Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Time...ISN'T on my side!!

Does anyone else feel the anxiety building over the beginning of a new school year? I LOVE the beginning of school, but it seems that there are SO many projects I want to do, yet I blink and time is gone. I have 19 days left before the first official teacher's day back and we have a whole week to work in our classrooms attend professional developments. :( We are blessed in our county to be able to leave everything in our classrooms and go in anytime we want over the Summer. I have finished the cosmetic part of my room, now it's just picking up and putting down and planning, planning, planning. I WILL FINISH!!!

On a lighter note, I have linked up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for the Back to School Blogger Exchange where I have been on a shopping spree for my mystery blog partner. I am so excited about this link up and can't wait to send my package. I wish we could implant a camera in the box to snap a picture of the blog partner's face when they open their goodies. I was so excited about what I purchased for my blog partner, I purchased some of the same stuff for my own classroom (insert embarrassed face here).

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tunes Tuesday: Freebie

I have waited all week to link up with Nick over at Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason with his Tunes Tuesday. Thank you Nick for this wonderful link up. I am posting from Georgia today while I spend my EARLY morning with my beautiful nieces which are five and three. Let's just say nap time when I get back to North Carolina today, may just last until tomorrow.

I have chosen the song  "Red" by Taylor Swift to link up with Tunes Tuesday today. If you haven't heard this song, I find it addicting and my classroom friends loved this song. We practiced finding similes and metaphors using this song. I hope you enjoy this freebie and I hope you can use it in your classroom.  Head over to Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason to see all the wonderful link ups and get all the free songs to make grammar more fun in your classroom this year! If you are not already following me with bloglovin' I would love for you click my button and become my newest follower! :) Happy Tuesday to you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back to School Exchange

Head on over to Covered in Glitter and Glue to sign up for the Back to School Blogger Exchange! It is going to be such a great treat to get a package full of goodies in the mail. I still LOVE getting snail mail!!! :)
Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Liebster Award!!!

WOW! I am so flattered and excited that Jo Anne over at Teaching in Cardigans  nominated me for the Liebster Award! I have seen this award around the blog world and I am beyond ecstatic that I was nominated! Thank you so much Jo Anne!!! :)

The "Rules" to Accept the Award:
  • Link back to the blog that nominated me
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
  • Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees
  • Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them
Blogs I'm Nominating: 
Jo Anne's Questions:
  1. What was your most memorable teaching moment? 
    • Picking one memory is a tough one...However, I would probably say the most memorable teaching moment I have had was when a student, that was "labeled" a trouble maker from previous teachers, ended up being one of my favorite students. I think this is one of my most memorable teaching moments because I worked hard with this child and he passed the EOG's for the first time when I had him in fifth grade. It was a learning experience for me because it truly taught me that sometimes our students respond to different teachers in different ways. It also taught me not to always listen to previous teachers, regarding behavior, and let all students have a fresh start in my classroom without a "label!"
  2. What has been the most exciting thing you've done this summer?
    • This summer is my first summer off after a two year master's program, so everyday is exciting. I have gone to Washington, D.C. and to Folly, S.C. for two different vacations, but my most exciting thing was probably this past week. I have spent two days canning pickles, salsa, and freezing corn with the help from my dear ole grandmother and one of my great friends. I am trying to learn this lost art that is EXTREMELY time consuming to say the least. Now, I will have salsa, pickles, and corn all winter, Oh My! :) 
  3. What was your favorite TV show as a child in the grade that you teach?
    • When I was in fourth grade, my favorite show was 7th Heaven. My mom and I would sit down and watch this show every week together. I still remember to this day learning about the concentration camps during WWII through 7th Heaven and my mom explaining that awful time in our history to me.
  4. What do you keep in the trunk of your car?
    • Usually I try and keep my trunk clean. At all times, we have an emergency car kit that stays back there and truthfully, I probably wouldn't know what to do with it if I needed it. It's not a survival kit, it's like tools and stuff you need to fix something that is DEFINITELY not in my area of specialty! However, right now we have boogie boards form the beach still back their (embarrassed, we have been home for two weeks)!
  5. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
    • When I was in high school, I was a lifeguard and one of the job requirements was to teach swimming lessons. While I was teaching swimming lessons, one child had worked really hard all week to get the basic arm stroke down and on the last day something just clicked. The child got this look in their eyes and it literally lit up my world. I was addicted to the look children get with they "get it." I still get to see that look in the classroom and I don't have to get cold from getting in the water! :)
  6. If you could have had the starring role in one film already made, which movie would you pick?
    • If I could have the starring role in ONE film, I would pick Reece Witherspoon in This Means War because she gets to act beside two leading men that are (in my opinion) very gorgeous. Plus, Reece is one of my favorite actresses.
  7. What are your favorite books about teaching?
    • My favorite books about teaching are: The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey and Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.
  8. If your house was burning down, what three objects would you save?
    • The three objects I would take are: 1) Binx, my cat! 2) My cellphone to call the fire department! 3) My purse so that I would still have my ID's. However, knowing my true addiction to my computer, I would probably grab that prior to #2 or #3. Binx would be a definite though! 
  9. What thought or message would you want to put in a fortune cookie?
    • "Wrong is Wrong even if everybody is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it."
  10. What is one item that you really should throw away, but probably never will?
    • My very first pair of rainbow flip-flops. I have had them since I was a sophomore in HIGH SCHOOL and while they are very raggedy, I just can't throw them away. 
  11. If you had to give up a favorite food, which would be the most difficult to give up? 
    • Hands down, no doubt: CHEESE DIP. Sadly, I'm addicted.

