Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Unloving Ways

I recently came across this quote on pintrest and I really took it to heart. "The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways."
We have all experienced "that kid" once or twice, or a bit more in our teaching career. The one kid who can get under your skin more moments than not. The one kid who purposely does the opposite of EVERYTHING you ask. The one kid who you pray will be absent today. The one kid who can make you rethink your whole teaching career.

Amongst your frustration it's incredibly difficult to step aside to think, "Why are they, they way they are?" I have taught in an urban district for the majority of my career. I have had kids that only eat when they are at school, lost a parent, don't have a bed, or have parents that are never around. Sadly, the list goes on and on of the obstacles kids must overcome. These are the kids who need the most love.

I am as guilty as the next teacher giving up too easily or making excuses for my students behavior. Year after year I become a stronger more reflective teacher, because that is what my students deserve.

There are reasons for kid's behavior and giving them LOVE is exactly what they need. Now I know you are wondering what can I do to give them the love they need? Unfortunately there is no magic solution and things don't happen over night. Here is what I find helps us make steps in the right direction:

Get to know the child From one on one time during lunch or a shared journal try to find out all you can about them. Kids are individuals and the more you know them, the better you will understand their needs.

Be Patient Everything takes time! You might make progress and then have a rough day or two and that's OK! Know when to revisit a situation when you and your student are in a calmer state. Kids can smell frustration.

Learn to forgive Every day is a new day. Do not hold grudges on kids from a previous day or days before. Give kids a chance to have great moments.

Know that you do not have all the answers No one has all the answers, seek help when you need it. If you are not having luck with one source, find another. Counselors, administrators or other teachers can often give you great insight.

Don't give up Keep asking. Keep searching. Every child is unique and your persistence will help give the child all they need.

So when you have a child asking for love in the most unloving ways please take a step back and remember that they are a child. They may not have all the skills we as adults have. They may have had more trauma in their short life then we could ever imagine. Find the strength to give them they love they need and deserve.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gobble Gobble

Just stopping by to share some turkey goodies! These little turkeys are adorable and they come with 3 writing prompts to engage your little learners. I have added two versions of this little guy, one has lines so students can write what they are thankful for while the other is just showing off his true colors :)

turkey craft

turkey craft

The 3 prompts each have 2 versions as well. One prompt is a question while the other is a sentence starter.
turkey craft writingturkey craft writing
I added this little freebie from my pack for all my wonderful followers!
turkey craft writing freebie

If you think this is adorable as I do click the image below to visit my store and grab this turkey-iffic packet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pumpkin Fun

I recently was a guest author on the Kinder Tribe Blog and share some pumpkin love that I wanted to share with all my followers! As much at I love my pumpkin coffee and pumpkin pie I love incorporating a pumpkin theme into my teaching! There are so many great books out there on pumpkins that it hard to pick just one as my favorite! 
Pumpkin Circle is a great book with wonderful pictures that describes the pumpkin life cycle.

In Literacy students bring so much knowledge to the class that they already have about pumpkins that we are able to activate our schema and then gain new knowledge from books we read! I love using sticky notes to invite students to share what they know and learned!

To bring some hands-on active learning we use our senses to explore pumpkins and the students love it! 

Once we explore a real pumpkin we write all of the adjectives we can think of about pumpkins.

Click here to grab these freebies.

In Math, we use large paper pumpkins and bean bags to create math problems and work with ten frames.

I hope this sparked some ideas of your own! What do you like to do with your kiddos in the fall?

 Hugs and Smiles,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

This Year's 'Room'


I know I haven't posted in FOREVER! Things have just been so crazy with this new school year and family stuff that my blog had to take a back seat.  

This year I accepted a new position at my school and I have been one busy lady! I left the classroom and I am a teacher coach for Kindergarten and First Grade. I won't lie, I miss the classroom. Things are crazy, busy, new, and exciting-But I'm learning a whole lot. I LOVE helping teachers grow in their profession and I feel as if I can help more students in turn.

I do not have a classroom (obviously) but I have an ginormous office that I am working very hard to turn into a teacher resource center. It is still a work in progress but thought I would share pictures of my 'room' with you.

When you first walk in this is what you see!
 A little cozy spot for teachers to relax!
 This wall holds lot of our reading program information.
 Book and my desk area
 Another view.

 Showcase of books and thematic items teachers can use.
My door! I created my clip art look alike from the Build a Teacher Pack by MelonHeadz.

I hope your school year is going well!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Made It

I've had a pretty busy summer creating so I thought I would show you a few highlights in this edition on Monday Made It!

