Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Made It-My First Link Up!

While summer is over for many of my teaching friends in other parts of the country, I still have three weeks left and I am clinging on oh so tightly. I can feel it slipping away, that's for sure. But...I am trying so hard to stay in the moment and enjoy every last minute. 

This week I am excited to finally join my first link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It. This has been one of my favorite reads for a few years now. Be sure to check out her blog because it is jammed pack with so many great ideas.

I am inspired by all that people create. Although sometimes I feel behind as I read about people starting school N-O-W. Ahhhh! How is that so? I'm happy we still have some time left here in California. It's been a busy week for me so let's get started...

 So, my sweet, sweet grandma is turning 80 in just a few weeks and per her request, we are having her birthday party at the Angel game. That's the BEST birthday party idea if you ask me! She is a die hard fan (if you've read my side bar, now you know where I get it). So in honor of her birthday, my cousin and I whipped up these t-shirts using a Silhouette Cameo and a heat press. 

Pretty fancy eh? My grandma originally wanted everyone to wear name tags with each persons affiliation to her (bless her heart). But instead, we made these shirts. You will see in a few that I am a bit obsessed with my Silhouette now. We made about 30 shirts for the family to wear. I don't think my grandma reads this. But if you are Grandma...act surprised. 

My next obsession is this AMAZING homemade coffee creamer! Yep-HOMEMADE. After a few health problems swirling around our family, we have made an effort to eat clean and as natural as possible (Which we screw up a lot-but we try). I had been loving my store bought coconut milk creamer but noticed that they changed their formula and it was leaving a nasty film in the bottom of my coffee cup. YUCK! A girl who is dependent on her coffee just can't have that! Well in mentioning this to a friend,  I found out that she makes her own coffee creamer! This is my tweak on her awesome recipe. Now I'm hooked. And how cute is this carafe I got from Target? With my TPT cup and this creamer-I am ready to pull those late nights to create fun things for my classroom! You must make it too!

  1. Get a large container and empty 1 CAN of coconut milk into it. (Get the good stuff. Read the labels and get the most natural version.) 
  2. Fill that same can with the milk of your choice and add that to the coconut milk (I use refrigerated coconut milk that comes in the carton).
  3. Add a dash of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla.
  4. Pulse it in a blender a few time. Or get lazy like me and just shake it up. 
That's it! You have all nat-ur-al creamer without all the funky stuff in it that you can't pronounce. So yummy!                  

I told you that I have been having fun with my Silhouette. I have been labeling just about everything I can possibly think of. Our school collects Box Tops year round. I think my students will be excited to fill this little monster up with those babies. The mini trash cans came from The Dollar Tree. 

Aren't they just the cutest? I made one for a few of my teaching pals. Now I think I need to make one for the front office. 

I am so excited about these new desk nameplates that I made for my class this year. I have made my own for the past few years but this time I decided to try a few new strategies. I've added all those little things I refer to often in my room along with some references to help my kiddos on those tricky topics (place value, fractions, regrouping, multiplication, know what I'm talking about.)

I've added a new place value strategy to try with my students this year. My kiddos have such a HARD time reading numbers that I need to try something different. I am going to try to teach them how to read a number by imagining the number as houses on a street. They will learning to say the house number first (the digits) and then say the period as the street name.

I've also added these regrouping rhymes and a rounding rap to reach my auditory learners. We say these all the time. I am also always asking my students to take charge of their learning by reflecting and thinking about what they have learned. To help them do this, I have added a little self-evaluation rubric. It's just something I am going to ask them to refer to as we complete exit tickets, as I pull groups, etc. It's one step to help them take ownership of their learning. 

I've created a few different nameplates. Some of them have multiplication charts and some have the traditional place value chart. They all match my new Bright and Sassy room colors this year. You can check out my Bright and Sassy sets here and here.

Last but not least, I used my Silhouette and some spray paint to add some more sparkle to my new room decor.  Here's a miniature version of those large drink buckets to house our Blue Stars which are our school's positive behavior rewards. And I also added some vinyl to a new tub for our clipboards. 

I can't wait to get into my classroom this week. I am going to go in for a few hours here and there. I will keep you posted on my progress. Don't forget to hop on over to 4th Grade Frolics blog to check out all the good ideas!

What have you been working on lately?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It's My Birthday-Let's Have A GIVEAWAY!

Who loves a birthday?! I do! I definitely love to celebrate the big day {or month}. Hey-a girl has got to try right? Today is all about spending time with my little family. There's nothing I want more. Okay...well maybe there are a few things on my list like goodies to get my TPT fun going even more, a new blender (our current one has to be pounded on the counter to work properly), a digital camera, new pjs, and the latest Jen Hatmaker book.  Honey, are you reading this? Hint, hint.


Well in celebration of my birthday, here's a little fun for you. I'm changing my colors in my room this year and here's the new calendar set I've been slaving over, I mean working on. It's bright and cheery and just makes me smile. I think it will make you smile too.  And in all reality, it will help make your classroom walls drip with language. We need to surround our kiddos with a rich reading environment, and if you have English Language Learners like me, the print and images are even that much more important. Everything we do as teachers is intentional.  So many of us use these calendars to teach math, time management, language arts, and to just keep our heads on straight. Sure-a calendar looks so simple to those popping into our rooms, but the truth is that there is a purpose.behind.everything. we do as educators.

It's a flash freebie for my birthday only. Click on the image to get to my TPT store. All I ask you to do is follow my TPT store. I am just starting out so maybe give me a little love in the comments too. Don't forget your friends. Tag them and tell them about my freebie. Help me start the next year in a big way!

 Bright and Sassy Calendar Set

 Bright and Sassy Calendar Set

Friday, July 17, 2015

About Me

Hey there! I'm Rochelle.  And I teach in beautiful Southern California where the weather is ALWAYS amazing. I am the luckiest gal around-living just minutes from the beach! I will be starting my 15th year of teaching! {Did I just say that?!} I started out teaching 1st grade and enjoyed that for six years. Then I taught 2nd grade for three years, 4th for four years and I just finished my first year in 3rd.  I love that I have taught 1st through 4th. Teaching all of those grades has made me a better teacher because of the people I have worked with and because I now know what comes before my grade and what follows. If you ever get a chance to teach another grade-do it! It's hard for me to respond when people ask me what my favorite grade is because I have loved them all. They all have their rewards and challenges. Can I get an AMEN?!

My little dancer getting ready for her debut.

When I am not busy teaching I am being a mommy to my sweet little two year old daughter. She keeps me busy and just makes life that much more fun. I also like to channel my little Domestic Diva (or think I am) by being crafty, trying new recipes, and engaging in all things Pinterest. My little projects don't always get finished, or turn out right-but I try.

This blog is called the Dance of a Teacher because it's about my dance in this life. It's about me trying to gracefully {or not so gracefully} balance all that God has created me to be. While I am a teacher, mommy, wife, daughter and friend, I am trying to learn what it means to experience His grace in a world full of what looks like perfect people, perfect teachers, perfect mommies and all around perfect lives.  I know he has called me to walk with Him and to be a reflection who He is.  And boy do I get this one wrong a lot! But-the dance is mine to learn. I am continually learning to balance the papers to be graded, phone calls that need to returned, toys that need to be picked up, laundry that needs to be folded, and dishes to be put away. All while remembering that investing in others is what really matters.

So this little blog-it's going to be about all things in my life. I hope you will walk with me as we learn together. This is exciting!  Thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back tomorrow because in honor of my new blog and my BIRTHDAY-I'm having a giveaway! It's a surprise. I think you'll LOVE it!