Monday, July 31, 2017

Birthday Cup Bash!

 Are you thinking about back to school time?  I know, I know... summer CAN'T be over yet!  That to-do list starts growing and growing, but so does your excitement as you get closer to meeting your new group of kiddos.  This is one project that is actually FUN to make and gets you excited for the year to come.  And... SO CUTE, right?!

I first learned about Birthday Cups stumbling around online.  Mrs. Hulsey has a great post about how she makes her cups.  I posted the idea to my Facebook page and there were several local teachers interested in having a little assembly party!

Here's what you'll need for your Birthday Cups.  I've linked to the supplies I ordered online.

1) Clear Plastic Cups with Dome Lids:  A little spendy, but so worth it.  They really complete the look!

2) White Tissue Paper:  Dollar store, y'all!  So easy, and cheap!

3) Pencils:  Dollar store!  (Although I bet you have a ton sitting in your prize bucket right now.)

4) Candy:  Any assortment will do!  I put around three pieces in each cup.

5) Sticky Hands and Stamps:  Just for fun!  :)   Amazon and Oriental Trading have great little party favors that would be perfect in these cups.

6) Pom Poms:  You know, like the cherry on top??  I just hot-glued them to the lid.

7) Full Sheet Labels:  Sticker paper would work here, as well as address labels and such.  Use what works for you!

I used Mrs. Hulsey's Birthday Cup Labels, because, come on.... So cute!

I invited my friends over for a few hours and we knocked out over THREE HUNDRED Birthday Cups, in an assembly line.  Each teacher contributed $20 for the cost of supplies, and they each left with over 30 birthday cups!  That's less than a $1 per cup.  What a steal!  :)

BONUS: Post this list of all of your learner's birthdays, and you'll be SO SET for the year!  
Just click to download!

How do you celebrate student birthdays?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

First Grade Highlights

It's been an entire school year since I've posted.  I am not going to apologize, because I took this year to really focus on school.  I did very little with my TpT store or blog, and instead focused on what first grade was all about.  Boy, did I have fun.  :)  It was a GREAT year!  I truly fell in love with my students and decided that first grade was a great fit for me.

Below are some of my favorite moments from first grade.  Enjoy!

My team and I on the first day of school.  I am so grateful for them!

After the first week of school, I finished my 10th race!

Dave and I went to NYC during Fall Break to visit his sisters.  What a blast!

We got a package from Koo Koo Kanga Roo!  OMG my students were so excited!

My team and I dressed up for ugly sweater day.  I made my own ugly sweater with sight word Christmas lights.  :)

My siblings and I at an American Cancer Society Gala.  Love them!

My bestie Eva, a dental hygienist, came to talk to my kiddos about dental health!

I worked hard on creating engaging word work centers... more on those later!

We made Leprechaun Traps using materials from our school's Maker Space!  Unfortunately, we didn't trap any Leprechauns. 

We took a field trip to an old farm.  Just look at the excitement on that kiddo's face!  :)

My team and I presented at a district professional development in April.  SO fun to share our thoughts on Personalized Learning with other teachers.

One of my students found a turtle outside.  We decided to do some research and keep the little guy.  We named him Mikey (after Michelangelo, the Ninja Turtle, duh), and he quickly became a part of our classroom family.  I now have him at my house.  :)

A coworker and I attended the Personalized Learning Summit in San Francisco, CA, in May!  What a NEAT opportunity!  We became Personalized Learning Jedi Masters in one of our sessions.  

We also did some necessary sight seeing in San Fran, too.

I was awarded the Humanitarian Award at our staff's end of the year celebration.  What an honor!

These kiddos stole my heart.  It was an incredible year full of laughs, hugs, and learning.  
I can't wait for next year!!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

1st Grade Classroom Reveal!

I am SO EXCITED to show you all my classroom space!

As you may know, I have made the transition from upper elementary (4th, 6th, and 3rd) to FIRST GRADE and I am SO pumped!

A few notes as you tour my classroom--- We are using flexible seating, which means no individual desks and LOTS of options for seating.  Some of the furniture was provided through a grant my team wrote.  Other furniture was bought by me, on a budget!  Our first grade team is also piloting Personalized Learning, where students take ownership of their learning and use technology to reach their goals.  Ready?  Here we go!!

Your first glimpse into my room is this window- complete with a picture of little Miss Woodward.  :)

Look to the right and you will see our lounge area.  Table and white chairs from IKEA, and couch through the grant.  Word wall is located behind the couch.

Our moon stools (all lightweight and move-able!) are from the grant.  The TV is from the principal to promote technology use in Personalized Learning.  It's attached to an Apple TV.  Lots of options for technology integration!  The lovely crate stools made by *yours truly* for the guided reading/guided math table.

Our classroom uses community supplies.  Each table has a bucket of sharpened pencils and erasers for work time.  Students have the option of using any material for projects at any time. They just need to grab a bucket and return it when finished.  :)

I do not have a teacher desk in my classroom.  I usually use the kidney table as a work space, and the grey and black stand the lamp is on to store desk stuff.  Those lovely clear drawers were a birthday gift from my parents (!) and are used as mailboxes for my kiddos.

Another view of the guided reading table and manipulative bins.

I am still in love with my SitSpots!!  Another IKEA table and a few stools make a cozy little work space.  You can also see my floor table (took the legs off!) and IKEA cushions (in the green bin) for kids to sit or kneel on the floor.

