Jan 6, 2016

#sixtybooks Challenge

I've been wanting to read more.  ::aren't we all::  So I was super excited with I found My Shoestring Life's linky about reading 60 books in 2016.  Now let's all be completely honest here....I am a S...L...O...W... reader and struggle to read a 3 books during the summer.  SO new year, new challenge!  My challenge to myself this year is to read.  Here are some of the books I'm planning on reading...

And of course I'm following recommendations from  where my fav Donalyn Miller posts.  Then there are also all the great recommendations from my Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion friends.

As I approach this daunting number of books I'm reminding myself that it's about reading more and not the number of books I've read.  So basically I'm calling it a win if I've read more than 5 books this year because that would absolutely beat any past reading "record" I've held.

Let me know of any books I should be adding to my list!

Happy Reading,

Dec 30, 2015

Currently December 2015 ~ Back in the game

After a few years away I've come back to blogging.  It's something I've always had in the back of my mind that I've wanted to start and keep up with.  I love the teacher blogging community.  So many fantastic ideas are shared that help me to keep up with the ever changing winds of education.  What better way to keep up then to follow the professionals online!?!?

To get my foot back in the door I'm linking up with one of my favorite blogs to follow: Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade.  She's got sooooo many cute and practical ideas to use with your intermediate elementary students! And since she hosts this linky on a monthly basis it's a great way to find and follow new blogs.  

So here's what going on currently for me:

Listening: I heart Meghan Trainor!!!! Her music is so bubbly it makes me smile and want to bop around.  What better station to listen to while blogging!

Loving: I started my Christmas break two days early with a 7:30 am sinus surgery.  I'm so thankful that recovery wasn't as hard as the sinus surgery I had in 2008.  I felt pretty much like normal, but that also let me know how sick I really was before the surgery.  Two months of antibiotics and a sinus surgery later I'm finally starting to feel like me again.  ::all the praise hands::

Thinking: My amazing boyfriend is the bestest of the best.  He woke up at an hour no one should wake up to take me to my surgery, stayed with me the whole time, doted on me when we got home, AND walked Pierre (my adorable Bichon Frise) for the whole week of recovery.  He's pretty much the best boyfriend ever.

Wanting: I have been wanting to blog for a while.  It's a great outlet for me for all of my little teaching ideas and a nice productive hobby.  ::I love Pinterest as much as the next woman but I cannot do those arts and crafts people::  2016.   I will keep up with blogging

Needing: A NAP!!!! Because it's Christmas break you guys!  Nap away and take a break from thinking about the classroom and the lessons and the little boogers cutie pies we all love.  They're home living it up and so should we.

Merry Christmas friends!

Dec 2, 2013

Currently December 2013

Listening: to my new addiction...Revenge.  The story has sucked me in.  What will happen to troubled Emily Thorn?

Loving: self explanitory...Christmas in a jar has been accomplished by Yankee Candle Co.  TheBomb.com

Thinking: I just loved Thanksgiving break.  I got to stay with my sister for some rare hangout time.  Love her and my brother in law.  They're the best!  I also LOVED sleeping and relaxing and not worrying about what math I was going to teach.

Wanting: DUH!!!! Was anyone else is shock today?  Going back to the grind can be the pits sometimes.

Needing: I'm finished with 2/5 of my Christmas shopping.  If the other 3/5ths weren't so hard to shop for.  Amazon.com here I come.

Favorite Tradition: My mama buys us each a matching pair of Christmas PJs since I don't even know when.  One year she didn't and we were all so disappointed.  She thought we "grew out" of the tradition.  Ummmmm who ever grows out of wanting comfy PJs for Christmas?

Nov 16, 2013

Five for Friday {11/15/13}

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teacher for some five for Friday action on this blustery Saturday.  I'm always late to the party.  One of these days......

Money.... We've started learning about money.  There are sooooooo many fun games and resources out there on TPT for money.  My favorite is always when I can incorporate a song with our learning.  Mostly because I like to sing and dance and 2nd graders love to put up with it.  Here's the song we've sung everyday this past week...

