POWr Social Media Icons

Friday, July 31, 2015

Classroom Habitudes ~ Week 3

Hi there! I'm returning for my third week of the Classroom Habitudes book study.

If this is your first time joining me for the book study, you may be interested in looking back at Week 1 or Week 2!

Perseverance is the ability to sustain interest, effort, and commitment in any circumstance that life presents.

Perseverance. What an important idea to practice! I am so happy to be at a school that values perseverance and celebrates students who demonstrate the ability to keep trying, rather than giving up or saying those dreaded words..."I don't get it." or "I can't do it." Perseverance is the very first part of the acronym for our school rules. Students who practice perseverance are recognized with tickets that detail the act and the opportunity for raffle prizes later on in the week. 

In the classroom, this habitude is an important component in the continuation of learning. Students who persevere build confidence in their learning as they approach their goals or meet them. These students are also able to become independent learners.

This habitude is not easy, especially for our students, to practice. Angela encourages teachers and students to consider where positive role models can be found in order to encourage students to practice perseverance.

Courage is the ability to enter the unknown by confronting challenges, taking risks, and overcoming fears. 

In my classroom, there are a few specific examples of courage I like to see my students demonstrate.

Having the courage to...

* Stop inappropriate social skills or behavior, especially those that are hurtful to classmates/friends

*  Take risks in the classroom and try new things or ideas

* Ask for help when needed. This is so important! Yes, students do need to make an effort, persevere, and other "working hard" traits, but there becomes a point where students cannot achieve success without additional clarification or assistance. 

Once again, there are so many good elements of discussion in these chapters too!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Classroom Habitudes ~ Week 2

Hello! I'm back to share more great finds for my second week of the Classroom Habitudes by Angela Maiers.

If this is your first time joining me for the book study, please feel free to check out Week 1Here are some of my finds from this week's reading.

Curiosity is a mindset that enables individuals to explore their internal and external worlds...

In this chapter, Angela offers many components in her curiosity lesson, including the idea of genius questions. What are they? What is the "right" question? Followed by, when is the right time for the right question?

When I think about curiosity in the classroom, I see curiosity as the driving force in a student's education. A student's interest and passion in learning is so heavily influenced by his or her personal curiosity. As teachers, our role is to guide students as they find their interests and delve into them.

Self-awareness provides a system of checks and balances... 

Angela's definition goes on to encompass how students understand themselves and make conscious choices and deliberate decisions which impact the direction and quality of their lives

There is a huge amount of POWER in self-awareness. Students who practice self-awareness can have the feeling of control in their lives. This also gives students a vision of how they "fit" in their world and what they have to offer.

There are so many great opportunities for deep conversation and self-discovery as Angela unfolds this habitude lesson.

Head back here next Friday to read up on Chapters 5 and 6! Until then, please check out the other blogs in this blog hop. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meet My New Pal!

I have anxiously awaited the day my pal from Polka Dots and Pals would arrive in my (e)mailbox....and TODAY was the DAY!! 

Here is my pal!

Currently, Lauren is only offering a Create-A-Pal Kit and additional add on packs! Her pals are so cute, so I highly suggest getting the kit and making a pal of your own!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Classroom Habitudes ~ Week 1

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to share a book that is new to me this summer- Classroom Habitudes: Teaching Habits and Attitudes for 21st Century Learning by Angela Maiers

As the book study continues, I look forward to sharing my incites and “ah ha” moments along the way. I’ve joined Linda, Alissa, Angela, and Diane in this book study, so when you’re done here go on and check out their thoughts too!

The book is structured as a showcase of each habitude. There is an introduction of the 7 habitudes leading into Chapter 1, which focuses on teaching and learning the habitudes. Chapter 2 highlights the first habitude in the book, IMAGINATION. 

Angela describes a habitude as a blend of both habit and attitude. These habitudes are daily disciplined decisions that successful leaders choose to make and a specific attitude that demonstrates a new mindset and way of thinking about the world and one's place in it. The habitudes are imagination, curiosity, self-awareness, perseverance, courage, passion, and adaptability.

Angela shares that all learners are capable of genius at one time or another. Practicing the habitudes make this reality more achievable. Geniuses are unique problem-solvers, something I strive for all of my students to be, whether academically, socially, or emotionally. I LOVE that Angela also shares that ALL OF USE ARE GENIUSES SOMETIMES.

Each habitude can be taught using three phases.

Phase One: Name It
Phase Two: Claim It
Phase Three: Sustain It

What do I want my students to know and be able to do?
I go about each day with one overall goal in mind- help teach my students to be independent, problem solvers. Ever since my first day in the classroom, I knew there would never be "enough" of me to go around. As much as I wanted to run to each student when he or she needed help or sit down and help a student until he or she "got it", it just is not possible. So each day, in my teaching and interactions with students, I strive to encourage and celebrate my students' efforts in problem solving. Attempts are always appreciated over remaining stagnant, or worse, complaining!

What will students remember most about their time in my classroom and with me?
So many different ideas come to mind when I consider this question. What I want most is that my students will remember becoming individuals with character, independence, and problem-solving skills in ways that were fun, engaging, and not so routine. I can't say that I'm at this point yet, but each year I feel like I have built upon this idea and I see glimpses of it in each of the students I have taught.

