Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 2: Dare to Dream
I'm going to keep this post about my TpT dreams short and sweet! Thanks again to the awesome hosts (Sparkling in SecondPeppy Zesty TeacheristaThird in Hollywood, and Teach Create Motivate)!

In general, my overall goal with TPT, my job as a teacher, my life as a mom and a wife is to just keep learning all that I can. I want to stay hungry and always be aiming to better myself. I want to get to a point where I'm super confident in my role as an educator and I know that will come with knowledge and experience.

I'm going into my third year of teaching so I'm still fresh, I'm still green. I want to hold onto that feeling for as long as I can. If I can stay inspired by this amazing profession, then it will show in my work, it will show in my creativity, and it will spill over into what I share on TPT.

Keep dreaming! I will never stop having something to look forward to. I will always be challenging myself even in small ways. I'm thankful to be somewhat part of a community full of dreamers! You guys are inspiring.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Elusive Homework Folder: Guest Blog Post

Hi all! Visit Emily Liscom's beautiful blog, Education to the Core, and read my guest post all about homework tonight. I know, I know, it's summer! Why am I talking about homework?! Partly because I'm crazy and I haven't realized I should be sun-tanning, not prepping for next school year but more so because... It's never too early to get a handle on homework! It's one of those elements of teaching that can consume way more of your time than needed. In my post I talk about what has helped me manage the dreaded homework folder. Don't forget to browse Emily's other posts - they're filled with great teaching tips and discussions.


Monday, June 15, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness!

Yay! I love a good linky. Kudos to the ladies of Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Third in Hollywood, and Teach Create Motivate for coming up with this great idea!

Week 1 challenges us to makeover a product that needs a facelift. I certainly had one. My Reading Growth Chart is one of the first things I made for my classroom and posted to TpT. I made it in Word! THE HORROR! And it took me forever!!!!!! Live and learn ☺

I've made it more kid friendly/cuter, with better fonts, more colorful (and a b&w option), and added a page for monthly reading goals. I'm much happier with it and I think you will be too! The chart  and goal tracker can be used for K-5th.

I love having my students keep track of any kind of data they can. They are always excited when they move up a reading level! I want to encourage them to keep track of these milestones so they can see the progress they've made. They should also know what they need to work on to reach their goals, hence why I created a goal sheet.

I'm enjoying seeing all of your makeovers already! Can't wait for the next three challenges!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Creating and Using Your Own Spirit Sticks in the Classroom

Hello and happy SUMMER to you! I'm at that stage of break where I'm obsessive over the coming school year - my room, my behavior system, organization, year long plans, etc., etcetera... ETCETERA.  In true summer form I have no clue what day it is but I have my behavior system pretty much nailed down for my incoming second graders. Not too much about my system is changing but there will be some new additions and some necessary purges (buh-bye, clip chart). The newest addition though will be my classroom take on the "spirit stick". Like a brag tag but not, the spirit stick is a force all its own.


Okay, so if you haven't ever seen or heard of this patch-like wonder then you're unfamiliar with its hypnotism over school-aged children. You may have seen them in a Really Good Stuff catalog before. Here are what some spirit sticks look like: 

These are from the Practice Shoppe

Our year book committee struck fundraiser gold when they discovered the selling power of the spirit stick this school year. I have seen kids use their lunch money to buy these things. They're fun, they're colorful, and there are SO many options! I may or may not have purchased five for myself.

I decided to capitalize on this school wide obsession by creating some "spirit sticks" for my own classroom. I'm calling them Classroom Sticks... I know it needs work! You can rename them for your own classroom, which is kind of what I plan to do. Something super corny of course!

I created five academic themed sticks that I will use as motivators for reading, math, and writing. These are sticks that students can earn and keep. They range from "stamina master" to "word problem wizard" and I'll put these to good use in the first few weeks that we're establishing routines. I'll attach the "sticks" to key rings so the kids can wear the sticks they earn on lanyards or, this very popular option, attach them to their backpacks.


I'm looking forward to implementing my own personal spirit sticks in my classroom. I'm convinced they'll be a hit!

If you're interested in this fun idea, get your sticks HERE. There are 6 editable versions for you to make your own!!!!! (P.S. I updated some of the fonts so check out the product on TPT to see the newer version)