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Friday, July 25, 2014

YAHOO! YIPPEE! E is for Enthusiasm!

Uh Nooo, I don't want to know what's under your cape in a creepy flash your trench coat type of way. Get your mind out of the gutter!!!!

What's Under Your Cape?  is a superduper, frogilicious, fantastical, (yup, they're real words) resource for teachers to use to integrate Character Education in their own classroom.  Barbara Gruener, the author of this book, who is also a friend, and a superhero herself, shares her knowledge of having  positive characteristics of  SUPERHEROES on her own blog, The Corner on Character.

Some of my blogging buddies were talking about doing a book study on What's Under Your Cape?  I didn't even have the book when I said I wanted to participate.  Well, yes, I partly wanted to participate because I don't like to be left out of stuff but I knew the book HAD to be absolutely FABULOUS since I was already a big fan of Barbara's!  

I picked a date that corresponded with a chapter and it happened to be E is for Enthusiasm! Coincidence?  I think NOT!

Those of you that know me in person would probably say I am very short, loud, slightly obnoxious, crazy, real loud, full of .... energy, real real loud enthusiastic, especially when it comes to teaching!  I have such a passion for making a difference in student's lives and I am equally enthusiastic about teaching!

So what is enthusiasm?  Watch this little clip and see if it helps you define being enthusiastic.
Barbara starts out the chapter by saying "Let's face it; enthusiasm ignites greatness." (p.65) When I read that line I want to scream, "Hell ya" but that wouldn't be nice so instead I gave it an "Amen sista"! Barbara also states that she saw this claim on a poster once: "A healthy dose of Enthusiasm is like passion on steroids". That's it!  Enthusiasm is being excited and passionate about whatever you are doing!
I show enthusiasm and excitement everyday in the classroom!  How can my students be excited and happy to be in school for most of their day without me, their teacher, showing enthusiastic passion for learning. I can confidently say that if you asked the kids who have been in my class throughout the years to describe me they may not use the word 'enthusiastic' but would definitely say I am crazy about learning, fun, happy, and perhaps silly.  I love going to work and seeing my kids every single day.  My students know it and FEEL it!  Don't get me wrong, I still count down the days until Thanksgiving break (only 17 weeks by the way) and enjoy time off like everyone else but when I am with my students I share my enthusiasm, not just for school but for life.  Happiness and eagerness breeds happiness and eagerness..... ooh, that's getting so philosophical, huh?
Imagine how your students would react if you came taught with as much enthusiasm as this guy has? 

They would not only think you are the coolest teacher EV-VA but they would feel your positive vibes and try to emulate your enthusiasm.  My students learn that even if something goes wrong in my day or I get in a bad mood, I will stop and change my attitude until I am positive again.  I wasn't born this way, and my mom and sister will agree.  In fact, my husband and kids will tell you that I am not always this way at home.  I can get pretty grumpy and irritable with the best of them but I have learned in my 46 years of life to change my negative attitude about situations into positive ones and do whatever I do with enthusiasm and a good attitude just like this little guy...

Sorry about the video overload but they really do share my feelings and help me explain my thoughts!  

In this chapter Barbara shares book titles and questions to ask yourself and your students.  She shares songs and ideas to use in your classroom but I will let you discover them when you read it.  She even suggest to reflect on some our favorite inspirational quotes.... I have a ton of quotes printed out on pretty paper posted all over my classroom.  I need those reminders daily and so do my students.

As most of you know I can get pretty wordy (yes, in real life too!) so I am going to leave you with one last thought (before you leave me for being too wordy - LOL!).  Enthusiasm, passion, a great attitude, and positive thinking is not something that is innate, or we are born with.  It is something we deliberately and purposely have to make part of our day, every day. 

I challenge you to show enthusiasm and positive thinking to your students every day. It will become a wonderful habit for both you and your students. I promise you with passion, enthusiasm,and a great attitude you will have a wonderful atmosphere in your classroom and a terrific year no matter what age you teach!

Our next Chapter will be R is for Responsibilty 

Enthusiastically yours! ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back to School Bonanza!

As much as I am enjoying my summer break, the truth is, it's time to think about Back to School!  I am not back on contract until August 18th but I haven't done ANYTHING school related this summer.  Starting Monday I will start thinking about school again, which means I will start thinking about curriculum, lesson planning, and schedules. YIKES!   However, I don't want to rush things so that I why I am starting off slowly.... with this post and a Back-to-School giveaway (that you can find at the bottom of this post).

First I want to show you these FABULOUS Jamberry Nail Wraps I created in Jamberry's Nails Art Studio. I was inspired by the just as fabulous, Christi Futlz, from Ms. Fultz's Corner.  I purchased and use her Back to School digital papers (also seen in the blog post pic above).
You can be the coolest teacher in the school by having the cutest nails eva!  You can purchase them by clicking the BUY NOW button.  

