Sunday, November 30, 2014

TPT Cyber Monday SALE!

The Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday sale starts in a few short hours! I am so excited to empty my overflowing cart...not sure my wallet will be, but oh well!

In anticipation of the big event, I wanted to join up with Ideas by Jivey for her 2+1=TPTCYBER linky!

The idea is to share the 2 most wish-listed items from my store and 1 item that is currently on MY wishlist!! (To be fair, it's probably already in my cart...but I digress.)

My most wish-listed item is my Quadrilaterals: 2D Shape Sort with Shape Cards. This item is also my best seller! In this product, you get a set of quadrilateral shape cards, several graphic organizers and ideas for how to use them in your classroom. Normally $2.00, during the sale it will only be $1.60! If you use the code TPTCYBER when checking out, it will be even less!

If you like this one, you might also like my Triangles: Shape Sort with Shape Cards! It will be on sale for only $2.00! Again, TPTCYBER takes that down even more.

My second most wish-listed item is my newest product: Multiplication Match Up! This products features 144 pages of multiplication cards. For each multiplication fact, there is the fact, the answer, a representation with equal groups and an array! It would be a great product for a matching game, flash cards or a center. Normally, it's $7.00, but during the sale it will only be $5.60. With the code TPTCYBER, it will be less that $5.50!

I can't wait to purchase at least one Mentor Sentences unit from the host of this linky, Jivey!! I loved reading the book Everyday Editing by Jeff Anderson, and Jivey's units will make it simple to implement. I'm so excited!! I might even have to spring for the BIG IS a sale after all!

Mentor Sentences Unit: Second 10 Weeks

Well? What are you waiting for??? The sale starts in just a couple of hours...head over to Ideas by Jivey and check out more great things you need for the rest of the school year and beyond!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five For Friday - Thankful Edition

Grateful is a word that has been a BIG part of my vocabulary lately. While having lunch with my husband the other day, I struggled to put into words everything that I am so thankful for. I even had a hard time creating a Facebook posting that could accurately describe why my heart is so full these days. I still don't think that I have the right words to say what I've been feeling lately, but I think Five For Friday by Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching is a good way to share just a few of the things I am so blessed by.


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This guy.
I married the man of my dreams 12 and a half years ago. We were high school sweethearts. I've never looked back. Never regretted one moment spent together. He supports me, loves me, points me in the right directions, encourages me and challenges me. This is the guy who took over making the crock pot roast the other day when I was running so late for work. The guy who told me it would be okay when I decided to leave my old school for a new opportunity. The one who sends me pictures like the one above just because he knows it will make. my. heart. pound. I love him so much and I am so grateful for everything he brings into my life. 

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My family.
I am lucky to live close to my parents, sister and niece. I get to see them all the time. We have holidays together and even just the occasional Sunday night dinner or watching a football game. They are hilarious, silly and so supportive! My mom, dad and even my niece sometimes volunteer at my school. My sister supports lots of charitable organizations through her work, including providing much needed school supplies to kids in need at my school. The picture above is from the MS Walk in Denver 2 years ago when my sister was one of the top 100 fundraisers!

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My pets.
These guys make my house a home. They are all getting pretty old, but they snuggle when snuggles are needed. They make us laugh with their silly antics. They keep my feet warm on a chilly night and they love us unconditionally. I am so grateful for all three of them!

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Amazing opportunities.
Lately, I have been amazed with the great opportunities that are opening up. I know some great people who are involved with the Core Advocates group here in Colorado, and I was so lucky to attend the Becoming a Core Advocate convening in Chicago. And while I was there, I met even more people and we networked away! It was fantastic to be a part of such an energetic group of teachers. 

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My new job.
Last, but certainly not least, my new position at my new school. I am so so grateful for this big change. It was hard to leave my last position because I had been there so long, but it was SO worth it. I LOVE my class, my teammates, my principal, my parents and the list just continues! Thinking back to my mental state just one year ago, I know I made the right decision to move. I am happier, healthier and I feel confident in my teaching abilities again!

Reading over this post makes me realize that it's hard to get just the right words when trying to describe how everything in your life make you feel like the luckiest person in the world. I am so grateful to this blogging community for giving me the avenue to share my heart full of happiness with the world. :-)

Head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and link up with what's going on in your world!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Becoming a Core Advocate

Have you ever done something and not realized until after you started that it was going to be amazing?

Today I started working towards becoming a Core Advocate. If you're not entirely sure what that means, you are not alone! Even as I was on my way here (to Chicago) to attend this convening, I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting myself into.

I was sure I was going to learn about Common Core. I was sure I would hear dynamic and passionate speakers share why they believe in Common Core. I was hoping that I would learn more about Common Core and why it is important to the students I teach.

But I still wasn't sure why it was important to attain the label of "Core Advocate."

I mean, really. Why should anyone listen to little ol' me? Why should I put myself out there to advocate for something so controversial in many ways?

Well, today I started to figure it out.

I was right. I have learned about Common Core. I have heard other teachers share why Common Core is at the heart of their teaching beliefs. And I have certainly gained a better understanding of why Common Core is so important to the students I teach.

Becoming a Core Advocate means that I can adequately defend the importance of the Common Core State Standards as a viable means to "leveling the playing field." I can discuss and defend my position about the Instructional Shifts required to give all students access to an education that will prepare them for college OR career. Or for anything they decide to do after their K-12 journey is over.

I'm no Pollyanna, folks. I know that the CCSS have their down sides. But truly? It's not the standards that have the problems. Who can argue with rigorous standards that ask students to become thinkers instead of answer-getters? The problems lie with how they are implemented. Who makes the decisions about implementation. Text book companies that stamp "Common Core Aligned" on the front cover in order to sell more books, make more money, and continue on with the "old ways" of doing business while duping well-meaning districts and educators into thinking they are meeting the new standards.

I can't get behind poor implementation decisions. I can't get behind districts that twist CCSS intentions, and push teachers into a "my-way-or-the-highway" way of thinking. I can't get behind greedy text book publishers who just see the Common Core as a giant pile of dollar signs.

But the Common Core State Standards? Advocating for a shift in our instructional thinking to improve the lives of students? I can get behind that.

Please stay tuned for more posts about my experiences with Common Core and the journey towards becoming a Core Advocate. In future posts, I will elaborate on what exactly I have learned, and how it is impacting learning in my classroom. I hope to start a (civil) dialogue about what educators are doing and thinking about Common Core around the country!