Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Organization Ideas Blog Hop

I am so glad you are here!  Have you been hopping along and getting tons of ideas?

Some people consider me a bit OCD, but I promise I am not :) I like to find things fast. Patience is not one of my virtues. Looking for something must be quick and efficient.  This is why I never shop anywhere where I have to find clothing my size through racks and racks. Not for me.

When it comes to my classroom. I like to know where things are so I can use all my time as efficiently as possible. There. I call myself efficient and OCDish.

Well... let me me share with you how I keep some things organized in my classroom (if you could see my house, you would never believe it, embarrassing!).

I think every teacher gets some kind of file cabinet, right?  If not, hear me out, go get one.  They house millions of files and wherever you need something, there it is! You have to put it back where it belongs though. That is the hard part. I know!  I have a pile of folders (not pictured) that require my attention one of these days. 

My new curriculum uses a daily worksheet for every subject. Here's where the kids place their assignments after WE check them together.  I then proceed to check (quick glance at it for the second time) and then straight to my grade book.
My advice: Do not let those piles pile up or you will regret it. I have to enter my grades daily (due by the following Monday), so there is no chance for me to misplace them.  I used file 13 (AKA the garbage can) before, I cannot do that anymore. I miss file 13.

What to do with all those supplies you have? Store them in boxes...clearly labeled of course.  I have a nice closet where I story all my goodies. 
I though of buying some clear containers (all matchy, matchy) so I could see what is inside, but nah, boxes are free!

Craft supplies galore?  No problem. Do the same thing. Boxes and labels. Crafts coming right up!

You know those forms you use all.the.time?  Well, mine are stored in this file folder thingy. The front folder holds all of my originals and the rest hold all of my forms ready to go whenever I need them. 

I am able to plan my week pretty easily. Lesson 80 on Monday, Lesson 81 on Tuesday, and so on. I guess these are the benefits of teaching homogeneous groups and basals :)  My daily trays help me whip my planning in about 15 minutes. Tops. #dontbejealous

I also like to hide things behind closed doors (my closet). So, a shoe organizer, hanging hooks and voila super duper use of the space. 

My kiddos do not use browsing boxes this year.  I actually order chair pockets (future post). But I thought I could share some labels I made. Freebie anyone?

Please download HERE

Oh!  and continue on with First Grade Frenzy. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fill it Up with 100... {100th Day of School Freebie}

I am blogging at Primary Powers today.  Come and visit to pick up a quick idea for the 100th Day of School.

Hope you like it!

Monday, January 19, 2015

TPT Feedback

This past week I read this fabulous blog post from Jen. She is the creator of some super cute clip art. I hope you have met her before. She blogs HERE.  I have not met her personally but she sounds like the kind of person I like to be real friends with :)  You gotta love her honesty and humor.

I will confess that I am one of those who leaves feedback all the time, maybe a day later (or two) from my purchases but I always do.  Freebies are no different.  I have never been really good at leaving something substantial (I am working on that), but I do like to say a bit more than Thank you.  Do not get me wrong, I rather get a thank you than nothing at all, but a bit more is always better, right?

It is heart breaking to see your rating go down after a not so perfect 4.0. and all you see is Thank you. It feels like a punch in the stomach, but again, it is better than no feedback at all.  Please know that your comments mean the world to us. Let us know how we can earn that 4.0 if you are not satisfied with your purchase.

I have recently looked at all my sales, and the amount of feedback I have received.  There is a huge discrepancy between both numbers.  I am here to beg bribe  you to check your purchases and freebie downloads from my store.  In exchange, you can...

Beginning tonight 01/19/15 to Sunday 01/25/15 all of you who visit my store, and leave feedback (purchased and/or freebies) will have the opportunity to win my entire TPT store. I will write your user name on a piece of paper and on Sunday, I will ask my daughter to pick a winning name. I will then send you all my paid products via e-mail. 

