Wednesday, December 7

Pinterest and Teaching

Holy cats!  I haven't updated anything is ages and you are partly to blame!!  :)  You, my readers and the people I blog-stalk! You introduced me to Pinterest and I haven't been the same since. I am completely addicted and I have gotten some friends/coworkers addicted too! I just keep searching for things and get a gazillion pins to look through... it's awesome.

I really think Pinterest has changed my teaching habits, and for the better. I truly believe I am a good teacher. I believe my students understand the things I teach and enjoy learning about them too. However, there are posters/charts I have not thought of making even though I teach it! I mean, I print out the flipcharts I make for the Promethean and put it all in a binder (which I am currently updating/making adorable) for the kids to look through, but they aren't the same as a chart in the room. The only drawback is my limited space.

I've also gotten more ideas for manipulatives from the site too!

Every Friday after my teaching partner and I plan for the next week, I go into my room and look things up on Pinterest. I look to see if there is a neat/new take on a strategy we are teaching and I make it my own. I tweak ideas to the way I teach and I have never been happier.

When I started teaching people always said, "Why reinvent the wheel?" and Pinterest is the perfect resource for proving that I don't need to.

So thank you for introducing me to Pinterest!

Wednesday, August 24

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday... Kinda

Today is 'Where It All Goes Down Wednesday' at Blog Hoppin. Well, I don't have pictures of my finished room. I will post those at a later date. What I do have are pictures of things I've Pinned and my own projects. They will help set the tone for Where It All Goes Down!

Check for Understanding: Pinned Image from 4th Grade Frolics

Check for Understanding: My Project
I made mine in MS Excel and I love how they turned out! I printed them out onto colored cardstock, then laminated them. I am going to put one in each book container and then I'll have the students use another one as their bookmark in their 'Just for Fun' book.

Book Luggage Tag: Pinned Image from Beg, Borrow, Steal and 4th Grade Frolics has some too!

Book Luggage Tag: My Project
Again, I took the idea and made it my own. I knew Archiver's had a die cut of a tag. I took some paper I had laying around and punched a bunch out! Then I had the laminated so I could - hopefully - reuse them next year. Now, I haven't finished them completely yet. I am going to put a number on the back along with a label on the front with the corresponding name. I think it will look delightful!

That's all for now!

Tuesday, August 23

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Today is all about giving advice to new teachers at I'm Blog Hoppin'. Sometimes I feel like a new teacher, so this is going to be tough for me.

Take care of yourself.
Whether this is your first time spending all day every day with kids, or you've worked at a daycare in the past. You will get sick because there is NOTHING like having 25+ kids in your room sniffling. Ish! Take your vitamins, get a good nights' sleep and relax a bit on weekends!

Be flexible.
When I graduated from college, I didn't really want to be a kindergarten teacher. I had gotten a taste of 3rd grade and LOVED it. I secretly wanted to hold out for a 3rd grade position. However, that wasn't in the cards for me. I was offered a 4-Year-Old position and took it because it got my foot in the door. You have to start somewhere and why not accumulate seniority/tenure as soon as you can? I think you should also stay flexible because it's your first year... you learn the most once you're in the thick of things! Also, things don't always go as planned, so taking a lesson in a new direction on the spot is needed sometimes.

Rituals and Routines are KEY!
Establish those rituals and routines the first day and model a lot throughout the year. Things will become second nature for the kids and your days will run smoothly!

You need to communicate early and often with parents. Building a positive, honest relationship with them will be beneficial. You want parents to trust you! You also want to make sure that you communicate clearly with your students. Be explicit and tell them exactly what you want and what things are supposed to look like.

Not only do you learn while you actually teach, you learn a lot from those around you. Create things with your grade level team, share things, and don't be afraid to ask for things!

Remember the Golden Rule
Stay positive and polite. Making friends with many people, if not everyone, at your school will be beneficial. You never know when you might need help.

Have fun!!

Monday, August 22

Meet The Teacher Monday

I'm Blog Hoppin' is hosting Teacher Week 2011! I am really excited to get to know those who are inspiring me, and hope you will learn a bit a about me too!

