31 July 2013

My Goals for the School Year

Both I {heart} Recess and Flying Into First are having My Goals for the School Year linking parties.

Personal Goal:

I really want to try not to bring as much school work home with me!  When I am home I really want to be there and not have my mind somewhere else.


I think I am pretty organized.  But there is always room for improvement.  One area I could improve on it storing sign and return papers.  I only have one file cabinet, so trying to find a place for all of them is really hard.


I would like to sit down in the near future and quickly pencil in where I hope to be with my students at a given time.  I know things change up, but it would be nice to have a general idea where we are headed.


I am the team leader this year for second grade.  The job rotates from year to year.   I hope to stay on top of things and help out in any way I can.


Roll with the punches!  I am a pretty laid back person.  Being a teacher you have to always be on your toes and ready for something to change in a moments notice.  

So there you have it my goals for the year.  Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek!  Link up and share your goals for the new school year!

When Do You Go Back?

I am linking up with Jessica over at Literacy Spark for a quick linky on:  When do you go back to school?  Oh, how I love my summer and it is quickly drawing to an end!!!

I officially return on Monday, August 5th.   Teachers will have 3 days of inservice before the students return.   The students are set to return on August 8th.   My school will also have a Meet the Teacher Night on Tuesday!  So for me it will be the final push trying to get everything finished up!   I swear it seems like we go back a little earlier each year.  Link up and let us know when you start back.  Thanks for taking a peek!

29 July 2013

Monday Made It

It is just about time for me to get back into the groove of things.  I have exactly one week until I have to return back to school.   Oh, how I will miss my summer!   This past week I have been really busy.  I have worked in my room, made things for Meet the Teacher night, and spent a few days on the water.  I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for their Monday Made It!

The first thing I worked on this week was getting some of my things made up for Meet the Teacher night.  The kids will get to come meet their new teacher and drop off supplies a few days before they officially return.  It is just a short meet and greet.  My school will have a Back to School Night a few months after school has started.  I always like to have a little treat on their desk when they enter the room for the first time.  I would love to say I came up with this idea, but sadly I did not.  I found this idea on Pinterest.  I have no idea who came up with it, but if it is you email me - I would love to give you credit.  So basically you list 7 ways to have a first great week and tie it to a bottle of 7Up with some cute ribbon.

I changed some of the words up to what I wanted it to say.  Here is a close up version of the tag that is tied on.  It is really cute when it is all put together.   

The next thing I can check off my list is that I typed and printed out all of the labels that will go on their notebooks and folders.  I try to give each subject a different color.

I also typed up and printed out my handouts for Meet the Teacher Night.  I will go over all of this more in detail with parents on Back to School Night.  But since we do not have ours until about the beginning of September, I like them to have an idea of what we will be doing in our class for the year and ways they can help out.  I also printed my binder covers and student information sheet.  We are known as the Apollo Rockets.  So I went with our PBIS logo on their binder covers.

I also managed to make a magnet that I will send home.  I like this idea because parents can have a way to contact me easily available {plus I think they turned out pretty cute}!

The last thing I worked on was getting a unit added to my TpT store.  My parish is adopting a new reading series {Reading Street Common Core by Scott Foresman} that is suppose to align with Common Core {we officially went full Common Core last year}.  I made a set to go with the first story in the series, "The Twin Club".  I have two powerpoint shows, anchor chart, study guide, selection test, high-frequency word review, and Amazing Words review.  I am getting a late start because we just received our manuals a week ago.  I hope to add more with each story, but I refuse to try and rush it all in.  I made a promise to myself to work on it when I have a chance.  I also added a set of chalkboard frames and new digital paper set {if you read my post on Saturday then you have already had sneak peek}.   I left the frames solid so you could go in and add your own outlined borders to them in the colors you like.  My new digital papers are in a gray and yellow scheme, which go perfectly together.  I have seen several classrooms with a gray and yellow color scheme and they are adorable.   The papers work great to make labels, products for your TpT store, notes, and etc ...  Be sure to follow me on my TpT store for new updates!

Well, that about wraps up my Monday Made It!!!!  I am slowly but surely crossing off my to do list!  If you are one of the ones that has already had to head back to work, I want to wish you good luck to a great year!  Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek!

