Saturday, October 13, 2012

Elections and Generalizations

I need help!!! I am teaching generalizations to my sixth graders and they are not getting it. Of course, I don't feel very confident in this topic and our textbooks gives a pitiful example. Yes, one example. Does anyone else have any ideas?

This year I am so excited to be teaching SOCIAL STUDIES!! My favorite subject! I am about to take a break from our current topic of study....Ellis teach about the election. Do you know of a great website for anything election related? Send me any ideas you may have. Thanks bunches!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Destin Days

I am currently sitting at the beautiful, sugar white sandy beaches of Destin, FL on my last night of vacation. We only got to spend four days and three nights here and it seems it flew by. As I sat here reflecting on my short vacation, I also started thinking about my summer vacation from school and got a bit depressed. I had big plans for this summer....lose weight, write amazing lesson plans for the entire year, post lots of wonderful creations on Teachers Pay Teachers, create those wonderful lessons to post on TPT, and this list does not even mention all the projects around my house I wanted to do. Sigh! However, I got to thinking, I have accomplished a lot during this short summer. Mostly spend time with my wonderful family! Yes, most of that time has been working but still, I'm with my family. I hope you all had a wonderful vacation and are getting rested up for a new school year! Love to the bloggy world from the Emerald Coast of Destin, FL.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Independence Day (Late)!!

Well, this summer has been super busy! My husband and I bought a small business (seamless gutters, awnings, vinyl sidings, metal roofing) back at the beginning of spring and my summer has been spent working! (Yuck!) Also, I have too much school work. After this term though, I will only have one class left....SWEET!! My daughter is getting married October 6th so we have been quite busy planning her wedding as well. Hopefully, if I can get my dishes cleaned up from our Fourth of July celebration, I am going to sink a float in the pool for awhile!

Now, on to the Fourth of July topic. I have a grandfather that fought in WWII so Independence Day is rather special to me. I try to reflect on the men and women that have given their time in service over the years! However, I also try to think about the families that are doing without a loved one so that we can sit here and blog. Independence means more than freedom to me. It also means that freedom came with some sacrifice too. We celebrate Independence Day with our two daughters, other family members (our parents) and some friends grilling, swimming and making homemade ice cream. YUMMY! So, here's my questions to you:
1. Do you have a family member that gives/gave their time to the military?
2. What does Independence mean to you?
3. How do you celebrate Independence Day?

Post the answers on your blog. Make a link back to my blog. Then find 3 other bloggers to ask these questions!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Pink Bat

The Pink Bat

I had to watch this video clip for a homework assignment in my IL 652 Organizational Leadership course. I thought the video was so good I had to share it here. It is only about six minutes long and quite interesting! I often cannot see the solution for only looking at the problem. Watch this and think about how many unseen solutions or unrecognized opportunities you have overlooked! The Pink Bat is going to help me when we start back to school.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Internship is Killing Me!

Now that summer has rolled around, it's time to relax! Right? WRONG! I am currently earning my Ed. S. in Instructional Leadership and have been assigned 150 hours of internship. Every morning of my summer break, I have been getting up at the same time I would normally. Plus, I am moving classrooms and have all of that work to do. However, on the bright side, I have enjoyed the work I am doing, I just LOVE sleeping in and swimming.

On a different note, my oldest daughter is getting married in October so we are planning a rustic wedding. If you have any ideas, PLEASE send them my way. Especially if it's going to save me some money! I hope to get some things uploaded on here, especially my school work pics. My kids done some really cute things this year and I still haven't gotten them posted on here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!
Yes, I know it's late but, I am having some internet problems. (Gotta love technology!) However, I wanted to give a shout out to all the men and women who have served or are currently serving to protect our country. There are many mililtary men in my family that have stood on the front lines. I am not that brave. I am thankful for those that are much more brave than me! As soon as I get my internet but up and working I will get back to my bloggy self! Until then, Happy Summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Well, ladies and gentleman....this concludes the 2011-12 school year!
                                           The End.

