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I'm tagged

Hoo Doggie! I have got to be honest. This is one of the longest tag-things I've ever seen! I have tons to tell you all about my trip to FETC and some other cool stuff coming up, but I'm going to play tag first because it's just not nice to say no when you've been  asked to play. (And then I  hope no one else will tag me. ha!)

I've been tagged by Gina at:


and Krystal at:

Ok, if you want to hear some fascinating facts about me, keep reading. First here are the "rules":



1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 Facts About Me 
(I've done these things a few times, I'm gonna see if I can come up with some new stuff. 
This might take me a while)

1. I have had fake nails since I was sixteen. I haven't seen my real nails in many, many years. I get them done so short, I'm sure my nail lady wonders why the heck I even bother. I also have my toenails done at all times. Remember I live in South Florida and flip-flops.

2. I can't stand wearing jewelry. I usually wear the same small little earrings and my wedding ring and they are the first things off as soon as I get home.

3. I wish I never had to wear a bra. ever. But I will not ever go out without one. ever.

4. I just bought my first pair of Spanx. What the what? Are these people serious? I prefer to be able to pee and breathe pretty regularly, thankyouverymuch.

5. I have gained and lost and gained about 100 pounds over the past 6 years. Yeah. It sucks. 

6. My sisters' names are Diane and Debi and most of the family always referred to us as "The Three D's".  For the longest time I thought that all brothers and sisters names had to start with the same letter. 

7. I distinctly remember the first time I wrote my own name. I was crying because I couldn't do it and my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Norris, handed me my coffee can from the cubby that had my name on it. She told me I could copy it from the can. And I did!

8. I also distinctly remember throwing up after eating pumpkin pie in that same Kindergarten class. You gotta take the good with the bad, I guess. 

9. Tuesday night was the best TV night ever when I was growing up. Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Three's Company, Too Close for Comfort (and then Hart to Hart which I had to sneak a peek on my little black &  white tv in my bedroom). Yup, I totally remember that.

10. I think I'm allergic to alcohol. If I drink one sip of wine, I start burning up. My face gets red and I start sweating like a beast. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. I'm trying to learn to power through it. lol!

11. When I was 11, I got hit by a car as I was riding my bike home from school. It was the same day as the school Valentine's Day dance.  I still managed to make it to the dance even with a broken arm!

12. I think I'm pretty seriously addicted to technology. I have seriously found myself scrolling through my fb page on my phone in one hand my looking at Pinterest on my laptop. Oh, come on. You know you've done it too! (right?)


Here are 12 questions to answer:
1. What subject do you like to teach the most? I seriously can't answer this one. I like lots of things about all of the subjects. That's why I make a good elementary teacher.

2. What is your favorite drink? Iced venti 4 pump vanilla late w/ light ice.

3. What is one piece of advice you have for a new teacher? Remember that one day YOU will be the veteran teacher, and it will happen before you know it. 

4. What is your favorite teaching website/or blog? I can't answer that on the grounds that the answer may incriminate me (and plus I have too many blog buds that whose feelings I don't want to hurt)

5. What is your favorite type of music? I'm pretty eclectic. Love me some Adele, smooth jazz, huge Billy Joel fan, some Daughtry, 80's music, Darius Rucker, Zac Brown Band....see?

6. What is one of your guilty pleasures? Ghiardeli caramel squares 

7. What type of books do you like to read? I've been ruined by The Hunger Games. Nothing matches up.

8. What are some of your hobbies? crafting, blogging, avoiding cleaning.

9. What is something you do to stay organized in terms of grading/lesson planning/copies for school/etc.? I put a yellow "O" on all of my original copies with a highlighter. That way I can spot mine right away and it doesn't copy on the kids' pages.

10. What is your favorite snack? Pretty much anything. See #5 above.

11. What was your favorite vacation? We spent 21 days traveling all through California one summer a few years ago. Loved it.


12. How did your husband propose? (I love hearing these stories!) At Disney World on Thanksgiving between the parade and fireworks. awww...

Ok. This is incredibly long already, so for my 12 questions, let's just use the same ones above. And ready, set, tag. You're it:



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Sweetheart Slide for Subtraction

Hey Friends!

