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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Back to School Freebie! - Foldable Mini "ME Book"

I realized that I have zero "Back to School" products in my TpT store, so I decided to make some!

The first product I've made is a foldable mini book to introduce yourself to the class.  It would be easy to make with students from grade 2-6!

To make this "Me Book," I created a template.

The template looks like this:

It will turn into a mini book, by following these steps:

Feel free to create a template of you own to fit with your class, using any of the page ideas that I have included.  If you'd like to use my template, you can download it here!

To see more great "Back to School" ideas, click on the picture below!

Back To School Linky Party

Canada Day Sale!! 20% off EVERYTHING in my store!

Happy Saturday to everyone!

To celebrate my wonderful country turning a whopping 147 years old on Tuesday, I am throwing a sale!

Everything in my TpT store will be discounted by 20% from July 1-3!

Please share with your friends, and if you would like to join me in this sale, discount your products from July 1-3, grab the button below to add to a blog post, Facebook page, tweet, etc., and add your store to the Link Up!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Five For Friday! ~Weekly Recap~

 This week, my Facebook page "likes" reached 100!  I am so happy to hit that milestone!  If you haven't "liked" me yet, click on the picture below!

I had a successful giveaway with 2 lucky winners!  I had more entries than I've had before - making me want to plan many, many more!
I've been housesitting this week for my parents while they were in Calgary visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and my niece.  My niece, Nati, turned 5 on Thursday!  I miss her so much (I'm in Victoria, and I don't get to see her much). 

Nati in her princess dress!
The good thing about my parents going away is that they have a hot tub and a fire pit!  I've been spending some very relaxing summer nights here, and almost don't want them to come home on Sunday!

Well, we're still on strike.  I don't want to get too political on this blog about the current state of BC Public Education (because I will become very passionate and intense).  If you are interested, you can follow me on Twitter (@DianiePants), or follow @bctf. 

For a brief recap: for the past two weeks, I've been on the picket lines with my colleagues, fighting for better classroom conditions for our kids.  In 2002, the BC Liberal government under (the then Minister of Education and current Premier) Christy Clark stripped class size and composition language from our contract.  Because of that, we currently have no cap on special needs students per class (they could give me a class with 30 Grade 4 students on IEPs), and our supreme court has ruled (twice) that the BC government broke the law when they removed the limits.  We've been negotiating for over 16 months, without a contract since June 2013, and the government refuses to move on their "offer."  We asked for mediation over a week ago so that we can reach a deal before June 30, but our government has refused.

It is so frustrating and demoralizing to be a teacher in BC right now.  Our government is set on abolishing the teacher's union and pushing to a privatization of education.  It's disgusting.

This video is a really good show of what is happening.  I suggest you watch it if you are interested in what is happening in BC.

On the bright side, it has given us teachers a lot of time to spend together, getting to know each other better, and collaborating as colleagues.  Even my parents' dog, Kasey, came to the picket line on Tuesday!

As of today, the school year is officially over!  I am officially on summer holidays!  This would be more exciting if we had a deal and a secure job to come back to in September - but I have to be positive and hope that they will continue to bargain through the summer and we will return with a fair deal for everyone.

Also on the positive side: I just accepted a Grade 4 and 5 job for next year!  I will be at a new school, but I am really excited to get back to elementary!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Tried and True Thursday - Story Sticks!

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune's Tried & True Thursday!

For this link-up, I would like to feature a blog post I wrote in April called "Teaching the 5 W's with Story Sticks."  It's a fun activity that can be differentiated for many writing levels in one class and for many different grades.  Click on the pictures below for the original post!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New Clip Art!!

Hi Everyone!

I never expected I'd be making clip art - but that's just what I did! 

This afternoon, I was playing around on PowerPoint and I made some frames and borders.  I started with a simple shape, then layered some other lines and squiggles on top.  It was really easy to change the colour of the outlines, and by selecting "no fill" I could make the borders translucent.

I started with one design, but then I was hooked! I created 6 different designs altogether, and have put them onto my TpT store for free!

