3-2-1 Teacher Bio: Weekend Warriors Linky Party

I am joining my Weekend Warriors gals for a little 3-2-1 Teacher Bio fun! Let's get to know each other!

I get bored easily. I am always changing my lessons and activities. Same concepts. Different spin. Keeping it fresh keeps me on my toes, gets me excited, and engaged. If I feel this way about my lessons, then it surely has a great chance to spill over to the students too, right?

I am also crazy organized at work! Everything goes into a binder and/or plastic sleeves. My colleagues call me the "Binder Queen." As much as it is a joke at work, I can almost always find what I need at a moment's notice. If it is not in a binder, it is color coded or labeled for easy identification. No time is wasted! Love, love, love. Now if only I could be this organized at home. You see, I have these three "boys" that I live with that just make it difficult to stay as organized as I do at work. 

I love to make learning fun! I really do. Not every lesson is a dazzler, believe me. But if it appears fun to the kids, they take in the knowledge without even knowing it. Whether it is reading on the floor or in a bean bag chair, playing a math game with friends or taking the lesson outside, it is important to make the learning engaging and fun! I try to do this in some way each day! I'm not always successful, but I do give it a valiant effort.

If you follow me on IG or Pinterest, you know I have a love for baseball. My two boys play ball year round and my husband is always on the field coaching. I get involved by driving them to their practices and games, cheering them on and it is a great excuse to buy cute baseball shirts for myself! But my favorite thing to do is to score their games. I learned to keep score when my brother was in little league. Now I get to use my skills while my own boys are on the field. 

I love the summer time because I can spend time outside by the water. I really love the ocean, but I truly dislike the sand. I LOVE listening to the waves crash, the smell of the salt water, but keep me away from the sand. It's gross. It's hot. It gets EVERYWHERE! Yuck! Ideally, I would enjoy the ocean while I sit by the hotel pool (book and tropical drink in hand) with the ocean on the horizon. 

I can't wait to get to Europe! I would love to start in France and Italy. I got passports for our family years ago, thinking I would be a step closer to making this happen, but not yet. I think my husband and I need to go together first and then bring the kids when they are older and can remember and enjoy the trip. I just want to take in all the history and appreciate the beauty. It. Will. Happen! 

Now, it is YOUR turn! Just grab the blank slides below and fill in your answers. Tell us a little about yourself and link up with us! Let's get to know each other a little more! 

Summer Stock Up: Interactive Notebook & Task Cards

Interactive notebooks have changed the way I teach in my classroom. I started off only using them for math skills. I noticed my students were really engaged and used them as a reference tool before tests or when they weren't sure how to complete a problem. I quickly realized what a valuable tool they were and began integrating them into my language arts, as well. Now, I can't imagine teaching without them.

Set Up:
Before school starts, I glue notebook covers onto each student's notebook. I also cut, glue, and insert the tabs we will use to help organize our notebooks. This is a very time consuming process, but necessary. If the notebooks are NOT set up in a friendly, organized manner, it makes it very difficult for the students to refer back to them during the year. All my interactive notebooks come with the appropriate covers and tabs needed to help your students be as organized as possible. Last year, I also added an envelope to the back cover for small and loose pieces. This was a game changer for those students who always need extra time to finish. 

Example Math Pages: 
Each page has the Common Core standard written in kid-friendly "I Can" language that is glued to the top of the notebook page. When necessary, terms and vocabulary are defined with examples for students to refer back to. I have my students cut these out and glue them at the bottom of the page. 

Example pictures are included for every page in each notebook. This is to give you, the teacher, an example of how the page can be used. However, I always say, you know your students best and should make sure to use the activities to best suit your students' needs. 

I have to admit, when I first started using interactive notebooks I didn't use a rubric. I modeled how the pages should be completed and explained my expectations, but there was no visual reference for the students to refer to besides my model page. Most of my classes were OK with that. However, this year was a bit different. My students needed the rubric to be successful. So, I created this kid-friendly rubric for each of them to glue into the inside of the front cover of their notebook. 

They would "grade" themselves on all their pages they completed. Once a week, I would have them choose one page they wanted me to look at and comment on. Of course, I looked at all the pages, but I only commented on the one page they chose. 

I LOVE using task cards in my classroom!! They provide such a versatile way to review skills quickly and in a meaningful way. My students love to grab a set of cards and a recording sheet. Sometimes they work with a partner. Sometimes they work independently. Sometimes we work on them as a whole class. But no matter how they are being used, the kids are engaged and learning!

