Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm going crazy!

I have been furiously trying to get my classroom ready! I have jury duty starting Wednesday so I'm trying to finish up in case I don't have time! I will be back soon with pictures of my classroom!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Congrats to Denise, Anna, Kathy, Jess and Kelly! They won the Common Core assessment. Check your inboxes ladies!

I'm going to school tomorrow and I'll update with a "before" picture tomorrow!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

TpT Sale!

I'm throwing my first ever sale today at my TpT {store}! In celebration of me going home and finally being able to go to my classroom on Monday!!

Thanks to those who participated in my giveaway. I'll be sending prizes as soon as I get settled on Sunday! Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Day Jitters

I'm joining up with Fierce in Fourth Grade for another blog hop. I love these things, they are so fun!!

So to share 3 things I'm jittery about for the beginning of school...

1. I'm nervous about starting Common Core! I am super excited too. I am worried about changes to my curriculum just as I'm finally getting used to it! My big project this summer was to wrap my mind around the standards and thanks to all of you, I've really been working on it. TpT and blogs really have a lot of great information.

2. In my state, we have leveled licensure levels. In your third year you have to complete a dossier. It's a very big deal and will take a lot of time. To show you how big it is, the college in my city uses the dossier in place of a thesis for the master's program. I know I can do it! I just need to schedule my time well!

3. I'm jittery as always about the first day. I always get sick to my stomach the first day of school! From Kindergarten to now teaching, I get so nervous! Luckily, I settle down after the first few minutes now that I'm teaching!

Any advice for me? I love comments!
What are you jittery about?

Join the blog hop!

P.S My giveaway is still going on! Join here!


Thank you Thank you Thank you to Jean at Diving into 2nd grade for nominating me for two blog awards! I love how all of you look out for us newbies! I'm so excited to be part of this community, I feel so blessed.

Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. Check!
2. Include a link to their blog. Check!
3. Include the Award image in your post. Check!
4. Give seven random facts about yourself. Check
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award. Half check!
6. When nominating include a link to their blog. Check!
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated. Check!

Let's see seven random things about me... Can I do eight? I love the number 8! :)

1. My husband and I eloped in Florida on 08-08-08.
2.  I'm a fourth generation teacher.
3. I love Starbucks! I like iced lattes and pumpkin spice lattes during pumpkin spice season! As if you couldn't tell from my header and signature!
4. I'm an only child.
5. I've spent the last 8 weeks in Kansas City while my husband worked. Yes, no cleaning or cooking for 8 weeks!
6. I love reality T.V.
7. I hate onions! ew, makes me gag just thinking about it!
8. I love the color red, especially in my house.

My nominees for the Versatile Blogger award are:
Teach with the Colors of the Wind
Happy Literacy
Kathy's Coordinated Class
Teaching Third
All Things Teachery and More
I Heart Teaching Elementary
My Second Sense
Primarily Speaking

For the Liebster Blog
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you. Check!
2. Post the award to your blog. Check!
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers. Check!
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award. Check!

My nominees for the Liebster Blog award are:
Teach with the Colors of the Wind
Happy Literacy
Timeouts and Tootsie Rolls
Kathy's Coordinated Class
Teaching Third

Thank you again Jean! I would love if you joined my {giveaway}, I'm giving away my Common Core Math Assessment for second and third grade!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Top 8 Tech. Sites for Test Prep~ NWEA MAP Reading

I'm continuing my series on sites I use for test prep. You can check out what I've done so far by clicking on the Technology tab up top!

#3 NWEA MAP Reading

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you to Danielle at Scrappy Teacher for awarding me the One lovely blog award! My first award:)
The rules for the award are as follows:
1. Follow the person who gave you the award  CHECK!
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award CHECK!
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers. HALF CHECK!

Ok, 15 is a lot, so I'm going to go with my favorite number, 8!

My awards go to:

I would really appreciate it if you would check out my {giveaway}!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Common Core Math Assessment *Giveaway*

My school is implementing Common Core next year for this first time from grades K-3. The Kindergarteners started Common Core last year and will be moving on to 1st grade ready to go! That leaves 2nd and 3rd to play catch up! While looking at the Common Core standards I realized many things were different than our current standards. How was I going to know what they had missed? I decided to make an assessment for my grade level that would show us what "gaps" we might need to fill in. Third grade standards have a big emphasis on multiplication, but if students don't have the previous steps, they are going to miss out.

I started the undertaking of analyzing the standards and creating questions for every standard from second grade. This ended up being a 33 question test! It took a lot of work, but I'm very happy with how it came out!

I have uploaded it to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store {Common Core Math Assessment}.

 In hopes of getting some followers on my TpT store and feedback on my free products, I'm giving away 8 copies of this assessment. I'm new to all of this stuff and would love to have feedback from all of you on what I can improve on! My products are listed on the "My TpT Store" tab at the top of my blog.

I'm giving away the Common Core Math assessment (if you win and can't use the assessment I can send you my student information card instead) to 8 lucky winners, enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
My Store: Teaching Mrs. T
My free products: Bucket filling Cards, Common Core and Harcourt Alignment, Literacy Center Labels

Thanks for participating! 

