Saturday, December 5, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: *Magic Trash*

Things can get crazy at the end of the day. For us especially if one math class is let out late. The kids come hurrying into homeroom. Everyone is wanting/trying to hurry to do their last little bit of socializing and gathering their things.

 It looks as if a tornado hit your room. 

As much as we want students to take pride in how the room looks and feels, sometimes they just need a little extra motivation. 
Insert: *Magic Piece of Trash*

I discreetly pick 1 or 2 pieces of trash on the floor. Then I announce that there is a magic piece of trash. *Insert kids diving to the floor*
 They hustle around and usually every tiny little piece of anything on the floor is picked up. If it isn't trash, it gets put away. They also come show me what they picked up, just so I can make sure who got the *magic* piece. 

I don't say who picked it up until we are in our lines ready to head out the door, that way everything get picked up. The 'winners' usually get  a piece of candy…making sure the wrapper goes in the trash as well. However, you could use almost anything as a reward. I've even let a student pick the magic piece of trash before.

Viola! A clean floor in a matter of seconds. :)

Check out other motivations at

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Back to the Grind…Five for Friday 11.6

I've been through a roller coaster the last few months! I had my beautiful and super smiley little girl, Baby L. I love her to death and her older sister loves her as well. The transition has been pretty smooth for K actually. We have visitors for quite a bit of my maternity leave, but I'm very thankful to have had the help around. Just before I was to go back to school, my precious grandpa passed away. I have not had to deal with death in my side of the family and it was, and still is at times, very difficult. Because of that, I extended my leave for a week.

 The week I went back was a fabulous week *sarcasm* to go back. It was Halloween week, Red Ribbon Week with dress up days, full moon, and Parent/Teacher conferences. Let's just say I was exhausted by the time Friday came around.

This week I did my best to get the kids used to me and what our now normal routines are going to be.  I also wanted to put into practice some of the things I've thought about while I've been away.

My social studies topic for this quarter is explorers. I had planned on doing a different project that we did last year. We were to begin this the my extra week off, so I wasn't quite ready when I had to go take care of family things. My wonderful sub and I were able to quickly put together this and I'm loving it! I still need to tweak a few things, but I'm glad we did it.

I came up with a list of required facts the kids had to find and at least 3 extra facts of their choice. I also gave them the freedom to decide how they wanted to present their information. Most students did choose to make a poster, but a few ventured into making iMovies. Today we watched the iMovies using Reflector. Tomorrow we will do a gallery walk with the other posters. 

To help our staff become more comfortable with Kagan structures and not overwhelmed, we are doing a Kagan structure each month. In my intervention reading class, we used "Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up" to share their responses about things they collect. (We just started reading Donavan's Word Jar, and are using Mrs. Jones's book study.) They paired up three different times with someone who was not their neighbor, then sat back down. 

I pulled out some partner plays from Deb Hanson to practice fluency. They loved the fun little stories! They also rolled their eyes at me when they had to read whatever part they were handed. That meant that a few of the boys had to be "Mom." They got over it and had fun it.
Here they were reading the plays from her Fall/Halloween plays.

In math, we have ventured back into using Gaggle to watch my lesson videos. I can now include exit ticket questions directly in the Gaggle assignment! I'm excited to see how it works out when we get to a lesson that doesn't need drawings in the answer. However, my workshop for when they are finished with the video needs some work. To help with it, I decided to whip up a basic "Number of the Day" to review basic things. After more decimal lessons, we'll move into using Teaching to Inspire with Jennifer Findley's "Of the Day" resources 

Click to download my Free Number of the Day packet.

My sweet family at our school Halloween Safe Night Carnival

We have Rapunzel and a sweet strawberry.
My husband just wore his fire duty clothes, I was a last minute witch.

Linking up with Doodlebugs!

Thanks for stopping by! I will try to stop in myself a little more often with more things to share!

Keep Smiling!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Made It: Introducing ...


Born on Aug. 5

Her sister is in love! 
We have to watch that she doesn't love little sister to death. 

The sneak peak posted by our photographer.

I am technically going back to work tomorrow...for 4 days and then starting my maternity leave next Monday, when students come. I don't have a lot of sick leave/paid time off saved up so I am trying to save what I have for student contact days. My principal is great and is letting me bring little Lynnix to our PD days and work day. My in-laws will be flying in tonight so I have a built in babysitter for our older daughter. My parents will be coming up in Sept. 

Hope you all are having a fabulous week and enjoying whatever time you have left!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

What We're Wearing {Last of Summer}

I was hoping to be able to show off another little girl for the last week of What I'm Wearing, but she has decided to hold out. 

Week 38
Shirt: Down East Basics - so versatile and great for layering!
Skirt: Rue 21
Pj Pants: Homemade by me :)
Necklace: Sears clearance

She wouldn't let me take a picture at home but I thought her outfit choice was adorable. So I took a picture wherever she would let me.

Shirt: Circo from Target
Skirt: Kiddie Korner from Fred Meyer
Black pants: Circo from Target
Fun purple socks: Vanity Fair
Sparkly shoes: Garanimals from Walmart
Crown: Target Dollar Spot

Week 39 1/2… 
Shirt: Xhiliration pj shirt from Target
Black Tank: Maurice's 
Pants: Liz Lange Maternity from Target

Take note of the adorable "little dinosaur" that is attacking the mirror :)

Hopefully I'll have a little one to share soon…
Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday {Go Math}

I haven't linked up with Miss DeCarbo for a while now, but decided it was time again!

