Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guess what time it is? ...It's TOOL TIME!

The first week is D-O-N-E!
I feel like I've been in school for at least three weeks...I finally moved things around to where it works for me. I have a girl driven class this year too.{ I have 13 girls and only 7 boys.}
I am going to have to get it together for this crowd!
I started my Guided Math routine, kinda! I forgot I had DUTY at 8:00 am Monday morning.
 (If I had turned on my e-mail sooner my calendar program would have given me a heads up~Thanks Kristin) It was a Monday, so I didn't go to my e-mail first. I was going to set my self up for a the premier of my  Guided Math lessons...<insert laugh/snort here>....well one thing led to another and while I was flitting around the room my intern might have reminded me I have duty..it was 10 minutes until 8 when it kicked in I have to go and can't be back to my room until 8:30 and yep, at 8:30 is when I start Math...yikes, I didn't have my Math vocabulary page printed off, yikes I didn't have my charts ready to Anchor the lesson..yikes I had 10 minutes to pee and run to the office to sign in and grab my attendance folder and make sure I had coffee..oh Monday, you are so cruel!
 My neighbor says casually, "I stay late on Fridays, so I don't have this issue on Mondays" OK... lesson learned! (but in my defense I didn't make those lesson plans until Saturday....)

Our school has started a new Math initiative.."Math Manipulative Time" Every grade level in addition to a scheduled Math time has to set aside 35 minutes (pre-determined) to incorporate math manipulatives(I call them tools) into a lesson. I know what you are thinking, "But I use math tools everyday in every math lesson I teach"...here's the punch line, not all teachers know HOW to use the tools, or EVERY tool. Some teachers (blaspheme) don't even use Math Tools! (yikes, hello..it's 2012!) BUT I'm not judging just putting it out there. I was shocked it has come to this. Obviously, to me, that means enough teachers are either not using them, or don't know how or aren't comfortable teaching with Math tools.

 Can I clep out of this 35 minutes ? I NEED to teach writing ...

.......but I can tell you this, the kids L-O-V-E this time, it reinforces the morning Math lesson, PLUS it saved the grand opening of Guided Math!
Tomorrow is Day 3 of my Guided Math time, and I haven't even met with a small group yet, which means I think I will be using Math Tool Time to catch up and start groups while the rest of the class uses the tools independently to finish up their Math problems, games and fluency! I think I might actually like this Tool Time after all....now if only I could find another 35 minutes to teach writing..oh I'll save that for another post!
See you soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Here it is..... I finally got around to taking the  post pictures. I tried putting both pre/post school pictures, check us out!

This is Wall #1, the short wall...I already changed the clock area too! The Apple is gone and I hung up the Minute to Dismissal chart!!!


Wall #2 Really got a make over, the BEE rules are up, the plants/lamps and a new word wall too!

Closer to the front door I added the Pinterest idea from Miss. Nelson...
....and my work area got a little more "ME"! Please EXCUSE the mess, this was taken on the second day of school, when I 100% forgot any of the Clutter-Free ideas, I am back on track now!!!
Wall #3 got a whole new look this year!!!

I put up curtains, with the cutest bunting, plus all my books, except for the Chapter Books! Here is a closer look at the Bunting...thanks to School Girl Style....

Wall #4 is a really, really B-I-G wall.....

 I put up my C A F E board and added the NEW Pinterest idea for "Good Listeners", the "1 Minute Dismissal Checklist has been moved to the clock wall!


 My Calendar area is still under construction, but at least it is functional!
Here is a bigger view...the Bees on the wall will hang their writing!

Part of Wall #1 is a Math Facts area and the Front door....




The outside


From the inside looking out.....
In the Hallway, I have yet another Pinterest created idea, our display area!

My neighbor does the "Hollywood" theme..check out her display, Walk of Fame knock-off and all!
Did I mention, on the First Day of school, I made them these precious Lucky Charms bags....I LOVE Lucky Charms...YUMM-O
I feel so much better sharing my room with you!...hope you enjoyed it... Next blog will be about what is going on in the HIVE, until then bloggy friends, get some sleep! I am!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The FASTEST Week EVER! and the Jitters...

WHAT? It's Friday? Are you kidding me?
So here I sit exhausted, OK I'm really lying in bed, I can't believe my first week back to work is over. I feel like a bus just ran over me!
I got the room ready, I forgot to take pictures, I even reminded my intern to remind me to take pictures...we are beat! I was so focused on making everything as cute as all the ideas on Pinterest that I forgot to make my welcome letter....WHAT? Oh yeah, today at 10:30 am while "Meet the Teacher" was in full swing it dawned on me, "Hey, no one is asking about lunch time, or bus schedules..what's going on?" So I write that info on my board...2 hours later at lunch I realized I did not even print out my sweet letter, nor did I print out the supply list (stop laughing , I did quickly print out a few copies) thankfully our school is "Going Green" this year and most of all that is on my website ANYWAY!

