Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back to School Goals

I'm linking up with I {heart} Recess for a back to school linky.

I {Heart} Recess

I go back in less than three weeks. I guess I should start thinking about it, huh?

[How cute is the template, BTW?]

Personal: At the beginning of last year, I made a commitment to eating [mostly] clean, and I lost about 15 pounds. I gained some of it back with the end of the year stress and the lack of structure in the sweeeeet summertime. Let's hope I can get back on the right track!

Organization: I can't be the only one whose desk just sprouts piles like weeds? No matter what kinds of organizational tricks I pull out throughout the year, I can't shake this! It was a little better last year, though. Progress, people!

Planning: It was announced about a week ago we are getting a new principal. There are some new people coming it at the central office, I believe. So, I'm assuming there will be some changes in the way I'm going to be doing things, which may include planning differently. I need to be open to new ways of planning, even if I'm not completely comfortable right away. [It could end up being the absolute same as far as I know, but this unknown is killin' me!]

Professional: I've been doing math workshop since I've started four years ago, and I've changed little things each year. I like what I'm doing, and it is definitely proving effective, but there is always room for improvement. I need to post about it before school starts so that I can get your feedback!

Students: Last year was one of those years. My teaching partner and I really connected with the group, and I'm going to miss them! I hope that we can develop a similar relationship with the new bunch we're getting!

Motto: The full quote is, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." We all know that there are tons a few things we wish that we could change in the education world. We can only do what we can, and that is love and educate our 25ish kids that we see each day. That's what I need to focus on!

Click the button above to go link up!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ten Pin Linky: Back to School

I had a wonderful birthday down the shore! No pictures [of course], but there was late night frolicking on the beach, yummy indulgences, and quality time with the boy! This year is going to bring great things, I can feel it!

I'm glad a few people were able to take advantage of my birthday sale at my TPT store. [Things are on sale for another half an hour if you're interested.] I have a product that I plan to have finished in the next couple weeks that I'm really excited about. I can't wait to share it with you. I've also reached 100 TPT followers. SO unexpected. Thank you!

Anyone else taking graduate classes this summer? Ugh. I have a 12 page paper with my name on it that is due Sunday that has to do with running a small group counseling session. Fun, right? But I'm happy that I was able to take twice as many classes this summer. Because of that, I'll be able to be elementary certified in the spring and secondary certified in the fall!

I'm linking up with Ashley at Just Reed for her linky. I wish I didn't miss half of these. They are fun! Thank you for hosting all summer, Ashley! At the moment, it'll take my mind off of the fact that the Phillies are embarrassing themselves against the Cardinals. Gr.

1. I hate when the original crayon boxes get gross and fall apart. This is a great solution! I have 24 containers ready to go for the year from the dollar store [2 for $1]. I will show you when I get around to putting together my table buckets! [Source: Miss Squirrels]

2. Amazing printable brochures that I will share with families at back to school night. Take a minute and browse. You might find a few that you'd like to share with your whole class or maybe with a certain family. [Source: Jim Trelease]

3. I love doing math by the numbers during the first week of school! First, I model my own. Then, I have my students choose their numbers. Before they decorate, I call each student up to the front, and they share one of their numbers, but they do not tell the class what the number represents. The class has to guess! It's fun, informative, and lets personality shine! [Source: Mr. Auerfeld]

4. I have a bazillion of those little dots. This would be a cute way to use them! [Source: Ginger Snaps]

5. This year, I'd love to do a writing piece about the students' names. I've wanted to do it the past few years, but I've never gotten around to it. I love this idea, so I need to adapt it for my third graders! [Source: Crazy for First Grade]

6. How cute is this poem? I wish I could send postcards or letters home to my students before school starts, but my class lists always changes up until the very last minute, so I've always been wary. I'll give this out on meet & greet day, which is the Friday before school starts! [Source: Our lovely hostess! Ashley Reed]

7. I've done this for the past couple of years. I better start collecting post its! [Source: Mrs. Robinson]

8. I've done this for the past couple of years, too! I made my own template that I'll have to share if I haven't already. I draw the large circles on the paper and lay them around the room. Students find a partner, and they lay out their cards in the appropriate way. When I call time, they find another partner and do the same. On the third partner, they do the glueing. The extra few steps lets us get to know each other better! [Source: Third Grade Thinkers]

9. I've done this, too! Wow, it seems I actually use the pins that I find for back to school. Not always the case! A free smartboard activity. Great for the first day! [Source: Gena M.]

