Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My first freebie!

I just want to say that I am finally 100% happy with my blog design and will not be changing it anymore. I know it probably looks different every time you visit but I'm happy with it now. :D

You may have seen this floating around on Pinterest. Hehe. I remember during my student teaching I experienced my first classroom Halloween. It wasn't too crazy because they were a pretty chill group of 3rd graders. But 20-25 kindergarteners or firsties is ANOTHER STORY!  I really hope every single one of you has an awesome day tomorrow, and Thursday and Friday lol

Because 13 is my favorite number and I now have 13 followers, I am posting my first freebie! (And it's also finally ready, lol) Thank you so much for taking an interest in my blog.  You don't know how happy that makes me! I created these super cute Absent Friend folder covers and I want to share them with you.  I plan on using these with clasp envelopes. I'll go into more detail in a later post.

This also marks the official grand opening of my TpT store!  There aren't many products yet, as I am just getting started, but be sure to click follow so you can receive updates as soon as new products are added. :)

Click here for your freebie!


Y'all have a safe and happy Halloween! 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hey girl,

Just a short post to check in.  My computer has been acting up and suddenly shuts down for no reason. :/ 

Anywhooo, I love the Hey Girl teacher-y pins. And I love Ryan Gosling. I actually have an entire board just for them. I saw this pin a few weeks ago and my first thought was, "12,000?! What is the big deal with fonts?" Ok, that wasn't my first thought. My first thought was, "Hello, Mr. Gosling!" ♥ But let me tell you that I now understand.

Fonts!! I love fonts! Especially free ones! Speaking of free, would you like some? Sweet Nicole over at  Rowdy in Room 300 has created some super cute rowdy fonts. My favorite is Rowdy Dots. You can check them out here! 

I hope you've had a good week. Y'all know what tomorrow is!! :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Garage Sales finds!

A few times a month I will venture out in search of goodies at garage sales.  Most times I come home empty handed but some times, woo-hoo! I usually buy movies, books or seasonal home decor but my favorite finds are children's books. Yes, I ♥ children's books. Prices tend to vary depending on the reasons people are selling. If they want to make money, books might be a dollar, if they just want to get rid of stuff, they're usually less. A dollar is the most that I'll pay for a book, depending on its condition. We all know children's books are not cheap and a dollar for a book that was read once sounds good to me.

 Let me show you some of my latest finds. First up some books for me. I found Steve Harvey's book. The book jacket says $23.99. I got it for $1!

I also found Water for Elephants for 25 cents. What?! Yup, 25 cents. I couldn't believe it. I had read the book before I found it and loved it so I knew I couldn't pass it up especially at that price! Have you seen the movie? I'm a big nerd and insist on reading the book first if a movie is based on a book. I thought the movie did the book justice. Reese Witherspoon is magnificent and Robert Pattinson is nice to look at. I really liked him in this movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. :)

Now the children's books. Since I don't have a classroom yet, there isn't a specific
 grade/reading level I look for. If it's in good shape and cheap, I get it.  I found some Roald Dahl books at a whopping 4/$1.00. 

(I haven't read them yet but they're on my list.)

 If I remember correctly I took all the books they had. I love Roald Dahl!  Now these next books were...wait for it, wait for it...10 cents each!

I called my sister over, threw my purse at her, and dove into the box of books. Here's what I found.

 I scored a total of 17 books for 10 cents each!  Slowly, my classroom library is coming together. I also found this little guy, Jorge. You may know him as George. :) Little Jorge was just 50 cents.

(Don't worry, I've washed him like three times!) 

I'm thinking I will display him on a book shelf with his books (if I get some) or I will use him with a VIP activity Rachelle shared over at What the Teacher Wants. You can read about it here. 

I really wanted to find some baby jeans because I loved the Smarty Pants idea Abby shared on her blog, The Inspired Apple. I don't have children nor nieces or nephews so I was on a mission. And I found some! 

For 50 cents! 

They're so tiny!

You can sew the bottoms shut and although I know my way around a sewing machine, I have no patience for trial and error when it comes to sewing. So I opted for something a little more hassle-free.

Hello, HeatnBond No-Sew Hem! 

