Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday! Linky Party

Today I'm Linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for What I'm Loving Wednesday! 
To see more What I'm Loving Wednesday's - go on over to her blog: 
Covered in Glitter and Glue
So, what am I loving this week??

1. I was allowed back in my classroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a product - but I'm SO incredibly happy to be in my classroom setting up! 

2. CONTACT PAPER -- Seriously - this stuff has given my classroom a whole new look! I picked mine up at the Dollar General for $2.75 a roll! I love the black and white -- it really makes the colors in my room POP! 
Book Case Before!

Book Case After! 

Small Group Table Before

Group Table After
3. Black and White! Continuing on the black and white pattern - I just love the elegance of B&W! Check out this "Welcome" letter I wrote on this B&W Chevron template. 
Are you totally loving the look?? (That's just a picture of it on my screen -- if you want it, go to Danielle's TpT store HERE and get it! It was FREE!) 

4. Felt. Say Whaaaaaaat? Did that crazy woman just say felt? Yes - yes I did. See -- for YEARS we have had tennis balls on the bottom of our desks to help them move on the floor without scratching the floors up. Yes, they are expensive, but one of our teacher's husband is a Tennis Pro - so he donates them to us! So, we used what we had. They didn't allow the desk to form groups though because the tennis balls created a gap! Soooo frustrating. One day I was cruising on Pinterest, and I saw this post. (Go look). It said to use felt on the chairs.....why not desk I thought?! So, I put it on my Pinterest to do list - and thought I'd never have the time to do it. By myself, I wouldn't have! Thank Goodness Tierra, a high schooler who works for me during the summer who is an aspiring teacher, donated her day to me to help in my room!!! 

Complete!!! I couldn't have done it without her. She even helped my BFF Candice with hers! 

5. Computer Play Time -- 
I L-O-V-E all things Technology. Really! I know I haven't been blogging as long as some others - but I run 3 weeks of technology programs for my district every summer. It's kind of my thing! I don't get much "play time" though -- it's all work flow! So, I was very happy to get to spend some time playing around, and even created this sheet for my morning math: 

Do you love it? Go to the previous post to download it for FREE! 

6. My Family 
I am loving my time this summer that I got to spend with my hubby and my fur babies. I have had lunch with my hubby at least 3 days a week for the whole summer! 
Here they are tonight relaxing after dinner ready to snuggle up for a movie! Both of my fur babies are rescues - and they are rotten! I love being home with them more. (I did work all summer, but I went in later, and left earlier - leaving me more time with my poochies! ) 

7. New followers -- My tiny baby blog is growing!! I have more than 10 followers! (I count bloglovin' and blogger!) I am so flattered that many people would want to read my writings! So, THANK YOU for reading :) 

Hope you all have a fabulous Hump Day! What are you Loving this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Freebie for Fifteen Followers!!

I just got an email, saying that I have a new follower on Bloglovin' - which brings my current total to 10. Add that to my 5 followers on Blogspot, and I'm at 15! Woo hoo! :) (If Pinterest lead you to this awesome blog -- follow me! I love freebies!) It's the little things in life that bring the most joy!
So, to celebrate, I'm giving you all my latest creation for F-R-E-E. I was playing around in MS Publisher, and created a morning work recorder sheet for my Math Board I will be creating!

Just click HERE to be taken to the Google Doc! 

I had some inspiration for this- Originally a pin on Pinterest led me to this blog. My friend Valerie over at AskingForSeconds shared her WONDERFUL sheet she uses (She managed to get hers down to 1/2 a sheet-- it's in her TpT store HERE). Her's was great for 2nd grade -- it has tally marks, odd and even, Hundreds Tens Ones, and AWESOME things for 2nd grade. I teach 3rd grade- and my students are responsible for going to the Hundred Thousands place and difficult multi step word problems, so I had to add in some 3rd grade skills that I know students have trouble with. I was also excited, because this was the first classroom related object I made with MS Publisher. I'm not a fan of MS Office in general - but this one, I'll keep for cute things like this! 

