Monday, September 30, 2013

Whew...feeling overwhelmed!

Well, I figured I'd better get a post on here!
I've been *treading water with my class this year! They are a real handful and not at all as embracing of WBT as last year's class! (*miss them)
I've got nobody but myself to blame, though!
I have to get myself energized...but my energy level is pretty much on empty.
On the last day of school last May, I pulled my back taking pictures for our Memory Books. What's worse...when I went to upload the pictures, I hadn't put my memory card back in after uploading our End of the Year Beach Party photos...UGH!!! So that is still bothering me...
Then, to beat all things...I started having some major foot pain towards the middle of July. By the time school had started, I realized it was Plantar Fasciitis. Yeah for me! I've since ordered one expensive pair of Orthoheel shoes. (But at least they're cute!)
I'm making it a goal to put on a smile, jazz up my energy output...and tackle this tough class!
Challenging...oh yeah!
Can I do it???
You bet!
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

School is Just Around the Corner...

I will be going back to school NEXT WEEK!! Yikes...where did the summer go? I'm a little excited, I must admit. I've been so busy getting my Camping Sets ready--I get to update and beautify my own room as well! Please look for updated pictures on my Camping Classroom page soon!
My HUGE Classroom Theme kit is up on TpT (see post below). I've also had a request to break apart some of the items into smaller sets, so I'm working on that right now.
Today I hope to break my losing streak of not getting in our pool ONCE this entire's been a soggy one!
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sneak Peek! New Camping Products!

I am camping (I know, ironic!) so I can't post my new products until next week...but I've been working on finishing up these two products- 

Camping Calendar Time (ACTIVboard Flipchart)

And my amazingly HUGE Camping Classroom Theme Kit!

I will update with links when they get posted!

Hope everyone is enjoying the remaining days of summer!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday Tinkering!

I can't believe my summer is almost gone!
We've been getting *drenched* here in our little corner of the world! I haven't even gotten in the pool yet!
Next week we are camping--then I have one week to get anything done in my classroom before I officially have to report on August 1. How sad is that!
We have Open House (look for a post coming soon on that...)
the night before school starts...OH MY!
Well, here are my tinkerings for today!
I created this set of Read the Room labels for my camping classroom and thought some of my fellow Campers might like them as well! They are in my TpT store.
While I was rummaging through some of my files, I came across a cute little 100th Day Snack Pack Topper I created last year. I made a couple additional options added them to my TpT store as well. They are editable in PowerPoint!
I've also been dreaming about reorganizing my classroom--which was actually a summer-long project that I haven't begun...yikes!
I DID update my "Camping Classroom" page (at the top of this page--check it out!) and will try to add more pictures when I've finished for this year!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Table Organization

As many teachers begin to prepare for the upcoming school year, I thought I'd share some tips on organizing tables.
I absolutely *love* tables! When I switched classrooms, I had desks for one year and hated it. If you are a table person, here are some ideas for you!
I color code my table groups. Look carefully and you can see the colored TENT signs hanging above each "campsite," as we refer to our groups in our room.
The bins you see on the tables in the picture above (and the trays in the title picture) are from Oriental Trading. I also have a class set of scissors in the same colors. I found plastic cups in 4 of the colors (plus 2 clear) at WalMart. We keep pencils in the cup, glue sticks, scissors, erasers, name tags, etc. in the bin. I added the tray after the start of last year. It has worked wonders for keeping up with "work in progress!" Students put their work in the tray and can pull it out to finish when they have time, or when we work on it again.
I also can't imagine not having my chair bags! They are amazing and very reasonably priced. This will be my 6th year with them and they are holding up great. I think I had ONE that has gotten torn!
The kids keep their CAMP notebook, journal, and math book in the deep pocket, and their color crayons and markers in the little pockets.
Look them up at
To help keep clutter and mess to a minimum, every Friday for morning work the kids empty out and clean their chair bags and trays.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

VistaPrint!!! Awwww...gotta LOVE it!

I'm too excited to wait...
Gotta post again about my VistaPrint order.
Email subscribers should have received an email for free shipping and $50 off orders of $100 or more.
LOOK at all the fun things I got:

I paid $65.13 and got all this:
1 small banner
3 notebooks
1 wraparound mug
2 mouse pads
2 notepads
1 pen
1 keychain
1 set 25 business cards
1 set 25 business card magnets
Woo Hoo!! I'm so excited!

Scoreboard 2.0 (part 2)

Here it is...the rest of the story!
Two more tricks that we learned about (or rather, two more ways to milk the same cow!) include the Wacky Fun Button.
The first is the Wacky Line. As you draw a squiggly line toward the STAR, the class starts saying, "Ahhhh," higher and higher with more and more anticipation the nearer it gets, and "Ohhhhh," lower and lower as the line moves away from the star! Hee kiddos will love it.
After you've used the Wacky Fun Star for a bit, ERASE it!
Then, start adding it back BIT by BIT! Can I hear an, "Ahh!"
This again, is a brilliant way to milk the same cow that has been giving you that delicious milk the entire year!
I hope you enjoyed my description of the updated scoreboard game!
If you are new to WBT--make sure you check out all the fun, free resources at and think about joining the book club!
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Scoreboard 2.0 (part 1)

