Teachers Helping Teachers - Oakview Elementary

       This school year has been more stressful than usual for three schools in the Oceanview School District in Huntington Beach, CA.  They were displaced from their usual campuses while asbestos was to be removed from their school sites.  This displacement was unplanned and meant that teachers were unable to get their supplies from their classrooms.  The district found places for school to continue but it required so much to be purchased and donated in order for learning to happen for all these students.

       From a teacher-point-of-view, I can think of some stressors:
  • the change of commute for the teachers and students to get to the different locations
  • the lack of books, curriculum, supplies, etc.
  • the classroom management would be all wonky since they're in a new location and their routines aren't the same
  • the disruption in teaching time from the abrupt move
  • there would be so much extra planning time required to figure out and prep how to teach concepts without their usual resources
  • when they return to their rooms they need to redecorate their walls
  • they will need to unpack and find their stuff that was handled by other people 

       One of the schools, Oakview Elementary, was moved to a school building about 30 minutes away, right behind Knott's Berry Farm.  For some people this might not seem like a long trip to school but it is a drastic difference for these families and their work schedules . . . Southern California traffic can make things even more unpredictable.  
See the roller coaster in the background?  I stood there for a long time trying to capture people riding on it.  Some of the students had never seen a roller coaster before.
       People from our church have been building relationships with this school and other leaders in the Oakview neighborhood over the last two years.  So Oakview has worked its way into our prayers over the years.  What would bless these teachers during this time?  Our TeachersPayTeachers store is mostly middle school resources so that doesn't really help.

Sometimes it helps to think bigger.

What is a need that we have connections to help fill?    

       Since last year's TpT conference we have been meeting and collaborating with some incredible teachers.  We might not have much to give but what if others are willing to give what they have?  It doesn't hurt to ask.

I have been so overwhelmed with the generosity of TeachersPayTeachers' sellers who were willing to give some of their best resources away during these teachers' time of need. 

       We were able to get a list of resources together for the Oakview Teachers to choose from.   

       This blog post is long-overdue (you'll notice by some of the holiday resources mentioned and responses from teachers) but I want to give a shout out to these teacher-sellers and thank them greatly for their generosity:  

Erin Cobb from I'm Lovin' Lit
     Erin is a top seller on TpT.  So many teachers use her Interactive Notebooks in their classrooms.  She is quite a creative and thoughtful lady.  I have gleaned lots of wisdom from her and her story of TpT success. She is humble and helpful. It's been fun to get to know her and to hear of her adventures in and out of the classroom.  
      Erin donated her three best-selling resources to all the upper grade teachers. The teachers were so happy to receive the Interactive Reading Literature Notebooks ~ Literary Elements for Common Core 4-8, Interactive Reading Notebooks Informational Text: Nonfiction for Common Core 4-8, and Interactive Writing Notebooks ~ Sentences & Paragraphs for Common Core 3-8.  If you are a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers, you can learn from her at the upcoming TpT Conference this summer in Las Vegas.     

Mrs. Renz from Mrs. Renz' Class
     We got the pleasure of meeting Heather and her daughter, Hillary, at last year's TpT conference while we were waiting in line for our photos to be taken. (What were those photos used for, anyway? I've not seen them anywhere.) The resources in her store are incredibly thorough. Mrs. Renz donated an Owl Themed Teacher Binder, a few 50 States Research Projects, a 12 Days of Christmas Math Problem-Solving activity, and the super-time-saving-magic for all vocabulary lovers (me!) named Math Vocabulary Posters - All CCSS-M Math Word Wall Words for 5th grade
     You guys, her Math Vocabulary Posters just blew me away.  She has 348 full-page math vocabulary posters for 5th grade!  Academic language is so crucial for students to understand and be able to read.  I had dreams of making this type of resource when I taught 2nd grade and never got past writing the list of words I wanted kids to know to read.  Mrs. Renz made it real and is sharing it for other 5th grade teachers to use . . . oh, and she has them for 3rd and 4th grade too!
Jen from Hello Mrs. Sykes 
     She is a lover of words, too.  Her store is full of fabulous looking ELA resources.  She donated her Prefix and Suffix Bundle and her Mystery Word of the Week Bundle. These resources would have been so fun to have in my second grade classroom!  While helping prep the Prefix and Suffix bundle for the Oakview teachers, I had a longing to be back in the classroom with a class of kids and see them understand the meanings of certain prefixes and suffixes in this fun way.
These cards show the optional decorative
backsides of the prefix and suffix game cards. 
     Jen is a patient and loving teacher that goes beyond just helping students learn.  She understands the importance of meeting kids' core needs to help get them to a place where they can function in a classroom and be ready to learn.  She shared a story of one child on her blog and it is quite a motivating reminder of the impact a teacher can have beyond just teaching grade level concepts (though that's important too :-) ).

