Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week 13' - Part 1

You guessed it!  It's Teacher Week 13' and I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to participate in this exciting party! 

Today's theme is.... we go!

1.)  I'm going to be entering my 8th year of teaching and I can't believe that I've already invested 8 years into a profession that I love!
(A picture from my first year back in 2006)

2. ALF...the initials of my name and a totally awesome 1980's character!

3. My favorite "teacher" pens... 
I'm pretty sure that I'll cry if they top making these.

4. My favorite "teacher" markers...
❤ making anchor charts because of these!

5. I love technology and just might get a Mac as my next computer.
6.  I love turtles!  Both kinds..

7.  Nicholas and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary and our first year as homeowners!

8.  My backyard would be filled with palm trees, if I didn't live in Illinois!

9.  I've been blogging for a little over a year now and I often wonder why I didn't turn to blogging earlier.  It's definitely changed me as a teacher and has allowed for me to connect with some awesome teachers!

10.  I'm stoked beyond belief because I'm heading to Michigan this weekend to go surfing in Lake Michigan!  AHHHHHHH!!!!  I can't wait!  Bring on the "baby" waves!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School Goodies

OH MY!  Look what arrived earlier this week!  I feel like a little kid at Christmas time, but this time it's with school supplies instead of games!

I have to send a huge shout out THANK YOU to Allison at Live, Love, Learn in Fourth Grade.  I'm so excited for the school year to start so that I can use my: double pocketed binder (perfect for my lesson plans), the massive post-it note pad (ideal for guided reading thoughts), labels, labels and more labels for my organized classroom and so many other goodies.  Thanks so much for starting my year out on the right foot, Allison! 

Ps...Thank you to Covered in Glitter and Glue & Adventures of Ms. Smith for organizing this event! 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Shared Reading Lessons

I can always tell when August rolls in because I feel like I never have time to blog anymore.  The time that I once used in the morning to blog is now filled with me racing off to school to setup my classroom.  This week was no different, however it was very productive.  One of my biggest accomplishments was getting started on planning some Shared Reading Lesson.  You see, my teammates (Wiley & Barrett) are what I call the "Shared Reading Queens."  For the past few years, they've been teaching a Shared Reading class to teachers within our district and I can honestly say that attending their class has made a HUGE difference in my classroom.  The lessons that they offer are broken down into 5 days with a pre-reading activity, during reading discussion questions/activities and post-reading writing ideas.  They've recently started a Teacher's Pay Teacher's account and are now sharing their lessons with all of you.  I would highly recommend that you take a look at their store and give their freebie lessons a try.

Here are some of the lesson that they have available...



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Week 5: Tune into Technology

I'm back for a fifth installment of Tune into Technology hosted by iTeach1:1 and Learning to the Core.

Organizing Key Areas of Technology
Laptop/Doc Camera/iPads- My district has slowly been trying to increase technology within our classrooms.  WAHOO!  To store these devices, the district purchased the black cart featured below.  The bottom of the cart has a great open space for locking up technology, but it's not ideal for keeping it organized. 


This would be perfect for the bottom of the black cart so that every iPad would have a proper place to be stored.

Headphones- At first, I had students keeping headphones in Ziploc bags with their student number on them.  By the end of the year, the numbers had faded and the headphone bin had exploded.
Enter Pinterest!

This was a huge success this year and everyone was able to find their headphones even on the last day of school!

Managing Technology
Designated Time- Ideally, my students spend most of their time using technology during literacy stations.  Therefore, I've designated that certain stations will use an iPad to complete their task.  Just by doing this alone, I've eliminated the race for an iPad.  

Colored Cases- Each iPad in my room has a different colored case.  This is a great way for students to keep track of what iPad they were working on.  The only time that this is a problem is when we've had to lend our iPads out.  The district purchased the same colored cases for each teacher.  Therefore, I solved that problem by taking a picture of the nameplate above my classroom door to help ensure that our iPads make a safe return.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ketchup Wednesday

You know it's Wednesday when you're trying to "ketchup" on everything in preparation for the upcoming weekend.  Therefore, I thought I'd do a little ketchup on my blog.

First off, don't forget to take a look at my very first linky party about school supplies that you can't live without.  This lovely party is featured here!

Second, did you enter the iPad Giveaway?  If not, you still have time!  Teacher Created Resources is holding the iPad Giveaway until September so you still have plenty of time to get your entries in!  Don't forget that you can not only win an iPad for yourself, but also for a friend!  You can access that entry here!

Speaking of sure to check out my blog post tomorrow on how to organize your technology when I link up with iTeach1:1 and Learning to the Core for Tune into Technology.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

School Supply Linky Party

July is nearly over which means that "Back to School Madness" mode has officially kicked in.  Therefore, I've decided to host my very first linky party on school supplies that you just can't live without.  

Go ahead!  Link up and finish the statement.."I can't start the year without..." and finish with whatever school supply item(s) will help make your classroom and year a success!

Top 5 School Supplies
"I can't start the year without..."

Teacher/Lesson Plan Binder
Nothing helps me to stay on track during the year then having an organized teacher binder that includes my lesson plans, curriculum pacing guides, IEP information and much more!

Mr. Sketch Markers
Who doesn't love the smell of blueberries when creating an anchor chart???

Mechanical Pencils - 0.7 Lead
Every teacher needs an awesome pencil to record notes, write out lesson plans and even add another item to the to-list.  Anyone else prefer 0.7 lead over 0.5?

Papermate Flair Pens
This has to be every teachers love!

Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener
This was a new addition to my classroom this year and it was the best decision that I have ever made!  My classroom is now so peaceful and quiet that I can't believe I didn't get rid of that annoying electrical one earlier.


10 Little Things I Learned from Teaching

Happy Tuesday!  I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten for her 10 Things I've Learned from Teaching Linky Party.

1.  I'm not a mom, but I've been called one multiple times during the school year.  

2.  Having eyes on the back of your head is only a trick for teachers!

3.  The copy machine is going to break down when you REALLY need it so be prepared!  Likewise, the laminator is going to start running out of film leaving you with a rocking new sticker that says "film is running out."  AWESOME!

4.  When you think you're ahead of the game, you're not!  I constantly feel like no matter what I cross off my to-do list something will be added on and that's okay because there is ALWAYS tomorrow!

5. During the day, I feel like I'm rocking 15 different jobs and I LOVE IT!  Nurse, air traffic control, teacher, scientist...etc.

6. I think everyone has said it, but it's important.  The custodians and the secretaries are your best friends so treat them kindly.

7. Clean up your mess in the microwave!  You're mom does not live the teachers lounge and will not be there to clean up your mess.  Gotta love when you get those all staff emails. 

8. Take time to be silly and laugh.  It's those random moments during the day when I can't help but just kick back and laugh.  I wouldn't trade those moments at all!

9. A smile has so many different meanings, but the most important one is thank you (even though it's often not said).

10. I love my job!  I never dread Sunday nights knowing that Monday morning is rolling around because I love what I do.

What's on your top 10???