Sunday, March 31, 2013

Currently April

I can't believe it!  I'm actually linking up with Farley's Currently April the day of!  Usually I'm a few days behind.  Let's get this party started!


Listening: Oh man!  We are so excited in this house that Game of Thrones is back on!  It's like a guilty pleasure, I just can't get enough!  I'm going to read the books this summer but have heard that Book 3/Season 3 has some real jaw dropping moments and I can't wait to see what happens.

Loving: I don't know why but for some reason I have had a brain block for creating new ideas lately and as of two days ago I'm back!  I just finished my monthly writing calendars for April and May and couldn't be happier.  It is just in time too because I love to have the students get really creative with projects and what not at the end of the year so I need to have my game face on.

Thinking:  Tomorrow we go back to school from Spring Break (sigh) and it is two weeks until FCAT, our standardized test.  Then, since our fifth graders take three different FCAT tests, the actual FCAT lasts two weeks!?!  So the entire month of April will be focused on FCAT - BORING.  Luckily I have some tricks up my sleeve that I will share later about how we make testing time fun.  Yes, fun!

Wanting: We have been looking for our first home for about a month now and it is exhausting.  You get your hopes up, you spend all your time searching, people are out of their minds asking certain prices for homes, our southern taste doesn't exist in central Florida, etc.  I know the right one is out there and it's only a matter of time and I should be patient, but I really just want us to have a HOME.  I'm hoping that since it's a little hectic in our job life right now (me with the FCAT and the hubs is the superintendent of two projects) the home buying gods are waiting until summer when I've got some spare time.

Needing: Oh man, I need to go to the gym like no one's business.  I don't necessarily want to lose any weight (but I wouldn't be opposed to the idea), I just want to tone up.  Have my clothes not be so tight anymore.  Again though, with crazy life and schedule the reality is unless I get up early or push through the exhaustion, this will probably wait until summer.  Y'all might have to be my motivators, haha.

Advice:  When it comes to blogging or creating things, do what you know and what you love.  I always try things with my students before I put it up on Teachers Pay Teachers or write about it on the blog.  You have a better understanding and passion for it and you've worked out the kinks.  Or maybe you have even thought of things or experienced things that others have not or would never have thought of.  I have always been one to learn from others experiences and am more likely to give something a try if I see your passion.

I am off to bed since tomorrow is a school day.  Happy Easter y'all!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Cleaning Sale!

As many of you know  a lot of wonderful bloggers are having their Spring Cleaning Sale this weekend where everything is 20% off all their products and I'm joining in!  It's a great way to clear out that wish list of yours and get all set for the end of the year :o)  I'm very excited!  I've also just added my Writing Prompt Calendar for April and for this weekend only it's $0.80?!  Head on over to my TPT store or my TN store and enjoy!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

I know I'm a little late with this but I'm linking up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade for her Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party.  I love this idea!  I'm learning so much about my fellow bloggers :o)  This week is all about Nouns: your favorite person, place, thing, and animal.  So here we go!

Person: Obviously my favorite person is the hubster!  I can't imagine life without him.  He is always bringing a smile to my face and making me laugh even in times when I am down.  We have the most fun together no matter where we go or what we're doing.  I love this man!
Place: My favorite place is Barnes and Noble, it's like my second home!  I love the smell of the books.  I could hang out all day and just read and browse and people watch.  Books are my go to, my escape from life when I just need a little break.  We are looking for a new home and every time we go look at a house one of my first thoughts is "how far is this from a Barnes and Noble?" (it's bad folks, haha).
Thing: Good thing animal is a category because my absolute favorite thing that I have ever purchased besides my pup is my Kindle!  I've had it for a couple years now and NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT.  I have literally hundreds of books on there and could read them, and do, multiple times over.  I am constantly reading in my down time.
Animal:  Now this was easy.  My favorite animal is our dog Bailey.  She will be 6 in May and I got her when she was 4 weeks old.  We've been through a lot, her and I.  Wasn't she stinkin' cute!?  I mean she still is, but there is just something adorable about being that little.
I am excited to announce that soon I will have a new blog design thanks to Megan from A Bird In Hand.  She is also the brains behind I Teach. What's Your Super Power?  Be on the lookout!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


