Monday, August 31, 2015

Teacher Organizations

Can I get an amen?  My room was so super organized and (duh) adorable and then the first week struck. I am exhausted! If I thought teaching all day and having a 2 year old was exhausting then I definitely had no clue what I was getting myself into by starting my Masters! #overachiever 

I just finished up a guest blog post on their blog so go check it out!

Just so you know, this blog post was sponsored by ATPE, but the words and opinion are alllll mine!  

Anyway, sorry for the short post here, but go check out my post on ATPE's website and if you aren't a member of an organization, definitely check them out! 

Be back soon! Here’s what you have to look forward to this fall:
-Vocab strategies
-Launching the Reading Workshop
-Anchor Charts I Can't Live Without 
-Field Trips and how I organize for them
-ATPE Part 2 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Classroom Reveal and Happy First Day Back to Me!

It's finally ready! Listen, I worked so hard for two days and got a ton accomplished and THEN...the heat. It was so hot in my room. I am thrilled that the fabulous maintenance men fixed my broken AC so that I won't die while working in my room. Anyway....Welcome to Room 404. This year I am back in 4th Grade teaching Reading and Writing. This is my 4th classroom and I'm starting my 6th year but I gotta say...this room may be my favorite. Besides the fact that the 3 former occupants of the room are all my BFFs, I can see my parents' house from my desk... (for real)...and it has the best set up of all my classrooms so far. it is: 
Computer area with my UNT giant window is just to the left of the green shelf and gives a TON of light to our room...unfortunately, it also gives a ton of heat and makes it difficult to use the document camera so I have curtains up. #wompwomp

I hate that this pic is blurry #mommaneedsanewiphone, but this is the front board and also the location of my "whole group" area. I've never had whole group at the board before but I'm loving the rain gutters shelves at the front that I can use to house my markers and such for anchor charts we create. I can't wait til there are 25 4th graders in the floor talking about books :) 

No, you're eyes aren't playing tricks...I have a curved wall in my room. It's like a castle. Everyone who walks in, loves it...I haven't decided yet...we will see if my Writing anchor charts stick to the curve and then we can make a decision. 

Fiction section of the classroom library
This is the view of my class from my "desk" aka the guided reading table. 

Of course the Wizard of Oz section is located close to me :) It makes me happy!  

My little corner. You can see the bright light coming in the curtains are up and aren't even opaque and it has that much light!
My back counter and cabinets
There you have it! My little slice of home at Elliott. I really love my room this year :) I'm sure I'll love it even more when it is filled with kids in just a little while! Come back soon! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sundays are for Linky Parties

Guys. I love a good linky party so I decided to combine these two linkys because...
1. My goal this year is to be better at blogging through the week. I'm also starting grad school so I'm not sure what kind of time I'll have to do...well, anything other than school and family BUT my super goal is to blog consistently! 
2. My Sunday letters are to myself-ish. So...without further ado 

Dear hungry-at-lunch Caitlin,
Don't do it. Don't go out to Braums or Sonic even though this week is going to be exhausting and you'll want that coke and fries. Be a good girl and eat your salad. You'll thank yourself later. 

Dear Jackson (and his immune system),
Please please sleep tonight. And please don't get sick. I know you can't help it but Mommy and Daddy can't miss the first week of school.... And please forgive Mommy for working late and then working some more at home. I promise I won't get out my computer until you go to bed every night. 

Dear football season,
Be kind. Please let me see my hubs this year...It'd be great if you could go by super fast during the week and then make Sundays extra long. Deal? Deal! 

Dear new 4th graders,
Let's do this. 

First day of school tomorrow---I'm excited for year 6! 

**And don't forget to enter the giveaway. Thousands of free resources for a whole year? It doesn't get much better! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

5 for Friday and a Giveaway

It's been a while since I've linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a little old 5 for Friday action. I've missed it! 

