Monday, April 7, 2014

Some Fabulous Idea Finds From Around the Web

Last time I did this I shared some Earth Day ideas I digitally collected.  Today is a lot more random, just some great stuff I've seen (and pinned) lately!  If you click on each picture it'll get you to the source.

I really liked the visual representation here with the fractions and decimals.  I used to do something similar with my students but I love the color factor of this one from Real Teachers Learn.

A great website with interactive Social Studies games:

 One of these days I'm going to put on both a family math night and an art show at my kids' school! This is an art exhibit type idea I love:

Love this Haiku tunnel book made with a postcard from!

 Tunnel books are fun and unique!  This one uses a post card for a prompt and a haiku to go with it.   Great, great post! 
 And I'm totally going to have to make myself one of these aprons from Mary Markowski!

In addition to pinning super fabulous ideas, I've been doing some moderate reorganizing of my boards.  I decided too many varying things were going into my classroom management and discipline board so I've added a new pin board - The Cute ClassroomHead on over and check out all the educational cuteness now!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

As Requested, Now on Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I've had several people ask if they could follow on Bloglovin.  I didn't realize I had to go into Bloglovin and "claim" my blog. :)  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Liebster Award for Blogging!

I'd love to thank Susan over at Lopez Land Learners for giving me a Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by bloggers and you can find out more about it here.

To start with, Susan has a few questions for me to answer.

1- How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging for a few years, but this blog is only a few months old.  I think I started it in February (2014).  My other blog (All Things Alicia) was something I started about 7 years ago to chronicle my life, baking, paper crafting, etc...

2-  What made you decide to start a teaching blog?

I was incorporating more and more of my teaching projects into my regular blog, especially after starting my TPT store.  I really felt like it needed its own separate space.  This was partly for me, and partly for my readers.  Some might want education tips and ideas and not care about my Project Life album.  Other long time readers were probably wondering why they were suddenly seeing a bunch of teaching stuff after visiting my blog for years to find recipes and see scrapbook pages.

3-  If you could teach any subject all day long, what would it be? 

That's a hard one for me!  There's no subject I hate. I love both math and science.  I'd probably pick science because I usually end up incorporating so much of the other subject areas into it anyway.  :)  I do most of my reading and writing instruction through science and social studies.  My art is usually tied into those units as well.

4- What is one country you'd like to visit?

Again, hard.  I've always wanted to go to Scotland and Fiji.

5-  What is your favorite Children's literature book to read aloud?

You're seriously going to make me choose one?!  I guess The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  I have a ton of favorites though.  My kids rooms are decorated in children's literature.  My son's room is Where the Wild Things are (although he's 8 now and I probably need to change to an older theme), and my two daughters share a room that is decorated to be Secret Garden ish.

6- What is the one habit you have that drives you crazy at time?

My need to have things straight and lined up!  It drives me crazy because things never stay that way, and because really? does it matter most of the time?  But it seriously drives me crazy.  Right now I'm thinking about that one k cup that is not exactly turned perfectly the same way as all the others in my k cup holder.  It really keeps me from being productive.  I should just go move it, so I can concentrate.  But I left it that way to try to make myself less anal.  I should persevere!  Oh to be in my mind.

7-  How long have you been teaching? Do you imagine retiring as a teacher?

I taught for 7 years and have now been out of the classroom 8.  I decided to stay home when I had kids.  I've never been able to leave it behind though.  I've stayed up on changes in education, done a little subbing here and there, attended a conference and been writing the stuff I used to do in my classroom for TPT.  My youngest will be in kindergarten next year.  I'm contemplating going back the next year. 

As far as retiring, I see myself  retiring after doing some more teaching, then switching to the college/university level.  I'd love to teach elementary methods courses. The other choose-your-own-adventure scenario I could retire in is working as a district trainer for science or math.

8-  What do you think of CCSS?

Love/hate. ;)  I like them, really.  I know we used to have reasons for letting states choose their own standards, but now our kids are more transient.  Travel and moving across the country is not unusual.  It would be nice for my new students from other states to have a more similar educational background when they come to me. They would have less gaps in their education then.  I like the standards themselves, for the most part as well.  I served on the feedback committee for the NGSS.  I also think there's room in the standards to add in your own state specific twists.

