Saturday, February 28, 2015

Five For Fraturday!

I'm back on time this week!... Nope not really, Today is Saturday morning, the puppy stopped me this time! I feel like I'm finally back on my schedule and it makes me feel so much better. Here we go! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching just a day late! 

I was super excited to see that Alex & Ani followed my Tumblr blog - Teacher Clothes OH MY! It made my day when I saw it in my e-mail earlier this week. I had posted a few looks that I had included links to their brackets and they must have found me. Another small milestone that I am overly excited about :)

Check out my Tumblr here!

Today I was with some lovely Kindergarteners and we worked on a writing prompt on TV Shows. Let me tell you, I have never seen a group of children so engaged, excited, and writing such detailed and descriptive pieces at such a young age! I am thinking about creating a whole TV show unit for writing now! What do you think?

Oh the dog, the dog, the dog... We are making progress, slow progress, but progress! Finally he is sleeping through the night. Realistically one week for that to happen is super quick and we are so proud of him. He's getting bigger so quickly too! Here's a new photo!

I created this new product to help keep track of behaviors in the classroom. I first saw this idea utilized in my host teacher's classroom while I was student teaching. I loved it.

Here's why. Instead of having weekly log which gets overbearing if you save all of them the monthly logs makes it easy to have a glance of a child's behavior patterns. This makes it easy for me when it comes time for report cards, or IEP meetings, or creating behavior plans. There are so many uses of this one product. The parents also love it because it is so easy to see how their child is doing. I also added a communication log on the back of the calendar in case I needed to talk to the parents or they need to talk to me. 

You can pick it up at my TPT Store here.
Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Homeschooler, Staff, Not Grade Specific -

Hooky on Thursday. Do any of you enjoy deciding to take a day off for something special? This Thursday I decided to take a day off to spend time with my Aunt and Grandmother. We ended up going with her so she could get a new do. Here's a selfie we took.. Isn't she too cute?!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Web Day Wednesday - A+ Spelling

At least one Wednesday a month I am going to try to post a website or app that I have found recently and use either in my classroom or with children that I tutor.

This week I am going to share a spelling practice app that I have been using with multiple children that I tutor after school. A lot of times spelling word practice gets forgotten when teachers do not send home specific practice homework for each night of the week. That being said, this is a main reason why I took a significant amount of time to create my own weekly spelling homework packet. You can read more about my spelling packet in a blog post here.

Anyways, I was getting frustrated that I was spending so much time going over spelling words in a tutoring session. I wanted an easy way to get the students to practice the spelling words on their own even when they aren't in a tutoring session with me. I stumbled upon this great app called A+ Spelling by Innovative Mobile Apps.

You can get the app here at the iTunes store. The best part about it? ... it's FREE!

So the first screen that pops up when you download and open the app looks like this.

When you add a new spelling list it will bring you to this page. You will need to choose a name for a spelling list. If you are only using this app with one child I would suggest naming the lists with the dates of the week. I name my lists by the students' names. Choose what works best for you.

After you name the list you can start adding in the spelling words. The screens look like this:

When you have completed the spelling list it looks like this. Your student then has four choices for practice.

Below are the screenshots from the practice and unscramble pages.

My students love to practice their spelling words on this app. They learned how to use it in one day and after that they are able to use it independently after their spelling words are inputted. The app can be used on a mobile device or an iPad.

What do you think? Share your strategies for weekly spelling practice in the comments below!
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Five For Frunday

So I have obviously taken a little too long of a vacation as I am two days late on my Five for Friday. But here it goes on a Sunday linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching! Just a head's up - not very many school related things this week because it was February Break!

So this week was break week for me. I honestly thought that I would be super productive this week and have tons of time to devote to my blogs, TPT and social media projects but that didn't happen. I took my time and relaxed and kind of took a break from everything and I am so glad that I did it!

I have been home decor shopping frequently and looking for good deals and I just happened to find a conversation piece that goes with number 4 for this week! Here's some of what I bought but my favorite was the dachshund pillow! (Everything's from Marshalls)

Over the break I babysat a few of the students at the private school that I work at. For some reason they were so interested in watching the Peter Pan Live performance that aired around Christmas time. 

