Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter {Pinterest Inspired}

I thought I would share some winter pins that inspired me for the New Year! Most of these are from fellow bloggers too! This just helps me organize and think about some exciting craftivities for the month of January. Enjoy! 

Penguin Art
Adorable penguin craft from First Grade Blue Skies

Snow Globe Art

Snow Globe Art 
Instead of Christmas themed drawings the kids could just do winter activities inside the snow globe. 
This would make such a beautiful display. 

Other beautiful snow globes! The student used white paint.

winter bulletin board!

I love this bulletin board display "snow" much! This site has so many cool bulletin board ideas for every theme and month. 

AMAZING website that has FREE high quality online books! HOLY COW!!!

This is a site where you can read books online. So you could project them or play them on your Smartboard/ActiveBoard. Some of the great winter books they have right now include: The Hat by Jan Brett (You could do a great compare/contrast on her story The Mitten), The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, The Snowy Day (a winter favorite) by Ezra Jack Keats and other great non-fiction Penguin books. 

MLK activity
Wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. activity book! I'll have to get a parent volunteer to help out...I don't like messing around with painted handprints. I've had too many dry cleaner and I know each other too well. 

snowmen names!
Snowman names-love the added ribbon! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions:


1. Continue working out and try new challenges at the gym. I'm going to tone up my arms and get some abs.

2. I want to try to eat less Sun Chips, chocolate, and sweets! 

3. Make more money!!!!!! haha really though I need a new car and computer in the next year.
So I definitely need to put more time, thought, and effort into creating for TPT! 

4. Continue blogging about my class and reading!


1. To maintain my organization from the beginning of the year.

2. Make my enrichment time more purposeful for my students. 

3. To use the same kind of principles I use in guided reading to use in guided math. (Review, lesson, guided problems, work, and check/discuss.)  Now I usually feel rushed and just check over their mini quizzes and work to help solve missed problems. 

What are your resolutions?!?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

11 in '11

My 11 in '11 

11. Favorite movie you watched: 
This is a recent favorite obviously because it just came out! I read this book and was anticipating this movie and it did not disappoint in the least. It was a great book and movie which is hard to say most of the time. 

10. Favorite TV series: True Blood

9. Favorite restaurant:
K Restaurant (wine bar) for fine dining i.e. special occasions and Bento Sushi for regular date nights. :) 

8. Favorite new thing you tried:
Blogging! I started back in the spring when I just couldn't get enough of stalking other blogs and knew I wanted to share things in my own classroom! 

7. Favorite gift you got:
My beautiful diamond necklace my bf gave me for Christmas. It was his mom's diamond and has special meaning. He put it into a simply elegant setting on a necklace for me and surprised me completely! 

6. Favorite thing you pinned:
Ohh this is going to be hard...I actually have to look back at pins and there are just so many. I've made so many things for my house, parties, and classroom this year from Pinterest. I have also found inspiration for fun home workouts and style. But this has to be my favorite pin and I can't wait to make this in February for my darling first graders.
now to find the heart pan...this would be so cute for valentines day!

5. Favorite blog post: Team meeting, my first students, and more of my classroom! I can just feel the excitement of the new year and energy I have about teaching when reading that post. It helps me remember how hard I worked at the beginning of the year and how far I've already gone this year!

4. Best accomplishment: 
Graduating from graduate school from University of Central Florida with a Master in Reading Education. It was so much hard work but well worth it all in the end! 

Selling activities of TPT! I was so happy to start creating activities because I needed material for my enrichment group and I remember being so thrilled that someone else would want my products as well. I feel like this is my best accomplishment this year and hope to create even more great products for teachers in the 2012.

3. Favorite picture:
Costa Rica Vacation :) pure bliss 

Spending time with my family in Austin, Texas. 

2. Favorite memory:
My brother's wedding! It was such a joyful occasion and it was wonderful to be surrounded by family and friends. 

Our families together! 
My brother and I.

My bf and I. 

1. Goal for 2012: To stay fit, work hard, be positive, take trips, laugh, love and live life to the fullest! 

Holly Bloggy Christmas Link Up!

