Friday, December 5, 2014

Currently December AKA Insanity

Yes I have lost my mind. That's totally normal for December right!?

I am taking a break from the hustle and bustle that is December to link up with the hilariously talented Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for my favorite linky of all time! I don't know what I would do without this linky. It literally brightens up my day!

Listening: I am watching Oregon seek revenge on Arizona! Those of you who know me, know that I am a HUGE football fan. And this game is for all the marbles in all the universes. If, I mean when, we win we move on to the playoffs and then the championship! My husband and I have tickets to both of those games and I am so so so excited! GO DUCKS!

Loving: Every December I whip out the ol' Reindeer Cam for my kiddos. I have it set up so that it's on the screen when they first come in each morning. They absolutely love it! If you haven't checked it out you totally should. It is really cute and the kids get so excited! Santa even pops out every once in awhile to feed the reindeer and say hello!

Thinking: I've lost my mind. I mean, what else is new? I am at the stage of exhaustion where I become delirious and more crazy than usual. For the past hour I have been singing everything I say/do including this entire post. Narrated in song. You're welcome. My poor husband. But he knew what this was when he married me. 

Wanting: Peppermint. Anything and everything. Tis' the season!

Needing: My to do list this weekend is terrifying. Like impossibly terrifying. On top of readying our house for my mother in law to move in, I also have a million errands to run, a hair appt, I have to bake 8 dozen cookies for my mom's annual cookie bake, finish report cards, create sub plans for next week while I'm out for a math training, etc. etc. etc. A clone would seriously help right now.

Giving: I wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to all of the amazing teachers I have met throughout this blogging experience. I have made some great online friends who I feel like I have known my entire life. You all inspire me so much and I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing community. 

I especially want to give a shout out to a really good friend that I have made in the teaching community. Her name is Allison and you should totally follow her on Instagram (allison_dean). This beautiful lady has been such a huge support system for me while I have been undergoing infertility treatment and I don't know what I would do without her! 

Well, I should probably go to sleep before I get any crazier! But go link up your December currently. 
"Better late than never, but never late is better" or at least that's what Drake told me. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Increasing Students Blending Fluency: Slinky Style!

Is it winter break yet!? 

Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I am just feeling so scattered impatient blah. It has been a whirlwind lately with home and work and I feel like I'm just barely treading water in both areas. I just need to recharge.

This eCard about sums it up.

This year the reading scores in my classroom are very drastically polarized. I have kids already way above a 1st grade level at a DRA 24+ and then kids way below 1st grade reading level at a DRA level 1. No one in the middle. As you can imagine this makes differentiation difficult at times. 

I have been really struggling with my low reading group. I meet with them every day for about 20 minutes and we work on blending, blending and more blending. We've played games, we've done worksheets, we've done name it, I've probably tried it. It's just not clicking. 

A lot of my kids are doing the "/k/ /a/ /t/. Top." I'm sure you're familiar with this. They're not even close and it is so frustrating! The sounds are all there, but they are unable to successful put them together.  

So I decided to get a little creative. I went to the store (and by store I mean Amazon...) and bought some slinkies! My thought process was that they would be able to visualize the stretching out of the sounds better with a visual/tangible tool.

I downloaded these *FREE* large letter cards from Rulin' the Roost and gave it a go!

Oh. My. Gosh. I literally saw the light bulb go on for some of my students, both metaphorically and literally. They physically lit up once they realized they were finally getting it after struggling for so long! I was SO proud (minus that Seahawks jersey....).

This may be the best purchase I've ever made for my classroom. 

But now I have a question for you: 
How do you structure your guided reading? I really want to revamp my guided reading instruction over the break so I would love any and all insights!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Five For...Saturday?

This week has been cray cray! Like seriously, cray cray. Here's how my week went down.

Monday: Teacher workday
Tuesday: Veteran's Day --> No School
Wednesday: A normal school day
Thursday: "Snow" day --> No School 
Friday: A normal school day

Needless to say, my whole routine is all thrown off. 


I've managed to get it together (a little bit) for my five for Friday. Or really Saturday. Don't worry, I'm going to take your through my week right now!

Monday: Teacher work day. Is it just me or are these the least productive days ever? For some reason I always struggle to get motivated on these days. I planned my week, organized my classroom, watched a lot of Top Model and then ran some errands for our upcoming PYP unit. Overall fairly successful.

