Sunday, August 28, 2011

Looking for a Sub Folder

Hello Talented Teachers :)

Can someone point me in the direction of an awesome sub folder kit? I know I've seen several on various blogs, but I just can't seem to find any at the moment.

I'll also take any ideas on what you've done that has worked well for you in the past.

Thanks bunches!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Exciting New School Year...

is about to start! I am super excited to say that I have just been hired as a 2nd grade teacher at Defiance Elementary! I am now a bulldog. :)
I've been busy getting my room ready for Open House on the 23rd. As soon as I've gotten as ready as I can be I'll post pics.

I can't wait to meet my students and start the year. I could not have asked for a better school district to be part of. I am so blessed!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I am a College Graduate!

Three months after I turned 32 I reached a major life milestone:
college graduate

I balanced being a full-time college student with being a full-time student teacher, wife and mother (and housekeeper, chef, personal shopper, laundress, and maid!).

I almost made it through the ceremony tear-free until the very end when the President asked all the parents, spouses and children of the graduates to stand and be acknowledged for their support of the graduates over the past 4 years. I truly could not have been so successful throughout my college experience without the love and support of my husband, parents and son. (((Hugs to each of them)))

Now that this chapter has come to an end I cannot wait to begin the next, full of the eager little learners I will nurture, inspire, and teach!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Dress, One Changed Life at a Time

I'm a faithful follower of this really cool blog called MegaSimple. Recently, on a day off of school due to snow, I clicked onto Megan's blog expecting to read all about a yummy new recipe or super-cute craft project. Instead I find this post that spoke - no screamed - to me from the screen.

Amy Seiffert is chronicling her daily experiences of wearing the same gray dress every day for 6 months to raise awareness for the victims of human trafficking. At the end of her journey, Amy will donate the money she would have spent on clothing to The Daughter Project, an organization right here in Northwest Ohio devoted to rehabilitating girls rescued from sexual slavery.

I, myself, have had a personal encounter with this horrific crime against young girls and women. In May 2010 I had the opportunity to teach abroad in Cambodia. While I was there I visited many shelters designated to provide a safe haven for those brave enough to escape the trade. I also had the unfortunate, yet life-changing experience of witnessing human trafficking in the act.

As I read through Amy's blog the desire to act - to do something about this - began to take shape in my mind, in my soul. So, like any normal cyber-stalker, I looked Amy up on Facebook. Sure enough, she had a page. So I sent her a message.

This is what it said...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Keepin' Up With Technology

Add Image
I have an iPod Touch and {LOVE} it!

I use it constantly.

I've seen them used in classrooms occasionally, but Mrs. Walksy's first graders use them every day. Check out this excellent blog post for a list of apps and multiple ways to use them to enhance learning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Me - stylish? Aww, shucks!

I've been given the:

by Kim at Sailing Into First Grade

Thanks, bloggy buddy!

Since I've received this award I have to:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award. (check!)

2. Share 7 things about yourself. (check!)

~ I have been happily married to my husband Shawn for nearly 9 years - we've been together for 13!

~ I am the proud mommy of one super-cool kid named Jackson.

~ I am currently student teaching in a kindergarten class. I'll be done the day before Good Friday. I'm already starting to get chocked up at the thought of leaving my kinder kids. :(

~ I will {finally!} graduate in May with my degree! Woot! It's been a L_O_N_G time coming.

~I had the most ah-mazing opportunity to teach overseas in Cambodia last May. It has forever changed my life as a person. You can read about it here.

~ In my spare time, my favorite hobby is browsing through the many great teacher blogs on the 'net for great ideas to enhance my {future} little learners' time in my classroom.

~ I am beginning the job search. I cannot wait until I have my very own classroom full of eager learners!

3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.(check!)

What The Teacher Wants! {LOVE} this blog! It is such an awesome resource. This blog is always one of my go-to blogs for ideas and inspiration.

Growing Kinders This blog always has super-cute printables to use for every theme and holiday. This really helps a newbie like me!

Little Learners Lounge
I just {love} the coll ideas this teacher mommy does with her sweet little one at home. (Mommy Hugs!)

Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten This teacher's support for her student teacher makes my heart happy! As a student/beginning teacher that support means the world.

First Grade Fun This blog has such cool music in her playlist! My son {loves} it when I visit her blog. :)

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about this award (check!)

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Coolest Show-and-Tell Ever!

Hannah had a little lamb...

Who followed her to school today...

