Welcome to my blog:) Since I am so far away from my friends and family, I want to keep you updated on the fun and trials of my new job. Thank you to everyone for your support, encouragement, and the tips/ideas you may offer!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Guilty Pleasures Linky

Ashley at The Resource Room is having a linky party:)

Blog Title

Here are mine....


(One great post on my Pinterest Board.  My cousin and I co-contribute to a board so we can always share our humorous pins:)
Another great one lol

Frozen Custard
(Ollie's - when I go to my parents, Gilles - for when I visit my boyfriend, Culvers - when I travel)

(Name brands for cheap, I like it.)



Friday, July 20, 2012

School Memory Linky

I just got really excited:)

Jennifer at Simply Kinder is having a linky party where you link up your memories from kindergarten (or whatever grade you teach).

Since I teach k-4 maybe I should do one for each grade level....

  • I remember we weren't supposed to talk while we washed our hands when the teacher went with the two milk helpers to get our milk for snack.  I whispered to another kid to scoot up in line or something like that, and all the other kids told on me.  So the teacher made me sit behind her desk in time out while I cried for a LONG time.  The teacher had to console me cause I wouldn't stop crying, I was mortified that I was in trouble.
  •  For a good memory - we had our kindergarten graduation and we reenacted Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
First Grade
  • One of the other students in my class kept saying "Teacher" to get the teacher's attention.  So the teacher started calling her student.
  • The same student stapled her finger.
Second Grade
  • I don't really remember a whole lot, but I know we did a ton of fun crafts.
Third Grade
  • I would always ask the teacher if I could stay in for recess because my best friend would stay in to do homework, and I wanted to stay in with her.
  • We made rock candy in science class.
Fourth Grade
  • My teacher would have "Bear Parties" as incentives for good behavior.  If the class was good we got a bear in the jar.  We needed 100 bears to get a party.
  • During Teacher Appreciation week a local radio station had kids call in with things their teachers did.  I called in and shared about the parties, being young, over the phone the radio announcers couldn't understand me well and they thought I said my teacher had "beer parties".  Since my story was humorous I obviously made the radio:)  My family still gets a good laugh out of that.

Looking back, I'm surprised I don't remember more from when I was little.  I think I probably remember the most from first grade.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Time

Well, since it is summer, I have been busy trying to enjoy it!  But that means I have been away from blog land for a while.  I feel like I have a ton to share in my 1.5 week hiatus!  Ironic that for some of us teachers it seems like we have to try to pack as much stuff in to as short amount of time as possible to enjoy our time off, huh?  I have been doing just that, trying to squeeze it all in!

I have been busy trying to pack up all my stuff for the big move.  Here is a picture of almost all my teaching stuff which has been moved to my boyfriend's house.  He is graciously letting me keep my teacher stuff at his house until I can move in to my classroom, so it is one less thing we have to put in the trailer for the BIG move (of all my apartment stuff).  I was very proud of myself that this time I did not STUFF every box to the brim.  They are only filled as heavy as I can carry them.  Last time I moved, I filled the big boxes with box so full that it took two people to move the boxes.   I still need to move a couple things (like my filing cabinet, rolly chair, step stool for students, rug, and a couple small things), but it is nice to have a good portion of stuff out of my classroom.

Also, I went shopping today at Goodwill and Salvation Army looking for a kitchen table or bar stools for my new home.  I didn't find either of those items, but I did find these cool games!  I think the games will be a great way to practice numbers, letters, sight words, math facts, rhyming words, etc.  I'm super excited for these new games!  (As you might have noticed these aren't at my boyfriend's house yet....ooops.....another thing to move....)

I have also been busy reading this series.  If you haven't read it yet buy it here.  I am all done with the series, and I feel sooo accomplished!!!!
Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed 3-volume Boxed Set

Now it's on to this series.  I have read the first book City of Bones.  I liked it better than 50 Shades of Grey.  If you haven't read the Mortal Instruments series, it is kind of a combination of Harry Potter and Twilight.  I really like it so far, and the other people that I know who have read it just LOVE it.
Product Details

Soon I will be off to Minnesota for some fun in the sun!  I can't wait to have a couple days on the lake - boating and tubing and having bon fires.  Sounds great to me!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Advice to a New Teacher

Here is a great Linky idea from Deb at Fabulously First.

