Thursday, July 26, 2012

Now on TPT: Teacher Planners {3 Different Designs} & a Giveaway

Over the last week I've been working hard on Teacher Planners for my TPT store. There are 3 different designs available: Rainbow Polka Dot, Rainbow Hexagonal, and Black & White. All of the sets have the same documents {besides design and font}, with the exception of the B&W set having 6 additional covers to choose from. If you purchase the set, you'll be able to download the new monthly calendars next summer for no extra charge. These planners were made to be used year-to-year without having to purchase anything more. Any additions will be uploaded to the original listing, so you'll be able to get them at no extra charge.

My inspiration for creating the teacher planner was from beginning to create a 2013 planner for personal use. I knew I could whip up a teacher planner quickly with the templates I'm already using myself. I've been going crazy purchasing digital papers on Etsy lately, and after making sure they were okay for commercial use, decided to put them to good use!

Check out the planner below! Each planner is on sale for $10 until July 31. {Click images to view larger.}

{Download the free preview file on the listing page to view these images larger.}
Teacher Planner - Rainbow Polka Dot $13 Currently on sale for $10!

{Download the free preview file on the listing page to view these images larger.}
Teacher Planner - Hexagonal $13 Currently on sale for $10!

{Download the free preview file on the listing page to view these images larger.}
Teacher Planner - Black & White $13 Currently on sale for $10!
Super quick & easy giveaway! I'm giving away ONE Teacher Planner Set. The giveaway ends on Tuesday, July 31 @ 12:01 a.m. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Me More, Tell Me More

I'm linking up at Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons for the Tell Me More, Tell Me More! linky party.

1. My husband and I have been married for just over a year now, but have been together since January 2004. I can't imagine life without him. =]

2. I am a total technology nerd. I love everything technology, and have since my family bought our first Windows 98 computer back in 1998. The biggest reason I'm so good with tech is because I'm constantly experimenting with everything out of curiosity. I'm completely self-taught when it comes to creating documents in Word and PowerPoint (such as those I sell in my TPT store and my Etsy store) and fixing computers. I can't imagine life without internet and my computer.

3. I'm terrified of horses and birds. I've been attempting to face my fears lately, but haven't conquered them yet. I have no idea why I'm afraid of the two, because I've never had a terrible experience with either, that I'm aware of.

4. I am in love and obsessed with color. I love as much color as possible, all of the time. But, with that being said, all of my classroom bags/storage from Thirty-One is black and white. While I love color, I change my mind often on the colors I want to use, so purchasing pricier things that I can't change out often, has to be in B&W.

5. I have another blog, The Nest Effect, which I started in April 2011 after finishing up student teaching. The blog focuses on home organization and life.

6. My favorite movie of all time is The Wizard of Oz. I love everything about it. I could watch it over and over again, and sometimes find myself singing along or saying the lines.

7. My husband and I love a good TV series. When we find a new one to love, we become obsessed and will veg on the couch all weekend to get caught up. But on the other hand, I don't like watching TV. I guess I feel like a good TV series is more like a great movie since it goes on and on. I want something interesting that I can get into, like a good book. =]

8. All of the hangers in our closets are white. I cannot stand hangers to be different colors - it just drives me crazy. I have my closet organized by shirt type/sleeve length and by color (white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black). Tank tops have to be on hangers with the little cut outs (so they don't slip off) and everything else has to be on a regular hanger. This drives my husband nuts, but he just looks the other way at this point. I know this is crazy, but it's just how it has to be.

9. A lot of people are shocked by this... I recently purchased an iPad. I returned it 2 days later. There really isn't anything I can't do with my Kindle Fire that the iPad could do (except take pictures & videos...which I can't imagine doing with a tablet anyways).

10. In college I lived off of income from selling things on eBay that I'd purchase at closeout sales. It wasn't the best income, but it allowed me to not have to work so I could study more.

