I'm out of the tournament!

Not only is my #marchbloggermatchup bracket dunzo....so are my brackets at school and against Jason!

Every year, Jason and I go head to head during March Madness and the loser buys the winner dinner at our fanciest restaurant in town. This year we decided to change it up, and the loser buys the winner a spa day! I've won the past 2 years...and it's not looking good for me! :(

Anyways! Since my team I was matched up in the Blogger Match Up, Maryland, lost, I'm sending Laura at A Grace Filled Classroom my Color by Product bundle!

I'm also giving it away to one of you lucky followers, plus a $10 TpT gift certificate! I'm running the giveaway through Sunday night...GOOD LUCK!

March Madness! Teacher Blogger Style!

Do you love March Madness? My blogger friend Ashlyn from The Creative Classroom set up this awesome competition to celebrate March Madness.

It's simple, you sit back and watch our teams win and lose - and when we lose, YOU WIN! When a team loses in each round that teacher will be giving away a $5 product from their TeachersPayTeachers store.

Now for the bracket...

Hmm...sounds like we're rooting for Maryland to win! Even though I'm pulling for my Alma Mater: UNI (northern Iowa) to go all the away, although I don't have them going past the Elite 8 in my other brackets... (trying to be realistic)

BTW...UNI is best know for their huge upset game against Kansas (was was a 1 seed) in 2010! I LOVE UPSETS!

Image result for maryland basketball

Either way, go Terrapins!

Want to Know Who Else is Playing? And Who Is Already Out?
Very Perry Classroom cheering on Arizona
First Grade Buddies cheering on Iowa
Miss Case's Classroom cheering on Georgetown
A Grace-Filled Classroom cheering on West Virginia
The Class Couple cheering on Xavier
More Time 2 Teach cheering on Georgia State
Owl-ways Learning cheering on UCLA
Second Grade Stories cheering on Indiana
Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten cheering on Coastal Car.
Miss Johnston's Journey cheering on Maryland
The Creative Classroom cheering on San Diego State
Lessons with Coffee cheering on Arkansas
The Kinder Garden cheering on Notre Dame
Exploring Elementary cheering on NC State
Inspired Owl's Corner cheering on Oregon
Learning in the Little Apple cheering on Michigan State
NC Teacher Chick cheering on Utah State
Sara J Creations cheering on Oklahoma State
ELA Everyday cheering on Duke
Rock & Teach cheering on Albany
Create Teach Share cheering on North Dakota State
One Happy Teacher cheering on Gonzaga
Sounds Like Fun cheering on Louisville
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie cheering on Cincinnati
Year2tastic cheering on Kansas
One Sassy Teacher cheering on Villanova
Coach and Teach 24/7 cheering on St. John's
The Whole Wheat Class cheering on Oklahoma
Teaching Maddeness cheering on UAB
Its Elementary My Dear cheering on Ohio State
Live Love Serve Teach cheering on Providence
Education Kingdom cheering on North Carolina
A Dab of Glue Will Do cheering on Dayton
Learning to be Awesome cheering on Kentucky
Kovescence on the Mind cheering on Butler
Mrs. D's Corner cheering on Robert Morris
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers cheering on North Iowa (UNI)
Lucky to Be In First cheering on Wisconsin
Fifth in the Middle cheering on Wichita State
Learning with Mrs. Langley cheering on Belmont
A Trendy Teacher cheering on Valparasio
The Neat and Tidy Classroom cheering on UC Irvine
O-H So Blessed! cheering on Virginia
Where the Wild Things Learn cheering on Buffalo
A Kindergarten Life for Me cheering on Georgia
Frampton's Fundamentals cheering on New Mexico State
Sparkling in Second cheering on Wyoming
Hardcore Teacher Resources cheering on LSUTales of Teaching with Tech cheering on Woffard
Third Grade Cupcakes cheering on SMU
A Tall Drink of Water cheering on Baylor
The Blessed Teacher cheering on Lafayette
Mrs. 3rd Grade cheering on VCU
Mixing It Up In The Middle! cheering on Mississippi
Blossoms of Blue in 2 cheering on Northeastern
Technology Timeout cheering on Harvard
Brittany Kiser cheering on Texas
Making Meaning with Melissa cheering on Purdue
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas! cheering on Iowa State
First Grade Roars! cheering on SF Austin
The Learning Chambers cheering on Hampton
Teaching is Sweet cheering on Eastern Washington

Remember, any team that is out of the bracket has a teacher who is giving away a Freebie! Be sure to check out their blog

Math in Room 226: Part I

I've wanted to do this post for the past month, but I needed to get everything in order before I could that.

