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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 resource HERE.  Maybe for next year? 

A few more pictures for ya...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Feeling Proud

So, I ask you...
 What have you done today to make yourseld feel proud? 

 I did a quick lesson about being proud of the things we do, say, or do for others.  I think this is a monthly thing my school does, and this month I was asked to incorporate Pride in Oneself.

We talked about what makes us proud.  We created proud peacocks using coffee filters and water colors, and lastly, I put together a quick response sheet for my first outside display.

Here are a few examples:

Aren't they adorable?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Displaying Student's Work - Minus the Staples

Happy three day weekend friends!  I am here to share about this big boy :)

I was totally inspired by my amazing friend Maribel from Learning in Wonderland.  I drool at every thing this girl makes. See?  Isn't this absolutely precious?

For those of you not fans of primary colors... I hear you, but I had a ton of primary color scrapbooking card stock, so that is what I used.  I do like primary colors. A lot :) 

Before I thought about the actual board.  I had to find a way to include my favorite color.  Red tulle was just what I needed.  Making bows has never been easy for me.  I twisted and twisted and perhaps called out a few bad words, but the tulle did not care a bit.   
I traced twenty five clothespins onto black craft foam, hot glued the not so pretty, not so even bows and tada!

Thanks for your feedback on IG, I went with rainbow order.  I had to look it up. Yeap. I have never memorized such thing.  Embarrassing!
I measured every single sheet to find a midpoint, hot glued it to my already laminated card stock, and added some black border to tie in the black craft foam color. 

I had always stapled or taped my students work. No more of that.  No more staples nor tape I need to take off the day my kids take their hard work home.  I am pretty happy about that! 

What do you think? 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

End of Year

Can you believe this?!  Three days in a row?!  I honestly think it is because hubby went back to work and because I spent all day Saturday grading papers and ignoring keeping my kids busy with movies and bad electronic stuff.  #nevermotheroftheyear

I am caught up with all my grading. Right now I have about 75 papers waiting for new life :)

I am here to quickly announce that Rachel is giving away one of her awesome hashtag #memories and I am sending you my editable bookmarks.  Being ready one year early is not bad, not bad at all.

You can read all about them HERE.

Good luck!

Monday, August 18, 2014

End of the School Year Gifts

You are probably thinking End of the School year gifts?!  I know, I know, I am trying to catch up.  I have some 'old material' to cover over here :)

I could not make myself to pass on posting about such an important even in the life of a teacher.  Preparing to say good bye to her awesome class, by thinking of something awesome to say good by with.

So... this is what I did back in June of 2014.  *My camera says I took these pictures on 06/23/24 to be exact. LOL

While you are tired, exhausted, and usually broke, you are always looking for ideas on how to wrap up that last week of school.  Mrs. Lamb, AKA the Tatooed Teacher posted about a product I HAD to have.  I am pretty sure I paid full price for it. LOL.  I usually never do that!  But like I said, I had to have it.

Did you happen to see this in her store?  Did you buy it?  If not...go ahead and do so.  Your kids will go nutso with their awesome memory books. 

Let's take a look inside...

There is one VERY important page. #myteacher.  So let's begin with some of the things my kiddies said about their amazing teacher. I think that is ME :)

By the way.  I am not 36. I am currently, for two more days, 37 years old...did I happen to tell them my age without subtracting 2014 - 1976 correctly?  Who knows!  But they were all wrong :(  Sadly.

My favorite thing about my teacher:
- Is that Mrs. K does a lot of crafts during the 4th quater (so true!)
- I think she is very witty (oh! so true)
- Is that she is smart (They do know me well!) 
- My favorite thing about my teacher is that she tells us lots of stories and she is silly (See?  They loved me!)

OK, OK, I really enjoyed reading their entries and feeling that my itsy bitsy paycheck is so worth the tears, the sweat, and everything else that we do for the love of teaching.

There's more!

