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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The truth about teaching


I have been extremely absent from the blogosphere this year!  I wish I could promise to get back in the swing of blogging more often, but any free time I have had has been spent searching pinterest and wedding planning.  Anyway, I came across a graphic posted by a friend today that spoke about others perceptions of the life of a pastor.  It resonated so much with me that I new I needed to whip up a version about teaching. 



and now... back to the wedding planning!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Baby Steps

We finally have a full team!  I am excited to be working with fresh faces too, but wow, we have a lot of work to do getting them up and running.  I am headed into school in a bit to work on one of the classrooms and I sure hope we can get about 8 hours of work done in 2 hours!  This three day weekend came at just the right time, because I was gearing up for a full fledged pitty party for one.  After two days of absolutely no school work I am refreshed and ready to get some stuff done today!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

Oh my, last week was quite a week!  We have four kindergarten classes this year and currently only two kindergarten teachers!  One of our teachers resigned the day before we were contracted to start back for the year, and the other is having trouble getting here from Jamaica and will be here a week or two after school starts.  That means we are setting up four rooms instead of two!  Thank goodness we have assistants or else I don't know what we would do!  I am hoping this isn't a sign of a chaotic year to come.  We have tossed around the idea of teaching AM to our classes and then swapping with the sub and teaching PM to the other classes.  I also need to get writing some sub plans to make it through the first 7 days of school.  Any advice is highly welcome!  I just hope everything is resolved soon so that I have time to keep up with all of the wonderful blogs I read!  It has been depressing seeing my unread count growing by leaps and bounds each day.  I am currently at 436 unread blog posts. :(  On the bright side we had visitors from the district office come through Friday and they were snapping lots of pictures and raving about my room.  I gave away my secret and told them that all my inspiration has come from pinterest and blogging.  I can't wait until I'm done and am ready to show all of you!  Hopefully tomorrow, but that means I need to get off here and complete a few quick (I hope!) pinterest projects.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I went to work today with the intent to get a TON done.  Instead, I did a bunch of scrubbing!  It amazes me how dirty things get over the summer!  I go back again tomorrow and hopefully I can get the bulk of things put away quickly.  I was hoping to be mostly done with room set up tomorrow.  We also found out that the teacher coming from Jamaica is having trouble getting her visa cleared and won't be able to start until the beginning of September.  Ekkkkk!  Hopefully the rest of us can rally together an get her room somewhat set up for her.  Here goes nothing!

I have a ton of projects to get done tonight so I really shouldn't be blogging; I just had to write a quick blog to let you know am super exited to be a part of a fabulous group of bloggers over at Me and My Gang!  It was started by two wonderful teamies, Monica Schroeder (of The Schroeder Page) and Stephie McCumbee (of Mrs. McCumbee's Class).  The most wonderful part is that Me and My Gang is organized by grade level (fantastic idea ladies!).  Go check it out!
















Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fabulous K Friendly Summer Finds - Tech Style

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned.  It has been one week since my last blog post.  I have been so busy keeping up with all of your fabulous posts and pins!  I have also been busy with School Improvement Team meetings, family days, and a few awesome classroom projects.  I even squeezed in one day at school getting all of my furniture back in place.  I can't wait to go back in on Monday and see how much I can power through.   Which reminds me, I never snapped a before pic.  Oh well.  I'll try to remember to take on first then when I go in on Monday. 

On to the purpose of my blog post.  I came across a neat website a while back but hesitated signing up.  I'm not sure why.  (I did the same thing with pinterest!  What was I thinking!?!?!??!)  Anyway, this year one of the fabulous second grade teachers at our school moved to Florida due to her husbands military transfer orders.  She found out yesterday that she will be teaching a K-1 multi-age! and emailed pleading for some resources.  Since she is in Florida, and I couldn't imagine trying to attach and email all of those files, I decided to go back and check out the program I had passed up before.  It is called DROPBOX.  It is wonderful.  It is PERFECT for sharing and collaborating with teaching friends who are states away.  Instead of sharing one file at a time it allows you to share whole folders on your computer (that means no having to upload!).  Not only that, but it allows me to access these files from any computer that I have installed the software on.  It automatically uploads all files that I save to that folder on the desktop of my computer.  I can access that folder from work, home, EVEN MY SMARTPHONE!  The days of panicking when I get to school and realize I left my flash drive stuck in my home computer are over!  The fiancee will also be happy to hear that he longer has to send me emergency emails with said forgotten documents before leaving for work. 

