Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is around the corner....
just on the other side of this weekend!
The luck of the Irish be with ya!

I've been so busy with my
evaluation lesson that it has taken
me by surprise!

Luckily, I already have my
Rolos for the grand occassion! 
I always ask one of my  room
parents to pick up a bag of Rolos
so that I can have a "piece of gold"
to share with the children.
Too cute!

Thinking about St. Patrick's Day activities,
reminds me of a personal tale of woe.
About a year and a half ago,
I had a complete,
computer melt-down.
It was a disaster.
My computer completely froze up,
went black, and DIED.
It felt like Armageddon.
A moment of silence people.


This is WITH having
everything backed up on
a thumbdrive.
Yup, you heard me.
I had a complete back-up
of ALL of my files.
But, as fate would have it...
I lost everything on
that as well!
All within a 3 hour span.
In Angela's words:
It was Cray-Cray!!!!
Like seriously, game over!
You would have to totally start over.

Luckily, King Common Sense
came through with a second laptop
for me...but I was sooo devastated....
I actually stopped working
on my computer for about
6 weeks at that time.
My family and friends
couldn't even say the word
"computer" around me.
So sad.
I still get
VERY melancholy
(not weepy, just disgusted)
when I think
about those dark days!
Uh, you were in mourning.
I get that.

Side Note From Ma Chérie:
Those were some dark days...
Like Sam and Frodo dark.
Like stuck on the rock,
surrounded by the lava flow dark days.
Like we're never
getting back to the shire...dark.
I was Sam trying to
get Frodo to continue
on the quest.
It was some dark days
I tell you.
The Lord Of The Rings
Uh....I guess that would
make me Frodo.
Yup...see the one 
keeled over?
That's me.
Feeling the death grips
of a black screen.
Ma Chérie is right, though.
I WAS giving up my computer
"quest" and it took her and my
family around a month and a half
to convince me to get back into
this crazy, cyber world! 
The reason why I relate St. Patrick's Day
with my traumatic experience,
is that I had made and lost
a lot of my St. Patrick's Day materials.
For example, I had made this moving reader
for my class based on
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover
by Lucille Colandro.

Oooh, I haven't read that one yet.
I was VERY lucky
(pun intended?  Sorry I couldn't resist.) 
that I was able to salvage
a PDF version of my work!
Remember my mantra:
Good Teachers Share?

Well, I had shared this
(and other items I had made)
with the Fab 5
(actually is was only 4 of the Fab 5
as I am the 5th Kindergarten teacher
at my school).
They were able to give me back
my work that I had passed on to them.
What goes around comes around....
You reap what you sow sista!
It IS in a pdf and I don't have
a working file of it anymore,
so it's basically take it or leave it at this point.
I'm just glad that I still have it,
and now, dear reader, it is being share with YOU!
The single word pops up first,
and I always give my class some
wait time to figure it out before
I show them the picture.
My kids are always torn between
thinking it's hilarious
and being a little concerned
seeing the items go in the Old Lady's mouth.

Their favorite part is when the old lady
and the leprechaun dance a jig.

You could even lengthen the amount
of time they "dance" by just clicking up and down
on the the pdf file.
Make sure that you are clicking
on each slide to make it show up
and not scrolling down the slides...
that way it makes it look like
things are popping up or moving.
I hope your class enjoys
it as much as mine does!
Another reason I teach Kindergarten.
They're an easy audience.
Ooooh....I almost forgot!
There is a word wall
attached at the end of the reader!
And I even made a mini word wall
for students to use individually.
Be sure to Read Lucille Colandro's book first,
so that the children can really enjoy
and understand this easy reader.

If you like that story,
you may like my
Where Is The Leprechaun moving reader
that uses different direction words
on TPT.

Another item that I had made
(and lost, but luckily reattained)
was my Ireland PowerPoint that
I LOVE to show my kiddos.
I really don't know who took all of these fabulous
pictures....whoever they are:
You are soooo talented,
and my 5 year old Kindergarteners thank you!
Please don't get upset that
I'm using your pictures to teach
my Kindergarteners about Ireland!
It's for educational purposes only
and not for profit!!!!
I like to point out how people from different
countries like to have their flags around town
or around their homes, just like Americans do!

