Thursday, July 26, 2012

Almost August Already??

Ok, so I admit, I've done little to nothing this summer to get ready for the new school year.  I see all these other teachers on blogs and Pinterest that have been teaching beasts this summer, and I've dropped the ball.  I'm starting in a new district, and going back to my middle school roots, but I've not done much to prepare...yet, anyway.  New Teacher Orientation was held this week, so I did start thinking about my classroom for that....but then I had a wisdom tooth pulled and I've reverted back to master couch potato.

So here's the big question:  Is it wrong for a teacher to ignore school for a while during summer??   I keep hearing teachers say, "I work all summer getting ready for school!"  Well, I didn't.  Does that make me less of a teacher?

I'm going to get back on track....I promise.  And soon.  Definitely tomorrow....or the next day...wait, that's Saturday...Ok, most certainly by Monday.  I promise.  :/

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wow!!  I've been nominated for a Fascination Award: 2012's Most Fascinating Special Education Teacher blog for my blog about Leprechaun Repellent.  This makes me feel so proud!!  I'm glad that my ideas are getting out there, and I'm even happier that others are finding them helpful!  I would LOVE to win in this category, but I'm just happy to have been nominated (yeah, yeah, I know...that's very cliche....but it's true!!).  Hopefully I can keep blogging about things that other teachers find interesting and helpful!  So, if you get the chance....Voting begins July 2nd at 1:01 AM (EST).The blog with the most votes by July 9th at 11:59 PM (EST) will win the grand prize, a $100 restaurant gift card...and I think we all agree that would be a great prize!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Great Giveaway Linky Party!

The 3am Teacher blog is having an amazing giveaway over on her blog!  I almost hate to tell you about it because I want it so badly! :) Head over there, check out the giveaway, and take a look at all her amazing graphics!  She is also SUPER giving and always offering freebies from her graphic sets!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

29 and counting...

There's only 29 days left for me with my kiddos this school year, and at least 5 of them will be eaten up by PASS, our state standardized test, 3 or 4 with IEP meetings, 1 for Field Day....what else am I missing?  Y'all know I'm new to elementary, so I need all the help I can get these last few days of school.  The Easter Bunny didn't visit my classroom (hey, it was Spring Break during Easter) and my 1st grade girls were so disappointed that they still look for any sign of the bunny each morning.  I didn't know he was supposed to come into my class!  Anyway, back to my reason for posting...With 29 days left, I want to make the rest of the year as fun and enjoyable as possible without adding stress and management problems to my day. So, I'm asking for advice here again....Tell me what you are going to do in the last days of school to help you feel like this:


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive

If I only remember ONE thing about elementary school, it would be my Music teacher, Mrs. Scurry.  She made sure we sang correctly, and didn't let our lazy southern speech get in the way.  I have never really thought of her as being a big influence in my life, but she really did make an impression on me.  To this day, I know that I will think of Mrs. Scurry when I sing "Silent Night" and I always make sure I pronounce the Ts, just like she taught me. She always wore black Reebok tennis shoes and made you sit on the edge of your seat, with a straight back, and sing from your diaphragm.  Something today made me think of the old Johnny Mercer song we always sang in her class, "Ac-Cent-Tchu- Ate The Positive", and I thought that was PERFECT for a classroom.  SO, I turned it into a printable for my classroom and decided the best thing to do would be to share my printable AND my story!  I hope you'll download it (just click on the picture to pull it up in Google Docs) and bring in a little Johnny Mercer and Mrs. Scurry into your classroom!  Now, I would LOVE to hear about a teacher that you've never thought inspired you, but actually did!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Decisions Maze!

Good Decisions Maze!  I just made this maze to help my students with making respectful decisions.  I haven't had a chance to use it in own classroom yet, but I am looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.  Please go download this freebie and let me know what you think!  If this maze is a success, I will be developing more to sell in my store.  If you provide any feedback (good or bad) you may have a chance to win the whole set that I design!

Just click on the pictures to visit my TpT store!
Thanks Y'all!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

And a late night linky!

Well, I came across this linky party via Teach123, and I thought her idea about a pencil that never needs sharpening was GENIUS!  She definitely inspired me to visit Jenn over at Best Practices 4 Teaching and create my own Invention for Teachers!  So, without further ado, here is my Super Fantastic Teacher Invention!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Who's with me here?

