Monday, December 31, 2012

It's almost 2013!

So hard to believe that we will soon be ringing in a new year!  For the most part this has been a good year.  I started this little blog, increased it to 38 followers (and hoping for more), had my first student teacher and really learned so much professionally from both experiences.  I also started running and doing yoga on a regular basis, in addition to hiking, walking and dancing.   I've also been able to spend lots of time with my family and friends, as well as my boyfriend, enjoyed time in my happy place in Minnesota, and San Clemente hanging by the ocean.  Life is good and I've had lot's of blessings this year.

  My fitness resolutions for the coming year are to do more yoga and running, run a 5-K by the end of the year, keep hiking (lots of great hiking in AZ) and walking.

I plan to celebrate the new year with family watching a movie, and having dinner.  Later on I'll be meeting my boyfriend and going to a swing dance party where we will welcome the new year.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful new year, and that 2013 brings all sorts of good things to you and yours.

Enjoy and have fun! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Downtime goals

Today I'm linking up with Step into Second Grade to continue the resolution theme and talk about downtime goals.

Reading more-I used to be an avid reader.  I'd go through a stack of books a week.  Nowadays I almost never have time, unless I'm on vacation.  I'd really like to make more time for reading books for fun.

Spending time with friends- Between teaching and blogging as well as spending time with my parents and boyfriend it doesn't leave me much time to spend time with friends.  I'd like to spend more time hanging out with friends-swingdancing, going to festivals, running, doing yoga, eating out and anything new, fun and different.  I love organizing things so I'm going to spend some time over vacation setting up some stuff with friends.

Come on over and check out everyone're resolutions!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Professional Growth Resolutions

I hope everyone is enjoying their vacation.  I am enjoying my freedom and spending my time relaxing, spending time with family and friends, as well as organizing at home and planning for the coming year.  In keeping with the theme of resolutions and goals I am linking with One Extra Degree for some professional growth resolutions this coming year.

Technology-One of the main things I want to work on this coming year is incorporating more technology in my classroom.  I should be getting a document camera and a projector soon (hopefully when I return from Christmas break) and I really want to work on using the smart board we have for check out (and maybe getting a new one) and maybe looking into getting a smart board, and maybe even some I-pads through a technology grant.  One of my followers suggested Donor's Choose which I need to look into.  I'm also going to check out some good suggestions from the technology link-up on Wednesday.

Organization-Another thing I'm motivated about is to get more organized both at home and at school.  I see so many cute classrooms (pinterest inspired) that I'd like to incorporate in my classroom.  I also have some ideas on revamping how I organize my goals and my progress notes towards my ieps which I am working on.

Brain Based learning- I really want to learn more about brain based learning and use some of their strategies this coming year.  I also want to learn more about brain gym and brain breaks.

Vocabulary development-My students are very weak in their vocabulary skills and understanding and processing of language.  I really want to work on learning more about building their understanding of language.

Alright now it's time to get going.  Working on your resolutions this week?  Check out what everyone else is doing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Resolutions for 2013

  It's hard to believe that it's almost time for the start of a new year.  Soon it will be 2013 and along with it a new round of resolutions.  So I'm joining up with Teaching Maddeness and Teaching With Moxie for their linky parties about resolutions both school related and home in general.  Hopefully by publishing it for the world to see it'll keep more focused and accountable.  Amyway, here they are!!
 1) I really need to get more organized at home.  I need to give away clothes, download my cd's and get give them away, organize my pictures, and stick to a plan to keep on top of keeping my place clean.
2) Create a budget and stick with it monthly.  Create additional streams of income through writing and or creating products for teacher's pay teachers.
3) Exercise on a regular basis-yoga, running and hiking, and any other exercise at least three to four days a week.
4) Experiment with new recipes more often and cook for other people more often (entertaining).

