Sunday, July 21, 2013

Classroom Q&A.....with Diane from Fifth in the Middle!

Diane lives in Eastern Iowa with her husband and two lovely daughters. She's been teaching 5th grade for over fourteen years and shares teaching strategies and classroom management tips on her blog Fifth in the Middle. Last Friday night, Diane graciously agreed to meet up with me via Google+ and answer some questions for the Classroom Q&A Interview Series.

Q: How is your summer going so far? And when do you have to go back? 

A: It's going pretty well... quick! I'm trying to build my TpT business this summer, and my to-do list is so long!  I'm not sure when I go back, is that bad?!  I'll check......   Aug. 14.   LOL!

Q:  I remember some of your first posts showed pictures of your new classroom and ideas for your rainbow color theme. What ideas do you have for your classroom this year?

A: Well, I'm sticking with the rainbow colors thing... too much time and $ invested in the crate seats and all that. This year the big change will be rearranging my room to make more use of the front of my room. I also have a new work board that I posted about that I can't wait to try. And I'm adding more art that I've made in the rainbow colors. :)  Of course, whenever I pull out art materials, my girls want to help...

Q: You talk about your two daughters from time to time on your blog. Do they ever help you with work? 

A: Not really. They are three and seven, so sometimes they make things more difficult than helping :)

Q: So you used to teach in an intermediate 4/5 school. How did you wind up in a middle school? 

A: OK, so long story about the switch. When I started teaching, my district had 2 K-3 buildings, a 4-5 building, 6-8, and 9-12. The elementaries started to fill up, so they tore down the ancient middle school and rebuilt it to make it a 5-8 building, which made the elementaries both K-2 and the intermediate school is now 3-4.

Q: How do you like a middle school setting so far?

A: I don't have as much flexibility in my scheduling, but I do like not having to teach math and teaching more social studies! Of course, the kids are starting to have more middle school problems that I don't even want to think about!

Q: I love your fun Math products using Lucky Charms, Jelly Beans, Conversation Hearts, and Candy Corn. Your class sounds delicious! Do your students love those days when they get to sample some treats while learning about Math?
A: Well, when I taught math, I only did the conversation hearts, and the ones I used were like ten years old, so I always told them to eat them at their own risk! I do believe in bribery with suckers and all sorts of other treats :) No one leaves my class hungry! You would not believe what a ten-year-old will do for a three-cent sucker!

Q: Do you miss teaching all the subjects?

A: Not at all. I've never taught science, and math is so much prep work. It gives me more time to devote to ELA and social studies.

Q: What does the first day of school look like for you?

A: Crazy hectic! Trying lockers, unpacking and organizing their things, making sure everyone is in the right place. We also start our PBIS lessons since fifth grade is new to the building.

Q: I really enjoy the blog posts where you share pictures of your flowers – what’s coming up in your garden now? 

A: My lilies are on their way out :(  -  they're my favorite. My butterfly bush is starting to bloom and my balloon flowers are popping open!  I think that I go look at it all every day to see if something new opened! It's kind of like a watched pot.

Q: When planting flowers like daffodils and tulips, it’s usually a long time to wait until the payoff. I’ve always thought that people who plant bulbs are particularly patient and well planned. Does that describe you?

A: I'm a fairly patient person... it takes a while to really frustrate me. I would say well-planned is putting it lightly. Definitely OCD when it comes to stuff like that. I am a total perfectionist.

Q: So what is the most popular post on your blog?

A: I posted this name stick holder thing a few weeks back and it has been HUGE! Over 4,000 hits so far, and that's a lot for my little blog.
Q: WOW! That's fantastic!!  Is that the one you made with Crystal Light containers?

A: Yep!

Q: What product are you most proud of?

A: Right now, I think that I like my checkout posters the best. I've really tried to step up my game with clipart and backgrounds, and I feel that with that product I took some inspiration and made it my own. It has also gotten a great response.

Want to know more? 
Check out Diane's blog...
Fifth in the Middle
Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Thank you so much for featuring me! This write-up is wonderful!!

    Fifth in the Middle

    1. Thanks for taking time to chat with me! And watch a little Say Yes to the Dress together too. :-)


  2. I loved reading more about Diane and of course, I was already following her. It's refreshing to get to read blogs on a more personal level. Diane, if you are reading this...what is a butterfly bush? I don't garden, but I love butterflies, so I'm curious! Is it Milkweed?
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Here's the one I have:

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Diane!


  3. I really like your idea for interviews! It was fun reading this!
    Creative Lesson Cafe

    1. Thanks, Jeannine! There will be many more to come. :-)


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