Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Whitney's Weekly Planner- FREEBIE

I decided to try and create my own planner template this year since none I have found fit my needs.  I like it to be simple and to the fluff.  Because I only teach Reading/Language Arts, these are the only things I included to plan for.  However, everyone may be interested in the opening page for each 9-weeks that has places for dates that are important when planning.  I am not sure if it will be successful, I just wanted to try it out.  I used PowerPoint to create it, and I am not very savvy on the "how-to's", so I had to make every page sideways.  My neck hurt for hours after I finished, lol.  My dog Millie kept staring at me with her head sideways,too.

Just to explain a few things-  My small group assignments are on the bottom of page 1.  I saw a list on Pinterest (Insert heavenly angel chorus) that gave the students a "Must Do" and "May Do" list every week while I met with groups.  I loved this idea, and am going to try and use it this year.

We only assign homework on Mon., Tues., and Thurs.  Because of this, the next page has only those days listed under Homework.  Just in case you were wondering.  This is Brenda's idea that I took on and it works really well to only have those nights.  Students, and parents, know to expect an assignment then which makes managing homework so much simpler.

Finally, I have a section labeled ClassWorks. I DO NOT LIKE THIS PROGRAM.   This is a computer program we have to attend 30 minutes a day, and it has taken some getting used to.  I finally got into making my own assignments on it, so I made a box for planning it as well.

Okay, I'm a little nervous, hence the ramblings, to put it on here.  I hope you can use it, or at least get some ideas from it.  Any comments or questions, as always, are welcome!
Weekly Planner- FREEBIE

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky - Tic-Tac-Toe Style

Boy this summer is flying by!  I can't believe that in 25 days, we have to be back at school.  So much to do, and so little time! 

Latoya is hosting another great linky party: Let's Get Acquainted Tic-Tac-Toe.

To participate: Answer 3 in a row on the tic tac toe board.  Then go link up with Latoya!

I am doing the middle horizontal row.

My first year teaching: 
My first year teaching was not a good experience.   I was hired to teach at the school system where I went to school.  This was a difficult system to get a job with when you were a "straight-out-of-college" teacher.  I was beyond excited.  I was hired to teach Kindergarten.  I was at the same school with my mother (she taught  2nd grade), so I knew a lot of the people.  I had a great teaching partner and aide.  I was ready to begin.  As with most Kindergartens, we had a week of testing where the kids come in one at a time.  During this week, my principal came to me and told me that is was a possibility that I would have to move to either 2nd grade or 5th grade due to numbers.  But then he also said, "I'm supposed to tell you that, but it probably won't happen.  I wouldn't worry about it."  So I didn't even think twice about it.  I finished getting my room fixed up and decorated.  I was ready for those sweet kids.  I got all of them tested and ready for their first half day of school. 

My first day with a small group of kids, my principal comes to me on the playground during morning recess.  He tells the other teacher to watch my students, and he takes me into a meeting.  I was officially moving to 5th grade (in another building).  I was to be out of my classroom by noon and report to my new school. 

School had been in session for almost 2 weeks at this point, and they were forming a new class for me in 5th grade.  So, the teachers got to meet with me, and pick 2 kids to put in the new class.  Now, we are all teachers and they have an opportunity to give 2 kids that they have had for 2 weeks to a new teacher.  I'll leave it to your imagination as to the types of students that I got! 

I made it through survived that first year.  Thank goodness, I was moved to 4th grade...and I have loved it there ever since!

My favorite School Memory as a kid:  
I have several favorite school memories.  I was a very quiet kid in school, and I didn't "come out of my shell" until about 7th or 8th grade.  High School seemed like a daunting place, but I was ready for it.  I knew in high school that I would be able to participate in FFA just like my 2 older brothers.  Imagine my excitement when on the first day of high school, my ag teacher asked me to participate in some of the teams for our chapter!  That set off my high school experience right!

