Sunday, May 31, 2015

I've Got Summer Goals!





Well in 4.5 days this school year will be in the books and I will be off for a blissful 72 days. Even though it happens every June, it's so hard to comprehend that another year has passed. It's almost too good to be true ... especially when you are in the middle of February and you are pushing your kiddos to get every bit of learning in before testing. Then when testing is over (which for us was the end of March), you think..why was I so worried and stressed?  They have learned so much! Then May rolled around and you have a field trip and end of the year activities and test scores due. Whew!  It seems like it never ends and then it does.  Just like that - it's June and you have 4.5 days left!

One thing I have learned is to prepare as much for the next school year as possible, so that you are not overwhelmed more than you will be after being off 72 days.  So that past few weeks I have been re-organizing, cleaning, and preparing my room for my new decor (because I just can't stop re-decorating). But, I have an amazing volunteer who has been cutting and cutting and cutting things for me.  Thank goodness for her!

Another big reason I am working so hard right now preparing my classroom for next year is that I don't want to spend my summer doing that. I mean I will do some things as I think of them or see a new really great idea on Pinterest. But I have goals - summer goals - that are on my priority list. 





First and foremost - my goal is to work on my blog.  I started this blog last summer and I love doing it.  I want to expand my audience, revamp the design of it, and have amazing content for the next school year.  

Next, I want to get more invested in the professional development and curriculum planning arena.  I dipped my toes in that this year by presenting my Smarty Pants Goals at a Symposium here in my home district.  I received wonderful feedback and would love to do that again.  What an exciting field that is right now! Pinterest, Facebook, Teachers Pay Teachers, and blogging have opened up a huge opportunity for teachers to expand their horizons. The more I learn and read about this the more I want to jump in! I am so inspired by ladies like Angela Watson, Laura Candler, Ashleigh S., and Melanie at Schoolgirl Style! Hoping to have lots of new resources for TPT, and ideas for presenting those resources to teachers. 

Personally, I want to get back in my running routine. This school year really zapped my time and running fell by the wayside, especially since I was grade level chair and I worked SO many more hours. Fortunately, I am passing the torch to another teacher for next year. I'm excited about getting back to it - bring on the endorphins!

Before I do anything though, I am taking the month of June off completely.  My sweet hubby and I are doing a road trip up through the Smoky Mountains into Virginia and up to Pennsylvania to see Gettysburg and the Amish country.  It's our first vacation alone since I was pregnant with our 21 year old daughter.  So, we are really excited to be hitting the road without much of a schedule other than doing whatever we want, when we want to. 

I hope you are having a wonderful end to your school year and have summer goals that will make you happy and ready to do it again in August! I would love to hear about them, so leave a comment here or hop on over to my Facebook page and tell me your summer goals!
Yahoo!
Happy Summer!
Rissa

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day - We Remember



I hope you take a moment this Memorial Day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  I have had many members of my family serve in the armed forces and am so grateful that none have lost their lives.  But I know many are suffering today as they remember loved ones lost way too early. 

Thank you for your service - we remember you.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

4 Perfectly Easy Tips to Survive the Last Days of School



You know that feeling..13 days left...your students are driving you crazy...they're driving each other crazy...how are we going to make it the next 13 days?  Why don't you change things up? Keep those students guessing and wondering what you are up to! 



Arrange those desks a new way.  If your students are used to being in groups of four or five - change it. Put them in a circle - a horseshoe shape, or in smaller groups. Any little change will keep it fresh and interesting for them and you!

Image result for student desks in rows
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



ABC order, tallest to shortest, shortest to tallest, birth order, red shirts first, blue shirts first, etc. are a few ways you can line them up. They love this one because if their last name begins with W - they are always at the end of the line! Miraculously, their behavior changes, just little angels walking quietly with their arms folded.




                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy a roll of raffle tickets. During the day, give out a ticket for good behavior. Then at the end of the day, pull a ticket to go to the treasure box. Do this every day and play up the drama of the moment.  Add and take away some of the toys each day, so they never know what will be in the treasure box! Why do kids like treasure box toys so much?  Who knows, but it works!






             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




If you teach from the front of the classroom - move.  Sit among your students....sit on the counter.....just make a change!  Give the chalk to your students and have them demonstrate how to solve that math problem.  Let them read text aloud popcorn style. Keep their interest! 




                                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Teaching at this time of the year is extremely challenging. Students are thinking about summer and you don't want them getting off task and misbehaving. That's hard on you and actually hard on them. So, change things up starting tomorrow! These last days will go by so much faster and smoother. You and your students will be glad you did!  Good Luck!

Rissa



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

#TEACHERS HELPING TEACHERS





One of the things that I love about Teachers Pay Teachers is just that. Teachers supporting each other in the classroom by offering reasonable, effective classroom resources.  I'm a seller and a buyer, like most teachers on the site.  I appreciate the hard work that goes into a resource and the ease of just buying that one item that is perfect for my needs right when I need it. 

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, TPT is offering an extra 10% discount on top of the 20% most shopowners are offering today and tomorrow only.  So, check it out and get those time-saving, perfect resources you will need next school year.  In turn, you will do yourself a favor by planning ahead and avoiding the beginning of the school year time crunch.



My entire store is on sale, so take a peek!  






Happy Shopping and Thank You 
for all that you do!





Monday, May 4, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week - Thank You for Sharing

So true! #education #quotes


Last summer, when I had plenty of time and a clear head, I started looking at what new and improved strategies, structures, and ideas I wanted to implement in my classroom. As I was perusing Pinterest and launching this blog, I came across hundreds of amazing ideas from teachers.  So many great ideas! But some really resonated with me as being perfect for infusing some much needed freshness and enthusiasm into my classroom.

Here's a few that I tried and loved:

                                 


Loved this one and so did my students!  So easy to set up and use in the classroom, computer lab, and at home.  The best part: they send you an e-mail to let you know how your kiddos are doing! Found this on a teacher blog of course!



This is a little freebie from Who's Who and Who's New.  What a great idea and a great conversation starter with students. Me: "Did you check your work?" Student: "Yes." Me: "But, you didn't answer number 5." Student: "Oh." Now I have it posted in my classroom as a reminder and students use it as a checklist before turning in their work.


This great idea was really more of a springboard for inplementing many ways to use post it notes for collaboration. But this one starts great conversations with kids.  Each student answers the question given, then they share and decide what the "best" response is and write it in the center.  It's from Runde's Room. 

A special shout out to some very special teachers at my school for sharing your wonderful ideas and practices that have positively impacted my classroom this year! Thank you Heather, Robin, Katie, Mallory T., Mallory W., and Marlene!


So thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  I hope you feel as appreciated as you are!

Rissa

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Big Thank You is coming on May 5th and 6th!




A Big Thank You for all that you do for children everyday - 20% off sale at Teachers Pay Teachers on May 5th and 6th. It's a perfect time to stock up on your wish list items for next year! So mark your calendar and don't miss this great sale! 

Don't forget to visit my store!