Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Goal Setting

This year our school as a whole is focusing on goal setting. We were asked to create walls outside our room with students goals. As they achieve a goal, we add a new goal to the wall. For third grade, we decided on a gumball machine. Students will write their names on gumballs to add to the machine. I was also thinking stars and a "Shooting for the Stars" theme. Nothing is official yet.

During our first week of school, I hit hard on goal setting. I explained to students what a goal is and created an anchor chart listing how we choose goals. We looked at short term and long term goals. I read Louise the Big Cheese and the Back-to-School Smarty-Pants to my students. We talked about how Louise's goal was to get straight A's and how important it is to not give up on your goal. We also talked about the difference between academic and personal goals. I shared some goals of my own with my students.

After discussing goal setting and reading the book, each student created a circle map and wrote their goals in the circle map. I had students narrow them down to the three most important goals. They took these three goals and wrote them down on a special paper titled "My Goals for This School Year." I copied it on color paper to make it stand out. These goals will be placed on the wall outside our room and will be revisited as the school year goes on. You can find the paper here: My Goals For This School Year. I am not sure how to add the PDF in picture format for you to see. I still have a lot to learn.

I am hoping to get my board up and going so my students can add their goals. Have a great week!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Currently

I love this time of year! The months of September through December have got to be my favorite. I can't wait for the temperature to drop. It is still over 90 degrees here. I am linking up with Farley for this month's Currently!! 

My hubby is upstairs giving my little one a bath and then nap time for her. My older girls are playing. It is nice when they are all getting along. I am loving that there was no school today. I needed desperately to catch up on my sleep and I did. Well as much as I can for having a
 2 1/2 year old. She decided to sleep all night. Triumph!

Yesterday while my little one was napping I did my lesson plans for the week after this week. Our grade level splits the planning. I am responsible for Word Study and Reading. I also do my reading group plans. For the next few weeks there will be no groups since I am teaching my students how Daily 5 works and I am assessing. I am super excited that I am a week ahead!!!! Hubby suggested always staying a week ahead and that is a super idea. You can see that this was one of my goals.

My sister watches my little one every day while I am at work. She loves my sister but the weirdest thing has been happening. Every morning I bring her she starts crying the minute we turn into the development. She cries "I don't want to go." My sister has to take her from me because she is in tears, just hysterical. She is always fine 5 minutes later and when I pick her up she is all smiles. I am not sure what is going on but it breaks my heart. This is why I am hoping for a peaceful morning tomorrow. Even yesterday she kept saying "we're not turning" and ''we're not going to Heidi's." This might be a long year!

We got DirectTV a month ago and I have learned how to use the DVR. We recorded a bunch of movies that we still need to watch. I am thinking I better get on it.

My first goal is to run 3 miles. I have done it before using Couch To 5K. I even did the Color Run and another run where I ran the whole 3 miles. That was quite awhile ago though. I started Couch To 5K again and am on Week 7. I ran for 20 minutes on my treadmill twice now. It is still too hot for me to run outside. I signed up for the Color Me Rad run in October and I have to be ready for it. My second goal is to stay a week ahead in planning. I covered this already. My third goal is to not go in to school on the weekends.  I am hoping that if I can stick to the second goal, than the third goal should be manageable. We will see what happens.

Have a great rest of the day and week!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Classroom

School started four days ago and my classroom is still not 100% ready. I didn't get the time I needed when we returned last week. I am grade level chair this year and that has been taking a lot of time. I'm also not able to leave as early anymore so by the time I get to work and get going, I have very little time left. I am just thankful that the twitching in my right eye stopped.  Stress can do that to you. I do have pictures of my classroom as it is right now.

Below is my front door. This year I have a "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" theme. It is all about sweets.

My writing bulletin board. They told us at the last minute that it was all about anchor charts and that is what they want up in our rooms. I wasn't about to give this board up though. I made writing process posters which are towards the stop. Then I got really cute punctuation posters - can't remember but I did get them of TPT.

