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New Job Planning & Prep + C.Jayne Teach "Perfectly Imperfect" Giveaway!

10 July 2014

After being hired this Summer for a Kindergarten teacher position starting in September I immediately did my research on what planner I need and how to keep myself organized.  I am already familiar with the Kindergarten CCSS since I student taught in a Kindergarten classroom (in addition to teaching K-7 technology for 2 years).  Anyways, after perusing the Internet and Pinterest *of course,* I was between the Erin Condren Teacher Planner and the Teacher Anchor from C.Jayne Teach.

About 2 years ago I had the EC Life Planner and loved it, but since then I had moved on to the Lilly Pulitzer agendas (JUMBO and large).  Now I have a monogrammed Saffiano leather coach planner that I use for my personal reminders, but really needed some specifically for lesson planning.

Anyways, even though a lot of teachers I know have the Erin Condren Teacher planner and love it, and may have not heard of the Teacher Anchor YET, I decided to go with the Anchor!  My reasoning = you get a spiral bound lesson planner, and a binder for anything extra you want to keep track of (ie. reading levels, pt conferences...etc...), in addition the creator of the Teacher Anchor, Chandra is an inspiration to all new and old teachers!!  She has a wonderful personality and it shows in her product!  Lastly, the final reason I went with the anchor is that MORE TEACHERS NEED TO SEE IT IN ACTION!

C. Jayne Teach Anchor

Erin Condren Lesson Planner
To celebrate my new job and my Teacher Anchor I decided to do a C. Jayne Teach giveaway!  The prize is a "Perfectly Imperfect" Teacher Anchor binder in blue with the inserts (not the spiral bound plan book).  The only imperfection is the binder edge is a little dented and some of the inserts are cut-off at the top.  It is still in great condition and I'm sure for the 2014-2015 year will get thrown around in the classroom (especially elementary school!).

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July Currently

01 July 2014

Today is the 1st of July and I am linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade!  I'm not sure why I am so excited that it is July!  I mean, you would think I would've been more excited for June (especially because I took a trip to Greece and turned 26!)  Anyways, I am #226 on the link up and so excited to take some time to go through and visit each of the blogs participating in the July Currently!

Our AC stopped working this past week, so having it back has been a blessing.  Unfortunately the hubby is without AC at work and they don't plan on fixing it.  #boughthimafan  I'm taking a trip to Cape May sometime in August for a weekend and hopefully on July 4th I will be going to the beach, which is why I am so excited about my Ostrich lounge chair (NOT MADE OF OSTRICH..haha..)  
It folds up and has a strap to easily carry it.  Personally I absolutely hate sand, but I do love the beach!

If you haven't read my previous post I just got back from Greece and I really just want to go back!  Everything about it was magical, but I guess since I have to, I'll be happy with my upcoming beach trips!

Don't forget to link up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade!

Greece Vacation & BITBELT Jr Giveaway!

Back from my Summer vacation in Greece!  Would've posted earlier, but I've been busy prepping for my new job as a kindergarten teacher starting in September.  *I'll get to that later...  Greece was breathtaking!  We started out at the Westin Resort in Costa Navarino, making a pit stop in Naflio.  My husband got really good at driving, though I would recommend having a navigation system/phone---google maps that works.  We ended up driving up a mountain that had a few guard rails, some caution tape in places, and occasionally nothing.  Oh and did I mention that we could not figure out why their were so many tiny bird houses all over the places ---- well they were memorials for the 100's of people who have driven off the cliff in all the years.  When we are arrived at the resort and told them the route we came they were like "YOU DID WHAT?"

Anyways, we made it and had 4 beautiful and sunny days lounging by the pool and beach.  Even got our own cabana one day!  We learned to paddle board and got to be like the kids and go down the water slide!  After the 4th day we drove to Athens (not taking the scary route this time), and met up with our REI tour group, all of which were family and friends of ours.  The tour was called the Greece Islands Family Vacation.

Over the course of the 6 days we climbed the Acropolis in Athens, visited the island of Mykonos and Santorini, in addition to Firah and Eoa.  We also hiked up to an active volcano where you could actually smell the sulfur and feel the heat, swam in the Aegean sea and lounged in the hot springs.

