Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Keto on the Go!

Today's post is slightly off the teaching subject, in a way. I guess I will still be teaching, but just about another one of my favorite things....FOOD!
The hubs and I have recently (5 weeks ago) started eating Ketogenic-ly. I am not an expert so if you'd like to read more "information" about it please visit this site. Today's goal is to share a bit about our journey and how we maintained it while traveling recently.

Disclaimer: I have not done a ton of research on all of this and I am not a certified nutritionist so I am only speaking from what I have seen in passing, what my hubby tells me, and what has seemed to work for us. 

A few weeks before starting Keto I had decided to get off dairy too cold turkey. I had been having some crazy bloating and stomach issues for a few months. Which was weird because I have eaten dairy my whole life and never had any issues, but just goes to show you how things can change. So I started just doing lactose free milk and it didn't get much better, so then I just stopped. No milk, no cheese, no dairy, only almond milk. You guys, the bloating stopped, my stomach felt soooo much better and my face cleared up! I have been going to the dermatologist since middle school and now I literally don't think I have to be on meds anymore! It was that good of a turn around!

So back to keto. We looked up keto recipes, made lists, went to the store, and spent the whole Sunday meal prepping for the week. Now I am not a chef or a baker by any means, in fact, I'd rather not, but it was actually fun to methodically think through what we were going to eat and how healthy it all was. Now some say Keto is not something you can maintain forever, some opinions differ. I am not getting into all of that. Our goal was to mainly try it for 6 weeks and see what the results were. I mean it wasn't night and day from how we were eating, it just made us more mindful of what we bought (like chips,bread for toast, eating out, etc). 
We stocked up on eggs (no shocker there for us), bacon (uncured-no nitrates/nitrites), spinach (just be careful how much you can get kidney stones), broccoli, salmon, meat, pork rinds, etc. Here is a graphic for the types of foods they suggest.

Once the first week was over it was not so hard. I didn't lock myself in the room in the dark and rock back and forth screaming for cakes and bread, I only had one carb dream ;) haha jk. It really just ended up becoming a habit for us. I was able to learn new recipes, especially some sweets to cure the sweet tooth cravings. Now depending on who you talk to as well as with any eating regime it can be taken extreme or you can fall off the wagon day 1...we are more of the sitting in the wagon type of people. We are going to take it seriously and try to meet our goals but not dissect every little tiny thing. When we would eat out we did take our time to decide where it would be and if they had anything we could turn into Keto friendly food. For the most part it was rather easy. Which brings me to the whole point for today's post. How to be on the go with Keto. Again, I am not going in depth about the origins of Keto, or research, etc. This is mainly for anyone who has started and needs to travel and how you can possibly still stay true to the course even while traveling, where your diet could be sacrificed. Also, these are just ideas, they may not work for you. That's okay! Just merely suggestions.

We were traveling to Colorado. So our first leg of the trip would be about 8 hours. The second day about 5 hours. We had a large cooler and bought ice for the first half of the trip. We made sure our first hotel room had a fridge and microwave in it as well.

The night before we spent time preparing. We prepared: egg salad, Mcgriddle, and cookies.

Grab the egg salad recipe here

Grab the Mcgriddle recipe here (we used bacon instead of sausage)

Grab the cookie recipe here (we left out the chocolate chips)

For snacks between meals we packed: almonds, protein bars (keto friendly), sunflower seeds, almond butter spread, pork rinds, and beef jerky.

We mainly snacked on the road and ate some of the cookies (mainly b/c I accidentally used salted butter for the cookies and it actually came out like little corn bread cookies haha-keto friendly of course)

We did stop at Mcdonalds for a quick lunch and had the burger without the bun, no ketchup, and add mayo.

Once we arrived at the first hotel we had the egg salad to snack on and we were able to eat the Mcgriddle that morning since the hotel had a microwave.

Once we arrived in CO, we were staying with his gma so making food was much easier! We still had leftover egg salad to munch on as well! For meals throughout the week we stayed the course!
Breakfast: eggs and bacon
Lunch: egg salad, rotisserie, burger no bun
Dinner: pot roast, raw broccoli and ranch, avocado, salad, radishes (this lasted two days or so from leftovers)

We snacked throughout the day on some of the items we had brought with us from above!

On the way home we didn't have the ability to home make as we did on the way to CO. We still had leftover snacks but we did have to stop and get fast-food once on our first leg on the way back. We just did what we had before-hamburger but no bun!

