"No honey, I'm fine" (Spoiler Alert: I'm not)

Hi Y'all,

So, um...I'm stressed. Like, really stressed. Notice I haven't posted in a few days? I don't always handle my stress and anxiety well. I'm able to keep my cool so people don't know how incredible stressed out I am, but that can really explode in my face. I was feeling great about my classroom and the start of the school year, until Thursday. Thursday I woke up, went to my Journeys training (which sufficiently stressed me out even more), then came home and cried. I had every intention of heading into my classroom to get more stuff done. After all, I still had A TON of stuff to do! Like, an ungodly amount. But instead, I came home, sat on my living room floor and cried. Then, after a good 15 minute sob-fest, I got up, ate my feelings, and watched TV. It was a mental-health day...but a'int no body got time for that!!!


Instead of doing what adults do, and handle it, I completely crumbled under pressure. This made me sob even more. Then I thought about how I had no help with getting my classroom together, unlike years past where I've been working with a team of 3 people. Then I thought about how much I missed my team. This made me sob more. Then I thought about how I knew what my role was at my old school, I knew the expectations, I had my classroom system down. Then I thought about how this is a whole new ballpark; a new school, a new district, a new principal, new expectations, new academics, new students, and no team. This made me sob even more. Then I thought about how much time and energy I have spent doing things for the school year, like making assessments, organizing my curricula (that I don't know how to use), posting a ton of my routines and decor (but somehow I'm still not finished), and organizing that stupid classroom library (5 days later and I still haven't finished). Then I thought about how all this time I've been spending (which is literally from when I wake up til I go to bed) is draining, and how it is really affecting my marriage. This made me sob more. Then I thought about how I don't have an answer for my husband when he asks when he can have his wife back, and if this is going to last the entire school year. Then I sob more. At this point I'm in a puddle of my own tears falling deeper into my self-pity abyss.

Let me say that I know that things will be okay. I know that the school year will start, regardless if I feel ready, and we all will survive. I know that not having my birthday board up until the 3rd day of school will not taint my blossoming relationship with my emotionally fragile kiddos, and being stressed out the first weeks of school is normal. I get this. It doesn't make me feel better. And the issue with my husband...I can't shake the feeling that this anxious, over-planning, over-analyzing version of me is not temporary. This might be me. I've never been just a teacher. I've always been a teacher, plus a student. Now that I've finished grad school and am done with tests (for the time being), this is my identity. I'm used to scurrying off to my office at the end of the day to prepare my lessons and finish school work. This was the norm in my household. And though my soon-to-be husband would grumble, and ask when he can have his girlfriend back, I would always tell him, "This is temporary. Once I get my Master's, it will be one less thing on my plate. The time I would have spent doing grad work, will now be time I can be with you!" Now I'm wondering if that is true...

I keep telling him that, again, this is temporary. "It's the beginning of the school year! All teachers are doing this! Once the school year gets started, I won't be so busy." Again, I'm wondering if this is true...

After spending all day at school on Friday, I left thinking well, at least I have until Wednesday to get everything done. Except that I don't. I can do things at home, like plan for the first week, and organizing my assessments. But who's going to finish that stupid library? Who is going to organize all the classroom centers? Who's going to put up the bulletin boards? Who is going to organize the students' materials for the first day? Not me because I can't get into the building until Tuesday. I should have thought that one through...

So while I stifle back tears, I am going to continue planning for my first week, and writing my to do list for Tuesday. Which of course won't be able to be tackled until after our staff meeting...which will last until 1pm...which I really have time for.

In the spirit of my anxiety, I will not be posting my bonus presentation until next week. I sincerely apologize - just too much stuff going on! Hopefully by next Sunday it will be posted :-/

Oh, and with all my time running around like a maniac, I totally forgot about my little giveaway! Sorry! Here's the winner!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats! I will be email you shortly so you can choose what you want from my store :)

Cheers,
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Look What I Made (You Won't Be Disappointed...*hint hint*)

Evening!

I wanted to make sure I posted again so I could share with you some of my "crafts." Oh, and freebies :)

I was a busy bee once I got home, after being a busy bee in my classroom. I finally got my Teacher's Toolbox in the mail today (shortly after posting about it this morning actually!), and could not wait to get my labels in!
 So I realized I don't really know how to use Mod Podge. I thought it was self-explanatory. I resad the directions on the Labels I purchased, and decided to just have-at-it. Then, with my brush in the goo, and my labels all cut out, I realized I wasn't sure of my next step. I put the Mod Podge on the front of the label and adhered it to the inside of the drawer. It looked weird. Maybe I used too much. I decided to just tape the labels until I can get myself some Glue Dots. So far, it's holding up. Plus - it's really adorable!

