Five For Friday 1-22-16

I got a Mac! Incredibly excited! Granted I'm still figuring out how it works! Why is so different from a PC?? If anybody has some tips or resources send them my way ASAP!!

I saw on Pinterest (or maybe it was on a blog?) this app called Too Noisy. I've been having so much trouble getting students to quiet down, then stay quiet. This app is amazing! I tried it with all my first and second grade classes, and some of my kindergarten. It was most successful with my second grade classes and less successful with my first graders. I'm not sure if this is because of where they are developmentally (the first graders had a harder time buying in to working together to earn stars and to not "break" the screen) or whether it's just these first graders, since the kindergartners did like using the app. 

I have been knee deep in Teacher Evaluation! Last week, I had an informal observation, this week I had a formal observation and on Monday I have both my post-observation and my mid-year meeting! 
     I knew I had my second formal observation coming up, but I thought "coming up" meant...March-ish. Last week I looked ahead in my planner. It turns out the observation was this week! It's actually kind of nice being done with all three of my observations by January!  Now I just have to write both my reflections for Monday...

I bought two of Ron Clark's books and spent a good portion of the long weekend reading! So good, so many great ideas and super inspiring!

I really don't have a five. Nope.

 I could post the picture a student drew of me and my husband this week. I asked her what his name was and she said I could name him. Then amended her statement and told me to name him once I got married. 

Or I could share this picture of how my first graders added their animal wonders to the Wonder Wall. One of them said "I want to add my wonder to the wall because I didn't really find the answer yet." Bingo! 

Or I could share going to regional PD planning. Or how I spilled ketchup on my light colored corduroys right before lunch duty and had to wear an emergency skirt that made me look like a cowgirl. 

Or that i made more parent phone calls/emails/Class Dojo messages in this past week than in the last two months.

Or this adorable picture that makes you realize how small and precious the children we teach really are (And, yes, I do have big hands which makes the picture more dramatic!)

 Or that it snowed all day today which meant I sneaked in my long run yesterday .. night. Yep. Came home from work around 4, came inside to eat a bite, then went back outside and ran for three hours. The snow is pretty though. 

Or I could just ramble for 5 because that's just the kind of week I've had! 



Five For Friday 1-8-16

I FINALLY ordered a carpet for my classroom! Major celebrations!
Before Carpet
 I have needed one since the beginning of last year (yep, since I started teaching!). I'm not sure if most classrooms come with a carpet but since I teach in a computer lab, there was no carpet. This was not only an aesthetic pet peeve of mine, but also a classroom management piece that was missing. Last year, my mentor would suggest assigned seats on the "carpet" for helping with certain discipline problems but how could I when there wasn't a carpet? So I would pieces of tape on the floor and that helped but the tape would get peeled up and that became a whole other classroom management issue! 
But ta-dah! Here it is!

I bought the carpet on Amazon, here

I got zero clients in my classroom!  
Your can kind of see in these pictures above the original towers that were underneath the tables...and which were frequently knocked over when kiddos swing their feet when sitting in their chairs!
I've been looking forward to this since October - my air conditioner hasn't worked since September. Put 23 students in a small classroom with 23 computers, with no air conditioning? Oh my gosh! Hot, hot, hot! The zero clients give off a lot less heat (hence a cooler classroom!) AND they take up less space! I can actually walk in between the two rows! Yahoo!

 So now my classroom feels much more airy and spacious and I am loving it. Only downside is that  I have to log in to every computer, every morning, then log into Google Chrome for every computer, every morning so the bookmarks are all there for the students. I created little labels to put on the computers with the log-ins (because each computer needs its own log-in) and this helps.
Overall cooler and more roomy classroom = worth it. Combined with the new carpet and I feel like the whole room has had a face lift.

After becoming completely obsessed with Kimberly Geswein's free fonts on TPT and figured out how to actually use the fonts (learning curve!), I decided to finally download Hello Literacy's free Hello Fonts and I love exploring them! It's my favorite way to procrastinate! ;)

I decided to start using the fonts by making these To Do Lists for those students who need extra support with transitions and preparing for lessons. 

I started to wear clothes from my capsule collection. Here are the first four outfits.

I love how the colors in the outfits all go together and it makes choosing my clothes for each week so much easier! I feel like I am being forced to be more creative. I have less pieces of clothing to choose from so I have to mix and match in ways I haven't before. 

My lessons weren't super exciting this week. I taught behavior reteaching with all my classes, using the Poetics app with my first and second graders.After brainstorming how we can follow the school rules in media (and reading the social story Know and Follow the Rules with first grade), students created a tableau in a small group, then using the Poetics app to take a picture and label the role model behaviors in the picture.
Kindergarten also brainstormed ideas after reading the book, but used the PaintGo tool on ABCYa to draw a picture of role model behavior then typed a sentence about their drawing. 

Happy Friday!


Plans and Goals for 2016

Linking up with Principal Principles and to #2getherwearebetter Plans and Goals Linky. 

