I am updating this post and linking up with Ideas by Jivey's Workshop Wednesday.  My go to site for math is Learn Zillion.  I teach an Exceptional Children's inclusion class and show my students the video lessons first then take each slide one at a time.  This site has really helped with teaching them the new concepts of Common Core.


Some of you may already know about Learnzillion.com, I was just introduced to it this year by one of my teammates.  I must say I {Heart} this site! It is a great resource for power point lessons that are Common Core aligned and FREE!

At my school we all share planning responsibilities.  Two teachers plan Reading for the year, a different teacher plans Writing, Science, & S.S., while another teacher and I plan Math.  My teammate and I alternate skills in which we plan to give ourselves a break from planning.  We also have cluster classes, two low, two highs, and one average (we did have two average but had to disperse the class).  As grade level chair I wanted a low and high cluster teacher planning Reading and Math to ensure all levels were being met.  The great thing about Learnzillion is once you have downloaded the PP you can add slides to it.  This is where we adjust the lesson to fit our students needs.

I just completed a weeks worth of lesson plans in 90 minutes!  Can you believe that!  This includes creating homework sheets to go along with the lessons.

I have also used there ELA lessons with my class to supplement the plans my teammates have created.  I have the EC cluster and my students need more direct instruction when learning or reviewing skills.  LearnZillion lessons can be viewed as a video or PP presentation.  Often I will include the link to the lesson video in a SmartBoard lesson to trick my students into watching a "movie".

My only complaint with LearnZillion is they don't have lessons for all CC standards yet, at least for fourth grade.  I have used other grade level lessons to teach skills.  I hope you find this site as useful as I do!

From the homepage (once you have created a Login) you can see there are tons of useful tools.  I haven't tried them out yet.  If you have please share your experience :)

This shows 1 of 3 pages for lessons for patterns.

Just click on the Math skill you are working on.

Just click on the ELA skill you are working on.

What are your favorite sites to reference when planning your lessons?
We are having a lazy day at my house today which means I am getting some school work done.  Yay!  As I mentioned in my last post I wanted to show my appreciation for all my new followers by creating some freebies.  I created a Multiplication review and a Subtraction Review with regrouping.  Enjoy!


I am overwhelmed with all the support and followers in the last 24 hours!  I would like to thank Diane at Teaching with Moxie for showcasing my Blog Goal for 2013.  With your sweet gesture I have already doubled my followers!  You all have shown how supportive and grateful we are of each other and our ideas.  Thank you so much!

To show my gratitude I am going to work on some freebies this weekend!  I am also putting my new Runaway Ralph Unit on sale, 20% off for my 20+ new followers, for today and tomorrow!

Last night I finally completed my Runaway Ralph Unit.  We started the book before break and I was creating the mini-unit a day prior to teaching it, nothing like last minute planning.  I created this unit for partner or group activities.  Collaborating is a skill my students need to work on, they struggle with sharing ideas and staying on task.  These can be used for a whole class reading, literature circles, or guided reading groups.  Here is a preview of the Mini-Unit:

Thank you again!  Now to work on one of my personal goals I am off to the gym!

Teaching Maddeness

I am linking up to Teaching Maddeness' New Year's Resolution linky party!  2012 was a crazy year for us but a good one as well.  The past year has helped me decide my goals for 2012, hopefully posting this will make me more accountable :)

My School Goals:

1. Leave by 3:45 or earlier.  My students are dismissed at 2:30 and we are required to stay until three.  I usually avoid all work my socializing with my coworkers until 4 or 4:30. This takes time away from my family and puts me behind in planning and grading.  

2. Stop sweating the small stuff and let things go.  I have a challenging class and group of parents this year and have let these challenges get to me emotionally.  My goal for myself is to let it all go as soon as I walk out of my room at 3:45.  As you know in our profession it is difficult to stop thinking about things at home.

My Personal Goals:

1. To exercise 4-5 days a week.  This past summer I was doing great with this (I lost 14.4 lbs), but with family emergencies and the start of school this went to the back burner.  I still have 15-20 lbs to loose.

2. Improve my relationship with God.  My husband and I just purchased a Weekly Devotional Book for Couples and look forward to completing this throughout 2013.  I also am going to set aside a time each day to read his word.  I believe with this goal all my other goals will fall into place :)

My Blogging Goals:

1. To post pictures from my class.  I am horrible at remembering my camera!

2. To get at least 200 followers :) PLEASE HELP ME OUT WITH THIS GOAL! THANKS!
I also linked up with Teaching with Moxie!

I cannot believe we are on Christmas Break!  The school year is flying by, we are half way done with this school year!  What do you plan to do during your break?  Are you traveling?

We did a lot of traveling this summer so we are staying home for the holidays and enjoying my baby boy's First Christmas at home.  I cannot wait for my boys to open their presents, I think they are going to have a great Christmas!

Over my break I plan to finish up my Runaway Ralph unit and work on a mini-math unit for my class and TpT store.  This is a very challenging year for me, personally and professionally, so I am hoping this break will give me my "mojo" back for the rest of the year.  I also look forward to some quality time with my boys and hubby.  We are lucky that my husband has the same holiday leave as I do so we can take the opportunity to do some family outings and activities.

I created a Spot On Research Report lesson plan and materials pack for expository writing a few months ago.  My students have already selected their animals and started some research before we left for break.  This unit includes 11 days of lesson plans and all sheets included to teach students how to plan, research, take notes, organize their information, write an introduction and conclusion, and create a bibliography.  This is a great resource to have for any research topic!

You can find it HERE

and a Blog Hop!
It's that time again to link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade's Currently post!  I love these post because you get to find new blogs and bloggers.

Listening:  We have started watching a new show, Chicago Fire.  My hubby and I are addicted to our nightly tv shows.  It's a time we get to hang out without our kids and just relax.

Loving: I love this this time of year!  Christmas decorations are the prettiest.  There is nothing like a dark room lit by white Christmas lights, stockings hung from the mantle, and putting out nativity scenes.

Thinking: Progress Reports go home Friday and I don't have all my grades entered in the online grade book. I also will be out Friday and need to write my sub plans and run copies.

Wanting:  This has been a LONG week and it is only WEDNESDAY!  This week has really made me reflect on my class, teaching, and education in general.  I am wanting Christmas break to start tomorrow!  I need time to relax and make some decisions.

Needing: I haven't bought a single Christmas present for my boys!  This is the baby's first Christmas I have no idea what to get him.  He wants his brother's toys and our electronics, any suggestions!?!

Random Acts of Kindness:  Recently our custodian was told he had prostate cancer.  I have decided to get a grocery gift card to provide him and his wife with some financial help during his time off for surgery.  Praying everything goes well for him!

My WILD child!

Has the full moon effected your students!?! My room was crazy today, along with some other classes. When I picked up my Kindergartner from the sittters today he said nine classmates changed their color and there is now a naughty list in their class. My first question was, "Did YOU change your color"? and my second statement was, "Your class was like mine today"! Not only did it have an effect on my students it effected my middle son, who is 4. He had a 15 minute fit over a bowl of cereal tonight! He is diagnosed ADHD and ODD so I was just waiting for his melt down.

 During our crazy day today we worked on Characterization with Text Development, RL 4.3: Describe in depth a character in a story or drama drawing on specific details in the text. I created the sheet below for my students to utilize. We are reading Skylark and they were required to choose sentences from the text that showed a character's thought, feelings, or actions. They then analyzed the text and determined what the specific sentence told us about the character. They did a good job with this activity so I am going to share it with you :) When I use it again with a different story I think I am going to have my students choose three sentences from the text and then have their partner analyze the text to determine what the given information tells the reader about the character.

