Monday, June 22, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge {Dare to Dream}



I'm finally joining in on the TpT Seller Challenge this week. Who doesn't have big dreams or aspirations for their lives? 



FAMILY: I'm single and don't have any children (besides my dog, who I consider my child and treat him as such). So when I say family, I mean the family that raised me, specifically my mom, grandpa and aunt. They sacrificed so much for me while I was growing up and still help me in many ways even as an adult. I treat them to dinner on visits home and give them random gifts just because I want to show my appreciation for them, but I would love to be able to do more to try and "pay them back" for all they've done for me.

TRAVEL: The only places I've ever traveled to are Florida a few times and Arizona. That's it. Never been out of the US and don't even own a passport. I would love to see more of the US and the world, instead of hearing other people's stories or watching the Discovery Channel.

SAVINGS: I'm trying to build enough savings for an emergency fund and for a home someday. Not the most exciting thing but I think an important one.

I'm excited to read YOUR TpT dreams!



Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Made It


I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for my first Monday Made It in...um...forever? I haven't been getting my craft on as much lately- I've been busy with my big summer project and decluttering purging things I haven't used in years from my apartment. 

I've seen lots of people creating their own custom Pinterest board covers and I love the cohesive look it gives. So I made my own! I'm also trying to really create my own personal "brand" and I think this helps with that too. 

Here's a looksie...I still need to organize them (some of my personal boards are mixed in with my school ones and I want to group like boards together) but it looks so much better, in my own humble opinion. :)




Click here to follow me on Pinterest.




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer Reading List {Linky} & A Giveaway!

I knew when I saw this linky hosted by Lucky to Be in First I had to join! Before I became a teacher, I read all the time. Seriously, like 2-3 books in a week. Now I'm lucky if I get a full book in during Spring Break! 


It's a Long Story: Being the Texan and country music fan that I am, this is going to be a great read for me! Even if you're not into country music, Willie Nelson is such an interesting person- you might like it too.

American Sniper: This will be the first one I read. I know I take my freedom for granted every day and I know that I shouldn't. As a teacher, I know how it feels to be under-appreciated but the men and women of our military (and their families) truly do not deserve to feel that way. If reading about his experiences during war are too much for you, you might be interested in his wife's memoir, American Wife. I'll be reading that one as well. 

If I Stay: I saw this movie and it immediately became one of my favorites (I think I watched it 3 times in the week I bought it). Now I need to read the book!


Shopaholic Series: I absolutely LOVE this series! The main character is so funny and reminds me so much of myself. If you like a quick, easy, funny read then this series (and basically any book by Sophie Kinsella) is for you.

Where She Went: When I found out there was a sequel to If I Stay I went ran to Target to buy it. And you guessed right, I read it in 2 days (this was during Spring Break mind you). This one is written from her boyfriend's perspective and it was SO good. Read it! :)

Pride and Prejudice: A classic and my favorite book of all time. The movie (with Kiera Knightly) is also one of my favorite movies, but nothing beats reading Jane Austen's writing. 

I hope you got some good ideas to add to your Summer Reading List! 
And I have a great way for you to buy all these books you want to read!

I'm joining 23 other bloggers to help our friend Stephanie over at The Learning Chambers celebrate her milestone of reaching 1,000 followers on TpT and Instagram. 


She's giving away $100 to Amazon!! 


All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter below starting on the 15th-- the winner will be chosen June 22nd. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 8, 2015

Reflect and Refresh: Part 1

Welcome to Reflect and Refresh, a two part linky party where teacher bloggers share their reflections on the 2014-2015 school year and ways they are planning to refresh their teaching in 2015-2016.


Communication:

I like to use technology as much as I can in the classroom. I have a private class Instagram account and my teacher webpage. In the past, I've used Remind101 and I loved it! If you've never used it, I highly recommend it. However, this past year I only had three parents utilize these methods of communication. I had to go back to the old fashioned way of communicating with parents- the weekly newsletter. I have nothing against them- I just like to save as much paper as possible (not to mention copy quotas). Here is what it looks like. I will be putting an editable version in my TpT store soon. 

Organization:

Like most teachers, I hoard. And it's no different with my files. I used to have them all in a filing cabinet but then saw so many people transferring theirs to binders that I just had to do the same! I like that I can look on the shelf, skim for the content I need and it's right there at my fingertips. It's a little pricey (read: lots of binders and page protectors) so I'm doing a little at a time. I totally forgot to snap a pic before packing up my classroom but I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm working on new covers and will put them in my TpT store when they're done!

Content:

This past year was my first year to work in a district that really pushes early childhood education. I've never been able to use things like a dramatic play center or sensory table. This year I got one around March and was amazed at how much my students loved it! They were more engaged at the sensory table than any other center. 

Here is the March table. I used Marsha McGuire's March sensory table unit that you can find here.

This was in April. They are using this freebie I found from Greg at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.



