Friday, July 4, 2014

New classroom decor

So I had to move classrooms again this year..but at least it was just around the corner & not to the other side of the school to a whole new grade level like last year!

I'm trying to figure out if I should change up the colors/scheme.  Last year it was turquoise, purple, and chevron!  Here are some picture of my new 'blank slate' 

I'm thinking of doing black bulletin boards with chevron or colorful borders, maybe turquoise & black?
I really like the turquoise, black, and gray classroom theme from Schoolgirl Style, it's super cute & looks so clean, modern, and neat!  These colors would definitely make my heart happy!

What do you think?  Do you change your classroom decor often?  Have you seen any cute new themes or classroom decor lately?  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Currently

I must be a crazy person already thinking of next school year!!!   I guess I'm technically not in my 'summer brain' mindset because I'm working at my school a few days a week planning and working with some kiddos in reading groups. Hopefully I'll get a 'brain break' eventually!

Right now in my tutoring groups I am reading:
The Jacket by Andrew Clements with my 3rd grade group and The BFG(Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl with my 4th/5th group.  I've never read them before but heard they're great, and they seem pretty good so far!  (They are making the BFG into a movie soon!)
Have you read either of these books?  I would love to hear what you think of them!

As for personal reads, I am reading Bossypants, Tina Fey's book, and Heart of the Matter (I love Emily Giffin)! I have also been binge watching Scandal on's so good!

If you haven't heard of Orange Theory Fitness, you should definitely give it a try, it's a fantastic workout! I've been going for about 2 months and burn between 500-700 calories each time.  I recently changed my diet to healthier foods & smaller portions and am starting to see inches lost, (4 to be exact), YAY!  Classes are about an hour long, most are set up half treadmill intervals (base pace, push pace, all out), the other half is a mix of weight room & rowing machines, there are usually 3 blocks in about 25-30 minutes.  Sometimes they change it up with shorter blocks going between treadmill and weight room/rowers, so you are constantly being challenged.  You also wear a heart rate monitor and are able to look up at a screen during the workout to see where your heart rate is and how many calories you've burnt so far, I love OTF! 

Here is an example of  the cardio gx screen that you can look up to during your workout, as well as the workout summary they send you via email: 

What are you doing to keep fit this summer?  Hope you are having a great summer!

Monday, March 3, 2014


Hey there!  I am super excited about getting a class iPad from!   It was my first Donor's Choose project & I was amazed by all the support I got from my student's parents & my family & friends.  

I am looking all over Pinterest and the internet for great educational apps but I feel like a lot of them are phonics k-2 apps.  These are nice & beneficial to my kids but I am looking for even more 4th grade apps!  I teach 4th grade reading, so apps for older students would be preferable!  I'm starting stations this week & would really love some iPad ideas for them!  So far I have...

Spelling City
4th grade spelling
Tumble books
Brain pop
Class dojo

I've read that rainbow sentences is a good app too, but it's $7.99, worth it?

I would love any advice about great educational apps you use in your classroom!  Thanks!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New school year & classroom digs!

WHOAA!!!  The new school year has been a blur of craziness!  I switched grade levels from 1st to 4th grade reading and I love 4th!  I am so thankful I got this opportunity, & didn't realize how much I missed fourth grade.   I miss my firsties, but still see them around the school & have even popped in on a couple friend's first grade classes, they are too cute!   My new teammates make fun of me when I call my fourth graders 'friends'....haha!   I didn't realize fourth grade teachers don't do that.  It's so weird getting used to the fact that they don't need as much guidance.   

I keep forgetting to take pictures of different activities, so here is my (very late) classroom tour.  

The kids have started using the book recommendation board!  Also, I know that 'student' is missing the e just keep forgetting to change it!

We did a small group poetry activity and I hung up awesome was awesome seeing the kids looking for their work & listening to the buzz around the room zanier it, they were so proud!
The students get a 'just right' reading counts book on Fridays at the library & have the week to read it & take the reading counts comprehension quiz & whatever grade they get I use as their weekly reading counts grade.  The reading log is a pain in the bum with parent signatures & all that jazz, so this is my way of keeping the kids accountable for their weekly reading.  Working smarter, not harder (:
Reading skills board
Reading area...the kids love it!
Picture books organized by genre
View from my desk to the back of the room

Another view 

Also, my birthday was the end of August & my team surprised me with a cake, roses, a gift card & decorated my door!  It was so sweet of them!  They definitely spoiled me!

I will post more pictures soon!  

Also, does anyone have any tips for spiraling prefixes, suffixes, & poetry?   


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Meet the Teacher


Good morning sunshines!  I Have been busy working away in my new 4th grade classroom this week & have seen all the cute posts about teacher week '13, so am excited to link up with Blog Hoppin for 'Meet the teacher Monday ' (on Saturday)...better late than never, right?!
1.  I teach 4th grade reading in a suburb of Dallas.  This will be my first year teaching 4th grade in my own classroom!  I am moving into the same classroom I did all of my student teaching & long term subbed, so I am very familiar with 4th grade.  

 2. This is my third year teaching, I taught first grade the first two years.

2. Before teaching, I waited tables at Babe's Chicken in Carrollton, Texas.  I miss the people, but I don't miss the kitchen being 120 degrees in this Texas summer heat!  My little sister still works there.

3.  I have a little sister named Taylor (we are all Ts in our family)...she waits tables at Babe's Chicken & is starting Dental Hygiene at Texas A & M, Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas on Monday.  I am so proud of her!

