New blog address


Thank you for following my blog! I finally took the plunge and decided to go for a self-hosted new blog.

If you are interested in continuing to follow my blog posts, please go to http://always-teacher-forever-mom.com/ and subscribe again.

Although I am doing everything in my power to transfer your subscriptions to the new blog site, in some instances it might not be possible. The best way is for you to do it again on the new site.

Thank you so much for your understanding and look out for new posts from my blog. I have great things in my plans for the new site 🙂

Take care,

Catia

PS. You will probably notice that your links to the old blog will now redirect to the new one 🙂

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Meet my Guest of Honor – Sherri Munger-Tyler

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Sherri Munger-TylerToday’s Guest of Honor is Sherri Munger-Tyler and she is the teacher behind Literary Sherri TeachersPayTeachers store. Please visit her store and leave her some “love” 😉

Here are Sherri’s answers to my interview:

How long have you been a teacher?

2 decades

Why did you become a teacher?

I was fortunate to have some wonderful teachers during my school career who made me believe that being a teacher was the best possible job one could ever have! They were right!

Which grades have you taught so far?

6-8

What subjects do you rather teach?

ELA

What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?

I am passionate about literacy; it is my belief that literacy is the foundation of all learning! When students are better readers and writers, their performance in all subjects increases; they are better able to think and to communicate their thoughts. Literacy is the most significant skill needed to function effectively in school, in the workplace, and in society. It is vital to a successful education, career, and quality of life. Literacy also enables students to become active and independent thinkers and lifelong learners, which is empowering! When people are able to function at high levels of literacy, doors of opportunity are opened for them that would not be available otherwise. Knowing I have helped my students increase their literacy skills is my favorite aspect of being a teacher because it sets them up for greater success in all they do in their lives!

Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student.

My fourth grade teacher, Miss Bassinger — her classroom was my favorite place to be in the world!

Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher.

True Story: I was once conferencing with a parent — who happened to play pro basketball for the Utah Jazz — when I fell out of my chair! I was sitting on the floor with the chair on top of me. He got up, lifted the chair and set it upright, and extended a hand to help me up. I sat back in the chair and said, “As I was saying…”

What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.)

Get organized and stay organized! Take a few seconds each day to journal something encouraging, inspiring, or fun that happened that day. Find a way to connect with each student on a personal level.

What does your ideal classroom look like? 

My ideal classroom is colorful, cozy, organized, and literacy-rich . . . books, books, books everywhere, reading nooks, writing stations, and students who are engaged and actively participating in reading, writing, meaningful discussions, and hands-on activities.Sherri Munger-Tyler - Children reading 1 Sherri Munger-Tyler - Children reading 2

What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers?

Over the years, several colleagues have asked if they could use my curriculum. This inspired me to give TpT a try!

From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why?

What is the capital of Alaska? (Come on! Juneau this one!)

One of my favorite products is a compilation of 405 kid-friendly, school-appropriate jokes! I start every school day with two or three jokes-of-the-day because they promote listening skills and language development and teach our students to play with words, which strengthens their writing.

Jokes help teach homonyms and figurative language, such as idioms and metaphors. Figuring out jokes promotes metacognition, integrates other disciplines with literacy, and builds positive rapport between teachers and students, which helps create a positive learning environment!

[click the image to go to the product’s TpT page!]

Jokes of The Day - Sherri Munger-Tyler

Anything else about yourself that you would like us to know?

Grace Slick said, “Through literacy, you can begin to see the universe.” Nothing is more exciting to me than broadening my students’ universes by getting them hooked on a fantastic book, a wonderful series, a great author, or a notebook full of blank pages just waiting for the student’s own writing!

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I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to follow this blog and get to know more of my guests 😉

Take care,

Catia

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Freebie Alert! – Vocabulary Journal

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Happy Friday everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I have revamped one of my earliest freebies: Word Wizard Vocabulary Journal.

Please click HERE or HERE to go to one of the download pages. Enjoy!!

A new cover to match my other products' look.

A new cover to match my other products’ look.

