I'm Going to Do This EVERY YEAR!

What's that, you ask?

Schedule a field trip the day before Spring Break.


It was that awesome!

Instead of trying to teach contain 25 eager little beavers crazy kids who were all itching for a break for 6 hours, I could sit back and watch. 

I think we were ALL ready for a break.

A break from each other.

This field trip?

Well, it was a trip out to a nature center in a neighboring town.  We go there twice a year and this was our spring trip.  We had two sessions.  One session was all about birds.  We learned about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.  We learned about raptures, wing spans, characteristics and adaptations of birds and so much more in this session.  I would probably sound a lot smarter here if I taught science.  But, seeing as I haven't taught science in over 8 years, I'm kinda just an observer to these lessons :)  I was so impressed with how much my students knew...so kudos to my partner teacher!!!

Our second session was all about animal tracks in the woods.  The students played detectives trying to determine which "specimen" belonged to which animal.

My favorite moment of the day came when I was sitting with a cute bunch of my boys.  The instructor was telling them all about how they can find evidence in the woods that an animal had been there.  You know where this is leading, right?  After going through imprints of paws, etc., fur, feathers, etc., she started talking about poo.  Yep.  You KNOW fourth graders are going to love this, right? 

So she says, "Oh, and we've come to my favorite word, scat." 

One of my boys says, "That's her favorite word?  Man."  {insinuating that the woman should get out more...}

I started laughing, all 4 boys started laughing.  It was a total giggle-fest.  I felt myself in my students' shoes.  You know, when I say something kinda lame.  They laugh, can't stop.  Well, I guess I "get" it.

Which leads me to my question.

What is the lamest thing you've said in front of your class that you wish you could take back?  (Make sure you comment below.)

I'm going to think on mine on my drive to Garden City, SC.  {near Myrtle Beach}  'Cause you know why...Spring Break is FINALLY here and I'm beach bound-baby.

I'm spending the first half of the week in Garden City with my BFF and Josh Groban partner-in-crime.  {Which, by-the-way, that may be my next few posts...my explanation of my fascination with the man...seeing as I'll probably not have anything teacher-inspired for you...is that OK?}  The second half of the week, I'm going to visit my dear friends {and parents to my newest Goddaughter} who just moved to Wilmington, NC.  I can't wait to see their new home and to visit them and my Goddaughter. 

Hey- don't forget that tomorrow is the last day for my giveaway.  (Click on the word to take you to that post).  Make sure you enter :)

Lunch Box Linky and Don't Forget My Giveaway!

Who doesn't love these?
I am joining up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  Love her! Do you see the cute graphic?  Who do you think created this gem?  Holla: Michelle at The 3AM Teacher.  I just want her to create a badge like that for me to wear around school.  Seriously.

I'm kinda in a love-hate relationship with this one, though.  Here's why:

#1- I don't have a cute lunch box right now.  My daughter has lost hers so she's using my cute Vera Bradley one.  {So it would be totally cool if I win the one that Tara is giving away as a part of this linky.} If I still had mine, it would look like this:

So, I basically throw my junk in my teacher bag:

And there goes the organization.  Remember this post about how I worked so diligently to organize it?
So, what used to look like this:
Now looks like this:

Yep, everything is dumped down into that bag.  The banana will probably definitely be smooshed {blogger doesn't like that word.  It's a word, right?} beyond consumption before I even get to school.   

Here's what's thrown in there:

 And, I guess since I can't bring a real Appletini or Margarita to school, I'll settle for these:

Have you seen these babies?  Can I say, "Yummmmm".  Even without the good stuff.

#2- I'm currently on a diet...bleh.  I've got to get myself in a dress for our Spring Formal on May 6th.  I bought this fabulous dress before the winter weight.  You know, that comfy extra 10 (or so) that seems to creep on each year.  What is wrong with me?

So, I'm not really enjoying my meals these days.  I'm trying to, but it's hard.  Really hard.  Especially with Spring Break coming and wanting to enjoy myself.  Dang it!

Hence the stinkin' rabbit food above.  

