truly laughed with your friends and students.

That basically sums up my day.

If by chance you are reading this blog from Maryland or surrounding areas, please check this out!  The beat boxing white guy is Max Bent and he was terrific...I'm sure your kiddos would love him too!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Always Sunny With Him....


Saturday, January 12, 2013

From the mouths of babes...

My dad constantly makes a joke that I never leave my computer or the couch and work too much.  He says that by the time you add up all of the hours I work from home...I'm basically getting paid $3.00/hour.  What he doesn't understand is that OBVIOUSLY we don't do what we do for the money. There are 1001 ways why I do what I do, my hope for this blog is that over time, I can share these with you through creations, stories, and prayer.

One of the reasons why I love going to work everyday...you never EVER know what to expect, or what you will hear.

Case in point: A few days ago my teacher BFFL Femi, kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, came across the hall to tell me that one of her students had been asked a yes or no question and had answered with, "Does a bear shit in the woods?"  This inspired me to reach back and share with you some of my favorite LOL moments of teaching.

Child: Ms. Spurry, I'm going to a Hawaiian birthday party this weekend.
Ms. Spurry: A wine birthday party?
Child: No, a Hawaiian birthday party.  I don't drink wine, I just smell the cork.

Child 1: Ms. Spurry are you married?
Ms. Spurry: No sweetie, we have been over this a million times.  Ms. Spurry is not married yet.
Child 2: Where do you live?
Ms. Spurry: With my mommy, remember?
Child 1: Maybe that's why you're not married.
Ms. Spurry: That is highly possible.

Ms. Spurry: No way jose (forgetting figurative language comes later).
Child: Ms. Spurry, Jose isn't in our class, he is next door.

As our class is decorating pumpkins for our Halloween party....
Child: Ms. Spurry, I'm naming my pumpkin Double D.
Ms. Spurry: Oh wow, what an original name...where did you come up with that?
Child: Oh, because my pumpkin is dark and dangerous.

A child comes to school one day with an I heart boobies bracelet.
Child 1: hehehe why would you wear that to school?
Child with bracelet: Its cool and blue.
Child 1: Do you know what it says? hehehe.
Child with bracelet: No
Child 1: Use your strategies and sound it out.
Ms. Spurry: (beams because they remember their strategies, but freezes knowing they will sound it out!)
Child with bracelet: ok...b...oo...b.  What does /ies/ make?
Child 1: eees
Child with bracelet: Oh thanks, I love b...oo...b...ies. I love boobies?  I love boobies? ahhhhhhh!!!!!! I'm never wearing this again!
Ms. Spurry: Wonderful job using your strategies!

As I am doing an IRA on a student...student is reading "The Beaver Lodge"
Student: And the father beaver built his lodge in the dam....(pauses)....Ms. Spurry, just so you know, I'm totally allowed to say this type of dam because the bad word is spelled with two m's.
Ms. Spurry: Oh, ok. Thank you for letting me know.  Keep reading please.

I have tons more, but could go on for days....and I am taking Abby's advice and doing something for me this weekend!  Like maybe watching the Raven's game while forgetting about my healthy eating plan? GO RAVENS!!!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So, I'm one of those weird people who loveees school.  I love taking notes, and writing assignments in my planner, and highlighting text books, and organizing binders.  This is also one of the reasons I became a teacher...I love school!  Because of this love for school, I was super excited to start my masters program this fall.  My goal was always to have my masters well underway before I had a family.  Well the masters is underway...and I can honestly say I bow down to those women who are working all day, taking care of a husband, kids, a house, and getting her masters.  You are amazing!  I have a dog and a job, and this is tough!

-Work a 9 hour day...CHECK
-Drive home, eat dinner, and plan for the next day...CHECK
-Exhausted and ready to curl up in bed with a good book....CHE...oh crap, I still have college assignments to turn into Blackboard tonight!

Story of my life for the next three years...wish me luck!

This was the first night of my very first course....I was super excited!

This was Monday night, my first night of my second class...not as excited.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I have a new man in my life...and his name is HP!

Oh happy day!!!! I am so excited to introduce you to my new beau Mr. HP.  He is convenient, handsome, super handy, inexpensive, very efficient and I missed him even before I knew him!  He is so great and he has inspired me to create and create in COLOR.

My teacher BFFL over at Shafer's Shenanigans went on a math manipulative organizational cliff this weekend. She created some super cute labels for her bins that you can grab hereShe inspires me daily and I am truly a better teacher because of her!   Me being a pink/everything has to match freak took her labels and added a border to match my bins.  

 I also went to the dollar store today (love that place!) and I finally bought clipboards!!! My poor kiddos use their slates as clipboards now.  I think my beau Mr. HP inspired me to buy them just so I could create this cute label for the yellow bin they will go in.

