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Friday, June 5, 2015

S is for Susie Sunshine

If you are really lucky, you have a friend and fellow teacher in your life that makes a lasting impression and helps shape you into a better person.

That's what Susie did for me and many of my coworkers who knew her.

This was a woman who went back to school and got her teaching certificate at 60. She had already worked many years with students, but followed her calling to her true dream job of teaching. She was a natural.

She loved each and every single one of her students unconditionally. Even when they were bouncing off the walls and doing their best 2 year old impressions. Even on field trip days when she pretended they were driving her crazy.

She loved them through their insecurities and boosted them into a confidence that helped them grow to love learning. They enjoyed coming to school each day and being surrounded by her love for them. You could tell by their deep respect for her and their ever-present smiles.

She loved me through my moments of craziness. She loved me even though I was always trying to prank her. She loved to make me feel special. She loved me through my diva teacher of the year phase. She especially loved me when Mr. TV was literally making me crazy (and helped me see his humor and love him through it).

She loved us all when she was sick and we tried to make her take it easy. She hated when that stupid, stupid cancer forced her to retire way before any of us were ready.

And despite that stupid, stupid, STUPID cancer, she recognized every day as a gift and took the knocks as they came with a smile on her face. She is one of the strongest women I've ever known.

If you are really really lucky, you have this kind of person in your life. Hug them tight. Tell them how amazing they are. Make sure they know how much you appreciate their friendship and support.

And try your very hardest each and every day to be someone they would be proud of.

You will be missed, Susie. Go rest high on the mountain.

Susie Brown Burns       July 15, 2046 - June 4, 2015

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

D is for Donors Choose

Back to the classroom means back to the endless need for things to make it a fun place to learn.

I've started a Donors Choose project to help me get a big ticket item that is important to me, but only a drop in the bucket of our school's needs. 

Give to my classroom by June 7, 2015 and your donation will be doubled thanks to Just enter the code SPARK on the payment page and you'll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).

Every little bit helps. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

R is for Return

I will remember 2014-2015 as "the year I wasn't in the classroom". I loved being the Graduation Enhancement/Leadership Teacher for the school. It was a fantastic learning experience. But I missed being a classroom teacher and having my own group of students so badly that I asked to go back to being a "regular" teacher.

So I am. And I'm so excited for it. After I thoroughly enjoy the summer first!

We have already sorted out the students and made class lists for next year. We like to send home letters to parents with a supply list. This year, I changed it up a little and made a visual version. Grab it for free in my store. My Wishlist could go on, and on, and on, and...well, you get it.

I'm hoping to use the summer get some things planned out (while enjoying the time off). So much has changed with our curriculum in "the year I wasn't in the classroom" and I need to sharpen up my knowledge. Be on the lookout for some updates.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

H is for Hiatus

Some big changes have happened. After 9 years of being a second grade teacher, I am moving on to a new teaching adventure next year. This blog is going to remain as a way for me to share any second grade things I make for Teachers Pay Teachers.

And there's no way I could lose all of my Mr. TV stories!

I know it will be a big adjustment for me to leave my "home" for the past nine years with second graders, but a big piece of my heart will remain with that grade. Who knows...I might find my way back.

Come check out my new blog and follow along as I learn a new role.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

I is for Interactive Math

Hello friends! It's been a while! I think I FINALLY feel like I've got this specializing/STEM thing under control. I have one set of students in the morning and my partner's group in the afternoon. Let's just say it's been a learning opportunity for me.

It's so interesting to see how the two groups of students are different. I say it's partially due to the craziness that is an elementary school cafeteria (well, at least ours anyway).

The one thing I'm using for both classes is Math Interactive Notebooks. We've used Go Math! from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for several years now, but we just transitioned to the Common Core Edition in our District.

The kids really enjoy doing these.

I'm not going to lie, the cutting and gluing was a lesson in itself. I probably said "A LITTLE BIT OF GLUE WILL DO!" a gazillion times and we went through about 8,000 glue sticks.

But it was so worth it! I was pretty impressed with our Chapter 3 assessment data. I'm confident Chapter 1's results will be awesome.

Because our district has a "suggested curriculum timeline" we jump around chapters. I've completed Chapter 3 and Chapter 1. You might want to follow my TPT shop to get updates. =)

Click picture to go to product.

Click picture to go to product.

 I hope my fellow Floridians can find these useful!

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

B is for Blur

August was a blur! I am working on taking classroom pictures and updating the header of my blog! No more portable has been quite the adjustment. Stay tuned! =)

 Happy September!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

W is for Weather

For those of you who have heard of The Leader in Me process or The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, you know that "proactive people carry their own weather with them."

Stephen Covey says whether it rains or shines makes no difference to proactive people.

Well, here in Florida, the literal rain has been driving me crazy testing my "proactiveness". It's hard to do normal summer-type outdoor activities with all the thunderstorms.

 We even have Tropical Storm Dorian trying to visit.
BUT, since proactive people CHOOSE their attitudes, behaviors, and reactions to our environments, I'm finding things to do inside. And soaking up the vitamin D when the sun is able to break through the clouds.

I made a little poster to remind me of this. Click the picture if you'd like to have a copy. =)

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