Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remakes! Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!!!!!

I have remade a couple of cute organization tools in my classroom lately and I want to share them with you!

***I love the border and numbers I got from two bloggers I follow, the 3am Teacher and A Cupcake for the Teacher!  Gotta LOVE freebies!!!!!!!!!

First, is my "Where Are You?" board.  My kids feel a real responsibility to make sure that they always move their number before they leave the classroom!  Love it!

Here is my "How Do I Get Home?" clothespin line! (without the clothespins on it!)

My number sticks! I use these for my classroom jobs and for my "Pick A Stick" bucket for when I need to choose a random student for something.

This isn't a great picture, but I got this set of drawers from a coworker and I have too many students this year to use them.  There just aren't' enough drawers for them!  But there sure are enough for me! :-)
I printed out labels for each drawer saying what is in them.  Love it!  No more scrambling around for my white out!

In a previous blog I wrote about the S.T.A.R notebooks that I was going to begin using this year!  I finally got all of the binders I needed and then got in my order of tabs!  I spent last weekend opening 30 packages, writing on 150 tabs, ripping them apart and sliding them where they're supposed to go!  It was a long process but well worth it!  My students are super organized so far and it's making life easier on them as well as me!

I also blogged recently about a board I made for our Meet the Teacher night! I decided to stop buying everything myself this year and to begin asking some of my parents for help!  Some of them actually decided to help!  I have gotten lots of extra paper, hand sanitizer and even iTunes gift cards for our class sets of iPads!!!!!
Here is a picture of it after Meet the Teacher!  Pretty good considering I teach in a school that is 90%+ below the poverty line...

And lastly, a picture of my beautiful sister and I!  We went to a wedding reception over the weekend and got to get all dressed up!  I'm so thankful to have her as my sister! 
(I'm on the left and she is on the right.)

School has gone SOOOO much better this week than last week.  Regardless of that, I am still super excited that the 3 day weekend is coming up quickly!

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mexican Tortelloni Alfredo! Nom Nom!

I have had a great (much needed) weekend!  Friday night was relaxing, last night I went to a wedding reception and today was shopping, house cleaning, school prepping, COOKING day!

I made an old {INCREDIBLY easy} favorite of mine this evening, Mexican Tortelloni Alfredo!  I love it, my husband loves it and even my baby girl loved it! :-)

1 package three cheese tortelloni
1 1/2 cups alfredo sauce
half can of Rotel
2 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked

Cook tortelloni according to package instructions
Drain and add chicken, alfredo and rotel!

THAT'S IT! :-)

Serve with cheese bread.  Simple and delicious. That's how I like to do dinner!

The alfredo makes the dish rich and the Rotel gives it a touch of spice.  Absolutely love it!  Since it is a tad bit spicy I took out some of the tortelloni mixture before I added the Rotel and just substituted peas and carrots for my daughter's dinner.  Nom Nom!

Oh, and I redid some super cute things for my classroom this weekend that I will post tomorrow for the MMI Linky Party! Can't wait!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday Linky and Shout-Outs!

What a crazy first week of school!  Although it hasn't been the best week for me, I thought I'd share a couple of good things that have happened so I am linking up with Doodle Bugs {first grade rocks} for the FIVE FOR FRIDAY linky party!

1.  Building classroom community (Part 1):  Balloon Popping Activity

       I worked really hard this week, especially today, to build more of a classroom community in my room.  I found a couple of games that worked very well with my students.  This balloon popping activity was super fun for my students.  I put the provided questions into different colored balloons and then passed the balloons out.  The students had to blow up their balloons and then get into groups based on the color of their balloon.  One at a time, they had to figure out a way to pop their balloon and read and answer the question.  It was a fun activity that let the kids get up out of their seats and learn about each other.  The link to the activity is below!

