Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday {June 26,2015}

I'm linking up for my first 5 for Friday weekly linky party with #doodlebugsteaching and I am so excited! 

I know it's a big no-no to write two blog posts in one day ... but, I feel really excited about this week, and I know that I will be traveling next week, so I figured I better try this one out before I get too busy!

So, here are my top five for this last week! 

I worked on my first Handwriting Fluency for Grades 4 and 5 this week, and LOVED how the final product came out. I am finally starting to get the hang of creating cute covers and great products. I feel like this is my first truly original product, that is completely unique to me, and it makes me feel so proud! I cannot wait to get started with the next installment of my handwriting fluency packs and then go back and update my second and third grade covers! 

 My friend, Ms. Sonnen, and I went out and did something fun! We took the strayboots scavenger hunt tour of Boise. Strayboots is an app that is basically a really interesting, historical scavenger hunt of a major city. It's $10 for each person {or team} that you play with. You download the app, sign in, and it gives you about 20 clues worth 10 points each. We just walked around together, instead of playing against each other, but it was so fun and I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn a little more about the city they live in or are visiting! 

I decided to bring back the owls next year! I have gone the last two years without using Owls as my classroom theme. AND. I. MISS. HAVING. THE. OWL. THEME! I found this adorable pack by Hope King, and am so excited to get printing and {of course, laminating!} I don't know what to expect next year, because I am moving to a charter school, but I know that I will be so excited to get those owls back up and decorate my room, even if I will have to stay up for 24 hours straight to get it all done at the last minute! Click below the picture to visit Hope King's TPT store! 

I found this video, and I cannot do not want to stop watching it! I just think it's the funniest thing I have ever seen!  I wish Riley Roo would learn how to control herself like this! I know that this is not something super productive, but I needed this this week! 

I finally got everything in to my mortgage company, and we are clear to close on my house on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so, soo, sooo, sooooo excited to be a homeowner. I cannot wait to pick out paint colors {I've already got some of them figured out in my head!}, decorate, and put as many holes in the wall as I want to!  Hopefully everything goes smoothly on Monday, and I will get keys early next week!!!

What are your top 5 moments from this last week? Link up on the doodlebugs teaching blog and comment below to let me know! 

Currently {June Edition ... even though I'm oh so late!}

I know I'm late to get going on the Currently {June} Edition, but since the #tptsellerchallenge really just got me blogging again this week, I figured now was as good of a time as any!

 Plus, I figured I better find something to do instead of going out and spending more money before I get the keys to my brand new house; since I need paint, and curtains, and all those other fun things and all I really want to buy is pillows, mirrors, chevron wallpaper and other things I can live without (for now).

I hope everyone is enjoying their last few days of June! Check back tomorrow for my birthday gift to you! It's my golden birthday, so you know it will be something good!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dare to Dream

I am loving this #tptsellerchallenge! It's keeping my mind off of things while I just sit here waiting  and waiting and waiting to hear about the appraisal on my house. I have been trying so hard to save money in preparation for the biggest purchase of my life, but it is the hardest thing to do during the summer, when I have all day to sit and ponder purchases for my new house! This week, the facilitators challenged all of us to "dare to dream" and list out the reasons we have joined TPT and basically have committed to working another job. So, here are my top 3 reasons:

1. Collaborate with other great educators; I initially wanted to start blogging and joined the TPT community to make new friends and learn from other educators who are as invested in their work as I am. I haven't been taking blogging seriously yet, so I am excited to see where the challenge takes me in meeting this goal. I know that great collaboration adds so much to your classroom teaching skills and am excited to make new friends along this journey!

2. Provide a great education for my students: The first reason I joined the Teachers Pay Teachers community was to provide students with a quality education. I was previously at a school that didn't have a great reading and math curriculum, nor was I required to use it. It was very hard to teach a combination class with these two curriculum, and we were in the process of changing to the common core which was not supported by the math and reading programs. I turned to Teachers Pay Teachers first to improve student learning and meet state standards that were not covered by the curriculum provided. I still use the site for just this reason, but now that I have a few more years under my belt, I feel comfortable creating some of my own resources.

3. Pay off my debt!: Between car loans, credit cards, school loans, and now (what am I thinking?!?!) a mortgage, I can use any extra income I can get. I have only ever worked in the two lowest paying states for educators and it makes life tough! I'm hoping to pay off my car early, and get my credit cards paid off in a timely manner with the income I make from teacherspayteachers.

There are many more reasons I have joined TPT and started a blog, but these are my top 3. I am enjoying this journey and cannot wait to see where it takes me!

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Year, New School, New Adventure!