I get to go into my classroom tomorrow to work, and I am SOOOOO excited. I was allowed to sneak in for a few minutes today and arrange some furniture. I had this hideously ugly falling apart bookcase

The back was one of those cheap cardboard pieces -- the case is a hand me down, and I love the size. I wanted to make it work! 

About an hour later, and two rolls of contact paper from The Dollar General ($2.75 each) - I have this beautiful shelf! I'm in LOVE! 

When my classroom doesn't look like something exploded -- I will post some photos! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

That Amazing Feeling You Get......

When you WIN something!!!!! I was SO happy when after my Wal-Mart trip, I checked my email and I had a new message from Amy Harrod over at 24/7 Teacher: Amy Harrod - and I WON her Pin it to Win It Giveaway. I won her Close Reading & CCSS Toolkit Reading Response Sheets! It's 100% CCSS Aligned with Graphic Organizers, Strategies, Printables, Lesson Plans..... WOW!!! It's 116 pages of AWESOMENESS!!! Go to her TpT store and check it out!! I am SO excited - this will be the first year I'm teaching Language Arts since 3 years ago, so this could not have come at a better time!  She has some great things on her blog too! Check her out!

24/7 Teacher: Amy Harrod

I'm ready to get started on some more projects for back to school! My list today is to write my kiddos names on nametags (If my list changes -- I will use rubbing alcohol to wipe off the names- my tags are laminated and I'm writing in sharpie!), and create a file box for my writing table. It's an index card storage box where you write commonly misspelled words. Students then look them up on the card rather than asking , "How do you spell......" during a writing assignment. I will start with just the common misspellings. As students have to look up their own words, we will add more! Happy Monday -- especially those of you who started back to school today! 

Make it Monday!! and a Freebie!

Wait- it's Monday?! Where did my weekend go? I was SO excited to cross off some items from my "Pinterest To Do List" for back to school! Since I'm not allowed in my classroom, I figured I need to have everything finished and ready to go for my first day in my room!

For Monday Made It, I'm linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics!

If you remember Friday, I spent the whole day with Momma. After we went to the doctor, and took care of some other things, she helped me create some totally awesome bulletin boards for my classroom!! This project cost about $20 for two bulletin boards! I was super excited! I present to you, Make it Monday -- bulletin board style!

 I have had this idea for a while now -- and I have seen it on several blogs done different ways. Several I saw used glue, or tape. I decided to use my staple gun. One of the blogs I first saw it on YEARS ago was HERE.  First, I went to Walmart, and found these twin sheets for only $4.00 a piece! I was SO happy because the turquoise color is PERFECT for my room this year. They only had it in a fitted sheet, which I thought would be okay -- I really had to make it work! If you plan on making your own, stick with the flat sheet! I also picked up some staples for my staple gun.
Then, Momma and I climbed in the Avalanche and headed to Lowes. I was on the hunt for Foam Board. You can find it in the building section -- this is the stuff they put on a house under the siding for insulation. I suggest you get the foam board with the coating on each side, not just the plain foam. It was $10 for something like an 8 or 9 foot board. I knew it would fit in the Avalanche, if I moved things around. Wait - I didn't want ONE board, I wanted TWO! So, I borrowed the cashier's box cutter, and cut my board in the checkout line! Simply score the board down one side, then the other, and fold! I was able to bring home two smaller pieces that didn't require any rearrangement!

I faced the foam pieces so that you can see what each side looks like -- one side is silver, and one is white. Next, I took my gray flat sheet, and laid it down, placing the foam piece ontop. If you only wanted to use one sheet, you would have to undo the hem in the sheet. I bought two, so I knew I would have some extra fabric. The next part is sooooo easy. Very neatly, pull tight and fold the fabric over. Use your staple gun to staple down the fabric! This was MUCH easier with Mom to help keep the fabric smoothed out! 

