Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Assess Me Link-Up Week 1

Today I am linking up with The Tattooed Teacher for the Assess Me Link-Up.

I loved the idea of this link-up.  10 quick, easy questions about myself.  I feel many days in the world of 2 toddlers that I don't think about myself and I was super excited to be able to check "yes" on taking a shower AND drying my hair and "no" to having the TV on. 

I went to Disney as a kid and then again for New Years 2000.  Figured if Y2K was going to happen, I might as well be in a happy place.  This coming year I am taking my kids, and I am so excited to see Disney through their eyes.  I know it will be a crazy, exhausting trip, but the memories will be well worth it.  If anyone has ever gone with a 3-year-old and/or 2-year-old, please give me tips on making it easy on all of us!  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Plan With Me Sunday - Back to School Edition

This Sunday I am linking up with Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris and Kreative in Kindergarten again for Plan With Me Sundays - Back to School Edition. This week there is a special giveaway so be sure to check it out!

Let me start this week off with a little note. My husband was in San Francisco working and we decided to bring our daughter out here for her third birthday. We have seals, and museums, and trolley rides planned. But what didn't make it in my planner was that the hotel internet wouldn't work and my daughter would be up at 4:45 because her little body thinks it's almost 8am which is well past her wake up time. 

That being said my Sunday post is starting a little later.  so without further ado, Plan with Me Sunday - Back to School Edition. 

This time of year always seems to be a whirlwind.  I used to be so good at keeping up with everything, but after two pregnancies my brain is shot and if it isn't written down, then it doesn't happen.  To start the school year, I want to be sure my that my planner is ready to go so I can keep on top of everything.  I like keeping my planner in a 3 ring binder. The pages and my writing are big enough for my aging eyes to see at a distance. Plus, I love being able to take pages out when they are accomplished. 

I think this week's post will work best as a To-Do-List (one I can put in my planner!)

1. Print all months starting with August.  In my opinion August 1st is the real New Year's Day.

2. Behind each month I add the correct number of Weekly Schedules.  I will use 2 pens to keep my worlds separate (blue for home and pink for school).
3. Behind each week, I add a sheet of paper for my grocery list.  I can't tell you the number of times I have remembered something I needed at home in the middle of a lesson. Plus there is always something I need for the classroom.

4. I print a few Daily Schedules for those days that are just too much.

5. I type all of my lesson plans on my computer, but they have to be ready in a flash.  I print these and place them behind my weekly schedule. 90% of the time, if I have written my plans out well enough, I won't have to look at them again that week. But they are there for the 10% of the time I forget something and those moments when someone walks in the room.

6. I have dividers with pockets. This way I don't lose any loose papers or that paperwork that must get back to the office, parent, ASAP!  I keep all of my faculty meeting and professional development notes in the back of my binder. That way I have all of that information to quickly reference.

7. I also design products for TPT and blog. Those sections are in the back of my binder. Many times my ideas for blog posts come as I plan or teach so I can quickly note these in my planner until I have time to write. 

I love that my planner, the Hello Planner from the 3am Teacher, allows me the ability to keep all of my worlds in one place.  What things do you add to your planners to

And now the fun part, the giveaway.  Enter below to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
<!-- end InLinkz script —>

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Today on the link-up with Freebilicious we are taking a look back at older posts.  Since I just recently started focusing on my blog I don't have that many great posts to share.  This one I liked because it's one of my favorite teaching stories.


Why I Teach

There are times (especially when I get my paycheck) that I question "Why do I teach?"  Why did I choose a job that follows me home, wakes me at night, and has me reviewing the day as I shower, dry my hair, and drive to work.

Each and every time I question my choice, I get to school and find the answer, in the "I Got It!" moments, the smiles, and my coworkers.

A few years ago in the middle of independent reading, I had one of my best moments.  It was the first week of school and I was setting up the procedure of independent reading.  When I do this I have all students reading at the same time (later in the year this changes), and as they are reading, I model by reading as well.  One student was having difficulty staying focused and kept talking to his neighbor.  I had corrected him once and on the second occurrence asked him to return to his seat.

He came up to me with something in his hand and held it out for me to take.  I hesitated, not 100% sure what was being placed in my hand, but curiosity won over and I held my hand out for the "gift."  Into my palm dropped a peppermint.  The student smiled up at me and said, "Keep up the good work, and there's more where that came from."

And that is why I teach.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Back 2 School Procedures and Policies - Do They Know What You Expect?

This article has moved to the new site. 

The #1 Way to Improve Student Behavior


Don't leave, we have moved but you can still get this free download!  Just hop on over to my new site. You will find plenty of free lessons and ideas on poetry, classroom management, and more!  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Must Have Monday

Today I have the pleasure of linking up with Lidia from Kinder Alphabet and Krissy from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business for Must Have Monday!  I am going to share with you the things I have to have in order to create a successful classroom atmosphere.

1. My Sharpies - I love Sharpies.  I love the smell, the pure, deep color and the the way I feel productive at the end of the day when I still have a Sharpie stain on my fingers.   There are so many colors to fit my mood each day.  I began my teaching career before lesson plans were typed, and everyone had e-mail.  My Sharpies were and still are some of my best creation tools.

2. Sharpened Pencils - One of the best teacher gifts I ever received was a bouquet of sharpened pencils on the first day of school.  When I get in my classroom at the beginning of the year the first thing I do is sharpen my pencils.  The smell of sharpened pencils gets my brain working and I can start creating ideas.  The pencils give me freedom of mistakes and the ability to erase what I don't like.  This summer I splurged and bought a box of skinny Kate Spade pencils.  Yes, I know it was a ridiculous waste of money, but they came in a perfect storage box and I will definitely know when one of my students has "borrowed" one of my pencils.