1) Get more organized at school.  I made major progress this fall at decluttering my classroom and will continue to work on it when I return.  I have SO many materials to get organized!  Plus I would LOVE to make my room more cutesy and stylish.  I need to get all my materials, teacher's guides and student materials organized efficiently.
2) Work smarter at progress monitoring and keeping data on my students (both academically and behaviorally).  I want to make it easier on myself when it comes to progress monitoring.
3) Incorporate technology into my classroom more effectively.  I'm hoping when I return from vacation I will FINALLY have a document camera and a projector that I can use.  I'd also like to use our smart board that we can check out.  Eventually, I was thinking about writing a technology grant so I can get a smart board and maybe some I Pads for my classroom.

1) Increase my followers to 100 plus. 

2) Post on a regular basis, at least 3 times a week or more.
3) Network with other bloggers on a more consistent basis.
4) Learn how to create products and lesson plans to share and to sell.
Teaching Maddeness

Arming educators?

Here in Arizona some of our law enforcement officials are suggesting arming at least one person at each school, providing them with a gun and training so that someone at each school (that doesn't have a law enforcement officer or resource officer) is armed and ready to respond if needed.

Personally, I really don't like that idea since there are too many variables.  These shooters come in with high powered rifles.  Whoever is selected would have to drop what they're doing and respond.  What is they were teachers?  What would they do with their class, while they're responding with the gun.  What if the person was gone that day, out sick or at a conference.  Even though the gun would be locked, there's always a chance of someone getting to it before you do and what if it was a student.

I'd much rather have armed guards, that are trained and know how to use them guarding our schools.  Anyway, I know it's just a band aid solution for a much bigger problem.  In the meantime, tighter security, more training for teachers (what to do in emergencies etc.) are better solutions.  

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?  Good idea?  Bad?

Has your state and or school district started proposing anything?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays and Winter Break Goals

Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope however you celebrate this season you're with family and friends and people you love!  I'll be celebrating with my parents and missing my brother and his family in Ohio (thank goodness for skype), as well as my boyfriend (who's celebrating with his family).  We'll eat, play games, and watch movies!

Anyway, I found a fun link up at What I Have Learned about making winter vacation goals.  Other than relaxing and having fun, I do want to be productive and accomplish some goals I don't normally have time for.  So here they are:

1)  Clean up my place.  It's in the need of a good spring cleaning and decluttering.  I plan on tackling it room to room over break so hopefully once I'm done it'll look much better.

2) Blogging- I'd like to make a plan for my blog-what topics to write about, how to increase traffic, making products for teachers pay teachers and how I can increase the amount of followers I have.

3) Exercise regularly-More yoga, running, walking, or hiking.  Anything-preferably outdoors.

4) Plan for school.  I want to plan for the next week, or two and maybe come up with a new discipline plan.  Mine is pretty old and while it works for the most part-it doesn't for everyone and I'd like to look into new ideas.  I'm also looking into whole brain teaching, brain gym and brain breaks.

5) I have a photo album from a trip I took almost 5 years ago, that is halfway done and I'd LOVE to FINALLY complete it.

I only have two weeks, and I'm sure it'll fly by so I better get going!

What are your goals for break?    Link up with us and let us know!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Friday!

Today was my last day of school before Christmas vacation.  It was a pretty mellow day in the resource room, since most of the students were in their classrooms with celebrations and activities.  I'm looking forward to taking time to enjoy spending time relaxing with families, and enjoying some time at home so that I can return in January relaxed and recharged. 

Happy Friday!  Enjoy your weekend!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogger Day of Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

5 for Five

Happy Monday!  My heart was heavy this weekend, but I was able to spend time enjoying going to holiday parties with colleagues, as well as enjoying some yoga and the beautiful weather here in Arizona.  We have one week left of school and I'm really looking forward to enjoying some time off with my family and friends and living life at a leisurely pace.  Today I'm linking up with Jessica and Jenn for their Monday 5 for Five. This is how I did last week on my goals.
1) Practice yoga at least twice- I made it once this week and I'm going tonight.

2) Go running at least three times- I was a bad girl.  I didn't run at all last week.

3) Meditate daily for 5 minutes- I did it twice this week.

4) Get my kitchen organized- I did it!

5) Create a budget and stick with it-I created the budget, now I need to stick with it.

