Linkys: Next School Year and Summer Bucket List

With 21 more days of school to go, you better believe I am not thinking about summer and next year. Linking up with Kim from Finding JOY in 6th Grade and Teri, Hadar, and April from A Cupcake for the Teacher, Miss Kindergarten, and A Modern Teacher is so much more exciting right now than sharing my classroom happenings over the last week. But I apologize in advance because here I go again trying to fit several linkys into one HUGE post.

Here is Kim's linky.

I "used" Reader's, Writer's and Math Notebooks this year...but not nearly as frequently or meaningfully as I should have. Between Pinterest/TpT/TN I think that I will be all set in terms of ideas for next year, I just need to myself use them regularly. 

Blogging and Instagram have made me a bit of a better picture-taker this year, but I still forget to take pictures most of the time. Between blogging pictures and wanting to use pictures in end-of-the-year projects, I realize just how frequently I SHOULD be taking pictures. 

This year the only real research projects that we did were biographies and animals. With CCSS, I know I should be doing more, and the kiddos actually really enjoyed both projects. It is now going to be a matter of fitting them in somewhere throughout the year. 

The printables that come with our reading series are not the greatest, so I really want to buckle-down and make some of my own units to align with our reading series and CCSS to get my kiddos thinking! 

Clearly writing mile-long posts once-a-week isn't working out too well; I must post more frequently and not so long in the future. 

Here is Teri's, Hadar's, and April's linky.

1. Get to the beach. 
**I was so hoping to get to the beach over the long weekend, but Mother Nature had other plans for New England. This coming weekend looks great so far ::knock on wood:: so hopefully I will get a beach day in!
2. Create some TpT items. My store is itty-bitty and definitely needs to grow this summer. 
3. Organize everything that I have created/purchased/downloaded this year into standards based binders. 
4. Relax, see friends, go to country concerts, have F-U-N! :o)


Budding Blog and Five for Friday

Happy Friday...5 and a half more weeks of school for me! It seems like it is never going to end this year. Our MCAS (state testing) is finally finished but we still have DIBELS, Writing Benchmarks and Discovery testing. YIKES! Our poor kiddos are already so DONE and we just keep on testing.

Jess at I {heart} Recess is hosting the Budding Blog linky for all bloggers who have under 200 followers. Such a great idea!

The questions are as follows:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
3. Describe your teaching style.
4. Give three interesting facts about you.
5. Do you have a TpT store?

1. I started blogging because I loved reading blogs and getting ideas from all the amazing bloggers that I was following. I decided that it was time that I tried to give back by sharing some of my own ideas. I notice that I am usually all over the place with my posts and I really need to try be better at posting ideas for the classroom rather than my randomness, but I'll get there!

2. Favorite subject is a toughie! I have my master's as a reading specialist. I LOVE to read and I enjoy teaching reading...but I am not allowed to teach reading in the way that I would really like to. I suppose I would have to say that Math is my favorite to teach right now, because I have more freedom to create my own lessons and teach the way my kiddos really need to learn. We usually have lots of fun in math using all kinds of goodies (food is the best way to keep the kiddos' attention in math!)

3. My classroom is very structured, organized, and consistant, but I like to have FUN with my kiddos! This year has been a little different, my crew has a hard time knowing when it is ok to be a little silly and have fun and when it is time to get serious and get to work, so I have had to be more serious and stern with them. I believe that kids should still believe that coming to school is fun, even with all of the testing that we have to do. So I set my expectations high, but try to make time to keep it fun, too!

4. a. I absolutely love going to country concerts!
    b. I wish I lived at the beach. 
    c. I would eventually like to get my doctorate in education. 

5. I have a TpT store but it is very tiny. It does have a couple of freebies. One of my summer goals is to get working on some more products. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teaching-With-Twitte

** I am so sorry that this is turning into such a long post!

Now for the Five for Friday linky with Doodle Bugs Teaching. I'll try to be quick, I promise. With testing this week, I don't have too many academic thoughts to share this week, but it was a busy week.

1. As I said, my kiddos tested this week, so they finally got the Brain Bugs that I made over April vacation. These guys were a big hit! 

2. After testing, we did a fun area/perimeter lesson that I found on Pinterest. The kiddos made these cute little guys. 

3. Yesterday we had an Art Show after school. I didn't take any pictures because I was busy face painting (you would think this was pretty funny if you knew anything about my lack of artistic ability). 

