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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

5 Tips for heading back into the classroom

So I know some of you have already went back to work in your classrooms already, and a few of you have already begun your new school year (omg!). I also know a few lucky teachers still have 40 something days of summer break ahead of them. 

Regardless, I've had this post on my mind for a while so I wanted to share. Here are a few tips for heading back into the classroom after summer break!  

Tip # 1: Just Don't!

Seriously. Just don't go. That's the most important tip. Lol okay, I'm kidding but the point is don't go back too soon. We ended late May and I overheard some colleagues already making plans to be back in June! Ahhck! I can't imagine. I want to enjoy at least some of my summer break feeling like an actual break. I waited until we had about a month until school before re-entering my classroom. Everyone is different, but please give yourself a break. You've earned it! :)

Tip # 2: Have a plan

I tend to sketch out a floor plan for my classroom if I can. I am in no way an artist but it helps me to think about where things are going to, especially my big furniture. It's easier to erase a bookshelf than move it over and over. 

Tip # 3: Chunk it up

A super cute postcard that came with my EC Teacher planner

Yes we know teachers are superheroes but greatness takes time! Don't try to tackle every project as soon as you get there. Realize that some things can wait, especially if you have given yourself about a month before things get started. Now some people prefer to spend a week and knock everything out. If that's you have at it. Otherwise realize sometimes its okay to hit the lights and just come back to it later. Soon you won't have that option!

Tip # 4: Get help

Mental help. Cuz you're a teacher. What were you thinking? Just kidding! Once again sometimes we need to take off the cape and ask for a helping hand. See if you can bribe a girlfriend or your significant other to come spend an hour or two. It makes it more fun and efficient.

Tip # 5: Make it your home away from home

Me and my best buddy Mickey

You will be spending a LOT of time in your classroom. Make sure you add some personal touches like photos, plug ins with your favorite scents, etc. The little things really make a difference in the long run.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Made It!

Happy Monday! I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics  for the Monday Made It Linky.

It's been a while since I've made anything but I've beeng busy with good ol grad school. i will be so glad when I finish! But i have been wanting a sign for the outside of my classroom for a while now. I really want one of those cute ones I see on instagram but I gotta keep saving my pennies for that! lol So instead I made one for myself with some supplies from Hobby Lobby.

The teal sign was on sale because it was in their "Summer" section. The paints were on sale as well! The heart was about a quarter and I already had the stars from a previous project. It didn't take too long and I'm pretty happy with the product! I'm also glad it already has something to hang it by. Can't wait to hang it!

Alright so technically I made these two products Friday but I still wanted to share them with you!

These are a set of labels for baskets in your classroom library. There are multiple categories and A-Z labels. There are also blank labels to edit for your needs.


This product contains a couple different colored sets of computer log in cards. You can personalize each card with the student's name and log ins for up to 4 different websites.

On a totally separate note, I want to extend a huge thank you to the blogging/tpt/teacher-Facebook/Instagram community. Lately I've hit some personal milestones and it has really helped me to motivate me. I really love my job and I love that I can connect with teachers through all these different networks!

So anyways...have you made anything for you room lately? Link up and share :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Five for Friday!

Well happy Friday! Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the 5 for Friday linky :)

I'm so excited this had to be first...my amazing shirt came in from A+ Images! Its adorable and even better, it was free. They are doing a special promotion for teacher bloggers! I have another shirt from them as well that says Team 1st grade. They have great customer service and get things to you pretty quickly!

I finally made it back into my classroom. I waited until we had about a month before the 1st day. Kids report August 13th! So I went in my class Wednesday and got most of my major furniture moved. I haven't decided on a desk arrangement yet. Doing all that before grad class was a little tiring!

Hello new curriculum!  We have been using EnVision math in the past. This year we are switching to a new program and it looks pretty cool. I attended some PD yesterday and learned a little about it. ( Of course I chose the earliest session, I was anxious to see it!) It is more aligned to CCSS/ TN Core which is a nice change.