My teaching adventure has lead me somewhere new for the next school year. I am so excited to be on this journey, but am a little scared of the changes. For the past four years, I have worked in two different low income schools, and it was the most eye opening experience I have ever had.

In Arizona, I worked in a small town, basically in the middle of nowhere, with very little chance for the residents to make an income in the town itself. I had the TOUGHEST kids I could ever imagine for my first year teaching, but that didn't mean I didn't love my job! These kids were resilient - some had more siblings than I had family members (including grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.), some of them had lost parents to accidents or the justice system, some of them went without water on a weekly basis because many of their houses did not have water hookups - they had a huge water tank in the back of their pickup to haul water to their houses on a weekly basis, some of them lived with dirt floors, no electricity, and little food. But, these kids taught me so, so very much! I was just 23, with a fresh masters degree in hand, and thought I was going to change their world, one paragraph at a time. I quickly found out that hilarity, communication, and a judgement free zone were the most important things I could give these kids. I could teach them how to balance a checkbook and other life skills through our management system, I could work on teamwork by playing educational games and centers, and I could hear them by introducing dialogue journals and letting them know a little bit about my life meant they were hooked. I've never cried as much as I did while I was teaching in Arizona, because I was so invested in these kids. They broke my heart everyday, but that didn't stop me from loving every minute that I spent with those hooligans :)

For the last two years, I've had a very similar experience, in Idaho. The school I worked at is now one of the highest ranked lowest income schools in the state (if that doesn't make sense think: all the kids will be receiving free lunch next year). I never knew first and second grade could be so TOUGH! I had my hands full with twenty seven 6-8 year olds the last two years. But, there was never a day that I didn't laugh. This last year, I had the best teammates I could ask for, we worked so well together and I credit all of our students' growth to our collaboration. I worked hard, learned lots, and made some lifetime friends. I am so thankful for this time, and the chance to work with the best team!

This year, I'm on to a new adventure. I accepted a job at a local charter school. I will be teaching third grade - of course it's the only grade I have NO experience in at all, but I couldn't be more excited for this change of pace! The last four years were eye opening, and I have the biggest hole in my heart for leaving those kiddos and my team, but I needed to do this for me. I needed to see what a school was like that had parent support, kids that didn't climb on my filing cabinets or bring Patron to school, and a staff that thought discipline and consequences were important to follow through on. I don't know if the school will live up to all of my expectations, but I know that because I grew up going to Catholic School, with strict rules and high expectations, I will feel more like this was the type of experience I grew up with. I am excited and scared and nervous all at the same time, but mostly I just cannot wait to meet my kids!

I go back to work on the 4th of August for training, which leaves me only a short month to move into my new (all mine) house!

 It's a short, busy summer, but I know it will be all worth the effort in the long run!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Makeover Madness!

I finally had time to sit down and finish this week's challenge for the #tptsellerschallenge. I am SO SO SO excited with the final, redone product.

I chose to do one of my first products, my brag tags. I intended to use these as a positive behavior support last year, but I never got around to doing it. However, I know these are being put to good use in other classrooms, because it's one of my best sellers!

Before the Challenge: 

The Title page was bland, uninviting and pretty boring. I was just learning how to create cute things for TPT when I started this product, and I thought I did a pretty good job. After working hard for the last year and paying really close attention to good design, I realized that that title page is not getting anyone to take a second look. This challenge couldn't have come at a better time!

After the Challenge:

AHHH! This challenge makes me want to redo all of my products! I love, love, love the way it turned out! I love the bright colors, the Melonheadz graphics and the new fonts. PS I am obsessed with arrows, and the clip art on the cover makes me so happy! I'm hoping the new look adds some added attention to the product, which I totally revamped ... because, well, it was time! 

Bring on next week!

- Hailey

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sellers Challenge!

I am so excited to start blogging, creating, and working my business again! I have seriously slacked off this last year, and I am dedicated to making this thing work for me! I joined the #tptsellerschallenge this last week to kick my butt into high gear and get started. There are a lot of changes going on in my life right now, so this is something that will hold me accountable to getting my business going this summer. 

While I don't know a lot about blogging, web design, or graphic design, I do know that good teachers rely on other good teachers to make their teaching better. Because of this, I am so invested in the teacherspayteachers community and I am so excited to help other teachers and myself become better. I haven't taken blogging seriously in the past, but that is all about to change. So, for my fifth year of teaching, I make the solemn promise to blog or post once a week. 

This week, I'm starting off with my stats... I've been out of town and refused to take work with me and have been absorbed with the newest season of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, so I am a little behind...

My stats aren't so great. I am working on that. And, hopefully by the end of this challenge I will see a huge difference in numbers!