Friday, August 9, 2013

New Printer and Tale of a Student Teacher Linky

First things first...I finally got to pick up my new printer!!!

Take a look at this beauty:

My birthday isn't for a few weeks, but since I moved into my first apartment in June and am starting my first year teaching next week, my parents decided they shouldn't wait to give me my presents since I kinda need them! My dad bought me the printer and my mom got me a microwave and other kitchen essentials. I didn't have a microwave until a couple weeks ago...the struggle :) FYI I have the greatest parents on the planet earth and miss them every single day. Why do Kansas and California have to be so far apart?

My first project was printing out the pages for my teacher binder. My goal this year is to be as organized as possible, so I decided to create a teacher binder of my own.

Here's the cover

And here are a few of the pages for the different sections I have.
And of course..with me being me..that's all I could print because I don't have any more computer paper. Ha! I'm super proud of it though and hopefully it helps me throughout the school year.

Now for Part 2 of this post, a Linky Party!
I figured I just HAD to participate since I just finished my student teaching last school year. Thanks to The Polished Teacher for setting this one up! So here it goes...
(Sorry if it is too small to read)
I can honestly say that I had an incredible student teaching experience. For the first half I was in a 1st grade classroom and the second half I was in a 3rd-5th special education resource room. I really lucked out and got placed with two amazing teachers. I can't really just pick one "best time". I loved the kids that I got to work with and I learned so much. Luckily, I got hired at the school I did my student teaching at so my wonderful cooperating teachers are now my colleagues :)
Although there were some tough days where things just did not go as planned, I could always take away something from every lesson. The worst day overall was probably when I was being observed and one of my students decided to crawl under the table in the middle of my lesson and refuse to come out. Any student teacher just wants things to go perfectly, so of course I immediately got flustered and didn't handle the situation in the best possible way. Although it was a bad time, I'm actually glad it happened. It was a learning experience for me. Now I look back on it and think about all the ways I could have defused the situation.
My advice for student teachers: ASK QUESTIONS! I grew up afraid to ask questions because I didn't want people to think any less of me. As I got older I realized that if I want answers, and if I want to become a better teacher, then I better ask. I wrote down questions constantly, so I'd remember to ask my cooperating teacher. Another tip is making copies of everything you use and write down successful lessons. Get involved in the school. First off, it means a lot to the kids to see you at their plays, concerts, etc. Also, it will impress the principal to see you at every event even though you aren't required to be there. My last piece of advice is don't try to be perfect, because you won't be. Everyone has a lesson go wrong, or has a bad day. Student teaching is all about learning and becoming better every single day!
Whew! That was long! I'll end this by saying Thank you to Kylee and Carla - the best cooperating teachers in the world :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Liebster Award!

I went into my classroom at 8 this morning and didn't leave until 6. Still not close to being done :( It's so tough being a new teacher because you have to go through everything that was left for you in your new classroom. I'm finding professional development binders from the early 90's! I don't want to be too much of a complainer. Every teacher has had to deal with this at one point...right?!

Well after such a long day, I just wanted to come home and eat dinner (I hadn't eaten anything ALL day), but I checked my e-mail and found out I had been nominated for the Liebster Award. What a great "pick-me-up" and wonderful surprise!

For those who don't know, the Liebster Award is for up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers. The rules to accept this award are:
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from your nominator.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 more blogs with less than 200 followers.
  • Pose questions for your nominees.

First off, I want to shout out the awesome Laurie at Special Education Love. Check out her blog!
Here are Laurie's questions:

When did you decide to become a teacher?
I officially decided the summer before my freshman year in college. When I was younger I wanted to be a teacher, but because I have such a love for sports, I thought I wanted a career in sports. I hadn't yet realized my passion for teaching. I definitely found it in college!

What is your favorite meal?
Do I have to pick just one? I love food! I absolutely love my mom's chicken enchiladas with Spanish rice. Every time I try to make it, it's just not as good as when she does. I can't go without mentioning my dad's tri-tip. These are definitely the first meals I ask for when I go home!

Is this your first blog?
This is my first blog. I was so inspired by other teaching blogs that I decided to start one of my own.

Do you have any pets? Tell me about them.
I don't have any pets here in Kansas with me. Back home at my mom's house, we have a dog named Molly. She's a mutt but mostly chihuahua. I'd love to have a dog, but my apartment doesn't allow it and I don't think it'd be the best place to have a dog anyways.

What's your favorite Pinterest creation?
Oh gosh I have found so many awesome things on Pinterest. I feel bad not choosing something educational, but I have found so many amazing recipes. I made monkey bread in my crockpot and it was so easy and delicious.

What lesson are you most proud of?
Last school year I had a 2 month long-term substitute position in a 5th grade classroom. For small group reading, I chose the book Maniac Magee. I had this really awesome activity to introduce the very difficult topics covered in the book. I think it really helped them to understand the story.

