Big Ideas for Little Hands: June 2015

Favorite Professional Development Books

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Trio for my first ever Favorite Things Linky!

Over the summer is my time to relax and wind down from the past school year. I also like to think back and reflect on what went well and what areas I need to improve. Each summer I pick a few Professional Development books to read or reread to freshen up and get ready for the upcoming school year and the new amazing kids that will be in my class. Here's my Favorite Summer Reading Professional Development Books!

This summer, picking the books was very easy. You may remember this picture I post on Instagram a few weeks ago to kick off my Summer Reading.

This was my original plan for summer reading but I had to switch one book out. More about that in a minute. Onto the books!

The Leader In Me - This upcoming school year our school is Adopting "The 7 Habits of Happy Kids." I am so excited about this new change. Yes, it will be a lot of work in the beginning but I have seen and heard so many wonderful things from this that it makes me so excited. We had some training last year on each habit but I want to dive in deeper and really give this a try. Does anyone use this at their school? Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

Daily 5 - I read this book last year and it was amazing! It has completely changed how I run my room and the kids are in complete control of their choices and love it! I feel like they have more freedom and so do I. I am also able to differentiate more and that was an area I struggled in before. I still have some kinks that I need to work out for this upcoming school year so I am rereading parts to freshen up and make a few changes for next year.

The Next Steps in Guided Reading - Ok, this book is not in the picture above but I have a very good reason for this. I began the summer wanting to read Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. I feel like sometimes I use worksheets as fillers and really need to get away from this and use worksheets more effectively when I do use them. However, I was asked to be part of a book study about Guided Reading and of course I could not say no. I love teaching small reading groups and am in the process of getting my Reading Specialist so I am very excited to join this book study! Be on the look out for future posts when the book study goes live on the blog in mid July. 

Now I am off to get reading and learning to prepare for next year! Head on over to The Teaching Trio to link up with 3 Favorite Things.

Work it Wednesday: Week 2

I'm back for another Work It Wednesday link up with Katie!

With all of our travels this summer, trying to get a workout in sometimes seems impossible. Squeezing in a walk or a quick run is about all we can get in when we are on vacation. I am so happy to be home this week and get back to the gym.

I absolutely LOVE my gym. I have been at Curves since 2009 and they push me more and more each day. Ok, ok, when I tell people that I go to Curves, most people roll their eyes and say whatever. But I am serious, this Curves is not like any Curves I have been to before. They have a personal trainer that stays at the circuit with you pushing you and telling you what to do. There may be a little arguing on my part going on but they never let me quit or give up. They offer classes twice a day and we go to every class that we can. 

So with us being on Summer Break, you can believe that we are there for both classes each day. We've already done Zumba, Turbo Kick, Butts and Guts, Abs, and Total Body and it's only Wednesday! Can we say that I am beyond sore. I absolutely love this gym!!! Have I said that already :)

But my favorite part of working out is that I have the absolute best workout partner I could ask for, my daughter. She is by my side for every class yelling encouraging me as much as the trainers are. We are in this together and it is great bonding time. Best work out buddy I could ask for! Even though she can be very goofy at times :)

I'm also trying to get better with logging my food and workouts on MyFitness Pal. If you want to link up my username is DDgirl4ever.  

Now head on to Katie's blog to link up for Work It Wednesday!

Dare to Dream

I am so excited for Week 2 of the TPT Seller Challenge! This week we are sharing our dreams, big and small. TPT has truly changed my life, not only in teaching but also in my personal life. I cannot imagine where I would be without TPT and now blogging. I have made some amazing friends, found great inspiration, and some awesome ideas to use in the classroom.

Now it is time for me to share my dreams for professional and personal. Some of these dreams would remain dreams if it was not for TPT.

Finish my doctorate degree: This was honestly not even on my list of things to do a few years back. Then I had a friend inspire me to go back and work on my EDS. After much debating, my husband convinced me to go back and I am so thankful for that. I have learned so much through this program. I will obtain my Reading Specialist Degree in December and then continue on for my Doctorate. Now the deal was that when I graduate with this amazing degree I will get the car of my choice. Well, my hubby is very obsessed with cars (like seriously, he has a 1 of 24 car that he searched forever for) so he was not going to object to this deal. So take a peek at what I hope will be in my driveway in 2 years :) Seriously, how beautiful is that!

Travel: Sadly this is one luxury we have yet to experience. One of the many reasons my hubby joined the Army was to travel. Well, let's just say that he was hoping to travel to more places than just Kentucky, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Also, with his crazy work schedule and last minute "trips," planning a vacation is nearly impossible. We have had to cancel 6 trips in the past 3 years. We are now more determined than ever to find some time to travel the world. We have a very long bucket list but these are two of the places we want to go the most!

Presenting at Conferences: Every time I attend a conference, I am always so inspired by each presenter as they share ideas, strategies, and experiences. I also love meeting other teachers and discussing with them things about their classroom. I would love to be able to share my story, my ideas, and my experiences with others in a large group format. This is one reason I have found a love for blogging. I just hope that I can be someone's inspiration just like many teachers were mine.

Save for Future: Being an Army Spouse, you never know what the future holds and when. Right now, we are living by what the Army tells us to do and where to go. But eventually we will be able to chose where we want to go and what we want to do. I want us to be able to move to a dream location and get our dream house together with nothing holding us back or stopping us. Right now we can't plan that far ahead but I want to be prepared for anything and everything that our future will hold.

What are your future goals? They can be personal or professional. I would love to hear. Leave a comment below or link up with week 2 of the challenge!

Makeover Madness

Oh! My! Goodness! Look at this amazing blog!!! Kristen over at Chalk & Apples really outdid herself. I am still in shock over how amazing it looks. I cannot believe that this blog is mine. It is better than I could have ever imagined. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of my classroom and just makes me smile.

Kristen was so easy to work with and made the entire design process so easy. If you are thinking of getting a blog makeover I would highly recommend Kristen!
Chalk & Apples 
I am also so excited to be part of the TPT Seller Challenge! Each week we will have a new challenge so stay tune for all of the fun.

One of the things on my ever growing to-do list this summer was to update some old products. Well the #TPTSellerChallenge came just in time! For week 1 of the challenge, we had to do just that. One thing I had on my to-do list to update my beginning Interactive Notebooks for Reading Street.
I updated the first of many Interactive Notebooks and will hopefully update Units 2-4 by the end of the summer. So be on the look out for the new updates with the new updated cover also. I added 6 more pages also! You can download the updates for free by going to your My Purchases page or just downloading again directly from the item. Click the picture above to go to the product. I hope you enjoy the new updates and I am so excited for this motivation to keep updating! Check back for more updates!

In honor of the big Makeover Day, for the blog and products, I am putting my store on sale today and tomorrow. Stop by and grab some things to help you get ready for the new school year!