Sunday, November 3, 2013

Novel Studies!!!

I am so excited! I used to teach reading through the use of novels, authentic literature but when I switched school my principal was very strict and she insisted that we use the reading program and nothing else so I had to stop using my novels and start using anthologies. We do ability grouping for reading (we switch classes for reading and each teacher has a different level) With my old principal that's where the differentiation ended. We were all expected to be teaching the same exact thing which made no sense to me at all. Well this year, we got a new principal and we got a new reading program. My reading class consists of the students who are "Bubble Students" which means they are basically on the fence, they could go either way on their standardized reading test. I gave the new program an entire marking period and when my students scores were stagnant from the beginning of the year I went to my new principal and asked him if I could use the novels again and he said yes! I am SO exited to be teaching this way and my students are super excited! I pointed out to my principal that these kids have had "canned" reading programs for the past 4 years and if these programs worked with these students then they wouldn't be Bubble Kids. So now I am now using Matilda by Roald Dahl as our first novel study and my class couldn't be happier! When I told them we would be reading Matilda I had one student say "You mean we are going to read a real book?" Imagine that, reading a real book in your reading class! What a novel concept (pun intended).

We just finished week 1, the first 4 chapters of Matilda and my class average on their comprehension test was an 85.5% the average of their comprehension tests last 9 weeks was about a 68%. My lowest student, who is also learning "disabled" scored a 94% on his comprehension test! His average score last 9 weeks was a 56% I am so excited for them!

I created a novel study pack that I posted on Teachers Pay Teachers (

Friday, June 21, 2013

I'm on Facebook!

I have launched my new Facebook page to go with my new name!!! Please please please stop by and visit/like my facebook page at

I am going to be doing a giveaway soon and will be posting the details on my Facebook page first so please head on over like the page and pay close attention for details about the giveaway!

If you don't have a Facebook account - no worries I will be posting details about my first Giveaway of the summer right here on my blog too!

I am working on a big project right now that combines Common Core and Marzano learning goals and proficiency scales so as soon as I have those finished and posted on TPT I will post details about my giveaway :-)

I don't have anything else right now so I hope to see you all on Facebook and back here in a few days for my giveaway!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Class Dojo???

Ok my daughter - who is also a teacher - told me that I HAD to get this app called Class Dojo to use with my behavior management system next year. Are any of you all familiar with this website/app? It seems pretty cool! You input your class and then the kiddos can earn/lose points based on their behavior choices. You can also email parents their child's points and graphs of their points and behaviors. It's totally FREE!!!! This sounds awesome! You can check out the website by clicking on the picture below:

I've already scoured Pinterest and found some great ways to use this in the classroom. I have used the clip chart system the last 3 years and I was thinking about trying to use it in conjunction with Class Dojo but I am wondering if that would be overkill. Plus, in the past I have only had one class of students but next year I will have my homeroom class, plus my reading class, and at my school we do not do substitutes when a teacher is out, we simply split the class so I will also have 2 - 3 students from each of the other teachers who will come to me if their teacher is absent. The clip chart just doesn't seem practical for all those kids. I mean I would need to have 18 - 22 clips for my homeroom, and then probably an additional 10 - 15 for my reading class (if not more) and then I would need to have clips for the kids who come to me for split class. With this program I just program them all in and I'm good to go. I'm thinking about doing a monthly points reward system where they earn a certain reward base don the number of points they have earned. I liked that idea a LOT because the rewards can be as simple as homework passes, lunch with me in the classroom, lunch with a friend in the classroom, a pencil, use of a gel pen... easy peasy stuff. BUT I am wondering if I should have a display of some sort that the kids can use to keep track of their points.

I saw on Pinterest one teacher has a chart similar to a clip chart but instead of clips, when the students earn a certain number of points they simply write their name on that level of the chart, I like that it is a positive display of their progress in behavior but I am wondering if it would also be "overkill." I'm glad we are still early in the summer so I have plenty of time to think about this.

Do you use this program? If so please share how you use it!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Made It!

I am so excited to be linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky party! I have missed these so much and am super excited to be able to share!

Even though I am only on my first week of summer break I have been busy thinking, planning, and making things for my new 3rd (or 4th) grade classroom. I have decided that I am going to do a Jungle theme for next school year and I have been busy making all sorts of goodies for this theme! 

Here is what I have made so far! (I have put it all up on TPT as well so if you are doing a Safari theme feel free to pop over and pick them up by clicking on any of the pictures!)

First up are my Common Core Learning Goal posters! I have only done 3rd grade so far but will also be created a 4th grade set as well just in case I get moved to 4th grade. 

Next up is my clip chart! I have been using a clip chart as my behavior management system for the past 3 years and LOVE it! I have used it in both 4th grade and kindergarten and it has worked wonderfully in both grade levels! 

 I also made a set of class rules for my classroom. I use parts of the Whole Brain Teaching program and one of the things I use are their class rules. So I made these to hang in our room!

Finally... last year I loved all the triangle banners I saw on Pinterest and totally wanted to do one for my class for next year so I made one that says "WILD ABOUT 3RD GRADE" I also created a triangle for each of the other grade levels (1st - 5th) and the letters to spell out "kindergarten" as well as some with just some cute safari animals :-)

Well that's it, that's what I have been working on and what I made this today (and this weekend). Now I just need to buy the card stock, extra ink, ribbons, and laminating pouches to get them all printed out and ready to go... I have until August so I think I'm OK for now LOL

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Name and URL

Well the 2012-2013 school year is in the history books. I closed out my 13th year teaching as I said goodbye to by 10th (and final) kindergarten class. Now I am officially headed back to the "big kids" 

Now to celebrate my return to blogging and my return to the big kids I am changing the name and url of my blog. Originally my blog was "Fun in 4th Grade" and since there is a chance I won't be teaching 4th grade next year I wanted to change the name of my blog to better fit whatever grade level I may be teaching. I also changed my url since it also had "fourth grade" in it. my new url is so if you have me saved in your favorite or your Pinterest please make sure you update. 

