Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wild Ideas!

Wild Ideas!

As the school year comes to a close, I am full of ideas for next year's classroom!
I am moving to a new classroom, so I have the chance to start over with decorating.  Here's my list of wild ideas!

1.  I am going to paint my classroom teal (or aqua or a pretty color of blue).
Kind of like the  color of this bedroom wall:

2.  I want to line my walls with black and have black and teal bulletin boards.  Like these:

3.  Then I want to make no-sew roman shades for my windows!  I watched some Youtube tutorials, and I totally think I can do it.  I am thinking of using this fabric:

or this one:

and then attaching teal ribbon to tie a bow with:

Sfs Turq 5/8In X18', , hi-res

4.  I am going to line my classroom walls with black border.  I did this in my old classroom and it really made it look sharp!

5.  I already have black bookshelves.  I think I will touch them up with black paint.

6.  Then, I want to find this rug and buy it!

7.  Finally, I want to find black or teal crates and zip tie them to make shelves!

I am hoping to find them in black.  I am also hoping they are cheap!  I think this will help my 6th graders-give them a spot to put their binders!

Well- that's as far as my ideas and thoughts have gone.  My chairs are already black- so that will be fit perfectly!

Do you have any ideas for me?  Or do you think this is a horrible idea that will back fire?

I am hoping I don't go broke trying to do this!  Where can you buy cheap black crates?  I haven't been able to find any so far.

Follow my blog as I re-create my classroom!  I am planning on taking before, during, and after pictures.  I really hope I can finish this room- makeover by August!

:)  Nala  Bella

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

5 DAYS left...

There are 5 days left of school.

I think the way I feel is best described by this lovely picture:

I've had these days! Teacher humor. One kid puked, another went nuts and then the power went out and we couldn't use the bathrooms. Lol

My class has completely lost it!!!

Why the End of the School Year is Like an Episode of "Survivor" #weareteachers

They have been struggling lately with behavior.  A few even admitted it and told me that they had been keeping it together all year, and now they were about to lose it.  BUT that was yesterday.

Well- today they lost it!  TWO kids were suspended during recess for two different fights!  AAAHHHH!!!!!

Which doesn't sound like too big of a deal.  Except that of course they had to do it during lunch recess.  Which of course is when I eat lunch.  And use the bathroom.  And make appointments.  And plan and make copies and and and....

So today I was stuck in the office dealing with the two fights.  Grrr.....  So I didn't even get to pee!

WeAreTeachers — 10 Signs You Know It's Testing Day

After recess, I put the smack down!  Talk about strict.  I felt like an old lady witch!  No talking, no getting out of your seat, blah, blah, blah.... DO YOUR WORK!  SSSSHHHHHH!!!

Oh, Bob. The eternal optimist who taught us all how to paint!  #teacherlife

It's days like today that.... well... sigh.  Make me wonder if it's all really worth it???

This will be me in 5 days:

Teacher summer humor


How do you survive the CHAOTIC last few days???  Leave your tips below!

Here's an activity we do the last two days of school- check it out at my TPT store!  It's FREE this week only!  :)

Nala Bella

Sunday, May 17, 2015

TPT Freebie! End of year activity: Beach Ball!

Last week of school freebie!

For this week only, I am offering a freebie!

I created this last year as an end of year activity.  I always struggle with the last few days of school.  The kids know report cards are done and I still need to keep the kids on task and working.  So, I came up with this Beach Ball idea!

The kids had so much fun with this activity!  I gave them one side at a time, so they were super excited to find out what the next activity was.

Also, we had a beach party on the last day of school.  Kids brought beach towels to sit on, sunglasses and hats to wear, and we had a water fight!

We turned our classroom into a "beach."

Then, on the last day of school, we had a water fight!
We filled baby pools with water and the kids brought in big sponges.  They threw the sponges at each other.  It was entertaining!  I was drenched too, of course!

We spent time outside signing autographs and working on our beach ball activities. 

I did this with my 5th graders; but you could modify this for any grade.  I plan on doing it with my 6th graders next year.

The End of Year Beach Ball Activity consists of 12 activities for your students to do. Each one is a side of a ball. When assembled, all 12 sides make a "beach ball." You should fold each side up on the pentagon lines, then staple together. 

If you aren't sure how to put it together, search Youtube using the search term: "bloom ball." 
I created this as a last day of school activity. 

