Monday, July 30, 2012

My Ultimate Teacher Binder

One thing I discovered last semester during my pre-internship was that I like having one big binder that I can put everything in, instead of individual notebooks or binders for each subject/class. I used and abused my binder last semester so bad that I knew I wanted a bigger one this year and I wanted it organized and not thrown together last minute (not that I did that last time ;) ) So after bunches and bunches of blog hopping and pinterest perusing, here is my little beauty!

The first thing I did was make a binder cover for my 2 inch binder. I found these adorable workshop binder covers and added my school logo and mascot to make it my own!
The cover of my binder
The inside page with a To-Do list behind it
The inside page with the quote is from The Curriculum Corner that had an amazing post with tons of free printables, including covers like the one above. 

Ok so I guess the real purpose of the binder is for information and not just cute stuff (whatever), so I divided up my sections into: Important Information, Lesson Plans, Student Data, Course Information, Meeting Notes, Standards and Assessments, and Miscellaneous

Those owls! Too much, right?! I used the templates I found here for the cover pages for each section. You can edit them in PowerPoint and use them for anything! New favorite resource. The font is called Good Dog and you can get it here.
For the important information section, I put the district schedule, a class schedule, our school's last accountability report, and anything else I'll need quickly!

Anything to make lesson plans more fun, right?
It's just begging for plans to be filled in

For my lesson plan section, I have a calendar template for each month I found at KindergartenWorks and you can write in the general idea of what you'll be focusing on each week/day. You can see her examples on her blog. This is also where I'll put finished written lesson plans and other guidelines for the curriculum.

For meeting notes, I printed out some copies of these meeting notes so I won't have to waste a notebook writing little notes here and there. It will also keep my excessive note taking to a minimum. Half page and you get cut off. Sorry. No more notes for you. Here are the rest of my section titles. I also put my internship manual in the back and my little personal planner in the front.

My Internship manual in the back of the binder.

The best part of something like this is that I can add and take stuff out throughout the year, which is great because I have a feeling some unexpected things will happen, just call it a hunch ;) Do you keep a binder? Or individual notebooks? Am I missing anything?? Hope all your pre-planning preparation is going well!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

So Very Pinteresting

Happy Monday everyone! If you're on summer break and anything like me, you have no idea what day it is without looking at a calendar, so here's your reminder. It's Monday! I have two more weeks until some inservice teacher training with all the teachers at the school, three weeks until planning with my mentor teacher, and four weeks until the first day of school! Eeeek!

I wanted to share what I've been doing the last couple of weeks. I decided to take the free time to finally do some things I've been pinning on Pinterest. Check it out!

1) Color coding your keys

Ok, so I only have one house key, but there's no rule saying you can't have one colorful key! I even added a little glitter because who doesn't like glitter?
Cute, right?!
2) A DIY work-out shirt

This was more of what-do-I-do-with-this-huge-shirt solution than a I-need-another-work-out-shirt solution. I had a couple of big shirts and this made them cute and wearable! You could use them as work-out shirts or as comfy tanks to wear to the beach or just lounging around. I used my rotary cutter to make the lines even cleaner. 
Being home alone all day leads to a lot of mirror shots
3) Easy cheesy crackers

Oh my goodness- new favorite. I made these in my Kitchenaid mixer with just three ingredients! I used white flour because I'm too lazy to make a trip to buy whole wheat, and I used the pepper-jack cheese I had instead of cheddar for the same reason. The second time I made these, I rolled out the dough and cut out cute little stars! I thought it was easier than slicing a log of dough and they looked great. Also, cooking them longer actually made them taste like Goldfish. Amazing. 

First batch- stars are SO much cooler though ;)

4) A full apron

With all this baking, I definitely needed an apron. But if I had a nickel for every time I said "I'm not paying real money for that. I could make that" well, I would be very rich. So I went up to Walmart and paid a whopping $3 for some fabric and put together this masterpiece. Men just come running when you put an apron on. It makes you irresistible. Trust me. But in all seriousness, I'm thinking this would make a great gift for people!
Smokin' hot. Amiright?
5) Rotel cups

Last but certainly not least are these little bites of heaven. Oh. my. goodness. The best thing to compare these to are chips and queso because of the crispiness of the cups and the cheesy, rotel-y, bacon-y, creamy filling. Seriously, you cannot eat just one, five, fifteen. These are great for parties because they're cheap and make a ton! I didn't take a picture because, well, we may have inhaled them before I could get a picture. Judge free zone, here. So here's a picture from the original source. 
I'm getting hungry just looking at these
So that's what I've been up to. Check out the original pins by clicking on each title and try them yourself! What have you been doing to keep you busy this summer??

