Monday, December 9, 2013

Well hello there!...

 Boy oh boy does it feel amazing to be at this computer typing all the things a teacher can think!!! Today will be short, however I am anxiously awaiting the day I get back on here and type away! This day is coming very soon. I have so much catching up to do with the blogger world! :) So many amazing things happening in each classroom and I am so excited to catch myself up.

I am linking up with Currently with Farley for tonight!! More to come!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pinterest OVERLOAD... Last day of Summer... Holy Moly!!

My Alarm is Set

So today is my last day before I go back to my "pre- inservice week" before the students return! I am anxious for them to come, however the more things I find and create, keep me in a constant state of "I'm not done yet!" LOL!! I'm sure a teacher is never "ready" because we are always thinking of what could be better.

This year I will be at a new campus and I am so eager to meet my new 2nd grade babies!! :) I'm so blessed. I have been spending time with my team this summer, and a lot of time this past week. Can't express in words how important it is to have a team that you enjoy! From day 1 of meeting up, our conversations flow as though we have all known each other for a long time! Can't wait to begin my year!

Below are 4 Pinterest ideas that I have found, that I LOVE for my classroom! I had to share my faves!

1. Saw this on Pinterest.. and I just love this idea!! Sometimes we get those "days" when even the good kids have a hard time. I love that this removes them long enough, and also gives them praise in hopes that they move on from what was bothering them before!  I will definitely use this!  I think this is super  cute and it's more effective than just giving the kid something to do in the room. It COMPLETELY removes them for a minute.

The Envelope

This program is easy. All you need is an envelope and a friend.

To help give students a time-out from classroom situations to try to divert kids from misbehavior – you send them on a mission with The Envelope.

I typed up a letter in a script font so even our sneakiest of darlings can't read it.

Elementary Teacher Resources

The letter says:

"Dear Awesome Teacher,
This student needed a break from the action.
Can you please write me a short note on the provided index card (about whatever…!), tell them that they are a great helper, and send them back to class?
Sometime when you go to the office please put this letter and envelope back in my box.
Thank you for being amazing!

This way the student gets a “break” from whatever is setting them off, and with that distraction, they can come back ready to learn!"

2. 180 Devotions for Teachers

Found at Barnes and Nobles or any bookstore
3.  I teach elementary so this to me is PERFECT!!
Made by TotallyTerrific in Texas

I love that this is a visual for kids when working! I love to do group activities and have kids partner up, this is perfect for my room in managing how each child should sound. I think this is also going to be a POSITIVE tool during stations, and science labs! :) Click the picture for the link to the printable! 

4. Brain Breaks!!
We all have our own ways of giving our kids breaks and letting their minds rest, however I found this link on pinterest of some breaks for kids to do that are quick and simple. I will be making these during this upcoming week, because I will need extra breaks during the beginning of school. During the beginning it will be hard for some kids to adjust to being in a classroom setting, and while I do group work, their minds will need short breaks in between! Click the picture to see the free printable that goes with the brain breaks.

Made by Being Inspired

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Linky with The Polished Teacher!

Student teaching!! The days of learning and being able to make all kinds of mistakes and plead ignorance. Lol! :) The days of shadowing  your mentor until he/ she passes the responsibility!

I honestly had a wonderful experience student teaching! (I wish I could have student taught forever) One reason I believe it was so good, was I had a master teacher as my leader! She not only knew that it is okay to laugh with your kids, but she encouraged laughter in her room. I aim to emulate her teaching style! She truly helped me EVERY step of the way, and even if she didn't know something she showed the importance of TEAM! You can't do it alone. (HINT... HINT) Even as bloggers we rely on each other for feedback and guidance. So just know that teaching is not something you get to "close your door" and do. You should use the people around you! 

Short and Sweet!!

Just wanted to drop in and say, how awesome it feels to be "breaking ground" and actually getting somewhere in my classroom!!!

Wanted to attach the "How We Get Home" hanging idea that I had on Instagram earlier today! Thanks to "From the Pond" these awesome spots worked perfectly. Grab them free on my freebie page. Just look for this photo! 
 In order to share how I made it. I laminated the circles, cut them out, and then hot glued them to some ribbon. I then stapled the ribbon to the wall!  I will be writing student names on the clothes pins so I have a quick visual of how we get home! :) Gotta make sure my babies make it!

I have also attached the name tags that I used for my desks! You will find these under FREEBIES as well!
(Laminate and Cut!) - Doesn't get much better than that! :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It!!

SO last week I put on my crafty hat and realized,.. SCHOOL IS ALMOST BACK!! (Can't contain my excitement!) 

