Friday, August 31, 2012

First Full Week

I know, I know. Horrible blogger for not updating this week! I am so exhausted. I have been going to bed at 8 pm some nights! I am so ready for this weekend, getting some real sleep and planning for the week ahead. However, I am going to do that on Sunday and Monday. I need tonight and tomorrow to just vegetate (and see Expendables 2 with the bf). My 5th period on-level English class is off the chain. I have no idea what to do with them other then to implement a ticket system and hope that works. Pray for me! Other then that, my classes are lovely. Especially my honors kids. They are so cute. I plan on doing a classroom reveal at some point next week. It is going to be different because we have to share classrooms in my school (overcrowding). Look forward to that!

How about you guys? Have a good first week?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Therapeutic Thursday!

I know I skipped over Where I Teach Wednesday because a) my classroom isn't ready yet and b) because I want to do that post justice. My new high school is GORGEOUS and I can't wait to share it with you!

Now on to the good stuffs! During the school year I am usually on robot mode and it is very hard for me to come out of my teaching mode. I have a few things that will make me normal again!

1. Community
I adore this show. It cracks me up! My boyfriend also thinks that I am just as psychotic as Annie too lol.


2. Pretty Little Liars
I don't know how it happened, but I got sucked into this murder mystery.

3. Ben and Jerry's Mint Cookie Ice Cream. Sooooooooooooooo delicioussssssssss.

4. Football Season baby!! Go Bears!

How about you? How do you wind down after a long day at work?!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday!

Technology Tuesday! I am writing this while I watch What Not To Wear so bear with me if you see any typos or anything. I love this stinkin show! Ok so technology. I am moving into a school this year that has 100% of the time working internet so this is going to be a great year for me to experiment with the technology at my fingertips. Some things I use religiously however are Google Docs, Wordle and English Companion Ning.

1. Google Docs

Great to use with students or colleagues to share docs, spreadsheets, and powerpoints quickly as possible.

2. Wordle

I like using this in classes all the time to show the most frequently used words in the unit or book. This is a great visual aid for students who need that!

3. English Companion Ning

This is more of a teacher resource then for students. There is a great community and Common Core resources for mainly secondary ELA teachers then elementary. Check it out!

I am sure that throughout the year I will be posting more about the technology as I explore what my new school has to offer me. I am so excited!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Teacher Week! Monday Must-Haves with What the Teacher Wants

Today was the first day of pre-service week. 170 secondary education teachers shoved into a tiny room with huge 5 inch binders filled with information for us to memorize.

I miss my students from my old school but I don't miss the dysfunctional administration. I knew exactly what I was going to be doing every single minute of the day. In fact, I know what I am doing every day this week! It is so refreshing. How is everyone else's pre-service week?

Anywho, I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher week! It is Monday Must-Haves today.

1. Comfortable clothes and shoes. 

I live in school essentially so I need to be comfortable at all times. Flats and stretchy pants and clothes are a must. I love majority of GAP pants because they have a little bit of stretch in them.

2. Hanging File Folders. 

I use these puppies for everything. I keep 5 on a file holder on my desk for the week (holding all important documents) and I use these as mailboxes for my students. Love love love them!

3. Comfy and smooth writing pens.

I love pens. I have a serious obsession with them. Especially uni-ball pens. I got my Office Depot gift card from school today and I can't wait to go get those comfy pens!!

4. Pictures to put on my desk. 

I love having pictures of my family and friends on my desk. Sometimes we have bad days and we need a pick-me-up. I look at my pictures and instantly feel better.

5. Fabric covered bulletin boards. 

Want to know how to get one of those gorgeous bulletin boards that you see on pinterest? Fabric! I love the clean look of the fabric. I picked up some sweet black and white polka dot fabric at JoAnn Fabrics in Florida and I can't wait to get it up this week! 

That's about it for me today. Hop over to Blog Hoppin' and link up!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I received horrible news...

Well I am back from Florida! Both of my grandmothers are looking good and strong. I am glad I got to see them. Anywho, upon my return home I had a folder full of information from my school. Inside was the list of classroom and who would be occupying it. As I read through the list I discovered that I will be sharing my classroom with TWO other teachers. I felt my stomach fall out of my butt. How am I supposed to make my classroom feel like my own if I have to share it with TWO OTHER PEOPLE?! I have bought so much stuff to make my classroom feel like home. I have made posters, charts, and borders just to make sure that my classroom wouldn't feel so sterile like mine felt like last year. I have routines and rituals in place that I won't be able to use if I don't have my own classroom!!

