Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tell All Tuesday: Summer Snapshot!

Happy Tuesday!! Last week was so fun linking up with My Day in K and Teach, Talk, Inspire for Tell All Tuesday and I am excited to be back again! Today the linky is about our Summer Snapshot! This summer has been full of fun and exciting things for me so choosing one that sums it up was a little hard!!

 Here it is! 

For starters, my sister got married!! All of the planning and the appointments came down to this beautiful day! It was the most amazing experience and I am so glad that I was a part of it. I have never had as much fun as I did with my family that night! We spent the whole time either taking pictures in the photobooth, singing on stage with the band (some of us had real talent!), and dancing the night away...literally! It was amazing to see almost every single person was on the dance floor for the whole night and that alone made it a great time. It was definitely a night to remember and the highlight of my summer! I cannot wait for another family wedding!

The other part of my snapshot is from my summer volleyball league! A group of teachers from my school decided to join our park district's summer volleyball league for fun, emphasis on the FUN!!! We play every week and laugh so much I sometimes can't stand up. I am glad we know how to have fun because we really don't know how to play volleyball...haha Let's just say we are a sight to see!! Thankfully, most of the teams we play enjoy our humor and make the games fun, even if we don't win ;)

Thanks for checking out my post!! Make sure to link back up and share your Summer Snapshot! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tell All Tuesday 2.0: 7/12/16

I am so excited that the summer linky party with Teach, Talk, Inspire and My Day in K is back!! I love their linky topics and linking up with so many fun teachers! It has been a busy summer so getting back in the game with these fun summer linky is just what I need!!!

I am excited to kick it off with sharing two truths and one lie! Have fun and good luck trying to figure out which is which ;)

1. Originally when I went into college, I wanted to teach high school.

2. My favorite food is cheeseburgers.

3. When I worked at a local ice cream shop, we were robbed and held at gun point. 

Believe it or not, it is actually really hard to come up with these!!
Which is my lie?!? Leave a comment with your guess!
Thanks for checking out my post! Make sure to link back up and share your Tell-All-Tuesday fun!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Scoop!

Happy Sunday!!! Once again, the weekend seemed to go by with a blink of an eye, but I am ready to head into the week strong! We are finalllllly getting some amazing weather in Central Illinois (WOO!!) which means keeping my kiddos busy and motivating them even more because we ALL know, warmer weather makes for spring fever kinders ;)

Anywho! Here is my scoop for the week!!

Have To Do:
I have lots of set up and prep with the committee for our District's Kindergarten Transition Fair! I also have to get our ABC Countdown started and make sure I have all of the materials and items prepped for the week! One last thing that I have to do is get ready for our field trip to the zoo! My little rays are SO excited and ready to go to the Peoria Zoo and the Peoria Playhouse.

Hope To Do:
I hope to get a manicure this week! This girl's nails are in desperate need of some help ;) I also hope to run outside each day! I don't know why, but running outside is always so much easier than being bound to a treadmill!

Love To Do:
I am so excited for my sister's bridal shower!! My aunt is hosting a fun celebration for her and I cannot wait to take part!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Scoop: 4/10/16

Happy Sunday ya'll!!!!! Hope your weekend has been relaxing (who am I kidding, it flies by quicker than imaginable!) My little rays and I survived the first week back from Spring Break better than I thought! Check out my scoop below!

Have to: I have got to get myself signed up for my next grad school class for this summer (boo!). I also have to finalize some of the things that are needed for our District's Kindergarten Transition Fair. I have loved being a part of the committee and getting to see the 'behind the scenes' for how the whole thing gets put together! I also have got to get my wardrobe cleaned out! Time to say buh-bye to all of the clothes I do not wear as well as my winter clothes as I bring out the fun spring and summer ones!

Hope to: I hope to have all of my materials printed and ready to go Monday so that I am prepped and organized for the week! I also hope to get to run outside a few times this week! Running inside is NO comparison to the beauty of the outdoor runs!

Love to: I would love to be able to wear SPRING clothes this week. Considering it is April, it would be nice to finally have some weather that DOES NOT involve my winter coat.

Thank you for checking out my scoop!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What Worked Well Wednesday: Mini Books

I am SO excited to be linking up with Kinder Tribe to take part in What Worked Well Wednesday!! After racking my brain on what to use for this post, I thought of something that I learned recently at the ILASCD Conference and have since implemented!

My students have always enjoyed our writing station during Daily Five. Whether they are doing a write the room, practicing sight words or other activities, they are always engaged and active the whole time. Towards January/February, however, we were kind of hitting a wall! We needed something new and exciting to add some flavor to our writing station. I attended the IL ASCD Conference In the beginning of March and BOOM it hit me! It was actually in the FIRST session that I learned about the newest addition to station: MINI BOOKS! (Pictures will be added!!!)

I was intrigued the moment that Sarah Howe started talking about the mini books and new that they would be a hit! The whole idea behind a mini book is that the students are practicing their parts of a book, being authors and illustrators, and gaining confidence in their writing!

Mini books are essentially 4-8 square pages (and easily less or more to differentiate) of paper stapled together on one side. (Again, pictures WILL be added ;) ) My students are allowed to choose any appropriate topic to write about. We always review how our words and pictures need to correspond and that a pretty picture needs COLOR! At the beginning we were a little stuck on what to write about, but since they have gotten used to it, I have seen SO many different kinds of stories! They are SO proud of their writing and always ask if they can show me, another teacher, or their friends what they produced.