I had some left over from some pants I had altered and it worked perfectly. All you need is an iron. I used the regular strength on the jeans and it worked. I did use two strips instead of one, though. I don't remember how much I paid for it but I wanna say it was less than $3. I got it at Wal-Mart but I'm sure you can find it at Target, Hobby Lobby or your favorite craft store. You'll use very little but whatever is left can be used on the Pinterest DIY projects that are on your list. :D 

Have a blessed weekend,  friends!


Monday, October 15, 2012

My quest for Texas Educator Certification

First off, let me give you a little background information.  In the state of Texas you need to pass two exams in order to get a general education certificate.  Since I speak Spanish, my major in college was Bilingual Elementary education (Pre-K thru 4th).  This meant that aside from the two exams needed for a general education certificate, I would also need to take a Bilingual Supplemental exam and a Spanish language oral exam.  So there were four exams I needed to take. I had the option of taking the Bilingual Generalist exam which is the general education exam and the bilingual supplemental exam combined but everyone that I talked to suggested that I take them separately as it was easier that way.  And that is what I did.  The first exam I took was the Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT) in Spanish.  This test required me to read and speak in Spanish. I had to record myself on a little tape recorder. I passed and was so happy I was on my way.

 I then took the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-4 (PPR) and passed. Yay! That exam was followed by the Generalist EC-4, which I also passed.  At this point I had passed the exams needed to get a general education certificate and since I was subbing and it meant a sweet raise, I applied for my certificate.

Next came the Bilingual Supplemental exam.  I studied really hard and really prepared for this exam.  You need a 240 to pass. Guess what my score was?  239. 

I could not believe it.  One point.  One.  Needless to say, I was not happy.  Each test costs $120!  What could I do but re-take it? So I did.  Second time around, bam! I got a 247. :)

You're probably wondering why I still don't have my own classroom if I have a general teaching certificate. Well, I live in a small town in South Texas, with only one school district, who will not hire you without bilingual certification. So now here I am super excited that I can finally get my bilingual certification, oh but wait.  I knew the TOPT was being updated to include writing and would now be called the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) but I thought since I had already passed the TOPT I didn't have to take the new one.  Wrong!  I go online to inquire about my bilingual certification and was told I would need to take the BTLPT because the TOPT is no longer accepted.
(My reaction was very similar to Phoebe's :10 - :25)
The BTLPT has four domains:
I. Listening Comprehension - I had to listen to conversations and answer questions.
II. Oral Expression - I had to speak in different simulated situations.
III. Reading Comprehension - I had to read several reading selections and answer questions.
IV. Written Expression - I had to respond to an email, write a lesson plan, and state my position over a topic in essay format. 

Everything is in EspaƱol and all the sections are timed. No pressure.

The point of this long post?

I just got my examinee score report for the BTLPT today. Time for some Tommy Boy-style cartwheels!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Welcome to The Teacher Diaries!

I cannot tell you how inspired I am by all the wonderful teaching blogs I've found.  I mean, wow!  So much creativity and generosity!  After a few months of stalking visiting blogs, I decided to start my own!  Welcome to The Teacher Diaries!   My name is Brenda (you can call me Bren) :)  I am a 20-something year old educator.  I have a B.A. in Elementary Bilingual Education and an M.Ed in Reading. In the words of Buddy, the elf, "I love Reading! Reading's my favorite!"  I don't have my own classroom yet.  I cannot tell you how anxious, excited, and ready I am to get in there.  I've known I wanted to be a teacher since I was 12 years old.  I've been a Bible school teacher, a substitute teacher, and a tutor.  I am currently looking for a full-time job as an Elementary school teacher and I trust God has the perfect school for me.  In the mean time I am tutoring and now blogging!

Through this blog I hope to share lots of ideas, activities, lessons, and printables with you.  I also have a TpT store in the works.  I'll let you know as soon as it is up and running.  My blog is a work in progress as I'm still figuring all this out.  A BIG thank you to Mrs. Lindsey over at Teacher Blogging Basics.  Not only is she helping new bloggers, she also offers TpT help.  So if you are new to blogging and/or have opened up a TpT store, check out her blog.  She has great how tos.  I made my own blog button, which you are free to grab if you like, using one of her detailed how tos.  And I love it!

Before I go, I want to introduce you to my kitty, Paisley.  He's a year old, lazy, and fat.  And yes, I totally named him after Brad Paisley. :D

Til next time,

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