Saturday, May 25, 2013

Adios National Boards

Alright, alright, I know I've included my National Boards in more than one past post, but this is hopefully one of the last posts on the topic! I took my comprehensive exam yesterday (the do-you-know-everything-about-special-ed test)!!! It was 3 hours, 6 essays on different topics and it was exhausting!!! I hope I was able to show everything I know on those essays!!

So that's it...for now! Sometime around Thanksgiving I'll find out how I did. You don't have to hear about it at all between now and then, I promise!

Is anyone out there starting in on the process now? If you WANT tips for getting through the process, I'm happy to share my wisdom! 

Feeling much lighter today!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Linking up to Share my Summer Bucket List

What?  Summer already?  We have 11 days of school left and most of the "big stuff" is all done.  I still owe you pictures from our fabulous Annual Project day, but for now, just trust me that it was amazing. This week we have "Buddy Days" where the future kindergarten students come visit for the afternoon and they get a campus tour from a current kindergarten student!  Just signs that the year is ending! So.......I'm joining the Summer Bucket List Linky Party over at Miss Kindergarten!

1. Yoga!  I know I shared how much yoga has been helping my recent back injury and I'm so excited to keep going and become stronger and healthier!

2. Read for fun!  I want to catch up on all those books sitting on my Kindle app just because it is fun for me.  Any recommendations for fun books to read?

3. Check off some Pinterest cooking/baking/DIY projects!  I got a lot of organizing done over Winter Break but I have pinned many things since then.  Top projects to complete: Finish my quilt and start a new one!  Which one do you like best?

4. Travel!  I'm going to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Israel in June and a new cousin will be born while I'm there :).  I'm also going on a one week trip with my other grandmother to London just for fun.  My best friend and I always plan a trip - we're considering Florida and Oregon, what do you think?  AND I want to make it out to Texas to meet a dear friend's new addition!  That's a lot of time at the airport, eek!

5. Hit some milestones - 100 TpT products available.  100 blog followers. Any others I should aim for?

6. Do lots of fun things that aren't on my bucket list!  I just want to enjoy LA in the summertime and see friends and eat good food and relax by the water and hike.  Unexpected adventures are the goal!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's plans for summer!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Budding Blog Linky Party

A Linky Party for Budding Bloggers? That sounds perfect for me! I can't believe I've been blogging nearly 2 months now. I have enjoyed it so much, I can't wait to connect with more amazing bloggers and make myself a better teacher!  So I'm linking up with Jess over at I {heart} Recess for her Budding Blog Linky Party!

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because my friend and colleague, Vanessa from Kindergarten Schmindergarten, kept raving about it and about the amazing people she was connecting with through their blogs.  I started two months ago when I had some time (thank you, spring break!) and I haven't looked back since.  I love it!

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
I have a general education and a special education credential, but I LOVE being a special education teacher.  I have the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing general education teachers to figure out how to help all of our students access the curriculum.  For some students, this means providing them with some accommodations, but for other students this can be a complex puzzle with no easy answer, but after trying different options and learning about my individual students, it feels so wonderful to find the way that best meets their needs.

3. Describe your teaching style.
I believe every student can learn in a room with their peers.  The world we live in is a diverse place and learning to work together and value each other's strengths builds a community full of compassionate, resourceful people.  My little people know that everyone learns in their own way and at their own pace, but that everyone deserves respect for their hard work and everyone should be proud of their own achievements.
4. Give three interesting facts about you.
-I love traveling around the US (especially road tripping!), my best friend and I plan at least one trip every summer going to a new destination.  We haven't figured out our summer trip for this year yet...any ideas?
-I grew up in New England (4 years in Boston, 5 years in Connecticut, 9 years in Rhode Island) and no matter how many years I spend in LA, I will always be a New England girl at heart!
-I didn't learn how to whistle until I was in college.  That is not for a lack of trying, but it took me that long to figure it out!

5. Do you have a TpT store?
YES!  I have a TpT and a TN store.  Check them both out!

Looking forward to meeting other Budding Bloggers!


Word problems in action!

Sorry I've been MIA for a little while!  I hurt my back very badly a few months ago and I just started taking yoga classes to help me heal.  They are so amazing for my back that I go every chance I get so I've been neglecting my blog a bit - sorry!  I'm back now!

Do you remember my differentiated word problem curriculum (available at my TpT and TN stores)? I blogged about it here.  Well I finally have pictures for you of my kids working hard to solve word problems at their level.

This picture shows the book that most of my kindergarten students were using. It had a word problem with the key information underlined to help cue them in to it.

This picture shows a table of busy bees each with their own pile of word problems and their own solving book.  Each student could pick the problem they wanted to do next, glue it in their book, and solve away!

This student was so proud to show me that she found a problem with cookies in it!  That made her really excited to solve the problem!  Mmmmmm!

This student was able to read the text of the problem independently and was so proud to sound out the words to figure out how to solve.

These two friends were working side-by-side solving word problems at their own level.  You can see one student has a simplified problem, but they are good friends and wanted to solve problems sitting together and now they can despite their different academic levels.

I've had happy solvers for several weeks as we've been working on these books.  We are just about to do our post-assessment to determine how our students' scores went up over the course of this IWT cycle.  I think the results will be really exciting.

Off to yoga class again!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week and a Memorial Day Craft

I'm not sure why, but my school celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week at the end of May, but I'm still so excited for (and appreciative of) all of the amazing teachers out there who get to feel extra appreciated this week.  You all deserve it and a million times more!  I hope every teacher feels the love from students, families, colleagues, and the community. Entering this new bloggy world has connected me with even more teachers to appreciate.  So in honor of all teachers, I'm throwing a TpT sale!  (I know this is not an original idea, but this is one of those times that joining in the crowd is a GREAT idea!)

Starting tomorrow (Monday), everything in my store will be 15% off.  Enjoy stocking up on all of those products you have been eyeing.  You deserve it!

I also posted a new product for Memorial Day - a craft and writing assignment all in one bundle! Everything you need to make a wiggly star person waving an American flag is included in the first page. The next four pages are cute, Memorial Day themed writing pages (one is blank lines and the other three have different sentence starters.  Match this with a Brain Pop Jr video or a Memorial Day book, and you've got your Memorial Day lesson ready to go!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!!!