Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday- August 29

It's Friday, which means I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky.

I was tutoring last night and as I was getting ready to leave, the student told me, "thank you helping me learn".  This made my entire week.  I have been tutoring her since April and I love watching her make progress.
I came across this quote during a Twitter chat this week...
Relationships are SO important in teaching.  Teachers need to form relationships with their students, parents, staff members, and the community.  Our classrooms rely on these relationships in order to succeed.  You want to nurture these relationships from the beginning instead of trying to get to know these people only when problems arise.
I have seen pictures of these chevron composition books all summer.  I tried going to my Walgreens and looking online... no luck.  Does anyone know if they only sell them during the back to school sale?  I NEED these!  
I came across this FREEBIE as I was reading Catherine's blog post.  In her blog post she talks about her school's math night.  When talking to parents about the Common Core, we need to make sure we are speaking in parent-friendly terms.  This freebie breaks down some common phrases that may be used in a primary classroom during math.
This weekend  I am getting out of Ohio for some much needed family time.  I get to see both of my grandparents.  Yay!
What are you doing for Labor Day weekend?

Off to watch Shark Tank soon... have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday- Little Miss P

I am linking up with Deanna Jump for Book Talk Tuesday.
Whether I am teaching a mini lesson or working with a guided reading group, I make it a priority to find books that adhere to my student's interests.  2 of the girls I tutor LOVE dinosaurs.  In the past it was challenging to find picture books that are developmentally appropriate and engaging for them.  Over the weekend I read Katie King's blog post about a book her friend wrote and I immediately purchased the book!  Introducing... Little Miss P
Little Miss P shows girls that they can like something besides princesses and tiaras. As a classroom teacher, I want my students to feel safe and at home.  This book illustrates that it is ok to have a hobby that may be different than others. Since the beginning of the school year is devoted to developing procedures/routines and getting to know our students, Little Miss P is a fantastic book to share with your new class.  I love that the author also included a glossary to clarify any dinosaur related terms.  

Katie King wrote a detailed blog post about this book HERE.  Did I mention her blog post has a discount code?  Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blogging Organizer

Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It link up AND Bainbridge's Class
for You might be a teacher if... link up.

It is no secret that I like to be organized.  Being organized makes life so much easier when you have a system and can find what you are looking for.  Especially with all of the paperwork and documentation that comes with teaching, being organized saves me a lot of headaches.
 Since I started blogging over the summer, I want to schedule my posts to keep myself accountable.  This blogging planner is similar to my Twitter chats planner.  Read about that HERE
This cover is from the TPT/Blogging planner I purchased HERE  
I also added post it tabs so I can easily find each month.

I used the calendar from my Teacher Planner purchase.  Buy that HERE
I printed monthly 1 page calendars for September-May.  I didn't print August because I figured I would be swamped. On each monthly calendar I will write when I want to do a blog post or if there is a link up  I want to participate in.

For each month I printed out 6 blog planning sheets.  I haven't decided how many posts I will do a month, but I plan to do 1 a week.  This blog planning sheet is from the TPT/Blogging planner purchase.  The seller did this as part of my custom order.  The purpose of this sheet is to help me keep track of  ideas or pictures I want to include in each post.

I got my book bound at Staples for less than $5.00. Happy blogging!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Teacher Week: What I Love to Teach

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for the final link up of Teacher Week.  I am excited to share with you my love for writing in the primary classroom along with some freebies.
My 3rd grade blogging friend Amber posted this picture on her Instagram a few weeks ago as she was setting up her new classroom.  I love her writing area so far.
Write Pencil Headers: Freebie in Amber's TPT Store HERE
What Do Writers Write Pencil: Freebie at The Teacher Wife blog HERE

Last school year I took graduate school courses for my K-12 reading endorsement.  One point  emphasized through every course is that reading and writing go hand in hand.  When defining literacy, we cannot limit the definition to only reading.  Children need to master concepts of print before they can progress to becoming authors.  
The Heart Map is a perfect beginning of the year activity.  Students can draw or write words for things/people they love.  Also a great way for teachers to learn more about their student's interests.  To avoid students from complaining that they don't know what to write about, have them keep this in their desk or folder for future reference. 
Grab this freebie at Mel D's blog HERE

Each day a specific time should be set aside in your schedule for writer's workshop.  Time management is tricky.  If you teach half day Kindergarten, devoting an hour each day out of the 2.5 hours you have students may not be manageable.  You have to decide what works best for your schedule.  Below is the framework I use:
Mini Lesson: 5-15 minutes
Writing: 30-40 minutes
Sharing: 5-10 minutes

 The purpose of conferences is for me to give encouragement and suggestions to students. I stumbled upon this pin (shown above) last year and was inspired to implement a schedule where each student has an assigned day of the week that they meet with me.  I found this schedule to be most beneficial because it guarantees that I meet with each student during the week.    Once I am done with those conferences, I work with my low students or check in with any other students that require follow up.  Conferences require proper documentation.
This conference sheet can be found for free HERE.  I keep each student's sheet in their folder for easy reference during parent-teacher conferences or meetings with staff members.

This is a time for students to gain self confidence and take pride in their work. I allow at least 1 boy and 1 girl to share.  When a student shares, I ask the class for feedback.  Reflection is one critical component for growth. To ensure that it isn't always the same students sharing, I have an Excel document for each 9 weeks.
**Regardless of how you teach writing, it is important for teachers to develop realistic goals to reach by the end of the year.   **
This resource can be used with Kindergarten or 1st grade students.  I used the sheet shown at the bottom of this preview as a visual reminder to students.
Grab this freebie HERE

Monthly words for writing via Busy Teacher's Cafe
Picture source: First Grade Fresh

If your district uses Lucy Calkins or you are interested in learning more, visit this blog post.

