New Year, New Resolutions

With the start of a new year ALWAYS comes New Year's Resolutions....
well, I have learned from experience not to go too crazy and to make sure whatever my goals/resolutions are, that they are within reason:)
 
Well, Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron is having a linky for this purpose...one personal resolution and one blog resolution. 
 
One???  Really?  I have about 12 for each!  So narrowing it down has been a thoughtful challenge...
 
My Blog Goal for 2013:
I used to totally stress out if I wasn't posting every couple of days or so....AND I was freaking out if I wasn't reading blogs nightly too!!!  (this btw took some of the joy out of it) 
Recently life has really gotten crazy and I was lucky to get in a post a week AND read a few times a week........
AND GUESS  WHAT??????
Little old OCD me survived and so did my blog!  So my goal for this new year is to blog with purpose and enjoy it along the way!  Not to put so much pressure on myself..lol.  I also want to read more blogs AND comment more.  I have seen this as a goal for several of you:) 
 It's a good one...you never know how your comment can change a person's day:)
 
My Personal Goal for 2013:
Staying with my "control" theme, my personal resolution for the new year is to make some more "ME time".....I know, I know, you are all thinking that sounds pretty selfish....let me explain....one of the biggest things I need to do with my "ME Time" is spend more time in my Bible and devotionals.  I tend to let the outside world take ME over and in the process, stress me out.....then there's the old ripple effect....I'm stressed, I'm not a good teacher, or mother, or wife, or friend or.......
You get the idea.  If I can start and end my days at peace, then the rest of my world should fall into place:)  (I hope that made sense)
 
Now of course I have the traditional lose more weight, blah, blah, blah goals BUT those should fall in with my main one....I'm also a stress eater:/ 
There ya have it:)  Starting tomorrow, me and peace are gonna be BFFs:)
 
Have a super safe and blessed New Year everyone! 
 
 
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Best and Brightest of 2012!

Hi, hi all!  
I take a little "bloggy break" and find that I am about 10 linky parties behind and wayyyyy behind on my blog reading!  I have some catching up to do:0)  One linky (of the many) I wanted to link up with is 
What a fun way to reflect on the wonderful things in bloggy land in 2012.

So here we go with some of my little ole blog's best and brightest of 2012:

Best Self Motivation turned Awesome Linky
This past summer, I felt the need to pace/motivate myself by doing/making one thing for my house and one thing for my classroom a week.....I really needed that accountability piece!!!   I was just going to post once a week about my "doings"....
  Well, little did I know that I wasn't alone!!
 I had several people ask me to change this into a linky AND Monday Made It was BORN!!!
Talk about an inspiration, creativity explosion!!!  
What fun we had all summer!!  
Since school has started, I have changed it to a monthly linky, never enough time...lol!
Thank you to everyone who links up!  You all have inspired me more than you know:)  AND my TO DO list just grows and grows and grows:)

Most Viewed Post of 2012
My Organizing as I'm Packing post was most viewed.  I posted this at the end of the school year last year.  As I was thinking about and beginning to pack up my classroom, I (my daughter) made a few early summer bucket list items, one being the ever popular Teacher Toolbox, originally started by the awesome Rebecca from Create*Teach*Share.

Best Freebie I've Shared
This is an end of the year memory book I made for my kiddos to fill out.  I still have a type of memory book from when I was little and thought it would be fun to make something that hopefully, my students could keep and look back on with fond memories:)  You can read more about it HERE or download it by clicking on the pic:)

A couple of my Best sellers this year were:
Ironically (because it's so close to the end of the year)



Best Time
Florida Blogger Meet Up
Mor (A Teacher's Treasure), Jen (The Teacher's Cauldron) and I hosted
what I hope is the first of many Florida blogger meet ups:)  Too fun!


Best Blogspirations!

Who doesn't love Farley's Currently Linkies?!
Oh' boy fourth grade
and if that isn't enough, her posts crack me up:)

Ladybug's teacher files
One of the first blogs I EVER started following (before I even blogged) was Kristen's! 
 I was instantly inspired, helped, and addicted:)  That continues with every one of her posts as well as a good chunk of my classroom decor is from her store;)

My math will never be the same thanks to Stephanie!
Teaching in Room 6
Thanks to her calendar math posts, I started my Morning Math Meetings this year
and truly feel it has been one of the best things I have done this year for my kiddos!

Bloggy Buds

I have "met" and chatted with tons of people and am so very thankful for the new cyber friends I have made on this journey.  There are too many of you all to name:  Reagan, Nicole, Amanda, Jen, Kristen, Kim, Holly, Lana, Michelle, Molly....the list goes on.  You have talked me through questions, tears, technology, crafts, ideas....
Each of you has inspired and changed my life as a teacher and person, all for the better and I THANK YOU!!

