Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tulips! :) Thanks Melissa!

Help...!!!!!! She mouthed...

Right now in my class, I am doing end of the year reading testing with my students. Our awesome literacy specialist organized to have reading aides come sub our classes while we test each of our students. As I was assessing students in the hall right outside my classroom, one of my students came up to the little window along side the door and starting mouthing "HELP!" She mouthed it over and over again! It was so funny! I guess the reading aide has never taught a group larger than 6. She is a really sweet lady, but classroom management and instructions weren't her strong skills.... The kids really missed me...they said the sub didn't really know how to teach or what to do. I felt sorry for the sub, but I'm glad they missed me! I guess not everyone can (or chooses to!) manage a room full of 24, 8 year olds! HA!

Another funny story... before reading a story about tadpoles and frogs with a little girl in my class, I asked her what sounds frogs make, she looked at me like she was a little unsure and said "my grandpa has one in his throat" and then she shrugged her shoulders! When I asked her what her grandpa sounded like when he had a frog in his throat she just shrugged her shoulders again. I also asked her how it got stuck and she still shrugged her shoulders...I think she was really confused by the saying! How funny! She is adorable!


Igneous * Sedimentary * Metamorphic

So pretty much my class rocks! We've been learning about actual rocks the past few weeks too! We've learned that there are 3 classes: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. So this week we tied in a little bit of writing with our rock unit and came of with these poems! And a HUGE shout out to Molly who has inspired the poet within me these days! You really should click on her name and check out her students' poems! Obviously my students all used the same format, but it's kind of fun to see what they came up with...if this is just a proud teacher moment and this really just bores all of the non-teachers out there, just glaze over this post, no offense taken! HA! Tell me which number poem you like and I'll give them a prize! HA!

Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere.
Cool rocks rolling.
Shinny rocks laughing.
Heavy rocks clapping.
Rough rocks shooting.
Rocks are formed by fire.
Rocks move by water.
Rocks are great!
Rocks are shinny.
Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere!

Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere.
Pointy rocks shooting.
Bright rocks hiking.
Shinny rocks driving.
Red rocks talking.
Rocks that I love.
Rocks are pretty.
Rocks are flying.
Rocks are landing.
Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere!

Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere.
Smooth rocks shooting.
Red rocks hiking.
Shinny rocks rolling.
Rocks are cool.
Rocks are awesome.
Rocks are sweet.
Rocks are nice.
Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere!

Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere.
Colorful rocks dancing.
Shinny rocks rolling.
Hard rocks running.
Layered rocks blinking.
Rocks are rough.
Rocks are friendly.
Rocks are cool.
Rocks are formed by heat.
Rocks here, rocks there,
Rocks, rocks everywhere!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Goodbye Jordan...

I wrote this letter a little while back...it was so hard for me to type each word...it was especially hard to sign the hard copy! I love teaching at my school. I love my principal, my fellow teacher friends, my students, and boy have a learned a lot!

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as an educator for Jordan School District, effective July 2, 2008.

Thank you for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me during the last three years.

I have enjoyed working for the district and appreciate the support provided me during my time with the district. If the opportunity presented itself, I'd like to return.

If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know.



I've decided to move to a school near where I live because of the commute and the price of gas these days! I am currently commuting 35 minutes one way right now. It's ridiculous...and man has my wallet noticed the past couple of months!

There are a few other benefits to moving to the district I live in. I will be teaching at a traditional school, which means, SUMMERS OFF! Although, honestly I think I like year around better because of the breaks and the traveling... The even better part of being traditional is that I won't have to rotate classrooms every 9 weeks! Hallelujah! Man, that alone is enough to move schools! I will actually have my very own classroom, no more packing up and taking down, putting up bulletin boards and cleaning out desks, then finding those odds and ends every move. However, moving every 9 weeks has kept me very organized and keeps me pretty level headed about what I need to keep around and what I can do without:). Another benefit of moving is that I'll get paid more and the insurance for my new district is much cheaper. There are a lot of pros and cons and I could go on forever, but yep, there you have it! I'm changing districts!

Oh, how could I forget, I am going to be teaching 3rd grade! I know I will already love my principal because he taught in Jordan for years and I he did his internship at my school.

Boy, I've decided that I love change! I've now taught fifth grade (student teaching), Kindergarten, Second Grade, and now THIRD! I have some studying to do...I need to get up to par on my cursive skills, the phases of the moon, multiplication, South America, oh sheesh, there is just so much...I better stop blogging and get studying! My new school is adopting a new reading program and a new math program. I'm glad that I won't be the only one learning a new curriculum!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Niki!