Let's get social - be sure to follow me!!!!

27 July 2013

Saturday Snapshots

I am linking up with Run! Mrs. Nelson's Got the Camera for Saturday Snapshots!!!

I really didn't get a chance to take a lot of pictures this week.   I have been totally swamped between working in my classroom, meeting up with my team, and shuffling my own two kiddos around.

I did get mange to get this one snapshot.  I met up with some awesome ladies from work to have lunch.  These are two my sweet fellow second grade teachers.

This a picture of something I did work on.  I always make magnets to send home with the parents on Meet the Teacher night.  That way they can have my contact information to my classroom readily available.  I thought they turned out pretty darn cute.

On a different note I did manage to get a few more items added to my TpT shop.   I made a digital paper set of grays and yellows.  I know that is a fab color scheme right now.  I have seen several classrooms set up with those two colors and they go great together.  I thought these papers would be great to make labels or products for your TpT shop.  I also added a set of chalkboard frames.  I left them solid, that way whoever needed them could go in and add their own colors to them.

Remember to follow me at  TpT and Bloglovin'!!!  Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek!

24 July 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I am linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for their What I'm Loving Wednesday linky party!!

1.  The first thing I am loving is that I added at new paper collection to my TpT store.  I chose a gray and yellow scheme.  I have seen a lot of classrooms incorporating those colors into their rooms.   I think they go so great together.   The digital papers are in 300 dpi for high resolution printing.  They would work great for making labels or products for your TpT store.  So be sure to check it out and please remember me if you ever need any digital papers to help make your products.  I am really proud of how they turned out.

2.  The second thing that I am loving is that I am headed up to my classroom {after I post this} to do a little work.   I don't know how much I will get done, but I plan on sprucing up one of my boards while I am there.  I need to make a run to Walmart/Target and grab a few thing for my class.  We will have to see how far I get.

3.  The third thing I am loving is the excitement I am starting to get about school.  Don't get me wrong I love my summers, but I can't wait to meet my new crop of kids for the year.   

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek I can't wait to hear from you and read what you are loving this Wednesday.  Remember to follow me on bloglovin'!!!!

22 July 2013

Freebie For You

I was back at it this morning trying to add some items to my TpT store and I decided to throw in a little freebie.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  I was able to work on a new paper collection for my shop.  It is a polka dot collection.   As a teacher I know how much we love our polka dots!  Be sure to stop by and check it out in my TpT shop!  There are 20 digital files.  I put the files in both -jpeg and -png, because I know we all got our personal preferences!

On to the FREEBIE!  If you visit my TpT shop you can download a black dotted collection.  I hope you enjoy it.  

Be sure to follow along with me on all my adventures!  Also follow on TpT, you never know when something new may be added.

Monday Made It

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics: Monday Made It linky party!!!

Let me just start by saying I have been busy this past week.  I was able to finally go to my classroom and get some things done.  I was also running around like a mad women trying to squeeze in some last few appointments before school starts.  But the thing I worked on the hardest was getting my TpT store up and running.  I finally got around to starting it up and even putting a few things in.   Before I go into detail I have to give a shout out to my friend Sandy {we have been friends since middle school} for helping me figure out my Photoshop program.  My hubs bought me a Mac computer with all sorts of programs on it about two years ago for Christmas.  I hate to say that I am just now getting around to actually using some of the programs that were installed {better late than never, right?}.  I am really into digital papers and clip art.  I am constantly buying them from other people, so I decided with all the new things I have started this summer why not start making my own.  So who to call for help, but my sweet friend.  She is a photoshop genius in my book.  With a few little lessons and tips, I was on my way.  So for my Monday Made It I would like to introduce what I have worked on so far for my TpT shop.  I hope you like it and will go check it out.

First up I learned how to make chevron digital papers.  Everyone loves chevron stripes.  You see them on everything and everywhere.    They work great for products you are making for your TpT store, invitations and all sorts of other crafts.  I love the colors I put together.

Next up I branched out and started making color themes that could go together.   I love these two color schemes.  They work great together.  It has summer colors written all over it.