Also I am thinking about finally getting a professionally designed blog layout but have no idea where to start or what is a reasonable fee to expect so anyone with any advice or recommendations please share them!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Currently!

With only 3 days of school left I am SOOOOOO excited to be finishing this year and getting out of kindergarten and back in the "big kid" grades! With being in kindergarten and losing my dad I have not had time for blogging but I plan to rectify that this summer and this upcoming school year! Right now it is sort of up in the air about whether or not I will be teaching 4th grade or 3rd grade. As of right now I am assigned to 3rd grade, but my principal has told me that if a 4th grade position opens up then she will move me to 4th grade. I am excited about either one but I am just not thrilled with the uncertainty right now. So I will just prepare for both :-) My husband and son will be moving all my stuff out of my kindergarten room and into my new 3rd/4th grade room later next week and I don't want to move again over the summer - actually I think I would have to force my son to help me move a 2nd time within a few weeks/months. He is already complaining that he JUST helped me move from my old school to my new school and that was last year at this time.

When I came back tonight to  resuscitate my blog, I saw that I was just in time for Farley's June Currently! Yay! I have missed these!!

You can check it out yourself at her blog HERE

In the mean time here is mine!

LISTENING - I am blessed that my sweet hubby is making me dinner tonight so I am listening to the sound of him doing this as I sit at the kitchen table. Our boys are out with friends so the house is very quiet which is nice, some times.

LOVING - On Thursday the hubs and I will celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary and I am love love loving my anniversary present which is my new MacBook Pro. A couple years ago he bought me my first Mac, the MacBook Air which I loved. I swore I would never go back to a PC but my little Mac Air only has a 60 gig hard drive so I was having to store everything on an external hard drive or a flash drive which was very inconvenient and was contemplating going back to a PC laptop for the larger hard drive. So when Hubs surprised me with my MacBook Pro with its 500 gig hard drive I landed right in Heaven :-)

THINKING - Well for me school is still in session for 3 more days with the kids and then 2 for post planning, but that has not stopped me from thinking about next year already! That's how excited I am to be moving back up. So I have been thinking about what theme I want to go with for next school year so I an start planning it all out now :-)

WANTING - I want to know what room I am in next year! At my old school (I always feel like Phoebe from Magic School Bus when I say that) we had our grade and room assignments by mid May! My current school is great, don't get me wrong, but my principal is retiring in October so there are some areas where we could use a little work. I am hoping and hoping to get my room assignment soon because my husband is taking Friday off to help me move and if I don't have a room assignment that could make things a little tricky :-)

NEEDING - Being in kindergarten this year and dealing with my dad's illness and eventual passing I have gained back about 5 pounds. Now that might not sound like a lot but I worked really hard to lose about 35 pounds a couple years ago and have been trying to keep it off. So gaining back 5 pounds has been really bugging me. Being in kindergarten has meant being downstairs so I don't get the daily exercise of several trips up and down a flight of stairs, plus in kindergarten there is a snack time and its difficult to pass up some of the yummy snacks the parents bring in on their snack day. Plus I am a stress eater so the stress of my dad's situation made those snacks even more appealing. So I need to lose the 5 pounds I have gained over the last year :-)

3 VACAY ESSENTIALS - Oh yeah!!! Super excited about this one!! Since I live in Florida and only about 45 minutes from the beach, we spend a LOT of weekends on the beach during the summer so of course I need a great book to read (My current favorite author is Francine Rivers - just finished Redeeming Love and HIGHLY recommend it!), a nice comfie beach chair, and a great new pair of flip flops!!

Well there is my June Currently! I hope you head on over to Farley's blog (link up top there) and join the party!!

PS I am SO glad to be back and that I still have 150  followers. I will be doing a giveaway pretty soon so watch for that! I'm going to give away your choice of any 3 items from my TPT store! Details will be posted soon!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm Baaaaaack!!!! (and I have a new blog)

Yep, after spending this last school year teaching kindergarten (we still have a whole quarter to go) I have decided that I needed to teach kindergarten this year to come to the realization that I am no longer a Kindergarten teacher, I am a 4th grade teacher!

I feel like I was supposed to teach kindergarten this year because this year has been a very difficult year. If you have followed my blog for a while then you may recall that a little over a year ago I had to put my sweet daddy in a nursing home after he fell and broke his hip which lead us to realize how bad his Alzheimer's had progressed. Well my sweet daddy lost his battle with Alzheimer's 3 months ago tomorrow. He went Home to be with Jesus on January 3rd. My older sister and I were so fortunate to be by his side and holding his hands when he peacefully drew his last breath. It was a very stressful year and I am so thankful that my daddy is no longer lost in his own mind and he knows us all again.

So anyway I have asked to return to 4th grade next year and my principal has said she will honor my request and she is very happy to have me in 4th grade again. Once I get back in 4th grade I will hopefully be posting here more and more.

Now I also want to let you all know that I have started a new blog and beginning Monday April 15th I will be hosting an online Bible Study through my new blog. It is going to be based on the book A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. You can get all the details from the opening post on my new blog called "A Walk in the Word" and can be found here -

Please feel free to stop in and check it out and feel free to join us! This is hopefully just the first of many more Bible studies I will be leading.