Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teacher Week: Now Teach! Organizing for Instruction

I wanted to share a quick organizing tip with you.  Here is how I organize my files.
I started these files my first year and they've evolved over the past 8 years.  When I first made the files I only had the HMR 7.1 labels.  That stands for Houghton Mifflin Reading Theme 7 Week 1, which is how the reading series we use is organized.  Since then I've added more to the tabs to find things easier.  Now they look like the picture above.  I've added that weeks spelling patterns, focus vowel, word families, grammar, or anything else introduced/taught during that week.  When I run across something and think, 'Hey, this is a great idea! I need to save a copy!' I head over to my files and can find where I want to save it easily.  I add to the files through out the year.  I try to keep everything in chronological order from the beginning of the year to the end.  I keep the current file at the front and when that week is over I put it in the back of the file cabinet and the 'new' current file is in the front.  I don't use everything in the files every year, but I like having an arsenal of strategies, ideas, and resources ready if I need it.  This system has worked great for me and these files are by far my most valued teaching item.  I hope this post has sparked an organizational idea for you.  If you'd like to read more organization tips, head over to Blog Hoppin' for their classroom organization linky party!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teacher Week '13 - Meet the Teacher

Hi everyone! I'm excited to link up with Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week.  This post was supposed to be posted on Monday, but on Monday I locked myself and my daughter out of the house early in the morning :(. My wonderful sister Cristi drove 30 minutes to my house to come get us and took us to my parents house until my husband got off work.  Then this morning (Tuesday) I went to an appointment that turns out is really scheduled for tomorrow.  So now it's nearly 10:30pm and I'm just finishing this post up.  I feel like I'm losing my marbles people!  Anyways, thanks for reading along and I look forward to reading other blogs this week and getting to know everyone.

1.  I've been working with children for over 14 years.  During college I worked as a nanny, after school program teacher, and *my favorite* as a special ed aid for a preschool early education language program.  After college I subbed for about six months until I got my first teaching job as a 1st grade teacher.  In the past 8 years I've taught kindergarten and 1st grade.  The primary grades are for me!
2. I'm been married to a wonderful guy named Charlie for over 9 years. WHOA - I just had to recount and double check that number! We dated for 5 years before we were married so we've been together over 14 years. We have SO much fun together! He is truly my best friend and I am so lucky to have him in my life.

3.  In February I became a mom to the sweetest baby ever.  I love my baby Isla so much!!!  Now, hopefully you're reading her name as "eye-luh" and not "is-la" as many, many people have.  If you did it's understandable and I'll forgive you. I had serious conversations with myself about her name before she was born.  Being a teacher, I didn't want to give her a name where there would be 3 in every classroom but I didn't want to give here a weird name either.  And I didn't want to give her a name that would be mispronounced... oh well.  It happens ALL.THE.TIME. lol My husband and I did battles over her name for about 8 months. Isla was the only name we could agree on :) If my dear husband had had his wish she would have been named "Alexia".  So see, it could have been worse ;)

4. Random Food Issues: One of my favorite treats is eating brownies with orange juice.  I hate tomatoes on hamburgers, sandwiches or salads but I like eating them sliced.  I think you can never have too much ketchup with your fries.  I can't eat fish if I see scales - yuck!
5. I'm the youngest of 7 kids.  I have one brother and 5 sisters.  My oldest sister is 20 years older than me and my sister closest in age to me is 6 years older.  My parents saved the best for last IMO.  Here is my sister Susan and I on a trip to San Fran.

6.  This weekend my lifelong friend Suzy is getting married and Charlie and I are in the wedding party.  Suzy is marrying Charlie's cousin, so now we will officially be family :)!  Here is a pic of me and Suzy dressing up as brides when we were little.  I think this may have been Halloween.  Thanks for those bangs mom!

7. Lately I've been obsessed with making headbands for Isla.  I'm eagerly awaiting an order from Etsy to make her some more. Shabby flowers = LOVE
8. DVR is one of the best inventions ever.  Here are some shows you will see on that play list: Swamp People, Duck Dynasty, Cake Boss, 19 Kids and Counting, Survivor, Once Upon a Time. I can't wait for the season premiere of Duck Dynasty this week!
9. I love crafting and garage sales.  I really miss Martha Stewart's show.....One day I want to have a fabulous craft room instead of a junky craft table in the garage.
10. Best trip ever? ITALY.  It was the trip of a lifetime!  Charlie and I went there for two weeks with another couple.  We went to Tuscany, Venice, Amalfi Coast and Rome.  I HAVE to get back there someday!

It was nice to meet you! If you'd like to read about some more teacher bloggers head over to Blog Hoppin'!