We use the mini books in other areas besides Daily Five. When we read There's a Wocket in My Pocket, we made our own mini book using new rhymes to go along with the book! It was such a fun activity and my little rays loved showing their parents during conferences!

Pictures will be added tomorrow (I am a little scatter-brained!!!)!!

Thanks for checking out WWW Wednesday! LINK UP with Kinder Tribe and share what works well in your room!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Two Months to Go!

Here we are folks! Two months to go until the end of the school year. Whether that means kick it into overdrive or survival mode, here is the friendly reminder that


The question is, how are you going to make it to the end?? Maybe your students are feeling the spring fever, maybe their work is a little on the lazy side, what can YOU do to help motivate, stimulate, and ENGAGE your little rays of sun?!?!!? 

I thought I would put together a few ideas for how I am going to keep my kiddos engaged in our learning, excited, and focused to finish out the year STRONG!!

Stay Organized: Don't let the rainy weather or fact that you are almost done keep you from staying on your A game! You have made it so far to get lazy now!! I always find this is the most important time of year to keep myself organized both personally and professionally. My plan is to stay after on Fridays for about an hour. Hopefully this will give me the time to print my copies for the next week and have materials prepped! This plan will HOPEFULLY keep things running smoothly and will make a few less gray hairs happen ;)

Keep Things Fresh: Fresh & Fun! Even in the end of the year, it is important to hold your kiddos to the same high standards as you have throughout the year. That being said, make it your intention to bring FUN into their learning. The more engaging your lessons and activities are, the less likely that the SPRING FEVER will strike and take down the class!!! I am thrilled to begin our A-Z Countdown that will get us through the last 26 days of school! Besides that, I am making sure that we switch up centers more frequently and am giving my students more partner work to get them using their vocabulary and strategies that they have learned. I am so excited to see them interacting more and more with their peers and using what they have learned to explain their reasoning in both math and reading!!

Set Goals: Setting is goals is a huge way to keep yourself on track and finishing STRONG through the last two months! Not only setting goals for yourself, but helping your students set goals is a major way to keep them motivated, focused, and invested in their learning. We are working on creating our Word Worms (thank you Mr. Greg!!!) to help us really master our sight words as well as upping our A.R. goals so that we are pushing ourselves to read more and strengthening our comprehension!! When your students get to be part of the goal-setting process, they are SO much more likely to stay true to it and put in that extra effort!! While setting goals and throughout the rest of the two months, ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE!! Be your kiddos #1 fan and supporter! Be the cheerleader that pushes them! I know we are all these things for them regardless of the time of year, but NOW is SO important!!!!

Don't Give Up: You are amazing. You are inspirational. You are life changing. You are a beautiful soul. It takes such a special person to dedicate their life (seriously, unless you are a teacher or are married to one, no one will ever understand the amount of time and love we put into our teaching) to helping students. And not just helping students learn math. Not just teaching reading or showing them how to walk in a straight line.  We show these wonderful little beings how to live, learn, and love. How to be a friend, how to desire to be their very best self, and how to NEVER give up. They aren't just a five or six, or however many years old child that you have for 9 months. They are SO much more than that. You defend them, you cry for them, you laugh with them, you push them. They are your children and they make a mark on your life that you will remember forever. Not only that, but YOU made a difference in their life. No matter the child, the behavior, the academic/social/emotional skill or level, you were there for them. They will NEVER forget that. Don't give up now. You are better than that. They deserve your 100% and you CAN do it. After all, teaching is a super power!! 

Can you survive the last two months? What a silly questions, OF COURSE YOU CAN. You are an educator, a motivator, an inspiration. Keep on teaching on because, GIRL, you work it.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Scoop: 4/3/16

Happy Sunday, friends!!! As Spring Break comes to an end for me, I am ready to kick some booty as I head into the April and May (the HOME STRETCH) months! These last two months will absolutely FLY by so I am trying to get myself somewhat on track ;) I am linking up with The Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop!! I love using this as a way for me to kind of keep myself accountable for things I have this week and being able to see what all my teacher friends are up to!!

Have to do:
I am BEYOND excited to start some new guided reading plans! Thanks to one of my biggest inspirations, Deanna Jump, I am totally ready to do an overhaul and tackle the skills my kiddos need EVEN BETTER than before!!! (More to come about that!) I also am on the committee for planning our district-wide Kindergarten Transition Fair. I work with teachers throughout our district to plan an event welcoming incoming kindergarteners and there are a few things left I need to tackle with that! I also need to do LESSON PLANS! A week of Spring Break has me all kinds of backwards so I cannot wait to get my plans laid out and start the week. Did I really just say that????????? Excited for lesson plans?? WHO AM I?

Hope to do:
I really need to get back into reading each night! For a month or so I dedicated about 30 minutes each night to reading a book as a way to unwind and I loved it! It totally relaxed me before bed and reading is one of my favorite hobbies so I definitely need to get back into it! If you have any book suggestions, COMMENT BELOW!!! I need to get my life in general organized. Spring Break always throws be for a loop so I need to sit down, get my personal and professional lives back on track!

Love to do:
I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE MY LITTLE ONES!!!!! A week that was much needed on both ends is plenty of time to make me miss my little rays! I cannot wait to greet them in the morning, hear about their breaks, and get right back into the swing of things.

Thanks for checking out my scoop!!!! Be sure to head back to The Teaching Trio to link up and share yours :)