Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why use choice boards?

Have you ever used choice boards in your classroom?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE using choice boards with my students.

Here are my TOP 10 reasons why I love using choice boards in my classroom.

Are you using Choice Boards in your classroom? If not, here are the TOP 10 Reasons for Using Choice Boards! Students will LOVE you for it!

Are you using Choice Boards in your classroom? If not, here are the TOP 10 Reasons for Using Choice Boards! Students will LOVE you for it!

I use choice boards in every subject, with several different grade levels.

Here's an example of some of my choice boards in math, reading, and science.

Are you using Choice Boards in your classroom? If not, here are the TOP 10 Reasons for Using Choice Boards! Students will LOVE you for it!

A big reason I love using them is that they work with students of different abilities. For students that are struggling somewhat, I might pair them up with a partner and narrow down the choices to 2 or 3 instead of 9. For my higher students, they love the freedom in being able to do more creative projects. Some of the stuff they have come up with is amazing. I just love seeing their creativity shine through.

I also use them for spelling homework and vocabulary practice. My students and parents loved them! I use many of the same activities and rotate them throughout the year so that they could feel confident in the activities but still have choice.

Are you using Choice Boards in your classroom? If not, here are the TOP 10 Reasons for Using Choice Boards! Students will LOVE you for it!

Have you ever used choice boards? If so, what do you like about them?



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Long time no see!

Yes, I know it's been a LONNNNNNNG time since you've seen me on here.

A LOT has happened.

I got married.


Hubby got mobilized for active duty.

I resigned from my teaching job.

We moved from the big Dallas/Fort Worth area to a small town two hours away.

This city girl life is not used to the country life, but I am loving it. Our little town has no chain restaurants and only two main places to shop, but I do not miss the big city. Or the traffic. Or the construction.

The one bad things about moving here is that my allergies have gone NuTS. Just haywire. I've never gone through so much Zyrtec and Kleenex.

I pray it gets better. Hopefully I won't have to wait until winter when everything dies.

I wanted to share what I've been working on.

As you know, I LOVE to travel and love photography. I love incorporating my travel and photography into the classroom. Teaching in Texas many of my students have not traveled outside of their small bubble. They think that Six Flags over Texas is a big place to go into and haven't even thought about traveling to a place like China or Peru. I want to show them that there is a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. The photographs included are all ones taken by me on my travels around the world.


Here's one week looks like. This photo was taken in Thailand when my friend and I got a Thai pedicure. I was pretty excited about it, but my friend was terrified. She literally closed her eyes and screamed a little for the first five minutes. The fish literally eat the dead skin off your feet. Talk about tickling!


The photographs were taken in countries all over the world.


I also included large color photos for each week so you won't have to worry about wasting your color ink on the student pages. These would be great under the document camera or in a station. I would definitely laminate them beforehand because we all know how dirty little hands can be.
Are you traveling somewhere this summer? Let me know where! I am a little addicted to traveling (as if you couldn't tell), and I won't be going anywhere big this summer.



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I'm getting married!!!!

That's right! I'm getting married!


I have waited a LONG LONG time to meet the man of my dreams. When I say a long time, I'm not exaggerating.

But he was SO worth it! I feel so incredibly blessed.

We got engaged about a month ago in San Francisco and am getting married a little less than a month away. Yes, I know. I'm a little nuts. But when you know you know, and we're both older. So why wait?



So that's why I haven't blogged much lately. Planning a wedding in two months and having a BUSY stressful year teaching has taken all my time.

Trying to keep things simple and not stressing out about the little things. Because it's not about the wedding. That's only one day. It's about the marriage.

Those of you who are married, do you have any marriage advice to share?



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Silent reading....making it work!

Some of my students struggle with reading. Looking around the room, looking at the back cover, looking at the front cover, looking around the room again, etc....sound familiar to any of your students?

So we decided to create mini anchor charts on what reading looks like and what it doesn't look like. They did great with it, and it was so simple to have them do. The only materials were a half sheet of white paper and their pencils and crayons. Easy peasy!



Here are a few of my favorites. We had a class discussion on it, and they came up with most of the descriptions themselves. I think they did pretty good!



I taught my students a couple of strategies to help them during silent reading. I had them try each strategy, and if one worked for them then use it.


  • Whisper reading - I taught my students to mouth the words or whisper them quietly enough so that only they can hear themselves and no one else.
  • Follow with their finger - I had noticed that students often lose their place and start looking around the room. So I taught them that sometimes following with their finger can help them stay focused.

We Are Teachers has some great ideas to help students during silent reading.

One of their suggestions is to have some pillows and cushions for students to use during reading. Although I am concerned that my students will play around or fall asleep, I might be picking up some pillows and cushions at Walmart today.

Here is another idea that I totally want to try! Every student would have to bring their own flashlight which if I demonstrated it once then I don't think it would be a problem. I would love to give credit to the person that thought of this idea, but I can't find it.


Ideas by Jivey has a great way to incorporate Flashlight Friday into the classroom and motivate your students to improve their reading strategies. Go check it out! I definitely want to try it in my classroom.

What are your favorite strategies to "teach" your students how to read silently?



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Using your Classroom to Inspire your Students

Three weeks have school have now gone by. And I FINALLY feel like I can breathe long enough to sit down and actually blog. WHOA.

