Thursday, April 16, 2015

II

Two simple lines. It's strange to think those two little lines can hold so much meaning in life. Pause. Take a break. Pause. Temporary rest. Pause.

You see them all around you: when using your TV remote, when watching a YouTube video, when listening to a voicemail, or when playing a video game.

Right after the new year, I had to take a pause from blogging and my social media. I got a new student with severe behavioral concerns who really needed me to be more present in the classroom and in life in general.

Less worrying about taking pictures for a blog post or Instagram. Less worrying about updating a Facebook page or sending a tweet. Less worrying about hashtags and pinning on Pinterest. 

More unconditional love. More cheerleading every small victory. More energy and positivity. More creativity and dedication. More joy and passion.

This little five year old made me really slow down and reflect on my teaching. Surely, students who have mastered 100 sight words in kindergarten deserves celebrating. But you know what, being able to sit in a chair for five minutes was deserving of an Olympic medal for this child. 

I truly saw how important it was to slow down, take it one baby step at a time, and celebrate every single victory no matter how small. His pride in being recognized for the positives made all the very stressful days worthwhile.

In today's society, everything moves at a rapid pace. Fast food, fast wifi, fast cars, fast, fast, fast. The goal is to move faster than anyone else, and if you aren't the best, well then you better catch up before you are left in the dust.

Well five year olds don't work that way. All too often, the innocence of childhood is lost and children are coming to school with very adult-like behaviors and schema. Childhood doesn't need to be a race to the finish line. After all, they are only five once and if we try and speed up time we can't get it back.

Don't be afraid.
Use those two little lines.
Pause.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Currently 2015

Happy New Year! I am trying to start off small this year with regards to blogging. Hopefully I can manage to post once a week at first. I hope to gradually build this number up over time but slow and steady wins the race right? 

To kick off 2015 on the right foot, I am linking up with the one and only Farley for her Currently series.

http://ohboy3rdgrade.blogspot.com/


Listening: This break I have been addicted to HGTV. You know you are getting old when you graduate college and become immediately obsessed with all things home and garden.

Loving: This vacation I actually went to the library and checked out books for me! I was able to read two novels and it was just so relaxing! I forgot how much I love reading! I need to make this more of a priority in 2015!

Thinking: I am so not ready for my alarm to kick back in on Monday morning. I have been loving waking up whenever I feel like it and having lazy pj days. I am sure my body will be in for a rude awakening on Monday morning!

Wanting: At 3:30 I just walked out the door on the last day of school with everything Christmasy still in place. I am not so sure that was the smart decision now that I will have twice as much prep work when I walk in the building on Monday. If only we had a prep day before those kiddos came back!

Needing: After printing 300 pages and laminating 200 of them, I wish I had a personal assistant...or 3. 1 to place the pages in the lamination film, 1 to feed the laminating into the machine, and 1 to cut the laminating out. A girl can dream right?

Yes, Maybe, I Wish: This year I am going to try and cut back on technology. I know my eyesight is getting worse and I was having headaches from too much screen time. I need to cut back especially before bed! I am hoping to change things up and stay more organized. I start out really strong with all the ideas in place but then casually over time piles just start building up and papers get all mixed together until I forget why I bothered in the first place. For my wish, I really am hoping to go to Vegas this year. If not, it will be my 4th year of blog stalking the event and I don't think I can really handle it! Now that I have a job, I am hoping some of my colleagues might be interested in attending as well! It seems like the best PD you could ask for! 

Hopefully I will be able to blog about our week back to school if all goes well and I do not fall asleep at 4pm every afternoon! If you don't catch me on here, you can most certainly find me on IG and harass me to get posting!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

14 in 14

It is so crazy to think this will be my 3rd post linking up with these fabulous ladies. I did 12 in 12 when I just started this little blog of mine and was far from a classroom of my own. 13 in 13 was a post highlighting all my student teaching experiences. And now, for 14 in 14 I have a classroom of my very own. It is so nice to be able to look back over the years and see how far life as taken me all accounted for on this blog!

