This is one of my new favorite books. Kids can relate to this book because it uses words from the technology age. I am sure if you read this story to your students they would understand all of the words. Dot shares her daily journey through sharing, searching, recharging, and rebooting. The author of this story is Randi Zuckerberg sister to the founder of Facebook. I love how our society brings on new meanings to old words, and new words to our old world. The pictures remind me of a spring day. I am ready for SPRING, are you?

amazon affiliate link used- thank you for helping pay for my book obsession. :)

Are you feeling the burn of the spiral of the end of the year craziness.  As a teacher, you don't stop you just keep going because that passion we all have ignites each time we have a light bulb moment. #itsateacherthing.

I thought I would share with you my Top 10 ways that I enjoy life.

1. Read.  I go to Barnes and Noble and sit in their children's section and read. There is something about fresh new books that relaxes me. I usually come home with at least 2-5 new books and add them to my library. Have you seen my library?

2. Workout. I can't believe what it does to my soul after running a few miles. Oh it feels absolutely yummy!

3. Girls' Night. If it is a Monday night, I will shower and then head to girls night for some Bachelor and Trader Joe's Coconut Chocolate ice cream.

4. Organize. Everything has a place and everything needs to be color coded. The end.

5. Pray. I am thankful that God is in my life. He has delivered such a gracious path for me even when I think "Hello, God it's me Courtney, are you listening!?. God and I chat a lot. We are homies.

6. Create. My coworkers are always asking me how I have time to blog, create posters, cute lessons, products or anything in between. When I need a stress reliever, I craft. Creating a poster with backgrounds and fonts... OH THAT IS A GOOD TIME!

7. Family. Spending quality time with my family is special. Hanging out with my niece and nephew during the summer is the best. Calling my mom and going over to their house to just to chat is one of my favorite weekly rituals. 

8. Shop. There is no stress that Nordstrom or Loft can't fix. The end.

9. Scroll. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Blogs.... you get the idea.

10. Watch. When I do watch TV, you can find me enjoying Nashville, Greys, Bachelor/ette, and anything on HGTV.

I am so excited to team up with Scholastic to share some pretty bookful news that involves YOU!  Scholastic Magazines wants teachers to take this summer to relax and enjoy these blissful months off. Are you ready for the even better news? Scholastic is giving three TEACHERS a chance to win some money!!! One teacher will win a $1,000 VISA gift card! #yesplease

Here is how to enter: 
It is pretty simple and really fun.


1. Share a photo or video with your Scholastic Magazine on vacation. Don't forget to use the #ScholasticMagVacay.
2. Don't have a subscription to Scholastic Magazine? No problem, we've got you covered. Click here and Scholastic will send you a FREE copy. 
3. The contest starts June 1st and ends August 31st.

You can find more about Scholastic here:

I love Scholastic Magazine. Want to see how I use it in my classroom to help students annotate text? Click here! While this is a sponsored post all of the thoughts about Scholastic are my own feelings. SCHOLASTIC pretty much knocks the book covers off my books! #picturebooksaremyjam

Father's Day is June 18th-this coming Saturday. Below are my favorite FATHER'S Day reads. For easy access I have linked all the books to Amazon! 
 All of these books are perfect for kids to read with their daddies. My favorite two are {daddies do it different} and {how to surprise a dad}. 

Check out this cute pic collage idea I bloomed this summer. I have been watching Jen Jones of Hello Literacy use pic collage for her reading instruction for years. Then, I have become Kami Butterfield of Teaching with APPitude biggest fan because of her online Pic Collage courses. #heradorbsglasses Seriously have learned so much for these two. #teachershelpingteachers

I choose my favorite dad from one of the above picture book selections. Cropped  (clip) the dad from the story and then added characteristics about my dad in the picture. This is in mid creation, I still need to add more qualities that describe my dad.

*Amazon Affiliate Links Used

"Not that again!" I heard one student say on a Tuesday morning. At first, I was insulted because I loved the Tuesday Precept we had been doing since September. It was one of my precious moments each week where I learned about my students. My students last year LOVED this time to learn about each other.

Let me backup and explain what 12:00pm on a Tuesday in room 20 meant.

Last year, I read WONDER to my class. #allthefeels A year or so later....RJ Palacio came out with 365 Days of Wonder a quote book that had, well you guessed it, 365 quotes centering around life and greatness.  Each week students would respond to a quote using paper and pencil. In their response it included 2 parts {what the quote meant} {how it related to them}. Want to see it? It might work for your kids. The thoughts and feelings that came from my 34 students was WONDROUS!

