Friday, August 8, 2014

August?!?! Really!?!? Summer is Over? Where Did it Go!!???

I am in my classroom right now, just can't believe how this summer flew by!! I will begin with my August Currently:

Here's a little more on my currently,

LISTENING~~I have been in my room since 9 am and it is currently about 11:30 am.  I have been listening to my ipod as I have been working.  I have been listening to some of my favorite music; Steven Curtis Chapman's Glorious Unfolding, Casting Crown's Thrive, Colony House's When I was Younger, & now Mercy Me's The Hurt & the Healer.  It is helping me to stay in the right frame of mind.

LOVING~~A few day's ago Amazon had the Kindle version of Mark Hall's {Lead singer of Casting Crowns} book Thrive: Digging Deep & Reaching Out for only $2.99 so I got it and then signed up for their 31 Day Thrive Challenge.  Mark talks about how many of us are 'surviving'; 'if I can just make to...' He says, "You were not made to survive life....You were not made to exist until you can get over the next hump or get to the next break...You are not living the life you were created to live if survive is your word. You were made to thrive." {emphasis his}  He describes thriving as living to know God and make Him known.  I have definitely felt {for YEARS} I have been in 'Survival Mode'  I am ready to THRIVE!!!!

THINKING~~I am not others, I am me.  I am who God created me to be & I want to THRIVE as me.  I tend to get overwhelmed with life & feel frustrated with not being able to do it all.  I see the Blogging/TpT 'Superstars' & my sister who are SUPER neat & organized and always seem to have it together.  I tend to shut down when I don't feel like I am 'good enough' and I am trusting God to use me for who I am flaws & all. Step, step, step....I decided to take pictures of what I am doing each hour to document that I AM doing a lot {trying to convince myself, not so much everyone else} I took a break about 45 minutes ago from my room to blog, & will get back at my room in 15 minutes no matter how far along this post is.

WANTING~~I live in the High Desert of Southern California & it has been HOT!!! Okay, just checked phone & it says it is only 90 degrees today, but the humidity has been higher than usual lately.   The air doesn't appear to be working very well in my classroom, but I have cooled down considerable since I wrote that above!

NEEDING & BACK TO SCHOOL~~{It is now Sunday morning!}

Yesterday I was really needed to make the most of my time because as you can see the calendar is busy.  I wrote this in my last post:

    {{{ I have shared all of the blessings of the last few days, now I have a prayer request for you.  My brother-in-law had a major stroke Saturday morning and will not recover.  I have spent much of the last few days on the phone and in prayer for him and my sister, your prayers would be greatly appreciated as well.  I hope to blog again within the next few days.}}}

    My brother in law passed away the day after that post & the following day was my sister's birthday.  My daughter & I went to her house for several days and it is part of why I have not posted like I thought I would.  Well, the yellow hearts above show that the weekend before school begins I will be out of town & focused on family.  I plan to do NOTHING school related; family must be the priority, as his service will be that weekend & there will be some other family stuff as well.  I do thank all of you who prayed and ask for continued prayer for my sister!
  
   I usually spend the whole weekend before school in my room & we can usually get into our rooms at the beginning of August {remember I have A LOT of stuff!!}. Well, they are painting our school {it looks the best I've every seen it BTW! :)} Keys are not being given out until tomorrow (Monday) but my principal had compassion on me since I will be out of town for the memorial next weekend so I was able to work yesterday...VERY GRATEFUL!!!!!

Here's what my room looked like when I walked in the door....


   Ah, forget it!!! If I don't hit the 'Publish' button now I never will.....don't know if I will link since it is now AUGUST 8th!!!  Hopefully get in another post about why I didn't get this one completed like I planned to!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

TpT Conference...WOW!!!

