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!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Makeover Madness!

I am so happy to be joining the fun with the TpT Seller Challenge!

Third in Hollywood, Teach Create Motivate, Sparkling in Second, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista are hosting this awesome challenge to meet other sellers and grow our businesses.  Woohoo!

This first week, our challenge was to give one of our products a makeover!  I figured my Polygon Bang! Games were in need of a little TLC.

Before, the product had a simple design and basic solid color backgrounds.  When I first made the product, I had limited fonts and clipart, so I used what I had.

 I felt like this clipart was a little too chunky, so I wanted to make the design more streamlined.

And after……

 I love that the design matches the design of my other products.  It's simple, but attractive.  :)

I love mixing fonts and love how these pages turned out!

I made the directions and answer keys look a little cleaner, too.

So what do you think?  Have you linked up to show off your makeover yet?  It's been fun to look at everyone's updated products!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tackling the Task Card Tragedy

Picture this… you've got bins of ziplock baggies full of task cards and card games to use for stations, and while you're working with a small group a student comes up to you saying, "Miss Woodward, I can't find the match to this card!"  Or, "Miss Woodward, I found this card under my desk… which set does it belong with?"

We've all been there.  Do those situations make you want to pull your hair out?  As I start to collect more sets of card games and task cards, I was having trouble keeping them organized.  But I've got a solution!

I was cutting for days….. I always like to cut out the cards first and then laminate.  I feel the lamination stays on better.  (Teacher OCD?  Maybe.)

I used different stickers for each group.  One set has all green stickers, one has red, and so on.  That way, if a card gets misplaced, students know what set to return it to.  It works like a charm!

For the sets above, I used colored dot labels that I cut in fourths or halves.  It worked great to label each set.  Especially since I only had so many star stickers.

For playing cards, I just numbered each deck and labeled each card.

To address the ziplock baggie situation… I found these gems at the Dollar Tree.  Two envelopes for $1!  They are flexible plastic, with a snap closure.

It's very helpful that students can see which game they're picking up.

And they fit perfectly in a bin I already had!

Task Card Game crisis averted!  How do you organize your task cards?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Five for… Monday!

Happy Monday!  Today was my first day back after spring break.  Whew!  I also totally missed the mark on Five for Friday, so I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching today!

1. Songs in the Key of Life
I started out my spring break by going to the Stevie Wonder concert in Minneapolis.  It was amazing!  He played his album "Songs in the Key of Life", and had probably about 30 people on stage with him- vocalists, orchestra, horns… And he played for just about three hours!  He is such a talented musician!

2.  Art in Bloom
Every year, Macy's downtown store puts on a flower show around a central theme.  This year they recreated famous works of art using flowers.  There were such beautiful blooms, and the whole 8th floor smelled heavenly!

3.  Pocketful of Sunshine
I even picked up my own little plant to take home!  It's called a "calceolaria", or pocketbook plant, and it's brightening up my classroom now.  We'll see how long I can keep it alive.  :)

4.  Buttercream Basics
Recently, I bought a cake decorating kit from Michael's and I finally got around to using it!  I started by practicing my buttercream skills.  It was SO fun!

5.  Huh?  What papers?
So…. I brought home a whole stack of papers to grade over break.  And I really had every intention of grading them…. But I literally forgot I had them until Sunday night.  Whoops!!!  I guess you could say that I had a restful break and really got my mind off of school!  :)

Be sure to link up and share your top five!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Currently

It may be April Fool's Day, but it's no joke that the last time I posted was for MARCH Currently!  Whoops!  Well, today I'm linking up again with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for April Currently!

Listening:  It's the first thunderstorm this spring and I LOVE listening to thunderstorms!

Loving:  Spring Break!  My week off is about halfway over, but I have enjoyed not being on any schedule.  I've done a lot of relaxing and catching up on Food Network and HGTV shows.

Thinking:  I've got oodles of pictures from school that I just need to turn into some new posts.  I should use this time off to catch up and get some scheduled!

Wanting:  I have been practicing my cake decorating skills using a practice mat.  I just scrape the icing off and re-use it for more practice.  But I'm itching to make a cake or some cupcakes so I can do some REAL practice.  I'll definitely be making some pretty cupcakes for Easter this weekend.  :)

Needing:  Of course I would get a cold during spring break.  What a lovely way to spend a week off… I am needing to get rid of this cold!  Just an excuse to sleep more!

EGGS-plain my name:  My grandma's sister's name was Eleanor.  At family reunions, she was 'big Ellie' and I was 'little Ellie'.  When I was younger, I wasn't a huge fan of my name.  Always having to correct teachers when they call me 'Eleanor' (it's 'Ellie'!) was a pain.  But now I can understand and appreciate the origin of my name.  :)

Be sure to go check out Farley's linky to see what everyone is currently up to in April!

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Currently

It's March already!  Today I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for March Currently.

