Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creating products questions

Hope everyone is enjoying their week!  Arizona is enjoying some much needed rain and has been breezy and cold for quite a few days.  This is unusual for us, but should warm up by the end of the week and be sunny and 70's by the weekend when we have our big golf tournament.

I have questions for those of you that are creating products.  How do you start?  I'm assuming by getting clip art?  Where do you go to get them, or purchase them?  What do you use?  (power point, micsrosoft word etc.)  Any good tutorials on them.  Everyone seems to have such wonderful products that they're making and creating and I'd like to work on making some of my own, but don't know where to start.

Any tips or tricks would be appreciated!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Social

It was a wonderful, cool, rainy weekend in Arizona and it was SO nice!  It seems like it never rains in Arizona and if it does it's very brief and then goes away quickly.  It's been so nice to enjoy the rain for the last few days.  I never thought I would enjoy rain so much, but when you rarely see it, it's SO welcome!!  Anyway it was a perfect weekend for relaxing, going out to breakfast, a late night cheapie movie with the boyfriend-Red Dawn-much better than I thought it would be and filled with teenagers, swooning over the boys in the movie, and getting ready for school this week.  Anyway, I'm finished with planning so now I'm linking up with Neely and Ashley for this week's Sunday Social.

Here are this Weeks Questions:
1) What is your ideal way to relax: Hanging out at home with my boyfriend, a glass of wine, and some good tv.

2) Where is your favorite place to be: Tough choice-my top choice would be our cottage in MN, others would be either San Clemente, CA or Carmel. CA.

3) Who do you consider your biggest role model: My parents are!  They're loving and supportive and are always there when I need them, plus they're fun to hang out with. 

4) What does your life look like in 3 years?  I'll be happily married, with enough money to meet my needs and follow my dreams, healthy, teaching, traveling around the world and a published writer. 

5) If you could go back and change one decision what would it be?  I don't if it's a decision is that I wish I had worked harder at becoming fluent in Spanish since it would be really helpful in my job.

6) What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?  I think it's a combination of different things.  I've had a lot of amazing travels by the time I was 19-living in Mexico and England, working on a kibbutz in Israel, traveling to Russia, France, Spain and Italy.  I'm looking forward to many more amazing travels!

Anyway, what about you?  Link up with us and let us know your answers!

Hope everyone has a great week!  It's going to be a busy one with me-two re-evalations and getting ready for a bunch of initials.  I feel like an accountant at this time of year, it's my busy season-time for lots of testing and getting ready for lot's of iep meetings.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reading, Resolutions and Behavior

I love having a short week of school, and a long weekend.  It was SO relaxing!  I got to have some guilt free fun, relaxing and had some time to get some school work done at a more leisurely pace.  I felt I had some time to get back on track a bit, especially with my new year's resolutions.  Ive gotten off track with exercising.  We had a cold snap in Arizona for about a week and I was so unmotivated to get much of anything done.  It was nice to get back to yoga, now I need to work on getting into a running routine.  We had a big race this weekend and it motivated me to get back on track with running.

It also gave me sometime to planning and revamping my reading groups.  I feel pretty good about all my other groups, but I've been trying to figure out how to get my kids in groups and focus on differentiating more with their reading.  In my reading groups I have a variety of levels (even with six kids), so I really wanted to work on putting kids into groups, so I can work with them more individually and focus on their gaps.  When they're not with me I've been putting together packets full of work that's geared towards their levels-sight words, decoding skills and comprehension depending on their needs and their RIT scores (for anyone that does NWEA).

I also worked on brainstorming more about how to fully implement Class Dojo with my students.  I came up with some rewards for them that they can work towards and I will continue to add incentives as I go along and students suggest them.  Anyway, today was my first day of fully implementing the changes and Class Dojo with all my groups.  I thought it worked out great and made a huge difference.  I LOVE the way the students get such an automatic and visual reward for positive behaviors.  I'm having students earn points towards rewards their choose and I'll also chose some group rewards.  The kids really seem to enjoy it, love the positive attention (so do I) and I'm looking forward to the changes it will bring my students.

Hope you enjoy your short week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Special Needs Sunday (on a Monday)

It's always nice to find fellow special education teachers and learn more about what strategies they use.  Today I'm linking up with The Resource Room Teacher for a special needs Sunday linky party.  Everyone is welcome to share their tips and tricks for working with special needs students.  You don't need to be a special education teacher.

Touch Point Math

A lot of my special education students have a difficult time with their calculation skills, whether it be addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.  So for my younger students I introduce touch points.  For those that aren't familiar with it, they touch math starts off with introducing the students to the concept of having touch points on numbers.  It helps the students count by using touch points.  I also love it for teaching the multiplication facts.  They teach students to skip count as a way of helping them have a strategy to use when students are learning how to multiply.

I have resources for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  I know there are more for money, skip counting and others.  I'd love to stock up on other resources and have more touch math resources.  I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you have a good week.  Check out the linky party, and link up with us.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Social

I'm linking up with Ashley and Neely for their weekly Sunday Social.

Sunday Social
This week's questions are about my blog.

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
The name of my blog is Resource Room Rules.  I chose that name because I'm a resource teacher and wanted something fun and catchy that was about teaching and could include my real life in it as well.  I started in the middle of October during my fall break.
2. Why do you blog?
I blog because I love to write and enjoy teaching and it was a good mix of the two of them.  I started discovering the world of teaching blogs when I was doing some searches for teaching ideas and found a wonderful wealth of inof
3. What is the first blog you ever followed?
I think the first blog I ever followed is The Resource(ful) Room since it was fun to find another resource room teacher's blogs.
4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2012?
It's hard to pick one, probably the one about Class Dojo.

