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Monday, August 31, 2015

Secret Student

I always find it interesting to see what students get excited about each year.  This year, the group of students have really gotten into my secret student.  They always ask me every morning if I have a secret student and I tell them "Of course I do, every day!"  It is a simple thing and very easy to do.  All I have done for it is I tell them that I have a secret student that I am watching all day long to see if they follow our rules.  Throughout the day, I will say "I wonder if my secret student is doing the right thing etc."  Inside the little owl below I write their name on a note that I got from Stephany at TPT.

At the end of the day, I will open it up and tell them if I get to announce the secret student of the day.  If they didn't follow all the rules, I sadly say that I can't announce them because they didn't follow all the rules.  If they did follow all the rules then I announce their name, we clap for them and they get to take home the following note to their parents.  

It is so cute because when I am getting ready to announce the secret student I can see the kids crossing their fingers in hopes that it is them.  This group of kids love the secret student and I don't think they will let me forget to do it at all this year.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Top 6 Things I've Learned From My 6th First Week of School

Hi there! 
I did it! 
I made it through Friday.

As I thought about my topic for today's blog post, I thought it might be fun to share some things that I've learned this week--my first full week of school. This is my sixth year teaching, so I'm going with "The Top 6 Things I've Learned During My First Week of School."


People that are not closely related to teachers do not understand what the first week of school is like for a teacher.

Enough said.


Painting for an art lesson just before my classroom is to be invaded for 1st graders and Kindergarteners for social studies will not work.

Yesterday, I did art with my 2nd graders and we painted self portraits. My room was an absolute mess…and I knew the Kindergarteners especially would not be able to leave the paint, brushes, paintings, etc. alone.

So we had recess instead. 
Don't judge!


Speaking of Kindergarteners…

I am still not--nor will I ever be-- a Kindergarten teacher!
*And I'm thankful I only have them for 20 minutes a day!

That's all I have to say about that.


I still don't like other adults watching me teach!

Our new superintendent came in my room a lot (well, it may have only been three times, but it felt like a lot) on Wednesday, and he actually came in and sat down and made himself comfortable and observed me and my challenging class.

First, he watched our morning meeting.

I was so nervous, I was shaking.

And I was thankful my special helper does most of the talking during morning meeting.

He did leave me a nice note.

Then he came back as I taught an impromptu lesson on even and odd during which I was calling (okay, yelling) for kids to come to the carpet one at at time asking (okay, yelling) questions like…

"How many kids are on the carpet now?"
"Can we make a pair?"
"Even or odd?"
"Oh no! We can't have an odd man (or woman) out! Get up here Sister Sue (that's a pretend name)! Sallie Ann (pretend again) needs a partner!"

I yell a lot during these exciting, impromptu lessons because the kids like it.

I'm not sure if the superintendent knew it was impromptu or not.
I'm also not sure what he thought of my lesson because I did not get another note. Ha! ;-)


If you are willing to let loose, scream and get excited when telling a story, you can capture even the most difficult audience.

We learned about "seed stories"--small moment stories--and I always tell a story about when my son made me ride a huge barn swing at an amusement park.

I'll keep it short for you.

I'm not a huge fan of heights…okay I am afraid. Very afraid.
The lady who buckled me in thought it was necessary to say, "It's my first day. I hope I'm doing this right."
At some point during the ride, I'm pretty sure I was screaming, "I'm going to die!"
My son was saying, "I'm sorry, Mom. I'm sorry I made you ride."

Of course, I survived.

My class especially loved me shouting, "I'm going to die!"
It was so fun to look around and see them all engaged. 

Challenging class, remember?

I think I'm going to have to get excited and yell a lot this year.


I am not "Super Woman."

I am a fairly organized person.

Rushing out for volleyball practice after school is killing me!

This is what my desk area looked like this morning when I arrived.

It makes me crazy.
It makes me feel like a failure.
I should have a system…a routine.
I should be able to get this figured out.
I shouldn't have to work 4-5 hours on Saturdays to catch up or get ahead.

Then I remind myself…

This is only day 7.

And I am not Super Woman.

But I am super tired.

Good night!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Boundless Grace

Hi there!

I'm in the middle of my first full week of school and I have only two words...


I know you know what I'm talking about.

Anybody need a little grace?

I love this quote from D.L. Moody, but I really think you need to hear the rest of it to fully appreciate it.

"A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God's boundless grace from day to day as we need it."

We need consistent daily devotional time or quiet time with the Lord in order to know Him more intimately. This time with our Lord will sustain the work He is doing in our lives and help us draw the grace we need to live each and every moment in a way that is pleasing to Him. 

