Weekend Warriors:3-2-1 Teacher Bio {Linky}

Hey all my summer lovin' friends! Can you believe it's the end of June already? That means it's time for another Weekend Warrior linky party! This month we have a really great 3-2-1 theme planned! We hope you will read along and join in the fun! 

I've decided that I must be a REALLY complicated individual because I actually had to think hard to come up with things to list here! 

I wonder how much we have in common...
Here we go... 

1. After 25 years in the classroom, the teacher me still feels like a brand new teacher every year for lots of reasons. I like to try out new things. I reflect on what works (and what bombed out) and I make changes. Maybe too many sometimes! I also like to continue to learn through reading blogs, books on best practices and by searching for new ideas on Pinterest. 

2. I guess you could say that I'm a pretty serious teacher. In the classroom, I run a tight ship. I have very high expectations for work quality, behavior and attentive listening. I have perfected "the teacher look" and my students know that I mean business. But on the flip side, my students would say that I am funny and silly. During the day, we  have tons of fun while we learn! Browse around the blog here later and you can see for yourself!

3. I always say I think I've seen it all and then some surprise comes along! There's never a dull moment in the classroom. I LOVE that! Over the course of my teaching career, I have seen many things change in the field of education. I don't worry too much about things. I just teach on...solid teaching strategies are timeless. 

1. Although I am a teacher "celebrity", I have a hard time when boundaries blur between work and home life, you know?

 You won't find many specific details about my life on the internet. I choose not to show tons of pictures of my family and I cringe at most every picture of myself, so that is a no-brainer!!! 

   I am also a closet blogger. Only a few of my closest friends at work know that I blog and I'm pretty sure they NEVER read it. Ha! 

2. I am always searching for more... It's hard to describe because I'm not sure what MORE is exactly. This may be the reason why I have three walk-ins full of clothes! 

1. Even though the thought of being out on the wide ocean and getting hit with a rogue wave or falling OVERBOARD scares me to death :), I think it would be amazing to take a Mediterranean cruise. Some of my relatives came from Croatia. I would love to go there someday. 

 Wouldn't that be the trip of a lifetime? 

  Well, thanks for stopping by today for my 3-2-1 bio! Feel free to tell us a bit about you in the comments section or add your blog post to the link up too! Just grab the images below. When you link up with us, be sure to link back to this post and use the Weekend Warriors button!

 Now, head on over to see what the rest of these amazing teacher bloggers have to say about themselves!

Teachers LOVE Summer {Link Up}

Teachers LOVE our summer vacations! It's a chance to regroup, have some fun and get caught up on things that we just don't have time for during the school year. I always have big plans for my vacation time to make the most of every day. How about you? I'm linking up with my sweet friend Aimee at Primarily Speaking to tell you what I love most about summer!

There are so many reasons why I love summer vacation time. 
 I've narrowed it down to my top 5.

Summertime: I'm a sunshine gal for sure.  A sunny warm day just makes my heart happy.  I feel way more energetic in the summer than during the gray winter months.  I love to hang out at the pool, water park or the beach.  Don't you love this graphic from Life is Good?  It sums it up perfectly!

I love to look out of the window and see flowers.  This mandarin lights azalea is so pretty when it blooms! 

Me time: Me time = a summer full of hair, doctor, vision and dental appointments.  It's just too hard to take a day off of teaching for those things.

It is nice to be able to just slow down the pace enough to leisurely sip a cup of coffee and check emails, read Facebook posts and blogs.  It's a time to reconnect with the world in general!

Mom time: Both of us are so busy during the school year (my son with homework and myself with school work) that we need this bonding time together.  Now that he's going to be a senior, our focus has shifted from a field trip experience a day to independent living 101 and college/career exploration!  We always take a vacation of some sort too.  Last year we visited the Smokey Mountains.  This year, we are headed to an out of town wedding and then it's off to climb the beautiful Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and splash at the Michigan's Adventure water park.

