Friday, July 14, 2017

Self Control with BTS

I have joined a couple of Facebook groups for teachers and whew! These folks are SERIOUS about their back to school shopping! I'm overwhelmed looking at their purchases, ideas and indulgences. I can only imagine how brand new teachers in the group must be feeling. (I know some are feeling overwhelmed because they have said so.) 

First there is the back to school schedule. Some folks are back to school at the end of July. With kids! (What the what??) Some folks don't go back until end of August and don't see kids until after Labor Day. So depending upon where in the country a person is teaching, some folks are already setting up their classrooms and some of us are still basking in the lazy summer days. 

Second, it is not hard to get excited when someone else posts something they have purchased and their excitement is evident. 

LIGHT BOXES!

FLEXIBLE SEATING!

ALL THE RANDOM GOODNESS AT THE TARGET DOLLAR SPOT!

Putting things in all caps makes them seem even more exciting, so the excitement spills through the screen to every reader and suddenly WE are excited too. I have to have that {whatever it is} now too! 

Don't get me started on Amazon Prime Day. Holy cow! Someone mentioned they spent $800 on Prime Day and hoped their hubby didn't notice. (That is, in and of itself, a whole other rant.) 

So yes, I understand. It is overwhelming yet exciting to see everyone else getting excited about BTS sales and deals and seeing other people's fabulous classrooms coming together.

I totally get it. I've been there. I've been very guilty of buying those random things in the Dollar Spot because, well, they are adorable and I have to have it. Nevermind that most of that stuff has sat unused for YEARS because I never did figure out what to do with it. 

This year, I have found my self control. Perhaps it is because I'm changing buildings and had to go through every single thing in my classroom and clean it out (while simultaneously realizing how much STUFF I have). Perhaps it is because I'm older and wiser and realize that I don't NEED that stuff. Whatever the reason is, I have found my self control and I'm glad.

Don't get me wrong. I see those adorable light boxes and I want one too. But then I stop and think. What would I really use it for? How useful is it going to be when the students don't even notice that I changed the sign? Then the internal dialogue begins and I realize after the first week or so, the third graders likely WON'T notice and I'll have spent a ton of time and money for no good reason. So after letting it sit in my online cart for a couple of days, I have rationalized that I don't really need it, I've just been caught up in the excitement. So I get it out of there. 

That's how I've planned and paced myself this summer. I did purchase the Bazic pencil pouches I used last year and Ticonderoga pencils I've used forever, along with 30 bottles of 4 oz glue that were a steal at $1 each on Amazon. But I know I use those things. They are part of my instructional routine 180 days out of the year. Well worth the money. The only thing I have splurged on so far are these snack boxes from Dollar Tree. 

Lots of folks in the groups I'm part of have shared many ways they are using these snack boxes including for crayons and other supplies. Usually I have kids keep their crayons in the boxes they come in but let's be real, the cardboard breaks or rips after being pulled in and out of desks day after day. So I indulged. It's the only indulgence I'll make because I have tons of other things I can use the containers for (storing manipulatives and other small pieces needed for lessons for groups which makes it easier than trying to put things into plastic baggies). 

I still have to buy notebooks, crayons and folders. The only other indulgence will be a new class theme since I haven't actually bought one in several years and I'm moving to a new school. Otherwise that's it. 

Self control. I KNOW 90% of the things I have seen people sharing that they have purchased would just sit in my classroom collecting dust and/or wasting space. 

Before you buy everything...consider if it's actually useful and if it will be clutter or useful to your class. My theme materials are the ONLY thing that really doesn't have anything to do with instruction...I just like things to match :) 

Are you exhibiting self control this year or are you a big spender? :) 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

EdCamp Voice on Voxer (Part 4)

I am so super excited for EdCampVoice on Voxer again this weekend! From Friday July 7 at noon to noon on Saturday, July 8 it's an edcamp held entirely on Voxer! It's super fun and awesome and I learn so much each session!

In December 2015 I joined Voxer because I kept hearing about it and wanted to see what the fuss was. Then I heard about EdCampVoxer that occurred for the first time over that winter break. Oh my word! I was hooked from that moment forward. I have been a participant in each session since. Last summer I co-moderated a session on Student Centered Assessment. It was tons of fun and super informative.

This year I am moderating a group about Supporting Student Teachers. It spawned from a conversation I intercepted on Twitter about how best to support student teachers while they are student teaching. It's a small group so far but I expect to have more folks join in over the next few days.

If you are going to be student teaching or will be hosting a student teacher, we'd love to have you join us. Voxer is free and will explode your PLN like nobody's business! :)