Friday, December 26, 2014

Fourteen in 14

Linking up with Kristin, Traci, and Hadar for fourteen memories of 2014.  They said you could use their ideas for 14 things or just do your own, so I am going to do a modge-podge of the two.

14:  Favorite Quote

(It was in my life planner and I ended up cutting it out and putting it above my desk.)

13: Favorite restaurant
CPK.  I had always been okay with California Pizza Kitchen.  I would try pizzas and they were fine, but nothing wow.  Then I tried the California Club Pizza and I was hooked.  It is like a salad on top of a pizza.  I get it with ranch instead of lemon-pepper mayo.  Yum!!!  I might need to get takeout tonight just thinking about it.

12: Favorite TV series
Saw a lot of new television shows this year (Breaking Bad, Walking Dead), but my two favs this year were Sherlock (BBC version) and Scandal.  Scandal is not new to me by any means, but this year was one of my absolute favs.

11: My Team
I love my team!  We get along really well and work well together.  The three of us have so much fun both at school and socially.  It makes going to work that much better when you enjoy the people you work with.

10: Favorite gift
My friend Christina gave me a really cool bracelet this year.  I love the words on it:  Beauty-Dedication-Strength

9: Favorite trip
My coworkers and I went up to Massanutten Lodge for a weekend in August.  It was fabulous.  Pool time, new restaurants, happy hours, friends....LOVED IT!  Oh and the best part was that it was free.  We won the passes for lodging from our Papa John's Teacher Delivery Night.

8: School Fun
I am blessed to work in an amazing school with fabulous educators.  Not only are the people I work with great educators, they also know how to have fun.  This year, we made a Back to School video for our school's WILD theme.  You can check out the video at our website by clicking here.

7: Best accomplishment
I was honored to be my school's Teacher of the Year.  My parents got to attend the ceremony, along with my principal and our school's New Teacher of the Year.  What an honor to represent my amazing school!!!

6: Favorite picture
My sister and brother-in-law had twins in early June.  There were some complications and one baby was in the NICU for about a month.  The other baby had to be air-lifted to another hospital on the day he was born to have surgery.  He then spent about two month in two different NICUs.  We were all very worried for both babies and it was a long two months.  Then one day my sister texted me a picture....BOTH babies were home together!!  It is my absolute most favorite picture ever!!  (The boys are doing great and I enjoyed getting to snuggle with them and play with my niece over the holidays!)

5: New Blog
I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with Lindsey at L. Paull Desgins for All.  She is not only a fabulous third grade teacher and blogger (Thriving in 3rd), but she is a talented blog designer.  I LOVE my blog design!

4:  Professional Development
This summer I attended a professional development program with my teammates.  I posted about this back in July and you can read more here.  In November, we got to go to a conference (all expenses paid) and learn even more about science.  It was a fun, yet sometimes stressful, experience.  Some of my favorite pictures from VISTA are:


3: Family Tradition
Every year, at Thanksgiving, my cousins and I pile on the stairs and take a cousin-picture.  We are getting bigger and growing (cousins getting married), but we still do this.  The youngest cousin (now 18)  still "surfs" down the stairs...although it was a lot less painful when he was five!


2: Goal for 2015
I want to be healthier in 2015.  I know that is stereotypical and everyone has that goal every year.  I do though.  Maybe it is walking more, maybe it is making better choices, but I need to do something. I also want to blog more and upload more resources to TpT.

1: Little Word

SLANT Box Reveal

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and/or Happy Holidays!  Whatever you celebrate, I hope you are having a wonderful time.  I am very happily enjoying a fabulous winter break.  Sleeping in is amazing...I just love not having to get up at 5:15am.  I feel like such a normal person when I can sleep in until 7am.

My SLANT box for December came today.  SOOOOOOO Excited!  It came from Allie at  She nailed it!  I love ALL my goodies.  Check them out.

I might have already broken into the TWIX.  Also super excited to try the erasable colored pencils. What a great idea!  Love, Love, Love the colored file folders.  Thanks, Allie!  You are the best!!!

Also, thanks to Jameson at for organizing SLANT boxes.  If you have never participated you should check it out.  Can't wait for the next one.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Currently December

Is it really December 1st?  I was kind of in denial when my alarm went off this morning that break was over.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy to be with my kiddos and really excited about some of the fun things we have going on the next three weeks....but I LOVED sleeping in the last 5 days.

I am listening/watching Friends on the DVR while getting ready this morning.  It never gets old!

I am so excited the the Winter V.I.P. starts today from Creative Clips.  I bought this back in November and it starts today.  Go check out her Tpt!

I am thinking I need to get moving and get my behind to school. I want to stop at Starbucks on my way too!

I want to do my TpT shopping now!  Guess it will wait until after school.

I need to address my holiday cards I just got back.

