Sunday, December 13, 2015

New Blog Starting

Well friends, I've decided it's time to venture off to a new blog. This blog, which is mostly Whole Brain Teaching related will still be here. I may still come back to post WBT things from time to time.

My new blog, Southern Teacher's Tales, is a WordPress blog. Since it's a new platform for me, I hope you'll bear with me and I get things set to my liking. There, I'll hopefully be posting more often. I'll talk about what's going on in my teacher world, as well as resources and things I'm learning or have learned about in education and life in general.

I thank you for following my WBT journey here and hope you'll follow me in my new little corner of the blogging world!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Last Currently of 2015!

We've arrived at the last month of 2015! It's amazing to thing that in just a few weeks, we will be ringing in the new year. To celebrate the last month of the year, here's my Currently addition to Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade's linky party!

After a long day at school with basketball games to keep a clock for, the only thing on was the local 10:00 news! Was nice to hear that some more winter like temps are on the way tomorrow.

Thursday and Friday, I'll have my older students working through some projects related to our study of fossils. They will excavate chocolate chip fossils from cookies, make a fossil with some air-dry clay, and try to identify animals based on just their bones among other things. Took me the better part of a whole day over the weekend to get it planned so I hope it's worth it!

My TPT store, as usual, is in my list. Hope to get something going there soon.

My classroom decorations are in a box in the classroom - so I guess that's progress. Was going to put them up today, but after spending almost 30 mins. in the checkout line of Walmart, I had no time to do it before running to the basketball games. UGH!

I've always had a faux tree at my house. I'm hoping my youngest cat will let me put my big tree up and not use it as a ladder. I'll give it a day or two after I get it up to see if it stays. May need to go to the smaller one that I put up successfully for about 2 weeks last year!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Currently

Where has the time gone! It's been a while since I've posted on my blog because I've been so busy with school. Here's hoping this post will get me back on track! It's November Currently time with Oh Boy, 4th Grade!

Listening: I just love watching David on QVC. He's a hoot! I would love to be watching the pregame for the Saints football game, but our local Fox station is off the air for some reason. :(

Loving: Who doesn't love an extra hour of sleep?!?

Thinking: LSU women's basketball starts this week and I'm so excited! My school's high school teams start next week, so I'll be getting ready to run the clock at their home games.

Wanting: So a couple weeks ago, we had some low humidity, lower temps weather that was wonderful. I wish it would come back soon!

Needing: Teaching a new grade level means lots of prep work. Thankfully I only have one subject (science or social studies) to do at a time but it's so much work just to stay ahead. I think I'll try to do all the work for at least the couple weeks we have until break.

Yummy: So with the regular smoked turkey, dressing, snap beans, cranberry jelly, and rolls, my family usually has mac and cheese. It something my mom makes with those tube noodles, Velveeta block cheese and a topping of crushed saltine crackers. The crackers add a nice crunch to the creamy cheese and noodle!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Currently

As hard as it is to believe, the end of first 9-weeks of school is only a week from being here! October is here and so it the newest edition of the Currently linky!

Listening: Can I just say I love having a DVR! Big Bang Theory is a hoot!

Loving: I'm not the biggest fan of morning carpool duty, but with temps in the mid 50's and low humidity coming, I might show up extra early tomorrow!

Thinking: We have enrichment meetings tomorrow (our elem. teachers each have a group in the rotation), I have a kiddo leaving for another school, and one out with a case of poison ivy all over. Then there's my group of kiddos that don't think reviewing/studying at home constitutes homework. UGH!

Wanting: So I'm enjoying my classes this year, but I'm sooo tired. Our next break isn't until Thanksgiving!!!

Needing: So I found these Captain Wafer peanut butter and honey crackers at my Dollar Tree. I am in LOVE! After school tomorrow, my stash needs replenishing!

Boo-tiful: So if you teacher folks out there haven't discovered, you need to check it out. I'm in a group of teachers with Misty from Krazy About Teaching, Richelle from Juice Boxes and Crayons, and Farrah from Mrs. Shipley's Classroom. Together we have a show on Blab called the Teacher Blab Show. We're on Thursday's at 8pm central for Tip Talk Thursday and Saturday mornings at 10am central with special guests. These wonderful ladies and all of our #frienducators uplift each other, give tips and advice, and just help make life fun! Hanging with friends like these is boo-tiful!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Blogger T-shirts!

Have you heard about Until September 30, you can get a free - yes you read that right, FREE T-shirt with your blog logo on it from this branch of A+ Images.

