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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teacher Binder

I won't lie to you...

Despite my reputation as being well organized and color-coded, my teacher binder is VERY ghetto.  I hate it and rarely use it the way I intended for it to be used.  So, since I have seen TONS of blog posts on improving the teacher binder, I have decided to revamp mine! 

I have started by creating a calendar for the school year and typing in the meetings and vacation days I am currently aware of (I should know more that first week of school and will add them as needed.)  This was simple enough and I didn't do anything fancy.  Next I created printable forms to either type or hand-write notes from faculty meetings and team leader meetings.  (That is right, I am a team leader this year.  I need to be prepared to bring my 'A' game!)  Then I created a weekly scope.  This document spans two pages and includes the days of the week and the three classes I will be teaching this year (Regular Math, Social Studies. and Honors Math.)  Last I created a weekly parent communication form.  I am undecided on this form.  I have always kept a running record for the school year on my computer, and not a handwritten form for each week.  Thoughts?

Seeing that I have done enough for one night, I will revisit my parent meeting form at another time.  I am hoping that by creating printable forms that I find easy to use, either on the computer or in print form, I will be able to manage all of the documentation I am required to keep.  While this process will probably require more paper and be slightly more time consuming in the beginning, I hope that it creates a more reliable and organized resource for me to use.

(My intent was to include links, but nothing uploaded properly to GoogleDocs.  I will try to get everything up soon.)

What forms can't you live without?  Please share links and ideas!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Educational Discounts

Teachers are some of the savviest shoppers! Over the last few years I have found a number of places more than willing to help teachers. Below a a few of my favorite places where teachers can register for or request a teacher discount simply by flashing that gorgeous teacher ID badge/card we all carry!


  • Michael's - 15% off your purchase (@ my store I can NOT combine this with other coupons, but the cashiers are usually happy to allow you to make multiple transactions.) 
  • A.C. Moore - 15% off your purchase (SAA) 
  • Staples - 15% off 
  • OfficeMAX - Spend $75 and get a $10 gift certificate using your Perks card (they also send out a LOT of 25% off your entire purchase coupons)
  • Lakeshore Learning - 15% off your purchase PLUS they send you some great coupons 
  • Barnes & Nobles - 20% off 
  • The Container Store - 10% off 
  • JoAnn Fabric - 15% off 


  • Anne Taylor LOFT - 15% off your entire purchase 
  • J. Crew - 15% off your entire purchase 

I have read that Banana Republic offers a 10% discount, but when I go to the store near me, they do not honor a teacher discount.

In addition to these discounts, I still look for coupons by using a free app called, CouponSherpa. It is easily downloaded through the App Store.  More often than not, stores will accept coupons from your smart phone.  So, while waiting in line to check-out, search for coupons or coupon codes that can be used in store!  PLEASE share any additional places or websites that offer teachers significant savings!  These are just a few of my favorites!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Teaching in the Mitten

My cousin recently started her own educational blog to share her ideas and classroom projects.  Courtney is a fantastic educator and someone worth following!  She is sure to post creative resources and helpful links.  If you have an educational blog that would be worth following, share your link or button below!!!
Michigan = Mitten
~ Teaching in the Mitten ~

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rubik's Cube STEM Lesson

Sorry for the long stretches between posts, my summer has been consumed with projects around the house (thanks Pinterest) and making more learning centers for my classroom (I promise to post pictures!)  Today is my 2 year anniversary and I FINALLY have time to share an AMAZING resource I recently stumbled upon. 
Taken from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a6/Rubik%27s_cube.svg/480px-Rubik%27s_cube.svg.png

You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube is a teacher resource for integrating the Rubik's Cube into the classroom.  Seeing that I am a math teacher with a vested interest in STEM education, I immediately feel in love with the STEM Middle School Rubik's Cube unit.  The entire unit encompasses Common Core standards in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  It is a fascinating unit that pushes students to think outside of the cube through a project-based learning (PBL) approach.  Through PBL the teacher acts as a guide to student learning, not a leader.  Most of the activities require teachers to activate prior knowledge and work with the small groups on not just solving the Rubik's Cube, but breaking it down into its most basic parts and then building their own 3 X 3 Rubik's Cube.  You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube also offers units at the Elementary and High School levels as well as more advanced engineering and math lesson plans - STEM Lessons.  I can't wait to share this with my students this coming school year!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Teacher's Notebook

Today's post is a quickie!

I am sitting in the Shippensburg University library printing out a few essentials for school and stumbled across Teacher's Notebook.  This site is just like TPT (TeachersPayTeachers), but when you sell your products, they do NOT take a commission.  It is free to create an account and there are TONS of freebies posted by teachers for teachers.  I have not spent a lot of time exploring yet, but I plan on investing a significant amount of time at the pool today with my iPad becoming very familiar with Teacher's Notebook.  Keep cool!!!