While the song was playing I had each child push the coin we were singing about the help develop the  name and value recognition.  I was surprised at how many children do not know the names or values of the coins.  Several thought there could be a 6 cent and a 3 cent piece.  Why....Who knows?  This is the first time they've come across coins academically.  Might be connected.  Regardless....county money is fun!!!

To help us with counting money I asked kids to bring in their own real coins.  There's something about holding a real coin verses the plastic coins.  Some of those quarters tried to escape to lunch...luckily I asked for a certain amount of $$ so we could count each time we packed the money up.  Here's a link to the note I sent to parents.
Wednesdays are always one of my favorite days of the week.  Along with the joys of randomly asking anyone "What day is it?" and EVERYONE answering loud and clear for all to hear "Hump Daaaaay", Wednesdays are my middle school girls small group nights.  They always leave me with a little precious gem of hilarity to share.  Most of the time I'm the only one who finds it funny.  This time I think you'll join me in the humor....  We were learning about communion.  The body of Jesus is represented by the bread and His blood is represented from the wine.  While we were beginning to talk about it one of the little squirrels blurted out "Well can his oil and sweat be butter?"  An amazing ab workout commenced.  Where do they come up with these things.  I heart middle schoolers.  They're the wackiest!!!!  

Teacher's night at the Smithsonian was jam packed and lots of fun!!!! Did you know that the natural history museum has an insect zoo!!!!! I know you're just as pumped about hearing that as I was.  I might have let out a little "What! What!" right there next to the stuffed Mammoth in the entryway.  This was however acceptable museum behavior for teacher's night.  There was wine at every corner.  Yummmmm.  I got to touch some weird creepy-crawlies that I did not take any pictures of because I was so focused on being brave.  The wine might've helped with this.
Last but not least my stress levels can go back a little closer to normal now that my ESOL grad classes are finished for this school year!!!!  I will know by the end of next week if I passed the Praxis to add that lovely ESOL certification to my MD State Teaching Certificate.  This also means that I'm finished with grad classes for the school year because my reimbursements are all used.  Six credits in 8 weeks was a little nuts.  Add that to a student teacher, a new grade, and a new subject area and you will begin to see my state of mind over the past 3 months.....NUTS!!!!  Finally it is over....for now.  I still have to get that master's degree or at least an equivalency so I can see that $10 pay increase!!  WHAT WHAT!!!!!  Teacher's are so overpaid.

Happy weekend!!!!

Nov 10, 2013

Five for Friday {11/10/13}

It's that time again.....that time when I have a little bit of Sunday time to actually blog.  One of my favorites is to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching for 5 for Friday.

So LAST Friday was my birthday.  I did have candles..........on my coffee table as I studied one last time for the ESOL Praxis.  In bed by 9:00 so I'd be ready to rise by 5:00 to get to the test on time.  

Luckily I got to spend time with my mom, dad, and sister following the test.  The tradition of having birthday shrimp lives on one more year thanks to Red Lobster and our super kind waitress put candles on the lava cookie sundae we shared.  Yummmmmm! Wish I had a picture of that yummy goodness.

I was sooooo thankful to sleep in yesterday!!! Last week I was up before the sun for the Praxis of my nightmares.  It was a little painful and I pray that I passed.  At one point I lost my place and had a mild panic attack before I found the question that I missed.  Only a few tears escaped under the pressure.  Now the wait for the scores.  4 weeks of waiting.  Tick tock tick tock.

In the classroom this week we worked sooooooo hard on problem solving.  We took out the word problems and just looked at straight up equations.  CCPS would like the kiddos to use multiple representations when solving problems which I think is awesome!  My little guys were getting all of the pictures and representations mixed up in their little heads.  So.... (thanks to my wonderful vocabulary lessons in my ESOL grad classes) we made a foldable.  I'm hoping this reference will help the kids remember how to draw the representation they are wanting to use.  Next week we will work on a solving strategies flip book. 

