Friday, October 30, 2015

Mini Book Foldable Using Manila Envelopes!

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you love this idea as much as I do. I've Periscoped about it twice and I promised to post the easy-peasy steps on here for you all!

I learned about these awesome books when I attended the NSTA Conference in Reno last week. There was a session on Dinah Zike's life changing foldables - so of course I was there! This is what we made and I haven't been able to stop thinking abou them since. I'm currently working on making one for teaching Text Structures to my fifth graders, and we will be making one for our matter unit in science as well!

Here's a sneak peak at the one for Text Structure. It's still got a long way to go this weekend before it's ready!

Alright my loves! Here we go! I promise, this is super easy! 

What You'll Need:
  • A manila envelope {I would use the large size possible}
  • Scissors
  • Bottled Glue{at the conference they recommend Elmer's Glue All, but I didn't have any at home so I just used what I could find}



You'll want to start with the envelope horizontal. You'll fold it in half horizontally or like I like to say hamburger fold.

 Make sure you get a nice deep fold in it. The best way to do that is to take the handles of your scissors and press into the fold. 


Now you'll want to trim a bit off the bottom. This opens it up to create the pages...

Now, place your scissors so the envelope is inbetween the blades. You want to slice/cut the folder on both sides up to the  center fold. Don't cut past the fold - or you wont get the nifty pocket!


Do this on both sides..
Now you should have your middle page :)


Here's the final step. This is how you get the neato pocket - which is why I love this book so much. Honestly, if the pocket wasn't there I wouldn't be all about this.

With the "middle" page in your hand, take your glue and under the fold (in bewteen the two sides of the folder) place a small line of glue. This will form the "spine" of your mini-book. Press down, and let it dry.





Voila!!

 I would love to hear how you use this in your class! Please comment below sharing your idea! This book is great for all ages!


I love to connect with fellow teachers! Please feel free to reach out and contact me by clicking below!

                        www.instagram.com/erica_meislererilynmei@gmail.comhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Inspired-Teacher/1603555156596930www.twitter.com/ericameislerwww.pinterest.com/erilynmei


Happy Teaching!



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Candy Corn Decimals

Hey Y'all!

Happy Fall. I absolutely love fall. It's my favorite season. I love the weather (it's especially gorgeous here in Northern Nevada this time of year) and the fact I get to smell and eat everything pumpkin.

So since the seasons are changing, it was time for my next door teaching friend and I to change our bulletin board and we decided to go with a popular one from last year - Candy Corn Decimals. I love this bulletin board because it is so easy and quick, the kids really enjoy it, and it can be adapted and used many different ways!

We have been spending weeks on decimals, and I mean weeks. This year we were instructed that we could only teach green or major CCSS math standards during our 75 minute math block. So according to our district pacing guide that means decimals galore. I love teaching decimals but I'm to the point where I'm about to barf if I have to teach another day of decimals and place value. However when my friend mentioned we do this bulletin board again I got so excited. I totally forgot about it.

Remember how I mentioned it's super simple? I wasn't lying. My kids had the option of just creating their own decimal or rolling our place value dice. Of course, they all chose to roll the dice.

Students wrote the standard form of their decimal on the top piece of their candy corn. They then wrote the word form on the middle and expanded form on the bottom piece. This year I had students cut and glue before writing their decimals on. I don't really think it makes much of a difference, to be honest.











I love this because it is simple and can be used for a wide range of grades! You could have second graders do a whole number and show it in the three forms, or even what it would look like with a base ten drawing. You could third graders do a multiplication fact, draw an array, and write a story problem. Like I said, so many ways to use it and really such a quick and cute bulletin board display!

If you click on the following image I've created a template for you to use. Hurry, it's free in my store until this Friday 10/9/15!


I'd love to hear how you used this in your class! :)


PS - Does anyone know how I can make background of the square transparent on my self-made button? LOL


Happy Teaching!








Monday, September 14, 2015

#MoveYourBusMonday Move Your Bus Book Study - Chapters 1-3

Hello Everyone!

I hope this finds you well. I can't believe I am already in my fifth week of school.



Thanks for joining us for #moveyourbusmondays! I'm so excited to be hosting this book study with Kacie from Second Grade Sizzle! I love this book. I find it so powerful and inspiring. I've said it a million times before but there hasn't been a page that I've read that I haven't connected with something and said "YES! That's so true!" If you didn't catch Kacie's kick off post last Monday, you can check it out {here}.