11 Random facts about me:

  1. I am addicted to making flipcharts for my classroom. (Flipcharts are through Promethean's ActivInspire program.)
  2. I LOVE, LOVE coffee. It's an every morning thing for me.
  3. I HATE, HATE cold weather, which is odd since I went to college in a place that snows from October to April some years. Speaking of Appalachian, we went on a family vacation with my husband's family and some of their friends a couple of years ago. There was a total of 11 people and all but 1 had attended App at some point. The only person who has not attended was my niece who was one at the time.
  4. I love to run. I just started in February and I am training for a 10k right now. One day I want to run a 1/2 marathon so I'm pretty sure it's a lifestyle choice, not a phase I'm going through.
  5. I enjoy watching reality television and my favorite shows right now are Big Brother and Pretty Wicked Moms.
  6. My husband and I were high school sweet hearts and so were both of our parents.
  7. I love clipart and making activities for my classroom.
  8. I love getting to watch the TODAY show in the summer time.
  9. I am a pet lover and I REALLY want a Goldendoodle or a Labradoodle. 
  10. When I go to the beach I just like to tan and read. I get in the water sometimes, but I don't really want to move, just bake.
  11. I am terrified of spiders and snakes and really ALL creepy crawlers. 

11 Questions for my Nominees:

  1. If you had to describe yourself using only three adjectives, what would they be and why?
  2. What is your favorite stress reliever during the school year?
  3. Do you use reading workshops in your classroom. If so, what do you think about it?
  4. If you could go back and relive one teaching experience you've had what would it be? Positive or Negative.
  5. What are your hobbies?
  6. What is your all time favorite lesson?
  7. What is your all time favorite recipe?
  8. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  9. If you had unlimited money, what would you buy for your classroom?
  10. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a blog?
  11. Are you an animal lover?

I look forward to making so many new blogger friends through this wonderful experience. Thank you again Jo Anne for this wonderful nomination. :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tune into Technology Linky: iPads

Today I am linking up with iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for what might be my all time favorite link up so far. I am a HUGE fan of using technology in the classroom, ESPECIALLY iPads and iPods, and this linky is PERFECT for finding new apps to engage my wonderful kiddos with. Head on over to one of their blogs to find all the wonderful suggestions.

Two years ago, I received a fully funded Bright Ideas Grant for six iPods for my personal classroom use. This same year, my school also purchased an iPad cart and ever since then, my name has been a permanent fixture on the check-out list. While managing the iPods can be a little overwhelming at times, especially in the Summer when I reprogram and update ALL SIX INDIVIDUALLY (roll of eyes), I thoroughly having them and enjoy seeing my students engaged all year long with them.

Okay, Okay, enough of my jibber jabber and on to the best part. Some of my favorite all time apps are below:

1. QR Code: Since others have posted about this I won't spend a lot of time on it. However, I use this app almost everyday. Any website I want my students to visit from my personal webpage to Big Universe, we have a QR Code for them all. They love scanning the code and they also love making their own code. It's excellent for self check activities also.

2. Trading Cards: Our lead teacher found this app last year and I am addicted to it. If you have never seen it, you seriously need to check it out ASAP and the best part about it is it's FREE!! (I love that word)! You will love it, I promise. Students are able to pick an option of the type of trading card they want to make from a fictional character, to objects, to yes, even vocabulary words. Then, they are prompted on how to fill the trading card out and they are able to add a picture. Once they are finished, they can Bump the trading card to your main iPad, or you can email it to yourself. Here is an example one of my students did early this year when we were studying the American Revolution.

