Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Crowd Source Funding for Teachers...what?!

Ok. I know you have all seen a billion GoFundMe links on Facebook and everything and many of you may be familiar with crowd source funding for your classroom and could probably offer WAY more info than me but I wanted to share a few things.

For the last 5 years, the 4th grade teachers at my school have planned a big field trip to Austin, TX (the state capitol) for our students as their major field trip. It costs around $10,000 to do this trip so we normally do a ton of fundraising. The first year we planned this trip was definitely a learning experience and I think we have perfected the schedule and such since then (more on that in a later post). 

So this year, I thought I would try out for funding for our trip. If you aren't familiar, Donors Choose is specifically for teachers to offer projects that will benefit their students. When you are first starting out, they suggest you proposing a project that isn't a huge dollar amount so that you can actually be funded. (If you look into it further, this will make sense...) 

My first project was for Scholastic Storyworks magazines for all of my students in my gen ed classes. Y'all. WE LOVE STORYWORKS. It was about $700 or so for the project and Donors Choose offers a donation match the first week of most projects so if people donate $50 it's like $100! My kids get so excited every month when we get our magazines AND we even got the online subscription so I have used the articles to add questions to our assignments through Google classroom. (check out the pic from my Instagram-and come follow me!) @ckandrews8809

THEN, I put in the big project: $7000 which would pay for the charter buses we take to Austin. (It's about 3 hours from our area to Austin and school buses just won't cut it.) We posted the project in November and through donations from our students parents, teachers, teachers' family members, and then one huge donation from Wells Fargo (shout out!!) , we were able to get our buses completely paid for. You guys. This. is. huge. Our field trip is going to be OFF THE CHAIN...and it's Friday so be prepared for pics!

Meanwhile, I helped one of my teammates post a project to get hygiene products for all 140 4th graders including deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, etc. It was funded in just a few days and we were able to get these items to all of our kids (and trust me, the 4th grade teachers thank these donors immensely, especially after morning PE)

Well, after our Austin field trip project was funded, I get a message from my amazing cousins in California who had their donation matched by Google (since one of my cousins works there) so I had $200 to spend on another project. I decided to put in for blank books for all 140 4th graders so that they can write their end of year stories in these hard-cover books. AND IT WAS FUNDED IN LESS THAN A WEEK! Thank you Google and the anonymous donors who funded this $800 project. 

Moral of the story? People: There are companies and individuals out there with better paying jobs than we have (duh) who are incredibly generous and who would love to help if you just ask! Basically, Donors Choose is a place for these people to go and see exactly where their donation goes! My kids are so excited every time I tell them that we have a project funded. I highly encourage you to check it out...look at the other projects if you need inspiration! Or email me if you need help :) 

Have you posted any projects? Give me some good ideas about Must-Haves for my class! 
Hope to hear from you soon! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Life Lately

Let's just skip past the part about me not blogging consistently and move on to the part that where I tell you what I've been up to: 

1. The cat is out of the bag...I am looking to move school districts next year. It was a super super hard decision to make, because I currently teach where I grew up (even at the same school) and frankly, I thought I'd be there until I retire. But God has a funny way of showing you that you aren't in charge #amiright. I just really want a specific position in another district that involves working with my favorite population of little people: gifted and talented kids. Which brings me to #2...

2. Grad school is in full swing (remember...I'm getting my Masters in Teacher Leadership with a focus on Gifted and Talented curriculum). This week I finish my 5th class and it has been hands down the.hardest. Research for teachers? I have learned a ton but I'm not even going to sugar coat it, I am ready for this class to be over. I am SO looking forward to my GT specific classes but those aren't until the fall. 

3. My little guy is getting so big, y'all. 

Easter at Great-Grandma's house

Ok people...I PROMISE (seriously) to blog more often in the month of April. 
Tomorrow my students take their first round of testing: STAAR Writing. Pray for them! My amazing teammate Krissy has worked her tail off this year preparing all 75 of our darlings (P.S. I'll share some of the stuff that we've done to prepare them in a later post) but it's still stressful for everyone! I know my kids are ready--they just need to believe in themselves! 

Talk to ya soon!