We (our school) collected 2.700 can goods for needy families in Henrico.  Our SCA is loading the truck today. I am so proud of our school and SCA for giving this holiday season.  I love being an SCa sponsor!

Have a great Monday!

Don't forget to link up for December Currently with Oh' Boy Fourth Grade!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Scoop!

Linking up (for the first time) with The Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop!

Here is the scoop on my day/week:

That is pretty much my day.  Guess I better get started!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

SLANT Box Amazingness!

Last week was crazy.  For real insane back to school prep craziness. I know you all get that and you know what I am talking about.  Teacher workweek is exhausting.  There is never enough time in your room and there are always too many meetings.  By Thursday I was a walking zombie.  By Friday I don't think I could even remember my own name.

I get home Friday night, around 8:30pm, and see my SLANT box sitting on my doorstep.  Oh my gosh, the timing couldn't have been better.  Suddenly I wasn't so tired.  Thank you so much, Lindsey. I HAD to open it right away!

Loved the sweet note inside from Lindsey.  Her school's stationary is so cute too.  My box of Burlington was full of so many goodies.

Burlington is known for Sterzing's potato chips.  Can't wait to try these!

Lindsey sent me Sharpies (my fav) and erasers for my kiddos.

 Lindsey also sent me a t-shirt from her local high school.  Absolutely love the colors!

Love the glitter and purple polka-dot notebook.

Lindsey also sent me a cute Hawkeyes notepad and enough Hawkeyes pencils for all my students.

Go check out Lindsey's blog at Thriving In 3rd.  She has a lot of really great ideas and posts.  She also designs blogs and I can't wait for my blog re-design later this month.  You can find out more about her blog designs at L.Paull Designs for All.

If you haven't done SLANT box yet, September signs up are still open for another few days.  Go check it out at Jameson's Lesssons with Coffee.

School starts tomorrow...guess I should get back to my to do list!  Thanks to Lindsey for my SLANT box and thank you Jameson for organizing!


Linking up with the amazing Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for September's currently.

LISTENING: I am enjoying watching re-watching Season 1 of Once Upon a Time.  I forgot so much of the early stories.  Thank you Netflix for giving me something to listen to while working on school stuff.

LOVING: I am so happy I scheduled a 90-minute massage for later today.  My back really needs this!

THINKING: So many lil things to get done...hope I don't forget anything for the first day of school tomorrow.

WANTING: To visit my niece and nephews.  My niece is 2 and my twin nephews are 3 months old (tomorrow). I so want to go snuggle with those baby boys and have tea parties with my niece.  The twins were in the NICU most of the summer and just came home in August, so I don't feel like I got enough time with them.  They live 2 hours away, which isn't bad, except Washington DC is in the middle of the drive, so sometimes it takes 4 hours with traffic.

NEEDING: I really need to do laundry and put away the laundry I have done.  Maybe I should also pick out some back to school outfits for the week.

3 TRIPS: I have always wanted to visit Spain, Italy, and Australia.  I hope one day I will get there!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer SLANT Box!

The theme for #slantbox June/July was "Sunshine".

I was paired to send to Jameson at Lessons With Coffee.  No pressure at all sending to the creator of Slant Box!  I really enjoyed getting to know her though and to learn more about all the fun things she is doing.

The person sending to me was the fabulous Kristen from The Book Monsters.  I loved getting to know her as well and thanks to her I have lots of books on my reading list now.

I was so excited to come home earlier this month and find this waiting at my door:
I love mail and presents and fun surprises!  I opened it and found so many awesome things!

A chevron lunch bag, skittles (2 flavors), post-its, animal print items for our new theme this year, and so many other goodies.  I also loved her sweet card and the ice-pop maker.  This was definitely a box of sunshine!

Thank you so much to Kristen for all the treats and to Jameson for organizing!  Can't wait for August SLANT!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Summer of Science

I have had a very busy summer so far.  I signed up for VISTA with my 4th and 5th grade teammates.   What is VISTA?  In June and July, I met up with 38 other Virginia teachers at Virginia Commonwealth University to participate in a four-week professional development institute designed to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led, lecture-driven classroom to a hands-on, problem-based learning environment.  You can find out more about VISTA at

The program has been wonderful.   It has also been overwhelming and stressful and enlightening and completely worth it.  I have learned so much over the last 4 weeks.  I never felt science was my strongest subject.  To say that I was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement.  
One piece of this program was teaching part of a science camp for students with high need. I loved working with the students and teaching science in a fun, hands-on, and engaging way.  For the last three days of training we are working as teams to create a 2-week problem based unit to implement this upcoming school year.

We learned about discourse and teaching students to talk like scientists and really get into deeper conversations.  Here is a poster I made for my classroom.  I plan to reference it when we are starting discourse circles.  You can download it by clicking the link under the picture.

