Tuesday, April 5, 2016

State Testing and APRIL FOOLS!

Today was a GREAT day! We finished up our State Testing and I couldn't be more excited!

I always love to do something special for my students each day of testing to help calm their nerves and let them know that I love them oh so much! Testing is stressful enough, I love bringing a little light to the situation!

I created these little test encouragement notes to help break the ice each morning and to remind them to do their best. Each one was paired with a little treat, which always helps ;) You can find them in my TpT store here: Test Encouragement Notes

The first day I gave each student an apple and the apple note from my set to help them get pumped up; I may or my *NOT* have told them they were magical testing apples! Ha!

The next day was one of my favorites, it don't "lolly-gag" note! Complete with an organic Trader Joes lollipop, and you are set!

The third day of testing included a cute note about "DONUT" forget ideas to help them. I had mini donuts for each student! (See this note in my store preview)

Today they got to be nerds and do their best- they loved the little nerdy monster!

Let's not forget about our April Fools adventures as they tried to find the elusive Lirpaloof bird! HAHAHA! This may have been the highlight of my year watching them search for this bird outside and their faces when I said "APRIL FOOLS!" I videoed it and will share it at the end of the year so they can watch! It was GREAT! Thanks to Denise over at Sunny Days in Second for this HILARIOUS idea!

I hope everyone is surviving this last stretch of school! Remember, we can do this!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness FREEBIE!

Hey y'all!

Things have been crazy around these parts- I'm sure you have been too! 

Today at church, we talked about how being the light in a world of darkness is the only way that things will change. With all of the scary and horrific things happening recently (most recently, Paris) we need to be the ones to spread some good and cheer around! This really got me thinking about what our students and children are experiencing and seeing through the media and other people. I want to be different and give them a reason to show love. They need to understand that they can be the ones who spread happiness in a time of darkness. 

I've been dabbling in Photoshop this week after being given a quick, but thorough lesson from a friend and I.AM.IN.LOVE!!!! It is so much easier and user friendly than Powerpoint and I cannot believe I've been without it for this long. I know I still have a TON to learn, but I am ready and willing!

I whipped this adorable Random Acts of Kindness ticket up after my church handed out something similar to us this morning to "show God's love in a practical way". LOVE IT! So I made it kid (and of course public school) friendly and here you go! (click the picture!)

I hope you enjoy it and please remember to leave feedback when you download! 

Thanks and I hope everyone has a great week before Turkey Day! ;)

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Craziness...

Umm... Did someone see October?! I'm sorry- I haven't seen it!!!

Talk about a ridiculously crazy month?! I cannot believe we are already in November! This is my absolute favorite time of the year and lots of exciting things are happening in our family, so I'll update as much as possible, however no scheduled updates are promised! My little sister is due any day with Baby Blake and I am so excited to be an aunt! She is the first of us to have a baby, so he might be slightly spoiled already! Also- my big sis and BIL are coming for Thanksgiving ALLLLL the way from Abu Dhabi! I'm so stinking excited! Check out her blog,  she is hilarious and you can watch her worldly adventures! 

October closed with a bang with our Magnet Program's annual Pumpkinmania! This event is so much fun and the kiddos always have a blast! The teachers all choose a pumpkin themed activity (normally science or math related) and the kids rotate through the classrooms and do each activity. I always try to do something new every year so that the experience is always new. This year, I made pumpkin moon sand! OMG- Talk about fun! {messy might be another describing word} This is not the activity for the faint of heart, but I highly suggest it! The kids loved the feel of the stuff and they had a blast building with it. 
You will need (per kid)
-1 cup of play sand
- 1/4-1/2 cup of cornstarch
- 20mL of water
- 1/8 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie spice
- 2 drops of orange food color

Mix the dry ingredients together first really well. Add the water and food color and direct students to mix together really well. Pour onto a plastic plate and build away! It is very similar to kinetic sand! It was amazing :)

My students from last year had a blast and told me numerous times how much they miss me! The feeling is mutual! ❤️ 

We also had our annual Dress Like a Storybook Character Day and I always make my costume. I decided on one of my absolute favorite classics- Charlotte's Web! I decided I would be Charlotte and one of my sweet girls from last year decided to match me and be Fern! Adorable! 

We also have been working on Student Led Conferences and I found out about a fabulous new app called Seesaw! You guys- seriously, download this! It's an electronic portfolio where students can upload their work and parents can access it from any device or the computer. Students can upload videos, PDFs, pictures, and many other things to show what they know. I've also used it as an authentic assessment by having students reflect on certain lessons using the video feature. It.is.amazing. 

Here are some of my kiddos using it to talk about text and graphic features. They love sharing their work and then I know I have a running record of it! Win win! 

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and survived the epic week of school! 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fall in Love With Teaching Blog Hop {2015

Welcome to my little blog! I am so excited to be participating in this fabulous blog hop with some great third grade teachers!