4. I adopted Tami, a 2 year old sheltie last November from the DFW Sheltie Rescue. When I first adopted her she was super shy and scared of everything, but she is doing so much better!  She also never played with toys until recently.  We've been to the dog park a lot this summer & she started chasing dogs who would fetch, but she would never touch the ball.  Finally, she is starting to get it, and has even started bringing the ball back, yay!  She is a precious little angel & since I don't have kids, she is my pride & joy!

5. I love the TV shows, the Office, Parks & Recreation, and Big Brother.  I also love HGTV!
6. I love taking naps!  I love this completely describes me during the school year!
7. Some of my favorite things are reading (currently reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey & The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller), sand volleyball, the beach, DIY crafts, Pinterest, Bloglovin', music (lots of Texas country), favorite bands are Randy Rogers, Josh Abbott, Wade Bowen,  Zac Brown, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, ect.

8. I love the Texas Rangers!  Ian Kinsler is my favorite!  

9.  I am going to a North Texas Teachers Blogger Meet up tomorrow!  I feel kind of silly going since I am pretty new to blogging but am super excited to meet some teacher blogger friends! 

Well, I'm going to start figuring out how I'm going to do a readers notebook this school year &  I would love any input you have on it.  I will post a classroom tour this week, but here is a sneak peek!  
Have a fantastic weekend, Toodles!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Five for Friday (Sunday)


Five for Friday on Sunday!

Hey y'all!  I've got some exciting blog will be changing from 'Winging it in First Grade' to 'Winging it in Fourth'....I've accepted the 4th grade reading position at my school!  I am definitely going to miss my firsties and my first grade team though.  What's cool about 4th grade is that I'm moving into the classroom that I did all of my student teaching in.  I am super excited about this new adventure!  I feel like there aren't as many upper grade blogs as lower primary grades & am hoping to help close that gap.
Thank you Doodle Bugs for Hosting the Five for Friday Linky Party!
1. Y'all don't know about my obsession with all things Texas Rangers, but now you do.  I try to watch as many games as possible and consider The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington my second home!  I've been to 5 games already this's a blast to go with friends & family & cheer on my boys!  Ian Kinsler is my favorite.  That being said, I really want a Texas Rangers phone birthday is at the end of the month...hint hint!  Haha!

This is AWESOME!!! Avocado Tomato Salad. salt, pepper & olive oil. we eat this almost every night

2.  I've been on an avocado kick lately so this yummy Avocado Tomato Salad will soon be one of my favs!

3. Santan Learning Center Interactive English Notebook Since I'll be teaching 4th grade reading I'll make and investment in post-its. I also saw a first day activity where you have 6 questions to ask the students (about creating a positive learning environment), each student answers on sticky notes & then we do a gallery walk & have a discussion.

Teaching with Blonde Ambition: 4th Grade Reading Interactive Notebooks -- LOVE!!!
4. Teaching with Blonde Ambition posted an interactive notebook she sells on tpt with a kind of personal anchor chart for each standard.  I'm trying to figure out how I will set up the readers notebook. I think I will let them decorate the cover with magazine pictures for motivation, maybe divide the notebook into 2-3 sections, make a  personal dictionary, vocabulary, set reading goals, record books read.  How do you set up a readers notebook?  I would love to hear any tips & tricks you have!

Whole Brain Teaching Rules in Chevron

5. The Gypsy Teacher Whole-Brain Teaching Rules in Chevron I plan on implementing Whole Brain Teaching this year, so these cute rule signs are a must.  Do you use Whole Brain Teaching?  How do you like it?

Tomorrow I'll finally be going up to school to pack and move things to my new classroom, yay!  Enjoy your weekend! Toodles!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thursday to-do

Ok some teachers might really dislike me for this post and think I'm a crazy woman, but I am SUPER EXCITED to get back into my classroom and back in action!  I've recently found Bloglovin'... so I am addicted.  I can't help it, just so many awesome classroom ideas that I'm planning and have done already!  But, I need to get organized and make a to-do for all the world to see.. enjoy!  (evil laugh..Mu-hu-hahahaha)

Print & Laminate Whole-Brain Teaching Rules & signs
Print Labels for Science Notebooks & take home folders
Print, Laminate & Hang Chevron welcome sign
Print 'Me bag' labels & staple to paper bags
Type first day plans
Print coloring sheets for first day bellwork
Make the Rise & Shine Binders from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits (one of my favorite blogs), buy binders
Make 'How we treat books book'
Make Calendar flip books & Calendar folders
Decorate hallway bulletin board
Finish Interactive Word Wall & buy velcro circles
Party City-buy hanging flower/pompom decorations
Chart paper markers
Make glue bottle vowels
Label and organize Math bulletin board and math manipulatives
Make first day of school sign
Get a pencil sharpener that works
Make a box for 20 questions game
Make a 'What we need' donation board for hallway

Make goodie bags for meet the teacher from Room Mom 101
Cute idea, Im so lucky to have you in my class.  First day of school snack? Projects
Pencil Sharpener
Balance Ball Seats

WHEW!  That's a lot but it actually doesn't seem like that much now that it's all in writing!  I finally got ink for my home printer so now I just need cardstock from my classroom tomorrow and I can start crossing off, yay!  Toodles!


PS. My bestie tells me I have a problem with exclamations!  Think she's right?!?