Saturday, June 27, 2015

3-2-1 Teacher Bio {Weekend Warriors}

It's time for the next installment of Weekend Warriors! This month, we thought it would be fun to get to know each other a little bit better.


We are using the 3-2-1 nonfiction organizer idea to share some things about ourselves, and we hope that you decide to link up with us and share a bit about yourself too.  It's always fun to learn a little bit more about the people behind the blogs we love!  So, here is how it works.


Here is a little bit about me, the teacher.


I think most of us change things up from year to year. It's a great way to keep our teaching fresh.  I know it helps me to be more excited about what we are doing, and if I'm excited, so are my students.  Plus, the needs of my students vary from year to year, so modifying how I do things not only keeps my teaching fresh, but it ensures that I'm meeting my students needs. 

I believe that high expectations are super important.  Not just for my students, but myself.  Lead by example, right?

I want my students to look forward to coming to school, and I want them to think it is fun!  My classroom is not the party zone, but you will see my students working collaboratively, playing games, moving around, and interacting with their learning material as often as possible. They are engaged, on-task, and enjoying the learning process, and that makes my teacher heart very, very happy.

Here is a little bit about me, the person. The regular me.  Warning: I thought I would have fun with this one, you know, let my sense of humor come out a bit. ;)


Ok, so I'm being sarcastic about my household chores (cooking, cleaning, laundry, and such).  They do get done, but they are my least favorite thing to do.  Especially during the school year.  Let's just say, they get done, but I do them quickly and I don't spend time fantasizing about getting them done. #sorrynotsorry

Clearly, my taste in collections is less than cultured.  It always has been.  Haha!  When I was younger, I used to collect stickers.  I had a whole book of them! My favorite were the puffy ones...and the smelly ones.  I also collected charms for my uber cool plastic charm bracelet.  Obviously, I was not, and still am not, a collector of fine or rare items.  I'm OK with that, collections should make you happy.  ;) 

Let's move on to the question.  The question is, what is one thing on your bucket list?  Answer:


At the beginning of summer we took our Little Peanut to Disneyland and she absolutely loved it! We all did.  I've always wanted to go to Disney World and we decided that we need to make sure we she gets there one day.  Hopefully, we will be able to fulfill this bucket list item in the near future!

We'd love for you to join the fun and link up with us!  Simply grab the buttons below to use them in your post and make sure to link back to this post.  I can't wait to read all about you!






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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jump-Start on Back to School

Yay for summer!  It's the season of relaxation, but the thought of school is always on my mind.  I don't think I can turn off the teacher part of me.  While I get my fill of relaxation, I also make sure to get a jump-start on a few of my back to school tasks!



I certainly have my list of things to accomplish this summer, but before I left school I made sure to prep as much as I could for next year. #jumpstart #check #happyteacher

I'm most excited about the fact that I'm all set and ready to go in the forms department, thanks to my Back to School Forms pack.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Forms-PDF-Editable-Versions-Included-1871436

The first form that I prepped was this "Getting to Know Your Child" form. I always place one on each student's desk at our Meet and Greet a few days before school starts. Most parents take the time to fill the form out on the spot.  After I read through the forms, I put them in my teacher binder for safe keeping and easy reference.

I also put out a student info card (shown above) so I can have immediate access to contact information, allergy information, and birthdays.   The best thing is, when I go back in August, these forms are all prepped and ready for use!
 
I also prepped these attendance notes for parents to use when their child returns from an absence.  This will allow me to excuse the absence in our online system (well, OK, someone in the office does this, but it has all the information they will need to do so).


I have lots of contacts to keep track of.  Well, you probably do too!  These forms are printed and ready for use!  They are going straight into my teacher binder so that I can easily find what I need.  


The first week is always nut-so at my school when it comes to transportation.  Kids forget how they are getting home, some kids truly don't know, and with all the craziness that comes with the first week, we are still expected to keep track of how each student gets home.

So, before I left, I made copies of this Transportation Information form to set out at our Meet and Greet.  That way, I will know how several of the students are getting home before the first week craziness even begins.  The pink page will make for a nice quick reference (and it won't get lost on my desk since it's hot pink).  

