Monday, July 20, 2015

Movie Stars

I participated in the Seller Challenge and we were supposed to create our masterpiece.  I have been working on my movie star room theme FOREVER!!!! Its for a coworker and I am sure she thinks I forgot about it. But I have been busy! The seller challenge was awesome but it also took up some of my other TpT creation time and then came Periscope I have been slightly less productive as I watched what everyone had to say! You can find me at @TeacherBronco on Periscope.

So here is the movie star room theme complete with award show glitter and popcorn! Digital glitter and digital popcorn!

I will Periscope the complete set soon. My Luau theme has been pretty popular this summer so I hope that this one will be too! Let me know what you think. I wish I could show it to you all printed out and set up but since its not for my room and I am stingy with my ink (I know I need the HP ink program.) I hope you will be happy with the post and the Periscope. Maybe I will be able to add pictures later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sight Word Jenga

My school uses Fry Words and I wanted to find a fun way to work on the sight words with my kiddos. I know that I will have several kiddos this year that will need to practice these and I don't want it to be tedious! So I just came up with the idea of Sight Word Jenga!

I saw the idea for math fact Jenga and I wanted to figure out a way to use it in my literacy classroom. The prep was pretty easy. It took about 10 minutes (if that) to write the words on the blocks. I wrote the words on the widest parts of the blocks and did two words for each block. I also chose to do two different colors but more would probably be cuter.  I snagged my Jenga set at a garage sale so its okay with me that it is missing a few pieces but I had enough to write the 3rd 100 Fry Words on them. I am considering finding more sets and doing some of the other Fry words on them.

Here is how it works:

I think this along with Poison Apple  will be a small group favorite! 

Monday, July 13, 2015


I did not make TpT Las Vegas and I am bummed about it but it was totally worth it to stand by my besties side on her wedding day. The wedding week activities were fun and the wedding itself was so beautiful! My sweet girls were flower girls too.  It was their second flower girl gig this summer. They are pros now so we will start charging a fee!

I tried to keep up with all of the Vegas happenings on social media and it seems like the next big thing is Periscope. I have watched a few live streams and it seems so much fun. I will have to come up with something to share soon but I am really enjoying live videos of everything. You can search Teaching In Bronco Country or find me at TeacherBronco. I am on Twitter too at BroncoTeacher I am working on figuring out both of these! Please check me out and stay tuned! 

UPDATE: I have done two Periscopes! I will be back soon to share my classroom and some other share worthy items! 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Currently

I am linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for July's currently!
Listening: My little ones are really enjoying the summer time and playing in the back yard. I think that they could do it for hours! We love bubbles and chalk! 
Loving: I love all of the fun summer time things like BBQs, the pool and free time. 
Thinking: We have two golf tournaments, a wedding and a vacation packed into this month. Its busy but fun! I can't wait for all of this to start this week. 
Wanting: I want a new dress for the occasions above! I just need to find the time to go shopping and survive it toting two, two year olds with me. Anyone want to baby sit?  
Needing: I need to finish my seller challenge masterpiece. The holiday weekend left me way behind. I am working on a room theme for a coworker and I have been taking forever! I need to get on it. 
All Star: I have been doing a bunch of little projects and I am loving them! Its fun to be crafty and accomplish something. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Change My Teaching

How to change my teaching is a question that I am asking myself. Innovation is my key word. But how do I innovate? How do I do it and still meet my curriculum and standards? Here are my first steps:

Self Directed Learning:
How will I find time to have the students discover their passion and self direct their learning? We have a 15-20 minute morning warm up time where they come in and do a task I gave them. Next year they will come in and discover their passion in this time. Using our iPads as a tool not a toy they can unlock incredible information. I will come up with guidelines but I do not want to limit them. I will conference with individuals to track and monitor progress and I will set a finish date. Ideally I will do one "find your passion " (working title) per quarter. I want them to show case their learning at the end of it and I am thinking of letting them present in the way they come up with. Can 3rd graders do it? YES! Will it take modeling, time, patience? YES! I will get back to you about this one.

Changing The Traditional Classroom Setting:
Desks, tables, hard plastic chairs, sitting in those all day to learn? Check, check and check! How can I make my ideal learning for all learners and not break the bank? I am going to start little by little this year.

I want interactive spaces through out my room. I want the students to share their thinking and see mine! I love the idea of having constantly changing spaces to share thoughts and ideas. I am going to post "idea dots" around the room. I will use dry erase circles posted in various places to have the students write ideas. I want one about what we are learning, one for facts and then several on a work space table. I saw these on pinterest and then found them on Amazon.