 I have been in PD all week. Some of it was fantastic, some of it was good review and some of it was...this.
 Ok, it wasn't really THAT bad and I do love me some data BUT you know when you reach that point where you are just like "can't I go live in my classroom for a little while and just bask in all that I've accomplished while feverishly writing my to-do lists in my personalized Erin Condren planner"...that was me yesterday. Even though my room was done (reveal coming soon...I promise), I wanted to just go sit at my desk and think through some of the little things. Today we have a work day and I'm looking forward to some alone time 
One of my personal instructional goals this year is to be more purposeful with my vocabulary instruction. Luckily, that directly ties in with our school goal of increased vocabulary development/instruction with intentional use of word walls...HELLO. Love it. 
I attended a training on this book last summer and loved the strategies but kind of stuffed the book in with the thousand other "resources I'm definitely going to use...sometime" and forgot about it. Well now I'm in a book study and I'm loving this book. 44 easy-to-implement activities that you can do...right now. Thursday I helped lead a training at our school where we introduced 2 of the activities so I thought I'd share the info with you, my fabulous readers, next week. I even have a freebie handout you can have to easily implement. [[I'm just that nice!]] :) 
 Have you guys discovered S'well bottles? My teacher friends and I are in love with them. Let me be honest, I'm so not a water drinker. I'd happily live my days drinking peach tea, Dr. Pepper and almost any other caffeinated, carbonated beverage. But I know I need to drink more water. Enter the S'well bottle. You see, I only drink water if it's super cold. So it's only up to my standards for as long as the ice isn't melting normally....but my adorable hot pink S'well bottle keeps my drink cold all day. As in at least 20 hours. EVEN IN THE 100 DEGREE WEATHER. It's amazing. S'well isn't paying but (but hey S'well people, if you want to pay me to rave about your bottles, I'm totally cool with that...just sayin')
You need to get one. They are cute and work like a dream. #Christmasgiftidea
I've said it before but I absolutely love the people I work with. They are seriously the best. That being said, we lost alot of "core" team members at the end of last year for various reasons. That means we have to work even harder to stick together and have each other's back this year...I am LOVING my new team. Of course I knew all of them before but it's nice working together! Plus we are adorable. #Team Elliott #LivingTree ((that's for you Krissy) 

We are some FANatics! Our kids are college bound :)
Love my SpED team friends and glad I get to work more closely with ya'll ths year!
Just #SharingaCoke :) 

Have you checked out my giveaway that's going on now?! It's for a FREE YEAR-LONG membership to! Free. Thousands of resources. Free. You should definitely go check out my post and comment so you can be entered in the drawing! Winners will be announced Monday night/Tuesday morning. Do it. Or if you know a teacher that could benefit, let them know! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ABC've gotta check it out!

Hey ya'll! A couple months ago, Stephen from reached out to me about previewing the website and sharing what I found if I wanted to. 
This is an invaluable resource! As in, you have to check it out and get a membership! They of course have some free stuff but I wanted to share with you those things plus the "extras" you get as a member! 
Check it: 

Freebies: has hundreds of freebies from worksheets in every subject, to clip art, themed units and fun stuff for the holidays. The website is super organized and easy to navigate! There are even activities to go with your SMART board! There are so many great forms for everything-classroom management, organization, literature circles, book reviews, etc. And that's just the reading stuff that I checked out...there are a ton of great math resources as well! 

Member Benefits: 
Ok, it is totally worth it. With a membership, you not only have access to hundreds more ready-made lessons, worksheets and comprehension packets, but you have the ability to make your own pages for students with a worksheet generator. If you are lucky enough to have a SMART board or Promethean board in your classroom you have access to all kinds of interactive activities through If you find resources you love, you can bookmark them or "favorite" them so they are easily accessible next time you go back to look. 
Listen, we've all checked out superteacherworksheets and some of those other websites and they have some great stuff but I'm telling you, has THOUSANDS of resources that are easily accessible. The website is very easy to navigate and is super organized (which makes my little OCD heart happy). You've gotta check it out today! 

Oh! And I just discovered that their memberships are on sale so you better go NOW before the 50% offer expires!!

Here's the exciting news...! ABC Teach is giving away one-year memberships to 3 lucky readers!!! If you are interested, leave a comment with your name and a note about which resources on ABCTeach you are most excited to know more about...and on Monday I will put all your names in a random selection generator to choose 3 winners :) Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!