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The Effects of Blogstalking

My professional life before blogs & Pinterest seems like a long, long ago, dark, desperate time.  I've been thinking a lot recently about how much they've really transformed me and brought me back from the brink of being a very unhappy educator, mired down in the politics and pressures of what has become our profession. So, I think it's only fitting to share some things that I've either seen, found or purchased from my fellow blogger peeps who I may or may not have a little teacher-crush on.

This week I felt like a teacher rockstar and it was due in large part to Abby over at Babbling Abby.  I purchased her Inference Investigators unit and it was super fantastic. Like awesomely amazing fantastic. I had my formal evaluation coming up and I was kind of panicking undecided about what I wanted to do. I was blogstalking and searching around Pinterest, and I came across the unit, which I had actually been thinking about for a while. I read the post again and was convinced it was perfect for what I was looking for.



The funny part is that the highlight of the activity is about a snow day. Well, my little Florida friends knew next to nothing about snow or snow days, so we had fun reading books and watching Reading Rainbow to build up our background knowledge. Love me some LaVar! I didn't think it would look right to take pictures of them during the actual investigation while I was being observed...but I may re-create the scene at a later date to snap a few because it was that.darn.cute!




I added some of my own stuff into and it made for a really terrific week (and observation btw). I felt like I really, truly taught inferencing. We talked about the difference between a prediction and an inference and during my observation I asked one of my kids and she totally nailed it!  I have to say, I was a little goosebumpy. All of the elements of the lesson are still hanging up in my room and I can't bear to take them down, but I suppose all good things must come to an end.  (BTW I'm not really good blog buds with Abby, in fact, I'm not sure she even knows of me. But I just love passing on really great teacher stuff that I stumble upon.)

So...what else. Lemme see...
We made these sweet as can be Heart Maps for our February bulletin board. These came from Cara Carroll, another teacher who's covered in all kind of awesome sauce.



And how cute are these Friendship Hearts from Mrs. Lemons?! I've been a big fan of hers for a long time. She rocks it out pretty regularly.



We also completed our Me on the Map projects from Clutter Free Classroom. I changed it up just a teensy bit. Cute right? The kids really got a great understanding of where they are in the world after this. They still kind of confuse things from time to time, but for the most part they're much better at geography than I was at their age!




That just about brings you up to speed on the happenings in my little corner of the world except for today's Seuss-a-palooza (pix coming soon!)  Right now I need a nap to recover.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
Dr. Seuss <--good advice, doc.

P.S. I have an amazing giveaway coming this weekend from Scholastic News(!) so be sure to come by and check it out.

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26 comments:

  1. Love that first paragraph! So true....saved by blogs...and teacher friends we've never met face to face. Who knew?
    Jayne
    http://www.abcsofreading.blogspot.com

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  2. Blogging has changed my professional life ten-fold. Our spirits here in Michigan have been stomped on so horribly....blogging renewed my spirit and reminded me that I DO love teaching.

    Thank YOU for your awesome contribution!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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    1. Same here in Florida (and seems like most of the country unfortunately)
      We have to stick together and keep holding each other up!

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  3. I think your blog is awesome! I nominated you for an award! Come on over to accept!
    ~Jada
    Daisy Days for Learning

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    1. Thanks Jada! Your blog is super cute!

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  4. So true! Blog stalking has made me such a better teacher.
    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

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  5. Love the geography bulletin board!

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  6. Love it all! And all those bloggers are absolutely amazing! How lucky are we that we get to collaborate with all the best teachers on a daily basis and we never even have to leave our house!?

    Hadar

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  7. As another 'veteran' teacher,your entry tonight spoke to me. I love my job but the day to day nonsense (politics, pressures) can really wear you down. I have learned so much and been so inspired by the blogging world. I love your site and use many of your ideas. I love the Me on the Map activity, thanks so much for sharing. Have a great weekend !

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    1. So glad I can help a little. It's a good thing we love what we do. You really have to in order to stick with it this long! :)

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  8. I love that you said "I felt like I really, truly taught inferencing."
    Isn't it amazing that we feel this way? Even though we are great professionals and students are learning all the time from us. Glad you got to feel proud of your little ones!

    Papers and Pencils and Books, Oh My!

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  9. Blogging has transformed my teaching! I just love it when the kids are having fun and learning at the same time!

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  10. Love the Me on the Map project! The kids' pictures are hilarious! I did a project similar to that earlier this year, but had overlapping circles instead of the flipbook. of course I had found it on Pinterest! :)
    Nicole
    Teaching With Style

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  11. I love the clear plastic paper holder thingys to hold writing. What are they called and where can I find them? Thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Jessica!
      Those plastic sleeves are fantastic!! I actually got a whole box of them with bonus points through Scholastic Book Clubs. I'm not exactly sure what they're called, but I'll check when I go in Monday. I think they're actually the same thing that contractors use to hang permits during a house project (I've had a few of those...) So maybe check Home Depot? They have them here too at RGS http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/product/write+again+re-markable+dry+erase+sleeves.do

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  12. All of your favorite blogs are my favorites, too (plus yours, of course!).
    I did the Snow Day Investigation with my second graders and it was amaaaaaazing. I, too, still have an "evidence" board up in my room that I just can't take down.
    Thank you for all that you do to inspire teachers everywhere!

    - Lisa in New York

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  13. Congrats on a great observation! Looks like you had a lot of fun with your kiddos!

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  14. I think I should totally type over and get that inferring package!! Thanks for sharing!
    Julie
    Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

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  15. I love that Me on the Map activity! We read the book every year and I need to pin/save that idea! I just nominated you for the lovely blog award! Come check it out on my blog! Rambling About Reading

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  17. Oh my gosh! I love your take on my project!!! Super cute. Thanks for sharing.


    ❤Jodi from...
    ★★The Clutter-Free Classroom★★
    Helping Teachers Get Organized

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    1. Yay! It's a great project - it's getting pinned like crazy! :)

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  18. So glad I found you via Pinterest. I teacher junior high but this idea is definitely adaptable for my age group. New follower!

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  19. Will you see this so much later? I love the geography display... found it on Pinterest of course. I see so much value in the blogosphere, but with two preschoolers at home, I'm not sure how I could manage. Any tips? For now, I'm pinning the summer away. ;-)

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  20. hi! where did you get that blank world map with lines pointing at the continents? mind sharing? thanks, gloria

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