Monday, January 30, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted the winners of my soil unit until now!  I really appreciate everyone who entered the giveaway and also blogged about it on their own site.  So without further ado, here are the winners chosen using the random number generator:

I have emailed Kelly and Tamera, but Elizabeth, if you read this please send me your email address so
I can send you your prize!  If you didn't win and would like my soil unit, you can pick it up here on my TpT site.

In other news, how many of you LOVE Target as much as I do?  My and my teaching partner, Erica, went on Friday to hit up the dollar bins and man did we rack up!  We got pencils for our kids for VDay and 3 classic novels for my classroom library.  Oh and did you know I'm the new spokesperson for Target??  Check out my first appearance! Total Dork, I know!!

Cute Frog Vday box

My teaching partner, Erica.  She was on an antibiotic that said  'absolutely no alcohol' so she joked that she was going to go home and down the bottle of mouthwash.

These are totally bleeec, but we thought  we would make a joke and tell our principal we were going to  wear these on our Pioneer day!

These are perfect to wear while singing the Writing Workshop song  that Chrissy  at Buzzing with Ms. B shared .

Hope you guys had a great Monday!  It's Taco Night so as soon as I get home, I'll cozy up in bed and read all about your day!!!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tag, Your It!

So I was so honored to be tagged by 2 lovely ladies, Kelley over at Buggy for Second Grade and Sara over at Smiling in Second I love both these girls, and even though I don't "know" them in real life, I consider them some of my closest bloggy friends.

So here are the rules:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

Fun Facts
1. I have 13 month old adorable twin girls, Raegan and Kenley
2. I am working on my National Boards Teaching Certification 
3. I completed my masters in Elementary Education from Appalachian State in 2008- Go Mountaineers!
4. I have the cutest little Shi'tzu, Polly, who is my dog, another daughter
5. I have taught 3rd grade for the past 7 years.  The only other grade I have taught was 2nd.
6. I love to scrapbook, digital, or using my sweet Cricut.  
7. We went to the Sandal's Resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon.  Best.Trip.Ever
8. I have been married to my college sweetheart for the past 7 years
9.Shopping is my favorite, especially when I have a coupon for a percentage off!
10. I love spending time with my family.
11. I have worked in the same building for the past 7 years, and have always taught 3rd, but have had 4 different classrooms.
12. I love worshiping God with all the I have and try to live my life that is pleasing to him.

Here are my questions to answer from Kelley:
1. What is your favorite T.V show? I have always loved Grey's, but now I am into PanAm and Revenge (I know thats 3, but oh well!)

2. Do you have any hobbies? Yes I love to craft and scrapbook!  Each month several ladies from church get together to do a craft night from 5-midnight.  Its Ah-Sum!

3. What was your New Years Resolution? I did the OLW, Organize

4. Are you a dog or cat person?  I am a dog person, don't really do well with cats

5. What is one color that describes you? Pink, it is bright and fun which is how I like to see myself.

6. What type of music is playing in your car right now? Christian Contemporary, It always puts me in a better mood!

7. Favorite subject or unit to teach? I LOVE Reading, I come up with fun and creative ways to teach it and love to see it come alive in my students.

8. How many siblings do you have? I have 1 sister who is 7 years younger and we are FINALLY beginning to get along!

9. How did you husband propose to you? Took me to Chili's and asked me there.  He had this whole big proposal he was going to do at the bowling alley, but he said he was so nervous that he couldn't wait!  

10. What is your favorite drink? One Word: Sun Drop if your not from the south, you won't understand

11. What is your go-to blog or website for teaching? Beth Newingham is my go to site for everything.

12. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? I love Dove Chocolate Caramels, ohh and Lindor Truffles

Here are the people I tagged
1. Amber at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher
2. Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B
3. Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade
4.Amanda at One Extra Degree
6. Tara at 4th Grade Frolics
7. Stacy at 2nd Grade Paradise
8. Kelly at Busy in K
11. Jen at Teacher's Cauldron

My Questions for Those Tagged
1. Where is one place you would like to travel?
2. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
3. What is one thing about teaching you would change?
4. Do you have any hobbies?
5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
6. What book have you recently read?
7. Do you have a hobby?
8. What kind of technology do you have in your classroom?
9.  If you weren't a teacher, what career would you have?
10. What is your favorite topic/subject to teach?
11. What is your favorite type of candy?
12. What type of music do you enjoy listening to?

I can't wait to learn about my 12 tagged bloggy friends and others as this makes its way around!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Play Day and a Freebie

I had the pleasure of spending the day with my sweet little twin girls today.  Their sitter was sick and was unable to keep them, so oh darn, I had to stay home and play with them All.Day.Long!  We had the best time playing, eating, and napping.
Kenley Riding her Pony, she fell off her today and it wasn't pretty!

