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Five for Friday {July 25}

This Friday {my last of summer} I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

Here goes...

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I spent the last week in Ohio with my family for our family reunion. I had a great time with my family and they even funded my donor's choose project. I will be receiving the complete elementary math manipulative library plus some common core math practice cards! Woohoo! Two projects funded in one summer! *dances*

At the reunion, each family was able to have a mini photo shoot. Check out this picture of me, Grandma {who never smiles in pics}, and my niece. How much trouble are we in with this little girl??

In Atlanta each year Kroger does a teacher giveaway. I sent texts and social media posts only to miss it myself because I was setting up my classroom. They ran out 2 hours earlier! But it's all good, I was able to go to Kids in Need which is an organization that collects materials from donors throughout the city for a FREE teacher store. We are able to get notebooks, pencils, folders, office supplies and so much more!


In addition to the demands of teaching, I bartend on the side and we had an AMAZING concert where I work. I am a huge fan of R&B and we had some R&B greats on the stage! Keith Sweat, Dru Hill, 112, Joe, Silk and a few others. If you know R&B you know that was an epic concert. My voice was hoarse the entire day on Thursday! SOOOOOOO much fun!

 I've spent the last two days working in my classroom. It took me forever to get my set up figured out. This will be my first year in 1st grade and the first year with a large room! I'm so used to small rooms I went back and forth a hundred times. Lol. The room is still a mess but the general set up is coming along. I'm not posting any pics yet because again it's still a hot mess!!

So I kinda don't have a 5 but I just love this linky so much and since summer is over I'll do a mini recap. Although my only time at the beach was for my birthday in May, I had a great summer. Going to the WBT conference, ISTE conference, and visiting my family kept me busy. I plan to spend my weekend working {at the bar}, and a little bit of printing and laminating but also relaxing and getting ready for pre-planning week. Au Revoir Summer time!

Be sure to link up to share your 5 randoms from the week! Toodles :)

Back to School Goals Linky

I am linking up with Jess at I heart Recess for the Back to School Goals Linky. I have about two more weeks of summer break and three more until school starts so it is definitely time for me to start getting things in gear.

Last year reflection...

Well looking at last year's goals I did not do so well with my goals. Last year was a tough year and honestly all I could focus on was maintaining sanity.

This year's goals I tried to keep simple so they are easier to attain and possibly surpass. Here are my goals for the 2014-2015 school year.

{Personal} I have done much better about exercising and eating better in the past several months. I joined a challenge which caused me to lose 7 lbs. and work out daily. My goal is to begin adding a morning work at least once per week which is going to be tooooough. Totally an anti-waking-before-I-have-to type person. But I was able to accomplish this once and it felt great! Slowly but surely.

Meal prep is also key. You've heard the saying abs are made in the kitchen and I'm trying to get at least a 2 pack. HA HA. If you guys ever check the #mealprepmondays hashtag on instagram you will see how the pros do it. I'm working to get to that point.

{Organization} Last year I was more organized than ever before but this year I am taking it to another level. I'll be honest and admit I'm like a 75% organized person. There are some things I need meticulously placed and others I put by the wayside. Through inventive storage and labeling I am hoping to reach 100%.

{Planning} I think writing will be the easiest subject to stay ahead. We use Thinking Maps:Write from the Beginning at our school which is a writing program based on Thinking Maps which makes planning easy because there's steps for mini-lessons, practice etc. 2 weeks ahead on writing will give me a chance to focus on reading and math plans.

{Professional} I have the pleasure of working with some truly awesome people that are truly stuck in their ways and oppose change. lol. I am hoping that through presenting some of my strategies I can help them embrace change. Here's hoping....

{Students} After a summer of awesome conferences, [WBT & ISTE] it is my goal to use what I've learned to get my students more involved in their own learning. I can't wait to use TEACH-OKAY, technology and notebooks with my firsties.

{Motto} An oldie but goodie but absolutely what I am going by this year. I am hoping that through maintaining organization, planning ahead, and making my students more accountable I will surely be working smarter!

Thanks for reading my goals. Link up to share yours!

Top 3 Takeways and Memories from ISTE 2014

For the past week, I've had visitors from Sunday to Sunday and now I finally have time to blog about my first experience at ISTE 2014 last weekend. ISTE was nothing short of invigorating. A couple weeks ago, I went to the whole brain teaching conference and was blown away and now I'm all WBT + Tech Tools = Sweet 1st Grade Classroom!

