Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Time Flies!

Wow! I haven't posted in a while! The past two weeks have been CRAZY BUSY...I can't believe we're finishing up the third nine weeks tomorrow! We've been doing all sorts of fun stuff in the patch, including Oreo phases of the moon...

Informative and edible! My sprouts saw the Cookie Monster side of my personality emerge...

Landforms with modeling dough...

Check out my girl's cute island! Loving the hut!

Non-fiction text feature lapbooks (used an AWESOME freebie from Tools for Teachers by Laurah J

These lapbooks turned out fabulous, and my sprouts are taking them home over the break!

I recently created a brochure project detailing the different regions of North Carolina, and my sprouts have been working on it since last week. The project incorporates economics, geography, weather, graphs, and tourism! The brochures are turning out AMAZING, and my sprouts are so proud of their work! I typed up a rubric for the project, and I'll be posting it on my TpT page can sub in any state you would like! :)

I hope you've had a fabulous week so far!

<3 Kelsey

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Attention: (Mostly) Non-Schooly Post!

So I haven't posted about this on my little baby blog before, but my boyfriend is in the Army. He has a military ball at the beginning of April, and I have been STRESSING about my outfit. Today I went to the good ol' neighborhood Belk with my friend Amanda, and I found the PERFECT dress! 

Oh yeah, there's me! Hi! P.S. LOOK AT THE BACK!

You know what the best part was? I was ready to drop some money on this dress, but IT WAS ON SURPRISE SALE! Seriously?!? Now I don't have to worry at all, and I can just get all dolled up for a fun dressy night with my handsome sergeant! :) 

As for school, we had a GREAT day for the most part. Elapsed time is going pretty swimmingly...are any of you working on that as well? I'd LOVE to know...if you are, please comment on this post! If you take the time to fill me in on your elapsed time happenings, I'll send you any item you'd like from my TpT store, gratis! (Only valid through March 14th, 2013, so hurry!) 

 I hope you all had terrific Tuesdays!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday, Monday, Monday...

HAPPY MONDAY! Last night, after watching the newest episode of the Walking Dead, I plopped down into my bed with dread. (P.S. I'm the poet laureate.) I initially thought that Monday would be a hot exhausted mess, given the Daylight Savings Time switch. However, today was fabulous! Here are some reasons...

1) I completely forgot that I'd signed up for the C.O.W. (Computers on Wheels) for today...until our awesome media specialist rolled it down to the patch! SUCH a fantastic surprise! We were able to use the laptops to begin some space exploration research, and we were also able to work on some fun math games! 

2) While poking around online the other night, I found a really cool city council simulation on We tried out the simulation in class today, and it was a BLAST! My kids had so much fun pretending to be the different citizens and stakeholders, and they even came up with some extremely valid arguments! Several of my students literally BEGGED me to hold another city council meeting about an issue important to our class, and I am planning for our next "meeting" later this week!

3) My little sprouts performed their solar system songs today. Two songs were actually catchy enough that we're going to record them! We're all super excited! Hopefully Music Producer Kelsey (aka chickadee on Audacity randomly banging on keys) can make the songs sound smooth and polished!

4) I finally organized my apartment you ever let things get crazy at home so things stay somewhat sane at school? I know I do...this place was a problem! Now I am living in a beautiful oasis of calm (...sort of), and I type this to you as I enjoy a fresh candle and my clean space. :)

Since I feel awkward publishing a blog post without a picture, here's a snapshot of my classroom library:

Isn't it cute? I'll explain more about my library in another post, but I figured I'd give you something to look at! How was your Monday? I'd love to hear about it! Have a lovely evening!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Shenanigans!

Happy Saturday! I've had quite the day so far, it's really made me think about how important it is to cherish every day! I started off my busy day with a trip to School Tools...aka "Kelsey's Paycheck Muncher." I only purchased some bulletin board border and paper today though...proud of myself for not turning into a wild woman and buying everything!

ANYWAYS, on the way home, there was an INSANE amount of traffic. I can't lie...I started to get extremely impatient. I needed to get to school and do some work! However, as the traffic crept forward, I realized what the hold-up was - there was a HORRIBLE car accident being cleaned up. One car was entirely scrunched into an awful, unfamiliar shape. I was absolutely heartbroken and said a prayer as I drove by. As I drove towards school, I thought about how wonderful life is, and how easily it can be gone/changed in a matter of seconds. It's so important to live purposefully, let people know you love them, and remain cognizant of all the important things around us! 

Since I know no one on this Earth wants to read more of my philosophizing, let me show you my Saturday project :)

My revamped Word Wall!

Y'all, I have to be honest and admit that my Word Wall was the most depressing-looking thing in humanity prior to about 2:30 p.m. today. I wasn't keeping up with it, and it wasn't serving my children in helping them retain their important vocabulary words. Part of the issue was that I was tired of cutting my own word cards...lazy, I know. Once I ordered a humongous number of tiny cards and clear labels, though,  I knew my Word Wall makeover could commence! A couple of hours and 267 small labeled cards (I COUNTED!) later, my Word Wall is complete! I am so proud of it! I think I will be able to do a much better job at keeping up with it!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's the Little Things...

Happy Thursday! My day was a good one, but I had one...unsavory situation go down in the patch. We had our state-wide tornado drill at exactly 9:30 a.m., and one of my poor kiddos threw up everywhere at exactly 9:29 a.m. Funny how it always works out that way, right? WRONG. 

