Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Scoop

A new week means it is time to link up with Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!

Here's my Scoop for the week!

While everyone is heading off to Vegas, this (jealous) teacher has to stay home to attend the annual meeting of our regional soccer association.  I'm the registrar for my local soccer association, so I have to go.  But I told our Board President, I'll go this year, but next year, I'm going to Vegas!

Hopefully, I'll spend sometime outside this week (in between planning for summer school and next year!)  I have discovered that I actually do like (or at least not hate) riding bikes for exercise, so that is a plus!

Blog Hoppin' has their 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt going on, and I'm super excited to participate in it!  I've already started trying to convince my boyfriend to help with some of the options.  Why he won't put on a dress for my instagram, I just don't understand!  Haha!  Click here to go to their blog and get all the details!

Have a great week, and, those of you going to Vegas, I can't wait to read your blogs to see the pics and ideas!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sweet Students' Notes

Everyone knows, sometimes teaching can be a thankless job.  We always know that we are working hard, creating an engaging variety of lessons, and giving our students our all.  But somedays, it just can feel like no one realizes the love and work that we pour into our students.

Then there are those awesome times when a student gives you an honest, handwritten, heartfelt note of appreciation that just makes you realize that you are having an impact, that they do see that you love them, that they appreciate everything you do.

Those pieces of paper mean so much to me!  They keep me going through stressful times and remind me why I do what I do.

In the past month, I have received two notes that are currently pinned to my bulletin board so I can look at them always.  One is from a student I had 5 years ago, and the other is from a student I taught last year.

This student just graduated high school.  With a high GPA.  He is going to a major university to play football.  (Don't worry, I reminded him to keep those grades up too!)

I was invited to his graduation party, and gave him a check.  That was not a generous amount, no matter how kindly he described it.  It was an honor to even be remembered, let alone to receive a card that I will forever keep as a reminder.  That even so many years later (I taught him when he was in 7th grade) he appreciated what I taught him.  And he saw that I cared.  Priceless.

This student is an absolute amazing girl.  You know that student that you think to yourself, "If I have a child, I want them to be just like her!"  That's her.  It was so much fun having her in class, knowing I could trust her to run errands, and debating on whether they cast the right Peeta.  (She says yes, I say no.  I don't think we will ever agree on this issue!)  In short, she's pretty awesome!

Getting this note from her on the last day of school as great.  I had to keep myself from crying when I read it.  Luckily, we go to the same church, so I will get to keep seeing her as she grows.  And maybe one day, I'll convince her that they should have cast another guy as Peeta!

Students always give me drawings.  And I love those!  They decorate my bulletin boards and walls at school.  But getting notes like these make me smile every time I look at them and remember the amazing students (all of them!) that I have taught over the years.  The hundreds of students who I hope know how much I have faith in them, love them, and hope they have amazing lives filled with happiness and success.

Notes like these make it fun to keep planning during the summer.  To try to make sure that my future students realize that I care about them and want them to succeed.

Do you have a special place that you keep those notes and drawings?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently July

Is it really already July?!?!?!  How did 3 1/2 weeks of summer vacation already pass?  Haha!  In truth, I'm so ready for July!  This month is full of fun things for me, and I'm excited for everything that is coming up.


I love Swamp People.  Their accents make me smile, and their work ethic leaves me in awe.  Not to mention the fact that they wrestle with ginormous alligators!  So I'm catching up on this week's episode.  


My new home office is amazing!  This room has been an unused room full of perfectly working workout equipment for almost three years.  Now, it's a fully functional home office.  A room that I actually open the door to! You can see pics of my office, which I'm proud to say cost less than $150 for everything!), here.  I just love it!


Have you ever gone to a conference and stayed up all night coming up with ideas on how to implement everything you learned?  That has been me the past couple of days.  I went to a great conference this past Monday and Tuesday.  Monday, I was up until 1:30 (which made getting up a 5:30 really hard!) just brainstorming ideas, activities, etc.  It was so bad that at 1:00 a.m. I was ready to just get up and make stuff!  I can't wait to use all the things I learned in my class this year!