Elizabeth
Fun in Room 4B
You have truly become one of my closest friends.....and we haven't even "met"!  
It's crazy how many things we have in common OR do the same (shopping.....crazy!)
Thank you for sharing, listening, coffee, chatting, the works!!!


Those are just a few of the best and brightest highlights of my 2012 blogging experience!
I can't tell you what blogging has done for me.  I know I have said this before (sorry) but, one of the reasons I started blogging was to keep me from "losing my mind" and my heart breaking as my daughter went off to college 2 summers ago (really??).  It kept me busy, my mind off my sadness and partial empty nest issues....

I had NO idea when I started what a wonderful experience I was in for.  I have learned SO much from so many of you!  I have been encouraged and lifted up by so many of you!  You may not even know it...I wish I could reply to each and every comment!  Comments that have come "at the perfect time" and maybe helped me through a tough time and just plain old made me smile!  Thank you!!

I look forward to the new friendships, chats, crafts, inspirations, and so much more for 2013!!

Thank you for blessing me!!!







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Have a Blessed Christmas!

Hello all!  
Hope you are all done with your shopping and enjoying family time!  
I'm popping in quick to say that I'm taking a week or 2 off from bloggy
land to catch up on some reading, relaxing, and mostly...
much needed family time!  I am so happy and feel so blessed to have my little
fam all under the same roof again for a little while:)

My prayer for all of you is that you have a blessed, relaxing, love filled Christmas
and New Year!
Be Blessed!


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Snow Day Success!

Today was snow day in our classroom.  
It has been planned for a while.  
 
Time to have fun and be kids.. 
 I am happy to say that we did just that today!  
This is gonna be a super long picture post, don't say I didn't warn you;)
This was the whole set up.  Snowman in a bag treats, hot cocoa, snow playdoh!
They LOVED this snowman in a bag treat!  

Found some super cute glittery snowflakes to decorate the table:)
The snow playdoh I made them all was a HUGE hit!!  So fun to see them playing with it!  
I actually used a different recipe this year AND white glitter instead of silver and I loved it so much more:)
You can find the recipe here:)
Another fun activity I added was Q-tip fraction snowflakes.
The kids were given q-tips and then could break them apart (easier and safer than cutting them....cutting them into pieces got a little nuts because pieces were literally flying everywhere!)  If you bend them a few times then twist, they break apart easily.  

Then they had to write 2 fractions.  One with how many pieces with the q-tips were used and then how many pieces without the cotton parts were used.  
Then they wrote poems:)  The poems were adorable and cracked me up!

Then we did our "My Snowman Came to Life.." narratives.  After they wrote their stories, they got to draw
their snowmen with chalk!  
Turned out super cute too!  They got hot cocoa while they were writing:)

Finally they made adorable ornaments (totally love this idea from Lisa at Fourth and Ten)
for their parents!  Thank the Lord my daughter was here to help today:)


So cute!  The snowmen are their fingers:)  Thanks Lisa for sharing such a cute idea:)

I am thankful to have some laughter and happiness in my classroom!  
As teachers, we are so blessed and have such wonderful opportunities to make a 
difference in a child's life.  Now more than ever, I am grateful for that!

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Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

I cannot begin to put into words the sorrow I feel for the families, students, teachers, and community
of Sandy Hook.  I have been and will continue to be in constant prayer for that
entire community.
This is a precious poem shared by Erica. We as teachers, are blessed each day we have the
opportunity to touch a child's life.

I am participating in the Teacher Bloggers Day of Silence to honor and remember the
victims and their families.  Please join me in lifting the families and this community up in prayer.

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Snow Day! In Florida?!

I feel like it's been forever since I have had a sec to blog.....I am soooo behind on reading blogs, but this last minute Christmas crunch is consuming me...lol.  So much left to do, not ever enough time! 
Thank the Lord Friday is almost here:)

My kiddos are getting anxious and a little giddy for Christmas break BUT we have kept up the academics and structure to keep my little elves in check;)  I have promised them that we will have a "snow day" next week.  I'm planning on doing some stuff from last year and adding a few new things....all things SNOW:)

I asked for a show of hands yesterday and there are at least 8 of my kiddos who have NEVER seen snow:(
So sad:(  
Our snow day will start with this:
This is the start of a cute anchor chart....
MY DAUGHTER MADE IT.....SHE'S HOME, SHE'S HOME!!!! 
I'M SO HAPPY!!!!
ok.....focus.........
The kiddos will be brainstorming some adjectives to help them prepare for a snowman writing activity.
Once this guy is filled out, they are going to write about 
"The day their snowman came to life"
After they write their narrative, they draw with chalk and love this:) 

While they are writing, they are gonna be snacking on this:
I made these last year and they were a huge hit!
It is a snowman in a bag snack:)  Super fun!
You can get the recipe from Gourmet Mom on the Go Here.
I found these cute napkins and cups at Dollar Tree!  They fit right in 
with the theme of the day:)

My daughter and I are gonna have a little craft day and make up a big batch of 

Of course there will be lots of snowy read alouds:)  You can never get enough of those:)  
My kids love to be read to! 