I was also able to get in a run (the only one this week). And it was the longest run that I've had in a long time! Progress!

As you can see I'm a little behind this week on my miles. How are you doing?

Tuesday: Appointments, appointments and more appointments. Seriously, so many appointments. I had to take all 3 of my pets to the vet, my husband to the doctor, and then had an appointment for myself. Phew. Grateful for the time to get them all done!

Thank you Veteran's! You help keep my family healthy and safe in more ways than one this year!

Wednesday: We spent all day Wednesday learning about Veteran's day. Our current PYP unit is on celebrations and holidays around the world. Our planner focuses on winter holidays like Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc. I thought it was also important to talk about Veteran's day and why people celebrate it, especially since it results in a day off from school.

We made vocabulary flip books, acrostic poems, mystery pictures, and so much more. Integration at it's finest! 

Thursday: Oh snow day. We had some pretty chilly temperatures on Thursday with snow and freezing rain in the forecast.  I woke up at 5am to a text saying 2 hour delay and then a text at 7am saying school was canceled. And thank goodness because look at all the snow. We really dodged a bullet there.

I laughed way too hard at this. So true. But the unexpected day off was much appreciated!

Friday: One of my students brought me a present today, well a snack really. She decorated a paper bag and inside place this note along with an orange and a snickers. 

The note says:
Have a good snack!

Taste my snack and

1) Circle if it is good or bad. 
Yes     No 

2) If it is yummy or yucky circle it. 
Yum! or Yuck!

3) The heart means it's good and the triangle means it's bad.
(I don't know how to get the shapes on here)

And now we are in Eugene for my husbands birthday. I also set up a Price is Right game for him! It turned out so much better than I expected. And he loved it!

Well now I am off to log some more miles for my running challenge. Thank goodness our hotel has a gym!

Wanna link up your Five for Friday too!? Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for all the deets!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Routine, Templates and Fluency, OH MY!

Every time I switch schools (which has been often, thank you budget cuts) I get asked about how I help my students increase their fluency and boost their reading scores so much throughout the year. There is one strategy I use that I think plays a huge role in my students fluency: Templates!

Templates, for those of you who are unfamiliar, are a quick choral "warm-up" that helps students build fluency. They also mimic DIBELS and EasyCBM which are used for a lot of progress monitoring. It helps students get familiar with this process. 

One thing I love about using templates is that they are totally adaptable to students needs and they build throughout the year. At the beginning of the year I just do a row of letters and maybe a row of CVC words to assess my students current blending capabilities. As the year progresses I add nonsense words, word families, blends, sight words, vocabulary and even sentences. 

Templates also help hold all students accountable. Because it is choral and repetitive (we keep the same template for a full week), even students who struggle are able and expected to participate. If all students are not participating, as a class we start over. 

So here is what my template currently looks like! Like I said, at the beginning of the year it is just letters and maybe some CVC blending practice. The word family and sight words correlate to our Storytown curriculum and change as we change. But the best part about this is that it is totally adaptable to your curriculum and needs. 

**Note: I choose letters (even for nonsense words) that I know my students struggle with**

It takes about 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning. Here is how I do it:

To get started I use a call and response. 

T: Eyes up
S: (repeat)
T: Let's go!
S: (repeat)

Letters: I use a pointer for each letter. Students say the letter name and sound. We start slow at first, but try to speed up as the week progresses and we get more familiar with the new template.

Word Family/Blend: For this template we were working on the -all word family. I like to underline the word family so that students start to recognize it in words. We then sound out the word and then blend it together, but instead of sounding out each individual letter, we sound out the word family together. Students would say  /k/. /all/. call. 

Nonsense words: I am a little hesitant to do nonsense words because it feels wrong teaching students how to read words that are not real. However, I think it is good blending practice so I do use them early on in the year while my students are still getting the hang of blending. I take them away as soon as they have mastered blending. This section is done the same as the word family section. Students say each individual sound and then blend it together to read the word. 

Sight Words: I do this part a little differently. I place the pointer in front of the word and pause for a couple seconds before sliding it under for students to read. The reason that I do this is to allow process time for students who need that extra couple seconds to identify the word. 

