My latest "Pinter-ations!"

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, New You, New Me!!!

Happy early New Years!! Hope you are enjoying it with your loved ones! I for one, am sick AGAIN!! WTheck?? My Chalkie sister, Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade  blogged about it on The Primary Chalkboard and I am going to really try and stay healthy for the remainder of the year. I usually don't get so sick but I feel this year has been my worse since my first year teaching-- and that was a LONG time ago! If you'd like to read up on some tips, please click on the Primary Chalkboard button below to take you there!

So, now the R word:

resolution: the state of quality of being resolute; firm determination; a resolving to do something; a course of action determined or decided on. 

Yes, every year I try to make and keep my resolutions or is that my firm determination and course of action decided on! I think I didn't do too bad last year. One was to create a teaching blog (I did!! You're reading it!) and start TpT (I did that too!!). I didn't quite meet up my expectations to lose that pesky 50 lbs but I think I lost 5 so I consider that a *small* victory. Was probably water weight but hey! Some of my pants are a tad bit looser! LOL! 

I am linking up today with another Chalkie sister, Jessica from First Grade Nest for her

My #1 resolution is to spend MORE time with my family! Sometimes I am sooo busy with school and being a mommy that I don't always get to enjoy them the way other people do. Does that make sense? I am the one behind the scenes making sure everyone/everything is taken care of that you rarely see me sit or eek!! get in a picture! 

Be more organized!!! Right now I feel like our house is in complete bedlam!! Toys are everywhere and clutter consumes me (obviously not the children or DH). I feel like our bedroom which according to Ty Peddington every time I used to watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition should be a place of rest, relaxation, solace. If you look at it now, it looks like a dorm room! We have papers, frames, kid name it! So I think that organization and maybe redecoration may be in order.

I'm hosting another senior intern this year. I am so excited to share this experience with her! I so know what it is like to be in her shoes and want to be as nurturing, helpful, and supportive as I can be for her. I want to set a good example of what a real classroom is like and the successes and challenges she will face in today's classroom. 

I am seriously thinking of becoming a Teacher on Assignment. I love to help other teachers and am creative and knowledgeable in my craft and feel I can really reach out to other teachers. Not that I don't love the kids!!! I REALLY do! They are what keep me going day after day; their hugs, smiles, light bulbs above their heads when they get it, tapping of their pencil when they are in deep thinking! Everything about the kids is satisfying to me. Now, if only the adults who make the BIG decisions about teaching were so easy... 

I would love to have an enjoyable, relaxing home and school life and still create for TpT! 

I have an Activboard and would love to create amazing lessons using it. 

Enjoy the little moments. Sometimes we say we are TOO busy but if you really think about it, if it's that important to you you'd make time for it and anyone! I need to enjoy more of those! Oh, and find better ways to save our money. Don't get me started on our grocery bill! 

Sweets!! or maybe less sweets. I gotta say, a Coke after a looonnggg day is fabulous when that carbonation fizzes my lips or that Reeses cup or five at the faculty meeting. Need to limit those. 

Indian food. One of my BFF's is Indian and I love her but am a little scared to eat curry. I ate it when I was younger but as an adult have shied away from it. So although I've *tried* it, I've yet to experience it as an adult. And I know that not all Indian food has curry! :-)

You know?? With my hubby as a pilot you'd think we jet set every where. Fact is-- we don't!!! This year will be our 10th anniversary. Brian said we are going to France! We shall see!! ;-)

If you'd like to link up with Jessica and this fun linky, please click on the pic below!

Are you also looking for other new blogs for ideas? I'm also linking up with Simply Kinder.

I am always amazed at the creative ideas teachers have and share! Please click on the graphic above to learn some new bloggers! I've already learned a few new ones that I really like! Don't forget to follow them! 

Hope that you and your families have a safe fun New Years! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays everyone!! Hope that you all had a great holiday! As a teacher I must admit that I certainly love this perk! It's not the reason I became a teacher but I cannot say I do not enjoy having the time off!! My family and I had a great Christmas. Brian, my hubby, was actually home! That is rare for him to have any holiday off! We spent the day playing mahjong at my parents house!

Today is boxing day for my fellow native Canadians! My fellow Chalkies and I are having a Merry After Christmas sale! My store is 20% off! Stock up now for next year or grab some files for the upcoming weeks! Click on the poster below to take you to my store!

Happy shopping with no aggravation!!! I find that as I get older (next month I will turn 37!!!) I don't have patience for crowds. 

