Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday's Featured Teacher and Freebie... Meet Erin Attaway

Meet Erin Attaway over at 
Me, Myself and Everything Else

Check out her blog: Me, Myself, and Everything

What do you teach? And where? 
I teach Kindergarten in Oklahoma. I love it!

What is one of your favorite memories in the classroom?
I have so many wonderful memories in the classroom. It is difficult to choose just one but, I will tell of one this past school year. On the first day of school this past year I was trying to warm up the room by being silly. Explaining to them the wonderful things we are going to learn and all the fun we are going to have. I may have gotten a little too silly because the next thing I know a sweet little girl yells out "you're weird!" All I could do was laugh out loud and say thank you!

What was your hardest experience while teaching? How did you overcome it.

My hardest experience has not necessarily been a student but a parent. I had a parent that was extremely religious. I did not have any problems with that, however, she did not want us to learn about pumpkins, because they could be jack o lanterns, or have any celebration of any kind...even if a parent sent treats. I tried to make her happy, but nothing did the trick. 

She eventually emailed my principle and told her I was a prejudice

and awful. My principle supported this parent, and even said I would be reprimanded. She told me to just kiss some ass (excuse my language). It was heart breaking. I finished the year with as much dignity and respect as I could. I then decided that I needed a principle who supported me as long as I was doing my best. I changed schools and it has been amazing.

What advice would you give a new teacher or someone switching grade levels?

One thing I would tell someone new would be to just do your best, and don't take too much on at first. Remember it takes time to get in a groove and you will make mistakes. It's ok, you will never stop learning or growing. 

For someone switching grades, you already know what it's like to be in a classroom don't doubt yourself. You will figure it out and it will be amazing. Enjoy! You are all making a difference!

Erin would like to offer all followers a 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Back To School

Look at some of the things I have got!

Zebra Clipboards from Walmart.
Ribbon from Dollar Tree and Walmart.
 Alphabet/Spelling Puzzles
Ross, Old Time Pottery, Ollies
 Animal Print Baskets
Garden Ridge
 School Supplies 
 Teacher Store and Walmart
 Leaves to put in my room from IKEA
Got this cute little container from Dollar Tree. I cut an opening on the lid.
Now I have myself a Box Top holder for the classroom.
 I made all my students birthday bags!
 Redid my who, what, when, where, why, and how sign in bright colors.
 Look at my picture frames. 
 I finally made a Substitute Binder.
You can find the template at Journey of a Substitute Teacher

I am still working on lots more!! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Featured Teacher.....Meet Heather Meek

Meet Heather Meek over at 
The Meek Moose
Check out her blog: The Meek Mouse

What do you teach? And where? 
I teach Second Grade in Northern Virginia.

What is one of your favorite memories in the classroom?
We do a Famous Americans Talk Show for our students. We drop them off for the "show" and then say we have to go to a meeting. We come back in dressed up as the different famous Americans and give a short speech. I love it when the kids tell us for the rest of the day "You were George Washington, weren't you? You weren't really at a meeting were you?" They are always not 100% sure. Makes me laugh every time.

What was your hardest experience while teaching? How did you overcome it.
Class management. And it's still a work in progress. But, part of it is finding the right age group for your teaching style. My goofiness is just a better fit in Second than it was in Fifth. And then another part is just getting older and more reflective- realizing what is important and what is not. Making sure I'm enjoying my job, waking up every morning ready to roll.

What advice would you give a new teacher or someone switching grade levels?
If you can talk to the team you're joining, do so. Quick and often. Ask every silly question you have. New teachers - ASK about every single minute of that first day long before it happens. Seasoned teachers do this sort of thing on auto pilot, and it is not at the forefront of our brains to tell someone how to take attendance or the best way to handle a lunch count. And don't spend your instructional money on office supplies. Seriously- you're never going to be at a loss for a paper clip. Spend instructional money on things you can use to INSTRUCT.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Birthday Giveaway

 Tomorrow is my 25th Birthday! 
(July 19th)
I am taking this time to celebrate with everyone by having an amazing giveaway!
This giveaway will run from
July 18th-July 24th.

Please take the time to look at all the amazing products that have been donated to this giveaway. I admire each one of these teachers. They are all so very talented and your work has challenged me to be a better teacher! I already use several of their products in my classroom.