Project time: I'm not talking about crafts here.  I only wish.  My summers as a homeowner are devoted to things like window replacements, landscaping, contractors, organizing closets, fixing drippy faucets, cleaning the garage and all of that.  Teachers really have two homes to maintain. During the school year, I am focused on keeping my classroom clean and organized and then certain things at home get pushed to the back burner.  This is how I have spent my first few weeks off.  I'm moving and building a new place to call home! :) 

Treat time: Summer is a great time to go out to eat, swing by Dairy Queen, stop at Orange Leaf, grab a frappuccino, go to barbecues and do a whole lot of EATING!  I don't know what it is about summer and food...
I try to get outside for a daily power walk and burn some of those extra calories! 

This to die for crispy honey chicken is from PF Changs at our outdoor mall. The mall (dangerously close to home) is really happening in the summer with live music and all sorts of action.  I LOVE to shop there.  I am watching my spending this year, but I often save up all of the moolah I can during the winter so I can give myself permission to do some shopping in the summer!

See the winter coat and boots on the little one in the photo?  The bare trees?  Much of the year in Michigan is cold and down right bone-chilling frigid, so I LOVE SUMMER and appreciate every day! 

What do you love most about summer? 
Link up here and let us know! :)

Five for Our FINAL Friday! End of the Year Fun!

I seriously feel like I did one thousand things this week! I'm beat. But... it's our VERY LAST FRIDAY!!! Yippee! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for my final Five for Friday school week post of the year! We had a rip roarin' good time this week with our end of the year fun stuff and actually worked in a few learning activities too! 

I was so excited to get home to check my mail all week. It's a long story, but there was no mail. At all. For weeks.
 But...look at what arrived just today!

Happy Happy! I purchased these pencil door signs from Tallahatchie Designs at Etsy to give as an end of the year gift for my teamies! I think they are going to love them. I love the colorful ribbons the best. They are all a little different.

If you read my last post, you know that we had something special planned each day for our End of the Year Extravaganza

Here are a few snapshots of our bubble day:

We also had a campout read-in, a movie day, an electronics day, outdoor picnic-style summer birthday celebrations, a princess on her way to the prom visit, a guest reader, an AR assembly and raffle, the PBIS prize cart, sibling visits and classroom switches and a board game day (just to name a few). WHEW!

A little at a time, while my second graders were having all of this fun, I was able to put the finishing touches on report cards, complete student records and get organized!
 I am feeling accomplished!

It might look like all fun and games, but the kiddos did actually do some work! One thing we did was to wrap up our science unit and put together our matter lunch bag books. This time I used red bags from Target! 

It's Pizza Box Keepsake time so we did that all week in stages. This year it all went so smoothly!  Three fifth grade students from my Science Olympiad team came down to assemble our boxes. Coloring the cover and completing the memory pages that go inside was done a little at a time during the week. On assembly day, I delegated project passing to a few students at a time. It was a snap since most projects actually had names on them this year! :)

So that's it for classroom stuff! On the home front, I spent the week with little or no Internet connection. Let me tell you, my world  came to a screeching halt!

Here's a tip if you happen to have U-verse.
 There is a red reset button on the back. Poke a paperclip in it and hold for 10 seconds. 
That did the trick. For now...

Is anyone else completely exhausted??? It's hard work having fun (planning it too). This is my selfie version of "There is no tired like the end of the year teacher tired".   

The funny thing is at bedtime, I am wide awake. My mind keeps racing with things to do. This is what many people do not understand about teaching. Teachers never stop working and so, we NEED summer to get our own thoughts back in order again! 

Three more days folks and I am home free!

Thanks for stopping by to see our very busy last full week! Stop by Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up or see what all of our other teacher friends have been up to!

Favorite End of the Year Activities: Weekend Warriors Link Up

We all want our kiddos to leave us on the last day with the feeling that this was the BEST. YEAR. EVER. Special activities during the end of the year countdown will make the school year one the class will always remember!

 The Weekend Warriors are here this month with a linky party to share some really neat end of the year activities. I can't wait to visit all of the blogs to get some new ideas to round up for my own list of fun things to do!

I'm here to tell you about my favorite EOY craft, a few fun indoor and outdoor activities and some easy to throw together, last-minute things I like to do with my class! 

Since we have not started our end of the year celebration yet, I will be flashing back a little (or maybe a lot).
These activities have always been a HUGE hit!