We are blessed with walls at school that are just a HUGE bulletin board. No cinder blocks everything can be stapled into the wall. I have a few quotes that I have hung up for years but I jazzed them up a bit! I bought this wooden frames from Michales Craft store and just painted them the colors I needed and placed my min posters in them! As you can see I had a little help. I can't wait to hang these on the walls!

My second project I want to share is these adorable invitations I made from my son's Birthday. I almost always order through Shutterfly and end up spending WAY too much and it never dawned on me that I could just make it! I love the way they came out AND I saved myself a ton of money by making a JPEG and printing them at Walmart!

 Yup that is a crayon with my blog name on it! How cool is that. We took a small road trip to the Crayola Experience and had a blast! There is so much for the kids to do, and the gift shop is a teacher's dream come true! If you get the chance I would totally make the trip. They have a few locations just click on the image below to see their page!
Here are a few shots of my own loves having fun!

Summer allows me to get in the kitchen more and I discovered two fantastic recipes! The first one was for this pleo granola. It made the whole house smell wonderful while it was in the oven! You can find the recipe HERE
 The second recipe the whole family enjoyed was Spinach Mac and Cheese! Everyone loves Mac and Cheese but throwing spinach in just makes you feel a bit better while pigging out!
Well that's it for me! Please stop by Fourth Grade Frolics page to see what other fabulous bloggers have been making!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Creating a COZY Classroom

I know many of you will be setting up your classrooms soon, so it's a perfect time to share some of my tips to create a cozy classroom. Like many teachers I spend hours upon hours setting up my classroom to make sure it's perfect learning environment for my students and I to spend our days in. I'm always looking for ways to make my room cozy and welcoming.

I really believe that creating a cozy classroom is so very important. We spend much of our life in our classrooms and you need to love where you will be day in and day out. To our students the classroom is a little home away from home where they should feel comfortable to explore and learn!

Tip #1 Find Your Color Scheme
My first few years teaching, my classroom was a mish mosh of things I gathered. As years went on I found two colors that just worked for me and now I found my color scheme. Too many colors can make for a busy room that lacks focus. By choosing a few colors it really helps define a room.
(The above images are from Creative Teaching Press and Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits)

Tip #2 Create Individual Cozy Spaces
Aside from their desks your students should have the chance to find and use personal cozy spots throughout the day. Pillows and blankets create quick and comfy spots. Crate seats also make for extra seating and storage. Take advantage of thrift stores and yard sales you never know what gem you will find!

Tip #3 Make Your room Scent-Sational 
Let's be honest kids can be stinky and messy! It is amazing how your room will get a totally different feel to it after you attack it with some Clorox wipes. I also love using plug in tart warmers, Yankee Candle makes some wonderful scents. If you are looking for a more holistic approach essential oils can add some extra warmth to your classroom.
Note: Please check your student's allergies before adding scents to your room. 

Tip #4 De- Clutter
Clutter makes people anxious. If students don't know where things go our how to find something it will make your life more difficult. Students should have access to 90% or more of the room-It's their space too. If your classroom is labeled and kid friendly it will automatically at a cozy feeling. I love visiting the Clutter Free Classroom's Blog, so many great ideas of how to make your classroom clutter free!

Tip #5 Add Personal Touches
Make your room, YOUR room. I always add photos of may family, it's important to show students you are human too! Curtains are a quick and easy way to soften up any cinder block classroom. Bringing in houseplants or other types of decorations can give your room more of a personal touch as well!

Hope these tips give you inspiration this year!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pintrest Pick 3 August

It is August, which means the count down is on for Back to School. I am one of the luck ones and our kids don't start until after Labor Day! Today I am bringing you 3 of my most favorite Pins to inspire you this school year! I am linking up with Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching for August's Pick 3 Pintrest Party. So here you go...

As a mom of boys and a teacher of Primary grades this pin caught my eye immediately! How can you not love anything Lego related? I am always looking for Work Work ideas early in the year for those babies who still need help with their letter recognition. Young learners will be instantly engaged with this center.

If you look closely there are two spoons on top of each other. The white spoon has the uppercase letter and the clear spoon has they lowercase letter. What a cute and low cost idea to add to your classroom!
This pin really got my creative juices flowing and I thought of tons of other possibilities: numbers and dots, opposites, color and color word.... the list goes on and on!

I saw this pin forever ago and LOVED the creativity! How cute would this DIY bubble gum machine be on your desk? You can fill it with tiny erasers or a yummy treat for you kiddos!

I hope these pins inspired you and got you in the "Back to School" mode! If you are looking for more inspiration click the images below to see some amazing pins picked out by some great teachers!