Totally awesome but unrelated...

Looking for a quick and easy way to have fabulously gorgeous curls in about 5 minutes? Do you want your hair to look like this with almost no effort?

Yeah, if you are a teacher, then I bet I have your attention! My mom discovered this video on youtube. She explains how to get these gorgeous curls with only a headband. No heat was used to get this look!!! I know...crazy, right?

You can view another example done on my neice's hair on my mom's blog, Coggie Crafts.

View on friends!

I realize this had nothing to do with education, but I am sharing because if you are like me, you know a teacher needs some good sleep! You can set your alarm for a little bit later the next morning because you just wake up and viola, 5 minute hair!!

Newsletter Template

I worked on a new newsletter template this weekend and I wanted to share! It is an apples and back to school theme! I plan to make some themed ones too so keep checking back! 

Click the image to download. (FYI: If you don't have KevinandAmanda fonts downloaded on your computer, the newsletter fonts won't look like this!)

Happy Tuesday! 

P.S.  Someone's blog today suggested using Dropbox for linking to documents since Google Docs likes to reformat stuff! I have to say, I will be using this from now on and it was soooo easy! 

Spelling Menu

I've seen various versions of this around the internet and last year I decided to create my own! My students keep it in their PIRATE binders and I just love it. Secretly, I think the kids do too. =) They love being able to choose how they do their spelling each night! It's nothing fancy, but it works. Click the link below for access to the document. 

More fun stuff to come soon....So, stay tuned! 

Sub Folder and Plans

We have sub plans due tomorrow and so today has been devoted to overhauling last year’s document! I had to make it all cute to go along with the class theme!! I wanted to share it with you all in case you like the idea! Hopefully, this will save you some think time! I know it's done in a pirate theme, but you can use different graphics to suit your classroom. =)

This is the document in PDF form. 

Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, I cannot give you the editable version with the clip art. I am linking to the editable Word version below. If you wish to download, you need to have Pass The Chex, Smiley Monster, and Wish I Were Taller, Digs my Hart fonts installed from Kevin and for it to look like this. If any of the other fonts don't look the same, just replace them with fonts you already have installed on your computer.

Please click the read more button to view the document.

Free For All Friday!

I am so sorry I didn't get around to posting last night! I made plans to have a girls night at Sips and Strokes to paint and sip wine with my sister and mom! Check the link to see if there is one near you! It was so much fun and I was exhausted when I got home! Here is picture of my painting! 

Isn't Hootie cute!?

Anywhoo, (haha! get it!?) on to my free for all! We have been working on place value since school started! The kids always seem to struggle with reading and writing numbers through the hundred thousands, especially because I have so many ESOL kids, so I created some fun resources to help students practice and to help you teach! These resources are geared towards upper elementary, but are easily adaptable to my primary friends out there!

Let me know if you have any questions! Please click read more to view the resources as the file is rather large and slows down my pages load time! (Thanks to Ladybug Teacher Files for the tip!!)

Three for Thursday!

Teacher week is still going on strong! Today is Three for Thursday where you can share some of your favs! Head on over to Blog Hoppin' to link up! 

Favorite Font
I have only recently discovered Kevin and Amanda's fabulous font collection, so currently I am diggin' on Smiley monster, Pass the Chex, and wish I were taller. I have been using them for pretty much everything I make in class this year! Everyone at my school is like, oh! I love those! 

Favorite Blog
Man, there are so many wonderful bloggers out there, but the one I stalk the most would have to be Thriving Third Graders! There aren't that many third grade blogs out there, but the ones that are are pretty great! I also stalk The Inspired Apple on a regular basis and "steal" several of her ideas and adapt them for my third graders!

Favorite Online Resource
My FAVORITE online resource is probably the same as everyone else's in the blog world currently: PINTEREST! Yep. I have gotten SOOOO many great ideas from this site and I still have so many more that I want to work on, but there's only so many hours left in the day after the students leave...

Can't wait to read and hopefully learn about some new great blogs and online resources from you all!!

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday!

I am really enjoying reading and viewing everything during this Teacher Week!

I just posted pics of my classroom a few days ago so just visit this link to see the pictures of the room!

Happy posting!

Teacher Talk Tuesday!

I am happy to participate in day 2 of Teacher Week! I probably need to take some of my own advice here, but these are the biggies:

1. You never know who is listening so keep the teacher/administration bashing for after school hours! No, I'm kidding. You should NEVER teacher/administration bash. Period. Someone always hears and no one likes a Negative Nancy. 

2. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Take it from me people. If you feel like you have too much on your plate, don't volunteer to take on more because you think you are being nice or because you think you have to. Cause that's what I always do, and it just causes me more stress! Know when to say no! (Nicely of course.) 

3. Do be prepared for all of your lessons planned for a said day. The day you are unprepared will be the day an administrator comes in to observe you. I know from experience. =) Not a cool feeling. 

4. Collaborate with your teammates instead of trying to reinvent the wheel! It will save you SOOO much time and effort. Your social life will thank you later. 

5. Give all of your kids a chance. I can't tell you how many times someone has looked at my new class roll and said, " got (insert name here.) That sucks," or something to that effect. You may be surprised how that student can make a different impression on you or how well you actually get along. This totally happened to me this year and my friend has been a complete sweetie and one of my favs so far! 

6. Be consistent with your classroom management and use positive reinforcement as much as you can, especially when dealing with those high flyers or red zone kids (whatever you call those little boogers in your school!) 

7. Ask for help! Don't think you are going to be Teacher Wizard and that you can wave your little wizard wand and viola, your problem is solved. It's okay. Everyone needs help sometimes. 

8. Always have an early finisher routine or activity for students to go to when they are finished. I don't have to tell you that all of your kids will work at different paces and that you will always have students who finish early! I recommend posting something on the wall so kids always know what is expected.

9. Take things one thing at a time. You will likely be doing an insane amount of Professional Development and training for different programs. Just take a breath, and take things one step at a time. Remember: You're not a Teacher Wizard! =)

10. And for heaven's sake, have a glass of wine when you get home to unwind and put your mind at ease! 

** I'm realizing that I DEFINITELY need to be taking more of my own advice....especially number 10. haha jk


Can we just talk for a second about how amazingly awesome and inspiring Pinterest is!? LOVE IT. And I don't mean love it like you love your cool zebra striped pencil. I mean, like I LOVE it! 

I have been taking soooo many fabulous ideas from Pinterest since I started (about two weeks ago). I know, that's an insanely short amount of time to fall in love, but if you know about Pinterest already, then you totally understand and don't think it's creepy or weird. 

So, I may have stolen some cool ideas from other Pinterest posts to use in my room. Here are three things I have stolen (from Pinterest that is) and adapted to my classroom this week: 

This really fun Scientists tree map (Thanks Abby at the Inspired Apple):

This anchor chart about how to make good book choices! I can't remember who I first saw do it, but I have seen several versions of this!

This awesome activity to teach relative location! Thank you to Jenn at Finally in First for this fabu idea! After I read "Me on the Map," by Joan Sweeny, we used Google Earth to zoom in to where we live! As we zoomed in, we added more information to our little visual flip book rings. 

In conclusion, if you aren't on Pinterest, get your butt over there and check it out! You will be amazed at how the creative juices you may not have known you had inside you will start flowing!! 

Teacher Week 2011

Tell us a little something about you...
Let's see...I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and I would never move away, unless it was to a Caribbean Island somewhere! I have a sister and two brothers. My mom is my hero. I also have a pet fish named Indigo. He was purchased as a reward for my class last year and he got to come home with me for the summer. =) He is a permanent resident now!

How long have you been teaching?
This will be my fifth year teaching. I taught fifth grade for 2 years and have been teaching 3rd for the last two years. I am currently still teaching third grade and I absolutely love it! They're still sweet and cute and they crack me up constantly, however, they can still function mainly on their own without too much crying and shoe tying. (God bless you primary people.) 

You might not know...
That I am obsessed with anything about tornadoes! Since I was a child, I have had dreams about tornadoes consistently. I have always enjoyed watching shows that feature their awesome power. My mom and I always talked about one day going on a tornado chase with professional storm chasers! 

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
I am most looking forward to our new literacy program - Reading Workshop and what it could mean for our students. Of course, I always look forward to the new school year. New kids, new challenges, new experiences, and new learning for me as a teacher. 

What do you need to improve?
I need to improve my desks organization. I have a hard time keeping handouts organized and they usually just find a random place on my desk and then when I need it 5 minutes later, I can't find it. I also need to be better about grading papers on time! I know, it's awful to say, but sadly, true. 

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
1. Velcro dots - I use them for EVERYTHING! 
2. Duct tape - They even have cool colors and prints now!

3. My Promethean Board - I think this goes without saying...
4. Labels - I use them in all shapes and sizes and I put them on EVERYTHING!
5. My document camera - I toggle between this and my pro board constantly throughout the day! 

Can't wait for tomorrow!!

A for Assessment

A Crucial Week in the Life of an NQT is hosting a Linky Party for your favorite way to assess students.

