Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Cheer! New craftivity!

Hey guys! I wanted to share a new product I just loaded. We got to use this in third grade right before Christmas break and the kids loved it! They turned out so cute!! You could use this in January too (especially if you live somewhere that winter actually lasts longer than a day haha).

Ms. Jumonville completed this in her holiday rotations. We read the book "Snowmen at Christmas" stopping every once in awhile to orally think aloud and ask questions. Afterward, the kids each got the templates for the body and the arms. They filled out the title, main idea, and 2 details to support the main idea from the story. They used the arm templates and also drew their own face details on themselves. They also added details around as time permitted.

If your kids are not ready for main idea and details don't worry! The resource also included basic story elements (character, setting, problem & solution)! 

Here is an overview of the resource:
Winter is such a great time to have some fun and get creative! Use this with a snowman book or any winter/holiday book fiction or nonfiction!! 
It covers two different skills:
-main idea and supporting details
-Story elements (setting, character, problem, solution)

You get to choose which template works best for you! 

What's included:
-two templates (as described above)
-list of snowmen books (to get you started or use any book of your choice)
-picture examples of kids work
-templates for body parts or tracers (optional)

Click here to take a look for more! 

Have a BLESSED week!! 
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Easy, Healthy, and oh so delish! In 5 ingredients or less!

Are you like me and loathe cooking? No? I probably am the 1% of the population that basically just loves to eat but hates the prep work. I would think that after having a stay at home mom who basically taught us our way around a kitchen that it would have rubbed off or something...or something eh? Now I am so very grateful and blessed to have been able to be raised on good home cooking but it just didn't seep into my bones to want to do it myself lol. I just really need to be in the mood too. And you can forget about any recipes that have more than one ingredient...haha just kidding, but for real, it needs to not be a very intricate recipe. We do a lot of crock pot around these parts. I am a dump, stir, wait kind of girl at the end of a long work day. Well, crock pot does get old too after awhile and I need variety so we decided to branch out. haha. This easy little chicken "stir-fry"ish recipe is super easy and very tasty!!

-ground chicken (2 lbs is what we do to have left overs)
-chopped broccoli (fresh is best-but we had frozen on hand)
-Riced cauliflower (substitute for rice-my friend showed me this and it is AMAZING!)
-salt/pepper/onions/butter (to taste) 
-olive oil (we use avocado oil)

1. Toss some oil in your skillet
2. Brown your chicken
3. Dump your broccoli in and stir
4. Sprinkle in your riced cauliflower and stir some more
5. Sprinkle in the salt/pepper/onions/butter as needed and stir

It should only take about 10-15 minutes maybe 20 including browning meat time. You can tell when that meat is good and cooked.
We also love to sprinkle cheese on top while it is still hot!! 

The great thing is the oil, butter, and the riced cauliflower makes everything moist and creamy. The best part is this is low carb from not using actual rice and high protein with your veggies included!! YUMMO! See what I mean when I say I am a low maintenance gal when cooking. Well and my hubby was the one who whipped this one up too! Love him! 

Let me know what you think of this if you make it! Hope it helps make dinner a little easier and faster for all the peeps on the go! 

Hope you all had a BLESSED Christmas!!

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28: 19

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Easy Ornament DIY

Ever have an interest in making your own ornaments? They are super easy and can be easily within a budget! 

Here is what you'll need:
-Mop & Glo (some people use poly acrylic)
-Funnel (not pictured)
-Glitter (colors of your choice- Hobby Lobby has a great selection, but I have also purchased from Walmart)
-Clear ornaments (Hobby Lobby is where I find the cube ones, many people use the rounded ones, it is all preference. I have found applying the vinyl is super easy with the flatter surface)
-Vinyl/Silhouette Machine (optional- if you don't have this item then you can always buy pretty stickers!)

So here is how easy it is!
1. Open the top of the ornaments
2. Pour some Mop & Glo in (I eyeball the amount every time-but you don't want a ton)
3. Put your finger over the ornament opening and swish the Mop & Glo around really well to cover all of the inside of the ornament
4. If you have extra liquid you can pour it out
5. Use the funnel to pour your glitter into the ornament (you'll want enough to cover all of the inside of the ornament without any bare spots so you may need to play around with the amount for yourself)
5. Shake it all around really well
6. If you see any bare spots you can add more if needed
7. Let it dry over night 

Now if you have a vinyl machine then you can measure and cut your choice of decoration for the outside as I did, if you don't you can always use sharpies to decorate and get creative. I have also used pretty stickers as well! 

