Monday, July 23, 2012

Alabama Kindergarten Conference

After my beautiful vacation in Gulf Shores, AL, I drove approximately 6 hours up the state to Huntsville for the Alabama Kindergarten Conference.

On Friday, I got to spend the day learning with Dr. Jean Feldman!!! She's my hero. She even took the time to pose for a photo with me. Normally, I'm not the type of person to go up and ask for a photo, but she made a standing offer to the group and decided to take her up on it! We also danced with paper plates too. That was fun, and I'll definitely be using that in my class...and maybe some straws too!

Then, on Saturday, I got to meet some other teachers who gave me a lot of ideas to use in my classroom.

The keynote speaker was Steven Layne. Honestly, I didn't think that I'd like him when I first walked into the conference, but he blew me away! I loved his humor and his honesty. He has a book out about reading called Igniting a Passion for Reading that I will also be picking up soon. There are too many kids nowadays that just don't enjoy reading, and I want to help curb that distaste!

I took a class from Heidi Butkus of She gave me some great ideas on how to get my kids up and moving in my classroom.

I took another class from Peggy Campbell-Rush. She taught me all about the brain and made me want to research it even more, which is good because it's been on my back burner for awhile now. She also has a new book coming out called Get a Grip! all about fostering fine motor development in young children. I will definitely be getting this book!

The last class I took before rushing home for my niece's 2nd birthday party was by Kimberly Jordano. She has some great journaling ideas that I can't wait to implement into my classroom this fall!

I would have to say that Dr. Jean and Peggy were my two favorite speakers of the weekend. I'm so glad I went, and I hope you have broadened your teaching spectrum this summer with some professional development this summer too!

{I'm going into my classroom today for the first time all summer to start putting it together. Wish me luck!}

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Joy of Being a Teacher

Summer Vacation!
I'm doing this right now so I won't be blogging this week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Versatile Blogger


Thank you to Alison @ Toad-ally Exceptional Learners {one of the newest followers of my panda-monium} for my first blog award for my teaching blog!

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog.

7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.
Okay...7 random facts about myself...
1. I am running in the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013. {join me!}
2. I love to be on stage and perform.
3. I am married to my college sweetheart.
4. I collect Disney Princess movies.
5. I love to bake and hope to open my own bakery one day.
6. Reading is a passion of mine.
7. According to my husband, I'm a "nerd." ;)

So, now...
Here are the 15 bloggers I nominate!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Best Friend

It's July, and I have been slaving away over my curriculum and getting all my back to school stuff put together so I can relax in a week and half because I'll be at the BEACH with one of my teacher friends. We are so excited!

But, I digress...

I have a very special friend that has been getting me through this summer, and it always gets me through the school year too!

My very, very BEST friend for my classroom is my Cricut Expression!
I have been slaving away on the Cricut Craft Room program designing all the @ Sea elements for my classroom. Once I'm finished, all I'll have to do is load the cartridges and switch the paper for the many different cuts. I love my Cricut as it allows me to use "homemade" items rather than "premade" items in the classroom. Plus, in the long run, I believe it to be much cheaper.

Once my classroom is all set up, I'll be sure to take many pictures so you can see all the different elements I employ in my classroom! Right now, my room is not ready to be put together; it'll probably be August before I get any pictures or videos posted.

I use my Cricut Expression for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I make my signs with it. I make birthday cards for the kids with it. I made activities with it or templates with it. It is a huge timesaver. For example, if I need bodies for the kids to do an art project with, instead of copying them on paper and then cutting them out, all I have to do is program my Cricut with an amount and let it do the work. Super simple. Super easy. Super fun!

Here's a little sneak peek at what my Cricut does and how I am using it in the classroom:

Do you have a Cricut Expression or another Cricut product? How do you use it in your classroom?

{source :: cartridge helper}

{{p.s. I was not asked to write or discuss any Cricut products on my blog nor was I compensated for this blog post.}}