So we took care of  Back-to-School fashion and how about the all important Back-to-School Snack?  HA!  The last thing I should be thinking about are snacks but the companies, Cosmos Creation and Sugar Bowl Bakery,  have sent me some yummy snacks to try.  YUMMO!  

The Sugar Bowl Bakery sent some yummy desserts that would be perfect for any parent to serve their kiddo when they got home to school,  to serve at a faculty meeting, or even to serve parents at Meet the Teacher night!  My favorite is the cookie in the middle called Petite Palmiers.... they are so flaky and sweet! The first cookie pictured is called Madelines....perfect with my coffee.  My son happened to devour the brownie bites before I could blink.  You can find all these desserts at most major grocery stores including Kroger and Wholesale stores like Costco.
Cosmos Creation sent me a box of HEAVEN... yep, I said Heaven!  This is the first time I tried these little morsels of sweet, crunchy goodness! It's the best flavored puffed corn snack you will ever eat!  They have a ton of flavors such as Salted Caramel, Crush Sea Salt Vinegar with Pepper, Coconut Crunch, and more! Dare I say, I like a healthy snack?  Those of you that know me personally know I don't do healthy.... I should but I don't. These snacks have ingredients that you can actually pronounce and DO NOT have gluten, hulls or kernals and is non-GMO.  You can learn more by going to their website or facebook page.

You can purchase this snack (that I now nicknamed "heaven in a bag") at Sam's Club nationwide as well as other retailers such as The Fresh Market, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.  

Cosmos Creation not only sent me samples to try but a prize pack to give away to one of my readers!  YAHOO! You will get a bag full of yummy different flavors of "heaven in a bag"!!!! I will also be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card so you can buy yourself some school supplies to start your year off right!  

Good Luck!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Be SUPER HEROES with your students!

Sitting here wasting time so I don't have to do the dishes reflecting on life, like the philosophical person I am, Bahahahaha <sorry, but me philosophical? not even if I tried> 
thinking what I really want for my two incredible children in the future, Do I want them to be rich? World Travelers? Live in the Rainforest? Be married? Have kids?  Backpack Europe?  Live with me forever and ever?  I would have to say I want success & happiness!  However, success means different things to different people. To some people success means to be rich, filthy rich, Donald Trump rich. To me success means making an positive impact on society, on our world!  I want my children to impact the world in such a way that they have made a difference in someone's (or more than one person's) life.  Having that success with fill them with happiness. Although a little money wouldn't hurt so they can take care of me ;)

As a teacher I want the same for my students, to not only excel academically but to make a positive impact on the world! I am making an extra effort this year to include Character Education in my teaching.  I have been inspired by my friend Barbara Gruener and her book, What's Under Your Cape? Barbara was a former teacher for many years and now is now a counselor and character coach in an elementary school here in Texas.  You can learn more about the brilliant Barbara and her work on her blog,  The Corner on Character.  The tagline on her blog is "Connecting to make a World of Difference".... yup, just what I want my kids (the ones I birthed and my students) to achieve! 

What's Under Your Cape? is a must read for any and all educators!  It's not only inspiring but it "shows not tells" how we can create SUPER HEROES in our classrooms.  Some of my blogging buddies and I are participating in a book study on this fabulous book!  I would love for you to join us as we share our reflections through the next couple of weeks.  It's a short, easy read so it will be easy for you to catch up as the book study starts tomorrow.  You can buy your copy on Barbara's blog or at Amazon (just click on the pic below). You can also win a copy from the intro post listed below the agenda!
Here is the agenda of dates and chapters

You can start with the intro post on Curls and a Smile. It's written by my Fabulously Flawless Friend, Lynda who is also a 4th grade teacher in Texas.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hoppy 4th of July Giveaway!

I am sitting here watching Big Brother when I said to myself.... "self, tomorrow is 4th of July and you should have a giveaway".   The good news is I listened to myself!   This will be a short one! The giveaway runs from tonight at 9:00 Texas time until Sunday, July 6th at 9:00PM Texas time.  I am giving away one set of Jamberry Nail wraps!  As many you already know, I just became and independent consultant for Jamberry Nails.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jamberry Nails and I thought I would give you a chance to LOVE them too.

Here is the set of nail wraps I am giving away, they are called Sprinkled.  Just fill out the Raffelcopter below and don't worry I am not asking you to jump through hoops (although it would be quite entertaining).  For your chance to win I am only asking you to like my Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant Facebook page. I just don't want you to miss out on any special announcements or deals... you're welcome!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Independence day America!