Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year Housekeeping

I can't believe today is the last day of 2012. It has been a great year. I married the most wonderful man who took me on the best honeymoon a girl could ask for. I have a great class of first graders. It has been a good one. I have been wanting to post some of my resolutions and join in the parties that are going on but I have some things I need to attend to first. So look for my resolutions to be posted tomorrow.
First I want to share the ornaments we made for our parents in my class. They turned out soo cute. I know you can't do it now but maybe pin the idea and save it for next year.
This first one I got the idea from Laral over at Little Miss Kindergarten. (You can read her post here.) I was planning on making these angels anyway but after Sandy Hook, it just seemed fitting.

The second one was a snowman I had seen all over blogs, pinterest and my assistant had brought in one a former student had given her. I had planned on making the kids ornaments with the frosty ball ornaments I found, but recovering from knee surgery prevented me from doing as much as I would have liked. These were easy and the kids had fun.

Next order of business that needs finishing up is the Holly Bloggy Exchange. I'm so late in posting this but I wanted to do it justice and posting from my phone wouldn't do that. (we still don't have internet at the house. I called last week and got the run around from both cable companies. My husband called and they came Saturday to check out the situation. So hopefully by the end of the week we'll have internet!)
Here is what I sent my partner Lisa from Live, Laugh and Love to Learn.

I love 31 and their pouches so I had to send that. Then I got some of my favorite pens, gum and chapstick. I also really love fuzzy socks.
Lisa sent me the cutest package. I loved the way she put everything in a  glass jar.

I love Essie nail polish and purple so that was the perfect gift. I keep meaning to paint my toes and my nails. But my right foot has been really swollen for the past two weeks as I'm recovering from surgery. I haven't really wanted to show off my Fred Flintstone feet. Thanks Lisa.

Live Laugh and Love to Learn
If you want to participate in the next Holly Bloggy Exchange, be sure to follow their blog. I have partcipated in all of them and have had such a great time.
Holly Bloggy Christmas

I am partcipating in a giveaway over at Kindergarten Faith. There are some great things to be won. So check it out.

Kindergarten Faith
You can win your choice of items from my store. I just posted a new write the room activity to Teachers Pay Teachers. My kids loved the Christmas one I made so I had to do a winter themed one. You can check it out here.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a very Happy New Year! I'm exctied to get back to blogging and creating in the new year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas! Enjoy your time with friends and family. Chris and I are enjoying our first married Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blog Hopping Day 17 and a freebie

We are in school this whole week. I've been back and forth about what I want to do this week. I think it is important to stick to routines but in light of recent events I decided we were going to have fun. We were going to sing and dance and talk and share. We were going to read books and make crafts and enjoy each other. We were going to celebrate Christmas and the holidays. So that's what we're doing. We'll still have our daily 5 structure. It takes care of itself. We'll still be learning just nothing new. They aren't retaining very much anyway. So tomorrow we're going to have an elf day in the morning. We're going to read the book The Little Red Elf, make elf hats and fill out an elf application. My kids this year have been obsessed with our elf on the shelf. They've been so fun because they all believe and they are so into it. So I'm going to share my elf application. I got the idea because a second grade teacher had applications to be reindeer. They were so cute I thought I would apply the idea to elves. I hope you can use this freebie.

Be sure to hop on over to the other bloggers and check out what they have going on.

Tiffani at Time for Kindergarten is the one who organized the blog hop.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 in 12

