Friday, July 31, 2015

Beliefs to Actions Blog Hop!

I am happy to be hopping along with Whitney from With Love From Texas today to share with you my beliefs of education. I feel this time of year is always the perfect time to reflect on my philosophy of education, in order to prepare me for the beginning of each school year and get me back into a educational mindset after being off all summer!

My philosophy of education is to teach not only the knowledge that students need to know but also instill in them qualities that will help them be successful throughout their lifetime.  Through providing engaging activities where students can self-discover and work with other students I believe that they will increase their own understanding of content.  I believe it is very important for students to have multiple opportunities to explore and learn lifelong skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem solving. 

In my classroom I like to use Kagan Cooperative learning structures and techniques.  I use Kagan procedures to set up table groups in my classroom.  I do this by looking at students reading, writing, and math abilities and then grouping them so that students have the opportunity to work with other learners.  Once teams are set up in my classroom we often do many structures that involved students working with partners or table teams.  One of my favorite Kagan structures is ‘Quiz-Quiz-Trade’ because it allows students the opportunity to communicate with other students while actively reviewing content.

I also use a Responsive Classroom approach in my classroom.  With Responsive Classroom we have daily morning meetings where students practice greeting others, sharing, and listening.  It is an important part of our day because it sets the tone in our classroom that we will respect others and treat others the way we want to be treated.  I like using Responsive Classroom because I have learned to use reinforcing, reminding, and redirecting language to keep my students on task and focused.  Students also take breaks in our classroom and we discuss ways to regain control of our bodies through taking deep breaths, counting to ten and reflection.  These are all skills that will help them through conflict resolution as they grow into adults. 

When reflecting on my philosophy of education I am reminded of a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”  I believe this to be true because I see education as an opportunity to develop one’s own self through practicing and obtaining skills that will help them through life.  I believe it is important for me to demonstrate my passion for learning and encourage my students to be lifelong learners as well. 
Thank you for hopping along to read about my educational beliefs! To continue the hop visit Whitney from With Love From Texas!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to School Activities

Have you heard about Periscope?!?! 

It is taking the educational world by storm and these two wonderful ladies, Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners, introduced me to it! While they were in Vegas at the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference, and I was still here in Virginia, they broadcasted from the conference and it was WONDERFUL! It make me feel like I was there and they brought all of their TPT take away ideas right to me LIVE via Periscope. Thank you Angie and Ashley!

After the conference, everyone was jumping on Periscope and I thought I would give it a try! I joined 5 other great TPT sellers in a Periscope Hop hosted by Linsey from Primary Polka Dots and we spent a Tuesday evening hoping from one teacher to the next talking about our favorite Back to School activities! With Periscope your broadcast is only available for 24 hours, but I saved it and you can take a look here:


If you would like to try out any of these activities make sure to click on over to my TPT store to get ready for Back to School! 

I hope you enjoyed getting a few ideas to prepare you for that energizing first week of school! Check back next week to see which of these three products I will be giving you a chance to win for FREE! :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Make Your MASTERPIECE {TPT Challenge}

It's week 3 of the TPT Seller Challenge hosted by Third in HollywoodTeach Create MotivateSparkling in Second, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista! This week's challenge was to design a new product for TPT! 

With the start of a new school year just around the corner I wanted to design a new ice breaker for the first week of school! I love games that help my students get to know one another and build a sense of community in the classroom, so this challenge came at the perfect time! 
I decided to make "This or That" cards. Using these cards students can interact with other students to find out which item they prefer. Each card has two choices for students to pick from and topics include sports, school subjects, school specials, colors, foods, animals, pets, and many more! I have also included directions for using these cards with a whole group or you can change it up and use these cards in small group. This activity can lead to great discussion between your students if you ask them to also tell their partner why they chose one picture over the other. 

Find these cards HERE in my TPT store! Or you could win them by entering the Rafflecopter below! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Must Read Monday: Cooperation

The Kindergarten Connection and Kindergarten Planet are hosting a great summer linky called Must Read Monday! 

I love finding new books that other teachers use in their own classroom so I am here today to share with you three books I love to use when teaching my students about cooperation and team work. I believe that cooperative learning should be incorporated into all subjects because it infused social skills into academic curriculum. Through cooperative learning students can develop important social skills such as effective communication, eye contact, active listening, and so much more. To help my students learn about effective cooperation we start the school year off with many picture books that display the importance of cooperation. 

Here are a few of my classes favorites:

First up...Swimmy by Leo Lionni

This story is about a little fish named Swimmy. The ocean can be a scary place full of danger until one day Swimmy teaches the other fish how they can all work together to keep danger away! It is an adorable story that really illustrates how a group of fish can accomplish something great when they call "school up"! 