I have to wonder who else out there has ever said to their kids (in frustration, of course), "Hey, I'm not teaching this for my benefit.  I already passed ____ grade!  I don't need to learn this! You do!" Only to find that this tactic really isn't the best??  Hopefully I'm not the only one who sometimes forgets all those fabulous things I learned in the (perfect) student teaching world...Anyway, I was feeling like this Thursday, and I was having trouble getting my students' attention.  However, rather than revert to strategies that have proven ineffective, especially with these "emotionally disabled" children, I decided to go all anti-Margaret.  I became that perky, high-pitched, super smiley teacher.  I told the students that I had already learned this material, and I knew it well, and I was going to prove it by teaching it.  I then stated, "I'm a fabulous teacher, and I'm going to teach, and I'm going to teach it well.  It's up to you to learn it."  They looked at me as if I had lost my mind, BUT after I answered my own questions with enthusiasm about 4 times, they gave in and started participating.  It was quite satisfying.
©2006/2007 National Association of Special Education Teachers

So, tell me....have you ever felt this way?  How did you deal with it??  What do you think of my response??


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The 3am Teacher Giveaway!

Ok, so I've always thought Michelle over at The 3am Teacher was the best....Now, I have the great opportunity to share with you how WONDERFUL she is!!  She is giving away a charm from Stamped Evermore AND a $10 TpT gift card AAAAAND your choice of any one product she has listed in her TpT store!!  Just check out her blog for the rules and such.  While you're there, make sure you check out all the awesome freebie graphics that she has to offer!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Linky Parties!

I love Linky Parties!  It's a wonderful way to find other teacher blogs and so many ideas!  Not to mention, I love an opportunity to get my blog out there!  So first, here's a Blog List by grade level over at Math Coach's Corner

And second, Teach123 is linking up blogs that are handing out teaching tips. So, here are some things I have learned in my various teaching environments....

I know it may sound horrible, but it's a great tip.  Especially in a school.  Maybe it's because we're around tattle telling kids children who feel the need to point out everyone else's wrongs all day.  After all, You are what you teach, right?

 And I always find this to be true!  Besides, you can plan, and plan, and plan, but you just never know what your kids are going to do.  Or what they are going to grasp.  Sometimes my best lessons are the ones that start with me declaring, "Oh!  I know.  Let's try this!"

And there's my Sunday morning reflection!  Time to hit the plan books to get ready for the week ahead....gotta be prepared in order to get those A-ha moments!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Leprechaun Repellent

Ok, let me start by reminding you that I taught middle school for 6 years, so I didn't realize just how many "holidays" elementary school (specifically early elementary) teachers have to celebrate.  I JUST finished President's Day when Valentine's Day snuck up on me...then I find out I have to give Dr. Seuss a birthday party.  Now, a leprechaun is supposed to come mess up my room and leave gold and treasure??  My immediate response was, "Huh? Ain't no Leprechaun coming up in here and messing up my room!" (Yeah, I know the grammar sucks, but come on....I'm southern :) I get a pass.)  ANYWHO...I thought it would be cute to create Leprechaun Repellent and make a big deal about not letting one in on Friday....Teaching is all about acting anyway, right?  So, I plan to fill my bottle with some water and glitter, then make a big, silly deal of spraying it around the classroom.  Of course, come Friday, the repellent won't have worked, and I will still leave their "treasure" in the room.  I may even leave a note from the Leprechaun that says he felt the need to be good and leave treats, not trash the room, because of the repellent.  Maybe I can convince the kids that the "Leprechaun Away" will make them behave too......

Click the picture below to get the Leprechaun Away label for free!!  The label says "Leprechaun Away.....Keep those pesky Leprechauns away this St. Patrick's Day with this super lucky glitter spray!"  The top label fit this spray bottle that I bought at Dollar Tree last weekend, but I included other sizes for other bottles as well!  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You know you teach when....

Fun For First is having a linky party to let people share their "You know you're a teacher when" realizations!  Mine is that I speak in acronyms!  You know, since I work in an LRE, and I provide a FAPE, to my ED,and LD, ADD, ADHD, DD etc children.  I follow their IEPs, and BIPs (which are based on the FBAs).  In South Carolina we test our kids with the state PASS test (previously known as PACT, B-SAP)....I could go on and on, but I just realized it's 11:00, not 10:00, thanks to Springing Forward last night.  So, I'm just going to post my realization, and wish you all a wonderful week!  For our school, we only have 14 days left until Spring Break, NOT that I'm counting.....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One Lovely Blog

I just got back from a lovely weekend getaway to the beach to find that Stacey at 3rd Grade Times had given me a One Lovely Blog Award!  So, I'm now going to return the favor and choose the blogs that I find Lovely!

Here are the rules:
1.  Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2.  Pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
3.  Follow the person who sent it to you.

