Monday, July 30, 2012

New {School} Year Resolutions!

Amanda at Teaching Maddeness is hosting a Linky Party to discuss our resolutions for the new school year. I joined thanks to Hilary at Fifth Grade Fancy!  *BONUS!  She is celebrating 100 followers and doing 2 giveaways.  You should totally go follow her blog now and enter!*

Now back to those resolutions...

Resolution #1:  DOCUMENT! I know I do a good job at keeping materials and supplies organized in my classroom.  I keep my classroom looking organized but I feel like I don't do a good job at organizing my documentation for parent communication & interventions.  I have several ideas for making a binder just for these purposes and I really want to commit to doing a better job in this area.

Resolution #2:  COMMIT!  I'm terrible about deciding I don't like the way something is working or looking after a few weeks.  This goes for my lesson plans, desk arrangement, newsletters, and more!  I waste so much time changing things around.  I need to be better about deciding to at least stick to it for a full quarter or semester!

Resolution #3:  TAKE PICTURES!  I have this fancy new camera I got for Christmas and I rarely use it for the sole fact that I just don't think "oh, this would be a great thing to take a picture of!"  I don't have any pictures of just my classroom from last year.  Sure, you can see it in the background of the 2 or 3 occasions I remembered to take pictures of but I didn't take a picture of my reading corner, my desk organization, or desk arrangement. I also need to do a better job of taking good pictures of student work.  Most of these pictures are from my cell phone because I didn't think about taking my camera to school.

Resolution #4:  BLOG!  I want to write for my blog at least 3 times a week.  I know it will help me do a better job of documenting what I've done and force me to remember to take pictures.  It won't necessarily help me commit to things because reading blogs is part of what makes me want to change things around! I'm planning on doing interactive student notebooks for math and possibly science so follow my blog for more on those!

So what are your resolutions?  Leave a comment, join up, and let me know!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

7 Habits

I think it is SUPER important to set high expectations at the beginning of the year.  Students need to know that you expect the world of them and that you have faith in them!  I'm going to be doing this "7 Habits of Highly Effective Students" presentation at the beginning of the year.  If it works out to do it during orientation when I'll have parents, I might do it then so that they can benefit from the message.

This presentation will help let your students know that you don't care about what happened in the past; you believe that they can be successful THIS year if they put their mind to it!  I based the Power Point presentation off of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits and I believe that it applies to us teachers, too!  One of the habits is beginning with the end in mind...totally applies to assessment!  Another habit is being proactive...this is so important as a teacher.  Keep yourself organized to prevent messes in the future!

Click the picture below to purchase this presentation from my Teacher's Notebook Shop.  It is on sale through Monday for $2.40.  As a reminder, ALL items in my shop are on sale for 20% this weekend in celebration of my new blog!  I've also added my science Cranium Club cards.  Check it out!

Do you want this 7 Habits presentation for free? The first 3 people to comment with their email address will get it for FREE!

"To Do" Linky Party

Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies
Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies started a linky party to share your "to do" list for things to accomplish before the start of the school year.  I know that I have a lot of things to get done; the scribbled list on the yellow legal pad on my kitchen counter is a constant reminder of that!

1) Settle on a design for my plan book.  I HATE the lesson plan books you can buy in a store.  It took me until November to come up with a plan I liked last year and it won't work for me this year because of changing grades and teaching multiple sections of only 2 subjects.  Bummer!
2) Get my parent communication binder in order
3) Make my "no name" claim board (as seen on Pinterest!).
4) Plan lessons for math & science!  I'm doing interactive notebooks for both subjects.
5)  Meet my colleagues!
6) Move into my classroom!
7) Finish my "back to school" activities for the first few days.  We'll be doing a split start where the first half of the alphabet comes on the 29th and the second half comes on the 30th.  I won't have all of my students together until August 31st.
8) Make my Class Handbook
9) Find more time to spend poolside with my Kindle!
10) Watch the Olympics!

I have a lot more to get done than these 10 things but this is a start :-).
What do you need to get done?  Join in and share!

First Day Jitters Blog Hop

Ashley at Fierce in Fourth started a blog hop to share 3 "first day jitters."  As I am starting a new year in a new district and new building, I definitely have some jitters!