The last collection I made for the week was "Lemon Loves Lime".   I think this could be my favorite digital pack so far.   It is such a fun color scheme.

No worries, I don't plan on only sticking to digital art.  I have plans on making educational materials and games as well.  Up first is my "I have... Who has ..???".  My class loved playing this game last year.  I have several different versions of the game that I bought from various different people on TpT.  I had math, reading, holidays - you name it I had a version of it.  So I decided to make my own version using money as the theme.  One of my favorite things to do with this game is to play one round and time how long it takes for the class to finish.  Then play a second round and see if they can beat their time.  It is hilarious watching the kids in the class get so worked up trying to to figure the answers out in a quickly fashion.  This is a good game to reinforce any type of skill.

So there you have it my Monday Made It!   You can follow my Teacher Pay Teacher shop to see what other goodies I will be adding in.  I hope you like what I have done so far.    Thanks for taking a peek!!!

Remember you can follow me on bloglovin!!!!

21 July 2013

10 Things I Have Learned From Teaching

I am linking up Miss Kindergarten for her 10 Things I Have Learned From Teaching linky party!  

1.  The first thing I have learned {and it has never failed me} is that a lesson with some type of food will always get a better response.  Whether that food is candy, cupcakes, fruit, or what have you kids always respond to food.

2.  At least once a week someone will get their feelings hurt.  What seems so small and petty to us, is a big deal to a 7 year old.  This is why lots of hugs are required at the elementary level.

3. This is a biggie:  The third thing I learned is no matter how long I spend planning a lesson I always at some point have to improvise.   My improvising may be something as small as the way the groups were arranged or something big.  No matter how I plan a lesson, afterwards I am always amazed at the ideas I come up with to do it better next time.

4. The fourth thing I have learned from teaching how to soothe hurt feelings, make a boo-boo feel better, and put a smile on a child's face.

5. The fifth thing I have learned from teaching is to never get to comfortable with a reading or math series or the way paper work should be turned in. There will always be changes.  The change may happen the following year or may a few down the road, but change is inevitable.   A teacher has to be able to go with the flow!!!

6.  The sixth thing I have learned is that teachers are irreplaceable.  You don't always know how much you can touch a child's life.  A few years ago I received a letter in my mailbox from a former student who was graduating college.  In the letter she told me how much I had influenced her and how she would always remember her seventh grade teacher {I taught middle school before I switched to elementary}.  That letter touched my heart, because I had know idea that she had felt that way. Needless to say I am hanging on to that letter for life!

7.  The seventh thing teaching has taught me is to SMILE even when I am frustrated or feeling aggravated about something.  Some of my classes have even told me in the past that I smile a lot.   I just say it is because I am so happy all the time.  I never let on it is my secret to staying calm.  I find that if I seem ok with a situation then the kids will be ok to.

8.  The eighth thing I have learned from teaching is to ask for help when needed.  I have worked with some pretty awesome ladies and gentlemen in my 13 years of teaching.   I have learned that two heads are better than one and that a team that works together stays together.

9.  The ninth thing I have learned from teaching is to make some really awesome cootie catchers {or any crafts for that matter}.  I call them cootie catchers but others call them fortune tellers.   Kids have been making this little paper gadgets since paper was probably invented.  I made them when I was in elementary school and every year I have students who try to sneak and make them in class.   I have even seen them used to teach basic math problems.  Who said kids ideas couldn't be fun????

10.  The last thing I have learned from teaching is Patience.   I think this is the most important of all because not only have I learned this through teaching but it has carried over to my own kids.   If I am calm and patient then my class will also be calm and patient.   I believe patience is a virtue!!!!!

These are the top 10 things I have learned from teaching and I am sure the list could go on and on!!!  That is what I love about teaching:  not only am I teaching young children something new, but they teach me as well!!!  Thanks for taking a peek! I can't wait to read your top 10!!!

What It Takes To Go Back To School ...

I seriously should consider investing in stock with Crayola brand.  The girls and I did a little back to school shopping to get them ready and I feel like I practically spent my whole pay check with plenty of  Crayola brand products to show for it.  Have you ever stop to think how much as parents we have to spend to get our little stinkers ready for school?  The picture below shows most of our buys {minus a few uniforms, shoes, and supplies we could not find}.