Here is what has been donated to my birthday giveaway!

Melanie over at Schoolgirl Style has donated her new ebook"Decorate Your Room Like a Pro." The winner will also be able to choose one collection of their choice out of her schoolgirl shop.

Alisha over at The Bubbly Blonde has donated her Back to School Packet.
The winner can choose their grade level of the back to school packet.  There are units made throughout K-5. Here is an example of a 2nd grade packet.

April over at A Modern Teacher has donated her Teacher and Lesson Planner. The winner can choose which design of the Teacher and Lesson Planner they would like out of her TpT Store.

Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies has donated her Back to School Survival Pack

Mel over at From the Pond has donated a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Voucher.

Reminder: If you could donate to my Donors Choose Class Project, my students and I would greatly appreciate it. It would be amazing to get an ipad mini to help in reading and math skills. My students are inspired by technology and thrive from the use of it. These iPads will give them more opportunities for differentiated instruction. 
Please Help If You Can! It would be a wonderful birthday gift!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday's Featured Teacher and Freebie.....Meet Stephanie Harpole

Meet Stephanie Harpole over at 
The Creative Classroom
The Creative Classroom
Check out her blog: The Creative Classroom

What do you teach? And where? 
I have taught 6th-8th grade Literacy Enrichment , which is an ELA elective for students who struggle on state testing, for the past five year in Louisiana. I will be teaching 6th Grade ELA this coming school year.

What is one of your favorite memories in the classroom?
Since I work with students who struggle and are often labeled as "at-risk" students, my favorite memories in my classroom are those moments when a student who has been struggling and not able to master the work finally gets it. Those smiles are enough to brighten even the most stressful or bad day. I had one particular student this year who was very low and just could not write proficiently. He had a little to no confidence in his abilities and would often shy away from participating in class discussions. I spent a great deal of time working with him and doing mini-interventions with his writing skills. I will never forget the moment during one of those interventions where he was finally able to take control of his learning and not need me to walk him through things. The smile and the way his face lit up when he realized what he had done was absolutely amazing. By the end of the school year, he had gone from a 4/16 on his writing pre-test to a 9/16 on his writing post-test. Those moments and this student are the exact reason why I am a teacher.

What was your hardest experience while teaching? How did you overcome it.
I think my hardest experience was my first year of teaching and the issues I had with classroom management. I was very naive about how to handle my extremely rough group of students, many of whom were one to two years behind. It was very hard to overcome that and be 100% confident in my choices. It was a valuable learning experience though. I learned the importance of consistency and beginning a new year with a firm grip on my students and expectations. By beginning the year and really focusing on routines, procedures, and firm, consistent classroom management strategies, I have not had an issue with this the previous four years.

What advice would you give a new teacher or someone switching grade levels?
I think the most important thing is to be open to the changes and be positive. It can be overwhelming, but remember that good teaching is good teaching regardless of grade level. Use your own teaching experience and don't be afraid to ask for help if you're not sure what to do.

Stephanie would like to offer all followers a 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday's Featured Teacher and Freebie.....Meet Lindsey Levis

Meet Lindsey Levis over at 
Lovin' Kindergarten with Mrs. Lindsey

Lovin’ Kindergarten With Mrs. Lindsey
Check out her blog: Lovin' Kindergarten With Mrs. Lindsey
Check out her TpT Store:
What do you teach? And where? 
I teach kindergarten in Tennessee.

What is one of your favorite memories in the classroom?
When it finally clicks and they realize they can read!

What was your hardest experience while teaching? How did you overcome it.
The hardest thing is when you know things are hard at home for a child. In situations like that it is often reflected in their behavior and is tough all around. I have to remember their situation and make sure they know I love them no matter what.

What advice would you give a new teacher or someone switching grade levels?
Have a good attitude. Remember why you became a teacher and do the best you can for your students. You have the chance each and every day to make a difference in the life of a child.

Lindsey would like to offer all followers a 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Students Need Your Help!

Hi Friends,

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed. So I've created a classroom project request at, an award-winning charity.

I'm asking for donations of any size to help my kids. For the next week, any donation you make to my project will be doubled! If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students' school year, and you'll get photos and thank yous from our class.

Here's my classroom request:
I is for iPad, K is for Kindergarten!

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the match code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through July 12, 2013.

