Friday, July 14, 2017

Monsters EVERYWHERE

One of my close friends was moved from 4th grade to 1st grade for this upcoming school year! She decided to use this as a fresh start and create a new theme for her room. Monsters are such a cute and popular theme. She requested I make a few themed products for her and I must say.... it's hard not to make my 5th graders fall in love with monsters too because it is so cute!!


First I made a Meet the Teacher newsletter for her using clipart from Creative Clips. She is my favorite clipart artist!


So cute!! You can access it here --> Meet the Teacher- EDITABLE - Monster




Her classroom newsletter will be able to be used for all of her subjects since I have editable pages for every subject area and grade level! 





After seeing my Meet the Teacher in this theme, I was asked by the director of a Pre-K program to make her one! I guess it could also be used for a Band director or another director of a different program!







My friend asked for a bulletin board idea she had where she could spotlight a different student every week. In this product there are directions for how to use to entire product, bulletin board labels so you can showcase your student, a letter to send home to parents to explain at the beginning of the year, a flyer for students to fill out about themselves and their specific information, and a writing activity for the class to complete about their student of the week!







Next up is the grade book I made for her!! My grade book products have always been my favorite because I use them faithfully every school year. Now I will use my hole puncher to insert them into my Happy Teacher Planer. (tutorial here) You can type in your students' names into the open spaces along with test names if you wish.



The last thing I made for her was a teacher toolbox label set! Again, these clipart images are just so clear and well colored.





She paired all of this decor and items with my banner that I used in my classroom since the colors were similar! I'm not ready for an entire classroom tour yet because I still have a few more things to add but here are the banners I used to label some bulletin board in my room this year and a few other things. I printed them out on cardstock and attached them to ribbon with clothespins I found in the Target dollar spot. I also purchased some extra clothespins from Amazon last year that were similar to those in the dollar spot and you can get those here.





I did not originally have green when I first created the product. One of my friends requested I add green, so I finished that up today. With this product, you get every letter (capital and lowercase), number, punctuation, and blank banner in every color shown above!




Let me know what you think!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why I switched from Erin Condren to Happy Planner

Okay okay... I know. I have been a FAITHFUL Erin Condren planner user for over 4 years. I loved personalizing my covers and how much of a good quality it was. The binding of it was top notch and the pages were so thick! I even got one made for this year when they went on sale in May.
I mean look how cute?!?! Well, in comes The Tutu Teacher , who did a Facebook live video about how much she loved the Happy Planner. I was still skeptical because I bought one last year for a personal planner. It was smaller and was just a life planner. I still felt like the binding was not good enough PLUS to use it as a teacher planner wouldn't work for me because I needed place to write lesson plans. I like to use my planner to scope out my topics for the 9 weeks. Well... in her video she explains that there is a hole puncher you can purchase to add things into your Happy Planner...


I CAN ADD THINGS TO MY PLANNER?? LIKE ANYTHING??
Game changer. Now I don't need to have a notebook for notes in meetings, a separate binder for my grade book, a folder for my IEP cheat sheets, and a million other things I can just put inside my planner!

Also, I CAN MAKE MY OWN COVER!

So... I ran to Michael's and bought the Happy Teacher Planner Kit and the matching hole puncher!

This is what the outside of mine looked like. Black with bright colors is, of course, my theme but you KNOW I was going to make my own cover. lol


If you are interested in the hole puncher make sure you buy this one. The smaller life planner hole puncher is blue, so you want the pink one to match the teacher planner's size.


These are the stickers that came with the Happy Teacher Planner Kit. I'm not really into decorating each week with a bunch of stickers because of time. I do have a bunch of extra stickers from my old Erin Condren planner that I may use for this one. 




There is a cardstock divider for each section including each month. Each divider is different and colorful!


At the beginning of each month is page like this! I do like how I can look ahead and plan some main things for the month. This is something that EC did not have.  




These are those generic pages in the front that every planner seems to have. Here are a few substitute notes. I probably won't use the sub page because my planner is always with me and never left for a sub. The calendar page is great. I will likely print out my district's holiday calendar and insert it after this one for a long view of dates!



Here is the view of the entire month which is great for long term planning. Behind this page starts the individual lesson planning pages which you can see up top on the page with the stickers.


A lot of teachers were excited about these pages included in their Happy Planner so they can use this for a grade book. I do like these pages for maybe tracking my students turning in certain forms but I can't function with this as a grade book. First, I have two separate classes. I track grades for Math, Science, and Social Studies. I like to have a page for each subject for each class. This wouldn't be enough space for me to list all of my students. So I decided I would use my grade book product (that I've been using for years) and INSERT it into my planner! No more carrying around a separate grade book! (Also, if you don't want these pages or any other pages, you can simply pull them out. You want them back in, they easily go back in. It's magic or something.)

