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!
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.
Decorate a bulletin board once and just keep switching out the work. It has saved me countless hours this year!
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!
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.

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?
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!

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!

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!

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

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!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Kinder Kid Said What? Five for Friday!

I have made it out of the back to school kindergarten abyss alive! Honestly, it has not been anywhere as tiring and stressful as I thought it would be. The only downfall is that there is never enough time in the day and I can never get ahead on anything! This is pretty much the story of my life now!

This week has been full of assessments, assessments, and more assessments! Since that's not nearly as much fun to share in a Five for Friday post, I thought I would share five of my favorite kid quotes of the week. These kids keep me laughing on an hourly basis and make coming to work so much fun!

Khrys of Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland has this fun linky party going on and I couldn't help but link up! When you combine it with Kacey of Doodle Bugs Teaching, this linky themed post is so much fun!

So seriously though, do kinder kids not say the most adorable things? If this was part of your job, you would absolutely love it too! Go link up with Khrys and Kacey and share your happenings this week. I can't wait to read about your hilarious moments soon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Show Us What You Bought

Let me break this down for you...

First year teacher + 28% off = excessive TpT spending!

I am not ashamed to admit that I went extremely overboard during this sale. Annnnd, I was only truly purchasing for up to November since I am already anticipating what I will buy during the Cyber Monday sale when the paychecks start rolling in. 

Things I told myself to sleep at night:
1. I had a gift certificate.
2. I used soooo many TpT credits for extra savings.
3. I did set a limit and did not break it. Victory! 
4. Everything can be re-used year after year.
5. It's for the children!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to show you all what I bought.
 Note: All glitter frames are courtesy of Glitter Meets Glue Designs.

I was very strategic in my purchasing aiming for the most bang for my buck. I also wanted to cover every aspect of teaching from morning work to classroom management. I think I was pretty successful!

Here are the 22 things that I ended up with broken up into categories...

First up: The Printable Princess. If you are a kindergarten teacher you eat, sleep and breathe The Printable Princess! I totally splurged on her center activities and this portion packed the heftiest price tag. However, I have up until December completely covered with phenomenal hands on activities that the kids will love and as a first year teacher, that is more than I could ask for! 

Next, I purchased a few more colored ink centers that would last me year round. I loved the alphabet bundle because it had everything you could dream for and more for each letter of the alphabet. One of my absolute favorite centers to have in kindergarten is Write the Room because it keeps kids moving. I wanted a year long bundle so I couldn't have to search for different themed cards and this was by far the best deal of all. The cards are so colorful and the coordinating worksheets are so user-friendly. I know this will be a fan favorite! Finally, I purchased the holiday and seasonal literacy centers bundle. I could not turn down this bundle no matter how much my wallet tried to stop it. These centers are a one stop shop that has the entire year covered!

Seeing as I already ran out of colored ink mid way through printing my first pack, I knew black and white printables were the way to go. These printables will last me an entire year and have all my morning work, math and literacy centers covered. I am all about making life easier as a first year teacher and these ladies are making that possible!

I have been planning my first classroom for as long as I can remember. Now, through social media sites, organization and classroom decor has been kicked into high gear. These packs have me covered from everything I need to decorate my classroom as well as staying organized through binders, storage drawers, and posting the CCSS around the room. I cannot wait to see these in action in the classroom! It is going to be so bright and cheery!

Finally, what classroom would be complete without a little management and assessment action? I am officially obsessed with these Keys to Success. I know the kiddos are going to love collecting these tags and they will be great to communicate success with parents. Since my time is going to be so limited in half-day k, I need to make sure that those brains are always learning. These fast finisher sets will be a lifesaver! Finally, I want to check in and see how my kids are feeling with concept mastery. This road trip themed set provides the perfect visuals and is so kid friendly. I know it will be a hit in the classroom and help keep me informed as to who needs extra help.

It has literally taken me all my willpower to stay off the computer today because I know I could easily go buy 20 more things in a heartbeat. How many more days until the Cyber Monday sale because clearly I am counting down the seconds!
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