Can't live without....

Popsicle molds???? The old fashion kind that you pour the liquid in and freeze :). Totally repurposed they make great dry erase marker holders. Students store the pens tip down and they don't dry out so fast. Plus a small price of felt gets stored with it making a great eraser. All within a students reach at any given moment.


Back to School

What a wonderful whirl wind week and it was only 3 days :)  This is the first year I have been able to dive right into curriculum (2nd day) as my kiddos are rocking the procedures part of it.  
A quick peek into the things that have really helped my year start off right.  

Having the kids read 1st thing in the morning...no more papers to hand out etc just nice quiet indulgence :)  this is new for me this year and I'm loving it. 
 After reading a few blog posts I read Book Whisperer...

I haven't implemented all that I read but this small change made a HUGE impact.

I also started the Daily 5 (wowa weeza this is amazing) (and the ebook is cheap on kindle)..although i don't have a kindle i still read it on my laptop and phone)

 I have only done a few mini lessons but my kids are begging to read more...Their stamina is through the roof.  Here are a few pics of the bulletin board I'm building with them.

I also love brain breaks...I have made a huge effort to chunk the modeling and work time into more manageable sections and then build in cooperative learning structures (Kagan)  for them to process with team members and of course brain breaks...I have used brain breaks for a while but they are all over Pinterest and blog land now...who knew.  Just search on you tube and you will find tons of videos of students modeling them :)  (I forgot to take a picture of the bucket i keep them in...just craft sticks with the names of brain breaks on them.

Another hard line in my classroom is a whole group area.  I don't keep them long but I like the sense of community and focus!

My students sit in teams of four and to keep things organized ( I hate messy desks and long transitions when things are missing) they have team tubs for slates markers crayons etc. Each week we rotate to a new team leader to be the materials manager..promotes ownership team work and responsibility all in one shot :)

Another part of teams is they have 3 other people to help them before they come ask me for help...love this!

This year I am also promoting I CAN statements like crazy...this is my focus board and all the goals and essential questions for each lesson are posted (and referred to throughout the day) here!  I plan to use different color marker to add vocab as well.

Our district has gone grade less for K-4  ok so we use standards based evaluations with levels..advanced proficient developing and beginning ...anybody else do this?  I LOVE it...So for the kiddos and myself :) I do a mini lesson with presents wrapped in varying degrees of perfection that serve as a visual all year long.  These work for all curricular areas including behavior!

So what has been the biggest change you've made this year?  Or what do you implement that works like a charm every year?



Sunshine Sand and Scissors Giveaway

Head on over and check out the fabulous giveaway!

Sunshine Sand And Scissors



Mrs. Sanford's Class Erin Condren How Do You Plan LInky

I am joining in for some fun! 

How do I plan..for some of us this is such a ritual :)  Outlined below is how I gear up for a new unit.

I cozy up to a big table with my binder (calender, scope and sequence, pacing guide, ccss, meeting notes etc)  notebook paper..favorite pencils pens and a great planner :)

I am whole to part so I look at the big picture and break it into parts.

I usually have my lit or math coach present (not at the same time).

Computer is up and running so we can search TPT and all my favorite blog feeds that I have starred for future reference!

Whats your ritual when it comes to planning?


A Teacher's Fashion Linky

I'm hooking up with Jess from Blood to Books for A Teacher's Fashion Linky!

1. My favorite stores that I like to get my "teacher's fashion"at are...

Here is what I am hoping to find for the 1st day of school...Minus the heals!

2. My favorite accessories?

3. I definitely teach in flats ..my poor feet and back can't hang anymore.  Here are my two faves :)

4. My go to item is a cardigan ! Picked some up from target this summer for $15

5. My fashion huh oh happened when I student taught...
I caught the thigh of my pants on a sharp corner and tore a wide hole in front of a room full of 4th graders.  Gotta luv duck tape...oh the horror.


Monday Made It

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics ...
I'm a little late to the party but I have been making things all summer and now I can show it off!
Tomorrow is our 1st official day back and the kids start next Wednesday!

1.  Big on student data this year so I got organized early..should have taken a pic of the inside too...it holds a tab for each student with a blank graph to keep track of their benchmark scores in reading and math as well as a goal setting form :)  In the back are last years AYP breakdowns by standard..student etc.

2. This rolling table was  a garage sale find..I spray painted it yellow and presto chango it's way cuter..Amazing storage for clipboards and such!

3.  Yup the infamous teacher toolbox..made it last March but revamped it this year...those baskets on top are my Target treasures 

4.  My focus wall..post all things essential to learning in one spot.

 5. This picture shows 2 different things..the buckets I cutesied up (is that a word) for guided reading supplies and the board below it is a placeholder for student exit slips...a simple sticky note and off we go.  Each student will have their designated spot.  Quick and easy formative assessment throughout the day.

6.  I made a new system to help me stay organized...again Target treasures..love the coordinating file folders.  Slap on some labels and your good to go.

Thanks for checking things out..I had so much fun seeing what everyone was up to all summer...Mondays weren't such a drag.  Hope to see a few more before some of you head back to school.
Thanks Tara for hosting!


Tell Me More Tell Me More a Linky Party

Mrs. Lemons over at Step into Second Grade is hosting a linky party!  Here goes nothing...

1.  I'm a married mother of 3 wonderful kiddos,  a 1, 3 and 15 year old!  Yeah I basically started over.

2.  I was born and raised in Northern California.  But life really began at 22, when I moved to Missouri.

3.  I met my husband on Match.com.  As much as I love the Midwest...small towns have limited dating pools!  I landed me a good one (ha)...here is a picture clue as to what he does everyday at work..most of the time i have no idea...but it does involve a very large magnet and and a KU parking sticker :)
 P.S.  He's going to kill me for posting this picture of him.  
4.  My sister is 10 years younger than I am..At that time I thought it would be a great idea to be in the delivery room when she was born...sis I love you but I never want to see something like that again...Scarred for life :)

5. I LOVE teaching in the day and age of blogs...Oh my I am a huge addict and can't live without checking my feeds multiple times a day :)  SO many great ideas..a new sense of community and collaboration.

Thanks Mrs. Lemons for hosting and thanks for stopping by.


Yay Third Grade Giveaway

Katherine over at Yay Third Grade is having a giveaway..head on over and check it out!

Fancy Free In Fourth Is Having a Giveaway

Fancy Free In Fourth is having a 300 follower giveaway!  Head on over and check it out.

Fancy Free in Fourth


Must have Picture Books Linky Party

Lindsey, The Teacher Wife, is having a linky party for Must Have Picture Books. All you have to do is click the image above to link to her blog!!!

One of my favorite books to start the year of is How Do Dinosaurs Go To School.  Its a great one to intro appropriate and inappropriate behaviors...in a fun lighthearted way!


Another favorite of mine is Zombie Love,,good for cause and effect :)


Thanks Lindsey for hosting!



Second Grade Sparkles Giveaway

My new friend Mrs. Daniel over at Second Grade Sparkles is hosting a giveaway...head on over and check out the goodies.


Thanks Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for hosting this Linky!

And so it begins...

I've finally made the leap... I'm jumping in feet first and eyes wide open.  Wish me luck as I discover the ups and downs of the wonderful world of blogging.

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