So, today was a PJ day! Sometimes, you just gotta have those days...or five. I really should get out but I was busy working on my new Penguins! Penguins! Penguins! unit! I just love penguins! There is something about those waddling cuties that I adore. It might be that I waddle or that I'm round, too, but every time I see them I cannot help but oohhh and ahhh!!! When we get back from break, we will be working on winter centers and then working on polar animals and penguins (I love teaching these topics!!) and plan on using my centers. Here is a peek of what is included:

I love the craftivity. It goes along with this book:

It is the cutest story of this penguin who is lost and this boy tries to return him only to find that the penguin is his friend! I love it. The illustrations are just too cute. So I made this craftivity to go with it:

It will take a good week to complete with all the pieces. Can't wait. Then in science I plan on using 

Here are two pages that are just examples from the book: 

These little books are great for comprehension, are rich in vocabulary and are high interest for our little ones. So excited for this! Although I can wait as I am enjoying vacation!! LOL! There is just so much in the pack that I cannot wait to use! Will post pics as soon as we work in it. You can grab this pack. It's on sale for $5.00. Just click on the collage pic above to take you to my store! If you'd like to win it... just go to my FB page to find out how (although time is limited!) Click on my button to take you to my FB page!

We are also working on non-standard measurement in math. This concept goes by pretty fast and I feel that most students earn mastery. Here are some great books that we will be reading:

Bookish Ways in Math and Science blogspot has some great links for websites to put on your students computers, too! Click on their name to take you to their link! You will be glad you did!!!

Additionally, I created a mini non-standard measurement pack to leave you with. These are all printables/activities that I will be using when I get back. Click on the pic to take you to my store to download:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Who's on break!! I am!!!

Can I say Christmas break? Whoooo!! These past 2 weeks have been totally crazy! No, crazy may not be a good vocabulary word. bedlam. Bat-poop crazy. I am so tired, I want to retire hectic!! Take me away, Calgon!! hectic and crazy!! Who's with me? Plus, it was a full moon! WTHeck???

Yes, friends. It was that kind of week and then some! We are not even going to go there! But I will go and show you some things we worked on. A bit late, but better late than never, right?

We worked on gingerbread men and had an amazing time at our gingerbread decorating event! The kids had a blast and we did a cross text compare and contrast on some favourite gingerbread stories! 

It was just too fun for words! I think their favourite was "Gingerbread Cowboy!" 

"Giddyup, Giddyup as fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!' we'd read and pretend to ride a horse!! That might have something to do with that being their favourite story! *Maybe*! LOL!

Then we did the cutest writing activity from my Gingerbread Adventures pack:

Gingerbread similes! They came out absolutely ADORBS!!

They had so much fun making and writing about them! Even the boys were excited about making them! We also worked on a few other centers:

Compound Cookies

 Gingerbread Digraphs

I wish I had taken pictures of the other centers but we were... BUSY!! I was busy getting ready for our gingerbread party! Check out the pics! 

After they made their houses, I had a BINGO game and a holiday photo booth! 
If you'd like to plan a gingerbread decorating party for next year, head over to the Primary Chalkboard where I posted some free downloads of the forms I used! 

Then if we weren't busy with that, we made these adorable crafts for the parents!

I do not know who the original creator of this craft is but if you know, please let me know so I can give you proper credit!! But these are ones that I love to make every year! This year, I filled them with fake snow! uhhh... not fun! I basically had to jam them in with a pencil!

I also loved how I packaged them! Again, sorry for being late but an idea for you all next year! I used Solo cups and some of that paper filler from the Dollar Tree, some ribbon, a homemade tag, and there you have a thing of beauty and love!!

A great, inexpensive yet heartwarming gift for the parents from the kids! 

And to end my week.. I had a workshop today! How nice... I had grades due, set up my classroom, clean up from the bedlam that was the week of Christmas break, and they tell me I have a workshop?? Well, it was actually a great workshop!! I loved it and learned some great tools to use to go along with Common Core Math and they will not cost me a billion dollars to incorporate into my classroom. the good news is, I already incorporate a lot of it anyway! 

Here's one that I will be using with and making with my kids in the new year! Bean sticks! Have you heard of them??

Photo courtesy of Catherine Kuhns

Me either! Again, if you are the creator or this, please let me know so I can give you credit for this! When speaking of number sense and base ten, the presenter Catherine Kuhns (click on the pic above to visit her site and see her awesome resources!) suggests having students use these instead of ten sticks! Genius!! I agree! She showed some pictures of students using these when showing 6 tens = 60 and then 6 tens and 1 ten = 7 tens or 70. It was amazing! Then there were slides of moving on to add ones! Just loved this idea because the kids could actually SEE the ten on the bean stick versus the lines on the tens rod! So, I think this will be a new project!

Catherine also showed us a great resource for those who use rekenreks:

It's called Number Rack and it's a FREE app! I downloaded it on my iphone and its pretty cool. There are some paid versions from different software companies. Just check them out. I know The Math Coaches Corner also has some great resources, too!

Anyhow, that's what we've been up to!! Hope you all have a great weekend and I'll be back soon with some treats for you!