Friday, December 28, 2012

Post Christmas Relaxation

I hope everyone has had a safe and happy Christmas.  I took a break from my blog for a bit because of all of the nuttiness (sp?) of the season.  I am happy to say that I am finally relaxing in my chair under a blanket, drinking my water and eating my Activia Light Fat Free Vanilla yogurt (yes, I'm back on the straight and narrow), and hopping around every one's blogs this morning. 

I am so impressed with Khrys at Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland and Jessica at Mrs. Stanford's Class with their hard work.  You should totally check it out!  :)  Hopefully I will have the gusto to get going on some of my own the meantime I am happy to download and purchase other fantastic teacher's work. 

Some exciting news....I am about to finish my last class in my master's of education.  Yippee!  Then, watch out, because I will be creating up a storm! 

Look at my fun classroom Christmas activities, party, and holiday happenings.  :)  Happy New Year!!
Grinch Day
Grinch Day
My Grinch and Max Bulletin Board
 Horton Is Kind...Are YOU?  Writing
 Christmas Party Book Exchange
Pin the nose on the snowman
My best friend in the whole wide world and amazing Kindergarten teacher, Stefanie, and me with a sweet little girl that she taught and is now in my room.  :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Low on Holiday Cheer at Night

I'm not trying to bum everyone out, but by the time I get home in the evenings I'm exhausted!  I know that no one else out there feels this way ;) but I seriously lack any and all luster for "extras" when I sit down.  I have been able to keep up with my FB page for my parents, but even that is slowing a bit.  I need a swift kick in the pants by Saint Nick!

Now, that's not to say that I'm not living it up with my Firsties at school, on the contrary, we are doing sooooo much that I'm just plain pooped by the end of the day. 

OK, OK enough boo-hooing, this is what I've been up to:

Christmas Around the World
Grinch Day with two resources I got from TPT  (Grinch Packet and Grinch Day)  Both superb resources the I am super happy to have in my library of purchases. 
Door Decorating, paper grading, distict collaborating, committee meeting, and all out teaching! 

I have recently invited parents to be in the room daily and so far I am loving the extra help.  It's just an hour each day that falls during the Daily 5 time.  I ususally have them work with a small group on phonics.  It has been great and I am glad that I waited for the 1st quarter to be done before opening my door.  It gave me time to figure myself out, the kids, and get to know the parents a little. 

Blah, blah, blah...let's get to the good stuff for all of you stalkers idea seekers~PICTURES!

Projected for the Firsties to see in the morning.

One of my sweeties with his Grinning Grinch!

Grinch juice and Grinchy Green Sugar cookies, yum!

Our grinning Grinch's and Max's...I made up the Max's per request of my 1st grade team member. 

The kiddos playing one of the Grinch Math games...such a fun day!

Who-ville door!  :)
As always, I hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Busy doesn't even BEGIN to Describe It!

Holy cow!  Has it really been a week and a half?!  This is the craziest my life has been ever.  School is about 3 hours short of instructional time (not that I want a longer day by no means!). 

I have been busy using all of the great products I purchased on TPT and putting some Pinterest ideas into practice in my classroom and in our hallway.  Check out the pics and feel free to leave some comments of what you might have the kiddos write/create to help fill up the hallway.  I'll post more pics as they add to it.  :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jam-packed Day!

Who's got 2 thumbs and stayed up until 2:45am in the morning working on anchor charts, grading, and blogging?  THIS GIRL!!!  Oh my gracious, I am feeling it tonight.  On the up side, I was completely rocking my teaching and in a really great mood-go figure.  Perhaps I should only get 3 hours of sleep every night?  NO WAY!  ;D  Check out what I made...yes, Pinterest was opened the entire time. 


