Thursday, October 12, 2017

Precious Moments

Sometimes kiddos remind you of why you became a teacher.

The other day I was filling in in kindergarten. I had been in this class a little before and these kids were pretty comfortable with me. We were working on a paper where they were tracing and writing the number 3. A little girl walked up to me and handed me her paper and I said "Sweetheart, it isn't finished, you traced the 3s but you have to write them too." She looks at me and says "I can't write 3s I don't know how to!" I said "But you traced them so I know you can do it if you try." She started to cry. She was crying because she didn't want to try. I chose to go the tough love route because I believe in challenging students and encouraging a growth mindset. You don't get to cry because you don't want to try. So I told her "This is not a reason to cry, you're not a baby." She kept crying and started getting loud. So in a calm voice I said "Well if you're going to cry you can go sit in that chair over there and when you're ready to work you can come back." She sat in the chair and cried for a while and I did NOT engage her. Eventually she stopped crying and I said "If you're ready to work you can come back over." So she came back and sat down. I said "Now if you're ready to work I can help you and we can try this together." She nodded her head yes. So I talked to her about how to make a 3 and reminded her that she had just traced a bunch of 3s. When she did one on her own I was shocked that it was almost perfect. I said "See that 3 is beautiful you don't need my help." and I left her to finish them. When she came to show me she was finished I said to her "I knew you could do it." and she gave me the biggest hug as if to say "Thank you for believing in me".

It was something as small as writing the number 3 and even though I had just made her cry a few minutes before, she knew I cared about her and believed in her. My kids get upset with me sometimes but the know I love and encourage them and they respect me.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Back to the Grind

Today was my first day back in the classroom as a regular sub in my old district. I was dreading moving back to my old district for a few reasons. I feel like moving back is kind of a step backwards from the direction my life has been going, even though it really isn't, it's more of a temporary stepping stone towards the next chapter in my life.

Being a building sub meant that I went to the same school every day so I has a relationship with my kiddos and my coworkers. Being a regular sub means I go to not only a different class but a different school everyday. Up side, I get to meet a lot of different staff and students and get different experiences. Down side, I don't get to stay in a place for too long if I like it. I tried to see if I could become a building sub in this district but it looks like they don't hire them here. I checked. My next best option would be to get in good with a principal at a school I like and have them just claim me like everyday.

Today actually wasn't bad. After looking back at my resume when I was updating it, I realized I only subbed in this district for about 4 months before I took over my first daycare classroom that summer. I think I've overestimated the negative experiences I had in this district. I think for some reason I have it in my head that I only had a positive experience at one school and just really remember several negative ones at other schools so in my head I associate this district with negative times. After just working a half day today, I don't think this district is as bad as I made it out to be. I think it was the first district I subbed in so I was very new to being a sub. Maybe the experience I've gained has changed my outlook. It also might have to do with the fact that I was a reading teacher today and spent part of my time reading to preschoolers and I love Preschool and Kindergarten.

Basically I'm going to hopefully spend most of my time in elementary school and have a good time. Maybe I have a lot tougher skin after my last district and being a regular sub again won't be so bad. I'm going to try my best to have a positive outlook. Tomorrow is my first full day back even though I'm still a little sick I thought I would be feeling better by now. Hopefully my first full day back in the classroom will be a positive one. But I guess that's up to me.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Summer of Fun

This post is pretty late but over the summer I was in charge of my own kindergarten class which was amazing... and a mess at the same time. I think some of this may have been covered in my last post but I just wanted to make sure that when I look back I didn't forget this time in my life. Instead of going through a long drawn out post, I'll list a few pertinent parts of my experience.

  1. I had 13 kids on my roster but was lucky if I had 9 of them all show up on the same day.
  2. We were in a super hot building and told we were getting air conditioning, but only a few rooms got them.
  3. We were told there would be no children with extreme behavior problems in the program... there were. Several that were in self contained classes during the year, and placed with non special ed teachers with non special ed teaching assistants.
  4. I met some amazing people that I taught with and hope to stay friends with.
  5. My students were my favorite part of the program. They weren't perfect angels but I love to learn from them and gain new experiences.
  6. I had some interesting experiences with parents.
  7. We took the kids swimming one day. Lots of kids say they can swim... until they get in a pool.
  8. We had our students for 10 hours a day... 10. hours.
  9. The money I made was crazy good.
  10. I probably would do the program again in the future if I still lived in that area.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Build a Fence, but Don't Get Over It!

