Monday, October 28, 2013

My Truth Monday: Creepy Style

I'm enjoying seeing all the responses so far for My Truth Monday. This week's topic is creepy in honor of Halloween this week. Call me crazy, but I may have already started a plan of attack for Christmas. I may have already had this plan semi-laid out since August, just saying...

Who else is excited to watch Charlie Brown Thursday night?

Happy Monday teacher friends!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Truth Monday

I love a good blog linking party! Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade has started My Truth Monday.

To kick things off, the first topic is about fitness. I was excited to find this topic after yesterday's post which included a personal fitness goal of mine. Fitness is something I would've never imagined would become an important part of my life.

I've made a huge change in eighteen months that seemed impossible when I started. I feel healthier, more confident, and sleep better. I went from daily donut runs before school to participating in 5ks and charity workouts. As of last week I've lost a total of 65 pounds. I try not to weigh too much so I don't become fixed on a certain number on the scale. Ladies we all know how challenging this can be. I eat better, but also indulge in a treat every now and then. (Mmm cupcakes) 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Guest Teacher Prep

Happy Sunday teacher friends! October has proven to be a busy and jammed packed month. Last week, I was out twice going to professional development. Thankfully I knew who my guest teachers would be each time, so I had a bit of stress lifted off my shoulders.
 Before I get into how I get ready for a guest teacher, I have to take a quick moment to share a personal goal I achieved Saturday morning. I participated in my first Crossfit WOD for charity! I wasn't the fastest, but I beat the goal I set for myself.
I was nervous, but I finished! I was glad to have my judge be a gym buddy I've worked with before.

Trust me when I say if I can do Crossfit, then anyone can do it. Moving on preparing for a guest teacher...

Having some sort of organization system in place is going to be the first step. I highly recommend using a  binder to keep lesson plans and other important information in. There are tons of great ideas to explore on Pinterest. 
Schoolgirl Style has a great collection of editable binder covers.

I like this Where to Find page inside, so my guest teacher for the day knows where to locate all the ins and outs of the classroom quickly.

I've tried every way I know of to fix this image, but it's not working! Grrr!
I like having everything in the caddy within easy reach along with whatever else is needed for that day. I have a folder for each subject for Monday through Friday. If you have a first time sub be sure to have pens, notepads, etc. somewhere within easy reach as well. 

I try to leave a quick note of encouragement on the board for my minis when I'm gone. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

EdCamp Dallas

I had an amazing time this past Saturday at EdCamp Dallas! There were so many amazing ideas to take home and new teacher friends to make. I always leave an EdCamp feeling refreshed and excited for all the new possibilities. If your unfamiliar with EdCamp it's teacher led professional development. Anyone can sign up to share an idea and lead a discussion. If your sitting in a session and discover it doesn't meet your needs, you're free to move on to another session. Teacher friends, I strongly encourage you to join and be an active part of Twitter if you aren't already. There's such an amazing network of supportive, passionate teachers for you to connect with.
The first session I attended was led by the fabulous Martha Lackey. (@lackeymartha on Twitter) Martha took a brave step this year with learning spaces in her classroom; no student desks and chairs! She has a fabulous blog where you can follow her experience.
My coworker/techie partner in crime Kate May (@ktmom3) and I led a session geared for K,1, and 2 classrooms.
Say cheese! I was trying not to giggle while this picture was taken.

Primary teachers are eager to use these fabulous technology tools we hear about, but sometimes we only see examples of them being used in upper grade levels. Don't be afraid to try something new with your class! Our minis can surprise us with how capable they can be. You can view our presentation below and grab a copy to keep for yourself.

If you haven't used Doodle before for scheduling conferences it is a must. Doodle takes the headache out of double appointments booked by mistake and figuring out where to put people.
We were excited to share our ideas with other primary teachers; they're enthusiasm during our session was contagious, and they kept us laughing!
At the end of EdCamp was one of my favorite parts called the smackdown. The smackdown is where people who attended shared a favorite resource with everyone. There's a wiki with all the smackdown information that was shared.
My mind is overflowing with ideas and information I can't wait to take back to my classroom. Remember technology in the classroom isn't a one fix for everything, it's just another tool to use to best serve your students.  Happy Monday and sweet dreams from one tired teacher, zzzzzz.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Field Trip

We took out first field trip of the year today, and I'm exhausted! We had so much fun at the state fair. This field trip never gets old, I look forward to going every year. I love seeing the students faces light up learning about the animals. My favorites are the adorable piglets! I always want to take one of those precious babies home with me.
Maybe this little guy was having a good dream.

 The cow milking demonstration is always a favorite.

I've always found mini horses too cute for words.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Five for Friday...Again!

Five for Friday the first time around was such fun I decided to give it another go. I love reading all the different responses. Second grade is loving the sights and sounds of fall and creating with new technology! The weather is finally starting to cool down, we're headed on a study trip next week, and my new group of minis are starting to get in that "groove" of the routine.
Today we created our first class video with Educreations. It was so much fun and we definitely we be doing this again in the future. This poem is going to be stuck in my head all weekend!

Another techie favorite of mine is Vocaroo. We cretaed a quick class Vocaroo to go along with our writing and bulletin board. One of the great things about this resource is the option of automatically creating a QR code to go along with your recording.

Scan the QR code below to hear us discuss some of our fall favorites.

These mini spelling dictionaries are what students use when they need help with a word they can't find on the word wall. They come in handy when we're working through the writing process. Students can refer back to it as often as needed and don't have to constantly ask about spelling a word. I found the composition notebooks in August at Walmart. They were in a 3 pack for $0.88.

Candy corn art love! I came across a similar idea from Pinterest. I'm having trouble finding a link to the original idea, but if you have better luck than I am please share.

One of our sweet room parents Mrs. McGriff read The Lorax to the class. She is amazing and is always a great help and welcome addition on Fridays. During recess today some of the students became quite upset to see some trees being bulldozed down to make way for new homes being built in the neighborhood.