Friday, October 14, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE: Inspirational Sign!

I love this sign! :)  I have it posted in my own room, of course!  I hope you can get some use out of it too. 
Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Tip: GIVE LOVE!

Take the time to appreciate your students as children, not learners.  Hug them and love the little squirts unconditionally!!

Albert Einstein (a man with intelligence comparable to my own... :D) once said "Everyone is a genius.  But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will go its whole life believing that it is stupid."  Wow!

Watch me!  I'm inspiring!

Be awesome! 

That is all.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Top 10 Ways to Ensure You Lose Your Sanity in the Classroom

10. Do NOT have a set time for your kiddos to get drinks, eat their snacks, and use the restroom.  Allow them to raise their hand whenever they wish and ask you to go. Remember--we must meet all of their basic needs first!

9. Allow your students to keep their toys at their desk.  After all, we all know toys promote creative play and build life skills.

8. Allow students to ask ANY and ALL questions whenever they want.  Kids are naturally curious.  They have a lot they want to learn!  Feed their love of learning and, please...answer every question.

7. Do NOT give students examples of work!  This only hinders their creativity!  Instead, let them come up with their own ideas for every project you may be working on the classroom.  To maximize this tip, see number 8.

6.  Allow all of your students to hand out any and all birthday invitations first thing in the morning. Remember, students need to feel as if they are the center of your and everyone else's universe.

5. Reward your students for every success!  Great job walking in the hallway?  PRIZE! Chewing with their mouth closed?  PRIZE!  Caught thinking?  PRIZE!

4. Test your students' memory often.  Do NOT clearly explain your expectations!!  Instead, see how well they listened to your directions back in September by letting them just begin a task.  They will step up to the plate and complete all work with 100% effort. If they don't, allow them to pick their own consequence.  Kids will be fair and logical when assigning themselves a consequence.

3. Let your students drive your instruction. Figure out what your students want to learn and teach it to the best of your ability.  This is best done by surveying every single student on a weekly basis.  Complete LOTS of KWL charts together as a class as well.  Post every chart on the wall.

2. Assess your students every hour to see what they have learned.  This is best done using nationally-normed, paper and pencil assessments.  Grade all tests daily. Record all data. Create numerous pie charts, bar, and line graphs to better visualize all data.  (This will make your data more user-friendly!)  Use this data and the results from Number 3 to drive any and all instruction in your classroom.  Most importantly--do NOT forget to color code and label all graphs!

1. Celebrate every holiday!  Kids thrive in positive environments!  Parties help to build a strong classroom community!  Have an entire cabinet devoted to decorations, props, and party supplies.  Replenish weekly using your own money. Please don't ask for help or support--it's best to meet your students' needs in the classroom.

Remember that kids have many needs!  Following these steps will ensure you do just that and that your students adore you!  :D

Friday, October 7, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE: 6 Writing Traits Poster!

Happy Friday!  The 6 Writing Traits were pretty popular a few years ago and, in some places, still are!  I created and uploaded this image onto a car door magnet from Vistaprint.  I slap it on the board when we write.  I added velcro to the boxes you see and made little checks to mark what traits we're focusing on during a writing session.  You can do with it what you wish! :)
Have a PHENOMENAL weekend everyone!  I plan on getting out and enjoying the beautiful fall colors.  I hope the weather cooperates! :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Congrats to my three giveaway winners: April, Alex, & Meg! (Alex, contact me via email and I'll send you your kit!)  Thanks to everyone for participating and sharing your successes! :)

For all you other mustache lovers, I did put together a small freebie pack for you--download some classroom passes and blanks to make your own classroom labels! Enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Management Monday: Great How Tos!