Jennifer from Everything Just So
     Jennife's tagline is, "One girl's attempt to make everything 'just so.'"  Depending on our personalities, I'm sure many of us can connect with that sentiment. 
Jonathan and I were quite impressed by her cover design style which she had recently revamped.  Some teachers requested her Thanksgiving Mini-Unit with Close Reading Practice (this process all started in October so this request made sense :-) ) and her Superhero Character Education Posters that the 5th grade teachers were super excited about. 

Tonja Irvine from Smart Puppy Learning & Ta-Doodles Illustrations
     Tonja says, "I love my life and the chance for new adventures and challenges!" What a great and valuable attitude for life, especially as a teacher. The kindergarten Oakview team requested her Let Me Count the Ways Number Practice activities can be used all year to practice counting, and her Word Construction- Making Words Kinder to practice sight words and words families in a systematic way.

Tami from Kamp Kindergarten
     Tami comes from a family with many teachers. You can tell a value for education and developmental learning has been instilled in her. She and her husband have visited most of the lower 48 states with their camper. She donated her Christmas Addition Practice (Sums of 0-5) and (Sums of 6-10).
Snow Day Winter Ten Frames.

Linda Nelson from Primary Inspiration 
     Linda gave her best-selling item for 1st & 2nd grade, 100 Riddles from the 100's chart.  This resource seems like a fun way to get students thinking about the hundreds chart.
     She is a retired teacher and one of the things she misses is "reading aloud to the little ones with great theatrics." Linda is a sweet lady, and it sounds like her grandkids are sure lucky to have her as their thoughtful grandma.
Christine Reeve from Autism Classroom News has a passion for working with individuals with Autism and has over twenty years of experience.  She uses her expertise to create resources for teachers to reach all students with a variety of abilities and special needs.  She donated her Money Tasks Galore for grades 1-3.  This product is impressive. It's a bundle of six of her money sets. The cards are differentiated so you can pick and choose which cards to use depending on what the students are currently learning.
Miss Outgoing helping package the money for one of the money games.

Suzy Palmer from On The Go Teacher Mama Suzy has created quite a lot of resources that integrate technology through using QR codes, and she donated her Even & odd owls (2nd) activities. When I was looking at her blog, I noticed that she makes homemade Italian food (this is not a school-related fact, but I love me some Mambo Italiano and Italian food).  Homemade spaghetti sauce is so much better than store-bought. 

Page and Cristy from Kindergarten Squared
     I met Page at last year's TeachersPayTeachers conference.  She was my buddy there, and if we lived closer, she would so be on my list of people for Mama's Night Out. Sometimes when I interact with people, I get a sense of an overall message they represent that I take to heart, and she is a great example of keeping priorities balanced . . . family is more important than TpT, but it is such a blessing to be able to share our resources.  Their stuff is cute and thoughtfully designed.  They donated: 

Janice Malone from ELASeminars.com
     Janice, as a sign-off to her blogposts, uses: "…stay committed…teach with passion…and inspire students with who you are."  What a fantastic motto to remind teachers of their important role!  Janice is often an encouragement to teachers and resource creators.  Not only does she create resources for the classroom, but she also does training seminars and hosts podcasts that you can find more information about on her website.  Janice donated her Biography Research Frames grades 3-5 and Cracking the Common Core Code: Quick and Easy Graphic Organizers for Multi-Level Learners grades 3-5. 

