Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back to Blogging- Reflective Teaching

It has been so long since I have last posted. I guess life has gotten away from me, and I have become consumed with a variety of other things. Teaching, however, remains top on my list. It is easy to become immune to the blessings and joys that each day brings in a classroom, even if it is something as small as one of my students remembering what to do when their pencil breaks and not raising their hand to tell me, as they normally do! There is a quote that I have seen recently that reads, "To teach is to change a life forever." Sure, I think this is true. But even more so, I think that to teach is to have your life changed forever. I have been in this profession for a mere four years, and my life has changed for the better because of my students. Each day I am blessed to be greeted by 27 children skipping in the classroom, smiles plastered on their faces, as they race to see who can make it to the room first. The love that I have for each of my kids (as I call them) is beyond words. They have their moments, as all kids do, but my love for them is that of a mother's love, a spiritual mother. In turn, their love for me is what motivates me each day to put my best foot forward and give them all I have in me, even if I feel like I am less than prepared, less than energized, less than thrilled to be at work that day. I hope in the days to come to chronicle some of the joys and blessings that I encounter on a daily basis with my kids. What moment of joy did you have in your classroom this week? Let's rejoice in these together as we push forward in this new year!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crayons to Computers

A Free Store for Teachers!!!! How awesome is that?!?! Believe it or not, one such store exists for teachers in the Cincinnati area. The store operates on donations from the community, as well as programs that pair groups from the local prisons to make materials teachers need for their classrooms. Each year, the store has a collection drive to collect the necessary supplies to fully stock their store of all school supplies many of our students do not have access to. They then gather financial and material donations from companies, as well as the items made by local inmates.

Schools with 60% reduced/free lunch students have the opportunity to shop there once every 5 weeks. However, schools like my school don't qualify. So, the store has set up a program where teachers whose schools do not qualify can volunteer once every month and receive a voucher to allow them to shop at the store for materials.

Today, I spent 3 hours volunteering by stuffing their mailings that are sent out. In turn, I receive a voucher to come back and shop in August, as well as a sneak peak of some of their products they have to offer to teachers this year. Needless to say, I am quite excited to get my hands on them. They have seat sacks, manipulatives, binders, papers, folders, and oh so many more items only teachers would treasure. You can check out their website for further information! Does your community have any cool programs like this for teachers?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Design and Blog Button

After many hours of playing around tonight, I think I have successfully revamped my blog with a new design, background, and a button! Yay! Thanks to Ladybug Teacher Files for all of her tips in her tutorial section!!! If you are looking for ways to enhance your blog, be sure to pop over to hers and check out all of the awesome info she so willingly shares. I would love to know your thoughts and feedback on the new design and button! Have a blessed night!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blog Buttons and Templates

I am really wanting to spice up my blog with a blog button, one that matches my current blog design. Is there someone who can help me with creating a blog button to go with my template or help me find a new template with a matching blog? Thanks in advance for you're wonderful!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

End of the Year Reading Celebration

As the school year comes to an end tomorrow, I decided to use this afternoon to celebrate all of the reading we had done this school year. The afternoon began with a book swap. Students were allowed to bring in 1 or 2 books that they had already read and no longer wanted. Then, depending on how many books they brought in, they could pick from the selection of books that was on the table. Knowing some of my kids were forget their books, I brought in a few extras I had. It worked out good and everyone had a "new" book by the end of the swap.

Following our book swap, students cuddled up with their blankets and pillows to enjoy a good 45 minutes of uninterrupted SSR (silent sustained reading). This is their favorite part of each school day, so I was happy to see they settled in easily and were able to enjoy a few good books. On a side note, I've been reading The Book Whisper by Donalyn Miller, which has only reinforced the need to provided students an opportunity to read books of their choice during the school day.

Our reading celebration ended with two read alouds. One was the Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. This is one of my favorite "Christian themed" books that allows students to see how each of us has a special purpose in this world. I then read the book Tuesday to them. It is a wordless picture book, which previously own the Caldecott Medal. The kids loved the pictures of floating frogs and flying pigs. I had begun our year together sharing this book with them and was surprised how they at first didn't remember the book. However, after seeing the floating frogs, their memories were quickly jogged and they once again enjoyed the book with great vigor. How do you celebrate reading with your students? What books do you find to be good read aloud books?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teachers Pay Teachers

I have just begun a TpT account in hopes to upload some of my other work. Please feel free to check it out and be sure to follow me, as more exciting and fun plans and ideas will be posted in the near future! For now, you can download Cupcake Math (from previous post) for free. Enjoy!