Thursday Throwdown {September 5th}

I don’t know how you super bloggers do it!  I’m in awe of your “get it togetherness”, posting once or twice a week – shoot just posting DURING the week!  I can barely get a post done on the weekend!

But, it’s Thursday Throwdown – I have to link up!  I absolutely love Erin’s linky party that focuses on ways that lessons can be interactive for their students!




Today, I’m sharing Socrative.

Socrative 3


Socrative is another type of student response system.  With Socrative you can engage your students using laptops, smartphones, and tablets.  The great thing about Socrative is that you don’t have to use the same type of device.  So if you’re in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) setting, you aren’t limited.




When you sign up, each teacher is assigned a “room”.  All the teachers on my hall came up with a uniform system.  Each of us start with the number 500 and end with our room number.  Easy for the children (and us!) to remember!

As a teacher you can create your questions ahead of time to get documented feedback, or you can just verbally ask a question for impromptu feedback. Here’s an example of what I see and what the students see.



photo (4)


After they finish the assignment, it can be immediately downloaded or you can receive an email. Either way, it’s already graded! Yay!  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my policy…..worker smarter not harder! 🙂

You should definitely give Socrative a try.  If you do, stop back by and tell me if you think it’s a winner like I do!

Until the next time,



Currently September!

It’s Currently time! Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade‘s linky party is the greatest way to kick off a new month.



The fam and I had a great time at the beach this weekend so I’m appreciative that we have today off.  I literally almost fell off the piano bench at church because I was so tired….lol.

2013-08-31 15.30.29


The kids are doing some AWESOME things with the iPads!  Of course, you never know what will happen until you get them, so we’ve got like iPads with 25 Spongebob pics…, but we’re getting there.  But it’s only Week 2 and they know how to get documents off Edmodo, work on them, and upload them back to Edmodo….so I’m very happy!

I haven’t done that much with iMovie in the past, but I decided to create a movie trailer for my parents on Open House night, and it was AWESOME!  Check it out here:


Farley’s right!  As teachers we are so used to taking care of others and neglecting ourselves.  I started back running this summer, but since then……NOTHING!  My goal is to walk/jog 30 miles this month.  And I’m eliminating soda from my diet….specifically Coke Zero.  And in order to get those 30 miles in, I need to leave school by 4 at least twice a week.  Wish me luck!

Until the next time,


Saturday Snapshots {August 31st}

Saturday Snapshots

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  I’m linking up with Miss Nelson for her Saturday Snapshots linky party.

We’ve really gotten into using the iPads this week!  We spent this week discussing Literacy and how it’s important in everyday life.  I uploaded documents to Edmodo and my amazing kiddos uploaded that document, opened it into Pages, edited it, reloaded it!  Whoop!  Proud Teacher over here!


Labor Day is Monday.  We decided to spent the last days of summer at the beach.  My cousin from Maryland, her husband, and baby boy came down to visit too.  We had an amazing time!

Is it obvious how much DD loves the beach?




Here’s my mama chillin’!


And my little cutie pie baby cousin and his sweet mama!



While we enjoyed the beach, the men slept in.  We then all went out to “brunch” and had an amazing time!  Good food and great conversation! 11 people at a table and I only get a pic of my little brother’s “meal”. Ha!


Until the next time,


Five for Friday – Saturday Edition with a Freebie!



I wouldn’t be my normal procrastinating self if I actually posted Five for Friday on Friday! 🙂 This week I’m highlighting the first week of school!


I worked from 11 AM to 9:30 PM in my classroom on Saturday, but I was very proud of the final product.  Check it out here.



We started back to school this week and it was amazing!  We have an awesome group of students who seem to have caught on pretty quick!  I also think that because this is our team’s second year of working together – we’re able to be very consistent across the board.  It makes for a much smoother day.

6th Grade Team 2 (2013)


The iPads cometh….the iPads cometh!  The kids were unbelievably excited to get those iPads in their hands!  Because our schedule the first week of school is abbreviated in the morning so that we have a lot of time with our AA/Homeroom classes, it worked out perfectly that we’d spend those days having the students participate in an iPad Bootcamp that was created by Jennifer Gingerich.  Check out her wikispaces here for some amazing resources.



After talking with a teacher friend from another school, she shared with me that at her school, the entire school did the same flipchart on the first day of school to make sure that students understood all school rules and procedures.   She shared with me her template, I modified it, and it was a great hit!