Check out some of the ways I assess students!

Get Ready to Blog Hop!

It’s teacher week at Blog Hoppin’. Just think of all the inspiration that will be going around! For more information, hop on over to blog Hoppin and check it out!

hoppy hoppin'

Ahoy Mateys! Welcome to Room 302!

Hey everyone. I finally remembered to take pictures for you of my classroom. There are still a couple of things I am working on which is why the walls are so bare in certain places. However, the inner workings of the room are all set.

First Day Fun Facts

Today was my first day back with students and it was so much fun! I love my little peaches! I know I keep promising to post pictures of my finished classroom, but I have been so busy running around at school that I keep forgetting to take the darn photos! I promise they will be coming soon!

So instead, today you are getting little window into my classroom from today!

Free templates for Back to School!

In the spirit of school starting this week, I am posting some free templates that you can use to plan out your school! I am including the long range plan template (long version) and a long range plan template (short version).

I am also including examples so you know what they should look like. =)

Graphics Galore

After seeing many cute graphics and fonts around blogland, I decided to sign up for Thistlegirl Designs and have purchased some really cute packs from Scrappin' Doodles as well! I also finally discovered the name of the font that I have been digging - smiley monster! are a few of my favorite fonts!!

What are your favorite fonts and where do you like to buy your graphics?

What are some other sites that sell graphics for teachers?

Pirate Paradise in Room 302!

My room is finally coming together! We have meet the teacher tomorrow night, so I will be posting my final product pics tomorrow.

Here are some cute pirate things I found at the teacher store, School Spot.

My Essential Questions are always posted on my white board. To go along with the pirate theme, it is titled "Today's Treasure Map." I used some cute little treasure chests and labeled them with each subject.

At our school, we use PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) as a school wide behavior system. Our schoolwide expectations are respect yourself, others, and the environment so I made this cute signs!

On yesterday's post, I showed you the behavior treasure map that I am going to use to encourage positive group behavior. I always like to do a whole class reward system as well, and this is an adaptation of what I did last year. The idea is basic. The students have to fill the chest with gems in order to vote on their own class reward.

I found my word wall letters at Teachers Clubhouse! Pirate themed of course!

And this is the before pic of the classroom if you are standing at the doorway looking into the room.

(Still a work in progress....)

More to come tomorrow!

Mappin' Good Behavior!

So, I told you I would be posting pictures soon, and I'm still in the process of getting my room all squared away. In the meantime, I had an idea of a behavior bulletin board that I mentioned in a previous post with a treasure map and all that jazz. Well, here it is...

My idea was to have this be a behavior system for managing groups in my class. Each group will have a colored or a numbered push pin and will be able to move along the game board for good teamwork and behavior! At every increment of 5 (marked with a jewel) the group will earn a prize. As they move along the board, the prizes get more desirable!! Annnd of course at the end, they earn the big treasure chest mystery prize!

To give credit where credit is due, our art teacher, K. Burge, graciously painted the map for me. She is awesome and I am so happy with the way it turned out! I will be sad when the year is over and it gets taken down!

I will be posting more snapshots for the classroom shortly!

New web discoveries!

As I have been buzzing around the blog world the last couple of days, I have seen mutliple posts about Pinterest and now I'm in love! It is so amazing that I can save anything cool or interesting that I want to file away in my brain and now I can do it all on Pinterest! Here are my Pinterests!!

I have also come across Sqworl. It is great for saving websites for students or for you. Click here for an example of collection of third grade blogs!

Pics of the classroom to come this week!

Back to the Grind

So, I've been in my classroom every day this week trying to prepare for the upcoming year. I spent like 3 whole days just organizing and labeling my classroom library into baskets. We are undertaking reading workshop this year at our school so I thought it would be helpful for the kids to finally have an organized library!

I feel like I haven't really gotten much stuff on the walls, but I have tons of ideas bouncing around in my head that go along with our "Learning is a Treasure" theme. I'm going to make a large treasure map game board on one of my class bulletin boards. Students will move along the board based on their behavior. At every increment of 5, there will be a reward and then at the end, they will get the treasure chest prize!! I will post pictures when I'm finished!

I'd like to do my reading area with "The Pirate's Cove: Set Sail with a Good Book." I purchased some pirate themed reading strategies signs that I will laminate and clip to a net.

To do the lunch count, I will have a sign titled: "Catches of the Day," and then the students will move their stick to the corresponding cup.

The EQ sign will be titled "Today's Treasure Map."

I am still working on my idea for the outside bulletin board and my door. Any ideas??

Pictures of the classroom to coom soon, so stay tuned!!