Tell me more, tell me more!!

Decided to link up with Step Into 2nd Grade’s latest linky party – go check it out! I love learning new things about all of the bloggers whose blogs I read on a daily basis 🙂 Here’s hoping you can learn more about me too!

1. I met my husband on the second day of freshman year of college. We hit it off right away and dated all four years with not even one thought of ending things. We got married the summer after college graduation and I can’t imagine my life without him!! He just graduated with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy – it has been a long 3 years, but all of the hard work has paid off and I am so incredibly proud of him!

 

2. We both attended Grove City College, a small Christian school here in western PA. It’s a family thing for both of us – my sister and her husband, my parents, my grandparents (all of whom met their spouses at GCC), my great-grandfather, Ben’s parents (who also met at GCC), Ben’s sister, and Ben’s aunt! Crazy, huh?? But GCC feels like home for a good reason and I am so blessed to have spent 4 years of my life there. The picture below is my mom, me, and my sister at GCC for homecoming when I was younger – and yes, I was wearing a nametag that said “Future Grover, class of 2008” 🙂

3. I love Betty Boop! I have been a huge collector since I was 6 or 7 and love anything and everything that I can add to that collection. Unfortunately, the apartment the hubs and I are in right now has zero room for my collection to be on display, but I look forward to the day when we have a house where I can show it off! (The below pictures was taken at our local library where my collection was on display when I was around 12)

4. I also collect thimbles from every place that I visit. This started when I got an American Girl thimble in Williamsburg when we were there for a Felicity tea party. My favorites are the unique ones, like the one from England my grandparents brought home for me that had tea inside, or my Germany thimble that looks like a stein.

5. My faith is the most important thing in my life. Without Christ as my Savior, I would be incomplete. He is the reason I get through each day and He is the reason that I can make it through difficult situations. I am so blessed to be teaching at a Christian school where I have the opportunity and the privilege of sharing Christ’s love with my students every day!!

6. Growing up, musical theater was my life. I have been in so many plays and musicals, from 3rd grade through my freshman year of college. I took tap dancing lessons for 9 years and it was amazing. I was in a performing arts group at my theater school that toured around Pittsburgh performing. I miss this part of my life so much but it’s hard to find the time to continue it!

 

I was proud to be a “Broadway Kid” for 4 years!

 

One of my first musicals, written by the director at my performing arts center – I am 2nd from the right.

 

My very first musical ever in 3rd grade at my church – it’s where I fell in love with performing!

7. I love love love Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It is one of my favorite places ever! My grandparents retired there around the time that I was born, so we have been going there since I was itty bitty. Even though my grandparents are no longer there and our family has grown by 4 (2 husbands and 2 kids), we have continued going – we now rent a house a block or so from the beach and it is wonderful! We have our family traditions, such as going to Grotto Pizza, eating ice cream at Royal Treat, playing mini golf at Shell We Golf, and playing skee ball and horse racing in Funland – but the most fun thing is making new memories and traditions 🙂

 

Here’s me boogie boarding in Rehoboth when I was little.

 

My husband and I on the boardwalk during this year’s trip

Love this boardwalk 🙂

8. I have the world’s cutest nieces! No, really, I do! Addison is 2 and a half and Karley just turned 1 and they are the most amazing little girls. They bring a smile to my face every time I see them, and hearing Addison say, “I love you, Aunt Kimmie” just melts my heart. I am so blessed to be their aunt and can’t wait until I can give them some cousins to play with!

 

9. Ever since I was really little, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I loved playing school with my sister and my friends – I had a pretend school set with worksheets, pencils, report cards, etc. and it was one of my favorite things to play with. In fact, Teacher Barbie was the only Barbie I was ever allowed to have! I am so thankful that the Lord helped make my passion a reality and I love it when my students tell me that they want to be a teacher too 🙂

10. I am obsessed with the Pioneer Woman and was SO incredibly excited to meet her when she was in Pittsburgh a few months ago! She was so sweet and down-to-earth. I have made many of her recipes and wish I had more money/time to spend on all of the others!

 

11. One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is read! Last summer I read the Hunger Games trilogy in 4 or 5 days. I have reread the Harry Potter series who knows how many times! This summer I brought home a bunch of books from my classroom that my students really liked and I wanted to read so I knew what they were about. Have you ever read City of OrphansThe Candymakers, or the Lemony Snicket series? All of these were great books. Any books you recommend for 5th graders??

