We start my new classroom in 3,2,1…

I am all about a dramatic outside presentation of a serious learning environment. I want everyone to feel that giving anything less than their best in my room isn’t going to go over very well. It’s not intimidating, but it has to be a situation where everyone knows what to expect and that I believe they an measure up. I want the entrance of my classroom to Pop and Amaze. That being said I am going to pare down my interior classroom design. There’s a good reason, too. Harvey Specter would.

Many of you know that I am an avid “Suits” fan. It’s a smart, fun show. Lots of thought go into each character, their wardrobe, heck even their offices. There’s a reason Harvey’s office looks like it does. It’s meant to display a full and complete control of his environment. There isn’t a lot of wasted space. The art that’s there is meant to continue the theme that Harvey has his stuff together. So what if Harvey had a classroom? I don’t know, but I plan to give it my best shot this week.

Yes, I know Harvey Specter isn’t real. However, the attitude and control of situation he projects is real in deed. What if he had a classroom. What would it look like?

Rather than focus heavily on deluging my classroom with creative ideas. I think I’m going to keep it very simple, focus on function and usefulness of my design and finally present an attitude of “getting stuff done” throughout my room. There are going to be some “busy” spots. The overall thought of the room is Reading can be found everywhere.

What would Harvey’s classroom look like? Can I draw any ideas from this office? I think so.

I am going to add to my room through out the year. How it looks on Day 1 will be a finished project. However, how it looks on Day 21 will be added and improved. I have some great things that won’t be done in a week.

Pictures should be ready by Tuesday.

How’s your classroom coming along?

A rich blessing

Yard sales used to be my thing. Every blue moon I stop by one. I always look for ones run by teachers.


I ran across a retiring 2nd grade teacher who was having a HUGE yard sale yesterday. She sold me a lot of good quality stuff. She ended up giving me just as much as I bought. A real bonifide resource for my classroom.  Expect my teaching to go up a level this year. 


Not only that, but she donated all the remaining stuff to my daughter’s classes. She truly helped our classes big time. She was so kind to my girls.  She loaded them down outstanding stuff, too.

Initially I wasn’t going to go to the sale. But I really felt I should since it was advertised as “retired teacher”.  That’s code for “good stuff”.  Besides it was right by my house.  I wasn’t let down at all. I may even keep her in mind to show me how she did her outstanding organization system. Cause it was great. You never know what you may find when you follow a random sign. 


Outstanding ties this week.  My wood tie is ruling the roost for sure. 


Great lessons in my not so obvious summer gig. Opinion writing using 2 versions of “Let it go”. A lot of fun

Ok, I got to go see this Tom Cruise movie. What are you doing this summer?

30 random thoughts during the standardized testing

I’ve been tasked with administering the standardized test to 5th grade. Let’s just say I get A LOT of time to think. Here’s 30 things I’ve thought and questions I’ve had while walking around a class in total silence.

  1. Why do they make student desks look like this?
  2. Is it possible to test for growth without doing the standardized tests?
  3. What would happen if every student at this school had access to clean clothes and grooming everyday?
  4. Why can’t Christians usually argue a point from a secular angle?
  5. Does it matter if a child has both parents in the home?
  6. Why do so many students wear Nike?
  7. Could a school have it’s school uniforms sponsored by a shoe manufacture? Would that be some kind of conflict?
  8. What would happen to the Black community if everyone stopped buying hair extensions for 1 year?
  9. If everyone could save 10% of their income for 1 year what would happen to the banking industry?
  10. Is it possible to get an entire school to compost all compost trash?
  11. So if God wants to reproduce Himself in our lives, what does that look like on a grand scale?
  12. What would it take to get all non-essential staff people in the school district to help with classroom school work?
  13. Could I bike to work?
  14. What am I going to sell at the yard sale tomorrow?
  15. Hey I haven’t been Crossfitting in sometime. I can feel it.
  16. What if I got a part time job? How would I balance it?
  17. Am I doing to much? Am I just to busy, doing stuff?
  18. Why is it so hard to do and stay on a budget, but easy to complain about the lack of funds?
  19. Can I get my Level 1 cert and Crossfit Kids in 1 year?
  20. Could I sell my “Super Learners” and “Workshop” classroom themes at my yard sale? How much?
  21. Will we get to see how our lives could have been or will we even care?
  22. How much would I pay to join a van pool that dropped me off and picked me up from work?
  23. What’s the best mobility complex to teach 5th graders before during and after sitting doing this test?
  24. Would I accept any additional responsibilities at work that would take my time from home?
  25. If we get 80% of our growth from 20% of our work is it the same that we get 80% of our struggles from 20% work?
  26. How much could I make during the yard sale this weekend?
  27. Where am I going to put all the stuff I accumulated this school year over the Summer?
  28. What’s the best home workout program for heavy lifting even if you only have 400 lbs?
  29. What does 100% paleo look like for me?
  30.  What’s the best way for me to build my skills without doing a lot outside of work? Is that even possible?

How was your week? Did you have to do any standardized tests? How did you fair?

A fidget solution

If you teach boys you know they have an extra battery that allows them to just do to much. Not sure why, but God chose this and it's just the way it is. 


I saw this somewhere and thought I'd give it a shot. 

I used some stretching bands from the gym. Shout to my coach at Crossfit South Cobb. I tied it up as a rope around the bottom of the chair and bang! It worked excellently. The Energizer Bunny has been tamed. I only did this to 1 chair and so far the kid was on point. Actually he was only off task when he wasn't in his chair. Hahahaha. 


I'm thinking I'll attempt it with another real mover and shaker. This one sadly, I think, will try to break the band more than anything else. I have two others that could use it so I'll fix their chairs in the AM. What I will do is make it a reward to those who get better at classdojo and the 7 habits. 

My other classroom fix the Anchor chart hanger has been outstanding. I just scored a few more hangers so I think I can hang every chart I have right now. I won't mention that I've made 4 charts since I did this video Tuesday!


This week has been good. We have some lofty goals, but we're ready for the challenge. How was your week of teaching and learning? 

Flash cards and recycled photo albums


This worked better than I thought. The kids loved it. I'll certainly be adding  a subtraction and maybe some phonics cards as soon as I get some more photo books.

Kids are LOVING the actions and movements that go along with 7 habits. We practice the movements in our AM meeting. I was able to order some of the books and materials for the program and we're reading them in class. 


This week we set goals (Habit #2) for ClassDojo points each wanted to have by the end of the day. Everyone just about hit their goal. We'll start planning other academic goals today. 

I have a good sense about our progress so far. I know the mountain is high, but they do want to do right. I've been able to roll out a lot of modifications that have helped me with my class management as well as over all stress. I don't feel my class is the BEST it could be, but it's certainly functional. That was my goal for this year.