Meet the Teacher Blogger!

I am very excited to be joining the "Meet The Teacher Blogger" linky sponsored by Stephanie at Falling Into First!

I’m Katie and people call me … Katie. J I am a first year teacher teaching technology to kiddos in grades K-2  and have been blogging for about four years now, but only for about six months at this specific blog.
The last two years I worked at a middle school and I will miss my middle schoolers SO MUCH (especially some of the 8th graders who I’ve known since they were in 5th grade)! But I’m also very excited to be starting this new adventure with younger munchkins.

I am a born and raised Connecticutian and I could not imagine living anywhere else! I love really experiencing all four seasons and being close to the beach but still feeling like I live in a jungle/winter wonderland.

Soy ice cream. My family. [Wait. This isn’t in order of importance. Soy ice cream doesn't trump family. Just clarifying that.].  Clothes! [I have clothing issues. I may have mentioned that before.] Foooodddd [I Love Love Love eating.] Running [So I can eat a lot]. Children. Teaching. [Again, this list is NOT in order of importance!]

A personal shopper. Completely. I would love to go into peoples closet’s and take a catalog of what they own, then go shopping for them. Preferably online. I love finding steals, sales, discounts. There is nothing more satisfying to me than after looking at five sites finally finding the PERFECT __________ [coat, skirt, sweater] that I was looking for my whole life [okay, fine, maybe just for a couple years] then adding it to my bag, waiting for a sale or a discount [oh my, or both!] and buying it. It’s totally distracting and wonderful. The reason why I would love to be a personal shopper for other people is because I already honed the skills, but this way it wouldn't be my money [I’d actually GET paid money…for shopping. Imagine that], I wouldn’t have shoppers guilt, and I wouldn't have to worry about where in the world I was going to store the clothes. Total win-win.

Energetic. Creative. Hard working.

"I have way too much time on myhands...said no teacher EVER!!"

 Definitely Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss (Model). [And they are already friends – whoa!- this is practically realistic]. Kara Goucher (Elite Runner). Sarah Dessen (Writer). And Jesus. And my family. Because that way they could be a part of the awesomeness.  Is it bad that I also think it wouold fun to have someone from a long time ago like George Washington or Julius Caesar so I could pick their brain about what life was REALLY like a long time ago?

Oh my. I’m not sure. Running for Clothes. Kidding. :) 

 Running REALLY fast! Imagine – I could go and win Olympic marathons and track events with ease, and then go shop. I’d obviously have to control just enough so I win but it’s not like I’m winning by a crazy  amount.

“Opportunity is often missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work” –Thomas Edison. [Thank you junior year American Lit.] I also just realized why I love this quote so much – its inspiring…but it also mentions clothes! Gosh, I’m even more obsessed than I think.


“Pool Mashup – Just the Way You Are/Just a Dream” from Pitch Perfect. And I’d somehow be able to do evey girls part at the same time and it would be aca-awesome.

Night owl! You get to choose when you wake up and when you go to bed. With being a morning person, you have to decide to go to bed early in order to be in the slightest mood to wake up early. I know that makes no sense, but to a night owl, it makes perfect sense. I have some of my most productive hours at night. I’m afraid it’s a remnent from college. It would nice though to not have that mid-day slump followed by a burst of energy once its 9 at night.

My Book Quotes – it’s very organic as its something I started when I was writing down quotes I loved from different books. Then I created a display for my classroom and decided since I already made it I would share it on TPT as a freebie.


Hm. I am very silly. Actually you might have already figured this out. But I love adventures and laughing and just enjoying life. Siezing the moment. Living with your heart. 


Teaching Digital Ownership and Attribution

One thing I'm realizing about working with K-2 students before I've even started working with them is this: take that great goal, lesson, idea for middle schoolers and scale it back. For the last three years I've been working with students in grades 5-8 (half a year in a fifth grads clinical, half a year in student teaching in fifth grade, then two years in a middle school). It's been over three years since I've worked with the little ones! 

I met with the librarian yesterday and we started tossing around how doing a blogging project with our second graders would be fun. We talked a bit about which  forum to use and it got me wondering about pros and cons of early elementary blogging. When I googled it the first result was this article:

While meeting with the librarian we had briefly touched on Internet safety and netiquette, how they would fit into our year and how we could tie them into blogging. This article connects to netiquette in a way but it is more about ownership. As we put content on the internet there is the assumption that it is yours: no one is going to copy and paste this blog entry, or steal my tweet. 

One example of ownership issues that comes to my mind as a teacher are papers. I remember as a student my teachers and professors telling us they could check if we stole someone else's writing through a website. I also remember the very scary lectures on plagiarism. But now issues of ownership aren't just limited to term papers. They are much broader and apply to many areas. How though do you transfer the knowledge of ownership and respecting ownership to young students especially when they are and will be using digital tools in a variety of ways at a young age?

The site had the great idea of first having students create art work, then the teacher labels them with the wrong names and sees how the students react. You then build on that to explain ownership and attribution. For the sake of time (we only see each class once a week for 42 minutes)  it might be better to start off with artwork they had made previously. 

Building on this at Mrs. Barrett's blog ( she explained how after her class did this activity, the students watched a video on attribution then created their own presentations on educreations about what they had learned. 

The funny thing, I thought as I added page links after their ideas, is that giving credit where credit is due is largely instinctual now. I want to give credit, I want my readers to find where I got my information from, and I want my readers to go read these other articles so they can see for themselves how awesome they are.

