Saturday, July 19, 2014

BIG changes

So I have some exciting news...well exciting for me at least.  I'm moving to THIRD grade!  I'm moving to the BIG kid hallway...eek!  I'm so excited I can barely stand it.  Why you ask?!? 

I have taught first grade for about 17 years so don't get me wrong...there are plenty of amazing things going on with 7 year olds.  I love the growth in reading and writing, I love teaching phonics and reading too!  But it's time to move on and I'm very excited for the new challenge.
I will still be creating lower elementary resources that you have come to know, however I'm adding 3rd grade ones as well.  If you are an upper grade teacher this might be the perfect pack for BTS for you.
Here is a new pack for firsties and K's...I have found so many fluency packets that were too difficult for beginner readers - so I created one.
I hope you got a little kick out of my top 10 reasons for my change...I will always love my time with my sweet firsties but am looking forward to sharing what I'm up to with the big kids too.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#Vegasrocked ~ recap

So I'm still reeling from my amazing trip to Vegas for TPT's very first conference!  I truly believe that the most amazing part of TPT is :  RELATIONSHIPS
I met the most wonderful, authentic, funny, talented people ever.  I laughed, I cried.  I learned some great things and I will forever be thankful for what Paul Edelman has brought to all of us. 
I am linking up with my new friend Tamara on 5 things I learned in Vegas!

#1  Step out of your comfort zone!  I have always been extroverted and outgoing ready to meet anyone even strangers in an elevator.  However I will say that first night meet up was a bit overwhelming even for me.  But I tried my best to get to as many people I could to touch base, give a hug, encourage someone that has inspired me, etc.  I met a friend that I have been talking with/following since 2007 ~ that was amazing!
#2  I've always been a 'soaker' iner if that is even a word.  It's my new verb.  I realize big moments and take the time to first thank God the reason I'm even here and really try to take a mental picture/video of whatever that 'BIG' thing is....I knew this was 'BIG' ~ it was one of those moments to capture in my brain forever.  Don't let it go by too fast...stop and soak it all in.
#3  One of the presenters mentioned how important it is to post goals in your office/work space.  I have mental goals but I know how empowering it is to actually write them down and post them.  I kept that little gem and am going to start doing that.  #goforit  #nothingisimpossible  #lookatdeannajump
#4  My girl Kelley did a presentation on Data and that hit home for me.  I spent the morning looking over my data from April 1, 2012 and wow if you are a new seller and you can do that it will be a pick me up for sure.  Keep track of your growth when you are feeling down you can look back and be THANKFUL!  It is a huge motivator and very humbling.  #godisgood
#5   I met some really special people in Vegas and definitely felt connections with some more than others.  Meeting and hanging out with Tamara from Mrs. Russell's Room was amazing!  We laughed and talked about silly stuff but she also challenged me to do more in my store on my previews.  I felt inspired and encouraged...these are the kind of people you need to flock to ~ authentic but not afraid to tell you what you need to hear.  We all want to be better sellers but more importantly better people.  #begoodpeople
I'm adding a #6 here people:
Bring a Paul Edelman head with you to Vegas... LOL
 {just kidding}
If you were on the fence about coming this year...please come next year.  I want to meet all of you!!!  If you did go to Vegas link on up with my girl Tamara.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

M.I.A. = Busy Summer + Vegas Sale baby!

Hi teacher friends!  It's been a busy summer already - whew!  First off we were in Phoenix, Arizona for my daughter's volleyball tournament.  Then we headed off to Big Bear ( mountain resort area ) in I'm getting my { excited } self ready to head out to...Wait for it ~ ~ ~ VEGAS!!!!  I can't even wait to go and meet so many wonderful teachers - I can barely contain myself!
But I wanted to let you know I'm still around {sorta} and more importantly I'm teaming up with the Primary Chalkboard because...
I am in  Las Vegas for the 1st ever TeachersPayTeachers Conference! This place is amaaaaaazing! ...
I am here meeting up with teachers and bloggers from around the WORLD. How cool is that?!
Not to mention, my girls (and Greg) from The Primary Chalkboard are here!

If you can't be here with us, what better way to celebrate than with a SALE?!
We are hosting a *Las Vegas Style* Double or Nothing Sale!
20% off my whole store July 10th and 11th!

It is the perfect time to stock up on things for Back to School!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Vegas Double Down Giveaway Week

This girl is headed to VEGAS!!!

