January Currently

I am still in shock that in a few short hours 2014 will come to a close.  It has been a great year, but I am very much looking forward to all 2015 has to come!

I am linking up with Farley to tell you about my currently!


Listening - My daughter got an easel, canvases, paints, brushes, palettes, etc. for Christmas.  She is painting away and chatting with me as she paints.  I love to see her using her creativity.  She has such an imagination and I love that both my kids use their daily.  (My son writes his own stories all the time)

Loving - I wanted to completely clean out my laundry room, re-organize, and pitch stuff.  I did it.  It seems I rarely get to accomplish a task like that on break.

Thinking - So many amazing women have recommended "It Starts With Food" and I want to read it and then maybe do the whole 30.

Wanting - A need a few more days of break.  My family was sick for the first week so it seems like break just finally started for us.  I want more time with my little ones before I have to go back to work.

Needing - I wish my house could clean itself.  I get one room clean and then turn around and another room is a mess.  I guess that is the joy of having small children???

YES - I will get healthier and make better food choices this year.  It has to happen.  It will happen.

Maybe - I would love to go to Vegas for the conferences and meet-ups this year.  Trying to see if I can swing it with grad school and family stuff.

I wish - I really want to put our house on the market in August, but I don't know if that is going to happen.  I wish we could purchase a new house because we really need more room.  (One reason why our house always seems to be a mess is not enough room for everything)  Trying to talk hubby into it is another story.  It will happen, but may not be on my timeline.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy New Year!



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Fourteen in '14

I can't believe that in a few short days 2014 will be over.  This year seemed to fly by and slowly crawl along all at the same time.  Does it feel like that for anyone else?!?!

I am linking up for Fourteen in '14 to share a bit about my year.  And because let's face it.....I am not ready to think about school quite yet.  I still have some break left to enjoy! :)





 I have to remember this quite often with all I have going on in my life on a daily basis.  This is one of the reasons that my blog hasn't seen much love recently.  Hoping to change that!


Can I pick two?  Well I am going to even if I can't.  {I am such a rule breaker}

Leggings and Boots.  I mean you can't have one without the other.

Did the Married With Children theme song start playing in your head with that last sentence or is that just me?  ;)

I can't remember a non-kid movie that I went to go see this year in the theaters.  Of all the kid movies I saw, this was definitely my number one pick.



I would hate to admit how much reality TV I really watch.  And how my full my DVR usually is.  A show that I fell head over heels in love with this year is The Mindy Project.  Mindy is HILARIOUS!  Yes, I did just put that in shouty caps because that is how much I laugh at her.  I also follow her IG.  Love!



 Ok....it's not technically a restaurant, but they opened an Orange Leaf in my town this summer and I hate to admit that for awhile there some of the employees knew me by name.  In case you don't know, Orange Leaf is a delicious froyo place.  Yum!

Making bows for my daughter.  I am getting better with each bow I make.  I have probably made close to 30 now.  I have been making them for my daughter and two nieces.  This was my first batch so no judging!  ;)



For Christmas, my hubby did a really good job, but I think my favorite gift was my new Garmin vivosmart.  It is similar to a fitbit.  Love it and it is keeping me accountable.  I have spent less time just sitting on the couch watching TV because it will remind me I need to get up and move.

I was hoping to re-do our bedroom and I fell in love with this headboard and then my hubby even said that he would make it for me.  Then I decided that would like to put our house up for sale once I am done with grad school so I am not sure if we will do this headboard or not at this point.  If not now, then when we buy our next house!  {Picture takes you to the pin}



 I know this post may not have seemed like a big deal to others, but to my kinder babies it is a HUGE deal.  They will not leave at the end of the day until we do our end of day ritual.  Click the picture to see all about it.



 I achieved some personal milestones this year both with my blog and with TpT.  Very proud of that!


Can I break the rule again and choose more than one???  Please???  Ok....I am doing it anyway!  :)




Our Spring Blogger Meet-Up in French Lick was just the best.  So much fun and it was amazing to meet all these fabulous teachers and bloggers.


 Our trip to DC with our best friends.  It was so much fun.  A short trip, but we made the most out of every minute.


My goal is to graduate from Grad School without having a meltdown.  I don't handle stress very well and grad school has definitely been stressful!  I also would like achieve more personal milestones for my blog and TpT.

HOPE.



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Merry Christmas!

Just want to wish you a Merry Christmas from my family to yours!




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Christmas Conversation

It has been really hard to find time to blog lately with all the craziness that surrounds this magical holiday season.  I truly love the Advent and Christmas season and thought I would join Abby in her Christmas Conversation linky party.


This year on Christmas Eve I am starting a new tradition with my children.  I bought them new Christmas pajamas and the book 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  It was favorite book as a child and I want to start the tradition of reading it every Christmas Eve night.  

My favorite family tradition is our annual cookie decorating party.  We get together and decorate over 150 cookies.  It is just a blast!



And sometimes it ends up with a light saber battle.....lol.



And now I am off to finish wrapping presents.  I got a little sidetracked on my wrapping with myself, hubby, and son all getting sick.  Hoping it stays away from my little princess.

Merry Christmas!

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Someone touched the elf 2.0

Last year I had to do some quick thinking because one of my students touched our classroom elf.  You can read all about that here.