I changed the journal cover. It is so much more appealing and balanced now :)

I changed the journal cover. It is so much more appealing and balanced now 🙂

The fields are the same but the display is more organized. There is also a black and white page for those who can't print in color.

The fields are the same but the display is more organized. There is also a black and white page for those who can’t print in color.

TGIF-Weekly-Freebie-Link-up1

Mommy and Me Creations

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Take care,

Catia

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Once Upon a Game – “Chameleon”

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Today I bring you one of my favorite games.

You might find there are  some similarities with games played in your own corner of the world, but I thought you’d appreciate another perspective 🙂

Today’s game is called Chameleon (in Portuguese, Camaleao). Its name comes from the outstanding ability this particular reptile has to change its appearance in order to blend into its surroundings.

Photo by MartinStr

Photo by MartinStr

It is an excellent game for all ages but I find it particularly helpful when used with young children that are still learning their colors.

Here is how you play it:

Materials: none 🙂

Setting: outside or inside, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is a space that provides lots of colorful things for children to touch, and plenty of room to run around without bumping into each other.

Goal of the game: to be able to escape the chameleon.

Step by step instructions: 

1 – One child, previously chosen by the group, stands in front of a wall or fence, with his back to the group. He is the chameleon!

Chameleon 1

2 – The group stands around the room at a distance of at least 4 to 5 meters away from the chameleon.

3 – In unison, the group shouts the following question at the chameleon: “Chameleon, what color?”

Chameleon 2

4 – The chameleon immediately replies with a random color. For example, “blue”. As soon as he replies, the chameleon turns around and runs after all the other children and tries to catch one of them.

Chameleon 3

5 – Each of the other children runs from the chameleon and tries to “save” themselves by touching anything in the color that was called by the chameleon. As long as they are touching an object in that color, the chameleon cannot catch them.

Chameleon 4

6 – If the chameleon succeeds in “capturing” another player, the child caught becomes the new chameleon and the game starts again.

7 – If the chameleon cannot catch anyone before all the players touch something in the color he called, then he goes back to the wall and the game starts again.

8 – The game goes on and on until everyone is tired of playing it or the teacher deems it finished 😀

NOTE: In certain regions of Portugal, there is a rule that allows the chameleon to reply “The color of a donkey when it runs”. In this case, the players have to stay rooted to the floor and cannot move. If anyone moves and the chameleon sees them, then he/she will become the new chameleon. 

This sentence might not be acceptable where you teach. However, you can always make up your own. For example, you could use “The color of a clown standing upside down!”… OK, maybe this wasn’t the best example…. 😀

Curriculum Applications: I have had success using this game with my children just as a way to having fun exercise. I’m sure you could probably use it in your Physical Education classes.

Another great idea would be to use this game with PreK and K students to help them learn the colors. If you teach ESL, EFL or EAL, this could also be an excellent fun activity to include in one or more of your lessons.

Finally, don’t let yourself become limited by the rules of the game. Expand its use by playing with other concepts. You could explore shapes, numbers, letters, etc. If you think the students might have a hard time finding certain things, like numbers, for example, just print some pages with the numbers on them, and spread them all over the area you are using.

You can also come up with your own rules as a group. For example, when I played with my children, we agreed that only one person per object was allowed. This made it even harder for the players, but it brought a lot of laughter into the game because those who didn’t touch the obvious choices right away, had to become quite inventive!

We also made a rule that we were not allowed to touch our clothing or any other player’s clothing. This really forced us to look around and notice our surroundings.

Finally, something else we did, was to start with the basic 12 colors (black, white, yellow, blue, red, green, orange, pink, purple, grey, brown and violet) and then add less known (or just invented ones 😉 ), like gold, silver, chartreuse, light blue, copper, etc. This one proved to be a real challenge for myself, since being a non-native speaker and having three quite intelligent children (with big imaginations) don’t always go well together, lol!

I hope you are able to try this game with your family or with your students sometime. Please feel free to leave feedback on the comments section or on my Facebook fan page. I look forward to hear about your experiences with this game 🙂

Take care,

Catia

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Cake anyone??? – My first gluten-free cake!

