Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Vote Like That" 2012

In 2009, a couple of my friends/colleagues (one being Stacy over at Funky Fresh Firsties) and I had the opportunity to visit the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was amazing!  We came back with a fire lit under us!  We were ready to educate and inspire ANY student that we encountered!  The staff AND students at Ron Clark Academy were/are phenomenal!



Ron Clark, Founder of Ron Clark Academy
and author of "The Essential 55"

I'm Slide Certified!
For the 2008 election, Ron Clark had his students debate in class.  As a result, the students created the song "Vote However You Like" based on their debates.  The students sing the song to the melody of "Whatever You Like" by TI, a well-known rapper.  The video gained a great amount of media attention and encouraged students around the world to research about presidential elections so that they can form their own opinions.  As a result, they performed at the 2009 Inauguration.

The students at Ron Clark Academy have done it again!  They created a video for the 2012 election.   Another teacher and I are organizing a mock election for PreK-5th on election day.  After sending out possible election activites, I sent out the link to the student's most recent video, "Vote Like That", so that teachers can share the video with their students.   The students sing the song to the melody of Cher Lloyd's "Want You Back"  Check out the video!

As the election approaches and we plan activities for students, we have to remember that voting is a right and obligation of every citizen of the United States.  It is guaranteed by the Constitution and one of the reasons our country was founded.  The United States of America is a democracy which allows for each citizen to express opinions through voting.
The ladies, Kim Bearden (Co-Founder), and Me

With that being said voting is also a personal and private right.  As educators, we must be able to educate about factually based issues in an unbiased way.  Therefore, as we educate and lead our students through the process of a Presidential Election, please be careful when discussing the candidates' platforms.  If students want more information, which might require a more biased answer, encourage them to research each candidate’s issues online, watch debates online, interview respected adults or discuss with their parents.
Have fun planning election activities for you students!  If you ever get a chance, visit Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia!  You WILL be inspired!  Check out the school

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trials and Errors of "HTMLing" If That's a Verb

First Year Bliss Linky Party!!
First Year Bliss Linky Party

This is my first time joining a linky party!  I've had LOTS of firsts this week!  First time placing items on TpT.  First time selling an item on TpT.  First time creating blog.  First time blogging.  The list goes on and on.  I can officially say that I have been blogging for a week!  Not too bad for a newbie like me.  It was not all pleasant and a bed of roses!  I'm so glad that I was on fall break because those htmls can be somewhat awful horrible horrendous.  Yeah, that's the word--horrendous!  They can be a pain!  But, guess what, ya'll, (Yep, I'm from south Georgia.  Don't ya love the dialect!)  I overcame htmls--for now.  Some of you are probably wondering what are htmls.  Others are like "I feel your pain, sista!"  Then you have that very small percent of absolute genuises who are like
"What are you thinking?  HTMLs are DA BOMB!" 
For those who are new to the bloggy world, htmls are HyperText Markup Language (HTML).  They are basically codes or computer language that allows a person to display web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser.  Take a look around my blog.  Yep, html codes made it so nice and "purtty".  Totally not bragging.  Well, yes, I'm am!  I love my blog!
Htmls can be a little frustrating for beginners.  It is because I overcame one particular html that I jumped for joy.  Yes, I was literally jumping up and down in our living room doing the cabbage patch (Old school dance.  Please keep reading.)  Yep, the hubs thought I was crazy!  For a couple of days I was trying to get the one-time Facebook Like pop up widget <mouthful, eh> to appear on my page.  It was SO picky!  I could not get it to work correctly.  I had to learn the hard way about backing up my page before making any big changes to my template.  Cue mini lesson for Blogger users:

Under "Template" before you "Customize" or "Edit HTML" click on "Backup/Restore" and save you blog template (and codes) as a file on your desktop before you make any changes.

