Monday, December 31, 2012

100th Post Celebration - Currently {Almost} January

This is my 100th post! I was going to save it til tomorrow to hopefully announce my giveaway, but I knew if I waited to link up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade, I'd be 500 people down the list when I linked up on Friday. 

But Farley's currently is such a fun way to celebrate! I just love these! And the snowman this month is truly adorable!


After I did this, I realized the font was very pale. Oh well!

Listening: My grandma just loves to watch Ellen every single day. Even though it is a repeat, we have to watch because Sophia Grace and Rosie are on and they are just too cute to pass up in her opinion.

Loving: We got the first "real" snowstorm of the year. I just love how everything looks beautiful with a fresh coat of snow. Even though it is freezing cold, I don't mind because the snow makes it seem like a magical world awaits.

Thinking: I can't believe 2012 is over already! It seems like the years go by faster and faster each year! Only bigger and better things are bound to happen in 2013 so let's bring it on!

Wanting: I really just want to student teach. I am sick of taking classes and just want to be in a classroom. Blogging really gives me teacher fever!

Needing: My neck is killing me lately. I need a good massage to start the year fresh.

OLW: Breathe. Just breathe and take in every little beautiful thing in the world. We are constantly rushing by through life and not stopping to take it all in. The little things don't matter. Just breathe and relax. Everything is going to be alright!

Hurry on over and link up with Farley. I can't wait to read everyone's!

Stop back tomorrow for details about a magnificent 250 followers giveaway! 
Enter my giveaway now!

Fitness Resolutions

Today's resolutions is all about fitness. Can you tell they saved the worst best for last? DeeDee from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten is hosting today.

Let's just pretend that I was not devouring nibbling on a bag of chips before writing this post. (Hey at least they were 40% less fat)

And let's pretend that I am not planning on eating an entire dinner combination special from the Chinese restaurant tonight.

Let's focus on the fact that I'm eating some nice healthy soup (minus the vegetables so basically just noodles which isn't really helping now is it) for lunch instead shall we?

That's why this is a 2013 resolution and not a 2012 one. 2012 clearly wasn't the best. A new year means a new start! That's why we get one every 365 days!

Here are my fitness goals for 2013:

1. Actually use the free gym membership that I have through school.

2. Eat more healthily including more fruits and veggies and less junk food snacks late at night.

3. Walk places more instead of using transportation.

Keeping the goals short and sweet so I can hopefully maintain them.

Hurry on over and link up. You know you really want to!

Check back soon for the 250 followers giveaway! You won't want to miss it!

Getting Techy for 2013

I finally decided to jump in feet first to the technological age. 2013 is going to be all about social media! I am now on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. You can find me on the sites below by clicking on each link:





I'm not 100% sure I set up that Facebook page right but we will see how it goes. Using Facebook as a page sure is interesting.

Follow me on each social media outlet to get the most out of my blog!

Here's to a very techy 2013 for everyone! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

250 Followers+2 Linkies+2 Free Fonts=A Whole Lot of Fun

Well as the title states, this post is full of randomosity. 

I was so excited to wake up and find out that my blog hit 250 followers last night! You are the best! I am so thankful for each and every one of you. 

Be on the lookout for a grand giveaway in the near future. It's going to be a great way to ring in the new year and celebrate 2013 style! 

If you are interested in participating in the giveaway, I would be more than happy to have you! Just leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at thepolishedteacher@gmail.com

In order to celebrate hitting the big 2-5-0, I created 2 more fonts for you all to use. I hope you enjoy these and find them useful! 

Click on each image to download. 



Just give a link to my blog or use my blog button in any products you create. Thanks! 

Now bring on the linky parties! 

The first one up is day 4 of the Counting our Blessings and Looking Ahead party. Today's theme is downtime and Amy from Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons is hosting.


Here are my downtime resolutions for 2013:
1.  Read for fun: I used to read sometimes 3 books a week. Once college started that went right out the window. There is so much textbook reading that I never have time to read books I want to read for fun. I vow to make extra time to unwind and read a good book at least once a month.
2. Catch up with friends: I am always "too busy" with school to meet with friends. I need to make time to meet up with friends and re-connect. Ice skating or meeting at a coffee house seems like a perfect start.
3. Turn off the electronics: I am usually connected to some piece of technology from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I need to shut off the devices and enjoy the simple things in life like this beautiful snowfall.

Then we have Jen from The Teachers' Cauldron hosting the It's A New Year linky party.


