Wow... I haven't blogged since the end of July.  I could give a bunch of excuses, but I'll just give it to you straight. 

Here is why I haven't been blogging...
 1.Working out almost every night and don't get home until like 8:30 .
2. My best friend had a beautiful baby girl in June & I spend all of my free time with her .
3. I have been revamping and really focusing in school this year.

I ran across Teaching My Friends! blog and saw that she was going to be doing a photo a day challenge for the month of December.  I am going to try and see if I can keep up with it.  Head on over to check it out.  Here is a preview!

Also, I have decided to just back on the currently bandwagon with my girl Farley.

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Listening... I don't know anyone from the south that doesn't automatically turn their tv to football on Saturdays & Sundays.  My Houston Texans aren't doing so hot, but I still watch every single game.

Loving... I have my basket stocked and ready for the TPT Cyber Monday Sale Tomorrow.  I can't wait to get my hands on some the products!

Thinking... My trainer is out of town until Tuesday night, so I am trying to come up with workouts to do Mon & Tues night.  If anyone has any that they want to share please send them my way.

Wanting... A few more days added to my Thanksgiving break.  I just need like another day or so... who agrees??

Needing... The school librarian gave me a book to read for the Junior High to make sure it was appropriate... I am almost done.

Favorite Tradition... I love driving around and looking at Christmas lights.  What can I say... I'm a child at heart!

Hope everyone has an amazing Sunday night... I hope to be back tomorrow to participate in the photo a day challenge with Teaching My Friends!

I am late to the party, but hey I made it!!  I am linking up with Farley for her monthly currently.  If you haven't linked up, you should head on over and join...

Sorry about the lack of posting lately... I have a ton of posts that I have started, but just can't seem to finish.  This year has been a rough one for me & as the year continues, it seems to get harder.  I haven't posted because I like to try to keep everything positive (no negative allowed on the blog).  I hope within a few weeks of school being out  that I will get motivated to share my ideas and publish more posts.
The end is near... only 2 more half days!!! 
Yay.. it's May.  I still have another 22 full days & 2 half days left. but who is counting??  We also have the Reading & Math STAAR retests in a short 7 or 8 days... I'd like to think about something else for a minute or two, so onto Currently for the month of May from my girl Farley.

*Listening- Modern Family is da bomb... I love me some Lily... she always puts me in a good mood!
*Loving-With all of the end of year stress, one of my partners & I have been walking outside during our conference period.  Sunshine always makes the afternoon go by quicker.  And I figure its either that or a Dr.Pepper & some chocolate...
*Thinking-I have been doing Weight Watchers since January & have been very successful, but have been a little stressed lately & I am a stress eater folks... no bueno!
*Wanting - I feel like I put pedi as a want or a need every month.  I went this past month & was very disappointed... hardly a massage at all.  BIG let down!!
*Needing-I plan to do my closets at school before the year is out & I will be able to come back to my room in August without that stress.  The closets at home can be worked on over the summer between working & vacation time.
*Summer Bucket List: 
-Frio River is one of my favorite vacations I go on EVERY year.  It has been a family tradition & I enjoy just sitting in the sunshine, feet in the cool river water, & reading a good book.  Oh the simple things in life...
-Beach- Enough said... lol.  I am fortunate enough to live within 45 minutes of the Texas coast, so that I can go to the beach frequently to soak up some sun & enjoy a nice beverage/book.
-Dirty 30 is happening this July.  I have already booked the beach house, so myself and some friends can enjoy my 30th in the sun.  (trying not to think about that number too much....)
-Chevron classroom - I really want to redo my classroom in chevron.  I have been trying to aim and make it more "grown-up".  I am kind of over the bright colors... I just bought this awesome pack from Megan & plan on designing my room around it.. Shout out to Megan.... she rocks!

Head on over & link up... don't forget the rule of 3!!

My classes are reading Sign of the Beaver right now.  This is a favorite by my kiddos every year.  I usually have them keep a journals from the perspective of Matt the main character.  My students have loved it... writing journal entries, doodling, & comparing themselves to him.  Last Wednesday night I was perusing Pinterest one of my addictions and found a fabulous pin.
Whoever pinned it first and added the caption that it could be used as POV in a novel study needs a big pat on the back.