     {{{I'm off to bed, but maybe I can do another quick post in the morning! Tomorrow's agenda: VBS, lunch, get stuff ready for Vegas, drive to Vegas {about 2 1/2 hours for me! :)}, get checked in...pick up name tag & check in for TpT Conference!!!!!}}}
    This is what I wrote Wednesday night....here's how the next day really went: No quick post in the morning...too busy getting stuff done around the house, off to VBS {Vacation Bible School} which runs from 9-12...


a little before 10:30 I get a call from my doctor's office.  I had done a mammogram on Monday & they wanted to take a closer look at something on my left side.  They wanted me to come in as soon as I could.  Well...I was planning to leave town right after I had lunch & a quick stop at Walmart, & a stop at the house to get all my stuff for the trip... I had arranged to meet another attendee at 5:00 in Vegas {2-2 1/2 hour drive from home}...I called the hospital to see if they could get me in SOON...they scheduled me for 12:20.  I thought, "This will work out, I will just leave early so that I could get checked in and maybe they just might be ahead of schedule."  I spoke with those who would be affected by my leaving early and got the green light!  So, I looked for my car keys {I planned to leave at 11:30}...oops...where were my keys??? hmmm...this is me...
     Every year my students get to hear this at least once; yes, my mother did tell me that, and boy am I glad it is fastened on!!!.......COULD NOT FIND MY KEYS!!!  10 minutes into my search all over our church for my keys, my parents call.  {Praying how to shorten this next part down} My brother-in-law has been sick for the last few weeks and in and out of the hospital in the last week, it has been a major roller coaster especially for my sister, at times looking not so bad, to pretty bad, back up to not so bad. My parents let me know that my sister had called them and wanted them to come to the hospital {about an hour away for them} IMMEDIATELY! It sounded like things were dire for my brother-in-law...as I kept looking for my keys I ask friends at my church pray.  I found the keys around 11:55 and took off for the hospital.  After I left the hospital I headed to Walmart to find a big red bag to take to the conference....
     I was so pleased that the one I found looks exactly like what I had envisioned it to the night before in bed! :)  
     I got the 'go ahead' from my parents to head to Vegas and it sounded not so bad for my brother-in-law.  Traffic made me later than I wanted to be, but I was able to meet and have dinner with Kelly Malloy of An Apple for the Teacher.  I do love The Cheesecake Factory!

     I feel like we really connected and I have a new friend!   She is a 'Rock Star' in the teacher 'Tweeting' world!! She has 5 1/2 THOUSAND followers!!  I am going to have to learn a thing or two from her about Twitter!  Also, when I checked out her blog I felt even more connected {check it out & I think you will see why!}
     Friday morning I was so excited...here I am ready to leave the hotel...
When I walked into the main conference room for breakfast & the Keynote Session I just whispered, "Wow!" repeatedly!

At the Keynote session we heard several speakers; Amy Berner Head of Community and Editorial for Teachers, Paul the Founder of TpT, and Deanna Jump TpT's number 1 seller were among those who spoke.  I am glad that Paul chose to do what many told him would never work!!
It was wonderful to visit with sellers I had previously met, some I had only met online, & one who couldn't be there in 3D had a picture with her 2D!
L to R, T to B...Mel from Graphics from the Pond & Frog Spot, Kristin from A Teeny, Tiny Teacher, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten, Amanda from One Extra Degree, Erin from I'm Lovin Lit, & Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class.

   I learned so many things Friday, some of which I have already started focusing on!

