Back To School...

Sunday, September 22, 2013 No comments
Does anyone else ever feel so stressed out when it is time for back to school?
I get soooo stressed. This year is a little harder because we {our district} has a brand new math curriculum and a brand new reading curriculum. Oh...and now I am self contained which means that I have to re-learn how to teach reading.  As Robin from Batman would say... "HOLY KLEENEX!!"

The week before pre-school I attended a FULL WEEK training on {drum roll please...} Kagan. So of course, now that I have a new tool in my tool box, I want to use it to all of the  time. I have fully enjoyed doing it and working with my kids on classbuilders and teambuilders. 

After all that, and writing this so late at night- I want to show you what I've gotten myself into.
So every day, I work with about 7 kids who are in triple I or Intensive Intervention. Then I have about 5 kids who leave my classroom to go to another teacher for Intervention. I am left with 9  kids who are required to just read...? Well I felt bad that they are literally sitting there reading for about an hour and a half. I decided to put them in groups. WHAT ARE THEY DOING IN GROUPS? I kept asking myself. After many avenues like daily 5 or modifying it for daily 3 I came across something else. I felt that with only these 9 kids, I could do this group work. I created a Book Study for each of the groups. Now I want to show you what I've done...

This is the table of contents of each assignment. Also,  it has the benchmarks included.
This is one of the pages that I used for connecting poetry to the story.

There are 3 questions for each chapter. 

This is to help the students work on Themes for the book.

 Just like the questions for each chapter, there are vocabulary words.

If you enjoy these, I will make custom book studies for you. If you would like to see what I have so far done, then check out my TeachersPayTeachers account!

Star of the Week

Thursday, July 25, 2013 No comments

Ahh! I am currently on a plane. Yes...a plane~ and I am completely panicking because I do not like planes. My poor fiancé, he walks out with scratches and nail marks all down his arm because of how terrified I get. Today was a very emotional day. I had to leave my puppy at a PetHotel. I was so devastated that I couldn’t even walk her in. Wesley had to take her in while I cried { hoo cried} in the car. It has been sooo emotional. 

Today marks the first day of something new! Today marks the first day as “Try It Thursday!!” Let’s talk about the W’s. C’mon teachers! You know the W’s.
Who? Me, you, and everyone who wants to try something new.
What? It’s a chance to try new things in your life. 
Where? At the luxury of your OWN home. 
When? Well~ we will start out posting every Thursday. Hopefully other teachers will link up with me and want to try something new as well.
Why? {Why in the world did I start this? As a teacher, a woman, a puppy mommy, a fiancé and a thousand other things I could fit under that title ~ I decided to make sure that I try something new all of the time. As I write this, my fiance says ~ “what about food? Try some new foods!” bahaha nooo thank you!  I started this because as a new teacher, I am always scared to step out of my box. Now I have NO excuse not to push myself. Hopefully this will push you to do things you were worried about.

Let’s show you what the first thing we tried!!

This week is Star Student of the Week. I know...sounds babyish but in facts~ our students need this type of love. They need someone to show that they truly love them and care for them. As I looked on Pinterest, I realized that no one really has a step by step process of what their Star Student of the Week consists of. This week will be the first Try This Thursday. 
First I went to Target and spent a whopping 15¢ on a red folder.

Then I took out a black Sharpie and had my way with the folder. I 
decorated {not gorgeous} the front of the folder. It says {wanna guess?} STAR STUDENT OF THE WEEK!

On the inside of the folder, I created a very nice Congratulations for the student who won the Student of the Week. This allows the student to see a personalized note from me.

Inside a plastic sleeve, I placed a letter to the student and the parent to inform them of what is expected as the Star Student. {They are not getting off that easy.} The week will be all about them. They will have something to do every day.

Inside the folder will be the “Read All About Me” Poster. Of course, the first week will be all about me so that the kids know who I am. They will also see how it works. 

The folder will be located inside a bag. The bag is from Target and it has Dr. Seuss characters on it. Inside the bag will be markers and colored pencils. This will help them color the “All About Me” poster. 