What I was doing before

I knew what I was doing before wasn't working, but at the same time, I've stretched myself far too thin this school year with wedding planning, blog designing, coaching, teaching before school program, and reading association, that I was too tired to change my direction. But I knew I needed to. I had to tell myself...these kids need you...you have to do it for them.

I teach in southeast Iowa. My district has their state testing the first week of February. So basically, when we got back from winter break, I had 3 weeks to try to expose my class to 8 more topics we had yet to begin in math. I knew right after assessments were done, I needed to change math.

Before, I would always start the topic pre-test. My district uses Pearson EnVision math series, FYI. I would score the pre-tests and see what standards my kids did well with, and which ones were a big problem for them. That guided my lesson framework. My lessons usually consisted of doing a opening video on the textbook website, doing  5 or so questions together, then assigning a page or worksheet. B.O.R.I.N.G. I know... one thing that really held me back was the time. I had to have math from 8:35-10:00, because at 10 my IEP students go to their SPED teacher, and one of them doesn't have a math goal...yet. I also couldn't do any instructing from 9-9:30 because 5 of my kiddos went to Title Math at this time. Do you see my dilemma?! It was awful. Not to mention all of the grading. And missing assignments. Headaches.

I came across this post by my friend Tami from Learning is a Hooot, about her new way to do math centers. I really liked it and wanted to create something similar to use in my classroom.

What I'm Doing Now

I no longer teach whole group for math. Nope, no whole group instruction. I was able to jumpstart my student who will be receiving services in math by having her go across the hall to a co-taught math classroom in the afternoon. So I no longer had to worry about teaching her math, or my other 2 students who received services. I could now do math at 10-10:45 and 11:15-11:40 (my special on TWF is at 10:45-11:15). That meant I could have 70 minutes instructional time for math. Perfect. It's really more like 60 minutes with transitions, but I make it work. On Mondays and Thursdays and I can go a little longer because my special isn't right in the middle of my math block.

You might be asking...how it the world do you not do whole group instruction? That's because I see every single one my kiddos for 20 minutes in a small group (5-7 kiddos) every single day. I have 23 students in my class, but since 3 are in a different classroom for math, I basically have 20 kiddos for math. I'm SUPER lucky! So now, I have 3 groups, that I have grouped by ability. These are flexible groups, and I've already made some adjustments.

My math block has 3 20 minute rotations. Teacher, Centers, Notebooks (interactive notebooks, the ones I use are in my resource list at the end of this post).

This is what my class sees on the Promethean Board.
I start with my low group, then my average, then my high flyers. I do this for a specific reason. My high flyers start out the math block at centers, and a few of them will be doing their assignment. Sometimes the assignment will be over something that I haven't gone over with them yet, but since they're my high kiddos, they're usually capable of doing this on their own. 

My low kiddos go to centers right after they meet with me, because most of them will lose what I just taught them if they waited nearly an hour after (remember, special cuts in between rotation 2 and 3).

My middle kiddos start off with their notebook, then come to me, then finish with centers. 

The centers...I wanted to make sure that I didn't have all kids doing the same thing. I needed them spread out around the room, little arguments, and be completely engaged. Because they only do the center once or twice a week, that means it's keeping things fresh for them, not repetitive. Love that!

The task cards center changes all the time. It can be task cards, self checking problems with QR codes, fact fluency, I change this on a weekly basis to keep it fresh. You don't want them bored!

I have 3 student computers. My students were using IXL, but my trial ran out before my principal bought my license. I found an awesome free website that my kiddos love even more (seriously, I took a poll). They can access it at home, too!