Can't wait to write your name down :)  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Home Sweet Home

I did promise to share some pictures with you.  Mexico City is and always be my home.
The kids and I had the chance to visit after four years.  I had been there alone during our spring break but I wanted to spend Christmas at home for a change. Tickets were not cheap at all and I can honestly tell you I had the most fabulous Christmas. Simple. Family. Food. Traditions...who needs anything else?

Let me share some things with you in case you are new to my blog:
- I was born and raised in Mexico City (yes, the polluted, extra populated city south of the border).
- I took my first plane ride 8 days after I turned 18.
- I was ignored by the American flight attendants (I do not blame them) because on the first flight I could not stop crying, and on the second flight... not sure why.  Let me put it this way... I could not put a sentence together in English, so they probably noticed that.
- I have lived in the United States for 20 years. Summer or 1994 marked a huge year for me.
- I am still an 'alien'.  I have not applied for citizenship so every time I fly I must show my green card (which by the way is not green) and my Mexican passport.
- My entire family lives in Mexico.  My mother's youngest sister and her family live in KY, where I lived when I came to 'visit'.
- No, I did not cross the river. A big airplane took me here :)
- I still struggle with being an ESL learner.  I am sure you have noticed :)
- My ESL brain does not seem to grow much and that is frustrating.
- I learned English slowly!  Prepositions and idioms still get me! Hubby laughs a lot (and corrects me too!).
- My family is not bilingual. Which makes it exhausting when my mother visits or when any of them go with me to Mexico.  I must confess I like talking about them behind their backs. I do it. I am not ashamed.  Some times they drive me crazy.
- Mexican (real Mexican) food is amazing and I miss it very much.
- I get super depressed when I return (guilt, sadness, name it). Feeling blue is part of the price I pay. I can't wait to feel better. Right now I just want to shake it off!

We were there for 11 days.  We did not ventured out much but we did make it downtown to see some things my son wanted to see (thanks to his history teacher).

Let's get the pictures show you more.
My son read about 'the eagle' that marks what the Incas saw as a sign to build their city (his words).
The second picture is La Cathedral. Beautiful. Old. Full of faithful followers.

This one is EL Palacio Nacional.  The president's office is here. His residence is else where, in a fancy location.

We walked for a bit and reached this 'tallish' building. La Torre Latino.  The second picture was taken after we went all the way up.

44 stories high. Best view of the city.

Here's El Palacio Nacional again from high up. I had to admire the traffic, which is really not that bad compared to other big avenues.

Bellas Artes is a beautiful building - think opera and classical music.  The picture on the right is a busy shopping area. We were there minutes before and it was packed.  Two days before Christmas. Do not recommend it.

Lastly, food!  I ate so much. I lost weight. Unbelievable!  Churros and shrimp cocktail...heaven. Pure heaven.

I will take my good camera next time.  It was hard to get good pictures with my hubby's camera that does not like me.  Half of the pictures we took have been erased. I guess I must go back...soon!

I also got the chance to see three of my high school friends (two ex-boyfriends and my BFF) after 20 years!  We talked so much and we have so much more to share! I must go back, alone :)

An amazing trip for sure!

Have you been to my home town?

Monday, December 29, 2014

One Word

Hello there!  I am still at home, visiting my family for two more days.  The kids and I have been taking pictures and I am hoping to share with you once we return.  I have two long plane rides and a four hour layover in Miami on New Year's Eve to occupy myself with.

While I have begun to think about packing, I am already thinking about next year.  I am joining a great linky at Primary Powers that is helping me with this.  It requires a one word resolution.
I have to be totally honest with you, I do not believe in resolutions. at. all.  But I do believe in changes one can make to be and feel happier.
I thought about one word that will help my soul smile.  I broke the one word rule but I know you will understand.  #couldnothelpmyself

That is it.  It sounds so simple but  I know I lack the ability to be present many times.  

