Sunday, July 24, 2016

Conference, Store, and Blogging, Oh My!

Well I first just have to apologize for this very late post. I have just been enjoying my summer, which basically has consisted of walks, TV, and lots of delicious cider. I have also been trying to maintain (and find) the work-life balance. I was not very good at that this year, so I'm working on it; basically too much work and not enough life was happening. I love my job so it's really hard not to be excited about new ideas, so I'm trying to reign it in a bit and really focus on a few things. First two happened just this week; my FIRST teacher conference ever and I opened up a TPT store Mrs. Barton's Adventures in Teaching.
I went to the SDE conference in Las Vegas. I heard about it for the first time last year and wasn't able to go, so this year it was pretty exciting that I was able to go. I went for one day because I had to pay for it myself. I mainly went and listened to Deedee Wills because she has so many amazing ideas on writing and that is what we are supposed to focus on as a teaching goal this coming school year, so I figured why not go and listen to an expert and someone I admire A LOT. All I have to say is she was AMAZING! I skipped my final session just to go and hear her again. She is super sweet and so funny.
I also go to see Elizabeth Hall, (in her words) y'all it was awesome. She is so cute and I just love her ideas. She is super sweet and just as fun in person as I thought she would be. The first person I met was Mr. Greg and his wonderful husband Jason. OMG are they just the cutest, sweetest people! I was so overwhelmed and shaking with excitement, and both of them just helped calm me down, gave me hugs and lots of advice (and also made me feel really special). It was a great way to start things off. So much great information was shared and I'm really inspired to start my new year (I'm just hoping I can incorporate everything the way I want to).

So my store:
I'm kind of excited about this, but I know it is going to be a very slow process since there are SO many great teachers out there making amazing things and I just have two things (whether or not they are amazing is soon to be seen). If you click on the link above you'll be able to find my free product that was featured on Mrs. Deedee Wills' site about saving paper (which I also blogged about here). I love the concept about saving paper, not just cause I like trees, but because I have been on a mission this year (mainly due to the huge stress of last year) to not make a lot of copies. It's a long story, I don't want to drag you into it, but at my school we need to count copies and if we go over what we are given it comes out of our classroom budget. So I'm hoping to avoid that. :) These Exit Tickets are just one way I came up with to do that.
Another thing, or the only other thing so far, you will find in my new store is Firehouse Fact Families. I have been so inspired by Mrs. Elizabeth Hall and her two creations of Vowel Surgery and Punctuation Police, that I wanted to come up with a math version. So at the time my class was just starting to touch on fact families. We were adding and subtracting, so I liked to bring the fact families in as an additional resource. I have to tell you, they loved it. Yes most were a bit confused at first, but once we went over it and over it, they soon were able to understand it (again we learned that the more you practice, the better you get). So I was really wanted to bring in something like Vowel Surgery or Punctuation Police where the kids could act out being something, while still learning valuable concepts. As I was on a walk with my husband, it somehow just came to me, what community helper starts with F? Firefighters! And so Firehouse Fact Families came to be.
I did this with my students toward the end of the year, mainly because that's when I was able to get the project done. Here are some pictures of them. I spread it out around our school's courtyard so they were able to go to each house just as they would in write the room (another huge favorite of my kiddos).

I am telling you, they LOVED this! It was pretty warm outside so many of them were kind of done after more than 30 mins. So this can be done either a whole group lesson or put out as a write the room (or add and subtract the room I guess you would call it). If you would like to buy this product, click on the picture below to be taken to my store!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm hoping to be blogging more and posting more ideas!