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July Currently and A Writing Process Freebie

Hello Friends,

I am enjoying these first weeks of summer vacation and getting a lot of stuff done!!  It is really hard to find the time to do everything that I want to do!  I bet all teachers feel that way in the summer!  It is like I am trying to pack a whole year of chores and vacation activities into a few months.

My "To Do" List:
  • Cleaning up 9 months worth of dust, dirt and clutter from the house
  • Making summer memories with my kids
  • Long-term lesson planning for next school year
  • Catching up on my reading
  • Catching up on my excercise
  • Stocking my pantry and making freezer meals for the fall "crazies"
  • Yardwork (ugh) of the things I dread about summer
The list goes on and on...

Here is my July Currently....

Living with teens is a curse and a blessing.  One of the blessings is that, if you let them, they will sleep in very late, making for very quiet and peaceful mornings.

If you haven't taken the plunge and signed up for Microsoft Office 365....I highly recommend it (especially if you use Powerpoint for creating Tpt products).  You pay a monthly fee, which keeps your product updated, meaning you always have the newest version.  They have Skydrive, which means your files are saved on a "cloud", so if your computer crashes your files are safe.  Plus, you have access to your files from any computer connected to the internet, using your Skydrive login.  The most amazing thing about it is that you have access to the latest version of matter what computer you are using because you can access 365 and use it online.  That means if your computer at work still has the 2003 version of Office (like my school district), you can use the 2013 version on your school computer by logging in to your Microsoft Office online account without downloading any software at all!!!!!  So brilliant!!!

Last week I went on a three day Leadership retreat with an amazing group of teachers.  Our focus was learning about how to put Stephen Covey's 7 Habits into practice in our very busy teacher lives, both personally and in our classrooms.   I was already very familiar with Covey from reading his book years ago....but never really changed my habits.  There was something about this retreat and the wonderful people in our group that really has me motivated to make some real changes both personally and professionally.  I am beginning by working on some long-term goals.  Covey challenges us all to plan our 80th birthday party (i.e. what kind of person do you want to be remembered as, what do you most want to accomplish).  He calls it "beginning with the end in mind", the second habit of highly effective people.  This really has me inspired to sit down and set some long term goals.

I started my workout program.  I trimmed the front bushes (with a really heavy power trimmer).  I am very, very, very sore.  Ouch!

One of the joys of summer vacation...leisurely enjoying my coffee into the late morning hours!

Have you heard of de-contaminated space?  This was something else that I picked up at my retreat. One of the presenters shared this idea:  Always teach from a spot that is different from where you "correct" (i.e., nag at) your students.  By nagging at your students from the same spot from which you teach, contaminates the area, making it a place where students will tune you out, which is the last thing you want when you are introducting your students to new content.  Keep your teaching space uncontaminated!  She also mentioned that you should always call for attention from the same place, rather than from different places around the room, which will reduce your transition times.

I hope you all are having an amazing summer!!  Thank you so much for reading!

Here is freebie for you:

Love and peace,


  1. I think I need to make a massive to-do list this summer.. because it has been one full week since school ended, and the most I have accomplished is making a couple blog posts and searching Pinterest like a crazy woman. Maybe if I make a list, I will be more motivated =)

    You're really swaying me into signing up for Microsoft 365.. I don't need it.. but now I want it! lol

    I'm your newest follower! =)

    The Resource Room Teacher

  2. Just stopping by for July Currently. It is so nice to have some quiet time, huh? :) I'm your newest follower. Stop by when you get a chance. Happy 4th of July!

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox,

  3. Hi Kathy. I got nominated for a Liebster Award, and one of the questions was about favorite blogs. I listed your blog because yours is the blog that really inspired me to start my own blog. I'm giving you my own special award - Watermelon Blogger of the Month!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas, susan k.