July 31, 2015

Five for Friday: July 31

I have come to love different Linky parties this summer
because I have met so many great people this way!
I haven't done this one with Doodle Bugs Teaching.
I thought I would give it a try!

I have ONE working day until my new kids come into my room for the 2015-2016 school year to start.  That means I have a lot to do today, and, in true teacher fashion, I will be up there this weekend working on things and making sure it is all perfect.  I have been in my room every day this week (except for yesterday which was our county wide meeting day at the high school), and have had a lot of help getting everything ready.  I am super excited about sharing with everyone soon!  Monday will be here soon with 18 new kiddos!

My two kiddos have been a church camp this week.  Yes, I am that mother who sends her kids off to camp the week before school starts so I can get things done.  I have actually missed them for multiple reasons.  They are fantastic sports and always help me (the girl more than the boy) get my room ready.  The hubs will go pick them up from camp this morning and then my parents will keep them the rest of the day while they sleep (and I continue to work in my room).

Last night was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do as a teacher.  One of my sweet girls from last year lost her three year old brother this week due to a swimming accident.  Last night was the visitation, and I went to spend some time with this sweet girl.  She showed me all the flowers, sprays and toys that had been sent.  She showed me what she had helped to choose for the coffin spray and explained what special things would happen today at the funeral.  I plan on going with some of her other teachers tomorrow right before the funeral to love on her some more.

I love my teaching team in third grade! I know I put these on here when I talked about our PD days this summer in this post.  We really do have fun together.  Four of us have been together for five years now.  Three years ago we added another one and this year we have added the sixth. These women are amazing and I am just thrilled that I get to go to work with them each day!

This is my partner teacher, Kim, and myself!  This is our third year teaching together.

This summer has been full of a lot of first for me in the social network world.
I became a regular blogger.  I added my class to the Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, and Facebook world.  I have met some fantastic people from all over the world.  It has made me stretch as a teacher and I have LOVED it!

As I have done this 5 for Friday, I have thought of how next week I will have had a full week with my new students. I think it would be neat to have them do my Five for Fridays!  We will have to see about that!  Just something to mull over....

Enjoy your weekend!

July 30, 2015

Lollipop Moments

A few weeks ago in our inservice, our principal shared this video with us.

Ever since then, our third grade team has been looking for and celebrating

Lollipop Moments.

This year, we are using this video as a spring board.
We want to
and acknowledge
any of these moments with our students and our parents.

School begins for us in 4 days.
4 days!
In an hour and a half, a report back to school for the official start of the 
2015-2016 school year.

I want this year to be full of lollipop moments that I have created for others in my life.
I want to be intentional and not live full of regret of what I could have
(or should have) done for my
church family,
school family,
& their parents.

I want to celebrate when they have lollipop moments.
I want to acknowledge others when they give me a lollipop moment.

Do you celebrate and acknowledge lollipop moments with your family or school?
I want to know how.

Share your lollipop celebration ideas.
Everyone deserves one!

July 29, 2015

Back to School Bash Linky Series: Classroom Set Up

I am so excited
(and WAY nervous)
to be part of my very first linky series and giveaway.
For the next 4 Wednesdays, we will be linking up with teachers to share
great back to school information as well as
You don't want to miss this!

This week it is all about 

This is something I agonize over each year as I walk into my room for the first time.
Unfortunately, there is not much I can do differently with my room because of the design.
Luckily, I love how my room has worked for me in years past, so I don't have to do
a lot of major changes.

Before I start, the pictures I am using are NOT what my room looks like at this moment in time.
My room, sadly, is not photographic ready.
Come back later for a TRUE classroom preview.

Basically, I have 3 things I am adamant about in my room.

1. Groups - we do a lot of group work in my classroom, so I want the students
to be able to be together.  I think it is critical that the students have a space that allows them to work independently as well as in a group in a moment's notice.
Therefore, I have my students in groups of 6.  I am also blessed to have 18 students, so
3 groups fits in the room as well as fitting my needs perfectly.  You can see part of the desks area in the bottom right hand corner of the picture below.  I have placed a small bookshelf at each group of desks to hold items that groups may need.