These darn mosquitos are the size of elephants!  And they are everywhere!  I guess the rainy spring allowed them to just multiply and grow without limits.  Oh, and my legs.  Their feasting on my legs as probably helped.  Just mowing the yard has made my legs look like I have chicken pox.  Guess I'm off to Wally World for some bug spray!


It's only me here.  I mean, it is only clothes for one person.  Me.  Don't have kids.  So why can't I just finish the laundry?  Seriously, it's a problem.  The same clothes are in the dryer that have been for the last two weeks.  And they've been dried about 10 times to get rid of wrinkles on something I want to wear.  Ugh.  Maybe today...

All Star...

Organizing is my favorite thing ever!  If things are not organized, I get anxiety.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a great cleaner.  Just organizer.  I'm a huge fan of binders and drawer towers.  Everything has a place!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Scoop and a Return to Blogging!

Oh my goodness.  I took a hiatus from blogging.  Not an intentional hiatus, but one nonetheless.  My students would be doing amazing things in the classroom, and I'd think, "I have to blog about this tonight!"  Then, BAM!  I'd come home and an afternoon nap would hit before I could get my shoes off!  It was that "end-of-the-year stress" just wearing me out.  Luckily, after a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation, I'm no longer in need of exhorbitant amounts of sleep!  (And I am reading the book Stress Management for Teachers: A Proactive Guide in hopes of curbing that end-of-year drain.)

The Sunday Scoop from The Teaching Trio is the perfect way to get back in the groove of blogging!

I have to...

1.  Last summer was the first summer I hadn't worked since I started teaching - either summer school, retail, etc.  And it was BORING!  

Except me!
You know, when you don't have kids to occupy your time, it gets old real quick!  So I was super excited when the summer school AP asked me to teach 7th grade math summer school in July!  I taught 7th grade math for 3 years, but I haven't taught it with these new standards, so it will be exciting and a learning opportunity!

2. Financial Literacy is not my strong suit - just ask my dad!  Haha!  But, seriously, I have some fun ideas for my students to do this year, so I need to get them organized and the activities made before summer school starts.  This year, we are starting off with Financial Literacy, so I need to get on the ball.

3. A "cold" front moved in and dropped the humidity (but not the temperature). So tonight will consist of mowing the yard - hopefully, without sweating like a pig!

I hope to...

1. Okay, so, I have a 3-bedroom house.  To myself.  So, basically, two rooms don't get used.  One is a guest room (even though I never have guests!) and the other was a "workout" room.  I put "workout" in quotations, because I never did workout in it.  I had a treadmill and Bowflex machine in there.  Covered in dust.  For almost three years.  Meanwhile, all my computer and school stuff was strewn around my living room and kitchen.  My second project after school ended was to make it an actual usable space!  I think it's turning out good so far!

Just a few more touches and some organizing and it'll be completely done!

2. Luckily, I have a pool in my backyard.  Which is perfect for this Texas heat!  The random rain storms are helping to keep the pool water from feeling like bath water.  I hope to relax, while getting a tan, as much as possible before school starts again!

The pool during a random rain storm.

I'm happy to...

Monday and Tuesday, Region 10 (our regional educational service center) is hosting a Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment conference.  I'm super excited to attend and learn all sorts of activities and strategies to help increase my students' success!  It's an hour away, and getting up before 10:00 will be difficult :), but it is going to be worth it!

I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Scoop

After not blogging for over a month, I'm excited to get back into it!  There's no better way to do that than start off with Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop!

Here we go....

I have to...

This week grades have to be finalized for report cards.  With district benchmarks and two bad weather days, I haven't gotten nearly the grades that I usually do.  This six weeks, I only have 20 grades for my students, and, normally, I have at least thirty.  Ugh!  I need to enter the last few grades and hit finalize, but for some reason I'm putting it off.  But I'll do it today!