Happy Birthday Nicole Kay!

I am so glad Niki was born! Happy Birthday Niki! Niki turned 24 last week! Last year her birthday wasn't the best because she had nose surgery done a few days before her birthday. (That was her second surgery, you should ask her about it...the plastic surgeons just can't get it right:)). I tried to spice up her party with a little Hawaiian theme. We had lots of fruit, smoothies, chips and dip, cake, candies, you name it, it was there! We all wore Hawaiian leis and some of us even did the limbo (some of meaning 3 of us...oh well.) I'd say the highlight of the night was playing ping pong! We played around the world; it was a blast! We also wrote notes to Niki telling her all the reasons we like her and put them in a jar...I know we are SO elementary, but everyone needs to know why we love them right!??!?! Well again, I'm SO GLAD NIKI WAS BORN! She is a great friend and roommate! I love talking to her! It's so much fun! I also love that I can be my crazy self around her! She is so funny and fun loving! She is so dedicated to her schooling and she's such a caring friend! Man, I am so glad she was born! Yay for NIKI!

Oh and I forgot to tell you about Niki's Kissing Chair! Niki's brothers have teased her for years calling her "Niki for NCMO" for those unfamiliar with the lingo of NCMO it means, Non-committal Make Out! Now Niki isn't a kissing slut, well not usually, ha, jk! Her brothers just like to call her that. The shirt she is wearing is actually a gift that her brother Jared gave her for Christmas. It says "Niki for NCMO" on it with her actual phone number on the back! I made up the kissing chair just to be funny! Kevin was the only one to actually go for it! I don't know what the other guys problems were! HA!

Monday, April 21, 2008

No One Can Prepare You…

I never knew it could hurt this bad,
I never knew I could feel this sad.

I wanted to make sense of it all,
And ended up taking a great fall.

I yearned to make it right,
I didn't give up without a fight.

I decided to jump in with both feet,
And realized I had feelings I didn't want to greet.

I tried to listen with my mind,
But had feelings I couldn't bind.

I thought I knew how I would feel,
I thought I knew how to deal.

I wanted to be true,
I went with what I knew.

I feel like crap,
Trying to re-cap.

Know that I care,
This just isn't fair.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

YOU, yes YOU can make a DIFFERENCE!

My dear friend Molly is a middle school teacher in Wisconson. She has been teaching her students about writing poetry. All of her students are learning English as a Second Language, so it's impressive that they can rhyme so well!

Molly needs our help encouraging her students to continue writing poetry. They have only made it through basic rhyme schemes and patterns. Next, they will be focusing on things like rhythm (the blues!), descriptive voices (thinking abstractly), telling stories or ballads, and then they'll break the mold with their own unique forms of poetry. All of these forms of poetry will be very challenging for her students.

This is where she needs your help. She has a blog where she posts every single poem that her students write. They check it religiously for comments. She would forever appreciate it if you could take some time out of your busy schedules and check out their blog. If her students knew that people outside of their classroom community were reading and responding to their poetry, then they'd really turn up the heat!

The website is http://cragunsplace.blogspot.com (also a link on the side of my blog). You can write a short and sweet comment by selecting anonymous, and then publishing the comment. It would be nice if you included your name under your comment so they don't think it's just Molly. There are only 38 student poems, but there will be many more by this time next week!

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Written by: Samuel Medley

I know that my redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.

He lives, to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

This week has brought so many emotions; feelings I never knew existed...I've taken time to ponder and explore the inner workings of my head and my heart. I've written a billion words this week, trying to portray how I feel inside. I even started writing poems and lyrics echoing the whispers of my soul.

Today at church the words of I Know That My Redeemer Lives brought calmness and assurity to my soul as the tears rolled off my cheeks one by one.

I ache. I have more to learn. I want to be free of my mind.
Each moment that passes, I'm given strength and understanding.
I know that my Redeemer lives! I know that time mends our hearts.

"The Lord loves you today, tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year." --Speaker in Church today:)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ummmm...this is Smith's...


Yesterday I went to Smith's grocery store. I remembered that my debit card had expired so I whipped out my checkbook and wrote a check for the balance. I handed the check to the cashier and he looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, "Ummm...this is Smith's..." I had written the check out to Safeway! Safeway is a chain grocery store in Colorado. I don't think the cashier had a clue what Safeway was. I told him that I had moved here from Colorado and that Safeway was a grocery store there (I didn't tell him that I've lived in Utah for almost 3 years now!) I don't know why but this story still has me chuckling...most of my non-Colorado friends don't find this very funny, however, I know for sure my family, and the rest of my CO friends will appreciate this little excursion!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

General Conference!

