Thursday, April 2, 2015

Currently April

It's that time of the month, and I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her April Currently. I love this time of month so that I connect with others to see what they are up to.

Listening to: HGTV Renovations. Maybe it's because I am a new grad, but I am laughing at these people in distress that they can't afford the $1.5 million house, only the $1.3 million one. It also makes me wish that I had money to do some redecorating over spring break. 

Loving: the nice weather in WI for spring break. Yesterday it hit 70 degrees. I am still in shock. Safe to say, I spent most of the day outside playing with my adorable nephew. 

Thinking: about my long to-do list before 4th quarter starts next week. YIKES! I cannot believe that 4th quarter starts after break. That means I only have a little time left with these fabulousos, and then I have to start all over. Even though they sometimes make me question my sanity, I love this group of students! 

Wanting: ideas for my new current events unit to magically pop into my head. I have some ideas from Pinterest, including Fantasy Geopolitics - a twist on Fantasy Football that my kiddos will love. Does anyone else have things that work in there classroom? I designed this time in my curriculum to go over literacy strategies and really help my students look at the outside world for FUN and a critical perspective.

Needing: Coffee... go figure. I also have to grade a billion projects (okay, maybe not a billion, but it feels close) because final grades for 3rd quarter are due next Wednesday. My students worked so hard on their projects, and I am so excited to see how they turned out. My students are also excited because 5 new pieces of work will get chosen to get put on our "School Best" bulletin board in my classroom. I look for different things for the board - effort, artistic ability, comprehension, team work, etc. When I put work on the board, they get a star stapled next to it stating the student's name and why they got put on the board. Students love seeing who's got put up there and trying their best to get put up next time - even in HS!

Eggs-plain your name: Social Studies and Starbucks ... Well I teach social studies to MS and HS fabulousos so that is very easy. I also LOVE and LIVE ON coffee, hence the Starbucks part. I am not particularly picky about the brand of coffee, but something about Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the fall and Peppermint Mochas in the winter make me crave coffee even more. 

Also, in honor of the Final Four this weekend - GO BADGERS!

And to leave you with, this funny from one of my students. She is VERY intelligent so I am assuming (and hoping) she meant "sign" not "sing," but nonetheless, I laughed for a good five minutes about this. Reason #235523 why I don't want this school year to end - these kids entertain me whether they mean to or not.

So go on over to Farley's page, Oh Boy 4th Grade, to link up with her for this amazing linky party. I can't wait to read what everyone else has been up to.

Much love, Kendra

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Break 2015

I wish I could say that I went somewhere glamorous for spring break, but staying in Wisconsin will have to do. The original plan was to go to Arizona to visit some friends, but when a deer demolished my car at the end of January (see pictures below), I had to change those plans. I've had this car since high school, so I guess it was time to say goodbye. Now I have a beautiful Chevy Equinox with hefty car payments.

So my spring break now consists of the following:
  1. Planning my units for after spring break (the Renaissance in 8th grade and Current Events in high school)
  2. Spending time with my adorable nephew... and the rest of my family :)
  3. Going to the hair salon. My roots are seriously outgrown, and I am thinking about doing an ombre so that it is less maintenance than highlights. I just never seem to have time to get my hair done.
  4. Some serious spring wardrobe shopping - thank goodness spring doesn't hit Wisconsin until May! Of course it helps that my parents live VERY close to an an outlet mall with great deals.
  5. Catching up on HGTV and pretend house shopping - my favorite lazy day activity!

What is everyone else doing for spring break? Despite not going somewhere warm for spring break, I am pretty happy to have a week to relax! And I am using the picture below (and other friends' vacation pictures) to pretend I am somewhere warm!

Now I need your help - - after spring break, my high school class is learning about current events. Along with learning what's happening in the world, this is where I tie in the most literacy strategies. Usually we do 1-2 current events a day. Some of the current events we will cover include the presidential candidates, the German flight that went down two weeks ago, March Madness, ISIS, and the Chris Kyle verdict.

Any other ideas on how to teach current events? What do you do to keep students connected to the outside world? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!
Much love, Kendra

Monday, February 23, 2015

Crazy First FULL Year

I was determined at the beginning of the school year to write in this blog a couple of times a week. Clearly that did not happen. Thanks to two 3-hour delays in the past week, I am a little caught up and can actually enjoy some time on my computer. :)

Within the past two weeks, I have survived Winterfest for high school. Along with Winterfest came crazy dress-up days and choreographing a dance rountine for HS boys. After some pizza bribes, I got the perfect group to perform at our pep assembly on the last day of Winterfest -- they did great! I wish I had pictures to post. The "Manleading Team" as they like to be called also gets to perform at the girls' basketball regional game tomorrow night.

My 8th grade darlings just wrapped up a unit on Religions Around the World, and they did awesome projects. I was so impressed that I just had to post some of the finished products. Each student was assigned a group, and each group was assigned a religion to study and present. The groups had 3-4 students with three tasks: 

- an overview PowerPoint
- a 3d version of the place of worship, and 
- a poster about the holidays

A Christian Church - complete with little pews inside.

A Muslim Mosque - with beautiful rugs drawn inside.