Now, I didn’t just leave it at the folder. I kept going. I made them a Star Goody Bag. I went to the dollar store and bought a ton of “stuff” for the bag. I put sharpeners, erasers, a pencil, a book mark and a dinosaur grow toy. I spent $8.00 on the entire goody bag. They are allowed to keep this bag of goodies.

The folder, the markers, the colored pencils, the goody bag, and the poster will all be located inside the folder. 

Here are some basic questions that I have been asked previously...

How do you pick your Star Student?
To be quite honest...I don’t pick the Star. My kids do. My kids know to look out for people being extremely nice and helpful. To be on the lookout for people using nice words or helping people who have had mean words thrown their way. I have my students write who they chose and WHY they chose them. It cannot be just because they are their friend.
What do the days looks like?
Monday - Sharing bag. They take home a brown bag and share some of their favorite things from home. 
Tuesday- They share the All About Me Poster.
Wednesday- Bring a favorite book {Usually, I will read it to the class}
Thursday- 20 questions. They students who are not the star get to ask 20 questions to the Star.
Friday- The students make a book or a card and compliment the students.

I do try {I don’t always get it right} but I try to make it during the week of their birthday. It makes them feel wayyy better. 
Don’t you have other awards?
I do have other awards. I have a reading award and a math award that I do every Friday. I usually base this off who has made the most amount of progress and Fasttmath and Reading Counts {or Accelerated Reader}. 

I hope this has helped you create an awesome Star Student of the Week. If you create something, try to link it back to me so I can see all of your creative ideas. :) 

If you want the document to be sent to you, then leave a comment and I will send it as fast as I can. I can also personalize the name for you when I send it. I do not send it in a word document because then things become altered, so if you would like me to include your name, then please leave it in the comment box.

Thank you so much for reading my first Try This, Thursday. I cannot wait for more posts.

Happy shopping and Happy Pinning. 

The new math...

Saturday, July 20, 2013 No comments

Hello everyone!
This week has been chaotic. My best friend just found out she is having a boy!! {Yippee!} I have been in trainings ALL week long for Common Core. Can I just brain hurts. It is so interesting watching this and seeing how the school district evolves through this new process. 
One of the things that is changing is our math block. However, we are not being instructed how to change it. Of course, I get on my handy dandy Pinterest and pin dozens of things for math. Which leads me to where I am going with my math curriculum. Our math block is one hour long. Below is how the math block will look in the future. {Keep in mind...I am lucky to have an hour math block. If you do not have an hour math block~ then adjust to your schedule} We are going to say my math block starts at 9.

9:00-9:05/9:10~ Review homework. {I always check the previous nights homework. This is what I review so I can fix any mistakes. Sometimes I would partner the students who didn't get it with the ones who did}
9:10-9:30~ I make sure I don't get past 10 minutes of review because then the students start to play and I lose my math time. I call the students to the carpet. We do a mini-lesson. This is the lesson from the book but I modify it because I don't always LOVE our book.
9:30-10:00- We do BUILD. are probably thinking..."Ronnie- I have only seen BUILD in the primary. " Well due to Copyright laws with BUILD, I changed it a little to BUILT. 

I knew you would be curious of how I made BUILT, so I will show you.

B~ Buddy Games - I currently have about 44 games. Some that I made, and some that I found on Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers. Below are some pictures of what my Buddy Games center looks like. 
This picture is the crate of the files for the games. I have about 30 games in here right now. The folders in the picture on the right is ~ the folders that have to either be laminated or need to be cut after being laminated. {I try not to laminate 20 times a week or cut 20 times a week. I sit down at once and do all the laminating and cutting at once.} Each tab is a chapter. I made the games {With the rules} inside each folder. 