When we got to the hotel for the way home we were able to eat a fresh salad with veggies and hamburger meat with bacon and a fried egg on top!

We were fortunate to be able to stay with his gma and us be able to cook with her. However, we were so happy we decided to cook items before we left for the trip to be able to really watch our intake on the road, especially when it can be very tempting to not pay much attention to your eating.

Now I will divulge on our way home we stopped at Ihop for eggs and bacon, but once we got there we saw the new cupcake pancakes and decided to go for it. At first I was hesitant because, I mean we went to all this work all week to stick to our plan and now the last few hours of the trip we were going to ruin it?! But, no, it was not ruining it for us it was a moment of "live your life". We had made it 5 weeks AND a major road trip on our plan! We limited ourselves to 2 and we went right back to keto for the rest of the day/week! We just have developed the habits of choosing our food so the pancakes were not something that threw us over the edge like a wild animal that gets a taste of fresh meat.
Oh and yes they were worth it for a little cheat meal,no calories wasted there! :)

I am still not completely sold on high fat the true way Keto calls for it for long periods of time, but I also need to do more reading on it. Like I said above we aren't driving the Keto bus but merely just some passengers enjoying a new way of eating and if anything it is teaching us to think more clearly about our choices and when it is okay to indulge.

I will say I have enjoyed my face clearing up and I have also noticed I have had much more energy naturally and not so zombie like after eating!

Even if you aren't doing Keto, maybe you found some new recipes to try out and enjoy something different!

Have a BLESSED week!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Looking for some organization and fun new products

Attention all Instructional Coaches!!!

 The ICD for the OCD
Instructional Coach Detailer for the OCD is all updated for the 2017-2018 school year! 

Let's face it, the IC job is multitasking at its finest! You don't have time to be scattered in your thoughts! Use the ICD to help you be OCD! 
This Instructional Coach Detailer is the perfect planner to help you balance all of your plans, notes, and to-do's!

What is included?
-Two different versions: ELA & Math/Science-Monthly overviews August - July (free updates each year!)-To-Do checklists with each month-Space to put sticky notes so they are never far away-Positive quotes to keep you going- Team planning overviews- Notes for meetings-Pages of team minute notes for team plannings-Teacher Checklists-to keep information of teachers easy

Print this in color or even just black and white!You can print as is, or rearrange pages in a spiral bound form or binder. Need more of a certain page? Print just what you need!Put it all together or make separate smaller books.Add in your school calendar, etc! 

If you'd like a custom cover I am happy to do that! Just email me! Email is listed in TPT product description page!

Suggestion: Print cover in color on card stock and print the other pages on regular paper (helps with printing cost)

***FREE updates each year!! 

Click HERE for ELA
Click HERE for Math/Science

Need more inserts? Check out my IC Quick Sheets to add to your planner and keep track of your coaching with teachers! (under the organization tab) or link: 

I also just added some A La Carte pieces you can add to ANY planner!

Check them out HERE (they are free for now so grab them while you can!)

Last thing for today! I just finally got around to posting my newest edition of Monthly Jam- where I showcase my favorite 5 items in under 5 minutes!  I would love anyone who would like to participate to join me! You can see the original post HERE if you'd like to know the "guidelines". 

So I posted this one over on my YouTube channel....it is just up and going so please be gentle :) I'd love it if you'd subscribe while there too! 
Click HERE to watch! 

Have a Blessed week!!! 
"If we say we are HIS, we must follow the example of Christ."
1 John 2:6

Monday, June 5, 2017

Confessions of a First Year Teacher

Teaching is: fun, rewarding, exciting, inspiring, empowering....but let's be real too...Teaching is: exhausting, demanding, intensive, diverse...hard..teaching is hard ya'll. Do you remember your first year of teaching? Do you remember feeling all of those descriptions above plus many more? Wait, who am I kidding I still feel all that almost 10 years later! HA! Well that first year is so many emotions rolled into one year! Every teachers first year varies, so you can't base your experience or experience to come off of someone else's. I am also fully aware there are a million and infinity pieces to this puzzle called teaching and we could add to the list all day long, but in order for you not to fall asleep on me I have narrowed it down! Keep reading for some of those common threads that weave and spin the many layers of teaching!
*Thank you to two amazing first year teachers for volunteering themselves as tribute for my blogging adventures!"

