Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crazy Start To A School Year!

I cant't believe that we have been in school for a month now. I feel like I am still trying to get myself organized and set up.  This year I moved to a new school in a new county and am LOVING it so much!! It's amazing the difference from one school to the next. I have an amazing grade level team who has been so supportive of the newbie. The rest of the staff is just so friendly and willing to help. And my parents are so appreciative for me being their child's teacher. I have gotten a handful of emails from parents saying how blessed they are to have me as their child's teacher, and how dedicated I am in their child's learning. Here is a small piece of an email I received:"I enjoyed the open house at the Fuller Magnet school earlier this week. It has been very informative and we are thrilled to see the progress S-- has demonstrated since joining your class as well as your commitment to continue to excelling in the formation of the future generation. We truly appreciate your hard work and dedication in making S-- a better person, a smarter person."  How can you not feel so blessed with emails like that. Being part of this school so far has made me feel like I am doing a great job and making me more confident in my teaching.

On big adjustment that has been hard beleive it or not is not being able to go to school on the weekends. Yes I went to my other school almost every Sunday and I loved it because I would prepare myself for the whole week and wouldn't have to worry about anything during the week. It was so nice and stressfree. But not this year. :(   It's also been hard because school truly starts at 9:20, they arrive between 8:45-9:15, and the last bus usually leaves around 4:15. I am usually staying til 6-6:30 cleaning up and getting ready for the next day since 3 of the days we have to be at school at 7:45 for staff meetings. The days are just so long and I feel like I am still so unorganized and not unpacked completely. It's such a streeful feeling. Luckily today was a teacher work day and I was able to do a little bit in my room and this Saturday they are opening the building from 9-12 so I can go in and organize my life and prepare for next week. Today I sported my Blogger T-shirt I got from A+ Designs.

Another big adjustment has been the lesson planning and assesssments. This county focuses a lot more on writing lesson plans using SIOP and requires 3 assessment grades for a majority of the standards. Talk about being stressed out! As a team we plan out our week by each taking one subject to plan for the week. We have a google doc that we input the lesson plans so that we can view and print it whenever we need it. It helps also not having to plan for everyhing. Also our county uses CMAPP which lays out the curriculum for us with lesson plans for the standards day by day with resources. This does definitely take a lot of the stress off our shoulders, but I do tweak it to match my teaching style. CMAPP also has assessments for us to give for the math standards, but my kids are really struggling with these and I am worried. Luckily it is not only my class, which makes me feel good, but I feel like we are throwing too much at them and expecting them to explain their reasoning for everything. I really feel for this kids and I wish we could give assessments that just show if they can do it or not.

One thing that is new this year for me that I am loving so much is my classroom blog. I created a blog right before school started to be able to post things for my parents to hear about and see what is going on in the classroom. They are loving it so far and so am I. I post about once or twice a week and always post upcoming events. Today  I actually posted a sneak peek into the classroom, showing my parents a few of the things we have been doing in the classroom. If you would like to take a look feel free!! I have also sent home a release form giving me permission to post pictures of my students working and many are coming back agreeing that I can post on the site and use it for educational purposes. I can't wait to post more pictures of them working. Click on the image below to view our clasroom blog.

Look for a post tomorrow about some of the things I posted on my classroom blog. I promise I will start posting more since I did fall off the grid for a while.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Periscope and Doggies!!!!

So this week has been amazing!!! I saw about Periscope on Instagram and jumped on and my first Periscope I watched was Angie from Lucky Little Learners and Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and thought it was amazing!! I learned so much about Periscope from them and they started some amazing #tribes!!!