Here are my new goals for next week:

1) Workout at least four times this week-running, yoga and hiking are my faves.  Anything would be good!!

2) Meditate daily for 5 minutes- I really want to do this!!

3) Finish my Christmas shopping- I have family in Ohio and I really need to finish this up.

4) Make a trip to Goodwill- I've been trying to clear out and organize my home and need to make a trip to donate some stuff. 

Happy Monday!! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

What a heartbreaking day!

My thoughts and prayers go out to the town of Newton and Sandy Hook Elementary. My mind is reeling from today's senseless shooting and saddened that this could take place at what should be a safe haven for children.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12/12/12! Here's my 12 in 12

Happy 12/12/12!  Today I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten and A Teeny Tiny Teacher for their 12 in 12 linky party. 

All you have to do is think back at your favorites in 2012 and add a few pictures. What a fun way to remember the year, huh!?

 12. Favorite movie I watched: So many really good movies this year.  I loved the Moonrise Kingdom!  There were so many good movies I saw this past year, but it topped my list this year.  It was quirky, funny, loaded up with good actors.  The next one that I really loved was ARGO.  What a great story, that no one never knew happened until recently

 11. Favorite TV series: The Good Wife- This show always has good compelling stories that keep me on the edge of my seat.  It's also loaded with good actors.  I love NCIS.  I used to watch JAG and love this show as well.  The characters are great, and the stories are compelling.  Runners up are: Person of Interest, NCIS and Dancing with the Stars.


10. Favorite restaurant: La Grande Orange-This is a breakfast/ 
pizza/grocery store and everything there is amazing!!   The pizza, the french pancakes, the omelettes.  Yummy!

9. Favorite new thing you tried: Blogging!  I just started this October and I love it!  I've learned so much about teaching, and creating a blog.  I've met a lot of interesting people and a new network of fellow teachers. 

8. Favorite gift you got: A packet of yoga classes from my parents for my birthday.  I LOVE being able to do yoga on a regular basis, at a local studio.  I feel so good and relaxed when I do it. 

7. Favorite road trip: Going to San Clemente, CA with my guy.  I LOVE the ocean, and luckily where I live it's a 6 hour drive away.  I know it's far, but the reward is so good.   We found a great little motel with a view of the ocean, within walking distance to the beach and the pier.  They usually have bonfires in the evening.
Here is a view of the pier from the hotel.

6. Favorite home away from home: Our cottage on a lake in MN.  It's been in our family for over 100 years and I've been going there ever since I was a child. 

5. Best accomplishment: Getting back into shape.  I've always been fairly fit, but more recently I've been practicing yoga on a more regular basis and also recently got back into running.  I love discovering that I can run farther and accomplish poses that once were difficult.

4. Favorite picture:  Here is a picture of our cabin in MN, and a view of the sunset on the lake from our cabin.

3. Favorite memory: Our 4th of July celebration this summer at our cottage.  When my brother and his family comes up it's a party.  He organizes all our family and friends to come over to our cottage and celebrate with us.  We hang out in front of our cottage and watch fireworks.
2. Goal for 2013: I really want to get more organized at home and at school.  I've already started on that goal, both at home and at school and now I'm going to get ready to continue that quest over my vacation.

1. One Little Word: (okay there's three) simplify, peaceful and happy

Monday, December 10, 2012

The 5 for Five Linky Party


I'm linking up with Jessica and Jenn for their 5 for Five linky party.  Here's the rules: every Monday, you set 5 goals for yourself for the next 5 days.  And then a week later, you link up again to see how you did on those goals and to set new goals.  And on and on it goes.  Sounds good, yes? 

I've been wanting to get more organized at home and at school so this is perfect for me and will help keep me more accountable.

This is my first time doing this linky party, so I don't have any progress to report on previous goals.

So anyway, here are my goals for this week:

1) Practice yoga at least twice- I love yoga and the way it makes feel stronger and more peaceful and relaxed.  I want to keep a regular yoga practice.