See how easy?! Now go make some ornaments! 
Hobby Lobby had a 6 pack of the clear ornaments on sale this week for 66% off of $6!! You can't beat that! So I stocked up for next year! 

Hope you have a BLESSED week!! 
Next up: Christmas Wrap up-a ton of activity ideas you can use for next year!! Keep your eyes peeled!

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17

Friday, December 9, 2016

FREEBIE, Giveaway, Collaboration, & Christmas Spirit

Hey everyone! Just a quick check in- this time of year is chaotic for all! Most of the following updates I already posted through my FB page, but in case you don't follow that, then here are some updates of the Beierleland world! 
PS. You might want to follow the Facebook page to get regular updates and see giveaway's and freebies that I may not do here all the time! 

New song!!
If you don't follow my FB or Twitter (@blessedocdiva) pages then you might have missed the new song! So my third grade team and I were planning for the newest unit of study in January and it is mainly about character development, analysis, comparisons, and how our stories are like mountains. One of the third grade teachers started singing "She'll be Coming Round the Mountain" as a joke, but I took it a little seriously and got super excited and told them I'd make them a song for it! Well I went home and started singing and humming and I laid in bed thinking of all these lyrics and fell asleep only to not remember anything in the morning. *sigh* BUT, have no fear, I came home again with my voice memo and walked around the kitchen and created something better than the night before. 
I wanted it to be something they could easily teach and hit the concepts they were trying to incorporate. One of my 3rd grade teachers just so happens to live two houses across from me and once I finished we were in the street singing for all to hear haha. 
Even though it was created for third grade, it really could be used in multiple grade levels-even if taught in sections. :) At this point I have gotten over the embarrassment of singing-maybe from years of first grade or maybe just because I don't care because I am having so much fun creating and sharing. So with that said, feel free to use the download with your kids so you don't have to sing, or use it to model and then sing along! The link below will take you to the audio file and downloadable lyrics as seen here. 

You can also visit FB to listen to the song audio file before downloading below.
 (it was too big to load here)

Click HERE to go to TPT and download your FREE tune and lyrics!

So if you've known me for awhile, then you probably have figured out how important the element of collaboration is to me. #soapbox. I truly believe that we can not reach our full potential for ourselves but better yet for our students unless we are collaborating and sharing. I saw this quote and it just spoke to my collaboration soul. When I was team leader one of my goals each year was to make sure we were collaborating and adjusting our abilities. This field of education encompasses so many aspects and could very easily swallow your every waking hour. So why not spread that weight across people? Why not support each other? Why not help others? There are so many amazing ideas out there and so many different ways to teach concepts. Don't be an idea hoarder. Sometimes it may be hard to share because you may feel what you have to offer isn't worthy or people may not like it or use it, but the truth is how will you know if you don't share? 

Our third grade team has made their community area very festive for Christmas. They had the kids create little ornaments for the tree.  Funny story, I walked out of my office to find my crate of books had gone missing. I was like "Someone stole my crate!" I mean I guess they needed it more than I did. Well I walked into the 3rd grade community area and found it sitting under the tree with the books in it to help the tree stand. I found the culprit and thank goodness I love her ;) but actually we started talking and realized it was super cute under the tree and next year probably have books around it too! 

 I love using Vista-Print each year for our holiday cards. Well they always seem to get me at the end when I am checking out-kind of like the road to the checkout at TJ Maxx, Homegoods, or Ross. All those little fun trinkets and food they place in all the most convenient spots to tempt you on your way to checkout. Vista-print does the same thing! And of course I gave in and added to my order. I added a custom mousepad with my blog series and logo.

Lastly, Guess what is knocking on our door? 2017!! Can you believe it? It is that time you are hitting mid-year with the kids and you may want to update parents on student progress but you are short on time to hold 24 conferences all over again. That's what these progress notes are meant for! To give updates on all your kiddos right before holiday break, or even right when they get back! They are easy to fill out and cover behavior as well as academics. Easily adaptable to fit your needs! 
A winner will be announced Saturday!      
Go over to my FB page to enter asap! It is super duper easy in 3 steps!

Have a BLESSED weekend! Christmas break is SO close!!

"Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."
2 Corinthians 7

Sunday, November 20, 2016

You're an Instructional Coach..Now What?! 10 Tips to help navigate the field!

So I have done 4 months so far on the other side. Is there a learning curve? For sure! Is everyday a learning day? You bet! This job is unlike anything I have done in 9 years. I have never multi-tasked like a boss as I have in these short 4 months. When you are in the classroom bubble as a teacher, you don't always get to see the full spectrum of learning K-5. Especially if you have spent all your teaching time in primary, it is quite an eye opener for working deeply in intermediate. But I have also seen the benefit of a primary teacher having some acknowledgement of what intermediate does and vice versa-to help understand how it all aligns.
I can tell you, there is no training that can fully prepare you for the IC world. It really is kind of a crash course day to day haha. I have a feeling this top ten list may grow throughout the year and years but for now maybe it can help anyone brand new to the IC world get a jump start!

You're on an island:

Okay so this is more of a realization but leads straight into find your tribe! You have to find your accountability partners. So you're not a "teacher" anymore and you're not "admin", but still part of the leadership team. It really is a gray area. In our district we have Cohorts-groups of about 8 IC's. We have the entire district group of IC's to reach out to but this really helps kind of narrow it down to a smaller group to reach out to when needed. When I first met them I was really riding the Strugglebus and I was upfront about that with them haha. Now that is our cohorts name ;) 

Having a few or a group of other IC's that know and understand what you do and go through is such a wonderful thing. You can trust if you need to vent it's a safe place. If you want to share victories they  are there to celebrate. If you have a million and one questions (like me) they are there to reach out to and help- without judgement! 

Keep seeking, investigating, and digging:

As a teacher you are always learning. Education is an ever moving target. Just when you think you are aiming at the bulls eye....
Being an IC is learning new things on steroids. K-5 is a very large span to try to be proficient. Even with all my experience in primary I am always learning, but with very little experience in intermediate this learning curve is quite large. You have to be disciplined and driven to seek information and want to learn, not only for yourself, but for the benefit of your teachers and their kids. 
Here are some great books to dive into:


Clarify expectations-what is your focus:

This is so important!! If you don't, you may end up spending time in an area that is not worth it or not spending time in area that really needs it. This would be a great conversation to have with your principal. Have an open discussion about what their expectations are for your job that year, semester, nine weeks, etc. The goals might change throughout the year and that is okay, but to make the expectations very clear is what is important. What is your principals/schools mission and vision and goals? Are you aligned with those? Or are there some discrepancies?  Does your principal want you to focus on coaching, co-teaching, data, PLC (professional learning communities)/PWC (professional working communities)/PDR's (professional development rotations), or other unlisted areas? Once you know the expectations, you can dive in and really make an impact for success.

Prioritize your many hats: 

In one day I could be anywhere and everywhere.
Working in literacy library coding books, in plannings, making assessments, meeting with kids, earning playtime with kids who made good choices, off campus at meetings, observing and giving feedback to teachers etc,etc, etc.
You will probably never have real balance, so I am not going to say to maintain a balance. What you do need to do is be wise with your time and resources. Obviously I am a planner so I make tons of lists to help myself stay on track. I also have learned (will always be learning) how to say no or not yet. 

Build relationships:

This encompasses a domino affect. 
Building relationships-builds trust-makes for effective communication-plants the seed for effective collaboration-in turn makes targeted planning-turns into effective teaching-increases student engagement- helps raise student achievement.
Pretty self explanatory! Trust is so important to build with other teachers. They need to know that you are for them and with them. Knowing you are not there as a "gotcha" or to pass judgement, but to help foster and grow their passion. 

Something I'd always joke with my team when I was team leader was "Hey if this ship is going down, we are all going down together." Not that I meant it in a negative way at all but more of a, "we are going to work together to be navigating this ship and if we encounter a problem we aren't sacrificing just one, but all in it together no matter what." Now hopefully we have some awesome life boats and life vests. ;) 
I want to know that my colleagues have my back and I have theirs. That we can count on each other to lift each other up and push each other (not each others buttons or off a ledge haha) but our ability to think outside the box and try new things with the risk of failure, but safety to know if you do fail it is going to be alright!