They said that one thing you have to do is find your group of people or your tribe. That way you can all share ideas and really feed off one another. Well there are so many tribes now from grade level to even what state you work in. I saw this posted on The Krafty Teacher's Instagram and I agree with it 100%.
I love how teaching is a profession where people support one another and we all become a family. I have learned so much from other teachers that you just don't learn at college.
Sooooo I had to introduce myself to everyone because I love how Periscope lets you put a face to a name so I wanted to put my face out there. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo nervous!!! I was dreading it actually, but I wrote in a comment that I would do it yesterday afternoon and told a friend I would. They made sure I did it! I am so glad I did it!!! I admitted just like many teachers have been through the introductions that I do not like to talk in front of my own peers. Put me in a room of kids and I am fine. It's amazing though all the support everyone was giving me while I was doing the broadcast.
For my first broadcast I had 88 live viewers and 36 replays! I couldn't believe it!! I also got 3,577 hearts!!!!! You all are amazing and I can't wait to do more, especially of my NEW classroom!!!
Side note: I am moving from Jacksonville, NC to Raleigh, NC!! So excited on my new job and I will still be teaching 2nd grade again!!!
The only thing that was hard with the broadcast was reading all the comments!! I totally missed seeing Lindsey from Thriving In Third (@MissJohnstonsJourney) who created my blog!!!!   I wish I saw her comment because then I would have done a HUGE shout out for her!!
 It's amazing how exciting it is when people you follow all the time watch and follow you! They are like celebrities. I am loving this app and like everyone has been saying I am ADDICTED!! Maybe it will make me not so nervous and shy, and really open up some opportunities for me!
During my Introduction Broadcast I shared 3 facts about myself, one being that my family has 2 dogs and I just have to share pictures because I miss them so much when I am in NC since they are in NY.

 Yesterday they were busy laying out in the grass while my mom and I did a little gardening. Today they got to cool off in their "in ground pool"!!! They love to just lay in the water on hot summer days.
 And I just had to end this blog post with the cutest picture EVER!!
She likes to hold the tennis ball by the fuzz with her teeth! Isn't that adorable!!!
Thank you everyone for all your support and follow me on Periscope so you don't miss out on any of my future live broadcasts! And I will follow all my followers!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2nd Grade Network

I have been teaching 2nd grade for 2 years now going on my 3rd. It is amazing how much I have learned from other 2nd grade teachers through their blogs, Instagram, and Facebook Pages. The best thing about being a teacher is all the support and advice we receive and provide to our peers. I am always looking for new ways to teach things and how to organize the millions of things I have in my classroom. Yes I am a hoarder! Hehehe
I always wished there was a way to have all the 2nd grade teachers in one spot so I decided to create a Google Doc where teachers can add their blogs, TPT store, and any other social media. If you would like to add your information click on the link below the picture. Can't wait to network with everyone!!!

I love teaching 2nd Grade!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Dare To Dream

So I have to say being part of this challenge has definitely increased my stats and I am so excited. Here you can see what my stats were at the beginning of the challenge and what they are now!

As you can see my biggest increases were for Facebook and Instagram. I am so happy with the results so far.
TPT +43
Instagram + 36
Twitter + 8
Pinterest + 3
Bloglovin + 0 -- Now I am up to 8 so +6!!
TPT ^ +3

Now for Week 2 the challenge was Dare to Dream!

I thought really hard about why I want my TPT business to grow. Yes everyone wants extra money, but what were my reasons?

There are 5 reasons why I would love my TPT business to grow. Yes I know I am missing one, but I didn't want to crowd up the box and I think the last one applies to most teachers.

#1 Credit Cards and School Loans- My number one reason is to be able to pay off my 4 small credit cards and my BIG school loans from Undergrad and Graduate school. I really wish I didn't have the credit cards, but as we all know teachers don't make a lot and I struggle month to month with even buying food and gas.

#2 Pay Back My Parents- Ever since I got my first teaching job my parents have been very, very supportive with helping me move to a completely different state. They not only helped me move, but they have helped with the expenses and I have moved now will be 3 times since I have come to NC. They have always helped me even if I was short one month and needed a little extra money to buy food. I would LOVE to be able to pay them back at least half of what they have done for me. I have to say I am one of the LUCKIEST people to have the parents I have.

#3 Network with Awesome Teachers- Another reason I love TPT is because I get ideas from such great teachers!! TPT isn't all about making money, it's always being part of an amazing network of teachers who just want to make teaching/learning more fun and creative. I have learned so much from many teachers and I will continue to learn for many years to come.

#4 Become an Amazing Teacher- TPT also gives you the opportunity to become a better teacher. I am always trying to think of fun and creative lessons or activities that I think students would love to do and that teachers would just fall in love with. By being this frame mind I am always trying to better my own teaching.

#5 Stress-free Summer- And of COURSE every teacher would love a stress-free summer where we don't have to stress about working a summer job so we can pay the bills, but just sit and relax. We all know even when we are supposed to relax during the school year we aren't. We are busy planning for the next week, grading papers, laminating and cutting activities out and anything else school related. I would love to not worry about not being paid over the summer because my TPT income has helped me.

These are my 5 goals for why I would like to build my TPT business. What are yours???


