It's Tuesday and it's time for another Tell all Tuesday with the fabulous ladies from Teach, Talk, Inspire and My Day in K.

Today I'm sharing my teacher bucket list.  I love setting goals for myself as a teacher and I'm excited to share them with you guys.

Teach Some PD Tech Courses
I've been teaching some professional development courses through my district for the past few years and I totally got hooked.  I absolutely love helping other teachers and sharing my passion for teaching with technology.  Recently I just finished the course to become an Edmodo certified trainer and I can't wait to teach my first PD class.  Right now I'm working on a class to show teachers how they can use Edmodo to help their students with researching.  I'm super pumped about it and can't wait till I'm finished and can share it with you guys!

Attend More Conferences
This year I was able to attend two tech conferences and I can't wait to attend more.  I really want to attend ISTE next week but I'll have to wait till next year.  I love conferences because you get to see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms and also get to connect with other teachers on your grade level.  It's super fun professional development.  If you ever have a chance to attend a conference, do it!!

Earn My Masters
This is a long term goal, that I know I want to wait on for a bit.  Both of my boys are still little and I want to enjoy time with them as much as possible.  In the future though, I would love to earn my masters and work in Educational Technology for a district.

Thanks for reading about my teacher bucket list.  What's on your teacher bucket list?  I would love to hear about it!!

Hi friends!  Today I'm linking up with Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle for her Work It Wednesday.  I'm linking up because I really need some motivation!  Badly y'all!  I was doing super great and then I had to take a two week break due to having some stitches on my upper back and now I'm.....out of the habit of working out.  There I said it....the hardest part is admitting there is a problem.  The next step is fixing the problem.  Here is how I'm going to fix it...

Get out more!!  I have two very active little boys that love to go for bike rides and play outside.  My goal is to join them.  I'll walk while they ride their bikes.  Plus, they won't be little for long so I need to take advantage of it now.

Attend 5 Jazzercise classes a week!  I can do it too!  Back in February, I attended 30 classes in 35 days and I earned this t-shirt.  I know I can do it again.  Plus, summer is so fun because I can go to morning classes and also pick the type of class that I want to go to.  I've learned that Fusion and Strength 60 are more of a challenge for me and that makes them even more fun!!

Join Rachelle from For Blogness' Sake! for her 3 weeks No Cheats.  You can read more about the challenge and find the template HERE on her blog.  My goal is no fried food for 3 weeks and hopefully longer.  I need to kick the habit.

Now it's your turn to go link up and share your fitness goals or routine.  You can click HERE to head to Katie's blog and link up.

Welcome y'all!  I'm thrilled to be one of the hostesses for chapter 3 of the Teaching With Intention book study.  This week I'm hosting with two wonderfully talented bloggers Corinna from Surfin' Through Second and Dianna from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching.  Make sure you head over to their blogs to read their reflections on chapter 3 too.

Chapter 3 was all about environment and making sure that you set up an environment with your beliefs in mind.  I love how Debbie Miller shared her experience of helping out a overwhelmed first year teacher with her classroom.  I've been there y'all!  My first year teaching I moved into a classroom that had been a store all place for a few years.  There were mountains and mountains of stuff!  I wish I could find a picture of it.  It took me awhile but I was finally able to sort through the stuff and begin to make an environment for both myself and my students.  My first classroom wasn't perfect but each year my room has gotten a little better.

This year as I was packing up my second grade classroom, I decided it was time to declutter my room.  It took me longer to pack up but I'm super excited because I know it will help with my room setup for next year.  When I was decluttering my room, I used a system close to the one that Debbie Miller discusses in chapter 3.  I had a pile of stuff to keep, stuff to donate to other teachers, and a big pile of trash.

When I was sorting through my stuff, I would ask myself these questions....
  • Did I use it this year?
  • Do I have plans to use it next year?
  • Would someone else benefit from these materials?

