FB Pop Up

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Let the Color-Coding Begin

As I begin to wrap my head around how I want to organize my "stuff" for the new job, I know this much is true:  it will all be color-coded!  That shouldn't surprise you one bit!  Head on over to TPT to grab this simple freebie!  

post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, August 15, 2014

Can We Still Be Friends?

Yippee ki-yay, I got the job!  However, first and foremost, my next step is to make sure we can all still be friends.  You see, my new job is in RtI.  For some people, that's a dirty word that brings up thoughts of never-ending paperwork and more meetings than one could imagine.  Heck, it probably elicits anxiety and nervous tremors from some of you.  But you see, I'm passionate about making sure that all kids get the help they need without making the life of a teacher even more difficult.  

As the new RtI Coordinator at an elementary school, I'm looking for some insight from all of you.  What parts of RtI at your school would you change and how would you change them?  Is there a component of RtI working really well at your school?  Please share!

I can't wait to share my upcoming adventures!  

post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tomorrow is a BIG DEAL

Oh, boy.  I have an interview tomorrow for a job I really, really, want.  It sounds like a match made in heaven.  It's the perfect combination of things I enjoy doing.   There's a cherry on top!  The position isn't full time-it's 80% time, which is perfect since I'm beginning grad school in October.   I'm taking a bag of stuff with me to the interview so that I can show, not tell.   Hopefully tomorrow evening I get to write another blog post announcing my new job.  Fingers crossed! Prayers said! Buddha belly rubbed!

Oh, and kids come back to school on Monday.  Yikes!
post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cheaper Than Therapy

Must.find.job.  While waiting for new job postings to pop up, I'm creating up a storm!  It helps keep me focused and sane.  I'm cranking out new labels for my entire classroom library (all 27 banker boxes worth), a mini-calendar set, and a new word wall!  I decided to do fiction labels in one color, and non-fiction in another because sometimes the little darlings forget.  For my word wall, I made the vowels pink and consonants green to help the kiddos keep that straight.  The mini-calendar is a work in progress.  I'm hoping to use a big oil pan to make a place for our calendar, schedule, clocks, weather, etc.  

Now I just need a classroom to put all of it in!  Here's a sneak peek!  Nothing too snazzy, just a facelift!

I've turned down some opportunities for 5th grade interviews.  Call me crazy, but I'm not passionate about teaching fifth and I don't want to take an interview slot from someone that might be the perfect fit for some soon to be fifth graders.  Faith...and deep breaths.
post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Following Our Hearts

I have news.  BIG news.  BIG, EXCITING NEWS! Since you've obviously read every single post I've ever written, you know that my hubs is in the AF and we move every 2-3 years, which makes me an expert classroom packer-upper.  Seriously.  I should have a special badge.  We were stationed in Colorado Springs, CO from June 2011-July 2013.  We arrived in SC July 2013.  Ready for the news?!  We are making our LAST big move...back to Colorado!   In an effort to reduce their forces, the AF offered a voluntary separation opportunity, and we took it.  It was a big decision to give up his job security, but in our hearts, we know we belong in CO.  I will be able to find a forever home at a school!  I arrived a few days ago so that I can get a new job at the start of the school year.  My father super hero flew out to SC to help me drive and pull the trailer classroom on wheels...all 3,100 pounds!  My hubs will follow in December when he transfers from Active Duty to the Reserves.

To celebrate, I created a little FREEBIE for y'all!  You can print the full page size, frame it, and add some decor to your classroom.  Or, print one of the smaller card versions and write a sweet note for a co-worker at the beginning of the year!

This teacher is off to find a job!
post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, April 18, 2014

Love My Peeps

It's Freebie Friday and I've got a sweet and simple freebie for MY peeps just in time for Easter.  In this post, I mentioned how much I LOVE the Peep clipart freebie from Krista Wallden, so I whipped up an easy printable to show all of my peeps some love!

Use these cards to tell YOUR peeps how "hoppy" they make you!  They'd be great for students, co-workers, and friends!  I'm attaching mine to some baked goods and using them as the tags, but you could just write a sweet note and leave it at that.  All you have to do is print and cut.  No curvy cuts, folding, or fuss!
I showed them to my hubs the other night while I was writing out my messages.  He didn't laugh.  So then I showed him again because clearly he didn't get it.  Why else would he have not laughed?  The second time he laughed.  Smart man.  I know all of you appreciate my humor!

Ready to hunt down your free copy?  Hop on over to my TPT store to put this FREEBIE in your basket!  Show some love and leave some feedback!

