Tuesday, 24 July 2012

My Second Linky!

Look at me, my second linky party! I know what you're thinking, "Two Linky parties in two weeks? You should really slow down!" and I know and totally agree. I really should slow down, I don't want to wear myself out, it is summer vacation after all. Anyways I've decided to join up with Amy at Step into Second Grade for her "Tell me more, tell me more!" linky (which, by the way, I totally read in my head like it was sung during Grease) because I love to read the little personal anecdotes people add into their blog as it helps me relate to them and their writing. Well as you can tell by the complete absence of my real name or any identifying characteristics on my blog, I love my anonymity so this is probably a weird linky party for me to be joining. Oh well, I've decided to join in anyway. So here goes, some little factoids about myself:

1. I LOVE books. I am always reading and have to have one (or more) books lined up on the go.

2. I am always cold. Like, excessively so. I am often wearing a wool coat and Uggs in the summer. No joke.

3. I LOVE nice clothes but secretly just want to wear my sweatpants/yoga pants 24/7.

4. I am constantly drinking water all day long. The drink I really love . . . Vanilla Coke. Unfortunately for me, they no longer sell this in Canada (at least not where I am), but rest assured, if I ever visit the States, I will be coming back with cases.

5. I am behind on every technology ever. I don't have Facebook and only got my first cell phone last year (for work, otherwise I would still be cell phone-less), so it is a complete wonder that I am on Pinterest and have a blog.

6. I am Sarcastic with a capital "S." I don't know if this always comes across properly on this blog.

7. I love learning for the sake of learning. I truly LOVE to learn new things (hence the blog name) and think the idea for websites like Open Yale Courses is fantastic.

8. I am a perfectionist, so much so that I do not proofread my blog or writing because I know I will just end up re-writing everything. How ironic is that, a perfectionist who doesn't proof-read?

9.  I often re-write things several times (as in reprint it by hand when I think it's too messy). It's never just write (see perfectionism above).

10. I think lists should end on appropriate numbers (5, 10). I wrote this just so my list would end on an appropriate number.

There we go. A few personal tidbits. Go link up if you haven't!

Monday, 23 July 2012

My First Award!

Well what can I say. I went away for my first weekend this year and I came back to an award for my blog! I have to send a BIG thank you to Tamera at My Heart Belongs in First (who, by the way, is having a BIG giveaway right now) for presenting my little ol' blog with the Liebster Blog Award. This award is presented to new bloggers with less than 200 followers. I must now:

          1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
          2. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
          3. Present the award to 5 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers and leave them a comment on their blog.

Ok, so I've checked off 1 and 2 on the list, now time for number 3. The five blogs to whom I am presenting the awards are as followed (in no particular order of something):

Go ch-ch-check out these blogs!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Summer Confusions and Back to School

I feel like this summer (keep in mind I have been on summer vacation for just over 2 weeks)  I set out with the best intentions. To get working right away and be super prepared come September. Now, I don't know what has happened but it seems my brain has gone into sleep mode. Or maybe summer mode. There have been more than a few times that I have had to ask what day it is (as in what day of the WEEK) and been totally serious.  Don't even try and ask me what the date is, I'll just have to give you an estimate. I keep staying up later and later (doing nothing productive of course) and sleeping in later and later. Oh well, it has been enjoyable.

On a more productive note, the Back to School (Primary) unit I have been working on for all too long is finally completed and up on TPT. Click HERE to check it out, or click on the preview below:
I've also been working on a similar unit for intermediate grades which should be completed in the next few days, but with my summer brain, who knows?

Monday, 16 July 2012

My First Linky!

Well the time has come for my very first linky! I've seen a few link-ups that I've wanted to join but never got the chance but when I saw Lindsey at The Teacher Wife was having one about must-have picture books, I just couldn't pass it up. As evidenced in past blog posts here and here, I am a HUGE fan of picture books and love to find new ones to read. Now I have to say that it took me awhile to decide on just a few to list here because I have soooo many favourites. So here are five must-haves, though there are tons more I could add.

In no particular order:

1. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds - This is such a sweet story and I like it more and more each time I read it.

2. One by Kathryn Otoshi - I really enjoy stories that are unique, whether it be in their artwork or the way they are written and this is one unique story that does a great job of tackling the topic of bullying. Great for intermediate or primary.

3. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin - Colourful pictures, a catchy song and a great message, what more do you need?

4. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - Another great message and such a sweet, sweet story.

5. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss - a book that stands the test of time. I am huge on promoting the importance of environmentalism in the class and this is the perfect book to do it. It's also a great book for teaching story elements to both intermediate and primary students.

So there's five favourites, I know I've got a zillion more must-haves. I also had to write this blog post quickly otherwise I would spend hours revising as I thought of more and more books to add to the list!
Hopefully I did everything right for my first linky!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Brain Breaks

I'm a fairly new teacher and I'm always looking for new changes to improve learning in the classroom. Something that seems to be gaining more and more popularity in the classroom is the importance of "Brain Breaks" - something to give the kids a break in order to create a more effective learning environment. One thing that I think is important is to keep these Brain Breaks fresh and new, so that they too, don't become boring for the students. Brain Breaks are a great way to regain students' attention, give them a break from the routine, and give them a movement break, in order to get out their wiggles.

I thought it would be interesting to list a few of the ideas that I have either seen or used myself, hopefully someone will find something new they can try in their own classroom. I must say that I am acknowledging that these are not my original ideas, nor am I claiming them to be so.

1. Yoga Breaks - With yoga becoming ever more popular with adults, of course we would see the trickle down effect to kids. Yoga studios are now offering kid classes as a way to increase flexibility and concentration. I have seen tons of classes, all the way down to Kindergarten, in which students have their own yoga mats and learn a routine to do (often after lunch). Kids seem to love to show off their moves, even knowing the proper names.

2. Follow the Leader - Turn on music, let the Special Helper lead the group in a series of dance moves and have fun! Students generally love the idea of getting to lead the group and show off their dance moves. Since this only lasts one song, it's short, but gives students the opportunity to get their wiggles out and refocus for seat work.

3. Dance Routine - Learn several dance routines as a class and then as a movement break, have fun choosing one out of a jar.

4. Choose a Brain Break - I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea.

via Pinterest

Create a list of Brain Breaks prior to the beginning of school, introduce them throughout the first few weeks and then choose one when the students need a break. I would probably want to switch these out every couple of months to keep the students from getting bored.

I might try to come up with my own ideas for Brain Breaks soon, and then I'll definitely share . . . or I might have my own brain break by laying out in the sun!