We ate more food than you can even imagine.  Lunch and dinner basically had a salad, 3 appetizers, entree and dessert.  In Greece, breakfast isn't that big of a deal, but the hotels we stayed at had a nice spread.  I mostly had coffee and greek yogurt with honey and peaches.

Now let's get to the GIVEAWAY!  Right before the trip I went out and bought my hubby and I each a Fitbit Flex.  My mom and sister have the Nike Fuelbands, but I did my research and the Fitbit Flex got the best reviews.  Anyways, they were great on our trip, my only concern was that I was constantly worried that it would fall off  --- it did once on the airplane!  As soon as we got back I order the Bitbelt Jr and I love it (mine glows in the dark).  Which is why 1 lucky winner will receive a GLOW IN THE DARK Bitbelt Jr.  (works for = Fitbit Flex, iHealth, Samsung Gear Fit, Soleus & Magic Band/Junior)!

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GOOD LUCK!  #getfit

P.A.W.S and Think

13 May 2014

Developing a strong set of classroom rules that the students understand and are utilized right away are an important first week of school practice.  I had this digital download done by Kasefazem on Etsy, who also designed my little lesson planning notebook and the vector image of my dog. I really love it and can't wait to work with them again to create a behavior chart.  I'd like to also incorporate the header "Off The Leash" or "Leash Laws" to let the students know the classroom rules as well.

Pinterest is an app that for awhile I was obsessed with, especially while I was planning my wedding. Now I am back on it (though not as much as Instagram), and have been non-stop finding great classroom resources to pin and other teacher Pinners to follow.  I absolutely love Sassy School Counselor's Anger Paws (which of course I found on Pinterest) and is available to purchase for $1.00 at TeachersPayTeachers.  My favorite is "PAWS more, Bark less!"

Feel free to follow my Dog Classroom board or any of my other boards on Pinterest!  If you are planning on a dog themed/paw print themed classroom, it is a great resource of ideas!

Spreading a Little Sunshine - Sunshine Blogger Award

16 March 2014

61 degrees yesterday and sunny (with a little wind...)  and to brighten my day, Wendy from Read with Me ABC nominated my blog for a Sunshine Award!  The Sunshine Award is a way for bloggers to get to know each other.  Which is great for me since I am a fairly new blogger and am excited to get more followers and link-up with other bloggers.

11 Random Facts About Me
  1. I love DOGS!  #obsessed
  2. My husband is my best friend and we were high school sweethearts.
  3. I know more about pet products than I probably should. (What are you feeding your pet?)
  4. I honeymooned in South Africa.
  5. I prefer Starbucks coffee over Dunkin Donuts.
  6. I love social media (Facebook, @twitter, #instagram, Pinterest).
  7. My husband proposed to me with a puppy!
  8. I am a DIY person.  Absolutely love crafting.
  9. I have a lot of shoes.
  10. My dog loves me the most in my family. #spoiled
  11. I like to doodle.
11 Questions from Wendy @ Read With Me ABC
  1. Why did you start blogging?  I've been following other teaching blogs for years and was never able to find a teacher as obsessed with dogs as I am or a "dog themed" education blog.  So I decided to make one and share all my resources!
  2. What's your favorite subject to teach?  I love any subject that allows me to utilize technology, but I also really love to teach writing.
  3. If you couldn't teach, what job would you have?  I would probably open my own dog boutique.
  4. I need a new book to read.  What do you recommend?  I sometimes like to read what the kids read because they always ask me "did you read this?"  (Veronica Roth Series, Vampire Academy, Sylvia Day Series, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Revenge Wears Prada).
  5. Where is your favorite place to shop for "Teacher Clothes?"  Lilly Pulitzer and White House Black Market
  6. I love animals. Do you have any pets? YES, I have a Shih Tzu Terrier named Filly.
  7. What is your favorite TV show?  Supernatural
  8. I have a serious sweet tooth.  What is your favorite sweet treat?  Anything chocolate!
  9. Which of your TPT products is your favorite?  I don't have a TPT store yet, but of the resources I've purchased from other TPT stores, my favorite has to be the Dog Collection from Schoolgirl Style.
  10. If you could travel to a sunny location, where would it be?  I'd go back to Bermuda.  One of my most favorite vacations.
  11. Spread a little sunshine.  Share a favorite quote?  "Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink." -- Lilly Pulitzer
My Nominations

Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching is a new blogger friend of mine.  We both obviously love dogs and our blog names are flip flopped!

