Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back-to-School Shopping

I am so excited to be participating in my first TpT Back-to-School sale!!! Not only do I have a long wish list that I can now pare down by purchasing some things on sale, I also have my own store with some great products!! My store is called The Inspired Soul and I would LOVE it if you came and took a look at the things I have for sale.

Here are a few of my favorite things that I am excited to be buying:

1. Organizing Writer's Notebooks! by Carr's Creative Corner
I love the pages and ideas in this. I think it will really help organize and streamline my students' notebooks!!

I am sooooo excited to be teaching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my class this year!! It has been 5 or 6 years since I last taught it due to a reading adoption, but I have a little more freedom in what I teach this year, and when I found this resource I couldn't resist!

This is going to be the perfect unit to introduce my kiddoes to Greek mythology. We have NO resources at our school to teach this topic, and I was getting a little desperate until I found this! 

I also want to share a couple of new things I have available:

Attention Getter "Call and Response" cards

Do you find yourself using the same strategies over and over to get your students' attention? Need a way to mix it up a bit and keep your kiddoes on their toes? Then this set of 20 colorful "call and response" cards is for you! 

On each card, the top section is what the teacher says and the bottom section is how the students should respond. You can even choose to add movements to them to make them that much more powerful!

RAINBOW Revising and Editing

Using different colors while editing and revising is a good way for students to see what they have and have not worked on. It also allows teachers to more easily see what their students have done. 

I buy "skinny" crayola markers and put a set into a pencil pouch along with a half-page laminated copy of this document. Kids can grab a pouch when they are ready to revise and edit by themselves or with a partner. I have also included a full page version if you prefer for each student to have their own copy and/or to make into a large poster.

There are many versions of this idea out there, but this one is geared more towards the intermediate grades. It also includes BOTH editing and revising, which I found hard to find.

Blog Hoppin

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Long Overdue Blog Revamp

Hello out there! It has been over 2 years since I last posted to this blog as a crafter, so I decided it was time to turn it into a teacher blog since that is where most of my energy is focused. Plus, my first anniversary on TeachersPayTeachers is coming up soon! Starting fresh feels so good, with a new blog template from Blogaholic Designs and a new focus on my classroom & teaching (with some family and crafting thrown in here and there, just to mix it up a bit!).

Here is what I have been up to so far this summer:

1. The weddings of 2 our God daughters:
The bridesmaid on the far right in the picture above is the bride in the picture below

2. Buying and making things for my classroom:
Classroom supplies are starting to overtake the house!

Task cards and more task cards....

3. Creating products for TeachersPayTeachers:
(the final product looks a bit different than this prototype)

I am sooooo bad about overusing the same few sayings, so I decided to make a set of 20 different cards to help me remember to mix it up a bit!

4. And most importantly, spending lots of time with these two:

I hope you are having a good summer, too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A World Class Education

Here is a picture tour of my classroom. I am showing the difference between what I provide for my students and what the district provides for my students, for what they claim is a “World Class Education.” Unfortunately, the teachers in my district are on the brink of a strike, and we have had to remove all of our personal belongings. The after pictures (along with the fact that I have 35 fourth graders in my class) tell a somber story of the state of public education funding in our country. A world class education, indeed…..

Games & game shelves; shelves for math manipulatives; storage for needed day-to-day lesson items; behind the bookcases is my main storage area where I keep most of my teaching resources & materials, some art supplies & materials, tubs full of things for my class store, Leap Pads & books, baskets & tubs, etc.

BEFORE:2012-04-15_12-05-00_7582012-04-15_12-06-52_358 2012-04-15_12-07-01_721 

Next is my class library, with 7 bookcases/shelves full of books, including a set of encyclopedias (hiding on the shelf behind the beanbags), a class set of paperback dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases, etc. along with hundreds of chapter books, novels, and picture books. I also provide bean bags, camp chairs, floor cushions & area rugs for my kids to sit on when working around the room.


2012-04-15_12-05-31_114 2012-04-15_12-05-20_627


This is the carpet area where much of my teaching occurs. Here you see the mailboxes/cubbies, shelves for book boxes, the daily schedule, and off to the left you can see just the edge of my homework chart where we keep track of daily homework completion. What you don’t see in this picture is the large area rug I purchased to define this space. Oh, and that whiteboard you see to the right—I bought that myself, as well. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to take it down, or not.



This last set of pictures is my work area. I no longer use an actual desk, as the one my husband’s company donated several years ago took up too much space now that I have 35 students and the teacher desks the school provides are falling apart (and I don’t think there is a desk chair to be had in the building.) So I provide my own table and chair, along with my own printer & ink, and storage for all of the office type supplies I purchase. Since I packed up last weekend, I no longer even have a stapler or tape dispenser in my room because I bought those myself!





I know I am not alone in making up the difference in my classroom. Most teachers (especially elementary teachers) spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, each year on items they need to be able to do their job. And we do it gladly. We do it because we want what is best for our kids. We do it, because if we don’t, who will?

Friday, December 9, 2011

School Picture Re-takes

Let me start by saying that I love my mother-in-law, I really do. However, a few of her traits that have been passed on to my daughter can be frustrating. And the worst one.....smiling with her mouth closed and her chin tucked down. My mother-in-law HATES getting her picture taken, and rarely smiles big in photos and my daughter tends to be the same way. Her first set of 3rd grade pictures were not cute (or flattering), so we opted for re-takes. Now that can be a scary situation because you are then stuck with whatever comes homes. So, to up the odds of a good photo, I coached and nagged Emily to "smile and show your teeth!" For whatever reason, this type of smile does not come with a tucked chin, and I sent her off on re-take day with a hopeful heart.............

And today she brought them home & I am one happy momma! My "not-so-baby girl anymore" is just adorable and this picture really shows her personality. I like it so much, I might actually get one hung up this year!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Unexpected Visit to the Doctor

Em & I had an unexpected day at home today--well, we actually spent a good chunk of the day waiting at the doctor's office because we think she might have a bladder infection. No antibiotics, yet. We have to wait for the culture to come back--should be by Friday. Poor baby!

Her appointment was at 11:10am and we were told to arrive early & go to the lab, so we got there at about 10:30am. The lab was quick, so then it was off to wait for the doctor. And wait. And wait. Thank goodness for the iPod! Em played games for a while to pass the time, while Brownie & Elfie kept her company. I happened to have the small camera in my purse, so I snapped a few pictures to pass the time.

It was pretty close to 12:00pm before the nurse took us back, and luckily it wasn't too long before the doctor came in. She was new to us, a bit brusque, but efficient, and before we knew it she was gone. Then we waited for the paperwork. And waited. And waited. She finally brought it to us and we left the doctor's office at about 12:50pm. Almost two and a half hours later!

By then we were starving, so I offered to stop at McD's to pick up some lunch. Of course, that idea was met with great delight, and as an extra treat, we went to the Red Box and picked up a movie for the afternoon. After that some homework was done (by Em), a little on-line shopping (thank you, Amazon--Project Life 2012 is on it's way to me!), some dinner started (by me), and "poof," the day is almost over.

I had hoped to get upstairs and spend some time in the studio today working on my December Daily album......maybe later tonight. Perhaps I can at least get some pictures of my base pages finally posted, but don't hold your breath!!