If you want to join us and host a week of discussion, we still have spots open and we would absolutely LOVE to have you. Sign up here!

And if you need a copy of the book, click {here}!

Okay, Let's dive right in to Chapters 1-3! :) I apologize in advance for how ungodly long this post is. I felt like Chapters 1-3 had a lot of good information and discussion points!

First thing I'm curious about is how would you define yourself right now? Are you a runner, jogger, walker, or rider? Is anyone a driver? I would consider myself a jogger who has to take the occasional walking lap or two. Of course, I want to be a runner but I have a long way to go before that happens but it's still a goal!

So I'm really excited I get to discuss the idea of runners, joggers, and walkers with you! I think the majority of teachers fall in one of these categories, but sadly there will always be some riders :(. Personally, I have to get better about ignoring those people and focus on me and my students. As Mr. Clark says - I have to stay in my own lane! I've adopted that as my motto this year!


Let's talk about the three type of people on your bus! First up we have runners. Mr. Clark summarizes runners as those who consistently go above and beyond for the good of the organization. I think it's safe to say that if you a reading this, you probably strive to be a runner. I think it's ingrained in us as educators. We want to do it all, and we want to do it all perfectly. At least I sure do. I took away 2 key points from chapter 1. 1) When you first start out, you have to prove yourself. You can't be a runner right off the bat. That's just unrealistic. I'm 4 years into my teaching career and I still feel like I'm trying to prove myself. 2) Runners usually end up devoting so much time to their careers that they neglect their personal lives. GUILTY AS CHARGED. I'm definitely not a runner but any means but I definitely spend entirely too much time on work. I'm a single lady so my job is my life. I'm trying to get better but I feel like no matter how much work I do, I'm always scrambling like a chicken with my head cut off! It really irks me. I can get to work an hour and a half before kids arrive and I still feel like there is no dent in my to-do list! Who else can relate? I'm sure I'm not the only one out there! I'd love to hear some of your tips and strategies to dealing with this. Because I'll be honest, I tend to work so hard that I feel burnt-out multiple times throughout the year. I know I'm a better teacher when I take time for me, but I have such a hard time doing it.. OK, I'll stop rambling now and get onto joggers.

Joggers! This is my camp! I would say that I am part runner, part jogger. I work hard but sometimes when I've just finished sprinting (because let's be honest that's what happens with me most of the time. There is no stamina like a runner has. It's an all out sprint and then I'm exhausted and grumpy and just doing what I need to do to get by...) Anyways, according to Mr. Clark, Joggers do their jobs without pushing themselves. I found it interesting how Mr. Clark said most joggers believe they are runners. This made me question myself... What is with the reverse psychology Mr. Clark?  I do have to admit I literally LOL'd when he talked about how at book signings people tell him they are runners and he thinks to himself.. "Hmm.. Jogger." I just found that hysterical because I do think it's true. I think most runners would never tell you they are runners. They're too busy running to tell you! Now, I connected the most with page 15.. I felt that Mr. Clark made 2 very valid points which I connected with. First being joggers absorb the energy around them. My very best friend went from teaching next door to me to teaching on the other side of school and I miss her dearly. I don't feel as supercharged as I did when teaching with her next door. I'm having a hard time adjusting to not seeing her daily and my new team. I'm trying to be strong and keep a positive energy but sometimes I struggle. The other point I found important and powerful was joggers need recognition and praise as our "fuel".  I admit, shamefully, that when I feel I'm working my tail off and I get zero recognition or appreciation (or what I believe to be zero recognition/appreciation) it really burns me out. I want to know that my boss is taking note of what I'm doing. I try to tell myself that my boss does take note of what I'm doing even if she isn't constantly mentioning it. She is sort of busy after all.

Finally, we have walkers. Walkers are the people of your organization who are just getting pulled along for the ride.  Oh Wanda... If I'm being completely honest, Wanda annoyed me to no end. She seems so whiny too me. Wanda the Whiny Walker...Sadly, I work with quite a few Wandas, which might be why she irritates me so much! I have to make a very conscious effort not to get sucked into Wanda's black hole of whiny-ness. Remember: walkers complain because they are trying to pull you down to their speed. Don't let them. Don't trust the bundt cake! Run away and run quickly! The last point Mr. Clark made in chapter 3 that I just love is that at RCA the goodies go to the Runners. They go to the people who work their tails off, and I feel like that's how it should be! Mr. Clark is exactly right when he says that there is nothing more frustrating that working your tail off to see that your co-worker who puts in less than half the time as you getting the same benefits and rewards as you. This has happened to me and it's part of what ends up putting me in a bad place professionally. I have to try very hard to stay in my lane and not worry about what is going on with others - but it can be so difficult!  He's also 100% correct that if you don't reward your runners for their hard word they begin to feel unappreciated and they are either going to decelerate or leave your institution.


