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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Let There Be Cake

It was Friday morning after a REALLY long 5 day week. Most of them are. I was having a conversation with one of my particularly challenging students. She is from a PBIS classroom, which means she has some rather significant issues with controlling her behavior. On this Friday morning, things were going well. We were having a conversation about her Life Book (journal). She had written about going to see her biological family, and about a cousin's birthday party she would be attending. She seemed so happy and excited, that I wanted to keep the conversation going. I asked her if she thought there would be cake at the birthday party. She looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, "Mrs. Butler, there's ALWAYS cake!"
I couldn't stop thinking about her words all day. At first, they just cracked me up--the eye-rolling, the OBVIOUSNESS of my ridiculous question. But, like most things that stick with me for the long haul, I knew there was a lesson here for me to learn. So tonight as I was getting some laundry done, it dawned on me: as a teacher, as HER teacher, I AM THE CAKE! Now, I'm not saying these words in the same way that I'd say I AM THE BOMB! (commonly after I've completed said laundry). This was different. This child and all of the others sitting in our classrooms need to know that there will ALWAYS be cake. They need stability, and they need US to be THAT for THEM.
Now this in and of itself isn't that much of a revelation. Except when you think of how crazy some of their lives are. As my friend Jess says, they are as screwed up as a soup sandwich, some of them. So my steadfastness matters--a lot. When I feel like I'm losing it--and it happens--I'll be thinking to myself, I am the cake. And also? I might be whistling Happy Birthday.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and BE THE CAKE!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Coffee, anyone?

While pouring (more) coffee into my cup this morning :
Student: Oh my GOD, Mrs. Butler! Are you having MORE COFFEE???!?
ME: Ummmm....yes.
Student: But you're already SO SHORT already!!

They swear I'm shrinking.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday, You Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

Student: (At dismissal...Monday) Mrs. Butler? What are those white and silver shiny parts in your hair on top? Is that gray hair, or glitter?
Me: Glitter. Most definitely it is glitter.

ALWAYS choose glitter. Happy Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vacation Time

During writing time:
Student: (writing about favorite vacation spot) I love to go to the beach! Except this last time? I got sand EVERYWHERE!  Do you know what I mean, Mrs. Butler?
Me: Ummm, yep, pretty sure I do.
Student: I got sand all up in my bathing suit where sand SHOULD NOT GO, and then I had to go to the doctor because I got a BEAST INFECTION.
Me: Yikes. Those are ROUGH.

Wear shorts, my friends. Wear shorts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting to Know You...

As I went through the Reading Interest Surveys from my third graders, I felt that I REALLY got to know some of them. REALLY understand where they are coming from. Let me show you what I mean.

This one? Such. A. Ham 

This one has 96 books (roughly), and has an adorable favorite. 

This one, although has 500,000 to choose from, has no faves. May be hard to please.
This one may be a bit confused about, well, time. And days. And weeks. And summer.
I'm so thankful this one has no interest in reading parenting books. At age 8.
And these 2? Have completely ruined my Amazon book order. Sigh. Back to the drawing board. Also, looking up pood stic's. Not sure what genre they might fall into.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's Better to Look Good...

Me: This year, all of the teachers get to go to visit other classrooms to see what other teachers and students are doing, and what they are working on. I'm super excited, because a teacher is going to come in to our room to visit in a little bit! When she gets here, just let her watch, don't run up to her, because she is here to see what we're doing.
Student: So you're going to visit other classrooms too?
Me: Yes! I'll get other ideas from other classrooms that we can use here in our classroom!
Student: Maybe you can get some other ideas too, like some fashion ideas!
Me: .....

Monday, June 8, 2015

New TpT Stuff!

I am hoping to create some new choice boards that I can use at the beginning of the school year! We use the Treasures series by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. My plan is to have lots of choice boards ready to go for August! Here's my newest addition,  check it out, and don't forget to grab my freebies!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pinterest and Summer

Loving having some much-needed rest and crafting time! This is what I made today.I'm hanging it somewhere in my classroom. My Fitbit didn't get much of a workout today, but I'll try to make up for it tomorrow! I paid just under $9 for a board (1/8 inch thick plywood, I think) at Home Depot. I used it to make the chalkboard in my coffee bar, and had a bunch left over. I'm on the lookout for my next Pinteresting project!