I want to work on the ability to enjoy the one thing I am doing: 
- Being with my kids  or my husband while they are trying to talk to me and I am busy doing something else that is not as important as they are.  
- Enjoying a simple image that brings me joy: a child reading and smiling while they read a book.
- Reading a book and submerge myself in it without thinking about anything else. 
- Taking a deep breath.
- Loving what I do without thinking about how it could have been better.

It all comes down to enjoying whatever I am doing at its fullest.  One can never know if we'll have that opportunity again.  

What about you?  How do you feel present at all times?  I need your help :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blog Hop Stop #24

Welcome to blog  hop #24.  I am so glad you are here!

Primary Powers and GoNoodle have created the 
dynamic duo!  We are sharing all of our best ideas on using GoNoodle. You have landed at hop top #24. 

While teaching third grade this year at a new school, my kids switch classrooms all day long.  We provide them with transition time to get materials from their lockers, use the bathroom, get a drink of water, or just walk.  We have one of the busiest schedules, we really do!  The day goes by so rapidly you barely notice the time since you are on the go all day long.

With that being said, my students do need extra time to stretch, exercise, dance, breath, relax... and GoNoodle is here to the rescue!
We use GoNoodle during transitions (between our math, reading, spelling, and history class).  We use it to keep our bodies and minds on task and even a bit of relation before we take a test. I cannot begin to tell you how much they love it!  I have even received e-mails (the nice kind) from parents, thanking me for the extra needed brain break in their child's life.  Score! I even wrote about them on one of my graduate school papers while discussing about the brain and all the research out there about the benefits of brain breaks (hoping for an A).

Maximo is one of our favorite characters!  The kids totally love his accent and enjoy imitating him. He gets us through our breathing exercises with many wonderful smiles... and confident test takers!

GoNoodle has parent accounts so the dancing, breathing, and exercising can happen at home too!

Starting on Cyber Monday through December 8th, GoNoodle is also offering all Primary Powers readers 30% purchases from the GoNoodle Shop  Use the code POWERS30 at checkout to receive the discount PLUS a special gift from GoNoodle and Primary Powers.
In addition to the new t-shirts, tumbles, and other goodies for GoNoodling teachers, you can purchase affordable, pre-wrapped gift packs for students to bring a little GoNoodle love to your classroom this holiday. 

Don't forget to say hi to them via Facebook :) 

Ready for some goodies?
Enter  to win some cool GoNoddle Headbands for your entire class! Check them out HERE
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep hoping! You almost made it to the end. Your next stop is Second Grade Perks. Heather is ready for you with some extra GoNoodle awesomeness!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#Thanksgiving Lapbook

Who is off this week?!  I will not rub it in too much, but I am for the first time ever.  A week off is what I need to take a deep breath and catch up with my never ending to do list.

We had a very busy day yesterday with the ophthalmologist, pediatric dentist (did you hear me say 5K braces??!!!), car salesmen, redbox movies with hubby,  and DTWS by myself.

Today I promised I would get things done, and while it is around four something, I am still in my pajamas blogging away :)

It has been months since I have sat down to finish something to post on TPT, but I did it! Finally :)

You can find this $2.00 resource HERE.  Maybe for next year? 

A few more pictures for ya...

All the printables to show what your students are #thankfulfor are included and the cutest clipart from Educlips just makes me smile.   I hope you like it!

Want a copy?  Help me by pinning this, comment with a thankful hashtag, leave your e-mail and your pin.  I will send it to you tonight!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SUPER Thankful Thread Linky

I have disappeared again.  I am sorry. I get a chance to check my IG account almost daily, but blogging has been a hard thing to get to after hours of school work.  Grad school is almost over (for this semester anyway), and I am hoping to have more time to share things with you soon. I am just thankful you have not left me. Thank you!

The super girls and I are having a Super Thankful Linky and we would love for you to join us HERE.

My students and I will be taking some time to report about things we are thankful for with our families during our school festivities next week... more on that later next week :)

For now... my bloggy friends I am SUPER thankful for..

Don't forget to join the linky party with us!