The play sparked some conversation about building their own tree houses because they loved how the Lost Boys were able to live in one! So they decided that their dads must work together to build each of them a tree house. We got started talking about blue prints and making materials lists and the project actually ended up becoming a two day process! It was great and completely spontaneous!

We brought the puppy home on Tuesday! Boy was that a long day! We drove around 12 hours round trip; and looking back on it I can't believe that we actually made it through that flawlessly. 

Ferdinand is currently potty trained (on pee pads) but loves to mark his territory all over the apartment! His only downfall... he cannot stay his his crate or alone without crying and panicking. Not your normal crying puppy, panic, the vet told us that we would have to move very slowly so the panic attacks don't cause him to get sick. So we've had lots of close time and are gradually moving to spending time independently. 

On Friday I went to an Arbonne party and I had the opportunity to get my makeup done professionally! It was so much fun and although it set me a tad bit outside of my comfort zone!

So this is what I ended up loving out of all the different products that were used on me. I do have to warn you that it is cakey when it goes on but it does set into your skin within 10 to 15 minutes. Also it is a tad bit on the expensive side but the materials are all natural and I think for a foundation it is worth it! I am the shade buff and that is what is on my face in the photo above. The foundation is $42 and you can get it here.

Happy Sunday! Have a great week :)

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pinterest Overhaul

So I have been wanting to re-organize my Pinterest boards for a while now. The covers that I had made just weren't cutting it for me anymore and I had started several new boards that still needed covers so today I decided to overhaul all of them and start from scratch. This process took much longer than it had to though... I tried making these many different ways before I finally found the best way.
This is where I started. I found this wonderful pin with all the dimensions for many social media website. It is so helpful when designing aspects of your webpages! 

Now, I was planning on creating my images in Adobe Photoshop when I started but stumbled upon this lovely blog post before I got too far in!


This blog post saved me so much time! I started making my board covers in Powerepoint right away. It was so easy - all I had to do was size the slides to 4.7 in X 3 in and then go to town with the cute fonts, backgrounds, and borders.

I am going to stop here for a moment for a side note, because in addition to finding the wonderful blog post I also found a wonderful link party through 4th Grade Frolics - Monday Made It! 

Fourth Grade Frolics

See my Monday Made It post HERE when it goes live 2/23!

Okay, back to business! I am going to guide you through the steps for the creating the Pinterest boards via the photos below. It's super simple - feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and I will do my best to help you out.

Click on Themes

Click on Slide Size, then Page Setup on the drop down menu.

Click Save As, then choose PNG. Also save as a PowerPoint Presentation so you can go back and add covers for your new boards. 

After you save it as a PNG file it will show up in a folder on your desktop and will look like this:

Next you need to log into your Pinterest account. Go to your boards and click on one. Click add new pin and this will pop up! 
You need to click on your device. It will allow you to upload a photo. Choose the correct cover from the file that was create with the PNG images in it. Give it a description and go back to your main page. 

Click on the board you just added your cover to and then click on the edit button. 

This page will pop up and you will need to click on Change Cover. 

Choose your image you just added, then click save changes. 

You will see this screen again, but this time you will click Save Changes. And that's it! Repeat the process for the rest of the boards you have. 

Now, I do have one disclosure to make; this process takes FOREVER! It took me well over 2 hours to create all of them and then update the covers on my page. The good news is that once you do the overhaul uploading them will be quite simple and quick for new boards. My previous covers were made on PicMonkey (no way to save them in editable form) so it took much longer to create those for new boards and I quickly fell behind in my upkeep.

I did color code my boards to work for me mostly, but I also think that it will be helpful for my followers as well. Here's how I did it if you need some ideas:

Check out the look of my Pinterest page now! It makes me smile :)

If you are interested stop over, follow some boards if you would like! I am always looking for new boards to follow - leave yours in your comment below!

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