Thursday, February 6, 2020

Dear Teacher

I see you.

I appreciate you.

-the early mornings, the late nights, the thoughts of...I don't know if I can do this anymore. How can I reach THAT kid? I'm overwhelmed! How will I handle "all the things"? Yes! Finally....a great day!

I see you.

I'm here for you.

You do the most important work in the world-caring for and teaching children.

And while you may believe your efforts are fruitless, please understand...the planting and the harvest don't happen simultaneously-but there is good news! Through dedication, careful nurturing and patience, the seeds you've planted will grow. THAT child will grow! It may even happen long after they've left the 4 walls of your classroom.

-BUT, in this very moment, stop...breathe, maybe even pause to appreciate your own hard work and the work of those around you.

As a teacher, I used to wonder what happened in the halls and offices outside of my classroom. If the administration, and staff weren't teaching, what could they possibly be doing?


The school runs like a busy beehive with EVERYONE and yes, I mean everyone, working....all in support of YOU-the classroom teacher and the kids you serve.

As we head into the months of spring and all the things that come with them, know that YOU are seen. You are appreciated and loved.

Have a sweet teacher you'd like to share a little valentine love with? Click HERE to grab this little set of cards...print, cut apart, sign and hand deliver to share a reminder, a moment of appreciation for an amazing colleague near you!

Thank YOU....for teaching from the heart!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hello, Friend!

WOW! I can hardly believe it's actually been almost 3 1/2 years since my last blog post! Way back in 2016, I finally caved to the notion that I was NOT actually Superwoman and began prioritizing and minimizing in order to best meet the needs of my family. That basically meant, my plate was overflowing and something had to go! I had no idea that decision would lead to crickets hanging out here.......until now, know what? The break was needed and greatly appreciated.

I also loved first grade, but longed for more...for something different... I changed grade levels. I taught 2nd, taught fourth (and loved it too), then moved out of the classroom to impact more students through instructional coaching. That brings us to NOW!  Still learning, still growing...

The kids have grown; I've earned a master's degree and nooooow, now.....I'm ready to dive back into A+ Firsties!

While I'm no longer focused solely on 1st grade, I'm still in love with all things literacy, student centered learning and a genuine love of teaching. I hope you'll visit again's good to be back and we've got a lot of catching up to do!

See you soon!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hands on Place Value Fun

Hi, there! We’re 10 days in and beginning to dive into our curriculum. We’ve been practicing and practicing and…..practicing routines some more as we get to know one another. In the midst of all of the “getting to know you”, we’ve also begun setting the foundation for lots of working with numbers!

In case you haven’t stopped by in a while (because I haven’t blogged in a while)…last year, I made the jump from 1st to 2nd! Haven taken some time to  become acquainted with all things 2nd…I’m READY to share again! Yay!!! Thanks for following the fun on Instagram and Facebook! It’s going to be our #bestyearyet on the blog too!


The number of assessments we have to give this year has been reduced, PTL!!! Because of this, our procedures for unpacking our standards have moved away from being focused on a single assessment, to being focused on the learning needed to understand the standards. Our unpacking (backwards design) posters will now contain illustrations of the models and representations that we’ll use throughout each unit. This page is hung low on the board because it will be Page 1 of a wall sized flipbook. The next one we make, will be hung right over it….they’ll be left on the wall for the duration of the year for students to lift and look at as a reference tool. The needed vocabulary cards will also move to our classroom word wall, once our unit focus changes.


As we began to show numbers in different forms, students were consistently expanding numbers using only the single digit rather than the number needed to represent its value…, enter our handy dandy place value demo cards!

Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in a number’s shoes to truly understand it’s value! Young students need kinesthetic, whole body learning as much as possible. This lesson was just the right fit! Students actually took turns sitting on a giant place value chart (our carpet) to represent numbers in expanded form, then stood to dance along with music before aligning the cards to represent the number in standard form.

I’m usually about all things literacy, but admittedly have been inspired to have a LOT more fun with math this year. Dare I say, I AM enjoying teaching math?! I said it! And meant it…math is fun! Now that I think about it…most of the training I attended this summer was over MATH!


After getting a better grasp on number forms, we also began to play with representing numbers in more than one way using our base-10 blocks. Realizing that you can model a number more than one way and it STILL be the same number was a huge eye opener and students enjoyed manipulating the blocks over and over again to represent BIG numbers!


Concrete models….&



Pictorial models…of BIG numbers! Hands on…music…movement…drawing…equals a firm foundation for comparing and ordering to come! Want to get moving too? Click HERE to grab a set of demo cards for your classroom!

See ya soon!


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