Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Little Cheesy

The past few years I've enjoyed standing in the treats aisle at the grocery store trying to think of puns for my student's valentines. My husband is the king of punny thoughts so I highly enjoy naming off candies and treats and asking him to come up with something.  A yearly activity I plan to continue for-ev-er. 

Gosh... Married life is the best. 

 Last year I thanked my students for making me "Snicker" everyday...

In the past, I've made things "O-Fish-AL" about my appreciation for my students. 

This year, I'm just plain cheesy. :)

Happy Valentine's Day (week) to my fellow teacher friends! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Looking to try something new in the month of February? My suggestion: Kahoot!

We just can't get enough of Kahoot around these parts! 

Before Christmas, I took the plunge and created a study guide for our solar system assessment on Kahoot's game-based response system.  Since then, my students have been begging and begging to play again! I knew the end of our animal classification unit was around the corner, so I created another study session for this week. 

Engagement was through the roof! My students love the instant feedback and competition. I love the excitement over the content, how easy it is to create, and the feedback I receive from the teacher's perspective. 

So far, I've only utilized the "Quiz" portion of Kahoot.  I haven't used the "Discussion" or "Survey" features yet. 

Do you have any great quizzes to share? I love to share! Share with me and I'll share with you!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Just the Two of Us

Since there are only two of us capable of playing board and card games (sorry Chip and Bruce.. you're not helpful here) around the house, I made it my personal mission to find games for two people. Let me tell you... This is not an easy feat!

Just the two of us.
Now I'm here to spread my wisdom to fellow couples in the same boat. 

Full disclosure, I'm still a little bitter about an intense game of Skip-Bo from Wednesday night that did not end in my favor... However, I'll march forward and rework my strategy while I'm home on a snow day. 

Here are a couple of my favorite games to play with your main-squeeze when it's just the two of you. (Technically... you could play these with anyone, but you get my point)

Once upon a time, I play this cross country train adventure game with two of my friends before Scott moved to the lake. Since then, I've been eye-balling it at Target waiting to take the leap because it was so fun. We invested in the game over Christmas break and have been travelin' across the U.S.A. ever since!

Now, I'm wishing (after seeing the way cheaper price on Amazon...) I would have utilized my Prime account to make the purchase. Ah! You live and learn. 

A game full of strategy and sneaky decision making can really bring out the competitive side in your opponent. I speak from experience. 

Just remember... it's only a game. It's only a game...

Confession: I'm addicted to Skip-Bo. It's kind of like Uno on steroids. The best part? You can play with two people. Sometimes it may take a couple of hours (good 'ol fashioned quality time if you ask me!), but we like to queue up our favorite show on Netflix and play 'til the hogs come home. 

Those are my faves! I'm always looking to add our collection for date night. What 2-player game suggestions do you have? Share with me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Embrace the Butter" -A Wise Friend

Right after Christmas my husband and I set off on a little adventure to Savannah, Georgia and it was ah-maze-ing. I loved every part of the city and I cannot wait to visit again and bring all of my friends!

Here are my tips to traveling in one of the most charming cities in the United States.

Tip #1: Read the book. 
Before jetting off for the holidays, one of my friends told me I needed to read the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" before going to Savannah. I'm so glad I followed her advice! 

Tip #2: Grab your camera, fanny pack, and trolly sticker and be a tourist. 

There's no shame in being a tourist, asking for directions, or wearing that big 'ol camera around your neck (these are all my exclusive opinions).  I often look the part of a tourist in my home town. I can't help it. I love to explore. 

We learned more about the city of Savannah on our trolley ride around town than by walking or reading anything online. The best part is you can hop and on and off the trolley throughout the day. 

Please note the trolley stickers and camera strap!

Tip #3: Explore River Street

Hobble along the cobble stone roads and grab a bear claw to snack on or pop in Vic's on the River for an amazingly delicious crawfish beignet. We opted out of a river cruise, but if that tickles your fancy.. I say go for it! 

Tip #4: Eat. Eat it all. 

