Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rain in the Desert….What’s a Teacher To Do?

Let me start off by saying that I love rain….really I do, but I love it best when it happens on the weekend and we can avoid rainy day schedule!  So, this weekend was a much needed rainy weekend here in the desert.  It rained, and rained, and rained.


Here is a photo that my daughter took of the puddles in our backyard. 

So, what is a teacher to do with a rainy weekend?  Well, it meant lots of extra cups of coffee and lots of laptop time!  I worked on several new products for my TpT store.  Here is a sneak peek. Just click on the pics to see them in my store



My school kiddos have been begging for new centers so here they are for Valentine’s Day! 

February Brain Boxes

It is almost time to switch out the Brain Boxes. 

And last but not least, one of our skills this week is compound words.  So I made this little pack for a fun way to practice.  I would much rather do things the “fun way,” than the “worksheet way!”

Compound Words

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell.  Lots of relaxing rain, coffee, work time, and now I hope to add a little nap to the list!

As a thank you to my small group of faithful followers, I will give away one of my new items (your choice), FREE to the first follower to comment and one to my first new follower! Be sure to leave me your email address and let me know which new item you would like!

Until next time…….

Mrs. Wood

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our Week in Rewind

Whew….sitting here on Saturday morning, laptop in front of me and a cup of coffee in my hand.  I am so thankful for our 3 day weekend.  This week was exhausting! 


My kids are all fired up about “Fast Fact Fridays.”  One of our biggest goals for the year is to be automatic with our facts by the end of third grade.  Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with a way to assess and motivate them to practice that doesn’t involve a timed test.  So, instead of calling it a timed test, I call it “Fast Facts,” and we do them every Friday.  As they pass their facts they earn paper pieces to build an ice cream sundae.  The 2 facts are the bowl, the 3 facts a banana, the 4 facts a scoop of ice cream…etc…  I don’t have a pic of them, I will take one this week and post it.  In the spring we have an ice cream sundae party and they get to make a real sundae that looks like their paper one.  It is the best thing I have found to motivate and encourage them.  I would love to hear what my fellow third grade teachers do!  Anyways, if they finish their fast facts early, I have them check their answers and then they can turn the paper over and write me a note.  I found this one yesterday…..

fast fact note

He is “again a winner,” clearly we still need to work on spelling! :)


We wrapped up our multiplication unit this week and moved on to division. We started slow, just learning about division as making equal groups.  We used these task cards……

Division-grouping task cards


I gave a set of 8 to each table group.  Each student also got a cup of beans to make the groups on their whiteboards.  They had fun and were able to really see what division is all about.  The cards are in my Tpt store if you are interested.


I did quite a bit of reading over break and implemented Morning Meeting in my classroom when we returned from break.  My kiddos LOVE it.  We already have students leading it and they are having so much fun.  On Wednesday, during the “How Are You Feeling?” portion of the meeting one of my kiddos shared that she was feeling “sleepy.”  She said “Mrs. Wood, I had such a hard time falling asleep last night because I could not stop thinking about our read aloud book.”  While I was sad to hear that she was tired, how great is that!  They have been begging me for read aloud time every day this week.  Here is the book we are reading.

No Flying in the House

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Raum-Fisher, read it aloud to my third grade class and it quickly become my favorite book that year!  Now, I read it aloud to my classes.


Tuesday was one of the most anxiety filled days of the year for me, and it wasn’t really related to school.  My husband is the Men’s Varsity Basketball coach at the high school down the street from us.  We also have another high school, like a mile away!  Yes, that close.  Anyways, needless to say that because of the proximity and the fact that many students choose which school to go to, they are rivals.  They call the rivalry game “King of the Court,” and there is a traveling trophy and everything.  The gym is packed, you can’t hear a thing over the cheering, and it is STRESS filled for the coach’s wife!  The game this year was incredible.  And……..yes, my hubby’s team won by 2 points!  So fun watching his team receive the trophy after the game.  Now….we get to do this all over again in 2 weeks, ugh….they have to play each other again!  For now, we will enjoy the victory!

King of the Court


What can I say….it was a Monday.  But, sweet notes like this make getting up in the morning and coming to school that much better!


Enjoy the weekend everyone!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Easy as PIE!

