Saturday, July 13, 2013

Awesome Secondary Teacher-Pinners to Follow

This awesome group of teachers are some of the sweetest and kindest people out there.  Just like a candy store, we have lots of choice for you!
From English Language Arts and Foreign Language, all the way to Math and Art... we follow each other on Pinterest and thought you should as well.  I see amazing ideas from this group.  Let me introduce you to them!

The Tutor House

Bio:  Hi!  I'm Adrianne from The Tutor House.  I love tutoring and creating engaging lessons for math in reading for grades 3-8!  If you've ever thought about starting your own tutoring business, (and what teacher facing employment shortages here in Ontario hasn't?!) you should visit The Tutor House!

Follow Adrianne of The Tutor House on Pinterest.

TeachitWritelogo photo chalkboard-apple2_zps1805ea76.png 
Bio: Welcome! I am Connie from Teach it Write. I am a retired English teacher and I’m thrilled to now write curriculum full time that I love to share on my site. My book, The House of Comprehension, shows how the elements of literature form the structure of any fiction or non-fiction text. Check it out on my blog or web site.

Follow Connie of Teach it Write on Pinterest.

2PeasAndADog Blog
Bio:  Hi Everyone! It's Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog. I am a Canadian middle school teacher who loves to pin and blog about things related to Grades 6 and up.

Follow Kristy of 2 Peas and a Dog on Pinterest.


Bio:  Hiya there!  I'm Jamie but you may know me as MissMathDork! I am a lover of all things mathematical!  Patterns, sequences, geometric shapes, if it's mathematical, I'll find a way to make it fun!  Want to see some of my ideas? Check out my ideas and pictures at!  You won't be disappointed!

Follow Jaime of Miss Math Dork on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hello, there. I’m Charlene Tess from Simple Steps to Sentence Sense. Grammar is my specialty. I have always loved taking sentences apart and putting them back together, and I successfully taught my students using the simple steps method for over three decades. Visit my blog to get helpful tips on grammar, usage, and writing.

Follow Charlene of Simple Steps to Sentence Sense on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hi my name is TammyManor and I've been teaching high school English for 13 years now. I know that teaching can be very stressful. My school is constantly changing the book list and I've taught every grade 6-12 as well. As a result I have unit plans for a large variety of novels, plays and memoirs. Come check out my store on TpT for a variety of ELA materials. Follow my blog for teaching related posts.

Follow Tammy (aka poetgrl aka Juggling ELA) on Pinterest.  

Bio:  Meet Sabrina, author of A Space to Create.  Find teaching resources for art teachers and classroom teachers alike. My art lessons teach students the creative process enabling them to build confidence and have amazing results.  Come visit my blog A Space to Create! (K-12)

Follow Sabrina of A Space to Create on Pinterest.

All Things Algebra

Bio: Hi there!  I'm Gina from All Things Algebra.  I have taught Algebra and Pre-Algebra for seven years and have a passion for creating activites and games that engage my students.  If you are interested in finding ways to have more fun in math class, head on over and check out my blog!

Follow Gina of All Things Algebra on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hi there!  My name is Amy Brown and I write a blog called "Science Stuff."  I am a 29-year teaching veteran of biology, chemistry and AP biology.  I love science and I love kids, so I have the best job in the world!  Hopefully, I have passed my love of nature and the environment on to many students.  My blog has tips and tricks for teaching science as well as a lot of free science teaching materials.  I hope to see you there!

Follow Amy of Science Stuff on Pinterest.

Numbers Rule My World
Bio: Hi! I’m Krystina from Numbers Rule My World. I love incorporating hands-on activities and technology into the classroom for Math: grades 7-9. If you’re looking for great ideas about math then you should come on over and check it out at Numbers Rule My World!

Follow Krystina of Numbers Rule My World on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith-Sloane. I am a Middle School Math and Special Education teacher. I have a strong passion for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each learner in and out of my classroom. I love seeing the light in a student's eyes when something finally clicks and I do everything that I can to make that happen as often as it can.  Visit my blog 4mulaFun!

Follow Jennifer of 4mulaFun on Pinterest.