I'm so excited to be heading out in a couple of days and in honor of that my friends and I over at the Primary Chalkboard are having Giveaways and a SALE!!!!  Here's a graphic but enter on over on my fb page.
Here's the scoop:
See you on facebook!
One more thing:  I made this new pack and it's on sale 1/2 off for a couple more days!  K teachers you will love it!  It's 76 pages and only $4 instead of $8 right now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

If teaching is are doing it right!

Not everyone will agree with me on this - but I feel it must be said.  I have been a teacher for 20 years and I've been through some changes believe me.  I think we have gone through about 10 {at least} writing programs.  We have been taught everything from PAT time to Whole Brain Teaching. ( which I love by the way ) I have taught first grade most of these years and let me tell you that is a hard grade to teach...but it may be the most rewarding! 
What do I mean by the title of my post?!?  Well I have seen the teachers that don't seem to have a care in the world...I'm not sure how 'invested' they are in their work ~ their students.  That's not the type of teacher I am!  I wake up in the middle of the night and keep a notebook by my bed of ideas/strategies I can use in the classroom.  ( weird?!? maybe )  I tutor my low guys on modified days for free because I know they need that extra bit and probably aren't getting it at home.  I pray for every kid on my list before school starts and throughout the year.  My heart rejoices with them when they have reached a goal in school or outside of school.  My heart also aches for them when they are hurting/sick/sad. 
I have met so many wonderful, talented and dedicated teachers here throughout my journey with this blog - it makes me so happy.  Our world is full of hurting kids, families and burnout people in general.  When I visit your blogs and read how passionate all of you are it reignites my love for teaching and keeps me encouraged.  All seems well with the world again.
Teaching is hard ~ if we are doing it right.  We research ( on pinterest ) LOL and that is time sucking people! :oD

We try to improve our practices for the kids sake.  We either make or FIND (on TPT) better resources to help our kids understand and learn and grow.  Thank you to all of you I have met along the way - either at bloggy meet ups or I've become bff's with even  though I have never met you in person.  Thank you for loving kids like my own that come to school each day.  The world is a better place because of teachers that get it and really care!  I can't wait to meet or reacquaint with all of you in Vegas!  TPT teacher/bloggers ROCK!!!!  How do you stay inspired???

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

End of the year student gifts { freebie }

I'm officially on summer vacation and already enjoying every minute.  My son got his braces on the very first day of break...poor kid!
For those of you still wrapping up your year or if you already have stash this freebie away for next year!  My kiddos loved them and I hung the tag with a little raffia.
Grab it { here } ~ it's easy to print out, purchase some smarties and prep for your little guys. Happy Summer! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop ~ Helper of the Day ( while teaching beginning sounds )

Honestly there's not much better than to be doing a daily routine while getting in some academic's kinda like sneaking in vegetables to a kid's meal!  It makes me happy, very happy!  So how do I do that you ask???  It's simple and you could start it tomorrow yourself.  Take a manila envelope and cut off the flap.
Next...tape the side you just cut the flap from and seal it and then using an exacto knife cut the opposite side to use as the opening.
This is the side you will be pulling from.  Use sentence strips to write your students names on - 1 for each student.
Then place all the strips with your student names into the manila envelope and you are all set...
So as you can see, I have just pulled out the first letter on the strip.  All the kids in my class that have the letter R at the beginning of their name stand up.  I use this opportunity to have the kids say what sound 'r' makes as well...Then I slowly pull it out to expose the 2nd letter if it is an o and I have a child named Rylee she would sit down and the kids with an Ro would stay standing...then the next letter would be exposed, etc.  For these pictures my students names were Rowan and Rowanne so you can see the 2 kids would stand up until the second n popped up.  This is great for several each day it is motivating to see who the helper is as they all love to be the helper of the day...secondly it's a great reinforcer for letter recognition and it keeps their attention.
As you can see it says Rowan - Rowan is still standing but so is Rowanne waiting to see if the sentence strip is pulled out and done or there are more letters....
They are both still standing - obviously some days it's much simpler for instance if I had a Vicky - there would probably be only one student that started with a V and everyone would know it was Vicky but each day they are very excited to see what the first letter is and who gets to stand up and for how long...try it out - it's fun and quick prep to get it going in your room.  Check out all the wonderful teacher ideas for this blog hop and add them to your 'bag of tricks'...let me know how it goes and...Happy Teaching!
If you enjoyed this idea consider following me on facebook, instagram, pinterest  for more fun ideas and lots of freebies and giveaways.