December 31, 2012

Currently...January

I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade to bring you this month's currently! I can't believe how fast time is flying. I guess that only means one thing...dang! I'm getting old! LOL! 


I am totally loving the fact that I have about a week left of winter break.

But I'm not loving the fact that I haven't completed much of anything I told myself I would do during the break!! hahaha! I started off the break being sick, so now that I'm better I need to get my butt in gear. I plan to go in on Thursday and prepare my centers and give my room a good spraying of Lysol. 

I've also been busy making trying to bake these babies:


My first attempt came almost two years ago. They came out of the oven cracked- every single one of them. I gave up and never made them again. Well, my nephew is having a Lego themed birthday party in February and while scouring the internet for ideas, I came across these babies again. I tried to make them a few days ago and they came out perfect- well, not perfect, but not cracked! This time they were FLAT as a pancake. 

I've read tons of articles online how it's not an easy cookie to make and I believe that more than ever. But I am totally determined to perfect it. So determined, as soon as I get off the computer I'm taking another stab at it. Wish me luck!

And for my OLW, I chose "LOVE". 

I've been thinking a lot about the victims of Sandy Hook and how terribly difficult it must have been for their families to get through the holidays.

I read a few articles and saw a couple of interviews from the families of the victims and I just can't imagine the nightmare that they face. How do you move on? How do you pick up the pieces? Where do you go from here? 

The recent interview from Noah Pozner's mom just broke my heart into pieces. Her baby was shot 11 times. I admire her bravery for being able to speak about it and get his name out so we can all remember the victims' names and not the name of the shooter.

I also read about Ana Marquez- Greene who once told her mom "don't let them dry your fun circuits...love wins". 

She is right love wins. Love has to win. This new year I made a promise to myself to learn how to love more deeply. I love the Lord, my family, my job, my kids, & my life- I know that. But how do I show it? It's something I've taken a moment or two to reflect on.

I want to let love guide my actions, decisions, and words. I want to let it open my heart, mind, and soul.
 I vow to be a little more gentler and patient. Especially on those crazy days where I want to pull my hair out one by one, when my admin throws more things down my throat, when that idiot driver just cut me off on the freeway, when my little Johnny is on my last nerve, and when there's just not enough time in the day to do everything I set out- I want to remember my one little word: Love. 

Little Ana is right, love does win. Every time. It's just up to us to make it win.

December 29, 2012

Professional Growth Resolution: Linky

I'm linking up with Amanda from One Extra Degree to bring you my Professional Development Resolutions. 

I'm already a member of these two fine organizations:

 
and 

 
But I have to be honest and admit that I don't think I use these two resources as much as I should. So I definitely want to improve this. I'd like to challenge myself to not only read through everything I can but to honestly work on implementing some of the awesome techniques/ tips in my classroom.

 My principal is passionate about us working to unpack the CCSS.

 

So I'd have to say that would be my 2nd resolution. It's definitely not an easy task and after many afternoon working sessions and PD's we are almost done unpacking the math standards. 

What are some of your professional development resolutions? Make sure to hop on over to Amanda's blog & link up! :)

December 28, 2012

Organization Help! Linky Party

Please forgive me for posting twice in a day, but because I posted late yesterday I'm trying to catch up with this linky that's already on Day 2...lol! I promise to make this post as short as I can.

I'm linking up with Hope from 2nd Grade Shenanigans to show you how I organize a few things in my classroom and share my organizing resolution.
First off, I'm totally OCD!! Trust me, my team members can vouch for it! I love to sort and organize and PURGE! I give everything away!! If I haven't used it in 6 months it more than likely will be on its way OUT my door!

I took this picture at the beginning of the school year. I've since labeled all the containers at the top.


My lovely butterfly box holds all my scrapbook paper :)

This is how I organize all those amazing craftivities I purchase on Teacher Pay Teachers:

 I print the front cover and the directions on card stock paper and I laminate it. Then I put it in a ziploc bag with the patterns/pieces. I also post the laminated sheet(s) on my board so my students can refer to it, along with a sample of the craft that we made together.