10. This last one is a freebie from my blog. It is the back to school activity that I blogged about last week. I can't wait to try it out. Check out this book! [Source: Me!]

I hope that you found some new ideas for your back to school endeavors! Teachers return August 19th, and the kids return a week later. Let the panic start... now! When do you all go back to school?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Birthday Sale!

Hey everyone! I'm about to go and celebrate my birthday at the Jersey Shore tomorrow! I am in a completely different place this year than I was last year, and in a very good way! So to celebrate and thank my readers, I'm revisiting an old freebie and having a sale!

frame & image: 3am Teacher
My store [which is only 7 paid products, but that's okay!] is being marked down 20%! See what I did there? Decomposed 27. See, I even do some math in the sweet summer time! Click the image above to visit my store, where you can find these products! And check out some free products, too! The sale will run until Wednesday!

And as a freebie, feel free to download my birthday balloons that I created! Click the picture below for the template or revisit my post here! If you download, I'd really appreciate if you followed my blog! =)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's Back to School We Go! [NOOOOO!]

School supplies in Walmart and Target. My living room full of bags. The return of that creative itch.

All signs that back to school is coming.

Have you ever heard of the book "It's Back to School We Go!: First Day Stories from Around the World" by Ellen Jackson?

Neither had I until I stopped in Becker's for some school shopping on my way home from a doctors appointment! While I was in there, I picked up a bunch of borders that I don't need, along with a few other things. [Post on that coming soon!] One of which was this book.

It is a book that describes the "back to school experience" of children around the world. Each account includes a personal narrative, beautiful pictures, and a fact box that describes children from that particular country. The accounts are based on real individuals. Click the image above to preview it. I really like this book!

At the beginning of the year, I like to give students a lot of opportunities to write, partially so that I can see what they are capable of doing independently. Will they use proper grammar? Will they structure their writing into paragraphs? Will they even follow the prompt? All of these questions can be answered by giving students motivating writing activities.

So, I created a freebie to correlate with the book! The document is supposed to be the 30th and 31st pages in the book, and students are asked to write about their own back to school experience in the same format as the text.

Also included in the freebie are a 30th page customized for a Delaware student and 31st page customized for children in the US. Click either image above to download the freebie. I'd love it if you left feedback, followed my store, and/or follow my blog if you decide to download!

Also, about 35 people took advantage of my overnight flash freebie. [Thank you to the four people who left feedback!] Check out my newest product, a research project, if you're interested. But, my birthday is next week, so save it in your cart. I may or may not be having a sale coming up soon! =)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Flash Freebie!: Research Writing Pack

Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and grab my newest product...

[click above!]

while it's free!

It includes lesson plans, activating activities, graphic organizers, paper, and four extension activities/rubrics. I'd really appreciate it if you followed my store & left feedback if you download! =)

It will go back to regular price [$5.00] tomorrow around 8am EST when I wake up for class. I'm suddenly regretting taking a modular class, which is Friday, Saturday, Sunday for two weekends.

When it goes back to regular price, there will still be a freebie in the preview. It is a brainstorming worksheet.

Talk soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Researching Careers

Good morning, all!

Last year, I wrote a post about how I conducted an animal research project in room 144. This year, my third graders conducted another research project, inspired by my current pursuit of a graduate degree in school counseling!

Let me reiterate that I love research projects. I seriously can't get enough. I'd do them all day long if I could. They are so engaging, and they really motivate kids to just write!

