Sunday, March 22, 2015

Liebster Award

My sweet IRL friend, fellow scrapbooker, SLP and blogger recently nominated me for the Liebster Award. Christy, over at The Modern SLP, has an adorable blog with lots of great language activities for students. Head over and check out her blog. Thank you for the nomination Christy!

The Liebster Award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere. It is meant for new bloggers who have less than 200 bloggers. Today I have 65 followers.

When you accept the Liebster Award, you get to answer 11 questions about yourself.  Here's a little about me:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in February 2013. I started my blog in hopes of finding other Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing out there that were also blogging. Many days I feel really isolated in my job. I know there are plenty of people out there doing the same job as me.... I just haven't found their blogs yet!

2. What is your work experience?

Right after graduating from college I moved back "home" to California and got hired right away as a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing in a full-inclusion preschool class. It was a challenging position since my D/HH kiddos needed more than what was being presented in the regular preschool classroom. The following year we moved to a tiny corner in another classroom. Then a position opened up teaching 4th-6th grade and I jumped at having my own SDC classroom. I've been in that same classroom for 15 years now. I wish it was only 4th-6th grade, but now I actually teach in a one room school house for grades 1st-6th. I'm pretty sure I will retire in this classroom. That's how much I love my job.

3. What is your favorite social media outlet?

Sadly, I have neglected this blog this school year. A slow computer and super slow internet kills the little spare time I have. For the same reason, my personal blog has also been neglected. Now I find I am an Instagram girl. I have a personal account that I post on but I should probably add a teacher profile as well.

4. What is your favorite pastime other than blogging?

Free time? What is that?! When I do get some free time I really enjoy scrapbooking. I am a traditional scrapbooker as well as a Project Lifer. I have done the "photo a day" method for the last four years. This year I am doing Project 52 through Project Life. I have a group of friends that I scrapbook with. We get together once a month and try and go for a little retreat twice a year.

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to TpT? To your blog?

Not enough! I have been avoiding blogging because I feel like I am too far behind and where do I start to catch up? I am just jumping right back in starting now. As for TpT, I spend at least an hour or two each week creating materials. Right now I am working on my summer school super hero unit! So fun!

6. What grade is your favorite to work with? 

I have taught everything from preschool to 6th grade. I really enjoy 1st grade the most. The kids are adorable at that age. They are eager to learn and love school. Learning to read (without phonics) is a challenge at this age. But all those fun craftivities!?! First grade for sure.

7. Who are your favorite bloggers you follow?

On Bloglovin' I follow 95 different blogs. I have found some great Special Education blogs but also follow lots of general education bloggers. There are so many fun blogs out there! Here are a few favorites:

Regular Ed.
Clutter-Free Classroom - Her and I share a love of classroom organization and planning!
Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons - Her activities are so fresh and fun!

Special Ed.
Tales of a Carolina Girl - Her post today really hit home to me!
Creating & Teaching - She has great activities and ideas!

8. What post have you written that you are most proud of?
This post on Student Progress Notebooks is constantly being repinned on Pinterest. Paperwork, IEP data tracking and keeping work samples is not easy in Special Education. It makes me happy to know that people find my data tracking forms helpful. 

9. Is there any post that you have been planning to do but keep postponing? 

All of them! ha. I am so far behind and have a million ideas swirling around in my head. I have taken pictures of how I organize my center materials for grades K-6 and have started that post several times! Some day it will get done!

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

I love the way blogging brings people together! What did we do before education blogs and Pinterest? I get so many ideas from my fellow educators on blogs. I have "met" lots of other educators from around the US via blogs and even one in real life! Last summer I had the opportunity to meet sweet Alison from Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin' while she was out here in California. She motivated me to get more into creating materials for TpT.

