Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekend Warriors and a Liebster Award!

Hey there! Are you sure you are ready for this? I tend to neglect my blog from time to time (cough cough...all the time), therefore when I do blog I have to overload it with information! I promise to try and cover all the amazing things I need to tell you about in a short and sweet post. Short and sweet...who am I kidding?

First, the wonderful ladies of Weekend Warriors opened up their link up to all bloggers to share! I love when I see educators sharing ideas and collaborating through the blogging world! Together we are better. So without further ado... 

In case you don't know, Weekend Warriors is a link up where we share tips once a month on a particular theme. This month's theme was Open House. Whether it be the beginning of the school year when parents come into your room for the first time, or the end of the year open house where parents see all the work that your students have completed throughout the year... this is a link up to share those ideas! I want to go back and read through all the posts again because there were so many great ideas shared!

Unfortunately, I have NO pictures of Open House for the last three years... Yes I know. Teacher of the Year award right here. I do have pictures of Meet the Teacher night this year where I left info folders and Jitter Glitter on student desks.

 I attached a bag of glitter to a cute little poem that I typed up. I also put all the forms and info sheets that parents needed in the little Welcome folder. The Jitter Glitter was a hit with the kids! You can find all of the forms and the jitter glitter poem in my Meet the Teacher Packet on TPT.

These are a few ideas that I am dying to put to use next year! I have done a scavenger hunt before on Open House night, and it is a great way to get parents in the door and started on something right away. Rather than having parents standing around unsure of what to do next, give them a way to be actively involved in sorting supplies, exploring the classroom, and completing tasks! I love this cute printable from 3 Teacher Chicks.

Another thing I am dying to try next year is this student portfolio made out of brown paper bags. It is made to look like a backpack and even has ribbon straps so that it can be displayed on the back of student seats! I mean seriously is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen? Brown paper bags are cheap people! You can find the original post for this idea over at The First Grade Parade
When I saw this idea on pinterest I just melted and I should have known it came from Cara!

When it is all said and done, parents want to come to Open House and see the amazing things their child is learning or going to learn in your classroom and they want to know that you LOVE their child like their own! You can head over to the link up by clicking the Weekend Warriors picture at the top and read the rest of the amazing Open House ideas from the weekend warriors. Thanks ladies for an amazing link up! 


Now onto the next exciting tidbit of information. I received an e-mail this weekend from Yukari over at A Pinch of Kinder saying she nominated me for a Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is an award given to new bloggers (less than 200 followers) who have amazing content to share and link up with other new bloggers. Thank you so much Yukari for thinking of me! You can check out her adorable blog A Pinch of Kinder by clicking on the button below. 

Here are the questions that I was given to answer as part of accepting the award!
1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I started blogging in July of 2014. I found the teacher blogging world in college and remember thinking it must be so fun to have an online group of friends that share your same enthusiasm about this crazy thing called teaching. I went out on a limb and just did it one day (probably because it was mid summer when you have forgotten the sore feet, headaches, and runny noses). I am so glad I took that leap and dove in head first! 

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Encouragement. I hope that when teachers visit my blog they feel encouraged that they can keep going. It is so easy to get discouraged in the teaching profession, and on my hardest days I like to come home and read about the passion of other teachers on their blogs. It gives me the push to keep going and I want to be that for other teachers!

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
You might never get followers. You can give away freebies, join link ups, and comment on other blogs, but getting followers is tricky business! Focus on the content you put out and just blogging because you love it and the followers will come with time. (I am still telling myself this with all 16 of my followers). Feel free to help me out by hitting the follow button to the right :)

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
No surprise here, but I could put some shoppers to shame. I love shopping for new clothes! Also, Pinterest is another guilty pleasure of mine. I could sit with a coke and Pinterest for hours and not realize that I wasted the day away Pinning houses I will never live in and recipes I will never cook. I mean let's be real. 

5. How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog?
I am a little ashamed to answer this question because I don't dedicate the time that I should to blogging, but I would say about three or four hours a week when I post. 

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I would have to say I really enjoy link ups of any kind! I love hopping from blog to blog seeing different ideas from different grade levels and different teachers. I love when the link ups provide links to the products in TPT stores so that if I see something I love I can just click, purchase and put it to use in my classroom!

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
I get inspiration from my classroom and all the things we work on. I also get inspiration from Pinterest because there are so many amazing ideas there! 

8. Which post that you have written are you most proud of?
My most popular post is my Teacher Week: Where post from the beginning of the school year. I put so much hard work into my classroom and getting it ready for my second graders and I was really proud to blog about it and show it off!

9. Is there a post you have been planning to do, but have been postponing it for awhile?
I am constantly jotting down ideas to blog about, but I have wanted to share about my grade level change for awhile now. I had to wait until the contract was final, but I will be sharing about that tomorrow.

