Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stop! Disco Time!

So picture this if you will...

I am hard at work with a small group then suddenly.....I am interrupted...for someone to show me their broken pencil, or to tattle, or to ask to go the bathroom.  Despite the fact that we have had procedures in place since DAY ONE about what to do in such an instance.  Not mention that I have reached the point where I have told my sweeties that unless someone is:
Throwing Up 
On Fire 
Do NOT interrupt a reading group!

Haha, can you sense my frustration?  Please tell me I'm not the only one experiencing this right now. 

I had to try something different.  I was at Lowe's one day plotting my next home improvement and saw this:

It was on sale for 10 bucks!

A disco ball!  My kids this year LOVE to dance so I knew this would catch their attention.  

So now when it is time for reading groups, I turn on the disco ball.

I must take some photography classes!

So now they start to approach the table, see the disco ball, FREEZE, smile, and take care of the "problem" on their own.  So far, so good!

I'm loving it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Techy Tuesday-Mentor Mob

Hi friends!

I'm linking up with Katie's Techy Teacher Tuesday for the first time.

I have always wished that I could use You Tube videos in my classroom.  There are such great teaching videos out there.  But unfortunately You Tube is cyber-blocked at my school.  {{sad face}}  I tried saving videos to Dropbox and to a flashdrive but just never could get it to work correctly. 

Good news!  I may have a solution for you!

Have you heard about Mentor Mob?  I first heard about it on Technology Tailgate and then EduKate and Inspire.  I tried it out and to my surprise and extreme joy, IT WORKED AT MY SCHOOL despite the You Tube block!!  I'm so glad Kate blogged about it because it is the best thing EVAH!

Mentor Mob is a site that allows you to save You Tube videos (and other media) in category playlists that YOU create.  On my page I have playlists for Science, Social Studies, Math, Lang Arts, Brain Breaks, Holidays, Favorite Stories and Character. 

Here is my link: 

Please feel free to just bookmark my page and use it.  That is the great thing!   You can view other people's playlists.  My librarian started her own but then just started sending me links to load to mine.  Someone is definitely using my Brain Break list because it has over 1000 views!  

I cannot tell you how wonderful this site is to have.  It has allowed me to spice up my teaching and to have lessons that POP!  Not to mention the wonderful Brain Break videos for when my sweeties have the wiggles.  Their favorite ones are If You're a Kid and Ants in Your Pants.  

Here is a short video from their site:

Again, please feel free to use my lists but if you want to create your own, it is super easy to do!

I created a short video to show you just how easy it is to add videos.  This is my first tutorial, and I hate my Minnie Mouse voice!  Can you tell where I'm from?  Haha!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

I'm on Spring Break and have been cleaning like a fiend!  Next on the to do list is to schedule some blog posts!  

Have a good night!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Advice to You Linky Party

Are you there friends?  It's me, Crystal!  

I have seriously decided that I have SAD.  I have been in the dumps and barely hanging on all winter.  But now that the sun is shining and I can walk the dog at 7 pm and it's still sunny, I'm GREAT!  Terrible sentence but I'm so happy!  Haha!

I have gotten more accomplished in the past 3 days than I have in months!  I have blogged three times today but before I published one of them, I saw this linky from Ms. Fultz's Corner.  

Click graphic to join linky

How perfect!  I have a dear friend who is looking for a job and we just talked about much of this.  

My advice to you:

1.  Communication  
Keep the lines of communication between you and parents WIDE OPEN.  I give out my cell number to my parents.  This allows them to tell me dismissal changes, why folder is missing, little Johnny had a tummy ache in the morning, etc..  I have been able to nip many problems in the bud very quickly that would have otherwise resulted in a furious parent yelling at me or the principal the next morning.  For those of you hesitant to give out your number, check into getting a Google Voice account for your school.  We got one set up at our school last month.  It allows parents to email or leave you a voicemail at your Google Voice number.  It looks great but I honestly haven't used it much yet.

2.  Make Allies
It's a great idea to get on the good side of the secretary and the custodian.  They can be so helpful to you and are more likely to help you in a timely manner if you have been friendly and respectful. Just

3.  Be Open to Change
If one thing is true in education, it's that this too shall pass.  Trends come and go.  If you don't like something, be as positive about it as you can and hang on!  

Don't get complacent.  Always be learning and striving to be the best YOU can be.  

4.  Love, Humor, and Fun
Play games when you can instead of "paper" work.  

Laugh with them often and much.  My favorite books to read are funny ones.  Those are the ones that stick with them.

LOVE...your hugs and love might be the only ones that they get on a daily basis.  You might be the only constant in their life.  And the one that is making you want to pull out every hair in your head is the one that needs it the MOST.  I'm living this one every minute of every school day this year.  

5.  Sisterhood
Those of us in the trenches need to stick together and support each other.  Our first grade team is now trying to go out as a group once a month at least.  We are going tomorrow night and I CAN'T WAIT!  I know I will get an ab workout just from laughing.  

6.  Thank God and PRAY
We have the best and most important job in the world.  Pray for patience, love, and to see the sparkle in each one.

Go join the linky!

Much love and cyber hugs,