Innovative Connections
Bio:  Hey! I am Ann Marie from Innovative Connections. I enjoy blogging about various topics: Projects and lessons going on in my classroom, ideas I've learned or ideas I've thought of at the most random of moments (At 2 a.m. when I can't sleep, I can come up with some stellar ideas), teaching resources I find beneficial to fellow teachers and/or bloggers. Due to the wide range of grades I've had the pleasure of teaching, Innovative Connections caters mostly to language arts but loves to share and collaborate with teachers/bloggers of various grade levels.

Follow Ann Marie of Innovative Connections on Pinterest.

Liz's Lessons
Bio:  Bonjour! Hola! I'm Liz from Liz's Lessons. Languages are one of my passions, and I love teaching with technology. I create fun lessons for teaching secondary French, and Spanish. I also make formative assessments and technology activities in English, that can be used in any secondary classroom. If you are looking for some engaging activities for your classes, be sure to stop by Liz's Lessons!

Follow Liz of Liz's Lessons on Pinterest.

For the Love of Teaching Math
Bio: I'm Andrea Kerr from For the Love of Teaching Math. It is my mission to change traditional math classrooms one game and activity at a time. If you like to incorporate hands-on, group activities and games into your classroom, check out For the Love of Teaching Math!

Follow Andrea of For the Love of Teaching Math on Pinterest.

Addie Education – Teacher Talk

Bio:  I'm a middle / high-school teacher and I love to create ELA, Social Studies and Geography related resources.  I blog at Addie Education - Teacher Talk... come on by and see some of the fun things I do with my students.

Follow Addie Education on Pinterest.

Bio:  I'm a high school English teacher in a 1:1 school who loves books and fostering creativity. My blogs are Mrs. Orman's Classroom and Hunger Games Lessons. I share my teaching resources on TeachersPayTeachers.

Follow Tracee Orman on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hi! I'm Kim from Teaching Math by Hart. I am forever planning and thinking of new and innovative ways to teach math to my students. Why, you ask? Believe it or not, I think learning Math should be FUN and it should be REAL! If you are looking for some ideas to engage your students in math class, come check out Teaching Math by Hart - in the middle years classroom!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Flip-Flop Product Swap with Mrs. Mathis

I love taking an occasional opportunity to see what some of my teaching friends and virtual colleagues are doing, without having to actually spend money. Not that their products aren't worth it, and I have purchased from several people with whom I am actually somewhat acquainted. But you see, the bounds of my nosiness curiosity extend beyond the grade levels and subjects I teach. I'm particularly intrigued by the primary products, since I know that there is a much bigger market for that level.

One person whose stuff I've been dying to get a closer look at is Renée Mathis. We met some time ago on a facebook group for Ontario teachers. Like many, she's been having a hard time obtaining proper employment in our field, and I just couldn't fathom this since 1) she has her French teaching qualifications and 2) she's actually francophone. 
Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom

Then she explained to me that she's in an area of Ontario where there are A LOT of French-speaking teachers, since as you all know of course, there ARE francophone communities in many places throughout Canada, not just Quebec. That made a little bit more sense, but I could tell that she was a dedicated teacher who really cared about her students. She was really struggling with not wanting to leave teaching, but needing more than hit-or-miss supply work to help out her family.

I suggested she try TeachersPayTeachers, and gave her a few suggestions as she started to tackle this potential additional source of income.  She's kind of kicking my butt!  I've been registered with TPT since 2007 and she's only two places behind me for all time best selling teacher stores in Ontario! (I'm not griping though, I promise! She's been earning it! Check out her store - she has some great stuff in two languages!) 