Don't touch my musical walker and no one will get hurt!

Raegan riding her dolphin.  She successfully got off him today!

The only thing I did manage to do today was make some new spelling games.  I created the Long Vowel Racetrack games using the book Words Their Way as my guide.  I created one game board and 3 sheets of words for all 5 vowels.  My kids love these games! I also included the recording sheets and directions.  These games are available at my TpT Store, click here to pick them up.
And now the freebie that you have all been waiting for!  Here is the Long A Racetrack game.
Make sure you pick it up, because it won't be free for long!!!!

OHHHHHHH and don't forget to register for my Soil Giveaway!!!  The deadline is tonight at midnight and I will use the random number generator to pick my winner :)  You WANT to win this one guys!!  Click here to enter


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Workdays are a Teacher's Best Friend

I could get used to working 3 days and having 2 in a row off!  I don't know about my other bloggy friends, but the workday on Friday and the one tomorrow have been the ONLY workdays we have had all year.  They have been a long time coming!  I have my to-do list ready to go (yes, I know only 2 items will get done out of my 100+ list) and am ready to plan up a storm for the 3rd 9 weeks.  I'm sorry that most of you have to work tomorrow :(  But rest assured my day won't be all fun.  I will be sitting in on tutor interviews in the AM with other teachers.  I am really glad that my principal gives us this opportunity, but my list of to-do items won't be getting any shorter!

Last week I went to Classroom Central which is a shop for teachers in Charlotte and Gaston County that is loaded with FREE stuff!  I'm talking pencils, notebook paper, markers, crayons, glue, all the normal fun classroom supplies we all love.  But its more than that, they also have things like brand new paperback books, bulletin board materials, and pocket calendars.  Check out my haul!

24 paperback books for free!!
3 of my 5 bags of freebies I loaded up on!
One thing on my list is adding all my new books to by classroom library.  I have them labeled and ready to go.  

I also am working on a sweet Titanic unit to go with my communities and people change over time Social Studies unit.  I.Love.The.Titanic!  I haven't done this one if about 5 years and I am so excited to bring this unit back.  Be on the look out for it in the next few weeks on TpT.  

I want to leave you with one last thing.  I made math key word posters for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  If you like them, pick up your set on my TpT store, here.

Ohhhhh and don't forget to enter my giveaway for my Soil unit!  The deadline to enter is Friday the 27th.  If you haven't entered, click here.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Whoa What a Week!

This was a short week, but man was it packed!  Monday, I sat in front of my computer to work on my National Boards staring at a blank screen, and enjoyed a delicious meal of tacos.  Tuesday, I heard the best news ever, my school is staying open!!!  After the board meeting, my principal, Rebecca, approached me and my other two teammates and looked us right in the eye and said, "Game on tomorrow!" Several months ago when we visited another school and decided to dump our reading anthology Rebecca asked us to present what we had learned to the rest of our staff.

Fast forward to now and I will tell you, its not easy to present to the home crowd!  I had already done this presentation at another school, and knew the material well, but when it came time to present to our staff, I was afraid of how it was going to be perceived by the other teachers.  We didn't want them to think we were 'showing off' or saying 'look at me!'  Well, our worrying was for nothing!  I work with some of the best teachers out there and they were so excited about the change and asked tons of questions and several grades went and downloaded the curriculum immediately to use during their workday Friday.   The conversations between all the teachers was AWESOME!  Also, Amber, over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher was able to come and learn more about this program and is planning on using it in her classroom!  Make sure you check her out, she is always sharing great ideas.  In the end, I know that all our students are going to benefit from having teachers who are willing to move into something new because they know its best for kids.

This all happened, and it was only Wednesday!  Are you tired yet?!??!?!

Thursday we had a field trip to the   Gaston County Museum for a program called Let's Build a County Seat.  My students were able to act out a court case and found the defendant guilty!  They also got to learn about what the civil war was like in our area.

Our group learning all about the Civil War 
I think I could've been a solider! 
One of my teaching partners, Erica, ready to shoot the enemy!  Too bad she was fighting with the Confederacy, and she's from Michigan!!!!  Love it! 

And we are now on Friday!  It was a much needed workday!  We spent the morning visiting a school in a neighboring county that is using Pearson Investigations in math as well.  And if you remember some of my earlier posts about this, my team started using Investigations in November and have had huge success with the program.

Thank goodness Monday is also a workday, because after this busy week, I NEED IT!  Now on to work on my National Boards play on Pinterest!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Take A Chance On Me

You know I love Abba ... but no other phrase best describes the request of my 3rd grade teachers to drop the reading book almost 2 months ago. Fast forward 2 months and I would now say, "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" Actually, it is our kids who beg for more reading time!

