Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'm been soooo busy this fall. Its insane! I've started an online boutique called RiverTown Boutique and it has taken my life to get it together! FINALLY, after months of planning, purchasing, booths, and paypal invoices we launched our first site!! check it out!! readers get 15% off their purchases with the code "teach" good until New Years Day! ENJOY!! Spread the word:)

We are also looking for blogs to advertise on! We are looking for sites that get over 5,000 hits a day, that specialize in teaching or fashion. Most of our clothing is conservative enough to wear to work. It is also AFFORDABLE! YAY! If you know of any please comment:)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Getting Fit Friday

I've linked up today with Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bright Ideas for:

I was so excited when I saw this so I could share this wonderful black bean salad (or salsa) recipe! My mom emailed me this so I'm not sure where the original came from.. But it is an amazing summer time recipe. It's so fresh, clean and bright and would be a great addition to tacos or a taco salad. I usually eat it with just corn chips! It's something you can never just have one bite of, for sure.
I've never taken a picture of mine, but it should look similar to this! YUM!

What you need:
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup red or sweet onion, diced
1 can (15oz) corn, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
S & P to taste
tortilla chips
1. In a bowl combine peppers, onion, corn, garlic and cilantro.
2. Add olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, and toss.
3. Add black beans, toss well and serve with tortilla chips.
 This is better when it can sit over night but if you don't have that option at least make it in the morning so it can settle together. The flavor is so amazing and addicting and best of all It's CLEAN!

So once again I'm blogging from the APP which doesn't let you hyperlink text.
Copy and paste? See you there!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What I'm lovin' Wednesday

Woo hoo! It's finally summer but I still have zero time to accomplish anything.. How is that possible? 
I have found some time to squeeze in a fatty ice cream cake of course and believe me when I say it's way better than any store bought beauty you may buy. 

I can't take credit for this recipe but you can modify and make it anyway you want! I used cookie ice cream instead of vanilla and chocolate. I've also used mint before which is amazing. I drizzle with Carmel and more Oreos!! Find it at:

I'm also loving these lily pads from Last weekend in the ozarks we sat on this thing for literally 6 hours! Some day when I own a boat ;) I will own one!!

I'm obsessed with following sassyboutiquevb on IG they put together the sassiest (is that a word?) outfits. I. Want.them.ALL! Follow them now!

Molly at is hosting a mid-south meet up!! I'm not 100% in yet but I encourage everyone to email her if you are interested In joining the crew in Branson,MO. How fun!?

What I'm loving most about Wednesday is that Wednesdays are my bootcamp days! That means I pay someone to physically and mentally assault me. It's worth every dime. If you've never taken a challenge class before, you should! Mine are in 9 block sessions and they will make you sweat! Wish I had this to wear tonight! Funny huh?

And last but not least I'm working on opening my own online clothing boutique! I've got a name figured out but details are still being worked on. I've made my first wholesale purchase from and will be selling her lovely headbands first! I'm so excited. Check back in a few weeks for details how to purchase one and for a giveaway! Photo via CD

Enjoy the rest of your week!! We set up a new pool so you know where to find this gal. Now go link up:

Sorry no hyperlinks from this blogger phone app!! It's for the birds. Xo

Monday, May 5, 2014

Project Based Learning... what?

Now that we only have 17 days of school left, I've really found some time to dig into Project Based Learning. It is something I've tried to incorporate all year but usually not with "projects" more just performance pieces that relate to real life situations.

First off,  it is important to have a good understanding on what PBL is exactly. 

These posters from Kinderworld help keep me on track. You can download your own and print them on her website!

Here are some projects we have already completed this year!

My students absolutely loved this! We incorporated research online which was fun.

This one I loved, but it was a little too difficult for my students. They didn't have good prior knowledge to fractions. They were able to do it with a lot of guidance.

We just started this one and so far so good. We even decided we will be selling lemonade the last week of school! They are so excited about it. 

On the plans.... My students already looked it over and approved! 

This one we have scheduled for next week!

And if you aren't familiar with Perform in Fifth you must be now!!

Performing in Fifth

She has great resources for upper elementary PBL and excellent examples on her blog.

My lovely friend ,Katie (((who is always one step ahead of me))) passed these links onto me this morning

I'm really just getting my feet wet with this this semester. We've made a couple projects teaching others the rules for adding , sub, multiplying, and dividing decimals. We've also completed projects for mean, median and mode and weather!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Moving to the Red Wing

The room I'm moving into next fall is in the red wing. These pictures do it justice, the color really is that bad. It currently is occupied by a 3rd grade teacher. She left last week on a maternity leave so basically all of her things are gone. She is staying home with her baby next year and her position isn't needed so they won't be refilling her. Hence I'm taking her space.
When you walk in the room you have a nice sunny wall....then

 BAM. Your eyes start to bleed.

Luckily I can cover this board with pretty paper.

But if you move your head to the right you can get these... I think my anchor charts will go here for sure.

They said I could put in a summer request for them to paint the red wall so that will be top priority...
Does anyone ask teachers' opinions when building these puppies?
Regardless I'm excited for the move and can't wait to decorate...with less brain washing colors of course.

