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{Be Appy Monday with Fetchnotes}

Are you constantly making To Do lists on sticky notes? Do you find yourself having to constantly start a new list because you thought of ONE MORE THING you need to do or days have passed and Monday To Do is now Thursday To Do?  Maybe you hate dragging around your 5 lb. Erin Condren Planner like I do? 

Well, the app I want to share with you today for our Don't Worry be Appy Monday linky is a great way to solve that problem.  It's called Fetchnotes, and it is a hashtagger's dream come true! #ijustmadeupawordithink #ihavetohavehashtagselfcontrolsometimes 

Fetchnotes is an intuitive To Do/Notetaking app that allows you to organize your thoughts using hashtags.  I read about this beauty on Free Technology 4 Teachers and knew I had to give it a try.  

Here is what my current list looks like.

I plan to stick with #todo #blog #ideas #grade #reminder and possibly #home as my hashtags of choice. This would be awesome in class as one could create content-based hashtags for their planning or anecdotal note taking.  It seems that you can use Fetchnotes collaboratively, but for now I'm trying to keep myself organized! 

 I will share again once I've had more time to use Fetchnotes, but in the mean time I'd love to hear what notetaking or list apps are your favorite? 

Happy Monday!

{Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop}

Happy weekend! Are you still recovering from your post-Valentine's Day Party madness? While the rest of the world is gearing up for a weekend of fancy dinners and roses, we teachers are mostly toasting the fact that no one choked on their conversation hearts and annoyed we'll be making a trip to Goodwill to drop off the 7 teddy bears we received as gifts!  Am I right?

If this is you, then grab a cup of coffee, make some Texas toast, and enjoy your tour of Texas Teacher blogland! This will be 10 times better than watching another episode of Rehab Addict or Property Brothers- I promise!  Also, help me learn more about you and share where you are from in the comment section below! 

Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love. If you stick with us you just might win some lovely TPT products and/or TpT gift certificates by using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  I hope that you find some new blog favorites as you kick off your Valentine's Day weekend!

Now a little bit about this Texas girl.

I live in the Greater Houston Area, aka a suburb of H Town known as The Woodlands. Yes, this town is called THE Woodlands.  I jokingly say I moved here for love, but I stayed for the money (or lack of it).  It's a special place in that it has all the luxuries of a major city like Houston, but it was built with seclusion and nature in mind and a general pleasing aesthetic. 

I love that my city has miles and miles of running/biking trails, and that I live within walking distance of one of Houston's major outdoor concert venues.  I get to spend my summers listening to the best music for FREE!  My city has changed a great deal over the past few years as Houston's population boomed again, and I miss the old Woodlands small town vibe. My personal favorite part of all this growth- we have Traders Joes AND Whole Foods (Coming Soon). I love grocery shopping!

As a first grade teacher, I am always looking for ways to improve my guided reading instruction. Over the past 10 years, I've mostly taught upper grades and making the change to first quickly showed the gaps in my teaching tool belt! Thankfully a blogging buddy Mrs. Russell has the most helpful posts and products all about fluency, which is something I am working hard to improve with my little readers.  Here is the first of a series of posts she wrote about fluency!

I LOVE using her fluency passages in a variety of ways. Some weeks I send home the passage with a parent letter in the homework packet, encouraging parents to help their child with fluency.  Other weeks we graph their daily progress during guided reading as we work on the passage.  Our favorite is assigning fluency buddies to time each other during the Read to Someone round of Daily 5.  Here is a link where Tamara gives you all the good details about this products! 

I have to take advantage of your attention and share my Valentine's Freebie! It is the First Grade version of my Mint to be My Grade Valentine set of Teacher Valentine cards. Though the opportunity to share them this year has come and gone, you can save this little set in your Valentine folder for next year, or pick up my full version for grades 1-5!  

Here was my little assembly table where I created my student treats. I purchased two boxes of Mini Mint Oreos (YUM) and made goodie bags to attach to the cards. 

My favorite part about this giveaway is the actual giveaway! :) Check out all this awesomeness! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

{Treats for my Sweets- Printable Valentine Cards}

Tonight I'm making some quick and easy Valentine's Day cards for my Firsties! After trying to find a catchy phrase, I settled for the "Mint" to be My First Grade Valentine and attached Mint Oreo packs!

If you're looking for a quick printable card to give to your students this week, head to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and check them out! I'll be sharing more class Valentine cards and party pics this weekend.

