Wednesday, December 31

Instagram Top 10 in 2014

Natalie from Teachery Tidbits is hosting this great party looking back at our Instagram 
pictures in 2014. I took her advice and used Iconosquare to figure out my top 10 pictures. 
(I would recommend the website and not the app. The website appears to be completely free 
while the app wants to charge you to see the information needed to participate in this party.)


My favorite teacher resources -- each summer I read through the 
Daily 5 and try to implement it even better than the year before. 


My handwriting -- preparing for an ABC countdown.


Lots of goodies inside! Nothing better than a box of favorites! #SLANTbox


Apparently I wore the right shirt for our Me on the Map activity today...


Has to be my favorite brag tag yet! #Q1 #bragtag #awards


FYI... #teacherstealsanddeals


We've been BOOing each other at work... tomorrow's my turn!


Every morning my kids solve a double digit addition problem. 
(Daily practice makes permanent!) If they get their problem correct, 
they get to hang it on the light strings on our door. 
Guess we'll be moving to the other side of our door next week!


Half of my classroom library. Needs to be relabeled since I had to replace 
some of my baskets and reorganized a bit to make room for more.


#todayIsaid #teachersofinstagram #teachertalk

So, there you go... my Top 10 pictures on Instagram!
If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can find me @mrsjonesteaches. 

I know the holidays are busy, and you're probably in the middle of relaxing, 
but if you want to participate, join the party!

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Saturday, December 20

December Rewind

Hello again!

Haven't been around the blogging block lately, 
but I wanted to stop in and share what's been keeping me so busy.

We had an ornery elf who stopped in this month to learn about second grade. In these particular pictures he... mistook our headphones for earmuffs... zip lined down off our lights... left us supplies for making our own Christmas chain after we had a great sub day. I've read where some classrooms have a kindness elf that encourages kind words and actions. I think I'd like to try that next year, mix in some good deed requests with the elf fun.

We worked on reindeer Christmas cards for our pen pals in Washington. We also made a YouTube video for them so they could have a tour of our school (and see us for the first time). I really hope we can Skype sometime before our Spring break. We also went Christmas caroling at a nearby nursing home. That is such a good experience for our kids and I'm so grateful we are able to go.

We enjoyed some Christmas-themed Math centers on Mondays, some inside recess days when it rained and we had snow, and a crosswalk safety assembly led by a group of high schoolers.

As part of our Christmas party, we made snow. We tried the two different recipes I found... one with baking soda and conditioner, the other with baking soda and shaving cream. Surprisingly, the vote was split as to which recipe the kids liked better. Thankfully, the cleanup was amazingly easy.

I've also been watching a massive amount of Christmas movies because I love them so. This particular one reveals a wonderful gem that I discovered on Netflix, that may end up being one of my favorites. 

What do I plan on doing over my Winter break? 

Resting! No alarms for 2 weeks is AMAZING!
Putting some of my November and December Math centers on TPT...
Spending LOTS of time with family and friends.

I hope you have a very blessed and merry Christmas!
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Friday, November 14

Five for Yucky, Sick Friday

Things have been quiet around this blog because I spent the last 7 days in bed, sick with a fever, strep throat, and a sinus infection. In fact, today was the only day I made it to school this week, so I don't have five awesome things to share about the amazing things we accomplished this week. My list would look like sleep, fluids, crummy TV, and lots of meds.

Instead, I'll share five interesting things that happen in the classroom when Mrs. Jones is away for four days...

My awesome, wonderful teammate lovingly set up my classroom so that I wouldn't even have to come in to school each day to set up for the sub. I sure do owe her big time and am already planning some "Thank you" treats to bring in to her next week. What a blessing that was to be allowed to just be sick and not have to worry about what was happening at school!

Three students all go home sick on the same day, in the same afternoon, during Math. Coincidence? All three came back to school the next day. Not sure this would've happened had I been there. 