3. PhotoCard Lite: This app is a great way to get your students to write. I used this in my classroom when I taught third grade when we were studying Past and Present lifestyles. We taught this unit using Little House on the Praire as a reference point. At the end of the unit, we had our students write a post card to one of the characters from Little House on the Praire explaining the difference between current times and past times. They LOVED this activity and it was much more engaging for them than simply just writing an essay on the difference. You can also have students take on the perspective of a particular character in a book and have them write a post card to another character.

4. StoryKit: This app is just a great one that allows your students to write their own book. I use it a lot when my students finish a writing piece to allow them to "publish" their work. We upload them to our class website and they show them off any time they get. This app is designed for an iPod/iPhone but will work on an iPad.

5. StoryLines: This is just a fun and engaging way to get group work and writing all in one. Ideally this app is designed for students to complete one part of the process and pass the iPad to their partner to complete another part. You can choose to have a group of 3, 5, 7, or 9. Each person will have a job to complete and when all jobs are complete, it plays it. It can be extremely humorous because the third student can't see what the first student did and so forth.  I use this when I teach idioms.

Okay, so far all the apps I have mentioned are FREE. I will leave you with one to purchase that is, in my opinion, well worth the money. It is called POW! Strip Design.  When given an option my students 95% of the time always pick this app to create a project. It is just an app that creates a comic strip that reminds me of the graphic novels kiddos oh, so love. They are allowed to upload their own pictures or pictures from the web and add text and graphics. Go check it out, at $2.99, it's really a steal!

I could literally go on and on forever about APPS (well, maybe not literally) but a long time! I hope this has been a little bit helpful for someone out there. I also want to give a HUGE thanks to  iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for hosting this linky, great job guys! :) I will now go through all the link ups with my iPad in hand and download all the great ideas! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Next Tuesday, I will link up with Nick over at Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason. I am so excited about this and I have chosen the song "Red," by Taylor Swift to focus on. Stay tune for next Tuesday for this awesome link up! :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First Ever Link Up

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So...I'm new at this link up/idea of blogging and I hope I'm doing this correctly. I am a beginner blogger and would love any advice anyone is willing to give me. Susanna over at Whimsy Workshop has given me EXCELLENT advice, but I figure you can never have enough advice right? You can visit Susanna's website by clicking the link below. She has AWESOME clipart!!!

Whimsy Workshop

Our school will begin implementing a new character building program called, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. I am currently reading The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey and would love to hear if anyone is currently using either of these books and any ideas you may have regarding them. If you haven't read The Leader in Me, it's a great one!!! It really makes you want to do the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do, not because your district thinks it's a good idea. Please let me know if you have any interesting ways to implement this! :)

All About Me...

I am Allison and this will be my fifth year teaching. So far, I have taught third, fourth, and fifth grade and I am finding that there is something special about every grade. However, I also think fourth may just be my favorite. This year I have the privilege of blocking with an amazing team. I will teach reading and I am looking forward to this challenge and honor. My goal this summer is to create ready-to-go reading interventions for our entire fourth grade team. It's a great idea, but a HUGE undertaking.

I graduated from Appalachian State University in 2009 with my bachelors degree. In 2013, I received my master's degree in Elementary Education from Gardner-Webb University. However, I will always bleed black and gold...GO APP!!!

I married my best friend, Parker, in 2011. We were high school sweethearts and have been together ever since. He is in school right now getting his master's degree in Occupational Therapy so he spends most of his time studying. This works great for my teaching addiction because he never complains about me working on stuff.


We adopted my pride and joy, Binx in 2011 as well. He is my furbaby and is pretty spoiled, I will admit. But just look at could you NOT spoil him???

In my spare time, I enjoy running and watching silly reality television and of course GLEE!! Right now my favorite "reality" tv show is Big Brother and Pretty Wicked Moms (crazy I know!!!).

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask! :)


I am new to this whole blogging idea, but I hope I can be as successful as others out there. I am so excited to be on this new adventure and look forward to see where it takes me. I teach fourth grade in a small rural school in North Carolina. This will be my fifth year teaching and every year keeps getting better. I am a self diagnosed teaching addict and thrive on creating engaging material for my classroom. I am a little nervous about this blog because I'm terrified of copyright laws. Any veterans have any advice for a newbie?