Watch this video.  It is amazing.
Nope--these great How-To's aren't from me!  Occasionally, I pop on over to the Teaching Channel to see how awesome teachers operate their classroom.  Watching these guys do their job makes me feel like a greenhorn.  (<--Oregon Trail reference anyone..?!)  I'm especially inspired by Ms. Noonan.  She has a great energy and her classroom operates in a magical way.  Even watching her speak makes me feel great.  You know how you can just speak to someone and know they're an amazing educator?  Well...this is kind of like that except we haven't spoken. I just listen to what she has to say! :D  When I'm on my total A game, I don't even feel half as great as her!  I was watching some videos yesterday and especially liked the "Managing Transitions" video.  Great ideas!  If you haven't visited the Teaching Channel--do so now!  I've gained lots of valuable information from this site.  (Plus it's quick to watch a video!)  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's time for a giveaway! :)

I'm pretty new to blogging--I started less than 2 months ago!  It doesn't even seem possible!  Either way, I've been nominated for two more awards!  Thank you so very much to Barbara over at The Corner on Character for your kind words and the following awards! Your words were so kind--you have my sincerest thanks!

I think it's time to celebrate all of my wonderful followers!  (You know what this means--time for a giveaway!)
I made a rhyme.  I do it all the time.
So what am I giving away?  Well I'm giving away my Mustache themed kit, because I think it's super fun and sassy and awesome and, although it's not a hot seller in my stores (I can't imagine why...:D), it needs a good home! (Or three.) 

Simply comment below telling everyone ONE thing that's going well for you this year in your classroom!  I'll pick three winners at random on Wednesday!

I'll pass on my award in a future post!  (I know, I said this last time.  I'll get to it...I swear!)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Want To Change the World! (A soapbox post)

When I first started teaching, I thought it was super important to reward kids for everything they did.  I was fresh out of Grad School and was a certified teacher and school counselor.  It was my goal to change the world and I was going to do that by combating apathy in today's youth and instilling passion, problem solving, and change!  I quickly realized that I was being ridiculous.  (Not because of my goals--my goals are still the same!!)   It was ridiculous because of the notion that my students needed a prize or reward for everything they did.  Part of the reason, in my opinion, that the educational system is falling apart is because entitlement has somehow worked its way into our kiddos' brains. My theory on this is simple: today's parents are a product of a "have-not" era.  They started agreeing to give their children EVERYTHING they never had. In today's world, this is easy.  We're "advancing" at faster rates than ever before. The most popular products used on a daily basis weren't even fathomable 5 years ago. (On a positive note, this is probably what prevented our nation from a true economic depression!)

All of these societal changes trickle down to today's kiddos. They're growing up in a tough time. I was chatting with one of my fabulous colleagues the other day and we were discussing the lack of patience in our students. If you think about it, my 3rd graders have spent more than half of their life in a downward spiraling economy.  Parents are unemployed, broke, and stressed to the max.  We all know the power of modeling and little patience is what is being modeled.

I reflect on the world often and I'm constantly trying to rationalize where we are, where we're going, and what I can do along the way. Although a life burden, my conscientiousness helps me to start changing the world in my classroom.  What do today's kids need?  They need a true adult role model--someone friendly, polite, respectful, a problem-solver, independent thinker, and deliverer of life-long lessons. They need to see passion, energy, pizazz, and the ability to dream. They need someone to idolize, love, and go to in times of need. They need to be challenged and to learn to work hard.

The educational world is changing quickly too.  Everyone I know in my school is stressed.  We're worried about our jobs, new standards, our new teacher evaluation system, our students, our budgets and lack of supplies, testing, our emotional well-being, and whether or not we'll get parental/public support ever again. Our patience is short too but we need it now more than ever before.  I am so passionate about what I do, but I'm so often saddened by the situation of today's teachers.  The veteran teachers in my school comment on how teaching used to be fun.  Yes--past tense. I often feel as if my timing was horrible.  I'm lucky to even have my job, so I'm often discouraged that I won't be changing the world anytime soon.  I'm just trying to hold on for the small chance that someday I can. In the meantime, as I spend endless hours doing the basics, I can only hope that one day, I will earn a voice to combat the larger picture and the support from those around me to do so.
As a reminder to myself and my fellow teachers--don't lose sight of why you teach. The world will come back around.  I do truly believe that when our current students become parents, they'll get the same wake up call that I did my first year as a teacher--It's not what's in your hand that makes you feel good, it's what's in your heart.