I'll miss my little nook in the green hallway (see my perdy green cabinets and seafoam wall?)
but ready for smaller adventures... 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five For Friday One Day Early.

Woo Hoo! It is almost Friday. Hello three day weekend!

 1) I was nominated by Emily over at Third in Hollywood for the Sunshine award! How fun! She has the cutest little blog and teaches 3rd grade. 

1. What is your favorite guilty pleasure to eat?
Omgoodness, I love licorice--the pull apart kind. I can't even buy them or I eat the whole package. whoops.

2. If you could go anywhere for one day, where would you go?
For the day? Probably NYC. I don't think I'd want to stay long so a day would be long enough for me there.

3. What is your unit to teach?
I love all things math. 3rd grade math! 5th grade math! You name it I love it! I hope I'm good at teaching second grade math next fall.

4. Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher after a ASB trip though Mizzou with Teach for America. I visited inner city schools in Philadelphia, PA and fell in love! 
Check out my story HERE

5. If you could do anything other than teaching, what would it be?
Stay at home mom, no seriously. I never wanted to work my whole life. I came from a stay at home mom household and they are the best. I'd also would like to work at Nordstrom, except the closer one is 130 miles away from my house. I wish I could be a makeup artist too.. hummmm

6. If you had one hour of free time, what would you do?
I enjoy spending time outside with the dogs and my little piggy, hanging in the yard!

7. What is the worst part about teaching?
crazy parents and kids that are sneaky and lice

8. What is your favorite part about summer?
Sleeping in, long days, cold drinks

9. Do you have a nickname?
Growing up I was called No-Duh, Froggy, Monkey and now it has turned into Cokey or Miss Jeans

10. What do you eat for lunch while you're at school teaching?
sometimes school lunch and sometimes I bring leftovers, sandwiches, salads.. really whatever. 

2) I have to have to have to finish my THESIS this weekend. Did I mention I have to? I'm so behind. I'm so over grad school. I'm a better teacher than student, I promise!!

3) We finished 4 days of MAP testing this week and I am WORN OUT. I showed a movie this afternoon. I seriously couldn't make my kids do anymore work. They tested for two solid hours this morning. The torture!!

4) I'm obsessed with my new bracelets from Southern Stones (Link in Tuesday's Post)
I ended up ordering two more today. Obviously I have a shopping problem.
The Audra

The Rachelle

5.  I just almost fell asleep in my Data Team meeting. It was miserable. Sorry It's Thursday of Easter weekend.

and now that I missed crossfit because I just sat at an IEP meeting and data meeting. I'm going to go home and snuggle this little 12 week old gentleman. Best thing about dating a professional retriever trainer is all the puppies. Also we will have more puppies in 63 days if anyone is interested:)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MAP Testing Parent Letters & $1,200 Classroom Spending

Today I arrived at approximately 8:02 AM which is 2 minutes later than I should be here and which is also about 45 minutes later than I usually arrive. I've never been late to work in my three years of teaching except for this morning.. I'm actually usually never late anywhere. Off the bat, one of my lovely (a real gem) students told me I didn't match today. I took off my pink coat and she was seriously offended. "Miss Janes, that does not match." I asked her why not and she told me that white does not match my "whatever those things you wear all the time." humm.. a cardigan? She is also the one who asked me today what a fire hydrant was...I'll take her fashion advice with a grain of salt I suppose...

I took it was cute?

I was so excited that my bangles from Southern Stones arrived a couple days ago!  If you are looking to bangle I would highly recommend her. She is so sweet and has fast shipping. She is totally affordable as well. Find her on the gram.

We also started MAP testing today which went pretty smoothly. Must be something with 5th graders---they are ole' pros by now. The first morning of MAP testing is always special to me. For three years of my career I've always had my parents write letters of encouragement to their child and every year these letters bring lots of smiles (and sometimes tears). (You can see last year's post here)

This year I modified the parent letter on Smart Little Cookies since 5th graders probably wouldn't be that into it:)  I would really encourage you to do this, you'd be surprised which parents really step it up---EVEN the ones you haven't heard from all year long:)

 A few ladies showing off their parent letters and pictures!

Next up on the plate: All grade levels are getting $1,200 to spend on curriculum for next school year AND we need help! Next fall I'll be teaching 2nd grade and I don't know what I already have or what I need!!

I would really like to purchase about 5 books that could be used as read alouds for teaching specific skills, using the book list above. I'd like to put these books in tubs in my cabinet already sorted so I can just pull them out when needed.

Anyone teaching second have something they love and can't live without? PLEASE TELL ME NOW!! We have no curriculum whatsoever. ANYTHING GOES.

Is anyone willing to share their set up of their second grade day? I'd love to see a detailed version of your schedule:) Happy test taking!

Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm moving...on down!

After one year in fifth grade my duties are complete!! I'm excited to announce I'll be teaching second grade next fall! Same building, new wing, new ideas. I could not be more excited. I love fifth grade, but honestly it isn't 100% me. Another addition to my resume. 3 grades in 4 years. What am I getting myself into?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GUEST POST: Getting Techy with Mrs. H: Link added!