This weekend was the 178th Annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I love listening to the words of a modern day prophet! To read more about what we believe, you can go to the church website.

As many of you know, President Gordan B. Hinckley passed away a few months ago. President Thomas S. Monson was called as the new prophet. President Monson has a special place in my heart. Over the years his talks have impressed and inspired me. About a year ago he spoke in my singles ward. Something he said really stuck with me and has helped me overcome some obstacles in my life.... That same day he spoke in our ward, Niki and I ran into him in the hallway. He was looking for his wife as he was looking he said "this reminds me of the song "where has my little dog gone?" It was a laugh out loud moment!

A few talks that really touched me...

Something that Elder Rasband said hit home: "Personal experiences test our abilities and give us personal growth...they give us resolve to go forward with faith."

Sister Lant's thoughts on traditions impressed me.... they left me thinking of the traditions in my life... What traditions am I currently living that will be passed on from generation to generation and what traditions do I need to start? Right now, I am building a foundation that will be a legacy to others... She said that our children need to know where we stand.... I agree, we need to teach by example...

Elder Wirthlin's rendition on differences was empowering. I've often thought about all the different types of people I meet everyday...we are all very different! Wirthlin said to have more compassion for people that are different than we are.

David A. Bednar shed light on having meaningful prayer. Bednar reminded us that prayer is work and that we need to pray with the expectation to ACT. We will have the strength to act as we know we should when we do this. He also reminded us not to pray with a wish list. We need to pray with sincerity. Our prayers need to be meaningful and we must ask in faith and ACT. I think it is so easy to get stuck in a rut of prayer. I try to pray with purpose and meaning and to be ready for promptings, but I think so often in my life I get caught up in the little things I am doing that I forget that the Lord is there to help me through it all, he will make up the difference if I am lacking. I realize that living his will is what is most important...I wrote these words in my journal "pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT,pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT, pray and ACT." Acting on our prompting and on the promises that we make with the Lord will enrich our relationship with the Savior and will empower us with a shield of protection and knowledge. I know this is something I need to really strive for in my life.

W. Craig Zwick spoke to the teenagers and posed this question, "Are we lowering our standards to fit in?" I think this question applies not only to teenagers but to people of all ages. I speak from experience when I say that the comfort of any relationship can cause us to lower our standards to fit in. I don't think it's easy to stand up for what you believe in all the time. It is something I definitely strive for...I also believe that its imperative to try to understand others view points and to be excepting of differences. But when those viewpoints and differences impact you as an individual, it's time to say something. Zwick tells us that "you might stand alone for a while. You're example will attract friends." He also asks "do we recognize temptation when it's camouflaged?"

This talk gave me a lot to ponder on. I think the friends we have really have an impact on our day to day living. Our friends can either boy us up or pull us down. It's easy to conform to our everyday environment, but I think as we take a stand for what we believe in and we make that extra effort to live in the spirit, we will be blessed and the lives of those around us will be blessed. I have so many more thoughts on this but for sake of those who have actually read this far into this post, I will refrain:).

Well there you have it... a few of my favorite thoughts from conference. When I really sit back and think about what conference is all about I count my blessings and really stand in amazement! We have a prophet who lives today, who speaks the word of the Lord. We know who we are! We know what our purpose on earth is! We know where we are going! We are so lucky!

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About Me

Life as it for Tiffany Finley is quite the revolving door, one activity ends and I’m back on the rebound, looking for something to spice it up! Live it up, I tell you! Although, those who know me well, know my limits of “living it up!” A whirlwind of terrible singing, dancing, playful banter, blunt responses, sweet and endearing but firm and serious remarks to children, speaking/slaughtering accents that I’ve spun from memory, are a just a few of my favorite things….I delight in waking to the sunrise, driving to an incredible place of work, where I am able to express my true self regularly! My students call me "Crazy. ” This is where the song and dance comes into play, whether we are learning about adjectives or writing our names on our papers, I’ve got a song and cheer for it all! I’m passionate about traveling and walking down narrow pathways. In my spare time, I enjoy taking walks in the park…I’ve been known to disappear in the dark of the night, only to be found on the swings. I also love to organize and re-organize, I can never quite get things right. I thoroughly enjoy people watching.