I had a wonderful Christmas made even better by my secret Holly Bloggy Santa! I would like to thank Melly my sweet giver from

And also to Caitlin and Sarah 
for coming up with such a cute idea!

Here is what I got from Melly:

I now have an adorable clipboard for school and home! My mom was way jealous she wanted one as well...I know what to get her for her birthday now though! I got a great journal to write in, jingle bell earring to wear next holiday season, wonderful brightly colored sticky notes, and my favorite candy Sour Patch Kids! Also not showing because I already have it on my purse is Finders Key Purse monogramed with my last initial! 

I loved Holly Bloggy Christmas this year and hope to continue this tradition! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Favorite Things About Christmas

Here are some of my other favorite things
about Christmas...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. As much as I love eggs Egg Nog just grosses me out.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps the presents.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  On my house I love colored lights-tastefully done of course. We have them on our trees and just around our doorways. I have white lights on my Christmas tree always though. 

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I never have and neither did my parents. I'm not even sure if I know where to find mistletoe. 

5. When do you put your decorations up? The first or second week of December. I love the Christmas season but I like to celebrate one holiday at a time. When we get a Christmas tree we decorate everything that day as a family and it makes it feel more special. 

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Hard to say...Christmas Eve we usually have lasagna before midnight mass and then on Christmas Day we have a giant feast. I love mashed sweet potatoes and the only time I ever have them is on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Spending time at my grandparents house and running downstairs with my brother to see if it had snowed Christmas morning. Then running back upstairs and waking everyone in the house up so we could open presents. We always had cinnamon buns in the morning and then opened gifts.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I believe for soo long and finally just asked my mom because I was suspicious and pretty much already knew. She confirmed my belief on no real Santa and  I was so heartbroken. I love anything magic so I really wanted to believe he was real. 

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, but just one present and my mom always got to choose which one. It usually turned out to be pajamas but I was still so excited. 

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have a bunch of handed down ornaments from our grandparents and parents. Most have lots of meaning to them and our special to us. I also have a lot of ornaments that my students have given me over the years which I adore. This year I got a pirate Santa (soo cute!) and an ornament with all my students thumb prints and initials (I just love my room mom!). 
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I guess I dread it because I would NEVER ever live anywhere where it would snow. I think it is beautiful and do love it in very small doses. It is great for a week but anything passed that and I'm hopping on a plane back to Florida. 
12. Can you ice skate? Yes I sure can! My parents grew up in Delaware and most of my family lives there so we would ice skate as a family. 

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My first real bike! It was so fun to be able to ride around the neighborhood. 
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?  Spending quality time with family and friends. 

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Reese peanut butter cookies or apple pie. 

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Putting up the Christmas decorations: tree, lights outside, etc. 

17. What tops your tree? A star
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I love both! I love getting something unexpected that I totally end up loving. I love surprising others and seeing their reactions. I do not like when everyone watches me open presents because I show all emotions so you can pretty much tell right away if I don't like something before I can even try to cover up. 

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yum, but I don't really eat many of them!

20. Favorite Christmas show? Elf, Love Actually, and Home Alone.

21. Saddest Christmas Song? I'll be Home for Christmas because everyone can't always be home or with their loved ones and that makes me sad.

22. What is your favorite Christmas song?  any Amy Grant song! I sing the whole CD with my Mom every year. This year my new sister in law revealed that she always sings Amy Grant Christmas songs with her Mom too! My Mom and I were so excited to sing with her and just loved how her tradition was the same as ours. 

What are your Chritmas favorites?!
feel free to copy this little survey so I can learn
 more about you, too! I got this from Katie over at Keep Calm and Carry On.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

`Twas the days before Christmas,
And all through the school,
The teachers were trying
To just keep their cool.

The hallways were hung
With Christmas art
(Some made in November
to get a head start!)

The children were bouncing
Off ceilings and walls,
And seemed to forget
How to walk in the halls.

With "holiday shirts"
And "jingle bell jewels,"
The teachers looked festive
Enforcing the rules.

When out of the teacher's lounge
There came such a chatter,
The principal went in
To see what was the matter.

The teachers were hiding
And trying to refuel,
On coffee and cookies
And treats from the Yule.