This week, I created 3 things.
1. A behavior chart
2. Magnets with scrapbook paper
3. Library book labels

Behavior Chart

This was super important, because this is used for student's to put their  colored popsicle sticks in. (We use the color system.) I created this, by  1. pasting the "self adhesive" pockets on a sheet of white poster board, side by side. I also 
2. stuck name tags on the front of the pockets, 
3. laminated the poster, and 
4. cut out the slit for my pockets. It worked out so well because I am able to write names, or numbers, or both and erase sharpie with Expo spray! Another modification that I saw, was using the calendar numbers. This makes it where you don't have to write anything, and just use the number system.

Magnets on Crystal Rocks

These were as simple as can be!! If I knew they were this simple, I would have done this a while back! :)
 3 simple steps:
1. Cut pieces of scrapbook paper
2. Mod Podge piece of paper on the back of the crystal rock.
3. Let dry, and then apply magnet tape on the back. (I have used a dot of hot glue on some to help it stick, in case you want a strong hold)

Library Labels

I created my own labels to reflect my library assortment. I have large buckets, so I needed large labels! I am excited to tape these onto my buckets that way students are able to read each book bundle, clearly. To print these labels, click the picture below! The document should be editable, therefore you can make them smaller or bigger if you would like! :) Enjoy!

Another goodie!!
Picture Frames!!

Last weekend I went to IKEA and bought these frames!! They were $2 dollars each for plain frames! Perfect for decorating! :) Find some! They make great holders for pictures and quotes. I love quotes because they are a small and yet subtle message of inspiration for my kids and myself!

Great buy!!! Find your nearest IKEA!! You'll be glad you did!

It is so close I can FEEL it!!

August is here, teachers are back in their rooms and I can't believe that school is about to begin again! I can't imagine exactly how it is coming so fast! Spent a lot of time in my room this past week and I am anxious for it to be finished. I should have pictures up this Friday! I can't wait to show you the final product. It's nice when you finally see progress in all the work that's been done.

This was me last week... Stay tuned for the final product and room tour!!

In preparing for school to start, I have been locating my forms that I use. Click the picture below for a short "Getting to know You" page for parents. I love asking parents for a little insight on their babies. Can't Wait to pass these out at Meet the Teacher!! :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

10 Things I've Learned From Teaching

WOW! This is a linky I 1st found on Facebook, and I had to link up and share my experiences. This is one thing, that no matter where you are on your teaching journey, we all have learned something along the way.

1. It is MORE work to create sub plans, that it is to just go to school! There have been times when I haven't been able to avoid being out, and I wish I could have just stayed at school. Lol!!

2. A "teacher planning" period, is not always used as such. It can be full of conferences and other miscellaneous disruptions. Don't save all your work for these periods, you never know what will happen. :-/

3. Teach your kids that Germ- X does NOt replace washing your hands... it's a sad truth that many kids think you don't need soap and water as long as you have Germ- X. (Every season is FLU season when you work with kids)

4. We're not just teachers, we are friends, parents, disciplinarians, peer mediators, nurses, custodians, technology guru's and we even "come to Jesus" from time to time. (And they call you "mom", what an an honor) <3

5. If there ever comes a time when you don't finish everything, know that it will be there tomorrow. Staying late, is worth your time, but do not forget to relax, recharge and SLEEP! (Hardest part for me)

6. When you work with young children, you cherish the moments when you get to speak to adults. Enjoy your lunch period!! :)

7. Happy hour with a glass of WINE, is great for clearing your head! It's good to "let loose" every now and again and unWINE! Lol! - corny joke!

8. No matter what grade you teach, GET YOUR KIDS MOVING! I've been to too many workshops, that teach us to get kids moving, however; they make us (teachers) sit for hours! We don't like it, and they don't either. TRUST ME!

9. Bathroom Break?!?!? What's that?? (That moment when you tell the teacher across the hall to watch your kids for a second, only to SPRINT to the restroom?) - I don't call that a break. LOL!

10. Always BUILD UP your kids!! All kids are smart, and all kids can learn, and the process is easier when both teacher and student believe in them. Think about it: we work better with praise, our kids would too. ("Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming." -- Goethe)

I have learned a lot of things in only 3 years of teaching, but I have learned that you have to LOVE what you do!! Teaching is so rewarding, and while that is the most used "cliche", it holds true! No matter how many times, we repeat ourselves, tie the same pair of shoe laces, or reschedule parent conferences, we LOVE our jobs. We love what we do, because we love our kids (Even the stinkers!) and we help make each other better. :)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorite Picture Books for Mentor Texts

Sooo over this past week I have been looking at my library book selection, and thinking about adding some new pieces to my library. 