I am just about to jump in the car and drive up to Orlando with the hubs to attend FETC! I'm super excited to see all of the cool technology that I'll probably never actually have in my classroom. Even though that's painfully true, it is still so cool to get to see and play with all of the amazing new things that are there every year. Just being there is so motivating and thrilling for a teacher techie geek couple like me and the hubs. It really must be because we're using our own sick days and totally paying for it all ourselves. Crazy or what?  I'm always on the lookout for good giveaways and contests too, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

I'll probably be checking in from time to time on my Facebook page when I see something uber cool that I just HAVE to share with someone, so if you haven't "liked" me on fb yet, this might be a good time. Just  click on that cute little Facebook icon to the right.

Before I leave, I've got another February freebie to share with you. I know it seems like I'm jumping the gun with the February stuff, but I know I need plenty o'time to get things laminated and ready to go, so I'm guessing you do too!

I created another Subtraction Slide game. Check out the Penguin version here which explains the game in a bit more detail. This time I included some direction cards that you can fill in to meet the needs of your students. I also made the directions separate so that you won't have to leave a border of laminating film around the game to slide the pieces around. Hope you like it! Download your copy {HERE}


While you're on TpT to grab your free game, check out my Super Bowl Classroom Resource Pack. You know your kids are going to be all excited about it, so you may as well sneak some skills into the festivities! Click on the pic below to read more about the nine original activities included in the pack.

Oh, and don't forget to sign up for my new newsletter, Sunny Side up! The first edition and exclusive freebie will hit your inbox before the end of the month!

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February Facts & Fun Freebie!

Well this week was CrAzY! It went something like this: Day off, meeting, bad news, migraine, meeting, good news, teach one day, migraine, teach half a day, fun luncheon, painful massage, great news, planning day, sucky news, great date night with hubs. And now you're up to speed. Sound familiar to any of you? In reality, this is just kind of normal life, right? It just seemed to be a little more magnified than usual. Fortunately, the good news seriously outweighed all the bad news and the migraine is gone (for now, shh...I don't want him to find me!)

In between all the save the drama for your mama moments, I did manage to make a fun freebie to share with you! Honestly, that's kind of my therapy. When I can sit down at my trusty mac and play with fonts and graphics and think about holidays and fun stuff to do with the kids...all the stress of the day seems to disappear. I made cards like this back in October and they were a big hit, so I decided to make another set.

These are just fun little cards that have facts about different events in February and then pose a question. I like to hole punch these and put them on a ring. Then if I have a few extra minutes to fill, I grab the ring and read a card for a quick discussion. It never fails that a kid will ask if they can take the ring and read it to themselves & of course they can! I try to remember those kids and then ask them if they'd like to be the teacher and read a card to the class - talk about giving a kid an ego boost!

Just click on the picture above to download your set free from TpT or from GoogleDocs {HERE} Enjoy!

In other kind of exciting news, I'm starting a newsletter! It's something I've wanted to do for a super long time. If you subscribe by adding your email address to the sign up box below, you'll receive the Sunny Side Up newsletter once a month. (Is the title too corny?). In the newsletter I'll include tips and ideas and (here's the exciting part...) a freebie that will be offered exclusively to newsletter subscribers!

I'm using a great service that will not fill up your inbox with junk and I promise to send just one newsletter a month. Well, unless something super fun and exciting pops up and I just have to, have to, have to tell you right away! And P.S. I'm not 100% sure about the Sunny Side Up name...feel free to leave me a comment with your thoughts. If you have a better suggestion and I pick yours, I'll thank you with a free item of your choice from my TpT store!

See you soon, my friends!




February Find-it Shaker!

I'm trying to move past the insane idea that I'm already thinking about Valentine's Day and planning activities for St. Patrick's Day when Christmas was just like two days ago. So, what better way to move ahead than with a fun freebie!? I mentioned that my pile o'plastic crap is threatening to topple over and potentially bury me under itself, so I've made it a goal of mine to actually use it up. For this one, I used one of the 12 (eek!) empty juice jars I have collected to make another one of my rice shaker activities.

If you're new around here, check out my synonym shaker {HERE} and my antonym shaker {HERE}.
Those posts also cover some of the how-to's, like coloring the rice, which I may or may not be a little addicted to.

I do have some helpful hints to pass along. I was dying my rice with vinegar, which is what I had on hand. It works well, but it is stinky. I bought some alcohol for this batch and it works pretty much just the same, but it doesn't stink nearly as much and it was dry in about an hour. Also, I noticed when my kids were using the antonym shaker, the word cards were getting all bunched up in the neck of the bottle. They didn't have that problem with the synonym shaker. When I compared them I saw how much less rice was in the synonym shaker...that's the only difference, so that's go to be why.