We went around each side, and on the fourth side, we cut off extra. I wanted some open space in the center to put my mounting tape. (Scotch 3M mounting tape). 

I thought the fitted sheet would be just as easy. Boy - was I wrong. Oh so wrong! Thankfully - my Momma is a patient woman, and we made it work! I HAD to have that color -- and she understood that! I ended up cutting out the corners and elastic on the fitted sheet. 
Not nearly as neat and pretty as the gray one! We flipped it over, and saw a problem!! 
My bulletin board had flabby skin on the front! 
Mom and I smoothed and pulled, and smoothed and pulled, and restapled along the back and.......

All is well in bulletin board land! I am SO happy with these two boards! I cannot wait to hang them on my wall! I only have one bulletin board- so this REALLY opens up some options for me! I cannot wait to hang these up! 

Also -- to celebrate my Liebster nomination, as well as making it to 5 followers on Bloglovin' I'm going to add in a Freebie! This is a poster I created to teach rounding, using the idea of a mountain! Do you like what you see? Go on over to my TpT store and download it! Rate my product, and let me know what you think! Check out the other freebies I have there too! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Celebrating a Liebster Award Nomination!

I was SO happy and excited when I checked my email tonight, and saw an email from Deb over at Crafting Connections telling me that she had nominated me for a Liebster Award! You can check her out on her blog here:  
 So - first to Deb I have to say THANK YOU! 

What is a Liebster Award?
It is an award given to "up and coming" bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

To accept Deb's nomination, I have to do the following:
1.  Link back to the blog that nominated me. (Check -- did you see her button up there? Click on it and check it out -- she's got an AWESOME blog - so many cute things I want to try!) 
2.  Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3.  Answer the questions posed by my nominator.
4.  Share 11 random facts about myself.
5.  Create 11 questions for my nominees.
6.  Contact my nominees to let them know I nominated them. Then, the nominees follow the same procedure! 

So- first to answer the questions I have been given: 
1.  What grades/subjects have you taught, and which is your favorite? 
I have taught the following grades in this order: 4th and 1st in student teaching, 2nd, 4th, 3rd, 1st, 5th, 3rd, 3rd and 3rd again this year! In 1st, 2nd, and 4th I taught all subjects. In 5th I taught reading and science. In 3rd in the past I have taught Reading, Science and Math - however this year I will be teaching all of those as well as Language Arts. (Reading and Language Arts are two separate blocks! Language Arts consists of Writing, Word Study, Grammar, and Language Skills). My favorite is 3rd, and I am SO excited to be back there this year! 
2.  What vacation destination was your favorite of all time? 
My favorite vacation destination would probably be Grand Cayman. My husband deployed a few weeks after we were married, so we didn't take a honeymoon right away. When I got my first teaching job, we took a cruise and one of our destinations was Grand Cayman. We went on a dive to explore a shipwreck  and explored the island on foot. It was amazing, and I wish we could go back! 3.  What would you be doing if you weren't teaching?I would have a job in technology - working with schools and students still I would hope! I am the technology representative for my school, and plan Technology Summer camps for students in our district every summer, as well as a week long teacher PD on technology! 
4.  If you had to move, what state/country would you choose?
My husband has always wanted to move to Spain to one of the port cities he often stopped in during a deployment. We love being close to my family though - so I would probably choose to go back to Hampton Roads- he was station there for over two years and we still have great friends there! 5.  Why did you start blogging?
Why not?! I really started blogging as a way to connect and network with other teachers and educators! The same reason I started tweeting! @teach3rdmath 6.  Who is/was the teacher you find most inspiring, and why?
I have two teachers who were inspiring -- Mr. Anderson was my 4th and 5th grade teacher. I still see him during Odyssey of the Mind competitions within the county, because his children compete. He really was the first teacher to make history come alive - it was his passion, and it was so refreshing to see it as a student! He acted crazy, played kickball with us, and made us follow the rules -- and I still remember him almost 20 years later! Second would be Mrs. Seale- my Civics teacher in 7th grade. Mainly - she just understood that 7th grade is miserable, and she created a group for some very bright students to let us hang out with her during lunch. She called us the "Lunch Bunch". She was one of the first teachers to talk to me like I was an adult with a working mind, and not just talk AT me. There's a difference of being talked to and being talked at. 7.  How long have you been teaching?
I graduated from Lynchburg College and finished my student teaching in December 2006, and began teaching a few short weeks later in January 2007. 8.  What jobs did you have before you started teaching?
I started working at 16 at McDonalds, then the YMCA summer camp, followed by my brother in law's cabinet shop, the Library in college, and Zales Jewelry! 
9.  If you could teach any grade level or subject, what would you choose?
I love teaching 3rd grade! I wouldn't change anything! 
10.  What is your favorite food?
Just one? I love southern comfort food -- it's what I was raised on! Fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread -- all the good stuff! 
11.  What is your greatest accomplishment?
I have done great things, however I don't feel like I have accomplished my greatest yet. When I do -- I will set a higher goal. I feel that my greatest accomplishment so far is touching the lives of students on a daily basis! 
Thanks for nominating me, Deb!