My husband built the writing station you see below. We painted it green to match my new pencil sharpener. This is going to be my writing and word study area during Daily 5. The crates are for the Word Study activities.

My class jobs - there are popsicle sticks which each student's name on them in the pockets now. I just have to assign a salary to each job.

The start of my Daily 5 and Cafe board. I will be adding anchor charts and strategies as we go. I want to create the anchor charts with my students.

 This is going to be my vocabulary wall. When we learn about synonyms, antonyms, nouns, verbs, and adjectives, the anchor charts will go up here. I just need to buy letters.

 On my students' desks when they came in Monday morning.

I am hoping this keeps me organized. I have a folder for each day of the week. This is where I am going to place copies.

My desk and filing cabinet. The filing cabinet sits to the left of my desk. I saw this idea on Pinterest. My husband made me this organizer. I placed all the books that I use frequently in there so I don't have to go digging for them when I need them. You can also see my teacher's toolbox which I made last summer. If you keep looking, you will see a lot of things I got from TPT and Pinterest.

I read up on Whole Brain Teaching this summer. I created my own posters for the rules. The rest I got from TPT.

This is going to be my math centers area. The stool to the left was made by my husband. It is for students to step up to reach the Smartboard. It matches my dots on turquoise theme.

I am hoping to finish up my classroom this weekend. It is functional right now but not complete. Have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day Late Dollar Short

When summer started the days were escaping me - is today Monday? I lost track of what day it was. Now that I go back to work in one week (eeekkk), I know exactly what day it is. However I am two days late on joining Blog Hoppin' for:

1. This will be my fourteenth year teaching. Most of my career I have taught second grade. For a few years I was yo-yoing back and forth between second and third grade but I have been in third for several years now. I wanted to teach third grade ever since I started my student teaching.

2. I love to play in Paint Shop Pro and tag. I am on two tagging lists where I create tags and add people's names to them. It is a hobby and a stress reliever! You can find an example of one of my tags below.

3. I have become a fitness freak! After my second daughter I packed on weight which I am still trying to get off. I have joined the world of Beachbody, became a coach, and have about 15 pounds to go!

4. I am married to a wonderful man, who is also a teacher. He teaches seventh grade history. I am glad we have similar hours now. He used to be a chef and worked way too much!

5. My husband had four children of his own coming into our marriage. Three out of four are older and live on their own. The youngest of the 4 lives with us. She is 11. We also have two daughters, ages 8 and 2 1/2. My poor husband is surrounded by girls.

6. I now live in Nevada, but was born and raised in New York. Although I wouldn't want to move back, I am not a big fan of my current place of residence. I would love to move back East somewhere that has four seasons.

7. I am a huge Lucille Ball fan. If you could see my dining area, it is covered in Lucy pictures. I have Lucy collectible dolls, lunch boxes, and a calendar. There is not an episode of I Love Lucy that I have not seen at least 20 times (probably more). One year I was Lucy for Halloween. Yes I am addicted!

8. Speaking of addicted - I am addicted to the world of vampires and werewolves! I am a Twilight fan (Team Jacob) and I also love the reading series Vampire Academy. I'm also a Vampire Diaries fan. 

9. I love country music!! Anyone that knows me knows my love of Mr. Tim McGraw!! When I moved here to Vegas, I had never listened to country music. I don't know what it is about this place, but I got turned on to it and never looked back.

10. I'm into sports!! As I said earlier I am from New York so most of my favorites are NY teams ~ the New York Yankees and the New York Islanders. Odd thing though, I am a Washington Redskins fan. Don't ask me why - it is a long, silly story! I can't wait for football to start!!

Now I need to get my daughter down for a nap. Once I go back to school, I hope these late naps will become earlier naps. Have a super day!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Can't Believe It's August & Currently!!

Is it August 1st, really? I can't believe that we will all be back to school in less than a month. My husband goes back on the 14th, I go back on the 21st, and the girls go back on the 26th. Say it isn't so!! 