Little Miss sobs everyday and is very emotional all day about missing Mom. I really wish I knew the best way to handle this one. I always feel like I'm being insensitive when I have to handle the emotional days. I feel like acknowledging and coddling just encourages the behavior, though, so on the rare days it happens with me, I give a smile and a quick reminder that she is safe here at school with me and that we are so busy at school that the day goes quickly. 

Mr. I Hate Following Directions spits on other students. Just because. Is there any other reason for the choices little Mr. makes sometimes? 

I saved my favorite for last... The title teacher across the hall busts a black market ring in my classroom. Apparently, little Miss was making a pretty penny selling things like pencils and in trading table spots. I didn't realize there was such prime real estate in my classroom. Thankfully, all the money was given back. 

Needless to say, I had several notes to write to some super sweet students who have gone out of their way lately to make me feel special.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 5


Ok... a few weeks ago, Stacy from Second Grade Sweetie Pies nominated me for another Liebster Award. How super sweet and thoughtful is she! And then I sort of forgot about it in the midst of parent teacher conferences that week and Red Ribbon/Halloween the next week.

Here I am, though... finally... to share my responses to her interesting questions.
Sorry about that Stacy!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging? 
Is it sad that I had to go back and check to figure out the answer to this question? My first post was made in March of 2013. I started blogging because I enjoyed reading other people's blogs and I enjoy writing, so I thought it was something I would enjoy doing. And I do. 

2. What one word would sum up the heart of your blog and why?
This is a very tough question that requires some thought. Sincere. Is that too deep? I try to give you an honest look into my little part of the world. I try to be real, because I'm not a perfect person and everything is not always rainbows and snuggly puppy dogs in my classroom. 

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wish you knew before? 
Hmm... recently I've started connecting with and getting to know some nearby bloggers. This has been a huge blessing because they are in my state/area and understand even better some of the 'stuff' I have to deal with. So, my advice would be to latch on to some nearby bloggers that you can connect with.

4. What is your favorite pastime other than blogging?
I enjoy traveling and wish it weren't so expensive. I enjoy pretty much anything I do with my family. I really love family time. I also like crafting and creating things.

5. How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog? 
Well, it depends on the blog post. I average about one blog post a week. Probably about an hour or less each week.

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
When I'm reading other blogs? Probably literacy, because I often keep my eyes out for interesting ideas to try in my classroom that will keep things interesting and keep learning fun. When I'm writing? Probably management or special events. I tend to follow our district-provided curriculum, so my interesting curriculum ideas tend to be rare.

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
Hands down, from my classroom, kiddos, and coworkers. Part of the reason I created a TPT store in the first place was because one of my teammates talked me into it. I don't tend to think my ideas and creations are 'worthy,' but they give me the confidence to share beyond my classroom and grade level.

8. Which post (that you've written) are you most proud of? 
I'm most proud of the tutorial I created. I love tutorials. I sort of figured everyone else already knew the quick little trick I decided to share, but I was grateful for the sweet comments I received.

9. Is there any post you've been planning to do but have postponed to do for a while now? 
Hmm... I can't really think of any. Sometimes in the midst of something or right after a really great activity I have the fleeting thought that I should blog about it, but when a million other thoughts happen between the activity and time to actually blog, the thought is long gone.

10. What is your favorite aspect about blogging? 
By far, my favorite thing about blogging is reading a blog that makes me say, 'oh my goodness, that's absolutely how I feel,' or 'I can totally relate with that.' It's good to know that I am not alone in the way I feel sometimes. Teaching is a difficult profession, and a lot of people don't understand just how taxing it can be. It's great feeling like I have a support group to encourage and inspire me to be a better teacher, especially when it gets tough.

11. Which idea on my blog would you most likely try? 
This is a hard question because this answer is absolutely dependent on the reader. Hmm... maybe some of the crafty ideas, like making a lollipop tree or a chart paper holder... maybe my first (and only) tutorial where I shared an easy way to leave your blog address in post comments. Maybe you should answer this question for me...


Now, I'm supposed to nominate some people to receive the award and share about themselves.

