Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Pep Talk for Teachers (and Students) by Kid President

So it's been over a week and I'm happy to say that though I could have come in to my classroom, I chose not to over two days last week. :Pats self on back:

But since yesterday we have been back for Inservice its been an interval of sprints.

As I looked up some information about our new materials, someone shared one video (which I don't have permission to share, but just look up "Here We Go (Let's It Go Parody)" on Youtube) and that led me to this video from Kid President. Now If you don't know who Kid President or Soul Pancake is, please set aside like 20 minutes for some viewing that will literally bless you like a pancake for your soul (granted you enjoy pancakes as much as I do).

This awesome kid has recorded quite a few videos. Subscribe to Soul Pancake and enjoy!

And as always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week 2014: Catching up...

Wouldn’t you know I have a Monday Made-It post all drafted and waiting for pictures to be posted? Oh well, there’s always next Monday, God willing.

So I was making rapid-fire progress through my backlog of unread blog post by the wonderful teacher bloggers I follow and I spied on my IG feed that there was a link-up happening this week: Teacher Week 2014!!!

So Who am I exactly? Well, you could click on the tab that says “Who Am I?” So I think I’ll go with the flow and give 10 somewhat-known facts about me:

  1. I absolutely LOVE the color BLUE! And no, my profound appreciation for the color in unrelated to the fact that my Sorority’s colors are blue and white (though that only helped when I was considering organizations, it was not a determining factor). Rather, I suspect that my being repeatedly told that blue looks very good on me whenever I dressed for volleyball/softball games in High School is more likely to have been the hook for me. I also really like blush pink and purple and the blue/kelly green combo is a really good look for me so I wear it often ;)
    Yes, I am wearing Sorority colors and a Sorority pin…it was Founders’ day.
  2. I am a messy perfectionist. I live in perpetual mess but I tend towards knowing where everything is. I am trying to change, really. I think I need professional help.
  3. I am afraid of heights. Need I say more? That did not, however, stop me from climbing a ladder and taking down the things that hung in the heights of my classroom. Now I need said ladder to hang my new alphabet cards, among others.The things we do, right?
  4. I have three siblings, two brothers and a sister. I was the middle child for a good minute until my little brother came along. We call him bighead. I love them all (but don’t tell them I told you that.
    Out to celebrate Liz (my sister’s birthday) a few years back.
  5. I can be a snob when it comes to certain things. Like books, and water. I do NOT appreciate books that have not been cared for, considering I am a bibliophile and am, even as I type, surrounded by books. Don’t imagine stacks, people, I live in a studio so I can’t get crazy. Oh, and I only drink Poland Spring, SmartWater, Fiji Water, or, should there be no alternative, Nestle water (yes, I know that they also make Poland Spring). I don’t have a problem drinking tap when I go out, but if these brands are available, I prefer them, Aquafina has changed something in their processing and when I was desperate I had some that tasted significantly better than it did during my college years, but um, yeah no.
  6. Ores and Haagen Dazs. Guilty pleasure. They are both awful for me though. Insert sad face.
  7. I really, really, really enjoy football. GO GIANTS!!! Cowboys fans, I warn you, don’t come for me unless I call for you ;)
  8. I once made a great friend while playing club volleyball the summer before my senior year in High School. I even learned a little Hawaiian: “pa’ani meka pu uvai” (sp?) means play with heart and strength.
  9. I’m a dual citizen. Have passports, will travel.  And I’ve done a little bit of it too. Israel was breathtaking but troubling,
    The view from a boat as we crossed the Sea of Galilee. We did NOT sing the old hymn “There’s A Storm Out Over the Ocean” but we did sing a few others.

    South Africa has my heart, and Nigeria is both where my family is from and where my dad is buried. I miss him terribly some days. On a lighter note, I am way overdue for a return trip to Anguilla.
  10. I don’t have a whole lot of friends, but the ones I do have a near and dear to my heart. A few of my teacher girlfriends and I had an adventurous vacation to Virginia Beach and Washington D.C. last week and we had a lot of fun. Here’s us trying to get ourselves arrested (but we knew that the facial recognition devices and the UC secret service people knew we were a bunch of school teachers playing around so we were never a a threat (snipers on the roof, stand down):

I look forward to reading and getting to know some of you. But seeing as this was a last minute post and it is 2 am, that will have to wait until maybe Wednesday. Good night!

And as always. thanks for peeking in!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I’ve been on vacation!!! I had a great but tiring time down in Virginia Beach and Washington D.C. Here’s my beach ready look:

And here’s one of me at my first visit to the White House (I know, I was deprived as a child):

I had a great time on vacation but I was missing reading up on my teacher blogger buddies posts (we four are all teachers and we had a no shop talk rule. I knew reading would tempt me to share out loud so I left the laptop at home) so I am now woefully behind. I may not post for awhile as I catch up but I have drafted quite a bit and will continue to draft as I come across inspiration in the blogosphere. See you in a bit!

