What a week!

This has been a crazy, busy week! Monday was training at my new school, Tuesday and Wednesday were county training, Thursday I spent a few hours working on my classroom, and today was spent at the county offices doing all my paperwork and learning the ropes. And I got my new ID!  So I am getting semi-organized in my room, but I still feel like I have so much to do!  Since I found out that I am teaching critical thinking instead of English I am kind of at a loss for what I am to be teaching exactly!

So now I am sitting home, trying to watch Project Runway, but I feel like I need to go into school and do some work! Ahhhhhhhh!  Hopefully I will feel better about things after next week is over and I know the ropes a little better!

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Great news!

I have been busy this past week! I was super stressed over a job that I was waiting to hear back about. This past Monday was the day they said they would call. I waited and waited and called (a few times…) and still no answer by 1. As I was waiting I got a call from another school who wanted me to come in for an interview. So, while I was waiting for a call I headed over and did the interview.  They offered me a job on the spot! When I got home I finally got a call from the other school and sadly I did not get that job.  But either way I am now employed!!  And we are starting back a week earlier than all of the other schools so that means I am off to work tomorrow!

A little information about the school. It is an aviation and military science academy.  The school grade has been a D and last year was brought up almost one hundred points to a C.  The principal is trying really hard to get to a B grade this year and he has hired at least 16 new teachers this year!  So I have high hopes for this year! And I am extremely glad to be a part of this huge improvement that is taking place!

So, I have been a busy bee getting all of my classroom ideas together. I have boxes and bags of stuff to get in my new classroom!  Every year, this same weekend is tax-free for school supplies and whatnot so I hit up the local bookstore, who could not offer tax-free, but on their sale books had a buy two and get one free. So they were already marked down to $1-3, plus the third one was free. AND I had a 20% off coupon!  So, I was so pumped to have walked out with 27 books for my classroom library for only $45!

I was browsing online a while ago and I found a link that explained interactive notebooks and I ordered a book that details and explains it all. When I get it I will read it and review!

Tomorrow is the big day!!

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Authors…I would love to review your books!

Not only do I like reading YA books along with ALL other books, but I love to read and share with students, friends, anyone!  So, if you are an author and you would like me to read and review your book on my blog, please do NOT hesitate to contact me.  This will benefit me, I can build my classroom library as well as give my students great new books to read and share with others! And this will benefit you because I will be sharing my thoughts with the world, which could get you some great press!

Here’s what you can expect after you send me a book:  It can take me anywhere from 1 week to 3 months to review a book.  This means I may not finish a book by its publication date.  Between my family, lesson planning, and teaching full-time things can get busy. But I always try to read each book within the month that I get it.  Please keep this in mind when you ask me for a review.

So help me and I will help you! Thanks for your support keeping students on the right path, with a book in hand!🙂


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Classroom Library…suggestions welcome!

So it is Saturday night. I am sitting in my quiet house as my children and husband are all fast asleep. No, it’s not late, they all were in bed at 8 pm. I am too old to be a night owl! Anyways, I am halfway through reading Notebook Connections by Aimee Buckner, which has a lot of great ideas! I am alternating between reading and hoping and praying that I hear back from a school I interviewed at on Friday. I am in LOVE with the school and I really, really want to get the position!  I just want Monday to get here! Not only will I hear back from the school (one way or the other), my dad will be here!

Back to my point…

I was also sitting here thinking about how important it is for students to read. Free read. Read what ever catches their eye. I am a huge believer that every English classroom ( as well as all other classrooms, no matter the subject) should have a good library.  I have picked up books here and there lately, when I can find them  for $3 and under. I am working on getting a good library, but also being a first year teacher I need to spend money on other things for organization and whatnot.  So needless to say my classroom library is starting out very sparse. So this is where you, my awesome readers come in.

How do you stock your classroom library?

What hints, tips, suggestions do you have to acquire books for cheap, like really cheap…or free. Free is good.