The Louisiana WBT Conference was so much more than I could ever have imagined! Thanks to all the incredible people that made it possible!
I learned so much. It was just what Coach B. wants us to do in our classrooms...have bell to bell instruction, without a moment to waste! I barely had time to squeeze in a few notes here and there! But, I managed to get a *few and I have some wonderful things to share with you. Keep reading!
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I sort of fizzled out this spring and didn't utilize enough of the WBT strategies...especially the scoreboard. In fact, there were days I only had (*gasp*) 3-5 tallies on it! (I know, my head is hung in shame) can imagine how my ears perked up when Coach B. reminded us to milk the cow for all we could get...then get a new cow! (IE...use one strategy as long as it was successful, then throw in a new twist to make it successful again!)
So, I give you (du du du DUH!)
Let me explain each "new cow." These are intended for use during the SPRING when your kids start looking like their eyes are glazing over and you are tempted to have recess all day long!
1. On each side of the scoreboard, along with or instead of smilies/frownies put BABY SCHOOL and __th Grade (add 2 years to your class' grade level). Remind them you expect them to perform at 3rd grade level. If they are not giving you much participation, gestures, or energy...tell them, "That was Baby School behavior," and give the frownie! RAISE the bar! (Can I hear an, "Ahhhh!")
2. Double Points! (Genius) Put 2X on the scoreboard (in a different color marker). Extra super behavior gets double points when written with that color.
*Remember to keep the 3+/- rule with your points!
3. Wacky Fun Button (*WFB) Draw a STAR on the scoreboard. Tell the kids when you touch it, they can make funny animal noises until you stop. Can't you see your class eating that up!
Better yet, Coach says you'll have them eating out of your hand!
4. Wacky Fun Arrow: Instead of just touching the WFB, build anticipation by drawing an arrow that gets closer and closer to the STAR! Class gives a mighty, "OH YEAH!" for each added arrow and gets the fun party when it is reached.
Wait, that's not all.
If you want to learn about even more fun ways to milk the scoreboard for all it's worth...stay tuned!
I need to know how BADLY you want to learn more about keeping your kids eating out of the palm of your hand with scoreboard fun!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My 1st WBT Conference

I am so excited to be here in Louisiana attending my first ever WBT conference
It is thrilling to see my heroes and learn new ideas.
(Can I hear an, "Ahhhh!")
Also, a big shout out to Nancy Stoltenberg for being named the WBT Teacher of the Year! You rock!

If you haven't checked out Lindsey Roush's newest YouTube video on oral writing, QUICK...go watch. It has the most amazing game called Help Me. Students aren't embarrassed or feel dumb if they can't come up with an answer, they simply hold out their hands to the class and say, "Help me!" The class gives answers and ideas until the student knows what to say and calls out, "Class!" 

Coach B. taught us all about it in our breakout session today.

Stay tuned for more great words of wisdom that will take you straight to teacher heaven! Oh, yeah.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brand New Blog Look!

Whew, I've spent most of yesterday and all of this morning revamping my blog...and I'm not even finished! So far, I've figured out how to get my new *custom header and background in place (from!) and created those cute little social icon buttons on the side! I found an awesome image mapper creator that is free and online - nothing to download: Image Mapper.
How do you like the new look?

Monday, June 10, 2013

WBT Conference, Book Club and Common Core Posters

I am SO (I mean SSSSOOOOOOO) excited to be attending the WBT National Conference next week!
My son's teacher from last year is attending with me.
I hope to get energized and ready for the upcoming year!
Woo Hoo!
Check back for details and accounts from the conference. :)
Speaking of WBT...there's a book club going on right now!
Head over to their new blog and check it out!

Last...I've finally finished my Common Core I-Can Posters!
They are {of course} a camping theme, and so stinking cute!
You've got to check them out if you teach first grade!
I'm starting to work on other grades as well! Follow me on TpT and you'll be the first to know when I've added them.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WBT Review Results

Yesterday, as planned, I used the new PDF from Coach B on the 5 Basics of Whole Brain Teaching (from WBCollege!) *see previous Goals post.
My kids really enjoyed it. I have several that can't seem to get enthusiastic about using the gestures! But, I keep trying!
After the first three questions, I thought how cool it would be to video my kids doing this lesson! So I set up my iPad on the side of the classroom and kept on teaching. *No prepping the students, notice the waves! Hee hee.
I really enjoyed using the PDF lesson as a review. I'd totally recommend it to anyone wanting to try out WBT! It is very scripted and fun. They kids loved the graphics and were thrilled to find out Coach B was a REAL person!
I also explained to them how they've been learning with their WHOLE brain this year...and college students do the same things!
They thought that was pretty neat.
I completed the entire lesson in one session...which was a bit much for my first graders. I'd break it up next time. There was too much teaching involved, with too much information (all 5 questions at once!).
All in all, it was a hit. We critiqued ourselves afterwards and have really gotten motivated to do better!
It also gave me a good shot in the arm! I had over 30 tallies on the scoreboard! Yeah!
If you'd like to see the video-check it out:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

WBT Slump~with Goals

Well, I've been in quite a slump!
I need a RE-BOOST! Ugh!
We are just finishing up our "Spring Break"--I say that loosely since we have to have our grades turned in for report cards upon our return on Monday. (Plus, I've been doing TAXES-yuck)
I am planning on hitting WBT strategies in a big way when we start back! Here are my goals:
  1. Review the BASICS using Coach B's NEW pdf file-
  2. Motivational Start EACH morning (Who's ready to learn today? WE'RE READY TO LEARN TODAY...etc.)
  3. Use that scoreboard MORE!
  4. Make 2-3 more videos before the end of the year
  6. Attend the 3-Day Conference this summer in Louisiana!

How about you? How is your Whole Brain Teaching going?
Leave me a comment! :)


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