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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Inspiring your students

We as teachers have a huge impact in our students' lives. We teach them, we listen to them, we nurture them, and we inspire them. Our students often come to use unmotivated...unmotivated to do their homework, unmotivated to study for tests, unmotivated to do their best.

So how do we inspire our students?

TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

Author and speaker Zig Ziglar says, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily."

Here are some different ways we as teachers can motivate our students. Hopefully you can find at least one new way to motivate your students!

1. My number one way for inspiring students is let them know you value them as a person, not as number for your testing data. Ask them questions about themselves. Notice things about them....even if it seems little to you it may not be little to them. I'll never forget a student that I had in 5th grade, the year I did student teaching. We didn't know it at the time, but his mom was very sick. He would often forgo showering so that his mom could use the soap and shampoo and be clean when she went to the doctor. One day I had talked to him and just placed my hand on his shoulder. I don't even remember what I said. But he told my mentor teacher that that had meant the world to them...that he knew I cared about him. Sometimes it's the little things.

2. Talk less. You know how you go to teacher inservice meetings and are bored to tears because the presenter just stands up there talking? The. Whole. Time. And you're so bored that you could scream? That's what happens to our students. Let them talk and discuss and share with their peers. Discussing things gets you to think about what you feel and think.

3. Create an inspiration board. Include inspirational posters that you have found and have your students bring in quotes, photos, etc. that motivate and inspire them. One of the teachers in my school has an inspiration board when you first walk in her classroom, and I just love it.

4. Do a "Quote of the Week" or "Quote of the Day" in your classroom. Throughout the week talk about the quote...what it means to you and how it inspires you. Use the quote to spark a great discussion.

5. Using quotes from famous people, have your students research the famous person. Why do they think this person wrote that quote? What do you think it meant to them?

6. Create a mini book or such on inspirational quotes. Introduce new quotes and have your students write and illustrate them in their mini book.

7. Talk about your own learning. I am always striving to learn new things. Whether it be about a place I am traveling to, learning how to cook new foods, learning a new skill or hobby, etc. I LOVE to travel, and I LOVE to talk about the places I've traveled to. Traveling to new places always inspires me to learn more about that place. I traveled to Auschwitz and Birkenau and couldn't wait to learn more about it. Your students will see and feel your passion and will be changed because of it.

8. Have you heard about Growth Mindset? It's a way to get your students thinking differently. I love it. It really does get your students to think and reflect...and to not give up when the going gets tough. It's a whole new way of thinking. It not only helps them think about the current task but also will help them in their future. Here's a poster to share what it's all about.

TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

I LOVE this "not yet" concept in this video. I am definitely going to teach my students NOT YET next year!


If you're looking for more Fixed vs. Growth Mindset activities, I have a set Growth vs. Fixed Mindset sort cards and wall display cards for your bulletin board. Give them the yellow word sort cards and have them sort or categorize them into fixed or growth statements. Then you can use the red fixed (red for STOP) and green growth (green for GROWTH or GO) cards for a bulletin in your classroom to remind students the difference between growth and fixed mindset statements.


TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

9. Set high expectations for your students. Yes, I know all your students are not ready for what we have to teach them. Believe me, I know. But we have to believe in our students and believe that they can achieve it. If we don't believe in them, who will? Larry Bell wrote an article about this in Education World. I like his ideas. You can read it HERE.

10. Hang inspirational quotes and pictures in your classroom. Quotes and photographs can help trigger two things in our minds. When you pair a quote with a photograph it helps reach more than one place in the brain. I myself am a visual learner so seeing a picture or photograph really helps it sink in. 


TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.


How do you inspire your students? If you have an idea that I haven't shared, I would love to know what it is!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.