My Big Summer Project:

During one of the recent TpT sales I found this really awesome resource from Learning is Something to Treasure. Making words is a big part of my small group routine but I've never found a way to utilize it that I thought was fun for the kids. They like using white boards and plastic letters but when I saw this I knew I had to try it. 


Like I mentioned above, I like to save paper for green reasons as well as to save on my copy limits. I also knew I didn't want to copy each set of letters I was using AND cut them out for each student (ain't no teacher got time for that). 

Enter, my big, huge, gigantic summer project.

First, I printed all the letter tiles on card stock. I used a different color for each vowel family, blends, digraphs and r-controlled vowels. 


Next is to cut out all the letter tiles. After about 10 pages I was thinking to myself, "What did I get myself into?!" This part is taking FOR-EV-ER. Most word family groups came with 5 sets of letter tiles- I put each set in a baggie so that when it comes time to actually use these we won't have to spend time in our small group sorting out letters (there's a picture of the baggies below).


I made cute labels for each group because everything's better when it's cute right??



I put the labels on individual manila file envelopes and the corresponding letter tiles inside.



I thought about gluing the word list on the back of each envelope but I'll be honest, that's just more work. So I'm just going to slip it inside the envelope (some of you may not even need a word list but since it came with the pack I'm going to use it).


Finally, I thought I'd be placing all the envelopes in a plastic storage tub but I'm not sure if I like that so I'm still working that part out.

This project may take me all summer to finish (I can only cut and bag so many teeny tiny pieces at one time people) but I know it'll be worth it next year! 

Want to link up with us to share how you're looking back on the 2014-2015 school year and reflecting on your teaching? Grab the picture below, write your blog post, and then come back and link up! Linky will close June 22 at 11:55pm.


Don't forget to come back on August 3rd to share how you're going to Look Forward and Refresh your teaching!





Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June Pinterest Pick 3


School is over in t-minus 3 days y'all! That means I get to start getting my "crafting/decorating/reading/everything else I'm too busy to do during the school year" on!


I'm a self-confessed dumpster diver. No, I don't actually get IN the dumpsters. But if there's something near the dumpster that's in decent shape or something I could work my magic on, odds are I'm going to put in my trunk. This happened a couple weeks ago. Someone left some wooden bed slats (sort of like pallets) and I grabbed them. One of my favorite crafty things to do is refinish furniture. My mom wants a shelf like this for her bathroom-those slats will be perfect for it!






It's not really a secret of mine that I don't know how to cook. I blame it on my mother, who was the queen of her kitchen and never let me help (thanks Mom). Plus, I despise washing dishes. Plus, I'm a huge klutz and either cut or burn myself when I attempt to cook. Even with all that against me, I do like to try every once in a while. As long as it's something easy. This is one thing I'm going to try soon. It requires one pot and about 20-25 minutes. And it basically cooks itself. What's not to love about that?!






I just started getting back into running. My goal is to be able to do a 5K without having to stop, working my way up to a 10K and so on. I may not follow this plan exactly since I'm not technically starting from scratch, but it will help me gauge my improvement.






June Favorite Things


This is my first time linking up with The Teaching Trio for their Favorite Things linky.


 This one's just a bunch of random stuff! I've added some links under the pic if you want more info.








Monday, June 1, 2015

Currently {June 2015}

Praise the Lord, it is FINALLY June!!! I know some of you think this school year went by fast but to me it just. dragged. on. and. on. I am ready for a much needed break to do nothing but sit by the pool or on my paddle board. 

So let's go to it, shall we??




Listening: I started playing this station at school for my students but have become quite addicted to it. Normally I have to have quiet when I'm working or studying but this doesn't bother me that much, except when it gets real intense- then I have to click "next."

Loving: I don't believe this needs any explanation! :)

Thinking: I love TpT. Really, I do. I've gotten so many great resources from it and met many wonderful people because of it. But it's kind of overwhelming. So many people are TpT creators now and so many of them are super talented. I think I just need to find my niche and get really good at that. All right, end of pity party.

Wanting: I have a decent HP laptop but I never use it because I always use my work computer. Then I starting thinking I really shouldn't be using my work computer for personal stuff. And normally, I'm kind of anti-Apple but I've heard the Mac Books are pretty good. It's on my summer to-do list.

Needing: Ok, I lied. I don't have a summer to-do list. Yet. I need to make one. I have a ton of things I need to do and I always feel more accountable for things if I write them down. Plus, it feels good to cross things out... < - - -   see what I did there??

Summer Lovin': I always love going to garage sales with my mom, aunt and grandpa...and summer for me is seriously about doing nothing. I enjoy the calm of nothingness- especially if I'm on or near the water.

This month's Currently has a special cause... As I'm sure you've heard, the Hill Country, (which like Farley, has a special place in my heart but for a different reason- I grew up here) has seen some tough weather and times recently. Farley is accepting donations for WAG, or Wimberley Adoption Group and Rescue. See her original post for more details and to donate. Our animals aren't just animals, they're members of our families.