Sticky Note Obsessed: 3 Ways I Use Daily

Plan Book Notes

This year I have gone back to a paper planner. I took a break for the past two years doing an electronic, web based planner. I enjoyed the web format, but I really missed the act of writing things down.

I downloaded a planner from Teachers Pay Teachers that I could punch the pages and use my Happy Planner rings with. The size of the squares are perfect to fit the smaller 2×2 inch sticky notes.

I buy fun colors and mix it up in my book. I write my session notes on the sticky, then stick it right over my planner square.

I present my sticky notes for the week.

Insta Lessons

Sometimes a teacher throws something at me upon arrival. I have learned to roll with it and whip out the sticky notes! Being itinerant can be difficult at times, but keeping my favorite tools in my bag has made teaching easier and less stressful.

Insta lesson ideas:


I love these…bright ideas…found at the Dollar Tree


Auditory discrimination

Letter and sound recognition



Practicing our speechreading and calendar skills.


Verb search from a story/auditory activity.

Matching games

Word scrambles


I can write what is needed quickly and I love that the kids love them. They are colorful, stick to the table and stick to eachother. My students love being able to manipulate them-depending on the activity.

I can take a simple sequencing activity and stretch it. Combining two goals in one simple activity.

Book Tabs & Tags

When reading a novel with students or even a picture book I always find vocabulary students don’t know. I tab the words in the book, so I can review and revisit. I like to write questions, predictions and inferences on a sticky and stick them on specific pages or on the inside cover to save for later. I write student responses as well. Sticking the questions on the pages to reflect on at a later date.

Haven’t finished yet…so far we love it. Book review in the future!

I love to have students use the sticky notes to record feelings or ideas they have during the reading or listening process.

This book is currently being read and tagged.

As you can see I love a sticky or post it note. I find them incredibly useful, convenient, portable and practical when teaching all ages of students. I think they are perfect for being on the go all day long.

What tools or materials do you always keep in your “tool bag”?

Drop me a line or comment. I would love to hear from you!


Backing Up & Slowing Down When Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Sometimes when I read an IEP and I try to build a picture, road map or plan of where I want to see a student go. This to me seems normal and makes my type A heart happy. I love a plan!

I know the IEP is not the whole child-no matter what is written in the pleps, but if people have been thorough and truthful it should be a solid picture of a student. I would like to think I do a good job putting an IEP together, but I know there is always room for improvement, better ways to phrase things or different perspectives to look at when writing.

Photo by Pixabay on

I recently saw a Facebook post of a teacher who was questioning a students abilities and progress. Not to expose to much of that story, but she had really great comments about the IEP not matching what she saw in her classroom. This got me thinking about what we write and what to do when the student in front of you doesn’t match with their document.

I think there are a few things to do.


Stop lesson planning for the moment.


Think of some ways to gather data and notes that can show where the student’s present level really is.

  • Language skills
  • Communication skills
  • Academic skills
  • Social skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • Recent audiogram


I would like to think many teachers are trying their best and think they have written an accurate report. Last year is over, look forward and breathe.

You can always ammend.

I think starting from now can go in two directions. The student may have less skills than reported or more. Maybe the IEP was accurate…students can regress or mature.  Either way the only way to make progress is be in the now.


Think about what needs to be addressed in the goals.

  • What is measurable?
  • Are you the only one able to collect and track the data? Sometimes this is the case, but think of how the team can work together.

Think about what is written in the PLEPs.

  • Does the IEP reflect the students present levels?
  • Are the needs/goals evident in the narrative?
  • Are there other things to work on that are not a specific goal? Not every need needs a goal.
  • Has parent feedback and concerns helped shape the narrative?

Once these things are looked and and adjusted start planning again. Now that you have a more accurate baseline it will be easier to plan and collect data.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on


My latest book club meeting was fabulous. We had amazing conversations about the book and other things…hahaha. Of course we did. But seriously this book generated alot of conversation and new revelations.

I did not buy a physical book this time. I opted to listen via Amazon Audibles. I am still fairly new to this mode of “reading”, but I think after this book I might try it more often.

Any of the ladies who listened to the book felt it made the experience easier and added to the creep factor with this story. We felt hearing the two voices read the chapters helped us focus on the storyline and added another layer to the characters.