**Note: If I hear a mispronounced sound, blend or word I address it immediately by saying my turn and then modeling the correct pronunciation. I then say your turn and have students try it again on their own. I repeat until the mispronunciation is corrected.**

I do keep the colors the same. Letters are always red. Word families and blends are always green. Etc. I do this so that students know what to expect for each color. One time I accidentally switched the colors for our word family and our nonsense words and believe you me, I didn't hear the end of it for a whole week!

At the end of each "warm-up" I call 3 brave friends to pick a color that they want to do independently. They get so excited when it's their turn. They love showing how smart they are. Even my lowbies enjoy this because there is something that they can do and feel successful about. 

Easy Peasy. 

My students love this. I also allow students to practice template during Daily 5 time. Students take turns being the teacher and walking a small group through the template. I love seeing them practicing. I also love hearing them quote me. "Ooh. I need all eyes on me. Let's try that again." --> Do I really say that that often!?

 (usually more kids are participating but of course not the day I decided to take the picture)

There you have it. That's my top secret strategy. I would love to hear what you think if you decide to give it a try (or if you already do something similar)! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

T.G.F.F. (Thank Goodness for Farley) - November Currently!

November! It's officially the holiday season! I don't know about you but once November hits, I am in full on Christmas mode. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Thanksgiving! As far as holidays go it is actually my favorite. I mean, who doesn't love an excuse to eat their body weight in deliciousness!? But I love love love the whole Christmas season. The peppermint drinks, the music, the movies, the decorations...and yes I have already indulged in all of those things as of yesterday <3

Okay, okay, enough about my love of the holidays. I just need to take a moment to say how much I love and appreciate Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade! Without her monthly currently's I would be even worse at blogging than I already am. (Is that even possible!?) I just get so wrapped up in the day to day classroom life that I forget to take the pictures and blog about what I'm doing but I'm working on it. I promise. 

I am just so thankful for her currently. It reminds me to check in to my blog and to catch up on my blog reading! So that is what I am doing this lovely fall Sunday. Football and blogging. And probably a  peppermint hot chocolate, because who am I kidding, I can't be stopped. 

Listening: I am still in bed, in my robe listening to the rain fall and admiring the beautiful fall colors outside. My puppy is snuggled up next to me and my husband is still asleep. Other than the occasional snore (from both my husband and my dog) it is very peaceful. 

Loving: Does that answer really surprise anyone? I am loving that I get to wear all of my boots on the reg again. I have missed them. They are definitely a staple of my wardrobe. 

Thinking: It is probably too early, but I can't help it! I'm like a little kid when it comes to the holidays. #sorrynotsorry

Wanting: Well there are 2 things I am really wanting right now other than someone to bring me breakfast.. 

1. I really want to get better at blogging. I haven't really made it a priority and I rationalize it by saying "I'm sure someone has already done this". I started this blog for a reason: to share and connect. I need to stop talking myself out of (and stop belittling my ideas) and start blogging regularly. Even if someone has already done it, I may have a different spin on things. 

My school is currently in the process of becoming a PYP school and the attribute that we are focusing on this month is being a risk-taker. Now is my chance to practice what I preach. I have purchased an awesome blog organizer pack from the ever so talented Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and I am hoping this will help push me in the right direction. 

2. I just learned about this awesome fitness challenge on Instagram from charm_city5 called 100 by Christmas! The goal is to run/walk 100 miles between Nov. 1st and Christmas day! Anyone want to do it with me!? We can help hold each other accountable.

Needing: So conferences were last week. And I don't have to tell you how tired I am after those long long long days. To top it off, I totally lost my voice. I guess I talk a lot or something? It has been gone all weekend. I sound like an 80 year old smoker. It's quite lovely.

Reading: Unfortunately I am not reading anything exciting. I actually can't even remember the last time I read something purely for enjoyment. Right now I have been knee deep in PYP and Number Corner reading. 2 new things that have been added to my plate this year. I am hoping to find a book (for fun) to read over winter break. Any recommendations?

Don't forget to head on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to get your November currently and to link up with the fabulous Farley. 

Happy Sunday! I'm off to make some breakfast and start getting blo(r)ganized!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

And the Liebster Award Goes To...

I was nominated for this sweet award by Heather over at Recipe for Teaching weeks ago. 2 and a half weeks ago to be exact. Yup. I'm the worst. 

Apparently the Liebster Award was designed to help recognize new teacher bloggers with fewer than 250 followers. Liebster also means dearest, favorite or beloved! Am I blushing?

