Monday, June 29, 2015

Must Read Monday: Friendship Books

I have linked up with:

I love reading books to first graders and love how they get so excited about books being read to them.  I read a lot of books about friendship and have many favorites that I would like to share.  

This is a great book about 2 friends that do everything the same and then someone moves into the neighborhood that does things a little different.  It really shows kids that you can be friends with anyone, even if they do things a little different than you.


This is a cute book that shows 2 best friends that do everything the same until one day one of them decides to change and cause some trouble.  Will the other one follow along?  It is a good book to teach a little bit about peer pressure as well. 

This book gives great advice on how one can make a friend and keep a friend.  It tells how you should always treat your friends.  

This book teaches kids that to make a friend, you have to be a good friend.  Throughout the book, it discusses many friendship skills.

This book teaches that everyone needs a friend!  

Make sure you link up and share your favorite books about friendship!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday (on time)!

Good Morning!

I'm so excited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs ON TIME for Five for Friday! 

Somebody give me an M&M.

Not really. 

More about THAT below!


I spent Monday and Tuesday at a CHAMPS workshop. 
I've seen CHAMPS posters all over the internet and was curious about it. I knew it was about setting clear expectations--which I am all for.

This picture is a quote from the book that combines two of what I feel are my "keys" to classroom management.

My 3 Keys:
1. Build relationships with my students.
2. Set clear expectations.
3. Be consistent.

CHAMPS is an acronym for:
C - Conversation
H - Help
A - Activity
M - Movement
P - Participation
S - Success (because CHAMPS sounds better than CHAMP--Ha!)

The book was great--much more than just CHAMPS. It was about evaluating your whole management plan. While I felt the book did a good job of encouraging you to think through your system and evaluate its effectiveness, the presenter added a lot of her own beliefs about it. Hence the M&M comment above--she said give them an M&M a lot!

Don't misunderstand, I'm all for positive praise and reinforcement and love the emphasis the book put on making sure you are noticing and responding to MORE positive things than you are the negative. The ratio they suggest is 3:1.

I'm just not crazy about giving kids "stuff" when they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. 



Okay, now for a few "pins" I found for CHAMPS that I like (and why). The pictures link to the pins if you want to check them out.

{Freebie} Polka dot themed voice level poster... I'm going to use this for my "CHOMPS" board

Voice Level - Because we teach our own specials and have each other's kids, I think it would be WONDERFUL for us to use common language. This voice level would be great! I did like the way the presenter explained a 1--have the kids feel their throat, no movement, while whispering. 

Hallway+Champs.jpg 480×640 pixels

Hallway - For the same reason as above, I'd love to use CHAMPS for common areas...hallway, lunch room, bathrooms, etc.

Colorful Champs Poster for classroom management.

In my classroom, I feel my expectations are VERY clear for our reading block because I go over all of these things when training the kids for Daily 5. I don't do it as much for the other activities in my classroom, just do a lot of practicing and reminding until they "get it." CHAMPing the other activities, such as teacher instruction, independent work, and my math groups makes sense. 


Call this a public service announcement... 

We've made an effort to limit "sugary drinks" this summer, and my kids are not buying into my idea. LOL! This poster was hanging at the workshop center, so I had to snap a shot. Of course, I promptly texted to my kids. Hee hee!
Oh, and we are just ignoring the "Creamy Coffee Drink" at the bottom. 


Meet my new friend, the StairMaster:

We joined the Y for the summer so Chaz could continue his knee rehab. We've been several times, and the StairMasters (new since we were members when we lived in town) are always taken. Yesterday, they were finally open and I gave it a try. 

10 minutes.
32 floors.
Sweat dripping off me.
Legs and buns burning.
Heart pumping.

I'm in love. Really.

You see, I have this thing with my heart rate. It doesn't go up enough to get in the zone unless I am really KILLING it. I mean, before the 10 minutes on the StairMaster, I was on the Elliptical for 30 minutes and no big change to the heart rate (and this was only day 2 of working out after being out of town, not able to, etc. for 2 weeks).

Doctors and nurses always ask if I'm a the heart rate thing does run in our family. Maybe that explains Chaz being a runner.

Anyway, as soon as I can walk again--LOL!--you can find me on the StairMaster.


Last, but not least. 
#DaretoDream for the #TPTSellerChallenge

I struggled a bit putting my "dreams" into words.

Honestly, Kristi and I started our store with very low expectations. We were making things for our classrooms and thought, "Why not?" We listed some things hoping for a little spending money, so this TPT thing has definitely exceeded our expectations and we're pretty content with that.

I have to be careful though. I'm an "all-in" kind of person. I don't do anything halfway. Sometimes I see others really "working their business" and think I need to do the same. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone or not... I have to remind myself that their goals are not my goals. That it is okay that this is just a little side business that Kristi and I enjoy. I don't want to be so busy with it that I no longer enjoy my true passion--which is TEACHING.

