Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Resolutions

I am linking up with Second Grade Nest

I need to exude more compassion, interest, and intelligence in general. I seem like I don't care too often because I don't want to seem like a bitch. I need to be more vocal. If something is bothering me, I need to let my inner aggressively assertive (aka bossy side) out.

I love to read, but really need to branch out from what I typically read. I've heard of this challenge and always wanted to do it, so here is to 2015 being the year. I also want to continue to grow the book club that I organize and to help my students develop a love of books. 

Be more confident and assertive at work. It's my first year, but I am smart and educated and know a lot. I can make a difference in my school, I just need to let other people know that.

I want to double the size of my TPT store in the next year. This is my first year, and I feel like I am off to a good start, but I want to keep pushing myself through the second year. 

Go to the gym or get outside to work out. Who knows, maybe I will rekindle my love of working out this year. I used to love to go to the gym. In recent years it has become more and more of a chore. I need to find that passion for exercise and for my health again. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Divergent discussion questions for the classroom

Lately the kids in my room have been reading The Divergent series.

The series has been great for them. It has led to a lot of different conversations about what they want for the future and what the problems with going to extemes of your personality are. I have kids with emotional/behavior disorders and kids on the autism spectrum, so it has been eye opening to them.

Some things that we have talked about.


Why is it important to have people in the world who do things for others?

What is the problem with only doing things for others?

Why is this not the ideal person to be? 

Should the President be Abnegation?


What is the different between being brave and being a bully?


It's good to be smart, but why shouldn't you think of youself as better then others for being smart?

Is being smart the key to being successful?


What is the problem with just farming and smoking pot?

Why wouldn't you want to live that kind of life?


Why should you try to not see things as black and white?

Why don't we just go around saying whatever we think (being honest)?

What are the problems with being too honest?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

High/Low 9/6

Time for a high/low for the week. Thank you A First For Everything for hosting.

I had a nice talk with the kids I work with about what art is. To have some unique art in my classroom I printed out screenshots I had taken from World of Warcraft of pretty scenes in it. 

I like World of Warcraft a lot, mainly because it is such a bright, pretty game. The kids asked me about the games that I play, and I told them what game I like, and pointed out the screenshots on the wall.

It made me a little more relatable to the preteen boys I work with in my EBD classroom and got us talking about art in video games.

When given free time in advisory one of my students created with with domino pieces. He said that it reminded him of pixle art. I gave him a pride ticket for working diligently on it. Dilegence is one of the core values of the school that I am teaching at.

I went to a local elementary school and advertised for Girl Scouts at their open house. I got a lot of people who were interested. I'm always happy to let the community know that Girl Scouts is available and that troops are in the area.

I remember a few years ago someone I worked with asked if there were even scouts anymore. 

I got involved in Girl Scouts again because of my neice. I'm glad that I have found it though. I love to volunteer and working with the little kids is a nice break from being at the Jr. High.

I had my first fight in my classroom on Friday. Both of the boys got suspended. I really like both of the boys and hate to see them not able to participate in school.

I learned a few things from the experience though to get me through the rest of the year.

1. If a kid comes in looking tired and dirty (as one of the boys did) make sure that I stay in close proximity to them in advisory.

2. Do not have games or free time in advisory on Friday. The kids are too emotional about the weekend. I'm going to give them free time for being good in a Wednesday instead.

3. No matter how minor the fight is (and it was a minor fight) the kids see it as a major event in the day. To them it was a huge FIGHT, even though to me as an adult I saw it as one poking the other and then the other one punching him in the arm, then them shoving once before I broke them up. Be sympathic to their feels about it, not matter how minor it actually was.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Five For Friday: Week Before School starts


So this week has been crazy busy, but also crazy exciting. Here it goes.

1. I started out the week with training on PBIS. That is positive behavior support. The school I am at is on top of it, as they seem to be on top of everything. I'm lucky to be going into a school that has such a great community and such a rich school culture.

2. I then had the official school district training. I am officially a part of the school district, yay me.

3. I got together my classroom. It still needs a lot of work, but that will come as I am able to purchase some furniture pieces that are missing and add more stuff to make it look more inviting. The room will fill up, even if it does look a little empty now. 

4. I experience my first 12 hour day as teacher. I had an 8 AM training and an open house that lasted until 8 PM. It was a very long day. I got to meet a lot of the staff members at the school and got a lot of work done. I also enjoyed meeting a few of the students that I am going to be working with this year. Here is a picture of me at the end of it. I was so tired, meeting a ton of new people can be exhausting.

5. I went to a local gaming/comic book shop, Olympic Cards and Comics, and found out that the added a second floor gaming area to their shop. I'm not that into gaming or comic books, but by adding that space that makes them the largest gaming shop in America. It's kind of cool to see a local business become so successful. I was there picking up Magic cards to use as an incentives game with my EBD students. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Back to School Memories

Linky with Always a Teacher, Forever a Mom on her Sunday Night Whispers Linky. I was a quiet kid, and I always remember that I was never comfortable in school until at least a month into it. Here are three of my memories.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Buy 2 Get 1 Sale

For the month of September I am having a Buy 2 Get 1 sale.

