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?!?

10 Things I've learned from Teaching

Hey y'all!  Sorry I haven't blogged lately, the fam and I have been in Indiana visiting family & friends.  We had our family Christmas in July...filled with good ol' Pork tenderloin sandwiches (an Indiana favorite-not many Texans know about this yummy treasure), driving around golf carts, playing Purdue cornhole (it got pretty competitive), and ice cream...lots of soft serve ice cream!  Anywho, I'm going to Link up with Miss Kindergarten for...

1. Make time for the fun things- My favorites are crafts that go along with stories or writing prompts.  These fun activities are meaningful to the students & you get to know your students better!

2. Don't sweat the small stuff- Teaching can be stressful, and although it's natural to stress a little, try to remember why you started teaching in the first place!  This reminds me of the saying my Principal shared with us this year, "I'm too blessed to be stressed"... SO TRUE!

3.  You will always have a to-do list!  Needless to say, I learned to prioritize pretty quickly!

4.  Expect to be called Mom- Often, we spend more time with our students than their own parents do, so it's an honor and makes me smile when I am called 'Mom'!

5. Be friends with janitors & thank them for everything they do! We learned about letters and even wrote letters to them- they were so thankful!

6. Ask for help - Experienced teachers have been there & done that and they are full great ideas & tips.

7. Keep up with the newest research & teaching books- There are awesome education books out there, and they seem to reignite the learning flame whenever I read them!  This summer I'm reading Teach Like a Pirate & Debbie Diller's Math & Literacy work station books.

8. Embrace Change/Who moved my cheese?-  So many things are constantly changing in education (admin, curriculum, standards, teammates, grade levels, students, ect.) & well.... you just have to put on your big girl panties and get over it!

9. 'Me' time - Make 'me time' for hobbies outside of teaching for whatever you love!  For me, it's reading, reality tv, Texas Rangers, my dog, baking, and cough *long naps*!

10. Love your co-workers- Take time to get to know your coworkers and spend time with them outside of the classroom, they will become some of your closest friends!

Have a great night!  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Ok...I admit it, I'm a Pinterest addict.  There I said it...the first step is admitting it, right?! Some nights I get on my Pinterest for an hour (or two)... man that's embarrassing to admit...I really should be reading or planning or making TPT items, or working out....or sleeping...ok you get it!  So, I'm going to link up with Cara at The First Grade Parade.  Here are my favorite Pins for the week:
1. I've heard great things about Teach Like a Pirate & finally ordered it... It should be in just in time for me to go on vacation to Indiana for airplane & car reading..o ya, that reminds me, I can't forget my sea-bands! 

2. First day of a school sign from First Grade Schoolbox...I'm def. going to be making one of these asap, I think I will use $1 foam board & turquoise chevron border

3. Interactive word wall from Tales-of-a-First-Grade-Teacher. For my first couple years of teaching I had a huge word wall & it was behind the students...I moved mine to the front of the room, bought some ribbon & Velcro circles & will look similar to this.

4. Rise & Shine Binder from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. I absolutely love this idea!  No more rushing to find bell work bright and early every morning, the kiddos just open up their binder (or in my case folder) & use an expo marker to do 2 or so re-usable pages!  It's also awesome practice with HFW. Talk about saving trees.  The kit also has other papers bell work, including place value, number lines, a hundreds chart, and games.  Awesome!   

5. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE this e-card!  I'm excited to meet my new kiddos and get my room ready but I'm NOT excited to wake up at 5:30 every morning... I've gotten pretty accustomed to sleeping in *cough* 11:30 *cough*.  This e-card pretty much sums it up!'s something really random that I just love...enjoy & have a Happy Friday!  Tally

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


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Sunday, July 7, 2013

July Currently

OK, y'all, here Is my first 'Blog'--- I'm not quite sure how this linky thing works but I will try my best!  July currently with Farley