Sunday, January 17, 2016

A new chapter….

I absolutely love creating things for my classroom! I enjoy being able to put my spin on things for my kiddoes. I have never used Journeys as curriculum before, but I love it! The best part is that I get to make the homework, word wall words, and sight word tests! It is a blast to create these items because I am able to put my own twist on everything. I don't have to get anything that I am not completely happy with. I am so excited that now I can share all of my creations with fellow teachers!

I have finally launched my teachers pay teachers store. I will be adding products hopefully every few weeks. For now I have things for Journeys Unit 4, which have worked amazingly in my classroom. I hope other enjoy using these things in their classrooms as well.

This is just an example of one of the sight word tests for Unit 4. Having two tests per page is super helpful when it comes to the copier! Because let's be honest, who likes to spend forever at the copier!

So far in my store I have homework passages, sight word tests, and word wall words. I am currently working on homework extension packet that will be up by next Saturday!

Keep On Teachin' and have and amazing Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Newsletter Time!

Creating classroom newsletters was always something I knew I wanted to be a part of my classroom communication. Well… let's just say I finally created my very first newsletter to send home. On the upside it is January, so I'm starting the year off right! Knowing what to include in a newsletter was much trickier than I originally thought. The best way to make a newsletter that will actually be looked at, let alone read first of all is to make it cute! Also, if you over think it, you'll add way more information that really isn't necessary. If you add too much information parents will not read it, and in the future they will barely peruse what you took the time to type.

So instead of wasting time, keep it simple! Not every little detail needs to be in your newsletter. You also need to find a maintainable newsletter for your classroom. I know that if I had to make a weekly newsletter it would never happen. Instead I have decided to do monthly newsletters that are a snapshot of the month for the parents.

In order to keep the newsletter short and to the point, I only had two sections. I will still send home notes and dojo messages for other information that comes up throughout the month. The two sections I have are Reminders and What We're Learning. I feel like this will help the parents to be more in the loop of their child's learning. Also, it never hurts to add cute fonts and clip art.

I feel like keeping it simple is the best way to go, as far as the information. I love adding cute clip art and borders Creative Clips on teachers pay teachers. All of her clip art is amazing!
January Newsletter!

For the What We're Learning section, I did not add every topic we are covering throughout the month. This is most of it, but I did not want to overwhelm the parents.
I hope this was helpful!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas break taught me a lot!

Wheww!! I made it to Christmas break! I won't say it didn't have its difficulties, but I have had SO much fun being a first grade teacher this year! It is the most challenging thing I have ever done! It is also the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I could be doing. I feel blessed that I have a career that I am passionate about. I mean really, who else gets to play games, look crazy doing Kidz Bop dances, Kids Zumba, and learn from the most interesting firsties in the world?

Tomorrow, the kiddoes return from break, and I couldn't be more excited to see each and every one of them! I have missed them so much!! I agree that we all needed the break, but its time to get back to work now!

The most important things I realized during Christmas break….

  • Let yourself rest! This was the most difficult for me. I felt so guilty that I was sleeping in almost every day (I'm talking close to noon), but I really needed it. I feel so much more ready to get back to work after having this time to rest, relax, and clean some house.
  • Prepare yourself to go back… I took the time over the break to knock out the things that usually take up the most time and cause me a lot of stress. I love doing centers in my classroom, but its difficult to prep all of that and have the copies that go with them! Over Christmas break I have made, laminated, cut, and copies 40 centers! I am still in shock that I go that many done! I try to do about 5 a week in my classroom so hopefully I am covered until Spring Break! YAY!! I also gathered everything I needed to make copies of and organized it. I kept a folder just for things I wanted to copy. Having one copier for the whole school is stressful! So I got up extra early, and got to school to start a super productive work day. I now have all of my copies for a month. Knowing myself I will want to add a few things here and there, but for the most part I DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE COPIER! YAYYYYY!!!
  • Spend time with your family. During the race of the school week, there really doesn't seem to be time to actually spend quality time with your family. Movie days over this break have been some of the most meaningful and well spend times! Your family needs you, and they really want to spend time with you without stretching you to the limit.
  • ORGANIZE! This has been the thing that I cannot get off my mind. I try to be an organized person, but in the rush of things everything gets jumbled! Since I have spent time making everything ahead of time, and taking the plunge to make copies so far in advance I had to find a way to keep them all organized. I have milk crates in my classroom to try to organize games, but I never thought to organize papers with them! I got hanging file folders and regular file folders to organize everything. As of right now there 6 hanging folders in there, 5 are for the future 5 weeks, and one is for papers to add to my writing center. Each week has its own hanging folder with 5 file folders in it, one for each day of the week. I put all of the copies I need for each day in the file folder with a few extra activities to pull each week. The extras I put in the very back of the folder. I am so excited to finally organize all of my copies in one central place that I won't lose every time I turn around. 
I was ready for Christmas break, but I am even more ready to have my firsties back! I am ready, and will stay organized this time!

Keep On Teachin'

Friday, May 29, 2015

My Teacher Planner!

  I have been a planner fanatic for many years now. I personally think everyone should use a planner in their every day life wether you are scheduling meetings, writing to do lists, lesson planning, or coordinating kids and family events. Planners simply make the world go round! I spent weeks, maybe even months, trying to decide which planner I would get for my first year of teaching… This may sound silly but I looked at every planner! For student teaching I bought a digital planner, and printed everything out myself… Let's just say printing your own planner is for those with a lot of time and patients. I bought the planner and instantly wanted to begin writing in all of the information I have on sticky notes for it. I printed, and printed, and printed some more. It took forever, and I'm convinced it at least tripled the original price of the planner and it was only for three months of student teaching!