Now - 11 RANDOM facts about ME! 
1. I am passionate about rescue animals! I have two rescued pit bulls - they are the BEST dogs! 

Angel - Rescued 3 years ago
Cordova - rescued 3 years ago - RIP
Yolo - Rescued 1 year ago

2. I'm a power lifter - My Personal Record for Deadlift is 305 and Squat is 315! 
3. My husband and I have been together since we were 16 - over 10 years! We have had our very rough times - but we are still going strong! 
4. I have a reality TV addiction -- It's bad. I love the Kardashians and the Real Housewives. It's incredibly stupid-- but it's mind numbing TV that allows me to relax. 
5.  I have an addiction to rap music. Jay Z, Lil Wayne.... I have all of their albums. Not really a Kanye fan, but I have to admit his new album isn't bad. 
6.  I love to drive....FAST! When I owned my previous car - I spent some time on the drag strip in the driver seat, and I LOVE IT! 
7. I am a Starbucks addict! My fave right now -- Valencia Orange Refresher. If you haven't had one - get one - you WILL thank me! 

8. Last month - I became a Thirty One Consultant! LOVE LOVE LOVE some Thirty One! (The fall line is Ahhh-Mazing!
9. I collect Tea Pots. I have some beautiful antique pots from England! 
10. I Google EVERYTHING! My husband and BFF Candice call me the Walking Encyclopedia -- if I don't know it- I look it up! 
11. My professional goal is to become an administrator! I would LOVE to work in a technology position, or have my own school. It will happen! 

So, now for my nominations! 

 1. Valerie over at Asking for Seconds
2.  Ms. Newton over at Owl See You in Third Grade
3. Eryn over at Elementary Organization 
4. Amanda at I Heart Elementary 

My 11 Questions for my Bloggers: 

1. What is your most memorable "Kids Say the Darndest Things!" moment from your classroom? 
2. What is your favorite thing to do during the summer? 
3. If you could go on a shopping spree for your classroom at no cost to you - which store would you go to? (You can only pick one!) 
4. If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be? 
5. Where did you graduate from college?
6. What is your favorite food? 
7. Who lives in your household with you? (Count your fur babies if you have any!) 
8. If you could spend the day with anyone - past or present - who would it be? 
9. Who is your favorite author? 
10. How long and what grades have you taught? 
11. What is your favorite thing to blog about, or to read blogs about? 

Thank you AGAIN Deb! It's such an honor! Good luck to all of my Liebster Nominees! 

Happy Sunday!