4. The highlight of my week was going out for frozen yogurt for dinner before the Art Show yesterday with two of my very best teacher friends! We had time to watch Nashville on the Smart Board before the Art Show too! :o)

5. Finally, one of my teaching buddies who is ready to have her baby any-minute now was having contractions today!! She is at a scheduled doctor's appointment right now so I am dying for an update! I cannot wait to meet this little baby boy! 

I am so sorry for this marathon post...if you read to the end you deserve a DOJO point for your persistance! Thanks!


Getting Acquainted...

I have been a bad blogger and Instagrammer (is that a word?) lately. I started a Five for Friday post on Friday...and then my allergies attacked! Then on Saturday, while taking a break from work I was doing, I ran out to the Dollar Store, got back in my car, and had a dead battery. Sunday was Mother's Day and Monday the kiddos took Math MCAS. So between all of that and preparing for testing last week, life has been a little crazy! So instead of trying to catch up, I'm just going to move on to Latoya's Let's Get Acquainted linky party. If you don't already follow, check out Latoya's blog Flying into First Grade!

Linky Questions:
1. What made you decide to become a teacher?
2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?

1. I always loved school! When my neighbors and I were little our favorite "game" to play was school. It didn't matter where we were, whose house we were at, inside or outside, this was always our go-to activity. I was one of those kids that begged the teacher for the extra worksheets, books orders, etc. Aside from a short period of time, in high school, when I considered being an occupational therapist, I have always wanted to be a teacher. My elementary school teachers were AMAZING! As a matter of fact, most of my teachers left quite an impression on me. Two that stand out the most are my 7th grade English teacher and 9th grade Geometry teacher. To this day, I tell my own students about both of these teachers!

2. I can't pinpoint one specific rewarding experience, but I think anytime that students show demonstrate that they have learned something from you is rewarding. Like those times when the kiddos begin using your grown-up language/vocabulary. For example, the kids were working on their personal narratives today, and we were talking about the quality of their work, the language they should be using, and the detailed sentences they needed to help their readers visualize when they were saying. I read one of my student's sentences, "Sometimes my brother helps me when I go roller blading because I  tend to fall down a lot and get bruises." It wasn't until I read this sentence that I realized this student was channeling his inner Miss Witte! I tend to say, "I tend to...", all the time! Although this is not terribly profound or amazing, I think it was wonderful when you notice that students are actually listening to what you have been saying! :o)

3. I honestly cannot imagine myself as anything other than a teacher, but there was a point in my life when I would have given anything to be a dancer in CATS on Broadway. I don't admit that to very many people, in fact very few of my friends know that, but there it is bloggy world, my very random fact of the day! 


Appreciating TpT

I feel like the closer it gets to the end of the year, the longer the weeks seem to last. We are down to about 33 days, but this week is killing me! The 4th and 5th graders are testing this week so all interventionists/special education teachers/ell teachers are off schedule and we are reviewing, reviewing, reviewing like CrAzY!! The poor kiddos are D-O-N-E with math, with the heat/humidity, and with each other. Now that I have gotten my complaints off of my chest, the highlight of my week was the AMAZING TpT sale.

I am linking up with Diane from Fifth in the Middle's What's In Your Cart? linky to share my great buys!

First up, from Amber Polk, 36 Editable Lapbook and Fold-It Templates. I have pinned many lapbook ideas on Pinterest and keep meaning to try them out in my classroom. I cannot wait to start using some of these amazing templates. 

Next, from Teaching With a Mountain View, Elapsed Time Bundle Pack. We went over time and elapsed time to prepare for testing, but my kiddos haven't nearly mastered this skill. This will be a very useful packet! Yay!

Also, from Pinkadots Elementary, September to June Journal Writing Calendar and Create Your Own Hero! Heroism Unit! The journal writing calendars will make my life a little easier next year for morning work/homework/Daily Five type journal writes. I intend to use the heroism unit in the coming weeks to keep my kiddos interested as the end of year closes in on us! 

Now, from Little Red, clip art Owls that I cannot wait to play with! Tales Of A Third Grade School Year end of the year memory book (absolutely adorable) and Literary Techniques and Parts of Speech Worksheets that include similes, metaphors, alliteration, etc! 

Finally, from The Teachers' Aide, Who Loves Prefixes? My kiddos tend to struggle with prefixes and this unit will be a great reinforcer. 

