Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reflecting on This Year....You Can Do Hard Things

 
 
I am absolutely terrified of public speaking. I get all hot and clammy. My stomach hurts. My heart races and I forget what I was going to say. I stumble over my words. The struggle is real people.
 
I am seriously an introvert. I would much rather just be with my people. Meeting new people is uncomfortable and kinda scary for me. Small talk is really hard for me.
 
But... within the last few years I have really tried to challenge myself. Heck, I started this blog to meet new people and find my #dhhteachertribe. I also pushed myself way out of my comfort zone by volunteering to be the website administrator for the California Educators of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing organization. Meeting new people.... standing up on stage.... introducing myself in ASL no less! All big and scary steps.  
 

In March of this year I presented at the CAL-ED conference on using Fairview Learning Rotations in the classroom. Wow! Was that an experience! The nerves were real.  But I did it. I didn't die. I didn't even throw up! Progress people. Progress.


So what's my point? We can all do hard things. We can get out of our comfort zones and make magic happen.
What are you going to do to get out of your comfort zone?

My goal: next year I'd love to go to the TpT conference and really stretch myself out of my comfort zone. 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

FM Storage for the D/HH Classroom

Teaching in a multi-age classroom, that means a lot of students at a lot of grade levels. (Which is kinda why I have been MIA recently.) This school year I had 11 students. 8 of those students use FM technology in my class and in their mainstream general education classes. We happen to use Phonak Inspiro transmitters with Roger technology. (For those of you that are not familiar with FM systems, the teacher wears the microphone and the sound transmits directly to the student's hearing aid, no matter where the teacher is in the classroom. It minimizes background noise and makes a world of difference for my D/HH students.)
 
To be honest, the cords for all the mics and all the loose audio boots/shoes gave me anxiety. The cords were always falling behind the book shelf and I just couldn't handle the mess and needed to find a solution.
 
 
Hello Michael's craft storage section! I found this little divided box with three drawers and was able to use a 50% off coupon. It's the perfect size for holding their transmiters and FM boots. I labeled each section with the student's name and even had a extra slot for audio computer cords. 
 
 
My husband drilled holes in the drawers to allow for the charging cord to fit into each divided section. No more fishing for cords! I bought those tiny boxes at the Dollar Tree and no more audio shoes!  All of their equipment looks alike to me, so now it's easy to find the student's equipment and it's easy to plug in and charge for the night. I did buy some cord keepers from Amazon, but found I don't need to use them. The cords do not slip out of the holes in the back of the box.
 
 
The only draw back is the with the cords behind the drawers, they don't close all the way.... but I'm okay with that. It's better than what it looked like before!
 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Favorite Resources- Giveaway #3

 
Next up.... another one of my favorite Interactive Notebooks I have found. Our kinders that are still learning their letters need lots of extra practice identifying and sorting the letters. I found this Interactive Notebook Letter Identification set by Creative in Kinder and have used it ever since!
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Interactive-Notebook-Letter-Identification-1314079

Carri is happy to give away a copy of her Letter Identification Interactive Notebook here to one of my blog readers. Yeah for free materials!  Just enter below.
 
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

My Favorite Resources- Giveaway #2

Congratulations to Olivia for winning our first giveaway of the ASL Dolch Word puzzles! Heather over at Mrs. Burgen's Sign Me Up will be emailing her with her prize soon.
 
Sorry I am a few days behind on Giveaway #2. We just got back yesterday from our D/HH program's annual overnight field trip. We took the students to the snow and skiing for the first time. As I was watching my students come down the 'big' ski hill I noticed a new found confidence and sense of accomplishment. Wow. Really, that's something I cannot teach in the classroom. (A lot of people have asked about how we raise the funds and plan our overnight field trips. I'll have to blog about that soon!) 
 
 
Today I am excited to pair up with Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers to give away one of my favorite Interactive Notebooks! If you came to my Fairview Learning, Beyond the Basics workshop you know how much I LOVE Interactive Notebooks. I actually use both of Jaime's math and language arts Interactive Notebooks in my classroom. My students and I love the activities and the hands-on practice. Using Interactive Notebooks is a great way to reinforce skills already taught. It's also an excellent place for the students to store all of that learning to look back on. Her 1st Grade Interactive Language Notebook is perfect for my students as we go through targeted instruction on parts of speech and many other language arts skills.
 
 
Jaime is going to give away one of her Interactive Language Notebooks to one of my blog readers! If you win, you can choose the best grade level that's right for you. She has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade Language Interactive Notebooks to pick from.  This giveaway is open until Tuesday, March 14th at 12:00am, so enter to win now!
 
I have two more of my favorite resources to give away coming up on Wednesday, March 15th and then again on March 18th. Yeah for freebies for teachers! So keep checking back!
 