I have to be honest, I had heard of this adorable blog before, but I hadn't really explored stalked it until this week! She has some really great resources! I especially looooove her math QR codes.

I definitely need to get on the QR code bandwagon! Luckily she has a really simple to follow tutorial for me :)

Recipe for Teaching

So here goes, the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 250 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself. 
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an email to communicate the nomination.

Here are the Questions I was given by Heather :)

How long have you been teaching? 
This is officially my 3rd year teaching! Although it feels much longer. I was lucky enough to have 3 years of student teaching between my bachelors and masters programs so I have been "teaching" for 6 years! And that's not counting the 5 years of teaching preschool during my teacher prep programs. 

 What is your favorite subject to teach?
I absolutely LOVE teaching reading. That is one of the reasons I love 1st grade so much! Students make so much progress during 1st grade and it is really exciting to be a part of that.  

What are 3 things you would say describe you?
Organized (maybe a tad OCD), motivated and funny! Or at least I like to think so!

What is the best thing about teaching, in your opinion?
For me the best thing about teaching is being able to provide that "safe place" for students. Having been in several Title I schools, there is a lot of chaos/drama at home and I love being able to provide that sense of stability for my students.

If you weren't a teacher, what other career would you have?
I'm pretty sure I would be a party planner! I love to plan elaborate parties. 

What is your favorite children's book? 
This is such a tough question! I would probably say any and all Kevin Henkes books! They are adorable!

What is your favorite movie?
Magic Mike. Don't judge. 

No but seriously, I have so many favorite movies. Pretty much any comedy, chick flick or movie with Channing Tatum is A-OK in my book!

What are your hobbies?
I love to run/weight train! I also really enjoy baking (although I don't eat sweets), organizing and crafting. 

Where is the best place you've ever traveled?
I haven't traveled much (yet). In the last few years my husband and I have just started traveling and it has been so exciting! Our first trip I was THAT person in the airport that asked a million questions because I didn't know what to do. But don't worry, I'm a pro now. I think the best place we've been to so far was Hawaii for our belated honeymoon. It was so relaxing and beautiful. 

What is your favorite food?
I looooooove fruit. And salt. But typically not together. 

What is your favorite quote?
Right now my favorite quote is "Don't let your struggle become your identity."

And now for the fun part! 11 random facts about me!

1. I think I am a rapper and also a broadway musical star.
2. I wear children's shoes and clothes (well, not pants because I got hips for days).
3. I have a slight shoe obsession. And by slight, I mean my shoes have their own closet.
4. I want to own all the kittens in the entire world. All of them.
5. I am a die hard 49ers fan. Enough said.
6. I often mix words or phrases together and make new sayings. Yesterday I said "Omitting my eyes" (omitting from memory and averting my eyes...) My husband loves to make fun of these. He writes them down in a book. I expect a book signing any day now.
7. I have been trying really really really hard not to start playing Christmas music already #sorrynotsorry
8. Despite my answer to #7, I LOVE fall. I wish it were always fall.
9. I don't read. Well, not for fun. It's always PD books.
10. I haaaaate the "m word" (it rhymes with joist). It literally makes me cringe. My entire family refers to it as the "m word" around me because I will lose it.
11. I am petrified of lawn gnomes. They are terrifying. Spiders I'm fine with. Clowns we're besties. Lawn gnomes...That's my nightmare!

And now my nominees for the Liebster Award! I'm sorry if you've already been nominated!

Megan over at A New Box of Crayons! She is so freaking adorable and funny.

A New Box of Crayons

Marcy from Searching for Teacher Balance! She has been blogging for awhile but I was SHOCKED when I saw how few people actually follow her on Bloglovin. Marcy is a friend of mine who teaches in the same district! We had a chance to meet this summer and found out that we actually have a few friends in common! Her blog is full of great ideas!

Searching for Teacher Balance

Yari over at Sweet Tooth Teaching! First of all, her name is freaking adorable (both blog and her actual name) but she also has some great ideas! I love that our classroom decor is almost identical. Great minds think alike :)

Uh-oh! Her button doesn't work! You'll have to go click on her name to check her blog out. It's definitely worth it!

That was all the nominations I had! Everyone else already had over 250 followers or were already nominated by Heather! It looks like I'm going to have to go blog snooping to find some new blogs to follow! :)

Here are my questions for you!