My little Firsties were very happy to see my hard work.  Maybe that's why I was in such a good mood?  Or it could have been because I had a rockin' read aloud with my new book Looking After Louis.  I'll post about that another day.  Tonight it's beddy bye time.  :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Liebster Award

How cool is this?!!!  I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Kathy Olenzcek from Third Grade Doodles.  I am so honored and excited!  Thank you!!!!!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are:
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)
So this is what I came up with!
11 Random Things About ME
  1. I love to belt out songs when I am in my classroom working-REALLY LOUDLY
  2. My husband courted me and finally won my heart when he read the poem he wrote for me at our local coffee house when I was 17.  (we married when I was 20)
  3. I prefer cats but we have a dog (I do love her very much)
  4. I pray every day that I will serve God in an honorable way by teaching my little Firsties.
  5. I talk too much and have lots of opinions for only being a teacher for 4 1/2 years.
  6. I have two kids, Maddie 8 and Jack 6 (not really random, but needs to be said)
  7. I love to get my hair done and I am a little mad at myself for chopping it all off recently.
  8. My iPad is my newest accessory and BFF
  9. I like to watch Good Luck Charlie on Disney because the mom totally reminds me of me! LOL
  10. My first profession was Respiratory Therapy for 13 years. (Now I work more hours for a LOT less pay, but I adore being a teacher!)
  11. I volunteer with our Jr. High Youth group and I'm heading to Nashville this summer to help in the soup kitchens and serve the city for my second time with the youth.
11 Answers to the 11 Questions that Kathy Asked Me
  1. The recipe that I am most famous for are my Devil'd Eggs.
  2. I started a blog to connect more personally with other teachers and because I think amazing things are happening in my room and I wanted a place to share.
  3. My favorite subject currently to teach is math.  (But it varies often!)
  4. for books to listen to during snack time.  Check out Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsche!
  5. The hardest thing about teaching is balancing it all. 
  6. If I could go anywhere, I would love to go to Ireland.
  7. My ideal classroom has differentiation happening effortlessly, numbers not exceeding 20 students, endless supply of paper-markers-laminating sleeves-books-all other supplies, parents who write the teacher using kind words and no tones, and time to fit it all in.
  8. I used the Grinch Face with writing a sentence or two about how the children would make him smile.  It was fun and super cute!
  9. My favorite music artist is Adele.
  10. My morning poison is coffee, although some may call it coffee flavored sugar milk. ;)
  11. If money was no object, I would buy the Galaxy III for myself and I would buy a carpet spot rug for my carpet time. 

11 Questions for the 11 Blogs that I Nominated
  1. How long have you been a teacher?
  2. What was your best purchase from TPT?
  3. How do you celebrate Christmas in your classroom in one or two sentences?
  4. How did you discover the blogging world?
  5. What is your favorite read aloud?
  6. What are you wishing for this Christmas-money is no object?
  7. How do you incorporate learning goals into your day?
  8. What is your favorite treat to order from Dairy Queen?
  9. Do you wear heels, flats, boots, or other in the classroom?
  10. What is your favorite song to listen to when you are sad?  ...when you are happy?
  11. What was the best field trip you ever went on or planned?
Here are the Blogs I Nominated

Sliding into First
Keepin' it Kool in Kinderland
Blooming in First
2nd Grade Glance
Grade 2 Happenings
The Paper Maid: One Page at a Time
A Teacher's Attempt at Being Crafty
The Teacher in Me
A Passion For Primary
4th Grade Haps and Hacks
Shoot for the Moon

I can't wait to learn all about these bloggers! 


