July 31, 2015

Five for Friday

It's been a bit hard to come up with five things that I do in a week that I didn't do the week before and the week before, etc. Summer is such a slow, laid-back time for me. I am definitely not complaining 'cause the time is fast approaching when my life goes into high gear and then there is plenty to share for Doodlebugs Teaching's...

 I got this in my email late Wednesday night! I am sooooooo psyched! I'll be blogging more about this as the year progresses, I'm sure!

One of my friends would not believe that my Lulubelle has extra toes on her paws so I had to take a picture of her feet to send to him. Do you know how hard it is to get an overactive fur baby to stay still long enough to snap her paws? Oh my!

 Most of you know that I live in NE Ohio right on the shore of Lake Erie. We have a wonderful park in my town that is home to all kinds of wildlife: swans, geese, many varieties of ducks, and even a pea family. They made the front page of our local newspaper yesterday. A little pea chick was born on the Fourth of July, the first baby in years to hatch. It's become a habit to jump in the car at the end of the day, drive down to the Lake, and check on the little one.

 I tried a new crock pot recipe on Tuesday when my niece and her family came for dinner... not really a new recipe, I just changed one a bit. The entire pot of 6 pork loin chops, 3 lbs. of little red potatoes, and 2 lbs. of fresh green beans was eaten in one setting, as well as one very large bag of mixed vegetables and a pineapple upside cake. I LOVE when they like my cooking!

Yes, that is butter on top.

Finally, I am looking forward to the big Back to School Sale happening on TpT on Aug. 3rd and 4th. I have my cart loaded with all kinds of ELA and Science materials for my fifth, sixth, and seventh graders and can't wait to grab the deals. How 'bout you?

July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Teacher Binders

I'm joining Miss DeCarbo's Sugar and Spice for...

I am trying something new this year. I teach so many sections of Language Arts/English as well as other subjects that it sometimes becomes a bit challenging to keep papers, materials, plans organized. I decided that instead of using a single lesson plan book that I am going to a binder system this year- one binder per section that I teach. I will have a master schedule affixed to my desk to which I can refer and I can keep everything that I need for each section in its individual binder.

How do you keep your plans and instructional materials organized?

July 28, 2015

Two for Tuesday: Brand New

This is my last free Tuesday of the summer... sigh! Next week at this time I will be sitting in a college classroom taking a class all about Google Apps, and the following Tuesday will find me working in my classroom, and the one after that... gulp!... is the day before the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Time is quickly slipping by, so I can't let this great linky get by me. I'm joining Chalk One Up for the Teacher for...

Today's great Tuesday bargain features two BRAND NEW teaching products that just for today will be marked 50% their regular price. To learn more about each product simply click on the links below the following pic.

Don't forget to stop by Chalk One Up for the Teacher to check out more terrific Two for Tuesday bargains! You'll be happy you did!

July 27, 2015

Teacher Faves

I'm excited to join with Ramona from Ramona Recommends, Layla from Fancy Free in 4th, and Jamie from a Not so Wimpy Teacher for this month's linky party:  Back to School in a Flash! 


Do you have BTS Teacher Favorites? Why not join in and link up, too!

July 26, 2015

Sunday Scoop

I'm joining the Teaching Trio for their fun weekly linky...

Here's my scoop for this week. What's yours?

July 24, 2015

Flash Freebie Friday

It's still Christmas in July and time for some more gifts! Be sure to stop by this blog post for details and to enter a fun giveaway!

As part of the Christmas in July celebration, I'm having a Flash Freebie Friday party. All day long whenever the mood strikes me (or when I can get to my computer) I'll be announcing on my Facebook page flash freebies. These are not forever freebies; these will be regularly paid items in my TpT Store that will be FREE for just a short while, little gifts for you. Be sure to like my Facebook page and the Flash Freebie Friday post so that you will receive notifications periodically throughout the day telling you what the freebies will be.

Merry Christmas in July!

July 23, 2015

A Thought for Thursday: Rewired

Have you seen this video yet? It really made me think.

This little video demonstrates a vast difference between the current generation of students and those that came before. I've been teaching long enough to have spanned a generation (nearly two) and I readily see the difference, in likes, behavior, modality of learning, etc. and I've also seen how I've had to change my teaching over the years to meet these changing student characteristics.

