Teacher Stuff: State of the Classroom Address


Alright, it’s time for (another) honest conversation.

You might know about my anchor charts (outed! by the way – see the last post) and having a clean, organized classroom. But it’s time we talk about the truth of the matter.

Yes, my notebooks are color-coded. Yes, my children LOVE to wipe down the classroom with disinfectant wipes and take pride in keeping our classroom clean.

On that note, did you see this?
Kids Clean Their Classrooms and Love Doing it

But we teacher bloggers need to be real with you. When you feel down about your stacks of stuff EVERYWHERE and that moment you need that paper that was JUST RIGHT HERE!! You are not alone. We have those moments too. ALL. THE. TIME!

So, I did something many of us would HATE to do. I took candid pictures of what my classroom looks like. Here it is, folks, my dirty classroom laundry.

DSC00402This is the entry into my classroom. Yeah, lots of stuff just gets stacked and left here.

Poor puppy…And books that need to be reshelved. And, honest to God, I’m not sure what’s in that HEB bag.


The picture vocabulary needs some help. And less humidity.

Since this picture, there is a legitimate pile. This is actually PRETTY organized compared to today.

DSC00398Book boxes. Reminder: They are 6!! with cardboard boxes and an excitement about JAMMING as many books as possible into them.

Book-making is messy. No apologies.

AKA the “stuff I need to put away but…” pile.

So there it is. Yes, I (and my kids) spend time cleaning it all up and I value an organized classroom, but it does NOT look picture perfect all the time. So, pat yourself on the back, breathe easier. We are not super heroes….ok, well, KINDA! but we can’t do it ALL right NOW. So go easy on yourself. Teaching is a messy and wonderful job. Sometimes messy means there are AMAZING things going on and there just wasn’t time to stop to clean.

Keep up the great work! We all need capes….and a glass of wine. ūüėČ



Teacher Stuff: Cute Character Secrets


I got a comment today that really made my day, made me feel guilty, and motivated me, all at the same time. I have been absent. No bones about it. But I haven’t forgotten you.

My past year has been an upheaval to say the least. Not to get into the nitty-gritty, but a divorce with kids is a time-consuming and GIANT ordeal. However, we are on the greener side of the hill, folks, and I am starting to have more time.

That being said, I have SO MANY ideas for posts. So I ask you to be patient and keep checking back, I am motivated (Thanks, LaserTest) and ready to go!

Today, though, I want to share a secret.


I LOVE book characters! I love that they cover my wall and remind my students of the amazing stories we’ve read and the journeys we’ve been on. I get compliments on my characters all the time but you should know something…I have a secret helper.

It’s a projector.

I am BLESSED to have a station in my classroom with a doc cam, computer and projector. I use them to find a picture with either the doc cam or computer, project it on the wall and trace it onto chart paper! Yes, I do a LOT of coloring at home, and yes, it might seem trivial to some. But when my kids walk in every day and see their favorite characters on the wall, they make great connections, they share memories of favorite stories and they remember how FUN reading is!

So, pull out a book, trace and color a little, it will be worth it, I promise!  Here are a few from the first weeks of school. Sorry, my camera was not cooperating with the lighting in my room. More soon!



Teacher Stuff: One Fish, Two Fish Math!



Let’s have some fun with math!

Whether you use this for Dr. Seuss Day, a beginning or end of the year inventory or just fun math, your kids will love this!

The file includes:
– a sheet for students to create their own patterns of fish
– fish bowl addition and subtraction

Differentiation ideas:
– children can use colored tiles to create patterns before coloring
– use fish crackers as manipulatives to add and subtract
– students can work in pairs
– work together in a group under a laminate overlay

Get yours now from my new TeacherPayTeachers Store!
Enjoy! and Come back soon!



Teacher Stuff Friday Freebie: Classroom Scrapbook Page


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Don’t worry! ¬†I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet! ¬†Well, kind of, but we’ve just been busy! ¬†BUT, school’s almost over and we are wrapping up the year. ¬†I can’t believe the year is almost over! I think I say that every year, so maybe I should just get used to it by now! ūüôā

Anyway, I’m back and up this week is the Classroom Scrapbook Page:

The file includes the student page for your kids to write about themselves, draw or glue a picture of themselves, and write about a few favorites as well as their hope for next year.