I went into school the next day and completely changed what I wanted to do.  We read the chapters for that day like we originally would have, but what we finished I numbered off my students by 2s.  I then told them that all of the 1s were going to be in Matt's shoes & all of the 2s would be in Attean's shoes.  I then put them on opposite sides of the room and they discussed their "experiences" & "feelings" that occurred through the chapters read (as their character, of course).  We shared and discussed what the students had come up with.
Then, I handed out a sheet of computer paper to each students & a Styrofoam bowl to each groups.  I didn't tell them what they would be used for, but I had them watch me trace & draw my eye on the Elmo.  You could see light bulbs going off over several students heads...  When I was done drawing, I asked them if they could infer from what I had drawn what I was going to have them do.  Hands went up & smiles lit up around the room.  They were set off to drawn something that had happened in the chapter from their characters perspective. 
We had a blast!!  I think they came out amazing.  It was interesting to see two students in the same group drawing about the same moment in a chapter, but from the different character's perspective.  This is definitely something I will do again with my kiddos!
Next week I am going to be really rocking their minds and have them do a symbolism assignment over the novel.  I'll be writing about that next week, so be looking forward to it!
If you have any other ideas with how the eye drawing could be used, please comment & let me know!

I am so excited that April is here... that means another Currently Linky from my girl Farley!!  Head on over to link up & don't forget the rule of three.
Listening - The "TEST" for my kiddos is Wednesday, so I will be doing lots of reviewing with a fun twist.  They have LOVED the STAAR-ingo activities.We also played STAARopoly, which I made/borrowed last year from Lindsay over at My Life as a Third Grade Teacher.  ( I looked & looked for the post, but couldn't find it again.)
Loving - I am so excited to have taken Friday off.  This will be the first day I have missed school this year & I think I truly deserve it.  Myself & several of my teacher friends are going to Port Aransas for the weekend for some beach, sunshine, & lots of fun!!
Thinking - I would really like to give handwritten notes to my students tomorrow afternoon before they leave school.  I want them to have something to read & think about the night before the "TEST" for my subject. 
Wanting - So... I went to the beach yesterday for Easter and got the most random sunburn.  I might or might not have put sunscreen across my whole chest.  There are hand marks... eek!!
Needing - I would really like to get a massage Friday morning before i head to the beach.  The stress of the "TEST" has been making me feel achy.  Can I request a hot masseuse??
 Advice - "Be true to yourself"  This works in all areas of life.  Sometimes I wonder if I should do a lesson with my kiddos, or blog something, or post something for sale in my store... I just ask myself is this me?  Never try to be someone else or something that you are not.  Life lesson...
Hope everyone is having an amazing Monday... Don't forget the rule of three!!
I am so excited... I finished my test review pack that I was working on this week.  The students are so excited and have enjoyed every minute of it. 
 I wasn't sure how to review for the upcoming 5th grade STAAR reading test and didn't want to do anymore one boring worksheets to review.  I came up with the idea of making a bingo type review to use to go over all of the vocabulary words the students might be exposed to while taking the test and STAAR-ingo was born.  It was a tedious process, but it has made the review process so much more fun.  My students LOVE the bingo game, but were ecstatic to see the crossword puzzles I came up with.  I hope to post more pictures of us using the pack next week in class. 
I put the STAAR-ingo pack for sale in my tpt store tonight and will have it on sale for the weekend.  Let me know if you have any questions!
PS-I have some of my fabulous friends from other grade levels looking at the 5th grade packet to add and omit words to fit their grade levels, so be on the look out for 3rd-8th grade packs soon.

I have been frantically quickly trying to come up with some fun reviews for our upcoming 5th grade reading STAAR test.  One thing I have been working on is STAAR-ingo.  It is a bingo game with a ton of terms that I will be reviewing for the test.  I am looking for a couple of people to look over what I have come up with so far to see if I have missed out on any terms or added some that could be omitted.  I will send them the file today and am wanting feed back by tomorrow night.  There are less than 10 pages to look through....  I will give those peeps that help out a free copy of the final product, which should be completed by the end of this week.  I will also be posting it for sale in my stores.
If you would like to help me out, please leave a comment with an email address in it.  I am looking for at least 5 Texas teachers & possibly a couple of out of state teachers to preview it.  thanks in advance!!

Wow... my posting has really slowed down.  You can tell that is has been crazy at school.  State tests are closing in along with grade being due and Public School week.  Hopefully after Spring Break I can get back on my posting.  Thanks to all of my bloggy flollowers who have been patiently waiting!
Onto currrently for the month of March... thanks to Farley for hosting this every month!!
Hope everyone has fabulous start to the month of March!!
Hey Houston area bloggers!!!  Lindsay over at My Life as a Third Grade Teacher is heading up a blogger meet-up next weekend in Houston. I would love to meet some of my fellow Houston area bloggers... Head on over and let her know if you want to join us!!

Once again, another month has gone by (seriously?!?) and it's time to link up with Farley for the latest edition of Currently.