I may blog more this evening after family time - right now I'm watching my hubby play with the doggies while I work on adding a few things to my blog, like......

3rd Grade Things "Grab My Button"! I will be working on this with the help of this great code generator
Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Last Weekend of Freedom!

Am I the only teacher EXCITED to go back to school? I've been talking to my friend Valerie over at Asking for Seconds (we have been friends since Middle School, and teach in the same district -- I don't want to say how many years I've known her because that would make us sound OLD and we most definitely are not!), and she already has her room set up! ACK!!! Maybe the one day next week we have been told we can come in, I should kidnap her! (I do pass her house on my way to my school - but I know she will be sleeping in enjoying her last week off!). We "officially" return on August 5, so I figured if I was going to have one last "hurrah" of summer - this was it!

Friday, I spent the whole day with Momma. I was happy to spend time with her, I just wish it wasn't taking her to the doctor! She has been sick for several weeks now, and the doctors just can't figure it out! After a trip to the specialist in Roanoke, we hope to get some answers soon! She did humor me as I looked around for some used bookshelves, but I found nothing. :( I DID get the supplies to make my own bulletin boards to hang up in the classroom! I made TWO bulletin boards for only $26! (That includes my fabric, AND my mounting tape!!) Check back for Monday Made It to see my step by step directions for that one!

Friday night, the hubs and I met up with some friends (at the local Wal-Mart -- where else would you meet when you live in a small town?!) and drove just over an hour to Natural Bridge. If you are passing through Virginia, and are anywhere near Natural Bridge -- I suggest you go.
This photo is a shot of "The Natural Bridge" 
Friday Night we were interested in the "speedway". I wouldn't exactly call it a speedway, but it is a paved 1/8 mile track, and the hubs has an 11XX Blackbird that he ran for a few passes at the track. If you like racing, you understand there's nothing like being at the track, front and center, watching cars go as fast as they can! The smell of the track is that of burnt rubber, 110 octane fuel, sometimes burnt clutch, and oil. I swear, if they bottled it and women wore it, they would have to beat men off with a stick! We had taken the truck and bike ramps (just incase!) with us, and it was a good thing! Someone from our area wrecked their bike that night, and we were able to take it back home for them. We wrapped up the night with a meal at B-dubs - who doesn't love good company and good food?!

This morning (Saturday), the hubs let the dogs out, and kept them away from me so that I could sleep in! Our pups are on a schedule, and the latest I've gotten to sleep in all summer is 7:00 am. There should be some kind of law against that! This morning, I slept until 8:30! I woke up, and while the hubs took the wrecked bike back to its very upset owner, I did some laundry and cycled the dish washer. It has been a rainy gloomy day, so we thought it would be the perfect day for a movie. I thought this was wonderful since Target is across the road from the movie theater I was steering the hubs toward. We were excited to see the new Wolverine movie-- I'm a HUGE X-Men fan - and who doesn't love Hugh Jackman?! I was SO disappointed !! Not the best movie at all! However, My plan worked, and I was able to wrangle my hubby into the Target to check out some supplies! (I'll post pictures at the end!)  We wrapped up the evening with pancakes for dinner, and taking care of the weekly grocery shopping!! It was then that I realized the back of my truck had been taken OVER by back to school supplies, and I needed to bring them in and organize them!

I purchased THREE of these lamps -- my friend Ms. Bowles and I went shopping on Thursday afternoon at Walmart. I had already bought everything I needed for my classroom....So I said I would only spend $20 or less. $40 later.....I snagged 3 of these lamps! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the mint color! I got two of these, and one pink one. They are going to match my labels perfectly! Ms. Bowles had lamps last year, and I loved the soft lighting they gave off in the room. I also want to get two smaller lamps for the writing station and my desk. 

