BP oil spill

Posted On June 8, 2010

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Great so if I spill, I am responsible????

What is wrong with this picture???


The BIG BM–the Benchmark of course!

Posted On June 6, 2010

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Drum roll please!  I’m about to make a very big announcement!  This year I have taught harder than I have the first six years of teaching–sorry to all my old first grade students.  It is just the nature of 3rd grade.

Here we all are in the beginning of 3rd grade.  We were at a funeral.  The funeral of excuses.  I wrote down “I will not use never teaching 3rd grade as an excuse.”

I am so proud of the kids and all their hard work.  They worked so hard all year, but they worked especially hard during the Benchmark Test!  The results came in last week.  As a school we did fantastic!  There were huge gains between how the kids did on the SAT 10 test last year and how they did on the Benchmark this year.

These are the results within my own room:

In Reading:

  • 87% proficient or advanced with 13 advanced, 6 proficient and 3 basic.

  • HOLY MOLY!!!!

  • As a school we scored 83% proficient or advanced.  That is seriously amazing!

In Math:

  • 100% proficient or advanced with 19 BEING ADVANCED.


  • As a school we scored 93% proficient or advanced.  Go third grade teachers–you taught your hearts out this year and it shows!

Kids are tested so much these days that they can almost become immune to the whole process.  I am so thankful that the kids were so serious about doing well on the test.

They totally rocked it!

Remember when we would only have one big test a year and it would only last a couple of days?


Posted On June 6, 2010

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Well, my Nana passed away on Wednesday morning about 11am.  In my heart I think she willed and wanted to be in Heaven.  I know that she had and is currently having a great relationship with Christ.  When I talked to her on the phone she always talked about how she wanted everyone she knew to have that relationship with Him.  She often prayed for people she knew that were far away from God that they would understand the loving kindness of her Savior.

One of the things that made the funeral a little easier was ALL of Nana’s great grandkids piling around her casket or just calling her name out (or any sound) during the funeral.  Lauren, Jessica’s baby,–who lived beside Nana for a few months–would sit in people’s lap and just point and say “Nana, Nana, Nana”.  The great grandbabies might have been like a form of escape for me, but it helped nonetheless.

Biography video

Posted On May 27, 2010

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A couple of weeks ago, Hunter came into my classroom and video taped my children.  The kids read a biography book about someone from history.  Then they dressed up like that person and gave information about that character.  All the students did such a great job.  I’ll post that on here sometime next week.  I have invited all my 3rd grade parents into the class tomorrow for the preview.  Let me tell you, I’ve got some really good actors and actresses.  I just hope they remember this old teacher when they are rich and famous. 

Hunter’s little sister graduates tomorrow night from High School.  Next year, she will be attending ASU.  All the West siblings in one town again–at least until Dustin leaves.  It should be really fun.  I am proud of all Emily has accomplished! 

During the week of Benchmark, Hunter bought me a gift certificate for working so hard throughout the year teaching my kids.  I am finally cashing that guy in today in just a few minutes.  Relaxation here I come.

haircut day

Posted On May 25, 2010

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Just if you are curious, I am one happy woman today because it’s haircut day.  This is my last full week of school, and the week has the potential to be crazy.  However, I am trying to keep my kids calm by doing fun things together.  But they are soooo ready for school to be over that the last week of school is often like the last hour of a long car ride. 

We looked like this happy family in August but not anymore!  HA.  Now, we are my kids say things like “she’s looking at me”!  “I don’t want to be her friend anymore.”


It has been a really good year.  I’ll let you know how the haircut goes.

Anything exciting going on with you guys?

My Favorite Book

Posted On May 19, 2010

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My favorite children’s book:

As a child my favorite book was “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”.  My mom would pile us into a bed, and read that book aloud to us.  I loved the rag tag team of Herdmans.

The Herdmans were absolutely and without question the worst kids “in the entire history of the world.” They were guilty of evey unmentionable childhood crime and have thought of more than a few original ones. When they took over the church Christmas pageant (although none of them has ever attended church, much less heard the Christmas story before), the first Christmas became real to me as a child, and now when I read it as an adult I love how everyone at the church understood Christmas just a little bit better because of the Herdmans.

My mom even recorded herself reading this book.  The tape was probably thread bare.