Moving on.  I know some of you think that I am a dunce, but it was hard for me.  I was always getting an error code when the box would pop up on my page.  When I finally did get it to show faces of the people who liked my Facebook page, I was seeing doubles.  Yes, one person would like the page but two of their Facebook pictures would appear in the pop up box.  Ughhh!  Weird!  I did not give up.  It takes me a long time to ask someone to actually come over and physically help me with something.  No, not because I'm stubborn.  I just like to learn on my own.  I have to learn how to do it just in case I have to do it again.  I dislike pestering bothering people. 
I finally found help on Facebook.  Obviously, on Facebook, there is something called Facebook Developers.  Why didn't anyone tell me about this?  Oh, yeah, I didn't ask.  On Facebook Developers, some people, well developers, have these fill-in boxes where you just copy and paste your information and it automatically creates the html for you.  All you have to do is copy and paste.  Easy!  Here's the link to the Facebook Pop Up Like widget.

Also, if you scroll down the page and look on the left you can find other widgets like a Facebook Like button or a Facebook Live Stream widget for your page.

Well, it's back to school tomorrow.  Fall break is over!!!  I look forward to seeing the students and helping my colleagues!

Thanks for reading, and have fun "htmling"!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Keeping Track of Common Core Standards

Common Core...Common Core...Common Core!  It seems to be the buzz word lately.  I'm from Georgia, and this is our first year implementing these standards.   Yes, we are a couple of years behind some other states, but we are making progress.  Yay! Many of us have gotten off to a rocky start, but, hey, it is getting much better. The internet has a WEALTH of information especially since 45 states (and 3 territories) have formally adopted Common Core Standards.  I think that it's great!  If I get a student from the American Samoa Islands, Guam or the US Virgin Islands in the little old town of Statesboro, at least I know that I'm teaching the same standards that his previous teacher was covering.  Okay, that's a bit drastic!  I truly am glad that we have the same standards as other states.  Why?
#1- In the past, I have received students from different states who are either behind or above the skills that I was teaching. 
#2 - It makes it so much easier to find activities on the internet when you have people writing lesson plans similar to yours and that are based on the same standards that you are teaching. 
Shout out to Teachers Pay Teachers!  Woop Woop!!!!
#3 - Well,for #3, I got nothing!  Give me a minute.... Lol!
Anyway, since Common Core Standards are here to stay (or until the next round of standards come around), I created checklists for K-5 in Math and English/Language Arts.  The checklists are not meant to just check off a standard and forget about it.  Oh, no!  I'm sure you were told in training that you are going to teach the same standards over and over again.  The checklists can be used to make sure that you are teaching every part of common core.  Once you teach a standard, you can place a check in the box under the current nine weeks.   If you are not a check mark kind of dude or chic, you can be extra organized and write the date that you taught the standard in the available boxes.  Your principal will be very impressed that you are so organized by keeping track of those Common Core Standards! :)
Also included on the checklists is a "Things To Remember" section under each domain.  I find this helpful when I need to make note of something that I will need to remember when I teach the skills the next year.  If you are interested, take a peek at these checklists in my TpT store. 
Click Here!

 Thanks for taking the time to read!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yes, I Sleep... Sometimes

     Well, last night was not one if those times.  I didn't sleep at all last night.  I finally went to bed at 5:41 a.m.   I know!  I'll answer my previous question...I'm crazy! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Seriously, Am I Crazy!?!?!?

      Officially, this is my first post as a blogger and first time blogging!  Yeah!!!!  Hand claps for me...and a few high fives!   But, I crazy?  My husband and I have four super active kids.  I must say that they are absolutely, positively adorable!   I'm the K-5 Instructional Coach for our elementary.   I tutor.  I'm a mentor of a girls youth group.  I told the pastor of my church that I will help in restructuring our children's ministry.  I'm also attending classes and writing papers to become certified in leadership. Now, I've decided to add to my platter....  I want to begin selling items on Teachers Pay Teachers and blogging.  Yes, I'm a little psychotic because I love it all!  I love being busy with my family, friends and work.  I don't know what I would do if I wasn't so busy.  I am super excited about my new adventures of selling on Teachers Pay Teachers and blogging!  I've always thought about both but never took any steps.  A couple of my colleagues at work began, convinced me with their efforts and progress and now it's full steam ahead!