It's Me......Ms. Tidwell. I am here.


So I was reminded today by a friend of mine that this blog still exists.

I never realized just how occupied my time has been lately. But going forward I plan to blog.

Things have been happening and I still want to share my teaching experiences.

I am slowly creepy out of that "not so groovy" space.

My random teacher rut.

Let's start with a Currently.

I have not teamed up with the awesome Farley in a while.....

Well- what's funny is I CURRENTLY'd last month, got busy and never posted it.

*slaps head*

Anywho......





Most of these are self explanatory, so I will save you the details. Also, some are silent prayers between God and myself.

Feel free to volunteer to complete the IEP goals though lol.

Send prayers up for Jayson if you are able and willing. Short story, he suffers from a syndrome the doctors are not able to diagnose(yet). He just had cranio-surgery and had distractors put in to allow him more space for his brain. But this is not the only elements of his journey.

Please read about his story here.


You Oughta Know About....VersaTiles!

It has been like two months. I know.

As teachers, you can understand me when I say...

I am having "that" school year.

So my afternoons have been crawling from under work commitments to  wallowing in self "is-this-what-i-wanna-do-forever"ness.

But I digress.

What better way to make a comeback than with this




I had a GREAT time with this Blog Hop during #Back2School, and I love the ideas that Jasmine (Buzzing With Mrs. McClain) comes up with so I decided to give it another go....

...and I plan to hop over to her blog after I am finished to see what she has been up to!!

So for the HOP.

I thought "You Oughta Know About" - V E R S A T I L E S!!




I Ab-SO-lutely love them. 

And I just got them for my kiddos on Wednesday!!!

Yay!!!


What are they you ask?


Taken COMPLETELY from the ETA Hand2Mind VeraTiles Website:

"VersaTiles is a unique skill practice and hands-on learning system that is proven to help teachers meet rising expectations and support standards. It allows students to work individually, in work stations, or as a class to practice essential skills using an innovative answer case that disguises learning as fun. The program covers a wide range of detailed skills and instructional objectives across Math, Language Arts, and Science. Unlike tedious workbooks, VersaTiles provides students the opportunity to persevere and find the answers themselves, making it perfect for differentiation. "


(O_o) ? <---the "show me pictures cause I read and think all day" version of that copy/paste monstrosity face


Basically, its a self-correcting activity that students can do individually and/or with a partner. I plan to use it as a finish early activity or something I can have a kiddo grab to work on a skill they are struggling with.


Also they are pretty low maintenance. Once your kiddo gets a handle on " the numbers represent which question, not your answer" then they can fly free. 



 And self-correct as they go. If they answer them correctly they will get the pattern shown in the book.









Let me also say the magic phrase we all wanna hear....

They are Common Core Aligned.

lol.

The kit comes with books that are separated based on skills areas that students are learning.

Here are a few disguised as awesome kid faces:



It also comes with a Teacher Resource Guide. The guide includes a breakdown of what is where. That way you do not have to page flip.

I teach a pretty small Comprehensive Special Education CSEP population, as some of you know already, so I got a starter kit for each grade level...3rd and 2nd (I teach 3rd and 4th but my kiddos are performing 1+ grade levels behind in some skills). This kit comes with:



1 copy of each skill book (8 books)

1 teacher guide

1 answer flip case

ALSO, sprung for an additional flip case because my rotations groups are 2-3 kiddos. 



I lucked out and got funds from my school for both starter kits and the extra answer case for like $182. I plan to copy from my books as masters be totally legal. hehe. They do sell class set cases fyi, that come with multiple copies of each book.....  but they are definitely like $300 bucks. 


Welp! Thats what I thought you ought to know...


Follow my blog and in the next week or so, I plan to share a way to get some funds when the "school funds and teacher bucks" just AINT 
aren't rolling in.

Until then...

Stay Classy San Francisco

Oh and "I Mustache" that you go get "your hop on" with my fellow Ought-to-Knowers.







