Saturday, April 27, 2013

Night Owl Bogo!

I'm having a Night Owl Buy One Get One Free sale on everything in my TpT store! Buy something between now and midnight tonight and I'll e-mail you something of your choice of equal value!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Math card games & Let's Get Acquainted: Classroom


I'm linking up to another Workshop Wednesday from Ideas by Jivey and a Let's Get Acquainted by Flying into First Grade!

This week's topic for Workshop Wednesday is using card games in Math. My typical math workshop involves four stations, The teacher station, the independent station, the intern station and the math game station. We play lots and lots of math games. I like to have a wide variety of them for the kids to play so that they don't get bored, and of course the game needs to go along with the current skill or review a recent skill, so naturally I need to have lots of them.

I'm a fan of having the kids play "I have, who has" games in a group of 4 or 5. They basically deal out the cards and play the usual game, but each kid is responsible for 5 or 6 cards of their own. The first one to run out of cards is the "winner," but play continues til all the cards are used up. I've created a bunch of these games to help my kids throughout the year. Here are some of my favorites!

Get it here!
These are two different time games. The first is a simple telling time game. The kids practice reading analog clocks. I teach the struggling math students, so believe it or not some of my 5th graders still need a bit of practice with this at the beginning of the year.

The second game is an elapsed time game. The kids practice determining what time it will be or was in a given number of hours and minutes. This is a great way for them to practice telling time along with their mental addition and subtraction skills.

Get them bundled here!
I also made up a set of cards to help my kids practice the conversion of customary units for length, weight and capacity.

I have them make mustache "cheat sheet" pencil toppers with the conversions on them in case they need them. The cards have the gimmick "I have _, I mustache who has _" and this never gets old with the kids.

They have a blast practicing these conversions, and before you know it they're not even referring to their cheat sheets anymore!

Get it here!
 This Mean/Median/Mode/Range game is a big hit with the kids too. They take the a number of the cards (less cards for an easier game, more for more difficulty) and play a "round" for each of the four skills. They score points along the way and add up their scores at the end of the four rounds.

This is another one that never seems to get old with the kids, and I think it really helps them remember the difference between the four terms.

I play other card games with the kids too, but this post is starting to sound like a big advertisement! To make up for it I'll give my two  Time games to the first two commenters on this post that think they can use them with their kids! Make sure I can e-mail you if you're one of them!


We're talking about our 3 favorite places in our classroom! 


The first is definitely my classroom library! I'm a book collecting addict. And Daily 5 requires having a ton of books to help kids make good fit book choices, so I even have an excuse to have thousands of them. This picture is missing the huge bookshelf to the right, and you can't see my cute (yet masculine enough) butterfly rug and beanbags on the floor, but it was the only picture I had. You can also catch a glimpse of my other addiction...my Keurig coffee maker and my stacks of coffee. 
I probably drink 12 cups a day of coffee...

The second place is kind of not a place...it's the spot on my desk where my document camera sits. I use my document every single day...whether it's to give the kids a close up of the pictures in a picture book, to demonstrate with math manipulatives, or to show the condensation on a cold glass like in the picture...I'm SO glad to have it. My kids wrote up a proposal on donorschoose.org for it last year and it was fully funded pretty easily. If you haven't used donorschoose yet, you should. And if you don't have a document camera, that would be a great first project!

(Please ignore my mouth hanging open and the fact that I'm a giant by the way!)

The final place are my bulletin boards in the back of my classroom. I have a few back there, but only have a picture of one. The one pictured is my "One thing I learned this week" board. The kids update it using those tiny post it notes. It's fun to read the things they learned.

I also have a "Tweet something sweet" board that I learned about from a colleague in my building. The kids each have a name on the board and there are about a hundred little die-cut birds in a pocket at the bottom of the board. They can write a compliment (under 140 characters!) about one of their classmates and then post it under that kid's name. The kids use it all the time. I love seeing them update it and then later seeing the kid they wrote about light up when they realize they have a new tweet. I love getting cool ideas like that from other teachers, so if you have one share it in the comments!

Anyway, those are my favorite places in the room!


On a personal note...this whole eating healthy thing is finally starting to become easy! Using the Lose it! App really makes you think about what you're eating. I'm mortified to discover that meals I used to eat were sometimes 4 times the calories of my current meals. The snacks I used to eat are like my current meals. It's crazy!