I was super excited to do this activity with my kinders when I thought about it. I got the idea from doing a similar activity with preschoolers a few years ago during undergrad... sort of. I looked back at my lesson from that time and it doesn't say I did this activity but I remember doing it so I'm sure it happened

... probably.

Anyway right as I was planning this I got an email from some of the district principals that said something to the effect of "If you'd like us to visit at any time let us know." So I responded asking them to come because I knew this would be one of my better lessons.

We started off by reading the story Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candance Fleming.

It's a story about a man who wants to plant a garden. One day he finally decides to but these little bunnies keep getting in and eating his crops. He tries a bunch of outrageous different ways to keep them out.

After reading the story, (and discussing it), we broke off into teams. Luckily I had a teaching assistant for the whole day today, I usually only have one for the morning. The kids worked together to draw a garden on the page provided to them. Before we read we talked about what things can grow in a garden. They drew things like carrots, tomatoes, even watermelons!

Once the gardens were drawn I told the kids they had to build a fence to keep the bunnies out. They were super excited when I told them their building materials were in my "mystery bag". I felt like I was reliving so many of the things I learned in my undergrad days like using a mystery bag as a hook. Inside the mystery bag was:

  • marshmallows
  • pipe cleaners
  • toothpicks
They were only allowed to use those items to create their fence. The real kicker was what we were using for our "bunnies" to test the effectiveness of our fences.

I scored these little monsters at party city. They're these little pop up toys with suction cups on the bottom. When you push them all the way down they stay down and jump up into the air whenever the suction cup releases. The kids get a kick out of them.

Now I did tell them we were going to use them but I did NOT give them to the kids until the fences were built and they were ready to test them. As an added incentive to stay focused I told them they could eat the leftover marshmallows if they didn't eat the ones we were to be working with.

I tried to preset them that this was a teamwork activity and they should talk to each other and work together. Telling each other their ideas and listening to one another. My group did a great job at this but I didn't know until after we were finished that my TA's group had a much harder time with the sharing. I should have paid better attention to the way I grouped them I guess, I grouped them randomly. The only thing I did intentionally was not put the twins in my class in the same group.

Here are a few pix from the building and testing process.




They came up with some pretty interesting ideas. One groups even said they built in traps to catch the bunnies 不. It was really wonderful to watch them interact and use their minds in a different way. Then I let them take home their "bunnies" so overall it was a great project.

Monday, July 3, 2017

500 Instagram Followers Giveaway!! [CLOSED]

I've had my instagram account for a few years now but this year is when I started to take it more seriously. I've finally reached 500 followers and I want to celebrate!

This giveaway will cost you only a $5 contribution to me on paypal, all of which will go towards a gift card for Teachers Pay Teachers. After which, your instagram name will be added to a rafflecopter giveaway in which hopefuls will need to follow your account for an entry!

If you are interested in being a part of the giveaway click here by July 7th!

If you have any physical products (not printed out digital products) you would like to contribute instead of money please email me at

Check out my instagram account, since you're here anyway!

Sweat Pants, Hair Tied, Chillin' wit no Make Up On

Today's laugh and a half is brought to you by a soon to be second grader.

The other day I stayed in the house most of the day. I needed to go to the mall and walmart so like everyone else at walmart, I didn't care how I dressed. I decided to go extra bummy in a shirt, basketball shorts and flip flops. I thought about if I saw my students out but that happens to me so rarely and I was heading to the next town over so I just said F it.

I go to pick up my new phone and as I'm coming out of the store I see one of my older students. I chose not to engage her because A. I'm not one of her favorites and B. because again, I was dressed like a slob and I didn't want the attention.

Of course as I'm walking out unscathed, her little brother, also one of my students, spots me. He runs up to hug me and I'm super embarrassed because of the way I was dressed but I'm honestly always happy to see one of my babies especially if they're happy to see me.

The problem was that his family didn't notice they'd walked off without him so I'm going "Bud your family is walking off without you, you need to go back to them." and he's like "No come with me and say hi to them!" Mind you I don't now his parents, I'm dressed crazy and their kid just ran off with me so no I didn't want to meet them at that particular moment.