1.  How long have you been teaching? 
2.  What is your favorite subject to teach?
3.  What are 3 things you would say describe you?
4.  What is the best thing about teaching, in your opinion?
5.  If you weren't a teacher, what other career would you have?
6.  What is your drink of choice?
7.  What kind of music do you like?
8.  What are your hobbies?
9.  Where is the best place you've ever traveled?
 10.  What is your favorite food?
11.  Morning or night person?

Have fun! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

October! October! October!

October! October! October! 

Can you tell I'm just a tad excited!? Anyone who knows me, knows that I am cuh-ray-zee about fall! I love everything about it. Seriously, everything. 

I was so excited in fact, that I forgot to do my currently until October 6th! For shame. "Better late than never, but never late is better" or at least that's what Drake told me.

I had every intention of getting to it this weekend but I was just too busy soaking up all the fall fun! Saturday I went to the pumpkin patch and Sunday was the annual casserole bake! Now I have all kinds of delicious fall casseroles just chillin' (literally in this case) in my freezer for easy weeknight dinners! 

But now, back to the fabulous currently that Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade sets up every month. She is seriously my favorite! And this currently design is to die for! If you've never checked out her blog you totally should! Her personality is infectious!

And now for my currently! 

Listening: So a friend of mine recently recommended the show Scandal to me. I was a little skeptical at first but she assured me that it was sooooo good. So I decided to watch a few episodes (and by that I mean I binged watched an entire season one Saturday) and I have to say I am hooked! How did I not know about this before!? It makes me wonder what else I am missing out on. 

Loving: I don't think this needs any explanation! I went to Target this weekend and bought everything pumpkin. Literally, everything. My husband just laughed at me. I swear I'm not addicted. I can stop anytime I want. 

Thinking: I should really go make dinner. But Scandal. 

Wanting: It has been so freaking hot here lately. Like unnaturally hot for Oregon. I am not a fan of this. I went to the pumpkin patch on Saturday and it was 83 degrees. I was sweating while picking a pumpkin. Sweating. Not okay. 

Needing: I attempted to be super productive this past weekend. I managed to get 2 loads of laundry done amidst all the fall fun, but they are still unfolded....Oops. 

Book: I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a book for kids or for myself, but I have been dying to read Gone Girl. I just can't decide if I should read it before or after I see the movie!

OH! And I somehow I managed to create a new product this weekend! Look at me go! 

Gotta make up for that entire month I didn't do anything, right!?

 Reading strategy posters to fit my classroom decor! Simple but effective!

I hope you have a fabulous fall! I'm off to actually make dinner! Homemade chili and cornbread with a cup of hot cocoa! That's my kind of night! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Post That Took 3 Weeks to Write...Trying Out a New Writing Structure


These first few weeks of school have been a whirlwind! I know that every teacher feels that way at the beginning of the year, but this year has been especially hectic for me! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have heard about the unfortunate series of events within the first 3 weeks of school.

Day 1: Toilets flooded
Day 2: Power outage
Day 6: Lock in (A real one. Not a drill. Terrifying.)
Day 12-13: Emergency sub
à My husband’s grandfather passed away early Sunday Morning so we are making an emergency flight out to OKC for the services (9/19). (I started this post from the plane!) And as if having a last minute sub so early in the year wasn’t hectic enough, I am also in a wedding back in OR at the coast on Saturday (9/20). I will have to get wedding photo ready on the flight home. You best believe I will be rocking curlers on the plane.

******************************Okay, breathe******************************

Aside from all of that I am loving my new school and of course my kiddos! I have a few behavior issues (who doesn’t) but overall I have a fabulous class. I have been so impressed with them so far and can’t wait to see how far they go this year!

One of my personal goals this year is to improve my writing instruction. I have a really solid persuasive writing unit that I loooooove to teach, but the rest of my writing plans are unorganized random blah. A colleague of mine is involved in a writing training around the book Projecting Possibilities for Writers by Matt Glover & Mary Alice Berry. They focus on projecting units rather than planning units. The emphasis being on leaving room for adjustments in case things do not go exactly as planned. Which let’s be honest, is often in the classroom!

If you are interested you can get your copy by clicking the image below!

Now that I have read the book I am going to give it a whirl! You can find the planning template here! If you're like me and you like having a digital copy that you can type into, I typed one up on GoogleDrive. Feel free to use it! 

