Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kicking Back Into Bloging Gear...A Glance into 2012

It's the end of 2012 and the beginning of a new year. I can't believe how quickly 2012 went by. When I look back, it is crazy to think of everything that has happened this year. 5 HUGE events took place this year for me. When I look at them, some may not be so be to others, but they have all made it for one interesting and productive year.

5. Kidney Stones:
How I hate thee!!! There are no other words to describe my feelings for these things. I will keep it short and sweet. I have lost count, but this last go around was probably #9. Anyways, this is how the story goes: Had surgery, didn't work, paying it off, and now am looking forward to a future, more invasive surgery. BOO!

4. Teachers Pay Teachers:
I have had a store up and running for a while, but I wasn't really invested in it. Thanks to many friends, Bloggy Friends, and FB groups for promoting, promoting, promoting TpT I finally took the dive. It seems silly I know, but I am very frugal with my money and it seemed like a lot to invest in. My fiance and I had agreed that once I had made enough from the "free" account I could reinvest with the full account. Well, long story short I am glad I didn't wait. I made my money back in the first 2 weeks. My store is still small because I have had other things keeping me occupied. It is a work in progress, but well worth the investment. If any of you are debating whether or not to pay the money. I definitely recommend. If you're wondering... No, I am not being paid to say how wonderful TpT is. This is my own opinion and promotion.

3. ITeach Blog:
Even though I have had a slow end to the year, I began my blog a few months ago thanks to my friend, Abby. You guys may know her as The Third Grade Bookworm. She is wonderful and I truly look up to her and admire her love for the teaching profession. Please visit her blog and give her some love! If it wasn't for her my blog or TpT products would not be as successful. Thank you!!

2. An Imaginable Loss

I had a difficult time deciding between these two. Without a doubt, losing Ruby was probably one of the most difficult experiences I have ever had. You see Ruby was very special. She was loved by everyone at my school. Her sassyness, kindness, and love for all will forever stay in our hearts. I had her for two years. I spent many weekends with her, enjoying every moment. My heart was very torn as I watched my students hear the news. It was by far the most difficult day in my teaching career. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. I know she's in a better place and welcoming many others with open arms, including those from Sandy Hook.

1. Marriage: End on a positive!

I will keep this short...I am not a mushy person. The reason of my lack in blogging. I am very much a newly wed. Derrick and I were married on December 1st. Best day ever! We are still waiting for photos, but I have left a preview.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apologies for my lack of blogging…I’ve been super busy planning other things. I PROMISE I will be back in 1 week!

Friday, October 5, 2012

My First Linky Party! Currently October!

My first linky party! I came across this linky party at Oh' Boy 4th Grade... So here is what is currently going on in my world in October.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Walking Dead. My fiance and I are trying to save money for our wedding, so we have done away with cable. We temporarily have Netflix and Hulu. You better believe I was excited to see Walking Dead had new releases! Anywho, I AM NOT a fan of scary movies, but there's just something about this show that has me hooked!

I am really loving the fact that tomorrow is Friday!Friday means jeans and time to catch up with my friends.

All I can think about are the little things that are left to plan and fix up for my wedding. The big day is set for December 1st! Yes that is less that 2 months away. As I am actually typing this, all I can think of are these tiny boxes I need to finish. Ugh!

Inside there are mini pots, seeds for spring blooming, and a thank you card. It was a cute idea at first! Now I feel like I might be kicking myself as I keep procrastinating!

I have been dying to get my hands on the new iphone! Again... saving money stinks and I am waiting patiently until I can afford to renew my contract and buy this nice gadget! By the way... I am obsessed with technology. I wish apple would magically grant me my wish of donating me a nice little laptop to poor little teacher. Hee hee :)

R&R Oh man how I need some rest and relaxation. I feel like I have been going and going since the school year started. I'm sure it doesn't help that all the other surrounding counties just a week off.

Last, but not least...

Oh how I love thee! I have a blast reading this to my class. The witch is sooo much fun to act out. Honestly, I enjoy making my voice that old squeaky witch sound. I know... geeky!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Help, Help, Helping Verbs!

Apologies for my long hiatus from blogging. I guess it's only fair I post a freebie!

