Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting Ready Thanksgiving & Christmas!

It's that time of year again where families get together and houses start to look more like the Christmas season. I know we're just getting ready to start November, but I've been decorating for Christmas since early October!!! I'm super excited this year and wanted my baby to enjoy his 2nd Christmas to the fullest! I hope all you teachers out there are getting your classrooms ready for Thanksgiving, though! I wanted so badly to decorate for Christmas in my classroom, but I thought that would just be overdoing it a little. For now, my room is decorated for fall.
The year is flying by quickly. I've been searching for seasonal activities to use in my classroom. I decided to get a little creative and make a packet for all you 3rd and 4th grade reading teachers out there. This is a packet that includes assessments for each week in November. Just click on the THANKSGIVING ASSESSMENT PACKET link and you will be taken there to see a preview. Have a great day and a great week!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Make a List & Check It Twice...

This blog entry is meant to ask what you teacher's out there need to make your lives more organized or just easier? I'm working as hard as I can to make my own life as a teacher easier, but I'm not sure how to help others.
Off topic here: Life at work is going great! My class is great even though it's loaded with boy's. The paperwork we are required to do is somewhat overwhelming and many have no idea what a teacher goes through, but that's part of it. If your heart is not in teaching then all the paperwork and requirements will weed you out and you will leave the profession. Well, at least I think.
So back to the main reason for this entry, what are some resources that all you educator's out there need for the elementary level? I'm working on stocking up my Teacher's Pay Teacher store with different resources to keep your school year going great. Just let me know of anything you've dreamed about by sending me an email or stopping by my store and I'll see if I'm creative enough to help. Thank you!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Oh, How Time Flies...

It's been way to long since my last entry. School is going good and my students are great! My classroom is becoming a bit cluttered as I continue my year which is not supposed to happen, but it does so that's okay. Life is going fast and we are already into the seventh week of school! I have realized that my students eagerness to learn is not very high. Some care and most do not care. Is this normal at this age of fourth grade? I'm growing a little frustrated, but this shouldn't come as a surprise because I feel this way each year. I have motivated until I'm give out, nothing seems to work and I need some advice from all you teacher's out there. I know that motivation only goes so far and it seems to me that these groups have lost it. They just want to come and get it over with and go play video games.
I feel that our next generation (which is the generation that is going to take care of us) are going to end up being a bunch of technology oriented, lazy grown-ups that won't care about a thing in the world.
Forgive me for being blunt, but I'm just a little overwhelmed. I love teaching, but I feel that I can't enjoy it for thinking about all the paperwork I have to do and all the pressure to increase test scores. I feel that students across the country are hurting because their teacher that is a great teacher can't teach to their full potential. They are limited in the areas and content they can touch and there's no way around test scores. If your students show low scores at the end of a school year, yep, you might as well brace for the worse teaching year of your life for the upcoming school year. Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Check out my store on Teachers Pay Teachers by clicking on the above banner for my biggest Back To School sale of the year! My entire store is on sale! If you are K-6th, my store will have something to meet your back to school needs! My interactive journals for 4th, 5th & 6th grades have been a huge favorite! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

4th Grade: Week 1

Wow! It's been a while! When school started, my life just got crazy! I hope everyone's year is going awesome! My first week has been perfect! My group of 13 students are a wonderful set and I am truly going to enjoy this year. I love small groups because you are able to work one-on-one more! We've started our interactive math journals as well as our first homework packet of the year just this week.
Teaching fourth grade for my fifth year in a row is going to be an eventful year as I have nine boys and four girls. I'm so used to dramatic girls (as I always had more girls than boys) that I never noticed boys could be dramatic until now!
I start out each day with one of my morning work sheets that connects with my Go Math! series just to add to what students learned the previous day during math. Check them out: Go Math! Morning Work
Well, I'll stop chattering for now. There's a lot of work to be done and the year is going to fly by. Testing will be here before we know it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Storage

After five years of knowing the type of file box cart for my classroom that I really wanted to spend my own money on, I finally decided to buy it. My reluctance for the past five years has been the price. I got up on this lovely Saturday morning and decided baby and I would set out on an adventure to see if our local fabric store carried it. Yes! I found it on sale at Joann Fabrics along with a 25% off coupon! That's right ladies and gents! I found it for $31.00. We all know how much these are! I have wanted one of these for homework/assignment submission drawers since I started teaching! I can't wait to get it in my room! Of course, you can jump online and check, but to get the awesome sale price I found, you'd have to be in person. I hope everyone has a wonderful and organized year!

