Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Inspire Me

PhotobucketRight before heading to bed tonight, the night before I head back to school, I stopped off to check my Facebook.  I am so glad that I did.  I was feeling a little uninspired, having just left the beach early to return to pre-service week.  My classroom is completely in boxes (we got a new air condition system, paint, and who knows what else).  I found out that I'm not getting a student teacher this year (the first time in five years).  I was feeling just totally a little BLAH.  Then I read this story (click here) that one of my dear friends posted, along with the comment "This is awesome. :) sometimes I forget how much I love my job, especially the beginning of the year." This story totally turned my back to school frown upside down.  Yep!  It's that easy. 


This is another one of my favorite inspiring videos:

 The truth is that we are teachers for a reason.  Many, many obstacles come along with teaching, but it is the most rewarding career a person can have!   Sometimes, as humans, we forget what teaching is all about.  It's not about us.  It's about the Merediths and the Daltons.  Plus, what other job do you get a do over, every 180 days?  Here's to my 14th do over; may it be the best yet!  (and if not, well at least I'll have this linky party to get me through until next year!!)  :)  I hope to be Ms. Miner to the 22 fifth graders I have this year!  Happy 2012-2013 School Year!! 

Do you have stories, co-worker's stories, videos, blogs, books, movies, etc. that inspire you?  We'd love to hear about them.  Comment below!  :)

Inspire on.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Text Parents With No Trace of Your Number

I keep wanting to post my own ideas, but then I find someone that has an even cooler idea that is way more 21st century then my old tricks and games....so I feel like I need to get the info out, ASAP!  I found this post on Pinterest, from Mrs. Standford's Blog,  and she introduced this AMAZING thing to me (and all 960 of her readers).  REMIND101!!!!!  It allows you to invite parents to subscribe to your text message updates.  The coolest part?  You don't have to give them your number!  Also, you can send out bulk text messages/emails to your entire class or multiple classes. Oh, and you can even schedule the texts!  You can do it from your phone or computer.  If you have an iPhone, there is an app for that!  Droid users...one is coming soon.  This is going to rock my world this year!   Head on over there and try it out! It's super simple. 


    

Text on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I WONDER....Freebie

Wonderopolis has been buzzing all over Pinterest lately, so I finally went and checked it out.  It's pretty cool.  To put it in their words, "It’s a place where wonder and learning are nurtured through the power of discovery, creativity and imagination."  You go to the site, they have a "wonder of the day".  All you have to do is click on the picture and it leads you right to information on the topic.  It's easy!  There is also an index with previous wonders that they could explore.  I'm going to be using this in my classroom this coming year.  I plan to dedicate an entire bulletin board to it.  In the beginning of the year, I am going to have them simply go to the site and fill out this sheet.  Then later in the year, I'll encourage them to come up with their own "wonders" and research them on their own.  I'm even planning on having them have a page in their writing journal dedicated to I wonder topics.  They can build on it all year and when they have time, they can research their own wonders. I think I'll use it for early finishers sometimes, and stations or a choice board others.  Here's a freebie preview:

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." ~Socrates

Wonder on.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Freeze! With a little twist!

Need your kids attention?  Here is one of the many ways to grab their attention:

  I remember when I was a little kid, I used to love it when my teacher told us to freeze!  I always hoped secretly that I would be in one of those weird positions that made everyone laugh (yes, I was one of those students).  I might have even thrown myself into a position thinking no one would know that I wasn't naturally in that position when the teacher yelled that famous word!  A couple of years ago I had a class that just wouldn't freeze when I requested.  It used to get on my nerves sooooooo bad! I remember thinking I'd like to make this one child look up the definition to freeze and practice writing it 1,000,000 times just to spite him for spiting me (OF COURSE I DIDN'T).  Anyway, I remember complaining to a veteran teacher who gave me simple advice to cure the problem.  "Make it a contest!"  She told me that any time you want them to do something they don't really enjoy, make it a contest.  Simple enough!  I went back the next day and gave it a try.  I told them we were going to try something new (you always have to pump them up).  I was going to yell freeze and start counting.  We were going to see how long it took everyone to freeze.  We put the number of seconds it took the WHOLE class to freeze on the board.  Then we tried to beat our own record the next time I needed them to freeze!  HOLY COW!  IT WORKED!  After about 3 times I didn't even count past two.  The rest of the year they were planning the Freeze 123 game and I was just getting their attention.  Try it, they love it!