I am going to show you how we get our students learning the Scientific process in the beginning of the year. This time is crucial to set the kiddos up to correctly complete scientific investigations throughout the year. 

Because I work in a magnet program, these students must always be challenged beyond the average. So, our magnet team leader (who is an absolute genius!) developed this exciting project to challenge all of the students. 

Welcome to CSI! Our students work together in our classes and among the grade levels to solve the crime and figure out who the criminals are! 

It is set up by creating bios for all of the suspects (aka- our teachers!) and ensuring that they follow a similar pattern so the students don't figure it out too quickly. All of the teachers collect and submit evidence such as empty food containers and such before CSI starts so that evidence can be placed in the crime scene. The goal is to get the students seeing everyone eating and drinking from their
submitted evidence- this is when the fingers start to get pointed! ;)

We also submit samples of our footprints, fingerprints, hair samples, and writing samples. The students will actually thoroughly examine these and process them as evidence. The students evaluate all of the footprints and measure the length and width. They also evaluate all of the crime scene fingerprints as well as their own. Finally, third grade evaluates the various writing using chromatography to see who's pen matches the crime scene ink. The amount of work that the kids put into this is incredible! 

We had our huge reveal this past Monday - here is the video. Enjoy! :) 

Finally- the giveaway times! I am having a giveaway for any one of my TpT products and the grand prize giveaway is awesome as well, you can win a gift card for TpT! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaways below!

Jump on to the next blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Classroom Reveal!

Hello my wonderful friends! I'm so stinking excited to FINALLY post my classroom reveal! Things have been (expectedly) crazy these first few weeks of school, but I'm back and ready to blog! 

This year, I really wanted my room to be more functional and my use of space was my top priority. This has literally taken me two years to figure out how to rearrange my room to make it work for my kiddos and for me. I am so happy with how it turned out and I feel like it is so much more functional. 

The first thing I did was swap my reading and computer area. The back of my room used to be closed in by desks and computers and it literally drove me CRAZY! Now, you can see that it is wide open and perfect for easy navigation, plus the reading area is so much more welcoming! 

The next area of focus was using my wall space and whiteboard to a maximum.  I decided to transform my whiteboard into the perfect place to put my focus board and agenda up. Also- it gave me the perfect space to hang my ELA anchor charts for easy reference. I absolutely love how it turned out and that I was able to use this space more efficiently this year. I used my A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Silhouette machine to cut out the headers and bought those adorable magnetic divider borders from Creative Teaching Press (found at Joann's with a coupon!). They serve both a cute and functional purpose! ;) The focus board heading cards came from the fabulous Third Grade Hollywood and I just completely adore them! 

My other large bulletin board in my room I decided to use for my Reading strategy posters (Also by the so creative Third Grade Hollywood) and for my Math anchor charts. It helps break up the space a little and I was able to use the super cute whiteboard banners and burlap sticky letters from the Target dollar spot to make the headers! I love how this board turned out. 

I also used one of my bulletin boards and another space on my wall to create my space for my Daily 5 rotations in reading and for my Math stations. I designed these sets because I wanted something bright and fun, but also something that was easy to read. If you like how they look- find them here in my TpT store! 

My last bulletin board in my room is being used for my calendar area this year to help make it more of a focus. Our daily calendar keeper, meteorologist, and daily calendar math kiddos will keep up with this daily. I'm really excited about this board! 

My bulletin boards outside needed to be used to display student work and also showcase our classroom because it makes the students proud and accountable for their work. My large board was inspired by some pins on Pinterest and I just made it my own by adding the hand cut trees and the numbered chalk board clips to hold each student's work. I absolutely love how this board turned out and my students are chomping at the bit to get their first BRIGHT work put up there! ;) The other board outside my room is my Instagram board where I will display our classroom happenings and hashtags to match. This has been a serious fan favorite! My administration, fellow teachers, and parents have absolutely loved this board and I love how it turned out! I love taking pictures and I can't wait to display them for students and parents to see. 

Finally, my student desk setup is a group horseshoe shape to help aid with Kagan structures. I also bought these rolling carts to hold their supplies and notebooks this year. I think they will help keep everything looking nice and organized! Another thing I did this year was created book boxes for my kiddos so that books wouldn't shoved into desks and messed up. This also helps me keep track of where my library books are! 

I really hope you enjoyed my classroom reveal and that I've inspired you all as much as you have inspired me! I cannot wait to see where this year takes my class! Happy New School Year everyone! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

21 Day Fix and a *~FREEBIE~*!

Hello friends!

My hubby (from Sweet Geeks) and I have started the 21 Day Fix this week and have committed to a healthier lifestyle since we are getting older and would love to start a family soon. But first- we have to take care of ourselves! We really love this program and how easy it is. Everything is laid out for you and the portion containers make meal prep a BREEZE! We have both dropped about 5 pounds and we only started Monday! That's how much unhealthy stuff we were eating before! YIKES!

