Sunday, July 19, 2015

Plan with Me Sundays: All My Supplies

Another Plan with Me Sundays link-up with Kreative in Kindergarten and Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris. This time we are talking all about supplies!  I enjoy planning and being organized, as well as shopping for school supplies, so it only makes logical sense that planner supplies would send me into teacher diva overload!  Of course, everything doesn't HAVE to be cute, but I have learned about myself that when something has visual appeal and I enjoy doing it, I am more likely to be consistent. So here are my faves for this year...(keep in mind I'm still waiting on my own planner so I already feel behind...sad face)...

Clearly, planners are for writing!  There is so much to do and record and document as a teacher that the right writing tools are so important.  I like to use different colors for different tasks/roles I have so that I can quickly scan my monthly/weekly spreads for which activities go with which of my life roles.  But back to pens...recently, I made the switch to Flair pens, which seem to be the unspoken norm among teacher planners.  When I saw the tropical pack at Office Max, I completely caved and now I love them!  This past week, O-Max had their four packs on sale, so I nabbed these too. 

I've long been a fan of digital washi tape, so now I've made the switch (or addition) to the real deal too.  I'm still a novice in terms of how to use it though...but soon enough I'll be a washi tape ninja.  I got these awesome designs when I went Thursday night shopping with my girl Davita!

I have a serious Post-It note obsession!  In fact, if you open my new desk drawers, that might be all you see!  I have to have every color, design, style, etc., but the real problem is that they are so cute I want to save them!  (Eye roll...I know, right?   Am I the only one who has that problem?)  I'm trying to get over that though...but no planning session is complete without stickies of all kinds, including flags

Last year, I bought some personalized color-coding stickers from Erin Condren.  (Click here if you want to use my referral link to snag your own!  They also have photo stickers I'm thinking of ordering this year with a gift card I won from Amy at My Bright Bunch!  As you can tell, these were well-used this year and suited my color-coordinating needs well.  

This year I bought some of the cutest planner stickers on Etsy!  Some people are just so creative!  I would love to see how they make the designer stickers, but here are a few that I got from The Reset Girl, and some snap-in planner markers and washi tape strips that I got from Planner Kate.

I'm planning to get several more sheets too that I've been eyeing.  I'll keep sharing what I add to my collection so you can snag them too...if you like.

Don't forget to check out all the other teachers' posts on their supplies.  I can't wait to see what all they use too so I can add some new goodies to my growing collection

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Crossing the Office Overhaul Off the Summer Bucket List

When this summer began, there were so many things I wanted to accomplish!  Among them was reorganizing and decluttering my office and digging my way out of the piles of stuff that I had accumulated by not assigning each thing its proper home in my home.  So office overhaul was certainly on this summer's bucket list

I'm so thrilled that I can finally cross it off my list this week!  Of course, there are still a few small tasks left to accomplish, but I have significantly reduced the number of piles in the floor...and that's DEFINITELY progress in my book!  Take a look at my new spread.

I am so excited at how well my inspiration wall came together.  I wanted a vinyl quote and a hodge podge of little mementos and photos that made me remember all the reasons why I want to be successful.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought the Umbra Photo Hangit Photo Display and a "Choose Happiness" vinyl.  Admittedly, the vinyl was a little frustrating to put up, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I also think the square photos from Shutterfly really give it that lil somethin' extra.

I am also pumped to have all my Twilight goodies in one place too!  Also on this (new) bookshelf, I've been able to add my Oh Snap! bins with all my various school supplies with the two bottom shelves dedicated to my Thirty-One stuff.  (Yes, I'm a consultant on the below if you want to shop with me!) 

I've revamped the bookshelves so that the things on each shelf are practically placed according to my needs.  I've moved all my professional literature to the bookshelf closest to my desk for easy access.

As a Thirty-One consultant, I also have quite a bag addiction going...I have several things that just wouldn't fit in the shelves I showed earlier, and I also wanted easy access for when I need to "grab and go".  So I went to Amazon for a solution (as usual)...and found this cool wonky-shaped rack thing to hang several of my bags.

And one of the best partsLook who helped me all along the way!  LOL!

Of course, I still need to go through the stuff in this stack, and I have a bag full of yard sale books ready to go, but all things considered, I'm thrilled at the way it has turned out.  And, yes, I consider that a FINISHED project!   (And if you don't believe here to see how it was before!  Yikes!)

Friday, July 17, 2015

My Blogger T-Shirt...I Have Arrived! :)

I was so excited when I saw the offer that A+ Images had for teacher bloggers earlier this summer.  This company is so awesome!  I definitely wanted to work with them to print my brand new logo on a shirt of my very own.

The quality was amazing!  It's so soft, and I felt like a real celebriteacher when I got it in the mail.  It came in perfect timing for me to take when I went to Vegas last week.  Isn't it just awesome?!

Don't forget to check out their site for your own shirts using the link above.  I saw their booth at the exhibit hall at the SDE conference last week, and all their work is incredible

Monday, July 13, 2015

Viva Las Vegas! My Epic Las Vegas Vacation (and TpT Conference!)

I'm still on cloud nine from my amazingly epic Las Vegas vacation.  Yes, I attended conferences the entire time I was there, and yes, I still consider that a vacation!  I had so much fun, and I feel like I've finally found "my tribe."  Here are some of my highlights from my trip.  I know I've posted about 50 pics here, but - trust me - these were the narrowed down choices!  I took over 400 in all, and I'd like to thank the Shutterfly app for immediate uploads that helped me keep my phone cleared off to capture all these awesome moments.  

The conferences were at The Venetian, which was absolutely beautiful, but also absolutely pricey.  I stayed across the street at The Mirage and had a lovely time.  It also encouraged me to start and end each day with a little walk (since I had to walk across the street to the conference location), so that was good to balance all the sitting I did in the workshops.   