When what to their wondering
Ears do they hear,
But the ringing of school bells
It's the children they fear!

More rapid than reindeer
The little ones came,
And the teachers all shouted
And called them by name;

Walk, Vincent! Walk, Tanner!
Walk, Tyler and Sammy!
Sit, Jamie! Sit, Laura!
Sit, Tara and Tammy!

To your desks in the room!
To your spots in the line!
Now walk to them! Walk to them!
No running this time!

So straight to their places
The children all went.
With fear of detention
Where they could be sent.

With manuals of lessons
Cradled in arms,
The teachers began
To use all their charms.

But the lesson presented
All fell on deaf ears.
The children were thinking
Of Santa's reindeer!

With a toss of their hands
They put manuals aside,
Went straight to the cupboards
Where videos hide.

And laying their finger
On the TV remote
They sat back to write
Their last Christmas note.

But you could hear them exclaim
At the end of the day~
Have a wonderful, happy and

I got this poem from a co-worker today and I know we are all feeling this way! Just one more day for me-Polar Express Day tomorrow! Then I'm off until the New Year! Hope your last few days with your kids are festive! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Crafting

It seems like it has been ages since I have posted last. This is not because I haven't wanted to but really just lack of time! Between Christmas shopping, putting up decoration, being sick, school, reindeer run, holiday parties, class party, etc... it has been difficult to get in some relaxing time to blog. But now that most of those things are done or at least planned and ready here I am!

Here are some Christmas crafts we have been doing in class that I wanted to share.

One of my room moms (yes I'm lucky to have 2!) made these beautiful stockings for my students. She made a few different designs and then hooked them on the back of each of my students chairs. She also gave me plenty of candy canes to give to the students for good behavior. My students have had fun trying to fill their stockings especially when behavior has started to wane with each day closer to break.

Each of my student decorated an ornament that replicated their favorite at home and wrote describing the ornament. This was a great way to get students to describe an object and some had a hard time thinking of ways they could say their favorite ornament was Santa. In the end though I got some wonderful sentences.

This is my side of the hallway. Each student has a different snowflake with their picture in the middle and below hangs their work. This was a gingerbread glyph that we made mostly using crayons, ribbon, and glitter. Attached our their fabulous gingerbread stories they created on their own. They were so great to read each one unique and special to each student. 

This awesome display was made by a mom and the stockings were a family project. 

This was a Kindergarten display with Christmas lights that say "Ms. P's class lights up the hallway!" and their Grinch's grinning now that they saved Christmas! 

Since we made a lot of crafts and have so many special projects to take home my students made a reindeer bag that holds all their items. The antlers are their hands and the face is their foot. I thought they came out adorable! 

Reindeer writing: If I were one of Santa's reindeer...

A reindeer ornament craft. So easy to make and so much fun for the kids. I also love putting the year on the ornaments because it is a reminder and a keepsake for Christmas' to come.

Tree ornament that did not require much glue. They are so sloppy with liquid glue. Dot dot NOT A LOT! I say it calmly at first but after there is a whole mess of it on the desk you have to raise your voice a little on the not a lot. The kids just painted and then stuck the sequins in the paint and it stuck. Put a dot (yeah right) on the top and stuck a pom pom on. My parent volunteers put on the trunk and ribbon after they were dried. 

Lastly the most adorable reindeer frame I found on Pinterest! I made this frame magnetic so they can hang it on their refrigerator at home. I put cute bows on all the girls frames and stuck their picture in the frame so the parents can enjoy! Also sitting next to the frame is my Christmas present to my students:  Iggy Pig's Snowball Fight! a new Scholastic book that is on first graders reading level. I also tied in a candy cane and holiday pencil. 

Tomorrow we are having our Holiday party and my students are beyond excited! We will be making gingerbread houses, playing holiday bingo, making goodie bags, a craft, and eating pizza and brownies! My kids are so lucky to have such wonderful parents that make this all happen for them! 

Also in other exciting news: my Donor's Choose project got fully funded last Friday!! I'm beyond elated and cannot express my joy and happiness that my project is fufilled. I can't wait to start the new year off with new leveled readers. It is going to help my students so much! Now if I can just decide where in my class I want to put the books....

