Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Worst...and Best!

So the worst has happened today....my USB Flash Drive...ya' know? the one that has EVERYTHING on it...yea, it's corrupted and WILL.NOT.FOR.THE.LIFE.OF.ME work!!!! :(   I am so sad by this.  I was really good about backing up all my stuff except for this past month.  And I had a LOT I was working on, on it! It's just no good.

I spent most of the day trying to recover the file, however did not have much success.  That led to a day of sulking. It was pathetic.  I am sad.

Enough about that!  I do have good news.  I am having a sale on everything in my TPT Store starting now through December 31st.


Excited about the new year! :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Organize...Shmorganize

Like Hope, I wanted to start this post out right:


How true are those ecards?! :)
My "Organize my Life" board is ridiculous full of all kinds of ideas, however, I have not ACTUALLY done ANY of them.
I'm linking up with a whole slew of my *favorite* bloggers to share some of my organization finds and resolutions!

That leads to teaching resolution #1...


I just stumbled upon this 'pin' last week and I am so glad I did!  I posted about how I organized my worksheet/unit blacklines into binders by subject, theme, and time of year but now I'm going to add these amazingly adorable stickies!! *LOVE*

#2:

Last year I began using Math Workstations in my classroom and LOVED the rotating system and the differentiation it gave me and my kiddos.  Everything was wonderful except my math rotation board...then I found this! It has been on my 'to-do' list for MONTHS! 

#3

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a hard time keeping myself organized with my small groups.  I start off with every year with the intention of keeping up with my organization with my small groups but then EVERYTHING else takes the forefront.  Scholastic has an *excellent* article on how to assess your kiddos while keeping yourself organized! 

#4

Pinterest will not let you go to the original source of this image.  If you know where it came from let me know! :)
I love this idea! What a space saver and great organizational tool.  I WILL be doing this before heading back to school in the new year.

#5

I'm not even going to say anything about this image.  If you want to transform your classroom into the ultimate organized room then just go HERE!  This website is jam-packed with lots of ideas on how to organize every inch of your classroom! I'm sure you already know about most, but I love that it's all on one page.  Another one I've pinned MONTHS ago.  I will get to it though. It's one of my New Years Resolutions.

Now I need you to help me.  You have to keep me to these resolutions!!!  
I am the ultimate "list maker" that never completes the list of 'to-dos' :)

Want more fantastic ideas?!  Head over HERE and get a pad and pencil ready!

While you're here, check out my lastest units:


Read about them HERE!

Happy last Friday of 2012! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

a sweets coma

What an amazing Christmas break this has been for me so far.  Sure hope you are all able to enjoy it as well.  For the past five days I have been at my parent's house, two hours south of where I live.  Since my arrival I have done nothing but sit and eat. Then, after awhile of relaxing I eat some more.  
I am in a sweets coma and finding it difficult to get out! Not sure how I'm going to get my groove back come January 7.  Maybe I'll give Stella a call and see how she did it! ;)

Okay, so I lied stretched the truth a little.  I have been somewhat busy. I've been trying to figure out my new CAMEO {!!!!!!!!!!!} and creating some new goodies to use in my classroom {and share with you}!

Here's what I've been up to:
I have been wanting to "jazz-up" my free-choice centers for awhile.  Through the years I've added "real-life" inspired pieces to my "housekeeping" area and have loved changing housekeeping to something else like a "restaurant" or "doctor's office," SO...I came up with this:



TPT STORE
Pics to follow soon!

I'm in the process of creating the following as well:
Doctor's Office
Vet's Office
Bakery
Grocery Store
Shoe Store
Clothing Store
Beauty Shop


My kinders absolutely love when I change out the centers and now they will be super excited with all the 'souped-up' goodies!  The added bonus is they are learning WHILE playing.  Reading, writing, and math {along with social skills} are easily incorporated into each center! Love when that happens!

I also updated my Primary Number Sense Games Pack {added a more/less spinner...a lot, I know} and made a Mega Pack you can check out HERE!


What a great year 20-12 has been.  I'll be back later with a resolution and a holly bloggy linky!

Off to curl up and go back to my sweets coma!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays



From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!
The festivities begin today, as it is my father's birthday! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Letter to America

I'm not sure about you but life has been all kinds of crazy busy. I'm not even talking about Christmas shopping {I did mine all online this year} but all the events that go on leading up TO Christmas! 
Today my hubby, two pups, and I will be heading to my hometown to visit my awesome parents! They only live two hours away but it's quite different from where the hubs and I live.  My parents live on 14 acres in a teeny tiny little town. It's peaceful, quiet, and full of nature! Gonna be nice to hide away for little while! :)

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So I stumbled upon a link to a letter that was written by a fellow teacher.  It's been "shared" on FB quite a bit so you may have seen it but I really wanted to share it here.  With all that has transpired since Friday, December 14 a lot has been on my mind and this letter helps put my thoughts into words. 
It's perfectly stated.

With out further ado:

"Dear America,
   It feels strange to hear your voice praising teacher for their selflessness, dedication, and love for their students.  We're listening to what you're saying, but we must admit that we are listening with tilted heads and a quizzical yes.  Why? Because we've become accustomed to hearing a very different voice from you. 

