Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Camping Classroom

Teacher week Wednesday is all about your classroom. Since I wrote a post about my classroom a few days ago, I'll just add the link in this post! I'm not finished with the room quite yet even though this is the second full week of school. Also, I have to add more pictures of an awesome addition to our classroom library. STAY TUNED!!

Thanks Ya'll for reading! Check out my 1st grade camp out!
Link up with Blog Hoppin' to share your classroom pics!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Teacher Talk Tuesday- Top ten things newbie teachers should know. The first year is always survival mode but trust me, it gets way better after that!

10. Establish classroom procedures the 1st day of school. If you teach little ones, like me, stretch those out between the first couple of days but PRACTICE those explicitly EVERY DAY for several weeks. They will catch on!

9. Be organized- I'm still working on this one :)

8. COMMUNICATION is KEY! Communicate with your teammates, staff, parents, other students in the building, etc. I use email communication a lot with my parents and notes for the most part.

7. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If I wouldn't have had my awesome 1st grade team my first year, I wouldn't be where I am today. I still need them and we work awesome as a team but being hired to teach for the first time 1 day before school started was completely overwhelming and they helped me out so much! This is not only about asking for help with co-workers, ask parents to volunteer as well!

6.  Make to-do lists! Prioritize what is important and what needs to get done first!

5. Be a life long learner- read new books that will improve your teaching, go to professional development, check out all these amazing teaching blogs, etc.

4. Smile to everyone you see in the school! Smiling in contagious!

3. Be flexible! Things will not go as planned and you have to just go with the flow. If you don't get something done on your lesson plans that day, carry it over to the next day.

2. Have fun and stay positive!

1. Most importantly, take care of yourself and your family. We can get caught up in school work that we forget what is most important. If we don't take time for ourselves to recharge, burn out and sickness will occur.

Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to play along!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teacher week-Monday

Meet the Teacher Monday
Tell us a little something about you...
Hi, I'm Tiffany! A 24 year old wife and teacher...I'm married to the most wonderful man ever!  We have been married for a little over a 2 years. This is my third year of teaching and I've only taught 1st grade. I live in the Nashville area and LOVE the south! I'm originally from WV and I have two younger brothers. I graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio. I am a huge WVU football fan! Go Mountaineers! My husband is a Buckeye fan....but we won't hold that against him! :) I love to take pictures! I got a Canon Rebel xsi DSLR camera this summer for my birthday/anniversary and I love to go around towns and find architectural letters made from the buildings. I hope to share my work, maybe open up shop when I get a chance to learn how to edit pictures. I love to read, exercise (run/walk, zumba, xbox kinect games, etc) I'm training for my 4th half marathon! I love Jesus, spending time with my family, making new recipes, hanging out with friends and cinnamon dolce lattes :)

How long have you been teaching?

This is my third year teaching.  I have taught 1st grade for all three years.  I *love* first grade.  I had taught the ESL (English as a second language) kiddos last year and am teaching them again this year! I LOVE IT! Firsties are so silly and cute. There is never a dull moment! Seriously, I just love them! 

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

I'm most looking forward to seeing the growth in all my kiddos. Especially the sweet kiddo that came from Russia that speaks no English! I'm so excited to see this child learn English and see their growth! I'm also looking forward to seeing how the "Bucket Filling" Strategy works in my classroom!

What do you need to improve?

I would like to work on a few things.  First of all, I want to manage my time better before and after school so I don't wind up in my classroom late or on the weekends.

 Secondly, I want to accomplish learning and teaching our new Envision math curriculum with success!

Lastly, I want to be more organized and make sure I don't ignore cut short my writing time.

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without? 
My Promethean board! I couldn't live without that amazing piece of technology! 

Smelly stickers! I love them and the kids love them! I want to get some smelly markers and flair pens!

I love big chart paper.

Sharpies! Lots of colorful sharpies

Books, books, and more books!  It's another crazy addiction!

Hop on over to join the party!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love Wednesdays and Pinterest!

I'm linking up with Jamie for WILW and Michelle with Oh, How Pinteresting today.

I'm loving my job..there I said it...yes, I'm tired and I'm stressed but it's the day to day love from these sweet little first graders that I absolutely love!

I'm also loving my camping classroom decor and the kids love it too!

I'm loving staying motivated on exercising almost every day, keeping to my training plan. I need to get faster and build my endurance but I am making sure I do my strength training and cross training. I just hope I can see some weight loss results in the next couple weeks so I don't get too discouraged.