Remind 101

We decided to use Remind101 as an entire team this year.  All sixth grade teachers have a shared account that we’ll use to send information to our students and parents.  Students signed up on Friday and took the information home to parents.  On Tuesday, when we have our Open House we’ll get our other parents to join.

SSG5It only took me until Friday to actually teach a real lesson….ha!  But I really do take a while on classroom procedures because I think they are so important!  My school district follows the EDI (Explicit Direct Instruction) Model and one of the key components is to teach the objective.  I read the objective, we discuss the skill (and what that means) and we discuss the concept.  I used one of my favorite Flocabulary videos (but really…can you have a favorite?) to introduce the various “skills” that they will see as 6th graders. I created a foldable along to go with the lesson and it was a BIG hit!   Because it went so well, I spent last night preparing the lesson for my TPT Store.  It is free for the next 24 hours, so check it out and let me know what you think?


So you see, I DID have an amazing week!  How was yours?

Until the next time,


The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 {A Must Read Mentor Text}



I’m linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Text Linky Party.  I decided that I just had to share with you my most favoristist (and yes, I know that’s not a real word) book in the world, The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963.  I have been reading this book with students for 10 years!  Lately, I’ve been unable to do the entire novel for a few reasons – but I use it as a mentor text to teach Author’s Craft; in particular, Flashback.

Barnes and Noble Summary:

A wonderful middle-grade novel narrated by Kenny, 9, about his middle-class black family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. When Kenny’s 13-year-old brother, Byron, gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma’s church is blown up.

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

If you’ve never read The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 (gasp), you’ve missed out on a treat!  Christopher Paul Curtis does an excellent job of drawing you in with the antics of Byron and Kenny!  Believe when I say I am crying with laughter by the time we get to the middle of chapter one – EVERY SINGLE TIME!  This book is a great example of historical fiction because it highlights the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham where four little girls were killed.

There are wonderful examples of flashback in the first few chapters which is all I read with the students now.  But, because I have a class set of them in my classroom, many of the students grab the book to finish it on their own. Jackpot!!

But it only gets better!  I just found out that they are finally turning this awesome book into a movie!  Can you see me dancing?  Can you? Whoop!  Check out the movie trailer here.

As a celebration, my Flashback flipchart using The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 will be free for 24 hours!  Get it while it’s hot!  Click here to get it from my TpT store.

photo (3)


Click on any of the images to link up!

Until the next time,



It’s Currently Time! {Linky Party 8/01}

I can’t believe it’s August already!  And that means it’s Currently Time!

photo (1)

After a very rough year two years ago, our team of teachers decided to implement a 6th grade Transition Camp to help our rising students get acclimated to middle school life.  For those that came directly from our feeder school, they were going from 1 teacher all day long to 6 teachers.  They couldn’t keep up with anything…..and I don’t even want to mention how difficult it is to teach 11 year olds about lockers when the locks are on the lockers.  They can’t even take them home and practice!  We spend the days of the transition camp discussing the ins and outs of our school, they get to practice with their lockers without the stress of a tardy bell, and the meet their teachers and do a practice run of their schedule.  The kids had an absolutely fabulous time!  All of them said they felt so much better about coming to middle school because of these days.



I think that everything else probably speaks for itself, but I want to highlight my B2S items.

1.  A good pencil sharpener is like the hottest thing on the block for a teacher!  I’ve been eyeing the quietest classroom pencil sharpener for a while, and think that I will go ahead and purchase it.  I buy at least two electric pencil sharpeners a year, last year I was fortunate enough to win one at the Office Depot Teacher Appreciation Day!  And despite the fact that I purchase them, by the end of the year, we’re down to the $1 hand held sharpeners I buy at the beginning of the year!

2.  I love shoes…..I love cute shoes…..cute shoes do not love me!  For one, I have flat feet.  Secondly, there is no cushion between the floor of my classroom and the hard dirt it’s packed upon.  Which means that at the end of the day my lower back is aching, my right knee is throbbing, and the bottom of my feet hurt.  How can the bottom of your feet hurt???  So I need to keep it real with myself and buy myself some comfortable shoes…..but they have to be kinda cute…..any ideas?

3.  Last year I started using the Interactive Student Notebook in my classroom.  For someone just starting out, I think they went very well, but I’m ready to take it to the next level.  This year I’m using I’m Lovin’ Lit’s ISN Resources to assist with that.

