Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014-2015 Goals

I found this super cute linky through Confessions of a Tiny Teacher on my Bloglovin' feed (what would we do without Bloglovin'??). We're linking up with I {heart} Recess. Click her button to read her post and add your goals.
Here are my goals for 2014-2015.

Personal: Last year I got in the {bad} habit of not eating lunch. Or practically anything all day long at school, with maybe the exception of a handful of animal crackers during snack time (I know I'm not the only one guilty of this right?!) This summer I started the Insanity program and trying to live a healthier lifestyle- not eating lunch is definitely NOT healthy. Any suggestions on nutritious but easy lunch options are welcome!
Organization: I have TONS of centers-- different themes/holidays/special days for all different topics/subjects/skills. My problem right now is HOW I should organize theme/holiday/special day or by topic/subject/skill? Also, WHAT should I organize them in...sterilite containers/file cabinet/3 ring binders? It's too much for me to handle!
Planning: This year I'll be at a new district & school (woohoo!) so I have NO clue how they plan. Basically it'll be my first year all over again as far as planning goes, so just keeping my head above water is my ultimate goal.
Professional: I don't want an actual master's degree but I've been considering getting an additional certification. Something in a literacy area. Master Reading Teacher perhaps? Know of any good programs anyone (online or in Austin)?
Students: Research says (I hate that phrase but in this case I agree) that when students have more input in what and how they are learning they are more sucessful. And isn't that what we all want? I plan on letting my kids direct more of my lessons, with me having more of a facilitator role. Since I teach Kinder it may take a while for them to get accustomed to this ("Today we're going to talk about the sun." "Oh, I know the sun is REALLY HOT, sorta like that time when the sand was really hot on my feet when I went to the beach and built a sandcastle and saw a dolphin..." Fellow Kinder teachers you know how this goes.)
Motto: If you've read ANY of the posts about Vegas you've probably come across this quote from Deanna during the TpT conference. I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Love it and her.
What are YOUR goals??

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back 2 School {linky}- Week 1

I don't know about y'all but I've made so many new blogger friends from using Instagram. That's how I learned about this new weekly linky hosted by Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees.
Here's what their schedule is for the next few weeks if you're interesting in joining. Make sure you click the button above to check out everyone who linked up and to add your own!

Today is all about behavior management. To quote Mrs. D, "it’s one of those things that some teachers just know how to handle and something that others need to invest many, many hours in." I'll be the first to admit I'm one of those that has invested many hours researching the best tools, strageties, ways, incentives to manage my class.
Now that I sit and think back on my first year I don't remember having an actual management system that I used. I was blessed to have a super class and super parents. No clip chart, no nothing. I don't think I even did smiley or sad faces in their folders. Crazy huh?!
I moved to a different campus my second year where they had a school-wide system all teachers used. It was basically a monthly calendar in their take-home folders with codes at the bottom we used to describe their behavior for that specific day (A1- talking out of turn, B7- inappropriate cafeteria get the drift).
This was good but the problem I found was that if I put a B7 in their folder the parents would want to know EXACTLY what their child did to display inappropriate behavior in the cafeteria. Which is completely understandable but resulted in mini P/T conferences the next morning when they dropped their child off.
I was at the same campus my third year but decided to implement the famous clip chart strategy in my class. I used this one from A Cupcake for the Teacher. Click on the picture to read her post on it.
One thing I started doing differently was I had the students tell me what to write in their folder if they landed on yellow, orange or red. This was a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of thing; it gave me a chance to quickly conference with the student about his/her behavior plus it put the responsibilty on them instead of me.
My favorite part of her system was the Hall of Fame. If a student landed on Super Student I put a gold star on their clip. Once they got 5 stars, they earned a special reward from me. We decided as a class at the beginning of the year what the reward would be and they chose lunch bought from me from Chik-Fil-A (with parent permission).
They also earned or lost tickets according to which color they were on by the end of the day. We "bought" prizes from the prize box each Friday with their tickets so this A) gave them more incentive to land on a higher color and earn more tickets and B) taught them about spending versus saving (they could either "buy" a prize or "save" their tickets for prizes that required a larger amount of tickets- perfect for covering the new personal financial literacy TEKS!).
This was the best tool I've used in my three years of teaching. However, I've been seeing more and more about whole brain teaching and want to start implementing some of it's strategies. I just read a post over at Teaching With Love and Laughter about WBT and may use her Super Improvers wall this year. Click the picture to read her post.
Bottom line is, use whatever tool you find works best for you and your class. You know that term "differentiate"? That goes for behavior management as well. I'm one of those teachers who likes to try new things so that's what I'll do until I find the perfect (does that exist?) system!

Wordless Wedneday {linky}

Good morning y'all! I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday. Click the button to add your link too!
Alright class, raise your hand if this word makes you cringe at just the sight or mere whisper of it?

(Both of my arms are raised and waving wildly in the air.)
After seeing all the superfreakinamazing pictures of Vegas I'm determined to get myself there next year. I'm a teacher though, so I spend (my loads of) money every now and then at the Dollar Tree or Teacher Heaven...
My question to you is...have you found a budgeting plan that has been realistic and successful for you? Do you have any other tips for saving money? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In It to Win It! {Blog Hoppin' Linky}

Hey y'all! I just got through going through my Bloglovin' feed and reading all of the amazing blog posts about Vegas...not gonna lie, I've got mixed feelings about it! It was inspiring just to see all the pictures of those of you who attended alongside some of the most *amazing* teacher bloggers ever. But I'm also a little jealous! Haha! You'd have to be crazy NOT to be jealous if you're a teacher and have heard of these wonderful people but didn't get to go.