They have a whole line of teacher T-shirts from What's your superpower? to teachers rock. In addition to grade level themed shirts, there are some for subject areas and occasions like the 100th day of school. If you've seen the shirts with the kid drawn images of themselves, they do those, too!

Here's what my blog shirt looks like.

It was an amazing process! I sent my pictures to them and they worked with me to get the best resolution possible of those images. Before long my free shirt arrived!

Honestly, these folks are so great to work with, so consider getting your blogger shirt from them. I plan on going back to get some of their other teacher shirts, most likely the 100th day since my students don't get to participate in the activities.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Currently

Y'all, it's HOT!!! The temperatures here have been 95+ for several weeks with high humidity and there have even been a few heat advisories. My poor AC can't get it below about 76 most of the day.

I'm not looking forward to having morning bus duty and occasional recess duty at 10am! #teachersmellslikeapuppytoo

Anyway, it's August, back to school, and Currently time!

Listening: I haven't watched as much racing this season as I usually do, but there's not much else on TV right now.

Loving: If you haven't found your teacher tribe, consider it! Any time you've seen #teachertoottoot in a Periscope, that's my gang! We Google Hangout and chat about everything education and non-education. Feels so wonderful having other teachers who understand who you are and the things you go through.

Thinking: If you aren't aware, the TPT Back to School sale starts tomorrow. I wish I had more things in my store. I might make a few more glyphs in other themes. What sort of things do you look for in TPT?

Wanting: School starts Thursday for me, but kiddos don't come until the 11th. Summer has flown by!

Needing:This summer, I've really thrown my sleeping pattern off. It's not uncommon for me to stay up until 1 am and sleep until 10 or 11 am. Starting tonight, I'm going to at least be in bed by 11 pm and I'm going to force myself to get up at no later than 7 am. Wish me luck!

B2S RAK: At my school, we have a huge set of papers and forms that are given to parents at orientation. The copies are given to the teachers who then have to put them together in a packet. I took all the papers for 4th grade and put them together for my group and my coworker's so she wouldn't have to for her homeroom. I also made some labels of student names for my 3rd grade counterpart since she's going to have that homeroom.

If you didn't see my classroom tour Periscope, I'll be making a post about my classroom setup - complete with pictures - in the coming days!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

WBT Books Study Chapter 4

I'm a little behind with this week's chapter in the WBT book study of 122 Amazing Games! but better late than never, right?

Chapter 4 is filled with variations on Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, Mirrors, the Scoreboard and other WBT stables. Here are some of the things I'm going to try this school year.

Class-Yes: I'm liking the echo leaders especially for those students who may have a little harder time returning their focus after a Teach-Okay session. Basically, you select some students who repeat your Class-Yes after the students have done so once.

Teach-Okay: There are so many variations provided in the book, but I think my favorite combination would be to wiggle your fingers, say Wiggly! Woggly! Teach! in a serious voice! I'm betting my 4th graders, who I will be looping with, are going to just love that one!

Mirrors: This year, I definitely want to do more Magic Mirrors. In Magic Mirrors, students have to make the gestures themselves while you talk with your hands behind you. I've used Mirror (or Silent Mirrors as it's referred to) and Mirror-Words with great success. I might test run it on my loopers, then try it with my 3rd graders since they will be new to WBT.

Scoreboard: Since I have a pirate theme in my room this year, I will be using Pirate Vs Crew for a while with Arrg! and Yo Ho Ho! For those who have been to a conference with Coach B and his lesson on the ages of history, I plan on having the class do his Yo Ho Ho! I also like Rule Roll Em to pick what the bonus points on the Scoreboard will concentrate on.

Next up will be Chapter 5 on writing. To join in on our discussion, even without blogging, click the picture to go to the Facebook page just for our book study!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

More Product Updates!

With the TPT Seller Challenge, I've really been thinking about updating/revamping more of the items already in my store. Here's what I've worked on!

A few years ago, I made some candy bar awards products from the ones I used in my classroom. I've updated the awards and the certificates.

The awards packet includes a nomination sheet, student ballot, and tally sheet. The certificates have 2 different borders, but both would print well in black and white on colored paper. With these now being PowerPoint files, adding names and information should be much easier.

There are 16 individual awards including two for both a boy and a girl. The candies include Baby Ruth, M&M's, Nestle Crunch, Milky Way, Zero bar, gummy worms, Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, Ice Cubes gum, Mr. Goodbar, Whoppers, Fast Break bar, Dove, Skittles, and Starbursts.

I've put both products 20% off until this Friday, so get yours soon by clicking the links below!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 3 - Make Your Masterpiece

For the Make Your Masterpiece week in the TPT Seller Challenge, I've made another Get to Know You Glyph. This time, it's monster themed!