By this point the parents looked up and are wondering where he is so as an adult I felt obligated to walk him back to them so they didn't think he was talking to a stranger and call the police on me or something. He's running up like "Mommy come say hi!" and she's like "Who's this!?" and I'm just trying to quickly introduce myself, again so that they don't think I'm a kidnapper. So I tell them I'm one of his teachers, then their other sister saw me and ran up to hug me too. It was nice and awkward but at least the kids made it clear to them who I was. 不

The moral of the story is, if you think you're going to leave the house and have a dress down day, be ready to run into your students.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Here Come the Water Works

Today was my last day as the building sub at my school. I thought I'd be able to make it through it okay since I'd been fine lately but oh man. When I tried to talk and thank some of my particular co-workers that really helped me out a lot, the tears started welling up. I managed to keep it together because I didn't want my students to see me like that.

It really was hard. We only had an hour and a half of school today and probably more faculty than students. I'm grateful someone took a chance on me and that I ended up at the school I did. It was a tough school but I'm a lot stronger as a teacher than I was a year and a half ago. And I've made some good friends.

My next step is I'll be teaching kindergarten for summer school in a nearby district. I'm excited to finally be the teacher and not the sub in someone else's classroom dealing with someone else's class.

I feel like I'm taking a lot of small baby steps toward becoming a teacher. Most people hop out of college and into the classroom. I went from college to daycare to subbing, back to college, then building subbing, then summer school. I sometimes wonder two things about myself:

  1. If I'm addicted to school. Almost as far back as I can remember (which is back to preschool), I've been in school and operated on school year time. Other professions work on regular January-December calendar after they're done with school. Teachers operate on the same schedule we were on throughout our years as a student. I wonder if subconsciously I became a teacher because I don't know how to function on a different time schedule. After high school I went right into college, where I was working at the same grocery store for 6 years when I would come home for breaks. I didn't like that job but I knew I was on school year time so I only had to work there for the summer and then I could be out. Would I be able to be a productive member of society if I had to work at a job like that through the whole year like other people do? Then I went to graduate school. I was also subbing which meant, I was still operating on school year time and working a different job in the summer. Then what did I do? The minute I graduated I signed up for another course to teach English as a foreign language. Do I not know how to survive without having homework to do?
  2. If I'm avoiding becoming a career teacher. I mentioned above all of the small steps I've taken since being in college. I wonder if all of those smaller steps are me trying to avoid being the full time teacher because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of all of the teacher stuff that happens behind the scenes. All of the stuff that you don't know how to do until you're in it. A lot of my teacher friends have been great with answering all of my questions but you never know what it's like until you do it and I'm scared to death. What if I become a teacher and I fail? I try to keep myself strong and confident though. Sometimes I just get a little down. So what do I do? Decide to fly to another country and teacher there -_-. Whose idea was this 不?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This Next One is a Doozy!

One thing I've always wanted to do is travel the world but that's expensive. People always say there are several ways to travel and not break the bank... I have not yet mastered that craft.

I have however stumbled upon a better opportunity.

When I was younger I wanted to study abroad but you have to pay for that and I wasn't footing the bill for my undergad degree so the decisions weren't entirely up to me. Fast forward to now where I'm all finished with my Bachelor's and Master's degrees and I have a bit more freedom.

So here it is....

The big news you've all been waiting for...

I'm excited to announce to the world...

The Teacher With The Fro is going abroad!!!!
I have signed up for a TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, course through the International TEFL academy. Which I will begin next week, a few days before my birthday and right as the school year is ending so perfect timing. The course will be online and take me about 10 weeks to finish, plus 20 hours of practicum (which means being in a real classroom with students learning English, for my non-teacher readers.) After I finish all of my requirements I will have lifetime access to job guidance through the program and I have already aligned myself with their official facebook groups and talked with people who are living in other countries right now through this program. 

While it did cost me a small fortune, I choose to look at it as an investment in my career, my future, and myself. The program offers over 200 countries so I'm still thinking about which one I want to choose, there are a lot of things to factor in when you up and move your whole life to another country where you don't speak the language and don't know anyone.

But Fro, how do you feel about all of this?!

I'm glad you asked! I'm feeling extremely scared! However I'm also feeling very excited. This is a whole new chapter in my life. I'm young and I don't have any significant ties right now (such as marriage or kids), so this is the time for me to focus on myself. Of course there are people and things here I will miss but this is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I don't want to look back in a couple of decades and wish I had and be full of shoulda, woulda, couldas. I want to see the world and experience different cultures. Who knows, I may not like it and come back, or I may love it and move permanently somewhere else. My current plan is to only sign 6 month contracts so that I can see another country every 6 months for a few years. But like I said, who knows what will happen. All I know for sure is I'll never know unless I try and I'd rather try and fail than wonder what could've been.

