Thursday, July 17, 2014


Life just gets too busy to keep up with everything and blogging had to take a backseat. I have been as busy this summer being out of school as being in school. I just went to a recent training in Orlando that was full of great information and resources! It was put on by the ladies at ACCESS to Florida Standards, Randy LaRusso and Christi Filokosky!  The website is  'ACCESS to Florida Standards for Student Success.'

I have also been very busy creating new themes for my TPT site, camping and superheroes. So if those are on your list of possibilities for your classroom this year, head on over and check them out. 'Camping Theme' and 'Superheroes Theme.' and 'Wild West Theme.'

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Time Flies


It is hard to believe I have been back at school for almost a month. Time truly does fly. I feel like I haven't even had time to breath let alone get everything done that I want to get done.

My classroom is coming along nicely. My students are adjusting, I am adjusting and we are making progress. My classroom is so different from what I imagine most typical classrooms to be. I can have my students for several years in a row. Now this can be good and it can be not so good. I really get to know my students and their individual needs, but by the same token it can sometimes be not so good.

This year, in what we call homeroom (M-Th 9:30-10:45, 12:15-2, 2:45-4:30, and Fridays 9:30-4:30), I have 10 students, 8 of which are returning and 2 who are new. My age levels range from 13 to 21, grades 8-12. And that is just my homeroom class. When we switch classes I see students ranging from 3rd grade up to 12th.

It can be a daunting task to create appropriate lesson plans when you have such a diverse range. Then add in the varying disabilities and special needs and you have quite an interesting dynamic in each class...

Our primary focus with these students should be functional life skills but unfortunately we as educators are forced to focus primarily on academics (Language Arts, Math, Science). It makes me sad that the ADA promises what is best for each individual student based on their individual needs, but legislation such as No Child Left Behind do NOT allow us the freedom to address the student's true priority educational needs but force a set of standards onto them that are not relevant.

And please do not get me wrong. The standards we used prior to our new Access Points also addressed academics but in a more functional way and allowed us to address the individual needs of each unique student.

I am just curious what others feel is their biggest challenge this year... Any thoughts???

...remember ...always stay 'Wild About School'

Monday, August 13, 2012

Classroom Happenings

I feel like my fingers are going to fall off. Last week was full of design, print, cut out, laminate, cut out again, put velcro on, put up in room... Rinse and repeat ;)
Here are a few of the things I was busy creating and putting up.

Classroom Labels part 1

Classroom Labels part 2

Cheetah Jobs Checklist, students use these to record chores as they are done.

Zebra Jobs Checklist, same thing as the Cheetah Checklist, just for the other team :)

Chore Checklist Binder Covers

Job Signs 1

Job Signs 2

Jungle Birthday Cards to give to my kiddos...

Jungle Blank Greeting Cards for other occasions...

And a whole lot more...

Classroom Job Board in action... This was made with a folding presentation foam board and bordered with designer duct tape. I attached it to the back of one of my Library Carts with zip ties. By attaching the labels with velcro I am able to switch up the job assignments as needed. I also have duplicates of each student and job, bordered with the opposing design in case they need to switch teams.

Our FACE of a Reader - customizable, interactive anchor chart beginning

One of my students needs to get out of his wheelchair and stretch out throughout the day - here is his tricked out lounger...

Computer Center

This is a shot of the back of my classroom...

Up top is a pennant sign that says "It's A Jungle in Here"

I have most of my boxes and bins labeled.

The two zebra and cheetah wall hangings on the door are soon to be our word wall and our calendar.

More pictures later this week...
...and remember ...always stay 'Wild About School!'

Sorrowful Times

I just got back from a four day trip to Kentucky with my daughter where we laid my 93 year old Grandma to rest. She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I pray that I am able to example in my life the teachings of so precious a soul as hers.
One of the happy sides to all of this is that we were blessed to have her as long as we did... It was a wonderful weekend spent remembering how she had touched all of our lives, friends and family alike. The word I heard used most to describe her was precious. And that just about sums her up... precious in every way!

Granny Marguerite and I when I was a baby...

Granny Marguerite and I when I was all grown up...

My beautiful daughter Kristina with my beautiful Granny Marguerite...

My wonderful son and I with Granny Marguerite...

My grandpa Billy, my granny Marguerite and my mother Lucy.

Granny Marguerite fed our bodies as she fed our souls...