If any of you have ever been ISTE then you can attest to how massive and overwhelming it is! ISTE was here in Atlanta this year {super convenient for me}, and it took over the entire Georgia World Congress Center. From the hundreds of sessions, playgrounds, and the ginormous EXPO hall it was nearly impossible to see and do it all! I'm going to share my top 3 takeaways from ISTE in order to commemorate and recap my experience.

Tech Centers
My favorite session, and the one in which I feel I learned the most was actually my first one with Nancye Black. She led a session on technology centers and showed how to differentiate for primary and intermediate. The centers she discussed were movie making, blogging, digital storytelling, voice recording, desktop publishing and presentations. During the session, I thought of a ton of ways I could incorporate each session since we will have 4 computers, 1 android tablet and 2 iPods in the classroom! {whoop} Nancye also led another session I attended about writing which introduced me to storyjumper.com and my story maker! Exciting stuff people!

The poster sessions were also great! Each day they had different presenters with posters sharing their technology infused ideas, lessons and activities. Some of my favorite posters were using ipads with guided reading and flipping a kindergarten classroom. I was also able to have some quick conversations with both the teachers and received some really great advice. The networking I was able to do at ISTE was definitely a major takeaway as well. I even set up an opportunity to video conference with another first grade class this year! Awesome!
 The expo hall was surely memorable and where I had the most fun! Visiting the different exhibitors and seeing the technology they had to offer. My favorite exhibitor had to be Class Flow becaaaaauuuuseee I was able to watch in action with students from the Ron Clark Academy and Ron Clark himself! Loved it! {Posted a video on my Instagram}

Lots of goodies and freebiess, giveaways and raffles as well! I was a winner twice! I won a free subscription to science4us.com and a mobile hotspot. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen this pics!

Overall, ISTE 2014 was one of the most exciting professional experiences I've ever had. It made me more excited about my passion for using technology and I look forward to ISTE 2015!

Here's a flipagram of my experience!

Monday Meet Up and Monday Made It- 6/23

I just love linky parties! Great opportunity to find new blogs and network with awesome teachers.

First I am linking up for the first time with the Teaching Tribune for Monday Meet Up. Everyone is sharing little random facts....join in and share!

Three random facts about me....

When deciding what to name me my aunt came up with the brilliant idea to name me after my grandmothers. It's funny because those two ladies are the reason I'm the woman I am today. 

I'm slightly picky when it comes to food. There are several foods I won't eat because I can't stand the texture. I'm weird about tomatoes too, I can eat them on hamburgers but not on a salad because I can feel the texture. Weird..ha!

Charmed is one of my favorite shows! I watch the re-runs that come on in the morning even I own the whole box set. Love it!

Now on to my link up with Tara for Monday Made It. 

I made whisper phones! Since I am moving to first, I wanted to make whisper phones to help those little firsties with fluency! Of course this pinspired project was all over the place and seemed easy enough so I went for it!

On a scale of 1-super crafty I'm like a 6 depending on the complexity of the task. These were super easy, and cheap {my favorite}. I thought about spray painting but decided to keep it simple with washi tape. They came out great!

Easy Whisper Phones

You need: 10 ft. long 3/4 in pvc cut into 3 1/2 in. pieces, 3/4 in. elbow pvc pipe (2 for each phone) and washi tape or duct tape
So as I blogged about last week I went to the WBT national conference. I've used elements of WBT for the past two years but this year I'm going full force. I made rule posters last year but modified them a bit. I've decided to add the official WBT rules and included them all together as a free download. Click the picture for your WBT rules freebie!

That's it for me! Off to work out and get started on this week's projects!

Five for Friday-June 20th!

It's Friday and I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday linky. For me this week has been amazing....be sure you link and share your week!

On Sunday I drove 9 hours from Atlanta to Alexandria, LA for the Whole Brain Teaching Conference! I left really late because I bartended the night before and had to get everything ready. It was a long drive and during the drive I asked "Why did I do this to myself?", however I found out the why once I reached Louisiana! 
 The Whole Brain Teaching Conference was nothing short of amazing! Day 2 was definitely my favorite day because (clapper) we learned about oral writing. Coach B broke down the lesson sketch in morning session and Farrah Shipley broke it down even further for the teachers of firsties!

Mrs. Shipley breaking down the oral writing diagram! I just love her! I was extremely excited to learn from her, talk to her and got some great advice for how to work WBT with Class Dojo! You rock Mrs. Shipley!

On the last day, I finally got some pictures in! I was so engaged in the conference, didn't take a ton of pics! I happen to believe I got thee best pictures with Coach B! If you follow me on instagram you might've seen them!