There were upsides to reading the physical book. Some ladies felt they could get through the pages quicker than listening and one woman said listening caused her to nod off and miss parts of the story. Which I think is a hoot! I know if I was nodding off it would be more difficult to “rewind” to where I drifted off, because I am a very visual learner and I can envision the page and the words when I need to go back to a book, but what I heard might prove to be more difficult.

This story was suspenseful and kept many of us guessing. Not much I can say….I don’t want to give the story away and I am by no means a book reviewer! However, I will say I felt like no one is a winner in this story and not one of the main characters has a good moral compass.

We had alot to say!!! I tried to keep my potty mouth on lock down. These characters sort of annoyed me.

Love meeting up with these ladies. There were gluten free brownies!!! I’ve posted it before, but I can not say it enough…I Love My Tribe.

Our next book is a bit different and seems like we won’t be biting our nails, but we are heading into Thanksgiving and it seems fitting to read something more emotional. Our host offered two options and we choose what we viewed as a bit more Hallmark.

Even the cover is Fall ready!!

I am still deciding of I am going to listen or read. I might poll my Instagram followers for an answer. That could be fun.

I’ll keep you posted on what I choose or what sort of response I get. If you have an opinion you can always send me some feedback!!!

Okay….so I did the poll

Barnes and Noble here I come!!!

Family Fun:Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium

This zoo and aquarium was a workout. Pittsburgh is a bit hilly and the zoo was too. We got a little cardio in and saw all the furry friends.

I am always a bit conflicted with zoos. When I see animals behind fences and glass I often feel a bit sad, but I try to think of the conservative aspect. There are zoo programs that are trying to save certain species. My deepest hope is everything living and breathing is well taken care of.

I would love to know what he was thinking…
This little red panda was very cute

I do love seeing an animal that I haven’t seen before. This little red panda was very cute and I don’t remember seeing one in person before.

Red Panda’s buddy
Black Rhino

The rhino was sort of hard to view, but that was ok. It does make me happy to know that people are trying to save these beautiful animals. They often make me think of baby dinosaurs.

Elephants are majestic

These beauties are my mini’s favorite animal. She loves them and could stand there all day watching them eat, bathe and interact with eachother.


The leopard was very lovely to see. I have seen a snow leopard before and this guy was just as impressive.


As you can see I took some inspiration from this gorgeous creature. These are fun little canvas sneakers I picked up. Cruelty free of course! I had to wear these.

Leopard Love

We definitely got our steps in. There were a couple of areas we didn’t explore….always leaving something for a future return.

The aquarium was our last stop before we ended our afternoon. It was nice to have it attached to the zoo. It wasn’t very large, so it was perfectly incorporated.

Getting some yoga on!

The seals were very playful and a bit vocal. I wish I could add in the video I took of theses “singers”. It made for a very amusing and interesting visit.

I think if you are ever in the Pittsburgh area and you have a few hours to kill and want to get in your steps, this is a fun and relaxing way to do both. We had a wonderful family time and made new memories.

My Partner in Everything
My Little Poser

There is one more post I am going to share about this long weekend…keep your eyes peeled if you are interested. I really love the Fall and just love it when we can get out and make memories.

Family Fun: Waterfront Walk and Lunch

After we finished touring the submarine and science center we decided to leave the car in the lot and walk along the river to lunch.

The weather was perfect and it was nice to take advantage. Soon we will be looking at snow…not my favorite, so I am living up these fabulous fall days.

My hubs picked some restaurant owned or named after a Pittsburgh Steeler. I am not a football aficionado, so the name ment nothing to me, but he was curious. We aren’t Steelers fans, but it was a Sunday and there were TVs everywhere with multiple games. He was happy.

Thank you Jerome

I was ecstatic when I asked for a gluten free menu. The very sweet server brought me the menu and then proceeded to explain that my meal would be prepared in a back kitchen and come out on a circular plate. They bring out all allergy meals on a round plate and the rest of the meals are served on square plates.

Chips and Queso….yes please!!!!

I was almost in shock that this was their level of service. I ate stress free and felt relaxed when ordering. I didn’t have to explain myself or apologize for all the menu questions.

Because I had NONE!!!!!

Pulled pork and fries….looks kinda blah…but it was good

If you are gluten free and in the Pittsburgh area I highly recommend stopping in for a snack, happy hour, or a meal.