I can keep the white page in my teacher binder in case I ever need to reference the information on that form.

I'll be honest, it's hard for me to use parent volunteers as often as I'd like, but these forms are all prepped and ready to go. Hopefully they will help me recruit a few helpers and communicate their volunteer times with them. 


Do you send home a class handbook?  I do!  And, I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to have them totally and completely prepped for next year. I always send my handbook home on the first day.  It includes all of my classroom policies and procedures.  It's a great way to give the parents the information they might need to reference throughout the school year.  These pages include my policies and procedures, but when I incorporated them into the forms pack, I made them editable.  So, if you like what you see, but need to tweak the content a bit, you can make it your own because it's editable!  


It feels so great to have a jump-start on the new school year.  In August, I won't have to hunt for a copier that works, and I won't have to stand in line to use a copier either.  The forms are all ready! 

If you're looking to get a jump-start on the new school year, be sure to check out my Back to School Forms pack on TPT to see more. The pack also includes monthly newsletter templates, contact logs, a class list, weekly reading log, homework packet cover letter, and more!  It's sure to make your life easier throughout the school year!
 

As I mentioned throughout the post, I plan to keep some of these forms in my teacher binder.  Wondering what my teacher binder looks like?  Take a look!  You can grab this cover for FREE by clicking {here}.


Black and white isn't quite your style?  Well, maybe you'll like the colorful polka dot version!  It's FREE too!  Just click {here}Note: both versions are included in the same download, just print the version you like best.


Now, go and get a jump-start on those back to school tasks! I've got a few that need attending to, so off I go. Toodles!

DON'T FORGET IT: PIN IT! 




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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Teachers Love Summer {A Linky!}

Yep, they do.  Teachers. Love. Summer.  I mean, we love school too, of course, but summer is that magical time of year when we get to decompress and re-energize for the upcoming school year.  And mixed in with all that decompressing and re-energizing are lots of little things that make us really love summer. 

So, let's share!  I thought it would be fun to start a linky where we can all share our reasons for loving this magical time of year.


Honestly, there are tons of reasons I love summer.  Don't worry, I won't list them all here.  But, I'd love to share a few that I'm sure you'll be able to relate to.  And, when you're ready, please grab the button above and link up!



No alarm clock.  Enough said.  Right?  Well, yes, but I'm going to say more anyway.  During the school year I get up at 4:45 a.m.  People, this is WAY too early (but necessary).  I drag myself out of bed each morning longing for more sleep.  Put simply, my body just isn't ready to get up at 4:45 a.m.

But, during the summer, I can sleep in and wake up when I'm ready to.  In all honesty, that means I wake up by 7:30 a.m., but still, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

Reading. I do not have time to read during the school year.  I just don't.  I try, and then I never finish the book that I started to read.  So, during the summer I tend to binge read.  Haha!

I kicked off my summer reading with Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella.  This series is so funny.  So funny that I literally laugh out loud when I'm reading it.



Working Out.  When I want.  And, for as long as I want.  Before I became a teacher and a mom, 70-80 minute nightly workouts were part of my routine.  I never missed a workout.  Never, ever.  Needless to say, I was in pretty good shape.

Then, I became a teacher and started bringing work home with me.  Later on, I became a mom and, well, you know, I have mom stuff to take care of too.  This means that my daily workout regimen is not what it used to be.

But, during the summer, I can pop in a workout DVD on my computer while my Little Peanut has her cartoon time, or I can ride my exercise bike.  And, I can do as long, or as short of a workout as desired because time is on my side. If you're wondering what my go to workout DVDs are, here you go.  Anything by The Firm is what you will find me working out to.



Coffee time!  I am a coffee fanatic all year long, but during the summer I get to sit and relax as I drink my cup of happiness. During the school year I brew my coffee straight into my travel mug and sip on it as I drive to work, and then finish it at my desk. That isn't a very enjoyable experience, at all.

