Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weekly Inspiration

The best of all things are done with kindness.

Save this image to your phone and set it as your background

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Routines to Keep Your Mornings Smooth

When I was in the classroom, I could either have a clean classroom or a clean house. I was never ever able to have both. I envied those that walked into a beautiful classroom and came home to a spotless house. That was never me. It still isn't me. I'm not super clean. BUT I do love a good routine. And I've found that a good routine has helped my mornings run much smoother. I also notice that there are a few things I did in the classroom that helped me be much more successful there than anywhere else.

1) Drink coffee.
  • Seriously. Okay, maybe not seriously. But for me coffee is my time. I can drink it on my way to work and feel slightly rejuvenated. Make time for yourself. Spoil yourself with something small, like coffee, so that you feel good when you walk into that classroom. But seriously.... I recommend coffee on top of coffee..... With maybe a shot or two of espresso.
2) Do a few small things the night before.
  • Pick out your clothes the night before & lay them out. When your alarm goes off, all you have to do is grab them and hit the shower. Easy peasy!
  • Write your morning message / prep morning work the day before. When you walk into your classroom, focus on the important things for the day. By having morning work all ready to go, you don't have to stress about what kiddos will do when they walk in. 
  • This also goes for prepping the coffee pot, making a breakfast, packing a lunch, and laying out your supplies and keys ahead of time. I never seem to be able to find my keys.

 3) Listen to music.
  •  Any type will do! I love Pandora for this. I'll listen to Bruno Mars Radio in the shower, Indie in the car, and Classical once I get in the classroom. I usually keep classical on all day. Music helps me stay energized and focused. Especially classical. It's the best way to start the day!

4) Make those lists!
  • Create a list of what needs to be done every day. And do it. Every day. The more you do it in order, the more likely it is to become "routine". Do you think about what you should do next in the shower? No- you shampoo, condition, wash your face, etc, in the same order, every day. It's become a routine.  So find a routine, tweak it, and then make it happen.
5) Smile & Choose Joy.
  • I think one of the hardest things to do is to choose joy every. single. day. But by choosing joy, we choose to tackle whatever comes our way with a smile. So wake up and thank God that you're here to tackle another day! :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Monday!

It's Monday!

Dear Valentine's Day, I'm ready for you this year with a Galentine's Style Yoga class. Loud music, good friends, and mimosas at the end? Yes, please!

Dear teachers, are you ready to feel festive in your classroom? Grab this pretty iPhone background here and some fun ideas for Valentine's, here!

Dear Math Teachers, in need of some Valentine Day activities? Check out these Math Games with a February Theme!

Dear chilly weather, can we please go back to sunshine and mild days? I'm already over this chill and slush. But if you must remain, at least I can snuggle up in this, this, or these! Gosh I love Target.
Crew Neck, Loose Crew Neck, Mesh Calf Leggings

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pretty Heart Background // Weekly Inspiration

No words this week - just a pretty background for your phone. One that will remind you to make pretty things!

Save this image to your phone and set it as your background!

Friday, February 5, 2016

What Should a Writing Classroom Look Like?

Writing? Who has time for that? Writing time tends to get shoved under the rug. Most kiddos run out of topics to write about and with so many different writing curriculums, sometimes writing gets just plain BOOOORING. Are you with me?

So what's the solution? Well, here's what I think a Writing Classroom should look like...

Mini Lessons! Typically 5-10 minutes (I'm talking miniiiii) with a simple strategy or craft you want students to notice and try in their own writing. I feel like the best way to teach grammar and usage is in 1:1 conferences and through modeling. ALL THE MODELING, teacher friends! It's power is unreal! I also love to turn our mini lessons into anchor charts that we can showcase in the classroom.

Independent Writing! This is the biggest chunk of writing time. It should be AT LEAST 30 minutes, should be very quiet, and all students should be doing something related to writing. This is tricky, because you can have many "fake writers" or distracted writers. Classroom management is key here! While students write, you, the fab teacher, meets with students for writing conferences. (I keep track of this in my Writing Binder and try to meet with every student twice a month for 5-10 minutes). I also let students publish their stories on the computer during this time.

Share Time! I swear I was always running out of time to share at the end of writing. But when I do it daily, I notice a HUGE difference. So don't make Kelly Anne's mistake. SHARE! I typically try and help a student use our mini lesson in our writing conference - then I have them share "THE AMAZING THING THEY WROTE TODAY" during share time. I encourage other writers to try the same thing. It's legit magic, y'all. I swear! Try it and let me know what you think!

How do you spend your writing time? How much time do you have for writing?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

3 Tricks to Boost Student Engagement in Writing

Getting our kiddos invested in writing can be quite challenging. We want them to love writing, but can't make them fall in love with it. Below, I've shared 3 tricks to help kiddos feel in charge in their writing!

Tips and Tricks for Grading

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Letters // Groundhog's Day Edition

It's Monday! Welcome back! How was your weekend?

Dear teachers, tomorrow is GROUNDHOG DAY! And if you're like me and had no idea until today, then you're needing some resources. Check out these cheap or FREE resources (here, here, and here) I love! educators, are you discussing growth mindset with your colleagues and students? It's a great way to get your students thinking about their learning. And Class Dojo has a stress free way to incorporate it into your classroom and conversations! And it pairs nicely with this product in my store.

Dear friends, you make life definitely more interesting. We had a blast kayaking, cornhole playing, and eating. So much eating. I just wish I could get more sleep! Bear and I are already looking forward to this coming (quiet) weekend!

Dear Two Writing Teachers, I loooooooove your blog. And am stoked for this new mini series that's coming this week! Be sure you stop by!