My Top 10 Instagram Pics of 2014

Ok, ya'll, this linky party from Teachery Tidbits is RIGHT UP MY ALLY! Words cannot express how much I LOOOOVE taking pictures... and Instagram is probably my favorite social network! (So much so that I'm embarrassed to even tell you how many different IG accounts I have. I can't help it! I like to keep things organized into categories!) If you don't already follow my Instagram, check it out! @adventuresofaschoolmarm

So, here they are in all their glory... my Top 10 Insta Pics of 2014.

You will notice very quickly that most of them are after August.
That's because I had like ZERO followers before this school year started. 
OK, maybe more like 40. But you get the idea. ;-)

I am not surprised at any of my dog's pictures that made it into my top 10. 
He's pretty much the most adorable thing ever! I mean, I know you guys have cute dogs, too. 
But this guy takes cute to the next level! ;-)

A photo posted by Beth 😊 (@adventuresofaschoolmarm) on

Yes! My friend Katrina's minion cabinet made it into the top 10! I think my head might explode if the cabinets in my room were this bright--I'm more of a subdued blue girl myself--but even I can admit this cabinet is the! She is so creative. :D

A photo posted by Beth 😊 (@adventuresofaschoolmarm) on
Oh, you know, just another picture of the most adorable dog ever. 
Watching a sunrise. From inside a tent. 

A photo posted by Beth 😊 (@adventuresofaschoolmarm) on
This picture is a throwback to when I worked as an intervention specialist for students labeled emotionally disturbed in Preble County.  I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people over the years, and let's just say I've got MAD LOVE for these ladies! We've all ended up in different schools now... and kinda far apart... but I will cherish the memories I have with these ladies for the years to come. We made such a fantastic team!

Jealous? I am! I want one for my house!

It had been the most dreary day. It was cold and wet and grey. 
But then the sun broke through the clouds and lit this tree on fire 
like laughter breaks through sadness. 
And all was well with my soul. 

A photo posted by Beth 😊 (@adventuresofaschoolmarm) on

My husband and I always choose to keep Christmas very simple. 
We actually have a tradition of making each other gifts by hand. 
We also like to stick to the "3 gifts were good enough for Jesus" motto. 
Life got busier than I had planned and time to make his gift ran out. 
But I had the most delightful time leafing through the pages of these books 
to find him the perfect one. Or two, as the case may be. ;-)

This was one of the prettiest leaves I found on our camping trip with friends this fall. Because it was a state park and very much a "leave it like you found it" kind of place, I opted to take a picture of the leave instead of keep it. But I love collecting beautiful fall leaves and pressing them between wax paper while they still have their colors. I love to see their beauty linger just awhile longer. 

I need to tell ya'll about THAT kid. You know, the one that's a hot mess, but that tugs at your heartstrings like no other. The one that has every acronym known to man attached to his name--ADHD, IEP, SLD, ODD... The one whose dad died from a drug overdose when he was in first grade... and whose stepdad died the same way last Christmas. The one who has been homeless. The one whose mom is in jail that you lose sleep over because you worry if he's safe. The one you told your coworkers you would LITERALLY adopt, but there's not enough room in your house for his twin brothers and baby sister, and you could never separate him from his siblings. The one who can't spell to save his life, but gives the best inferences in class. The one who WALKED in the cold and in the dark to come to his parent-teacher conference BY HIMSELF because I kept saying how important it was to come. Yes, that kid. Well, I am happy to report that HE IS {FINALLY} READING ON GRADE LEVEL!!!!!!! Tears, ya'll. Now, I'M the hot mess!!! #bestchristmaspresentever
A photo posted by Beth 😊 (@adventuresofaschoolmarm) on

I am in a new position this year. I had this kiddo two years ago for Reading and again last year all day. He made so much progress in Reading during his first time in 3rd grade, but because of the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee in Ohio, he didn't quite hit the mark and was required to repeat the grade.  Last year, I had him all day, and it was a very hard year for him. Life got a little out of control, and that makes learning VERY hard. 

Well, we have both moved on... me to a new, traveling position, and him to a new school! I stop in to see him whenever I can because, well, I LOVE HIM. Always and forever, I will love him. And worry about him.  And pray for his future. His new teacher reported the great news to me! I am so very proud of him!!! He has been staying with other family members that give him more stability than he had before. I will keep praying for him that he stays on the right path. He is surrounded by SO MANY obstacles, but I do believe he has the GRIT to persevere and rise above the odds!!!

