Friday, May 29, 2015

Where, oh where is my hair?

Hooray for finally posting something on here!  You know it's summertime when I have time to blog!

So this week I FINALLY got to do something I've been working on for months, but first you have to read my story.

One day, a precious student of mine came in with the most adorable haircut.  She came to the back and handed me a Ziplock bag filled with all the hair she had cut off.  As a teacher, kids bring you all sorts of homemade trinkets and treats as presents, but I have never been given a bag of hair.  I know my facial expression wasn't exactly what she was hoping for, but really - who gives you a bag of hair?!?!  Then she explained to me that her mom wanted me to get a wig made of it for a child who didn't have any hair...and that made a lot more sense.  So I sent it off and got it done!

Right around this time it was about time for my usual haircut and I decided to do what my sweet little girl did.  I grew out my hair for another 2-3 months and finally ended with enough to donate!

Here's what I looked like a few days ago:
I must admit, somedays I got attached to my long hair. I almost chickened out and got a trim instead.  Luckily on the day of my haircut, it was super annoying so AWAY IT WENT!

And this is me, right now writing this blog post.

I LOVE how this little girl in my class inspired me to do something way out of my comfort zone.  Her cute haircut and sweet heart just did me in!  That's one of the best parts of teaching - learning from your students.

FYI: If you're thinking of donating your hair, I'm donating mine to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  My childhood neighbor and second mother was diagnosed with cancer around Thanksgiving last year.  When she started chemo and lost her hair, Pantene gave her a wig for free.  She's an amazing high school English teacher who kept teaching through her treatment, and I was so impressed with a company that would provide her with a wig free of charge!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Pinterest Linky

Can you believe it's May already?  The countdown has begun!  And here's some pins to help you make it though the next few days!  The end of the year is my favorite time of year because all of the stress of testing is gone and we get to have fun while learning!  The worst part is coming up with engaging activities so your students don't go absolutely bonkers.  Here are three ideas to keep your end of the year somewhat sane. :)
I love this first idea!  It's the CUTEST craft, a great bulletin board, and a good self-reflection activity.  I'm loving the idea of a graduation cap, too!  I'll be making this next week with my littles to keep their antsy hands busy. :)
Peanut Butter Bird Feeders are a mess, but the kids will absolutely love them!  Last year I did these at the end of the year.  I made a few to hang outside our windows at school and the kids made some to take home. We really spent way too long watching out our windows.  I'm not joking...I turned out the lights and we got quiet and we counted how many different birds came to our bird feeder...for a lonnnng time.  We honestly might have counted more squirrels than birds, but the kids were still totally engaged!
You just HAVE to click the Pinterest link for this one.  This blogger did her child's birthday party with snacks from various books.  At our school, we are only allowed to watch one movie between now and the end of school...which leaves a lot of activities to be planned between now and then.  This made me think, why not have a book themed snack party?  I am super psyched!  If your students are allowed to bring homemade snacks, you could have them bring in their favorite book with a matching snack.  If they're not allowed to bring homemade snacks, make your own snacks!  Now I am no Betty Crocker, but I can do break and bake cookies and goldfish.  I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have my kids read the books to their class while they eat their snacks!  Oh, what a nerdy teacher's dream party!

Hoping you have a magical end of the year filled with fun!

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Teacher Anchor

I am all about organization and planning.  I may not always be organized or planned, but believe me - I'm all about it.  This year I decided to invest in a Teacher Anchor.  It was definitely one of the best choices I've made all year!  Here is the (beautiful) new and improved Teacher Anchor!
What do I love about this year's Teacher Anchor?  EVERYTHING.  But here's the three things I love the most.

1. The Forms:  I've used these nonstop all year long.  I bought the Complete Teacher Anchor last year (and you should get one this year...).  My favorite part has been the sheets that came with it.  They are so useful and practical.  I use a sheet for each week's small group reading time.  I can easily plan, track, and modify three different reading groups with these amazing sheets!  Now I am able to look back at records through August to see what I have taught each child in my room, what they have mastered, and what I still need to teach them before second grade.

2. The Flexibility:  About halfway through the year, I was asked by my school to use an online planbook through which I was required to submit my plans weekly.  I firmly believe a planbook is like a teacher's diary - you just don't mess with it. :)  But I also try to be flexible.  Even while using the online system to submit my plans, I can easily change the headings of my Teacher Anchor.  Instead of using Math, Reading, Writing, etc., I've been using headings of "To Do at School" and "Activities to Create."  I LOVE that although my situation changed during the year, I can still use my Teacher Anchor for planning what I need to plan - even if it isn't subject areas!

3.  The Little Things: I love the little extras in the Teacher Anchor that you won't always find in other planbooks.  I am crazy about the little stickers that say "Grades Due" and "Early Dismissal."  I love the useful Substitute Sheets that are added in the planner.  The Birthday Calendar has kept me on top of my kids' birthdays throughout the year (because I am really bad about remembering birthdays).  This year...are you ready?...this year you can also get your Teacher Anchor Binder PERSONALIZED!  Is that not the best thing ever?  You can choose between 12 different colors and get your fabulous name printed on the front.  It's these little things that has me DYING for a Teacher Anchor this year!

So please, go quickly to C. Jayne Teach's Shop to view more about this fabulous product for the upcoming school year!

EDIT: So I wrote this blog post, and then I watched this video.  Everything I loved about last year is here AND EVEN MORE!  My absolute favorite thing from last year, the forms, are now in the Teacher Anchor!  I can't hold in my excitement!  Please, please, please watch this video!  It's the best thing you'll do all day!

2015-16 Teacher Anchor™ from Chandra Verbic on Vimeo.