Sunday, March 20, 2016


Take your PASSION and MAKE it HAPPEN!

Teaching is HARD.  …and let’s be real, we regularly feel complete underappreciated for the time and energy we give to our passion.  …and before this weekend, I was feeling pretty over it. 

…but, then everything about this weekend was exactly what I needed to be rejuvenated for the rest of the school year.  I LOVE teaching and I love surrounding myself with other teachers who LOVE teaching as much as I do; teachers who are passionate, enthusiastic, and dedicated to what they do.  I cannot think of a better way to spend a weekend!  AND, I was able to spend it with two of my favorite coworkers. Brittany @ [Nifty in First Grade] and the event planner herself, Holly @ [Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections].

EVERYTHING about this weekend was amazing, but here are a few of my favorite parts…
Kim Bearden.  I really feel like Kim and I should be best friends, because I really just love everything this woman has to say.  “It’s not what happens to you that defines who you are, it is what happens THROUGH you.”  As teachers we have the opportunity to uplift our students each day; to inspire them and make a difference in their lives.  …of course that can be challenging when we aren’t feeling all that uplifted ourselves, so “be intentional about surrounding  yourself with people that fuel your soul.”

These are just a few of the people that fuel my soul.  I was so blessed to be able to spend the weekend with them and to meet some new friends as well.  …and it is so incredibly lame that we probably won’t see each other until the next meet-up.  (We should probably do something about that…)


oh, and I WON $100 gift card for [Tieks]!!  There we so many amazing sponsors that went out of their way to share some love with teachers.  I brought home some FABULOUS teacher swag, but I am definitely most excited for my first pair of Tieks.  …now I just have to decide whether I go for the classic black look, or live life on the edge and go for a fun color.

…and then there was the EPIC 80’s party complete with one, awesome FLASH MOB!  (I still think it would have been equally fun to leave Amanda out there all on her own, but this was definitely one of the best parts of the weekend!! LOVE YOU, GIRLS!)

I am so BLESSED to be a teacher, and this weekend reaffirmed that I am doing exactly what I should be doing with my life!  Take your passion, and make it happen!!
Enter to win some teacher swag of your own and be sure to check out what everyone else had to say about this amazing meet-up!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015


oh. my. goodness. It has been one of those weeks. I know it is only Tuesday, but Labor Day weekend can’t get here soon enough! …it is a welcome relief to take a little break from all things school and share one of my favorite recipes.

tuesday meals

DISCLAIMER: If you read my five fun facts yesterday, you know I just bought a house. Before my big purchase, I was living on the drive-thru and snack after snack because I never had time to make it home between school and evening commitments. …so I’m not really used to this whole cooking thing.

…so let me share with you my favorite, HEALTHY snack!  My best friend introduced me to this stuff, and I am slightly addicted. (I really have no idea where she came up with the recipe, but you can find it [here] if you want to pin it.)


The best part: It is incredibly simple to make.

1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained
1 small white onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

That is it! Combine, stir, enjoy, become addicted.

Monday, August 31, 2015


It is like the ladies at Blog Hoppin' were reading my mind. blog has been a bit neglected lately, and I can't think of a better way to start giving it a little much needed attention than being a part of Teacher Week!

I could probably come up with MANY random and ridiculous facts about me, but…

monday fun facts

1.  I bought a house! ...and it is adorable if I do say so myself.  I officially live like two minutes away from school and I am LOVING the twenty extra minutes I get to sleep in every morning.


2.  #lovemyhsyg.  In addition to teaching, I am also the Youth Director at my church.  This past summer I was blessed to go on a mission trip to South Carolina with the most incredible group of high schoolers.  It was AMAZING and I am so proud of my little family.

SCMissionSeniors The Girls

3.  …I am pretty sure I run solely on Starbucks and Dr. Pepper. 

4.  If I weren’t a teacher, there is a good chance I would be a professional sleeper.  I’m just really good at sleeping.  …or I would be a librarian.  …or a professional sleeper.

5.  These girls are the best!  I am so blessed to teach with my wonderful, talented friends.  This year we are taking our school by storm to make this year THE BEST YEAR EVER!!  Our school theme this year is “Mission: Possible” because we know that with God, all things are possible.  On the first Friday of the school year we surprised our students with an afternoon of Agent Training!  Among other activities, each student had to have their photo taken for their Agent ID.  …and we may have taken over the photo booth for a few pictures.