Time to reflect,
 "Um girl? What are you up to?"
 I have been so consumed with new ideas and workshops and new CCSS, and presenting new Deliberate Practice evaluations to the staff that I didn't get to my "to do" list, as I have always done in years past...the funny thing is...I don't think anyone noticed!

I am really bummed that I haven't blogged at all this week! Is it going to be like this all year long? I miss blogging...so I think I am going to build in a blog time into my schedule at least twice a week!   I have been keeping a list of things to blog about too!
I really want to talk to you about the new "Homework Policy" and "Grading Concerns" I also need your opinions about my schedule and of course to let you know how my new Math TIME is going...plus post pictures and ideas and lessons we are doing...So I am going to bid you adieu and good night for now...hopefully I can schedule a blog in for Monday night and let you know how my classroom is shaping up!
I've missed you!

Because I have missed you so so much, I decided to go all out and link up to  "A Turn to Learn" ...
Back to School Jitters Linky Party

Don't forget to comment on the 2 blogs before  you on the Linky Party!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to School

Trying to get ready for my 5:10 am alarm, back to the old routine, but I am not in bed yet! I am running through 800 different ideas in my head for this week!
 I have decided to do T.I.M.E in math to organize my Guided Math time, and still need to set up the bins for that, plus set up all the bins for my new activities in my Word Work area.
 I am glad I have  an intern starting tomorrow with me too! She is in for a fun year of transitioning into the Common Core and my newly ORGANIZED classroom. I am going to pledge to myself to keep it CLUTTER-FREE this year! I will have all of you to keep me on the straight and narrow ...right?
I will post my FINISHED classroom pictures by Friday and then next Monday is the BIG day!!!
My boy will start 5th grade, and I am sad! This will be our last year in the same building...I bet he is one happy boy? Details to follow later on all of that, but for now my friends I am off to bed so I can gt up early and have a power workout before I go back to work!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Working in My Room:Part 2... and a Giveaway or two

Well, we got in!! But I am not liking my furniture arrangement, so far ...I did take pictures but this is not the after pictures...this is the in between pictures. I will change it up a few times before I decide how it will work!

This is above my computer area!

This is on Wall 1, on the small wall, it's my interactive word wall area!

Jack and Annie live above the Chapter Books at the end of Wall 4.

 This is Wall 2, the Cabinet wall...still have lots to do with this wall!

 Wall 3, the window wall, so NOT ready, I still have to get my Bees ready to decorate those curtains!

 This is part of Wall 4, I broke up the Math area and put it on both sides of the Learning Rug...not feeling it yet?!!

No going into the building tomorrow, so I will be pool bound and try to get as brown as I can before Meet the Teacher on Thursday, or is it Friday???
I am not sure, but I can tell you I have to start on Monday and at least I got most of my things out of the way!
Hopefully I will get everything cut out and mounted, ready to laminate for next week!
Can't hardly wait.

Buzz on over to the Hive

Rikki is having a 150 follower give away and the prize is too cute..you have GOT to check it out!!!!
Also My friend Heather at The Busy Busy Hive is having a 104 follower Give Away,
Check her out too!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A New School Year, deserves a New look, right?

This is a super short post today! I must give props to my girl Mariela...she "jacked up" my blog!
If you are looking for something new go visit her and let her know what you are looking for! She's an awesome teacher, now Math Coach that has so much going on...check her out, you won't be disappointed!
Stay tuned for more Classroom Photos this week

Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, August 6, 2012

***UPDATE*****Working in my room :Part 1

I am so HaPpY!!!!
(they let us in)

I have some work ahead of me too!
Sorry about the blurriness...phone pictures can stink!

This is wall 1, the door wall...hallway door, closet and bathroom door. Notice the bulletin board on the small part of the wall.

This is wall 2, the wall that really isn't a wall, it's all cabinets, cubbies, and computers!

 This is wall 3...the window wall! My poor boy, he got to hang out at school! Yes that is the playground. Believe it or not we don't even hear them!

Wall 4, the really long white board wall, with two bulletin boards on the sides!

 So long, I needed another photo to show you!
So there you have it my room! I sat down on the floor and began to plan out how I want this to work...I moved the furniture around, I really don't like how the book wall (wall3) looks...I need new matching shelves...man I wish I was rich!
I can't wait until I get the right configuration then the decor...My buddy is getting her room ready next door, and already I am feeling behind! Ugh! just wait until tomorrow y'all it will "BEE" 110% better.(or I'll Cry)

Sorry no pictures for today's hard work! An hour into rearranging furniture and lighting options, we were kicked out of the building..so sad, hopefully you will get Part 2 tomorrow!!!

Wake Me Up Before I [have] to Go Go

I have ONE WEEK...just one to put my game plan together! Am I ready? Can I do this?....let me show you what's on my plate!

1. PROCRASTINATION...I didn't make any packets to share for my "BookIt" turned "BUMBLE BEE" project like I WANTED too! Nor did I make the MTH packets or the Book Study Buddies that I used last year in my enrichment group, but I'll get to it right?