Jamie Huerta from Laugh Love Teach gave her Opinion Writing Throughout the Year by Jamie Huerta  for grades 1-3  After receiving this resource, one of the Oakview teachers responded by email, "Wow! What a super resource, thank you!!! I don't remember even seeing this one . . .  Please tell Jamie thank you so very much. I can't wait to use it." She also donated her Fall Math First Grade Print and Go

Autumn Gill, one half of the mother-daughter team, from Coast to Coast Kinder showered the kindergarten with four helpful resources:

Michelle Webb from Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching and I met at last year's TpT Seller's conference.  She is a sweet lady with a heart for teaching. Check out her newly redesigned blog. She donated her Native Americans: Eastern Woodlands Lessons, Activities and Pop up Book and Native Americans: People of the Plains Lessons, Activities & Pop Up Book

These other teachers were willing to give but the teachers of Oakview were overwhelmed (in a good way) with all that was being offered.  I wanted to make sure they still got a shout out for their willingness to give:

Holly Snyder from Fourth Grade Flipper 

Sam McMath from Miss McTeach Tech Resources

Cori Beckett from Easy Lit Units and More

Diane Roethler from Fifth in the Middle 

Kim from Finding Joy in Sixth Grade

Melissa Cloud from A Teaspoon of Teaching

Teresa from Dream Big Little One 

Melissa Soeltz from Making Meaning With Melissa 

Last, but certainly not least, our dear TpT friend (she's one of our favs and such a fabulous product reviewer/editor) Peggy Means from Primary Flourish.

Thank you, again, to all these generous teachers/resource creators.  Your kindness blessed the teachers of Oakview greatly! I also want to give a BIG thank you to Kim Kent, Sally Kim, Sarah Mozeleski, Kristina Galbreath, Coryn Kissling, Janelle Rad, and Janelle's RHHB life group for cutting and laminating some of the resources so they were prepped and ready to use in the classroom. You helped protect my sanity during this venture. :-) 

Below you will see pictures of the day we delivered some of the resources prepped and ready to use in the classroom and some of the responses from the teachers of Oakview:
Christina from ROCKharbor Church and Miss Outgoing getting things ready for the teachers.

Some Oakview 2nd & 3rd grade teachers getting their goodies and posing with Miss Outgoing (of course, the picture where she is trying to do bunny ears is the one where she is also smiling ;-) ).

From the Oakview Staff to all the generous TpT teacher/sellers:

"Thank you so much for the many downloads, they are awesome!  We appreciate all your help during this transitional time for us and our students."

"Thank you so much for all of your support.  The generosity that you have shown us is overwhelming. . .  Every year that we use your interactive notebooks [shout out specific to Erin Cobb's donation!] and units we will think of you."
Sincerely, Karl

"I cannot tell you how appreciative I am for all of these donations!  It is because of people like you, the fellow teachers that donated and RockHarbor that we have been able to keep our positive attitudes geared toward our students and their success! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!! Please pass this to everyone it applies to :).   God bless all of you, especially during this joyous Christmas season <3"
With love,
Jessica Camarena
K-5 Education Specialist

"Thank you so very much, Lisa. I truly appreciate it. My whole filing cabinet (18 yrs worth of teaching) hasn't been recovered yet so I am very grateful."
Janine Kozlowski 

[Janine said some of her resources were found but the contents of her filing cabinet had just been dumped out with all the students' belongings from their desks.  This happened with all the teachers that had classrooms in the main building of the school. I can imagine the emotional struggle and the teachers I met were handling it with such great attitudes.]

"Thank you again for helping Oak teachers!  We really do appreciate all the support."
Patti Schraff
5th grade teacher

"We cannot thank you enough for your generosity!


"Thank you! You are too kind. I really appreciate all you have done for us. I hope you have a joyous new year."

"Thank you so much for your diligence in getting these materials to us. They look like fantastic resources. I can't wait to try them in my classroom."
Sincerely, Diane Taylor

"Lisa, I don't even know how to thank you for all the AMAZING resources . . . cut and laminated!!! That is the most amazing gift a teacher could get! It is so tremendously helpful to get such a great set of resources and then to have the whole thing cut and prepped!!! I have no words. Your (you, Rock Harbor, and the TPT creators) generosity is so touching and appreciated. Thank you so very very much!"

Sincerely, Erica Manicom
A mural some artists from RHHB did to add some color to the campus when some of the grades were allowed to return to the school site.
A picture from when ROCKHARBOR HB decorated Oakview to celebrate some of them returning to their school.