BIG NEWS!!!  My kids got their first project for DonorsChoose funded - and in 3 days!?!?  I can't begin to tell you how shocked and amazed I am at people's generosity.  We are the soon-to-be new owners of an iPad, an adapter (to hook it up to our projector), and case!  Can you tell by all the exclamation points I'm excited??? LOL  What I really loved was that even when we still needed money the kids got more excited about how many people had donated and cared about them rather than how much money we had left to go.  It was really touching to see their expressions :o)  Their second project is 2/3 complete so fingers crossed they will get their fun test prep materials soon!

Side note...

Have you ever seen Kid President?  He is this ridiculously cute kid and has about 35 videos on YouTube.  I saw this video tonight at a workshop and I loved it.  Such a good message!  Tomorrow I'm going to show it to my kids and talk about how people are helping us, we can help others and make a change.

What's your Space Jam?


Monday, March 11, 2013

March Monday Made It

It has been awhile but I'm linking back up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!  This month I have made a lot of little random things but I haven't felt this accomplished in a while so I'm okay with that :o)

Guided Reading Group Binder
This year I have been all over the place with guided reading groups, at least when it comes to organizing the lessons and scheduling.  Now that I have created the binder I feel much more confident, organized, and just together!  The first picture is the front of the binder.

This is the inside of the binder with my Scholastic reading levels wheel.  The pages up front are just blank forms for scheduling and lesson plan templates.  There are five tabs: AM Group - Schedule and Lesson Plans, AM Group - Individual Conferences, PM Group - Schedule and Lesson Plans, PM Group - Individual Conferences, and Skills and Strategies.  I have the AM and PM groups because we are departmentalized.

Example of my scheduling template.

Prove It Key Rings for Guided Reading Groups
I got this ridiculously good idea from Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching!  I made a bulletin board out of the posters and six key rings to use for my guided reading groups.  While I'm not having GRG I put them inside the supply caddies and the students are using them all the time!


Guided Reading Lesson Plan Ring
Like I said before, so far this year I haven't been the MOST organized that I could have been when it came to guided reading groups.  I did start this little ring of lessons though to help for next year.  Every lesson that I do I print it out (smaller than a half sheet), laminate it, and then stick it behind the correct lesson category: Context Clues, Elements of a Story, Poetry and Figurative Language, Text Features, Text Structures, Fluency, etc.  Now when I have a group of students are struggling in a particular area (or enrichment) I can pull out a lesson already prepared and I know I have the materials.  Storyworks from Scholastic has been BEYOND amazing for my guided reading groups, for both my lower and higher students!

Biography Scrapbook
Now this isn't technically MY made it... My kids created all the scrapbook pages for their Biography Scrapbook Reports and I just bought the actual scrapbook, but I wanted to brag on them!  Obviously it still needs a little cover but I'm going to let one of my students create that, now to figure out which one!?

Tricabulary - Fractions
My newest TIMER Tub (math station) game for Fractions.  It requires the students to match the term to the definition and then, for a little enrichment, an example.  You can take out the example or certain terms depending on your level of students.  My kids really like it and my gifted kids love the challenge!  Click here to get a copy.

Storia - From Shapes to Geometry
"I" in the TIMER Tubs stands for Independent Reading and Writing.  Storia is a big hit in my class so I decided to download a few math literature books.  Some of my students are getting enough out of just reading the book but some need a little bit more enrichment so I created file folders for the different books. Sorry it looks a little weird, my printer was running out of ink :o(  I'm getting them laminated tomorrow and then they will be write and wipe-able!  Click on the picture below to download.

It feels good to be able to link up again!  It means I actually got something done, haha.  Can't wait to see what everyone else made.  Happy Monday y'all!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Five for Friday and Flashback

This week I'll be linking up with Five for Friday and Friday Flashback!  I feel like a lot happened this week but it didn't...  Do you ever feel like that?  Maybe because it went by so slow?  Who knows!?