We all have gotten that call right? The "Would you accept ______ position for the upcoming year?" No matter how it happened for you, we all start somewhere. Thank goodness for admin that will take a chance on a new teacher right?! I asked my two gracious interviewees the question, "What was the first thought you had when you got that call?"
Ms. Skillern: " Wow, that was easier than I thought! I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was preparing myself for it to take awhile. Then I thought, oh my gosh what am I going to do in first grade?!"

Ms. Szydlowski: "I was so excited! I had been waiting. I will finally have a class of my own! I was ready to get things prepared!"

I'm not going to lie, homegirl here was a hot mess when I got offered the job. The tears came and I gave hugs, hoping they wouldn't retract their decision once the emotions started flowing haha. I just couldn't believe they wanted to take a chance on little 'ol me. Fresh outta college, small town, new to the big city, country bumkin...me! I was sure grateful they did! I have actually followed one of them around too these past 10 years, so I guess my pronunciation of "cray-on" as "crown" hasn't scared her off.  

What are some things you have come to realize now that your first year is complete?

Ms. Szydlowski "All the behind the scenes work. Grading, paperwork, data, referrals, all the little things you may not get taught or exposed to beforehand."

Ms. Skillern: "How important a to-do list is! Also how stressful it can be. You really need to be a planner and be organized with all the things you have to accomplish and be responsible for."

Let me add:
I have come to realize all of those things too! Also how flexible you need to be. You can't be a stubborn mule as a teacher, things change too much! I have also learned how sharing is always caring!!! Oh and most importantly, building a community that respects and supports each other-kids and with your coworkers. Oh and teaching is not a competition! 

(in no particular order-except the first one. That helps aid in doing the other ones haha)
-take time for yourself
-be prepared
-gather plenty of mentor texts
-love the whole child
-utilize the mentors around you
-prioritize things
-make time to love on the kids not just academically, but emotionally
-Ask questions (so important not to feel embarrassed or unsure-you will have people around you willing to answer them)

-don't overwork yourself
-don't have a fixed mindset
-waste energy on things that may not have an effect in the long run

Let me add:
 DO find yourself a teaching tribe, people who will love, support, encourage, and not judge you. Take/read Professional Development and observe other teachers to further your craft and learn from others.
Oh yea, DO drink some caffeine-liquid manna from Jesus ya'll. 

DON'T-spend time worrying about what others think of you or your teaching-just give it all of your heart and work with a passion. Make the best decisions you can to better your kids, yourself, and those around you. The rest will take care of itself.

I'm just going to etc, etc, etc this whole section because teaching each year brings new revelations and solidifies many truths. You can ALWAYS GROW! 

This is kind of an extension of the "DO THIS" section above.
Here are some helpful tips these two fabulous ladies offered up in their conversation:
-find what motivates your kids
-have pockets charts
-build a class library ASAP (I will post more about that below)
-get organized with buckets and bins (Can I get a Hallelujah?!)
-take deep breathes and get in the best mindset before the day begins
-spend some time (not too much-remember the whole "recharge yourself?") gathering ideas and looking through resources
-try to not have any preconceived notions- be open
-put yourself out there, build relationships early
-be prepared for "down time"-so have ideas and options ready
-use Donor's Choose
-flexible seating is so great for the kids-offers choice and builds responsibility

**How can you build a class library without breaking the bank?
-Visit your local Half Price books- you can also tell them you are a first year teacher and needing book donations. They more than likely will donate boxes of books they don't end up selling. I got like 8 huge boxes donated my first year. Granted I had to sort through and find the best ones but hey they were FREE!

-Know a retiring teacher? 

-Visit local resale shops and garage sales

-Do a Donor's Choose- takes a little work but totally worth it when funded

-Christmas or B-day coming up? If people want to gift you something ask for books or giftcards to buy books.

Just a few ideas!

-Flair pens (Amazon or local office supply store)
-Pocket charts (Really Good Stuff, Amazon, Lakeshore, Oriental Trading)
-Class library books and mentor texts 
-Containers, organizers, and more containers!!! 

