Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Global Teacher Connect Contributor

Within a week or two I will be jet setting to China to start my new adventure and I cannot wait to share all of my stories with you.  If you look at the top of my blog, you can see I added a Page called Life In China.  This is where I will link all of my China stories not related to teaching in one spot.

My great news is I am now contributor for Global Teacher Connect.  This is a collaborative blog of teachers around the world that share their stories on how to educate global learners.  Hopefully in the near future I can start posting my thoughts and ideas as I become a global teacher in China. 

One of the best things I found as I blog is meeting so many teachers from the US and across the globe.  It is exciting how everyone can communicate through the web and share stories and ideas with one another.  I am excited to join this particular group because it features teachers who teach outside of the United States.  I am thrilled to join this special group because even though I call the US (particularly Illinois) my home, this year I will be starting my teaching career in CHINA!

This will be an unique experience for me since I will be teaching Kindergarten at an International school.  I can't wait to meet all of my kiddos who come from all walks of life.  Many of my students include Americans, Koreans, Japanese, French, and Canadian.

If you're a blogger from outside the US, I would love to hear from you so I can start following your blog!  I figured I needed to follow more global teachers to learn from you all!

Don't forget to stop by the blog to check out the other global teachers!

PS- I also added a Kindergarten Blogger button on my right sidebar. (It's above the I'm an Illinois Blogger button) Click on it to join other Kindergarten bloggers!  If you don't teach kindergarten you can still click on the button to find your grade level button! :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Made It Monday- Dye-colored Clothespins!

This is my first Made-It Monday post!  After reading everyone's fabulous Made It Monday posts, I'm happy to finally join in on the fun!  I'm linked up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics.
I've been spending the past 2 weeks gathering supplies, printing and laminating everything, and trying to pack everything in suitcases before I head out to China.  When am I leaving you ask? I'm patiently waiting for my visa to go through but I am hoping and praying that I will leave by the first week of August.

So I I found this idea on how to make colored clothespins from Buzzfeed. There wasn't any good tutorial I found, so I decided to test it out myself.
I went to Walmart to see what RIT dyes they had.  They sell liquid and powder versions.  I went with the liquid version because I wasn't sure how well the dye would stain the wood.  Each bottle was roughly around $2.80 each.  The colors I got were dark green, yellow, red, royal blue, and purple.  If you don't want to spend a lot of money, I would suggest getting the primary colors because you can mix them up to make other colors.
I also bought my clothespins from Walmart.  I found a 24 pack and bought 2.
Then I used plastic containers to mix the dye in.
***This is the important part when using the RIT dye, use about 2 cups of hot water.  I found out that cold water doesn't work well at all when staining wood.  To measure how much RIT dye to use I use the bottle cap.  I poured between 2-4 caps into the bowl.  With the darker colors I used about 2 caps.

I couldn't find any plastic silverware to stir the hot mixture so I used chopsticks (thank God for take-out Chinese food!).  I let the clothespins sit in the dye for about 5 minutes before I let them dry on styrofoam plates with a paper towel to soak the excess water.
And this is how they turned out!  The two green bags actually are different shades in person.  The bottom right is the actual dark green dye.  The green bag on the left is more of a brighter green.  I mix yellow and blue dye together.  I ended up making orange clothespins because I did not like the way the yellow turned out.  So I added a few drops of red to change the dye orange.
I loved how my colored clothespins turned out! I'm still debating on what I'm actually going to use the clothespin for in my classroom.  I'm thinking using some for my Behavior Clip Chart.

What do you use clothespins for in your classroom?  I need some more ideas!

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Shopping Finds!

If you follow me on Instagram (follow me  andreahoteacher), you would have noticed I've been posting my shopping finds for my Kindergarten classroom.

Today was the start of the big teacher sale at United Art & Education stores.  Since I am teaching in China, I have to be very careful and plan carefully on what I can buy and bring to China because I have limited luggage space.  I was told I can get most things I will need for my classroom but cute classroom borders and decorations are hard to find over there.

If you haven't noticed from the picture above, my classroom theme is bright rainbow colors and owls!  I can't wait to move into my new classroom and show you pictures.  But right now, I'm still waiting on my work visa to China...(hopefully I will get a departure date soon!)

From United Art & Education I bought cute borders to match my theme, Mr.Sketch smelly markers,  Do-A-Dot paint markers, owl erasers for my prize box, multicolor skin Crayola markers and crayons, alphabet and number magnets, and string laces.  I also got magnetic tape, poster tape, glue dots, velcro dots, and contact paper which are not pictured.

If you live close to a United Art & Education store, you should stop by for there Back To School sale!

Friday, July 19, 2013

First Grade Teachers, I have a Common Core freebie for YOU!

Calling all FIRST GRADE TEACHERS! I wanted to tell you about my weekend freebie that is exclusively for YOU!

I've been receiving a lot of great feedback about my Kindergarten CCSS file folder labels that other grade teachers asked and begged for me to revise the product to their grade level.  I researched on TpT to see what grade file folder labels were already out there and decided to only do First Grade (for now).  Also, I had the most requests to do First Grade labels.

