Monday, August 9, 2010

Teacher Week: Must-Haves!

You all, I am so excited about the response for Teacher Week! I am floored that there are so many participants and that everyone is excited about teaching as I am. I am trying hard to visit all of your blogs and become followers, but it might take me all week to catch up! So don't think I'm ignoring you! And please, everyone, go visit other teacher's linked blogs too. We all know how desperately we need big ol' pats-on-the-back every now and again :)

Anyway, I'd like to be witty and entertaining right now, but I am coming off of a full day. We're talking 6 hours of Brigance testing for incoming kindergartners (I was helping out my old team...and acquiring six hours of PD!), playtime with Becks, and coding books according to lexile levels to be up to par with the new reading standards (please tell me you all are going through the same thing!). My mom and I just left school after lexiling (sp?) for 2 hours and I think I'm going cross-eyed staring at this computer screen. Gah!

But anyway, back to the matter at hand: teacher must-haves. Here are some of my favs...

1. DJ Inkers Fonts. I absolutely adore these downloads (you must buy the CD - not typically found free online, though I'll occasionally come across some...) and spend many a Sunday night deciding which font I will type my weekly newsletter in. Tough {important} decisions, you know.
2. My classroom would not be complete without a stock of pointer fingers. My kids loooove to pretend to "be the teacher" and walk around the room reading things as I do using the pointer to track their reading. I use these a lot during calendar time and morning message. I would also recommend witch fingers for the same thing, but I use these during independent reading or small group reading (though I only give the kids one for their pointer finger, though many have tried to pull off the whole handful before I catch them).

3. Diet Coke. Um, you know I keep a 12-pack under my desk. I have students bring me them in place of apples (this is the truth!) and on dress-like-your-teacher-day my kiddos were allowed to sit one at their desk. DC is my life blood to get me going in the morning and don't you know I'm totally cracking one of these open when I roll in the doors at 7:45am followed by a mid-morning one around 10:30am. I'm probably going to need a 6-packer to get me through a full day this year. Let's not even begin to think about how unhealthy that is - especially when my mom is fueling my habit by giving me a bottle of vanilla flavored syrup so I can make them more Sonic-esque...

4. Personal Laminator. This is when you know you've reached the pinnacle of teacher nerdiness - when your heart near plummets as you jump over piles of junk to lay your hands on a personal laminator at a yard sale. If you fight with your school laminator as often as I do, then you know that God was looking out for me that day at the sale so that I could laminate 8x11s at home while watching The Bachelorette on Monday nights and sigh contentedly at sheets of shiny goodness. Abby = Super Nerd.

5. A Class Set of Clickers. This genius idea is brought to us by my 1st-grade-teaching aunt who actually started school today (bless her heart). Clickers do exactly what they say they do: click. And what a better way to segment phonemes, perform syllabication, or drive your teacher crazy than with 25 clickers. No, really, I love them and my kiddos do to. They beg me to use them during phonics. They run about 30 cents a piece and are a great investment. Warning: make sure you have clicker practice and let your kids get "all their clicks out" before using them.
6. I must have Fall Break, Christmas Break, and Summer Break. I don't think an explanation is necessary.

7. Magnetic Tape and Velcro Dots. We have magnetic white boards throughout the building and I magnetize everything to stick to them. Similarly, we have painted concrete walls that tape has nothing on. Don't tell anyone but I Velcro everything to them! They peel off easily and hold even the darndest posters to the wall. (You know the poster I'm talking about - the one that you find on the floor EVERY morning when you arrive, the one you've threatened to dispose of on countless occasions. Yup, Velcro dots will even hold that baby up.) I've yet to try it, but I've heard that glue-gunning works too, and will peel right off whenever you want to take it down. Anyone tried that?

8. Mr. Sketch Markers. I love to write with "smelly markers," as my kids call them, and buy 3-4 packages every year. They're perfect for writing on chart paper and come in flavors like cinnamon and cherry. Thank goodness they're non-toxic because it certainly looks strange to walk in my room and see my students begging to sniff them.


9. My district issued DIBELS Palm Pilot. Unless your familiar with DIBELS, then I'm probably speaking a foreign language, but this piece of technology has saved our school hours of testing by enabling us to perform the entire test on a palm pilot and then sync it with software on our PCs. We can print out all assessment info and data online. I love it. So much so that I'm excited about the 3 hours PD on Thursday that's all about it.

10. Teacher Friends. How important are they?! I love being able to "talk teacher" with other educators, whether it's online, at a conference, in my building, or through a blog hop. I love to be able to talk to other who know exactly what I'm going through with the kids I teach, the problems I face, the many triumphs I experience, and about that one danged poster that won't stay on the wall. When no one else understands what you're doing at school at 9:34pm on a Monday night during the summer, a teacher does :)

Thanks again for participating in Teacher Week and I'd love for you to link up with your favorite "Teacher Must-Haves" using the Linky below. Have a great day!!!

PS. I'm tired and take little responsibility for any grammatical errors in this post! Forgive me!



33 comments:

Tickled Pink said...

that dibels palm pilot is insane!! sounds awesome

Sugar and Spice said...