2.  Building Classroom Community (Part 2):  The toilet paper game! 

       I found this game on a random website when I was googling community building activities, and I can't find the link!  I had my students silently sit in a circle in our room.  I took out a roll of toilet paper and pulled a bit off.  I handed it to the student next to me and all I said was "take what you need".  She took some and each child after her took some.  Some students took more than others.  No one had any idea what we were about to do!  As soon as the roll got back around to me I ripped off the first square and shared a fact about myself.  Then I ripped off the remaining squares, one by one, sharing information about myself as a person.  We went around and listened carefully as each student shared interesting facts about themselves.  It took a while because I have 27 students, but it was a very enjoyable activity.

3.  Creative Juices (Part 1):  Love this frame!

       I have been a busy bee recreating some posters and such in my classroom using a couple of new things I've found on TPT!  I found this frame from the 3am Teacher TPT store! I have been using this frame for EVERYTHING in my room... I am in love with it! Visit her blog here!

4.  Creative Juices (Part 2):  Classroom Number Printables!

       And I have decided to redo my classroom numbers for my jobs chart, my "Where Are You" sign, and my "Pick a Stick" bucket using these adorable classroom numbers from A Cupcake for the Teacher on TPT!  I am so thankful for Freebies!  Visit her blog here!

5.  Blue Bell Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

I literally couldn't have made it through the week without it...Thank you God, for ice cream.

I am really looking forward to getting to know my students better and solving the talking problem in my classroom very soon!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's the Word? And HELP!

So, friends, it's been a while since I've visited the blogging world.  I've been, oh, what's the word, EXHAUSTED! Yes, that's it!

I started school on Monday and my life has been a complete and utter whirlwind since then.  Meeting and building relationships with new students, teaching new curriculum (yes, we began teaching on the second day) and just trying to find time to sleep has been overwhelming!!!

I have 26 students in my room and there is absolutely no room for any movement at all!  I usually love for my kiddos to be able to work on the floor and move around the room, but that is impossible now.  It makes me sad that I can't do things exactly like I used to, but I am already building great relationships with (most of) them and am really looking forward to a great year. :-)

But I need some advice.  My students this year are TALKERS!  No matter what I've tried, they just won't stop.  I've already taken minutes from their recess, which I hate doing, but I'm not sure what else to do.  I've tried positively reinforcing the students who aren't talking, I've tried my classroom behavior management systems already, but they just LOVE to talk!  Yes, it's only the 3rd day of class, but I want to nip it in the bud quickly!

Do you have any helpful strategies for getting students to just stop talking so much?  Sounds ridiculous, but any suggestions would be great.

On another note, I already feel completely back into teacher-mode and I love filling all 26 of their little minds with wisdom!  It is fulfilling, even on days when I start rethinking my line of work!   And my kiddos are super excited about their S.T.A.R. notebooks.  If you want info on those, check out my earlier post, "i heart organizing"!

Sorry for sounding whiny.  :-(  We all need a little help sometimes!  A happier post to come soon!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I heart organizing!

I'm linking up again today to BlogHoppin' for their Teacher Week '13!  I missed out yesterday because I had already posted all of the super-sweet pics of my classroom!  I am obsessed with organization and I am one of the most organized people in the world, but I don't really have any cool pics to post so I will keep it simple tonight.  I'm exhausted this evening but didn't want to miss out on another day of the linky party so here are 3 things I do in my classroom to organize instruction.

1.  I utilize the use of Daily Folders in my classroom.  This is a folder that has a calendar inside that goes home every day after school and comes back every morning.  I put a sticker or write a short memo for each day for every student (it usually doesn't take long at all because most of them just get stickers or happy faces!) and when the student takes the folder home their parent is supposed to check the folder and initial on the date so I know they saw it.  That is my daily way of communicating with my student's parents.  I also have my students take any homework or important papers home in this folder so they aren't put in their backpacks and lost forever!

2.  I absolutely love how my students manage where they go during their Daily 5 rotations.  I use a really cool sheet that I created with the directions for each rotation at the top of the page and a chart that they put a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 in whichever rotation they went to 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc.  I will definitely post a picture of this sheet (when I can get back to my classroom) incase anyone wants to steal it!  It gives the students the choice of deciding which rotation they go to when and it makes them not only feel independent but also in control of their own learning.