 I want to go walking around this town square!
Bonus!  The word "Kayak" is a word
on our FAIR testing vocabulary section!

Another Bonus!  The word "Cliff" is a word
on our FAIR testing vocabulary section!

My kids have heard of mermaids,
but none of them have ever heard of selkies!

This is the princess in me....
I HAD to show my kiddos all
of the fabulous castles!

 The Blarney Stone:
Part of me thinks,
think about all of the GERMS
on that thing....I bet it feels slimy on your lips!"
And THEN another part of me thinks....
"Holy Schnikes Batman!
I have to get myself over there
and kiss that thing!"
No thanks.
This is great for teaching about transportation:
different ways to get around Ireland.

 My kids like this picture
of all of the sheep.
 I love this picture of a thatched roof...
my kiddos have never seen this before lives....
maybe they've seen a tiki hut,
but hay on top of your house?
Not going to happen in Florida!

 This  next pic is the ULTIMATE.
I show my students this PowerPoint
on the classroom big screen
(and NO I don't have a SmartBoard...
stop asking me that!)
Someday sista!
When I get to this page on the slide show,
I stand directly in front of the screen on
the left side with my hands up
like they are on a steering wheel
and I say, "This is 'QueenChaos'
driving her kids around our town."
Then I move over to the right side of the screen,
and I say, "This is 'Queen Chaos' driving
her kids around Ireland."
They love it.

Right before this pic is a pic of a red
car, and I always stop and ask what's
different about this car?  My kids always
say that it's red, or small, etc.
It always takes them around 3 wrong answers
for them to realize that the steering
wheel is on the other side.
That would be so totally awkward!

I always turn on Irish music,
and my kids practice dancing around
the classroom with straight, upper torsos.

One year, I had a student ask me
if she could demonstrate to the class
her Irish dancing skills.  She insisted
that she took Irish dance lessons,
so I let her show the class.
She stood up and hopped around
kicking her legs with a very straignt
back and her arms plastered to 
her sides like a soldier.
Her little face was very determined
and serious as she went about kicking
and hopping to the rhythm of the Irish music.
She actually did quite well,
and her classmates cheered for her.
Later that day, at car pick-up,
I saw her mother and told her
what a good job her daughter had done.
That's when I found out that the little
girl had NEVER taken an Irish dance class
in her life, and her mother had no idea
what I was talking about.

Welcome to my world.

I couldn't even be upset about it....
she was living out her fantasy.
Who am I to squash a five year old's dream?
She was an Irish dancer for a day!
 Before this slide comes up,
I always stop and ask
them what do they think they're going
to see on the next slide for
"Football".  They're always shocked
to find out that it's a soccer ball.

 See this little boy on the right?
My son, Hollywood, looked JUST
like him when he was 3.
Other than the noses being slightly
different, that could have been
my son (right down to the blue eyes).

In fact, people always ask what I am.
What a strange question....right?
What do you mean, what am I?
I'm a wife, I'm a mom,
I'm an American, I'm a Texan,
I'm a Kindergarten teacher.
Who gets asked this question?
Seriously, people?

I've been asked it so many times,
that I just play right along...
It's almost verbatim every time:

THEM: "What are you?"
ME: "What do you mean, what am I?"
THEM: "I mean what nationality are you?"
ME: "I'm an American." (Duh.)
THEM: "No....I know that....
I mean where are your people from?"
ME:"Where do you think they're from?"

Instead of saying that my dad
is Caucasian American
(Irish, English, Scottish, French, Italian
with some Native American thrown in)
and my mother is from El Salvador
(Spain, France, Italy and Native American mix),
I always say....what do you THINK I am?

And.....drumroll please.....

Here are the top four answers I always get:
Black Irish

Who even says Celtic and Black Irish
these days anyway?
Do they still say that in Ireland?
How about in the UK?
I have no idea.
But that's what I get.
People are always shocked
to hear that I'm half Hispanic.
¡Sí Señor!