We have a district made unit assessment after each unit, and our next one is Wednesday.  The day after each test, we go over the test as a class, and the students use a "Test Buddy" sheet to track their data on the state's student standards.  It is really an amazing thing listening to the students as we go through the test.  We have supporting standards and readiness standards in Texas, and I have taught my students the difference and importance of each type.  The test buddy shows which standard and type go with each question, and students get so excited when they realize they got all the questions right of a particular standard.  It's been a great tool for them to track their own data and build their self-esteem, while giving them ownership of what they need to work on to get better.  It must be working because my students had the highest scores out of our district on the benchmark we just took! (Brag!!!!)  They have worked so hard this year, and I am so proud of them!

Right now (shock!) my house is clean.  All except for the catch-all that is my coffee table.  I need to clean it off so badly, but what if I want to paint my nails with that color tonight?  Or do those crosswords later?  Haha!  Clearly, I'm a procrastinator....and lazy when it comes to cleaning the easy stuff.

I hope to...

In the next couple of weeks, I'm getting new flooring in the bedrooms of my house.  Which really makes me want to paint and rearrange my room!  So I'm hoping to pick out paint colors for the walls pretty tomorrow!  It's super dark in my room - so I can sleep late on the weekends! - but I think that it's time to lighten up the color on the walls.  All I know is that one wall will be turquoise!  I'm so excited!

In January, I made a Perimeter, Area, and Volume activity with a pirate theme.  My students loved it, so I need to put it on TPT.  It looks super cute, and reinforces adding and multiplying with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.  Hopefully I'll get that up in the next couple of days.

I'm happy to...

It has been a rough couple of weeks for me personally.  And the best way for me to deal with it is to read, read, and read!  So I've read the first six of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series, and now I'm on number seven.  They are so long, but SOOOOO good.  I am going to get it finished today.  Hopefully.  Then, it's on to book eight.  I love that my dad buys all these books and shares them with me!  It definitely helps me keep my book purchasing down!

Have a great week everyone!  One more week until it's Spring Break for us.  Yay!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Slim Down Saturday

Oops...I skipped a week!  But I'm ready to link up up Teaching with a Touch of Pixie Dust's Slim Down Saturday this week.

Things have been crazy busy.  I haven't blogged in forever.  Which totally goes against my goals!  But one thing that I have stuck to is entering my food into My Fitness Pal.

This app is a HUGE help to me.  I love food.  Greasy, cheesy, filled with sour cream food.  Using this app has really helped me stop over-eating and eating such unhealthy things.  I used to eat a Chick-fil-A breakfast every morning!  Now I realize how much of my daily calories that takes up, so it doesn't happen often.  Oatmeal is just fine, thank you very much! Haha!

Here's my Slim Down Saturday update:

Wahoo!!!!!!  I've lost 10 pounds!  I weighed myself for the first time since January 1st this morning.  (Well, at 11:00 when I woke up! Haha!)  I was so excited that I called my boyfriend, mom, dad, best friend, and accidentally sent a text to the soccer association board!

I can't weigh myself every morning.  1) It can be discouraging.  2) I'm not a morning person, and I can't remember anything before I've had some caffeine and a shower.  But this morning I remembered!  And it was so exciting.

What I know has helped has been faithful entering into My Fitness Pal.  Yesterday, my team ordered food for lunch.  So I ate a lite breakfast and used all my calories for the yummy, cheesy, sour cream laden quesadillas and the delicious tortilla chips and salsa! Just that meal alone was 1300 calories!  So I had a VERY lite dinner and managed to just barely go over my calorie goal.  It's just about planning.  Which I have never done.

I definitely need to work out.  Still haven't done it.  I did walk the dogs on Monday, but working out after school is just not possible right now.  Until soccer registration is over (I'm the registrar), I just don't have any time at night.  This is when I wish I was a morning person so I could get up and do it in the mornings!  But it already takes multiple alarms for me to get up from school.  My goal is to get better at forcing myself to workout!!!

Water is growing on me. Yesterday, I bought a Brita water pitcher to try to cut down on the empty water bottles.  I still drink Diet Dr. Pepper, but with a water in between each!  Hey, it's something!

How is everyone else doing?  I'm so excited to be on this journey with everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Real Teachers of Blog County

Just the thought of this linky made me laugh, cringe, cry, and start blushing!  Haha!