So...here's the new addition to the shaker fam! Isn't she cute?
She's all pink and heart-y! This activity is a little different. Inside the bottle are 21 words that fit into three categories: Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, and Presidents Day. The kids will shake up the bottle and when they find a word, they'll have to decide which category the word best fits into. The word "holiday" is also in there as a bonus word that would fit into all of the categories.

The freebie file contains everything you'll need, besides the rice and juice of course :)
Just click on the picture below to download it from GoogleDocs.

Have fun shakin it up!

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I'm Busy AND Fascinating!

Hey friends!
Why does it always seem that the short weeks at school are the busiest? I'm seriously only teaching for one and a half days this week and it's been nutso with all the other stuff I've had to squeeze in. Well, such is the life of a busy and fascinating teacher such as myself. What am I talking about? Well, looky below and you will see that this little ol' blog of mine has been nominated for two awards! The first one is the Busy Teacher Award (Best Teacher Blog) and the second is the Most Fascinating Blog of 2011 (Teaching Blog). Now I know, you're thinking - well isn't she all full of herself all of a sudden?! No, not really. I'm not exactly sure of the pristine nature of these fairly new awards, but it's kind of neat nonetheless. I certainly am busy, but fascinating...well, my little seven year old nuggets think I'm pretty cool. 

If you feel like making an extra click or two to vote, I'd appreciate it. I think you can vote once a day, but I won't hound remind you every day.  In this case, I kind of feel like that old cliche' feels appropriate - it was an honor just to be nominated. Ok, cue the violin music...

Online PhD Programs
Oh, and before I go be sure to check out this great contest over at First Grade Ala Carte! It's Kathy's blog birthday and the prize package is unbelievable, including one from yours truly. 
 There are some freebies for everyone as well. 
Click on the balloons to join the par-tay!

I've got some great February freebies coming up, the first of which I hope to have ready for you tonight! See you soon!


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Full moons and Valentines

Hey all!
I have to say thank you to all of my fellow teacher blog buds and followers who wrote about this week being especially hard. It was SO hard!! I have a great class and I was finding myself saying things I never thought I would and sounding like my mother which was scarrrrrry! I blame the full moon. I do. I felt like I had a class full of little werewolves on the verge of turning! They were just crazy, busy, talking, roaming, yelling, fighting, pushing, crying, arguing, tattling and generally grumpy and moody. What happened to my sweet little smiley bugs that loved hugs and laughing and centers and listening to a story?? If you find them, can you please send them back to room 852? I'll gladly exchange them for the impostors who took their place.

Even in the midst of the craziness, I relied on my belief that you catch more flies with honey, so I found myself really rewarding the good behaviors that I saw and it did help. for about a second. We even had a team visit from administration who sweetly asked us to review the cafeteria rules because second grade seemed to be giving them a bigger headache than the other grades. oh joy. That at least helped me to know it just wasn't my group of nuggets being unusually unruly. I could also see it in the halls when more than one class was taking time to regroup with their heads down (hey - desperate times...).

I'm not expecting this week to be much better. We have Monday off for MLK then I have a team leader release day Wednesday, Thursday is an early release day and then it's a teacher planning day on Friday. We have chosen this week to try to squeeze in our fluency assessments since it's not a great week to do much of anything else of substance. Oh, and did I mention that the following week I'll be out Wednesday-Friday to attend FETC?  I have trusted subs that I can leave real plans with so I know my kids are in good hands. I'm actually going to leave some Valentine's Day things for them to get a start on. Can you believe that? I JUST (I mean just...as in yesterday. again, don't judge) finished de-Christmas-izing my house.

It might be a teeny bit early, but I wanted to share one of the sweetest gifts I ever received for Valentine's Day. It might be nice to pass the idea along to your own personal chid's room mom as a gift idea. I guess you could switch this up for any reason, even from a group of adults, like a retirement gift or teacher appreciation gift or bosses day gift (if you like your bosses...) Inside each of these bottles are handwritten love notes from each of my students. They are rolled up individually and secured with little rubber bands. The outside of the bottles are written on with a paint pen. Sweet, right?