I cannot wait to start using these goodies in my classroom! :o) Thanks to all of the wonderful creators and participants in this sale that cheered me up this week! Click on any of the above pictures to link to the item on TpT. 

I hope everyone has a great end of the Teacher Appreciation Week tomorrow...it's FRIDAY! 


Five for Friday! Yay!

I think that Doodle Bugs Five for Friday is my favorite linky because it has the word FRIDAY in it! I mean, that's not the only reason, but it's a big one! This is was one LOOOONG week.

1. I have been a fan of Instagram for quite awhile now, but it is even more fun since #teachertalktuesday. I love seeing all of the great teacher pics! I am also participating in the Photo a Day Teacher Challenge created by The Pinspired Teacher...so fun!

2. The weather has been absolutely here this week (sorry to all of you cold/snowy people)...I don't mean to rub it in. I have been so excited to wear my cute spring clothes/shoes this week! I strongly dislike pictures of myself so I never take them and now I don't have a picture of my absolute favorite outfit from the week...but here are some fun shoes!

3. I decided to try reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my third graders this year. I asked first, to see who had already seen the movie, and the majority of my kiddos have actually seen most of the movies. With the first book being the "safest" of them all, and most kiddos having seen the movies, I am giving it a shot. So far, so good. I have a couple of copies so the kids are borrowing them to read ahead of me (they think they are very cool :o) and follow along with me. I am hoping that with testing coming up, I will be able to read a little more than usual during the day!

4. I have already mentioned that I attended a workshop yesterday on Keys to Comprehension. Our presenter shared a graphic organizer that she uses and my friend Diane just loved it. She will never see this, as she doesn't blog, so I am posting her photo with the graphic organizer! It is a top-down web for beginning, middle, and end that lends itself to prewriting for a retell and/or summary. 

5. The transition to CCSS and still worrying about MCAS (our MA state test) I am panicking over math. I don't feel like I have gotten through as much this year as I have in the past so we are in a mad dash to at least expose the kiddos to some material. I have been trying to keep it fun with scoot, task cards, and Judy clocks. Elapsed time might be the death of me this year!

Happy Friday Everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!


CURRENTLY...May & 14 Cows

It was killing me today to sit through a six-hour professional development workshop, with my computer  in front of me and not link up with Farley's May Currently. I am finally home and linking up! :o)

Listening - I am sitting outside in my lovely lime green adirondack chair listening to the breeze, the birds, and my neighbors who are out on their decks! I just L-O-V-E springtime! 

Loving - While I sit here posting, on my deck, it is currently 78 degrees...not sunny on the deck right now, but I'll take it!

Thinking - While I was sitting through PD today, I was trying to check in with my substitute. Luckily my principal let my very amazing friend and colleague cover my class today. She is the paraprofessional in my classroom for MOST of the day and she also did her student teaching in my classroom in the fall. With my tough crew this year, I think we decided it was better to leave someone in the room that knew the kids rather than a random sub. I was able to check in during prep and lunch to see how they were doing, but it still worries me when I am not there because of some of the behaviors. Crossing my fingers that the kiddos had a good afternoon and bringing lots of chocolate to my amazing sub/para/friend tomorrow. 

Wanting - One of the teachers returned from lunch with frozen yogurt today and I have been dying for it ever since. Dessert tonight?

Needing - This week has been great because I have been wearing my spring clothes, which I love! Now the problem is the pasty white skin...I need some color!

Summer Bucket List - Summer job is still up in the air, but I intended to spend as much time as possible at the beach this summer. It is about an hour and 45 minutes from home, so I usually try to get there are least once a week! I know I will do school work as well...so many things already on my summer to-do list!

If you haven't linked up yet, head on over and share what is currently going on with you! 

I'm almost done...I have to share a book that I was introduced to today at my Keys to Comprehension workshop. Has anyone heard of/read 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy? Ahhh-mazing book! I am going to purchase it on Amazon as soon as I post this. It is listed in CCSS as an exemplar text for grades 2-3. Click here to check out the website. Our presenter used this as a model read-aloud lesson...and most of teared up. I can't wait to get the book, I am already planning all of the things that I can do with it. We were actually talking about how there is SO MUCH that can be done with this book that we don't even know where to start. Definitely check this book out, you'll be glad you did!