This week’s flip books

This week I rolled out flip books on my class. We're using them in different ways. The math place value book below is being used really for notes. The kids followed along with me as I created this book. 


This is an example of one of the inside pages. The kids enjoyed making it. One thing I'd change is next time I'll stick to the same number throughout the entire book. Thekids didn't stumble over my change. I just think that some of them might have grasped better if I used the same number. 


Should've kept the same number through the whole book. 

I made this huge flip book from some "ruined" poster boards. So each page I had the students follow along in their own smaller books. See the smaller book on the left. On the back of the whole book I had the students write the vocabulary words that they keep missing. Since we're focusing on the various kinds of conversions, this has come in handy.  

This is a fun book we made for show. We're discussing the various interesting things about this wonderful state. So I made these books to help the kids see how big/small our world really is.  We're going to display them when we're finished. 

Next week we're going to make a flip book on the regions of Georgia. We'll see how it goes.  How was your week? What worked well for you? 

Reasons you should turn off your TV this summer

My DD1 and I were going to do a video of this post, but her agent didn't contact my people and the collaboration didn't come together. 

  • Your child hasn't met 50 bestest friends as of yet. 
  • Your child cannot quote any Dr. Seuss. 
  • Your home electric bill has doubled. 
  • Your child doesn't know where their swim suit is.  
  • Your child hasn't touched that "Summer work packet" their teacher sent home. 
  • You haven't said "whew, you smell like outside". 
  • "Mommy, whats that building?" "It's a library."
  • Your child hasn't been sun burned, bug bitten, climbed a tree, visited a park, zoo, carnival or pool, swung on a tire swing, or gotten so tanned you didn't recognize them. 
  • They still haven't cleaned their room!

Related articles

Summer Learning

Maybe I am making a difference

I had a student A LONG time ago in 2nd grade.

*My third year teaching, the 1st time.  

Back to the story. He was a sharp guy. He worked hard and had super parent support. Matter of fact his class was the 1st and only class I promised that if any of the boys went to Morehouse and any of the girls went to Spelman I'd pay for their books all 4 years.

Well this summer my family and I were invited to his high school graduation. He was given a full ride, books and all to another great school. Besides me getting off the hook for books I'm really excited for him and his family. I met his 3rd grade teacher who kept in touch with him through out his school years. She assured me that it wasn't a fluke and that he was a really great student. 

So maybe we're making a difference. Just maybe this isn't for naught. 

Alright back to Summer time relaxation. I could really get used to this. 

More Teachers will appreciate

Back for round 2 of some comedy from Room #157. If I didn't have the best class in the world some of these would make me cry. 

You have 99 pencils and none are sharpened. But you want to sharpen them all?! 

I'm so glad your homework folder is safe at home. I certainly wouldn't want some random person to stuff homework in it. I'm glad you left it at home. Thanks. 

Yeah, that sealed enveloped addressed to your mom. Sure you can open that in class and start reading it…A LOUD. 

I haven't seen the outside of my house in the daylight all week. 

Centers time AKA Chinese fire drill. 

Carpet time AKA Rugby shrum.

#dutyfreeLunchcopyingplanningmeetingrestroomconference time rocks!

Sure feel free to use up the entire box of tissues in one day. No problem. *Notice that as soon as the last tissue is used NO ONE "sneezes" again. 

I'm sure you gained a lot of insight from that book that took you .23 seconds to read. Do you mind taking maybe a few minutes to re read it rather than run back to the book center?

Why do you have to josslte and tussle over EVERYTHING? 

Why did I bring this work home? Am I really going to do any of it? 

 I could build a new island with the amount of pencil shavings and eraser shavings you all produce in a week. You don't have to erase everything, that's why it's called scratch paper. 

Observation day (say this with a smile and tightly clenched teeth) SityourselfdownandyoubetternotaskanysillyquestionsorI'mgoingtoputyouindetentionuntilyourgrandkidscanvote!

A lesson learned from the Avengers

If you haven't seen the Avengers movie I can only tell you that you're missing a phenominal movie. Well acted, well developed and well…Hulk is in it. Anyway. 

There are some great points in the movie, but this is an education blog so you're reading to see "how in the world he's going to make this connection." Here I go. 

Every movie, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and both Iron Man films had a point where another movie was tied in. It could be a brief glimpse in the background, Tony Stark's dad, or the ever present Nick Fury to bring his one eye perspective to the situation. No matter what every movie told you simply this "stay tuned there's going to be a big tie in eventually." That tie in was the Avengers. 

The latest from Marvel brought so many ideas and concepts together that it had no choice, but be a HUGE fail or a fantastic well though tout tie in. Thankfully it was the latter. 

I can't tell you how many times have I written a lesson to teach my students a concept. It met it's goal, but it never left them feeling as if something even bigger was going to happen soon? To often I sadly admit I didn't build excitement by telling one story, but leaving  a tidbit of another and another and another. Then even after you've given a great lesson, the kids are excited about what they learned you drop them another nugget to build anticipation for the next. 

