Sunday, August 21, 2016

BTS Giveaway!

Happy Sunday y'all! Have you heard the news? Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back to School bonus sale for one day only! Tomorrow August 22nd you can save up to 28% on some fabulous resources for your classroom. Of course my store will be on sale to help celebrate!
In honor of the sale and back to school season, I'm teaming up with some amazing bloggers for a HUGE giveaway!
How amazing is it that some well deserving, hard working teachers will win some great prizes?! Want a chance at winning? Begin entering the Rafflecopter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and have a great week!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Words To Live By

Hi friends! It's been a while since my last blog post. I had these visions of blog posts in my head, and then back to school season hit! Tomorrow I continue staff development in my district, and continue the mad dash to get my classroom ready before meeting my new minis and their parents Wednesday night. Oh, and did I mention the air conditioning in my classroom is currently NONEXISTENT??? Fix it Jesus!
I just wanted to quickly share one of my favorite quotes with you all tonight.
Don't be afraid to mix up your classroom layout, or teach that lesson you've been wanting to try. Don't let a negative opinion keep you from doing what's best for your students! If you haven't already connect with teachers who will be a support system for you. You deserve to have positive relationships that will energize and uplift you. Your students deserve the positive atmosphere you can provide for them. 
 Whenever you face a hater with a negative opinion or you're feeling gloomy this year just remember this quote! Print it out or screenshot it if you have to. Have a great week! Hopefully I can get back on track with blogging soon!  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

TpT Orlando

I think I'm finally recovered after an amazing time in Orlando last week! Oh my goodness  y'all it was seriously one of the best weeks ever for me!
My time in Orlando actually started the Sunday before the conference. My friend from school Darla and I, decided to turn the week into our working vacation. After arriving Sunday morning we spent the day at Magic Kingdom.
Aren't we fabulous! Those Minnie ears are on point!
There's always something magical about seeing Cinderella's Castle!

For dinner we met up with my friend Tamara Russell at Ohana. If you've never eaten at Ohana it's a must do restaurant while at Disney. Everything they served us was family style and DELICIOUS! It's a good thing we did so much walking, because I definitely did tons of eating.
Tamara came to dinner all pretty and glamed up! We certainly had lots of laughs at dinner.
We continued to visit the parks in the days before and after the conference. Every day was a blast! Of course I had to meet more Disney princesses this trip.
Tiana loved my tank top and shirt I had wore just to meet her! If you're ever looking for custom Disney shirts and ears, check out Etsy!
I got a part in Enchanted Tales with Belle! I got to play the role of Phillipe, the horse. Don't think Hollywood will come knocking on my door anytime soon, ha!
If you've never seen the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom it's a must do. The floats are unlike anything I've seen in any parade. This dragon from Sleeping Beauty actually breathes fire as it goes by.
Tuesday evening we headed to the Garden Grove to attend the Cool Kids Meet and Greet. This was my second year to attend, and it will definitely be a conference must do for me. 
We even got a visit from Goofy and Pluto during dinner! It was great to catch up and chat with old and new TpT friends!
At last the days of the conference arrived! You could feel the excitement in the air Wednesday morning. Jen Bengel gave an excellent keynote speech. One of the things I love most about TpT is lines of communication are constantly open. We are always kept in the loop of what's to come. God bless Adam Freed, that man knows his data well and can break it down so easily to understand. When Day one of the conference wrapped up it was finally time for the BIG teacher meet up. Check out Tallahassee Sunday on Etsy for custom door signs. The had this sign available to take pictures with; too bad it couldn't be taken home!

The second morning of the conference we were served a poolside breakfast! It felt so fancy to me!
The sessions were amazing! I was pleasantly surprised to see I made a cameo appearance in one session.
Call me a dork, but this made my day! Sherri Tyler from Literary Sherri and Mary Beth Nerone from Brain Waves Instruction had a wonderful session on organizing meet ups. Seriously, these ladies know their stuff. 
Another reason to love TpT is how down to earth Team TpT'ers are! Adam, Paul, Amy, and others were walking around attending sessions and chatting with people. Every Team TpT'er I met was approachable and easy to chat with. 
It was fun to have more time at happy hour with everyone, but that also meant one thing. It meant the conference fun was coming to an end. 
Before saying our final goodbyes, we had one last dinner. Last year Michelle and I chatted poolside in Vegas, this year she joined us for dinner Thursday night at The Boathouse. The food was delicious! Check out Michelle's blog Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching
I came home tired, but with a happy heart. Happy because of the new tips and tricks I learned. Happy because I reconnected with people I've been waiting a year to see again. My biggest takeaway from the conference was meaningful connections. If you've never attended a TpT conference you must go next year if possible. I promise it will be worth every penny, and you won't regret a moment of it. Go by yourself if you need to and you'll quickly find people to connect with!

I look at the quote in this picture and agree with it 100%. TpT helps me keep my passion for teaching when it gets tough. I'm reminded that I became a teacher because I'm passionate about helping children reach their potential. I have so much love and respect for TpT. Now comes the LONG wait until next year!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Twitter 101

Last month, I shared some quick tips and tricks to build a PLN through social media. I'd like to dig deeper and really explore Twitter, which I believe can be the most beneficial source for teachers seeking quality content.

Let's take a closer look at Twitter and how it go beyond a basic tweet. This is how my Twitter profile looks on my iPad. Your profile page will look somewhat different based on how and where you're using Twitter, but the basics are still the same.
Before we dissect some tweets, allow me to get on a soap box for a moment. Notice how I have a profile picture that shows my face and a description about me?  You NEED a profile picture of yourself; not a cartoon, cute animal, or stock photo. You are not an egg! We want to see your beautiful face and know a little bit about you. It grinds my gears to come across a profile and see an egg. Rant over, let's move on.

