Friday, August 9, 2013

Quick Update

Good morning everyone!  I know it has been months since I've has been CRAZY but things are JUST NOW starting to fall into place.  Thank you for all of the well wishes and emails.  Y'all are so sweet to me!  :)

I just wanted to throw some quick links on here.  I've gotten literally well over a hundred emails asking for Parent Contact Cards and Important Information Calendar.  I have very quickly uploaded those to my TpT store so that you can have easy access.  The links provided go directly to the item on the store and they are the exact files that I would otherwise email to you.

Click on the link for your FREE copy  :)
(Please leave positive feedback...gotta love the stars)

I am aware that the blog is looking a little run down and pictures and links are missing.  I will be working on it this weekend and next week to try and make sure that everything is up and running on my end.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Friday, May 31, 2013


Good afternoon fellow teachers!  I hope that the end of the school year is treating all of you very well.  Obviously I have not been updating very often and I sincerely apologize for that.  I'm going through a very hard time in my personal life and updating my blog and adding new products to my TpT store is just not at the top of my priority list right now.  I hate not having the time to update or to add new things.  My inbox has been filling up and I sincerely apologize to anyone that has been emailing me.  Most folks have been wanting my spelling activities or folder covers.  Just click on the links and you can download them for free from my TpT Store.  If you are interested in the Daily 5 lessons, Parent Contact Cards, or Calendar please email me but know that there will be a delay.  I'll *try* to fill requests once a week, but I cannot guarantee that at this time.  I hoping that since summer is upon us you will be a little more forgiving of me.

Thank you all so much for your understanding.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

TpT Sale

Well friends...I'm still dealing with limited internet access hence the sporadic blogging.  Just wanted to throw it out there that I am having a Super Bowl Sale on my TpT store on February 3rd.  Just click on the picture below to jump to my store.  I'm taking 15% off of everything in my store and TpT is taking off an additional 25% off of everything.  :)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daily 5 Smartboard Lesson

UPDATED:  I've removed the link because it seems to have been more of a pain than good.  I'm still searching for good doc hosting sites.

Hi everyone!  I'd previously posted before about having Daily 5 Smartboard files available that I'm happy to share.  Several of you have emailed me requesting them and I think for the most part I've been able to send them to you without any problem (occasionally they get bounced back because of the email providers restrictions).  In an effort to make things easier for everyone I'm checking out having the files hosted online so that you can easily download the file.  So...THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT.  I do not know of great file hosting sites (especially for "notebook" files) but this is one that I found and I figured I'd try it out.  Below is a link to a week-long Daily 5 mini-lesson I uploaded.  Feel free to try it out.  If you do try it out, please leave honest feedback in the comments.  Was it easy, a pain to deal with, do you know of a better file host...anything.  I appreciate your input.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Post-It Note Lesson Plan Book Revisited

Well friends...I'm finally settled in after my cross-country move and I am now able to get things up and running again. I had been shocked to find that the pictures on my blog had been down and that caused distress for some of my loyal followers.  The biggest complaint about pictures had to do with my Post-It Note Lesson Plan Book.  I have updated the pictures from the original post from February 19th, but I am reposting the information here just to make it a little easier to find if needed.  :)


The meat and potatoes of this lesson plan book which I am in LOVE with!  In the past I have read about people using post-it note lesson plan books and it sounded like a complete waste of time. Why write it out when I could type it up and print it?  Boy was I WRONG!  At my school, in my grade level, each person is responsible for planning a particular subject.  Essentially the same plans gets passed around every year and everyone, including myself, retype or rewrite the plans so that they are in our own personal format.  I've spent years trying every lesson plan format under the sun to find the one that was perfect for me.  The last four years I've typed my plans and printed them, hoping to reuse them but found that I couldn't because the dates didn't match up or something changed last minute.  This year I was frustrated with all of the re-doing that I just decided that I'd paperclip all the plans that my team gave me and just stick a post it note on it every day with whatever I was going to do.  This worked pretty well for the school year.  Then one day an official that was pretty high up in the county came tearing through our school picking apart everything around.  Now, the official didn't stop by my room to complain about anything, but I figured it would be best to lose the paper clipped pile of plans.  Then the thought of the post-it note lesson plan book popped into my head.  I realized at that moment that is was BRILLIANT!  So, I made my own lesson plan book with color coded post-it notes that is easy to reuse next year.  Notes can easily be moved to different days or different pages depending on my schedule.