Friday, June 19, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Week One Makeover Madness!!!

On Sunday I was so excited when I saw this amazing TPT Seller Challenge hosted by Teach Create Motivate, Sparkling in Second Grade, Third in Hollywood and Peppy Zesty Teacherista. This challenge is to help improve stats, gain followers and grow our business, which are all things I would love to gain.  This challenge consists of 4 weeks of challenges.

But first we had to get out beginning stats so we know how much we grow by the end of the challenge. The biggest stat I would love to improve is my TPT followers. My Facebook followers has been growing quickly the past few months. I have already gained 15 followers on my Facebook Page.

 This week our challenge was Makeover Madness!
I have been wanting to makeover a lot of my covers since I have so much more clipart and have been gaining a more creative skill with my products so I decided to start with one of my first products I made almost 3 years ago. I added cute clipart, made the direction pages more appealing, and made my "table of contents" interactive thanks to Teaching Madness who posted how to do it with Powerpoint.

Now this is only one of my products I made over and I have a "short" list of other products I was to update. Keep an eye out for the new look in my store. The above product is on sale for 20% until Sunday! Click on the above picture to be taken straight to my store.

I updated another cover page as well. One more off my list.

If you are someone who would love to improve your stats and gain followers it is not too late to join this amazing challenge!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Sale!!

I am so excited that for Teachers Appreciation Week TPT is throwing a big sale!!! Most store are throwing a sale up to 20% off and then TPT is giving an additional 10% off!! I have so many things in my wish list but of course I cant buy EVERYTHING. So I thought I would share the things I did buy so if you like any of them you can add them to your cart before the sale ends at the end of tomorrow! Click on the photos to be taken straight to the product's store. I have included how much each product is at full price and how much you can get it for today and tomorrow on sale with the TPT promo as well. Don't forget to leave feedback for all your previous purchases so you can take even MORE money off your total.

Product 1:
The first thing I just HAD to buy was a Lifetime License for all of KG's Amazing Fonts. I use a lot of her fonts in things I make so in order to make sure I can post them I needed to make sure I had a commercial license for them. She is raising the price to $299 soon so make sure you get it at this amazing price!!!

Originally $249.00
Sale Price: $179.28

Product 2:
The next thing I just HAD to buy was a Commercial Use License for all of Hello Fonts.  I also use a lot of her fonts in things I make so in order to make sure I can post them I needed to make sure I had a commercial license for them as well.

Originally $40.00
Sale Price: $28.80

Product 3:
I found this GREAT Writing Bundle that is aligned to the common core, which I love! This bundle includes a year's worth of How-To, Opinion, Narrative, and Informational writing prompts and pages. I have a bunch of products from A Year Of Many Firsts, which you will see the next product is also from her!

Originally $35.00
Sale Price: $19.44

Product 4:
This is an AMAZING bundle of Interactive Phonics Activities from short vowels to consonant blends and vowel patterns. And she is not done adding to it!! So buy NOW and you are saving TONS!!! She links all the products to it so you can take a look at what you are getting before buying it. I love this bundle! 
Originally $80.00
Sale Price: $36.00

Product 5:
Just in time for Mother's Day this weekend I bought this cute way to make a Flip Book as a card. I plan on printing these on colored paper similar to how Chalk and Apples creates her Flip Books which you will see I also purchased.

Originally $3.00
Sale Price: $2.16

Product 6 & 7:

I love these editable Flip Books for a Substitute and Emergency Procedures that can be right at your finger tips. A teacher in my school has the Substitute one and I fell in love with it. I just had to buy both!

Originally $3.50 each
Sale Price: $2.52

Product 8:
I have interactive notebooks for all subjects and have wanted a whole set for Social Studies and Science. I found one for each that I liked. This is the one I got for Social Studies. It has so many great flip flap and foldables for K-2. She even includes many holidays as well.

Originally $11.00
Sale Price: $7.92

Product 9:

Here is the Science Interactive Notebook I bought for K-2. And I just noticed that they are BOTH from First Grade Centers. I had these both added to my wish list at different times not realizing they were from the same person. I love her details to all the different content covered in both subjects.

Originally $11.00
Sale Price: $7.92

Product 10:
I had to buy some clipart as well!! I bought this set from the Amazing Ashley Hughes for CVC Words. I am a sucker for Bundles, because you never know when you will need some of the clipart for different things.  I just love her clipart.

