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Currently July

Somewhere on the east coast it is JULY (right now I'm savoring that last hour of June...June why ya gotta go so soon???). I'm linking up with the fabulous Farley for Currently!



Listening to Pandora's Summer Hits of the 2000's is hilarious. I've heard everything from JoJo to the Killers in this 20 minute blog session!  You will feel like the recession never happened, and your hair still has brown vs. gray roots.

Someone came over to my house today, and I actually let them in the door! SCORE! It is so nice to have time to keep things tidy and put away. I am loving that I swept and mopped today!

I keep thinking I should probably make some business cards for my trip to Vegas. I have 4 unfinished TPT products sittin in my Dropbox. Shouldn't I worry about those first? Maybe my business cards should say NotJANE: Part-time slacker, Full-Time Teacher.  Follow me @imjusthereforthesocial .

I want to go shopping for my "vacation" in Houston. There is a new Topshop and I am dying to see what all these Brits fuss about!

I need to get all these little trip to-do list items finished so I can pack. What would you take with you? Do they make desert friendly Spanx?  Does the Venetian allow you to wear a wet suit to the pool? Will I be able to style my new hair cut? Should I just wear hats and be the hat girl?  This is how my brain works!

I'm not sure anyone else would call me an all-star comic, but it is my #1 goal most of the time to make people laugh. 

Oh goodness, now Pandora is playing Justin Timberlake Sexy Back. I better go to bed before this turns into a vlog dance party!!

Head over to the Currently page for more July fun! 




Talk About 'em Tuesday: Glitter and Gambling


This week I'd love to share two of my new favorite online small businesses for Talk About 'em Tuesdays with Lovely Little Leaders.  With my big Vegas trip on the horizon, I went with a glitter and gambling theme!

The Glitter comes to you in the form of an Etsy seller I found while searching for personalized water bottles.  Alexis from Twinkle Twinkle Lil Jar has a wide variety of cups and mugs. She had me at Unicorn!

                                                                       



The early part of my week has been spent working on preparing for my trip to Vegas. I probably should have worked on that in May! Ooops.  Luckily, I saw that  Cassie from Adventures in Teaching, has a FREE Vegas TPT Conference Planner  with all the meetups already listed! 

Cha Ching! 



Adventures in Teaching





Of course before I left her store, I found Math Manipulative Task Cards that I had to have as well! 


If you're looking for a fun and handmade gift, I hope you'll check out this great Etsy shop! If you are headed to Vegas for the TPT conference, be sure you've got a planner printed out! :)

Do you have any favorite Etsy or TPT sellers? Please share in the comments and check out Bridget's post as well!  

Someone Made a List of Education Chats on Twitter, and You Should Use It!




My relationship with Twitter over the years has been a casual one. I've used Twitter to follow current events, complain about customer service, and demonstrate my vast sports knowledge!

Once I realized that educators and change-makers were "meeting" on Twitter each week to discuss topics that I'm interested in, I was hooked.  Even on days when I can't tune-in live to chat, I frequently search for my favorite chat hashtags and read what everyone has to share! Some of my favorite apps and strategies have been discovered through Twitter!

If you are new to Twitter, and want to know more about the process of tweeting and following chats, Peppy Zesty Teacherista's post Twitter Explained does an incredible job of walking you through the steps.  Her screencast is so easy to follow for any Twitter newbie!

The next step, is finding which Twitter chats you want to participate in each week. This is where one of my favorite Google docs of all time comes in! To the creators listed on the document, THANK YOU!



This Education Chats on Twitter Schedule has over 200 education chats and their corresponding hashtags.  My personal favorites are #1stchat, #txeduchat, and a new favorite #tptchat hosted by @erintegration ! There is definitely something for every teacher to join and learn from.

I love that teachers are taking control of their professional development and learning from educators all over the world. Who knew that a tool that I once mainly used to follow pop stars and sporting events can be used to become a better teacher!?

I hope this list helps you as much as it has helped me! You can follow me on Twitter HERE !  

If you are feeling like Twitter is just one more thing to deal with, I get it...I feel that way about laundry. :)

If you do tweet, please share your @username in the comments below so I can follow you as well! 