What do you teach?
I teach 4th grade.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would go to Greece. I am 25% Greek and have always wanted to visit. It sure does look beautiful in movies and pictures.

What has been your favorite summer vacation?
Although it wasn't really a vacation, I got to go to Washington D.C. last summer. I was chosen to attend the NEA student leadership conference and the NEA National Representative Assembly as a student representative of Kansas. I got to do so much sight seeing when I wasn't at the conference or assembly. Such an amazing place. I can't wait to go back with family someday.

What is your number one goal for the upcoming school year?
I want to stay positive no matter how tough things get. I know my first year teaching is going to be full of challenges. I need to stay calm and always do what is best for my students!

11 random things about me:
- I didn't start liking country music until I came to Kansas for college.
- I don't like being in the all.
- I played hockey when I was younger. One of the teams I was on was called "The Blues Brothers & Sister". Yup, I was the Sister :)
- I can count to 10 in four different languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, and Samoan.
- Although I played basketball through college, baseball is actually my favorite sport.
- I'm terrified of spiders. 
- I just learned how to curl my hair this year. I am the furthest thing from being a "girly-girl". 
- I'm pigeon-toed. My right foot turns in pretty badly when I walk. It's uncomfortable to try to walk with my foot pointing straight forward.
- I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
- I'm from California, but the only sports team I like from the state is the Lakers. My other favorite are the Yankees, Colts, and Red Wings.
- I'm a big time grammar nerd. It drives me nuts when people use incorrect grammar on social networks.


I'm nominating:


1. What grade do you teach and in what state?
2. What is your favorite kind of candy?
3. How do you like your coffee?
4. What is the most difficult subject for you to teach? Why?
5. Would you rather be in 100+ degree weather or the snow?
6. Where do you shop for school clothes?
7. Where would you go on a dream vacation?
8. Sweet or unsweetened tea?
9. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
10. What is the story behind your blog name?
11. What is your favorite children's book?

District-wide welcome back staff meeting tomorrow morning at 7:25. Better get to bed!
1. When did you decide to become a teacher?
2. What is your favorite meal?
3. Is this your first blog?
4. Do you have any pets?  Tell me about them.
5. Name a blog you go to for inspiration.
6. What's your favorite Pinterest creation?
7. What lesson are you the most proud of?
8. What do you teach?
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
10. What has been your favorite summer vacation?
11. What is your number one goal for the upcoming school year?
- See more at:
1. When did you decide to become a teacher?
2. What is your favorite meal?
3. Is this your first blog?
4. Do you have any pets?  Tell me about them.
5. Name a blog you go to for inspiration.
6. What's your favorite Pinterest creation?
7. What lesson are you the most proud of?
8. What do you teach?
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
10. What has been your favorite summer vacation?
11. What is your number one goal for the upcoming school year?
- See more at:
1. When did you decide to become a teacher?
2. What is your favorite meal?
3. Is this your first blog?
4. Do you have any pets?  Tell me about them.
5. Name a blog you go to for inspiration.
6. What's your favorite Pinterest creation?
7. What lesson are you the most proud of?
8. What do you teach?
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
10. What has been your favorite summer vacation?
11. What is your number one goal for the upcoming school year?
- See more at:

Saturday, August 3, 2013


It's been a crazy busy last couple of days and none of it even involved my classroom/school stuff! I spent the last couple of days working in Manhattan (the one in Kansas) for a property management company. Easy work, but boy I was exhausted after 2 looooong days of work! 

Today I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently. I've had fun reading what other bloggers are currently up to, so I wanted to join the party.

Listening to Reba on the TV. I didn't really want to sit in silence while I blogged, but I'm not really watching it.

 Loving my new blog design! I was really hating everything about my old design and was dying to change it. I got some awesome help over at The Cutest Blog on the Block. Spent waaay too much time messing with things, but I think I'm satisfied..... for now at least :)

Thinking I really need to head over to my classroom after I'm done with this. I have so much to do and am feeling so behind. 

Wanting something delicious for lunch. All I've had today is a cup of coffee, and my stomach is yelling at me to put some food inside it. I know I shouldn't, but I'm craving some french fries. I think I'm always craving french fries.

Needing to clean this house. I don't even want to go into detail on the mess!

Back to School Must Haves!
1 - I love the plastic crates that they sell at Target and Wal-Mart for real cheap in all different colors. They're definitely going to help me stay organized this year.
2 - I really want one of those fancy teacher planners, but I just don't think it's in my budget right now with everything else I have to buy. I think it's best just to keep it all in a nice binder for my first year.
3 - Post-it notes are my weakness. I put them all over my lesson plans to remind me of important things to mention/do. I also have the tendency to make a hundred to-do lists every week.

Okay, enough procrastinating for today. Time for some lunch and then hard work in the classroom. Making progress! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School Goals and New Buttons!