Family Fun: Carnegie Science Center

On our second day of our long weekend we started our day in Pittsburgh with a quick drive to the Carnegie Science Center. It was easy to find and park. Two things I always like in a new city.

On arrival we noticed there was a special exhibit showing mummies. This was our first stop. We were instructed that there would be no pictures or video inside, so I sadly have only the photo below.

The experience was very interesting. I always loved egyptology as a child, so I thought for sure I would love this exhibit. Umm well. Not so much. My eyes and stomach really didn’t enjoy seeing real mummies. I think in the future I will stick to sarcophagus art and artifacts.

However, if you have a stronger stomach then I recommend this exhibit.

Onto looking at things that were never living!

Robots and mechanical things were a alot of fun to look and and interact with.

Of course these two were cute to see.

In this same area there were alot of robots that were doing things:

  • Playing basketball
  • Sorting medications
  • Air hockey
  • Moving balls
Mr. Competitive

My hubs was super happy that he “beat” the robot. He really did, but I think the robot was not working right….hahaha!!!

Of course I had to manipulate this robotic hand. I had a great time trying to create ASL hand shapes. In the above picture I made the sign for I Love You. Then I decided to get a tiny bit sassy…in the picture below…please do not be offended.

Fear not. I did not leave this. I set the hand to a neutral position. I just couldn’t resist.

There was alot to learn about Space. My mini likes science and she loves things about space, so she was engrossed in many hands on activities.

There was a whole floor on the body. It was very fun and interactive for kids….adults too. I didn’t take any photos because there were a lot of little children around enjoying themselves and I didn’t want to worry about it. Living in the moment was also a priority. I need to be better about that.

I also was ready to get outside and tour the submarine.

This is the deck of a WWII submarine. We toured the inside and found out this particular sub never launched a torpedo in the war. It was decommissioned without ever firing.

I was surprised how roomy some of the areas were. I wanted to photograph more, but there were other people touring and it wasn’t my lucky day. Also, the smell of paint or fuel was so intense I didn’t linger inside very long. Chemical smells make me a bit nauseous.

Happy to be outside in the fresh air

After the tour of the sub we took a nice stroll along the water. It was really nice to explore a new city in beautiful weather with my people. Everyone and everything seemed to be enjoying the autumn sunshine!

I highly recommend this museum if you have children and want to be able to interact with the exhibits. We had a lovely morning learning and exploring!

In my next post I will share where we went to lunch. Gluten free happiness!!!

Family Fun: Heinz History Center

If ever in Pittsburgh this is a totally eclectic museum. There is a little bit of everything for family fun. We totally enjoyed all six floors. Each floor had 2 or more areas of interest.

I love that this building used to be an ice house. I really enjoy seeing old things repurposed for the good. The building itself is a treasure. The brick and wood beams feel old and industrial, but very cozy and charming. As we were leaving we saw that the first floor was bring transformed for a wedding.

Making new history!!!

Pittsburgh should be proud of this museum. It really highlights the city’s history and showcases the people who have made contributions to Pittsburgh and beyond.

If you love sports there is a lot to see and do. There are many interactive experiences in the sports area.

There were sports artifacts that I even found cool.
A little competition

There is a rich history of industry and invention. My take aways were the city produced alot of steel, glass and pickles!! I know the city had and has so much more to offer, but those were the highlights.

Rosie the Riveter
Vintage Trolley

If you love trolleys or transportation, there is a trolley museum in the city as well. We did not visit, but maybe in the future.

My favorite part was Mr. Rogers. I enjoyed watching his show as a child and as an adult it is hard not to love the message he was spreading.

Mr. Rogers
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…

If you didn’t know Heinz originated in Pittsburgh. They are proud of their 57 varieties and rightly so.

There was one floor where there was a collection of things that were cultural or just a blast from the past.

Sorry about the shadow…but had to try to get this…I had this doll house when I was a girl!

There was a good amount of hands on activities for children and adults. I really tried to be in the moment with my family, so I don’t have a lot of pictures of us playing, but there were science minded, art and sports activities. We played a football table game, bubble hockey, threw footballs, and tried to get materials to float.

We always take fun pictures, but the one below is just nonsense. The museum has an area that takes visitors back in time…apparently no one in my family wants to go back and do the hard chores.

We very much enjoyed out long weekend in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned for a couple of more posts about our weekend away.