This year I was so excited to introduce an elf to our classroom.  We received a package in the mail and found out there was an elf inside.


On the very first day of having the elf, not one, but TWO students touched the elf.  I was having a mini panic attack about this since it was the first day.  I told the students that I hoped he would return the next day.

The next day when the students came in they saw him like this:



He was sick in bed with a big bandage on his arm.  We also received a letter from Santa telling us that our elf, Jingles, was unable to make it to the North Pole and Santa had to send out a search party for him.  Jingles was so sick that he needed a big shot in his arm to inject more magic into him so that he could come back.

The kids felt so bad that the elf had to get a shot that we haven't had any trouble since.  My aide and I really played it up and talked about how much his poor arm must hurt with a bandage that big.  His bandage stayed on for two days.  Tomorrow when he arrives he will be bandage free!

What do you do when this happens in your classroom?


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It's beginning to feel a lot like....


Christmas!  December!  Yep, it is a magical time of year, but unfortunately it also tends to be a stressful month and our sweet little kiddos are so excited about things like Santa Claus and Christmas parties that they tend to have a difficult time focusing and following directions.

December has always been a struggle for me with behavior in the classroom.  Two years ago I decided that I would try an elf that would be watching them to report to Santa.  It worked for a little bit, but not really.  I still plan on having an elf this year because it is just so much fun!



This year I decided I needed something different that would really help my little ones stay focused on good behavior.  The idea just came to this morning (while I was in the shower because my best ideas always hit me as I am shampooing my hair).

Previously the other kindergarten teacher in my building and I would make the last week before winter break filled with tons of fun activities.  Each day had a theme.  We would wear certain things.  We would watch some movies.  We would have special snacks.  You get the idea right?

I liked that and all, but it was stressful on me.  It was a lot crammed into one week.  My students really couldn't focus that week because we were so out of our normal routine.

I decided this year to do FUN FRIDAYS.  We have 3 Fridays in December that we are in school.  Each Friday will have a special Christmas theme (the green guy who hates Christmas, a special reindeer, etc.).  We will still have a special snack, craft, and short video.  This way though it is not as stressful because it is more spread out.

To be able to participate, students can not move more than a certain amount of sticks throughout the week.  You could really set the guide to be anything you want.....moving sticks, homework turned in, etc.

Our district has folders that go home on Thursday with all our important notes so I wanted to send home the information today because my next chance would be the day before our first FUN FRIDAY.  Since I was sending home info, I wanted to tell the students about it.  As I was explaining it, I started asking them, "What can you do to earn a ticket to a Fun Friday?"  When I got home from work today I thought, "Why not make actual tickets that they need to present in order to participate?"  Lo and behold came this freebie below.  I plan on printing them on red or green paper and giving them right before our fun activities start.  Just click on the picture to download the tickets.  I included two versions.  One that is Christmas themed and one that is just plain.  I might use this idea on a smaller scale at the end of the year as well.



I will post about our actual FUN FRIDAY activities as the time gets closer.  I am so excited to have a great stress-free December in my classroom!



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Bright Ideas Round Up

As you may have noticed, I have been participating in a link-up each month with some other amazing bloggers called "Bright Ideas."  Over the past few months, we have shared thousands of ideas.  This month we are re-capping some of our ideas just in case you missed them!



Here are some of my "bright ideas" just click on the picture to head to original post!


I like to make the most of the space in my classroom.  Here is a bright idea about how to hang your anchor charts:



The end of the day can be busy and we are trying to get our students out the door.  See how I say goodbye to my students so that they always leave on a positive note:



Do you have your students create an end of year gift for each other?  I do.  See all about it here:



Teachers love to be organized.  I have an easy system to keep my guided reading groups materials neat and organized.  You can read about it in this post:



I also have a post all about how I keep my students' supplies organized.  Organization in the classroom keeps me sane!



I use a quick trick on my tables to teach my students personal space.  You can read about what I do right here:



I hope that you have enjoyed these bright ideas and found something useful that you can use in your classroom.  Be sure to check out the link up below for tons more bright idea from some other amazing bloggers.





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Literacy Centers with Freebie

My class this year has taken a little longer to get ready to do full on literacy centers.  I am totally ok with that because I don't want my students doing independent work at their centers until they are completely ready.

I am very fortunate this year in that our ELL teacher is pushing in during guided reading time so four of my six groups are being met with on a daily basis.  Usually when it is just me, I can only meet with two groups.  (I might also get a classroom para and if that happens then all my groups will meet with a teacher on a daily basis.  PTL!)

I like to keep my activities very simple in the beginning of literacy center time.  I created some freebies for you to use in your classroom.  I have already made copies and they are ready to go for next week in my classroom.  (We are on fall break this week!)

Here is a little preview:

I taught my kids how to play this game last week and we practiced a lot so I know they will be able to independently complete this activity.  All I do is write a sight word right above each dice.  Then I make copies for the center.  I love this because it is so easy to differentiate.  I still have a few kiddos who are learning words like: a, I, the, and my.  For those kids, I will use those words.  For my kids who are ready, I will use our current sight words that we are learning that week.

Would you like to snag this activity (and another one) for free?  Just head to my TpT store and snatch it up!


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