Friday, September 30, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE: Scientific Method Handout!

In the spirit of Science Week that I'm seeing all over the blogging world, I thought I'd post a Science freebie this week!  Now, I don't have a whole lot of homemade Science stuff..I still feel like such a newbie to teaching!  BUT I do have this bad boy--a handout to help teach the Scientific Method! 
 On the backside, you'll notice a handout for an experiment I used to accompany teaching about the Scientific Method. (I totally stole this idea from What the Teacher Wants!)  My students LOVED the Diaper Experiment last year. I only wish I took pics! And do you know how many corny jokes you can come up with when you're working with diapers?  SO MANY!  It's great! 
 Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

THURSDAY TIP: Using RAFTs for Cross-Curricular Projects

How many of you use RAFTS in your classroom?  A RAFT is a writing project that outlines the assignment in a concise and organized way.  You assign students the RAFT by selecting the Role, Audience, Format, Topic, and a Strong Word.  You can use RAFTS for larger writing projects or as a method to check for understanding. One of my favorite RAFTS that I use in my room is the Pumpkin RAFT.  Here's the project:
FORMAT-- Persuasive Essay
TOPIC--Please don't carve/smash me!
STRONG WORD--annihilate 

I use the five-paragraph essay format for this project. Kids enjoy taking the perspective of a pumpkin.  I usually do some "inspirational activities" before the writing project begins to help them think like a pumpkin, namely "babysitting" one for a while.  We even adopt one for a class pet for a week. Good times! :)

RAFTs can be used for anything though!  Teaching about the circulatory system?

ROLE--Red Blood Cell
AUDIENCE--Other parts of the blood
FORMAT--Thank you note
TOPIC--Thanks for your help with doing my job!
STRONG WORD--collaboration

Teaching place value? 

ROLE--A comma
AUDIENCE--3rd Graders (or whatever grade you teach)
FORMAT--How-To Guide
TOPIC--How to place me in between periods
STRONG WORD--placement
 The possibilities are endless! :)  Here's the rubric I use for my Pumpkin Persuasive Essay! (Note: This is from my work with my former 5th graders.  I will modify the assignment this year for my 3rd Graders.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Management Monday: Teaching Respect!

Respect seems to be disappearing.  What happened to it?  I know I'm a young teacher and that certainly impacts the way I'm viewed by students, but holy moly--sometimes I'm surprised by the things they say/do to myself and others. They say a picture's worth a thousand words.  I'll let you determine what the following two thousand words are.

These two examples (of many) fall right in line with the "logical consequence" model of teaching.  If students can't handle it, they can't do it.  So far this year, we've had A LOT of logical consequences.  It seems as if many of the GREAT items that I worked very hard to make/purchase for my students are disappearing one by one.  This is really too bad because I DID work very hard on these items. But I must do what I have to do to instill respect in my kiddos!

Regarding respectful behavior, well, I model it like WOAH!  I never yell and I always use "the magic word."  I keep calm but coach and encourage students often.  It's already paying off.  I see many of my kiddos rephrasing their statements to each other. ("Shut up!" --> "Could you please stop talking so loudly?") But it's certainly a process.  In my room, whining = more work for you. We've lost a lot of opportunities in the first few weeks too--but they're quick to learn how to keep their mouths closed if they have something negative to say! :D I was a little scared the first few days of school, but I'm learning that 3rd graders really can be "molded." It does take a LOT of patience and smiles and correcting and encouragement, but my goal is to produce 20 respectful youngins!

Now...what other great tidbits can you fabulous educators out there give me on how to instill respect in today's children?  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Teacher Routines!

Sunday is my prep day for the week!  It's a full marathon of cooking, cleaning, laundry, & mental preparation.  Once Monday begins, my body is so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted that anything extra pretty much takes a back seat to ...well...survival.  I make sure I have an "easily-assembled" food supply on hand for the week. 

