Thursday, February 19, 2015

EDExpo 2015, Here We Go!!

These last few weeks have just been so busy and exhilarating! Many fun things happened like being one of three finalists for Teacher of the Year. I didn't win, but I had steep competition. Our phenomenal art teacher deservingly took the prize!

This weekend, a new opportunity presents itself. I've been invited to EDExpo 2015. It is taking place here in my hometown of Atlanta. In just a few days superintendents, curriculum coordinators, and retailers of educational brick & mortars, and online stores will converge for the premier showcase of educational supplies, materials, furnishings, and products. I'm most looking forward to seeing what different games and activities I can find that will add to my classroom instruction. Anyone who knows me knows I'm always on the lookout for an activity to get my kids jazzed up! 

There are other bloggers that have been invited, so I'm thrilled to see familiar faces and to meet new teacher/bloggers from all over the country. Extending my happy blogger circle a goal of mine this year, so what an amazing opportunity! Be on the lookout next week when I post a full entry about the experience, including what goodies I was able to collect and my initial thoughts on how to use them in the class. I'll also be re-establishing my Twitter account (!!!!). Be sure to follow me @TeachToolz. Help me revive my love for Twitter! I will be using #EDexpo2015, as will other attendees. Come and check it out! I can't wait!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Scoop!

Happy to join up with Teaching Trio and post my Sunday Scoop. There is so much going on at my house. This is the first time I've sat at the computer for an extended amount of time since I left work on Friday. It's a relief, but it means no work has been done all weekend. Thank you, Teaching Trio, for getting me back in the right mind set but also giving me a fun task to help me procrastinate !  =)

Join in on the fun by clicking on the link below to go to Teaching Trio's blog.

Here is mine. My in-laws are visiting us in Atlanta from Wisconsin. I claim they brought the cold with them. The first morning they woke up here, our temperature was 10 degrees. They chuckled when schools in surrounding counties were delayed for 2 hours. We were not so lucky. My husband and I have kept them entertained ok. I wish my we were more fun. Honestly, we've just sat around the house, talking and finding my happy-to-comply father-in-law new projects in the house. We are currently remodeling our laundry room. I can't wait until it's more functional and more gorgeous! Other than that, Sundays stink for me, in general. I will be tossing and turning and waking up all through the night like I do every Sunday night, even after 3 years of teaching. Tomorrow is a big day for me, though, so maybe I won't sleep at all! I'm one of 18 teachers in our district chosen to survey and now discuss the district's success or lack thereof of PDs that are provided to us. I have no idea what tomorrow will entail. Wish me luck. Because of this, I'd rather focus on dinner. I can always relax and feel happier when it comes time to think about food!

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Happy One Year to Me!!

You cannot hear it, but I just sighed a huge sigh of relief and satisfaction. It is the 3rd day of 2015. This very day last year, I began this blog! I was eager, excited, a little lost, but I felt like I was on fire. I wanted a new venture so badly. I wanted it to be a gathering spot for my creativity, hyperness, learning, teaching, and motivation. It has really satisfied all of that. So when the past few month passed with so many new responsibilities at work, so many personal and physical challenges at home, I was pained to not have many blog posts and barely any TPT products at all since August. I really felt I had let myself down. On top of it all, after Christmas card season was over, I announced that I was also taking a hiatus from my photography business. What a slump!

Because of all that, I'm thrilled to have my first TPT product of the year up and ready for purchase. It's not even about the sale, it's a feeling of accomplishment! I've been wanting to make this particular product available for a long time. I used it in past years with my ESOL students, who really get a lot from the rich photographs. When I had made this originally (prior to my blogging and TPT days), I had just used Google images. It was the first time I'd made something for my class that I thought, "Hey! This would make a great TPT product." I knew that the Googled images would be a big, fat no-no. So... it has taken me this long to do it correctly and to make some additions and improvements. Stock photos and royalty-free images were not easy to find. That's the beauty of following so many knowledgeable bloggers and creators. I was led to morgueFile. This is an incredible resource that I plan to use often. Actual photographs are great for vocabulary development and also great for visual learners. I'm so happy I found it!

Below, you'll find a link to my latest - Differentiated Diagraphs & Blends SCOOT and Fluency Pack. Click on either image to go to my TPT store.

I know there are plenty of SCOOT activities out there, but as soon as I get my younger grades back, this will be my go-to for blends lessons. In the meantime, I'll just have to share it with my ESOL team. I hope the kids love it as much as they have in past years. I welcome feedback as always! 

To all readers out there, especially my fellow blogger friends, Happy New Year! May we set our bar higher and surpass them anyway. Here's to positivity, growth, connections, and laughs. Lots and lots of laughs! I want to close with a photo to start my year off right. I had the pleasure of spending lunch with these ladies on January 2nd at the yummy Cheesecake factory. They were wonderful company, we all left with cheesecakes (of course) and participated in a mug swap. I hope it's the first of many meetings, chats, and opportunities! Please check out their blogs if you get a chance!