Plan With Me Sundays...On Wednesday ;)

Have you ever had an idea you were really excited about, but you didn't know how to make it happen?  Yeah, that was me this past weekend when I decided it would be fun to show you how I plan out blog posts in a VLOG format .

Little did I know that four days and two cartons of ice cream later, I'd barely have a video to show you.  Either way, this is all about trying new things and LEARNING. Right? right ;)

SO here is to say, though I've been blogging off and on since 2004 (Yes children, they had internet in 2004...) I am still new to all things video related.


I am excited to finally link up with Kreative in Kindergarten and Keeping up with Mrs. Harris
I am pumped to see how others prep and plan for their week as well. Go check it out



Talk About 'Em Tuesday: Foxy Fix and May Designs


I'm linking up with Bridget from Little Lovely Leaders today to talk about two of my favorite small businesses! Both of these fabulous companies help me stay organized and motivated.



I am a huge fan of anything related to notebooks and planners, which led me to love Foxy Fix and May Designs

I stumbled upon Foxy Fix Traveler's Notebooks (formerly known as Foxi Dori) when I was watching one of my favorite YouTubers Pretty Shiny Sparkly describe her March Favorites

(You can check it out- She talks about her traveler's notebook around the 7 minute mark!)


I instantly knew I had to have one to hold my favorite May Designs notebook. 

So PRETTY

I ordered the Foxy Fix Traveler's Notebook in Butterscotch with a turquoise elastic, and she is lovely!! This fits perfectly inside my purse, and it lays nice and flat on a table when writing.

My only regret is that I did not add a pen holder. I plan on adding a budget notebook and a calendar when they have another summer sale. For now I have my blog brainstorming notebook and a CODE.org notebook with classroom ideas.  I mostly use these notebooks as a place to "brain dump" ideas before I actually plan out blog posts. 



I know, I know...all those beautiful May Designs covers, and I chose dinosaurs. What can I say? I'm not just any nerdy educator. lol :) 

Do you have any favorite Etsy shops or paper sellers online? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!







Building Mathematical Comprehension Week 2




I'm back with Week 2/Chapter 2 of Lanney Sammon's Building Mathematical Comprehension book study hosted by A Teacher Mom! This week I took my book and highlighter to Starbucks so I could relax and learn like the cool kids. ;)

A Teacher Mom


Big Idea: This chapter is all about VOCABULARY! I am always really excited to learn about vocabulary strategies. We know that without a vocabulary background, our students struggle with content retention.  This chapter is so full of ideas that classroom teachers can use.  As I transition to a job where I'm working in small groups, I will have to look for ways to share these tools with my classroom teachers!

One of my favorite notes from this chapter explains that in mathematics, students encounter content-specific vocabulary that is rarely used in everyday conversation.  Not only is the mathematical language difficult, but the symbols in math make-up their own language.  Sammons shares we should teach these symbols using a process similar to learning sight words.

Ah Ha: This statistic saddened me. By the age of 4, more privileged children have heard 45 million words, while those less privileged have heard only 13 million words.

Question: This chapter is full of excellent ideas to help a teacher increase math talk and vocabulary instruction. I would love to see some real-life examples of effective Math Word Walls.  Anyone want to share a picture? :)

I really recommend this book if you are looking to improve your mathematics instruction. This chapter alone made the purchase worthwhile!

:) Happy Summer Reading

Bright Idea: Using Remind App for Father's Day

It's time for our June Bright ideas Link Up!



I am the world's worst teacher when it comes to planning in advance for holiday parties and goodies for my classroom.  I'm not sure if the problem persists because I'm not a mom or just an Ebenezer Scrooge.  Thank goodness for helpful parent volunteers who usually make something great happen!

via mashable.com
Cut to the guilty feelings, when I realized this weekend is Father's Day and I never planned something special for my students to give to their fathers before school was out.  Of course I made sure the moms had beautiful Mother's Day flowers, but I didn't even think about the poor dads of the world!?  

Have no fear if you are in the same boat! Technology to the rescue!



If you are like me, your smartphone is probably still packed full of great photos from this school year. I save all my photos to both iCloud and Dropbox just for situations like this!