- I hope my teacher always : "Acts dramatic like Mrs. K. does every day"  (I bet my hubby would agree with this)
- The best thing in our classroom is: Mrs. K  (Awww)
- My teacher is usually at the: Rainbow table (gotta love a reading table!)

Did you see those super cute portraits?!  There is so much more.  Don't forget to buy it :)

One last look at their gifts.  One awesome book and one personalized bookmark!

One last shameful piece of advertisement.  Hashtag #Memories are from Mrs. Lamb. Find it HERE ...AND The Editable Bookmarks are mine. Find those HERE.  Perfect combination if I do say so myself :)

Happy planning ahead :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New and Revised Products

It has been a while.  Almost a month since my last post.  Today I made a list of all the things I wanted to share with you.  I am hoping to get back into blogging at least twice a week. Grad school starts on Wednesday (my birthday!), so we shall see :)

I am starting my 5th week of school.  I am being observed and 'coached' on a weekly basis.  I am happy to report I am doing well.  Math needed a few changes on my part, but I think I am getting the hang of it.  

I am beginning to feel like I know my students, and that is a great feeling.  Like I said before, everything is different from what I did the last ten years, but I am coping :)  I am happy. Content. Super satisfied with the change.  It is still painful to drive by my old school. I miss my friends.  I am surrounded by amazing people, so I assure you, I am not complaining.  I am just feeling a bit blue.

I updated my student planners for this year.  Go download the new year! Find it HERE.

I created a cursive handwriting alphabet banner.   Find the cursive alphabet banner HERE

Then I made a print alphabet banner. Find it HERE

Lastly, I finally posted my editable bookmarks Kidlettes edition.  They get their own little post tomorrow. 

I am on my way to writing tomorrow's post.  See you soon.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It Was Not An Easy Decision

My apologies for being absent for the last 39 days.  Lots of changes around here.
I have been checking my IG account a bit, but blogging has not been possible. I hope you had not forgotten about me :)

Let's go back to January....  I decided it was time to update my resume... you know, to look for a 'new' job.I decided that teaching is totally my thing, so the only thing I could think of, was to apply at the school my own two children attend.  I gathered my fresh updated resume, my five letters of recommendation, my references, and asked the administrator (I guess private schools do not have principals) for five minutes of her time. 
One nice cold day in January I handed her my paperwork.  I think she was a bit surprised but nicely chatted with me about her school.  I knew much about her school through a parent's eye, but I had questions as a possible future staff member.  I was told the chances were not good.  The school is small (about 250-300 kids) and teachers do love it there.  I left knowing I would probably never get an interview nor a job :(

March came around and I had heard nothing from them.  I had given up.  My husband and I had been discussing plan B,C, and D by then.  Sure enough, I get a phone call asking if I wanted to interview for a position. I am pretty sure I interrupted the lady on the phone before she could change her mind.  My family and I went on our cruise and the day after we came back, I sat in front of 5 nice ladies (all administrators of the other campuses in the area).  I was glad the administrator from my kids' school was there.  She made me feel much more comfortable.  So, they asked me if I was interested in being a Spanish teacher.  I quickly explained to them that teaching Spanish had never been my ideal.  I have always wanted my own classroom, and being a specialist was not what I was really looking for.  Some people thought I was crazy for not taking the opportunity to get out of the classroom, but like I said... I belong in the classroom.  We continued with the interview, and said our good byes.  
A day later, I  receive an e-mail with a job offer. I called them back and they offered me a job as a part time intervention assistant, and part time K-5 Spanish teacher.  I quickly accepted, but beg them to keep me in mind in case a classroom job came available.  I am going to be totally honest with you, I was not thrilled, I was excited to have the opportunity to get my foot in the door, but not thrilled. 
I then received my contract in the mail.  I called them to clarify some things and then received a new offer.  I then, once again, said yes as fast as I could! 

