Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A little about me...

Whew...heading into mid-July.  If you saw my last post, you know that I'm changing grade levels next  year again.  And let me tell you what...I am starting to get in panic mode!  It's like I can't work fast enough.  Someone asked what I'm doing to get ready.  The biggest thing is math flipcharts for the Promethean Board.  I'm insanely OCD (self-diagnosis here!  ;)) and have to have everything organized and ready to go.  Being unprepared drives me crazy, even though sometimes it's inevitable as a teacher.  Things come up, plans change, you have to roll with the punches.  But by golly, I'm going to try my hardest to be prepared in every way possible!  We also use Reading Street and I've come up with resource packets that I use every week.  It just makes the week easier.  If you use RS, too, you can check out my TPT store because I put all of my packets on there.  :)  I'm 2/3 of the way done with first grade stories.  I'm also going to start to implement the Daily 5 next year.  If any of you use that, I would LOVE some feedback!  I'm worried about how to fit in a "daily" 5.  With our schedule, I just don't think it's possible.  It will be more like a Daily 3.

**Sidenote: Does anyone feel kind of...alone, if you will....if you're not at I Teach K in Vegas this week?  Ha!  I feel like all of blogging land is out there.  Maybe one of these days I can go to a huge blog meet-up in a fabulous place.  But for now, I'm stuck here in central Ohio working on school stuff.  :P  

  So last week I received a welcome surprise from...

   awarded me the...

  Thank you so, so much, friend!  Hop on over to her blog and check it out!

Now there are a few rules to follow when receiving this award.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
2. Include a link to their site. 
3. Include the award image in your post
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself. 
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award. 
6. When nominating, include a link to their site. 
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

So 7 random facts about myself...hmmm....

1.  I have a 1-year old named Rowan.  He is the sweetest little guy I've ever met!  Everyone says he's the cutest kid they've ever seen.  I have to agree, since I'm his mom.  ;)  This picture is from Easter, but it's one of my favorites!

2.  I graduated from Ole Miss with my Bachelor's in Elementary Education and my Master's in Curriculum and Instruction.  Hotty Toddy!  :)

3.  I LOVE to workout.  I just wish I had more time to do it.  :/

4.  I have taken a nap almost everyday this summer with my son.  I love it and hate it.  I feel like I should be getting stuff done (*cough*laundry*cough*), but then again, summer is for relaxing, right?

5.  My favorite sound is cicadas.  My hubby thinks I'm weird, but it reminds me of living down South.  Don't get me wrong, they're creepy little bugs.  The sound is just so refreshing, though! 

6.  I have a secret passion for weather!  I am sorta like a weather-stalker.  I check it CONSTANTLY.  And if we're supposed to get storms, I'm standing out on my back deck watching it roll in!  My mom was struck by lightning when I was in 5th grade, so she HATES my passion for storms.  ;)

7.  I LOOOOOVVVEEEE grilled asparagus!  Um, hello, why did I just find this out about 5 years ago?!?!?  I was in my roommate's wedding down South and we had grilled asparagus at the rehearsal and reception.  It was the most divine food I've ever hated when I was little.  So I started growing my own in our backyard.  :)

So there ya have it!  A few fun tidbits about myself.

Ok, 15 is a lot of blogs...so I'm only going to do 9.  ;)  There are SO many fabulous blogs out there, but these are the ones I follow the closet.

Back to creating!  :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thoughts on Changing Grade Levels

I feel like changing grade levels is the story of my life.  In the 5 years I've been teaching (including this coming year), I've changed grade levels 4 times.  Blah.  Here's my table right now, as I'm trying to get ready...

As I'm sitting here, slightly stressing, I'm trying to tell myself all the positives of changing grade levels.  So I came up with 4 positives and 4 negatives of switching.  We'll start with the bad first, that way we end on a good note.  :)


1. Changing your mindset.  As teachers, we have to try to think like the kids we teach.  Even though I'm only moving down one grade, I still have to start thinking like a first grader.  They're just coming out of kindergarten!  It's actually a bigger change than one might think.

2. Materials: Oh. my. goodness.  This is what has me stressing.  I have to completely create appropriate materials all over again.  My to-do list of things I have to get ready is m-i-l-e-s long.  It feels like I'll never complete it!  It has taken me hours.  Days.  Weeks.  Even months to create stuff.  And I'm still not done.  Thank goodness for Teachers Pay Teachers.  Honestly.  I can find so many things so that I don't have to create everything.

3. Arranging your classroom: I went from 1st to 3rd to 2nd to 1st.  That's a lot of height changes on tables, desks, mailboxes, etc...

4.  Getting into the groove with a new team: I adore all the people I work with.  Each team has been WONDERFUL.  But they're all a little different in how they do things.  So getting used to that is another change.


1.  It keeps me on my toes!: There's no time to get complacent when you're doing everything for the first time.

2.  You get to see how it all fits together: This is the coolest thing to me.  Seeing the developmental levels of all the kiddos and how they change from one grade to the next - it's quite amazing!  And I have a much better understanding of the puzzle, if you will.  I know where they've been, what they need to know, where they come from, and where they need to end.

3.  Thinking of new ways to reach my students: With every grade level comes new interests, new abilities, new creativity, new personalities...it's kinda fun to think of ways to teach them that will really reach where they are.

4.  It makes me a better teacher:  I get this burst of innovation every time I switch grade levels.  My mind starts swarming with new things.  It CAN be refreshing.  Getting the overall picture, working with students on foundations that need to be built at each level...it's truly invigorating.

So how about you?  Have you ever switched grade levels?  How big of a jump did you have to make?  What is one thing you like about it and one thing that you don't like?  The first person to comment (including their e-mail address) will receive a copy of my latest...September Math Centers!  They are geared towards K, 1, 2.  I'm teaching 1st next year, so that's who I have in mind as I am working on it.  I'd still love to hear from you even if you don't teach the primary grades.  Maybe you can give it to someone you work with?  :)  I'm still working on it, but it should be done in a few days.  I will e-mail it to you as soon as it's done.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you!  :)