Check in on the other posts in these linkies! They're some good ones for sure!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quick Check In and End of the Year Awards

Man, it has been a busy few days! We have a lot going on at school in my classroom right now. All the usual stuff plus the extra Earth Day seed planting, a guest teacher coming to do some Close Reading with my kiddos tomorrow, our Westward Expansion Simulation is about halfway done, and we're gearing up to start teaching the Human Body science unit next!
We're about halfway through reading Wonder and my kids keep begging me to read another chapter, then another one, and another one. I want to give in and just keep reading, but we have so much else to do that I've been resisting the urge. The kids just LOVE this book, and it has so many moments in it that really affect them. I know I've talked about it too many times, but maybe if you haven't bought it yet, you'll finally do it! And my Wonder Novel Unit makes teaching it even easier and more meaningful!  ;) 

It's at that time in the year where my intern is taking over the lead planning and teaching of most of the school day (though I won't let her read Wonder with the kids because I want to!) so my evenings have opened up a bit as far as planning and prep is concerned. I believe in co-teaching, and constant observation/participation when my intern is teaching (I don't believe in the "leave the room and let them solo teach" thing), but it is still nice to have a little less on my plate in the evenings. We're lucky to be partnered with Penn State, and have yearlong interns rather than typical student teachers. They start full time on the first day of pre-planning and come to work every day, all day, for the entire school year, all the way until the last day of school. Usually by this point in the year the interns are essentially teachers with a year of experience. I wish they had a program like this when I was in school!

The extra time in the evenings is handy because I'm still going strong with the "Biggest Loser" contest going on in my school! I have lost a wife-infuriating grand total of 7 pounds since I started about 2 and half weeks ago! She complains about how easy it is for men to lose weight, but I think it's fair considering she's a waif and I weigh nearly twice what she does! I walked over 20 miles last week too! This little fitbit gadget is addictive.

I've also been working on a few different items for my TpT store, one is about 50% done and the other is around 80% done. I took a break from them though to spiff up my End of Year Award Certificates. I give these out to the kids at the end of year to both celebrate their strengths and poke a little light hearted fun at some of their...other qualities. I have made 48 certificates, and I usually end up giving 2-3 to each student. Sometimes I have to create a new certificate for a special kiddo, and I'll definitely be updating the product on TpT with those when that happens.

I am drawn to the Victorian/Vintage style stuff, and I know my kids for the last few years have been obsessed with things like mustaches, steampunk, bowler hat type stuff, so I made them in that style. I also stuck to black and white simply because I end up printing 60-90 of these every year! Here's an example of what they look like:




The certificates come in a powerpoint file that is completely editable. All 48 certificates (with potential new ones added each year) are just $4.00! I have three more preview images on the product page. Check them out!

We still have over 30 days of school, but I am beginning preparations for a lot of our end of year activities. I'll hand out the awards at our classroom award celebration at the end of the year. We also have a secret party planned to thank my intern for her service, where we'll present a big basket full of teacher goodies. Leading up to the last day of school we'll be hanging and popping 20 balloons with a special "reward" inside each one. The 5th graders get to enjoy a fun afternoon during the 5th grade picnic/carnival that is put together by the PTO. And finally on the very last day of school we have a gathering of the whole school and "graduate" the 5th graders by watching a video of their experiences from the year. Many tears will be shed!

What traditions do you celebrate at the end of the year? 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Membership, Participation, Learning

Has anyone else heard of MPL? It stands for Membership, Participation and Learning. It's the focus of an initiative that has been going on in my school for the last two years. My school is trying to improve its inclusive practices. Personally, I think my school has always done a great job with this, but we have really taken it to the next level thanks to a grant we received two years ago. The grant has allowed us to attend conferences and have planning time.
If you're anything like me then you have probably had students with special needs of one type or another in your class each year. I've worked in a few schools in both the North and the South, and I think it is pretty normal for those kids to be pulled out of class for DI, or direct instruction, in math, reading or both. These kids are often the same ones receiving Speech or OT, or autistic support, etc. Before you know it some kids are in your room for attendance, recess, lunch and dismissal...and that's about it. I know in my old school that's what we referred to as inclusion.

