May 31, 2019

Weekly Recap - The Good and the Bad

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher: Check out this Frazzled Teacher's week, in which she highlights the good and bad, so you can feel better about yourself! Along the way, she shares teaching tips.

This was a shortened week due to Memorial Day. We still managed to cram a ton of stuff in though! I'm so close to the end of the year now! 5 more days!

As for my home buying journey, I'm a little bit closer. My earnest money is in and I had a home inspection done. By the way, I had an amazing home inspector! He really took the time to go through EVERYTHING with me. There are a couple of issues that will have to be dealt with but overall the report went well. The problem was the radon report I just got this evening. It will definitely need to be addressed. Hopefully, we can get through this issue okay and then have the bank approve everything!

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

No Voice - I woke up Thursday to almost no voice at all (and it wasn't much better today)! This was an issue because it was our field trip. I still went to school. This close to the end of the year means I can't be missing any days. I have too much to do!

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

Field Trip - We went to the zoo this year. It ended up being one of our best field trips ever! I was a little worried when I woke up to rain and warnings of thunderstorms all day. Luckily, it ended up being beautiful.

Paint Party - After the field trip, we had a Staff Paint Party. There was a small group of us and was so much fun...and relaxing. I painted a sign for my new office (or I should say my soon to be office once I get the townhouse)!

Staff Paint Party

I can't get over how fast this week flew by! A couple of quick things...my room is starting to get packed up. I started by changing my calendar to August before I packed it away. I'm one step closer to getting set up for Back to School! 😉 

We also had a fun basketball game at school which featured staff versus students. I have to admit that turned out so much better than I ever expected! 

I'm just glad it's the weekend. I need to rest my voice so I can talk next week.

Check out this week's blog posts:


        

How was your week?
What was good and bad for you?

May 30, 2019

The Frazzled Teacher Recommends: Miss Smith Under the Ocean

The Frazzled Teacher Recommends: Miss Smith Under the Ocean

Hopefully you have been enjoying my weekly book recommendations. This will be the last one this school year. Don't worry! I'll be back with lots more in September. In the meantime, check back this summer as I have lots of fun things planned!

This week's Frazzled Teacher Book Recommendation is Miss Smith Under the Ocean!

* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Using them will not cost you anything but will earn me a small commission if you make a purchase.




Field trips can be a bit tricky. Your students are out of their comfortable environment and thrown into an unfamiliar area. Because of this, I love read alouds that will give them an idea of what they can expect. This one takes the students to the aquarium.


Quick Summary


Miss Smith takes her students to the aquarium. While there, the students experience under water themed books, bringing the ocean to life! 

Warning: This book does talk about the poem The Owl and the Pussycat and the book Moby Dick. I mention this is a warning because well...third graders. I think that explains everything!


Extension Activities


I am a HUGE fan of Miss Smith books! As much as I try to make the books come alive for my students, I can't do that the way Miss Smith can! In her books, the stories really do come to life, causing some mayhem in the classroom! 

This book may be a bit unrealistic about what really happens at an aquarium as the book won't actually come to life. However, reading familiar stories will help open the discussion of what students can expect. 

I have read this book before going to the aquarium on our field trips in the past. This year, we are going to the zoo, not the aquarium. I will still read this one just based on how it is a character our class has come to love. They especially love the illustration at the end that shows a character being left behind.

If you are going on a field trip, I recommend creating an anchor chart of expectations with students. This will show students exactly what you expect from them!



Other Book Recommendations:



                    

As I have stated earlier, I love Miss Smith books and read them throughout the school year. I start the year off reading Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook and continue in October with Miss Smith's Haunted Library. In April, I read Miss Smith Reads Again! I end the school year with Miss Smith Under the Ocean. My only wish is that there will be more Miss Smith books!

Looking for more recommendations? Check out some of these past blog posts for more.


   
      

What book do you recommend?

If you are taking your students on a field trip, it is important to discuss rules and procedures. A fun way to begin this discussion is through a read aloud. This book whisks students away to the aquarium in a fun and magical way. Check out the blog in which I share more details about the book as well as extensions that can be used in your classroom. #confessionsofafrazzledteacher #fieldtrip #bookrecommendation #readaloud {Preschool, Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grade Students}

May 28, 2019

A Summer Plan

A Summer Plan

If you live in the United States, chances are you are approaching (or already on) Summer Break! As of this exact moment, I have 8 more days of school left! I am super excited to be on break and will definitely need one as I have decided to compound the end of school with buying my first house! I guess the title of Frazzled Teacher really fits me right now!

Because of this, I have decided to write a slightly different kind of blog post. Instead of giving tips for the classroom, I have decided to focus on writing a bit about my summer plans in the hopes that it will inspire you to create your own Summer Plan.


Below are some of the larger categories for my planning. I know my summer is pretty up in the air right now as I as I could be moving at any point. I will also create a to do list with about 50 million things that I would also like to get done. Don't worry, I also plan quite a few Netflix binges. I can't remember the last time I even turned my TV on. I think it's feeling neglected!

Read for Fun



I already spend a ton of time reading each week! Each summer, though, is when I dedicate even more time to books. I join the local library reading program as well. I have a huge stack of books ready to go - some on my Kindle that I have bought, some borrowed with Kindle unlimited, books from my local library with Media on Demand, and a growing stack of actual books that I have been collecting.

Having books to read before finishing a current read definitely helps to encourage the reading trend. If you are not a reader, think about stumbling blocks that keep you from reading and work on breaking through them.


