Monday, November 3, 2014

Currently - November

I am joining Farley in her Currently Party.  It's a fun way to read what other teachers are doing personally and professionally.  

to Ellen DeGeneres on TV - the woman is hilarious! 

getting to love on Patch (Patrick) He will be 3 months old this Thursday.  I have so enjoyed this time being with him; loving on him, laughing with him, snuggling with him, watching him grow

I should really get this house clean.  Everywhere I look there is laundry to fold/put away, mail to organize, something to trip over. 

to get my training underway.  I am ready to begin my certification in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I look forward to training other teachers and administrators in my school district.

to mentally prepare to go back to school.   I have not returned to school this school year yet.  Patch was born in early August and I have been blessed to have 14 weeks home with him before I go back to work.  I know it will not be my favorite thing to leave him, but I am so thankful to have had this time with my sweet boy.  

She Reads Truth.  This is a digital bible study.  It is a community of women that reads scripture together.  The studies are great.  They encourage and challenge me all at the same time. 
Look into it! 

Enjoy November!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Currently

It is crazy that today is July 1st! Any other summer, this would mean that I had about a month and a half left of summertime bliss before the craziness and excitement of *Back-to-School* greatness.... however, this is a different summer. 
For my husband and I, the fact that today is July 1st means that our first child, a sweet boy, is expected to arrive in one month!  In November of last year, Aug. 2nd seemed to far away! 

Regardless, we are thrilled, nervous, and overjoyed all at the same time.  

I'm linking up with Farley, in her Currently Party, though "Currently" our lives are preparing for a whole new kind of craziness and excitement... 

Tuesdays and Thursdays, by husband works from home.  Though he started this a while back, this is the first summer that he has been home with me.  I have been enjoying these days.  Although he is studying and preparing for his upcoming sermon (he's a pastor), I enjoy having him home and the occasional tea break he has with me.  Because he is home, I have not had the TV on as much... which is a great thing.  Therefore, as I listen to him type, I am also listening to the birds sing their summertime songs.

Being 4 weeks (or less) away from delivering, this little boy is doing some squirming as he is running out of room.  :) Though the days to come may be filled with exhaustion and business, I take joy in the squirming that he does.  It's something that he and I share, together. 

There is so much to do within the short amount of time that I have left.  I'm going to need to write a serious TO DO list and make a plan... pronto. 

I can't help it, I love the beach.  There is nothing better than a chair, sand, water, book, and Gatorade, you know... the yellow kind :)  This year, we won't be making a beach trip, but next year will come and this family of 3, will be going to the beach and it will be oh-so exciting! 

I must finish maternity plans for my sub.  I have to admit, I am having a hard time with the "be anxious for nothing" scripture right now.  Knowing that I will not be at school for the first 6 weeks makes me super nervous, but it will be ok.  It has to, right?

My parents and nephew will be camping the week.  My sister, husband, and I will be going to spend the day with them on the 4th.  This means there will be lots of laughing going on... which makes my heart with excitement, already! :) 

Happy 4th, Friends!

Interactive Notebooks {Entry 1}

*Making it Their Own*

Last year, I used Interactive Notebooks within my classroom, for the first time.  Though there is much to gain from using INBs, I didn't feel as though my students were receiving all that the notebooks offered.  This has much to do with the way the INBs were introduced, organized, and maintained under my guidance.  

As I prepare for a new school year, there are several things I want to do differently as I plan to use Interactive Notebooks... just in a much more intentional way.

I will introduce the purpose and functionality of INBs to students.  Instead of focusing on that information alone, I want students to immediately gain a connection with their INB.  By making the notebook their own, students will invest time, pride, and creativity into their notebook, truly making the notebook an individualized textbook for themselves.  

The way students can put their own stamp of style and creativity on their notebook is by designing the cover to reflect them as an individual.  My example is below.  I chose scrapbook paper, and marked where the holes were on the notebook.  I simply hole-punched them out to make the paper fit nicely on the notebook cover.  I then, did my decorating.  I used a Sharpie to draw pictures of items that represent me, things that I enjoy.  Once I was finished with the front page, I used Mod Podge Matte to glue the paper down to the front cover of the notebook.  I folded the extra paper over to the back of the cover and Mod Podged it down.  Once the paper was down neatly, I Mod Podged the over the paper.  This covers and protects the paper on the cover, as well as provides a little more durability to the notebook.  

