Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blog T-shirt

I recently ordered a blog t-shirt after my new blog design was finished and I wanted to share it with you all!


I ordered my shirt from A+ Images, Inc. Here is their main website http://www.aplusimages.com/. I was able to design my own t-shirt here: http://designtool.aplusimages.com/. I chose to use the color pink and my blog and TPT logo. It was a very easy website to use. On the design page, I just chose the color I wanted, inserted the picture of my logo and was done! I would highly recommend this website if you are seeking to create your own blog t-shirt for the next TPT or SDE conference that you attend.

There are also many other t-shirts to order from their websites. I found a lot of cute ones! You can check them out here: http://www.teachershirts.com and http://www.classroomfaces.com.


Here is a closer look at my shirt!

Check it out!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Currently

Two whole months have gone by!!! I cannot believe I haven't blogged in this long. Since then my blog has had a facelift. Thanks to Lindsey Paull at L. Paull Designs for All  for creating my new blog design! I love it! And now for my first post with the new design: my October Currently!


Listening: I LOVE watching Friends! I know I have written that on my blog many times before, but chances are, if I am working on my blog or my TPT store, I am watching Friends on Netflix.

Loving: Finally, we are starting to cool off down here in Texas. Not quite the fall weather I was used to up in Illinois, but getting into the 70s and 80s during the day is such a relief.

Thinking: I recently went to a professional development training by Anne Beninghof and I loved her ideas! She provided us with many ways to engage our students with little to no prep on our part. I can't wait to try out some new ideas this week!

Wanting: As always, I am in need of some relaxation time. I desperately needed a nap the other day, but just couldn't fall asleep. I am the type of person who does not know how to relax; I constantly am doing things. I want to relax, just don't know how!

Needing: I recently posted on my Facebook page that I am struggling to find the motivation to work on TPT products during the school. I am in the middle of a project right now, but finding the energy and motivation to work on the project is difficult.

Boo-tiful: I love getting dressed up and going out to dinner with my husband. I love date nights!

Now it's your turn to link up with Farley!


Have a great week!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Currently

I cannot believe I haven't blogged in an entire month! I was doing so well. But then, I actually switched grades again (back to first! :), went to Dallas for a weekend, and have now been busy in the classroom setting everything up. But I still have time to link up with Farley for this month's currently!


Listening: I am listening to the dishwasher in the kitchen. Otherwise, nothing else is going on.

Loving: Reading Notching Up the Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser with Melissa Lynn BlockThis is how I will be structuring my classroom from now on. No clip charts, no prize box, no coupons: just encouragement each and every day. Authentic encouragement, resets, and lots of time-in, not time-out! A great read for teachers and parents alike!


Thinking: My office space WAS clean. I started bringing things in to school, I was throwing things away, I was stuffing putting things in my closet to try and hide the mess. But it all came back. We are actually having company over, which means more than the usual stuff is in this room.

Wanting: A snack, perhaps some pretzels and hummus. Yum!

Needing: More time in the summer! I go back Monday!

B2S RAK: I am planning to do a few small gifts for my students on Meet the Teacher night. I also want to get a small gift for the other teacher in my first grade team. This is my first year working with another teacher in the same grade level as me, and I want to start off the year with kindness!

Now it's your turn to link up with Farley!


Have a great rest of your weekend!

Michelle

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

Oh.my.goodness. It is already JULY!! I'm starting to feel the need to organize and plan and decorate and everything else school related. Hence, my Target trip earlier this afternoon. But first, there is always time to link up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's currently!


Listening: So I went shopping earlier and there was no rain. Apparently, it rained while I was in the store checking out the One Spot. No rain when I left. I got home and inside and then the rain just came down. So it is nice and loud and even making the lights flicker a little bit. Not a fan of this weather. Not a fan.

Loving: As I mentioned, I just went to the Target One Spot. And I got all of this cool stuff! (More to come on that later.)

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Thinking: I am thinking about this weekend and all of the great plans we have. Parades, fireworks, hamburgers, friends, etc. What a great holiday!

Wanting: I have had a chocolate craving for two days and I don't seem to have any in the house!