And the awards for One Lovely Blog Award go to:

1.  My Whole Brain Teaching Blog
2.  Sandra's Savvy Teaching Tips
3.  KPM Doodles
4.  Time 4 Kindergarten
5.  Learning with Mrs. Parker

Ok, Ok, so I only came up with 5.....but I am feeling lazy am suffering from beach bum blues must be behind on the Lovely award!  Everyone already has it, it seems!  So, I'll take nominations!  If you have a blog that you think is lovely enough for an award, email me or comment and I'll add you to my list!

And while you're at it, go check out my TpT store and my new St. Pat's Day Emergent Reader!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March-Themed Random Acts of Kindness! 
Help your school celebrate Dr. Seuss Day by Using these special Random Acts of Kindness cards to spread the cheer during March this year!  Each card features a short message and colorful clip art perfect for March or any month!   Best of all......Totally Free!!!Photobucket

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spelling Blocks

I don't know about y'all, but "Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down"......especially when they occur at the same time!  Unfortunately that was the case in the Tangled Up Teaching classroom today.  But, alas, Pinterest had the creative juices flowing, and luckily I had the materials to try making my own Spelling Blocks.

My niece and nephew have outgrown the Duplo blocks we bought at the flea market ages ago, and rather than letting my mom throw them out, I rescued them and gave them a new home!

I have singles, doubles, triples, and quads in primary colors.  I wish I had equal amounts of each type of block, but when you get the whole lot of them from the flea market for less than 2 bucks, you can't complain.

I decided to lead with the singles since my 1st graders need help creating words.  Each block has one letter on each side, but I didn't use any particular method for choosing letters or letter placement, other than using blue blocks for vowels.  I'm hoping this helps with their understanding of consonants and vowels as well.

My first grade girls loved making words with these blocks!  We used our weekly list of sight words to help us build words.  I love this method  of building words because it is so hands on!  The girls were able to spin the blocks to find new words and play with making nonsense words.  We used to use letter cards to make words, but this will be our new go-to for practicing spelling and reading!

The other thing the girls liked was being able to pick up the word and show it off to my classroom assistant and the older student I have in my classroom.
Now is where I need your help, readers!  I am using the singles for single letter word building, and I'm considering using these for words to make sentences.  Now, I don't know what to do with the doubles, triples and quads.  I thought about writing nouns, verbs, etc on the doubles to use as a word sorting station for older students.  On the blocks I've already made, I used a permanent marker (I didn't have time to print our letters and affix them to the blocks....teachers are busy!)  Do you have any ideas so that I could interchange what I have on the bigger blocks?  Any suggestions at all?  Thanks readers!  I know you'll help me think of something fun and fabulous!!

Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dr. Seuss Emergent Reader

This has been, by far, one of my most productive holidays!  I revamped my class schedule, helped the plumber with getting a massive clog out of my pipes, went to the gym, planned all my lessons for the week, and created a Dr. Seuss Emergent Reader for Read Across America Day!  I must toot my own horn a bit, and tell you that this Reader is super cute and serves many purposes!  Celebrate Dr, Seuss, practice handwriting, and have fun coloring all in one!  It's up in my TpT store now for only $1.50!!  Wow, what a bargain!! :)  Go check it out now by clicking on any of the preview pictures!


$25 gift card giveaway!

WOW!  The Dual Kinder Teacher blog is giving away a $25 gift card to Target!  She reached 100 fans and was feeling super generous!  Just think.....$25 gift card could mean 25 great new items for your classroom from the dollar bins (or more if you hit a color dot sale like I did Saturday!  A mini microscope for $0.30!!!  That's obscene!!!), or you could stock up on coffee or Diet Coke to keep your energy levels up as we chug along to Spring Break!  Go check out her giveaway!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Funday Freebie!

Read Across America is only 2 weeks away!  I'm sure many of you are looking to get Pinspired, as I am, for activities and freebies.  Add to your collection with this FREE Dr. Seuss Bookmarks download!

While you're there grabbing this freebie, make sure you check out all the other items I have to offer!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spacemen Writing

If your students are anything like my first graders, they can't quite seem to remember where spaces go when they are writing.  So, I've started telling them to look out for Spacemen in their words.  Here's a FREE printable to help remind them as well!  Hope you find it out of this world!
Get it HERE!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

You Know You're a Teacher When...Linky Party

I LOVE reading the "You Know You're a Teacher When..." posts on Pinterest!  It's nice to know you're not alone in the crazy things you say and do, especially when family members give you that look...So, when I stumbled upon this Linky Party at Kindergarten Lifestyle, I immediately started thinking about those things I say and do that make me stop and think, "Oh, I am SUCH a teacher!"   Here's what I came up with:

What do you think?  Anyone else in my boats?