Freeze on.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fake Texts in the Classroom

I was over at Honey Bunch Blog Design checking out their latest Blog Makeovers and I came across Charlotte, a promising new blogger, at Fabulous 5th Grade Fun.  Her latest post is about fake texts and how to use them in the classroom.  How cute?  I can see myself using this in the classroom as a quick formative assessment for their independent reading.  I could also see myself handing out review questions and having the kids create a conversation answering the questions.  Oh, or I might pair the kids up and let them make a fake text about whatever they want (appropriate, of course) and then have them write it using dialogue.  Hmmmmm.  There are endless possibilities!  Head over to Fabulous 5th Grade Fun to see how she might implement "fake texts" in her classroom.  Do any of you out in blogger land have any suggestions on how to use this educationally?  Leave a comment and share!


Text on.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Back to School Idea #1--QR Code



Thanks to Mrs. Penna, over at Fantastic Fifth Grade, for giving me this cool idea!!  Every year, at Open House, I pass out a magnet to each parent with my contact information for them to take home and put on their refrigerator.  All I do is take a big smiley face image, then put all of my contact info in a text box, print, cut, laminate, and stick magnetic tape on the back!  Viola!  My contact info at your fingertips!  BUT.....Hold on....I'm plowing full speed ahead into the 21st century....This year, I'm going to offer two options:  1.  The smiley magnet for the fridge.(plain and simple)  2.  The Jump Scan magnet (techno dreamy). What's cool about the Jump Scan magnet?  Well, just scan and click on all the options:  e-mail, call, or go to my website...directly from your smart phone!  Woohoo!

While I was cruisin' the net, I also found this website that will let you create free QR Code Business Cards.  Click here to go to the site, then click QR Code Business Cards up on the top of the page in the blue.  There is a free tutorial here.  It'll even turn it into a pdf for your printing pleasure!  :)  Sweet!  Maybe I'll offer all three.  This last one lets you even save the contact in your phone.  Hmmmm.  All you parents out there, which option would you prefer?

P.S.  Try both of my QR codes, they work!!

P.S.S.  Don't try calling me...I put in a Hollywood number!  LOL 

Scan on.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Peeves and Praises

Comment-a-holic

Today, I'm feeling overwhelmed with all of the blog topics I have listed to write on, none of which I feel like writing right now.  Soooo, I'm linking up with Mrs. Stanford to share my "not so favorite blogger habits!"  As a whole, I absolutely love blogging and reading blogs....truly these peeves that I have don't keep me from reading anyone's blog!

PEEVES:
1.  Blogs that have turned into people only advertising for their TPT store items that cost.  Every once in a while, cool...all the time....not cool.  Especially those people who have TPT items that are expensive.  Throw a free item in there every so often!

2.  I'll follow suit on this one....The "Are you a robot?" things...you know the ones that are hard to read and you can't post unless you get it just right? The truth is, it doesn't really bother me but if I don't have to squint my eyes and type in the box...great!  Funny thing, which y'all probably already know, is that I'm 100% guilty about this.  It defaults that way. Who knew?  If you aren't super bloggy smart (this girl is certainly not) you wouldn't know this.  So, thanks to this linky I have gotten rid of it for your blogging pleasure! Click here to find out how to see if you're guilty too! lol

3.  I hate when I comment on someone's blog and I don't know if they have responded to me.  Considering I follow about 100 blogs, I don't remember what I saw where and who I said what to. Good news...apparently if you comment via email, you will get responses.  Click here to see Ms. Stanford's explanation on how to do this.

4.  When you read my blog and there is an embarrassing grammatical error and you don't let me know!  I have self diagnosed ADD and I'm really bad at proofreading.  I watch TV, text, and sometimes talk on the phone while blogging.  If you see something, LET ME KNOW!  I'm a human to (just kidding...I know it's" too").  I'm not dumb, but I make a MILLION mistakes!  So, help a sister out!  :)

PRAISES:

1.  I love when fellow bloggers post amazing ideas and freebies!

2.  I absolutely LOVE that everyone in the blogging world is so positive and keeps me motivated.

3.  I love when people comment on my blog posts!  I <3 comments.  They make me feel good and they make me want to come up with more stuff and showcase more things.

4.  I love when people follow my blog or tell other people about it! (and when they like my Facebook page)

There are a lot more things that I love, but that should do it for now.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!!  :)