Today, before the heat set in, I had breakfast out on the patio and I loved that I was able to sit there with my coffee and enjoy a relaxing start to the day as I soaked up the loveliness of the outdoors.



Errands.  Seriously!  Normally, all of my errands get saved for the weekend.  This means that I don't usually get to all of them and then I feel like a less than stellar wife and mother.

During the summer, I have the time to get my car washed, I can grocery shop on a weekday and avoid the chaos of weekend shopping, and I can take my daughter to the doctor without writing sub plans!  Here I am at the car wash yesterday.  Waiting patiently. Because I had the time to be patient.



Pampering. Otherwise known as Me Time.  There is no such thing as Me Time during the school year, sadly.  But during the summer, I can paint my nails regularly...during the day, if I want to.  Well, I guess painting my nails is about the extent of my pampering.  Ha!  But, it sure does feel good to actually use the nail polish that I am addicted to buying.


Honestly, I have about a kajillion other reasons why I love summer, like the fact that I have time to organize my home, purge old stuff from our closets, go to matinees in the middle of the week, hang out at the pool....well, I think you get it.  In fact, you can probably relate.  But, enough about me!  Link up and tell us why you love summer!





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Friday, June 5, 2015

Five for Friday {June 5, 2014}

Let's just say that today is awesome.  I mean, yes, it's Friday and all, buuuut, it just happens to be my last day of work!! Yesterday was the last day for students, and today we all check out with admin for the summer.  This teacher has never been so ready for a summer break.  But, before I get started on my rest and relaxation, I wanted to share a few things from my week with you.  So, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!
At the end of the year I always break down and pack up my classroom.  It's required.  But, the past few years they have allowed us to keep the fabric and borders on our bulletin boards.  I noticed the other day that mine were a bit dusty.  I was lamenting over the prospect of taking the boards down to clean them but my teaching partner shared a genius idea with me: canned air!  You know, the same kind you use to clean your keyboard with?  I just sprayed it on the fabric (and kind of brushed it with my hand a bit too), and easy as 1-2-3, the dust was gone!


As I continued to pack up my room, I realized that my dry erase pockets were in desperate need of some cleaning.  I brought them home, sprayed them with some window cleaner (I used generic) and wiped them down with a paper towel.  Now, they are as good as new!



During the last week of school I always keep my kiddos busy and engaged in learning by hosting various themed days. On Monday, we had a Bubble Fun Day.  It really was lots of fun exploring bubbles.  They loved when I brought out my Gymboree bubble blower inside the classroom.  Bubbles indoors?? Say, what?  Yep, I'm crazy like that sometimes.  We used that experience to complete the can/have/are organizer shown in the picture.
They also got their own containers of bubbles and headed outside to complete an observation.  Later in the day they blew some bubbles with gum and then decided which type of bubble they preferred to blow.  We also went back outside and just blew bubbles for fun.  Shhh, don't tell anyone.


We also had a Lemonade Day.  This day was cut a bit short as we also had a grade level yearbook signing party.  But, we did manage to sample some delicious lemonade (regular and pink).  We also created a class graph and analyzed the data, completed a parts of speech sort, and wrote about the experience.  Somehow, I only managed to get pictures of the lemonades and writing.  #endofyearproblems





I'm a huge Mercy Watson fan, and every year that I read this series of books to my second graders they too become Mercy fans.  My own kiddo is a huge fan and often asks me for toast with a great deal of butter on it.  Oh boy.  Well, imagine my excitement when I found this book on Amazon!


Leroy Ninker is a character from the Mercy Watson series.  I read it to the kids this week and they absolutely loved it!



Earlier in the week, I tackled a bit more prep work for next year.  I made copies of these super amazing listening activities from Fluttering Through First.  I now have a stash of listening activities to last me the entire year!


I also prepped a set of new reward coupons by Libby Dryfuse.  I still need to cut them out, but at least they are printed.  Cutting is easy.  I call that a TV job.  I park my rear end on the couch when something good is on, and cut, cut, cut.  Easy peasy.


That's all, folks!  Thanks for stopping by today!



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