I have 6 of these containers...and I divide the activities into them by quarter. I also have one container each for my largest collections which are Christmas and Alphabet Craft Activities.   

I have a regular planner which I use to record important dates, but I use this in addition to that.

It is tabbed: type, to-do, print, and lesson plans. 

Under "type" I write down things I need to type up-  newsletters, labels for my students' homework planners, notes, etc.

 "To- do"- obviously self explanatory

 "Print"- Under this tab I list anything from things I purchased on Tpt that I need to print, or homework sheets for upcoming lessons, etc.

And under "lesson plans" for example I may see something neat I want to do with my kids on another blog or on pinterest- so I would write "Winter- melted snowman" and the blog name if it came from another blog so I could refer back to it.

I also use a simple composition notebook for documenting my communication with parents. I wish I had a picture- this image is from google.
 
On the first page I list my kids by alphabetical order from 1-19. Then I use 19 tabs on the side and write their "number" on each tab. I refer back to the first page since I do not write the kids' names on the tab, just their number- hope this make sense.

Each time I communicate with a parent regarding a concern with their child- whether in person, on the phone, or in a written note- I always make sure to cover myself and document everything. 

I write the time, date, and quick notes of what transpired. If I made a phone call and there was no answer or the phone was not working I would indicate that as well. 

For certain students that may need additional referrals and support from the school this is a great resource for me to be able to have and refer back to. Parent's can't argue and say they weren't informed of certain things when I have everything documented.

Now for my resolutions: 


To tackle this baby!
This is my wonderful collection of tpt purchases & blog freebies! I've gotten lazy with filing as you can see on the 2nd shelf. It took me all summer (2011) to organize these files but I have yet to find the motivation to make pretty labels and front covers for each binder. And as you can also see, I need to put the glitter back where it belongs...hahaha! 

New Year's Resolution: Technology Linky


Another day, another linky! lol! Today I am linking up with Kathleen from Growing Kinders to bring you my technology resolutions.

I've been hopping from blog to blog reading about all the cool things everyone does in their class and I must say, I am one of the unfortunate ones. BOO! No smartboards or class sets of ipads here. I would definitely love to try and write a grant if someone could steer me in the right direction (wink). A few years ago each one of us received three computers for our classrooms- but there was no money left for maintenance. Crazy huh?! So, needless to say how many years later almost half of those computers are now sitting in a storage room broken or left with no anti-virus. Out of my three, only one is still alive today. I do have an old laptop that I let my kids use and on Friday's I bring in my ipad as an incentive, but one ipad and 19 little 5 year-olds sometimes creates more chaos then fun :(

I have a multimedia projector that I use to showcase short stories and fun songs from youtube and teachertube.com. I also recently projected images of polar bears from nationalgeographickids.com and my kids just had the most fun. I think they just like it when the lights turn off. They say they feel like they're at the movies...lol! 

my videos are taking forever to upload so here are the links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUubMSfIs-U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0icbq
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-V4zzXzpT8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPWZu4LDmQM

Two of my favorite sites filled with a plethora of technology information, as well as TONS of other information are:

 

and


{click images to go to websites}

These websites offer a lot of articles on recommended apps, websites, technology trends, educational social networds (twiducate...have you heard of that?), using apps to create study guides, & MORE! There is even an article on edudemic on how to know if you're correctly integrating technology! Click here to read more.

Have you heard of this website? It's similar to pinterest but for educators!!

educlipper logo
You must check it out!




A few of my favorite websites & apps for my kiddos are:

Starfall.com

I spy fun from scholastic.com



madlibs.com
  
Flow Free- a fun app where you have to connect matching colors with a pipe creating a "flow". Pipes break if they overlap or cross so be careful! 
 

Harper Collins for tons of games & printable pages


crayola.com (great ideas/ lesson plans for teachers too)



More Images

 iPhone Screenshot 1

Online Storytime by Barnes & Noble


There are 16 popular children's books posted so far- my kids absolutely love this! 

Whew! If you're still with me, here are my resolutions:

1. To be more consistent
2. To have a better plan/ schedule for my kids to use the one ipad that I have.
3. To show my kids how to type their name using Word.

