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Tell All Tuesday: Summer Flashback

It that time again for Diana from My Day in K and Jayme from Teach Talk Inspire and their linky for Tell All Tuesday. This week it is Summer Flashback. 

Oh, SUMMER!!! OH, how I love you!!! Thinking about this week's linky, all I can think about is my mom and I heading to Myrtle Beach. It was our home away from home. 

My family is from the Carolina's. So heading there was always second nature. My mom and I would travel every summer to North Myrtle Beach. The hotel we stayed at would call us after the trip and schedule the following year. It was the best! The employees at the Kroger knew our names. How crazy is that?

This is me sleeping!

One of my favorite memories of these summer trips was the time we went to see Vince Gill  and Kenny Rogers in concert. It was amazing! Kenny Roger was completely funny.

Me at 18 months

When we finished see shows, we would shop and of course play in the ocean and the pool. Honestly, this has to be the hardest post to write. There  is so much that happened on these trips that my brain is swirling with the memories. My memories of my time with my mom and this city are to vast to write about. Just know that it was an amazing time. 

Okay I am now going to flood you with pictures of me as a kid. If you think this linky is fun, well join us and have fun with us!!!!   

Teaching With Intention: Chapter 3 & 4

Okay first I want to say I am sorry that this post will be a little bit long. I really wanted to share my thoughts on these 2 chapters. Let's get started with chapter 3!

Okay let's talk environment! This is a place that I am constantly reflecting on and getting my students involved. I have these grand plans of what I want my room to look and feel like but once those little bodies get in there, I change it around.

When my vision doesnt match the flow the children are taking in the room, I rearrange. It a joke in the building that I am not content! Its not true! I just want my children to feel they have options and a say. 

I thought that I would show you my old room first because this will be the room I am moving back into over the next few weeks. 

This room  was always a challenge to get together. I was always had to rework it. I think since I have been in it before, I should be able to make something great for my math students.

Debbie says, "When things are going awry for teachers, things are probably not going well for kids either." Oh, how true this is. I am making a goal to really get better organized. My disorganization comes from not putting things back where they belong. I just make a pile and then when it is so overwhelmed by it, I panic. Does anyone ever do this? My GOAL is to clean up appropriately!

In Chapter 3, Debbie talks about making 3 piles.
1. things to keep.
2. things someone else might want-maybe other teachers, kids, or Goodwill
3. things to throw away.

This is what I am doing now. In the middle of teaching summer school, I am making my list. Number 2 is happening because the person taking over my current room is an intern. So, why not leave items that will help her in her journey. I promise I will not leave her junk.

Now my current room was a lovely environment to teach in. It will sound funny but I will truly miss  the bathroom. It was so convenient to not have to deal with bathroom breaks.

This room was such a fun loving and warm place to be.

The last part of chapter 3 that really stood out was when Debbie mentions questions to ask yourself. This really stood out! So much that I made a poster that hangs over my desk. My goal is that every afternoon I take time to ask those questions to myself and reflect on what is happening in my room.

1. What do you know I value?
2. What do you know about what I believe about teaching and learning? what's the evidence?
3. What do you know about the kids in this room?

You can grab your own copy from the picture below.

Now let's move on to Chapter 4!

Now I'm not going to get long winded so let's get right to the questions.

This is a very near and dear subject to me. I had read Debbie's book Reading with Meaning. This book completely changed my view on thinking and showing it to my students. If you have not read it yet, go order it now. 

Click here to go to Amazon

When I was just the Reading teacher, I had to train myself to put my thinking on display. I have carried that over into my writing. I am not trying to stop and let my kids have more time to think and share. Here is where I falter. I tend to share my thoughts but not allow them to share theirs. #workonthatMelinda #kidsneedtotalkmore

I am in love with WBT. If you don't know what that is, that is Whole Brain Teaching. Teaching the kids to work together in small chunks. Now I am no expert and I want to be certified in WBT, I just have seen a huge difference in using it in my classroom. The Teach Okay method is a great component. The objective is that the students will teach each other. You the teacher teach them a concept in small doses and then you say TEACH! The students will then turn around and say OKAY. They begin working with their partner to reinforce the concept you have been working on in that moment. 

Here is a link to a video showing a class who had never seen WBT before. Just check it out. 

I cringe at this question. Just because I hope that I am using my words to inspire my kids. I will say that WBT helps a lot with this process. 