This is getting really long. 
I'm sorry. 
Stick around for an M&M. I'm wrapping it up!

My first two goals are constantly at war! 

We live in a fixer-upper. While we've done A LOT, there is more to be done. When we have extra money, there is a struggle of whether to pay down debt or fix something at the house. Sometimes we don't have a has to be fixed. But we'd really like to do both! Ha!

Vacation! We haven't taken the kids on a true vacation since they were 3 and 4. It doesn't bother them...but I'd like to take a family vacation before they graduate and we're running out of time. I'll have a freshman and sophomore this year! Yikes!

Thanks for sticking with me! #TeachMiracles

Image result for M&M

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Let God

Welcome to this week's:

What a very simple statement that says a lot and seems like it would be so easy to do.  Unfortunately, for me this simple statement is one of the hardest things for me.  I often wonder why I don't always go to this quote and follow it at all times.  Instead, I will often look to my own "fixes" to problems instead of going straight to God.  For example, just today I had to take my car in because my air conditioner stopped working (ugghhh and it's 100 degrees today).  So what did I do?  I worried, stressed and thought about it and how much it may cost to fix it.  Instead, it would have been so much easier to just go to God first and pray about it and let it go.  I need to learn to do that more often.  I did find out that my ac compressor has gone out and it will cost $540 to get it fixed.  Once I heard this, I did go to him and I am working on letting it go.  Such a simple, powerful quote, but is one that is hard for me to do. 

Have a great day! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lesson Plans, Lesson Plans, Lesson Plans!

Well, I am thinking school again....isn't it summer where we aren't supposed to be thinking about school yet?  LOL!  I thought this said it all:

Anyways, I have done my lesson plans in a lot of different ways for the past 17 years.  I have used lesson plan books, templates, and have made up my own template.  I'm trying to figure out a way to make them that will be more organized and less time consuming. 
I've seen several of them on the internet and have also seen some computerized ones on there as well.

 I'm wanting ideas and wanting to hear what you use and like to use.  Please comment on how you do your lesson plans and what you like about them.  Can't wait to hear your ideas so I can get started on organizing my lessons.  

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Five for Friday (a day late)!

Good morning!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs again for Five for Friday to give you a peek at my crazy week!


I spent three days with these crazy girls at the Pitt State team basketball camp. My daughter is the short one. We wish the two tallest ones were on our team, but we "borrowed" them for the camp. Ha!


We stayed in the dorms for the camp. Thankfully, I had my own room and retreated for some reading while the girls stayed up watching movies and being loud and crazy.


Dorm life also gave me time to finish up my online class for June--woohoo!

Speaking of dorm life, I'm so thankful I never actually had to stay in a dorm. The trips down the hall to use the restroom and shower,, thank you. Of course, the girls were not bothered by it so maybe it is my age. :-)


I came home to a piece of S'mores cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory thanks to some amazing friends who brought it back from Kansas City. Yum!


And finally, this morning I made breakfast at home. 

Who knew I could miss this simple pleasure so much?

But after a week in Colorado and then the basketball camp, I am more than ready to enjoy the comforts of home for awhile.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Revival

Good morning!

I've been working through Seeking Him: Experiencing Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom. While I'm into the third or fourth week of the study, my Bible reading in Revelation reminded me of this quote from the first chapter.

Is your Christian walk feeling a little mundane? 
Have you lost the excitement you once felt? 
Or as Jesus puts it to the church of Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2, have you left your first love?

You are not alone! If I'm not careful, this tends to happen to me during the busy school year.

From the same chapter in the Seeking Him study, Del Fehsenfeld Jr. is quoted saying, "Revival awakens in our hearts an increased awareness of the presence of God, a new love for God, a new hatred for sin, and a hunger for His word."

Jesus lays out a simple three-step action plan to revival in Revelation 2:5: Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works...

1. Remember what Christ did for you!
2. Repent of your sin--whatever is breaking fellowship with Him!
3. Do what you know He asks of you!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Branching Out...Connect With Me!

Hi there! 

I've joined the fun--at least I think it is supposed to be fun (more about that below)-- #tptsellerchallenge that is being hosted by Ashley at Teach Create Motivate, Jen at Sparkling in Second, Amber at Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Emily at Third in Hollywood.

I got started by recording our current stats--which was fun to see. This little blog has definitely reached more people than Kristi and I ever dreamed!

You can see that I'm fairly new to Instagram. Don't even have a link for you in the sidebar. #gasp! But I really am still getting it going... For now if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, my username is @teachinglittlemiracles.

Also, I just signed up for Twitter today. 
Our administrators last year were talking it up for the professional development opportunities and then when I entered the #tptsellerchallenge, I figured I should just go for it. 

I have NO IDEA how to use it yet, but you can follow me at @Teach_Miracles if you want to. It could be fun if I get it figured out. Ha!

Links in sidebar coming soon--I hope!

