Sunday, 8 September 2013

SLANT Box Reveal

Hey Again,

Today I wanted to talk a bit about my SLANT box. If you don't know about SLANT boxes, you can read about it here:

Lessons With Coffee

Thanks to Jameson over at Lessons with Coffee for dreaming up this awesome idea and sharing it with the rest of us!

For August, I was linked up with the awesome Lola over at:

Preschool Wonders

and Debbie from Teise's Tidbits

It was nice to get to know these two educators over the month of August! The theme for August was "These are a few of my favourite things"

Lola did a great job of finding some awesome things for me! I hope Debbie enjoyed the things I picked out for her!

Here's how my box arrived...


And here are all the great contents:

Some cute pencils, lip balm, owl post-its, a Starbucks card, and a super cute mug with my initial on it!

The best part? The mug totally matches my new planner (this is a crummy pic, but you can see the patterns)! 

I highly recommend signing up for a SLANT box! September is closed already, but October is coming up.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Currently September...and an Update

Hello peeps!

If you're still around reading this lovely little blog, thanks!

I know I've been an awful blogger this summer (or a nonexistent one)! I promise, I do have a plan to be better this year! To start off this better blogging year, I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade for the first Currently of the school year.

Oh' boy fourth grade

As well, I have a couple of posts coming slant box reveal (if you haven't seen the pictures on instagram yet) and a blog award I was given (yay)!

Listening:  I admit, I'm a sucker for some reality TV. Other than Big Brother, one of my faves is The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network. Also, Cutthroat Kitchen.   :)

Loving: I'm glad that Hubs and I got to spend some time together this weekend, before things get extra crazy, even though part of it was me getting very angry at the computer for not printing my labels properly!

Thinking?Wanting: Two sides of the same thing: Thinking about all the stuff that I'm sure I'm forgetting, or needing to plan, or wanting to do before school starts "for realsies" on Thursday.

Needing: My poor Hubs is so done with all the "kindercrap" :) that is in my living room. So I need to get some of it out and my house back to normal.

and for me: Even though things are super stressful with another grade level change, and teaching gym part-time, I really want to work on a balance, and not be worried and focused just on school this year. The second one is a fitness goal for myself. Years ago, when I was finishing up my first university degree, I spent part of a summer in Quebec City doing a French program. Since we flew there, we didn't have a car for the six weeks we were there, so we walked everywhere. I lost so much weight without even trying. I would love to be able to get back into walking (and, as a plus, doggie gets more exercise, too)!

Well, that's it for me. I'll be back later this week with my slant box reveal and first day of school pics!

Have a great (what's left of) Labour Day Weekend, everybody!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Booking Across Canada

Hey Everyone,

This week I'm linking up with Mrs. D at Reading with Mrs. D for her "Booking Across Canada" linky party. One of the books from Manitoba that I thought of showcasing was  "Ruby's Hope" by Hannah Taylor.

However, there are already so many great resources to go with this book associated with the Ladybug Foundation that I didn't think there was much I could add.

So instead, I chose another Canadian book, "If You're Not from the Prairie..." by David Bouchard.

Although the author is writing about his experience growing up in Saskatchewan, it resonates for those across Manitoba as well. Plus, the illustrations by Henry Ripplinger are fantastic.

What I put together for this book is a poetry frame for students to fill out using the form that Bouchard uses in the book. Students can choose their community or a place that is special to them to create the poem.

It's available here:

"If You're Not from the Prairie" Writing Form

Hope that it is useful for you! You can also get students to illustrate their poems using Ripplinger's images as a guide.

Have a great day!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Announcement and a Design Change

Hey All,

The announcement and the design change sort of go, first, it's official! I got a job at the school I was talking about earlier! :)

The only thing is that it's not the grade 3 job I applied for...I'm teaching kindergarten!

I was pretty nervous at first, I trained as a Middle Years teacher, and over the past few years have taught everything from 3-7. It was a little overwhelming at first, thinking about what a day would look like with my kinders, but over the past couple days it's become more exciting.

Now I'm mostly nervous about the first day. But I'm sure it'll be great.

So that's the reason for the design change. Thanks to Dreamlike Magic for the template!

Pretty soon I will be a "Middle Years Girl in an Early Years World"!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Positive Thoughts...

Hey Everyone,

Just a quick note to ask you to keep your fingers ultra crossed for me this week as I had an interview at one of my favourite schools. Should hear back sometime after the long weekend. I went in pretty confident and with a lot of staff support, but you never know.

Thanks for the support!

Friday, 3 May 2013

May Currently!

Hello Again,

Linking up with Farley over at:

Oh' boy fourth grade
Click the picture to visit her blog!