I'm trying my hand at creating a Fill-In Resource for my 5th graders for Go Math. 
If you want a look at what I did for Chapter 1, click {here}
Any helps/comments are appreciated! :)

P.S. Some of the wording is totally my own, not Go Math. 

Question: Do you create things on your own for you classroom? Have any tips if you do?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Scoop {7.18}

I'm super stoked about picking up my hubby from for the airport! He has been on a boat in the Bearing Strait for 4 weeks.  Let's just say my daughter and I are both lucky to still be alive after dealing with the antics of a 2 1/2 year old and an ultra preggo temperament. 
Just kidding….kind of. :)

Have a fabulous week!!
Check out what others are up to by checking out The Teaching Trio's linky.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beginnings of 2015-16 *Five for Friday*

I have ventured into my room and began the setup process. I actually started a week or so ago, but only in furniture placement. I'm still figuring out what exactly I want since I got rid of old fixtures, acquired new, and moved existing. Today I started with some smaller things to try to get my brain to focus. I did a lot of brainstorming and note taking. It's easier to think about it when I'm actually in my room. 

I started jotting down the things I needed to make labels or signs for. I initially was going to make labels for my plastic drawers. Then I realized that I don't have cutesy fonts and clipart, I don't like laminating, and that I didn't want to scour TPT looking for editable labels either paid or free. 
(I had a minor panic attack during tax season this year…time to scale back on classroom purchases.)

Last year I had ended up writing on the drawers with dry erase marker. When I tried to clean it off the first time, it wasn't working. That's why I figured I'd just make labels and cover it. Then I thought, if I can use dry erase to get Sharpie off things, it should definitely get other dry erase off. Voila! It worked. (Silly and simple, yes…. overly excited preggo over here, yes)

It is a quick easy way to label drawers in a non-permament way. If I need to change what one of the drawers is for, I don't have to recreate a label. All I do is wipe it off and write what I need it to say.

The white drawers were the first attempt to erase the marker.
The black drawers show how cleanly the dry erase came off of the top drawer and how well the dry erase label actually help up throughout the year.

I moved my blank papers from the black drawers to the white drawers for this year. 
If it fades over the year, no big deal. 
I can simply rewrite it in a fun new color, of course.
Nothing fancy, but efficient and useful. 

I will be labeling some drawers and crates, but I'll share those when I stop being mad at my Mac and my incompetency with it. :) 

So I know I made a quip but classroom purchases, but I needed new chair covers for my room. My old ones were just a tad to small since moving from 4th grade chairs to 5th grade chairs and that was an annoyance all year. Lucky for me, JoAnn Fabrics had a great sale on bottomweight material when combined with their 25% total purchase! (valid through tomorrow 7/18) 
This material will wash better than the canvas I previously used and my kids don't have have textbooks so the covers shouldn't get too abused.

My mom and I are going to whip them out while she's up here and I'm on maternity leave. That means they won't be ready for the 1st day of school, but it'll be ok.

Target dollar spot! We made a "learning corner" in our hallway. 
Kasila really likes to find things that match, so I put up her name and her soon-to-be lil sis's name. 
She found the "x" all by herself. :)

I got my hair done! 
It's not really much different from what I normally do, but it's nice to know that my roots aren't down to my ears. I also had 3 inches taken off to make up for my lack of upkeep and overabundance of split ends.

Now I just need a nice pedi for my swollen feet.

My daughter and I went on a hike (more of a walk) with some of my coworkers. It was an overcast day but it was very pretty!
I may have pushed it a little too far being 37 weeks along as I felt like I was going to die the rest of the day and didn't move far from the couch. 

Yes, my daughter hikes in tutus. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

*** Destination Vacation ***

I grew up traveling every summer with my grandparents. I love visiting places! Some of the places we went included Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Denver, Nauvoo, Illinois, Branson, Missouri, and Kansas City, Missouri (every other year).

We would visit KC to see my aunt and uncle. Mostly we would just hang out but we would make sure to catch a Royals baseball game and visit Worlds of Fun. :)

We ALWAYS spent a week at the Oregon Coast. I don't have pictures from there because it's been way too long since I've been. We would take a camper and head to Cape Lookout State Park.

(Taken from

It is a great place. I spent a lot of time playing around the campsites and out on the beach. Now the Oregon Coast is not a warm beach. It is cold, I usually had to get numb to play in the water, and it has a habit of being windy, but it is gorgeous! We would walk the beach, make sand castles, fly kites and take little day trips.  We would visit Depoe Bay and Lincoln City.

I have to mention were I live…South Central Alaska! I say it collectively because if you want to see the best places, you do have to travel a little. Be prepared to pull some long days but it is an amazing place! When we have visitors our must see places include:

Palmer Reindeer Farm:

Some kind of ocean excursion out of Seward or Homer…charter fishing trip, wildlife tour, or just out on a boat of someone we know, if they don't keep moving :)

Hikes…they are all over the place! 

Musk Ox Farm in Palmer

Fishing on one of the many rivers… This is the Kenai.

This is the Russian River and yes, that is a mama brown bear with two cubs.

 Visit a glacier…pick one. This is the Matanuska Glacier

The Native Alaskan Heritage Center in Anchorage

Visit Talkeetna to try to catch a glimpse of our country's highest mountain, Mckinley AKA Denali.
Or even just a nice river float trip.

Our favorite place to eat is Moose's Tooth a pizza place in Anchorage. We don't drink but a lot of people like the place because they brew their own stuff. I just like the pizza. :) For a spendy place to eat, I also like Glacier Brewhouse in downtown/tourist area Anchorage. 

You should totally come visit! 
There are many places that I have not even touch on. 
North to Alaska! The Last Frontier!