Monday, June 22, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Dare to Dream

Week 2 with the lovely ladies of the TPT Seller Challenge. Here is our challenge this week:

So, I have to say - I created TWO. Personal and Professional. 

1. My sweet baby Gunner is due in September, and all I want more than anything is to learn to control my stress and enjoy it. Every single second. Right now I am so busy that I can't even keep up with what I have planned in my life, I am praying all of this changes. 

2. Goes sort of hand in hand with number 1. Relaxing. What is that? I feel that all I do is GO GO GO. I had to make lists this morning for the next 5 days to get myself in order. 

3. I dream of a vacation. Not just going home to Oklahoma (where I'm from), but actual time to enjoy myself and my husband and just relax. It doesn't happen very often with both of our schedules. So much, we never have had our honeymoon. I'm thinking once Gunner is a few months older we will be scheduling a trip or cruise to get some quality family time. 

4. The biggest personal dark cloud over my head. Stupid credit card debt from college. Grad school debt. Getting everything paid off is the biggest DREAM of mine at this point. Any tips:)

I guess I'm a little different than most blogging world. I don't want to TPT full time - I want to learn from everyone on blogs and collaborate to change the education system in America. 

1. I will be done with my masters next year. Afterwards I plan to take the master reading and reading specialists tests to become a master reading teacher and reading specialist. Which then leads me to #2

2. I will be trying all over to find a position of one of these. My thought right now is to present to our school board at our district to get a position created for such a high need in our district - reading instruction. 

3. I would love to find what works best with students and host workshops. Gretchen Bernabei spoke so much to me this past week about writing, and she's from right by where I live. It's inspiring, and something I definitely could see myself doing in the future.

4. Always been my goal from day one. There needs to be change in the education world in America. I have to find my way in and will eventually. Somehow. 

If you want to link up and joint he challenge head to one of these ladies pages: 

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Monday, June 15, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Makeover Madness

I have to say - I am so excited to join in on this challenge with some wonderful ladies! The first challenge is Makeover Madness. I took an older product and redid the cover and clipart, and even changed some of the fonts. This has been on my to-do list with multiple products this summer so what a better way to start!

Yuck. Looking at this cover photo alone made me cringe. This was one of my favorite lessons with my kindergarten babies. It was so much fun. I created a huge roadway in the classroom with butcher paper and yellow electrical tape. I used the cards with individual students during small group, but during whole group I bought dollar tree airplanes and cars! Here's a closer look at the cover and pages inside BEFORE:

It was one of my first products though, so what can I say? :) Here is an AFTER view!

I am all about the real life pictures in products and I use some of Creative Clips airplane clipart. Changed it up a bit! I'm so excited. The cloud page is a description of how I used it in my classroom which is a big selling point of my product. :) 

The bonus part of this unit is I created addition and subtraction cards and pages also as a bonus!!! 

You can find the new product {here!} 
Even marked DOWN! :) 

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Reflect and Refresh: Part 1

I am so excited to link up with Stephanie over at Mrs. D's Corner for a reflect and refresh series of the previous school year! We were finished with 2014-2015 on June 4 at 1:15, and let me tell you - WHAT A YEAR. Some good, some bad, some ugly, but ultimately as a new 3rd grade ELA reading teacher I felt super successful with my kiddos. Here is part 1: looking pack. 

This year I started with weekly newsletters and it did not have as good as a response as it did in kindergarten. Makes me sad, but I get it. I found a few months worth in one kiddos bag and at that point I knew I had to change my method of communication with parents. 
I use Remind101 religiously, BUT I only have about 11 parents signed up. That doesn't help entirely either. Our district does use a call out system to remind about upcoming school events, but as teachers we don't have that luxury of calling all of our parents with one individual phone call. My parents all have my personal cell phone number, and they do utilize that option. I'm thankful for that, but I am still unsure about those parents who I don't ever talk to or don't ever even get to see. 
Next year this is where some new trial and error things are going to come into place. I start out every year sending home a few personal letters, including this one: 
Which I will continue to use, BUT I have parents whose numbers change often. Which means I need to send home some letters maybe every 6 weeks, a sort of updated form. 
With the parent communication and weekly updates, I really want to make sure I call EVERY single parent or text them once a week. I need to make this a habit. Good or bad, they need some sort of update on their child. 