For her monthly linky party!

I love reading through everyone's Currently's and finding new people to follow :)

Here's mine: 

A quick recap: 

Listening: My poor doggie just wants to be outside...but it's so yucky and wet that it's not worth it. Sorry goggie! 

Loving: I'm so excited about this job posting. But nervous too. I really want this job, and will be devastated if I don't get it. But it doesn't close for another week, so I really need to calm down. :)

Wanting/Needing: I have a bunch of things to finish (and start) which I need to get motivated to do. And, of course, a job! 

Summer Bucket List: As I mentioned in my last post, I need to do some more running, especially since Ultimate is starting up in a couple weeks! As well, I know, broken record, I would love a classroom to set up. And the last, I would love to spend some more time out at my family cabin at the lake! 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Linky & an Update

Hi All,

Before anything else, I would just like to let you know something. It snowed yesterday. Yes, SNOW. I am so cranky today. Maybe it's a good thing that I'm at home and didn't get a call to work. It is MAY and there is SNOW. {Sad face}. I needed to share. On a more positive note:

Today I'm linking up with Jess over at:

I {Heart} Recess
Click through to her blog

For her Monthly Goals linky party!

PS: Isn't her blog button so stinkin' cute?

My Goals:

Personal: I'm very sad at the moment when I look at the contents of my bank account. The new computer, a couple new all-season tires and my most recent car insurance payment wiped me out. Plus I haven't worked yet this week! Perils of substitute teaching!

Health: I was doing really well earlier this year using the Couch-to-5K running program. Then I got sick (evil cold that wouldn't go away) and fell off. I really need to get back to it (mostly so my body doesn't die of shock the first time that I have to sprint in an Ultimate game)!

Blogging: I had lots of aspirations for this blog and things I wanted to do and share. I need to get back to that. I have a couple of math game freebies that I'm working on for you :) and some other things I want to share. Just have to get around to it!

School: Pretty self-explanatory. I just want to work. Hubs is worried about me not having a job/wanting to start a family, so I'm under pressure to be employed or have to change careers for a while. Which isn't something I really want to do!

Fun: My poor dog just wants to be outside. Even though there is now snow on the ground. And I feel bad because we haven't walked him in ages. And that our backyard is teeny (another reason I need a job--new house)! But it's so wet out there, and he hates baths waaaay more than he likes walks. Well, maybe not waaaay. So I need to get on that.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my goals. May is always the magic month for job postings around here, so keep your fingers & toes crossed. I know I am!

Have a great day!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday Made It!

Hi Everyone!

I'm finally getting another change to link up with Tara for this month's installment of Monday Made it!

It's been hard to get the motivation to make anything classroom-y, since I haven't been working this year, but this "home made it" could double for a school library. Being a teacher, I usually end up gifting books to all my friend's little ones. This year for birthdays, I decided to do something a little different. I still picked out three books for my little friend, but gave it a twist.

For this birthday, I picked out three of my favourite books, "Chester" by Melanie Watt, "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy" by Mo Willems, and "Click, Clack Moo" by Doreen Cronin. Then, I chose a picture or scene from the book and illustrated it, along with the title of the story. This could also be great (maybe on a smaller scale) for a classroom library. Without further ado, here are the finished products:

(Sorry for the crummy photos, took them with my phone)

I didn't think to take any "during" photos this time around, but basically I eyeballed them in pencil onto the canvas first and then painted. I think they turned out pretty well (except Chester is a little too yellow for me)!

Hope you like them! I hope to be back this week with a couple of freebie math games for you from that never-ending project I've been working on this year. It is finally done and put together. We present tomorrow (wish me luck)!

Have a great week, everyone! Go head over to Fourth Grade Frolics and link up!!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

I (heart) Linkies!

Hello again!

Twice in one weekend? What?!? Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, I spent it working at my P-T job and working on my PBDE project!

Our project is focused on Middle Years math, and helping students with what we identified as the "Top Ten" problem areas for kids (mostly in the "number" strand of math here in Manitoba). So today, I've been working on thinking and researching why basic fact knowledge, factors and multiples, place value, mental math and problem solving are so difficult for kids. It's been interesting, I'm glad that I've found this project valuable so far. Sometimes a lot of it feels like busywork in some courses.

Anyway, the main reason for me writing today is to link up with Ms. M (as an aside, I remember when I used to be a Ms. M! Now I have to settle for being Mrs. T [I'm still coming to terms with trading my awesome last name for a waaaay more popular one!]) over at Teaching is a Gift for her "Blog by Province" linky party.

It's nice when you can find Canadian bloggers to visit with sometimes! So if you are reading this, and are a Canadian blogger, go link up! 

