Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What to Wear: Teacher Edition

I literally just ran over here to my blog because I just saw an article written BY a teacher about what to wear as a teacher.... it made me cringe! This teacher said she actually has a friend wear the same thing EVERY single day of the school year. We are not stuck in a cartoon!

So here are my top tips to dressing as a teacher:

**Please note that I am NOT a fashionista by any means. These are simply my thoughts as a veteran teacher.**

#1- Khakis are fine but NOT a must. You can wear skinny pants, chinos, ankle pants, capris, gauchos, or skirts. But you need to be comfortable in them. Do not squeeze yourself into them. If you can't sit, stand, and bend over comfortably with out having any unsightly issues (i.e.- major panty lines or too tight in those inappropriate areas) then you need to find a different pair to wear.

#2- Shirts and blouses. Anything goes with your style so long as you aren't flashing or falling out. Here's a good test: when you try them on, bend over, bend to the side, bend backwards, pretend to write on the board, and then squat down. Didn't show any skin or flash? Your shirt is good to go to school.

#3- The rule book that you expect the students to follow... you have to follow it too. No spaghetti straps. No gym clothes. No short skirts. Keep your political opinions off your shirts.

#4-  Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. They are always your friends. Try jewelry, scarves, and hair styles to change things up. Not sure how? Go to a Premier Jewelry party or check out Pinterest.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reading Line Up: Top 5 Must Haves

As I begin to look forward to next year... I begin (always) to plan. I'm a planner and can't help it. Lists, plans, and organizing comes easily to me... except in my house. So I began looking at my reading list for this next year, here's my top 5 lift of must haves:

#1- Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations- This is a review read for me. It's an amazing book for setting up Math work stations! The set-up, the teaching of, and the creating of are all covered in this book.

#2- The Common Core Lesson Book K-5- Need to increase rigor? Increase accountability? Want vertical alignment in your school to help with comprehension of concepts? This is the book that you need. It is fabulous for all of these needs.

#3- Making Small Groups Work for You- This is my new read book. Since I am going back into Kindergarten this fall, I want to make sure that I'm really utilizing my para and my small groups. I have never taught Kindergarten with a parapro. It's always just been me... and lots of little bodies!

#4- Purposeful Play for Early Childhood Phonological Awareness- This is a must purchase! This book is chock full of lessons, activities, songs, rhymes, and poems for students to learn and practice their phonological awareness.

#5- Systematic Sequential Phonics They Use- Amazing book similar to word ladders but perfect for kindergarteners. I start these lessons in about October once we have all the letters/sounds so that we can sound out words.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Currently

I love linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her March Currently! Here's what I'm up to:

Make sure to find out what your other favorite bloggers are up to!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Teacher Hero

On TPT we are celebrating teacher hero. So it got me thinking about my teacher hero. We all have at least 1 teacher who stands out in our memory as being the best. The teacher who meant the most. Maybe the teacher who "got us".

*Insert transitional harp music*

My 4th grade teacher was Tillie Williams. I adored her to no end. She was nice when needed, sarcastic always, and tough when necessary. She made everything interesting when she taught. It was simply a fabulous year.

She sticks out to me also because of going above and beyond in one particular instance. My parents went away on a trip one week and their best friends kept me and my brother. The night that they left we had gone out to eat and were coming home. As we pulled into the garage, a furry black animal ran across. The next few minutes were filled with us running from a  horrible smell that infiltrated our car and the garage.

As we ran from the skunk... we all got sprayed as did the garage, the car, and the trunk with my suitcase of clothes. Showers, baths, and new clothes....we all went to work and school the next morning. After a few hours, I had been teased and picked on all day because I was still a tad stinky.

What does this all have to do with my teacher? She  left school and took me to my grandmother's house so that I could shower and change into non-skunked clothes. Then she took me back to school and the teasing stopped.

Now, while this might NEVER happen today... it made a huge difference to me at the age of 8/9 years old to see a teacher who would go way above and beyond. It serves as a reminder to me of the kindness that people should have towards one another to go out of their way to help.