Okay, the challenge for week one was to makeover an old product. Easy enough! We have a lot of "oldies, but goodies" that could use a face lift so I jumped right in. I started updating the covers and information pages for our Super Sight Word packs. 

It was fun.

Do you see the emphasis on was--as in past tense? 

That means I am not having fun anymore people.

It all started out well and good. 

Five packs updated last night. The packs were some of our first. I mean back when we created things in Word. Thank you to whoever clued me in to how much easier it is to use PowerPoint! So it took some effort to get them all updated, but I did it. The covers are much more appealing to the eye. See the example below:

I was happy.

Next, I would need to upload the revised products to TPT.

First four products uploaded just fine, and then the fun stopped!

TPT kept saying, "This file may have a virus. Please check and upload again."


I do not have a virus. I checked. Over and over.

I tried saving as a PDF again.
I tried it on my laptop.
I tried it on my Mac.
I tried it holding my tongue just so.
I tried it while crossing my fingers.

You get the idea. 

I tried everything that I know how to do.

Then I went to work recreating the file--yes, a 78 page file!

And guess what?

When I tried to upload it, I got the same error message!

Nope. I was no longer having fun!

Finally, I just made it inactive. Because well, I have a life outside of TPT and I'm headed to a basketball camp with my daughter tomorrow.

So, I then took the offending file (the third grade one) out of my newly created bundle so that TPT would accept it. 

I will add the third grade file into the bundle. 

Next week. 

When I'm no longer ready to smash my computer.

Click the picture to check it out:

Right now it is 330 pages of sight word goodness! When I add in the 3rd grade one, it will be 408!

The good news is that as I worked on the pack, I started thinking of how I was going to use this next year. I have quite a few struggling readers heading my way. I'll share my plans when I get it put together!

Oh, and in honor of #makeovermadness I've discounted all the individual packs and priced this bundle at a steal of a deal!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Bucket List Linky

I'm linking up with What the Teacher Wants

School:  even though it is summer, isn't there always things you could do for school?  I have many things that I could do and should do, but I'm starting with making an outline of the my math and reading for the year, cutting out some laminating and getting some things organized.

Personal:  I plan to rest of course and I made a to do list that I have been working on.  Most of the things on it is getting things organized.  Last summer we put on a new roof and when it was all done we realized that the colors on the roof didn't coordinate as well with our colors on our house like we thought.  :-(  It is amazing how different a roof can look once on compared to looking at one shingle.  Anyways, we have colors picked out, but now it's just getting motivated to get it done.  

Fun:  I would love to have a get away with my hubby.  We are looking at maybe going to Arizona.  
We would both love to see the Grand Canyon.

Spend time with family and friends.  I have been spending some time already with my mom.  Her 68th birthday was on June 3 and I was going to go down that weekend to celebrate but it worked out better for me to go down this last weekend instead.  It's amazing how well she gets around.   I think she has a lot more energy than me.  She is still working full time along with running a non profit organization where she takes in cats and adopts them out and let me tell you they are very spoiled!  It is a lot of work and she does a great job with it.  Check out some of the cats:

My mom also has ducks and they just had chicks on Friday, they are soooooo cute!!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Planner, CHAMPS, and Checking In

Hello there!

We just spent a week in Colorado with the youth department for church camp. I love our time there! There is no distractions--no cell service, no internet, etc.--truly time to focus on the Lord and have fun with the kids. The highlight this year (other than the AMAZING messages and seeing the Lord at work) was a camp-wide game of "Capture the Flag." :-)

I was thrilled to come home to my new Plum Paper planner! 

I spent the morning doing mounds of laundry (still mounds to do) and getting organized. 

I kept the planner setup (see this post for inside pics) the same this year, but I'm excited to try two of their new add-ons--my home planning and blog planning sections. 

This month is jam-packed and flying by for me. 
Not sure how I feel about that!

Next week, my daughter and I head to a basketball camp for a few days. Followed by a week of VBS at church. A CHAMPS two-day workshop. An online class on QR codes.

Slow down, summer!

Oh, and we do have a new first grade teacher! 
I'm really hoping she tackles teaching music next year. 
We'll see... :-/

P.S. Does anyone use CHAMPS? Thoughts?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Treating others

Welcome to this week's:

I recently heard a story on the Christian radio station (KLOVE) that I like to listen to a lot.  They said that there were some business men who were in a hurry passing by a fruit stand and they knocked into it and several of the fruits fell to the ground.  They continued to go on their own way.  Another guy saw this happen and walked over to the lady that owned the fruit stand and he apologized for the other men and stated that he would pay for any loss she had with the fruit that had fallen off the table.  She thanked him and as he walked away she called out:  "Are you Jesus?"  Come to find out she was blind and the way that this man had treated her made her think that it was possible that he was actually Jesus because that is something Jesus would have done.  

This really touched me and made me think about how we should treat each other.  We should be treating others and doing things every day in a way that every person can see Jesus in us.  Wouldn't this world be a much better place if everyone followed this simple concept.  

Have a wonderful day!

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