Hollywood calls
himself the whitest Hispanic
in the world.
It's true.
My poor son can't
go in the sun for very long
at all....his skin can't take it!
I can relate.
SPF 50 and I are besties.  Jealous much.
When I fill out forms about skin color,
I feel discriminated against as they don't have mine.
He gets that from my grandmother
on my dad's side.  I have fair
skin, but it will tan after about 3 months
of working at it (which I foolishly did in my
teenage years...stupid, stupid, stupid).

When you're done with the PowerPoint,
you could use my Ireland Organizers to
write about what your students just saw.
Love these!
Thanks to the PowerPoint they
now have information to fill this out.
You're the best Regina!

Now this is my new quandary:
I need an Irish teacher out there
--are you listening Dublin, Castlebar,
Tullamore, and Killarney?  No, seriously,
ANY Irish teacher from ANY Irish
city, town, or village will do....just
make sure you know what you're
talking about.  Hah!--
to let me know if my information
is correct on this PowerPoint.
I guess you don't even have to
be a teacher....although if you're
NOT a teacher...
WHY are you reading our blog?
And...How much of our blog have you read?
AND...are you patting yourself on the
back for NOT going into teaching? you at least have children?
Or work with children?
Or want to have children?
Do you even LIKE children?
Or....ummmm...I don't know,
I guess that's about it, that's all I have.
Do I sound like the Spanish Inquisition?
I get that from my mother's side.
Just kidding.
You're allowed to read
our blog even if you aren't a teacher
as long as you keep your judgments
to yourself.
Unless, of course, you want to tell
us how fabulous we are....
then you're even allowed
to write something on the comments section.
Bossy, Bossy, Bossy, Miss!
That would be me!

If there is a mistake about Ireland--I'm sorry!
I tried to help my students learn
more about Ireland....
Honestly, I did the best that I could,
but I AM a lowly Kindergarten teacher
who can't even afford a passport.  
So sad but so true!
I have aspirations of travel but the only traveling
I get to do is my 5 minute seashore
STOP right there.
You have a beautiful seashore
within 5 minutes of your school?
Uh, I have cornfields.
Jealous much?
reprieve I take on desperate days
before I get back in my car
and drive the 2 blocks to my school.

Last Saturday, I went to a full day workshop
where one of the activities was to write
the place of your last vacation on a card.
You were then handed another card with
an emotion word on it (happy, disgusted, etc.)
THEN you got to walk around the room
and meet the other teachers while using the
two words together in a sentence.
Well, the word that I chose to write
on my last vacation destination was:

Queen Chaos' last "vacation" was
in her bathroom at  home.

--Definitely not the school bathroom
which is the bane of my existence--
But the few minutes of alone time
at home that I get to be by myself.
All alone.
By myself.

People laughed and giggled,
but when I pointed out that who
can afford to go on a vacation on
our salaries, they all actually agreed with me
...again, so sad but so true...
....or maybe they just decided
to humor the crazy-haired lady.
After all, she wrote "Bathroom"
on her vacation card...let's just
humor her and keep her happy
before she goes all barmy on us!
(They WERE stuck with me for the next 6 hours.)

So, my Irish sisters and brothers,
please check out this PowerPoint
and let me know if I need to change
anything.  If it was a PowerPoint on
Texas....I'm your gal!
Did you know that the Yellow Rose of Texas
wasn't a rose at all?  She was a BEAUTIFUL
black woman who lured Santa Ana away
from his military duties so that the Texans
had a shot at defeating him????
She was like me....all mixed up bloodlines...
those are the best kind in my opinion.
Did you know that the Texas flag is
the ONLY flag in all of the U.S.A.
that can fly as high as the U.S. flag?
Did you know that Texas has the legal
right to secede at any time and no longer
be a U.S. state...interesting stuff, people!
Just sayin'!

Only a Texan would know this stuff...
it just rolls off of the top of my head...
too much time in Texas history classes at school.
Although, I DO have to say that history is
such a subjective and even controversial subject.
After all, the victor gets to tell the tale,
especially if all of their foes have been killed off.
It just makes your brain go.....huh!