You will also see the yellow group table.  On this table, the students find their group boxes and assignments for the day.  Everything they need to get started is in their box. This has worked beautifully!

2.  Teacher Table - When I got my own room (the first year I team taught with a teacher and we shared a room), I got rid of my desk and decided to use my horseshoe table as my station.
I have not missed it ONE. BIT.  This area is close to my fire window, so I can't put a whole lot around my table.  I have what I need at my reach and really would not change it for the world.

You will see I do have a bookshelf or two with items that I need
 as far as books and notebooks are concerned.
You will see at the end of the table that I have a white crate with a lid.
This crate holds seasonal books.  On top, you will see a black crate.  Inside this crate, I keep
notecards, my supplies and bookmarks.
On the other side, is another white crate holding reading games I can get to at a moment's notice.  On top of it, is another crate holding files for me - each group has a file located here, each student has a file, etc.  This has worked WONDERS!!
I really do love this area of the room.

3.  Library - My entire room centers around this part.  Being an ELA teacher, this is the most important part of our room, and it quickly becomes the favorite part of the room of the children.  I try to make it as comfy as possible and as accessible as possible as well.  I have between 2000-3000 books in my library and more set aside for special holidays and special units of study.  Boxes of different sizes work wonders for organizing the books by author, theme or genre.
Yes, I have all of those in my library.

If there is anything, you have questions about, please comment and I will get back with you asap.
It may also inspire a future post on the blog!
Thank you for visiting and/or joining this

See you all next Wednesday for more!

Don't forget this is a linky party AND a giveaway.

Here's the giveaway part.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to see what YOU do now...
Please feel free to link-up with us and share your AMAZING Classroom Set-Up and Organization Ideas!  We simply ask that you follow these simple rules:
  • Save the images above and use them on your post to link back to our party!
  • Enter your link below and encourage your friends to do the same!
  • Be a friendly blogger--> visit other blogs in the Linky party and leave thoughtful commentary to the 2 blogs ahead of you and at least 1 behind you!

July 23, 2015

Celebrating with Lindsey

Last year I met Lindsey through our SLANT box participation.
She was AMAZING in our correspondence as well as putting together a GREAT SLANT box!
Since then, we have kept in touch via Instagram, email and her blog.
Now, she is celebrating her blog's second blogiversary with a MAJOR bash!!!

That's right, folks!!
LOTS of freebies of all kinds coming your way!

Yours truly, donated one of the items up for sale - 
my best seller, The Preamble Unit!

Now, what are you waiting for?
Head to Lindsey's blog NOW by clicking here to register for all these great things.
Not only could you win something great,
you will get some amazing ideas!!!

July 20, 2015

Monday Made It: July 20

Well, I didn't make it last week, but here I am with my first
Monday Made It, thanks to 4th Grade Frolics.
I really have enjoyed this link up each week.
Next week I will have a ton (hopefully) because this is my last full week of summer break.

Last week we had 4 days of PD with our school and grade level from all over the county.
My first Monday Made It was suppose to be for that.

When I went to our Common Core training this summer, they mentioned this method to help students retell what they had learned.  It is called the GIST method.
You can get it in my TPT store for free.
(I promise to liven it up a little later, but I wanted to get it made.)
This is a great way for you to see if your students can answer basic questions about what they have read as well as summarize what they have read in 20 words or less.
I loved it and can't wait to use it!

So much of my teaching is done in small groups.
A few years ago, I realized I was not allowing the students to be leaders in these small groups.
So I found the TEAM method.
I have slept since then, and I have searched Pinterest high and low to find where I got this idea.
However, I cannot find it AT ALL!!!!

In the past few years, I just had the jobs listed and each person knew what they were.
However, with observations and make the learning more student centered, I figured I needed these jobs to be more prominent.  So, I made these last night.

