Monday, March 24, 2014

Liebster Award, San Antonio and a Made it Monday!

Hey there! What a crazy week it has been already...and it's only Monday! This blog post is going to be jam packed with lots of fun information, so I hope you're ready! Let's get it rollin'....

To start things off let's talk about my mini vacation to San Antonio! My fiance, his roommates and I made the 13 hour drive to San Antonio to watch our beloved Huskers play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Yes, they lost, but the trip was a blast and the weather was gorgeous! We mingled with people on the river walk, visited the Alamo and had a great time. Here are a few photos from our excursions...

My fiance and I at the Husker get together the day we arrived in San Antonio.

WOOO! Go Big Red! Huskers warming up before the game. The outcome wasn't what we would have hoped for, but it was an...umm...intense game to watch. 

One of the many gorgeous mosaics you can find along the river walk. It's even RED! GBR! 

The Alamo in all its glory. This has to be one of the neatest places to visit. The line was always wrapped around the building, so we didn't make it in, but still a beautiful piece of history. 

All in all, it was one of the best road trips I have been on in a long time. San Antonio will definitely be a place I want to visit again, but maybe this time I will take a plane instead of driving :).

After returning from San Antonio I immediately checked up on my blog. While reading through my comments I found one from Language Arts Bliss that said she had nominated my blog for the Liebster Award! I cannot tell you how humbled I feel to have been nominated, so thank you!

In short, the Liebster Award is a great way to grow your audience, find some great blogs to follow, and become more familiar with 5 great teachers out there.

There is a process that goes with hang with me, folks! Here we go!

Step 1 Answer the 11 Questions your nominating blogger provides:

1. What is the best teaching tip you have ever received?
The best teaching tip I have received so far in my career was actually given to me last year by my building Administrator. I am known for over-thinking things and spinning my wheels, so when I heard him say this to me I had an epiphany.  He simply said :"Keep it simple". Sometimes I let my imagination get the best of me and my ideas of extravagant classroom decor and lessons stress me out more than they help me.  Since, I was given this tip I have felt much more relaxed and have become a better teacher because of this simple reminder. 

2. What is the story behind your blog name?

Well, let's be honest, who doesn't love a new box of crayons!?  I originally started this blog as a place for my reflections during my Student Teaching. In fact, you can find my first post here and read more about my Student Teaching experiences! Since I have continued with blogging the name of my blog has grown to represent much more. For me, it is a constant reminder to bring fresh ideas to the world of teaching and making learning fun (or colorful)!

3. If you were not a teacher, which other profession would you choose?

I honestly don't think I would want to be in any other profession. If I had to be, I would wind up being a crazy dog lady. I love dogs and spending my days with them would probably be the only thing that could provide me with as much happiness as my current profession. :) 

4. What is your favorite dessert?

OOO! This is a tough one, but I'm going to have to go with pie! I LOVE pie! Mainly fruit pies and, of course, French Silk pie. MMM! I get hungry just thinking about it! 

5. Big plans for the summer?

Well, my summer is a little shorter compared to you "normal" calendar folks. I only have about 5-6 weeks off and at least 3 of those I plan to be teaching in a Summer Reading program. The other three will be spent creating items for TPT and my classroom. 

6. Describe what you do when you have 30 minutes of free time:

Well, I mean, I know what I SHOULD do with 30 minutes of free time, but those things don't always happen.  I typically end up talking, a lot, with my co-workers and friends. If I'm not talking I can be found creating products or grading papers...oh, and blogging. :) 

7. What is your favorite childhood movie?

That's easy! My favorite childhood movies is "All Dogs go to Heaven"! Maybe I was meant to be a crazy dog lady!:) 

8. What item can you not make it through the day without?

My phone! Not because I call people or text constantly, but because it helps my life run smoothly.  I have quiet a few kids that leave for interventions at random times throughout the day and I have timers set for each one of them. It is a HUGE life-saver! 

9. Share your favorite quote:

I have many quotes that I love, but one of my all time favorite quotes is from Hiam Ginott and it goes like this:  

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

10. Beach or mountains? Which do you prefer?
Well...this is a tough one, but I think I am going to have to go with mountains. The beach is great, but eventually I would get sick of sand being everywhere. :) 

11. Describe the view outside of your classroom window:

The view outside my classroom window is filled with bright playground equipment and smiling faces!  

Almost there.. Step 2- Here are 11 random facts about me:
1. My favorite color is blue...
2. My car is my favorite color
3. My dog is named after the dog in Despicable Me (Kyle)
4. I've always wanted a tattoo but can't decided what I want and if I should do it.
5. I am a Gemini and you can tell :). 
6. I love to dance! I started dance when I was 3 years old and continued all the way through college. 
7. I look nothing like my sister :) 
8. I have a younger sister
9. I make a lot of facial expressions when I talk or even listen to conversations. 
10. I have 3 favorite animals: Dogs, Cows and Zebras
11. My birthday is on the 11th. 

Phew...Step 3- Present the Liebster Award to 5 new bloggers with less than 200 followers:
Here are 5 blogs that I think are great! Go check them out for yourself! 

Principal Principles Live...Lead...Learn

rockin' in Resource Room

Just Keep Teaching


Hey, it's a button!

Here are your 11 questions:
1.  Who was your favorite teacher?  How have they influenced your teaching today?
2.   What is the best part of your teaching day?

3.  What is your funniest school memory?
4.  What are your hobbies, or how do you unwind after working all week?
5.  How do you spend your summers?
6.  What is your favorite dessert?
7.  What new instructional practice have you found success with?
8.  Do you love and use technology in your classroom, or are you sometimes intimidated or frustrated by it?9.  What is your favorite children's book?
10.  What is the most exotic place that you have traveled to
11.  Do you have pets?  If so, what kind?

Last, but not least...a new product is up in my store! So I give you one of my latest products for my Made it Monday! 

TA-DA! I give you my Scan it!: QR- Rainbow Reward cards! 

I love this product and use it daily in my classroom.  I have wanted to give my clip chart a little bit of a punch to keep my kiddos driven to keep clipping up and that is where this product was born.  It contains 24 different rainbow rewards that cost you NOTHING...well, except buying and downloading the product.  In my classroom I clip random QR codes to the top three colors of my clip chart. When students reach that color they get to scan the QR code with our iPad or my phone (they love using my phone). The rewards range from moving your seat next to a friend and eating lunch in the classroom to reading a story to the principal or helping another teacher in their classroom for 20 minutes.  There are quite a few teachers in my school that use these QR codes in a multitude of ways to keep their students engaged. Here are some ideas: Putting them up around the room and having kiddos scan rewards when they earn them, placing the cards inside a treasure box and much more! The possibilities are endless, so what are you waiting for!? Click the image to hop over to my store and check it out for yourself! 

Phew...that's all I've got folks! Thanks for hanging with me and I hope that you have a fantastic week! 

Thanks for stoppin' by! 

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