Using my handy dandy Remind App, and some cute clip art on the Rhonna Designs App, I was quickly able to create a personalized picture to send to the dads!




Luckily I have all but three parents still signed up in Remind, and the remaining ones were easy to find through email.

Just a quick crop here, and a quick type there, and you have a cute Happy Father's Day photo sent straight to dad's phone or email address! Whew!

 


If you don't use Remind, there are other great tools such as Animoto where you can create a quick, free slideshow of class photos to share with parents via email or your class website that includes text and music as a small gesture of appreciation on this special holiday weekend!

This is a great way to quickly share a sweet picture or a note of gratitude with parents or volunteers. I love using this app, and in this case it helped me out when I was short on time and resources!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for more ideas.

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!




Wordless Wednesday: Life Lately


Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster lately. 
I have to keep reminding myself I'm the one who chose to get on the ride. ;) 


Building Mathematical Comprehension Week 1

I'm joining Abbey from A Teacher Mom this summer for a great book study! 

A Teacher Mom

We are reading Laney Sammon's Building Mathematical Comprehension this summer together! You may be familiar with Sammon's Guided Math book, but this book is all about applying familiar reading comprehension strategies in your mathematics instruction. 

As I share my thoughts about this book, I plan to stick to sharing the chapter's Big Idea, one AHA moment, and one question or connection I make as I'm reading. 


Big Idea: Without retyping the entire chapter, Sammons explains that as a language arts teachers, we naturally spend time working with students on making connections, asking questions, visualizing, making inferences, synthesizing, and determining importance.  These reading strategies are necessary for learners to be able to analyze, solve, and communicate mathematical ideas effectively.

Ah Ha Moment: According to the author,  I have an instructional advantage because I teach ELA and Math!!  #kittyhighfive


Question: Sammons refers to a "math huddle" as a way to work with communicating mathematical thinking. I hope she will go into what this strategy is. I know math talk is important, so I'd like to read  more about this strategy. 


It feels great to have already spent some time thinking about my teaching, especially as I move into a new grade level.  Have you read this book? Are you doing any book studies this summer?  


What is Not JANE doing CURRENTLY in June?

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!! (Insert cartwheels, fireworks, bottles and bottles of...well you get my excitement!)

I am back from a little hiatus, also known as the longest and most stressful month of my teaching life EVAH. But we did it friends, we did it!!! 

Today I am finally catching up with the rest of the blog world and linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade.  She is pretty special. ;)



Listening: Is there anyone else who can't get this song out of their head? I hadn't heard the original version until I spent 8 hours in the car this week, and now it is stuck in my brain. I also can't help but picture Katy Perry as I sing this. Do you really think it is about Katy? Maybe it is actually about Kanye? I don't know... What I do know is they all look awesome in the video, but Taylor needs to practice walking in heels...EEKS!



Loving:  I am not ready to share too many details with the internets, but I am excited that I am moving to a really cool neighborhood. After being trapped in the burbs for 2 years, I need to get back to the city. Construction dust, traffic and questionable people on bikes. I'm in. 

Thinking: I woke up this morning thinking about arm/sleeve tattoos. I had a conversation this week about my arms not being summer-ready. Let's be honest, they aren't any season ready. I need to work out. :/ 

Wanting:  I am finally ready to start summer after a hectic few days.  I bought Girl on the Train for my Kindle last night and I am reading to start reading today. I always try to read at least 1 book for fun and 1 book for school over the summer. Maybe this summer I can read more!?  I am switching grade levels so all the books I had planned on reading are out the window (I won't be needing to focus on phonics so much ya know...).




Needing: After finishing the half-marathon, I fell out of love with running for awhile. I have finally got the bug back. I think seeing some of my old trails and training areas this week helped. The only problem is it is now hotter than a potato so I might be starting off on the dreadmill.

Lovin: I am so happy to be moving this summer back to San Antonio. Before I move, I will be heading to Vegas for the big teacher event! Last summer I went on the most amazing kayak trip in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. Since moving is killing my summer budget, I want to come up with a Texas-style kayaking adventure.  Any ideas? This picture of The Devil's River looks amazing! 
via @indulgy.com 


What are you all up to Currently? :)