This is my new favorite Children’s book:

As a teacher, I love to read this book to kids.  I love to see their joy as they follow the storyline.  I read it alone at my house in about an hour and sat crying over the last chapter. The tears were happy tears, though, and the ending very satisfying.  The story tells about the character of Edward Tulane, a vain china rabbit who is loved by his owner but feels no love in return.  He is thrown off a boat and out of his pampered life and into a path of a series of fascinating people, each one more lovely than the last. At the end of the book, we see such heartbreak–and even in all the heartbreak there is so much joy because Edward starts to love all the people around him.  Oh MY, I just can’t say enough how much I love this book.  I have read it aloud to 1st graders and 3rd graders!

This year I read my 3rd graders a new book to me, but I feel in love with it.

I just love all the vivid language in this book.  If you have a middle school child, let them read it and they will fall in love with the book and it’s imagery!

What is your favorite book?

The Oil Spill

Posted On May 18, 2010

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If it is new news, I know it–and this is why.  I have programmed every news website into my iPhone, and I am on constant alert as to what is going on in the world.  I am not kidding, Hunter says I have a real problem disconnecting, but I just feel like I have to know what is going on in the world.

So, four weeks ago I was devastated to find out about the oil spill.  I have not felt like it is getting the publicity it deserves.  So I just wanted to share a few pictures with you.

There is more information found here:


Did you realize it was this bad?


Posted On May 18, 2010

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This is my cutie husband.  He loves music.  I have really never seen anything like it–except maybe my sister Kimmy.  It is who he is, and He worships God through music.  He spends time finding new artists and songs to listen to play during worship.  He even writes songs.  I am pretty sure we have over 3 or 4,000 songs from iTunes.

I have an iPhone, but have really never used the iPod part of the phone.  It’s just not who I am.   I am more like these American Idol Contestants.

However, on Saturday I was driving to see my grandmothers and I just plugged my iPhone into this cord in my car (I rarely use it, so I don’t even know the name) and I suddenly had a new appreciation for music.  I can’t name one song I sang or listened  to, but it was a playlist that Hunter had made for me–and it was fabulous.  I felt a little like —BAH—.  This is why I am so not musical.  I am trying to make a joke about a girl Hunter has a music crush on—and I can’t even think of the girls name.  I would look on our iTunes account for the girl–but I don’t even know how to do that!

All I am saying is I loved the music.  I know I am about 10 years behind on this whole iPod thing, but I can see why everyone loves it!  🙂

What’s your favorite song on your iPod?

I’ll have to ask Hunter the name of my favorite.  I can’t remember!  HA!

His love never runs out

Posted On May 10, 2010

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This is from Psalm 107.  When you get a chance read it.  You can read it online at http://www.biblegateway.com.  I’ve been using that the past couple of days when I’ve been in Hot Springs.  I am not perfect at living these verses out in my life.  I am working through so much right now with my relationship with God.  I desire freedom and security in Christ.  So, I am just reading through the bible and through a ton of books trying to find guidance.  I just thought I’d share what God is teaching me through this verse.

PSALM 107:1-4

Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out.

All of you set free by God, tell the world!

Tell how he freed you from oppression,

Then rounded you up from all over the place,

from the four winds, from the seven seas.

I love the part of the verse that says “all of you that have been set free by God, go tell the world”.  I am so glad that I am a daughter to a God that sets people free from oppression, and I am so glad that He cares to do that over and over again for people like myself that get so easily entangled in my own self pity that I run to the life of oppression.

Human trafficking is something that just breaks my heart, especially when I know the plans that God has for all people.  It makes me so upset that Satan perverted God’s perfect plan for humanity.

When you get some time visit this site:


God desires us to live a life without oppression, guilt or shame.  When we work towards living a life of freedom, God is so faithful to give us the promise of His faithfulness.

How has He been faithful to you?

Blogging on the road

Posted On May 10, 2010

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I am not exactly right on Lake Hamilton like on this picture, but I am in Hot Springs tonight.  Thank you Nettleton Public Schools for this little get away after my graduation on Saturday!  🙂 I am actually working I promise!    We piloted an assessment program this year that takes our frameworks that we teach throughout the year, and intermittently tests the kids to see if they are low in any area.  I am learning about the program right now here in Hot Springs.

So throughout the next year, my kids will be doing this six times a year for math, and 4 times a year for reading/writing.

I am a nerd about data so I love the new assessment program because it is all online and I can instantly see how each child did on the assessment.  I also love the assessments because they are formatted just like the Benchmark Exams, and I feel like the more exposure kids can get to the Benchmark format–the better!

So, anyway I am pretty excited!  Speaking of data–I got an A in STATISTICS!  YEAH!

How did you feel about taking tests in elementary school or how do your kids feel about them?

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