WOW! I guess I had a lot to say about these 3 chapters. I told you, I love this book. There isn't a page that I read which I don't connect with something. I'm exhausted (and it's only 8:00 here on the west coast). Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for stopping by and reading this blog. Bless you if you actually read my entire rambling. I would love to know your thoughts on Chapters 1-3.
If you want to join in on the Linky Book Study Party, follow these steps! 

1. Save or copy the Move Your Bus Book Study button at the top of this post. 
2. Add the button to your blog post and link to my blog post. 3. Write your post, including your thoughts on today's section. 4. Copy/paste your URL to link up your post below.
Please check out other blog posts and comment with your thoughts!




Happy Teaching!



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Move Your Bus! {Book Study}

Hey Y'all!

I hope you're all doing marvelous. I'm about 5 days (or sleeps, as I like to count 'em) away from meeting my new students and I couldn't be more excited. I've been go-go-going like crazy trying to cross everything off my to-do list to get ready for them. Today was our first official day back so of course I had to add about 8 things to my list. I'm getting there, just like I'm sure you're getting there. It will all come together, as it always does!

Anyways, I'm posting to invite you to join me and Kacie at Second Grade Sizzle in reading and discussing Move Your Bus! by THE Ron Clark. This is Mr. Clark's 4th book. I've read part of it and it is incredible. There hasn't been a page that something has stuck with me or I haven't said "Yup!" with. I'm so excited to share this book and discuss with other educators.

We are starting the Book Study on  Monday September 7th and are looking for other teachers who want to join us in starting our weeks motivated and refreshed with #moveyourbusmondays!

If you're a blogger and are interested in hosting a week we'd love for your to link up with us! You can click {HERE} to fill out the information in the spreadsheet and we will e-mail you once we've filled all the slots and are ready to rock and roll!

You don't have to be a blogger to join us though! We want to get as many people involved as possible because this book is seriously amazing! So please join us even if you don't want to host a chapter! And invite your teacher buddies! We will have about 12 weeks worth of discussions which are sure to fill you with tons of joy and ideas!

I'll bring you more details as the start date approaches. I'm sure it will be here in the blink of an eye.

If you need to still purchase the book, you can get it {HERE.

I'm wishing you the happiest of Back To School Seasons and I hope you'll join us in reading this exciting and motivating book!




Lots of love,


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Periscope Teachers Survey Tag!

Hey Friends!

I've been spending some time brainstorming different things I could do on Periscope. Some of my favorite scopes that I've watched are the more random, just fun, get to know the person scopes. Like Sheila Jane's What in My Purse Scope! I grew up in the age of MySpace when doing little "About Me" surveys when you were bored were all the rage. I thought it would be kind of fun to mix the two and do a All About Me/Teacher Survey Tag! So below is the image I created for the tag. Feel free to use it in your blog or on your Instagram account! The questions are below. They are just random questions I thought of that sometimes you like to know about your friends. Feel free to comment below with any suggestions of questions to be added. If this is a success, I would be willing to write more questions for a second survey. Well, I hope you'll join in, do the survey on a SCOPE, and tag some of your favorite teachers to do the survey too! If you the teacher survey tag please tag me on Instagram (@ericameisler) so I can watch! :)



General / Random
Name?
Birthday?
Astrological Sign? {Do you believe in this sort of stuff?}
Where do you live?
Right or left handed?
Did you go on vacation this summer? If so, where?
Have any pets?
Morning Person or Night Owl?
If you could go anywhere, where would it be?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What can't you live without?

Favorites
Color?
Season?
Type of weather?
Sport/ Team?
Food?
Genre of Music?
Song?
Movie?
Place?
Hobby?
Book?
TV Show?
Scent?

Teacher Questions
Where did you go to college? What is your degree in?
Do You Blog? If so, what's your blog?
Do you sell on TPT? What's your store?
What Grade do you teach? How long have you taught that grade?
How long have you taught all together? What grades have you taught?
Do you have any goals for the 2015-2016 school year?
What is your favorite subject to teach?




Thanks for playing along! I'm heading back into my classroom tomorrow so I'll be doing a classroom tour before/after scope! <3

Lots of love!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Friday & A FREEBIE!