I love you Granny and miss you, but I know you are in Heaven watching over me...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

8 Must Haves

I am always looking for cute new ideas to use to decorate my classroom. When I find a theme I like I have 8 must haves that I immediately create. As a matter of fact, that is what prompted this post. I found the cutest little mice clipart over at Scrappin' Doodles and had to create my 'must haves' with it. I am calling them My Schoolhouse Mouse Collection. Read on to find out what those 'must haves' are for me.

1. Desk Name Plates - Well, everyone must know where they are suppose to sit :) Also I use them in my area where my kiddos hang their backpack. That way we all know which backpack goes with which student. In my top 3's in order of creation.

2. A Calendar Set - I use this every day with my students so it falls in my top 3's in order of creation.

3. Classroom Signs Set - I label everything in my room and of course I want it all to coordinate so I have to create labels/signs in order to accomplish this. It also helps my students remember where things are or where they go. Also in my top 3's in order of creation.

4. Word Wall Set - We love learning new words, so this is next up in my line up.

5. Newsletter - So I can communicate with parents and tell them everything we are doing in our classroom.

6. FACES of a Reader Headers Set - Who doesn't need these up to keep us focused.

7. Readers Workshop Headers Set - I love to have these strategies posted in my classroom.

8. And finally, my eighth must create is Classroom Passes.

I would love to hear from others about their 'must haves' in their classrooms.

...and remember ...always stay 'Wild About School!'

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Interactive SmartBoard Blog Hop

Margret over at Kinder Journey is hosting a great Blog Hop! So head on over, sign up and choose the top three sites that your class uses and link them up! She's looking forward to seeing the ones that you use most and so am I.

1. My first site is one that does require a paid membership... however, with that said, I have paid for access to the Reading A to Z and Raz Kids for the past 3 years out of my own pocket. One of the things I love the most is the ability for my students to read books at home over the Summer. If they have a microphone attached to their computer they can record their reading and send it to me so I can listen. It gives great feedback to me on who is using it over the Summer, how often, how long, what books they read or listened to, etc. Great site.
Learning A to Z

2. Starfall is a cute little site that I use with some of my little guys. They have a little bit of everything.

3. National Geographic's site for kids.

And about a million more...


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Treasures & Make Overs

First things first, who doesn't love Skippyjon Jones? Well, that is who Kohl's is featuring for their Kohl's Cares Back to School Kids Cause. I was there yesterday and grabbed up my own Skippyjon & friends plushies along with the books for my library.

Skippyjon Plush & "Skippyjon Jones In the Dog House" Book

Bumble Bee Plush & "Skippyjon Jones" Book

Sock Monkey Plush & "Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice" Book

and finally, Penguin Plush & "Skippyjon Jones Class Action" Book

Then I rushed home and placed an order for the online exclusive dinosaur plushie and "Skippyjon Jones and The Big Bones" Book.

Along with a cute little Skippyjon backpack. I figure I can use the backpack to create a take home pack to rotate among my students.

This is a great little resource book to help teach my kiddos how to make healthier eating choices. Since I have a full kitchen in my room we will be able to make some of the offerings and maybe even do some taste comparisons so they can see healthier doesn't have to taste icky :)

Now, on to my makeover... No, I didn't go get a beauty makeover, but three of the chairs I have in my room did. You may have seen one of them in my reading nook post. If you didn't take a look at my lil nook. I am pretty proud of how it is turning out.

These are the chairs that I started out with. They are probably about 25 years old but they are Lazy Boys and are quality pieces of furniture as far as their bones go. We started out by taking them apart. A good friend of mine suggested we leave the old fabric over them and just cover over it so that is what we did.

With my hubby's help, we created the buttons, cut & stapled the fabric on, attached the buttons and reassembled the chairs. I left the nicks and dings because I have a jungle theme going on and didn't want to have them to fresh looking. I can always go back and refinish the wood later. BTW, the fabric was a faux suede I have had for several years just waiting for the perfect project for it :) So check your closets, you never know what treasures you will find there.

Counting the one in my reading nook already, this is 2 of the 3 done.

And this is a picture of the two swivel rockers after they are all done. I can't wait to get them back into my room.

Whew, yesterday was a busy day. Then hubby and I had a birthday dinner party to go to last night. Today has been all about relaxing...zzzz.... and napping ;) Now that nap time is over, time to get back to work creating more fun things for my classroom.

...and remember to stay 'Wild About School!'