Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monthly Goals Linky

I'm linking up with Jess from I {heart} Recess to share my goals with my fellow bloggers. I know, I know. I am SO breaking the rules by posting twice in one day, but I can't help it. My daughter is being awesome today, so I need to take advantage of it and post away. I've already scheduled two more posts for later this week. I'm Johnny On It today.

Personal: So, I had a baby on Easter Sunday. And I'm happy to say that I am now 3lbs less than I was before I got preggo. This is good news! {I'm still at least 10lbs from where I should be...} But I have to be honest and say that it has ZERO to do with my working out and more to do with breastfeeding. Man! That's they key to losing weight right there. Amazing. I am kinda working out on a weekly basis - but it's not hard core stuff like I am used to. It's just really difficult to squeeze in an hour workout at any point during the day with this little sweetie to distract me. One school begins, I am hitting the pavement as soon as I can get all my stuff wrapped up for the day. I'm also joining a boot camp again - they offer one at my school - and I'm super excited about it! I was pregnant when I joined last year, but I was still able to hang in there. Now that I'm not with child anymore, I have no excuses!! Yikes!

Organization: Last year was my first year teaching. {I'm 30 years old, but I switched careers in the middle of my life.} I went through a TON of different ways to organize all of my teachery things and I never, ever felt organized whatsoever last year. THIS year, I know what to expect. I know what I need, and I know what I don't need. I've created several binders and sheets that I know I will use and my *goal* is to stick with what I have already created and planned for throughout the entire year. I have a feeling this year will be much easier on me than last year was, simply because I've experienced it!

Planning: I have been major struggling with the Light Unit that I taught last year. I was SUCH a mess last year when I taught that thing. It's 7 weeks long - and a lot of the material is really difficult to understand. We have the Carolina Biological kit that accompanies this unit, but it's for middle schoolers. And let me tell you - it was DIFFICULT. I got a headache every time I tried to read it and make sense of it. This year, I'm still using the core content, but I'm scaling it down a bit. It was really too much for my fifth graders. We found ourselves very frustrated last year because the kids and I were both confused. It was awful and I was HORRIBLE at teaching it. I recognize that and I knew i had to do something to make it better and more enjoyable for all parties involved. I've been working on it and I'm almost done, but this was definitely a major goal that needed to be reached.

Professional: Since I attended the Reading and Writing Project training this summer {even though I teach science, I was still fortunate enough to be able to attend ---how awesome is that?!} - I was blown away and inspired. I have to implement the workshop style approach in my classroom and I've been searching high and low for science related fiction and non-fiction materials to help me. I don't know if it will be perfect, but I am definitely going to try. I just love the idea of the workshop because it really puts the kiddos in charge of their own learning. It will be a work in progress, but I think it could really work in science.

Students: Last year, I did not post learning targets. And the kids never really had easy access to each goal that we were trying to reach every day. {I know that's probably terrible, but I'm learning from my mistakes!} This year, I have a Focus Wall in the works, and "Goal Cards" for each student, which will list each learning target for each unit of study that we cover. They will receive a copy of the learning targets for each respective unit of study at the beginning of each unit. There is also a place for them to check once they've mastered each target. Of course, I will also have a copy and I'll ultimately be the judge of when they've mastered them, but it puts the responsibility of what they need to learn on them. I love it! I've also got a new anecdotal note system which goes along with this that I will share on a future post.

Motto: Pain is Temporary...Pride is Forever! I think this saying can be applied to any facet of life. Keeping up with these goals may be painful at times...but the pride that I will gain from keeping them will last a lifetime.

Thanks so much to Jess for providing the cute graphic to go along with this linky. Link up with sweet Jess from I {heart} Recess to share your goals!

Back to School GIVEAWAY!!! $25 Worth of Goodies!

Hiya folks! I have been totally blown away by the generosity of my fellow bloggy buds! I'm super impressed and now I want to join them. I know that there aren't many teachers out there that solely teach science, but I still have some goodies that I think lots of teacher types could benefit from. So - without further's my offer. Two lucky ducks will win $25.00 worth of products from my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope everyone is enjoying these last few days of summer break...because ready or not {and I'm soooooo NOT} - here it comes! I mean, tomorrow is officially August. Crazy.  We just got word that the construction at our school is complete - and MAD PROPS to those guys because putting an entire roof on a large-ish school in less than three months was probably no walk in the park. So, my butt will be dragging my momma {who, unbeknownst to her, has agreed to help unpack my room} on Monday! I have a slew of new organization and decoration goodies that I'll be using this year. Now that I have my first year under my belt, I know what I need..and what I don't need for my classroom. I'll have some good before and after pics to share within the next week or so.