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to do a really quick post to let you know that I've posted a small {but growing} freebie in my TPT store! If you love quotes in your classroom, then you might want to check this out! If you click the picture below it will take you to my store! 





If you have any quotes that you think should be added please let me know either in the comments, or connect with me via social media (links below) ! 

                         www.instagram.com/erica_meislererilynmei@gmail.comhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Inspired-Teacher/1603555156596930www.twitter.com/ericameislerwww.pinterest.com/erilynmei

Have a wonderful Friday! 

Lots of love!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Writing In Math Class

Hello Everyone!

I don't know if you caught my Periscope about this book but I said I would be blogging about it and here I am! I hope you are having an amazing summer. Are any of you back in school yet? I officially go back on August 12, with students starting on August 17. I can get into my classroom on August 3rd so I will be back at it full-time then! I am so excited to meet my new students and kick off my 4th year of teaching.

One of the things I have done this summer is take a course online to move over on my district's pay scale. I took a class called Writing In Math Class. I took this because whenever it comes to having my students write about math, I end up wanting to pull my hair out. I feel so unsuccessful as a teacher. It has been a great course ( I actually finished the final assignment today :] ).

The required text for class was Marilyn Burns' book Writing in Math Class : A Resource for Grades 2-8.


When this book first arrived I saw the cover and thought of how outdated it looked. I preceded to look at the publication date, 1995, and thought that I probably wouldn't learn much to apply to my 2015 Common Core 5th grade classroom. Boy, was I wrong!

Marilyn Burns was way ahead of the times when it comes to writing in math. This book made me realize that writing doesn't have to be some huge essay, which is what I always in my mind thought of. I also realized that I have to take baby steps and teach them how to write about math (Yes, even with my fifth graders) to get them to the point where they can write essays (if that's what my teacher heart desired, but it's really not).

The book is divided into 3 major parts: why students should write in math, types of writing assignments, and tips and suggestions.

I thought that the first section was really eye-opening and made me realize how important writing is in math, and that I need to do it.

I found the second part very interesting because I never really thought about there being different types of writing in math.  Marilyn Burns talks about that there are 4 types of writing we can have our students do. Including writing in a math journal/log, solving math problems, explaining a mathematical idea, and writing about thinking. There is a chapter for each of the types in which she gives examples of prompts and experiences she has had with various ages. She does a really good job of giving examples for all levels in each of the 4 types.

There is also a chapter of creative writing and math which I found really interesting. I had never thought to have students write poetry about math! She gives some really great ways to incorporate writing into math without kids really realizing they are writing about math.

In the third and final part of the book she takes time to give tips and suggestions including how to help students write, how to use student writing and giving feedback, plus some other good stuff. There is also a 'Questions Teachers Ask' section which I thought was pretty neat.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I found a lot of interesting ideas and materials that I believe I can truly incorporate in my classroom this year. If you have students who struggle to write in math, I believe this book can be very beneficial for you!

Let me know in the comments if you have read this book or plan to. I would love to have a dialogue about what you thought about the book! Also feel free to let me know when you are officially back in school!

Thanks for reading!

Love of love,



Monday, July 13, 2015

Hello! Introduction To Me & This Blog!

Hello!

First I would just like to say THANK YOU for stopping by!

I hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing summer. It's hard to believe that in a months time I will be sitting in my school's library for annual back-to-school trainings and what not! I'm entering my 4th year teaching and it will be my third year teaching fifth grade. I really enjoy teaching fifth grade because I think it is a really fun age, but then again I think there is something special and unique about each grade that makes it fun (even though I've only really worked with/taught 3-5).

I don't know about you, but I sure did get pumped up after seeing all the posts from my favorites at the TPT conference in Las Vegas. I had some serious conference envy! I am planning on going next year. That's definitely a goal. I really get inspired by other teacher bloggers and authors which is why my blog name is The Inspired Teacher! I could probably give you a list of 25+ bloggers who I love and admire but if I had to give a top 5 list it would definitely include Rachelle and Natalie from What the Teacher Wants!, Angie Olson from Lucky Little Learners,  Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd, and Jennifer Findley at Teaching To Inspire In 5th.

I really started this blog not only because these women have inspired me but I love to connect with other teachers and get even more inspired by them! I'm still a rookie in this career and feel like there are so many wonderful people that I could learn so much from and that's what I want to do with my blog and TPT store! I love empowering and building up others and that's something that I love about the online teaching community!



Thanks for stopping by!