After seeing the change of academic focus and new love for reading by our 3rd grade students,
I asked the 3rd grade team to present at our faculty meeting, and to be honest, it was a risk. You have all read about Elisabeth's journey from life beyond the reading book. However, we all know how hard it is to be a prophet in you own land. After the meeting, I discovered the team had those same reservations. Worrying was a waste of our time!

Our staff is hooked. After they presented, our staff spent another 45 minutes with "testimonies" from the 4th grade teachers sharing of their experiences, my sharing of my observations, and just some good solid instructional dialogue; we all felt empowered.

I trust Elisabeth will share the details with you, but I wanted to publicly acknowledge my appreciation for the risk taking of her and her grade level in the name of student learning!


instead of Photobucket

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And the Weight Has Been Lifted

For the past 2 months my Board of Education has been contemplating closing my school.  I have worked in my current school for the past 7 years and love it and all the people I work with.  I have been an emotional wreck during this while still trying to put on a brave face for my students.  Well tonight was the night the Board was to make their decision and several parents spoke in favor of our school.  When it came to the part where the board had to vote on the closing of my school I was.A.Nervous.Wreck!  Well
 I am happy to say that our school will remain open and our students will be able to learn another year under the amazing instruction or our teachers and under the outstanding leadership of our principal!  YAY!!!!!!!!! I can FINALLY sleep again!

Oh and to brighten your day, here are some pictures from Taco Night.  We were celebrating my daddy and my favorite aunts birthdays.

Kenley wearing the birthday sombrero 
Raegan's turn with the sombrero
Kenley with my Fav Aunt, Debbie!

The rest of this week will be a piece of cake!!!!  Can't wait to show the Board their decision was right :)


Monday, January 16, 2012

Soil, Soil, Soil and a Giveaway

On Friday, my grade level had planning and I began looking at our next science unit.  Several years ago our district bought kits for grades 3-5 to use to teach the science concepts.  We have the soils kit next and I LOVE this kit!  My students love looking at the soil and learning about how worms are a vital part of our world.  After creating our plan to teach this unit, I got very inspired and decided to create a whole unit that could be used to teach this concept.  I have listed it at my TpT store.  Click here to check it out.

With all the awesome things I have won recently from other teachers' stores, I decided to give this unit away to 2 lucky winners.  I picked 2 because I have twins and it sounded good!  Here are the ways you can enter to win.
1. Follow My Blog
2. Follow my TpT store
3. Blog about this contest and link back this post.

The contest will close Friday January 27th and I will use the random number generator to select the 2 winners.  Winners will be announced Saturday January 28th. Make sure you post a comment for each way to enter, because you are entered for each of them.  Good luck!

*PS anyone that can tell me how to number to comments, I will be forever grateful!!!!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Boggle Queen

So my principal has been asking me to be a guest blogger for a few weeks now and she finally got her first post together.  I told her she could blog on here anytime she wanted to haha!  Show her some love because she's one of the coolest principals I know (not just saying that cause she's mine!)

The award awaiting my student on Monday Morning

I would love to be The Queen.                  
I would like to think that Abba’s “Dancing Queen” was inspired by me.  However, there are two reasons that I am most confident that it was not - I was barely a month old when it was first performed.  Furthermore, and perhaps most significant, dancing is not my greatest strength. I love to dance, have some rhythm, but I am most confident I would not make the royal court of dancing.

I would like to be the future Queen of England. Prince William would have picked me over Catherine Middleton. However, once again there are two reasons that I was not selected – William and I did not attend Eton together; therefore, we had no chance of meeting when he was in his Future Queen selection years. Additionally, I am not sure that one who desires to be the inspiration of “Dancing Queen” is suitable to be The Queen of England. But given the chance, I would have traded my dancing shoes for the Crown Jewels … immediately.
Alas! My time has finally come … in the last 24 hours I have declared myself the “Queen of Boggle.” Now granted, I have not won my coveted crown, cape, scepter, and bragging rights yet … but I am a shoe in for the title. The final results will be revealed Tuesday, but as you can tell, I am remaining humble by only calling myself a champion until the coronation ceremony can occur.

A true Queen always gives credit where credit is due and in this case I must thank Elisabeth, author of this blog and stellar teacher of 3rd graders at Rhyne Elementary for this honor.  As you well know, Elisabeth and her 3rd grade team (shout out to Erica and Lisa) work diligently to break all rules of traditional teaching. They seek and implement what is best and right for children. Two of their goals were to change their instructional practice of reading and writing…but do not worry they broke up the rules in math as well.  One element of this was to enhance the general vocabulary of their students.

