Sunday, February 15, 2015

You've got my number, Disney!

Do you guys like Buzzfeed?  I follow them on Facebook and SO enjoy the hilarious things they post.  My particular favorite is a series they have recently started called, "Weird Things Couples Do When….." It's a nice, quick thing to read or watch during lunch at school when I need a quick escape or something to take my mind off of all things kids.  YES!  Believe it or not, while I do love kids, I DO love that sacred 30 minutes a day when they are away!

Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Telling Time!

Happy Saturday to you!  Was your week terrific or tough?  Mine was NUTS!  I was out of the classroom this week as much as I was there (my poor kiddos!!).  I had a co-teach workshop, curriculum based assessment writing, a personal half-day, a field trip and the 100th day of school!  Whew!  I am glad that one is behind me! (Ever had a week like that?!)

Here's one of my kids on the 100th day.  (They were challenged to wear 100 things on their shirts.  He's an outside-of-the-box kind of kid and decided to instead wear 100 mustaches.  He had them all over his shirt AND his face.  Is that hilarious, or what?
Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

What are you working on in your class?  We are about to start working on telling time.  Our standard wants us to get these babies telling time to the minute and distinguishing between a.m. and p.m.  *Gulp* That's a tall order.  SO, I have been working feverishly (all after two crazy 3 year olds go to bed) to get together some FUN ways to practice time with them.  Ever tried to hold the attention of 20 7 year olds at once??

We will start concretely, of course, but as we move to representations of time, I know we are going to need to use some fun activities as well as have some things to put in math centers!  (Some of us will be using our Judy clocks along with the activities).  We will start by differentiating between a.m. and p.m. and use my It's About Time! activity. Click here to see this fun activity!

 Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

If you are looking for some fun time activities, math centers, or need to do some review with your class, or maybe need intervention lessons to do with your older kids, check these out!  They teach about a.m. and p.m., and telling time to the hour, half-hour, 5 minute increments and 1 minute increments.

And the most IMPORTANT part to me, is NOT having to prep a bunch of things.  So I made 48 pages of printable sheets that require NO PREP in my Telling Time packet!  So important!!!  Click here or click on the picture below!

Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

I'll let ya know how it goes!  Anyone have any full-proof ways they've taught telling time?

2nd Grade Got Me Where I Am Today...

...well, not when I was IN 2nd Grade, but when I got to TEACH 2nd Grade.  When I moved from 3rd Grade to 2nd Grade, I volunteered to plan math for our team.  I figured out pretty quickly I LOVED planning math!  I had found my niche and I wanted our math plans to be fun, engaging, and challenging for our 2nd graders.  I had not found TeachersPayTeachers yet, but I did have Pinterest!  I began searching our math topics and found all kinds of great ideas from teachers around the country.  This really got my wheels turning and helped me see outside of the textbook-box.  I began creating more and more activities to go along with our lessons and the kids were loving them!

I love being a teacher, but my next goal is to be a math specialist at the elementary level and eventually become a district math curriculum coordinator. Since deciding that, I have shared my goals with our A.P. who was a math specialist herself, and she has been very helpful and supportive of my goals.  I got to become a part of our campus Math Committee.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Blog! Yea!!

All I can say is WOW!!  My blog has finally come to fruition!  A HUGE thank you to Tenille Gates who designed and installed this fantastically cute page.  If you are wondering how to get an adorable blog, go to her page  She was quick, totally let me choose everything, and even tolerated me being picky about my fonts.  :)  Thank you Tenille!!!

I got the crazy idea to start my blog after a chain of events that eventually led me here.  I have always enjoyed creating things to use in my classroom that get the kids engaged.  When I first started teaching, I would make little games to use with my kids and wrangle my new teacher friend across the hall into doing the activities with me.  She is a seasoned teacher and put up with me as a greenhorn teacher.  I learned SO much my first year of teaching - mainly how to hold my head above water while juggling everything that goes along with teaching.  (Which, by the way - they don't teach you in college!!)  I wondered how teachers went home before dark every night!  I basically woke up every day, went to school, stayed until bed time, went home and slept and turned around and came back the next day with a smile pained on my face.  (Remember that year for you?)

My next year of teaching was a little better.  I was lucky enough to get to stay in the same grade and thought I had it made in the shade since I had kept everything I used the previous year.  It didn't take me long to realize that teaching is a revolving door of new ideas, new curriculum, new research, new tests, new data to gather, new, new, new, new, new…..however, I am alive to tell the story.  (Remember when you figured that out, too?)  I survived a second year of the TAKS test, another group of 20 rambunctious 3rd graders, and didn't lose my hair.

Fast forward to the next year.  I was moved to a different grade level (against my will, kicking and screaming, crying and frustrated due to personal and professional reasons that I was NOT ready to move).  BUT as low man on the totem pole due to seniority and everyone else saying, "NOT IT!," I was the lucky one to go since we didn't need seven 3rd grade teachers anymore.  (Yes, I said SEVEN).

Well, I've always been taught that God is in control, and one of these days I promise I'm going to learn to listen and trust that.  Moving grade levels was probably the best thing that could've happened to me. (If my principal from then ever reads this, he can give me a big "I TOLD you so!")  Even though my new school year in a new grade level was HARD and not pretty, it forced me to do things I would have never done while in 3rd grade with my security blankets (the other 6 AMAZING teachers on that team who I aspire to be).  It yanked me out of my comfort zone, made me do some soul-searching about whether or not I was in the right profession, made me start thinking long term about what I want to do as an educator, how I want to leave my mark, and was when I really started creating more and more resources.  (It's ok to eye roll…creating to me is like coloring to others or listening to calming music.  It's my down-time, therapeutic, enjoyable activity).  I warned you that I was a nerd.  I am.  Through and through.

Wait, back up to the beginning of that new, really hard year...I left out a HUGE part - did I mention that the year I began 2nd grade (which meant changing rooms, and if you've ever had to do that, bless your heart!) I had just had TWINS 8 weeks earlier?!!  Yup.  Twin newborns.  New grade level.  New room to have to redo.  Working on 4 hours of constant interrupted sleep.  New team mates to have to learn.  New, new, new, new, new……again!  So now I had to learn how to keep my head above water while juggling and trying to do it all as fast as possible so I could hurry up and get home!  Learning how to be a teacher, a wife AND a mommy was is the harder thing I've ever had to do - I'm still working on it.  (Can I get a high five from anyone out there?)

Speaking of twins - I have apparently blogged long enough for this evening and will have to continue this story a little later on!  They are 3 and I run on THEIR schedules.  :)  (And love every minute of it!)

If you have found my little 'ol blog, please feel free to follow me and check back for entertaining stories (I've got quite an arsenal as you can imagine!) and see what I'm up to with my 20 2nd graders!