    One more thing I would like to share in this post about the conference {hopefully more in future posts} is about Deanna Jump {Mrs. Jump's Class}  She is TpT's first millionaire and is now a multimillionaire!!!  But, that is not what is so amazing about her, in my opinion what is so amazing is who she is and her story.  Several years ago I did a blog post titled, "Teaching Blogs Making the World a Better Place" in which I referenced the part of her story that I knew because of this post of hers, "Thank You for What You Have Done" At the Keynote Session she shared more of her story and how her family was struggling financially, how she prayed nightly {forgive me Deanna if I get your wording wrong, hopefully I get the gist of the prayer right, please correct me if I am wrong!} "Please, Lord I will do the work if you will provide a way!" She tried applying at a Junior/Community College as a teacher, but that never worked out, and several other directions.  Her first year she made a total of $300 and almost did renew her membership with TpT.  When her sales took off and suddenly jumped to $27,000, not knowing if it would ever happen again she & her husband made the decision to spend it on...go to her blog post to read her telling of it, if you don't already know.
     Last year I had the privilege of meeting her and this year when I spoke to her I asked if she was familiar with Casting Crown's song Dream for You.  She was, but said she would have to go back & listen to it again to see herself in the song...boy did God have an amazing dream for her!! Consider letting God dream for you as well!!
     My husband & daughter joined me in Vegas after the conference.  We enjoyed a great seafood buffet at the Fremont.  Saturday & Sunday we visited with my stepdaughter & her family...they just moved back to Vegas so we had a great time being grandparents. 
     I have shared all of the blessings of the last few days, now I have a prayer request for you.  My brother-in-law had a major stroke Saturday morning and will not recover.  I have spent much of the last few days on the phone and in prayer for him and my sister, your prayers would be greatly appreciated as well.  I hope to blog again within the next few days.

***Just added this post to A Burst of First's Vegas Linky!
http://aburstoffirst.blogspot.com/2014/07/its-vegas-baby.html

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'm on a Roll...Posting 2 Times in 1 Week!! More on Dropbox & Cheap Movies!!!

{If you stopped by from the Seller's Forum the post that was inspired by the thread can be found HERE, I just linked to my blog not the post...but feel free to stick around and read more! ;-)} 

    Okay...2 days in 1 week posting...maybe I can start a habit for the rest of this summer...then maybe I can actually share all of the things that have been floating around in my head for the last year!! {It really was a great school year!}
     
     A few more reasons that I chose Dropbox as my one cloud I am using. {If you click on the word Dropbox it does take you to my referral link, you start off with 5GB free I believe, & by using my link you get 500 MB of bonus space free!}

*My phone, my husband's phone, my ipod, and my school ipad automatically upload any pictures I take straight into my Dropbox folder!!!  I had tried Picasa for organizing my pictures & I DID NOT LIKE IT!! Once I open my Camera Uploads folder I can separate the pictures into my Personal Pictures 2014 {I have folders for previous years' pictures in there too} or into my School Pictures folder. From there I can categorize even farther by naming the event.  I took a whole lot of pictures at school this year and did an end of the year video for my students.  

*Another reason to love Dropbox is with the app I can see everything on my phone.  It is great to be able to pull up pictures {and it doesn't matter what device I took the picture on, including old phones}

*I am exited about it as well for this week's TpT Conference.  Each of the speakers have a handout.  I downloaded the handouts into a Dropbox folder just for the conference.  I was going to print out the handouts, and take them all for note taking at the conference. Pamela Krantz from Desktop Learning Adventures shared a brilliant idea of taking an iPad & using PDF Reader for the notes.  Once I added PDF Reader & opened it up it took me to a window that had Dropbox and I was able to upload the documents into PDF Reader from Dropbox.  Now I can save on ink, paper, & take less to the conference! I can write on the documents digitally...so cool!

     In my last post I said I would share more about the inexpensive movies.  Cinemark has a great deal for summer.  They have a kid's movie a week all summer.  If you buy the summer pass it is 10 movies for $5!  Now since they have only 4 movies left you might be wiser to buy the tickets at the door for $1 per ticket.  The advantage of the pass is that on the back there is $3 off any popcorn ticket (that can be used each week) which makes their large popcorn {which comes with a refill} about $4.50 instead of about $7.50.  I bought 5 passes & have taken my daughter's 2 friends (sisters) who spend all summer at the babysitters to the movies with us. They show the weekly movie (at least at our theater) on Tuesday & Wednesday morning at 10:00.  I will probably check into this deal again next summer.
   
     I'm off to bed, but maybe I can do another quick post in the morning! Tomorrow's agenda: VBS, lunch, get stuff ready for Vegas, drive to Vegas {about 2 1/2 hours for me! :)}, get checked in...pick up name tag & check in for TpT Conference!!!!!


Monday, July 7, 2014

TpT Conference Friday...I'm Alive...Organizing!

    Wow, hard to believe that the last day of school with students is now over a month ago!!