To do this, Elisabeth created a classroom Boggle Board for her students.  I happened to be in her classroom the day the board went up.  I do love a word game and one student in particular (see the picture of the student desk above) seemed to somehow challenge me to a contest. Now, maybe he really did not challenge me at all, but as I said before, I do love a word game, I absolutely love a challenge and I above all, I  love to win. So in my mind, it was a personal challenge. Now granted … I realize that I entered a competition with third graders. But I was in to win. And I was just wise enough to know that if the principal was game these third graders would be as well.  So the challenge was on. I copied down my 16 letters for the week and it was game on.

Elisabeth told her students they could use the dictionary to assist them in the process, after all, the goal is to expand their vocabulary and introduce them to words they did not know, but they could not create words less than 3 letters.  I did attempt to level the playing field by originally not using words less than 5 letters and not using the dictionary. I never did use the dictionary, but when the kids told me they had over 200 hundred words (this extended beyond the form provided) I did have to result to three and four letter words to ensure my victory.

For a solid week, the kids and I bantered and counted words and even a time or two shared words as we worked towards a victory. The word count was due by the end of the day on Friday and by the looks of things when Elisabeth and I scanned over the sheets, I was a clear winner. But, as educators, we know that my win is temporary but the kids win forever. The kids win because they are working on building their vocabulary. They are able to look at the composition of one word and create more words using the concepts of rhyming, homophones (if the letters work) plurals and palindromes. More so, they are also able to simply learn new words. And somewhere along the way, if the kids and I make awesome learning memories together, we are both better for it.

For the remainder of the year, I look forward to entering competitions with other classes. Boggle fever is on the rise and I am thrilled to be a part of the inaugural team. Thanks Elisabeth for allowing me to learn with you and your students.  The Queen of England has nothing compared to being the principal of Rhyne.
Can we have an “n”  and a “d” in the challenge next week, please? 


Isn't she awesome!  My kids were in a frenzy knowing that they were competing against the PRINCIPAL!  Tune it to next weeks boogle contest winner :)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Whatcha' Eating?!?!?!?!

I was over at Ms. T's site, Journey of a Substitute Teacher and saw that she was hosting a linky party about what is in your lunchbox and thought it was too fun not to participate!  I almost always bring my lunch to school, as the cafeteria lunch doesn't look that healthy and for the most part lacks flavor!  Today, however, I had NOTHING at home to take to eat, so I had to eat in the Cafe!  But yesterday I took a Stouffer meal of lasagna and a caffeine free Sundrop.  I am very interested to see what others are taking for lunches this week.  Make sure you head over and link up!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hump Day Freebie!

I feel like I have been away from all you in blog land forever!  My hubby has been gone for the past 6 days and just got back in yesterday.  That means I have been on twin duty 24-7 with very little time for anything else.  This week has also been a super busy one.  I am the student council adviser and my students held a can food drive for the needy before Christmas break.  For those of you that don't know, my school is located in a low income part of town, and my kids often benefit from these can food drives, so when they got so excited about collecting food, it made my day.  We ended up collected over 220 cans for the agency.  My mom happens to run the local Crisis Ministry and she did a brief lesson with my kids about how they get their food and money to help the needy.  Then she let them put their cans on the shelves.  They went crazy and loved every moment!

One of the food collection boxes my student council  made

A student council member with her hands full!
And now for what you all really read this post for....The Freebie!  We are working on characterization in our Reading Workshop unit this month so I have made 2 posters to teach my students the different types of characters.

Head over to my TpT Store to pick up your free copy!  Make sure to leave me feedback if you download :)  Happy Hump Day!!!!


Monday, January 9, 2012


Today was a jam packed busy one!  This morning I had the privileged of having some of my colleagues from another school in our district come in my class to check out how I do the Reading and Writing Workshop.  They also have still be using the anthology and wanted to get away from it and wanted to see how I was doing it.  If you want more on dumping the reading anthology click here. I love helping other teachers find new ways to reach their kids.  I expected them to be excited about changing curriculum, but the teachers were going on and on about how engaged my kids were and how they were reading such big novels.  They also kept repeating ,'these can't be 3rd graders!' It actually made me feel very good that what I was teaching was making such an impact on my students and these other teachers.

After they left we had PLCs and discussed benchmark data.  So exciting, let me tell you!  My favorite part of the day came in the afternoon when we dove into our recycling unit and had our kids make their own recycled paper!  My kids LOVED it and it was easy, which is me!

 I also ended the night by going to Taco Night!  There aren't many things that are as good as that!  Now on to get some sleep.



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