Saturday, January 26, 2013

Boosterthon Fundraiser

For the past 3 years, our school has participated in the Boosterthon Fun Run to help our PTA raise money for our playground.  What's the Boosterthon Fun Run, you ask?  Well, here's a little "blurb" from their site:

So, basically, it's a 9 day (although, this year, because of MLK Day, ours is only 8) of fun for the kids.  (Yes, I did say "the kids", and at times, you may get an eye twitch or two, but it REALLY is worth it!)

The first day starts out with a HUGE pep rally to get the students excited and to explain the program to new students who have never participated. 

It's about 30 minutes of LOUD craziness (did I mention all the teachers had to go up from and dance?!).  The kiddos get SO excited though, and thus begins our "pep" to last thoughtout the week!

After the initial pep rally, our class gets to see the Boosterthon guys each and every day for about 2 weeks.  They come into our rooms for little "mini lessons" about character, leadership, respect, etc, and also at that time, announce students who received pledges the previous day/night.  Students can get pledges from family members, relatives, family friends, etc.  Pledges can be paid on a "per lap" basis or just a flat donation.  Generally, our kiddos run 30-40 laps in the Fun Run, but I think they put a "cap" on the laps (for donation purposes) at 30.  So, Uncle Bob can say he'll pay little Jenny $1 per lap.  Jenny can enter this pledge online, and she then receives a small little prize at certain steps along the way.  Then, after the Fun Run, Uncle Bob will pay the total amount of $1 x how many laps Jenny ran (up to $30).  Or, Uncle Bob could just donate a flat rate of $10, or whatever...

WHEW!  Did I explain it all clear as mud?!   :)    Let me just say, I'm not affiliated nor do I work for the Boosterthon people, so trying to explain it got me a little tongue tied! is really fun and the school really loves it.  The first year, we raised enough for a whole new set of playground equipment.  Now, we're on to raising money for a shade structure, because our poor little playground has about 2.5 tiny trees on the whole thing! 

On the day of the actual run, we all get to go outside during the set time (per grade level) and run on a set up track that the Boosterthon people bring.  There's a live DJ and the Boosterthon guys are there too.  Very exciting for the kids, who are surrounded by female teachers all day!  :)

So right now, we're in our first week of our Boosterthon.  Not only does the Boosterthon bring excitement to our classroom during the mini-lessons this year, but the excitement is also there throughout all our days so far!  (Last year, I don't quite remember my class being sooo caught up throughout the day, but hey, I could be wrong!)  My class even wants to do our shared writing about the Boosterthon:

Good thing our focus this month is on expository texts!  This made the perfect "All About..." topic!

Donate to our class here!
Do you like our team name: The Chocolate Chippo Hilarious Hippos?  :)  Made with love by my comical class this year! 

Anyways, my kiddos have been working so hard to get pledges, and this year, Boosterthon has started a new thing where teachers can get pledges, too!  How neat is that?  So of course, I couldn't resist the urge to put it here, on my blog.  I'd LOVE any help I could get for my dear, sweet, chocolate chippo hippos :)

Want to donate even a flat $5?  (Notice how I'm not asking for any "per lap" donations??  Yeah, I'm not really much of a runner, so poor Ms. Hubbard is going to be doing a LOT of walking around the track :)   yes...a LOT of walking...)  Click here to go to my personal Fun Run page.  Any donations go straight to my class total, so they can be in the running for school wide prizes, like recess with the Boosterthon guys, Lunch Bunch, extra recess, etc.

Thanks for making it all the way through this super long post, and thanks for any donations you're willing to give! 

Oh, and if you haven't really learned enough, or want to know more about bringing this awesome fundraiser to your school, you can visit their own site at

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What's On Your School Supply List?

Although Monday was a holiday for many, it was an inservice day for our district.  We spent the day planning for upcoming weeks, learning new views on instruction, and even began talking about next year.

