Monday, September 1, 2014

A Year Of Awesome

Today is my last official day of holidays. Labor Day. The summer is over, and tomorrow a new set of smiling faces will be sitting in front of me. I hate to see the summer end, but every new year holds such promise - new opportunities to grow, and learn, and guide these little people to new understandings.

This year, I am committing myself to focus on the most positive events in my day. Not that I'm a negative person by nature... that's not true, but I want this year to be different. This year, I'm planning on challenging myself to find at least one AWESOME thing about every day. This is going to be my Year of Awesome!
You'll see me write about some of these things on Facebook, but each Saturday I'll post something on my blog about the week at school. I'm going to find the AWESOME in every single day of this school year.

Would you like to join me?

Look for my Saturday posts with this button to link up your own awesome stories!

To everyone heading back to school tomorrow... I hope you have a truly awesome day! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

iDoceo Planner Demystified!

When I got my new iPad this week, my first purchase was the iDoceo app. Everyone I asked recommended it.

However, when I purchased and started digging around with the features I couldn't for the life of me figure out the planner. I asked on my Facebook page, but everyone who responded seemed to only use the class list and markbook features.

After much playing around I think I've got the basics! You see, the main reason that I believe it was as clear as mud to work with was that the planbook seems to be geared to teachers who see different classes throughout the day. So as I was trying to plan different subjects for one Grade 2 class, the app was seeing just one class. Period.

I see real value in using this program, now that I have figured out the basics, and want to share for all those who are only using it to half its potential!

Here we go. I started by building one "class" which was really a subject area for my second grade class. In this case it was my Grade 2 Literacy subject. I entered the student list for this class and then proceeded to create new "classes" for each of my subject areas.

I did this by clicking the "Add" button under the Classes menu option on the ruler at the left side of the page. (You can see that it is highlighted.)

Then, I was easily able to copy the class list I had already entered for Literacy to all the other classes I had created. I visited the Literacy class, clicked the wrench icon at the top and selected "Students".

From there, I selected "All" and hit "Copy" at the top of the dialogue box.

You can see that the other subjects I've created are provided as options. I did this for each of these subjects so that everything I teach includes my class list.

Now for tackling the actual planner itself. I selected "Calendar" on the ruler at the left side of the page. Before doing anything, I entered all of our school holidays and P.A. Days. My school works on a 5-day cycle rather than days of the week and so this affects how my schedule develops. 

After entering my holidays, I selected "Cycle" on the top right. I was prompted to select the first days that represent my cycle. You can see those next to the colored boxes below. The colors match the dates from September 2 to 8. Next to each of the colored boxes on the right I was able to tap to add the "classes" I'd already created in the order I teach them throughout the day - my daily schedule.

When that is done, I touched "Manual Copy" at the bottom, and began selecting the next day (my next Day 1) as far along the year as wanted. (I only filled September because I want to have the flexibility to easily change things if I need to. For instance, I rotate my Science and Social Studies units so that I'm teaching one or the other. I'll be able to change Science to SS before I continue the day cycle further into the year.)

You can see here that as I extended my schedule into September that the app automatically skipped the scheduled P.A. Day on September 26th and placed the next Day 4 on the following Monday. YES!!

Once I have my days scheduled on the calendar, they appear on my planner! (See "Planner" on the ruler menu at the left side of the page.)

When I choose the class (subject) I am interested in planning for, I am able to select the diary in several views - day view, week view (as below) or month view, using the tiny red tabs at the bottom of the page. I am able to see that it is Literacy I am editing by checking the heading at the top of the page.

When I look at the day view for a subject, I can see the plans I've entered for that time period (Assembly) in addition to the other subject areas that are scheduled for that day! You can see that Grade 2 Literacy is in Period 1 and Grade 2 Science is in Period 3!

Finally, if I choose the Day planner on the left, rather than a specific class, I will see all of the subjects I'll be teaching for each calendar day. I can tap in each of these spaces to add my lesson information.

 Phew! I hope this makes sense! It took much puzzling for me to figure it out, and I hope that this has been helpful to you! If you have any questions just leave them below and I'll do my best to help!

While you're here, don't forget to enter my 1000 TpT Follower Giveaway!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

1000 TpT Follower Celebration!!

Woo hoo!! It has finally arrived! I've hit the milestone of 1000 followers at my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I couldn't be more pleased that so many people have enjoyed my creations enough to click that little star! What better way to celebrate this awesome achievement than to throw a party with some of my friends and fellow TpT sellers?!
That's right! Over 65 prizes have been donated (most of which are Winner's Choice!) allowing me to create FIVE huge Prize Packs! In addition to each of the amazing prizes you see below, every winner will receive a special gift from me:

Let's get this started! Enter as many giveaways as you like! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for joining me in this celebration! Best of luck to each of you! The Rafflecopter forms will close at midnight on Monday, September 1st, and I will choose and notify the winners within 48 hours!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet The Teacher Blogger

What a whirlwind these past couple of weeks have been! I've been busy preparing my classroom for the first day of school, getting a huge celebration ready to go, and finishing up some fun products! I'm finally finding some time to sit down and tell you a little more about myself.

