Soccer Players Mix & Match

Soccer Players Mix & Match

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Hello and happy Saturday. I know you’re probably watching a World Cup match right now, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet. My name is Camila and I am genuinely into soccer. Yes, I occasionally watch other sports, but my absolute favorite is soccer, or football, which is how every country in the world but the US calls it.

I got into soccer in 2015, when I was a student-teacher, and I was able to work with second-grade boys. In Colombia, most boys that age have one thing in mind: soccer. They were the shirts from their favorite teams and players, they discuss the latest matches and news, and obviously in recess they play soccer.

It was because of those students I had over three years ago that I created the first version of my Soccer Player Mix & Match, which is now available in my TpT store. You can check it out by clicking here. I truly believe that students are more successful when we present them with topics they are passionate about, and when we combine said passions with our academic goals. I believe that teachers are allowed to have fun in the classroom too, and that actually when we do, our students are even more engaged because they sense that we are into what we’re teaching.

In the comments below, tell me about a passion of yours, and the ways in which you integrate it with your students.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Call Me Miss Camila

Call Me Miss Camila

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Hello and happy Saturday. I’m exhausted but I feel super accomplished and excited today because I’m (finally) officially Miss Camila in TpT.

TpT stands for Teachers Pay Teachers, an awesome site I love because I have access to a ton of resources made by teachers like myself, and I can also create and sell my own products. I’ve had my store for a while now, and one of my objectives after quitting my job would be to dedicate that extra free time I had to my little material development projects.

My store was originally called The Cool Teacher Diaries because that was the name of my teaching blog and Instagram. Now, when I created this unified blog and my unified Instagram account, I thought it would be nice to someday change the name of my TpT store as well, but I didn’t give much thought into actually doing it until a few months ago.

Changing the name of the store was easy, and took no time. The annoying, exhausting part was having to change each individual product as well as its cover design because these all had my old name. I procrastinated for quite a while, advancing on other TpT and blogging projects until today I decided that I just had to get my store’s name changed and move on with my life. So, yes, I’m finally Miss Camila in all of my public social media, which makes me super happy.

If you want to check out my store, click here. I’m always open to suggestions and requests in terms of the products you’d like to see in it.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Updated Multi-Class Weekly Planner

Updated Multi-Class Weekly Planner

TpT Cover Design.jpgHello and happy Saturday. I think I’ve told you before that I teach different subjects in different grades, which means I need to be super organized with my planning so that I don’t go crazy.

I am a planner, both in my personal and in my professional life, and that means that before each week starts, I have to write down what I’m doing each day. In my post on how I keep organized, and then in my update, you can see that I tried a format for weekly lesson planning, which I complemented with color-coding so that I could easily find each class and know what I had to do.

The system worked for me for a few months, but I wasn’t in love with the design of the planner. You see, the full pages only held two or three days each, so I had to constantly flip through pages, which is annoying, and I felt that there was a lot of extra space I was wasting because there were eight slots per column, but I was only using five.

I felt like I could work better with a simpler template, and that’s when I decided that instead of looking through the perfect planner on Pinterest to print and download, I could come up with my own. Basically, I needed a chart with the days of the week on the top row, and the names of each of my classes on the left-side column. I still color-code because that way it’s even easier for me to spot a class and see what I have to do.

I fill out my planner by hand, and it serves two purposes for me: one, if I look at each column, I can see my full day of classes; and two, if I see each row, I’m looking at a week’s worth of lessons for each of my classes. I find that filling this planner is way easier, and I’m also saving paper because I’m using one sheet at a time as opposed to one.

You can get this template for free by clicking here. If you use it, let me know how you liked it. Remember that I’m always creating new resources and putting them in my TpT store, so be sure to check it out.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Useful Links for Teachers and Parents

Useful Links for Teachers and Parents

TpT Cover Design (1)Hello and happy Saturday. Every week, I send a homework to my pre-K and Kindergarten parents. This is an online homework that often involves videos, fun websites, and interactive games, so I’m always in the lookout for cool new channels and pages. Since the previous school year, I’ve been collecting links and I’ve been adding them to this cheat sheet of mine, which is always growing thanks to the modifications I make.

Now, I’m passionate about technology and the wonders of Internet, but I know not all teachers and not all parents are like that, so I decided to share this cheat sheet with you, you just need to click here to access it from my TPT store.