It's CURRENTLY....September 14'

Hello guys! I have been so out of it with the beginning of school, so excuse my absence. 
I won't vent about it now, but be on the lookout for an update. 

But of course I had to come out of hiding for Farley, and show some "Currently Love".

May I add she is the ORIGINATOR of this cute teachy link and I give her my FULL support with the situation she has found herself in with all the copycats. ....HANG IN THERE GIRLY!!!

I own Currently in the Classroom and plan on purchasing the update! Go support her and purchase her products on tpt. <---totally open up a new window and multi-task it now.

waiting.......

Anyways, what you have all been waiting for...........


Listening

Who else loves pre-crazy Lindsay? I absolutely love Parent Trap. It comes on all the time so I know all the lines. It is playing the role of background noise as I type/ allowing me to practice my British Accent, which may I be honest sounds like a Post Apocalyptic Eliza Doolittle.

Haha!!


Loving

I wish I took a photo (food porn, much?) of my breakfast this morning. It was my first time having an Everything bagel, and one word: YUMMY!!!

I have always loved how they smelled but never bothered to try them. SO today I made a sausage, egg and cheese bagel.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Thinking

Yes, I am having one of those school years already. I maybe burned out because I taught summer school...idk. But I will be creating a countdown for my desk this week. 


:: pause:: Haley is piercing her sisters ears. It is hilarious to think about how she is talking to her self to create the dialogue for this scene. hahah ::unpause::


Wanting

Teachers, do I need to explain? An added tidbit, I am single and I teach/live in the DC-MD- Metro Area. This area sort of requires dual income. #brokesville #prayforme


Needing

Not just for the added income, it is for my piece of mind. Creating things allows me to escape and do something I really love. I even created a separate blog for my art inspired items. More information will be available as I get things loaded on, but if you are interested in some of my Crayon Art, check out my Creations Tab.


3 Trips

I plan to make these three trips before I turn 35, which gives me about 5.5 years. The first trip will happen (Lord willing)for my 30th birthday in March. For those curious of Hogwarts, I meant the Disney Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

I am hoping for Hawaii for my bday, Hogwarts next summer and Italy within another 2 or 3 years as my car/student loan debt decreases.

Wish me luck.


Okay so that is whats Currently going on with me. To hold myself accountable I feel compelled to include the RULES....I try to remember but, I sometimes do not comply and forget to comment 3 times on other pages(yikes!! seriously sorry guys)





Crafty Files #3 : Shaped Cards and Tags


Happy Thursday! Today I am hopping online to show off the new card I created for this week Farm Fresh Friday Challenge over at The Greeting Farm. This week, the challenge was to make a shaped card or tag. I created an easel card for the first time, using one of my favorites, Fleur Anya!!


I also played around with some mixed media ideas, using different paper to stamp on. It was a little challenging but I think it gave the card a vintage vibe :-)


I also received some "happy mail". Some flower dies I ordered came in, so I had to test them out. I had never made flowers before; it was a pretty tedious task to be honest, but I loved the results!



Thank you for stopping by to see my creation!


You Oughta Know About....

Happy Saturday Teachers! This weekend I am getting
 "blog-hoppin" happy and linking up with one of my blogger favorites, Jasmine, over at Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

A few other bloggers, along with myself, with be sharing with you guys a few things you "oughta know" for your classroom and for your overall TEACHY piece of mind. 


This month I thought you'd REALLY oughta know about.....

 Remind

What is Remind? Only the best thing ever!!! Seriously speaking, Remind (which use to be Remind 101) is a FREE texting application that allows you to communicate and connect with parents(and students for secondary teachers). How awesome is that?

*fyi:I have not started school yet, I have included screen grabs compliments of the Remind media link.

As you can see, Remind is available on multiple platforms of technology we use daily. Parents/Students have the option to sign up via text or email. Note: the application is free, but regular service fees would apply. SO, just be mindful if you do not have unlimited texting service on your phone.