It made the children laugh and play!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meet the Teacher

A lil' bit about Mrs. Beck

My husband, Shawn, and I have been married for almost 9 years - together for 13! He is the {love of my life}, my soul mate. Shawn has encouraged me and supported all my crazy ideas. He is my biggest fan, and I am his biggest cheerleader.

Our son Jackson is 6 (he would want me to tell you he's 6 and-a-half!), loves kindergarten, karate, and all things Star Wars. He was a big part of my decision to go back to school. I hope to be an inspiration to him to dream big and reach his goals no matter what gets in the way.

I am in the final (heck yeah!) semester of my undergrad degree at a small private school in Northwest Ohio. I am currently student teaching in a kindergarten classroom and {LOVE}.EVERY.MINUTE.OF.IT! I cannot wait to get my own classroom.
I was made to be a teacher!

Last summer I had a life-changing opportunity to teach overseas for three weeks in Cambodia. You can read all about it here.

Now, how about a little Q & A time...

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?
A: I would be a missionary in Cambodia doing all I could to end the horrible act of human trafficking of young girls. I had an unfortunate experience of witnessing this in action while I was there - I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I pray that one day I will be able to save at least one child from such a horrible life.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: When I'm not blog-stalking my favorite teaching blogs, I {love} to read a good book while soaking in a bubble bath. When it's warm and sunny outside you can find me up to my elbows in soil tending to my flower gardens. I {love} to plan vacations! My husband would call it a trip planning addiction. ;)

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: This is so silly - and I have no idea why I said this - but when I was in kindergarten I drew a picture of me making french fries at McDonalds! It was always such a treat for me to go get a Happy Meal that I wanted to pass them out to other little kiddies too.

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?
A: On t.v. it's the Real Housewives - all of them except Atlanta, I've just never really gotten into that one. When it comes to food I {love} chocolate candy bars! Heath, Twix, and anything that is caramel covered in chocolate makes me all happy inside. I seriously need to kick my Mt. Dew habit. I've recently discovered Izze pomegranate sparkling juice and! There is a vending machine full of it right outside my classroom door...

Q: What is your biggest fear?!
A: Losing the ones I {love}. I cannot imagine life without my husband and son. They are my everything.

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?
A: I am a cruise-aholic. My husband and I have been on three cruises in the last two years. I'll go ANYwhere a cruise ship will dock!

Cruise #1 - Disney, baby! ~~ Cruise #2 - Disney Again! ~~ Cruise #3 - Just mommy & daddy

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: Don't be a "Negative Nancy." My husband repeatedly tells me to not focus on the negative, to turn my face toward the warmth of the sun and all that is good in this life. Wise guy, huh?

Q: What do you value most in others?
A: Honesty at all costs, and a good sense of humor, which is why I {love} my husband so much. (That and the fact that he is super-hot!)

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?
A: My sense of humor. Life is so much better filled with laughter.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?
A: Myself 50 years from now. I could spend time reliving all the good and wonderful times of my life.

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:

I'm being published! An article I wrote chronicling my experiences teaching overseas in Cambodia is being printed in an academic journal this month. I am very proud of my work and cannot wait to see it in a book!

This post was inspired by the AWESOME Mrs. Carroll At First Grade Parade.

Check her out!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Super Cute Valentine's Idea

I have a little one in my class that is allergic to a myriad of foods, one being chocolate. Poor thing, can you imagine going through life never being able to eat chocolate?! So I've been trying to come up with ideas of a treat I could bring my kinders without excluding this sweet girl by bringing her something different than what everyone else receives. Then I saw this awesome post by a bloggy BFF here in my town. She made Valentine crayons. Genius!

Align CenterCheck out Megan's blog, MegaSimple, to learn how to make your own.

Happy Valentine's Day, my sweets!

Monday, January 31, 2011

All About Bears

Last week our class did a unit on hibernation and bears. We had so much fun with it! I made this super-cute hibernation KWL chart to encourage students' prior knowledge, as well as to guide our hibernation "research" throughout the week.

I used Post-It notes to record student responses,
that way I can use this chart again next year. :)

I also made a Venn Diagram to compare Jan Brett's The Three Snow Bears,

and Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Caralyn Buehner. I can't find the picture of my soon as I find it I'll be sure to upload it!

Don't worry - as any good early childhood educator would, I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.

We had a BEAR-y super fun week!

Link up to ABC & 123

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New posts coming soon...

