Monday, August 15, 2016

Classroom 2016-17

Well the new has begun! 
Here's a walk through of what I remembered to take pictures of. :) 

This is my Monday Made It...because putting together a classroom is a lot of work! I moved rooms this year so I got to start from scratch.

I decided that I really want to push chapter book reading to my kids. My school does AR, but I'm not a huge fan of it. I'll encourage them to take tests but I really just want kids who love to read! I'm also going to be the 5th grade Battle of the Books coach this year! Super excited about it!
Here's the beginning of my classroom library...

Welcome back breakfast and presents for our classrooms! It's so quick and quite! We'll see how long it lasts. Ha ha.

I got my little fridge with a healthy lunch! I have a goal of actually eating (I sometimes forget/run out of time) and not always eating the best. 

We had our back to school picnic on Thursday, 2 days before kids came back. 
My room *looked* fairly put together and I had their flipbooks ready to take home. I wrote their names on it so I could tell who came and who didn't. I'm good at names and remembering, but that's a lot to ask for a busy night! 

Thanks to Chalk & Apples for her easy to edit flip book!

My lunch count/attendance this year! I'm trying out magnets on the side of my big filing cabinet. We didn't actually do it today, so we'll so how it goes tomorrow on the 2nd day!
I love how it's a great way to keep wall space the cabinet would usually eat up.

I used washi tape, a label makers, and adhesive magnetic strips.

My finished reading area! Famous First Lines by Literacy for Big Kids are posted and make me super happy! I also have some of the Battle books up for kids to look at. 
My books are organized by author's last name. I was thinking about using Lessons with Laughter's rainbow labels because I've been eyeing them forever but haven't yet...partly because I really like my black/teal/purple room and am being vain about the colors matching and the amount of ink I would need....lame? Maybe. I think I may at least label them with the letter of where they go. I can use school ink for that. :) 

My super simple simple and "eye catching" bulletin board with my homeroom kids' names. 
I didn't mean to but a lot of people said it looked like an eye exam board. I liked the ease of it. My board is already white and I used the school's die cutter to make the letters. Add in silver sharpie and viola... it's done. It also allowed me to help our new team member with her board and getting ready for open house.

Woo hoo! Our new 5th grade team of multitasking ninjas! 
I got the shirts from 

We are using Brag Tags as a grade level this year.
So far they have their Back to School night and their First Day of 5th Grade tags. They were pretty excited to put them on their rings! 

This also shows a few of my drawers I used. 
I have my late work turn in spot. The drawers I'm going to use for the graded work I need to pass back. There is also a place for plain, lined, and graph paper in one. The unlabeled white drawers are going to hold coloring pages and other early finisher, relaxer activities or brain teasers.

The best look I have of my room so far...this morning before the chaos of a new year.  I had to fit 34 seats for my math class in my room. 6 tables are short and wide, 2 are just short, and 4 desks. Its cramped but we're going to have fun and find ways to move around!

I'm looking forward to a great year! 
I hope you have a fabulous one!

Check out other Monday Made Its


Friday, July 15, 2016

Working on Me

Welcome to my revamped blog! :) I decided to combine two major parts of my life into one place in hopes to be able to keep up a little better. First, I'm sure you noticed that this is not just a teaching blog anymore. I will definitely still post about my classroom, but with it being summer, my focus is elsewhere.

Here is my story from Facebook:

"Soon after Lynnix, my 2nd girl, joined our family, I was not feeling like I bounced back to my old self. Things were just harder, physically and mentally. I had the baby blues and didn't like it. I was contacted by my cousin and joined one of her free fitness groups. Little did I know, the accountability of that group would give me a little more purpose to my day. As the months went on, I know that I needed to do something more for me.

In April, I decided to bite the bullet and join a Challenge group. I picked Chocolate Shakeology and 22 Minute Hard Corps fitness program by Tony Horton. The reason 100% being it was short. My goal was never to lose weight. My goal was, and still is, to feel healthy and feel happy. Has my body changed? Yes, but that is a happy byproduct of hard work and consistency.
Not only has this decision to work on ME made me feel more content with my own self, it has had an effect on my family. We are talking about healthy choices and steps we can take to become a better version of us.
Because of this, I have decided that I want to be able to help others realize that even baby steps can lead you in the right direction and toward your goals, whatever they may be. I am now a Beachbody Coach and would love to connect with YOU on a more personal basis. I am not the poster child of perfect nutrition and health. However, if I can do it, you can do it!
Each month I will host 1-2 FREE health and fitness related groups and 1 Challenge group. Please consider joining me for baby steps to a healthy future! If now is not your time, it’s ok! It took me awhile too. 
Thank you to everyone who has supported me through the years. You are part of the reason why I am where I am today. Now let me help and support you!"

Since this decision, I have continued to make healthier decisions and I have seen others taking their own baby steps. My older daughter loves to work out and she knows that I value that time. 
People keep telling me, "I didn't think you needed to lose weight." I am fortunate enough to still have a fast metabolism, but that's not always going to be around. Also, I just want to feel good. Skinny does not mean fit.

We are all in different places, but we all want to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Thanks for being on this journey with me! 


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Quarter 3 in a Nutshell

Kendamas are all the rage… 

Getting ready for my formal evaluation with artifacts.

Valentine's day! 
Check out that box!

Our winning marshmallow tower. 

I was part of Pawsitiviely Teaching's valentine exchange. It was so much fun getting valentines in the mail! I combined them with Digital: Divide and Conquer's LOVE posters. 

I let the kids correct their vocabulary tests with my special Flair pens. They thought that was a treat!

We had a science and art night at school. My older girl loved it!

I checked out Prodigy for math. 
My kids are HOOKED! 
They practice skills that I assign (or based on their intro placement test).
What they love the most is that they can battle each other! 
Some of the most "whatever" students actually put forth some effort to learn how to do certain problems because they got tired of losing battles. :)

Maybe fourth quarter will be better for blogging. :)

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!