Monday, June 20, 2016

Made It Monday 6*20*16

I use Nickey's Folders for my parent communication folder. They come in a variety of colors but I'm partial to the black folder... they all have a clear sleeve for a folder insert. On the inside they have printed words, Left- Return to School, Right- Leave at Home.
 This was my SMORE Folder last year. I wanted to redesign the insert for this year.
#1 was my design for last year and I debated and got feedback for next year's design and finally settled on #4 with some subtle changes.
 Stop by 4th Grade Frolics for more Made It Monday ideas!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ending Year 12

Year 12 was a challenging year for me. I've figured out that the every year I have a medical issue is a year that I find challenging. While previously suffering from ovarian tumors and uterine fibroids... this year I had a migraine headache every day for 3 months straight... all because of a blood pressure medication switch. Once we got that figured out, everything was back to normal... but I guess it still wasn't enough for some people. This was my first and last year teaching the "gifted cluster." Meaning 1/3 to 1/2 of my students were identified gifted in English, Math or both. This was new territory for me as I've also taught the special education collab class. I informed my admin that I was not willing to teach the gifted students next year so now I have been assigned a "noncluster." Which means my students haven't been identified as ESOL, LD or Gifted.
I struggled in two main areas this year, 1- Knowing I'm appreciated and feeling appreciated. I know that I'm appreciated for my efforts but for some reason I really struggled with feeling that way. I still haven't quite figured out why, not sure what the change was this school year but I just didn't feel appreciated. 2- Not being good enough for "man" but being more than qualified by God. This year as left me feeling insecure in my ability as an educator but a good friend told me that a moment of favor by God can get me further than any schooling or degree ever could. At the end of the day, I did the best I could for my students and let me tell you, the students who came to me reading on a first and second grade level all left on a third grade level so that just reminds me that in spite of all the criticism, my students made progress and that's all that matters.
Now lets look at my end of the year in pictures...
I completed my first 5K, the Bubble Run, this June. It sounds like fun... running through bubbles, but I almost suffocated and died in those bubbles so I probably won't be back!
This is me and my husband at the finish line.
I had the pleasure of mentoring a brand new teacher and this is her and I at the Beginning Teacher Awards Banquet.
This is me and my "team BFF", you know we all have one, on Market Day, we bought some cool photo booth props to pose with.
This is me and my best friend on the second to last day of school. #straightouttalessonplans
This is me on the last day of school... yes it says "We out... Harriet Tubman 1849". That's exactly how I felt... I'm out!
This is the meme I sent my coworkers when an email went out saying no one could leave the building until a cume file was found. "Hello... 911... we have a hostage situation." Needless to say after the busses left... so did I!
This was me this morning on the way to get lab work done for my blood pressure. Have you heard of LuLaRoe? It's a clothing line... similar to a cult... once you start wearing them, you get addicted. Anyway this is the "Randy" shirt. It says "We the People." I bought it for Constitution Day, but couldn't wait to wear it!
Remember when I asked if you had heard of LuLaRoe... well this is me rocking their buttery soft leggings... yes they are pizzas, yes I bought them just for this Ninja Turtle Party, yes I will be wearing these randomly for the rest of my life!
This is my husband and I with our nephew, it's his 3rd Birthday Party... he loves Ninja Turtles and was so happy when they made an appearance at his party!
Just another picture of my leggings...
Well this is the first summer that I will NOT be working. The local school who wanted me to teach for a few days found someone full time to do it and I am not complaining. I will be resting and relaxing and making memories with all my friends and family. What will you be doing?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Traveling Through the School Year

I don't know about you but I still have 3 weeks... 14 more days left of school! This has felt like the longest school year ever. We came back after Labor Day, then had an early Spring Break in March and now we're not getting out until the 3rd week of June. The struggle is real y'all...
Now that the school year is coming to an end, I have my students reflect on the last 9 months. I had them complete these activities in their journal. Click Here for a copy for you to use.

I'm looking forward to summer vacation, relaxing around the house... well I should say cleaning the house. It only gets a deep clean in the summer. I said I wasn't going to teach summer school but the school I taught at last summer asked me to come back but I only agreed to 8 of the 20 days though. That'll give me a lil' change in my pocket before school starts again in September.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Frog Themed Newsletter Templates

Last May I blogged about Parent Communication and inquiry about the Weekly Newsletters I send home. I was able to put them into PowerPoint which will allow you to add text boxes for full customization.
My favorite Clip Art{ist} Krista Wallden created some cute "monthly frog" graphics and I couldn't wait to use them. My first creation... The Weekly Ribbit.
Click Here for Frog Theme Newsletter Templates

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Word Analysis Journal (VA Curriculum)

 As the school year winds down I begin to reflect on my teaching practices and document what I intend to do differently next year. I've decided that really want to implement a Word Analysis Journal {VA SOL English 3.3 & 3.4} next year.
The first tab/section in the book would be Word Analysis and Grammar Resources. I created some reference sheets that students can glue in the journal and refer to them all year round.
The second tab/section will be reserved for vocabulary words. My goal is to focus on two to three words a week. I created a template that students could glue in their journals or you could just have them "freestyle" the information.
The third tab/section is reserved for poetry activities. I reserved the last 40 pages in the 100 page journal for this section.
Have you heard of Doris Young of Third Grade Thinkers? She's the first Virginia Blogger I started following. She's a third grade teacher and her resources were so helpful when I moved to third grade five years ago. I love her poetry activities. She has some on her blog and in her Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  Instead of a reading passage she uses poems and the follow up questions are word-analysis related.
So this is my bright idea for next year, I'm hoping that this journal will give students a concrete resource to aide them in learning and reviewing these concepts. How do you teach these concepts in your classroom?
Click Here: Word Analysis Journal

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Break Learning Opportunities

In two short weeks we'll be on Spring Break. I wanted to provide my students with optional learning opportunities but I didn't want to overwhelm them. I put together a couple of activities that I'll send home with them.
1. I purchased Amy Lemon's Student Reading Challenge from Teachers Pay Teachers. This reading challenge is a bucket list that students can complete during any of the school breaks.
2. I try to incorporate STEM activities into my classroom and ran across these "STEAM Break" activities on Teachers Pay Teachers... for FREE. They are from Digital Divide and Conquer, I love the PBL Units from this shop and was excited to see some STEM activities students could complete at home.
3. The last activity I included was a sheet with multiplication and division practice I found in my files.
All of these activities are optional, students do not have to complete them. I'll give out stickers for Super Improver Cards and probably put together some other prizes for students who choose to participate.  Do you send home activities for students to do during school vacations?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bunny Marshmallow Math

 Spring has sprung! After getting all excited about a possible Snow Day on Friday only to have the roads completely clear enough to go to school... on time...I'd rather have the warm weather. After school today I treated myself to first pedicure of the season and I'm ready to rock my maxi skirts and flip flops. Spring Break for me is in three weeks, the week of Easter or as I like to call it, Resurrection Day. I thought I'd do some seasonal activities as I know the students will be pretty antsy about the upcoming vacation.
I have another version of a Marshmallow Bunny Activity on the Teaching Oasis but decided to revamp for this year. It covers multiplication, fractions, data collection and line plots. It's geared towards Virginia Math Standards:3rd grade. I'm looking forward to this activity with my students, I'm sure they'll love it. You can download it at the link below.
Marshmallow Bunny Math