Saturday, June 29, 2013

Currently...July

Can you believe that it is almost July?  I can't!  This is one of my favorite times of year though.  We are knee deep in summer, the days are longer and hot, and there is still plenty of time left before school starts.

Today I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for the monthly Currently...


Listening:  The kids are playing so quietly.  We just completed a Target visit, so the kids are occupied with some new toys.  Chloe picked a 1000 piece puzzle and Barrett chose MicroChargers.  Hours of fun around here!

Loving:  I think I may have mentioned this a time or two, but I LOVE SUMMER!  Blue skies, green grass, long days, pool water, sunscreen smell, sunburns...I love it all!  

Thinking:  I'm in the mood for ice-cream.  Yes I am.  We may make a DQ run here in a minute! 

Wanting:  I want to get in my new school so bad!  I am so excited!!!!

Needing:I have lots of library books to organize for my new classroom.  This is the first time I've had to purchase new library books for my classroom.  I have inherited class books every year that I've taught and never had the need to buy many of my own.  This summer I had to change all of that.  
*SPOILER ALERT*
Classroom library posts coming soon!

Tips:  If you have an iPad, download Evernote.  This app has changed my life...well that may be a tad overdramatic!  It really has helped me to stay organized and keep all of my random thoughts in one spot.  I have been using it to plan blog posts, TPT products, and make lists for school for next year.  I can't wait to share some cool tricks with you that I have learned on Evernote! Stay tuned for that!

Kim


Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday-June 28 edition

It has been one of those wonderful summer weeks without much to do and a gorgeous week to do it!  It rained a few times, but overall the weather right now is wonderful!
I'm linking up with Five for Friday...no picture style though...'cause that's how exciting my week has been. :)


1.  The kids were entertained by their best buddies on Monday.  Lovely day! We watched movies, the girls played Barbies and we all ate a lot of junk food.  :)

2.  I have lots of time to create new TPT products and work on upcoming blog posts!  This is a first, for real!
Hop on over to my TPT store to pick up some new products!

3.  As of Thursday, I officially became a Scott County employee.  I have a school email there now...that makes it official, right?  I am so excited about this new adventure!

4.  At one point this week, I realized that no matter how organized I think I am, I could do better.  I lost my SS card this week and tore this house up looking for it!  Luckily it was found!  Not where it should have been, but found, nonetheless!

5.  And here in a little bit we are headed to a birthday party.  Party Right Inflatables...sounds like a good time!  The kids are seriously excited!

As I look back at this week, I think that it was pretty good afterall.  No big trips, no elaborate projects, just family, friends and laid back summer times! It was the best!

Kim

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bloglovin' Linky

Come follow me on Bloglovin' and show some love to all of the other blogs you follow! Head over to this linky party right away!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where Are We? Signs for your Classroom

Just for fun today (and so I could use my new clip art from Melonheadz -- Kidlettes and Funky Letters), I made a NEW product for my TPT store!

Have you ever walked into a classroom expecting to find it full of children and a teacher only to find...no one?!  I have done that so many times and then I either have to go look for them or wait for them to come back.  What a waste of time!  So, for all of my classroom teacher friends...


This pack contains:

8 Super Cute Bright Chevron Signs for:
  • Lunch
  • Recess
  • Computer Lab
  • Music
  • Library
  • Gym
  • Art
  • Classroom # _______
No more losing a whole class, friends!  Help out your colleagues when they come looking for you! :)

You can find other great teachers' ideas at Fourth Grade Flippers Tried It Tuesday Linky!  Join me!






Monday, June 24, 2013

Communication, Freebie, & A NEW TPT product!

This school year will mean:
1.  A BRAND NEW school
2.  New school district
3.  New students
4.  New parents
5.  New colleagues
6.  New administration

As I begin to consider all of these factors, I have been thinking more and more about communication.  Special education is full of time spent in meetings or on the phone with parents, collaborative teachers, administrators, related services providers, doctors, and the list goes on.  Communication is KEY to making sure that all parties involved with students are...well...INVOLVED!