Organization & Classroom Management: 
My library was a hot mess this year. I had so many good ideas and then we couldn't get into the school until two days before school started and it seriously all got thrown into tubs by series and left that way. 
I have over a thousand books. It's a good mini library. I just need a better checkout system. I am going old school next year and ordering the cards and pockets from Amazon and they have to sign it and give that to me so that I know who has what book. I have spent way too much of my OWN money to lose any of these books. I know you all know what I mean. This was my library at the beginning of the year. 
This set up did not last long. I ended up with the two big shelves against that wall under the POW and BANG signs. The futon was eventually moved in the left. It's a mess. These are ALL Chapter books too. 
This photo is what our guest bedroom looked like almost all year. These are my picture books from kindergarten. 
(Do you see my biggest problem in life, books ;) hahah) 

And all of those boxes on the right are nothing but 2nd-4th grade level chapter books. 

So, the next thing I have been really reflecting on is homework and coming up with a steady routine. I would love to hear any of your successes. I need to google and search through blogs. I have a ton of teacher friends who I know have ideas. I just need to find something that will work and the students can follow. I am pretty sure if I hear another homework excuse, I may go crazy. Ugh. 
As well as organizing my materials. I am moving to a whole new room (and campus) so I am unsure of what I am going to do. I do know that table caddies didn't work with my group this year and since I am looping with them, they aren't going to work this upcoming year. I want them to have their individual boxes with their own supplies. They fight like old married people and I can't handle that another year :) 

Classroom management.. I have to say this is something I take a lot of pride in. A lot. I build strong relationships with my students, it's a family community and they know that. I don't have a system per say, I have respect. I am so interested to see how this next year goes looping with our students. I'm so excited! 

Focus wall: I was SO excited when I brought this into my classroom this year. The students actually were excited to see what we were doing that day/week and what our I can statement was going to be! I definitely plan to implement this again next year. 

This was my focus wall when I first started. I didn't start it until around Christmas. Next year I will be strictly writing and grammar so it will be more emphasized in those two. 

I am moving to 4th grade Writing, looping with my students! Which means all I will be teaching is writing and grammar. My partner is moving also, and she is taking over the reading class. With her homeroom. Then we will get another whole new group of kiddos who will be with a new math teacher. I'm SO excited. 

My Big Summer Plans: 

Aside from getting the nursery and our lives ready for baby Gunner, I have to get some serious organization into my life. 
I purchased the lesson planner from April over at A Modern Teacher
I may even end up leaving this with the sub. Just depends. I'm so overwhelmed with the thought of leaving my class for 2 months. 
I also am either going to look into the life planner from Erin Condren, or create my own so that I can have some sort of life order as well. 

Actually, Stephanie at Mrs. D's Corner has the cutest sub binder I know I will be using again this upcoming year! Check out her store if you haven't seen hers yet! :) 

I also preached very heavily this year that I wanted to get vertical alignment underway and I wanted to make sure we had a set curriculum plan from the beginning. We didn't have that this year, we were all over the place. So this summer we are working a few weeks to put that together as a whole district. I'm very excited about this (NERD ALERT) and know it will definitely help in my creating maternity leave plans. 

If you want go link up with Stephanie at Mrs. D's Corner! Can't wait to read what you all say and how your summer is planned out. 

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things: Summer Linky

I joined this quick link up to tell you about my top 3 favorite things to do in the summer! You can link up here with The Teaching Trio 

Well - if you have seen my garage on instagram (@mrs_cmt1489) - You know that it's a disaster. Full of things from K-3rd grade basically. I have to get stuff together or else I'm going to go crazy, and so is my poor husband. Also, we just realized the room we had planned for baby Gunner to be his nursery isn't going to be big enough for all of the furniture. So now we are going to have to move stuff from the office to the bedroom and vice versa. The things I get myself in to :( 

I don't know about you, but that last week of school I was DEAD. I went to be at 8 two nights in a room. It's taking me awhile to get caught back up. I don't mind that my body wakes up super early still, as long as I get my daily nap. :)

I made this two. Whoops! I am in my masters classes, which requires a ton of reading. My superintendent provided me with a lot of reading materials personally as well as for a leadership program I am a part of and a book study with her. TONS of PD books. BUT, I also am all about YA fiction. I feel like such a 15 year old Cassie when I read that genre so I'm totally okay with it. 
As far as shopping, Mom and I did some damage today! :) We went antiquing and I found some more things for Gunner's hunter/fishing themed room. I love it. Poor little baby is so spoiled already. 