2) Go running at least three times- I love running and the way it makes me feel.  My goal is to run a 5-K by the summer, and so I need to get moving and start running on a regular basis.

3) Meditate daily for 5 minutes- I've tried it, but never really made meditation part of my daily practice.  I've always wanted to do and now's the time.  I've read and heard all about the wonderful benefits of meditation, so here it goes.

4) Get my kitchen organized- I really want to do some more cooking and hopefully I'll be able to indulge in it over Christmas vacation.  Anyway, once I'm organized there I should be able to have more time and motivation to some more cooking at home.

5) Create a budget and stick with it-I really want to get more organized with my finances and make sure that I'm able to accomplish my goals (money wise)  I want to be a more mindful spender.

So these are my goals for the coming week.  I'll report on my progress next week.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Resources for students with learning disabilities

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that impedes the ability to learn in a typical manner.  Children or adults with learning disabilities have average or above average ability, and it usually effects math skills or language including reading, writing, of expressing and understanding language.  Sometimes it's a mixture of all three.  It's not something that can be cured or fixed, however they can learn specific strategies that will help alleviate their weaknesses.

Some of the most common learning disabilities are:
* dyslexia-is a language based disability in which a person has difficulty understanding the written word.
* dyscalculia-a mathematical disability in which a person has difficulty solving math problems.
* dysgraphia-a writing disability in which a person has difficulty with written language.
* auditory and visual processing disorders-a difficulty processing information visually and or through auditory means
* non-verbal learning disabilities -have difficulty recognizing and understanding non-verbal cues.
  The first is The Learning Disability Association.  This association offers resources and support for people that have learning disabilities-both children and adults, as well as parents, teachers and other professionals.

LD Online is another resource.  It also offers a lot of information about learning disabilities for parents and professionals.

The International Dyslexia Association is dedicated to the study and treatment of learning disabilities, and dyslexia, as well as other language based learning differences.

National Center for Learning Disabilities  is another support for children with learning disabilities. 

ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is not a learning disability, but often appears concurrently with students that have learning disabilities.
Help for children and adults can find support at Children and  Adults with Attention Defiicit Hyperactivity Disorder otherwise known as  CHADD.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Writing super sentences!!

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was nice and relaxing.  I went to the swing dance anniversary couple that were celebrating their 50th anniversary party and another celebrating their 1st anniversary party.  That's what I love about swing dancing, such a wide variety of ages and groups of people.

 The weather was beautiful so I was able to do yoga outdoors and went for a for a nice run.  Many of my students have good ideas, but really struggle with using conventions in their writing.  So I decided that it was time to start focusing on the basics, writing complete sentences using the correct conventions.  I used the book called  Write a Super Sentence.  They discuss two types of sentences Level 1 and Level 2 sentences.  Level 1 consists of an adjective, noun and a verb.  Level 2 have an adjective, a noun, a verb, as well as telling the reader where and when the story takes place. 

We started off by creating some Level 1 sentences, then moved on quickly to creating Level 2 ones with the students.  I pick the noun and they brainstorm adjectives, verbs and where and when words.  After that, they partner up and pick up a sentences using the different words in that sentences, then they tell the group.  After that they take out the white boards and practice writing complete sentences, making sure they use capital letters, punctuation and using connecting words.

The students seem to really like this activity and do a good job, participating and brainstorming ideas.  I wish I'd brought my camera in today so that I could show everyone.  They turned out really well.

What do you do for teaching the writing of sentences? 

Happy Monday!! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Currently!

So hard to believe it's already December!  I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly Currently!

Anyway I'm so happy that it's finally cooler here in Arizona.  It's such a great time to enjoy the great outdoors.  I love yoga and there are a few places where you can enjoy yoga outdoors.  So nice!  It's also perfect for hiking, and there are a lot of visitors and fun things to do around this time of year.

I'm working on putting together plans and getting ready for my observation this year.  This year the Arizona legislature changed the rules on teachers and now all teachers are observed twice a year.  (sad face)  So I have one next week and then in February.  Oh well!