A phrase I use a lot in my room is Stop and think that through! I want my kids to not rely on me. I want them to be independent. I want them to do the thinking and learning while I am just there as a guide. 

Big Goals for this next school year but I am ready for the challenge. 

Let me leave you with this. Please be YOU!!! Just know that you are making a difference. Don't let what someone else do make you think you have to do it. Do what you feel is best for your students? 

BE YOU!!!!

TPT Seller Challenge: Week 2 Dare to Dream

Hey Ya'll! I am finally getting to week 2 of the #tptsellerchallenge. Thanks again to our hosts;

Here are the directions for this weeks challenge.

So I sat down and tried to think about what is my dream. If you would have asked when I was 16 what my dream would be, I would have told you to dance and sing. As I got older and injured, dancing had to end. Now I sing at church and in the car. LOL!

Here are my dreams as they are now!

Set my family financially free: This is really important to me. I keep telling God if he just takes my sweet little store in his hands, I will do the work. My student loans are so outrageous that I feel I will leave them to my kids and I just can't bare that. I want to be debt free and be able to not stress about it all. 

Travel on a plane for the first time and travel: This is true. I have NEVER ridden in a plane. I have always been scared and that is why I was hoping to save some money so I could make my first trip during the TPT conference. So, that is the goal for next summer. I plan to sell my homemade cards, scarfs, and items in my TPT store. 
You may ask, "But you mentioned travel and conference can't be the only place." Its true! I want to travel to London, Scotland, Ireland, Paris, Rome, Milan, Japan, etc. I want to show my kids the world.

Bless people around me: I want to be able to purchase items that my school needs and not stress about the money. I want to help students in my school that have little. When a child has a fire, then I can supply all their needs. These are just small samples of what I want to do.

Inspire Others: Last but not least, I want to inspire people. Not just with education but with my decision to have a gastric sleeve 2 years ago. I have lost 155lbs. I still have thirty to go but I want to help other in that way. As far as education, I want others to see what I do and feel they can step out of their comfort zone and try something new. 

This challenge has bee the greatest thing for me. I have really got the chance to reflect on myself. I have loved reading about the other dreams. We ca all reach them. I'm so proud of what we are achieving together. 

Tell All Tuesday: Bucket List

Hey Ya'll! I'm back for another addition of Tell All Tuesday with my bloggy buddies Diana from My Day in K and Jayme from Teach Talk Inspire. This week we are talking about our Teaching Bucket List. 

Back in October, I started looking at what my bucket list or goals would be. If you want to read that post just click HERE

I decided for this post that I would make a goals that would add to what I already have for myself. 

I truly hope to get my National Boards. I have always had the desire but have been scared to do it. I did do one part to see what it was like. It was the writing portion. It really was so bad but I'm still nervous. 

My second goal is to be a state and national Teacher of the Year. I sometime feel bad telling people that because I feel it makes me look conceded. I want it for me and not to brag and say "Hey, I'm better than you because I'm teacher of the year." I just want to work that hard that, that is my reward.

The last one that I did have room to type was that I want to travel to different National Conferences and give Professional Developments for teachers. I just want to inspire and motivate others. 

Okay so there you go! My add-ons to my current Bucket List. If you want to join us, then come on! Do IT!!!! Link up! 


Makeover Madness

 Hey Ya'll! If you have been on any social media, you have seen the Sellers Challenge that is happening right now. I decided to  join up with some amazing teachers for the #tptsellerschallenge. 

Our lovely host are:

I won't lie. I was super excited for this but I have actually become overwhelmed. This is an amazing journey and I don't want to stress myself out to meet the challenges nor do I want to pass this amazing opportunity up. Do ya see what I am sayin'?

Anyway, this week's challenge was to make over a product in your store and post your social media stats. 

I had started working on my data notebook/forms a long time ago and thought I'll do that one. 
Then I thought about the very first product I ever made and decided that needed a new cover and credits page. 

Click here to view

I'm super proud of this change. It looks so much better. 

If you are curious about this product, it is a simple Writer's Eye type product. It is 180 days of correcting the mistakes in sentences. Just click on the picture and it will take you to my store. 

Well week 1 is done. I can't wait to see what week 2 has for us. 

