Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lovin Summer and Creative Teaching Press!

I am loving summer! This week is the first week that I've really felt like I was on Summer break. At least the day to day summer break where I'm home. We have been out of school for about 3 weeks and starting this past Saturday was the first time, I've really been home. Monday was such a great day. I had my quiet time in the morning, went for a bike ride, ran a few errands, cleaned my kitchen really good, had lunch with some friends, met a friend for coffee, and then even fixed dinner. It was wonderful. Who knew that things like cleaning something really well and fixing dinner would make me so happy. Part of it is that I'm actually feeling pretty good. The first trimester was pretty rough for me. I think I only cooked once or twice the whole time. So needless to say, Chris is pretty happy I'm feeling better. The rest of the week has been pretty great too. It is just nice to have time to do things.  I saw this pin on pinterest today and thought it was perfect for how I was feeling.
Someone happened to mention yesterday how many weeks were left of summer. I won't speak of it here because it was unwelcome conversation. I still have a lot I want to accomplish. Mainly I need to get everything out of our guest room so we can turn it into a nursery. It is no small job. But I want at least that much done before school starts because once school starts it is going to be hard to do it.
So my brain hasn't really been on school this summer but I got this amazing package from Creative Teaching Products on Tuesday. (It was my birthday and that was a great surprise.)
Here is a snapshot of what I was sent. It has got me thinking about what I want to do with it all.
I am pretty excited bout these library pockets in chevron. There are large and small ones. I am not sure what I'm going to do with the large ones. They are 6" by 9". But the small ones, I think I'm going to use them for the kids to pick their daily 5/literacy centers for the day. What I'm envision is putting the choices on the pocket and then they can use popsicle sticks to make their choice. I haven't quite figured out what choices I want the kids to have yet. I loop with my kids and last year we did literacy centers but usually in first grade, I do a little more Daily 5. I do know I want to give the kids some choice.

I'm also loving these welcome postcards. I plan on writing notes to my students and either mailing them or leaving them on their desks when we have registration day. The nameplates are pretty self explanatory. We can't get in our classrooms until the first Monday in August and school starts on the 15th so I'm a little nervous about that. This is the first year I won't be able to start working in my room in July. So I'm glad to have this great chevron computer paper to work on welcome letters and other aspects of our notebooks so I can get some things done at home.

These 2 inch and 1 inch chevron stickers are amazing. I will definitely do some crafting with these this summer. I can combine these with the cool chevron posters they sent me. So be looking for a Monday Made it using all these materials. Another task I can do at home while watching Netflix or whatever Chris has picked, is to get all these letters punched out. I'm so excited. They sent my 4 packs of these chevron letters so I can redo all my headers for bulletin boards and update them with chevron. (Four Inch Chevron Letters)
This is the item I think I'm the most excited about. Book Buddy Bags. I am so excited to try these out with my kids. They seem to be made of really heavy plastic and I think they'll be perfect for the kids to keep their Read to Self books in. I think I'll probably make a label with the kids' names on them so I can use them for kids as they come and go. (As we know they will)
They sent me some other great stuff that I'll be using the decoration of my room.
Birthday Crowns

Jack O' Lantern Jumbo Stencil border

Birthday Mini Bulletin Board Set

Poppin Patterns Pennant Border
Mini Hexagon Border

I'm really excited to update my birthday board. I've had the same one up for the past 3 years and it's fine but not as cute as I would like. Updating the borders on my bulletin boards will be fun too. I love all the bright colors.
I might be a little biased because I've really enjoyed being an exclusive blogger for Creative Teaching Press and they are great to work with. But check out their stuff for back to school! I would love to hear what you would do with some of the products that I received. Like the letter stickers, large library pockets and borders. I'm starting to think a little bit about school. Although, I don't know what I'm going to do with all this stuff until I can bring it to school. My usual dumping ground is the guest room I need to clean out. I better get off this computer and get my bike ride in. Today my friend Cassie and I start our library/reading program. I'm so excited about it. What do you love most about summer?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Made it - Sunday School Style

