Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday!

Is it really August!? I refuse to believe it. No no no no no no no no no.  

It has been awhile since I linked up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! So now that I am done pouting about it being August already, I am excited to share about my week!

BTW, Kacey's blog just got a makeover, and holy jealous. It's SO cute!

The last 2 weeks have been a little rough. I am in my 2 week waiting period to see if this round of treatment worked. And I have to be honest, this last round of hormones really kicked my butt. Because of that, my work out routine has really slipped.

Most days I will have limited time periods where I feel okay enough to work out. But by the time I get dressed for the gym, the moment has passed.  So I've decided to cancel my gym membership and purchase a treadmill. 

I am hoping that having it in my house will help me get my work outs in when I can without pushing myself! I am pretty excited! It is getting delivered on Monday! 

Since it's August, I guess it's time for me to start thinking about my classroom. Not that I haven't been in teacher mode all summer. Let's be honest, do our teacher brains ever really turn off!? But I really haven't gone back to school shopping or really envisioned what I wanted my brand new room to look like! 

This week I started some shopping and I am now getting excited to get back into my room! I am kind of going on a spray painting rampage. I am painting everything to make it feel more cohesive. My theme last year was rainbow polka dots, but this year I am going for more of a simple vibe. 

My new classroom has a chalkboard (WHAAAAT!?) and not a whiteboard, so I am going to play off of that and use chalkboard in my new theme along with this lovely bright fun colors!

I think the project I am most excited for I saw on Instagram thanks to ms.hollands_happenings! Individual white boards!

You just go to Home Depot and get a giant (4'x8') piece of tile board. Have them cut it down into 12x12 squares (fo' freezies) add some tape around the edges (they tend to get kind of rough post-cutting) and Voila!

Awhile back I saw someone post about the Dr. Seuss exhibit on Instagram (seriously, what would I do without Instagram!?). So my friend Sarah and I decided to go and check it out! It was really cool! If you are going to be around the Portland, OR area, I definitely recommend checking it out! 

The best part was getting to see the progression of his artwork. Did you know that he went through and expressionist period? 

I loved this one! I really loved that you can still tell it is Dr. Seuss! He still has his characters just with an expressionist twist! LOVE!

Did you know that he did a lot of political pieces during WWII? 

In this photo it shows him as the puppet master. He is controlling General MacArthur. MacArthur is controlling Emperor Hiro Hito and Hiro Hito is controlling the white horse! So interesting!

During WII he also wrote and illustrated and informational booklet that was passed out to soldiers warning them of the dangers of malaria! This was by far my favorite! I wish I had taken a picture of the whole pamphlet! I did get a picture of my favorite piece though ;) 

 Words of wisdom from Dr. Seuess: Don't run around like a strip teaser.

 I will say the exhibit was a little smaller than I was hoping for. I didn't want it to end! But I did learn a lot!

Look, Look! I grew something! I have never had a garden before and today I got my first zucchini! And it is massive. I am hooked! I can't wait to have a big garden next year!

 I know what I'll be making for dinner ;)

Okay, okay, I think I died and went to heaven! Apparently, there's a food cart in downtown Portland that makes grilled PB&J sandwiches. Talk about the ultimate comfort food! 

I met a friend of mine downtown for lunch today. We had both heard such great things about this place so we decided to give it a go! I am so glad we did. I want to live there. And I might have to because these things definitely add 1870924572 lbs just looking at them. Worth it.

I got The Joy. It was peanut butter, chocolate ganache, coconut and almond butter! It tasted exactly like an Almond Joy! To. Die. For.

Messy, but oh so worth it!

I also got my husband the Cynthia. It was more basic (he wasn't quite as adventurous). His had peanut butter, raspberry jelly and nutella! I didn't try it, but he appeared to love it!

Well that was my week! I kept pretty busy if I do say so myself! I can't wait to link up and see how all of your weeks went!

June/July Slant Box Reveal!!

I am so so so excited to share my experience participating in Jameson from Lessons with Coffee's SLANT Box for the first time! 

I have to be honest, I was a little intimidated by the whole thing (there are a lot of rules/details) but I decided to just dive in and do it! And I couldn't be more happy! It was such an amazing experience and I will definitely be signing up again in the future! 

Since it was my first time, Jameson made it especially easy by only giving me {one} person to trade with!

I was randomly paired up with who I can only assume is my personality twin, Jen from Sparking in Second! I had so much fun getting to know Jen! We had SO much in common! We both liked to bake, looooooved giraffes, were self identified gym rats and we both are teaching 1st grade!

The theme of this month's SLANT Box was sunshine! I love me a good theme so of course I took it SUPER literally. Jen on the other hand was much more creative! She focused on things that can be used during summer fun activities! 

Take a peek! 