Happy shopping.

High-Low Linkie 8/23

Time for a weekly linkie with A First for Everything. Here it goes, here is my high and low for the week.

I saw my new classroom and got introduced to some of the amazing staff members and the principal at the school I will be working at. Also, I had a friend up to visit for the week, so get to share the experience with him. I am super excited to be starting at a new school and in a new community that I don't know as well as the ones I have working in previously. It's a new challenge and a fresh start.

I found out how extremely busy the next week is going to be with trainings, meetings, and getting my classroom setup for the next school year. Goodbye summer, you were wonderful.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My New Classroom before pictures

I went to see my classroom yesterday. The room is large. I definitely have a lot of work to do to set it up, but I love that it is a blank canvas at this point. 

The room is a portable, so I'm going to need to be really creative in my storage solutions.

Eventually I am also going to need to invest in some small table and shelves. That can wait until I have a few paychecks under my best though.

I'm excited to have my own space. Last year I was a long term substitute. I walked into a room that was cluttered and full of resources that were not needed. This year is a chance to pick and choose what goes into my classroom.

My goal is for everything in the room to have a purpose. Down to every piece of paper in the room being there for a reason.

Girl Scouts Elsa Badge

This week the girls in my troop worked on the Elsa badge for girl scouts. It was a great meeting. The girls were all really engaged in the activities and the parents are great.

The girls made frozen snowflakes by folding paper and cutting shapes into them to create unique snowflakes.

They then painted them with a mixture of dyed shaving cream and glitter which my co-leader provided.

The girls loved doing something crafty and it gave the girls a chance to get to know us better as leaders.

My contribution to the meeting was to bring my guitar and play music from Frozen for the girls. I didn't practice enough, but the girls didn't seem to mind. They thought it was cool that I still knew how to play guitar, as I told them that I had taken lessons when I was their age. 

We also played a game of hide the frozen object. The little girls loved this game, although they didn't get that you were supposed to walk away from the object after you hid it. It was so cute to see them play it. It's going to be a handful having 3 5 year olds in the troop this year, but it will be fun as well.

Several of the parents are going to go to the Frozen sing along that is happening in our community this Friday. It's a good feeling to know that we also are helping the families link up to events in the community, as well as events through Girl Scouts. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Girl Scout I Love Horses badge

 I Love Horses
I Love Horses
I am a Girl Scout Leader. I did Girl Scouts as a kid, and now am a co-leader for a local troop. This summer we have been working on doing things with the kids that they have a lot of interest in. All of the girls love horses, so we did the I Love Horses patch.

When doing the patch the kids did a packet of information on horse. The packet is available on my TPT store. 

Here are some sample pages from the information pack.

The girls had a great time learning about horses.

We also played a do as the leader does game, where one person makes a horse noise and the other people have to copy it. The game we played was like follow the leader, where the leader did one horse gait and the children copied it. 

The games were a great way for the girls to get to know each other. The activities got them talking about something that they all were interested in and had past experiences about. 

It was all in all a really good opportunity for the girls to get to know each other a little bit better.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August updates

The summer is flying by.

I just got a call from my new principal saying when I could go see my new classroom and to sign up for the before school training sessions. So excited to be beginning a new school year.

For me this will be a total change, as the school I am going to is in a community that is a very different demographic then the ones that I have taught in before. I live along the I-5 and near a military base, so am used to working with a population that has a high mobility rate. 

The school I will be working in is in a community that is 30 minutes from I-5. It is in an old logging town, but is more like a suburb or bedroom community now. 

It will definitely be a new adventure. I'll post pictures of my new classroom soon.

I've been working hard to get done with the current project I am working on for Teachers Pay Teachers, which is word work for Trophies Grade 2. I am also working on several fall products that I hope do well. I created a few holiday products last year, but no seasonal ones.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Children's book lists

top 100 children's books of all-time

When I need inspiration I look at lists like these of the best children's books. It helps me think of new books to create book studies on, as well as just reminds me of what I love about education.

I was always a book worm when I was in school. I didn't think of myself that way, but looking back, when other kids where socializing, I was reading. It was an escape that I needed badly back then.

As a teacher now I want to help students develop a love of reading. I hope I can inspire them to go places, at least through books right now, that they otherwise would not be able to go to.

Today I am planning to go to the library. I love libraries and all they do for a community. Maybe I'll pick up one of the books that are on one of these lists to share with my students.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Letter Sound Sorts

I just created some products on doing letter sound sorts. I'm really proud of them and hope that they stand out among the many other phonics products that are out there on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Here they are:

Sound Combinations word sorts

Letter Sound Sorts

I made sure to include lots of activities into each. Click on the link to check them out.

Here are some example worksheets from my combination word sorts.

And here is one of the cut and paste activities from the single letter sorts pack.

You can see these and other products I have created at