Usually with these pages, I print off a cover and a couple of autograph pages for the kids to include little notes to their friends.

This is always SO much fun at the end of the year and a great end-of-the-year gift to send home with the kids.

Also, this is a momentous day, because this is the first (of many) products on my NEW TeachersPayTeachers store!
Don’t worry, it’s still free, just go HERE to check it out and get your own copy.

Also, if you don’t have a TpT account or have been holding out on any other Friday Freebies, you might want to get them while you can. ¬†In the next few weeks, I’ll be moving files over from Google Docs to TeacherPayTeachers, most of which will remain free!

Thanks for all the support, fellow teachers!  I have definitely felt the love and look forward to sharing even more classroom ideas and fun with you!
Come back soon!


Teacher Stuff Friday Freebie: Plot Graphic Organizer


Plot GO

Welcome back! ¬†Today’s Friday Freebie is another Reading Response Gem! ¬†This is one of my favorites! ¬†In first grade, ¬†out students focus all year on story plot. ¬†We use Author Studies, Character Studies, and Genre Studies to mix things up and expose our kids to ALL kinds of texts, but this little organizer is one we can use for SO MANY things!! One thing I love, in particular is the open boxes, which allow for easy differentiation. Non-writers or writers who are hesitant can draw and/or write while writers of all stages can write without feeling constricted by lines. My kids are able to respond in their own way with confidence!¬†I hope you and your kids enjoy it and get as much use out of it as we have!

To get your own copy of the Plot Graphic Organizer, click HERE!

As always, thanks for visiting and feel free to share for personal or classroom use. ¬†Please do not use my files for commercial use. ¬†I think we are all made better by sharing our ideas, just don’t try to make a profit off mine!!

Thanks again, come back soon!
– T

Teacher Stuff Friday Freebie: Fraction Book


Picture 4Picture 6

Happy Friday! ¬†Since last week’s gift was Fraction Bingo, I decided to continue with fractions and give you the Fraction Book template, too! ¬†I have used this book with 1st through 3rd graders, but it could potentially work for older kids, too. ¬†You’ll need to copy as many inside pages as needed for the fractions you’ll be expecting students to cover in the book.

The file includes:

– a cover sheet
– a book page template

Each book page allows students to write the fraction with a numerator and denominator, ___ out of ____ parts and how many equal parts are needed to make 1 whole.  Students can then represent each fraction using a circle, square, triangle and rectangle.

To get your own copy of the Fraction Book template, click HERE! As always, my files are free for personal and classroom use.  I love to share, so print, share and enjoy!

Looking for Reading and Writing? I’ll have more Language Arts freebies in the next few weeks!!

Thanks for visiting,

– T

Teacher Stuff Friday Freebie: What’s Missing?


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Welcome back! ¬†The weather here in Austin has been crazy! ¬†The ice/snow hasn’t been much, but people around here lose their cool when it rains too hard, so you can imagine the panic when it gets cold and icy! ¬†Today, school was canceled because it dropped to 26¬įF and there’s a 20% chance of freezing rain. ¬†Craziness. ¬†BUT since we’ve already had 2 weather days, we don’t have to make this one up!! ¬†DOUBLE SCORE!!

As promised, I’m adding more teacher stuff to the blog! ¬†Fridays are about to get better with FREEBIES!! ¬†You know I love to share, so everything on here is free to use for personal or classroom use. ¬†Print, use, and share with your friends to your little heart’s content!! ¬†Just don’t go selling my stuff!! ; )

This week, it’s “What’s Missing?” a practice sheet for finding the number that comes Before, After, or Between a given set of numbers. ¬†Amounts go up to 30, perfect for 1st graders or a Re-teach for 2nd graders. ¬†My students used this and loved it! ¬†My struggling students used a 100 chart to help them find the missing numbers.

To get your own copy of What’s Missing, click HERE!

Have a great weekend, stay warm (or cool, lucky!) and come back soon!