*When I started reading comic books, Thanos the Mad Titan was the first villain I met. I can not begin to tell you how off the chain seeing him battle the Avengers will be. Now if I could get my students this amped up about 2 digit multiplication. Oh to dream. 

What the Hunger Games has taught me about teaching

I devoured the HG series this week. Amazon did me a huge favor by allowing me to borrow the 1st copy to get me hooked. Needless to say I ravished all three books in a week. While I was working with a small group of kids I realized even more how the students respond to Class Dojo. They want to get as many points as possible, especially when they know that Friday we're going to have a treat. It made me think about the HG and how Tributes responded to the parachutes during the games. Here are some things I'm going to implement in class. 

  • I'm going to give out my classroom jobs by lottery. I've attempted doling them out by having the students write an application. This would be much more interesting. *Update, this worked perfect. I am going to have to change the classroom jobs more often. Allowing them to keep them for weeks and weeks isn't working right. Maybe 3 days top.   
  • Drop little "gifts" on students during the lessons. Maybe a calculator during a math 2 min drill or a book to help give more insights during a science lesson. 
  • I have to manage classroom supplies better. "3 pencils and that's all. If you need another I will have to start taking a Class Dojo point from you." 
  • Push the kids to work in groups that grow and flex all the time. This is more of a planning issue than anything else. Need to find a way to reward them for successfully working together. The catty-ness is so old!
  • The more we understand our situation to better we can make decisions and not have to repeat lessons. 
  • Understand that it's easy to become the thing you despise even if you think you're doing a noble work. Don't sink in order to get what you need. 
  • Going to have some kind of mid week reward on Wednesday not just Friday. 5 days is too long for my students. Maybe if the students get 1/2 of the points needed for Friday by Wednesday they can do something fun on Wednesday afternoon. 

Testing starts next week. I can't wait for this to be over. I'm not sure how well my class will do, but I'm just ready for them to get it over with. The stress on the teachers and the kids is immense. The desire to succeed is even tougher when it doesn't seem to be met with equal desire by the students. Just got to hope and trust for the best. 

Day 62 of the 115 Royal Burpee challenge. Been beating my up for sure. I have the lion share of them to still do. Joy! *I'll do 5 burpees for every comment I get about my comparison on THG and teaching. Almost got a muscle up yesterday at Crossfit South Cobb. Got to build off that momentum. 

D.E.A.R time disaster

My school is doing DEAR (Drop everything and read) this week. I'd much rather us do it everyday, but it's not in the culture of the school.

So today I set up each pod of students with 12 books of random interest and kinds. We started Dear at 2 pm, by 2:08 EVERYSTUDENTCLAIMEDTHEYHADREADEVERYBOOK! This starts the flood of questions. It was very frustrating, because I'm tryng to read, too. I ended up being a Dear Police office rather than enjoying 20 minutes of reading. I know it's a learned habit, but what can I do to get them to want to read one or two books well over scanning 12 in .005 seconds? Help?  

Working my plan because my plan will work

My first stint in teaching I was notorious for not planning and certainly not preparing to teach successful lessons. No surprise that I felt less than effective and soon left the profession. Well, God's grace and His sense of humor has me back before a group of students who themselves are like me when I was in teaching the first time. They don't plan or prepare to be successful in school. Somehow I'm going to have to change that. 

One thing I found out from honest interspection is that if I don't Pray, Plan, Prepare and Expect I won't do well. Flying by the seat of my pants is a recipe for failure for me. Also realized that I dind't give myself enough tools to be successful as a teacher. I didn't read enough about how to be a better teacher. I personally am a reader so I need to read a lot in order to keep my mind fresh with new ideas and to solidify ideas I've already grasped. Needless to say I will be filling my Kindle and my iTunes libraries with some teacher specific books. If you know of any particular you found helpful please send me a list.



Most of us have some bad habits we'd like to cease if we could. Most of our kids do, too. They just don't know they're bad habits. I've been thinking about what I can do to help my class want to learn more. Thankfully the thought of building a habit of learning came to me. 

Recently I started having them jot down on an index card what they learned each day as a "Ticket out the Door." I was pleasantly surprised how some of my more difficult students picked up the concept. If only they knew that I was using these tickets to see where they are and what I can help them with moving forward, they'd probably sabotage my ticket drop. Anyway, that's a small habit. I wonder if I can get them to pick up other small, useful habits before Christmas break. Doing homework would be fantastic, but I can't shipwreck my faith just yet.

What I would like to see is my student's writing more, listening to adults and seriously seeking to learn their basic facts. My homeroom is so short. Getting them in, settled and pen in hand would take the entire time. I could have them write two things they heard from our morning announcements and give out something tangible as they leave for doing so. That would at least in theory encourage them to listen. I already penalize them for rude behavior, but I need to find a way to promote being children and not just highlighting the bad behavior. They write some already. Some how I need to increase that several fold by the next break.