 Look at her fancy handwriting! I have man writing…I think I need to take lessons from her!

Here's a look at everything she sent! I love that she labeled each item! Such a teacher ;)

My favorite was by far the popcorn, which by the way, I ate within 10 minutes of opening the box. No joke. I have a problem. 

I also really loved the personal sign she made me! It was so me. I can't wait to put it up in my classroom! Look how cute that little G is!? Jen totally knew the way to my heart!

I can't wait to use every single thing in this box! Especially the Rag Mag! Can you believe I've never read People magazine!? I've been in a pretty seriously exclusive relationship with Cosmo for the last 10 years.

And with this cute new tumbler (and my People magazine), I have no excuse but to go lay out by the pool and get my color on. Literally. I have no color right now. It's embarrassing. 

Head on over to Jen's blog to see what I got her! And if you aren't already following her, you totally should be. She is so adorably talented and fun! And besides, all the cool kids are doing it ;)

Sparkling in Second

Thank you so much Jen! You are fabulous and I can't wait to talk more with you!

And if you want to join in on the next SLANT Box exchange, check out the dirty deets here!

The SLANT Box Exchange

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lakeshore Finds and New Friends!

Holy moly! It has been a week since I've posted! Things have been super crazy and not at all productive. I seriously have a list of all the products I had every intention of creating this summer but haven't! For shame. 

I have however, been spending a lot of time thinking about how I want to set up my classroom and the things that I want to create. That counts right!?

Last Friday I had the privilege of meeting up with 2 fellow Oregon bloggers! I was so excited because I have been looking for other Oregon bloggers and we are hard to find! One is even in the same district as I am! How lucky is that!? 

I have to be honest, I was kind of nervous to meet them. 1. I am such a newbie to this blogging thing and 2. I can be super shy at first. Shocker I know! My friends don't believe me either! But I am so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone! I had a great time with these ladies! They were so easy to talk to and made me so happy to be a part of this new community! I can't wait to get to know them better!

If you don't follow them yet you totally should!

            Searching for Teacher Balance

We went to lunch and then hit up Lakeshore for their sale! I found a lot of great things that I have been looking for forever! 

They had a great selection of games that were all 20% the lowest price! I liked the POP addition game because I don't have any good games for addition practice and I loved the hands on aspect of it! I also liked that there was a manipulative piece as well as having to read the dice.

I also got POP for sight words. Apparently I bought any game with the word POP in it… My kids last year LOOOVED this game. You take turns pulling out a popcorn kernel, if you can read the word you get to keep it, if not, you put it back. If you pull out a card that says POP you have to put all your pieces back into the box. It is so simple but they totally love it! It comes in 3 levels of sight words!

I wanted a good phonics based game but was very picky about what I was looking for. Most of the games I found just had you find the missing letter. That seemed way  too easy and not rigorous enough. I chose this game because it upped the rigor! You get 5 letters and then have 1 minute (can be adapted with other timers) to make as many words as you can! Then you add up your points! Math and literacy all in one!? Score!

I also found these awesome magnetic paper holders! They would be perfect for holding make up work, calendars, important papers to send home, etc. I just hope they stick to my chalkboard… 

Next are these bad boys! I have been looking for these for awhile now with no luck! These will definitely cut down on my copying. Thank goodness because that can be such a big time suck! 

Last, I bought a bunch of chevron borders. I love chevron if you can't tell. I've decided to change my classroom theme for next year to include chevron, but I'm undecided on which color(s). What do you think!? I figured better be safe and buy them all! 

If you happen to have/know someone who has chevron classroom decor that would save me the time of making it, because clearly I have no motivation this summer! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My 2014-2015 Goals!

Not that I'm ready to go back to school yet, but I saw this wonderful linky party hosted by Jess over at I {heart} Recess and I just couldn't resist!  

Being reflective is such a huge part of teaching. Although, I will admit, grad school kind of ruined me to the term "reflection". Like seriously, I have 'nam flashbacks just thinking about it! So I'm going to replace that word with another word that makes me happy, sunshine.

Personal: During the hustle and bustle of the school year, my brain shifts 110% to teacher mode. Have you seen this ecard before!? Well, that's exactly how I feel!

It is my priority to make more me time this year! I want to focus on getting back into running, reading more often (Well, reading period. I don't read much during the school year) and taking time to just relax. And by relax, I mean binge watch ridiculous T.V. I think I just solved the mystery of why I don't read much..

I also want to cook more! I swear as soon as school starts, I never cook! There is definitely more freezer cooking in my future!

Organization: My classroom library is in serious need of organizing! I'm in the middle of revamping it now, but it is taking me a lot of time!

Does anyone know of a good place to find clipart for library labels!? I've been having a heck of a time with that! 