1) I'm moving up from 2nd grade to 5th grade.  I'm pretty sure most of the kids are going to be as tall, if not taller, than I am!  This is a huge change in curriculum and the state is changing over to using Common Core for math and ELA in addition to new standards for social studies  and science.  I have so many ideas that I'm not sure where to start!

2) I don't know anyone in my building yet except the principal!  Is my teaching team going to like me?!? Are they going to care about my ideas?!?

3) I hate not having a plan.  I wish I could meet with my team NOW and find out what they do for reward systems, homework policies, etc.  It would really help me with all of my planning.

Do you have any advice for me?  Link up and share your jitters!


#1)  Check my post below for a giveaway!  I've only given away 1 copy of my math All About Me Poster instructions and I'm prepared to give out 2 more.  Just comment on that post & tell me how you would use it in your classroom.

#2)  I want to do a bigger giveaway but I'm going to wait until I hit 50 followers.  I'm so excited that I already have 10 followers after just a few days.  Let's see if I can get to 50 before my students come for orientation on August 23rd...invite all of your friends!

#3)  I was inspired to do a giveaway like this because of a new follower I have!  Kathy at Kathy's Coordinated Class invited me to check out her blog and she's doing a giveaway for a $20 TpT gift card in celebration of reaching 50 followers.  Go follow her blog and enter for a chance to win!

Kathys Coordinated Class

Thursday, July 26, 2012


First item of business, you can now follow my blog through email by signing up with Feedburner on the right sidebar.  I think this is the easiest way to follow blogs; it helps me keep track of what I have and haven't read.  If there is something I want to save for future reference, I keep it in my inbox until I have time to Pin It!

 I'm slowing getting the hang of things with my new blog!  In celebration of starting a blog and updating my Teacher's Notebook shop, I'm having a sale beginning now and going through Monday!  I only have 10 items listed at this moment but there will be more posted this weekend.  Consider this a preview of the great things to come!

One of the things you have to check out is my newest item.
I'll be having my math students complete this assignment for the first week of school.  It could be applied to several grade levels as you can require your students to make it more complex by using equations rather than  simple numbers.  I got the idea from Pinterest and made it my own.  The first 3 people to comment and tell me how they'd like to use this in their classroom get this for free!

Start Your Own Shop!

Teacher's Notebook is a great tool for teachers to share and find resources.  I highly recommend starting your own's better than the *other* website where you can sell your own materials because you get 100% of your sales!  You do have to pay a small, one-time set up fee but I made that back in no time!  Plus, you earn reward points!  


I'm so excited that I already have followers after just 24 hours...thank you for keeping motivated to stay with this! I've quickly learned that part of blogging is recognizing fellow bloggers for good work and promoting each other's blogs. I've been awarded two awards by three followers...I've procrastinated posting this entry because both awards "require" you to award it to 15 other blogs. I'm struggling to find blogs which haven't already received this award but do not fear! I will definitely be sharing my finds in the future so stay tuned ;-)

First up...the "One Lovely Blog Award!" I was awarded this by K is for Kinderriffic and Working 5 to 9

For receiving this award I have to....
1. Follow the person who gave me the award.
2. Link back to the person that gave me the award.
3. Pass to 15 new bloggers and let them know they have received the I said before, this is proving to be quite the challenge. I will pass it on to a deserving blog sometime in the near future!

Next is the "Versatile Blogger Award" from Monica at Classroom Capers. 

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Include a link to their blog
3. Include the award image in your post
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award....once again, I'll pass this award onto a blogger who hasn't yet received it when I find someone!
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

So here are my 7 random facts:

#1:  I basically despise dramatic movies unless I'm watching them while wide awake.  I have the hardest time staying awake for any movie/TV show that doesn't make me laugh!  My favorite TV show was Desperate Housewives but it's all gone now :(  I got hooked on Army Wives through Netflix so it's my new favorite!

#2:  If I had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be boneless buffalo wings with ranch!  I LOVE spicy food!

#3:  When I was younger, I aspired to be a teacher for the sole fact that I wanted my very own Judy clock to play with whenever I wanted!

#4:  I am an Ohio State fan but my "fan" doesn't even begin to describe my husband.  I have entire room in my house dedicated to Ohio State memorabilia!  In addition to cheering for the Buckeyes, I really enjoy going to baseball games.  We are fans of the Cleveland Indians and their local Triple A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers.

