Thursday, August 28, 2014

Teaching with Intention: Chapter Two

This chapter is all about aligning your beliefs about teaching with your practices. This is not easy to do!! It can take time and work to define your beliefs and then set about trying to actually put them into practice, to align them with your teaching. Some teachers walk into the classroom with beliefs on day one, others may have thought about it but may not know exactly what they believe, and still others may have never given their specific beliefs about teaching a second thought at all. 
I was one who walked in with beliefs on the very first day. I knew exactly how I wanted to teach and what values I wanted to instill in my students, however then I hit the wall of time and testing and curriculum requirements, and it became harder and harder to teach they way I had dreamed I would. It is not an easy job being a teacher, but it is oh such an important one. We must try to and find some sort of way to rise above the stress of the what the district requires of us. Do I have all of the answers? Absolutely not! However reading this book has helped me begin thinking once again about my beliefs and values, and how I can make sure to pass these on to my students. 
Do you have specific beliefs about teaching? Have you aligned them with your teaching or are you still working on it? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Teaching with Intention: Chapter One

I am so excited to be participating in this book study hosted by Amanda Wilp from The Primary GalThis will be my second year staying home with our amazing little guy, and while I love and adore it and am so very, very thankful that we have made it work, I do still miss the classroom {however this feeling pales in comparison to my desire to stay home with the babe}. I hear this will fade after being out for a few years but that's hard to imagine. It is especially hard now, when I would be setting up my room, getting ready for a new group of eager young minds. This book has been a wonderful way to help me feel connected to the classroom still and really has me thinking about some things that I would like to change when I do go back.

We are reading Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practices, Taking Action by Debbie Miller. In chapter one she describes walking into a 3rd Grade classroom in Ohio, and oh does it sound like a lovely classroom. Here are some of the things she focuses on in chapter one.

My ideal classroom is full of bright, warm colors, full of children's independent and group work, full of engaging images and print. It draws you in and makes you want to look around at what we are learning and exploring. Every year I tried very hard to do these things in my classroom. One of the things that I will strive to be better at is organizing the literature for the students. 

When I first started teaching I was always worried that my kids were too loud when administration would do their classroom walk throughs. I knew my kids were learning and talking about academics (for the most part!), but would they? During one formal observation I apologized to my principal, and he said "Why are you sorry? These kids are being loud because they are so excited about the lesson. I would much rather hear noisy children who are learning than quiet ones." Of course there is absolutely a time and place for quiet learning, but I understood what he meant. It was a wonderful moment for me! My ideal classroom is one where the sounds of learning ebb and flow and create music of the room. 

I just love this quote! I have had little moments like this in my room, but so often I felt rushed, especially when I taught 1/2 day Kindergarten. We still taught all the academics but had no play time. Personally I strongly disliked this and felt terrible for my little babies. While I often felt rushed, I tried very hard not to let my students feel that. Of course there were times when we were so focused on our lessons/centers that I lost track of time too (aah the times I would forget to set a timer), and we would have to have "super speedy pack up!!" :) 
In a perfect world I would love to have more time ~ time to play, to explore, to learn, to chat about things, to share ideas. It is, of course, up to me as the teacher to facilitate these moments, and is something that I look forward to tackling once again when I go back. 

While I have only read a few chapters of this book so far, I am definitely loving it!! I would LOVE to hear your comments about how your ideal classroom looks, sounds and feels!! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Markdown Monday!!

Good morning Friends!

I am excited to be joining Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations for their Markdown Monday Linky Party!! This week my Fill in the Missing Letters (Print Version) will be marked down from $3.50 to $2.00 until FRIDAY August 22nd!! 

This is a great product for students in Kindergarten, or Firsties who need a quick and easy way to review letter order. Use as Morning Work, Literacy Center work or Homework! Enjoy! Here is a look at the product. 

Diggin' Series Giveaway WINNERS!!

Woohoo!!! What a thrill it was to pick the winners for our Diggin’ Series giveaway! It felt so rewarding  because this random little thing was going to make somebody’s day. It is just as wonderful, if not better, to give than to receive! 

These are our winners:


We thank you for participating, for reading our Diggin’ Series blog posts, and for following us along the way! We are so happy and excited to have you all as new blog and TpT store followers!! 
To all of you:

Have a great, rewarding, joyful school year!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School and Welcome New Friends!

Hello and welcome to all my new friends!!! 
I am so excited to have you join my blog. 
Be on the look out for a little surprise after the HUGE giveaway by Where the Magic Happens is over on the 17th :)

Have you started back to school yet? I am holding a poll on my Facebook Page to see how many of you have already began teaching your new group of kiddos and how many still have a few sweet summer days left. I'd love to hear from you :) 
{Click on the picture below to vote}

Monday, August 11, 2014


I am so excited to have been a part of this awesome series, even though I was only able to post a few times. There are some AMAZING giveaways below!!! Thank you SO much to the incredible Laura from Where the Magic Happens for putting this all together and to all the teachers who participated to bring it to life!!
Now, are you ready?!

 We could hardly wait to end our Diggin’ Series with the BEST giveaway of the season!


Just in case you didn't hear these are our awesome prizes:






Come and join us, as  this is our way to THANK YOU for all your support and friendship! Make sure to share this amazing opportunity with your friends!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Diggin' In ~ 5 Senses Book Pack

Hello Friends!!

Whew, things have been a little nuts lately, sorry for my absence! I am excited to share one of my favorite products for the beginning of the school year with you, and tell you about the AWESOME Giveaway that I am taking part in as a finale to this Diggin' In Series!

Ok, let me tell you a little bit about my 5 Senses Book Pack. I created this because I had students at several different levels of ability. This is especially pronounced in Kindergarten ~ you get some babes coming you who can read at a second grade level and some who don't know the difference between numbers and letters, and can't write their name. I love being able to differentiate for my students while still having them all work on the same project and feel included. With this book pack all the students color the same pages in the same order, they just write different amounts depending on their ability. 

Here are a few examples from my 5 Senses Book Pack

If you like this and think that you like to use it with your students, now's the time to snatch it up! The TpT Back to School SALE starts TOMORROW {Monday the 4th} and my ENTIRE store will be 28% OFF! This book pack is only $1.99 to begin with so that's a pretty sweet deal :) Enjoy!!

Ok, as promised I will now tell you a little bit about the AMAZING giveaway that will be happening August 11th-17th!!
Here are some of the prizes: TpT gift cards, Target gift card {$50.00!!}, Amazon gift card {$100.00!!!!!!}, 31 gift bag, laminator, TpT products!!! Check out Where the Magic Happens for images and a complete list of the goodies!!!