2014 Recap

Looking back at 2014.
I has been a year! Before jumping head first into 2015, I thought I would reflect on the past 12 months.
Here are the highlights….

J (my husband) and I rang in the new year with our best friends in downtown Roswell. The night was crazy, and we felt it the next day.  We also had our first snow day of the year in January. If you watched the news, you know it shut down Atlanta. I couldn’t make it home, but luckily my best-teacher-friend took me in for a few days.

Our little puppy turned ONE! We also had a few more snow days. This time we were a bit more prepared, and I got to spend the snow days with my pup and J. My best-teacher-friend also won Teacher of the Year! So proud of her!

One of my best friends, Katie, said “I do!” Her wedding was beautiful, and so was she.

For spring break J and I went to Riviera Maya in Mexico. It was very relaxing! Although, we never ventured away from the resort, we did some fun things on the resort. Not to mention, our room had a swim up pool, amazing!

May brought on the end of the school year and my birthday. We celebrated the big 2-8 with my close friends and sushi!

I went on a week long mission trip called Blue Skies. See my post about this incredible organization HERE. In short, Blue Skies provided families with childhood cancer a week long vacation filled with fun and happy memories.  My best friend Emily was the party planner for the week, and I was her assistant. Check out some of the awesome parties we set up.

I spent July crafting and enjoying summer. J and I took Rosie to the Chattahoochee river one afternoon. This was her first time swimming. She loved it! One of my besties and college roomies came for a visit in July. Jessi = FUN and indeed we had fun!

Back to school I went. This year I am doing an inspired classroom (what’s that? Read about it HERE), and the students got right to work on the computers on day 2!

In September we went to the MOON! To wrap up our unit on space we pretended to be astronauts for the day and blasted off to the moon. The day was filled with educational, yet fun, activities… including making the phases of the moon using Oreos!

I also celebrated a big milestone on TPT! I couldn’t have done it without all of my followers! I love you all and appreciate your support!


J and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. We celebrated with sushi and visiting a pumpkin patch! Rosie loved the little pumpkins we came home with.

We were very thankful for all of our blessings this year! One blessing arrived the day before Thanksgiving. My best friend, Emily, had her first child! Parker is an adorable, healthy baby boy.

We are lucky that both our families live close to us. We started Thanksgiving with my family and then mid-afternoon we went to have dinner with his family. Yes, two Thanksgiving meals! Maybe that is why my pants are so tight now.

I can’t believe we are already halfway through the school year and halfway through with winter break! I have enjoyed it though. We started break by going to Nashville to see one of J’s fraternity brothers get married. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with J’s family, then went to see my family in the afternoon. J really spoiled me. One of my favorite gifts were the new stools for my classroom (see picture below). The day after Christmas we went to South Carolina to visit J's grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We had a great trip and enjoyed every minute with his extended family.

It has been quite a year and I can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for J, Rosie and I.

December Currently

Finally, it is December. I love December! There is so much fun to be had this month... starting with Oh' Boy 4th Grade's Currently!

Listening: The Christmas music starts the day after Thanksgiving for me. I love Mariah Carey and the classics of course. What are some other good artists? I need some new music.

Loving: I love December. Cold weather means scarves, boots, and vests. I love all 3! It also means there is a lot of fun to be had at school. We have Polar Express Day, holiday concerts, winter parties, and the Hour of Code (what’s that? check it out HERE!).

Thinking: Ok, ok.. so I survived the first day back after Thanksgiving break. We got all of last week off. So, after a week off I am already counting down the days till my next break? YES!! I loved sleeping late (ok till about 7:30), catching up on reading, cooking, relaxing, and not doing work. LOVE IT!

Wanting: How can any teacher resist the TPT Cyber Monday Sale???

Needing: Most of my Christmas shopping is done and the presents are wrapped, but there are still a few gifts I am waiting on to arrive and some I need to purchase. Anybody have good ideas for my dad?

Giving: My coworker (Jill) and I decided what we are giving our kids this year. We decided to do the same thing as last year. J We are giving each kid a dry erase board, marker, and a $1 book from Scholastic. Jill just went and got the boards from Lowes, 48 boards (12” by 8”) for $16! I will post pictures of them later this month, once I finish personalizing them. J