What has been very interesting to me is that these generational changes are not just of the nuture kind, in other words, learning from the environment or what someone is exposed to. There is actually a nature, or biological change taking place in our students as a result of their exposure to so much technnology, in this shift from active play to constantly stimulated mental play. It's an evolutionary shift of sorts.

An excellent text that discusses this issue and provides advice for dealing with it is titled Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn.
Here's what Amazon has to say about this text.
Look around at today's youth and you can see how technology has changed their lives. They lie on their beds and study while listening to mp3 players, texting and chatting online with friends, and reading and posting Facebook messages. How does the new, charged-up, multitasking generation respond to traditional textbooks and lectures? Are we effectively reaching today's technologically advanced youth?Rewired is the first book to help educators and parents teach to this new generation's radically different learning styles and needs. This book will also help parents learn what to expect from their "techie" children concerning school, homework, and even socialization. In short, it is a book that exposes the impact of generational differences on learning while providing strategies for engaging students at school and at home.
I had the opportunity to read this book about four years ago, shortly after it came out, and I remember thinking that Dr. Rosen was on to something. Yet in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and changing school buildings, Rewired's message got a little lost in the shuffle. I remember the gist of the message but not the details. Seeing the Nature Valley video made me think of it, find it on my Kindle, and peruse it once again.

As I'm reading Rewired again, I am struck by the author's description of the current generation of students. He refers to them as multi-taskers by need and not by choice. They MUST be doing several things at once. That's how they are wired, literally! Their brains are wired to do many things at once. However, the depth of their task completion is not that of previous students. Today's students tend to do lots of work and cover lots of material but at a much shallower level than previous generations. The author claims that as a result of being exposed to so much sensory information and stimulation from such an early age, gone are the days in school when students can focus for extended periods of time on one assignment. I am reminded of the old adage... A Jack of all trades but a Master of none! 

The Common Core calls for depth of knowledge, quality of coverage rather than quantity of coverage. Think of those ELA standards that state that a student will read for EXTENDED periods of time or write for EXTENDED periods of time. Uh oh! Time for me to keep reading to see what we educators can do to help our current students succeed! I am fascinated!

Have any of you read this book? Have you read anything else on this topic or similar topics?

I'm adding this post to the Teaching Trio's technology linky. Be sure to stop by their blog to read more posts about technology in the world of teaching.

July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Making a Move

Today I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for...

Anyone changing schools? Classrooms?

My school is growing by leaps and bounds! Thank you, Lord, for this blessing. There were many years that we were in danger of closing due to low enrollment.

We have recently completed, well almost (it will be done by the first day of school... we are promised), a brand new gymnasium annex that contains 10 new classrooms. The high school students will be moving into this new annex and our middle grades will be moving into the former high school rooms. Once the middle graders vacate the second floor rooms, second grade will take our place... domino effect.

I am a tad worried that we will be making these moves too close to the beginning of the school year on Aug. 19th and I won't have time to set things up the way I like. Additionally, I have a faculty inservice to prepare and execute for August 17th all about Google and its Apps and the computer set-up is in jeopardy due to all the moving... yikes! Ah well, it's beyond my control!

What I can control, however, is a fun little giveaway going on for Merry Christmas in July. Please hop over to this blog post to participate. You'll be glad that you did. And since we're celebrating Christmas, we must have a gift. Your gift for today is a set of brag tags (wonderful little motivator rewards to use with your students) that remind us all to NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! You can download your set of freebie brag tags HERE. Not sure what brag tags are? Please read this blog post where I tell how I use them with my sixth graders to help manage homework completion in my classroom.

And don't forget to hop on over to Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice to read more Wordless Wednesday posts.

July 21, 2015

Two for Tuesday: Changing It Up a Bit

I'm joining Chalk One Up for the Teacher once again for...

... however, I'm going to change it up just a bit just for today!

I'm holding a fun little celebration all this week: Christmas in July! Visit THIS POST for more information and how you can participate (as in winning a TpT gift certificate). As part of the celebration I am holding a special sale in my store where everything is marked down 20%. Soooooo, instead of marking down two products to 50%, I thought I'd offer two products (Christmas themed of course) for FREE... yep, FREE, but just for today, Tuesday July 21, 2015. Tomorrow they will return to the Christmas in July sale price.

