Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently-February 2015

I always love checking out everyone's Currently posts to check in with what all of my bloggy friends are up to lately.

Here's what I have going on right now:

Listening: My husband is busy making gumbo for our Super Bowl Party.  He LOVES making gumbo (mainly for all of the compliments he receives) and tomorrow is his birthday.  So, this is becoming a yearly tradition for us.  My kids are working on papers (daughter) or being silly and bugging us (son).
Loving: Even though he may be bugging her right now, they are precious together.  We are really trying to soak up every moment before she goes off to college next year.  Just check out this cute picture of the two of them from dinner last night.  They were having a deep sibling conversation to which we were not to be privy.   They have the best relationship.  I am truly blessed.
Thinking: I should really be working on my paper which is due on Tuesday.  I'm currently taking one of the classes to get my ESOL endorsement.  This is my first of 5 classes.  Long road ahead...
Wanting: I am going to do another round of Whole30.  Have you heard of it?  Although my husband and I started eating healthy (mainly vegan) in 2014, we started to slip as the school year began.  Last fall, I saw posts by Rachelle (What the Teacher Wants and For Blogness' Sake) about Whole30.  I read the book, It Starts with Food over the winter break and completed the first round.  If I'm being completely honest, I didn't really complete it because I cheated three times.  When you cheat, you are supposed to start over again.  So, guess that's what I'm doing starting tomorrow. I will say, though, that although I did cheat, I was able to curb my cravings for sugar.  I actually prefer my coffee black now (gasp!).
Needing: I have several lists that I need to start and stick with over the next few months.  Here are the needed lists:
1) NYC!  I'm taking my daughter to New York City for Spring Break!  We are super excited!  Do you have some must-do ideas for us?
2) Project Graduation---so much to do, and so little time
3) College Ready
4) Project Dining Room- I'm slowly renovating my living room.  I bought this BEA-U-TI-FUL buffet on Friday that I am going to refinish:
I'm going to use Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint to hopefully get a look similar to this one found over at Perfectly Imperfect:

So what have you been up to Currently?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Winners and a Cool Classroom Tool

Here to announce the winners of my latest task cards.

I used this cool classroom tool to pick the 5 winners.  

Have you heard of this tool?  It's really rather simple.  You edit the names and then click and spin to pick a random name.   You can also choose to delete a name once it's been picked, or you can keep the name.

Here are the winners:

If you didn't receive an email from me, just shoot me an email and let me know that your name was picked!

And, since I was late picking these winners, I've decided to keep it set at 50% off through the weekend.  Plus, I'm throwing a sale!  So, you can get these task cards for only $1.20.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Do You Love Task Cards? --Giveaway--

I just finished a new set of task cards.  This time the focus was on addition and subtraction word problems.  Although it is geared for 4th grade, I'm going to be able to use this with many of my ESOL groups in grades 2nd-5th because I varied the difficulty of the cards.

Task cards 1-6: Add and subtract 3-digit numbers
Task cards 7-12: Add and subtract 4-digit numbers
Task cards 13-18: 
Add and subtract 5-digit numbers
Task cards 19-24: Add and subtract 6-digit numbers.

These task cards are set up like all of the other word problem task cards that I've already created.  So if you like any of the following task card sets, you should like these, too!

Would you like to win a chance to Pin It to Win It :)

Just leave me a comment with the URL link to your pin below. You may pin to this blog post or directly to Teachers Pay Teachers at the link {here}.  I'll pick 5 winners on Thursday night!  If you can't wait until Thursday to see if you win, I have it set at 1/2 price until then :)

Thanks for helping me spread the news :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How Do You Meet the Needs of English Language Learners?

Language defines who we are.  It is the subject of a new class that I am taking on Cultural Diversity and one that has become a new passion of mine in my new role as an ESOL teacher.
My daughter's two closest friends are Cuban.  Both families are bilingual and in talking with these families, I became more aware of how beneficial being bilingual can be.  However, this is often not embraced or appreciated by the general population.  

I have been witness to many events in which students are being asked to ignore their background and culture in an attempt to acquire English.  In doing so, ESOL students are being sent the message that their culture and heritage don’t matter.  When, in fact, it should be the exact opposite.  

In an ever-changing global economy, being bilingual is almost necessary.  Instead of being ignored and unappreciated, being bilingual should be valued and encouraged.  No longer are educators striving to have our students ready to compete within a local market, but we are now striving to have our students ready to compete with other students at a more global level.  In doing so, doesn’t it make sense to embrace and encourage students who are bilingual?  Shouldn’t we be showing them how much we care?  Shouldn’t we encourage other teachers to do the same? These students are our future, after all.