Now, I'll be honest--even though I'm a vegan, I do practice/suffer from the "see food" diet--I see food and I eat it. This especially happens when I come home at 4 or 5 pm (or 6 or 7 these days) and I'm STARVING.  (Hey, I eat breakfast at 5 and lunch at 11:30...I recognize I operate on a senior citizen's meal schedule, but don't be hatin'!)
C'est moi!  (Apres 4 pm)
 Someone very close to me once compared me to a raccoon raiding the cupboards. Cute, eh? 

So today I made some soup, veggie burgers, a taco salad, and a fruit salad.  I brewed a pot of decaf coffee to take me through the week.  (This is progress--I used to drink a full pot of regular coffee EVERY DAY!) I went to school to finalize some plans and packed up my lunch for tomorrow too. (See my favorite container below!)  I feel like a real life adult!  It feels good to have a plan of action for the week.  The past few weeks have been more "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-esque."
My FAVORITE salad container (and other counter goodies)!  

What's your Sunday routine like?

Friday, September 23, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE: Story Elements Note Page!

Oh my goodness--it's Friday!  I adore Friday.  I adore Friday even more than Saturday and Sunday, but only because the possibilities of the weekend are such much more enticing than the ACTUAL weekend.  Saturday is pretty good too and that's tomorrow--so YAY! 
My motto for this weekend!
After today/this week/this year, I want a big ol' glass (or mixing bowl) of wine and I want to celebrate another week down!

Come join in on the fun with your own mixed beverage of choice (bowl optional) and download this story elements note page!  (I know--there's no connection between these two items.  Please forgive all lack of creativity.)

PS--There's only one day left to catch the 20% off savings at my TPT and Teacher's Notebook store! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You guys are the best!

It's been a rough couple of weeks here on my end and, quite honestly, it's going to be a rough year for me.  Despite the hardships of my job, I come home to great blog comments and inspirational emails from my followers and readers and these just make me so HAPPY!  I'm completely honest when I say that this is what's keeping me going right now. I get major warm fuzzies! :)  Jordon over at Life is Better Messy nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award and Kel over at On the Brink of Something Beautiful even gave my blog a shout out!  You guys help to make the world a better place--thank you!
Onto the responsibility portion of the award....

7 Little Known Facts About Me  
( you...maybe not people who know me in real life...)

1. Despite my blog title, I actually gave up coffee this year.  I miss it like WOAH!  I drank coffee every day for over 10 years.  (I know--that's crazy.  But this explains why I'm short....)

2. I'm a vegan!

3.  People seem to think I'm really organized and on top of things.  In reality, I almost always feel frazzled and disorganized.  My secret?  I'm good at tucking piles away... ;)

4. I love to create things.  I'm seriously looking into side jobs that help me to harness my creative nature more.  I love to bake, cook, draw, write, and make anything really.  I want to publish a children's book before I'm 35!

5. I have the best nephew in the world and I miss my family terribly!  I stayed in the area after college and I am 2 1/2 hours away from them.  I have a HUGE family and I'd love to be able to see them more than I do now!

6. I pretty much live on peanut butter, roasted garlic hummus, and pita bread these days.

7.  I love that moment when you first get into a warm car--no matter how hot it is.  Sunny trips alone in the car are great too--with me singing off-key at the top of my lungs, of course.  I never sing in front of people but my rear view mirror gets quite the show. :) 

So I'll pass on my award in a future post, but in the meantime, because of my Warm Fuzzies, check out my TPT store and Teacher's Notebook store--where all of my items are 20% off until Friday! Just my little bit of payback to you other great individuals out there!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Management Monday: Students' Birthdays!

Kids love their birthday!  It's only the most important day of the year for them.  I try to acknowledge birthdays without feeding into the chaos too much. Here's what I do for my kiddos on their special day:

1. Birthday Banana!
Kids eat a lot of junk on their birthday.  I like to think this helps to balance it out!  It's kind of goofy, yes, but the kids actually like it.