Here's the finished coffee bar!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Student (doubling over, much drama): Oh! Mrs. Butler! I'm so CONSUMMATED!
Me: Hmmm. Maybe you should...
Student: I CAN'T POOP!!
Me: ...drink some water. And thank you for sharing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We Appreciate You! Really!

Today was our classroom volunteer's last day. The kids had made cards, which of course was hilarious.  Here are two of my favorites :

We are NOT sad you are living. Really, really NOT!!

And this guy? He just GETS why I'm never absent! NO ONE WANTS TO BE MY SUB!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015


Took this picture this morning. Pretty much sums up the day.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A to Z

Now that tests are over and we're able to get back to the fun of learning, we've been doing some alphabet challenges. Today's challenge was to think of an animal beginning with each letter of the alphabet, extra points for alliteration.

Student: I can't think of an animal for Q.
Me: I'm thinking of a bird that starts with Qu.
Other teacher in the room: It's not a SNAIL, but a......?
Student: Oh! I know! It's a Bald Eagle!!
Other teacher and I: ???
A few seconds later...
Same student: What was the clue again?
Other teacher and I: It's a bird here in Arizona, it starts with a Qu, and it rhymes with SNAIL.
Student: Oh! I know! It's a SQUAIL!

Shoulda gone for the quetzal...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

In the Unlikely Event it Rains...

On a rainy Friday in the desert:

Me: Guys, PLEASE don't stomple in the puddles...I know it's very tempting!
Student, immediately after stompling in the puddles: Mrs. Butler? I made a bad choice. I stompled in the puddle.
Me: I see that.
Student: And now I'm  soaking wet. Just like you said.
Me: Indeed, you are.
Student: And now I'm stuck with wet shoes and socks for the rest of the day, because the nurse doesn't have extras, right?
Me: Yup.
Student: And you're probably going to tell me to suck it up if I complain, right?
Me: That sounds like something I might say.
Student: Okay, just making sure.
Me: You bet.

I love that we just GET each other.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Men can be Fashionable Too

Today while reading from a historical fiction book about the Titanic:

Me: The boys who were thieves stole the men's purses, and that's where their money was kept in those days (1912).
Male student: The men carried PURSES? (insert laughter here)
Female student: Men can carry purses! In fact, they still do today! Only now we call them Man Bags or Man Sacks. That's the only difference! Geez.
Male student, shrugging: Yeah, that's true. My uncle has a Man Bag, and he's pretty cool. He drives a lifted truck.

So all you men with your Man Bags and Man Sacks--hide no more! We salute you!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

High-Stakes Testing Day Three:

Student: Mrs. Butler?  Are you SURE this (test) doesn't go on our report card?
Me: No, it definitely does not.

And that about sums up our week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Day Two

High-Stakes Testing Day 2: 

They are now in the fetal position.  

There were tears, disbelief,  and anger. But enough about me. 

Wednesday,  I am afraid of you.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Well there you have it, day one of high-stakes testing is in the bag. They asked me if they could nap when they were done...poor babies gave it all they had!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sinners, All

Student #1: Do we have Friday off for Easter weekend?
Me: No, I'm sorry, it's a school day.
Student #2: Wait...Easter is on Friday?
Student #1: (Little bit of eye-rolling, here) No, Friday is GOOD FRIDAY. You know, because Jesus ROSE from the DEAD when he SAVED you from ALL YOUR SINS?!?
Student #2: MY SINS? What about YOUR SINS?!? Jesus was probably too busy rising from the dead for all YOUR SINS!!
Student #1: Jesus would probably have to rise from the dead a MILLION TIMES for all YOUR SINS!!

Did hyperbole and Jesus REALLY just replace "Your Mama" jokes?!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Piece, Peace Out

Me: (Writing on the board) What is the meaning of this word? P E A C E
Students: That means, like, world peace. Or like, no war.
Me: Absolutely!  Now, how about P I E C E?
Students: That one's like a piece of pie, or a piece of pizza.
Me: Yes!
Student: How do you spell it if your mom calls your dad a PIECE of work??!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Patience is a Virtue

Today during clean up:

Student (over the noise of the class): Mrs. Butler?  You are an amazing teacher!
Me: Thank you! You are an amazing student! (I usually offer A's for these sweet comments as well:))
Student: No, I mean, you are REALLY patient! Don't  you sometimes just wanna SMACK some of these people???