In keeping with the trend, here are 14 memories from the craziest year of my life so far! 

http://www.ateenytinyteacher.com/2014/12/14-in-14.html


http://www.amazon.com/Caterpillar-Thought-World-Over-Magnet/dp/B000N238WC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419467945&sr=8-1&keywords=just+when+the+caterpillar+thought+the+world+was+over+it+became+a+butterfly


http://blog.lulalouise.com/2013/04/moodboard-printed-pants.html
(source)
I was obsessed with any and every pair of patterned pants this year. It really brightened up my wardrobe and made fashion fun!
I loved the book and I surely wasn't disappointed by the movie! I can't wait until Insurgent comes out next year!
It's impossible to pick just one! Shondaland represent! Best night on TV! Can't wait for January!
 Red Robin always and forever!

This year I tried to get all fancy and try some of the cooking techniques I learned watching Food Network. I now actually know what quinoa and aioli are so why not try using them? Turns out, those experts really know what they are talking about! My cooking is next level now!
My favorite gift I received this year was definitely time to spend with my grandmother. After her hospital scare I am more fortunate than ever to be able to continue to make a lifetime of memories with her.
http://livelaughlearninsecondgrade.blogspot.com/2013/08/teacher-week-classroom-digs-sneak-peek.html
Decorate a bulletin board once and just keep switching out the work. It has saved me countless hours this year!
http://thepolishedteacher.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-totally-transformed.html
My totally transformed series this summer was my favorite! I love how these DIY canvas art pieces turned out! So simple and so effective! They look adorable in the classroom! 
http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-you-re-hired/
(source)
Naturally my favorite accomplishment of the year was getting hired for my first teaching job right out of college! With the outlook on jobs looking so grim I cannot count my blessings enough!

We went on vacation this summer and I fell in love with the gorgeous scenery. Sometimes you have to stop and really take it in because you forget just how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful world.

My favorite memory this year was graduation. It may have lasted for such a short period of time but it was definitely such a fantastic day surrounded by family and friends. As much as I would love to go back and re-live the moment for one more day, I am so content with where life has taken me thus far.

For blogging it is simply to blog more. This year started out great and once October hit things got crazy at school and I didn't blog for 2 months. 

For my teaching, it is to let the kids teach me something each day. The moments when I let the children guide the conversation and propose new ideas is really when the magic happens.

For life in general, it is to remain present. So often I find myself entranced with technology that I forget to pay attention to the little things that pass me by.
http://sharyncarlson.typepad.com/living_artfully/2011/01/one-little-word.html

In the digital age, so often am I searching for the next greatest thing to take part in. I search for hours on Pinterest to find the latest and greatest teaching idea. I am constantly trying to mix and match different ideas to maximize my time. For 2015 I want to take the time to slow down with life and simplify. I don't need to constantly be creating new ideas every night. I don't need to be constantly rearranging things and seeking out new ideas for methods that have worked fine for years. By simplifying life I can lessen my stress and really soak in the precious moments with family. Simplify speaks volumes to me this year. What's your one little word? 
 
http://typeinspire.com/merry-christmas-red-by-mrana/
Have a very merry Christmas and soak up every last second you can with your family! See you in 2015!
 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How Did It Get To Be Currently October?

This whole time passing crazy fast thing has got to stop! It feels like we just started school yesterday and here we are already in the holiday countdown craze! I have been feeling extra reflective lately and I created a little linky party reflecting on my favorites of the previous month. I'd love it if you linked up too! Click the picture below to check it out! 

http://thepolishedteacher.blogspot.com/2014/09/september-favorites-monthly-linky-party.html

Farley never disappoints! This October currently is cuter than ever! Here is how my October is starting off so far...Stay tuned for a special treat at the end! 

http://ohboy3rdgrade.blogspot.com/2014/10/october-currently.html

The first two go hand in hand. Thursday nights are the best! I can thank my IG buddies for getting me hooked on Shonda shows! This new one has totally got me captivated! I think it might be my favorite yet! 

I have never gotten the chance to plan for all these fun themed events but I am having a blast! It makes learning so much more engaging and provides an endless supply of memories! I know the kids will love what I have in store for next week thanks to some amazing teachers! 