My school is very big on anchor charts and artifacts. Since learning about poster printing, I have done away with paper charts. I rarely use chart paper or markers to create my mini lesson charts. I love that I don't have to take those clunky charts home. I will say, the most tedious part is having to cut and put them together. I suggest starting with the 4 page posters, because they are easier to put together. My favorite is the 9 page poster. They're the size of regular chart paper. If you use these make sure to use the crop lines and have them overlap. The best tip I can give for the big 9 page poster is to tape it together on both the front and the back (that way it won't crinkle in the laminator). However, the nice clean laminated final product is well worth it. Hop on the poster making train! I promise you won't regret it! Oh... and for those of you who have figured out this new blogger ..... Can someone please tell me how to place spaces between my lines?

I have uploaded one of my anchor charts for helping verbs.
Click here to grab this freebie from my TpT store!

Happy Blogging!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Launching Literacy: Literature Circles

Wahoo! I finish another literacy pack! I have currently been working on getting all of my literacy circle activities together into one huge pack. This is one of my favorite things about teaching fourth grade. I love it because this activity helps my students become independent learners. They're exstatic to learn the roles they are responsible for completing. I enoy watching their groups develop as they take ownership of their discussions and in turn, grow as readers.


It is a generic pack that can easily be worked into many books. It contains everything you need to complete any literature circle unit. Included in this pack:
* Literacy Circle Contract
* Vocabulary Predictions (predictions using vocabulary)
* Mad Word Finder (find unique, unfamiliar words define and use in context)
* Crafty Artist (Draws a part of chapter & provides caption)
* Cool Connector (Text Connections)
* Dialogue Director (Group Facilitator, Implicit Questions)
* Passage Actor (Fluency)
* Bookmark Job reminders (helps students keep track of current jobs)
* Super Narrator (Summarizing/retelling)

Read on & Happy Blogging!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let the Writing Begin: Engaging Beginnings!

For those of you who don't know, my school is departmentalized from 1st grade to 5th. My math partner is currently working on starting her blog, so as soon as she gets it up and running, I will link it to my blog.

My new freebie was a life saver last year. My students always struggle with engaging beginnings. I used this as an anchor chart. I printed it as poster size and gave each student a copy to place in their interactive notebooks. I referred to the chart numerous times throughout the school year. Each time they began a new piece of writing, I always encouraged them to try a different beginning. Also, I had the kids try various beginnings with the same story.

By the end of the year, my students were able to start their writing without me having to remind them to use an engaging beginning.

Click here to get this freebie from my TpT store.

The anchor chart page includes 4th grade standards.
The second page is the generic anchor chart.

Happy Blogging!

Monday, September 3, 2012

New School Year, Tons of Kids, Already Drowning!

I am three weeks into the school year, and I am already drowning! I honestly think the new class size "normal" is a little on the excessive side. I have 30 students in my inclusion homeroom, and since my team is departmentalized, my other class also has 30 students. When you add that up it equals 60 kids. I can't even keep up with spelling inventories and writing prompts. I know it is still early in the school year, but I am starting to worry about how I am going to keep everything organized, graded, and sane. I had a great two weeks, but got a real good taste of crowd control this past week. Is it even possible to start a workshop within a reasonable amount of time?

If anyone out there has any, ANY suggestions on how to survive this school year please please comment away!

On a brighter note, I am SUPER DUPER THRILLED about drama club auditions this week! My friend, Abby, over at Third Grade Book Worm and I are heading it all up with a few fabulous staff members and about 60 students.

Oh and for those of you who keep up with my TpT store, I have just finished up a HUGE Types of Sentences pack with leveled game/resources.

Happy Blogging!


I give mad props to those of you who are able to keep up with your blogs throughout the school year!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book Retriever App Giveaway!

The new school year has started and I have officially jumped into common core. I am currently working on a Types of Sentences Unit/Pack that I will hopefully have posted up by the end of next week.

Now....on to greater things. I am super stoked to announce my next giveaway! A couple weeks ago I posted a blog on the Book Retriever App. If would like a chance to hop into the world of cataloging your classroom library please sign up for this giveaway! I have 5 free app download codes to give away. For those of you who just found this app, Book Retriever app is a fairly new education app. It helps a teacher catalog all of their classroom library books into a database via barcode/ISBN number. The app also allows students to check out your books. It is a wonderful tool to use to keep track of who has what books.