Lovin Lit ISN

If you’re the remotest bit interested, I suggest you head over to Erin’s TpT store and take a look.

Well, I hope that all of you enjoy the remainder of your summer break!

Until the next time,


Back to School with Bloglovin’ Blog Hop

A Teacher Without a Class and Teachingisagift are hosting a Back to School Bloglovin Blog Hop.

Make sure you pop over to visit A Teacher Without a Class, she’s having an awesome GIVEAWAY!

Teaching is a Gift
A Teacher Without A Class is giving away a laminator! What a great Back to School prize to win!


Teaching Is A Gift is giving away her awesome Chalkboard Style Classroom Quotes Posters!


If I were you, I’d head on over right now……I definitely did! LOL!

Until the next time,

Back to School Mentor Texts {Linky Party}

Look at us! Here it is not even July yet, and we’re in planning mode! I’m joining up with Collaboration Cuties and their Mentor Text linky party!



On Friday I linked up with First Grade and Fabulous for her Picture Books Linky Party.  I highlighted the following books their that I use on the First Days of School:  Big Plans, First Day Jitters, and The Teacher From the Black Lagoon.  Click here to read that post and find out more info on these awesome books!




Don’t forget!  My “Bloglovin’ Giveaway” ends tonight!  Click on the picture below to join in if you haven’t yet!  That $10 Amazon gift card just might have your name on it! 🙂


Until the next time,


Five For Friday {June 28}

It’s Friday….let’s celebrate with Doodlebugs for Teaching and her Five for Friday linky party!



Although it’s summer I still have to do something or else I’d go absolutely crazy!  But I have to be honest, my week started out pretty mild…..

1.  Monday……



2.  Tuesday…..



3.  Wednesday…..



Our district hosted an ELA Common Core Work Session.  We have had some common core training, but I was still focused on SC standards….and now common core is among us!  The expectations were that we plan units of study for the year.  Here’s me…..

deer in headlights



4.  Thursday….


Common Core Work Session Day Two………We pulled quite a few things for the unit, but definitely nowhere we need to be.  After realizing where we were after two days of working, I probably looked like this……


5.  Friday…..

WhiteHouse Down

It’s the hub’s birthday and we had date day.  DD went to summer camp and we went to see White House Down.  I don’t know what the reviews will say, but a movie with those two sexy men in it get 2 thumbs up for me! 😉

Since Doodlebugs is going on vacay, I will have to find something else to do on Fridays.  I don’t know what it is……but I’ll come up with something! 🙂

Don’t forget!  My Bloglovin’ giveaway ends July 1st.  Make sure you enter!

Until the next time,





Tune Into Technology – Integrating Technoloy Into Reading

Tech geek….yep that’s me. I make no bones about. I am a bonafide certified tech geek! So when I realized that iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core were hosting a weekly Tune Into Technology linky party…*gasp* I just HAD to join in!


I use technology in so many different ways! With us going to a 1:1 deployment, my brain is buzzing with new ideas, since the students will have immediate access to those devices. When we had the class set of netbooks it would be a hassle to get them out, make sure they’re charged, put them up mid-day to charge them so that we can use the rest of the day. But despite that, we were able to do miraculous things!

Web 2.0 Tools That We’ve Used


  • Kidblog – Our class blogging tool.  Students also used kidblog to save their writing drafts before having to submit them to me or post them to other sites.


  • Edmodo – Our social networking hub.  Students are able to take assessments on Edmodo (that I don’t have to grade! :-)), respond to polls, post questions, and writing assignments.  I absolutely <3 it!




  • Xtranormal – Xtranormal instantly turns your words into a 3D animated movie. You can choose your characters and the motions/emotions that you’d like them to exhibit.



  • Animoto – Take pictures, videos, and music and create a beautiful movie!  Students have created book trailers, videos about them, videos that focus on the particular theme from a novel or story.

Wordle Tagxedo

  • Wordle and Taxedo – word clouds.  Students have created word clouds about themselves, characters, novels, themes, etc.  With Taxedo, the word clouds can actually take the shape you want.



  • and today’s highlight…..Voki – talking avatars.

Students created Voki’s for a variety of reasons.  They used them to introduce themselves, created a character description, and in the example provided below, show understanding of a particular skill or concept.  Check out these examples below:



Make sure you head over to iTeach 1:1 or Learning to the Core to link up!

And don’t forget that my Bloglovin’ giveaway will be running until July 1st.  Click here to link up!

Until the next time,