Sunday, August 11, 2013

Classroom photos! seems I've blinked...and summer is over!

My eyes are just about blurry from staring at plans all I leave you with pictures, actual blogging tomorrow!
I'm linking up with the Fantastic Farley for August's Currently...
Listening:  Johnnyswim.  I'm obsessed.  You need to listen to them now.  Beautiful vocals, amazing lyrics, just wonderful.
Loving:  I met my sweet students this past week!  Love my group!
Thinking:  I'm pretty sure every teacher going back to school is feeling this way!
Wanting:  Books!  I can never have enough books!
Needing: A manicure.  I've picked at my fingers (stress habit!) in meetings this week...I need to get them taken care of!
B2S:  Post its!  My students know I love fact, many gave them to me as part of my Christmas presents this year!
          Sharpies.  Big ones, small ones, fat ones, thin ones...I love them all!
          New shoes.  See pic below.  :)
First day of school!
Calendar area and my lunch count... 

Accountable talk board...we're adding more to it this week!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Trying this for the first time...
Linking up with Farley for her "Currently"...I always read them, but never do them!
Here we go!

Listening:  Need by Tyrone Wells.  I'm pretty sure I could listen to him sing the dictionary.  Love his voice.  So calming and beautiful.
Loving:  The week I was able to spend with my parents, brother, and friends back in New Jersey.  I missed them!  I needed a week to relax and recharge!
Thinking:  Laundry!  A week away lead to lots of laundry left to do.  I don't mind doing laundry, it's my least favorite chore to have to put my laundry away.  Maybe I should just stop buying clothes?  Nope.
Wanting:  A burger from The Pharmacy.  Mmmmmmm.  These burgers are infamous.  I even teach a writing with details lesson about these burgers.  haha!  My students know they are my favorite!
Needing:  Storage ideas for my new classroom.  I'm moving from a classroom with plenty of storage to a classroom with much less!  Help!  I need ideas!
Tips, tricks, or hints:  I can't take credit for's a pinterest idea!  I love it, though!  It helps keep it from getting bent, and it's an easy way for me to find what I need!

Hello there!

First of all, a big hello to my new blog followers!  :)  Welcome!

I was fortunate enough to be selected to be a fellow in the Middle Tennessee Writing Project, the local section of the National Writing Project.  I spent two weeks with around 20 other teachers varying from 1st grade to college professors!  I found myself developing as a writer, it was nice to be able to write and ENJOY it again.  I was lucky to be able to share ideas with many other teachers and make new friends to have as awesome resources.  We were able to learn new ways to teach writing to my students and incorporate it into all aspects of the curriculum.  I can't wait to put the things I learned into practice in my classroom.  I'll also be working on an inquiry project in my class, looking at the link between digital publishing and student motivation and achievement.  Be on the lookout-I'll be posting a few questions for you all soon!  What are some programs/apps/sites that you use for digital publishing?  

It's almost that time...Target and Staples have started putting out the school supplies...which means I need to head in to my classroom and start unpacking!  I've got some projects in the to come soon!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer! week into my summer vacation.  I took a much needed week away from school related activities, including my blog.  I'm back and ready to start preparing for the move to 5th grade (we can prepare poolside, right?!)

A quick recap.  I'm officially out of my classroom.
This is the only classroom I have called "mine" here in Tennessee.
It was a bittersweet move.  I'm excited for the new adventures, but I loved my room!

 Empty room.  
 Who knew I had so much stuff?  
I promise...Mine only goes to the blue door.  My teammate has the other half of the hall.

Now a few pics of the things I'm loving right now.
What do you love best about summer?
 Hanging by the pool.  
 My sweet little town.
 Hiking sights
 More hiking.  :)
 Love this trail!
 My new favorite nail polish color!  Pool Party by China Glaze.
 Baseball!  Nashville has a AAA baseball team, The Sounds.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Featured blogger...

Head on over to Fun In First, where I'm a featured blogger!  Dana's got some great ideas on her site, so check it out!

Update...Mostly in pictures!

Ahhhhhh.  Do you hear that?  It's the sound of a post tcap sigh.  I survived my first tcap test as a 4th grade reading teacher.

In the two weeks leading up to tcap, I tried to come up with different ways to review concepts.  The students had fun, and really impressed me!  Here's a few pictures of just some of the games we played:
 Bazinga!  The kids loved this game...and it didn't take long to put together!
I used review questions from many different sources, with a few "bazinga!" cards to make the game a little more interesting.
 A closer look at the Bazinga! board.  I want to add more to it for next year.
 Study Island...I love this resource!  Do any of you use it?!
 Tic Tac Toe on a shower curtain bought at the dollar store.
Students were able to throw a rubber puck towards a square if they answered a question correctly.