We've experimented with peer supports, co-teaching, and total participation techniques, but we wanted to go bigger.

This year in fifth grade we decided to make a change. A pretty big one. We were going to shift our thinking so that "pull-out" instruction was the exception to the rule rather than the norm.

Our classrooms this year were somewhat "stacked" with the purpose of making it so that each teacher on the team could focus on working with less support staff/special educators. For example, I work closely with the autistic support teacher, ESL teacher, and one learning support teacher. This takes about 4 people off of my list of people that I need to work with as far as scheduling and communication. It also means that for those teachers I'm the only 5th grade teacher they work with. That means that during my reading time they are free to come INTO my classroom rather than pull 2 students from all of our rooms.

So, while I have 3 ESL students (who are also learning support students), and 2 students with autism, a colleague across the hall has no students with autism, but several learning support students. She only needs to work with a limited number of people also. It's a big time saver for all involved, and makes it reasonable to find time to plan and collaborate.

The BEST part of all this is that I have 5 students in my class this year that are with me for 90% of day, whereas last year some of them were in the room for less than 40% of the day(that included lunch and recess). Speech, OT and Title 1 services are all still pull out.

The other teachers and I have found a co-teaching model that works for us. They push-in instead of pull-out. It's great because they often are available to help my other students (not just the ones they'd see normally) as well. During my daily 5/CAFE, they set up shop and man a station that is made up of any of my kids who need to be at that station.

More importantly, I know these kids now. They're truly part of my classroom community. I know them as readers and writers too. It's hard to truly feel connected and invested in a student's learning when you only see them at lunch and recess. Now all of my students are actually my students.

It took/takes a lot of work. I won't lie about that. But I have to admit the hardest part was getting over my own fear. "Can I really teach and have high expectations for students with pretty serious autism all day long?" "How can I do DI if I'm supposed to be teaching the other kids?" "Will I have to modify curriculum/make adaptations for every single thing I do?!"

Turns out, with a little bit of work, a smidge of communication, a lot of collaboration and a very open mind...it can work. And it's been worth it.

How do you guys handle inclusion in your schools?

On a side note, I'd love if all of my bloggy friends would cross their fingers and toes for me. I may have the opportunity to move to a 3rd/4th grade multi-age class next year. I won't get into details, but I desperately want to move. Nothing has been promised or is certain just yet. So I'm holding my breath and saying my prayers that it'll work out and I'll get to move. I guess we'll see soon (hopefully)!

Thanks to our snow days we have 36 more days of school to go before summer! And they are PACKED with cool things. School gardening, our Westward Ho trail breakfast and square dancing, spending our terracycle loot on charities, the 5th grade picnic, and the dreaded 5th grade boy/girl reproductive system talk are just a few things on the agenda. Guess who has to give the boy talk?  :( 

And on that note...enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Biggest loser and SLAM Fair

So this Friday will be bringing a couple of fun things. 

The first is that my school's "Biggest Loser" competition will be starting, and I will be competing. I stepped on the scale a couple weeks ago and realized that I'm bigger than I have ever been in my life. I mean, I'm relatively average sized...but I used to be fit. So I decided to do something about it! Two things in fact!

The first thing is that I've been using an app called Lose it! If you haven't heard of it or used it before, it is basically a calorie tracking/budgeting app. It really helps you think about how much and what kind of foods you're eating. Cupcakes in the faculty room? Not worth it when you realize you could eat a mountain of carrots and hummus instead. 

The second thing I've been doing is using this fun little "fitbit" gadget. It's essentially a really tiny and accurate pedometer that automatically syncs with my phone. It also tracks my calories burned and my sleep. I've found it to be pretty accurate too. My wife also has one and it is fun to track/compete with each others steps. The website awards you little virtual achievements for walking a certain number of miles, etc. I'm a sucker for the essentially pointless virtual badges. 

Long story short, it's already working! I'm down two pounds already! Of course, this is bittersweet since the first weigh in for the school's biggest loser competition is on Friday!

Also, this Friday night is my school's SLAM Fair. The SLAM stands for Science, Literature, Art and Music. We have students and guests set up presentations all over the school and parents and kids come and look at or participate in the activities. The fifth grade teachers in my school work with the 5th graders after school and the kids do most of the work. I think the fair will be a lot of fun, and the kids will be proud of their projects. 

