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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Five For....Saturday? Better Late Than Never Editon

Despite the SNOW that is falling outside my window, I'm thrilled to be reflecting on this incredible week with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a Five For Friday link-up! Not only did my students crush it in the classroom this week (Sculpting Terra Cotta warriors? Check. Experienced-based writing on using chopsticks? Check. Independently running literature circles? Nailed it.) but we also have some of our favorite friends visiting with us this weekend. Oh, and did I mention they brought their incredible, amazingly handsome pup along?

(Need an extra dose of cuteness on your insta? Follow him @mighty_ulysees. You can thank me later.) Bring on the mimosas and overnight french toast. I'm ready for this weekend!

This week I hit a HUGE personal milestone. As you know, I am still a newbie to this awesome world of online teacher collaboration and even newer to the world of sharing ideas on TPT. So imagine my excitement when this showed up in my inbox yesterday:

I can honestly say this is the most exciting $1.50 I have ever earned. For me, it's not the fact that I can now go buy half of a tall vanilla latte at Starbucks, but the validation that someone out there thinks my idea is worth investing in, and the reassurance that maybe I AM doing a little something right. Regardless of it all... I celebrated my little success in the best way possible: copious amounts of pizza for dinner. Roasted eggplant, fresh ricotta, and meatballs? Sorry not sorry. 

Did I mention my students just hit it out of the park this week? I like to believe we do that every week, but this week was like magic. Just totally seamless. When Friday afternoon came, I was actually a little sad the week was over. (But mostly I was just looking forward to having that pizza for dinner...) I think a big part of our success was our new behavior management tool: Class Dojo. 

A few weeks ago I was asked to implement a visual, data-driven whole class behavior plan for one of my students. Given the needs of this student, and the fact that this would be the 37th intervention happening in my classroom (that's another blog post) I was skeptical. We set up our target behaviors (whole body listening, following directions, and flexible thinking to name a few) and I sarcastically embarked on the Dojo journey, certain it would be a flop. Well, my kiddos proved me wrong. They LOVE the points, and totally hold themselves accountable. The insanely cute avatars don't hurt either. 

Our class graph from Friday!

This week we continued our study of China by building terra cotta warriors out clay and exploring with chopsticks. I know what you're thinking. Twenty kids and 12 pounds of clay? The answer is yes: I did need one whole container of clorox wipes to return our tables back to normal. (But it was pretty awesome!)

I also got my newest product up to TPT this week, which is always an amazing accomplishment for me given my 7:30 9:30PM bedtime. This year my students cannot get enough of I Have, Who Has. So I'm hoping this will be the first of many versions uploaded to my store! Stay tuned. 

Lastly, and most importantly, I have to wish a very Happy Birthday to my incredible, one and only Mum! You might not know this amazing woman, but let me tell you she is actually the most caring, supportive, wonderful prosecco-loving person on this planet. Only 20 more days and we will be celebrating with you in sunny Florida! Is it April vacation yet?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Your first sale!! That is SO exciting!!!!! <3

    1. Thank you, Haley! It was an exciting email to get for sure! :)

      Hope you're having a great weekend,


  2. Congratulations on your first sale! That's so exciting. I LOVE the idea of exploring with chopsticks and then writing about it. We're practically neighbors. I live in Northeast Connecticut. My sister just moved to Boston in January. I think MAYBE this might be our last snow for the year. I hope so anyway!
    Laughter and Consistency

    1. Hi Jan,

      Thank you! I adapted the Writer's Express curriculum to use with my first graders after taking a training in it a few years ago. It is almost exclusively based on shared experiences, which is helpful for some of my kiddos that don't have many experiences from home life. Crossing my fingers the snow has finally ended! I'm ready to see our few lingering snow banks disappear!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend,


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  4. Nicole, that sounds like a great week! Congrats on the sale, that is very exciting. I am new to TPT too and when I got my first notification I did a happy dance. You explained the feeling perfectly. I am so excited to continue to learn and connect with all the amazing educators I have connected with through TPT and instagram, it's really exciting. The week with your kiddos looked fun as well! Lots of hands on and engaging activities happening in your room! :)

  5. Hi, Nicole!
    Congratulations on your first sale!
    But I really want to tell you that part about your mom brought a tear to my eye. I have the most amazing mom, too. We're both pretty lucky :)

    Made with Love

  6. Hey Nichole! I have really enjoyed reading your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Award! I can't wait to make my first sale on TPT too! Check out the details of the award on my blog http://mybrightbunch.blogspot.com/ .

  7. Congrats on your first sale, and I'm sure you've made many more by now! My students LOVE Class Dojo, and it's made a huge impact on my classroom management. Lots of teachers in my school have begun implementing it now, too, after seeing what a HUGE difference it made in our difficult 4th Grade class.