Saturday, May 24, 2014

Five for Friday (er, Saturday)

Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party hosted by Doodlebugs Teaching, where you post five random things from today or this past week and on your blog. Then, you come back and link your blog post up at the bottom of this post in the linky tool.Grab the button above and link back to this post on your blog. 

Random will not even begin to describe my posts this week.  Hopefully, you make it to the end.....I posted my most favorite pic EVER in my 15 years of teaching!!
Mobile Dairy Farm
The Mobile Dairy Farm visited my school this week.  Oh what an adventure!!  Basically, it's a trailer.  With a cow. And a grouchy farmer.  He would bark at our kids for talking (understandable, they were talking,) but he was sooooo monotone I honoestly don't blame them.  My other favorite was when he asked for questions, they would ask, and he would yell at them because "I answered that in the beginning, obviously you weren't listening!"  
Sounds exciting?!  Basically, he's explaining cows, and how we get a bunch of 5th graders with spring fever.  He kept repeating the word "teat"  and pulling on the cows udders.  Imagine how that went with a group that also received "the talk" this week!  Oh the giggling!!  

"The talk"  
Ohhhh.....the boys and girls had their "talk" this week.  I don't think the giggling and whispering has stopped since.  

It's that "project time of year.....this is so true & cracks me up!!
This reminds me of "bad teacher"  This time of year.....I wish!
Lastly, I am thankful for my wonderful team! We work well, have fun, and collaborate,  I couldn't ask for a better group of teachers to work with!!
Of course, here's another pic from our trip to SeaWorld of one of my most favorite 5th graders....
This pretty much sums up our whole trip :) 

Friday, May 23, 2014

End of Year Bulletin Board Idea

So....who's ready for summer?!  I know I am!  Like most of you, we have had a "countdown" going for quite awhile now.  I am ALMOST more excited than the kids are for summer!  It's been a long year of struggles and accomplishments, and I'm ready for a vacation.

So begins the breaking down of my room.  A monstrous task, but at least I have some willing helpers. We just got the ok from my principal to take down student work outside & put up a "summer" themed bulletin board.  I chose a countdown theme, and also one that reminded my "eager" kiddos that school is still in session. I found the original idea on pinterest.

"Stay on Target, There's still ___ days left of school!"
Easy Peasy.  Cover your board (I *might* be using the same background that's been up since January--does blue glitter ever get old?!)  Put up a border, I chose this red chevron I found at

 Lakeshore, I found it online at Really Good Stuff (click the pic.)   You'll also need a target.  If you don't have one sitting around (who doesn't?!)  Here's some simple instructions: all I did was trace a bowl on red butcher paper to start with, cut it out.  Then, I glued it to white butcher paper, and traced a circle that followed the same outline about 4 inches all the way around.  Cut that out, and glued it to a red piece of butcher paper, repeat the process a few times (alternating red & white), and .......VIOLA!  Target.

To make the arrow, I just cut a triangle out of foil, and twisted some black paper for the straight part.  I stapled some "Fringe" cut out of paper to the top, BAM....easy arrow.

The last, is the countdown.  2 sets of squares with numbers on them.  I stapled them in correct number order, AND THEN stapled that bunch to the wall.  That way, I send a kid to tear a number off each morning.  

That's it!  Insta-board.

I'm. A. Fellow.

Wow.  I went to my Fund for Teachers orientation tonight.

We did all sorts of fun things like: listen to reporting requirements, fill out tax forms, and GET OUR ChECkS!!!  I am sooooooo pumped to be a part of this amazing organization.  Stephanie, our "fellow wrangler," and the nicest person I met all night, took us through all the ins and outs of being the best fellow we can be.  I met a ton of teachers tonight who have put together some mind blowing proposals.  Highlights were: trip to Japan to study habits of kids who think for themselves, trip down the "Fairy Tale Trail" in Europe, and of course the art teacher going through France and Amstrdam to study Impressionism.....le sigh.  I'm chomping at the bit to start writing my next proposal, but apparently I have 3 years to wait for that.  #sadface

There was an awesome luau themed reception to welcome us into the Fund for Teachers family. All the fellows from years past came to see old friends and welcome us.   Food, beverages, new friends, old friends..... What more could a girl ask for?!  Oh yeah, #lemmetakeaselfie

I know I've written about this before, but FFT is an amazing organization that awards grants to teachers each year to go out and experience things that will enrich their classrooms.  Each summer, teachers all across the country are traveling to destinations around the world; exploring, learning, and experiencing things that will change their teaching lives forever.  I can't say enough about how grateful I am to get this opportunity.  Click the pic to take you to their site.  Explore, learn more about the fellowship requirements....start thinking about your dream learning trip & apply to be a fellow next year!