Something I didn't add to  that picture above is professional development books. There are SO many out there I would run out of space! 
However, some great ones are:

Add to that picture:
-Teach Like a Pirate (Dave Burgess)
-Teach Outside the Box (LouAnne Johnson)
-Mathmatical Mindsets (Jo Boaler)
-Guided Math (Laney Sammons)
-Whole Brain Teaching for Kids (Chris Biffle)
-A Mindset for Learning (Kristine Mraz)

I know I am missing a ton but that's a good list to start with! 


This brings me to the last portion- where does a new teacher go after they have survived their first year? PAR-TAY! And I'm talking the "get in your pj's, grab a celebratory treat, and watch your favorite shows" partying because you deserve it! 
After you do all that, it's time to set new goals! 
Here are some ideas from my two Ms. S's!

-Do more with what I have learned
-Learn more and dive more into small groups
-Re-do my room setup

I will also chime in with REFLECT! I advise doing reflection throughout the year. Take notes, take pictures, write down goals, ways to improve, etc. Either way, reflection is the key to bettering yourself. Also remember, you don't have to be perfect! You don't have to be the best or known for teaching fame, you just need to DO your best and be able to say you gave it your all with a passion. 

Well, if you are a new teacher reading this and you have survived your first year then I say CONGRATS to you! Be proud of yourself. I won't say it get's a lot easier, but it does become more manageable. If you stay the course and take advice and listen to your heart then it won't be WORK it will be your HOBBY. 

If you are a new teacher about to embark on your first year, I'll "Dionne Warwick" it and "Say a little prayer for you" (did I just date myself?) I am not that old but I do like the classics ;) 
For real though, I hope these tips will  help you enter your classroom a little more confident. You were made for this and this is what you have been prepared for. Love those kids and teach with a fire! 

Have a BLESSED week! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Amazing Grace


What do you think of when you hear that word? It is a pretty powerful word. Someday's I feel like this word is unattainable, and I always feel it is undeserved. 

Grace- noun
-the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Let that sink in. FREE. UNMERITED. FAVOR. 
Wow. How can a sinner like me even deserve that or even give that out? 
How? Because of JESUS! 
Thank GOD right?! I mean I would not make it through a single day without some GRACE! The minute my feet hit the ground in the morning the enemy is ready to pounce. Some days he seems to win, but by golly God swoops in and covers me. 
Now I also believe I have to put in the effort to seek HIM out, but no matter how far I may fall God covers me in that GRACE. I know for a fact I don't deserve it at all. That's the beautiful, amazing, and sometimes confusing thing about GRACE is that he freely favor's us. Seems easy right? Just to go around handing out freebies of Grace. I mean everyone loves a freebie. Yes they do, and no it's not easy. We are a fallen people and sinners. We are selfish and self absorbed. We are mean and we can be hateful. But we have a God that sacrificed his only son to save us from all of those things and grant us Grace and forgiveness even when we are those things and totally do not deserve it. 

Depending on which source you read, the word Grace appears in the bible over 150 times, some sources say over 200...either way it is a lot! So obviously God is all about that Grace, bout that Grace, no trouble....those are the lyrics right?! ;) 

So back to giving Grace. The struggle is real. People are going to disappoint and fail you. People are going to act a fool and say things you don't agree with. People are going to not agree. People are going to make mistakes daily. People are sinners. But how can we best represent Christ than to offer Grace as He does. Some days it takes a Uhaul of Grace, and other days a sprinkle will do. Either way our goal should be to extend Grace. 

The quote says it all: Grace is forgiving. Grace is For Giving.
We are forgiven through Grace by God. We also need to be giving Grace. 

Now, are there times when someone can use it as a crutch and not be a responsible human being at some point? Well at that point we have to give it to God. 

Grace epitomizes the character of God's attitude in providing salvation for a fallen world. We will fall short of God's glory, (Romans 3:23) but we have a God that loves us unconditionally. His Grace is a gift. Something given without requiring anything in return. 

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. It is amazing and so hard to fully understand sometimes. 

