Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Currently

Here we go again - it's DECEMBER!  Also known as the craziest month of the school year... holiday shop, holiday concert, Christmas parties, oh my! :-)  I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade to share my December currently with you.

Listening - It's the last day of my 5 day weekend... I baked yummy treats, spent time with family, hit up the Black Friday sales (at noon, not midnight!), and now it's time to catch up with my usual Sunday routine as I prepare for a busy week.  Fun fun! :-) 

Loving - SO much right now!  I LOVE time off from school to spend time with my family and my husband's family.  I love Thanksgiving leftovers and not having to cook for a few days!  And I love my holiday decorations... my husband and I put the tree up last week and it's gotten me into the holiday spirit.  I love having the decorations up early enough to actually enjoy them. 

Thinking - December will be crazy but fun!  I am excited for the winter craftivities and writing projects that we are doing in the next few weeks.  Now to only decide what to do for my kids' gift to their parents...???  I always struggle with this and change my mind every year.  Help! Last year we did the cutest snowflake ornaments with their pictures on them, but I should have bought a lifetime supply because I can't find them anywhere! :-(  

Wanting - Yay!!  I love TPT sales.  I can't wait to stock up on some goodies for the winter months and on materials I've been using to supplement our new Wonders reading series.  I can't wait! 

Needing - Yes, I am the silly girl who is usually done by Thanksgiving break... but this year, I haven't started! What?!  Looks like December will be a bit more busy than usual. 

Favorite Tradition - Christmas Breakfast at my Mom's house.  Since the holidays are so busy and we usually have to be in 5 places at one time, my family started doing a Christmas breakfast so that we could still find time to get together.  I'm not usually one to make time for breakfast on a normal day, so I get really excited to have the whole breakfast buffet of choices.  Then we relax and open presents before our busy day begins. 

Make sure you link up with Farley and share your December currently!  Hope you have a happy holiday season! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Truth Monday

Boy... it's been a long time since I've gotten the chance to sit down and blog!  This school year has been busy, busy, busy.  I am definitely looking forward to some time to relax on Thanksgiving break later this week!

Speaking of vacation (or stay-cation in my case), I'm linking up with Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade to share my favorite vacation spot with you.  It was a no-brainer... I have been in love with Hawaii since the moment I first visited!

 Here are a few of my favorite Hawaii pics to cheer you up on a snowy Monday...

Tropical flowers - So pretty!

My favorite part of the honeymoon - we woke up at 2 a.m, drove up the mountain and waited for the sun to rise.  You're literally in the clouds!  It was a sight like I had never seen before. 

Sunset from our balcony

And seriously... best. pool. ever.  <3
Can I have this in my backyard?? 

Happy almost Thanksgiving to all of you!  Hope you get to enjoy a fun vacation - or at least a stay-cation!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Currently!

It's that time again... time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade to share my November currently with you!  I know everybody says it EVERY time... but seriously, how does each month get here so quickly?  I really am bewildered because I feel like I just began a brand new year with my kiddos and then overnight they pick up on your new routines and they're off and rolling into a busy year!!

Listening - Well... it WAS silence!  Now it's my dog who has decided to declare her own dinner time since it's dark an hour earlier today and how dare mom be on her computer instead of paying attention to her... LOL!  Told you silence doesn't happen often. :-)

Loving - I follow all of my favorite bloggers on Bloglovin but each time I link up with Farley, I find new blogs that I've never heard of and add them to my favorites!!  (Maybe I'll be your new favorite, hehe!)  It's so awesome to chat with such a great group of teachers and share ideas with each other, especially last year when I was brand new to 2nd grade and definitely needed the ideas.

Thinking - How early is too early to start the countdown to a long weekend/vacation from school?  I vote for never... especially when you've survived/are surviving report cards, class parties, and conference nights!  I'm looking forward to time off at home to spend with family, time to catch up on school work, yummy food to eat, and decorating for Christmas!

Wanting - Seriously... do they make houses that clean themselves?  I wish I had time to catch up on some organization!

Needing - It suddenly went from 70 to 50... and when I pulled out my fall clothes I started thinking how that's ALL I will wear until like May and how I needed some fun new things to mix and match!  Where is your favorite place to shop for work clothes?  I am a khaki's girl and am super bummed because my American-Eagle-have-them-in-every-color-khaki's no longer come in boot cut so I need a new love!  :-(

A yummy pin - Oooh, so many to choose from!  I am constantly pinning yummy recipes to try. I'll have to go with these cool ranch tacos though from Plain Chicken (one of my favorite blogs to find recipes!).

