Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tell all Tuesday: Teacher Bucket List

Woohoo! It's Tuesday again! I am loving this link party with Teach, Talk, Inspire and My Day in K!

This week's theme is…
The Summer Holidays are always a great time for reflection- we're more relaxed, have time to think and planning to do so it makes sense that we not only plan for the year ahead but also our careers.
What do you want out of your career as a teacher? Is moving into management on your bucket list? How about becoming a curriculum leader?
Here's mine…

For the past 6 years I've delivered Phonics and Guided Reading lectures and workshops to a group of post graduate trainee teachers and I love it. This led me on to becoming an SLE (Specialist Leader in Education) with a Literacy focus. The aims of the SLE initiative is to use a teacher's expertise to support and develop practice in other classrooms and schools. Whilst I've continued my PGCE sessions and delivered several CPD sessions for teachers and TAs, I am yet to be 'deployed' so to speak- I am hoping this will pick up over the next couple of years as I am eager to share the strategies I love and have found effective with other professionals.

There are many reasons I'd love to grow my TPT store- to find out about them click here and visit my Dare to Dream blog post. In the first instance I'd simply love to support my own TPT spending with my profits- I'm not quite there yet!

Even though I began my teaching career focused on KS2 (7-11) since I qualified I've always taught KS1. I love it and am very proud of how amazing the children I get to spend my days with are but don't get me wrong, I think I'd love the chance to move into Foundation Stage or KS2 for a little while to keep myself fresh and develop my understanding of the Primary age range as a whole.

Click these buttons to hop back to the linkup and have a read of some other blogger's bucket lists

Check out the previous 2 link-ups here- Two Truths and a Lie and Summer Snapshot  

Monday, 22 June 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: DARE TO DREAM

I can't believe it's time for week 2's challenge! 

Growing up it was just me and my mum. My dad popped in and out of my life(we're great friends now) but my mother was my constant, my best friend. She passed away almost 5 1/2 years ago at the age of 60. She was an inspiring teacher of almost 40 years who dedicated herself to her work and who inspired me and countless others to enter the profession or to be the best they could be regardless. 
Why am I telling you all this? Well this week's challenge is…
I dream of making my mother proud. 
Every day I go into work with the intention of being the best I can be- my mum only got to see me be a teacher for 3 years and I still strive to make her proud. My main reason for being part of this amazing teacher community is to drive myself further towards my goal of being the best I can be for my children, to continue learning and improving, to keep me on my toes!  

As far as financial dreams, well, here goes…
Mr T and I don't have a family yet but we're hoping it's too not far away and, whilst I know I would return to work, I would like to not worry about the big drop in pay that taking a year off on maternity would cause. As it stands, a full year off would be a stretch but if my TpT store could start to turn a profit then I know that this is something that I would do without a second thought.

We love to travel to other countries but are very much aware that we also live in a beautiful country- we would love to own a vintage camper van and just set off to a random part of the UK for a weekend so this is something I would definitely splurge on!

When my mother passed away I was in the position to donate money to her school to develop a Storyteller's Garden, something she had always wished she could give the children she cared so much for. I would love to be able to give back to the children of my school in a similar way- our school isn't in the most salubrious of areas and money is tight for both the school and our families but I would love to provide experiences and equipment to enrich the lives of the little ones we care so much about.

I'm loving reading all of your hopes and dreams- thank you!
I think it's so brave of us all to share them, fingers crossed they come true Xx 

Click on one of these lovely ladies buttons to hop and nose at our lovely communities BIG DREAMS

Peppy Zesty Teacherista

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sunday Scoop

I'm linking up with the lovely ladies over at Teaching Trio this week to help focus my mind.
I don't know about you but at this time of year I've got a million and 1 things floating around in my mind and I am by no means a completer- finisher!!! 

At the minute I'm swimming in a sea of planning for a lesson observation, tidying my classroom, keeping on top of marking, submitting my end of year levels, covering the last few things of the curriculum, updating policies, designing my new classroom and planning fun activities and trips for the last few weeks of school! Add to this the fact that I, like most teachers this time of year, am utterly worn out and the children are hyper, hyper, hyper!

So, to help focus my mind I'm sharing my Sunday Scoop…
With only 4 weeks to go until we break up for Summer, we are all planning our final Performance Management observation lessons. This time it needs to be a in a Foundation Subject so I've chosen Music- if you have ever heard me sing then you would find this hysterical but I think I'm going to rock this lesson- PMA all the way! Ha! 

Even though my little ones have done their KS1 SATs and I know which levels I will be recording them as, I'm going to give them assessments which are in-line with the New Curriculum just like the rest of the school so that I can highlight any gaps which may present a problem for their Year 3 teacher and I will try my best to plug them over the coming weeks.

Last week we had a H&S audit- I was named and shamed in the report! It's no secret in school that my huge walk-in cupboard is a total tip but it's one of those things I've just never got time for! After the audit….I've got to make time!