Teacherpreneur Spotlight: Brain Waves Instruction

      The Spotlight is back, y'all!!! Today, let's meet a teacherpreneur friend from the world of brains and reading. Meet... 

Brain Waves Instruction!!!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Brain-Waves-Instruction    https://www.pinterest.com/secondarysara/    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brain-Waves-Instruction/1529275913960733?ref_type=bookmarkhttp://brainwavesinstruction.blogspot.com/

      Jonathan and Lisa, thank YOU so much for letting me stop by Created For Learning.  I'm a huge fan of your TpT store and your blog.  I'm super psyched to be here!  Thanks!
What levels and subjects do you teach and what's a little bit of your teaching journey?
I've spent most of my teaching career in the middle school setting.  I love middle schoolers!  They're so honest and funny and awkward (which makes them super lovable).  I've also spent time teaching internationally.  So, I've taught in classrooms in Ghana, Belize, and England.  Traveling and teaching? That's a perfect combination in my book!
How'd you get started on TeachersPayTeachers?
I have two friends that started selling on TpT before I did (Yay for PreK and Literary Sherri).
      Both of them mentioned TpT to me several times before I did a true investigation into what it was all about.  It wasn't until one of my friends said that she bought her dishwasher with her TpT earnings that I realized that maybe Teachers Pay Teachers could be a real opportunity to change my family's life...and oh boy, it hasn't disappointed one bit!
What aspect of teaching really gets you fired up?
My favorite part of teaching is well...teaching...and all the wonderful things that come with it like witnessing students take risks, helping students revel in their learning, laughing together as community of learners, and growing students' skills as not only readers and writers, but as passionate and curious learners.
What's the funniest/weirdest/most awful memory you have from your early days of teaching?
Well...there was this one time when I went to Driver's Ed without ANY driving experience.  Everyone else had driven before.  However, I hadn't even sat behind the wheel.  I thought you drove with two feet.  Needless to say that summer in Driver's Ed was a rocky road (both figuratively and literally)!
Which of your resources do you enjoy teaching the most?
Poetry!  I love teaching poetry!  It's because students always groan when I mention that they're going to be writing and analyzing poetry.  However, by the end to the units they're begging for more.  What's more fun than that?  I love ending poetry units with a bang.  Over the years, classes have participated in Poetry Readings, Poetry Podcasts, and even a Poetry Boot Camp (with real drill sergeants!)
       Since I love teaching poetry so much, I've filled my TpT store with all my favorite poetry lessons and units.
       I even developed this freebie recently:

Who are some other TpT teacher/authors you think people should know about and check out?
There are SO many amazing teacher-authors creating hands-on, comprehensive, and just plain amazing resources on TpT.  Of course, I love Yay for PreK and Literary Sherri, but I'm also nuts about Room 213 and The Classroom Sparrow.
What are some quirky details about yourself?
I think one of the most quirky things about myself is that I like to take on a lot of jobs/projects at once.  Ever since I was a kid I've always worked multiple jobs.  When I was 14 I worked at a Chinese restaurant, an ice cream shop, a pizza parlor, a gift store, and I cleaned an insurance office.  These days, in addition to my TpT store, I also have a Home Staging and Design company, and I make and sell headbands online.  Truly, it's hard for me to pass up a "Help Wanted" sign!  Oh...and I live for dessert.  I LOVE baked goods!
If you could travel back in time to tell your 12-year-old self one thing, what would you tell yourself?
Stop fighting your curls!  I spent a good 20 years trying to have straight hair.  It was a battle that I eventually lost.  One day, I decided to embrace my natural, crazy curls...and ironically, it's the part of me that makes me the most me.  So, I'd tell my 12 year-old self to get busy being just being herself.  (If you'd like to see those curls...just click HERE.)

       It's been so fun getting to know you Mary Beth. First we joined you over at your blog and now you've graced ours. Thanks so much for dropping by to let everybody get to know you better! Keep on being made of awesome!

Connect up with
Brain Waves Instruction!!!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Brain-Waves-Instruction    https://www.pinterest.com/secondarysara/    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brain-Waves-Instruction/1529275913960733?ref_type=bookmarkhttp://brainwavesinstruction.blogspot.com/

http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2015/02/secondarysara.html  http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2015/03/studentsofhistory.html  http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2015/03/mrd.html  http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2015/03/melandgerdy.html


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