To join in the linky party fun, click here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Favorite: Blogs & Online Resources

Sad to say, I have no idea what life would be like without my laptop...or the internet. I love Pinterest. I love blogs. I love creating PowerPoints, Word Docs, printables, units, etc. electronically. I just simply love every single thing about technology. Today I'm sharing my favorite blogs and online resources with you. I wanted to use image links for all of them, but not every blog has a button and not every website has a decent logo image I can use. I've included a super short blurb to tell you what the websites are for, where needed.
These are just a few of the blogs I subscribe to. To view them all, click here
WARNING: The list is SUPER long and may consume your internet viewing. You may experience extreme pinning fever, like I do. =]
2nd Grade Shenanigans
4th Grade Frolics
A Cupcake for the Teacher
Deep Space Sparkle
The First Grade Parade
Fourth and Ten
The Inspired Apple
Ladybug's Teacher Files
Smiling in Second Grade
Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons
What the Teacher Wants

My favorite online resources for classroom planning & lessons.
Busy Teacher Cafe {free resources} Worksheets {free printables}
Edutopia {articles & tips for teachers}
 Google Art Project {virtual art museum, including famous works of art}
Harcourt Storytown Resources {I use this website on a weekly basis}
IXL {math}
Reading Rockets {resources & tips for teachers & parents}
Scholastic Printables {worksheets}
Teachers Notebook {purchase units/resources}
Teachers Pay Teachers {purchase units/resources}
Teaching Channel {videos with management ideas}
UEN {Utah's curriculum resource for teachers, but it has tons of great resources for teachers, no matter where you teach. Utah is using the common core now, so the ELA & math lesson plans can be applied anywhere.}
We Are Teachers {articles & tips for teachers}
We Give Books {online ebooks for classroom use}
XtraMath {math facts tests}

The following websites I've are newly discovered and are not websites I've had a lot of time to use and test out. If you have experience with any of them, please share!
Goalbook {Helps teams of educators, students, and parents collaborate around personal learning plans}
SymbalooEDU {Organize online resources/bookmarks in a fun, interactive way}
VolunteerSpot {Parent volunteer scheduling}

Where I purchase my classroom supplies online.
Creative Teaching Press
Lakeshore Learning
Really Good Stuff

My favorite websites to purchase clip art from {for making lessons/units/classroom decor/etc.}
Digital Bake Shop
 Ginger Snaps
Graphics from the Pond
Jennifer Jones
JW Illustrations
KPM Doodles
Letter Delights
Print Candee
ThistleGirl Designs

I will update this post as I find more favorites!

I'd love for you to share your favorite blogs and/or online resources in the comments below.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Flashback: 2011 - 2012 My First Year Teaching in 2nd Grade

For my very first full-time teaching job I was hired right before Thanksgiving, and started the following week. I was luckily hired on at the same school that I completed my student teaching at, so I was familiar with the school, faculty, and the whole educational philosophy and plan. I was assigned a 2nd grade position and my classroom was a disaster to start with. I whipped it into shape quickly, and things ran smoothly through the end of the year. It was definitely a successful first year of teaching.

The pictures are kind of in a random order. I'll credit where I was inspired by others.

My word wall was created with Erica Bohrer's Polka Dot Word Wall Labels from TPT. The ELA program for the district is Harcourt's Storytown. I added the high frequency words to the wall, and words I was constantly being asked how to spell.

Every morning, my students came in and got started right away on workshop. They worked on workshop while I meet with small groups for reading instruction. It's not busy work. Everything included in workshop is a review or practice of things we're doing in class. Here's what they did: daily proofreading, spelling word work, daily language review, daily math review, number of the day, handwriting, skill practice, and treat sheet. When they finish workshop, they turn everything in and choose what they'll do next from a list of "approved" activities (such as flash cards, silent reading, making a map {it's in our core}, writing a story, etc.).

Oreo moon phases idea from Pinterest, uploaded by user.

Valentine Monster Bag idea from The Teacher Wife's Valentine Math & Writing Fun Unit on TPT.