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cohort Love

The ProTeach program at UF gave me tons of skills, experiences, great teachers and awesome papers to write (exaggeration), but the best thing I got out of the program was 24 new best friends (awwww). Our cohort is made up of 25 students. We took nearly every class together and did every field experience together during junior year and senior year. I still remember the first day of class and how quiet and awkward it was. There were a lot of shy smiles and quiet hellos. Compare that to our first day of class senior year when our poor professor couldn't get a word in because we were so chatty and it's crazy to see how close we've all gotten!

Also- make shirts. Nothing bonds people like wearing the same shirt.
Here are 76 reasons why it's great to be in Cohort 76 (just kidding, I only wrote 5)

1) Our Facebook group
This is the first thing to put together once you're in a cohort. It started out as a place to find out if that assignment was supposed to be 100 pages double spaced or single spaced, but it evolved to be a place where we could share funny stories, post teacher resources, complain about ridiculous things in our lives, and just bond!

2) Holidays

As many of you know, holidays are ok as adults, but as a teacher, they are fifteen times more fun! We celebrate everything and we go big. Arbor day may be looked over by most adults, but in a classroom, we do a weeklong unit on trees, the environment, the history of Arbor day, and why it's the best holiday ever. In our cohort, we celebrated Christmas with a giant secret santa potluck and we all got roses from the token boy in our cohort on Valentine's Day.  Jealous?

Christmas party! 
One boy and 24 girls on Valentine's Day.  Jake is the best!
3) We understand each other
There's just something special about a group of people that are going through the same thing you're going through. We bonded pretty quickly about the way people respond to us when we say our major. Everything from "Oh, that's great. Teaching is my back up!" to "So what do you do all day? Color?" to "Why do you even need classes for teaching elementary school? Don't you know how to add and read?" to "But you could make so much money doing something else..." Trust me, we've heard it all. Which is why it's so nice when someone understands us when we say "So I think the student I'm working with has an LD so we had to do an RTI and since he's an ELL he already had a 504, but not an IEP so IDK I just KEO and RLP and THGM, you know?" Ok those last three aren't real, but you get it. Teachers speak in code. It's confusing.
For real though.
4) We have fun together
I kid you not when I say we have all become best friends. We're in each other's weddings, celebrate birthdays together, go out on weekends together, set up intense Bachelorette brackets, go shopping, and eat. We eat a lot.
A little photo shoot outside Olive Garden
The first wedding with many more to come!
No explanation for this one...

5) We love each other
At the end of the day, we just really love each other. We have been through so much in two years together and I wouldn't trade our time together for the world! I feel so lucky to have met these wonderful teachers and I can't wait to see where we all go. I'm already jealous of their future students and am mentally planning trips to visit so I can steal ideas ;)

We are so good looking.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Beginnings

Hello and welcome to my blog! I'm so excited to get this going and start a blog following this new phase in my life. To tell you a little bit more about me, I just graduated from the University of Florida (go gators!) with a degree in elementary education and am now working on my masters degree in elementary education. UF just changed up the graduate program so that it consists of a yearlong internship with online classes and can be done in any county in Florida. So I moved home two weeks ago to save some money and intern in my home county of St. Johns! I'll be in an inclusive second grade classroom and am really looking forward to it!

edugator: get it? get it?
Now that I'm home, I'm enjoying my month-long vacation by reading all day, trying new pinterest recipes, experimenting with crafts I've been too scared to try (quilting, anyone?), and laying out by the pool with my sweet, sweet Sadie dog. Try not to be TOO jealous over there, I still have one online class and, boy, watching the bachelorette can be really stressful.

Meet Sadie- my 3 year old chihuahua-pug mix. Isn't she just the cutest?!

I wanted to write a blog to share what being a preservice teacher is like and because I wish I had a blog to read when I was an underclassman education major trying to figure out what this journey would look like! I also really love reading other teacher blogs and wanted to join that community hardcore. So here I am! Love meeeeeee please ;)