Signs of a New School Year

What are the signs of a new school year? As you walk the aisles at Walmart you see colors, super heroes, and characters galore. Kids oohing and ahhing over new clothes, gear, and school supplies, dying to have the glittery notebook that cost $2.99 instead of a reasonable fifty cents. Receipts stacking your pocket books with things such as colorful bins, designer duct tape, and maybe even spray paint so you can spice up those old white drawers. DIY plastered on your Pinterest. Dreams of the most wonderfully, colorful classrooms that say “Welcome Students” we are gonna “Rock this School Year”! 

Sadly though are checkbooks are balanced and can we say, broke as a joke! Can’t wait for that PTA money to come through so I can buy that fancy new whiteboard and flexible seating that everyone so dies over these days. 

So when you finally get a moment to yourself, kids with Grandma, you decide it’s time to venture over to your classroom for a little rearranging, heavy-lifting, and dusting galore. You walk in looking at the mess that so drastically appears. Where am I going to put that? Uh-oh that is gonna be a hiding spot, can’t do that! Ouch! There’s a new bruise! The battle scars of pushing, pulling, and grunting your way through boxes, bookshelves, desks, and tables. Well I won’t need my workout today! 

When you finally get to a resting spot, which you have no choice, because Grandma called and their on their way, you look around at the view. Oh how it is so nice to see such hard work in front of you. 

My classroom progress revealed! Can’t wait to hear about your signs of a new school year!


After 3 hours of work…


Assessment, Teaching, and Learning

I just read an article for grad school called Classroom Assessment:Minute by Minute, Day by Day (Leahy, Lyons, Thompson, William 2005). Here are my thoughts after a thought provoking read. 

What is the difference between assessment OF and FOR learning? Should we wait until the end to assess our students? 

If you are waiting until the end of the week to assess your students and you are just plopping the grade in the grade book that is assessment of learning. If you are observing, listening, having students discuss, have students become a part of the assessment process you are completing assessment FOR learning. 

I learned a few pointers from my reading this week…

-Provide feedback for improvement not for grading purposes. 

-Involve your students in the assessment process through classroom created criterion, rubrics, self-assessment, and peer assessment. 

-Make standards and goals student friendly. Students should know what their ultimate goal is for learning. 

-Allow students to be resources to each other through peer assessment, self-reflection, and discussion. 

-Ask questions that make students think, don’t give them the answers, have them creating learning experiences versus always assessing what they already know. 

I have learned that if you are doing assessment right than you shouldn’t see a difference between assessment and learning in your classroom. 

What do you do in your classroom provides an example of assessment FOR learning? 

There are many techniques and strategies that work. Find what works best for you and use it make instructional decisions in your classroom. 

The questions remains…

How do you find just the right balance. Of course assessment FOR learning is best for instructional decisions, but how do you find that “just the right” balance? 

Knights at the Rounding Table 

This week we are working on becoming “Knights”. We are going to learn about Knighthood while we travel the world of rounding. 

I remembered my teammate completing a unit on Knights when I taught 4th grade and remembered how clever her “Knights at the Rounding Table” activities were. What a fun way to become a “knight”! 

All of my students are in hopes of being “knighted” on Friday as we learn about Knighthood, fairy tales, rounding, and much more in our “Knights at the Rounding Table” unit. 

In order to get “knighted” they must master Rounding to the nearest 10’s and 100’s. I cannot wait for our ceremony in Friday! Pictures to come! 

Twas the night before school….

Twas the night before school and all through the house were….

✔Piles of Laundry 

✔ Ziploc bags full of snacks

✔Glad containers filled with lunch 

✔Bookbags packed

✔Teacher bag packed

Will I sleep tonight? Will my soon-to-be third grader sleep tonight? 

Classroom reveal, first day pictures, and much more to come tomorrow!! Can’t wait to start my Blog back up after a long summer off. What did you say? Summer off? What’s that? 

Can’t wait to share everything u learned this summer, how I plan to implement it, and the new grade level I will be teaching! 

I will leave you in suspense…

Angry Birds

So I just have to share this!! I know it has been a while! My wonderful kids went to the library with their Grandma yesterday and they always make crafts after story time. Keep in mind my kiddos are 7 and 2, so this is why I am so amazed and excited about what is going on at our local library. 

They came home with 3D angry birds and nets to make more! This morning I was working out and of course my kids immediately wanted to play on the Ipad. I have of course been having my school-age daughter read daily and complete her Scootpad math assignments, but I feel like I have not limited technology time enough. 

Today I decided I had enough of the constant IPad playing and fighting over who gets to play. I said we were going to put it away and go back to imagination. I told the kiddos no IPad today! 

What does my sweet girl take out? Her angry bird nets! I am amazed at the patience she had as she completed these 3D angry birds. We talked about the difference between prisms and pyramids and had an amazing conversation about the difference between 3D and 2D figures. I am amazed at the background knowledge she already has as a rising 3rd grader.

Proud mom moment! Just had to share since I am currently taking a class in Grad school where we are talking about these very scenarios. 

My kids will be launching their angry birds on Monday at the local library! What an amazingly, creative idea right? I think I will be using this one in my classroom this school year!! What better way to wrap up a 3D unit than launching angry birds??!!


From one of my amazing students:

“How many hashtags could a hashtag hash if a hashtag, could hashtag?” LOL!!!!!!

Problem of the Day for your students:
How many math hashtags can you make in 100 letters/symbols or less?

Things to keep in mind:

*The person with the most math-related hashtags under 100 letters/symbols wins.

*100 letters/symbols exactly earns bonus points.

* Emojis count as a symbol.

Real-world connection: Twitter users can only put 140 letters/symbols or less in a post. I used 100 to make it a nice round number. 😉
I have examples of what my kiddos did in class on the board outside my classroom. 🙂
Mathematical Practice:
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
This would make a great bulletin board!! 🙂
Have fun with this one!! I think every student from K-8 can have great fun with this!! 🙂 Make it work for your class! 🙂