Saturday, August 3, 2013

Currently ~August and Celebrate SAID

Well, well, well!
When you are three days late to a party you are REALLY LATE to the party.

I just checked and Farley has 400+ people already linked up to her monthly "Currently" Linky Party.
Now, don't I feel like a LOSER?!?!

Although my school year hasn't officially started, I did have a very long meeting on the first of August and then all-day Kindergarten Camp on the 2nd of August. So, needless to say, I had to be absent from the interwebs because I was just too tired to do anything else!

Here is my August Currently (hopefully, I make it into the 400's!)

1) Listening: Wow, I had no idea how noisy baby clothes are in the dryer! We had to turn up the television and it is in a room far away from the laundry room. I'll have to remember that nugget when our little man is trying to sleep.

2) Loving: Scott tried out a new recipe for blueberry cobbler and it is delicious.I've gone back for seconds and thirds. Get that pan away from me!

3) Thinking: Pregnancy brain can really be a pain in the butt sometimes. I thought my memory was bad before. It is terrible now! I'm going to have to start writing things on my arm just to keep track of my thoughts.

4) Wanting: This one is pretty self-explanatory. I'm so annoyed with this aching pain that I want to use a knife to dig out the nerve pain that is shooting down my lower back and into my leg!

5) Needing: It really does pay to rip these workbook pages out ahead of time as opposed to during the school year, but, geez, do I hate doing it. This is the time I really wish I had parent volunteers at my school. I know, sad, right?

6) B2s must haves: 
a) Duct tape - for the past few years I have discovered the joys of fancy duct tape. I use it to decorate buckets and boxes, to differentiate between my Kinder stuff and my first grade stuff, and to keep my organizers from falling apart.

b) Ink Joy Pens - these pens are so great for everyday use. I'm a huge fan!

c) Calendars are so important. I've been using them since the sixth grade and I can prove it. Much to my husband's chagrin since they are taking up space in our closet. Basically, a planner is my calendar, scheduler, journal, diary, and note taker. I COULD NOT go a school year without one. Even with the magic of technology, I would still rather use my paper planner. Call me an old lady - I dare ya!

I gotta say I just love this month's currently paper. It is so cute!

Thank you, Farley.


And now on to something completely different:

My favorite sister, Jill, has an editorial to share.

As a Kindergarten teacher, we lay the foundation for the rest of our students' education.
To belittle what we do as K teachers is to belittle the whole Kindergarten experience.
Personally, I have had some (not all) upper-grade teachers tell me that K/1 teachers shouldn't get pay raises or that their grade is so much more work than ours. I nod my head and move on because I am a total wimp when it comes to confrontations, but it does bother me. A LOT!
I don't think one grade is more difficult than others, but I do think we all work equally hard at what we do and it is a shame to belittle any teacher.

Alright, so here is Jill's POV:

Said is NOT dead!

This is Andi’s sister, Jill. 
As we work through pre-planning days, I am often drawn to the subject of writing as our school wide plan has many great features, yet it is not cohesive.  I reflect on how each grade builds on each other and then I have a mini breakdown when it comes to the word SAID.

Here is my rant about my dear friend – Mama SAID.
While it very cute to have a funeral for SAID, I as a kindergarten teacher, have great sadness for this ritual.  I even heard my principal go on about such a “cute” lesson she saw at some school visit where they went through a whole funeral for my friend.  Oy - the pain I felt and the smile and nod I had to muster to her.  Blech.  I choose my battles carefully and that was not the day.

Well, guess what – Today IS the day.

Here is my story…
I teach 5 year olds that SAID is a VERY special word.  In fact, she even has her own special spelling.  Oh, yes – we will see many “sed” on papers.  And actually it is to my delight.  Yes, delight.  A 5 year old hears a beginning, medial and final sound in the word.  EXCITING – people!!   We kindergarten teachers work HARD for this stuff!

But there comes a day, where you talk about all of the wonderful news and information we: our friends, characters and own creations can say… and we learn that crazy “sed” is actually SAID!  Who knew??
Not 20  - 5 years (ok, maybe a few by now, but not enough to remember to write it that way). 

This is my job, SAID is on my high frequency word list. I break their hearts and mend them at the same time.  SAID makes our stories both read and written come alive.  When we learn SAID, we even get to use the beloved puppet theatre <<that takes up too much room, so I carefully plan this event>> to write plays for the stuffed animals in our room. 