Julie from The Techie Teacher is a blogger that I have followed for awhile.  She has some great knowledge on all things tech and I hope to collaborate with her in the future.  (One techie to another).

Christi from Ms. Fultz's Corner is the lead consultant for my Jamberry team!  She is also an amazing blogger, blog designer, and has some amazing resources for sale on her TPT page.

11 Questions from Me
  1. Who designed your blog?
  2. Do you have any pets?
  3. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing?
  4. What is something you can't live without?
  5. Where is your favorite place to shop for "teacher clothes?"
  6. What is your favorite holiday?
  7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  9. Are you a PC or Mac person?
  10. Do you have any hobbies?
  11. Paper planner or computer planner?  (2 planners -- teaching & personal?)

Classroom Decorating

07 February 2014

While I don't currently have a classroom right now, you will constantly find me scribbling notes and doodling pictures with ideas on how I want to decorate my dog themed classroom.  I don't go anywhere without my May Designs Maybook (I just wished they had a paw print design).

Recently I discovered Schoolgirl Style and am obsessed with her Dog Dayz collection, so much so that I bought it, along with the "Decorate Like a Pro" e-book!  I absolutely love the dog silhouettes, and since I learned how to make my own, I'll be able to add a few of Filly around my classroom.  (I wonder if the kids will be able to "spot" him!)  What is great about purchasing the full collection is that it all in a digital format so you can use what you like and many of the items are editable.  Personally I'm not that much into chevron, so I might incorporate more paw prints, polka dots, or some metallic into the mix.  But I definitely need to come up with something for the ceiling!

I've already started accumulating dog-centric items for my "future" room.  I made a trip to the Dollar Store and picked up some really cute dog bowls to use to hold crayons or erasers.  Of course I got the idea from Schoolgirl Style, but I managed to find some with dogs on them already.

I also found these wooden dogs on Etsy and contacted the store owner  to see if she could make larger holes to fit markers.  I got this idea from student teaching in a classroom where the teacher used rectangular blocks of wood, drilled holes in them, and used them to hold the markers.  This ensured that the caps were always on and they didn't dry out.  I'd probably spray paint the dogs black, otherwise I know they will eventually be multicolored.

Have you ever sat in a dog bed?  I've been in classroom where the kids sit on carpet squares or pillows but why not dog beds?  They are super plush and some of them are big enough to fit more than one student which is especially great during partner reading.  While I don't think I'd be able to get a bunch of bagel beds from Baylee Nasco or Bessie and Barnie (unless they donate them), you can easily make your own using with fleece fabric and stuffing!  #diy
The hubby and I have actually started building a mini doghouse from extra wood we found in our shed.  We've already cut the pieces, and pretty soon we will put them together.  Probably once the weather warms up.  We also need to somehow figure out how to cut the opening in the front.  It's been a fun project.  Might have been easier to just by this from Petco, but still, it'll be great when it is finished and the one at Petco is a bit pricey.  All I need now is a Cuddle Clone of Filly to put inside and use as our classroom pet.  #fingerscrossed #enteringcontests #hopeiwin

For my desk I already got a name plate made with paw prints of course!  It is by a company called Kasefazem, which is in Portugal.  I found it on Etsy.  *I love Etsy!  Isn't it adorable.  They can make it in any color.  Originally I had it in pink, but I decided black was better.  I also got a notebook made and a classroom rules sign (digital format).

Desk Name Plate

Both my notebook and classroom rules sign have a custom illustration of Filly!  I will definitely have to remember to do a future post titled "the many illustrations of Filly," because I have a lot!

Classroom Rules: P.A.W.S and Think

Currently February

03 February 2014

Yay for February!  I love this month.  You walk into any store and you see hearts.  I mean who doesn't love hearts.  Anyways, I'm officially freezing right now during this snow day!  #can'tfeelmyfeet  Filly and I just spent the last hour+ with his best dog friend playing in the snow so I'm very cold which is why my electric heater is on right next to me.

