Anchor’s Away

One of my goals for this school year was to create anchor charts with my students as we reviewed concepts. That way, instead of putting everything on the walls ahead of time, we would add to the classroom throughout the year. My hope that it would make the charts more relevant and used more frequently.

But….alas, it’s gone by the wayside as so many other great ideas I have had.

Miss Klohn at Adventures of A Sixth Grade Teacher has created a monthly linky party that will highlight Anchor Charts. I’m hoping that this will inspire me to get back with it….


Here is my anchor chart about Story Elements…


And Point of View….


Interested?? Here’s how it works….

One. Save the Anchors Away image from above and include it in your post.

Two. Be sure and link back to Miss Klohn’s blog. You can do this by linking the image to

Three. Share some pictures of your favorite anchor charts that you have made this year.

Four. Come back to this post and link up your post for others to see.

You can click on the link here to connect to the first linky party.

Happy Linking!


What’s Ahead In 2013

It’s day 2 of 2013 and I find myself still in vacation mode. These next 5 days will fly by and if I know what’s good for me, I better get my butt in gear!

So, maybe a way to get my mind right is to start looking at what I want for next year. And it just so happens that Michelle from Making It As A Middle School Teacher has just the linky party to do it!:-)


Here are the 13 things that I’ll be looking forward to or taking part in during 2013.


Just to highlight a few…..

By middle school, many students are really good at calling words – but have no comprehension skills. They hate to read which makes it even harder to teach them. I’ve heard that the book I’ve Read It, But I Don’t Get It is awesome so my goal is to read it over the next few days.

Before marriage and children, I has time to read school personal and personal personal books. I was able to recommend books to my students that they would love, which increased their reading. Lately, I’ve only been reading trash, none of which would be helpful to my students…. I’m trying to work my way back and Wonder is my next goal. This year, I’ve been using excerpts from my favorite books to teach concepts to students. That has worked out well, because after we finish an excerpt, many of them want to read the book!

Since being back in the classroom (I did four years as a facilitator that was cut during our financial crisis), I’ve been addicted to technology. Because of this I’ve been thinking hard about going back to school for either a Master’s or Doctorate in Instructional Technology. I know….I know….it doesn’t make sense to have two Master’s, but I JUST DON’T WANT TO WRITE A DISSERTATION!! So, I’m going back….just not sure of the details yet.

My principal let me paint my wall green to create a green screen for videos and guess how many I’ve done? ZIP…..ZERO…..NADA The thing is, I have students that are more than capable of independently creating videos for various reasons – I just need to organize it. Hmmm, that’s something else that needs to be added to my list…..gosh darn it!

Well, enough about me, let’s talk about you….if you’re interested, here’s what you do!

To join in, download the image below. Then open it with PowerPoint or any picture editing software you normally use. Add in text boxes and save it as your own version. Not much space so you’ll have to be concise.


Write a blog post which links back here and includes the main image above {with the chevrons} as well as your own version of your 13 things.

That’s it! Pretty simple.

Oh yeah…let’s do Farley’s Rule, too. After you link up, visit and leave a comment for the 2 people before you as well as the 1 after you.


12 In 12

Miss Kindergarten is hosting the 12 in 12 linky party.

All you have to do is think back at your favorites in 2012 and add a few pictures. What a fun way to remember the year, huh!? You can use these prompts if you’d like, or just type up your 12 favorite things!

12. Favorite movie you watched:
Django Unchained – Although I don’t think it is an entirely accurate depiction of that time period, it was definitely entertaining. Definitely QT fashion with all the blood…all the blood, but I’d go see it again.

11. Favorite TV series: Scandal
Who doesn’t love Olivia Pope? I am so addicted to this show!


10. Favorite restaurant:
Anyone who knows me knows I love I eat! I don’t just have one favorite….Outback, Olive Garden, Longhorn, Chickfila, Cookout….I better stop, I’m getting hungry right now….

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
Hmmmm, I usually would say I’m adventurous, but this year I’ve been pretty tame….so one goal for 2013 is….to be more adventurous….try something new….

8. Favorite gift you got:
The gifts from my students. Each and everyone of them are special, because I work in a very high poverty level area. If I received a gift from them, it means all the more to me because I know they had to sacrifice to give it.

