Five for Fraturday, a FREEBIE, + One Lucky Winner!

First, I want to congratulate Jamie Garratt! You won the resource books from MPM School Supplies and $10 to spend in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Check your email, Jamie! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would love to share some bits and pieces from my week with you all!

#1 and #2 - Mornings.

My alarm goes off at 4:55 a.m. every day.

Ouch. Ugh. Gross. 

But I have move painfully slow in the mornings, so I have to give myself some extra time to get movin'. I've discovered I get a lot more done if I go in early instead of trying to stay painfully late in the afternoon. Our kiddos start coming in at 7:15 though, so going in early is reaaalllly early!

To make getting up so early a little easier, I made a breakfast casserole last Sunday and used the leftovers for my breakfast all week long. The recipe I found made a BIG casserole and it was DELICIOUS! I heated up my breakfast as the kids were coming in on Wednesday, and I actually had a couple of them ask if they could have a bite! :)

Recipe found here!
I'm planning on posting a bit more about making this on Monday, but I really loved that I didn't have to prep much the night before. I made some minor adjustments according to what I had in my kitchen, but it was so easy!

I do love the way my room looks in the morning though...

This is our classroom library and large group lesson area. I love it. We are surrounded by bookshelves whenever we meet in here. I love sit on the carpet and make charts in the morning with my coffee and Pandora playing. Such a sweet way to start my day!

#3 - Morning Meeting + Mission Statement

I don't know how many of you "do" Morning Meeting, but I am in L.O.V.E with Morning Meeting. It is the best way I've ever started my day and my kids love it too! 2 of my teammates started it last year, and I happily jumped on that bandwagon after seeing it in action in their rooms.

It is a great way to incorporate the 7 Habits into our day and we end it by saying our "Team Sparter Mission Statement." (My teaching partner and I tell our kiddos they are part of "Team Sparter" - a mashup of our last names.) The mission statement is a Team Sparter effort, and it changes every year. As one of our kiddos said this week, "It's kind of like a class pledge!" :) We wrote it out on chart paper after the first week of school, and then I typed it up and made it cute!

Morning Meeting and Leader in Me/7 Habits schools are not affiliated with one another, they just happen to play well together. :)

If you're interested in Morning Meeting, I highly recommend the books below. I was able to read the first book really quickly, and the companion book is a great daily resource!

I really love the companion book as well. I keep it in my large group area so I always have it handy! 

#4 - Daily 5? How about Daily 2 or 3? :) 
I only have an hour for Reader's Workshop with each group, so we only get in 2 or 3 rotations - depending on the time of year. We've been working on building our stamina, choosing just right books, and finding good places to sit. 

PS - Awesome storage ottoman courtesy of Scholastic bonus points! LOVE!
I finished a reading assessment  on Thursday and peeked into our classroom library. My heart melted when I saw these three! I love it! 

#5 Writer's Workshop: Heart Mapping

This is one of my favorite lessons every year. I love, love, love seeing the different things my kiddos put onto their heart maps. It's such a fun way to get to know them and they really enjoy sharing them under the ELMO. 

This year's group was no exception!

I love that this is such a fantastic "bank" of writing ideas for each kiddo. I love the care they put into their maps. I love these kiddos. :)

Our heart maps are a little different than others I've seen. Because opinion writing is such a big focus in our Common Core standards, I wanted to make sure my kids had a bank of ideas they could use for opinion pieces as well! However, I really don't like the word "hate" so when I thought about a 2-part heart map, I knew I had to come up with a suitable synonym. 

Hence, the word detest making an appearance on our heart maps. We talk about why "hate" is a word we don't want to use, how we are not people that "hate", and how we can add an awesome new word to our vocabulary by using the word detest instead.

It takes 2 pages (side by side) in their writer's notebooks, and they love it! I'm sharing the PDF of our heart maps with you below! I've uploaded the file to Dropbox to make it easier. 
If you don't have an account, it's FREE and easy! I love, love, love not having to email files to myself in order to have what I need at school. I just save a copy to my Dropbox folder, and it's there the next morning! My district has some pretty serious "blocks" on our work laptops, but it let me install Dropbox on my school computers. :)

Happy Weekend!


  1. Love your mission statement! We do the 7 Habits, too, and this is a terrific way to incorporate it for the class. I need to do this with my third graders! Thanks for sharing :o)

    1. I'm so glad you like it! I would love to see yours and hear how it goes!

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  3. Great post! I can't believe your kiddos start at 7.15 am! Most schools here in Brisbane Australia don't go in till 8.45 or 9.00 am.
    Love the heart map; am going to use it with my daughter.
    Thank you!!