My personal resolution is to make more time for family. Cherish every minute you have with family because you never know when they can be taken from you.

My blogging resolutions are two fold. 

The first is to get a custom blog design. I now have my blog name set and I am ready to make it complete with a custom look. There are so many great designers out there it is hard to choose one! 

 The second resolution is to stick to a weekly posting schedule. 
I am thinking something like this: 

Shopping Sunday - Sharing my shopping steals of each week

Manic Monday -So I stick to making at least weekly freebies

Storytelling Tuesday - sharing a great read-aloud and activity 

Wordless Wednesday - keeping me accountable for pictures

Thankful Thursday - I definitely have so much to be thankful for

Free-For-All Friday - Whatever I feel like sharing each week

CCSSS - Common Core State Standard Saturday - Sharing a Common Core State Standard resource or activity with you all

What do you think? 
Sounds like an ambitious, yet much needed plan. 

Head on over and link up! I'd love to hear your resolutions! 

Be sure to check back soon for the 250 followers giveaway! It's sure to be a great one!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Professional Growth Resolutions

Today's theme of resolutions is Professional growth. Amanda from One Extra Degree is hosting the linky and giveaway.

I am actually quite excited about this theme this year! 2013 is the year when I get to student teach! I cannot wait to actually get into the classroom full time. I know it will be challenging and hard-work, but it will be an amazing experience!

Here are my goals for the year:

1. Student Teaching - I am determined to be the best I can be for the children and soak up every piece of information I can learn from my cooperating teacher. This is the moment I have been waiting for since I was a child. It will definitely be a learning experience and I know there will be constructive criticism but I am ready for it!

2. Attend conferences/workshops - I was so inspired by all the pictures from the I Teach K conference this summer. It made me want to hop on a plane to Vegas and attend with you all. I hope I get to teach Kindergarten so I can go in the future. It looks like the time of your life! I attended an early childhood education conference which was really informative but not what I had thought it would be. It was geared more towards daycare preschools. I signed up for a teaching math/science workshop through my school that I am looking forward to attending. I hope there are more opportunities to attend others in 2013.

3. Update the resume - I have got to get this resume updated so I will be all set to apply for jobs when I graduate. It is a very simple task and I have lots of help with it I just have a bad habit of procrastinating. That has got to change in 2013!

4. Make a SchoolSpring account -SchoolSpring is the place to apply for jobs now and I want to get ahead. My friend told me that it is so much easier to apply for jobs when you have everything all filled out and can just click submit when new jobs appear. I want to get that account set up so once I am eligible to apply for jobs, I can do so immediately.

5. Substitute Teaching - Once I finish student teaching, I am eligible to substitute teach. I want to use this experience to build relationships with school districts that I can hopefully work for in the future. The best part, my college schedules all night classes for the final semester so that we can substitute every single day if we want to. I plan on making this happen! I need to build all the connections that I can.

6. Certifications - I am all set with the testing to get certified in my state. I want to be certified in my surrounding states as well as any other prospective states that I might want to teach in. I need to stay up to date with the testing requirements and become certified in as many states as I can to have the best shot at finding a job. 

Hopefully by publishing these to the world I will be held accountable. You'll help me won't you? 2013 is a big year and I can't wait! Bring it on!

Friday, December 28, 2012

12 Free Fonts: Celebrating the New Blog Name

In case you are confused by the new name, I decided to start fresh with a new name for the new year. Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks was the old name. The Polished Teacher is the new name. Out with the old, in with the new! Celebrating 250 followers with a big blog giveaway real soon! 
 
Enter my giveaway now!
 
In order to celebrate this change, I have some goodies to share with my fabulous readers!
I have been having too much fun making fonts! They seriously are addicting! If you have an iPad, you need to download iFontmaker ASAP! It is worth every penny!

You can never have too many fonts in your collection, so I thought I would share them with you all! Here are 12 Free Fonts. A dozen goodies just for you! All I ask is that you provide either a:

link to my blog 
thepolishedteacher.blogspot.com

or my blog button 
to your product to give me credit. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Onto the fonts! 
Click on each image to download

I'm linking these up for TBA's Freebie Friday.

And for Manic Monday. Enjoy!

While we're at it, why not link up for Freebielicious'

Happy New Year Folks!

New Blog Name + Organization Resolutions

I have decided to change up the blog name for the new year. After much deliberation, I have decided on...

The Polished Teacher

It was originally inspired because I always have my nails painted but it can mean a variety of things. I like what it represents! 

