fbq('track', 'ViewContent');
Showing posts with label Teachers pay Teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teachers pay Teachers. Show all posts

5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers

Summer Vacation! 

Some of you have been on vacation for quite a while!

Others just barely started vacation.

Wherever you are on your vacation, it's well deserved, and I hope you're enjoying it!

But there are a few things to accomplish before the summer is over:
5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers: Here are five things that teachers should do in order to make the summer complete.

1. Reflect5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers: Here are five things that teachers should do in order to make the summer complete.

Once you've caught your breath, be sure to reflect on the past year. 

Think about your successes! What made them successful? What could make them even better? Will you try these next year?

Think about the things that didn't work this year. Why didn't they work? What could you have done to make them work? Will you try these next year?

What was the best part of the year?

2. Relax5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers: Here are five things that teachers should do in order to make the summer complete.

You've worked hard and deserve to relax. Give yourself some down time where you don't have to think about anything!

One of my favorite ways to relax is to sit by a body of water and read, with my feet in the sand and a book in my hand! There are plenty of other ways to relax, too! What's your favorite?

3. Have fun!5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers: Here are five things that teachers should do in order to make the summer complete.

It's quite possible that this can overlap with #2, but having fun is essential when you've spent the last 10 months dealing with a stressful job! Lunch with friends, dinner with the husband, or a water park with the family. Whatever is fun for you, it's the time to do it!

Be sure to include something that makes you laugh... it's healthy! A friend of mine refers to laughter is "Vitamin L!" 

Don't forget to take your Vitamin L!

4. Read! 

Summer is really the only time of year I can escape into a book. During the school year, I'm reading books to improve my craft or some other work-related non-fiction. If I try to read for fun, I fall asleep! It's time to escape into a book. I'd love to know about your favorite summer reads!

5. Think ahead!5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers: Here are five things that teachers should do in order to make the summer complete.

Yes, it's not too early to start thinking about the next school year. Maybe not too much yet, but start thinking about what you might expect this coming year. Since you already reflected on this year with #1, it won't be too much trouble to start thinking about the future. 

Enjoy these well-deserved weeks! They'll be gone far too soon!

5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers: Here are five things that teachers should do in order to make the summer complete.

Wondering what will keep them engaged the last week before Christmas?

If you are already on vacation, congratulations for surviving! If you're still going, like I am, you'll be needing something extra special to keep those restless, overtired children engaged!
Wondering what will keep them engaged the last week before Christmas? Here are some ideas freebies, and resources that will keep even the most rambunctious children engaged!

This week we did some STEM activities from this set: S.T.E.M. Activities for December.

The children had a great time creating face warmers for Santa!
Wondering what will keep them engaged the last week before Christmas? Here are some ideas and resources that will keep even the most rambunctious children engaged!

And designing workshops for elves!
Wondering what will keep them engaged the last week before Christmas? Here are some ideas and resources that will keep even the most rambunctious children engaged!

Every student was engaged, plus there was learning going on! Their reflections really showed they were learning about the Engineering Process, as well as learning to work as part of a team. I was proud of their achievements!

There's a lot going on this coming week. (Yes, we go through Friday afternoon at 3:30!) I'll be pulling out all the stops with some of my favorite holiday activities. 

We'll be painting, illustrating, and reading some of my favorite holiday stories. We'll also bring in a little Science and Social Studies with this resource: Science and Social Studies Activities for December.

They'll be reading informational text about the North Pole and about the Aurora Borealis, practicing their mapping skills with a map of the North Pole, sorting Christmas scents, and learning about laws by sorting elf laws.

Besides all this fun, I'll be pulled out of class on Thursday for an IEP meeting, so I'll be assigning some of the pages from this resource: Holiday No Prep Activities.

I can be sure the children will be getting fun practice on important reading, writing, and math skills with these! 

If all else fails, it's time to pull out the glitter! (Yes, I plan to!)

Of course, I hate to leave for vacation without being ready for that first week back! Here are a couple of resources I'll be pulling out at the beginning of January!

Thank You Cards

These may be going out of style for some, but grandparents still prefer a handwritten thank you card. Who doesn't want to keep grandparents happy?

Here's a little something extra they can do with these calendars!

Wondering what will keep them engaged the last week before Christmas? Here are some ideas and resources that will keep even the most rambunctious children engaged!

Wondering what will keep them engaged the last week before Christmas? Here are some ideas freebies, and resources that will keep even the most rambunctious children engaged!

I Won Big in Vegas!

I won big in Vegas! No, not THAT way, but I did spend $6.00 to come home with this:
Yes, that says 24 cents. I could have cashed it in, but I thought the voucher was a much more entertaining souvenir!

So the gold I came back with wasn't cash, it was far more valuable. It was knowledge!

Honestly, many of these things I knew, but this was reinforced by my 4 days in Vegas with teachers!

