Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stress, Decompress and a Book Giveaway!!!

Our everyday lives are filled with stress on some level or another.  I saw this little blue guy above and couldn't pass on the opportunity to talk about something that most people don't want to bring up or talk about; STRESS!!!

WAIT! Don't leave yet because it is going to get better I promise!!!

I began my school year two weeks ago with an issue that I am now having to confront face to face.  I have had a sore knee for a while now and it recently got to the point that I wasn't able to walk normally.  I have forced myself to suffer through the day knowing that I am sacrificing my own well-being to only be in trouble later.  It is a stress for me because I have to take 1 day off a week for five weeks to receive injections.  I always feel guilty for being out, don't you? Teaching is a stressful occupation and full of daily challenges that sometimes we just can't prepare for.    

I recently came across two wonderful books that have been such a blessing to me both personally and professionally.  The author of both of these books is Angela Watson and her books have given me a long needed "attitude adjustment" this past month.  Today I am honored to have Angela on my "oh so humble" blog.  Now I am going to turn it over to Angela from and she is going to talk to us a bit.  She was a classroom teacher for eleven years, and currently works as an instructional coach and educational consultant based in New York City.


Thanks so much for inviting me to share about my books, Deb! Teaching is an incredibly stressful profession, and there is a huge need for resources to help educators deal with all the challenges we face on a daily basis. I wish that I could tell you that there is some miracle solution that instantly reverses teacher burnout. But, I learned just about everything the hard way! There were so many days when I came home from school in tears, exhausted and feeling hopeless about how I could ever solve all the problems that were piled on my plate. It was a long process, but eventually I learned a better way, and started to enjoy our profession again. When kids misbehaved, I learned not to take it as a personal attack and instead responded calmly. When my principal shoved yet another task on me and wanted it done by the end of the day, I practiced responding in a productive way that didn't raise my blood pressure and cause me to become resentful. Basically, I learned how to have a more positive, flexible, and resilient mindset-- and I wrote a book to share how I did it. Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching provides simple steps to help you feel peaceful and energized no matter what’s happening around you. Drawing upon principles of stress management, cognitive behavioral therapy, spiritual truths, and personal experiences, Awakened helps you develop thought habits that produce an unshakeable sense of contentment, motivation, and purpose. You can learn how to take a fresh approach to the challenges of teaching!

The Awakened Devotional Study Guide for Christian Educators

I also just released The Awakened Devotional Study Guide for Christian Educators. This workbook is designed to deepen Christian teachers’ understanding of the principles in Awakened, elaborating on what the Bible has to say about renewing our minds. For each Awakened chapter, this guide provides an opening reflection, devotion, further scripture reading, application questions, “to do” challenge, and a prayer that invites God to help you in applying the principles to your life. You can click here to get a special discount on both books together, or here to learn about eBook discounts.
        Thanks for letting me share this with you today. I hope that Awakened and The Awakened Devotional Study Guide help you maintain your enthusiasm for teaching this school year, no matter what daily challenges come your way! You can find all sorts of free teacher resources on my website, or check out my blog of free devotions for teachers. Enjoy! 

Angela has offered to give away a copy of either or both of these books to one reader of Fabulously First!  Here's how the contest works:  
Just enter below which book you would like to receive if you win and an email in which to be contacted.  Please feel free to leave a comment for Angela below.  I know she will appreciate it very much!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All Students Can Shine: Blog Birthday Giveaway!

All Students Can Shine: Blog Birthday Giveaway!: I can't believe it's my Blog Anniversary already! Oh my!! It's already been an entire year that I've been on board with some of the m...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mrs. Stanford's Blog "1,000 Follower Giveaway"!!!

My friend Jessica, over at Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog is having a "1,000 Follower Giveaway".  Click on the above picture to go to her blog so that you can enter for all the great items she is giving away.  Make sure you check back each day this week to see what she has new to give away.  It is going to be spectacular I promise!  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Planning Time Again? How Do You Do Planning?

How Do You Plan?

I have a basic template that I use in Word from year to year and just change the times and place where the segments go in the day.  I do all of my planning by the week when school first starts because I don't know all of my children that well and have not done running records to find out what level they are reading on.  After about a month I know all of my children pretty well as far as their academic abilities go and I have learned their personalities as well.  

Planning is not my favorite thing to do and I do not write them out in as much detail as I should.  I only do them in detail if I am going to have a substitute.  This is my third year in first grade and I am finally getting the hang of how to do Daily 5 for both reading and math.  We also plan as a team but we only have about 30 minutes once we get our kids to specials.  Thirty minutes isn't a lot of time to get it all in but at least we have an idea of what each other is doing.  Later on in the year I plan for two weeks in advance and that is about as far as I want to go and it works well for me.  What are some tools that you use for planning your lessons?      

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back2School Sale on TpT!

On August 12th and 13th there is a BIG "back to school" sale going on at TpT with 20% off.  Use the code BTS12 for an additional 10% off from TpT.  Click the image above to go to my store to make your wish list and be ready!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Welcome to the "Magical Product Swap!"

Graphic created by "The 3AM Teacher"

Hi Everyone!  I am so excited to be a part of "The Magical Product Swap" with so many other fabulous teachers and bloggers.  If you are interested in all of the other bloggers involved in the product swap please click the above picture to take you to a listing of all the blogs involved.  

Today I am swapping products with Deborah Perrot over at "The Paper Maid".  I admire her so much because she is a "stay at home Mom" or "Mum" as she says it (would love to hear it too).  She is from Australia and has such a beautiful family and you must visit her blog to see those cute smiling faces to know how loved they are.  Here is a picture of her blog and if you click on it you will be taken directly to her blog where you will see that she has one of my products since we "swapped".


The product I swapped with Deborah on is her product called "My Beginning Sounds and Writing "1".  If you are a classroom teacher or a home-schooling parent this is a great product to use to establish an understanding of beginning sounds.  The product is 28 pages in PDF format  and targeted for any student that is working on learning initial sounds.  It is also one of the standards in our Common Core State Standards that we will continue to use.  Here is a picture to introduce her fabulous product that I got to have and review:

Click Here to go to her TpT Store to purchase this product!

Here are some quick previews so that I don't give away all of her secrets.  Please make sure to click the image above to go directly to this product to purchase it because it is ADORABLE!.  Oh, I forgot to mention that she used KPM Doodles in her product BUT she also drew some of them on her own which brings more admiration of her since I do stick people!  She also has some fabulous FREEBIES in her store so get on over there and grab them because you know you will need them in your classroom.  Click the pictures below to go to her TpT Store and she is also on Pinterest so go visit her there too!    

This is just a sampling of what her beautiful and creative product looks like and I can assure you it is more then fabulous once you get it.  I have it laminated and ready to go into my centers in my first grade classroom which means more pictures to come once school starts!  Please click on her button below to go to her beautiful blog to meet her and her family!  See what blogging does for us, it gives us friends all around the world!

Thanks so much for dropping by and please don't forget to click on the picture at the top of this blog post so that you can go and see so many other products being shared!  Thank you Deborah for allowing me the opportunity to have and review your fantastic product.

Thank you Jessica at Mrs. Stanford's Class for hosting this awesome "Product Swap" for all of us.  Watch for more of these each quarter since it was such a popular idea!