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OK, maybe not the first! But definitely the first that turned out edible 😀

I first tried making a gluten-free cake a few months ago. I have been trying recipes on and off because we have several members of our family that cannot have gluten in their diets. I just didn’t feel right about not providing them with a cake they could eat without having health issues afterwards 🙂

The very first one I tried was a disaster! I tried a vanilla recipe I found online and added blueberries to make it more palatable. Well….. that didn’t work! The cake didn’t really rise and when we cut into it, it was like rubber, lol. My son ate it all though…….

This weekend we celebrated my son’s, nephew’s and niece’s birthday. Usually I just make a normal cake and my nephew (who can’t have gluten) just eats a tiny bit – or his mother brings him a cupcake.  This time, however, I decided I was going to try to make a really good cake. He deserves it!

Well, it turned out marvelous! Everyone loved it. It was a simple vanilla pound cake and it tasted really good. A recipe to keep for posterity for sure! 😀

Here are the photos of the cake (my youngest helped decorating it by making suggestions).

The Penguin cake with the cupcakes set all around it!

The Penguin cake with the cupcakes set all around it!

IMG_6386

A snowball fight begins! 😀

Detail of trees. Each "branch" was cut separately, attached to the sugar cone and then iced with royal-icing to mimic snow.

Detail of the trees. Each “branch” was cut separately, attached to the sugar cone and then iced with royal-icing to mimic snow.

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Without the cupcakes!

IMG_6375

Symbolizing my little niece! Smart little girl filled her sled with snowballs and is coming down the hill to surprise the boys 😉

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Symbolizing my nephew being hit with a snowball! Note the detail of the snowball on the penguin’s head! 😀

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Symbolizing my naughty son throwing snowballs at his cousin 😀

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The cake without the cupcakes.

The cake without the cupcakes.

Again!

I hope you enjoyed this one! Me and my daughter had quite a bit of fun working on it 😀

Take care,

Catia

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Hot Off the Press – FREE Halloween Banner!

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And as promised, here is the Halloween freebie I mentioned in a previous post!

This is a Halloween banner craft activity that you can use in your classroom. The students can each color one of the banners. After everyone is done, you can pin it in your wall and or bulletin board.

ENJOY! Click the picture to download the PDF file!!!

CRAFTIVITIES_Halloween_cover

Take care,

Catia

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Meet my Guest of Honor – Stefany Smith

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new logoToday’s Guest of Honor is Stefany Smith and she is the teacher behind Tutoring Supplies by Design TeachersPayTeachers store. She can also be found on her Facebook page! Please visit these locations and leave her some “love” 😉

Here are Stefany’s answers to my interview:

How long have you been a teacher?

2-13 years

Why did you become a teacher?

13 years ago I began teaching my own children because I saw such a “bursting of the seams” epidemic in our public schools. I’ve always loved learning and also wanted to be part of my children’s education.
5 years ago I went back to school in pursuit of a teaching degree. I began using that degree professionally as a private tutor a little more than 2 years ago.

Which grades have you taught so far?

pre-k through 9th

What subjects do you rather teach?

math and reading

What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?

aha moments. That second when the light bulb flickers, fades, then comes on bright and strong. I live for those moments, in myself and experiencing them with others.

Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student.

Ms. Turner. I had her for 7th and 8th grade English. She was tough, but caring. She gave me extra time before and after class. Mrs. Turner taught me much more than how to conjugate verbs. She helped me discover the inner writer in me, and showed me that adults can affect the lives of children in positive ways.

Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher.

I had tutored a little Kindergartner for about a year and then his father had to discontinue services for extreme financial reasons. I still tutor for one of their family members. A few months ago he was visiting the family I currently tutor. He asked if I had my bag with me. Which, of course I did. He then asked if I still kept fun stuff in it. Which I of course responded with yes. To which he replied, maybe you can tutor me when your done with my cousin!
It’s not really a funny story, but on those days I wonder if I’m making a difference I reflect on that day because I know I had made learning fun and interesting to that one little boy!

What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.)

Don’t let them see you sweat! here very nature is to challenge you, so it better to go home with a small hole in your lip than give them ammunition!