Tara also wanted to know about our lunchtime routines.  I'm getting so jealous of all of the teachers out there that get to have an unencumbered lunch {and some who actually get to LEAVE the building...what-the-what???}.  Mine goes something like this:

12:15ish- leave for lunchroom
12:18or so- get in line...now that's a story in itself.  There are 2 lines.  4th grade goes to lunch last (don't ask), and they shut down one of the lines just for us.  Isn't that so nice of them?  So, we have to shove 6 classes through one line instead of 2.  What?  Are you kidding me?
12:30ish (not really totally kidding) finally sit down and scarf down my meal.  Talk with buddy teacher...usually about our teenage girls.  Sometimes about our husbands....shhhh, don't tell.  Sometimes about our classes.  Sometimes about nothing at all.
12:40ish-line up to leave.  Since we are so rushed and since we are the last group in the lunchroom we usually linger a bit longer.  Yep, we make the janitors miffed, but oh well.

I hope you enjoyed my crazy, stupid lunch.

Go over to 4th Grade Frolics and link up.

Now, don't forget to enter my giveaway!  It ends this Sunday night at midnight.  That's not an April Fools either :)

200+ Follower Giveaway!

So excited to have surpassed 200.

To celebrate, I gathered a few bloggy friends to help me out:

You could win ALL of these items...so hurry and enter.

First off:
From little ol' me...

I've just started adding "stuff" to my TpT and TN stores.  You may have all of my "paid items" and all future paid items throughout the end of this school year.  For now, that includes these items:

My polka-dottie labels:

My Reading Rotation Board:

and my new Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook:

By the way, I've sold over 10 12 13 of these babies...I think I'm hooked :)  That means, I'm planning on making more, more and more....so the winner will {hopefully} walk away with even more than you see here!  Yay!

Also: I am giving away a fan-tab-u-lous $15 gift card to where other than my favorite:
Now for a little help from my friends:

Amber from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher:

She has donated her Measuring Unit:

AND her Measuring with Furry Friends Game Pack:

Misty from Think, Wonder & Teach:

has donated her "Brainy Matters...a Reflective Journal for Students":

Cara {who is busy getting ready for the Intermediate Teacher's Expo...can't wait} from Teaching...My Calling:

has donated the book, The Response Revolution.  It is a book that shows ideas for using Promethean ActiVotes and ActivExpressions, but the ideas can be used with any brand clicker:

Click here to learn more :)
Michelle from The 3AM Teacher {By the way...she is so generous with her clip art...you should definitely buy clip art from her!}:


has donated her Telling Time Graphics Collection:
Mandy from Mandy's Tips for Teachers:

Mandy's Tips for Teachers

has donated her any two items from her TpT store...here are a few possibilities:

Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron:

has donated her Spring Time Math and Literacy Centers:

And Elisabeth from Twins, Teaching and Tacos:

Twins Teaching and Tacos

has donated her Comprehension Strategy Posters.

Here's what you need to do:
1.  Leave one comment for each blog you follow including mine.  That's 8, count them, 8 possible entries alone!
2. Like my Facebook Page or let me know you already do! (1 comment)
3.  Blog or Facebook about this giveaway! (2 chances- so 2 comments)
4. Pin something from my blog {one of my pictures} and let me know what you pinned.  Something just makes my heart go all a pitter-patter when I see something I made running wild on Pinterest.  (2 chances- so 2 comments).
OK, now that's a total of 13 chances, people.  What are you waiting for?

I'll post the winner on Sunday night at midnight.  'Cause guess why?

I'LL BE AWAKE...yes!  Spring Break, baby! 

Good luck!

Fantastic Foldables

You know how I love Foldables, right?

Laura Candler has created a linky party just for foldables...how cool is that?

As she so eloquently said on her blog, Corkboard Connections:
"Not only are foldables a terrific way to actively engage students, they're also great because kids can store them and refer to them later when studying for a test or completing an assignment. I can't wait to see all the super ideas that will be shared here!"

When we started the Poetry and Figurative Language lapbooks this week, my students {and my best teaching buddy's students} quickly flipped back in their reading notebooks to the foldable we had created in the fall on poetry.  How stinkin' cool is that?

Here's the lapbook full of foldables that we are creating this week:

I modified it for my class because that was a lot of printing.  So, at the end of the file, there is a page with just the figurative language terms and another page for the poetry terms.  My students will be creating a flip book with a sentence strip to add those.  We will make those tomorrow, so I'll show you a picture soon!

Link up with Laura...let's face it, she's an amazing teacher guru.  I kinda have one of those teacher-crushes on her, too {Amber}.  You know, like a bro-mance, only teachery...how about a teach-mance?

Naw, that just sounds weird.

Anyway...link up!

Also-stay tuned tomorrow for my fabulous 200+ follower giveaway!  It's gonna be good :)  I'm having a giveaway with a little help from my friends.

Winners, Awards, a new Blog and a Freebie :)

But not in that order....

