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Saturday, April 4, 2015

iTeach1st---Saturday Show and Tell WBT

Hey there wibbiteers!  Today I am blogging over at my sister blog...

Come on over and join myself and my 1st grade friends for a Show and Tell Saturday all about Whole Brain Teaching!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Kid on the Block--Educents Marketplace

Have you been keeping up with the gossip?  No?  Have you seen one of these images all over social media?

Well the time has come and April 2nd has finally arrived!  So what is the big news you may ask?  Educents has launched a new area of their amazing website called The Marketplace!  That's right!  Now, along with the amazing DEALS that you already find on Educents, 500 sellers have created stores to bring you some of their creations at ROCK BOTTOM PRICES so you can find money-saving deals anytime you need them.

To LAUNCH the new Marketplace, several bloggers have banded together to bring you an amazing giveaway and a chance to grab a FREEBIE along the way!  Not only will you see a FREE product included in their store but you will also have the chance to enter and WIN a $50 Educents Gift Certificate!  Do you know how much you can buy on Educents with that kind of money?  With so many bloggers/sellers participating in the LAUNCH there are MULTIPLE ways to enter!  

Here is a little information about my FREEBIE

This FREEBIE is  sample of a bigger product that is available in my store!  This is one of my favorite packs to use with my first graders!  They loved the activities and they were amazing review for SPRING!  Here is one of my super smarties sorting Parts of Speech!

Wanna peek at the other activities included in the big pack?  Check out my sweet little FIRSTIES!!!  I miss them so much!

How about some Double Digit Math...

Can you give me the time...

Punctuation anyone...

Place Value Perfection...

Graphing with the experts....

Verb Tense...

Long Vowel spellings...

Contraction Action...

 and More Double Digit Math!!!

My first graders loved each of these stations and they were so popular they stayed around as free choice centers well into May!

After you check out the deals in my Educents store and my sure to check out the amazing stores below and grab their FREEBIES to get you started!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win $50 Educents Cash!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Confessions of an Imperfect Teacher, Entrepreneur, Mom, and Wife

Who ever said that teachers have it easy clearly has never walked a day in our shoes.  I mean the story is the same no matter who you talk to.  People who are not married to, the parent of, or close friends with a teacher really have no idea what our lives are like.  Don't get me wrong, the reward is so great that all the stress and craziness is worth it.  However, those that believe we only work 8-3, have weekends off, three months in the summer and then the endless holidays during the year clearly have some learning to do.  Add to the stress if you have a blog, marketplace where you sell your lessons and creations to supplement your little teacher salary.  It can get overwhelming!

Yes, Yes....we have all argued over just how hard teachers work.  It seems like an endless argument that has been going on for generations.  So why continue to add to the stress we are already feeling from high-stakes tests, lesson planning, EOY evaluations, and non-perfect family lives.  Why don't we focus on how to make our lives a little less stressed.  DISCLAIMER:  While the following tips are  AMAZING in my opinion...I must admit I am just beginning my journey to less stress and will let you know if I have achieved a perfect balance between work, family, and sanity! Never know until you try right?

Take one task at a time.

That's right!  Break each task down into steps and only tackle one thing at a time.  I know this goes against everything that teachers have running through their veins.  But I believe that most of teacher stress comes from the inhuman amount of multitasking that we put on ourselves.  True there will be a certain amount of multitasking that has to be done.  Especially if you have kids that play sports or other extra curricular activities.  However, I want to try to make things a bit more important and give my full focus and attention to whatever I am working on.  So how do you do this?

Well for me I plan on setting up a schedule.  AND STICKING TO IT!  This is where the trick for me will be.  I can plan a schedule like the experts...sticking to it on the other hand..that's where I fall short.  So, I am sitting down with my family and having a little family meeting.  They know how much I work, they know that I often spend movie time with them while writing a blog post or working on a classroom lesson packet.  I answer emails during our evenings together sitting watching our weekly shows or I am grading papers (you know you do this, too)!  I am not saying that this won't happen ever again.  I am saying that I will do my best to BE WITH MY FAMILY when we are having these moments.  

What will my schedule look like?  I don't know yet...but I will have to set something up that allows me to work on school, products, and spend time with family without feeling like I am only giving 50% to each of those at any given time!  