3.  This year I am going to begin using S.T.A.R Notebooks (Students Taking Academic Responsibility).  This is a binder that my students will keep at school at all times and put any notes we take or assignments we are working on in it.  One thing I try to teach a lot of is note-taking.  Anytime we practice reading or math I have students write down examples or definitions from the lesson.  In previous years these notes ended up being smashed in the back of their desk or thrown away.  This year we will keep them organized in their S.T.A.R Notebooks for future reference!  I made the cover and two inside inserts for our S.T.A.R Notebook today...Take a look!  I used wording and some ideas from this website.


I love using my Daily Folders.  My Daily 5 rotation sheet works great for my students and I because it lets them take control of their own learning.  And I am more than excited to start using my S.T.A.R Notebooks this year!

Sidenote***My school had our Meet the Teacher Night tonight and it was absolutely fantastic!  I had 19 of my 25 students show up!  Most of my parents seemed very nice and supportive.  I am excited about this school year and my new kiddos! :-)

Well, it's off to bed for this tired mommywifeteachercook!

I will [try to] link up tomorrow for 'Taming the Wild'!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the Teacher Monday Linky Party!

 So, I know that I am committing a blogger sin by posting again today, but I just had to take part in the Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week '13 Linky Party!

{1}  I am obsessed with basically any show that aires on ABC.  Grey's Anatomy, Castle, Scandal...all of them!  They are my nightly guilty pleasures!  We all need one (or five...)!

{2}  This will be my 3rd year to teach 5th grade and I absolutely love it.  I was initially very intimidated to be going into fifth grade but I truly enjoy every minute of it!

{3}  I recently got a tattoo to match the one my husband got for me on his forearm... his is on the left and mine is on the right!

{4}  Diet Pepsi is seriously the love of my life.  I must have a huge cup of it every morning or else my day just doesn't start right.

{5}  I desperately want another sewing machine!  I had one in high school that was really old but it did the job.  I am always seeing these cute things on Pinterest that I want to make, but definitely need a sewing machine to do!

{6}  Speaking of Pinterest, I am an ADDICT!  Seriously.  Follow me!

{7}  My favorite book series is the Emily Giffin series.  If you've never read them, check them out!

{8}  I am in love with Jake Gyllenhaal.  Seriously, who isn't???

{9}  Trying out new recipes is one of my favorite things to do.  I often take a recipe I find and then tweak it to be exactly how my husband and I like it!  I love experimenting with recipes, and if it's a complete failure, I always have Papa Johns on speed dial!

{10}  And last but not least, I seriously have the most adorable daughter in the world.  Sometimes I am still overwhelmed at how much I really love her.  Being a mommy is just the greatest thing in the world.

Thanks for reading! :-)  Check back each day this week as I try to keep up with the daily Linky Parties!

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Monday Made it!

Linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for my VERY 1st MMI!  I'm excited!

I've been posting pics of my classroom but I figure I'd add a few more things I made today while up at school!

This is the way I am going to keep track of how many compliments my students get from other teachers and administrators.  Any time they get a compliment my 'chain manager' will add a letter.  When they have gotten all of the letters connected we will have some sort of party.  I love it! :-)

This is my favorite thing ever!  I made this so the kiddos can hold it up to frame their face and I can take a picture of them to put on my big bulletin board in the hallway!  Kids love to see their pictures and I figure it's a fun way to start the year!  
Last year I did this same type of thing and at the end of the year I gave them their picture from the first day and the end of school.  They LOVED being able to look at how much they had changed! 

And this is my small bulletin board out in my hallway.  I figure it's good for my students to know my 'favorite' things.  We instantly build a relationship and my students love looking at the pics of my family! 

Well, that's all for my 1st Monday Made It!  I'm excited to Link up and get more connected in the blogging world!

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

A classroom sneak peek!

