Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Resolution- Fitness!

Oh my! THIS is the one that is gonna get me! I am lining up with the amazing Deedee
from Mrs. Will's Kindergarten for the hardest resolutions to make and keep....
I really need a good plan for this one this year!
1. Eat Healthy.
I have a confession to make. I am a serial Weight Watchers member. Yes, me.
They are always so glad to see me start again...because I have done it about 40 times.
I love Weight Watchers. It allows me lots of flexibility and when I get into it, I lose
weight rather well! But what gets me every time is that I get too busy to take care of what I eat and fall into the easy snack/teacher's lounge/ what is in the fridge routine and anything that I have lost finds its way back.
But, I think that I might have an idea. Sundays are my get everything ready for school day...wash clothes, figure out outfits, check calendar.... so why not add 'make my snacks and lunches' to this list! I know right!?! Duh!!
This year is the year. I am going to lose that darn weight that is driving me CRAZY!
2. Excercise.
I am not an exercise girl. Nope not me. But I realize that I have to do something to stay healthy and I am not getting any younger! This is a two prong approach...hehehe. After talking to some of my friends, they have suggested an app called Couch to 5k and the Nike App to help me build up my stamina. I'm also going to need some new shoes and work out clothes. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
The other part to this plan is Zumba. If, and I really mean if, I can find a time that works for my daughter and my schedule, I would LOVE to join a gym and get into Zumba. Running/ walking can happen anywhere but Zumba is a little bit different. I really want to go to a class seems like it would be a BLAST!!
Well, there it is. My plan for the famous words of Nike....
time for me to

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Resolution- Downtime!, forgive but what's that??
I am linking up with my sweet friend Amy of Step into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons for a new resolution....creating downtime in my very, very, very busy divorced momma life. Oh boy, right?
1. Leave work at school.
Oh my goodness. I have tried to accomplish this for all 13 years of my teaching career. Most of the time, I can get a huge portion of the work taken care of when I am working under the pressure of a deadline {procrastination is my friend}. But all the other days of the nine weeks, papers stay in my bag and I carry them from school to home and back again without even opening my bag. Between meetings, dance classes, choir practices, after school activities and well, everyday life, the papers never see the light of my nightstand. So why do I keep taking them home?
This year, I will grade at school. I will only take home my grade book {my teacher life line}.
Seriously, I am going to post pictures and if you see those papers and 40 lb bag making their way the bloggy police!
2. Read More.
I read A LOT. It is one of my favorite things to do! But along with my resolution to continue my own professional learning, I need to read more for myself. I tend to do this much more during the summer, simply because I am the type of reader that will stay up until the wee hours of the night reading, not realize it, and then like to sleep in a little to make up for it. But, during the school year, this is not even an option. I need my sleep and all my energy for my daughter and my kiddos at school.

This year, I am going to read every night and use a book timer to set a reasonable time to go to sleep. I'll either read until the end of the chapter or when the timer goes off. It's worth a shot!

3. Learn how to use my camera.
I have an awesome camera Cannon T3i that I bought last February. It's the coolest thing ever and even though I am not a pro, I have caught some beautiful moments with my beloved camera.

This year, I want to learn more about how to take photos of the most precious thing in my life, my amazing daughter. I am hoping to also learn how to use my timer and tripod to get some nice shots of her and I together! I always tend to get everyone's picture {like a checklist in my head} but I always forget to ask to have someone take on of us! I gotta get better at that!

This year, I am going to learn to use my camera to capture beautiful pictures

4. Become an NFL QUEEN.
This is the first time that I have followed an entire football season. From the first preseason game to this last game of the reg season....I watched every single game! The playoffs will be awesome for my Texans and I can't wait to see them play! I even meet Arian Foster {I puffy heart} love him! I have about 5 new tshirts- all Texans and I even make my special dip for every game! My friends are already talking about tickets for next season and even Fantasy football....WOOHOO!!

This year, I am going to continue to learn more about the game and be the


5. Blog, blog, blog!
Believe it or not blogging is a downtime activity for me. It helps me to share ideas, process through some of what I learn everyday in the classroom and most importantly, allows me to be part of an amazing group of awesome teachers that understand the highs and lows of teaching.

This year, I will blog more and have some awesome freebies
and activities to share with you!

Hey, I guess I figured out a few downtime resolutions!
2013 is going to be an awesome year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's My Birthday!! (Almost...)

Well....almost!  For as long as I can remember
my family and I have celebrated it on New Year's Eve!
The birthday cake and presents all presented before the magical stroke of midnight!
As I was making my cute little picture
(thanks Deana of Primary Punch for letting me copycat!)
 I thought what a better way to share this fun family tradition than to throw a sale for all my bloggy friends! Everything in my store will be 20% off until January 2.
Happy New Year and Happy Shopping!

