The Paperless Classroom???!!!

I’m drowning in paper! Progress reports, writing assignments, homework assignments, classwork assignments, data handouts……HELP!  I am on case 4 of paper for this year and that doesn’t even count the packs of colored paper that I’ve used for other assignments.  I have a difficult time keeping up with things and recently I’ve been trying to find a better way to at least keep track of items that I know I will need to refer back to constantly.

I have a Dropbox account, a Box account, and an Evernote account, and that’s helped a bit, but I have to admit that my Evernote account has been grossly underused.  When I went to the SCIRA Conference this year and I finally figured out how to create Evernote “stacks”, which has helped considerably.

In my goal to improve upon my paper cluttered classroom, I’m joining up with Eberopolis and her Go Paperless Classroom Challenge linky!  I teach 100+ students, so being able to find a way to reduce those weekly 1000’s of sheets of paper floating around will be a great help!

While I’m out for Spring Break, I will work on adding notebooks for each of my 110 students and adding data that I already have.  The goal will be to figure out how to add new data quickly and efficiently.  I do not want to scan in 110 groups of assignments!

Interested, click on the link or picture to visit Eberopolis and join in!


Until the next time!

Let’s Get Acquainted Linky (Week 4)

Happy Resurrection Day! I had a wonderful day with my family. My DD actually did her Easter speech this year and her grandparents were able to make it to see it. My dad is a pastor, so they aren’t able to make Sunday activities that frequently because he’s already booked! 🙂

Here’s a picture of Hubby, DD, and me today!

I am loving Flying Into First‘s weekly Let’s Get Acquainted Linky! I’ts amazing to see how many things we have in common, or how we find new ideas from other teachers in so many different places.

This week’s theme is……

Favorites Survey

Favorite Place to Shop

Despite my love for clothes, I really hate to shop! This place allows me to walk in, pick up clothes and walk back out. My second favorite would have to be Old Navy…..for the same exact reason!

Favorite TV Show

Ohhhhh…..I am so a Gladiator! I’ve been addicted to Scandal since Day 1! When it’s on, I can’t even sit down….I stand up and pace the entire time (in addition to constant tweeting the entire hour)! Olivia Pope is a bad….shut yo’ mouth!

Favorite Sweet Treat

Hands down…..a 10 or 12 layer chocolate cake. When we have that cake in the house, I don’t eat anything but that! LOL! Friends say, “Girl, let’s go out to eat!” and I’m like….”Naw, I’m just gonna stay home this time…” NOTHING will get between me and that cake. Breakfast….lunch….dinner….oh yeah. 🙂

Favorite Food……Food

I love to eat! Which is why I have to exercise….which I haven’t been doing a good job of lately….:-o And I could eat the Chick-fil-A #1, no salt fries, and Coke zero almost every singlet day! I want it the strongest on Sunday (of course, because they’re closed)…. Last time I went, I did better and got the Chargrilled Chicken sandwich….should have gotten the fruit instead of the fries….but I just……couldn’t………it!

Favorite Restaurant

Longhorn is my favorite and we only go there for special occasions….like today! They have the best steaks, but today I wanted to do the right thing health wise and got the Salmon. It was sooooo good! I just grabbed pieces of steak of my mama’s plate! 🙂

Now it’s your turn! Click on the linky pic to be transported over to Flying into First’s page. Make sure you visit the 2 people that linked up before you and leave them a comment or follow them. What a neat way to build your PLN!

Until the next time!

Let’s Get Acquainted Linky (Week 3)

I had the greatest time participating in Flying Into First’s “Let’s Get Acquainted” linky party!  This week’s linky is….

 The NOUN Game
The noun game is where you simply just name your favorite person, place, thing, and animal.
Gosh that’s a toughie!  I have such wonderful family, friends, and sorority sisters.  If I have to name just one, I will have to say my daughter!  I am so proud of her.  She is autistic and wasn’t even talking at the age of three.  But now she is seven and is talking her (and my) head off!  She has had a wonderful group of teachers and therapists and is blossoming so much.  She is moved out of a self-contained placement into a resource and is killing 1st grade!  And first grade is hard (I’m sure you first grade teachers would agree)!

My Terrific Kid!

My favorite place is wherever my family is.  Every year we vacation somewhere together and have the best time!  This year we’re going back to Disney World only because my dear daughter insisted on going.   We just went two years ago when she was five. Her papa was determined not to disappoint her.  He’s already made all of the arrangements.

The Fam! <3

Any and all things technology – especially my iPad and phone.  With these two babies I can do pretty much anything.
Growing up I had two dogs.  They were both killed in accidents. 🙁 But the dog is not my favorite animal.  My favorite animal is the panther.  It is so beautiful, sleek, and dangerous!!  Plus, it’s the mascot for my Alma mater – Claflin University! 🙂
Now, that you’ve learned more about me, I’d love to learn more about you!  Head on over to Flying Into First by clicking on the pic and link up!
Until the next time,


Two Truths and a Lie Reveal

Last Sunday I linked up with Flying Into First for her “Let’s Get Acquainted” linky party. This week’s theme was Two Truths and a Lie and now it’s time for my BIG REVEAL!