I hope you have all enjoyed your weekend and have had some restful and fun times with family and friends.  I have decided that I am going to start a new Always Sunny in First tradition and leave you with some wisdom I bring away from church every Sunday.  I'm going to call this segment Always Sunny With Him.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

I was thinking today, as I watched The Sound of Music (if my heading didn't give that one away) that the reason I started blogging in the first place, was to get ideas for my classroom/life.  I was blogging way before I was actually writing my own blog.  I love seeing what others have created and tweaking it to meet my needs.  I decided to do a little snapshot into my life and my favorite things.  I hope you enjoy!

A few of My Favorite Things
1. Fonts
I lovvvee me some fonts.  To the point where I get dizzy when creating a document because I have to scroll through to find just the right one.  How do you find fun fonts you say?  Most of the fonts I use are made by bloggers like us!

-The one above, which I am soooo obsessed with right now, was made by Jenn Bates over at http://finallyinfirst.blogspot.com/.
-My all time favorites, which I use daily are from Jennifer Jones over at http://helloliteracy.blogspot.com/ . I use them so frequently that I bought her commercial use license.  Oh and guess what...she does borders too!
-I have also recently become addicted to http://www.letteringdelights.com/ . This is a super fun site that has graphics, fonts, clipart, etc. You never know what you will find!

2. Graphics
The days of Google images are numbered.  There are so many talented people sharing their talents with us!  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I have scrolling through and picking the adorable graphics I want.  They are also great inspiration for activities I can create.  Buy a snowman graphic set, create a snowman literacy center!

-I love http://www.scrappindoodles.com/index.php?main_page=index . So much so, I bought gift certificates from them as Christmas presents for my teacher friends @ work.
-My favorite right now is http://www.etsy.com/shop/kpmdoodles.  I love her stuff!
-Etsy.com also has some also stuff you can look through.

3. Bouncing Balls
This is the coolest noise management system I have very seen.  One of the girls that works at our school found this on Pinterest and shared!  The kids actually beg for me to put it up as they work...but it does cause me to say some pretty obscene things. I hope none of my kids go home and play school and repeat things I've said like:  "don't make my balls bounce", "Friends, your are making the balls bounce", or my favorite...when the kids try to touch the SmartBoard "don't touch my balls."  Enough said. http://neave.com/bouncy-balls/

4. Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips
Kind of obsessed with these right now.  I love having my nails painted, but they always chip and smear and I can't do school work as they are drying.  I found these on sale at Target after Christmas and am now obsessed!  There is no dry time and you can do cool designs you wouldn't be able to do yourself...or at least I couldn't.

5. Baskets, Crates, Tubs, Containers
 These types of things are going to be the downfall of my future financial situation.  I can say no to clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses, but you put this stuff in front of me and I go weak in the knees. I don't need a reason to have it, I know I'll use it for something!

6. My All Time Favorite
This is my "Teacher Toolbox" which is the best thing I ever did. You can download the idea and labels here. My Favorite line...
Femi: Hey Spurdog can I borrow your whiteout?
Me: Yea, definitely!
Femi: Where is it?
Me: In my teacher toolbox in the whiteout drawer...duh.
Femi: Only you.

I hope you can use some of these ideas!  I will be doing a post soon on all the things in my classroom!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

I held a gecko today, and have a lot of work to do tonight...

One of my New Years resolutions was to try to get more work done at school, instead of bringing so much home.  Which would mean I'd actually have to start planning during planning, say what?!?!??! Seriously though, who plans during planning?  I love visiting all of my teacher friends throughout the school and having free therapy sessions with Shafer. Our school secretary has gotten so used to this she automatically knows which classrooms to page if she needs us during planning.

I honestly did soooo well yesterday (maybe because Shafer was M.I.A?) and got a whole math lesson done.  Today though....I failed.  One of our wonderful first year teachers down the hall thinks its super cool to have living things in her classroom.  I will be the first to admit, I have never even touched a frog.  I don't associate with things that crawl, hop, have suction cup feet, are slimy, are green, are bumpy, stick their tongue out every few seconds, etc.  Which means, I've been avoiding her room since she got this thing.  I went in to her room today to borrow some card stock...and my favorite kiddos from last year begged me to hold their beloved pet.  I then ended up spending the 50 minutes of my planning sitting beside the gecko's cage to warm up to him....then right before my kids came back for P.E.,  I did it!  Moral of the story: I held a gecko today, and have a lot of work to do tonight.

I would like it to be known that I rarely am ever caught not posing/smiling in a picture.  It is  totally out of my control...you can call me all the names in the book, but I don't do it voluntarily.  It is like the smile and head tilt are ingrained in my being. Having said that, you can see my attempted pose above...except I couldn't take my eyes off that sneaky thing.  

On a Desk Fairy Note....I have implemented the program and my kiddos love it.  See above for how I  fashioned the jar that they put their desk fairy notes in. I added fun glitter, sparkles and sequins to the bottom to jazz it up.  Also, I was out of color ink....so I'll be updating this soon!

Simply Yours Designs: Cute Blog Designs