These two products (ELA and Math) will only be free this weekend only!  At 10pm (CST) on Sunday night (7/21), the freebie will be closed and will be $1 afterwards.  Please share with all of your first grade teacher friends!
The instructions on how to print and organize the labels are in each product! :)
Have a fantastic weekend and stay COOL!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Need 3 proofreaders And Showered With Love

I've been asked by a couple first grade teachers to create a First Grade CCSS file folder labels unit.  I finally completed it (it's been on my to-do list for months!) and I need 3 awesome proofreaders that can look for any mistakes in my LA and Math file folder labels for first grade.  I will only choose the first 3 people who comment and leave their emails below!

If you are a Kindergarten teacher, check out my Kindergarten labels that are FREE {here}!

In the past couple of days, I've been showered by love from new blogging teacher friends!  I was nominated for the Liebster Award by 3 ladies-- Meghan @ First Grade Hugs and High Fives, Brittany @ Excelling in Second, and Breanne @ Ms. Third Grade.  All three of these lovely ladies have great ideas, freebies, and products! So I encourage you to check  them out and follow them if you don't already!

I was actually nominated by the same award when I first started my blog in Fall 2011.  On my right sidebar under "Awards" you can find a different Liebster Award button.  You can read my original post and learn even MORE about me {here}.  I feel really blessed other teachers are thinking of me when passing this award!  Even though I'm a "newish" blogger, I feel like I have a lot to learn!  This reward also reminded me to strive to get more followers!  I'm hoping since this is my first year having my own classroom as a Kindergarten teacher, I will be able to blog more about teaching Kinders at an International School in China!

The Liebster Award is for new bloggers with 200 followers or less.
Here are the Rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

Meghan's questions:

1. Why did you become a teacher?
I love working with kids! When I was younger, I always made my little sister and stuffed animals be the students while I was the teacher.  
2. What is your favorite children's book?
Laura Numeroff''s If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
3. Who designed your blog?
The awesome ladies of The Honey Bunch Blog Design.
4. Where is the coolest place you've ever visited?
Hmm, I will have to say Venice, Italy.  I went last summer with my BF and it was just amazing!
5. What is your favorite TV show(s)?
The Bachelor/The Bachelorette (Haha, I'm watching it right now!)
I also like So You Think You Can Dance and Once Upon A Time.
6. Did you have a favorite toy or stuffed animal as a kid?
Yes, a stuffed bear named Mr. Pinky.
7.  Do you have a favorite exercise you do regularly (or not so regularly)?
Zumba and yoga!
8.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip!
9. What is your favorite way to incorporate technology into your teaching?
SmartBoard and Document camera
10. Are you a Mac or PC person?
11. What is your favorite sport to play or watch?
Love to watch baseball, soccer, and ice hockey.  I love to play lacrosse and kickball!

Brittany's Questions:
1. What is your favorite way to relax after a long day of teaching?
Watching Netflix or taking a short nap.
2. What is your favorite children's book?
Laura Numeroff's If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
3. What is your favorite time of the year?
4. What is your dream vacation? Why?
Going to Africa because I've heard many amazing stories from friends that visited, lived and worked there.  I want to see South Africa, the pyramids, The Nile river, the safari, and teacher friends that work in schools in Africa!
5. Do you have any animals? If so, how many and what kind?
No, I wish I did. I wish I had a cat or dog.
6. What is your favorite t.v. show or movie?
I like The Bachelor/ Bachelorette, So You Think You Can Dance, and Once Upon A Time.
7. Favorite food?
My favorite comfort food is Mac n Cheese!
8. Why did you become a teacher?
I love working with kids! When I was younger, I always made my little sister and stuffed animals be the students while I was the teacher.  9. What is your favorite piece of technology?
Just bought a new iPad and I'm obsessed!10. Do watch/play any sports?
I like to watch baseball, soccer, and ice hockey. I like to play lacrosse, kickball, and swimming.11. Any hobbies?
Blogging, scrapbooking, DANCE (ballet), and playing the ukulele.

Breanne's Questions:

  1. When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
    I wanted to be a teacher in high school.
  2. How long have you been teaching?
    2 years subbing and this is my first year as a kindergarten teacher!
  3. What is your favorite lesson to teach every year?
    Writing. I really like to teach the non-fiction text features.
  4. If you didn't teach your current grade, what grade would you teach?
    First Grade
  5. What is your favorite read aloud?
    The The Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a .... books!
  6. What is one of your favorite projects that your students do?
    Making poetry posters.
  7. What is one item you couldn't live without?
    Dry shampoo.  It is a lifesaver on oily hair days or when you wake up late!
  8. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  9. What are your other hobbies other than teaching?
    Scrapbooks, blogging, painting, dancing, playing the ukulele (I'm not very good though).
  10. Have you read anything lately? If so, what? 
    The Dream Giver by Bruce Willinson
  11. What are your plans for the rest of summer?
    Pack, pack, pack!! And visiting as much family and friends in the US before I fly and move to China to teach Kindergarten at an International School. 