You can download your Christmas presents by clicking on the product titles below the graphic.

July 20, 2015

Monday Made It... Oh So Simple, Oh So Cute...and a gift.

I am almost embarrassed to add this made-it to Tara's great weekly linky over at 4th Grade Frolics. ALMOST! 

When you are finished reading this blog post, be sure to hop over to Tara's blog for loads of fun Made-It's!

Start with...

2 bottles of hand sanitizer from the Dollar Tree
2 cute linen bags with handwriting lines from Target
1 slightly used black Sharpie marker

End with...
2 really cute and useful bathroom passes.

Something else really useful at this time of the year might be a TpT gift certificate (HINT: There is normally a BIG back-to-school sale in early August). Would you like $25 to spend on TpT? Fill out the Rafflecopter below and help me celebrate Merry Christmas in July to snag some TpT bucks or some products from my TpT Store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since you've read this entire blog post and since it's Christmas (in July), I have a little gift for you that you can use as a gift for your students. You can download your set of no-cost gift coupons HERE.

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas in July!

July 18, 2015

'Twas the Week Before Christmas (in July)

Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!

'Twas the week before Christmas when all through  my store,
Every product you purchase lets you save more.

Zaps, Scoots, Scatters, Brag tags, and packs
Santa has waiting for you in his sack.

Time to stock up while the prices are down,
You'll find no better sale in all TpT Town.

So if it's a bargain you're looking to pick
Come shop in my store...

Christmas (even in July) would not be complete without a gift exchange. In exchange for helping me spread the word about my Christmas in July sale, you can "receive" a gift: a $25.00 TpT gift certificate, or your choice of two products from my store (not to exceed $10 value), or choice of one product from my store (not to exceed $5 value). Just fill out the Rafflecopter below before the end of the sale, July 25, 2015. Winners will be announced July 26, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit my blog throughout this sale week for some additional "gifts". Merry Christmas!

July 17, 2015

Fve for Friday... evening!

I've used this excuse before, but I did NOT realize that it was Friday! If I don't check my phone or computer I have no idea what day of the week it is. In this one aspect, I will be glad to get back on school time. Anyway, it's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for...

This week's Five for Friday is the teacher supply shopping edition. I saw several Periscopes this past week made by The 360 Degree Teacher. She was so cute doing live Periscope broadcasts as she was shopping for teacher supply bargains. She motivated me so much that I actually got dressed, did my hair and went to Target and The Dollar Tree... this was a major event, bloggy teachers. I normally stuff my hair in a bandana and remain in my muumuu all day, seldom venturing out.

Here are five fun teacher shopping bargains, each of them just a BUCK!
From Target
Even though all of our records (lesson plans and grades) are digitized online, I still need like a hard copy of everything. I have lost grades and lesson plans after keying them in online. Nothing worse than double work! Spending a buck for a grade book is awesome.

From The Dollar Tree
Soooo lovin' these 3D puzzles! One activity my sixers and I will use these for is a mini-research on the elements during the first week of school. Each student will be assigned a common element to research, locate an important fact about, a graphic, and its symbol. The information will go on a piece of the puzzle, and we will assemble all of the pieces to form the shape. I have twenty students so the icosohedron puzzle will be perfect!
Also from the Dollar Tree
As a school we have decided to focus on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. These are actions that we as Catholics are to perform to demonstrate our love for each other. We are emphasizing this because of the instances of bullying we are seeing in society and among our students. These anti-bullying pledge cards will be a perfect addition.
From Target
Aren't these the cutest? I'm thinking of using them in Literature Circles as discussion sticks. There is always one or two students who want to monopolize the circle discussions and interrupt others. In order to speak, a student will need to hold the stick so she/he can add his point.
Also from Target
I had already purchased my border and charts (Scrabble theme), but when I saw these I knew that they were even more of a perfect match for all of the Bright Tweens items I've been making for my new classroom. What do  you think?
You can read more about my Bright Tweens items HEREIf you are interested in this bright theme, I have a set of Whole Brain Teaching rules that I have modified for my classroom in the same colorful theme. 

They will be a forever freebie that you can download HERE. Here's a little preview of what one of the posters looks like.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the start of Christmas in July here at The Teacher's Desk 6.