Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PBL NY Day 1 Keynote Speaker Sam Seidel

I have had the opportunity to attend PBL NY again this year.
 Shout out to my district for sending me! Thanks Cazenovia Central School District!

It is an amazing conference full of presenters, educators, administrators, college professors, and experts.
If you want to know ANYTHING about Project Based Learning, this is the place to go!

I am going to have to break this up into a bunch of posts. There is WAY too much information for one or just a few. :)

PBLNY opened with Sam Seidel.

What a start to the conference!

This was Sam Seidel at PBL World 2013.
If you would like to watch his presentation, click the link. 

Mr. Seidel's presentation was about "What does PBL stand for?". 
How can we keep ALL students engaged and empire them as change makers?
What's your driving question?
What do your students love to do/make?
How can you make your projects "realer"?

Keep it REAL
Real World
Real Work

PBL prepares students to be:
successful in college
desirable employees
change makers

PBL can stand for:
Practice Before Life
Platform to Build their Legacy
Prevent Boring Lessons :)
Prepare Bold Leaders

As I am just touching a little on what Mr. Seidel spoke about, you should look him up. If you ever get the chance to go see him speak, he is outstanding, motivating, inspiring, and real.

He did all these things at schools. He brought in projects for kids to do that were real for them. He made them want to do well in school so that they could continue doing these kinds of projects. 
You have to check out his bio. He has done some AMAZING things!
I can't wait to see what he does next.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Right Smack Dab in the Middle of it All

I know a lot of you are preparing to go back to school soon. I can't get into my classroom until the last week of August. There are renovations going on in the high school, so the entire staff is in our elementary school. The high school principal is in my room.

So, half-way through summer and I'm itching to get some new products out. I had a request from Vanessa in my TpT store to make some hall passes. Thanks Vanessa!!!

Here is my first one. Simple, but so useful.

Hall passes. I have made them with an owl theme (of course).  I will be making more with other themes.

I can't wait to use these!

I am giving away a set on my FB page.
Head on over.
Have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Make Your Own Masterpiece #TpTsellerchallenge

This one took me a while to decide what I was going to do. I use this as a Word Work choice during Daily 5, but I haven't liked what I was using. So, I created this. :)
I had something similar in my store, but it was not very user friendly.

Race to the Top is something that I have done since I started teaching. I love it, my kiddos love it, and my parents love it.

Head on over to check it out. It's FREE today!

I like to cut out and laminate each set of six so that I am ready for the week. I put them into baggies along with the recording sheets. 

I even send them home for homework. They LOVE it!!!

Have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Last Day of School

The last day of school is always bitter sweet.
I have seen these children for 180 days (plus or minus a few). We have laughed, cried, been frustrated, celebrated, every emotion you can think of, we've had it in our classroom.

I'm going to be honest. :)
This year has been a rough one for me. It's been the first I have actively looked for another job. It's the first I have not wanted to go into school. Don't get me wrong, I love these children, but haven't you ever had a year when all the children together have not meshed the right way? You think to yourself, how on earth did they think that these children should be together? Well, that was my year.

So, now what? I say goodbye to these babies that came in the first day all "doe eyed" and innocent. They have all grown tremendously. It is amazing to see the results. They come in to first grade, some of them reading, some of them not, and all of them come out reading at higher levels than they ever thought they could. Their math skills are out of this world. From counting on their fingers to 10 to adding numbers to 120 in their heads. Don't get me wrong, all of them are not doing it and it is not just me. I have to thank the amazing staff that I work with. If not for them, I would have left.

So, thanks for a year where we have all grown. I am looking back on this year with sincere gratitude. We cannot learn without trying new things.

I have said it before, I thank all of you bloggers that have had a positive influence on me. It's all of you who have aided in me not going over to the "dark side".

Here's to summer vacation, renewing my spirit, and recharging.

PS. I found this frog in my pool yesterday!!! This about sums up my year!  Survival!

Have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dare to Dream Week 2 TpT Seller Challenge

Dare to Dream

I am linking up again with these fabulous bloggers.

What do you hope to do with your TpT income?

 College Tuition:     My middle child is going to school this fall. Our oldest will be a junior in college and our youngest will be a junior in high school. We haven't had a break from looking at or choosing colleges for four years, so far, and now we are beginning the search again. My husband and I were very fortunate to not have any student loans after college. I know that is not very common. I would love to be able to help my children out with their loans they are going to be facing when they are done with school. 

Photography:     I have a photography business on the side. Right now I am very happy with all that I do. It keeps me very busy. I would love to be able to purchase a few more lenses and some external flashes. :)

Travel:     Last year, my husband and I were able to go to Paris. I have the travel bug! I want to go EVERYWHERE!!!

Retirement Fund:    Who doesn't need more for this?

What are your dreams?

Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

NonProfits Working in the Education Field

We are a small community, but we have a lot of help from companies and businesses around our area. One of ours is Project Cafe. It has a board consisting of community members. Some adults, but mostly teens. They run the show. 

