Tuesday, October 6, 2015


It was really hard not to capitalize any of that title.  I am new to the world of instagram, but I took a HUGE step!  I jumped all in and decided to do the "180 Days in the Life of a Teacher" this year!  So far it has been a great success and a lot of fun!  Today was day 33, but here are a few of my favorites...

The day that I took my students camping in the special room that my principals decorated!  Trying to create the magic!

The day that my whole school spelled out the word RESPECT on the field.  Can you spot me in the T?!

Want to follow along in the fun?!  Of course you do!  
Check me out @wellmichellethom

I also wanted to share with you some of my classroom set up this year!  I loved last year's "homey" feel and ambiance, so I did not change a lot.  I did, however, add some new additions!

Come on in...
My red carpet in place for the first day of school!

A shot of the whole classroom...

My new motivational wall!

My happy chair...that makes me happy!

My classroom library! <3

My new couch cover and chevron pillows!

My new stage that the hubby built!

Lastly, my first bulletin board of the year.  I truly do have "spotlight students" this year!

Monday, July 20, 2015

TpT Conference 2015...Inspirational

It came...it went...it was just what I needed. The 2015 TpT conference was a wealth of INSPIRATION this year.  Last year it was life-changing (I even described it as EPIC) and I was skeptical that this year could be better, but it was!  The theme of the event really rang true: "Come Together, Go Further."  When we come together and collaborate, we can truly achieve more.  I wish my collection of pictures could sum it up, but really it is just a glimpse into the TpT magic.  

I loved the arch of balloons when entering!  

The true inspiration is pictured below.  Amy Berner, our new director of happiness, was one of the first people that I saw on conference day.  She greeted me with a huge hug and said she remembered my blog post about the event last year. (You can catch up on last year's event here.)  She really knows how to connect with people and she is such a blessing to TpT.  I also grabbed a selfie with Paul Edelman, the TpT founder, and loved listening to Adam Freed, the TpT CEO.  

 Just in case you missed it...

The sessions that I attended were motivating.  The presenters encouraged me to find my niche and keep doing what I love.  <3

One of the highlights of the event was seeing my great friend Susan Jones from Thank God It's First Grade.  This is the amazing person who started my Teachers Pay Teachers adventure and I am so grateful to have her as a friend.  She also introduced me to the incredible Kelley Dolling from Teacher Idea Factory who I completely adore.  She is so down to earth and continued to make me laugh.  If you haven't met these two ladies, I encourage you to try because they will bring a smile to your face!

Some more friendly faces and inspiration. :)

Of course, the trip would not be complete without #paulonstick.  Thank you Jen Bengel and Heather LeBlanc for making me laugh out loud and thanks for the TpT swag bag.  I have been wearing my Paul bag around Vegas!

With over 50,000 active teacher-authors and 3 million active community members on Teachers Pay Teachers, I am so lucky to be a part of it.  Thank you Teachers Pay Teachers for another unforgettable year and thank you to my blogging friends for continuous inspiration!

Who is coming in 2016???  I will be waiting! :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

"Teacher" End of the Year Awards

The end of the school year has certainly zoomed by and I am definitely beginning to soak in the summer. As I reflect back on the school year, I realize that I am very fortunate to have had such an amazing year.  My students were incredible and my school is a fun place to be.  The last day of school was no exception.

We had early dismissal, a brief lunch break, and then a staff meeting.  This was an unusual staff meeting, however.  My principal handed out "teacher" end of the year awards.  Each award came with a little token or "trophy."  By the end of the meeting my stomach hurt from laughing so hard.  It was a nice way to bring the staff together and unite one more time before summer break.  So want to see the awards I received?  No judging me. :)

Here they are altogether...

Here are a few of my favorites...

I received the "Slide Certified Award" for attending the Ron Clark Academy this school year.  This award came with a light up boomerang!  You can read about this truly life changing event here.