I keep these out all year just because I love them. And I love pink things. And hearts. And I have such fond memories of the class that gave it to me and the wonderful mom who organized it. Have you ever had the kind of family where you wish the parents would have like 10 kids so you could teach them all? That was this mom. This was one of her beautiful girls who was in this class. Just delicious inside and out.

Have a fantastic Sunday friends. I hope you get to un-set the alarm for tomorrow morning! I'm having a problem getting threaded comments to work which is totally bumming me out! I'm working on it (thanks to my blogging idol Kristen aka Ladybug's Teacher Files). I feel like it will be so cool to comment right back to everyone. Fingers crossed I get it workin!

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One Amazing Day!

When I started this blog about 10 months ago, I did so as a way to keep myself focused on the good stuff about public education - because I know there is LOTS of good stuff out there, despite the unfortunate public perception lately. During my blog growth, I found exactly what I was looking for. A network of teachers who give 110% to their students every single day, even in the face of slashed budgets, furlough days, increased demands and less time to complete them.

An unexpected benefit of this blog was "meeting" some other incredible educators who don't necessarily stand in front of a classroom full of students every day, but still touch and enrich the lives of children every day. This is the case with someone I am now proud to call my friend - Mrs. Debbie Clement. I actually met Debbie through Teaching Blog Traffic School course, which has been simply amazing for networking!

Debbie is a children's book author and singer/songwriter. She also hosts a blog called Rainbows Within Reach. I met Debbie through some networking and her enthusiasm was instantly evident and contagious. Through a remarkable twist of fate, we realized that she was going to be staying just 10 minutes from my school this month. After some emailing and discussion with my principal it was all set. Debbie was coming to my school!
Me, Debbie and Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles
Friends, I can not even begin to tell you how incredible the day was. I was lucky enough to be an acting administrator the day she was with us, so I spent most of the day with her in the library ushering in the classes and making sure she had what she needed. Every single teacher who came with their class was smiling, clapping, singing along and telling me how incredible Debbie was. The buzz on the playground was also incredibly positive and you know that that means everything! I mean look at these pictures!
Debbie touched the lives of over 500 children during her visit. We sang, we danced, we learned sign language. The kids responded to her instantly and watched her intently. Be sure to read about this special moment {HERE} on Debbie's blog. This little one was so attached to Debbie that she was sobbing when it was time to leave!

Teacher after teacher would ask, "Where does she get her energy?" I don't know, but I wish I did!

The children below are holding Debbie's beautiful quilts that became the illustrations for her books. As much as the kids were fascinated by them, the adults couldn't stop talking about the detail in each one.
See the giraffe behind Debbie and the kids? Well, it seems he went unnoticed until Debbie became one herself to sing Tall Giraffe (which I'm still singing to myself, by the way). Debbie was so great with her impromptu responses to the kids. She told them, "He must have come here because they heard all of your beautiful singing!" And I'm pretty sure they believed her!
Debbie's books come with CD's that bring them to life with beautiful music. Be sure to see Red, White and Blue written just after 9/11. My favorite has to be Tall Giraffe, the subtle African melodies won me over. If you're looking for a song to sing for a parent event or Kindergarten graduation, don't miss You're Wonderful. Click {HERE} to see her books. Debbie has generously offered a 15% discount to my blog readers! Just enter promo code SunnyD at checkout.


Although Debbie was with us for just one day, the memories will last a lifetime.
Thank you, Debbie - so very, very much!

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PS I just linked up to send some love to Joplin, MO! Check it out and consider joining in :)

Subtract & Organize, For Free!

Hey Teacher Peeps!

I feel like I have so many ideas rattling around to blog about that I don't know where to start! I'm happy to have that problem though considering just a few weeks ago I was wondering who stole my mojo! I had the most amazing day yesterday with Debbie Clement of Rainbows Within Reach that I can't wait to tell you all about...but that one has lots of pictures to share, so look for that in a day or two.

In the meantime, I have two freebies to share with you. I just uploaded this new subtraction game to TpT. I've been seeing lots of games that use bottle caps on Pinterest, so naturally I asked my kids to start bringing them in even though I had no earthly idea what I was going to do with them once I got them. Well, I got them. TONS of them. I added them to the collection of Pringles cans, Crystal light containers and juice bottles I just had to have. I figured I ought to actually do something with them before someone turns me into Hoarder Patrol. What I came up with used 22 of the bottle caps and one small peanut butter jar. It barely made a dent in my mountain o'plastic crap, but it's a start. Here's what the game looks like:

Full directions are included in the download, but basically the kids roll dice and subtract their answer from 20. Then they slide a cap with that answer to one of their spots. When I laminated the board, I left a border of laminating film around the edge to make it easier for them to actually slide the caps into their spot on the board. My kids love my Bump games, so their addition fluency is about a trillion times that of subtraction. Time to make Slide a math center fixture. I even made a little label for the jar to hold the caps. 