Here are some of the food options we've been eating- my favorite everyday meal is my Shakeology though! YUM! We add a little PB, ice, and almond milk to our chocolate variety and it tastes like a milkshake- that is a WIN in my book!

This was breakfast day 1, a super yummy egg scramble with fruit and bacon
Container count- 1.5 red, 1 purple, 1 green

Day 1 Lunch was a mixed salad with protein and tons of veggies
Container count- 2.5 green, 2 purple, 1 orange, and 1 red

Day 2 lunch was a bed of romaine with homemade chicken salad (made with leftover rotisserie chicken and dressing instead of mayo), cucumbers, and boiled eggs- so good!
Container count- 2.5 green, 1 orange, and 1.5 red

Today we had an AMAZING turkey burger for lunch- these are quick and easy! It is the Jennie-O frozen lean turkey burgers (which are so stinking good), avocado, lettuce, tomato, and sautéed mushrooms and onions on a whole grain bun. This burger was so delicious and was super healthy!
Container count- 1.5 red, 1 orange, 2 teaspoons (for sautéed onions and mushrooms), 2 yellow, 2.5 green, and 1 blue- this was a very hearty burger!

Doesn't that food look amazing?! I feel so much better and I am really dedicated to sticking to my healthy habits this time. I really need to do this for myself. 
If you made it this far and you use the 21 Day Fix- I made this super cute container tracker for you to monitor what you're eating! It really has helped my hubby stay on track- he is not good at that part ;) Enjoy this little FREEBIE! All of the calorie brackets are included- (click on picture to take you to freebie!)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Stitch Fix- My first box!

Ok... I finally caved and scheduled my first Stitch Fix box with not really an expectation that it would work out since I am more on the edge of plus size and regular fitting clothes. Honestly, I just wanted to see if they really accommodate your wants and pay attention to your details. I was hoping to maybe get a piece of jewelry out of it. This is my Tried it Tuesday for the wonderful Fourth Grade Flipper!

Oh.Em.Gee... Ladies- you NEED to experience this at LEAST once! It was so much fun and I cannot believe how perfect my clothes were! My stylist was amazing and really paid close attention to my requests and the Pinterest style board that I linked to my account. Yes- you can literally show them what you love by linking your favorite Pinterest style board! It was an incredible experience and I already have my next Fix scheduled... Don't tell my hubby ;)

First thing is you want to go to the site (obviously)- use this link: Stitch Fix

Then you go through and create your style profile. Be very specific and choose honestly- this will ensure your stylists knows exactly what you want. At the end of the style profile you will have a chance to write a note to your stylist- this is where you will put any specifics you want them to know. For example, I included my bottoms size because they only go up to size 14 on the listed sizes and I needed a 16- they can do this! You just have to ask :) You also can include any details about any special function/occasion you have coming up that you need an outfit for. I've seen others do this and I plan on also doing this during the holidays!

It was an amazing experience and the personalized note they send with your box just puts it over the top. It also includes style cards to help you style your new clothes- which is great for me since I never know how to put things together.

Everything came beautifully packaged and there is never any pressure to keep anything. If you don't like it/it doesn't fit- stick it in the PREPAID (that's right!) baggie and send it off! I wanted to keep all of mine this time, but I tried on the necklace and it was sitting a little too high on my neck. So off it goes! Since I wasn't keeping the necklace I also am sending the earrings back because they kind of went with the necklace. Finally, I absolutely LOVE the pants they sent, but the black knit ones are going to be more for winter (super cute with some boots!) and so I will probably ask for those closer to winter time (hopefully I'll be a few pounds lighter!)

All-in-all, the experience was amazing and I felt completely in awe of the attention to detail that was given to my wardrobe choices. I really can't wait to do it again and hope that you will at least give it a try! You don't need a reoccurring subscription either, you do it whenever you want! That is really what sold me because there are no strings attached. Well played Stitch Fix, well played.

Here are some photos of my box! So stinking cute!

This is what came in my box. You get 5 hand-picked pieces! I truly loved them all and was shocked that I actually liked the dolman-sleeved top! I would have never picked that up in the store! :)

My keepers! These jeans = amazingly comfortable!

The jewelry was beautiful- but the necklace wasn't quite long enough for my large neck!

The black pants were super cute- but I am going to request these when it gets closer to winter time! They were a knit pant, so they were SUPER soft and stretchy! They will be SO cute with some boots!

My favorite jeans- EVER!

Super comfy and they fit perfectly! It's hard for my to find skinny jeans that fit my large calves correctly! Hooray!

So adorable! I'll have them hemmed up a bit (they are rolled under in these pics)

I hope you guys enjoyed a look into my first Stitch Fix box! Have you had one before? Are you going to try it?! Let me know!!