Tuesday, August 12, 2014

meet the teacher

I am linking up with Stephanie from Falling Into First for her Meet the Teacher linky! I did one of these when I first started blogging, but thought it would be fun to do again!


This will be my 9th year teaching...Holy Moly! I taught Kindergarten for 3 years, 5th for one (PROPS TO THOSE THAT DO BC I NEVER WANT TO AGAIN!), and this will be my 5th year in Fourth! I teach in Southport, NC, which you may know as the setting of Safe Haven! It was also filmed here, so if you've seen the movie, you know where I am!


I've been married to this guy for 3 years now.  We met in 2006 thru friends, but didn't start dating until 2009.  He is definitely my rock, my best friend, and I don't know what I would do without him! He also is a wonderful dad to these two beauties...they keep us busy for sure!

 Isnt that the cutest thing ever? She loves her little sis!


THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

Family and friends, the beach, my iPhone, chocolate ice cream, Target, my king size bed, Dr Pepper


 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
An Accountant....sounds boring, but I love math and think I would be good at it!


THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
sarcastic, funny, motivated

 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

especially funny in NC at the moment!
 

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?

my daddy...I'd love for him to be able to meet his grand daughters!

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?

ooo toughy...right now it would be CRAZY MESS I'M IN


 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
wiggle my nose and have whatever I want/need appear or disappear! I want to be Samantha Stevens!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?

"Life isnt about finding yourself, its about creating yourself"

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

 probably Rumpshaker or Baby Got Back (and no, I do not have a fascination with butts!)
i can't sing, but can bust a rap!

 
 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Neither usually...I love to sleep in, but go to bed at a decent hour.  These days though, baby gets me up between 5-6. 

Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU! 

I started out as a dance major...I took classes from 3 years of age until 28.  I still teach the dance group at my church!

Be sure to link up with Stephanie to meet some fabulous bloggers!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August already?

I can not believe it is August already! Summer is just flying by. I am hoping to get out to my room next week and get it all put together.  Is it sad that I am only planning on going 1 day, and just get what I can done? I'm not going to be all anal this year like I normally am...well at least I hope not! I've got babies to take care of!

Anywho, I am linking up with Farley for August Currently...


1. Listening- I just put my youngest daughter to bed, and hubs and oldest have been asleep for a bit..so it's just me and the dog.  She only comes out when the babes are asleep...so sad.  She's a toy poodle, so she gets scared easily, yet also thinks she's a pit bull at times? 

2. Loving- new babe is sleeping fantastic! Every night she goes between 5-6 hours so that equals a pretty happy rested mama! I hope I'm not jinxing it!

3. Thinking- I need to sleep...sleep when baby sleeps right? But I keep finding all of these great ideas for my classroom and feel like I should be working on them!

4. Wanting- I ordered some border, notebook paper charts, awesome letters, and a few other things for my classroom.  As soon as it arrives, I will go start working in my room.  School is 35 minutes away, so I only want to go once if I can help it.  

5. Needing- lose baby weight...I thought nursing helped you to lose weight? I know it's only been a month, but I'm not expecting it all to come off at once.  It would be nice if the scale moved down a lb or two though! Any suggestions, please send my way.

6. First day- Technically, August 18 is my first day back.  But I am taking another month of FMLA to stay home with baby.  I just can't see going back to work when she is only 6 weeks old.  Family must come first. I may go the 18th for the Welcome Back meeting though...just so I'm not out of the loop when I do go back.  Kiddos start August 25. 

Well that's it! Be sure to link up with Farley!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Writer's Workshop Part 2

Well so much for blogging daily during the girls naps! One goes down, I spend a little time with the other one, put her down, and the 1st wakes up.  Get her down again, and the 2nd wakes up.  So here I am, hoping I can type this in about the 5 minute span I probably have before one wakes up!

In my last post I said I would talk about writing folders and notebooks.  I wish I had pictures, but since I went out on maternity leave and missed the last few weeks of school, I left them all there :(  So try to use your imagination!!

I bought 5 different colors of 3-pronged folders (a class set) and the same colors of folders without prongs, but were already hole punched.  I turned the flat folder inside out, and then inserted it into the 3-pronged folder.  I taped the flat folder together with duct tape, and labeled the sections blank paper, draft, ready to revise/edit, and final.  The students wrote in their notebooks everyday (I'll show you that setup in a minute), and then we chose one to take thru the writing process to publish.  In all honesty though, a regular 2 pocket folder would've been fine.  Half of the time Most of the time students didn't put their paper in the correct pocket, and it drove me crazy way more than them.  They knew where they were in the process and didn't need 4 different pockets to help them.  So this year, 2 pocket folders it is!

The notebook was a better idea.  I got this idea from Pinterest, but it came to this blog Apples of Your Eye! 