There are many cool things, in my opinion, about this resource. Number one, you can actually click the links from the PDF and go directly to the various sites listed. Number two, this is a free resource, a little treat for you. And finally, number three, whenever I update it, you’ll be able to download the newest version at no cost. Pretty cool, huh?

I made this cheat sheet thinking about the students I’m currently working with, so it can work for kids in pre-k through first grade. If you have any suggestions of links or categories I should include in this resource to make it even better, please let me know in the comments.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

How to Use My New Resources

How to Use My New Resources

My Teaching Resolution.pngHello and happy Saturday. It’s been the longest while since I last created and put a resource up for sale in my TPT store. What is crazy is that it’s been an even longer time since I last created a product that I could actually use with my current students, but here I am, writing this post about not one but two products I created for my classes, and which you can now get and use for yours.

In my school, we work with the Splash books for Pre-K and Kindergarten, and then with Journeys for Transition (1st grade), and sometimes those books by themselves and activities they propose are not enough, at least not for me as a teacher. I’m a creator at heart, and I love developing new materials, so whenever I see the chance to make a new worksheet or even something more complex, that I know will benefit my students (or other people’s students) I go for it.

With my Kindergarten boys we are working on nursery rhymes and folk tales, as part of the theme “established” by the books. As part of my own planning, I decided to work with the rhyme “Jack Be Nimble,” and so the idea is for students to recite it, we even reenacted it, and to work on some basic vocabulary.

For this, I thought it would be fun and challenging enough to have the boys complete the rhyme using drawings, given that they don’t write in English yet. I used the Mother Goose Club version for the lyrics, and designed this sheet, which has the rhyme with a blank space at the end of each line for students to make a drawing. If you have early finishers, you can encourage them to trace words from the rhyme.

My Transition boys can do more complex activities, so I designed a multi-step worksheet for them as a follow-up to the story Turtle Splash!: Countdown at the Pond by Cathryn Falwell. This book comes with the whole Journeys Kindergarten pack that is sold to schools, so I’m not sure whether you can buy it separately. There’s a video of the story you can watch and use in case you don’t have the book, which is actually what I watched when I was designing the worksheet at home.

Basically, what I used both the story and the worksheet for is to review a set of concepts we worked on the previous year. Firstly, the boys had to read the names of numbers (if that actually makes any sense), and trace them the colors I told them. Then, they had to complete each sentence using an action (from the story). It’s important for me to continually review vocabulary related to action words with my boys, and to have them write and read more complex words.

Finally, after each sentence, there is a space for students to draw the amount of turtles mentioned at the beginning of the sentence. This can be seen as the fun reward for them (my boys love drawing!), but it’s also a way for teachers to assess if they really are making an association between then number in written form and the amount it indicates. You can get that worksheet clicking here.

If you get these products, or any of the ones in my store, let me know what you think. If there’s something you’d like me to create, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to help!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

My TPT Store

My TPT Store

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Hello and happy Saturday. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when you go to this blog’s home page, there’s a pink menu and a link that says TPT. TPT stands for Teachers Pay Teachers, a site I absolutely love because it is a marketplace for any sort of teaching resource you can ever think of, from single worksheets to whole bundles with the yearly planning of a specific subject.

I love TPT because there are always freebies and because through TPT I’ve discovered amazing teachers. I’m also a seller on TPT, which means that I upload my resources to my store, for other people to buy and download. I started my store because I thought it was the best way to share materials I’d developed with other teachers, you know? To have everything in one place.

Probably my most successful resource is the book study for The Girl Who Survived, a book written by Bronia Brandman and Carol Bierman. When I uploaded it, my store had all sorts of random products I’d created. I really didn’t have a “brand,” I just put stuff in my store for fun. With time, however, I’ve made some changes and I’m planning to make even bigger ones, which is why I’m writing this post.

The first thing I did way remove all the products that hadn’t been successful or that I wasn’t too proud of. I always upload resources that I have used or would use in my classes, but there’s some stuff that I could just keep in my personal files. If you go to my store now you’ll see I have song workshops, book and movie studies, and just a few “random” products like a worksheet on capitalization, my dictionary of long vowels, and a daily assessment form. I know that I should remove those products, and I will one day, but I need to have added other products before.

Another change I made was putting covers to all of my products. They are not unified, but at least they’re all pink and have my store’s name. By the way, my store is called The Cool Teacher Diaries because that was the name of my previous blog, and it’s also my Instagram username. I’m thinking about changing the color of the covers, but I’ll probably do it next year, so each year is a different color.

