Shabby Chic- I'm in Love!

I'm in love with Shabby Chic everything!  I think I may have a fond for all things Lilly Puiltzer designed. My agenda notebook goes with me everywhere.  It is small enough to fit in my purse or bag.
My teacher designed products are just precious next to it.  You may have seen my Shabby Chic Teacher binder recently.  It design is a smaller version of the binder or to go along with it.  You may not want to always tote the binder around with you when a record book could work just as well.

 You get a fabulous cover to the Record Book plus two more pages:  This book belongs to and a Table of Contents.
 I love having a quick calendar for reference.  You get a year in a glance pages for both 2015 and 2016. 
 Also included are birthday charts, professional development log, student content pages and password pages.
 Also included in the Record Plan Book (Shabby Chic) is a place for you to log grades. If you are ready to download this, head over to TpT and check it out!

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How to Create Animated Pinterest Previews

Well it is no secret that I love Pinterest.  Pinterest is a great resource for ideas but it is a great place for me to market my TpT store.  I figured out how to created animated Pinterest previews.  Watch this video of my animation.


Now you want to see how to do it?

Use this website to get started... http://gifmaker.me.  It is very simple and quick.


Here are the steps!
1.  Upload your images.  I picked 4 images of a Shabby Chic Teacher binder
2.  Leave the canvas setting sizes at 100%.
3.  Play around with the speed of your animation.  I picked 3400 milliseconds but you can go slower or faster.
4.  You can add music but if you are going to use this in Pinterest the music will not play.  I skipped the music part because it was not necessary.
5.  Choose- CREATE GIF ANIMATION and download your file.


6.  Now go to Pinterest and insert a picture as you normally would be the picture or file you need is the one you just downloaded. 


I hope you find this helpful.  I would love to hear back from you on how it worked for you or if you have other tips for marketing!
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Five things Principals Can do to Prepare for the Next Year

I know school is just ending and I'm already blogging about next school year.  Here's why...
The majority of the things we do is done in the summer.  It is our busiest time of the year (believe it or not).  If we do it correctly, the school year will smooth start.  That's what we all want.  In order to do that, we (principals) have a long list of items to do over the summer.  It can be a bit overwhelming.  However, start with these 5 items now and your summer work days will go much faster.


Here are my top 5 items for every new principal.
1.  A teacher binder is a must have.  It is truly a life saver.  This is our current theme for 2014-15.  Not only do I have a teacher binder...I also have a principal binder.  It is so important to have everything you need in one location.  I know we can't possibly put everything in a binder but you can put all the important items in there or things we use daily/weekly.  Head over to my store and check out all the themesMy store is here






2.  Schedules-  Schedules are so time consuming because we schedule every minute of the day.  From the minute students enter the building to the time they leave...class time is scheduled.  However, we must not forget all the in-between items.  Ex:  duties before and after school, tutoring, library check out times, drills for the year, mentoring schedules, etc...  The list goes on and on.  Just when I think I have it finished and ready to print I find one more thing to do.  My suggestion- work on it now but wait to print them until closer to the start of school.  These go in the teacher binder too!

3.  Class Lists-  This is something that takes months to do.  No kidding aside.  Balancing classes is so hard.  First I look at special programs of student populations.  For example, who needs to be served by an ESL certified teacher, who is served in special education, who is Gifted and Talented etc...  Placing these students first works best for me.  As soon as you place the students who require a special setting, then move on to the requests.  There are so situations where students can't be placed in the same room because of discipline issues.  So many factors involved with class placement. 
I want to balance and even out the classes as much as possible.  As soon as I get it finished, I double check it or have someone check over it for me.  I wish there was a simpler way so if you have one please share. 






4.  Facility Needs-It's very important to make a list of summer repairs to the building.  If you are in a large district, it might take time for all the projects to get completed.  Ask teachers to turn in a list of items needing to be repaired for their classrooms.  It could be as simple as light bulbs needing to be replaced or as big as carpet being replaced.  Painting halls or high traffic areas is a great summer project.  I took a boring wall and painted it a pretty blue/green color.  It looks gray in this photo but trust me it is a cheerful color.  The color is actually called Dragonfly. 


 

5.  Data Review of Needs- Reviewing the data to determine the staff development needs is so important.  Your data might be a teacher survey or something more in depth such as state testing data.  I highly recommend getting input from your teachers on what they need.  Use your data to determine what needs to be a focus for staff development for the week of August or throughout the school year.  As soon as you know what is the focus then plan a meaningful and engaging presentation.  If you don't feel you are knowledgeable about the content, reach out to fellow principals or ask you service center for help.