All of the writing teachers 3-5 decided we wanted to follow this setup.  I liked how it had their writing ideas at the beginning for them to refer back to, and a table of contents to be able to find their writings.  Surprisingly, they really kept that up!  But now that I've used this setup for a year, I plan to make a few changes.  For one, I think I will organize it by Narrative, Opinion and Informational.  I will still have them put their writing notes in the notebook, but under the category that it refers to.  I think it will help with their understanding better, and they can flip straight to that section and have everything about Narratives together. I will update once I get back into the classroom as to how well I think that is going!

What about you...how do you organize your writer's notebooks? 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Writer's Workshop Part 1

Last year my principal decided that our school wide focus needed to be on writing.  This was partly because of Common Core, and the fact that our students had to answer critical response questions on a Social Studies and Science test, and they did horrible.  So we implemented Lucy Calkin's Writer's Workshop.  For grades 3-5, this meant we departmentalized so we could get the writing component in.  I was lucky enough to be chosen as the writing teacher :)

We had 5 different blocks, that lasted 55 minutes each.  It was tough at first because you really have to get on a good schedule.  I needed a 5-15 minute mini lesson, 35-40 minute writing period, and then 5 minutes of partner time and 5 to share at the end.  If you add all of that up, you can clearly see it exceeds 55 minutes! Some days I had the students share with their partner instead of having a few share to the entire class...so that saved us some time.  But I was having difficulty with the mini lesson part!  I decided to implement a timer, and if I didn't get to a certain point, we would pick up where we left off the next day. At first it annoyed me like crazy because I hated having to quit in the middle of a lesson, but I quickly learned that our writing is evolving anyways, so it wasn't THAT big of deal.  Plus, if I noticed that a student was ready for that particular lesson during our conference, I would go ahead and share it with them and challenge them to work on it in their writing.

I have to admit, I was worried how my students would react to A) having a writing class, and B) writing in general.  They really hadn't been taught HOW to write in a couple of years, because of such a big focus on Reading and Math.  But they stepped up to the plate beautifully! I think it helped that they were able to pick their topics (for the most part) and they REALLY got into it! It will be interesting to see how the upcoming group does considering they have a year under their belt now.

Next time I'll post about our writer's notebooks and folders...it really helped organize their writing!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Do I have any followers left?

Holy Smokes Batman! I haven't blogged since last August? I'll be surprised if anyone even follows the blog anymore :( I promise I have a good reason....

If you recall, last April I had baby girl.  She is so full of life, and has definitely kept me on my toes and entertained! In October, our house sold, and we bought our house in November! So we were very busy!! Not to mention, this also happened...



That's right...there are now TWO girls!  14 months apart...yikes! This little bundle was born June 30th (which was my dad's birthday...he passed away the day after hubby and I got married), so needless to say, my days are FULL!! But I promise, I am going to try to be better about blogging, hopefully during nap times, and get some writing ideas out there! I couldn't believe how far my students came with writing in just one year :)

Anyways, I hope you're still out there in bloggy land as a follower...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Anchor Charts

Well...it's that time.  Monday is my day to start back to school.  The kiddos don't come until the 26th though.  I went out to school all last week to work in my room, and I'm glad I did b/c 1- we have a TON of Professional Development next week, and 2- my mom had some mini strokes yesterday so I will be zipping out of work to get to her every day next week.  My room isn't completely finished, but I should be able to finish it Monday afternoon.  At least I hope!

As most of you know, this year I will be teaching writing to the entire 4th grade.  I will have FIVE blocks.  Count em...ONE..TWO...THREE...FOUR...FIVE!  It got me thinking about anchor charts.  I'm not going to have enough space in my room for five classes worth of anchor charts, much less want to write them that many times!  Then I ran across this post from Ladybug Teaching Files. I LOVE how Kristen makes hers on the computer! I think I will do that, and teach them how to use PowerPoint at the same time!

How do you use anchor charts?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Changes all around!

This is going to be quick because I am EXHAUSTED! I went out to school today to work in my classroom, and stayed way later than I had originally planned! But I was able to get a lot accomplished, so that's good news at least :)  Hopefully by the end of the week I will be able to give a classroom reveal!

As you know, I have been teaching 4th grade math for the past few years.  This year, my school is implementing Lucy Calkin's Writers Workshop school wide.  However, with the way our schedule was for 3-5, it was going to be hard for the Reading teacher to fit everything in in the time frame she had.  So my admin has decided to departmentalize us (1 teach science, 1 teach math, 1 teach reading, 1 teach SS, and 1 teach writing), and I will now be teaching 4th grade writing! I am so excited! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE math, but I was ready for a change...even though I didn't want to switch grade levels and learn an entire new curriculum with a new baby at home! So this is GREAT! The best part is, I used Lucy Calkins during my student teaching, and carried that into my own classroom when I was self-contained, so this isn't going to be entirely brand new to me!

The only stressful part is...now I have nothing to go on my walls.  Everything I have had up for the past few years is math...so nothing that I have for writing matches my color scheme.  Guess what I'll be doing all weekend? Ugh....

How do y'all work this at your school? Do you team teach, departmentalize, or stay self-contained?