Wordless Wednesday AND Positive Thinking Thursday!

 I am very happy or link up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday because I have a doozy!

Yes, this is my closet at school.  And yes, I know.  I have a problem.  There I admitted it.
So my question is:  How do you organize your closet?  (And I know about binders and am going to IKEA for magazine holder thingys but what about the big stuff?)

Join in the positive thinking at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings!

12 days left!

Yes, that's right!  12 days left of this school year!  And yes, I am counting - although I tell the students that we shouldn't count the days but make the days count! 
(I'm at least being good on the outside)

So what are we doing you ask?
We are finishing the novel Catching Fire.
We do this by:
listening to the audio
marking quotes with sticky notes
then recording the quotes in our notebooks 
and finishing the period with summarizing in a little journal.

Yes, it's pretty routine, but that's what my special needs kids need.  Without routine, we have trouble with a capital "T"!
(although I do throw in a few fun games for sequencing and such here and there)

We are working towards completing the theme poster project for our last grade in the gradebook.
Our anchor chart is coming along:

On the last day, I plan to give out awards, comic books, and this summer calendar:

It lists a fun activity for each day of the summer, but every Sunday it asks the child to read their summer reading book in a special place.  There are also two poems to be read with activities to go along with them.  Then there's a list at the end of various "book prize activities" that students can do to earn prizes at my school.  

This is in Word so you can edit it to suit your needs.

You can get it for free by clicking HERE.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thanks for stopping by!  

Finally back to "normal"!

Hallelujah!  Testing is over!  Now we can get back to "normal" - well as normal as we can be with 4 weeks to go!

We will be working to finish up reading Catching Fire in 3 weeks - with the last week (which is 3 days only) to wrap up the book and year!  

The critical information for this book is understanding plot events, summarizing and theme.  And so our assessment will be creating theme posters.

You may have a free copy HERE

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

To help the students gather information for their posters, we are creating an anchor chart for theme.

You can see it's a work in progress with the first chart being a brainstorming chart.  Now we will collect quotes from the book to place under the proper headings.

I'll share an updated photo next week.  :)

Wordless Wednesday

A big thank you to Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice because I just love this linky!

How do you teach life skills?  I would love to hear your creative, engaging ideas to get me through this test time curriculum!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tried It Tuesday ~ Liebster Award

I am thrilled to be nominated by Diane at One Teacher's Adventures for this great award!

The rules for accepting this award are:

1.  Link back to the person who nominated me:  Diane at One Teacher's Adventure.

2.  Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

3.  Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator.

4.  Share 11 random facts about myself.

5.  Contact my nominees to let them know I nominated them.

So, here we go!

The questions posted for me are:

1.  What is your favorite subject to teach?  Language Arts!
2.  Why did you start blogging?  I thought it would be a great way to get to know teachers in other parts of the country and now outside of the USA too!  :)
3.  How do you de-stress after an exhausting day at school?  My husband and take our Great Dane for a walk and we talk things out.
4.  Where is your favorite place in the world?  DISNEY!
5.  What is the most useful or creative education website you've seen?  This one is tough but I will choose Quia.com.
6.  What was your best teaching moment?  When one of my students told me they wished I was his Mom.
7.  Who was your most memorable teacher?  Why?  My second grade teacher was Mrs. Gush.  She taught me to not take things too seriously.
8.  What is your best piece of advice for new teachers?  Until you find your groove, all you need to do is be ready for the next day.
9.  How long have you been teaching?  This makes my 20th year.
10.  What is your favorite thing about teaching?  Since you asked me now - at this point in the year - my answer is Summer Break!  However, if you asked me in August, I'd probably say building community.
11.  If you could spend the day with one person who would it be?  Walt Disney - I would so love to talk about his dreams.

My 11 random facts:

1.  I live within 45 minutes of Disney and go at least once a month.
2.  I wish I could blend my love of Disney and teaching together to earn a living.
3.  I have trained my Great Dane, Harvey, to be a Therapy Dog.
4.  I loved teaching On the Job Training to students with special needs.
5.  I love watching American Pickers and Property Brothers on TV.
6.  I just bought a new car - 2014 Highlander - it's the nicest car I have ever owned.
7.  I am going to England this summer with my husband and our two sons.
8.  I am a confessed chocoholic and I'm ok with it!  :)
9.  I love shopping at Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft.
10.  I have tons of freckles so I don't really tan.
11.  I enjoy gardening and the square foot method.

So now it's time to pass on the honor and I have chosen:

Life With Middle Schoolers

Funky in Fourth

Techie Turtle Teacher

Friends of Reading

Smack Dab in the Middle

And my 11 questions for my nominees are:

1.  What is the best thing about blogging?
2.  How do you manage your time to get all the blogging activity you want to do "in"?
3.  What is your best community building tip?
4.  What do you like best about teaching?
5.  What would you do if you couldn't teach?
6.  Do you have class pets?
7.  What is your best engagement strategy?
8.  What is your best "go-to" teaching resource (besides TpT)?
9.  What teaching organizations do you belong to?
10.  What is your favorite thing to do to de-stress?
11.  What is your idea of an ideal vacation?

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm looking forward to reading all the responses!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Spangler-In-The-MiddleOh and of course, you may want to check out the SALE!  All of my products are 28% off with the code.  :)

A Peek at My Week ~ Still testing

I can scarcely believe it my myself, but we are STILL in testing mode.  I swear the whack-a-doodle scheduling is melting my brain.  That's why I have been "away" this past week - all I can seem to manage is one day at a time.

We have "homeroom" for about 2 hours every day where we teach "life skills" followed by a modified bell schedule which means I see my special needs Language Arts class once or twice a week and fill the rest of my time with conducting extended time testing or writing IEPs.  

In "homeroom" we will be focusing on communication/social skills this week.  Could be very interesting if the students could just focus.  I found this for free on TPT and am going to give a whirl this week:

Practical Communication Skills

In Language Arts, we are reading Catching Fire.  They were excited at first, but since so many of the other teachers aren't exactly teaching, they think I am being unfair when I say we're reading and not playing games.

Soooo....I put together a little sequencing game for the first 5 chapters for when our class next meets.  

You can get it for free HERE.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

And then, of course, I am all excited about the BIG SALE!  This is because firstly, I sincerely appreciate my online colleagues who have definitely helped me to improve my lessons, but also because I love a bargain!  I know my wishlist is all stocked and ready to go and I hope you're ready too!

I am especially hoping that this item will be on sale:

Writing Bundle:  Paragraph of the Week and Essay of the Month

That's probably all I can afford right now - summer is just around the corner and I have to save the $$.

However, all my products will be 28% off with the code below.  :)


You might be interested in:

Wrapping up the End of the Year ~ Activities for Middle Grades
And if you are trying to save money (like me) then maybe you'd rather try to win what's in your cart:

Have a great week!  Thanks for stopping by!