Saturday, February 9, 2019

Who am I?

Who am I?  So many different words describe me, but anyone who meets me quickly learns of my genuine passion for teaching, educating, and children.

Teaching and educating are two different things in my opinion.  I believe teaching includes academics and social skills, while educating includes helping anyone - young or old - to learn how to contribute to our world and make the world a better place.  Maybe this is teaching children how to think for themselves and solve problems.  Maybe this includes teaching fellow teachers effective methods so they can help their students.  Educating is a deeper level of teaching - but that's just my opinion.

I mention both of these because and educating is a big, HUGE, part of me.  I never imagined when I was a baby teacher, right out of college, that 15 years later I would truly be an educator.  I educate children with passion and excitement through technology integration, hands on games, classroom transformations, and so many other innovative practices.  Take a look at a few examples of my passion...

Dinosaur day classroom transformation to review rocks, shapes, measurement, sight words, and so much more!  I even hand painted each child a shirt.



Pirate themed review day



Student built space station during STEM time to practice and review objects in the night sky


Click here to see this in action on Twitter.

Here is our 100th day of school spy lab to review number and counting concepts and rescue our kidnapped Zero the Hero!



The wedding of Q and U - never write a Q without a u!


We love tech tools to Show What We Know!  Many of these apps include:

iMovie to create our iMovie alphabet wall, which includes QR codes to each letter's movie so students can scan them and review that letter's sound.


Green Screen is used to create so many story retells!  Check out our Stellaluna retell in October!


Chatterpix is our all time favorite!  You can turn anything into a speaking object.  We love this for sharing facts about our learning.  Check out our shape hunt in which we used Chatterpix to tell the attributes of the shapes we found.


We also love Adobe Spark to tell things we have learned.


For example our knowledge of prefixes, pumpkin life cycles, and how to care for the Earth.

We share alllll of these awesome learning adventures in our digital portfolios that go straight to our parents in Seesaw!

And the robots..... we use them for sight words, numbers, map learningcontractionscounting money - so much!





Anyways, if you need anymore examples of my passion, just read my blog

or check out me out on Twitter
or on Instagram
or my Facebook page
or my TPT store.



Educating educators is another HUGE passion of mine and a big part of who I am.  I have presented for Abilene Christian University for the Alumni in Action conference.  I have worked with three school districts in Texas to help with Daily Five and Writer's Workshop learning.  I have mentored 8 new to the profession teachers, and I present for Staff Development for Educators.




I absolutely, positively love to share ideas with other teachers.  That's a big reason why I started this blog and my TPT store, which led to other social media platforms that allow me to share ideas.

My passion for education has allowed me to be named the district teach of the year in Pflugerville ISD



Aldeo ISD

and the Texas Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year
 

 I am thankful for these honors, but they're only achievable when I place my students first in all I do to prepare for each school day.

But my number 1 passion is simply children.  I CANNOT believe that each day my JOB is to be with children!  I have always been passionate about children and have tried to find ways to make the world a better place for children.

I have traveled the world to help children....

Africa



Peru



Ukraine




I have also taught in 3 states - Texas, Ohio, and Utah.  Every country and every state has taught me so much about becoming an educator - an educator that I never imagined I could be.

All of my passion for teaching, educating, and children has made me realize more and more each day how much more I want to learn to become a better educator for children and adults.  I love attending professional development conferences and classes.  Here are so fun snapshopts of past trainings, including I Teach K and Get Your Teach On.


 


I just always want to remember this motto as I teach, educate, and fulfill my passion.  It comes from Get Your Teach On.


What an awesome time to be an educator.  We have so much to learn and so many ways to learn!






Monday, September 3, 2018

What's the Buzz on Flexible Seating?


Happy New Year!


I am loving my return to second grade this year after Mr. Brian, Daisy, Duke, and I moved to Utah and I accepted a position at South Weber Elementary School!



I am still planning on posting TONS of kinder ideas and I will even be presenting in Virginia, Alabama, and Texas this school year to spread my love of all things kinder!

One goal I have for my blog is to post topics that apply to all levels of early childhood - PreK to 2nd grade - as well as super fun second grade activities!

Flexible seating is one of those mulit-level trends that are research based to help students engage in their learning better.  I could yap and yap about it, but let's see what the experts say:

...and you know I love that brain research!  Stretch those brains everyday!


So here are some of my current classroom flex seating choices for my sensational second graders:




The table trays and Big Joe chairs are from Walmart.




Amazon supplied our yellow cushion chairs, white low table, and our book bikes.



Ikea has our awesome cube stools (with storage inside) and our blue low table.

In my classroom I choose to call flexible seating "Smart Spots" and found this AmAzInG resource on TPT from Polka Dots Please.  It includes a book to introduce Smart Spots that helps young students learn the rules of caring for Smart Spots.

After reading the book, I gave my kiddos a scavenger hunt to find some of our Smart Spots.  I kept our square pillows hidden so they never actually finished, but kept looking.



I also created this Adobe Spark video to showcase our Smart Spots.
(click below)


Here are some fun pics of us using our Smart Spots!





Click below to check out my tweet of our Smart Spots on video during Daily 5 stamina building.


Along with learning about our Smart Spots during the first week of school, I also let my busy bees decorate a personal clipboard to keep forever so they always have a hard surface to complete work.  Take a look at this kiddo working against her chair with a square pillow cushion while using her clipboard.


Just a few other fun pics of physical learning....


Our trampoline is coming out next week to bounce as we respond to questions I am asking to check for understanding.



My teacher chair transforms into a ladder for students to take the stage when they have brilliant thinking to share.

Here are some pics of my Pete the Cat kindergarten classroom last year and the flex seating I used:


I got these through Donor's Choose.  I LOVE bouncy seats and I am trying to get more!


Laundry baskets and scoop rockers are the PERFECT size for kinders and firsties!


My little yellow table was a great size for kindergarten as well.


Wobble stools are a great addition, too!

I hope this little post inspired you to try some flex seating this year!

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