7. Favorite thing you pinned:


I am not a fan of Steve Jobs, more like indifferent, but I definitely admire all that he had done during his lifetime. And I absolutely love this quote.

6. Favorite blog post:
I had a difficult time determining this one, but I finally made a decision. This blog post describes how I felt after the first quarter and showcased some great work that my students had dne.

5. Best accomplishment:
Being selected as a Top 25 Middle School Blog! 🙂


4. Favorite picture:

These are my kiddos (well about half of them). They have the best personalities….In the words of Farley, I {puffy heart} love them to death!

3. Favorite memory:
I have so many, but my current favorite is this Christmas. My DD didn’t wake up until 8:30 and when she did she wasn’t all loud about it. DH and I heard her moving around and shuffle up towards the den. Her gasp of surprise and quiet exclamation of “Santa came!” warmed my heart.

2. Goal for 2013:
To get back to healthy eating and exercise.

1. One Little Word:

How to link up:
Create a blog post sharing your favorite 12 things in 2012. Go to Miss Kindergarten’s website, add the button to your post, and link it to this blog post. Then link up below, making sure to link directly to your post, not just your blog.


First Quarter in Review and my October Currently

I can’t believe that we are heading in Week Eight of our 1st Nine Weeks! Where did the time go? I’m enjoying my new kiddos and we’re having a good time in class. But, these 60 minute periods are killing me! I know I should be used to it by now – it’s my third year….but eight years of 90 minute period spoiled me!

I’m working on streamlining my lessons so that I get in all the necessary components – but I just don’t like it. Now, I’m probably about two weeks behind in my pacing guide, but I’m achieving my goal of 80% student mastery of skills. So, I’m doing quite a few things right.

My kiddos are loving the technology. You would think our ActivExpression devices are little piece of magic – and I guess they are. We’ve actively begun blogging (which they have actively dived into) and using VoiceThread; and I’ve introduced them to Animoto, Xtranormal, Wordle, Socrative, and Voki. Skype, Bitstrips and Edmodo are coming up next.



Here’s our VoiceThread about our school:

I’ve adjusted my homework plan and it’s saving me 210 copies a week….that’s right you read it right…A WEEK! I might actually only have to buy one additional case of paper this year! 🙂

Things are good great! Of course there are always a few things to tweak, but when isn’t there?

And now for my October currently……

I’m linking up with Farley from Oh’Boy 4th Grade yet again (I just love these things!); It forces me to be reflective and aware.


I have two iPod touches and an iPad, but I’ve been hemming and hawing about getting the iPhone for about three years. I love my HTC Inspire, which has an Android platform, but the battery life is killing me! I’ve heard the battery life on the iPhones are better. This time next week, I will be the content owner of one – just not sure which one…..stay tuned!

I am such the procrastinator (which I actually plan to stop doing…..tomorrow), but I know first hand how smooth the mornings are when I get clothes ready for the week on Sunday. So – I’m going to bite the bullet and do it…..a little later this evening. 🙂



We’re participating in The Global Read Aloud, and they are loving The One and Only Ivan. It’s such a sad story and I’m pleasantly surprised how much they care for that gorilla already. If you haven’t heard of The Global Read Aloud, click on the link above and check it out.

My next read will be Wonder. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book and actually downloaded the sample.

But, as I have exhausted my bi-weekly book allowance, I will purchase it next week. A great book about teaching tolerance – from what I’ve read (and heard about) so far.


Monthly Monday Made It #2

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’re aware that my students are participating in a Quadblogging Project. There are four blogs in each group and we spend a week visiting each other’s blogs. This helps to increase readership and get quality feedback from other students located all over the world.

So I’m linking up with 4th Grade Frolics to showcase my Monday Made It!

This month’s Monday Made It is the VoiceThread my students completed to introduce themselves to our quadblogging partners.

They were so excited to complete it! I printed out the pictures that we would use and they created the moderation. Awesome!


Monday Made It Monthly #1

Shout out to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for being a totally with it teacher! I knew that I would NEVER be able to keep up with a weekly “Monday Made It” now that school is back in session – so she transitioned it to a monthly series. Yaaay!

This year, I want to really focus on positive behavior so I created a card using Vistaprint. Here it is!

I began handing them out last week and the students were so excited to get them! I try to remember to hand out two a class period – but help my mind! My goal this week is to make a bigger deal out of it with the awardees.  With a few of my classes, all of the students are so good it’s hard to choose. And with other classes…sigh..well I think you can put the pieces together, lol!