A Poster about Jewish Holidays.

Next up on the agenda is having speakers come in to talk to my 8th grade students about the traditions of Native Americans, Our unit is all about early America, but with such a large Native American population at school I thought it would be fun for someone else to do the talking for once! :) 

My freshman survived their first set of finals in January, and now we are working hard to wrap our minds around World War II. I just purchased "World War II: Predicting Allied Strategy Cooperative Activity" from the Chalk Dust Diva on TPT in hopes to get my students moving around. I feel so bad that they are cooped up all winter, especially with how cold it's been lately, that I want them to be moving around. What are you doing in your classroom to compensate for amount of time spent inside this winter?

Well, I'm off to get prepped for the kiddos to start coming in. Monday 3-hour delays are a blessing in disguise. It helps me get everything prepared that I should have done over the weekend and allows the students to sleep in - in hopes they aren't so groggy this afternoon!

Much love,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday's Scoop

After a very long hiatus, I am back in the blogging world! I am linking up with the Teaching Trio on this very cold Sunday night for their Sunday Scoop. You can go on over to their blog to get your own blank copy and start your entry!

Here's the scoop of my Sunday... 

Hope everyone else is staying warm. It can stop being winter any day now in Wisconsin.

Now go link up with those fabulous girls and have some fun -- 

Much love, Kendra

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Decorating the Classroom

I always thought that when I got my first classroom, that I would bedazzle it to the heavens. That definitely wasn't the case. Even though I have had this position since last January, I couldn't think all summer of how I wanted to organize the student desks, let alone how I was going to thematically decorate this classroom. Despite all the headaches, here are some things that did get put together in time for the first day!

(I am so happy I cleaned and organized before leaving for the summer, and to my surprise, I was given new desks! My old ones were awful - the tops were drawn on, screws would come out randomly. It was a disaster.)

... And then this is my desk once I pile all of my "stuff" on it to get to work.

Blackboard all set-up with the weekly planner on it for students to look at. I love the bold masking tap from Staples.

The counter below has my new classroom set of Chromebooks on it that I received a grant for! I was so excited - as I spent a lot of time in the computer lab last year. I put them in dish drying racks, as the other teachers who have Chromebooks said this was the easiest way for students to keep them organized.  I also got those cork boards from Walmart for $5.

These markers though >>> I love them! I purchased the wrong ones originally so I am getting new ones. They write like dry erase markers, but on a chalk board. I always have trouble with the kiddos erasing stuff because they just want to touch the board. Jokes on them this time - the only was to erase this liquid chalk is with water. Hopefully they don't figure that out. 

Here is an example of how they look:

I found this map at Walmart for $4 and then bought a frame and matting at Hobby Lobby. I love it, and I receive so many compliments on it.

This board is right when you walk in my front door. It has classroom expectations, classroom signals (trying this out for the first time), along with our athletics calendar and a monthly calendar. I found the monthly calendar at the Dollar Store and laminated it so that I could write on it with white board markers. Chances are the students are going to take this over with their birthdays once they realize they can write on it.

And that's it for the classroom tour. I am still trying to figure out how in the world to organize my desks so that my kiddos can see the board and not be tempted to talk to others when I am presenting information. However, I do want the desks to be easy enough to move back and forth for group work. If you have any ideas - HELP!

Good luck with the start of your school years!

Much love,

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Meet the Teacher!

For my first blog post, I am linking up with Stephanie @ Falling into First for a "Meet the Teacher" linky party. What a great idea to do at the beginning of school year, let alone for my first blog post! Link up with her too by clicking on the linked picture at the end of this post.

My name is Kendra, and I am 23 year old Social Studies teacher in Wisconsin. I was very fortunate to graduate in December and find a long term subbing job. In April they offered me a full-time position, and that's how I landed my first real teaching gig! :) I teach 8th grade Social Studies and 9th grade World History and am coaching HS volleyball for the first time this fall. I started this blog to log my first year experiences and connect with teaching gurus along the way.

Volleyball. Target. Starbucks. Traveling. Francesca's. Working out. Reading. Cheetah print. Shopping for new school supplies {guilty}. The Badgers. War movies.

It was between teaching and being a doctor because I wanted to help people. Since Science and I didn't get along ... ever, I decided that teaching was the way to go. Oh yeah, and blood grosses me out. ;)

Fashionista. Spunky. Determined.

"I'd love to volunteer for my 500th committee!" 

Jennifer Lawrence - LOVED her in The Hunger Games trilogy.

"Diaries of a Free Spirit"

Teleportation - My family is known for being late, and I dislike long drives.


"Happily Ever After" by He is We.

Although I function better with a Starbucks in hand, I would consider myself a morning person. I usually get to school super early when no one else is there to work. After a long school day, all I want to do is go home and take a nap.

I am a Pinterest addict. I have 25+ boards and more than 5,000 pins. How did I live without it? I find great teaching ideas, reasons why I want a bigger closet, and the cutest home decor. My students always ask if I got our project ideas from Pinterest.


Now you can join the party. Click on the picture below to go to Stephanie's blog and meet other blogging teachers.

 Meet the Teacher Linky

- Kendra