Sunday, December 26, 2010

And The Answers Are...

I know I know.... I promised answers way sooner... but I got overwhelmed and busy with grades ect. The last week of school....

And the answers are:
Silly Band One: Glow in the dark Princess Crown (so I can find it when the lights are off)
Silly Band Two: Purple glittery telephone
Silly Band Three: Glow in the dark peep toed high heal shoe (again so I can find it in the dark)
Silly Band Four: Rhino
Silly Band Five: Here is how the conversation went with the giver when she placed it in my hand...

Me: What is this?
Giver: Its a silly ring!!!
M: Oh, I see that, but what is it supposed to be? ( In my head I was thinking of the most inappropriate object it could have been.) The Eiffel Tower?
G: It's a guitar!!!
M: Of course it is. I see it now.

The rest of the day I showed it to my co-workers who also had the same thoughts as me.
Oh the joys of teaching Young Humans.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I had mentioned one day in class that I have never been given any silly bands. So of course the sweet girls in my class decided that they need to change this and the gave my the following silly bands and silly ring.
Can you guess what they are? Leave your guesses in the comment section.

Silly Band One:

Silly Band Two:

Silly Band three:

Silly Band Four:

And Finally:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kids Say...

We have all hear the saying "Kids say the darnest things" and as a teacher we hear them often. I have medention a few in previous blogs. read #3

Last week I hit the mother load with one particular student. At the time these comments were not funny, but as I look back at them I have no other chose but to laugh.

On Tuesday, he had returned to my room from a visit to the office. I had my teaching partner's class in my room for Science and he was instructed to get his Social Studies materials and go to my partner's room for Social Studies. As he was running and skipping through my room, he begin to yell at the students. "Shut Up!", "Stop Looking at Me!", and then the unforgettable "BREAK Yo'SELF Fool!" He repeated this over and over and over. I responded with, "You are not Mr. T, please stop yelling and calling people fools." Did not help. This behavior continued in my partner's class where three teachers had to figure out a way to make it stop. One teacher would get my student settled, then walk over to another student only to hear ,"Break yo'self fool!" the moment she put her attention on anther student. After further investigation we discovered that this lovely phrase is from the movie Friday. Joy, a 10 year old is watching Friday.

Wednesday he turned The follow assignment:
4. What lesson did the Judge want Manuel to learn?
"Don't drink the juice is you don't know the flavor."

While very wise words to live by, this statement has nothing to do with the story he read. Again after further investigation, we found that this phrase is from the movie Juice, which has been playing repeatedly on Encore lately. Again, the joy I feel toward cinema is overwhelming.

And lastly, my personal favorite:
Thursday on his way to car riders he approached a staff member and ask the following question:
"Yo, Tiffany, Where my ride at?"

As you know calling a teacher by their first name is not our most favorite way to be greeted, and being asked question that end in prepositions is aggravating. Oh the respect children have for adults.

I hope you enjoy this entry of my blog, yo!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Un Expected Vacation

For those of you who don't know... my last blog post was the last day I had been at school until this week. I fell and broke my right ankle (had 2 screws put in), sprained my left ankle, fractured my right foot, and sprained my right thumb.

How did I do this, you may ask... I jumped down the choir risers at church and my ankles gave out from under me. OOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!! It hurt.

I was out of school for 7 weeks and now I am working. I am using an electric wheel chair that the students call the E.W. or the ewwwwwwwwwww. It has been a rough go this week: Teaching with no lesson plans, Bumping into furniture, and Running on empty by noon!!! I am sure this will bring on some very interesting stories that I will share as we go.

I have a great post upcoming on silly bands, this is a can't miss post. 'Till we meet again!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Life Lessons from a Fifth Grade Boy

Theme: This is the topic that we have be focusing on during reading the past couple days.
What is the moral of the story?
What does this story teach us?
What is the life lesson the story tells us?

Today I read the story Sleeping Ugly. Think princess, fairy, evil sleeping spell, and a prince's kiss as the wake up call. Your typical fairy tale with a fun twist. Well after I read the story the students were supposed to respond in their RRJ (reading response journal) about what the theme of the story could be.

