The first few weeks

Hello again!  Well the first few weeks of school are now behind me.  The magic has happened as I have now fallen in love with 20 precious little ones. 🙂  My procedures have been taught.  Some have been learned and some…well…we are still working on a couple – which I’m guessing you can all relate to that!  My principal has been to my room twice.  Once was awesome…the kids were just getting ready to go to lunch, and they did so flawlessly.  The other time….well let’s just say I learned a lesson.  If you don’t get to a paper after you already passed it out, collect it back to save it for when you do have time.  Reason: I had just asked everyone to pull out the science page I handed out the day before that we didn’t get to work on.  I had asked students the previous day to put it in their folder in their desk.  Sooooo, just as I asked them all to take it out because we were going to work on it, I hear the key in the door.  The principal is doing a walk through.  In my head I’m thinking, “WOW…perfect timing….this is such a cool engaging lesson!”  However, it did not go well as 12 of my 20 announced they could not find the paper.  Naturally we transitioned to something else but it was a bit embarrassing as they were all calling out while I was trying to figure out what in the world was next on my agenda (naturally I couldn’t have been further from my planbook at this moment and my mind was going blank).  Lesson learned.  I will ALWAYS collect a paper back that we don’t get time to complete.  Just thought I’d share that little tidbit today!  🙂

On a positive note, the principal did walk around my classroom.  I had used my flip chart as an anchor lesson with story structure and that was in plain view for her to see.  She read it and then asked a student a question. YAY!  They were able to answer it easily! 🙂  If you are interested in how I teach story structure with a beautiful anchor chart, click the link below to visit my store.  🙂  There are separate lessons for third and fourth grade using Journeys’ first several stories.

I hope your first few weeks have gone well and your heart is as full as mine with lots of new little sweetie pies.


Back to School

One of the important things I learned through my National Board Certification was the importance of spending time at the beginning of the year to build a strong classroom community.   There are many ways to do this.  One of my favorites is by playing a game of catch with my class.  I throw out a squishee ball and when someone gets it, I ask his/her name.  I then write his/her name on the board and assign points telling him/her what an awesome job he/she did of getting/catching the ball.  I usually give 10 points to the first student.  I repeat the process but tell the students that they can only get the ball once.  As students get the ball, and I write their names on the board, I ensure that the scoring has nothing to do with his/her skill.  So if a child totally misses it, I might give them 100 points.  The next student that misses might get 5 points.  I make sure that the score is making absolutely no sense whatsoever.  I even give a student a million points!  By the time we finish, the kids are all frustrated and Continue reading “Back to School”

Hello world!

My Very First Post!

Well…here goes nothing. I’m taking a huge step for me…I’m becoming a blogger. Yep! Right now. This is it. You are reading my very first post. It’s very scary! It’s not like I have trouble talking (ask my husband!), it’s just that I’ve never really put myself out there in cyberspace like this before. I do love helping others so hopefully that part will come naturally. I must say that it does feel a little easier knowing that my intended audience are mothers and fathers (parents are our future!), educators, and teachers of all kinds, because I know these are all also caring people. So that makes me super excited to get to know my followers (I keep hearing that I WILL have followers so I’m trying to think positive.) I’m hoping that this blog will be a place to help others by connecting and sharing information.

Why I’m Blogging

I am an EXTREMELY passionate third grade teacher. I spent one year teaching kindergarten (bless those teachers and pay them more!!), then RAN to third grade where I have remained for the last 12 years. I hold my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and I also earned my National Boards. I love teaching, and I love learning. I started a TPT store (Engage and Bloom) last summer. It’s been a REALLY long learning process as I didn’t have anyone to help me along the way. I read and read, and read and read some more. I read everything I could. I spent almost my whole summer trying to learn how to share my lessons with others with the opportunity to earn some compensation for my time on a TPT site. By October, I had created some great products and made a few sales, but I felt there was so much I didn’t know. So I decided to sign up for the TPT annual conference the following July which leads me to this week.


This week I attended the TeachersPayTeachers annual conference in Orlando, Florida. I’m setting a pattern because I was a bit nervous about attending all by myself so this was another first. I booked the conference last fall, but neglected to book the hotel so I ended up offsite about 4 miles away. That required ANOTHER first for me…learning how to use Uber! (Otherwise I had to pay $20/day for EACH hotel thereby spending $40 a day just to park my car!) So after checking into my hotel, the very first thing I did was google “Uber” where I learned I needed to download the app onto my phone. Check…I could do that! I allowed the app (it prompts you) to use my location, and then I input the address for the conference. Then I hit “request”. Woohoo…so easy except….WARNING: Be sure you’re almost ready to go before hitting the “request” button because WOW…a Continue reading “Hello world!”