For my math games I have kids use decks of cards to play their math games they have for homework, or use the iPod if we don't have QR codes. I also have puzzles, too. I change the games out to keep things fresh for them.

Then there's the assignment. It stays the same all week long. That means I only have 1 assignment to grade. And, because it's usually over a skill we learned last week, and review every day, they're more likely to do well on it. Sometimes they get it done in the 20 minute block, other times they use their independent work time in the afternoon to finish it up.

I give them 2 days to complete a notebook page. Meaning I only give a new page every other day. I learned after a couple weeks of doing this, they weren't getting them done during the rotation, and didn't work on them in the afternoon. Giving them 2 days to work on it, works much better!

It also cut out a lot of planning. I still use my pre-test results to guide my instruction, but I will change gears in my groups according to how well my kiddos are doing.

How do I know it's working?

Now, you probably want to know how they're doing with mastery, right? Yep, me too. One reason it took me so long to write this post is because I wanted to have pre and post test scores to see how they did with this new structure.

My students' pre test average for meanings of division was 54%. A typical score for pre tests in my classroom. Their post test average was 74%. Three of my students achieved perfect scores, and my 3 lowest pre test scores tripled on the post test.

The kids are loving it to. When I say get out your math station materials, they literally cheer. CHEER!

I love it!

So, leave your comments for me and ask questions! What do you still want to know about? What are you unsure about?

Thanks for hanging in there during this long(er) post! You find a list of my favorite math resources here!

Make sure to leave your questions for me so I know what you'd like answered!

What the Teacher Wore, March Week 1 & 2

Oops! With all the giveaways during my birthday week, I didn't get a chance to post my outfit details. So here's Week one and week two of March for you.

You can follow this board for PinnedItSpinnedIt images! This week is all about green. I may or may not have went shopping to prepare for the week!

Week 1

 Friday- I kinda changed into pjs early, and forgot to take pictures, so I just took a picture of the clothes I wore, hah!
Vest-Stitch Fix
Cardigan- Stitch Fix
Skinnies- Kohl's

 Thursday- It was my birthday, and I love having pajama day on my birthday. I rocked the cookie monster onesie!

Dress- Stitch Fix
Tights- Target
Scarf- Local Boutique
Boots- Target

 Tuesday- Ice day...I was in my pajamas all day!

Shirt- Jason's closet (haha, but it is from Express)
Cardigan- Target
Skirt- Target....pssst, it's actually a maxi I rolled up about 4 times!
Boots- Kohl's
Week 2

Blouse- Kohl's
Burmudas- Not sure
Sandals- Not sure again...ooops

Shirt- Kohl's
Cardigan- Target
Scarf- Local Boutique
carpris- Kohl's

Tank- Target
Cardigan- Alloy
Capris- not sure
sandals- payless

Maxi Dress- I think DEB?
Denim jacket- Kohl's
Scarf- No Idea
Sandals- payless

Skirt- Jameson's closet
Shirt- Scheel's
Cardigan- Target
Scarf- Charming Charlies
Belt-Stitch Fix
Shoes- Target

I will post week 3 next Sunday!

Miss Johnston's 25th Birthday Bonanza: Day 7

Well it's been a wonderful birthday week! I'm so thankful for for the love you've shown me this week! Thank you to my faithful followers and all of the new ones, too.

Tried something out of my comfort zone for your last freebie....kiddo heads!
Remember the giveaways ends tonight at 11:59pm central time. I will be choosing them on Monday evening, and hope to have emails send out to the winners shortly after.

Miss Johnston's 25th Birthday Bonanza: Day 6

Hooray for Saturday!

Today I give you colorful buntings!

Come back tomorrow for your final freebie and don't forget to enter the 8 different giveaways! They end at 11:59pm central time!

Miss Johnston's 25th Birthday Bonanza: Day 5

Day 5 Freebie!

Go grab your party hat!

Make sure to go back and grab all the freebies, and enter the giveaways! You have til Sunday night to enter the giveaways, and Monday night at 11pm central time to grab freebies! Some will be removed, some changed to paid, and some bundled with other products.