I bought lanyards and badge holders from Amazon.
I did not want them huge, so they are smaller than some might like.
I am going to use these at the beginning of the school year, and then move into badges that just have the job name on them.  I just figured at the beginning they will need to be reminded of what their job is suppose to do!  Then, later on in the year, I can make them cuter as well!
You can get the set in my TPT store for free.

I can't believe the school year is here!
I can't wait to share my classroom with you and see what you all have been making as well.
Happy Creating!

July 19, 2015

Sunday Scoop: July 19

I have never done The Sunday Scoop with The Teaching Trio,
but have seen my teaching buddy, Cathy, link up each week.
So, I thought, "Why not!"

This is the last full week of my summer.  Yes, you read that right.  I am sad.  Last week I spent 4 days with my FABULOUS teaching team seen here. I will have MOST of the following week, but this is the last week I will have all 7 days to myself and my kids.  I plan on enjoying it 100%!!!!  However, there are some things I have to get done.

We have a new team member this year, and I have got to get the pacing guide completed so she will be less stressed.  I am a nerd and enjoy this kind of thing, but am having a hard time getting motivated.  I also need some new letters for my bulletin boards, so I need to get those made on my cricut and SOON!!!!  Laundry also HAS to be started!  Thankfully I can say that is being done as I type!!

I would love to get a few things done for my classroom.  I want to make some new TEAM tags for my groups. I bought new tags and lanyards for these, so I am hoping that inspires me to get them made!  We shall see.  I also have a TON of things I want to get laminated with my little personal laminator.  I am hoping my darling daughter will help with this.  She usually will run the laminator for me!

I am going to read The Heir by Kiera Cass this week.  I read the first 3 books of this series last summer in 3 days.  I LOVED them!!!  For Mother's Day, my dear husband and children got me the newest boo in the series.  However, I wanted to reread the series with the novellas (I am TAD OCD) before I read the latest book.  I had so many people borrowing these books from me that it has taken a good long while to get to it.  However, I am glad to say, I am starting (and more than likely finishing) it today!

I am a list girl, so I really like this linky!!!  We will see what gets done today and the rest of the week.  Here's to the last full week of summer!

July 18, 2015

My School Tribe

I have been a little a lot MIA this week
because I have been having a SUPER time
with these people. 

Our theme at school for the past few years has been The Energy Bus,
but this year we are going to The Leader in Me.
We are going to focus on how each child has SUPER powers,
and then using those powers to be a leader.
I am very excited about what this year holds.

There is really no order to these pictures.
I just wanted to share my fabulous school tribe with my blog tribe!
Thanks to Belinda, from Third Grade to the Edge, for most of these pictures due to her and the selfie stick!

Third Grade Team

Working on our Placemat Consensus activity - what do we see the Leader in Me looking like in our school.

Talking about the Placemat Consensus project - what we want The Leader in Me to look like.

Another picture of our FABULOUS third grade team!

Teamwork at it's finest - working to get the rubber band off the cup!

We went ALL over the school searching for Superheroes only to find someone had taken some of them.
This is our confused face!

LOVE these people!

More teambuilding activities

I had the honor of presenting 3 different mini lessons during our PD time together.
One of the lessons I presented along with two other FANTASTIC teachers, was a lesson on anchor charts in the reading classroom.  We talked specifically about Accountable Talk during this time.  Then, the teachers were able to create a chart to use in their rooms.

ALL of these people play an important part of my tribe.
I am so glad our leaders decided for our PD to be together, so we can learn, grow, and share together in the same room at the same time.

I am extremely thankful for this group of ladies - 
my third grade team...

and my partner teacher, Kim.

We accept each other.
We help each other.
We support each other.
We can be crazy with each other.

This year is going to be the best for so many reasons!!!

July 9, 2015

Shifting Your Lens

I am a camera person.
I really have it attached to my hip.
My children use to love it.
Now, they hate it - at least the 13 year old does.
When people talk about cameras, photos, lens,
I listen!!
I may not understand EVERYTHING they are saying, but I listen because I want to learn.
I want to be a better photographer.
I want to better my product.