Teach them to fish-coach to problem solve not solve problems:
I want to hug this tip! Steve Barkley gave so much insight when he said this! Don't create learned helplessness!! In kids or adults, people! Don't become an enabler. Now, I LOVE to help, anyway I can, all the time. But I have to find the balance between coaching, leading, helping, and doing it FOR them. 

Importance of using questioning with teachers:

We learned the importance of this very recently when Steve Barkley came to visit our group and spent two days discussing this and he provided a document to help get the brain trained to do this. Because for real, tailoring your questioning is an art form! 

Ask Questions:

And not to disappoint Mr. T...
This one is for yourself. You don't know what you don't know. So don't be shy asking and clarifying. There are SO many new aspects that present themselves when taking on the IC job. Especially if you are coming from a primary background and now swimming through the intermediate world or vice versa. I am currently working on a growing document for this year as a new IC -a tips and tricks and helpful trainings for new IC's coming from primary, intermediate or even just new IC in general. I am hoping to submit that at the end of the year so they can share it out to hopefully incorporate that each year when hiring. 
I am not normally shy about asking questions because I'd rather know than be oblivious or act like I know it all. I also like to know the "why" behind things as well. Not just personally, but also to be able to reinforce and describe that to teachers. 

Gain a common knowledge:

Having only been teaching for 9 years and moving campuses I have still noticed how different teaching can be from classroom to classroom, campus to campus, even district to district. This also goes well with asking questions. Asking- What does it look like? What does it sound like? How do you deliver it? 

Listen and observe more than talk:

If you are married then you might understand the scenario of venting having a productive conversation talking to your hubby and just wanted him to just listen vs. giving a solution or fixing the problem right away. Not that it is meant to be harmful or from a negative place, but sometimes I just want him to listen so I can get it out into the open. This can ring true for teachers as well. Sometimes you just need to listen, observe, and process for them. 

Well that's my top ten! Thank you to Kelly (my IC BFF) for giving her input on this list also! 

Have a BLESSED week!
Thanksgiving is coming! Get those fat pants ready!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Five for Friday-New Product, DIY, Non Fiction, Contractions, Praise!

So can ya'll believe it is almost November?! Crazy!! It has been full steam ahead lately over here! My brain feels a little tired so a quick link up for 5 for Friday is all I have for now!

I finally was able to pull together a little Halloween activity pack. This is my first holiday related product and it was fun to do! I have some more ideas for some others I hope to get started on. My original plan was just to go into the first grade classrooms and just do a read aloud for the teachers on Monday and then that spiraled into creating a fun activity to do with them afterwards, which then turned into a mini packet. However, I have some meetings going down on Monday so I am not sure if I will make it all around. But I am going to TRY! 
Here's a little overview of what is in this:
-Dog template to create craft
-Give Oscar a new costume
-2 Story element activities
-Book review
-Text to Self Connections
-DIY Word Family Sort
-Trick or Treat (true or false)
-Create your own Trick or Treat
-Verb practice
-Verb cards
-Story element cards
-2 Odd/Even sort
-Count by 5's cut/paste
-Count by 2's cut/paste
-On/off the decade practice
-Place Value 

Click HERE to check it out! 
I am also doing a Giveaway for it until Sunday October 30th over at my FB page

Project fun!
I've used my little machine more this year than I ever did in the classroom...weird and crazy but finally! 
Here are some fun little projects for others I have worked on recently.

Our 3rd grade has been digging deep into Nonfiction lately! 
After they worked on the the Ladder activity (you can find that previous post here), they needed a little something for finding main idea with their NF books. I tried to put together a hand template off the computer but the fingers for the details were too skinny for them to I decided drawing it had to be done! I think it turned out pretty good for free hand and all! (no pun intended)

Then I walked in the other day and one of the teachers had taken initiative to create another organizer for them to record their info! 

Some of our teachers are teaching contractions and I showed them a quick way to do that!
-sentence strips and/or index cards (strips of paper)
-markers or pencils

The picture pretty much explains it all! You fold over the strip once you have written your words and have the folded part reveal the contraction. A sentence using that contraction can then be written on the back (if you use a sentence strip)

Our shout out board at school is in full swing! I love seeing others praise each other and pull out the good going on around them! It's so much more than just one person! Look how many awesome things are going on for each other and for the KIDS! 

Well hopefully I can be back soon with more ideas!! I know another 3rd grade teacher that has created some great Nonfiction activities for their students to do some research!

Have a BLESSED weekend!