Listening - My students are taking their 2nd Reading Benchmark to prepare to the wonderful (sarcasm anyone?) state test.  It is completely silent except for the turning of pages and all of the sniffling.  I am stocked up on Kleenex so, we should be good. 
Loving - My brother and sister came over to watch the Super Bowl with me yesterday.  I was kind of stressing about it because a.) I started Weight Watchers about 3 weeks ago & have done amazing so far -7.5lbs  b.)  I wanted to prepare only yummy & healthy foods.  Here is where Pinterest came to the rescue... we had several things to choose from:  Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese "muffins", carrots w/ ranch dip, baked "fried" pickles, strawberries, and funfetti cupcakes.   Everything turned out super yummy.  It was nice to enjoy all of my favorite foods, but in a healthier way.  (I LOVE the blog "Emily Bites".  Several of her main courses have been made into "muffins" so that it's easier on portion control.  LOVE!!)

Thinking - Our state test is lots of higher level thinking so, I am going to bump up one of my favorite novels studies to earlier in the year.  If you have never read the book Walk Two Moons it is AMAZING.  I gave it to one of the paras to read last year and she was in tears by the end.  I am in the process of totally revamping everything I did with the book, so I hope to add it to my stores when it is complete!

Wanting - I think my want is pretty self explanatory.  I am a beach baby and I feel sun deprived.  My first year I taught was awesome.  I lived close to Port Aransas beach and we would change and head over after school to relax.  I miss that...

Needing - I know everything is electronic now, but this year I am taking all of my lesson plans and the resources needed each week to put in a binder.  Why? Well... I have my lesson plans from last year, but sometimes it is hard for me to find some of the resources listed.  This way they are all together.  I know it may seem old school, but I am a touch OCD and it makes me feel more organized.

Pet Peeves - 1. whining - People that whine and complain about things just drive me up a wall.  Don't whine or complain.... do something about it!  2.  Excuses - Our school is a "no excuse" school , but I have students who always seem to come up with excuses.  I tell them to not give me an excuse, but to state why something is not done/why they did something.  I am all about accountability.  3.  Laziness - As a teacher, I pride myself into doing my best to differentiate instruction, but laziness or lack of drive can get in the way for students.  As 5th graders, they don't think of the long haul and long term effects of things.  i try and remind they everyday about that.

Wow... what a rambling mess!  If you made it that far, hurray for you!!

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!!
This Thursday and Friday my classes were working on copying, labeling, making questions,  and illustrating all of the poems out of the book Scarum Fair by Jessica Swaim.  This is a collection of poems about a spooky fair that is filled with creepy rides and icky attractions.

SIDE NOTE... Scarum Fair is on the Texas Bluebonnet list in the state of Texas for this school year.  (The Bluebonnet list is a list of recently (within 3 years) published book that are selected to be highlighted.)  At our campus the students read the books and take AR tests as part of a incentive program.  If the students pass a certain number of tests they will get their specific rewards.  Well... two of the books this year were not AR tests.  One of the non-AR books was Scarum Fair.  If the students read the book, then they get credit for it.

To help solve the problems of having to read a book that contained 29 poems to each of my 3 classes, I decided to make a poem gallery that would be available for the whole school.  Students would be able to walk through read the poems, look at the illustrations, and even see if they could answer the student made questions. 

Each poem was given to a group of students.  The first thing that they had to do was copy the poem down onto an anchor, which actually took the longest.  Then they were to go through and labels the different aspects of their poem (stanzas, rhyme scheme, tone, figurative language).  They were to also come up with 2 questions for their piece.  The last thing they got to do was illustrate and they definitely didn't let me down on the creative front! 

I took all of the poem anchor charts and put them in a hallway gallery style, which is now open to the public. (lol!) The other 5th and 6th grade teachers & librarians were so excited that all of the students would be able to tour the gallery and get credit for the book.

I am absolutely thrilled by all my kiddos.... once again, they have done me proud!!
I have really enjoyed my students this first week back.  Even though they are 5th graders, some of them broke my heart when we left for Christmas break.  All is well though and everyone survived! :)

This first week back we have been immersing ourselves in poetry.  The students have really taken to it and seem to be enjoying themselves. 

Of course we started off the week by completing a foldable in our reading spirals.  The students whizzed right through the cutting and gluing... they are such pros now!  I bought a poetry unit from Lightbulb Minds, which I believe is Amanda from Teaching Maddeness' webpage.  I used the examples and definitions they had to come up with my foldable. (I will upload the foldable to both of my stores along with my figurative language foldable.)

We have also been completing a poem a day in our spiral and labeling several things.

After they got a hang of that I gave groups of students a poem on an anchor chart.  They had to find and label the different parts of a poem.  They also had to come up with 2 questions.  One could be a "right" there question and the other had to be a "thinking" question.  They really surprised me with some of the thinking questions that they came up with.  I put their anchor charts up in the hallway and theywere super proud as was I!

We are finishing up another poetry activity that I can't wait to share with you especially my fellow Texas teachers that participate in the Texas Bluebonnet program...

Until then... Go Texans!!  We had a go Texans day today and I'll be sharing those pictures on Sunday!

If you have any other ideas for poetry, please send them my way!

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