 Before I left, I had to get some authentic cajun food. I looked up the best take out Cajun restaurant in Alexandria and Debarge's was the go to place! Man on man was it! The cashier was super sweet and let me try their cacklins and boudin balls free of charge! Talk about yums! {I'll be working that off in the gym  next week}

On my way back I made a pit stop in Natchez, MS to go to the riverfront! It was gorgeous!

In addition.......

Before I left for the conference I put together my whisper phones {$16 project}. Now that I'm back this weekend I will be spray painting and adding washi tape! I've also been working on a QR code station and have lots of things to make for my WBT journey!

Happy Friday y'all!

WBT National Conference and then some

Hey Everyone!

I am back and before I get going with this post I MUST shout out Tessa at Tales from A Blog Designer for my beautiful and brand spanking new blog design! She's awesome to work with and gets your blog up and running in no time!

I am currently in Alexandria, Louisiana at the National Whole Brain Teaching Conference and can I just say I am soooooo excited about the coming school year!!! I am moving to 1st grade next year and to be quite honest was not happy about the move because I absolutely looooooooooooooove {you hear me} third grade! Despite the extremely tough year I had this year, I still love third but I am embracing the change and challenge, and being here at the WBT conference has definitely sparked the change of heart.

On Day 1 I was completely out of it because I drove 9 hours from Atlanta to Louisiana solo but I still absorbed a ton of great ideas from THE great Chris Biffle himself, as well as the lovely Farrah Shipley. Currently in my classroom, I use Class-Yes, Hands-Eyes, the 5 rules {modified}, the Super Improver's Wall, and gestures.  I wanted to attend the conference to get a better understanding of other classroom management tools like the scoreboard, Teach-Ok, Mirrors, Three-Peat etc. When I tell you I was invigorated about each of these practices even through my haze and disorientation, {9 hours people!} I really mean it! Coach B also went into further detail about the progression of the levels of the classroom management tools like the practice cards and dealing with backtalk. A huge part of me was all.....where was all this with this past year's 3rd graders????? *hits head* I'm all in now!

Day 2...man on man did we learn a lot about WBT writing. The entire day was spent on writing with Coach B leading the morning and afternoon sessions with breakouts in between. I was really excited about the components of oral writing, the genius ladder and triple whammy sentences during my breakout with Mrs. Shipley, but I was totally floored and completely sold on WBT writing when Coach B taught us the history of western civilization using WBT Writing "Brainies"! Western Civilization! Hours later I can still tell you about prehistoric times, and the order of the civilizations! WHOA!

Tomorrow is Day 3 and the last day and I will definitely be back to share more. I just had to get this post in because I am already planning how I intend to implement WBT fully in my first grade classroom in conjunction with all of the other systems and techniques I use. Wib on y'all!

Five for Friday.....on Friday! Woohoo

Hey everyone! I know I've been ghostly as of late. Trying to get a grasp on things!I always have great intentions to post my Five for Friday and this week I made it...Oh yeah!


The weather here has been super bipolar this week....my hair can't take it y'all! Thunderstorms and then 70 degree days followed by a 30-40 degree day. My body can't take that....I've been coughing for over a week! Boooooo!
 I am currently working towards receiving a gifted endorsement through my district and in this program I have learned some really cool strategies from the book The Strategic Teacher and other sources. One strategy that seems simple enough but I learned from my experiences in this program is window notes. Window notes are a simple four square and in each square students will note facts, feelings, questions and ideas about the topic. These have been particularly helpful with our social studies and science topics. Here's an example...

 I am soooooo excited that I finally finally finally have an Samsung Galaxy S4! Those that know me know I MUST have the newest technology when it comes out. It was kiiiiiiiiiiiilling me softly that I had to wait the whole two years. Best part is that the phone was FREE due to Best Buy's Black Friday promotions. *dances* I love it.

I even have this same pink case but with the fancy smancy window!

 Even though there are a few weeks left of 2013 and pretty soon here everyone will be making their new year's resolutions...I've already started thinking about my goals for the year. I don't do resolutions but instead simple and attainable things that I want to improve such as waking up a little earlier in the morning so I'm not rushing and making sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed. My fitness goals are a little more complex.....I'm finally starting to take them seriously!! Hot Teacher in the works! LOL

A little motivation for others getting started......


Lastly.....we had a very exciting week at my school this week. Shaquille O'Neal came to my school! When I tell you that man is huuuuuuuuge in person! It was so cute he sang jingle bells with the kids, and all the students in our school received toys, games and books. It was awesome. Check it out...the event even made our local news...he called himself "Shaq-A-Clause!" Sweet!

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