Hi Readers! I’m Katie (Steis) Haberberger, a Third Grade Teacher in an awesome district in a suburb outside of Kansas City, MO. I met Courtney while Student Teaching back in the day at Mizzou in the wonderful year-long SYOSP program. We had a lot of fun, learned a heck of a lot, and have been friends ever since. Isn’t it awesome to have someone in the same stage of life that you can rely on to always know what you’re going through? That’s Courtney for me!

I currently serve as a Building and District Technology Mentor, and I am passionate about Instructional Technology which is the focus of today’s post. I also teach through PBL or Project Based Learning. That’s another post in itself. GET READY TO GET TECHY!

I hope I didn’t just scare y’all away!
While I LOVED the program at Mizzou, it left a lot to be desired in the area of Tech. Everything I’ve picked up has been from curiosity and a lot of what I call “failing forward.” Why did I get started in this whole Instructional Technology thing? A crazy diverse class... We’re talkin’ Gifted (EXTREMELY HIGH IQ) to low low low babies (DRA 4, can’t remember the days of the week, etc). Poor kiddo’s. After teaching to the “middle” with traditional whole group instruction, I realized no one way happy, and only about five kids were actually “getting” my lesson. WHAT? Change was needed. Enter Math Rotation/Math Workshop/ Math Stations, whatever you want to call them. I started pulling small groups and creating or finding blended lessons through websites to help reinforce concepts. SUCCESS! Students were pre-tested into groups and moved frequently. This strategy actually worked and allowed me to differentiate instruction at an optimal level. I figured this could work in every content area. I have 5 computers that are now constantly used throughout the entire day. They no longer sat in the corner collecting dust. Over the next year my classroom evolved to a Blended Learning Environment. I also dabble in Flipped Learning. Youtube it. It’s awesome.
Let me get a few things straight: I still have a mixed ability level class. My kiddo’s come from ALL different backgrounds, race, SES, etc. Not every student has access to technology at home, and some have their own devices, but we make it work. Remember my term, Fail forward? You’ll hear that a lot from me. We figure it out a we go.

I want to start off with a few points:
-Just because it’s what we have always done doesn’t mean it’s best for kids
-Twitter is hands down the BEST, most relevant Professional Development you can get. If you don’t have one, GET ONE! Then follow me @KBMrsHabsClass
-Technology is EASY, don’t be afraid of it!
-We are currently teaching to Generation Z. Technology is their thing. It’s how they tick. If you want to engage them, use technology.
-An evolution needs to occur to STUDENT CENTERED LEARNING. Let go of the idea that you need to be the center of the classroom. Teachers are the FACILITATOR.
-Technology doesn't isolate students. In fact, it increases collaboration like never before.
-Don’t recreate the wheel with Technology! Just be creative with how you use what’s already out there.
-Get rid of the’s a waste of trees and a thing of the past. You can do the same practice through websites that are Common Core based, and not made in 1989  (AND you’ll keep those kiddo’s engaged)
-Get out of the way and let the kids LEARN!

I hope that wasn’t too harsh. I always hear from hesitant teachers in my building things like, “my kids can’t do that” or “they can’t just get on the internet and go!” Guess what? They CAN. Give them the opportunity and watch them soar. Half the time, I give my kids a new App and tell them to try it out for 15 minutes. More often than not, they are the ones teaching ME things. Like I said...this is their “thing!”
I’m attaching a link to a presentation tool I gave last week to Third-Fifth Grade Teachers in my District. These apps/websites can be used K-12. Pick ONE and try it out.
I want to help you build a “Teacher Toolkit.” If you take one thing away from today I will be OH SO HAPPY!

- Katie Harberberger

Thanks so much Katie! Katie is an amazing teacher and I wish she didn't live 4 hours away. She is great friend and even when we go years without seeing each other things never change! I'm going to get her to write another post soon!! And I'm not the only person who thinks she is so lovely, Mrs. H was recently awarded Teacher of the Year in her district!!! Congrats girl!

Also feel free to comment with any amazing resources that you think should be added to the list!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Formative Assessment Binder...normal ramblings

I'm at work today because I'm obviously a huge loser.

I've been working on perfecting my formative assessment strategies lately...When we are evaluated the #1 "item" we are checked on is formative assessment and I'm starting to fall in love with it. I found that formative assessments only work when you find a way that best suits your needs. I have tried hundreds of things but the checklist is my #1 true love. Here is how it goes. When I students are working I roam like a buffalo around the room holding my handy dandy clipboard. During this time I can quickly check who is getting it and who needs retaught during our morning RTI time. Each day I write out the objectives on the top of the chart

I use + and - to determine student understanding
When I'm finished with the day I throw this beaut in a binder that is only for things of formative assessment.
This will only work if you use purse post-its...jealous??

I once again use these because they are free and wonderful.

One of my little ladies made me this bracelet a few weeks ago and I've been rocking it every since. It is so springy and fun. I love it.

And this is my favorite Snapchat that I got this week... from a teacher friend. Must have been a boring book??

and my favorite pin from this week... I really need this.