PLEASE tell me that I'm not the only one who feels like this!

Here are some pics of my new classroom. I am teaching 5th grade self-contained this year, and I love my class. They are challenging (they LOVE LOVE LOVE to talk), but I look forward to seeing them every day.

Fifth graders are at an important age...when they are trying to decide the person they want to be and the dreams they want to pursue. I wanted to use my classroom to inspire my students. I wanted to inspire them to go to college, to travel, and to not give up.

Do you want to inspire your students to go to college? To travel? To dream? Here are some simple ways to use your classroom to inspire your students to dream BIG!

Here are some ways I used my classroom to inspire my kiddos.

I went to Texas A&M University and am all about brainwashing inspiring my students to go to my college. Even if they don't go to Texas A&M, I still want them to start thinking about college. This is my bulletin board in the hallway outside my classroom for hanging student work.



These three areas are for anchor charts, vocabulary words, and student work in each of the subject areas. It's at the back of the classroom.


This is my inspiration wall right when you walk into my classroom. As my students line up, they often look at the wall. In fact I saw one of them reading one of the posters today. These are in my TpT store if you're interested in getting some for your own classroom. Click HERE.


Here is the front of my classroom. I found this quote on another blog and loved it so much that I made it for my own classroom.


Here is the side wall of my classroom. I LOVE all the cubbies! Now you would think that these would be perfect for my students' textbooks and backpacks, but I didn't want to give up the storage! So my students keep their textbooks inside their desks and their backpacks in a huge tub at the front of the classroom. And I get to keep my cubbies!


Here is a up close pic of my college area. I told you that I went to Texas A&M University and am a HUGE Aggie! I wasn't kidding!


My reading area....I wanted to incorporate my travel photos from around the world somehow and inspire them. I think I did the trick.


This is my favorite inspiration area in my classroom....where I share about my dream. I really had always wanted to live in another country, and I got to when I taught English in Korea. BEST experience of my life! I also have my scarf I wore this past summer when I was in Poland watching the Euro Cup and photos from my past travel experiences. My students just love to look at my photos. I often get "Where's that picture from? What is that? Where is that? and You've been everywhere!" I love it! I don't remember any of my teachers sharing their travel experiences with me. Maybe if they had I wouldn't have waited until I was 26 and my mom had just died to finally decide to just do it and travel.



Hope y'all have a great first couple of weeks of school!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

DIY Book Repair Toolkit

Do you have books that look like this?

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Books that are falling apart and need to go to the hospital?

Then I have the answer for you!

I am heading back into the classroom next year and am pretty much starting from scratch when it comes to my classroom library. I am scouring all the thrift stores looking for books for my classroom library. As you know many thrift store books have seen better days, with tears and rips on the covers.

I've got a solution! Your students will be able to read your books for years to come. Book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

All you need for your book repair toolkit are worn-out books, Contact paper, and scissors. That's it!

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

 Step one:
Lay out your book and cut along a line on the Contact paper, leaving about an inch on the top and bottom of the book.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

The Contact paper has lines which makes it super easy to cut a straight line.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step two:
Put the book, spine down, in the middle of the Contact paper. Draw a line at the top and bottom of the spine. Then cut out a space for the spine. Notice I cut it wider than the actual spine.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

The Contact paper will have a big hole at the top middle and bottom middle.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step three:
Start peeling back the paper gently. I like to put the book on the opposite side and pull it back starting at the bottom corner.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step four:
Place the book in the middle of the Contact paper with the spine lining up with your "holes". Then slowly press the back cover down onto the Contact paper.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step five:
Cut out a rectangle from the top and bottom edge like shown below.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!
Step six:
Flap over the top and bottom, pressing down at the edges to seal. Then flap over the side, pressing down the edges to seal. I start at the middle and press outward to not have any bubbles.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step seven:
Repeat on the other side.

Here is what your book will look like in the end. Doesn't it look much better?

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

The torn edges are now protected with the Contact paper which means it will last a lot longer and you won't have to worry about it falling apart!

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

So binge watch your favorite show on Netflix and get going on repairing your old and worn out books!

Btw....I'm watching one of my favorite cheesy movies on Netflix....Grease 2.
I want a C-O-O-L...R-I-D-E-R.

Hope you're having a fabulous summer!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Country research projects

Long time no see! As I hope you are doing, I'm busy enjoying my summer!

I have been relaxed with the pups, gone to the aquarium, shopped with friends, binge watched How to Get Away with Murder (this show is addicting by the way), and gone to several concerts including the Oak Ridge Boys.

My new city puts on these free outdoor concerts. Last Friday my friend and I went to hear Humming House, a band I'd never heard of.



They. Were. Amazing.

Just listen to them sing Billie Jean.


They were so good that I bought a CD that night and came home and immediately bought their other albums on iTunes. Wow!

In between all the fun I've had I worked a little on a new project.

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

Do you have your students research different countries? When I taught 6th grade social studies, I had my students choose a country and research it. They then had to use their research and create a poster on it. Some of their projects were not the neatest, so I had the idea of creating these posters.

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!


Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

They fit in a lot of information within these two papers! And what's great is that they look perfect on a big 12x18 piece of construction paper and displayed on a bulletin board or in the hallway!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.