Agent Training

…and that is a little bit about me! If all goes according to plan, I will be back tomorrow with a few of my favorite recipes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


guys.  I quite literally lived my DREAM when I attended the National Educators’ Conference at Ron Clark Academy at the beginning of June.  yeah. RON CLARK ACADEMY!!  …I have spent every day since then trying to figure out exactly how to put into words how truly amazing this experience was.  I’m still not sure if I am going to be able to do it justice, but I am certainly going to try.

It all started last summer. …I mean, I have always been a Ron Clark fan.  The summer before I started college I remember reading his book, The Essential 55, and being completely inspired.  …but last summer, after I read Crash Course by Kim Bearden, the co-founder of RCA, I officially added visiting Ron Clark Academy to my bucket list. It is, hands down, the BEST professional development book I have ever read.  I laughed, I cried, and I learned so much from this book, yet not one sentence was written to tell me how to teach. It was honest, moving, inspiring, and motivating.  READ IT!! 

okay.  Visiting Ron Clark Academy was officially on my to do list, but I didn’t actually think it was going to happen any time soon. …then, we did it.  We leapt.  We decided we were going to make it happen.  period.  [Can I just tell you how truly blessed I am to be on staff with these ladies!?  Holly @ Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten Connections, Brittany, and Michelle are the most incredible support system.  I love them and all of the amazing plans we have for the future!  #positiveposse.]

…so on Thursday we started our road trip. Fort Wayne, Indiana to Atlanta, Georgia is a little much for one day, so we made a detour to Nashville where I splurged on my first Kendra Scott necklace and went on a self-guided tour of Opryland. 

[I know, Michelle is missing, but don’t worry, she catches up with us in Atlanta.]

This sounds ridiculous, but I had so many butterflies as we rode that shuttle from our hotel to RCA for the first time.  I had so many expectations, but at the same time I had no idea what to expect.  …well, let me tell you, it blew every single one of my non-expectations out of the water.  As we entered the library, and had our picture taken with THE Ron Clark, the music was blaring, everyone was dancing, and we were immediately greeted by the students of RCA. The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur; the students gave us tours of their AMAZING school, we were able to observe some of the BEST teachers in action, and we were sorted into houses. #reveurforlife.  oh, and there was one heck of a party in the gym.  …and by party I mean a full out concert. 


On Saturday we attended a variety of workshops, observed students and teachers in action, attended a special viewing of their spring musical, AND became SLIDE CERTIFIED!! …because why should we be taking the stairs when we can take risks and SLIDE!!?  …but honestly, by the end of the day, my brain was spinning.  I was in awe of RCA’s expectations of students and staff.  There was just so much to take in.

[yes, that is Hope King!!]

As if everything we had experienced so far wasn’t enough, TAcKy PRoM was Saturday night.  oh my goodness.  …I think this picture speaks for itself.

…it was our last morning in Atlanta that truly pulled everything together for me.  I had so many ideas swirling around in my brain. I just kept asking myself, how do I take this back to my school and make a difference? How do I create this excitement for learning?  How do I inspire my students to succeed; to take the SLIDE?  …it was like the RCA staff was reading my brain.  We spent the morning hearing from some of RCA’s exceptional educators.  Wade and Hope King talked about the changes they made at their school after they visited RCA for the first time.  Kim Bearden reminded us to seek SIGNIFICANCE not achievement.  Ron Clark talked about connecting with the students and making each learning experience an adventure.  #bestdayever.

okay.  …so, here are the things I am taking away from my trip to Ron Clark Academy.
  1. Next year my room is going to be THE place to be.  I already kind of love my classroom, but I plan to add a few extra personal touches to take it to the next level.  “It isn’t fluff.  It is the first step to engagement.”
  2. I WILL put in the extra time to transform my classroom for some of my favorite units.  …I’m not exactly sure how, but my classroom will look drastically different when my students show up on that first morning of my Picture Book Production unit.
  3. I will be AWESOME!!  …let’s face it, teachers are entertainers.  If I want my students to buy into their education then I better be ALL in with them.  I will definitely be using some different “call and response” chants in my classroom next year and if I can get my short little legs up on our desks without breaking myself, that will happen too!!
okay.  #longestblogpostever.