When you post to Twitter you are limited to 140 characters unless you use something like TwitLonger. Let's take a look at a basic tweet. A tweet may or may not include a hashtag. Some of us will remember when a hashtag was really a pound sign. (Feeling old yet? I sorta am now.) What's a hashtag you may ask? A hashtag is a word or group of words used for a specific topic.
Source

A basic tweet has no hashtags, special characters, or emojis included with the text. You will notice under each tweet you send there will be three options; reply, retweet, or like. 
When you reply to a tweet, you first click on the left facing arrow underneath the text. 
In the example below you'll notice I've replied to someone welcoming them to a Twitter chat.

Now let's move on to retweeting. A retweet is when you share a tweet already shared by another person. There are two choices for a retweet; you may just retweet the original content or you may quote the tweet which means you add your comments or thoughts about what you're sharing. Below you will see examples of a basic rewteet and quote the tweet. 

Moving right along, let's take a quick look at liking a tweet. When you like a tweet, it's saved to the Likes section of your profile so you can reference it later. In the screenshot above you'll notice each tweet has a heart. The number next to the heart indicates how many likes that particular tweet has received.
Next week I'll share more tips and tricks for using Twitter. Enjoy what's left of your week! I'm preparing to present at my district's iPad conference next Monday. I can't wait to share what I've learned!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Giveaway Time!

Happy Friday friends!! I'm teaming up with some amazing teachers to help celebrate a blog launch!

Congratulations Ashley on launching your blog Ashley's Brainy Centers! One lucky teacher is going to win a TON of great prizes!!! Who wouldn't love free money to spend at TpT and Target?
I'm donating my Coins Task Cards as part of the giveaway. 

There are three sets of task cards combined to help students learn and apply multiple ways to count coins. 
Don't forget to stop by Ashley's blog and enter this giveaway. You don't want to miss your chance to win some serious teacher swag! 


Sunday, June 26, 2016

#getyourmeeton

Happy Sunday y'all! I hope you're enjoying a nice, relaxing Sunday. I'm excited because Monday evening I'm meeting with a group of wonderful teacher authors to have dinner. To celebrate, we're having a sale in our TpT stores!
You'll find certain products from our stores on sale this Sunday through Tuesday. Here's a quick look at products on sale in my store to help celebrate.
I have two new word wall sets in my store. I'm in LOVE with the coral and aqua color scheme.




I also have a pink and gray word wall set. I love this color scheme too!


Both word wall sets include all Dolch words from Pre-Primer through third grade as well as days of the week and months of the year. 
I'm also putting two of my Fluency Flip products on sale! My students love doing Fluency Flip during literacy stations, and they're also great for working with small intervention groups. These products also use Dolch sight words.
You can take a closer look at Fluency Flip First Grade here or click on the cover page below.


Check out Fluency Flip Second Grade here or click the cover page below.

Have a wonderful week! Don't forget to check out all the great deals by searching #getyourmeeton on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Building Your Professional Learning Network

Happy summer all! Whether you're already enjoying the lazy days of summer break, or still counting the days this post is for you! Not only is summer great for catching up on your favorite shows and pool time, it's also the time to build your PLN. What's a PLN you may ask? It stands for Professional Learning Network.
Social media can open up a world of opportunity for teachers! It can be overwhelming knowing how to get started, who to follow, social media buzz words, etc. Here are a few my favorite uses of social media to build a PLN.
This is an area I'm working to improve on myself. If you have a blog, use summer to catch up on reading and share all the amazing things you did in your classroom. Join a linky party or two. Linky parties  are a great way to connect with other teachers. Don't forget to leave a meaningful comment after reading other blogs. 
I can remember I resisted getting an Instagram account for the longest time. I figured I could just post any pictures I wanted to share on Facebook or Twitter and it would be the same. Boy was I wrong. Instagram is a great way to share everything from special activities, classroom decor ideas, teacher time out pictures, and more. I love using Instagram to share a quick pic or two of classroom happenings.
You can choose to have a professional teacher or classroom account. As always double check your district's policy on sharing images of students before you post. Here are a few of my favorite Instagram hashtags.

Check out this article for more explanation on how to get started using Instagram. 
I LOVE me some Twitter! Whether your a Pre-K teacher or college professor, there's quality content being shared on Twitter for you. Virtually every grade level/area of education has it's own hashtag. One great place to begin on Twitter if you haven't already is with your school. Follow other teachers in your school or district who are actively sharing content. 
Some of my favorite Twitter hashtags are...
Once you get comfortable with basic tweeting, try a Twitter chat. A Twitter chat is a virtual conversation centered on a certain topic. The chats usually follow a question and answer format using the letter Q for the question and A for answers from participants. For example, the first question would begin with Q1, and participants would put A1 at the beginning of their response.
Chats for teachers are happening every day at different times for teachers. For the mother lode of all education chats, check out this link which breaks down the dates and times of chats. 

Remember, social media is what you make it. If you share and seek quality, educational content, then that's what you'll get in return. If your learning more towards bathroom mirror selfies...well then you know what you're gonna get back. Social media doesn't have to be a huge chunk of time taken out of your day. As little as ten minutes of browsing, sharing, and re-tweeting can make an important impact on your teaching. If you want to dive even deeper into social media for teachers, check out this Edutopia article.