Saturday, September 7, 2013

Two Weeks Down!!

     Well, we have completed our first two weeks of school at Crosby, and I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about that.  :)  I am excited about the year, and am still trying to get a good idea of what works and what doesn't with this new group....I'm sure most teachers are feeling the same way!
     For the first couple of weeks we have done a lot of review in math.  We have been working on place value, ordering numbers, and comparing them.  I made a little 5 day morning work review for these skills to use in my class next week.  You can grab that on my TPT page here!  I'm hoping this will be a great, quick review to use this week.  When it comes to math, I say practice, practice, practice!
     This week I will be introducing guided reading with my students.  I'm very excited about this!  I used to do guided reading when I taught fourth grade.  I know it's the best way to meet the needs of all of my students, so I am excited to get back into the guided reading groove.  :)  Any tips for this new adventure in third grade are greatly appreciated!
     Click here to get a fun get to know you freebie for your class!  Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is it Summer Yet?

With summer approaching, I'm sure everyone is feeling a little like I am......why are we still in school???  It's extra hard on those nice, sunny, warm days.  All I can think on those days is:  "I could be laying by the pool!"  But, here we are, still in school.  That's alright though, right?  I'll keep telling myself that!

      Over the past year and a half, almost two years really, I have been working on my Master's in School Counseling.  I finally have finished and will be getting my diploma next week!  I am so grateful to be done.  I'm hoping I will have some more free time and will be able to work on more fun, creative teacher projects!  I haven't had a lot of time to blog this year, or create things for my TpT store.  I had good intentions at the beginning of the year, but with my work/school schedule, and my social schedule, it fell through the cracks a little.

     However, I did have time to create a novel unit for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and just placed that on TpT.  You can find it here! It's a great novel unit to use at the end of the year!  :)  I always loved teaching this one when I taught fourth grade!  I think it could even be used for third graders!  :)

     I hope that you are having a great end of the year.....just think.....the end is in sight!  And as Dory says, "
Just keep swimming!"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Let Your Heart Be Heard......

     A year ago today, at around 3:20 in the afternoon, I huddled in a small library office with a few of my closest friends to take cover from one of the most horrific storms to ever hit my small town.  I remember sitting in the library moments before this EF-3 swept through the community of my school thinking, "we will be fine!"  I had friends from Arkansas texting me asking if I was okay.  I replied with something like, "yes, we are fine here....there's nothing to worry about.  I've lived here my whole life, it's just a warning."  I literally have lived in this town for my whole life, and heard countless warnings.  I remember sitting in the halls of what is now Johnson Elementary, waiting for a storm to pass.....but never worrying that a tornado would actually hit.
     But, a year ago today, my mind towards tornado warnings completely changed.  My town was hit.  My school was hit!  My student's homes were torn apart.  Some of them lost most, if not all of their material possessions.  My heart broke for them.
     As I sat in that library office, I began to pray.  My body was trembling, and I was afraid.  But I wasn't afraid for my life.  You see, I knew that if God chose to take my life at that very moment, I would be safe in His arms.  I would be in Heaven with Him, my Grandpa's and my big brother Tony.  I didn't fear for my life.  I even remember praying that if He had to take a life, that He could take mine because I knew that whenever He chooses to take me, I will be with Him.  But for my students and my coworkers and everyone else that was in Diamond Creek during that tornado, I didn't know if that was true for them.  I didn't want any of them to die not knowing where they would go!  I would hate for anyone, even those who may "hate" me, to die not knowing where they would end up.  Thankfully, God spared every single life that was affected on April 3, 2012 by the tornado.  He saved us all.  And I think that is one thing we were meant to learn from this experience!
     That experience completely changed me.  You can ask my family, I am not the same.  Some days it changed me for the good, but there were many days I had been changed for the bad....I was depressed, I was sad, I was hurting for reasons I couldn't even explain.  It was a traumatic experience, but a year later, I can honestly say that I was changed for the good because of it.  I know that God is in control.  I get scared sometimes, especially when the sky is a strange color, or I hear that there are storms coming. Standing under a wooden roller coaster this summer on the boardwalk in Galveston completely terrified me because the sound was almost identical to what I heard on that day last year.  But, altogether, I know that my God will supply ALL my needs, according to His will.  He will take care of me, and hold me in His hands.
     As I was driving to school this morning, I listened to the song that really put things into perspective for me last year.  It's called Sing Along by Christy Nockles.  It says:  "So let Your song rise, and fill up the air, let Your hope ring out, let Your heart be heard!"  I pray that through all of this, that God's Heart is heard.  I pray that everyone will see that my God is a POWERFUL God.  He can create a storm that is mighty enough to destroy anything and everything in it's path.  But He can also CALM that same storm, and protect every single person in it's path.  If He can save an entire community from an EF-3, He can absolutely save us all from the problems of this world.  "God sent His Son into the world, not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him."  John 3:17

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Super Solar Systems!

Lately, I have had a LOT going on!  On Monday, my family welcomed home my beautiful niece Joelle!  :)  My brother and his wife Amy flew to the DR Congo last week to get their baby girl and bring her home.  So, on Monday night, I was blessed to meet the most beautiful little three year old girl!              

I have also been working hard to finish up my masters in school counseling.  I started a little over a year and a half ago, and should be done as of this week.....but I got a little behind on my practicum hours and now I will be finishing in the next couple of months.  That was a bit of a downer for me, but it's alright!  :)  At least I will be done this school year!

So, that is what has been going on in my personal life.  At school we have been working on the Solar System!  That is such a fun unit!!  There is just so much that can be done with it....I wish that there was more time to really dive into it, but of course with the STAAR test coming up in Texas, we have a limited time for "fun" stuff!  :(  However, I was lucky enough to find this little gem on YouTube!!!

