Friday, July 31, 2015

I Love B2S (and a GOOD SALE)!!!!!!

Yesssss… it is true … I LOVE B2S!  I know … I know… I do get that #summertimesadness because I do LOVE summer… BUT…

There is nothing like getting ready for B2S!  You are rested and excited with anticipation for the upcoming school year.  You have a chance (yes, I really mean … TIME) to tweak, reorganize, and prepare.  I always feel like B2S is a teacher's new year … most people make resolutions in January for the new year … but me … I make them at the beginning of the school year.  You are back on a schedule (fyi- I am totally OFF a schedule right now!  Late nights and late mornings … yeeeeeesh!)  

But back to B2S, what else I love - SCHOOL SUPPLIES!  Why are they so addicting?!?  I can't go into any store without taking a quick peek at the supplies … and obviously buying some!

Can we also talk about how I LOVE decorating my classroom!?  I love creating bulletin boards and picking color schemes. It is seriously my FAVORITE part!   Is that weird??  I am loving seeing everyone's class on insta!!  Keep them coming… people are so creative!

After reflecting this summer … I am implementing some new resources:

I am soooo excited to use my NEW math centers that I created.  They review major 1st grade standards.  I am super excited to start my year off using these, so that we can get into our routines for math workshop and practice skills.

 Check them out here:

AND… it can get a little crazy when students are exchanging books in your library.  I created these to keep myself (sane) and my students on track and not wasting time!

So go on over and check out the big B2S sale at TpT!

(Feel free to grab this and use to promote the sale)

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I am linking up with Rachel - The Tattoed Teacher - on this Sunday Funday for a <<<get to know you>>> ice breaker link up!  



I hope you enjoyed this quick yes/no link up!

PS- I think I talk to myself WAAAAAY too much when I am driving!  #MassachusettsProblems #youknowwhattheysayaboutourdriving

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five For Friday! #AMY&KKtakeonVirginia


Hi Friends!  I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer and taking time for them!  I know that I have been.  I did not realize how much I needed some "me time".  This Five for Friday is a fun one … hahaha starring my trip with my 16 year old cousin to Virginia for her softball nationals!!!!  And… it has been a TOO long since I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teacher… Five for Friday!  

Here we go!  


I was the lucky winner to take KayKay to her softball tournament this week.  We have had a lot of laughs … :)  We made it safely on our plane, to the rent-a-car lot, and to our hotel!!!!!  Check!  Check!  Check!  We are OFF to a great start!


Girlfriend played awesome in ALL 3 of her games yesterday!  She caught, played center, and first base!  We really lucked out with the weather … it was around 82 with a breeze!  Way cooler than what we were expecting.


Soooo… I randomly remembered that there was a great cupcake place in DC that I saw on tv.  I am a reality tv junkie!  We put Georgetown Cupcakes in our GPS and headed that way!  First of all, it was in a SUPER cute area!!!!  Second of all, those cupcakes were INSANE!  Seriously, delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Like we had one for dinner … totally normal when you are on vacation?!?


My cousin is obsessed with Chipotle, which she refers to it as potle.  When I knew we were going to Virginia, the first thing I googled was Chipotle and what do you know … they had one!  


Then we went mini golfing to this super fun place!  



SOOOOOOOO many selfies that are AWFUL!!!!!!

Well… we are off for more softball!  :)  Thanks for stopping by!  

Monday, July 20, 2015

PrACTice Like A Champion #Discipline

Next up… discipline!  
We ALLLLLL need discipline in our life :)

Classroom management can make or break your school year.  This is the area that soooooo many teachers struggle with… so believe me… YOU aren't alone!  My first year teaching, I swear I could not get my students to sit in a seat … #thestruggleWASreal
My first year of teaching was a HUGE shock learning year!  I have worked very hard to find strategies that fit my personality and help all students be successful in my class!

So what is classroom management?!!

Classroom management are the strategies that you use to keep students engaged, on task, productive, organized and at the same time minimizing negative/disruptive behaviors.

YEA… it is A LOT!  But it is so very important to your day and to your students.  Classroom management is worth spending the time on!  Check out my post on Routines & Procedures, because having those in place is a game changer to the overall flow of your classroom.  

So where should you begin?  

Establish your classroom expectations WITH your students.  YES! YES! YES!  I kick this lesson off with a read aloud, What If Everyone Did That?  by  Ellen Javernick.  A great book to talk about why we need to have expectations (rules).  I like to have my students talk to their partners to brainstorm class expecations and WHY we need them.  This is a great opportunity for us to discuss how to behave appropriately and if we all hear the discussion it adds an element of accountability.  

Accountability… is a must!  Other ways I get my students to be held accountable while we establish our rules, is that our rules are written by them!  Yes... a little interactive writing gets them even more involved!  Lastly, we all sign and agree that we are going to follow these expectations.


Get to know your students AND their families.  
THIS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE strategy for classroom management that I have found.  Your students are more likely to have a positive attitude and follow expectations when they know you are invested in them.  You want to know their likes and dislikes.  Make that personal connection.