These questions really helped me get rid of a lot of stuff that was just taking up space.  I gave a lot of materials to the art teacher and it made her day!  I even gave some stuff to a first grade teacher that didn't have a lot in her room.  The trash pile was gigantic but it was all junk or stuff that was super old and not useful at all!  After I had just what I needed, I was amazed to see all the space that I had.  I'm looking forward to setting up my room next year because I know the space will come in handy for both myself and my students.

Now let's talk more about setting up your classroom environment.  Here are some questions that will help you when setting up your classroom environment.  Feel free to grab the question graphics and use them in your post for chapter 3.

When I set up my room each year, the first thing I think about is the different areas that I need in my classroom and then I map them out.  Normally, I just draw it out on a piece of paper.

I know that I need these 3 areas first...

Large Meeting Area

My large meeting area has always been super important to me.  I love how Debbie Miller talked about how meeting areas aren't just for primary grades.  I TOTALLY agree.  My meeting area has a rocking chair, a small easel (now I have just a chart stand), supply tubs with materials that I need for whole group lessons, pointers, and our activboard.  I love that the kids can see both the chart stand and the activboard from our meeting area.

Small Group Teaching Area

My small group teaching area is the second most important area for me as a teacher.  I love the workshop model and I love teaching in small groups.  I have supplies behind me on the shelf that I can easily access and also books behind me as well.  I also have a small set of plastic drawers under the table where I keep guided reading materials (dry erase boards with markers, index cards, letter tiles, and some other materials).  When I teach math small groups, the students bring a math tub with them that has base ten blocks and unifix cubes in it.  I want to make sure that I have all the materials I need close by, so it doesn't interrupt our learning and discussions.

Table Groups for Cooperative Learning

I want my students to work cooperatively and have discussions often, so how I set up my table groups is also really important.  I talk more about my table groups in the third question.

I also have other areas that are important when I'm setting up my classroom.  I also have a writing table, classroom library, word wall, math wall, and focus wall.  I try to keep things minimal on the walls because just like Debbie Miller discussed, I want the kids to help me set up the room.  I add anchor charts and instructional items with them because I know they will use them more.  The more you involve your students, the more they will take ownership of the classroom.

I teach second grade two-way dual language, so I teach two different sets of classes twice a day.  In the morning, I teach two groups of ELA.  In the afternoon, I teach two groups of Math.  I learned quickly that it wasn't possible for each student to have their own desk with their own supplies in it.

I decided that we would keep our textbooks in each of the desks and then use book boxes for student materials.  My students keep their notebooks, math workbook, pencils, scissors, and erasers in their book box.  My students also have pencil boxes and they keep their colors, markers, and extra pencils in it.  We store our pencil boxes in our desk and then they can easily take them to their second class if needed.

I've learned that having a book box for each of my students gives them ownership in my classroom.  They also have a separate book box in my partner's room with their Spanish notebook and materials.  It's also easy for them to pick up their book box and take it with them to their desk or any area that they might be working in.  Not having their supplies in their desk has also helped our desk area stay clean.  I would highly recommend it!

My students also have a binder that we keep our daily conduct sheet, homework, parent newsletter, extra notebook paper to write on, and graded work in.  My partner and I have a small shelf right outside our classroom doors that the kids store their binders in.  That way if they need to put some work in their binder, they don't have to disturb the other class.  They take the binder home each night and bring it back in the morning.

When I started second grade two years ago, I knew right away that I wanted my students to work collaboratively and to discuss things with their group often.  I also wanted my students to have a partner, so I decided right away that I needed to place my desks in even groupings.  I decided to go with five table groups.  Four of the table groups would have four desks in it and then the table group in the middle would have six desks in in.

I chose these table group set ups so that the kids were right next to their partner and they could easily talk to and help each other when needed.  This is an older picture, so I no longer have tubs and trash cans on each of the tables.  I discovered that they were getting in the way when we did group work, so I got rid of them.  Now our groups work more together because there isn't anything in their way.