2. Birthday Shirt
I put this shirt on the back of the student's chair for the day.  Every year someone accidentally thinks it's theirs to keep and I get to send a polite note to the student to please return my shirt.  Hey--no management strategy is perfect! :D

3. A Card from the Teacher
I give each student the card shown above along with a Free Book Pass inside! 
 The kids love this and I find these cards stuffed in students' desks all year long.  (I like to think it's because they value the card from me so much they don't want to throw it away.  We all know how loving and sentimental 3rd graders are.) :D

4. A Birthday Balloon
Students get to pick up one of these babies too!  They really do love funky straws.

So after typing all of this out, I feel like I give students a lot. But hey--they're special!  What do you do for student birthdays??

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Facebook Lovin' Party!

Did you know that you can get even more Caffeinated goodness via Facebook?!  You can subscribe to Caffeinated Conclusions by simply liking my Facebook page! How easy is that?!  So while you're stalking checking up on your friends, you can also get super great blog updates!  Click below to join in the fun! (You should also know that I do Facebook exclusive giveaways from time to time too--all the more reason to join in on the fun!)

Head on over to The Lesson Plan Diva to like all of your other favorite blog pages!  (Don't worry--I already know I'm not your one true love. This is probably due to my blogging laziness as of lately.  It will get better--I promise.)  :)

I wish you a happy Sunday evening!

Friday, September 16, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE: Literature Circle Lesson Plan

Happy Friday!  Today's Friday Freebie is perfect for any teacher who uses Literature Circles in the classroom!  I loved doing literature circles, but, sadly, with our new Reading Series and my new grade level, literature circles just aren't happening this year!!  Use this lesson plan template wisely, grasshopper! :)

Have a phenomenal weekend my friends!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Regarding a Third Grader's Heart

I feel unlike myself.  The first few weeks of school I have to turn into a teacher I don't like a whole lot.  I smile less than normal, I can't joke around, and I have to constantly correct behavior.  Usually I'm more of the warm, fuzzy, touchy-feely sort of person, but hey--I've gotta lay down the law.  Last night, the internal conflict got the best of me and I had a bit of a breakdown. It's so hard in the beginning and I'm reminded of this every year.  So, last night I cried.

And then today happened. My job sometimes leaves me feeling crazy.  Last night, in between sobs, I considered searching for another job because I'm pretty sure another 30 years in this occupation will leave me cynical, single, and crazy. Today, that idea COMPLETELY changed and I wanted to cry because of how PROUD I was of my students.  How do they always know when you need a good day?  It's kind of amazing really.  Their behavior was better, they worked hard, we even got to laugh together a couple of times.

I picked up my students after lunch and I noticed one of my kiddos following me around.  I turned and asked him what he needed and he, as proud as ever (and with the biggest, goofiest grin), handed me a bag of Funyuns. "Here, Ms. N...I bought you these as a present! I really like them and I thought you might too." And he continued to wear a grin large enough to split his face in half.  It was the sweetest, happiest moment of my whole year (so far)....followed by a GIGANTIC hug that made it even better.  What an amazing little boy.  I suppose maybe I'm not screwing up their life so badly after all....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Management Monday: Teaching Procedures!

Boy has this topic been a part of my reality the last few days!  All (good) teachers know that it's essential to teach every behavior, procedure, and routine in your classroom in the first few days of school.  I'll admit that this is a much slower process this year than it has been in past years.  I'm learning new routines myself which makes this process feel ever-the-more exhausting.
Click to download!
So what do I use for procedures in my classroom?  This summer I wrote a Classroom Procedural Handbook!  I planned on using this as a teaching tool in the beginning, and a "retraining" tool as students began to show they did not know routines and procedures. We're practicing, practicing, practicing!  But there's SO MUCH and everything's new to my 3rd graders, so I have to prioritize where I'm retraining right now. I'm hoping I begin to figure things out quickly and that they do the same. 