There is a side for each subject. Here is what I was thinking:

 1. Bucket List: This is a list of 10 things you want to do this summer. 
2. Surfing Summary- you could do anything with this one. I'm going to find an article that is beach related and have them read it and summarize it.
 3. Catch the Reading Wave they interview their friends and make a list of 5 books they want to read this summer. 
4. Flip Flop Fun-On this side they list their favorite things about 5th grade. 
5. Volleying for Verbs-They list their favorite verbs on this side. You could even do a mini-lesson on word choice. 
6. Sunny Stories-on this side they list all the books they have read in class this year. 
7. Chilling at the Beach-they define 10 beach related words. 
8. The Magic School Bus Goes to Mussel Beach-This video is about 28 minutes long. They will watch it and then answer the 4 questions. I found this video on discovery streaming. 
9. Multiplying Beach Bugs-They will write a story problem using beach related ideas and solve it. 
10. Dividing Coconuts-They will write a division story proble m and solve it. They use beach themed words and ideas. 
11. Sinking Cinquain-They will write a cinquain poem. It could be about whatever you want. I am going to have them write one about the beach. 
12. Class autograph page-it's exactly what it says. Students who finish all 12 sides will get to do something fun at the end of the day. I am going to have them have a water fight. My class parents are bringing in baby pools and sponges. They can throw the sponges at each other. Also, kids are bringing their beach towels, sunglasses, and other beach supplies. We are going to have a picnic lunch outside and they can sit on their towels.

If you like it, follow me on Teachers Paying Teachers!  Oh- and follow my blog.  :)  

Click on the link to go to the next stop on the blog hop and put the link of whomever is after you on the list

As a teacher starting out in the blogging or Teachers Pay Teachers, and social media world you are constantly watching your followers and hoping they grow! Every one is a celebration! You celebrate each little milestone. That is what we are going to do here this week with a blog hop full of freebies and giveaways! My Teachers Pay Teachers store has reached a mini milestone of 100 followers!!!! And my FB page is right there too! So I decided to create a new freebie to share but what's better than ONE freebie?  ELEVEN freebies and giveaways too!

Ten other wonderful TPT sellers/bloggers have generously agreed to blog hop with me and offer up a freebie and in some cases a giveaway as well!

The way this works is you will hop from blog to blog to get each freebie! You can also click the raffle copter on ANY blog. Of course we would also love it if you would comment, share and leave us feedback! We are hoping this will grow us as bloggers and give you a chance to get to know us!

Here is a complete list of blogs participating in case you get lost!

1. The Krafty Teacher - start here to go in order
2. Carol's Garden - Comment for Giveaway
9. Rosie's Resources Comment for Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Morning Thrive Routine

My Morning Thrive Routine

So I have been getting tons of questions about Thrive!  What is it?  How does it work?
Click here for my video: THRIVE.  Or, read below for more information.  :)

All About the Thrive Shake  Thrive Shake Recipes What's in Thrive

I am going to try to answer some of those questions.
But first, here is my morning Thrive routine!

First, I wake up.  And yes, I look like a monkey when I am that sleepy!  Yikes!

Orphaned baby orangutans safe to sleep in peace

Then I go downstairs and I take the Women's packet of pills- it's just two.

I started my Le-Vel Thrive 8-Week Experience in July of 2013 as a promoter. I signed up as a Le-Vel Independent Brand Promoter at the urging of my ex sister-in-law, Connie. She was actually...

Then I go back upstairs and shower and get ready.  After that, I make my morning nutrition shake.  I like to add fruit and almond milk!  It is sooooo yummy.  The best part is, it doesn't irritate my stomach!  I have issues with milk and this doesn't make me gassy or anything.

Raspberry Cheesecake Smoothie using the le-vel thrive shake mix! On my way to lose those 25 lbs! Purchase the shake mix here:

After I drink my shake, I put on my patch.  You can put your patch on anytime you want, but I am just in the routine of doing it after my morning shake.

New pink and purple DFT!!  So excited:)  Go to

They have all these fun colors!  The patch delivers vitamins to your body all day long.  You can put it wherever you want.  I like to keep mine on my back; but I know people who like to show theirs off and they wear it on their arm.

I will be ordering an extra package of Pink Camo DFT patches to GIVEAWAY to ONE of my FEBRUARY CUSTOMERS! Purchase your $150 order and you will be entered in to WIN!  $50 value and not available to purchase as a customer! You LOVE Thrive and now it's time to place those orders!! Contact me today with any questions or for more info!

So, what has Thrive done for me?  Here's just a few things:

1.  The biggest one is my knees.  My knees pop, ache, and swell.  Since starting Thrive, that has almost completely gone away!  My knees feel amazing.  That is my whole reason for taking Thrive.