Here we go!


Figure out my retirement plans...I know I'm only 25 but I've read enough Suze Orman articles in Oprah magazine to know the earlier you start saving the better! 

I'm actually kind of frustrated because I know I have a retirement fund through my job, yet the information has never been shared with me. How much money is in it? Can I contribute more money per month?

Gah! So that's really my number #1 goal. 

And to keep saving money by not spending as much money! I'm hoping my capsule collection will help with this since my biggest impulse buys are clothing.  


Eating:  Eat healthier: Eat my veggies! Find fruits I like and eat them daily. And don't binge eat/emotional eat. 

Running: Fidelity to my running plans/run 2,016 miles in 2016 so I can achieve my more specific running goals:
-break 21 minutes in the 5K
-break 4 hours in the marathon (came so close at NY so I know I can do it, but I need to work on my mental strength through pain). (Spring)
-break 3:30 in the marathon (Fall)

Yoga: 20 minutes of yoga a week to maintain flexibility and stretch muscles that can become stiff when running.


Be a thoughtful, prepared teacher. No winging it last minute. Think ahead. Plan ahead. 

Get to know my students. Be conscious of their needs, their interest, their triggers, their passions, their dislikes. 

How will I do this? Not sure. I'm hoping that as I continue teaching I'll put less energy into lesson planning from the ground up, and  more into tweaking those lessons as well as finding and implementing strategies to really get to know my students in the limited 40 minutes a week I see them.


Finding balance this year will be huge for me, saying yes when I'm scared to say yes and saying no when I'm scared to say no.

 Confusing right? 

Well, either I feel nervous to try something new so I say no or I feel obligated to do something so I say yes, which ends up draining me. 

Saying yes when I'm scared will lead me to new experiences and help broaden my experiences. Saying no when I'm scared of saying no will open up time for things I really want to do but I'm too scared, for whatever reason (And a  lot of times I'm burnt out from saying yes to other "obligations", so things come up which require risk I don't have mental energy!).

Here's to 2016! Living healthier with balance and financial knowledge so I can be the best teacher I can be! 

Link up here at the Principal Principles and here at #2getherwearebetter. I can;t wait to read others goals!


Farley Currently: Welcome 2016!

To a presentation my friend is giving as part of a job interview! She had emailed it to me earlier to listen to and I finally sat down with it. It was fascinating hearing how pitching yourself in different fields is the so similar but also so different! 

Free time! So nice just to kick back and relax with absolutely no deadlines or pressure or to do lists.


Holy guacamole! I did it! I PRed at my 5K this morning, with a time of 21:47, a PR of 1 minute and 34 seconds seconds.I was aiming towards sub 23 but knew I had some speed in my legs so I'm super excited that I was able to race at a 7:01 pace! Running in the 21 range is a dream for me so it hasn't really sunk in yet. The race itself before and after was a lot of fun too! I ran with my sister and there were coworkers, runner friends, middle schoolers that I coached in the fall and even some of my little students! Let me tell you - seeing a 7 year old wearing a bib is inspiring! It was one of those moments when all your mini worlds comes together and you realize how very rich your life is. 

And this is my face after they gave me a t-shirt for placing...wait! Where's my medal?? Oh well!

To try a "capsule clothing collection" for January. The last six months or so I kept reading about how people simplified their closets and wore the same 37 pieces of clothing for each season.  A great article on capsule collections is here

I wanted to try this for a while but I'm not sure I could commit to just 37 pieces for three months! What about the different holidays?? 

I'm going to test the waters for January and here are my 37 pieces organized in my StyleBook app. It took me a couple tries to settle on these final 37 (at first I had two pairs of gray leggings, two black dresses, two mint shirts...a bit redundant!). 

I stuck mainly to blues and grays, whites and blacks, with a couple of pops of color (light pink sweater, orange skirt, red cardigan) that way everything goes together.

A couple caveats are:

1. Notice the lack of running clothes? I'm just doing this for work clothes to start! I go through way too many running things to possibly include them in the capsule.

2. No scarves either. You'll notice a lot of neutral colored tees and sweaters: my scarves are open season, meaning they're not in my collection but I can still wear them.

3. Same thing with my tank tops. I wear tanks for layering so I'm work appropriate and decided to also keep that option open. It's also an easy way to add color throughout the month.

4. No jewelry either! Since I'm not a huge jewelry person I decided not to include it. I only own about 20 pieces of jewelry anyways and rarely wear more than 1 or 2 pieces a month. 

So yes, I cheated on the capsule collection A LOT but I like to have wiggle room because it makes committing to just 37 pieces (even just for a month!) less scary. I'll update you along the way and let you know if I decide to do it again in February. 

To maybe do something productive. Since I only have three days left of vacation (sob) and only a vague idea of next weeks lessons.

One little word:
Content...I feel super content right now sitting here typing this and I want to continue that. Not nitpicking things (like why I didn't get a medal...) but just appreciating the awesomeness of life!


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