Project Cafe is a student-directed non-profit organization promoting drug and alcohol free activities, music, art, community service, and scholarship in the Cazenovia area.
With strong community support and a wide array of programs involving youths and adults, Project Cafe is committed to improving the quality of life throughout the Cazenovia area in many unique ways.
Art: Our Art Committee puts together displays of a variety of local artists' work.  Each display last 1-3 months and helps showcase local talent.  It also helps to adorn the walls of Common Grounds
Community Service: Community Service is an important part of Project Cafe.  Members and friends have helped organized and participated in many activities including: 
  1. The Christmas Walk
  2. The Chilly Chili Run
  3. Halloween Cleanup
  4. Halloween Costume Exchange
  5. The Christmas Toy Shoppe
  6. Veterans' Day visit with veterans
  7. The Bridge Cleanup
  8. 9/11 Ceremony
  9. Crop Walk for Hunger
  10. Shoe Collection for Afganistan
  11. The Trail Cleanup 
Entertainment: Our Entertainment Committee provides events to bring the community together.
Some of these events include:
                             Talent Night at Common Grounds
                             Movies at the Park
                             Friday Night Bands at Common Grounds
                             Concerts in the Park
                             I like Oreos
Environment: This Committee is focused on creating programs that help the environment.
We are currently running two programs:
Ink Cartridge Recycling: DON'T THROW YOUR CARTRIDGES AWAY! We have recycling drop boxes located in each school (Burton Street, Green Street and the High School).
Reusable Water Bottles: Made of stainless steel, our water bottles are perfect for your sports teams or yourself. They are just $5.00 and can help save the planet!  Contact Project Cafe for more information on how to order.


Friend to Friend Student Youth Mentoring Program

Encouraging physical and emotional growth among a network of students through stable and trusting friendships
Project CAFE’s Friend to Friend Mentoring Program has taken off with tremendous success!  This mentoring program, started and run primarily by high school students involved with Project CAFE is focused on providing friendship, teaching leadership and promoting character in all students participating in the program.  This year the high school students serving as mentors are each paired with a student in fourth grade and are planning and enjoying activities individually as pairs and occasionally within a whole group setting.  Most recently, the entire group spent an afternoon together working on their own self portraits which include many details that tell about their individual dreams and interests. All works of art will be on display at Common Grounds in the upcoming weeks. If you are interested in being a part of the mentoring program you can email Project CAFE at

Here are some national nonprofit organizations.
What's in your area?
What does your community do/rely on for some extra help?

Nonprofit Supported: ARC
Individual or Organization: Gary Lipsky & Brad Lupien 

  • Founded by Gary Lipsky and Brad Lupien in order to foster learning in an out-of-school environment.
  • ARC is based in Southern California, and focuses on what they call “experiential learning”.
    • This method of education is taught by getting outside and learning by doing things. 
  • This initiative tries to introduce the participants and students to a world that they may not be accustomed with.

For More Information:

Nonprofit Supported: Adler Planetarium: Girls Do Hack
Individual or Organization: Misha Malyshev,Teza Technologies

  • This initiative targets young women who are not always considered for roles in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries.
  • With the help of Misha Malyshev, in association with the Adler Planetarium, Girls Do Hack gives young women a safe space to discover and be encouraged to learn and find their skills in these fields.
    • This event allows girls with shared interests to come together to learn outside of the classroom to enhance their curiosity in these fields. 

Nonprofit Supported: 826 National
Individual or Organization: Dave Eggers & Ninive Calegari
  • This nonprofit focuses on the literacy and learning issues of students
  • 826 National was founded by author Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari
  • Their centers offer free programs including:
    • after school tutoring
    • field trips
    • creative workshops 

For More Information:

Though these are nationally recognized organizations, I would love to learn about local organizations in conjunction with these efforts. Nonprofits targeting the education system allow for continued growth and provide a competitive advantage for students.

Have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Makeover Madness #tptsellerchallenge

My first challenge.
Wow! Did this need a makeover!
You know those products that did well when you first posted them and now you don't see any traffic on them....well, this is one.
I can't remember when I created this. (yes, it's been that long since I have revisited it) :)

Here's the old cover.

Here's the new cover.

What I changed:
New fonts
New graphics
Easier to read

The fonts were fun, but a little difficult to read. I made the cards bigger and easier to cut out by putting them closer together. The response sheets are more kid friendly too.

It's on sale until Friday! 

I am so excited that this was the first challenge.
 I'm going back to look at all of my products this summer. :)

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TPT Seller Challenge

Oh! I am so excited! This is what I needed!!! Some challenges and getting organized!
Woo Hoo!
I am linking up with these wonderful bloggers.

Sparkling in Second

Peppy Zesty Teacherista


Here are the beginning stats of my social media.

I am so excited!!!
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