I am however very sad that I wasn't pushy and didn't insist that she use my referral link to get signed up RIGHT AWAY while I was giving her advice!  When you use someone's referral link, it costs you nothing extra, and whether you sign up as a premium seller, which does cost you an annual fee, or a basic seller, where you earn less commission, the person whose sign up link you clicked through gets a small portion of what would otherwise be the web site's take of each sale you make for a limited period of time. Just in case you... yes, YOU, reading this is the next Mrs. Mathis or (Mrs. Jump!), please note that I've cleverly provided my referral link for you HERE and above. LOL

So, on with the good stuff.  Since it's summer, that does make using what I swapped a little bit harder as I don't have a classroom of students at my disposal eager to learn ummmm... that I have the pleasure of seeing each and every morning. I do have my own little learners at home, as those of you who follow me regularly might recall. My daughter has been very excited to be featured on my blog a couple of times before, but now, my little guy is starting kindergarten in a few weeks, so I figured I'd let him join in on the fun too!

Mrs Mathis sent me her Canadian Endangered Species Project which is available in English or in French. I asked for it in French, because my daughter is a FI student. In this activity, students prepare a project and make a presentation to show their learning of animal adaptations and human interactions with the environment. It includes a clear project outline, guiding reflection questions to support the students through the process, and a rubric.
For my son, she sent along a copy of her Letter Ways package, which is a fun way for kids to practice alphabet recognition (and is also available in both languages, so it would be GREAT for those of you looking for activities you can use in kindergarten French classes, especially when you are absent!).

It includes a colour version, a black and white version (for those who are a little challenged when it comes to ink-saving settings) and full answer keys. Even though you'd barely ever need them, it's great that she's done that extra work for you so that if you are trapped in bed or the washroom with an illness, it's easy enough to send along a few pages for practice WITH answer keys for the supply teacher.

Although I didn't make my daughter actually DO the whole project, she was game. She selected the animal she wanted to learn about, and wrote some very interesting facts that she already knew (but that I certainly didn't). Reviewing this project also jogged her memory about the learning she did on this topic in grade 2 a couple of months ago. It prompted her to orally recount many, many tidbits of information about most of the animals on the list that Mrs. Mathis provides for students from which to choose.

My little guy LOVED the fact that he had some "school work" to do. He's been pretending that he has homework a lot lately, so asking him to do this pleased him to no end.

Many thanks to Confessions of a Teaching Junkie for hosting this blog hop!  Come join in on the fun if you have a blog yourself and find a partner with whom it makes sense for you to trade items.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Bloglovin - Bye-bye, Google Reader

How do you like to read the blogs that interest you?  When I have a new blog post, I share it out on Twitter and also usually on my facebook page, but if you aren't interested in those other platforms, did you know that there are other ways to be notified of new blog posts?
(Of course, there's always the tried &
true "bookmark & visit when you have time" method too, but you're sure to miss some timely information that way... such as news about sales, giveaways and other big announcements and collaborative events.)

I've been using a combination of Google Reader and RSS feeds for the past couple of years, but Google  announced a few months ago that it would stop offering its Reader as of July 1.  Like usual, I waited until the last possible second to do anything about that. On Canada Day, I imported the blogs that I follow into BlogLovin.  One thing I really like so far is that I can create "groups" for my blogs to better organize them. The format is also very clean and simple, so I find it easy to browse through my favourite bloggers' activities this way. If you'd like to read more about the benefits of Blog Lovin, I've linked a teacher/mommy-blog post I found helpful.

Although it's really FAR too early in my vacation (only one week and two days, to be exact) for me to REALLY be entertaining any thoughts of ... I can't even say it... BTS, I had to get in on this blog hop... you can check it out now or when you're ready to think about the dreaded return to our normal routine yourself.

Click the button above, and scroll to the bottom of that post to see the other blogs in the hop. I tried to use the inLinkz code here directly yo save you those two extra steps, but it was way too wide to display properly with my blog layout and I'm not sure how to fix that.

If you teach middle school like I currently do, you might be interested in this Bloglovin Blog Hop as well.  It's hosted by Jamie of Sixth Grade Tales, and I have to give a little shout-out to my online pal Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog, who is a fellow teacher in Ontario. She's the connection that let me to this blog hop and she's FABULOUS so check her out!

As you may have noticed, I've more or less discontinued my Chanson de Dimanche feature for the summer, although I expect I'll probably get around to adding several a couple that I've almost finished but didn't quite get around to publishing. Look for it to return as we get closer to back to school here in Ontario around Labour Day!

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