2.  Energy.  I am a teacher and on the go 24-7.  This stuff powers me through my day!  I used to drink coffee and at least one Monster energy drink everyday.  Now I just take Thrive.  I don't even crave coffee or Monster energy!  It's weird.

3.  Weightloss.  I think I have lost weight just because I feel so much better!  I don't crave the junk I used to crave.  I don't even crave a glass of wine at night!  I just feel... healthy.

4.  My immune system is kicking butt!  Being a teacher, I am always catching whatever cold is going around.  I haven't been sick since starting Thrive- which was last November!

There are more benefits... but you need to do it for yourself.  Humans aren't getting enough nutrition and Thrive helps make up for that!

Thrive Life is for YOU!

Drumroll please.... the best part is you can get it for FREE!  If you sign up, then  you get 2 more people to sign up, your Thrive is free!  

Stop feeling sick and tired! Thrive is like nothing out there! It's all natural, plant-based and gluten free. You take 2 capsules as soon as you wake up, drink a shake 20-30 minutes later and slap on your DFT patch. And then you're ready for you day! Don't wait to feel better later, make the change today!

So here's the link:

ENERGY!  Try it!  It's awesome!!!  Great way to start your summer!  

Nala Bella

Comment below with any questions!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

End of Year.... PANIC!!!


There are only 9 more days of school!

5 Ways To Survive A Panic Attack

Why am I freaking out????  Simple.  REPORT CARDS ARE DUE WEDNESDAY.

And guess what... I haven't even started!

This is me right now:
The Hands-On Teacher: Report Card Comments....Made EASY!

When am I going to do them?  I am spending every waking moment teaching kids, working with kids, meeting with parents, meeting with teachers, making next year's class lists, etc....  It goes on and on!

how I get it all done

Ha ha, but no seriously.  How will I get report cards done???  Help me out, people!  I only have until Wednesday.  How do you get report cards done?  How do you get it all done?  COMMENT BELOW please!  This girl needs advice!  ASAP!!!

If ONE more person gives me advice or tells me they have "a little arthritis".  Rheumatoid Arthritis

So help me out below!  Before I start crying over these dang report cards...   :)

Nala Bella

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ain't Nobody Got Time For THAT!

Ain't nobody got time for that...

That lady just cracks me up!  But, she is explaining teacher's thoughts exactly!

Who has time to set up a Math Workshop with all those ever-changing centers?  Nobody!

Ha ha...  well I have some ideas for you that might just work!

1.  Keep all math centers neatly organized in ONE convenient location.  Below you can see the baskets and tubs that I use to store materials that are just for math centers.  All of the different types of flash cards are stored in one tub.  I also have several versions of math bingo that I keep in a basket.  I make it a point to keep these centers neatly stored- so I don't have to re-create them when I need them!

2.  Use your time wisely.  I am always asking myself, what can I do right now that my future self will thank me for?  So, here's a tip: I always change the math cards at the hands on center during the 3 minutes the students spend doing their warm up math problem.  I keep the cards in a plastic page protector that sticks to my cabinet.  Inside the cabinet, I keep the box of cards.  The box is right where I need it!  Here's the cabinet:

3.  Stay organized.  Not just with supplies, but with your routines!  If the kids have the same structure everyday, then you will spend less time explaining what to do, and less time dealing with behavior problems.  My structure is the same EVERYDAY.  Here is mine;

  1. 10:45-10:50: Warm up problem (Anytime problem from the book) and they eat their snack.
  2. 10:50-10:55:  Students put away snack and move to their spot on the floor.  I go over the learning target and give directions for centers.
  3. 10:55-11:00: Students go back to their seat and we do a quick mini-lesson.
  4. 11:00: Centers begin.  Each rotation is 10 minutes.  I ding a bell and they clean up and rotate.
  5. 11:40: Students return to their desk and do a clicker quiz (using Smartboard software).
  6. 11:43: Students take their finished clicker quiz to their floor spot.  I go over the problem and we close our lesson at 11:45.
My class is so used to this structure, that I don't even have to tell them what to do next!  It's like auto pilot.

Here's the rotations:

Read the other posts in my blog to learn more about each center.  :)

I hope some of my tips help you!  Because... Ain't nobody got time for all that planning!  

Nala Bella

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Math Workshop: At your seat

Math Workshop

At your seat....

During Math Workshop, Students have seatwork to do by themselves.  This is the A in MATH.  At your seat.