 Partner Questioning

My door leading up to tcap.  I love baseball!
 Test taking tips on baseballs.

 More Study Island...
 My treat for my students Monday morning!

 Threw this one in for fun.  I promised my students if they worked their hardest all week, we could listen their favorite song.  What did my homeroom vote for?  A Christmas May.  (I'm not going to lie...I do love this song!)  So, you can be sure...we danced around my classroom to snow globe, even though it was 80 degrees outside that day!
Now that testing is done, we are in full swing for our annual wax museum project.  Right now, most students have completed their speeches.  These two are filming each other on my iPad, so that they can go back and watch themselves.  They are responsible for pointing out something they did well and something they think the need to work on for our performance.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Testing, Moving, and a Field Trip!

Well, I followed the advice of my fellow teachers and stepped away from the "classroom thinking" to enjoy my Spring Break...and then the craziness leading up to testing seemed to take hold!
I'm blaming the lack of updates on the planning and preparations that go into creating the review activities that are "tricking" my students into thinking they are playing...while working!  I know I'm not alone when I say *whew!*
Our school starts our state testing on Monday morning.  My sweet students have been working so hard these past few weeks to prepare for the tests.  We also managed to sneak a field trip in on Friday.  We were able to visit the state capital and history museum.  The kids had a blast and were so excited to see the state senate was still in session.  They were able to enter the gallery and watch our lawmakers at work!
It's hit the time of year where I need to be "reviewing" the classroom rules more often.  I'm hoping once we are back on our regular routine, this will happen less.
Another bit of fun news from my you know, I said previously that I would be moving schools.  I've been asked to move grade levels as well!  I will be moving from fourth to fifth grade, still teaching Reading/Language Arts.  I will have some of the same students, however there will be students from other schools in my class as well.  I let my students know yesterday, since there is fifth grade material being delivered to my room.  They were all very excited, but also very concerned.  They wanted to make sure that I would take all my owls (I love my classroom, ahaha) and most giant library pillow and books.  Once they knew I would be bringing my classroom library with me, they were much less nervous!  Too funny!!
Best of luck to all your students on their upcoming tests!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break!

It is Spring Break for our district...and I'm updating this blog from my classroom.  I know...I's Spring Break.  In my dreams, I'm on a tropical beach with my book in hand.  Unfortunately, I'm wide this means SPRING CLEANING.
I will be moving to a different school next year, though still teaching the same grade level.  Our district has reconfigured schools, and I will be moving to the school designated for fourth through sixth grade.  I'm sad to be leaving my fabulous hallway coworkers in third grade...but I'm excited for the adventure.
The move has me looking at EVERYTHING I have accumulated in the three short years I have been in this room.  I'm a bit of a pack rat (just ask my family), so I save EVERYTHING.  I'm learning to move away from that though, as I am going through my materials.
My biggest issue seems to be storage of posters.  How do you store your classroom posters and anchor charts?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thoughts on Mind Soccer

Yesterday was my first attempt at WBT Mind Soccer.  The kids LOVED it, and it served as a great test prep game.  However, I found a few challenges while planning the game.
-Kids were EXCITED.
-We were able to review what expression and gestures were.
-They were able to answer the questions.
-They were sad to leave my class!
-A quick paced review game.

-My questions were too long.
-Long answers lead to long response time.

-Next time I know that I will use this game to review vocabulary words, prefixes, suffixes, ect.  Sentence corrections took too long for such a fast paced game.

Overall, I really liked the idea of the game and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves.  Not only did they have fun and were engaged, they were answering the tough questions correctly!  I will make a few changes to the game and try it again after Spring Break!

Monday, March 18, 2013


I am a fourth grade teacher in Tennessee.  I currently teach Reading, English, and Writing.
I will be using this blog to share ideas from my classroom, collaborate with other teachers, and document my journey with Whole Brain Teaching.
I began this school year using Whole Brain Teaching for the first time.  I had discovered the methods at the end of last school year, after an extensive google search for ideas to help an extremely challenging student.  While many people spend their summers reading Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult (love Jodi's books!), I spent my summer devouring every thing I came across on the WBT website.
I am a complete believer in the program, it fits the way I run my classroom so naturally!  I'll be posting videos of WBT in action in my classroom soon.
Those of you that do use WBT, what do you find that you like the best?

What is Whole Brain Teaching?
Whole Brain Teaching rests upon the principle that teachers at every level share the same difficulties: students lack discipline, background knowledge and fundamental problem solving skills. From kindergarten to college, teachers face students who have difficulty with reading and writing. Nonetheless, our students respond to challenges, enjoy well-designed learning games, and can make, in the proper setting, astonishing educational progress.

Our goal is to create peaceful classrooms full of orderly fun. Thousands of teachers believe we're on the right track.

Whole Brain Teaching