The 22 caps you'll need to play the game fit perfectly inside this small peanut butter jar. (Call off the allergy police. It's been put through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle...I think we're good. Plus no life-threatening allergies are in my school at the present time. Which we have had before and it is SUPER scary and we were SUPER careful for her...)


Here's a close up of the extra laminating. I think I'll make a February version too. I've got to use up these collections somehow! Just click {HERE} to download your free copy.

But wait - there's more!

I also found this great sheet on Pinterest and when I tried to access the blog, it's gone! 

Does anyone know what happened to Persnickety Pickle? I was going to share this with you all and direct you to her blog, but seems that's out of the question. It was so simple but actually pretty perfect looking for me. It was one of those things that had me saying, "Why the heck don't I already have something like this?" So since Persnickety is temporarily (I hope!) M.I.A.,  I created my own version. Actually, I created two. One is for readers who don't blog, and one is for my bloggy teacher buds. Not only is it great to keep me on track, it serves as a nice record of when and if I did certain tasks. They're both included in the same download. Click {HERE} for your copy. As always, if you could take a second to leave a rating on TpT, I 'd be super grateful  =D <--you get that that's a big smile right?  Totally random interjection here - Someone I follow on Twitter (ok, it was Danny Gokey...oh shush... he was good!) once tweeted that "lol" looked like a drowning man. Now that's all I see. To be honest =D kind of looks like a sideways coffee cup with steam coming out of it but missing its handle. So maybe I should just ditch the emoticons and "use my words", but it's important to keep up with these things or you might actually expect email and bacon to come out of your AC vents. How cool would that be?

By now I'm guessing you all heard the news that Super Teacher Worksheets is not free anymore. Bummer. I get it from a "business" standpoint. After all, I do have a TPT store. But I think lots of people would have been happy to have a little notice to grab answer keys or print a favorite lesson or two. Hopefully some of the freebies I share will help fill the gaps. My promise to you is that if I ever offer anything for free it will ALWAYS be free, 'cause I'm cool like that.
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Currently in January

I have really started looking forward to this cool little linky held by Farley over at Oh Boy 4th grade. Pop over to check it out and link up! I have some exciting stuff talk about and share, so I might break the blogging rule of posting once a day later, but I think you'll forgive me, right??


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Diggin the Dojo (part 2)

I forgot to mention in yesterdays post, that I had my first observation with our new evaluation system on Friday. Yes, Friday. I had an inkling it was coming as the administration had been around to most other classrooms during the week. I would have been happy for them to stop in at any time during the week. I had such cool New Year's things going on and my reading groups were humming along, plus I had ClassDojo up and running and it was really working well. By Friday afternoon at 1:35, I figured I was off the hook for this week. We started Fun Friday and I was working on a special art project for a fun event I'll blab about soon. With all that going on and about 20 minutes left in the week -guess who pops in. Uh huh. For real. My face must have been a mix of oh crap-are you kidding me-now?! because my principal's face immediately softened and she actually apologized for coming in at such an odd time, but apparently I was the only teacher left in the school no one had visited. Grrrrreat! I explained that it was Fun Friday and she said she was just going to sit and watch my management style. OhhhKay...I wasn't really managing much at the moment. But my kids were pretty calm for a Fun Friday and I was working with a couple of girls at the back table. I interacted with the kids who were enjoying their free time and there was a neat little buzz in the room without it being too crazy. There was plenty of evidence of my management style up and around the room between my clip-chart, my Fun Friday Bus, my Behavior Bingo chart and my Dojo (Oh man, I AM Miss. RewardsALot!).  I think it went ok even though I wasn't actually teaching anything, but I'll let you know.