Also, this weekend I'm excited to link up with my fabulous Texas teacher blogger friends for a giveaway you won't want to miss.

{Currently February 2015}

There's nothing I love more than waking up early on a Sunday, drinking a warm cup of coffee, and taking a moment to relax.  That was all interrupted when my friend Farley posted her CURRENTLY Linky, smacking me with a visual reminder that it is February 2015! 

Oh February-the month of love, chocolates, and trips to the pharmacy to stock up on EmergenC and wine. You've never bought wine at a phamacy? Then you've not been to CVS on a Friday at 9 p.m. 

For years, Farley's Currently linky has been my favorite way to find new teaching blogs.  There are so many content creators in the education world, but I like to find the ones who share my passion for creativity and humor, and Currently is a great place to start. If you've never been check it out , but follow my page first. NotJANE is a baby blog and she needs positive reinforcement. ;)

So with that, I begin our blogging journey here at NotJANE with about as much personal detail as you'll ever get out of me...for now.  As a long-time blogger, I felt the need to start fresh and refocus what I share with the internet world.  This is a place where I plan on sharing more about other educators and what they're doing to change the world, and less about my own life and love of Sharpie pens. Are you in? Good!

As teachers we sometimes experience the Sunday Blues, or as I like to call it the Day of UNrest. Angela Watson's new podcast Truth For Teachers has a great episode about Sunday Blues if you are looking for a cure.  After 10 years of teaching, I still find myself working most of Sunday in order to be "prepared" for the week.  I'm not complaining, (Ok, maybe I am complaining) but the motto here at NotJANE is Teachers Get Stuff Done.  This teacher gets stuff done on Sunday, including blogging. Here is what my life looks like CURRENTLY:

If you teach in Texas, (Clue #1- I teach in Texas) then you are all too familiar with the TELPAS training modules we have to complete each year. For those of you who are teaching outside the state of Texas (congratulations), this can best be described as an online torturing system for ESL teachers in regards to evaluating their writing.  (HA! Blogger wants me to change the word Torturing to TUTORing...not the same Blogger, NOT the same.) 

Imagine hearing the same music for seven years played between slides of random elementary writing samples that range from advanced level to I don't know what the heck that says level.  Much like our Safe Schools training we do in the fall, this module doesn't seem to change year-to-year.  I had this conversation with a teammate this morning as she had just finished her course and I was beginning...

Here are the children I'm referring to:

These cuties have been part of the online training for YEARS.  Can't someone let them graduate and have a life already!?!?!  As you can see by our texting, some teachers cope with online shopping whereas this teacher copes with salty snacks and red wine.

Enough with the sass and time for some class.  I'm LOVING my new LOFT sneakers #notsponsored. I've never had a pair of Chucks, but these are close enough and much more teacher chic.

I purchased the grey sweatshirt fabric version and they provide a nice break from my usual TOMS Friday fashion.  It feels odd to type LOFT and sneaker in the same sentence, but they definitely make for happy feet. 

I'm thinking about decorating my classroom for February with something LOVEly like a new bunting from one of my favorite TPT stores.  How do you decorate your room in February? Do you stick with Valentine's decor or do you opt for more Dr. Seuss?

I'm wanting a new iPhone, as my 5 is crankier than a two year old at the mall on a Saturday. Between the questionable battery life and the nasty habit of dropping calls while I climb the nearest cell tower for better reception, it is time to feed my need for updated technology. I'm trying to decide between the 6 or the 6 plus. I know the plus is like carrying a monster in your pocket, but I rarely bring my iPad with me despite my love of having it to surf online, and I feel like the plus might solve that problem.

I need to create three days worth of sub plans as I am going to be busy with testing on my campus. I feel my hair turning grey as I type three days and sub in the same sentence.

I was surprised by Farley's last choice on Currently- Pageant Title? I turned to the Google gods to help me with this one. Sure enough, Buzz Feed had a quiz to help me with this answer because Queen Bee is already taken and Queen of Mean just sounds so wrong...I can't help that I love to rhyme.  Of course my quiz results were disappointing, so I took it one more time!  (LOL)

Result #1

Result #2

Ehhhh somewhat better?

I don't know how Buzz Feed crowned me with these two gems from my choice in evening gown and breakfast food, but if wearing a red dress while eating pancakes for breakfast is wrong then I don't want to be right!  I'd love to hear what your quiz results show.  Maybe if I try one more time and choose the cinnamon roll I'll get Mostly Nice and Helpful...

Cheers to a new month and new week. I'm off to get stuff done. :)