Here are a few examples:
"It's what is on the inside that counts."
"Don't judge a book by its cover."

But my personal favorite...
"Don't marry someone, if you don't know their name."

While this is a very true and wise statement, I don't think this was a main and hard core theme of the story. But yet, I can some how see his wisdom through the comment. Very wise.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Playground Bliss

When I was a young tot my favorite thing to play on was the see-saw (do you remember those!?!) and the swings. I remember having to always be the second person to get on the see-saw because I was a quite chunky child and no one could push it down themselves to get me up to get on... so I had to always get on second and push the first child up into the air and then get on...

But I also LOVED the swings. I would run to the swings and jump on them (stomach down) and pretend I was flying like superman. My sister and I used to chant " Wakka Wakka Wakka Fozzie Bear" when we would swing. Why? I have no idea what so ever...

Today my students went out to recess later then the rest of the 5th graders and they had the playground all to themselves. My kids know I LOVE the swings so they saved me one and let me swing. YAY!!!

Today, as I swung and watched my children, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of happiness and peace. I loved watching my kids play with each other. They played tag and swung with me. Some stood around a chatted. Then toward the end of recess my class play cheese tag (will explain in an upcoming blog), boys vs. girls. It was so fun watching them. I loved seeing how they were getting along. I have told them since the beginning of the year that we, all 25 (including the teachers), are a family.

Today we felt like a family. I am so blessed to have this class in my life.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

This Year: Last Year

I had two visitors in my room today. One was there to talk to me about reading workshop and the other was the guidance counselor. They both made mention as to how different my class this year is from my class last year.

Now don't get me wrong when I say this, but this class I have this year is just not like my kids from last year.

In true teacher style I would love to do a Venn Diagram to show you... but I am not sure how to get one in my blog, so I will just list the differences (the major ones at least)

Key: this year : last year

sweet: fun
quiet: voictrous
subdue: energetic
hard working: hard playing
friendly: social
loving: nurturing
creative: creators

As I said to the counselor today, my class last year fit MY personality. I guess God wants these current students to have me so I can break them from their shells. Here's to trying!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I was in the classroom on Monday when all of a sudden this horrific smell wafted my way. I am fairly certain that one of my boys let an SBD (silent by EXTREMELY deadly) poot!!! As the aroma filled my nostrils... I began to slowly walk away from the grotesque smell. For fear of passing out from disgust.
I joys of 10 year old boys.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Mania

Today was an interesting day to say the very least.

I was out on Friday and came back to a note that was not on the good side. So the day started with me having to talk to a handful of children about their behavior.
Then it happened. I knew it would. In 4 years, I have not had it happen to me until today... One of the other 5th grade teachers walked in on me while I was using the restroom. Stupid woman that I am, I didn't lock the door. Well... I'm just glad that she did not see anything because I screamed and with cat like reflexes grabbed for the door as it was being opened. She did tell me at the end of the day that it made her laugh all day long when she thought about it. Hey at least I'm good for something... entertainment. Wonder what my act will be tomorrow... I'm looking for ideas.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Cutie Copy Cat

They say the best form of flattery is to be copied. Well after last week I totally agree.

Last Thursday, at open house, one of my students from last year stopped by for a visit. Her little sister is going to be in kindergarten and big sis had to jump at the chance to come by and see me. When the three girls (mom included) stopped by my room, we chatted and hugged and reminisced. As they were getting ready to leave, I noticed that little kindergarten cutie had a tiger tail tucked into her pants. She had worn it because she had seen me wear one at collegiate field day when my class was Clemson. Personally, I thought it was the cutest and most flattering thing I have seen. Kids can make you feel so special.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day

Today we established our 4 classroom rules... What they are I have no idea because we wrote them at 9 am.
(After day 2 I know #3 is support and listen to eachother. I had to remind them to follow rule 3 today. One is about respecting people, their space and materials. There is one about working hard and trying your best on assignments. I am pretty sure the 4th one is follow directions. I added a 5th that says learn and have fun. Hey not bad. I guess once I got going they flooded my head.)