Still have 2 more freebies! :)

Miss Johnston's 25th Birthday Bonanza: Day 4

I'm officially halfway to 50 and am a quarter of a century old!

It's my 25th birthday! I've had so much fun creating this freebies for you this week. Since it's my actual birthday, I have 2 freebies for you!

First, some digital papers to match all your other goodies earlier this week!


Enjoy and make sure to enter the giveaway...see ya tomorrow!


Miss Johnston's Birthday Bonanza: Day 3

Day 3 of my week long celebration!

Check here for any days you missed, and make sure you enter Day One's giveaway!
I love me some glitter! Enjoy these balloons!

See you tomorrow...on my 25th birthday! :)

Miss Johnston's Birthday Bonanza: Day 2

It's Day 2 of my week long birthday celebration!

Make sure to go to Day One's post to enter all of the giveaways and see what I gave for Day 1!

Day 2's freebie is adorably delicious! I give you...cupcakes!
This is a "taste of cupcakes" as I have a complete set of 30 cupcakes here.
Enjoy and stop by tomorrow!

Miss Johnston's 25th Birthday Bonanza: Day 1


Don't hate me because I'm only 25...I really hate when people are like "ugh, you're so young!" Yes, I am...but you were, too, don't be sassy with me simply because I was born in 1990! :D

Anyways, I want to celebrate all week long! I have lots of fun freebies to give out each day, so make sure you stop by every day through Sunday to see what it is! I'm talking clipart, frames, papers, and classroom resources!

Oh, and did I mention I have a mega sweet giveaway happening through Sunday thanks to the help of some of my dear friends!
The giveaways end Sunday March 8th, and I will choose winners sometime next week.

You probably want your first freebie, huh?!
I give you glitter! I love glitter.
Here are 5 fun glitter filled frames in pastel colors. Perfect for spring and Easter themed products! :)

All of the freebies from this week will be free through Sunday, March 8th. They will then either be changed to a paid product, bundled with new products, or simply unavailable.

Check back tomorrow for your new freebie!


Currently March

Hard to believe it's March!

Not much on TV right now

My birthday is Thursday and I'm celebrating here on my blog all week long! There's a HUGE giveaway happening, and I'm sharing freebies each day! So make sure to stop by tomorrow for the fun!

I could go for a couple scoops...

I woke up this morning with a huge kink in my back and it's so annoying!

I have meetings all day Tuesday and Wednesday and I have yet to write plans... oops!

I've decided to binge watch Grey's while doing my wedding centerpieces. Big plans, people, big plans!

Go link up with Farley with your currently!

What the Teacher Wore- February week 4

It's time to show off my outfits from last week!

Remember, I follow @aem8168 and @jro1583 on Instagram for the Pins. You can actually follow the board to see the pins bigger. Check out the March board here!
Monday- Polka dot and Blue
Shirt: Target
Cardigan: I Can't Remember
Skirt: Stitch Fix
Boots: Kohl's
Scarf: Local Boutique

Tuesday-Teal Yellow Polka
Tank- Forever 21
Sweater: Kohl's
Scarf: One of those mall kiosks, HAH!
Skirt: Forever 21
Tights: Target

Wednesday: Lace and Gray
Lace Sweatshirt: Kohl's
Sweatshirt Blazer: Forever 21
Skinny Jeans: Kohl's
Boots: Kohl's
Pearls: wedding gift from my brother and sister-in-law! Which by the way...are expecting their first child in August! YAY AUNT LINDSEY!

Thursday- Late Start, No Pinned It Spinned It
Sweater: Stitch Fix
Shirt: Stitch Fix
Pants: Kohl's

Friday- Coral Gray Dots
Blouse- New from Target!
Scarf: Kohl's
Cardigan: Target
Denim Trouser: Kohl's
Socks: Target

I hope you've enjoyed my looks from last week! Make sure you stop by EVERY DAY next week to help celebrate my 25th birthday! A huuuuuge giveaway and freebies for you everyday!

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