It is time to link up with Farley for August Currently! 

We have three girls, ages 11, 8, and 2 1/2. My little one loves to play with her big sisters. I can hear her giggling away as they are playing. Another thing I love is that I got my workout done. I am dreading when I am going to have to get up at 4:30 am to get them done once I go back to work. I do two workouts a day, except on Sunday. 

School starts in 25 days! August always flies by so fast. How can I slow it down? I can't tell you how many trips I have made to Target already. There is a fast growing pile of teacher stuff everywhere. The couch in our family room is covered. I have notebooks on the floor next to the couch. On top of our shoe bench I have posters and more notebooks. Then there is a box of folders and sheet protectors next to the shoe bench on the floor. This leads me to what I am needing to do - clean my house! You can see I am a procrastinator as I sit here and blog. :)

I stood in one aisle at Target for a good ten minutes yesterday deciding if I wanted to buy another box of scented markers. I justified it by thinking that my box at school has 3 missing and that I have posters to create. So I bought them and have no regrets! I need to organize my teacher binder and add some new sections. This year I vow to be organized! Finally I need to gather those first week read alouds. As soon as I sit down to plan out my first week I am going to hit the library.

Now that I look at my post I can't help but think of all of the things I have to get done today. I'm going to have some lunch and then get to work. Have a great day!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Targetaholic Here and Great Giveaways!!

Happy Friday! It doesn't quite have the same meaning as it does during the school year. Anyhow, I have to make a confession. I am a Targetaholic. Target was one of my stops two days ago and I picked up some great things.
The white boards and file folders were in the dollar section. The white boards are for my students to practice cursive during Work on Writing. I picked up two packs of the file folders. There are 3 in each one. I haven't quite thought of how I want to use them just yet. The best deal - the post its for 30 cents. I picked up about 8 of them. I hit another Target today and they were one dollar. Guess where I will be going next time? I also picked up spiral notebooks for 17 cents. At the Target I hit today, I picked up cute monster snack bags in the dollar section. They will be great for my students to hold their Isham Bucks.

I have been dreading going back to my laptop. I started long range reading plans two days ago and got five weeks done. They were so detailed with assessments and read alouds. Somehow I lost the document. I think I deleted the wrong thing off my flash drive and now I can't get it back. It made me want to cry so back to the drawing board I go.

I'm super excited about my theme for this year. Last year I got a lot of Dots on Turquoise goodies from Creative Teaching Press. I was already going to order stuff and then I won a contest where I got about $50 in free stuff. My husband made some goodies for me and painted them in the same theme. I used a sweets theme since it went with the dots on turquoise. This year I am going to use a sweets theme as well. My room is going to be based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of my favorite books. It will be Mrs. Isham's Learning Factory. I found wonderful clip art and I can't wait to get started. I bought yellow raffle tickets from Oriental Trading to use in addition to my Isham Bucks. 

As we near the end of July I realize that my time is running out. I have so much to do and do not know where to start. My cute little munchkin decided to take a short nap so I can not get everything done like I wanted to. My wonderful husband is in the garage finishing up the table for her room. Then he is going to make a small white board easel for my guided reading table. He is also going to make a Writing workstation. Gotta love him! :)

I found two awesome giveaways that I wanted to share before I go. Joy in the Journey is celebrating a Blogiversary. Anyone that comments today gets a packet of goodies. You could also win a great sharpener. Be sure to head that way!!  Hunter's Tales from Teaching is also having a giveaway. You can win the quietest classroom sharpener,  an Applebees gift card, a fun package of classroom supplies, and two things from her TPT store. Good luck!

Have a great day!

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July and Awesome Giveaway!

I hope everyone had a great fourth of July. My two year old daughter is terrified of  fireworks so we stayed inside and watched Disney Jr. while everyone else was outside. The same thing happened last year. My stepdaughter was in town from Florida and she was here for awhile. It was nice for a bit until she left and didn't bother to say goodbye to me. They are heading back today.

