Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday - Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!!! I hope you all have a frightfully great time this weekend! I am joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday - barely!
 Yesterday (Thursday) afternoon IT came and reimaged my computer. Do you know what that means? They wiped it completely clean and it is just like brand new. I did know this was going to happened so I have every thing backed up (I hope!) on an external hard drive but now I have to make time to transfer all my stuff back over. I am hoping they way I saved things on the hard drive will make it a little less painful. I just hate that right now I cannot find a thing on this computer! Please forgive the lack of pictures as they are somewhere between the cloud, my external hard drive, and the 3 flash drives I have floating around!
Is it just me or are the kiddos loosing their minds. My class has been EXTREMELY active - more so than the normal "it's almost Halloween and the weather is changing for the 100th time" active. I have really dug into Class Dojo. Have you tried this? I am loving it and so are my kids. I customized all the positive (dings) and negative (dongs) points and meet with each child at the end of the day to let them know how they have done. At the end of the week, students with enough points visit the treasure chest. Students can also go online with a code and personalize their avatar - hello OWNERSHIP! Parents can also go online with a personal code and see how each day has been and at the end of the week Class Dojo sends them a weekly report. I love how easy this makes marking my behavior sheets at the end of the day. It also makes giving conduct grades at the end of the quarter effortless and equitable!

A Plea For Help!
 This year I have quite a few kiddos that do not know letter names and are having a hard time learning them. We have amazing tutors that come in and work with small groups to help these kids but we are seeing limited progress. What do you do with your kiddos that are having trouble with letter names???? All tools and suggestions are welcome!
 As you may have seen in my post earlier this week, the AMAZING Pixie Anne from Growing Little Learners nominated me for the Liebster Award. I am so honored and had to give her one more shout out of thanks!!!! Check my earlier post for the 11 amazing blogs that I have nominated - they are all so amazing and deserving!

Today my beautiful nieces are coming down for Trick or Treating and I cannot wait until I get off work at 6:00 (I work at our After School Childcare program) to go play! My amazing husband is surprising them with a hayride for their transportation around the neighborhood. Who walks when you can ride on a trailer filled with hay!! 

How are you spending your Halloween weekend? Leave a comment below and then head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and see what others have been doing this week!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Liebster Award

I am so excited to have been nominated for a Liebster Award!!! Thank you so much to Pixie Anne at Growing Little Learners for the nomination!!! The Liebster Award is a way for newer bloggers (with less than 200 followers) who have great content, to link up, meet other bloggers and share a little about themselves!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging
 Blogging was a complete accident and I am so happy for it! I started reading blogs two years ago to get inspiration and ideas for my classroom. I then found the amazing resource Teachers Pay Teachers. Being OCD, I wanted to make things like what I found on TPT but that perfectly fitted me and my classroom theme - frogs. After spending countless hours teaching myself to design I decided to open my TPT store just to share what I created and to support my TPT and graphic habit!  I realized the best way to share my product would be with a blog, so I decided I would give it a try. A year and a half ago and started my own blog. I now spend WAY more time on my blog than my TPT store. I have been truly blessed by all the amazing teachers I have met along the way!

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why
Connections! As a teacher, we spend so much of our time with little ones that it is so nice to have adult interactions. I have amazing teacher friends and amazing non teacher friends to help fill my need for adult interaction but lets face it, we are a different breed. I saw an great article on Facebook this weekend from the blog Love, Teach {here} explaining why teachers are psychos. It is hilarious but true. I think blogging has connected me with so many amazing teachers that "get it". I love hearing their teaching stories and how that interacts with their personal lives. It is nice to be connected and know that we can all by psycho together!

 3. Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey you wished you knew before
YES! So much!!! For much of my first year of blogging, I was clueless. I felt like I was talking to dead air. I then learned the power of linkies and blog hops. I also learned a lot about blog design that would not trade for anything! The blogosphere is full of amazing, talented and friendly people that have blessed me and this blog!