Note: Sometimes, the paper may bubble up, but as it dries, the paper will straighten back out. 

I followed the same process for the back of the notebook.  This time, I wrote the sections of the INB (which I will get to in "Interactive Notebook {Entry 2}).  

I did the same thing for my Social Studies INB.  I used the world map out of my old planning book and used it as on cover.  Before Mod Podging the paper down, I used a Sharpie to write my travel quotes on it.  I love how it turned out. 

Hopefully, I will remember to post student samples of their covers once school starts.  

Until then, stay tuned for Interactive Notebook {Entry 2}, which will focus on dividing the LA INB into different sections for different types of instruction. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Currently March

Can't believe March is already here!  So much is happening this month! 
Let's start this month off right with Farley's Currently.

My husband is working on a Master's Degree in leadership.  His classes are 6 weeks long, then he moves on to the next one.  He is currently in his 7th class.  All of the courses he has taken up to this point have been great; enjoyable, even.  This one, however, is not so enjoyable with crazy, ridiculous expectations for full time working students..... anyhow, I keep saying, "5 more weeks"... "4 more weeks"... I'm thankful that this is not a full semester course... what a nightmare that would be!

I just got back from Charleston, SC.  Six other teachers and I went to a Leader in Me Symposium.  It was AH-mazing!  Not kidding. It was incredibly inspiring and we have returned with our heads spinning from all that we took in.  I am stoked about implementing some of these things in my classroom.  Are any of you a Leader in Me School?  I'd love to hear from you!

The last couple weeks have been crazy.  In fact, I think we have only had 1 uninterrupted week of school since Christmas! Now that I'm back from our conference, I am looking forward to having a full week of solid instruction.  This week, my students will be researching someone they consider to be a Worthy Leader.  We are writing persuasive essays and entering them into a contest for our local Rotary Club.  I'm looking forward to where their leadership research leads.

So... in January.. January 20th to be exact, I was in the dental chair and the nurse asks me if I drive a dark SUV.  When I gave her a thumbs up, because the Dr's hands were in my mouth, she informed me that I needed to go outside, because it had been hit...... really?
So that was over a month ago and the insurance company is just now beginning to process the claim.  So I wait... and drive my injured car around..... I'm ready to get this thing back to normal.

I have a love-hate relationship with blogging.  I love, love, love to write. I hate that I do not make more of an effort to blog.  I may actually be surprised to see how many people read it, if I were to update on a regular basis.  This is something I really want to recommit to. 

So my answer is: Jesus, family, education... what is my question?  Comment if you have a guess.

Have a great week, Friends. 
Serve students well.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Leader in Me Book Study

This time last year, I participated in a book study of The Leader in Me by Stephen R. Covey.  The book most certainly initiated some major discussion among the five of us participating.  This group of five were able to attend The Leader in Me Symposium.  It was such a great trip and the fact that it was in Myrtle Beach, SC added to our enjoyment.
We were able to visit three schools, which have all achieved The Leader in Me School status.  There was so much to see and at times, it was difficult to take it all in. 

We were ecstatic to return to our own school and get started!  We each returned to our respective roles.  I, as a 6th grade teacher, came back to share all that I learned with my teammates.  Thankfully, they were supportive and did what they could to join this leadership initiative.  Even within a few months, we began seeing changes within our students; their behavior, their academic performance, and their willingness to take on leadership for themselves. 
We were excited about what we were seeing!

Towards the end of the year, we learned that two of the five original book study friends were transferring to different schools. 

As we began a new school year, with several changes occurring within the school, Leader in Me and its efforts seemed to have gone onto the back burner. 


In an effort to regroup and to get more teachers within our school more familiar with The Leader in Me and the paradigm shift that it requires, a new book study has begun.

Today, was the first day of our book study.  I am serving as the facilitator, which I'm looking forward to.  I so enjoyed the time we had together with the other ten individuals.  Those that are participating offer thought-provoking comments and great discussion.  I am looking forward to where this book study leads.

Are you interested in facilitating or participating in The Leader in Me book study?
Click here for the Book Study Guide

I'll post the efforts being made as a result of this book study  Stay Tuned.