12. I have been dying to go back to Disney World! My family and I went several times growing up and it is one of my favorite places (other than Rehoboth!) – it makes me feel like a kid again 🙂 I also really want to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which everyone says is amazing. I am hoping to save enough money in the next few years to make a trip down to Orlando!

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you learned more about me! Leave me a comment with your favorite place or your favorite book, or maybe with the item that you collect – I’d love to hear from you!!

 

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Towards the end of the school year, I wanted to create a display near our classroom that would be a sort of  “good bye” to my students. I knew that I was going to miss them terribly!

I decided to use the theme of the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! After searching for and combining some ideas, here is what I came up with:

 

I know it’s really hard to see, but here’s what I did. First, I had each student list three goals they had for 6th grade. They could be anything from “Read 2 books each month” to “Get an A on every spelling test” to “Don’t be late!”. They listed some pretty awesome goals for themselves. Next, they copied these goals onto the cut out of a red balloon. Then I took their picture, having them pretend to be carried away. I printed out the pictures and cut them out, taped string to the back of their hands and wrapped the other end around the bottom of the balloon cut out, and voila!

Now unfortunately, the pictures printed out a LOT smaller than I had anticipated. But I didn’t want to waste more paper/ink from the color printer at school; plus, it took me forever to cut all of their bodies out (I didn’t realize how small they were until I was done!). Oh well. Now I know for next year.

To add to the display, I found some pages from the book to print out and I created the title from WordArt on Microsoft Word. I added some cute polka-dotted border. and there you have it!

The students thought it was hilarious and loved looking at everyone’s pictures. I gave our 6th grade teacher a copy of all of their goals so that she can remind them at the beginning of the year what they were hoping to work towards.

This was such a fun, adventurous, loving class and I will miss them dearly, but I am so excited to get my new kiddos and start the year over with them! I already have so many ideas brewing thanks to Pinterest…

 

 

 

 

July Currently

Oh man…time has really gotten away from me! I totally missed June’s currently, and now here we are, already on July 4th! Oh well. I have a bunch of ideas ready for posts, so I’ll try and get some up this week because next week I will be at the beach with my family!! We spend a week at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware every year and it is always so relaxing and fun – I can’t wait!

I have worked at the same summer day camp for kids for 10 years – it’s been a great experience, but this year I finally decided to leave that job and give myself a break this summer! My husband is officially done with PT school and is working this summer, so the money wasn’t as much of an issue. I have to say, I am really looking forward to everything that I will be able to get done now, both around the apartment and in my classroom!

My favorite read aloud with my class is kind of silly, but they LOVE it – “Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones” by Judy Schachner. They love picture books in general, but this one is just so fun. They always enjoy reading the little poems and clapping along with Skippyjon Jones. If you haven’t ready any of these books, you must do so. They are about a cat who thinks he is a chihuahua!

I’d have to say my go-to professional read is “The First Days of School” by Harry Wong, mostly because it is the first “teacher” books I read when I got my first job and it has been helpful ever since. I definitely recommend it, especially for first time teachers. It helped me realize the importance of those first few days of school in setting the tone for the rest of the year!

Now, go link up with Farley! And be sure to read the rules 🙂

Happy 4th of July!!

Medieval Wrap Up

We finally wrapped up our unit on the Middle Ages! The students did a phenomenal job on their unit test. I find that this is always the best test of the year and I truly believe it is because of the lap books that we create. It is constant reinforcement of the material that we learn – we discover information through a PowerPoint, we create a mini book based on that information, and we review the information again when we put our lap book together. They love it and it creates a wonderful keepsake for this fun unit.

Last week a parent came in to help me spray paint the castles the students built. We opened up all of the windows, put tarps under the castles, and draped sheets over the computers to keep them spray paint free. They turned out GREAT! It took us 10 cans – way more than we originally thought – but they look awesome and the class was so excited about them. The next day the students brought in Lego and Playmobile figures to “decorate” their castles with – we have lots of knights, dragons, and kings and queens.

Check them out!

Another exciting activity we did was one that a classroom parent came up with – banana jousting! The class was split into two teams and the current “jouster” on each team was given a poncho as armor, a shield made out of thick foam core, and a banana. The students would take turns making a pass at the other knight, trying to touch their poncho with the banana. One point was awarded for banana being smeared on the poncho and one point was awarded to whichever knight had the longer banana after the round was over. It was an enjoyable activity that the kids had a blast with!!