However, the rest of the day was SO much better! My awesome parent volunteer came in, my little sprouts ROCKED OUT on their time quizzes, and a second grader's parent told me that she wants me to be her child's teacher next year! How sweet! I have a teacher workday tomorrow, and I'm excited to learn about some new questioning strategies! It will also be so beneficial to have a vertical team talk on math planning...I'm excited to find out what the second, fourth, and fifth-grade teachers are doing on their Common Core adventures! 

On another happy note, here's something relatively new in my classroom that I am LOVING right now! I threw away the groaty old nameplates I bought in August, and replaced them with sleek, bright Sharpie Paint Pen name tags!

Woo hoo...just as clear and bright in person!

I used Sharpie oil-based paint pens (found at Michael's) for the tags. They were SUPER easy to use...I "named" 24 desks in about seven minutes! I would recommend going over the names twice to give them some extra pop!

The paint for girls, green for boys!

I've had the new "name tags" for about two weeks, and they still look as fresh and clean as they did when I first dabbled them on. Want to know the coolest part? If you scribble over them with a dry-erase marker and then erase over the whole shebang, they come off without a trace! AMAZING!

Wow, what a long and rambling post! :) Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely evening and a FANTASTIC Friday!

<3 Kelsey

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Looking Towards the Future!

Today was a GREAT Wednesday in my classroom! We were able to rock and roll all the way through the day, and I'm SO glad my sprouts are picking up telling time to the nearest minute! We played Splat! with a movable clock on the SMARTboard, and everyone had so much fun! We're moving on to elapsed time next week, and I'm hoping my students have as much fun learning the subject matter as I will have fun teaching it! We wrote up our weekly plans this afternoon, and we're using all sorts of modalities to reach the kiddos! It should be a good time! :)

I realized today that it was the 120th (?!?!?) day of school...where did the time go? I feel like I was just walking into my empty classroom, with NO idea of where to begin...

My classroom before I came at it like a spider monkey...

Now my classroom is all my own, and my head is already chock-full of ideas for next year! It's such a good feeling to know what works and doesn't work for you personally, and I'll breathe a LOT easier when I can apply that knowledge over the summer. I need to start a humungous to-do list of things for over the summer break, but I need to rock out the last few months of this year first! 

I hope you had a wonderful, thoughtful day as well!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yes, "I Can!"

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'm enjoying the cold, wet weather in North Carolina...just kidding, I am NOT! I was super excited to have a fun shadow observation out on the blacktop with my little sprouts today...clearly my plans were destroyed when we realized our shadows just weren't visible! Oh well, maybe tomorrow! :) 

Anyways, I wanted to post a picture of my "I Can" statement board! I absolutely love it!

One of my goals this past summer was to find a cheap, painless way to change out statements, and (of course) I found just the thing on Pinterest! I bought certificate frames from the Dollar Tree, popped bright paper into them, and voila! Perfect erasable slates! I covered my bulletin board with pretty fabric, hung up the frames, and then marveled at my genius (aka thanked goodness for my Pinterest prowess). I will definitely be using this set-up again next year...if I could set up my entire classroom to be dry-erase markable, I'd be in hog heaven! How do you display your I Can statements/essential questions/learning objectives? I'd love to know! :)

<3 Kelsey

Monday, March 4, 2013

Behavior in Bloom

Here is my daily behavior chart! 

Isn't it cute? I have to say, this picture is from the beginning of the school year, so this thing is looking a little more "gnarly" now. Oh well, it still gets the job done! :) It fits my garden theme, and it's a great visual as to how our day's going in the patch! I would prefer for every day to stay perfectly green, but we have more..."colorful" days every once in a while!

I made the chart out of large pieces of colorful paper I cut out and then laminated for reinforcement. Next year, I intend to make a similar chart! However, I think I will make the petals even tougher with license-type laminate. I don't want them bending over and looking wonky! I'm sure you could make a chart like this to fit a variety of themes! 

<3 Kelsey

Introducing Mervin

One of the most useful, recognizable objects in my patch is Mervin. Mervin started out as a sad little wooden critter, partially hidden in the clearance rack at A.C. Moore:

I scooped him up and rationalized decided that I could spiff him up with a bit of paint! After a little acrylic paint lovin', he transformed into this handsome devil:

Mervin currently houses my student name sticks. If you don't have a set of sticks, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY MAKE SOME! They are such an easy weekend project, and they make random selection a breeze! Mervin makes the cutest little stick receptacle, and my students think he's our class pet. I have no problem with that, since he is easy to care for and basically immortal ;) 

<3 Kelsey


Finally... my very first post! Welcome to my blog! I'm so excited to share my thoughts and ideas on this blog with other teachers! I can't wait to connect with a huge community of educators!

Where to begin? Well, for starters...I am a first-year teacher working in North Carolina. I am currently working with a FABULOUS group of third graders! I have a garden theme in my classroom, and I try to inject it into everything...sometimes it works, and sometimes it's a bit cheesy. I don't mind! :) 

I consider myself to be a very creative person, and I love to make all sorts of things for my classroom! (P.S., my room is also known as "the patch.") I also try to keep myself somewhat presentable for work (and with waking up at 5:20 in the morning...that can be difficult), so I might post about new nail polishes, hair tools, or any other goodies I come across! I figure that if I find something that cuts time and makes me feel better, it might work for you too! :)

I'm going to cut this introduction off for now. Once I really get rocking and rolling on here, you'll soon understand who I am and what I do, both as a passionate educator and as a silly young 22-year-old! I am so happy and excited to begin blogging, and I hope you'll read along and interact with me during all of my ramblings, tips, ideas, and adventures/misadventures! Have the BEST day!

<3 Kelsey