I'll save that for another night! 2 days until Christmas break and I can think about it all I want then!! Hope everyone is having an awesome and fun last week at school! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Blogger on the Block!

Drum roll please! There is a new blogger on the block! She is an amazing teacher that I used to work with at my previous school. Without further ado let me introduce to you... Jenna! 

Her new blog is called:

She actually got help from her Daddy to name her blog so cute! Go check it out!

Grades taught: Jenna has been a teacher for 5 years. She is currently teaching Kindergarten and has previously taught 2nd grade and Pre-K. 

Education: Jenna went to the same amazing school as I did-UCF! She is now going back to UCF to get her Masters in Reading Education. So yes we will have the exact same degree-two teachers peas in a pod!  It was great having the same professors and sharing text books. If you've done grad school you know you need support from others going through your insanity!

Her blog features lots of fun alphabet crafts, writers workshop ideas, and tales from Kindergarten! Jenna is just getting started with blogging but already has amazing posts! Show her some blogger love and become a follower. She is such a smart, talented, and passion teacher. I know she'll bring all of that to her blog as well!  I'm so happy I had the chance to work with her and so excited that she is starting this journey of blogging.

Also pretty please check out my post from earlier today: Rambling about Reading: Sweet Donors Choose Deal

Sweet Donors Choose Deal

Time is running out on my Donors Choose project I have 13 days left! EEK! But with the help of all my awesome blog readers I am hoping to complete my project. So here is how you can help me out and get a sweet treat. December 5th-18th all credit card donations will be doubled on the Donors Choose website.  You have to enter the word SPARK during check out where it says "I have a gift or match code" to automatically double your donation! If you donate $10 or more I will give all the items in my TPT store for FREE. Yes, that is correct everything for free because I am really hoping to get this donation of non-fiction leveled readers filled for my students. Both of our students will benefit from this because you'll be getting tools to use with your students from my TPT store and my students will hopefully get some new books! As a teacher I know we are all tight on money and especially during the holiday season but if you are looking to spread some holiday cheer and help a blogger out please check out my project! Also it would be great it you wanted to spread the word on your blog to help out! Thank you in advance! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Second Week of December Must Reads

This weeks December Must Reads are focused around Holidays around the world! 







Chinese New Year: 


Hope y'all enjoy this weeks book list! I have a Holidays Around the World unit that should be out sometime this week that goes along with all of these must reads! Hope you have a wonderful and blessed week! 

Sunshine Award

Thank you so much to Amanda at The Teaching Thief for giving me the sunshine award! It made my day brighter! Go check out her amazing blog! 

The Sunshine Award rules are...
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

* Favorite Color?  green
* Favorite Animal?  dogs
* Favorite Number? 3
* Favorite Drink? Lemonade in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter
* Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
* Your Passion? Teaching of course but lately I've been into working out
* Giving or Getting Presents?  I love giving, especially when I have found the perfect gift but I loved being surprised with gifts as well! 
* Favorite day? Sunday the closing out of a great weekend and the beginning of a fresh start to a new week it's always a calm day spent at the house and with loved ones
* Favorite flowers? magnolias I love the way they smell

Here are 12 more blogs I have chosen to pass this award on to:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Week of December Must Reads!

Did you know?
These are some great books
That you should show! 
To fill your students minds
With thoughts of holiday times!

Here is a list of my must reads for the first week of December with my students! There are just so many holiday books I thought I would share them during each week leading up to Christmas. Enjoy! 

Gingerbread Books: 

I love to read a few gingerbread stories to compare and contrast them and see which one is the students favorite.

If you haven't read about the smarter, sweeter gingerbread girl who leaps and twirls I highly recommend you get this book! It is always a class favorite with boys and girls because of the twist at the end!

This little baby is too adorable and it is so fun to build gingerbread houses after reading this book! 

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

A new favorite that our librarian read to my class this week! 

Happy Reading! 

P.S. I thinking about reading the Hunger it too much of a teen novel or is it for all ages? I would love to know and hear your feedback about the books!