Saturday, January 28, 2017

Student-Led Morning Meeting

5th Grade Morning Meeting

In our 5th grade classroom, we always start our day with a morning meeting. The meeting format changes as we grow as a class, but there are some aspects of our meeting that remain the same. I have often been asked about our morning meeting formats so I thought I would highlight some of our favorite parts of our meeting time together. 

Good Morning 
Yes, this may seem small but you would be surprised how many of us don't say "Good Morning" to our kiddos! Every morning we start off our time together by shouting "Good Morning!" to each other with big smiles! It is a great way to start our day with a positive vibe. 

We use the Class Slides with Timers TPT file from Teach Create Motivate to help us stay on track with our morning meeting. Here are just a few of the slides that we use. You can check out her product here if you are interested!

Our Class Goals
One of our students starts with the reading of our class goals. You can read more about them here. As he/she reads the goals, the rest of the class joins in. We are working on adding movements and signs to our goals right now to help continue to keep things engaging!

Share Time
Circle/Share time is for big kids, too! We spend a solid 5-10 minutes every morning just sharing things that are going on in our lives with one another. Sometimes we hear sad stories about the passing of a child's pet hamster, sometimes students tell jokes, other times students share something that they made at home such as a photo album. Last week, I shared a photo on my Instagram page about one of our sweet kiddos sharing a sonogram of her baby sister. Her mom has been battling health complications during this pregnancy, so she is staying hours away at a hospital to be monitored. Providing the student the opportunity to share and talk about it with the class was healing for her, and I was so proud of the class as they supported her.

Read Aloud
Reading aloud as a class is one of my non-negiotables (along with giving kiddos silent reading time every day). I will give up other things before I give up reading aloud with them. One way to help us make sure that we have time for our read aloud is by putting it at the end of our morning meeting. It is a great way for us to come together, relax, bond, and fall in love with a story.

At the end of our morning meeting, we head to specials. We have recently started saying a chant/call and respond as we go out the door to help us keep our positive vibe going! I say, "Today is going to be a..." and the students respond with "GREAT DAY!". 

We love morning meetings. We spend about 20-25ish minutes together in our meeting, and we are relationship building all the way through. It is structured yet relaxed. The students lead as much of the morning meeting as possible, and I love starting our day out this way together!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Setting Classroom New Year Goals

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017! Here's to a fresh start, new beginnings and updated goals! Goals...that is where today's quick post comes in. 

Every year, I like to spend the first day back from break checking in with the students and resetting our focus as a classroom and as individuals. 

What are goals?
What are OUR goals?
What is important to us?
How are these goals going to help us be successful?
Why will these goals help us climb to success?

I use this activity as a springboard to the kickoff of the second half of our year for a couple of reasons. 
1. Students are more focused. 
2. Students better understand what they need and how to accomplish that. 
3. Classroom community is stronger and there is more support. 

Today, both of our classes brainstormed a list of things that they wanted to focus on for the remainder of the school year. They thought about what they wanted to accomplish as a class and as individuals and then they chose what traits they could apply to help them met these goals. The words in BLUE are the traits and characteristics that they listed. The rest is how we brought our goals together. 

How does this truly help us? We refer to this often. 
1. It is displayed in our classroom for all to see. 
2. We read it together EVERY day in our morning/afternoon meetings. 
3. We adjust it as needed. We know that it is a living, working document that can get changed as we need it to. 

The conversation, communication, and support is KEY to this, and I love watching our conversations and positive actions shape lives!

What are your classroom goals?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Spring Teacher Blogger Retreat

We are ready to roll out the red carpet and announce that we are opening registration for the

And you WILL NOT want to miss what we have planned for you this year!
Are you ready to be treated like the red carpet star that you are?
Need a weekend of pampering to escape from the “work” of teaching?
Need to be re-energized and fall in love with teaching all over again?
Ready to shine and be recognized for the teaching-star that you are?

Then come walk the red carpet with us at French Lick Resort!
French Lick is an incredible resort is located in southern Indiana, but it is within 3 hours of Cincinnati, Nashville, Indianapolis, and St. Louis!

And let me tell you...they are ready to pamper us again!  

Here are the details...
WHO:  YOU are invited!
WHAT:  Spring Blogger/Follower Retreat!
WHEN: March 17, 18 & 19, 2017
WHERE:  French Lick Resort & Casino - French Lick, IN
WHY:   To meet new friends, share blogging & TPT tricks & tips, 
and just have fun! {LOTS and LOTS of FUN!}

Join us for the whole weekend, or just a day!
Here is a peek at some of the things we have planned…
Friday, March 17th
·       OPTIONAL:  Many attendees gather and socialize at the beautiful West Baden Hotel.  Come early and join us! 

Saturday, March 18th
·    Blogger Meet-Up Luncheon:  Get-to-know-you luncheon, teacher product giveaways, and “Teacher Tool” gift swap game

· Keynote Speaker:  None other than PRINCIPAL GERRY will be there to uplift, inspire, and create a room full of laughter

·    Teaching, TPT, Blogging Round-table and Workshop Sessions:  We will send out a survey asking for topics of interest and we invite you to submit a round-table proposal as well. 

Dinner Reservations at Resort Restaurant/s:  (OPTIONAL) Meet up for dinner at one of the resort’s casual, but classy restaurants.

 Saturday Night Social Event:  Since everyone who is a teacher knows they went into this profession for the fame and fortune (ya, right!!)……We will be rolling out the red carpet for you as we invite you to dress up as your favorite star, pose for the paparazzi, and fabulous fun with friends!  (Heavy hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages, photo booth pictures and party favors included.  There will also be a cash bar.)

Sunday, March 19th
·    Sunday Breakfast/Brunch:  (OPTIONAL) Meet at the resort’s famous breakfast buffet for our last gathering of good food, good conversation, and goodbyes!

The cost for attending this event is $75, which includes your lunch and beverages, a portion of the event room fees and our Saturday night social event (including food and non-alcoholic drinks).  This is the ONLY required fee for the entire weekend!  The rest of the event (hotel fees, if you choose to stay on site, and the remainder of the meal fees will be on your own, based on your choices!).  If you live close, you may choose to drive in for the day.  This fee needs to be paid by Feb.12 to guarantee your registration.  Also, note that due to the increasing popularity of this event, registration may have to be limited due to size.  (More details for payment will be posted on our private FB meet-up/retreat group page.)
Wondering if this event is something you might be interested in?  Check out what some of last year's attendees have to say...
Hannah F.Last year was my first year at French Lick and I was so nervous! I remember driving up there and imagining all the things that could go wrong! (of course) But, when I arrived I was overwhelmed with the kindness of every single person there. Everyone felt like they belonged and they did! The whole weekend was full of fun activities that helped me grow as a teacher and as a person. I made so many brand new friendships that I will carry with me forever. I remember driving away feeling refreshed and so ready to get back into my classroom! This weekend will refresh your love for teaching from the very instant you step into the hotel! “

Heidi N. "It was so refreshing to be surrounded by like minded teachers!  I left the weekend with new perspective, new ideas, and a lot of new friends!"

Maja A. "Last year's meet up inspired me to do so many new things, I finished out the school year strong with the things I learned from the other teacher/bloggers there!  I am so excited for this years meet up!"

Are you ready to sign up for a star-studded weekend of fun?  Simply click HERE to register for the event.
Questions?  Feel free to contact us at