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?  
Doing anything with my beautiful nieces, my 3 dogs, and my hubby! I also love to read (books and blogs), "playing" on Pinterest and spending time at the beach.

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?  
A couple of hours now that school is back in but I always wish I had more time! 

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most
It's hard to pick just one. I love finding ideas to incorporate technology and I love anything that has a craftivity - whoever came up with this word is genius!

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from
From my Kinders and from the amazing ideas I have gotten from fellow teachers, blogs, and Pinterest. What keeps we coming back though is the connections!

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
My Discovery Education posts {here}. Discovery Education is amazing! Not only is there tons of content that make integrating technology into the classroom easy, there are are also tons of teaching tips and a fabulous support for teachers in aspects of teaching. Almost daily I find some way to use DE in my classroom.

9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now?
I don't think so! I just wish I could get back to the amount of blogging I did this summer!

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
Connections and having a voice!

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself
Pixie Anne has these super cute button frames with pictures and facts about each child for end of the year parent gifts. I have pinned these for the end of the year! Check them out {here}!

Blogs I am nominating:
The Class Couple
Luv My Kinders 
Gluesticks & Crayons
Owl Be In Kindergarten
Pocket of Preschool

Learning at the Teacher Table

Laughter and Consistency

Now its your turn (nominated bloggers) to participate - here are the official "rules" for accepting:

1. In your post link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out".
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above)
3. Nominate 11 blogs that have less than 200 followers each. Provide them with 11 questions (listed above) to have them answer.
4. Let your nominees know they've been nominated and provide them with a link back to your post so they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so s/he can learn more about you as well. (you can just put your post link in the comments below)

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Down on the Farm - Five for Friday

I love Five for Friday from Doodle Bugs Teaching and am excited to share with you my five!
Last week again started out amazing. My sweet nieces came down to visit. We went to my school's Fall Festival on Friday night and on Saturday we went to the Shrimp Festival at the beach (We didn't last long. It was way too hot to have forgotten our swimsuits!), and then to Wales West Pumpkin Patch Express in Silverhill. If you live around the Gulf Coast and you have kiddos of your own, Wales West is worth a trip. I found out about this place when we started taking our Kinders  to the Polar Arctic Express at Christmas and fell in love. The Pumpkin Express did not disappoint. The girls loved riding the two different trains and going on a hay ride and horse/pony ride. We all had a great time going through the haunted house to get to pick our pumpkins and decorate them. I just wish it wasn't 90 degrees with 90% humidity in OCTOBER!!!

 This week at school we started wrapping up our farm unit with a lot of directed art! We made pigs, hens, chicks, sheep, and my favorite - cows!

We survived our first skating trip yesterday!

Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I spent time with my beautiful friend Haley (and my other bestest friends) as we celebrated Haley's wedding! It was an amazing weekend. Kind of sad it is over. Already missing spending so much time with friends from all over!
 I met the beautiful bride in middle school band. We both played the flute!
What a tough life, drinking coffee, overlooking the gulf in our supper cute matching robes while we get hair and makeup done for the big day!

 So maybe this is cheating on my #5 but it is a big deal to me! I am happy to say after two months of back to back full weekends, the sweet hubby and I are spending a nice quiet weekend cleaning and grocery shopping! Doesn't sound like a ton of fun but not having to be anywhere by any certain until church Sunday is going to be AMAZING!

How are you spending this weekend?

Don't forget to leave some love in the comments and then head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to see what has been going on in different classrooms across the blogosphere!
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Creepy and Spooky Wordless Wednesday

I love this time of year! This week we are gearing up for Halloween by learning about Nocturnal and Diurnal animals - aka all things that are "creepy and spooky". These owls are one of my favorite art projects. I love to see how each student interprets the exact same directions!

 This guy is a rebel! He is "floating" in the air instead of sitting on a limb!
 We discussed one owl that looked like he had ears but really they were just feathers. I love to see what they pick up on!
This one if from one of my OCD kids! He said he could NOT mix the colors! :)

What are you guys doing to celebrate fall and Halloween? Comment below and then join Miss DeCarbo and let us know!

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