Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday: Be Inspired and Rest 07-27-14

Happy Sunday, friends! I wanted to share a few of my most inspirational (or simply delightful) encounters online this week.  I can't take credit for any of these gracious expressions or hopeful links, but I do hope that passing them on will provide some joy to you today! If you find something you would like to Pin, please take time to visit the original source, if available, and Pin from there. I have provided an easy-to-click hyperlink credit to any traceable sources. When applicable, I've also included my favorite quotes from some of the reading passages so you can have a small preview before you read on.

I hope this is encouraging for you! Have a lovely, restful Sunday!

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Source: Upwardly Dependent, "For the Back-to-School Teacher Mom"
"...This post, however, is for all you mommas who are gearing back up to enter the classroom. You’re doing your best to enjoy a few more play dates while laminating learning centers and scoping out teacher blogs in the wee hours of the morning.
This is for you, those who want more than anything to be a SAHM, but the student loan payments are just too high to give up an extra income. And for you, who are secretly excited to spend seven hours a day with somebody else’s crazy kids." 
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Source: A Holy Experience, "How Your Life Really Can Change"
"You can handle change as you much as you take His unchanging hand." ~Ann Voskamp

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Source: 31 Inspirational Style Quotes to Live By

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Teacher Tip: Command Hooks and Bulletin Board Trim

During my first year of teaching, I got so frustrated with digging through bulletin board trim. There was never a really good way to organize it or a good place to store it.

I know, I know; they sell those long, slender boxes with the divider tabs… but those are only good if you have a great place to store the box as well. I did not.

To be honest, I don't really like those boxes, either. A cardboard box just looks like a good place for a spider to decide to hang out.

But maybe that's just me… Either way, I figured out a method for storing some of those pesky not-so-easy to organize materials, such as bulletin board trim.

This is my solution. All you need are a few of these little Command Hooks.
We have these great, tall closets in our classrooms. I simply attach a few of the Command hooks to the inside of one door.
 Just a few of these makes a great little hanging station for smaller items.
To make items, such as bulletin board trim, easy to hang, simply clamp one of these little steel clips onto the end of the trim, or the plastic containing the trim...
… and it's ready to hang neatly on the hook!
So, that's all! Hang several border types to each hook. All of your borders will be easily organized, without taking up a lot of precious space in your classroom.
I've only begun organizing my cabinet, so things are still a little out-of-place, but my bulletin board trim is easily stored! 
Obviously, you could apply this concept to any spare space, even if you don't have a cabinet like mine. I hope this gives you an easy organizational tip that you can use in your classroom! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ch-ch-ch-changes! And Back-to-School Favorites

Changes? Oh, yes. My school year is going to look much different this year. I will no longer be teaching first grade. I am going to be one of three teachers in a program exclusively designed for students who either have dyslexia, or experience dyslexia-type symptoms. So throughout each day, I will work with students of all ages (K-5th grade) in small groups to provide support for reading development. While I will miss my classroom of first-graders, I am very excited about this change! I think it will be a wonderful opportunity, and since reading instruction really is my passion, this position specifically targets one of the areas I love most about my career. 

So I am working on my little classroom, but it's going to look much different this year. I will share pictures of my new learning environment soon! 

For now, in the spirit of all things Back-to-School, I'm sharing some of my favorite classroom pins. Some are old, some are new, but all are creative ideas other teachers have shared for classroom decor, organization, and overall back-to-school prep. You can never have too many ideas at this time of year, right? If you want to save some of these ideas, please remember to visit the original posts and Pin from there. :)
  • I love Subway Art, and this freebie is a great representation of classroom expectations. I especially love the exaggerated "READ" in the center. Visit eighteen25 and print your own!
eighteen25
  • This is an older post, but the resources are great year after year. Beyond the Grades provides a great organizational binder for teachers, including printables to create your own!
Beyond the Grades
  • O-H So Blessed has some lovely classroom decor ideas. Her space is adorable and full of sweet details. I especially love this little stand!
O-H So Blessed
Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits
  • The lovely ladies over at Curious Firsties have an awesome idea for classroom flooring in their post "A Rug Alternative." I would never have thought of this, but it really is a neat idea.
Curious Firsties