And as always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Currently

I’m mad late on this, only because I have been out so much the past week…buying and reading and visiting.
So I am linking up for my first August Currently! Yay!!! And can I just add that Farley is awesome?! Yes she is. Here’s her August Currently post on her blog, Oh’ Boy 4th Grade:

Now for mine...

I know it’s weird to leave only half a post, I promise to come back and finish this post after I address what I’m thinking about, hehehe…
I’m baaaaaccccckkkkkk!


So here the song I was listening to when I started my post. I really just had all my songs on shuffle because I wasn’t feeling like any one particular artist at the moment :D


I got a blessing and invested it in a new silhouette portrait. I would have no place for the Cameo so I opted for smaller, Funny enough, it was accidentally sent with two Cameos as “bodyguards” so to speak. I wish I could keep them and auction them off, but alas, waiting for the FedEx return slips to arrive.


Today was not a total loss, but I really should have made it into my classroom to start setting some stuff up. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make tomorrow really count (can you hear the excitement in my voice?).


Does anyone feel like gifting this struggling teacher with a Teachers Pay Teachers gift card, because seriously? I have like 20 items in my wish list. Just saying…


Need I say more?

Guess I should get to bed since I plan on hitting the track before going into my classroom in the AM. 
As always, thanks for peeking in!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday…for the teacher this time.

Another link up for me, this time to Mrs. Jump’s Book Talk Tuesday. But with twist: focus on teaching...

I just wanted to quickly share a thought I had with you.

A teacher is always learning.

I am tackling some insecurity as I visit my class roster and recall some pretty deflating things that were told to me this past school year.

I am totally looking forward to this year but I also wrestle a bit with the mistakes of the past.

So, what’s a girl to do? Revisit what I know.

Enter Teach Like A  Champion.

The school and charter network for whom I teach uses this book as a reference for classroom management. So it occurred to me that I could use a reboot. I need to get my swag back, as the youth say. So I’m reading. Over the next two weeks I plan to plow through and highlights both strengths and weaknesses. There’s a Kindle version you can navigate to if click on the link above.

I would love to hear from you.

Leave me a comment about what you think.

Is there a different book or system that your school references for classroom management? If so, how does it work for you?

Do you have an recommendations for me?

As always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made-It…My First!

Yay!!! Two link-ups in a row? Yes!!! Thanks Tara from 4th grade Frolics for the awesome Monday-Made It link up! Okay, so if you follow my Facebook page then you saw something new last night. That’s right! For my Monday Made It I’d like to showcase my blog button!
It not the cutest most streamlines button out there, but it is mine and I’m proud of it. I searched high and low for a window graphic that I like (since an artist I am not) and I have to give credit to Cheryl Seslar for the cutesy My Lil Window designs that I found at DigiWeb Studio:
The watercolor frame came from Melissa_tm and she has some other very nice frames on her deviant art page.

And of course, my most favorite (yes, I said "most favorite"…I trying to allow room for new loves in my crafting life) site for fonts, the font featured in my button, “Grace,” is by none other than:

I get the cutest fonts from Free Scrapbook Fonts! kevinandamanda.com/fonts
Don’t Kevin and Amanda rock your socks all the way off? LOVE THEM!

So there! I’ve launched out, stretched myself, and created my own blog button! Many thanks to Lindsay at the Teacher Wife for the easy, peasy, lemon-greasy tutorial on how to make a button that you can find here: http://teacherbloggingbasics.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-make-blog-button.html. And here is the button for her other blog, teacher blogging basics, if you’re a newbie like me :)
The Teacher Wife

P.S. - You know that last post about the Blog Hoppin’ Scavenger Hunt? Well I was having the most awful time trying to get the very otherwise cool Instagram embed code to resize for my blog’s width (maybe a resign is in my future as a result?). Well enter Digital Inspiration! This very cool dude created an Embed Instagram web tool that did the trick, just sans the bells and whistles. I suppose I could have just downloaded the picture into my photobucket and loaded it from there but I was going for the complete package of IG feel without a designer’s burden. Oh well. Thanks Digital Inspiration!

As always, thanks for peeking in! Now to make a really cool signature...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oh Snap!!! I’m on a Blog Hoppin’ Scavenger Hunt! Yeah!

I am so excited to be on the scavenger hunt! I t has been a blast and I’ve even gotten some colleagues to jumping on the greatness. Check out my Instagram to see some of my pics: @teachitkate.

I think this is my favorite pic so far…so professional looking, except for the sign I had to concoct on the spot *whelp*.

I <3 this shot #79 - way more than 6 taxis in a row @UnionStationDC #bloghopin2014 #teachitkate

Ok, so you’ve got 2 weeks left, I think you can do it. Yes you can, come on…make it a family affair. The more the merrier!!!