Meet the newest Third Grade Teacher with a Second Grade Blog :) 

Making the decision to say yes was easy.  Understanding that I was about to leave my home for the last 8 years was not.   I will not lie  and tell you that everything was peachy at my old school.  There were a billion things that made me doubt my decision to leave on the daily basis.  It was my home.  My happy place. I cried. I talked it out. I convinced myself.  I asked for advice.  I wrote a pros/cons list.... It was still so painful.  I knew I could not continue to be my best if I stuck around, so I decided to let it go and believe that everything had happened for a reason.   Once I signed my contract, I then shared it with my team. My amazing team of women who had put up with me for years.  I am not easy to be around sometimes :)  I am too passionate for some. LOL 
I also shared the news with my students and with the closest parents I had worked with for years. My heart ached for days. I am still in a bit of painful denial.  I miss my friends.  I miss those who know me inside out. I miss the comfort they brought to me. I miss my feeling of belonging...but I know I will get there in my new school. 
The hardest day was going to the office and hugging my assistant principal.  I cried. We cried.  I said good bye to my friends. I had not cried like that in a long time.  I walked rapidly to my car and let it all out.  I was having a hard time breathing. I was in pain.  I still am.

I had 5 days off between school years. Let's talk about exhaustion!  Everything at the new school is different. Everything. Not in a bad way, just different.  They use textbooks. I  had never held a reading or math textbook in the last ten years of my career. They have leveled classrooms. They have amazing high expectations that fit my personality ( I have always been the strict teacher).  They do not have a cafeteria. I have one team member instead of 5 or 7.  She is amazing and I could not have had survived without her. Thank you Ms. B.!!!
Everyone has been super welcoming and sweet.  I am going through training and all sorts of new information. My head is about to explode, but I am HAPPY!   My own to kids are thrilled mom works at their school now :) 

I miss my second graders, but third graders are not :) and kids in school uniforms!!!

I am sorry for the long novel.  If you have been following my blog, you know my posts are short and sweet :)

Here's to an amazing year... To learning. To more time with my family. To new friends. To professional growth. To happiness. 

Wishing you an amazing school year!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Keep Calm and Survive Second Grade... with Awards Your Students Can Wear and Resumes

I am trying to stay calm.  Calm is something I do not know well unless I am sleeping :)
I have 7 weeks left of school. We still have much to learn, assessments to complete, and then... my end-of-the-year activities will commence.  I am ready for that fun part :)
I am trying to enjoy every last bit of fun I can have with my kids.  They have been fabulous.  I think they are ready for third grade :(  I am not ready to let them go, but I guess that is what happens, right?

I am here, joining a super nice bloggy friend, Angela,  who organized (and invited ME!) this keep calm blog hop. I hope you get a chance to say hi to all these bloggy friends, and find something to keep you calm.

Keeping reading... there is a freebie for all of you, second grade teachers.  I DO promise to edit and add more grades, but it may have to wait a bit.  It is conferences time for me and I am crazy busy.

Let's start with End of the Year Awards your students can wear.  I created them last year, and my kiddos really liked them.  I will be redoing them for my fantabulous class this year.   

They are editable... meaning you can add your students name :)

I also created them in Spanish.  

Feel free to check my last year's post HERE.

Moving to 2014...

Today, we completed our resumes. I explained their purpose and showed the kids my real resume.  
My students from a few years back had written resumes, but for some reason I did not do it the last few years.  I remembered how much our third grade teachers enjoyed getting them in the kids cumulative folders, and I knew I had to share them with you.

Let me show you some pictures. 

Don't leave after getting your freebie and leaving me some love :)  Then...go visit the next blog and visit the girl who lives in a divine place.  I am so jealous every time I see pictures of her beautiful paradise.
Find her HERE

Keep Calm and Survive Second Grade. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Speaking and Listening Goals

Having to teach and assess speaking and listening goals (like SL.2.1 and SL.2.3) was hard for me this year. Was I supposed to listen while my students talked to their friends, grade their retelling abilities, or listen while they were arguing disagreeing with each other?
While my class has always been one that collaborates from day one, I still wanted to have a teaching moment about speaking and listening goals. I wanted a teaching tool.  I wanted to have something tangible I could assess too.

