Thursday, January 12, 2017
Aren't you ready to read a little bit more of what I have chosen and why?
This part of my explanations really deals with three different pictures; however, you will notice I use some of these pictures in a different example as well.
As a teacher, sometimes I get stuck in a rut. I do what I have always done because it is comfortable and because I know how to do it and because it isn't scary. I am tired of those excuses, and I am challenging myself to GROW in several different ways.
For instance, I have had the idea to use literature circles in my writing classroom to reinforce reading skills after my standardized tests. A lot of teachers use the time after their standardized tests to go slower; however, I don't want to go slower! I want to be a change maker! Shake things up! I have some great ideas in the works, but it is only going to work if my Donors Choose gets funded.
That brings me to the scary thing about new ideas - SOMETIMES there are things OUTSIDE of your control that stops that great idea. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to do something or make something happen, but there has been a roadblock. Roadblocks stink! I don't help the situation by usually having the great idea too late. I think of something and want to implement it the very next day or week.
This year, I am really focusing on starting early enough to do some road work myself. If I can begin thinking about my plans and thoughts early enough, maybe I can get the jackhammer out myself and stop some of those roadblocks!
If you feel so inclined, check out my Donor's Choose page to see my project, and some projects of others I know. Get involved in helping teachers' ideas become a reality!
You can read about why I created a Vision Board here.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
I am working on this series of explanations for my vision board (original post here). You can look on the original post to see a link to my first explanation, but now - on to my second explanation...
Because I am a naturally lazy person, I know that I need a little extra motivation. For this reason, my goal for this year is to walk at least four loops a day. One thing that is important to realize is that a loop is by NO MEANS a lap around the track. Two wonderful coworkers of mine have divided our school into sections, or loops, and we have made a little competition of how many we can walk each day. The map shows the approximate amount of steps each loop happens to be, but I use my iPhone to track my personal steps. When I was an elementary school teacher, I am sure that I walked MILES each day, but as a middle school teacher, I realize that I can go whole days hardly walking!
One way I am going to ensure that I get my four loops in is to walk first thing in the morning. I am determined to get to school as early as I can, and walk my loops before the tardy bell even rings. I have realized that if I don't do it then, my motivation for actually doing it dwindles. While I am walking my loops, it will give me a moment to plan out my day, my transitions, and get my mind in a good spot for the day.
While getting to school early will ensure that I get my loops in, I realized there is another way to make sure I am successful: earbuds. For the first several days, I walked while listening to a book, but a few days last week, I left my earbuds at home. I noticed that I walked MORE while listening to my book then without. I have several theories about why that is the case, but it all boils down to being distracted. While I am focused on my book, I am not paying attention to the clock and all of the other things that I could be doing. By getting lost in the audiobook, I walk almost in a haze, and this helps me achieve more loops.
It isn't much, but so far, by following the two steps above, I have walked at least a mile each day. This is definitely more than what I was doing previously, and I am feeling better about my self and my health.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
On Facebook recently, I noticed someone post a vision board for the new year. I began to think about what a vision board was and if it was something that would be useful.
A vision board, according to MakeaVisionBoard.com (hmmm..I wonder how they feel about the subject?), is, "a tool used to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus" on goals. I found some articles that, of course, encouraged the use of vision boards as a personal and professional way to visualize growth within yourself. Then...I read the opposing side. Psychology Today made the point that it isn't actually the visualization that makes it work. Most would think that would be common sense, and I went into this KNOWING that dreaming about a bag of chips will not magically make a bag of chips appear before me. I have to work for it.
After reading the research from Psychology Today, you would think I would NOT be making a vision board, so why am I? Well easy. Even though I know that I have to do more than dream, it is NICE to actually see what I am working towards. It was a great exercise for me to put together using pictures and quotes what I am working towards. It made me think about what I want, and made me begin thinking of the ACTION that will be needed.
Dr. Neil Farber (Psychology Today author) took the words right out of my mouth (and made a better sentence out of those words haha!), "Ideas, thoughts, and dreams are great, but they are forms of energy which do not necessarily lead to action." While they may not necessarily lead to action, it all depends on the person. I am dedicating myself to action. Below is my vision board (instructions on how I made it will be posted here), and each day I will post about what a portion of it means for me.