My students and I greatly appreciate your support.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Kindergarten At A Glance Data Organization Notebook

If you are a Kindergarten teacher 
you will LOVE this book.
Is it sometimes hard to collect data and know how to use it to benefit the students? Have you ever wished you could see what all the students know at the same time? 
Well here it is.... Data Organization all in one book.
One of the ladies at my school had the great idea of putting all of the information into one notebook. I have fell in love with the idea. This notebook has all your kindergarten assessments all in one place for quick reference. For example, one page in my book is for uppercase letter recognition.  Every single child is listed on the page and it shows what they know and don't know.  It is an easy resource for me because I can look at it and see exactly where my whole class is "at a glance."  It helps to see where the largest need is and helps in planning my lessons to benefit the students.
This notebook is easy to take home to help in creating your lesson plans. You don't have to worry about hauling that huge data notebook home every night. 

This book can be stapled together, put inside of a 3 ring binder, prong folder, or get it binded. I got mine binded at Staples. I gave them the document and they let me sort it and I decided which ones I wanted as my tabs. 

This comes as a pdf file and an editable powerpoint. 

This Kindergarten Class At A Glance Data Organization Notebook Contains:
*Front Cover
*Uppercase Alphabet Recognition Data Form
*Lowercase Alphabet Recognition Data Form
*Alphabet Letter Sounds Data Form
*Writes Letters
*Recognizes High Frequency Words (29 common words)
*Recognizes High Frequency Words (Reading 3D: Word List A, Dibels)
*Recognizes High Frequency Words (Reading 3D: Word List B, Dibels)
*Recognizes High Frequency Words (blank form to add your own words)
*Writes High Frequency Words (29 common words)
*Writes High Frequency Words (Reading 3D: Word List A, Dibels)
*Writes High Frequency Words (Reading 3D: Word List B, Dibels)
*Writes High Frequency Words (blank form to add your own words)
*Reading 3D: TRC Level (Text, Reading, and Comprehension) reading levels PC, RB, B, C, D, etc
*Running Record Level (reading levels A, B, C, D, etc)
*Book and Print Awareness Data Form
*Math Assessments: First Quarter
*Math Assessments: Second Quarter
*Math Assessments: Third Quarter
*Math Assessments: Fourth Quarter
*Parent Email List
*Class Information (student, birthday, phone number, Kindergarten screening score, how will they get home)
*Allergies/Medical Needs Form
*Writing Levels

This packet also has cover dividers for the following:
*Uppercase Alphabet Recognition
*Lowercase Alphabet Recognition
*Alphabet Letter Sounds
*Writes Letters
*Recognizes High Frequency Words
*Writes High Frequency Words
*Reading 3D: TRC (Running Record)
*Running Record Data
*Book and Print Awareness
*Math Assessments
*Class Information
*Writing Levels 

You can find this book for sale over at my TpT Store:

Here is an example of how I show my data. I put the students initial along the bottom of the page and shade in the letter sounds they know. The ones that are not shaded are the letter sounds the students still need more work in. This is how I fill out all of the assessment pages.
 I used the cover dividers as my tabs.
  Here is example of one of the class information sheets.
 Here is a closer look at the tabs that I had Staples put into my notebook.

Laundry Room Remodel :)

I have been telling myself for a year now that I need to redo my laundry room. I have been putting it off and finding other rooms to work on first. I finally told my self that if I found some cabinets I would start on it. Well I found those some cabinets at the Goodwill in Florida while I was on vacation. Yes, I had my husband haul both home on the back of the truck!! 
I was so excited to get started on my laundry room.
The first thing that came to mind was.....


After I took down those medal racks I started to paint it!
I painted the room Waterscape by Sherwin Williams.

Then, my husband was kind enough to help in sanding the cabinets and painting them.
(pretty nice wood cabinets for $29 at Goodwill)
 After the cabinets dried my husband went to work and started installing the cabinets in the laundry room. He also made me shelves and painted those to hang up! 
(I have a great husband, don't I?)
On the washer side, I put a cabinet and two shelves. On the dryer side, I put a cabinet, one shelf, and a rack to hang clothes. 

Then I started bring things back into the laundry room. My cabinets were filled and my baskets where placed on the shelves!
I am MUCH happier with my laundry room now! It is more organized and looks 100% better
Maybe I will spend more time doing laundry.
(or not) 
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