Head on over to Tori's Teaching Tips for a great giveaway! I think the Erin Condren teacher planner is awesome but way above what I am able to afford. Maybe I can make something similar. I already have plans in the works for my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme in my classroom this year. Anyone else already planning for the upcoming school year? It is always in the back of my mind. Right now though I am enjoying reading. I found a new author that I adore - Emily Giffin. I am in the middle of Love the One Your With

My cousin is in town from New Jersey for two weeks and the girls have been bickering and hitting each other. I don't know if it because they are couped up in the house or because my 8 year old is younger than the other two and is driving them crazy. I think I will take them to the library later today as well as my favorite place - Target!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Book Whisperer, WBT, and Sweets

I am almost done with The Book Whisperer and I am so intrigued. I agree with everything that Donalyn Miller says but there is a question that always looms in the back of my mind. How can I get my students to read that much and still meet the requirements of my district? We use the Trophies series which goes against what Mrs. Miller believes in. I totally get not having all students read the same story. I am one that plays the CD and has students following along in their books. I know that for some it is too easy, and for some it is too difficult. I would love to have my students reading more. The question is always "how?" I vow to figure out a way to make this work!

I am currently starting chapter 15 in the book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. This is going to be a great addition to my classroom. If you are interested in implementing this, I recommend reading the book and participating in the book club. I have already earned 200 WBT certification points. Each chapter has a question or prompt that you answer. You can earn up to 25 points. Sometimes there is a five point bonus. Save and date all of your posts in a word processing file. In August, you turn your posts in to redeem your points.

This leads in to my last thing - sweets! I am going to have a sweets theme in my classroom this year. I have already been on Pinterest to get ideas but I really want to create my own stuff. One of my goals this summer was to create things on TPT. I have created a few freebies. I want to do more though. I am currently working on making the five classroom rules for WBT in a sweets theme. Next I want to do classroom jobs and who knows what else. Hopefully you will be seeing me soon on TPT!

Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Currently for July!!

We are having a major heatwave here!! When we were out and about earlier it read 117 in my car. I'm at home trying to keep cool and linking up with Farley for this month's Currently. 

My Yankees are losing. That might be an understatement for the 9-2 score I observed on the television. One of the great perks of being a teacher is having the summer off. I am loving it!!! I know have time to work out more, play with the kids, and read! 

We are going to Disneyland in two weeks. We will be spending two days there and I am pretty excited. The kids are going to have a blast and for the first time in a long time, I am going to wear shorts the whole time. Usually I hate wearing shorts and dressing cool and comfortable but that is starting to change now that I am losing the extra weight and inches. That leads into me wanting to drop the last of the weight. It might not be leaving, but the inches sure are! I'm not one to give up. My husband made a workout room from our extra bedroom while I was at Summit and I love it!

As I mentioned earlier it is super hot here. Ice cold drinks are a must even in the air conditioned house. Finally, I say keep educating yourself. I am currently reading The Book Whisperer and I can not wait to implement some of the stuff I have been reading about into my classroom. Even though we are off for the summer I am still going to read what is out there so I can make my classroom even better.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just Another Day

Today is Thursday .... I had to look at the calendar to remember that. Since school has been out, I have been losing track of the days. Yesterday I went to the library to check out some educational reads and pick up a book I had requested. Amazingly enough, I am reading three different books. I started reading Something Borrowed last week and I can't seem to put it down. This is my fiction read. I am also participating in a book club for the book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. I can't wait to implement this in my classroom in the upcoming year. Last night I started The Book Whisperer. I picked up a handful of other books that I would love to read throughout the summer. This is the best time for me to catch up on my reading.

