Monday, 1 September 2014

Currently did this happen?

I can't believe I'm managing to link up with Farley for her Currently this month. My blogging is sporadic, at best, so it's great to actually be linking up on the actual 1st.

It's 8:43am, on a Monday. The last Monday I'll be able to sip iced coffee and watch old episodes on TV...whomp whomp. School starts this week.
Listening to Happy Endings. I love the random TV over here in the UK in the morn, Before this was a 2011 episode of Glee. So sad that Happy Endings was cancelled though, such a cute show.
Loving, is it sad that it took me a while to think of something for this one? I've been to the gym for the last two days and have really worked on my abs, so now they are sore. I swear if I squint my eyes I can just about see my stomach shrinking.
Thinking, the caretaker's wife just FB messaged me to let me know school was open today. I went in on Friday and was the only person there! I was doing things for 6 hours, not that you'd be able to tell. My room still seems empty and disorganised. I tell you what, I hate changing rooms! The caretaker told me he wasn't going to open school today, so I booked a massage and plan on getting some new BTS clothes (yes, like I am a child). But now...I know school is open, do I go back in?
Wanting, I'm sure all of you feel the same way as me at the end of summer. Where does the time go?
Needing to chill out. I haven't stopped stressing about school since we got out. I guess a classroom move, new year group and reading teacher blogs will do that to you.
3 trips, the hubs and I want to do a bit of travelling this year before we start thinking about having kidlets. We want to go to Cambodia/Vietnam this summer. If possibly we'd also love to go to Columbia, where my bro-in-law lives. New Zealand seems amazing. I've only ever heard good things about it, so it's definitely high on my list.

Thanks for linking up. If you stick with me, I might actually try and be less sporadic about blogging...maybe.

Monday, 14 July 2014

MMI and a Scavenger Hunt

I've been obsessing this weekend about trying to get stuff done for MMI. Although I did achieve a few home made its, I was desperately wanting to share a school made it. But alas, with a car in the shop this morning and a late bus to school, I wasn't able to get myself organised. Hopefully I'll have something for next week.
If you want to link up, or are like me and want to spend a week reading EVERY link up, click the pic.
So if you read last week's post, you'll remember that I have just moved into my first home and have been attempting some DIY.
About 7 years ago, when my hubs and I first moved in together and had no furniture, I bought a table from a Border's (remember them) that was closing down. They were literally selling everything, in the shop. I snagged a small round table for the living room for £7 (about $12).
The table has been a practical item, but was not the prettiest. The yellowy varnish colour of the wood and the bright silver metal base weren't matching my idea of pastels/greys that I wanted for the house. So we unscrewed the base from the top and go spraying!
We sprayed the base (after giving it a sanding) with white spray paint. Unfortunately in typical British summer weather fashion, it started to rain. The next pic shows the table with the top painted with chalk paint on top of the spray painted base.

My second made it was so super-duper easy that I could kick myself for not doing it earlier. I'm kinda in love with the Art Nouveau period. In 2012 my hubs got me a lovely calendar with adverts from that time period. I've held on to that calendar since because I knew I wanted to do something with it.
I bought some super cheap frames (seriously, £1!) and then took the glass to trace around the pictures I wanted. I decided for yesterday's project, I would only choose 4 pics. I chopped the pictures and stuck them in the frame. Hung them up and voila!

Adding a bit of personality to the dining room if I do say so myself.
I'm also linking up with Blog Hoppin so read on below if you're interested.

I'm amazed at how many people have joined in the Blog Hoppin' Scavenger Hunt. It's been really fun trying to find the items and I'm sure that more than a few people might think I'm a bit crazy.
I'm linking up with them to show off some of my fave pics so far ...')
BTW, no one I know in the UK reads teacher blogs, so again they don't understand anything I do, what TPT is, what task cards are and why I'm constantly whipping my phone out with a BLOG HOPPIN sign.
I chose this as one of my favourites because I had to pap the school secretary. Again, no one would understand if I asked them to hold this sign, so I tried to be sneaky and get the photo.

 I love this pic, mainly because I love that my kids love Go Noodle.
Another fave only because it's one of the only 'arty' good pics that I have taken.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Monday Made It. Finally!

So I have been devouring the blog posts for Monday Made It this summer, as in literally spent a week reading through EVERY single link - up. But then last week ...
no internet connection yet in the house AND I used up all my data on my phone.
I have been desperate to link up and couldn't.
So finally this week, we are connected and I am ready.

So unlike the rest of you lucky people, I am still in school. As in I still have 2.5 more weeks! For the past two weeks my hubby and I have been moving into our first new home. My made its for this week are all house related, but hopefully I can get some school stuff sorted in the near future, not that I'm remotely busy or anything.

