Friday, July 25, 2014

Welcome to the Sunshine State! I am super excited because this is my very FIRST blog hop!!!!  I can't wait to meet other bloggers.  Enjoy yourself as you take a tour around our wonderful {and large!} state! Grab some freebies along the way, and be sure to enter to win our Bundles of Sunshine!

I have lived in the (sometimes) sunny state of Florida since 1986. I moved to GA for about 2 years after I married my husband in 2007, but because we missed our family so much and the beautiful beaches we decided to move back.  I am lucky enough to live and teach just a few short blocks from the world's most beautiful beaches.  Welcome to Panama City Beach, Florida!!!!

I love to take walks on the beach. My daughters and I go on scavenger hunts to see who can find the most beautiful shells.  Tourism is a huge industry here.  People from all over come to visit to see our beautiful white beaches and swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  My daughters have grown up here around the white beaches.  Once when we went to a beach in another state, they thought the sand was dirty because it was brown. I had to explain that not everyone is lucky enough to have such white, soft sand on their beaches. :-) 

Besides the beaches, we have a fantastic outdoor mall called Pier Park.  Not only does it have terrific stores and restaurants, but they do concerts in the park as well at the amphitheater.  

Fishing and boating are also very popular here in Panama City Beach.  I'm lucky because my parents own their own boat, and we try to go out with them as much as possible.  My girls love to go out and watch the dolphins play in the water.

I just can't end this post about Panama City Beach without showing you our wonderful sunsets. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and learning a little bit more about my hometown.

Now for the part you have been waiting for....the FREEBIE!!!  Who doesn't love to get FREE stuff?  This freebie will brighten up any classroom.  I am changing my theme this year to pink and blue nautical.  I love using bright colors in my classroom.  I feel like it makes my room look very inviting and cheerful.  Who doesn't want to feel happy in a place where the majority of our time is spent during the school year?  These are labels that you can glue to any container to hold sharpened and dull pencils.  I don't let my kids sharpen pencils during the day because I feel like it's just to distracting.  I make sure that I have plenty of sharpened pencils in a cup at the start of each day.  This way the students can walk over and put their old pencil in the "Needs to be Sharpened" container and grab a new pencil from the "Ready to Write" container.  My kiddos are always breaking their pencils and this cuts down on the distractions because they can quickly walk over and grab and pencil and get back on task.  This weekend, we have freebies for you to enjoy! Stop by each of our blogs for an activity or idea to use in your classroom. To grab my freebie just click the title below!

The Florida teachers below have two fantastic giveaways for you! You can enter once from each one of our pages. All you have to do is follow my blog! Hop around to all the blogs listed below, and be sure to follow them to get more entries. The more entries you have, the more likely you are to win! Each pack also includes a Starbucks gift card (because, well, a teacher's gotta have a coffee!).  I will be adding my nautical theme clock labels to this giveaway!  Make sure you check out my store for other nautical themed products.

Come find out more about the beautiful state of Florida by reading about these other sweet teachers!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Classroom Management

I am so excited that my new blog is up and running.  I admit I am a bit technology challenged so I am truly learning as I go.  I have to give a HUGE thanks to my sweet friends Michelle, from Miss Nelson's Got the Camera and Allison, from Rockin' and Lovin' Learin'!!!!  They have helped me so much as I have begun to set up my Tpt account:  Learning by the Seashore and this blog.  I definitely know how my kiddos feel when they are struggling to learn something new.  It's really frustrating when it seems so easy for others, but yet you just can't get a grasp on it.  How many of you can relate?  I think the light bulb is coming on after today.  Allison was so patient with me when she explained things to me not once, but twice and sometimes more.  Her kiddos are lucky to have her as a teacher. is getting really close to the end of my summer.  I have such mixed emotions when I think about how fast summer is going by.  I love being a stay at home mommy for a while.  My girls and I have been sleeping in and hanging out by the pool just about everyday.  It's nice not to have to pack lunches and do homework every night, but I sure do miss my routine and being with my school kiddos too.
As I have been creating things for the upcoming school year, I have been trying to decide what I want to do for my behavior system this year.  I had such a fantastic class last year.  I hope I get some wonderful new students this year.In the past I used a clip up and clip down system, and last year I used Class Dojo.  This is a great program that the kids really enjoyed.  They all have these cute little monster characters and their own log in.
They can change their character and chat with other kids in our class.  (I was going to include a screen shot of what it looks like, but I have already cleared out my students from last year.)  Even better, the parents get their own log in as well so they can see how their child is doing each day.  During the day students can earn points and lose points for specific reason.  Like, being on task, trying their very best, and being kind to others.  (I always let the kids help me decide which rules should be included on positive and negative reasons at the beginning of the year so they have a since of ownership of the rules.) Parents are able to see why their child is earning and/or losing points.   I hardly ever use the negative unless the student is just really having a hard time making good choices.  Mostly I find someone who is making good choices and tell them to go give themselves a point.  Once the others hear the ding sound they all try to make good choices so they can get a point too.  I like doing it this way because I hate to embarrass students by calling them out, and this is usually much more effective and generally gives me immediate results.  At the end of the week, the students get to go "shopping" with the points they have earned during the week.  Students can choose from going into the treasure chest, a pencil, sit where they want for the day, take off their shoes, lunch with me, etc.  They have to write their total points on a sticky note and then they subtract from their points as they spend them.  (Don't you love when you can sneak in extra math facts practice!)  I really like using this program, but the only problem is that when I am using my Smartboard  it can be a bit of a pain to have to switch over to Class Dojo.  Our school is also switching over from a PBS school to a Leader in Me I'm wondering if this will still fit into this program.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you use for a behavior system in your class.  Thanks for stopping by.