Sunday, January 24, 2016

GO BRONCOS!!! {Giveaway and Blog Hop!}

The Broncos did it again!!! What an unbelievable game! I can't stop smiling and shouting and screaming and jumping up and down!

The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl!!!

My Football Journey

I used to watch football with my dad when I was a little girl. Way back then, he was a season ticket holder and every once and a while I would get to go to a game with him. I have great memories of being in the stadium (usually in freezing cold weather) and holding my dad's hand as we got to and from our seats. In those days, you could bring thermoses with soup and my mom always made sure we had soup and a warm afghan. I wasn't a huge fan back then, but it definitely developed my love for sports!
These are his lucky Bronco shorts.
Later on in life, my roommate in college was a sports reporter for our local newspaper and we got into the fun habit of watching games together. When I got my first teaching job, it turned out that many of my friends (and students) were huge Bronco fans too!

This was before the last SuperBowl.
And since joining the blogging world, I've found tons of new Broncos friends!!! We've been teaming up all season to cheer on the Denver Broncos and have some really fun giveaways!

A Fun Freebie

I love to talk football with my students and it's a great way to get them engaged in math! Check out my newest freebie for something fun to do this week.

A Blog Hop

Make sure to hop all the way through for some great ideas to incorporate football into your lesson plans this week!

To keep hopping, click on Ashley's button below! Once you get back here, you'll know you've make it all the way through.

A Giveaway!

We are so proud of the Broncos and we want to share our enthusiasm!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GO BRONCOS!!!! Stay tuned to see what we have in store for the BIG GAME!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ways Google Apps Make My Life Easier: Learning Targets

Time for some real talk: I used to HATE Google apps. Especially Google drive. It drove me crazy that everyone would be working on the same thing at once and it was super slow!

But then, I moved districts. My new district does almost EVERYTHING with Google apps. So I figured I better get on board and get over my hatred negative feelings toward everything Google. (Except Gmail - Gmail has always been awesome. And just plain Google is pretty great too...I mean who can live without that?)

With the help of a few friends, I have finally come to realize the many ways that Google is trying to make my (and your) life easier!

Today, I want to show you how I use Google slides to help me effectively share Learning Targets in my classroom.

Our school has recently been doing professional development for teachers about using Learning Targets with students. I've worked on doing this in the past, and I haven't been particularly successful. Good intentions aside, I would always "fall off the wagon" and forget to post them or really help students understand them.

This time, I tried to think about how I could really use Learning Targets for the benefit of my students AND to help me be a more organized teacher.

Enter Google Slides.

Here's a look at how I'm putting Google Slides to work for me every day!

Each week, I begin creating a slide deck of Learning Targets:

I project the slides throughout the day, so that students and I are on the same page. This keeps me on track, with the learning objectives at the forefront of my teaching, and it gives students a clear focus for their work during the day.

At the end of each day, I'm able to evaluate whether we need new Learning Targets for the next day, or if we will still be working on the same ones. Either way, creating a new slide is quick and easy and keeps my teaching focus on track.

I have also been able to use Google Slides in place of some charts, which has saved some trees!

Overall, Google Slides has really helped me be more transparent with my students. I know what I am teaching, they know what they are learning AND we have a record of everything we have done throughout the day and week!

Have you found a great use for Google Slides? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Stay tuned...I have some great ways to use Google Drive and Google Classroom coming soon!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When Friends Get Together....You Win!

Have you had a chance to check out my friend Kelly's blog, An Apple for the Teacher? She is a great resource for tons of great teaching ideas. I am so glad that I met Kelly in Vegas last year...she has quickly become one of my best blogging buddies!

This fall, we started off the year by doing a fun product swap! Kelly graciously let me try out her product, 5th Grade Math Journal Prompts, and I absolutely LOVE them. They are aligned to the standards and they are an easy way for me to see what students are understanding!

You can check out my blog post about our fun swap {here} and see how this product looks in action!

Now, we are joining up with a bunch of awesome bloggers and TpT authors to bring you an incredible giveaway! Each month Kelly has been giving away $25 to TpT, but this month she reached out to several of us so we could make the giveaway even more amazing.

That's right!!! $75 to TpT...when friends get together, everyone wins! Click over to An Apple For the Teacher to enter for your chance to win!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First {Currently} of 2016!

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe that 2016 is here? I spent most of New Year's Eve thinking that it's not possible. I know I am going to write 2015 on everything for at least 3 more months...

Luckily, Farley at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade keeps us all on track, and she's ready to go with the first Currently link up of the year! :-)

Here's what going on with me:

Listening: It's pretty quiet around here this morning. Just one of my old golden guys sleeping and snoring. I'm sure the other one is sleeping and snoring somewhere in the house...and maybe my husband too? Who knows? ;-)

Loving: This community of TpT participants, teacher bloggers and amazing teachers has me in awe this morning. There are so many inspirational blog posts floating around - so many heart felt conversations - so many teachers around the world supporting and uplifting one another in the name of the children we teach - that it makes my heart really happy. Keep rocking it, teachers!

Thinking: This break has gone really fast! I am definitely looking forward to seeing my 5th graders on Tuesday (work day on Monday) but I blinked and the holidays are over and I guess I better make some kind of lesson plan for next week.


Needing: This one is going to take a little work. I really need to find my stride - my teaching stride (we are starting a new literacy program next week - yikes!), my TpT'ing stride (more quality products coming soon!) and my personal stride (this husband of mine is pretty great - he needs my attention too!). Everything is a balance, and I really want to work on that so that I can be the best teacher, wife, sister, aunt, EVERYTHING I can be!

One Little Word: Perseverance is a word I use TONS with the 5th graders, and it's about time I took my own advice. (Shhhhhh! Don't tell them! They already persevere with GUSTO and I don't want them to know I haven't been!) I keep thinking about blogging and TpT and teaching. ALL things I want to be really good at it - but here's the thing. I keep thinking about quitting (NOT teaching) and I have to just remind myself that anything worth doing takes grit and guts. Giving up on TpT or blogging would be the easy way out - instead I think I'll stick with it and push forward! Only great things can happen that way. So I will PERSEVERE right along with my inspiring 5th graders.

There you have it folks! Currently January is in the books. Happy New Year to all - I hope your week after break goes great and brings you tons of joy!

Don't forget to share your Currently over at Oh Boy! Fourth Grade!