Friday, September 12, 2014

When Your Arm Doesn't Reach That Far: Photo Booth 101

Position the cell phone.  Snap a pic. I can take a better picture than that.

Reposition the cell phone. 10 more not quite right pictures. Ugh.  My arm is tired.  If only my arm could reach farther!

Now, will my finger be able to press the photo button without the phone falling?

Selfies are a lot of work for a very doctored "natural" photo.

We all deserve a candid photo showcasing our most photogenic self.  

A few years ago, at my cousin's wedding, I was introduced to the wedding 'photo booth' craze.

There were a variety of props, outfits, and signs to choose from.

No picture pressure. Everyone dressed up and looked rediculous.  My cheeks hurt from laughing.

I was hooked.

When these pictures surfaced on Facebook, my first reaction was to shield my eyes.  Surely, I showed too much teeth and looked a hot mess.

The pictures were amazing.  Hello, new Facebook profile picture! The camera had captured my authentic personality.

Photo Booth pictures work.

How could I use the photo booth idea in my classroom?

The first week of school I was the fun and cool teacher.  I had my photo booth bin and makeshift fabric background and the students ate it up.

The photo booth bin is now my beginning of the school year ice breaker activity. Student personalities shine through, we laugh a lot, and I get compliments on the photos year round.

In today's Teach Happy Friday Fun episode I help bring photo booth magic to your classroom.

Get ready to see your students in a whole new light!

Watch The Video Below! 


In the comments below I want to get to know and hear from you.

Fall is just around the corner.

What is your favorite fall food?

Thank you for watching and I can't wait to read and reply to your comments!

Remember to Teach Happy * Live Happy * Be Happy!


Sheila Jane

P.S. Stay tuned next Friday 9/19. I have a special 'Teachers We Love' interview with Angie Olson from Lucky Little Learners.  She is going to teach you the ins and out of Interactive Notebooks.  You don't want to miss it!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Using Technology Will Not Give You Typhoid: Podcast Episode #5 with Brittany Banister

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Sheila Jane Teaching on BlogTalkRadio

Have you ever felt behind the times or out of the loop when it comes to technology?  

You are not alone.  Technology is taking over our lives whether we want it to or not.    

As teachers, navigating the world of technology can seem daunting. iPad, Smart Board, Google Docs, QR codes, to tweet or not to tweet; we are left confused. 

Students are born speaking tech.  This new language allows 4 years olds to navigate a iPhone or iPad like they had one in the womb. Our sweet, little, innocent, kinder cuties know about hashtags.  #watchout  

Some schools are cutting edge and some are behind the times.  

Learn a tech skill in one school year, and the next year it is out of date.  I can barely keep up with the daily software updates on my little needy laptop.    

Remember the days when computers were just big, slow, clunky boxes?

In 5th grade, Apple Computer donated 30 computers to my school.  The only thing we used the computers for was to play Oregon Trail, of course.  Dysentary. Typhoid. Watch out for those snakes that just jump out and bite you!

Technology has come a long way. 

Many teachers argue that technology is the future of education, and technology impacts education in a positive way.

Brittany Banister, from Mrs. Banister's kindergarten, is a tech advocate. I must say.  If she can make technology work in a classroom full of kindergarteners then we should stop and take note.  

In today's podcast, Brittany shares how she uses technology in her classroom, how we can effectively use it in ours, and how tech can really provide a positive impact for student learning. 

Tweet It Out Teachers! Tweet: The biggest shift for educators using technology is not skill set; it's mindset." George Curous @sheilajteaching #edchat

Here is a list of Brittany's favorite Links:
*Two Techie Teachers --A joint blog I do with my best friend.  This is a work in progress, but we love sharing our knowledge!
* --GREAT resource for primary teachers!
*Buck Institute --The PBL guidebook
*Tech with Jen --She has a lot of great tech related products.  Her reading interactive notebooks are fantastic!
*I Teach with iPads --She's the real deal!
*Kleinspiration --Another great edTech resource!
I want to hear from you!   Leave a comment below and tell me:

What technology do you use the most? In your classroom? At home?  An app. Kitchen appliance?  

 I want to know.

Thank you for listening, commenting, and sharing this podcast with your friends.  You are an amazing teacher that deserves to teach happy, live happy, and be happy.


Sheila Jane

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Teachers We Love With Christina DeCarbo- Let's Keep It Real

Do you ever compare yourself to other teachers? 

You think: they have more followers, cuter products, better blog posts, and a prettier classroom.

Instead of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, you are keeping up with them.

I did this. I still do.