Has anyone else had to deal with this situation before? How did you deal with it? How did you make your classroom your own? :(

Please help!! :(

Monday, August 13, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award!

Oh my goodness I am blushing! A big shout-out and thanks to Megan at Teacher-Wife for giving me the award. Check out her blog, it is amazing. She loves organization as much as I do!

For this award, here are the rules: 
1. Follow the person who gave me the award. 
2. Link back to the person that gave me the award.
3. Pass to 15 new bloggers and then let them know they have received the award. 

1. Already following Megan and I suggest you do too!
2. Linky at the top!
3. Oh jeez! I want to pass this to everyone!

Kristin at Simply Speech. She has a great blog on her work as a speech language pathologist and lots of great printables for IEP maintenance. Plus she is from my neck of the woods in FL!

Young Teacher Love. I love everything about her blog. Plus the color scheme makes me happy!

Robyn at Being Elementary in Middle School. One of my first followers and a great support. She is moving into a new subject this year like me and knows how nerve wracking that is!

Tiffany at The Learning Effect. I stalk Tiffany. I love her blog, the Nest Effect, for all of my OCD (or CDO) organization neediness. She has amazing printables and will keep you on track in terms of organization!

I know there are others that I don't have on this list but I REALLY NEED TO PACK. I am leaving at 10am and I haven't even dug out my luggage. Or finished the's going to be a long time.

Thanks again Megan!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Teacher Style Linky Party!

I am linking up with From Blood to Books! to do a BTS Teacher Fashion Linky! 
Here are the guidelines...
1. Tell me your favorite store(s) that you like to get your "teacher's fashion".
2. What are some of your favorite accessories?
3. What type of shoes do you teach in? (i.e. heels, flats, wedges, etc.)
4. Do you have a "go-to" item in your closet? (i.e. sweater you wear weekly, shoes you wear daily, etc.)
5. Have you ever had a fashion "uh-oh" at school? (i.e. heel broke, button popped off of blouse)

1. Some of my favorite stores: Target, J. Crew, New York and Company, Ann Taylor, GAP, and Banana Republic.
2. I got some cute silver and gold bangles from Ann Taylor Loft (on sale! with teacher discount too!) that I am going to wear. I need to get a gold watch badly. I am sick of carrying my cell phone around to figure out the time (we don't have a clock that works). I also wear the same gold tear drop earrings that my Godmother got me from Italy. Love them. So simple and classic.
3. Flats obviously! I have only two pairs right now (Sam Edelman black lace flats and silver flats from Nordstrom). I think I am going to check out TOMS flats today and buy a pair.
4. Cardigans. I cannot live without my cardigans. I have one in every color of the rainbow.
5. I wore this super cute turtleneck that I got from J.Crew. It was that tissue material. However...being that I am large-chested, it stretched out the material in the boob area and all of the boys in class could not keep their eyes off my chest. I didn't realize it until I went to the restroom after school and was like OMG YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING.

Join up and let us know about your teacher fashion!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Panic Mode - Activate!

WARNING: this a freak out post! If you aren't interested in the inner-workings of my convoluted mind, don't read on!

So I totally had a panic attack during my nap this afternoon. I had a dream that it was the first day of school and EVERYTHING was going wrong. The kids wouldn't listen to me, I wasn't prepared, and my classroom was in the gym that I shared with 4 other teachers. I started hyperventilating in my sleep. I have tried to make contact with my partner for our Unit 2 plan but she hasn't returned any of my emails. My department chair emailed all of us today and said to bring a copy of our work for our in-service days (20-24th). I have next to nothing on my unit plan because I have no idea what my partner is doing.

I feel like I am failing before I have even started.

Has anyone else felt this way before? I am moving to a new subject area this year which is might be the cause of my anxiety. I wish I felt more prepared!

Please tell me I am not the only one!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another Currently!

I am hooking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade again this week for another "Currently". I am feeling incredibly under the weather today (headache, vomit-feeling, and exhausted) so I haven't really moved from my spot in the bed to do any crafts or even work on curriculum. Yesterday I asked if anyone wanted to guest blog for me but I haven't gotten any takers. I would really appreciate it if you could! Just leave a comment below and I will email you the deets. 

Anywho, onto the "Currently..."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Anyone want to Guest Blog for me next week?

I will love you forever if you doooooooo!

This upcoming week I will be in Florida visiting family and won't have a lot of time to be blogging. Instead of letting my blog sit lonely and alone, I would love to have someone guest blog for me while I am gone (August 12-18th). If you are interested, leave a comment with your email address below and I will get into contact with you.