Ok… and for their families (this part was hard for me and made me super nervous) but their parents want to KNOW that you like their child and you want their child to do well!  They really want their child to be successful and happy.  When the child knows you are all working together and communicating, positive changes will begin to happen.  
So… when communicating with parents the first time that school year, YOU NEED TO BE POSITIVE!  You need to reach out for a positive reason.  I suggest finding something in the first 2 weeks of school to contact home on and let their parents know something AWESOME they did!

AND … the sorority girl Pro-Con-Pro approach
(I was not a sorority girl, but I had a principal who was and taught me this) .  Not every time you need to talk to a parent is for something positive, and that is the truth.  So start off positive (pro), go into the negative(con), and go back to a positive point (pro).  That is a great strategy to use in any situation actually!

Don't call your students out in front of everyone.  Nobody likes to be embarrassed and it really does not help.  Pull the student aside or out in the hall and have a private conversation.  Talk about making better choices and give them strategies to help their behavior.

But… do call out the positive in front of everyone!  Thank your students for behaving appropriately.  Yeppp… they LOVE that!  You will see that behavior more and more.  Praise the positive!

When it comes to discipline, you need to be consistent, fair and real.  Students notice everything! AND… they will totally see through you if you are not being real.  

 I use a clip chart in my classroom.  It keeps me in line (haha) and my students are held accountable.  It is used school-wide with school-wide consequences.  However, if they move their name up, they get special paper!  
Oh what is special paper you ask… let me tell you … 
I can't keep up with rewards or any of that type of stuff.  
I just can't!  So I got this cute little box and some scrap book paper.  I cut up the scrap book paper up (uneven as you will see) and put it in the box.  If they move their name up on the clip chart and have an outstanding day, they get special paper (aka a POSITIVE note home)!  My students named it "special paper" so that is what we called it,  AND they are OBSESSED with getting it!  

Alright, I hope this helps with discipline in your class!  You can do this.  It is always a work in progress and you will need to be flexible! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

PrACTice like a Champion! #back2basics

So here is the back story behind my blog series …

I believe that EVERYONE should be the best person that they can be in all aspects of their life.  During the spring, I was reflecting on my classroom culture and my students' strength and weaknesses.  I was thinking what can I do better as a teacher to create the best possible culture in my class and teach my students about character (and to OWN these positive character traits). How many times do we say "be responsible", seriously what does that even mean to a 7 year old?!?  
 Around the same time, I was attending my cousins' softball games and started noticing the different expectations from team to team.  Some teams had more respect for their coaches than others, some teams were hustling on and off the field, some teams were encouraging their teammates, and others weren't so supportive.  During these games, I noticed that there are SOOOO many different expectations from player to player - team to team.  Who sets these expectations?  How does one know the expectation?  How does one acquire positive character traits?  A lot was going through my head… and then I noticed that my 11 year old cousin was missing certain expectations of an athlete (that was making me crazy… who walks? haha)  But the reason why she wasn't performing the expectation, was that she was never taught.  She wasn't aware of the expectation.  How was she supposed to know that hustling on and off the field was important if no one told her?  Once I talked to her about why athletes hustle on and off the field AND had her practice… she LEARNED to hustle!  #timedher   


 I had an AH-HA moment… students need to be taught expectations and learn about character, just like my cousin needed to be taught the importance of hustling.   

OK … so here we go let's get our students ACT-ing like Champions… first up … 

Have you ever watched a sports team warm up before a game?  Every team member knows the routines and procedures for their warm up without their coach yelling at them what needs to be done … AMAZING right!?  How do they ALL know what is expected?  Yep… someone taught them and they practiced!

It is the same idea for our classroom.  We need to communicate ****TEACH**** our expectations to our students and let them know WHY the routine/procedure is necessary.
Seriously … how many times do you get annoyed over something (aka the pencil situation) that seems so silly?

  The routines and procedures are the warm ups to our school day.  Sounds simple … right?  I seriously think that establishing your routines/procedures is one of the most IMPORTANT parts of the year!  Routines and procedures are worth putting the time in at the beginning of the year.  Take several days to teach through modeling and practicing.  Spending that time at the beginning of the school year mastering your routines/procedures will allow for more time on task and learning for your students, which is the ultimate goal.  Students will know the structure of your day and will become more independent and not ask you 29348984929 questions.  You will be able to have more time on teaching, rather than dealing with basic stuff (Can I go to the bathroom … in the middle of your teaching… yes make a procedure around that)!!!!  

With establishing routines and procedures, you are teaching your students, at the beginning of the year what is the expectation from them each minute of each day.  Routines/procedures makes your classroom run much more efficient.  This will allow more time for learning and less time feeling annoyed/stressed! :) 

This can be super helpful for teachers who use the workshop model or are pulling groups because students will understand what to do when they aren't directly working with the teacher!  My students know they can't ***unless it is super important*** come over to me when I am pulling groups … BUT… they do know ways to manage themselves during that time.  How to go to the bathroom, ask a friend for help, etc.   

Grab the template above to start planning what routines/procedures that you want in your classroom!!!

I know that was A LOT… :)  Thanks for reading!!!  :)