Saturday, July 28, 2012

1 Year!

Happy Birthday to my little classroom blog!  

I can't believe it has already been 1 year! I also can't believe it took me so long to start a class blog, since I have had a family one for years!   I have truly enjoyed sharing my ideas, pictures, pins, and ramblings with you.  Thank you to all of my wonderful followers! 

Oh and thank YOU for having such amazing blogs for me to stalk as well!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two Cool iPad Apps

First off, I want to say that I wish every teacher had at least one iPad for their classroom.  It is an amazing resource!  I was lucky enough to be able to use the first one our school purchased last year. However, we could only download free apps on it and I really wanted the ability to fully utilize the iPad. 

I decided to try and find a way to get my own.  Since there was no way I could afford one,  I applied for a grant and even tried entering a few contests to win one.  Alas, none of my attempts panned out. 

Then during our Cinco de Mayo celebration, my parents presented me with my "Teacher Appreciation, Early Birthday, End of the Year" gift.  When I opened the package, I started to cry.  Yup, right there in front of all of my students and parents.  They had purchased an iPad for me.  I have never received a gift like that before.  I think my reaction told them that I was beyond appreciative.  The rest of the year was spent trying out new apps and allowing the children to explore the iPad with me. 

So, now that I have had a full month off from anything school related, I am starting to slowly ease myself back into planning and prepping for the new year. 

I decided to spend today inputting my students into two apps that I purchased at the end of the school year.

One is a really cool program called "Teacher's Pick." Basically, you input your students names and then it randomly generates partners, creates small groups, and organizes the children in a few different ways.  You can also click on students and record if they aren't here so the generator doesn't count them.  (See the sleeping and sick icons?)  Pretty neat right?
(Click on the picture to go straight to the app. information.)

The other app that I organized today is one that I am going to try to use a lot this year.  It's called "Teacher's Assistant Pro."  With this app you can keep track of student behavior, homework, and attendance.  It assigns points for different behaviors, which you can customize. I used it for positive behavior in the past. You can even email the parents a weekly report of their child! I believe there is also a spot for annecdotal notes but I haven't gotten that far yet.  It also has dropbox capabilities if you have that on your home or school computer.

(Click on the picture to go straight to the app information.)

I definitely plan on sharing more technology ideas for the upcoming school year in future posts.  But like I said, I am slowly easing myself back into school mode.

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Teacher Story

I was doing some blog stalking the other day when I came across a linky party at Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes called "My Teacher Story."  Everyone is being asked to share what led them to become a part of this amazing profession.

So, here is my story:

I have actually always wanted to be a teacher.  The teaching bug hit me in 2nd grade with my teacher, Mrs. Perdue, who was my absolute favorite teacher. After being in her class, I can remember observing things my future teachers did and took mental notes of what I would or wouldn't do in my own classroom.

At one point in high school I took an independent study Astronomy course with another amazing teacher, Mr. Colombo.  I was able to run the planetarium under his tutelage and explored many topics about space. 

When it was time to decide on a major in college, I had it set in my mind that I would go into Astronomy.  After taking one course in Astronomy, I realized very quickly that this was not something I could spend the rest of my life doing. So I went back to my first love, teaching.  I also decided to minor in child development and psychology.

I loved EVERY course I took.  It was such a great experience.

However, when it came time to graduate, the job market was pretty tough in New York(upstate and downstate).  In my one college area, we had 3 teaching schools all graduating and wanting to find jobs.  I ended up getting a preschool job my first year to get my feet wet while deciding where to focus my job search.

I had heard that Virginia was in desparate need of teachers at the time and I thought that would be a fun opportunity.  I attended a job fair and landed a second grade position at a great school.  It was set, my new adventure would begin there.

Not knowing anyone in Virginia except my boyfriend at the time and his mom, I packed up my Penske truck, hitched my car to the back, and my cat and me were off. 

It was definitely tough that first year.  My family and friends were back on Long Island, I didn't know anyone, nor did I know the area.  Plus, I had the added pressure of the first year in an elementary classroom.  I stuck through it, learned MANY things, and met some great people.

12 years later, here I am still teaching second grade and loving it!  Thankfully, that boyfriend is gone and I met and married an amazing guy.  We have two beautiful children and I am loving every moment of my life.  Teaching is still a great passion of mine and I thank God everyday that I was able to find exactly what I wanted to do in life.

So that's it!  If you have a story to tell, I would love to hear it.  Be sure to head over to Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes to share:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goodnight iPad

A friend of mine tagged me on Facebook to this link.  It's a funny and modern take on Goodnight Moon.

It's scary how addicting these gadgets can become, especially in our techno geek household!  I have been limiting the kid's time on them in order to force them to use their imaginations more.  You know that creative play that came so easily to our generation which lacked this sort of technology.

However, guilty as charged, I find myself being sucked in a little too often.  Mental note...I am going to start limiting my time on these gadgets as well.  (At least until school starts.  I have a ton of technology ideas up my sleeve.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Proud to Be a Teacher

I love this and wanted to share it with all those that are proud to be teachers!

Now of course the list could go on and on, but I think it is well put. :)
Happy Summer!