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Currently, etc.

Hello Friends!

Thanks for sticking around, even though I have been a lazy blogger most of the time that I have been with you. I promise that eventually things will pick up around here! Around the same time that they pick up in my teaching career. Sigh.

Anyway, I shall start with this month's Currently. If you haven't yet, you should check it out (every month) by Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade. She always has lots of fun things going on.

Oh' boy fourth grade

So here is what right now looks like for me:

I should be working on my PBDE project, but instead I am working on cover letters and blog stalking. Very worthwhile past-times! Since I've started this post-bacc program, I'm techinically able to apply for different resource/special ed. positions. There were a couple postings this week, but I'm kind of afraid that I will be completely over my head if I get something. I just need to work on believing in my abilities and figuring out how to bring that across to others. Also, I am craving a frappucino. But I am still in my PJs at 2 pm. So that tells you how much motivation I have today :)

On an unrelated job note, I really need a teaching job so that I don't have to work so much retail anymore! I am really sick of working Sundays. 

And my "like, love, hate": 
I always think that "D" words are so hard...but I came up with three. My like, dorkiness, is just fun. I've been lucky enough to get a lot of sub days at a school that I worked at for most of the last school year. So my "dorkiness" is one thing that lets me connect with students and have fun. My love, is my dog, Leif. He is such a dork too. 

But how could you not love this face?

That's my puppy giving me a "I missed you, momma!" hug!

And the last, my hate, is drama. I feel like there is always someone trying to start things. So I'm doing my best to avoid those who start and spread it all.

That's it for now! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Generalness and Math

Hey Everyone,

Happy New Year, hope everyone had a relaxing holiday (I know, that break seems like forever ago)! I am coming to the end of a extra-long weekend due to a storm day on Friday (woo hoo)! One of the perks of teaching outside of the city is being able to roll over and go back to sleep after that great phone call while all your friends who teach in the city still have to go to school (sorry, friends)! :)

If you are wondering, no, I still haven't found a job, but I am doing a short stint in a classroom in a school I used to work in for the next week and a half. So I get snow days too. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of things at school that I wanted to take home for the weekend from her classroom to get ready for this week, but I wasn't able to since I wasn't at school. Oh well, I'll take sleeping in, going for breakfast with the hubs and getting my grocery shopping done by 10am.

So I've had a couple of questions about my guided math program that I'm going to try to answer, and later this week (hopefully) I'm going to post about my exciting math-related project I'm doing for my post-bacc course.

Guided Math

So Aviva was asking about problem solving and communication in my guided math groups. One thing to stress with the students when building your guided math routine is how to work when you are not with the teacher. Some of these strategies include the mechanics of station work: how to get and pack up materials, how to move from one area to another, etc. But the other important routines to build with your students are how to work together, how to "help" one another, and how to talk about math. (As a disclaimer, I would like to say that all of my schooling and experience has been in grades 3-7. So some of my ideas may need to be tweaked for first and second graders).

The idea of teaching kids the second set of routines is super important. I don't know how many times I go into classrooms and am trying to help students with a problem, when the next kid in line whispers the answer. They think that they are helping, but really, they are just speeding the process along. This becomes important to kibosh when you are doing g.m. because the students are working alone in their groups without you for 3/4 of the time. One of the preteaching things that I always do is talk about how we can help. I try to teach students to talk about processes, not results. Talk your friend through how you started to solve the problem, or important words, or where to look to find the info you need to begin. I find, especially at the middle grades, that this is difficult for kids. They don't want to show their work, or talk about strategies; teaching them how to do this effectively is super important (and for little kidlets too, that way they'd be used to it by grade 5)! :)

For problem solving, I would start off as a whole group, and go through strategies to use. We would probably start with different problems that would use the same strategy. I used a program called "Problem Solver 6". What I might do in the future is to give each group a problem once a week when they meet with me. Then in one of their breakoff groups (paper/pencil, or instead of fact practice) I would get them to take turns talking about the steps that they would use to solve the problem, or maybe give each group a different type of problem, and have them be 'experts' on that type of problem to teach the rest of the class.

As I said, so much of it is about pre-teaching these routines. Like in the Daily 5 program, you have to start small, and definitely teach kids the language, expectations and routines. You might not get into fully operating guided math groups until November. But that's okay. All that preparation means that it will run so much smoother later on.

Hope that helps! Any questions, ask 'em in the comments!

As a final note on this incredibly long post, I need to share this picture, which may finally help me to remember what the difference between mean, median and mode is. I shared it with a group of grade sixers on Thursday and they were repeating it all morning!

median mode mean range - maybe I won't have to Google it every time a kid asks me which is which! :)

Take care!