So, are you interested yet?  Well if you are, here is what you will need:

  • Spiral notebook (I would suggest one that has a vinyl cover since it will last longer) 
  • Post-it notes (I like the "super sticky" ones)
  • Sharpie or black marker
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Post-it tabs (optional)
  • Notebook cover or portfolio (optional)

Step 1:  Assemble your materials
Grab the items listed above and clear off a space on the kitchen table, it's time to get our DIY on.  :)

Step 2:  Decide on a plan
I sketched out my idea of how I wanted to set up my plan book.  I organized mine in a way that worked for me.  The days of the week going left to right across the top an the subject going top to bottom down the side.  Technically I didn't have to list the subject, I could have listed the time frame instead since I color coded my plans according to subject.  (Blue for math, pink for reading, and green for other.  I have other because writing, science, and social studies all get lumped into the same kind of time frame and due to scheduling I'm not able to hit every one each day.)

Step 3:  Lay out and measure
I set up my post-its where I wanted them (I just placed the whole pad where I wanted it so I'd have an idea of what space I needed.  Then I drew my lines.  If you use a sharpie, the line will kind of bleed through so when you turn the page over you don't have to remeasure, just use the ruler to trace over the straight line.  After tracing all the lines in the book, I went back and added tabs for the weeks.  There are only 36 weeks in our school year, but I have 43 weeks worth of tabs just to be safe.  I used the post-it tabs and just cut them into fourths and alternated colors.  Then I wrote the week number on the tab.  Super easy.

Step 4:  Label boxes and add the post-it notes
That's pretty self explanatory.  I used small post-it notes to note the math topic (blue), reading story (pink), related AR tests (orange), and week info (yellow).  I didn't want to put any of that info on the book permanently.  I used light blue for math, pink for reading, and green for other (writing, science, and social studies).  The teal color is for specific standards, objectives, essential questions, etc.

Step 5:  Start writing your plans
It was surprisingly easy to do this.  Obviously these are not scripted 7 point lesson plans.  I put down my main ideas for the lesson.  Things that make perfect sense to me, and that show anyone else who might be looking that I have planned out my lessons for the day/week.  I even drew little pictures for the art activities or projects that I was planning.  (These are not the same plans that I would use if I had a sub, but as all of you teachers know...we always write very scripted lessons when we have subs.)

Step 6:  Prepare for changes
This it a perfect example for what to do when something unexpected happens that changes your plans.  On this week we had a field trip on Thursday.  So, I used star shaped sticky notes to show my changes to my plan for the week.  Obviously I don't expect to have the same field trip again on the same week next year.  The fun shape makes it easy to see that there is a change at that time.

Step 7:  Pretty Portfolio (optional)
I happened to have an old leather portfolio hanging around that I hadn't used in years.  Since is cost a pretty penny I never got rid of it.  So, I used it to cover my new lesson plan book (and it matches oh so well).  If you don't have a portfolio or notebook cover, I would highly suggest using a notebook with a vinyl cover since it will last longer.

Step 8:  Daily Schedule
On the first page of my plan book I have my schedule for each day along with mini-notes of parent volunteer times or student pull out times.  I have my schedule memorized so I don't print it anywhere on my plans, but I do have it in my plan book...just in case.  ;)

I hope you enjoy the DIY plan book.  It is not too late in the year to make one!  If you do decide to make a Post-It Note Plan Book or if you already have one, please leave a comment to let me (and others) know how you like it.  :)

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Agggh...Picture Problem!!

I don't know what has happened to my blog or why my pictures have disappeared.  With my cross-country move, I've had very little time to keep up in the blogging world but I appreciate the loyal followers who emailed me with concerns.  Yikes!!  Please know that I am looking into the problem and I'll get it fixed as soon as I can.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm Texas Bound (and there is a FREEBIE too)

Howdy y'all!!

Ok, so I'm brushing up on my Texas lingo.  I am a native Texan but I've been living in North Carolina since 2004.  After too many years away from my home state, I am FINALLY moving back home!  Yeeehaww!!  I am so very excited about that news.  Well...excited and terrified.  This little lady is moving back to Texas mid-year with no teaching position lined up.  That makes me very nervous.  I am crossing my fingers that I can find something at a Fort Worth area (HEB, Lake Worth, Keller, Birdville, Eagle Mountain Saginaw, etc).  If I was arriving in the summer and finding a job for the fall I wouldn't be nervous, but mid-year relocation really stresses me out.  I've got a lot of personal/family changes coming up mixed in with all of this and the stress level it through the roof.  So...if you are a Texas teacher in the Ft. Worth area and know of any open positions feel free to let me know.

Since I've not been so busy recently, I really haven't had time to post anything great or make any freebies.  I have made some Daily 5 mini-lessons to do on the Smartboard.  I do them during each Daily 5 rotation (3 mini-lessons per day).  I am happy to share them with anyone who would like them via email.  You can always edit them to suit your needs.  So if you email me I will happily send you 7 weeks worth of Daily 5 smartboard mini-lessons that I have already used in my classroom and that have been effective.  :)

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