The way I have it set up, 3 out of 4 groups meet with me for Teacher group before seatwork.  So, I can get them started on their assignment and make sure they can do it independently.  I can also modify their work.

The one group that does not see me before seatwork is my high group.  They try their seatwork on their own, and meet with me after.

This give them a challenge!  It also allows me to clarify or re-teach.  Usually their assignment is finished when they come to me, so we will start by grading it.  That gives me a quick idea of what problems they struggled with.

Quick and easy!

I explain the seatwork during my mini lesson at the beginning of class.  It's usually the worksheet pages from Math Expressions that match the lesson.

Well- that explains the AT YOUR SEAT center.  :)

Up next... How do I manage all these centers?  How do I find the time?  I will explain my shortcuts to getting it all done without staying after school.

Nala Bella

Monday, May 11, 2015

Math Workshop: The Hands On Center

M is for math facts
A is for at your seat
T is for teacher group
H is for......
                       Hands On!

I list what they should be doing at each center on our Learning Target board.

Today I am going to explain the Hands On center.

During hands on, students have two choices: Soar to Success or the cards.

I have a schedule for Soar to Success.  Soar to Success is a web based computer program that came with Math Expressions.  The teacher assigns certain skills, and the students work through the lesson on the computer.

The cards are also from Soar to Success.  There is a card for each lesson and they are differentiated for each group.

Here you can see how I used page protectors to hang the cards and computer schedules.  I try to match the color of paper to the color of group.  It makes it easier for the kids to find which one is theirs.

The cards are neat because they align with the lesson.  The pink square group usually has a task to extend their thinking.  The triangle groups usually have a task that is just practice.  The orange circle group has a task that reinforces their background knowledge.  For example, if the skill is measurement, they usually have to get out rulers or meter sticks and explore that measurement.

The cards are almost always created for a group of kids or partners.  Sometimes it's a game that they play, and sometimes they create problems for each other and solve them.  The cards have good directions and the kids do this center without a teacher.  Although I do check on them to make sure they are on task.

So, that is the HANDS-ON center.  :)   If you have any questions, please comment below!  Follow my blog- I'm posting more about how I manage Math Workshop everyday.  I'm even going to reveal how I find the time to set up all these centers!  It's easier than you think....  :)

Nala Bella

Are you THRIVING?  Click here to learn more about THRIVE.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

M is for MATH FACTS!

M is for Math Facts!

One huge frustration when teaching math is, THE KIDS DON'T KNOW THEIR BASIC FACTS!

So, as part of my 5th grade math workshop model, I have a rotation every day for math facts.

The students follow this order for rotations:
Math Rotations order
I pre and post test using Math Expressions online software, Math Central.  The students are in groups according to their needs.  The groups are flexible and change with each unit.

Back to Math Facts!  When it is time for math facts, they go to the math facts station.  Which is just a basket that says math facts.  It's right underneath my learning target board, where we have our big carpet meeting space:

As you can see, I list what they are doing at each center on my learning target board.  They know they can check this at any time during math if they forget what to do.  They hardly ever have to check it- each station is self explanatory and has become a habit for them.
The Math Facts Basket
I need to re-write Math Facts, it's coming off.  Must be the end of the year!  LOL.

They look in the math facts basket for materials and directions.  I have several different games, and I keep them organized on metal shelves.

Here's some ideas of what they do at the math facts station:

1.  Multiplication and Division flash cards.  Yes, even in 5th and 6th grade, we take time and just do basic practice.  I try to only do these as needed.  More often in the beginning of the year, and less often later in the year.

2.  Timed math facts tests- using Smart Clickers.  Here's a Youtube video from my classroom showing how GREAT this works!  

3.  Flashcards reviewing what has already been taught.  For example, order of operations.  When practicing the order of operations, students are also practicing computation and math facts!  I write the problem on one side, and the answer on the back.  One kid is the "teacher" and the other kids all have dry erase boards.  They solve the problem and share.

4.  Multiplication Bingo and Division Bingo

5.  Our current unit is measurement.  So, I made flash cards practicing how many grams are in a milligram, how many quarts in a gallon, etc.  This really helps with the other work they are doing.

6.  Decimal place value cards.

7.  Sometimes, toward the end of a unit, I actually write the test questions on flashcards.  Then they practice solving them.  It's a great way to study for the test, and it keeps them on their toes because they want to know what's on the test.  :)  They usually don't figure this out until they take the test.  The kids who worked hard at the math facts station are rewarded with a better grade.

Well... that's pretty much it for math facts.  My next post will be about the hands on center.  It's super easy and I have tried many different ways to do it.  I think I finally have it working smoothly- so follow my blog so you don't make my same mistakes!