Monday, July 29, 2013

For the Love of Work

So you sit down and realize that you'd rather be creating things for your classroom than spending time with the opposite side of your family (the in-laws). I feel odd about that, but then again, I'm just so excited about all the things I have planned for my class, I just can't help it!
I know we've all been obsessed at one point or another with our work. I'm at that point especially as school edges closer. I'm also to the point of exhaustion. Playing with the baby all the way to bedtime, cleaning house, doing laundry, bath time, dinner time, and staying up until midnight each night creating classroom resources! Can I get an Amen?
I don't know what I'm going to do when school starts, but I'd better figure it out soon because it starts next week! Good night to all of you teachers and bloggers out there!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Dream Classroom

I'm getting super excited about my new ideas to improve student learning this year in my classroom and to improve how my classroom management flows! I've already printed my Interactive ELA Journal Guide, an original created by me. It's ready to go! I know it by heart! I plan to use this to improve student understanding of all the "I Can" statements as well as their understanding of the ELA concepts.

I also purchased an Interactive Math Journal guide to use in my classroom. I just got finished reading all 166 pages! It's going to be amazing! I can't wait! There are so many wonderful activities to use with this journal as well!

I'm hoping that all this organization with journals, my classroom management and being self-contained will make my classroom, after five years, my DREAM classroom!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Classroom Management with ClassDoJo

So I have ClassDojo on the brain. I used this some last year, but it was hard because the kids in that group needed to actually feel they had lost something, not just see it, kinda like losing a dollar. In case you have never heard of classdojo, go here: ClassDojo. This basically keeps students on task with positives and negatives throughout the day. They can see their progress each week or month as well.
This year our school is using ClassDojo in each classroom. I think I may have figured out a way to make it work better for me. I tried incorporating dollars with the positives and the negatives last year, but that just get's crazy! Some kids need something tangible.
Here's what I'm going to do:
I have purchased a reward coupon system that I plan to implement at the same time. I found this at TpT.
These are absolutely amazing and I'm excited to use them. So instead of fuzzies, I will be using the positives and negatives with Dojo each week. My kids are still not going to get to touch anything tangible, but this is trial and error for me. No, I will not be giving up my coupons! If they get so many positives (which will be counted as points), they will get to trade for reward coupon(s) from one of my binders each Friday.
I'm excited to implement this. I'd like to hear what others do for the upper grades as well! Have a great day!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Homework Management

I'm getting excited about the upcoming school year and thinking of my good old fashioned ways of handling my classroom. I really am happy to get back to my good old "Barnett Brief" (the idea came from my sister-in-law). It's a homework packet cover that I really do love using. It helps keep my life and my student's organized when it comes to homework. Grab a free download of this cover at: Weekly Homework Packet Cover

So, the ultimate question is...what day do I send out my weekly homework packet? Friday? Or Monday?
This is always a raised question by individual teachers each year that I have taught. My answer is this. If you send out homework that's review of things you did the prior week, send it out on Friday. Yes, give kids the chance to get it finished over the weekend and not have any homework the following week. Now, if you're like me and you plan to teach the content that you are sending home the following week, send it out on Monday. Teach Monday night's homework on Monday, teach Tuesday night's homework on Tuesday and so on. It's that simple.

Don't stress over some of the simplest things when it comes to teaching. You have plenty of other things to worry about! :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

One of those days...

Today is just one of those days where the kids are refusing naps, the house is a wreck and you just can't seem to get motivated about anything except creating awesome activities for your classroom! I just can't wait to be blogging about my days at school with my new class this year!
I've been working on a few back to school activities. I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the new year!

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Excitement about ELA

        Today starts out with a baby boy and play time. Now it's nap time and I'm back at my computer working away. Less than two weeks and school will be back in session. This is somewhat of a depressing thought because I'll be leaving my baby boy once again to step out into the workforce right along with other mommy's.
         Today I'm juggling two items. My 2nd set of my Common Core morning worksheets and making a second edition to my ELA CC Interactive Journal! Yes, this one won't come out until next year, but I'm already pumped! My plans for improvement are a year long process that I'll create as we go, but I just couldn't wait! I had to tell!
         My current two journals are for 4th and 5th grades. Check them out at my TpT store!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My CC Morning Worksheets Creation

Okay. So after many hours of typing out morning work sheets with the "I Can" statements at the top of each page, the CC abbreviations, and connections to the first two Go Math! chapters along with ELA content, I uploaded this product to my TpT store with high hopes that teachers would be interested. Wouldn't ya know, I've had some teachers interested! Happy shopping people!

4th Grade CC Morning Worksheets

The Beginning

Hi, I'm Mrs. Barnett and I am starting my fifth year as a fourth grade teacher! I'm just getting started with my blog and this is going to be so much fun! I just can't wait to tell others about my tales as a teacher!