Needing: I recently moved all of my teacher/TPT related items into our spare bedroom. This has now become my office so as to keep the mess in the living room to a bare minimum. However, I keep going to the store and buying more things and making more things (Did you see my curtains?!) and need a place to put all of it. Not to mention, we are having company over this weekend, so I should probably move my classroom library out of the hallway leading into the guest bathroom. So where do you think it will go? In my office. There is just not enough room for all of my things!

All Star: I am an expert in procrastination. There are many things that I will gladly do right away, such as eating haha. However, when it comes to housework, cleaning, packing, unpacking, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, etc., I try to avoid it.

Well, there you have it! Now it's your turn to link with Farley!


Michelle

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rock Your First Year of Teaching Linky

I am SO excited to take part in this linky hosted by Teaching With Crayons and Curls and My Mommy Reads


It seems like just yesterday that I was getting my first teaching job, but that was already three years ago! This will be my FOURTH year of teaching. I have taught kindergarten, first grade, and now I'll be venturing into preschool this year! And even though I'm not a first-year teacher anymore, and I feel much more comfortable in the classroom, it's almost like starting over again when you start a new grade for the first time. So I decided to participate in this linky, not only to give advice, but to receive advice as well! I also have a sister-in-law who will be a first-year teacher this year, so hopefully this advice helps her out as well!


1. Take time for yourself: In the midst of all of the planning and decorating for your new classroom, it is important to stop and take a breather. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself, because nothing in the classroom matters if you're not doing well yourself. So make sure to exercise, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. Also, take time to read a book (for fun!) or take part in a hobby that you enjoy.

2.  Plan extra: I remember planning for the first day of school, as well as subsequent days, and always trying to make sure that I had enough for the students to do. Especially those first few days/weeks, you want to make sure the students are busy. So, my solution is to over plan. Have a project ready or an extra book to read aloud to the students. Plan in some extra recess time, or other ice breakers for the students to get to know one another. I know in my preschool class this year, our first few days will be spent at various centers because it is something easy to plan for, but also gives me a way to see how the students interact with others, while still teaching them the procedures for using centers correctly. Plus, it's always easier to move a lesson or activity to the next day than to have 30 minutes with nothing to do.

3. Create a sub tub: My first two years of teaching I did not have a sub tub. I was also only absent when I knew in advance, so I had time to plan. However, this past year, I had to take a day off due to my husband going into the emergency room during the night. Needless to say, I didn't make it to school the next day nor did I have time to prepare anything in advance for a sub. So this is where a sub tub came in. I had made it during the first few weeks of school. I put in a book and a graphic organizer, some math worksheets, and a fun science activity. I also had my schedule and routines printed out, so the students and sub would know exactly what to do. I felt so much better knowing that I had that tub the day I was absent! It was worth the peace of mind.


1. Don't try to do everything your first year: Try not to stretch yourself too thin with too many activities right from the start. Also, don't feel like you need to have everything perfect in your classroom. It takes many teachers, myself included, time to find out how they like things and to stock up on supplies and decor for the classroom.

2. Don't be afraid to ask for help: I remember when I first started teaching kindergarten and I had no idea how to start teaching phonics. There were so many opinions out there and I didn't know how the school wanted it to be done. So I went next door and asked for help. I was pointed in the right direction and I felt so much better. When in doubt about something, ask. Find a few teachers, make friends, and then ask them your questions!


Read professional development books: Before I started teaching, a book was recommended to me. It was The First Days of School by Harry Wong. This book had so many ideas for classroom management, running procedures, and finding success in the classroom. I then reread the book after my first year of teaching. I thought this book was very helpful. Not only that, but a few weeks into my first year, I was introduced to The Daily Five by a friend at my school. I bought the book, read it, and started the Daily Five within the week. I was so inspired by the books I read for my own professional development.

Now head back to Teaching with Crayons and Curls or My Mommy Reads to read the rest of the advice in the link-up!

Teaching with Crayons and CurlsMy Mommy Reads

Michelle


Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday

It's been awhile since I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for their Five for Friday, but I figured I had plenty to say and plenty of time to write about it since it's summer!

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I have been working like crazy to get things printed and laminated for my new class. Moving to a new grade is a lot of work!

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My fish, Bravo, got a clean tank yesterday! Yay!

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I made my first homemade pizza the other day. It was delicious! 

