Sunday, August 16, 2015

The welcome letter.....

It came in the mail last week..... the letter.  The welcome back to school letter.  I have not been excited about it's arrival this year.  I have so much more to do in our new house and feel like the boys and I barely checked anything off of our summer bucket list.   One of my school BFFs got a new job also (Yay to C for being names Principal at her new school!) so that bums me out a bit also even if I am excited for her

Back to school time means getting some of my stuff ready to go.  I received my new planner from Plum Paper last month, but have not really dove into it yet.  I do love the larger size though and plan on pulling out the washi tape to color code a bit.

I also updated my IEP cards.  I needed a new font and I wanted to make it so that a teacher could edit them in Power Point and use various fonts and font sizes to fit in the needed information.  I am very happy with the way they came out and plan getting them set to hand out in 2 weeks.

Do you get a letter before you go back?  What things do you do to prepare at home before going into your classroom?

 I almost forgot to mention the our VA is for teachers collaborative blog is now live!! Lots of giveaways to enter.  Open to teachers anywhere (not just VA!).  Check it out here!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Work Task: Clothes Pin Color Match

I was working on another literacy box similar to the ones I made when I developed the pirate hand puppet and the pirate rhyming  and made this activity to go with it.  The box I was working on was focusing on Planes and Trains with a particular focus on color words.  I dug out some of my kids Popsicle sticks (I couldn't find the colored one!  They are buried in a box somewhere.) and used  markers to color one of each.  I then made another stick that had the same color words on them.  I used the small clothespins that I found at A.C. Moore and colored three for each color.

I had both my 3 year old and my 6 year old try it out.  The loved it and both were able to complete the task.  This task works on fine motor skills, matching, and reading color words.  You could differentiate a bit more by using larger clothes pins and Popsicle sticks. 

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Monday, August 10, 2015

VA Teacher Bloggers Meet 2015

Last Friday a group of 30 fabulous Virginia teacher bloggers {including myself!} descended upon the Jefferson Lakeside Country Club for an afternoon of networking, laughs, food, drinks, and some incredible swag and prizes! It was such an experience meeting all of the teachers that I have been chatting with online.  It is so nice to finally put a face with the blog button!

Some of the VA Teacher Bloggers who made it out to Vegas, shared their advice and knowledge with us and of course gave us handouts. 

Our sponsors were fantastic! I could not belive all of the stuff that they contributed.  Just amazing how supportive of teachers they are.  There were over $4,000 in prizes!!!  I won a 10 teacher site licsence for ESGI.  Soooooo excited to get started working with it.  I had thought about checking it out and writing  a grant or trying to convince my special educaiton director that we need it.  Now I get to trial it for a year (along with some of my team mates) and really get some good feedback. 

A HUGE thank you goes especially to Educents (one of THE best companies around!) for helping with the costs of the meetup and providing some FANTASTIC swag! Make sure you check out their new Educents Wallet feature to get all of those resources for your classroom at a steep discount! If you sign-up for a new teacher wallet account you'll receive $10 to spend on your classroom -- who couldn't use $10?!

Check our our FANTASTIC sponsors:

And some AMAZING TpT sellers that contributed raffle prizes or digital swag:

1. I loved walking in a seeing all kinds of familiar faces that I have never seen in person.  It was great meeting all of these different ladies that I share the educational blogging world with.  I got to drive there and hang out with one of my best friends which made it all that much better. 

2.  I loved the raffle!  It was so much fun watching everyone win something.  Desiree (who I talked about in #1) was the first number drawn.  She won some awesome stuff to really get her blog up and running.  Of course, I was super excited when I won the ESGI license.

3.  Taking pictures was another favorite moment of mine.  We had so much fun with the photo props and even broke out a selfie-stick (Note to self, I need to get one of those!!)

You can see more fun meetup photos by looking at the hashtag #VATeacherBloggersMeet on Instagram, or by looking at the photo album!