I encourage you to create a vision board as well, and if you are one of my students and will send it to me following the instructions above, you will receive extra credit for the 4th six weeks!
Read my explanations below!
My Vision Board Explained - Part One
My Vision Board Explained - Part Two
I wanted to take a second and explain a portion of my vision board (original post here), but then I realized...I have already explained one of the images!
Read the post here about how I plan to be intentional this year. This is still heavy on my heart, and I am hopeful I have already begun this.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
You are here because you might need to know a little bit more about transitions. If you are here, you must watch one of the videos below and write a comment about something you learned from the video, something you liked about the video, and something you didn't like from the video (or maybe still don't understand). After you watch the video, you may correct your transition assignment.
Please know that if you do not COMMENT something you learned from the video, you will not be able to improve your score.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Wow. Another school year is beginning which means it is time to get back into the swing of blogging! While I love doing this, I have found myself having to create time in my day to post something. That feeling of CREATING the time goes hand in hand with my phrase for this year.
I realized I was using the terms INTENT, INTENTIONAL, & PURPOSEFUL all summer while writing curriculum and planning my days.
What does INTENTIONAL even mean? I know I have my definition in my head, but just for grins I did a little Googling. Intention is an aim or a plan. So to be intentional is to set out with an aim or a plan...a goal! Naturally, that leads me to my next thought: how can I live a life that is full of INTENT? While I was using the Google machine, I found this poem from a book by Mary Anne Radmacher that I just had to share.
LIVE WITH INTENTION. WALK TO THE EDGE. LISTEN HARD. PRACTICE WELLNESS. PLAY WITH ABANDON. LAUGH. CHOOSE WITH NO REGRET. APPRECIATE YOUR FRIENDS. CONTINUE TO LEARN. DO WHAT YOU LOVE. LIVE AS IF THIS IS ALL THERE IS. – Mary Anne Radmacher
Live as if this is all there is.....wow! Think about that for a moment! Read that poem again.
I then ran across this great quote from my daily reading in Rocking Ordinary by Lea Ann Garfias, "It takes conscious effort to be graceful, truly loving and forgiving to those around us." How true is that? It is easy to hold grudges and get snippy and gossip and not do my part and have a bad attitude (EEK! Be careful, Mrs. Kinsman!), and keep to myself, and...and...and... On the flip side, Mrs. Garfias says that it takes a CONSCIOUS effort. I have to be thinking about it!!!!!
I want to be the type of person that thinks through my actions. I do not want to just live a life all willy nilly (great vocabulary haha!).
My phrase or motto that I hope to live by this year is to Be Intentional in everything I do. When I speak, I want to speak with good intentions. I want my actions to prove intentional. I want to have a reason, a plan, an aim, a goal for everything I do and say. Everything! I want to be seen as someone that has put thought into their words and actions. I want to be seen as someone who is teaching with the intention that I am molding a great new generation of citizens.
If you had to pick a motto for this year, what would it be? Do you pick a word or phrase to dwell on each year?
Thursday, June 9, 2016
This is for a workshop that I am attending through Region 7. I couldn't figure out how to add it to the discussion board, so I figured I would use this blog! I am having to dust the cobwebs off the blog a little! I can't wait to get back to using this for my kiddos next year!
I am a middle school teacher, so I chose TEKS 7.14C. I have always unpacked my TEKS, and I have done it many different ways. I have used a binder, a composition notebook, and even Google Slides. However, I REALLY like using file folders.
A couple of things that I do differently. First of all, I always start with the Knowledge and Skills statement. I think that it gives me a LOT of information and is often overlooked. On the front side of the file folder you will see the Knowledge and Skills statement, the standard broken down, and in yellow writing (harder to see in pic) the reporting category. The inside of the folder is where I put any essentials (graphic organizer, writing prompts that are keepers, writing samples that are keepers, etc), it is also where I put vocabulary that either I need to know or the students need to know. I went to a workshop with Dee Jordan, and she shared with us the idea of putting question stems from released tests, so I also put that on the inside. That ensures that as I am teaching the lesson that I am questioning the students appropriately.