I purchased some mini Skittles and Starburst to hand out as prizes, but I would like to come up with other prizes as well.  Any ideas?


Happy Labor Day and my September Currently….

Happy Labor Day, friends! After two FULL weeks of school, I am totally enjoying this day off – which really won’t be a day off – but at least I won’t be on my feet for seven hours straight.

The hubby is off running errands and my daughter is periodically checking in with me to see if I’m ready to cook her pancakes, so I know this idllyic period of bed resting is quickly coming to an end.

I plan to finish my lesson plans, enter grades, and work on Teacher of the Year invites today.  All from the comfort of my couch or my bed.  On the home front, clothes will need to be washed, dried, and ironed for the rest of week (which lately I’ve been really good at) and dinner made (which lately has NOT been happening).

So I’ve linked up with Farley from Oh’ Boy Fourth Grade  for the September Currently and here it is…

My mama is the best!  Somehow she got us tickets to hear President Obama give his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.  Charlotte is only a couple of hours away so this was perfect for us.  I will definitely miss the kiddos on Thursday (well, probably not), but it’s an opportunity that I could not miss!  Got my red jacket all picked out….now I need to figure out what else will go with it….

I am so proud of my daughter! She was diagnosed with autism when she turned three and we have been really apprehensive about what her educational progress would be life. I am so proud to say that she is in the 1st grade and thriving wonderfully! She is in a regular education placement with resource services. Last week was our first week of homework (which I have been dreading) and she did an awesome job. She is reading and comprehending and she is an awesome speller. I also am totally completely in love with her first grade teacher. We have two HUGE things in common: 1. She is a workaholic and 2. She is addicted to pinterest. She stays in contact with me and does everything she can to help my baby girl. Not to say that her other teachers weren’t great because they were, it’s just that we knew first grade was going to be such a big step and are soooooo happy about it.

Now, I can go on and on (and on ) about the staff that I work with – and I guess I will! 🙂 I know part of the reason is because I work at such a small school, and smaller schools have a better chance at thriving that way. But it’s more than that.  Every single person in my building wants to do what’s best for children.  Point Blank!  And that’s what makes us such an awesome group.

And my last addictions….Sonic and Cookout.  These addictions are going to have to be put under control because I am changing my lifestyle!  In the past, I had discovered a love for running – one that I plan to take up again.  I’ve joined a running groups and will also begin with my individual workouts again.

Well, I hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day holiday – I definitely plan to.

Monday Made It #11 and My Green Wall!

Two weeks in a row! I am so proud of myself. I am linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics  for Week Eleven of Monday Made It! I have seen this idea around pinterest (My PD guide), and thought it was adorable.


These babies will be hanging from my ceiling by tomorrow! 🙂

In other news, my green wall is almost done!

I am constantly in awe of the cohesiveness of my school. Our 8th grade Math teacher took pity on me and helped me out. When I showed him my quart or paint he looked at me in disbelief. He didn’t realize that I only intended to paint a portion of the wall. It will be finished by tomorrow and I am as happy as a kid in a candy store!

My First Award!

I’ve been blogging for two years now, but it took me just that same amount of time to create my personal/professional blog. But now, I can’t believe I waited so long. My online community has grown so much in just these few days and I’ve won my very first award! 🙂

Donna from Working 5 to 9 has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! *doing the happy dance despite the fact that my family thinks I’m corny*

In accepting the One Lovely Blog Award, I have the following responsibilites:

  • Follow the person who gave me the award….
  • Link back to the person who gave me the award….
  • Pass this award on to 15 new bloggers!

So here are the awardees for MY One Lovely Blog Award (Well actually the first five)! Drum Roll, please!!

1. Fantastic Fifth Grade

2. Blessings of Teaching

3. Fabulous and Fun Fourth Graders

4. Young Daze In Fifth Grade

5. Splish! Splash!

Here are #’s 6-10

6. The Loop

7. Fourth Grade Fanatics

8. Stories from a Second Grade Classroom

9. A Day In First Grade

10. Fifth is Fabulous

Here’s more….

11. Teach, Love, Happiness

12. Wild About Fifth Grade

13. Cooperative Learning 365

Stay tuned….