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Favorite Resources- Giveaway #1

Wow! What an amazing weekend of learning, collaborating and networking at the California Educators of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Conference! I arrived home tonight so inspired and motivated! 
I just love being around other educators who 'get' it. 
Today I presented my very first workshop on the topic of Setting up Effective Fairview Learning Rotations in Your Classroom. (Tons of information will be posted soon about my workshop.) Public speaking is not my 'thing'. I get butterflies in my stomach and my voice cracks. But I've decided enough is enough. It's time to stop reinventing the wheel as teachers. There are so many teachers out there doing incredible things in their classrooms and we need to share more. Share our knowledge, our resources and our materials. So today was my first step in getting off my little island in my little area and sharing what I do on a daily basis with other deaf ed teachers from all over the state of California.
I had a power point packed full of resources that I use in my classroom during our Fairview Learning Rotations. Some were my own. But many were by other awesome Teacher's Pay Teacher authors out there. I reached out to those teacher authors asking if they'd be willing to partner up and offer a giveaway here on blog. Many of those teachers said, "Heck yes! I'll help!"
I'm excited to announce that over the next two week's I'll be featuring some of my favorite resources that I use in my classroom and will be offering a giveaway of that resource. I know you'll love them too!
Today, I'm sharing these awesome ASL Dolch Word Puzzles by Mrs. Burgen's Sign Me Up. Heather just released these puzzles and I am super excited about them! FINALLY some resources with ASL clip art to help my students who need those visual cues. My students already love them! They are having fun while learning and practicing their sight words!
 
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/American-Sign-Language-Preprimer-Dolch-Sight-Word-Puzzles-3033617
 
Thanks Heather for being apart of this giveaway! I know there are lots of deaf ed teachers out there that can really use these resources! If you'd like to enter to win a set of the preprimer, primer and 1st grade puzzles, enter to win below.  The giveaway will end on Wednesday night. 
 
 
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

5 Reasons You Should Come to CAL-ED

California Educators of the Deaf-Hard of Hearing conference is coming up March 3rd-5th. Why should you spend your hard earned money to come? 
 
 
#1: The line-up of workshops and sessions are awesome! There are 22 workshops to choose from.  Lots of teachers are sharing everything from new technology ideas for the classroom, writing strategies to behavior management. There is something for everyone!


#2: I am even going to be presenting on setting up Fairview Learning Centers in your classroom. I am terrified to stand up in front of others to present. But I am hoping that more teachers will do the same. We all seem to be reinventing the wheel and everyone is creating their own stuff. Why not just share it with others? Real teachers sharing the real stuff they have going on in their classrooms. So I will take that leap and hope I don't choke.


#3: Networking, networking, networking. I have met some amazing teachers through CAL-ED. Through those connections I have been able to visit other D/HH programs and bring back ideas for my own classroom.


#4: You don't have to be on your own island. So many times we feel isolated as D/HH teachers working out in our own districts, counties, rural areas, big and small towns. Sometimes just coming to CAL-ED is reaffirming that there are so many other teachers that have the same exact struggles as I do.


#5: This year it's at the beautiful Westin in Pasadena. It's a gorgeous hotel with amazing views.... but you'll be too busy learning from other teachers to really enjoy the full beauty of downtown Pasadena.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

20 Questions

In my very spare time, I really enjoy scrapbooking. It's not something I get to do often enough. I go on a retreat twice a year... and that's about as much time as I get. Other than the Project Life app on my phone. I am trying out the digital Project 365 (366 this year) format this year and am hoping that by the time the year is done Becky Higgins will be printing bound books directly from the app. That's my hope!
A few years ago I created "20 Questions" books for my girls. I can't find the original source, but this certainly was not my original idea. I typed up 20 questions and used an 8x8 album. I prepared 10 years worth of questions for my girls, for ages 3-13. 
 
Now each year around their birthday, we sit down and I write down their answers. Now that my oldest daughter is old enough to write her own answers, she takes great pride in writing out her answers.
 
I then have an 8x8 inch photo printed at Costco and insert it on the left side of the album across from her answers for this year. Costco seems to have the best prices, and an 8x8 is only $1.79 each.
 
My girls look forward to filling out their questions each year. They also LOVE going back and reading what they wrote when they were younger. 
 
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7WCWRsHshfjZGtlTHQwblZaSWc
You think you will remember these things when your children are young.... but you won't! Why not document your kids favorites year after year? If you'd like to try out a 20 Questions book for your little one, here's a free printable you can use. You can simply print the PDF format to use the same questions I did, or you can edit the questions in Power Point. 
 
I created these books a few years ago and couldn't find the original document for you, so I've made a new one with a title page.
 
Have fun! You won't regret starting this with your kiddos!