     Have any of you ever felt 'stuck'?  Well, I have been feeling very stuck when it has come to my blogs {including my classroom blog} and TpT & TN.  One of the things that my family has been doing since school got out is going some very inexpensive movies. {more about this later}  A week ago we saw The Croods.  There was a scene where two of the characters get stuck in tar...I realized that's a lot like how I have been feeling...so how do the characters get out?  See for yourself...

     I am ready to be 'flung' from my 'tar' and I am hoping that the 1st Annual TpT Conference is going to help!  Am I nervous???? YOU BET!! As a matter of fact when I read a thread title in the TpT Seller's Forum named "Anyone Having Conference Anxiety?" my stomach immediately was FILLED with butterflies.  Me...going to the conference where people have QUIT THEIR TEACHING JOBS by doing TpT...my dashboard {which, yes I have had since July 2011} has a big fat ZERO for earnings...I keep planning to get moving and have paid items finished and up for sale, but the TAR!!, Oh the TAR will I ever get UNSTUCK??!!...now I have been working towards this goal...let me start by sharing more about my 'stuff' and getting it organized... 

     This year I finished my 26th year teaching 3rd grade & I have a lot {no, make that A LOT [no, make that A LOT]} of stuff!!!! The kids finished Thursday, June 5, I however, finished Friday, June 13th!!! One of the LAST to check out, as always!  I did get some things organized that I plan to share in a later post.

     I will share right now about organizing digital resources.  Last year I shared how I was trying to get all of my digital resources organized into various clouds; Sugar Sync, Evernote, CX, Box, Google Drive, & Dropbox.  Well, that became even more stuff to try to manage, so I decided to mainstream & just use Dropbox.  I am paying for more space then what they offer for free, but I feel it is worth the investment.  Here are a few reasons I decided on using just Dropbox:
* I love the fact that I can see thumbnails of many of my documents. Several other clouds did not have this feature.  It make it so much easier when I am searching for something!!!
* I was spending too much time trying to remember which files and documents were in each cloud & then logging into them was taking precious time as well.
*Another feature I love is that on all of the computers that I regularly use; home desk top, school laptop, a couple of others in class that I regularly use, & my {personal} kids' laptop Dropbox is downloaded and I can simply open any file on my desktop edit, modify, finish, etc. and when I close it the document is saved in its new form in Dropbox.  I had an issue with some of the other clouds having to download the document, edit, upload the modified doc, then delete the old one. TOO time consuming!!!
* I love having folders inside of folders, inside of folders!!  It keeps things much more accessible! Example: School-->Language Arts-->Parts of Speech-->Verbs

    Organizing all of my digital resources has been a VERY LONG, TIME CONSUMING TASK!!!  Honestly, I am still working on it, but I am so much closer than I was before!!! :) These are my main folders...there are quite a few documents that haven't been dumped in the correct folder yet, but I AM making progress!!!

     An area within my digital resources that has been a challenge is organizing all of my graphics.  When I first began hording collecting fonts & graphics it was just for my personal use; family items & for MY classroom, then came along TpT & TN & everything changed!  You need to know who created the graphics & fonts as well as how they want them credited.  That's a BIG deal when you have HUNDREDS of sets {They keep creating more that I CAN'T resist!!! [Mel-Graphics From the Pond!!] so it is never ending!!}

     This is what I have come up with to manage all of these goodies...I have a file {see above} called graphics...it has a folder for each of the designers that I have graphics from {this does not include my font collection} with folders of each of the sets I have of theirs in that folder.  I have used the snipping tool to take a picture of the set thumbnails & print those out.  I now have these in 3 binders! Here are some pictures from my 1st binder:



     The post-its that you see are to help me quickly find what I'm looking for.  Since my room is 'The Apple Basket' any pages that have apple clipart {including papers & frames} get a red flag at the top...just barely sticking out...in the middle with green or blue {since I ran out of green} are for frames...and the yellow tags are for papers.  This has been really useful when I have wanted to find a frame that will work with what I was making, I just did a quick flip through the binder & I can go straight to my computer & find the exact image I want to use! :-) 
   
    I just said I have THREE binders to hold my clipart previews...in those 3 binders I have clipart from 89 designers, yes 89!!!! You do realize that means 89 different Terms of Use or TOUs!!!! So, now I have another binder that has a table with the name of the designer, whether I have a TOU for that designer, if I can use the graphics on commercial or free products, the button {if they have one}, web address, & any other TOU specifics I need.  This is now with a copy of all of the TOU's in the TOU binder. Wow, just writing this is exhausting me!!