This product includes a full page as well as half page student sheets and instructions on how to color the page based on things like age, number of siblings, and favorite subject. There are class graphs for each category as well.

In honor of this new product and the TPT Seller Challenge, I'm putting both the Monster and Hollywood themed glyphs 20% off! Click the picture or the link here: Monster Glyph on TPT

I'll also be giving away one to a lucky follower!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Would you like to see this with another theme? Just let me know!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WBT 122 Amazing Games Ch. 3

Chapter 3 of the new WBT book 122 Amazing Games is jam packed with 10 games.

Each of first 8 games in this list, which are classroom management techniques, have some variations. The last two provide a way for you to track the improvements you are making in your classroom.

Since many of these are familiar to those who have dabbled in WBT, I want to detail the one that I will be making a focus for myself this coming school year: CEA. When I read about this in Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, I thought it would be something good to do, but just never actually did. My hope is that it will not only help me see each student individually but it will also help me see those small changes over the course of the entire year.

The Classroom Engagement Average, or CEA, privately gives you a chance to look at each student in your class and places them into one of these categories with points:

4 points - Alphas: These are the kids that follow all the rules, have their eyes on the target, and    
                               generally give their best to you
3 points - Go-Alongs: They frequently follow the Alphas and usually do the above.
2 points - Fence-Sitters: Some days these kiddos are on it and other days, yeah, not so much. New
                                         students would be placed here since you don't really know them yet.
1 point - Challenging Kids: While rare, this are the students who hardly ever follow directions, or
                                               anything else that you'd wish them to do.

Each week, you average your CEA by adding the points for each student then dividing by the number of students you have. The goal is simple - raise the average by .1 every month. Over the course of a year, this would mean every student has moved up one level!

As time goes on, you want to create Leaders from your Alphas. They get 5 points in your average. You can also encourage faster moves by using Star Cards. Chose a few Climbers - those who you can see easily moving up! Give them a card labeled with a behavior you'd like to see improvement in. The student self tallies each time they believe they are meeting that goal. You view it at the end of each day and when you feel they have really improved, they receive a Super Improvers star! I think the best part is you aren't dictating how many tallies or how long it will take for this improvement to become a habit! The book even mentions an addition to the card using a star punch, but you'll have to get the book and read it yourself to find out what that is!

Want to learn more or join in this book club? You can even just read the posts or pose questions there if you'd prefer not to blog. Visit the WBT 122 Amazing Games Book Talk Facebook page by clicking the picture below!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Currently

Happy July! It's Currently linky time! Here's my addition to the popular monthly link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade.

Listening: So yeah, I'm a WEN girl. My curly hair is soooo much better for it! It's been about 3 years and humidity doesn't wreck my hair as much anymore. I got the Winter Vanilla Mint in the gallon!

Loving: My sleep patterns get all wacky during the summer. I stay up til midnight but sleep til about 10am. Ah the single life!

Thinking: I just started planning for the coming year. With my new 4th grade social studies/science, there's a lot for me to do. Thankfully, I still have 3rd math and that I can teach easily!

Wanting: With all that planning to do I wish my room was finished. There's still a full bulletin board inside to do and more decorating out side to do!

Needing: I'm joining in some weekly blog posts about chapters from the newest Whole Brain Teaching book 122 Amazing Games! but I haven't finished this week's chapter yet. Eeeeek! Come back late Wednesday for that post - hopefully!!!

All Star: Helping others is what I picked because I love doing that online! I answer lots of WBT questions on the website forum and Facebook page. At the national conference, I walked around to help and explain things. Most summers I have my classroom and prep all done, so I offer to help my coworkers get their stuff done.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made It

Please don't hate me....I spent about 4 hours in my classroom today trying to get things put back in order. At my school, as long as we can pretty much get into the building all summer long. I take advantage of that!

So, with that in mind, here's my Monday Made It! This time it's all things I've done in my classroom.

I've changed my class theme for the year to pirates with colors from the Dots on Turquoise borders. First up was to put some chevron border around this long dry erase board. I used poppy red and blue so far. I'll be adding a strip of green to separate my 3rd and 4th grade WBT PowerPix.

This bulletin board is in the hallway across from my classroom. I put the double border up last time I was there. Today, I added the palm tree. The title, which will go above, will probably be Ahoy Mateys! Welcome to Room 12's Pirate Cove. I've got some pieces to laminate that will be up there with my class lists for the first day.

