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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Switching gears...MMI on Tuesday...Exhausted...

SO many different titles I could chose from for this I mentioned before I am switching gears from communication arts to math...I volunteered...I have to say, even though I did TONS of work on com arts things, I am really happy.  I didn't realize how much I would miss math.  I am still teaching 5/6 math, but adding 7/8 material to teach, a challenge I am happy to take....math is sooooo fun for me to teach...somehow I forgot! :)  (yes, it was just in May I was still teaching math ;) )

I have been working on some functional things for my room.  I am making a really cool set of math posters that I am IN LOVE with, and they match my color scheme ;)  I also made math meeting headings for my 5/6 group and for my friends' 3/4 group in both our color schemes.

I haven't uploaded to TPT yet, but I will update when I do...I guess I didn't take any pics of the ones I made for my buddy....

Friday, August 23, 2013

Still here...hanging on...first of school

Made it through my first week of school with kids....YAY! :)  It was a great, busy week!

We have decided to add another teacher to our middle school, the other teacher and myself have been going without a planning period...through this process I offered to take over I will not be teaching com arts anymore, I will be teaching math...I am actually pretty excited, I really miss teaching math!!

Anyway, more to come...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to School Sale Today and Tomorrow!

Head over to TPT and check out my back to school sale...everything in my store is 20% off + enter BTS13 to get even more off!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Reveal!!!!

Oh my!!  I am beat!!!  I forgot what it was like getting up early!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have just been busy busy...I really didn't think I would be this busy still!!  I went and got a pedicure today after school, I deserved it :)  My feet feel much better and are ready to start the school year.  Tomorrow night is our open house/ice cream social.  Love it!

I finally cleaned the mess up in my room enough to take pictures.  I am pretty sure I am finished, I have added and added things the past two days...

Okay, are you ready!?!?  I AM!

Here is one of my shelves...student mailboxes on top w/o names yet...lamp shade that I recovered using hot glue and burned the you know what out of two of my fingers...still needs a little help....

This is the shelf behind my desk...infamous teacher toolbox, pics of my kids....dum dum name that I made....

Class library....lime green lamp I got at Walmart...

Student computer for taking book tests and second recovered lamp shade...

Awesome "designer" clothes pins I got at Dollar General last night...there were four colors, I gave my teacher BFF the other colors because they matched her room colors...These are for anchor charts...

Another view behind my desk

View of classroom from behind my desk....

Subway art above board....glitter clothes pins below board...

View of room from door....

Sink area...I added a couple posters beside the towel dispenser after I took this pic....

Objective area

Glitter clothespins for student work...

more glitter clothes pins on my desk for "Star student work"

I made this on my desk for the No Name papers...

This is in front of my desk...

Covered a couple of cork boards with fabric and hung by my desk...also more clothes pins for anchor charts...

I hope you enjoyed the "tour"!  I am so proud of my room this year, so far the kids that have seen it are IN LOVE!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2 days!?!?! NOOOOOO

2 days until I report to work, that is counting today!!!  AHHHHH!!!  I am quickly writing this post while I am eating my breakfast.  I have been trying to clean the house and get a lot of laundry finished before we leave for Branson this evening.  We are winding our summer down with a trip to Branson and going to Silver Dollar City's hoping that it doesn't rain on us tomorrow!!  Seriously, this past two weeks has been terrible weather, RAIN RAIN RAIN!  The exact opposite of this time last year.  So, instead of being in a drought, we are dealing with flooding.  My hubby runs a rural mail route and has had a TON of detour miles logged this week...

I will be linking up to MMI on Monday, but it might be late.  I also plan to write my classroom reveal post Monday night!!  SOOOOO excited about that one :)  I just have a few extra little touches to add to my room Monday...

Monday, August 5, 2013

MMI: 8/5/2013

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!  I have one week left until I report back to work!?!  This is not possible!  Sigh...I am assuming that next Monday will be my last MMI. 

This week I was hard at work putting my CCSS and Resources binders together.  I have sold a few in my TPT Store which of course makes me happy. :)  To me, my best products are the ones that I make for myself and then actually sell.

I really didn't make anything else this week...I have been lazy, and soaking up the time to be lazy before I can't be anymore.  My youngest had his 6 month check up at the dentist today.  On the way home from that we stopped at my Grandma and Grandpa's.  We turned it into a day, they order pizza, we rode the gator, picked some apples, and just did a lot of visiting.  It was nice and we should do it more often....

  I do plan to go work in my classroom tomorrow and get "it everything in place" so all I have to worry about on the work days are lesson plans. :)  That would make me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!

I did make something for home this week...I almost forgot!
Homemade was SOOOO good!

Sorry if this was a bit boring.  I plan to have a classroom reveal by next Monday.  I am also working on adding Math resource binders to my TPT store too.  I might even do lower grades...depends how ambitious I become!

Go check out the ever fabulous, Tara, at MMI

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Follower Giveaway Winnder announced!!

And the winner is...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Look for an email within 24 hours, Tonya!  Congratulations and enjoy spending that $15!!  I think I will be spending way more than that on TPT this week...hoping to get a school PO for it...we shall see though.

Hope everyone is having a great week!  I think the boys and I will go work in my classroom later today, it is a rainy dreary day her today.  I am thankful for all the rain we are getting lately, but I would really like to be enjoying the last weeks of summer!!!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

MMI: 7/29/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway
DON'T forget my follower ends today...I made it a $15 TPT gift certificate!

As I previously stated, I have had the end of summer blues.  SO imagine my surprise when I had a super productive weekend!