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Teresa and am married to a wonderful man named Brian. We have a beautiful and curious little girl, Adelle, who is a year and a half. I sing, play the Wii, read, and watch movies too. I love to scrap, make cards, cook (and eat :) as well as getting outside to discover the world with my family. Everything looks brand new when you experience it through the eyes of a child.

You might not know...
When I was little, I wanted to follow in my Dad's footprints and be a barber. I wanted to own my Dad's barber shop. I wanted to go to work with him every day until it was time for him to retire with my Mom. Seeing how he made kids feel every time they stepped into his shop was awesome and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be the next Children's Barber. Unfortunately, my Dad had to retire long before I was able to help him at the shop. He is one of the reasons I became a teacher though!!

What are you looking forward to this school year?
Besides meeting my students... everything! I've been reading about the Daily 5 and am excited to implement it into my routine. I have also been busy working on projects this summer; I am excited to use them as well! I have a student teacher this fall, my first one ever, and I am excited to just get back into the curriculum! Besides, I love the smell of new, sharp, pencils! :)

What do you need to improve?
While I welcome constructive criticism, I take it to heart. I would like to work on letting more things slide off my back. I am a great teacher, I don't need to be as critical of myself as I am!

Another thing I would like to improve, is documenting! I feel as though I assess students a lot. I don't always write things down like I should, this can become a problem when it comes time to report for RTI and PLCs! I have thought of a few strategies (in case one doesn't work)... we'll see how it goes!

What supplies can you *NOT* live without?
There are so many things I love...

My Elmo: Showing kids EXACTLY what you want or EXACTLY what something looks like is key. I love it!

Sharpies & Flairs: I use Sharpies and Flairs for everything! Charts, labels, notes, assessing... everything!

Sticky Notes: I use these for every subject. My students use them, I use them, we all love them!

My iPod: I have a bunch of music on my iPod specifically for my students. We listen to music throughout the day and I find the students are more attentive when it's on.

This is not a supply, but I can't live without my teaching partner! She is an amazing teacher and person. I have learned so much from her in the past few years and we work really well together. We do a lot together and I am looking forward to another year with her across the hall!!

Now it's YOUR turn! Answer the questions and link up!!

Friday, August 19

Vista Print & My Room

I ordered some things from Vista Print and they arrived yesterday!! I AM SO EXCITED TO USE THEM!! I have never used these items before, but I think it's a great idea. I got inspiration from Mrs. E at The Sweet Life of Third Grade and Tara at 4th Grade Frolics. Thanks Ladies!!

I was able to get into the building today. I wasn't, however, able to get a whole lot done. I had my little girl with me who was running around opening cabinets because none of the toys we brought were exciting enough for her. I also wasn't able to get a whole lot done because the room was disgusting! I had to wipe things down that were covered with a plastic table cloth too! I still haven't finished wiping things down, so I didn't take any after shots because they would look the same. I am really excited to get things put together!

#1. This is the view from my door looking to the right. You're looking at my desk in the back. The red bulletin board is the ONLY thing I was able to redo today (this is a before shot)!

#2. This is the view from my door looking straight into the room. I have 4 shades on windows that look out into a courtyard. Most rooms have 6 shades, but due to an addition they took those windows out. SO I use that space for my ginormous word wall!

#3. This is the view from my door to the left. Those cabinets were installed last year. I am SO very lucky! Oh, that is my beautiful daughter too!

#4. A view from the "back" of the room looking at the whiteboard directly in front, and the Promethean Board to the right.

#5. This is a picture from the "front" of the room, standing at the whiteboard, looking to the cabinets. The door is on the left along with a sink on the back wall to the left.

#6. My redone bulletin board. It's so small, I am going to use it this year for the calendar and birthday chart. I have brown fabric on the board as well as my stitches border.


I have been making a few projects while I've been watching my little girl. I first made some pointers for my students. I couldnt' find any I really liked, or any wooded pieces that I was thrilled about, or that matched the Dots on Turquoise things I had purchased. SO, I cut out some of the paisley shapes from one of the borders, laminated them, then hot glued them onto wooden dowels. I added bows to make them look cute.