YES, you heard me right...NEXT year.  Can you believe it?  It's only January, however, our district is opening it's 17th and final elementary school next year for the 2013-2014 school year.  So naturally, our principal needs to know our thoughts and desires, if we're planning on staying, retiring, transferring, etc.

On top of that, we were asked to start looking at our school supply list for the upcoming year!  This is the list that goes to all parents of items that their child needs to bring on or before the first week of school.  Many families even buy the pre-made "wrap packs" that already have all our requested supplies inside.

So, that leads me to my question:  what's on YOUR school supply list?

We never change ours up much from year to year, as our state (or district...) mandated budget is pretty consistant.  We can only ask for supplies up to a certain dollar amount.  The one change we made for next year though, was our pencils.  Sound funny?  I know!  BUT, this year, we were really short changed with the generic pencils we received!  They break so easily, and the mechanical pencil sharpener loves to eat them...not sharpen them.  :-/

Goodbye generic pencils, and hello to my FAVORITE Ticonderoga pencils!  Yes, I'm a HUGE dork that actually has a favorite pencil type and brand!  :)  They just write so smoothly and sharpen SO well, how can you NOT love them!  AND, according to their site,   Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Black-Core #2 Pencils(13806) are "the world's best pencil"!  (no, I'm not linked or affiliated to Ticonderoga in any way, just a nerdy, pencil loving teacher...)

Back to the question of the day, though...Give me your thoughts and ideas.  I'd love to hear what's on your supply list?  What do you wish you had that you don't normally ask for?  What do you ask for that you don't use?  Leave me a comment below!  I'm dying to know!  :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Aye aye aye...It's the MIDDLE of the year?!? {Read for a FREEBIE!!} it's blowing my mind that it's already the middle of the year.  I'm not even kidding when I say this year has literally gone by in warp speed!!!  It's so hard to believe that I've been SO terribly busy this year, I could probably count the number of bloggy posts I've written!

AND, it's hard to belive we're 5 month in and gearing up for "middle of the year" testing...goodness...where has this year gone?  (Do I sound like an old lady?)  :)

So I know many of you all out there are in states with Common Core.  I mean, let's face it, besides the great state of Texas, and a few others, Common Core is the rule of thumb (*jealous glances*...).  Here in Texas, though, our curriculum is still based on the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills).  Starting in 3rd grade, our kiddos are tested on those TEKS.

Since I teach 2nd grade, though, we have no official, fancy, dancy state testing.  Instead, we individually test our kiddos 3 times a year (beginning, middle, and end) with a reading inventory (TPRI) and a math test (AMI). 

During the TPRI, my dear sweet class gets to patiently and independently work and learn while I give the looong individualized reading inventory to each of my 20 students.  It's totally like this:

:)  Yes, I needed to add some RG in to put a smile on everyone's face (mainly my own!)  :)

ANYWAYS...back to the point of the story...
So this time, I created a little behavior "bingo" for my class.  Instead of "BINGO", though, I substituted the letters "QUIET"....(yes, I'm so creative...I know).

I let  my students come up with their own rewards for each letter.  We had a such a fun, creative time trying to come up with prizes that matched each letter.  I gave each of my students a notecard and they had about 10 minutes to think of words or phrases for each of the "QUIET".

Then, I compiled them, picked the ones that worked, and we began!

The pile of idea notecards! 

Since they have to be so super quiet and independent during the testing, after each successful test, we draw a square.  Just like regular BINGO, once a column is full, we earn that prize.  :)

So, what do you think?  It worked well for me, and actually, it worked SO well that I'm going to pull it back out during our state standardized testing days for the upper grades.  Even though we don't have to test, we still have to be so quiet and respectful!  It'll be a great incentive, and I pretty much love it so much that I want to share with YOU!  Want a free copy?  Simply click below before Friday, January 25 and enjoy.  :)

Glad to be back and blogging.  See you soon!