I'm a 30-something wife, teacher, TpT and TN creator, traveler and blogger. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 11 years, but have spent nearly 16 years of my life with him. I'm so lucky to have found this kindred spirit! We are such a great match!
I have taught for 16 years in the elementary system in Ontario, Canada - 13 of those years were in Grade 5! Last year, I made the huge leap to Grade 2/3 and the primary division is where I'll stay this year in a Grade 2 classroom. I have a Specialist certificate in Primary/Junior Mathematics.

These are a few of my favorite things...

Travel is definitely at the top of my list. My hubby and I have traveled all over Europe and the Caribbean, and have made it as far as Hawaii in the other direction! Some other things I'm especially fond of are reading, good wine and good food, my iPhone, tea, concerts, theatre and chocolate - in no particular order! ;)
Last summer in St. Petersburg, Russia

If you weren't a teacher, what would you want to be?

Ooohh... that's a tough one. I've wanted to be a teacher as long as I can remember. Seriously, even as a child! I love history. The ancient sort. So perhaps something in archaeology? I have no idea! lol

Three little words that describe you.

Sensitive. Loving. Particular.

Finish the sentence, "__________, said no teacher ever!"

 (You know I love you, Tiffany! lol)

Q: It's your birthday and you can invite anyone (dead or alive) to the party. Who are you inviting?

I'd love to have some time with my grandparents, as an adult. I lost my last grandparent when I was in my early 20s, but now, as a "real" grown-up, I'd love to talk to each of them about their childhoods/pasts. Now for fun, I'd be okay with Johnny Depp showing up. He can play his guitar, and I can just look at him! ;)

Q: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would be the title?

Passport to Paradise - kinda sounds R-rated, doesn't it?! lol

Q: You get to pick one superpower. What is it?

Absolutely teleportation!! As much as I love travel, I hate travel! Haha! I want to be away, but could do without the planes, trains and automobiles that are required at either end!

Q: What's your favorite quote or saying?

I don't have just one favorite, so I'm going with, "Carpe Diem - seize the day"!

Q: If you had to sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

Oh, wow. I have absolutely no idea. It would have to be something retro. Maybe a little Bon Jovi! (I'm an 80s girl!) Or The Killers. I LOVE The Killers.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night owl?

That depends on the time of year. During the school year I'm a morning person, because I have to be. During the summer, I'm more of a night owl, because I can!!

Q: What is your favorite resource that you've created in your TpT store?

I really love my "Good Readers" Mini Books because they are just so darn FUN!!
My students are always so engaged when we break out the Mini Books!

Share something we might not know about you.

I am really close to some milestones in my TpT store! I'm just waiting on 12 more followers before breaking out a BIG celebration!! :)

Phew! That was a lot of introspection! Haha! Why not pop over to Falling Into First and join up yourself? Not a blogger? No problem! Head over and meet the author of another blog!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting This Garden Growing!

Today was Day #2 in my classroom. Two weeks from today there will be little faces looking back at me, but for now I'm working on getting organized. One of my big projects today was to begin preparing my Heart Garden display. If you missed my previous post on this, you can read about it here.

On the to-do list today was my tree. I had Susanna at Whimsy Workshop Teaching design this for me, and she didn't disappoint. I was going to drag an old overhead projector down to my room for this (I even made the transparency!) and then I had a "Eureka!" moment... I used my SMART Board! It was a little tricky when the cursor made something jump on the screen, but it worked pretty well!
I got much farther than I even anticipated, not only getting the tree traced, but cut out AND the posters laminated and trimmed! I am SO thrilled with how it looks!

The little posters are magnetic - I'll be able to move them around on my board. (Yes, it is a chalk board! lol I know they are somewhat outdated!)

I'm super-excited to start adding hearts to this display, and continue adding throughout the school year! Stay tuned for more updates on this fun program!

Another big job that I'm happy to have more than half-finished is sorting, cleaning and re-labeling my classroom library! Today I made it through 3 of my 5 shelving units and I'm pretty impressed with how it is looking. Last year's paint job has held up pretty nicely, I think!
You can see my new bin labels. The book labeling will be left for another time - just maybe a good job for my lunch helpers! ;) I imagine I'll have lots of volunteers when mid-winter arrives!

If you're interested, both of these products will be included in tomorrow's HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers Back-To-School Booster Sale! They will both be 28% off when you use the promo code BOOST.

Best wishes to you for a great transition back into the classroom, or a great school year if you've already begun!

One last thing before you go... I'm nearing 1000 store followers on Teachers Pay Teachers and have a HUGE giveaway planned! Head over to follow me to make this closer to a reality, and let the fun begin! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting Back Into The Swing

Hello! Sorry for the absence these past weeks, but this gal is on holidays! ;) I really SHOULD be setting up my classroom right now, but here I am... sitting in front of my computer talking to you! With good reason, however, as I have two really exciting things to share!

Well, maybe I shouldn't say "share" as I'm not going to tell you too much right now... but here is a little teaser:
Who doesn't LOVE awesome?!

Second, if you don't follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store yet, you are going to want to! That's because:
Click the image to head over, find the RED STAR and click it to follow my store! I can't wait to share the news with you!

Have a great week!