I know it has been over a week since I've posted, but my son has been sick since last Tuesday. He is fighting a losing battle against strep throat. He missed three days of school last week, and I missed one to take him to the doctor. I am praying for a happy, healthy start to the week in the morning.

As soon as I get my house back in order, I'll post pictures of the exciting lessons we did in kindergarten last week.

~Mrs. Beck

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our kindergarten class had fun learning about the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work for human rights this week. I had a full week's worth of activities planned, but school was canceled Wednesday due to snow and ice, so we didn't get it all in. Such is the life of a kindergarten teacher!

On Tuesday I read a simple book about Dr. King. The kids loved the "old fashioned" black and white pictures. They really got a kick out of the clothes people wore during King's era. We discussed how unfair life was back then, and the kids had a lot to say about it all. Their little hearts are so loving and caring.

We then worked on a "Diversity Quilt" project that celebrates our differences. Each child had to choose something unique about themselves, draw a picture of it, and write a sentence to explain their special quality. I then mounted each picture on a piece of construction paper (the kids chose their favorite color), punched holes along the edges, and tied it all together with yarn. We talked about that even though each of us are different, we all belong together.

Here is our quilt! I think it is adorable.
I found the idea in a weekly e-newsletter from The Mailbox.

Isn't this just too cute?!

Dr. King advocated for peace among all people. On Thursday we made peace doves using paper plates. Once their cute little birds were done, we used them to sing a song about MLK. They {LOVED} it!

How do you celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday in your classroom?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daily Calendar - With a Technology Twist

One of the first duties my mentor teacher, Mrs. R, asked me to take over was the calendar each morning. I love doing calendar time because it is the perfect activity to integrate all subject areas as well as reinforce important skills.

Mrs. R has the super cute pocket chart type calendar. Although hers is cool, I decided to see how I could make calendar time with Mrs. Beck different. After a simple search on the Smart Exchange site, I found an AWESOME daily calendar to use on the SmartBoard.

Check out Smart Exchange {here}. Smart Exchange has teacher-created lesson plans and resources for every subject and grade level to be used on your SmartBoard.

Side Note: I am a SmartBoard freak! I {LOVE} to use the SmartBoard as much as I can because it keeps students engaged and enhances their learning. I'm also an advocate for allowing students to use as much technology as possible while they learn. It's a win-win for all of us!

This morning after the kids were at their special, I snapped a few pics of my calendar. The quality isn't the greatest, but you can at least see the important aspects of it.

When the kids first arrive in the morning, they move their name from "At home" to "At School." This helps me get attendance done in a snap!

Here is the calendar slide. Each morning my calendar helper comes up, slides the date into the right spot, then uses the pointer to say "Today is [day of week], [month], [date] [year]." I then draw names to have three students come up and fill in the "Yesterday was, Today is, and Tomorrow will be" spots.

When we get to this slide, I sing the "What's The Weather Like Today?" song (to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down). My weather helper moves the proper graphic up into the day box, then marks the chart below.

We use this slide to mark the days of school. Students slide a marker up to the ones place, and when we get to a 10's marker, I simply clone one of the others. We're getting close to 100's day!

How do you use the Smartboard in your classroom? Send me a comment!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Teaching Adventures in Cambodia

In May 2010, I had the opportunity to teach overseas in Cambodia with the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity within Defiance College. While I was there I conducted two teacher training sessions on the direct instruction teaching method.

What an adventure it was! I grew leaps and bounds professionally, personally and spiritually. As bad as we teachers here in America think we have it, one trip to a classroom in a third-world country will make us thank our lucky stars for all that we are blessed with. Take, for example, air conditioning. I know I take it for granted, how about you? I have never felt heat as intense as in Cambodia. As soon as I stepped off the plane in the middle of the night I was dripping with sweat. During the day, the temperature rose to 110 degrees, and dropped a whopping 15 degrees to 95 at night. Imagine yourself teaching in an open-air classroom with 30-plus students, and you'll understand why I look so terrible in these pictures! (That, and the fact that my luggage was lost the entire three weeks I was gone!)

I love the pictures of the King, Queen, Prince, and flag above the chalk board.
The Khmer people have a strong sense of nationalism.

This was a highlight of my trip. Our organization paid each teacher in attendance to cover the wages they missed (plus a little extra) by taking a day off from their classrooms.

I {love} these kids!

This trip constantly stretched me out of my comfort zone, and hardest of all was being away from my husband and son for a month. The time that I spent with the children at the schools and women's centers encouraged me each day while strengthening my teaching skills.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to share my skills with teachers across the globe.