Lets fast forward to this year. The negativity (but respectful) that spilled from their mouths was a clear FLASHING RED LIGHT that screamed (quietly) problem. My magical idea did not work for this group. I had to find something that would peak their interest. I swallowed my pride and got thinking!

This group loves technology and they will do ANYTHING on the computer. That is why my Weekly Precept became DIGITAL. One Saturday night, I stand up until 2am searching for videos that would INSPIRE, TEACH, EXCITE, and AWE my students.

I created a Google Docs precept video and answer activity. The students watch a 2-4 minute video and then answer similar questions on a google doc. It is all stationed on Google Drive and then I upload the precept weekly into Google Classroom.

I am happy to report that my students are SO excited to come in on Tuesdays and do the weekly precept. I hear them talking to each other trying to guess what the video will be about during recess.

We are fortunate to have 1:1 chromebooks in our classroom. BUT! You can totally do this whole class. Have students do this activity in centers or have students watch whole class and then answer the questions verbally.
 I selected videos that will get my students to think but also send a message. It is our jobs as educators to teach our students about the real world.  Some of the topics include {grit, failure, age, strength, empathy, power, and working hard}.

Want to try it out in your classroom? Grab the PREVIEW to try one of the videos. You will need to click PREVIEW button inside TpT.
Love it? You can find the whole digital resource here

Go be digital! #itsthenewpaperandpencil

It is April! Which means three things: Tax Day, My Birthday month, and POETRY month. Poetry is a make or break with my most kids. Many students enjoy writing poetry, but they are unsure of the technical side. When I start saying words like theme, mood, stanzas--their little smiles fade away. Of course what do I do? I bring in my favorite POETRY picture books. We analyze FUN poetry before we have to start looking at well.....boring poetry. #hadtosayit! #sorry

Here is a FREE list of all my favorite poetry books to use in the classroom. My affiliate links are provided because well I have a horrible (AWESOME) habit of buying books. THANK YOU!

Share with me how do you teach poetry in your classroom?

Happy Tuesday,

I am a firm believer that building relationships with your students is vital to a classroom climate. Kids deserve to have a connection with their teacher and classmates. I can promise you when students feel their teacher is invested they will work harder. Be the reason your student wants to come to school. I am going to let you in on a little secret, I come to school most days super excited to see my students because I have built a solid foundation. When I say "most days":I am being realistic. Yes, there are days where lounging in the sun with a great book, my iphone, and passion fruit ice tea are GOLDEN, people!

Guess what I wrote in my lesson plans to do next week when I get back from Spring Break. We have two months of school left and its time to reconnect and build more community. I have a pretty awesome class and they love each other, but SPRING has hit. Here is my action plan!

My favorite author R.J. Palacio just released her new PICTURE book {We're All Wonders}. OMG, I could not get through it without crying. I agree EVERY student is a WONDER. Sometimes the wonders are small, but they are there. It is a touching story about being different and letting your wonder shine.

On Monday, I will be reading {We're All Wonders} to my 33 5th graders to remind them they are WONDERS. They have many great qualities that they need reminded are there. 

Next, I plan to share my newest resource with my students. To help my students reconnect I created a WONDER nomination ballot where students can nominate kids in the class or school to share why they are a wonder.  Interested in YOU ARE A WONDER resource from TpT shop? Click here

Included in this resource is a bulletin board template entitled "You Are A Wonder". Once a student is nominated, I plan to take their picture while they hold "I am a Wonder" sign. They will receive the nomination form that was filled out in their honor. If you are a brag tag user, I have included my own version of a Wonder tag. Let there be MANY {Standing Ovations in your Classroom}.

Not familar with the WONDER series?
Check out the books here!
365 Days of Wonder paperback hardcover

*Amazon affiliate links were used in this post, thank you for supporting my picture book habit.

I love a good T-shirt! What is even better is a T-shirt to remember your class! I have an awesome class this year and I can't wait to rock our Room 20 Tshirt ASAP!

Have you heard of A+ Images? They make the best shirts! A few years ago they made my pink blog shirt (old logo) and then last year I designed this shirt for them for my Disneyland meet up with Michelle from Apples and Abcs.

Did you know that A+ also makes clasroom designed Tshirts? All you have to do is have your students draw their faces and write their name on a special template from A+ images and then you will have an amazing keepsake to remember your class. Here are some examples.

Luckily you! I am giving away a class set (up to 24 students). More shirts can be ordered at regular tshirt price if needed). How do you enter? Click here to my instagram for details!

