Monday, July 30, 2012

Advice for the Incoming Class (of Teachers), education, upper grade, 5th grade, 4th grade
Hosted by Teaching in Room 6

Check out the post on Teaching in Room 6 and share your advice for new teachers!
Here's my advice:
1.  Laugh at yourself.
2.  Enjoy your students.
3.  Limit the amount of weekend time you spend at school.  You need to rejuvenate.
4.  Take time for yourself-Be it exercising, blogging, reading, shopping.  Do something for you!

Small Celebration, sort of!

I figured out how to get my button to show up in the linky party I joined yesterday, but I clicked on the wrong picture.  Anyway to remove it?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New School Year Resolution

 Teaching Maddeness

I am joining the New {School} Year Resolution Linky Party.  I always have so many of these and then fall short and get frustrated with myself, so I am going to limit myself to 3 important ones.  Here they are:
1.  Be more comfortable with the parents of my students.  I love kids, adults make me nervous!
2.  Focus on my students, not just the learning.
3.  Stay ahead of the paper work.
Wish me luck on that last one!

To Do List

I decided to link up to the To Do List linky party at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies.I have some much to do that I am not sure where to start, so here goes.
1.  Finish math assessment.
2.  Finish calendar set.
3.  Finish hanging room decor.
4.  Find out our schedule.
5.  Plan the first 4 weeks of school
6.  Make one last trip to a teacher store, Target, and/or Walmart.
7.  Finish classroom management project.
That's enough for now.  I had better go work on some of these.  

In my room

I begged my husband to go to my classroom with me and help cover my last bulletin board and hang up miscellaneous stuff in my room.  Here are the result.

Friday, July 27, 2012

More Activities for My I'm Done Jar!

I found this neat activity, called Spelling-Roll-A-Word, for my I'm Done Jar! at Teaching Third.  As I looked at it I thought why not do the same type of activity for reading vocabulary and place value.  So here they are:
Reading and Math.  Enjoy!

First Day Jitters Blog Hop

Here goes nothing, I'm going to give this blog hopping a try.
Three Things I am Jittery About:
1.  We have our back to school open house the night before school starts and we have not met our students prior to this.  When they come they know nothing about the room or me, so the attention all seems to shift to me.  I feel so comfortable with kids, not so much with parents and attention on me.
2.  I worry no one will come to the open house.  Sometimes by 4th grade families are busy and think we have done this before, been there before, and choose not to come.
3.  I worry that I will get so focused on trying to implement the core, that I will forget to have fun with my students.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rain and Websites

I know what your think: "What do rain and websites have to do with each other?"  As I was listening to the beautiful sound of rain last night (our first since June 23) I was revamping my classroom website.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of what it used to look like, so you will have to trust me that is much better, now!  Check it out:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Finished Projects

I finished my story sticks as shown in a previous post.  The green ones are the settings.  I also completed the jar they go into and my "Wild About..." poster.  The theme for our building this year is "Wild About Learning".  Each teacher was given paper to create a "Wild About (insert topic of your choice)" poster.  My daughter helped me put together mine, she loves scrap booking type activities.  The two lovely ladies in the picture with me are my cats, Emily (longer grey hair) and Tasha.  

Common Core/ Iowa Core

I spent the last 2 years taking a series of 4 classes that introduced new ways to teach math.  We spent a significant amount of time digging into the Iowa Core and Common Core.  I have spent some more time this summer digging into the math and literacy standards.  I'm on the math curriculum writing team at school, so I spent some time this summer writing math questions that match the Iowa and Common Core.  Feel free to use any that you find useful.  A few questions appear to have blanks, these you will need to add things like a number line or angle.  Most of them came from this site: and a few of them from the test generator of our new math series, Math Expressions. (If any of you use this series feel free to chime in with words of wisdom.)

Slowly But Surely!

I've been in my classroom the last two evenings.  I decided that my bulletin boards needed recovered.  So I have been working on disassembling and reassembling them.  I will be putting my calendar on one board and my "I Can" Common Core statements on the other.  I hope to get more done on this as soon as my new laminator arrives.  I had had mine for 10 years and it died.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Wait is Over!