I'm not sure if I can call the third one a resolution since one of our standards is to teach students the parts of a computer as well as get them acquainted with the keyboard. They don't have to know where specific keys are but they need to understand that if I press a key a letter/number/object will be projected onto the screen. I always have fun teaching this because my little ones that aren't exposed to computers are always so fascinated.

Okay, enough of my ramblings...head on over to Kathleen's blog & join the fun!
Growing Kinders

December 26, 2012

Best & Brightest of 2012 Linky Party

I hope you all had a great holiday! I am still recovering from the flu so needless to say half my day was spent in bed. BOO. I did attend church early in the morning with my family and we also had a special candle lighting vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. My heart still aches for the precious babies, the brave adults, their families, and their community. A week later, I still have no words, just prayers. 

Today, I am linking up with Christina from Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for 2012's Blog Best & Brightest. I love linky parties! It gives me a great opportunity to get to know other bloggers a little better, and not to mention, linky's are just so much fun!


My Most Popular Post:



{click to download}

My Favorite Post: 


This was my favorite post partly because it was the first post where I shared a craft activity. These glyphs were really large- almost as tall as my kiddos- so I've recently shrunk them down and will be posting more on it in a few days :)

My Favorite Social Media Outlet: 

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Tumblr,  Flickr, Instagram- ACK! Pinterest is all I need ;)

My Best Selling Item on TPT so far has been my Black History Month Craft Pack:


I am in the process of adding more activities to this packet so if you've already purchased it please make sure to check back in a few days and re- download it :)

Overall, the BEST thing in 2012 was definitely being able to connect with all of you through this wonderful thing called blogging. I can honestly say that in the last year that I've been here I've met so many wonderful people and I've learned so much!

Teaching is not always "rainbows & unicorns" and with the constant demands and limited resources, we are always stretched too thin. When I log online, I know that there is a group of people who can totally relate to my frustrations, who understand exactly where I'm coming from, and who provide me with nothing but constant love & support. This outlet is so positive and inspiring, I couldn't be more proud to be a part of something so wonderful. Thank- you ;)

December 22, 2012

December 17, 2012

Today was rough :(

sandyhook2 



 

I participated in "Silence for Sandy Hook" on Sunday, but was too glued to my television to post...sorry! I simply cannot begin to wrap my head around what has happened in Newtown. There are just no words. I am like you and the rest of the world in wondering "WHY?, WHY?, WHY?". Why those babies? Why? I wonder if anyone will ever know the answer.

Today was rough all around. First off, five of my kids were absent, a first. I'm sure they're parents were worried for their safety. And with good reason, two weeks ago at one of our high school's, a parent became outraged that his child was sent to the principal's office and threatened to come in and "shoot". The parent wasn't arrested and police presence was increased for only two days afterwards.

Today, one of our elementary schools (not mine) was dismissed early due to a phone call threat received. I just don't know understand what possesses some people to think this is a joke. Do I worry about my safety at school? Of course. Do I think that my state can do a whole lot more to protect us? Yes. Do I think we'll continue to be proactive instead of reactive? I sure hope so.

Today, I had to sign back on to work the after school program after two staff members quit after a dispute with my principal. I know, it shouldn't be my concern, but if three of us quit they may have to shut the program down completely.

Today, one of my students did not return to school after a terrible accident yesterday. We are praying he doesn't have to undergo surgery. Last I spoke to his aunt he was alert & responsive.

Today, we found out an 8- year old boy at a neighboring school has been diagnosed with leukemia and will be leaving to California for treatment before Christmas. 

Today was a rough day. But I am alive and well. My students are alive and well. My family is alive and well. And that's all I could ever ask for. I am truly blessed. Thank- you Lord.

December 14, 2012

Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary

 

I scratched today's post to reflect on what has happened in Connecticut today. I am deeply shocked and terribly saddened. I can't begin to imagine the pain that this small community is going through, most especially just a few days before Christmas. I pray that the Lord continues to shine his light upon them during this awful time.