I'm loving my sweet husband, friends and family!

I'm going to feature my Style pin board this week!
I love this outfit!
and this one!
I would love to try to make this some day!
I really want a pair of cowgirl boots!
Hope Ya'll have a great rest of the week! 
You can find more of my pins here:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Locks of LOVE

Two weekends ago, I finally decided it was time to donate to locks of love. My hair was getting out of control and I really wanted the weight off. My friend Heather had been growing her hair out as well, so we went together to get our hair cut! On to the pictures:

I really am loving my hair cut! I also weighed myself the morning afterwards and I had lost 2 pounds from getting my hair cut!!! On to Heather's donation:

I really need to get my ponytail out in the mail. I haven't had the time to print off the form from school but I hope to get it donated this week! I'm so excited I got to experience donating to Locks of Love!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'M BACK.....and Classroom Pictures!

Ya'll, I've never been so tired....this week has been absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y!!!! I was at school on Wednesday from 7:30 am-10:00 pm getting ready for kiddies to come the next day. I think I'm going to have a great class this year! I have an amazing challenge this year though. I have a little boy whose family came over from Russia. He doesn't speak any English. I have been the OVER THE TOP teacher the past few days because I have to use a lot of hand motions and guess what he's trying to tell me. He is going to learn so fast and I can't wait to see that take place. He is PRECIOUS! Being the "over the top" teacher and even just going back to teaching from summer break is exhausting at first. When you are a teacher you have to be "on", excited about everything and expressive. When you have a child who doesn't speak English you have to be "BEYOND ON." I wouldn't trade it for the world, though!

Now, for what you've all be waiting for......(NOTE: Picture OVER LOAD ahead)
 Check out TBA (Teaching Blog Addict) to link up with your classroom pictures as well!

Welcome to Mrs. Clark's 1st grade Camp out!
 I painted this cabin for outside my classroom to display work. "Clark's Campers"
 I printed off little windows, laminated them and wrote each child's name on them. I hot glued them to a clothes pin and hot glued that to the cabin.
 The chimney stones are made to look 3D. I hot glued 3 sides, stuck it on the paper and stuffed wadded up paper inside and glued the rest down. For the smoke out of the top- cotton balls on card stock.
 My door isn't quite finished. I want to find some rugged wood and make a sign to hang on my door. I also want to make the planks look like real wood.
 When you first walk in my classroom!
 My red and white checked curtains made by my teacher friend's wonderful mother in law! I also made that boat out of our grill box!
 Classroom library-carpet/easel
 Teacher desk/computer desk
 Promethean board and white board. (All the boxes were there to sort school supplies on the first day)
 Computers and reading posters (back wall isn't finished)
 decor above my cabinets. Writing display on the far left (the tops of the cabinets aren't finished either)
 My A.R. board "Give me S'more A.R." the roasting stick is for still reading, first graham is 25%, chocolate is 50%, marshmallow is 75% and the top graham is 100%
 campfire (not finished) and tent that I made!
 "Fishing for Sight Words" word wall
 name tags I bought off of TpT
 Fishing for Fancy Words (for my vocabulary words each week)

 Mrs. Clark (ME) on the first day of school. The start of my 3rd year of teaching!

Hope ya'll enjoyed those pics! Let me know if you have any more suggestions for decorations or anything! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Dear wonderful ladies and my father in law (who is so sweet and checks my blog everyday!!!),

I'm taking a week long (well maybe just until Monday) hiatus. Can't be long on here because school is calling my name. I was there from 7:40 AM-8:15 PM yesterday (meetings, decorating, and meet the teacher night). I have so much left to do before kiddos come TOMORROW.....YIKES! So long, farewell (just until Monday)...hope I make it out alive again...what am I talking about, of course I'll make it out alive. I might have dark circles under my eyes but I'll be alive.  Thanks for the love :)

P.S. MY ROOM IS GOING TO BE SCHWEETTTTT! Can't wait to share pictures (I'm even excited to go in my room everyday.)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last day of Freedom

Hey Ya'll! Today was sadly my last day of summer vacation. Back to the grind tomorrow. A day full of teacher meetings and such. At least our PTO is providing lunch! I have lots of updates/recaps to come this week: Paul McCartney concert, running, classroom set up, LOCKS OF LOVE, and some yummy recipes!