I've been taking part in the TPT Seller Challenge along with many wonderful teachers and Week 1's challenge was to make-over products we already have in our stores- I'm now on a mission to make-over  all of my old products. Read here to get links to already made-over products and snag them at discounted prices!

This weekend is my cousin's 30th Birthday so I'm heading home to have a wonderful night out with all of the girlies in my family. I'm the only one who lives away so it is always amazing to be spending time with them- they are my bestest of best friends! 
The problem is…we live in Merseyside so if you know anything about Liverpool then you will know that you have to look your best when you go out for the night and finding an outfit I love is proving a little tricky…only 4 more days to sort one out! Fingers crossed! 

Click on the button to head back to Teaching Trio and hop onto some other Sunday Scoops 

Teaching Trio

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Five for Friday: Product Make- over Edition!

I know I'm late to the party, what with it being Saturday and all, but better late than never! 
It's been a while since I've linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and I've missed it!

I've decided to mix things up a little this week and tell you about the TPT Sellers Challenge I'm taking part in with the fabulous Amber over at Peppy, Zesty Teacherista, Ashley from Teach, Create, Motivate, Jen at Sparking in Second and Emily over at Third in Hollywood

Step 1 on the sellers challenge was to note down all of your starting stats. 

I'm not the biggest force in the Teacher Social Media universe but I'm also not too embarrassed by my stats- I know it takes a lot of hard work and time to build up a network of teachers. The stat I'm most hoping to improve is my TPT stat- I've been stuck on 86 follower for about 3 months now and my sales aren't that big- 1 or 2 a month yet my freebie downloads stats are quite big . The link to my store is here- I'd love it if you took a peek and gave me some feedback. 

I was so overwhelmed to see that, after only 2 days, my stats were on the up! 
Woohoo! Go TPT Seller Challenge!!!!

I'm loving the fact that each week we will be set a challenge- this week it was 'Make-over'!!!! 

Woohoo!!! Just to make sure I was ready I also purchased a pair of 'Clueless PJ's
Can you say 'total betty'??? 

I chose to make over a product I love using with my class-
I love how clean the new cover looks even though I kept the same background and clip art. 
It is a simple Scoot activity where the children are given a 2 digit + 2 digit addition calculation and 3 possible answers. During my BUILD maths session I used the Scoot as an 'Independent' activity and had the cards as a 'Diving in Deeper' activity where the children had to use their number knowledge to explain why/ why not one the possible answers was correct. 
It also ties in with 3 other 'Space' themed products in my store. 

Make-over Madness didn't stop with just one product- oh no! I'm on a roll now! 
I've actually been going through my products for the past month or 2 and revamping them.

I've been inspired Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd's amazing product covers for her Nerd Alerts units and have been aiming for a more standout title panel and more information on the cover. 

My best selling product is my CUBES Mnemonics set so I decided to also make over my Problem Solving bundle

Can you spot the new cover?

Just FYI my 2 Make-over Madness products plus all of my 'Featured Products' are all $1 off until I finish school for the summer- that's 4 weeks away still!!!!!
As I continue my Make-overs I'll also reduce those products by $1 too so keep your eyes peeled!!

I started making TPT products before I had my own button from Lindsey at L Paull Designs for All (congrats on the wedding!!!!) 
 So in the spirit of Make-over Madness- these products (which have my old logo on them) will be next on the list and reduced until the I have time to revamp them!
Click on my store button a the top of this page to snag a few bargains today or pictures to go directly to the products!

I can't wait to take part in week 2's challenge but until then you'll find me on the sofa in my 'Clueless' PJ's indulging in Make-over Madness!!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tell All Tuesday: Summer Snapshot

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week since I last blogged- it's been a VERY busy weekend! 
Anywhos- I'm here to link up again with the lovely Teach, Talk, Inspire and My Day in K for 
Tell All Tuesday.
This week's theme is Summer Snapshot so take a peek at some of my favourite summer moments….

Mr T and I usually holiday during the 2 week Easter or Christmas breaks because it's a little cheeper- I don't know about you but teachers totally get hit- up for holidays here in the UK so my usual 6 weeks off consist of sorting out my classroom. drinking cups of tea, watching TV and visiting family as I live a few hours away from them. 
That's not to say we never holiday during the 6 weeks off and here are a couple of my faves-

It's usual for us to do fly-drive sightseeing holidays but last Summer we headed to Egypt for a 2 week, swim-up room, cocktails and all-inclusive rest! We also visited the Valley of The Kings but those pics aren't on my computer so here are some of us slobbing out! 

HEAVEN!!! It was very much needed and I loved every moment. I was thankful for the swim-up room as it was boiling in Egypt! I've been to Mexico and Cuba in the summertime but neither matched the heat of here- HOTTER THAN THE SUN!!!!

Just after the London Olympics- and I mean THE VERY NEXT DAY, we flew to South Africa (along with some of the SA team- claim to fame!) for a life changing holiday-

Truly Unbelievable!
We love our fly drive holidays as we get to see so much and do things on our own time scale. We usually book everything ourselves and I devour travel books for weeks before and plan our days- I love a travel book! 
So… there you have it…a peek inside my 2 favourite types of holidays- fly-drive and slobbing! 
Which do you prefer? 