During Math Workshop and Daily 5 we will also be doing "snow" activities:



We might even squeeze in a snowball (paper) fight;)

I also want to make some super cute snowman ornaments that Lisa from Fourth and Ten made:)
Pop over to her blog to take a peek:)

Now I'm off to Pinterest to see if I can find some more ideas:)))
If ya have any suggestions, pop me a comment:)


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Currently, Billy, Read to Self/Someone Combo!

I am finally linking up with my bud Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!  You know I have to be number 599 or I'm not happy!!!  Lol!  Farley, you're the bomb.
Let me clarify....
No, I haven't shopped, not one little bit.....what the heck is wrong with me???
I am loving all the RAK and RACK things I am seeing all over blogland and Pinterest.  It really has me thinking.....we should do this everyday, not just December.  So my RACKs for today were buying the bosses and office staff some yummy Dunkin Donuts along with the super cute RACK tag from Farley:)
The tip to the donut gal was also a RACK...why, you ask.  Well I go in there often, you know, have to have my coffee.....anywhosie, she has not been pleasant to me....ever.  One day I left and was ticked....then I had to step back and think, ok, why is she so miserable at 6:30 in the morning...then I felt bad....so, today I decided before I went in I was going to tip her...more than my coffee cost.  It was fun and she was pleasant today:)  

Ok, on to Billy.  Who's Billy you ask?  Well Billy is a therapy dog in training. 
Is he the stinkin cutest, or what?!

 He is 5 months old and just awesome!  He comes to my classroom 3 times a week because his trainer works with one of my students.  
So, while she is working with my student, my other kiddos take turns reading to Billy:)
Remember, I don't "do Daily 5" the way the book says to mostly due to time constraints, SO 
some times I combine Read to Someone and Read to Self.  (some kids are doing one while the rest
are doing the other)
We also have 1 iPad and 1 Nook that the kids use during Read to Self and Read to Someone.
The kids LOVE reading from these.  I have several free and purchased stories.
Whether Billy is there or not, the kids will take turns on both.  At the start of a rotation, one person from the group will come get the iPad, then when they finish a story, they know to take it to one of their teammates.  This continues until that rotation is up, then we start again with the next group. 
This week they were reading Christmas stories to Billy....He's not to interested here....
 
and here.......

maybe not even here.......but maybe???

and now he's asleep!  That is usually what happens every time!  After about 5 minutes, he
is sound asleep and my sweeties just keep reading:)  It is the cutest thing and they LOVE reading
to him!  I feel blessed that we have gotten this opportunity:)
 
"Do you have a treat?"  Lol!

Don't forget to check out my Monday Made It December Edition:)

There have been lots of cute, Christmas ideas shared:)  If ya haven't linked up, it's
not too late:)  Recipes, crafts, classroom crafts and ideas...click the button
to go check out the party:)

It's Friday folks!  Now, I'm off to find my energy!!
Happy Weekend!




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Monday Made It - December Edition!!

Can you believe it's December?!?!?
I feel like I just did the November post!

I'm excited because I have some fun things to share in this Made It:)  

Made It #1:
I started this packet with one prompt in mind.....
I want my kiddos to remember that it's not all about the getting but the giving.  So, if they could write a letter to Santa for our world, what would they write?  I can't wait to see their letters:)  I also added 4 other fun writing prompts to inspire creativity.  Each comes in color or b/w.
I AM MAKING IT FREE FOR TODAY ONLY!!! So, grab your copy:)

Made It #2:

I made this as a fun gift to give my teamies (there are only 2).  
We all know the days leading up to Christmas break can get kinda tough.

Here is the letter that goes with the gift:


I put this tags and letter at my store as a freebie:)
Great if you need a gift for your kiddo's teacher or if you have a teacher friend you need a gift for.
I got all the goodies inside from Hobby Lobby and Bath and Body:)
Made It #3
UGGGG!  My kiddos still aren't spelling those sight words right....is it that they don't know them or is it that they are being lazy?  I'm not sure but practice makes perfect right???  So I made this activity for them to do during Word Work.  There are 4 sets (12 cards in each set) of sight words without their vowels.  The kiddos have to fill in the blanks to practice their spelling:)


That's it for me gang.  Remember, you can link up anytime during the month:)
Please grab my button made by the amazing Michelle at The 3AM Teacher and link up:)






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