Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of School= Amazed by WBT!

This morning I arrived at school with butterflies in my stomach. I had a to-do list a mile long, which I completed by 7:35! I had never introduced Whole Brain Teaching strategies in September before but boy was I amazed!

As soon as the announcements went off, I began the 4 sentences to introduce WBT!Teacher: Let me see your hands folded and your eyes on me!Teacher: My name is Mrs. Harrell and I love your 2nd grade smilesTeacher: When I say "Class", you say "Yes". "Class"Students: "Yes"Teacher: However I say "Class", you will say "Yes". "Hey, Class, Class!"Students: "Hey, Yes, Yes"

Immediately, I could see my students smiling and thinking we were playing a game. I continued with Mirrors, Scoreboard, Rule #1, Hands and EyesTeach-Okay....all by 9:00. The class kept saying, "This whole brain teaching stuff is fun!" My class was even able to grasp SWITCH when teaching each other! I had them high five each other when teaching and say SWITCH. They were little sponges and just kept soaking up WBT so I kept giving it. Even though things I had planned for tomorrow were taught today, it's okay with me. We will review and practice good/bad WBT strategies!

I was so happy with how my class was doing that I opened my door so other teachers could hear! I continued throughout the day, teaching the remainder of the rules, playing the name game, and teaching ten finger woo and it's cool.

It's going to be a great year with Whole Brain Teaching....I can already tell!

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Take a tour of my home away from home

Welcome to the Ladybug Club 2013-2014! I am so happy with how my room turned out this year! I hope you enjoy your little tour around the room. 

   My hallway display

   My door display

 View from the door looking into my classroom.

      Super Improvers Team, my whole brain teaching behavior component

 Front right board display

   Left bulletin board display

  Classroom library!

       Another view of classroom library!

Guided reading table!

   Window view

      My desk area

My Power Pix for reading and math, another WBT component!

Student cubbies and Social Studies/ Science power pix boards

  View from my desk!

     Table bookshelves

Right side of my classroom, my dolch word wall of k-2 words. 

2nd grade words aren't up yet!

My fish tank I got from petsintheclassroom.com

No fishes yet, they will be in the tank on Tuesday night!

Well that's the Ladybug Club for 2013-2014. What do you think? Happy school year to all! I can't wait to start this year on Tuesday!

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Busy times call for GIVEAWAYS and FREEBIES

Hello blogger land.....as you read this, make sure you read all the way to the bottom. 1 Freebie, 2 giveaways!

Many of you are already back in full school mode.  I love summer break but I so wish I could just have my room finished. It's hanging over my head right now and there's nothing I can do about it. 

I got a tentative class list on Thursday and started filling in names in all my teacher documents; returned papers, contact list, class list, tentative reading groups, labels, etc. Yesterday my Facebook site just reached 200 followers. Make sure you head over to my site to get my 200 follower FREEBIE. It will only be up until August 24th! (Click the screen image below to take you to my Facebook page. You must be a follower to download)

Here is what is coming up in my world

August 17-18: Anniversary weekend trip to Charlotte, NC to see I Love Lucy on Broadway, go shopping at IKEA, and go to Carowinds with my cousins! Soooo excited for one last woo rah before returning to school. 

August 19: PALS training with my school district. I love the PALS assessment. If you don't know about it, visit their website! It is a required test in VA that assesses spelling, WRI, a passage reading, and comprehension. Such great information for us and they are explaining new things at the training so it should be awesome! PALS is now a PREK-5th grade assessment.

August 20: DO NOTHING DAY! Go shopping, relax, get a pedi with hubby (anniversary tradition and it's wonderful)....who knows!

August 21: 1st day allowed in my classroom!

August 22: My 4th wedding anniversary. Husband has to work so I'm heading back to my classroom!

August 23: Classroom day again!

August 26-30: Teacher work week!

August 31: Neighborhood cookout

September 3: 1st student day

It's all coming so fast but I'm happy. This being my 7th year, and my first FULL-Year doing Whole Brain Teaching, I actually can't contain myself! I know WBT is going to make this year AMAZING!


Also this weekend, I am joining up with two of my amazing Virginia blogger buddies to assist in their giveaways!

1.  Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars is having a giveaway! Don't miss out! Head on over to her page by hitting her giveaway button. The giveaway runs from August 17-August 24. The winner will be announced Sunday August 25th! Click on the image below to go to her link.

bts giveaway.png

2. Rachel from Mrs.O knows is have a giveaway too! This is to celebrate her blogversary! The giveaway runs from August 17-August 24. Click on the image below to go to her link!

Goodbye summer and happy teaching to all!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013



I have 150 followers on my Facebook site! I have decided to create a FREEBIE for when I reach 200 followers. This is an AWESOME FREEBIE! 

Please like my Facebook page yourself and share with your friends to help me reach this goal! https://www.facebook.com/WBTInTheLadybugClub

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let's Talk about me Monday....a day late!

As the summer winds down, I have totally been slacking on blogging. There is just too much to do before the 1st day I'm allowed in my classroom. I've been reading through the blogs and learning a lot about fellow bloggers so I'm teaming up for Let's Talk About me Monday! Sorry it's a day late but better late than never, right?

1. I have always been obsessed with school. When I was little, I just to play school with my dad. I graduated high school in 2003 with Perfect Attendance K-12! Yes, I did check out to go to doctor's appointments etc., but I always came back to school.