Here is how I did it!





I punched holes in my gradebook pages just like I do any other paper.


Here is what the magical holes that keep everything in your planner looked like! I printed this page on cardstock to make it sort of like a divider so I can access quickly in my planner.



After, all you do is simply push down to line up the holes with the rings. THAT'S IT!!

Its magical I'm telling you. 


After it is in place....







So then I put my grade book pages in. Again, you just push down to put the punches in place with the rings. If you want to take something out you just pull from the top down and it will come right out unharmed so you can either put it back in somewhere else in your planner or not.




Good to go! Of course I don't have the names typed in yet because I don't have my class list. In this product in my store you can type your students names in and test names if you would like!





Again, I have two classes, I need a page for each. I have these attendance pages I use to mark absences.



Here is a master student list I use. Also editable!



Note pages that I keep behind my gradebook. I usually end up writing here when students add to my roster and when students drop. Makes it easier at the end of the year when we are going through our roll seeing who has been here all year for data purposes.




NOW ON TO THE COVER!

I designed a cover on my computer in PPT with a picture of Ross and I and a cute background. I saved it as an image and uploaded it to be printed at Walgreens. Once I got it printed I took a large piece of scrapbook paper to back it with for stability. 




I then traced the size of the cover onto the scrapbook paper and trimmed it. This was it would be the size needed to keep the rest of the planner covered.




Then, I put my picture on the scrapbook paper with double sided tape and put it through my laminator. After it was laminated I used my hole puncher to attach it to the planner. I did keep my original cover behind my new cover just for stability purposes! BUT what I love most is that I can make another cover whenever I want! 

  


So.... how do you feel about the Happy Teacher Planner now?? This is why I had to run to Michaels and get one ASAP! Also... the rings are very stable. You can hang your planner over and drop it on the floor and everything stays in. I told you... magical! 





Interested in my EDITABLE grade books?? Check out the links to the different themes I have available! :-)

























More themes coming!! Open to suggestions!





Tuesday, July 4, 2017

*INSERT SOME TITLE ABOUT THIS POST BEING LONG OVERDUE HERE*

As usual, the school year took over and my blog went WAY back to the back burner... like WAY back! I would look at other teacher bloggers with envy for all of the time they seemed to have to write blog posts. I was barely finding time to cook dinner and clean my house.

So let's get started...

New School Year- Where do I begin? If you follow me on any social media or know me in person you know that this was THE toughest year of my life professionally. My district reconfigured and moved grade levels around between three different school. So after I returned from the TPT conference I waited and waited for my room to be ready for me to move in and set up. Three days before teachers were to report back to work I got the green light. I arrived bright and early and ALL of my things were in boxes still from the move. Thankfully my mother in law, sisters in law, and a few of his cousins came to my rescue. They took orders very well! lol Within 3 shorts days I had my teeny tiny classroom set up sort of to my standards. Ready or not because the kids would be coming soon. The next three professional development days were overwhelming, to say the least. I barely knew where the cafeteria was but yet I was taking notes on behavior procedures and office procedures, receiving my class list, trying to learn my new faculty and a learn MILLION other things that make a school tick. The first day of school came and I never really felt like I got off on the right foot. I was still learning so much about my new school that I was not confident like I usually am. I feel like that along with the rush of setting up my room really put a damper on my school year. I am so OCD about certain things and I struggled from here on out.






The first week of school I was recognized at a parish banquet for being Teacher of the Year and also receiving over $5,000 in grant money for technology for my classroom! My hubby and I attended this banquet  and it was an honor to be recgonized with some of the best educators in the parish.



Fast forward because August - November was a BLUR. New lesson plan formats, meetings, new administration to learn, learning my kids and all of their needs, adjusting to having over 200 fifth graders on campus at a time and at recess at the same time 😳😳, and a million other things. I felt like I was drowning at all times. I did not have time to create for TPT like I love to do (which killed me). I constantly felt like there was this plate sitting in front of me and there were things consistently being added to the plate and it was overflowing but yet no one was there to help me eat the food on the plate. Does that make sense?? I'm not even sure if I am allowed to vent like this on such a public forum but I feel like at some point we have to keep it real. So let's be real.... I consider myself an extremely passionate educator. I love love love my job. Teaching kids, interacting with them, learning about their lives, watching the light bulb go off, watching them be proud of themselves for the smallest accomplishment, and having their parents beam with excitement when they tell me they love my class. THIS is why I do it. BUT, this year I felt myself slipping farther and farther away from that passionate feeling. I dreaded work. I cried every day on the way to work and most days on the way home. My poor husband did not know what to say anymore. He would sit and listen and ask me if I wanted to quit. Quit?! Of course not, I could never. I love my job. But did I? How could I still say I LOVED my job if I cried every day, multiple times every day. I won't exactly say what was making it so miserable for me but I can tell you I was not alone. At some point in January/February I started to look at other job opportunities. I filled out applications for other educational technology jobs, received a few phone calls and interviews. I felt like I had options and for the first time in a while I felt good enough, adequate, intelligent, and wanted. After A LOT of prayers and talks with my husband I decided these jobs were not where I needed to be. Plus the thought of my students showing up one day and I just didn't KILLED me. They would never ever understand why I stopped showing up. I never wanted them to blame themselves. So I decided I was biting the bullet and sticking it out even through the tears. One of my #teacherbesties said the word to me "Look it's already February, we can see the light, we can do it." That was it. I left that day with the decision that no matter what was thrown at me I would do it. So many of us were having a rough year and it was no secret. We did pull together and I can tell you I will never ever forget the faces that survived this year with me. I have spoken with so many other teachers who are not even from my state and have had years like I had. Everyone has a BAD year. I guess it was just my turn.