This is a common sight in my classroom. As soon as I make a new set of task cards, the laminator comes out of its box and I begin prepping the set for my kiddos. You should hear the kids..."New task cards? Yay! When do we get to use them?" They L-O-V-E them!

I keep all my task card sets on metal rings. I hang the skills we are working on, along with a few review concepts on hooks in my classroom. This makes it easy for the kids to independently grab what they need to work on. When they are finished, the find the corresponding answer sheet I keep in our task card binder and correct their work. When we work on a set as a whole group, I project the cards for everyone to see. Then, they record their answers on the provided student recording sheet. We always discuss our answers and correct as we go. 
Are you ready to get started with interactive notebooks and task cards in your classroom? To help get you started, I have put all my INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS and TASK CARD sets on sale this weekend for 20% off!!! You can grab also both of these FREEBIES below, by heading over to my FACEBOOK Page, like my page, and click on the Summer Stock Up buttons.

Ready to discover some more incredible products? Click the button below to take you to the Primary Gal's FB Page where you can see all the great bloggers who are participating and giving away tons of amazing products.

Teachers Love Summer!

Summer is here! Oh, yes it is! I think teachers get more excited about summer than the kids. And you know what? I'm good with that! I love summer for so many reasons. To share all my summer love with you, I am linking up with my blogging bestie, Aimee from Primarily Speaking.

My favorite reasons why I love summer....

NO ALARM CLOCK!  This is a no-brainer for me! The last morning I wake up before a vacation is about to start, I make sure to flip the switch to OFF! And... I make sure it doesn't go back on until the very last day of vacation. If I have to wake up for something early (like a trip to the airport) I will use the alarm on my phone. I will not touch the one by my bed! Crazy? Maybe. But it's just how I roll.
Image result for no alarm clock

STAYING IN MY PJS....all day long! I will spare you a picture of this site. But I love waking up and lounging on my couch. Working on my computer. Snuggling with my boys. And just not rushing through the day. AKA: I like being lazy sometimes!

BASEBALL: Summer baseball with my boys is the best! In the summer, I love going to all their tournaments and not worrying as much about scheduling conflicts. It just seems to be easier to get to everything and enjoy it! This is the perfect example of team work, bonding, and trust that occurs on and off the field with the boys. Makes this mom SO proud. 

VACATIONS with my family!  We have already started summer with a short trip to San Diego for a Padres game, and a longer trip to Omaha for a baseball tournament. However, the most important part about the vacations is the memories that are being made! Quality time together is also key. Cheers to more summer memories being made!

VEGAS, Baby! I can't wait to get back to Vegas to see all these lovely ladies AND meet up with many more new friends I have made this past year! The countdown has started and I just can't hide my excitement! Time to start shopping and getting my pack list ready!!!!

What are your favorite things about summer? Make sure to head on over and link up!

Makeover Madness {TpT Seller Challenge}

Week 1's TpT Seller Challenge is to makeover a product on TpT! Sounds like a plan to me. I usually spend a lot of my summer creating and redesigning products that need a face lift. No better time than the present to get start! 

Here is one of my first products I ever made for TpT. My parts of speech posters were an embarrassment before this makeover. KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER! Well, now I know better and I have updated EVERYTHING about this product! 
-Updated clip art
-Updated fonts
-Clearer, better looking presentation of images

Here is one of my popular beginning of the year resources.... All About Me Glyph.
-New clip art
-New fonts
-Edited student pages

Because I am SO excited about these makeovers, I have put both products on SALE for this week!

A big thank you to these four fabulous ladies for the #tptsellerchallenge!
If you haven't already signed up, head on over to their blogs and join in all the fun!

Summer Reading List for Teachers

I love summer for so many reasons! But one of my most favorite things to do is to relax by the pool or at the beach and READ! I love finding a great book and getting lost in it. It doesn't happen often, but the summer gives me the best chance to accomplish it! 

I am thrilled to be linking up with my dear friend, Molly from Lucky to Be In First to share what I hope to read this summer.

I have just started my summer reading list. Wonder is for my son. He read it this year and told me I NEED to read it. How can a mom say no, right? SO, Wonder will be my first summer read. I also like to escape reality as much as possible, hence my other reading pics.

Wonder: by R.J. Palacio
A Hundred Summers: by Beatriz Williams

Here are two of my favorite books that I have read. I think you will get "lost" in them too. 

The Other Boleyn Girl: by Philippa Gregory
The Pact: by Jodi Picoult

What are you excited to read this summer? Make sure to link up and share your finds.