Books I'm Reading: 
Hi, my name is Brenda...and I have a problem!  I start too many books at once!  These are the ones going right now:

  • The One and Only Ivan
  • Second Honeymoon by James Patterson
  • Wonder
  •  The Know-It-All by AJ Jacobs
  • Love You More by Lisa Gardner
  • Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit
Don't forget to go link up with Latoya so that we can learn more about each other!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Class Dojo for Management- Thoughts?

The past year we did stamps as rewards in our homeroom classes.  This works really well to do our own homerooms, but then again, we never really know if they earned possible rewards in the other class and aren't getting credit for it.  Also, the opposite could be occurring.... We know, we know- misbehaving rarely occurs :).  Anyway, we are thinking of using the website/app Class Dojo next year. We can download the app on a class iPod, and pass it back and forth using our class clipboards that hold behavior information already.  This way, we can give accolades and reprimands at the time they happen, then total up at the end of the week for stamps.  We need to mention, they buy prizes with the stamps- the more stamps, the better options for good prizes.  

Has anyone used this program or something similar?  Any thoughts on how we could make this work? Any advice or questions welcome!  We know it's summer and we should be relaxing, but might as well get to planning.  Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Whitney's Currently

Well, we have been on a tour of Tennessee this week, and part of last week.  We have been to Memphis for a zoo trip for Cohen, our 16 month old.  Then, we decided to head to Oak Ridge to visit my husband's older brother while he had time off.  Basically, we have had lots of time in a car and were ready to be HOME.  I have fallen behind on my currently due to the travel, so here are my June ramblings.

I did find out that we are going to have a girl this October!!  Exciting News!  I just hope and pray she is nicer than I was between ages 9- 18 haha.  We have really battled over names, but I think we finally decided to stick with our Irish theme we started and go with Darby.  I knew a Darby in college who was nice, intelligent, and president of everything.  It's always nice to have a positive connection.  Anyway, enough about that, check out the currently and don't forget to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade! and follow the Rule of 3!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Currently June

Woohoo!!!  It is June!!!  That means the best time of the year is here...SUMMER!!!

Brenda's Currently:

My mind is totally on Summer for right now!  Looking back to a couple of weeks ago, I didn't realize how tired of school I was!  But now my stress level has returned to normal and I am back to my normal, laid-back person!

*Listening: I'm ready for this rain to stop!  I know that we are a lot luckier than some folks, and I should be glad that it is only rain and not the damaging tornadoes.

*Loving: Sometimes you just need those days where you can sit and do nothing!  I got caught up on my backlog of 4 episodes of Glee and I completed a few levels of Candy Crush!  Well, on second thought...maybe I was pretty productive today!!!

*Thinking: I brought home all of my files to organize and put into new binders.  I did buy the binders at Sam's last week...but the stack of files is still in the middle of my living room floor where I dropped them on the last day of school! 

*Wanting: I would love to go to the beach, but we are going on a family vacation to the mountains!  Next year...I will be at the beach, even if I have to go by myself!!!

*Needing: several areas.  Obviously, I need motivation to start my summer projects.  I have also signed up (and paid for) my first 5K in October...The Color Run.  I am excited, but I am definitely not a runner!  My thought was (since I'm a tightwad!) that if I pay for it, I will not back out!  I have got to get started preparing for it, or I'll be the last one crawling to the finish line!

*Vacay Essentials: Flip-flops are a must wherever I am...more specifically Yellow Box flip-flops!  Books are always a necessity.  I have about 3 or 4 going now (The One and Only Ivan, Safe Haven, and the new Duck Dynasty book that I can't remember the exact name!)  I'm sure I have another one on my Kindle that I have started but need to finish.  Comfy Clothes is my third...I love this time of year where you throw on a pair of capris and a T-shirt...put on a scarf and you are immediately "dressed-up"! 

Now, don't forget to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!  and follow the "Rule of 3"!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Next School Year, I will definitely...


Friday was our first day out, but Memorial Day always seems to be the first official day of summer to me!  This is the first year since I have been teaching that we have been out before the end of May!  In the winter, I hate that we don't have enough snow to get out, but then in May, I'm so glad that we didn't have to use our snow days!!!

As a teacher, I guess you never really quit working.  And Pinterest doesn't help solve this problem!  It seems that everytime I log on, then I have more on my "to-do" list.  

