Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fall Leaves, Fall Fun, and a Fall Freebie!!!

Hi, all!  Around here the seasons are is in full swing, leaves are falling, the fair is coming next week, and life is--as usual--busy and full! 
But, in the hurry, scurry of the back to school season, I did want to share a freebie for you that is perfect for use in the months ahead.  I have found that our family has to be intentional about spending time together and doing family devotions...for us, it will not just happen by accident!  Lazy? Busy?  Distracted?  LOL I'm not sure what the issue for us is, but these are just a few of the fall activities we have done together over the past few years.  

Click the image below to download this idea-pack which is full of seasonal ideas and goodies for use with the little ones in your life!
I also wanted to share a story that we love!  View the read aloud here on You Tube...
For those of you who teach at private schools, homeschool, or serve in local churches, I also have a few new resources available in my online store.  Click the captions below to find out more...
English Standard Version
King James Version
New International Version
The Old Testament edition is out now, and I am busy working on the New Testament edition as well! 

I hope that your fall is full of special blessings!  Praying for an awesome October!  
Look for more from me on Pinterest, on Facebook, and on Instagram!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Classroom Sneak a Peek with the Primary Peach

Hi!  Hope you are having a fantastic school year and an enjoyable Labor Day weekend!  Today I'm guest blogging over on the Primary Peach
so I thought I would share some classroom ideas with you here as well...

I am so excited for the long weekend, and hope you have plans to rest, refresh, and maybe even enjoy a little college football over this Labor Day weekend! I wanted to share a peek into my classroom with you! Come on in...
I am excited to be teaching 4th grade Science and Social Studies again this year, so several sections of my room reflect our content areas of focus. For example, our map area has an "Oh, the Places You'll Go" theme. I also have lots of inspirational "Seussisms" hung around our classroom. I love using quotes to get students talking, thinking, and even writing...motivation can be a powerful tool in the classroom!
The "Enrichment Engine" is the place where you'll find fun things like a gigantic globe suspended from the ceiling and our classroom learning games. 
Laminated scrapbook paper was the key to making my content word wall. Scrapbook paper--definitely one of my favorite, inexpensive ways to spruce up any boring space! 
I also wanted a cute way to preview all of the units we cover in a year, so I made this "restaurant-themed" nook featuring a gingham tablecloth-covered bulletin board, a few decorative plates, a chalkboard for recording the "weekly specials," and 2 menus--one for the "Global Cafe" (our Social Studies units for the year) and one for the "Science Sandwich Shop" (our 4th grade Science units).
Here are a few more shots from around the room, like our comfy, cozy reading nook where we keep our "Chugga, Chuggs Chapter Books"...
Bloom's Taxonomy posters to encourage higher order thinking...
our train-themed helper chart...
our Bible verse and cursive ABC charts...
and inspirational posters featuring characters from my WATT Valley series (We Are Tomorrow's Thinkers). Click to find out more about Mrs. Foster, Kind Kimmy, and the other students from WATT Valley.
Students do their part as well to keep our room looking neat and organized. This year I made and posted cubby checklists like these to help students keep their spaces neat and tidy. They are doing a GREAT job!
Lastly, here are a few pics of the whole room, my teacher's desk, and our Smartboard/large group carpet. 
I love my pennants/bunting which are new this year!

You can see by the pics that my tables are arranged by color (navy, red, turquoise, lime green, and purple) using signs I made using more scrapbook paper and tissue paper pom poms from the party store.  I love the extra pizazz they add!

My goal every year is to create a classroom that is warm, engaging, welcoming, and student-centered. Even 4th graders like to be inspired by their learning environment! Hope you've enjoyed the classroom tour! Thanks for stopping by!

Be sure to check back over at the Peach throughout the month of September for more Peachy posts from lots of different GA bloggers!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to School!!!

Checking today's schedule, and it looks like back to school is just around the bend!!!

I head back next week, so this week I am scrambling to finish up projects at home, make the most of moments at home with my sweet children, read the last few books I checked out from the library, and work on a few back to school projects for my new 4th graders!!!

Some of my dear friends start school tomorrow and some even went back last week...where does the time go?  Praying for all of you that are heading back already!  I know you will ROCK this school year!

