Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sorry! ugh

So it is official. I am not the brightest crayon in the box.  :(

I decided that I would change the name of my blog because I am moving grade levels. I also changed the url. *DUH!* That means that people don't have the correct link to view my blog. I can't believe I didn't realize that.

Sorry. Everything is back to normal.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Writing Resource - Pinterest Find

Oh wow! I have found a great resource for upper grades. It has amazing pictures with prompts that will engage your students. You have to check it out!

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see this.

There are hundreds of writing prompts. I love it!

Read All About It Friday #1

Last week I began sharing some of my favorite parts of There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith. Click here to see that post. I will pick up where I left off last week and continue talking about reading in the classroom.

Choosing materials
pg. 39

"Read your favorite books with your students; they will respond to your enthusiasm for the material. Remember; the goal is to demonstrate the joy of reading; the material used is less important than the teacher's level of excitement. (...) You are the catalyst for a successful program and must go through the difficult material with the kids. (...) Children need plenty of adult guidance to become good readers."

I am going to read books with my students. The first book we will read and enjoy together will be Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.

I love this book. It brings me into another world. You get a beautiful picture of another way of life and a place to live.  You are brought along with the main character as she lives alone except for her animals. There is loss and hardship that our students will be able to connect with and happiness too. I am very excited! 

This isn't going to be a book study where we do work pages or creat a project. We will simply enjoy the book, discuss it with each other, respond in our journals, wiki, and blog, and read together. They won't be assigned chapters as homework. We will discuss unknown vocabulary and look things up together. I want to find time to show the kids how to love reading. This is going to be a good use of our time together. I think the comprehension we practice naturally during this time, will flow naturally into their testing passages.

pg. 46
"If you want your students to maximize their reading potential, you must lead by example. It starts with you. Make your reading program thrilling, challenging, and, equally important, relevant. Lives hand in the balance. If you do nothing else as a teacher, develop able and passionate readers."

Think about those things as you plan for the upcoming year. What do you think?

The last thing I want to share with you is a poem written by Charles Osgood of CBS News. (found on pg. 55 of There Are No Shortcuts)

Pretty Good

There once was a pretty good student,
Who sat in a pretty good class;
Who was taught by a pretty good teacher,
Who always let pretty good pass--

He wasn't terrific at reading,
He wasn't a whizbang at math,
But for him education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn't find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well;
And he did have some trouble with writing,
And no one had taught him to spell.

When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine--
5 plus 5 needn't always add up to be 10
A pretty good answer was 9.

The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school;
And the student was not the exception,
On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good student, in fact, was
Part of a pretty good mob;
And the first time he knew that he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life could be tough--
And he soon had a sneaking suspicion,
Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state, 
Which had pretty good aspirations,
And prayed for a pretty good fate.

There once was a pretty good nation,
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
Which learned much too late, if you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

Let's contribute to greatness!
(click on the picture to download if you want)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sharing Thursday #1

This year I am going to focus on organizing my lesson materials as I use them. I was inspired by fellow blogger Mrs. H at Once Upon a First Grade Adventure.

Here is the cover for my ELA binder. I will have a copy of the state standards and my district's pacing guide at the front. I reference these ALL THE TIME, so I want them in a central location. Then I will have a section for ideas and how they panned out. Then all the pages we do as a class. I will also put my teacher copy of our journals in the binders to reference next year.

My goal is to hole punch and organize as I go. I will have a binder for each content area and will divide the inside by six weeks. I am really looking forward to this. I am taking on a new grade level, so I want all my hard work this first year to pay off the second and third years.  :)

As always, help yourself to the free download! I hope you can use them. Good luck with your organzing!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crafty Wednesday #1

Hello! I wanted to share my 2 projects for this week.


  • Mod Podge
  • brush
  • clear stones
  • printed letters or words
  • magnets

I will have 4 No Name magnets for obvious reasons and I have #1-24, one for each student. I am excited to have a magnetic white board in my new room, so I knew I wanted to use it. I just printed what I wanted, cut it out, and used Mod Podge to secure it to the back. You need a heavy duty magnet to make these stick. I bought the cheap ones, but they won't hold them up.  :/

Another teacher at my school inspired me to try making some signs. I love them!

Be creative!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Creative Tuesday #1

Good morning!

For my first Creative Tuesday, I want to share something I found and adapted last year.

My scratch-off lottery tickets. These are great incentives for students. I have used them for behavior and homework rewards. They are very simple to make. 
You will need:
-printed cards (I used card stock)
-silver acrylic paint
-dishwashing liquid (I used Dawn)
-contact paper

Cut pieces of contact paper to fit over the rectangle. This allows the paint mixture to be scratched off without taking the words with it.