Make Doctor's Appointments



This has been my downfall. I am so frustrated with my insurance that I haven't been to a real doctor in a couple of years. I had a doctor that I loved until she moved away. Ever since then, I have been shifted to so many different doctors and medical groups that I never figured out which doctor was really mine. This summer I need to rectify this and actually find a regular doctor.

Part of self-care is taking the time to take care of medical needs. You may be healthy and think a doctor's visit is not necessary but seeing a doctor on a regular basis allows you to establish a connection and make any future issues easier to deal with.


Do Something for Fun



This is a favorite one of mine. I already have a lot of fun activities scheduled and hope for more spontaneous ones to pop up! Here are a few - New Kids on the Block concert, a visit to Springfield to meet my new nephew (He's due in about 2 more weeks!), and my annual trip to Michigan to visit the beach. I know that lots of other things will pop up along the way and I will be quick to try them out!

Start small if you don't normally do something fun for yourself. Make a list of things that you enjoy and make a point to do at least a few of them this summer. 


Schedule Time to Work on School Work



I know this is a touchy subject. However, I actually want to work on small tasks now so I don't have to stress myself out with everything when going back to school. For example, during summer school, I like to make copies of work for our first week back and my parent flip book of classroom information. I have to admit that one year I spent a small fortune making copies one weekend before school started because I hadn't thought about making them ahead of time when I set up my room. I never want to stress out like that again!

What can you focus on this summer to make your transition back to school a smooth one? Whatever it is, dedicate some time each week or set a specific week in which you get it all done. A little time over summer can save a huge hassle!


What is your plan for summer?

May 27, 2019

Teaching Tip - Use Pool Noodles for Exercise Balls

Teaching Tip - Use Pool Noodles for Exercise Balls

Before I begin, let me take a minute to let you know that this will be the last Teaching Tip this school year. I will be back in September with more. Don't worry, I will still be blogging and sharing tons of ideas though! Make sure to stop by and check them out.

I LOVE pool noodles! They are so cheap and have tons of uses in the classroom. In the past, I have shared how they are amazing for teaching students fractions. Today I want to share another great use for them!

Try this Teaching Tip: Use Pool Noodles for Exercise Balls.


The Problem...


I love flexible seating! This definitely gets expensive though! Luckily I have gotten some materials through Donors Choose - wobble chairs and exercise balls. The problem with the exercise balls is that that wander all over the room unless you get the expensive ones with the fancy chair backs. Even with a Donors Choose, those were not in the budget!


The Solution...


I took a pool noodle and covered it with duct tape. This became the base of the ball chairs. I made these at the beginning of the school year and they have really held up well this year, although they can definitely use a good scrubbing!

Here are the simple steps to making these.

  1. Hot glue the ends of the pool noodles and hold them together.
  2. Take duct tape and wrap around the entire pool noodle. (This will make it really sturdy.)

Here's what I have I learned though...Start off hot gluing the ends of the pool noodle together. There is no need to even cut the pool noodle down. Even if the ring it makes are a little large, it will still prevent the ball from rolling all over the classroom. I tried bypassing the hot gluing stage when I made future rings. Alas, these keep coming apart. Do NOT skip this step. You will regret it!

The ball chairs are definitely a hit in our classroom! I don't mind them now that they aren't rolling around the room!

Want More Teaching Tips? Check these out!

          

 What is your favorite teaching tip?

Flexible seating options can get expensive! This blog post breaks down how you can use a simple pool noodle in your classroom to create a flexible seating option for students. This is perfect for teachers looking to save money but want flexible seating in their classrooms. #confessionsofafrazzledteacher #flexibleseating {Elementary Students, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, and Fourth Grades}

May 24, 2019

Weekly Recap - The Good and the Bad

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher: Check out this Frazzled Teacher's week, in which she highlights the good and bad, so you can feel better about yourself! Along the way, she shares teaching tips.

I'm closer to the end of the school year...only 9 more days! This week brought suspensions for 3 students, testing, and a total overthrow of our schedule!

If you are following my home buying tale, here's your update. The sellers accepted my offer. Now I am trying to find an inspector which is tough because of the holiday, but I only have a couple of days left to get it done.

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

Testing - We had to finish our end of year testing this week. I was so mad at my students while they were taking their reading test. We had to talk about how it wasn't our best work when we are falling asleep during testing (although the sleeping boy had the biggest jump by far), experiencing a HUGE meltdown, looking around the room instead of at the screen, or clicking any answer just to be done (even after repeated warnings to take his time and try), etc. To say I was disappointed in the results are an understatement.

Olympic Week - I HATE this week! It's during Specials and designed to take the place of our Field Day (which I loved). Every time I picked my students up, I got a long list of dramas that I had to deal with it! It's awful. Yesterday was the worst. Because of issues, I had 2 in tears, 1 in the nurse, and 3 boys that were fighting and ended up with In-School Suspension today. What a nightmare!


Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

Friday - I'm just so glad that it's Friday! We are COMPLETELY done with testing, including make-ups. I had 3 boys in In-School Suspension and 4 absent students. Today was a breeze! I could get used to a class this small!

Book Orders - I may have gotten another box from Scholastic this week. New books make me so happy! I need to stop buying books though, my book obsession is getting a little ridiculous. Still, I'm okay with that!

Check out this week's blog posts:


     
      

How was your week?
What was good and bad for you?