11. What are 11 facts about me? 

1. I am the mom to two little girls, age 7 and 5. They would be the reason I have no spare time! 

 2.  I crave organization and my classroom reflects that.

   3. I also have a thing for black & white and polka-dots.

  4. I got into Deaf Education after volunteering at Camp Hapitok when I was in High School. After 45 years they are close to canceling this summer due to lack of funding. I am really hoping that their crowd funding campaign is successful so they can continue to improve the lives of children with speech/language issues.

  5.  In my next life I would love to be a party planner. I love planning parties for my daughters and our Classified Staff Appreciation week at school!

 6. In my spare time I enjoy traditional scrapbooking. It's one of my only creative outlets and I consider it therapy.

7. My dad, my half sister, half brother and myself all share the same birth date.

8. I've never traveled out of the United States. In fact, when I went to college in IL, that was the first time I had been out of California! Sheltered, huh?

9.  I'm not busy enough at school or at home, so I volunteer as the Website Administrator for the California Educators of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing organization.

10. I pretend to sew. But only Halloween costumes.

11. I'm completely addicted to Diet Pepsi. I'm not a coffee drinker. Give me an iced cold Diet Pepsi and I am a happy camper!

Whew! You made it to the end! Now I would like to nominate Jamie over at Tales of a Carolina Girl for the Liebster Award. She is a fellow Special Education teacher and has a super cute blog with lots of great ideas! Congratulations Jamie!

Here are your 11 questions:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is your work experience?
3. What is your favorite social media outlet?
4. What is your favorite pastime other than blogging?
5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to TpT? To your blog?
6. What grade is your favorite to work with?
7. Who are your favorite bloggers you follow?
8. What post have you written that you are most proud of?
9. Is there any post that you have been planning to do but keep postponing?
10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
11. What are 11 facts about me?


Saturday, March 14, 2015

What's New?

Hey there! I know it's been WAY too long! Life has been a bit crazy for me since school started. Trying to balance teaching, being a mom to two busy little girls, creating and blogging.... wow! But I thought I'd try to get over here more often and share what we are up to in the classroom. I have so much to share!

Today I am excited to share that I FINALLY finished up all of the Dolch Word File Folder Activities! This was a major project that took me a lot longer than I anticipated! But they are done and up on TpT.

Not only that, but they are finally assembled, laminated and being used in my classroom! They are the perfect task for my students. We are using the Dolch words for spelling each week, so these are a great resource to practice each of their words.

As many of you know, I teach a multi-grade classroom. Well, six grades to be exact. It's crazy and I don't even know how I do it on most days. But some how we make it work. These File Folder Activities are working out well since I can just pull the words that each student is working on. But as I was using the full set last week I realized I needed a way to quickly find the words I was looking for. So I have added some dividers to separate the grade levels. Check out that little freebie up on TpT for your Dolch Sight Word activities.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Classroom Tour

Now that school has started I was able to get a few pictures of my classroom for the 2014-2015 school year. I honestly didn't change very much from the previous year. When you find something that works, why change it, right?

This year teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in grades 2-6 in a Special Day Class.  Students come and go throughout the day depending on their needs. I try and mainstream my Deaf/Hard of Hearing students into the general education classrooms with a sign language interpreter when possible. Most of my students are with me for Language Arts. My students are pulled out for speech/language services a few times a week. I have 7 students this year. 

Welcome to my classroom!

The view as you walk into the classroom.

Our new science area including science tools posters.
Our scientific method posters and science lab coats.
Junior Scientist lab coats I made for the kids to wear during science experiments. I bought them at the Goodwill, cut off the long sleeves and then used my sewing machine to sew "Junior Scientist" on each shirt.
My "command central" area near my teacher desk. Paperwork is much easier to find now that I have this AWESOME black file holder from Scholastic. On top I have my student progress binders where I keep data and work samples for each student.