This is by far the most important tip. The food was amazing. We had tapas as Jazz'd, soup and sandwiches at Six Pence Pub, and pimento cheese hush puppies at Churchill's to name a few. Oh, did I mention our amazing breakfast at Collins Quarter? Even the chai tea was heavenly. Savannah can do-no-wrong in the meals department. 

Tip #5: Bike Tybee Island

My husband and I love to bike around cities. We love to stroll around and take in the sites together. Tybee was the perfect island to bike around. It was about a 25 minute car ride from Savannah and the perfect way to spend a morning. We had breakfast at Sunrise Cafe, biked around the town, visited the lighthouse, and had lunch at A-J's Dockside. Perfection!

Tip #6: Soak Up the History

Wave at the girl. Visit the historic homes. Take a look at the art museum. Read the plaques. Hop from square to square. Sit where Forrest Gump sat and talked about his mama and Jenny. Do it all!

Mercer House 

Last but not least... If it claims to be famous, I'd go ahead and test it out.

Tip #7: Is it famous? You should probably test it out yourself. 

Exhibit A: Do I regret trying these famous cookies of Savannah? Nope. Sure don't. I would like some more, please.

Located in City Market... You should go there too!


I've barely scratched the surface on visiting Savannah, but now you have one more city to add to your U.S.A. bucket list! 

Where shall we travel next, blog-friends?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm welcoming the second half of the year with open arms! 

We have an opportunity to start fresh and reset things in our classrooms. Along with reviewing our classroom expectations and chatting about our holiday breaks.... we'll be setting a few goals for 2016!

Download the PDF version of our 2016 goals page here

Download the Word (editable) version of the 2016 goals page here

How are you kicking off the new year with your students? 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Shutter + Christmas Cards

A little shutter made its way into our Christmas decor this year! 


This faithful little shutter sat un-painted and hidden for the past two years because I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  I even moved it into our new house hoping inspiration would strike one day. A can of red spray paint and glitter blast brought this bland shutter to life. Now it's home to Christmas cards from family and friends. 

We have the perfect spot for the shutter(s) on our landing. I was so excited to keep cards on display showing off cute pictures of family and friends.

Shutter number one is filling up! It's almost time to bust out the second shutter.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Watch Out Discovery Channel! We're Space Experts!

Let me start by saying, this was one of those projects where I wasn't really sure what was going to happen. I knew what standards I was teaching and gave each of my students a solid rubric - but from there I was anxious to see the direction it went. I can honestly say I learned a valuable lesson about trust and being willing to try - even when you think it may be too much to handle.  I was so amazed by what the students created together. It was a swift reminder that I don't always have to be in control of every little detail. Hop over to our YouTube channel to see what I mean. 

Now, let's get down to business. Who can get me in touch with Discovery Channel so we can start broadcasting our knowledge of the universe? Email me. :)

This project was broken into three different phases. Overall, it took us about 5 days total (or five class periods of 50-min each). The last day was more of a catch up/clean up/submit to YouTube. 

First, we broke out to in expert groups based on interest. Students were able to choose if they wanted to research the Sun, Moon, or Earth. On Google Classroom, I provided a "research guide" with specific questions about the Sun, Moon, or Earth (depending on their topic of research). I tailored the questions to our specific standards to ensure students were researching the appropriate facts. Plus, I provided specific links because I didn't want my students to get lost in the world wide web - it can happen you know!

The next step was to create informative movie clips about their respective topic. You can view those on Google Drive here. This is where the fun began! Students collaborated in their expert groups with a partner to develop a script for their movie clip. They were informed their movie clip would be used in a collaborative iMovie in the following days. In our school Maker Space, we have a green screen available - so we decided to do some filming in outer space thanks to the DoInk app!

Once partners had filmed a movie clip, they AirDropped it to their partner. The final step of the project was to form a collaborative group with one Moon expert, one Sun expert, and one Earth expert. From there, students put all of their movie clips together and began the editing process. Students had access to their rubric/checklist via Google Docs at all times. Prior to each class, we would review the rubric to remind students of what was expected for the video. You can check out the rubric here

Today, students were quite giddy when they heard their videos were officially published to YouTube (with parent permission!).  They were so excited to go home and subscribe to our classroom YouTube Channel. 

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