Thanks to TBA for hosting Freebie Friday.  If you've never visited, go check it out!  There are so many great freebies out there to take advantage of!

post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Making the Most of Games

I'm here for another teacher confession session, AKA, sharing my face-palm DUH moments with all of you. This one is an oldie.  I made this swap years ago and I still think about all of the lost learning opportunities prior to switching over haven't looked back.  I bet a lot of you lovelies already do this.  Sometimes I live under a rock...
I'm going to keep this short and sweet:  When your kids are playing a game in small groups or during centers, instead of having kids take turns answering questions, have every kid in the group answer every question.  

OMGracious, did this ever help with maximizing learning opportunities and time on-task!  Instead of players goofing off while it was someone else's turn, it's now always everyone's turn.  I let them let take turns flipping the question cards, but then each player has to record an answer.  Anyone that is correct gets to move their piece/spin/collect/etc.  

For those of you that just crawled out from under this rock, don't beat yourself up.  Beat up your teacher friends that are already doing this for not clueing you in.  Kidding!  I would be gasping for air buried beneath a rock quarry if it weren't for all of my teacher friends!  

Do you have any small group game advice for the rest of us?
post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Emmy After Party

Did you make it through all 11 ridiculous random facts in my last post without spitting out your coffee?  Hopefully it made for a good laugh or two!  Just in case you need to catch up, Angela, from The Organized Plan Book, nominated me for the Liebster Award!
Angela sent me 11 questions to answer, so here goes!

1. Why did you start blogging?
Since the military moves us every 2-3 years, I decided to start blogging as a way to "stay connected". Saying goodbye to co-workers that have become your friends & your family-away-from-family is tough.  Blogging, and the friends that come with it, helps to keep a constant.  

2.  What is the most important lesson you have learned while being a teacher?
I learned that I will never be able to do it all.  Accepting that allowed me to prioritize and have a life.

3.  What was your most embarrassing teacher moment?
I haven't really had one (I'm sure my day will come), so I'll share one from a previous co-worker, AC.  Our 4th graders were researching animals and doing oral presentations.  Her class was ready to begin practicing their presentations, so AC was talking to her kiddos about how/what to present.  

AC:  Alright, when you present, don't tell us the basic information that everyone already knows.  For example, if you're doing an elephant, you wouldn't want to tell us that they are gray, have trunks, and known for eating penis.  PEANUTS.  I meant peanuts.  
Yup.  You read that correctly.  OMGracious!.

4.  What is your favorite part of your classroom?
My library.  I don't buy shoes, I buy books!  Because I've packed it up so many times, I know the stats.  Currently, it takes 22 banker boxes filled to the brim to pack up all of my student library books.

5.  How do you de-stress from an exhausting day at work?
Oh, this one is easy.  CrossFit.  I get to pick up and throw around heavy weights!  

6.  What is the best piece of advice you would offer to newbie teachers?
See my answer to number two!  You will be a better teacher if you set work hours/limits because you won't come to resent teaching, which is something we go into because we love it.

7.  How do you organize your classroom library?
I use the metal "build" a shelf system because I can configure the shape/layout to each new classroom.  I use zip-ties to reinforce them.  I use bins in each cubbie.  The bins are sink wash tubs from Walmart.  My library is split NF and F.  NF is then split by subject and then by topic.  F is split mainly by genres and some by authors/series.  The outside of each bin has a printed label and a colored dot (like for garage sales).  Then each book in the tub has the same dot.  For example, mysteries have half of a yellow dot on the cover with an M written on it.  I split genres into smaller pieces.  For example,  within Realistic Fiction, I have Realistic Sports Fiction, Realistic Animal Fiction, etc.  This is to make it easier for kids to find books that appeal to them.   Every book also has a label on the cover that either states NOT AR, or the AR level and point value.

8.  If you could meet anyone for a day, who would it be?
Michael Jackson!

9.  Where is your favorite place you have visited?
Costa Rica!  Great outdoor adventures everywhere you turn.  The food is amazing and the people are so friendly and love their land.  

10.  What is your favorite book to teach?
Someone Named Eva...captivating! 

11.  Do you change the layout/organization of your classroom each year?
Ha!  Since we move every 2-3 years, this is such a pain.  The first year in a new classroom is always the roughest because I don't have a "system" yet.  I usually do quite a bit of re-arranging as we go to make it better match our needs.  I make the kids part of the problem solving so that when I do re-arrange they don't act like the world is ending.  I let them tell me what is working/what isn't and offer suggestions, and then I make the changes I want after school. I try and only do this 3-4 times in a year.  This is uber frustrating.  Sore subject.  Just when I feel like I've got my classroom the way I like it with good flow and purposeful placement, it's time to pack.  