Now goes the process of changing everything over. Don't be confused if you see changes going on randomly around here. Like my e-mail for example. My new e-mail is:

thepolishedteacher@gmail.com

You can e-mail me there from now on and I will respond. However, I still will have my old e-mail open until all the changes take place.

Now onto the linky day 2! Today's theme is organization! 2nd grade Shenanigans is hosting the linky today. I can't wait to see all these great ideas. I could sure use them! 


Here are my organization resolutions for 2013:

1. Finally finish organizing my TPT files into folders. I still have 1700 files to organize. If I did 100 a day it would be done before going back to school but I just can't motivate myself to do so. 

2. Organize clip art files. My files are all over the place! I have images in files with no credit names. I have files named names that make no sense at all. I need to sort this out so that I can be more efficient. This is why I have been stalling on making products too. Shame on me! 

3. Make an inventory of books that I have. I keep on buying books and randomly storing them all over the house wherever they fit. I need to make an inventory of all the books I have so that I can buy books I actually need and not spend money when I don't. 

4. Hopefully start using a planner. I go by memory on what work I have to get done and shockingly it isn't working out as well as I would like. I need to take that two extra seconds and write it down. I have a cute planner and everything. This shouldn't be hard! 

5. Organize my iTunes library. Lots of the songs I use in class got imported without names and just as Track 01. That does me no good whatsoever. That has got to change now! 

Looks like I have lots of organization to get around to. Good thing we have 365 days a year because 350 are probably going to be procrastinated. No wait, I didn't say that. Are we breaking the resolution already? Good thing 2013 hasn't started yet!

After Christmas Shopping Roundup

Did you all hit up the stores for the Christmas clearance sales? Based on the fact that you are a teacher, I bet you did! I'm sharing some great deals that I found as well as what I'm planning on using them for. Hopefully you find some new ideas! If you are inspired, head on over to see if you can snag these great deals at your local store!

Here are some picture collages of stuff that I bought along with where I bought them and the prices:

Randall Reindeer Pack
Christmas Tree Shop
$2.99
I found this gem while scouring through $1.24 holiday DVD's. It was on the top shelf with the side showing and I assumed it was just a regular storage box. Well boy was I surprised when I pulled out this amazing set! I had just saw this book at Five Below right before I went to Christmas Tree for $5 but the cover was all crinkled so I passed. Lucky for me that I did! This set comes boxed with a Randall Reindeer plushie, the hardcover book, and a little booklet of Randall Report notes. I plan on using this adorable set next year for a read aloud along with a writing activity where the children can fill out the reports.

Placemats
Christmas Tree Shop
$.64 each
I was originally looking for Christmas placemats for the house next year but couldn't find any good ones with five of the same design left. Then it hit me to buy the individual ones for the classroom. They will be great to use as math mats! I plan on using the elf one for greater than, less than, and an even/odd sort with one category per leg. The penguin one is perfect for addition/subtraction problems or sorting. The gingerbread house one I don't have an idea off the top of my head but I'm sure I will think of one soon!

Christmas Books
Barnes and Noble
Varying prices $4-9
Titles:
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
The Gingerbread Pirates
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas
The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas (with CD included)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
The Night Before Christmas
Santa Is Coming To New England
Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas
Merry Christmas Splat
A Bad Kitty Christmas
I hope you all took my advice from Halloween and headed over to your nearest Barnes and Noble and picked up these great books for 50% off. They are all hardcover holiday books that are perfect for my growing collection. Most of the books I have been snagging are used books for the children to look through. These are going to be my special read aloud books. I am all stocked up for next year!

Reading Buddies
Barnes and Noble
Varying Prices $4-8
When I was stocking up on books, they had the most adorable stuffed animals too. I can't say no to a cute stuffed animal. They are my weakness! The Santa Couple and Gingerbread Girl stole my heart. They are too precious! So I bought five of those too. These will be great for reading time in the classroom or for retelling the story with props.

Teaching Clothes
Old Navy
$4.98-10
I didn't take any pictures of the clothes, but I splurged and bought a bunch of stuff at Old Navy. They were having up to 75% off in stores. I had to wait a half hour in line but it was worth every second spent there! My best steal was three $20 cardigans for $4.98 each! I got a $35 sweater for $10 and three long sleeved shirts for $7. I am all stocked up until Spring!

I hope you all grabbed some great deals too! I'd love to hear them in the comments section below!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Technology Resolutions

Kathleen at Growing Kinders is hosting day 1 of a 5 day Resolution linky/giveaway series.


