Thursday, May 30, 2013

Calling all teachers...

Summer is just around the corner.. do you:
A.  Swim all summer long.
B.  Travel.
C.  Make lessons for the fall while you have time.
D.  NEVER think of school OR lessons.
E.  Something else.

I LOVE to swim and cannot wait to put on a suit that unfortunately will not fit as well as it did last year!! UGH!!!  And I KNEW summer was on it's way!  At the same time, I have a notebook full of ideas that I want to get ready for the next school year.  I know I'll put in at least SOME time each day/couple of days into getting some lessons done.  We just are not travelers so no big trips planned. 

What are your plans?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Guest Blogger: Page Protector Printables

Many call me Leslie, but I'm also Mom, Mommy, Momma and Ms. Leslie depending on which child is talking to me! I'm also known as "wife of the Prez" in the blog-o-sphere. I don't use my husband's real name on-line, but instead call him "The Prez" and we've been happily married for nearly 18 years. Since my teen years I've taught children in one way or another through church—currently teaching a three-year-old class there. As a young person, I dreamed of one day teaching illiterate adults to read, and I haven't given up on that dream.

But for now, my current field of learners are right here in my home! Since August 2009, I have taught our children at home. Back then The Prez and I had three children in our one-room schoolhouse, ages 10, 7 and 3. Today, we have six children in our one-room schoolhouse, ages 14, 13, 10, 7, 7 and 3.

I don't teach just one grade as our children are in various places in their learning journeys, but officially they are just finishing up grades 8th, 6th, 5th, 1st (2 of them) and tot school! Four of our children were adopted from China through the Waiting Child Program, and our 13-year-old son is my amazing ELL student having only begun English learning at age 10 after he came home with us in 2010. In addition to having an ELL student, I also have two children in our schoolroom with speech delays and one with hearing loss. All of the different grades, ELL and differently abled  learners keeps our one-room schoolhouse very interesting and inspiring!

As for my educational journey, I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English, with an emphasis in Journalism, way back in 1995. I have always loved writing, and blogging has given me an outlet to continue that love. Before children, I worked as an Editor for a large publisher of religious materials, and then freelanced with them for many years until we had our third child. My blog became an outlet for continuing to write, and currently this blog chronicles our daily life as home learners living life large with six children at our home on 15+ acres in the country soon. We will be moving to the country in a couple of weeks.

I opened my TpT store—Page Protector Printables and More—in July 2012 with my Page Protector Printables Calendar. It has become one of my best-sellers and I still believe in it so much because I've seen it help two of our children with daily calendar work in kindergarten and first grade. Up until the time I came up with this idea kind of on a whim, I had not found a daily calendar that really worked for them. I love to re-purpose items, and I had held onto these 9-Pocket Sports Card Page Protectors that I had long since emptied of sports cards. One day I was looking at them and thinking these would be so useful and hands-on, and the PPP Calendar Resource was born!

Since making that product and seeing how useful and EFFECTIVE it has been, I've created many more Page Protector Printables. I continue to believe in the benefit of ACTIVE learning that engages young learners. Another aspect of my products that I love is that they are reusable again and again, and they are versatile for many learning styles. They do require the teacher to be involved in the learning process, but they also encourage small group use and use in intervention groups as well as learners of varying abilities.

We use these resources in various ways, but when I first introduce a new Page Protector resource to my students, I often use it to assess their abilities in a given area such as Fractions, which is my newest Page Protector Printables product and utilizes a 10-Pocket Business Card Page Protector. Before my learners even realize they are learning and/or showing me what they know, they are having fun and asking for more! I believe children can learn so much more than we often believe if we just present the information in a way that is engaging and active.

Thank you to JoAn for allowing me to share a bit about myself, my students and the products I have created for them to use and which I offer in my store at TpT.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2nd & 3rd grade computer project

Our principal asked me today to be the computer coordinator during our FLEX days (9 days) at school.  FLEX is a time for those kids who scored 75% or lower on academics or missed more than 7 days of school.  The academic kids will stay with their teachers during my one hour slot, but the attendance kids will come to me.  I think I might have free reign on what we'll be doing.  She suggested researching an animal or something, but it's up to me. 

I don't want it to be a time of sit and play computer games, even tho they might be educational.  I want us DOING something!  I also have an iPad and 4 iPods.

I know NewsMaker and some other programs, so might do something with that.  I could start a blog or a website and have them take pictures to put on there.  FLEX begins on Tues, May 28.... would love to hear your ideas of what you do...or would love to do!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The BIG news!!

My daughter graduated from college last week with a degree in English.  That in itself is worth celebrating!  BUT wait!  There's more! LOL

She is graduating with NO COLLEGE DEBT!!  When she started college we found out about a loan available to Texas kids in Texas schools called the B-on-Time loan.  It is from HHLoans. The B in B-on-Time is the key word. If you graduate with a B (3.0) or better then your loan is completely forgiven.  It was definitely worth shooting for.  Here is the payout for 2013-2014 school  year: 4-year public and private institutions: $3,850/semester ($7,700/year)  She also got scholarship money and some from my husband's military service (Hazelwood/Legacy).

She had a rough several semesters where she wanted to come home because of bad dorm situation, but stuck it out.  Her grades plummeted and we were certain that the hope of no debt was gone.  Then a miracle happened when her brother was able to get in a house very near the college.  She rented one of the rooms.  Upon moving there, her attitude changed, everything changed!!  She finished her last couple of semesters on the Dean's List (4.0)  It was SUPER CLOSE, but she managed to graduate with a 3.0 or better.

We are so proud of her.  But the purpose of this post is not only to congratulate her, but to give a shout out and endorsement for  I'm not sure how we came upon their website, but I'm so glad we did.  If you are a Texas resident, it is definitely worth looking into.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Blogger

I'm so excited to have my very first guest blogger here in the next few days.  She has a very exciting store and I'm looking forward to her sharing her unique style.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A college graduate!

How can it possibly be that I have another college graduate in the house?!  I know, I know...I look way too young to actually have college age kids!  HAHA  But, yep, I do!  My daughter graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a Bachelor's degree in English.  She is about to go on for her Masters.  I am super proud of her!

There is MORE to this story...but for now.. I can't say anything, so you'll just have to wonder what it could be!  But let me assure you it is HUGE HUGE HUGE!! =D

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Do you use a Teacher Binder to organize?

I have to admit how much I LOVE my teacher binder!!  I was a completely mess...yes, embarrassingly messy! HA  The binder has really helped me "get it together."  Here are a few I have to choose from for the next school year.

Teacher Appreciation Sale on TpT

I am so excited about the Teacher Appreciation Sale happening on TpT May 7-8!!  I have my wishlist full of goodies!  It will be my 2nd time to participate in the sale and thrilled to say I have some special goodies in there this time!  One fun goodie is my new Teacher Binder Covers!!  Can't wait to start the new school year with those on by binder!!