This is my shot, and I'm going to take it...

and blog about it so you can all take it with me!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

DIY Princess Slime

Everyone is making different kinds of slime these days. I never had any reason to make it for myself but I went to visit some family members a few weeks ago and decided my little cousins might enjoy it. While I didn't do this with my own students per se, my cousins are in second, fourth and seventh grade.

What you'll need:
  • a whole bottle of elmer's glitter glue
  • contact solution
  • baking soda
  • confetti (optional)
  • a sealable container to store it in
How to make it:
  1. Pour the whole bottle of glitter glue into a bowl. You may have to whip the bottle a bit to get the very end out.
  2. If you are choosing to add confetti, now is the time! You can use regular confetti but we chose to get some fun shapes we found in the store. Be careful if you choose ones with pointy parts like stars. Stir.
  3. In a separate cup, mix 1/4 cup contact solution and 2 teaspoons of baking soda.
  4. Pour your baking soda mixture into your glue mixture a little at a time. Each slime might be different so add as much as you need. You want it to me moist so it will stretch. It's ok if it's wet, it'll dry.
  5. Kneed it all around in your hands until its a big ball that doesn't stick to your hands. If there is any glue still on your hands, rub them on the slime and it'll absorb it.
  6. Make sure you have a container or some kind of ziploc bag to store it in so it does not dry out.
  7. Play and have fun!
Here's some pix of the finished product!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

DIY Graduation Cap

As some of you may know, The Teacher With The Fro recently finished her Master's degree in Literacy (B-Grade 6). Now that was a few months ago. However my school does not have a December graduation so I waited five long months but yesterday I finally walked across that stage!

Since this will be my last graduation (at least for the foreseeable future, but who knows) I really wanted to decorate my graduation cap.

Since I've never decorated any of my other caps in the past, I really had no idea how to but I didn't want to let the opportunity slip away because I knew this would be something I would look back on and be upset about.

In December I had decided I was for sure going to decorate. 

Step 1: deciding what to even put on it! 

Anyone who follows my personal instagram knows I'm big on memes so I was hoping to wait until about April and see what the recent popular meme was and somehow incorporate it with some clever phrase that would go viral for a bit.

I decided that wasn't working for me.

February is when I really decided to make The Teacher With The Fro into a brand. I decided while it may not go viral and make a lot of sense to other people, it represented me and who I am and it would be unique. Something I would look back on a be proud of.

Step 2: figuring out how to make it!

I've logged several hours online, mostly on pinterest, looking at different caps trying to get ideas for my design. After I got a general idea of what I wanted to do I had to figure out how. How do I get a colored background? What do I make it out of? How do I get it to stick to the cap? How to I get the letters to look nice?

Luckily I came across some very nice people on instagram who were willing to indulge me and answer all of my questions about how they made their caps.

Step 3: gather my materials.

One day I was intending to go to the gym but I forgot on the weekends they close at a different time. So I drove around the corner and ended up at a Jo-Ann Fabrics. I figured they would have things so I went in looking. I came out with some letters that I wasn't in love with, but they were all I had at the moment.

I wasn't able to pick up my cap and gown until the week of graduation (whose idea was that?!)

Once I got it and knew what color it was I have a better idea of what I had to work with but I still didn't really like the materials I had. After one more instagram conversation I ended up going to Michael's. Here's what I gathered:

  • A pad of 12x12 scrapbook paper (or it might just be regular construction paper)
  • Sparkly chipboard letters, one pack silver and one pack black
  • A hot glue gun and pack of glue sticks
  • A roll of rhinestones
  • A pack of swirly rhinestone designs
  • A pack of adhesive jewels
I also bought several other things for the several ideas that began swirling around in my head once I saw the vast amount of things Michael's had to offer. The above list is all of the things I ended up using.

Step 4: Get started!