 I did decide to use Mod Podge on this little fella. This came in the mail last week, but I didn't get around to making this until today. I used some scrapbook paper and taped it together (after "measuring" it to fit in the space). This one looked better than when I used Mod Podge on the label. I think I used too much of it on the label. It's a sad day when you realize you are not as crafty as you thought you were... Oh well.


My mom found this on the side of the road (score!) but the edges were a little warn. I didn't feel like painting it, so I decided to just put some funky Duct tape on it. I'd seen this on Pinterest for the past couple of weeks, and decided to try it. After getting the tape caught in my hair, wrapped around my fingers, and wasting about half a roll, I created this. It's not perfect, but that makes me like it even more :)

I also created a few Freebies for you! They are a supplement to Part III of the Teaching Reading Series, but can be used with any reading curriculum. I especially love the Making Mental Images worksheet - I love teaching visualization skills and this is such an easy way to assess student's visualization!


I'm also throwing a FLASH FREEBIE!!! I love these - because it gets my rating up (hopefully), while still offering some freebies to my fellow teachers and bloggy friends :). Today's Flash Freebie is...

This product is originally $3.00! Who knows how long this will be free for, so act fast! 

As always, I would really appreciate some feedback for this product. Just 30 seconds of your time for a free resource. Seems fair to me...

Enjoy the freebies! I'm off the bed so I can get up early for Day 3 in the classroom!

Cheers,
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Weekend Update with Rae Wallace!

Morning Ya'll,

I'm finally headed in to school to meet my Para! I'm so excited! I have so many ideas for the school year and I can't wait to get her input. I'm also meeting with the teacher who had my classroom for years before me, to get a good sense of the position.

I haven't figured out how/if I can get into the school on weekends, so this weekend was a bust. I continued to make some resources I plan to use the first few weeks of school, as well as printing and laminating some classroom decor stuff. I also bought some stuff on Saturday - which I am super excited about!


All of the stuff is still in my truck but the basic contents are:
  • Book Nook Pillow ($14!)
  • Tubs for organizing by day (5 of them)
  • 24 composition notebooks for my new Interactive Notebooks from Nicole Shelby! ($0.37 each!)
  • Borders and Bulletin Board accents galore! (Dollar Bin people!)
  • Dry erase markers and erasers
  • Magnets and a magnet board (for my Bathroom sign in thing)
  • Other stuff I forgot about but will be a wonderful surprise when I open the bags again...
  • And my FAVORITE find (and the reason I went to Target in the first place...
    • Cardboard Magazine holders! - These are so adorable (Dollar Bin find!) - all different designs and colors. I have these to use with my Bins by Day organization. I printed this freebie from Clutter-Free Classroom, and plan to use them with my magazine holders.
In other news, I received my amazing SLANT Box from the honorable Ms. Caitlin Miller! She did such a great job figuring out what I liked, what i needed, and what I wanted for my home and classroom! I know I've bragged about her before, but she is seriously wonderful! Look at those adorable clips!! How did she know I needed them?! Because she's fabulous :)


I also received a few packages in the mail the past few days: An acrylic pencil holder (AKA straw holder) and Time and Money Stick Mats. My Teacher's Toolbox is on its way still and I'm so excited for that to arrive! I can finally print these great labels!

Now here are some of the fabulous purchases that I have been laminating over the past couple of days. I'm so excited to get back in my room to really start organizing and decorating with these great visuals and products! To find these products click the product names below:

And finally, here is my classroom in it's current condition. After Day 1, I feel like not much got accomplished, though I worked for 6 hours. YIKES! 
I also posted about my bare cupboards on Instagram and got some great feedback on how to use these! I think I'm going to use them for my Word Wall, as it is huge, is in a part of the room that everyone can see, and it will be right above my writing center! Thanks for all the responses :)

Well, I'm off for Day 2 in the classroom and meeting with my colleagues! And for all of you heading back to school this week - GOOD LUCK :)

Cheers,

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Teaching Reading Series: Part III

Morning Ya'll!

Welcome to Part III of my Teaching Reading Series! Today we are going to talk about Comprehension and Vocabulary Instruction...

If you want to read Part I and II of this series, please click the images below.

         

















To access this PowerPoint and save for later use, click here.

I have created another freebie for you! I created Comprehension Posters for your students and classrooms! Hopefully this presentation and this collection of posters are helpful for you as educators (and/or parents of young readers!).



As usual, I would really love if you would "pin" this post. Thanks so much for reading my PowerPoint!

If you have any additional questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me via email. Click the email icon on my side bar :)

Also, stay tuned next week, as I will have a bonus presentation for you about English Language Learners and Literacy Assessments! Plus, more freebies :)

Cheers,
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Thankful Thursday + Enter My Giveaway Linky!