Sarah from Teacher Mom of Two
Meredith from Creativity to the Core

In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out." (Follow their blog if you haven't already!) Answer the 11 questions I answered above. Nominate blogs that have less than 200 followers. Let your nominees know by commenting on their blog and providing them with a link to your blog post. Put a link to your blog post in my comments section (below) also so I can learn more about you. 

Thanks for the interesting reflection, Stacy!
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Sunday, November 2

Currently November

Good morning!
Or afternoon... evening... whenever you are taking a moment to read.
Glad you could stop in for a bit.

This morning we're skipping our regular church service to travel to the church where my grandma plays the piano. Love time with family! Then, I think we're going to meet at my parents' house for a meal together. Double yay yay!

I've been thinking that I need to simplify and slow down a lot lately, but it can be so hard sometimes. I'm the type of person that if there's something that needs to be done and there's no one else to do it, I say yes, please. Then, sometimes I feel overloaded by all the commitments I've made. Do you ever feel that way?

Our school is currently reading The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey. You can browse the website here. Or you can buy the book here. I've only read through the second chapter so far, but it seems to be a really good book and an easy read. If you've read the book, I'd be interested to read your thoughts about it or about how it has changed your classroom/school.

Thanks for reading to the end!
Have a blessed Sunday!

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Sunday, October 26

FREEDOM Galatians 5:1

Two Sundays ago, I loved participating in

I wanted to make sure I shared again what's been on my heart the last two weeks.

In my Tuesday night women's group, we spend a lot of time in prayer, but our host also makes sure we get into the Word, so we can grow and dwell on it through the week.

I missed last Tuesday because of parent teacher conferences (sad face), but a couple of Tuesdays ago, she asked us to decide on a word and to discover a verse that we could pray over our lives, based on our current season and desires of our hearts. Immediately, during the closing prayer that night, FREEDOM popped into my head.

That word has so many meanings to me... burdens and anxieties. Then, I discovered this verse. It happens to be from the NIRV, in case anyone was wondering. (I like checking different versions to see how the wording differs.)

I would invite you to try the same thing and see how God works through it.

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Friday, October 24

Five for Friday: Parent Teacher Conference Week!

Oy! I've enjoyed my day off!

In my district, we have parent teacher conferences Tuesday night and for 12 hours on Thursday. Then, on Friday, because we worked those extra hours on the conference days, we have the day off. Lovely!

Conferences went well this year. Even though I have a trio of stinkers, I have a good group of parents. Yay! Such a blessing!

What a great 3-day week!

We did a little decorating this week... for parent teacher conferences but also for our fall party next Friday. Our first project was a content-related one. First thing after the kids were settled at their tables and we had heard the morning announcements, we created Frankenstein body parts. Then, during the kids' word work center, the kids sorted Halloween nouns and glued the final project together. I hung them around the room immediately after centers were over for a quick transformation. We loved our Frankensteins!


Since we ended our first quarter last week, I handed out some brag tag awards. The kids loved it! This is BY FAR my favorite brag tag I've made to date. Love it! The kids love collecting them, and some of the kids who came to conferences were excited to show and tell their parents about them. 

Our second project was stained glass pumpkins. I printed half a pumpkin shape on a black piece of construction paper. The kids folded their paper in half. They cut around that pumpkin shape. They they cut out the middle part. We put them a piece of contact paper and started laying our tissue paper squares. They turned out great! Kinda look more like round, orangish apples, but that's ok. 

This week during our Wednesday MTSS (RTI) Math groups, we had equation chain races. I broke the kids in my room into two groups. They raced to create as many (human) equation chains they could make. This group won, making 7 chains in 15 minutes, compared to the other group's 6. They did a great job and had a lot of fun counting and creating math facts. 

Today I ran a bunch of errands, including picking up some pumpkins for next Friday's pumpkin math and taking all kinds of random pictures around town for Amanda's Halloween Hunt. Love a day when I can wake up without an alarm, go for a walk around the neighborhood, and take my time running errands...


Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend, friends!