#1 – I lived in Italy for a year. TRUE
My Dad was in the Air Force, but my mom wanted us to have a stable home, so I technically wasn’t a military brat. Since she was a teacher, we spent our summers wherever he was and he came home on his leave days. My dad’s last overseas stay was in Aviano, Italy. As the story goes, my mom went over to Italy for a year and came back with me as a bun in the oven. When I was almost two, we spent the year in Italy with him. Of course, I don’t remember it, but I do have pictures to prove it… my mama’s house…..

UPDATE! Found a pic


#2 – My girl group performed at the Apollo Theatre when we were in college. TRUE
I sang on my college choir the entire time I was at Claflin. On our yearly tour my freshman year, we met someone who had an inside with Showtime at the Apollo. Although we were a concert choir, we sang all genres of music…..verrrrrrry talented if I do say so myself. Our groups name was ENCORE. The idea was that we would kick it off and then other groups within the choir would then go. We were so sure that we were going to the Big Apple to be superstars (move over EnVogue), but it was not to be. We didn’t win at the Apollo, but turned out to be a BIG hit on the Atlantic City boardwalk….but that another story to tell!


#3 – My husband and I dated for 10 months before we were married. LIE
My husband and I were college sweethearts and we dated for 10 YEARS before we got married. This year is our 10th anniversary, but I have spent my entire adult life lovin’ that man! And it’s been more than worth it! 🙂

Our Wedding Portrait!

Five for Friday

Today is the last Friday before Spring Break….yippeee! And it has been a whirlwind of a week!  For this first time eva…..I’m linking up with Doodlebugs for her Five for Friday!


The rules are simple… five random things about your week.  Post on your blog and then go over to Doodlebugs and link up!


1.  We had our standardized writing test this week.  We made it through!!  I created prize cards for each student and set requirements for them to earn their teacher’s initials.  On Day 1, students had to make sure they used a graphic organizer to plan, colored pencils to highlight voice strategies  (compound and complex sentences, SAT words, and vivid vocabulary), and have a clean final draft.  On Day 2, students had to annotate beside their multiple choice answer choices.


Out of our 110 students…..90 made it to the party.  And boy did we party!  We shut down our hall and had activities in each room.  We also provided them with mini ice cream sundaes.  I’m not sure who had more fun – the kids or us!  I had so much fun I totally forgot to take pictures! 🙁


2.  I created a Facebook page this week for the blog.  If you get the chance, stop over and like my page……*shameless plug*


I am really excited about sharing my professional experiences with friends and colleagues.  This will also give me a chance to utilize a different media outlet to reach other teachers.  Here is my favorite post pic so far…..


3.  I’ve been invited to present at the UTC (Upstate Technology Conference) this summer!  I am so excited!  After the last conference I attended, I decided that it was time to start putting myself out there.  I’ve really gotten into the technology integration and I think that’s the route I want to take.  So here goes….


4.  Since this week was so serious with the testing, I thought we’d spend the last two days doing some unserious work. *smile* Insert “The Ransom of Red Chief”.  If you haven’t read this short story do it now!  It is about to swindlers who decide to kidnap a little boy.  But in the classic O. Henry style, nothing happens the way it’s supposed to.  It’s a great story to teach irony and I found this awesome internet resource to use:  Internet Academy – The Ransom of Red Chief


5.  I’m determined to get back on the healthy fitness track.  My exercising has definitely been sporadic lately.  It’s time for me quit whining and do something about it, hence my new toy.  I’ve purchased another heart rate monitor to hopefully get me motivated to work out harder.


So here are my Five for Friday, what are yours?  Click on the Five for Friday pic to head over the Doodlebugs and link up!

Stargirl: A Book Review

Stargirl  by Jerry Spinelli

This story is written from the point of view of  Leo Borlock, who retells the story about a memorable year of high school.  The year that changes everything for Leo and the students at Mica High School.  I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Summary (via

Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out—under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes—for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body.

But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. 

In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.  Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her. 

In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity—and the thrill and inspiration of first love.


So I’m 12 years behind… did I miss this book?  I absolutely, positively loved it!  In my plans to do a book study with classes in another state I discovered this gem of a book.  I read it while my students were taking our standardized writing test (about 3 hours), and asked my co-workers at least three times if they’d read the book.  I know they rolled their eyes at me each and every time when they said “No”.

This book teaches a wonderful lesson about individuality and putting yourself before others – qualities that are frequently missing these days.  It also gives a verrrry realistic view of peer pressure and “mean girls”.  I don’t want to give the book away – but I was shocked at the behavior of these students, although I really shouldn’t have been.  I kept waiting and waiting for them to turn it around….but they didn’t.

