What’s in my teacher bag?!?

All of my fellow teacher friends out there, if you’re anything like me (and I know most of you are!!) You probably have way too many things in your teacher bag that you probably could leave at home….or school…but why take that chance, right?!?

So I thought it would be fun if I shared with all of you a list of things that I carry back and forth with me between school and home! (Some necessary and some not!)

 

Continue reading “What’s in my teacher bag?!?”

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I do it for the money….(NOT!)

If you’ve been here since the beginning you might remember that my very first (or one of the very first) blog posts was about “Why I became a Teacher”. You probably noticed that one of those reasons was not because of the amount of money that I get paid.

I remember being in college and so many people telling me that becoming a teacher wouldn’t make me a lot of money and that I should probably reconsider my major. I also remember a lot of people telling my that being an education major was an “easy” choice…but that’s another blog post.

I already knew that I wasn’t going to be making a ton of money becoming a teacher. If I were in it for the money I would’ve stayed in nursing school. But I wasn’t in it for the money. The money honestly doesn’t matter to me. Money doesn’t make me happy, you know what makes me happy? Working with my students every day and helping them to accomplish their goals and become better learners is why I became a teacher!

I can guarantee that if you ask any teacher; no matter where they teach or what they teach, they will tell you that it’s not about the money. It will never be about the money.

Xo’s Shelby

Classroom Update!

I’ve shared a few pictures on social media with friends and family but I wanted to do an official blog post about how I updated my room! But before I talk about it I just want to give a huge thank you to my schools, Home and School team! If it weren’t for them none of this would have been possible!

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With that being said, this is my second school year taking on the task of teaching technology to preschool – eighth grade at my school. I spent three days a week last year in my room trying to think of how I could make it more functional and more up-to-date for our students. This is what my classroom looked like at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. We were beginning to update the space by purchasing new monitors and a new smart board. But, the more I sat there the more I realized that the tables that I had in my room….needed to go! None of them matched, they were uneven, and the size was ridiculous for the amount of space that I had to work with….but for the year I made it work. I just knew that I had a vision where my kiddos could come in and have plenty of space to sit comfortably and work together without feeling like they were all sitting on top of each other.

I did my research and found some amazing tables that I knew would be perfect for the lab! After taking my proposal to Home and School, they agreed with me and with their help I was able to purchase my beautiful tables!

 

When the tables came in I was so excited and happy! I couldn’t wait to get them put together and arrange them how I wanted to. Let me just say that to have a vision and watch it actually come to life….was amazing! I couldn’t be more excited to finally have my tables in my room! It took my dad and I a whole day to put them together and arrange them in just the right place so that everything would work in the room. Talk about an exhausting day! But I am so pleased with the room that it didn’t matter. (A huge shout out to my dad for all the hard work he did to help me get my room ready….I’m really not sure what I would have done if I didn’t have his help…oh wait yes I do…I would have been sitting in my room in a corner rocking back and forth sobbing uncontrollably!)

No of course you can’t have a new setup like this without some new decorations right?!? I’m not gonna lie my room was a little sparse in the decoration department last year, but to be honest that was because I just didn’t have that much room to work with and my mind couldn’t come up with any ideas that worked with the room. But now, I have more wall space (that I can actually get to) and I was able to find some amazing decorations on Teachers-pay-teachers to help me out!

The first thing I changed up were the bulletin boards behind my desk. I added an apple boarder to the one and added a banner that I made with my Cricut (best Christmas present ever…thanks mom and dad!!) Then I changed my rules board to match my room a little more and I love it so far! (No my desk does not look like that right now, it’s actually a lot neater but I took these pictures while I was still in the process of working in my room…I promise I’m much more neat of a person than that!)

The next thing I added was a rewards system (Bitcoins…shoutout to Linda Kamp from TpT and AroundtheKampfire.com for the resource!!) The way that I am using this reward system is by having each class earn a set amount of “Bitcoins” based on good behavior, for example if they as a class stay on task and are good listeners then they earn Bitcoins for that class period and if there are any issues during the class period I will take away Bitcoins). As a class once they have reached 50 Bitcoins (preschool and kindergarten) or 100 Bitcoins (1st – 8th grade), they can turn their Bitcoins in for free time on the computer. So far the kiddos seem to love the idea (especially the older kids! They were super excited to hear about this!). The next thing that I added that I didn’t have last year were classroom jobs (for preschool – 5th grade), I am hoping that these jobs make cleanup time and transitioning between classes a little easier!!

Last year I had these wonderful colorful buckets at each table next to each computer, inside each bucket I had the headphones that went with that specific computer. Since we bought new monitors and new tables, there’s just not enough room on the tables for the tubs. Originally that made me sad because I love the idea of having the headphones in a bucket and out of the way instead of on the table or hooked over the computer monitor. My original plan was to get a bookshelf that I could fit 36 of these little tubs on so that the kiddos could come and get their headphones when they needed them. But my dad came up with the idea to use the shelves instead and let me just say that I LOVE the idea so much! Not only are the headphones in their tubs, but they are out of the way and look super cute! I also thought it would be a cute idea to have a printing station – basically my printer, paper, pencils, a stapler, 3 hole punch and pencil sharpener are all in one area so that the kiddos know exactly where everything is. So far I am loving it so much!