Two Truths and a Lie: Summer Snapshot

Hey Ya'll! I am linking up with Diana from My Day in K and Jayme from Teach Talk Inspire for another Two Truths and a Lie. This week we are doing Summer Snapshot.

So let's get started! 

1. I love summer! I love tanning and laying by a pool. My favorite thing is to just get brown and toasty. 

Image result for laying out by a pool

2. I love SC. Actually, I love North Myrtle Beach, SC. My family came from the Carolina region. My mom and I traveled there every summer for about 7 years. 

3. I love going to summer camp and chaperoning. It is such a thrilling experience. Its so much fun to hand out making crafts, singing, and chilling by a lake. 

Image result for summer camp

Okay, there it is! Can you figure out which one is the lie. I cant wait to read your comments. 

Oh, Yeah! Im super excited because this is my 100th post. How awesome is that?   You guys rock for coming and hanging with me. I appreciate your support. 

Here is the inlinkz code:

TBT and Tell All Tuesday

So on Tuesday, everyone stopped by to learn a little more about me. This was such a fun experience.

My facts were
1. I lived in a small town of 10,000 and miss living there.
2. I lost 155lbs in the last 2 years.
3. I told a recorder producer in Nashville to sign me when I was ten years old.

OKAY so here is the moment of truth!





I grew up in a town of 3700 people in the whole county. There is more now. Although, I loved the lake, I do not miss living there.

I had a gastric sleeve 2 years ago and was 382lbs and I have lost 155lbs. It was the best thing ever!!!!

The last one which most questioned is true! I was sassy even then. Here is a picture of me when I was about 5 or 6.

Even that small, I am still sassy. I hope that you enjoyed getting to know me. I will be replying to comments on the original post for all of those who guessed #1.

Teaching With Intention: Chapter 2

The FABULOUS Mr. Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasbord has gather some more awesome bloggers to host chapter 2 of this AMAZING book Teaching With Intention. This week's chapter is hosted by 

         Mrs Dailey's Classroom


So when you are finished reading here, just click on their pictures and it will take you to their blogs. 

This statement is SOOOOOOO true! I have worked in the same school for 15 years. Well starting my 15th year. This quote really stood out for me. When I first started teaching I had all these ideas and dreams for the ideal classroom. What I wanted it to look and sound like. I know that I am not there. I lost myself for a little while and I have to apologize to those students who I didnt give my best to. From this moment on I will do better. 
Anyway, my point is that we taught a Reading Program called Success For All. It was completely scripted!!!! SCRIPTED PEOPLE!!!!! I was the best at reading those words. Then we moved on to Reading First and that really helped me to see what I needed to do to shape myself as a better teacher. Now I don't even teach from manuals. I might look in them for an idea but my lessons are based on my kids. 

These questions rocked my world today! Where is my evidence? What am I seeing, hearing and doing? What do I value? What supports what I'm doing?

I have realized after reading this chapter is that I CAN grow!!!! I feel like this fall will be a new start for me as an educator. I am thinking now about what I believe and how I can apply that belief in the classroom. One thing that I know that needs to happen is that I have to get to know my babies better so when they talk, I TRULY listen. If you are new to my blog, I teach K-2 Writing all day. So sometimes getting to know my students falls to the waste side but not anymore. I need to know them in and out so that I can get a better view of their needs. 

BOOM!!!!!! This is all I can say about this quote! I know Greg said in the past to "Shut the door and teach!" and I know that he says he wants to "open the door and teach!" I understood the statement by saying SHUT THE DOOR!!! Now I hardly ever shut my door, but I need to not care if someone hears us or doesnt like what we are doing. This about what I feel my little sassypants needs from me! Go in your room and love those kids. Teach those kids. Help those kids. 

This book is forever changing me!!!!!!

Tell All Tuesday: Two Truths and a Lie

Hey ya'll! I'm super excited to be linking up with  Diana from My Day Ink and Jayme from Teach Talk Inspire and of course some other awesome bloggers for something new. We are calling it Tell All Tuesday.

This week is called Two Truths and a Lie! How fun?! I can't wait to share a little about myself and my blogging journey. Now here is the fun. I am going to give you some facts. In the comments I want you to tell me which one you believe to be the lie. Then hop around to all the other blogs and try and guess. 

So let's get STARTED!!!!!!

