Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bright Ideas- Summer Reading List

I can't believe that the school year is wrapping it! This year went by so quickly and I have been so lucky to have one of the best classes in my 15 years of teaching (and I was able to be their teacher twice...woohoo!)

As the summer approaches, I love to spend time thinking about what I can improve on for next year. Planning begins quickly and the search of new strategies, techniques and approaches are necessary for making next year great! So for this Bright Idea, I thought I would share a few of the great books that I have planned to read this summer....#booknerd...

I am a huge reader and have a large list of books to read that will help build my teacher toolbox for next year. This summer I have the following books that I think are going to be AMAZING!

I will just let you know that this list is ever growing! Two other great books that have made my list are....

I love to be collaborative so you know that I will be planning several conversations about these to get tons of  POVs!  Another great thing about these books is that there are awesome Twitter chats that will get you involved, thinking and sharing in 140 characters or less! How fabulous is that? Make sure to check out each of the authors on Twitter so you can also get in on the conversation! 

You can chat with my on Twitter too! My twitter handle is @curlsandasmile and I can't wait to connect and share ideas with you! This is going to be an awesome summer! 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Quick and Easy Dry Erase

Whew! It has been CRAZY these last couple of weeks with our second ground of state testing coming up next week! I am so happy to take a break from all the madness to share with you another one of my little tricks of the trade and join the lovely bloggers in the Bright Ideas Link Up this month!

I absolutely love to see my students demonstrate their thinking while we are working in class. It is such a powerful tool and it allows me to check in and see what their understanding of the concept is at different moments of learning. With that being said, my kiddos write on their desks all the time! But there are times when I want them to move freely, group with students that are not at their table or maybe just work independently...but away from their desks.  

So my kiddos and I love to use this super easy and quick way to have an instant dry erase surface. 

Here is what you need: Clear View Binder (I bought mine at the Dollar General...happy dance!), dry erase markers and white paper.

The beauty of this little trick is that it is so versatile. All you have to do is out the paper into the clear sleeve on the cover and then write away! 

It has been such a easy way to give students another writing surface. The best part is that you can out anything from passages that students can use to provide text evidence to math word problems! It works great in stations and best of all, the kiddos have a writing space when they are doing their homework. That alone won me some major cool points with my fourth graders!

Don't you just love it?

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bright Ideas March Blog Hop

am so excited to be joining so many wonderful bloggers this month for the Bright Ideas Blog Hop! 

I don't know about you but my kiddos are always losing supplies. From pencils to crayons, it is so hard to keep supplies in order throughout our super busy day. The ones that go missing most often...lids for our glue sticks and markers!

So I decided to try a little trick...and it has helped! I set up two little baskets near my trash can. When kiddos go to throw away their empty glue sticks and dried markers, they are asked to drop the kids in my baskets before they throw them away.

Now, when students can't find the lids to perfectly good glue or markers, they can go to our recycled tops basket! They can replace them easily and the life of our supplies is extended! It's simple but it has helped keep our supplies in our school boxes and out of the trash can. It has been a great lesson on recycling and the importance of taking care of our supplies so that they have the tools they need to learn in class. 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Howdy! Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop! I have teamed up with over 40 bloggers from all over Texas to share fun facts, freebies and a giveaway just for you! We will be sharing about what we love about our state, as well as engaging and fun activities that you can use in your classroom. At the bottom of this post, you will see all the awesome bloggers that are participating and the rafflecopter for a super giveaway.  So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfy and have a wonderful time traveling across Texas!

My name is Lynda and I write this cute little blog! I have taught for 15 years, most of which were in first grade. I now currently teach fourth grade and absolutely love it! They are so fun to be around at this age and are truly becoming independent learners. I'm a momma of a beautiful daughter and my furry baby of 13 years. I leave in a small town just west of Houston.

One of the things that I love most about my town is the small town feel that it has. I have been teaching at my school for 11 years and I have seen siblings pass through my classroom and families continue to grow. For many of my students, I have known them since they were little and have had the opportunity to watch them grow. 