I hope you found this helpful.  I will check back with you again throughout the summer.  If you have something in particular you need help with, please feel free to contact me.  I'm a big INSTAGRAM lover so follow me over there. 
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Ways to Use Instagram in School

Instagram is definitely my favorite social site.  You can follow me on Instagram here.  If you are having a school wide event or something in your classroom, parents can get involved with Instagram.  Parents can post their own pictures of their own children for the class to view.  It's a great tool to organize all your pictures for the school year. 


Schools can get involved in using Instagram.  It is a great way to market and promote what's going on in the school.  It is also a great way to communicate with parents.

Ideas for using social media:
1.  Showcase student work.
2.  Awards Program
3.  Feature of the week/month
4.  Capture and share pictures from open house, back to school, school events, awards, etc...
5.  Parents who cannot attend or be on campus can still feel apart of the fun.
6.  Keep parents, grandparents, etc... informed about what is being taught at school. Example, science experiments, social studies displays, math strategies, etc...
7.  A short video segment of a music performance or school assembly.
8.  Student presentations
9.  Book Fair, school picture day, grandparents events, etc...
10.  Classroom small group activities

Education has become a lot more technology driven and fun.  It can play a valuable tool in education. 

Disclaimer:  Before using any student photos online, you need to:
1.  Find out your district's policy for sharing student photos online.
2.  Get parent consent in writing.
3.  Respect the rights of the parents/guardians.
4.  Set a classroom account that is private.  Carefully select your followers.
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Life's Greatest Gift

Life's greatest gift is the opportunity to throw oneself into a job that puts meaning and hope into the lives of other people.  Seizing this opportunity is the surest way to put meaning and hope into one's own life.

Making a difference, doing something of value, and having a purpose in life-These are found in all of us and they never disappears even as we age.  Pursue your passion in life.  It's what makes life worth living and then you have the opportunity to give meaning to others.  Each time you do something you love, it creates joy inside like nothing else.  Finding a way to use your passion to give back to the world will give your life ultimate meaning. 
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A Fabulous Weekend

If you are wondering where I've been, our family celebrated the wedding of my youngest daughter this weekend.  We have all children happily married and have great careers.  I think that sounds successful to me.  I have only a few pictures to share.  Being the mother of the bride, I had lots of responsibilities so I didn't take one single picture all day.  All the pictures you see below, I stole off Facebook from the guests.   Hahaha!











I think it all turned out just like we planned.  I will share more pictures of the wedding when the photographer gives us pictures.  

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of the wedding.  

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Children's Bill of Rights

The Children's Bill of Rights (Child Poverty Report) can be located here.  Below is the Bill of Rights according to a study of the six dimensions below.   
I was thinking if I had to write a Children's Bill of Rights...what would my 6 dimensions be?


 All children need to be able to go home to a safe place where they feel loved.  As adults, we want this for ourselves so why not for children?  Children who are nurtured early in life learn better in school.  They are also more emotionally developed than non-nurtured children. 
 Good nutrition in the first years of life is important on the child's future.  Good nutrition and health plays a key piece in physical and mental health and academic achievement.  When the basic needs such as sleep and food are not being met, a child cannot learn.  Children who come to school hungry often go to bed hungry.  There are 15.8 million children under 18 in the United States living in household where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.  Being deprived a consistent and healthy meal, has the potential for long-term consequences.
 Love changes everything.  Love has the power to change lives in incredible ways.  Telling a child they are loved can change who they are, what they know and who they will become.  It gives them someone to trust.  It tells them they are important.  It provides joy.  It gives hope.  It gives meaning to their life. L-O-V-E One of the most important things we can ever do for children.
 There is some indescribable and incredible power of a wonderful teacher.  One teacher can impact a child in a positive or negative way.  Students come in the classroom facing many obstacles such as poverty, abuse, academic short falls, etc...  Many children have made it out of very difficult situations because  of a teacher.   A teacher who comes in the classroom passionate about the job has the power to inspire. A teacher who cares about the children in the classroom enters the doors each day ready to teach and ready to inspire.

When children feel they are valued as important, they begin to value their own life and the life of others.  They fully realize the inherent value of life and more likely to make the most of it.

What are your Bill of Rights for children?

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