So, when attending a training for my new role as Reading Curriculum Coach,
the presenter mentioned we needed to 
shift our lens.
She had my attention.
The whole presentation was about our method of evaluating teachers - the TEAM method.
I was very interested in where she was going with this!

Where do I, as a teacher, need to shift my lens?

I need to shift my lens from what the teacher is doing to what the student is doing.
Mind blowing isn't it...
As I prepare for a lesson, I need to make sure I am preparing for what actions and behaviors my students should be displaying.
Does this mean I am not in the picture anymore?
My actions and behaviors should prompt them.
There has to be a balance between what both the teacher and student are doing.

I just love this!!!
Isn't this why so many of us became teachers?
We wanted to motivate our students to go out and do what we have taught.
What better way to do that than to be right there with them, 
guiding them, 
encouraging them,
supporting them,
celebrating with them.

Now, why am I writing about this?
Next week, I am going to be presenting this idea at part of our PD at school.
My topics are:

Standards & Objectives
Problem Solving

Some of the other areas that will be discussed are:

Managing Student Behavior
Presenting Instructional Content
Lesson Structure & Pacing
Activities & Materials
Academic Feedback
Problem Solving

What are your thoughts on any of these topics? 
Have you heard of this?
What do you do?
Any ideas?

I will be posting later this week about my topics for sure, and possibly others.
I would love to hear what you have to say...

July 8, 2015

Not in Vegas

I am new to this whole blogging, Instagram, Twitter, TPT world -
as far as a teacher is concerned.

I have had a family blog for 6 plus years.
I have had a personal Instagram for close to 4 years.
I have even had a personal Twitter for a few years.

NOTHING holds a candle to this world of teachers on social media, and I act like I am surprised at this.
I should not be.
For years, teachers have had to have each others' backs because no one else would.
For as long as I have known teachers (all my life), they have craved being around each other, seeing what everyone is doing, and wanting the latest and greatest teacher stuff.

Am I overwhelmed?  YES!
Am I in WAY over my head?  Probably so!
Am I glad I took the plunge? For sure!

With all that said, there was no way I was going to Vegas this year for the TPT conference -
for MANY reasons.
My teacher friend, Belinda, and I have already said we are going next year.
I will probably find a reason not to go.
She will find a reason AND a way for us to go.
(See how we are good for each other!)
I have already found myself NOT wanting to check Instagram and Twitter this week because
of all the eating, shopping, learning and just being together that is going on in that world.

When I saw Kristen having a "I am not in Vegas" linky, I knew I had to join!
I needed to remind myself that this is not my season to go to Vegas.
What I am doing this week in small town USA is just as important as what is going on in Vegas.


One day, I will join the millions of teachers (ok... maybe not millions but it sure seems like it!) of teachers in Vegas.

Until then....
Happy creating!
Happy selling!
Happy posting!
Happy to be right where I am!

July 7, 2015

TPT Seller's Challenge: Make Your Masterpiece

The latest TPT Seller's Challenge - which ends tomorrow (GASP!!!!) - 
has been hard for me this week.
I am sure it is because we have been out of town and in the middle of baseball
tournaments with my son.
I finally got it finished, but I don't know if I would call it a "masterpiece" yet.
Hopefully, you will see this one with a make over before too much longer.

I have always had a love for history that POURS into my classroom.
This year, I had students who loved it as much as I did.
When we read a biography on George Washington, they began devouring any presidential
biography I had, so I took that as an opportunity to teach some other important skills - 

using different types of text
note taking
placing notes in sequential order
composing introductory and conclusion paragraphs
writing a 5 paragraph informative essay

With this group of students, we also learned the valuable lesson of time management!
The students amazed me at how much they wanted to include in their essays.
I did not have this packet to help them during the time, but knew it was an activity I wanted to carry on in the following years when we studied this text.

That led to....

You can see the packet in my TPT store.
I hope this is something that can help your students as much as it did mine.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know!
Be sure to check out Ashley, Emily, Amber and Jen to see the other AMAZING masterpieces!