                           Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos {Slow Cooker} | Plain Chickend  I'm a taco-a-holic, LOL!  I made them in the crockpot last weekend and both my husband and I liked them! They were super easy and made enough to not only have leftovers but to freeze some too for another night.  Yum!  Click here to check out this and other great recipes at Plain Chicken!

Speaking of yummy... I'm off to get dinner with my husband before another busy week begins!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Truth Monday

I'm linking up with Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade for her My Truth Monday.  If you haven't read her blog yet, stop by to check it out!  She has great ideas and TPT products that I've used in second grade.


This week's theme is all about what creeps you out!  

Hehe!  Perfect little break from report cards, conference week, meetings AND a party this week.  Ahh! That alone creeps me out when I think about what a long week that will be!!!

Make sure you head over to Denise's blog and link up to share what creeps you out! :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Currently

Whoa - can't believe it is OCTOBER!  The first month (or month and a half) of school always kicks my butt, no matter how many years I've been teaching!  By the time you blink it's already fall and I can't believe how fast it's gone.

It's time to link up again with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade to share my October Currently with you!  It will give me something fun to do as I sit here recovering from having minor surgery this week. :-(

Listening - I don't really have much time in the evening to watch TV, but I do usually get to watch Wheel of Fortune during dinner.  Maybe someday I'll win it big on there... haha!

Loving - The weather!  My favorite season is SUMMER and my second favorite is when summer sneaks into fall and tries to stick around.  It's so nice to see the leaves changing color and go buy pumpkins for my porch while enjoying the warm sunshine and breeze.  It's also nice to sneak in an extra recess now and then to help my wiggly second graders!

Thinking - Oh the craziness... I was out 3 days for minor surgery and just went back today!  I had amazing subs but it's crazy how much there is to catch up on in just a few short days!  Not to mention report cards and conferences will be here before you know it.... ahh!!!  Can't wait for NEOEA day in a few weeks...

Wanting - Go Tribe!  The Wild Card game is tonight and it's HUGE because we haven't been in the playoffs for like 7 years I think?  I'm crossing my fingers and waiting to watch the game tonight!  My husband and I are huge baseball fans and I even had Slider (the Indians' mascot) make an appearance at my wedding. :-)

Needing - I feel silly saying this, but should I take an online class for fun?  I wanted to take an online class on teaching students with ADHD, which I think would be useful for my classroom!  I got a discount voucher with a workshop I took this summer and as much as I think I'd enjoy learning new things for my classroom, I wonder if it's too crazy of a time of year??

Trick - I just learned last year that you can remove permanent marker off nametags, center signs, etc. by scribbling over it with DRY ERASE marker and then wiping it clean with a tissue!  Who knew??  It makes flexible grouping easy breezy because I can change my center signs and ability groups at a moment's notice and they hold up pretty well!

Hope you are enjoying fall!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Organization Love!

Now that our school year is off and rolling, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ways to keep myself organized at work.  Nothing is worse than slowing down your work day working on plans or forgetting your schedule!!  Warning... I'm about to reveal my secret nerdy self that loves everything color coded... though I believe I'm not alone.  :-) 

One of my FAVORITE things to help me stay organized is my new planner I bought from Target this fall.  LOVE!  I always struggle to find the planner that is totally ME, because either it is too small to write much or it is gigantic and I can't fit it in my bag.  Mine is yellow chevron, but it looks just like this one.


I love it because not only is it super cute, but it has both a monthly calendar page and then weekly pages. On the monthly pages I put everything school related - student birthdays, assemblies, conferences, etc. in a color code to help me quickly glance at what is happening for the week.  It saves time because I can look at a name on the calendar and instantly know it's a meeting because it's in red, or a birthday because it's in blue! I can slip my planner in my bag each night so I can refer to it at home too.  I used to put all of this on my desk calendar, but obviously that does not travel well. :-)  

My favorite part though is the weekly pages because each day of the week has a long, skinny section, perfect for my To-Do lists!  I always used to be a Post-it girl, which works great for quick notes but anytime I would stick a to-do on my calendar I tended to lose them!  I mean where am I supposed to put those little colorful squares as I am working... on my purse?  My phone?  LOL.  Plus I can write down quick to-do's that are coming up soon on the day that they need to be completed.  It helps me plan ahead and it's also really motivating to see things being crossed off that list.  

Of course - my planner wouldn't be complete without my Ink Joy pens.  I have them in my zipper pouch so that they can travel back and forth to school too!  I was never really a fan of colored pens since they usually didn't write well, but I love how these are colorful but still write really smoothly - and last a long time!  If you haven't tried them you are missing out. 


In addition to organizing the ME part of teaching, I always try to leave my daily plans and materials organized on my desk too in case I am out unexpectedly as those back to school germs hit!  (Or in my case, that have currently hit me!)  Here's a picture of my desk as I am leaving on a normal night so that anyone can find my plans, copies and manuals in a pinch.  I've learned to always expect the unexpected in teaching! :-) 


And here's a picture of my sub set up when I know for sure I'm going to be out.  It's organized with sticky notes on each subject's materials throughout the day.  

And that's how I survive the craziness of my day... :-)  How do you stay organized at work??  Be sure to leave me your best tips in your comments! 

Oh and last but not least... THANKS for all the birthday wishes on my last post!  I celebrated my 30th with a yummy birthday dinner out at the Cheesecake Factory with my family and my husband.  We had a great time!  Yum!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Currently!

I can't believe it is September!!  How did that happen?  I still remember packing up on the last day of school and thinking I had all summer to relax and unwind.  Now I'm a few weeks into school with my new group of 2nd graders and I'm totally feeling the back to school exhaustion.  I'm linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her September currently linky party.

Listening - Yep, it's 9:30 a.m. and I'm still in my pajamas... enough said, huh?  I love being able to watch morning TV in the summer, or on my days off.

Loving - After two and a half crazy weeks of school, I am SO happy to have a long weekend to recover and catch up.  We had a simple Labor Day cookout on Saturday and the rest of the weekend has been great to just chill out and work on my to-do list at my own pace!  Feels a teeny tiny bit like summer again!

Thinking - With the long weekend, I decided it was time to finally bust out the fall decorations because I know it will be a busy month coming up!  Can we say I love Pier One??  My family room smells like yummy apple candles and looks refreshed.  I am totally a summer girl, but my favorite thing about fall is anything apple or pumpkin flavored or scented.  We will bust out the rest of the fall decorations when the temps fall below 90!

Wanting - I seriously need to go to To-Do list anonymous... especially during the school year!  While I love the beginning of the school year because my classroom looks beautiful and everything gets a fresh start, I hate starting over again and how it seems I eat/sleep/breathe school in August.  I put one too many school projects on my to-do list because I like to be ahead of the game.  It's getting there, but it doesn't help when I write "update to-do list" ON my to-do list!  LOL!

Needing - What weekend would be complete without a Target trip?!  While I'm out I also need to figure out some super cool summer HW prizes for my students from last year.  I had TEN of my students turn in their summer journals that I gave them last June.  I am thrilled and I never expected that many of them to follow through so I want to make sure I do something awesome for them.  Any suggestions please??  :-)

Last but not least... three things that I want to get done in September that will make my heart happy.

  1. Hmm... there is a theme, huh?  Yes, I want to at least once or twice a week know I can walk out the door at school and not bring my entire classroom home.  
  2. Yep, instead of celebrating my 29th birthday again, I've decided to accept the fact that I have just days left to enjoy my 20's and make the best of adding a 3 in front of my age.  Ahh!
  3. I am getting used to waking up at the crack of dawn, but I need to get back in the laundry and dinner routine asap!  
Phew!  That was a long one but I'm excited to share my first "Currently" with you.  Hope the beginning of your school year is going well and that you are enjoying your long weekend. :-)  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Week of School!

I promise - I am not lost!  I did not fall off the face of the earth!  I was surviving my first week of school. :-)

This year we started earlier than usual and with a full, five day week with kids.  (Usually the first week is always a half week!)  I love my new class and my week was great, but it definitely feels different than last year.  My colleagues and I were joking that it feels like it is still summer and the kids certainly think so too because they are bursting with energy instead of feeling that back to school shyness that your year usually starts with!  I forgot how exhausting the first week is!

