"Blessed are the teachers, for they open minds, touch hearts and share the future." Unknown

Saturday, June 30, 2012


I never thought I would enjoy working on a computer.  They have been a necessary evil for work and an electronic game table at home.  However, my friend Laura (TIPS) got me interested in blogging.  From there it was just a hop, skip, and a jump over to the creative side.  I have always enjoyed coming up with engaging (and dare I say it, FUN) activites to help my students learn.  I believe that an interested mind is an engaged mind and I try to put that belief into practice every day in my classroom.  Anyway..I have discovered the wonderful world of graphics and clip art.  I am having a blast designing games, activities, and resources.  I think I am up to7 in-progress projects.  Every time a thought pops into my mind, I start working on it so I don't forget it. I am enjoying it so much that I have just pulled my second all-nighter in less than a week.  So, if I'm spending all of this time working, why do I have so many unfinished products? After careful consideration, I finally have an answer.  I blame AADDOLATPL (Adult Attention Deficit Disor......... Oh! Look At The Pretty Light).  Who else has this problem?  I know I'm not alone out here.

I did manage to finish one project over night and it is posted in my Teachers' Notebook store.  For all of my fellow teacher/sellers...do you use both Teachers' Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers?  Is it worth having products in both?  I would love to hear what you think.

Happy Bloggi....Wow - did you see that squirrel?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Word Sorts and My First Sale (Fingers Crossed)

Woo Hoo....I have posted my first "For Sale" item in my Teachers' Notebook store.  For the past few years, I have used word sorts in my classroom.  Usually, I would just run off copies, have the kids cut them apart (Can you say TIME CONSUMING) and then spend the rest of the day picking up scrap papers from all over the room.  So, I am creating pre-made word sorts that can be downloaded, printed, and laminated.  Voila....no more wasted time (or messes).  Click on my TN store to check them out.
Happy Blogging!

"CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON..." Music in the Classroom - Linky P-A-R-T-Y!

Good Morning fellow bloggers!  I was so excited to see the topic of this Linky party.  I am a self-professed music addict.  I love music and use it frequently in my classroom.  I believe in the power of music to calm, inspire, motivate, and energize.  One of my favorite CD's is by Mr. Rick on Character Education.  He's done a couple of assemblies at our school and the kids loved him.  I was looking to see if he has any other material out there and the only think I could find was a book of poems (lyrics) on Amazon.com.  I'm not sure why he isn't producing more right now, but if you can find anything by him, grab it quickly.  I also some of the cd's from Music for the Mind and Sound Health series.  CD's are available at Kagan Cooperative Learning's online catalog. Finally, I love any kid-friendly music from the 50's - 70'.  I've purchased a few CD's, but find that the best ones are the ones I create myself from tracks downloaded at sites like Rhapsody. (Just be sure to download the RIGHT version - and after you download it, listen to it all the way through to make sure it's the RIGHT version.  Unlike me, who downloaded the wrong track of the Hokey Pokey.  It sounded just like the one I listened to until my kids and I heard the line, "GET UP OFF YOUR %$# NOW"  Can anyone say OOPS!  Luckily, my parents were very understanding and I learned a valuable lesson...check, check and double check anything you use in the classroom. 

Happy Blogging!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thrift Shops and Centers

The weather where I live has been blessed by Tropical Storm Debbie for the last several days.  Tired of being cooped up inside, I went bargain hunting on Saturday.  At one of the thrift stores I visited, I found a box of scrapbooking papers.  I went through and selected a boatload!  Then, I came home and worked on creating some Reading Strateges Direction Charts for centers.  I printed out the charts and then mounted them onto the scrapbookin papers using photo splits (I hate laminating projects made with glue!).  I love the way they turned out!  I've posted a few pics below.  If you would like free copies of the charts, please visit my Teachers' Notebook store.  The charts can be used as is or mounted on some type of background and laminated.

Happy Blogging!

Part - Part Whole Charts

You know you are addicted to blogging when you are still up at 5:00 am preparing a post.  I am really hoping the novelty wears off by the time I go back to school or I am in big trouble!! I've recently learned how to use Powerpoint to create prinables and am having so much fun creating items to use with my kids in the fall.  Since I am going to be working with children who need lots of support in both math and reading, my focus is to create items that are bright, colorful, and effective. In our school, K and 1 teachers will begin using the  Common Core Standards, which as those of you already using it knows, will require a shift in thinking.  We are no longer going to be providing lots of photocopies for students to work with. Rather, students are going to be expected to create their own.  For some of my students, that will be difficult.  I want to have a wide range of resources I can offer my students and the classroom teachers working with them.  The goal is for these materials to be memorable enough that my students will eventually begin to independently draw and use them as needed.  I have listed a set of Part, Part, Whole mats that go along with EnVision Math in my Teachers' Notebook store.  Please visit if you are interested in a free download for use with your own students.