Here's a photo of the things I purchased JUST this weekend! I found that cute dog clock at our Dollar General! It was only $1 - and I plan on putting it into a Daily Math morning work board. The felt I picked up for the bottom of my desks instead of those pesky tennis balls! I also picked up some of the long hot glue sticks - I use hot glue to hang EVERYTHING in my room! I also picked up two small liquid glues to try the glue sponge this year. I know this doesn't seem like a lot -- but it was just in ONE WEEKEND....PLUS my bulletin board supplies....PLUS the online things I have ordered.....PLUS everything I ordered at the end of last year!! 

I packed everything up in my Large Utility tote - <3 My Thirty One! (I am a consultant, so I will always have a bag for every location! I have more than one of these ready to go into my classroom next week. This bag, along with my Teacher Toolbox, Grade Copy File box, lamps, and several other things are sitting in the kitchen ready to go! 

I am looking forward to a relaxing day with the hubby and pups tomorrow. Bring it on next week -- I am ready to get into my room and work some magic! 

PS-- I finally got around to opening a TpT store -- check it out here

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Countdown is On!

So, I spent the week at the Amazing Race Technology Camp, which I organized for our district. What a week!!! It was great, but exhausting! I go back to work August 5th....WAIT! It's ALMOST AUGUST! I am SUPER excited to get back into my classroom. This is the first year we are NOT departmentalizing. For the past several years, I have taught just math and science. (Our school is a SFA school - so EVERYONE teachings Reading. Language Arts is a separate block that encompasses writing, grammar, and word study. )  I loved teaching math, but I missed teaching Language Arts, and now I get to have that time back with my students! There are so many wonderful opportunities for projects and integration of technology that I haven't been able to do, and I am SO ready to get my Language block back!! (Not to mention, the pressure of the State math test is now only for ONE class instead of ALL the third grade classes!) 
With all of these changes, I decided I needed to revamp my classroom, and add in more math centers and update my language arts for more individual practice items for when I do small group instruction. I have been busy printing on cardstock, and organizing these things for when I went back into my classroom on August 5th. Then, our building got an email -- August 5th would be in our classrooms, the next two workdays would be GONE -- SFA Reading Training since we are upgrading to the newest edition. Wait -- WHAT?!?! ONE WORKDAY BEFORE STUDENTS COME FOR REGISTRATION!!!! Commence Operation Freak Out! One day, to set up my classroom from SCRATCH! I wanted to cry :( This would be a no biggie if the building was open -- but it's not. Closed for cleaning! So, one day after my summer camp this week, I called our maintenance department, and got an appointment with the laminating machine! I didn't realize exactly HOW much I had accumulated that needed to be laminated!
Holy Laminating Batman!! TWO ROLLS!! I'm afraid to unroll it and start cutting because I don't think my little house is big enough to hold all this laminating! I really NEED to start cutting! 

Check out those classroom Labels! Are they not the CUTEST!!!! My room this year is going to be black and pastel, so when I found these chalk board labels for my classroom, I was stoked! They have the prettiest pink writing and teal border! Do you absolutely love them?! 

If you love them as much as I do, check out Ms. Third Grade's post where I got them HERE! You will notice I linked her name to her blog, and the labels to "HERE" -- because I want you to see BOTH! She gives away amazing freebies, and has some great post and ideas. I may be partial because I'm also a 3rd Grade Teacher, but check her out! 

SO --- I was FREAKING out today, thinking I only had ONE day in my classroom before my 20 wonderful kiddos show up to meet me and drop off their supplies, and honestly, I was FREAKING out-- and then I got this WONDERFUL email from my principal: 

I emailed her back, immediately, telling her THANK YOU and how relieved I was. Two days is better than one! I will just need to be in SUPER PRODUCTIVITY MODE! 

I am looking forward to looking for some classroom supplies tomorrow - hoping to catch some sales! I am looking for some lamps (I despise the florescent lights in our rooms), the supplies to make my own bulletin board, and some organizing bins. I purchased some notebooks at the end of the year last year for Class Journals, and I look forward to designing the front covers for those! 