I've also been reorganizing at home and at school.  I think I'm a bit of a pack rat, so I need to continually clear out the clutter.  At school, I inherited a room with a lot of materials and books, so it was in desperate need of organizing.  I'm also trying to find or put together a really good easy data sheet for tracking lessons, objectives and data.  I feel like I waste so much time getting organized for progress reports etc.  I want to work smarter, not harder.  

I'm not great at technology in the classroom (well aside from computers) and I would so love to get familiar with and use on a regular basis a document camera, and smart board.  I will be getting a document camera in my room finally.  Sometime this year and maybe even over Christmas break.  What a fun present that would be.

I've always loved the idea of Random Acts of Kindness.  I love the idea of doing nice things for people, but I haven't been very good about it.  I've always wanted to buy someone a lunch, dinner or coffee and pass it on.

So here's what I'm doing Currently.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well it's time to go back to work after a long relaxing weekend. It was so nice having three days off! I enjoyed having time to spend with family and friends, and having time to spend planning, and taking the time to exercise on a regular basis. I also spent some time reading a lot of different blogs and getting a lot of wonderful ideas to implement when I return next week. I'm especially excited about implementing a lot of the brain based teaching ideas, such as class/ yes and teach/ okay. I'm also planning on trying the super speed math for practicing math facts. Has anybody else been trying these ideas? I've put up the class rules that go with it, and I'll work on introducing and practicing it next week. Another idea that I can't wait to try is the oral writing, really practicing with the students how to speak in complete sentences and adding in details to make the sentences interesting. The students I work with have very poor grammar and need a lot of help speaking in complete sentences that are grammatically correct. They have great ideas, but have difficulty organizing them. We've been focusing a lot on grammar, but now I need to focus on writing complete well written sentences. It'll be interesting to see how it goes. Another highlight of the weekend was being nominated for the Liebster Award. I've really enjoyed blogging and how much I've learned by connecting with other teacher bloggers. It's amazing the wealth of information that is out there, with so many fun creative ideas for teaching students. Anyway, I enjoyed answering the questions and I hope you enjoy reading them. I'd love to hear from you. Anyway, I hope everyone had a fun, relaxing vacation and are ready and recharged to return to work tomorrow!! Jacqui

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Liebster Award

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!  I didn't go shopping, but enjoyed a relaxing long relaxing weekend, enjoying lunch with friends, movies, a few good runs and yoga, in addition to running errands.  So nice!  

I just recently started blogging in October, after reading all the other wonderful blogs out there.  I am learning so much from reading everyone's blogs.  So it was a nice surprise came when I found out that my blog was nominated three times for The Liebster Award!  That's so cool!  The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.

The rules:
- You most post 11 random things about yourself.
- Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
- Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
- Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
- No tag back (but please leave a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!
So thank you
?The Lower Elementary Cottage, ?Diary of a First Grade Teacher and ?Mindful Rambles for nominating me.

11 Random Things about Me:
1) I lived in Mexico for 5 years when I was 6 years old.
2) I lived in London, England for 2 years and graduated from the American School in London.
3) I lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel for 10 weeks (basically a cooperative-everyone works for their common good)
4) I'm writing a fictional story based on my experiences there.
5) I followed my dream and moved from New York to California without a job.  Luckily I had relatives to stay with and teach special education so I was hired fairly quickly.
6) I moved again 9 years later to Arizona so I could be closer to my family.
7) We have a family cottage in MN that has been in our family for 102 years and built by my great-great grandfather.
8) I love swing dancing, belly dancing and just about any kind of dancing-especially ballroom.
9) I love yoga and just started running again
10) I love going to the ocean, and try and make it to the ocean a few times a year.  Luckily, we live 6 years hours away from California and the ocean.
11) I love to travel and learn new languages.  I already know a lot of Spanish and some Norwegian.