Look forward to seeing who wants to guest blog!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Show Me Sunday

I am joining up with 3-6 Resources this Sunday for "Show Me Sunday" focusing on time fillers. I try to never have left over time in my classes but sometimes crap happens, right? When that happens I rely on a few back-ups to fill in that time wisely. This is geared towards 9th-12th graders but I am sure they can be scaffolded for younger classes.

1. Whip Around. Starting at a corner, each student has to state something new and interesting they learned from the class. No one can repeat what someone else said.

2. Facebook Status Updates: Students chose a character from the reading today and create a facebook status for that character.

3. Reflective Journals. Part of their portfolios, students write reflective journals about what was discussed in class and any remaining questions.

That's it! I also have a small announcement: I am bringing my laptop in for service tomorrow at Apple and I don't know if they are going to take my baby from me for a few days. If so, don't freak out if I disappear for a while.

Join in with the linky! I can't wait to see what you all have to share :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Monday (Saturday) Made It!

This is my first Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and I am doing it on Saturday because I don't want to wait until Monday to show you some awesome things I did today. I actually feel quite accomplished today, I did a lot of school things and completely re-organized my walk-in closet. Ok! Onto my school-related accomplishments for the day!

Teacher Binders!

Super Cute Clip Chart

Another Picture of it

Some Labels

My Glitter Clothespins for my NO NAME hanger.
I also want to let you in a little secret I have if you don't have a laminator: use an iron on cotton setting!!! See those uber-cute owl labels up there? I laminated them with my iron today! If you are in a pinch, this an easy and quick way to laminate anything. I obviously still have a lot to do. I have to hold off on a lot of my shopping because I am going to Florida in two weeks and I know they have much more then here in DC (so weird, usually it is the other way around!). I went to Target yet again yesterday and could not find any cute ribbons to decorate my containers and chip chart. What the crap.

I think I am going to take those small containers I got and spray paint them white...ACE hardware trip! I also really need to crack down on my curriculum writing. I just wish that my partner would e-mail me back so I can see where she is on it.

How about you guys? How is the preparation coming?

P.S.: Does anyone know how to add the list of blogs that join the linky? I can't find the code when I entered my blog!? Leave a comment below if anyone knows. Thanks!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I am linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for "Currently" in August. I should have completed some of my crafts today but the heat completely zapped my energy after being outside all morning so I took a 5 hour nap instead (bad teacher!). However, TOMORROW, I will have a huge post of all the crafts I am going to do! Here we goooooo...

I am so excited for tomorrow's blog post already!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let's Talk Data and a to-do list for UGH-est.

Data. The new thing that is being pushed at every level of education. I feel as thought I have to have data on every single thing that I teach: exit slips, Common Core based assessments, formative assessments! Now that I am switching to English, my student's performance on the DC-CAS and PIA exams are about 40% of my IMPACT score. IMPACT, as some of you may not know, is DC's highly controversial teacher evaluation system. I am not going to get on my soapbox and rant/rave about the system, because that will take up the entire post and then some. However, I recognize some of the positives that come out of it. Recording student data is actually something that I and my students enjoy doing. Watching them color in the graph showing their progress from PIA to PIA is an awesome way for the students to recognize their improvement and gets them invested in their education/learning. It also is great to show parents and administration. I like to make literacy folders for my students at the beginning of the school year and staple in a data recording sheet that THEY complete. This is a completely student-driven activity. This year I have re-vamped my sheet, only aesthetically lol. A big shout out to [simply speech] for this post. This post gave me some inspiration to fix up my data sheet and make it more user-friendly for my students. Hopefully this gets me to the highly-effective range this year! Below I have linked my document for your use/enjoyment. Let me know if you like it and how you plan on using it this year.


Alrighty, time for a to-do list. I feel like there is so much to do and not enough time! Here we go...oy.
  • Finish reading Enrique's Journey and create an assessment for the first week of school. (their summer reading book)
  • Finish up Unit 2 curriculum and email off to department chair ASAP. (was supposed to be finished today but I was writing a 25 page paper for my master's class...oops!)   
  • Create IEP, Data and Parent Communication Binders.
  • Print off Welcome Banner and laminate.
  • Locate squishy light bulb balls for "Do You Need a Light bulb Moment?" project.
  • Purchase fabrics, borders, scrapbook paper, laminator, laminator sheets.
I know I have more that needs to go on there, but my brain is so pooped from writing my research paper.

How about your to-do lists? How big/long are they?