Today's theme is Technology resolutions. Here are my personal and professional technology resolutions!

Personal/Blogging:
I'd like to think that I am a tech goddess. But in all actuality, I really am kind of clueless a novice when it comes to technology. Most pieces of technology seem to hate me and break all the time. All I know, I have learned from others or tutorials from online. This year, I would like to learn how to best utilize all my technology pieces to their full potential.

I really want to host at least one linky party this year and I am hoping to learn how to make that happen. It seems easy enough but so did Rafflecopter and that was a challenge.

My number one goal however is that I would love to learn how to make clip art on either the computer or ipad. I just discovered how to make fonts so clip art making is on the forefront. This has been a goal for me for quite a long time now and 2013 is the year to make it happen!

Professional/School:
2013 will be the first year I will be in the classroom full time! I cannot wait to learn all about the different pieces of technology that will be in use. I can't wait to use an IWB and iPad in the classroom! I'm hoping my cooperating teacher has one!

Along those lines, I want to use more youtube videos for brain breaks. If anyone has a board on Pinterest for break break videos I would love if you would share the link in the comments below! 

For school, I want to use more technology for assignments and presentations. The days of poster boards and simple Power Points are long gone. Prezi seems like a really great place to start!

I can't wait to find more wonderful technology ideas to incorporate from all those linking up! This is a linky to bookmark for sure! Come back tomorrow to find out some organizational resolutions. Can't we all use those! 

Free Fonts!

Hi bloggy friends! I am so happy to see so many new faces around. Almost to 250 when we can throw that next giveaway...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones! I know I did!

Santa was oh so very good to me this year! He brought me lots of new goodies! I got my beloved laminator! *swoon* Can't wait to get a laminating but I have yet to break it out of the box yet because I have been playing around with my pride and joy: my new iPad! Love love love it! 

There are so many amazing things that you can do with one! I am working on figuring out how to make clip art but for now, my absolute favorite is fontmaking. How addictive! I have whipped up so many fonts in no time! I thought I would share a few with you all. All I ask is that you provide simple credit with either my blog link or my blog button. Piece of cake!

Click on each picture below to download. 




UPDATE: I added PS for Pixy Stix in front of my font names so that they stay organized in your font folders. 

I hope you enjoy these fonts! Stop back soon when I have some more new goodies to share with you all! Let me know if you have any requests for fonts I should make in the future! 

If you have any favorite apps for the iPad I'd love to hear all about them! Share in the comments section below!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

The time has come! Christmas is almost here! Just in time, it has begun to snow the first flakes of the year.

What a magical Christmas it will be! 

Be sure to visit Norad and track Santa's journey around the world!

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas!

Source: etsy.com via Chelsi on Pinterest



2012 Best & Brightest

Christina from Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge is hosting a wonderful new linky party called

This is a change to talk about all your best moments from 2012.

The best thing I did in 2012 was start a blog. It was a huge step that I was nervous to take. However, it was the best leap of faith I could have taken. I have learned so much from all you bloggers out there. I am 100% confident I will be a better teacher because of you all!

I couldn't believe the impact this little blog has made. I have readers from all over the world: Russia, Philippines, Latvia, Israel, Canada, Spain, Germany, UK, Indonesia, and Australia! It is crazy to think it has reached that far across the world! I am amazed at the power of the internet each and every day!

My favorite post was this one. It was where I created and shared my first ever freebie for you all. I loved being able to give back to the teacher community that helped me so much.

My favorite blogging memory was hitting 100 followers and hosting my first ever giveaway. I was so amazed at how the blogging community came together to help me out with the giveaway. Everyone was so willing to help me out and I couldn't be more thankful!

2012 was a year filled with amazing bloggers. My top 2 bloggers are of course Kristin (A Teeny Tiny Teacher) and Michelle (The 3am Teacher). Kristin provides the best medicine of all: laughter. If I am ever having a stressful day, I can log on and read one of her posts and instantly feel better. She is hilarious! Michelle is the kindest person you could ever meet. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and answer any questions you might have. I wouldn't be where I am today without them!

2012 was amazing and 2013 can only get better from here! Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope you have a fantastic end to 2012!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

All I Want For Christmas {Linky}

Now that school is over and break is in full swing, I have really gotten in the Christmas spirit! While giving gifts is my favorite part of the holiday, I do enjoy receiving gifts as well. I am linking up with Mrs. Leeby to share my wish list. 