  1. Do not let students sit in your teacher chair...I know this sounds harsh and it is a great cheap incentive, but speaking from experience it is also a great way to spread lice:(
  2. Develop a way to track data.  My biggest fear as a first year teacher was that something would happen to me, and no one would have any clue about my students’ present levels.
  3. Even though your first year is all about keeping your head above water, try to plan a week in advance (even if you’re not required to) so that when you do get sick, cause you will, you’ll feel less stressed.  Also, have a seating chart, a brief description of what works with difficult students, and how to use your behavior management program.  If you have this done ahead of time getting sick will seem less stressful.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kindergarten Assessment Freebie

As I mentioned in this post, if my Kindergarten counting assessment (aligned with the CCS) sold well, I'd create similar assessments addressing the other standards.

Well, I just finished an assessment focusing on the Kindergarten geometry standards.  You can download the entire geometry assessment here.

Or you can download just the shape assessment here.  Here is a little picture from the assessment bundles.

Hope it is helpful for all you Kindergarten and special ed teachers:)

Since this is a freebie, I'm also linking up with Classroom Freebies.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Understanding Poverty #8

A Framework to Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne, Ph. D.

Chapter 8 - Instruction and Improving Achievement 

It is very difficult for me to summarize or pick out important points in this chapter because I didn't fully grasp the importance of this chapter.

Some things I did grasp from this chapter:
* students need to learn to identify information as related to a topic or unimportant to a topic
* use graphic organizers
* students need to develop goal setting

I know a lot of you work on goal setting with your students.  This is not something I have done.  I have always set the goals for my students (you need to get 39 points today in order to get a reward for good behavior), and they may not have even know what the goal was (aside from "learning to read" or "learning math facts").  After reading this book I want to work more on students setting their own goals, but I'm not really sure where to start.  How do you ensure that their goals are pertinent and realistic?  Do you start with a framework for the goals and have students fill in what their goal for their level will be?  And then after modeling the framework of goals for a little while, do you then let a student state a goal independently?  I'm just not how to start this easily.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated:-D

This concludes my note taking on this book.  I hope you have learned something new and are inspired to read this book.  It is very informative and definitely helped open my eyes a bit to what is going in the lives of some of my students.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Versatile Blogger

I'm so excited that one of my newest followers, Dana, at Fun in 1st Grade just awarded me with The Versatile Blogger award (and One Lovely Blog award, but as I have already been awarded this award you can check out that post here)  YAY for the new award!!!  Thank you Dana:)  Update - Traci at the The Benders Bunch has also given me The Versatile Blogger award.  Traci is a fellow special ed blogger, so check out her blog:)

Here are the seven rules to follow when receiving this award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.  X

2. Include a link to their blog.  X

3. Include the award image in your post.  X
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.  X

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.  X
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog.  X
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.  X  (I'm pretty sure I notified one of you twice, OOPS!  I guess twice is better than forgetting to notify one of you.) 

Here are the 7 random facts about me...
1. I just had my home inspection for my new condo that is 30 minutes away from where my boyfriend is currently living!
2. I can't wait to decorate my new home, but I'm absolutely dreading the moving process.
3. I have been reading the 50 Shades series and The Mortal Instruments series.  The Mortal Instruments reminds me of the Harry Potter series and is a lot more up beat than 50 Shades.  50 Shades is depressing me.
4. I'm hoping my boyfriend and I can find time this summer to spend a weekend at his parents' cabin on the lake.  I WANT TO GO TUBING!
5. I grew up on a farm in northern Illinois.
6. Recipes on Pinterest have actually got me interested in cooking.

Here are the 15 (+1 extra) wonderful bloggers I'm nominating for the award.  Hope you check them out!

Challenges make life interesting

Kindergarten Lifestyle

Sugar and Spice


A Turn To Learn

Joy of Life 2011

Blog Title

I apologize if they are not all aligned!  And I hope the links all work properly...

Just an FYI, I tried to pick blogs that had not already been given the award.  I'm sorry if your blog has already been chosen and I didn't realize it, but I want you all to know what wonderful blogs you have:)

ALSO, I'm super close to 100 followers!  I'm at 99 followers to be exact!!  Who will be 100?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Understanding Poverty - #7

A Framework to Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne, Ph. D.

Chapter 7 - Discipline

To best understand this chapter, it is important to read it for yourself.  It is very eye opening.  Parents in poverty do not view discipline the same way as people in the middle class.  The chapter talks about different behaviors students from poverty exhibit and why and how the middle class misinterprets these behaviors.  Payne also talks about the different communication voices teachers and students can use, and teachers often offend students and back them into corners with the town and wording of statements.

Payne suggests a behavior reflection sheet for students to fill out after poor behavior.  On this sheet they must identify other actions they could have taken instead of the one that got them in trouble.  Do you use any methods like this?  Have you seen improvements?  What do you think is helpful about this?