If you like these borders, click on the picture to get to the product download!

(I'm clearly excited - look at my overuse of exclamation points!)

Two for Tuesday - 50% off "Middle School Mythology" and "Ma Famille"

Happy Tuesday!

I'm joining up with The Teaching Tribune to offer Two for Tuesday!  For today only, get these two products at half price!

Middle School Mythology

Today only $3.50!

This is one of my BEST SELLING units!  Get it today for MASSIVE savings!  Click on any of the pictures to see a full description and to download!

Ma Famille

Today only $2.50!

This is one of my newest French units!  It is selling quickly, and today you can pick up a copy for almost nothing!  Click on any of the pictures to see a full description and to download!
If you end up grabbing a copy of either unit, please leave feedback!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Monday Meet Up - 3 Random Facts

Good Morning!

Once again, I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune with their Monday Meet Up!  This week, it's all about random facts.  My random facts are in the picture below!

One more random fact - I am house sitting (and dog sitting) for my parents this week, and their keyboard is a little sticky.  I am fixing all the typing mistakes that I notice, but I'm sure I won't get them all!  Sorry, grammar teachers!)

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Teacher Tip Thursday! Stay FLEXIBLE!

I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune for their Teacher Tip Thursday linky party!  

My tip is:

I still consider myself to be a new teacher, and it's weird for me to give advice when I am still learning so much every day, but the one thing that I do tell teachers is to make sure to stay flexible!  

You never know when a fire drill or an assembly will pop up and you'll have to scrap what you've planned for something that will take less time.

You might have technological issues, and you can't share that really great video you found yesterday that completely fits your learning goals for todayYour principal, another teacher, or a parent might pop into your room and need to talk to you right away.

Your usually-still-asleep-for-first-block students might suddenly be engaged and the lesson you planned to take the full 70 minute class might actually be finished in 25!

A student might ask a fantastic question in the middle of a math lesson that leads into a 40 minute discussion of government systems and social justice.

Or, you might simply have a bee fly into your classroom and it will take 20 minutes to get the bee to leave and the students to calm back down!

Anything at all could interrupt your lessons and your planning, but the important thing to remember is that just because it's on the lesson plan doesn't mean it is imperative to cover today!  Have something in your back pocket for early finishers, and allow yourself to go off-script once in awhile.  If the students are engaged and learning, that's the most important goal! 

Summer Weekend Giveaway!!

Good Morning!

I've decided to host a summer weekend giveaway!  Enter to win below for the chance to get ANY 3 products from my TpT store ABSOLUTELY FREE!  If you don't win the grand prize, you can still win the second prize of ANY 1 product, ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Why not enter to try your luck?  

Contest will be open until Sunday night at 11:59 pm!  Share with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Two for Tuesday - 50% off Fairy Tale Unit and Would you rather...Wednesday!

Happy Tuesday!

I'm joining up with The Teaching Tribune to offer Two for Tuesday!  For today only, get these two products at half price!

Fairy Tale Unit

Today only $2.00! 

This is a cross-curricular unit for primary students.  It addresses language arts, social studies, and drama learning outcomes. Some of the pages are shown below.  Get it here!

Would you rather...Wednesday

Today only $1.50!

This is a full year (36 weeks) of weekly thinking stems to spark discussion, journal prompts, or debate for your class.  Perfect for Middle and High School English classes!  Get it here!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

This makes it worth it!

Friday was a strange day.  It may have been the last day of the school year, but we may be back next week.  It's all very frustrating.  I wanted to say goodbye to my kids - especially my Grade 9's who will be moving up to high school next year, but I also want to keep hope alive that we will be back in school next week after reaching a fair deal at the bargaining table this weekend. 

I've been so stressed about going into the summer without being paid for the last two weeks while on strike, about finishing up the end of the year routines and units, about report card procedures (we are not supposed to write them due to the job action, yet if we come back after reaching a deal, they will need to be ready to go), and so many other factors.

However, I received some special letters yesterday that make it all worth it!

This is why I can put up with all the other stuff.  The end of the year is so hard.  I will miss my kids  :(