Mix 2 parts paint with 1 part dishwashing liquid. It doesn't have to be terribly precise. Paint over the reward. On my cards I put the reward in a rectangle, so I would know where to paint. Plus it helps them all look alike. Let it dry and you have lottery tickets!

If you want the power point file, leave a comment with your email address and I will send it to you.

What is your creative project this week?

Thing #14

Here are some great interactive website for you and your students to enjoy.

Blabberize - take any picture, configure the mouth, add sound, and voila! This could be a great preview for a lesson, end of the day reminders, a way to say happy birthday, or just about anything you can image.

JigZone - this could be a brain break, an incentive, or just for fun. It is always a good way to give your brain a workout. I don't think that kids (especially the ones at my school) put together enough puzzles.

Time Glider - This looks like an awesome way to do a report, time line style. I really like this. Click the green arrow at the top to zoom in to see more details. This could be a great group project. It could also be a great way to do a personal timeline.

I really like that Blabberize and TimeGlider have the embed feature. That makes it easy to share with a blog. There are also links available if you want to go that route. I love learning about new tools that will inspire kids to work hard to produce a good product.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thing #7a

Assignment: Blog about something interesting from your Reader. I love keeping tabs on the 500+ blogs I follow.  (Sometimes overwhelming...)

This is my favorite post right now. You can find the original post here.

She got the idea from:


I think it is a wonderful idea to make a class t-shirt and the price is right, just $7!!!


Isn't this awesome?! The kids draw a self portrait on a 3x5 index card and write their name at the  bottom. You fill out the order form, send home the student order form, gather all the forms and index cards together and sent it in. So easy!

Check out this website for more information:

I will be doing this the coming year. I think I will do it around February. They will be great to wear on field trips and field day!

Inspiring Monday #1

Don't you just L.O.V.E. Pinterest? It is full of the most inspiring and creative ideas. I could (and have if I am honest) spend hours looking through the amazing ideas of others. I am a very visual person, so I love being able to look through pictures! Just perfect. Click on the button on the right if you want to follow my pins on Pinterest.  =)

Anyway... I find most of my inspiration from Pinterest these days. I wanted to share with you a few ideas for decorating your classroom walls so they are functional and beautiful! I am moving to a new room this year, so I have been looking around at the options. I won't be able to get into my room to work until August, so all I can do now if plan!

I really like the idea of setting aside a place for subject area charts. I think it would be a great resource and record of classroom learning. I need to do more of this, so that I am holding myself accountable.

I really like sectioning off the board. Right now I know I want sections that include spelling words, student expectations, vocabulary, and a super improver wall.

I L.O.V.E. seeing and learning from Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files. She is amazing. She has shared these. I recently read the Cafe book and I have big plans!

A great way to dress up your bookshelves! I love the matching colors!

I want this right by my door. I will teach the kids to write their name and destination whenever they leave the classroom. That just keeps things easy and organized. One more thing that I don't have to hold in my mind.

This is the same idea as the CRAFT board. Writing is going to be a major focus for me this coming year, so I was so excited to find this from none other than Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files.  =)

I hope some of these inspire you for the planning period known to all teachers as summer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Mrs. Alaniz from Totally Terrific in Texas for giving me this award.  =)   It always feels so good to get an award. Go check out her blog!


I have been apprised of the rules of passing this award on. I think that is the best thing about these awards. We are always paying it forward. Love it.
  1. Follow the person that gave you the award. (Done!)
  2. Link back to the person who gave you the award. (Click the button above.)
  3. Pass the award on tp 15 more bloggers.

Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching

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The Caffeinated Teacher

Thinking of Teaching

Changing the Name of my Blog


I have decided that I won't be pursuing my new blog :

I have put too much work into this blog, so I am just going to change the name and continue on. I hope you will stick around for the ride! I will be doing some reposting of things I have shared on the other blog, so if there is some overlap the next week, please fogive me!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Have you heard of this wonderful resource???


Check this out! Click the image to see the linked image. I can't get the linked one to share to my blog. Sorry.

Can you image all the possibilities? Can you see the looks on your students faces when they are presented with this guided research tool? Who wouldn't want to learn more about a subject when it is presented this way?

How do you think you could use this?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

News for the 2012-2013 School Year


I will be leaving 2nd grade and moving to 4th grade! I have tons of planning to do this summer. :)

I am going to be working with some amazing ladies on my new team. I am very sad to leave my 2nd grade coworkers. They have helped me so much these last 2 years.

Please come over and follow my new 4th grade teaching blog. I will also be making a blog for my students to work on throughout the year. I am hoping we will be able to do a lot more with technology!!!

Come over and visit!!!