Today is the beginning to a new series of blog posts all about communication.  Check out the schedule below:




Five Ways to Effectively Communicate with Parents
  1. Get off on the right foot Before school begins, I know several regular education teachers send notes to their students to welcome them back to school.  This is also a great time to introduce yourself as the teacher that will be watching out for the students with special needs.  Parents often know all of the classroom teachers, but don't know the special education teachers.  I like to send out a letter to introduce myself before school starts and let the parent know right from the beginning that we are a team.
  2. Create Detailed IEP at A Glance SheetsGo through each of those due process folders before school starts!  Examine each IEP and psychological report and get to know about the student, his/her disabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and check for behavior intervention plans.  Before school starts is a great time to get all of that paperwork in line.  WARNING: Waiting to look over paperwork will only push you farther behind once the kids come!  
        Once I have been through each IEP and psychological report, I make a IEP at a Glance Sheet for each student.  This     
         is a quick way for me to "see" the child without digging out the due process folders every time I need a date, phone 
         number, or category of disability.  Grab your freebie by clicking picture below:



3.  Send Out Parent Surveys 
This will be the first year that I will be sending out surveys.  This information will help me get to know each student as a person and not just what I can find on paper.    This insight into the student will help me to plan lessons, behavior plans, and allow me to beginning building relationships with the students.


 4.  Call Parents or Send a Note Home

As a parent, I love hearing good things about my own children and I have to remember that when working with other people's children.  I love to call home or send a note to say, "Hey, this kid is awesome! He had a great day!"

5.  Establish an Open Door Policy
Make parents aware of the times you are available and BE available!   Invite parent's to see their children's work, talk about progress, or just say hi.  Unfortunately, the only time I get to talk with some parents is during an ARC meeting.  That is not exactly the time to get to know each other.  This is an area that I personally want to work on this year.  I want to know my kids, their parents and their families.  Relationships are so important!  Kids and parents need to know they are valued and appreciated.  Afterall, that's how I want to feel as a parent and teacher.

And finally....some BIG, BIG NEWS and a LOT of work...I would like to present to you:
My Parent Communication Binder!!!!  This binder is designed especially for special education teachers, but classroom teachers can also find several of the documents useful as well!  I print one of each page for each child on my caseload and place in a tabbed binder.


In this Parent Communication Binder Packet you will find:
Beginning of the Year Note Home
Parent Contact Sheet
Getting to Know You (Parent Survey)
Parent Contact Log
Parent Input Sheet (send home before meetings to get parental input)
Positive Parent Notes Home
Parent Communication Binder Covers
Beginning of the year Note:


 I have printed these Getting to Know You Parent Surveys on front and back of a piece of paper...save a tree! ;)

 

Here's a quickie Parent Contact Sheet...one glance for all the info you need:


Parent Contact Log.  I print one for each student on my caseload.


Go now to my TPT shop and download your Parent Communication Binder TODAY!
What are you waiting for?!

PS:  From now until midnight (eastern time) the Pack will be half price!  So hurry!

Mrs. H's Resource Room TPT Shop
Special Education * Parent Communication Pack



I'm also Linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!








Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday

fiveforfriday

I'm back from a mini vacation to my parents house.  I have missed you, bloggy friends!  I thought a great way to start off the weekend would be with a little Five for Friday link-up! :)

So...this is what I've been up to lately...

1.  I spent a few days at my parents' house.  We live about 4 hours from each other and a visit was long overdue.  We had a great visit...no pictures...just memories and fun!  Oh...wait...my kids did paint these:
Chloe says the reason she loves going to Nanny and Papaw's is because they get to do crafts and Nanny gives out all the ice cream she wants for no reason at all. ;)



2.  I know this is probably way silly to many of you, but I sold my first ever (paid) product on TPT!  I am so excited!  I love the little ching-ching sound my phone makes when I've sold something!  Lots and lots of you make lots of lots of dollars on there, but think back to that first sale....woooooooooo!!!!  If you want to check it out, see below:
 
Make it your own, by adding text into the blank frames!!


3.  Some lovely friends and I painted some cutesy flower paintings at Painting with a Twist.
Photo: Painting with a Twist! Fun girls night!!

4.  Speaking of cutesy flowers, I have purchased new room decor for my brand new classroom!  
If you want this then head over to Tunstalls' Teaching Tidbits to see all of the pieces to this Classroom Garden Theme decor.  I can't wait to fire up the printer and laminator! Oh...and if you go right now to her TPT store, she is having a SALE for reaching 3000 followers and her 2 year Blogiversary.

4 (and a half):  Chloe and I drove by our new school yesterday and noticed a little newness.  I had to share some sneak peeks (of the outside of Lemons Mill)!



5.  And, finally the kids and I spent today watching Monsters University.  Cute, cute movie.  Two thumbs up, all around!

Happy 1st (official) Day of Summer!



