Sunday, April 19, 2015

ATB Challenge - Week 5

Welcome back blogging buddies for week 5 of our ATB Challenge!


Every Sunday I will be posting a new challenge for you to try out.   Each challenge will be geared toward eradicating teacher burnout in the long run.  Challenges consist of simple activities, or suggestions, that will encourage a healthy lifestyle, stress-free living, and positive thinking that will benefit you both inside and outside of the classroom.

Here is your Week 5 Challenge:


Spring has finally sprung.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get outside and enjoy the increasingly nice weather.

Enjoy the sun, smell the fresh air, enjoy the sound of the birds chirping.  Walking can be extremely relaxing.


Check out all the many varied benefits of walking here.


This is by far my favorite challenge.  Most nights my husband, daughter, two dogs, and I go for a long walk to the park.  It is about a 3 mile round trip walk.  Getting outside in the fresh air and moving lifts my spirit, helps my body relieve any tensions built up from teaching, clears my mind, and provides my husband and I some time to talk.

Don't have time for a nightly 3 hour walk?  I don't blame you!

Try these tips to get more steps into your day:

1 - Set small goals.  15 minutes here, 10 minutes there.  Eventually the walking time will add up.  Every little bit helps.

2 - Find a walking partner.  This could be your spouse, child, neighbor, best friend, or dog.  Anyone could be your walking partner.  Not only will they enhance your walking enjoyment, but they will encourage you to get out and walk more often.

3 - Walk to the store.  If the store is too far away, park further away.

4 - Plan your time.  If you schedule in your walk you will be more likely to do it.


So what are you waiting for?  Stop reading and go for a walk.

Then tune in next Sunday for Week 6.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Writing On a Stick

Are you looking for a way to spice up your writing centers while incorporating a fun spring theme?

Check out my writing on a stick sets.



These are quick and easy to put together.  Just print, tape, and go.



I have students grab a prompt and use the accompanying stationary to write various genres during their writing center time or if they finish work early.  I select a few students to read their writing at the end of the day while we wait for the buses.

Check them out here in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.


Monday, April 13, 2015

ATB Challenge - Week 4

Welcome back blogging buddies for week 4 of our ATB Challenge!


Every Sunday I will be posting a new challenge for you to try out.   Each challenge will be geared toward eradicating teacher burnout in the long run.  Challenges consist of simple activities, or suggestions, that will encourage a healthy lifestyle, stress-free living, and positive thinking that will benefit you both inside and outside of the classroom.

Here is your Week 4 Challenge:


More water?  Really?  Will that really help prevent teacher burnout?

Surprisingly, it may!

The benefits of drinking water are infinite.  Check out this image I found here on Pinterest.



So, how are you going to squeeze in a few extra glasses of thirst quenching H20?


Tune in next Sunday for Week 5.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

ATB Challenge - Week 3

Welcome back blogging buddies for week 3 of our ATB Challenge!


Every Sunday I will be posting a new challenge for you to try out.   Each challenge will be geared toward eradicating teacher burnout in the long run.  Challenges consist of simple activities, or suggestions, that will encourage a healthy lifestyle, stress-free living, and positive thinking that will benefit you both inside and outside of the classroom.

Here is your Week 3 Challenge:


Do you get enough sleep each night?

While scrolling through Pinterest I came across these 30 Lesser Known Facts About Sleep:


Last week I asked you to unplug.  I am going to use some of the extra time I have gained from unplugging an hour before bed to add sleep.

I am going to start by trying to get to bed 5 minutes earlier each night until I have added on a full 1/2 hour to my nightly sleep.  Doesn't sound like much, but I know the extra 1/2 hour will make a huge difference throughout my day.

How can you add more sleep to your night?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

ATB Challenge - Week 2

Welcome back blogging buddies for week 2 of our ATB Challenge!


Every Sunday I will be posting a new challenge for you to try out.   Each challenge will be geared toward eradicating teacher burnout in the long run.  Challenges consist of simple activities, or suggestions, that will encourage a healthy lifestyle, stress-free living, and positive thinking that will benefit you both inside and outside of the classroom.  You can check out last week's challenge here.

Although we are moving on to week 2, keep your list from week 1 close by.

Here is your Week 2 Challenge:


Technology has wonderful benefits.  I use it every day.  However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we are over-attached to our technology.  Remind yourself daily, technology has a power-off button....use it!

Why unplug?  Good question!

For one, we need solitude.  It grounds us to the world and provides the stillness and quiet required to evaluate our lives and reflect on the day.  True solitude and meditation require the intentional action of unplugging.

