Monday, July 14, 2014

MMI: First one this summer...slacker...

Yep, my first Monday Made It of the I a slacker?  I don't think so.  I am rejuvenated!

I have finally pulled the kitchen in our new house together.  I must started out ACK!  UGLY! lol  UGLY OLD wallpaper.   
                                                           BEFORE:  eek....
                                                        SO MUCH HAPPIER
We still want to change out the lights and where that clock is hanging we are going to build a pantry.  However, I can totally live with this kitchen...It makes me happy.  Obviously, we are going for a country look/feel and I feel like I have accomplished that so far.

Have I made anything for my classroom???  NOPE!  Do I feel guilty?!  NOPE!  Next Made It is the bathroom.  Can't wait to see the final results on that!  Think chevron...that is the only clue I am giving ;)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wow...I am a terrible blogger!

Eek...I guess I got caught up in life!?!  Last school year was a busy, whirlwind!  So, let me pull you up to speed.

I started the year as ELA and Social Studies for grades 5-8.  We had hired another lady to teach math and science.  Turned out math really wasn't her cup of tea...she was stressed...the kids were stressed...I was stressed.  I made the decision to offer to take over math.  I took it towards the end of the first quarter.  I am so happy I did, I fell in love with math all over, or maybe I just realized for the first time how much I love it!  I happily gave her ELA (didn't miss it for a second).  The kids were so much happier in my math class, I was so much happier teaching it.  Mid year the other teacher went on medical leave and we had another teacher take over, who is teaching ELA and social studies next year.  She is much experience...great techniques.  I am obviously teaching math again and science.  Yep, total turn around from what I didn't want last year, but totally want this year.  I am so happy!

I am also participating in a grant program called TEAM Science.  WOW!  This year we are focused on physical science, something I needed a great brush up on.  It has been amazing so far.  Our 3/4 and K/1 teacher are also a part of the grant.  We have tons of fun together.  It helps that our 3/4 teacher is also my crazy bff...we could seriously get each other in trouble lol :)
Working on our science journals...they didn't have a clue! lol

Anyway, I am going to try and write a TEAM science entry to explain it in more detail.  We use the 5E lesson model for it and it has totally  changed my view and approach to teaching science.  I am getting ready to begin my 2nd week of a 3 week summer "course" that I will be a part of for two more summers for TEAM Science.  Like I said, this session has been all about physical science. 

By the end of the school year I was drained...I was also 8th grade sponsor which involves a lot of fundraising and graduation preparation, and a class trip.  We went to St Louis for 3 days.  It was a great time, exhausting, but awesome.  I was definitely ready for summer vacation.  This is the first year I have not been working on school stuff all summer.  I have taken time for myself.  I am just now letting my brain start to gear up for the next school year.  Our first day is August 14th.
 From top of ferris wheel at Six Flags...Class trip
 Me and the bff at Six Flags, class trip
 Our group at 6 flags...

Another thing that contributed to my draining, was our new house, that we moved into the last week of school!  The week of our class trip and graduation!!! lol  It is an older 2 story farmhouse that we are madly in love with and slowly remodeling.  4 bedrooms and 2 baths.  So nice compared to our old 3 bedroom 1 bath.  3/4 wrap around porch, huge, flat grassy yard and 40 acres...compared to our old 1/2 acre.  In love!  Will write more about that later too. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

TPT 10% off Sale!

I am sure most of you know that TPT is throwing a 10% off sale if you enter the promo code FB100K at check out.  I have decided to also put everything in my store on sale for 10% off :)  Happy shopping!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Civil War--Critical Thinking

My 5/6 class has reached the beginning of civil war discussion.  They are loving it!  I am loving it because they are SO SO SO engaged!

This week we have talked about tariffs and slavery dividing our country into 2 sections--sectionalism.  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to try and get them to see both sides.  They were able to put themselves into the shoes of the people living in the south and understand their thoughts on slavery.  I made them each think about if they lived back then what side would they choose?  Why would they choose that side?  Funnily enough, we were split 50/50 right down the middle.  So, now our classroom is split into 2 sections.

We have also began literature circles.  I try to give them at least 15 minutes a day for this.  One group is reading Freedom Crossing and the other is reading a Boys of Wartime Book:  Will at the Battle of Gettysburg.  Both groups seem to really like the books they chose.  My students seem to really like historical fiction.  I love pulling literature into Social Studies!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Read Middle School???