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I bought these Twistables colored pencils while I was home on vacation. Because everyone loves to color! (Here are my adult coloring pages as well).

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I finally started reading this summer. My first novel is Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. I love her writing!

What are you up to this Friday? Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching here.

Have a great weekend!

Michelle

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Curtains!!

Recently, I was reading a post over at Teach Create Motivate about her DIY curtains. I thought to myself how great it would be to make my own. I already had fabric from last year that I used around my guided reading table. I already had ribbon from a bunting I made for the classroom. All I needed was two tension rods and a bit more ribbon.


I gathered everything together, turned on Friends, and got started!

In about 45 minutes, I had created these!





Here, I put them up against my window to show you what they would look like hanging up.

I can't wait to put these in my room! Thank you, Ashley!

Check out her original post, here.

Michelle


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Dollar Tree Finds

I finally made it out to the Dollar Tree (it's not far from where I live, but with summer and all, I get very laaaaazy). Anyways, I knew that I wanted to scope out what they had for back to school. And I always prepare myself to spend some money. It's for the kids, right? Right. So I went in and walked right past the baskets. I thought, there is no way I'll be buying so much that I'll be needing one of those. WRONG. I started out small, with the new tubs and containers. But then, I went down the teaching aisle and I honestly think there is something new there every time I go! So here is everything I bought and my plans for how I will use said items.

So I started with some small orange tubs. I already have some round blue ones (my classroom theme is orange, blue, and gray). I don't have a plan for these yet, but they will most likely be used to hold small items for centers.


Speaking of centers, I found these adorable school erasers! I thought they would be great to use with my back to school roll and cover packet.


 Then, I saw these small dry erase boards. I love that I can get 4 of them for $1! Great price!


Now, I'm not sure if these letters are magnetic or not, but it doesn't really matter. My plans are to use them in a sensory bin with rice. The students can find the letters and give the name or the sound of the letter. I can also put them in a small tub for students to spell sight words. If they are magnetic, I would put them in a word work center with my magnetic whiteboard so students can make words.


Another great item for a sensory bin is these foam numbers. Again, students can search for them in the rice bin and then put the puzzle together. I already have an alphabet foam puzzle (also from the Dollar Tree) that will serve a similar purpose.


I always love finding cute games. The first game is for number matching and the second is for matching shapes and colors, both of which I'll need next year in preschool.


This is a chair cover! I thought this was adorable and a great way to celebrate a student's birthday!


These pom poms will also serve a special purpose in a center.



I saw a couple of fun activities that I thought would be great for reinforcing color recognition skills as well as fine motor skills.



Egg carton colour sorting trays

All of these are on my summer to-do list!

Did you find anything interesting at a dollar store near you? Please share in the comments below!

Michelle





Monday, June 22, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge #2: Dare to Dream!

I am very excited to link up again for the #TPTSellerChallenge! It is now Week 2: Dare to Dream. This week I am challenged to blog about my great hopes, desires, and dreams for my TPT/blog business.


So here they are: my hopes and dreams!


1. Ever since my husband and I moved away from Illinois, we are always looking for ways to visit home. TPT has provided us with extra money for plane tickets to go home. Not only that, but we have been able to take small mini-vacations on the weekends as well.

2. One of my goals is to stay at home with my future children. My TPT business will definitely help with this dream of mine. It will be nice to earn a little extra on the side, even though I won't be in the classroom teaching.

3. It is also a dream of ours to move into a house within the next few years, and growing my TPT business has a lot to do with that dream as well.

4. I also plan to improve my business. When I first started this journey, I felt like I wasn't making anything because I was buying the Premium Seller account on TPT, paying for blogging school, and purchasing clip art. Now, I want to spend a little bit of money to upgrade my blog. At first, it was very difficult to spend that money because it was going into the unknown. I didn't know if my store would take off, or what the results would be. Now that I have been a Premium Seller for over a year, I believe that the initial investment is so worth it. I only wish I would have done it sooner! Now I plan to buy more clip art and a new blog design to keep improving my business. The more I do these things, the more I can feel my creative juices flowing with new ideas!

What a great topic for the second week of the TPT Seller Challenge! Hopefully it will kickstart me into blogging more {after all, that was my New Year's Resolution! Ha!}.


Thank you again to these ladies for hosting such a great link up:


Michelle