One thing I LOVE about using picture books as mentor texts is that you can use them to teach several mini lessons and, because we've read the story, and our kids are familiar with it. (Which means we don't have to read the entire book again.) We canjust go to a specific part/page and discuss the author's craft and how they use it. (I love Mentor Texts)

I would love some of your input on different picture books. I have some, that I have loved for years, and can use to teach just about ANY skill, and I also have my favorite authors. 

Some books that I LOVE and believe should be on everyone's shelf, are:

Anything by Patricia Polacco

Anything by Cynthia Rylant

Kevin Henkes Series

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

I would love to see what books you find as MUST haves in your classroom! I would love to find some new books! :)


And The Winners are.....

First off, I would like to thank everyone who participated in this giveaway!! I am very appreciative of all of you who participated! 

Without further delay, the winners of the 2 Target gift cards are Lupe Yarina and Jasmine!! Congrats!! You will receive an email from me shortly!

Thanks again to everyone for playing!! :) Have an Awesome Friday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Currently July and Freebie!

Sooo.. I woke up this morning and stopped by Farley's page... only to realize I never linked up to Currently July!! How did this happen?!?! Summer-itis has me forgetting! Any who!! I am posting and linking up  with Oh' Boy 4th Grade to do Currently July!

Look for this FREEBIE under my new Freebie Tab! 

Only 3 days left to enter into the Target Gift Card Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Target Follower Giveaway!!

Back to School Giveaway!!

I couldn't help but notice all the AMAZING finds from teachers all over Target on Instagram! Wanted to take the opportunity for someone to find some great things ON ME!! :) Enter below for your chance to win!

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 gift cards from Target!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Liebster Award and FREEBIE

Over the past few days I have made it my task to find out more information on the the Liebster Award. It seems there isn't too much out there about it, however after reading through the blogs that it linked me to, I think I gained more of a "sense" of it.

I would, first, like to thank the 3 blogs that have nominated me for this award. Teaching with Twitte, Teaching 3rd With Mr. G, and Third and Goal. I am thankful for their thoughts of me during the nomination process.

I have nominated the following 3 blogs:

In order to accept the nomination, we must: 
Link back the blogs that nominated us
Nominate 3-5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
Answer the questions posted by the nominators
Share 11 random facts about myself 
Create 11 questions for my nominees
Contact my nominees and let them know I have nominated them

11 questions for the nominees

Why do you blog?
To reflect, share and gain current ideas

What is your favorite book for a read aloud?
I would say any book by Patricia Palacco 

Are you a good dancer?
Yes, I danced in college

Do you have a favorite teacher/education website?
Yes I LOVE Beth Newingham and her website

What are you most excited about for the new school year?
My NEW team! Can't wait.. AWESOME group of ladies

What subject do you love to teach the most?
I love Reading.. but Math is .5 away.. I love!

How do you handle a tough day on the education field?
I exercise

Which holiday break is your favorite?
Winter Break

Which is better... pens or pencils?
Definitely Pens.. but they have to be colorful

Favorite type of music?
R&B and Pop... Anything that gets me moving

Favorite piece of advice to share with educators? 
Never allow yourself to settle for less than your very best. If you have a great idea, put it in action. (With principal approval of course)

11 RANDOM Facts about Me

1. I'd rather wear gym clothes
2. I ALWAYS try to return the cart at the grocery store
3. My favorite color is Lime Green
4. I'm terrified Of the Muppets
5. Dark colors depress me
6. I love to smile
7. Summer is my favorite season
8. I have more than 30 nail polishes
9. I can't sleep without the TV
10. I'm addicted to gummi candy
11. My sister is my best friend

11 questions for the nominees
Why do you blog?
What is your favorite book for a read aloud?Are you a good dancer?
Do you have a favorite teacher/education website?
What are you most excited about for the new school year?
What subject do you love to teach the most?How do you handle a tough day on the education field?
Which holiday break is your favorite?
Which is better... pens or pencils?
Favorite type of music?
Favorite piece of advice to share with educators?

 In honor of being nominated I would like to open up a Back to School item on my TPT site. This FREEBIE will remain free for 3 hours! :)

Thank you all so much!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Time for a BLOGOVER!!

Remodeling for the upcoming year's theme!! 


This year, my classroom is going Nautical!! I can't wait to begin putting the decor together! I found some awesome FREEBIE Name Plates from The 3am Teacher!

Stop by and check out my new layout design! I'm so excited about this theme!! 

Anchor's Away!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Shout Out to a New Blogger Friend!!

ATTN Bloggers!!

I'm so excited that one of my friends is now in the land of blogging!!  She's a wonderful person, raising babies and teaching kids! I love her! Hope you love her as much as I do! Stop by her page and follow her. She will be doing some great things during this upcoming year! 