I was thinking this morning about the things that I wanted to be at the top of my priority list for school. Then, I see this wonderful linky party from Finding Joy in 6th Grade this afternoon!  

 I just had to link-up.  Maybe if I put it in writing, then it will hold me to do things that MUST get done!!!

I brought home all of my files (that are currently in file folders that have that curled up bottom edge that let's them slip into oblivion when they are in the cabinet).  I have HUGE plans to put them in binders with cutesy covers and spine labels.  Not sure how I want to do it though...BIG binders vs. little binders...arranged by standards vs. one binder per subject vs. arranged by weeks of the year...and my mind keeps going.  Those of you who have made the transition...any thoughts or advice?

I have to say that this item has been in the planning since the beginning of January when TPT had a big New Year's sale and I bought these two items:

 My biggest fear of beginning notebooks was where to come up with meaningful resources.  These two items solved that fear for two if there is one of these for Social Studies (especially for Tennessee Social Studies!) please let me know!  I have been pinning and gathering to add my own things to these and make them even more meaningful for my classes.  

I kept seeing people using these Brag Tag necklaces.  I like them, but our school is not paying for those tags...and they would get expensive if I tried to do it on my own.  Until Diane at Fifth in the Middle popped up with this wonderful product:

Now I can make my own and I think I will add beads or charms for things like Accelerated Math Objectives, behavior, etc.

I know this is not directly school related...but I hope to definitely complete more blog posts!

That's it for now.  Next summer, I will have to see how I kept to these goals and how they worked!  Don't forget to go link up over at Finding Joy in 6th Grade!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Brenda's "What's in My Cart?"

To say that "I LOVE SHOPPING" is quite the understatement.  And to say that "I LOVE SHOPPING ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS A SALE" is even better. 

I always feel like I'm solving a common core word problem when I see "I'm giving you 20% and then TPT is giving you 10%, so that adds up to 28%."  I am the Math teacher, so I get it...but it still blows my mind at first.  But hey...I'll take whatever I can get. 

I have put items on my wishlist...moved them to my cart...added more to the cart...moved items to the wishlist...moved back to the cart...ok you get the idea.  But I finally clicked that button to checkout, then guess what I did......

I was typing in my payment info and realized I did not put in that little "TAD13" code!  So here I go back and start over...but boy was it worth it. 

Whitney and I also used this sale as an excuse to find out where exactly we would be next year.  Our principal is retiring, so our whole admin team is all shuffled up.  Now, our school may be the exception...but rumors ALWAYS fly this time of year....and let me tell you....they really fly with new admin!  So, today, we are sitting in a meeting with our new principal.  I was paying complete attention to her was showing Whitney all my finds on TPT.  And Whitney says, "Don't buy that...what if you aren't teaching that!" 

Well, we bring it up to new principal...and GUESS WHAT!!!! 


That was sure a burden lifted from our shoulders.  No more more sleepless more paying attention to every single rumor flying around!!!

Ok, now on to the linky......Here were the items in my cart!

I'm planning to use brag tags next year, so I got a head start with these two purchases from "Fifth in the Middle."  I also got a pack for the Colonial American time period.

I have been eyeing all those cute memory books and candy awards.  Well I found them packaged together at "The Pinspired Teacher."

Then I find this all day lesson plan from Lovin' Lit.  I'm planning to use it for my sub in a couple of days...then next year it will stay in my sub plans for those emergencies.

Next up are my Science items.  I just love my items from The Science Penguin!

I could not pass up this cute Smoothie Fraction pack from Jennifer Findley!

Had to have a Mother's Day and Father's Day craft!  This combo pack from Loreen Leedy was perfect!

And what cart could be complete with some fun clip art from Ashley Hughes!  I saw this and just had to have it.  Can't wait to do something with it for fractions next year! 

Did I spend more than I should have?  Well we won't answer that because it doesn't matter...IT WAS ON SALE!!!!

So, that was my cart...what's in yours?

Go link up over at Fifth in the Middle for the "What's in Your Cart?" linky party!