That's not all: Ramona Recommends Readers: You can SAVE $1 per shirt and receive a FREE TEACHER SHIRT with your minimum order of 15 paid shirts. All other instructions apply, including minimums listed here. Orders must be postmarked by April 15th, 2017. New orders only (no price adjustments on previous orders). Use promo code RR17 on your order form. As an added bonus, you will receive a coupon code for 20% off orders at A+ Images when your classroom faces order ships!



If there is one pillar of character that I had to say was most important, I would hands down go with KINDNESS. I tell my students  our number one rule is: BE KIND. It is the only way we do it. No {ifs, ands, or buts} Honestly, I pride myself in the kindness community I have created in my classroom because of authors like Maria Dismondy. The amazing author, Maria Dismondy, has written many picture books to teach students how to be the BEST them. By being the BEST them they are kind, thoughtful, trustworthy, special, and thankful.

Maria's latest book The Jelly Donut Difference {I digress- can we give her a high five for always having food titles.. HIGH FIVE.}, is a sweet story of two siblings who spread kindness to their elderly neighbor. The kindness gestures they do bring years of smiles back to Ms. Marvis' heart. As I read the story aloud, I kept smiling because this book teaches students that SIMPLE acts of kindness are valuable no matter the size.

Random  acts of kindness never stop traveling. - Ramona Recommends 

I highly recommend this book to on your classroom bookshelf to teach and encourage kindness all around your school and classroom. Here is a great Reader's Workshop Guide written by Emily Yost author behind Third in Hollywood. It's for you!!

Hopefully you use picture books to spread kindness around in your classroom! I can must say this book should be on your list!!!  #justsayin'(Amazon affiliate link used)
Cherished family memories are top on my list of picture perfect moments. When I was little, I would sit in front of the TV for hours watching old family movies (yes VHS style) and relive my favorite parts of childhood. There was never enough footage of all of 3 of us girls coming downstairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa has left for us. #everyyearuntiliwasinhighschool 

I want to share with you today a very special children's book that I believe has a beautiful message! 
Quickly The Magic Spatula written by Jeryl Abelmann and Miriam Kronish shares a well written series filled with magic moments of cherished family memories.

Before I continue, I want to let you in on a little secret. The author of this touching series use to be MY fifth grade math teacher. Yes, 21 years ago I was sitting in Mrs. Abelmann's math class with my butterfly covered math book learning how to do long division. I have not talked to Mrs. Abelmann since 1995, until about 2 months ago when we reconnected through my sister who happened to have a business meeting with her son. Yes, I know it just keeps getting better. Long story short, my sister (Beezus) shared with Mrs. A's son that I was now a fifth grade teacher who is the author behind Ramona Recommends. Of course I had to reach out and share my love of books. Guess what! She retired from teaching fifth grade and became a children's book author. #swoon #alwaysdream

 Now back to my regular scheduled post about Quickly!

Quickly the Magic Spatula is a wonderful story about 2 siblings who find Quickly the Magic Spatula one day in their old attic. Quickly isn't just a boring silver spatula he is filled with cherished memories and years of pancake batter splotches. You see, Quickly used to be a regular spatula in the kitchen, but as the years passed Quickly became the symbol of Sunday morning pancakes, happy times with mommy, and filled tummies. 

I highly recommend this book and all the books in the Quickly series because they symbolize what really matters in life-creating memories to bring a smile to your face. Who knew a little spatula would hold an ever lasting imprint of pure joy for Jeff and his sister.

In Quickly's second book, Quickly's Magical Pancake Adventure, he takes adventures all over the world to learn how to make different pancakes. He traveled from England to Spatula Camp. This is a two for one in my eyes! Partially narrative and partially informational. He was a busy spatula flipping silver dollars to children everywhere. In the back of the book, there are TWENTY FIVE different pancake recipes to try with your students. What a fun lesson that would be! Learn about geography AND pancakes. #yesplease

Quickly has been busy! He just returned from a Safari in Africa to meet some new friends he made at Spatula Camp. In this highly awarded picture book, Quickly teaches all about Africa through the alphabet. He even made a coloring book to go with his latest pancake frenzy. One of my favorite parts in this book, is the authors use the word HUMDINGER! #lovethatword. This would a great mentor text for fifth grades to see how you can turn a picture book into an informational writing piece. 

 Hope you enjoy sharing QUICKLY in your classroom!

*Amazon Affiliate Links Were Used in this Post.
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