Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Hi y'all! I haven't blogged since last week because I've been crazy busy and on the go. Thursday night we had to take my grandmother to the hospital for the second time in a week with a high fever. After a bunch of tests they found an aneurysm in her stomach. They had to do a heart cath yesterday to make sure there weren't any blockages before they did the surgery for the aneurysm. Those results weren't that great, so she has to have bypass surgery Thursday. Please say a prayer for her!

Needless to say, my life has been busy, busy, busy since Thursday night. On the upside, I've been able to work on several projects which you already know if you follow me on Instagram (msleslieann01). I wanted to share with y'all some of my new valentine's creations as well as some golden oldies.

My newest project should be finished tomorrow! I'm so excited about it :) Stay tuned!

Just wanted to update y'all on where I've been. One of my new year's goals was to blog 4-5 times a week and I failed on that last week. I'm working on getting back on track :) 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

task cards brought to life, a mini classroom makeover, & a good book

I have become obsessed with using task cards in my classroom. I absolutely love them and I think I have purchased every single one of Rachel Lynette's and Teaching with a Mountain View. It's so easy to just pull out a set for a particular skill that kids are struggling with. While I love using these in centers and during my small group instruction, I thought they would also be great for whole group instruction. I decided to take a few of the cards and write them on chart paper.

 I displayed them around the room and the kids got into groups to figure out the main idea of each passage. I also added two other choices to pick the main idea from, so when they were finding the main idea, they also had to tell me why the other two were wrong. 

Once we finished determining the main idea of each passage, we color coded our answers. I think it's so important to teach kids how to highlight. If we didn't go over this in class, every kid would be highlighting every single word that they had written. This way, it's much easier to find what they're looking for when I call on one of them. We highlighted each main idea in the same color and their reasons for why the other two choices weren't the main idea in another color.

Lastly, we filled out a graphic organizer where we named the main idea of a passage, along with details that supported the main idea.

Tomorrow we will work on a slightly harder passage where we will identify the main idea and find supporting details within the passages

I spent a little time in my classroom this weekend and rearranged some things. The room works so much better now and I'm loving the new areas. My kids were thrilled too :) We all need a little change every now and then, right? 

Have you ever read this book?
How wonderful is this book? Soooo good! I posted a pic on Instagram (msleslieann01) and I had several people say they read it aloud to their 5th graders. I would *love* to do this and actually had one student ask if we could do this with the book today but since I only have each group of students for around an hour and 1/2, I simply don't have time. I'm still struggling with fitting everything in, so a read aloud just isn't possible. Instead, I talked about the book with each group and asked if they wanted to read it. If they did, they put their name on a piece of paper and placed it in the green bucket. At the end of the day, I randomly drew a piece of paper and that person got to read the book. When that person finishes, the book will be passed on. There's also a copy at the library that they can check out. If you haven't read the book, you definitely need to. It was so good!!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

#LAeveryday2014 Weeks 2&3 Recap

Follow me on Instagram: msleslieann01 :)

Day 6: Snow day! Perfect excuse to shop the HUGE Lilly Pulitzer sale. I got so many things for an amazing price!

Day 7: Reese's afternoon walk was a quick one! It was FREEZING cold here in Alabama

Day 8: I spent the night cutting out my new winter Language Arts centers, which you can find here.

Day 9: I found these amazing chervon pillows at the Dollar General store of all places! Perfect for my classroom.

Day 10: After an exhausting week, Reese and I curled up and enjoyed a good book. Who else loves Mindy Kaling?

Day 11: Grocery shopping at Publix!

Day 12: I spent this day working on my project for Jo-Ann Fabrics. You can read all about the finished project here.

Day 13: Rainy day! Finally got to wear my favorite Christmas present :)

Day 14: Shopping for a new desk chair. The one I have now is SO uncomfortable and kills my back. This one pictured was perfect, except for the price tag! I'm still looking! :)

Day 15: Double bows.

Day 16: Blonde Appointment made for a LONG day, in which I left my cell phone at school after having a dead battery all day. Jo Ann Fabrics project was shared on the blog. You can see that full post here.

Day 17: Stop the presses: I worked out! I absolutely hate working out! I hate it while I'm working out and I don't feel better afterwards. I'm trying to work on this! :)

Be sure and follow along with me on Instagram to see my daily posts for #LAeveryday2014. My username is msleslieann01

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Teacher Creativity Blog Hop

I didn't realize just how much I love craft stores until I became a teacher. I could seriously spend hours looking at everything and getting inspired. When I found out there was a Jo-Ann fabrics store close to me, I was thrilled! There's so much you can find there that works wonderfully in your classroom. Several of my blog friends are sharing their creations, which you can find links to below. Here's mine!

One of my number one goals in my classroom is to get my students excited about reading! If you've been following me for awhile, you know that I was a first grade teacher for 4 years and I moved to 5th grade Reading/Language Arts this year...quite a change! I LOVE teaching 5th grade, but boy is it hard to get them excited about reading! All they want to read are short picture books to take an AR test on and get "points". I hate that! I want all of my kids to have a love for reading and I want them to get exciting about reading. Thus, recommendation boards were born.

I have one particular student who just doesn't like to read. I had some extra time last week to sit down at our bookshelf with him and search for a book that I thought he'd like. I decided to pull out The Westing Game, one of my personal favorites. This is sort of a lengthy book, so I had my doubts but I decided to give it a go. He excitedly came into class the next day and said, "Ms. Leslie Ann, I'm obsessed with this book!" How great is that?! 

In order to share some of my favorites with all of my students AND let them share their favorites with their classmates, I created recommendation boards. I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and bought 3 square boards, which were on sale for $8 each! I also bought 3 different patterns of fabric and some scrapbook paper. 

I used hot glue to cover each board with fabric

Then I typed up my headings for each board, glued them onto the board and done! Super Simple and easy. One board will display my recommendation, while the other two are featured recommendations. For these, I'll pick a boy and a girl each week to choose a book that they would recommend to their classmates. They will type up a short summary of the book and search online for the cover. I think this will really help create a little excitement about reading in our classroom :)

Are you ready to get crafty?! Here's a 25% off coupon to help get you started on your next project! 
(Just click, save, and print!)

Also, be sure to sign up for their teacher rewards program, which is pretty great!

Want to check out more projects and get inspired? Visit these fabulous girls to see what they created in this #teachercreativity Blog Hop! 

This review is part of a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® campaign. I received compensation for this review; however, this is my personal, honest opinion based on my experience