Monday Made It

I'm excited to see another round of Monday Made It. Thank you to Tara @ Fourth Grade Frolics for hosting! For this weeks project I was inspired by Julie at 4th Grade Haps and Hacks and her project last week.

So I pretty much took her project and made it with what I had on hand. I, of course, made it polka dot and teal.

I used some letters I all ready had and I think they are a little small. I am waiting to laminate when I get home. You can't really tell in the pic, but the teal alternates between a flowery print and polka dot print.  I think it will look so cute hanging outside my door!!

I also made a dry erase frame that was inspired by the many pinterest pins of the same nature! If it was your idea, you rock!

This is silver glittery paper, with scraps for the corners. The clear sayings are clear stamps I took apart to keep the stickers. They say Believe to remind me of God's promise and "You are my sunshine" to remind me of my hubby.

I think it's a little something to make me smile on my desk! Plus, my desk becomes such a mess of papers by the end of the day that I usually can't find my to-do list! Problem solved!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Target Dollar Spot

Today the hubby and I had an amazing breakfast at Big Biscuit in Kansas City. We sampled their cinnamon roll pancakes, they were good but so sweet! They were much bigger than my head, and I have a big head! After breakfast we went to buy a few groceries and of course I dragged my husband to the Target Dollar Spot!

I took some pictures of the Dollar Spot for your viewing pleasure! I only bought a few things but I took pics for those of you unable to check it out quiet yet! First for what I bought:

I got the globe stress balls for students needing a little extra movement, and the bin to put them in. I also got the adorable mini lockers. I'm thinking paperclips and binder clips would be perfect!

Now for the pics of the Dollar Spot, I hope you find them useful, because this girl was looking at me so strange for taking pictures! Anyone else have this experience as a blogger?
Color coded: red, blue, green, yellow

Lots of bins!

Cardboard letters- think of the possibilities!

Desk organizers!

 Dollar Spot had some very cute stuff, buy not as much teal as I would like! :) Happy shopping!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Newbie Blogger Blog Hop

I thought I clearly fall into the newbie blogger category having started my blog 10 days ago! :) So far I am having so much fun and I'm kicking myself for not having started a blog sooner. So to introduce myself...

1. What state are you in?
Currently Missouri, but I live in New Mexico.

2. What is your current teaching position?
I teach third grade.

3. What is your teaching experience?
I have taught for three years. I've taught third grade every year. I love third grade!

4. When did you start blogging?
Ten days ago, but I've been blog stalking for years!

5. Share some blogging tips or a resource.
I don't think I'm quiet ready to share any tips or resources beside urging anyone who is thinking about starting a blog to just do it! It is so fun! My greatest resource is my hubby, he's a computer engineer so he helps me not to destroy my blog by making it "cute" and ruining the html!

I got this linky from Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge, so thank you Christina! Thank you for visiting! 

Literacy Centers~ Working with Words, Buddy Reading, Listening Center

I talked about Literacy Centers in my previous post, Literacy Centers~ Newpaper, Poetry and Spelling. I introduce those three first as a whole group and we complete the activity together. After that, I will introduce Working with Words, Buddy Reading and Listening Center.


Working with Words

Working with words is another center the students look forward to. I used to do this center as a whole group activity when I was teaching in a bilingual 4th grade class because it really helped build vocabulary in English. For this center, I use the book Making Big Words, Grades 3 - 6 by Patricia Cunnigham. For those of you who use Daily 5, I would highly recommend this book.

Here's a page from the book, each "big" word has other words that can be spelled using the letters. I call the big word the secret word, and the students have to find the secret word that uses up all the letters. The students love figuring out the mystery! The book has a list of spelling patterns, so if you are practicing "ie" words you can use those words in your center.

For the center I simply put letter cards that spell out the word in a bag. I write the number of the word on the bag and the letters that should be in the bag. So in the example from the page above, I would write #129 aeeiubbllnv.

I have a recording sheet that my amazing partner teacher made up, that I wish I could share, but it's her work so I won't. The sheet has a spot for recording the words they come up with, the secret word, and then a place for them to write a definition, synonym, antonym, and picture of the secret word.

Buddy Reading

The first year I taught with centers, I had the students chose a book from the buddy reading basket and read together. I found this was way too unstructured to be useful to the students and this center was always the rowdiest. I discovered last year that if I had them complete a certain section from a book and then answer some questions they would stay on task. So this coming year I will be using worksheets that I created from our leveled science reader. The questions on the worksheets are geared towards non-fiction text elements, so I think it will be perfect for our new implementation of Common Core.

The set up  of this center is pretty easy. Simply provide the same two books, and instructions for completing the worksheets. The students will complete a packet with me initially as a whole group so they will know the expectations for capitals, complete sentence, grammar and restating the question.

Listening Center

For this center I use the leveled readers that come with our basal, Treasures. The leveled readers come with CD's as well so I have everything ready to go! I chose books from our leveled readers by the theme we are learning as well as certain text features. As I talked about {here} there is a great website to look up themes and text features.