A photo posted by Beth 😊 (@adventuresofaschoolmarm) on

Not gonna lie. I feel like this one is a little anti-climactic after picture #2. 
But I did tell you he was the cutest dog ever. ;-)


One Word Resolution: Persist!

Let's be honest. I love the idea of a good New Year's Resolution... but I've never done a very good job at keeping any of them!  Nonetheless, there is something exciting about envisioning a fresh start. Preparing for the new year always makes me feel hopeful for the future!

I am linking up today with the gals at Primary Powers for a fun New Year's linky party. The goal is to choose ONE WORD that you can focus on over the next year to help you be more successful.  Just one word. 

I doubt you will need to labor long and hard over the word to choose. My word immediately popped into my head because it is close to my heart. 


1. to continue steadfastly or firmly 
in some state, purpose, or course of action, 
especially in spite of opposition

2. to last or endure tenaciously

Maybe I am setting myself up for failure by choosing this word as my resolution since the very lack of it is what has kept me from achieving resolutions in the past. I have a feeling, though, that if I give up the "end product" that I have in mind and just PERSIST, it will be more likely that I get there. 

Do I want to lose weight and live a more healthy lifestyle? Yes! But I am not going to put a number on it. I am going to PERSIST. 

Does my new position feel overwhelming because we are essentially building up our teacher mentorship program from ground zero? Yes! But I am going to get there one day at a time. I am going to PERSIST. 

Do I want to blog more? Yes! Sometimes I get stuck in the trap of thinking, Who would want to read what I have to say? I feel silly blogging some of my ideas for the classroom. But I have been encouraged by other blogging friends to just do it! They insist that if I PERSIST, it will get easier and feel more natural. 

Do I want to be completely debt-free? YES!!! Sometimes my husband and I feel like we will never get there (which makes it easier to spend frivolously), but I know that by simplifying life and sticking to the Dave Ramsey plan, we WILL get there. We will PERSIST!  


Organization Tip: Keeping Listening Centers and Stations Tidy

I don't know about you, but I feel soooo much better when my classroom is neat and organized. Despite my valiant efforts to stay tidy, I always have those "trouble areas" that I just cannot keep clean!  One of my biggest trouble spots? 

Listening stations. 

I always like to incorporate graphic organizers and Before/During/After Reading responses for students to stay engaged in the station. It seems easy enough, right? I started by just setting the papers near the station. After the first rotation of centers on the first day of the week, the station already looked like a HOT MESS.  (Please tell me I'm not alone!)

 Next, I put the papers in file folders at the station.  Keep blank papers in a file folder should be easy enough for an 8 year old, right?  Wrong. 

Later, I tried organizing them all in a file box that students would get, then take to the station. Except that they wouldn't. Ha!  

Nothing felt like it was working.  

Enter a few of my favorite things: poly binder pockets, Command hooks, and binder rings.  

Just stick a Command hook on your wall or cabinet. Insert a metal ring through the top hole in the poly binder pocket. Insert the papers. Hang them on the hooks. 

So. Simple. 

If you are interested, the Before/During/After forms that are used in the pictures of these stations are a FOREVER FREEBIE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. They are made to mimic very commonly used DRA forms. I found that by incorporating them regularly into classroom instruction, my students felt much more confident when they were assessed for their DRAs, which of course, boosted their scores! 
A Forever Freebie on TPT


Wordless Wednesday: BOOST Sale!

I am joining up with Ms. DeCarbo for her Wordless Wednesday linky party.

Today's task? We get to post pictures of products that we have for sale in our TPT Store! Now remember, this is Wordless Wednesday, so there won't be any descriptions. Click on the links below the picture to check out the products in more detail in the store!!!



EDITABLE Teacher Binder Updates!

I am so excited to show you the updated version of my Teacher Organization Binder! This EDITABLE resource contains over 200 pages of rainbow chevron goodness.  The download is a ZIP file with editable Power Point files for you to customize/personalize and Printable PDFs for you to print as provided to handwrite on.  You WILL need Power Point to be able to edit these files. Thankfully, most schools have Power Point included right on your computers.

I purposely designed this with a clean, modern look (without a specific theme or cutesy clip art) because I wanted it to be useful to both lower and upper grade levels. The greyscale versions of the file also make this versatile to any color scheme you have now or in the future--just copy the greyscale covers onto colored copy paper that matches your theme!

