Teacher Life

Teaching is my passion and I love it! I'm not gonna lie..teaching isn't the most glorious job but it definitely is fulfilling and I have many stories to tell. Here is just a snippet of things that I have done in the past and things I'm doing now in the classroom.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Geeking over Google Drive!

I absolutely love Google Drive! I use it for my work and at home to organize my electronic files and ideas. I definitely use it more in teaching because I have tons things that I use and collect. When I first started teaching, I had loads and loads of paper files. Then after moving classrooms several times, I realized I had so much paper files that I ended up not using those files because it was so hard to find things! So last year, when I had to move to a new grade level and move classrooms, I decided it was time to chuck those files for good. But wait! I didn't just throw everything out, I decided to scan as much as I could and start saving into my Google Drive!

So a year later, I have now my electronic file system on Google Drive. I just love how organized all my teaching ideas are and it's so easy to find because I can use the search engine to find what I'm looking. Super easy and efficient versus flipping through a load of papers. 

Well, how do I organize my electronic files? That's a great question! I decided to start with subject folders: Math, Writing, Reading, Phonics, Grammar, Science, Social Studies. Then as the year progressed, I added other folders such as: Field Trips, Report Cards, Team Meeting Notes, Lesson Plans, etc.

Now, here is where it gets a little "Type A" crazy organization. I made sub folders within each subject folder. Here is a picture of what I did and I absolutely love this way of organizing all my electronic files for each subject. 

Now whenever I get new ideas electronically, I can automatically save it into the right google drive folder, which makes searching for things much easier! My 1st grade team got use to me asking "can I get a copy of that to put into my Google Drive?" or saying "I have that on my Google Drive and I can send that over to you." Oh and the best part of Google Drive is the sharing feature! You can share a file, a folder, even your whole drive folder with anyone you like! Happy filing and organizing with Google Drive! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

End of the Year Student Gifts

I've been teaching for 10 years now and every year, I always ask myself "what would be a good end of the year gift to give to my students?". Here are some things that I've done in the past: books, class t-shirts, class dvd with a slideshow of the year in pictures, and a journal. This year, I wanted to do something different that would be meaningful to my students and parents as well. And where do I go to find my ideas? Pinterest of course! I really love finding ideas on Pinterest for just about everything! So, this year I found this great Pinterest Student Gift Idea.

What do I love about it? I love that it's personal, memorable, and encouraging for each student. Did it take some time to think of words for each student? Why, definitely! But I also found a list of positive personality character traits that helped me find the right words for each student. This took me a good hour to type and print each one out for my 23 wonderful 1st graders.

So, how did I make these cute and awesome gift? Well, here's what I did:
1) Go to www.wordle.net (I have a MacBook Pro and I could only use this website using the Safari web browser)

2) Click on "Create" (if you don't have the latest Java update then you'll probably have to install that onto your computer).

3) In the box where it says "Paste a bunch of text:", I typed the student's name 3 times in a line so that their name would show up bigger than the rest of the words.

4) Then I just typed 8-9 words that described each student's personality (one word per line).

5) Finally, click the "go" button.

6) Wordle will automatically create a layout of your words with a font and color. I chose to have all my words be "mostly horizontal" and to make it easy, I went with the already prescribed color combinations. To adjust any of these, you can click on "Layout", "Color", "Font".

Here's the final product and what it looked in the end for me. I think it came out really cute and I hope my students will love them! I'm planning on spending the last 30 minutes on the last day of school presenting them to each student by reading each one out loud. Happy end of the school year! 


  1. I love this idea!! I plan to steal it if that is ok with you??? I tried it and it seems like I have to download java or something like that...

    1. Oh course you can steal this idea! I can't take credit for the idea because it came from Pinterest of course! Yes, you'd have to download java in order for it to work. Also, I found that I couldn't save each one I did so literally I sat by the color printer and did all 24 students in an afternoon. Probably took me like an hour? Good luck and let me know if you need help. =) The kids loved it and I passed it out on the last day of school and read each one as I gave them out. =) It was a special moment for each student.