Then we spent almost 2 hours putting together binders... With 10 year olds, it takes 2 hours.
(On day 2 we organized our other supplies and got text books. OOOOOOOOOOO fun).

On the first day, I had a young lady who would not stop talking. I redirected her several and I mean SEVERAL times. Today I placed a note on her desk asking her to focus on controlling her talking and being nicer to the people at her group, because (did I mention) she bosses all the boys around.

Hey there is power in a Post-It!!! she was good today... I'm going to leave more Post-It "notes" for my students.

Tune in for more 5th grade fun.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

To Do is No More

I have an announcement.... I am officially ready for the first week of school!!!

I completed all tasks on my To Do list, so the kids are more then welcome to join me on Monday. I have included some pictures so you can come on in and join us.

This is a picture from the doorway into my classroom.

This is a view from the front of the room to the back.

I spend a lot of time in here and so do my children so I try to make it as HAPPY as possible.
I'm sure I will have lots to say Monday after my first day. Until then...

Friday, August 6, 2010

To Do:

List of things left do to before Monday...

1. Write lesson plans: Now this is critical since as a teacher I need them in order to do y job and be prepared for the students each day.

2. Prepare Teacher Incentive: I have decided that after last year my Big Bird needs a few accessories so he can travel to the different teacher when needed. (This is a CRITICAL task, let me tell you)

3: Clean My desk: You can not see it... well I couldn't see it anyway when I left work today because there were no lights on in the building.

4: Create Power Point: This will include morning directions for the students when the walk into the classroom. I will most likely spend my time doing this and they will not read it and ask me what they are supposed to do... GO FIGURE!!!

Mix all this together and what do you get? Me going to work tomorrow on a Saturday to finish. Good thing I didn't have plans until tomorrow night... It's all for the children, It's all for the children, It's all for the children. And for the HUGE pay check I get. HEHE.

Friday, July 9, 2010

2010 Top 10

I was walking last night around my Aunt's neighborhood in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and decided that I need to create a summer posting. The night was clear and the sky was blue and despite the 100 degree temperatures during the day, the night was crisp and cool. Walking is the way I deal with everything. It clears my head, helps me process events, and allows me to pray. Last night was was especially important for me because my grandmother's beset friend Barbara passed yesterday afternoon. During my walk last night I was thinking and praying. In the midst of my thoughts, I began to think about my kids from this passed year and all the wonderful moments we had together. I decided to create a top 10 list of the best and most memorable moments from the 2009 - 2010 school year.
10. One of my girls was a bit strange and LOVES cheese and pie and would talk about it consistently. It became her thing and she would ALWAYS include the items in stories and team names.

9. Tech Decks: these are little skate boards that the kids would use with their fingers. I think by the end of the year I had about 10 or so in my May box. OH Joy!!! Along with the magic meatball.

8. In the 5th grade the kids begin to discover members of the opposite sex and they begin "going out" with one another. It always cracks me up because I ALWAYS know who likes who and who is going out with whom and when the breaks up happen. The kids are always amazed at how much I pay attention to them.

7. I had one boy who had been in Love with a young lady since the 3rd grade and would put her name on EVERYTHING!!! Upon looking in his desk one morning he raised his hand to tell me that someone had written her name on his ruler. I asked him if he wanted me to investigate and find out who had done it. He pondered the idea for a good long minute and then replied, "Nah I probably would have done it myself eventually." At this comment I burst into laughter.

6. During the end of the year I planned several projects for the kids to work on while I cleaned and finished grades. One of the last days of school, I put on music while that were working and the electric slide popped on... About half of my class jumped up and we broke out into dance. There is nothing like busting out the electric slide in the middle of class.

5. I had a boy who was extremely near and dear to my heart. I developed a special bond with him because he needed to know that he could trust me. We had our own special dance that we would break out into in the hallway. I'm sure you all have seen it and or do it yourself... you know the head wave with the snap (you know to the right and to the left).

4. Justin Beber is extremely popular with my age group of students, so every time I heard them mention his name I would break out into song and sing Baby and one of my boys would always join and help me out with the "OOOOOOO Baby" part. Pretty fabulous.

3. "Hey Miss Finnegan, how do you make Lady Gaga mad? Poke-her-face!!!"

2. This memory is not of the happy variety. In January, my boyfriend broke up with me. I tired very hard to push through the pain and be as normal as possible. On my first day back at work, I looked tired and sad. The children knew something was seriously wrong. Several of the children asked me why I was sad, and then I eventually shared with them what had happened. I have never felt so much love from a group of children in my life. I now know exactly why those 25 blessings were placed in my room. If any other group of children had been with me during the months of heart ache and sadness, I'm not sure we would have made it through. Those kids were the reason why I could got up each day. They were the reason why I kept on. Now that I'm on the other side of the situation, I can see why everything happened and the reasons for it all happening.

1. The most memorable moment of the year was field day. I blogged about it when it happened, but the thought of my students in purple and orange cheering one another on, just brings a smile to my face. I also get a giggle when I think of one of my boys carrying around the boom box on his shoulder like they did back in the 80's. Super Cute!!! He felt so special being in charge of the music.

This year was FABULOUS and the first day of school is next Monday 8-9-10, so look for new post about my 2010 -2011 crew. I hope they are just as fun.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

He Passed

I wanted to follow up on a post I wrote on May 3rd.

My student who had to retake the state writing assessment passed. Not only did he pass, but he scored very high. This just goes to show that good stories can be slapped on paper with out being edited or revised. Imagine if he had done those steps. He made have exceeded the expectation.

All of my students passed their state assessments. So this year was a complete success.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Case of the Fallen Monitor

As promised yesterday I will share the story about the computer monitor...

Friday, I took my students to the computer lab. We have been doing this each and every Friday since school began. They entered the lab just like they have for 36 weeks, but this time tragedy stuck the room. I heard a gasp and turned to see on of the computer monitors hanging from the wires off the edge of the table. So miss calm and cool walked over to investigate. The kids told me what happened...and it sounded like it was just an accident. I have learned this year that my kids do actually tell me the truth about what happens. So, I believed that the table was bumped and the monitor was unstable and just fell. It is totally possible.

I reported the accident to the lady in charge of the computers and she said it was ok and that she would fix it. Well my AP saw her carrying the monitor out of the lab and questioned her. Therefore, emailing me about the children. He called them into his office and freaked them out. Personally, I don't think that is fair... to freak out a child but no one asked me.

As it stands, the kids are not in trouble, I stood up for them and told my AP that it was an accident and there was no horseplay involved... but it was funny when I told the boys they had to pay for it... the told them I was kidding!!! I am so evil sometimes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Case of the Missing Sleeves

It never fails... if you leave a child to their own devices, something out of the ordinary will occur. I was working the room (going around and checking work) when I look up and shake my head. One of my girls is cutting the sleeves off of one of my boy's shirt.

How do I react?


He then looks at me and tells me that she will not care, and part of my believes him. So I take the scissors and finish the work. He would have look silly with one sleeve missing and the other with holes in it. So I finished the job...

Tune in tomorrow for the case of the fallen computer monitor.

You never what they will do.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I have been thinking all day about what to write about. Nothing crazy or outrageous happened today. This kids worked hard and were well behaved... The one thing I can say is that as the end of this year draws to a close, my heart gets more and more sad. This group of kids has been my favorite of all 4 years. My first class was special because they were, the first. There have been amazing children that will have a special place in my heart, but as far as the whole class, this one takes the cake.

My kids make going to work a joy. They challenge me and push my every day. They love me and I of course love them. They have been wonderful and caring. I have been so blessed to have been able to teach them. I am sure these kids will do great things in the future and I can not wait to see who they become.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Today we took our annual field trip to the middle school. Each year we take the 5th graders to see the middle school and give them a taste of what next year will be like. The 5th graders are always terrified when they go. They have all heard all these horror stories about the middle school that they will attend. It is not a bad school or any different then any other middle school, they just think it is.

As much fun as it is to watch the 5th graders tremble in fear of middle school, this is not my favorite part of the day. I LOVE to see all my former students who now attend middle school. This year was especially special because my first class is now in the 8th grade, so I knew many of the students I saw. Everywhere I turned I was greeted with "HEY MISS FINNEGAN" and waves of delight. It was really fun to see all their happy faces. The best part was seeing my favorite 7th grader, who pretended not to know me and getting tackled by one of my student's from last year.

I tell you what... I felt like a SUPERSTAR. Everywhere I went someone was calling my name and waving just like I was a famous movie star. Like I said yesterday, the kids are the reason why I do what I do. Seeing their faces filled with joy at seeing me, made me feel special. Most of all it made everything I do and did all worth while.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Today started with the best speaker ever. The mother of one of our 1st grade teachers, who is also one of the vice superintendent of Gwinnett County Schools, came to speak to the mentors and mentees. She spoke to us about holding fast to our dreams and making sure that we are dream makers and not dream breakers when it comes to our children. She was amazing and I am glad she came to speak to us. She reminded us why we do what we do. This was a much needed refresher with the stress of the end of the year looming and moral being low at the school.

As for the gift... There was a beautiful red rose on my desk this morning. It was from one of my boys. He is a sweet sweet young man and I love that he is in my class. He requires a lot of love and attention because he has a hard time remembering things. He is currently being tested for special education. He was gone most of the day with our Psychologist. My student told him, the psychologist, that I was by far his most favorite teacher. That made my day. It was a reminder of why I do what I do. To touch, teach, and change the lives of children.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


Today is the national day of prayer. The one thing that I believe that needs the most prayer is my job. I am with 25 children for 8 hours a day. I make decisions for them to keep them safe. I make decisions on what and how to teach them. The one decision that I have made that is easy... is to love them. I see some of them more then their parents do. I may also be the only Jesus that they ever see.

So I ask that you pray for teachers. Pray for their discernment. Pray that they get enough rest and relaxation. Pray that God will bless them with the tools they need to be best teachers they can be. Most of all pray that teachers and administrators will make decisions based on what is best for the children. After is all about the children.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Today was the annual 5th grade picnic. WOOO HOO!!! It was a fun day where the kids got to romp and play with their friends. The teachers do very little at the picnic other than supervise.

This event was created so that the children can be with their friends and celebrate the culmination of their 5th grade year. Now of course, the teachers have to get in on the action. I walked between 4 and 5 miles and had the opportunity to shoot my AP with a water gun. I also climbed up a rope structure and had one of my students take a picture of my behind as I was climbing.

So all in all, it was a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I discovered that no matter how many bribes or incentives you wave in front of a child, sometimes they will do whatever they please. Despite the external rewards, my friend that I told you about yesterday wrote 3 sentences!!! 3... just 3. Not 3 paragraphs or pages but sentences. I guess that is better than 3 words or the circle he drew for his benchmark. Oh well there is only so much I can do and then it is all in the hands of the kids. God help me!!!

I guess we will see what happens.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Gift of Love

Today I had the opportunity to give the give of love!!!

One of my boys is having a very difficult time. He is frustrated because he did not pass the 5th grade writing test and has to retake it tomorrow. This boy has a vivid imagination and has wonderful stories to tell, but has no desire to write. He literally walks circles around my room during writing time. He drew a circle today for his writing benchmark. Since he has such a road block when it comes to writing, I had to pull out all of the stops.

His second grade teacher is one of the nicest most loving women I have ever met. She told me that if I EVER needed her to call her. I asked her to come and eat lunch with my special friend and give him some encouragement. He was beaming as soon as he realized that she was there to eat with him. My eyes filled with tears as I was thanking her and saw how happy he was. I hope it is enough to get him to write a beautiful piece tomorrow. I also hope that he realizes how my we both love him and know how great he can do.