Our school day is very short!  I begin teaching at 8:30 and the students dismiss at 1:50.  Subtract 30 to 40 minutes for a special, 30 minutes each for Lunch & Recess, and those dreaded transition/hallway walking/bathroom & drink trips/snack times and that's what I have for time to teach everything! It never feels like enough and that clock is my biggest enemy!  So these routines and procedures, once learned, will be a god-send!  I should note, I have learned that some of these routines are already downright obselete!

So, no, this Management Monday post is not a handy tip for you!  But hey, it's something when I'm downright exhausted... :D

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I Learned My First Week in 3rd Grade!

The first week of school is over!  I very much so want to sing this to the high heavens!  I am reminded, however, that we still have a LOT of work to do before we get into a regular routine.  Here's a list of my Top Ten lessons I learned this past week.  (I should remind you, if you have forgotten, that this is my first year in 3rd Grade as I'm moving down from 5th.  This is most important to the following list...):

1. Third Graders talk A. LOT!! Holy moly.  I wish someone would have warned me. It's been a week of full blow intervention! Luckily, I have a pretty hefty bag of tricks. We're moving forward...(albeit at a sloth-like pace.)

2. Third Graders need CONSTANT reminders AND praise.  This leaves me very tired by the end of the day.

3.  For planning purposes..a simple mathematic equation:

Length of 5th Grade Lesson x 4 = length of 3rd Grade Lesson

4. I may not be able to teach content until November.  I hope my administration, parents, fellow teachers, and state understand.

5. When they rewrote our new Common Core Standards, were life lessons at all considered for the curriculum?  If so, my 3rd Graders could probably already graduate.

6. What teacher wears heels?! (And who knows where I can get a pair of slippers that look professional?!)

7. I need to learn to put in a catheter.

8. Third Graders get excited about a lot!  I like to joke a lot.  This is not a good mix.  I'm limiting myself to one joke a day for the first few weeks of school.  By October, I'll consider two. On the bright side, if you call something a "game" (even a regular lesson), they think it's a game and consequently love you.  I use this to my advantage.

9. It's really easy to get to know your 3rd Graders!  I pretty much had every personality down after the first day!  This makes it 8,483% easier to connect with them and help them to learn.  I love this part!

10.  And number ten...I need to create several intervention plans for things I never expected.  Fifth grade management is in no way like 3rd Grade management.  I can't even do drinks, bathroom, and hallway walking the same way. I need a professional assistant.  Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

So, four days down and many more to go!  To those of you who teach Pre-School, Kindergarten, or even First and Second Grade....God bless you. You are saints and I truly believe you are going straight to heaven no matter what.

Friday, September 9, 2011

FRIDAY FREEBIE: Please Excuse the Mess...

Happy Friday!  As an elementary School teacher, this quote is pretty much a necessity the cutest addition ever for outside your classroom door.  Enjoy this printable disclaimer! :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Management Monday: Using a Planning Binder!

One of the handiest tools that I use in my classroom is my teacher's Planning Binder!  A couple of weeks ago, I posted about using Student Organizational Binders in the classroom.
TAA DAA!  My Planning Binder!
The Planning  Binder is the "teacher's edition" of this handy tool. I love that I can take it home at the end of the day and it has everything I need to "fully function" at home.  I have tabs for:

1. Classroom & School Information (class lists, calendars, addresses, contact info, tracking sheets, etc)
2. Calendars (1 for teacher reminders/dates, 1 for student dates)
2. My Planning Calendars (1 set for each subject)
3. My Gradebook
4. My Planbook
5. Meeting Notes
Planning Calendars in ACTION!
The Planning Calendars are, by FAR, my favorite component.  There's something about viewing a whole month at one time that helps me with my longer-term planning.  I am, by no means, a long-term planner.  (I really don't know how teachers can plan out a whole week, month, or even YEAR at a time!) The Planning Calendars helps me with this by allowing me to better visualize and schedule assessments and projects.
I know this isn't a revolutionary concept for many of you but I just started using this last year and I feel much more organized because of it.  I found, my first year, that managing a separate gradebook, set of calendars, planbook, and then random student information drove me NUTS!  Now it's all together in one location (something I'm a huge advocate of!) and it's even portable. NICE!