Well it's getting too close for comfort!  Back to school time officially starts Tuesday for me.  We have four days of professional development and then the kids come on the 19th. I am starting to get really excited for a new year, new students, new curriculum, and new learning for me!

I was up at school last week to decorate my classroom and get it in working order.  Here are some pictures of some of the things I've made and decorated!

This is one of my bulletin boards.  We are supposed to display lots of student work so I bought plain black magnets and put colorful stickers on them so we can just hang work up on the chalkboard instead of stapling or taping it everywhere!  I also have my word wall right next to it.  I do some pretty cool things with the words on my word wall.  I explained one of them in one of my recent blogs, Educational Apps.

 This is where I will write my objectives this year! Last year I had frames that I wrote on with expo markers but they were hard to erase and write on and the kids eventually broke two of them. :-(  I figure this will be easier!

This is how I keep track of which student is doing what during our Daily 5 time.  They just move their name card to whichever center they want to do and I can just do a quick look and check they are at the right center!

This is full of rules, our general rubric and a voice levels chart, etc.

I absolutely love this.  I made it last year and it is right next to the door of my classroom.  Students simply move their number anytime they leave my classroom so I always know where they are.  I have had so many times that I tell a student he or she can go to the nurse or the library and then ten minutes later I have no idea where they are!  This really helps to keep me in check!

And this is something new I am doing this year at B2S night.  This board will be hanging up and parents are encouraged to take a circle off of there if they are able to buy the needed supply.  On the circles I have things like headphones (for our iPads), clorox wipes and ziplock baggies, etc.  I always need these things but don't want to buy them out of my own pocket!

This is a little look at my classroom so far!  Hope you enjoyed! :-)
If you did, please leave me a comment!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Goals for Back to School!

I'm so excited to learn about 'Linking up' and getting involved with other bloggers!  I am setting some goals with the Back to School Goals provided by I {Heart} Recess and I love it!  School is sure to be crazy this year with implementing Common Core but setting goals is a great way to start off semi-stress free!

Later today I am going to post pics of my classroom and what I've done so far to prepare for the upcoming year!  11 days until the kiddos come and I celebrate my 26th birthday! :-)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Favorite 5th Grade Apps!

"Devices come and go, but progressive teachers who adapt will last longer than any device". 
-Andrew Marcinek

I saw this quote today posted on my Facebook feed and I absolutely love it!

I was very blessed to receive a grant for last school year that provided 30 iPads, 30 cases, a charging cart and money to buy lots of incredible apps for my students!  It was given to me by members of our school district's foundation and I could never thank them enough.

When we would practice skills last year in class I often had my students get out their iPads and open up a whiteboard-like app to help them practice.  I was very surprised when a few of my students told me they would rather use pencil and paper!  I never thought I would hear them say that when I asked them to open up their iPads.

When I saw the quote above, it took me back to that moment.

As teachers, we must be progressive.  We must allow ourselves to iPads.  Some students prefer using pencil and paper.  And some really enjoy using white boards and markers.  As the school year approaches, my hope for the upcoming year is that I will truly adapt to and cater to the way my students learn best.

I want to share with you a few of my favorite apps to use with the iPads I won with my grant!


You can do sooooo much with this app!  I have had my students create recorded videos where they can swipe through pictures they found on the internet and talk about each of them.  They have also created their own photos and done the same thing.  You can almost use it like Power Point.  My students created numerous Social Studies projects using this app.  We also use this as a whiteboard for practicing math and sentence structure.  Another thing I really like about this app is that it has pre-made videos on it that students can watch to help them understand a concept.  It is very easy to use and my kiddos love it!

CONTACTS (free, comes with the device)

This app comes already on your Apple device.  The main thing that we use this for is a digital word wall.  I have my students add 'contacts' (vocabulary words, people's names or terms that we are studying) and write a description of it in the Notes line.  It was perfect for making our classroom word wall purposeful and for helping students remember to spell commonly misspelled words!

EDMODO (free!)

