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Wordless Wednesday

I am linking up with Miss DeCarbo to join in on my first Wordless Wednesday! Woot! Woot!

I dropped by to watch my fiance teach a beginning band class, which is preparing for their first concert. They were struggling with their time and as a result, didn't sound together. I watched as he called on a section to play, gave feedback, went back whole group, gave feedback, and he continued this process throughout class. Without a doubt they got better, and better, and better! He kept all the sections engaged throughout the lesson which made me wonder...

How often do you step out of your classroom and observe other teachers, especially those outside of your expertise? 


Today is a holiday and I would like to celebrate with my first FLASH FREEBIE! I have had a month full of blessings which have included,  going over 50 followers on TpT, starting my blog,  and making it onto the Top 100 weekly middle school products with my End of Year A to Z resource! Getting to fifty followers is a small, but mighty mark and I am so grateful. I just finished and posted my Beginning of the Year resource pack and this is one of the many items included.  I am currently working in Chicago and this product will be free until I arrive home in Jacksonville. These are EDITABLE newsletter templates for the year. If you download the file and like what you see I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Even more so, I would love for you to follow me for updates and more FREEBIES! Thank you!

Please click on the link for the resource. 

Summer Bucket List #doneanddone

I am teaming up with the fantabulous Mrs. Jump to create my "Summer Bucket" list. The summer is a very busy time for me because I work with a teacher preparation program in Chicago and life is #hectic as we prepare to get to get beginning teachers prepared for the fall. That doesn't mean I won't plan in some time for FUN! 
  1. My first priority is working summer school to train teachers. I've been at a conference this weekend (yep, working Memorial day) to ensure that our staff is prepared to lead our teachers this summer. See if you can find me in the picture :-)
  2. I have to prioritize reading a few books this summer! There are a few on my ever growing list so I am going to start with the three below. 

3. My fiance is a food connoisseur and LOVES all things related to cooking... and eating. Since I am going to be in Chicago this summer I figured we could go to Alinea a Michelin 3-star restaurant. I've heard amazing things about their dessert (pictured below). Up until a few weeks ago I had no idea what Michelin ratings were, so if you are in this boat you can find more information here.   
4. I have an i-Phone 4 and is moves soooooo slow. I need a new phone! It's non negotiable. 

5.  We have about 5 lessons (prepaid) for puppy training. Our dog is such a sweetie and a fast learner that we haven't had a sense of urgency about his training, but I want to make this happen! 
6. A few of my best friends and I generally plan one a trip a year together. We haven't done anything since Costa Rica in 2013 so I am going to push us to make it happen this summer! 

7. I'd like to FINALLY attend the Taste of Chicago! It's literally minutes from where I'll be staying so there are no excuses for not checking it out. 
8. We bought and renovated a house about a year ago, but have yet to add our final touches along the lines of interior decorating (see picture below). I want to add curtains and decorative wall art, ect. ect.  

9.  I need to coordinate my volunteer hours and plans.  

Middle School Guest Blogger from Chicago: Ms. Wiegand

I have the privilege of working with teachers from across the country and I am excited to share my first guest blogger who currently teaches middle school reading in Chicago, Ms. Brittany Wiegand! Brittany has about a month left in the school year, and is celebrating success in her first year teaching middle school and interested in ideas on how to engage her students using a play.  Please comment away with ideas for her! I'll let Ms. Wiegand take it from here... 

This past Friday, my students took the last of the big tests we'd be taking this year... the NWEA MAP test! They KILLED it... 86% met their goal  #proudteacher! The kids were really pumped up and invested, so a big weight is off my shoulders. But, we've got a bit of time left before we do our Fountas & Pinnell tests to get end-of-the-year reading level data. Now, we've read some kick-butt novels this year (Wonder, Hunger Games, and the Watsons go to Birmingham, to name a few) but we don't have quite enough time to read a full novel, given all the field trips and various activities happening in the next few weeks. I’ve struggled for the past few weeks trying to figure out how to keep my kids engaged and finally came up with… dun dun dun… DRAMA!

We’re going to be reading and analyzing a play for the next few weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited for a few reasons. First, my students LOVE to read out loud. One of my easiest engagement strategies is to ask for a volunteer to read anything (directions, some text in a funny voice, their answer to a question) so I’m really pumped about our upcoming unit—with multiple parts a day, my students are going to love to read in class. Second, it’s a genre we haven’t had much work with at all this year, so I’m really pumped to teach all the components of plays—stage directions, the role of the audience, “acts” versus “chapters” or other sections, the use of lighting and costumes. There’s a lot of new vocabulary, both related to plays and character traits and emotions that will benefit my students. Finally, I’m MOST excited about the play that we’re reading: A Raisin in the Sun. Set in Chicago (where I teach), we’ll be able to dive into an analysis of racial attitudes of the 1950’s. 

There are so many other options that work with middle school: 12 Angry Men, Shakespeare, Clue, and Agatha Christie, to name only a few. Even without putting on the full production, the benefits are going to be huge and I can’t wait to get started!

Have you ever done plays? What was your experience?


This has surely been a blessed week! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for my first Linky party! I have to admit that up until about 7 hours ago I didn't know what a "Linky Party" was?!?!? #dontjudgeme

I have a blog! Getting a blog has been long coming for me and now I am shouting from the rooftops with joy. I've been watching a ton of YouTube videos trying to figure out how to use this and so far so good! 
I am so proud of my younger sister! She's in her 6th year as a high school chemistry teacher and doing amazing things for her students. Check out the yearbook pic and post she sent me. #yougogirl 
I woke up this morning and the temperature was in the high 50s. I was chatting with with my manager who lives in Michigan about it and her response was "is that a bad thing?" As a native of Miami, 50s = peak of winter. In honor of a cooler Florida day I am reminding myself of this past brutal winter and vowing to enjoy today...with a sweater and a smile!  #Floridaproblems
I am finally reading The Giver by Lois Lowry and it's a real page turner! I can't tell you how many crazy looks I've gotten from people over being a reading teacher who hasn't read it. I'm going to create a novel study for it in the coming months so be on the lookout. 
Last, but not least, I am singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little fur baby Monk who is celebrating his first birthday! 

Dreams and Thank You


I am beyond excited to start blogging! It's something that I've always wanted to do, but never had the gumption to step out and get started. That said, I have to begin by THANKING Michelle Tsivgadellis at the 3am Teacher for turning a bunch of ideas into a stunning design. She literally ran with every detail that I gave her from colors to patterns to fonts! She might also be the most patient person in the world. I literally had/have NO CLUE when it comes to social media. Seriously! She asked me about my Blogger account and my response was "what's that?" I am a fairly private person and barely used Facebook and didn't know a thing about the other social media platforms. Nevertheless, we made it through and here I am! I think my friends will be proud knowing I am officially joining the social media movement.  Ha! I am catching on quickly and hope to meet new friends and acquaintances that hip me to more tips and tricks! Blogging has long been a dream of mine that I have been sitting with wondering what I would say, and who would listen. I finally stepped out on faith and this is it! I hope you will join my adventures! Thank you in advance for your time!