Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cut Up That Grade Book! {A Teacher Tip!}

I have a quick "teacher tip" to share with you all in bloggy world today! I have learned many teacher tips in my student teaching adventure so far. However, this one I'm about to share was one of those things that made me say, "Oh, duh!!" The "why didn't I think of that?! It's so obvious!" moment. :) It's revelations like this that make me feel like I live in such a small little box...ANYWAYS! Here it is:

Write your student's names in your grade book once on the first page and then CUT OUT THE NAME SECTION ON ALL FUTURE PAGES! Tada! It's such a wonderful thing. No more writing your children's names on every page. No more bulky fold overs. (!!!) Just cute little flaps at the top of each page that say the subject and quarter and a big window for you to see your student's names easily!

I also found out that some record book manufacturers like Creative Teaching Press make record books that make name columns that tear out so you can achieve the same effect. I'm sure that many of you already knew this fabulous trick, but for those of you that don't, can you believe that you didn't think of this?! I know, it seems so simple. I know there are some of you that do all of this on the computer too... and now you officially think i am old school. :) I love technology! I just also need hard copies because for me hard copies = security blanket. I do recycle though, I promise. :)

I hope you're having a wonderful week, this week! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Beautiful Mess

Hi there blogging friends! Student Teaching is going full force and I'm terribly sad that I feel like I haven't seen most of you in over a week! I have so much blog stalking to catch up on. I might get up early tomorrow morning just to do it. {Gasp!} I can't believe I've found something in my life that runs that close in a competition with sleep. :)

I'm blogging quickly on this Saturday night to let you know an idea that I'm loving during this season of all things student teaching...

Quick background: I am doing A. L.O.T. of planning right now. With all of the unit planning I am doing since coming back from Christmas, I feel like ideas are swimming everywhere in my mind! Not to mention swimming around on sticky notes everywhere, in multiple to do lists, and on phone reminders. They are all something like this: "Oh! that time idea I just saw on Pinterest would be great for my time unit in 5 weeks! or "Oh! that life cycle activity I just saw would be great for 2 days from now! I should add it! {grabs sticky note}"

...I started to get a little down about this earlier this week. I'm a super organized person and I couldn't seem to get my thoughts on planning organized and streamlined. Then it hit me that maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. Great ideas come from all over the place, all the time. My ultimate job is to put all of the great ideas together into something perfect for my kids. THEN! I was so comforted when I saw a statement on a pastor's blog that I read often that totally confirmed my thoughts! This is what he said:
The most beautiful ideas are often the product of an ugly, messy process.

Well, of course they are!! I'm a soon-to-be teacher, this is a reality that I must understand! I'm thinking about it this way: The best plans are going to come out of an ugly, messy process of putting everything together just right. 

Some of the most beautiful creations that our students make are carefully sprinkled with extras and glitter, and they are the creations that are the biggest MESS to make! 

Well, if my plans are going to sparkle and shine, I've got to be okay with getting some glitter on the floor in the process! :)