Of course, I'm also excited to reclaim the hour I have been volunteering after school each week for this. That hour often turns into an hour and half when a student is forgotten by their parents and picked up late. Today one of kids wasn't picked up until 5pm. A full hour late. It's kind of aggravating. But the fair will be fun!

Those are my biggies for the week! Kind of hard to believe that there are only 2 months of school left in the year! We've got a jam packed calendar for the next two months though! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Free at last! Harlem Shake! Giveaways! And some dog news...

I'm so excited to be able to share that our state testing is done for the year! Now we can finally get back to normal teaching and learning! I told my kids that if we tried our best on the test I'd let them make a Harlem Shake video.

Here it is!

video
The kids had a blast. Yes, that is me in my motorcycle helmet, dancing horribly at the beginning. The kids insisted that I be the lone dancer at the beginning.

I'm excited to get back to school next week and get back to teaching the way I love to teach. These past three weeks or so haven't been normal. I've tried to squeeze in good stuff, but not like I normally can. I'm happy to get back to our normal math workshop mornings and our Westward Expansion simulation, and our reading workshop, etc. We've managed to keep reading through Wonder even during the testing this week. I had about 90% of the class in tears this week when we hit a certain event in the book. After we finished our final state test on Friday I gave the kids a choice between 10 minutes of extra recess or 10 minutes of extra Wonder...kids voted for Wonder!

Congrats to I'm Lovin Lit for winning my fifty follower giveaway! We're on our way to 100! I hope to do a much bigger giveaway when I reach that milestone! I hope you enjoy your 50 States I have, who has game!

On a sad/personal note...
For some reason my oldest German Shepherd, Barghest, got it into his head this week to pull his bottle of arthritis medicine down from the counter and completely destroy it and then ingest the whole bottle of pills. Strangely enough, he also ate an entire plastic sealed baklava, wrapper and all. Luckily, my in-laws came for a visit and discovered the mess he'd made of the bottle and called me at work. I rushed him to the vet to discover he'd eaten twice the lethal dose of pills. He's been on a 48 hour observed IV fluid cleanse. $1,200 that we don't have later...he's coming home tonight, supposedly fit as a fiddle. Apparently, the combination of him eating an entire baklava and my in-laws finding him a couple hours earlier than I would have is what saved his life. He's lucky we love him...he also has EPI (a weird dog condition that means he can't digest food without an expensive enzyme supplement) he's now officially the most expensive thing I've ever owned I think. Sigh...dogs.

Now, on brighter note, head on over to the wonderful Ideas by Jivey blog and enter her 300 followers giveaway!
It looks like some great products are up for grabs!  


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Going Green efforts in my school

So, in my school I'm one of the teachers who leads our going green efforts. I've always been into conservation and the environment. I love getting kids excited about it too. 

We do a lot in my school towards the goal of becoming a "Zero Waste" school. We have a ways to go, but I think we're doing pretty well. I'll talk about some of our efforts in upcoming posts.

For my first post I'll be talking about Terracycle.com. 

I'm in charge of my school's terracycling efforts. If you haven't heard of terracycling (or upcycling) it is basically taking something and making it into something new without having to melt it down or destroy it. 

You've seen those purses and bookbags made of Capri-sun pouches, right? Or birdhouses made out of bent license plates? That's terracycling!

In my school we collect a bunch of items throughout the year that we send in to terracycle.com. They pay for the shipping AND they pay us for the items (usually about 2 cents for each item) and then we decide what to do with the money. So far each year we've made about $400, usually making more than the year before though. I always give my kids the option of spending the money on themselves or others and every year they've made me proud by choosing to spend it on others.

We collect Elmer's glue sticks and bottles, plastic tape dispensers, Solo-style plastic cups, pens/markers, and Capri-sun style juice pouches. 

These bins in our school lobby make it easy for the whole school to contribute.
These bigger bins are placed at the ends of  all the hallways to snatch up stuff that people aren't willing to take to the lobby bins.
That's when I have the kids research organizations (Terracycle has many on their website as a starting point) and write a persuasive letter to their classmates about why we should donate to their chosen organization. In the end we decide to give a percentage of the total to each of the organizations and then translate that into the amount of money they get from us. The kids love it!

