Sunday, January 27, 2013


State test time is quickly approaching... and our district is Benchmark Testing our kiddos next week.

This isn't the first "big" test my students have taken this year (we've had 2 district CBAs), however, this is the first 48 question with a 4 hour time limit test (Texas went to a timed test last year... not sure how it is in other states). 

When I test I get nervous... so I can only imagine how my poor students feel. I wanted to help them out a bit, so I created a testing foldable. The idea came from Savvy School Counselor (God bless Pinterest for bringing so many awesome teaching ideas to one place!) and I just created one to fit my kiddos needs.  I call it "Rock the Test" foldable. :) 

On one column, I listed a lot of our important math strategies (praying this makes them remember them and more importantly, USE THEM!) and on the other, I put test taking strategies incase the freeze up, lose their concentration, forget to check their work... 


If you notice the top right flap, it says "Remember Your Goal". I did goal setting with each of my students on Friday. Together, we looked at how they performed on the two CBAs we've taken and decided on a number they'd like to aim for on this test. Rather than focusing on the grade percentage (which makes it pretty obvious if you've failed, and seriously... who likes to feel like a failure?), we focused on the number of questions the student needs to answer correctly. I want to focus on growth and improvement, and for my students who struggle to see passing grade on their benchmark and/or CBAs, I'd like them to focus on getting 1 or 2 (or more!) questions correct with each assessment. I think that will be a huge confidence builder for them! Anyway - we wrote our goals on the back of a "Rock the Test" goal sheet. It will be taped to their desk so they can flip it over and be reminded of what they're shooting for (and see some 'surprise' encouraging words from their teacher!). 

Lastly, I've jumped on the student-data-tracking band wagon. I think it's so important to have kids be responsible for their grades, UNDERSTAND what they mean and to monitor their growth! Here's an example of my Student Data Tracking Sheet (it looks simple but I think it will be very effective): 

If you dig any of these ideas, I've made them available on my TPT store. :)

Also, I've lost 6 lbs HOWEVER, I made these little beauts' tonight, so I may be up a few pounds tomorrow... They're Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cupcakes with a hidden peanut butter cup on bottom, rich chocolate cake and peanut butter butter cream frosting on top, and chopped PB cup for garnish... OMG YUM. If you're bored, hit up my baking Facebook page, KJ's Bakeshop, for more goodies! 

Happy teaching, y'all! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I've Returned! With Resolutions and "Currently"!

Ok... So I haven't posted in almost 3 months.... I'm sorry! There were many a'Saturday that I thought about updating but just didn't. My creative juices felt like they were lacking and I was just down-right tired. So I ignored my cute lil' blog for too long... That is going to change!

My 2013 resolutions include 1) blogging more and 2) eating less... YEP. Very original, right??

My boys and I decided we ALL resolve to be more active this year. This includes walking around the block and riding our bikes. We live in a coastal town and are walking distance to the beach. I see a lot of walking/riding to beach picnics in our future! Also, we are changing our eating habits. We went grocery shopping today and loaded our cart fresh veggies and fruit, light yogurts, nuts and cottage cheese for snackage, and lean meats and fish for dinner.... WE SHALL SEE!

Any "life style change" tips you want to share with me?? PLEASE, PLEASE DO! I need the help and the encouragement! :) 

It's a family effort this time (Well, kinda... I haven't quite clued my hubby in on this yet-- I'm hoping he doesn't notice our bread-free dinners... hehehe) and I'm excited about the changes we're making. Also on our resolution list: making God more present in our day to day lives!! My parents bought my kiddos a daily devotional for Christmas called "Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids" and we are LOVING it. It's not too wordy (we all know how fleeting children's attention spans can be) and has a verse for them to look up. My kiddos are 10 and 12 and they love it. I LOVE IT, TOO!
Honestly, I have nothing teaching related to talk about... Sorry! But I do have a Currently for ya! For those of you that read Farley's blog at Oh Boy 4th Grade you know what I'm talking about... If you haven't checked her out yet (which is surprising because she's a blogging super-star!), get on over there and view blog-someness!