Friday, October 31, 2014

We're off to see the Wizard the Wonder Wizard of Oz

Of course today being Halloween and all my fourth grade team decided to dress up like the Wizard of Oz characters. I just finished reading the book to my kiddos in September. Thanks to my searching skills I found the scarecrow makeup on Pinterest as you see here.
I'm grateful to Wes's family who dressed me in circa 1999 Calvin Klein overalls, his uncles flannel shirt and crazy Aunt Lynn's hat. Here is a pictorial of the rest of my crew. 
All we are missing is the cowardly lion, but due to budget cuts last year our fourth grade got downsized. On a side note, I was worried about not having enough goodies for our "fall" party because we can't say Halloween anymore. Well I learned these kids can throw party I have more party supplies, cookies, chips, drinks and candy to suffice an entire school year. 
Here is just a little bit of our madness. I'm pretty sure my kids are in a diabetic coma at our annual Pantherfest. Our school's mascot is a panther and every year we have a fundraiser with inflatables, karaoke, face painting, a haunted house, a pumpkin contest and oh let's not forget the pony rides ( although one of my kids thought they were unicorns). 

I almost forgot to post a picture of our class pumpkin. 

Oh and let's not forget my lovely parents homemade costume as Phil and Miss Kay from Duck Dynasty. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What's in a name?

First let me begin by giving you back ground information on the history of 4th Grade Funky Town's legacy. Last year was my first year teaching and fourth grade is where I began my journey. Yes the struggle is real teaching fourth graders, but I wouldn't have it any other way. My class last year consisted of twenty three of the highest children in our grade level, no EIPs, no ELLs, no ESS and no CRCT failures. WOW was I spoiled or what? For my first year it was a blessing in disguise. Those little boogers kept me on my toes all year long. To be quite frankly honest I don't know who learned more last year, me or them. I'm leaning towards the first answer. Those children taught me a lot of management skills that I wouldn't have today if not for their smart little, "chatty Kathy's" mouths. Herein is where it all began. Last year after lunch and recess we would come back to class and begin our Reader's Workshop, which began with a read aloud every day in our community area. When I say every day I mean every day without failure, a child would come to the community rug to crop dust the entire area. Crop dusting according to urban dictionary is expelling gas while walking and therefore creating one stinky area. I would say, "Oh my goodness it smells like funky town in here." The kids would then say, "Ms. Griffin get the funky spray." They (no lie) would fight over who could spray the funky spray around the room. I don't know that more of an explanation is required. Here is where 4th Grade Funky Town came to fruition. Here is our field day photo from last year.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Red Ribbon Door Design

In preparation for next week, my class has been working hard to create a door design for Red Ribbon Week. The other fourth grade teachers on my team are designing The Walking Dead door designs and unfortunately I do not watch the show, so I had agreed to do some sort of zombie door to go along with the theme. Today as we were coloring our zombies, we were rocking out to Halloween tunes and along came Thriller. One of my students said, "Our zombies look like thriller night." Then she said the real kicker, "Ms. Griffin did you know that Michael Jackson did drugs and he is living a REAL thriller night now?" I thought genius!!! There is our slogan. It was brilliant and even more so that a child thought of it, so here is it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

About Me

Well about me.... Let me see I am twenty nine years old and I recently got engaged this summer to the man who God created for me. I know it sounds cliche saying that he "completes" me, but in all truth he does. He is a God fearing, mamaw cooking, body building, tender hearted, manly man.
His name is Wesley (aka Wes) Palmer. He is younger than me by a few years, but whose counting when you are a cougar. In December we will have been dating for two years and we will be getting married June 13th, 2015. We are in full wedding mode including cake testing, meeting with photographers, caterers, venues, florists etc. Who knew that a wedding was like having a part time job. Luckily I have booked all the important items and I have ordered a dress, so I feel ahead of the game. Along with all the other stressors I have in my life, I have created a small wedding sweat shop in my spare bedroom. I'll post pictures of all my creations. Back to me, I am a daughter, a younger sister and a dog lover/mom. I have a West Highland Terrier whose name is Duncan and a Maltese whose name is Max.

I recently acquired my parents dog whom they wouldn't let me have when I moved out, but have recently reconsidered. He is a Yorkie whose name is Bentley. Needless to say Wes and I are total push overs when it comes to dog care. I am currently in my second year of teaching fourth grade. I really enjoy the intermediate age group of kids who get my humor and yet still have a healthy level of fear. As I stated earlier, I have an older brother who is married and I have a beautiful mini me niece. This is Lilli and she is ten and will be playing the role of maid of honor in our wedding. I can't wait to let her dress up like a princess.
Basically that is me in a nut shell. If you would like to know more please don't hesitate to ask questions. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Woohoo First Post Yet

First let me begin by introducing myself to the world of blogging. I am a rookie blogger as you can probably tell from my blog design. Countless days have been spent to get a blog design that looks half way presentable. To tell you the truth I'm not sure that this blog is "good enough", but my motto is either sink or swim, so here goes nothing. I began this adventure first by making products to sell on teachers pay teachers and to use in my own classroom. This summer I spend A LOT of time designing products that I think are challenging products to facilitate learning. Most of my products began with 4th grade, due to the fact that I teach 4th grade. I decided I needed to make myself more marketable, so I have started designing products for 3rd and 5th grade as well. I'm so rude let me first introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Griffin I teach 4th grade in a small town in North Georgia. This is my second year in education and to 4th grade. I initially received my bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Go Mocs!)in Interior Design in 2008.
Interior Design was my first love and I still find myself drawn to anything designery (yes, I realize that is not a word, but as you will find out I make up words from time to time). I spent four years of my life in the design word to realize in the sleepy, blue collar, carpet dominated town I live in interior design was not my cup of tea. I had one of two choices, move to a larger town to pursue design or decide to get into a profession where I could have the chance to make a difference. Needless to say, I went into the field of education. I had many friends who were already teachers and I thought now that is a job that I have the chance to chance lives. There I found myself enrolling online at Liberty University and I received my Master's of Arts in Elementary Education in May of 2013.

I completed my student teaching all while taking a huge leap of faith and leaving a good paying job in design to work as a paraprofessional (at least I got paid to do my student teaching, I thought to myself). My pay was roughly cut $30,000 and I know the people around me had to think I had completely lost my marbles. Like I stated earlier I completed my student teaching in Kindergarten with a veteran teacher and I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me that year.
 I am currently working at the same school where I completed my student teaching. The school is considered to be an inner city, title I school (meaning the majority of our students are at or below poverty level). Talking about making a difference, I chose a school where the opportunities are endless. Last year I was so very spoiled, my class consisted of the top 23 students thereabout in the 4th grade. I had most of all the "challenge" kids and everyone passed their standardized test (PTL). This year is a completely different year. The terms IEP, EIP, RTI and so on were not part of my vocabulary last year and this year they are discussed freely. I have 27 students this year and my kids are from various backgrounds including race, ethnicity, home life and so on. 17 out of my 27 are EIP and therefore it has presented challenges to me from day one. We are entering week eleven of school, so I would say we have adjusted very well. I have my work cut out for me though. I believe eleven of my EIP are in math, whom automatically were determined as needing an EIP due to CRCT(last year's standardized test in Georgia) failure. The other six were failures in reading. YIKES!! Coming from a class full of high achievers to a group of lower children has definitely changed my teaching style and perspective. I am grateful for each and every one of them and though I want to pull my hair out most days I hope and pray those kids know that I love them dearly.