Thursday, July 30, 2015

Five For Friday {July 31}


This week has been jammed packed with getting ready to head back to school!

Divider 1

I broke out one of my favorite back to school items this week, my Silhouette machine, and gave it a really good workout to start the week!


I was so excited to get into my classroom and get this board set up.  My goal this year is to simplify and organize!  I wanted a math center structure that would be easy for students to follow and easy for me to manage!


I posted this picture on Instagram and several people asked about my board.  So, it is now uploaded in my store!  There are two versions in my store, this one from my room and the one I made for my neighbor who uses primary colors in her room.


Click on the picture above to check them out in my store!
Or click Here for bright colors or Here for primary colors.

Divider 2

I decided that with school starting back up and my girls being crazy busy with their dance lives I needed to organize myself.  I need to make sure I am scheduling time to blog and create.  So, I found this fun planner and got busy organizing my life!

Divider 3

I walked into my classroom today to this nice little surprise……


It may not seem like much, but I have been begging for a horse shoe table for years now…and I finally have one!  It really doesn’t take much to make me happy!

Divider 4

My husband and I got to spend last weekend in the coolness of Show Low!  We went up for my school’s leadership retreat, my husband was asked to speak to the group about Growth Mindset.  It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to him speak, I am always amazed by what a great job he does!

Divider 5

This week has been chock full of group texts and coffee with my tribe folks.  I don’t know what I would do without their humor, creativity, and advice!  I am so thankful for all of them!  Mrs. 3rd Grade, The Kinder Garden, The Creative Classroom, you ladies are amazing and I am so blessed to call you my friends.

I also was blessed to have a coffee chat with Maribel from Learning in Wonderland this week.  She had some amazing advice to share with me and I am so thankful for her friendship! 
It’s hard to believe that this was our last week of summer.  Teachers report back on Tuesday and students start on the 10th.  I can’t wait to meet my new kiddos and get this year off to a great start!

Blessings everyone!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five For Friday {July 10th}


This has been such a strange week, with some of my bloggy friends in Vegas for the TpT conference I’ve had to live vicariously through them and their Insta/Periscope posts!  But, some great things have been going on here at home!

Divider 1

We got to spend some time in the cool mountains of Flagstaff for our annual trip to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Camp.  We have been going every year since the girls were bitty and it is such a great family experience.  My husband runs the basketball part of the camp, I have the opportunity to fellowship and connect with other coaches’ wives, my children get to experience dorm life, and we worship together every night as a family.


This year, my husband had not only many of his current players at camp, but 3 of his former players were there as huddle leaders!

Divider 2

We came back down the mountain, I unpacked and then packed again for a “retreat” that I had planned with my teammates from school!


I absolutely LOVE working with these two and we thought it would be fun to get together over summer and do a little planning and a lot of hanging out and having some fun!  we stayed at a local resort and shopped, hung out on the lazy river and ate LOTS of yummy food!  We did get a little bit of planning done, but it was so nice to hang out together outside of school!

Divider 3

I am having some serious FOMO issues this week looking through all of the Insta posts from Vegas.  I am loving all of the broadcasts from teachers on Periscope!  I have had the Periscope for a few months now because my all time favorite boy band, NKOTB, would jump on and broadcast live from their tour (no judging me!).  So, I was super excited to see that Angie and Ashley were going to be using it in Vegas.  Well, teachers seem to have taken over on Periscope and suddenly tons of people have found and followed me.  So, I feel like I should DO something with it!  My friend Cassandra a.k.a Mrs. 3rd Grade and I have been tossing around some ideas for Periscope but I would love to know what you would like to see.  Comment below and let us know if there are things in our classroom you would love to see, products you would like to see in action or  would you just like to have an opportunity to ask us questions?  Let us know, we are getting together next week to chat and Periscope is on our list!  Make sure you find and follow us on Periscope so that you will get the alert when we broadcast!  Mrs. 3rd Grade is also broadcasting from Vegas!


Divider 4

We did get some real work done on our retreat.  We used the year long planner from Dragonflies in First to start mapping out our year.  My #1 goal this year is organization!  My teenage daughters are going to be crazy busy this year and I don’t want to miss a second of it, after all I only have a few years left with them at home. (sad face)


We got our school year calendar plugged in, all of our assessments (there are soooo many in 3rd…boo), and our curriculum frameworks all plugged in.  Next time we meet we will break down the frameworks and list the standards we will cover each week.  I am so excited to have this finished and then printed, laminated and hanging behind my desk this year!

Divider 5

Last night, my husband took me out to dinner and to the Rob Thomas concert! It was such a great concert, he is amazing live!  While we were there, my husband posted a pic on Insta and a former student of his commented and asked where we were sitting.  She works for the venue and came down and gave us passes for the VIP lounge.  It was such a fun night!