  1. Place the 12x12 paper over the top of the cap, lining up at least one edge and corner.
  2. Flip the cap upside down, holding the paper in place, then cut the paper to fit your cap. You may want to draw lines for a more accurate cut, I just didn't do that.
  3. Draw a dot where your knob is (the thing you hang the tassel on) and trace yourself a general outline of how big the circle is.
  4. Take the paper off the cap and fold it in half on your dot but do not crease it.
  5. Cut a half circle which should create a whole circle since your paper is folded. Place your paper back over your cap to see if the hole is the right size. You want it to be just able to fit, so you don't see any of the cap under it. My hole was a little to big so I had to get creative to cover it up.
  6. Once you've fit your paper, take your hot glue gun and apply glue to each edge. Now is not the time to get stingy with your glue, you don't want your cap falling apart when you walk across that stage. Let your glue dry before moving on to the next step.
  7. After the background is dry I used the roll of rhinestones to line the edges and create a cute border.
  8. The next thing I did was lay out the letters in the order I wanted them in. My first plan was do the colors in an ABAB pattern. Which is how I realized my silver pack of letters was missing the F, of course, a letter I needed so I couldn't ignore it. So back to Michael's I went. I later decided I wanted "teacher" and "fro" to stand out so I wanted to do those silver and the rest of the words black. Which made me realize I was still short a few letters. Short version, I ended up back at Michael's two more times. Anyway I'm rambling, back to the cap.
  9. After I finally had all of my letters, I thought they were adhesive but the way I was pulling off the back, I was accidentally pulling off the entire back and not just the piece covering the sticky part, which is why I bought the hot glue gun because I thought I would need to glue each letter. Eventually I figured out how to peel the letters right and set them where I wanted them.
  10. Then I peeled off the rhinestone designs and placed them where I wanted. I had to cut some of them to make them fit but, thems the breaks.
  11. The last thing I did was use some of the adhesive gems to cleverly disguise the hole I'd made around the knob in the middle.
Here's a closer look at the finished product

Here are some other photos from my graduation!
A better look at my make up... I just learned how to do make up a few months ago but I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

The delicious lemon cake my boyfriend got me. My favorite but it's HUGE we'll be eating it for days!

A cute pic of me after my make up got wiped off during one of the games

My super adorable boyfriend

My parents and Me

My whole family. My brother finally made it to one of my graduations!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

You Work Where?!

Today's laugh and a half is brought to you by a first grader.

Today after I got finished teaching my after school class and the kids were waiting for the bus to go home, I was standing with them. I had on my jacket and all of my bags and my things to go home since naturally, I was leaving too. A kid looks at me and goes,

"Are you leaving?"
So I'm like "Are you leaving?"

"Why do you have all your bags and stuff?"

"Why do you have your backpack on?"

"This isn't your school."

"Why isn't it my school, I work here?!"

"You do? I thought you worked at Dave & Busters!"

"What??! Why do you think I work at Dave & Busters?"
He then grabs the Dave & Busters keychain on my car keys and turns it over to reveal a picture of me and my boyfriend on the back.

"Thats you and who is that?"

"That's my boyfriend."
Then he runs to another student and says "Miss Morton has a boyfriend and they go to Dave & Busters!"

The kid thought I worked at Dave & Busters

via GIPH

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Out With the Old, In With the New

I've still been working as a Teachers Pay Teachers seller for the past few months and it is a lot of work, especially since I don't have my own classroom to test my products in.

However my colleagues have been pretty supportive.

I recently have been embracing the power of social media, not only for marketing my products, but for networking and receiving feedback.

I didn't jump into this thinking it would be easy or that I would just know how to do everything and I still don't think that. I'm learning everyday, particularly on facebook and the TpT forum. I have learned a lot about design and what catches the eye of a potential customer and how to make my story stand out simply by asking for help. While TpT is a very competitive marketplace, I have found that most of the other TpT authors are a very helpful bunch and willing to share their knowledge! Thank you to everyone who has helped me thus far!

Since you're already here, have some exclusive access to my new products, free for the first 48 hours!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Break Party!!

I've recently had a lot of success with collaboration through facebook, instagram and teachers pay teachers. I've learned a lot of different ways we can all help each other out so I'm throwing my first spring break party!

Put away the margaritas and keep your tops on..

This is just a linking party. Click the button below and add your links to spring themed resources. Check out the rules before you add.

Click below to join the party!