Monday, June 10, 2013

New School!

I missed out on Made It Monday...the links and with the kids. I did however get to do something ├╝ber exciting today!

As many of you know, I resigned from my school district in May and now have a new job in the school district where I live. I will still be teaching special education, so stay with me as I continue bringing you more and more special education related activities and fun!  The thing I am most excited about is that I will be in a brand new building. I mean, brand spankin' new. The construction is set to be finished by the end of June and we should be in the building in July. *fingers crossed*

So the most exciting thing happened...

I went to a staff meeting...

We were given new school shirts!  The very first Lemons Mill Lions shirt ever!



And...we were taken on a tour of the building!  I know you are dying to see pics, but not yet!

 Sorry!  We have to wait for permission to have those released to the public. Let me just say though, it will knock your socks off!

I am so excited to bring each of you along on this journey into a new school, new staff, and...

I forgot to tell you...my very own room!!!!! No sharing with seven people!   This is the first time I've ever had my own room...EVER!  

I can't wait to bring you more!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Bags

We had to flip flop our Summer Fun-Days this week.  Thursday we typically go to the library, but today I had to work, so we switched our Thursday and Friday plans.  This actually worked better anyway.

Our project for tomorrow was to make library bags.  The kids picked out iron on transfers and fabric markers during our Hobby Lobby visit this week.  Today the kids decorated their bags (after coming home from the sitter's house and I finished up what I had to do at work).  Tomorrow we will be heading to the library to try out our new bags in action!

Barrett chose a soccer ball-his favorite!

Chloe chose a fancy butterfly!





*IDEA ALERT*
School use:  For those of you that do Daily 5 or have kids select books to keep in a book basket, I think these bags would be perfect to use as your book basket.  The kids can decorate their bag the way they like and potentially they would take up less room.  You wouldn't necessarily need a bookcase to store these on, but instead several hooks spaced out around your room could help with storage.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sidewalk Chalk and PD :)


UPDATE:  IF YOU TRY THIS AT HOME IT MAY STAIN YOUR CONCRETE. WE SCRUBBED OUR DRIVEWAY WITH DAWN AND A PUSH BROOM FOR AN HOUR. :) Pinterest fail!

What you will need to make Squirtable Homemade Sidewalk Chalk:
(per bottle)
1 cup HOT water
1/2 cup Corn Starch
TBSP tempura paint (washable)
one squirt of dishwashing liquid

1.  Combine and stir in a bowl the hot water and cornstarch until there are no lumps
2.  Add TBSP of paint & squirt of dishwashing liquid
3.  Stir
4.  Use a funnel to pour mixture into a squirt bottle


The kids had a great time at their "Wet and Wild Water Wednesday!"  They decorated our driveway with the chalk and then had fun hosing down the sidewalk (and each other) when they finished).



Hope you are enjoying some summer time fun, too!


I'm also linking up today for Workshop Wednesday with Ideas by Jivey!

I actually took the idea for homemade sidewalk paint from Pinterest, but it isn't school related and I don't think it would count as any type of "professional development."  Not that this linky does either, but it sure is fun either way.


Here are a few of my ideas that I want to try for next year:

Reading:  I am on the look out for new ideas on ways to create a peaceful and inviting reading corner.  This one is particular is built around ideas of brain research.

Mathematics:  It is my plan to create Math Prompting and Cueing Notebooks.  It will serve as a handy math "toolbox" for students to refer to when they need help remember processes of mathematics.  

Sight Words (Word Work): These sight word bottles are a great tool and a new and engaging way to practice sight words.  I think I will employ my kids to make these for me this summer.




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Dork Diaries Book Release--Can you guess where our Trip Tuesday took us?

In keeping with our Summer Fun-Days, our trip today was to Barnes and Noble.  My kids are definitely teacher's kids!  They love to read and one of our favorite past times is curling up on the couch or in my bed and reading together.  We can be reading the same book or all different books, but reading is something we all find joy in.  Today was an extra special day for the kids at B&N.  Chloe's favorite book series, well after Harry Potter, released a new book today.
Chloe loves the Dork Diaries series.  Some have called it the girl version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It is written in the same diary/journal format and it is a quick read for most.  There are six books in the series now.  I would highly recommend these books for girls between the ages of 9-12.  They deal with friends, parents, and boys.  It is a humorous series of books from the personal diary of Nikki Maxwell. The book features drawings and comics that feature the life on a typical middle schooler.  They are a great read.  Series books are doubly great, because they allow a reader to get "involved" in the life of a character and live with them through ups and downs and are able to "watch" the character develop through the books.  My kids just eat up series books.  


