Natural Resources

Aloha everyone!  I am enjoying my weekend and just settling in after a busy Sunday.  My family went out hiking today and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

We were hoping to see some whales, but only saw a few spouts.  No breaching or pods today. Hopefully next time we will see some.

I am truly fortunate to live in such an amazing part of the world and enjoy the beauty around us.  Part of our curriculum for science and social studies is to teach about our natural resources and ways in which we can conserve them.

I have been working on a new interactive unit to use with my students.  This is what I have come up with.

There are 6 different activities and all pages are easily printable.  
The format is the same as my other interactive units.

Topics include, natural resources, how we use them, pollution, conservation, Earth Day and what we can do to protect the planet.

I have included pictures and directions for each activity. 
Earth Day is coming up and this will tie right in with the other activities that I plan on using.

Just click on the picture to check it out in my TpT store.

I am excited to get started on using it this week!  My students have really enjoyed the format of our other units and I am sure they will love this one.

April is also Poetry month, so we will be busy with lots of activities.   

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and if you are on spring break enjoy every minute of it!!


Hopping Into Spring

Aloha friends!  It's the weekend and I am planning on enjoying the beautiful Spring weather.  My plan is to go on a hike tomorrow to the top of the Kealia trail.  One of my favorite spots that looks out over the ocean.

We are hoping to get a glimpse of Humpback whales which will be here for a few more weeks before they head back to Alaska.

Today however I will be Hopping into Spring with a fun Facebook hop.

Some of my favorite bloggy friends and I are having a Facebook Freebie Hop.  You can start right on my Facebook page and hop to each of our 12 Facebook Fan pages.

With only 12 of us you can pick up some fun freebies and gain some great ideas for Spring activities in a snap.

Just click on the cute picture above to take you to my Facebook page.

Have fun hopping!


Five For Friday-Spring Break Edition

Aloha Friday!!  Can I just say I have had a wonderfully relaxing week.  I did not do ANY school work or work on any products this week!!  I laid around, read, watched movies and surfed.  What more could you ask for on Spring Break?

It was all about me and my girls.  Here are a few pics of our week in Waikiki. 

We spent a day at the Honolulu Zoo.

Worked a bit on my photography.

Stopped for Shave Ice.
 Enjoyed the gorgeous weather.
 Celebrated my daughter's  12th birthday at the Cheesecake Factory.

And drank way too much of this!!!

I won't say I am excited to go back to work, but I am rested and ready!
Hope your week was a good one!


Teaching In Hawaii

Aloha friends!  I can't believe it has taken me this long to write this post!  I started my blog two years ago and in that time I have shared a lot about my little classroom here in Hawaii.  I have made virtual friends from all over the world and have learned so much from others in the process.

Over these few years I have received so many emails from teachers who want to know more about teaching here in Hawaii.  The allure of living and working in the middle of the pacific on a tropical island seems like paradise!

I hope to answer basic questions that some of you may have about teaching and living here in Hawaii.

Hawaii is always in need of teachers.  I have yet to meet someone who has applied here and been turned away.  Many teachers get hired and come here, but often they don't stay for more than a few years.

To take a look at what is available here in Hawaii start here with this link {Job Listings}.

Hawaii is a small state, but consists of 8 different islands.  The schools are all under one system, but divided up into different districts.  When considering working here, you need to decide which island or islands you would like to live.
Oahu is the most densely populated.  Here is a site for more statistics {click HERE}

If you are looking for a more secluded island I would suggest the Big Island, Maui, Kaua'i, Lanai, or Molokai.

Once you apply there is the initial interview.  From what I have heard, you have to come here for the interview unless they are recruiting somewhere on the mainland.  During this interview they will ask you what islands and districts you are willing to work. This can be tricky for some people if they don't know where they want to go.  I suggest you do your homework and read up on the different districts and schools.  Check out the school websites and see if the school might be a good fit.

After the intake interview, your name will be placed on a list.  The list will be given to the schools in the districts you applied to.  The schools will then call you to come in for an interview. You cannot go to the schools yourself.  If a school calls you for an interview and you do not want to work in that particular school, it can be marked against you.  After you turn down 5 different schools, I think you will be taken off the list.  That's what I have heard, it may be different now.

Once you accept a position you are on probation for 3 years.  You cannot transfer districts within that 3 years, so make sure you are where you want to be!

Starting salary here is $45,000.  It seems high, but so is the cost of living.  Food and housing will quickly deplete your income! A loaf of bread is $5 or more, cereal will cost you the same and fresh fruits and vegetables are very expensive in the grocery stores.

The rent has gone way up in the 11 years I have lived here.  Here is a list of available apartments on the island of Oahu.

Another thing to consider is that the pay scale does not offer yearly increases.  You must earn PD credits to move up on the pay scale. {insert sad face here}  For every 15 hours of PD classes you complete, your salary increases by about $1500.  Essentially if you don't take any classes you could be at this salary for a very long time!!

So if you can handle the high cost of living, then the next thing to get ready for is the cultural change. Although Hawaii is part of the United States, it is a very different place to live.  Hawaii is a melting pot of so many different cultures.

Depending on the area of the school you are in, you will most likely have several ELL students.  One year I had a Spanish speaker, 4 who spoke Portuguese, 2 who spoke Japanese  and one who spoke German!

There is also the local dialect which will take you a bit to get used to.  I wrote a post about it awhile back. {CLICK HERE FOR POST}

Hawaii is an amazing place.  The history and culture are rich and diverse.  It is the most isolated of all the island chains.  The weather is about as perfect as possible, we don't often have horrible storms or hurricanes.  I have had to evacuate my home twice for tsunami warnings, but nothing came of both experiences.
There is always good and bad when you decide to move to a new place.  I adapted here very well.  I lead a very active lifestyle and LOVE surfing.  But, I do have to go to work everyday just like everyone else.  The hardest part about being here, is being so far away from my family in Colorado and Arizona.

However, my daughters have grown up in a small secluded little bubble, which I am happy about.  I found a school and community that I love working in and I enjoy the casual vibe of living here.

I live in a tiny house and drive a tiny car. I don't even have cable TV.  We don't have many material goods and quite often we leave the house without locking the doors.  

If you are adventurous, open minded and willing to go without certain material wealth, then I would say Hawaii would be a great place for you to teach!


Organizing Your A-Z Readers

Aloha friends!  So happy to be part of The Bright Ideas Blog Hop again!  I hope you are finding great ideas and tidbits to make your teaching life easier.

Today I am sharing how I organize my A-Z Readers that I use for guided reading groups.

I have two of these Sterilite containers that house all of my readers.  I  made labels for each of the drawers to quickly find the levels that I need.  The green one on the right was a steal at the local bargain shop. I think I bought it for $5!

I don't know about you but I love using Washi Tape any way I can think of.  I have quite a bit in my collection.

Choose a particular color for each level.

I simply code each book with that color.  I know little fingers will want to peel that tape off, but prep them ahead of time that they will have to deal with your WRATH, after you so painstakingly labeled each of those books!!

To separate each section in my drawers I used a file folder and cut it down the measurements of the drawer.  I labeled it as well.

I have 6 copies of each book and rubberband them together.  I can quickly find leveled books and keep them organized and neat.  

It really didn't take long to set up. My colleagues who borrow these are very appreciative of the system!

I hope this is something that will benefit your classroom needs, or that it sparked an idea for organization.

Up next Brooke from Teachable Moments has some great websites to use in your classroom!

You can also choose a topic from the links below.  Have fun hopping!

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