Budding Bloggers Showcase {Krystyn from Ms. Richards's Musings: Confessions of a Teacher}

Hey all! My name is Krystyn Richards. Amanda has graciously allowed me to participate in her Budding Blogging Showcase. I have loved reading the blogs Amanda has posted in the past and I am ecstatic that I have the opportunity to be a part of it.
About Me

I live in the lovely Washington State. My city is situated between the Olympic Mountain range and the Cascade Mountain range. It makes for some beautiful views. I have also been teaching 2nd grade for the last 4 years. 
My family and I are really into soccer, specially the Seattle Sounders. 
I also love to travel. Last summer I went to Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. It was a wonderful trip. There was so much food to eat and history to learn...which are 2 of my favorite things.

Favorite Subject
This is a hard question because I love different parts about teaching reading and math for different reasons. For example, I love that moment in reading when the student finally puts all the pieces together and become a reader. It doesn't happen as much in 2nd grade as it does in 1st, but the reaction from the student is alway the same. There is such wonder and excitement on their face when all of the hard work they have been doing pays off. This never fails to remind me why I became a teacher. :)
My Classroom
Someone would see carefully controlled chaos. I am a big promotor of brain breaks. We usually do a couple every day. I try to incorporate as many academic activities that have my students moving around too. I think it is important for students to move around and it prevents some of the behavior problems.  One of my favorite units to do with my students is the measuring unit. There are a ton of hands-on activities to help students compare the length of objects as well as comparing different measurement tools. However, my absolute favorite is  the activity has students building their own ramps out of cardboard tubes and measuring the distance of a marble they roll down their tubes. They love to see how far their marbles can go. This activity really lends itself to exploration. It's exciting to see how their brain work to discover a different way to make their marble roll further.
One of "those" days
I have a wonderful boyfriend who is my partner in crime. He is a great sounding board and most importantly he makes me laugh. When he can't fix it, usually a glass of wine and a hot bath will. :) 

Teaching Resource
I absolutely can't live without Mr Sketch markers and flair pens. Most of the things I get for my classroom are for my students. These are just for me. So it ends up being a treat that I get to use all year long. 

Blogging Goals
My goal this year is to be more consistent with my posts on my blog. Last year I was working toward my National Board Certification, so I was unable to blog as much as I wanted. I am hoping to change that this year and I can't wait to get back to it. One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting new people. I would love for you to check out my blog. Click on the picture to take you to my blog.


Number Munchers {Place Value}

I am loving our "Any Time" centers this year!  No more digging around during our place value unit to sort through all of the holiday centers only to realize there are only a couple of fall-themed ones!  Nope!  Our Number Munchers center set contains 10 self-checking centers for place value.  Every single standard that I teach has a center....in a theme that can be used ANY TIME of the year.  Center love.

You can love it, too, because we just added it to our shop!  And....for TODAY ONLY it's on sale for $3.00.  But, even if you miss the sale price, $4.99 is still a great deal for 122 total pages (includes color and black&white versions) of place value fun! 

Click the images below to view more details and grab it for yourself!




Budding Bloggers Showcase {Sarah from Mrs. Jones Teaches}

Y'all, do I have a treat for you today!?  I'm extra excited about this little showcase today because it is Sarah.  Seriously, she has to be one of the sweetest bloggers EVER!  We were SLANT partners one month last year - so much fun!  But then...months later...when it was teacher appreciation week, I got a little happy note in the mail from her.  She has NO IDEA how much that note meant to me.  It was such a a great little pick me and surprise that really touched my heart.  I know you'll just love Sarah as much as I do, so read on to learn more about her and then hop over to her blog and welcome her as a new blogging friend!

Hello! I am so thankful to Amanda for allowing me to be featured on her amazing blog. I've admired from afar and was super excited when she was one of my SLANT buddies last fall.

My name is Sarah and I've been blogging for quite a while on my personal/family blog, typing family recipes and events. About a year and a half ago, though, I decided to plunge into this lovely teacher blogging community because I love getting to "show and tell" with other educators. I think there is so much good that comes out of getting to collaborate with other teachers, whether they are at my school or on another continent.

