Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July: Currently!

Wow. Let's just get right to it.
Linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's currently. 

The US/Belgium game just ended. Poor USA. School ended for us about 2 weeks ago. However, we then had 2 days of professional development on Learning Focused. It was pretty painful. Only because we sat in baby chairs!
 Then after that I had one day in my classroom. Wednesday night my cell phone rang and it was my principal calling. DUN DUN DUN. She then proceeded to tell me that I was now being moved to 5th grade. (I've taught both years in 4th grade). 

The next day the email to the staff confirmed it. :/ Womp Womp. I'm excited for the new challenge. I'm just super nervous! 

Two days later my mom, brother and I packed up the car, made a stop in Roanoke, Virginia, and then headed to St. Louis. We arrived after more than 20 hours on the road. While in St. Louis we went to a Cardinals game, ate tons of delicious food, and visited with family. 
Momma splurged on some AWESOME seats! This is my brother and I before the game. We sat on the 3rd base line right past the visitor's dugout about 12 rows up. 
Me & momma


This was a taco! A taco! From the fabulous Hacienda.

Time for a #SundaySelfie at Starbucks. 

Since I've been back I've moved classrooms and have been trying to give my blog a refresher. I'm looking for a new name! Any suggestions? I don't really want something grade-level specific but I want it to do with travel. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hump Day!

We've done T and we've done H. Today is A.
A is for Activities…

Activities like…
Introductory activities that keep my children engaged, challenged, and feeling successful at the same time! 
Today we did a fabulous introductory division activity that my mini-team came up with. I gave partners an amount of stickers. (Each group got a different number for differentiation! Go me!) The students then had to give each of the 3rd grade teachers (not really) the same number of stickers. There are 7 3rd grade classes at our school, so this was definitely a challenge! 
Some of the groups really surprised me! 
One group took a while, and worked by using multiplication. They basically guessed and checked their way. They finally decided to make 7 groups and split the stickers. 

These two students definitely worked as partners. The young lady cut her stickers into strips and then split those into 7 groups. The young man cut his stickers into individual stickers and then added those on top of the strips. I feel as if I'm not explaining it too well, but they did a great job! 

This group made an array. They were actually the first group completely finished. They made 7 rows and then put stickers in the rows until they had less than 7 stickers left. Those were their remainders. 

Franky is making an appearance from Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn

Counting stickers…

This activity was awesome. After we sorted the stickers, students wrote about how they solved their problem and wrote an equation. Now to sit down and grade those writings… [womp womp]. 

Another activity my kids and I both love is when they do book partnerships. Three of my students on a similar reading level are reading Roald Dahl's The Witches

Two of my three girls are really into this book. They love it. One girl is kind of meh. Which is surprising. How can you be meh?!? Anyway. Twice a week they get together at my kidney table and talk about what they've been reading. They use my question stem cards to ask each other questions about what they've read. I simply sit there and moderate. Sometimes I take notes, sometimes I butt in. Other times I sit there and observe. They really enjoy this time to separate from the rest of the class and to talk about a book that they are all reading. They also love to pick questions for each other!

Linking up with Jivey & Blog Hoppin!

Have a terrific Thursday!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Time-Savers & Helpful Hints! [Link-Up]

Oh goodness. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only TWO WEEKS AWAY!! Our first quarter at school completely flew by.
This week, Blog Hoppin' is having a major Thanksgiving linky party! I missed yesterday, but I will link up for Monday & Tuesday together.

Time-savers for me…

1. These mailboxes…
Look back there. No. By the cabinet. Hiding. THOSE! :)

They are FABULOUS. I also have a mailbox (like you would have at your house). Any papers that need to go home go into that mailbox. I have one student who passes those papers out every single day. Papers go home as soon as I grade them. (Unless they need to be kept for portfolios). It is a huge time-saver. 

2. Giving students as much responsibility as possible

I have jobs for every single student. I have a student in charge of recess equipment. A student in charge of the blue bag (has inhalers, epi-pen, etc). A student in charge of recording the clip chart. All these jobs do take training at the beginning of the school year, but once the students are comfortable, are SUCH a timesaver. I also have students help me staple, file, and sort in the morning before the bell rings. 

3. This planner

I pink puffy heart love my Erin Condren planner. It was definitely a leap, since it is a pricey little item. BUT SO WORTH IT! At the beginning of each quarter, I put the standards for each week in my planner and go ahead and put in things that stay the same. 

Helpful Hints:

1. Have someone on your team that you can turn to. My mentor from last year was amazing. This year, I have another amazing mentor, but she teaches ESL, not fourth grade. So I have kind of adopted two of my teammates to be my mentors. I can ask them anything. Questions about curriculum, about a student's behavior, or about something going on at the school. I still ask my official mentor questions, but during the day I'll run across the hall to Courtney or talk to Amber at recess. 

2. Use your prep period!
This is something I'm trying to get better at. I'm trying not to spend my entire prep period chatting or sitting around. I try to make a plan and stick to it. Of course, things come up, like a phone call or something else that must be taken care of, but using your prep period for what it's for makes a world of difference!

3. Come in early
Okay, I know some people will definitely not agree with this one. It's not for everyone. I typically get to school between 6:30 (when it opens) and 6:45. With that said, I don't have a husband or kids. I do live 40 minutes away though. I get to school early and get so much done. I make copies if I need to, laminate sometimes, finalize lesson plans, and prep Guided Reading. It's not for everyone, but it works for me! 

That's all the tips I have for now. As a second year teacher, I feel as if I have some advice. :) 

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Truth Monday

I'm linking up with

to share "My Truth Monday". This Monday she is tackling the tough topic of fitness.