I arrived on Tuesday (see a few posts back for pictures from my first night), but I really started the learning on Wednesday with a day at the National Differentiated Instruction Conference.  I can't even explain all the awesome things I learned, but I'm eager to put a few ideas into practice this new year, especially for interventions and accommodations for struggling readers.  I met some amazingly intelligent presenters, and I only wish I could be as articulate as they one day in my professional future.

Part of my prize included a $25 gift certificate to spend at the Crystal Springs Bookstore.  Since I explained in a previous post how I'm planning to target the language of mathematics this year, I flipped when I saw this book!  I began reading it on the plane ride home and LOVE it!  Each chapter has a specific literacy strategy extended to mathematical ideas/concepts, so it's exactly what I needed.  Best part?  FREE!  Thanks, SDE, for the shopping spree!

And then there was that fangirl moment I got to meet Rick Wormeli!  I am in awe...*starstruck*!  He is so amazingly brilliant and insightful.  I wish I could demonstrate even half of his knowledge, but his presentation skills are on point too.  We were laughing the entire presentation!  He was so nice when I went to talk to him, but my mind turned to goo and I couldn't articulate everything I wanted to say!  I hate when I do that!  :)

I also got to meet Monica from SDE who helped organize my day!  She worked with Cyndie Dunn from Chalk One Up for the Teacher to get my tuition paid for the day I spent here at the DI conference.

Perhaps the best moments are the unplanned ones.  I went to Bible study on Wednesday night at the Oakey Boulevard church of Christ.  Sister Nikita offered to drive me back to my hotel, and we had such an instant connection!  I enjoyed the drive back so much, and I'm so happy that I got to meet another sister in Christ.

I went out later on Wednesday for dinner and a little sight-seeing.  It was the first night I got to see (and feel) the volcano eruption outside The Mirage.  It was SO hot!  Literally!  I also strolled down toward Caesar's Palace to the beautiful fountains.

Obviously, as a foodie, that's one of my favorite parts of any vacation or trip, so naturally, I had to include a section about my fave eats while I was there.

I waited about 40 minutes in line at Carlo's bakery (a.k.a. The Cake Boss' place). I bought this delectable dark chocolate mousse cake.  It was worth every penny!

Then one night I ate at Guy Fieri's restaurant too and had the best fries I've ever had in my entire life!  I'm not much of a french fry girl, but these were phenomenal!

On Thursday, I totally had a fangirl moment of a different kind.  I ate lunch with Jill (below), and we started talking about the TpT conference.  (She was there for the other SDE conferences.)  When I gave her one of my cards, she said, "Oh, I've heard of you!  Someone in one of our Facebook groups was talking about your planners the other day!"  I nearly fainted!  I couldn't believe it.  It was my very first (and only, so far) celebriteacher moment!  I had to snap a pic with her to remember the occasion.

Thursday night, I went to the High Roller (the world's largest "ferris wheel") to see the lights of Las Vegas by night.  I met these two Korean girls who were vacationing here in the states.  They couldn't get their cards to work properly at the electronic ticket kiosk, so I helped them.  When I found out they were from Korea and were still learning English, I told them I was an ESL teacher.  We spent the evening together!  I'm so thankful that I was in the right moment at the right time to make new friends and to (hopefully) be a blessing to someone else.  It was one of my favorite moments of the trip.

Here's my selfie at the top of the High Roller!  550 feet in the sky!

I met so many new people at the TpT conference.  It was so nice to be with so many other like-minded teachers and friends.  Even though we were from all over the globe, we had an instant connection.  I felt "at home" with my new friends immediately.

But then I fangirled pretty hard when I got to meet these awesome sellers.  I've bought so many things from each of them!  I was so excited that they were so friendly and took the time to offer me advice and just talk.  From top to bottom, that's me with The 3AM Teacher, A Little Piece of Africa, Teaching and Tapas, and Teaching Super Power.  The last photo is Amy from TpT...she's our Director of Seller Happiness.  (Congrats on your promotion, Amy!)

As I was leaving the conference, I ran into two other Alabama girls!  I couldn't believe it!  We really hit it off, so I hope to see them again soon at our blogger meet-ups.  Who would've known that I would make so many new friends from near and far?

I spent my last night at the dolphin habitat at The Mirage and taking a gondola ride at the Venetian.  I'm so glad I did both!  These were definitely attractions that were on my "must see" list.

But I still have to pinch myself to believe it's real when I think about my ultimate favorite moment.  At the welcome keynote, we wrote down our goals for the conference.  Amy and Adam asked three teachers to share theirs...and in front of a room of over 1,000 teachers, I stood up and shared mine...which was to meet Cyndie Dunn who made this entire experience possible.  She stood up and waved from across the room, so I ran all the way across the auditorium to hug her in person.  The entire room was cheering for us!  It was such a rush!  I still can't believe I was brave enough to do it, but I'm SO glad that I did.  It actually lowered my affective filter, and then I wasn't afraid to talk to anyone!  :)  Not that there was ever anything to be afraid of!  These teachers are amazingly encouraging!

I wanted to meet Tracee Orman too, who was the first person to ever mentor me on TpT, but she wasn't able to come this year...but we chatted all morning on Facebook and hope to get to meet face-to-face soon.  I'm so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing teachers and leaders!

Obviously, I didn't want to leave because I had so much fun!  Here's what I put on IG my last morning:

I didn't want to leave, but I am so thankful I had the chance to go.  I really hope to be able to go again next year too!  It truly was the trip of a lifetime!

You're probably tired of all the pics I posted and all my rambling by now!  (LOL!)  But you should head back over to the Elementary Entourage to check out their Viva Las Vegas posts too!