Student Organization: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

My classroom has undergone some big changes this year. For those that follow my blog you know I have an Inspired Classroom this year! You read more about it HERE. With the Inspired Classroom I decided to switch from desks to tables. Tables allow my students to collaborate better. They can easily pass the keyboard around (yup, it is wireless!) and scoot closer to see the screen.
Well, getting rid of desks meant I had to figure out where to put ALL their STUFF! I thought I had it all figured out going into the first day of school, well some things worked and some failed miserably. Here is what I learned.
I needed the kids to be able to easily access their supplies. The first thing I did was make cute aprons for the back of their chairs. (See my original post of these aprons HERE)They were going to perfectly rest on their chair legs with the help of hot glue... well that lasted for about ONE hour.  The kids kicked them loose. I found myself bonding with my hot glue gun every morning for about two weeks before I gave up on them. Let them be crooked! That was hard for my OCD-self to accept, but I was over it. They are still great for storing the little things.  
Their crayon boxes fit perfectly in their aprons. I bought these snack packs from the dollar store this summer. LOVE them! Last year I used travel soap boxes. Those worked too, but these snack packs were two for $1!
What about the rest of their supplies?
We use table caddies! I am a firm believer in YOU use what YOU bring (aka No Community supplies). I wrote the kids names on all their supplies the first day and stuck their scissors, markers, color pencils, glue sticks, and erasers in the caddy. (Ok, glue sticks and pencils are for the 'community').
What about their books and journals?
I bought crates from Wal-Mart this summer when they were on sale. I zip-tied two together and there you have it - instant shelf! Each table has their own "bookshelf".
Between their "bookshelves", table caddies, and aprons that is really all the storage space they need. Most days I love the tables, some days I miss the desks. Why?
-If you move a student you only have to
move his/her chair.... and all their supplies.
-The bookshelves are much easier to
keep organized... but students have to get
up in order to get out their notebooks.
Tables... so far I love them.
Ask me again in May!

October Currently!

Wow! Where did September go? I negelected to fill you in on all that happened in September, but I promise to do better this month. The start of a new month means it is time for Currently with Oh' Boy 4th Grade!
Listening: I love getting to school early to get my school life in order. It is quiet and usually no one bothers me. I can be productive!
Loving: I have a busy weekend planned and usually it would stress me out, but I am excited! My sister, mom, and I are going to an art festival Saturday morning. That evening my husband and I are having some family members over to grill out and watch Auburn vs. LSU. WAR EAGLE! Sunday is our 2 year anniversary, so my sweet husband planning a day at a pumpkin patch (which I have been begging for) and sushi! Yum!
Thinking: I have a lot of school work to do tonight and tomorrow in order to be able to not work at all over the weekend. Long to-do lists stress me out. Will I get it all done? Hope so!
Wanting: I need some extra energy this morning.... need more coffee!
Needing: Who doesn't need a 3 day weekend?
Trick or Treat: I have a little treat for those of you that teach adding three/ four 2-digit numbers. Check out my fall themed word problems below. Click the image to get it!


Currently: September

September 1st.... it is Labor Day, I have the day off, and it is time for Currently September with Oh' Boy 4th Grade!
Listening: My husband and puppy are running around upstairs barking and playing.
Loving: Long weekend are the best! Every weekend should be 3 days. I have been productive around the house and with things for school and TPT.
Thinking: I've got next week's lesson plans on my mind. I'd like to go ahead and get started on them.
Wanting: Yup, I'd like to get ahead on the week after next. If I can get a little ahead today I can work on a few TPT requests I received this week.
Needing: I need coffee! I can't seem to wake up this morning. I need to find some energy.
3 Trips: Never been to New York and I would absolutely love to see it! I'd also love to travel around Europe. My sister went last summer with her husband and I am totally jealous of her pictures. I could also use one more trip to the beach before it get cold.

Room Reveal!

I am finally ready to show you my home away from home. I meant to do my room reveal last week for Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week, but I had a busy week. So, here it is friends!
 I refer to this area of my room often! I am constantly reminding students of my expectations the first few weeks, and reinforcing good choices with moving their clips up!

 Another big area for class management is this wall. I can't do it all myself, I need their help! Each Monday they pick a new job for the week. I added a 'table manager' this year and am loving it!

 The Activboard is my favorite part of the room. I could not teach without it.
I post daily Essential Questions and I Can statements here, on the corner of my board.
 I relocated my class library to the window this year. The kids are already sitting over there more. It is very comfy and inviting.
I keep my math manipulatives out for easy access. The colorful set of drawers are my math stations and seatwork drawers for math. I am loving having the bottom three drawers as seatwork. If a students doesn't finish an assignment they can put it there and finish it up the next day.

 Here is another zone for classroom management. Extra supplies, pencils, and paper trays. Of course, I could not live without the mailboxes either. I hate passing out papers, so they go into their mailbox!
 I have an Inspired Classroom this year, so each table has a computer. I plan to blog about storage and student organization soon... it has been a challenge.

 And lastly, this is my favorite part of the room. I wish I took a better picture of it. This is my area. I got rid of my teacher desk this year. It opened up a lot of space in the room and I love the layout. I promise to post a better picture of this area soon.
Thanks for popping in!