Saturday, June 27, 2015

3-2-1 Teacher Bio

I am linking up with the Weekend Warriors for their 3-2-1 Teacher Bio. 

Here's a bit of information about the teacher me:

I love containers, bins, and labels! Everything in my classroom has it's own place. People who come into my classroom tend to laugh at how organized it is. But you bet I can find exactly what you need in a heartbeat.

Since I teach a first through six grade Special Day Class for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students, I often have my students for six years. That means I cannot repeat the same activities each year. I have to label things I use by date so I know when I used it last! I don't want the students to get bored and I certainly don't want to hear "I've done this before!" I love reading blogs and getting new ideas from Instagram and Pinterest.

I spend at least eight hours a day in my classroom. It's basically my home away from home. My black and white polka dot themed classroom makes me happy and is calm and a great environment for my students to learn. Yup, even my screen savers match my classroom!

Now the regular me:
When I am not at school, I am happy being a mommy to two beautiful little girls. My crazy girls are 7 and 5 and a bundle of laughs. They keep me busy and entertained! We are starting soccer in the fall for both of them. Saturdays are going to be consumed by the soccer field!

I started scrapbooking back in 1998 after I got married and haven't looked back! I love preserving our memories and writing about our experiences. I do both the traditional paper/picture pages and I also do Project Life. I love taking a photo a day and documenting the little things in our lives... not just the major holidays. Two times a year you'll find me at the "Lake House" with my scrapbooking group. Three full days of preserving memories. I look forward to those trips!

And now what's on my bucket list?
I would love, love, love to take my girls to Disneyland. We only live a few hours away, but until my oldest can get over her fear of characters I am afraid it would be a wasted (and expensive trip) to Disneyland. She seriously panics and hyperventilate cries when she sees anyone is a mascot style costume. We're going to give LEGOLAND a try in the fall for their birthday's as a trial run.

Thanks to the Weekend Warrior gals for the fun linky. Join them below!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Computer Center Ideas

Each afternoon during summer school my students do semi-independent centers. We have two center blocks that are 25 minutes each. In order to keep the students engaged and excited about coming to summer school, I have included our computer center into the rotation.

So what are my students doing on the computers?

Twice a week during our morning math groups in summer school they get to use Front Row on the computers. Front Row is FREE differentiated math instruction for the web and on the iPad. As a teacher, you sign up for an account and you set up your class roster. You can select the math domain you want the students to work in. There are even diagnostic tests and printable worksheets for the domains. It is working well for my Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. Since they cannot hear the audio for the questions, I do have to read some of the questions for my lower readers. But overall, the program is a great addition to supplement our math instruction.

Typing is a huge focus for us. My students need to be 21st century learners, which means being able to feel comfortable on the computers and being able to type. That new SBAC assessment has really increased the need for digital literacy and the ability to actually type.  I like  It's a FREE online typing program that we can use both in our classroom and/or in the computer lab. We try to get in at least 30 minutes of typing practice each week during the regular school year.

I have the student's login information hanging near the computers for the students to use during centers. Then I also have cards with other educational websites the students can visit if it is a free choice day for the computer center. 

Here are some web based sites/games that my students really like:

Language Arts
Educational sites/games
What are some of your favorite educational web based games your students enjoy?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Super Summer School

 It has been yeeeeears since I have taught summer school. For six summers I have been content to be a stay at home momma to my two girls. For six years before that I worked at Camp Hapitok, giving back to a program that helped guide me to becoming a teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing. So really, I can't even remember the last time I taught summer school. But it is what it is and the extra paycheck will be nice in the end.

I figured I needed to create a fun and engaging environment for all of us so we don't dread coming to summer school everyday... and so far it's working! We are on week two and the days are literally flying by! I look up at the clock and it's already time to pack up and go home. So it really isn't a bad gig.

We are doing a summer hero theme this summer, and we're having a blast with it. The boys are all over it. The girls in my class are actually enjoying themselves as well.

I really wanted to focus on language arts skills this summer. We spend a mere 30 minutes on math and the rest of the 3 hours is dedicated to reading, writing, and overall language arts skills. This is where my deaf/hard of hearing students need the most practice.

I've been working on a big superhero unit to use this summer. It seems like I am adding to it daily when new ideas or needs come up. I am hoping to have it TpT ready soon. It has some great centers and activities. Having all of these materials ready to go for each week has made working summer school so much easier! I walk out at the end of the day and get to go home to my girls and go play and enjoy our summer afternoons together!