I had a super successful DonorsChoose project funded last year. We ended up with over 100 books for the classroom. Super exciting. I needed book baskets after receiving all of those books, so I ordered a set from Really Good Stuff.

Winter Bird Art Lesson from Deep Space Sparkle {absolutely love that blog}.

Oil pastel and watercolor fish art. Idea from Art Treasury by Rosie Dickins.

I found an idea on Pinterest to add velcro squares to the calendar and calendar numbers. {Though I didn't pin it, so I don't know where the original idea truly came from.} This is so much nicer than using pins.

Each week we had "Science Friday" after lunch. It's hard coming up with engaging science experiments on my own. Thank you Pinterest and education blogs. I got the idea for the Jelly Bean Experiment from 2nd Grade Shenanigans. The kids loved it.

3-D shapes. I totally had to brainstorm with students on how to make the cylinder and cone, using as little materials as possible.

African butterfly masks, courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. They actually came to my classroom with their Art in a Box program. My students loved it.

Daily schedule labels. These will be available in my TPT store soon.

Solid figure flap book. Idea and printables for pieces {free} from Today In First Grade.

My colorful behavior clip chart. Love it. Students can go up or down. There are some kids that make great examples - starting work without being told, coming into the room from recess and sitting quietly while reading, etc. - and they deserve recognition. I got this idea from Sunny Days in Second Grade. I'll be posting the labels for this in my TPT store soon.

Magazine boxes for organization {purchased from IKEA at a killer price}. These hold small white boards, dry erase markers, and mini erasers. They are numbered for each table.

Loved by students (and me) - the birthday chart. I used clip art from ThistleGirl Designs. I chose clip art that looks like each student. They loved it.

Classroom Helpers - a.k.a. class jobs. Confession: I always forget the pledge of allegiance. My bad. So I made it a job. I used the kids' clip art pictures here as well. The cut in half envelope at the bottom holds the kids who don't have jobs. {Labels are available for purchase in my TPT store.}

Pencil sharpening station.

Workshop turn-in basket. Sign inspired by Ladybug's Teacher Files.

My Thirty-One Organizing Utility love. I take it with me to school on Monday, and home on Friday. I store things in the file throughout the week that I need to take home. I have everything with me that I need when I go home for the weekend. And when I come back on Monday, I have everything organized for the week. (The plastic open-top file box (the medium size) is from The Container Store.)

Yes, I am guilty of planning and grading over the weekend when I have crazy weeks. No, I do not have a work load like this that I take home every week. This picture was taken when I first started and I had a lot to get caught up on. It makes planning with other teachers easier, it makes having my important files at my fingertips easier. It does not always go home with me every weekend anymore {although, it might once I start at my new job - at least for a few weeks}.

My Erin Condren teacher's lesson planner for last year. So expensive, but a great discount coupon comes with each teacher planner, I've learned. I really, truly loved having this planner last year, so I was okay with purchasing another one for this next year, with the discount and all.

Club Cranium is a cross between ideas I found here and here on Pinterest. Each day when students finish their morning work, they can choose a challenge from the Club Cranium can. They can only choose one and if it's too hard they may no choose another one in place of it. If they don't want to attempt it, they can put it back if they haven't written on it. Once they solve the challenge (by themselves, only asking me for clarification, if needed) they put it in the mailbox. During lunch I check the mailbox and check answers. Correct answers get a punch in their Club Cranium card.

Line art. This lesson can be found here. Students loved this project. I loved this project. Everyone in the school loved it. My 2nd graders are so talented.

This next lesson can be viewed here. We talked about perspective and read Snowmen at Night. Each student wrote a story to go with their painting about what their snowman does at night. Super cute.

Language Arts focus wall.

African huts students made.

Daily Learning Objectives labels. I've updated them {I think they look so awesome now} and offer them in my TPT store.

I cannot wait to see what my new classroom looks like in my brand new school. As soon as I can get in, I'll be sure to take some pictures.