Ron Clark Academy was AMAZING!! …really, AMAZING doesn’t even begin to describe it.  …and since I didn’t get a good picture with Kim Bearden, I fully intend to go again!!

go.  seriously.  Just make it happen.  It will be so incredibly worth it! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Hello May!  The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and summer is FINALLY right around the corner.  …what better way to celebrate than linking up with Farley.


LISTENING: ...I blame my best friend.  She got me hooked over spring break when I spent endless hours at her house working on the yearbook.  Now every time I come over we marathon as many episodes as possible.  Mr. Fitz is super hot, and A is a bit terrifying.

LOVING:  While I LOVE my job, I love summer and sunshine!

THINKING:  I am so unprepared for this Outdoor Education trip.  Each year my 6th graders and I ditch the classroom and make our way to Camp Lutherhaven for a two-day camping extravaganza. ...wish me luck!!

WANTING:  I repeat, I LOVE my job, but I am ready to enjoy my summer.  ...and I have so many exciting things to look forward to...

NEEDING:   There are still so many things that need to be accomplished before the end of the school year.  It is hard to believe that I only have eighteen days left with my lovely 6th graders.

YES, I am going to Ron Clark Academy for the National Educator's Conference!!  I am beyond excited!  ...and the best part is that I get to go with the best coworkers.  [Brittany @ Nifty in First Grade and Holly @ Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections]

...I always have high HOPES for a relaxing summer of lake time, sunshine, and hours of napping in the hammock.  ...but then when summer actually hits, it is one thing after another and before I know it I am setting up my classroom for another year. ...of course, if my DREAM comes true, it will probably cut into my lake time.

Monday, March 30, 2015


The Ninja Bunnies have been going crazy in the stores of some of my favorite Indiana Bloggers.  TODAY and TOMORROW we will be offering all of the fabulous products listed below for ONE DOLLAR.

Ninja Bunnies
THREE of my favorite products are listed for only $1.00 AND my [Genius Moments] on sale!!

Brain Building Question Cards.Middle School
Check out my previous posts on [My Spectacular Substitute Binder] to learn more about the binder that has repeatedly saved my life. You can also grab my Skittles Probability Study.  It is the perfect, tasty way to introduce the difference between theoretical and experimental probability, OR a great, quick review.  …and let’s be real, YUM!  AND, who doesn’t need a set of task cards to review adding and subtracting decimals!

  skittles probability Sub. Binder Product Image Adding and Subtracting Decimals Task Cards

Saturday, March 28, 2015


This Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up better be an annual thing, because I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend!!

Last year, fifty-four teacher bloggers gathered in French Lick, Indiana for a relaxing weekend away.  This year there were over one hundred teachers from all over who came to be a part of this INSPIRATIONAL event. 

Everything about this weekend was exactly what I needed to be rejuvenated for the rest of the school year.  I LOVE teaching and I love surrounding myself with other teachers who LOVE teaching as much as I do; teachers who are passionate, enthusiastic, and dedicated to what they do.  AND, I was able to spend it with two of my favorite coworkers. Brittany @ [Nifty in First Grade] and the event planner herself, Holly @ [Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections].

On Friday night we decided to explore the West Baden Springs Hotel.  …I love me some history, and it doesn’t take much to understand why this hotel was once called the “eighth wonder of the world.” …and we are pretty adorable as well, if I do say so myself.

Saturday.  The Main Event.  …a teacher tool swap, technology tips and tricks, round table discussions, and a pajama party!!

The teacher tool swap was broken into grade levels.  I loved the opportunity to spend some time with my “middle school” girls.  There were so many brilliant tools.  I think there is a good chance that I will be investing in a stapleless stapler very soon.  yes, that is a real thing.  My favorite part of the day was the round table discussions.  I grabbed so many great, simple ideas for increasing student engagement, getting myself more organized, and making the most out of the iPads in my classroom. 

oh, and we got to take home some really fabulous #teacherswag!!  [Keep reading to win your own Spring Teacher Blogger Swag Bag!]

As if that wasn’t enough, [Teachers Pay Teachers] and [GoNoodle] sponsored a pajama party so that we could be INSPIRED all evening.  …everyone who brought a business card, walked away with someone else’s card; someone to encourage and uplift in the coming months.

“A key to growing as a teacher is to keep company mainly with teachers who uplift you, whose presence inspires you and whose dedication drives you.” –Robert John Meehan

I feel so blessed to have been a part of such an amazing weekend!

Spring Teacher Blogger Swag Bag