MONEY MONEY MONEY --- This week we will begin our study of money.  I know the kids are going to LOVE this because I've asked for parents to send in REAL COINS.  I hope this isn't a crazy idea.  I'm so nervous that some will want to snatch from others.  I'm also imagining the sale of snacks rising in the cafeteria with our money study coins.  You never know unless you take the risk to try.

Next Friday I'll being taking a trip with some of my closest teacher friends for a night at the smithsonian.  I feel like I need to watch the movie in order to prep!  Or maybe not as I'm prone to crazy dreams.  Either way I'm super excited to have a teacher nerd night with some of my besties!  One of the many benefits to living so close to DC.

Nov 5, 2013

Helping Parents Help with Math

Let's face it...math is not taught the way it used to be.  Many of our parents are not able to help their children with the new math for a variety of reasons.  The top reason being we are no longer rote.  We apply math to solve math even in second grade.  Parents need our help.

What can we do when we, ourselves, are learning the curriculum as we teach it?  One way I've reached out to my parents is through a classroom blog.  I try to post weekly tips or tricks to help parents help their children.  We are a team and I don't know about you but I feel like I need the parent's assistance in teaching now more than ever.

We have a fabulous math resource teacher at my school who is constantly helping us help parents.  Any links that she sends to me I post immediately on my classroom blog.  Our county has recently posted a few videos explaining some of the solving strategies we are now using in 2nd grade.  These will be so helpful to the parents who've been asking "What else can I do to help my son/daughter with math?"

Parents are one of our most powerful resources.  When we empower them to help our students learn, we create a culture of learning that extends beyond the classroom.

Oct 20, 2013

Five for Friday/Sunday {10/20/13}

This five for Friday brought to you by Sunday because who has the energy to blog on a Friday....not this chick!



Time for some rambling random blogging about life as a teacher...


You read that correctly.  Friday was Maryland's State Teacher's Associations meeting day. It could be going on all weekend for all I know. :)  Since I haven't gotten a raise in ummmm my whole career (thankful that I have a job) and we are not reimbursed for going (still thankful that I have a job).  I can't justify spending money on such shinnanigans training. 

HOWEVER, I successfully used this Friday to sleep, watch Netflix, and organize the millions of papers that have collected over the past week.  How does that always happen?  Sometimes it feel like someone sneaks in my room and adds papers to the in boxes.  Then I look through and realize... NOPE I assigned all of this paper work.  WHAT.  WAS.  I. THINKING.


 'Tis the season for graphing and I'm loving all of the ideas available on Pinterest and TpT.  How did I teach before these.  I would argue that Pinterest is sometimes the best professional development out there.  As long as you know what you're looking for.

I'm using some graphs from Peterson's Pad this week.

I always like to have the students make up their own questions on the back if they finish early.

3. Student Teachers are...

Ahhh-mazing!!! So sad to see my student teacher move on to the world of ELA.  The extra set of hands and ideas will be missed greatly.

4.  ESOL Classes

A great opportunity presented itself to earn a stipend.  So I did what any other teacher would have done.  Dropped my grad school cohort and joined the crazy journey.  It's no big deal really.  We simply have to pass 2 compacted classes (16 weeks into 4 weeks each) and pass the ESOL Praxis within this school year.  I am happy to report that I've finished the first course and will begin the second course tomorrow.  Then in 2 weeks we will be taking the Praxis.  I have more flashcards than I know what to do with.  So I've been using this VERY cool app, StudyBlue.  It works with apple, android, and your regular old laptop.  LOVE. IT.  I have 238402398409 flash cards to study at my fingertips.  Just the thought that I can study as I lay down to sleep makes me feel better.  It never happens though. {Note to self: work on study habits.}  Just typing up the flash cards is great practice though. {Or at lease that's what I tell myself.}

5. Middle School Small Group

Just in case I didn't have enough already going on in my life I decided to add a middle school small group bible study to my weekly list of things to do.  I'm so glad I added this to my week.  These girls are crazy, wild, and hilarious....and they really really really love them some Jesus.  It is so nice to have a time to pour back into these girls all that was poured into me during my middle school years.

That's all from me.  I hope everyone has a fantastic week!!! Last week to somewhat hold it together before the Halloween crazies begin.