So mid February... still rough but I had things to look forward to. I ride in a Mardi Gras Krewe here in South Louisiana called the Krewe of Aquarius. This was my third year and every year gets better! This year our theme for parade was "Aquarius takes a Road Trip." So each float represented a state. We were Alaska for of course we were eskimos!




If you have ever been to South Louisiana during Mardi Gras you will likely see these buses. We ride around on these all day before our night parade!


Me up top throwing to some of my teacher friends down below!

Krewe of Thoth parade in New Orleans!




So I started off February with a great time personally!! Fast forward a few weeks to Mardi Gras day... the day Ross and I found out we were going to be parents this year!! We were so very excited and wanted to tell everyone but of course held it in for a while.

I didn't post anything on social media until we found out the gender. I read so many things about not sharing during the first trimester. We told close friends and family but waited to tell everyone else. I told my students the last few weeks of school by playing a game of hangman with each of my classes and the puzzle said "Mrs DeRoche is going to be a mom." Watching their faces as they pieced it together was the BEST! Such genuine expressions!

The day after the last day of school we found out the gender and let the rest of the world know!


That's right! We will be welcoming a baby boy this November!!! My husband is overjoyed, to say the least. He is surrounded by women in his family so this will be a nice change! My official due date is November 9th. As of today, I am almost 22 weeks and second trimester has been a blessing. First trimester was not completely terrible. I like to consider myself one of the lucky ones since I never ever vomited from morning sickness. I mostly suffered from severe fatigue and all day yuckiness as I like to call it. Still very blessed!!

Anyways, back to my school year....once I went back to work after Mardi Gras holidays I decided to NOT let stress get to me. I mean after all it was a blessing that I even got pregnant during such a stressful time. A few weeks before I found out I was pregnant I was crying to a co-worker saying "I'll never get pregnant with all of this stress." God called my bluff and I'm so glad he did. This came as such perfect timing for me and my husband. I began focusing on staying happy and healthy for my baby. I can't believe I just said "my baby." Who am I? ha. Anyways, I stopped letting things get to me or maybe I just stopped caring. I really can't tell you exactly what happened but between the need for a nap at all times and everything else I focused on me and became an #okayteacher thanks for Lindsey Paull for that! 

The end of the year approached and I did submit my request for a transfer to other schools. I needed to have a better year next year no matter what. I went on an interview or so and said a lot of prayers. I asked God to put me where I needed to be... whether that was at another school in a new grade level or that was back at my same school trying to make next year better. God pointed me to stay where I am and I fully trust his plan. In the words of my co-workers... "This year has to be better, it just has to be." I was moved to a bigger classroom in a different hall and although I am THRILLED it is bigger, I am also happy that it is sort of a fresh start. I left all the bad vibes and feelings I had from last year when I moved all of my stuff out. This year WILL be different. I am determined. I took an entire month off this summer from doing anything related to my teaching career and got back on TPT and it feel SO GOOD!! I've missed it! I've missed connecting with all of the teachers on there and helping other teachers out. I will be attending #TPTOC17 in a few weeks in Anaheim, California with my hubby! I am so so excited to see some of my friends again and be around so many others like me! Here are a few of the things I've created! 😀


 
Gradebook Tropical Theme This is ediable and allows you to type in all of your students' names.

 





  







Other Nautical theme products available!






By request:



I almost forgot to mention on Labor Day weekend #EthelPup joined our family! She is a shih tzu and is full of personality. She loves dryer sheets, our cat Sid, dog cookies, and sleeping on the couch. She hates all hats, coats, or sweaters we try to put on her.
















I'm sure I'll be back with more pictures from TPT OC and more products I create but I think this post was long-winded enough! If you read it all the way through...