I'm linking up with Kristin and Hadar for their 12 in 12 linky party. If I was a cool kid, I would have linked up yesterday on 12-12-12. But I didn't. I actually blogged about things we were doing in our classroom. It has been a while since I've done that. But I've been wanting to join that party so here I am.
12. Favorite Movie I watched
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Hunger Games. I usually don't like it when they take books I like and turn them into movies. I'm not a fan of the Harry Potter movies but the books are my favorite. But this was actually a good movie. I also really enjoyed SkyFall (which I want to call starfall all the time because of the website.)
11. Favorite TV Series
I looked back at my 11 in 11 for last year and I listed all these crime shows I watch. And not much has changed. I still love a good crime show. Here lately I've been watching a lot of Mentalist and Castle. But there is always room for my all time favorite show Friends. I can always watch reruns of that show.
10. Favorite Restaurant
I'm really not sure what my favorite restaurant is. I have been loving me some Mexican food lately. For a while our place here in town had closed up but we found the guys that ran it at another Mexican restaurant. There is a local place we love to go for a burger, The Smoky Mountain Brewery. They have trivia a couple nights a week. My hubby and I have never played but I've been wanting to find another couple to play with. Maybe in the new year.
9. Favorite New thing You've Tried
I got married in June, does that count? Being married is definitely new and sharing my living space with someone. But I'm loving every minute of it. As of Sunday we will be married for 6 months. I don't know what I'd do without Chris. Especially as I've been recovering from surgery.
This picture is from last year when we got engaged. :)
8. Favorite gift you have received.
I don't have a picture of it but Chris bought me a plumeria necklace while we were in Hawaii for my birthday. I fell in love with the flower while we there and really all of Hawaii. Whenever I wear it, Sophie touches it and says Happy Happy. She remembers it was my birthday present from Chris.
7. Favorite thing you've pinned

Source: via Kerri on Pinterest
This pin makes me laugh a lot. Love it!
This is one of my favorite recipes I've made from pinterest this year.
6. Favorite Blog Post
I'm not sure which blog post is my favorite. It might be the one where I share pictures of my honeymoon. I know that it isn't school related at all but that was really the best trip and best surprise a girl could ask for.
You can check that post out here.
5. Favorite Accomplishment
I'm really proud of how much my blog has grown in the past year and how much I've grown because of blogging. When I was reading my post from last year, I was a few followers away from 100. Now almost a year later I have over 500 followers. I've met several bloggers in real life and have some bloggy besties. I love this community that I've become a part of. It has done so much for my teaching. I think my kids are seeing the fruits of blogging. I'm also proud of myself for jumping into to TPT. Last year I had only ventured into the teacher's notebook site. Since then I've now got over 20 items in my store and I'm setting and meeting new goal each quarter. It's not life changing or anything but I enjoy it. I make some great activities for my kids and then other people use them too. It amazes me to think that the activities I've created are being used by other teachers.
4. Favorite Picture
This is my favorite picture from our wedding. It sums up Chris and I and our relationship. Plus our fantastic Art teacher was our wonderful photographer.
3. Favorite Memory
My favorite memory is hands down my wedding and honeymoon. Probably the honeymoon more than anything. If you haven't heard the story, it's a good one. I thought we were going to the Florida keys until we got to the airport and were checking in. That's when I found out we were going to Hawaii. I was shocked. Chris had made these plans in January and kept it secret all this time. I also have some good memories with my niece Sophie. This summer I got to keep her one day a week and it was so wonderful to see how she changed each week and how much she learned.
2. Goal for 2013
To keep on blogging and trying new things. I think this year I've tried a lot of new things in my classroom. I'm doing Daily 5, math workstations and slowly getting writing workshop going. I just need to keep being open to change and trying new things.
1. One little word
With the way education is always changing, staying as positive as possible is needed. Also I'm still recovering from knee surgery and I need to get a positive attitude about that as well.
Be sure to check out the other 12 in 12 and link up yourself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Good Day and some holiday fun