It just sounded better in that order.

First, let me tell you about the newest, coolest blog on the block for 3rd-6th Grade Free Resources:

Misty from Think, Wonder & Teach thought up this little gem and it's perfect for those of us in the upper grades.  She's got a link for each of the grade levels.  It's super organized and super cute, too.  She's allowed me to become a contributor!  Thanks, Misty!  I hope to live up to her expectations :)

Here's Misty's blog link because you really need to check her out if you haven't already:

Next up, Tammy over at Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher nominated me for this award:

I {like a total dork} haven't placed it on my blog yet....so I am now.  Thanks, Tammy for the award!

Finally, I'd just like to say how totally humbled I am that I've reached (and exceeded) 200.  I can't believe it.  I really never imagined that I'd end up with over 100, but here I am at 200.  My family keeps teasing me that any more and I'll appear narcissistic.  Pleh....{Yes, Dad, that was aimed at you.}

He won't read it.

Anyway- I'd also like to share that the sales of my poetry and figurative language lapbook has inspired me to try to do this more often!  I've sold 7 copies already and I've not even had my giveaway yet.  That tells me that people are seeing it on Pinterest, perhaps, and heading straight to TpT to buy it.  How unbelievably cool is that?

To celebrate that...here's a paper freebie for you.  We have a field trip tomorrow and I wanted a cute paper for my students to draw a picture and write a summary about what they learned.  {Graphic from 3AM Teacher, of course.}

Go grab it from either my TpT store or my TN store. 
So- now for that giveaway.

Here are the 5 winners:

Congrats to:

Mrs. Richling
(send me your email, Kaitlyn)


I'll be back later this week for a 200th Follower Giveaway...the real giveaway :)

Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook

I did it :)

I finally created something of "substance" for you and for my stores.

I'm so excited.

Here are some pictures of the final product:

I'm going to have my students create these next week (only three real days because we have two field trips planned). Then, we will finish them up the week after Spring Break {hallelujah}.

I'm really excited to share these with my kiddos.  I'm thinking they are really going to love them.

I especially love my Poet-Tree...thanks to the fabulous clip art from Michelle at The 3AM Teacher.  You totally need to check her out {if you don't already LOVE her}.

You can get this gem for only $4 at TpT and TN.

However, to celebrate almost 200, I will be giving away a copy to 5 lucky winners on Sunday night at 8:00. 

Here's all you need to do: 
1. Follow my blog OR tell me that you are already a follower-one entry


2. Follow my TpT Store -one entry

3. Follow my TN Store -one entry

4. Pin a picture from this post onto Pinterest-2 chances so leave 2 comments 

Good luck...

PS- this is not my 200 follower giveaway, it's just a pre-giveaway for my giveaway.  I just made that up.  I'm cool like that.

Have a great weekend :)

I've got family in town for this little bitty horse race that brings in over 30,000 people to a town of only 25,000.  It's a great little party and I can't wait.  Please start praying for no rain!


Giveaway Help

Amber's asked me to help out with her giveaway.

I'm offering the first "paid" item from my TpT store.  I made it a while back to help me organize my classroom.

She's teaming up with several bloggers to celebrate her 200th follower.  Part of the giveaway includes great products from other bloggy friends like Elisabeth from Twins, Teaching and Tacos, Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron, Misty from Think, Wonder & Teach, Tanja from Journey of a Substitute Teacher and Krista from Stellar Students.   As if that's not enough, there's also a $15 gift certificate to Target AND $10 worth of products from Amber's TpT store {which is AWESOME}.  I'm going to follow suit and pay it forward as soon as I reach 200, so send peeps my way :)

At first, I was nervous about saying I'd help out...I don't have much to offer in my TpT or TN stores, but that's my goal...I've been feverishly working away at a new item for my TpT and TN stores.  I can't wait to show you soon.

Maybe it will be a part of my giveaway if I get to 200 by this weekend.

Oh~ and I had to leave you with this...

While taking tests today, I kept hearing,
"Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here."

Man-I wish I had found that video earlier this year.  This summer, that puppy is going home with me so I know where it is at the BEGINNING of the year.

Schoolhouse Rock Rocks...and more :)

Who doesn't love Schoolhouse Rock?  As a child {eh-hem} of the 70s {eh-hem}...I grew up on these little gems.

I LOVE using SHR.

Here's a funny story.  {Surprise!}

I thought someone had walked off with my DVD all year.  Seriously.  I was ready to call the cops and everything.  I've needed it.  Badly.