2. I need to make my "HONEY BEE CLUB" (like Madden's Monster's Club)

3. Get ready for GUIDED MATH...I read the book, I totally get it...now I just need to organize the how to part!

4. I need a new lesson plan template (AGAIN) to accommodate the new CCCS and our new 'master schedule', which leaves out writing all together, we have to roll that in  with our 90 minute Reading block!(and I still am planing on trying out Amanda's Writer's Notebooks too)

5. Plan how to incorporate my after school activities GOTR with my son's activities.

ONE WEEK....oh and I have to take my son to the doctor, he has a planter's wart that went AWOL...what  a mess...do I have time to do all of this AND decorate my classroom so it will 'BEE' fantastic?

I am in a full panic!

Did I mention my mom is in Europe,(not a pleasure trip,my grandmother died :( ) and can't help me out this  LAST WEEK! (she always helps me with my boy, as I am a single mom)...
okay ladies I have got to get a grip...so here's the plan.....


I have decided that getting the Guided Math sorted and organized is job one... (Well, kinda, getting my boy to the doctor is job one) I have to decide which system I want to use and how it will look in my room...physically how it will look. My classroom is so weird, very long and skinny, two HUGE long windows on one wall and computers, cubbies, sink area, all the cabinets on another wall, then a wall with two doors in it (a short wall too) and the other wall is a long long wall with a HUGE white board on it. ...I need to go in and plan how I want my room to work for my Guided Math time, and Daily 5 time.
Once I decide how it will function, then I can start to decorate it with all the new Happy Honey Bee stuff I got from School Girl Style.

Okay, so that sounds good..I can start right? Well, now I have to get into the building and sketch out my room plan...getting into the building is a bit like getting a meeting with the Queen of England...I hope I can get in?

As for the rest..well, I'll get to it!(hopefully)

I have to tell you I REALLY REALLY enjoyed reading


I want to use this method because it makes sense! Laney Sammons says some really smart stuff and the quotes she uses I will be using them too!
 I chose to prioritize this because she states on page 35
 " Along with challenging our students, we need to create an environment where students recognize the relationship between effort an learning" ,
on page 200 she goes on with "Strong classroom management is essential for math Workshop to be implemented" ( I don't struggle with management usually, but I want to be overly prepared as this will be a new way to do Math, I want to create my surroundings to minimize any management issues!)
 She ends it with " Teachers considering the Guided Math Framework should reflect on how they can adapt and use it to inspire a Love of learning in their students...." on page 250. That is my rational, reflection...I took a lot of notes in my book, a lot of highlighting and sketches of ideas. I need to go in and take a look around and set my room up for ACADEMIC success, not just print rich, but math rich too!
If by some chance [the grace of God], I get in ...I will post BEFORE and AFTER pictures of the set up!

P.S - Did I mention my pal at

is making me the cutest template for my blog ...I can't wait until she gets it all done...you will be impressed!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Currently in August...plus Vacation pictures

I just got back from the desert and decided I needed something fun to blog about, because tomorrow it will be back to thinking and sharing ideas about what I need to do for school this year! I had  a lot of time to read on the planes  (yes PLANES...from NV to CA to TX to FL) yesterday...a lot of time to reflect too...oh boy I really will need YOUR help over the next few blogs to sort some things out, I hope you will be up for it and have better ideas than me...but now off to the Fun.... I linked up with
and made my 1st Currently.....

I love how other bloggers are so creative...I'll get there ONE DAY!!!!

Okay. so now for some vacation pictures....My dad lives in Las Vegas, so I like to g once or twice a year. No I don't  gamble, I can't imagine just throwing my  money away, but what we usually do is visit Nation Parks and get educated!

We went to Zion in Utah...possibly one of my favorites, I love Grand Canyon in Arizona better, we went there last Christmas. My son is a first timer at all these parks. I've been going since I was 10!

This is me and my Dad! We are at the Temple of Sinawava..the gateway to the Narrows..which is a hike through the Virgin river.

We also stopped at the Court of the Patriarchs and took this quick picture of Abraham, Issac and Jacob Peaks.

Once we got back to Las Vegas I had some fun times with my boy, the only time he has ever been on the Strip was the day I took him to the top of the Stratosphere Tower......

We rode BIG SHOT and INSANITY....I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and I am trying to get him to like it too!

Then at the tail end of my vacation my sweet pilot flew into town and we got the relax at the Mandalay Bay

Do we look as tired as we were???

As usual, we did the whole tourist sightseeing thing! I made him drag me to these places just for the pictures!
We didn't go in..there was a line....

 I wanted to eat here, just to see who won (it's in my DVR so don't tell me!!!) but $60 for an 8oz. steak...ummmm I'll pass....

We did stop in and see the DaVinci exhibit...it was mediocre....however it was inside and AC was cranked up...ah 106 in the shade outside!

All in all we had a great time....I am tired from the non stop fun BUT realize I only have a week left to get my plan of action into place before I start school again...I have to get started...see you tomorrow!!!
~ Natalie