Listening:  Have you seen Undercover Boss?  Lately it's been on my Netflix cue.  It's the kind of show I can have on in the background while I get some work done.  :) 

Loving: Blogging!  I was M.I.A. for a little while this fall, but I love being back in the blogging world!  I have some fun posts in the works, so stay tuned!

Thinking:  Report card marking day is this Friday, and conferences are coming up in mid-March.  Thinking about all of the things that need to get done before then is overwhelming!

Wanting:  I went to Michael's and bought a beginner's cake decorating kit, and my goal is to perfect my buttercream skills.  I can't wait to make some icing and practice!

Needing:  What better way to relax than to get a mani/pedi?  It sounds so nice right now!

Spring Break Plans:  A family friend asked me to watch their dog while they are on vacation.  I get to stay at their house and hang out, so it should be a nice change of atmosphere!  Hopefully I'll get some TpTing done in that week!

Don't forget to link up with Farley for Currently!

Monday, February 23, 2015

YOU are a Hero!

Really, you are! 
I am blessed to be surrounded by so many talented and dedicated teachers.  Day in and day out, teachers put in so much time and energy into their students' educations.  Teachers, you truly are heroes.  And don't ever forget it!

Take a minute this week to honor a teacher you know.  Write them a note, give them a compliment, buy them coffee, or just say THANKS!

In honor of all of the hard work teachers do every day, TpT is throwing a sale starting on Wednesday, February 25th.  My entire TpT store will be an additional 28% off when you use the PROMO code HEROES at the checkout.  And hey, while you're there, follow my store!  :)

Soooo…. What did you put in your cart?  I'd love for you to share below!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Do YOU Love to Read?

Around here, February is "I Love to Read" month!  Our school challenged teachers to decorate their door with a reading theme.  It was so fun to see what everyone came up with!

For our door, I gave the task to my students.  Someone suggested a Superhero theme, and miraculously, everyone agreed.  I had them make a list of supplies they needed, and I provided them.  They used an image on their iPads and projected it onto the screen to trace the big superheroes.  I am so proud of their teamwork and collaboration!

Here are a few of my favorites from around the building!  :)

Heard of RedBox?  Wouldn't you love a real-life READ-box?

"I Mustache You to Read"- This one has pictures of the kiddos holding their favorite book and a giant mustache.  Cuties!

Awww, one of my favorite childhood books recreated by our speech-language pathologist.  

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a favorite in my class.  Each day, these fourth graders add to their own class diary.  How cute is that?

This teacher brought Elephant and Piggie books to life!

Dr. Seuss was a popular theme for teachers, too.

This one has the kinders' faces in the little flowers in the grass!

The Pre-K kiddos worked hard on their ABC pages for this door.

Yes, those are students holding mini trufflula trees.  Love!

Along with the door decorating, we got to read in our PJ's and counting our reading minutes to earn a pizza partyDoes your school celebrate "I Love to Read" month?  What sort of fun events do you do?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Five for Friday- I'm back!

Happy Friday, friends!

It's Friday, which means it's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday!  Five for Friday is a weekly link-up for teachers to post updates to their week.  Now, I know I've been M.I.A. for the past few months… So I think this post will be more of a Five for the Past Five Months.  So here we go!

1.  New Look!

What do you think of my new blog design?!  I am in LOVE with it!  I asked PJs Design Laboratory to help me out, and I am so pleased with the result!

I've got all the fancy social media buttons up top… click around and if you feel so inclined… FOLLOW ME!  :)

2.  Classroom Reveal

The start of a new job took it's toll on me.  To be honest, I was unhappy, overwhelmed, and ready to quit (hence my absence in the blogosphere).  I talked with my doctor and got things figured out.  Now, I love my job (most days)!  

Anyway, I missed the frenzy of everyone revealing their classrooms.  For the first few months of school, my room looked pretty bland.  But with each new month, I feel like I can take on a little more, and now my room feels near "complete".  Take a look!

Here's a peek at my room from the door.

Top left: I have a wonderful long counter in the back of my room, with nice shelves underneath.  I keep my word study bins and classroom library on the shelves.

Top right: I've had these drawers forever.  They used to house my craft supplies, but I brought one to school and keep all my copies and plans for each subject.  GREAT way to keep organized!

Bottom left: This year, I've let go of the mentality that my room needs to be "TpT bought" or "cutesy" or "digitally made".  I found that in order for things to actually get done, I need to just make them by hand.  Here's my reading groups and word study schedule.  Simple markers on construction paper.

Bottom right: I call this Grand Central Station.  In the back, my desk area, and in the front, my doc cam area.  I keep my name sticks, pens, textbooks, and you can see my subject copies cart there on the right.  Also on the left (not pictured), is a lamp I found in my parents' basement, which gives a nice warm light to the area.

3.  Wedding Weekend

This past weekend, Kendall's cousin got married in northern Minnesota.  I just love this photo of us from the reception.  Congrats Amy and Matt!

I know this is only a Three for Friday, but I've got some new posts in the works, so stay tuned!  Feels good to be back in the blogging world!


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