Of course the only thing left to do is show you the final product!!! I could not be more excited or happy with how it turned out! Again I would like to thank Home and School for helping me out with all of this, my dad for helping me set everything up (and being so patient with my when it came to moving the tables around for about an hour straight…) and of course my mom for helping my print, cut and laminate about 1,000 different things for my room!

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Here’s to an amazing school year! To all of my other teacher friends out there I hope you had a successful first week/couple of days back!

Xo’s Shelby

2 ingredients…1 healthy snack!

Do you have a sweet tooth but you’re trying to eat healthy?? If you do then I know that you’re feeling the struggle, and it is real!

But I may have something up my sleeve (thanks to my friend Danielle!!) that can help with that. Oh and did I mention that it’s super easy too!

Ingredients:

1 banana
Peanut butter

 

Directions:

Honestly you can do this one of two ways….

  1. Peel and slice the banana
  2. Put a little bit of peanut butter on each slice of banana
  3. Place banana slices on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer, let them sit in the freezer until the banana is frozen.
  4. Take them out of the freezer and enjoy

 

Now if you’re impatient and don’t want to freeze them, you can always just take out that step and just slice the banana and put some peanut butter on it and enjoy! This is seriously one of my favorite snacks and it’s super easy and delicious too. Oh and healthy for you too which is always a plus!

What is your favorite healthy snack?
If you have a sweet tooth, what is your go to? Mine is anything chocolate…but I really like chocolate ice cream! Leave your answers in the comments below!!

Xo’s Shelby

Mind…..Blown…..

Have you ever read a book and felt like you knew exactly what was going on the entire time?? Thought you had it all figured out….until the final few chapters and then all of a sudden the truth hits you out of nowhere? Yeah, that was this book!

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is one of the most amazing, addicting, intriguing and consuming books that I have ever read. I can honestly say that I was consumed by this book. I stayed up way too late on one too many occasions reading this book. After the first night of reading the book, 92 pages in (30% of the book read at this point) I thought I had it all figured out. I wrote this comment on Goodreads “I’m addicted and starting to think I have a theory….don’t want to spoil anything for anyone but I feel like Adele has cancer or some other terminal illness at this point. She knows her husband is cheating but instead of getting angry she’s befriending his mistress and making a plan?”

 

Well….let me just say that I was so far out in left field with that guess that it wasn’t even funny! Okay maybe it was a little funny?? As I continued to read the book my mind did change a little bit and I think I came up with at least 10 other different scenarios that could’ve been possible. I’m not gonna lie for the longest time I honestly just thought that Adele was certifiably crazy! Then just like Louise I feel for her act and almost felt sympathy for her and began to think that David (her husband) was the crazy, manipulative and overbearing one in the relationship. But when I thought about that theory I thought to myself, that can’t be possible because he doesn’t treat Louise that way so why would he treat his wife that way?? Granted it could have been because he wasn’t happy in the marriage but why not just divorce her? David and Adele had some secret that was holding them together but what could be so terrible that he can’t divorce her??

I could talk about this book for hours….in fact I talked about it to a friend for a good hour! But I don’t want to give any spoilers! So here is the summary that Goodreads has on their website.

“Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong – and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.”

After reading that I’m sure you know why I picked this book for my selection from Book of the Month! (I mean honestly this was the best idea ever….thanks Book of the Month for existing!!). This book clearly did not disappoint me one bit and I can promise you that if you read it, it wont disappoint you either!!

Have you ever read any other books by Sarah Pinborough?? If so what book was it and what did you think of it?? Have you read this book?? What did you think of it??? Leave it in the comments below!!! Happy reading!

Xo’s Shelby

1 Short Story With a Big Twist!

I opened this book and I will say the first line had me in….shock? I won’t tell you what the line is because if you read the book I want you to have the same first reaction that I did! But what I can tell you is that I absolutely loved this short story!

This was the first book by Gillian Flynn that I have ever read and The GrownUp did not disappoint one bit! I never knew that a 64 page book could give someone chills! (Yes I just said this book was only 64 pages!)

Flynn’s writing played with my mind the entire time I was reading this story. I kept thinking to myself that I knew exactly what was happening and what was going to happen. But the more I read the more I kept questioning myself. Originally when I completed this book I thought to myself, “I need more!!” But now that I’ve had some time to process…I’m glad that it was left open-ended.

There are some instances where explanations and closure are needed, and when it comes to books I am usually all about getting closure. This book was different, this book plays with your mind and gives you, the reader the opportunity to create your own truth and your own ending and I really enjoyed that.

