Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Year End Reflection Linky

I am linking up with Michelle from Big Time Literacy to reflect on my school year.
Best Memories
-Mystery Skype
-Measurement Olympics
-Author Celebration
-Science Day
Missed Opportunities
My home school district hosts a literacy conference every February.  Unfortunately I was unable to go due to a prior commitment and I REALLY wish I had gone.  Based off the tweets I saw, it looks like it was a fantastic day of learning.  
Game Changers
This year I really dove into math workshop.  I saw a lot of growth in my students.  
I followed this structure:
-Number Talk/Opener
-Mini Lesson
-Work Time

I also took more risks with technology in the classroom.  There is always so much to learn, but I am glad I embraced new opportunities.

I became a member of #CompelledTribe, a group of teachers who commit to blogging consistently about specific topics.  Thank you Craig for hosting this group and encouraging me to always reflect and refine my teaching practice.

Lastly, I became a member of The Reading Crew.  They have helped me with my literacy instruction.
This school year I improved my writer's workshop.  I like to follow Lucy Calkins and specifically focused on making more engaging mini lessons.
Nothing that comes to mind?
Between my district, Twitter account, and teaching blog, I built a strong PLN.  Their support, feedback, and ideas kept me going.  I also participated in weekly Twitter chats and even moderated a chat.  I feel that I grew a lot as a teacher this school year from my experiences and my students benefitted from this growth.  I am excited to see where the next school year takes me.

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Summer Goals

I am joining Monica's link up to talk about summer goals.  She is hosting a weekly summer link up that I am excited to be a part of.  Although it seems like everyone else is counting down the days until summer, my last day was Thursday and it was very bittersweet.  I taught a fantastic group of students and I will miss them.  Since I am job hunting right now, I certainly hope my next adventure will be a great fit for me.
Rest and Recharge
During the school year, it feels like we are constantly going at lightning speed.  So far I have enjoyed extra sleep and me time. 

Blogger Meet Up
In June I will be joining other Ohio bloggers for a meet up in Cincinnati.  I haven't met any of them yet and am looking forward to hanging out.

My college roommates live in Dayton and Cincinnati so I plan on making weekend trips to see them.  I am grateful that they are just a short car ride away right now.
The rest of my college friends live in Chicago.  I plan on flying out at some point.  
My mom's side of the family goes to Hilton Head Island every 4th of July so I am really hoping that I am able to join this year.  By far my favorite family vacation.

Summer is a great time to explore additional professional reads.  Some teacher bloggers are hosting linky parties for specific books that I plan on joining.  I love the collaboration and reflection portion of it since we are able to discuss how this transfer will occur in the classroom.

I enjoy spending time outside- especially on my porch and deck.  I will also be able to have a more consistent work out schedule.

I tutor students in Kindergarten-Third Grade.  So far I have about 6 students on my caseload for the summer.  

What are your summer plans?  I am looking forward to blogging more consistently.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Five for Friday… on Sunday

I am linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky.  I am joining late.. on a Sunday!
Thursday was my last day of school.  It was a bittersweet goodbye, but I am grateful I had such a wonderful experience with my students.  I am excited to see where life takes me next.  
Gift from one of my students.  Pink, glitter, and inspiration.  Love it!
I ordered this personal planner from A Modern Teacher and I am in love.  I strive to be organized and I think I finally found a planner that has everything I need.  Plus, the design is beautiful and bright.
I spent part of my long weekend in Pittsburgh for a family reunion.  I only see my cousin about once a year so it was great to catch up.  

Has anyone else seen Pitch Perfect 2?  I saw it with 2 sorority sisters from college.  It was pretty good!

Enjoy your long weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five for Friday- May 8

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky.

One of my students brought these for me on Tuesday as part of Teacher Appreciation Week. So sweet!

This week we learned about synonyms.  The gum ball machine is a resource created by Amy Lemons.  I love it- so many uses!  I plan on using it for antonyms too.  I also read 2 books.  The first book was an introduction to synonyms and the second book included more details.  We also made "synonym rolls".

This is the creativity my students made for Mother's Day.  The template came from K Teacher Tiff.
My students loved the Hidden Words station this week.  They had to write sight words with a white crayon and color with marker.  

I have no idea who this athlete is, but I love the quote.  Definitely perfect for my life right now!

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May Currently

Listening: It is pouring outside!  I actually love listening to the rain.. it is relaxing for me.
Loving: As part of Teacher Appreciation Week our PTO is having lunch for us tomorrow.  Yay!  
Thinking: One of those late nights.
Wanting: Always have a sweet tooth.
Needing: Ready to wrap up everything for the end of the year.  At least I have my Mother's Day craft planned!
Summer: I plan to visit my friends in Chicago and Cincinnati.  I can't wait to see them since all of us don't have the opportunity to get together often. 
I am also in the process of searching for a job.  I am hoping/dreaming of find a teaching job that is the right fit for me :) Positive thoughts!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Together We Are Better {Parent Communication}

I am linking up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners to share how I partner with families to ensure they know our daily learning experiences in the classroom.  It is essential to communicate with parents what their child is learning in school.  Families should be kept in the loop.  I work hard to build and maintain positive relationships with my student's families.

"Every child in your class is someone's whole world"

Something to always remember

I communicate with families in a variety of ways and I hope one of these can help you in the classroom:

Here is a blank sample of my weekly newsletter.  I include what we accomplished in each subject during the week, upcoming content for the following week, and notes.

I also include a separate document for a learning experiences collage.  It is a collection of pictures from the week.  

My newsletter and learning experiences collage are sent home via e-mail on Fridays.  

 I created a classroom Twitter account to document our learning experiences.  I have a Twitter account for my professional growth and a separate account to use with families.  Each tweet is 140 characters so it is a quick, but effective way to communicate with families.  I tweet every day; mostly with pictures.  This really gives parents a glimpse into the classroom.

Positive reinforcement is so important in the classroom.  I aim to send home 2 positive notes a day.  

One of my favorite days of school this year was our Author Celebration when we completed our informational writing unit.  Out of 20 students everyone had a family member come support their child's new learning.  I know I am very blessed to have that support.  From my perspective, it was incredible to see the interaction and have the opportunity to talk to the parents.  It reminded me that we are all in this together.

Next year I also plan to use Remind as a communication tool with families.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The New Teacher Anchor

 C. Jayne Teach has released her Teacher Anchor for the 2015-2016 school year.  If you haven't heard of the Teacher Anchor, it is a teacher plan book filled with resources to help teachers in their day to day planning.  Choosing a planner that has everything you need can be tough, but the Teacher Anchor has many outstanding qualities.

It is cute on the outside, but also functional on the inside.

The Teacher Anchor includes 5 main sections:
  • monthly planner
  • weekly planner
  • grade book
  • student data (forms and checklists for gathering pre/post data, running records, small groups, and individual student conferences).  This section is meant to be customized and fit the needs of your own students.
  • common core state standards 
There are extra sheets for parent communication, student birthdays, and notes pages.

Just like any product, the Teacher Anchor gets better each year.  Here are some improvements:
  • New front cover design 
  • Quick shipping- no pre order.  Teacher Anchors can be shipped in 3-5 business days.
  • Cover is made with synthetic plastic that makes it more durable
  • Dividers to separate each section
Chandra also has folders, coffee mugs, to do lists, notepads, notebooks, and clipboards.  Shop HERE

Happy organizing!