I’m anxious for my bloggy friends to get back from Vegas so I can hear all about it!  I hope all of you that are there are having a great time!  See you there in 2016!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Meet Your Teacher

Today I'm blogging over at Hello Sunshine about how I introduce myself to my students at the beginning of each year!  Hop on over, read all about it and then leave a comment and let us know how you introduce yourself!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Using Picture Books to Teach Math {Multiplication}

Teaching Math Header

I love using picture books during math!  Today’s featured book is Each Orange Had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti, Jr. 

I use this book in the fall every year as we begin learning multiplication.  Each page has a story problem that students can solve using repeated addition and multiplication.  I created this fun little problem solving journal as a companion to the book.  There is a page in the journal for each page of the picture book. 


In the past, we have used notebook paper or our math journals, but I love this little journal because it doesn’t take up as much space if I want to collect them after a day’s work to look them over.  I also love that I can send them home when we are finished with the book ( I don’t send math journals home until the end of the year) and it can be a great conversation starter at home for parents to ask what students are learning about multiplication!


As we begin learning about repeated addition and multiplication, I have included some number sentence frames to help students write them correctly.  This scaffolding really helps those students that are still struggling with the concept.


Something else that I really love about this book and the journal is that I am able to differentiate.  I teach the gifted cluster in my grade level so I have general ed. students, as well as the students who are identified as gifted in my grade level.  Many of the quantitatively gifted students already know how repeated addition and multiplication work.  Each story problem in the book also includes a challenging question that uses multi-steps or multiplication with 3 factors!  I challenge the students who are ready for it to solve for that last question in each page of their journal. 

The book includes 11 story problems and we certainly do not work through them all in one day, in fact last year we only did one a day in our journals as a warm up.  We did the first one together whole group so I could help guide them and model for them.  The next day, I projected the next page from the book under my document camera and students did it independently or with a partner.  Day 3, we once again worked whole group so I could model and guide them through explaining their thinking in their journal.  Day 4, they worked independently to solve the problem that I projected and then I gave them time to discuss their journal page with their table groups. 

I love the versatility of this little journal too.  You can use it like I did last year as a math warm up each day.  You could put the book or multiple copies of the book and use it as a math center….the possibilities are numerous! 

Have you used Each Orange Had 8 Slices in your classroom?  Comment below and let us know how you use it! 

Check back here at The Blessed Teacher to read about other picture books I use to teach math!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2getherwearebetter {Classroom Improvements)


I’m so excited to be linking up with the amazing Angie and Ashley for my first #2getherwearebetter Linky!  I love the idea of collaborating with other teachers and sharing what worked and what didn’t and getting advice and feedback from each other, after all we are the experts in our craft…who better to learn from!


linky button.001

This week is all about classroom improvements.  I am a reflective teacher by nature. I am never satisfied and I am always looking for new ideas and ways that I can improve.  So I am really excited about this month’s topic!

classroom improvement banners.002

As I look back over last school year, there are 3 major improvements that I would like to make.


For the past several years I have used the clip chart system, a punch card, and a coupon book. 


It worked great…for a while, but….  there are days where we get on a roll in the classroom and I “forget,” to clip people up for things.  I don’t like that they have to get out of their seat to go move their clip and that in itself can be a disruption.  I rarely have to clip someone down, but if I do, I don’t like that they have to do it publicly with everyone watching. 

If students got to pink by the end of the day, they earned a punch on their punch card.  Once their punch card was full, they could trade it in for a coupon from the coupon book.  I still love the coupon book.  I LOVE that I don’t have to spend any money on prizes! 

My teammates and I have been discussing moving to Class Dojo for our classroom management.  This week during the #tptchat, Amber from the Peppy, Zesty Teacherista shared with me the system she uses that combines Class Dojo with a classroom economy!  Click HERE to see her post!


This year, I am determined to go into the year with a solid year long plan.  Last year we had a general month by month plan that laid out all of our units and special projects.  This year I am talking detailed standard by standard plan!  I was inspired by a blog post by Dragonflies in First.  I bought her planner from TpT……


We are getting started on our plan on our resort retreat coming up next week!  This year is going to be a busy one, my girls made the Pom team at their high school and that will be doing that in addition to their studio dance team.  My goal is to not bring a ton of work home with me since I will busy being dance mom most evenings and to be super organized so I don’t have to spend all weekend working also.  I think having a solid plan heading into the year will really help with that!  I plan a blog post soon to share how I’m getting organized for the year!


Lastly, I have been doing a ton of reading and research on Growth Mindset.  Our school is adopting it as our theme this year too!  My goal this year is to educate my students and their parents on the importance of being in a growth mindset.  I want to be mindful of the language I am using in my classroom and make sure that the feedback and praise I am giving my students is growth mindset focused.  You can read some of my posts about growth mindset by clicking on the side bar to the right!

Those are my improvement goals for the year, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and ideas about Class Dojo, Year Long Planning, and Growth Mindset!  Please leave some feedback below!