Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Swag

So I am on day four of new teacher academy and I am exhausted.  Once I catch my breath I'll write a longer post about it it for now you'll just have to believe I am tired.
In organizing my new room I have found tons of fabulous primary source books that I am just beyond psyched to use.  I promised myself that I would create one product for Teachers Pay Teachers before school starts and the books got me jazzed.  I made this Common Core aligned task cards that guide students through the process of analyzing and understanding primary sources.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Interactive Notebooks

One of my goals this year into really start pumping up my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I promise I won't inundate you with lots of products. Just like with blogging, though, I've noticed that there is definitely a need for middle school products. After we got back from the White Mountains, I spent all night building building an interactive notebook unit for the five themes of geography. I can't wait to use it in class and right now it's on sale in my TPT store. Click here to check it out!




While you are there, my entire store is 15% off for two days only. I have some awesome argument writingfoldables in there that have worked wonders in a notebook and have made argument writing easy cheesy! Click here to buy my swag!!!


Enjoy and if you make a purchase, let me know how you like it!!!!



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gearing up!!!

Tomorrow is my last day of vacation.  I'm a little sad but also a lot excited about starting this new chapter of my career.  The fam and I just got back from a wonderful week in the White Mountains.
Do you like how our poor two year old is nothing but a black bar?  Maybe next year I will finally get the Christmas card pic I have always envisioned.  We almost made it this year!  We had a fabulous time at StoryLand and Santa's Village.

We're all a little excited to get back to school, though. The boy is starting first grade and beyond excited, the hub has math floating in his brain and the girl.... Well, she's two.  She doesn't know what she wants.  I actually just saw her double check to see if she had pants on.
My new school asked me to come in last week to help hire a new math teacher.  I jumped at the opportunity to help my new community and see my new classroom.  I had a great time meeting members of my new team and am blown away by my new classroom.



It is huge!!! I just left a really big classroom and this is TWICE the size!  It also has tons of storage!
 And.....

 I'm going to go to Home Depot and get some panel board to cover up the old blackboard.  I'm going to screw it to the wooden frame so it can be removed easily if I ever have to move rooms.  I'm going to iParty tomorrow to pick up some table cloths to create bulletin boards on the back walls. Of course, the elephant in the room is that.... OMG!  It has stadium seating and I like to put my midgets in groups day one.  I already have some ideas but would love to hear advice from others.  
On Monday, I start new teacher academy for half days and then next week we officially begin.   So happy  to have the time because between trying to make my  new room at least a little inhabitable (it's going to have to be a work in process) , creating interactive notebook activities for my first two units and making play doh for 120 kids (if you don't know why, you are going to have to read Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess @burgessdave) I think  I'm going to be a bit busy:)
Again, if you can suggest any tips and tricks for teaching in stadium seating, I would love to hear them!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Rainy Day Fun

Happy summer all! I haven't been writing because I haven't really had anything to write about. I'm at this weird limbo of being between schools. On top of American History I will also be teaching Ancient World History. I haven't taught it in over six years but I'm excited to tackle it as the teacher I am today. Unfortunately, my new school doesn't open to teachers until next week and of course we are going on a final summer hurrah next week to Santa's Village. My new assistant principal did ask me to help with some interviews for a math teacher on Tuesday, so we did decide to postpone a day so I can take this opportunity to begin to become part of my new community. That means that next Tuesday will be the first day I actually get to see the school and my classroom. My AP did describe my classroom to me. On the positive side he said it was really big, great for projects and has tons of storage. On the interesting side.... It has stadium seating. Ha! I can't wait to see it so I can wrap my head around it.

Because of this limbo, I've been really taking my cues from the book Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess. I just finished it a couple of weeks ago and it was really enjoyable and got me even more jazzed for my new job. Dave makes a big case for creating an atmosphere in the first days that invite children into your classroom and give them an insight into you. Today we had a major rainy day here in the northeast and I decided to try my hand at something I saw on Pinterest (and of course now I can't find it:) ). I decided to create a movie trailer for my teaching. I used the movie trailer function in iMovie and I used Keynote to create all the wording. I also used a cool intro and credit app that was totally gratuitous but fun.

Here's the link if youre viewing on a tablet: http://youtu.be/MENWhWhjVoc I loooove how it came out! It is too quick, but since I used the trailer mode in iMovie, I can't change that. What I will do, is watch it a second time and pause to discuss some of the elements of the video. I will admit, this took a couple of hours. Mostly, it was because I hadn't used the trailer mode, I kept googling to see if I could change things (like the length of clips) and I'm kind of a perfectionist. I basically did it once and then did it over because I learned how to do it better.

So, what do you like to do in the first days of school so the kiddos are revved up?

I'm linking this post on up to one of my favorite blogs, Technology Tailgate. Hop on over and see the technology goodness. Click on the picture!