Monday, December 31, 2012


I am starting this new year off right!  I am usually so busy I don't link up until like the end of the month, but this month I am EARLY!!!!  Here's my Currently for January:

My one little word is priorities.  I don't know about y'all, but throughout the year, my priorities seem to get out of whack.  I try to keep God first, then family, then work, but inevitably work seems to slowly take over all of my time.  Before I know it, I'm spending most of my time blog hopping, planning, etc.  Then, my times with God and my family suffer.  I am really going to try to keep my priorities straight this year. 
So, how about you?  Go link up with Farley!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Linky

I saw that Jen over at The Teachers' Cauldron is doing a new year's resolution linky party, so I thought I'd join in. 

I love to read about other's new year's resolutions.  Sometimes, I read someone else's resolutions and I think, hmmm...I need to work on that too!
So, here are my resolutions for home, school, and blogging:
Home/Personal:  1.  Keep my home clean and organized.  This is a biggie for me because I am a piler.  I tend to pile stuff up without even thinking about it.  Then, before I know it, my house is a mess!  Anybody out there like me?
2.  I want to make more time for me.  I LOVE my job (it really is my hobby), but I spend waaaayyy too much time on it.  I need to focus more before and after school to get stuff done so I can relax at home.
3.  Focus on the blessings that God has in store for me in 2013.  I blogged about my 2013 Thankfulness Challenge.  You can read about it here.  I'd love for you to join me!
School: 1. My goal is to leave by 4:00 4 days a week.  I stay late on Wednesdays because my daughter has cheerleading at 5:15 so we just hang out at school until it's time for cheerleading (because if I went home and sat down, I wouldn't want to get up again). 
2. Keep my classroom clean and organized - see home goal #1 (the same applies at school)!

Blogging:  1. I want to blog 2-3 times per week.  I know for some of you, this doesn't seem like a lot.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE when you share your ideas each day, I just can't seem to find the time to do that. 
2. I want to leave a more comments.  I know I love it when I get comments on posts, so I need to be better about leaving comments for others.
So, how about you?  What are your resolutions for 2013?

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Resolutions, Thankful, and Looking Ahead

I hope all of you had an amazing Christmas.  Ours was pretty great.  I finally got the 2TB portable hard drive I've been asking for since my birthday in June.  It's awesome!  I kept running out of space on every zip drive I bought, but on this one - no way!  I downloaded all of my files and then some, and it didn't even register that I had used any of the memory.  You have to get one!

The only problem I was downloading all the great stuff, I knocked it off the couch and broke it.  Luckily my hubby knows me well and bought an extended warranty that protects it, so now I have to wait to get a new one from Office Depot.  Oh well...
As we get ready to start a new year, I love to find new blog friends to start the year with.  I found one today that is AWESOME!  Her name is Samantha and she has some really great freebies on her site and an awesome TpT store.  You can find her here:
Head over there and check her out!
As I look back over the year, I think about all of the things that God has blessed me with.  You know, we have a lot of things that we just take for granted.  But when we stop and think about the little things that we have that other people in the world would love to have.  Even just having a warm house to sleep in and fuzzy slippers to warm your feet.  You know how on Facebook during the month of November, everyone posts each day what they are thankful for?  Well, God has really been dealing with me in the area of thankfulness, so beginning January 1st, I am starting the 365 Day Thankfulness Challenge.  On Facebook and (since I don't have a blog page for my Facebook) on here, I will post one thing that I am thankful for everyday in 2013.  I would really love for some of you to join me in this challenge.  I think it will really help us to be more aware of how lucky we really are.  So whaddya say?  Are you up for the challenge?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Break Goals

I found this great linky party over at What I Have Learned (which is a new blog for me - don't ya just love finding new blogs?).

What are my plans for this holiday break?
1.  Clean my house - Seriously, y'all - it's a MESS!!!!  And I refuse to start the new year with a messy house.  Now, I just have to get my hubby (who is also off until the new year) to help!
2.  Get all my lesson plans typed - I'm having my observation/evaluation when we get back in January.  Since I haven't typed up my lesson plans since October, I've got some catching up to do!
3.  Get report cards/data up to date.  Luckily, we have a new online system, so I can get all of it done from home.
4.  Get back on the blogging bandwagon - life's been sooo crazy, I haven't been able to really blog like I should. about you?  Click the link above to join the party!