New Year's Resolution- Professional Growth

I am linking up with one of the sweetest bloggers I know! Amanda from One Extra Degree is hosting the New Year's Resolution linky today and it is all about....professional growth!
I must say that this particular resolution is very important.
This is where good teachers become great teachers and great teachers become amazing teachers!
1. Staff Development
This year, I am going to continue to grow professional through a HUGE amount of staff development that will be offered through my district. I am grateful to be a part of an awesome district that has so many great ways for teachers to grow. I use my summer to fill up my bucket with new fresh ideas about the classroom. It's hard during the school year with dance and after school activities for my super talented and beautiful daughter.
I plan to continue to learn about meeting the needs of my GT students and my ELL students. I hope to provide more trainings for my staff about the most update strategies for ELL students and be a resource for them as we go full steam ahead into the Spring semester.
2. Read, Read, Read
It is my absolute passion. I LOVE to read just about anythhing that I can read! I can't tell you how many people tease me when I come into school super excited about the latest book on teaching comprehension or classroom behavior...they think I am nuts! But I am a life long learner and I get a total thrill from put what I read into action!
Here are some of the books that I plan to read and use in my classroom:
and I will be revisiting these are well:
3. Continue to Grow My Professional Community
I love blogging....and TpT....and all my bloggy friends that I have been so blessed to meet this year! In 2013,  I hope to continue to meet more amazing teacher bloggers and learn, share and collobrate with all of you so that I can continue to grow as a teacher, blogger and most of all friend!
I definitely have a LOT to learn {I will get that Facebook thingy to work!} and I can't wait to add all sorts of goodies to my blog for you all! Did you see that I actually figured out how to make the Teacher Pay Teacher widget work? That seriously took way too many attempts but it's finally there! WOOHOO!!
I am sure that there will be more to add as the year goes on, but this is defintely a good start!
2013 is going to be an awesome year!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Resolution- Organization!!

Today I am linking up with Hope of Second Grade Shenanigans to set some goals on....organization!
I love digital files.
There are so many fabulous resources that I have collected throughout the years {I am a blogging and Teacher Pay Teachers addict!} and they have been saved on flash drives, hard drives, Dropbox, GoogleDocs and my computer. When I go to search for something, I search in several different places and sometime can't find the resource that I know I have!
So, it's time to organize.
This will be a huge endeavor but here's the plan:
Everything will be stored on my hard drive and because I am always worried that I will lose my files, Dropbox will be my back up.
All flash drives will be moved to my hard drive and wiped {yikes!}
I will rename files with a name that I can actually find.
Is it bad that this already gives me a little anxiety?!?
 I love to take photos.
Digital is great! I have thousands and thousands of pictures and just like my digital files, are saved in several different places. So I have started to download all my pictures to Shutterfly. I love that there is unlimited space{which I am sure I need} but I can access them from anywhere. It also helps that I can download my gazillion of pictures from my iPhone onto my Shutterfly using the app! Even those pesky photo stream pictures! Woohoo!
My goal here is to have pictured developed each month and begin to scrapbook all those beautiful digital pictures. Ok, well maybe not scrapbook. I'm too much of a perfectionist and I tend to fixate on the littlest thing...but I will definitely get them in an album!!
I love my grade book...seriously, don't laugh!
I have already started organizing this little beauty. The trouble here was that I needed to find a way to get my RtI paperwork in an accessible place where I can update it often. So I moved that documentation to my grade book and that worked like a charm.
I am a post-it note queen! Anyone that knows me would tell you I keep the company in business and they are all over the place to remind me of a million things. So, the week before school got out I started to collect my notes and work through them each day. I even have a little page to stick them on if it's a note that I need for a bit....and it's in my grade book! Yes!
I can think of a ton of other things that need to be organized. But I am going to start small and go from there! My closets at school should have made this list....haha!
Check out Hope's awesome post and the linky at Second Grade Shenanigans! 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Years Resolution- Technology!

As the year comes to an end, our minds begin to wonder to the new year. It's a time of reflection and renewal....and I absolutely LOVE it! New Years Eve is my favorite holiday....probably because I am a hopeless romantic and am waiting for my "When Harry Met Sally" moment. You know the one where he is running through the streets of New York to find Sally because he just realized that he is totally in love her! I guess that is the magic of New Year's Eve!  New beginnings and fresh starts.....

So, I am linking up with Kathleen of Growing Kinder to share a few of my New Year's Resolutions for my classroom! First!