I said last week that my blog might take a turn towards the more personal and not as much school related material since it was summer and my brain was elsewhere. During the summer, I also find myself more involved with church and the activities we have going on there.  My husband and I are very involved at our church. It was definitely one of the things that drew us to each other when we first started dating. I was involved with the youth and had a girls ministry at the church I attended and he was involved in the youth and so much more at his church. God really works in amazing ways. When I met Chris, I was in need of a change and started going to his church. I loved the youth that I worked with at my church but they were graduating when I made the change. I feel so honored to get to see the things that God can do in the lives of the youth at both churches. I have been lucky enough to work with some fantastic kids and God continually challenges me to do more. One of the areas that he has been challenging me in is writing my own curriculum for our children's church. I have been helping once every other month with children's church. Our Children's church is during the regular service and for grades K-2. The curriculum we use is not bad but the teacher in me sees where it could be improved. I would love for our kids to get a firm foundation in the stories of the Bible and then move on to some of the deeper things. I'm not sure that what we use now builds on each week. Well, I was presented with the opportunity to create some activities to go with the lessons. So I thought I might share them once a week on my blog. I created another blog last summer to write about my faith but it just too hard to keep up with it. I am sure that I'm not the only teacher out there who finds themselves teaching in their church as well. So hopefully, you will find these posts helpful. I feel like it is something I'm being nudged to do.
So a couple of weeks ago, the focus of the lesson was about the Holy Spirit. The passage to focus on was from John chapter 14. In this passage, Jesus talks with the disciples about how he is leaving but the Father is sending  a gift. The gift is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us and to teach us. In this passage, Jesus also talks about how he lives in the Father and the Father lives in him. This passage helps give us the Holy Trinity. So I created a craft to go with the idea of the Trinity.
There are three hearts and each heart represents a different part of the Trinity. Have the students write or draw a picture of each part. Then they cut out the hearts and put them together to make a clover. There are direction included in the file. Check it out here.  Here's a screenshot of the file.

So I'm linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made it. Hopefully I'll be back next Monday with a craft I've completed. Since I've only been home for about 2 days, I haven't gotten any crafts completed yet. Be sure to head over to Tara's blog and check out the other what everyone else has going on this Monday.

Fourth Grade Frolics
I would love to hear if this kind of post is something you might be interested in and if you use it. I guess if you aren't interested, you could leave a comment but I'm pregnant and it doesn't take much to make me start crying.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five for Friday: Beach Addition

I hadn't planned on linking up this week since I'm on vacation. But I'm awake and Chris is not so here I am. 
If I am being real honest, this summer you will probably see more personal stuff than teachery stuff. At least for a little bit, this is just where I'm at. This week marks my twelfth week of pregnancy and the end of my first trimester. So my brain is really on home mode and baby mode and just relaxing. Hopefully that will be ok with you guys! If not, well don't read. Anyway, so here are  some pictures from the week.

1. This has been my view all week. I am not sleeping great so usually I get up and sit on the porch for a little bit and check things out on the iPad before Chris gets up. Today is our last day.

2. We celebrated our 2 year anniversary. There is this restaurant we like here called The Bistro. They have great food, great drinks(not for me). And delicious dessert. But they were closed Monday so we went Tuesday! Here is my present from Chris. I have been wanting a bracelet like this for a while but he did a great job picking out the beads. The pearly one is for my birthstone and the turquoise one is for the baby's and his. 

3. I posted Tuesday about the books I had read so far. I think my total for this trip is 8 books and I'm working on the 9th. Here are a couple more I read and enjoyed. 
This is part of the Stephanie Plum series. I love this series. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who has 2 love interest who are equally appealing, a side kick who used to be a prostitute, and a hilarious grandmother. She lives in New Jersey and has a knack for getting in trouble. Love these. I read this one in a morning. 
This one is a young adult book I read about on someone's blog. I enjoyed it greatly. The main character Georges is easy to love as he navigates some big changes to his life. 
I have been wanting to read this one for a while but didn't really want to buy it. No idea why not, but Chris finished his books he brought and we had to take a trip to Barnes and Noble to get him something else to read. So I picked it up and started it last night. So far I'm intrigued.