To close out our unit, we enjoyed a fun medieval party. I set up three stations throughout the room – coloring, computers, and Wii. For the Wii station, I brought in my Wii and borrowed Medieval Games (http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Games-Nintendo-Wii/dp/B001S86ISG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337188714&sr=8-1_) for the Wii from a parent. This is a fun game, especially with four players, that allows the students to joust, sword fight, compete in archery tournaments, and much more. The kids of course loved it and did really well! For the computer station, I created an internet scavenger hunt based on a website I found with interesting facts about medieval times. The students had to answer questions based on what they found on the website. Finally I copied pictures of religious stained glass windows from a coloring book I have. The students used marker to color the stained glass and we rubbed vegetable oil on the other side to make it transparent – they looked awesome! I also had parents send in some yummy food to enjoy, such as cheese and pepperoni, grapes and watermelons on sword-shaped toothpicks, and pretzels. One parent even made some mead for the kids to try!

Overall, our medieval unit was tons of fun and it’s always sad to see it draw to a close. My goal was for the class to come away with a deeper understanding of this time period, including the role religion played, the importance of feudalism, and how our world has changed since then. I am already looking forward to next year!!

Really?? May??

Is it seriously May?  It seems like just yesterday the school year was starting and here we are with only 5 weeks left! Does anyone else feel like this year flew by??

Well, linking up with Farley at http://ohboy3rdgrade.blogspot.com/ for our Currently May…

It was a busy April, but I think it will be an even busier May. We have lots of fun things planned, from several field trips to local ponds and creeks to performing the play that we wrote (a parody of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”!).

Our medieval castles are almost finished…just another day or two to work on them and then they will be ready to spray paint, photograph, and upload here! I can’t wait to show them off!

My students started recorder instruction this week. They were so excited to get their own recorder and music book to take home and practice! They all came in the day after their first lesson and told me about how much fun they had practicing (and how much fun their families had listening to them…haha)! It is so wonderful to see them enjoying something musical 🙂

 

The Middle Ages

Based on this picture, and knowing that we are studying the Middle Ages, can you guess what our latest classroom endeavor is??

 

If you guessed building cardboard castles, you were RIGHT!!

About the middle of March, I began collecting cardboard boxes of all sizes, as well as egg cartons, pop bottles, applesauce cups, and other good “building” supplies. The above picture is the pile as of the middle of April! Good thing I can handle clutter – if I was a neat freak, this would be a major problem 🙂 The closet to the right of this picture was completely full of boxes too! Needless to say, we have more than enough boxes.

Last week I split the kids into 4 groups. Each group was given 2 rolls of duck tape, a large cardboard box flattened out to use as the base, and a few guidelines of parts of a castle that must be included (ex: wall, drawbridge, keep, towers). We went around group by group picking boxes from the pile until they had a good amount to start with. Once they began working, they were allowed to send one person from their group at a time back to the pile of boxes to get any more that they needed. Our pile has been about cut in half, but we still have quite a few left!

Here are a few castles at the beginning stages:

Once they are completely done, I will spray paint them gray/silver to look more polished and more castle-like, and then they will be permitted to bring in “medieval-type” characters, such as Lego people or Playmobile figures, to finish it off.

They always turn out great and I am excited to see this year’s finished products!

Just so you have an idea, here are a few castles from previous years:

Don’t they look awesome?!

Do you study the Middle Ages? I’d love to hear about some of the fun things you do with your class!!

I have a few more posts about our medieval unit planned, so check back soon 🙂

TpT SALE!!

Because there are less than 10 weeks of school left, I am throwing a SALE in my TpT store just for YOU!

Everything is 10% off until Friday! Now is the time to buy! I have a few other things I’m working on to put up; if you have anything specific you’ve read about that you’d like to see, let me know and I can make it a priority 🙂

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kim-Read

Enjoy!!

PS: My students are OBSESSED with this game called “The Game of Knowledge” – it’s kind of like Trivial Pursuit, but this is from the mid-90’s. The other day I heard a student ask this question: “Where does the Nickelodeon show ‘Hey Dude’ take place?” ohmyword. Obviously none of them knew the answer, but I shouted it out like nobody’s business! It cracks me up when they get to these dated questions, yet they still love the game. I have three who sit and play every day at snack time 🙂

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