Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beach, New Curriculum, and Giveaway Help!

Unfortunately, vacation does have to end...

I just enjoyed a week in the awesome, lovely, and this year HOT Corolla, NC on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  This is most definitely my favorite place on earth.  

How could you not with a view like this??

I was very fortunate to have my parents and brother's family come with my family this year.  We rented a house for a week and had 3 kids under 4 running around, 1 Shih-tzu, and 6 adults (3 of which are teachers!).  Too fun!!  I did do something on this trip that I never thought I'd do....

I climbed 214 steps to the top of this 162 feet tall lighthouse.  Did I mention I don't like heights??

Not to sound like a wimp, but I could not move from the wall of the lighthouse...that smile??  Totally fake.  I don't want my daughter to know how scared I was as I crawled up the open steps of that lighthouse (yeah, my hands are tingling as I type!)  Surprisingly, I was okay at the top on the catwalk...climbing up the steps, not so much.  Going down was worse because I could SEE through the steps.  At least going up I looked up as I went!  Sheesh....

My hubs took this picture.  I couldn't look at it until we got back down to the bottom.  Again, I have no shame in saying I'm a wimp.  

The view from the top....
We could see the house we stayed in...and I actually texted my sister in law and we could see them out on the deck!!  Too cool...a little bit :)

My little beach bum :)  She wouldn't touch the ocean, but she loved the sand and seashells!  The little girls thought they were mermaids!  Shirts and dolls later...they really could be!  I see a 3 year old's birthday party theme here :)

Wild Spanish Mustangs on the 4x4 beautiful!!
Wish I were still there!!

Well, as of yesterday, my beach high is gone...vanished...POOF!

My breath of fresh air was completely sucked out of me.  I had two 3 hour trainings yesterday for Math and Reading.  I was feeling fairly optimistic about my upcoming school year until 3 new things were thrown at me.  I mentioned before that my math block would be implementing math stations (no problem) but the mixed messages from trainer to administration was FRUSTRATING!  First they said 4 stations and small group in an hour block (time??? 12 minutes??) Then they said whole group and 3 stations (15 minutes each) and then back to 4.  What the world!!  I so love getting mixed messages!  Grrrr........

Question:  Has anyone used the Making Meaning and Making Meaning Vocabulary program?
My school has decided to implement both programs and parts of the Daily 5 in our 2 hour reading block.  I think it'll be a good program, but I hate that we are implementing 3 new things all at once....very overwhelming!  Just curious if anyone has used it and what their thoughts were.

Well, on to the giveaway!  

Before I went on vacay, I was sooo close to hitting 150 followers... and I surpassed!  Thanks to all my awesome followers who are more awesome than I :)

I'd like to do a giveaway...I've got something I want to do, but is there anyone who would like to help me?  Would like to do a giveaway this weekend!! Leave a comment or send an email :)


  1. Corolla is one of my favorite places. Growing up, my entire family would go each summer: grandparents, aunts, uncles, favorite memories are from these vacations.

    Isn't the view from the top of the lighthouse amazing?!

    First Grade Magic

  2. Your vacation looks like so much fun!!! :-) I would love to help you with a giveaway!!! Just let me know what I can do! :-)


  3. Your smile fooled me. You looked like you were handling the height very well. :) I also receive lots of mixed messages from all district trainings I attend. It is so frustrating. I swear every specialist says something different. Good luck with everything. I know you will make the best choice for you and your students.

    The Teaching Thief
    Fiction Friday: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

  4. I've never been to that area of the country before, but it looks like you had some amazing views. I'm jealous of climbing the lighthouse!
    Stories by Storie

  5. That view is Amazing! My husband is the one who is afraid of heights! But, like you he tries to hold it together for the kids!
    I just got back from Larke Norman in North Carolina! It is a beautiful state!
    Where Seconds Count

  6. There's a total silver lining to mixed messages. You just pick the one you like the best, then you get to say, "Well, that's what the trainer told us!" Think of it as a buffet ; )

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  7. That looks awesome! Yeah for climbing the lighthouse. I will help you out with your giveaway.

    Apples and Papers

  8. That sounds so much like our school. They want to implement everything at once. Ugh! Let's do one thing and do it right! Oh well!

    Congratulations! I would love to help with your giveaway!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  9. congratulations! I'd love to help out.

  10. Looks like you've had a great summer! So sorry about your training - I agree with Andrea - sounds like our school. It's frustrating!

    I'm willing to help with your giveaway and check out my blog - I've nominated you for two awards!

    Learning is for Superstars

  11. I too would be willing to help you out.
    The Hive

  12. Congrats on 150! I'd love to help with your giveaway! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  13. Congratulations!

    I am willing to help out!

  14. My family just went to Corolla (without me!) Looks like you had an amazing time- I cannot believe you got that close to the mustangs!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  15. My school received all of the making meaning materials last year, after piloting it the year before. We weren't really forced to use them, just use them as a resource. I didn't even open the vocabulary part because of everything I have to fit in in such a short amount of time, but I used the regular making meaning stuff a few times a week. I love all the trade books that came with the 3rd grade set, and the kids loved the read alouds! And the student response journal was great. The only thing is, there really is no independent reading involved. It is all based on read alouds.

    Sorry-- loooong comment! & I'd be happy to help with your giveaway, maybe the task cards in my store?

    Third Grade in the First State

  16. i like the 'think of it as a buffet' idea! :)