(click the image)


The best part: It is free for 2 gigs of storage!  You can get way more if you are willing to pay a monthly fee.  I plan on only using it to back up important files and things that I need to share, so the 2 gig should be more than adequate.  Plus, they reward you with a bit of extra storage for completing some of the welcoming tutorials.  Bonus!

Here are the uses I can think of:

1) Working collaboratively with grade level members on documents while at home via a shared grade level folder.
2) Exchanging a class set of letters with penpals without having to email all of the attachments individually, I would only have to show students how to save it to the correct folder!
3) Keep backups of newly created or highly important files that I need to access both at home and at school.
4) Effortlessly collaborate and transfer files between teachers at other schools.

I could keep listing ideas all night, but I want to hear the ideas you can come up with! 

(click the image)

I also wanted to introduce SQWORL to those of you who have not heard about it yet.  I have bookmarked the websites that my students use regularly, now I only have to set my KIDS SQWORL PAGE as the homepage on the student computers at school!  To open the links they just click on the screen shot of the webpage they want.  Easy Peasy Mac n' Cheesy!!!!  Since they are not signed in to my account they are only allowed to view the links, not edit them.  I used to bookmark my pages and place a shortcut on the desktop of the computers.  You can only imagine what would happen to them... file name changes, deleting the shortcuts, copying the shortcuts 100000 times all over the desktop.  No more fixing bookmarks every other day!!!  WOOHOOO!!!!  What will they think of next?!?!?!?!?

Sorry this post was so text heavy!  Since you made it to the end I am rewarding you with this freebie!
(the first 10 days of my kindergarten morning work)


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lovin' those love notes!

Today's blog post comes to you in honor of love notes.  Love notes make my world go round!  I save them.  I wonder if my students even know how special some of those notes are to me.  I have had some that make my fridge right along pictures from my nieces.  I keep some of my special love notes in a shoe box and go back and read them every once and a while when I've had a rough day.  They can turn my frown right back around.  Every year I seem to have one love note that turns me into a pile of mushy blubber. 

Last year my best love note came on the last day of school.  I teach in a community where students don't have very literacy rich home environments so I give out books for Christmas and at the end of the year.  At Christmas I am lazy, so I just slap a cute label in the books, but at the end of the year I take the time to write the students all a note.  I give each one the most meaningful compliment I can think of, something that shows I've truly paid attention to them this year.  Well, we always have a half day on the last day of school so I always end up with several bags left for students who don't come.  This year I was smart and decided to give the bags out on the second to last day.  Well one of my students ran in on the last day beaming from ear to ear and gave me a super big hug and a note that she wrote me in response.  The note is in my classroom so I can't quote it verbatim but it said something along the lines of "for you Miss Lee:  You are a good teacher that i ever met in my live."  Then she asked me if I really meant what I said.  Well I gave her a huge hug and said "Of course I meant what I said!  You are smarter than you realize and your energy always makes me smile!"  Well later that day all of the teachers were standing on the corner of the school grounds waiting to wave the buses goodbye she ran up again and gave me the biggest hug and said "Miss Lee, just like you meant what you wrote about me, I meant what I wrote about you."  And I turned into mushy jello.  It was so nice to know the love notes I wrote made my students feel as good as the love notes they make me!


And now, without further ado, a collection of my favorite love notes:





I am particularly fond of the portrait of me in this picture.  It is hands down the best drawing of me EVER!  And I fully intend to make it into a tote bag.

















This love note gets points for originality.  And extra brownie points for labeling her diagrams! 













I was amazed by the detail this student put into her drawing.  She was one of my K kids.  Notice my red M___________ Elementary lanyard and she even drew all my earrings.  How come they never put that much detail into their drawings in class!!?!?!?! (I am totally using Jenn's drawing rubric next year!)





And now some of the funny ones! (Not that that one at the top isn't funny, that picture makes me giggle every time.)



This is a picture of me???  I'm thinking my hair must be in a ponytail??  Or perhaps this is what I will look like when I retire?  If so, I make a pretty stinkin cute old person.











