Reflect & Refresh

Hey Friends!  Summer is upon us and a perfect time to reflect on our year, while it is still fresh in our minds and hearts.  This is actually the end of the first year that I have not been in the classroom (after teaching for over 40 wonderful years!)
These are my reflections from the summer before my last year in the classroom.
My summer projects were always the Solutions
that I hoped would solve my Frustrations.


PROBLEM: I don’t know about you, but some students knew all my ‘Frustration Buttons’!  Once I was in that mode, I ceased to be effective in solving the problem at hand, or modifying the misbehavior of the ‘Button Pusher’.

SOLUTION: I came up with an acronym that helped me break out of my ineffective habit responses to my difficult students.


B – Breathe.
I know this may sound silly, but in a tense situation our breathing gets very shallow – and that cuts off oxygen to our brain.  So take 2-3 deep breaths.  (That also provides us with a few moments to think before we react.)
L – Listen
Listen to the offender (briefly)
If there are ‘witnesses’ that have input – listen.
E – Enquire
Ask the Lord for wisdom for the situation.
S – Smile
A smile relaxes you and lets the offender that you are not angry –
disappointed but not angry.
S – Say

“I’m sorry you chose to ____.  When you made that choice, you also chose the consequences of that choice.”
If you have rules and consequence posted you could refer to that.

{Click on the picture if you would like this BLESS poster}
Challenging Students



PROBLEM: I was frequently frustrated when we were having one of those dynamic discussions that would be a perfect springboard into a writing project – but I did not have a class set of graphic organizers at my fingertips.  I know we could have created our own, however, sometimes there just was not the TIME to do that with second graders.
SOLUTION:  I worked throughout the summer to organize my writing resources, using the ‘Writing Process’ model.  I made a class set of the graphic organizers for each step.

ORGANIZATION – Classroom Management

PROBLEM: I was frustrated with the way our day started out.  I thought I had explained clearly to my students what they were to do first thing in the morning.  I had lunch count and attendance to do, kids were constantly interrupting me with, “What do I do now?”
SOLUTION: Projecting a slide every morning totally transformed our mornings!  Students were now self-directed and took responsibility for what they needed to do.
Morning Work Slides
If you have a LCD projector and Powerpoint on your computer you may want to give this a try.
All of the text boxes are editable – so you can add what you like each day!
{Just click on the image above to download this editable PowerPoint.}



When I was in the classroom, my summer projects would be the ‘Solutions’ to the ‘Frustrations’ that I had identified after school was out for summer.  All the ‘Solutions’ above were done summer before my last year in the classroom.
This summer, my BIG SUMMER PROJECT is to organize my home office.  Transitioning between classroom teacher and TpT resource author is requiring a lot of reorganization of my home office space.
I think I am a hoarder at heart – and find it really hard to give away my precious children’s books and teacher resources.  But I am determined to be firm with myself this summer and do some purging.
I hope we are inspiring you to reflect on your year – treasure the special moments with your students – and make plans to make your next year even better!
Every year you are in your classroom should be

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Peggy Means

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  • Mrs D's Corner June 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Oh man, I am definitely going to hang that BLESS sign up in my classroom next year as a little reminder to myself to just take a second for myself and breathe! And your writing process stuff… LOVE! I need to get to work on something like that for my little friends!

    Thanks for linking up!

  • Destiny Christian June 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Writing has always been a struggle for me and reading your post I realize my lack of organization with my writing resources may be part of the problem. Thanks for sharing that idea!

    Terrific Teaching and Learning

  • Chandra Dills June 8, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    LOVE your Bless sign! I need that one!!! I also love your Powerpoint slide! I bet that is a huge help in the mornings!! Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your home office! I am redecorating mine this summer too!
    Chandra @ Teaching with Crayons and Curls

  • M Whitt June 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Peggy, I just love your blog. The colors and just the tone in which you write 🙂 That bless sign is fantastic, and a great reminder for when we are feeling frustrated 🙂 I do powerpoint slides for my version of daily 5 rotations, but I never thought to use slides as they come in-in the morning, I LOVE THAT IDEA 🙂 Good luck with you home office, and ENJOY your summer!
    -Momma with a Teaching Mission

  • Stephanie Chambers June 9, 2015 at 5:15 am

    I love your writing process graphic organizers storage! That is so smart and right there when you need it. I definitely need to get busy on that one too!

    The Learning Chambers

  • Peggy Means June 11, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful link up! Glad you like the BLESS! I need to put that on the end of my nose. 😉

  • Peggy Means June 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I hear ya, Destiny! Writing has always been a challenge for me! So I read all kinds of books, went to tons of workshops, and then took what seemed to work the best for my kids. Having the resources at hand has made a huge difference in the amount of writing we do!

  • Peggy Means June 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks Chandra! The morning powerpoint slide had such a huge positive effect on our mornings – I wish I had done it years ago. 🙂 Have fun with your home office too!

  • Peggy Means June 11, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Melanie, thank you for those kind encouraging words! Hope the morning slide brings as much joy and peace to your mornings as it did to mine!
    Happy Summer!

  • Peggy Means June 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you, Stephanie! Just what you need – another project – right! Happy Summer!

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    My name is Peggy Means. I am a child of God and a retired elementary teacher. I loved teaching and creating engaging resources for my students. Now, I love sharing my resources and ideas with busy teachers around the world.

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