What does your ideal classroom look like? 

In one word? FUN. But also, lots of books and cozy corners to read. Plenty of independent work stations. Areas to stand, sit, or recline to work. Possibly an outside corridor as well, with a garden maintained by students.

What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers?

A desire to share my creations and materials with others like me and a need for a little extra cash that wouldn’t take me away from my kids (whom I still homeschool).

From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why?

Multiplication games because it epitomizes my philosophy of learning.

[click the images to go to the product’s TpT page!]Multiplication games preview

Skip count preview

Anything else about yourself that you would like us to know?

I think you covered it all very well!

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I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to follow this blog and get to know more of my guests 😉

Take care,

Catia

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What did they do???

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In this case what did she do? Check out this great resource by Lucy S.!

She used my FREE Twisted backgrounds for this French “I have Who Has” Game! Click the image to get to her TpT store and see all that it has to offer 🙂

FRENCH – J’ai…Qui a…? Numbers up to 100 – 2 sets +4 worksheets

 Take care,

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Meet my Guest of Honor – Bex Mawn

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me school pic 2013

Today’s Guest of Honor is Bex Mawn and she is the teacher behind Reading and Writing Redhead TeachersPayTeachers store and Reading and Writing Redhead blog. She can also be found on her Facebook page! Please visit all these locations and leave her some “love” 😉

Here are Bex’s answers to my interview:

How long have you been a teacher?

16 years

Why did you become a teacher?

I always loved spending time with my younger cousins. When I went to college I missed that and a friend suggested I volunteer with the Environmental Education group. We went into a local elementary school and taught them about the environment and pretty much after my first time volunteering with the third graders I had a blast and knew that is what I wanted to do!

Which grades have you taught so far?

2nd grade and I just got my reading specialist degree and license

What subjects do you rather teach?

Reading, writing, math, science and social studies

What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?

I love learning from the kids! So many of them know so much about so many things and I learn something new pretty much every day!

Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student.

My ninth and tenth grade English teacher, Mrs. Cronin, was fabulous. She had challenging curriculum which I enjoyed and also learned a lot from.. plus she was super encouraging and was the first teacher who told me I was a great writer. She nominated me for the young author’s program at Breadloaf (Vermont) and it was an absolutely terrific experience. My self-esteem increased and it was around that time I decided that when I went to college I would major in English – and here I am 20 something years later and I teach reading and writing!

Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher.

My first year teaching was before the days of email so my main way to communicate with parents was via handwritten note or phone calls. One day I got called to the office after school .Seems the lady who lived right across the street had found an envelope that blew into her year from the bus line. A little kiddo had gotten into a bit of trouble and the note to his parents disappeared from his backpack onto her front yard. Well, on the envelopes I always wrote to the parents of so and so, from Miss Mawn so the neighbor knew where it came from. Boy was that an interesting call when I got in touch with the kiddos mom!

What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.)

You can’t please everyone so don’t worry about trying to!

What does your ideal classroom look like? 

Appearance wise? Organized and roomy!

Curriculum and structure wise? One where everyone feels comfortable – happy and respected. Students know I have high but not unreasonable expectations for them and they strive to do their best. I would have plenty of time to be organized and on top of things. I would run differentiated groups in reading and math and have literacy and math centers every day. I would have plenty of time for science and social studies and a small enough class that everyone would get the attention and the time from me they deserve. And the class would have a lot of HEART (our school motto)!

What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers?

I used to write for an online magazine and wanted to start a teaching blog. I began finding some really terrific blogs and seeing that most of the authors also had products that they created and shared. I got so many terrific resources for my class and learned so much – then I realized – hey I could be doing this too!

From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why?

My Geometry Pack – It was the first product that took me a looong time to complete and I worked really hard on. Plus I used everything with my class and it is student approved!

Geometry  May  2013 cover_readingandwritingredhead Slide25Slide21              Slide7

Anything else about yourself that you would like us to know?

I am the proud owner of a big, gentle Saint Bernard named Bailey! He is a big snuggly love bug!

Slide1(1)

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I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to follow this blog and get to know more of my guests 😉

Take care,

Catia

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