While the schools I sub for currently have a snow day today and are probably not thrilled since they've used up all their allotted days and are now adding days onto the end of the year, I am being very productive today.  Chores, job search, lots of laundry...

The hubby has been at work since 5am and probably won't be home until 8pm (maybe later).  He is a Maintenance Supervisor for DuPont and in charge of snow patrol.  It's a big site so they need to shovel, plow and salt.  During the last snow storm he actually stayed overnight because it didn't make sense to come home, sleep for less than 2 hours, and go back.

My computer is going to need to be replaced soon.  It is a late 2008 Macbook but in addition to needing a new battery, it is super loud!  I'll probably turn it in for some sort of discount on a new Macbook Air 11 inch.

Anyone else eat a ton of food last night during the Superbowl.  I am desperately needing to go to the gym but my driveway isn't plowed yet and have only seen maybe 2 cars on the road.  Hopefully I'll be able to go around 4pm.

{2 Truths & a Fib}
  1. I'm a great cook (FIB!) -- haha my husband is much better in the kitchen than me.  I can follow a recipe and I'm good at baking but I'm impatient.  When I'm hungry I want to eat!
  2. I'm planning a trip to Greece (TRUTH!) -- my family is planning a trip to Greece and I'm very excited.  We try to go somewhere every year even if it is not abroad.  Last year was South Africa, the year before that was Disney World.
  3. I used to order the most complicated drink @ Starbucks (TRUTH!) -- I used to actually have to write my own cup because it was so complicated.  Now I don't order it anymore and prefer a Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato, but before it was really weird (and yes I like to mix milks).

Teaching with Emojis & Story Stones

20 January 2014

This year for Christmas I got these really cute emoji stickers in my stocking.  They are really neat and it got me thinking about how fun it would be to incorporate emojis in the classroom, whether via the iPad or with these awesome stickers!

Telling a story through pictures allows students to demonstrate their creativity, but can also be useful for those students who have trouble with verbal communication.  Recently I subbed as a para in a classroom with 3 year old children with Autism.  In the classroom they use Pecs (Picture Exchange Communication System) where the students have pictures to let the teachers know if they want something or how they feel.

Emojis are more universal and in addition to showcasing the emotions of the students, they also include objects which can be used to demonstrate a "want" for something or more generalized in a story.  You can get really creative with using pictures to tell a story.

Another great product that I stumbled upon and fell in love with are Story Stones.  Jacquie, mother of two and owner of The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood (blog & Etsy) designed these beautiful stones.  She is very talented and what makes these stones great is that they are perfect keepsakes for children and give them the freedom to express themselves and use their imagination. #storystones will definitely be making an appearance in my future classroom.

