I am linking up with my friend Adventures of a School Marm for Worship Wednesday. And Beth, if you read this, I just want to say thank you for starting this. It is a great idea, and I hope to participate in this every week. If not to inspire others, than to at least inspire myself :D

So this week, is a crazy busy week! At school, I had a meeting during my planning time, I had a committee meeting after school. I had to rush home to get my oldest from basketball, get the others from daycare. Made some delicious salmon. Then come to find Alexa (the baby) is still not getting better from the ear infection that the doctor gave her antibiotics for last Wednesday. So then had to call the nurse, appointment made for tomorrow. Had to clean up dinner. Gave all 4 kids baths. Cuddled with Alexa (which is never long enough). Started a load of laundry. And I looked at the clock and it was already 9:00!! WHAT?!?! The kiddos should be in bed by 8!! And I still had to read, sing, and pray! So got them in bed, read a chapter of "Missing Magic", sang 'you are my sunshine' (I sing it every night), then prayed. Well I started the pray, but then my 5 year old Christopher kind of takes over and prays for all the babies in heaven :) Seriously I have to record it, it is the most precious thing. Brings me to tears every time.

WOW! Are you exhausted from reading that?!? LOL. Seriously. welcome.to.my.world.

So anyway, I logged onto FB, and remember tomorrow is Worship Wednesday!! SHOOT! I didn't have a scripture or verse picked out. So I skimmed pinterest and this just spoke to me.

Isaiah 43:2 "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

Man, the just resonates with me. In all the choas, and in reality, my life now is far from choas, he is with me.

A brief back story. I was a depressed 20 year old kid, who refused to grow up. I dropped out of college and blamed everything on my parents divorce. I hung out with people that weren't the best choices, and made decisions that probably weren't the greatest either. BUT...he was with me. God had a bigger plan in mind. At the time I had no idea. The best thing that could have ever happened to me at that point did--I got pregnant. I was a single mom. My son's father was a deadbeat and not in his life. At the time, I asked God WHY?? Why me?? I didn't understand. How did I get here, why was I having to raise this child on my own. I was working 3 jobs. I was a college drop out. I was a single mom. It seriously was looking grim. But GOD was with me, in those deep waters. He held onto me and had a bigger plan.

Then I met my husband. We had 2 more children. We got married. (yup, everything backwards :D ). He encouraged me to go back to school to become a teacher. I finished 2 years undergrad and got my masters in a year, all while working full time. Was it stressful? ABSOLUTELY. But, of course, I wouldn't change a second of my life for anything. GOD was with me and is still with me. He is with each of us, even in those deep waters, when we are wondering WHY me? Don't worry, he knows :)

Take care!!

Hmphhhhh....you know the feeling! Another day of indoor recess!?!? When will this eternal winter ever end!! Well don't worry, it's not too far off, right around the corner in fact! I mean Sunday is March 1st, so that means spring is on it's way, right? At least I hope so!!

So with indoor recess, I alternate back and forth between watching a video like Arthur or Magic School bus to playing with games like candyland, dominos, chutes and ladders, to doing the indoor recess mix on gonoodle. Which my favorite in the indoor recess mix on the gonoodle, but we can't do it everyday because I'm afraid they will get tired of it!

So the other day during indoor recess, one of the kiddos said, "Hey Mrs. Ebersole, I know the math tools are tools not toys (which I tell them ALL the time), but can we play with them during indoor recess." To which I responded "SURE" :)
Some of them wanted to build with the tens and ones units. Some of them wanted to count the links.
Some of them lined up all the little counting hippos.
And some of them made me some stylish jewerly from the links!

So many next time, when you are ready to pull your hair out from yet ANOTHER indoor recess day, let the kiddos get out the math tools and 'play' with them. They LOVE it!!

Take care! :)

So I'm a little late linking up with Adventures of a Schoolmarm for Worship Wednesday. But hey, better late than never!

This week's bible verse came as I was scrolling through Pinterest. Man, I love Pinterest :) So many things, possibilities, inspirations. But I saw this and it just spoke to me.
This come from Matthew 5:14 Be the Light. The image of lights is just beautiful. Being the light is beautiful. He is the light and that is wonderful.

There are so many hiccups and misfortunes in this life. However, we have two options. Choose to think about the negative, worry about what might happen, speak of yesterdays' memories (instead of todays' joys), or compare your journey in this life with someone elses'.

OR You can be the light. You can light up the room with a smile. You can light up someones' day with a hug or a listening ear. You can light up the moment with a positive remark.

I really try to be positive. Because really, there is no other way to be. The alternative is just depressing!! Be the light. Shine. Love him. Love yourself.

Things are going to happen. That's life!! I'll be the first to attest to it. Nothing is simple. Nothing is storybook. However, shine through it. Remember, God wouldn't have brought you to it, if he didn't think you could do it. :)

God Bless you!

So I teach 1st grade. We are departmentalized. It is AH-MA-ZING!

But I often get asked the question--how do you do that with 1st grade? What does it look like? Ok so here goes.

We have 5 first grade teachers. 98 first grade students.
8:20 bell rings, morning announcements, take attendence, make lunch choices within homeroom.
8:30-9:20 1st rotation
9:20-10:10 2nd rotation
10:10-11:00 3rd rotation
11:00-11:50 4th rotation
11:50-12:00 return to homeroom, get ready for lunch, talk about calendar
12:00-12:30 lunch
12:30-12:50 recess
12:50-1:50 5th rotation
1:50-2:00 switch back pack up
2:00-2:50 encore (pe/music/media/art) then dismissal at 2:50

Now that I am teaching math, I really don't need a classroom library filled to the brim with books. So I turned half my library into a math center/math tools.