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Editable Cover Options

There are now 20 different cover options for your binder! There are 10 full-color options including an ink-saving version.  These covers are fully editable, so you can customize them with your name, the school year, your school or subject, etc.  You can also edit them to create dividers for your binder(s).

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

This version of the binder also contains 10 greyscale cover options. They look really cute when printed on colored copy paper if you are worried about using too much ink with the colored versions. If you use colored copy paper, then you can customize them to match whatever your classroom color scheme is! Again, these covers are fully editable, so you can customize them with your name, the school year, your school or subject, etc.  I just love seeing my name on the cover of my main teacher binder! :) 

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

So, now for what's inside… This resource has so many different options for you to choose from to keep you organized all year!  All of the forms are available in both and EDITABLE Power Point Slide Show AND a easy PRINTABLE pdf file. This means you have the freedom to customize whatever you need for your classroom, but you can also just print and go! 

Monthly Calendars
The printable monthly calendars print on one full page in a horizontal orientation. The current year's calendar includes all US holidays. This calendars will be updated yearly. There is also a fully-editable, perpetual calendar included so that you can customize your calendar if you need to do so! 

Available in full color… 
(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

…and ink-saving greyscale! 
(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Weekly Calendars
The weekly calendar design is a 2-page spread.  I personally like to copy mine front to back so that they open in my binder so that I can see the whole week at once. If you would like this, the "back" of the sheet will be the Monday-Wednesday form, and the "front" will be the Thursday-Saturday form. 

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Weekly and Daily Schedules

There are 3 design options for the weekly and daily schedules as well: full color, ink-saving color, and greyscale. My personal favorites are the ink-saving color versions (below)! 

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Lesson Planning
If you are anything like me, you LOVE to plan. This resource has a variety of planning forms, from long-range planning to daily lessons. 

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

I kept the lesson planning grid simple and black/white. I personally copy this front to back (again, the "front" is technically the right side and the "back" is technically the left side), then hole punch and use in my binder. This form is designed to look like the traditional lesson plan books. I use it to write out a weekly overview of plans, then I type up more detailed plans in my own personalized template that I make each year. 
(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

 Parent Contact Forms

Keeping in touch with parents is so important! I don't know about you, but I do best when I keep a separate binder just for parent contacts right by my phone! I included 2 options for logging your parent phone calls. I prefer to make a separate sheet for each student, then log parent contacts on that form. This makes it much easier for me to see how frequently specific parents are being contacted. I also included a log where you can keep track of multiple students on one page. 

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Student Information
Don't let all the random information we collect on students overwhelm you! These forms will help you keep all of that information organized and easily-accessible. Forms include: class roster, student summary sheet, student IDs list (I record their computer logins here!), birthdays, allergies, IEPs at a Glance, and more!  

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Substitute Resource Binder

Another thing I love about this file is that it contains everything you need to create a substitute resource binder! This binder is an absolute lifesaver when you need to be out for any reason. I made sure I had it ready to go within the first two weeks of school because you never know when you are going to get sick or be out for professional development. I kept it on my desk at all times just to be safe. I also let my team members know where it was located just incase.

You can customize and build your own substitute binder from all the resources included, but here is a little summary of what I like to include in mine.  At the beginning, I include contact information for all important individuals at school (principal, secretary, etc) in the even that  the substitute needed to call any of them.  I then have a tab for lesson plans. I place a copy of all my lesson plans in that section each week, which ensures that there is always a set of plans at school. Next, I include sections for Daily Schedules, Rules/Procedures, and Student Information (like allergies, accommodations, etc.). I like to keep extra copies of the "Dear Teacher…" substitute summary form at the front of the binder, as well as bandaids, rubber gloves, and nurses passes. I keep discipline referrals in the back pocket. Nearly every sub I have ever had has written me a thank you for having such an organized binder! They really appreciate it! 

(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Editable Binder Spines
Another feature of this product is coordinating, editable binder spines. They come in 4 sizes: 1 inch. 1.5 inch, 2 inch, and 3 inch. 
(Available now on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Last, but not least… 

This resource is both a GROWING BUNDLE and a LIFETIME RESOURCE. This means that the binder will continue to be updated to include more forms as time progresses. As forms are added, the price will increase. By purchasing now, you secure the current low price, but still have the benefit of future updates! When the file is updated, you will receive a notification in your TPT email inbox. This is also a lifetime resource, which means I will update it yearly. Updates will occur at the beginning of July so that you can prepare for the next school year! 

I would love for you to check this out at my Teachers Pay Teachers store! 

Other Back to School 
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