1.  My first big news is that I am the newest passenger on the Donors Choose train!  I had always heard about it and thought what a great idea but for the life of me I couldn't think of anything I needed.  Well now I have and it just got accepted this morning: Crossing the Curriculum One iPad at a Time :o)  Please check out my page and let me know of any other great Donors Choose ideas y'all have.  I feel a linky coming on....

2.  A few weeks ago I found this amazing site from Stafford County Public Schools and knew I had to do one of their lessons and soon - like Monday!  I'm a big history nerd and whenever I can fit in Social Studies, I'm all over it.  These teachers wrote a grant for Teaching American History through Literacy and they have posted all of their lessons and handouts!  It focuses on grades K-5 and there are three different section to browse: Grade Level Index, Moments in Time Index, and People Index (within those are key events, historical figures, and founding documents).  I clicked on 5th grade and went to heaven!

It's an AMAZING resource to bring Social Studies in through literacy.  My first lesson from this website was Roanoke the Lost Colony and it was perfect because I already read this book to my kids every year but now someone took it to a whole new level.  I bought three extra copies and made CSI: Roanoke Colony folders so the students could get their inferring on!  There were four different folders and each folder had a copy of the book and a different theory handout.  The students had to find vocabulary words, answer questions and look for clues to help support their theory (even if they didn't think that is what really happened).  The kids loved it!!!  Perfect lesson for inferring and citing your evidence to prove your point.  Whew that was really long but I was really excited about it! LOL

3.  Tuesday was my observation and we started piggy backing off of author's purpose to move into author's perspective.  Our first lesson: Point of View.  The students and I went through a PowerPoint where they filled in their notes sheet and some practice examples and then on to the fun stuff: Book Bonanza! 

Each table had one of these book bins that they were to go through and figure out what point of view each book was written from by reading a few passages here and there.  Usually when I do this lesson I'll put four books at a table and let the kids rotate tables after a few minutes but I had 24 kids and thought this might be a little easier on my sanity ;o).  The kids filled out their sheets with the title of the book, the point of view, and cited their evidence as to how they knew that was the point of view.  They rocked it - so proud!

4.  One of my best friends Amanda made this super cute foldable for the Multiplication Properties and sent it to me this week.  This year I will use it for a review before the BIG TEST (ugh) but next year it would be great for the beginning of the year!  Check it out for yourself here.

5. And last but not least... This is one of the best videos I've seen in a long time.  It made me so happy for these two and I definitely got teary eyed at the end but for all the right reasons!  And she's a teacher so I feel like that makes it fit into the linky, lol.  Here it is: Brad and Emily get Engaged.!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend and some of you a spring break (SO jealous)!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Currently March and other Linky's

I am very excited to announce that this is my first time linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for Currently March!

Listening: I know, I know!?!  I'm probably one of the only people you know who hasn't seen Lost before.  The hubs was going on about how great it was and so far (beginning of season 3) I must agree!

Loving:  IT'S DONE, OVER, FINISHED, COMPLETE - See ya again next year!  Lol can you tell I'm happy that the observation is over with?  I think it went really well but the unknown is always scary so now all I'm waiting for is the post-observation meeting :o)

Thinking: So I have to get something for my secret pal for St. Patrick's Day and Easter, back to back, and I'm not sure what to get her?!  Any ideas would be appreciated!

Wanting: We're on the hunt so keep your fingers crossed for us!

Needing:  Well, I don't REALLY need this but I would adore one!  We go through these things like they're going out of style, they're so delicious.  My favs - Peanut Butter Patties and Lemonades (yum).

Like, Love, Hate (or greatly dislike as my mom would say): I feel like these are pretty self explanatory!  Except I think I want to shop more now that I know we are trying to save money for a house, lol, oh the forbidden fruit.

I'm also pretty excited to have stumbled upon this lovely linky from Diane at Fifth in the Middle that connects bloggers from the same state!  This will be great when it comes to blogger meet ups and checking out what everyone else is doing for our state standards, tests, etc.

Well it is off to bed for me but I hope you have a wonderful March and let the Spring Break countdown begin... 16 more days!!!!