The Golden Nuggets from Vegas:

1. Collaboration! There is strength in numbers. When teachers (or anyone) share ideas and work together, supporting each others efforts, everyone wins! This concept was truly evident this week. I saw  many cases of teachers giving "shout outs" suggestions, advice, and encouragement to other teachers, and it warms my heart. I've never been much of a competitive person. I'd much prefer that we all get along and work together, which I've always found to work best!

2. Work With Good People! The above picture is a great example of what I mean by "Good People"! The person on the right is Paul Edelman, the man who created Teachers Pay Teachers. He gave the Keynote address at the Teachers Pay Teachers conference and made it clear he has gone out of his way to hire "good people". He clearly has, and there's no question that he is one himself! (I showed him a picture of my lovely daughter, whose college career is a reality because of TpT! We had a great conversation!)
On the left is Deanna Jump, the #1 seller of Teachers Pay Teachers. I'm lucky to have met Deanna at last year's get together, and was sitting right up front for her part of the Keynote address. She told her story, and it was clear to all that she is a good person! She's humble, genuine, and down to earth. I met many people over the last few days that met that description! 

3. Take Risks! Yep, I always knew that taking risks is important, but I was way out of my comfort zone for a lot of this week. I'm basically an introvert, and I'm often shy, especially around people I don't know well. Wednesday night was the blogger meet up. There were several hundred teachers, all talking at once, most of whom I'd never met. My natural instinct is to run away when it comes to large groups, but I bit the bullet and started chatting and circulating! I'm so glad I did! I talked to people that I've "known" for years online through blogs and facebook, but I finally met them face to face! There were others I wasn't familiar with, and I'm glad that has changed! I forced myself to go right up to strangers, introduce myself, ask them about themselves, and pushed myself to keep circulating. I'm so glad I did!

4. Have something Memorable! Despite Rachel Lynette's suggestion to keep profile pictures "professional", I'm glad I have used the picture I have, which is far from professional looking! (Rachel DID give her disclaimer: "If something is working for you, keep doing it!) I've used my silly pose as my profile picture for a while, and more people recognized my picture than remembered my name or my logo. That taught me I needed to keep using this picture, because I want to be remembered! I suspected this was the case, so I made nametags with that picture on it, and wore them most of the time in Vegas! 
I have to admit, that silly picture represents me as a teacher. I'm pretty animated, energetic, and fun. I've even been known to tap dance on a table to hold the kids' attention!
I also made a point to include my maiden name on my nametag, since I chat with many teachers on facebook, and that's the name I use. Most people are visual, so even if they can't remember it, they'd recognize it!

5. The Best Form of Professional Development is Talking to Other Teachers! I doubt there are any teachers who don't agree with this one! I went to 4 valuable sessions sponsored by Teachers Pay Teachers on Friday. I learned a lot from those sessions. I can honestly say I learned even more from the times I got together with other teachers. We had the blogger get together on Wednesday (which I met a lot of people, but actual conversations were tough because it was crowded and LOUD!) We had the Happy Hour on Friday, plus, many of us got together for meals and activities. We had some amazing conversations at these get togethers. Topics included our classrooms,  Whole Brain Teaching, blogging, facebook, TpT ideas, Instagram, and even a few non-teaching ideas, such as weddings, divorces, our children, and the men in our lives! Honestly, those get togethers are the times I'll remember the most, and were the most valuable to me professionally.

6. Leave Room for Swag! What you see in the above right picture is only part of what I brought home with me! Yes, I somehow managed to get that suitcase closed, but it was a real struggle! My roommate, Heather from HoJo's Teaching Adventures managed to have a good chuckle while I sat on my bag and struggled to zip it!

7. There's No Place Like Home! I've always felt the best part of any trip is coming home. I had 4 fabulous days in Vegas with hundreds of AMAZING teachers, but it sure was good to be home! Even though it's all over, no one can ever take those memories away from me.  

One more piece of advice: if you're like me and find it impossible to sleep on a plane, don't take the "red eye". At some point I may get enough rest and start feeling human again, but I don't think that will be this week!

Ten Ways I Have Grown as a Teacher from Blogging

This will be my tenth set of ten!

If you haven't been following my blog, I decided to celebrate my 100th blog post by making ten lists of ten.  I've written about lots of things lately including blogs that inspire me, great children's books, brain based learning strategies,  motivating students, picture prompts,  things for students to work on during reading groups, learning games, things to do with a list of 1,000 numbers, and test taking ideas and strategies.  I have to say, it's been an adventure and an inspiration.  I've had no problems coming up with ideas, and I'm feeling pretty good about these blog posts!  I hope you have liked them as well.

Being a reflective person, I decided I want my tenth set of ten to be a reflection on the blogging experience so far.  Here are my Ten Ways I Have Grown as a Teacher from Blogging!