Another resource I made was a set of posters about NOS.  What is NOS?  Nature of Science...totally didn't even know that before this summer.  I have nine posters and you can download them for free from TeachersPayTeachers.  While you are there, feel free to follow my store!

Monday, May 26, 2014

WILD about Organization

We have 13.5 days of school left.  Going to be sad to see these kids leave, but I am so ready for summer.

I am trying to get ahead of the game and prepare for next year AND our school's new theme.  We are going to be Wild About Learning!  I love printing my calendar and putting it in my binder.  Easy to take to meetings and planning sessions.  I hope you can use it too!

Head over to google docs and download this wild version of the 2014-15 printable calendar.  It goes from July 2014 to July 2015.  Hope you like it.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Friday, May 16, 2014

2014-2015 Calendar

Several people have asked for the next year of my PRINTABLE here you go.
This one goes from July 2014-July 2015.

Just click the calendar picture above to get a copy of it from my google drive.

I am thinking of also making another version in a wild theme since my school is going "Wild About Learning" next year.

Linking up with Classroom Freebies' Manic Monday.  Click below to join the party.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, May 4, 2014

SLANT Box Reveal!

I had a great time with April's SLANT box book theme.  I got to send to Katie at A Basket Full of Apples.  I decided to go with a summer is almost here theme and sent her Pete the Cat at the Beach. Hopefully she liked the goodies I sent with it.

Yesterday I received my SLANT box from Becky at Cooking up Success in Third Grade.  It was amazing.  She sent me The Finisher by David Baldacci.  I can't wait to read it.  I am super excited about the Wonder packet she sent as well.  We did a whole grade level reads of that book this year and will be doing it again next year.  She also sent me Flair pens, snacks, an awesome personalized cup, and homemade zebra notecards.  (My school JUST decided two days ago that our theme next year is going to be Wild About Learning! How perfect are those notecards??)  Thanks, Becky!!!

I am really enjoying SLANT box exchanges.  It is so neat to connect with other teachers around the country.  I also love getting presents in the mail.  Can't wait for May's exchange.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is it May already?

Wow! It is May.  For real.  May.  This year has flown by.

Time to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her awesome monthly linky Currently May!

Spending my Saturday catching up on this week's Grey's Anatomy.  I feel like Grey's has been hit or miss the last few years...but I so need to see it through.  Besides...I want to know what's happening with Burke coming back for an episode.

I am loving this amazing weather the last few days.  I am so ready for the season of outdoor festivals and cookouts.

We had our first field day yesterday.  It was fantastic.  So organized and so much fun. The kids had a blast.

I really want to blog more often. I know I say this every few months and then I disappear.  I really am hoping to get my life more sane. Grad school is done for the summer and hopefully things are calming down.  I know that is saying a lot with this being the end of the school year....but you never know.

I need to organize my upstairs room.  So much stuff everywhere. It would be nice to get things in order around here.

My surprise shout-out is to Jameson at Lessons with Coffee.  She organizes a monthly SLANT BOX exchange.  I know it is a tremendous amount of work for her and I hope she knows how much people appreciate it.  I just received my April #slantbox today and I am so excited.  Go sign up for May's exchange by this evening if you want to participate.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Currently

It has been a while since I have blogged.  Not sure why things are so crazy this year. Time to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her awesome monthly linky Currently February! Hopefully February will be a better blogging month for me.

1. Watching-Obsessed with BBC's Sherlock.  Such a good show.  I am now re-watching the series.

2.  Loving-Enjoying no plans.  Went to Costco this morning before it was packed.  Got all the essentials for Super Bowl tomorrow. Watching TV and being lazy now.

3.  Thinking-report cards.  Yes, I need to do comments.  I always agonize over this part of report cards though.  I feel like it takes me forever to do them. In steps my BFF whose name is Procrastination.

4.Wanting-more snow days.  You can never have too many!!  Bring on some more snow!!!

5. Needing-to clean and cook.  My house is a mess....I was crafting this week so of course there is paper, string, glitter, and paint on my table.  Time to put everything away. Also need to make salsa chicken so it is ready to be turned into yummy taco dip for the game tomorrow.

6. Truths and Fib

  • I do HATE teaching elapsed time.  So many kids have trouble with it and everyone has to find his/her own strategy for learning it.  I wish I had a be-all-end-all elapsed time strategy that would work for all kids.
  • I DID NOT only teach 4 days in the last two was actually only 2.  I taught Tuesday and Friday of this past week only.  We had snow the entire week before and then much of this past week.  By the way...snow blizzards in Virginia really can be just 2 inches.  Yes, two inches of snow gets you out for a week!
  • I do have 29 kids this year.  That is a lot of bodies in one room.  Love them though and I did miss them over snow break.