          If you look closely, you will see I'm still working on listing the web address & notes {some are hand written on a hard copy}

      I've also got a chart of all of the projects for TpT that are in various stages of development...currently 17, some which will be free & I am trying to get the Cover, complete document {with 'The Apple Basket Teacher 2014' at the bottom of each printable page}, Credits page, a site description done.

    This is why my store currently has no paid items. I am hoping that this conference will pull me out of this 'Tar' & get me going...just to see how everyone else is managing all of this 'STUFF' will be helpful!!!  

     I will be in Vegas on Thursday at about 3.  If you will be there I would LOVE to meet you and spend some time together!! Feel free to leave me a message here or email me at Nancydwilson@hotmail.com Subject TpT Conference.  

    Hopefully, no butterflies Friday, we will see!

More on my STUFF to come! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently & Don't Let What You Can't Do Stop You From Doing What You CAN Do!

Wow! November 16, 2013 was the last time I posted!!      


 A few Sundays our guest pastor at our church said that line that is my blog post.  I have been reflecting on it for quite a while now.  There are many things that I can't seem to do; get all caught up at school, {grading, planning, straightening, recording, etc} finish up all the ideas/products in my 'for TpT & TN' folder, post on my classroom blog & here frequently, BUT I think it has kept me from doing what I CAN do.  
      God made me ME...I am a share-a-holic as my header on this blog says.  I share with my fellow teachers at school every time I discover some great resource and sharing with others that is why I created this blog.  I do want to share with whoever might be reading this blog.  I may not be able to post daily, but maybe if I shoot for once a week and share what is on my heart & mind it might just have a positive impact on at least one other human being...I can deal with that.
    So, here is the first thing I want to share...I purchased Farley's Currently for Kids this summer & did August & September with my students, got busy & didn't do October or November.  The students asked for it and we have done it again for December, January, & February {haven't done March YET}.
    On the January Currently it has One Little Word.  I don't know how many of you are familiar with this, but I had seen this in past years on several bloggers' blogs.  I started talking to my students about it and my principal let me know there was a book:


  
{Although the book title is showing up when I am editing in Blogger, it isn't showing up when I load my blog :-( I will play with it again tomorrow!}
  I read it & LOVED it!  I kept trying to come up with what my word would be for 2014.  I have been feeling very 'Stuck' in many areas in my life...definitely in the area of blogging & TpT & TN!  'Unstuck' just didn't seem to fit right, 'persevere'...'try'...and more words just weren't the one.  As I was praying about it what echoed in my heart was 
"
, ask Me to get you 'unstuck'" & that's when I knew what my word would be...
My class chose a medium {paint; Sharpies & highlighters; or crayons, markers, & colored pencils} and did their words...

My Word is in the upper left hand corner.  I think my students came up with some great words: family, before, listen, heart, harmony, God, painting, peace, help, and other great words!!

  I want to share something else {that is COMPLETELY mine} with you.  Maybe some of you have had issues with your students having scraps of paper, crayon pieces, odds & ends left on the floor at the end of the day even with reminders to clean up.  One day I watched our evening custodian pulling chairs out and picking up ALL KINDS of junk up off the floor before vacuuming.  So I created 'custodian awards'.  She vacuums every other day (the kids haven't picked up on when she vacuums) and she places the award on each table group desk that had a neat desk area including the floor. They are made from dollar store plungers & dollar store duct tape.


 I may not be able to do it all but I did upload a set of 5 posters for $1 in TpT with the quote from my title.  Here is a preview of one of the posters.