Anyway, this year, I guided my students through interest inventories, class discussions, graphic organizers, and the writing process, all in hopes of writing an informational essay on their potential future career! 

Like teachers, school counselors have standards that they must meet. Career development is a huge chunk [a third, actually] of those standards. If you're interested, here is a PDF of ASCA's counseling standards.

My students loved every minute of it, and their final products were out of this world. I made their essays into a class book to send home with them at the end of the year. I don't know if any of my babies will be pilots, lawyers, teachers, or journalists, but now they have a better idea of what it takes to attain careers, along with specific information about them.

With that being said, I compiled all of the aspects of my project into a TPT product for you, if you are interested.  For just $5.00, you will receive a 26 pg. writing project that can be used from grades 3 [with support!] up to grades 5-6 [independently!]. As you can see in the graphic, it is aligned with third grade, common core writing standards, and it includes lesson plans, activating activities, tons of graphic organizers, final draft paper, and optional extension activities with rubrics.

Before I put it on flash freebie (!!) and sale, I'd love it if one or two of my upper elementary [3-5ish] or even middle school friends could look it over for me. I originally had all of this in Word when I used it in my classroom, and I did lots of copy/pasting into Powerpoint for TPT. I want to make sure nothing was lost in the process! 

The first two people who comment with their email address can look it over, then receive a free copy if there are any changes that need to be made. I'd really appreciate any volunteers! =)

Update: Thank you Ursula, Kathy, and Melinda! They are currently looking over my product, and I hope to have it ready to go soon! =)

Ten Pin Linky & a Giveaway

I'm linking up with Just Reed for her ten pin linky party.

I've love stealing seeing everyone's pins!

This week is science and social studies related. With science, I don't have much flexibility in what I do. We get three FOSS kits, human body, earth materials, and water. I barely have time to get through those lessons, let alone supplement with other things. With social studies, we have a little more wiggle room. We touch on communities around the world and map skills. As I've said before, I take the lead in science, while my partner takes the lead in social studies, so I have way more science pins.

[If you don't already, follow me on Pinterest using the button on the right.]

I'm a pinning machine!

1. I don't do anything involving animal tracks, but this is so creative. I'm sure I can figure out a way to incorporate this! [Original Source: Still Parenting]

2. Our first kit of the year is human body. Our kids don't have to memorize all of the bones in the body, but we do make sure that they can identify around ten of them, such as the skull, femur, ribs, etc. This graphic is awesome, as it may help some more visual students in memorization. [Original Source: I Waste So Much]

3. Another great visual for older students! As a project, students could make up a game using these cards. Love it! [Original Source: Buzz Feed]

4. We teach figurative language. We teach human body. Love it! [Original Source: Mark Aaron TPT]

5. This pin makes me wish that I taught constellations. [Original Source: Nature Watch]

6. And this one makes me wish I taught animal adaptations. [Original Source: Ashleigh's Education Journey]

7. When teaching earth materials, we talk about properties of minerals. This is a great visual from another blogger. [Original Source: Nyla's Crafty Teaching]

8. At this site, you can look up any issue of the New York Times. How neat to go back and see authentic news source of historical events. [Original Source: New York Times]

9. This pin says it is spam, but it is a mummification of barbie dolls. The picture is great, and I'm sure you could find directions somewhere! I studied this in high school and would have loved doing something like this!

10. This is another great source for research. Learn more about our nation's national parks! [Original Source: Girl Scouts]


Before I go, I wanted to let you know that my friend Kelly at Koonce's Korner is having a giveaway! Click her image below to check it out. A winner will be announced on Monday, and you can win a ton of products, including any item from my TPT store!

Talk soon!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday!

Hello, all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, filled with good food, family, and most of all, appreciation for those who fight for our freedom everyday! I had a low key holiday. I haven't been feeling all that great, so I just hung out at my dad's house.