THEN, I bought a few buckets for our "Bucket Filling" projects. They weren't too cute so I added a few ribbons to the handles. I still think they need something... labels or something, but I'm not sure what I want to do exactly for the label/sign so I haven't put anything together.

I also bought a basket for my clipboards. I wasn't sure what kind of container I wanted for my clipboards. I had a smaller rectangular box, but that didn't work. I love the look that Mrs. E from The Sweet Life of Third Grade made with this tub!

Seriously, how adorable is this?! I just couldn't find a cute tub like that (alright, in a color I wanted) for a price that was right. I did find this basket for a great price and I think it will be perfect for the clipboards. I just need to make a cute little sign for it - which I will be working on as soon as I'm done posting.

Then, I got some fabric to cover my bulletin boards, and to make little curtains for my two little cubbie holes. I really like the colors of the fabrics and I am really excited to make these curtains.

I have a few more projects to get done, but I am on my way!

Wednesday, August 17

ABC Book

Isn't this adorable?! Parents Magazine had this pictured as an idea on how to save summer memories.

I think it would be a perfect way to get to know the kids. I think I am going to make an interest survey for the kids to complete and a place to either put a picture or an illustration. Then we can discuss ABC order. After everyone has been added we could put it in the library for everyone to read!

Going to the store today!

Tuesday, August 16


I have been sucked into the Pinterest world.

I love it!!

I have had a to-do list in Word for a long time now. It has ideas that I want to try, tasks I need to complete, and some fun stuff to look at. Basically, Pinterest! Now I can put a pin in things and they don't have to use space on my hard drive!!

There is one problem, I can't remember where I a have gotten some of the things on my list. So I can't go back to them and put a pin in them :( That's ok, I'll just keep searching for things and Pin new ideas!

Also, I just (literally, JUST) got an email from my principal saying I could get into the building! I am so freaking excited!! Too bad I can't get int there on the weekends!

You all of have been so inspiring. I can't wait to get things into place!

Sunday, August 7


Upon reading MANY teaching blogs, I have learned of two books to use on the first day. I went to the bookstore with my little family and picked up, First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.I had never heard of either of these books - I love them!

Both of these books will fit nicely into my curriculum and in my 'ice breaker' plans for the day!

Thank you for the suggestions and examples of how to incorporate the books into our daily routines!!

Thursday, July 21

Linky Party - What We Love

Well, this is the first time I have participated in a Linky Party. First Grade Blue Skies is hosting this class decor party and I have fallen in love with a LOT of great ideas! I want to redo my bulletin boards this year and I am just not sure what to do. I love these little owls from Carson-Dellosa, but the background is so light.
So I have been thinking of getting some of the items and creating (myself and with my students) these little owls from Meet the Dubiens. Seriously, they are adorable!

However, Mrs. E, over at The Sweet Life of Third Grade is working with black backgrounds and bright colors. Adorable! So I thought I would combine her use of black and bright colors with elements from Dots on Turquoise along with these SUPER cute library pockets!!
I could also still use those little owls made in bright colors, accented with paisley too!

I guess I am in love with paisley!! What are you in love with?

Wednesday, July 20

Summer is Finally Here!!

I am so very excited to {finally} start my summer vacation. The regular school year ended in June and summer session ended yesterday. I have my pile of books ready to start reading and I have a list of things I would like to accomplish this summer before going back to school.

Here are some things I would like to work on:
Read The Daily 5
Read The Cafe Book (which I put down in order to read The Daily 5)
Read The Book Whisperer
Work on math work stations
Figure out what I want to do with my class library
Create graphic organizers for class management
Get started on my Unit of Inquiry research

What is one of your biggest goals for the summer?

Sunday, July 17

First Post

Hi there everyone!

I am starting a new journey with my blog. I have taken so many ideas and put them on here that I thought I would start a section devoted to teaching. I have been a teacher for 8 years so why start one now? Well, why not?

Besides, I have been thinking all summer about my class room library. I went online to find pictures of other libraries and there are a gazillion blogs by teachers!! What a great way to use technology to network!!

Now I am trying to figure out the layout. I will post things of substance soon!

Thanks for reading!