SAID is glorious,
UNTIL… a few years later someone KILLS HER!!!!!
What??? Why???
To me, she is the matriarch of all things wonderful. 
She is still written in all books past, present and future…

Begin a new ritual to celebrate her glorious family!
Instead of killing her, celebrate her family reunion and let the whole family shine.

Search “ways to say said” on Google and you will find many lists 300 words strong!!
Glorious, I told you-

Mama SAID has a rockin’ family.
Let me introduce you to some of her family.  Each group is special and yet different than the others. For the older students, you can even go on a genealogy hunt for all of the cousins, twice removed…

Here is a start of the family tree:
The Quiet family:
whispered, uttered, hissed, inferred, whimpered
The Loud family:
bellowed, screamed, screeched, proclaimed, blabbed, called, yelled, shrieked, whooped
The Grouchy family:
moaned, complained, demanded, hissed, argued, interrupted, lied, disagreed, objected, glowered
The Happy family:
smiled, sang, joked, giggled, laughed, cheered, grinned, gushed,whooped
The Sad family:
bawled, begged, fussed, sputtered, pouted, cried, wailed, fussed
The Shy family:
sighed, huffed, stammered, purred, persuaded, breathed
The Noisy family:
repeated,  gurgled, chastised, crabbed, mocked, rambled, retorted, squawked, pestered
The Unsure family:
questioned, wondered, asked, requested, inquired, posed, queried
Well, you get the idea…
Like I said, Mama SAID has a big family. 

My vision for a school wide goal would be to build that family tree grade by grade.  
Kindergarten is that solid foundation- we learn to love Mama SAID:  The trunk and strength to all things vocal. We might get a surprise visit from a few relatives, but for the most part we learn about dialogue, mama’s special spelling and those crazy macaroni things that you use instead of a word bubble called quotation marks.  

First grade begins learning the relatives and gets at least a dozen of them in use fluently.  

Second grade doubles up and works with at least 2 dozen of the family. 

Third grade (the typical FUNERAL YEAR – aaghghhgha)  We arrange a family reunion with about 4 dozen members and begin to sort them into their families.  

Fourth and Fifth grade each get to double the branches.  They learn “cried” might fit in 2 families: loud and sad, just as there is a Robert in the Smith branch and the Thomas side of the family.

Glorious Mama SAID.
Now as she gets up in years, she enjoys her retirement, makes an appearance here and there, but for the most part, lets the rest of her lovely family do the work… 

Do you feel my pain?  Don’t kill her – celebrate her, she deserves it.

And to support my case, here are a few common core standards that can also help keep our sweet Mama SAID alive and celebrate her family:

In our Language Strand:  We want a command for vocabulary acquisition and use in all grade levels.  We learn to clarify meanings through our use of Mama SAID’s family.  We learn word relationships and nuances be defining the shades of meanings when we sort her family and decide “who is stronger/weaker?”  Which word tells my meaning best?

In the Speaking and Listening Strand: We improve our presentation of knowledge and ideas when we are selective of which variation of SAID makes retelling most accurate or clear.

And ultimately in our Writing Strand:  We thoughtful and specific in our writing products and purpose.  We want our readers interpret the meaning we intended.

I shall now step down from my soap box.  Mama SAID and I need now to just relax, be quiet and enjoy a beverage :)


  1. I loved your celebration of Mama Said! It made me laugh. The family reunion is ingenious. I don't think there are any "funerals" in my building, but I am definitely going to share your reunion idea with my fourth grade teammates. :)
    On the Trail of Learning

  2. I love your idea of the Family Tree and how it correlates to the grade levels. I read your August Currently and I too love the colorful Duct tape. I'm also your newest follower.

  3. That was most entertaining to read! Made my night!!! I always get so annoyed when people belittle K teachers.. it's much harder than any other grade if you ask me!!! If they want to know who taught them how to stand in a line, go through the lunch line, write a sentence, or many many other things-- send them to their K teacher and say thank you!!!! Preach on! haha

  4. Hi Everyone,
    I am a former 1st grade teacher and am selling tons of teaching resources and books on my amazon store suitable for K-2! Check it out if you are interested!

    Julie :)