Has anyone used a metaphor story to help figure out why a student is using a certain behavior?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

International Blog Hopping Day

I got a really late start on International Blog Hopping Day, but I'm linking up with ingles 360 for a day in my shoes.  Which is just my actual shoes, since I'm starting a new job at a new school in the fall I don't really know what my schedule will be.  

Ruby Red Slippers

I LOVE shoe shopping....just like basically every other girl out there.  So any time I can use the excuse, my shoes are worn out, I NEED new shoes I take advantage of it.  However, instead of my shoes are worn out it usually goes more like this,  "ICK!! My shoes stink so bad I NEED new shoes!"  That being said, here are some of my favorite shoes:)

My go to, everyday school shoes...
My winter go to boots (not for recess duty).  I have them in black and tan.  So cozy!
Target - Women's...

And my running shoes on days I'm feeling worn out or like I'll have to chase kids a lot...

Can't wait to see other teacher's shoes to get some new ideas...I'm thinking about a pair of Toms for back to school.  Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Understanding Poverty #6

Chapter 6 - Support Systems

Something many people living in poverty lack is the ability to self-talk.  This is due to having to feeling like they do not have many options, and it is why they often say, "I can't".  

How many of you teach procedural self talk?  I would like to do more of this in my classroom, but I haven't quite figured out how.

What I currently DO do is teach my students how to procedurally handle problems on the playground.  Every day before recess we go over what to do if someone pushes us too hard in tag, is ignoring us, won't play with us, makes us mad, etc.  We talk about how hitting at school is not acceptable and what the consequences are.  We also discuss the rewards of good behavior on the playground.

I would also like to start teaching procedural self talk for beginning tasks in the classroom and for how to appropriately talk to adults without being rude.  I would love to hear how you teach procedural self talk in your classroom!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Check in with Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for this months Currently.
She is an absolutely entertaining blogger:-D

For reads - I LOVE reading.  Just like every other teacher, I have read so many professional development books, but I can't say there is one that I look back at or prefer over another.  I just love getting other people's perspectives and getting ideas from other teachers.  

And THIS is my FAVORITE read a loud.  Basically because I'm Ms. Johnson;)  It is a great read a loud though!
Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Top 10 Linky

YOUR Top 10 ________ hosted by Teaching My 3

Teaching My 3

Oh how I LOVE my iPhone<3  I miss "my iPad".  Since I have officially resigned and will be working at a new school next year, I had to return "my iPad" to the school.  (At my previous school, each teacher had an iPad and there was a "class set" of 30 housed in the library for teachers to check out and use in there classroom.)  I MISS having an iPad.  So in honor of the iPad, here are my favorite non school relate, just for me, apps.

1. Pinterest - Addicted.
2. Scamble with Friends, Free - I am not very good at it, but I love playing it.
3. Daily Ab Workout, Full Version - It is one of the few apps I have paid for on my phone and I LOVE it.  It gives me the ability to workout while I'm traveling (which is basically every other weekend since my boyfriend lives so far away...but I'm moving closer this school year! YAY!).
4. Whirly Word - You have 6 letters and you try to make as many words out of them as possible.  
5. Pandora - music on the go.
6. Sound Hound - Just incase I don't know what song is on the radio.
7. Facebook - just for when I'm waiting in line or have a free minute.
8. Words with Friends, Free - I will spend 10 minutes trying to find the play that will get me the most points.
9. Maps - because my GPS is crazy and doesn't take me the most logical routes on its own, so I have to do research each time....
10. Weather - I have all my "favorite" places on here (my town, my boyfriend's, my parent's, my brother's, my boyfriend's family's, my grandparent's, my school....) and I check it daily.

Hope you find an app to enjoy:)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Busy...busy...busy and Freebie

I have been busy preparing for the next school year and a BIG move.  On Thursday I put an offer on a condo and on Friday I found out they accepted my offer!  I am going to be the owner of my very own condo!!!

To prepare for this big move I have been packing and decluttering as much as possible.  I got rid of a few boxes of stuff that my roommate is putting on her family's garage sale.  Despite getting rid of stuff, I still don't feel like it's enough.  I just have sooo much school stuff, craft stuff, clothes, etc.  But you never know when you'll need it all!

In between packing, going to the beach, seeing friends for one last time before I move, getting everything in order for the big purchase, etc...I have a special freebie for you!  Check it out at my TpT Store.

I came up with these word lists at the end of this past school year, and I wanted to cute-sy them up to share with you all.  I hope they pass your visual approval:)  

These lists made it easy for me to assess students' ability to read short and long vowel words for their IEP goals.  I had 3 lists of each type of word to help prevent students from memorizing the words.  

Hope this is useful for you.  I will be linking it with Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday