Monday, December 29, 2014

Favorite Teacher Blogs of 2014

This was the year I discovered some amazing blogs that have literally transformed the way I view my teaching profession.  Connecting with these wonderful teachers has ignited my passion for the career that I had grown to love.  All the politics, evaluations, and teacher bashing of recent years had dimmed that light a bit.  

Through Pinterest, Bloglovin, and Teachers Pay Teachers, I have found so many teaching tips and strategies, helpful advice on student behavior, and classroom resources! 

As a bonus - these teacher bloggers have inspired me to blog about my teaching journey. Even though my blog is just a baby -  their continuous inspiration has kept Teaching in the Heart of Florida growing!

Here are my top ten (in no particular order) blogs of 2014:

1.   Schoolgirl Style
2.   A Modern Teacher
3.   The Cornerstone for Teachers
4.   Teaching and Tapas
5.   The Curriculum Corner
6.   3rd Grade Thoughts
7.   The Guru Sensei
8.   Tales from Outside the Classroom
9.   Ashleigh's Education Journey
10. Common Core and So Much More

If you need to find your teaching passion again, or want to find new classroom ideas and resources - check out these blogs.  Once you start, you will wonder how you survived in the classroom without them!  Have fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Reflecting on the First Half

Honestly.  This has been the busiest, most stressful school year ever. Implementing the new Florida standards has been a HUGE challenge in every way. Of course, this is the year that I am doing the unpopular, but necessary job of grade level chair.  (In my grade level, it's passed on to the next victim with a sigh of relief) The little stipend that you get does not entice anyone to do the job.  In our school, the grade level chair makes all the copies and this takes 2 - 3 extra hours per week.  Those are precious hours that could be used for more enjoyable activities, like having a life! 

One of my goals this year was to create more products for my TPT store. Unfortunately, that has not happened due to the increased workload at school. But, I am hopeful that the new year will bring a bit of a break in the constant occurrence of 9 and 10 hour days at school. So, my goal for 2015 is to find the time to work on these projects and increase my product line.  I truly believe in the idea of Teachers Pay Teachers and I am proud to be a store owner and a buyer.  

With all the added responsibilities I acquired this year, one has been a blessing- starting this blog. I really thought long and hard about committing to writing a blog.  I wasn't sure that I wanted to add another thing to my to-do list.  But it has been extremely rewarding both personally and professionally.  I look forward to sitting down and writing about teaching, because it is still an extremely honorable profession (no matter what the critics say).

When school got out last Friday, I made a promise to myself to NOT do any school related activities until at least January 3rd.  I am taking the time to relax, spend time with my family, read for pleasure, catch up on my sleep, and take a break. I hope you will take a much needed break too - relax and recharge - you deserve it.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Teaching in the Heart of Florida!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Remembering Sandy Hook

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.  As an elementary school teacher, I cannot fathom living through an experience like that.  Our sweet children come to school every day expecting life to be normal just like every other day at school.  Teachers never expect to be the person that may have to save the lives of their students.

On this day two years ago, normal changed forever.  Now, we have hard and soft lock down drills.  We have fences and gates and new security rules.  We talk about where we would hide our students if a shooter were on campus.  We have keys and padlocks and badges and we have to make sure everyone on our campus is a friendly.  

When you became a teacher, did you ever think this would be in your job description?

A few weeks ago, there was a shooting at Florida State University in the main library.  My daughter goes to school there. I was devastated.  Fortunately, she was not at the library - but she could have been.  Due to the quick response of the front desk staff, only one person was critically injured - but he is paralyzed for life.

Why hasn't the shootings of these innocent children and teachers caused more uproar? Why has nothing changed?  The media was covering every aspect of this for about a week or two, then nothing.  We should never forget what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary or Florida State University or any other school.  Our children deserve a safe place to learn.

Everything changed that day 2 years ago. Today I remember 20 sweet children and their dedicated teachers. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Super Cyber Sale - Last Day!

Don't miss out!
Today is the last day of the Teachers Pay Teachers Super Cyber Sale!

I hope you have taken advantage of the great deals. It's a great time to get the resources that will make your teaching day go a little smoother and help your kiddos learn something in a new and unique way.

If you are looking for a fun way for your students to practice and reinforce their multiplication and division facts - Winter Math Bingo is perfect for you!

Guided Math Center Planning Guide

Here's a little freebie for you!  My Guided Math Center Planning Guide is perfect 
for teachers who love to teach math in small groups!  Check it out!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Super Cyber Sale is Here!

Now that the turkey has been eaten....let's move on to the real holiday season!

Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a site wide sale on December 1st and 2nd. This is a great time to get the resources on your wish list.  

Here are a few suggestions for year round resources for your classroom from my store:

This is a great set to use in RTI groups and
 as a way to improve overall fluency 

in all readers.
 This bundle has everything you need for the school year.

Florida 3rd Grade LAFS Planning and Progress Monitoring Checklist
Florida teachers need a unique standards list in order to track when they teach what in Language Arts. This resource is perfect for both planning and tracking of the LAFS standards.


Florida 3rd Grade MAFS Planning and Progress Monitoring Checklist
Set up exactly like the LAFS Standards Checklist, but for Math.
Really ideal for planning and tracking MAFS Standards.

Check out all the great deals - but don't wait too long!  The sale is for December 1st and 2nd only. 20% off all products in my store and many others on Teachers Pay Teachers!