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Monday, October 20, 2014

Liebster Award!! :)

Thank you to Jasmine at The Dots of Teaching for nominating me for a Liebster Award! I was so excited when I received the notification from her. What an honour! :)

1.  Why and when did you start blogging?
I started blogging during the summer of 2013. My first few posts were DIY projects that I was working on. I wanted to show other people the steps to create what I was making.

2.  What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Hmmm... without a permanent teaching position right now, I feel that my blog is still "finding itself"! :)

3.  Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING! I know that when I am reading blogs I love pictures so when I am planning my posts I have to remind myself to take pictures. Even if it seems excessive at the time, you never know which pictures will work with your post. 

4.  What is your favourite past time other than blogging?
Most of my hobbies are related to teaching! I love to read blogs, create resources, volunteer in classrooms, etc. I also love animals and enjoy volunteering at the humane society. Every summer, I foster a litter of kittens! SO FUN! 
Kittens from summer 2014

5.  How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
Not enough. I love blogging and I wish I dedicated more time to it. 

6.  What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I have a weak spot for classroom tours. I think it is because I am longing to have a classroom of my own. A girl can dream!

7.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My blog inspiration comes from being in classrooms and working with students. 

8.  Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
My favourite post is also my most popular post. I think this project turned out even better than I expected and I love finding new ways to use these colourful clothespins! 

9.  Is there any post you've been planning to do but have been postponing it for awhile now?
I have about 5 or 6 half written posts that I want to finish. One that I have been working on recently is about attention grabbers and transition signals. I have come across so many great ideas while being in a different classroom every day and I would love to share the list I have compiled and include why they work and what grade I have used them for!

10.  What is your favourite aspect of blogging?
My favourite aspect of blogging is reading other teachers' blogs. I love being able to take a look into other classrooms and learn about the awesome ideas and lessons they have. I also love the connections I have made with bloggers from around the world!

11.  Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?
Reading through Jasmine's blog, I came across these adorable fabric pumpkins that she made recently at her church. They are too cute and look easy enough to make!

Here are my 11 nominations of amazing blogs that I love! Make sure to check them out.
11. Kinderpond 

Now that you've been nominated here are the official "rules" for accepting:
1. In your post link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out".
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs that have less than 200 followers each.  Provide them with 11 questions or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know they've been nominated and provide them with a link back to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so s/he can learn more about you as well.  (You can just put your post link in the comments below). 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Week of Awesome - Substitute Teacher Edition

This year, I am back to daily substitute teaching.  I live in an area that has a large surplus of qualified teachers and supply teaching is the only way to work towards having a classroom of your own.  Although there are many challenging days, I think it is important to try and stay positive.  I absolutely love Mrs. Beattie's idea for a linky she titled "A Year of Awesome".  We should push ourselves to look for the "awesome" in every day (even if it is something small)!  When I am feeling discouraged about not having a permanent position, I try to remind myself that I am lucky to be substitute teaching at all. Yes, it is even extremely competitive to get on a supply list where I live!  So here is a glimpse into my week of awesome! :)

 I did not receive any calls to teach today which is a bummer! I woke up, got ready, and waited by the phone. Around 9:30am I accepted the fact that I most likely would not be working. Looking on the bright side, I realized that I would be home to accept the delivery of my fiance's birthday present, an iPad! So, that was AWESOME!

 Monday night, I got a call to teach from the automated system.  When I arrived, I was able to speak with the teacher who was leaving for a half day for an athletic event.  I only had 17/28 students because the other 11 were with the teacher I was replacing.  It was a grade 4/5 split.  We started off the morning with read to self and I was very impressed with how quickly they settled in.  Then, we did some word work and a shared reading activity. After recess, we had some catch up time followed by free time.  Most of the students chose to play Boggle or a game they called 5 Letter Word Game which is a spelling game played in pairs.  The students were wonderful!  On task, quiet, respectful, polite... AWESOME!

Well, no call to teach again today.  It is usually slow before or after a holiday weekend.  I am hoping calls will pick up after Thanksgiving! :)
Although I was technically "off" today, I still went to my other job.  I have worked as a home school teacher for a family for almost four years.  I absolutely love being able to teach one-on-one at our own pace.  We decided to do my Thanksgiving Turkey - Writing Activity (available for FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers).  We did this same activity last year so it was neat to compare what she wrote last year to this year.  One thing she was thankful for (that stayed the same this year and last year) was - ME!  That made me feel AWESOME!  I am so thankful to have been her teacher since kindergarten.
 Last year on the left - This year on the right
Check out what she wrote on the red feather! I am a lucky teacher.

I was invited to go to the pumpkin patch with the class that I taught for a small part of last year.  I had been on this field trip twice before and it is always a lot of fun.  They offer wonderful educational programming for any grade.  For kindergarden, it is the life cycle of a pumpkin.  After the farmer's presentation, we headed out into the patch where each student was able to pick their own pumpkin to take home.  Then, we took a tractor ride out to the corn maze.  It was cold, windy, and VERY muddy but everyone had an AWESOME time!
 There are play structures for the kids to play on near the entrance to the farm.
Beautiful pumpkins!

Oops! I missed Friday! :( I don't remember anything specific about Friday but I did have an AWESOME Thanksgiving long weekend. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday for many reasons. Fall is my favourite season and the leaves are beautiful this time of year! The weather was great and I was able to spend the weekend at my parents' house which is a couple hours from where I live. My mom made an AWESOME dinner on Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon we went to the local apple orchard. Delicious!
I am so thankful for my fiance, my family, my friends, my felines and of course, I am thankful to be a teacher even if that means having to daily substitute teach (for now)! :)

Freddy and Eli 

Make sure to head on over to Mrs. Beattie's blog to read about her Week of Awesome and link up!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Free Spring Themed Write the Room

Hello everyone!

One of my absolute favourite kindergarten centres is "Write the Room". Watching the kiddos with their clipboards searching the room just melts my heart! I love any activity that allows my students to get up and moving. I find that this type of centre is always a hit and it seems to motivate even the most reluctant writers. A few weeks ago, I made this Spring Write the Room to accompany some of my FREE Spring Themed Words.  I hope that you will be able to use it in your classroom! :)

 I also printed the Spring Words (four per page) and posted it near the writing centre! :)

I hope you're having a fantastic week! :)
- Ms. Makinson

Sunday, April 6, 2014

DIY CVC Sliders

Hello everyone!

Let's get this blog back up and running! I posted on my Facebook page this morning that I was making some CVC word sliders. I didn't anticipate such a huge response! I am so excited to share these with you. Please follow the link to get your FREE starter copy! CVC Word Sliders - CLICK HERE!

Materials needed:
- card stock paper
- clear tape
- scissors
- a printer

First, you will need to print the file! 
The arrow is to show your students which way the card slides out. It is also a great visual to show them where to put their thumb. The red line is there to indicate that the word is complete and to not pull out the card any more. In other words, STOP sliding! The cards can be tricky to reinsert. 

 These rectangles are what will hold your sliders. 

 Cut out the holders and the CVC word cards carefully. 

 Line up the word card with the top of the holder. Note: The side with the arrow should be sticking out a bit. I changed the size of the rectangle after I took this picture.

 Fold up and press carefully to make sure the card will fit. Note: The side with the arrow should be sticking out a bit. I changed the size of the rectangle after I took this picture.

 Turn it over so you can see the black outline at the top.

 Fold the flap over like an envelope. NOTE: Slide your card in and out a few times to make sure it fits well before the next step. 

 Tape the flap down securely.

Try sliding the card in and out. You can tape the end closed if you'd like. You are done! :)

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
-Ms. Makinson