 I've attached the Planning Calendars here and a random assortment of covers.  Choose your favorite!  (These are directly taken from my Classroom Theme Kits, by the enjoy!) :D

Sunday, September 4, 2011

50 Followers = 50% OFF!

Happy "Sundae"! :)  I'm up to 50+ followers!  Because you've all made me so happy, for today only, EVERYTHING at my Teacher's Notebook shop is 50% off! 
This is an AMAZING deal!   Tell everyone you know!!  No seriously....get on the phone and call your parents, teacher friends, veterinarian, and cable service providers.  I'll even let you share the link with YOUR blog followers.  :D  Happy shopping!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Top 10 Blogs!

Oh my goodness!  I won an award!  It's been a long time since that's happened and it's overwhelmingly providing me with warm fuzzies!  A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Zrihen over at A Teacher's Treasure! Thanks for making my day!  (You know the "pudding face" commercials?  That's pretty much me right now.)'s only fair to share my Top 10 Teaching blogs!

1. The Clutter-Free Classroom

I love this blog!  It has GREAT tips and she puts together the  CUTEST items!  I was even featured during her Classroom Theme series and it pretty much made me feel like the specialest person alive. :D

2. Kleinspiration

One of my goals for this academic year was to incorporate (way more) technology.  I've already gained a GREAT DEAL of knowledge in that department from Erin!  I think it's fantastic!

3. Lesson Plan SOS

These ladies do GREAT work! I love the style of everything they make, design, and blog about.  I like their ideas, their writing, their creations.  I like to consider us secret BFFs. That is all.

4. The Teacher Wife

Adorability at its finest!  I'm impressed by all that she does, especially for her "age."  (I feel like an 80 year old man when I write things like that!) Her blog is super cute too.  I'm a sucker for WONDERFUL aesthetics.

5.  Teaching in High Heels

I love this blog MOST for the "What I'm Loving Wednesday" series.  I like series.  They're predictable and routine and, like a child, I thrive on those! Gladys has impeccable taste!

6. Mrs. Bainbridge's Class

Christina is AMAZING! I found her classroom website last year (with all the FANTASTIC teacher resources on it!) and it was then that a) I decided I liked her a lot, 2) she inspired me to do 439 projects, and c) I made it my personal goal to be just like her. So naturally, when I found out she started blogging, I was ALL. OVER. IT. 

7.  The Inspired Apple
Abby is amazing!  Have you seen her on the TpT site?  She's a MACHINE!  She radiates cuteness and I love all of her creations.  She also keeps me chuckling as I adore her writing style.  I'm a sucker for a great, blunt, and goofy author.  When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

8. Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher
When I knew I first wanted to start a blog (throwback to 2010!), I started looking at and for others' 5th grade blogs!  I actually found very few.  There are a TON of primary blogs out there.  As I perused I came across this blog--one of my early blog list additions! I  now check it daily that we're at the same grade level!  

9. Create*Teach*Share

I get LOTS of great ideas from this blog. I love her "theory" as well and I commend her on her efforts as an educator as she's moved around a LOT in a short period of time!  I feel this way sometimes and I sometimes consider it a hurdle to the flow of my creative juices! So--yeah.  She's awesome.

10. 3rd Grade's a Hoot
I really only recently came across this blog!  (So recently, in fact, I haven't even had the time to add her button yet!! WHAT?!)  Look at how CUTE it is! Oh my gosh! I like the owl craze as of the last few years.  I totally buy into it. I'm pretty sure that's what I'm doing for a theme in my classroom next year!  So..anyways...Misty's teaching 3rd this year and I'm pumped cause we can be grade level buddies. I would like lots more grade level buddies.  Tell your 3rd grade friends because I'd like someone to sit with at lunch discuss education with.