Next up...Stick by Steve Breen

Stick is a frog who gets carried away by a dragonfly one day and he ends up far away from home. It takes the cooperation of many animals to help him make his way back. This book is great for young readers because the whimsical illustrations tell the story with limited text.

Finally...Duck & Goose by Tad Hills

Duck and Goose come across an extraordinary discovery (or so they think)! They both want to take care of an egg but there is a problem..Duck doesn't really care for Goose and Goose isn't too fond of Duck. As they begin to take care of the so called egg, they begin to work together and find out that they might just really like being friends. 

If you enjoy teaching your students about cooperation, stay tuned!!! I am working on something BIG for the beginning of the school year that will focus on collaboration and your students are sure to love the story that I have in store for this big surprise! 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

I was nominated by the Jayme from Teach Talk Inspire for the One Lovely Blog Award! I love following her blog, she is such an inspiration! 

I am so humbled that my blog has received this award from Jayme because I had been dreaming of starting this little blog for about two years...but life got busy! Finally, back in December, over my school's winter break, I told myself it was finally time to get started and I am so glad I made that decision! This world of teacher bloggers it so friendly and I love connecting with teachers from all over the world to get great ideas I can use with my own kids!

To accept this award I need to give 10 facts about myself so that you can get to know this girl behind the blog!

1) I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st Grade! I would make my babysitter play school with me each day when I got home AND I would even give her homework. I was a mean little 7 year old teacher!

2) I ran in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington D.C. It was my first half-marathon and it was a beautiful run, not to mention the cute Tiffany's necklace they give you when you cross the finish line :)

3) I am obsessed with peanut butter and pickles...I mean not together. I have loved those two things (separately) since I was little. I ate PB&J sandwiches every day for lunch all the way through high school. 

4) With an A, with an A, with an A-L-P, with a P, with a P, with a P-H-A, with a P, with a P, with a P-H-I...ALPHA PHI! Yep that's right, I joined Alpha Phi as a sophomore in college. Any other Alpha Phi teachers out there?!?!

5) My first plane ride was not until I was 22 years old! Not because I am scared of planes, we just drove everywhere because the vacations we planned were always less than a 7 hour drive from our home. 

6) It rained on our wedding day BUT as you know, a knot that becomes wet is extremely hard to untie. Therefore when you "tie the knot" on a rainy day your marriage is supposedly hard to unravel so my husband and I are lucky!

7) I would move to to Waco, Texas just so I could have Joanna and Chip design my home for me. I love them! Any other Fixer Upper HGTV fans out there? 

8) My first trip to the west coast was for our first wedding anniversary! It was a blast and I loved California.  

9) I am TERRIFIED of snakes! I think 90% of my nightmares have to do with snakes! It's their fangs that really creep me out.

10) I really want to go on a hot air ballon! We tried to while we were in California on our anniversary trip but the weather didn't cooperate. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading a little more about me! I now nominate these wonderful and inspire blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award: 

Allyson from Going Strong in 2nd Grade
Jill from ABC's and Polkadots
Breanna from A Pinch of Primary
Amanda from A Traveled Teacher
Page & Cristy from Kindergarten Squared
Tess from The Krafty Teacher
Nicole from Why Pencils Have Erasers

To accept the 'One Lovely Blog Award' please comment below and post ten facts about you on your own blog. Then send the love to a few other bloggers that you love by nominating them! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Winner Wednesday: Measurement Problem Solving

I am linking up with Jennifer from A Day of Glue Will Do again to bring you the chance to win a product from my store for FREE! All you will have to do is enter your name into the Rafflecopter below!   

This month you could win this Problem Solving: Measurement packet. This packet included 22 word problem performance tasks that cover time, calendar skills, money, volume, weight and measurement. An answer key is also included. You could use these for homework, centers, math notebooks, and so much more! 

My team loves to use them in centers for guided math!

If you would like to enter to win this product for FREE please enter below:

The drawing ends at midnight tonight so make sure to enter right away! I will email the lucky winner a copy of this product on Thursday. 

If you can't wait to get your hands on this problem solving packet, then check it out in my store

Also, feel free to follow me on Facebook or Bloglovin' for other future Winner Wednesday FREEBIES and giveaway updates! Winner Wednesday happens the first Wednesday of every month thanks to Jennifer's wonderful link up! Make sure to mark your calendars for August 5th and check back here for my next Winner Wednesday, just in time for the beginning of the school year!