 I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

We have been working on Multiplication in my class, CCS 4.OA.1, 4.OA.2, and 4.NBT.5 to be exact. I have completed a Mini-Unit for my TpT store and I am offering it FREE for the first three people to leave a comment below with their email address! (Please allow at least 24 hours to receive it) My only request is that you submit feedback to me about the product via email or on TpT.  I will be working on some other projects through out the week so keep an eye out for other free offers!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday break!

This unit includes 7 worksheets with answer keys and focuses on Word Problems.  There is also a focus on the Area Model of Multiplication and Expanded Form of Multiplication.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We spent the day at home cooking and then spent today cleaning out the garage and decorating for Christmas.  I LOVE the weather in NC right now, we had the doors and windows open all day!  Currently my boys and hubby are roasting marshmallows outside.  I don't ever want to move back to the cold north!

I would like to thank Kimberly Ann over at Live, Laugh, I Love Kindergarten for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  The Libster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It is  a way to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and help spread the word about their blog.

The Rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
4. Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and a link them in your post.
5. No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to you Liebster post so I can learn more about you)

Random Facts About Me:
1.  I never wanted to teach fourth grade.  I only ever wanted to teach 1-3, but one year in order to keep my position I had to move up to fourth grade.  I ended up LOVING fourth grade and don't want to teach any other grade!

2.  I am a hoarder.  Not as bad as those on the TV show, but I have a very difficult time getting rid of things, especially items I might use in my classroom.

3.  I LOVE bowling!  I started bowling at a very young age and was in several league. I don't do it as often as I would like now as an adult.

4.  I am a former "military brat".  My dad was in the Air Force and therefore we moved around a lot.  I have lived in six states and one country total as both a military child and wife.

5.  I recently learned how to cook.  When I first met my husband I couldn't cook, seriously no exaggeration.  Thanks to Pinterest I know my way around a kitchen and my husband is greatly appreciative.

6.  I am the worst speller!  Spell check was invented for me :)

7.  I have an Education Administration degree.  I used to want to use it soon, but with a new baby I have decided to hold of on pursuing that avenue.

8.  Cheese is my favorite food!  My dream vacation is a trip to France just for the cheese portion of a meal.

9.  I have five tattoos, and want more!

10.  I love to craft!  I get this from my grandmother and mother, I just wish I could sew like them.

11.  I am obsessed with cloth diapers.  I own 36 of them for one baby, recommended is 24.  I never clothed my oldest two boys and I wish I would have.  They really are not that difficult, and they save lots of money!

Questions by Kimberly Ann:
1.  If you didn't teach the grade you do now, which grade would you want to teach?
I enjoy 4th, but I think I would like to utilize my administration degree next.

2.  What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas!  Love spending time with my family, decorating, and giving!

3.  Where would you want live if you didn't live where you currently live?
Anywhere closer to family.  Being a military family we are far from all family.

4.  What is your favorite hobby, besides blogging?;)
Crafting. Using my Cricut is my favorite!

5.  What is your favorite sports team?
I don't keep up with sports, but I guess our family are Oklahoma University fans.

6.  Are you a risk taker?
In some situations yes, in others not so much.
7.  Are you a Black Friday shopper?
Usually I am, but not this year :(

8.  Favorite place to visit?
The Biltmore in Asheville NC, the most beautiful place in NC!

9.  Favorite season and why?
Fall, I love the cooler weather and the beautiful colors!

10.  What was your first ever job?
I worked at McDonald's.

11.  What is your favorite teaching memory?
Last year I had a student who scored 1's on reading and math the year before and working hard he earned a 3 and 4 on his test.  He was so proud and so was the rest of the staff.

Questions to my Nominations:
1.  What is your dream job (other than teaching)?
2.  What is one thing you wish you were better at?
3.  Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, explain.
4.  Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
5.  What do you fear?
6.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?
7.  Who do you admire most and why?
8.  What is your favorite subject or unit to teach?
9.  How many students do you have in your class?
10.  Where is your favorite place to shop?
11.  Who is your celebrity crush?