Let's start with my all-time favorite end of the year project. This one is from a giant leap backward in time!
This is what we made one year when I taught first grade:

 It's a class keepsake pillowcase!

 Every child brought in a brand new pillowcase. I created the class photo, poem and student names template and printed them on iron-on transfer sheets. Parent helpers did the ironing.
 Each student added their fabric paint thumbprint.

 The poem says:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I count these thumbprints instead of sheep. 
And always remember the friends I made,
In Mrs. Moriconi's first grade.

I loved this class so much! :)
 The firsties on my pillow are college kids now. 
Wow! Stop that clock!

Now for some activities...

Here in Michigan, we make outdoor plans but always have an inside plan B in case we get rained out.

I'll start with some OUTDOOR FUN!

A favorite on a hot sunny day is a water balloon toss. 

 I am SO bad at tying balloons so we call on parents to come in to fill them. We pile the balloons up outside in big party tubs.

 Partners start close together and with each toss take a step backward until SPLAT! Afterward, we fill the tubs with water and let the kiddos go crazy with those big dollar store water squirter tubes. The teachers run for cover!

Some years, we schedule the ice cream truck to stop at the playground during our second grade picnic. 
 Kona Ice is usually a favorite around here.

Speaking of picnics, this year it will be a hot dog cookout!
 On the menu will be chips, watermelon, beans, brownies for dessert and lemonade. YUMMY!
We are going to have a lemonade tasting day and use this cute packet by my friend Aimee at Primarily Speaking.

I am so excited to try out these fun learning activities with my class!
 We do try to keep the last days mostly academic!

INSIDE, we always have a movie day. While the students are enjoying the show, the teachers get things like printing report cards done!
 It's a lifesaver! 
The children go to a classroom of their choice. We open four theaters, each showing a different full-length feature. 
We made tickets for the kids so we can still keep a normal class size during this time. 
Everyone enjoys some popcorn, Sprite and a large movie sized candy pack.

On the second to last day, we clean everything including the desks!  

To make our shaving cream fun more academic, I call out spelling words, math problems or a category of things for the students to write or doodle. 
Shaving cream must be a directed activity or we end up with more of a mess than when we started!

After the desks are cleaned, they get stacked and pushed to the outer walls.
 This is the perfect set up for LAST DAY fun!

One of the many things we do is to make a giant circle and play a round of hot potato and pass the beach towel! 

 When the music stops, the person with the towel is out. 
They step to the outside of the circle and watch the rest of the game!
 No one even minds being out! 

Then, we have a hula hoop contest!

Before we say goodbye with HUGS or HIGH FIVES, we take a trip down memory lane with a slide show of photos from the year. 
Then, we Go Noodle to HAPPY while dismissals are called so the teacher doesn't cry!! 
I do anyway. Every year.

This year we have added some new festivities because... believe it or not... it is MAP testing week. So, we are keeping the activities shorter, and easy to plan and manage.
I am calling it our end of the year extravaganza!

On Monday, the students are invited to bring in their electronic devices from home. On that day, some siblings are coming to spend the day in our room. They earned a reward ticket to do so! 

 On Tuesday, we will sign beach balls and then play with them outside. If the yearbooks are here, we will sign them on this day too.

Wednesday is bubble day. I picked up some one dollar bubble wands from Walmart. We are also letting the students CHEW GUM IN CLASS!!! They are getting Blow Pops!

Thursday is a campout read-in. The students spread out blankets and read by flashlight. 

The others I told you about but switcharoo day is when the students rotate through all 4 of the second grade rooms and we each do a different activity like a game, craft or experiment. They love having a chance to see another room and mingle with other friends. We number the students 1-4 and assign a number to each room.

After I made this schedule, we decided on board game day instead of switcharoo. 
This involves NO planning on our part, so it's perfect!  

 I'm also thinking of making glitter dough with the kids! Call me crazy... but it's a tradition we ran out of time to do this year.

This would be before cleaning time and then the mess would just... disappear! 
The custodians will never know. Ha!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you got a few new ideas here to use or Pin to save! 
Now, head on over to see what the rest of my Warrior friends are sharing on their blogs.

Please link up with us or leave a comment here with your favorite activity too!


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