Mrs. Jones Teaches

I currently teach 2nd grade in central Kansas. I am also currently the person who writes out the elementary lesson plans for the ESOL paras in our district. {I should make myself a cool job title for that...} I can't believe this new school year will be my 9th year of teaching. It's gone by so fast, and I feel like I've learned so much in that time. Yikes! My very first class of 3rd graders will be in 11th grade this year... and my first 5th grade class will be graduating. Oh my!


My husband and I don't have any children. We will celebrate 8 years in September. We do have Goliath, who provides adequate entertainment, when he feels like it... (fellow cat owners will understand that). By the way, it is absolutely amazing that I got this amazing selfie with Goliath because he usually wants nothing to do with pictures and camera-like devices.

I think my favorite subject to teach is Math. I often feel less confident with Reading. When it comes to Math instruction, though, I tend to be more of a risk taker, trying out new things and pushing my students to where I know they can go. With Reading instruction, I tend to play it safe. Hopefully my journey through grad classes will change that! I love learning new things!


When I taught 5th grade, I think I also gained a new love of history. I loved our 5th grade curriculum, teaching about how our country became a new nation. Teaching about cells was fun, too. I sure did learn something each year in 5th grade Science and Social Studies!

If you popped into my classroom, we might be having a discussion as a whole group or in our table teams. We might be enjoying a book or using our poetry journals at the carpet. We might be spread out at different centers. We might even be working on our Sid Shuffle, one of my favorite get-up-and-move dances. If you look around, the counters, shelves, and my desktop might not be neat and tidy, but you will be able to tell that we're hard workers.

We all know, some days are rough. Last year I seemed to have a lot of those because I wasn't prepared for some of the issues I had to deal with. I love a quiet, dimly lit classroom at the end of the day, when I can play whatever music I want to and decompress. Some days it helps to go to our local Y and walk or jog for a bit with my earbuds. There's nothing like a little ME-time after a long day!

At the beginning of last year, I participated in a blog party where I shared a few of my favorite {teacher} things. You can read about it here. If I had to choose one resource I can't teach without, I would probably have to say my laptop, just because it seems like it is another appendage. I use it to work my projector, look up definitions, play our get-up-and-move videos, and all the normal things teachers do, like attendance, email, etc. I can't go a day in my classroom without it!

During the school year, all the To-Dos seem to take over and I don't write as consistently as I would like. I would like to do better this year. I've noticed that some bloggers seem to plan ahead or keep a calendar schedule. Sometimes my problem is that I don't get pictures taken, and sometimes sharing pictures can be more meaningful than text.

My other blogging goal is just to feel more confident. I tend to be shy and reserved in most situations, so I'm not always sure that other people will want to read what I have to share. I'm not a natural risk-taker, but I need to find more opportunities to step out of my box.

Mrs. Jones Teaches

Thanks for reading! 
Come on over and visit me at Mrs. Jones Teaches!
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Marshmallow Shooters {Force & Motion} & Freebie

I'm blogging over at Owl-ways Be Inspired today.  I'm sharing about our fun Force & Motion lesson with Marshmallow Shooters and also linked to my Interactive Science Notebook Covers {FREEBIE}.  Hop over to say hi over there!

Owl-Ways Be Inspired


Centers: Storage Solution

Centers.  I have a love/hate relationship with them.  One reason why is organization.  But, I'm happy to say that I have FINALLY found the method that works for me.

I'm sharing it with you today in hopes that it will work for some of you, too!

I keep each center stored in a gallon-sized ziploc bag.  I find this to be the most cost-effective and convenient way to store centers.

The cover, the directions, the recording page, answer key, and cards/pieces are all kept in the bag.  Easy peasy.

But, how to store these bags?  How to put a selection out for students to use?  These have always been issues for me....until now.

Enter.....File Cabinet Organization.  Love.

File cabinets.  Most of us have them in our classrooms already.  Many are going unused these days since most of our resources are electronic.  For years now, I've been using my file cabinet to store teacher resource books, colored copy paper, cardstock, and construction paper. 