You guys, I'm so in love with this classroom!  
I can't wait to see all of the learning take place in this space!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Finding the WHY

Have you ever stopped to think about why you teach?  Like, really thought about it?

Much of this year has been spent searching for my WHY.  Why do I do what I do?  I feel like amidst all of the responsibilities of a teacher, we can easily lose sight of our WHY.

One of my first administrators told me that teaching is like a pendulum.  Some days the pendulum is on the upswing and you've got it.  Other days, you feel like throwing in the towel.  Today I told a coworker about the pendulum analogy, and I asked if it ever gets easier.  She said it does, but the pendulum still swings, even for veteran teachers.  But as a more experienced teacher, the pendulum swings become a little more manageable.  

In this TED Talks Education video, Rita Pierson explains her WHY.  She believes that every kid needs a champion.  Every kid needs someone who believes in them.  I posted this a few years ago at a time where I was feeling particularly inspired, and I still believe in Rita's powerful words.

So, I must remind myself of my WHY.  WHY do I teach?

I teach because I love seeing my students smile at me when they walk in the door in the morning.
I teach because I want to share my love for learning with my students.
I teach because I know some students need the extra love at school, because they don't get it at home.
I teach because I want to inspire my students.

I teach because I love it.  I love my job.

Have you found your WHY?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Are you on Periscope? You should be!

Have you heard of Periscope?  It's an app-- hot off the press!  

The purpose of Periscope is to give others a view into your life… LIVE!  People can broadcast videos live and viewers can watch, comment, and give some love (in the form of clicky-hearts).

All of the broadcasts stay open on the app for 24 hours.  I just did my first broadcast this afternoon, so you can check it out until tomorrow!  :)  I felt a little silly doing my first live broadcast…  I didn't know what to talk about and didn't have too many people tuning in.  

BUT, I am so excited for the possibilities!  I think it will be awesome to actually SEE all of the teachers I follow, rather than just read posts on their blogs.  I know a big problem at the TpT Conference last year was that people wanted to connect, but didn't know what their favorite bloggers looked like!!  I am so looking forward to connecting with new teachers and sharing my love for the profession.  I hope you'll follow me on this journey!! :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Voila! A Masterpiece!

Third in HollywoodTeach Create MotivateSparkling in Second, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista are hosting the TpT Seller Challenge, and this week's post is about making a masterpiece product and posting it to our TpT store.

Voila!  My masterpiece!  The Reader's Workshop Resources and Printables!

This product has been in the works since last summer, and I just couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted from it.  Once I put my mind to it, it was hard to stop!  It was a labor of love for a few weeks. :)
I am SO excited with how it turned out!  It has 45 pages of print-and-go resources to use during Reader's Workshop/ Daily 5/ Literacy Block.

It includes:

 Reading Logs

Fiction and Nonfiction Response Sheets

A fun way to respond to reading: Read and Roll!
(response sheets included!)

Recording sheets to use when conferring with students

10 Whole-class journal prompts

Choice Boards:
A great way to record what kids do during the literacy block!
Each week, students get one choice board.  During the Daily 5/ Literacy Block/ Reader's Workshop time, students use the day's color to show what tasks they completed during that time.  It's a great way to keep them accountable!

Aaaaaand…… I have a special treat for you!  Try out these choice boards in your classroom for FREE!  Click the image below to download!  :)

Make sure you link up and share your masterpiece! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dare to Dream

Third in HollywoodTeach Create MotivateSparkling in Second, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista are hosting the TpT Seller Challenge, and this week's post is about the dreams we have for our stores.  I was told to dream BIG!  So here are my hopes and dreams for my TpT business.

Own a House

This may seem like a simple dream, as many of you out there already own homes.  But as a twenty-something who is new in my career, owning a home seems very far off.  I am obsessed with HGTV shows, and someday want to own a charming home with amazing curb appeal.  I am open to renovations, and making my home work for my family.  Can't wait!

Financial Security

Teachers Pay Teachers has provided countless teachers with hope and security.  Bills have been paid, trips taken, medical expenses covered... all through TpT.  For now, my store is a hobby, and is bringing in a slow income.  For now, I think of it as my "fun money".  Someday, I hope my business will grow, and I can count on it for supplemental income.

Travel Internationally

We all know traveling is expensive.  I've been to London, France, Nicaragua, and the Caribbean.  But my list does not end there, and I hope that my TpT store can help me explore and broaden my world view.  Adventures await!

Professional Development

I am so grateful for the blogging world, so I can continue to learn about my craft and grow as a teacher.  I am that nerdy teacher who actually enjoys professional development.  :)  I especially love personal professional development.  You know, that kind you attend on your own, not through your school, just cause you're super interested in the topics?  Like the TpT Conference in Vegas!  Unfortunately, I won't be making it to the TpT Conference this year.  :(  I'm SO sad!  As my business grows, I'll have the capability to pay for my own professional development (like Vegas!).  I also dream of going to the Ron Clark Academy someday, too (I hear it is life-changing and fabulous!).

I really enjoyed the challenge this week, because it made me take a step back and think about the bigger picture and goals I have for my store.  Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in the little things, like 'getting more, more, MORE products posted', and 'gaining more followers' and 'don't forget to post those pictures'… you know what I mean.  Sometimes it's nice to step back and dream a little.  :)

What are your dreams for your store?  Don't forget to link up with the TpT Seller Challenge!


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