I had to teach my kiddos that your speaking voice can change the outcome of what happens.  People are willing to help you if your tone is a nice one.  If you are rude and tell people what to do, well, your friends may not want to do so much for you. 
I still have one friend who has a hard time with his tone, and finding his manners.  I ask him to find his manners in his backpack if he wants to talk to me :) 

While listening to the kids, I realized that they are always talking about their friends.  When you ask them about their weekend, they talk about their friends, so... this came to life!

I have a created a product with discussion cards about friendship. You can find it HERE

Let me show you how we did this in our classroom.
We started by making a big circle in the middle of our classroom.  I posted a question about being a nice friend. 
We then had a small group of brave girls who wanted to share what a great discussion looked like.  The rest of us paid close attention to everything they did. 
I gave the kids a small piece of paper (included in my product) where they recorded what they saw. 

After we reviewed what a great conversation looks and sounds like, we divided the class by tables (4 kids per group). They received a friendship card and discuss it agreeing, and respectfully disagreeing while sharing their thoughts.

We tried a few cards and then the kids went back to their now mini circles, to discuss once again,
and record their final thoughts. They used a checklist to check off what they observed during their small group discussions.

While they recorded their final conclusions I snapped a picture of this glorious moment.  Do you see them working together??!!!  A dream come true :) 

Is this something you think you can use?  I am choosing two friends to get this tomorrow.  Help me by pinnning it and leaving your pin and e-mail address.  

Happy discussion time!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Should Have Blogged About It: Student Teacher Gifts

Do you happen to take pictures of things around your classroom,  thinking you'd like to share on your blog, but do not get around to it?

I take pictures all the time, and by the time I am ready to post...  I do not think is good enough for a post, something else comes up, or I am terribly tired to do anything. 

For right now, I have decided that since I took lots of pictures, I will begin a series of things I wanted to share with you.  I am hoping you see something cool.

Let's begin with part one:

As you may remember, I was lucky enough to have (my first) a fantabulous student teacher.  Saying good bye was hard!  I am happy to report that we have become BFFs. I need friends, you guys!

I'd like to share with you how we said good bye to our student teacher.  
I purchased a plastic bin at Michael's.  I have a container like this one, which I use to carry my guided reading books from the book room to my classroom.  I wanted to get her something she could later use.  
I then created two cute covers to spice it up.

Fun paper, a box of blank cards, color pens, stickers, notepads, apple note pad, PTA goodies with our school mascot, and of course, a jar for some chocolate.

I did all the shopping and wrapped everything with tulle (bought her favorite color).  I wanted the kids to share their wisdom, so we created a book with advice on how to be the best teacher.  

As you can see crafts are a big deal in our classroom... and learning from me was truly the best advice :) 

I purchased a mini scrapbooking album and filled it up with goodies as well.

For the first page, I took a class picture. Then I took pictures of my student teacher with the kids. We did it by table, so we had 6 pictures at the end. 
I glued the pictures and then glued a small thank you note matching the kids pictures, so she'd remember them years from now.

The last for pages were filled with gift cards. 

We had cake (can't find the picture) and juice. I am pretty sure I ate about 3 slices of the cake.

I miss her. I miss her. I miss her. #maybeiwillgetluckyagain  #ilovemynewbff #studentteachertaughtmealot 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mother's Day Album

Our presents for Mother's Day are done!  Wrapped and ready to go.  I can hardly believe it.
I am a week early...pinch me :)

Check out these beautiful women! We started with a front and back cover using card stock.

 I purchased photo albums from Dollar Tree, tissue paper, and tulle.  

The kids wrote about their moms using a variety of prompts.  

They  illustrated each prompt, cut them out, added them to each album, and told me ALL of their mom's secrets.  I know it all by now :)

I updated my product a bit and it will be on sale for 48 hours :) 

What did you make for your kiddos' moms?

I am choosing two friends to get this. All you have to do it is Pin it to Win it :)  Don't forget to leave your e-mail and your pin... along with your comment.  I love reading your comments!