I wasn't willing to give up that paper storage, so I asked for an additional file cabinet for this year.  I knew I wanted to try storing my centers in the file cabinet, but wasn't sure how to "divide" the ziploc bags into subjects. 

I ended up getting large foam boards from the Dollar Tree and my sweet husband cut them to size for me.  Then, I used washi tape to cover the top edge to give them a finished look.

I decided to just use small post-it notes to label each of the foam board dividers so that it would be easy to change the labels out if needed in the future.

I've been happier than expected with this set up so far.  I can't believe how many centers can be stored in a small amount of space using this system.

When we're working on place value, it's super easy for me to pull out all of those centers (I never sort them by holidays/themes, but by subject topics instead) for students to use. 

I display those centers in this book storage rack that I got at Big Lots one year.  It's perfect for holding up to 12 centers at a time and letting students "see" them.

I hope some of these tips help you with your center storage! 


Budding Bloggers Showcase {Karmen from Tales from a Naturalista Teacha}

Hi there folks! My name is Karmen and you can find me over at Tales from a Naturalista Teacha.
Tales From a Naturalista Teacha

I am from the good ole state that is for lovers... Virginia... You know they say "Virginia is for Lovers!" I was born raised, and currently reside right here in the good ole VA. I am the proud proud proud momma of one of the smartest 5 year old boys that I know! He is very energetic, fun, goofy, and he absolutely LOVES to read... I don't know what his Kindergarten teacher will be able to do with him this fall...

I currently teach in an inner city school system with some of the most amazing children. Unfortunately most of them have been through more in their elementary lives than I have in my entire life! But they are amazing and I am happy to be able to impact their lives every day. I am going into my 5th year teaching. Thus far I have taught 1 year in Pre-K (headstart), 2 years in Kindergarten, and 1 year in Third grade. So far Kindergarten has been my favorite grade to teach. I am going into my second year in third grade and I'm thinking that third might end up being my favorite after this!

I really do like to teach everything...but Reading... and that is growing on me. As a Kindergarten Teacher it was my favorite... I Love teaching Phonics... Of all of the subjects my absolute number 1 with out a doubt... there's no replacing it ever... has to be Mathematics. Have mercy... I am one of the biggest Math Nerds you will ever meet! I had so much fun this year in Third Grade teaching the math!

A day in my classroom you may see any number of things. I am a big fan of small groups. So you most certainly will get a glance of my students working together to answer questions, playing games, and hopefully having meaningful conversations.  You may also catch us performing some type of rap song... My teaching bestie and I are big "teacher rappers" And we have performed a couple of times... lol... We will be recording and developing some music videos this year with our students as well as hopefully putting out a CD. We are famous around the school...

My first year in third grade... was full of "those kind of days" and there were three things that helped me  get through them.... #1 My Faith... #2 My Teaching Buddies and #3 Peanut M&Ms from the vending Machine.. YUM!

I have no Idea where I would be without TeachersPayTeachers. With the over 350 items I have purchased from TPT over the last couple of years, I can honestly say that I would not be the teacher that I am without. There are so many amazing authors with amazing products to purchase. TPT is the resource I don't think I could live without!

My main goal as a blogger for the year is to just be more organized so that I can share more Ideas with my readers.... I am full of ideas... It's kind of crazy and I have so much to share but sometimes life gets in the way and I am determined to not let that happen.

Thanks so much for getting to know me just a little bit and I would love to have you stop by my blog!


Budding Bloggers Showcase {Hannah from Cute in the Classroom}

Hi friends!  I have a CUTE blogger for you today!  Hannah teaches literacy all day long.  Can you say heaven?!  Read on to learn more about her and then hop over to her blog and leave her a welcome note!

Hello all! I am SO excited to be hanging out with Amanda today. She is adorable. And I can't wait to meet some new blogging friends!

A Little About Me


My name is Hannah Burns and I blog over at Cute in the Classroom. I am a second year teacher from South Arkansas. I am married to Josh (known as "Husband" on my blog). We don't have kids, but we do have one dog "baby" named Lewis.