This is what is inside each folder. I label it as variable and I put a B in the right corner, so when the students return it, they know it goes in the green crate. In the bottom left  of the folder it says Chapter 3. I wrote this on there for two reasons. 1- So I can remember where it goes 2- so the kids can put it in the correct spot.
U~ Understanding Technology. Now- this is not just putting them on the computer. This is using the applications that are on the computer. I have quite a bit of things that I allow the students to use. The first thing they MUST do is FasttMath. This is another way for them to get better at their math skills. They do this twice a week. The person with the most gains wins the Math Award for the week.  One of the biggest ones will be a re-teach lesson from a previous test. We use the GoMath series and they use amazing ways to reteach the lesson. Sometimes I will allow the kids to go on RiverDeep but that is a rare occasion.
I ~Independent Work ~ This is like BUILD. The kids will have a math worksheet that is similar to what they are working on or a previous skill.
L ~ Learning to solve problems~ This is one that does not go with the original Build. This is going to be in their math journals. I take spiral notebooks and cut them in half. I have an extra table in my room and that is the "Problem Solving Table" The kids go there and pick up a problem solving card. Not one that they have previously done. Then they copy it into their notebook. They will then pass their notebooks around to group mates and their group mates will check each others work.
T ~ "Teacher assistance/help" ~ This one is when the students come to me. I had to incorporate this in because then I will forget who comes to me.

This is how I will see my groups. We will be doing 2 rotations a day. Now, What I like about this, I can change this whenever I need to. I actually put this in a Powerpoint and with that I can adjust it however I want. 

If you want any of my games then you can see my games at TeachersPayTeachers.

Happy Shopping and Happy Pinning!! xoxo


Tuesday, July 2, 2013 No comments

As you know, my theme for this year is CandyLand. I found SOOOO many ideas for homework for this year. One of them was the version of Monopoly's homework. Well, I don't like Monopoly. Not that it is a bad I just simply don't understand it. I feel like it is such an intense game and hard to understand that I just gave up. I will simply blame this on my mothers ability to scare me away from any board game with her amazing mathematical skills. {She's a CPA}.

I decided to take a different turn with my classroom. I loved the idea of having a board game in the classroom. I thought...and I thought...and I thought some more. How can I put a homework game in my classroom WITHOUT using Monopoly AND incorporating candy into it?

Lo and behold~ while I was driving...okay my fiance was driving- I told him to go to the educational store. Lucky for me, he loves the store. I think he secretly thinks he was a kid again so he could finger paint. So we were at my local educational store {Ace Educational}, and I bought pieces for CandyLand. I bought a {science fair} trifold. We threw them into the trunk and had to wait until we got home before we could play with it.

I came home {3 hours later ~ the wait was EXCRUCIATING} and I popped all the pieces out and had Wesley help me lay it out. We had all of the pieces everywhere! Penelope {our 1 year old Yorkie} was trying to grab them. I am chasing her, Wesley is holding the board, and she's sliding on the board like she's going to home base.It was a comic act {haha} but we got the pieces down.
This is the board that I made. I wanted pink because I feel like pink is a candy color. Some of the pieces have words on them. Some say no homework, free gum-ball {yes...I have a gumball machine in my classroom~ I will get to that later}, no shoes in the classroom, sit where you want. I tried  to do it every 6 pieces so that the kids had a constant goal in their mind.  

These show you the pieces of the CandyLand that I made {yes, made} and printed on white cardstock. The reason why I printed these, was because I made several games using CandyLand and I did not want to keep buying new pieces.

These will be the students pieces. I will cut them {when I have time ~ like on a plane} and since they are laminated, I may be able to use these next year. 

i hope you enjoy this as much I enjoyed making this!

Happy shopping and Happy Pinning!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013 No comments

I have this tendency when I am in a BINGO hall to literally scream BINGO. Whenever I win, I SCREAM because I am sooooo excited. My mom takes me to her ABWA events and if I win during her raffles, I also scream. With that being said...I am giving your students a chance to scream BINGO in my new BINGO Place Value game.  I am placing this on my TpT board. It is currently on sale for $2.00! Go get it while it's on sale! 