I am IN LOVE with this app and my students are as well!  It is basically a social networking site for your classroom.  As the teacher you can monitor everything your students post on it, which I really like.  The first thing you do is create your account and register your students.  From there your students can login and explore.  They can upload their own profile picture, post on the classroom wall and reply to each other's posts.  As the teacher, you can write posts and create polls that your students have to respond to.  You can assign classwork, homework, post links, and even assign due dates for assignments.  I often posted articles for my students to read and they had to respond with 3 facts about the article and one question for the author.  You can even assign homework with this app.  I found that my students who did not have a computer at home had smart phones in their home.  Students can download the app on their smartphone and do their homework on there!  LOVE this app!

Those are 3 of my very favorite apps to use with my students.  I will post more through the school year!

Like or leave me a comment if you'd like! :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My 1st Currently!

This evening I have spent so much time on the computer looking at all of your blogs! I have followed a ton of people and gotten a lot of great ideas.  I absolutely love this!  I stole this from this super awesome blogger at because I saw a lot of other women doing it and I figured I would as well!  Thanks for the fun freebie!

I am really hoping to learn more about blogging and keep mine updated as much as possible with fun school stuff as soon as the year begins!  Only 18 days until the countdown to next summer begins! Oh, and 18 days until my 26th BIRTHDAY as well! :-)

I Am Not Supermom...

I am not Supermom, but I am A Super Mom...

It’s hard to be a mom. I have a full-time job and I don't get to stay home with my baby girl all day every day. Even if I could stay home, I wouldn’t. But when I am home I cherish every moment I get with my daughter, even if she is acting bat-shit crazy!

I don't get dressed in my cutest clothes and wear my highest heels when taking my daughter to the splash park or the playground. I just don't see the point. I don't want to sit back and watch her play - I want to roll in the dirt with her and get sand between my toes! If she can't have fun with her mommy, whom can she have fun with?

My daughter throws fits. And when I say "fits", I mean rolling on the floor screaming like she just stepped on glass. Lots of times I'll pick her up and try to console her, but often I just leave her there. She soon realizes that she's crying for no reason and stops all on her own.  She is learning self-regulation this way.

She screams in public, like a fucking train whistle, just for fun! I don't even try to stop her anymore because it is a part of her self-expression. Why should I stop her? Even if it sounds like drunken karaoke to you, it's precious to me.

You look at me as I chase after my daughter running through the mall dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, no make up on, and my hair looking on the homeless side. I know what goes through your mind...because it went through mine before I had a child. I've decided I don't need to spend time making myself up to impress you. Instead, we get out of the house as quick as we can so we could soak up every moment before naptime.

I have finally realized that needing a "mommy moment" is not selfish. It is most often what keeps me sane enough to be a super mom! Sometimes when I need just a moment to myself, I decide that it's time for my daughter to have a snack.  She sits in her high chair and munches on goldfish while I sit still and self medicate on Pringles and Diet Pepsi. And that is okay.

I let my daughter walk around outside without shoes or socks on and splash in puddles when it rains. I let her stick her fingers in each and every little nook, crack and cranny inside and outside because she is an explorer. She doesn't travel the world, but when I allow her to explore like that, I'm sure she feels like she is!

My daughter likes to snack on roly polys. You could ask me why, but I have no idea! And lately I find that letting her munch on them is a lot easier than getting bitten or watching her throw one of her crazy fits. Now, I don't just watch her pick them up and eat them, but when she already has one in her mouth and I try my hardest to get it out unsuccessfully, I give up and let her have a tasty treat!

When I hear my daughter wake up in the morning and start talking to herself, I lay there and listen to her on the monitor for a few minutes before going in to get her. Listening to her having inaudible conversations with her "lovey" is a beautiful thing. And it lets me rest my eyes for just a few more minutes before the craziness of the day begins.

My daughter is a fun, ridiculously energetic little lady who I love more than life itself. I do my best to provide for her, care for her and love her every moment of every day. I am not Supermom, but I am A Super Mom. Maybe not to your standards, but I'm pretty sure I measure up to hers just fine. And after all, she's the only one that matters.