Friday, March 10, 2017

DIY 1 Little Piggie Costume

Today was Celebrate Reading Day in our building! Many of the teachers swapped classrooms and did a "Mystery reader". What was supposed to happen is the teachers were supposed to give hints about what teacher (or character... I'm not sure) was coming in to read to them.... I missed that memo I just knew we were supposed to swap spots and read so when the teacher coming into the kindergarten class I was covering asked if my students guessed who she was I was like "uhh... what now?" 不

Anyway I absolutely LOVE to dress up for things especially at work because no one appreciated dressing up silly more than kids. I didn't realize we were supposed to dress up until about 2 days ago but I for sure wanted to be a part of it. I didn't want to spend a lot and I'm not really part of a grade level team exactly (being that I'm a sub), even though all my coworkers always make me feel welcome, so I decided to do a solo costume.

I can't take credit for this idea all on my own, my teacher bestie (aka my work bestie) helped me come up with it while I was discussing my dilemma with her.

If you're wondering why she and I didn't do a team costume it's because she was the classroom I was covering today so unfortunately she was  not at work to see out idea come to fruition.

I mentioned to her that I had some pig costume accessories at home which I purchased from Party City a few years ago, probably either for a lesson or Halloween who even remembers. The kit includes pink pig ears, a pink tale that can be flexed and hold it's shape, a pink bow tie (not sure since when pigs where bow ties), and a pink pig nose that oinks when you press it. Two comments I'll make about the pig parts:
  1. I'm not 100% sure how the pig tail is intended to attach. It's a child's kit so maybe the elastic could fit around a child's waist, but not these full grown hips so what I usually do is wrap it several times around my back belt loop. It hangs down but I do my best. A safety pin might help with that.
  2. The pig nose makes noises which means it has this small speaker it the back of it. I think it's poor design choice because it is a hard piece of plastic that presses against your nose with no give when you strap it around your face and boy does it hurt. It's hard enough for me to wear it being that I have glasses but this adds to the discomfort. Like I said though, I do it for my kiddos.

Since I was by myself, I had to figure out something to do. I wanted to do "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" but I couldn't think of a way to make a big pancake that would be sturdy (In hindsight I really could've just used construction paper)

We came up with the idea that I be the Three Little Pigs. But where are my other two little piggies? I made two missing persons signs looking for my two brothers. I needed people to be able to infer who I was since I was solo so the posters said "Last seen building a house made of sticks/straw" then stuck them on a big poster board I got from the dollar store and wrote "MISSING" on the top and "Beware of Big Bad Wolf" on the bottom.

I was a big hit with my colleagues and students! But some of my coworkers did some great creative costumes too check them out on my Facebook!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Sister's Keeper

Today's laugh and a half is brought to you by a kindergartner, featuring a first grader.

I spend most of my time in one kindergarten class. Obviously in a school there tend to be several sets of siblings. I went to a first grade class that I've spent some time in before so I know who the sibs are with my kinders. I go back to kindergarten and tell this little girl I was hanging out with her sister in first grade.

When I tell you she was so offended with me 不不

She actually called me a meany and pushed her back against me to push me out the class. 

I couldn't do anything but laugh because I was so surprised at her reaction.

Don't try to talk to this girl's sister!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's In the Cards

In addition to substitute teaching and being an after school teacher, I also am tutoring students once a week.

I know, I'm doing the most right now but now that I've graduated I want to utilize my extra time and be more of a part of my school.

I started tutoring with first and third graders. Our first activity involved one digit addition and multiplication, respectively.

For this game we used UNO cards and a recording sheet I made on my own.

Here's how it works

The cards were in a deck and the students drew the first two cards on the top.

I drew a + and an = on index cards, not my finest work but I was creating this on the fly.

When using the game with my third graders I just turned the + card to the side so it would be a multiplication symbol.

After you choose your cards you lay them out with the symbol cards so it forms a sentence, then record it on your recording sheet.

I allowed the students to have a white board if they needed it to work out the problems. I was secretly using that as a way to see what strategies their teachers have taught them to solve these kinds of problems so I could be on the same page.

I was so impressed with how engaged they were and how much they enjoyed the game I decided to create an entire bundle of ten math games that can be played with cards. Check them out on my TpT store!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Where The Wind Blows

My second grade after schoolers and I are working on weather, as previously mentioned, so I decided to do a little experiment about wind!

