May 18, 2014


Sorry that I've been MIA for a few weeks now! Lots and lots going on...

I'll wrap up my First PBL series soon with my student presentation information and a reflection on the entire process. There were definitely some things that I loved and some things that I didn't. It's always about trying new things and a growth mindset, right?

Since the last time I posted, my Algebra 1 kiddos have finished their End of Course testing. So glad that big, looming test is out of the way! I can focus on finishing up those last final details now. 6 class periods left!
Have you seen this pin floating around pinterest? Cracks me up!!

Our sweet furbaby also gave us a scare last week.

Full disclosure, we are some of those people that love our animals way too much. They are most definitely part of our family. This spoiled princess had a lump on her left shoulder region for about a week and it didn't go down. We took her to the vet and they were definitely concerned. Did a biopsy - waited 51 excruciating hours for results - no cancer and no tumor! Praise the Lord!!! The Mr. and I cried when we received the good news!

Also more good news!!!!

I have been selected as a 21C Grant recipient in my district!!!!!
This means I will have a class set of 30 laptops beginning in the fall. 
Beyond. blessed. and. excited.

Back Story: I teach 8th grade at the same junior high that I went to for 8th grade. Never planned on that happening, just a fun coincidence! :)
The head of the 21C committee (and the woman I'm fiercely hugging in the picture above) is our district's Director of 7-12 Instruction. She was also the building principal of this school - the one I attended and now teach at. Such a fun and sweet moment that she got to award my grant in one of the same classrooms we were both in 13 years ago. Fun day!!!

My face. Oye.   

Out of the 24 grants awarded throughout our district, SIX were in my building. The other recipients and I had a conversation and attributed this feat to our incredible principal. He is inspiring, positive, and a world class leader. He brings out the best in people and makes us all want to achieve greatness. It was also mentioned that we don't know how long our little junior high will be able to keep such a great leader as our principal. Fingers crossed that he stays for a few years before moving on to bigger and better things.

Another fun thing that I've been working on...

I don't know about you, but around this time of year I get soooooo distracted with thoughts of next year. I would rather redo my syllabus, fantasize about room arrangements, and create a teacher planner than lesson plan for tomorrow. Oops. Please tell me I'm not the only one with this issue?!?!?!

Anyway... I looked around the internet and just didn't fall in love with any teacher planner. I am so stinking picky I wanted it to fit what I needed exactly. And didn't want to feel like I was paying for pages I would never use. I have other places that I record grades and parent information. I needed a place to lesson plan, conveniently store standards, and take meeting notes. So... here it is!!! I am pumped! This will probably take the place of this binder for this year. We'll see how I like it!

And yes, as always, I'll give away the file for FREE. 
But side note about that, it just really burns me up when I see stuff I've created and given away show up on Teachers Pay Teachers. Has this happened to anyone else?! Makes me furious!!!!! I try not to get cynical and remember all the wonderful teachers that I benefit from and hope I'm doing the same for others, but really, come on?! I had to go all Creative Commons Non-Commercial 3.0 on someone's butt earlier this year.
Don't sell what isn't yours! Alright, rant over.
Enjoy the file :) But don't you dare turn around the sell it!

A special thank you for the free chevron file!
Also the free washi tape png files
and Kimberly Geswein for the free font called KG Eyes Wide Open.

See, creating and giving away for free really does make the world a better place. :)

Well, I guess that about wraps up this post full of random musing. I will try to go lesson plan for these final days of the year when all I really want to do is enjoy the outside and get ready for next year! Have you seen this syllabus by Rob Patin?!?! Drool worthy. I will be revamping my syllabus soon!!


  1. Thanks for sharing so generously! I still have four weeks of classes left, but I'm itching to get ready for next year, too. Your planner is fantastic. I wish I had Publisher so I could make a few tweaks to personalize it, but I'm definitely going to print your last few pages of standards because I teach the exact same courses as you do. I got a Staples Arc notebook and expect to use it for meeting notes and planning next year.

    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one itching for next year!! I tried to convert into a couple different file types and nothing was successful :( How minor are you tweaks? I could adjust some things and then email you a personalized pdf file. Wanna try that? :) Also, are you going to Twitter Math Camp this year?

  2. Any way you could link a download that's not in Publisher for us who don't have it? I don't know if you could export it as a word document or something? I have no idea, but I LOVE this teacher planner!

    1. I'm glad you love it Jenna! Thanks!! I've tried doing a couple different export/reformat type things and so far nothing is successful. I'll keep trying but you might also do a few google searches. If you find anything promising send me an email and I'll give it a try!

  3. Your lesson planner is inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for leaving a comment - it's always fun to hear from people!

  4. You are so creative. I would love for you to try some of my interactive graphing applets. Here is a link to the free one on TpT.
    I have scores more that would work at your level. You can contact me at

  5. BTW, I shortened the link on bitly, so don't be afraid to click. Let me know if there are others you see on TpT that you would like to try also. I can give you a link or mail you a few free ones. Your present for that wonderful tech award! If you do like them, you cost is a few pins and a mention and letting me know if your students loved exploring graphing with them.

  6. LOVE the syllabus. So excited for you getting the grant! Thanks for sharing your organization tips. My brain is on full force planning for next year.

  7. Wow! I can't believe someone did that, that's awful. I had someone try and use my store name..had to go thru tpt, and they got her to change her name. Great planner. Thanks
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

  8. Wow! I can't believe someone did that, that's awful. I had someone try and use my store name..had to go thru tpt, and they got her to change her name. Great planner. Thanks
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

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