My kids don't know about subjects and predicates and I blame that solely on the fact that I couldn't show them Mr. Morton.

They don't know about the Preamble or the Constitution or the 3-ring circus of a government we have going on either.

I blame that little stinker that thought it was "cute" to take home.


Last year, thinking I'd be "oh so smart", I put my DVD in a safe place when I packed my room up.

{Oh-that's an entirely different story...my previous boss-lady used to make us pack up our ENTIRE room...strip everything and shove all furniture, boxes, etc. into the center of the room for cleaning in the summer...does anyone else have to go through this?  I'm hoping with a new boss-lady, we won't have to do that this year.}

Anyway...in my infinite wisdom, I said to myself,

"Self, why don't you put that DVD in this box here.  Yes, right here, under the curtain with all the other tech-like equipment you don't EVEN USE ANYMORE."

And I listened.

Well, guess what?

It's March, right? RIGHT???

Yep, I just found it.

That poor little bugger is owed an apology.

Poor guy.

So, guess what we did ALL day yesterday :)  Teeheehee...{OK, maybe not ALL day.}

Now, onto some giveaways:

First off, if you haven't already entered Holly's giveaway...she had to extend one night 'cause she's busy.


 And Michelle's having a giveaway linky party.  How stinkin' smart is that?  Click below for her giveaway.


Now click here for the link up.

 I'm hoping to link up soon...only 22 more folks to go before 200 :)  Sad, shameless plug.  Will that ever end?  Will I be satisfied with 200?

RR Board and Check out Blog Friends

OK~How to sum up that dorky title?

RR does not stand for Railroad.  Or even Reading Recovery.

It's Reading Rotation.  I wanted to show how I've updated the board.

If you are new to my blog {cause I got TONS of new followers thanks to Lorraine's Linky Party...thanks, Lorraine}, then let me fill you in...

First off,  I have been tip-toeing into the water of "Balanced Literacy" or "Daily 5" or "Reading Workshop" all year.  I have a new principal who wants us to explore teaching this way.  I'm not new to this, I've just been teaching a bit differently for a while....

a long while...........

like 10 years.

Anyway~ I was struggling with how to make stations work.  I tried EVERYTHING.

OK, maybe not EVERYTHING...but you know.

I had an "ah-ha" moment in about January when I saw a Math Rotation Board from The Clutter Free Classroom.  If I could get math to work, then I'd tackle Reading.

So, I did.

{I said that in Forrest Gump's voice, by the way, because as I'm writing this, I feel like my story may sound a lot like his ramblings....so sorry for that.  I love FG!  I even have a signed picture of him on my wall in my office!}

OK~Don't leave.  I'm not a total dork.  Only sometimes.

Here's a picture of my Math Rotations Board:

Looks good...but not as good as CFC-I'm SOOO going to use black fabric next year on my bulletin boards!

Once I felt like I had "mastered" Math Rotations, I started Reading Rotations.

Here's a picture of my Reading Rotations board:

I use the acromyn R.E.A.D:
R-Read with the teacher
E-Enrichment (AKA-Stations...kinda like Daily 5ish)
A-At Your Seat (usually an authentic assessment based on the skill...how pish-posh and teachery did that sound?)
D-DOL and Read-to-Self (DOL is Daily Oral Language and then once finished they complete Read-to-Self-Daily 5ish.

So, I thought I could do it.

So, I did, again. {Forrest Gump}

You can purchase this board for a mere $2 from TN or TpT

Now-on to some of my favorite bloggers:

Amber's got a new look- Go check her out!

I adore her.  Really, I think I have a teacher-crush.  She's my go-to gal here in blogland.  I can ALWAYS count on her.  She's just surpassed 200 followers and there's rumor of a giveaway soon.  You should become a follower if you haven't already.

Secondly Misty is was wanting 200 followers and is was itching for a giveaway:

Uh oh...looks like she's gonna be posting soon about a FAB giveaway.  Remember...she's the one I won THE pencil sharpener from...So you KNOW it's gonna be good.  Like Real Good.  It's a secret.  Go Check Her Out!

Which leads me to my final thought.

I'm itching for 200, too.  I can feel it.  I'm hoping before my spring break {which begins on the 30th} to be able to PAY IT FORWARD....

Will you help me get there?  Will you encourage your followers to check me out?  

Don't lead them to this post...Lord Help...they won't come back.  Lead them to something more thrilling and full of snarky remarks.

Cause that's the real me.


OK- I told myself I'd finish this post.

So, I did.