So I needed better way to display the birthdays of my students since I'll have near 60 of them this year! Some old calendar headers, a little marvelous tape, and my storage cabinet equals a large birthday calendar! I'll have the students color a small cupcake which will go under their month. Hopefully they all fit!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 2

For week 2 of the TPT Seller Challenge, we're asked to dream big! What do we want out of our TPT store?

First, I'd love to pay off the mortgage on my house. I still have another 15 years to go, but paying off that early would be nice.

A couple years ago, I took a trip to Las Vegas with a friend of mine to attend a conference (non-teaching related) together. I'd love to go back either for the TPT conference or just to go for fun!

Retirement is something I have to consider as I teach in a non-public school which means I'm not putting years into a retirement system. I have some saved, but these days it seems you can never have enough in that nest egg!

Want to join in the challenge? Visit these great blogs to learn how!

Sparkling in Second        
                                   Peppy Zesty Teacherista

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WBT 122 Amazing Games Book Study Ch. 1-2 Linkup

I'm joining up with Melissa from First Grade Frame of Mind and Heidi from Droppin' Knowledge in a book study of the new Whole Brain Teaching book 122 Amazing Games!


Having just returned from my 4th national WBT conference in Pineville, Louisiana, I am so ready to up into this book!

Chapters 1 and 2 are the basics of WBT which makes this book great even for those who aren't familiar with WBT is all about. Specifically, it reviews the Big Seven: Class-Yes, Mirror words, the Scoreboard, 5 Class Rules + the Diamond Rule, Teach-Okay, Switch, and Hands and Eyes. These are the first pieces to implement in the classroom at a pace comfortable for the individual teacher and his or her students.

Class-Yes is the Attention Getter. It gives a simple yet effective way to gather the focus of a group, even during activities.

Mirror words, the Engager, ensures students are actively participating in lessons because it is easy to visually see that students are focused.

The Motivator in WBT doesn't cost anything! No treasure chests, tickets, class money, or junky, cheap toys! The Scoreboard entices students to exhibit behaviors at grade levels higher than their current one with game-style levels.

The 5 Class Rules + the new Diamond Rule, the Class Unifier, covers all the behaviors you may encounter! While my school doesn't use it, I've even learned that those using PBIS can incorporate those expectations into Rule 4: Make Smart Choices!

Teach-Okay and Switch, the Activator and Involver, give students time to talk to each other about the information being taught. Worried about your chatty student taking over? Just have them Switch roles on your direction and even the shy students have a turn!

When an important topic needs introducing, you can use the Focuser, Hands and Eyes, to place extra emphasis on the attention of students!

Don't forget to visit Melissa and Heidi at their blogs as we continue our WBT book study!


Until next time~

Monday, June 15, 2015

TPT Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness!

In addition to making a new Facebook page, I'm join up in what I think will be a great experience! 

So the first week's challenge is to update a current product. I decided to update my Get To Know You Glyph. Here's a sneak peek and the changes.

First, I did a makeover of the cover - soooo much more exciting!

Then, I made some changes to the student pages including changing the light border and there's a full page version if you have room for students to make one large.

To get the updated glyph, visit my TPT store.

The TPT Seller Challenge was created by the following bloggers. If you'd like to join the challenge, visit any of these blogs. 

Sparkling in Second     

              Peppy Zesty Teacherista

Finally, please come and like my new Facebook page! My name there is Southern Teacher.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Whole Brain Teaching Certification

Have you been curious about Whole Brain Teaching and how to become a certified WBT educator? The journey is simple and exciting! In December 2012, after a few months of work on certification, I was the 4th person to achieve Level 5 - WBT Board Certified Instructor. If your intrigued, here are a few key things you need to know.

WBT Certification document: - If you visit the website,, there's a document titled Certification 2.1 which details the process. It explains the levels of certification and how to submit the points you've earned.

WBT Book: - Available on Amazon in hard copy or for Kindle, this is the resource you'll use to make certification posts. WBT book on Amazon

WBT book club: WBT Book Club - This site is where you're posts in response to questions about chapters in the WBT book are submitted. Responses don't have to be long, but they must be well written with few/no errors, and should also be thoughtful answers to the questions.

Facebook Connections: WBT Facebook page - Recently, Coach B has started posting certification questions on the WBT Facebook page. The first question is worth up to 20 CP, or certification points. In addition to the main Facebook page, there are pages for specific grade levels. If you're interested in one of those, just leave me a comment and I'll give you a link!

One of the best parts to the certification process (aside from it being FREE) is you can work through it on your own time table. No deadlines, no pressure! Since many teachers are on summer break or will be in the coming weeks, it's a great time to work on earning points. You can delve deeper into WBT and start planning and thinking about how it will fit into your classroom next year!