As a side note -- has anyone repainted or refinished their bookcases in any way that could be done in one night at home? I really need to update my shabby bookshelves! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Editable Back to School Organizing Papers- Freebie!

As we are all getting ready to go Back to School, and think about getting ourselves organized and ready to start a fresh new year! Right now on my blog I only have 2 followers, and I'm going to celebrate that with some FREEBIES!!!!!! The better news -- when I get up to 20, I will do another FREEBIE AND a giveaway! Today, I am offering not 1, not 2, but 3 Freebies!!!! Each sheet that I have for you today is in a Google Doc, but if you choose File----> Save a Copy, then you will have a copy to edit and put in your students' names.

Today, I was thinking about things I have done in the past that make my life easier, and my classroom run smoother. The first, and my favorite, is my behavior sheet! I changed this one to be one sheet for the whole week, although in the past I have done one sheet per day. To use the weekly sheet, each day a student breaks a rule, you write down the rule number under the day. To use the sheet as a daily sheet, write each subject or time block down in the spaces, and write down the number of the rule they break and where. This is GREAT documentation for RTI Behavior Plans, and to notice patterns in your children's behavior. Are they misbehaving only during reading? This will track that for you!

The next sheet that I LOVE is my Child Information Roster. Parents fill out information on Back to School Night, Open House, Business Day, or when ever you sit down for your first meeting. This is one document to keep in your Teacher Binder that contains the child's name, mom and dads name, birthdays, health problems, and anything else about your students you might think is important. It keeps me so organized because I don't have to run to the office to get a phone number! This preview snapshot is only the first page, be sure to click on the title to download!

The last freebie for the night is my Gradebook. I love having my Gradebook with my Teacher Binder, and I have found this simple form allows me to add my students' names, and 10 assignments  There is a spot for the date, as well as the score, and the description of the assignment at the bottom. It really keeps me organized, as each subject area gets its own paper. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! Remember to follow me to get access to great freebies, as well as to check out some really awesome 3rd Grade Things! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

10 Things I've Learned from Teaching! (Linky Party)

This is my first Linky Party, and I'm super excited to be teaming up with Miss Kindergarten for my first one! 

I have been teaching for 6 years, this is #7, and I have covered every grade 1st-5th, and 3 years in 3rd! 
So, here are 10 Things I've Learned from Teaching - 3rd Grade Style: 

1. You are the whole world to at least one of your students! This could be the worst behaved student in your whole class - the kid who gives you the most trouble. He/She is working so hard for your attention, because they want you to pay attention to them. You might be their hero! 

2. Kids love, love, L-O-V-E when adults make mistakes! Get use to it, let them know you are human, and move on. Use it to your advantage -- Take screen shots of adults making grammatical errors on Facebook and use them for editing practice. You will hear a lot of, "You mean an ADULT doesn't know the difference between to and too?" 

3. Every time a student talks about home at school, they are likely to talk about school at home! Keep an open line of communication with your parents, and encourage regular communication. For some reason, parents want to believe everything their precious baby says about you, but you shouldn't believe anything they say about them. Sound familiar? I have a great saying I share with my parents, "Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear; that's what I do every time your child talks about home." One of my parents even sent me this super cute card during Teacher Appreciation! 

4. Kids love structure - They love to be organized and have a schedule just as much as you do. Everyone is happy, happy, happy with a schedule to follow. 

5. You can have a disagreement with someone, and not take it personally. Aren't we all professionals? Can we agree to disagree? YES....It's okay. Don't let it damper your mood or your relationships! 

6. If it's not on the lesson plan, but your kids are super interested - DO IT! Give yourself 5 minutes to be off task and GO WITH IT! Some of my BEST lessons came from an off the wall question by a student! 

7. It's okay for every lesson not to be the best lesson of your life! Make each lesson count, but also understand you cannot make everything mindblowingly exciting. (I'm pretty sure I just made that word up!) Sometimes you just have to get the information to your students. If you are excited about teaching, they will be excited about learning!

