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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vegas or Bust!

Two weeks ago, I had the joy of going to Las Vegas for SDE's "I Teach 2nd Grade" conference and the "Teachers Pay Teachers" (TPT) conference. If you have never been to any of the SDE events, I highly recommend them. They are well worth the money. They are great about bringing in fantastic presenters that are experts in their topics. 

The first part of my time in Vegas was spent at the "I Teach 2nd" conference. This was the first year that SDE did this conference, and I sure do hope they keep it going. I learned so many great things that I am excited about taking back to my classroom this fall, like making my lessons more engaging and improving vocabulary instruction. We also got to meet and hear from some awesome celebrity teachers.

Here is my friend Tricia and I with Cara Carroll from the First Grade Parade. We also got to spend some time with our friends at Go Noodle (left pic). You must check out their site for brain breaks if you have not yet. My students love getting to have Go Noodle time.

Here we got to meet Mr. Greg from the Kindergarten Smorgashboard 

And finally we got to meet Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants. Every one of these teacher celebrities were so sweet and excited to meet lil 'ol us. It was such an amazing experience to get to attend this wonderful conference! 

On Wednesday, I attended the huge Teacher Blogger Meet up. I always enjoy attending this event, but I usually get overwhelmed with the large number of people who attend. In the pic below, you can see how big this ballroom is and how many people were there. I think the final count was 1,100 teachers. Now that is a lot of teachers. 

I am really glad I attended because I got to meet this sweet girl, Ali from cupcakes & teaching. We both were a little shy about this huge event which allowed us to get along great. We were even kind of matching!

I also actually won one of the raffle prizes. What?! I never win, and Ali had to tell me that they called my number. 

Thursday was when all the TPT fun began. We started out the day with some grade level networking and boy oh boy, was I nervous. This shy girl does not do well with new situations and new people, but I stepped outside of my comfort zone and met lots of new people. I was so proud of myself. I was even able to go to lunch with some old and new friends. 

We had so much fun at lunch! You must go and check out these amazing girls if you do not already follow them. Molly from Lessons with Laughter, Sandy from Soaring Through Second, Angela from Lights, Camera, Teach, Lawren from Teaching is a Royal Adventure,  Beth from A Kindergarten Life for Me, and Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools

During the sessions, I won another raffle! I was surprised when my number was called again! What, I won again? Too bad I did not go and gamble. I was on a roll!

If Vegas was not in the cards for you this year, i hope you can go next year. It was such a great experience, and I learned so many great things to improve with my TPT adventure and to take back to my classroom. It was so much fun to be around other amazing teachers who have the same passion as me! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

End of the School Year Blog Hop

Hi everyone! I am linking up with some awesome Southern California teachers to talk about the wonderful place that we live. Southern California is great! We have the best weather and some pretty amazing places to visit. 

During the summer you can always find me at the beach or pool. I just love the summer and the sun!

Another favorite place for us to go is Disneyland. My husband works there so we go a lot whenever I am not in school.  We love to go on our own and with our family and friends!

My husband and I also just enjoy being together! We always create a bucket list of things we want to do during the summer. This year a couple of the places we have on the list are the Getty and the Huntington Library. 

Well now lets get to the fun stuff! Click on the link below to head over to my freebie for you. Then make sure that you visit all of the other blogs and see what their favorite things to do in Southern California. Also make sure to collect their great freebies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 15, 2015

2gether we are better: Parent Communication

Today I am linking up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners to talk all about Parent Communication. 

I think this topic is so important and I am so excited that Ashley and Angie have chosen it for this month. 

There are several ways that I keep in touch with my Parents. The first thing that I do is I have a homework journal that goes home each week. This lets the parents know what is happening for the week. It also lets the parents know what the spelling words are for the week. 

The parents and students love having all the important information for the week on page. 

I also use a behavior calendar to let parents know how the students are behaving each day. 
This calendar is great because the students color in their clip chart color each day and then I can write little notes to let the parents know how they are doing. I also really like the number code at the bottom of the chart. This makes it easy to quickly write the number of how the student did for the day and the parents can quickly look at the code. 

This year I am teaching at a low income school and many parents do not really have access to technology. For next year I would like to try out remind. It will allow you to write your parents without having to exchange numbers. 

I would also like to try out google classroom. It allows the teacher to add things to the calendar. This gives the parents and students the opportunity to check what is happening in class. It also allows the students to turn in assignments and for the teacher to grade them and return them to the students all over the internet. I look forward to trying this out next year. 

How do you keep in touch with parents? What do you hope to add to your routine for next year? Come and link up with Ashley and Angie and learn some new things from other teachers. 

Make sure you come visit their blogs on the 2nd of every month and link up your ideas. 
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Surviving Until Summer

Hello there again! I hope that everyone is doing well. I am linking up today with Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle and Michelle from Fabulous in First for their Surviving Until Summer Linky Party. 

I can hardly believe it is only seven weeks until the end of the year. There are lots of great things happening in the classroom and in my personal life to assure that I make it to the end of the school year. 

1. Fun classroom management

The first thing that is happening in classroom is some fun classroom management. Last year I had several boys in my class that were really into baseball so I created this baseball theme management set. 

My students loved this last year and with baseball season just getting started I am sure my students will love it this year as well. If you would like to try out this set just click on the picture. 

2. Go Noodle

We will be doing lots of Go Noodle videos to be sure to get all of our wiggles out. My class loves doing Go Noodle. It is a great way to help our students be ready for learning.

3. PBL (Project Based Learning)

I need to be sure to keep my students engaged and one way to do that is through PBL. I had the pleasure to be trained by the Buck Institute for PBL. I learned so much and it is so fun to see my students get so excited about their learning. We just finished a great unit on force and motion. The kids absolutely loved making their own vehicles and testing them out. 

4. Lots of walks

My husband and I love to take walks in the evening. It is a time for us to be able to talk and catch up about the day. It is a time to relax and enjoy each other. I love our evening walks and it has brought us so much closer. Our walks help to stay calm and have less stress before summer comes. 

5. Essential Oils

I just started using essential oils and I am in LOVE. They are awesome! I first started using them in the classroom. I bought a diffuser and started using a calming blend in the classroom. The first day I used it, it was amazing how calm my class was. They were focused and getting their work done. When I saw how well it was working in my classroom my husband and I started using the oils at our house. We use them mostly at night and for stress relief. The oils really help to make things better before we get out for summer. 

I hope these ideas help you to make it till summer. Before we know it, summer will be here. We can do it!


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