Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!  I am linking up with Five for Friday and Freebie Friday today.  Prepare for some total randomness :)

1.  My freebie: Monsters and Chevron-themed Days of the Week
If you like them, be sure to check out my new Monster and Chevron Classroom Decor pack

2. This week has been my first chance for real downtime this summer.  It has been so nice to relax.  On Tuesday, I went to see The Fault in our Stars.  It was really good, almost as good as the book.
The Fault in Our Stars (2014) Poster

3. Thrive by Casting Crowns has quickly become my new favorite song.  "Living water flowing through.  God, we thirst for more of you.  Fill our hearts and flood our souls with one desire."  I think I listened to it four times on my run yesterday.

4. I've been updating some of my classroom decor packs.  So if you've purchased my Owl and Chevron pack, go re-download to get Word Family and Blends and Digraphs posters. I'm working on updating my Polka Dot pack, too.  Stay tuned!

5. And...this week I've also been getting ready to go to London.  I leave tomorrow and I can't wait!  It is my favorite city. 

I hope you all had a great week and look forward to reading your Five for Fridays!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BigTime Literacy Blogging Challenge - Teaching Idols and Favorite Subject

I'm linking up again with BigTime literacy to write about my teaching idol today!  The best teacher I ever had was my second grade teacher Mrs. Lampley.  She made me love reading and writing, and made me believe in myself more than anyone else.  She took an extra interest in her students by getting to know each of us personally.  She would go with me one-on-one to pick out new books from the school library.  And, when I told her I wanted to be an author, she helped me make books by typing up my stories, letting me illustrate them, binding them together, and reading them to the class.  It made me feel so special to have her "publish" my stories.  

After I finished second grade, we kept in touch and she let me come back to her class and help her.  When I was in 4th grade, she and I did a special letter-writing project together.  Then, she saved all my letters and gave them back to me when I graduated from 8th grade.  When I was in high school, I moved to a new state and Mrs. Lampley got in contact with me and we wrote back and forth in a journal.  It was amazing to me that all those years later, she still cared about me and believed in me as a writer.  

Mrs. Lampley inspired me to be that kind of teacher for my students.  I try really hard to get to know them on a personal level, to invest in their lives beyond the classroom.  And I build relationships that last beyond their year in my class.  My classroom each morning is complete chaos because a bunch of 1st through 4th graders are coming back to visit - but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Since I joined the blogging challenge late, I'm also writing today about my favorite subject to teach.  I really love teaching everything.  I could never be the type of teacher to teach one subject all day long, because I love to teach it all and see how my students can make connections from one subject to the other.  That said, math is probably my favorite subject and the easiest for me to teach.
"Every problem has a solution" - that is definitely what I love most about math.  It makes so much sense.  And since math is something I've always enjoyed, I love to make it enjoyable and understandable for my students, too.  I love challenging them as we go through the year and diving deeper into our math talks.  

Some of my favorite math resources...

These books are great for small groups/guided math and independent math stations.
Number Talks gives excellent support if you are trying to incorporate daily number talks into your math instruction.  I highly recommend it!  Hearing my kids explain their solutions to problems is super interesting, and gives me a lot of insight into their mathematical understanding.  And, they learn a lot from each other during these talks!  We do a lot of CGI during our number talks and in our guided math time.  It's amazing to watch their growth in problem solving throughout kindergarten!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Harper Grace

I'm linking up with Big Time Literacy today to write about one of my favorite things - my dog!
I got Harper about a week before I finished undergrad.  I had wanted a dog for a long time, and living in an apartment I knew I needed something small.  My roommate found this cutie on Craigslist and I knew I had to have her.
She's a malti-poo (maltese and poodle mix) and when I got her she was only four months old.  She weighed four pounds and was pretty much a big ball of fur.  The first family that had her named her Cuddles (I try not to hold this against them since I'm sure one of their young kids gave her the name :) but I knew even before I got her that I wanted to name her Harper.  I was student teaching at the time and one of my students' little sisters was named Harper.  I just thought it was the cutest name ever, and not something I'd heard much before.  When I saw this puppy I knew she was my Harper.  
I'm not sure when I started calling her Harper Grace, but it just seemed to fit.  Not every dog is cool enough to have a middle name, but HG is just too special for one name, haha.  
She is the best companion, and even occasionally puts up with me dressing her up.
One of my best teaching friends has a daughter named Harper.  Here they are together - we're trying to keep Harper the girl's food away from Harper the dog.  Neither of them can understand that they both have the same name.  So, when I'm with my friend's daughter, we just call Harper Grace "puppy." 

Now Harper is a whopping 8 pounds, and 5 years old!  I live by myself right now, and so I am especially happy to have her greeting me each day when I get home.  One of these days, I'd love to get a second dog - Harper loves playing with her doggy friends - but I can't as long as I'm living in an apartment.  Hopefully someday soon!

Want to blog about/brag on your pet?  Link up with Big Time Literacy, and follow her all month for fun blogging topics!
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