We received an e-mail saying the maintenance is done in our K-8 building.  I will be going in the first part of next week to see if I need to make a trip to a teacher store or if I have what I need or can make what I need.  I will be making a short trip today to take in a desk and shelf that I inherited and don't want at home.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Classroom Calendar

Found some more good ideas for including on my classroom calendar on

More To Do!

I found what looks like another interesting teacher website:  They have information on creating a planning notebook.  I'm going to add a missing assignment log, which I saw on their site.  This also made me think of adding a section for logging makeup work for kids that are sick.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I'm currently at a stand still on my to do list.  I need to head somewhere to purchase a few more supplies so I can finish it up.  I am not sure when I will get that done.  I may add another project to my list.  I've been inspired by the perfect calendar post on and I think it is past time to make my calendar more educational.  Now comes the difficult part of waiting, in order to do this I need to get into my classroom to determine what supplies I have that can be used for this and what I need to create.  Unfortunately or maybe fortunately they are waxing floors in my building, so I can't get in right now.  I am horrible at waiting, but I am sure that means it is good for me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finished Project

I finished my I'm Done and Being Done jars today.  I covered them with fun colored Duct Tape and labeled them.  I saved Crystal Light containers for these jars.  While I was working on them I also tried to cover a more rounded container that I had saved, this did not work well at all.  Here's a picture of my completed jars.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Projects in Progress

I am very bad about skipping all over the place when it comes to projects.  I work on a bit of this, a bit of that, and back to this.  I have started my Story Starter Sticks, my I'm Done Sticks, and my Pick Me Pot. So here is a sneak peak at how they look so far.

Story Starter Sticks:  I got this idea from Pinterest, check out my School Ideas board to see more information.  It originated on this blog  I used basically the same labels as the original pinner.  I used yellow for character, red for conflict, green for setting, blue for special.  I need to purchase more green craft sticks so I can do the setting sticks.  I will add a picture of those when I get them finished.  I used those all on my Pick Me Pot.  I am going to use these sticks as one of my activities in my I'm Done Cup.

I'm Done Sticks:  I also found this on Pinterest.  It was originally posted on this blog  I have my sticks done, although I may add more as the year goes on and I think of other things the students could work on.  I have not decided what I am using for a container.  I am thinking about saving Crystal Light containers and trying to decorate them with fancy Duct Tape.  I am also creating a Being Done container for the students to put the stick they pulled in, as I don't want everyone working on the same thing.  When I get the containers created I will post pictures of them.

Pick Me Pot:  Pinterest again on this idea.  It is very possible that I am an addict ;)  This idea was originally posted on this blog  I have used number sticks to pick volunteers for most of my teaching career, this idea just dresses it up and makes it more fun to look at.  I am creating two pots.  One to choose volunteers during class and the other to choose who my classroom helpers are for the week.  The second jar will look just like the one I have done.  I just need to buy 2 more pots and more crystals. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Planning Notebook

I got this idea from  I adapted it to fit my classroom.  I have these sections in my notebook:

  1. class list (including parent survey-click here to see)
  2. dismissal plans-click here to see
  3. to do list-click here to see
  4. daily schedules
  5. yearly calendar-(This I downloaded free from Teachers Pay Teachers.)
  6. lesson plans-click here to see
  7. horizontal meeting notes (a.k.a. grade level meetings)
  8. vertical meeting notes (building meetings)
  9. birthday list-found on pinterest

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back to School

I have begun thinking about back to school time.  I have started my to do list.
Here it is:
1.  Create a class handbook.
2.  Recreate the welcome bag letter I found to meet my needs.
3.  Find the supplies for the bag.
4.  Recreate the parent survey I found to meet my needs.
5.  Finish my planning notebook.
6.  Create my story sticks.
7.  Create my to do cup and doing that cup.
8.  Create birthday flower pot.
9.  Purchase 2 small flower pots.
10. missing assignment log
11. makeup work log
Will add more to the list as I think of things.  I am going to add some pictures and copies of the documents I recreate.

The Beginning

I decided to venture farther into the technology world and give a blog a try.  My inspiration for this is some of the neat teaching blogs I have viewed in the last couple days.