I've decided that next year I WILL be there! So, the next time I want a $1 sweet tea from McDonald's or a Redbox rental I'm going to stop and ask myself- sweet tea/Redbox OR the experience of a lifetime in VEGAS??? Um, no brainer! That $1 is going into my Vegas bank! Who's with me?!?!

Speaking of all these inspiring mentors- quite a few of my favorites are authors at this little blog called Blog Hoppin'. I'm sure you've heard of it AND this little scavenger hunt they have going on right now. I'm linking up with them to share some of the pictures I've gotten on my search (ie: mission to *win* that camera!!).

I've had so much fun with this scavenger hunt! It's totally right up my alley. My friends and family know I love to act silly and this is the perfect activity for that!

Head over to Blog Hoppin' to link up and share some of your pictures!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Installing Pinterest Board Covers

Hey y'all! How many of you are having so much fun with this scavenger hunt hosted by the wonderful bloggers of Blog Hoppin'??! I may or may not be going just a tad crazy over it! But that camera is swa-eet and I want it. I want it bad! :-) If you haven't heard about it, just click the link below for all the info!
My last post was all about Pinterest board covers. If you didn't read it just click here.
I'm going to walk you through step by step on how to install these cuties.
After you download the product and edit it to what you want it to say, click File, Save As, name your file what you want and *this is the important part* save it as a PNG or JPEG file. It will ask which slides you want to export. You can do 5 at a time (all slides) or just one at a time (just this one).
Don't worry- this won't change the Power Point file. You'll be able to go back and edit them again to make more covers.
Now go to your Pinterest account. Click on the Plus sign at the top to upload a new pin. Find the file of the board cover you want and *make sure you upload it to the board you want it on* or else it won't work. For example, if your cover says "social studies" for your social studies board, you'll want to upload it to that board, not to your math or ELA board. I learned this the hard way! I just named the pin "cover."
Next, it should have taken you back to the screen with all your boards. Find the board you just uploaded the cover pin to, hover over it until it says "change cover" and click on that. Your new board cover should be the first little picture that shows up. *If it looks like it doesn't fit properly just click the forward selection arrow then the back selection arrow and it should fix it.* Click "save changes" and wah-lah! A new and cuter board cover!
I hope this helps you install your super cute new covers. If you need any more help or have any questions feel free to email me.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Organizing Pinterest Boards

Good morning after the 4th of July everyone! I hope everyone had a fabulous day yesterday (and continuing into the weekend)! I went to see a fireworks show last night but got stuck in traffic for *TWO HOURS* afterwards...but I had fun so that's all that matters right?!

So I'm slowly but surely making my way into the Teachers Pay Teachers world. Baby steps y'all! This blog is a whole new world to me in and of itself! 

I posted my first product a couple days ago and it actually got downloaded! What??

And 2 Pins?? Thank you guys for the support (even though I think most of you downloaded it out of pity hahaha). I'll get better with practice I promise!

Speaking of getting better with practice...I have a new product!

If you're like me, you like things to be just a certain way. A self-confessed control freak. I've gotten better with age but once a control freak, always a control freak.

I was looking at my Pinterest boards and thought "This could look so much more pleasing to the eye if I had coordinated board covers." And a product was born.

And just like most labors in real life, this was not a {sit down at my computer and get this done} kinda thing. It was more like a {sit down at my computer and "how do I do this?!" and "why won't it let me do that?!" and "I give up!!!} kinda thing.

Here it is! (Click on the picture to go my store.) 

It's just what the cover says it is- editable covers for your Pinterest boards so they all look nice and pretty and coordinated! There are 5 different colors so you can mix and match or just use the same color if that's what you wish.

Here's a before and after shot of my boards...

Doesn't it look SO much better?!?
I plan on making some other different styles but wanted to get this one up in my store. It's only $1.50! Once I put more styles up I'll bundle them so you can save (I'll have to learn how to bundle first...).

I'm going to have another post later that gives directions on how to install them, so be looking for that if you need help!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

My 1st TpT product! Yikes!

So I just created my first ever Teachers Pay Teachers product. Y'all, I'm just getting my feet wet- I wasn't trying to reinvent the wheel! The product itself isn't fabulous; my main goal for this one was to just see what all it entailed to create a product! 

Man, it took longer than I thought!

From adjusting and readjusting clip art, downloading fonts and then making sure I gave credit in the correct eyes hurt from squinting at the screen so much! 

I've always been in awe of teachers who create these fabulous products but this has given me a new found respect for the art of TpT creating! They are WAAAY more creative than me!

The product is free if you'd like to mosey on over and download it (just click on my button). I'd appreciate some feedback, whether it be good or some helpful suggestions. Please go easy on me y'all! :)



$10 off an Erin Condren planner!

The gorgeous planners from Erin Condren are no secret. I'm a pretty organized person but one of my downfalls is that I think I can try to mentally remember all the hundreds millions of things I have to do without writing them down. HA! This has gotten me into trouble so many times.
Well, this year I am going to lose that habit! Erin Condren planner to the rescue! I cannot wait to get mine! 
If you'd like $10 off YOUR purchase of a super adorable Erin Condren planner just use this link!
Happy planning!


July Currently

I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for the July edition of Currently.
Happy 4th everyone! Have fun but stay safe!