Originally $14.00
Sale Price: $10.08

Product 11:
My last product I purchased today was the S Blend Bundle from Kari Bolt. I just love how colorful and bright her clipart is. She is truly talented.

Originally $15.00
Sale Price: $8.64

Now I am sure you are probably wondering how much money did I spend??!! Well  I only spent $268.45, which may seem a lot for only 11 items, but you have to remember I bought 2 Commercial Licenses for Fonts which would equal to $289 at full price! That total I spent is including all the TPT credits I used as well. In my eye I got the rest for free! I had a total savings of $196.55!!!! 

Last sale I learned a new trick. You can buy a few items if you have a lot in your cart and leave feedback to earn TPT credits and put them towards the other items in your cart. This way you can save even more money!! Who wouldn't want to do that??!!

Enjoy this Fabulous Sale and maybe you find something you like that I purchased for yourself.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Leibster Award

I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Rachel from The Special ABCs. I feel so honored that she thought to nominate me.

The Liebster Award is given to beginning bloggers to help acknowledge up and coming blogs. Upon receiving the nomination, the blogger answers 11 questions to help their followers get to know them better. Then, I will have a chance to nominate 11 other bloggers!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?

I started blogging in December of 2012 when the teacher I was working as a Teaching Assistant for introduced me to TPT. You may know her as Anna from  Simply Skilled in Second. She was an amazing mentor allowing me to teach here and there so I would have some experience. I started creating my own products to sell and she told me to start blogging to promote my products. I just didn't like how my blog looked for the past 3 years so I barely posted. I really wanted to start sharing the things I am doing in my current classroom so I decided to get my blog updated. Thanks to Lindsey from LPaulldesigns or better known as Thriving in Third.

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
PASSION. Just like my name I am very passionate about teaching and everything that has to do with teaching.  I wish I had more time to be able to really share more and read all the wonderful blogs.

3. Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey you wished you knew before?
I wish I could have started networking with teachers sooner, by joining link ups and blog hops. My goal is to connect more with people and post more.

4. What is your favorite pastime other than blogging?
   I love to do ZUMBA! I have always loved to dance since I was a little girl. Zumba is a great way to not only workout but to have fun and make great friends. I have 4 instructors that I take classes from and we have all become best friends. They want me to get certified so I can substitute for them, but it costs between $200-$300 and that's a lot on a teacher salary. :-/  One day I will save enough money to get certified since I love it so much.

5.  How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog/TPT?
 It truly depends what is going on in my life, but usually I can spend all Saturday and Sunday between creating products, posting on my Facebook Page and try to blog, which I need to get better at.

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy most?
 I love reading blogs of second grade teachers since I learn new ways to teach the content of 2nd grade. I also love reading literacy blogs since I am passionate about literacy.

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from all the amazing teachers sharing their classrooms and how they teach, which makes me want to share what I've done and connect with these amazing teachers.

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
  The post I am most proud of right now is my Chinese New Year  post. I am proud of this post because its the first real post of what I was doing with my students, and pictures of my students doing the activities. Ideally I wish I could do posts like that one once or twice a month.

9. Is there a post you have been planning to do but have been postponing it for a while now?
Like I said in the previous question I wish I could post what I am doing in my classroom once or twice a month. I need to pick 2 dates where I share everything we have done in all subjects.

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
  My favorite aspect of blogging is the connecting with teachers from all around the world. I love learning new and fun ways to do things in my classroom through other teacher's blogs, and I like being able to share my ideas for them as well.

11. Which idea from a blog would you like to try yourself?
I will actually be trying to have my students complete their final writing sample, personal narrative, by using a lesson by Mrs. Lemons from Step into Second Grade which has the students write about their friend and uses the story Getting Ready for Second Grade Amber Brown. I wish I could have used it in the beginning of the year, but I know my students will still enjoy it.

Now I nominate these wonderful teacher bloggers:
Kayla from K's Classroom Kreations
Megan from Snapshots of Sixth Grade
Kellee from Stomping Through First
Teacher Twinkle Toes
Jessi from Wild West by Jessi
Rainah from Fit for Firsties
Melanie from A Trendy Teacher

The Rules to Receiving this Award are:
-Link back to the blog that nominated you
-Answer the 11 questions posted by the nominator
-Nominate 5-11 (blogs with followers less than 200 followers) and link to them in your post
-Contact the nominees and let them know they have been nominated