  I already knew I did not want to repeat this process for my first year as I teacher. I know I will need to put the time into other areas such as curriculum, creating things for my firsties, decorating, sleeping, and making sure I have my classroom ready on time. With everything else going on the last thing I wanted to do was spend hours customizing and printing a planner. So I decided to buy an Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner. I LOVE IT! It was worth absolutely every penny spent. It literally has everything!

  I read a lot of reviews saying that people never used many of the sections, but I do not see how this is even possible! I already carry my planner with me everywhere. Again, a planner is a life essential in my opinion.

I don't think there is a more perfect planner out there for me!

  I did opt to get extra checklist pages because I plan on using this section for more than just a grade book. I will use it to keep a paper copy of my grades, but I will also use this to make sure students turn things in like permission slips and whatever else I think I need a checklist for…

  Shopping for my classroom is exciting! I am doing my best to find coupons, sales, and any other way to save money. Hopefully this will all pay off!

  Right now I am very thankful for Pinterest and teacher bloggers!

Just Keep On Teachin'

Friday, April 17, 2015

I'm Going to Teach First Grade!

       I am so excited that I will be a First Grade Teacher next year! Hopefully I can create a colorful, exciting, and energetic classroom for all of my little firsties! The first things I thought of were what would my theme be? Which planner should I get?? Where can I find AFFORDABLE books in order to filly my very own classroom library? I feel like I just want to know everything now, so that I can go ahead and start planning everything!

     Planning ahead is what I always try to do. It may not always happen, but at least I have the intentions to be prepared. When I accepted my teaching job, I knew the first thing would be to figure out which lesson planner would work for me. I know that for me, I need to be able to have everything in one place for quick reference and ease of transport (for all the time planning at home). I have FINALLY decided to take the plunge and purchase the Erin Condren Lesson Planner. I am very excited about this and cannot wait to get it in the mail so I can take a better look at it! Another great options for a planner would be the planners made by A Modern Teacher. Her planners are amazing, but I just don't have a the time to devote to fully making it the way I would like it to be, so I decided to go with the EC planner. Hopefully I made the right choice… I guess we will see…

     BOOKS! Oh my could I spend hours and hours wandering around a bookstore. I could also spend WAY too much money on books for my classroom!! While looking through Pinterest, I stumbled across My life has changed FOREVER!! These books are used, mostly in great condition for a fraction of the cost. Even cheaper than amazon and half priced books! I didn't know that was possible!!! IT GETS BETTER! You get free shipping after spending $10 on books and you can sign up to get a coupon! Coupons and something free in one place? YES please! When I get the books I will post pictures so that you can see the quality if you are on the fence.

I feel like my brain is constantly on overdrive with wanting to get everything ready….

     This is such an exciting time! I just want to plan, and of course buy everything!!

If you are thinking about ordering from Erin Condren use this link to get a discount after you make an account:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Letter to Parents!

     My mentor for student teaching in incredible! I am so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from her and be a part of her classroom. She asked me if I would like to create a letter introducing myself to send home to all of the students parents. If you know me, you know I love creating and designing things for the classroom. I have written a letter to parents before, but it was just a class assignment. I did some research (mostly on Pinterest) and found some examples of what to actually write in the letter to parents. I want the parents to have a good impression of me, so I took some time designing and editing my letter.

     I was very excited to be able to make something that I will be able to send home to each student's parent. I want to present myself in a way that shows that I truly care about their student, that I am creating, and that I would like to be able to communicate with them. I feel that being able to communicate with parents is essential in order for a classroom to run smoothly.

     I am obsessed with owls, and well pretty much anything that is cute and creative looking. I hope this is helpful to those looking to write a letter introducing themselves as student teachers. Student teaching here I come!!

Good luck to those of you preparing to student teach!

As always,
Just Keep on Teachin'

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's almost the new year…..

     As the new year is quickly approaching, I am attempting to apply for full time teaching jobs, deal with becoming a substitute, working, and attempting to balance these things out with a real life. I have been working on creating a resume, cover letter, teaching portfolio, student teaching binder, and a send home letter for the parents of the class I will be student teaching in. Creating a resume… OH MY! This is one the most stressful pieces of paper I have ever tried to deal with… I feel like a million things could go wrong and cause possible employers to just toss my resume aside. Once I have settled on a resume design I will upload a picture.
    I guess goals for the new year that begins in mere hours would be a good place to start. Goal number one is to spend more quality time with my family, sweetie pie, and puppy Tulsa. Some would say that I already spend incredible amounts of time with my family, but for the most part I am working or sleeping during these times. I want to spend time with my family where we can enjoy one another's company. Another goal of course is to land a full time teaching job before I finish student teaching. The application process is stressful, frightening, and exciting. Goal three is to take better care of myself. NO NOT BECOME SKINNY! Yes, I want to work out more, but I do not want to get skinny. Get fit… yeah that sounds much better. I want to actually take the time in the mornings to get ready to go to the classroom. Instead of just throwing clothes on, I would like to think about it for maybe two minutes first? The time is fast approaching that I have to grow up… So I should probably stop dressing like a bum…. Sleeping in the library at school is most likely not something I should do on a daily basis anymore. Oh well. Here is to a New Year, that will bring many new things to my life.