What are your favorite things?? 

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Five For Friday - June 5

WHEW! I did it! Made it through year 2! With still minimal blogging. I am horrible at time management. Sorry! I thought I would join in for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the "last" Friday of my year! Technically, we ended yesterday at 1pm - but we are back today to work in rooms, district breakfast, and meetings. So here's a look back at the last week/two weeks/ and some important information I really want to share with you all!!

I get to spend 4 days this summer at The Writing Academy in Kemah, TX! I am SO excited! This is the curriculum that our campus uses for writing - which is what I am going to be teaching next year!!! I am getting to loop with my precious babies and move from ELAR to strictly writing and grammar! I am so interested to be a part of the looping process and see all the data (nerd alert) that comes from having the same kiddos twice!! 

So our final field trip this week was to Main Event in San Antonio, Texas! I had never heard of this place until we got to go. It was SUCH a blast! There was bowling, billiards, a rope course, arcade, laser tag, and yummy food! The kids had a blast! I don't know about you, but a huge perk to me working in a low socioeconomic district is getting to take students to things for the first time in their lives. They had never been happier than they were there, finally getting to be kids! Melts my heart! Here is a picture of some of my kiddos getting ready for laser tag. We wore the pink shirts. Didn't help us out much! ha

So, with moving to 4th grade I wanted to make my room next year feel like home and comfortable. So I decided to go with the burlap/nature theme! Soft earth tones! I created these letters that are in my TPT store if you are looking for some with burlap and real photos! 

We did a week of camping out last week and the kids had a blast! I created some quick review of grammar and writing. It was so much fun. We even had some amazing parents bring in some awesome tents! My partners took up her entire room!!! Check out all of our kiddos in there!

Disclaimer: I swear our kids are happier than they look in this picture hahaha. 

On our last day, yesterday, my third grade team threw baby showers for three of us that are pregnant at the elementary! It was so nice, and so amazing. The third grade team bought my husband and I this amazing chair from Target! I am so thankful!!! Those of you in search of a glider - this chair will make you never want to get out so buy at your own risk! Again, thank you ladies!!

The last one I am going to make about myself and my sweet little baby, Gunner. My husband built us this sign for his nursery and I am in love. We are all about the hunting/nature/camping theme in our lives! (His sheets are camo) Poor child has zero chance at not being country!!! I would love to see pictures of any of y'alls nurseries, past or present!

I hope y'all have an amazing summer! For those of you still in school - you're almost there!!!! The end is near!!! 

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

June Currently - a little late ;)

Well, it's June 4th. I am going to go ahead and get this currently done. I skipped out last month - May was INSANE. I really give props to those of you putting out products and blog posts consistently. Does anyone give classes on balancing life?! I would totally take your advice! ;)

Listening - Well, I feel like in the evenings this is all we are listening to anymore because all of my shows are over for the summer :( Bummmmmmer. But I love Big Bang and it's really about the only show that I can watch the same episode a thousand times! Do you have any shows like that!?

Loving - I don't think I need to say anything else. Besides - HALLELUJAH! This pregnant teacher is TIRED. 

Thinking - anyone else's to do list more than one page?! Next school years to-do is never ending, my life's is never ending, it's a vicious cycle. I will say - I ordered this gorgeous planner from Plum Paper Designs on Etsy!!! Get yourself one. I plan to keep my life in order. We will see. 

Then for school I ordered A Modern Teacher's Lesson Planner - It's AMAZING. I am so excited!!!! 

Wanting - to just relax. I want to not think about school life and grad school for just one week. Is that too much to ask? Maybe? Ugh. I just need two days in a hotel alone with a book!!! Sounds PERFECT.

Needing - well I have homework due this weekend. Need to get going on that. Need to start prepping for next year and maternity leave, ASAP. I also need to go to bed soon, my husband is over here yawning like crazy, I know that's his way of telling me to hurry it up! ;) 

Summer Lovin' - ahhh ... those words sound so nice!!! I have to make time to myself, somehow!! Have to get this house organized big time. Baby will be here in September and, well, there's a lot going on in this place that is not okay! Planning - I have Mrs. D's Corner Sub Tub binder and am ready to get it all together for maternity leave!! Have to start NOW or else I'll be a nervous wreck!!!

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