Sunday, June 26, 2016

Move Your Bus

Good Morning!

I am coming to you this morning with some exciting news!! For the month of July the wonderful Mrs. 3rd Grade and I are teaming up to host a book study on the amazing book Move Your Bus by: Ron Clark. We will be linking up for the 5 Sundays in the month of July.

To get us started we wanted to host a giveaway. We are giving away two copies of the book. The giveaway begins today and goes through Tuesday. For those of you who want to go ahead and purchase a copy yourself we have included a link to it on Amazon below as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are so excited for this study and hope that you are able to join us! Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate: Chapter 3

Good Evening!

So today is all about catching up from visiting family and travels, hence the late post this week. In this post I am linking up with Rachel from Sweet Sweet Primary for chapter 3 of Explore Like a Pirate. This is a great read! I encourage you to join us if you can.

In the beginning of chapter he does a comparison of old world teaching versus new world teaching. He showed this to emphasize how our thought process needs to fit our students of today and not the students of the past. We need to reach our students on their level and instill in them a desire and passion for learning. They should want to learn. The chart below shows a few of my favorite comparisons. 

Changing our way of thinking and making learning exciting for our students will reap so many rewards. We don't need to make everything game complicated and over the top. Even the simple games like Jeopardy, Are You Smarter Than a (Grade Level), etc are all simple games to put together that students love. We can start their and work our way to other games full of strategies and levels as we feel more confident. 

"Trust in the process and believe in yourself." -Michael Matera


Monday Made It (A Day Late)

Hi Everyone!!
So I am way late on my Monday Made It post. If you click on the image above you can see the rest of the awesome posts for this link up. It has been a crazy busy five days the last of which involved a six hour drive in the crazy heat from Arizona to California with a toddler. By the time we made it to SoCal I was too hot and tired to care about anything but a shower and bed. So I am here this beautiful Tuesday afternoon to catch up on life : )
So I have only accomplished one thing this last week because of visiting family and our own travels to SoCal. I love what I worked on though. I have an amazing 4 year old nephew who is in love the Avengers. Naturally with my clip art addiction I looked for and found some cute Avengers clip art that I could use to make him some fun preschool stuff. Although he would be frustrated with me for calling the Avengers cute (haha). It has some regular puzzles, letter/word puzzles, number puzzles, and some time practice. His dad and him have been practicing with clocks for fun. This was such a fun project to work on. I love spoiling him and I know he will love playing with his super hero activities.

Well that's all for this week. Hopefully I will be able to finish a few more projects this week so that I have more to share with you next week. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate: Chapter 2

Hello Again!

So I am returning again this morning to link up with Rachel from Sweet Sweet Primary for chapter 2 of Explore Like a Pirate. If you haven't read it yet I encourage you to start. It is an interesting read.
"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit" --Frank Borman

This chapter goes into more detail about gamification and the myths that are surrounded with it. It was interesting to see that there are so many myths surrounding gamification, several of which I had thought myself. Matera does an excellent job of putting the 9 most common myths to rest. He makes so many valid points. As he dispels all the myths he points out how much thinking, processing, teamwork, strategy, and knowledge can come from games.

As you read this chapter you see how beneficial games are for kids. Games help them to learn from mistakes, develop strategies, process information, develop teamwork skills, etc. They need these skills for real world experiences they will face and what better way to develop them than within a classroom where they can learn, explore, and have guidance from peers and teachers. 

The challenge that I face is creating those interactive games that have challenges that will catch a students attention and get them exploring. That is not something that comes very easily to my brain which makes me grateful that he is breaking things down. I love how he mentions that there  are 3 C's that every game needs to have: content (curriculum you are working on), choice (open-ended game model), and challenges (unknown twists and turns that keep students interested). Good things to have on a checklist when creating games for your students. 

These are my thoughts for this chapter. I'm looking forward to seeing what new piece to the game making puzzle I will learn in the next chapter. 

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Made It

Good Afternoon!
I am so excited to be linking up with 4th Grade Frolics today for my first Monday Made It. I have already gotten some great ideas from other bloggers who have linked up with her so check it out if you can.

 This next school year I am switching grade levels. I have been in first grade for 5 years and I am not returning to second grade which is where I began teaching. I am excited but I also feel a lot of anxiety about the workload that comes with changing grades. To help with that I have been putting together outlines for each subject to help me track everything a little better and hopefully make things a little easier this next year.

I also made my own calendar this year to match my classroom colors. I already entered all the important dates into and added some of our special activity days onto it so I can keep better track. I also made one for my former teaching partner to match her classroom colors. She will thankfully be right across the hall from me this year : )

Last year I started using interactive notebooks for Science and Social Studies and I loved it. I made a vocabulary interactive notebook packet for my first graders (that can be found here) and its was very helpful for us with all the terminology so I made one for my second graders. This one isn't in my store yet but hopefully this week I will have it posted.

 That's all I have completed so far. I have some other projects for this week but we will see what I accomplish with family in town. 

 Have a wonderful week everyone!


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate: Chapter 1

Happy Tuesday!

I love summer vacation for so many reasons, but one of them is the chance to actually read a book. This summer I have several books that I plan on reading and one is Explore Like a Pirate. I am joining Rachael from Sweet Sweet Primary for her book study of this book. Come join us if you can!

"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results."

--George S. Patton Jr.

This is a great quote and I agree with it. We are all creative individuals but many do not choose to let it shine through. Many have become so accustomed to just following along. Letting someone dictate how they work through situations and solve problems. Our kids need to learn that their isn't just one way to look at things. They need to learn how to use their creativity with the creativity of those around them to solve problems and look at situations in different ways. If we can teach them to do this we can give them so many more tools to help them as they learn and grow in their academics each year. Gamification is one way that we can approach learning in a fun and creative way for all our kiddos.

I look forward to seeing where this book leads me in my teaching for this next school year. 


Saturday, June 4, 2016

End of School and Changes

Hi Everyone!

My goodness am I glad it is summer vacation. This school year has been quite the roller coaster ride and I am quite happy that it has come to an end. Some rest and relaxation is necessary this next week before I head back to start preparing my next adventure.

I have been teaching first grade in the same classroom for the last 5 years. I have been blessed to have an amazing teaching partner on this journey as well, but everything changed this last year. Our school underwent a lot of staffing changes. Several really good friends of mine will not be working at our school next year. It will be sad not seeing them everyday. I was also moved to second grade. I am sad to leave first grade but excited to head back to second grade. I taught second for three years just out of college. I feel like I have grown so much as a teacher since then that I am excited to see what I can bring to second grade this time around.

This change also means a change in classrooms. I had no idea I had collected so much stuff until I was told to pack it all up. Oh my!! The more I packed the more their seemed to be. I don't know how some of you do this every year. I think I would lose my mind. Thanks to an amazing friend, I finally got it all out of my old room and into my new room yesterday. It will be another week before the furniture gets moved over and I can start cleaning the HUGE mess. My teaching partner is in the same boat. She is still teaching first but was made to move classrooms as well so we will both be working together all summer to straighten up the mess and fix our new rooms.

All this rambling sums up to me being a second grade teacher next year with a new classroom. Since my friend and I still plan on doing lots together I will still be creating for first grade but I will now be adding some second grade items to my store.

Time to relax before another wild year that hopefully has less changes in it than this last year.