So our new house was in good condition and didn't really need anything doing to it when we moved in. That is why it kind of appealed to us. We put the offer in in FEB and have been patiently waiting for 4 months to actually be able to move in.
4 months AFTER we had our offer accepted and had seen the house we finally got our keys and the house was a mess, like literally filthy. I don't think it had been clean since we had last seen it. 
Thankfully we had a week to get ourselves sorted.

 We managed to rope in a few extra helper to get the living room and dining room painted. I'm loving grey at the moment and wanted to also go for a country/rustic theme in the house.
Living room with a new coat of paint. Really want to get a new couch but it's feeling more homey already.

My most favourite purchase was this, not sure what to call it, from a flea market/vintage shop. I love the veggie crates as drawers. It is now in the living room and has all my baking equipment/ingredients in it. 
My 2nd made it is actually one of our first DIY projects. I bought a lovely pine table and 4 chairs from the previously mentioned shop.

The appeal for these tables and chairs were that they were sturdy and they were already sanded down, ready to be painted/varnished. It took us two weekends, 4 coats of varnish and 2 coats of paint ...

I love it! We haven't full decided what to do about the chairs. I think we'll end up painting them with the same white, but haven't fully made up our minds.

I can't wait to link up again next week as well as read everyone else's post.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Currently June ... Two blog posts in a week!

Wow, this is a shocker, two blog posts in a week, unheard of!
I am linking up with Farley for her June currently.

Listening to the TV... as usual.

Loving the warm weather today. As I have mentioned before, anything in the high 60's to 70's is now considered hot! I was in shorts and a t-shirt today, cruising with my friends and the hubby on our bikes and having drinks outside the pub. Love summer in England.
Thinking that my work day tomorrow is going to be hectic, as I may or may not have planned for my lessons :/ We've had a week off, so clearly I have had plenty of time...but with an upcoming move, a wedding album to make and may have started to take less of a priority as the week went on (I swear I did loads of stuff for school the first few days of the break).
Wanting to sleep ... through the night. I'm a terrible sleeper most of the time, but with warm weather and a stressy brain, I'm not sleeping very soundly.
Needing to pack. It looks like we are finally going to move into our house in a few week ... the house we bought back in February! I tell you, the house buying system in England STINKS! Definitely in need of a re-think. Anyways, our friends have given us a billion boxes, so really we should be putting stuff away ... but somehow I feel like this might be a last minute job.
Summer is hopefully a time for us to get some stuff done, what with having 6 weeks off. Unfortunately my husband and I are very firmly stuck in that lazy category. I'm really really hoping we are motivated enough to decorate our new house and get some DIY jobs done.
I also need to renew my passport, I can't believe 10 years has passed since I first moved to this country!
Hubs and I are also hoping to travel, but with a new house and potentially not having a passport, might be hard to do!

Thanks for reading.


Friday, 30 May 2014

Five for Friday - May half-term edition

Update: Can't believe I forgot to include this...

I was horrified to hear about the stabbing and shooting in Isla Vista last week. As a UCSB alumna, former sorority member and former Isla Vista resident, I know how close the community is. I am saddened when I think how the campus must be at the moment.

So while most of you amazing bloggers out there are finished or counting down the days until school is out, I have a whole half-term left, the longest one of the year, 8 more weeks! Luckily we do get these lovely breaks between each half-term, so I am currently off for the week.
My Five for Friday link up is a bit of a cheat because it's from the last two weeks.
I meant to link up last week, honestly...
but my brain was FRIED and by the weekend I could hardly remember my name.
Join me at Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up.

Last week was all sorts of craziness at school. We had to squeeze in an end of year maths, reading, writing and spelling test, which seems strange considering we have 8 weeks left. That means last week and this week (my week off mind you) I have been marking said tests!
In true teacher fashion, my 'week off' has also resulted in me bringing home those last few books to mark, my planning book, and an RE curriculum to look through to see if our school is interested in investing in it.

In the middle of the crazy week our year group had the opportunity to go to a local farm run by Sir someone. The house and amount of land owned by this man and his family was ridiculously huge. The trip was great because lots of local companies set up an exhibit and explain to the children what they do ... even if it's not entirely PC (hunting dog exhibit, I'm looking at you). The children were able to see a cow and calf as well as a sheep and little lambs, although the man did proceed to explain to the children about how long the lambs actually got till they were, um, 'sent away'. At least the kids know where their food is coming from.
I was shocked to find out the Kettle Chips factory is actually in our lovely county. The children were shown the whole process of potato to chip.
They also were able to see the gun dogs at work, a bee hive, farm traps for those nasty critters that ruin crops and loads more. Such a fab day!