What I don't like is how some of it is playing out.  It's not the standards themselves, it's the implementation and testing.  For example,  I've seen some curriculum with decomposing numbers that is NOT really decomposing numbers and misses the whole point! That's what happens when big business people write curriculum instead of teachers who know and understand kids, learning, and how things interact.  That's why I love teacher created materials.  Then, of course the whole testing thing.  I'm not going to even start that soapbox. 

9-  What is one supply in your class you just can't have enough of? 

Post its.  I tried to be more inventive, but really, it's post its.   I love them for both me and students, all sizes shapes and colors.  I have a problem really.  Is there a Post-Its Anonymous?  Or Sharpies Anonymous?

10-  If you could write a children's book, what would it be about?

I find this question entertaining only because I have considered writing children's books. I would love to write a series of science based non fiction books with real pictures instead of drawings and that have a lot of real information in an engaging prose format.

11-  Favorite store or related website to shop for school related items?

Again, choosing one?   Can I use a blanket TPT choice?  :)  I also have an addiction to office supply stores.  I have dreams of entering a Costco sized building that has every single office supply product known to man in it.

Ok - Now as part of the award I am supposed to list several random facts about myself.  This is actually a good idea because, even though this blog is fairly new, I haven't really introduced myself. :)  Oooops.

1- I am an Army brat, born in Germany and raised in various parts of the US.  I used to live in Ft. Hood, Texas and my heart is going out to my old community right now.
2- I am an introvert.  I've led seminars, run camps, spoken on stage, etc....and am always about to pee my pants.  I really love peace and quiet and get energy from being alone.
3-I am a former LEO wife.  My husband was recently medically retired due to an injury at work and is now in nursing school.  Oh the mid life changes.
4-  I have 3 kids - 8 year old boy, 6 year old girl, 5 year old girl.
5-  I had my girls so close together some people think they're twins.  And I hate when people ask if I had them 12 months apart on purpose.  Who does that!?
6-  I've always wanted to write a mystery book (and get it published).
7-  I'm thinking right now that I should write down my bucket list and start on it.  I'm not getting any younger!
8-  I want to take a road trip to visit a ton of historical US sights.
9-  I have absolutely no desire to be famous.  Ever.  I once got Teacher of the Year at my old school, and Riverside County Elementary Math Teacher of the Year the year before.  I had to make appearances at board meetings, awards ceremonies, newspaper interviews, video taped lessons...I loved the validation from the awards (balanced with a fear that someone would come to my classroom and see what goes on and decide the awards should be taken away) but I did NOT like so many people staring at me.  I like privacy.
10-  I'd love to have a log cabin in the mountains.  On a lake preferably.  That would be my dream home.  It doesn't even have to be a big fancy one, although I wouldn't turn that down.
11-  I love living in California.  It has so many great and varying ecosystems (mountains, beaches, deserts, farms...) but I really can't stand living in a big city.

And now I am nominating a few more teaching blogs for this same award!

Let's start with The Caffeine Queen!

Then stop off at Feeling Fantastic in Fourth!

For the younger people Preschool Ponderings:

Astute Hoot:

And Fit to be Fourth!

I would love for these teacher-bloggers to answer the following questions:

1- What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
2-  When you were a kid, did you already know you were going to be a teacher?
3-  If you could have a shopping spree at any one store, what would it be?
4- What do you do to make yourself relax on weekends and breaks?
5-  If you have a family and teach full time, I'd love a tip about how to balance it all.  Beyond being good at scheduling...I'm already a bit crazy about that?
6-  What is your favorite thing to do at home?
7-  What is your must have food or drink when you're in for a long session of planning/grading, etc....
8-  After school in your classroom, music or silence?
9-What's one of the scariest things you've ever done?
10- What is one of those teaching moments that you still laugh about and will forever retell?
11-  If you could meet 1 character from any book in real life, who would it be and why?  What would you with them?

Alright!  For those I nominated, here are the official rules of the Liebster Award, should you choose to accept it. ;)