So how do we meet the needs of students who may come to us knowing very little English?  

One tool I have learned about recently is Smartling. Smartling is a translation software company that translates websites and mobile apps into different languages to break language barriers.  They are interested in finding out how teachers break language barriers in their classrooms, but also share the importance of foreign language education and remaining diverse with the common goal of helping students achieve greatness in school.  

I appreciate the fact that the company states that they are not interested in diminishing a student's native language.  They are just wanting to see how their software can help out students trying to acquire a new language.  I'm definitely interested in learning more.  Are you?

Check out their video below and check out their website: to find out more. Although the video is geared toward business, I can see how it can be applicable to the classroom setting.

I'm encouraged by what I've seen.  I can't wait to see how I might be able to use this in my classroom!

Although contacted by Smartling, I was not compensated for this blog post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Made It- January 2015

It's Monday Made It time!  I always love checking out all of the great ideas that get linked up each month on Tara's linky.

First a home Made It:
I'd really like to become more organized at home.  If you've been around a while, you know that I thrive on being organized at school.  Kristen (Ladybug's Teacher Files) and I had a weekly linky one summer dedicated to organization, after all.  But, at home...that's a completely different story.  Over the break, I tackled one of my trouble spots.  In our kitchen we have what I call the "Dumping Ground".  I'm sure most of you can relate, right? Our dumping ground was the counter.  Then, I tried to move it to the cabinet above the counter to try to alleviate the mess on the counter.  But, then the cabinet turned to this mess:

So, I decided that I needed to do a complete "Catch All Cabinet" overhaul.  I was inspired after reading a post on Organizing Homelife about creating a Kitchen Command Center.  (You should check it out.)

Take a look at what I was able to accomplish in a few hours.  I just hope I can keep it looking like this.  When it starts pretty, sometimes that helps me.  

So far, so good.  In the afternoons, I open the mail and file it in the correct location in this cabinet. I've been able to keep the countertop clean!  That's such an accomplishment for our family!

I've created a new set of task cards to review place value.  As state testing approaches, I will be making a lot of these to help my ELL students when I see them.  Be on the look-out for more in the next few weeks.
Click here to go to TPT
Right now they are marked 1/2 off in my store, but I'm also having a giveaway for a copy.  You can click on this link {here} to go to that blog post if you are interested.

I hope to have many more Made Its next month.  I certainly have been pinning enough cute stuff lately to have a lot to choose from :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Math Menus: Division Winner...But There's More!

Announcing the winners for my latest file:
Click here to go to TPT.
Congratulations to the following people:

Please look for an email from me shortly.  If you do not receive an email, I couldn't find an email address for you. So, email me:

If you didn't win, I'm keeping this menu at half price until tomorrow night!  That's only $1.50!!

If you didn't win this one, would you like to win something else?

I've created a new set of task cards to review place value.  As state testing approaches, I will be making a lot of these to help my ELL students when I see them.  Be on the look-out for more in the next few weeks.
Click here to go to TPT

When I was teaching math, I used task cards in many different ways.  I would use them during small group instruction, or in stations, or during a whole-group "Scoot" game.  How do you use task cards? For this giveaway, I'd like for you to leave me a comment telling me how you use task cards in your classroom.   I'd also love for you to Pin It to Win It. Just leave me a comment with the URL link to your pin below. You may pin to this blog post or directly to Teachers Pay Teachers at the link {here}.
If you do both, that's two entries!

I'll pick 5 winners on Friday, January 19th!

Again, if you can't wait...these task cards are currently marked at 1/2 off!  I'll leave them at 1/2 off until the end of the giveaway on Friday!

**Update: Winners have been notified!**

Good luck!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Math Menus: Division---A Giveaway!

I just finished the Math Menus: Division file and I'd love for you to have a chance to win a copy!
Click here to go to TPT.
When I used these menus last year,  my students would complete their work during the "Math Facts" rotation of our Math Workshop.  I gave them about two weeks to complete the work, but on "crazy" weeks, I might have extended the assignment for a third week.  Some students did like to take some of the work home to add final touches, but I tried to encourage them to complete most of the work during Math Workshop.

Although I love what I am doing now, I do miss Math Workshop and seeing all of the wonderful work that my students completed when working on their menus.

This is again an editable file so that you can adjust it to meet the needs in your classroom.  However, it is also ready to print and go!

Would you like to win a chance to Pin It to Win It :)

Just leave me a comment with the URL link to your pin below. You may pin to this blog post or directly to Teachers Pay Teachers at the link {here}.  I'll pick 5 winners on Wednesday night!  If you can't wait until Wednesday to see if you win, I have it set at 1/2 price until then :)

Good luck!