Monday, February 10, 2014

7 Days of Love Day #3: A Positive Learning Environment

I have a confession: I love going to work each day. That doesn't mean I never get stressed, overwhelmed or frustrated. I'm human, those things happen. I occasionally imagine that I am a rich housewife, but all in all, I love what I do!




I've had a pretty amazing year. I don't mean to brag (yes I do), but my students are fantastic. What makes them so fantastic is their approach to learning. I'm not saying that they don't get tired, cranky, or need reminders for behavior, after all they ARE fifth grade students and they are human. However, I LOVE that no matter what I ask them to do, my students approach it positively. I never hear complaints or have to deal with anyone refusing to do their work. After 9 years of teaching, I know what a gift this is. I've had two really amazing years and no matter how overwhelmed I am or stressed I may get, I am always grateful for the children that I have in front of me each day. They really do make me look forward to each day. I genuinely enjoy my job because our classroom is such a positive space. I love that my students laugh, have great discussions, take chances, make mistakes, and leave the classroom with smiles on their faces and brains filled with new knowledge each day.

It's a short and simple post today, but an important one that fills my teacher heart. Our classroom is a pretty fabulous place if I do say so myself!




On an unrelated note, Lynn at Horizons and Dreams is having a Birthday Bonanza to celebrate her birthday. She is having a giveaway for 15 products by 15 fantastic bloggers, 1 of which might just be me! ;-) Check out her giveaway at Bermuda Birthday Bonanza.

Hmmm…I have a birthday coming up next month and I feel a celebration coming your way too!





Sunday, February 9, 2014

7 Days of Love: Day #2: Reading, Reading, Reading!

I'll tell you a not-so-secret-secret: I LOVE to read! I am constantly reading my favorite authors Kristin Hannah, Jen Lancaster, and John Grisham, but I also love to read children's literature in the classroom. Right now, we are working on The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. It's a timeless classic and it's the perfect book to read half way through our fifth grade year. Because the theme of this story centers around the way that students treat one another, it provokes intense conversation about bullying, kindness, and friendship. I find that this book really asks my students to stop and consider their own actions and reevaluate those actions using what they've learned while reading this wonderful story. At the half way through fifth grade point, some students begin to get "too big for their britches" as my grandmother would've called it. It's amazing how this book really does make students stop and think about the results of their actions and what they could do to be better people. The discussions are rich and thought-provoking and I am always so proud of my students when they talk about what bullying looks like and feels like.  I've got a RAK Project ready to introduce this week and I'm working on a great unit to go with The Hundred Dresses,  hopefully by the end of this week. If you haven't read this one yet, I would highly recommend you read it with your students before the year is through. It's an important book that opens important discussions for sure. Here's a preview of my upcoming pack. You all we be the first to know when it's ready! Until then, have a fantastic week! If you pass on your love for reading to at least one child a day, you are making an incredible difference!





























Have a great week filled with lots of reading! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

7 Days of Teaching Love - Day 1: Celebrating The Growth of My Students' Writing

For the next 7 days, I want to focus on things that I love related to the classroom/teaching. Sometimes I get caught up in all of the paperwork, data, lesson plans, etc. and forget how much I really do love what I do!

Today I want to focus on the leaps and bounds that my students have taken to improve their writing. As they began the year, most came with a basic understanding of paragraph writing and their idea of an essay was two paragraphs. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me. Luckily, I love writing! I also have an amazing graphic organizer called the house (to be shared in a near future post), that was created by one of my former colleagues, that I LOVE and I'm positive that it creates a lot of student success. I've been blessed to have hard-working students each year and their growth in writing always warms my teacher heart!

In Virginia, our fifth graders take their writing test in March, so we're getting close to that time! I spent last weekend grading fictional narrative essays and I was blown away by the work that I saw. Can you tell from this comment how happy I was with her writing?



My teacher heart is full. I love seeing the growth in my students' writing! What do you love about teaching?



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sale - 20% Off My TpT Store!

Even though TpT is not doing a Super Bowl Sale this year, I'm still running a sale February 2nd-3rd. My entire store will be 20% off! Grab those items off of your wish list and get shopping! 

Here's the link to my store: Mrs. O's TpT Store. You can also link to it from the side of my page. 

Also, if you aren't already following me on Facebook, pop on over and like my page. I've been doing a lot of Flash Freebies lately. I always post new creations for free for an hour for Facebook followers! Here's the link to my Facebook page: Mrs. O "Knows" Facebook Page

I am not a football fan, so today I'm rooting for good commercials and delicious pizza and chicken wings. Then tomorrow it's back to school after a 5 day hiatus! I am so looking forward to a normal week! Enjoy the big game! 





Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Currently

It's time to link up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the February Currently! I woke up this morning and was making my tea when I looked up at the calendar and realized that it wasn't January anymore. Wowzers! I guess it's that time again!



Listening: My husband rules the TV in the morning since that's my time to check email, read new blog posts, etc. I must say that I actually do enjoy listening to ESPN though, especially now that baseball season is getting closer!

Loving: As I've already mentioned, we had three snow days this week, which means that this is day #4 in a row that I have been off. I've had time to read (Kristin Hannah, how I love your books), create some TpT products, and be lazy and I've enjoyed every second! Plus, it snowed 8 inches in Virginia and I LOVE SNOW!!!

Thinking: Yes, when I turned the calendar to February today I couldn't help but wonder where January went. Thanks to Mother Nature and other planned days off, we did not have one normal week in January so it flew by!

Wanting: So I had three snow days, but I definitely avoided all of the non-fun stuff like laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. I really don't want to do any of it because it takes away from this relaxation I've been so enjoying. When I lived in Massachusetts there was a service called peapod offered by Stop and Shop where someone took your grocery list, shopped for you, and then delivered it to your house. That sounds like heaven to me! Give me that and a merry-maid and I'll be in heaven. Oh, and while I'm wanting, I'm in serious need of a closet update so I'd like a shopping spree too!

Needing: The teacher in me needs desperately to get back to instruction. We have our first state assessment in March and I can hear the clock ticking. I need for the next 6 weeks to be as normal as possible so as much as I love that snow, I'd be happy if this nice snowstorm was our last of the year.

Truth #1: I have a dress addiction and I can't stop buying adorable dresses! If it were warm enough, I'd wear a dress every single day. I just love them!

Truth #2: Yes, since November I have been waking at 4:30 so I can get to the gym for a workout before school. I workout from 5:20-6:30 every morning. It's not always easy to get up that early, but it feels great to get my workout in before the school day!

Lie: I am not a big fan of chocolate UNLESS you add something to it, mostly peanut butter. Hershey's bar? No thanks! Plain chocolate cake? No dice. Plain chocolate ice cream? Yuck. But if you add peanut butter, I will eat every last bite. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream, The Cheesecake Factory Reese's Cheesecake…I'll take it! Now you know why I have to workout at 5:20 each morning!