Saturday I made binders for 5-8 Common Core ELA standards.  I love them!!!  Each strand has its own section with all the standards printed together.  Then there is a sheet with each standard printed on it with boxes to write lesson plans for teaching that standard and resources used for each standard.  I will then slip the resources in behind each of those pages.  I showed it to my curriculum director and she LOVED it.  We are in the process of writing new curriculum and she thinks this will be extremely useful!  I have made each one available in my TPT store if you want to check them out.
5th grade ELA CCSS/Resources Binder    6th grade ELA Common Core Standards and Resource Binder   7th grade ELA Common Core Standards and Resources Binder   8th grade ELA Common Core Standards and Resources Binder

I also made a set of Subway Art with quotes I have been pinning on pinterest.  These are a FREEBIE in my store.  I laminated them and put them above my white board in my classroom tonight.

I am going to make 3 more for the empty space :)

I also did the "In our classroom we do..." project that has been floating around pinterest.  Mine is simple and matches my color scheme.
I hope you found something useful and I will be doing some more "crafty" things next week.  I am just in the countdown days where I have to get things together! :)  2 weeks from today is my report day!!  AHHHH!!!  So many lesson plans to get prepared, I haven't really thought much about social studies yet....

Go on over to Fourth Grade Frolics and check out all the other Monday Made Its!  I have a doctor appointment this morning, but plan on checking them out this afternoon. :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

End of Summer Blues....

I think I have the end of summer blues...haven't felt like doing much of anything this past week...I don't think the rain helped.  I am thankful for the rain and mild temps, but I really want it to be HOT and sunny so I can spend my last days on the river!!!

Last night I decided to get out of my funk and I did make a resource for my room.  We will be writing all new curriculum this year for common core. SOOOOO....I made a resource for my 5th grade standards.  I will be doing the same for 6, 7, and 8 as well.  In this packet I have all the ELA standards.  They are separated by categories.  There is a cover page for each category that has all the standards under that category listed.  Then each standard has its own page where you can list lesson plans and resources used to teach that standard.  I plan to slip hard copies of each resource behind those sheets.

I am excited to use these and hope I keep up with it! :)  I found free checklists that I am going to put in my binders too.  I believe I found them all on TPT as well.  They have spaces to write the dates that you teach each standard. 

So, if you are interested you can check out my new product.  I didn't mean for this to be a shameless plug for it, but I am excited to use it and hope it can be helpful to a lot of my followers.  Stay tuned for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade...maybe I can finish them before Monday Made It?!

5th grade ELA CCSS/Resources Binder5th grade ELA CCSS/Resources Binder5th grade ELA CCSS/Resources Binder

Don't for get to enter my follower giveaway for a TPT $15 gift certificate!!! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Okay, so for all my followers...I planned to draw for the giveaway of the $10 TPT gift certificate today...ummm...yeah...didn't work out the way I wanted.  So I have made a rafflecopter giveaway for it.  It is for a week. You must be a follower to win!  So FOLLOW my blog and enter to win!  Sorry for the wait, but I am going to five the winner a $15 gift certificate instead for the wait!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, July 22, 2013

MMI: 7/22/13

HOLY COW!!  I only have 2 more Mondays until I report to work!   How did that happen!?!?!

Once again it is time for Monday Made It with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics.  I enjoy linking up each week. 

I have to admit that I wasn't real crafy this week.  I printed some things at school and forgot to bring them home...I also took most of last week off from doing anything with school and just enjoyed my kiddos.  We went floating one day and went fishing one day.  It was nice amid all of my stepson's dr appointments.  He spends most of the summer at him mom's, but he comes back for a "vacation" here for a couple of weeks...sports physical, orthodontist, and two other dr appts...some vacation for him, right!? lol
We went floating with Me, my mom, my sister-in-law, my cousin, my  3 boys and my nephew.  Much fun...
 Here are a few from catfishing!  The boys always have so much fun.  It was Kaleb's first time since he has been gone all summer.  Everyone caught fish, so everyone was happy! :)

Anywho...I did manage to get a couple of things made.  I made two calendar sets, one for me and one for my BFF teaching buddy.  I went ahead and put them in my TPT store.  Click on the thumbnails to check them out.
Bulletin Board Calendar Lime, gray, blue                       Colorful Calendar Bulletin Board Set

I sold my first couple sets of I can statements on TPT as well.  WOOHOO, my first sales! :)  I have 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade ELA available.  8th grade is free!!!!

5th grade ELA Common Core I can statements

Anyway, that is pretty much all I got accomplished this week.  We are going to work in my room tonight so I will have craftiness to share next week! :)  I will be announcing my giveaway winner tomorrow!! :) 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I just finished reading two AMAZING books.  I cannot wait to share them with my classes this year.  The first book I read was A Long Walk to Water.

This book is a dual narrative based on a true story.  Nya goes to the pond to fetch water for her family.  She walked 8 hours every day.  Salva walks away from his war-torn village.  He is a "lost boy" refugee.  They are both in the country of Sudan.  I absolutely LOVED this story.  It was very empowering and will open your students' eyes to the outside world, to how wonderful our country truly is!  I will say, I shed a few tears reading this book.  I believe I will read it aloud with my 7th and 8th graders.  I believe we will have a ton of GREAT discussions.

The second book I read this week was, Wonder by R.J. Palacio.!  What a powerful book to read.  I plan to read this book with my 5th and 6th graders.  Again, I see a lot of wonderful discussions coming from this book.  It will also be a great book to talk about point of view with.  August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to mainstream school--until now.  He is entering 5th grade.  We all know that it is hard enough to enter a new school, let alone enter with a very different appearance.  I have to say, I cried a lot with this book.  It is just so uplifting/moving.  It is also funny.  I highly recommend the book.

What have you read this summer?  I am looking for some more books that will tie into my socials studies units.  If you have any suggestions that would be wonderful!! :)