But for young students (and older ones) I don't think it's sunk in yet WHY providing citations and respecting property ownership is so important and that's why I love this activity. It's a very visual and emotional way of teaching them a lesson in a safe environment. 


Currently August

I was so excited to think it's August! I can link up to Farley's Currently. Then I went to the link up and it was already closed. Sad face. So then I decided heck! I'm going to share my August Currently anyways! 
So I went to the notes section of my phone to draft my post...and I realized the date was July 31st! I was attempting to link up to the 2013 August Currently! 

Whoops! So I had to wait another day. Then I  became one of those "cray cray" people as Farley calls them who sit refreshing her site waiting for the latest Currently! There is just something nice about summarizing yourself for the month in one post. But! Then it was 4:57 and it still wasn't up. Which made me sad. Then I realized-wait! It's Friday! So I decided to link up to Five for Friday....then I checked Farley's Facebook page...and lo! There it was. And now here I am. 

I usually fill in my Currently using Paint or PowerPoint but this month I did something a little different: I used the app Picture This to add text to the picture. You can only add one blurb of text at a time - you can't create multiple text boxes or add spaces between lines. I had to carefully add text for one section, write my response, size and position the text in the appropriate space, then save the picture. I would then reopen the picture and add my next chunk of text. As you can see you can only fit so much text in the space before it went onto a new line - this made me choose my words carefully!

It was definitely a bit of a process and I'm not sure if students would have the patience/dexterity (especially younger students that I'll be working with) to do the same. There were several times the sizing or text got messed up and I had to start all over again! This app also has drawing capabilities and is similar to Paint. The drawings can then be saved as a picture to your camera roll. 

I think it would be better used in this capacity as a way for students to draw a picture as a response and provide a single written caption. The picture could then be saved and printed and displayed in the classroom similar to how you would display any other drawing and written response. Now I'm actually really excited! My inner geek is coming out and I can't wait to try this with my kindergarteners! 

Listening - I know that's totally TMI but as I was filling it out I paused, listened, and all I could hear was me chewing my food. So thus, my answer.

Loving- This picture! It made me realize how little I have gone swimming in my pool this summer! Tomorrow, I resolved I am going swimming. It's such an awesome feeling and I miss it!!

Thinking - Now, I'll tell you about a dream I had last night. It started off I was in my classroom making decorations. I was creating these really big capital letters A-Z and somehow I had found the easiest way ever to color them in and I was so excited (don't ask me what my method actually was - it was one of those dreams where things just don't quite make sense). Then someone (or my internal self?) had the great idea I could use the letters as part of a 'getting to know you activity' giving each child the letter of their first name and they would do something (I think in the dream it was putting the letters on another paper and having them write next to the letter - but now that I'm awake I'm thinking it would make more sense to have the students do something on the letters since they were so large) with them. 

Then I realized I would have to go look at my class list because I would have to change what letters I was making (this part does not coincide with reality as next year I'll essentially be a specials teacher and I get to work with all students in the whole school - if I were to make a letter for all of them myself I would be drawing and cutting until the end of September!). 

Then (as in dreams) it was suddenly the first day of school and we were completing the Getting to Know You activity. Except it wasn't working that well because I had no classroom management system in place. Then I had a light bulb moment that I need to teach classroom management (at least a few key point of it) before beginning more ambitious projects with my students. 

When I woke up it was a light bulb moment again! I quickly grabbed my notebook and jotted down some notes. Then now as I was writing this I was wondering if it was possible to do both at the same time? For example teach the behavior skill then  have them practice it while doing a very simple getting to know you activity - would that be too complicated though? When I student taught I started in January so the classroom management system was already in place and the students already knew each other and the teacher. I would love to hear other bloggers experiences. 

But I'm hoping I have dreams like these all the time! How awesome is it when your subconscious gives you guidance and ideas - and in your sleep no less! 

Wanting - On Monday I am meeting with the librarian who I will be working closely with this next year and I am so excited! I'll be able to see my work and teaching space and start getting a handle on what I can do to prepare for the year ahead. Did I mention I'm so excited!?

Needing - While I was waiting for the new Currently I spent the morning pinning! It's been a while since I've pinned and it felt wonderful! Check me out at Teach Voracious. I also pretty much repinned all of Courtney Gilreath's pins on classroom decoration! Check her out-she has loads of great ideas. 

But that was not what I needed to do! I also spent the morning actually finishing my masters portfolio. I know, I know. I wrote that lovely post months ago saying that I had finished it. Well I had received an email back in June from my adviser with some...suggestions... to make it stronger...or else. Okay maybe it wasn't that bad, but I was definitely bummed about having to go back to something I thought was done! 

Oh did I mention that I didn't read the email till yesterday and I have exactly 11 days before the university evaluates my portfolio to see whether I earned my masters degree? Oh and did I mention that my brand new sparkling job teaching technology is based on an assumption that I will officially have my degree by the time school starts? 

Gah! I definitely had a little breakdown then went on a run, had a good nights sleep then worked on it today. I got three of the four critiques handled and now I just have to fix one more thing. Of course, I saved the biggest item for last! 

Andd- My first day back is August 21st. I lied and said it was the 25th in my last post. I have new teacher training for the 21st and 22nd, then regular teacher meetings/days on the 25th and 26th, then the kiddos start on the 27th. For me, I feel like ah so soon! But I know some of you start even earlier (the 11th?! I could not be you Farley!).

Happy August and Happy Friday!


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