Go ahead and go over and link-up! What's your truth about fitness?

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm Back!

It has been a crazy few months. I finished my first year teaching, spent the summer traveling around with my church's high schoolers and started my second year teaching.
My second year...is amazing! I have a smaller class size this year and really good kids. Plus there's the whole feeling more confident thing as well. The ride this year is definitely less bumpy, more smooth flying.
I'm currently at the NCAEE conference in Greensboro, NC with four fabulous ladies from my school. Three of us teach fourth grade and two of the ladies teach third. We are all so thankful for the opportunity to get this time for Professional Development! Our county is letting us pick our PD this year, and this is what we all chose. I'm also going to be attending a county-given math training.

From left to right: Amber (4), Sammie (4), Debra (3), Me (4), Celia (3)

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to see the fabulous Deana of Primary Punch and Rachel of The Tattooed Teacher. It was a great introduction to selling on TPT and creating awesome products for your classroom. They uploaded the presentation to both of their websites so if that's something you're interested in, you should go check it out!

Later this week, I'll put up pictures of my new classroom. I moved classrooms this year, but with less desks I have a totally different arrangement. I'll leave you with this picture of us at the yoghurt shop tonight, make sure you catch the saying on the wall. Incredibly appropriate for us fabulous ladies!
I hope everyone is enjoying their week! I'm so glad to be back in the blogging world!

Monday, May 6, 2013


I'm such an overachiever. For the last 26 days of school we are having an ABC Countdown. Last week on Thursday we began with "A is for Adventure". We went on a hike on our trail behind the school and wrote some poetry. We also collected leaves and then later did a crayon rubbing and measured the angles.


Friday was Beach & Book Day. It was also field day, so in between events we read on our towels. The kids loved field day. In the afternoon the firetruck comes and sprays the kiddos down. Most definitely their favorite part.


 Today was C for Chalk Day. I had originally planned on taking them outside and having them draw different geometric terms/figures with chalk but the weather was dis-gus-ting. Torrential downpour all afternoon. (And yet, I still had children ask me if we were going outside for recess. YEA! Of course we are!) Instead, I handed out black pieces of construction paper and told them to draw a picture including at least 5 of the geometric terms we had covered in math.


Some of them did a really awesome job. I especially love the robot!

This week is also Teacher Appreciation Week! I got some sweet goodies today and then tonight we had a Dine & Design event at school for the staff. We had one in the fall where we painted a cityscape. Tonight we painted a beach scene. Here's my finished artwork...


Do you see the shark fin? haha.

I am also working on adding to my TPT store. I am having a SALE beginning tomorrow through Friday, May 10th for Teacher Appreciation. ( I was going to start tonight, but TPT doesn't let you have a sale for more than 4 days. lame) Go check it out. Tomorrow and Wednesday you can get an additional 10% off my already discounted product. 

I posted some CCSS Division Word Problem Task Cards.


There is 26 word problems as well as a recording sheet. I used these last week with my kiddos in tutoring and they loved them so much they wrote me these notes...


*obviously we need to work on your vs you're * :) IMG_4027

I genuinely love tutoring my little friends three days a week. One of them even brought me a treat for teacher appreciation week today! It was tho thweet.

OH! For the division word problem cards, the first person to guess my favorite book series growing up and leave it in the comments with their e-mail address will win the cards fo free. I'm also working on some multiplication cards as well. And as always, leave feedback!

So for this week's mentor text link-up, we are supposed to discuss reading texts again. I'm not sure if anyone has talked about this, but my absolute favorite book to teach about Alliteration is The Z Was Zapped, by Chris Van Allsburg. My kiddos love this book. It's essentially a play in 26 acts. There is a picture on one page and when you turn the page, it tells you what happened to the letter. I had my kiddos guess what was happening to each letter, but it was starting with the same letter. We were getting some awesome alliteration practice in! After reading, I had my students write their own alliteration about themselves and draw a picture. This book is definitely a winner.


friday flashback Five For Fridaymentor texts linky

Have a fabulous week! Don't forget to comment if you want to win! :)

melissa plane

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What a Week!

Oooh. It's been a week.

Sunday I felt a little crummy, but I still went to work on Monday. I actually ended up taking a half day and leaving at 11:30 because I felt so bad.

This week has been crazy busy at school. We began tutoring after school 3x a week due to the impending TESTING. One day is for reading and two are for math.

I have also been ignoring the linky parties, so I'm here to link up!

First up is Tried it Tuesday! (I know, it's no longer Tuesday. FAIL)

tried it tuesday

Let me just say that Ladybug's Teacher Files is AWESOME. She posted about a week ago about the Great Pencil Challenge. I printed the file IMMEDIATELY. We began the next day. The jist of this is that you challenge the students to see how long they can keep one pencil. I put their numbers on their pencil. And so far it is going so well. The first week I only had TWO children not have their pencils on Friday. This from a class that has probably used over 500 pencils this year! YAY! (We did break yet another sharpener, oh well).


For Workshop Wednesday (Hey! I'm only a day late with this one!), Jivey asked for a small group reading text. When I student taught I used Because of Winn Dixie. Boys and girls both loved it and it is a great way to teach so many different themes, standards. Right now I'm doing two book clubs. I have a group of girls (levels Y & Z) reading Stuart Little. I have a group of boys (all Z) reading Travel Team. The boys love this book. They are all into sports and think it is so cool! I love finding books they are genuinely interested in!

workshop wednesday linky

And of course, I have to link up with Farley! And I Heart Recess!



I hope everyone has a fabulous Friday! It's field day so hopefully that will be awesome!

melissa plane