Friday, November 20, 2015

Spelling App

Hey y'all!

I wanted to share my new favorite app with you.  I'm always looking for something to make any aspect of my instructional day easier.  Honestly... I can only get but so much done.  Ya with me?

Every Monday we give a spelling pre-test and then a post-test on Friday.  Easy enough, right?  Well if your room is anything like mine, students come in late, students are pulled out for PALS or other services, etc.  This is all fine and dandy, but when am I supposed to find extra time to do it again with these students? Sometimes one comes in and the next goes out.  That's two different students I need to make it up with now.  AH!  It occurred to me that with all of the technology we have there must be SOMETHING out there to help me no longer lose my mind. Well, I was right. If you don't know about A+ Spelling Test you're missing out!
You can type in your spelling list and voice recording for each word.  There are two practice features you can utilize.  I have not used these features yet, but like the idea of them.  Students can practice typing out the words.  This feature shows them the correct amount of letters with blanks.
Students can also unscramble the words.  If they need the word repeated all they have to do it press the microphone button. 
Lastly, here is the test feature, a.k.a. My Time Saver.  Words are read to the student so you don't have to sit one-on-one and call them out.  They type out the word.  It provides instant feedback to the student after they hit NEXT if it was incorrect by showing them the correct spelling.  At the end it will show a report.  I can see if the student missed any words and if they did how they spelled it.  I can't tell you enough how much I love this app. Did I mention there is a free version?  Yup!  That's the version I am currently using.  
Do you use this app?  Look into it if you do spelling assessments and have the same issues I do.  


Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Am Thankful For...

It's so easy to forget about the little things and get wrapped up into our chaotic, daily lives.  With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner I have found myself thinking about everything that I'm thankful for.  I'd like to share with you why I feel so blessed.

1.  I am thankful for my hard-working, thoughtful, and loving fiancĂ©.  This man works LONG hours Monday-Friday and often on Saturdays as well.  Despite being physically exhausted from his job, he still packs my lunch every single night.  I know.  I am spoiled rotten.  I feel so blessed that I get to marry him this July.   
2.  I am thankful for my spunky, Jersey-Italian mom.  She taught me how to stand up for myself, not to let any haters get me down, and how to be an independent woman.  She is a fun, energetic, and loud pre-school teacher.  I honestly don't know how she still has the energy to handle so many little munchkins on a daily basis. 
3.  I am thankful for my baby sister.  She may not be a "baby" anymore, but she will always be little in my head.  Can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that she's graduating from James Madison University this May.  Where did the time go?  We don't always see eye-to-eye.  In fact, I'd say 90% of the time we can't agree on anything, but there is no one who I'd rather laugh with about our crazy family.
4.  I am thankful for my teacher/school friends.  Without these people I don't know where I'd be.  Honestly, I'd probably be in a loony bin somewhere.  They help keep me sane when anyone would most likely lose it.  Moving to a different school every year has been hard, but if I hadn't been an involuntary transfer or lost my position due to funding I wouldn't know half of these ladies. 
5.  I am thankful for my sweet, sweet Auburn friends.  I am forever thankful for the Auburn family and the love I felt while attending Auburn University.  I gained amazing sorority sisters, teaching cohort friends, and was welcomed into my friends' families as one of their own since I was over 600 miles away from home.  Now we're all married (or engaged), one has a sweet little man and another on the way, and another will be welcoming her first little one in the Spring.

6.  I am thankful for my childhood friendships with these two ladies.  We've been together since the 6th grade and I'm honored to have them stand by my side when I marry my best friend in July. 
7.  I am thankful for my sweet babies.  They are absolutely insane and drive me nuts, but they are the cutest and sweetest.  In 2009 it was just my sweet girl, Bradley, and I.  3 years later we added Winston to our little family.  I thought I had hit my max, but when I met my fiancĂ© I fell in love with his precious Golden Retriever, Cooper.  Now all 5 of us live under one roof.... One LOUD roof. 

8.  I am thankful for my job.  Sure it can be ABSOLUTE CHAOS and way too much to handle.  But at the end of the day I am forever thankful for the opportunity to touch the lives of so many children that hold our future in their hands. 
9.  I am thankful for TpT!  With the help of TpT and social media, I have had the opportunity of connecting with so many wonderful educators around the world.  I am more educated about what other teachers are experiencing in their districts, my eyes have been opened to wonderful resources created by talented teachers, and I am more inspired every day to be an even better teacher than I could have been. 
Thank you for joining me to read what I'm thankful for.  I hope you have been inspired to reflect on what you are thankful for this holiday season. :)