Before I get to the PIE, I have to share our new class t-shirts with you.  I am in L.O.V.E. with them.
class tshirt
I can’t wait to see all my littles wearing them on Friday!
Okay, so this week we are reviewing author’s purpose.  I have been waiting to make this Pinterest inspired anchor chart.  I honestly don’t know how I ever did my job without Pinterest.  So many great ideas. 
PIE anchor chart
After making the anchor chart together and reviewing it was time to get out of our seats and practice a bit.  I am a big fan of changing it up throughout the day. I try not to have them sitting in their seats for a huge length of time.  So, we did a little inside/outside circles with my Author’s Purpose Task Cards.  They did such a great job with them!
Inside Outside
Promise me that you will ignore the mess in the background.  My helper hadn’t done their job of cleaning the word work station yet!
Author's Purpose Task Cards
Today was a much better day.  Thank goodness.  Yesterday was our first day back and it was one of those days that I have every once in a while where I just wasn’t feeling on.  You know when you have those days where you just aren’t feeling the magic happening.  That was my day yesterday.  I think it was just a little back to school funk.  Thankfully I had my weekly Bachelor night with the “Bestie,” last night, got a great night’s sleep, and was on it today!
Hope you are all easing back in!  Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Goals For The New Year and Some Freebies

I.Am.So.Blessed.  I could stop this post right there.  But, I won’t!  Thank you to all of my blog followers and followers of my little Tpt store.  When I started this journey a few months ago I really didn’t know what I was in store for.  It has surpassed all of my expectations.  So, as a thank you I am sharing a few things that I made for our first day back to school tomorrow. 

We are going to begin our day by sharing “My Winter Break From A to Z.”  This is a great strategy for reviewing concepts.  It has been said that the first time you teach a new structure it should be done with a non-academic topic so that they are focused on learning how the structure works. So, we are going to learn how “A to Z,” works by reviewing our winter break.  After they learn the a to z structure you can then use it to review units of study.  I have used it at the end of math units, as well as science and social studies.  The goal is to think of a word or phrase that begins with each letter of the alphabet and relates to the topic.  It is a fun way to get them thinking about everything they have learned. 

Winter Break A to Z

You can download it for free here.

We are also going to begin thinking about our goals for the new year, both academic and personal.  We will write them down in the little foldable that I made. 

Goals for the New Year

You can grab this for free here.

I have been giving a lot of thought to my goals for the new year and this is what I have come up with:

School Goals

1.  To have all of my kiddos core and ready to meet on the Spring AIMS assessment.  It isn’t going to be easy, it will probably involve some after school tutoring, but they are so worth it.

2.  To do a better job taking pictures of some of the projects and fun things we do in class.  I think this will be easier thanks to my new iphone!

3.  To be more organized with my computer files.  I am hoping this will make the transition to full implementation of common core smoother next year.

Personal Goals

1.  To change my blog design.  I have been looking around online at some different designers.  Would love to hear any thoughts or recommendations you all have.

2.  To remember that I am not in control.  To continue to release my stresses and problems and let God be fully in control of my life.

3.  To cherish moments more.  This is my last semester with my oldest at school with me.  We have been together at school since she was in first grade and next year she will be going to high school with dad.  I can honestly say that I don’t know where the time has gone and I can’t believe how little time I have left with her at home.  I am so bad about getting caught up in the rush of life.  I need to remember to slow down and enjoy this blessed life of mine!

Caity with Mom at character of Month

Here we are at school together when she was a third grader.  (Notice the bunny ears…..why does every kid think that is so funny!)


Here she is on her first day of 8th grade….our last first day together Sad smile  They seriously grow up so fast.

Happy New Year everyone!  Here’s to a year filled with many blessings!



The Blessed Teacher

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Currently

I am linking up with Farley this morning for her January Currently.   My house is quiet.  Everyone else is still asleep.  Not me, thanks puppies.  They wanted company this morning.  Or, maybe it was the sight of the tortoise in a laundry basket in their kitchen that had them freaked out.  It was a cold night here in the desert last night.  In fact, looking at the temperature gauge in the Mr.’s truck, I think it was colder here than in Times Square!  So, anyways, at 1:15 this morning the Mr. and I were outside with a flashlight looking for the tortoise to bring inside to escape the freeze warning.  We brought her inside to warm up and as we are walking down the hall to get to bed, my husband says….”Our house has turned into a zoo…literally.”  What can I say, I have a daughter who is head over heals IN.LOVE. with animals.  So much so that she volunteers time at the animal shelter and hasn’t eaten meat in almost 4 years.  So, yes, I feel like I live in a zoo. 


Meet Roxy, the tortoise.

Okay, enough rambling about how I didn’t get to sleep in on New Years!  Here is my Currently for January.

January Currently

I also wanted to give a big thank you to all of my followers on this little blog and my TpT store. 2012 was a great start to my adventure and I can’t wait for 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!  Here’s to a 2013 filled with Blessings!