Matt Glover & Mary Alice Berry give a great outline for how planning should go. I was feeling overwhelmed with yet another new thing to try out but luckily there was a template and structure to follow. I am also lucky to have some amazing (and knowledgable) colleagues to help me navigate this new writing structure. Searching for Teacher Balance, I'm talking about you! ;)

Searching for Teacher Balance

Step 1:Decide on and name your unit of study

I don't know about you, but writing is always like pulling teeth in my classroom. Every year my students rush through writing without any motivation or desire. I hear a lot of excuses. But the one that bothers me every. single. time is "I don't know what to write".  How can you not know what to write!? The possibilities are endless! So I am using that as the launching point for my first unit! I want to focus on where writer's get ideas! So that is what my first unit will be called: Where Writer's Get Ideas. No more "I don't know what to write".


Seriously guys, the struggle is real.

Step 2:Collect mentor texts

Now the fun part! Collecting mentor texts! Another colleague of mine showed me this adorable book called Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon about a little boy who struggles with stories to write. This seemed like the perfect place to start! 

I scoured the internet for other books to help my students generate their own ideas during writing time. It wasn't easy. Trying to figure out the best way to word that search took way longer than it should have. So I posted what I was looking for on Facebook and BAM! Thank goodness for social media! 

The books I chose:
1. Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon
2. Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills
3. The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli (not pictured)
4. Little Red Writing by Joan Holub
5. You Can Write a Story by Lisa Bullard

Step 3: Determine primary and secondary goals

I love setting goals! Is that weird!? I love it because it gives me a chance to step back and really think about my purpose. If I don't know my purpose I find that I lack the passion behind what I am teaching. And how can I expect my students to find what I'm teaching to be meaningful if I can't!?

Primary Goals:
1. Students will be able to generate a variety of different ideas independently during writing time.
2. Students will be able to tell a complete story with beginning, middle and end.
3. Students will increase their stamina for writing.

Secondary Goals:
1. Students will be able to convey a feeling in their writing.
2. With support, students will be able to add supporting details to their writing.
3. Students will draw pictures to support their writing.
3. Students will use appropriate capitals and punctuation.

Step 4: Project possible mini lesson topics

This step was really difficult for me probably because the possibilities are endless! It's a little bit intimidating! What helped me was to read through my mentor texts and look for things that could spark an interesting mini lesson. I also thought about the skills that my students are currently lacking.

1. Finding inspiration
2. Making connections (Text to Self)
3. Writing tools (dictionary, word wall)
4. Asking yourself questions
5. Adding details
6. Using your imagination
7. The writing process
8. Creative language
9. Stamina
10. Revision

Looking at other peoples units of study I noticed they tend to have a lot more mini lessons. That does make me a little bit nervous, but I am hoping the phrase "quality over quantity" applies here?

Step 5: Anticipate and prepare for issues

 I don't even know. The thing that keeps coming to mind is differing levels in ability. 

Step 5: Respond and Reflect

Stay tuned! I am starting this tomorrow! EEK!

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...September Currently!

Wow! I had to write that title 3 different times because I kept typing August. Wishful thinking I guess! 

I wish I could say that I've been a tad MIA lately because of something awesome like traveling outside of the country or spending countless hours on my TPT store. But the truth of the matter is, I went back to school last week! And boy oh boy is it tricky moving schools! Tomorrow is the first day with my new kiddos and I am so not ready. Not even close. 

I need to turn my teacher brain back on. Not that it was ever fully off but I'm not in teacher mode quite yet. I'm still in prep mode. 

In an attempt to get back into the swing of things I am linking up with the spunky Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for September Currently! Eeek! I love these currently's! 

Listening: Okay okay, I'll admit it. I have a problem. I am pretty sure I have been listening to Friends reruns every single time I have done my currently. It's one of my favorites! I'm not even sorry. 

Loving: I woke up this morning like a little kid on Christmas because it is officially September which means fall is here! I am love love loving this fall-esque weather! It's starting to cool down. Football is back. The leaves are changing to all of those beautiful colors. The PSL is back!

Which BTW did you know that you can get it decaf!? (I can't drink caffeine. I get physically ill). I don't know how I didn't know about this before last year. It has changed my world! 

Thinking: Exactly what everyone else is thinking. I am not ready to be back at school quite yet! Enough said. 