For my homeroom students, on my whiteboard, I have a spot for the date, our encore, our homework. I also have a helping hand. I find this much easy to manage than daily jobs. The helping hand changes every day and this person is the line leader to encore and lunch.
I also have a spot on my whiteboard where I have our "I can" statements or goals for the day or the lesson. I also did this when I taught in a regular classroom.
This marking period I am teaching math. To encourage our students to practice their math facts, I have also made a graph for them to map their classes' progress of math fact levels. If they pass a math fact level, they get a strip, and they get to tap it to their column of the graph. At the end of the marking period the class that has the most growth is going to get a prize. (I haven't decided yet :) )
This behavior chart I used last year, and the mailboxes, I do NOT use this year, however they are in the corner of the room.
So as a behavior incentive for the entire grade I have what I made up "The WALL of Fame" (maybe I didn't make it up, I may have seen it somewhere, I just don't remember or not sure where though if I didn't make it up!!) So how the WALL of Fame works--if a students does anything fantastic---from helping another, to participating when no one else is, or pretty much anything positive, they get their name on the WALL of Fame! Now if they continue to do great things, they get to add a star beside their name. IF they earn 5 stars, they get to pick a prize outta my prize box. Now OMGoodness---yes this could become extremely expensive with 98 students, with constantly trying to reward them. And actually at the beginning of the year I had a 'secret student' for each class. If they made good choices, at the end of the rotation they got a prize, but that got to be way too costly, so I had to switch it up this marking period!! So anyway the thing with the WALL OF FAME. When I leave for the weekend on Friday, I wipe away everything on the wall of fame. So if they don't earn 5 stars by the end of the day Friday, they always have next week! This encourages them to work harder to earn those 5 stars in 5 days.

Hopefully you've been able to get some ideas on running a departmentalized classroom! Best of luck to you! Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment with any questions!!

Take care & God Bless!

I am linking up with Beth from Adventures of a Schoolmarm for Worship Wednesday.

I grew up in a Lutheran church, my husband did not go to church as a child. When we started having children, I knew that I wanted them to know the Lord. My husband and I looked around where we live and joined the Methodist church close to where live. We loved the church. We loved the people. My husband and children got baptized, they had a great children's church and Sunday school. We got married in the church. When my husbands' grandfather passed away, we had his funeral at the church. But then they moved our pastor from our church to a church 100 miles away. I think the whole church was devastated. During this time, I was finishing my undergrad degree, getting ready to go through a crazy busy 1 year Masters of Arts in Teaching program. With the new pastor, I didn't feel the same connect as I did our prior pastor. I am ashamed to day, but we stopped going to church. We have gone randomly to church like 4 times in the past 2 years (awful I know), and I have been praying and looking for where we should go next. My children go to the Awana program that is at a church down the road, and I have contemplated going there.

To stay connected to my Lord, I am currently reading Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans & Chrystal Evans Hurst. Chapter 8, "The prayer of a kingdom womans' faith". In this chapter, it talks about how we should pray. Every single night, I pray with my children. We thank God for all of our blessings, then we ask God to bless us and forgive us. We pray for others, and we pray for each other. Some nights, I am in a rush when we are praying.

Reading chapter 8 tonight, it quoted scripture Matthew 6:6 "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." In that scripture, it says 'go into your room, close the door'. I think this is so crucial, in this highly stimulated world that we live, we are constantly in a rush. I know I'll be the first to admit. When praying with my children, I am in a rush, so I can go sit down and relax. I feel horrible, because I should be enjoying these moments. Cherishing them. Soaking them in.

Tonight I am going to cherish these moments, soaking them in, enjoying every second. Sometimes we get in such a hurry, let's slow it down and breathe in every moment. God has blessed us. He has blessed me. He has blessed you. Let us be thankful <3
Find me tonight on instagram to participate in a wonderful freebie frenzy!! You will find many freebies just in time for the LOVE holiday quickly approaching us, as well as other freebies that may not be holiday themed!

Here is a sneak peek to my freebie... Freebie Sampler of Valentines Place Value Math Centers

My instagram is @ebersmel be sure to follow me!!

Happy Sunday :)
I am linking up for the Sunday Scoop with The Teaching Trio . Here is my scoop for today!
Ok so today I am having my family up to the house for my 2 oldest children's birthday parties. Their birthdays are about 3 weeks apart, so rather than having 2 separate family parties, this year we are combining them.

Have to: So I have to finish cleaning this house!! I started yesterday with dusting and vacuuming the living room and kitchen, but today I need to hit those bathrooms!! I also need to make some food. I already have meatballs in the crockpot. I also need to prep the veggie tray, wings, jalapeno dip, and mac n' cheese. My mother and in-laws are also bringing some food :) My children are old enough to help me, so rather than spending the day telling them "Don't do that...." I hope to be giving them a to do list (and not pulling my hair out) :)

Hope to: I really hope to enjoy this day! It always seems like when we have family over I'm so busy stressing about the food and how the house looks, rather than truly to ENJOY it. That is my goal!! I also hope to see some snow falling today. Yes, like many others, I am OVER winter. However, I would enjoy one last LARGE snowfall for the winter season, then it can leave :)

Happy to: I am so happy to celebrate my two oldest. Karter turned 10 on January 20th, which is so hard to believe!! I feel like it's impossible for him to be that old!! Then Katie will be 7 on February 16th---again makes me want to faint to think she is that old!!! YIKES!!

Also to celebrate the super bowl I am having a 1 day sale for all items in my store!!

Come check it out here:  Momma with a Teaching Mission TpT Store

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!!
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