When I saw this original idea posted on Tuesday, I was so excited, because I knew exactly who I was going to post about!
Miller's Science Space
My new friend Caitlin from Miller's Science Space! We connected because she was the sender of my SLANT Box! We had no trouble finding things to talk about.  We shared funny stories, our educational histories, and shared interests. I learned so much about her (5th grade science teacher in her 6th year, a married mother of two, a proud Texan) and loved emailing back and forth. She even emailed me one of her products I was coveting and a couple of cool decor ideas she thought I would like! What a doll!

Please check out this amazing teacher, blogger, and friend. She has a TON of wonderful products in her store (including her I Don't Know Options, which I LOVE), and posts about classroom management ideas, back to school, and all things science (obviously) on her blog. Make sure to follow this girl - you won't wanna miss any of her posts.

Who are you thankful for? Link up with Peacocks and Penguins in the Classroom for this fun, grateful linky!

I also just want to take the time to let you know about some great giveaways:

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
Click the image above to check out this great Silhouette giveaway! Who doesn't want one of those?!

Now, head to Learning in Wonderland for a unique Giveaway Linky. Then, check out my giveaway below!
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A BIG Thank You and Updates

Hi there!

I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my fellow teachers for hosting and participating in such a great sale over at Teachers Pay Teachers. The loyalty of our followers and hard work from all the teacher sellers is so remarkable! I count my blessings every day that I have a community like this to participate in. A BIG THANK YOU to those who purchased any of my products during the sale - YOU are the reason I make these things, so I'm glad to see others enjoy my work! I got some very very wonderful feedback from some teachers on my store and am so grateful :)

In my post yesterday, after bragging about my goodies, I mentioned that I would be updating my popular Common Core Checklists in the near future. Well, the future is here people! That's right. I found myself with a LOT of extra time yesterday and today, and finished updating both my K-2 Math and K-2 ELA checklists. Now, this product  not only contains the checklists you know and love, but also includes pages to track the standards taught in your classroom, and dates each standard or strand was mastered. This is a simple addition that has BIG results! After utilizing these checklists in my own teacher binder, I realized I wanted to also track the dates I taught or focused on these standards for my own data collection. Thus, I decided to enhance an already popular product. Take a peek at the images below for a closer look!





Is not blurry in the actually document...

If you have purchased this product from my store, please download the update for free! I have increased the price, due to the additional resources and it being double the size! So, if you purchased this when it was just 2.50, you are in luck! You are now getting a steal!

I've also been hard at work creating, laminating, and cutting for my own classroom.

I got this nifty thing last week and couldn't wait to use it! I printed out my new Behavior Clip Chart and Classroom Material Cards and laminated them for the school year.
Just a cool-looking close up, post-lamination :)
I also made a stop at the Dollar Tree to pick up some materials for my class (considering I don't have any...nor do I have a classroom budget. To the Dollar Store!)
Look at all these goodies: Bingo Daubers, giant dice, calculators, activity books, stickers, dry erase markers, bath sponge (see below for the "why"), school supplies (paper, folders, & sheet protectors), cleaning wipes, paper towels, and assorted ziplock-type bags. Score!

So, I like the baby-sock idea for erasing white boards (especially for the Littles) but how cute are these little bath pads. Soft and heart-shaped?! Can't get more precious than that! (unless maybe if it was in the shape of a cat :P)
 My favorite of the activity books I bought are these Picture Find books. I have a bunch of Where's Waldo books, but sadly, those are becoming irrelevant ("Mrs. Wallace, who is Waldo?"). I love using these types of books during instruction, especially for writing tasks, such as when we study parts of speech. I have lots of graphic organizers and templates I use with these types of books, so I'm glad I scooped these up.
See...the kids love 'em! (not my kid...the boy I nanny for)

On a separate trip, I bought this gem. I saw on an Instagram post that Michael's had it marked down to $30.00, so I immediately (I'm not exaggerating) raced over there to pick one up. I promised my self I was going in JUST to get this, and miraculous I kept my promise. I was momentarily distracted by the rubber stamps, but my will power persevered and I made it out in under 5 minutes. It's a miracle!

I am in the process of finishing supply labels for this cart. I know other teachers use this in their classroom - what do you all use it for?

I attempted to post this pic on Sunday on my Instagram. However, Instagram wouldn't let me. In fact, it hasn't let me upload any pictures for days! When I open the camera feature, it simply shuts the app down. I'm able to view Instagram photos, like them, and leave comments, but I can't add any pictures! I've deleted the app, re-downloaded it, logged out, updated the app, restarted my phone. everything! It's so frustrating!
Any suggestions?

And now for some cute pictures of animals:
 Lucy the fashionista
 Lucy the Lazy Bones
 Fred in a Pile of Paws
 Chester my Chunka-Munk
Auntie Mira and Niece Lucy on a leisurely walk by the Mystic River :)

Cheers,
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