I am so blessed to have so much technology at my finger tips. A few years ago, my district started this awesome program called INTERACT. It is a week long technology training that was all about integrating technology into lessons, classroom activities and assessments.We also earned a ton of technology to use in our classrooms. Jackpot!

So here are a few ways that I plan to use MORE technology in what I do with my kiddos everyday...

1. Utilize my smartboard more. Not just in my lessons or as a glorified chalkboard but really incorporate it into my classroom activities. I plan to use activotes more and allow students access to the smart board during stations. It will take some practice of routines (so that the smart board doesn't become the station all the kids gather around) but will be so beneficial to my students. So in short....more activotes, more time for students to use the smart board independently.

2. Freshen up my stations using technology. My stations are in need of a makeover. I plan to add new apps to my ipads and create stations with QR Codes to raise interest and  so that the kiddos have more choices as they practice key concepts.

3. Listening Station and Technology. My librarian was able to get several Play Aways for the library but I think that I am going to get small mp3 players and put books on them. It would be much easier for the kiddos and I think it would be so fun to open it up to the students to record themselves as they read for others to use in the station! That would definitely get them excited about our listening station again.

Now, this one is a personal goal because I know that I need to do yesterday!

4. Organize my digital files.

Oh my word....that is a huge task!! I have joke....thousands of digital files that I need to streamline so that I can really use them! What is the use of having all these great resources if it takes me forever to fins them! I will get organized.....more on that tomorrow!

So, what are you planning to do to bring technology to life in your classroom?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Farewell to Our Classroom Elf!

Did you have a little visitor from the North Pole?
My students absolutely loved their elf!
 Her name is Jingle Belle and can I just tell you that she became a HUGE part of our everyday routine has we headed into the holidays. The kiddos were so excited to come in and see where in the world she had landed and receive messages from her about the holiday events in the North Pole.
My students wrote about her (on their own- yay!) any chance they had and LOVED to talk to her! Needless to say there were a few little teary eyes as we said goodbye for the last time and wished our beloved elf a safe trip with Santa.
It was so sweet and I just couldn't shake the feeling that when we arrive in January the kiddos are going to ask whether I have heard from Jingle Belle.
So I created this resource with my students in mind (as always!)

This is a resource that has a Parts of  a Letter Anchor Chart and several different writing pages to accomodated all levels of writers as they write darling letters to their elf!
Here is a cute little freebie from my resource! All you have to do is click on the picture...

I think my students (and your) will have a great time writing to their magical little friends and I am sure that I will have so much fun reading their sweet little letters!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012...What a Great Year!

Christina from Bunting, Books and Brainbridge is  having a super fun linky party that I just couldn't resist! 2012's Blog Best & Brightest!
One of the BEST things that happen this year was how many amazing bloggers I have meet! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful group of teachers that are so supportive and talented! They are there to help when I have a question, make suggestions, edit late at night and make me laugh when I really need a it! Thank you for being such good friends!
Another fabulous thing that I did this year is becoming an author at Blog Hoppin'! I absolutely adore the ladies that I blog with and can't wait to share more ideas on Blog Hoppin'!
This year was also an amazing blessing because I was able to represent my school as Teacher of the Year for Huggins Elementary and also represent my school district as the Elementary Teacher of the Year for LCISD! What an amazing honor!!
This year has also been an awesome year for my little TpT store! I made a small milestone and hope to continue to create awesome resources for amazing teachers to use with your students! Each and every one of you motivate me to challenge myself to create the best resoures I can!
I am updating a few files so make sure to check out any purchases that you may have updated Gingerbread Man unit should be up by Christmas!
One of my favorite and most viewed post this year is my nonfiction notetaking freebies! It always makes me so happy to know that my freebies are useful and help your kiddos in the classroom!
I can not wait to see what 2013 has to bring!
I think it is going to be an amazing year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

My heart is broken.
As a teacher, we train and prepare for the unspeakable but pray that we will never have to use it.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those that were touched by the senseless
violence of 12/14/12. God bless all the sweet angels that have made their way back home.

This poem was shared by my dear friend Erica and I wanted to share it with you. I am so grateful to be blessed to work with so many amazing parents, teachers and most of all students that show me each day the beauty that there is in the world. I am humbled to be in such a beautiful profession.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Show Us What You Bought Linky!

Hello! This year seems to be flying by and I am trying so hard to keep up! I am so glad that I have found a moment in my crazy buy schedule to show you some of the most AWESOME resources that I got during the big TpT sale! 

I bought a ton of cute clipart and borders! Here are a few:

I also found several super cute holiday resources! 

And a few things for everyday use in my classroom:

I have joined up with Blog Hoppin' to show off all my goodies! 
Go check it out!