Happy Blogging!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


One of my favorite things to do over the summer is plan my theme for the next school year.  I have been searching for ideas for several weeks now.  Today, a friend and I window-shopped at our local school supply store where I saw a cute bulletin board called, "Lights, Camera, Action" by Carson Dellosa.  That got me to thinking, so when I got home I spent several hours on Pinterest and Etsy looking at ideas. (By the way, this was my first time on Etsy...it's my new favorite site!) I didn't want something that was already out there...just some inspiration.  As I was looking, my search veered away from a movie theme towards a rock star theme.  All of a sudden, the thought "popped" into my head...POP STARS.  I want my students to be Purposeful, Organized, Prepared Students Thinking, and Acting Responsibly, in other words...be P.O.P. S.T.A.R.s.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Math Key Words Posters

This week I worked on our district's math common course exams for second grade.  One concern that came up repeatedly was the fact that many of our students are capable of solving the problems on these assessments, but the vocabulary can be a stumbling block.  Since I am going to be working with students who need extra support next year, I started thinking about what I could do to help my kids increase their math vocabulary recognition and understanding.  I have created a set of posters that define 12 key math terms in a bright, colorful format that will hopefully grab their attention.  I plan to put these up in my room.  I also have a set of flashcards to use with small groups or in. Check out my shop on Teachers' Notebook if you would like to download the posters.

Happy Blogging!                                        

Blog Tip

So I am trying out my first Linky party.  I hope it works. :)
Here is my blogging tip - If you are new to blogging, like I am, don't try to design your own blog unless you are a computer genius.  I've spent hours trying to create a blog button to add to a free template I had downloaded.  I finally admitted that I didn't know what I was doing (that is the first step to recovery...right?) and purchased a premade blog that will be installed for me.  I can't wait to see what a professionally-made blog looks like. 
Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Yesterday morning, there was a double homocide down the street from where I live.  When police arrived, they found a couple dead in the front seat. In the backseat, they found the 3 year old cousin of the girl killed.  Now, I don't remember much about my life when I was three, but I know that who I am today was shaped during that time.  This event was a stark reminder that I do not know what a child in my classroom has experienced in his/her young life and neither do the politicians and administrators who want to measure our impact as teachers with a standardized test.  If all I had to do was teach, that wouldn't be an issue.  But somedays I spend more time being a mother, counselor, mediator, cheerleader, doctor, etc. than I do actually teaching.  It is our job to create a safe and loving environment for our charges and often that requires time spent on "life" issues.   I know that standardized testing is important....I just wish it wasn't more important than the children we are teaching.  They are not machines who can turn their lives outside of school on and off. They are wonderful little human beings who need to know that while education is critical to success in life, it does not outrank basic human needs - safety, acceptance, purpose and love.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Off to Work

This is the last Monday I have to wake up to an alarm!  I'm off this morning to work on the district CCE's for math.  I enjoy tasks like this, so the time should go quickly.  We have 2 days to work on them, then my summer really begins.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


One of the best finds in my teaching career was graphic organizersThe first time I learned about using them in the classroom was a pivotal change in my approach to teaching comprehension and vocabulary.  It was such a  simple idea...create a document that would allow children to put something concrete in front of them so that they could "see" their thinking.  One of my favorites for building vocabulary is a word map.  I have created a few and have put them up here to share.  I hope you find them useful.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hands-On Learning

For years, I have known that I am a tactile/kinesthetic learner (and teacher).  My friend Laura Jordan (teachinspireprepare.blogspot.com) is trying to coach me on blogging over the phone.  However, my learning by listening is out of service at this time.  So I am practicing what I think she was explaining to me by trial and error (my favorite way to learn.)  Any errors, confusion, and bloopers are totally my fault and not the responsibility of my coach.  :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Welcome to Adventures in Teaching.  I have been trying to come up with the perfect title for a blog for quite a while now.  Then, I saw  reference to an old movie.  Can you guess what it was?  If you guessed Adventures in Babysitting, you have just earned a sparkly smiley sticker.  I rarely have an original idea, but I am an old hand at using others' ideas as inspiration and I was certainly inspired tonight.  I now have a name for my blog.  The next step is to figure out exactly how these things called blogs work.  It should be an interesting summer learning how to do something new.
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