Monday, August 18

Who Doesn't Love Mail?

Raise your hand if you love a good mail day.  

I'm talking those days where you get real mail that comes in cute or maybe not so cute hand addressed envelope or postcard filled with a thoughtful note and photo.  Not those days with ads, bills, and more applications for credit cards than you need.

Well I am thinking just about most people and that includes students. 

This is where my new packet comes in. It is filled with postcards to send to your students throughout the year for many reasons or a just because reason.


Last year we had to make a positive contact to students outside of the every day to day contact we had with students and parents. It could be an email, postcard, phone call, or a quick little note. I usually choose postcards.
Yes it took a ton of time to write 29 postcards each month but I was always amazed at the thank yous I received from students and parents once their mail arrived. I even had one parent say I turned the entire week around for them with my quick little postcard.

How did I come up with all those ideas to write? 
What I would do was each month I would look for something from each student where they just stood out. Examples for such times:
  • Taking time to pull me up a chair so I didn't kneel at the guided reading table
  • Taking extra time to help a friend
  • Finally feeling comfortable to join in our role plays
  • Taking the leap to read chapter books and loving it
  • Realizing the floor was a little extra messy and cleaning it up without an instruction
  • Helping younger students on the playground
  • When they brought their folder in every day for a week or two after I hadn't since the folder in months
In You've Got Mail, are two postcard designs for each month, two designs for back to school and end of the year, different postcard designs for thank you, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, and Just for Fun!
Go check it out! I have it on sale now through the Back to School Boost Sale!

Happy Writing!

Monday, August 11

Meet The Teacher

I also love learning more about the teachers behind all these amazing blog. So I had to link up with Stephanie for Meet the Teacher Linky
 Teaching Facts: 
I am in my fourth full year of teaching. 
I have taught first, second, third, fourth grade. Never was I quite sure what grade I was teaching until the week before school started. 
Not this year- second grade all the way!! Second grade might be my favorite. 
I have taught as many as 30 students. 

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

The great outdoors, a campfire surrounded by my family & friends, pizza, bikes, running, beach days, snow, skiing, racing, nail guns, starry nights, crisp cool mornings, sleeping with a ton of blankets, being greeted by a dog, honesty, the ability to laugh no matter the situation, Target, book stores, northern Michigan, farmers markets, the country life, working with my hands. 


 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
It has changed in the last few years but things I have considered: environmental education, construction worker, personal trainer, massage therapist, designing and creating :)

Or in a dream world- a ESPN sportscaster. That way I could end up on Dancing with the Stars.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Loyal, Passionate, Adventurous 

 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

"I really love sharpening pencils every day"..said no teacher EVER!!"
 

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?

For fun: The entire cast of New Girl!! , Justin Timberlake, Ellen.  

My Grandpa

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?

 Barefoot and Fancy Free


 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
 
The ability to teleport. I would be scared to know how much time I have spent driving these last few years. Plus traffic is crazy here once summer hits. 

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
I love quotes. I have quite the collection so I can't just pick one. My top two: 

What do you plan to do with your wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

Also "To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think- spend some time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions moved to tears. It could be happiness or joy. But think about it if you laugh, think and cry that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. Do that seven days a week you're going to have something special." - Jim Valvano. 

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

"River and Roads" by The Head and the Heart
or
"Automatic" Miranda Lambert (my current favorite)
or
 "Take Me Home Country Roads" John Denver

 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

I'm both. It doesn't work out too well. There is something about those early morning hours and late night hours. I love the peace of both. 

 
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?

 Multiplication is one of my favorite things to teach especially the beginning of it when students think it is so hard, but when they get it that lightbulb clicks so bright. I have used my Monster Multiplication Mania pack in second, third and fourth grade classrooms. 


Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU! 

I attended the same school Kindergarten to 12th grade. 
The only kind of car I have owned are Jeeps. 
I love racing. I have completed 5 triathlons and training for a half marathon right now. 

Tuesday, August 5

Show Me What You Bought


My plan was to commit to my shopping cart after work today. My internet had a different plan in mind. Like I am not going to work even after you tried all the normal tricks that get me back working.

What does a teacher who loves a deal do?

Drive to the next available internet source, double the size of my shopping cart. Now I will spend my night sorting and oogling all the amazing resources I purchased. 
I am totally preparing for math centers/stations with Amy Lemons and Katie King's packets. Love them!!
Also Be A Reading Expert by Lyndsey Kuster- so excited to use this beginning of the year.
and...
Love this adorable classroom posters and decor from Lyndsey Kuster.
Since my summer job is construction and I have plans for the clip art from Graphics from the Pond.
Absolutely love the deal you Lovin' Lit has with this bundle of frames, buntings and all things cute. 

Happy Shopping!!

Saturday, August 2

And BAM It's August...

Time for my favorite linky (Thank Farley for hosting!)

Listening: It is too nice to ever stay inside so I am out at the patio table catching up on blogging, TpTing. I live a mile away from one of the cherry processing plants so huge trucks drive by all day and into the night with tanks of cherries. Definitely a sign of summer in Michigan. 