Don't forget that TpT is hosting a HUGE Back to School Sales Event so be sure to stock up and save!  I've already started loading my own cart!  

Hope your school year is absolutely wonderful!  I will be sharing a few projects from my classroom in the days to come.  Until then...

Soaking in the last bit of summer,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

All Aboard for Some Great Reading Ideas!

Hope you had a great 4th of July this past weekend!!! 

We celebrated in some of my favorite ways...grilling with family, sparklers out on the deck, and firework-watching with our Savannah cousins!  I feel so blessed to live here in the USA, and the 4th is a fantastic way to celebrate the blessings and freedoms we enjoy!!!
I learned when working on my Reading Endorsement that the average 6th grader reads less than 3 minutes a day.  This was staggering to me!  Now, as a teacher, I try to take every opportunity to encourage my students to read more and to love reading!

Whether on our classroom couches, in chairs, or with beanbags and pillows, I encourage my students to "settle in with a good book" and make the most of their daily reading opportunities.  

Today I am guest blogging on Workshop Wednesday over on The Primary Peach.  Head on over to read some reading tips from me!  
You'll also read there about my Reading with a Purpose Bookmarks.  
  After reading my guest blog post, if you are interested in finding out more about my series of Reading with a Purpose bookmarks, you can find theme available on both TpT and Teachers Notebook at the addresses listed below.   

Click the image below to visit the bundled set...

or find

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 Sold Individually On TpT:

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 Sold Individually On TN:

Blessings to you and yours,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

Just a bit of SALE NEWS as you celebrate your 4th!  Back to school savings from Bryant's Brain Train from July 4th-7th...ENJOY!  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How to Rock as a New Teacher!!!!

Hi! It's Shannon from over at Bryant's Brain Train...I'm joining up with some of my favorite education rockstars to share some ideas for all of you new teachers!!!  

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my thoughts on the "Rock as a New Teacher" countdown!
I've loved reading the awesome ideas of others over at the linky, so here are a few more tips from me...
1) Make memories!
I am heading into my 20th year of teaching and cannot believe how fast the time has flown.  Take time to enjoy each class, each parent, each student!  You will be amazed how quickly the time will pass!

2) Stay organized!
Find a system that works for you and follow it!  Managing all that comes with teaching, grading, planning, etc. can be a bit overwhelming...don't let the paper monster eat you alive!  Want to read more about some of my favorite tips for staying organized?  Click HERE!

3) Form meaningful connections with your teaching team!
I have been so blessed to teach with some fantastic teachers over the years!  Be willing to learn from your team and share your ideas with them.  My fellow teachers have been alongside me through some of my best days and some of my worst, and I would't trade those friendships for anything!  An atmosphere of trust and respect makes for an incredible working environment!

1) Don't be a teacher hoarder!  
As hard as it is, it's OK to throw things away.  Your instinct will be to gather and save everything in sight...mine certainly was!  Now--2 decades in--I have a basement, office, garage, and classroom full of teaching materials that I cannot bear to part with.  Unfortunately, if you're not careful, what you can't bear to part with begins to bury you after awhile.  Just say no to teacher hoarding!!! :-)

2) Don't fizzle too soon!
It is so exciting to get your first classroom, your first class roster, your first planbook, your first gradebook.  Just remember, teaching is a marathon, not a sprint!  Take time to rest and refresh!  Enjoy family, friends, and things outside of the 4 walls of your classroom.  Read, pray, rest...all those things that refresh and rejuvenate your teacher soul.  Want to read more of my thoughts about the importance of maintaining balance?  Click HERE!
1) Remember that each day is a new day!
Children are resilient, and so are you!  It is never too late to begin again.  Even if you have a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month, you can always begin anew!  My first day of teaching 4K was horrendous!  I said, "Let's line up for recess," and 20 4-year olds mowed me down running to the playground.  Thank goodness for a weekend to come home and make a new plan.  Day 2 was light years better, and I learned that mistakes are always redeemable and forgiveable!  Sometimes we are our toughest critics!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Click HERE to check out more classroom management goodies from me in my teacher store.  Hope you have a wondeful first year!!!  All the BEST!
Wanna see all of the tips in this linky?  Just visit HERE or HERE to see all of the awesome ideas!