Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday! Friday! Friday!

Friday already?!  Time sure does fly when you're having summer fun!

I just love sleeping in.  I could do it ALL. THE. TIME.
It's my firm belief that nothing of importance should begin before 10 AM.
Am I alone in that? Yes? Okay.

While I was busy sleeping in all week, I know everyone was living it up in Vegas! Jealous!

However, after adequate sleep & caffeine, I was able to accomplish a few things.

1. Track It! Data Tracking Pack is new to my shop & ON SALE while I go on vacation {ahh, vacation}!
You can check out my post about how I use this tool, HERE.

2. This. I loooooove this bathing suit.  As long as I don't look at ice cream or french fries, I can wear it, too.  It's already in my suitcase & going with me on vacation... to HAWAII! {squeeeeals!}

3. I am also loving my new blog design from Megan at iTeach What's Your Superpower?
The cupcake makes me hungry every. time.

4. It has been a BLAST seeing everyone live on Periscope this week! Are you on Periscope?  You should be!

5. This outfit is in my packed suitcase ready for Hawaii! I can't even wait! If you've been to Waikiki, what's your favorite thing to do, eat, etc??


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Teach Me How to Data! Teach Me, Teach Me, How to Data!

See, I lured you in with a catchy title.  Now on to the meat & potatoes...


{Please don't hit the red x in the corner already!}

That word used to make me queezy like I'd just drank a glass of spoiled milk.  Not that I've done that or anything.

I've finally accepted data as a vital classroom tool & not rotten dairy products that were out to make my stomach turn miserable somersaults.
The secret is tracking only data you WILL USE to drive your instruction, & tracking it in an easy, I won't be up organizing this all night, way.

Enter my left hand man...
{My planner gets the right hand, of course.}

I keep this trusty binder at my small group table & spend a good deal of time with it.  At least it's colorful & not too hard on the eyes.
Here's a quick run down of what's inside & how I use it:

In the front, I keep a few whole class data graphs & several blank small group data sheets.  I use these whole group graphs at the beginning, middle, and end of the year when I want to see a class overview of how we're progressing towards our BIG goals.
The small group sheets are blank to allow for flexible grouping.  I can pull a group of students for a skill or strategy & track their progress, the topics we work on, and activities we use during group time.

Next, I have a separate tab for each kiddo.  This let's me easily track & search for data, and comes in especially handy at RTI meetings and Parent Conferences.

Ok, so behind each student tab I keep 3 main record sheets.  I color code them for my sanity & easy identification, but you could leave them white and use a different color pen as well.  Hi. I'm Mallory, and I am a color coding addict. :)

I track independent reading levels (IRLs), oral reading fluency, and writing (based on our state writing rubric).  I've included these and several others, plus a blank sheet, for you in THIS data tracker pack.
Track It! {Handy Data Tracking Pack!}

At the beginning, middle, and end of the year, I can quickly flip to each student's section and record their data with each test.  Then, I create my whole group graph (& from there my small group OR one-on-one instruction).
I will record any progress monitoring here, as well as comments from any Daily 5 or Writer's Workshop conferences.

Behind each student tab is also a sheet protector.  This gives me an easy place to store any tests, quizzes, notes, work samples, etc. that are important for conferences {because who keeps a 3-ring hole punch nearby? Not me!}

I always make and keep a few extra sets of everything {tabs, sheet protectors, colored progress monitoring sheets} hole punched and in the back or binder pockets for new kiddos that move in. It saves me from scrambling or searching when the suddenly arrive on a Monday morning. :)

That's it - my data tracking all in one organized binder.
Go grab this little pack & get organized for the new year, now!
Track It! {Handy Data Tracking Pack!}

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Week in Review!

It's Saturday. Which is really the same as Friday in the summer.

I'm in for a busy, busy day of celebrating the 4th & cleaning! {Because they're really the same thing, too, right?}
At least I have this delicious red, white, & blueberry protein shake to keep me going and make me feel festive.

Here's a quick recap of my summer-filled week!

1. I made rockin' nametags for my kiddos desks.  We don't need anything super fancy, but the Melonheadz clip art that I used added just enough adorable rocker vibe for us.  They are FREE in my shop!  I also updated my birthday iPods, here!

2. Vacation is right around the corner, and it's NEVER too early to start packing! {OMG, I better be getting checked baggage on this trip!}

3. One of my goals for this summer is to improve on our writing resources.  This is in the works {and will probably be a whole summer long endeavor, let's be real}. BUT, I have some writing process anchor charts that you can check out NOW! Yay!  What do you think? What would you add/take away from these? I would LOVE your feedback!  I will be adding several anchor lessons, etc that I have in the works, but probably not till after our upcoming vacation.

4. I am LOVING my America decor. It's so summery and just perfect for the 4th!

5. My WHOLE store is on sale through today to celebrate America's birthday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Strides!