It is important to actively participate in life.  Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you and these experiences will never repeat themselves.  These conversations are unfiltered and authentic.  If we are too busy staring down at our screen, we will miss out.


We need to create more and consume less.  Most of our technology time is spent consuming (checking Facebook, browsing Pinterest, reading Blogs, etc....)  But our world doesn't need more consuming, it needs more creating.  Your students, family, and friends need your passion, your solution, and your unique contribution.  Sure, one can argue that technology can help creation.  Especially with the ability to create and share teaching resources on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers . However, it is important to take time to create in other ways as well.

Less technology equals more time for other things...like lesson planning, cleaning, cooking, spending time with family and friends...etc...  Us teachers, we are always looking for more time.  Unplugging will create that missing time that we thought we could never find.

Now, I'll be the first to admit, this challenge is hard.  I am right along side you on this one.  Each day I will have to remind myself of the importance of unplugging from my favorite devices.

When in doubt...start small.

I love this pin that I found on Pinterest from POPSUGAR.


Upon waking, wait before turning on your technology.  After all, the world ran just find without you for the past 7-8 hours.  One more won't hurt.  Blocking out one hour (or even 15 minutes to start) to focus on mediation or your upcoming day will help you wisely shape the other 23.

Better manage your time-wasters.  There are a number of internet tools that can help you better manage your time online.  Freedom will disable your entire internet connection for a time period set by you.  Selfcontrol will allow you to block access to uniquely specified websites (like Facebook) for a period of time, but you will still have access to the rest of the web.

Unplug before bed!  It will help you settle down for the night.  Some research has shown that it may even help you sleep better.


What are you waiting for?  Try it out!  Then let me know how it goes and then tune in next Sunday for your third challenge!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Peek at My Friday Before Break

Our Friday for break was a busy one.

We started out our day with a review of comparing fractions.  Students moved around the room to solve comparing fraction problems on their recording sheet and then we met back together to discuss our answers and prove each with tape diagrams, number lines, and equations.


Afterwards, we wrote Easter and Spring sticker stories.


I purchased these cute little boxes of mini stickers from the Dollar Tree.


Students used the stickers in place of words to create a fun little Easter or Spring themed story.


Our afternoon was filled with dress rehearsal and our final Portraits of Colonial Times performance. More to come about that later.


We ended our day with a celebration that included dancing to songs from GoNoodle.


How was your week?  Is anyone else enjoying Spring Break yet?


Sunday, March 22, 2015

ATB Challenge - Week 1

Are you feeling stressed out lately?

Are the negative thoughts starting to outweigh the positive?

Are you starting to feel the wrath of teacher burnout overtaking your soul?

I have been wracking my brain the last few weeks to come up with ways to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and help teachers avoid the infamous teach burnout.

So, I came up with a little weekly challenge, Avoiding Teacher Burnout (ATB for short.)

Graphics in image from Krsita Wallden and  Paula Kim Studio
Every Sunday I will post a new challenge for you to try out.

Each challenge will be geared toward eradicating teacher burnout.

Challenges will be simple activities, suggestions, or ideas that encourage a healthy lifestyle, stress-free living, and positive thinking that will benefit you both inside and outside of the classroom.

Why not just offer one simple blog post including all the tips to avoid teacher burnout all at once?  Chances are (if you are anything like me) you'd look at it quickly, try one or two strategies, and then forget about it the next day.  By selecting just one thing to focus on each week you can start to build in healthy habits that will become routine and hopefully last a life time.

Sound good?

Here is your challenge for week one:


Create a list that you can add to and refer back to throughout the week.

A list is a short, simple, and sweet way to capture your thoughts in just a few moments.

Keep your notepad, or some paper, on your classroom desk, on your nightstand, or near the toilet.  (Hey, sometimes the bathroom is the only place for peace.)

Jot down why you love teaching, what your strengths are in (or out) of the classroom, and what you are most passionate about.

If ever you are feeling stressed, anxious, or upset, take out the list and remind yourself of why you are a teacher.  Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.  Make time for what you are most passionate about.

Take out the list and add to it every once in a while.

Keep it close by.

Want some cute stationary?  Download it here.


Creating a list encourages positive thinking.  It can uplift you on a rough day.

Does it sound too simple?  Sometimes it's the simple things that build the foundation for changing your thinking.

So, what are you waiting for?  Try it out!

Don't forget to pop back in at the end of the week to let me know how it went.  Comment on Facebook or here on my blog.  I'd appreciate any and all feedback!

Tune in next Sunday for your second challenge!