My nominations (click on picture to visit their blog):

Kayla, from Rooting for Third Grade, started her first full time teaching job, working with special education preschoolers, a few weeks ago.  She recently had a competition to rename her blog and she will be revealing the winning name soon!  Go cheer on this young lady as she begins her teaching journey!

Language Arts Bliss seems to do an amazing job making LA fun in secondary grades!  She incorporates projects and centers.  Yes.  Centers...in middle school.  How awesome is that?

Kristin not only has an adorable blog, but it's full of great ideas!  I love her Quote of the Week idea!  She posts a quote at the beginning of the week, and has questions that really push kids to think critically.

I am breaking the rules and only nominating 3 blogs.  PLEASE forgive me.  This time of year is a tad crazy and I figured 3 was better than none!

My 11 questions for the nominees:
1.  What is your favorite hobby?
2.  What style of shoes do you wear to work most often?
3.  Do you get to wear jeans to work?  Is this a big deal to you?
4.  Have you "splurged" on something recently for your classroom?  What was it?  If not, is there something calling your name?
5.  Do you paint your nails on a regular basis?
6.  When given a choice, do you pick a favorite restaurant you've been to many times, or do you try a new place?
7.  Do like to drink water, or does it feel like a chore?
8.  How often does your school have staff meetings?
9.  What are your thoughts on school uniforms?
10.  Beach or mountain?
11.  What is your all-time favorite dessert?

Rules Reminder:
1.  Link back to the person that nominated you.
2.  Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions present by the person that nominated you.
4.  Nominate 5-11 bloggers and contact them.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me!  Be sure to stop by the blogs I nominated and tell them hello!

post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Who Needs An Emmy?

Who needs an Emmy?  Not this girl.  Nope.  Especially when I've got a Liebster Award!  I did curl my hair, put on makeup, and throw on my wedding dress to write this blog post so that I could feel like I was headed to a fancy award ceremony.  Kidding.  No, seriously, I was kidding.  I'm totally in my pajamas!  This is how rumors get started.  PJs...Girl Scout's honor.

Acceptance speech:  Angela, from The Organized Plan Book, nominated me for the Liebster Award!  Apparently she likes my tips for organizing!  We might be long lost sisters.  She has a "thing" for binders too!
Isn't she a beaut?
Let's just make sure everyone knows the rules before the chaos ensues.
1. Link back to the person that nominated me     
*Done.  If you missed it, be sure to stop by The Organized Plan Book and say hello to Angela  
2. Share 11 RANDOM facts about myself 
3. Nominate 5-11 blogs that have less than 200 followers and contact them
4. Answer the questions from the person that nominated

My 11 RANDOM facts...I'm going to treat this somewhat as a confession for your pure entertainment.  You are welcome.  

1.  I recently made 5 gallons of homemade laundry detergent.  It works. It was dirt cheap.  It doesn't have crazy chemicals in it.  I'm about 33% hippie after living in CO.  

2.  I ate a Gobstopper off the floor of my car.  You might be thinking that that's not so bad.  It had been there for a few days.  AND it was green.  I don't even like "green" flavored candy (this includes, but is not limited to green Skittles, Runts, and Gobstoppers).  In my defense, I was the one that dropped it so I felt like I knew its origin.  This was a low for me.  

3.  I can do pull-ups.  

4.  When I was little, my family went to Luby's every few weeks.  I ordered the same thing EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.  A side salad with ranch and 5 rolls.  FIVE.  Mmmmm.  Memories.  I had no interest in the blue Jello.  Give me the rolls and no one will get hurt.  Then they changed their recipe and their rolls suffered.  

5.  I follow a paleo lifestyle (I don't like the word diet) about 80% of the time.  I love sweets too much to give them up completely...and obviously I love bread, but I REALLY limit my intake of grains.  

6.  I'm a pretty good cook.  Toot, toot. Yup, that's me tooting my own horn.  I made a Moroccan spiced rack of lamb with a Shiraz and honey sauce for dinner Friday.  I love cooking for others.  Dinner party?  Yes, please! 

7.  I clean my shower while I shower.   

8.  Back to being part hippie.  I got the Excalibur food dehydrator for my birthday a few years ago.  It is huge and totally straight out of the 60s or 70s, but it is amazing.  The great reviews online are true. I've perfected apple and sweet potato chips, dehydrated strawberries, bananas, and kiwis, and next up is beef jerky.

