Sunday, 28 June 2015

My Favourite Quote

My blogging buddy Miss Monica has been having a weekly summer link up.  Each week has a different topic.  I linked up for her first topic - My Goals for the Summer.  The month of June has been so busy, I just haven't been able to participate in any others.  But today, I'm linking up to share with you my favourite quote.

http://msgattsclass.blogspot.ca/2015/05/my-goals-for-summer.html

Several quotes came to mind, but this one really speaks to the educational side of me.  And being that this is an educational blog, it's the one I chose to share:


 I really try and impress a growth mindset upon my students.  It's truly important they understand that mistakes are part of the learning process.  This quote sums that up perfectly.  And, it's said by my favourite man of science too!

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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Everything Must End

The last day of school... such a bittersweet day.  I am so proud of all the hard work my kiddos have done this year, and know they are ready to move on, but hate to see them go! I had a little cry walking into my classroom this morning.  I hate to see it looking so blank and empty!


 I dried my eyes and prepared myself for my last few hours of the school year.  Students are only with us until 11:46 on the last day.  When the kids came in, so did the gifts.  I was beyond spoiled.    I received so many beautiful, thoughtful gifts.


I don't think this picture does a good enough job of showing how truly MASSIVE this basket of petunias is.  They are sitting happily on my back deck, soaking up the sun.

 My home is looking a little bit like a florist shop, but that is a-ok by me!  I love having fresh cut flowers to brighten things up.  In the top-middle of the photo above is a super cute metal owl I received.  The colours go perfectly with my living room.  The flower pot was hand painted by the father of one of my students.  It's truly a gorgeous work of art.

I got a lot of cards, but my favourite one has to be this one....


I do ask them to justify everything they do.  You'd better not leave my class not knowing how to spell "because"!

Afterwards, we did classroom awards as well as the awards assembly in the gym.  I did not get any pictures of this, though I wish I had.  I was too busy either holding back tears or crying.  We said goodbye to our principal and kindergarten teacher who are retiring.  Another bittersweet moment.

After lunch we had time to clean up our classrooms.  I had finished that task yesterday (as evidenced by the photos above!) so Crystal and I got down to a little planning for the start of next year.


That being said, I am so excited for Summer break.  I am in dire need of some rest and relaxation.  I am looking forward to some hot days, cool drinks and books on the back deck. 

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

TpT Seller Challenge: Week 2

Week 2 of the TpT Seller Challenge is underway.  The theme is "Dare to Dream".  We're supposed to blog about our goals and dreams for our TpT business.

I got into the TpT game because I really enjoy creating my files and sharing them with others.  The money is good, of course, but it isn't why I got into it.   Really, my biggest goal would be to continue to connect with other teachers.  With regard to the money aspect though... here are my top 3 goals:


New Truck: We are in need of a new vehicle.  Our Ford Escape is 11 years old - it's just time.  It still runs well, but I'm afraid that things are going to start breaking and becoming costly.  We'd like to get a truck next time.  We're dreaming of a Chevy Colorado:
 

Using my TpT earnings as a monthly payment would be amazing.  I'm getting there, but not quite yet...

Pay off Student Loans:  Of course, this is just a dream in general!  I can't wait for the day I'm rid of this loan.

Travel: Finally, using TpT money to help us see the world would be super cool.  Who doesn't want to travel?  My wishlist of places to go is a mile long.



Thanks again to these lovely ladies for hosting this challenge!
               http://www.thirdinhollywood.com/        Peppy Zesty Teacherista

                                      http://www.teachcreatemotivate.com/Sparkling in Second

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Erin Condren Planner

I'm sure you've heard of Erin Condren and her gorgeous planners by now.  Her planners are constantly all over my instagram feed.
www.erincondren.com

 I decided that I was ready to take the leap and purchase one of her planners.  I decided to get the Life Planner, not the Teacher Planner.  I know that I will keep my daybook separate and at school.  This way I can add my personal appointments and school info all in one place.  I anxiously awaited the day that the new release came out.  Then came the tough choice of picking which beautiful cover I wanted.  And then I anxiously awaited again, this time for its' arrival.

 

I was pretty thrilled to see this lovely box on my doorstep!


I have to say one thing - she sure makes opening mail fun.  The top was filled with all these fun freebies - a postcard, a quote sticker and some gift tags.



Honestly, I didn't want to rip it - it was so pretty!


Here is the planner I picked.  I love the quote and the water colour.  Super fun having it personalized with my name too!  I should have taken a side view to show you how thick it is - I honestly was not expecting it to be so big.  This thing is really jam packed.


I added on some personalized stickers.  The planner comes with the standard "birthday", "hair appointment" etc stickers, but I wanted some that were job oriented too.  I'm pretty excited to start using this!

Want your own?  Use this referral link and get $10 off your first purchase:





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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Using Technology to Support Student Learning

 
This year, one of my goals has been to increase the amount of technology use in my classroom.  It all started with two students who used ipads for adapted work.  I use the Clicker apps by Cricksoft almost daily in my classroom.  They've changed the way I teach for a lot of students.  The apps are expensive, but very much worth the cost.  I highly recommend looking into them.

 
http://www.cricksoft.com/uk/products/clicker-apps/clicker-books.aspx
Click to head to Cricksoft's website.