Student computers for Typing and Fairview activities.
Laptop storage and check out chart for our Tech Friday activities.
Our classroom library area.
New birthday box and sign for student birthdays. They get to pick a prize and keep the sign on their desk all day.
Each month will feature a new author on the library table.
Comfy futon and pillows for silent reading time.
iPad storage and library boxes. All of my books are leveled by reading level and then subject for the non-fiction books.
The view from the library to the front of the classroom. Including my clean (for now) desk.
The back wall has a word wall. (I realized I didn't get a picture of it.) New this year is our little Writing Center.  Yes, that's another black mini pocket chart from Scholastic. I am in love!
Leveled Guided Reading books.
Front teaching area. This includes our Fairview materials and centers under the tv.
Fairview Learning binders and book boxes on the top shelf. Student reading vocabulary boxes on the left, bottom. White baskets contain our centers for our Fairview Learning rotations.
Our calendar area. Schedules for speech and PE. Behavior clip chart and student job chart.
Classroom Economy system. Students earn money and can visit the class store each Friday.

View from the front of the classroom looking towards the door.

I hope you enjoyed a little view into my classroom as we start the 2014-2015 school year.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five For Friday- August 30th

Okay, it's Saturday but I didn't want to miss out on Five for Friday. I've been MIA for too long and it's time to hop back into blogging. It's been a whirlwind this week. It was our first full week back. AND we had Back to School Night on Thursday! We've never had it this early and I was already exhausted from the full week back! But I survived... and here I am! Here's a quick look at a few things from my week:

We started our Fairview Learning rotations on Monday. The students rotate through Guided Reading, Guided Writing, Adapted Dolch words, Bridging, Phonics (for some) and Language (for others), and centers. We have three new kinders this year that are learning how to read their schedules and rotate during this time. I am very excited about using our new Adapted Dolch Word Interactive Notebooks this year.

 I finally took pictures of my classroom for a little class tour. I'll post those tomorrow.

Friday's are our fun Science and Tech days. We broke out the Junior Scientist lab coats I made for the kids and learned about our first Science tool.  The kids LOVED IT! Some how wearing a lab coat makes you think more like a scientist.

We set up the laptops for the first time Friday afternoon and reviewed opening a Word Doc and saving. They did a little typing practice by typing our dog vocabulary words. We're reading a few Henry and Mudge books for our first Literature unit but I didn't get any pictures of those activities.  These guys take our tech time seriously, which is nice.

YES!! I am so looking forward to the long three day weekend! Getting back into the work routine has kicked my bum! So the extra day off is much appreciated!

Have a good weekend everyone! Come back tomorrow for a little classroom tour!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It- August 4th

This week was all about getting organized at home and in the classroom. On Monday a co-worker and I emptied and went through our program's shed. We're getting a replacement shed so everything had to be cleaned out. Thank goodness neither one of us are pack rats. We are serious purgers. 

I was able to get two little projects done before our family headed off for vacation. I'm sitting in a cabin in Lake Tahoe in front of the fire while it rains outside. I shouldn't complain about the rain, because we seriously need it in California. But that means we had to scrap our fun plans for today. Geesh weather. You need to cooperate!

First up, these super simple magnets for the white board. I found out that paint pens and I do not get along. I wasn't too happy about how the lettering turned out. I found the little clothes pins at Michael's. They were already painted black and I added the magnets on the back and words to help keep us organized at school. Super easy.

I was very excited when I found these cute little picture frames at Michael's for 70% off plus my educator discount. They ended up being about $1 a piece. Perfect for our back wall that you see right away when you walk into the classroom. I spray painted them black and used my beloved (not) paint pen to add some detail to the frames. Right now I have everyone's names inside of the 5x7 frames. I'll take pictures of all the students and staff the first week of school and add them to the frames. I used some Command poster strips to adhere them to the wall so they are easy to remove.

School starts soon for us so it's time to kick it into high gear.  But this week I am on vacation... so it's gonna have to wait. But my shopping over on TpT will not wait. I filled my cart with lots of goodies I know I'm going to use this school year. My entire store is on sale today and tomorrow. Happy Shopping!

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