To prepare this center, I create a response sheet for the book. They might have to make a web or outline of the main details or summarize the story. They listen to the story together and answer the questions.

Anyone else use literacy centers? What have you found that works well for you?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fabulous Finds!

I'm linking up with Elizabeth over at Fun in Room 4B for her linky! When I saw this linky I knew I had to share one of my latest purchases that I just adore.

I agonized over finding a new cursive alphabet and I was *this close* to making my own but I found something amazing.
Black Polka Dots Chart

I love it so much! It says it is "mini" but I don't see anything really mini about it. I'm posting pics from the website because my goodies are at home and I'm 1,000 miles away!
Since I found that, I had to buy the matching name plates and charts!
Polka dot Name Plate

Polka dot Name Tags

Black Polka Dots Chart
I found some other great stuff like a {calendar}and{incentive chart}! There is also {lime green}{red}and {blue}polka dot items!

I hope those of you who are polka dot crazy like me will enjoy these!

Target Dollar Spot, how I love you!

I dragged my husband to 3 separate Targets so far these past two weeks. We have been out of town all summer for him to work, so we only have a rental car that I can't drive. He sure loves the dollar spot! Actually, I appreciate him for humoring me and my dollar spot obsession. Here's a few pics of what I picked up my first trip. I'll post the second and third trip later!

Everything I got! (notice the tiny erasers! love them!

The polka dot stuff: mechanical pencils, a dry erase to-do list, polka dot labels, outstanding student award, pencil holder, ribbon handled bucket and decorative paper clips!
The teal blue things: yes, my classroom is teal! So we have Dr. Seuss bags, accordion files, a foldable bin, and labels!
I'm hoping to use the Dr. Seuss bags to send home with students that need extra reading practice at home. The polka dot stuff is for my desk and I have no idea what to do with the teal accordion files or labels. I'm going to put one tiny eraser at each table group.

What's caught your eye lately? Any interesting Dollar Spot finds I need to look for?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Top 8 Technology Sites for Test Prep~ NWEA MAP Math

I continue my series Top 8 Tech Sites for Test Prep. You can read about the #1 Tech Site for Test Prep~Arcademics.

2. NWEA MAP Math

Do you use NWEA at your school? My school district does, and one thing I really love about the test is good data about each student. My school and principal really push improvement on this test so one of the resources I use often is this site.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Treasures Leveled Readers Search

In my quest to figure out what leveled readers I have from our basal, Treasures, I found this great website.

I don't use the basal, but I do use the supplemental readers that come with the program for my listening center. With this website you are able to search by keyword, genre, grade level,  skill, text feature etc. I thought this was really handy because I was able to find the books I wanted to use in my listening center by their topic and skill. You don't need to login to use this feature.

Check it out {here}!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Literacy Centers~ Newspaper, Poetry, Spelling

Practice with Purpose: Literacy Work Stations for Grades 3-6

I talked about the management of my centers {here}. I will now talk about Newspaper, Spelling, and Poetry Centers.

 I usually introduce these first as the procedure stays the same through out the year for these centers. I usually change out the materials and don't have to teach a lesson from these centers.


Last year I subscribed to Scholastic News for my newspaper center. Now that I have the old magazines from last year, I will use those for my newspaper center. The students are expected to read the article and answer the questions on the back of the paper. Once this is completed their is a skill activity provided by Scholastic that they complete. This center only needs to be explained once, then students are able to independently practice on their own.


Last year the students made acrostic poems, shape poems and a couple of other poems. This year I will be using a poetry book called Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 2-3. I started using this book in the mad scramble before state tests and it was very successful! My students will now start with poems from this book and the accompanying multiple choice and extended response questions. YES, This is built in test prep! Each rotation I simply change the poem, but  I will quickly teach the kind of poem before we start new centers each rotation. Once again, student usually know how to do this center after one round.


My district uses Sitton Spelling so I take activities from the Sitton Spelling chapter we are working on and incorporate it into this center. An easy way to do this is to take the activities that are similar each week but the words change and create a master form. I then take this form put it in a sheet protector and write on it with dry erase marker.  I then put this sheet protector into another sheet protector so the students cannot erase my writing! They fill in the worksheet provided, and BAM! I have another spelling grade!

I will talk about the rest of the centers in the next few days!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It!

One of the reasons I wanted to start my own blog was the Monday Made It linky. I loved all of your ideas and I wanted to share my interpretation of your wonderful ideas. So thank you to all of you!

My inspiration was a pin on pinterest I can't find now, so thank you to the wonderful person that inspired me.

Here is my finished creation:

I took a plain cookie sheet from the Dollar Store, modge podged on paper and glued some flower crystals on magnets and voila!

Total cost each: less than $2.00 {it's hard to estimate the cost of some drops of glue and such!:)}

I will be making 6 of them for the English Language Arts Common Core standards and Math standards. I will use the magnetic flowers to hang up the particular standard I am working on.