If it feels overwhelming to create Clicker books on each and every topic, they've a lot of really good basics already created for you to download.  I've created articles for many topics, and have my entire body systems articles available on TpT.  I share one of the articles in the video below.

 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Body-Systems-Informational-Article-and-Clicker-Book-Bundle-2474450

My administration saw the success I was having in my classroom getting students to access grade level curriculum when they weren't able to in other ways, and getting non-writers to write.  Six more ipads were purchased for my classroom.  That's when things were able to really get going!  By having the ability to allow technology to all it normalized it in the classroom.  Those who felt "different" by using it didn't feel that way any longer.  The options for tasks increased dramatically by having access to so many ipads.

That's when this short article came out on our district website:

As technology use continues to grow in our schools, we are always looking at effective ways to use it to benefit all students. Walking into Angela Gatt’s grade 4 class, her creativity and UDL approach to using technology was immediately apparent. Students were working in small groups researching a variety of Canadian explorers. Some students were looking up information from a text book; others were using ipads to access online materials, while others were reading text that Angela had made into a Clicker Book on an ipad. Clicker Books can read text aloud while highlighting words to support struggling readers.  Every student in her class was engaged in the assignment.

At the beginning of the year, two of Angela’s students were using Clicker apps on ipads to support their reading and writing. She used 6 way headphone splitters so that more students could listen to books together, thus normalizing the use of technology in her classroom. Her school has since invested in purchasing more ipads and Clicker apps, which Angela and other teachers in the school will be able to use with their students. “Using technology in my classroom has helped to increase student engagement and deepen their understanding.  Being able to have access to apps such as Clicker Books has been an excellent way of differentiating and allowing all students to see success.”

Jennifer Salinas, who is a technology support itinerant for our district wrote this article.  What she is referring to is the explorer's research my class was doing.  Students were paired with another.  I paired them based on a variety of considerations: reading ability, neatness, work ethic, and public speaking skills.

I checked out at least 2 books on each explorer from the school or public library.  Most explorer's also had additional reading materials via the Epic app on the ipad.  This app is another amazing one!  You can find so many ebooks through this app, and it's free for educators.  Some books even read aloud to you.

https://www.getepic.com/

The final task was to create a poster on the explorer and present it to the class.  Here's some of the finished work: 





The independence my students experienced through the help of technology was so inspiring.  I'm so grateful to be able to include it in my day to day work in the classroom.


Check out my Technology in the Classroom Pinterest board for more ideas.



Pin this post.


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Monday, 15 June 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Week 1

I'm taking part in the TpT Seller Challenge! You've perhaps seen it all over Instagram with the hashtag #tptsellerchallenge - it's been showing up in my feed a lot!

The challenge for Week 1 is to make over a product in your store.  You could simply change the cover or overhaul the whole thing completely.  I knew exactly which product I wanted to do immediately!

My word work files are all really good sellers, and the quality was there... I just wasn't happy with the look of the files.  I have wanted to redo all 3 files for a while now.  I started with my "How Much is your Word Worth" file, and that's what I'm showcasing here.  I hope to work on the other two throughout the week.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-Much-is-your-Word-Worth-American-and-Canadian-Coins-Math-and-Spelling-337392
 
I completely changed the look of the cover to something I think is more eye catching, as well as to be in line with the rest of my products.  A goal this summer is to redo all products so they have a similar look, and hopefully people can recognize my work by the covers.  I also added American money to this file.  I originally created it because there weren't any Canadian options out there, but I think I've missed out on some sales not having the American option.  So now, they are both there.  Just print the one you need.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-Much-is-your-Word-Worth-American-and-Canadian-Coins-Math-and-Spelling-337392
 This file is in my TpT store and it's currently on sale!  I'm keeping the sale through the week, but it'll be back up to regular price Friday.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-Much-is-your-Word-Worth-American-and-Canadian-Coins-Math-and-Spelling-337392https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-Much-is-your-Word-Worth-American-and-Canadian-Coins-Math-and-Spelling-337392

Thanks again to these lovely ladies for hosting this challenge.  I've been inspired already and can't wait to see what happens in weeks 2 - 4!
               http://www.thirdinhollywood.com/        Peppy Zesty Teacherista

                                      http://www.teachcreatemotivate.com/Sparkling in Second








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Monday, 1 June 2015

Currently June

Welcome to June!  The last month of school for me!  This time of year is so bittersweet.  I'm excited for what lies ahead, but I'm always so sad to say goodbye to my kiddos and pass them on.  How many days of school do you have left?  Or, are you finished?

The first of the month also means it's time to check in with Farley and her Currently link up.

 



Listening: To Friends on Netflix.  We've recently begun to rewatch them.  I love this show so much!  I am a little annoyed about the $300 box set of DVDs in my basement I've only watched twice though....

Loving: See above!

Thinking: About report cards.  It's that time again.  I've started, but once I start I just want to get them finished.  This weekend....

Wanting:  Mack is still losing his winter coat!  It's coming out in clumps still despite daily brushing.  I'm getting sick of it.  When you touch him you are surrounding in a cloud of fur.  So gross!

Needing: To send my mom flowers.  She retired last week. She immediately went on a quick vacation!  They've returned home today. I'd like to send her some flowers tomorrow.

Summer Lovin': Does this need any explanation?  No schedules, awesome weather, and the time to putter about and get things done.  Love it!

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