I've been working in my classroom for the past couple days and had a bad fight with the hot glue gun....the hot glue gun won unfortunately :( blistered finger and 2 white scar places right above my knee. Not Fun AT ALL.

Lastly, I get to meet the little boy and his family from the Heaven is For Real book tomorrow night (Monday August 8th) at Lifeway christian book store in Cool Springs. If I have any middle TN blogger followers, the meet and greet starts at 4.
Hope Ya'll had a great weekend and a great start to your Monday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Recipes

Happy Friday, Ya'll! This is my last Friday before school starts and I hope I don't fall off the wagon on these posts since I've been trying to do better this summer. You teachers know how hectic and busy the first couple weeks of school if I'm MIA for awhile, you know where I'll my classroom of course.

I'm so excited to post this week's recipes. I only have two for you, but they are so yummy. The reason I'm so excited is because I got to make them with a super sweet former Firstie of mine! Her and her mom told me at the end of school that we should have a baking day this summer. Well we made sure that happened! I'm definitely going to miss this sweet girl but she is off to second grade and promised that she would come visit me in the mornings before heading upstairs!
My little assistant baker!

We made S'mores sandwich bar cookies and auntie ann's pretzels!
First up:

S'mores sandwich bar cookies


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups (8-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Mini Milk Chocolate Bars OR 5 HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars (1.55 oz. each)
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows


1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

2. Beat butter and sugar until well blended in large bowl. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press half of dough in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle mini chocolate bars over baked layer or arrange unwrapped chocolate bars over baked layer, breaking as needed to fit. Sprinkle with marshmallows; scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallows, forming top layer. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or just until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. 16 bars.

Next up:
Homemade Auntie Ann's Pretzels
Homemade Auntie Annes Pretzels
Adapted From Korean American Mommy
Makes: 10-12 large pretzels
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour and 20 minutes for rising
Cook Time: 10 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

Baking Soda Bath
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

4 tablespoons butter, melted
rock salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons water


To prepare your dough, combine 1 1/2 cups of warm water and yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a spoon, gently stir until your yeast dissolves. Then add your brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add your all purpose flour and bread flour and using the paddle attachment, mix on low for about 10 seconds until combined.  Switch your attachment to the dough hook and mix on high for 5 minutes to knead your dough.  If you don't have an electric mixer, you can knead by hand. Lightly grease a large pot by brushing the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil.  Place your ball of dough in the center of your pot, cover it, and let it sit for 1 hour in a warm space to rise.  I keep my oven at 350 degrees and place the pot on top of the stove. 

Immediately after making your dough, prepare your baking soda bath in a large mixing bowl by combining 2 cups of warm water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir until dissolved and continue to stir regularly while the dough is rising. 

Once your dough is finished rising and has doubled in size. Put your ball of dough on a pastry mat and remove a section about 3/4 cup in size.  You can break off as large or as small of a piece as you like depending on the pretzel size you want to make. Roll your section of dough into a long 1/2 inch thick string of dough.  The length will vary depending on how big you want your pretzel, but the thickness should be no bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter. When rolling the dough, I found it helpful not flouring my work surface and lightly wetting my hands with water (not soaking wet).  To get the right shape, roll the dough up and down with your hands, all the while pushing from the center out to get a long and narrow string of dough.  That's what worked for me, but you'll find a good rhythm of your own too I'm sure! 

Once you have your long string of dough, bring one end to the center,  letting it hang slightly over the edge. Then bring your other end over and weave it underneath the first loop to get a pretty knot. Then dip your pretzel into the baking soda bath water, making sure to hold its shape in place. Place it on a well greased cookie sheet, making sure to put them about 1 1/2 inches in between each other. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and let your pretzels sit for 15-20 minutes before baking to allow for a second rise.  Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Meanwhile, prepare your dipping ingredients.  Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter. Then mix your sugar and cinnamon together if you're making cinnamon sugar pretzels. To make an icing glaze to dip your cinnamon sugar pretzels in, combine your powdered sugar and water together in a bowl. Mix until combined and set aside for dipping. When your pretzels are cool enough to handle, generously brush them all over with your melted butter. Then dip in your cinnamon sugar mixture until coated or sprinkle with sea salt. Serve your traditional pretzels with a side of mustard for dipping or serve your cinnamon sugar pretzels with icing.

It took a long time and we all thought that we wouldn't make them again, but they were SOOO GOOD!

Hope everyone has an AWESOME FRIDAY!