Monday, June 29, 2015

Extra Credit....

Oh my.... As a student my favorite thing was Extra Credit. I was also that student who loved it when the class got into trouble and everyone had to write a sentence from the board over and over. "I will not talk while the teacher is teaching." That was fabulous for me. I got to be creative and practice my handwriting and doodling skills. I was also the student who always asked for Extra Credit. I loved it! I loved school so much anyway.. a little extra was just a bonus for me.
All that to say.. A bonus post! What fun!
It's summertime and teachers all around are on vacation and enjoying time off from school but I feel confident in saying that many teachers are still planning their upcoming school year. I know I love summer and being home and doing "homemaking" things around the house, traveling and spending time with my family but I'm also planning in the back of my mind.. what my classroom will look like, what will my focus be for something new this year to keep it interesting and what my new students will be like.
I would love a total remodel of my classroom this year with new d├ęcor and a new color scheme. It might not happen this year! With my daughter going away to school in August I will be busy helping to decorate a dorm room, get books and supplies and just adjusting to a new way of life. So my classroom redo might need to wait a year.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Teaching in Pearls & Heels....

I am so looking forward to continuing my career inspired blog! I will be focusing on posting about my classroom set up, The Daily Five & Math Stations this school year!
Please join my adventure & post your comments so I know someone is going along this journey with me!!

I have to have my daytimer!

To stay organized and on top of life in general I live with my day timer at my side! I love my fold 3 ring size for my everyday life with has my school activities nicely added in Orange ( the color for school! Go Bearcats!) Each part of my life has a color!!
I keep an Erin Condran lesson planner & organizer for school! I love the spiral ring and ability to have all my TEKS, calendar , class roll & lessons at my fingertips!
To stay organized I keep my colored pens with me in my bag & a set on my desk in adorable mason jars!! Love color & organization!
I also have a Pinterest inspired tackle box of supplies behind my desk!!!
Organization is a must for me!

This isn't my personal lesson planner because mine is packed away at school but it is the same design.

All time favorites....

Questioning Makes the Difference by Nancy Johnson is one of my all time favorite & most used teaching resource book.
My background is in Gifted Education. During my years in education I have attended many  Gifted & Talented classes & conferences. Many years ago I heard Nancy Johnson speak on "Active Questioning" I fell in love with her thoughts & research on the topic. I attended many more of her trainings throughout my career & continued to be amazed and learn new research thoughts each time I heard her speak! My favorite & most used resource of Nancy's is Questioning Makes the Difference & Active Questioning. These two books offer the rationales & strategies for using questioning with your students as a method of instruction. The ideas & activities she shares help to motivate students & provide higher- level thinking opportunities for the students. The strategies focus on in-depth thinking rather than just recalling facts!
This is a resource I have used in the GT classroom as well as everyday in my general Ed self contained classroom for years and now questioning, providing higher level thinking opportunities and  Inquiry based learning is something that comes natural for me and in turn my students.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Brain Pop Jr

One of my favorite educational websites is BrainPopJr!
It provides a great focus 3-4 minutes to get a topic rolling or culminate a topic we have completed our study on! The students love the bright colors & unique sounds that they hear over each topic. My students always enjoy the games & review quizzes that follow the lessons! It's a fabulous way to get out Science lesson or Social Studies lesson underway! It even provides some great Math videos that correlate with our Math curriculum!
It's a very short way to provide quality information to my students in a fun & engaging way!! I love to see their ears & eyes all turn towards the SmartBoard when they hear the BrainPopJr sound!
Please take a look at:


A Blog Review... "Second Grade Snapshot"

It's week I'm reviewing a blog .... "Second Grade Snapshot" by Lynda Kunkle a local recently retired Fellow Aledo educator!
I found this blog to be the most beneficial & relevant to me. Most of the other choices were upper level, administrative , technological & Special Area blogs which were interesting but not as much that I could pull from at this time! this blog is geared towards lower Elementary teachers.
This blog does not have much evidence of interaction with others. I didn't see a comment section. She does have her Pinterest on the bottom of her blog which leads to additional ideas which is fabulous!!
I really liked that she posted helpful hints for the classroom such as the earbud & clothespin trick as well as pictures of her classroom layout ( I always love to see other classroom designs & layouts.)
I was disappointed at how sporadically she posted ( which I do totally understand!) When I follow a teaching blog I want to see posts at least once a week if not more to keep new ideas alive & provide me with current snippets to pull from! I can't throw stones.. My personal blog went for 15 months with no post until last week!!! Life is busy!!
The blog "Second Grade Snapshots" motivates me to blog about my own classroom & keep up with the move in education to incorporate technology in a variety of ways each & every day! I have set a foal for myself to blog at least once a week next school year with a focus on Daily 5 and Math Stations! I hope to stay accountable to that goal! Please check out Mrs Kunkle's awesome blog!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I love, love, love office supplies! I love to write about my day! I love to organize my day in my day planner. I adore colored pens! They truly make my day sparkle!! I love my gold stapler! It is an absolute must as well as the multi-sharpie pack. My day planner! I have many favorite office supplies that I must have each and every day!

Nate Berkus™ Limited Edition Swingline 747 Stapler

Putting my blog into use...

I am currently a 1st grade self contained teacher. I love teaching higher level thinking skills and developing questioning skills within my 1st graders. I enjoy seeing the students think out of the box and see the reason why we do what we do each day. My background is Gifted Education and that is my passion. I enjoy getting to differentiate my reading lessons with Guided Reading and Stations. This year I'm taking that passion to a new level with a Math classroom that is differentiated and has active Math Stations up and running. I hope that through my new blog I can be diligent in recording what is going on in my classroom and hope that other teachers will comment on what they see as successes and ways to improve! I have been a balanced literacy teacher for many years and incorporated Stations and Centers throughout the years. Using the Daily 5 module will be new for me this year.

My New Blog!

I'm so excited to be exploring an online class about blogging!! I have a personal blog that I can't keep up with!! I'm hoping to be diligent about posting on my new blog throughout this upcoming school year! I'm diving into The Daily 5 & Math Stations this year and would love to have a record of my successes & ways to improve!! I think this class is the perfect way to begin my endeavor!