For me, this is a great reminder this time of year when I am so very TEACHER TIRED! I have to make sure I am still staying focused on the Lord and handling all the back-to-school pressure with His grace.

"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..." 
II Corinthians 12:9

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School Tour

I have made it 3 days and now this will be our first full week with the kids.  HMMM...I have to say I'm a little nervous because last week every night I believe I fell asleep by 8:00 pm.  I was exhausted!  So adding in a couple of extra days makes me wonder how tired I may be by Friday.  :-)  Oh and we are also doing an Open House night on Thursday.....which means that 8:00 bedtime will not happen on Thursday night for me.  

My room was ready for those little first graders to come to school last Wednesday.  Here is what it looks like:

Job chart and Prize chart

Calendar, Rules, and Whole Brain Posters

Look at all that space-I had 22 kids last year and this year I have only 16.  I didn't realize how much space I had in the room!

Word Work area

Lunch count area

Behavior Chart

Today I introduced our connect four game that we have on TPT to the kids.  They had a lot of fun playing the game while practicing the short a sound.  

We have also started building our stamina for read to self in Daily 5-we did 3 minutes today-YAY!  Check them out!

I will be excited to get that Daily 5 rolling!

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Crystal's Classroom Tour - Video Style

Well, hello there.

I survived the first two days of school (in case you were worried)!
And the first week of volleyball practice!
I'm the assistant high school coach this year…haven't made it home before 7:00 all week!

My sixth year teaching…you'd think I'd be used to the craziness of the beginning of the year. 

But no. 

I struggled this week to keep up. It didn't help that the tech guy decided I needed a new computer on the first day of school! 

I didn't want to complain because I did need a new one, but the timing was a challenge! That combined with the printing and internet problems we've had this week made even the simplest task  difficult and time consuming. Ugh!

 I have actually been at the school for hours today…on a Saturday. :( 

But I feel well prepared for next week, so that is good.

I decided to give you a video tour of my classroom. There is a part in there that will give you a hint as to how my first two days with kids went! ;-)

Feel free to ask questions if you see something I forgot to explain.

One thing I meant to say and forgot about my objectives board. I'm still getting used to how I want to word them, so no judging please! The last couple years, I have posted preprinted "I can…" statements, but I wasn't very good at referring to them. Also, even though my student helper reads them in the morning, I do go over them again during the actual lessons. Just wanted to clarify.

Hope you're having a restful weekend!

P.S. Once again the 20 minutes with Kindergarten (for science/ss instead of music) is going to be the longest part of my day! Bless you K teachers--I simply could not do it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday-Teacher's Prayer

Welcome to another week of:

I thought that this little prayer says it all and most of us are heading back to start a new school year.  If you are a teacher, then you know that we aren't in it for the money, not in it because it is a 8-3 job (LOL!) and not in it because we get the summers off and holidays.  We are in it because we care about these little ones.  As teacher's we all want to see our students succeed not just in academics but in character, confidence and in life!  

Have a great day!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Must Read Books-Beginning of the Year and Back at it!

I have linked up with:

This week is about the books that you love to read at the beginning of the year.


I love this book.  I use it at the beginning of the year to talk about rules.  David goes to school and does many things that he shouldn't do.  

Wemberly worries about everything especially about the first day of school.  


Sarah is scared to go to a new school and her parents have to prod her to go.  She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton who helps her through her day.  I like this book because it has a surprise ending.


Pete the Cat goes to school in his school shoes and discovers many cool places like the library, lunchroom and playground.  


A little pug dog doesn't think he is lovable because other animals tease him.  Then a neighbor dog moves in and he learns that he is lovable just the way he is.  This story has a cute surprise ending to it.  

Make sure you link up and share what books are your favorites to read at the beginning of school.  

I have officially reported back to school and we start with kids on Wednesday.  I don't know why, but every year I get very nervous for that first day of school.  I mean so nervous that I have butterflies in my stomach.  You would that that after 17 years, that first day would be a breeze, but not for me!  :-)

Have a great day!

Friday, August 14, 2015

My Last Free Friday--Excited, Nervous, and a Little Sad!

Today marks the end of summer vacation for me! 
I report back to work on Monday. 
My husband says I have two more days, but I don't count weekends because I wouldn't be working then anyway!

I'm excited, nervous, and a little sad.

I'm excited to have my new bunch of 2nd graders and get this 2015-2016 school year underway!

I'm excited that I am NOT teaching K-2 music this year! Woohoo! I'm so sorry for those of you who follow this blog for all my fantastic music ideas--kidding! If you've followed us long, you know I have never felt qualified to teach music. Our new 1st grade teacher is taking music during our specials rotation. Hip Hip Hooray!

