Sunday, October 26, 2014

Liebster Award!

It's been a week since I've been nominated for this and I'm just getting around to it! I've been such a bad blogger lately! I've been super overwhelmed with school and I've been spending any extra minute I have making lessons for TPT. The Liebster Award nomination from LoveLi Class was such a surprise and gave me smile! Thank you SO much!

This award goes to bloggers with less than 200 followers. Now I get to answer 11 questions and then nominate 11 bloggers for the award.  

Here it goes!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I was straight out of the credential program, living back home, and had no job prospects! I managed to find a part time teaching job through a friend of a friend of a friend... I worked at a small private school that had a very alternative schedule, philosophy, and structure.  To say the least, I was lost and needed support.  I ended up stumbling upon some teacher blogs.  I instantly felt connected to other kindergarten and first grade teachers. I found this support system that helped me survive my first year of teaching.  Since then, I've become a professional blog stalker! It wasn't until this June, that I got the confidence to start my own blog! I started a blog hoping that my small words of wisdom will find their way into the hands of a new, lost, exhausted teacher that is just stumbling out of a credential program! 

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Fun! Teaching should be fun, the kids should be having fun, or it isn't working.  I truly believe that if school isn't fun the kids won't learn.  I hope that my blog reflects that!

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey that you wished you knew before?
I've learned to be patient. I wish I was more patient in the beginning of my journey.  I started my blog and naively expected to have a 100 followers and be making lots of money on TPT! It took about 1 week for me to realize blogging is a slow, gradual journey. It doesn't happen over night :) I now get excited about the $0.30 cents I make every day (on a good week!) and the 1-2 comments I may get.  It's the small things, right?

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
I got a puppy about a year ago (hence the blog theme)! He is the love of my life and I absolutely LOVE taking him on adventures, going to the beach, and cuddling on the couch.  Other hobbies of mine include crafting, wakeboarding, photography, and shopping!

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
It really depends on the week! Some weeks I put 6 hours into blogging/TPTing and other weeks I put 1 hour into it.  I really just try to squeeze it in between teaching and life (wait, what's that?)!

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I love any blog post that gives me an instant idea I can use in my classroom the next day.  Anchor charts, classroom examples, lesson ideas, innovative projects are what I look for when blog stalking! These are also the types of posts I try to put up on my blog.  But, I learned very quickly that to be part of the blogging world, it's more than just posting about lessons.  It's about putting yourself out there, sharing the latest DIY project, and venting after a bad day of teaching.  

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
The first blog I ever came across was The First Grade Parade. It was so inspiring, organized, cute, and helpful! I always look back to her blog when it comes to inspiration. I'm also inspired on a daily basis by The Inspired Apple. I followed her back when she was Babbling Abby and used SO many of her products when I taught K/1.  Now that I teach fourth grade, I look to other blogs such as Fourth N Ten  and Teaching With A Mountain View for inspiration! 

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I've mostly been linking up with other bloggers for their Linky Partiess.  I don't feel like I have too many original blog posts yet.  I would have to say my Classroom Reveal post made me proud because it was one of my first posts and it's my first REAL classroom! Lots of things to be proud of this year :)
9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now? 
YES! Of course there are tons. I have a notebook going of potential blog posts! I would like to post more about how I use the TPT products I create in my classroom.  I'll get there!

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
I'd have to say the feeling of community that you get from complete strangers.  I never thought a total stranger could feel like a friend! I hope one day to actually meet some of these bloggers.  I have this support community that has truly been there when I've really needed them.

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?
I'm loving everything about this Monday Made It Post! I want to try ALL of these things. The chalkboard, close reading bookmarks, and homework chart are adorable! Thanks for the great ideas :)

Pay it Forward: My Liebster Nominations

Now that you've been nominated, 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 of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mathematical Monday - Strategies Galore!!

Happy Monday Blogger Friends! I spent the weekend preparing for my first official observation at my new school.  There is nothing more terrifying than being watched as a teacher! I have to remember that I always come away from observations learning something new, which only makes me a better teacher.  As many times as I remind myself of this, the butterflies don't go away!

I'm linking up with I {Heart} Recess for the first time! I'm loving her Mathematical Monday linky party.

We've been working on Addition and Subtraction in fourth grade.  I have to give a big shout-out to the third grade teachers for doing a great job prepping the students! They know their strategies.  We've reviewed all the strategies from last year and added the Standard Algorithm for fourth grade.  It's an anchor chart party in my room!

What Addition and Subtraction strategies do you use in your classroom?

I've been working hard on getting the kids to check their subtraction by using addition! I've had a lot of "Ah-ha" moments when their addition doesn't work out and they look at my like, "I subtracted wrong!" It's been a great learning experience for them and it makes them truly think about their problem solving.

I do Math Centers EVERY DAY! I think it's so important for me to work with a small group and the students are so motivated by math games and task cards.  I've never had a problem with kids goofing off because they know it's a privilege to play games and they don't want to mess that up. With that being said, it's a constant challenge keeping the math centers new and exciting.  I created this Fall Themed Math Center for them to work on this week! I will be getting my laminating on this morning!

You can grab this math center here.

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Currently!

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the October Currently! I am SO excited it's finally October ... although it is the longest month of the whole school year.  It's a whole month without a single long weekend, holiday, or half day. Now that's SPOOOKY!

Listening: Okay I am finally admitting it... I like Taylor Swift's new song. No I'm not a 13 year old girl but hey it's catchy. It's quite addicting and just happens to be playing on the radio EVERY DAY on my way to work!

Loving: I love decorating for the seasons and Fall/Halloween have some of the best decorations. I'm digging these new mats I found at Home Goods.

Thinking: I don't know what it is about this week but I'm exhausted!!! Maybe it's the crazy 95 degree weather or my chatty class but it's time for the WEEKEND :)

Wanting: I am new to TPT and the blogging world.  So badly, I just want to sit with an experienced blogger and pick her brain.  Any California bloggers out there want to meet-up??? Any TPT experts that have tips or tricks to being successful??

Needing: Sleep??? Enough said. #teacherproblems #isitsummeryet

Treat: My new favorite website and resource for kid friendly, lexile leveled, interesting nonfiction texts = NewsELAYou can create a class and assign articles, print them out and use them for close reading, or project them and use them as a class.  This week my class has read about shark finning, Orca whales, and Minecraft!

Happy October Teachers!