  • This Back-to-School priority list is the perfect tool to help you stay organized as you tackle the hundreds of things you need to do to prepare your classroom (and yourself) for the first day of school! Grab the freebie at True Life I'm a Teacher!
True Life I'm a Teacher!
A Love for Teaching
  • I love this All-About-Me-Pennant idea! This is a link for a TPT product, not a blog, but I think you can get the idea. This would be a great way for students to immediately put their own touch on the classroom in a whole-group project. Love, love, love it!
Mrs. N's TPT Store
  • Miss Kindergarten shared this neat tabletop organizer for her teacher desk. This is such a compact way to organize a lot of information. Great idea.
Miss Kindergarten
  • This sweet prayer is available as a free printable at the Teaching Blog Addict, and I can't think of anything that teachers need more than strong prayer, especially at this time of year. 
Teaching Blog Addict

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday: Be Inspired and Rest 7-20-14

Happy Sunday, friends! I wanted to share a few of my most inspirational (or simply delightful) encounters online this week.  I can't take credit for any of these gracious expressions or hopeful links, but I do hope that passing them on will provide some joy to you today! If you find something you would like to Pin, please take time to visit the original source, if available, and Pin from there. I have provided an easy-to-click hyperlink credit to any traceable sources. When applicable, I've also included my favorite quotes from some of the reading passages so you can have a small preview before you read on.

I hope this is encouraging for you! Have a lovely, restful Sunday!

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Source: Proverbs 31 Ministries, Facebook Share

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Source: (in)courage, "The Samaritan Woman in Me"
"I believe that as Jesus sat at the well that day and talked with the Samaritan woman, He was also thinking of me. He knew this story would change my life and that I would be able to leave the past behind and take to heart the lessons in this story. I would be able to lose the shame and move beyond the pain." ~Lynn Langford
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"Among Christians, we often hear that God will give us “the desires of our hearts.” And it’s true that God cares about our innermost desires, but often, we need His intervention to shape those most important desires, including our desire for Him." ~Jen Pollock Michel


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

DIY: Picture Slideshow Tutorial

For quite some time, I have wanted an easy, quick way to create a slideshow that will easily embed within a blog post. You may already know how to do this -it's always possible that I'm way behind everyone else. Still, I found an option that worked really well for me, and I wanted to share it with you  in case, like me, you still need to know how to do this.

If you visited yesterday, you viewed my slideshow for Christmas wreaths recently added to our Tally Tales Etsy Store. Today, I want to show you how I created it.

I used cincopa to create my gallery slideshow. As you can see below, you can create various media types through this site. Make sure you select "slideshow" if that's the project you want to create.

Next, select the skin you want to use. The "skin" basically means the presentation for your slideshow. Each skin features a different style, or format, for the presentation. They have quite a few from which to choose, and you can preview each one before you actually make a selection. 


Once you have selected the skin, you can customize it to fit your preferences. You should add all details for title and description, mainly to help you organize and manage the galleries you create. You can also change the width and effects on your slideshow. The "effect" is simply the way your pictures transition from one to another throughout the slideshow.


Add your pictures by either dragging and dropping them into the upload box or by manually choosing which files to upload. 
Each photo will appear with its own details box that features an upload progress bar as well as options for you to create a caption, add tags, or write a description. Personally, I did not include any of this information for my photos, but depending on the skin you choose, you may want more text to appear in your slideshow. I kept it simple. ;)

After customizing your photos (or not), simply submit the information for the final step! Your gallery will be created, which you can easily preview. If you are satisfied, you are only a couple of steps away from adding your slideshow to your blog! Make sure you choose the correct format for the embed data. As you can see, this tool works for both Wordpress and Blogger, as well as a variety of other media sites.

Once you click "copy," a note will appear to let you know that you have saved the embed code to your clipboard. Simply paste it into the HTML page on your blogger post, wherever you want your slideshow to appear. 

It is literally that easy! 


Another thing I like about this slideshow is that it will appear and function when you are in "preview" mode for your blog post. So, if you create your post and click "preview," you should be able to view the entire post along with the fully-functioning slideshow.

I hope this little tutorial is helpful! Happy blogging! :)