Click Errands

Sometimes I am shocked when I think about all the websites I use in a day, in a week, in a month, in a year. Here is a poem, or list…we’ll see what it is…showing just how many accounts a teacher, former college student, writer, and avid reader possesses.

There are the dailies

CommonCurriculum and Evernote for planning, my go-to at 7:30

That’s AM weekdays, PM Sundays

My google drive, calendar, mail.

Did I mention the 5 email accounts?

And don’t forget Facebook, my weak spot.

These pull me like a magnet.


Then there are the “most day” accounts, websites

Brightloop, for tracking notes on kids.

“What book are you reading? ”

Is my time spent better talking to your face

or to the Brightloop screen?

“It’s good data” they said.

“It’s easy to record” I said.

And don’t forget Frontow, Sumdog, Prodigy for math

JMC, Renaissance Place for grades

Online banking (that’s personal)

and Goodreads, my own library.

All my most-day errands, done with a few clicks. Lots of clicks.

Well, there’s another category. The “often enough” category.

Visited once a week or once a year, but often enough to remember the passwords.–to save the info

superteachertools–my seating chart and group randomizer

Remind101–for parent communication

Fedloan and Nelnet–so the government doesn’t come knocking on my door for loans past due

Go Math–to stay on top of the curriculum

Teacherspayteachers, or “I pay teachers”; pinterest; twitter–for ideas.

Kahoot, plickers, edublogs, wordpress, blabberize, Progressive (with Flo!), MackinVia, Discover, Scholastic, NewsELA, Youngzine, Weebly, Premier, Edmodo (that’s like facebook for classes!)…the list goes on and on.

And I’m supposed to keep my school computer for school stuff only. As if when running “click of a button” errands we want to switch clickers in the middle.,,,,–to feed my book buying habit, mostly.

And For the wedding registries of my getting-married-20-something friends.

Click errands

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Grateful List

Days off


Dumb phones that are actually pretty smart

When Conversations much anticipated end up going well

Sunshine, and actually getting to spend time in it

Hair cuts


A warm home

A home that s a work in progress

Conferences….and even more so the act of conferring with students and parents both together and apart

Watching moms play with their kids

New iPad apps

Feeling appreciated 


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“Big Picture Next Year”

“Big Picture Next Year” is the note I have on evernote (my school notebook) that I have added to most often these past 2 weeks. Here are some of my plans about what needs to be added (lots of routines that are rough this year) and what should remain the same! I’m excited for another chance to improve my classroom environment for the kiddos.  Let me know if you have ideas on any of these.

Class mottos:

We work through and welcome challenges.

We always have a book with us—we are readers! We read whenever we have time to.

This isn’t a class where being smart or not smart matters. This is a class where working hard and doing your best matters. (tied to research on growth and fixed mindsets)

Our job is to be students. Things happen, we get busy, and we can’t always get our work done. But because it is our job, we better figure out a way to still get it done or ask the teacher for help during our time (recess, etc.).

Class routines:

BathroomUnknown sign language—keep my system (My kids don’t ask to go to the bathroom, they just show me a designated hand sign. It saves a lot of interruptions.)

Computers/IPads—you must finish the assignment itself (the required writing) before changing fonts, colors, themes, etc. in google/word/etc. This has been a huge issue in my one to one 5th grade classroom! An assignment outline done on a beautiful powerpoint, but with only 1/3 of the writing done…this is not okay.

HW policy—Not done? 1 warning
—Next day still not done? In from all recess to work
—2 days late or more? Stay after school, students will have to talk to parents to arrange a ride.

Morning routine
Monday book talk (book of the week at 8:20)
Tuesday thankful talk—what are we thankful for? (we display these on post-its on the wall year-round. I love our “attitude of gratitude” wall.)
Wednesday writing—write something! (an idea on the board)
Thursday math mayhem—math bell ringer
Friday free read—read when you get here!
(I want to prepare a morning binder for each student that has a section for each day.)

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Superbowl XLIX

I heard next year they are ditching the Roman Numerals because Superbowl L just looks dumb.

The Superbowl is admittedly my 5th grade students’ only point of reference when I talk to them about Roman Numerals. Hmm.

I asked the kids what they thought of Sunday, if they watched the game. The following is a sample of their responses, followed by my own.

“I didn’t really care who won but I knew that I had to watch it because everyone at school would be talking about it…I am being very critical about this but I shall go on. I didn’t watch the commercials but I bet they were funny. When the commercials came, that was my snack, bathroom, and my drink break.”