2. In college, I was in the Only All-Female Corps of Cadets in the entire WORLD! Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership, VWIL, taught me so many wonderful lessons and provided me with amazing opportunities. I was the Sergeant Major my junior year! I was able to march in New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade 3 years in a row! The picture below is when we marched in the Governor's Inaugural Parade in Williamsburg, VA (I'm in the yellow sash with the saber). Rain and all...we were there marching!

3. I met my sweet husband, Brack, in college. He attended VMI...just up the road from my college. Our relationship has been through many hills because of the military training, distance, etc. but we are stronger than ever! I am so lucky to have him!

4. I am a bit obsessive compulsive! Ha! A bit is a total understatement. At least this OCD helps me stay organized. In my classroom, everything is labeled: from student book boxes, math manipulatives, student supplies, etc. My kids know exactly where to put something once they use it!

                                Last year's library, each bucket labeled by topic, not level!

5. I have 3 adorable pet babies: 1 gray kitty Scooter and two German Shepherd girls Zoe and Zega. My pets are my life and are treated like children! Spoiled is an understatement. Zoe and Zega are very well trained and are about to start Advanced Class at Petsmart!

          Scooter                                      Zoe                                                      Zega

6. I love love love teaching! In college, I was planning on going in the Air Force as a navigator. God worked his miracles and things changed. Immediately I knew to turn to my childhood love of learning and help children learn too! This will be my 7th year of teaching, 5 of which have been in 2nd grade. I have been in 3 schools, the current one I hope to stay in until I retire in 25+ years! I am so lucky to be on a supportive team...we work so well together and think of the best possible ways to help our students succeed.

7. On another teaching note, I have begun the amazing journey down the Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) road! My whole mindset about teaching has changed! Hopefully, I will be able to get my classroom video approved to be a Level 5: Certified Instructor this year! If you don't know about WBT, you are missing out! Check out the website to learn more! We also have WBT Facebook pages.

8. I love doing projects! This can be things for my classroom, my house, whatever! I always want to be doing something and can't stand sitting around doing nothing. What better way than to make things. Pinterest is my best friend!

9. As you can probably tell, I am OBSESSED with ladybugs. I don't know what it is about them but I just think they are peaceful little creatures. My class loves to call each other ladybugs too! Even the boys like ladybugs or boybugs at the end of the year!

10. I love technology and helping others understand technology! Many people create something and don't like to share...not me! I guess that's the teacher in me!

11. In college, I was in charge of Physical Training. I ran so much I got sick of it. Now, I'm getting back into that running mode and am so excited! I am running in the Zombie 5k in October with some girls from work. I'm hoping to maybe do a 10K in the spring. 5k...easy peasy, 10K...my goal! Marathon...no way! I'd get bored!

Well, that's all I can think of for now! Thanks for stopping by. If you aren't a follow of my FB page, please stop by. I'm at 150 followers and once I get 200, I'll post another FREEBIE!

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

VA is for Bloggers - Southern Hospitality Freebie Blog Hop

Welcome to the 12th stop in the Virginia Blog Hop 2013! 

I am so excited to be linking up with 20+ wonderful Virginia bloggers. Thank you to everyone in blog follower land for making our 1st VA blog hop a success. I never knew there were so many of us in the good 'ol southern state of Virginia!

In my classroom, I like to create songs to go with each of the SOLs (Standards of Learning) we discuss in 2nd grade. Even though I don't have all of my songs up here (because many of them are still in my classroom and I can't get into my room until August 26th), I have included my beginner 18 page song book on TPT FREEBIE for this Blog Hop! If you missed this as a FREEBIE, it's okay. I have posted it on TPT. 

Just click on the image above, print one copy for each child, put in a two pocket folder with brads, and you will be set to sing your way through the 2nd grade curriculum! Note: to save ink costs, print subject pages in color and song pages in black/white. 

Check back in December for our next Virginia blog hop!

I hope you enjoy this song book! After our blog hop, this will be going on my TPT store! Please follow my Blog and my Facebook page!

The next stop on the hop is #13....

Be sure to check out all the blogs on the hop listed below!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Made-It which took 5 days to complete!

Another project for Monday Made-It complete! Too bad it to ok 5 days and I posted it on a Tuesday :0/

My Monday, whoops Tuesday, Made-It has nothing to do with school. I have less than one month left and I am trying so hard to get my To-Do list finished. One major thing that was needed to be completed was to build an 8x8 shed in my backyard. My husband and I ordered the kit and put built it together. I love that we can complete projects together but looking back on it, I'd probably have paid the additional $500.00 to have someone build it for us. 5 days of labor (4 hours for 3 days because my husband was going into work at 3, and 2 full days). Check out our progress....

Day 1: Leveled the ground using 2 inch blocks and 8 inch blocks. This took FOREVER!

Day 2: Put down the floor, framed the walls. My dog Zoe was fascinated by this new thing in our back yard.

Day 3: Put up the walls and started framing for the roof.

My mother-in-law came in and painted for me! My back door looked AWFUL. It was white and all the trim was scratched horribly! Now, I absolutely love the black doors!

Day 4: Rained but we were able to put up the wood on the roof. I don't count this day because it was not productive...crazy rain!

Day 5: Put shingles on the roof. 

Day 6: Put on the vinyl and painted the front door.  What do you think of the finished shed?

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