Questions from the people that nominated me:

The Lower Elementary Cottage: 

1. How long have you been blogging?
I started in October, so two months.
2. Favorite food?
It's a toss up between pizza and spaghetti
3. Best thing you've learned since becoming a blogger?
I've picked so many wonderful ideas and suggestions.  I've been reading a lot about whole brain teaching and I'm looking forward to implementing a lot of the strategies into my lessons and classes.
4. How many siblings do you have?
I have one brother who lives in Ohio with his family.
5. Who was your favorite teacher?
I can't remember their names, but my 7th grade social studies teacher-he made social studies fun.  Also, my junior year biology teacher.  He laid out everything so nicely, and made science so interesting.
6. Do you play any sports?
Does swing dancing count? ; )  I love yoga, running and hiking-although I guess they really wouldn't be considered sports.

7. What music do you play to put you in a good mood?
ELO, or Earth Wind and Fire anything from the 70's
8. Who was your first roomate?
I roomed with a girl named Becky from college
9. Did you leave your home state to go to college?  How far did you go?
After returning from England, my parents returned to New York, and I went to school in Minnesota.
10. Favorite thing about being a teacher?
Seeing the students get it, which sometimes takes a lot longer as a special ed. teacher.
11. Favorite form of take out food after a busy day?
I love Subway sandwiches.  Yummy!

From Mindful Rambles:
1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? 
I'd love to fly, so I can move quickly from place to place without worrying about being in people's way. 
2. If you weren't a teacher or educator, what would you be?
I think being an event planner would be fun, or being a writer.
3. If you had to choose: sense of smell or sense of taste?
I think sense of taste since it would help me enjoy some amazing food even more.
4. What is your favorite genre of book?
It's a toss up between historical fiction or chick lit.
5. What is your favorite genre of music?
Probably either 70's music or old style jazz and big band
6. If you could visit any place in the world and money was no object, where would it be?    
Anywhere along the French or Italian Riviera or the Amalfi Coast.  Love the lifestyle there. 
7. What was your favorite subject in school?  What was your least favorite? 
I loved Language Arts, Social Studies or History.  Math was my least favorite. 
8. What is one way you incorporate a healthy lifestyle?
I try and get enough sleep, eat healthy, and I'm working on incorporating a regular exercise routine.  I love practicing yoga and have started running again.
9. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
Anywhere between 6-7 hours a night.
10. What is your favorite drink alcholic or not?
I love iced tea and wine.  

From Diary of a First Grade Teacher:
1. What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?
Something in the helping professions-a teacher, police officer or a social worker
2. Last good movie you saw?
I just saw Lincoln on Thanksgiving.  It was good.
3. Have you always been a teacher or was this a career change?
I've always been a teacher and always in special ed. in some form or another.
4.  What's your best piece of advice for a new teacher?
Read Harry Wong's First Days of School.  Teach routines and expectations.  Also, spend time building a rapport with your students-even the toughest ones.  It pays off in the end.
5. What else do you do during your spare time?
I love going swing dancing, practice yoga, go running, hiking, hanging out in coffee shops and writing or hanging out with family and friends. 
6. What is your favorite school break?
I love Christmas because it's such a festive time of year and the weather is cooler so there are more things to do outdoors.
7. Are there other grades you would like to teach?
Not really.  I teach a variety now K-5. 
8. What's your favorite gift from a student?
A spoon that he bought in Disneyland for me.
9. What's your favorite snack?
I love chips and dip. 
10. Black and white or color?
Definitely color
11. If you had an unlimited supply of money what would you do with it?
Pay my bills, give to charity, fund the college tuition for my nieces and nephew, travel everywhere I want to travel, buy a house, and teach and be able to buy anything I want for my classroom.

Here are my questions:
1) How long have you been blogging?
2) Why did you start your blog?
3) Where and what do you teach?
4) What is your favorite food?
5) What is your favorite television show?
6) What do you do when your not teaching or blogging?
7) Last good book you read?
8) Last good movie you saw?
9) Last memorable vacation?
10) Where have traveled?
11) Favorite time of year?      

Here are my nominations: 
1) ?The Lightbulb Lab 
2) ?The Teachers Work Room 
3) ?The Cornerstone Classroom 
4) ?Autism Tank 
5) ?Toad-ally Exceptional Learners 
6) ?Special Teacher for Special Kids 
7) ?Special Smarts Special Hearts
 8) ?Breezy Special Ed 
9) ?Awesomeness and Autism 
10)?If you give a teacher a treat 
11)?Literacy Sundae with Common Core on Top! 