Today we are celebrating teachers as our heroes on TPT. I hope that you come by and join in on the fun!

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Monday, February 23, 2015

How Do I Change My Blog Layout?

After my post yesterday (see here how to add an Instagram slide show), I had a couple of questions about how to add widgets and change layouts of your blog. If you haven't explored your blog yet, here's a quick tutorial on how to get there starting from your blog's Dashboard:

On your Dashboard, there is a drop down tab that you can click on to give you a list of options to look at, edit, and create with in your blog.

On the drop down tab, there is an option called Layout. Click on this and it will take you to a new screen.

This new screen shows you the pieces of your blog. To create a new piece to your blog you can click Add a Gadget. There are TONS of different gadgets that you can play around with. If you want to add the Instagram code, you will need to add the HTML/JavaScript gadget:

To add something new to it, all you have to do is click the word Edit for it to open up and you can change it, add to it, and customize it to fit your needs.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Instagram Me!!

I love this new piece to my blog! I have been eyeing the scrolling Instagram feeds on some of my friends' blogs. I really wanted to add one...

And look! I did! It was so easy too!

All you need to do is go to

You type in your username for Instagram and it automatically gives you your code. Simply add a HTML widget to your sidebar and insert the code. Voila!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Picture is Worth At Least 5 lbs.: February's Bright Idea

I hate carrying my  bag home each night to grade. It's not the grading... it's the fact that my bag weighs SO much! I remember when I was pregnant, my husband bought me a rolling cart so that I wouldn't carry so much! I finally figured out a GREAT, 1st PLACE idea way to eliminate pounds of weight. 

Simply use this:

Simply take a picture of the answer key that you need to be able to grade! 

Then you can leave that silly, old, heavy as sin teacher manual at school. Isn't it wonderful to know that you can grade, have the answer key, and not break your back all at the same time?!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

5 Things to Make A Teacher Go Crazy

How do you make a teacher go crazy? Here is how...

#1- Have plans go awry... for example my student teacher was out so I taught her plans today. Definitely no big deal... until the internet went on the fritz and I had several video clips that the entire lesson was dependent on... 5th grade science doesn't have a lot of interactive, grade-appropriate 'visuals' available.

#2- Pink eye.. yep the teacher has pink eye! I would never, ever wish this on someone else!

#3- Add an award ceremony... in the middle of a class period. No biggie by itself but when you start adding things one on top of the other...

#4- Pull out kids weren't pulled out?

#5- The 'S' word happened.. yep, with my big huge picture window in all it's glory...

Obviously it wasn't like that at all but I swear that's what they thought it was. Not a bad day all in all.. but wow! It was a doozy!!

How was your day?

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I Want to Wear Wednesday

Oh the things I have found on line this week! Check it out and don't forget to follow my boards on Pinterest to stay up-to-date!

I just bought my first pair of Toms and I am so in love with them already! They are light and comfy!

The chunky sweater and the plaid shirt. I am still in love with the layered combo. This is wonderful!

A bit of Spring made it's way into my Pinterest feed this week. I am absolutely in love with the navy blue for pretty much all seasons!

What are your new favorite pins? Make sure to follow me so I can follow you back!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Sugar Coma Leads to Bright Ideas

The life of a real teacher. It sounds like a great thing to share, doesn't it? I love Valentine's Day because my kiddos always get so excited to share their love and friendship with others in their classroom. It's one of the perfect times of the year to celebrate the classroom culture and community.

It always makes me think of how we can set up a positive classroom community and culture at the beginning of the school year.

Do you have something that you always do? I'd love to hear from you about it!

My go-to ideas come from this book:

It's a WONDERFUL collection of ideas, activities, greetings, and fun for students in your classroom. Plus it's organized and sorted with a helpful chart to show you what time of the year it's best for and what grade level it's appropriate for. Love it!

Check out my Pinterest board to see loads of great ideas on morning meeting and how to make it work for you!

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