Some of the fantastic Virginia teacher bloggers from the meetup are linking up with Sarah from There's No Place Like Second Grade to share their favorite moments and photo memories from the meetup, as well as share their swag and prizes! Be sure and check-out their posts!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Educators Night Out

Last night, one of my best friends and now blogging buddy, Desiree (You can check out her blog at Paper, Pencils, and Progress Reports) and I went to an Educators Night Out that was sponsored by our local mall.  It include door prizes, free gifts from merchants, free food and drinks and discussion of how our local PREIT mall is supporting the community and educators.  They have teamed up with Donors Choose to help fund projects through a program they are calling KickStart Your Class.  I also provided an interview with a local photographer , Susan, from Fowler Studios. The interview was conduct in the fashion of  People of New York (I had never heard of this until tonight!).  She was delight and I can not wait to see the final product!

Now to decide what to write my Donor's Choose project on...... Do you have any current projects?  You can check out some of my past blog posts for help to get started!
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Saturday, July 18, 2015

5 little pirates (freebie)

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's freebie!

Today I am going to share another activity I put together.  This one used a song that I found on Strong Start and modified it just a tiny bit.  I put the song on one sheet and laminated it so that it can be looked at for reference, but also so that students can look for words and circle them with a dry erase marker (Mr. Clean erasers work great to get the dry erase marker off!!).   I then took a work glove (I tried to find an example on Amazon, but no luck) and added velcro to the finger tips.  Then cut out the pirate pictures and added velcro to the pictures so they would hook to the glove.  Now the glove can be use with the poem to act it out.  As each pirate leaves, a student can pull it off the glove.

You can get your own copy of 5 Little Pirates by going here!  Please leave a comment on this post if you download.   Also check out my previous pirate freebies and classroom activities and my pinterest board to see some of the other activities I included in the box.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Pirate box & a freebie

I spent some time this week working with our local TTAC working on developing literacy kits that teachers can check out of the library. The library is really a neat thing to have access to.  All we do is browse online, click check out and it it is mailed to us at school with an envelope to mail it back.  The library has curriculum materials, testing kits, teacher books for professional development, and best of all assistive technology.  It is great to be able to trial something with a student before we buy it and this gives us just that opportunity.

This past week I spent two days working on a pirate literacy box. I included lots of fun stuff in this box such as Shipwrecked to work on sight words, Communication boards for a Go Talk 9+, Beginning Sounds cards and a wheel, Pirate alphabet cards, a rhyming pirate file folder game and activities to go with the books Shiver me letters and How I became a Pirate.

I, of course, forgot to take a picture of the whole
box all put together, but I did take pictures of two activities that I want to share. The one I am going to share today is Pirate rhyming.

I made this to go with some of the other books included in that kit that had a rhyming theme to them. My thought process was that they rhyming activities could be used as a follow up to the book.   It is really easy to put together.  Simply print the pages.  Glue one page of cards to the right side of open folder and glue the directions to the font of the folder.  Laminate the folder and other set of cards.  Cut out cards and use velcro to adhere the cards to the folder to store.  Add velcro to the set already glued down so the student can put the match on top.

You can get your own copy of this activity by going here!  Please leave a comment on this post if you download.  Make sure you come back tomorrow to check out another activity that I put together.  Also click here to check out my previous pirate freebies and classroom activities and here for my pinterest board to see some of the other activities I included in the box.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tpt Challenge: goals

When I originally started blogging and using TpT I had no real aspirations as to where I was going to go with things.  As I have learned and grown I now have some goals that I am hoping TpT will help me reach some day.

1.  Pay off our mortgage.  Yes, I know we just bought our first home yesterday, however, I would like to take less than 30 years to pay it off.  I can imagine how freeing it would be to not have to make a house payment each month.

2. Pay off my college loans.  I have high aspirations with my education.  I do plan on getting my doctorate some day just so I can be called Dr. Orsborne.  I am currently working on my master's in Special Education Research.  I am not exactly sure what I will focus on specifically for my Doctorate, but I am sure it will have something to do with Special Education.

3. Vacations!!!  I want to be able to explore the world with my family.  Unfortunately on a teacher & survey managers salaries, it will not happen with out a lot of skimping and saving.

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