5. What are your blogging goals for 2013?
*To blog more often
*To learn more about creating teaching products
*To create more connections with other bloggers
6. Name your top 3 favorite blogs.
It's hard to pick just three. I like The Resourceful Room, The Lower Elementary Cottage, and Teeny Tiny Teacher are just a few of my favorites.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Class Dojo

Well I was finally able to get Class Dojo set up for my classes and started it today.  I found out that I can check out a projector and have one set up in my room until they are able to install one in my classroom.  The program worked really well for the most part and really helped with one group of kids that have been challenging.  For all but one, it was a huge motivation to follow directions and stay on task.  The other student, just wouldn't follow directions at first, but settled down a little bit after I had a private talk with her.  She wasn't doing her work, but at least she wasn't being disruptive.  One potential problem I can foresee is a frustration when they lose a point, at least for some kids.  I don't want them to be frustrated and give up.  Anyway, I'm going to keep using it and see how it goes, because a lot of teachers talk about how wonderful it is.  I also started getting ideas from them about rewards they can earn and what they want to work at.

Otherwise, I'm really excited about having a projector in my classroom and I'm looking forward to playing some videos for students.  I'm familiar with Brain pop, any other suggestions?  I'm looking forward to implementing more technology in my classroom.  I really wish I could get some more technology such as smart boards and I pads.

I'd love to hear what others are doing, how they're using it and implementing it in their classrooms and any tips and tricks you have for the program.

Happy Thursday everyone!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to work again and Class Dojo

Well after two wonderful weeks off`it was time to return to work today.  It was hard getting up this morning, but it was good to see the kids again.  The kids were pretty good, but some of them were pretty fidgety and excited.  I was so tired by the end of the day!  I did have a New Year's Eve writing activity that I found on someone's blog (I wish I could remember where I found it).  That was a lot of fun.  We reflected on the previous year and created new goals and resolutions for the coming year.

I really want to change up my behavior plan (I used a sticker chart and stickers) and really want to use Class Dojo, but until I get a projector I'm not sure how effective it will be if the kids can't see it.  I'm waiting to have a projector and document camera installed in my classroom, but until it's installed I'm not sure how to effectively use it.  It seems like it would be a really good system to use for my special education students. 

I've seen quite a few mention that they use Class Dojo, and love it.  Anybody else in my situation where you want to use it, but don't have the right technology for it?

I hope everyone's return to school went smoothly!  Have a great week.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Social

I hope everyone had a good first week of 2013.  I spent time hanging out with friends and family, relaxing and getting ready for the next two semesters of school.

This week I'm linking up with Ashley and Neely for their weekly Sunday Social.

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year?
I eat fairly healthy, but I want to get better.  I need more fruits and veggies, and less processed foods.  That's my goal.
2. Any workout tips to get us back in shape after the Holidays?
Not really, but I relly want to get more consistent with my workout routine.  For me that means more yoga, running consistently (so I can run my 5K), and more hiking.
3. What is your favorite thing you did over the Holidays?
I met up with some friends at a french style outdoor market.  It was a wonderful way to start my morning-good food and fun with friends.
4. What is something you hope that you accomplish in 2013 that you did not in 2012?
I have a story that I've been working on for a long time.  I'd love to finish writing it.

5. Name 3 things happening this year you are excited about and why.
 1) Seeing my blog grow, finding my groove with blogging and learning more about creating teaching products and materials.
2) Getting healthier through consistent exercise and eating better (fewer sweets and processed foods)
3) Getting more organized and simplifying my life. 
Happy 2013!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Organization Revolution!

I have SO enjoyed the freedom of these last two weeks.  I've spent a lot of time relaxing, exercising, spending time with family and friends and preparing for school. 
One thing I am determined to do is to clear up my clutter at home, and get better organized at school and at home.  I've so enjoyed being able to do leisurely surf the web and get ideas for my classroom and for teaching.

The Clutter Free Classroom is having a clutter free classroom project.  I am really looking forward to participating and getting organized at school.  It starts this Sunday night!  I'm looking forward to it.

If you're looking to get organized at home, I'm an Organizing Junkie is holding a linky party which already started on the 31st.  I'm working on the challenge, but not sure I'll be ready for pictures.  I am looking forward to seeing what others do to organize their home offices.   To me that will be the hardest because I have SO many papers, but I'm making progress!  So if one of your New Year's Eve resolutions is to get better organized this year.  Join up with either of these linky parties.

Ask Anna

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and a January Currently!

Happy New Years!  So hard to believe that 2012 is over and a new year is began.  A new year, a fresh late and a new 365 page book to be written.  So excited to see what is to come.  I've set some goals and resolutions for the coming year.  Most of them I've already started on.  I want spend more time exercising and generally being healthier, getting organized and getting rid of clutter at home and getting more organized at school.   I had a great day yesterday with our annual dinner and a movie tradition, then ringing in the new year with my boyfriend with a swing dance (well it was a mixture of all styles of ballroom dancing).  It was a fun, low key way to ring in the year and I ran into a lot of friends that I don't see very frequently.  Plus, I'm excited to hit 40 followers!  Anyway, I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade to talk about what I'm doing Currently.

Anyway, I love being on vacation and having the freedom to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.  I don't typically watch soaps anymore, but Days was a college favorite and it's fun to catch up on it now and then.  Plus it's one of the few soaps left on the air.  I've enjoyed relaxing and getting organized, but now it's time to start working on some school work and doing some planning.  I'm thankful that I still have a week of freedom left, but it's time to get serious and get stuff done.

I love the one little word concept.  There are so many I thought about-organize, simplify, be present.  However, I think by letting go and not letting the stresses of teaching and life get me down will help me accomplish my other goals.

Come check out what everyone else has to say and find lots of new and interesting blogs. 

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