The standard they were looking for is:
 What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence or lack of adherence to rules and procedures?
* Demonstrating “withitness”
* Applying consequences for lack of adherence to rules and procedures
* Acknowledging adherence to rules and procedures

Now, for those of you using ClassDojo already, you can see how EXACTLY perfect Dojo is for this one! I was a bit hesitant to use a system that made the negative points obvious to the whole class, but I do believe that certain children seeing that they "lost" a point has a lot more impact than getting a thousand points. I do still definitely believe in focusing on the positive and for almost all children that is the way to keep them moving forward, but as we all know, not all kids respond the same way to the same things.

If you are new to Dojo, you'll see when you set up your class that you can choose which behaviors you want to show on the positive or negative side. You can also customize and add your own.

When you first sign in, you'll be walked through exactly what you need to do to get started - they make it very easy. One thing I noticed is that even though I had done the steps to start, it kept asking me to repeat the steps. That actually went away after a few times.

I was going to add some photo tutorials, but I realize that I'm already writing long past what I had planned and I'm sure you probably have better things to do this Sunday than read about me and Dojo.
Instead, I'll tell you a few things I've found so far. I've only been a Dojo teacher for about a week, but honestly it is so easy to set up, manage and use that I kind of feel like a Dojo Sensei already! Ok, I may be reaching there, but really it is easy to use.

Things I love:
-Ease of use
-Customization of behaviors, avatars, and sound alerts
-The audible alerts really motivate the students even if they can't see the screen
-Printable reports for each student or the whole class. The reports are incredible! I can do a whole post on the reports (they are perfect for RtI)
-Using my iphone as a remote
-Its FREE! (but it's so good, I'm wondering how it can be free or for how long)
-My admin loooooooooved the idea
-Dojo really can replace all of my supplemental behavior plans and just work nicely with my clip chart
-Someone from ClassDojo actually read and commented on this post yesterday! (Hi Kalen!)

Things I'd like to see:
-The visual alert disappears too quickly from the screen. Sometimes by the time they look at the board, the alert is gone
-I'd love to be able to award points to a group of kids that would then also be applied to their individual avatar
-It would be great if the alert would come up over other programs running on the Smartboard (although I think this one is in the works)

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help the best I can. Don't miss the help/feedback sections. I learned a lot sifting through there.

Well friends, I'm off to whip up some breakfast and finish up the de-Christmas-ization of my house. I swear the older I get, the more I understand my grandmothers little ceramic tree, but before I go, I have to say something about your comments. I can't even tell you how thrilling it is when I get an email alert that someone has left a comment on a post. Even though I might not respond to them individually, I do read each one! I have a comment thing though. I even read comments on other blogs before I post my comment. It's a good thing I'm a fast reader when I visit Kristin or Kristen.  Jennifer is so incredible about commenting that I feel like we're real friends - the same with Jen. Thank you to everyone who takes a second to comment. It really means the world to me!

P.S. I just uploaded my newest product to tpt that I'm pretty stoked about. It's a whole pack of classroom resources for the Super Bowl! Check it out {HERE}

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Diggin' the Dojo! (part 1)

Many years ago, a good friend of mine came to work at my school mid-year to take over for another teacher who was leaving.(Hi Gina!). Gina is my friend, not the crazy interesting teacher I'm going to tell you about, we'll call her Miss RewardsALot. Gina is by all accounts a master teacher. One whom I credit with many of my good teacher habits, but that's a whole 'nother post. Gina and I are very similar in our teaching and management styles, both very down to earth, very real with the kids and sometimes just the teensy-tiniest bit of sarcasm sneaks out (not the mean kind, I promise. The kind like when a kid comes to you with a nearly invisible paper cut and you ask if they want you to call 911. That kind.)

Around lunch time, I saw Gina looking less than laid-back. I just figured Miss RewardsALot's class was giving her a run for her money, which surprised me because she can handle just about anything. When she started telling me what was going on, it was like someone was setting her up to be on Punk'd- Sneaky School Edition.

Apparently, up until this point, in Miss RewardsALot's class the kids earned a cotton ball in a jar every time someone moved their stick in their pocket which allowed them all to get a marble in the compliment box as long as they walked quietly in the hall so they could also get a link on the hallway chain which also earned a point toward the pizza party reward if they reached the top of the behavior chart by getting 100 points in class bingo. Following? Yeah, neither did Gina, or the kids. This has become a running joke between the two of us. This teacher seriously had about 8 different behavior management strategies and none of them were working. It didn't take Gina long to empty the cotton balls, sticks and marbles and put one good system in place.