Some of our favorite series books include:
Harry Potter
Dork Diaries
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Junie B. Jones
Horrible Harry
Judy Moody
Stink Moody (Judy's little brother)
A-Z Mysteries
Magic Tree House
The 39 Clues
Little House on the Prairie
Percy Jackson
Kingdom Keepers
Series of Unfortunate Events
Henry and Mudge

Speaking of series books...Barrett also had a successful B&N trip.  He picked out his very first chapter book.  He is a great little reader.  He just finished Kindergarten and decided that he is now a big boy and can read chapter books.  He picked the first book in the Stinky Moody series and read the first several chapters before we even made it home!  He's a boy after my own heart! <3



Oh and a fun fact just to let you in on how nerdy and like their momma my kids are...our other stops today were Staples and Hobby Lobby!  Yep, a teacher's dream! :)
Kim




Monday, June 3, 2013

Made It Monday with the Kiddos


Linking up today for my first Monday Made It of the summer!  
My kids and I are making the most of this summer by giving each day a specific task and it just so happens that Monday is our Make It day! :)

Today we made Jolly Rancher suckers.  You've probably seen them floating around Pinterest.


You will need:
 Jolly Ranchers
Sucker sticks
Parchment Paper


Unwrap the Jolly Ranchers and put them in groups of three on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Leave room between each group of candies so they don't all melt into one gigantic Jolly Rancher.


Here, Bear is organizing his candies before he puts them on the tray.


Candies are ready for the oven.  Heat your oven to 275 degrees and bake in oven for 6 minutes.
When time is up, place a sucker stick into each candy.  Give it a little twist to help stay put.


Our finished product! Yum!


Want to know what else or how we organize our summer fun?  I borrowed the premise for my idea here, but tweaked it to fit our days and our desires.  The kids are asking everyday, "What day is it?  What does that mean we are going to do today?"  They are really staying motivated to follow the schedule, so I thought a little visual would help them remember and help me plan what we are going to do each day.  Feel free to borrow this if you like :)  To download a printable click here!


And finally, calling all special ed. teachers!  Don't forget to go by my TPT store and download my new special education teacher planner!  It is chocked full of organizers to get your new year off on the right foot!  Click the here to be linked to the customizable lesson plan/teacher planner product!  Below you will see the customizable front cover, 1st page of the lesson planner, and a quick reference sheets for IEP goals and benchmarks!


 

Kim











Sunday, June 2, 2013

Currently...June!

The sights and sounds of summer vacation has overtaken our home!  I love this time of year!  The days are longer, the kids are calmer, and life is filled with sunny days and fun!  It also is allowing me some extra blogging time...I've actually posted blog posts most days this week.  :)  Today, I get to get caught up with the Currently from Oh Boy Fourth Grade!


Listening:  BBQ Pitmasters.  My husband has been watching this show all day.   I went to Target earlier and he was watching and when I came home it was still on and continues to be!  I have to admit, I kind of like the show and definitely put me in the mood for some good BBQ.  Looks like it will be Sonny's for supper! ;)

Loving:  I love summer!  This is my favorite season!  The long days of sunlight and warm weather fill me with joy.  I also really enjoy spending the day with my kids and filling our days full of memories!

Thinking:  I just can't get my new school out of my head!  I am dying to get into my new classroom and decorate and to meet my new kids.  

Wanting:  I need some new books to read this summer.  I don't have anything on my must read list right now...fiction-wise.  I am currently reading Reading Without Limits by Maddie Witter.  It is a great book and a great companion to the Daily 5 and Cafe that I read last summer.  I do want something to read though that I can take out on the deck and just get lost in.  Any suggestions, friends?

Needing:  My mom spent several days with us a few weeks ago and caught up all of my laundry one day while I was at work.  Awesome!  Now, I just have to keep up the good work she started.  I loathe laundry.  I need to get some organization in my closet and dresser drawers to make things run more efficiently in the laundry department....or I just need to have my mom come stay more often! :)

Summer Vacay Essentials:  Sunscreen.  Swimsuit.  Sandals.  These three items go together like PB&J.  I could spend every single day of the summer at the pool and never have a bad day!  

I hope you are enjoying your summer, too!