We spent the week learning our classroom routines, organizing our supplies, learning about each other and doing a few back to school assessments to help me plan for instruction.  I love being able to have the flexibility the first week to teach them some of our classroom games and brain breaks before we really dig into our curriculum next week!

Here's a sneak peak of my classroom on the first day of school.  My students last year wrote letters for our new second grade friends so each student received a letter to help them learn about all the cool things we will be doing in second grade!  Chair pockets and welcome signs are from Really Good Stuff.

And another view - this time looking from my desk out at most of my classroom!  More pictures will come soon but I just wanted to give you a sneak peak of my classroom while it still looks beautiful!! ;-)  Can you guess my classroom theme from my sneak peak?  This is my second year with this theme and I love it.  More to come on that! 

Well I'm off to finish up all of those projects hiding in my teacher bag all weekend....  Hope your school year is off to a great start!  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five for Friday - August 16th!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs to share my Five for Friday with you!  I'm really glad to be posting about five random topics because after heading back to work this week, my brain is completely swamped with to-do lists, lesson plan ideas and last minute classroom organizing.  I'm not sure I could put together a complete thought, but it's definitely been a fun week that I wanted to share with you!

  1. Well summer is officially OVER.  :-(  As much as I LOVE my job, I really, really enjoy the time off to relax, regroup, and most importantly the time to work on my never-ending to-do lists for my classroom and my house.  Plus it's nice to do all that without having to wake up early and while wearing comfy clothes.  This was my first summer in forever that I wasn't hunting for a teaching job or working on my masters degree so I was super excited for this summer.  Some of my favorite memories were getting to catch up with old friends, visiting my 4th MLB ballpark (and literally walking on the field!), having an IKEA trip day with my best friends and celebrating my 3rd wedding anniversary with my husband.  But I think most of all, my favorite thing was spending summer with this cutie.  

    2. Open House was last night and I am SO excited that I got to meet my new class!  I was so impressed with how nice my kids and their parents were.  I have my fingers crossed that it will be a great year!  I am excited because last year I had 27 students and this year it looks like I will have 23!  It was also great to be back at school because I got to see many of my old students from last year.  Nothing beats knowing they still think you're the best teacher ever after being away all summer.  Their high fives and hugs made my night! 

    3. Organization overload!!  Not only did I try to tackle my house this summer and make it HGTV approved by organizing and adding little decorative details here and there, but in August I got to start working on my classroom and I went nuts!  This is my second year in second grade and after last year I had so many ideas of things I wanted to try in my room.  I decided to give my classroom a huge makeover and I love it!  I kept the same theme but I gave my room a new layout and reorganized like crazy.  I added some new storage that will really help my room look great.  I feel like I still have lots of little projects that I need to get done, but I did snap a few pictures of my work in progress to share with you soon when I do my classroom reveal.  Any guesses what my theme is?  Here is a sneak peak of one of my projects I'm working on to give you a clue about the colors. (And yes - I realize my current labels are post-its at the moment!  My color printer is working overtime as we speak!) 

    4. Did you know there is a TPT Back to School sale this Sunday and Monday??  I have a been adding to my wish list all summer and I'm super excited to shop this weekend.  I can't wait to purchase some of the things I have been eyeing to help decorate my classroom and enhance my upcoming lessons.  Better yet, I am working hard on "sprucing up" some of my favorite things that I have used in my classroom to add them to my TPT store soon.  More on that later!  

    5.  And last but not least... notice anything missing?  This was a not fun part of going back to school... we went appliance shopping this summer and had a brand new refrigerator for a few days that broke and we have NOT been able to get a replacement.  It's so hard to go back to work and know you have an unfinished project... especially when it's kind of a necessity.  I am starting to think I won't survive.  Ahh!  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Made It

The back to school craziness is ON!  I may have fallen off the face of the Earth this week but only because I have been hiding in my classroom completing one too many projects.  (And running out of time until my classroom is filled with second graders!)

I'm so excited to share my very first Monday Made It with you!  I am a huge Pinterest stalker and I found this on Pinterest quite some time ago.  It was a picture of a mailbox makeover posted by Mrs. O Knows. I thought it was perfect for me!  My classroom mailbox looks just like hers, if not worse - complete with a nice "wobble" when you touch it.  (oh no!)

