Sunday, June 21, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge {Makeover Madness}

So there's a challenge out there that's happening. I'm sure you've heard of it.

Presenting TPT Seller Challenge…
This week, it has REALLY opened my eyes to my older items I have stocked up in my TPT store. I mean… they needed some lovin' BAD. SO, I made some changes ASAP.

This week's focus… Makeover Madness!!
I chose to update 6 different products as a start because of this challenge. Boy, were those products rough!! They needed some loving baaaaaaaad.
 My first product to update was actually my FIRST ever product on TPT - my Wanted Poster. It was made in Word, had no cover, and no color. I was a newbie!! Now, it's got a bit of ZING to it.
The next product I wanted to make over was the cover of my very first set of Word Wall Letters and Numbers. Now, this set doesn't have any words or anything - it's just the headers. I didn't like the drab cover, so I added some ZING to it! 
My Monster Themed Coupon Set actually had a font in it that wouldn't print so prettily. SO, therefore, I changed the fonts to some of my very favorite KG fonts! I also updated the cover colors & monsters to be more fun! 
The Student Alphabet Book… oh joy. This was something I created when I was working on getting my Masters. I wasn't sure where I'd be placed as in what grade I'd work in, so I essentially created it if I were to teach younger kiddos! It's a GREAT pack to help students with alphabet recognition and to work on writing words. I didn't like the drab brown, so I updated it with a FUN green and added new fonts! SOO much happier with the way it looks now! 
This baby was one of my most favorite packs I'd ever created. I love my Making Words pack. What a better way to give students practice with spelling and vocabulary than using a product that's FUN and pretty all at the same time? I changed up the cover colors, added some unique digital papers, and said BAM. All done!!
I just have to say… what an AWESOME idea this product was when I decided to make it. Do you have a word wall in your classroom? I wasn't required to have one my first year teaching, so I didn't because I knew I wouldn't keep up with it. Therefore, the Student Word Wall Booklet was born. A great way to keep students engaged with their writing. They don't know a word? Put it in the book! Need to know the word again? Look it up in the book!! LOVE this thing. I also love that it's like a REAL word wall book instead of the yucky yellow pack it was before.
AHHHH I am in LOVE with this challenge. I think that YOU should link up with it! It's all over Instagram, too! You know, #tptsellerchallenge

Don't forget to add the following to your IG accounts, too!
#iteachtoo #iteachthird #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram #teachersofig #teacherspayteachers
*all the FAB-U-LOUS hashtags on Instagram to connect you to friends*

Thanks to the gals behind TPT Seller Challenge for hosting this AWESOME link up. You gals are what's making me stay motivated this summer ;)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summertime Guilty Pleasures {A Link Up}

Soooo… it's summertime, no? Time for all those guilty, guilty pleasures to take place!!!

Nichole from The Craft of Teaching and I decided that it might be really cool to see all of our summertime guilty pleasures in one place.

Are you a teacher and you have a summertime guilty pleasure? Link up with Nichole from The Craft of Teaching and Sara from Miss V's Busy Bees to tell us all about it!

So let's get started with MY guilty pleasures!!

Oooooh yes, blogging. I love me some blogging. During the school year, my blog kind of has cobwebs on it! But during the summer, I have freedom to blog as I see fit. Want to blog about a new technology source? SURE! Want to blog about a reading strategy I used in the classroom? SURE! Want to blog about ice cream? SURE!

During the summer, I can blog about whatever I would like:
-social studies
-TV shows
-school supplies

Oh. My. Goodness. THAT LIST!!!

Oooh. Speaking of lists. Summertime is the time of LISTS for me!! I am able to write it all down and look at it in complete awe. I mean, my LISTS HAVE LISTS. Is that not the definite definition of a teacher???

 If you don't have lists, you are missing out. Oh, and these lists are from Krista's Creative Paper Collection and Blair's Blair Turner Paper company. You maaaaay just want to go ahead and buy yourself 12 of each item.. you're going to fall in love with them.

Oh, see. You fell in love. #sorrynotsorry

Raise your hand if you binge watch TV or movies?? *raises hand* Oh yeah, I do. Especially in the summertime!! During the school year, I am almost too busy to watch TV. Almost. BUT, there are a few TV shows or movies that I have yet to watch, and whelp, what's summer for if not for binge watching from the couch?!

I'm currently binge watching Orange is the New Black (but I am not allowed to watch it without my husband…) and Gossip Girl. But I have binge watched The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Big Brother, Walking Dead, Grey's Anatomy… okay, this list is making me look a little crazy.

Who am I kidding?? I AM crazy!! Crazy for paper and TV, that is… :)
So tell us. What are YOUR guilty pleasures?! Nichole and I want to know.

Here's how this works.

Write up a shameless post about your guilty pleasures (come on, friends, it's summertime - no shame).
Be sure to include the very top graphic about the guilty pleasure from this post or from her post.
Link up on either her blog (Nichole's) or my blog.

THAT'S IT. Seriously. So easy.

Let's hear it, folks!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Do You IXL? {A Series of Posts - Post 4 - The Final Post}

THE YEAR IS DONE. Oh, my golly. What a year. But, the growth of my students is what made me so happy about this program.

But I'm not going to give you JUST the roses of IXL. This post is also going to include the thorns, too.

So let's talk. Let's get down to the nitty gritty and talk about the pros and cons of IXL throughout this past year.
-provides interactive practice on those tough skills beyond passing out worksheets to complete
-gets students motivated to work on hard skills such as language topics or math topics
-includes a variety of reports to support your data across a variety of topics
-ability to practice specific skills to fit your students' needs
-makes a great center during your reading group time
-incentives for student achievements (badges)
-can utilize the program at home or at school
-building of classroom communities
-aligned to the Common Core
-students spend a lot of time on "badges" and looking at their progress instead of working on developing skills
-glitches on the website have questions repeat sometimes, which leads to less "true" practice
-skewed data within some reports
As you can see, there's QUITE a few more pros about the program than there are cons. Can you see that I have a loving relationship towards IXL?! Can you also see that my STUDENTS have a loving relationship with IXL, too??

They love to hear that IXL is on the agenda and they actually LOVE to explore and love the time when I say - "EXPLORE!" They do the standards and skills THEY have interests in, which then provokes me as the teacher to give them more exposure to THOSE standards.

LOVED having IXL this year. One of the best things I could have possibly EVER used with my kiddos this year and cannot WAIT to use it next year!!

Would YOU use IXL with your kiddos? Why or why not?
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