10. Which idea from a blog would you like to try yourself?
I am dying to try these Portfolio binders for next year! I love how you can just poke holes in their work samples and add them in the binder as you go. The binder is a progressive snapshot of progress for parents to see at the end of the year! Click on the picture to see the original post.  Hint Hint about my grade level change :)

Now it is time for my nominations! I am nominating...
1. Memories Made in First

2. A First Grade Fairy Tale

3. For His Glory Teaching
4. I Heart My Kinder Kids

5. Frampton's Fundamentals

Here are the rules for accepting: 
1. In your post link my to my blog through my button or a link as a shout out and follow my blog!
2. Answer the questions I answered above. 
3. Nominate 5-11 blogs of your choice that have less than 200 followers. 
4. Let your nominees know they have been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept! 
5. Last but not least, comment on my post with a link to your acceptance of the award!

Whew... after all that, I think I will save my info about my new school and new grade level for tomorrow. Thanks so much for reading and come back soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The End is Near!

Hey y'all! 
We are literally in the home stretch! Can you believe it because I sure can't.  Next Monday will be the beginning of the last six weeks and we will be working hard to finish out the year strong. We have been working hard in Room 30, but it is going to take some major classroom management to get us past this spring fever. 

For this reason, I decided to link up with Michelle and Katie over at Queen of the First Grade Jungle and Fabulous in First for their Surviving till Summer link up! 

To know me at all you have to know that the beach is my safe haven, my go to vacation, and the one place that can put me at ease completely. I chose to get married near the beach because I knew that I would be in complete peace just smelling the sand and salt water. You think I am exaggerating, but me and the beach go way back. So for our one year anniversary and summer vacation, my husband is taking me back to the place where we got married and we have rented a little house near the beach. The countdown to this view is helping me survive till summer!

Second, I will be using a lot of Go Noodle in the classroom to get rid of all of our wiggles! The kids are loving the Pop See Ko number two and if you have no idea what I am talking about then you should absolutely check it out!

Image result for gonoodle

Third, I plan to use a form of countdown similar to Amy's at Step into Second Grade to give the students something to look forward to those last two weeks of school! I want learning to take palce, students to be motivated to finish strong, and for them to show excellent behavior. I am hoping this countdown will do just that! The days will look something like this: 
Day 10-Sidewalk Chalk
Day 9- Popcorn
Day 8- Game Day
Day 7- GoNoodle Party
Day 6- Lemonade
Day 5- Bubble Gum 
Day 4- Bubbles
Day 3- Movie Day
Day 2- Ice Cream
Day 1- End of the year party 
I plan to integrate an educational aspect into each one of these days and use the rewards as an incentive for excellent behavior! 

Last but not least, the last six weeks I am going to implement the Secret Student management strategy. I will pick a student each day and write their name on the secret student slip. I will tape it to the board each morning and remind the students throughout the day that they might be the secret student and in order to get their reward at the end of the day, they must be on their very best behavior. If the student has excellent behavior, they will receive a coupon from our coupon binder. If the student did not have a good day, I will take the secret student down and say that the secret student will not be revealed and will not receive their reward for the day because they were not on their very best behavior. I can just see the students perking up throughout the day when I say, "Remember you might be the secret student today!". I created this Secret Student freebie below! 

Follow the blog and leave your e-mail below to receive this behavior incentive freebie!
(Freebie ended)
What will you do to survive till summer? Share your ideas and link up here! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Is Here

Oh my goodness! It has been too long, but I am so glad to be back to this little blog of mine!
 I have been knee deep in my Masters courses and those lengthy papers have me so busy. However, I am learning so much and reading some great books about teaching students who lack motivation. This book "The Motivated Student" by Bob Sullo has been life changing! You should definitely add it to the summer reading list and get your highlighter ready because there are some amazing quotes in there.

Now for what we have been up to in Second grade! We started poetry last week and we have been having so much fun with it. We made these Alliterainbows by Teacher's Clubhouse and you can click the link to get them on Teachers Pay Teachers. This activity got my kids so excited about alliteration!

 The next day we watched a Brain Pop jr. about Similie's and made Similie Sandwiches! They wrote a comparison on each part of the sandwich using like or as and some of the comparisons were hilarious. I loved how their sandwiches turned out!
I also made this fun little anchor chart talking about the rhyme, rhythm, and repetition of poetry! We read lots of poems and found the three R's within them.
Since I blogged last, we have been SO busy in math. We had so much fun with 2D and 3D shapes and the kids use this anchor chart as a reference all the time! This was of course inspired by the Amy Lemons of Step Into Second Grade. She is Fabulous with a capital F!
We have also looked at verbs with this fun little verb chant by Amy and we studied measurement using Brain pop and by measuring our body parts!

As you can see we have been so busy and we are entering the last six weeks very soon! I can hardly believe that this year has come and gone just like that. It is time to finish strong and prepare my kiddos for third grade! I have so many more fun activities to blog about, but I will save some for the Five for Friday link up tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!