Mrs. O's "ugly" mailbox

I certainly have an ugly mailbox too, so I put this on the top of my must-do list for back to school.  I searched all summer for the perfect duct tape and finally got to put my plan into action today!  Check out my pictures below!  

My before picture - complete with years of stuck on stickers 
and labels that I tried to scrape off with no success!

And AFTER! Woo hoo!

Close up picture 

A little chevron duct tape and it looks a million times better!  I think I will even add a little more of a border on the top and sides to spruce it up.  The binder clips will make it SO much easier to label mailboxes each year since they are now numbered and won't require any scraping off labels at the end of the year. 

Check out other Monday Made Its with 4th Grade Frolics!  And make sure to follow me on Pinterest by clicking HERE.  I have been a dedicated pinner since practically the day Pinterest was born. LOL.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Day of School Linky!

It's hard to believe I only have about ONE week left of summer.  I don't know about you, but the last week of summer I'm already in back to school mode anyways and sometimes it's hard to remember if I should be relaxing or running around like crazy getting ready for school!

I'm teaming up with Deana at Primary Punch to share my First Day of School plans with you.  Her linky party was a reminder to me that I should dig out the old plans from last August and get things ready to roll.

I feel like my first day plans are a mix of icebreakers and lots of teaching ROUTINES since the first day can set the tone for the rest of the year.  I keep my plans simple and in a list form (without definite time frames) so that I can have the flexibility to expand as needed.  On my first day of second grade last year, I took things really slow since I was still living in Kindergarten land and used to explaining things 50 million times.  (If you've taught Kindergarten then you know what I mean!!)  I quickly realized my new 2nd graders didn't need quite as much step by step directions, but that it didn't hurt to take the extra time to set my routines.  :-)  

I can't wait to hear your comments and tips for the first day! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ready or Not...

Ready or not... it's time for back to school!  I feel like it was just June!  Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I'm so excited to meet my new students soon, but I also love sleeping in, wearing flip flops, lunch dates with friends, and long walks with my puppy.  All good things must come to an end I guess, right? :-)

It's been a busy week and I haven't had the chance to blog much because I ventured in to school this week and started trying to put my room back together.  I always like to try to get a head start, so that I can stay as little or as long as I like and not have to rush at the very end to get everything together!  Here's what I found when I got to my room.  (Ahhh!!!!)

Giant reading table obviously wanted to be the center of attention, LOL! 

Classroom Island... hehe.  That will be fun to unload!

Once I got the furniture moved (thanks to help from my husband!) it is starting to look like a room again.  I am super excited being in the same room again this year because now I have learned what I like and want I think needs to be changed from last year!  I also have a million and one organizing and decorating projects that I am starting to work on, so I can't wait to see how they turn out and share everything with you.  I took home a BIG project to work on over the weekend that I hope to share with you by Monday. ;-)  

Bad picture angle - but the beginning of my new arrangement I'm trying! 

We start back on August 15th so luckily I have next week to work on some of my projects and hopefully have a few more days to relax and enjoy summer.  This is the earliest we have started back, but as a trade off we get out in MAY.  That sounds so foreign to me!  LOL!  When do you all start back??  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

School Supply Linky Party!

I'm teaming up with Amy at Turtley Loving Teaching to share my favorite back to school supplies with you! No matter what bargains I find during the summer, these are my must have items for the beginning of the school year.

I can't start the year without these top 5 supplies....

1. Pencils - Seriously... what do kids do with them?  I start out the year with what seems like a million pencils which go in community supply boxes on each table.  By November, I feel like I already need to guard the extra supply at all costs!  I'm sure I'm not the only teacher with this problem...

2. Post-its - I am constantly writing notes and to-do lists when I'm at school so post-its are a must have.  We also use them in our reading groups for noting important things in the text while we read.  

3. Mr. Sketch Markers - These are a must for grading papers.  I have one set at school and another for home.  Enough said. :-)  

4. Stikki clips - I always need a box (or several boxes) of these each year when I'm setting up my classroom.  They are the only thing that seems to stick on my walls so I use them everywhere!

5. And last but not least... while it's not technically a school supply, I can't begin the year in August without my fan!!  It is a must have for those hot summer months when you are teaching without air conditioning.  


Glad I could team up with Amy to share my favorites with you!  What are your favorite school supplies?