What I love best about Remind is that it is CUSTOMIZABLE! You "oughta know" that student/parents can be separated based on courses or class periods. Messages can be sent to whole groups or a small group of individuals. You are also able to send attachments!



Need to log Parent/Student Communication at the end of the year? No problem! You "oughta know" that Remind saves the history of all your messages and allows you to export them into a .pdf document.



Anyone like me have a classroom website or blog? Well you "oughta know" that Remind has a widget. Haha I love widgets.

Here is a screenshot from my class blog:




So now that you know about Remind, now you "oughta know" how to get it. Sign up is easy peasy. Just head over to the Remind Website and sign up for free. Once you do so, you are able to add your class titles and print off  a text/email code to hand out to students. I added my information to my syllabus with a QR code, but Remind 101 even creates a cute little handout with directions for that SMALL population of folks not so "in tune" with technology.

I created a sample below:



So that is Remind in a nutshell! As we are moving forward into incorporating more technology into learning, why not utilize it to keep us connected as well? I really hope I provided you with enough information to have you heading on over there later to sign up!

But first, I Mustache that you continue to 
"get your hop on" with a few other Oughta Knowers!






Crafty Files #2: Back to School

Today I am linking up with another Farm Fresh Challenge over at The Greeting Farm blog. This week's theme was to make a card to represent back to school. As a teacher that is CLEARLY what is on my brain these days, so I decided to use Teacher Anya!

Here is my entry. 
I am really getting the hang of card making. And a new pair of scissors did the trick, so "fussy cutting" was not my demise-yay.



These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things :-)


Come in from the beach. Drop your remotes. Brush your teeth.

You know, all the things you’ve been slacking on for a few months.
Why? Its that time of year again teachers.

Yup.

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL (Da da daaaaaa *dramatic scream*)

And yes, you have to. There are students out there who need you!

So, its time to take chances on differentiated learning practices.

Make mistakes in/on (I’ll let you reflect on that in teaching confidence-lol)

Get messy from grading the infamous paper mountain.

It’s time to do your stuff!

And what better way to motivate us to get back in the “swing of things” than to reflect on the things that make us smile inside and out.

Entrer la Linky

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
 bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens".

MY FAVORITE THINGS

A few of my new bloggy buddies and I are linking up to share a few of our favorite must-haves that add that extra #btstwinkle we need to get us through the opening weeks that set the precedent for 10 months of student learning.

Whew! Can you say that 5 times fast?

Anywho... so for a few minutes, kick up your feet,
one last time and enjoy.

#1: School SWAGG


Nothing get’s me in the learning mood like my school shirts and polo’s.
CONFESSION: I have 8 school tees and 1 Polo.
Call me crazy. Call me lazy, but I love that finding something to wear is one less thing for me to worry about.

#: 2 Paper mate Flair Pens


Nothing spells grading and planning (or writing in general) like multi-colored pens.  I get motivated just writing with them-lol.
Seriously, I think these were the best pens ever made.

FYI: Usually Staples has them for super cheap.

#3: The Egg McMuffin of Teacher Planners



So I will not go into detail too much about the Erin Condren bandwagon. But lets say I am very excited to crack this open. A planner in general is an awesome idea for getting through the year. Gone are the days of paper lesson plan books as a staple, but I think it is good to always have a hard copy to supplement your electronic lifestyle.

I am a teacher robot.

#4: Desktop Manager


I can see your expression through the screen.
 More organization? You guys have no idea.

Well you might.

How many of you guys have a folder labeled “junk” or “skfhk”  or “random files” on your desktop. BETTER YET, who can see their desktop?

I bet it is covered with files right now. Go and look- lol

I am a Special Education Teacher so my job comes with paperwork, meetings and dates by the boat load. Along with that, there is this whole “remaining in compliance” thingy that connects me with employment.

So, in order to remain on top of things I need to be able to find them.

#5:My excessive TOMS collection

(sadly, some TOMS were not available for paparazzi)

Do not judge me.
I love TOMS. They can be dressed up or down. And they are low maintenance. Gone are the days of laces or clicky ( it’s a word I swear) heels that I almost always manage to slip/trip in.  And every time I buy a pair, TOMS donates a pair to a person in need. How stink in' awesome is that?