"He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness." John 1:14

"Yet now in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins." Romans 3:24

"Instead you are free by God's grace." Romans 6:14

"God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this;it is a gift from God." Ephesians 2:8

Now please tell me how that is not AMAZING GRACE! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Balanced Equations & Missing Addends-New product

One of my favorite parts of the year in first grade is teaching missing addends and balancing equations. Now if you would have asked me 6 years ago I might have thought you were out of your mind! Why? Well because it does not always come easy for those little mathematicians. It can be abstract, but that is why it is up to us to model, model, model, and hands on practice until it clicks! My kids got excited being detectives for those missing numbers in an equation and LOVED using the balances to solve balance equations. Once they discover exactly how the = sign works they were amazed at how the numbers worked together on both sides! My main goal really from this was just to get them to understand that the equal sign is a symbol to show that the left is the same as the right. They get so used to seeing it one way that when it changes at all it throws them off track and they freeze. When in all actuality they can do it. I broke out the balances and you would have thought I was a super hero . I also found one online that was interactive so we were able to use the smartboard and the small balance they could touch.
Here is the interactive online one: https://nrich.maths.org/4725

I also felt the need to have them be able to record their thoughts and findings throughout the lessons so I created a packet that incorporates missing addend, balancing equations, and word problems.  I went very slow and gave them a lot of time to talk and explore and discuss reasoning's. Seriously, my mind was blown listening to them think through and use math talk. Everyday after these lessons I felt like I had run a marathon, not in an Oh My Goodness I am going to pass out, what was I thinking kind of way, but like an Oh My Goodness that was exhilarating, I feel accomplished, it can be done kind of way. Especially when they were so interested and pumped as well. 


We not only worked through seeing the equal signs meaning but we also challenged ourselves to make a false, unequal, unbalanced equation, actually balanced. 
They started seeing how they could create certain equations different ways and that there was not just one way to make or see it. 
I thought they were going to explode when we got to one problem that went past 10 and since the balance only goes up to ten they had to either put more than two weights on or stack the weights to get to their answer. 
There was so much good stuff that we did that week I can't even list it all! 


We also used the bucket balances (not pictured)  as well as the number balance to work through problems. 

If you are looking for these types of activities to work with your students you can check out the packet HERE!! 
Not all is shown in this preview. 

Have a BLESSED week!! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

End of Year Celebrations and Reflections

The end is near people...of the school year! Can you believe it?! If you have followed this blog or know me at all you have seen that I am pro Growth Mindset. I really believe instilling our kiddos with a positive mindset and guiding them towards independence is very important.
So the other day my mind wandered into end of the year activities. For some reason I thought about how flowers sprout and bloom and then started thinking about words that rhyme with those words and well, one thing led to another and I was on a full blown rabbit trail as usual. So these anchor charts were born, which then turned into this packet.
You can use this with your class or even with your teammates to reflect on the year. It is low prep and helps to celebrate those goals that have been met as well as continuing to model the Growth Mindset and the Power of Yet. 

Make your own anchor charts or print them as a poster (I include the template in the packet).
You can write on the poster directly or have students fill out one of the various templates. Totally up to you and your preference! So many ways you can use this. 

See? Simple and a fun way to celebrate the end of the year and all the hard work throughout the year! 
Click HERE to snag yours!!! 

So go SHOUT it out! Find all the ways you and your kids have BLOOMED! Celebrate the SOONS and the SPROUTS, because we need to promote and show that growth can and does happen. You may not always BE the best, but you can DO your best! 

If you like Growth Mindset- go check out my Growth Mindset Bundle! It is 147 pages! 
Click HERE!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Long Range Planning 101

Teaching is a beast. People don't realize how many moving parts there are within a day...month..year! A grading period goes by in a flash and there are so many things to teach. Planning is crucial. I'll be honest I have flown by the seat of my pants some days, but when it comes down to it 99% of the time you need to be prepared, and my kind of preparation is down to the color coded sticky notes, but I digress ;) No matter your OCD'ness prep is key to making sure you can tailor your lessons and teaching for what the kids need. This brings me to long range planning for an entire grading period. Our grading periods are "9 weeks" long. That being in quotations because some have been up to 10-12 weeks long. Over the years I have learned that there is a balance of being behind, being on track, being ahead, and being too far ahead. I prefer the being ahead approach. You are not scrambling like eggs but you are not so far ahead you can't adjust as needed to fit your classes needs.
I have been blessed to be able to work for some amazing admin who allow us time to do all of the above; plan.
I have approached long range planning as a teacher and now as an Instructional Coach. I have seen great success with both sides. The process is basically the same except now I am not actually going back to the classroom with my kids and putting it into practice, but guiding other teachers to do so.