 If you click on the image above it should take you to my TpT store...Step #1 for me...tomorrow I will try to take another step or two!



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Five for Fraturday!

Hello again!  This is going to be a 'Five for Fraturday' 
http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2013/11/five-for-friday-linky-party-november.html

I will start with a very exciting, surprising email I received yesterday. {I'm starting this post on Friday night, but I know I won't be pressing 'Publish' until sometime tomorrow!}  I don't know about all of you, but sometimes I do have families who want to make some donations to the classroom.  I decided that there are really only two things that I would like to have parents help with if they are willing and able.  First, tissue...my class goes through it sooooo quickly!!! In the past we were told one box a month from the office, and paper towels {the brown school kind} are not exactly gentle on the nose. Second, ink...like may bloggers out there, I love to print out things for my classroom in color & ink is so very pricey!!!!  We are able to order at the school, but I know it is hard on our school supplies budget as well.  I had heard of two organizations that dealt with school supply donations, Teacher Lists & Adopt a Classroom.  I finally filled out the brief online information to register my class so that parents can go to the websites, make donations, and I can purchase ink through those sites.  I wanted it set up in time for parent conferences, which is the beginning of December, to let the parents know about this way they could help.  I plan to have fliers available to take if they are interested.  Well, I received an email letting me know that JCPenny has adopted my class and gave me a $100 grant!!!!!!!  I am so amazed and grateful!!! I already did an online thank you, invited them to take a look at this blog and my classroom blog, and ordered one black & one color ink cartridge for my classroom printer through Adopt a Classroom. {The sad thing is...it took the whole $100 for the 2 cartridges} Their site was linked to Office Max where I ordered the ink...it is already on its way!
 


 


In my last post I shared about my Christmas present..my Silhouette Cameo..well NO self-control here!! It's out & I'm learning to use it!

One of my fellow teachers surprised us with her great news...I made this with my Silhouette Cameo & stuck it up in the lounge...bunnies added thanks to Picmonkey for her privacy.
I had fun cutting out my 'mini me'...it turned out so good!



I also made this for my daughter's friend's birthday...she is having a Mardi Gras themed party.

I also used it for the letters for my 'UNRAAVEL' chart in class.
When the school year began our new principal did an activity with us that involved writing a mission statement.  I decided to print it up and have it up in my room.  I had to do it my style...notice all the different fonts!  

I love teaching third grade for many reasons, one of those reasons is that I love teaching multiplication.  I want to share with you some of the things I do.
 
 
 
For many years I have been using Kim Sutton's number line with different colored dots for the different multiples...red for 2, green for 3, etc. At the beginning of the year the number line is up with just the Velcro dots...the colored dots have the other side of the Velcro.  As we begin to talk about skip counting and multiples I place the dots up... it is fun for them to see the pattern when we have just the 2s & 3s up...r, g, r, blank, both, blank, r, g, r, blank, both....{I LOVE patterns in math!!...I am constantly reminding my kids 'math is NOT like reading/language art' (when you have a rule or property it ALWAYS works!) it is another great quote from Kim Sutton!}  
We make pattern sticks that are color coded the same way the number line is. {also from Kim Sutton} I laminated them on my personal laminator, {which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! Best investment ever!!!!} punch holes in the ends, and stick them on the rings.


I have three rings on each hook.  The students have access to them when they want to use them.
We also made 'Bug Books' that they did as partners...now these are 'bugs' NOT insects since insects have 6 legs.  I showed them one example {which I forgot to take a picture of} of an 'eyeball bug' with 5 legs & I drew 3 of them.  On the page I had the matching equation 3 X 5 = 15.  This class was one of the most creative I have ever had.  They chose their favorite to put up in the room the rest were put into a book.



























In addition to the students' favorites, I had some more favorites:

Okay...still have TONS I want to share, but if I don't pick and post a #5 quickly, it won't be 'Five for Fraturday' it will be 'Five for Frunday!!!'
So...pictures of our October book reports {may come back tomorrow to add & edit!}



























 
 
 
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