For the past few years, you've been certain that most of society's problems stem from our schools, more specifically the teacher in those schools.  We are lazy and useless, we are only in it for the money, we only teach for the vacation time, we don't possess the intelligence to teach anyone much of anything, our demands for a respectable wage are selfish, we don't teach students respect, we are leeches sucking the blood from state coffers, we don't even work a full day like everyone else, and most hurtful of all - we don't care about our students. Concerned citizens have even documented these ills in grossly successful movies that take the worst of us and use it to convince the public that teachers are deserving of nothing but disdain.

Yet, in one weekend, with one horrific tragedy, your voice has changed.  The general indictment that has been assigned to us has seemingly been lifted.  All of a sudden, America is looking to us with respect, admiration, trust, and something that looks a bit like... awe.  It's puzzling, really.  We are the same people we were last Friday morning, doing the same job we've diligently done since choosing our career.

Of course, we do realize what has happened.  Something horrific occurred last Friday, and as a result, America saw the uncensored soul that resides in the vast majority of teachers.  There were no special interest groups telling you what teachers are really like, no businessmen or women proffering data-driven solutions that will fix every instructional problem, no politicians pontificating about the grading of teachers based on the value they add to students.  No, what you saw was the real thing, teacher who love America's children so much that they dedicate their all to their welfare. 

No, for most of us, our all does not include a sacrificial death, but it does include a sacrificial life.  It means working a full day at school then conitnuing that work at home well into the evening as we grade papers and prepare materials that will lead to authentic learning in the classroom.  That's our surface work.  At a deeper level, however, we also do the following:

* notice our students' hurts as well as joys so we can be sure to validate them with our comments and actions
*communicate with our students in a manner that conveys regard for them, even if regard isn't shared for us
*advocate for services that will improve the likelihood of students' success
*volunteer for extra-curricular activities so children will know we care about their whole life, not just what they do in the classroom
*coordinate numerous fund-raisers in order to attain the resources needed to teach students
* spend our own money where fundraisers fall short

In truth, our souls are just about as self-sacrificial as souls come, and it is this part of us you witnessed last Friday in Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Ann Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto.  Yes, they paid the ultimate price, but we want you to understand that what they did on Friday was a natural outpouring of what they were already practicing: a dedication of their lives to your children.  It is generally true that if one is going to die for another, he or she is first willing to live for that person.  These women did just that. 

It is inevitable that days will grow between last Friday and the present, and thoughts will turn to memory.  However, we pray that you will not forget this glimpse into the souls of teachers this tragedy afforded us.  Please do not return to lumping us together into a rejection bin after seeing a few examples of teachers who do not belong in our ranks.  Realize that you will find no greater advocate for America's students than in us.  Appreciate our efforts, and in so doing, create an atmosphere of respect for what we do.  In short, simple treat us with the dignity that you're displaying today.  We might find that many answers lie in that action alone."

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

devastating.

So many things run through my mind everyday when I teach...Are they getting it? Am I doing a good job? Are they having fun learning? Never have I thought...will we be safe today? I pray today for the families of the victims and the lost innocence of the survivors. No child should ever think of school as a dangerous place.  

My thoughts and prayers will remain on those effected by this horrific event, including ALL fellow teachers.  


Sunday, December 9, 2012

12 in '12 LINKY PARTY

I love linky parties.  I love Hadar and Kristin even more.  These two lovely ladies have teamed up again to host their second annual 


So here it goes.  My 12 in '12:

12. Favorite movie you've watched.

Easy.  The Hunger Games.  I was obsessed with the books and even went and saw the movie by myself in the wee-hours of the morning after it opened.

I also loved The Campaign.  If you're okay with crude, somewhat vulgar language then you will LOVE this movie! Literally laughed so hard I almost...well you know! :)

11. Favorite TV series.

I am a reality show fanatic. Anything that doesn't require me to "think!" Jersey Shore, Real Housewives Series {Beverly Hills in my fav}, Bachelor/Bachelorette, etc...
I particularly love the Teen Mom series and was a little sad to see it come to an end. I think after watching them first on 16 and Pregnant, I grew to love them and was really kinda rooting for all of them!

My other OBSESSION is Dexter. I mean, I know I've told you before but I would love to be a blood spatter analyst. Only because Dexter is so amazing!

10. Favorite Restaurant.

We have this new locally owned burger joint in my town and it is to.die.for.

9. Favorite new thing you tried.

Hot yoga.  Do it.  It's amazing!
Just wish I could afford to do it ALL THE TIME! :/

8. Favorite gift you got. 

My amazing mother just bought me a Silhoutte Cameo.
Yes, yes...I do have THE.BEST.MOTHER.EVER!

7. Favorite thing you pinned.
This is hard.  I have thousands of things pinned, so to pick just one is tough.


This is my favorite pinned quote! Puts things into a whole new perspective!