I am totally jealous of your Dibels palm pilot.

A Wedding Story said...

love the clickers for phonemic awareness and phonics!

Caroline said...

I got my first set of "Smelly Markers" in a door prize during New Teacher Training last week! I feel that I am now an OFFICIAL teacher! :)

mama faith said...

I can't imagine the wonders a DIBELS palm pilot would have. The hours I spent in those stupid books, marking with a pencil, tallying up the score...It honestly sounds like it would be as wonderful as the wheel. If I can ever get my you know what together I would really like to participate!

Elizabeth said...

I use hot glue all of the time! It's wonderful!!!! I have a laminating problem (as in, I laminate everything) so it's simple to dab a bit of glue on laminated items and slap 'em on the wall. My walls are painted cinderblocks/concrete. Then at the end of the year (or whenever) I can just tear them down. In fact, my kiddos LOVED helping peel the hot glue off the back at the end of the year. So simple and cheap!

Maubrey said...

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follow if u really like it means

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Ashley said...

How funny is it that you posted Diet Coke on your "must haves" too! I love that picture, by the way. :)

Michelle said...

I just have to say that I'm really grateful for "Teacher Week!"

Thank you so much!

Rachel said...

Velcro and Magnet Tape!! how in the world could I forget that?! That are a life saver. And Mr. Sketch markers are fabulous, but let's be honest, it's only because I want to smell them.

I teach 5th, so witch fingers wouldn't be as helpful in our reading groups since we do more Lit Circles than actually guided reading. I love this idea for the little guys. I might share with my 1st grade teaching buddies at school!

Domestic Goddess said...

those are great items! the holidays are definitely on my list! so excited to have a week for teachers! we should keep this up during the year! :)

Shannon said...

I could really go for a whiff of grape Mr Sketch right now. Memmoriiiiiessss...

Mrs. Tasha said...

I'm a new follower and love this idea of Teacher Week! I'm actually in the process of getting my degree right now. I do my student internship this fall semester. My first placement is 5th grade, and my second placement is Kindergarten. I'm really enjoying all of the advice and ideas from you and the other teachers linking here. I would love for you and these teachers to follow me as well. I'm always welcoming to new ideas and techniques for working with students and being a great teacher!

mrstashalynn.blogspot.com

Heather said...

I love Mr. Sketch markers, they smell so good! I'm not a teacher but I think I would love to do it one day, what a great post this is!

db said...

I love your idea of Teacher Week! I really enjoyed reading your Must Haves. Its a bit different for me being a middle school teacher, but I feel like a big nerd too getting excited over the little things!

Mrs. Bee's Knees said...

Where do you get the clickers from? Those are awesome!

Erin said...

Oh I do NOT miss having to DIBELS! But it sounds like that Palm Pilot makes it much easier!

And I used a glue gun to hang things up last year and it actually worked! I used it on the widows and on the cinder block walls...miracle discovery!

littledaisymay said...

What great must haves! I love the pointer fingers and the breaks are a MUST :)

Melissa said...

I had to do DIBELS when I taught Kindergarten and I've never heard of the palm pilot. I'll have to pass the word so maybe my school can get some for those teachers that have to do it. It is very time consuming!

Kerbi said...

I love Mr. Sketch markers!

southerngraduate said...

The DIBELS Palm Pilot is a genius idea! We use Dominie, and I would LOVE a much quicker way to input all of that data.

I'm loving all of the ideas I'm getting from Teacher Week. Thank you!!

Ginger Snaps said...

I don't know what a Dibels Palm Pilot is but it sounds awesome and I would love to have one! lol

Ginger Snaps said...

I really like the clicker idea. We focus alot at our school on syllabication of words so this would be a great tool!

Lana said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I'm so glad you are hosting "Teacher Week"! I am a 4th grade teacher and can't wait to see what everyone posts this week!

Megan said...

AHHHH...I forgot the DIBELS palm. Yes indeedy, couldn't live without it!!

AbbyS. said...

Still laughing at the Diet Coke funnel and could have used one today. I use those monster fingers with my 3rd graders too. I love them.
THANKS for hosting this btw- LOVE IT!

{Louisiana.Bride} said...

I am so jealous! I was in a class that was getting clickers this year and got transfered to a class that recently had the Smart Board document camera recently high jacked by another teacher. I have no clue how I'll teach without my doc camera.

Sophie P said...

I want those resources- so cute! Although I am not so sure my Year 10's would appreciate the pointy fingers, haha!

T. said...

Abby, you can get some really neat free fonts at a site called http://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/

some are a bit dorky but most are really nice and they have 1000s of free fonts. You could practically spend the rest of your life just going thru them.

CarrieV said...

I love your must-haves idea. I just stumbled across your blog, but am so glad that I have. Keep it up, I'll keep reading:)

MrsKinne said...

I have never seen those clickers! Where do you get them?

Minnesota Rocks! said...

I love your ideas! I cannot tell you how many times my kids begged me to use witch fingers during small reading groups.

I also am very jealous of your DIBELS palm pilot!

Mrs. Bear said...

I need those Smelly Markers!