Now when I say that I’m making some big changes in my store, I mean that I want to focus my products on song, movie or book studies. I’ve found that I enjoy creating resources like this, and that other teachers appreciate them as well. I create this resources based on what I like, but I’d like to have more solid criteria for my creation process.

Here’s where you, my friends, come in. In the comments, let me know if you have a TPT store so that I can look you up, and also tell me if there’s a book, a movie or a song you would like me to create a product about.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

“Moana” Teacher Review and Movie Study

“Moana” Teacher Review and Movie Study

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Hello and happy Saturday. I recently watched Moana because apparently I’d been living under a rock and had missed out on that wonderful production by Disney. Of course, I watched it with teacher eyes, which means I constantly thought about ways to incorporate this movie into my classes, or rather ways to plan a lesson that revolves around Moana. I think this movie is relevant in many aspects, which makes it perfect of teachers of any grade to work with.

As a preschool teacher, I immediately thought of how cool it would be to work on a whole science unit that revolves around Moana. The way it presents nature and the sea as this characters that are always there, and the way it shows the damage humans have done to them is so clear that I think it can get little kids to reflect about our environment and come up with ideas to save it. Obviously the movie is a whole metaphor, but it’s a great one.

Now, I love the cultural aspect of this movie because it shows us that there are people who think and live different than us, and that Greek or Latin myths are just two examples of the way in which people thought about their origins. I’m already thinking how cool it would be to do a project on the whole Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures, or to encourage children to explore different groups of people, based on their mythology. I think one of the conclusions they’d reach is that we are not that different from one another, even if we have different lifestyles and belief systems.

Finally, for older students, I would work on female empowerment. I would encourage students to analyze the movie and look for examples where Moana was empowered and them some others that are a portrayal of sexism. I would have them think and write about how they think the story would’ve gone had the main character been a man, and just have them reflect on the importance of movies for young children portraying strong women as main characters, as opposed to princesses who became worthy by marrying a prince they’d just met.

I’m obviously writing all these ideas in the hopes of making them a reality one day, or inspiring someone to do so. I also made this movie study that’s on my TpT store and you can check out by clicking here. I don’t want to make any promises, but I’ll try to make more movie and book studies and have them in my store.

What other movies should I make worksheets or activity sets for? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

The Age of Miracles Novel Study and Review

The Age of Miracles Novel Study and Review

Hello and happy Saturday. If you’re my friends on Goodreads, you probably know it took me the longest time to read The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, a book I found at a Dollar Tree during my latest trip to the U.S in July 2016.

It is a good book, and I think I really started loving it during the last hundred pages, the thing is it took me so long to finish reading it because I was simultaneously coming up with a novel study to sell on my TPT store.

Now, here’s where having one blog for everything becomes really fun and useful for me, because I can talk about my bookish things and my teaching things in the same space.

For those of you who don’t know, TPT stands for Teachers Pay Teachers, a website in which teachers post their products (which can be free or have a price) so that other teachers can get them. It is an absolutely fantastic idea, and I can’t tell you how many times a product on TPT has helped my lessons. A few months ago I decided to create my own store and sell my resources, and actually this very morning I updated it and made some changes to the product listing, and also to my profile picture to match the one I use in this blog and in other social media.

I decided to make a novel study for this book because I think it’s got one of those stories that is very relevant for our time, and it has the reader thinking the whole time and asking themselves questions that can spark very interesting discussions. This book is told by eleven-year-old Julia, and it starts around the time when everybody starts realizing that the Earth is slowing down, which causes the days and nights to be longer. Julia’s narrative alternates between all the changes the world undergoes due to the slowing, but it also focuses on her own life, her family, her relationships with friends, and even what happens with her crush, Seth Moreno.

The reason why it took me so long to read, and also the reason why I think this book would be great for middle school or even underclassmen is because it constantly made me stop and reflect upon what I just read. Though I did come up with a novel study that has a space to write one’s answers after each question, I think it’s a book that can easily be worked on by discussing it in class. I believe it is controversial enough to serve as the starter for debates, and that it is so close to what we’re living with climate change that amazing research papers can come from ideas present in this book.

If you’re interested in the novel study, click here to check it out. I also put together a preview, which are the questions for one of the longest chapters. You can download those and then see if you’d like to pay for the whole novel study, including pre and post reading questions. Please let me know if there are other books you’d like me to see and make novel studies for, and I’ll be sure to check them out!

Happy Saturday!

Love, Miss Camila