Do you teach middle school?  If so, do you still read books to your students?  Or, do you think it takes away valuable time, or that the students won't like it?  I still read to my kids, they LOVE it, and we all learn so much together.  Every day I take at least 10 minutes to read from a chapter book to my students.  They absolutely LOVE it.  They are all engaged, I ask questions as we go.  Not comprehension questions, but discussion questions. 

We are currently reading the book, Wonder.  Oh my goodness!  It is such a great book, I encourage you all to read it.  My students are so into it.  They always ask me to read more.  We have had some great, thought-provoking conversations while reading this book.  The boy in the book has facial abnormalities and goes to school for the first time, in 5th grade.  My students gasp and the meanness of the other kids in the book, awww at the kindness, and they are honest about what they think they would do if they were the other students in the book.  They don't all say, "oh I would go sit with him like Summer did."  They are honest, and it makes them question their character.

If you aren't reading to your middle schoolers, I HIGHLY recommend you start.  Wonder would be a great book.  It also offers more than one point of view as you read.  Our next book will be a Long Walk to Water.  Another inspirational, thought provoking book.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I definitely enjoyed my 4 day weekend!  That extra day taking my son to the Dr was great because I got my grocery shopping done :)!

I also took advantage of the extra time off and made my new Math I can statements.  I haven't finished the 8th grade set yet, but I was pretty happy to get 5-7 out of the way.  I also need to make a set for my Algebra I class.  I absolutely LOVE that class.  I thought it would be my least favorite just because it was a big leap from the 5/6 math I am used to teaching.  It is all coming back to me like yesterday...I also love that hour of the day, it flies by and the kids that are in it WANT to be in it and WANT to learn.  It is the best class hands down and is the last hour of the day when kids are usually restless etc...I just can't say enough about how awesome they are!!  If you would like to check out my math sets or the bundled math/ELA sets check out my TPT store. :)

This week I started MATH MEETING with my 5th graders.  I need to get a picture of it.  They love it.  I thought it would take a few days to get in the routine, but they come right in, get their white boards and get to work.  I was so proud of them!  They had it down the second day!!! :)

I am also teaching some social studies classes.  In the past social studies has been my least always seemed to be the class taht got pushed to the back burner because it wasn't tested.  This year it is AWESOME!  I am trying to come up with more activities etc.  The kids are really enjoying it.  I have made several I have, who has games for our vocabulary and for main ideas etc.  It has been great. 

All in all, I am loving this year.  It got off to a rocky start, but things seem to be working out nicely now.  I do miss some things of being self-contained.  It takes a little longer to bond with my new kids since I don't see them all day.  I really do love all my kids this year.  I have a great group with a lot of different personalities.  Luckily a lot of my new ones came from my teaching besties class who has a lot of the same personality as I do so they get my humor and sarcasm already.  Every day is a better day!  I hope your year is off to a great start as well!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Getting in the swing of things...

I am finally getting in the swing of things...I think!  Getting up in the morning is getting easier...making it through the day without feeling exhausted is getting easier...having my lesson plans finished is getting there...and going to sleep by 10 p.m. every night is definitely THERE!  haha

I am loving teaching math again.  My incoming 5th graders are pretty low and I have had some difficulty with them.  I also have a few in there that could care less and it is difficult to get them to pay attention/participate.  So on Thursday when I taught them their lesson on decimal place value again (the other teacher had already taught them this...) I was worried, but boy, the got it!  All of them at almost the same time were like OH! and I could see that fabulous light bulb go off :) of my very favorite things about teaching :)

My 8th graders are still struggling with subtracting pos and neg numbers so I am looking for something to help set that into their heads, but they are adding, multiplying and dividing them wonderfully!

Last night I took 5 of my 8th grade girls to dinner at Chili's and then to see the Mortal Instruments movie.  I made the deal with them last year if they read it I would take them.  Unfortunately none of my 7th graders took the deal :-/ and I made it to try and motivate that class to read!  Anyway, we had a fabulous time!  It was fun and funny teaching them how to pay at Chili's.  One of them had a hard time grasping the part about putting your money on the tray and the waiter would bring your change back. :)  We all thought the movie was FABULOUS!  This made us happy because we had heard two bad reviews on it, one from our librarian and one from another student.  WE LOVED IT and hope they make the next one!  It made us want to go read the books again :)

My plan for the weekend is to relax, spend time with family, celebrate mother-in-law's birthday, take the boys fishing, and I want to get new math I CAN statements made.  My wall is looking pretty bare since my switch to math!

I hope you all have a fabulous long weekend!  Mine ended up being 4 days because I had to take my 13 year old to the specialist for his knee Friday.