Also…I take donations🙂


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Book Review: Beloved & Just Write!

I finished two books this week.  The first one I would like to talk about is Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Book review from Amazon.com:

Book Description

Publication Date: July 24, 2007
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
My thoughts:
Again, this is one of those books that I should have read years before and have not. I guess since it was not a required reading at my school or many colleges I had not picked it up, until this past week.  This book is one of those books that, for one you cannot put down and two, you often have to stop and think about the characters a little more deeply.  There were some parts that I read over a few times just so the information could sink in.  I rarely do this.  But this book has so much going on, so many issues that you often have to re-read a passage to grasp all that Morrison is trying to tell you as the reader.  I would definitely recommend this book to any and all readers.
Just Write: Here’s How! By Walter Dean Myers

Book Description from amazon.com

Publication Date: April 24, 2012

Practice, practice, practice. Now Walter Dean Myers, the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, walks you through the writing process.


  • Examples from his writing and reading experiences
  • Walter’s six-box and four-box outlines for writing fiction and nonfiction
  • Excerpted pages from Walter’s own notebooks
  • An afterword by Ross Workman, Walter’s teen coauthor of kick
  • Writing tips from both Walter and Ross

Anyone can be a writer, with a little help from Walter Dean Myers!

My thoughts:

This is a great book for middle and high school students who have an interest in writing and even for those beyond school.  But it is written to the school age person.  Myers makes it a little more personal with stories from his own life and actual pages from his journals he used as he was writing one of his many different stories.  As a teacher I found some ideas in the book that I could use in the classroom for brainstorming.  I like how he breaks down his method and show you how simple it is to come up with a story outline.  This book could make those students who are leery about taking on writing a book more excited to do so.  This is a book that I plan on keeping in my classroom library, that way I can easily share with those who are interested in writing something longer than an essay!


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Getting prepared!

I have been hard at work today!  Trying to get all classroom organization taken care of as I patiently await for news about a position today!  The waiting is killing me!

Pintrest has helped in many ways getting organized! Also I read the First days of School by Harry Wong and listened to the DVD and they inspired me in many ways!

First binder is the everyday organizational binder.

The tabs in this one include:

-Important information. Such as class lists and schedules.

– Student data.  This will include contact information (a student info sheet), conference/meeting times, and assessment scores.

-Curriculum and Testing calendars and any other school calendars as needed.

-Grades. This will include district grading requirements, 9 week grades or homework mark off sheets.

-Team meeting notes & handouts.

-Faculty/site based meeting notes & handouts.

-Professional Learning Community (PLC) notes and handouts.

-Parent call/contact logs


The forms binder is a place to keep all forms that I will need to reproduce throughout the year!


Lesson plan binder. Tabs seperate by months. I do think that I will add a lesson plan tab to my organizational binder for daily use, then transfer to this binder for future use and reference.


The homework notebook.  I got this idea from the dvd in the Wong book.  This will go in the absent box that I posted a picture of earlier.  I will probably just use notebook paper to quickly write down each days assignment, then the students can look up what they missed and grab the items they need from that day’s folder!  This will be so much easier than hunting them down to tell each of them what assignments they missed! And having them sign it let’s me know who got the assignments and who did not!


I found the cute school themed paper at Michael’s today for $3!

I think I am almost ready!  Now I just need a job!

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Book Review: The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

Book description (amazon.com)

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

My thoughts:

Halfway through this book I kept asking myself, “why have I never read this before?”.  Really.  This book really tugs at your emotions and even to this day there are so many ways that young adults and adults alike can connect with, one way or another.  The story draws you in and keeps you turning the pages, well into the night (I couldn’t put it down)!  I hate when I read a classic that many others have read before and I have not yet.  Why is no one suggesting this book?  I know for sure that I will be urging my students to pick this novel up.  It would make for a great classroom discussion! If you have not read it yet, get it, and get reading!

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