Monday, June 30, 2014

Me Time Monday

On this hot, humid and gloomy Monday I have linked up with Amanda of at One Extra Degree for...

This summer has proved to be a relaxing one. I have been super busy but...I have truly enjoyed getting stuff done for me! I have been able to get stuff done around the house (inside and out), spend time with my family and friends, coach, make new products for TpT and help my husband get his business up and running. Here are some of my summer highlights so far:

The number one thing I have enjoyed is spending time with my husband. During the school year we don't get to spend quality time together because I am always working. Even when I come home at night it was extremely difficult for me to turn it off last year (it was a stressful one!). So I have really enjoyed sleeping in, snuggling, making him breakfast and watching movies. Here is a photo of us at our friends beautiful backyard vintage wedding.

I also have recently started coaching again. Before I was offered my current teaching job I coached but decided to resign to focus on teaching and my master's degree. Now that I have been in the job for a couple of years and have completed my degree I am missing something. I absolutely love coaching and it is actually my source of "therapy" throughout the year. I love working with the girls and helping them achieve their goals. Oh and I coach cheerleading :) Here is a look at one of the bows I am ordering the girls for camp...super cute right?

Something totally random but my daily must have are my Sparkling Ice drinks. I used to buy these babies for $1 a piece at Kroger but have made the amazing discovery of them being sold in an 18 pack at Sam's Club for $10. That is like getting 8 for FREE!!!

As I posted in yesterday's post my husband has started a new clip art business. We have been working a lot on marking that lately and it's really fun to see him getting excited about his work again. Check out the post here to read more.

And finally I am super excited to say that my very first Erin Condren lesson planner has been shipped. I cannot wait until it arrives and I have already purchased some new Washi Tape to spice it up. I think it was really bad that I discovered the lesson planner but and extremely excited about it!

That's my Me Time Monday...make sure to hop on over to Amanda's blog to link up!

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

JB Design Clip Art (plus FLASH FREEBIE!)

I am going to take some blog space today to share a little bit about my husbands growing business. He is currently studying graphic design and will be finished in April. We are very fortunate to be able to have him attend school full time and not have to work. During his time off from a "real" job he has been exploring the world of clip art. He has mostly made things for me and the products I create for TpT.

When he finishes school he would love to do something with illustrations or make clip art full time. He really enjoys creating the packs and the freedom clip art allows . He is always looking for new ideas and clients :)....He loves me but he says I am the worst client lol. I can't imagine why... I don't see how hovering over him and pointing out the flaws mid design can be any bit annoying :). In the end he always WOWs me with his creations and I am very proud to share his hard work on my page.

Here are a few packs he has created...

Check out our TpT page to view all of his packs and follow us to get alerts when new products are posted. And just for checking out the blog post here is a flash FREEBIE for you (available until 9:30pm)! Make sure you also follow JB Design on Facebook for updates and Flash Freebies.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Modifying Assignments Using Photos

I love incorporating tasks into my classroom that students can use over and over. I like this for a couple of reasons. One being that the students are able to develop a routine and can build independence and second, they are a time saver! After all we are already busy writing IEP's, attending meetings, tracking data, dealing with behaviors, managing support staff, oh and teaching :)

Even though I love incorporating routine tasks into my classroom, some of them are not appropriate for all of my students. This past year I had a very large range of abilities in my classroom and it was my goal to get them all completing the same tasks. I felt they were all capable and it was up to me to figure out how.

I found some awesome tasks from Sasha over at The Autism Helper that were a perfect addition to my classroom. I love these tasks because I can use them with all of my students. I have some of my students do these activities the traditional way, by sorting, writing and turning in their finished work (paper). While I have some of my other students, who may have difficulty with writing or are just slower in task completion, complete a modified version.  They sort, take a photo and send it to me. Here are some examples:

Traditional Completion


Modified Completion


Since I have a number of students who email me I keep a digital folder for them and pull each of their completed assignments into them for review. I actually send a copy of the digital files to their families during progress time too. If you needed to print their work that is easy too. I do this sometimes if I am displaying the work or need to add something to a portfolio.

This is a pretty simple modification as it really doesn't involve any additional work for myself (other than opening an email and dragging the photo to a folder). I will admit that some of my lower functioning students needed support to complete the sort but were able to take the photo and send it independently.

How do you modify activities in your classroom for all of you students to be able to complete at the same time?

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Five for Friday {Linky Party...June 20}

What a we go!

My husband has a minor, ok huge fear of storms (shh!). Lets just say when a storm is a brewin' we know about it at least a week in advance. Due to the way our house is positioned on our lot and the proximity to our neighbors any bit of wind sounds like an F5 tornado whipping through. In hopes to get any sleep we head on over to our nana and papa's house and hangout. I know, it sounds funny but heck, free food, good conversations and a good nights sleep...I'll take it! Oh and how can I forget, we get to spend time with this cutie!

