Monday, June 29, 2015

My Favorite Quote

I am linking up with Monica from I Heart 3rd grade to show you my favorite quote.
I absolutely love quotes; personal and professional.  There is always a quote that perfectly crafts what you are feeling or thinking.
Especially as a beginning teacher, I love working with a grade level team.  Working with others helps me gain new ideas and feedback in addition to feeling supported.  I have been very fortunate to work on very positive teams.
The past school year I also have built my PLN through Twitter and my teaching blog.  I love the community!
Any challenge we face helps us grow.  Use challenges as your motivation to move forward and learn something new.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Warriors: 3-2-1 Teacher Bio

I am linking up for this months weekend warriors, 3-2-1 Teacher Bio.

ONE: In my opinion, the primary grades are the best.  I love the student's enthusiasm, curiosity, and growth.  I love finding resources that will excite my students about learning.
TWO: I have always been an organized person.  I enjoy the little things like planners and stationary.  
THREE: I have learned so much from the grade level teams I have worked on.  I love the collaboration.  With my teaching blog and Twitter account, I really enjoy gaining new ideas and feedback.  
 I am a hands on teacher and want to create fun, meaningful learning experiences for my students.
Flair pens, anyone?

                         Planner from A Modern Teacher.  All of these colors are beautiful!

ONE: When I have free time I love to travel. I stay within the United States, but I love the feeling of going away and gaining new experiences.  Every year I travel to Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, and Illinois.  The beach is my favorite place!
TWO: I am girly.  I like shopping and fashion. 

Right now building a home is a long shot…. A girl can dream, right?  I may be a bit obsessed with HGTV.  Drew and Scott are more than welcome to come to my house and work their magic.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Teaching with Intention Book Study Chapters 3 and 4

I am behind in linking up so this post is about chapter 3 and 4 from Debbie Miller's Teaching with Intention book study. 
Chapter 3 was about the classroom environment.  So far this has been my favorite chapter.  I strive to make the classroom friendly and welcoming for students.  As I read this chapter I gained new ideas as well as validate what I am already doing.

On page 24, Debbie says to step out of your classroom and look back in.  What do you see?  Then, ask a colleague to give honest feedback using these questions:
What do you know I value?
What do you know I value about teaching and learning?
What do you know about the kids in this room?

A few points to reflect on:
-Get rid of or donate what you don't need.  {I believe organization is key to an optimal learning environment.}
-Classrooms need to be welcoming environments that encourage students to become active learners and collaborate.  
-Think about how you arrange these areas of the classroom:  meeting area, small group area, student seating, classroom library, and teacher desk.  

My favorite part about this chapter was on the last page.  "That's why on the first days of school the classroom walls, bulletin boards, and doors will be almost bare.  That's as it should be!  Don't jump in and "put stuff up" just to make yourself feel better." (pg. 42)
With Pinterest and Instagram, teachers are exposed to what seems to be perfectly decorated classrooms. Naturally, teachers want to mock the same result.  It is important to keep in mind cute is not a best practice.  Our classrooms should reflect the students and new learning.
Chapter 4 was about creating classroom culture.  As a follow up to the previous chapter about the environment, now we are reflecting on our language with students.

"The messages we send on the first days and weeks of school are the messages that set the tone for the entire year.  From all the ways we put our thinking and theirs on display to what we say and do to foster and find significance in student thinking, we're letting kids in on who are we, what we expect from them (and ourselves), and what we believe about teaching and learning.  And yes!  A smile goes a long way, too." (pg. 49) 
Since I was in college, I was told frequently to not smile until December.  However, kids need smiles.  Period.  What impression do you want to make with your students?

In this chapter Debbie Miller mentions the value of being a reflective teacher.  To be reflective in our reading and writing Debbie suggests carrying a notebook around.  I thought this was a great suggestion because many times I think of a great idea to include in a lesson, but forgot to write it down somewhere.

This chapter was divided into 3 sections:
-Putting our thinking on display.  {This shows our students that we are present.  When we are present, we are thoughtful and curious.}
-The intentional use of language {Be present and listen to students.  Really listen to what they are trying to say instead of dismissing any crazy thoughts or ideas.}
-Make thinking visible, physical, and permanent {Document student's thinking.  Many teachers do this with anchor charts, displaying student work, and quotes.}

Thanks for reading my long post!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Teachers Love Summer

I am linking up with Aimee from Primarily Speaking to share reasons why I love summer.  Although I love my job and always give it my all, I appreciate having some time to slow down and relax.
This is a given.  I actually get to wake up at a decent hour during the school year since my drive to school is short.  However, it is nice knowing I can stay up late without being tired the next day.  I like being well rested.
I am passionate about professional development and having a growth mindset.  I love that I can sit outside on my deck and read whenever I desire.  