We finally had some nice weather last week and I decided to take advantage on Monday and Tuesday and let the kids free read outside during Guided Reading (okay, so maybe I hadn't actually planned GR for the week) but the kids loved it. I really enjoyed watching them sit so quietly and still, a very rare feat for my bunch.
BTW, hot weather is now classified as high 60's to low 70's. My California days of thinking that was cold are gone.
This week I have been 'trying' to do some work and be productive. One thing I have been meaning to cross off my to do list is making our wedding album. I have spent HOURS working on this.

10 months after said wedding isn't that long right?
Last week I also found out my year placement for next school year. I am moving up to year 5 (4th grade) which I have never taught. This will now be my 3rd move in 3 years, which also means I get the same bunch of kiddos for another year, as in my third time with them! Thankfully I absolutely adore this year group, but I'm a little worried that they're going to be sick of me of the sight of me...

Until next time...

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Five for Friday

Wow, it's been a looong time...again.
I love love love reading blogs, but am so incredibly lazy when it comes to posting.
We've had such an amazing and intense week at school that I thought I could finally muster up the energy to write a post.
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly linky.

It was National Science and Engineering week, so our school decided to tweak it a little and have Maths and Science week. Monday was Maths Day and we challenged our students with different puzzles and problems all day. They absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed getting to work with my class for maths and see how they worked together. I also enjoyed challenging my maths set (top set, very clever).

The two activities I had in my class were team challenges. The first was a grid numbered 1 - 12. Each player had a counter and their playing piece. Each person took a turn to roll the dice, if their number was rolled, they moved up the grid. The first to the finish won. This was a fantastic activity to introduce my kiddos to the idea of probability. When everyone had a chance to play we discussed numbers that were most commonly rolled and those that didn't come up. They then were able to deduce that 7 was a good number because it had lots of different combos, whereas those students that chose 12, rarely moved.

The other activity we did was a logic puzzle - A farmer has to cross a lake with his chicken, grain and fox. He can only take one item at a time. If he leave the chicken with the grain, the chicken will eat the grain, if he leaves the fox with the chicken, the fox will eat the does he get everything across? I created little cards with each item so the students could physically move the items from one side to the other.
This one stumped them!

Wednesday we had this company come in and run a Forensic Science day. We set up our school entrance to look like a crime scene, with tape and everything. Each child was given an outfit to wear and keep. We rotated throughout the day doing different activities to try and find out who the culprit was. The children had the opportunity to make molds and plaster casts of their thumbs, they also learned how to make dental molds using dentures (like when you go to the dentist), they took fingerprints and shoe prints and finished the day using Photofit software (like the police use) to create a picture of our suspects. I must say, that bit was shocking, the suspects were 3 teachers in our school, and some of those photofits looked questionable!
My class looking pretty amazing and ready to solve a crime!

Wednesday was Science Day. This day was by far my favourite of the week. My class rocked with their behaviour and made each activity so enjoyable. We were fortunate enough to have lecturers and students from our local university (go UEA!) who work in the Science department, come and run experiments with each year group. My hubby's year group had the chance to make DNA necklaces, whereas my kids got to play with citric acid and other stuff to change the temperature of water. I've got some pretty challenging students in my class, which you would never have known because of how engaged and well-mannered they were. The best compliment I received was from the university lecturer saying how well my class worked and how much they enjoyed it! 
Sorry for the random stickers, I was trying to get creative with keeping the kids anonymous
We tried out 3-4 experiments throughout the day. The above experiment we did together showed students how when an acid is mixed with an alkali, it can produce gas. I may have sorta had them add a wee bit too much vinegar to their least they really were able to see the chemical reaction.
Yesterday (and this weekend) is Sport Relief. It is a fundraiser that happens every other year. I wrote about Comic Relief last year, which happens on the off years, but I digress. This is a massive event in the UK where people take part in sport or challenges and raise money for charity. The money goes to charities in the UK and around the world. On Friday night they have a programme with different comedy sketches, sporting events and video to show how the charity benefits others. If you click the link above, you should be able to see David Beckham (god he is glorious) in action!

Our school ran a mile in the morning. The children could walk, run, skip, do it in pairs...anything they wanted really. It was great fun to start the morning with some exercise. That's probably the most I've 'run' (I use the term rather loosely) in ages.

Some of the Year 4s, ready for action!

I've been watching way too much TV (what's new) or should I say Netflix? My hubs and I have managed to finish House of Cards series 2, the last 3 seasons of The Office, I've also managed series 1 of Once Upon a Time (which I still can't decide if I like or not) and we've just started watching Grimm. And this has been the last month! Netflix...I love but hate you so!

Well done if you've made it to the end. If you want any math ideas for games and puzzles, I've got some resources, so just send me an email.