9.  I can pick things up off the ground with my toes.

10.  This is probably no surprise to you, but I plan out a menu for the week along with a coordinating grocery list.  The daily menu and ingredient list is on my fridge.

11.  I LOVE giving Kona her doggie bath.  It is some of my favorite bonding time with her and I don't consider it a chore at all!  Melts my heart!

I'll answer Angela's 11 questions in Part 2.  I don't want to overwhelm you!  My Liebster nominations will be revealed in Part 2 as well.

This teacher bloggy world has filled my heart and blessed me beyond belief!

post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Drum Roll, Please!

Are you the winner?  Did you enter the giveaway?   The odds were good around here!

Rachel V. is the newest owner of my Fraction 4 Game Bundle and she got it for FREE!  It is packed full of games to reinforce identifying fractions, recognizing 3/3, 4/4, etc. as one whole, reading fractions on number lines, and comparing fractions with like numerators or like denominators.  

Sad you didn't win?  Head on over to TPT if you want to pick up a copy for yourself!

Happy Sunday!
post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, March 28, 2014

April FREEBIE Hiding in Five for Friday

It's like an Easter egg hunt!  Kind of.  Maybe just a little bit.  There really is a "prize" for you! Hunt through this Five for Friday, hosted by Doodle Bugs, to find your April Freebie!  Here's a little carrot to keep you going!
Can you find me?  Keep reading to find the link to this freebie!
You know how I like to take advantage of the free clipart on TPT, right?  I talked about it in this post if you want to read more about it.  Well, I recently came across this must-have set from Krista Wallden of Creative Clips.  I love her clipart and this set is FREE! So many possibilities!
I'm loving the variety of colors!  I'm thinking these would be great to write a short & sweet note to co-workers telling them you're glad they are one of your "peeps".  How would YOU use these?  
Still looking for The Great Egg Hunt, huh?  Keep at it!  It's somewhere around here!  I was looking at a class photo from my husband's elementary years and just had to count the kiddos because it seemed like there were a million kids in his class.  I was right.  39.  Say what? THIRTY-NINE.  Granted it was 25 years ago, but still.  I've had as few as 18 (GLORIOUS), and as many as 29 (OMGracious).  What's the most you've ever had?  

In case you haven't heard, I'm giving away a FREE copy of my Fraction 4 Game Bundle!  It includes a 102 page color version, as well as a 102 page grayscale color ink costs too much version!  A winner will be announced Sunday, March 30th in the morning.   Want a chance to win?  Of course you do!  CLICK HERE to get entered!  If you want to see the details on this bundle, check it out HERE!
Isn't she pretty?
This sucker was a labor of love, but I sure do like using purposeful games to make learning fun for the kiddos.  I have always enjoyed playing games and the camaraderie that goes with it, and that has transferred over into my teaching.  Did you know that my husband proposed during a game of Yahtzee?  I shook the cup of dice, tipped it over, and out tumbled a ring!  Side note-that ending up being the first time he ever beat me at Yahtzee.  I must have been distracted...
The great hunt is over!  If you're ready to snag a copy of my April Freebie, look no further.  HERE SHE IS!  You earned it!

I'm so thankful for the "extra" daylight in the evenings!  Losing that hour of sleep was rough, but I feel like I've been way more productive in the evenings after CrossFit & cooking dinner than I was when it was getting dark at 6:00 pm.  Kona, the pup, is loving it too!  She gets fetch time while we cook each evening.  When it's sunny, sometimes she'll just lay in the yard sand, and soak up the rays. She melts my heart!  
Surely I'm not the only one with an insane number of pet photos on their phone...

Happy Friday!
post signature Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Fraction Game Bundle

Oh, fractions.  How I love and loathe thee all at the same time.  I think fractions lend themselves to lots of engaging hands-on activities and they are so applicable to real life.  On the other hand, it can be tough for such young minds to wrap their little brains around the concept and REALLY GET IT.  Sure we can teach them "rules" about bigger and smaller numbers on top or on bottom, but if they GET it, they don't need those rules.

I thought about saying that finishing my fraction game bundle felt like giving birth, but then I decided that might not sit well with readers that have actually given birth...to a baby.  So instead, I'll just say that I'm finally done!  Another one bites the dust!  To celebrate, how about a GIVEAWAY?

The giveaway begins today and a winner will be announced Sunday, March 30th in the morning!  If you'd like to take a closer look, head over to TPT to see the preview!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
post signature Follow on Bloglovin