               I am heading to the beach in July.  What suggestions do you have for fun books?
In my free time, I absolutely love to travel.  Every year I go to:
-Phoenix, AZ
-Hilton Head Island, SC
-Fort Lauderdale, FL

This summer I have been frequently traveling to Cincinnati and Dayton to see my college roommates and sorority sisters.  The rest of my college friends live in Chicago so I fly out once or twice a year….  Just not during the winter :)  I also am going to Raleigh, NC in July for EdCamp Leader.  I am really looking forward to meet more educators.
I love being able to have a consistent work out schedule in the summer and not feel rushed.  Plus working out is so much nicer when there is sunshine.
Instead of DVRing my favorite tv shows, I can watch them when they air.  It's the little things, right?
I am an active person so I don't watch a ton of TV, but if I want to relax and watch FRIENDS I am able to.

What do you love about summer?  Although teachers always seem to be on the go, it is important to take the time to relax.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Blog Party Kick Off {K/1 Book List FREEBIE}

Happy Summer!  I hope you find yourself relaxing and enjoying some sunshine.  I have been spending time with friends, relaxing at the pool, traveling, and interviewing.  I am also going to the beach with my family in July.  

Today I am joining 16 other reading specialists to share tips and ideas to overcome the summer slump.  Research shows that summer can have a negative impact on student learning.  If students have the opportunity to read regularly during the summer, they can gain reading skills and foster a love for reading.

I created a Kindergarten and First Grade book list with suggested titles.  Although I believe students should have choice in their learning, this list may help guide your library visits.

Here is your forever FREEBIE Happy reading!!  Don't forget to grab more resources at the next stop.

Click the image below to visit the next stop, Sarah from Sarah's Snippets.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reflect and Refresh {Part 1} Plus Summer Reading List for Teachers

I am linking up with my friend Amber from Peppy Zesty Teacherista for a 2 part linky to reflect and refresh on our school year.
Communication I created a classroom Twitter account.  At first I was unsure about it, but the parents were really supportive.  Many parents commented that they enjoyed getting a peek into our daily learning experiences in the classroom, which helped foster conversations at home.

Classroom Management/Organization I read about Responsive Classroom and Teaching with Love and Logic. Both books really made me think about my classroom management and they align with my philosophy.  I feel much better about my classroom management.

Content This school year I worked hard to improve my writing instruction.  I follow a workshop model and like to use Lucy Calkins along with my units.  My goal was to give students more choice in their writing and improve my individual conferences with students.

My Big Summer Project This summer I am thrilled to be blogging more frequently.  I am participating in a book study for Teaching with Intention and other weekly link ups.

I am linking up with Lucky to be in First for her Summer Reading List for Teachers linky.

My list of books:
Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller: Greg Smedley is hosting a weekly linky party so teachers can share their thoughts on each chapter.  Check his blog every Wednesday to see which teacher blogger is hosting a chapter.  

Teaching with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk (2010 version): I am re reading this book.  Fantastic book for classroom management!

More Than Guided Reading by Cathy Mere: Although there is an emphasis on guided reading especially in the primary classrooms, the author talks about other ways to help our students gain independence such as strengthening our focus lesson and allowing our students to read from self selected texts.

Reconsidering Read Aloud by Mary Lee Hahn: This book provides suggestions for selecting appropriate read alouds and teaching strategies that match read alouds.

If you have any suggestions for non-teacher related books I should read this summer, let me know.  I could use some fun books for the beach in July!

Have a great week!  Here is to hoping it doesn't rain the entire week like the weather says it is supposed to...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Why I Started Blogging

I started blogging last summer.  Last year was my first year of teaching and reading teacher's blogs helped me immensely during the school year.  I loved all of the resources available and being able to collaborate with other teachers.  The community of teachers seemed so supportive and genuine.
Once I was recharged from last school year, I dove right into blogging.

My main reasons I decided to blog:
-Meet teachers in my licensure area
-Supportive community
-Endless resources
-Collaborate: recently I have really enjoyed participating in various book studies
-Receive feedback
-Personalized professional development
-Share ideas
-Reflect on my teaching experiences