11 Fun Facts about ME!!!
1. I have a shoe obsession! I love all kinds too.  So it is going to be hard for me to decide what to bring to China.
2. I am a night owl.
3. I collect snow globes and magnets of all the places I travel.
4. My childhood dream profession was that I wanted to be a ballerina.
5. I broke my left wrist when I was two.
6. I hate thunderstorms.  Don't know why, but they make me anxious!
7. I enjoy driving.  Not going to lie but I have a lead foot!
8. I love trying new hairdos with my hair.
9. I hate doing laundry, especially folding it and putting it away.
10. I am a daddy's girl.
11. I went to Miami University of Ohio (NOT the college in Miami, FL...)

My nominees!
1. Melissa @ Kindergarten Celebration
2. Stacey @ Teaching Ever After
3. Christin @ Shifting Teacher K-2
4. Maggie @ Mrs. Rodriguez's Class
Ok...so I didn't find 5-11 bloggers, it was hard!  So if you don't haven't been nominated for a Liebster award yet, just consider yourself nominated by me!! Please link up and join in the fun! :)

My questions:
1. What's your favorite grade to teach?
2. Sweet or Salty foods?
3. Any advice to give to a new teacher like myself?
4. What was your childhood dream profession?
5. What college did you attend?
6. Favorite place to buy teaching supplies?
7. Favorite holiday?
8. What is your strength as a teacher?
9. What color is your car?
10. Coffee, soda, or tea?
11. What is your guilty pleasure?

Don't forget to link back to me when you post!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday (I bought a new iPad!)

Yesterday I bought an iPad to use in my kindergarten classroom this year!!  I love it and I've been on it non-stop!  The school district I worked with in Illinois provided teachers and aides to use iPads but the school I'll be at in China just lost their grant for iPad use in the Early Childhood Center (grades Preschool-Kindergarten).  :( I was so bummed to hear that sad news so I begged my parents to help me buy one!
Not the best picture of it in the box...
Here is a picture of many of the education apps I downloaded last night.
As you may noticed I downloaded a lot of "learning Chinese" apps.  I will be using them a lot as I try to learn a new language overseas!

Some of the education apps I downloaded to use in my kinder class are:

  • BrainPop Jr Videos & Video of the Week
  • CookieDoodle ($)
  • Flat Stanley ($)
  • LetterSchool 
  • Toca Store (grocery store game) ($)
  • Wheels On The Bus
  • FarFaria (Collection of fairy tale stories)
  • Shapes&Colors 
I was playing around and took a pic of my flat stanley. 
What do you have on your iPad that you use for educational purposes? I would love to know what you use your iPad for in the classroom!  I want to download more fun apps!

Additionally, do you use a special iPad cover for your kiddos to use? I'm considering in buying one of those big, rubbery cushion case covers to use in my classroom.  I've seen a lot of teachers/OT/Speech Path. use them in the past.  Just wondering if it was worth the buy!

And here's my new Tech Tip Tuesday find!  The app is called Field Trip.  Basically it's a cool app to show you hidden treasures that are in your nearby location that you can visit.  It helps you locate things to do.  The app is created by Google and I think right now until the end of July, there are a lot of free admissions to museums (mostly in big cities like NYC and San Francisco).  I'm excited to use it for free admission at the Field Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

PS- Stay tuned later this week as I share tips for teachers (both brand new and experienced) who are searching for a teaching job because I know how tough it is nowadays!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Currently

It's the beginning of the month and you know what time it is! Time for a link up with Farley's July Currently!
Listening- Anyone else obsessed with Robin Thicke's song?? It's so catchy!

Loving- If you didn't already know from my previous posts, I got my DREAM JOB as a kindergarten teacher.  And the best part is that I'll be teaching in CHINA at an international school.  I'm so blessed and excited to start my teaching career and life in a new country, new culture, and making new friends!

Thinking- I haven't seen my family or boyfriend for about 2 weeks because I'm in New York (near Niagara!) for new teacher orientation for all overseas teachers.  Thank God for Skype!

Wanting- I realized how much I don't like sleeping on dorm beds! I've been in NY for training for 2 weeks!! I go home on Friday and I'm really wanting my own bed to sleep on.  Also, I'm bummed out that I'm going to miss celebrating July 4th with friends and family this year. :(

Needing- I've been reviewing and reading a lot of educational books instead of pleasure reading this summer.  I'm definitely going to get some for my LONG flight to China.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Tips, Tricks, & Hints- Having 2-3 people reviewing your final products for TN and TpT is great because you might not catch that little spelling mistake or missing a picture.  I tend to create my products and blog really late at night, so I know there will be a small mistake or two.  It's easier to catch it before you post the final product in your stores.

Also, I know I mentioned Bloglovin before but I wanted to add Anna @ Crazy for First Grade's adorable Bloglovin button to advertise it more!! So on the right sidebar, find the Bloglovin button to follow me!! Or click on the pic below!