Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Is it back to school time? Excuse me, but I'm in denial. I'm also obsessed with planning. Denial + obsession = zero in the sleep department. In honor of the utter exhaustion generated by pretending it's mid-July while simultaneously setting up my new 6th grade room, everything in my TPT shop is 20% off tomorrow. Hopefully I can use this pin money to spruce up this situation:
Feeling better about your own classroom now? You're welcome!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Reading 2

On this glorious Saturday morning, I thought I would share a few pics that make this teacher/mom crazy proud:
I've written before about my older son's struggles learning to read, so watching him with his nose in a book by choice never ceases to warm my heart. My younger guy learned to read in a snap, and though he isn't as voracious about it as his brother, he loves it enough for me. 

Either way, the fact that I rarely have to beg or prod them to pull out something to read is a huge relief. This morning, I found my little guy's summer reading log on his night stand, and I almost died. People--it was filled out and up to date. He did it. On his OWN. I can't even.

Speaking of summer reading, I started this one yesterday:
Did any of you read The Book Whisperer? I adore this woman, and I once again find myself highlighting and underlining all over Donalyn Miller's more recent book, Reading in the Wild. The focus this time is on ways to sustain the momentum we build in our classrooms, so that our students internalize a love of reading and become independent, "wild" readers. Readers who steal a page or two while waiting for their sister at soccer practice or while their brother is at the dentist. Readers who carry a book everywhere just in case.

Readers who read and re-read Archie and Jughead's Double Digest on the beach without their mom nagging. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Changing Grade Levels

When I left school for summer break this June, I also said goodbye to teaching 5th grade. In just a few weeks, I will be a 6th grade teacher. What?! This will be a huge change for me on many levels. In my district, the elementary schools encompass grades K-6. This means that I will stay in my current school (yay!). I'll also move from teaching all subjects to one class, to teaching only ELA and Social Studies to three sections. I'm both excited and terrified.

In preparation for the changes ahead, I've had to rethink my entire summer planning process. It typically goes like this:

  1. Close the door to my classroom on the last teacher day.
  2. Drive away and forget about school.
  3. Enjoy traveling to the beach and relaxing with my family.
  4. Begin thinking about work the week before I have to go back.
Ahh, relaxing, yes?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Playing Around with Blog Design

So I decided to try my hand at tweaking the design of this blog, hence the new header, button, etc.  I'm not totally wild about this here version, but I'm enjoying the process. I anticipate changing it multiple times over the summer until I land on something I love.

Meanwhile, I'm turning to the interwebs to help me figure out how to customize things, so I want to give a shout out to some of the resources I'm using across the summer. First up, Megan from I Teach, What's Your Superpower? is doing a summer series on blog design that I highly recommend if you're interested:
Also? The Blog Baby, Blog link on her site is a fantastic resource. I'm particularly partial to this lady, as she designed the first two versions of Wild Rumpus, and exhibited incredible patience given my fickle ways. Plus? I got to meet her in person and she's awesome:
So go there, and if you don't feel like fiddling, have her design a blog for you! Check out her design site at A Bird in Hand Designs. She's amazing:
As I play around with it a bit more, I'll continue to share resources. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to reduce the space between the post title and the actual body of the post. I'd also like to eliminate the border around the main part of the page. I'll love you forever if you want to share tips. Meanwhile, if you have other suggestions for resources, please add them in the comments!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Teacher Freebie Redux

Two summers ago, when Pinterest and teaching blogs appeared on my horizon, I was thrilled to discover the plethora of free teaching resources out there. So many generous teachers are blogging on these interwebs, and I have certainly downloaded my share of their great resources. This summer, I thought I would periodically post some of my past freebies for all of you. So here you go--today, it's all about reading:

Looking for a graphic organizer to help students keep track of multiple main ideas?

Kids having trouble with finding main idea(s) with to begin? Here's a graphic to support your teaching for how to determine importance in reading:

Just click the images to go to the original blog posts where these freebies were posted. That will give you a little more info about how I used them in my classroom.

Happy Monday!
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