Drinking my Water and Ready for Monday...i think

I am for real going to try to stay on the wagon and drink my water instead of the ridiculous and toxic large quanties of pop I usually choose. 
(See, I'm drinking water!)
This evening I am feeling very content with knowing that I finally have my common core linked with each lesson.  I have color coded my Common Core Galore that I purchased from Rachelle Smith from TPT at the beginning of the year.  It has be a tremendously helpful tool as we are wading through this massive jungle of standards.  I am OCD when it comes to using standards, so I HAVE to have them labeled in my old fashioned handwritten lesson plans.  So tonight I am super happy!  :)
I have the color stickers on to break up the standards by quarters.  Naturally some skills overlap, but this helps to be sure that I have taught the standards needed.  I LOVE IT!
I am also super excited to use my new Thirty-One bag as my new teacher's bag.  Just a quick little plug. ;)  Yes, it matches my lesson plan book, naturally.
Well, I have planned all of my lessons and now I'll be adding some cuteness to the plans for the week.  Our school will be having a visit for accreditation from the Advanced Ed. people and I do have some butterflies.  Hoping that we have a smooth and proud next few days.  I work with amazing people and we have a fabulous school, but you know how it is.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Touch Money

I have learned so many things from so many people, but one of my biggest inspirations is a certain 2nd grade teacher who tells it like it is, is very clever, bold, wicked smart, and is the most captivating reader of the read aloud you will ever find.  Dare I go on?  Any-whooo, one thing that I am currently using that she uses to teach money is the touch money method.  I have found this wildly successful with my own kiddos and they are doing so much better then my little ones from last year.  It's pretty remarkable! 
I recently found this great little freebie and sent it home for my parents to be able to understand the symbols that we use in the classroom.   
I am constantly trying to connect with my parents in any way possible.  I so miss the parent-teacher conferences that we used to hold on our half days.  Indiana no longer has 1/2 days, which means we no longer hold "mandatory" parent conferences.  I typically only see the parents that I need to discuss matters of behavior or a child that is struggling academically...but I digress.  This is a great handout and I recommend it to anyone that teaches coins using the touch math method.  :)

A Quick little Pin It tutorial

I have learned from many and here is how I add the Pin It button:

1st: Write your blog post with pictures.  Be sure to publish it so that you will have your blog link to go to.

2nd: Open your blog and click on that story that you just wrote.  That way the Pin will take the follower directly to that page and not just your home page.  (As a Pinterest follower, I get soooo annoyed when I want to learn more from a pin and I have to search all over someone's blog to try to find the needle in the haystack.)

3rd: Go to this website and scroll down to the Pin It Button for Webpage info.

4th: Add the URL of your blog to that page with your picture directly on it.  For example, I wanted my pic of Looking After Louis to be pinned, so I clicked on the Differences to get this URL.


5th: Add the URL of the image.  You'll need to open your blog, click to edit your page, and then switch over to the HTML to view the codes. 


6th: Highlight this code beginning with http: and ending with .jpg  Paste this code in the URL of image to pin. Then you can describe the pin.  Doing this step opens the html code for you to paste in your blog under the picture (or wherever you'd like). 
7th: Paste this code in your blog while in the HTML view. 
8th: This is all there is to it!  You added your Pin It button.  :)  I have not ever added the smaller code on my page and so far it's not been an issue.  Good luck and be sure to save and publish your post.  :)


Saturday, November 17, 2012


I have a new little one in my room with special needs.  A few years ago I was in a classroom where the teacher read Looking After Louis by Lesley Ely.  The students responded so well and it was a great classroom building lesson.  I have been meaning to get this book to add to my very own library and now I finally have!  I am sooooo excited.  God has put a special little someone in my room every year and I have become great friends with our Special Education teacher.  (She's such a magnificent woman!) 

So, once I get my Amazon order I'll have a lesson to go along with my new purchase.  It was well worth the $ because as the years go by, my special needs population in my classroom is increasing.  I believe that the best way to deal with the "elephant in the room" is to educate all of the children.  It always melts my heart to watch the compassion and love exude from my little Firsties towards the little one that may need some extra patience. 

Looking after Louis
Leave me a sweet little note if you have come across any books or lessons that help to educate your little ones on a special needs topic.  :)

One of my favorite quotes:
"Fair isn't everybody getting the same thing...Fair is everybody getting what they need in order to be successful".  I will be incorporating this into my lesson I suspect.