I am always looking for something fun and engaging that will allow me to teach the content that I have in a way that is exciting to the kids. Using technology in the classroom is essential. Most recently, I have started using KaHoot with my students and they love it! It's a fast paced and entertaining way to practice just about any skill that you can imagine! It's been such a success and I have written a little more about it on Blog Hoppin'.

Here are a few of the freebies that I have shared on my blog about Texas... just click here and here for the posts about our great state of Texas! 

Last, but certainly not least is our awesome giveaway! All you have to do is use the rafflecopter to have a chance to win and don't forget to check out the rest of the terrific blogs that are in this blog hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Go Noodle Sanity Savers

Oh I love you! I have been using it for two school years and they absolutely love it! If you haven't used seriously need to check it out! Go that little cloud... you won't be disappointed!

I am joining my sweet friend Elizabeth of Kickin' It in Kindergarten to share a little bit about how GoNoodle helps save my sanity!

One of my kiddos favorite Brain Breaks is The Continental Drift from Ice Age! They are really get into it and are so funny! The best part...I love to join in on the fun too! 

One of the sanity saving features that GoNoodle provides is beign able to "favorite" your brain breaks. Once you find one that you absolutely love, just click on the favorite button at the bottom of the page and it saves it for quick access...and trust me...sometimes you need quick access! LOL...

My happy place is definitely in my comfy warm bed with a good book! The winter break sure did spoil me and I love just being able to stop, breathe and enjoy a little quiet time. I always have a huge stack of books on my bed. Anything from school to pleasure, books are essential.

I absolutely love all things that have to do with office supplies. The office supply aisle in any store...that's where you can find me! I recently discovered the cutest add on stickers for my planner from The Modern Teacher...and yes, I have special pens just for my calendar! 

Last, but certainly not least, is my coffee. 99% of the time, you will see me with a cup of hot, delicious coffee. Needless to say, I have a Gold Card at Starbucks. It's one of my most favorite things....yummy!  
I'm off to check the awesome linky! Come join in the fun too! 
Can't wait to read your posts!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 12 of The Twelve Days of Christmas with Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs

Oh my word! This has been the most amazing 12 days of giveaways hosted by my dear friend Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs! 

I am so excited and super proud to be joining all the amazing bloggers that have shared in this giveaway. Today, I am partnered up with three other fabulous bloggers to give you a great giveaway for day 12! 

These amazing bloggers have awesome resources and all you have to do is follow them on TpT to find out about their resources! My good friend Zippy has fabulous clip art and if you haven't checked out her will love it! 

Want to see more? Come check out our little shops:

1. Curls and a Smile -
2. Teaching With Grace -
3. Creating Teaching Inspiring -…/Creating-Teaching-Insp…
4. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs -…/Zip-a-dee-doo-dah-Desi…
So do you want to join our giveaway? All you have to do is check out the raffle copter below: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankfulness with Blog Hoppin....A for Apps

Two posts in one day? Can you say inspired! I am having so much fun with Blog Hoppin's Thanksgiving linky and am really loving having a few extra moments to blog away!

A is for APPS!

I love my iPhone, iPad and all things Apple. There are so many cool apps out there and I wanted to share some of the coolest ones that I have found this year!

Plickers is an awesome app that allows you to use your iDevice to get instant feedback from your students! Once you have created a class, download the unique qr code for each student. Each card is coded with 4 different responses and all the students have to do is turn their qr code to show their answer (A-D). You take a picture with your iDevice and BAM! Instant feedback! It is pretty cool and amazingly useful during lessons and as exit tickets.

Don't have time to grade papers? ZipGrade allows you to simply scan your students answer's that simple. You will need to create a class on their website and choose which scan tron you will use and print for your assignment. Then have the kids bubble their responses, take a picture of your key....and start grading! 

I love this app and have used it for two years. It is one of the most effective and best forms of communication that I have with my student's parents.  It is perfect for reminders, sharing class pictures and getting important information to them quickly. The best part is that now you can schedule texts and even send a voice message!  Many of the parents really appreciate this app because they are more likely to see a text than and email or a note from me. 

I just love apps and when I find one that is really helpful....there is nothing better than to share it! Try them out and hopefully  you will love them as much as I do!