During my stay at nana and papas I had some time to do the things my lovely para professionals usually take care of for me. I colored, cut and mounted about 12 file folder games. They are ready to be laminated. I just love these, especially for students to take back to their general education classroom to work on independently. 

I was also able to get caught up on cutting some laminate....I am sure I laminated these back in March! Check out my fancy scissors. I LOVE them!

This technically happened a few weeks ago but... as a kick off to summer my girlfriends (Third in Hollywood, Dashing Dish and Dayna Mae Photography) and our hubbies got together for a BBQ, Minute to Win It showdown and a bonfire. This was so much fun! 


Finally, I found my favorite gum on sale for $0.30 a pack at Target. I had to buy five....then my hubby came home with 5 more. I just love him :)

Make sure to hop back over to the Linky Party to check out everyone else's 5 for Friday!

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gearing Up for Summer Geocaching

I am so excited to get started with the summer program a co-worker and I run.  Our program is offered to students grades K-5 who currently have an IEP (individualized education plan) or are considered at-risk.  Last year, we struggled with trying to figure out what kinds of activities we would prepare for our students, due to the varying ages and abilities.

When we were approached about running the program again, we knew we had to have a different plan of action. So after speaking with our special education director (who is just as fabulous as they come) he told us to team up with the tech department (who are just as fabulous) and TADA! we were introduced to Geocaching.

Geocaching is literally a real life treasure hunt. Here is the exact definition from the geocaching site:
        "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.            
          Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache               (container) hidden at that location."
Now, I don't know about you but that sounds a heck of a lot cooler than coming into a boring summer classroom with blank walls and no air conditioning.

After we found out about Geocaching we had to figure out how to make it work for our do we incorporate an academic component into this treasure hunting? We decided that students will still seek the treasure, but instead of finding random objects they would find work. Some examples of the work would include: 
          Reading: Fluency passages, Reader's Theater, Leveled Books, Comprehension packets
          Math: Math worksheets, games, clocks to tell time, counting money
          Writing: Finding random objects in the geocache and write a funny story about them, find letters                           and build words, find doctor supplies and have to fix up an incorrect         
Honestly, there are endless possibilities and like I mentioned before, I cannot wait to get started. Some of our caches may include a read aloud, snack or ... water-balloon fight! I better find my hiking boots, safari hat and canteen for our adventures. 

Does this sound like something you would incorporate into your room? How would you use Geocaching? Have you already used it before?

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Slump

I know, I know, you're thinking why the heck would this crazy teacher title a blog post summer slump? Don't get me wrong, I love ice cream, lake days and bonfires but, I have crazy ideas for next year flying through my mind. The bad thing about this you ask? My building is closed for most of the summer and I am moving rooms. I can't help but sit here and think, "I wonder what my new room will look like", "Ooohh, that would be awesome for "Johnny"", and "ahhh, how will I ever have time to get everything set up before the kids come?"

 I don't know about you, but I am a planner. I like things neat and orderly. When placing items in my classroom I think about all of the things that could possibly happen such as...if I put this here can "Johnny" throw it?, How mad would I be if these baskets got destroyed, paper ripped or pencils broken?

All of these things put me in a summer slump. I would rather spend the time in my room working on these things instead of sitting around thinking about them. I think the biggest problem of all is that I don't know how to relax. I have always been stretched to my limit and now that I am done with work, grad classes and after school tutoring I don't know what to do with myself.

 So this week I will set a goal for myself. I can only have summer slump thoughts when I am relaxing poolside with my freshly squeezed lemonade. How about you, do you ever get into a summer slump? Bored? that urge to get back into the classroom?

Here are some photos of a 3 minute temper tantrum that happened last you see why I like to plan things out lol.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

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I just wanted to take the time to say Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful fathers out there. I'm sure we all say this about our own dads but, my dad is truly the greatest dad in the world. He has taught me so many wonderful things in life and has never let me down. He is one of the hardest working men I have ever met and I can only hope I am able to instill his qualities into my children someday. My dad is funny, loving, caring and a real life Mr. Fix it! To my dad, I love you, and to all of the dads out there, I hope you enjoy your special day!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

New Location

Due to my lack of computer knowledge my old blog was way too difficult for me to edit. I love how user friendly Blogger is and how many resources are available. I am super excited about being able to update regularly and inspire others. I will be posting more, once I can get into my new classroom and the school year gets underway. For now I will be posting things I am working on for the new school year. If you have any questions, concerns or blog post ideas please visit my contact me page. I would love to hear from you.
My parents lake house....we spend a lot of time here :)