(Yes, I do hear the clapping in the background and all the hoots and hollers....LOL).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bittersweet Day at AHS

Well, today was really bittersweet. As I have already mentioned, this evening was our sixth grade graduation. I started teaching some of these kids last year in fifth grade and then moved on to sixth with them. It is amazing to see how the children have changed in such a short period of time. Last year, some of these kiddos came to me with little chubby faces, a goofy kid smile, and rather weird. They are leaving me this year as mature young men and ladies. The guys have experienced voice change and are taller than me. The young ladies have taken on their preteen bodies and are all boy crazy. Amazing. As I sat on the stage with my two co-workers watching each one of these precious babies  receive their diploma, I choked back tears but felt like one proud "mama." There are three students that I will really miss. They stole my heart without even trying....Sarai, Emily, and Tyler. I had never met Emily's mom until tonight. She speaks very little English but said to me,"You are a very good teacher. Emily loves you." That broke the dam....the tears fell and the burning lump formed in my throat. I tried to tell her that Emily was a very good girl and I was so proud of her and will miss her terribly. Emily translated and without hesitation, her mother grabbed me and hugged me like we were old friends. We both sobbed. I know all of my babies will do fine in high school but I will surely miss them! All of my love to the Class of 2018 at Appalachian School. Follow your educational journey wholeheartedly and remember, "You'll never know just how close your dreams are until you reach out to touch them!"

As I was leaving graduation, my precious husband sent me a text that said, "Can you call me?" As soon as I waded through all the parents, I called only to find out that my sweet Uncle Bobby had lost his battle with cancer and has travelled to that heavenly paradise to gain his wings. As a child, I spent MANY nights at his house. I love you with all my heart, Uncle Bobby. I miss you already.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank you to Miss Sara from the Miss Elementary blog for the One Lovely Blog award. She has the cutest owl themed blog! I am going to return the favor and be a good neighbor in blogging world!

After you are given the One Lovely Blog award:
  1. Follow the blog who give the award to you....
  2. Mention that blogger that has given it to you in a blog post....
  3. Pass on the award to 15 new blogs...
  4. Make a list of the new blogs so others can be a good bloggy neighbor and visit around!
Thanks again Miss Sara! (By the way, I always have on my teacher goggles...not just for cute things that I see to purchase, with trash (Pringles cans make great pencil holders...3 or 4 icing cans grouped together make a great organizer for colored pencils), yard sales, and thrift stores! One man's junk is another man's treasure!

OK, here are the blogs that I have found that deserve the One Lovely Blog award:
  1. Mrs. Cassidy's Classroom at
  2. F is for First Grade at
  3. Learning is Something to Treasure at
  4. Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher at
  5. Critters in the Classroom at
  6. Mrs. Jump's Class at
  7. The Apple Basket Teacher at
  8. The Teacher Wife at
  9. A Teeny Tiny Teacher at
  10. Clutterfree Classroom at
  11. Teaching in High Heels at
  12. Little Treasures at
  13. Seusstastic Classroom Inspiration at
  14. Teach 123 at
  15. Conversations in Literacy at
Whew! What a journey looking for blogs! I got great ideas though and plan to go back to some of these and grab some buttons! Well, it's 12:54 a.m. and America's Most Wanted on the t.v. I think I'll go to bed now! LOL

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UWA 2012 Julia Tutwiler Elementary Educator of the Year

I am working on my EdS degree from the University of West Alabama. In April I was named the UWA Julia Tutwiler Elementary Educator of the Year! What a blessing that was! Because the university is so far from my home, the dean of the college of education reserved a room on campus for my husband and me. On the day of departure we had the busiest day ever and did not get started on the three hour drive until 8:30 p.m. We had only driven about 20 miles when I started to feel "green." Knowing that I get car sick EASILY, I asked my husband to stop and let me get some fresh air. The wave of nausea passed so I jumped back in the car. We went less than half a block when the wave came back with a vengence. I was so sick and we kept having to stop suddenly which put us further behind on our journey. Finally I got still enough that I went to sleep and we drove on to the university. We arrived on campus at 12:30 a.m. The door had a punch code and I was told that a key to my room would be left on the table just inside the door. Tired and sleepy we quickly gathered our bags, headed into the McConnell House, only to find no key! Out of desperation and with the nausea quickly approaching again, we headed back down the road to a "roach motel" that we had seen on the drive in. No luck. No one would answer the night call. We headed to a similar hotel with the same results. By this time I was really sick again......and panicked that I would have to sleep in the car. I quickly searched online (thank goodness for iPhones) and found a great hotel only 3 miles from the university. The sympathic clerk, a college student, upgraded our room and only charged half price. At 1:45 a.m. we finally got in bed. I slept like a rock all sickness. I woke the next morning and started getting ready for my big day when it hits again! My sweet husband stopped for Dramamine and we headed on to the luncheon. I made it through the entire affair, even ate lunch, without bouts of nausea. On the drive home, you got it....sick again. )o:

6th Grade Graduation

One of the great things about teaching sixth grade in a small school is graduation! Here are some pictures from our very first day of practice. We didn't have the chairs out, nor did we have time to put them out, so the students had to stand where their chairs would be. We have to work on being still, sitting up straight, and learning the school song. However, day two was much better! Day three (today) went very well. Our students will graduate Tuesday night. Sigh...some of these students I have taught for two years since I taught fifth grade last year.......I may follow them to junior high! I LOVE my students! <3