About 2-3 weeks before the end of the current grading period we get half day subs to cover for our grade level teachers. We pair them up with another team to share the day: 2/5 grades, K/3 grades, 1,4 grades. 2nd grade would plan the first half of the day with the substitutes covering their classes and then 5th grade would plan in the afternoon.
Long range planning 2-3 weeks before the new grading period helps us make sure we know where we are headed as well as leaving plenty of time to get resources, copies, assessments made etc.

-District planning guides- we are provided by our district a scope and sequence to guide us with a suggested timing for each unit, vocabulary, essential questions, suggested resources, and TEKS outline. Our teachers love having this to guide them but also still gives some freedom with their teaching. 

-TEKS- these are integrated within our unit plans to look at when planing and creating assessments.
-Resources- anything that might align with our future teaching for the nine weeks (activities, books, etc)
-A good attitude & sense of humor- all work and no play make me a dull girl (The Shining anyone?) ha! We have a lot to get done in a short amount of time but I like to throw in some laughter and jokes as well! It's too easy to get weighed down with the amount of teaching and preparation that goes into just one nine weeks that can stress teachers out.

-Food- um this goes without saying right? I haven't always been good at providing this consistently but teachers love food. Just saying ;) 

Over the years I have tweaked how we document our planning to keep track and make things easier for everyone. 
When I was first grade team leader I created this little document: (sorry if it appears a little blurry)
Since we were self contained we had each subject area listed. Of course if you were blocked you would just put the subjects you teach.

Now that I am an IC and plan with all grade levels I tweaked the planning document. 
This is an example of 1st grades. Again, self contained so we put every content on it. I make sure to include any important days within the nine weeks. Under each week I wanted them to be able to track grades they need to give to make sure they are prepared for them and have a vision of what they are assessing. 2-5 does not look this intense of course because they are blocked. As you can tell it is also color coded. I am in no way OCD. HA!  At the beginning of the year I would type this as the teams planned and then sent it to them. However, it took me until the 3rd nine weeks to make it a google doc (duh haha) so they can follow along in real time and type in themselves if I ever had to step out, leave, etc. I am all about teaching a man to fish. I try hard not to be an enabler. After we plan I do also print them for each teammate on large cardstock in color so they can have it physically with them throughout the nine weeks. 

For the most part we get through the mapping out stage within that half day planning. There normally are some odd and ends we have to finish up separately or at the next "normal" day planning on their planning times throughout the week.  

Weekly planning?
Our sacred planning day typically across the district is Tuesday. However, anyone that has been teaching knows it takes more than one 45 minute block to plan effectively for the next week. We also try to stay a week and half ahead so we aren't planning the very next week during that Tuesday session. Plans have to be typed, resources gathered, copies made if needed,etc and 4 days is not enough time typically to do all of that for the very next week. So if we are about 2 weeks ahead we have plenty of time to make adjustments for our kids if needed and tweak our teaching schedule as well.

How do your teams plan? Is it effective? Teaching can not be living the island life. We need each other for support. If something is not working it is not too late to change it. What's the worst that can happen? You try things and see what works for you and your colleagues. Not everyone will always 100% agree perfectly, but you can compromise and do what is best for the KIDS. Effective planning makes for better communication and ultimately affects the kids, so do right by them by planning FOR them.
I hope this quick overview helped you in some way! Please feel free to leave any questions! Keep up to date through my FB (The Blessed OCDiva) and Instagram (@theblessedocdiva)

Have a BLESSED week! 
"When you go through deep waters I will be with you."
Isaiah 43:2
This is His promise, and one I can rest in. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

New Song & Editable To Do Lists!

Happy Sunday!
Quick check in today to share two new uploads that you might find helpful.

First up, a new song!! So I was in planning the other day with my 2nd grade team and perusing the information of the new unit they will be doing, which included a piece about celebrating reading. It basically said that when you love a book you can't just keep it to yourself that you want and need to share it, to give it away......boom enter my amazing singing talents haha!! I immediately busted out with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give It Away song. They are not exactly a staple in my music list, but that song is pretty well known for that catchy chorus. Needless to say I went home on a mission to create a song based around it. And a day later here we are! So if you want to promote loving books and shouting it from the rooftops then this song is for you! It is only 54 seconds so quick, easy, and to the point! It is in a PowerPoint format so you can use presentation mode and the instrumental audio file is included.

Click HERE to grab yours! 

Click below to hear an example! Please no judgement, I am not vocally trained lol or I'd be getting paid the big bucks right?