Have FUN!!!

I have realized that my family is growing up!  My son, 19, leaves for the U.S. Air Force in May and both my daughters will be out of the house in only 4 short years (one leaving for college in 2 and the other 2 years behind that).  I will have so much ALONE time at that point that I will wish I had this precious time back.  So take time to watch a silly movie with them!  Bake with them, share family dinners and just sit back and laugh and giggle together.  Just BE...enjoy each other and stop thinking to yourself that you are wasting time you could be working!

Don't drink energy drinks and caffeine!

Please, Please, Please do not throw things at me through the computer!  Before you send the henchmen after me let me confess this one is going to be the HARDEST and probably closest to IMPOSSIBLE one for me to do!  But I can also testify to the benefit!  Last spring I participated in a little contest at my school for weight loss.  Yep...a Biggest Loser contest!  I WON!!  I was so excited!  Lost 40lbs and man I felt AMAZING!  I was super excited to go to Vegas last year because I thought I looked great and I was feeling great!  Even won some play money to take with me by winning!  How did I do it?  Well yep there was a little exercise and I did watch what I ate---KINDA---but the big thing I cut out? Energy drinks and caffeine!  Yep that's right!  Sodas (even DIET) and energy drinks give you short bursts of energy but that crash afterwards is worse than a hangover!  I am too old (did I just say that) to recover from the crash. So I am seriously going to try to get back on that wagon and AHEM....lose the weight again and feel better!

You have to have ME TIME!

Yes you must!  I know that we often get so wrapped up in taking care of others and work that we feel guilty for taking time for ourselves.  DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!  This is actually something I have no problem with!  When I need to be ALONE I just tell everyone around me and I finally learned the word NO!  I used to say yes to everything that everyone needed a volunteer for!  Kids team mom, school name it I said YES!  Superwoman was my middle name!  Not anymore!  I will take time to go get my nails done, my pedicures, and even a stinking massage once a month!  I work my tail off and I will reward myself!  Once you start enjoying that me time, you will find, like me, that you will never give it up!  So whatever it is you enjoy doing...DO IT GIRL!  You deserve it!

Always be grateful.

No matter how tough it gets, or how hairy your life seems, remember that somewhere out there someone is worse off than you!  I know, we all heard that from our parents at some point!  But it is true!  Our lives are hectic and stressful for us but to someone else it might look like a walk in the park.  Don't compare your life to another and that goes for your stress as well!  Don't judge others who say they are stressed either! LOL!  Be grateful for what you do have.  Are you tired and don't want to go watch one....more....softball game?  GUILTY!  Are you sick of going to pick up your athlete from practice and sit for an additional hour because the coach wasn't quite ready to let them go?  GUILTY!  Are you tired of cooking dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and then having to argue over who is doing the dishes?  GUILTY!  Simply add you own little thing that adds to your stress and remember....someone out there would give anything to be in your shoes!  

Now I admit I am no expert on not being stressed!  But here is a good place to start!  I am going to start today by finishing up this blog post (while my softball player is napping between games), check on my sick teenager who I took to the clinic today and found out she has STREP, clean up the kitchen from the lunch I picked up on the way home from the clinic, go sit and soak in a hot bath and read some blogs I have been missing out on for MONTHS and simply relax....I might even take a NAP!!  GASP!! Say it isn't so!!!  Yep my peeps....this teacher blogger entrepreneur is ready to take back her life and remind myself how fun this blogging creating resources thing was when I first started!



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2015 New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year!  The time of year when we all sit around the Christmas tree enjoying time with family and reflecting on the year that has just passed.  Man did this year go by fast!   It seems like yesterday I was making resolutions for 2014!!!

Well this year I am linking up with my dear friend Jessica at Second Grade Nest for a 2015 Resolution Link Up!  If you are a blogger be sure to link up!  Here are my resolutions for 2015!!!

Last year was AMAZING professionally!  Mrs. Shipley's Classroom made it's mark on the blogging world although I didn't blog as often as I would like!  Teacher's Pay Teachers allowed my husband and I to leave the not so fabulous jobs we had teaching and move to new teaching positions that we love.  It was a major pay cut but TPT made it possible.  Thank you to all of my amazing friends who buy and use my products in their classrooms.  I hope they made your jobs a little easier!