Ditching the chairs! Now in my ideal world I would want a classroom set of cool chairs. They would not all look the same because not all kiddos need the same thing to learn in. Does the traditional work for some kids probably... does the different type of chair work for every student probably not. I am working on a little bit here and there and here is what I have found and they are coming!
I also want some lap desks for the kids who don't want a chair. I am working on this piece and how I want it to look. 

Is this innovative? A little... but I think it is a step in the right direction to transform my classroom. My next steps and how these ideas work and change I will share with you.  I do not think that this work space will happen all day. It will happen part of the day. I will get to know my students and see what works for them. I am not going to be stuck in a box for my students education. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Who Inspires You?

If you have read my blog a time or two you might have come across the fact that I was not a model student. I struggled academically and with my behavior. I meant well but I was too busy to stay still and not talk. I had my desk moved away from other students all of my school years except second grade.

I had my "favorite" teacher in 2nd grade. I walked in on the first day and she said "Ashley, I have heard all about you and I am so happy to have you in my class."  She made learning interactive and fun. She is who inspired me. I loved learning but she made me love school with her loving classroom and caring personality. Plus everything thing she did was so much fun. Mrs. Tabor is someone that I have thought about over and over growing up when I needed a positive educational experience. I moved schools after I had her and she moved out of state that same year. I would love to connect with her again to let her know just how much she inspired me even now. Thank you Mrs. Tabor for your patience, believing in my success and making learning so much fun.

Thats me right next to the teacher in the Brownie uniform

My mom is retired teacher. She taught special education in a self contained classroom. My mom wanted to insure that her students had the best tools in place to make them successful. A lot of this expertise filtered down to me and my educational experience. She wanted me to have the most successful education that I could have despite my educational difficulties. She was educated in the areas, knew the law, knew the policies and was not afraid to advocate for her daughter (Thanks Mom!!! Sorry Teachers!!!) Even now my mom is a daily sounding board for my classroom. She occasionally volunteers in my classroom but mostly she helps take care of my girls so I can teach! She continues to inspire me. I look back on what I took for granted or didn't understand and I realize how amazing my mom was as a teacher. How many students she lead to success. She even has students call her and check in that are now in their 40s. I feel so blessed to have her as resource and call her my mom!
A recent pic of my mom and I

I am attending InnEdCO which is a technology in the classroom for Colorado teachers. A few teachers from my school wrote a grant and our PTCO funded this for us! The keynote speaker was Jonathan Mooney . He rocked my teaching world. I can't express how much his story resonated with me. I was a crying mess during and after his presentation. I got it together and ended up in his question and answer session. I cried again. Then I called my mom and thanked her for advocating for my education and cried again. Here is why: Jonathan who is a dynamic speaker, published author and a Brown graduate was a student who struggled. He hated school, he had academic problems and behavior problems. He is now an advocate for how to use our technology to reach those learners. He credits his success to some of his teachers and his mom to me this was my mom and Mrs. Tabor. He has two books READ THEM!!!! He has two DVDs WATCH THEM!!!

Here is the biggest inspiration part: I asked myself if I was an effective teacher for students like me? Was I an effective for students like him? Why wasn't I? How could I change? My whole thinking shifted. Those parents that you dread an email or a conference with just became in my mind parents advocating for their children ( like my mom, like I will do) I want to develop the relationship with the parents at these difficult times. I want to say " I realize you are advocating for your child, I am too, how can we do this together." Not "I AM THE EXPERT LEAVE IT TO ME!" (Anyone else been there?)

Here to this next year approaching education in this way! I can't wait! ( Well I can until August, lets not rush summer!) Thank you Mrs. Tabor, thank you Jonathan THANK YOU mom! Please feel free to join me and link to who and what inspires you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Guilty Pleasures

One of the things about summer vacation is I actually have time to blog until my heart is content. I also have time for other "guilty" pleasures. I am linking up with my friend Nichole at the Craft of Teaching and  Miss V's Busy Bees to bring you some of my summer time guilty pleasures.

My first summer time guilty pleasure is Otter Pops! I love them, my hubby loves them and now my kiddos love them. I eat way more than I will ever admit. I LOVE them when they are just a little slushy too! Yum!!!! I think I need one now or.........six........

Wine on the deck is my other favorite guilty pleasure. On a nice summer night we will sit on the deck next to the fire, drink wine and listen to music. This is one of my favorite times with my hubby!

Thank you for reading about my guilty pleasures ( The ones I admit to.) I would love hear yours! Comment below!