3. Grading Pens - I love fine point pens in a multitude of colors.  I use these pens when I grade and pick the color I like best that day.  I love that these pens make it easy to write important notes and information that the students can easily find.

4. Coffee - I don't think I could teach without my morning coffee. And in the world of a mom and teacher, coffee isn't a sit down and drink at one time event.  I again got carried away and got the Kate Spade coffee mug that is covered in books.  For the girl working to get her own school library soon, it is the perfect way to start my day.  And, it keeps my coffee warm all morning!

What things must you have?  Join me tomorrow for Tell Us About You Tuesday!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Plan With Me Sundays - Downsizing

Planning, to-do lists, and organizing are all things I LOVE to do.  However, they are also the things that keep me from getting things done.  I just spent the last few days at the Teachers Pay Teachers conference and one of the biggest takeaways came from Chris Kesler of Kesler Science.  He referenced a book called The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.  I couldn't resist a new read, so I downloaded it on my iBooks and started reading.  The book talks about the one thing you should put your energy into each day.  For me a stay-at-home mom who blogs and creates products for Teachers Pay Teachers I have a lot of directions to go each day.  Here is a look at my week last week.

My heart is pounding out of my check just looking at this!  I had no clear direction and the daily stress to get it done was overwhelming.  My take for now is that each day I need one focus.  Today my one thing is getting my house back in order. This may be why I am writing this sitting on the bathroom floor while one kid is going to the potty and the other one is doing the buckles on his high chair for the 4 millionth time.  Tomorrow, I have a babysitter coming in the morning and that will be my creation time.  I am not leaving to go to a coffee shop.  I am going to sit at my desk and create.  I moved my collaboration time with Snazzy in Second to a Goggle Hangout where I could meet and talk with her during nap time.  And with the screen share option on Google Hangout, I can show her everything I wanted on the computer.  This way I can focus on talking with her without feeling the stress of creating and vice versa.  Here is my plan for this week.

Yes, it isn't just one thing, but for a planner like me I am taking small steps. This one is a list that I feel I can complete!  To help keep my mom brain in order I made a Weekly List separate from the what I was doing each day so I wouldn't forget some of the little things my family needed or things for me to work on that didn't have to get done.  (Thank you DRG ceramics for my favorite mug.)

My next step for planning this week is to get a grasp on social media.  I have felt swamped with social media and the need to learn and use it all.  But guess what, I don't have to do it all.  Such a simple thought for some people but for me this was a huge ah ha moment.  I have downsized a lot of my social media.  Instagram and Facebook are easy for me.  I have created a list of hashtags in my notes section of my phone (thank you Miss Kindergarten and Apple and ABC's for that tip), and then I can just copy and paste any I need.

I have been doing the free trial of tailwind for Pinterest and made the leap to the paid version. Now, Pinterest can be a once a week thing and keep me from scrolling and making notes and then forgetting to pin in my prime hours.  Twitter has scared me for a while and it's the one I know the least about.  I want to learn more about it and Twitter is now going be my learning zone, not a focus for my week.

On my planner I noted times to check and post to FB and Instagram and days to focus on pinning and learning twitter.  Now I don't feel the need to have my phone in hand all day.

There you have it, my ways to plan less and do more.  What tips have you found to help reduce planning and time on social media?  I need to keep downsizing my daily list.

Happy Sunday! 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Plan With Me Sundays

About a week ago we were heading home from the beach and I felt stressed.  I needed organization and I needed it quickly.  Luckily, I came across a blog post titled Plan With Me Sundays by Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris.  She and Kreative in Kindergarten had started a link up about planning and it was the perfect thing for me.  After reading the first post in the link from Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris, I came home and bought the Hello Teacher Planner from the 3am Teacher.  What a life saver! Now instead of notebooks, post-it notes, and piles; I have everything in one spot.  I even have all of my Teachers Pay Teachers Vegas conference notes printed and in the notebook!

I then got my office organized and set up in a way that I could see the house, see outside, and enjoy my new blue walls with white trim.  I even managed to set up a space for Gabriella to "do her work." We even took the time to place her notebook and pens where her little brother couldn't reach them.

Everything I couldn't put in my notebook or I had on the multitude of post-it notes (which would mysteriously disappear) are now on a spreadsheet in my google drive.  No more disappearing.  Plus, I get satisfaction out of deleting something I have accomplished and having more white space on the screen.  Thursday night the list of things on the left was all the way down to 32!  Ecstatic that the list is up to where I can see it all at once!

Two years ago I took the leap from teaching for 15 years to being a stay-at-home mom.  I have had the hardest time going from knowing that I ate lunch at 11:52 to figuring out how to fit it in between the laundry, kid lunches, and the numerous things that just don't happen at home.

When I made this leap I had a 10-month-old and another one quickly on his way.  I have also tried to keep up my teachers pay teachers store, my blog, run a house, clean a house, keep a blog, and finish my EdS in School Library Media and Instructional Technology.

The degree is now done and I am finding my way through the laundry and dishes back to my blog and store.  Thankfully Plan With Me Sundays have given me the opportunity to make time to focus on organizing the Zannini household, my blog, and my store.  I want a give a special thank you to all of your who have shared your planning ideas and allowed me to find my way back to this lovely space!

This week I head to Vegas for the TPT conference and my plan for next Sunday is to organize a way to maintain my social media.

Happy Sunday! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Clip Art Thank You!

I also wanted to thank Educlips for the fabulous graphics used in my header!  I love her work and use it in many of my new products.  Check out her store and blog!  Plus I love that she is a Charleston girl like I was at one time in my life.