Stay tuned for more Bingo Boards and CandyLand games coming at you!

Happy shopping & happy pinning!

Beginning of CandyLand

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 No comments

 Goodness...Gracious. I believe I mentioned in my last blog that my theme for next year is CandyLand. If I didn't...guess what!!!

With you keeping that in your head, I am going to show you my newest masterpiece. Last year when I got my first classroom, I knew that I was going to have to label my books by level. I actually decided to join for a place to store my books. Over the year, while I was growing my library, I put ALL of the books on this website. It is great! I kept all of my books on this website {over 500}. As i was wrapping up my year, I discovered during the clean up process, that about 15 books are missing. I was so bummed because I spent my hard earned money on that. Thank you for letting me vent {hehe}. I pressed the export button to excel and exported it to my computer. I then downloaded a label template from and I bought the CLEAR labels. I had to move over the author and the title to the template. I won't was exhausting.  It's so repetitive so I was practically falling asleep! I then took the stickers off and placed them on the library cards. I am sure you can get them from Amazon, I, however, went to Ace Educational to buy them. 
I then created little tags as seen below. This was used so when I put them in a card catalog bin, I could sort it out through all of the letters.

 I made this box {of course with some type of candy}. I actually used a Kleenex box. Last month I had a major sinus infection which left me with many different empty boxes of Kleenex. My poor fiancé kept saying through the boxes away! I of course refused, because i knew I would be able to do something with the empty boxes. of course I MADE SOMETHING!!!! I made the box, which is below here. I then inputted the cards {as seen below} and then I put in their tags. I am quite proud of the beginning stages of the library system.

The two following pictures are the same. i just think it is really funny that Penelope stuck her face into the picture. I made this so when the students are checking out a reading book, they will be able to put the library cards {that I just made} and they can put the cards in the little pocket. For being Day 3 of summer vacation, I have already done SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!

This is just a fun thing I made. My fiancé and I have a lot of jokes. One of the biggest ones is who I become when I am hungry...or angry. We both say that i become a baby hulk {i'm very short-hence the baby}. Now, whenever I see a hulk mask, I HAVE to put it on and say "RONNIE SMASH!!!" 
 I made this little guy using a candle cover from an old candle from Bath & Body Works. I downloaded these cute guys from etsy and printed them out & laminated. I then placed it on the candle cover and glued ribbon to the back After I go to Home Depot, I will buy a clip that can hold this on this dishwasher. Once it is done, Wesley will be able to put his own dishes away because he can see if the dishes are clean or dirty. Sometimes I am so's scary.

 I hope you had fun with this great invention! Happy Shopping & Happy Pinning!

Summer Break

Monday, June 10, 2013 No comments
It is my first day of summer break {woohoo}!!! Holy Kleenex, Batman! It has been a fun weekend. This weekend started some really fun adventures with Jessica. We started off making many different things. The first thing we made was for the Bridal Shower. It is a "box" and I say that loosely because it is made to be like a box, however, it surely does not look like a box.
The above picture is the dress. I made this using my brand new Cricut! I still have my basic cricut but I wanted a BIGGER one! {I'm not spoiled...well-maybe a little!} I made this using the "Tags, Bags, Boxes & more". I made it as big as I could. Then I took the Spellbinder and used swirls to emboss it. I folded it per the directions and placed the following picture in the "box."
The following picture is my new pair of shoes to wear for Jessica's wedding. Sigh....aren't they gorgeous?

The explanation behind this picture is... we had rain for 12 days straight. I wanted something that would protect me from the rain.

 The following is the beginning of something beautiful. I used the hydrangea punch form Martha Stewart. I used the pins from the wedding section in Michaels which happen to be Jessica's colors. We made this using styrofoam balls. When it comes to Holiday time, I will place these in my classroom for a "wintery" effect.

 My theme for next year is CANDYLAND!!!! Let me tell you how EXCITED I AM!!! I LOVE CANDY. I am always eating candy because it is so good. I decided that this year will be all about CandyLand! I included some different pictures of what I will be using in my classroom. 