6. Favorite Blog Post.

Another tough one. I don't think I really have a "favorite." I love blogging. Period.  So I'm going to leave it at that.  
{Thank you sweet friends who read my posts and a HUGE thank you to those that leave sweet comments.  They're a little to far and in between but, nonetheless, I LOVE THEM!} :)

5. Best accomplishment.


Opening my TPT store.  Creating and selling products. 
I am no Deanna Jump but every single dollar that is made helps my tiny family in a HUGE way and I am so thankful for that. 

4. Favorite picture.

My gorgeous niece. love her.

3. My favorite memory
Recent...meeting Deanna Jump! 

2. Goal for 2013
To reach another awesome milestone with my TPT Store.  This will help us out financially in a MAJOR way! Lots of work, but I'm for it! :)

1. One little word.
Faith


wow! Taking a walk down memory lane is fun! 2012 added a lot of detours and bumps in the road for my little family. Somehow we have made it to the surface.  Now walking yet, but with my "one little word," in time I know we will!

Here's to 2013! :) 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gingerbread Cutie, Fab Find, and Bulletin Boards!


This year I have a class of super creative kiddos who LOVE to do anything with scrap pieces of paper, sequins, stickers, etc... SO this past week I gave them gingerbread men die cuts, bows, sequins, buttons, etc... and let their creative minds go to work! 

This one is my favorite!  Check out the adorable mustache!!!! 
I {{LOVE}} mustaches! Don't you?
I also love that he told me he was a "festive" gingerbread man! 


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Ok..... Here's the fab find:


These bad boys were designed by teachers and they are amazing!  The write wonderfully, last forever, and have a nice finger grip.  Seriously, who knew one could love a dry-erase marker so much!

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Bulletin Boards!  I love creative bulletin boards/doors but never can find the motivation to make them.  As I stated in my previous post, I have a Pinterest board full of ideas but never get around to ACTUALLY making them!
Here are a FEW of my favorites {there are a TON of awesome ideas}:



If you are an amazingly creative bulletin board lover who ACTUALLY creates amazing bulletin boards, then you're going to want to enter MPM School Supplies Contest.  
Here's the scoop:

You could earn up to $100 to spend with MPM School Supplies. 
Here is how it works... 
1. Contestants snap a picture of your Christmas and/or winter bulletin board design(s) and email it to  (ideas@tristro.com)

2. After you post the picture, they'll email you with a link to your unique entry page (along with a 10% discount code to MPM School Supplies as a thank you for taking the time to enter!).

3. Then you get your family, friends and colleagues to vote for your picture by 'pinning' it on Pinterest and 'liking' it on Facebook.

*The picture with the most combined Pinterest 'Pins' and Facebook 'Likes' when voting ends, January 4 at 11:59pm ESTwins a $100 MPM School Supplies gift card. 2nd place wins a $50 gift card, and 3rd-5th place win $25 gift cards! And EVERYONE who enters the contest will receive a 10% discount they can use on their next purchase from MPM School Supplies!

You will want to go ahead and click right HERE to get started!!

I just L-O-V-E this time of year!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bulletin Boards!

I love bulletin boards.  Especially the ones that "come alive." I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to the idea that one day I will actually get my butt in gear and re-create some AMAZING bulletin boards.
Well, here's some motivation:

MPM School Supplies is hosting a Christmas Bulletin Board Contest!!!!

It's simple and it could earn you up to $100 to spend with MPM School Supplies. Here is how it works... 

--> 
1. Contestants snap a picture of your Christmas and/or winter bulletin board design(s) and email it to  (ideas@tristro.com)

2. After you post the picture, they'll email you with a link to your unique entry page (along with a 10% discount code to MPM School Supplies as a thank you for taking the time to enter!).

3. Then you get your family, friends and colleagues to vote for your picture by 'pinning' it on Pinterest and 'liking' it on Facebook.

*The picture with the most combined Pinterest 'Pins' and Facebook 'Likes' when voting ends, January 4 at 11:59pm ESTwins a $100 MPM School Supplies gift card. 2nd place wins a $50 gift card, and 3rd-5th place win $25 gift cards! And EVERYONE who enters the contest will receive a 10% discount they can use on their next purchase from MPM School Supplies!

You will want to go ahead and click right HERE to get started!!

I can't wait to see all your amazing ideas! I will be back later with some awesome "boards of inspiration!"

:) Happy "almost" Friday!!! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently and Conference Talk

Have I mentioned lately I **LOVE** this time of year?! :)
Get a cup of coffee and get comfy, it's going to be slightly long.


Yes, my doggies have their own couch in our living room. They are slightly spoiled!
Am I the only one or do you get anxiety over having a sub in your classroom.  I know many subs are fabulous and do a wonderful job, but I get slightly anxious about returning.  Yes, as soon as I'm done posting this I will be heading to my classroom to make sure everything's in order.

Make sure to head over to Farley's blog to link up.  Click below!


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PHEW! Told ya it would be abnormally long today!  
You should be able to click on the images for direct links.  Please let me know if it's not working! :)

Happy Sunday!

side note:  The adorable background was found at MyMemories.  I also used their awesome software to create the slides!  Click the blinky on the top right side of my blog to be directed to their awesome stuff!