How can I use the space we have to build community, culture, and a more trusting relationship?
Ideally, my classroom would be a sanctuary for my students, a place where they know they can get the help they need, but not in a way that questions their independence. They can feel comfortable to be themselves, and learn from their mistakes as well as others. 

Imagination is the mind's ability to constantly create images containing thoughts and memories ignited from our senses.

As Angela delves into the instruction of the first habitude, she invites the teacher and students to consider the relationship between knowledge and imagination. This chapter certainly made me consider, how does what we know and learn become manipulated into something new and useful?

She also invites teachers to approach our students’ perceptions in a way that allows them to consider how they will use their imaginations in the future, rather than if they have one or not…because WE ALL HAVE ONE!

In what ways are you creative?
At school, I am creative in the experiences I present to my students. I strive to include memorable activities that help them focus less on that "I do like school/I don't like school" mindset and just take in the experience and learn. At home, I am creative when I cook, try new ways of organizing, and create new combinations of patterns and colors for outfits. 

Do you play, laugh, and use humor to enhance experiences?
YES!! How could I ever get through the day?? I may be professional and always work hard to do my job and do it well, but that doe not mean that my day does not include all of this with my fourth graders. Any way that makes the learning experience more relatable for them and using humor and/or playfulness, I am ALL for that! 

Do you take yourself out of your comfort zone?
I'm glad this question came up...this is what this whole summer has been about! Yes, my personal routine and boundaries are considerably comfortable, but not quite as rewarding as putting yourself "out there". 

Head back here next Friday to read up on Chapters 3 and 4! Until then, please check out the other blogs in this blog hop.

Friday, June 26, 2015

~ Dare to Dream ~ Week 2 of the TpT Seller Challenge

DARE TO DREAM! For the second week of the TpT Seller Challenge, we have been encouraged to DREAM BIG! 

When I first read the challenge, I wasn't quite sure where to start. Not because I was lacking dreams, but because I have so many! Little ones, big ones, ones for myself, and ones for others. So I waited and considered which ones were the ones I want the most and how my "little ones" could fit in with the big ones. 

FINISH OFF MY STUDENT LOANS: Two full years out of college and I am working hard to eliminate my student loans. I would really like to go back to school and start my masters, but I feel that I should get a better grip on these loans before I pile on more... 

FUND MY CLASSROOM: As someone who spends a lot of time in the classroom, I am constantly striving to make it a place for myself and others to enjoy. My goal is to make a classroom that is a sanctuary, welcoming, and full of new opportunities. Also, I look to offer new experiences that my students may not be able to have otherwise, coming from a low income background, whether it be a new book or something else entirely, I want to be able to provide those opportunities and enjoy with them.

FULLFILL MY DREAM TO FOSTER: Last year, as  part of the beginning of the year activities at my school, I had the opportunity to listen to a foster father share his experience fostering. It was an opportunity to think differently about our students and understand that they come to school with so many different things on their mind and conscience beyond the academics. I felt fortunate to have heard this man speak after I learned that one of my students lived in a local group home. As the year continued, I got to know the student and others that lived in the group home and attended my school. Knowing that there is also a high need in Arizona for children, I would like to work toward the ability to provide a loving home for children in need. 

FIND OTHER PASSIONATE TEACHERS: I am very fortunate to work at a school that has so many passionate teachers. We have a campus that is supportive of one another and will do so much for our students. As I branch out into social media, I am learning more about teachers who are passionate about so many other areas of teaching in addition to their students. I look forward to learning more about others and their passions.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


As part of the TpT Seller Challenge, I learned about Bloglovin'. I just joined and have a lot to learn. As I learn more, I will add to this post.
For now you can, follow my blog with Bloglovin.                       

~ Makeover Madness ~ Week 1 of the TpT Seller Challenge

As I mentioned in my previous post, I signed up for the TpT Sellers Challenge that began this week!
The first week of the challenge is Makeover Madness. Sellers were given the challenge to take an existing product and redo the cover or even part or all of the product. When I read the challenge, I had one come to mind right away, my Classroom Rewards Poster- pretty easy with only five products to choose from!
Take a peek at the before...
The "old" version was exactly was I needed when I made it my first year of teaching. At that point, I was still trying to nail down all of the specifics I had planned with my grade level team for the upcoming year. My head was spinning, and I couldn't keep it all straight! When the time came to start on TeacherspayTeachers, I thought it was a good tool for teachers to have, and I was happy to share something that had worked for me. I knew it wasn't pretty, but it was simple and useful.
However, as I began to add to my TpT collection a part of me was disappointed to see the sad little page I was putting out for the world to see. So, when opportunity knocked, in the form of the TpT Challenge, I was ready to go!
Here is the new, shiny version of that sad little poster...
Classroom Rewards Posters Sample Color & Black
It really just makes me happy looking at it! I can't wait to show it off to my new group of students this August! There's actually color and it's still organized, relatively simple, and definitely useful.
Of course I had to add a nice cover to go with my revamped poster...
Classroom Reward Posters Cover
There are also a few alternatives available for those of you looking for something a little different. This one below is an editable version of the poster to allow teachers to customize it for their classroom.
Classroom Rewards Posters
I have also included a black and white version of the sample and the editable version. So feel free to enjoy whichever version suits you!
Classroom Rewards Posters BW Sample
 Here's one final picture to sum up all the changes!
Featured image