Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bloghopin' Teacher Week 2016

This past week I linked up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week 2016. Well, this week was my second week in school and a busy, yet great one at that! The beginning of the school year is such a whirlwind, and I loved the simple format and it was super easy to post on Instagram every day. 

Meet Me Monday: Tell Us About Yourself

What's there to tell? The above picture summarizes me pretty well. I tend to stick to the basics and love what I'm doing wholeheartedly. I am truly a small-town girl and have these Sierra Nevada mountains in my blood. I went to a small K-8th-grade school. a relatively small high school, and our local community college. This community is my home. I attended UC Davis and am a Geo-Aggie through and through (Geology major if you didn't know that). Most days you can find a stack of Amazon Prime orders stacked on my doorstep, and I always have two wiggling rescue pitty pups waiting for me after school.  I'm addicted to Nickel & Suede earrings and like to play with color in my fashion. Most importantly, I have been married to a wonderful man (and the BEST #teacherhusband) for nearly eight years (our anniversary is 11/17). Christopher is quite the amazing support and is my backbone and the reason why I can follow my passions so fully. 

Teaching Tuesday: My Favorite Lesson

My teaching passions are rooted heavily in math and science. I have participated in the Salmonids in the Classroom project for three years and have been successful all three years. Only one salmon egg has not successfully made it to the river (89/90? I'll count that as SUCCESS!). As I have transitioned from 5th to 6th and a 4/5th classroom the focus of this unit has shifted, but every time it has been such an engaging experience. Our Chinook salmon have led discussions about the environmental impact of human development, river stewardship, and the drought in California. We have talked about the effects of dams on our local rivers, the loss of the natural salmon run due to changes to the river (focus on our local Tuolumne River) , and historical influence of the salmon run on populations of Me-Wuk Indians. Each year my lessons change and evolve. They always surprise me. Running the whole program is exhausting; however, each December when I set up my tank I get reinvigorated. 

Where I Work Wednesday: A Home Away from Home

My classroom is my home away from home. The room was the former library for many years, so it has taken a lot of effort to make it feel like a classroom again. This is the second year that I've been in this room and hopefully many more! My room is colorful and bright and focuses on making this a space students love. They take ownership and pride in our room. After all, it is OUR room.  I haven't completed a complete reveal of my classroom, so consider this a sneak peek!

Threads Thursday: Just My Teaching Style

If you have spent any time on my Instagram page, you know that I love to dress up for the classroom. Over the years I have been known to dress to match my lessons and have been nicknamed "Ms. Frizzle" at my school site. Rocket ships, dinosaurs, numbers and salmon eggs are just a few things that I have incorporated into my outfits. Fashion should be fun and my daily outfits make sure that I have a blast with my students. If I cannot bust a move with Koo Koo Kangaroo, lay on the floor with a whiteboard, get messy with glitter and paint, then I won't be wearing it in the classroom. Now, don't confuse that with a casual flair, I make sure I still look professional and I love to feel fancy in my clothes. It is really a balancing act.

Friends Friday: Meet My Inspiration & Teaching Family

Over the past three years, I have been teaching (five if you include my student teaching time), I have learned how important relationships with your colleagues are to your happiness. I have been blessed to work with such wonderful people and have expanded my group of teacher friends with the help of social media.  While these are not ALL of my teacher friends or supports that I have, these are the standouts (and ones I actually had pictures with!).

(From Left to Right, Top to Bottom)

Laura: We LOVE technology! Together we have been nicknamed: "The Laura's" (or Laura Squared). I am so thankful that we can chat and collaborate with the STEM TRACKS program or in our masters classes. Laura & I teach at neighboring schools and have both been in 4/5 combo classes recently. It seems like the more time we have together, the more powerful our collaboration time becomes.

Bobbie: I absolutely love following Bobbie's ideas on her Instagram page (@super_mrsk). She is a fellow CalState TEACHER and I am thankful that we got to meet during our #TeachersTakeSacramento2016 meet up.

Amy: TPT's Director of Seller Happiness is a bundle of ENERGY! She is such a positive cheerleader for teachers and education. Within minutes of meeting her at #TeachersTakeSacramento2016 , I knew that she would be a positive force in my life. I am so thankful for her.

Becky: My mentor teacher AND my BTSA support provider, a colleague,  AND friend! This lady is such a support in my life and I could not imagine a world without her. Ironically, Becky had my great-grandmother as a teacher and my husband was in Becky's mother's class in first grade. He also had her as a student teacher several years later.  As I am still learning about the world of teaching, Becky continues to be my source of support. I continue to be her text/call away technology support!

The CAFAB4 meets Team TPT: What an explosion of innovation all in one picture! I cannot say enough about each one of these people. Team TPT (Amy, Elliot, and Jillian) are a fantastic bunch! They bring love and support for education wherever they go, and have really pushed me to keep being the educator I know is possible. I was so excited to meet them at our first annual #TeachersTake meet up. I am hoping that they can come to our 2017 meetup (planning is in the works). The ladies of the CAFAB4 (Brianne, Erin & Sarah) are my an integral part of my found tribe. I know that whatever is happening, these ladies will be the positive cheerleaders, a source of ideas and overall happiness I need. We have become quick friends, and I know all of them will be in my life for the long haul. If I ever need a pick-me-up I just call/text/Vox and someone is there. I LOVE it!

The "Dark Side" Team: Wow! What would I do without these people? (Larry, Cynthia, Debbie, Lindsey--not pictured Janet). We have almost TOO much fun at school. Laughter can always be heard from our side of the building, but I know that lots of learning is happening too. We like to pick on Larry, decorate for the seasons, and most of all just be there for each other when we need it. I don't think anyone on our side of the building takes ourselves too seriously. It is a wonderful place to work. I'm so excited to be part of this team and am happy to welcome Nancy & Gabby this year!

Katie Byrd: I am so thankful to meet the positive and always bubbly Katie (@mrsbyrdslearningtree) at our #TeachersTakeSacramento2016 meet up! I always felt pulled to her Instagram account, and I absolutely love her energy. She has been a cheerleader for me on my social media account for awhile, and I am always so happy when she likes or comments on my posts. It is funny how you can feel so connected through social media, but Katie is one of my Instagram teacher friends. I'm hoping we get to chat more at our next meet up!

Sheila Jane: I know that this FABULOUS lady knows how much I adore her. Sheila has been a sparkling beam of joy in my teaching life for the past two years. I finally had the opportunity to visit this beauty at her house this summer (though we did briefly chat at the #TeachersTakeSacramento2016 meet up) , and I know that her positive energy will continue to carry me through my teaching career. When I need to refocus my energy in teaching or really return to my roots/love of education, I turn to Sheila. Her calm nature and support for the happiness of teachers is phenomenal.

Thank you for reading through my crazy highlights of the week! I hope you all have a wonderful 2016-2017 school year! Stay tuned for a tour of my classroom this year and the exciting news I've been dying to share!

Happy learning!