Saturday, April 6, 2013

Linky Fever

Forget Spring Fever!  Spring Break just officially ended.  Vacation at the beach? over.  Suitcases? unpacked.  Time with family? well spent.  Lotsa Linky Parties? priceless!

First, one of my faves...Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday (okay, I know it's Saturday, but, believe it or not, I left my computer at HOME while I was at the beach!):

1.  While looking for a program to "cartoonize" my kiddos in my end-of-year movie I show and give them, I found this cool website, where I played around and made this picture of myself:

It's www.fotofunny.net, and it can do FREE collages, photo frames, and animation, pretty easily, if you upload photos of each of your students.  I thought the colored pencils were super cute for teachers and students, and, like I said, I was just playing around at this point, but I am determined to make an animated video with my students' heads "inserted" for the end of this year!

2.  I'm hosting our annual Retired Employee Luncheon next week, and have been busily shopping, crafting, planning, pinning, and racking my brain for food, gifts, and decor related to my theme:  Kentucky Derby.  I always try to match the retirement luncheon theme to my school's theme for the year.  This year it's "Keep on Track", and I thought the ladies (and a gentleman or two) would enjoy a derby party.

I found my hat at SteinMart, and added the rose.  Everything else came from Target, Hobby Lobby, and...wait for it...Dollar General!  Well, except the lamp...that's mine.  I couldn't find enough fabric to use as one big tablecloth, so I chose three coordinating ones.  I fell in love with the plates and tableware at Target - whoooo knew?  The little bucket is from the dollar spot, and I'll fill it with mint (to hint at a mint julep - certainly not allowed at school!), and give one to each guest.  We're also having a "best derby hat" contest, and the winner will score my most recent score on ebay, an antique sterling silver horse pin...Whoa, Nellie!





If you're liking the derby party, you can follow my board on Pinterest, called Off to the Races, by clicking here.

3.  I'm working on one of those really cool architectural photography collages that are popular right now like this:
(via www.ethertonphotography.blogspot.com)
for my daughter Callie.  While at the beach, I collected some photos of her favorite places, but cropping and editing them to spell her name is a challenge.  Here's what I have so far:  ALLIE...the C I chose is being difficult!



4.  I became the newest follower on
http://ilove2teach.blogspot.com/2013/03/teaching-context-clues-is-baloney.html
which is one of the most awesome blogs I've come across lately!  Check it OUT, my friends!

5.  I am also now following
Ms. Fultz's Corner
which brings me to my second link-up:
I've been teaching for about 13 years, and still feel the strains of being a "new teacher" every day, but I do have some advice to offer:
1.  Read as much as you can, take as many classes as you need, and ask for help often.  Then, and only then, decide what really works for you and your children.  The reason I feel like a new teacher all the time is that children are changing all the time.  They are growing, learning, becoming, and changing!  We have to adapt to meet their needs, as well as keep our sanity.

2.  Visit Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook before deciding to create a new unit.  Even better, check your own computer files...I recently was working like a madwoman trying to come up with some new ideas on teaching money, when I noticed, as I was saving an all-day project, that I had purchased and downloaded the perfect product last year, and hadn't remembered!  DUH!

3.  Seek out those teachers and administrators who are great role models, not just in their style, but in their encouragement, their attitudes, and their support of you.  You will need these people in your life on the days when you feel like you just cannot do it one. more. day.  They lift you, refresh you, and reset your inner momentum.  Stay away from the whiners, complainers, and downers - especially the ones who talk negatively about their students.  That's an easy trap to fall into, and a hard climb out!

4.  In that same vein, seek help from people who are on the cutting edge of teaching.  I know.  The house is a mess, the hubby's wondering where dinner is, and your own kids are thinking, "are we ever leaving here," but taking the old worksheet path, you know, the one that someone hands you and says, "These are what we've always done.  They'll be fine."  The path where you don't even read the worksheets, you just copy them?  Guess what!  They're not fine.  They're probably outdated, certainly not up to common core standards, and really just a bunch of busywork, not only for your students, but also for you.  So find the innovators, take the extra time to actually look at what you're doing, and what your students need you to be doing, and do that.  In the long run, everyone, including your husband and children, will thank you for doing the right thing, and you'll save yourself endless paperwork and grading.

5.  Stay out of the "teachers' lounge".  You'll save yourself tons of time and heartache!

Love and Kisses (for all my babies, and yours, too!),
Brooke


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XOXO,
Brooke