I'm not one to shy away from a workout.
My motto has always been that, "I workout so I can EAT!"
I mean, really... YUM!

Over the past few months, I've been down and out with a knee injury, so my workouts have been happening.  But that's just it. They weren't quite the same anymore.  I had to modify several moves, I couldn't go all out, & I definitely couldn't run. {Super sad for a runner at heart.}


With all of that, I just didn't feel like myself anymore.  I felt exhausted & crabby way more often - a big uh oh!
Now that it's finally summer, I've started to run again. Amen!
It may just be a little at a time, but I'm making progress with my mileage & pace.

MORE importantly, I've stopped tracking just my calories & focused on macros.  I track what the food I eat for it's nutritional value... not just how much I can cram in while still fitting into my "skinny jeans." :)

June was BUSY, my friends.  We have been on the go, but {except for the special occassion ballpark chicken & fries} I have been finding choices that are not perfect, much better for my body than fast food hamburgers or gas station potato chips.
Some of my favorites are Chick-fil-a's Grilled Chicken Sandwich (no sauce) with a fruit cup, individual sized beef jerky (the lowest sodium pack), & flavored coffee beans with tablespoon of skim milk, hold the sugar (because on the road = need coffee).

I also think this tank would be a great Christmas present. French fries are were ABSolutely my favorite food in the world! Hahaha!

Keep at it this week! :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dare to Dream!

Teaching in today's world is clearly limited on earning potential.
Thankfully, wonderfully companies like TPT have made it easier for all of the amazing, hard-working teachers of the world to share their ideas, help others, and make a little extra cash while doing it!

We all have dreams, and it takes work to make them happen!

Travel the world! God made our world incredible beyond belief, and I'd love more than anything to experience, see, and enjoy as much of it as possible.  Traveling to Europe and/or Australia would be my ultimate travel dreams! Although, anywhere tropical would make the list for sure, too!

It's no surprise just how much money teachers spend in their classrooms every year.  Between setup, lessons, holidays... it adds up FAST!  I've been working very hard to limit my classroom spending, but how fabulous would it be to provide your kiddos with an amazing education using tools that you don't have to worry will bust your budget?!

You may say that adventure and traveling are the same dream, but not always.  I have a pretty WIDE definition for the word adventure.  From running races, to checking out a new restaurant, taking a road trip to see family, or exploring the local area, adventures in this sense are anything that isn't a huge vacation.  I love being able to explore or go on an adventure as often as possible!

What are your dreams? Are you ready to make them happen? I AM!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lazy Summer Fridays

Friday.  It doesn't ring quite the same in the summer.
To be honest, Tuesday was my first day off & as I drove to the gas station, I was already concerned thinking, Why are all of the poor construction workers out slaving away on a Saturday??
Not Saturday.
Just Tuesday.
{I secretly love it.}

So week one of summer FLEW by! Really summer? One week gone already?
Thankfully it was a pretty decent couple of days.

1. Before I left for the year, I treated my amazing secretaries & custodian to a little summer surprise.  It's soo important to show you appreciate those people who make the school work as well as it does. You can't make it through the year without them!
These adorable mug tumblers were from Wal-Mart, & they're loaded with a little Starbucks gift card.  I made a tag {that you can download here} to go with it.
I think they turned out so cute!

2. I have been loving the #tptsellerchallenge.
My favorite products got some serious facelifts.

These addition & subtraction scoot games are my best sellers. Don't they look SO much better?? Praise the Lord for some fresh Cara Carroll fonts!
They are updated with all new fonts, clip art, backgrounds, AND now are in color and black & white versions.

These beach themed math centers are perfect for 2nd graders in May & June! Or for 3rd graders in August!

3. Data! Data! Data!
My trusty data binder received an update this week, too!
Doesn't it look adorable? Makes me want to look at data alllll day!
Ok, not really. But, it's a little more fun.
I LOVE how perfectly simple the inside is, too! I will post all about it next week {with some freebies, of course}, so make sure to come back and check it out!

4. This week is clearly all about simple fixes for things I already love & adore.
Daily 5 had a revisit this week!
I've sworn by the original Daily 5 book for several years now.  It's nice & worn. I carry it around with me often.
I snagged this 2nd edition copy to borrow from a co-worker during one of our summer tanning sessions & have been reading and notetaking non-stop!
While it's not incredibly different, it was just the refresher I needed.  Sometimes just seeing something in a different way/format can make all of the difference.

5. My sweet, talented photographer friend has opened an Etsy shop! It's adorable. Just like her.  Not all of her products are posted yet, but she has a few you can check out, & they're perfect for some refreshing summer decor!
If you love anything rustic or beach-y, you should favorite her Etsy shop!