I also number the desks, so I can easily move students around.  It helps because they don't feel like just one desk is theirs.  That way we can easily move to work with other groups and it becomes a more cooperative environment.  A big plus is that if you have a student that you want to move, you just move that student!  No more moving desks around for me.  I LOVE it!!

Thanks for sticking with me through my super LONG post!  I wanted to create a freebie for you guys that would help with the organization of your classroom.  I LOVE labels but I have sad old not fun labels!  I needed an update, so I created these Avery labels for you to use to label things in your classroom.  Remember to keep only the things that you NEED.  Happy labeling!  There are six different labels and they are for Avery labels 5935 or 8 labels to a page.  They are editable, so you can add your own text or write on them with you students.
Click on the cover image to grab this freebie.
Here is an idea of how you could use the labels to organize your materials.

Now, you can link up with your reflections on chapter 3.

I LOVE anchor charts but I dislike when a classroom is so cluttered with anchor charts all over the walls.  I feel like it's super overwhelming for the students.  The other day I shared in my Teaching With Intention Chapter 1 post about a way that I store my anchor charts and I wanted to share a little more about it.

Here is my ELA anchor chart storage from this last school year...

I create anchor charts with my students during our whole group mini lessons.  Then, I add them to our anchor chart wall.  I have taught my students that they can easily flip up the anchor charts to see previous anchor charts that we've made as a class.  After all of my students have mastered a certain concept, I will remove that anchor chart from the wall.  That helps us make sure that only the anchor charts that we need are posted.  I also sort the anchor charts by subject area.  It helps a ton!!

Here is how I created this EASY anchor chart storage.

All you need is....

  1. Your choice of border.
  2. Two clothespins.
  3. Anchor charts to display.

First, I measured around the anchor chart to make sure that my border would show up after I hung up my anchor charts.  

Then, I stapled (you can also use sticky tack) the border up according to my measurements.  

Lastly, I added an extra border just under the top border to attach my clothespins too.  That will ensure that your top border shows up on the top of the anchor charts once you hang them up.

Now, you are ready to clip on your anchor charts.  This is what the finished product will look like...

How do you hang up anchor charts in your classroom?  I would love to hear some other ideas.  Let me know in the comments below.

Today I'm link up for chapter 2 of Teaching With Intention.  This chapter is all about defining beliefs and aligning practices.  I love how Debbie Miller started off the chapter by describing that the ideal classroom described in chapter 1 didn't start that way in August.  I truly enjoy the beginning of each school year because you are really starting off with a clean slate.  New kids, new room, new expectations for the upcoming year.  We all start off fresh each year (well...if you are looping that is totally different) and we need to have a vision for how that new classroom will look and run.

My first school district that I worked at had a scripted reading program.  I HATED it with a passion!!  I remember thinking that a one size fits all program wasn't meeting the needs of all of my students.  I needed the freedom to tailor instruction to match how each of my students learned.  I LOVE this quote from chapter 2. 

Isn't it perfect?!?!

So I definitely know that one of my beliefs is that each child learns differently and I need to meet them where they are.  In chapter 2, Debbie Miller suggestions to reflect and to reflect often.  As a teacher, I don't think I do this enough.  I love using common assessments and quick checks but sometimes I don't find the time to really reflect over the results.  I NEED to find the time!!

Debbie Miller suggestions to write down your reflections and then use those to define your beliefs.  I have a set of beliefs already but this school year I want to edit them based on my reflections of my current classroom.  Then, I can use those belief statements to guide my work in my current classroom.  If a certain practice isn't aligning to those beliefs, then I need to toss it out.  

I'm totally guilty of doing what Debbie Miller explained in chapter 2.  During read alouds, I often want my students' thinking to align to my own thinking.  I need to stop and let them have more conversations about their thinking.  It just makes so much sense!!  I truly want my students to develop into independent thinkers.  That won't happen if I do all of the thinking for them.

What are your reflections on chapter 2?  Make sure you click on the hostesses' blog buttons below to link up.

And get excited because one of the chapter 3 hostesses is .... THIS GIRL!!

