Saturday, March 23, 2013


So it's almost that time of year. It's standardized testing time! Every teacher's FAVORITE! Ok, no.

But seriously, I have been worried about this time of the year since the beginning of the school year because I am terrified of these things. I just don't like the thought of the possibility that my kids won't do well on it. And there is ALWAYS that possibility, no matter how hard you try. And especially being a first year teacher. It is what it is though and there isn't really much I can do once those tests hit the desks.

I am going on maternity leave soon, too, which makes it even more nerve-wracking for me because I won't even be there to help review. I do, however, have a fabulous sub and I am 100% prepared for her to take over. I created a little packet that has a few tips and tricks for students to try and spot as they are taking their tests. Because, you know those test-making meanies LOVE to try and trick our buddies. Let's do this!

My test-prep packet is obviously centered towards fifth grade science, specifically the Alabama COS, but you could use it to get some ideas on how to maybe put together your own little packet to help prepare your students for the looming tests that are fast approaching.

Click here to download this freebie.

Hope it helps. Happy testing. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Monday Made It! {Wednesday Edition}

I'm way overdue for this post! Just had a lot going on...but here I am! I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics again for my favorite linky - The Monday Made It linky!

I have a Home Made It that I am super proud of. The mister and I are expecting our first baby here any week now and I really wanted to get those super fantastic professional maternity photos done. That is, before I found out how much daycare, diapers, and just having a baby in general was going to cost us. And don't get me wrong, photographers charge a heavy price because their work is so great and I definitely think that they have every right to do so. But, I just can't afford that on top of everything else. Soooo....I did a little maternity photo DIY! After all, I do have photo editing software and I can edit the fool out of some pictures (since I was a Graphic Designer in my previous life) AND since my husband bought be a killer Sony DSLR camera last Christmas.  So, here are a few of the before and after pics that we did! For FREE! I love free.




And of course, what family photo would be complete without the family dog? 
Our baby girl, Lalya,  is very excited to be a big sister. {Or so I keep telling her that...she has no idea what's coming to her. Poor thing.}


We took a lot more, but I just wanted to share a few since this is a teaching blog and all. :)  I'm actually in the process of creating a mommy blog...I'll include that in my next Monday Made It post. I just like the idea of making a blog to track all the cool stuff Miss O and I do together and then be able to have it printed. Did you know you could have blogs printed?! I'm so excited. More on that later.

Next, I am SO EXCITED and proud of my newest addition to my TpT store. I spent several weeks - like 6 total to be exact - creating my Properties of Matter Unit packet. I love it and I cannot wait to use it again next year. Hands down, best unit of study I taught all year. Super fun!! This monster of a packet is 77 pages long and has at least 15 different experiment or demo ideas, including the Elephant Toothpaste experiment I talked about last week. Please check it out if you are getting ready to teach Properties of Matter! I would love for you to use it in your classroom. It's a COMPLETE 5 to 6-week unit from start to finish. All you'll need to do is get yourself the materials required to do the experiments and make some copies for your kiddos. Click here for more exciting details. Here's a peek:

Ok, folks! That's all I've got for right now. I'm looking forward to posting a new Human Body packet  AND a new Light packet soon - maybe within the next few weeks. I'm already looking forward to and planning for next year! I can't believe how fast the time goes. 

Link up with Tara! {It's never too late!!}

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up again with Kacey from Doodle Bugs for her awesome Five for Friday linky! I love randomness more than the average person, so I am all in on this linky!

1. We are wrapping up some excitin' experimentin' in science class this week. We started off the week with a BANG! We made Elephant Toothpaste!! Check out the pics and then click here for the recipe and simple directions for this perfect hands-on example of a chemical reaction.

2. I found a new love this week. It's in the form of Pad Thai. If you live in or around the Birmingham area, please take your little fanny to Tin Drum and get you a bowlful of heaven. Tin Drum is located in the Summit Shopping Center right off of good ole' 280. If you don't live in or around the Birmingham area, well, I'm just as sorry as I can be.

Pad Thai!

3. This week was the Writer's Festival at my school, and to celebrate, we had three fantastic authors come in and talk to our kids. They were SO GREAT!! Here are a list of the authors that came to visit and some of their most popular works:

Kimberly Willis Holt, author of My Louisiana Sky and When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.


Eric Berlin, author of The Puzzler's Mansion, The Potato Chip Puzzles, and The Puzzling World of Winston Breen


Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series.

Each author had their own unique activity for the students to do or participate in. I especially loved hearing how these authors get their ideas. It is so very inspiring to listen to them discuss how their ideas began as something so small and blossomed into something so fantastic. I think it really gives students encouragement and hope to want to pursue their dreams. {CORNY!! But oh-so-true.} I think meeting an author is a truly encouraging experience and I hope all students - or all people for that matter - get a chance to meet and talk to a successful author one day.

4. It's supposed to snow this weekend. I know that isn't a big deal to most folks in the country, but in Alabama, it's mad chaos. EVERYBODY PANIC. And buy out all of the bread and milk. Why do people buy bread and milk if they're going to be cooped up all day?! I don't get it. I'd be buying pizza and steaks. 
Geez, this pregnancy makes me sound {and look and feel} like such a piggie.

5. My unborn daughter FINALLY has a full name: Olivia Reese. I am so excited about it!! I love it. I cannot wait to meet this little creature and snuggle her in my arms and smell her. I love the smell of babies. Especially freshly bathed babies. Olivia will be taking LOTS of baths. 5 weeks and counting!!

Please link up with Doodle Bugs and share your random thoughts for the week!!