What about y'all?  Anyone out there in the blogosphere been a fellow?  I'd love to hear about your trip....leave me a comment or message!

You'll be hearing LOTS more about my experience this summer.  Miss Salinas and I will be blogging the entire time we are in New York.  Saddle Up!

#FFT  #isitsummeryet?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sales, and thanks, and glitches....oh my!

Well, it looks like Teachers Pay Teachers is having a few technical difficulties.  The big Teacher Appreciation sale has been epic, but I guess we blew up their site with our mad shopping skills!  It may be frustrating now, but it also means zee sale will be extended! Visit TPT for some great deals.
oh yeah, My whole. Entire. Store. is on sale too!
Thanks Jen for the button :)
Head on over, look around, get your sale on! Enjoy the sale for a few extra hours!
#typical  #techissues

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Freebie Fr-unday! Tracking Student Behavior All Year Long

Yeah, I'm a little late with the freebie Friday, but who doesn't love a freebie?!

Ok, maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself here, but I've already started thinking about next year!  When I taught first grade, we tracked behavior all year long with a color system.  Now that I teach fifth grade, I don't think we need to be using colored calendars each day, but I do think parents need to be communicated with each day about their child's behavior.  Enter the "Husky Expectations" Calendar.

 I've laid out all the classroom expectations, and the consequences for not meeting them.  It's very clear & consistent.  I print out a calendar for every student each month; calendar on the front  and extended behavior log on the back.  Students keep this in a sheet protector in front of their homework folder.  Each afternoon, I write a note to document any behavior issues I had with particular students.  No issues= a stamp or a check....I have a behavior manager for this job.  It literally takes me a minute or so to do this, but it is golden for me in documentation terms.  Students get their parents to initial each night, and I take them up and file them at the end of the month for my records.  Pretty simple!  I made a generic "classroom expectations" version to share, but if there are any more huskies out there who want a "Husky" version.....send me a shout out!  Click any picture to take you to the download link.
Hope these are as useful for you as they've been for me!  Happy Fr-unday!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May Currently

It's that time again, can you believe it's already May?!  The countdown has begun in my classroom; we only have 4 more weeks to go!  SOOOOOO ready for the summer.  This first year in a testing grade level has been a rollercoaster ride.  The downs and ups have left me longing for a I can do it all again next year.  Can't wait!'s time to link up with Farley for the latest currently!  Love these!!
Listening:  I'm blogging from "The Boneyard."  It's a dog park/ adult playground!  I loves this place & so does Miss G.  She gets to run around & make new friends, I get to work outside and enjoy the weather....and chat up some peeps in the process.  

Loving :This weather!  This month in TExas is what I look forward to each year.  Highs in the 70s and gorgeous skies.  The bluebonnets are blooming, and everything fun is happening outside.  We Texans like to take full advantage of this weather, cause highs in the 100s are just around the corner!

Thinking: My to-do list is just too long.  Errands are what I'm dreading the most.  I am liking being able to kind of be back in the gym.  My knee rehab has gone well, and I'm released to workout lightly on this bad-boy!  Exciting and exhausting at the same time.  

Wanting:  We just got some new patio furniture, and I'm thinking my next work location might be upstairs on the patio with a cold beverage.  

Needing: Vacation.  Need I say more?!  Between STAAR, TELPAS, Standford, and benchmarks; I'm as mentally exhausted as my kiddos.  Calgon, take me away!  Cancun anyone?!

Surprise: I'm walking!  I'm 7 weeks out of my microfracture surgery, and I've been re-habbing like a pro!  No brace, no crutches for me anymore!  AND, I'm back in the gym.  Now maybe I can shed these pounds I've put on since this mess started!

20 days and counting ;)