Planning: Usually I plan the night before. I know it seems like procrastinating, but it is my way of making my lesson plans relevant. I reflect, er sunshine, every night and let that dictate the next days plans. I really liked this system, but it would free up a lot of time for me to tackle those personal goals if plans were done ahead of time!

Professional: I love love love the idea of interactive notebooks and I think it would be a great addition to my math structure (or lack there of right now). If anyone has any tips I would love you forever!

Students: "Sunshine" is also important for students! I am really good at posting goals for each lesson, but I am not as consistent as I would like to be with checking in at the end of each lesson.

Motto: Things have been so crazy lately that I just have to keep reminding myself to take things one day at a time! 

Click the button below to link up your goals! I can't wait to read them all :)

Simones Math Resources

Friday, July 11, 2014

Daily 5 Book Study {Chapter 9} - The Final Chapter!

I'm pretty sure most of you combined Chapters 8 and 9 last week, but I decided that I wanted to separate the two. I wanted to do my due diligence with Chapter 8 since math is definitely my weaker skill (especially after not teaching it at all this past year)!

So I'm back on this lovely (and hot) Friday to discuss the final Chapter, Chapter 9. 

Okay seriously, I know this is off topic but it's been uncharacteristically hot here. Not that I'm complaining, I love me some sunshine. I just wanted to acknowledge how bizarre this is. Of course because I said that, I'll spook it and it will be back to typical Oregon weather in no time. I'm sorry universe, please let the sun stay!

The final Chapter in Daily 5 was called Returning to Our Core Beliefs. This chapter focused on the core beliefs of the sister's and of Daily 5 in general.

The sister's state their core beliefs as:


It also addresses how to deal with situations that arise in the classroom that may threaten to derail all of your hard Daily 5 work!

Barometer Children 
I was a little confused by this term in the beginning, but now I get it! Barometer students are those off-task students that tend to throw off the balance of the classroom and dictate how things run. One of the things that I constantly remind myself is that all students are capable of great things and that our job as educators is to set high expectations for our students. This instills a sense of trust in our students and lets them know that we believe in them. 

Some students just need extra help and support to help them meet expectations! The sisters outline 4 levels of support for these kinds of students.

1. Reflection - It is so easy for us to blame the trouble on the student, but it is important to take time to reflect on what you did. Did you rush the 10-steps to Independece? I know I'm super guilty of that. Did you respond to or engage with the undesired behavior? Are you speaking respectfully and positively? Does the student have good-fit books? What is most important here is being honest with ourselves.

2. Extra Support - The sisters suggest having students practice during recess. I question this because students see losing recess as a punishment and I don't like the idea of "punishing" students just because they need extra support. Is that just me? How do you feel about this?

3. In-Class Modifications - There are a lot of tips/tricks outlined here for in-class modifications. Some examples are marking off special office areas, providing tactile manipulatives for students to take mini brain breaks during Daily 5 and providing timers for students to be in charge of their reading and breaks. I will definitely refer back to these strategies this upcoming year.

4. Gradual Release of In-Class Modifications - Here is where you ween children off of using these supports. A great way to do this is by providing quick check ins between conferences/guided reading. I have 2 concerns with this. 1). Wouldn't that be interacting with them when they are supposed to be independent? 2). The sisters mention having this check in be on the way to your next group or conference. I don't move for that. Students come to me at the start of the Daily 5 block and then we switch after each mini-lesson. 

Guest Teachers
Have Daily 5 outlined in your lesson plans for guest teachers to ensure Daily 5 goes smoothly. The great thing that I have found is that the structure and routine is so engrained that the students don't even need any direction! They are so independent and help the guest teacher! 

New Students
Now I have to be honest, I am the worst when it comes to new students. And by that I mean, I don't take it as an opportunity to revisit expectations. Like the book states, getting a new student is rattling and I definitely fall victim to that feeling. In the future I will take that opportunity because we can always use a good review!

I also really really liked the idea of a Daily 5 helper! I might even use a barometer student for this position to give them confidence and allow them to be the "expert" on what it should look like and sound like!

The vest is such a cute touch! I will definitely be on the look out for a vest for my Daily 5 helper, so if you know where to get one let me know!

I thought it was interesting that the sisters mentioned how teaching is one of the only professions where people have an idea of what it should look like. Everyone went to school. It can be hard for parents to adjust to a new way of learning. It is important to fill them in (like Craig David). Anyone? No?

Help parents understand what their child is doing at school! A letter the first week of school or at back to school night would do the trick! 

The biggest takeaways I had from The Daily 5: 2nd Edition is that students will rise to our high expectations if we set them and trust them to do so! Change comes slowly, we have to be patient and provide appropriate supports along the way! And for my finally takeaway I leave you with this…

"Independence is synonymous with accountability."
 - Maragaret Mooney