I'm excited that I am teaching K-2 Science/Social Studies this year during our specials rotation!

I'm excited that I am the assistant high school volleyball coach!

I'm excited that both my children will be in high school--which will make it easier on our activities schedule.

I'm nervous to have my new bunch of 2nd graders--you know what I mean!

I'm nervous to teach K-2 Science/Social Studies!

I'm nervous to coach volleyball! 
I've done basketball the last two years, but you have a couple of months to get into school routine before having to rush out of the classroom for practice. I'm going to have to be super organized!

I'm nervous about the way I rearranged my room and hope it works for us!

I'm nervous to have my new bunch of 2nd graders--this is listed twice for a reason!
I had such an easy bunch last year...hoping I haven't forgotten how to handle a more challenging class.

I'm a little sad because I won't be able to take my time getting ready in the morning!

I'm a little sad because my kids will both be in high school this year!
And they're both driving--maybe that should go in the nervous section.

This is Teenage Driver #2--just got her permit and passed with a better score than Teenage Driver #1. ;-)
This is Teenage Driver #1 showing how he feels about taking a backseat for Teenage Driver #2 to practice.
I'm a little sad because I won't be able to spend as much time with my family or enjoying the simple things in life!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wisdom for Wednesday - Chance

Hi there!

I'm glad you popped in for today's wisdom post. 
Check this out:

God doesn't leave anything in our lives up to chance! 
All of our circumstances are in the very hand of God. 

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." 
Romans 8:28

I don't know about you, but that gives me comfort and peace.

It is comforting to know that God is in control of every aspect of my life. He has a plan for me that will work out for my good--if I will just obey him and walk with Him.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Must Read Monday-Modern Fairy Tales and Reduced Prices!

I have linked up with:

This week is about the modern fairy tales that you like to read.  Here are some of mine:


This book is very cute.  The three pigs decide that they aren't going to let the wolf bully them any more and they begin some ninja training.


This is probably one of my favorite books.  The wolf tells the whole Three Little Pigs Story from his side.  


This is a cute book like Goldilocks and the Three Bears only it is the Three Dinosaurs.

Make sure you link up and share your favorite modern fairy tale books!

I have finished up on my hedgehog theme packet and owl theme packet.  So, today each one will be discounted to $6.50.  Each one includes:

• One full-color print and go file

• One less-color print and go file

• Editable file
• Calendar

The countdown is on for me, I report back this Friday.  How long do you have left before you go back?  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Five for Friday -- Classroom Setup!

Happy Friday!

And it is happy! I spent the week working in my classroom. My goal was to have it completely set up (insert picture of clean, pretty classroom all set up--can you believe I forgot to take one as I left??? I promise I'll do a reveal when I go back.). Now I can relax next week--my last week before reporting on August 17th! Yikes!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five Four for Friday again.
I'm a bad blogger and didn't take very many pictures today!


I got a new phone, and I am loving the quality of the pictures I'm getting!

Just look at those pencil sharpeners! My kiddos use these on their colored pencils ONLY because my sharpener doesn't like colored pencils. 
I took this picture only because I needed to show our school secretary what to order--somehow got missed on my supply list.


My "Be" board is complete.

I bought these wooden letters at Wal-Mart. My daughter painted them orange, hot glued thumb tacks on the back, and here you have it.

I'm going to add words to the board after we talk about them. 
First up:

I purchased the words from Tonya's Treats for Teachers--reasonable price made them a HUGE time saver!
I took the "Be" board pictures this morning when I was still energetic and thinking about my blog post. Ha!


My new student packs--also something I did early in the day so I remembered the picture!

 I used this for my G is for Genius Instagram post because, well, it is genius! Not sure where I first saw the idea, but after my first year of teaching and rushing around to gather items for my new students, I knew this was the answer! Inside these bags is everything I need to quickly get prepared for a new little person to join my classroom. ;-)

In case you're wondering, the flip book is an editable FREEBIE from Pride and Primary.


This picture...I actually took, added the writing, and sent to my principal with the message: Not happy! :(

Don't be worried for me. 
My principal is a friend, so I can do this sort of thing and not get in trouble. Ha! 

The technology people installed WiFi routers in our rooms, and apparently my principal forgot to let me know this messy installation was only temporary. 

Huge sigh of relief!

A few minutes after reassuring me this was not the finished install, he sent me a text wanting to know how to write on pictures. LOL!

And that's all I've got...

Have a great weekend!

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