What you'll need:

  • a bunch of different items (some heavy, some light)
  • 2 copies of photos of each item
  • something to provide wind such as a fan or vent
  • a chart to record predictions and results
  • a sheet for students to record their individual results
  • tape or glue
My intended idea was to give each child an item or two, set them on a table, and have a fan blow them as part of the test. Now I could've sworn I've seen some fans in the building before but the day I need one, they're nowhere to be found. I even asked our lovely custodian but no luck. As every teacher knows, we have to have a plan B. Now my plan B was to have us all blow on the items to simulate wind. However by a stroke of luck when I got to our classroom I realized the air vent was blowing and we could use that!

We've recently talked about hurricanes and tornadoes as well as the damage they can do. We started by reviewing that and talking about the power of a strong wind. To prepare for the activity I chose an assortment of household/schoolhold items. (I know schoolhold isn't a word but I think it fits 不). I tried to choose enough for each student to have two but I managed to miscount, of course. Then I made and laminated 2 copies of small cards with pictures of each item on them. The items I chose included:

  1. a stapler
  2. an empty water bottle
  3. a paper tower roll
  4. a pen
  5. a binder clip
  6. a glue stick
  7. a fish toy (a finding nemo toy I had in my house to be exact. One of my kids goes "you have kids?" and I said "no I just like finding nemo" 不)
  8. a full water bottle
  9. a plastic spoon
  10. a master lock
  11. headphones
  12. a cell phone (wanna get your students engaged? hand one of them your cell phone)
After each kid was randomly given a card or two, they were handed their item so they could gauge the real feel and weight of it. They then wrote predictions, (in complete sentences) with reasons for whether they thought their item could be moved by the wind or not.

After each student had time to get a feel for their item and wrote their sentences, they were called up to the chart to tape their item to the column that reflected their prediction. Then they placed their item on the vent to see if it would move. The children were all so excited to watch each other place their items on the vent and see if they moved. Their predictions were shocking to me. Some of them thought items as heavy as a stapler could be moved by the vent.

After they tested their theories, they placed their second copy of their item card on the results side of the chart. The students then went back to their original recording sheet and wrote down their results. My kiddos had so much fun with this and learned a lot about the power of wind!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Water Cycle!

My after school class of second graders and I have been focusing on weather. We started off with the water cycle

which by the way inspired my first Teachers Pay Teachers item. I made it for after school then just thought what the hey and posted my first freebie.

Here's a look at the anchor chart I used to introduce the water cycle.

As you can see it gives a basic description of the four main parts of the water cycle. We talked in depth about each part. To see the other parts of the lesson you can click here to see the other parts of the lesson!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Where Did the Fro Go?!

To answer your question the Fro hasn't gone anywhere. Balthazaar and I have just been very busy the past few months.

December: I took a break from blogging because I was closing in on the end of my final semester of graduate school and it was important to me that nothing else came in the way of my finishing school strong. I did finish my Literacy Master's degree Birth through Grade 6 from The College of Saint Rose. *picks fro* The same weekend my brother finished his Doctoral degree so I actually submitted my final assignment online from a different state so that I could watch my brother walk across the stage since his school had a winter graduation and mine does not. I couldn't be more proud of the two of us!

My family the weekend of my brother and my graduation.
January: Since I have some more free time, now that I don't have to come home and stress about homework every night, I decided to contribute to my school's after school program which is always looking for more teachers. I was feeling apprehensive about jumping in and taking over so I was assigned to work with a co-teacher. She was looking to only teach some days and I was looking to just get my feet wet and learn how things are done in the program. I must say I really lucked out with the teacher I got paired with she's so great to work with. She helps me out with anything I need and was great about showing me the ropes of the program. We alternate teaching days and planning weeks and from how it's been going so far I think everything is going great. It also gives me some experience in planning and in being in charge of my own class even if it is only for a few hours after school.

I also took my final Literacy exam in January. I am still waiting on the results but I felt pretty good about the exam when I left. This is my last exam before I can apply for my initial certification in Literacy. I haven't quite decided what my next step is after that. My family is looking to move, but we can't decide where. Once we figure out where we're going I can see about moving my certifications to another state and figuring out how to count my substitute teaching experience toward my professional certification.

February: I've been using this month to take The Teacher With the Fro to a whole new level. I now have items for sale on my Teachers Pay Teachers account which you can always see in the sidebar. I've set up a Facebook account for The Teacher With the Fro! You can also follow me on instagram!

Thank you all for your support through liking and sharing my pages as well as making purchases!
There's more to come!