Anywho... on to the raffle. To enter just make a comment or follow my blog.

Good Luck & Happy Blogging!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Freebie Tour Day Two: Meet & Greet Scratch Offs!

I just posted my Meet & Greet Scratch offs. They are generic, so any teacher can use them in the classroom. The directions are included in the download located in my TpT store. I love these! The best part: You only need contact paper, dish soap, and paint! Yipee!!

The prizes are
1) Free Homework Pass
2) A special Treat
3) Lunch with a Friend

Here is what the finished product looks like!


Happy Blogging!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Freebie Tour Day:1 Workshop Model Pie Chart

I am going to try to do a Freebie Week. I hope to post at least 3 freebies by Friday! Today's freebie is the workshop model pie chart. This a must in every classroom at my school. I thought I'd spice up our old boring chart! Grab the freebie in my TpT store!

Workshop Model Pie Charts (ELA & Generic)

Happy Blogging!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Retriever

I am just now jumping into the world of iPad and iPhone usage in the classroom. A couple weeks ago I came across an app that will eventually change your classroom library-check out system. The app is called Book Retriever.

It is still new, so the creators are constantly working on it. There's an update about once a week. The best part is that they take all of our suggestions into consideration. My favorite part of this app is that you can scan your books into your library. The books that are not recognized or don't have an ISBN can have labels printed. As of this week, the app does not recognize older ISBN numbers, but they have told me that their next update WILL include 10 and 13 digit ISBN numbers! YAY!

Now my favorite part about the app.... I have never been able keep up with who has what book of mine. With this app, you can add your students to your class roster and have your students check out a book. I am ecstatic! No more writing down or clipping who has what book.

The app costs $0.99. It is well worth the money.

I can't wait to see how this app develops! Let me know what you ladies and gentlemen think of this app!

Happy Blogging!


Sunday, July 29, 2012


My first giveaway! Yay! A few days ago I posted I'm Lovin' Synonyms. I'm going to give away 3 copies of the pack to some lucky blog readers. Since I am a newbie to blogging, I need some more followers! All I am asking you do is follow me! Make sure to leave me your email address in the comment box!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Lovin' Synonyms! Adding "Pizazz" to Writing

I was trying to figure out how to make my synonym word wall more interactive. I came across the idea, but I had no intentions on handwriting my entire board. So, that's how the I'm Lovin' Synonyms pack was born!

How it works:
The kids come to the board looking for an alternative for an overused word. The kids choose a word they want to use in their writing from the fry bucket. They return with their chosen fry to their desk, add it to their writing and return it to the fry box.

Yes, you're probably thinking, "What about those kids who forget where the fry belongs?" Don't worry, I thought about that too. I coded each word with a corresponding picture. So, if for some reason a child forgets where his or her word belongs, they can use the picture to match it back to its corresponding container.

I have placed a link to the pack if you want to take a peak :)

Happy Blogging!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to School Ice Breaker

I went to a professional learning earlier this summer, and they had us to an icebreaker with our group. It was actually fun, so I took the activity and made it kid friendly. Hopefully this will get the kids to have some kind of interactive conversation. I suggest using this with upper elementary. Very easy, not much more to say! Enjoy!


Graphics by:


My New Best Friend.... Duct Tape :)

One problem I have in my classroom is that I have no space for communicating with my students. Since my math partner is moving next to me (the adjoining room), I wanted to optimize our space. What I needed was a communication board for my students located somewhere between both of our rooms.

Yesterday, I went to Home Depot and purchased a 2' X 4' panel and had in cut to 3'.

Included in my purchase was chalkboard spray paint, paint pens, and duct tape.

After applying four coats of spray paint, I added a duct tape border (my room is polka dot themed).

This is what it looked like when the basics were done.

I used paint pens to write the date, agenda title, and homework.

The final test... CHALK! I think it turned out pretty cute! On to my next project... freebies for everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Time Saver... Vista Print

I am all about cutting corners and saving time. For those of you who don't know me, I have OCD, so I love making everything match. One of my FAVORITE places to frequently visit is VistaPrint. Not only do they have frequent deals and offers, but you plenty for your order (at least 250).

As a teacher I find the business cards very handy. They can be used in many ways. I have used business cards to design small name plates for my tables and desks. My school is departmentalized, so I have two sets of classes. I have found that the name plates stores sell are too big to have 2 sets at each seat.

I just logged in and designed a name plate to post as an example.

At the beginning of the year, we have to create breakfast cards for our kids. Once again, to save time, cutting out a class set, and labeling, I designed breakfast cards for my homeroom.

Another time saver for those of you who have a personal laminator.... NO CUTTING! Grab the business cards laminating pouches from the store, throw the "business card" inside, laminate, and Viola! You're done! A pack of 20 laminating pouches costs about $1 at Walmart.

Like I said, there are many ways to use the cards. I just ordered these for my wedding favors. They're directions for how to plant the seed that they will receive inside a box. We received 250, WAY more than what we invited, but I can't complain $13, and they threw in free return shipping labels. Instead of using them as return address labels I turned them into stickers. I love this site! Look out for sales, and never pay full price because they always, always have some kind of deal!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Grouping & Partners Made Easy

I was reviewing materials from two previous trainings I had this year, Eric Jensen and Rick Duvall, when I found a picture that I drew on a post it. It was a reminder to recreate this handwritten grouping sheet that was placed at the center of each table.


We were paired in various ways for different activities. The team pages make it quick to split off into groups or partners. I always struggle to get kids to find groups. I thought this was a clever way to group together instantly, and the best part is that your kids will never know what option you're going to choose!

I added a few elements to the page to make it a little more kid friendly. Grab this freebie in my teachers pay teachers store. The front page shows different ways to use the team sheet to group students. There are tons of various ways, and none are right or wrong. I just wanted to give you guys an idea of how to get started.

Graphics by:


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quiet Critters

I started one of my Pinterest projects. They're called....

Quiet Critters!

I thought the idea was a great twist for classroom management since I am going to a new management system, "Habits Cash." It will pretty much work like character cash. Long story short, when I want silence in the classroom I plan to place these cute little critters on the corner of each child's desk. Any child who still has the critter after the specified time will earn extra cash. I hope it works! I know I will have to give them parameters, like no touching or moving critter. You guys know how kids can be.

How to Make these Cute Critters

If you're interested, please please don't spend any money outside of the Dollar Tree. All of the items (pom-poms, wiggly eyes, and foam paper) can be purchased there. I used little heart shaped foam for their feet, but you can also cut the foam pieces.

I didn't see directions on Pinterest. I am crediting teaching chick for the idea, since I stumbled upon them from her pin.


Student Information Forms

The first day of school is quickly approaching. What does this mean? Yes, I am at it again- tweaking forms and cleaning up files. I know everyone has forms they use at the beginning of the school year, but this one form has been a life saver!

My school has a large number of Spanish speaking families. One thing I have created that has helped us out is a bilingual contact form. Yes, your office may have all of this information, but I have found it to be a life saver on more than one occasion. I have translated the English form. I have also created a section with sibling information. This comes in handy during conference scheduling. I learned this my first year of teaching. I found myself searching through binders of student information trying to locate which children had siblings and what teachers they had.

Check out the freebie and let me know what you think... I updated it for this school year, so if I forget to update it later on, let me know and I will change it ASAP!

Thank you!

School Form

About Me!

I'm super excited to jump into the world of Blogs!  I'm a 4th grade teacher in metro Atlanta.  This year will be my 6th year teaching.  My school is departmentalized, so I teach reading, writing, and grammar.

It's about time I try out something new.  Long story short I have OCD, and those of you who work with me know that I spend a huge chunk of my personal time creating new projects, worksheets, lessons, and so on.  Most of which I enjoy, but at times it drives me nuts because I can't always just take something and go with it (It's hard to explain.  Just know its annoying).  After a friend of mine, Abby, showed me her blog, and a few others I about died!  I never knew about this whole other side to blogging...and the best part was that I found a TON of stuff I can use.