So in the process of recovering from surgery, I seem to be doing an even worse job with blogging. Last week all I posted was the monthly currently. I'm just so tired in the afternoon that I don't feel like doing anything and not having internet at home is not helping things. But I taught a couple of good lessons today and had some good work going on and I thought I would share.
First up is our elf, Jack.
 He was hanging from an old projection screen cord with a post it on him. He had written notes on post its and left them all around the room. The kids thought this was really cool. I thought it was really cool, because they were reading the notes themselves. He also seemed to be spying on our reading corner which needed a little spying on. We had to have a mini lesson Monday to remind us about being book lovers not book bullies. When I told my husband this, he laughed for 2 or 3 minutes at the corniness of it. Oh well.
The next great thing was our reading mini lesson before read to self time. We've been talking about tools that readers use. I was having a hard time figuring out how to model this and let them practice as a group. But at about 2:30 the other morning I got a brain storm. I brought out a book that I had that has reading sheets on different holidays. We've been talking about Hanukkah. So I opened this page and then covered different words with post its. Some of the words I covered the whole thing. Others I just covered the last part of the word. I've been trying to get them to focus on getting their mouths ready for the first sound. It worked so well. The kids were word detectives and helped me figure out the words. It gave us the opportunity to talk about using text patterns and prior knowledge. It was great!
The third great thing was our verb lesson. We've been working on present and past tense verbs and I've been ready to pull my hair out over it. But I had seen this pin
It has past and present verbs on the lights. I had plans to make something like ths. But then I thought about how present tense verbs would look pretty cool on a present.
So today we reviewed some more and they gave me verbs. Then turned them into present tense verbs. The wrote them and decorated the word and then we made a present. I think we'll make a past tense verb christmas tree next week.
I've really been trying to get time in so I can work with kids one on one or with a group. I especially need this time in math. I've had math stations set up since last week but today was the first day we got to them.( They are my Mistletoe Math Workstation. You can check them out here on TPT. ) I tried having a third of the class working on class work, a third working on at a work station and then meeting with a group that needed some reteaching. The reteaching went well but my idea of how to make the thirds work did not. I think tomorrow they will all work on classwork and then when they finish their classwork they can more to their math station. I have about 3 kids that have no idea what we are doing in math unless my assistant and I are right with them. Then I have 2 that are wanting to multiply and are ready for it. I've been thinking a lot about differentiating and hope to have a post on that coming soon. The holidays are upon us and it's been a little crazy around here. I've been back and forth about whether to do a normal unit next week in reading or not. We have somethings we could use some review on and we have several fun activities planned so I'm leaning more towards not. I'm even thinking no homework next week. Not sure though. Do you try to stay as normal as possible as the holidays are approaching?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Currently

It's that time again. Time to link up with Farley for the monthly currently. Today is my third day back at work after surgery and I'm exhausted. I have gone home the past two school days and slept for at least an hour and half. I am trying to blog more but I'm taking is slow this week. Currently is the perfect way to ease into some blogging.

I wanted to explain a little more about my RAK. One of our fourth grade teachers has 3 sons who are in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The youngest son has been in the hospital for over a month now. He had some kind of virus that attacked his brain stem and he's experiencing stroke like symptoms. This past week he was moved to Atlanta for a little more intensive therapy. I'm so amazed by the school and community I live and work in. So many people are rallying together to raise money and support for this boy and his family. I've done some things for them but I would like to get some gas and food gift cards together anonymously and give to the teacher and his other two sons for traveling. If you are a praying person, please include this family in your prayers.
Our elf came to school on Monday. The kids decided on the name Jack for him. This is what he was up to today.
He took all the clips off the behavior chart and decorated the tree with them. The few kids that had to move their clips from the tree were pretty upset about it. Now to just figure out where he should go for tomorrow. Say a prayer for me. I'm without my assistant tomorrow. Normally that is no big deal, but on crutches it's difficult.
Be sure to check out the other currently posts over at Farley's.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A magical guest

Check out who is arriving in my room tomorrow. Our elf! I bought one from Hobby Lobby this year instead of borrowing the real one. I think he's a cutie! I've wrapped him up and he'll be in the freezer in the morning along with a letter from Santa. I'm so excited about it! I might be more excited than the kids will be. I've got tons of ideas from I while I was out with my surgery. I'll be sure to post pictures nowhere he'll be.