Mail's here! And my cute planner stickers came in! Can't wait to use these in my EC teacher planner and lil planner too! Grabbed them from Mare Bear Crafts on etsy. And she even threw in some freebies for me. How sweet!

Mr. Handsome bought me flowers when I returned from Vegas and they are so pretty! I love having fresh flowers in the house. Its the little things :)

Well how has your week been going? Share & link up!

Monday, July 13, 2015

My top 5 "take aways” from ITeach1st

Yes I've already blogged about my awesome time in Vegas but I didn't really get into the nitty gritty info about my favorite sessions and strategies. This was partially because I didn't want to share information from sessions without permission (I don't know the specific rules on that!). However I still think I can share a little more without over sharing! So here goes

5. "When emotions are high, problem solving skills are low"
This statement was shared during an intervention session. Mrs.  Whyte was saying this to explain that when a child is emotionally riled up they are not going tondo their best at solving a problem. You should make an effort to discuss the behavior later when both of you have calmed down!

4. Sandwiching strategy
Mrs. Samulski shared some great information in her "At risk & Struggling students" session. One that really stuck with me was her strategy of mixing only 30% unknown material with 70% of known material. This ensures that the students aren't overwhelmed with too much new info.

3. Visualize goals and obstacles!
Rebecca Solomon had some great strategies to offer in her session "Best Ever Research Based Practices in Action". One of the things she mentioned is that although we may help students set goals we often don't help them visualize the obstacles the may encounter. Helping them to plan for obstacles may help them increase their chances of succes!

2. Its all ”research”
When working with students during science explorations refer to it as research with your students. Help them to realize the importance of their observations and how valuable it is to be able to record them clearly. Ms. Ecenbarger offered some very practical tips to increase the non fiction writing in primary grades.

1. Miss DeCarbo is amazing!
True story! Lol she's so nice and had really useful tips on her sessions. I saw her back to back! Some little changes that could make a big difference include creating a secret handshake with your class or letting them vote on a class mascot. Her blog has even more helpful information!

Well I could make a PowerPoint presentation of all the things I learned last week but hopefully this summary will suffice :)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Teach 1st Conference

Oh my goodness! I cannot believe I was just in Vegas surrounded by all my favorite edu-celebrities! It was an amazing experience.

Not only had I never been to Vegas, I'd also never been to any SDE professional development. It was extremely beneficial. I can't wait to share what I've learned with my team and use it in the classroom. Attending the conference has really renergized me and has me motivated to keep improving. I was constantly surrounded by other awesome teachers who really love what they do. 

This year we had a small team with one teacher from K, 1st and 2nd as well as our assistant principal. We are hoping to bring more colleagues next year. Some schools brought entire teams! A few teachers also told me they got assistance through programs such as Donors Choose. That's something to consider. 

Overall it was a blast! I absolutely recommend the conference to anyone considering it! Hoping to return next year :) 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently July!

I can't believe it's already July! Time is really flying. Luckily I was able to relax a little in June (besides grad school!). This month seems like its going to be a bit busier for sure. So linking up with Farley do this month's currently..

I tend to wake up early with my boyfriend as he gets ready for work. TV choices are kinda slim this early so we usually watch a few episodes of 70's show :)

I am loving that I still have this full month of summer to be a little lazy. Now of course I have Vegas and some county PDs to attend I'm technically I'm still free! Lol which means naps whenever I want!

I have mentioned often how I'm in grad school and I just want to say no one warned me about the length of these classes! 3 and 4 hour classes take some getting used to man!

I wouldn't mind grabbing a few more cute dresses our outfits before Vegas. I've been all over blogs looking at what other teachers are bringing.

Since I haven't shopped yet I'm using that as an excuse to hold off on packing. Really I'm just not sure what all I want to bring  yet and I don't want to overpack..but I probably still will :)

All ⭐
I am always straightening up and organizing things around my house and classroom. I wouldn't do it as a job or anything but I am pretty decent at keeping things in order. ( I blame that on being an army brat lol)

Well that's all for now folks! Going to grab some breakfast. Have a great week :)