Loving: Who doesn't love summer? I have been working mine away and still love it. The running is a whole new thing. Started to really get into since July. I can honestly say after a day of work I still look forward to my run. 

Thinking: I would rather be outside so I am slightly or really unmotivated to hang out with my computer. So many ideas and packets and not enough cold rainy weather to get it all done. I am not complaining though. 

Wanting: This computer would help with my thinking part. 

Needing: I got my classroom yesterday. I have so many ideas that I really need to play around and narrow it all down. Interested in taking a before look at my classroom check it out here

1st Days: I see so many of you getting super prepared for school. It makes me sad that summer is almost over until I learned yesterday I have over a month before school actually starts. I feel like I am the last school in the country to start (which makes me feel very special).  Most Michigan schools start the day after Labor Day and we start TWO days after. 

Happy August!

Friday, August 1

Sneak Peek at My (Before) Classroom- Told In Photos

It may be the first day of August but in my world it was even more noteworthy because this happened...
(classroom key)
which allows me to get into this building...
(classroom building)
and by unlocking the door you enter this room...
 (left view of my classroom)
(middle view of my classroom)

(right view of my classroom). 

Anyone welcomed gets to enjoy these views...
West Grand Traverse Bay is just on the other side of those trees. This fact makes me oh so happy!

(part of the playground)

And you might be thinking "Look at all those books, this teacher is on top of it, organized in tubs, and put in the room." First thanks for thinking I put all that time in but no. Nothing you see in the room is mine. It's the school's! Pinch me because seriously I didn't even get a third of that amount of materials from my last school. Heck probably my last two schools didn't provide all of this. 

Even found a file cabinet with activities for author studies. Hello!! That's a great find. Patricia Polacco- one of my favorites has the largest file too. Doesn't take much to make me happy.

Here are some pictures of the playground, which is right outside my window. 


I forgot to mention that my building and most of our campus is on top of a hill. So I will be climbing these stairs at least once a day. However the view is of Lake Michigan (West Grand Traverse Bay to be more specific) and honestly I couldn't feel any luckier to work here. 
I am sure I will refer to THE STAIRS often this year. At least I get a workout in every day. 

Happy August!!






Friday, July 25

Five for Friday

Hello!! Anyone out there?

I know I have been more than M.I.A lately, but I can feel the teacher in me become more and more inspired. It took a lot of trampling over last year and my creative juices were squeezed out and evaporated. Not this year!!


I have resisted school shopping so far but today I went to Michael's and Scento's for $0.40 each. Also I picked up Chalk-a-Doos. Anyone have opinions on those?
Hello! I couldn't say no and got enough for every student. It is not as many as you think. 


Speaking of my teacher in me being alive and well I started revising some of my packets. AND for those of you who are fans of my YEAH, BUDDY series I am working to complete it. 

I am a working summer teacher. 
I work construction. 
I love nail guns. 
I can now handle table, chop, and hand saw and the scariest of all a Sawzall, but my favorite thing has to be roofing. Thursday was my first day I got to do it. 




Lesson I relearned this week: LAUGHTER is the BEST medicine. It doesn't matter the situation, you should and can find a reason to laugh and be silly. 


Just a thought I was having this week...all my lovely IG teachers I follow I am amazed at how many of you (even those not from Michigan) who have ventured to Traverse City area this summer. There should be a MI Summer Teacher Meet-Up I think. Just a thought.
My favorite beach at sunset. This was Monday's sunset. 



Tuesday, May 27

Top Ten Things I Want To Do This Summer

Down to 10 days almost single digits...oh I can't wait so to organize my thoughts I decided I need to join in on this fun linky party.

So in no particular order I want to 

1. RELAX!! (at least when I can) 


2. BEACH DAYS- I don't care if I go solo or with a group. There is just something about being at the beach. 

3. CAMPING- Have at least 3 more trips in the works. 

4. WORK CONSTRUCTION- It is ridiculous how excited I am to get back to swinging a hammer and powering that saw. 

5. ORGANIZING MY TEACHING MATERIALS- I got my dream teaching job almost 2 months ago. I finally feel like I am in a position where I will be for more than a year and feel it is time to start simplifying all these random materials I have kept just in case, but would never be able to find.
(This is only a fraction of my stuff..just like you I am sure.)

6. PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR - This goes along with number 5, but I get a lot of freedom of what to teach. That's right Common Core is not what the world revolves around anymore. I am scared, excited, full of ideas, creative ideas, and have been stopping myself to stop planning for next year when I don't even have next week planned. 

7. START TRAINING - I plan on doing my first half-marathon in October. This is huge for me. Less than 6 years ago running was not my thing. I have been told I am not built to run. It hasn't stopped me yet. 

8. ENJOY WHERE I LIVE- I live where many people come to vacation. It can get frustrating with so many tourists but I need to take advantage of it. 

9. COMPLETE PI-YO - Not sure if you were aware of this amazing program coming out in June. It is a mix of pilates, yoga created to build up your flexibility so excited to do this program. There is just something about doing yoga and pilates that makes me feel so strong. 

10. ENJOY LIFE- Spend time with friends, family, and time outdoors. Life is too short and I need to live it up while I can.