I think my blogging research is starting to payoff! Slowly but surely! After visiting a bunch of different blogs, I figured out how to add buttons to the side of my page. I now have a Fourth Grade Blogger, Kansas Blogger, and follow me on Bloglovin button. I know, I know, it's not a huge change, but I think it's pretty darn cool. 

I still need to work on the design of my page (it's awful right now), but I think I need to tackle one thing at time. Confession time: it feels weird to have a "Kansas Blogger" button. I will always consider California my home, but I do live in Kansas now, so I'm officially a Kansas blogger. Weird :)

So today I am trying something new. In all the blogs I've read, the writers are always linking up with each other for fun activities, so figured I'd give it a try. The real question is if I can even figure out how to do this right!

I'm linking up with Jessica at I {heart} Recess for her Monthly Goals: Back to School Edition Linky. I'm so excited for this to be my first link up. Hopefully all goes well!

Personal: Working out has been tough since I officially finished my basketball career. It's hard to stay in shape when you aren't required to be at practice. It's been a struggle, but over the summer I worked hard and completed the "30-Day Guns, Buns, and Abs Challenge". I was so proud of myself, but then what did I go do...took a break of course. All that work for nothing! My goal is to do some sort of exercise at least 5 days a week. I always feel better when I do!

Organization: This is a big one for me. I was a long-term substitute in a 5th grade classroom and I was the absolute worst at putting grades in the computer. I would grade things quickly and write the grades in the paper grade book, but for whatever reason wouldn't put them in the computer right away. It would pile up, and eventually I'd have to spend a few hours on a Sunday entering grades. My goal is to just get it done right away to save myself the headache later on!

Planning: I got into a really bad habit last year during my long term sub position. For the word work section of guided reading, I had a hard time planning ahead. A lot of times I wouldn't come up with an activity until that morning. So awful of me! This year I want everything planned out for the week. Obviously things happen during the week and I'll have to change my plans, but at least I'll have a starting point for every day! 

Professional: In the past, I have attempted to use Kagan Structures and have failed miserably. Honestly, I had a negative attitude towards Kagan because of my failures. After attending a Kagan workshop, I have a complete new perspective. If I don't do every part of the structure correctly, then of course it's going to fail! Now that I actually know what I am doing, I am determined to implement these structures into my lessons. 

Students: My goal for students is to help them realize that learning can be fun. This is my first year teaching and I know that at times I am going to struggle and feel way over my head, but I can't get down on myself or my students. I need to find things that they are interested in and bring those things into every day lessons to hold their attention. I want my classroom to be a fun, inviting place for every student.

Motto: I found this motto online, because I had a hard time thinking of one. I really like it though. "The secret in education lies in respecting the student" - Ralph Waldo Emerson. So many times we may have a negative attitude towards those tough to deal with students. Those students quickly realize your attitude towards them and it's downhill from there. I believe if you show every student respect and show them that you actually care, they are much more likely to work harder for you.

Summer is pretty much officially over for me. Lot's of work left to do in my classroom!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

So it Begins...

Well I've finally caved and have begun my very own blog. After subscribing to and religiously reading about 40 amazing teacher blogs, it's really difficult not to be inspired and want to start your own. Now I just have to learn all of the fancy stuff to make this thing look good. I'll catch on eventually... I always do!

I suppose that if you're here reading, you probably want to know what my deal is. I'm fresh out of college and a brand spankin' new teacher. I will be teaching 4th grade at the school where I completed my student teaching, so thankfully I'm very familiar with the staff and I already know a lot of the students I'll have in my class! Now to be completely honest, I'm more nervous than I've ever been in my entire life. I've probably played a thousand basketball games, but I've never been as nervous as I am for this school year to start. My dream of finally having my own classroom is coming true and I just don't want to mess it all up. Am I crazy for feeling this way?

Over the summer, after getting inspiration from other blogs and Pinterest of course, I began getting material for small projects for my classroom. I would honestly lay awake at night thinking about all of the things I could do with the room. I finally decided that getting NO sleep was ridiculous and I just needed to get in my classroom and get to work! On Thursday that's just what I did and boy, was I in for a big surprise....


 Let's just say that this is not what the room looked liked when I poked my head in at the beginning of May. This classroom wasn't used last school year, so I'm thinking that a lot of extra junk just got piled up in here over the course of the year. The pictures really don't show the amount of stuff that is actually in here either. It's worse than it appears. 

So after I got over the shock of how much work I really have to do and getting over the disappoint that I wouldn't be getting to do any of the fun stuff like decorating, I got to work. 

4 hours later and it really doesn't look a whole lot different. Isn't it crazy how that works?

I decided I'm going to need some help pulling every single thing out of each cabinet, so I can go through it all. Luckily, I have a pretty awesome boyfriend who I am forcing is willing to help. 

Now hopefully in my next post I'll be able to show some major improvement. Wish me luck!