A Favorite Quote:

“Anchovies, ugh,” I said……….”How can you eat them?  Nobody eats anchovies.” I was sort of kidding, but her face was serious.  “Nobody?”……”She pushed my hand away.  She dropped the last anchovy into the glass. “I don’t want to be like nobody.”

I was definitely left with a hole in my heart, I wanted things to work out for Stargirl and Leo (I’m a sucker for a love story with a happy ending) but in all honesty it’s a better picture of what the real world is like.

If you haven’t read it – READ IT!  If you have read it – READ IT AGAIN!  And definitely read it to your students….and talk about tolerance…..and being yourself.  Being ourselves is what makes this world go round.

Until the next time…..

Student Engagement is Just A Click Away!

My students use our ActivExpression devices every single day.  I love them because it provides us instant feedback in any type of format.  Multiple Choice…check!  True/False….check! Likert scale…..check!  It even allows us to text in answers….but the latter take FOREVER!!!  The students love them because they immediately know how they are doing on a particular concept.  They like that they can tell me what skills they need to review or receive additional instruction….but they like the texting feature even less than I do.  We sometimes use Socrative but it doesn’t always allow you to track individual student data.  Plus having a netbook and the device out, working, and programmed is so time consuming.

I’m uber excited about our team getting accepted into the 1:1 iPad project and having the availability of ActivEngage on the iPad will be a big bonus. But, I found another program that might just do the trick as well.  Last week I hit the jackpot with a Technology Tailgate post.  Through their post I found…… The Answer Pad.

The Answer Pad uses the iPad as an interactive answer sheet.  You can use if for T/F, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions for any type of test or quiz.  As a teacher you can use the web interface to set up your class and it will give you results immediately.  With their latest update students can use their iPad just as we would the ActivExpression devices.  Students can even do a thumbs up or down if they don’t understand AND draw their answer!  How cool is that!?

I think the drawing/typing feature is great, because a student who would normally be confused in silence, can ask me question without feeling embarrassed.  My Math partner was so excited, because she can actually have all students work out a problem and see it pretty much simultaneously.


I’m going to try it out….you should too!  Let me know what you think!


Let Me Just Make It To…..Spring Break…..Linky

from Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life (public library)

D-Day is here!  My students take our standardized writing test tomorrow and Wednesday.  Ummmm….Prozac anyone?  My principal asked me if we were ready…..well, ready or not, it’s coming.  I’m very proud of my students, they’ve worked very hard over the past few weeks with the last push.  This is the first time I’ve ever been teaching a group that has been tested in writing and I am a bit…just a wee little bit….oh let me just come out and say it…..totally and completely nerve-wrecked!

I am trying to keep calm, because I want my students to be calm on tomorrow. It’s that mixture of “Do your best or I’ll kill you” and “Do your best because I know you totally and completely know you can do this”…….I hope that I can pull it off tomorrow…..wish me luck!

Nine 8 1/2 more days until Spring Break so I’m linking up with Brigid’s Daily Lesson Log for her Spring Break Bucket List Linky Party!

I’ve spent 15 years between North and South Carolina and my Spring Break has always been around the Easter holiday.  Not even in 2011 when Easter was at the end of April (which were the longest winter weeks of our life!), did we make any adjustments to that tradition.  How shocking it is to find out that other states (even some that are in the Bible belt) have Spring Break during any other time!!

Last year, baby girl and I had different Spring Breaks (I wasn’t happy….but I was happy), but this year we’ll be together.  I’ve got great things planned for us and hopefully a few days at Nana and Papa’s or Grandma’s house.  🙂  And hopefully my hubby will play hookey with me for a day or two!

Here are my grand plans!!

illustrations courtesy of JWIllustrations


What are your plans??  Click here to link up!

Educents – Get It While It’s Hot!

Educents is a daily deals site featuring the latest educational products at 30% – 90% off.  They will have e-books, software, curriculum, online learning and more.

The site will oficially launch on April 2nd, but if you visit and sign up now, you will receive a $10 Educents gift card.  Click on the pic to visit the site and sign up!

Let’s Get Acquainted Linky Party

Linky parties are so fun!  Tonight I am joining up with Flying Into First with her Let’s Get Acquainted Linky Party!


This week’s theme is:  2 Truths and a Lie

How it Works:
Think of 3 things about yourself or your life.  You should make 2 of them truths and 1 of them a lie.   You can list them on your post in any order.  Do NOT give the answer yet in your post.  People will try  guess your lie in your in the comments of your post.  So remember to be very creative so that it is hard for people to get it right. At the end of the week you can share the answer in your comments from the post or include it in a post you make at the end of the week.  I hope this is understandable.  Mine are below….
1.  I lived in Italy for a year.
2.  My girl group performed at the Apollo Theater when we were in college.
3.  My husband and I only dated for 10 weeks before we got married.
Don’t forget to visit the 2 people that linked up before you and leave them a comment/follow/or just read their post.