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monster Mansion....
In order to motivate our students to read, we use the Accelerated Reading program. For the last two years I have themed my classroom in Monsters!! (I love Monster Mansion at Six Flags and wanted to bring it here). I made a Monster Mansion for AR points. Each student starts their monster in the basement. Every two weeks, we have a "Monster Moving Ceremony" to see if any of our monsters get to change rooms. We have a 5 point room, 10 point room, 25 point room, 50 point room, 100 point room, 150 point room, and 200 (and beyond) gets to party in the attic. This silly way of motivating students actually work! We clap and cheer for anyone monster being moved!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Indian Captive by Lois Lenski

Well now that the school year is winding down, we have finished our reading textbook (thank goodness!!!). I chased down one of my all time favorite books.....Indian Captive by Lois Lenski. If you have not read this book, it is a must read! Especially if you are a fan of historical fiction. This book tells the true story of Mary Jemison's capture by Indians. Although she is eventually offered freedom, she decides to live her entire life with the Indians. When I brought the book out, my students were not all! However, after the first chapter, they were hooked. Just tonight I found a literature circle guide to the book. Can't wait to see how my students answer the questions. I am also incorporating some of the questions from the Bloom's Taxonomy project. If you haven't used that project in the should. It's a fun and thought provoking project for students. Here is the link to the literature circle guide: Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! (and my students).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Finals are Finished!

Whew! I can finally breathe (until the end of May anyway!). I took my finals tonight (via remote proctor). Ever done that? It is kinda weird having a webcam from a university with a bunch of technology people watching you take a test to ensure you are not cheating! Anyway, enough about that!

We only have a few weeks of school left and I cannot decide what to do with my math students. My friend and co-worker, Cathy Holley, sent me a "Monster Math" project that she does at Halloween but since my classroom is themed in monsters, I am thinking about trying that. Do you have any good ideas on what to do at the end of the school year or what to do for Mother's Day? Remember, I teach sixth grade so I have to be careful about what I pick to do. I will check back with you soon to see what advice you have for  me! Happy May and thanks for being patient with me while I was "away".

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Misconception of Words

We have some of the greatest friends that have three children. The two girls are 19 & 16 years old and the son is only six years old. Being very kindhearted girls, they volunteered to keep their little brother while mom and dad went out for dinner and to buy groceries (sounds like a typical date night of a married couple, right?). The three were lying on the bed watching a movie and tickling each other like crazy! Each time one of the girls would tickle their little brother, he would make a very wrinkled face that appeared to be in some discomfort. One of the girls laughed and said, "Don't do that anymore you look constipated!" The innocent six year old burst out laughing, stopped and got dead serious and said, "Wait! That means ferocious, right?" LOL

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Local New Personality Visits Our Sixth Graders

At my school, AHS, there are three sixth grade units. We each teach our students language arts in the mornings. At mid-day we go to lunch and when we come back, I teach math for the remainder of the day to all three sixth grade classes (in rotation of course! Not all at once). In trying to make the school day less humdrum for our students, I contacted a local weatherman and asked him to come visit our students. I thought they would love it!
The first question he asked was, "Who is interested in meteorology?" ONE student raised her hand. However, as we went through the presentation, it got more interesting for the students. He spoke about the recent tornado outbreak in Alabama....April 27th....was the worst in national history according to the information we heard during his presentation! I will post more about this later!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Do you have a fun day of activities planned for your students? If you need some ideas visit my "Love is in the Bear" unit for 4th-7th grades on My user name is Iamblessed. Follow me on TPT to see what good ideas I have.

All About Me

My name is Diane Franks. I am an 11 year educator and have served in a variety of roles. I taught first grade for three years, fourth grade for three years, reading coach for a 3rd-4th grade school for one year, literacy coach for 4th-12th grades for two years, fifth grade for one year and have landed in sixth grade language arts and math. WHEW! During this time, I have been so blessed to have served as Blount County Elementary Teacher of the Year twice and Alabama District VI Teacher of the Year 2011. I am National Board Certified in Middle Childhood Generalist, hold a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University, a Master's degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and am currently earning my EdS. from the University of West Alabama.

I am the wife of the most wonderful man and the mother of the two greatest daughters on earth. We have two dachshunds that think they own the place. I have a wonderful church family and I serve an awesome God. I am blessed beyond measure!

Enchanted Tales of Elementary School

Thank you for stopping by! I welcome and appreciate all comments and advice you leave for me! Love, Diane Franks