This just goes to show that even when a teacher is retired, she still love teach and love children.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Field day the Event

Since I can not upload pictures of the kids... this is a picture of me and my teaching partner. As you can see she was representing UGA Bulldogs. But what you can't see is my cute tiger tail hanging from my jeans. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Well today the kids showed up ready to represent CLEMSON and be TIGERS. They were dressed in their ORANGE and PURPLE. I heard Tiger Rag all day long and cheered my little tigers onto as many victories as possible. I did not let my kids cheat. If they did two Jumping Jacks instead of three I made them go back. But they had amazing attitudes and cheered on the other students and other teams. Sadly, to my dismay, there was no victory in the tug-of-war...not even a placement. Oh well. My kids were amazing and the best part of all... they had a BLAST!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Field Day

Tomorrow is field day!!! I am excited about this year's theme. Each class has chosen a college to be their team. I of course chose CLEMSON!!! At first the kids were not happy about the choose because they did not get to vote. I used my power of authority and told them that some decisions I get to make with out their input... and this was one of those times.

Today the negative attitude took a turn for the better... I taught them C-L-E-M in cadence count and they LOVE that we are Clemson. They also got excited when I made our banner with the big ORANGE tiger paw on it. So I think they forgive me for not including them in the decision making...

Come back tomorrow to see how we did. Truth, i am not sure we will do well, but all I am hoping for is a victory over the VOLS!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


You would think that when you are 10 or 11 life would be simple. Your biggest daily decision is whether you are going to have PB&J or pizza for lunch!!! Over the past few months I have found that my girls have way bigger fish to fry than PB&J and pizza.

Today I was approached by one of my girls during recess and she told me this long story about how she is no longer friends with one of my other girls. I mean seriously!!! They are 10! What is soooooo dramatic that they don't want to be friends? This is good. Apparently, one girl is mad at the other for not watching a particular T.V. show. REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A TV SHOW!!! And then of course they expect me to miraculously fix it. I have no idea what to do for them... I am at a loss. I would love suggestions...


Friday, April 23, 2010

CRCT is Over

All I have for today is praise the Lord that the CRCT is OVER!!! My kids were so over testing that I let them play heads up 7 up!!! They loved it. I remember playing that game and looking at people's shoes so I would know who picked me. I know, sneaky.

I am ready to go back to normal...whatever that may be when you are teaching. Since testing is over...bring on the projects. I am excited to see what the next 3 weeks has in store.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Goose at Recess

Tomorrow is the last day of testing!!! Horay!!!

As pormised yesterday I will share the goose at recess story since nothing sensational happened today at school.

Tuesday, I took the kids out to recess even though it was raining. I knew they needed to be outside since they had been cooped up testing all day, So I decided to risk it. When the kids reached the door one boy informed me that there was a goose on the field. I released the children into the wild and told them to stay away from the goose and off the field (since it was wet). Apparently, I live in the land of opposites and whatever I tell the children they do the opposite of what I say. So of course they ran down the stairs and decided to try and touch the goose. I eventually got them away from the goose and focused on playing, but then the rain happened. As we ran inside one of my boys ran to the goose and scared the poor thing away. Oh well so much for leaving the goose alone...The goose encounter did lead to some really interesting impersonations when we got back inside. There is nothing like looking down the hallway at one of your boys and seeing him pretending to walk and fly like the goose. HA!!! It was pretty interesting and odd.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day One

Over this past weekend my best friend from College suggested that I start a blog about all the crazy things my students do. So here I am blogging for the very first time. As any good writer, I am going to write from the heart and tell the truth. Ok What ever.

Today we had the infamous Mathmatics CRCT. This FREAKED me out. I am worred that they may not do well inspite of my superior teaching skills (ha whatever). As I looked at some of the questions, I realized that I had taught the material (good sign). But here is the kicker... one student using his slash the trash strategy (getting rid of the worng answers) slashed THE CORRECT ANSWER!!! Mental head slap when I saw this and A LOT of yelling in my head. Then a calm came over me and I pictured my principle announcing to the school that all of MY students passes the math CRCT!!! Keep on dreaming girl. No matter how good of a teacher I am, I am just not sure if this is possible. Hey, I teach children and they are SOOOOOO unpredictable. So who knows what will happen.

Well I hope you enjoyed my first post. Let me know what you think. I will tell you about the goose at recess tomorrow!