Last year we bought an acre of land in Alaska for a nature preserve, provide 25 veterans with a 'meals on wheels' type dinner, provided 7 young mothers a week's worth of diapers, offset the carbon footprint of me riding my Vespa to work every day, two families in Africa were outfitted with baby chicks through Heifer International, and 25 people in central Asia were given clean water for a year!

Way better than blowing it all on a pizza party, right?!

On top of all that we keep a running tally of the number of pounds of trash we keep from going into the landfill. So far this year we've already kept about 75 pounds of Capri-sun pouches out of the landfill! My students over the years that I've done this have kept nearly half a ton of garbage out of the landfill!

If you haven't checked out terracycling before, give it a try! It takes a little work to collect and box up the materials, but I think it's worth it. It's a great way to work some service learning into your school year.

Like I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we do here to be Zero Waste, but I think it's the easiest place to start and has the most obvious/concrete rewards. ($) 

Do you terracycle in your school?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Philly Fun and another visit from the Terrible Trivium!

So I survived the longest day of school so far in my career! Last Friday morning I arrived at school at 4:45 AM and began greeting my students around 5AM. By 5:30 we were all loaded on the bus and had begun the long journey to Philadelphia! Later that night, I handed over my last student into the loving arms of her father. It was 10:00 PM. That was a 17 hour school day!

I think the kids really enjoyed themselves. I think they were more excited about the gift shops, the bus ride and eating fast food at a truck stop than they were about the Liberty Bell though!

They did me proud by answering all of the National Park Ranger's questions in Independence Hall! Their behavior was excellent, and no one got lost! All in all, I have to say it was a successful trip!

I only slept til 11 in the morning the next day too!

George W. was a big dude. The life-size statues in the constitution center were a huge hit with the kids.
On a more sour note...I had to spend an hour after school preparing my classroom for a visit from the Terrible Trivium. Tomorrow begins our week of state standardized testing for Reading and Math. Like in most states, I'm required to take down or cover up all of my posters, student work, etc. I think it really makes the room look awful. All the butcher paper hanging on the walls makes the room look disorganized. I have to believe it affects the moods and thinking of my students.

Either way, we'll work our way through this week's tests and then be done for the year! We're also still reading Wonder, starting a new list of Greek/Latin roots, and studying our Westward Expansion unit. The kids love all of those things, so they'll be a nice relief in between the morning and afternoon tests each day. We're getting close to the first part in Wonder where I think kids might cry. I hope I can hold it together while I read it!

In TpT news, I finally finished up a game to help review telling time and practicing elapsed time. It's another "I have, who has?" game. I like to have the kids play these in a small group during math workshop. Both games come bundled together for $3! Check it out here by clicking the cover picture:


My kids love the "steampunk" look of the victorian pocket watches.

Finally, another great piece of news is that the weather here has finally gotten reasonably Spring-like! There's nothing better than breaking out my Vespa and riding it around the countryside here in central PA on a slightly warm evening. I'm so excited to be able to start riding to work again now. You can't beat 74 mpg!

Not a whole lot of entries on my recent giveaway!  :(  Sign up, it's ending soon! 

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pass the Torch Linky!


Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!!!

Photobucket Photobucket

Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!

I had already been thinking about how helpful it would be for my kids in their "Expand Vocabulary" efforts to learn Latin and Greek roots, so when I saw this resource I knew I had to give it a try. Let me just start by saying that my kids have loved using this resource! 

I showed the kids the first list, and we talked a bit about how many of our words are derived from Latin and Greek roots. I gave them some really fun examples of words that have these in them and how knowing the roots, prefixes and suffixes could help you define a word you'd never heard before. 

The root bio really resonated with the kids. They know words with this root, biography, biology, etc. It was surprising how many of them never made the connection that bio means life. They were excited to learn this!

We worked on the first list of words for three 15 minute periods this week. Some of that time was independent work time to fill out their study cards. The kids really enjoyed coming up with a picture to help them remember the root and thinking or finding words that contain the root. We talked about the new roots the first day, and they were given their packet and about 7 minutes to work. They independently finished their packets by the second day. They spent that day practicing with the roots, making up new words together and quizzing each other at their table sets while I went to the groups and talked to them. The third day we took the matching and cloze quizzes. Pretty simple!