Another favorite was the "Magic Award" for leading during our school's math night.  It was a magical night and I promise to blog about it soon!  We had a return visit from Scott Flansburg, The Human Calculator.  He is quite an inspiration.  I would say that it even topped the previous year's math night.  You can read about last year's math night here.

A third award worthy of mention is the "Social Slippers Award" for attending all the social events at my school this year!  Why of course!

You can see the first picture for more award ideas.  (And, no, you may not ask about the "Full Moon Award."  It was an accident, I promise!)  Anyone else get any teacher awards this year?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Peek Into The Ron Clark Academy...

I took about two hundred snapshots while at the Ron Clark Academy a week ago, but together they still do not capture the AMAZINGNESS of the building, teachers, and students.  I also took home probably more ideas than I did snapshots.  The adventure to Atlanta Georgia was a great energizer and I am blessed to have had the experience.  

For those of you who have never experienced or read about Ron Clark before, I encourage you to watch some YouTube videos about his life, read some of his books (like my favorite The End of Molasses Classes), or check out their website.  I promise their message and philosophy is a teachers life changer!  Hopefully, you too will see that sometimes in life, you just need to take the SLIDE...
Yes, that is me taking the slide...inside the school...but more about that later!  Now, I feel it is my duty to share some of the highlights from the trip, so hear we go!

Here is the Ron Clark Academy from the outside.  Ron Clark bought the school, remodeling it with donations from the community, and revitalize the neighborhood.  

Here is the group of talented teachers that I got to travel with all the way from Las Vegas...

As we walked into the library...

The positive energy in the room when we arrived was extremely uplifting.  It was completing impossible to have a bad day as the students greeted us in lively conversations and pumped us up for the day.  Yes, I said the students.  These 5-8 graders were the most respectful and talented group of students that I have ever met.  They would come right up to you and introduce themselves with, "Hello, Mrs. Thom.  I hope you are having a wonderful day.  Tell me, what grade do you teach?" and "Tell me a little about a great lesson that you taught before."  These are not typical middle school students' questions, but they genuinely seemed concerned with whatever I was saying as they leaned in, nodded as I spoke, and made complete eye contact.  

I do not know if it was this or watching the teachers one by one get pulled up to jump on the trampoline, but, at this moment, I knew this really was going to be an adventurous two days.  Two days that I would never forget.
"Learning from our mistakes and holding on to our memories help us become deeper individuals with a better sense or who we are and how we choose to live our lives." -Ron Clark.

Now, here are some pictures from around the school...

Check out the bathroom...

And the gym...

And the lunch room (yes, that is a giant dinosaur skeleton)...

I always had my eye open for secret passageways...

 Now, for my favorite, the incredible classrooms...
 Yes, those are some classroom doors!

The talented Hope King's Classroom.

I love that all the classrooms have a platform in their classrooms to teach from.  This is on my To-Do list...I must get one of these!  

Here is Mr. Clark describing the house system that they do at their school.  I love that my school implemented the same thing this year!  
Go Team Isibindi!

It was nearing the end of my two day adventure before almost a blink of an eye...

But not before...I was "Slide Certified."  Of course, The Ron Clark Academy has a giant slide connecting the first floor to the second floor because yes, sometimes in life, you just need to take the slide!

Before we departed on Friday, we got to see the house competition, house jacket ceremony, and the spinning of the house wheel.  The emotions were flying high!

Thank you Kim Bearden, co-founder of The Ron Clark Academy, for sprinkling your inspiration on me!

And thank you Ron Clark for making us smile!

 Sorry, I had to share these, they truly make me smile!  Exclusive Ron Clark selfies...

I highly encourage you to hop on any chance that you get to visit RCA.  I promise it was make you a better teacher and add a little more fun into your classroom!  I will come back later to tell about my dinosaur egg and grammar police lesson, two ideas that I got from RCA and have already implemented in my classroom!  Stay tuned...
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