Up first.....the one...the only....
1. How long have you been teaching and what grades (background).
I am in the middle of my eleventh year of teaching. I started teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies. When I was finally feeling like I was getting a handle on things (six years later), I was asked to teach 7th and 8th grade reading. I taught reading/English for two years and was asked to take the Reading Coach position for grades 6th-8th. The next year one of the other reading coaches retired, so I added 4th and 5th grades to my coaching responsibilities. Then my district implemented a new program, TAP, and I applied to be a master teacher. These last two years, I have been a master teacher (think instructional coach with evaluation responsibilities) for PK-3rd grade. My heart will always be with seventh and eighth grade, but it has been so much fun to work with the little ones. Honestly, preschool and kindergarten still scare me a little.
2. Name of Blog and address.
Thinking Out Loud
3. Favorite thing to create and share with fellow teachers!
Even though reading is my passion, I have had a blast creating math centers/games for the little ones. It is so much fun and very rewarding to see the excitement in their eyes as they play a math game and practice what they have been learning in math. My whole inspiration to create is to make a teacher’s job a little bit easier by providing engaging lessons and activities to supplement the fabulousness that already happens in classrooms on a daily basis.
4. Biggest inspiration?
My third graders are my biggest inspiration. In my current position, I am only able to teach for 30 minutes each day and I chose to teach 3rd grade science. They are always so excited to see me and are disappointed when my other school responsibilities don’t allow me to teach them that day. They inspire me to create engaging lessons because they are excited to learn science every day. I am smiling just thinking about them right now.
5. Featured Product: Free or Paid
My favorite free product is my Crafting Sentences packet. I created this packet last year as one of the strategies I introduced to my teachers to help our students write complete sentences.
My current favorite paid product is my Vertebrate and Invertebrate Classification unit. The reason I love it so much is because after this unit, my third graders owned the vocabulary words we studied in the unit. They were able to use the words in other subjects and couldn’t wait to tell me when they read a book about the topic.
6. Link to TpT Store or TN Store
7. Tell us about your OUT OF THE CLASSROOM life!
Sometimes I wonder if there is an out of the classroom life. I have been married for twelve years (just had an anniversary in December). We have one furry child, Kitty, who is at least seventeen years old. When we adopted her ten years ago, they weren’t sure how old she was. In my free time, my husband and I love to go to the movies and try new restaurants. I love reading science fiction, fantasy, and young adult books. I want to be crafty, am not very good at it, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I am not a very good cook. I need detailed directions to follow for it to turn out edible. I have perfected two and only two recipes: a Paula Deen lasagna and a chili recipe from my sister-in-law.
8. Most embarrassing teaching moment!!! Come on girls we all have one!
The most embarrassing moment I had actually happened while I was student teaching. My host teacher always ate lunch in her room with one of the other social studies teachers and the Spanish teacher. Every day we would go to the lunchroom and get our lunch to go. One day I was wearing some slippery-soled shoes. After we got our lunch, I walked out of the cafeteria doors, which are always open, and slipped. I feel on my bottom and my lunch went flying. It landed all over the floor and the wall. I was mortified. A good chunk of the high school students had a front row seat to me falling and flinging my lunch everywhere. Luckily, my host teacher was amazing. She helped me up and let me sit in her classroom, so I could clean myself up. She cleaned the wall and the floor. Then she bought me another lunch, so I could still eat.
WOW!!!! Such a great teacher Pal!!!! Well here is our next teacher tonight! She has been such a hoot to get to know online!!! She is always willing to share her knowledge and always up for giving encouragement when you need it! Is it a bird? A plane? NO IT'S.............
How long have you been teaching and what grades (background).
I am currently in my 6th year of teaching. Everything I’ve done has been PreK-6th grade. Teaching multiple grades at a Hutterite colony, summer school, Reading Recovery, regular classroom teacher, special education, and Title I are all of the positions I’ve held. (Not sure how I’ve done all of that in six years, but I have…)
Name of Blog and address.
HoJo’s Teaching Adventures
Favorite thing to create and share with fellow teachers!
I absolutely love creating Magic Squares! http://hojosteacherstore.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-use-magic-square-puzzles.html I’ve also got some free K-6th grade Common Core resources for Reading Literature, Informational Text, and Math on my blog. It’s just such a wonderful feeling to know that I’m helping other teachers (and homeschoolers) out!
My classroom is my biggest inspiration. I see what my own kiddos need, and base ideas off of that. I also get ideas from colleagues on what to create.
When looking for fresh ideas to use in my classroom for certain holidays or topics, I’ve found a ton of great blog ideas through Pinterest.
Featured Product: Free or Paid
One of the products I’m most proud of is my Alphabet Letter Sort. While teaching Kindergarten, I wanted to take my Reading Recovery training and put it to good use. So I created a cut and paste sort that would assess students’ knowledge of letters in various fonts. Students do one sheet a week, so it lasts an entire year! The free version is available here - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Alphabet-Letter-Sort-FREEBIE
Link to TpT Store
Tell us about your OUT OF THE CLASSROOM life!
I love to travel! I’ve been to five foreign countries and nearly 30 states. My goal is to reach 50 by 50. J I’m also an avid reader, scrapbooker, TpT junkie (both as a buyer and seller), and enjoy a good movie or television show.
Most embarrassing teaching moment!!! Come on girls we all have one!
Oh my! Is it bad that I don’t have one that immediately comes to mind? I feel like that jinxes me for tomorrow at school… I say a lot of weird/random things, and I know my face has gotten a little red on a couple occasions, but I think I must block them from my memory!
Oh...how awesome both these ladies are! Please stop by their blogs and check out their TPT stores!!!!
Tech Tuesday IPAD Tip
So about a year ago I got my IPad but I can tell you I never thought I would be using this bad baby in my classroom as much as have started. I am so excited I have finally gone TOTALLY MOBILE in my classroom. I have everything I could possibly need on my IPad and now don't have to even turn my classroom computer on during the day. I take attendance through our school website, enter grades, use the WBT scoreboard app for my scoreboard along with CLASS DOJO for additional individual goals, and even TEACH totally from my IPAD. Everything is projected through my APPLE TV and the projector!
One of my very favorite apps is Doceri! This sweet little app can turn your IPad into a white board and with a bit of prep you can take pictures of worksheets, screenshots of PDF documents and more and enter them right onto the whiteboard so you can mark on them and write the answers using a stylus!
The best part....I SAVE ON PAPER AND NO MORE SILLY TRANSPARANCIES!!!!
Now...here is an example of just what an amazing tool the IPAD can be in the classroom! The following video was shot on the fly in the middle of a math lesson. We are reviewing and playing a simple game using Task Cards from Rachel Lynette! Check out her store HERE!!! With Doceri you can hit record and record a lesson so you can post it for future reference or for absent students! What a great idea it would be to post these on a class site for parents to access to "refresh" their skills when helping with homework! The sky is the limit!
With Doceri I am able to project the task card with the candy prices up on the board...and then hand the IPad to a student to solve their task card. Student never leaves their desk...there is no lag time finding a marker...and the students who are "observing" can see the board UN-obstructed. TOO COOL!!!
NOTE: The OH YEAH you hear during the lesson is me giving the class a SMILIE on the scoreboard because they are all being so attentive!!!!
Well thanks for visiting this week! I hope your Spring Break next week is a blessed one! Get some rest!!! I will be back with Teacher Feature after the break!