September 2, 2015

Currently: September 2015

Another official beginning to a new school year- September! August is like the prep month, and even if you have the kids for a couple of days, September is when you really feel like the school year has started :)

Once again, I'm linking up with Farley's Currently. I love seeing all the people that link up, and I often find someone new to follow!

Don't forget the Rule of 3! Comment on the 2 people before you, and the 1 after you :)

I'm going back to Cali tomorrow for my bachelorette/bridal shower weekend!!!! It will be so nice to see my family and friends again, and I know we'll have so much fun. My sister and mom have been working really hard to give me a memorable time :)

Happy September everyone!

PS- It's Pumpkin Spice time!!!!!!!!!!!

August 29, 2015

New Blog Design Thank You

A HUGE shout out to the ladies over at Blogs Fit For A Queen for my new blog design!


I'd had the same design for almost 3 years, and it was in need of an update. I wanted something a little more classic; something that matched the secondary grades.

It's hard when teaching high school to find that balance between cute and fun, and not too cutesy for the guys, or too little kid-ish. I thought what these gals came up with was great!

I had also realized that the blog title didn't specify what I taught or what subject. I usually mentioned it in other places, but I think it's good to have it right up top there :)

So thanks again ladies! Make sure you go check out their blog, even if you don't need an update. They show all the blogs they've done, and maybe you'll come across one you'd like to follow!

Have a great weekend!

August 24, 2015

Mixed feelings on this First Day of School

It's the first day of school for so many people...but not for me. Feeling a little sad about that, but also a little happy.

I mean, let's be honest...there's positives and negatives to this whole move that I just went through. I'm getting to be with my future husband; we're getting married in October; we bought our first house; and I get to live in Texas, which I always wanted to do [I had this fantasy that it would be like the TV series Friday Night Lights with Connie Britton...only not as hot as it actually is.] Essentially, I'm getting everything I ever prayed for growing up. I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but we don't have kids yet, so I'm just at home.

Things I miss about work:
-My co-workers
-Commiserating over the same rough kiddos
-Coaching
-Seeing kids excited to learn
-The Renaissance Fair
-Actually Teaching

Things I don't miss about work:
-The politics going on at that school
-That moment when you find "that student" that is going to make your year miserable
-Grading a million, literally probably 1,000, essays
-KIDS NOT DOING THEIR HOMEWORK AND THEN THE PARENTS GET MAD AT ME WHEN THEIR KID'S FAILING
-Being exhausted

Even with all the things I don't miss....I still miss teaching. Maybe I miss it because I no longer have a pay check. For the first time in forever, I don't have a steady paycheck. That is very scary. Maybe I miss it because I'm currently bored and it is something to do. Maybe I miss it because it is my identity..."What do you do?" "I'm a teacher". What am I now?

I'm excited to sub, but it won't be the same. I'm only hoping it will be different, and a good different. An experience I won't forget :)

Happy First Day of School everyone!

August 20, 2015

For the days you just can't...

Ever had a day where you wake up and just can't? You just feel miserable and can't imagine teaching...but you didn't feel like this yesterday, so of course, there are no lesson plans all typed up and ready to go. Ideally, we'd have everything readily available so that a sub could teach our actual lesson, but sometime that just isn't feasible. So I think this is a pretty good solution :)

Well have no fear! I've got you covered with my standards-based  Substitute Teacher Lesson Plan Filler Pack!

I was thinking the other day as a sub, what am I going to do if the teacher doesn't leave anything? With nothing to do, that is when trouble can break out.

So I created a pack of emergency lesson plans I could bring with me for when I sub in an English or History class and there aren't any plans left. These plans are standards-based, so you won't be wasting a day with a movie or what not :) I'm going to put them in a binder and bring it with me every time, just in case. Then if I need to, make copies so the students have something to do :)

If anyone out there is subbing, this would be a great idea for you to bring with you. And if you're a teacher, leave this binder on your desk at all times so you can just ask the secretary to tell the sub to pick one! :)


Here is an example where students are asked to analyze a speech, using close reading techniques.

There are 6 activities total, in both Word and PDF format, along with a binder cover and binder spines. I think this is a great solution for the days you just can't :)

August 17, 2015

You Asked For It...

So here you go!

Informational Text Analysis Activities!!!! So excited to have this product available for y'all :)

Whether you use Common Core at your school or not, it is important to teach students how to analyze informational texts. So I have compiled some different texts, and created 2 different analysis handout versions you can use to analyze the text.

As you can see, 3 of the texts are historical, and 2 are modern, pulling from the New York Times' Room for Debate page. These will create some buy-in to the activity: one is about sports, and the other is about Internet addiction.

The two different handout options also allow you to choose which is best for your student population. If you teach the middle school level, you may want to use the one with pictures for some more buy-in. If you're teaching Seniors, you may want to get to the nitty gritty and go for the more basic of the handouts. Either way, your students will be interacting with the text in new and challenging ways.

Here's a glimpse of one of the articles [sports]:

And then students use one of the handouts to analyze the text. They'll be asked to give a brief summary of the article, relate the text to the world, relate the text to another text, find & explain rhetorical devices, and relate the text to themselves. This gives students a well-rounded view of the article and helps them see the importance of informational texts.

I have done something similar with my students last year, and it really challenged them to look at the text a different way, and through multiple lenses. I hope you enjoy it! Head on over to my TPT Store to download now :)

August 14, 2015

The Waiting Game

I hate waiting. I'm very impatient ;)

I got my fingerprinting done yesterday, and dropped off the form with HR. By the way, fingerprinting in Texas is different than fingerprinting in California. For one, they took my picture, for two, it was at a gun range/shooting range place. In CA it was at an agency or notary office building, not a gun range :) But at least it's done.

So now it's the waiting game. Waiting to get approved. Waiting to get my Sub ID #. Then waiting to get a job. I'm not expecting a job the first couple of weeks, but it would be nice to get some income rolling! It's just weird not having my own classroom.

I talked to some friends at my old school, and they were telling me about the first day back, who got my room, why did I leave my Donor's Choose doc cam? All that stuff. Made me miss them and teaching.

I've never subbed before. I know it will be different than teaching; less stressful I hope :) But I'm just anxious to get back out there :)

So for now, I'll keep working on TPT stuff, and I'm going to start making some items for subs too.

Let's pray I get approved soon...then at least I can make my cute notepad and business cards :)

Until next post! :)

August 11, 2015

Substitute Notepad & Business Card

I like doing fun "work"...so I'm working on designing my substitute notepad and business card :)

I think I've found the one I'm going with...not the typical apple notepad ;) I can't order them yet because I need to wait to get assigned my Sub ID # so I can put it on the notepad and card.

I'm also putting my new last name on it, because I don't want to do two different orders, so I'm putting my maiden name and my new last name :) I'm getting married in Oct [have I mentioned that before? ;)] so I figure that's close enough to the beginning of the school year to put the new name on the notepad and card.

Here's the design I'm thinking:

NOTEPAD:























I still need the sub # for the notepad...

Front of business card: [still need sub #]
















And back of business card:















I haven't ordered them yet, obviously, so what do you think? I personally love them :) Should I put the "7 years experience" bit?