I had a history professor who was American
but was educated in Oxford
tell us that the British have a completely
different view on the Revolutionary War.
I had never thought of it before...
the idea that there are different views
of history, kind of like a 
"He Said, She Said, Detective Show."
After's called His-story.

I have NO idea how I ended up on this subject.
Back to Ireland...
Here are some things that I've enjoyed
doing with my class:
Green Jello,
White Whipcream,
Orange Jello
Edible Irish Flags
 I've seen the Irish flag cups of Jello
that look perfectly perfect on pinterest.
This is the Queen Chaos version.
Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy...Irish flags for all!
The kids can even help to make
their own edible flags
if you have a parent helper at that center.
My kids LOVED the jello.
I had a parent helper at that center,
and they let the kids scoop the
green jello and the orange jello
onto their plates.  Then, when they
put the whip cream in the middle,
they said the words:
"Let there be peace."
I don't know why....but they
loved saying those words
as the whip cream went on the plate.

For the cost of $3.00 at your local Dollar Tree
you can have a really cute St. Patrick's Day pic:
Shamrock Garland
Green, Shamrock Glasses
Green, Leprechaun Hat
 This next idea was thought up by
one of the Fab 5 at my school.
Modern Martha (as in Stewart)
came up with this great idea!
She just took a paper plate, blue paper,
green playdough, a popsicle stick,
and a flag of Ireland to have her
students make the island
representing Ireland.
I have done it three years in a row,
and it's always a big hit!
I don't even know where the water and flag
printables are on my computer....
so I remade them really fast for all of us to use.

Modern Martha started her
own furniture store last year with her husband...
check it out!

 Just click on the house symbol!
If you're looking for fabulous,
modern furniture look no further!
Help support a Kindergarten teacher and order
your modern look from her!
Get Busy Living
You go Martha!
Do you deliver to Illinois?

No?  OK, I'll come to Florida to pick it up!

 Modern Martha:
Yes, we do!
We deliver nationwide....
So click on our icon and take
a look around!

She's also working on some party ideas for ETSY
so keep an eye out for her!
There's a reason I call her Modern Martha...
she is unbelievably amazing!
Irish Island and Flag Activity

Wanting to make something
for your own classroom with
the Irish flag?
Well here's another freebie  (for now) for you!
A Clip Art freebie from my
Queen Chaos Designs:
Irish Flag Clip Art
From Queen Chaos Designs

Feel like labeling a leprechaun?
Here's one you might like!

Leprechaun Labels on TPT

My daughter's Pre-School teacher
shared the idea of a Leprechaun Snack Mix.
I made a poem for it a few years ago
and posted it for free on TPT....
but I took it off of there
since I'm not sure who to credit for the idea.
It seems like it's all over the web,
I just don't know who originally
came up with the idea.
I'm keeping the poem here instead
of on TPT just in case other teachers want to use it.
It's a single poem with different
variations....I've learned that one size
doesn't fit all, so I tried to come up
with different options for you!
(Remember I only have this in a pdf
format, so take it or leave it...

I can't change anything on it.)
Leprechaun Snack Mix Poem
 My daughter's teacher said that she used
Lucky Charms, Pops Cereal, and M&M's
(or Skittles would work as well).
Very junky monkey so be careful of a sugar hype!
Just a little will do! 

I just made some new
guided reading materials
for St. Patrick's Day!
These can be found on
Teachers Pay Teachers.
AND....just so you know...
I'm definitely using these this
week with my class!
Little Leprechaun Comprehension Passages
For Guided Reading: 3 Levels

  AND if you like AttaGirl's
and Queen Chaos' leprechaun hats
here is a free (for now) clip art download
just for you!
Leprechaun Hat Clip Art
From Queen Chaos Designs

--Slán go fóill--
"Good-bye for now!"
I really hope my translator
was working correctly,
and I'm not saying something
that I didn't mean to say!
  Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Thanks Regina for all of your
You are all that and a bag of chips!
I mean, 

The luck of the Irish be with ya
me bloggin' buddy!

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