This is so fun!  I can't wait to learn more about everyone else!

PS  When I try and put the link names up, it comes up with a name and a question mark in front of it.  Am I doing something wrong?  I know the links work, but not sure why the ? mark in front of the name.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gobble! Gobble!

I can't believe that it's almost the end of November.  I started off my first day of vacation by sleeping in, going for a run and enjoying a leisurely lunch with friends outdoors.  The rest of the week will be spent eating, hiking, practicing yoga, planning, blogging, hanging out with friends and dancing not necessarily in that order!!  I'm thankful for my time off and ability to enjoy time with family and friends.

Tomorrow it's time to spend with family and the boyfriend with a movie and a showing of Lincoln.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Teaching Tip Linky Party

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!  I'm enjoying some cooler AZ weather, planning adventures and enjoying some time with family and friends.  I'm REALLY looking forward to Thanksgiving next week and having 5 whole days off so that I can catch up with my life.  We only have two days of school next week, so not much teaching going on with all the special activities next week (Turkey Trots, Thanksgiving celebrations etc. in my students general education classrooms).  This will give me time for the whirlwind of iep meetings, testing and paperwork that I will be handling before Christmas Vacation.  Thank goodness I have an great student teacher who will be helping me out!

Anyway, on to teaching tips.  This week I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten for her teaching tip linky party.

Here are my teaching tips-

1) Touch Math- Does anyone use it?  I'm a big fan of it and love it for teaching math to students, especially those students who are new to adding and subtracting.  My goal is to eventually get my students to a point where they can count and add and subtract in their head.  Until then I introduce them to using touch points for adding and subtracting.  It helps them alot when they're learning how to add and subtract successfully.  I've also used it for multiplication, division and money.

2) Skip counting-I really feel that this gives students a strong base when they're working on their multiplication facts.  When students take state and district tests they are not able to use multiplication tables, but if they know how to skip count they can solve their multiplication and division problems (something that is reinforced in multiplication touch math)Skip counting by 5's also helps teach time and money.

Happy Sunday everyone!!  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week.  I'm grateful for a three day weekend this week and a five day weekend next week.  Two short weeks.  The only frustration is that it makes it difficult to schedule meetings, tests and all the wonderful things I need to accomplish this time of year.

I'm joining Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts for her linky party Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts.

I)  I'm thankful for cooler weather.  After a long summer of hot weather this is the best time of year in Arizona.  It's cool and beautiful and there are so many different things going on that are a lot of fun.

2) I'm thankful for my familyI love spending time with all of them.  My parents are snowbirds and live nearby this time of year.  So it's nice that we can get together and do things anytime we like.  My brother and his family live in Ohio and we try and get together anytime we can.

3) I'm thankful for my sweet boyfriend.  He's my best friend and always makes me laugh.  He's always up for a new adventure and trying something new.

4) I'm thankful for our summer cottage in Minnesota.  It was built by my Great-Great Grandfather and is more than a 100 years old.  My parents renovated it recently so hopefully it'll last for a 100 more years.  It's a place I go to every summer and see friends and family that I only see about once a year.  A lot of our neighbors are related, and if not our parents and grandparents have been friends for all their lives.  So much history there.

5) I'm thankful for a job I love.  It took me a long time to find my niche, but teaching resource is it.  I love the school that I work at, and the students that I work with.  It's a special place that feels like home. 

6) I'm thankful for the swing dance community.  I've been swing dancing for more than 5 years and have been able to develop a lot of amazing friendships, and countless hours of fun on the dance floow, whenever I'm feeling tired or blue a twirl on the dance floor always make me feel better.

7) I'm also thankful for yoga.  I always feel better after a yoga practice.  I'm lucky that the community I live in also provides a lot of inexpensive or free outdoor yoga.

Last but not least I'm thankful for all of those who serve in the military both past and present,  Thank you!!   
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