Blogs I am nominating:

While doing some last minute planning for this week I have created a Presidential Election worksheet for my students to complete.  I am going to have them search for the answers using the Internet this week during computers.  You can download here from my TPT store.  Remember to VOTE on Tuesday!  Have a great week!

I am excited to participate in my first Currently post by Oh' Boy Fourth Grade.

I did tend to the needs of my hungry baby before posting this post :) 

Speaking of of To Do list, how many do you have? I have a list for school and for at home, both equally long and never ending.  This weekend I am hoping to cross of math plans from my school to do list and cleaning out closets, laundry, and finish favors for my sister's baby shower off of my home to do list.  This weekend is dedicated to my family needs over my classroom needs.  What are you hoping to accomplish this weekend?
Stop over at Teaching Maddeness to enter the Grateful Bags Give Away and a code for 10% off your purchase to use now :)

Give Away!  Stop over at Teaching Maddness to enter her Grace and Lace Give Away.  Good Luck!

What a week!  I have a class that keeps me on my toes this year, and they did just that this week.  My own children included.  My six year old broke a window yesterday while at the sitters by throwing a plastic horseshoe, the boy has an arm on him.  He has been grounded from playing outside for a week (which is actually a punishment to me) and has to pay for the window, which means I will be paying for the window.  On the way home from the sitters he asked for Halloween and Christmas decorations. I reminded him that he just broke a window and there is no money for Halloween or Christmas decorations.  So, since I am in need of some Freebies due to a broken window I thought I would share my Free Christmas Coupon book with you just incase you too have a broken window to pay for this holiday season.

This year is our first year implementing Common Core Standards, our principal told us this is our Renaissance year.  In the past our district was very strict on how we should teach objectives, and now with CCS they are trusting us once again. I decided to look back at some of the creative stuff I did while student teaching and my first years of teaching, you know those years you had time to create everything before kids, and found my Reading Feast.

I first did this project when I was student teaching first grade and hand drew each piece and cut out each piece, yep very excited student teacher and didn't know the importance of parent volunteers back then.  I have recreated Reading Feast and added it to my TPT store here.

 My son's Reading Feast.

My Reading Feast.

My oldest son is in Kindergarten and begged, he LOVES school, to make his own plate of food when I was recreating the project.  We read one of his Power Ranger books and he drew pictures of the characters, setting, favorite part, problem (fight scene), and the solution.  Next, he cut out his food pieces and glued them to a paper plate. I then had to make my own, I can't wait to have my fourth graders make this project this week.  I plan to put them on our hallway bulletin board.

I am linked up with Tara's Monday Made It {It is a month long party}

I am excited to join the educational world of blogging!  I have a personal family blog (that I haven't been up to date with lately) that I love using to keep family and friends up on our family's happenings.  I look forward to keeping you up on lessons and activities I use in my classroom through I {heart} Recess.

I am in my eighth year of teaching, and currently teaching an Exceptional Children's 4th grade cluster class in North Carolina.  I love teaching, even on those challenging days, and creating creative lessons and activities to use in my classroom.  This is our first year using Common Core Standards, I should say navigating our way through CCS.

The "I {heart} Recess" title is inspired by my 4th grade team from last year.  I worked with a great team of ladies and we had some great conversations during recess, it was one of our favorite parts of the day!  During recess we discovered a lot about each other personally and professionally (we did keep an eye on our classes as well :) ).  We discussed students, plans, shared ideas, and educated each other on pregnancy, I was pregnant with my third son last year. Have you ever worked with a great group of teachers and hated seeing them leave or move grade levels at the end of the year?  

In honor of our recess conversations I am starting this blog to share ideas and lessons with you and hopefully get some ideas and tips from you as well.  I may also share tips and advice, as well as need some, on being a working mother of three boys :)

To celebrate my first post stop over at my TPT store and download my FREE Star Spelling Menu!  I {heart} Recess TPT

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