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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Stock Up Sale! Up to 50% off!

We are to the part of summer when school thoughts are starting to take over.   I am constantly planning in my head.   And I have so many ideas I am actually starting to write plans.... argh!  I have been a TPT buying machine.   

I thought the same thing was probably happening for some of you, so I put everything in my store on sale for 20%,  and marked my two very favorite products down a full 50%!  

Freckle Juice

and The Amazing Super Power of YET! (a great way to start the year!)

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Do You Know Rosie Revere, Engineer?

Do you know Rosie Revere?

She is the Great-Great-Niece of Rosie the Riveter.   Her greatest dream is to become a great engineer.   She creates out of things she finds in the trash.   But she hides it all each night because she is afraid of being laughed out.   It had happened before...

But she receives a visit from a very special relative and everything changes.   This book is INCREDIBLE.    Rosie is likable and fun and is a fabulous example of perseverance.   She learns that mistakes are part of the process and helps students to see that too.  I am planning to use this book to set the tone for our next school year.   

I wrote a week long book study/STEM unit on the book and would love to have a few readers to help me make sure it is free of mistakes and give me advice on what needs to be changed or improved.   If you would be willing to proof read this,  I would be happy to send it to you as is, and then again in final form.


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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Super Power of YET! - Fostering the Growth Mindset

I don't know if there has ever been an educational idea that I have ever been as pumped up about as The Growth Mindset.  If you have not read this book,  you NEED to.

I'm not exaggerating.   I have applied it to my own life, to my mothering,  my marriage, my teaching, my everything.   And the book has a sister...

This book has a million ways to use this thinking in your classroom.

The main idea of the book is that you can have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.   A growth mindset is having the belief that you can always improve,  intelligence and talent are not fixed and with work and time you can improve yourself in any area. It is the belief that potential is never really reached - you can always take it further.    A fixed mindset is having the belief that we are all born with a set intelligence (IQ) and sort of "bundle of potential" and we can't really ever get past that.   You are good at math or you're not, you are a good singer or you are not.  

The first time I read the book,  I bawled.   I had recently had a special education meeting about my son and received a report of his IQ.   It is low.  We knew that.  But under the score,  the information printed stated that we should expect that this IQ will remain within a few points for the rest of his life.  DEFEATING.   While reading this book I felt an enormous surge of hope and excitement.   I know that where he gets in life may not be in the typical range,  but his potential is NOT PREDETERMINED.  Holy wow!   It has changed the way we look at everything with him (and my other kids too), and we addressed this wording in his last meeting and had some of it changed.   It was like a weight off our shoulders.

I recently went to a training and the presenter talked about the power of YET.   That we might not be good at something yet,  but that doesn't mean we can't be.   What an amazingly powerful message for kids when they start in our class.  If we teach them to think in terms of YET,  then they are always striving to get there.   I was so excited about it,  that I went home and started working on this.  I am so excited to use this in the fall.

It is a whole packet of fun goal planning,  progress monitoring, positive thinking goodies to get your kids thinking about the power of YET.   It can be applied to any subject or any life skill.  It applies to baseball, singing, reading, math facts, ANYTHING.   I tried to make sure it could be used with kinder kids or 5th graders.  Please check it out if you get a chance!

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Out of That Room?

I have not posted in what feels like forever.   I am busiest I have ever been in my teaching career.   I have changed schools and I am teaching a very new and very different school.   I am in the same district,  but our district went out on a limb and built a new STEM Academy.   I absolutely love it 98% of the time.    It has been incredibly challenging and incredibly interesting.    I come home from work a whole new level of exhausted,  but I believe in what we are doing,  so it is good exhaustion.

I have wanted to post,  but then I get distracted by this or that. This year has been overwhelming.   But I want to get back to blogging,  I feel it makes me a better teacher.    My blog title seems kind of wrong these days as no longer have a "classroom".   Even the pink and cute doesn't feel so much like my teaching anymore.   I am thinking it is time for a blog make-over.   Something STEM-y.   Any ideas?

It is hard to explain how awesome my school is.   It is open concept,  very tech-ed out and beautiful.   Here is a little video showing a glimpse of it.  

This past year has been a lot of trial and error.   We have 3 second grade teachers and 3 third grade teachers in our "house".   We share an area that has 1 giant "classroom" - that can be made into 2 by closing a white board wall,  a giant science lab that can also be made into 2,  and a big open area in the middle with small kind of partially walled off areas.   You can see some in the video.  We have tried and retried a lot of different teaching models - and we feel like we have a good idea of what we are doing for next year!

We are a K-8 campus which is actually my favorite part.   I have never worked with middle school teachers and they are awesome!! We work in different ways and I feel like I have learned so much watching them.   It is also great to see the continuation of what we do.   Many of the 7th and 8th graders were in my class in 1st grade and it was so great to see them everyday and see how they were doing.   We are a PBL school and have some of the coolest opportunities to share.   I love seeing what PBL looks like in kinder one day and in 8th the next.  

Working here has made me think so much about teaching and education in general.   Our principals are amazing and truly listen to us and think through things with us.  They make decisions that make sense for kids.   I love that.   I will be better at blogging this coming year.   I am so excited to see what is in store for us!

But right now I am just really happy to have SUMMER!

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Huge TpT sale!

Don't miss out on TpT's big sale!   I have all my products on sale for 20% + an additional 8%!   Stock up for the second half of the year!
250 × 120

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Looking for Technology Ideas for Little Ones?

I am kind of obsessed with finding the best and easiest sites and apps for my class.    Next year I will be embarking on a new adventure - our new STEM school!   I am so stinking excited sometimes I don't know what do! We will have more technology than I know what to do with and I have been trying to put together ideas on how to use it. My friend Sara and I presented at our district tech conference this week and we put together this little list of our favorites. Check out the link below to access it.  What do you use and love?
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Less Painful Newsletter

I am the designated newsletter writer on our team and I have to admit,  I don't enjoy it at all.   I have been using PowerPoint to create it and then make copies for some parents and email others.   It is boring and annoying,  but has some value.   Parents have a digital copy of what we are doing and have a copy of spelling words etc.   We are so close to the end, I am sticking with the plan for the rest of this year but next year I am excited to have found a new way - Smore. is a website that has a completely easy-to-use formatted newsletter to send out without all the work of making your own.   It has places set up for pictures,   lots of different themes and fonts to use and is super easy to access.   You can link anything inside of your newsletters, including homework,  websites,  whatever.   But the best thing about it (other than being FREE) is that it takes seconds to use and can be accessed on any device (phone, computer, iPad etc).  

You can add as many pictures as you want - which is really cool if you want to put in pix of kids work,  or something you are doing.   It is web based so as long as parents have the link they can go back to it whenever they want.   I think I am in love!   I think this would be an awesome site for kids to use for a class newspaper as well! 

I know this year is not over yet,   but my mind is already next....

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