4. While we've been on vacation we've been discussing the nursery and what to do with all our stuff. Here are a couple of things I pinned for some inspiration.

We're going with a Hawaiian Beach theme. I'm in love with this mobile and hopefully will be able to recreate it.

5. This picture is technically from last week of my baby bump. I think it has gotten bigger this week. So weird how it pops out. I haven't taken a new picture yet.

So that's my Five For Friday. Be sure to head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and check the party out! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I have been reading (Books for fun!)

I have been on summer break for almost 2 weeks now and I think I've only spent 3 nights at home. I'm currently not home but at the beach. So this post is going to be kind of quick. I have been reading a ton in the past 2 weeks and I thought I'd share what I've been reading. I'm linking up with Deanna Jump's linky. 

We left for the beach a little early and got to spend some time with Chris's sister and niece. It was a nice treat. So I got an extra day of reading in. So far, I've read 3 books and I'm working on my fourth. 
First up is The Husband's Secret.
It was pretty good and an easy read. It is about several women in Australia and how their stories intertwine. One of the women's husband writes her a letter and in it is a big secret. When I told Chris the title he thought it sounded kind of sketchy but it is a good read. It was a best selling book this year which is how I stumbled on it. 

The second book is Death in the clouds by Agatha Christie.
I love mysteries and there are no better mysteries than Agatha Christies. Seriously if you like a good mystery get one of her books. They are good stories with intrigue, love, and very little gore. I love her detectives and this one stars Hercule Poriot. I have read a lot of her books but I was inspired to get this one because of an episode of Doctor Who. Her first book was The Mysterios Affair at Styles. If you're looking for one to start with, I'd start there. 

The book I just finished up is Dragonfly in Amber. 
This is the second in the Outlander Series. I had read probably 4 or 5 of this series a while ago but I read so much I really don't remember what I read. (Good thing in real life you don't take a comprehension quiz)so 2 years ago on my honeymoon. I retread the first one. It is a story set in Scotland right after WWII. The main character, Claire, goes back in time to the 1700s and meets a group of highlander men. Including Jamie Fraser who she falls in love with. Apparently Starz is making a tv show out of the series so I've been seeing it everywhere. I decided to work on rereading the series, and got the second one for my kindle. It continues the story of Claire and Jamie. I would tell more but I don't want to ruin the first one. It is a long book but a pretty fast read. 

Today the new Stephanie Plum came out, Top Secret Twenty One so that's the book of the day! 
Be sure to head over to Deanna Jump's blog and check out the party. I think I'm the oddball not posting about children's book. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Five for Friday

It is my first Friday of the summer and there is no better way to celebrate than linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. It has been a while since I linked up. End of school and first trimester exhaustion has just been too much. 

1.  I tried out Jamberry nails for the first time this week and loved them. I just bought one set to see if I liked them. But I didn't really want my toes and my nails to match. I definitely need some practice with application.

2.  Technically I have only been on summer break two days but the last day with kids was a week ago. My favorite thing to do in the summer is read. I've read these three books in the past week and a half. Loved them all. I'm working my way through the In Death Series by JD Robb. I'm trying to read them in order so it is slow going. 

3.  Chris and I are dog sitting for my parents for a few days. Ellie Mae has been sulking since my parents left but this sweet girl cheered her up with some head scratching. I spent my first day of Summer with one of nieces and had a blast. She is one funny, smart, sweet girl!

4. I posted this picture on Instagram this week. One of my teaching friends gave us our first baby present and then we bought the rocking chair at a fundraiser.

5. I don't have a fifth picture from this week, so I looked back through some pictures and found this. Soph drew it a while back and it was the first time I had seen her draw something more than scribbles. When she drew it she said it was Chris but then when she saw it again it was her mom. I'm do amazed all the time with her development and how much she has learned. 

So that's my five for Friday! Be sure to head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and check out everyone else's.