Professionally I want to continue to grow.  I hit every single goal I set for 2014 professionally but now it's time to think bigger.  I want to step out of my comfort zone and do more conferences and presenting to help spread the Whole Brain Teaching goodness.  I am currently working with a school in Midland, Texas who is transforming to a WBT Campus and there is a major opportunity that has presented itself in the Houston area.  Who knows what God has in store, I just want to be ready when whatever door opens!!!!

I mentioned that I met all my professional goals in 2014.  Well that wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't been tracking them month to month and sometimes weekly!  I created my TPT Entrepreneur Planner last year at Christmas and they were a HUGE hit!  This fact over the next few weeks, I will be updating calendars and adding a few new themes for the 2015 year!  These bad boys are what kept me on track.  Well all but blogging but not for lack of trying!  I had many blog posts scheduled, mapped out, notes down, and just couldn't find the time to sit and write!  But that is going to change.  And best thing yet I have a whole list of blog ideas that didn't get used last year!  Here are last years themes that are being updated with 2015 calendars if you want to grab one!  They are super cute!  

You can even see a product video HERE!  Want one?  Check them out in my store!  Remember they are being updated so you could buy now and print after the holiday when they are updated to new calendars! many hard to narrow it down!  Personally I am not good at time management.  I overload my plate and end up running myself silly until I end up sick and have to take a break!  My personal goal this year is to just CHILL!!!  Relax and know that it will all be ok and if that product I am working on doesn't get finished right this minute it will be ok and I can take time to take care of myself!  I can't remember the last time I got a hair cut.  Gym time?  Yep that is in the cards also!  IT IS TIME TO TAKE CARE OF ME!!!!

Second personal goal?  Spend more time with my family!  I work all the time!  ALL THE TIME!  I am a work-a-holic!!!  There will always be a list of things I want to accomplish and I want to get done but this year it is all about my family!  I work to provide everything they want to do (all the teens and their extra curricular activities)  however, I don't get to spend any time enjoying these things that I am working so hard to provide!  So this year, I will still work just as hard to let them have all their fun but I will take time to enjoy them as well!

I have one goal for this this year!!!  I will visit someplace, any place, outside of Texas with my ENTIRE FAMILY!  Kids and ALL!  My husband and I will also take a vacation together ALONE!  Two vacations...anywhere...outside of Texas!  Let the planning begin...perhaps Scotland?  Who knows!  I loved Germany and Austria just not the company I had to keep while I was there!  So perhaps it is time to make new memories of those places!!!

Um...well...I am a SOUTHERN GIRL!  I don't do fancy foods and all that jazz.  Give me a good 'ole chicken fried steak smothered with gravy and some fried potatoes and greens!  Yep...but if I had to pick something?  Well....I think I would like to try ALLIGATOR!  I heard it was scrumptious!  

I really want to learn how to make pottery!  I would love to take a pottery class but then I don't have time for everything I am already when would I do this! LOL!

Oh this is a big one!  Something to give up?  DR. PEPPER!  Yep I...AM...ADDICTED!  If I would just give them up I would lose like 20 lbs in 3 weeks!  Seriously!  Did it last spring for a biggest loser contest at my school and lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks just from giving up Dr. Pepper!  I have to find an alternative!  Suggestions?

I would love to do more reading!  You know reading for FUN!  My daughter reads a new novel every week!  She can curl herself up in her bed with a cup of tea and a good book and finish it!  Now I realize being a teenager in high school with little to no real responsibilities makes this easy but man I can find time to read one a month can't I?  Any 50 Shades Fans out there?  

I want to start my own school!  I know lofty goals right?  But I think it is in the future for sure!  God continues to open doors that could lead down this path just a few years down the road and the plans and path may start in the year 2015!  So here is to new paths, new adventures, and new doors opening!  All my teacher friends out there...I may be contacting you to come work for me!  You wanna move to Texas right!

Well everyone it has been a fabulous 2014 and I know that God will bless each and everyone of us in 2015!  To Him is the Glory for good times, good friends, and a healthy peaceful life ahead!  Love you all!  Be blessed!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!