I send their name sticks home at the end of the year.  This was the first time I got one back craftified the next day...  He wanted to make sure I remembered him.  Note the torn out page of a book that it is glued to.  A little piece of my teacher heart died.  It's a good thing the funny stick puppet made up for it!







Last but not least:


This is me and Mr. Sessoms (my fiance).  I wish she had done it on paper instead of a dry erase board!  So cute!


















I can't wait to make this love note binder for next year!  



On an unrelated note, is anyone else consuming mass amounts of crystal light this summer thanks to these containers?  Is it just me, or does the cherry pomegranate taste like you're drinking cherry jello?




If you blog about your love notes, leave me a comment linking to your post.  I love reading love notes, even if they are not for me!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Almost Friday Freebie

I saw this saying somewhere and decided I needed to make it into a poster for my room.


click to download the pdf

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Day Fun

This is my first time trying to start a linky party! I'm not sure how successful I will be, but you have to start somewhere, right? And I am inspired. It's that time of year where I am beginning to write plans for the first few days of school. I always write EXCRUCIATINGLY detailed plans for the first few days. My mind is always racing trying to remember details about how each child gets home and repeating names over and over while I try to memorize them. The first couple of days bring back those feelings of being a beginning teacher, and writing such detailed plans makes it so there is one less source of stress. That being said, I am always looking for new inspiration and figured it would be fun if we started sharing our most favorite activity to do on the first (or second) day.

Rules:

1) You may only share your most very favorite activity. That means you may only pick one - torture I know! :)

2) Please add my linky party button (and link it back to this post) when you blog about it so that your friends can get in on the action. - I have tried to make this easy for you by including the html code for you to copy. 




3) Please make sure that the link you add is a link to your blog post and not the main page of your blog. This will make it so that other people can easily find what you wrote.

Without further ado:

My favorite first day activity....


...is making these faces! I do this on the very first day of school. I am always amazed at how cute they turn out.  I can not take credit for the idea as I got it from my mentor teacher when I was student teaching.  I think she may have gotten it from Debbi Miller???  (Or maybe Debbi Diller... so hard to keep those two straight!)

I supply my students with two googly eyes and assist them in creating their desired hair-do and the rest is up to them! I hang them around our door when I have a hallway classroom. The past two years I have had an exterior door so we have displayed them in the window.  I love how it represents our classroom learning community. It's amazing how much they really do look like each student.  They are so cute that I leave them up the entire year!  I use multi tone face shaped papers that come stuck together in a note pad.  I buy it at my local teacher supply store, but you can also order them from Lakeshore.  You can find all sorts of cool "hair like" yarns at your local craft store.  It is a lesson in patience, since there is only one of me and most of the kindergartners need help gluing the hair on.  I find that it works best to do it right before our rest time so that I can call over students who aren't sleeping one at a time to finish them up.  I also give each student a card with their name typed in a traceable font to help practice writing their name.  (When I was in first I just gave them a blank index card.)

I can't wait to see what everyone else does on the first day!

-Tammi

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pinterest

If you are pinning head over to Michelle's Math in the Middle: Pinterest Linky Party.  (Feel free to follow my boards as well.)

Don't get me wrong... I LOVE pinterest, but sometimes I feel like I spend all my time gathering new ideas and none of my time actually creating these new ideas!  I hope it is just a summer problem.  Anyway, I am hereby vowing to be better.  I am picking 5 projects to do by next Friday.  If I blog it then I have to do it, right?


Classroom Organization:


I will make container for our name sticks & one for our high frequency words.

Management:


I will make two ask me visors (one girl, one boy).

Academic:


 I will make a set of writing skill cards for not only lines but also each letter.

Seasonal:


I will finish my sub tub.  Complete with emergency sub plans which can be used for any read aloud.

Miscellaneous:



Make a song binder easel for our beginning of the year songs and poems.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Late to the Linky Party

Jenn over at Finally in First started a favorite font linky party a few weeks ago.  It took me forever to get all of my fonts reinstalled on my new laptop, but I am FINALLY ready to join the party.  :) 



The ladies before me have FABULOUS taste so it was hard, but I tried to stay away from including repeats.  I definitely added quite a few new ones to my collection!


(If you click the image you should be able to view a larger version)
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