Now, why do I tell you this rambling story? Because lately I was starting to worry that I'm turing into a Miss RewardsALot. True Confession. I implemented the Clip Chart system two years ago and LOVED it. Still do. Then I found Behavior Bingo and it was a nice little addition. Then even with that, I felt like I needed a little something to motivate the class as a whole group, so the Fun Friday Bus drove into town. Now I recently stumbled upon Class Dojo and I'm hooked! I've been introducing my students to Dojo this week and it's really working. I actually have figured out how to seamlessly  make all of my plans work together, but I really am starting to feel a little like Miss R. eek!

ClassDojo is an online, interactive classroom management system that has really got my wheels spnning. Go ahead and check out Dojo and I'll be back again tomorrow to give you my review so far, complete with some changes I'd like to see and some that are already in the works.


I'm off to take down my Christmas decorations. Don't judge.

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What's Up in January

This is literally "what's up" in my room. Before blogstalking and Pinterest, I would Google my brains out looking for bulletin board ideas. I used to love bulletin board decorating. I would plan them far in advance and be such an eager beaver when a new month started. After 17 years in the classroom and other demands that have crept up (crept, creeped?)  bulletin board decorating has fallen down a few notches on the important scale. However, just because I fell a little out of love with them, they still need to be dealt with. So in case you're on the prowl for some January ideas, here's what I got goin' on in room 853.


I've seen lots of variations of these floating around Pinterest. How have I never done this before? This particular one is from Views from Room 205. Very manageable for my nuggets to complete independently while I woke up prepared our center materials Monday morning (did I mention I was in school on January 2nd? A Federal holiday?? Well I was. grr...)



These cutie cell phones came from Third Grade & Frazzled. My kids were totally diggin these. I had them just write one resolution and then illustrate it on the "screen".  I'm not sure how to feel about a seven year old making a resolution to lose weight. I can sympathize with the poor kiddo, that is for sure. At least she's going to go about it in a reasonable way and she's very determined. She's not lacking in the self esteem area either...lots to ponder here. Discuss.


Moving on. These A-Freakin-Dorable penguins are from Glyph Girls on TpT. I'm not gonna lie. There was a lot of preparation ahead of time but totally worth it. Next year it will be done though (assuming I don't pack them away so good I can't find them or forget I have them).


I'm kind of ending on a low note here, but in the interest of full disclosure I must show you everything that's up. This was supposed to be a lot cuter, but sometimes you've just gotta let it go. Which is what I did here. obviously. In case you're interested, the snowflake pattern can be found here.  In the blink of an eye I'll be decorating for February anyway (with these!) so Sad Snowman has a short lifespan. Yes, I have a serious teacher crush on the Glyph Girls. Yes, yes I do. They rescue me from things like this disaster:

Each snowflake has the title of their favorite winter book from our library. Yeah, still boring.

So, that's what's up in my corner of the world. Happy Friday peeps, see you this weekend!
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Incredible New Year Contest!


First of all, I'm way jealous of you all still on break AND I just found out that today is a Federal holiday and I'm working!! What's up with that?? I know my non-teacher friends are quick to remind me I just had two weeks off, yeah, yeah, I'm still gonna pout! If you're pouting too, I may have just the thing to turn that frown upside down...check out this contest! First of all, when I was asked to participate, I said yes immediately, just because I'm always up for a good giveaway, but when I saw the other people who were asked, well, let's just say it was hard to get my jaw off the table. I was blown away to be included in the company of the ladies below. Seriously, some of these girls are my blogging idols!! What a compliment to be included among them. Click {HERE} to enter!


I've also uploaded my latest Bump games for January to TPT, just click on the picture below to grab your free copy. This time I included addition and multiplication in one download. Some of my nuggets are ready to multiply so I put the games back to back in a page protector and they can choose which version to play. Thank you SO much for those of you who already downloaded and left me feedback. Mostly because I wasn't sure if you all wanted another version. I love the concept of the game and now that my kids really know the rules, I leave it out for anyone who has free time. As long as you all still want them, I'm happy to share them. Guess I have an excuse to buy some cute Valentines graphics! Who am I kidding...I was going to buy them anyway. If there is such a thing as a digital hoarder, I could be the poster child.

Well, that took about all the extra energy I could muster up. Is it wrong to wake up thinking about your afternoon nap? Well, if it's wrong, then I don't want to be right...
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