I started blogging about a year ago after discovering the teacher heaven that is TPT. I was actually TPT-ing when I was student teaching! From there I found some AMAZING sellers and even better teacher bloggers. After lots and lots of blog stalking, I just had to join. I don't like to miss out on the fun! And that's what we bloggers do best :)
I like sharing about what I make for my class, getting ideas from other teachers, and joining linky parties. When teaching gets hard (because it does), I love getting on the computer and being inspired by my blogging friends and favorite reads. 

I come from a family of teachers (Mom teaches Kindergarten, Dad teaches History, sister teaches PreK), but I'm the only one that blogs. Trust me, any family get-together is full of lots of "shop-talk" and swapping ideas. I love it.

When I'm not teaching, I LOVE to read. Since it's summer right now, I am going through books like crazy. I especially love futuristic/dystopian books like Divergent, Matched, Hunger Games, and many, many more. If you stop by my blog, be prepared to hear about what I'm currently reading and loving. I also love crafting, Pinteresting (follow me!), and sleeping ;)

What I Teach
I am a fourth grade literacy teacher. I have a homeroom class and a switch class. I teach Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Language. My partner teacher does Math, Science, and Social Studies. How do I feel about only teaching Literacy all day? I LOVE IT. Any time someone asks me about teaching a different grade, I tell them that I will think long and hard before I move because I love NOT teaching Math and Science. I know, I know. I'm sorry Math people. I'm married to one of you, so I understand. But I just don't like Math. Or teaching it. I am a Literacy-Lover at heart. Always have been. Aaaaaand I am going into my second year of teaching. Woohoo!

My Classroom

I already told you that I love Literacy, so it's no surprise to you that my favorite subject to teach is Reading. I love discussions, hands-on projects, and group work. If you popped into my classroom on a "normal" (what is that?!) day, here are some things you might see...
Books. Everywhere. My classroom library is out of control. And after reading "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller last summer, my kids are always reading. Always.
Music. At least half of my Pandora stations are for my kids. We love Kidz Bop, Kidz Bop Holiday, and Relaxation.
Literacy Centers. Once you get to upper elementary (my school is fourth through sixth), you don't see these a lot. But my kids LOVE them. Beg for them. Work harder so they can go to them. A lot of times it looks like chaos. And it might be. But we like it.
 Color. I can't stand the off-white cinder block walls of my room, so I cover them up. If you go to the "My Classroom" page on my blog, you'll see what I mean. I use butcher paper as wallpaper, decorate my ceiling with tissue paper pom-poms, and plaster my kids' artwork, anchor charts, and creations everywhere. I think I change the bulletin board outside my room more than anyone in my hallway!

Those Days
We all have them. The "what am I doing being a teacher I'm exhausted" kind of days. And being a recovering first year teacher, I had a lot of them. Haha. What gets me through? My husband. He is the reason I didn't give up this year, even when I wanted to. His words became my mantra. When I felt like a failure, he told me "Just do your best. That's all you can do." And that's what I live by! Also maybe some "teacher koolaid" as my mom likes to call it ;)

 Can't Live Without It
The teaching resource I can't live without....how do I choose? Pinterest and maybe the internet in general are invaluable. What did teachers do before they could just "google" and "pin" lesson ideas? Because I do that all the time. Also paper. We use a lot of that. And laminating. And TPT. And Diet Coke.

Favorite Classroom Activity/Project
Again...how do I choose?! I think one of my favorite things to do in the classroom is have my students "create" something... a flyer, a poster, a video. I love seeing their ideas and artwork. By the end of the year, they know I am really serious about these projects and they get so into them. And we always have share time. I love seeing what they come up with, making them learn how to work together (nine and ten year olds need encouragement...if you know what I mean), and the community that we build by sharing our work with one another. I get teary-eyed just thinking about what some of my fourthies accomplished last year!

Blogging Goals
I think my blogging goal for the year is just to...blog. Last year, since it was my first year, I kind of went AWOL when school started. I think I was so focused on surviving that I had no time for much else. Now that I know more of what to expect (from myself and the kids), I feel much more confident about my blogging consistency this year. I want to follow more people, meet new friends, and maybe even meet up with someone close by!

Amanda, thank you so much for letting me drop by! And thank YOU for reading. Come see me over at Cute in the Classroom some time :)

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