I linking up a little late .... ok two weeks late but better late than never right?!?!  I've been super sick the last few weeks and I'm finally getting busy on my summer to-do list.  My favorite part about summer is getting to really read again.  I have so many books on my to-read list and summer is the perfect time to finally read some of them.

One of the first professional development books that I'm reading this summer is Debbie Miller's "Teaching with Intention".  I'm very excited to link up with the one and only Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard for his book study.  

Here are my reflections on Chapter 1...

Chapter 1 talks about the ideal classroom.  I LOVE the third grade classroom that Debbie Miller talks about in chapter 1.  The classroom was child centered and one where the students were taking charge of their own learning.  It is definitely a classroom that I would hate to leave and one that I would love for my sons to be in one day...or one just like it!

My number one goal each year is to create a classroom environment that will make my students feel safe to take risks and know that they have choices in their learning.  I want people to feel that the moment that they walk into my classroom.

In my ideal classroom, the students are working independently and are engaged in conversations about their learning.  I LOVE working in small groups and while my students are working independently, I'm working with others in a small group.  I also love walking around the classroom and participating in their conversations.  I love asking questions and being there to push them in their thinking.

Anchor Charts
I LOVE anchor charts....the problem is where to put all of them without making my room look super cluttered.  I created this super easy anchor chart storage by just using sentence strips and two clothespins.  I have taught my students that they can easily flip up the anchor charts to see the one that they need.

I LOVE the super cute anchor charts, but I've learned that simple ones get the job done too!  I create my anchor charts WITH my students and one thing that I'm working on for next year is to have student input and writing on them as well.  That definitely will help with my ideal classroom that I described above.

Independent Reading Choice
I passionately believe that the ideal classroom NEEDS to have a welcoming and engaging classroom library.  Most importantly one that offers my little readers with CHOICE.  I don't organize my books in just one way and I LOVE that.  I have books organized by level (they are in the magazine holders with the black dot labels), chapter books (they are in the bins to the left), books organized by genre (they are in the bins to right), and books we are currently reading (they are in the library shelf), and of course big books (they are on the floor in the big blue tub).

It might seem like the books are organized in too many different ways, but it works friends.  It gives my students CHOICE and when we are learning about the different genres it helps a lot.  It breaks my heart when my students come in from first grade and they can't tell me the title of their favorite book.  I work all year to change that and so far each year they always leave with at least one favorite book that they can tell me by heart.

I also give my students choice in book clubs.  They vote on the books that we read and they have conversations about each of the books.  This year their favorites were Nate the Great and Mercy Watson.  I mean a pig that eats toast and has her own room.  Who wouldn't LOVE that?!?!

I'm the queen of organization y'all!  I don't think I could function in a room that wasn't organized.  I mean I do have piles of stuff, what teacher doesn't, but my room is super organized other then my few piles.

That's super easy...letting go!  I love how Greg described how he is a "guide on the side".  I do that about 50% of the time but I need to learn to let go a little more and let my students take charge of their learning more.  I definitely need some tips and tricks on that one.  I hate to say it but I need control.  I just need to let go more!

Also, displaying student work.  I do great at the beginning of the year and then I notice it's December and my students' work from September is still hanging up in the hall.  Am I alone in this?

Thanks for reading about my reflections of chapter 1.

Make sure you head over to the chapter 1 hosts' blogs to link up with your reflections of chapter 1.

And the lie is....

NUMBER 2!!  I don't speak Spanish.  I wish I did though.  It would come in handy!!

I thought I would give a little explanation about my 2 truths.

NUMBER 1 - I have two boys and my husband in my family, so I'm the only girl in my little family.  I tried to trick you guys on that one!!

NUMBER 3 - I tried out for an MTV show that never went to broadcast.  It was called Waterpark and it was supposed to follow the lives of lifeguards at the waterpark that I worked out.  I think it would've been a fun show!

I had so much fun playing along with you guys!  I hope you had just as much fun guessing.

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