Sunday, January 3, 2016


It's been a long while, but I am ready for 2016!

I'm linking up with SchroederShenanigans in 2nd for... #2getherwearebetter!

My word for 2016 is...

Now, I love teaching and I do my best every day to keep these kiddos wildly engaged in our curriculum, but I think we can always amp it up a bit. I get really excited when I watch a Periscope by Hope King, displaying a massive classroom transformation and I think, "WOW! My kids would go bonkers for something like that!"

So, I've slowly been integrating those engaging classroom transformations into my classroom, too! Well, on a smaller scale. And I plan on continuing in the future because stuff like that works wonders. Kids get excited to learn. We get excited to teach. Win/win!

I stated smallish with a cute yellow brick road addition to my classroom as a book introduction for our newest read aloud. Can you guess it? :) I think this will hit the engagement  button with my second grade cuties when they return from winter vacation!

I upped my game a notch in the engagement department with a Winter Solstice Campout! I brought in real tents, created some fake tents using bulletin board paper, used our Flashlight Friday flashlights, and had a fake fire with wood and a touch light. The best, most engaging part, would have to be the stores we made. Hey, you can't compete with scores. We used graham crackers, chocolate bars, and fluff!

Being highly engaging includes planning your brains out. You totally lose the kiddos when you're looking for the new activity, or reading through the lesson on the spot. A goal I have for this year is to make my transitions in the classroom seamless through intense planning on my part. No losing kiddos in those precious seconds and then spending minutes getting them back and re-winning their attention. Plan, be prepared, and save time in the classroom!

Make our year memorable.
A lot of my kiddos come from not so great homes. I can't change that, but I can make their eight hours a day in my classroom memorable and special. I want them to go home and talk about their engaging and exciting days at school!

Before winter break, I received a little surprise in my mailbox at school. Tons of little cards written in Spanish (and translated into English) from students I had 4 years ago. Their Spanish class had an assignment to write a holiday card to a memorable teacher and I was touched that so many chose me. 

Those kiddos had been in my fourth grade class four years ago. Now, I taught fourth grade for five years and I KNOW that I was an engaging teacher because I knew that curriculum inside and outside! Now, I switched to second grade, and I feel like I'm still learning. I need to teach the curriculum and prepare these little ones for next year, but I want to put my engaging touches on everything and make sure that these kiddos remember me and our experience just like my fourth graders did!

Balancing act.
I will engage my kiddos in the classroom each day. But I will also have my own life. Sometimes it gets easy to just keep finding something else to do in school (because there is always something), but it's better to just go home some days, too! I'd like to focus this year on balancing school, family, friends, my own stuff, etc. Just having a well-balanced life! (I think this might just be something that many teachers struggle with!)

Welp, there it is! I've been MIA in the blogging world for a while, but I'm back and ready to jump right in! :)


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