What would be the perfect gift from. . . 
1. Students
2. Kiddies
3. Husband/boyfriend
4. Parents/Family
5. BFF
6. Santa

 Here are my faves this season! 

1. Handmade cards and ornaments are the best. I am obsessed with this one:
(via Emily Hunt)
I love student hand made gifts. They are the best to treasure for years to come. I never throw any cards away and ornaments from students fill any tree with the best memories.

2. In the future, the best gift I could receive from the kiddies would be personal coupons.
  As a child, my parents absolutely loved these!

3. I am obsessed with this date night jar from Pinterest! 
I would absolutely love getting this as a present.

4. My parents are helping me out this year by getting me a personal laminator! 
  
 (via Amazon)
I cannot wait to prep some center activities over break. This will make life so much more convenient! Family always understands teaching obsessions!

5. Nail polish! My friends and I have manicure nights throughout the year. I have loads of nail polish already but there is this new liquid sand glitter matte polish from OPI that I have been dying for! This is my favorite: OPI Get Your Number
(via Beauty Passionista)

6. I'm sure hoping that Santa brings me that iPad I've been hoping for this year. 
I hope his elves know how to make those at the North Pole! I'm hoping to spend break playing around with making fonts and clip art! 

Hurry on over and link up! You could win a $15 gift card to Starbucks! Wouldn't that be a great gift for any Teacher?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Liebster Blog Award + 11 to Go!

I missed my 200 followers giveaway when my laptop crashed. I am 11 away from 250 and I think that it's great number to have a giveaway in it's place. Invite your friends to follow me so we can celebrate! If you want to help out with my giveaway let me know! I would love to have you! Thanks! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was nominated by Nikki at Love, Laughter and Lesson Plans for the Liebster Blog award
 at the beginning of December. Even though I have over 200 followers, I can't resist telling you all a bit more about myself.

Here are 11 random facts about me! 
1. I took 5 years of Italian in High School and College.
2. I cannot bake anything without having some major fiasco.
3. I am left handed which I have a love-hate relationship with.
4. I refuse to eat hot dogs or pop tarts.
5. I am addicted to Pinterest D.I.Y crafts.
6. I watch far too many reality/game/competition shows.
7. I am allergic to dogs/cats, grass and pineapples.
8. I love playing board games.
9. I hate amusement park rides.
10. I have to listen to music to fall asleep.
11. I could eat Chinese food every day.

Here are my answers to Nikki's questions:
1.  What movie would you identify your life with and why?
Oh boy I should probably have watched more movies so that I have something to relate to. This is the toughest question! I guess recently, I really related to Toy Story 3 because it came out right as I graduated high school and was going to college and my friends and I sat in the theatres and just cried because we were growing up and moving on with our lives. 

2.  What is your favorite sport?
My favorite sport is softball/baseball. I have grown up in a baseball family and it's where my heart is at. 

3.  Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I am not going to lie, I am not really a huge dog or cat fan because I'm allergic to them but they are both absolutely adorable! 

4.  What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
I love teaching math! Math was my favorite as a child. I love how there is one definite answer to a problem but a million ways to get there. 

5.  If you could move anywhere in the world where would you go?
I would move to Italy in a heartbeat. It is just beautiful there! 

6.  What is your favorite winter time tradition?
My favorite winter time tradition is sipping hot chocolate by the fire while watching The Polar Express but I recently bought an Elf on the Shelf and I am in love with it! 

7.  What is one thing that you wish you had for your classroom right now?
How about just a classroom of my own? I can't wait to teach! 

8.  Favorite book of all times?
There are so many amazing books to choose from! In my opinion, children's picture books are the best in general. I have become quite a Fancy Nancy fan recently but going back to my childhood, my favorite book is Guess How Much I Love You. 

9.  What are some of your hobbies?  (outside of school!)
Some hobbies are playing board games, making jewelry, scrapbooking, interior decorating, and reading. 

10.  What do you do for stress relief?
For stress relief I take a hot shower, listen to calming music, and read.

11.  What is your number one thing you advise new teachers to do for a successful school year?
I don't fully know from experience, but I would say establish a solid routine, and have consistent classroom management.

Now here is the part where I am supposed to highlight 11 blogs with under 200 followers. The only problem is that being late to the party, it seems that every blog I know of with under 200 followers has already been nominated. If you have a blog with under 200 followers and want to be nominated, let me know and I will update the post and nominate you.

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