The things that she finds and thinks of are so creative!
She's Awesome!!

Welcome Holly!!

Side Note: For all the new bloggers out there... one GREAT way to get fresh ideas frequently is to join Instagram!! There are a lot of great ideas circulating daily, sometimes more than once in a day!! You should join the Instagram party. You'll be glad you did! :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It!!

Linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for my 1st Monday Made It!
Tried something different! I am for the first time sharing something I made. These are 2 name signs that I made. I was trying this out for the first time. Made a name sign for my FAVORITE teaching Aunt and my Momma!! :)

* Reflective comment: The next time I would make the letters a white color on the blue background because the black blends in to well.

Mrs. Milam                   Mrs. Love

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Forgive my super delay.. summer vacation is a lot busier than I planned, however I am now onto the next chapter.  love this book and it is opening my eyes to new angles of thinking. 

"Language plays a key role in the human learning process"- Laney Sammons

Chapter 2 discusses the importance of building academic vocabulary. Often times vocabulary is isolated to reading instruction, however students need that "break down" of language in math instruction as well. 

I really loved when she went in depth and began to speak about how important it is of ELL's to have the break down of language. It is true that students who do not have any background knowledge on a topic can interpret things the wrong way, such as "foot" and "yard."

Side note: Throughout this chapter what really "stuck" with me was the connection of words to ELL students. This really is an important concept for me because we have a high spanish population and I LOVE my ESL kiddos. So whether they have exited the program or not I love these techniques because they really help me keep my language learners in my "front view." Learning 2 languages is difficult and we can't forget about them. :)

As an educator, it's unfortunate that I still seestudents copying definitions from a dictionary, and as a younger generation, my college campus has proven this tactic unproductive. (If done in isolation) Beginning on page 50, it explains this nicely under 8 categories. It tells you what is not effective and why, and then explains a way for students to express their knowledge in an effective way.

One thing that I often run into a as a math and a reading teacher is which words do we focus on for student success? Do we teach them ALL "just in case" or do we focus on a specific group or kind of word? According to Laney Sammons we should:

1. Focus on words that are already in the students' oral vocabularies, which they need to recognize in print. 
  • After teaching a STAAR grade level for 3 years, I have learned that students have to KNOW words through reading and speaking. They should know these words because they are developmentally appropriate however they also need to know them for they may see these words on their state assessment. If we only talk about these words and the students have knowledge of reading it on their own, we run into tight situations when it comes to kids being able to read them and understand them alone.
2. Words that are not in student's oral vocabularies, but that are labels for concepts already familiar to students.
  • 3 of the examples that are given are quantity, comparison, and exact. Personally speaking, I know for a fact that I use these words all the time and we do research and discuss the meanings however, it brings a good point up, that if these are not explicitly taught, the meaning behind it will not be as strong as it can be without teaching it. Kids will be confused and not understand. 
3. Words not in student's oral vocabulary that refer to new concepts.

  • THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS. These are words that they see most often only in the math classroom and environment.  However these words can hold a different meaning outside the classroom and confuse kids. This is a HUGE range of words that can cause the most difficulty with our ELL and ESL learners.

What vocabulary strategies do you use in your classroom? 

One thing I love to do with vocabulary is to use foldables to show examples of what the word "is".. what it "is not" and then a picture. I love this because it truly makes them think about the meaning and the non- meaning (Similar to the Frayer Model). 

Another game is similar to "headbandz", where you give the person clues to solve the words. This game can be fun when there is a long amount of time to play, however it is fun.

Fact Families for Tactile Learners

I created an early elementary fact family board for tactile learners. I made small baggies of numbers 0-15 and this can be used in a guided instruction activity where students could pair up and locate the facts related to the family! 

Each number has velcro so it can be put on and pulled off the board's velcro. 

_ poster board
- Printer
- Cardstock

I had fun making this!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Using Twitter to Communicate

What methods of parent/teacher communication do you use?

At the beginning of last year, I tried to use Twitter in order to reach parents through a trending site. I believe its safe to say, it didn't "catch on". I began tweeting myself, and then I slowly stopped when I noticed there was no one there. (Kinda like when you realize no one is following you.. lol.. yea) 

The purpose of using Twitter, was to reach the families that may not have a computer, however; they may have a smartphone.  A way to update parents in 50 characters or less and give them a "PEEK" into our classroom because there was not a lot of parents in our building seeing us learn. It was a modern way to "highlight" good things happening.

I am now thinking of another way to communicate better with parents this year. While I am moving to another campus, this may be a chance to try Twitter again, however I would LOVE to know what others do to REACH parents and SHARE what we do.