I was brought up in a town that had a total of 10,000 people. It was a lake town and it was great. It was always fun to spend the summer riding around the neighborhood and then heading to the lake on the weekend. We always had a HUGE festival for 4th of July. We call it Lakefest. I truly miss living in Jamestown, KY.

The next fact is that I use to weigh 382 lbs. I decided to have a gastric sleeve surgery 2 years ago. Actually, my AMAZING ob/gyn told me that I was killing myself to lose weight and that I should consider surgery. I did! It was the best thing I every did for myself. I have lost 155 lbs. I can cross my legs and I have NEVER been able to to this. I am getting stronger and healthier ever day. 

The last fact is that I told a Nashville producer when I was 10 years old that he needed to sign me to a contract. I walked right up to him and said you need to do this NOW! He just snickered and said "Oh, really!" My mom told me to leave the man alone but I was sassy and said "Well, He will be making a mistake if he didn't sign me." I was sassy even at ten. LOL!

Okay, now you have heard my facts, can you decide which one is the lie! Take a guess in the comments below. I am going to sweeten the deal. For EVERYONE, who guesses correctly, I will let you pick something from my TPT store that is $6 value or less. WHAT?????? Yep! 

Now you have heard my spill! I hope that you will have fun and enjoy our TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE!! 



Teaching With Intention: Chapter 1

Hey ya'll! I'm here to link up with Mr. Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasbord and his book study of Teaching With Intention by Debbie Miller. I had started this book when it first came out and let life distract me. I am super excited to jump back in. This first chapter really just made me think about what I want for my students. 

Before heading to Chapter 1, there was a couple of statements that Debbie mentioned that really have not left my brain. 

We are professionals; we need to make full use of our professional autonomy.


If we aren't thoughtful, reflective, and strategic teachers, can we expect our children to be thoughtful, reflective, and strategic readers, writers, and thinkers?

These 2 statements have not left me. We must stand out as professionals so that we can make thought students. We can't fit ourselves in boxes and expect to evoke change. This is where I am in my career. I want to evoke change!

Now let's jump to Chapter 1.

Reading this chapter, just made me long for my ideal classroom. When Debbie talks about what she sees as she walks into the 3rd grade classroom just made me reflect more on what happened in my room  during the 14-15 school year and what I desire for the 15-16 school year. 
I  love when visitors come to my room and say your room feels like home and smells so good. I know that if a stranger feels like that then my kiddos must feel that way too. Where I fall short is giving more control to my kiddos. I have allowed the pressure of TEST SCORES to drive me. Well in November of last year that stopped. I walk in my room and try to guide those special moments. 

My ideal classroom would....

LOOK: cozy, warm, inviting. Children would be everywhere. They would be reading, writing, and laughing. They would be talking and making memories.
SOUND: The sound of their conversations and laughter would make those in the hall say what is happening in this room. 

FEEL: It would be a place where kids felt safe and comfortable. They would feel the love I have for them. 

I have been inspired by Mr. Greg's no desk or tables that I think that is exactly what will be happening in my classroom this year. They will just have to disappear. 

WHERE'S THE TEACHER? I love that part in the book when Debbie asked that. The teacher in the chapter was off conferencing with some of her students. WOW!!!! I will say, this is a weak point for me. CONFERENCING!!! I just can't seem to find the balance for it. Every year I work really hard to do better and that Conference Monkey comes and I am swinging from vines hoping not to fall. 

In my ideal classroom, I would be sitting in the floor talking to students and asking them about what they found interesting for that day. Children would be all over the room laughing, talking , and learning.

I need to work on having all my copies or supplies ready better. I try and give most jobs over to my kiddos but when they fail to complete them then I take over. I need to keep modeling my expectations for these jobs. 


I need to work on the fact that I have it planned and ready to teach but I let my time either run away. I have decided to set a few timers through out the day so that I will keep the flow. If I had my students all day with me, I wouldn't find this necessary but I teach one subject all day to 3 grades. This means TIME is a huge factor. 

CHOICE & SAFETY! My kiddos know that they will have choices they can make to help in their learning. I guess what I mean is that when it comes to what I am teaching (writing), the choice is theirs. 

When it comes to safety, my kiddo know that I will go to bat for them. We have had several lock downs and a lock outs this year. My kiddos realized that I would protect them with all that I have. They know that I love them dearly. 

I know it may seem that I am far away from my ideal classroom but I know that I will get there. I can't wait to read this book more and get closer to where I want and need to be.