101 in 1001 Days Classroom Activity

01 January 2014

[Repost from my old personal blog--edited and modified for teaching}

Inspired to create my own list by Mackenzie Horan, author of the Design Darling Blog and fellow redhead, I got to work writing down all the things I hope to accomplish in these 2.75 years.  While not specifically related to dogs, I thought it would be a super fun activity to pursue and actually incorporated it into a technology lesson with my middle school students last year.
  1. Come up w/ 101 things to accomplish (September 2012)
  2. Inspire 2 people to make their own list
  3. Get a job teaching in a public school
  4. Take a dance class w/ Scott for wedding 1st dance (April 2013)
  5. Send out holiday cards 1 year (November 2013 - Hanukkah) (December 2013 - Christmas)
  6. Make 10 recipes off of Pinterest
  7. Learn calligraphy (March 2013)
  8. Make an address book w/ family & friend contact info *used Postable (February 2013)
  9. Send 50 handwritten notes (wedding thank you's don't count)
  10. Get an iPad mini (November 2012)
  11. Invest in 3 beautiful coffee table books  (Wedding Dogs, April 2013 - Lilly Pulitzer, June 2011 - Goodnight Moon, May 2013)
  12. Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  13. Write a children's book
  14. Legally change my name
  15. No fast food for a month
  16. Complete an entire coloring book
  17. Do 10 DIY crafts off of Pinterest
  18. Get married to the love of my life! (May 26, 2013)
  19. Convert my handwriting into a computer font (April 2013)
  20. Create an e-portfolio
  21. Become an Apple Distinguished Educator
  22. Become a Google Certified Teacher
  23. Save $100 using coupons @ the supermarket
  24. Participate in The Color Run
  25. Go to a Phillies vs. Red Sox game
  26. See Lady Gaga in concert
  27. Attend an Oktoberfest celebration
  28. Find the perfect beauty and skincare regimen for me
  29. Take a surfing lesson
  30. Cook Scott dinner everyday for 1 month (minus nights out)
  31. Find the perfect little black dress
  32. Make it to the gym @ least 3x a week for 2 months
  33. Drink 8 glasses of water everyday for 1 week
  34. Go on a safari (July 2013 Honeymoon)
  35. Give up soda for 1 month (seltzer is ok)
  36. Invest in a few ebook cookbooks
  37. Visit all 50 states
  38. Ride an elephant (July 2013)
  39. Participate in Doodle-A-Day Challenge
  40. Host a dinner party
  41. Design my own monogram (April 2013)
  42. Take a picture for each letter in the alphabet and make a collage
  43. Wear the right shade of red lipstick (December 2013 - Dior Addict in Sunset Blvd)
  44. Take a class to learn to crochet (October 2013)
  45. Learn to change a tire
  46. Unsubscribe myself from all the email lists that clutter my inbox
  47. Be paid as a freelance blogger or social media manager
  48. Try 10 new beers
  49. Take Scott to see Wicked on Broadway in NYC
  50. Decorate home for the holidays (October 2013, December 2013)
  51. Make my bed everyday for 1 month
  52. Host Thanksgiving dinner (Thanksgivukkah 2013)
  53. Run in the morning before work 20x
  54. Eat dessert 1st @ a restaurant
  55. Make homemade salsa for Scott
  56. Bake every single thing in a cookbook
  57. Take a glass blowing class
  58. Watch the ball drop in Times Square
  59. Attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade
  60. Complete and frame a 1000 piece puzzle
  61. Participate in a cookie exchange
  62. Leave a 100% trip
  63. Try 5 new restaurants
  64. Order off of the Starbucks secret menu
  65. Spend a day cooking and freezing meals
  66. Take Scott to see Cirque du Soleil "O"
  67. Attend a festival
  68. Purchase a Dyson vacuum cleaner
  69. Get a ridiculous manicure w/ a friend (November 2013 w/ Jenn *waxed hands*)
  70. Participate in Starbucks "Pay It Forward"
  71. Sing karaoke in a bar
  72. Try Zumba
  73. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day
  74. Eat @ Pat's cheesesteaks (only ever had Geno's)
  75. Make my own hummus
  76. Be a bridesmaid in someone's wedding
  77. Join a book club
  78. Fly first class/in a sleeping pod
  79. Go sailing
  80. Enter a contest and win (too many times to count!)
  81. See 10 classic movies I've never seen
  82. Go to Martha's Vineyard
  83. Grow fingernails out and keep nicely polished for 1 month
  84. Learn to drive a stick shift
  85. Participate in "Operation Beautiful"
  86. Fix my hair for work everyday for 2 weeks straight
  87. Teach someone else a skill
  88. Get my car detailed
  89. Learn how to navigate the stock market
  90. Try acupuncture
  91. Make a DZ Princess Family Tree
  92. Make a candle
  93. Stomp in a bucket of grapes and make wine
  94. Make my own melted crayon art
  95. Splurge on La Mer face cream
  96. Go to New Zealand
  97. Social Media Free Sunday
  98. Establish a family tradition
  99. Knit a dog sweater
  100. Create a cookbook with recipes I've made and pictures
  101. Visit the Lilly Pulitzer Pink Palace
Classroom Integration

One of the many skills that I taught my students was how to create a numbered and/or bulleted list in Microsoft Word.  Even though I created a very long list, I had them give me a list of 20-50 things they wanted to do before the end of the school year. (School is in session for at least 180 days).  Creating a a bulleted/numbered list is really easy in Microsoft Word.  It is a one-click stop on the toolbar.  However, what I wanted them to do was customize each bullet using a graphic they found online (that related to the post). 

The steps to do this are really simple.  I have found that the hard part for them is using the "save as" feature and locating where they save their pictures.  They struggle with the WANT to use copy/paste.

For example: