• #starringthesixers,  academics,  goals,  sixth graders,  standardized test,  summer,  teacher,  teachers,  testing

    It’s Testing Season!

    I am pretty darn sure that no teacher ever said the above words in relation to standardized testing. Standardized test days are not typically considered to be fun. They’re tedious and long and stressful. These tests can take up to 3 or 4 hours, during which all students have to remain quiet. It’s quite the opposite of fun.At my school (and I’m pretty sure this is relatively standard across the board) being in a testing environment means teachers have to be constantly, actively monitoring. No cell phone, no computer, no sitting in one corner of the room reading a book when you’re out of sight of the window. Just three or…

  • #starringthesixers,  academics,  classroom,  mdidle ages,  projects,  sixth grade,  student engagement,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Monitor and Adjust!

    As teachers, we are always having to monitor and adjust. Sometimes, you have to change your lesson plan from one class to the next and sometimes you have to totally scrap an idea and go with something totally different. And, of course, there’s always that day when all technology fails and you have to resort to worksheets and textbooks. You always have to be ready to change on a moment’s notice! Sometimes, a brilliant idea turns out to be not so brilliant and you monitor and adjust for next year. This is what happened to me these past couple of weeks. I planned an awesome project for the Middle Ages. Students…

  • #starringthesixers,  back to school,  books,  classroom,  librarian,  literacy,  marshall,  marshall university,  media specialist,  reading,  teacher,  teaching

    Looking Ahead to Next Stages

    I think that, in life, it’s important to find your passion. It just doesn’t make sense to me to go through life doing something you don’t enjoy. Why be miserable when you can be happy? Now, I do understand that some people, through circumstances or choices or whatever, are not able to live their passion in their job but I have always thought that it is important to be happy at what you do. I enjoy my job (most days). I love who I work with and I love who I work for. On most days, I even love every single one of my students, except maybe when they’re screaming…

  • #starringthesixers,  day in the life,  rabbit,  trashcan

    A Day in the Non-Teacher Life of…Me!

    Okay, so this is me. Well, me from a few years ago. I still look basically the same, though. Today’s blog post is about a day in the life of non-teacher me. Crazy things happen to me at school with my students and Beta and the copier but sometimes life outside of work is just as ridiculous. I had the craziest day yesterday and I am going to share it with you! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to give me money…well, maybe not that last part. But I promise you’ll enjoy it so let’s go! Yesterday, I was going to leave early for school. I was covering another teacher’s…

  • #starringthesixers,  academics,  classroom,  classroom management,  sixth grade,  student discipline,  student engagement,  students,  teacher

    Your Thoughts on Class Size…

    Class size seems to be a hot button topic these days, or at least it is in South Carolina. It seems everywhere I turn on Facebook, someone is posting about class sizes being large and how they are only getting more students and how are they supposed to teach a class of 33? I feel their pain. My classes range in size from 23 to 33 and it’s amazing what you can get done with just 23 kids that you can’t with 33. I’ve heard some politicians say that large class sizes are a good thing for educators.I laughed out loud at that one.Let me tell you what goes on in…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom,  sick day,  sixth grade,  students,  substitute,  substitute teacher,  teacher,  teaching

    Sick Days are Never Just Sick Days

    There are very few times when I’m envious of a cubicle, 9-to-5 job. One of those times is the ability to use the bathroom whenever you want. There’s nothing like being halfway through a class period, facing a bunch of sixth graders, and having to go to the bathroom like nobody’s business. No amount of thinking “you don’t really have to go, it’s just 30 more minutes, you can do it” can stem that tide. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to pop up from your desk when Nature calls and go to the bathroom? Ah…office job perks.The one other major time that I wish for that office…

  • #starringthesixers,  bad kids,  classroom,  classroom management,  classroom procedures,  procedures,  sixth grade,  student discipline,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Positive Training

    I have been struggling for some time with my fourth-period class in particular. Their behavior is usually awful, they’re chatty, and they don’t seem to care one iota about consequences. Lately, it seems like every time I turn my back to advance the PowerPoint slide or grab the worksheets or whatever, at least half the class starts to chat.So last Tuesday, instead of doing the regular “if I write your name down that’s a warning and if you get a check that’s a consequence” I decided to reward the good kids. At the start of the period, I wrote everyone’s name on the board. Throughout the period, I drew blue…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom,  emotional,  new teacher,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Did You Know You Were a Ringmaster?

    So you’re a teacher, right? (Hopefully you are, if you’re reading this blog). When you went into teaching, did you know that you’d be required to wear many hats and juggle many things? Or did you, as most of us do, think that your job was to get up in front of the students and teach your content, maybe throw a band-aid on a skinned knee every now and then, and give out some hugs? I’m sure you know better now. If you’re a good teacher, then you probably wear many hats at school. You may teach seventh grade ELA but you may also advise the yearbook. Perhaps you’re also the…

  • #starringthesixers,  beta,  beta club,  beta convention,  books,  brandon mull,  fablehaven,  reading,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    For the Love of a Book, Week 15

    The only problem with these “For the Love of a Book” weekly posts is that I tend to re-read books I like and so I am having trouble coming up with books that I haven’t done yet! Solution? Read new books! I am going to have to get on that… For this week, I am going to show how a book can come to life! This whole week has been dedicated to blog posts about the Beta Convention and today is no different. One of the competitions we look forward to the most is Living Literature, where students recreate a scene from a book. Last year, we did The Lion,…

  • #starringthesixers,  beta,  beta club,  beta convention,  field trip,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Planning for a Beta Field Trip!

    So you’re the sponsor of the Beta Club at your school, are you? That’s awesome! You’re thinking of going to the Beta Convention next year? Equally awesome! I encourage you to get your ducks in a row now, because you don’t want to be scrambling last minute. Trust me on that. Planning a field trip can be hard but if you start early and plan well, it will be a breeze. We just got back in January from our Beta Club field trip and, let me tell you, I took lots of notes on what to do differently next year. 2020 will be my third year going on this field…