I'm sitting here with my sweet baby girl in her "monkey seat" {her bouncer} and she is laughing and smiling away. Life sure has changed since I first started this little ole' blog. Love her. She's such a good baby. I am SO gonna miss these days of still being in our jammies at 9am. Well, there's always the weekends!!

Ok, so join me in my generosity and WIN some fun stuff! To enter, follow me {if you don't already}, Pin my giveaway on Pinterest, leave a little love, and/or follow my TpT shop!

Thanks and GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

We've got a winner, folks! Congrats, Chelsea, you win all three of my new clipart packs! Please send me an email at so that I can send you your prizes.

Thanks so much for everyone that entered! I am so excited to have my first giveaway. Now that I know how to do it - and that people will enter - I will definitely have more. Too much fun!!

Thanks again!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday Made It {Late, As Usual} and Last Call!

So I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics - a day late. Having a kid + summertime + lazy me = late post. Sorry!

I'm super duper excited to be linking up this week because I am venturing out into the world of clipart and I cannot get enough of it! I'm obsessed. And I'm so happy to share my creations with the teaching world. My clipart is simple, no frills, and can be used commercially without the requirement of providing credit. I'm happy enough to have my clipart used! 

Before I went back to school to pursue teaching, I was a graphic designer {BrownCow Creatives was/is my brand that I "did" freelance under...if I ever did freelance. Ha!} . But I never had the confidence to draw clipart. This summer, however,I'm staying home with my newborn trying to find ways to occupy my time and I started doodling. Turns out I love it! I'm not so great at drawing people figures, but I'm sure with practice, I'll get there.

So far, I've created some Chevron backgrounds:

And my favorite, a Halloween Bundle:

For the Halloween Bundle, I started playing around with different frames. I didn't think I could make frames, either! But I did it. Too much fun. I'm losing sleep {double time, since I also have a baby}, but I can't stop. I have a Christmas pack in the works, which I started last night. I turned on a little Christmas music to set the mood. Ha! Christmas music in July. What a nut I am! I'm also going to have a sweet shop pack, a space pack, and a few more choice holidays before the year is up. 

I'm giving away my first three creations, so make sure you enter! Last call, because it ends tomorrow!

I'm also getting ready for going back to school and I'm becoming more and more obsessed with getting organized. So, I made some binder covers and spines for my plethora of binders.  I'm getting very anxious for the school year to start!

So that's what I'm working on. Looks like lots of teachers out there are gearing up for the school year, too. Link up with Tara and show us whatcha got!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Adventure - and a Little Giveaway!

I finally did it! I'm using my former life as a graphic designer and combining it with my love of teaching and creating fun lesson plan packs and activities. I've created some clipart and background packs and I'm so excited about them! I have so much fun creating stuff like this and I especially love putting it together in cute little displays. It has been so long since I drew anything digitally, so it takes me a while to get things going. So far, I've created a chevron background pack {I started with something easy peasy and basic to make sure I didn't completely get in over my head}, a back to school background and clipart pack, and a weather pack. I'm very happy with how they've turned out! I've used my "Brown Cow Creatives" branding because that's my graphic design brand that I designed many moons ago...and so I thought I may as well bring that back. I put them all on my TpT store. See them there by clicking here!

I have never held a giveaway on this ole' blog of mine and mostly because I don't know if I have enough people that follow this little blog that would be interested, but now is as good of a time as any to host one. I want to giveaway all three of these new packs to one of my sweet followers. The only thing that I would ask in return is some feedback on them. Though I have plenty of experience as a graphic designer at designing and creating various types of clipart, I've never sold any for teacher use. So I'm basically creating what I think I would want to use on my lesson and product packs for TpT. It'd be nice to hear from other teachers on what they would also like to see on clipart packages. So - here we go! The winner will receive all 3 packs, which includes 28 graphics and 24 backgrounds total.

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment letting me know you're interested. You can earn 2 more entries by pinning the above image to Pinterest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for entering and good luck!