1.  Blogging has reminded me of the need for teachers to share.  I've been lucky to become acquainted with lots of other teacher bloggers.  (Much of this is due to Charity Preston's Teaching Blog Traffic School, which has given me most of the inspiration and knowledge that I have about this blogging stuff!)  Chatting with other teachers and exchanging ideas and strategies makes teaching so much easier as well as so much more fun.  Within the blogging community, there are incredible teachers who are more than willing to share ideas.  It's always been my philosophy in teaching to share ideas with anyone who asks.  Unfortunately not all teachers feel this way, but I'm always honored when others like my ideas.  I'm also enthusiastic about helping ALL children learn, not just my own class.  I've never been in this for the personal glory, I'm in this for the kids.

2.  I've made teacher friends around the world, at many different grade levels.  As I mentioned, there are plenty of teacher bloggers in this teacher blog community.  Now although I've never met many of these people, I know a lot about them!  Between reading their blogs, and following their tweets, facebook pages, and Pinterest pages, I feel they are friends.  Yikes, that almost sounds like I'm a stalker!  I'm really just a person who enjoys getting to know people, especially teachers!  We share a common bond.  As a lover of social studies, when a place comes up in conversation or in a book, I can tell the kids... I know a teacher from ... and the kids are thrilled!  (Brain research teaches us the importance of making those connections!)

3.  I learn from teachers at completely different grade levels.  I come from a family of teachers, and I always find it interesting to see how much I have in common with my brother, who teaches at the college level, and my sister who teaches at the high school level.  In fact, I'm always amazed at how much I had in common with my Dad, who was a high school football coach!  The size of the student really doesn't matter that much.  Teachers are caring people and have many of the same strategies and concerns no matter how big the student is, or what they are teaching. Since I've been blogging, I do tend to visit mostly blogs of teachers who are in the primary years, like myself, but I visit a lot of other teacher blogs where the content is far from beginning readers and writers.  Yes, I even learn from physics teachers and algebra teachers!

4.  I've learned more computer tricks.  I certainly haven't mastered HTML yet, but I understand it better, and have become acquainted with lots of little tricks and websites since I've been blogging.  There are things I do regularly now that I never would have tried a couple of years ago.  I certainly have a long way to go, but I've really learned a lot, and plan to continue learning!  (The way technology keeps changing, continuing to learn really isn't an option anyway!)

5.  I'm more focused on how children learn.  One of the topics that always catches my attention is brain based learning.  I've found lots of wonderful resources on this topic, and I'm developing an understanding of how the brain works.  In fact, I like to think I'm becoming an expert on brain based learning.  (Although I admit, putting that in writing makes me nervous, as I also know how much more there is to learn, that even scientists don't know yet!)

6.  Putting myself in the place of the learner forces me to think about learning.  As a teacher, I know what it's like to want the learner to learn.  As a learner, I can remember the challenges, frustrations, and successes of the learning process.  Since blogging involves a lot of learning, it gives me a stronger connection with my students:  I know what it's like to be them!

7.  I've been making better materials for my own students.  I've always made things for my students.  Of course, all teachers do this.  But now I find myself making things with a little more care, thinking that there must be other teachers out there who could also use this.  I find myself thinking, how could I make this so that more levels could use it, or so that larger groups could participate, or how could a teacher differentiate for lower/ higher students.  So I make it a little more detailed, with a little more thought, and I put it up on Teachers Pay Teachers as a freebie for anyone who might be able to use it.  Then I find myself looking at other materials on the same topic, looking for ways to improve upon it even more!

8.  I have plenty of free teaching materials at my fingertips.  Sites such as Teachers Pay Teachers, Classroom Freebies, several Pinterest boards and several teacher blogs I visit (see The Cornerstone for Teachers) are constantly giving out freebies.  I'm always amazed by how many games and activities teachers make that practice and develop the same skills my kids are working toward.  There's a whole lot of great stuff out there, and most of it is free!  The more I explore teacher blogs, the more I know exactly where to find just what my kids need!  (If I can't find it, I'll make it, and share it with someone else!)

9.  I've learned about Whole Brain Teaching  With all my reading on how the brain works, I've discovered Whole Brain Teaching!  Visit their site, check out a few of their free videos and free materials, and see how they've taken research on the brain and put it into classrooms for optimum learning.  I'm totally hooked!  I even attend their weekly live Webinars every Tuesday at 8 pm!  (But they can be watched anytime!)  I use many of the Whole Brain Teaching techniques in my classroom, and I couldn't be happier.

10.  I do more reflecting on my own teaching.  I've always been a naturally reflective person, but now that I'm a teacher blogger, I am even more reflective.  My own experiences in the classroom are what inspires my blog posts.  As I go through the day, I'm always thinking... would this be interesting to blog about..?  Would other teachers benefit from reading a discussion on what happened in reading today..?  I'll bet other teachers would love to hear how my students reacted to this book...  and so on.  I'm constantly reflecting on how I can make my classroom the best it can be, and how I can share it with other teachers.

How has blogging or blog hopping affected your teaching?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...