Thursday, July 24, 2014

Are you a Font Hoarder? Organization Tips Here!!

Maybe this is a trick that everyone knows already, but I have been trying to figure out how to make font folders to organize my fonts in Word on my Macbook for YEARS and I FINALLY just figured it out yesterday! Here's a quick tutorial on how to easily organize your fonts!

I have been constantly referring back to those cool font pairing posts on Pinterest whenever I decide to make something for my classroom- now I have just grouped compatible font pairs together to simplify my hoard of fonts! 
I hope this helps somebody!
Happy Thursday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kagan Cooperative Learning Conference!

Oh, just a selfie with brain scientist and
cooperative learning guru, Dr. Spencer Kagan!
 Happy Monday, everyone! I haven't blogged in awhile, but I just got back from the Kagan Summer Academy, so I have to share about my trip! I learned lots and had tons of fun with my colleagues. If you ever get the chance to go to the summer academy, DO IT! It's life-changing!

    To begin, let's start with a little clip that talks about what cooperative learning is all about:

   I feel so fortunate to work at my school- over 70% of our school is Kagan-trained. I got the privilege of attending the five day cooperative learning course two years ago (which I LOVED and always rave about.) I also got the opportunity to extend my learning last week by attending the Literacy and Thinking Skills classes. About half of our staff attended the conference this summer! 

    Another great thing about the conference was that there were so many exciting things to do during our downtime! How many teachers can say that they bonded with their colleagues at DISNEY WORLD?? It was a great experience and gave us an opportunity to unwind, discuss what we learned, and get to know each other- which will surely increase collaboration during the next school year!

I'll do another post soon to share ideas for setting up and managing your CL classroom! Until then, I hope everyone is having a relaxing, recharging summer!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Testing Pep Rally: Five For Friday!

 Our principal had the awesome idea of having a state-testing pep rally! The kids were so fired up and emotional with school spirit afterward that I'm so excited to share what was on the agenda with you!

1.Our principal invited the mascot, cheerleaders, and band from the high school to perform and get everyone fired up. When the kids entered the gym, the cheerleaders made pom pom tunnels over both of the doors for the kids to pass through while the band played.

2. The kids were greeted not only by the high school students, but also by the good luck posters that the primary students made earlier in the week. They hung them up after lunch on Wednesday to surprise the intermediates. SO cute. The primary siblings of the older kids wrote personalized good luck messages on the signs as well. 
3. We placed rubber school spirit bracelets on each of our students' wrists and told them, "You are a game changer." 

4. We played two videos during the assembly: one at the beginning in which students gave their testing advice- mixed in with pictures of kids learning throughout the year. The second video played "The Final Countdown" as all of the teachers in the building wished the kids good luck. There were also shots of all of the teachers instructing the kids mixed in. Here's a short clip from that video so you can get the idea:

After the assembly, the students were super fired up. Many expressed that the good luck video made them emotional. One little boy in my class was even moved to tears! I think it reminded the kids how much we care about them being successful.

5. This last one isn't about the pep rally, but it totally made my day on Friday:

My students know that if they grow taller than me during the schoolyear, they get a Refocus Sheet (kind of like a referral, but with no office trip.) So this girl in my class wore wedge tennis shoes and came up to me to check her height against mine a few days ago. Then she asked if she should go and get a Refocus Sheet. I said, "I guess you have to make better choices next time." She filled it out, we both signed it, and she took it home. I LOVE the mom's response at the bottom.  I also love that the girl said she wasn't being fair, caring, or respectful. Sixth grade is a great age- they are too funny.

Have a great weekend!