Is it just me or has the kid's crazy level been turned up to high power this week? We changed the calendar to October and boom: instant crazy! It's like they can already sense the sugar coursing through their veins! Thank goodness Halloween falls on a Friday this year!

Organization has been my main goal this year. I am determined to have a system in place for everything. If only I had a personal assistant who could do all the dirty work for me and I could just walk in and everything would magically be in its place! There is just not enough time in the day to stay on top of the paperwork and I refuse to stay at school until 7pm every night! 

Finally, here is a little treat for you all. It's a flashback freebie that many of you might not have had a chance to see before. You can enjoy these Halloween ten frame posters than help meet those CCSS! 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_VEQ_wwEooLNi1ZaWh3YktyRVE/view?usp=sharing

Made it in the top 100 on the Currently! Nailed it!

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Favorites (A Monthly Linky Party)

Blogging on a Monday night? What is this world coming to? 

During my very limited downtime from teaching, I have taken a liking to watching YouTube videos. One of the very popular video series is a "monthly favorites" review. I have decided to bridge the gap and bring the monthly favorites party to the teaching blogosphere. 

The concept of the linky party is very simple. At the end of the month, reflect upon your favorite school and home favorites that you couldn't live without. Link up using the monthly graphic provided and share your favorites with others. I know that without my teacher friends I would never have gained an unhealthy and slightly stalkerish obsession with the Target Dollar Spot! Thanks ladies and gents!

Here are my September favorites:


School Favorites

Scholastic is so near and dear to my heart! I could not wait to get the book club up and running in my classroom. When I saw the amazing bonus deals for September I could not wait to hit the ground running! We ended up crushing our $300 goal with less than half of the class ordering! I seriously have the most amazing parents! If you haven't started a book club in your classroom what are you waiting for?

I will be the first to admit, I was a bit skeptical of the write the room idea. Giving children access to roam around the classroom in groups seemed like releasing the floodgates. However, after testing it out in my classroom, I couldn't have been more wrong! Instead of children roaming the room aimlessly, they are 10,000 times more engaged! They are learning to collaborate, be self-sufficient and have fun while learning so much! My kinders have been obsessed with Lori's Write the Room pack. Like we literally have to have this as a center option every day or they will big time pout! If you are looking for a new center activity, Lori's product is where it is at!

This one I can 100% blame on my fellow blogger buddies! We are lovers of all things Scentos in kindergarten! From anchor charts, to correcting papers, to art projects, we cannot get enough! They don't just have markers though! Oh no, they have glitter glue, stamps, and highlighters! I think every child has gone home with 12 dots on his or her nose from smelling the markers since school started! Who can blame them! Those Scentos makers sure know how to make the most amazingly accurate scents! You better hop on this "scent"-sational product train ASAP!

Home Favorites

As a first year teacher, pretty much everything in my life is school related. I do however have a couple of home favorites this month. 

My ultimate September favorite was the premiere of #TGIT on ABC. Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder? Could television get any better? I think not! This is the one night a week I will stay up past my "teacher bedtime". Have you tuned in? What were your thoughts? I have been a fan of the two others, but I think Shonda has got a big hit on her hands with How To Get Away With Murder! It was so intriguing!

While curled up on the couch watching #TGIT, I am wearing my second favorite item. Standing up on your feet for 8 hours a day quickly takes a toll on your body. I just love coming home and putting on my fuzzy aloe infused socks to rejuvenate. It makes the endless laminating and cutting a lot more
manageable!

So there you have it, my September favorites in a nutshell. Hopefully I inspired you with a couple new item or two. I can't wait to see what you have to offer up as your favorites! 

Here is the template for the September favorites:

Background by Teresa Lewis
Apple Frame by Loreen Leedy
Doodle Frame by Aim Less Daze
Font by Vanessa Bays

Just edit the template with your favorites and put it in your blog post. Come back here and link up with your blog post. After that, check out some of the other link to find new favorites that might change your teaching for the better! Enjoy!


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