Monday, July 22, 2013

Busy Little....TEACHER!

I have been busy, busy, busy working on some fabulous new ideas to use for the beginning of the school year. I know we still have a quite a bit of time still (thank goodness!) but I have definitely entered the phase of my summer where my thoughts drift to the new school year!
I am working on a fun resource with a variety of "Get to Know You" and
 Beginning of the Year activities to do with my new class of 4th graders. The best part is many of these activities can be used with kiddos from K-5 and will be a ton of fun to do with them!
Here is a little sneak peek just for you!
This freebie is 4 different maps!
Just click on the image to download!
I really hope you are able to use these and I can't wait to show you a little more of what I have been working on to go along with these activities. I hope that I can finish it up soon!
I am having all sorts of fun with social media these days!
Here are a few places where we can connect!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Teach Like a Pirate Book Study: Chapter 13

I am so excited to be participating in this fabulous book study hosted by Jennifer and Gina!
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess as been an amazing read and has inspired me to definitely channel my passion and enthusiasm into opportunities for life changing lessons!
In Part II of Teach Like a Pirate, Mr. Burgess addresses the art of crafting engaging lessons. As educators, we know the value of an engaged student. But what leads to that? What makes the students enthralled in what you are teaching...even if its something like fractions? What makes it interesting even when in any other situation they simple would not care?
It can be overwhelming but its reality.
If they aren't engaged, we have lost an educational opportunity.
BUT, like you, I won't have it!
We all know we should be engaging but as Mr. Burgess would say, it takes planning, preparation and presentation. Most of us feel extremely comfortable with the content that we teach and the different methods that can be used to impart that content but there is a critical part that might be forgotten.
I will be the first to tell you, the last class that I took before student teaching was public speaking. I was mortified. Public speaking scares me to death and I get really, really nervous! Like sweaty palm nervous! There was no way that I would have chosen a profession that would have asked me to do this.....ok, stop laughing....THAT IS TEACHING! We are public!
When I read that I about fell out of my chair and then I decided to own it. I am a presenter every single day and with that I have to think about how that "presentation" will be given.
We give a lot of thought to how our lessons are written and the content that is taught. We make many decisions on how the lesson will delivered, activities that will be included, assessments that will be given all with the hope that when we present out lesson, in the hopes that it is AWESOME! But that's not enough. We have to work through the presentations, the delivery, the flow of the lesson and transitions along the way.
We also have to think about how we hook the students in what we are doing.
Mr. Burgess gives his readers an immense amount of diverse hooks that can be used to lure students into the lessons that are taught in our classroom.
Here are a few of my favorites:
The Swimming With the Sharks Hook
This is definitely something that I have learned to use to my advantage in the last few years. I teach from just about every place I can in the classroom. Not only does my movement around the room hold on to my students attention but it also allows me to manage the behavior in my room.
Don't stand or sit in one spot for to long. Gradually work the room and engagement is the reward!
Think about it.
When you go to a training...don't you pay a more attention if the presenter is working the room? know it works!
The Mime Hook
This one sounds fun to me and instantly grabbed my attention and I could think immediately of a way to implement it. You have seen the videos where someone is sending a message to the viewer by holding a series of cards that you must read as they flip?

Seriously!?! How awesome would that be to introduce students to a concept using the same idea?!? It's something that is familiar to them and in reading the cards are naturally engaged to read the cards before they are flipped! The possibilities are endless and I am excited just thinking about this hook!!
The Backwards Hook
I thought this was a great and highly reflective hook. Mr. Burgess relates this to CSI.
Could you start with the end and guide students to ask critical questions to explain the how and why of a concept. Imagine the conversations and the amazing thinking that would happen by simply  changing the prospective that the material is presented in...end to beginning!
I can't say enough about this book!! I am in love!!
It's still early! Make it your summer read and you will start the new school year energized and ready to

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!! Let's have a sale!!

I just love this graphic from my sweet friends
In celebration of the 4th of July, there are several great Teacher Pay Teacher shops having sales!
I have decided to join in and have a sale too!
 My store will be on sale for 20% off today and tomorrow!
Check out this awesome linky over at Flying in First Grade!
I am so ready to move some of my favorite items from my wish list to my cart...LOL!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Soooo....I think we made it!

It's July 2nd.
I think we made it through the big Google change of 2013!
As I become more familiar with Blog Lovin', it has really started to grow on me! I know that it still needs lots of updates to replace some of the conveniences of Google Reader but they are definitely working hard to be the best RSS Reader around and are asking for lots and lots of input!
Love it!
I am joining the amazing Laura of Corkboard Connections in a little blog hop! I absolutely love adding new blogs to my list and getting awesome new perspectives. I am really excited about joining this linky and growing my Blog Lovin' readers list!

If you are new to Curls and a Smile.....WELCOME!

I have taught first and second grade for 14 years and will now be moving to fourth grade this year! I am very excited and can't wait to share a combination of ideas and resources that will be helpful to a wide range of elementary teachers.

I love, love, love new followers and I am so excited to have you here!

Here is a link to my Blog Lovin'