In this novel a canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. One rainy April morning, she is reading auras at the Spiritual Palms (where she works) when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our narrator immediately notices that Susan, though rich, is an unhappy woman who is eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, why this “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home, the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes that she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s stepson, does not help matters with his disturbing and sometimes terrifying manner and imagination. As you read this short story you will follow these three characters through a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and hat, if anything, can be done to escape it.

In case you couldn’t tell this is kind of a ghost story! Which was another reason I loved it!! I read it all in one sitting. Now…since this was a short story…I will leave you with a short review. I mean I could definitely talk about this book a little bit more, but I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it!

Have you read this book or any other book by Flynn? If so leave it in the comments below! Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Back To School Countdown Begins!

Does someone want to tell me where the time went?? I feel like it should still be June…or at least July! But here we are already in August and the countdown to going back to school has officially begun!

We officially start school in 17 days…..17 days!!! I am in complete shock but I am also ready for a steady schedule again. But I am also not even close to ready…

My room is not ready for the kiddos to be in it, my lesson plans are not done yet and there are so many other things that I need to do that I haven’t had a chance to start yet. Am I a little stressed out?? Yes, definitely! But I’m trying my hardest not to be, I mean after all I still have 17 days to get my act together right?!?!

Though I may not be fully prepared (which to my defense is not fully my fault…I am waiting on tables that I ordered which will be here soon…YAY!!), there are some things that I made sure to have prepared!

  1. Classroom management plan: If you come in to the first day of school with no classroom management plan, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. I am trying something new this year (I have a separate blog post where I will talk about that more coming soon!!) Once you decide what your classroom management plan is going to be, stick with it! You can always back down, but you can’t get more strict, I can promise you that it will not work!
  2. Early Finisher Options: After last year I did some research because I did not have these in place, I mean right now I teach computer so I didn’t think I would need them. But it turns out that just giving kids free reigns on the computers was a little bit of a headache! So I’ve come up with a few “early finisher” options (specific websites) that they are allowed to go on once they have completed their tasks for the day. My hope is that it will make the computer lab a little less crazy!!
  3. Lesson Plans: Yes I know earlier I said that my lesson plans weren’t completed, and they’re not. I have all of my plans done up through Christmas break. I know you’re probably thinking “why are you worried if you planned that far ahead already?!?” Well I only teach computer one day a week, and I teach it to preschool – 8th grade and time goes by a little more quickly that you think. I would feel better knowing I have something planned rather than having nothing planned at all.

Would I like to have more things done than I do? Yes of course! But am I going to stress out about not having things done? Nope! It will all get done in due time!

To all my fellow teacher friends out there, what do you make sure that you have ready before school starts?? Does anyone else feel like summer went by way too fast?? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Xo’s Shelby

2 Types of People In This World…

There are two types of people in this world. The type of person who believes in science and facts. Then there’s the type of person that believes in fate and dreams. Or maybe you’re like me and you believe in both?? And there’s nothing wrong with that! Except that’s not what this blog post is about!

In the amazing book, The Sun Is Also a Star written by Nicola Yoon, we follow two very different people through a very interesting “love story” (I use those words loosely here!).

Natasha is the type of girl that wants nothing but the facts presented to her. No fate, no destiny, no dreams that will never come true. Her reasoning behind this is very understandable. Her family is less than 12 hours away from being deported from New York City back to Jamaica. This girl is desperate to do anything to help her family to stay. She wants to be in NYC with her friends, her whole life is in this city. On her way to meet with an attorney about her families problems, she runs into this boy on the street. Then she runs into him again….and again. Coincidence or is this something else? Natasha wants to blow it off completely. She has no time for foolish things like this. She isn’t the type of girl that would run into a boy, by chance, on a crowded NYC street, and fall in love with him….or would she?

Daniel on the other hand is the type of person who believes in fate, everything happens for a reason! He’s an aspiring poet, who spends his free time writing poems about heartbreak, even though he has never had his heart broken….at least not yet. He’s always been a good son, a good student and the one who has always lived up to the very high expectations of his parents. Until he met Natasha…there was something about her that made him believe that fate had something more extraordinary in store for him….for the two of them actually.

Natasha and Daniel are both funny, flawed and fully developed characters who feel as if they are old friends. However, as the day unfolds, so does their love story. This love story is anything but simple, and you will find yourself (much like me if you’re at all a sucker for romances….) rooting for them from the beginning until the very last page.

I won’t spoil it by telling you anymore than I already have. Will Natasha get deported? Will Daniel get his heart broken? Or will they end up happily every after? Find out for yourself by picking up a copy of this amazing book!

Ps. The Sun Is Also a Star has a style of switching narrative between the two main characters, which made the story flow very easily. I will say that I was a little skeptical at first because in the past I have not enjoyed books written in this style, but I loved this one so much. I only mention this at the end because I know that the style in which books are written can turn readers away. It used to turn me away.

If you’ve ever read this book, or any other book by Nicola Yoon please leave your thoughts in the comments below! And be looking for my review of Everything, Everything (the book…not the movie!) coming soon!

Xo’s Shelby