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Overheard today:
1st student: Can you feel your apple?
2nd student: Yeah! It's right here!
3rd student: Let me feel! I can't feel mine, it's not there!
1st student: Don't worry, you're probably just pushing it too hard.
3rd student: Well I don't think I have an apple.
2nd student: You can't push on it too hard, or else you'll die! I can SEE yours! Go look in the mirror!
3rd student, looking in mirror : OH YEAH! I SEE IT, THERE IT IS!!

Me: Actually, none of you have Adam's Apples, because you're all eight and nine year old girls.

I've added 2 new products to my TpT store--1 freebie, and a new April Choice Board!

Tonight is the last night of Spring Break (technically, since it's after midnight, that ship has sailed). In true "me" fashion, I can't sleep. I spent last night and tonight making a couple of things for the store, and it's made me excited to go back to try them out! I will post some pictures here of the math Problem of the Day as we go--I really hope it makes them think!

We have the "big test" coming up in a couple of weeks, so time to be VERY SERIOUS. Which is generally not my forte. Oh well, after that we'll be free to enjoy teaching and learning again! I will also upload some pictures from activities we did from the March Choice Board--namely the Leprechaun Traps! They were such fun! Until then, here are the links to my new stuff.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's Elementary!

Today during math, 2 students were looking at a small food scale:

1st student (with frustration, to another student ): It's  a SCALE. You put stuff on it to see how much it WEIGHS.
2nd student: But it's  so small, you can't  weigh anything with THIS!
1st student: Well, what do you think it's for, then?? It's  a scale, and you WEIGH STUFF ON IT! It's SCIENCE, have you HEARD OF IT??!?
2nd student: (eyerolls...)
1st student: Here! Let me spell it for you! Have you ever heard of it? (writing on board) IT'S PHYSICS!!!

Well, at least he's  passionate about something!?!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Try a Little Tenderness

We are always trying to learn new vocabulary words to jazz up our writing in 3rd grade. Today's word was gentleness.

Me: Gentleness is a noun. If you are practicing gentleness, you are being careful and calm with something that is fragile, or that can easily be damaged or broken. Who has a connection to this word?
Student: Oh! I do! My new baby sister is fragile, so we have to handle her with gentleness!
Me: That's a great connection!
Student: Yeah, her head's still soft and squishy on top, and you can't bang it on anything or else you'll dent her.
Me: That soft spot is called the fontanel, and it's a spot where the bones of the skull aren't fully fused together yet to allow for growth (feeling pretty smug about the way I just snuck in some additional information--Go Me!).
Student: Well, whatever. My mom just doesn't want her head all dinged up.

Sometimes the best explanation is the simplest explanation. Happy Monday!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Runnin', runnin', runnin'

This morning before school:

Student: Mrs. Butler? You remind me of something.
Me: SomeTHING? What thing might that be?
Student: You know when you get on a treadmill, and you push the buttons all the way up to 12? And it tries to fling you off? And you keep running and running?
Me: Umm. Yeah?
Student: That's what you remind me of.

Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
P.S. She saw me BEFORE coffee.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I am up and running on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Yay!  One resolution for the new year in the bag! I am having such fun being creative, and am loving the new materials in my classroom. I looked across the bed at my husband last weekend (nothing very interesting, just putting on the freshly laundered sheets) and told him that I just had a realization--I was doing the job I'd always wanted to do!  My dream has always been to write, and I would love to write curriculum. And now? I'm doing both! Of course, I'd love to make money doing these things, but it's almost enough just to have my "stuff" out there in the world! Kinda corny, maybe, but well? That's me!
If you have a minute, check out my TPT store.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nothing to WINE about

At dismissal, breathing in the crisp, outside air:

Student: It smells like wine out here!
Me: How do you know what wine smells like?
Student: My mom drinks it ALL the time!
Me: Ah.
Student (reading the teacher's expression):
Well, not for BREAKFAST, but for lunch. And dinner. And after dinner. And sometimes in bed. And on the weekends.

Maybe she's a teacher?!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Heard from across the classroom:

Me: (said nothing, maybe a quick pants check...)

Which is funny because A) Buddy and Yertle are turtles, and B) because I forgot to tell the kids I'd added feeder fish to the tank over the holiday break. Oops. ;)