I've heard kids all week long making up new words using the roots they've learned. Little do they know that many of the words they're "creating" already exist. 


I HAD to snap a picture of this student, who pulled her packet out, without being prompted, during indoor recess because she wanted to work on it some more!


These examples of the students' work after just a few minutes with the packet show that they were working hard.

I sat my kids down on Wednesday and told them that part of being this year's 5th graders is that they get to help me make 5th grade better for the next set of kids. I asked them for their honest feedback about this resource and their feelings about it in general. The answer from the kids was not surprising based on what I'd seen all week long. The love it! The kids all wish that we had been doing this all year long. They told me that I have to do it next year. They can't wait to add to their repertoire of roots. 

The best part is, they aren't just all talk. I quizzed them briefly on Wednesday verbally and then I quizzed them on Thursday with the included matching and cloze quizzes and they all aced them!

Based on the success I've seen with it over the last two weeks I am definitely planning to make it part of my grammar/expand vocabulary program. It is super easy to implement, all of the materials you need are provided and the kids are having fun. I can't wait to show them their new list next week!


Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch!! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner : Gold Medal

  Prizes: Complete Reading Olympians Program
            $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
            50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

   Prizes: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
              40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal

    Prizes: 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!


Pass the Torch!!!
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Kindergarten:



Grade 1 & 2






Grade 3 & 4






Grade 5 & 6


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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

50 Followers and Workshop Wednesday!

I'm linking up to one of my favorite weekly linkies again this week. Workshop Wednesday from Ideas by Jivey! The topic this week is all about sharing math websites we love. 

My district was generous enough for the last two years to buy all of the students a subscription to IXL.com. I love the features of the site. It spans all the grade levels and provides tons of diverse practice for the kids. If I don't have "normal' math homework to assign, I usually ask the kids to work on IXL. Kids can use the site for a limited time each day for free, without tracking. 

I also am a fan of Sumdog.com. This site is full of fun math games and is free to use! A subscription is available which adds things like student progress tracking. I mostly just use it for free!

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives has some great tools. Especially for teachers with projectors in their rooms. 

Finally, as much as we might hate it...sometimes you just need a worksheet. http://www.algebra4children.com/printables.html
This site is FULL of them. All free to download!

In other news...

I hit 50 followers! Woohoo! I'm so excited about it! I'm starting to feel slightly successful at this whole blogging thing now! To celebrate I'm giving away a copy of my "50 States - I have, who has" game. I figured a state per follower was appropriate! 


The winner of my last giveaway let me know that she was able to get some books for her class today and I'm excited to think that I was able to spread a little joy to a 2nd grade classroom out there!

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Let me know in the comments how you teach the States in your classroom! 

Time to watch some mindless TV and veg out for a change!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Currently

I'm linking up to the April Currently from Oh' Boy 4th Grade!


I think mine are pretty self-explanatory this time around! But here goes:

Listening: I'm a big fan of the Office, and after the last episode with Dwight's family singing that weird song at the end, Killer B couldn't get it out of her head. We finally downloaded it from iTunes.

Loving: I've been playing video games since they were invented. I still make time to veg out and play a video game even now. Since I had today off, I got to squeeze in a couple hours of play time! Good stuff!

Thinking: I can not stop stressing out about our trip on Friday. Taking 100 kids between 4 teachers, 3 interns, and a handful of parents to Philly for the day will be both exciting and stressful. Add in the 4 hours on the bus (a charter thank goodness) both ways and it's going to be the longest day of school known to man.

Wanting: I'm ready for all those things. And none are coming! Boo. hiss.

Needing: I'm SO behind on laundry it isn't even funny. I literally own 35 polo shirts of different colors and like 8 pairs of khakis. And none of them are clean. Sometimes I'm a little jealous of the variety women teachers have at their disposal for dressing for work.

Advice: My advice might be obvious. If you're making stuff for TpT, stick to stuff you can use in your own classroom. It's more authentic that way, and that way even if you don't sell it, you can use it for years to come. Everything in my store is stuff I use or used for years (for the K-2 stuff).

And that's it for me! What's everyone else up to? 
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