Whew!  That was a long post!  Thanks for reading and I hope you could enjoy some freebies.  
Stop by Monday for a Monday Made It post.. a new organizational tool.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teacher Week: Why Organization

Today I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' to talk about organization.  I recently wrote a blog post about classroom organization.  Read more HERE.
I love being organized.  If I cannot find something, I become stressed out and frazzled.  I try to maintain a system that is practical and simple.  In this post, you will find a few tips along with pictures of some systems I use.

1) Help keep your students organized.  I want students to play, create, and use the classroom.  However, I expect each student to do their part, which includes cleaning up after themselves.
2)  Label everything.  From your classroom library to student supplies, everything should have a place. This helps minimize interruptions. A student finds a marker on the floor?  Find the labeled bin.  See, one less interruption.
3)  Always be ready for a sub.  Absences sometimes occur unexpectedly and being prepared saves you the stress of creating lesson plans at the last minute.  Last year my goal was to have all of the materials for the following day ready on the teacher table.
4) Keep a Student Information Binder.  Buy the numbered tabs and use student's assigned number for easy reference.  In this binder include emergency forms and parent contact information.
5) Even though I am a morning person, I like to have everything ready for school the night before.  I set out my outfit, pack my lunch, and pack my teacher bag.
A few years ago, I found this folder at Wal Mart.  It has 5 dividers, but with pockets on each side that means there are really 10 folders.  
How I use it: Each month for the school year has its own pocket.  I place any handouts or notes inside these pockets. Last year the team met once a week and having these notes handy was a huge help when it came to long term planning.  
Binder Cover: This product is a Powerpoint so you are able to edit the binder cover to fit your needs. Simply insert a text box and type.  Purchase HERE
Meeting Templates: This product comes with stylish templates for staff and grade level meetings.  Purchase HERE
A new pack of flair pens is a great way to start off a new school year.  I love the colors!  I am one of "those" teachers who likes to color code.

I bought these book bins from Target last year in the $1/$3 dollar spot.  I  store all of my read alouds and materials for that day. To keep papers organized, I put them in file folders so they do not get bent.

Come back Friday to learn more about writing.
Next week I will also be introducing a new organizational tool.  Stay tuned!
What is your favorite organizational tool in the classroom?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Who

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for their annual Teacher Week.  I recently did a Meet the Teacher Blogger link up, so I will try my best not to repeat anything.

Any other Ohio bloggers out there?  

Did I mention I love the beach??  

Most of my college friends live in Chicago, which is why I fly out there so often.  I visited for a long weekend in June and it was perfect.  Surprisingly, the weather cooperated and we were able to successfully act like tourists.
These are 2 of my best friends from college, one is my sorority sister.  It was my first Cubs game.

Lakeshore Drive #nofilter  One of my favorite places in Chicago.

Dublin hosts the Memorial Tournament every May.  I don't golf, but it is fun walking around with my friends and showing pride for our hometown.  This was at the 18th hole before Tiger Woods came by.

I am a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant.  My friends used to tease me because my nails were ALWAYS painted.  As silly as it sounds, it is my way of de-stressing at night.  But once I discovered Jamberry through a teacher friend, I stopped using nail polish.  I love that the wraps last up to 2 weeks on fingernails and I don't have to worry about chipping or smudging.  With over 300 designs I tend to change it up every week. This picture was my first summer manicure, can you tell?  It doesn't feel like work, it is a fun hobby for me.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about me.  Check out the picture below and join the link up.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five for Friday- August 15

I am linking up Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday link.  This week my 5 things are about back to school fashion.  Whether you have been teaching 1 or 30 years, teachers should dress professionally.  Although some schools may have a more laid back dress code, I believe teachers should always look put together.  Most school districts near me allow teachers to wear jeans on Friday so I included casual options as well. I spent some time enjoying the sunshine and doing a fun photo shoot around my house.

I love chevron!  When I saw this dress, I knew I had to buy it.  It is comfortable and versatile.  To make this outfit more professional, wear a cardigan or blazer.  You can't tell in the picture, but the dress hits my knees.  Yay for being petite!
Dress: Kohl's {purchased this week}
Jean Jacket: The Limited
This outfit is a black short sleeve dress paired with a green blazer.  I love this blazer because I can wear it with pencil skirts or pants.  
{sorry, don't remember where either outfit piece was purchased}
**Casual Friday outfit**
 You can't tell in the picture, but I love the back of this shirt because it is longer than the front.  I like to buy pieces that have multiple purposes.  For example, this outfit can be worn casually or professionally.  To dress up this outfit, wear dress pants with a black or gray cardigan.  
Top: Charlotte Russe {purchased this week}
Black Jeans: Forever 21
I adore this outfit!  The pencil skirt is bright and fitted.  I wouldn't wear those wedges to school, but I do like to wear some sort of heel with my pencil skirts.  I also would have partially buttoned the cardigan, but it was hot outside.
Gray Cardigan: Target
Lacy Tank Top: Macy's
Blue Pencil Skirt: The Limited 

Doesn't this pose remind you of high school senior pictures?  Oops...
Although I am wearing jeans in the picture, this shirt can be worn with khakis.
Button Down Top: JCP {purchased this week}
Jeans: Target
Watch: Fossil {This was a birthday present in February, but I have still seen it sold in stores recently.}

Did you know today is National Relaxation Day?  One of my favorite places to relax in the summer {besides the beach} is my porch.  Tonight I will be enjoying another new book that a teacher friend recommended to me.  What do you do to relax after a long day/week?  Have a great weekend!