Saturday, August 27, 2011

TGIF: Freebie Friday...Better Late than Never!

So glad I am doing this linky party.... otherwise I may not have found out about the new TOU for freebies with Scrappin Doodles clipart!  So I just changed a few products' prices on TpT to be in compliance.  So here is a freebie that is at my TpT store.

 Now that I know how to do this, I hope to share more freebies soon.  Unfortunately I am new to creating things to share, as well as blogging so I don't have a lot yet.  I still have many freebies on my Teachers Pay Teachers store, so check it out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three for Thursday

So loving this linky party for teacher week!  I don't know about you, but I am getting a lot of great ideas to use!

Favorite Font

Wow!  Impossible to choose...really just one??  I am not picking one...I refuse!  I have just started using LD Elementary for many documents.  It's the handwriting that I have always wanted!

My teacher friend just introduced me to Appleberry.  A new favorite for titles and big print.  I can't wait to start using it more!

Favorite Blog

Not sure on that one either.  I have many favorites that I I am going to do what Cara did....choose the one that hooked me in to the blogging world....Babbling Abby which of course led to The Inspired Apple.

Favorite Online Resource

Honestly I would have to say that all of these teacher blogs are my favorite online fact that seems to be what I spend most of my time on.  That and bouncing over to Teachers Pay Teachers to check out the freebies on there.  Maybe I need to broaden my online resources by checking out everyone else's favorites!

Now that I have shared my favorites I am going to go check out everyone's favorites!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Advice for new teachers??? no particular order....

1. Always make time for matter the grade you teach.  (Don't be afraid to use silly voices!)

2. If you think of something you need to do (or get or call...) try to write it down right away AND put it somewhere you will see (on your computer monitor?!).  Way too often I think of something important but don't write it down.  This is especially true at the beginning of the year.

3. Don't be afraid to ask for advice or help from your colleagues, especially when trying something out new.  It's always nice to get a fresh perspective on your ideas.  Plus its a great way to start sharing your ideas.

4. Read a Debbie Diller book.  She has so many great ideas that can be used in any grade.

5.  Set a time limit on your nightly blog-stalking : )

6. Try to keep a day for yourself that isn't focused on planning, cutting, tracing, etc.

7. Make friends with the custodians....

8. When in need of supplies ask around first before spending your own money.  Many times I will get things just by asking that aren't being used.

9. Make time to listen to your kiddos stories.

10. Share your life with your is so much easier for them to connect with you when they know your favorite color and food or even what you looked like when you were in first grade.

There are so many tips to share with newbie teachers, but I tried to include ones that aren't typically thought of at the top of the list....if asked for just one tip I am not sure if I could.  For me....the best tip ever is don't forget your Diet Dew in the morning!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

So it's 10 pm and I am just settled in to relax....long day!  We have been at school for a week and today was our Parent Meeting night....really wish we would have had our meeting last week!  Anyways....ready to join the linky party! 

Background Info
I graduated in 1999 with my Bachelor's degree in Elementary and then my Master's degree in 2003.  This will be my 12th year teaching.  I started in 4th for a few years then went to 3rd for 6 years and then 1st.  So this will be my 4th year and I absolutely love it!  I thought I was meant to be in 3rd, but 1st is where it's at.  In fact, I believe all teachers should experience 1st grade at least for a year.
I am married to my sweet husband Ryan.  We have been married for 13 years.  We have a 10 year old Molly who started 5th grade and a 6 year old Brendan that started 1st grade.  We also have a crested gecko named Speedy and a "Borderier" named Daisy.  It's a busy life of taekwondo, soccer, and running!

My family
Taking pictures
Exercising (running/Zumba)
Scrapbooking (although it has been a long time....)

Teachers Pay Teachers
"Bettering" my teaching

Favorite Foods/Drinks
Dr. Pepper (when I want a non-diet drink)
Diet Mt. Dew (my coffee of choice...yes...EVERY morning)
Dark chocolate (Kisses)
Cincinatti Chili
Fresh bread

Favorite "School Stuff"
Power Teaching (Whole Brain Teaching)
Dry Erase boards
Debbie Diller's Workstation books
Blogs for the best teaching ideas
My newly themed room posters

So that's me in a nut shell....oh and I am a night owl so I am having a terrible time adjusting to school time versus summer time! 

Be sure to come back and visit my blog for freebies and teaching ideas!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Poetry Workstation suggestions??

So we started school on Monday and I am ExHaUsTeD!!!  It feels like the longest week ever already....actually I felt like that BEFORE school started.  Starting the school year with a full first week is rough...especially with 22 kiddos ranging in all kinds of levels!  Don't get me wrong...I wouldn't trade any of my sweet students in....I am just all kinds of tired. 

Now that I have that off my chest....the real reason for staying awake and blogging...anyone out there do a poetry workstation??  I really would like to start one (soon) and have even set up a spot with a pocket chart and everything....just not sure what I am doing there.  I would love to hear about your station or even see pics or links to help!!  Looking forward to hearing your ideas...well, that and seeing if anyone is out there??!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finally Done!

So I have been working in my room for several weeks at night after my husband gets home so I don't have to drag my kiddos into the hot school or send them to a sitter and I have been getting home late with no energy left to blog.  I have gotten a lot done, but yet have so much to do...and I have my firsties on Monday!  Better start on those lesson plans....huh?  Here are a few of the things I have been working on...all new this year since I have never done the theme thing before.
My bulletin board outside my room

Jungle Job chart (need pics of my new firsties)

Bulletin board inside my classroom

Classroom library

Obviously where students put their homework folders :)

A portion of my word wall above my windows

The front of my room now that I put up the whiteboard

Math manipulatives

Agenda chart

The view from the doorway

Desks ready for student arrival

The view from my desk

Oops....a project unfinished....voice levels...still need to add level 3&4

My version of a sticker chart....uses stamps...stays right on their desk

**All of the printable things you saw in the pics are for sale in my TpT store....and more!  Please check them out!  (I am going to try to combine all my jungle products to purchase together for a discounted price.)  Also, I do have many things for free in my store as well!

So that's my room....can't wait for my kiddos to show up on Monday!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who knew?

I can't believe I have begun a blog!  I never thought I would....I love reading everyone else's.....who knows if this will even work out?!  So I decided to call my blog A Teacher's Passions and Obsessions because I have a lot of both!  To start with, I am very passionate about my family and children, as well as teaching.  Within my life I have become passionate about the little things as well (more on that later).  As a teacher you become obsessed with certain things and well my biggest obsession like a lot of teachers is fonts!  I love using a variety of fonts and of course have my favorites.  Along with fonts, I am a little obsessed with clipart.  Ok, maybe a lot.  My collection is slowly growing....
I have also become obsessed with Teachers Pay Teachers.  For years my colleagues have told me that I should make a book of some of the things I have made.  I love creating things that organizes my teaching and makes my life easier.  So a few months ago I started posting a few things. My favorite thing that I created is my collection of small group reading plans.  It has made planning easier for me because my choices of things to do for each level is right there in one spot.  I also love having the checklist there for observing my students and helping me decide when to move them on to the next level.  I used to look at several different resources to make great reading plans, but not anymore!  Check them out at my TpT store Carrie's Creations. 

Lesson Plan template front

Student checklist on back

Now that I have started this blog, I hope to keep up with it.  I start school next Friday for a teacher meeting/work day and I still have a lot of things to do to get ready.  I hope to get a little done tomorrow and then maybe I can share what I have been working on for this year!  I have lots of new ideas to implement thanks to the blogging world!