Today I am linking up with Teaching Trio for the 3-2-1 Sunday Scoop! The beginning of the school year is always a bit overwhelming for teachers. Being at home this year, I have the advantage of choosing when to be busy, and when to take a break. Of course my two little ones don’t allow for too many breaks between 6am and 8pm, weekends are awesome for catching up because my super-supportive hubbie lets me run away to Starbucks for some quiet work time while he gets the kids up.
Working from home, I set my own schedule, which is great if I can manage to be consistent, and a challenge when I have to re-negotiate work time around the family’s needs. This week my to-do list looks like this…

First work item is the 8th Grade Math Madness Interactive Power Point Game! These take a few hours to complete and review takes and concepts front the 8th Grade Common Core Math Standards. I like using it as a beginning and end-of-the-year game. It works like Jeopardy, and is a no-prep teacher activity that kids love. The game board links to questions, and the links turn color after a question has been chosen so it keeps track of available questions for you. The questions link to “Correct!” or “Oops!” pages so there’s also no checking for the teacher. Kids get immediate feedback and can even go through the game independently in small groups or pairs. I like to have all of the related grade-level projects done in the same week so it’s easier for teachers to find everything. I’m a week behind on this game, but the FREE Student Portfoliopages, Assessment, and Posters are done! There’s also FREE Excel Tracking Sheets for every grade level to help you track student progress and sort kids for differentiation.


The next thing on my list is to prepare for the Arizona Association of the Teachers of Mathematics Conference! 350 math teachers from around Arizona will meet at ASU to learn how to better instruct students for success!

I will be exhibiting the Math Assessments with Learning Goals and Scales for the first time, so I am really excited! We only have one family car, so we have been making trips to the dollar store and local Walmart on foot.  I am also sporting my super-woman shirt which I think every teacher and mother need to have.


I have been working on display materials for the last two months, including myFREE Assessment Samples with three CC Standards each. I will also be hosting a Raffle for every grade level 4th-8th, so teachers can win a FREE copy of the Assessments.
Number three on my to-do list is for my little baby! She’s going to be 1-year old! It went zoo fast! We are planning a first birthday party for her. My husband and I like to make our own cakes and we have a princess dress mold we bought at JoAnn’s. We used it a few years ago to make our son a rocket ship cake for his second birthday party. So, hopefully the princess dress turns out just as cute!
Two things I hope to do, is get further along on finishing the 3rd Grade Common Core Math Assessment with Learning Goals and Scales. A few people have already asked for it and I don’t like to keep teachers waiting long – especially since the school year has started! Once you get too far in, it’s difficult to go back and pre-assess standards so you can show progress!
For my son, I committed myself to making a First Year scrapbook. My mom, who is a very talented graphic artist, created beautiful pages for me, so all I had to do was add pictures and captions. AWESOME!!!! I knew it would still take a lot of time, so I only committed to the first year; after that all family photos go into a family book with pockets and captions – fast and simple, or I know it will not get done, and I really don’t want to lose these wonderful memories in the fog of mental activity years later!
Finally, I am so grateful to have my two kids at home with me for a few more years. Instead of enrolling in preschool this year, our son is staying home and doing activities with me. I recently signed him up for, an online preschool activity center so he can ‘work’ while mommy works, and his sister naps. Working from home means I can’t do everything myself. I enjoy our night-night story times, and having the chance to talk with him and see what he’s interested in. It is such an exciting time of childhood! They are learning so much, developing so many interests, and it seems that their potential for the future is unlimited – at least I hope to encourage that perspective in  my children. Just yesterday my husband and I watched this really interesting video from TEDx about positive thinking research and it’s effect on success; The Happy Secret to Better Work.
Basically he says that as a culture we have set ourselves up for unhappiness by pushing it off until we have ‘met our goals.’ As long as we believe we can’t be happy or content until we have met some goal, then we continue to wait and feel stressed working towards it. Once we have achieved it, we still can’t be happy because there’s always a next goal, a revised goal, etc. Research suggests that it’s the people who can be happy first, content with the process and progress, that actually achieve more success long-term! Can someone please send this to every administrator and school district they know!!! How amazing would it be for kids to feel proud and motivated to learn while they learn, and not having to feel stressed and anxious until the next round of testing results comes back! Really gave me something to think about too. As an adult who has been trained to always move onto the next goal, I have to stop and catch myself having this same attitude. Take a breath! Take a break! And make sure your kids know that they can too!  Happy thoughts… 🙂
Have a great week!
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