For the third year, my class will be participating in the Global Read Aloud. This year we will be reading Marty McGuire by Kate Messner. I figured I would check it out since I have not read this book. It would be nice to break it into chapters and choose questions that would draw on my students' comprehension. There are three different books, based on grade level. You can use the link above to take a peek. My students have really enjoyed it in the past. We use Edmodo to connect with students around the world. Teachers can post questions for students to answer based on each chapter. 

On a side note, I created a Facebook page geared to nutrition and fitness. I found an old picture of me and I could not believe the difference. I titled this picture "OMG" because I could not believe it. It is amazing what good eating and working out can do. I am so thankful for Beachbody! Shakeology, nutrition, and exercise were the key. They still are the key. 
I was lucky enough to attend Summit this year. It was three days of general sessions, workshops, and workouts. I really enjoyed meeting the trainers and other coaches from all over. One of my goals this summer is to work on my business. As of yet I have not been successful. Hopefully this will be the year for me! Feel free to visit my website. Beachbody is wonderful!

Have a super evening!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Moving to Bloglovin'

If you haven't heard, Google Reader will be gone on July 1st. We find ourselves having to make the transition over to Bloglovin'. It is really simple and quick. You need to create a Bloglovin' account. It will ask you if you want to import the blogs you read on Google reader to your new Bloglovin' account. Click the button to import and you got it! You can also search blogs by name, change settings, and sort your blogs into categories. Don't forget the "Bloglovin Button" that you can add to your blog so people can follow your blog. If you look at the top of my blog, you will see that you can follow me. 

Head on over to Tori's Teacher Tips to link your Bloglovin' page to her linky party!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching: Class-Yes!

I am participating in a book club for the book "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids" by Chris Biffle. Take a peek if you are interested.

 I am determined to get Whole Brain Teaching certified!  One of our assignments was to create 10-15 variations on Class-Yes. This was fun and difficult as I thought about different ways to get my students' attention. These are the variations I submitted. What do you think?

1. Are you ready? Aye, aye captain! [Spongebob]
2. Hocus Pocus! Everybody Focus! [great for October]
3. Come together, right now. At your seats. [Aerosmith tune which should be sung]
4. Raise the roof class. Raise the roof yes. [Hand gestures included]
5. Woot woot class. Woot woot yes.
6. These kids are on fire. Yes, yes we’re on fire. [Alicia Keys – sing it]
7. Yo class class. Yo yes yes.
8. When I say class, you say yes. Class. Yes. Class. Yes. [like a rapper]
9. Can you hear me now? Yes! [cell phone commercial]
10. Class, class, class, class. Yes, yes, yes, yes. [like Charlie Brown]
11. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, class can I have your attention? Doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo, yes you can have our attention. [Doc McStuffins]
12. Yeehaw class. Yeehaw yes. [Full cowboy mode]
13. Class, class, class. Yes, yes, yes. [Nsync – Bye Bye Bye complete with the dance moves]
14. Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na, class class. Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na, yes yes. [Batman]

15. Can I get a class class? You can get a yes yes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Need to Blog

I have to admit, I have been a pretty bad blogger. It is difficult to manage work, family, and blogging but I am going to work on that this summer. We have been out of school for a week now and those bad summer habits are already forming. I put on three pounds. There is so much for me to do now that I am not working yet I find myself snacking. I started reading "The Lovely Bones" and I am also participating in a book study on Whole Brain Teaching. I am determined to get that Whole Brain Teaching certification I have been reading about.

It is time to get on Pinterest and start making things (or having my wonderful husband make them). Last year he made me adorable stuff to go with my polka dot theme. This upcoming year I am thinking about doing owls. There is so much cute stuff out there! Finally I want to start blogging again and participating in the Monday Made Its and all that other fun stuff.

To make it official I will list my summer goals here:
1. Read, read, read!
2. Get Whole Brain Teaching certified.
3. Blog, blog, blog!
4. Create things for my classroom.
5. Lose the last of this stubborn weight!

Of course I am going to spend time with my family. Today I am taking the girls to see Ronald McDonald at the library.

Happy Summer!!