I wanted to be just like Cara Carroll, Babbling Abby, and Amy Lemons.

Who am I kidding?  I STILL want to be like these amazing teachers.  

Back in my first years of teaching, I would wonder 'How do they make it look so easy, cute, and perfect?'

My anchor charts ended up in the trash.  Students cried over my craft-ivities.  I cried over Power Point.  

I would teach a full day and stay up all night working on TPT products. I was forcing something that wasn't happening.

In all the comparison to others, I forgot to be me.

Long story short, I burned out quickly and my life became unbalanced.

Teachers will always be smart, crafty, talented, creative, funny and amazing.  That includes YOU TOO!

Be human. Share your insecurities and imperfections. Celebrate your unique talents and successes.

Simply put.  Be real.

Christina DeCarbo from the blog and TPT store Sugar and Spice, keeps it REAL. 

Christina manages newlywed life, a successful TPT store, a blog overflowing with ideas, and a classroom.

In today's episode of Teachers We Love, Christina is all HEART.

Here is a sneak peek! (below is the entire interview)


Christina shares how to stay balanced in a relationship despite a stressful career.  How to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes.  She puts TPT in perspective with helpful tips.  She also tells us how to shop a clothing sale.


Teachers, Tweet and Pin The Happy Out!

Tweet: Things are going to go wrong. You have to laugh at yourself and laugh with your students. Christina DeCarbo @sheilajteaching #edchat

Now I want to chat with you!  What is your favorite subject to teach?

Leave your comment below and take a few seconds to read and respond to a comment left by another Sheila Jane Teaching community member.   You never know how your comment or reply could brighten a day and make a difference.

Thank you so much for watching.  I look forward to seeing you below in the comments.

Sending you love and happiness,

Sheila Jane

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meet The Teacher: Who is Sheila Jane Teaching

I heard there was a Meet The Teacher Blogger Party going on over at Falling into First.  I think I am WAY beyond fashionably late.


I hope there are still some wild party animals out there! Anybody?!?!

Instead of typing my questions in blog form, I like to think of this post as a remix.  I took the questions and video taped my responses.

I like to call it: Get To Know The Teacher VLOGGER.

Think of vlogger as a cross between video and blog.

I hope you enjoy my video!

I promise you lots of cheesy singing and a big announcement.

Also, don't forget to comment below and let me know your favorite song!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Confused, Overwhelmed, and Unsure About How To Meet Special Education Student's Needs? Listen To This.

Discover Education Internet Radio with Sheila Jane Teaching on BlogTalkRadio
I have often said that Special Education might be my true calling.

The greatest teaching ah-has, successes, insecurities, and sleepless nights have come when I think outside of the box to meet a child's needs.  These students keep me on my toes, make me laugh and grow as a teacher.

As much as I am drawn to this realm of education,  I too am overwhelmed by the numerous acronyms, concerned parents, paper work, confusion, frustration, transitions, trial and error etc.  

I sought out an expert in the field to help answer our questions and give us successful ideas to implement for these students right at the start of school.

Gabrielle Dixon has served students with a range of special needs.  She has run her own resource room and has co-taught with several teachers.  She is currently an elementary Autism teacher.

In this podcast Gabrielle will simplify the world of Special Education.  She will be that boost of confidence and provide just the tips you need to ensure all your students succeed this school year!

Today's show notes are located at the bottom of the post.  Everything Gabrielle mentions in the podcast is linked and ready for you to access!

Teachers Tweet It Out!
Tweet: A child with special needs will inspire you to be a special kind of person. @teachhappynow

Gabrielle and I want to hear from you!

Share with us a treasured memory of when you taught or interacted with a special education student and witnessed light bulb go off.

We need your comment below to create a loving community of teachers who support one another by sharing experiences.

You never know the positive impact your comment could have on a teacher that really needs a boost.

Be sure to share this podcast with your teacher friends.

Sending you love and happiness always,

Sheila Jane

Show Notes:

-What made you decide to become an Autism teacher?

-What does your daily schedule look like?  Do you have any schedule recommendations for and autism class with 4 year olds.   Nap time?  

-How do you take data?  Do you have a special system, app that you use, way to keep track of the data?

-What are your favorite apps and technology that work effectively with your students? - I use this website to “shop” for apps for my students based on their needs. Although I try not to use the Ipad or the computer too much.

-For classroom teachers what is the best way to track accommodations made for a specific student?

-How does a school and classroom teacher help parents become informed advocates for their special needs child? 