“The Super Bowl was awesome for me because I loved the commercials…One of my favorite commercials was the Bud Light one where the guy gets to be Pacman in a giant version of Pacman.”

“The funniest commercial was when this kid wanted some doritos and the guy wouldn’t let him so the guy told the kid he could have them when pigs fly and the kid made a jetpack and the pig flew so the kid got all of the doritos.”

“Richard Sherman CRIED at the end of the game poor sportsmanship :(”

“Then I noticed the countdown of of 4rth quarter 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1 I started screaming like YES YES BEAT SEAHAWKS. CHAMPIONS PATRIOTS YES!!! I slept good overnight.”

“The super bowl is a big, big, big, big, big, big game.”

“The super bowl was awwwwwwwsome because the Patriots won, KARMA BABY!!!!!!!!!!!”

“I think that the end was a little weird cause when they were getting ready to throw the ball they got in a huge fist fight.”

“The Super Bowl was exciting! My mom was saying stuff like “Oh come on you should have caught that.”

“To me the Patriots are kinda like the Chargers, annoying to watch and kinda cocky sometimes.”

Personally, I think the SuperBowl is fun to watch because it is a cultural phenomenon! It was the most watched show in history, if the TV speaks the truth, and a great point of reference for classroom conversation. What I don’t appreciate are the stories that 16 teens were rescued from sex trafficking and dozens of pimps were arrested. Big games like this always increase the numbers of people trafficked, and I wish we could have the excitement without the terror of trafficking.

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Married Life

Nathan and I have both experienced a lot of, “So how is married life?” questions lately. Here is my attempt at an answer.

10428020_10153188454521509_206670464167112029_nI moved. I left my keys in my apartment the morning of the wedding and didn’t look back. That right there has been an adjustment. My new home has felt like just that, home, for months. Still, fitting all my stuff in and feeling like it is just as much my place as my husband’s is…sometimes tricky.

Today was supposed to be the first day back in a “routine” that involves the students we both have missed this Christmas break. A winter storm cut short that normalcy, though, with an early out. I’m ready for routine. Right now there are so many times I’m just not sure what to do. But that’s nice, too. I think I need lots of time in this season of transition into life alongside another person.

As I read over this it sounds so negative. But I am so excited to be married! I wake up so thrilled to be with my closest friend, and Nathan can attest to how much I bother him throughout the day because I am so giddy to be his wife.

We’re together. We’re happy. We’re transitioning. Not everything is easy, but it’s worth it.

Just some thoughts on married life from someone who has been married a whopping 10 days :)

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Responses to the Protests–written by 5th grade students

I think these responses are very similar to the responses many adults have–students are confused, students want to defend the police, students want to say that all should be treated fairly, etc.

“It doesn’t matter what color skin black or white .

God didn’t want this

and people know that, but sometime they just forget.”

“I think that the police just got a little out hand thats what I think b/c people are all mad.BUT the people are just stating their opinion.But why are they stating their opinion just keep it to themselves. Thats why all this protesting is about.So if your involved just stop its not fun or good to do.”

“I think that black people should be treated equal. This reminded me of Martin Luther King Junior when he protested. Did the officer say that if Michael would have been white then he would not of shot him? Is the police officer lying to people to be a good reputation? Does the police officers family think that it was right for him to shoot Michael? Does Michael’s parents think that he should be shot because of what he did? I want to find out more about this article.”

“I don’t really care about the protest. I don’t really care about why the officer shot Michel Brown. All I would do is forget about.”

“I think that the officer should be punish because of murder and that we should have a new act that black people should be treated fairly and that the officer should be fired.”

“Why did the police shoot Brown? Was it because he was black? Was it because he did something bad? Who knows.”

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Wife or Servant? Some thoughts.

nathan panda shirt

By 8 am today I was fighting tears. And then at 5 o’clock I cracked. And Nathan came. And he helped. And I can’t even tell you how much I love him because it is beyond the words that I have. The only things that come to mind are cheesy as can be.

Like he’s my other half. And his love is a drug.

Like I said, cheesy.

24 days, folks, till I take on that little word with a lot of meaning–wife. Or, as Nathan might call it–servant :) Ha, he wouldn’t mean it. But really, a servant. I commit to a life of serving this one other person who also commits to serving me, and together we serve others. It’s a big commitment. I’m pumped.

And also stressed. I recognize that worry and trust do not co-exist well, but I’m trying to trust God and I continue to worry about all that needs to be done. It’s never-ending. Even after the wedding there is the process of changing addresses, email addresses, insurance information, my name, bank accounts, and a plethora of other things.


Just some thoughts…

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