Want to win one of my new Makeover Challenge products?
You can choose from either the Life's a Beach Math Centers or BOTH Scoot games!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Makeover!

It's my FIRST official day of summer break!

I have been lazy. Finally fit in a workout. Relaxed in the sun.

Now, I figured it was time for a little after lunch spruce up on my Beachy Math Centers. #tptsellerchallenge

What do you think?

You can check out these second grade geared, sunshine loving center activities here!

That's enough work for today.  It's back to the sun for me!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Oh, June!

Oh, June! I thought you'd never get here!
It's been an interesting, exciting, and crazy-filled year.  This tired teacher needs a morning to sleep in and sip coffee on the deck {under the sunshine-y sky, of course}.

With just over a week of school left to wrap up the year, my brain is on overdrive and really may actually explode.
Like a volcano.
My kids would probably find it hilarious.

Here's what's currently happening inside my molten lava churning brain...

Listening - My house is quiet. No TV, no music. The clock is literally just ticking away reminding me that I have 10 less hours in the day than I actually need right now.

Loving - It's soooo close to summer, I can feel it! It has been a YEAR my friends, and I'm ready to sleep in and kick my feet up for a whole day before I get back to all of the summer planning for next year and cleaning the house I've neglected since last August.

Thinking - Speaking of next year... My brain is already planning, reorganizing, lesson planning, prepping, and I haven't even cranked out report cards for this year's little gems yet! Please tell me I'm not alone in this, am I? #teacherproblems

Wanting - On that first, glorious day of summer {the one where I sleep in}, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll squeeze in an afternoon nap between the excitement of nothingness. Can't. Wait. YES!

Needing - I've consistently had to skip a run at least once or more a week because of crazy schedules or crazy weather.  Running is my sanity. We all know too well that teachers desperately need their sanity at the end of the year.

Summer Lovin' - We have a ton of happenings planned for this summer already.  So many in fact, that all of the Saturdays are booked pretty much until October. They are all filled with family, friends, and travel time {say it with me: "HAWAII"}, so I'm really not mad about it one bit.

How are you feeling now that it's FINALLY JUNE? :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Day Late & A Dollar Short

It may be Saturday, but is there really a better time to write a Friday post about our week???

I think not! Saturday wins.

There are 33 school days until summer {35 for us teachers}. Not that I'm counting... yet.
Our days at this point are hit or miss, but I'm aiming for more hits.

1. FOOD! My kiddos this year will do ANYTHING for food.  I will feed them every darn day if I have to.  We chowed on some gummy worms & leaves while writing *quietly* about compost piles.  I had a REALLY hard time not just eating all of this delicious gumminess myself!

2. Accountability is key!  Especially these last few weeks.  We have SO much to learn yet, and I need to make sure my little learners are with me.  We use post-its and this wonderful Stick It To Me chart {idea credit: The Inspired Apple} before, during, or after lessons to help me keep track of learning.
My kiddos LOVE taking turns being the "Tell Us Teacher" and choosing 3 answers or ideas from the chart to share aloud with the class.

3. Math Bins were a hit this week thanks to my Buggy Math Centers!  They were perfect for spring, reviewing key math standards, & I love hearing the little giggles of excitement when they read each centers' funny name. You can find them HERE! They're even on sale for the week - just because!

4. Confession... I have a HUGE planning problem!!! It's OUT. OF. CONTROL.
So bad, that when anyone asks my husband to do something or hang out, he always tells them, "You'll have to get in touch with my personal planner."
If I leave my planner anywhere, or (heaven forbid) lose it... well that's just not going to be any bit of okay!
I am a crazy planner person & I need help!  Just kidding.  {Sort of.}
I love, love, LOVE being a planner.  It makes me happy.  It keeps me kind of sane.  Aaaaand I don't "plan" on givng up my ridiculous planning tendincies anytime soon. ;)

I've been fretting for WEEKS now because my planner ends in June, and folks, I've got major plans that happen after June! The running list in the back of my current planner just isn't cutting it for me.  I NEED to write those plans in neat little boxes with bright, colorful pens {or pencils... because life is messy & my planner needs to be erasable}, in my fanciest handwriting.

We finally made it to Target last night (romantic date night, ya know).
Straight to the planner aisle, after a quick stop at the Dollar Spot, of course... and ALL of their planners were January-December!!! WHAT?!
As a teacher, I live from July-June and need my planner to be on the same page.
I sulked.
As we were walking away, my amazing husband spotted a side rack of THESE:

Adorable July-June planners! They came in teal, pink, and royal blue with adorable designs.
I choose the royal blue. To match my classroom of course.
My everything/life planner came in a Monthly/Weekly format (necessary).
The larger planner is only Monthly & is used to sketch out tenative lesson plans.
Yay, Target!!!

5. I've been enjoying the beauty that is spring all week! Hope you are, too!