#5:  Last winter, I decided I could be an "extreme couponer!"  While I haven't achieved the same levels of savings as what they depict on TLC, I have figured out how to save a decent amount of money!  It's like a game for me when I go to the grocery store!

#6:  I had never been to a casino before October 2011 and now I'm hooked!  They built a new one less than 30 minutes from our house and we are frequent visitors!  I can't get enough of the thrill of winning!

#7:  Sometimes I wonder if I have adult onset ADD...ever since beginning my teaching career, I have the hardest time staying focused on one activity because my mind is always bustling with activity and ideas!

That's all for now!  Thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Bloggers Blog Hop

Got this from one of my favorite blogs from when I was teaching 2nd grade!

1.)  What state are you in?

2.)  What is your current teaching position?
I was just hired to teach math and science in 5th grade at a middle school.

3.)  What is your teaching experience??
I subbed from spring 2009 until November 2010 when I started a long term sub job in 2nd grade that led into a full time job for 2011-2012.

4.)  When did you start blogging?

5.)  Share some blogging tips or a resource.
As you may guess from the name of my blog, get INSPIRED!  Follow others, use Pinterest, and collaborate to get ideas!

This is a Blog Hop!

Blank Slate

I got in to see my new classroom last week. There is a TON of built in storage and I'm very thankful for that! My color scheme is going to be black and white with pops of bright colors. Our school colors are purple and yellow so I'm going to be working on including those colors too. I can't get in until next week or the week after to "move in" but here is a preview of what I have to work with. I'd love to hear your ideas!

Cranium Club

I've seen some things on Pinterest (check it out!) about "Cranium Club."  After doing some more research, I've decided this would be an awesome thing to implement in my classroom to help motivate my students to learn more.

What is it?

Cranium Club is a series of questions from different subjects.  Students must do research to find the answers to these questions and then present their findings to their teacher.  There are typically levels to achieve as students answer more questions.  All teachers do it a little differently and it can be adapted to meet the needs of your classroom.  

How am I implementing it?

Because I only will be teaching math and science, and we have a standardized test to prepare for, I will have 3 subjects:  math, science, and general knowledge.  I'm using other people's lists of questions as inspiration but I'm really going to be creating all of my own questions which are more aligned to the standards in Ohio (we are using the Common Core for math for the first time this year).  I'm currently working on science and I'm making super cute cards (in our school colors) which will be organized on a ring.  *I will be adding these to my Teacher's Notebook store upon finishing them!*  
Students will have to research answers on their own time at home or after finishing their responsibilities in my classroom.  I haven't yet decided for sure how I will go about getting the answers from my students.  I'm thinking about having them keep a Cranium Club notebook or maybe giving them answer sheets to turn in.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Each student will have a record sheet where we will color in the corresponding square when they correctly answer a question.  I'm planning on having levels of achievement from bronze clear to double diamond.  Students will be recognized with a postcard home when they achieve a new level as well as a colored brain on our Cranium Club board in the classroom.  At the end of the year, they'll get a certificate and I'm still trying to come up with the incentive for achieving the highest level possible.  I don't know if we'll do an ice cream party, pizza party, guest speaker...still looking for ideas!

So have you ever done this in your classroom or are you planning on trying it this year?  Do you have any ideas to share with me?  I'd love to hear from you!  

Finally Jumping In!

Hello...welcome to my first attempt at a blog!  I'm a second year teacher making the move from 2nd to 5th grade and changing districts this year.  I got a lot of inspiration for teaching 2nd grade from blogs but I'm struggling to find many blogs about teaching 5th grade...or any intermediate grade for that matter!  Apparently it is more popular to blog about the primary grades!

I'd like to use my blog as a platform to share some of my ideas but also to get feedback from others.  Please feel free to comment on my posts to ask questions, give feedback, or share your own ideas.  You'll find a lot of what I talk about in my Teacher's Notebook store,  I'll be working hard to add more to this in the coming months.

A Little Bit About Me...

I'm a graduate of The Ohio State University and Western Governors University (feel free to contact me with questions about WGU...a wonderful graduate program!).  I'm teaching 5th grade math and science in a fairly large district in central Ohio after making the move from a smaller district.  Because each group of students is different, I don't believe in using only materials that someone else has created; I think I should pick and choose in addition to modifying existing and creating my own materials.  These are the types of things you'll find in my Teacher's Notebook shop.