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Monday, July 5, 2021

Ingenuity Lab


I'm two weeks into my summer vacation and I've just about completed my first summer project. Last week, I sat in on interviews for a 7th teammate and my principal asked candidates a very important question. "What are some ways you will accommodate for learning and emotional gaps that students may show?" You see, this particular group of rising 2nd graders had their Kindergarten year cut short by the pandemic and then could have possibly spent their entire first grade year in the virtual learning setting. I'm already  looking to be either  trained in Youth Mental First Aid or Trauma Informed Care but it's going to take much more than that to meet these students where they are. 

One idea I want to implement is an Ingenuity Lab (ingenuity is one of our school system's core values). I decided I wanted to start our days off with creativity. So instead of traditional morning work, students will come in and grab their bin for the week and complete that day's challenge. This is very similar to morning tubs or morning missions as I've also seen them called. 
I made 24 bins. 2 of each type of material. I didn't have to purchase much, I already had most of the supplies I wanted to use on hand.  In each bin I included a ring of 7 task cards. 4 picture cards and 3 three-dimensional shape cards. I could have used more consumable materials like index cards, tape, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, etc. however I wanted something low maintenance considering the students will use these each day. 

Here's a list of the materials I used:

If you'd like to implement this in your own classroom, the materials are located here: Ingenuity Lab

I do not charge for the materials I create, however I do accept donations via Paypal, CashApp and TpT Class Fund. 


Cash App: $teachingoasis



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

I Survived the 20/21 School Year!


Thursday, June 17th was the last day of school! I pray I never have to experience what I've had to experience ever again. 

I walked away from this school year with nothing left... I poured it all into my students, colleagues, school community... all of it. One day in May, I was at school and got terribly dizzy and my head started to pound. I went to the nurse and my blood pressure was 168/108 and my heart rate was 135. I was sitting in my doctors office three days later being prescribed anti-anxiety meds. And I must say...after five weeks, I finally feel like myself again and I'm even losing weight because I'm not eating my emotions anymore.

I'm definitely looking forward to the healing and restoration that only summer vacation can provide.  Here's a photo of my #teamBFF and I the last week of school with our matching shirts that say "Together, through it all, we made it!" We haven't been on the same team in three years but she is still my rock and one of the few things I looked forward to this school year, being able to spend time with her everyday at school. 

I desperately needed a break from the environment I've been in for the last ten months, so I'll be teaching summer school at a different location. I was very close to changing my mind but after the pay went from $25 an hour to $40 an hour I figured I could teach four hours a day for fifteen days this summer... then go on a nice shopping spree 😁. 

My days have been filled with redesigning my classroom Google site. I used buttons from this product I found on TpT (Google Sites Web Design) along with elements from my Canvas page this past school year. 
Completing our team long range plans for next school year.

And taking naps. Oh...and I cut my hair off back in April and decided to stop color treating it and embrace my gray. This low maintenance
 hair style has been the change I needed in my life!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

EOY: Beach Party

It's been so long since I've had the opportunity to write a blog post! My district went hybrid back in October, back to all virtual in December, then FULL TIME... every student, five days a week beginning in February. By the time that happened I had had 1 of 2 vaccine shots so I felt a little better about having 20 second graders in my classroom all day long. Where we learn, eat breakfast, lunch and snack and even have music. It's a lot to adjust to. Luckily, I have not had any student that needed to quarantine during this time so I could focus my time on planning classroom lessons and not planning for students at home as well. 

This school year is winding down and I'm planning our end of the year party. In the past, I've done a Hawaiian Luncheon where I made hawaiian Meatballs, ham and turkey sandwiches on hawaiian sweet rolls. The days of me cooking for my students are gone and due to Covid restrictions our classroom party this year will look different.

I decided to have a Beach Party. Students will dress is beach/ tropical attire and I plan to decorate the room, Party City has some great items. Here are the activities I have planned:
End of the Year Memory Bracelets

Ocean Coloring Book

Build a Sandcastle


How are you planning to celebrate the end of this unprecedented school year?


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Classroom Tour 20-21

I never thought I'd be wearing a face mask and shield to teach in... but here I am!

I can't believe it's been 6 months since I last blogged. My school system started off the year with virtual learning and then slowly phased students back into in person learning using a hybrid approach. I have 10 students on Mondays/Tuesdays and 7 students on Thursday/Friday. On Wednesdays, the schools are deep cleaned between cohorts.



Because of social distancing, there are no rotations in my classroom so each child has a Station Basket for the week. I disinfect materials between cohorts. Each basket has the same type of activities just different topics. I took all my math and literacy stations and split them up to create the baskets. 

This is their supply basket. They keep it in the desk on the days they are at school and in their cubbies on days they are not. I created Learning Handbooks of all our VA Standards and they have Math Fact Fluency Folders and Sight Word Folders as well. 



On days my students are at home, I sent home packets that list their computer, packet and guided reading assignments. 

I finally but together my Super Improver Board along with my student's Swag Tags. They are so excited about this!

I've made it through the 1st quarter, 5 weeks of virtual learning and 3 weeks and counting for hybrid instruction. My report cards are finished and my professional goals complete. I'm trying to stay on top of everything so I don't get overwhelmed. How is your year going so far?

Monday, April 13, 2020

Birthday Cookie Cards


I have about 10 birthdays in my class between April and August and I wanted to do something special for my students since I won't see them for the rest of the academic year. 

Cheryl's is my most favorite place to order cookies from, they are by far the best cookies I have ever tasted! They are known for their frosted buttercream sugar cookies however I enjoy the oatmeal raisin and lemon cookies too.

I decided I would send Cheryl's Cookie Cards to my students near their birthdays. So far, one has received theirs and the mom emailed me to tell me that he had been so sad about not having a birthday party this year and the cookie card and message I sent cheered him right up! They are $5 each and well worth the price to bring a smile to my scholar's faces during this time of great uncertainty. 

I even sent a card to my #teamBFF, she loved hers as well! 

Fall Language Arts Stations

The last of the Language Arts Stations are finally finished! Working on these during my Spring Break has given me such a feeling of normalcy and I'm so glad I was able to spend time creating this past week. 
I created 7 low prep stations that are aligned to the Virginia 2nd grade standards but most certainly can be used in Common Core classrooms as well.
Simply print and laminate station directions and task cards, cut task cards apart, run copies of the recording sheet and store together in a drawer cart or even large zipper bag.


Click here to download!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Back to School Language Arts Stations

I have been on a roll this week,  my Back to School Language Arts stations are complete! 
I created 8 low prep stations that are aligned to the Virginia 2nd grade standards but most certainly can be used in Common Core classrooms as well. These are perfect for end of the year (or summer) review for 1st grade or beginning of the school year review for 2nd graders.
Simply print and laminate station directions and task cards, cut task cards apart, run copies of the recording sheet and store together in a drawer cart or even large zipper bag. 



Click Here to download. I'm finishing up some Fall Stations now and hope to have those posted on Monday!