Friday, December 21, 2012

She read my mind...

Ok, so I was going to post some pictures of my first attempt to make gingerbread houses with my students at our Christmas party yesterday, but then I found this post on Facebook.  I know some (or most) of you may have already read it, but for those of you who haven't, it's a must read.  After reading it, I thought, "Yes!  This is exactly what I've been thinking."  Click on the link below to read:

To America from a Teacher

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Almost there...

We have 1 and a half days left until Christmas vacation.  About 1:00 this afternoon, I told the teacher across the hall from me, "Ok, I'm done!  I'm officially not teaching anymore until Christmas vacation!"  The kids are soooo super excited about Christmas, it's just not gonna happen, lol!  So, we're going to finish our Christmas Story book, maybe watch some classic Christmas videos and just party!  How about you?  Are you going all the way to Friday or are you out already?

On another note, Christmas came early to me today.  I found out last week that I was awarded a grant that I had applied for through our local education association.  Back in October, I had written 2 grants for $500 each - one for interactive whiteboard activities from Lakeshore and one for downloadable centers (mostly from Doodle Bugs Teaching and Deanna Jump) .  They stated that applicants could apply for more than one grant, but only one would be funded. I just figured I had a better chance of getting one funded if I wrote both of them.  When they told me I was funded for $500, they didn't tell me which grant was funded.  So today I get a call from our bookkeeper who told me that she got the check but there was a problem with it.  They had written it for $1500 instead of $1000.  I told her she was wrong and forwarded her the email I had received that said I was funded for $500.  She called the education association and they told her they had some extra money so they decided just to fund both of the grants!!!  YEAH!  So, I get to start the new year with cool things like these:

Space Sort! Interactive Word Games - Complete Set

Mastering Math Interactive Games Library - Gr. 1-3

And, of course, tons and tons of activities from Teachers Pay Teachers.  Seriously, I know most of you know Deanna Jump, but you have to check out Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Her stuff is awesome too!

On Thursday, we'll be making graham cracker gingerbread houses at our Christmas party.  Now, I've never tried these, so wish me luck (and any tips you have would be GREATLY appreciated)!  Check back Thursday for pictures.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Run, Run As Fast As You Can...

Since Thanksgiving, we've been working with the gingerbread stories.  So far, we've read The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Boy, and The Gingerbread Girl.  The kids are really enjoying it, and I've been trying to incorporate more Common Core type questions for them to answer.  On Monday, our "Mad Scientist Monday" activity was this fun one:

Pinned Image
You can download it for free at Teachers Pay Teachers (just click the link to go directly to the product).
I know we're all getting used to Common Core (some of you are way more advanced with it than I am), so I'm trying to get my students to get used to the type of deep thinking required with Common Core.  So, instead of the weekly selection test that comes with our basal, I decided to write my own "selection test" based on the gingerbread man story.  I asked the kids to think of a word to describe the gingerbread man AND cite text evidence to support their decision.  Well, let me tell you... my intern and I thought we were going to LOSE OUR MINDS!!!!  The kids just wanted to write their word and then say that they know that because they read it in the story.  But - we stuck it out and encouraged the kids to keep trying.  We kept leading them to see that they had to write what the "it" was that they read in the story. 
After only about an hour and a half, they finally started to understand what we were saying.  Then, I got the most creative and amazing thinking from them.  Some examples:
"The gingerbread man was fast.  I know this because the characters couldn't catch him."
"The fox was sneaky.  I know this because he tricked the gingerbread man."
"The gingerbread man was hungry.  I know this because on the bottom of the second page, it says that he ate the gingerbread man."
"I know the gingerbread man was yummy.  I know this because everybody wanted to eat him!"
"The gingerbread man was smart.  I know this because he came up with the rhyme, 'Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!"
This week, we've been reading The Gingerbread Girl and The Gingerbread Boy.  I came up with a test for these stories too.  On this one, I ask them to compare and contrast the gingerbread boy and girl, to  explain how the gingerbread girl knew not to trust the fox, to choose a word to describe the gingerbread girl and give text evidence (similar to the ones above), and finally, to tell which story they liked best and explain why. 
I can't wait to see what they come up with!  If you'd like a copy of either of these worksheets, just leave me a comment with your email and I'll send it to you!