Friday, October 31, 2014

Finding my teacher voice: Mobilize for change...VOTE!

This past weekend, I had the awesome privilege of heading out to New York City to meet up with some other teacher bloggers.  There is nothing more inspirational to me than standing in a room full of other teachers equally as passionate as I am about this craft!
Right after school last Thursday, I left to meet up with Tammy from The Resourceful Apple and Leigh from the Applicious Teacher! :)  After a few delays, we made it to New Jersey! :) My mom was happy to host us and the entire weekend was a whirlwind of learning, growing...and good old fashioned fun! :)
I got a chance to meet up with some of the other bloggers at dinner meetups, the Brain Pop offices, and the TPT offices.  We even got the chance to share some of our thoughts with TPT's CEO via conference call!

The entire weekend was unforgettable!
I walked away with much more than teacher swag and Lakeshore goodies.
We ALL left feeling empowered.
That leads me to this.....
The state of education in America today is perilous.
I am not overstating this issue in the slightest.
After having met with teachers in Las Vegas, and now in New York, the feeling across the country is the same.
We're in trouble friends.
Gone are the days where you could 'tune out' the stressors by closing the door and just teaching.
Now is a time to stand up and fight for the right to stand in front of a classroom of students and...
I'm going for astonishing! :)
We need to get rid of these politicians who continue to lead the American people into thinking that teachers should not be trusted.  We need to do our research and get folks OUT that are not behind us.
We need to vote folks IN that realize that political agendas should NOT dictate educational policy.
We have power!
According to the Census in 2009, 7.2 million people in this country are teachers.  Almost 3 million of that number teach at the elementary and middle school level.  What could happen in our states if we all took a stand? According to Electoral, in our last election, about 128 million people voted.  That's about a third of the people who live here. That's what currently dictates our state of affairs. :( What if teachers were educated about candidates?  What if we shared that information with one another at the water cooler, in the teacher planning areas?  What if teachers actually mobilized and pressed candidates to reconsider the HORROR that they've made the modern teaching assignment?

Let's not give up!
Let's get up and VOTE!!!
Click HERE to go to Marc's website!

Click HERE to go to Stephanie's Facebook Fan page!
I can't change the country, but...I can help change my school board!  One of the ways that I plan on moving towards change is voting two current teachers to our local school board!  I'm so excited about Mark and Stephane! :)  They are BOTH wonderful teachers and all around great folks that want to help teachers take back their classrooms and do what is BEST for children.
On election day, I'll be in my county, at a local polling stop, wearing my Marc Dodd shirt and waving a sign right after school! :)
I work with Marc--I've had several of his students over the years and they are FANTASTIC!!!!  Stephanie trained me several times when she worked for the county.  I've also mentored a few of her UCF interns! :)  I am so glad that she's also taking this step! :)  We NEED good people in our county for SURE! :) 
If you are a Lake County School Teacher and you haven't voted...please do! :)
I'm so glad that Leigh came up with this post idea! :)
I too am SUPER passionate about civic responsibility! :)
Check out Leigh's thoughts on this topic by clicking her button below! :)

Oh...and don't forget to read up...and VOTE! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Peek at My Week: All About Bats

Bats are what's up in my room this week, folks! :)
As always, thanks Dee Dee for hosting this! :)
Two of my favorite books for the season are Bats at the Ballgame and Bat Loves the Night! :)  Both have great vocabulary and make a balanced approach as anchor texts during a week of study! :)

This week, I'll be using my Bats Unit in class! :)
I fell in love with a few books last year, so I wrote some explicit plans for them, and created the math, literacy and writing extensions to support my plans.  I'm so excited to break this puppy out again this year! :)

One of my favorite parts of the unit is the emergent reader! :)  I focused on student friendly phrases and text so that my kids could read it fluently.
Now for my plans...

This is the bare bones this week, folks! :)
Report cards are due tomorrow and I've still got to finish them up! :/

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Peek At My Week: Week 8 Teaching Comparison

Welcome to another installment of Peek At My Week, hosted by the lovely Dee Dee Wills of Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.

Last week, I was able to see Deanna Jump's Ready, Set, Teach Training!  It was amazing! :)  There were so many hands on strategies.  I am working on what things I can highlight with my team!  I SO want her to just come to my county and train it herself!  Just. too. good! :)

This week, we are jumping into compare and contrast with several stories that are derivatives of 'The Three Little Pigs'.


Deanna shared this cute song from Eric Litwin, the author of Pete the Cat.  It's the story of the Three Little Pigs!  It's so darned catchy!  I did it with my kids today and they absolutely LOVED it! :)

Perfectly Purple from The Learning Groove cover art
Click HERE to listen to the 'song/story' about the Three Little Pigs!  Too cute!
Last week, I started working with my students on a brand new resource! :)

Click HERE to pick up the resource on TPT.

The kids are doing a great job with it! :)  This week, we'll whip out the centers and try those now that we've learned the skill! :)