We, as teachers, work so hard to make sure that our students don't realize we aren't as organized as we urge them to be.  At least I know that I do.  Not to say that I don't leave things out on my desk, or that I didn't get to school early to make sure my room was super clean before my observation today!

But behind all the awesome activities, stations, and task cards, I am hiding a secret from my kiddos. This:

Here you can see the labeled file folders that was my attempt at organization.  I can not guarantee that those labels actually describe what is in them!

One can't have too many baggies, right?!?!?!

They are all shoved in my filing cabinet.  Piled on top of each other.  I have no idea where anything is, just that they are somewhere in there.  *cringe*  Layers upon layers of baggies, laminated stations, and task cards on rings.

I admit it.  I need help.  My grand plan is to get tubs for each of our units.  Hopefully sometime in the near future.  Definitely before next school year.  I think.  :)

To see others secret stashes, head over to Second Grade is Out of This World!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Slim Down Saturday

Time to link up with Teaching with a Touch of Pixie Dust for Slim Down Saturdays!

This week was full of eye-openers for me!  Here we go:

Gains/Losses from this week:

I decided not to weigh myself each week.  Instead, I'm going to do it every two weeks.  That way there is less chance of me getting discouraged.  It's always been really easy for me to get discouraged, so I want to lessen the chances!

Positives: not as tasty as Diet Dr. Pepper.  But I did it!  I made myself drink two bottles a day.  It was really hard some days, but water is starting to grow on me.

I also started logging all my food in My Fitness Pal.  Wow!  What an eye-opener!  I never knew how bad butter was!  Haha!  MFP really does help me keep track of my calories, while also letting me know the fat/carb/protein levels each day.  I've done really good the majority of the week at staying under or at the calorie goal.  Wednesday I had a meeting at a Mexican restaurant, so I didn't do so well that day!  :)

But, overall, I feel a whole lot better just from one week!

Something to do better:

I need to stick to my exercise plan.  Some days it is so hard to come home after working all day and want to work out.  But I need to do better.  This cold weather isn't helping either!  My favorite workout is walking my dogs (I have two 80-lb dogs, so it is a super fast walk!)  With 30 degree temps, we can't do that.  But no excuses.  I need to do better.

Goal for next week:

I'm going to up my water intake to 3 bottles each day.  My recycling people are probably wondering what's going on!  Haha!  My students will definitely be getting more bathroom breaks as my water intake increases...they will love it!

Saying for the week:

Keep it up.  That's what I tell myself every day.  I'm super proud that I've been watching the calorie intake, and I'm even proud that I worked out the two days that I did.  Keep it up!  Keep going!  Keep striving for better!  

Have a great weekend and remember to stay focused!  We've got this ladies!!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five for Friday!

Oh my goodness!  Can you believe another week has already gone by?  It seemed so fast!  It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs for a Five for Friday linky......Wahoo!

1. Task Card Fun!

I can't rave enough about Teaching with a Mountain View's products.  Love, love, love!  Today we did the first set of Dividing Fractions with Visual Models Task Cards.  Usually, the students do a Scoot activity, but I saw directions to Footloose on a Middle School Math Moments activity that we are using in a few weeks, and decided to try it out.  We had a shortened schedule today, so it ended up working perfectly with the 16 task cards that we used!

My students LOVED today's class!

2.  Seriously, weather?!?!

What is with this cold front?  It is just not fair to be stuck inside all day!  If Mother Nature were a teacher, she'd never make it cold!  Haha!  Good thing that I have plenty of firewood so I can stay warm and toasty!

3.  Sharpie Flip Chart Markers

OMG, how did I never hear about this amazing markers?  I ordered some over Christmas break from Amazon, along with flip chart paper.  I decided that I needed to up my teacher-game and make anchor charts (don't know how I didn't know about those either!)  Needless to say.....

They are amazing!!!!  (I don't know why it looks like I'm eating the box in the second one....)