8. Stay out of the office/teachers lounge/workroom or wherever the "gossip hub" is at your school. My current school - it's a particular room that I try to stay away from. Negativity breeds negativity, and you don't need anyone raining on your parade. 

9. Choose your work time wisely. If you stay late to finish work, but just end up talking to the teacher across the hall, don't stay late! Come in early, or take the work home. If you know the work won't ever leave your car when you get home, stay a few minutes to get it done at school. 

10.  Stick to your guns! Stay consistent! If you have a rule no talking in the hall, and your best, best, bestest student is talking in the hall, they should get the same punishment as everyone else. If you do that, everyone will respect you more, even that kid! I had a teacher/friend/parent come to me and tell me this after her daughter was in my class. She got in trouble like everyone else, and she loved it. In a world where she was "The Teacher's Kid", she got to be normal! 

Of course I could have gone on and on, but these are things I feel that are true life lessons in teaching. Each group of students are different, and I feel these 10 things apply to any group of students. I hope you enjoyed my list! 

 Jess @ 

Amazing Race -- SO COOL!!!

So, as many of you know my job during the summer is working for the Technology Department orchestrating two summer camps for the kiddos in our county, and one week long professional development for our region. This week is the last week of my summer work, which for me is sad! I LOVE working at the technology office - the people and atmosphere is WONDERFUL! It's so cool to have a job to plan only technology based things! It's a nice change of pace from my school year. Although I am sad, I am super excited to get back into my classroom!! 
Today was the first day of our "Amazing Race" Camp. In this camp, we have students split into groups of about 8 students, and lead by some of my fellow teachers from here in the county. The teachers really are just that -- leaders. The entire week is student based inquiry challenges. The teachers that are working are WONDERFUL -- they really let the students take charge and lead them in such an encouraging way. I <3 the teachers I have this week! 
I have set up 9 Start Ups and 9 Challenges for each team to complete. The students follow a rotation schedule to travel through each station by the end of the week, with a special task on the last day. You can see that rotation schedule here.  Each start up is a clue that leads them into their challenges. The challenges require students to work together as a team, using technology as a tool for their discoveries. For example, the first starter (called Clue#1) had students work together to FaceTime "The Great Oz" -- a candy stuffed M&M at the Tech Office! The Oz gave the students a password, which their clue instructed them to take to Ms. Lavinder. Ms. Lavinder had set up a xylophone with snapple bottles and water! Students had to tune the xylophone, and then play a song. It was SO cool! 

I even interrupted the challenges with a "Road Block". Some of our software partners seriously hooked us up with some SWAG! Webroot, our Antivirus software, sent in screen cleaners, mouse pads, and the students favorite, stylus, pen, flashlight combinations. (They donated a TON for our summer programs -- and the kiddos LOVE it). iBoss Security donated tshirts that were created to look like security shirts, and our middle school group went crazy over them! 
iBoss Security SWAG!

They are BEYOND excited -- Webroot SWAG ! One of the kiddos even said, "It's a flashlight, AND a stylus! My brother is going to be SO jealous!" 

These kids show off their webroot mouse pads -- they came in 2nd for the day ! The race is ON tomorrow! 

Screen Cleaners, courtesy of Webroot. They restick to your iPad over and over again! The kids  did NOT want to share these with anyone! 
One of our challenges was to land an RC Helicopter on a series of  helipads. The sequence was ROY G. BIV - which was part of the students' challenge to figure out! They were just given a few clues, and the colors. It was so cool to watch them work! 

Students here were working to set up a FaceTime interview with someone  across town in our offices! 
As you can see, our kiddos has a G-R-E-A-T time at camp today. I can't wait to see how Day 2 goes. If you have been thinking of doing an Amazing Race themed anything - I would be happy to share my resources!