Here are some pins that I've found recently that I'd love to share. Not much related to school. Maybe next week? ;)

1. Billy has an early dismissal. Kimmy is a car rider today. Today is our PBS shopping day. Name 15 other changes that happen throughout the day that I'm bound to forget. I usually just write this stuff on the corner of the board, but having a dry erase sign like this [mine will be smaller] next to my door would be much cuter. [Original Source: Clutter Free Classroom]

2. You need to check out this site. It's also a blog that you can follow. I've seen a lot of friends posting about integrating math into real life situations. These blog posts do just that! There are also videos, a book, and an app. You won't be disappointed. [Original Source: Bedtime Math]

3. This quote means a lot to me. At 26, many of my friends are married and starting to have babies. I'm just not there yet in my personal life. I need to remember to not compare my life to others in all aspects. [Original Source: Home Fries]

4. Um, I just love this. I pinned this when I was babysitting my sister's kitten, my fur niece Maxi. And this pretty much applies to every foster kitten or puppy that I've ever had! [Original Source: Tastefully Offensive]

5. Can you say YUM! My boyfriend & I were really close to attempting this, but then we got lazy and ordered out. Yeah, story of our lives. [Original Source: Key Ingredient]

6. How can you not love this commercial? I need this shirt. [Original Source: Skreened]

7. How cute & creative. Flip an end table upside down, decorate, put a bed inside. Love it! [Original Source: Unknown]

Click the button below to link up!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

Seriously, how cute is this linky? I've seen so many people post, I had to join in on the fun. Plus, I hope that I have some new friends who may have stumbled upon the ol' blog through blog lovin'.

So, this week, you had to choose three topics from the tic-tac-toe board to talk about in your post! Here's what I chose:

#1. I attended Lock Haven University. It is a small school located in central PA. If people ask where it is, my typical response is, "about a half an hour from state college [Penn State]." That usually does the trick. It is a small school, which fits my personality. It's about three and a half hour from where I grew up, so it was far away from home, but not TOO far away!

As for the second part of the question, I don't think I could pick one memory. My favorite memory of college was my experience as a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha. It taught me how to be a leader and work with others, and it allowed me to participate in tons of community service and social activities. I'll spare you the silly sorority pics, though! =)

#2. My favorite subject to teach is math, math, MATH! I could teach math all day. I can so easily integrate every other subject area, and there are so many ways to get the kids excited about the content. It stems from the fact that I've always been a math kid, not necessarily a reading kid. 

I did my student teaching in a fifth grade classroom, and I loved that content so much. Third grade is great, too, because you are both setting the foundation and exploring more complex topics. I got certified to teach middle school math, even though big kids kinda scare me. My love for math works out great because I take the lead in math, science, and writing in my TAM classroom, and my partner leads reading and social studies. If you don't yet, you should follow my math pinterest board by clicking the link in the top right hand corner of my blog.

I'm a pinning wild woman.

#3. My dreaaaam vacation? Well, last spring break I went to Jamaica over spring break for a couple days. It was beautiful! But, funds only allowed me to go for a few days, it ended up raining for one of them, aaand I went with my ex. So for my dream vacation, I'd love to go somewhere tropical, for a week or so, with someone new! Buuuuut I'd also love to sightsee in Europe. I've been to Ireland, but I'd love to explore Italy or Greece! As far as a dream vacation goes, though, with no expectations, I think I'd like to sit pool or ocean side with a yummy drink.

Head over to Flying into First Grade and link up! =)

Talk soon!

New Blog Design!

It's that time of year.

Blog design ADD.

I wanted to go for a more simple look, so I went with a one layer background and a white middle. I updated my button, so if you feature my blog on your blog, feel free to switch it out. I have to admit, it didn't turn out as cute as I had hoped, so I may be tweaking some things.

Any suggestions?

As always, if anything looks funky or doesn't work on your computer, please drop me a comment!

Credit to Jiovannas Creations for the background paper and Carrie Loves Design for social media buttons. As always, all elements of my design were freebies.

Talk soon!