Next up: EDITABLE To Do Lists!! Who doesn't love a to do list right?! I had created these over time for various reasons and decided to finally load them all and make a little packet. The headings are editable so you can personalize that part to your liking.
Click HERE to check them out! 

Have a BLESSED week ahead! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Prepositions, Homophones, Smartboard, & FREEBIES oh my!

Well hello there! It seems to have been awhile. I have been really good about posting over on my Instagram and FB blog pages and sometimes neglect this area, mainly because this takes a tad more time to get together. So if you have not followed me over yonder go for it! You will see more frequent posts and such! FB: The Blessed OCDiva Instagram: @theblessedocdiva

So today is really a dumping ground for most of what I have posted on FB and the Gram. 
Hopefully you can take something away by the end of it! 
Let's do this 5 for Friday Style!! 

Preposition Power!

So 1st grade started teaching all about prepositions!
You may have your own way of introducing and teaching prepositions, so I am just going to share a few things I have done in the past as well as the little project to wrap it up.
This book is ADORABLE! 
Image result for farm preposition book
I had a copy gifted to me last year from the book fair and I never got around to being able to read it to my kiddos since I moved out of the classroom, but the first grade teachers here borrowed it and said the kids LOVED it! yay!

My kids loved this little preposition song/video as well:

We would also act out prepositions using teddy bear manipulatives and plastic cups/bowls:
"Put your bear under..."
"Put your bear on top of..."

Kids can also use their bodies:
"Stand next to your chair."
"Stand between..."

 Here is the little project I whipped up for them to do as a little wrap up of their learning, as a quick check to see if they truly understood how to use a preposition besides just identifying it, and for them to use as an interactive word wall (the kids do all the work and can go back and reference it later. It holds more meaning since they are the ones applying it and creating it!) This also integrates writing as well! 

Supplies needed: 
Animal Crackers
Crayons,Pencil,Markers (if preferred)
Construction paper or plain cardstock (personal preference)

Students will get their blank piece of paper and an animal cracker. They will create a setting for their animal and then glue their cracker wherever they are choosing to use the preposition. They follow up with a sentence using the preposition and circling or highlighting the preposition they used! You could also elect for them not to highlight or circle and they can present theirs whole group or with a partner and the other kids have to find the preposition they used.
Look at these amazing products their kids created!! I loved being able to go into their classrooms and see it come to life! 

Here is a little video showing it as the full process!
Thank you Mrs. Tibbetts for letting me hover over your little friend ;)


I also created some fun packets to teach prepositions! There are 3 different themes! And one is a farm theme which goes perfectly with the above mentioned book and the animal cracker activity! 
Here is what is included in each pack:
It incorporates hands on activities as well as independent learning. Can be printed in B&W or Color! 

-interactive poster (background and character cut outs)
-anchor chart with list of prepositions
-student reference sheets for journals
-mini card anchor charts
-printables for practice or assessment
-mini booklets
-spin and cover game

Click HERE for Farm

Click HERE for Space

Click HERE for Ocean

I had posted over on FB about a little homophone craft my second graders did my first year of teaching. It works well with the month of Love, February! However, you could do it during other parts of the year if that is when you are teaching homophones. 
Here are a few of my ideas:
Christmas- snowflakes, ornaments
Fall- acorn, leaf, pumpkin
Spring- Egg, raindrop

One teacher in Cali had her kids complete it and here are her results! Super cute!

On my TPT I have a questioning response sheet posted, but also just recently added the Smartboard version of it too for anyone that would prefer it in that format! It is FREE (both versions are) so go grab them!! 

Third grade teachers were studying all about characters and the changes they undergo throughout the story. So I threw a little chart together for them to use to document that in their mentor text! 
This also went along with the song I made! If you missed that post you can check it out below:

Also grab the FREE audio file and document with lyrics to it HERE to do with your kids!

I was walking down the hallway yesterday and one of their kids walked out of their room singing the song and looked at me and said, "You wrote that!" "We just sang it once and it got stuck in our head!" Ha! so cute! That is the point my friend! 

I also just recently uploaded for FREE some reading bookmarks! 
Go grab them HERE

I have also really been enjoying making time for my Cameo projects and heat press. You can check out some of the work over at the FB page in my OCDiy album! I have been known to host giveaways and one was for one of the shirts I made! 

Well there is the melting pot of sorts for the past few weeks! 
Have a BLESSED weekend!