Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blogger Challenge: Why Teach?

ThisTeacherSings recently blogged about why she teaches.  She then challenged other #oklaed bloggers to address the same topic.

Homework?  It's SUMMERTIME!  But I am not one to back down from a challenge.

So, why do I do it?  Why teach?  Why did I go back to teaching after trying out the instructional coaching gig?

Answer:  It makes my heart happy.

I taught for 12.5 years before becoming an instructional coach.  Coaching became my work for the next 3.5 years.  It was an amazing experience, but there was always something missing.  I can still remember the feeling of complete and utter peace when I hit the send button accepting a teaching position in March 2014.

My heart was happy again.

When I started school, my mom purchased a spiral-bound booklet to hold all of my report cards.  On the back you were able to list different memories from each grade.  The only part I really filled in was the "When I Grow Up I Want To Be.." section.

In 3rd grade I would use purple carbon paper to make worksheets for my kindergarten brother.  Why the carbon paper?  Of course every teacher needed an answer key!

In 5th grade, I read everything there was to read on Helen Keller.  Her story is inspirational, and I was determined to be like Annie Sullivan.  Somewhere along the way I realized Annie Sullivan had a trait that I constantly have to work for - patience.  

In high school, I taught Sunday School.  I suppose at this point I started my first lesson planning experiences - except they occurred on Saturday nights instead of Sunday nights.  HA! 

I always knew I was going to be a teacher.  It was hard for me to understand my college friends who were Undecided.  How could you not know what you wanted to do with your life?  While I understand it now, it was foreign to me at the time.  

My brain thinks in terms of classroom activities/lesson plans.  In a book store, I gravitate to the teacher section.  When surfing the Internet or browsing through Pinterest, inevitably a teaching related site will appear on my screen. It takes effort to not think about teaching.

When my daughter says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up, I don't discourage her.  I don't tell her that she can make more money doing something else.  I don't tell her that she can do more than just teach.  I simply smile.  I hope that she can find something that she is passionate about.  I hope she can find something that makes her heart happy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thinking of August in June

Everyone is giving me a hard time for being in my classroom already, but I can't help it.  I LOVE getting ready for a new school year.   A move down the hall and around the corner also gives me the excuse of changing classrooms thus needing to be in my room early.  :-)

Classrooms should be inviting places that promote learning.  Students need to feel safe and comfortable.  Students who have not yet discovered a love of reading will hopefully have a chance this year to find their inner readers.

I am super excited about my reading corner.  If you can't find me, I might be curled up there with a book.

My kids attended VBS, and they had AMAZING trees.  I decided I needed to have one, so I searched Pinterest.  After a trip to Dollar Tree, I had my supplies and got started!

4 Pool Noodles
Lunch Bags (I used around 50)
Duct Tape
Tissue Paper
Hot Glue Gun

Arrange the pool noodles and use duct tape.  You are covering it with the paper; it doesn't matter what it looks like underneath!  I did use some plain brown wrapping paper for the thicker part at the bottom.  Just crumple before taping down.  Cut the bottom off of the paper bag open it up, and then crumple (or smash it if you are having a bad day!).  Open it back up and slip it over the end of the pool noodle.

I propped it up for a better visual.  The tree is 1 1/2 pool noodles tall.  Taper the ends of the noodles.

I kept adding branches until I was satisfied.  I also add some roots to the tree to help keep it propped up.  I had a thick cardboard tube that was in the center of the rug purchased on clearance at Target for only $30!.  

I have found the best adhesive to the cinder block wall is hot glue.  I tested it last year and was satisfied it would not peel the paint.

I used three different shades of green tissue paper to create the leaves.  I could write all the steps or just direct you to the link I used from All Things Mamma. I modified it a bit while fluffing to fit the shape I wanted. I used hot glue to attach these to the ends of the branches.

I was worried when I started this project that it would be a Pinterest Fail, but I am very happy with the results.

My other project this week was making my READ letters.  I used the cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby and painted them red.  I traced the letters onto scrapbook paper and cut them out. Then I used a thin layer of Modge Podge to adhere it to the letter.  Once it had dried, I coated the whole letter with Modge Podge to seal.  

After a week and half in my room, I have about 1/6 of it done!  And you wonder why I am in my classroom already!

I need to take a decorating break for a few days in order to focus on the new Oklahoma ELA Standards.  We'll be working on Draft 2 in order to have it ready for EngageOK.  Be sure to register if you haven't done so yet!

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader by Donalyn Miller arrived at my door this week. I can't wait to delve into this book.  Who doesn't want to help a children find their inner readers?

I would love to read about what you have been doing this summer!