Educate them through websites, parent nights, etc. I list a lot of different websites here:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your Classroom Decorating Wishes Come True With School Girl Style

Do you ever compare your classroom design to the beautifully decorated classrooms on Pinterest?

Do you doubt yourself?  Is chevron print still in?  Is it out?

Or maybe you are overwhelmed in Target, Walmart, or Michaels.  Should I change my theme?  What are my colors this year?  I have no money for this!

The Back To School season is upon us.  The overwhelming stress of  decorating a classroom weighs heavy on teacher's mind.

You don't need this kind of pressure!  You have plenty of other back-to-school prep and to-do lists to complete.

What if I told you that I have the secret to a beautiful classroom--all on a teacher friendly budget?

Enter the Classroom Fairy Goddess, otherwise known as Melanie from School Girl Style.  Melanie joined me for a very juicy chat recently.

Click play to find Melanie's hottest classroom decorating trends, mistakes you don't want to make, and how to design the classroom of your Pinterest dreams!


Tweet this School Girl Style wisdom out to all your teacher friends:
Tweet: A little goes a long way AND that includes chevron print too! @teachhappynow

Now it's your turn.  Melanie and I would love to hear from YOU in the comments below.

What is a classroom decorating tip or trick you are going to try this year?

Tell us about your classroom design vision.  Share the juicy details.   Plus, your classroom ideas might be just the inspiration another teacher needs.

I have even included a Classroom Photo Linky Par-tay below so you can link a blog post that includes pictures of your beautiful classroom!  If you link up please use the image below in your post and make sure to comment on a few other people's beautiful classroom photos.  Spread the love!  This Linky will run through August and September so please come back and link up at your convenience.

Join the Classroom Photo Link Up Party Here!

You spend a TON of time in your classroom.  You deserve a classroom  that is a true home-away- from-home.  A classroom that brings you great happiness and joy.

On a side note:  it feels great to be back from my summer vacation hiatus and to start blogging again.

I have missed you and the community of teachers that gathers here on my blog.  Your thoughtful comments make my heart sparkle and your ideas bring me such inspiration and joy!

Sending you lots of love and happiness,

Sheila Jane

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Date With Ryan Gosling and Go Noodle- Episode #03 With Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools

New Education Podcasts with Sheila Jane Teaching on BlogTalkRadio
After a long day he always has the right things to say.

He notices when I rearrange my student's seats and separate the talkers.  He thinks it's cute when I have dry erase marker on my fingers.

Ryan Gosling.

Where did I find such an amazingly supportive actor who understands the ins and outs of my teaching career?  Thank you, Kristin Walker, from Easy Teaching Tools.  

Ok, maybe Kristin did not introduce me personally to Ryan, but she does occasionally share the best "Hey Girl" pictures on her Instagram feed.

Tweet The Happy Out!
Hey Girl, Teaching is hard. Everything is going to be OK. Love, Ryan Gosling @teachhappynow

Finding Kristin through the Instagram teaching community was my lucky day.  Her interesting posts always have take aways.

Kristin brings not only humor, but she also offers teaching stories and expertise over on her blog.  Plus she has many successful products on Teachers Pay Teachers.

In today's podcast Kristin discusses many useful teaching tips that are just in time for summer!

"Go Noodle" is taking the teaching community by storm.  Is it worth the hype?  Do students really respond well to "Go Noodle" as a classroom management tool?  Should you take the time this summer to prepare "Go Noodle" for next school year?

Kristin piloted "Go Noodle" this last year and gives us the 411.

She also shares her best kept secrets to running a successful Word Study program.

And the topic teachers dread this time of year--- interviewing for a teaching position.  Kristin shares the interview tips that just may land you the job.

Summer is a teacher's time for rest and relaxation.  

Why not kick back and let Kristin take the guess work out of these hot teaching topics. 

With Kristen's help you could have something easily prepped and ready before the school year even starts.  Win! 

After listening to the podcast, Kristen and I want to hear from YOU. 
Share a teaching interview memory.  Funny, scary tidbits or a question you were asked.  Let us know!  We want to hear your interview story in the comments below.   

The Sheila Jane Teaching Community of teachers are kind and creative.  Your voice and participation is important.  Who knows your comment could be just what another teacher needs to hear.  

Please share this podcast with your teacher friends and colleagues who could benefit from Kristen's info.  

With love,
Sheila Jane 

Interview Links:
Word Study This is the book Kristen uses for Word Study. She has created power points to go with each sort. Keep your eyes peeled this week because she will be bundling and posting on TpT.

Go Noodle

Teacher Interviews
Combo Class