Wanting: Wouldn't it be great if our to-do lists could just finish themselves!? That is part of why I am not ready for school to start tomorrow, I still have so much to do! I don't even have all my curriculum/materials yet because of the new school. So stressful! 

Needing: I really need to take a shower. I got a massage this morning and part of it was a scalp massage which means that there are many kinds of massage lotions all up in my hair. And then I ran 3 miles… Luckily I don't sweat/smell! 

3 Trips: This one was so hard for me as I haven't done much traveling at all! You would think that would make it easier to choose 3 places I would like to visit but the choices are endless! I've decided that my top 3 would be Paris (I'm a girl, what can I say?), Germany (the culture/architecture is stunning) and New York (because we didn't get to go this summer)!

Well there's my September Currently! Back to lesson planning, prepping and organizing for tomorrow! Don't forget to go link up your September Currently! I love reading everyones! 

Good luck to everyone who is also starting next week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Made it? Yeah, I'm a Little Late

Oops! I had every intention of getting this post up yesterday Monday but life kinda happened! I am really trying to soak up every last bit of summer before school starts back up! So that's exactly what I have been doing :)

 But that didn't stop me from getting my craft on this past weekend! I am so excited to finally be linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for my first real (of hopefully many) Monday Made Its

I have been working hard on getting my classroom put together! I figured new school, new decor! I may have bit off more than I could chew but I am having fun with all of these crafts! I am excited to see it all come together in my new room next week!
I have had these table caddies for 3 years now. While I will say they are durable as all get out, the colors were driving me crazy and do not fit with my new decor! So I decided to paint them! 

As you can tell these babies have seen some wear and they look nasty! So I had to do some cleaning first! I bought some magic erasers and scrubbed away! I was so impressed with how clean they got! 

Just look at that!

Almost squeaky clean! Almost. Those dang corners are still driving me crazy! But I am still pretty impressed!

My new classroom has a chalkboard so I wanted to play on that with my new decor. I'm using a lot of black/chalkboard prints with bright colors! I think they compliment each other well! Here's how the caddies look now!

Purple, pink, turquoise and lime, oh my! 

I found this really really cute chalkboard sign at Michael's the other day and thought "Hey, I could make that!" 

I found a wooden placard and some chalkboard paint and was ready to go.

I had some left over ribbon from the table caddies but it was too much black to go on the sign so I decided to make my own ribbon! I found some thinner, purple ribbon and layered it onto the black. It helps, but I think I should still prefer some sort of twine! 

Well, that's it! What kinds of crafts have you been working on!? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday!

Well, I suppose I should start thinking about back to school. So I'm linking up with the lovely Christina Decarbo over at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wedsneday! I've missed these! 

So my question for you is: How do you organize all those supplies students bring in on the first day of school? Do you make it an activity? Do you just have them put them in bins? That's how I've done it in the past but I want something a little more exciting! 

I can't wait to hear all of your fabulous ideas!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently!

No no no no no no no no no no no.

That's all I've got to say about that! How is it August!? Like seriously. No.

To make me less sad about the fact that summer is almost over *tear* I am liking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for August Currently. The highlights of my month!  

Listening: If you know me at all you know how not surprising this is. I love me some Friends. It never gets old!

Loving: I participated in my first SLANT Box ever this past month and Oh. My. Gosh. Best decision of my life. I had so much fun "meeting" another teacher blogger. We had so much in common! Love her! 

To read more about my new teacher blogger friend and to get a peak at the goods that I received, check out that post {here}!

Thinking: I'm not really thinking, it's more that I'm in denial. How is it August!? Where did summer go!? I haven't accomplished much on my to-do list yet. Oops. 

Wanting: Pretty much the same thing I've been wanting for almost 2 years now! This past month we finally had success with hormone therapy so this is the first time theres actually been a chance. Ugh. Waiting sucks. Fingers crossed please! 

Needing: Aside from needing more summer, I really need a burger. A big juicy greasy burger! Notice how this is under needing and not wanting. I. Neeeeeed. It.

1st Day: My first official day back is August 25th, but I am going in starting next week to begin moving my stuff over to my new school/classroom! I am excited to get in there! 

The kids first day is Sept. 2nd. So I still have some time to tackle that to-do list…Or at least to pretend I'm going to as I procrastinate more. :)