#6: My Teacher on-the-go tote.


Because Teaching IS my bag baby, yeah. 
#AustinPowersReference 

#7: Mustache Cutie-palooza!!


I could NOT pass these up! What better way to store the things I love
than in a MUSTACHE!! I am so excited about this!!! And yes, the purple is for 
my personal use and the black is for work. (Or vice versa...thoughts?)


One Happy EduCARER!!!


If you made it this far in my miles of rambling kiss your brain.

Oh, and your reading is not in vain.
It’s a massive link up, so there had to be prizes.



The Bloggy Buds and I have a major stash of giveaways and prizes up for grabs. We are talking SIT SPOTS, TEACHER TEES, and AMAZON VOUCHERS.

Cha-ching!!

Maybe you fell in love with something from my
must-have list and you….must-have it? *brain farts

Oh the joy!!! Oh the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



“I Mustache” you head on over to these blogs and read-up on a few of their favorite things. Follow them and myself on social media for more chances to win!







CURRENTLY splashin' into August!!

I swear I blinked and August arrived.

Yes AUGUST.

And that means it's almost the end of summer.

(insert sad face).

But it also means that I am this months 

CURRENTLY Sponsor!!


Woot! Woot! *fist pumps*

Well, I am fist pumping in spirit.

I am exhausted, ESY ended yesterday.

FINALLY.

but anyway.....

Thank you lots Farley!



Did I mention I was exhausted?

Yes, so this will be BRIEF.

We are all forever learners and EVERYTHING 
I wrote is self explanatory.

#favthingbts 

What are some of your must haves for Back2School?

Comment them down below and on instagram with 
the hashtag above. A couple bloggers and myself 
are sharing our faves in a cute lil hop.

Check back tomorrow-ish for a chance to
win some Back 2 School swagg and/or cash.

$$$$$$$

You know you love Rafflecopters.




Wordless Wednesday: Getting BACK 2 SCHOOL

I almost missed it!

I am on my way to bed to prepare for the LAST DAY OF ESY!!!

But I wanted to pop online for Wordless Wednesday.

And I just had to ask,

How are you preparing yourself 

for the new school year?

and.......

What are some of your favorite things?


Stay tuned for some of my fav "get ready" things.... 
and some from a few cool teacher friends of mine!!









Crafty Files #1: Christmas in July


Confession: I almost ALWAYS have to be creating something.

My most recent interest include Copic Markers, 
Digital/Rubber Stamps....and Cardmaking.

Spoiler Alert: My two worlds are colliding!

Anyway, one of the stamp companies I am digging on lately is called The Greeting Farm. Every Friday or so they host a Challenge on their blog. I am pretty new, so I have been watching from afar.

Until this week- CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Farm Fresh Friday: Christmas in July


I usually use digital stamps, so this was my 
VERY FIRST time even stamping an image....

It was also MY FIRST TIME...using my Greeting Farm Stamps.

I think it came out pretty cute, though cutting out those images with an EXACTO was not my idea of a good time. 


I definitely see cut files in my future.

Any of you guys crafty?




Wordless Wednesday: Draw-A-Story

Happy Wednesday!

It is ESY Week 4. 

That means there is ONLY ONE week to go!!

 And one day until my "weekend"!!

*does happy dance*

Today one of my students showed a little "creative" expression.

And it included little ol' me.


Just in case you're wondering, it says: 

"Ms. Tidwell, my brother and me are at the pool. Ms. Tidwell was sitting by the pool. I came by and pushed her in the water. My brother and I started laughing. Ms. Tidwell started swimming."



So on this Wordless Wednesday, I pose the following question:

Have you ever made a debut into your student's work? Comment about it below!

For those interested in this assignment, it is from a website called



To save you some time, I loaded it up on my Google Drive.


Make sure you link up this Wordless Wednesday and the next!!!