Thanks for stopping by- now hop on to peek into my other friends summer snapshots...

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tell all Tuesday: Two Truths and a Lie

Happy holidays to all of you who are lucky enough to have finished for summer already and
happy last few weeks to all of my friends who, like me, are still nose to the grindstone!

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be taking part in this linky with the lovely ladies over at Teach, Talk, Inspire and My Day in K  for Tell all Tuesdays! 
I love getting to know all of my lovely IG/ blogging friends better and this is such a fun way to do it.
This weeks's theme is 'Two Truths and a Lie'- I mean, who doesn't like a retro sleep-over game?!

I wonder if you will spot my fib? 
I don't have a very good poker face - can read my, can read my oh you can read a my poker face
I am so very sorry!

Well, as you know my name is Laura and I am a teacher in the beautiful (and rather rural) Lake District in the north of England. I have been teaching for 9 years and love it! I think really I was born to be a teacher but denied my destiny for sooooo long. My mother was a teacher in inner city Liverpool for almost 40 years and as a little girl I wanted to be just like her! 
It's thanks to the many summers I spent in her class getting it ready for the new school year that I have an obsession with 1cm double mounting and putting up backing paper correctly- God forbid a piece isn't level!!!!! As a teenager I moved away, rebelled if you will, from teaching and fancied a career in theatre/ film research or museum curating so I got my (incredibly broad) BA (Hons) in American Studies & Media and Cultural Studies but eventually found my way back and did a PGCE. It was whilst studying for my PGCE that I met my husband. He is a local and we met due to our mutual love of Liverpool FC but truly bonded over our desire to travel and see the world.

Now you know a little of my background, check out these 3 'facts' to learn a little more:

1. I can't drive so I get the bus to school and back every day- weep!
2. My child husband is a WWE fanatic and we have been to 3 Wrestlemanias over the past 4 years!
3. I love to travel and Vegas is one of mine and my husband's favourite places,
 particularly as we got married there 6 years ago!

Did you spot it? 
Leave me a comment with your guess and I will let you know which was my lie in 3 days time!
Thanks for popping by...

So my lie was..... Number 3!!
Sadly I can't drive despite several failed attempts and living in a raural village makes this a total pain!
Yes- I am that girl who gets drunk, stands on her chair and chants 'let's go CENA' and then falls asleep just as the totally fit Roman Reigns walks past- oops!!!

I love travelling and Vegas is one of our favourite places but we didn't get married there. Sadly I won't make the TPT conference as I was in Vegas at Easter and Mr T won't splash out for me to go again- what a meanie!!

This has been fun! 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Home Office Space Sneak Peek

I am so excited to be linking up with the awesome duo that is Ashley and Angie. They are 2 of my most favourite and inspirational blogging celebrities and together they are a force to be reckoned with! 

This month's #togetherwearebetter link up gives all of our readers a sneak peak inside of our home offices so come on in and take a peek…

About 2 months ago we moved house. We lost a bedroom but gained some out buildings and one of them has an office space on the top floor. As soon as we saw this, I claimed it for mine! It has wifi, heating and a TV arial- I don't know about you but I work best in front of the TV! 

The only problem is….I've been locked out! Mr T put all of my school stuff in there on moving day and then-poof- lost the key!!!!! I have been pulling my hair out looking for it but until today, link up day no less (how spooky!), I had been unsuccessful! I was gutted- laminator, paper cutter, books, CDs- THE LOT- all locked inside! 
Apart from having separation anxiety from not being able to cut and laminate like a fiend, my main panic was about this link- up! I really wanted to take part but had no office space to speak of- this is where I have been working…
yep, in bed watching 'Once upon a time' on Netflix (anyone else obsessed with this show?). 
So, as I said, I have been locked out until today! 
Here is what awaited me-
It really is bigger than it looks on these pics!
I have grand plans for this space but I think my first job will be going through all of the boxes and figuring out just exactly what I've got!

As you can see, I have a red sofa-bed in there which I intend to curl up on with my laptop and a cup of tea- I'm not much of a 'sitting at a desk' kind of worker- how about you? 
I've also got my TV ready to set up- no Netflix but DVD's are just as good. 

I've picked out an area for my desktop computer,  printer, laminator and cutter- perfect for all those TpT product tests runs! 

The things I'm most excited about are 
1) Keeping my work clutter out of the house

I've got my colour scheme all picked out- 
I've got to work with the red sofa so figured a nautical theme with hints of mustard and teal would work well. I've also got some lovely teacher-themed prints from The Night Owl  all set to frame because, let's face it, who doesn't love an inspirational quote or 2?! 

I've loved linking up with the ladies of Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Lucky Little Learners and I hope you've enjoyed a sneak-peak inside my mess of an office- to look around some more (organised!) teacher's office spaces then click on the links below.

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