December 12, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornament Fun!!

Aahhhh!! Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments!!! Boy, am I lovin' the way my classroom smells after making these!

They are really simple and easy to make. If you've never made them before- don't worry it's not that difficult at all, ok I lie, the clean up is terrible!! They take a a day or two to dry completely, and you can also bake them in the oven if you need them to dry right away.

It took about 4-5 days to complete the whole thing. We did it in steps- a little each day.


Here are the ingredients you'll need: applesauce, glue, and ground cinnamon. The recipe I used calls for, 4 cups of cinnamon, 3 cups of applesauce, and 1/4 cup of glue.

I mixed them all together in a big bowl. As I did this, one of my little boys yelled out "eewww, it looks like poop", which brought on a whole bunch of gross comments and squeals by my "girly" girls...sigh. I gave each student a small piece of construction paper, and a small scoop full of dough. I had them knead it for about 5 minutes. We counted to 100 a few times and sang a few songs while we did this.

When the dough was ready I had them flatten it with their palm and then they chose a cookie cutter of their liking.


After they kneaded their dough and cut out their shape with a cookie cutter, I laid them out to dry for a day or two flipping them over each day so the other side could dry. I used an old pencil to poke a hole at the top in order to hang it later. 






This is probably the only time you'll catch me using glitter in my class. I just hate how it gets all over the place!!






I broke a paper clip in half and used it to feed the ribbon through. And at the back I wrote "Kindergarten 2012" with a black sharpie. I truly hope it's something their parents will cherish and enjoy.


Have you made these before? I'd love to know how they turned out if so. Leave a comment below! 

December 10, 2012

My 12 in '12: Linky Party


I am linking up with the ever- so- fabulous Hadar & Kristin to bring you my "12 in 2012". 
Here goes;  

2. Favorite movie you watched: 
 
 My hubby & I don't go on movie dates like we did when we were dating...lol! But we did take our little one to watch this when it came out & I absolutely loved the true meaning behind it. 

11. Favorite TV series:
I love anything & everything on Food Network! It's so hard to pick just one!
10. Favorite restaurant: 
This is definitely a tough one. I am a big "foodie"!! If I wasn't teaching I'd definitely have been a pastry chef. Growing up my family traveled a lot during the summer and winter breaks so I was spoiled with being able to eat food from all over the world. Believe it or not I've never been to Europe or NYC! Those two places are definitely on my bucket list.  

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
 I signed up for a kettlebell class two weeks ago. I wouldn't say it's my "favorite" new things I've tried- but it's a new thing...does that count?! LOL! I've always been one to just put in my hour on the treadmill but recently some of my friends have joined and have bullied pressured me into joining with them. I went for three days and quit will be going back tomorrow. Oh boy am I sore!

8. Favorite gift you got:
I received a tiffany double line ring and a marc jacobs bag for my birthday this year but those didn't make my list. The little letters & notes my son leaves me in the morning are what melts my heart. He is a very soft hearted boy and I am working hard to raise him to treat his woman right! LOL! One morning he wrote a little note on a post- it and it said "I Love You Mom", he placed it on the fridge and it melted my heart. He is forever drawing me cards and making me stuff at school. On my birthday he also made me a card that said "Don't worry mom, you're not old- you're still pretty". LOL!

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
 Too Cute for Words!
 This just makes me smile!

6. Favorite blog post: 
Hands down my Christmas Wish List from last year. Santa aka my hubby, bought me 90% of what was on my list. Hope he doesn't disappoint this year! 
5. Best accomplishment: 
Presenting on our annual Development Day on how to use "foldables" in the classroom. Lots of fun!

4. Favorite quote:
 Yes

3. Favorite memory: 
Definitely the ones of my father. He passed when I was young and the memories I have come & go and sometimes I don't remember much which hurts my heart. 

2. Goal for 2013:
To definitely put more into my blog, & to re-do a few of my tpt items as well as add more things to my 'lil 'ol store! hahaha! 
1. One Little Word:
DETERMINED 

I'll be back tomorrow with our cinnamon applesauce ornaments we made today! :)