The lyrics to the song really help the kids understand the Solar System!  If you have time, check it out!  When we listened to it in class the second time (we listened to it completely first because it's just so fun), I paused the song on every verse and read the lyrics to the kids, we discussed them and then listened.  I did it that way so the kids would actually see that the song can help them learn a couple of facts about each planet.  :)

We also wrote a story about a U.F.O. crashing into our classroom, and then an alien from the U.F.O. joining our class.  We will be making it into a short movie this week in class and then sending it to the principal to add to our morning announcements because we have recently started doing them on a school wide PowerPoint and are able to add videos for all of the students to watch.  Hopefully our video will turn out well so that we CAN share it with the school without embarrassing ourselves haha.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog and if you have any ideas for teaching the Solar System, please share!  :)
As always, I would love for you to visit my TpT store! :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Lately, I have been so frustrated with how mean my kids can be to each other.  I'm sure every teacher feels this way at some point, right?  Or....maybe every day!  haha.  Well, last night I watched a video called Kid President Pep Talk.  If you haven't seen it, you definitely should watch it.  The kid is adorable and hilarious!  But, he also reminds you that we are all on the same team, so we need to start acting like it.  Check it out!  I even showed it to my students today, and then we discussed  what we can learn from it.  They actually got it too!!!  That really made me happy.  :)

Today, we also did a super cute sequencing activity that my teammate found on Pinterest!  Who doesn't love Pinterest, right?!?!  We sequenced the steps to blowing a bubble with bubble gum....of course we had to practice first!  That was the kids favorite part!  After the kids got some practice, they wrote down the steps to blowing a bubble.  Then they made a face out of construction paper, glued it to a big piece of construction paper, and we taped a small blown up balloon to the face!  Super cute!  Here's a link to the site where we found the "craftivity".

That's just a little bit of what's going on in my classroom lately, lots more still to come!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fun with Volcanoes!

Before the Christmas break, we had a LOT of fun in my classroom...probably more than I intended to have.  :)  In my last post, I talked about Christmas kindness.  We completed 11 random acts of kindness over the last two weeks of school before the break.  We did things like:  take cookies to the office staff, make cards for patients in the nursing home in town, give candy canes to each teacher, and we made a super cute Christmas tree for our principal with ornaments that said nice things about her.  The kids really loved it, and I'm hoping to incorporate at least weekly random acts of kindness for the rest of this year.  It's always nice to take some time away from our routine and do something fun, right?  :)

We also studied landforms and natural disasters for the last few weeks before the break.  We made tornadoes in a jar, and watched lots of Brainpop's on natural disasters....who doesn't like Tim and Moby?!?  And, the students each made a volcano at home, brought it to school and erupted it on the front lawn!  We could have used a little more vinegar and baking soda to make them erupt better, but hey!  We had fun!

The last thing we did with the volcanoes was on the day before school let out!  This was probably the coolest and cutest thing we could ever do with a volcano!  We did crayon art!  I went to Lowes and got a couple of 2x10 boards, and had them cut at every 6 inches.  The man cutting them thought I was crazy, but I told him no, I'm just a teacher!  I then sanded the sides and gave each student a board.  They painted the top part blue and the bottom green.  They then picked out a few of their yellow, orange and red crayons and I hot glued them to the board.  We then made a volcano out of construction paper, and glued it on top of the crayons.  (I would do that step last next time though!  The crayons melt a lot faster if there is no paper in the way of the heat.)  We then put a blow dryer to the crayons and melted them to make it look like actual lava was shooting out!  They turned out very cute, and the kids got to take them home.  I definitely suggest doing this!  Just make sure you start early, or plan a couple of does take some time, and a lot of patience!
Here are some pictures of the process!

If you want more information, just comment and I'll be happy to help!  By the way, since the boards were 2x10's, they easily stand up on their own.  Canvases are usually ideal for crayon art, but that can get pretty expensive!  I got 2 2x10's for around $15, and used them for 2 full classes!  They stand up on their own, or you could even put a picture hanger on the back if you want!

I hope you have a great week back at school!  And, as always, check out my teacher store for more ideas!  :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Kindness

Well, it seems that my life is a bit of a whirlwind lately.  I have not been able to keep up with everything, especially this blog!  But, today I am making time to get caught up on things like:  sleeping!!!!, cleaning, a little schoolwork, and updating this blog!  :)

With it being my first year in third grade, I am constantly looking for new ideas to use with my students.  One thing that I have noticed, no matter what grade level I teach, is that children can be mean to each other!  I'm sure that is no surprise to you.  Well, as I was looking on Pinterest the other day, I found a great idea to spread Christmas cheer and kindness.  So, we started it on Thursday.  The activity is called "Random Acts of Kindness."  It is super simple!  You can find it here!  In the packet, you will find a letter from the "Kind Kids Club", asking your students to join by doing random acts of kindness. You can spread the actions out, or do one a day.  We are doing one a day up until our Christmas party. There are 11 ideas in the packet, I believe, and there is a blank one also so that you can add some if you want.

Now, here's the fun part!  The letter from the "Kind Kids Club" tells the kids to open their present to find out their first assignment.  So, I wrapped a big boot box and placed all of the assignments inside, along with most of the supplies that we will need to complete them.  When my kids came back from P.E. that morning, they saw this......

Of course they were super excited and wanted to open it.  So I read them the letter, and then we opened the present, after everyone agreed to participate.  This is what was inside:

     The first act was to take cookies to the secretaries, which we went ahead and did for the whole office staff.  The kids had so much fun, and the office staff was very grateful.  It was a great experience!  Friday, we made a big banner saying Thanks to our lovely lunch staff for making us delicious food everyday.  They were also very grateful!  We can't wait to find out what we will do on Monday for our assignment!