4. Anchor Charts

With the help of my awesome new markers, I dove into making anchor charts as soon as we got back from break.  I knew my students would need constant examples of multiplying and dividing fractions up in the room.  Here are my first few anchor charts:

Remember, this is my first week at it.  Hopefully (fingers crossed) I'll get better at them soon!  

5. Soccer Clipart Cuteness

I recently signed on to be the registrar of our city's soccer association.  Whew, it is a job!  Well, I need a binder to keep organized (because I'm a binder person.)  And every binder needs a cute cover. Duh!  Haha!

I purchased Creative Clips Soccer Kids clipart and downloaded the freebie Soccer Frame from Kayla Hubbard.  And, voila!  This cuteness happened:

:) Cute binder covers make me happy!!!

I hope everyone had a great week!  This weekend is going to be full of rest and relaxation for me.  I'm tired from the two weeks of no alarms!!!  Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Favorite Things Linky: January

Love this linky from Teaching Trio!  They are helping everyone share a few of their favorite things, so head on over and see what everyone is loving right now!

I am sharing my favorite three things for school during the month of January.  So here I go!

1. Whimsy Clips Winter Clipart

Everyone knows that Whimsy Clips makes the most absolutely perfect clipart!  I have the Winter Sports, Winter Owls, Winter, and Winter Kids sets.  Let me tell you, if you don't have them, get them!  Haha!

With so much going on at school this month, the clipart I have makes the parent flyers and newsletters stand out and look amazing.  I'm on a committee for our Winter Wonderland Dinner Theater, and the lead teacher sent us a flyer to review before we sent it home....yuck!  It was in Word with ugly clipart.  No thank you!  So I made it over, and, voila!  Super cute informational flyer to parents!  Not to mention, the clipart helped make my Winter Math Stations adorable!

You get to the Whimsy Clips store here.

2. Teaching with a Mountain View's Multiplying and Dividing Fractions Task Cards

This is the first year for 5th grade students in Texas to have to learn multiplying and dividing fractions with unit numbers.  And my students just started.  Yesterday.  To say that I stressed out over these concepts would be putting it mildly.

Thank goodness I found these two amazing products!

We used cards 1-16 in a SCOOT activity today, and my students loved it!  Over 90% of my students earned a 100!  Not only did they get to show how much they know, but they had a blast doing it. Anytime I can use an activity where they work in partners and have to move around, I'm in!

These sets are a lifesaver for me because I can focus on making sure I am teaching it correctly (since it's my first time ever!) without having to worry about making an engaging activity for my students. This is a huge relief!  Definitely a favorite!

3. My North Face Coat and Gloves

One thing about January.....IT'S COLD!  Yesterday, it was 57 degrees, and I walked my dogs after school.  Then that cold front came in!  Brrrrrrr!  

I have outside duty after school for about 15 - 20 minutes.  Today, the wind chill was in the 20s with a strong wind.  (Remember, I live in Texas.  I'm used to sweating because it's stifling hot!)  Thank goodness for my North Face coat and gloves.  They keep me toasty warm while I help the littles get in their cars.

What are your favorite things for these cold winter months at school?

Don't forget to check out the linky to see everyone's favs!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Adding and Subtracting Fractions Scoot

Ok, so, last night I couldn't sleep.  At all.  I had a wonderful break, relaxed alot, and got ahead with planning.  But last night, all I could think about was....Will they remember how to add and subtract fractions?????????????????

And the verdict is......


Wahoo!  Ladies and gentlemen, it was AWESOME!  

They were rocking it!  Definitely made up for the whole having to wake up before the sun comes up! Haha!

Before the break, the students did an Add/Subtract Scoot that I made.  I just alternated the cards, so I ended up with two sets of a mixture of addition and subtraction of fractions.  They did really well on the activity before the break.  Today, after a quick review, they worked on the second set of cards in partners.

They worked super hard on each card.  Some desks had two cards on them.  This let me have two sets of cards going on in the room.

All the hands went up when I was picking students to work out problems on the board!  Happy teacher right here!  

You can grab the Scoot cards, which also include a word problem set, here.

I hope everyone has a great week back to school!  I'm off to bed....that 5:30 alarm is brutal!!! :)