As I think of things, I just add them to my collection.  Do you have any fun math facts games?  Any ideas?  List them below in the comments section!

Happy Teaching! 

:) Nala Bella

Do you need energy?  Immune system boost?  My secret to surviving: THRIVE

Here's the link to my class webpage: CLICK HERE!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Math Workshop

Today I am writing about Math Workshop.

This year was the first year I implemented a Math Workshop model.  I thought I would hate it; but as it turns out, I love it!

Let me explain how it works.

Our math block is one hour long.  So, we start with a 5 minute problem.  I use the Anytime problems from Math Expressions.  I put it up on the Smartboard and the kids solve it.  Then we share.

After that, we meet on our carpet area.  We go over the learning target and what they should be doing at each math rotation.  Then they go to their seats for a quick mini- lesson.  After that, are the rotations.  The rotations are 10 minutes long.  They go like this;

M- Math Facts
A- At Your Seat
T- Teacher Group
H- Hands On

The students are in 4 groups according to ability level.  The groups are as follows:

Pink square- high group
Blue triangle- middle/high
Green triangle- on grade level
Orange circle- low group

I use the colors/shapes that match the Math Expressions curriculum.  That way I can use their already made stuff.

My math rotations look like this:

The way it works, my high group starts with their seat work.  That way they can be challenged to figure it out on their own.  The low group starts with math facts, then comes to teacher group.  I usually re-teach the lesson and get them started on their seatwork.  Then they go to their seats.  The pink group is the last group I see, and that way I can check over their work to see what they understand and need to be taught.  That way I am differentiating to the low and the high groups!  It works really well.

Well... that's all for now!  Later I will explain exactly what I do for math facts and the hands on centers.  You are going to want to hear about that- it has been really successful in my room.  Also, I have a great quick and easy way to do a check for understanding at the end.

:) Nala Bella

Check out my Teachers Paying Teachers Store:

Saturday, May 2, 2015


It's that time of year!  MAY.  Such an exciting time, but how do teachers find the energy to make it through?

squinty3 - There is no tired like end of year teacher tired

One of my friends encouraged me to try something new.  It's called Thrive.  You take vitamins, drink a nutritional shake, and wear a patch.  So I tried it.

The idea is that people do not eat right, so they aren't getting the vitamins and nutrients their body needs.  So that is why you feel sluggish and tired.  Plus, we are stressed!  When your body is stressed, it needs more vitamins and nutrients to keep it going.

Let me tell you!  I have never felt so good.  My knees usually ache and pop... and it has stopped.  Completely.  And I have energy!  Tons of glorious energy!
I felt like this dog... like I could run forever!

Here's the link:   THRIVE  You have GOT to try it.  Click the THRIVE link to order.

If you are a teacher, you won't regret it!  Energy and you feel better?

The kids won't know what hit them.... ha ha!
Can you imagine how much better your teaching will be???  Oh, and by the way, I haven't caught any of the colds going around.  So this stuff has got to help with your immune system!  

I also know several people who have lost weight.  I think you lose weight because you feel so healthy, that you want to eat healthy.    

After you sign up for THRIVE, come back and please leave a comment below.  :)

Nala Bella

Making it through the last month of school!

It's MAY!  Finally.... we are at the end of the school year.  As exciting as it sounds, it's one of the busiest times of the year.  It's when everything comes to an end.  It's also when I start to panic!

Last year I freaked out and wrote this lesson plan: Beach Ball Activity.

AAAAHHH!!!  Here's my panic list:

1.  MATH!  Are we going to be able to finish our final unit so they are ready for the next grade?  Will we take our final test on the last day of school?  Will they actually care about a test on the last day?  How mean am I to give a test on the last day!  Ha ha!

2.  REPORT CARDS!  When am I going to do that?

3.  RTI!  I have to finish putting data into the RTI system.  And it takes me forever....  groan.

4.  Class lists for next year.  We have to give input and put those lists together.

5.  End of the year conferences.

6.  Field Day.


So number 7 has me in a panic.  End of the year cleaning... and this year... packing!  I am moving classrooms.  Luckily it is just next door.  I get vaulted ceilings and.... drumroll please.... MY OWN BATHROOM!  I don't have to share with the kids any more.  Which brings me to my point...  what tips or advice do you have to help me make my move more efficient and quicker?  Any tips or tricks would be helpful!  I am down to 4 weeks and I want to make this transition as smooth as possible.

:) Nala Bella