The parish I work in and where my girls go to school is a public school system.  However, we still have to wear uniforms.  I am happy about this because as a teacher I think it makes the students look nicer and more put together and I don't have to worry so much about making sure everyone is properly dressed.  As a parent every year we have to buy new uniforms, because my two girls grow like weeds and I can't keep shoes and clothes on them without going up in sizes.  On our little adventure we were able to get all of their uniforms {short, pants, polos, plaid jumper, plaid skirts, and etc..} and supplies.    I did notice that their school supply list seemed a little shorter than usual and I was so thankful for that.   I never really complain about buying them supplies, because as a teacher I know how much we really use them.   I have had parents ask me do they really need three boxes of crayons for the whole year and I tell them yes.   Most 7-8 year olds will lose a box of crayons within a few weeks if you let them have free reign with them.  School supply shopping is one of our favorite things to do at my house.  I get just as excited as the girls do.  I guess that is the teacher in me.  There is something about opening up a brand-new box of crayons.  I like the way the look, smell, and feel.  {If you have ever read a Junie B. Jones book she describes it perfectly to Mr. Scary her teacher:  Pointy ones are better than broken ones}.  My two kiddos are no different.  As soon as we got home they were ready to separate their supplies into their own piles and get all their uniforms organized and together.  I hope they never lose this excitement for getting ready for school.  It warms my teacher heart to see them so pumped up to go back to school.   Now that they have all their goods organized and ready to go, it is my turn to go school supply shopping for my class.  And I will get just as excited as they do.  Although it can get pricey at times, it is worth the excitement that it brings to my house and classroom.   

20 July 2013

Snap Shot Saturday {Linky Party}

I am linking up with Run! Mrs. Nelson's Got The Camera for her Saturday Snapshots Linky Party!

Since I just returned this past week from vacation I decided to let you take a little peek of some of the pictures I captured.

Guess who I saw on my vacation???  This is one of my fellow second graders that goes to my school. Guess where I saw him at???  Out of all places a Florida rest stop area {Note:  We live in Bossier City, Louisiana}.  He and I both got a kick out of seeing each other in a totally different state.  I was on my way to the beach and he was on his way to Disney World.   I told his mom I just had to write about this picture.

This is a self portrait taken with my iPhone.  It seemed like we got stuck in every traffic jam possible on our way to the beach.  So what is one to do when traffic is at a standstill??  Play with the iPhone of course.  It is about an 8 hour drive from Bossier City, Louisiana to Destin, Florida.

This picture was taken with my really good camera.  I have a Cannon 20 D.  I bought it about 5 years ago. I saved up for about six months to buy this nice camera.  It takes really good pictures, but it can be a little bulky to carry around.  So a lot times I end up just using my iPhone to take pictures.  But for this particular picture my daughter was doing toe touches and cartwheels up and down the beach.  So I pulled out my good camera and practiced shooting in manual.  I caught her just before she went up for a toe touch.  Mrs. Nelson would have been so proud that I used manual.

This is another picture I took using manual mode on my camera.  I thought it turned out pretty good.   It was starting to get dark on the beach so the background is a little dark.   That is the only thing I wish I could change about this picture.   I should have gotten outside a little sooner.  But both of the girls are smiling.   I think it turned out cute!

If you follow me on Instagram then you have probably seen this picture already.   We found these living sand dollars while diving and playing around in the ocean.  We were so fascinated by them.  The girls really got a kick out of feeling the tentacles move on their hands.  

This was a picture I took using my iPhone.  A lot of my pictures turn out very hazy looking when I use my phone and I can't figure out why.  If you have any suggestions I would love to hear your advice on how to take better pictures using my phone.   However, I though this was a cute picture of my girls enjoying the water.

Last but not least this was taken on our last day.   This picture was also taken on my iPhone.  We were so sad to leave the beach.  It is something that my family and I look forward to all year long.  We can't wait to go again next year.

That about wraps up my Saturday snapshots.  Thank you for stopping by and taking a peek.  Remember you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Google, TpT, and Bloglovin'.   I would love to hear from you.

AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Back To Top

Blog Archive

Follow Me

Grab One!

Follow Me