It’s that time again – Back-to-School! Are you ready for a new school year? If you’re like me you spend the last few weeks of summer hunting for back-to-school deals, school supplies, and fall clothes! I love to shop, so I don’t mind braving the crowds. Over the years, I’ve found some great deals, time-saving tricks, and a few ways to make easing into a new school year a breeze. The hardest part of going back to school is getting myself and my kids back on a schedule and on a regular routine! Below, are few tips and tricks I’ve found to be useful duringRead More →

If you read my last post, How I Lost My Passion for Teaching, you know that I’m in the process of reading Unshakeable by Angela Watson. Time and energy plays a huge part in my passion for teaching. I’m often overwhelmed by my never ending to-do list, and constantly spinning my wheels while feeling like I’m never going to catch up. In her book, Angela discusses our use of time and energy as teachers. Her words hit home hard for me. “The goal here is to get more done while expending less time and energy.” ~Angela Watson “Your productivity level is far more important thanRead More →

I used to love teaching. I used to be excited about teaching. I used to be passionate about teaching. So, what happened? I’m really not sure I can pinpoint the exact reason or situation that made me lose my passion for teaching. I feel like there’s a lot that plays into the reason why “I lost it.” For one, I just finished my 14th year teaching, and I’ve kind of fell into a slump. You know that feeling of doing the same thing – year after year, day after day? I started to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I taught third grade forRead More →

It’s almost Mother’s Day, and my students spent yesterday working on a special craft just for mom! I make these flower pens with my class every year, and they’re always a HIT! I love how they turn out, and the best part is that they are C-H-E-A-P to make! Everything you need to make these pens can be found at the Dollar Store. I only spent $6 on this craft for 20 students! In this post, I’ll show you step-by-step how I make these pens with my students.  The Dollar Store always has a variety of flowers to choose from. I usually just grab aRead More →

It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about end-of-year awards for students! It’s not always easy to find the “PERFECT” award for every student. We always have that one student that, no matter how hard we try, we can’t make anything fit (academically). That’s when I decided to start giving out Candy Bar and Superlative Awards. I made these awards several years ago, and they instantly became one of my best sellers. After many requests, I made these awards editable. I’m so glad I did, because it made my life easier, too!  These awards make it soooo easy to PRINT & GO!Read More →

It was hard nearly impossible for me to come up with only ten web tools to share! I have so many! I actually had a hard time narrowing it down to just ten. So, here goes.  I’ll start with one of my favorites! #1 Remind (formally Remind 101) This is one of my favorite ways to connect instantly with students and parents.  Remind is a safe and FREE service that sends one-way messages via SMS, push notifications or email to anyone you invite with a special code for your class. Remind keeps phone numbers private while still staying in touch with students and parents. You can even set upRead More →

Common Core brought with it many standards that teachers had little to no resources for. L.4.5b was one of them for me. In the past, I had briefly covered idioms (usually around St. Patrick’s Day) but never proverbs and adages. Honestly, I had no clue what an adage was. Once I familiarized myself with this standard I thought, “Wow, this is going to be really fun!”   Recognizing and explaining the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs seemed like an easy lesson to teach. Was I ever wrong! While introducing idioms to my 4th graders, I was quickly surprised by how many they actually knew. Hands wereRead More →

I made this product to use in my classroom with my 4th graders. At this point in the year, we are hitting multiplication H-A-R-D! All of my students have been required to memorize their basic multiplication facts from 0-12, and we have moved into multiplying larger numbers. This product includes a variety of practice sheets that includes multiplying 2 digit by 1 digit, 3 digit by 1 digit, 4 digit by 1 digit, and 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication problems. Word problems are also included, because we all know they need those, too! 😉 Monster Multiplication meets the standards for 4.NBT.5. I added aRead More →

I teach 4th grade, and if you know anything about 4th grade you know that this is where the memorization of multiplication facts takes place! This is a bear to teach because you just can’t “make” a child memorize. I start at the beginning of each year with one minutes timed multiplication quizzes – given two times per week. I teach students a variety of tips and tricks to master the memorization of the facts. I even offer rewards and incentives! However, I still have students struggling with the actual memorization of multiplication facts. This year I allowed students to “bring their own device” toRead More →

Why did I want to be a teacher? I asked myself this question several times last year. With 13 years of teaching under my belt and stress levels high enough to cause my chest to hurt, I found myself saying “Do I really want to do this for 17 more years???” I knew I was tired. Tired of the demands, tired of the changes, tired of parents that didn’t support me, tired of students who didn’t care, just tired.  I was definitely experiencing – teacher burnout!  I’m sure we all experience teacher burnout at some point. If you haven’t, more than likely you will. Being a teacher canRead More →