Stay tuned for much much more information about this theme! 

Oh my goodness

Sunday, May 26, 2013 No comments

Can you believe that is almost June? I have so much to tell you! Let's start off with what has happened since January.
1. I got engaged!!
2. My best friend found out she was pregnant!
3, My best friend got engaged!
4. FCAT {our state test}
5. I passed my first graduate class!

The first thing I want to show you is my Erin Condren Lesson Plan Book. I found it through the amazing Pinterest and decided after falling in love with it, to buy it.

I open the box and TADA. Even the outside of the box is pretty!

You can have the planner customized with your name and school!

This is for the students who are absent. Every time a student is absent, we are supposed to get a note when a student is absent. This is perfect for us. It has the name, date, reason and if a note came in!

Sorry this is sideways! {whoops} but this is a monthly calendar which I know will be used. The only problem is that the dates are not written in here which {knowing me} will lead to problems/errors.

The left picture has the dates and the right is the last part of the lesson plans. I  love this so much because it is color coded for each day. Also, the "Make EVERYDAY a happyday" is like a bookmark. I can easily find the week.

These last four pictures are stickers. They come with many different things on them as a reminder. They will be placed on the left side of the week. 

Haha! I am already ready to start next year just because of this beautiful planner!!

Super Improver Wall!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 18 comments
I just want to say I love WBT. I am so glad that I can use it on a daily basis in my classroom. One of the really cool new things that I have started to incorporate in my classroom {drum roll please} SUPER IMPROVER WALL!!! AHHHH!!! Holy, Kleenex, Batman. I love it. I have had to modify it a few times but what new program doesn't need a few tweaks? My SIW is displayed on the projector.  I use PowerPoint to create the SIW. My room is about the size of 1 1/2 portables. I use my very valuable wall space to hang the anchor charts that are required. That is why my SIW is on my projector. It also was a lot easier and quicker to add the stars to the names. I didn't want to waste time adding it to the wall and carry a pen. It was a lot easier to have it on the ppt and then show the kids. {awesome idea: if you can freeze the projector on a certain view, then do it. Once you add the star, unfreeze the screen and watch the giggle in excitement of their newly added stars}
Let's start off with how it was the first 3 days and the last 2 days. The first 3 days were okay. The kids saw it and tried to get stars. They were really trying to keep up with the daily goal. I had it displayed on my board, however, the students were not able to see the goal because when the projector screen was done, they could not see the goal. So the students tried and we earned stars but I don't feel like it was as much as they could have earned. Then the unthinkable happened. Yes...something that became mind blowing. I put the goal...ready...ON THE SIW!!! It was like angels singing to me. I placed the goal on the top of the SIW so everyone in the classroom can see it. They walked in, read the goal, and quickly tried to achieve it. During every lesson, I update the goal. For example, today the students were working on a writing prompt. The time that is given is 60 minutes. The students however write for about 50 minutes and then are supposed to edit. At about 50 minutes they start to get restless. Which is why today's writing goal was: I can work silently on my writing prompt for the 60 minutes. (I also put the timer on the board so they can see how much time they had left --- I tried not to tell them what to NOT do. I didn't write: I can work silently on my prompt without talking for 60 minutes. I felt that the kids knew what silently meant so why should they see not to talk again? This is how I feel but you are more than welcome to adjust the goal to your liking. The goals are absolutely attainable by every child. They can be ese, ell, or gen ed, and they are all able to attain the goal. 
I also added a little more. I am not a teacher who likes the students in tables. I don't like the silly chit chat or anything else, HOWEVER, I placed my kids in tables yesterday. I know... I should't have but I felt like the kids need some thing new in the room. So, I created a slide on the same ppt that allows the students to see the table points. *again, don't waste marker space*. The kids loved it. They were competeing to get the table points. If you want the powerpoint, then please leave a comment so I can send it to you. This is probably my favorite thing I have created yet.

 Happy shopping and Happy Pinning.