See you on Monday for my Monday-Made It. My first as a blogger. And I’m excited about it. Until then!

And as always, thanks for peeking in!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday _____???

I’m still learning all the Teacher Blog hints and tips :)

So thanks to Sharing Kindergarten for this post on her Facebook page:

I really felt like that the past two summers and so this summer I decided to avoid the extended feeling of anxiety by using July to do as much planning and prep as possible so that I can enjoy August as stress-free as possible. Blog-reading is part of that, so this weekend I plan on highlighting a few posts that have really just blessed my teacher socks all.the.way.off. I already heard of few coming down the pipe that I can’t wait to read. Follow me on Instagram @teachitkate and my brand spanking new Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/windowsintomyclassroom.

I’m growing up y’all!

Thanks for peeking in!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A twist on the Wednesday Wish list: Getting my teacher life right, and I could use your help

Anyone who knows me, know that I can be very transparent, sometimes overly so, once I get comfortable around you. So in the spirit of extra-transparency now that I am getting into blogging every few days, here’s a modification of the Wednesday Wishlist:

Things about me <<I WISH>> were better
  • Better about managing my space.
I am downright messy. There, I said it. While my classroom stays a lot neater than my apartment, I have been having difficulty getting a handle around the spaces. And it is a little depressing. I fight off the depression by taking it one day at a time. But I am running out of days before the business of the school year gets going, and I don’t have the funds for a professional intervention so…
  • Better take-home income.
I love everything about where I work…I just could stand to make a little more, especially with student loans coming due shortly. So I’m on the hunt for a second job, a side-hustle if you will.
  • Crafting and designing skills were better.
Just the ideas are hard enough to come by. I’m more of a practical person, so you will be hard pressed to find any TpT goodies here…not for lack of trying. But I’d like to. I tired my hand at it two summers ago and was frustrated by layering. I’m looking into tutorials but I haven’t found anything expressly helpful for this. If you know of anything, HELP!!!

For that matter, if you have any guidance for me in any of these three areas, I’d love to hear it! 

And as always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Mulling...

Hi there!

If you follow my personal Instagram account or are my Facebook friend, then you already know where I’ve been! DC Baby! Can you tell I’m excited. Okay, so one thing I did not really go into detail about on my bio (since this blog is really about my adventures in teaching), is that I am an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. I had the distinct pleasure of not only catching up with Sorority Sister from across the nation and around the world, but I also got to celebrate the Centennial of our brother organization, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated. All the blue and what was such a lovely sight! Here is just one pic for you to get a glimpse of what it was all about:
Sigma brothers I went to Cornell with and me in the middle in the lobby of the Centennial host hotel. 
Women of Zeta joined Men of Sigma and reaffirmed our bond and partied like nobodies business. I am not big on partying but I was glad to just be apart of the number.

Now back to real life…
As I’ve grown I’ve come to understand somethings about myself. One is that I need sleep (which I got today seeing as the about picture was taken around midnight), another is that I am crafty but have difficulty finishing a project if I can’t make it as close to perfect as possible. Do any of you deal with the same thing?

I’d like to get this blog and maybe even my TpT shop really going but right now I am thirsty for the creativity to do something different. I’m not about to abandon this blog again, so any ideas or nuggets of inspiration would be extremely helpful. 

As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kindergarten's 3 R's: Respect, Resources and Rants: Re-Post: Popsicle Sticks, Colored Cards and Clothespins Aren't Classroom Management Tools

Check back in with me later about this. Read in the mean time...

Kindergarten's 3 R's: Respect, Resources and Rants: Re-Post: Popsicle Sticks, Colored Cards and Clothespins Aren't Classroom Management Tools

Off to school to finish moving and have a chat with my Dean :) Happy Wednesday!
- - - - -
Alright I’m back! No really, I’m back! This post marks the official re-launch of my blog, and what a re-post it was! Many thanks to Michaele at Kindergartener’s 3 Rs for this profound insight into behavior charts, etc.
So now for my thoughts about this:
I’ve never been gung-ho about the charts, etc, but I have bought in because the color-coded behavior management system is apart of the classroom management expectations of the charter organization to which my school belongs. In my conversation with my Dean this afternoon, I acknowledged as much.  This I mentioned the repost to her and some of the thoughts shared there, I also noted how important it is to me that I work on building and maintaining relational capacity with my scholars right from the start of the year.
I went in thinking about taking the blue and red cards out; I would ask about ways Scholars believe they can get the distinct honor of moving up to “perfect purple.” Everyone would start the day on green and those who needed it would move their card to yellow while also taking some time to write/talk about what they needed to do in order to get back on track. My Dean affirmed the track along which I was thinking and reinforced that our social contract process may also be used to establish expectations for moving to purple and that would include, I hope, how we interact with and engage one another in and around our class/school.
Again, all of this is just preliminary, but I would love to hear your thoughts. This is going to be awesome!