Sunday, December 29, 2013

Help Wanted

I'm linking up with Simply Kinder for her teaching blog round-up!  As a newbie teacher blogger, I'm loving this link up: a great way to meet other blogs and to get input from other teachers!

I've taken a short break from this little blog.  I had a wonderful Christmas & am gearing up for NYE and heading back to school.  My to-do list for break is still unfinished - including my BIG goal to figure out a way to reorganize my library.

To say I have too many books is an understatement.  You might remember from my last post that I have stacks of books on my back counter (nowhere near my library).

Here's my library now:

Pretty sad, right?  While I am a first year teacher..I think I can do better than this.  My original thought was to get some of the cubic organizers from Target & neon book baskets from Really Good Stuff (to match my students' book bins).

A friend told me that her Really Good Stuff baskets didn't hold up that well.  Has anyone else had this problem?

What ideas do YOU have that I could use to help rebuild my library to fit all of my books?

Friday, December 13, 2013

First Time Five For Friday

I'm so excited to link up with Doodle Bugs for the first time.  It's my first Five for Friday!  Click the graphic above so you can link up, too :)

We made these adorable gingerbread houses from Kelley Dolling at Teacher Idea Factory.  I think they turned out great!  I let the kiddos have some free reign with decorating and they really let their personalities shine.  This activity went along perfectly to review fact families from our lesson last Friday.  Anyone else doing EnVision math?!  Fact families are in Topic 6!

On Tuesday, we had our Staff Holiday Breakfast.  It was also Ugly Sweater Day at school.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore a good ugly sweater.  After searching my entire house to find mine from college to no avail, I set off on a hunt for one.  I ended up settling on these holiday pajamas:

If you can't tell - these are covered with different breeds of dogs that are wrapped in Christmas lights.  Ha!  I'm going to another Ugly Sweater party this weekend and wearing this beauty from Target:

What's not to love about a funny ugly holiday sweater?!

I LOVE MY CLOUD PEOPLE.  These cuties were inspired by Abby at the Inspired Apple.  Link leads to her post with her cloud people :)  We are continuing our unit on weather until winter break.  My firsties are loving it.

If you've read this blog more than once, you probably know that I have an obsession with books.  My room is FULL of them and yet…I can't stop myself from buying more.  I can't say NO to a good deal.  For example, this is my back counter:

Not to mention the bookshelf with baskets that are literally overflowing with books.  I bought these gorgeous library labels from Danielle Mastandrea & hoped it would encourage me to get my life together & update/reorganize my library.  Which seems completely and utterly unnecessary when I am a FIRST YEAR TEACHER.  But, I have too many books.  I digress.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  I wanted to get the gorgeous neon book baskets from Really Good Stuff to match my book bins, but heard that don't hold up that well?  Does anyone know?  Help me, I'm poor (in my best Kristen Wiig voice).

FINALLY.  The best part of my week, easily, was this note from my principal that I got this morning.

Sad how excited a week of jeans makes me!!  What were you up to this week?  I can't wait to read all about it :)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas in Kansas City

Hey there friends!

I'm linking up with Michelle from Fabulous in First for today's Christmas questionnaire! Click the cute graphic below to link up :)

Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog?
Hot chocolate all the way!  Egg nog makes me want to gag - YUCK!  I'm not a coffee drinker so hot chocolate is my warm drink of choice :)

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa wrapped them at my house when I was growing up!  Santa was actually a very organized man and each one of us had our own wrapping paper.  It was always easy to identify Santa's presents because you knew which paper was yours :)

Colored lights or white?
Growing up, we always had colored lights.  I much prefer white - I think they are classic and beautiful!

When do you decorate?
I absolutely hate overlooking Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) so I can't decorate until after.  Usually it takes me a couple of days to get over the Thanksgiving craziness and decorate!

Real or Fake Tree?
Fake allll the way.  Real trees seem like such a hassle!  Right now, my tree isn't pre-lit but I'd love to get one.  It seems even easier to manage.

What Tops Your Tree?
An angel.  My Grammy always had a star on her tree and we always had an angel growing up, but I think I like stars a little more (oops!  Sorry angels!)

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
I always loved waking up early and waiting impatiently with my brother until it was a decent hour for us to wake our parents and sister!  We always go see the Christmas lights on the Plaza in Kansas City and I love that!

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
I don't.  I do remember begging for the board game Don't Wake Daddy and bawling my eyes out when the toy dad jumped up in the bed.  Haha!  I was such a strange child.

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving all the way.  I loooove to see someone's face when I give them a gift.  Such a great feeling!

What is your favorite Christmas song?
I have several I like.  My ultimate favorite has to be Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Candy Canes.  Yuck or Yum?
YUM.  I especially love the white chocolate Hershey's Kisses with crunched up candy canes in them.  Delish!

Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story.

Do you shop online or at stores?
This year, online all the way!  I don't know why it took me so long to do this.  Online Christmas shopping is way easier.  Plus, who doesn't love to see a package on their steps when they get home from work?!

Photo Cards, Letter, or Store Bought Card?
As long as they aren't accompanied by a bragging letter, I could care less.  Haha!  But in all seriousness, photo cards.  I love to see the pictures.

Hope you enjoyed reading!  Comment if you had any of the same thoughts :)

Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 9, 2013

All I Want For Christmas

I'm linking up tonight with Hope for her Holiday linky :)

It was so incredibly different making a Christmas list this year than last year.  A year ago, I was in college getting ready to student teach & working a mere 5 hours a week giving campus tours.  I had zero money and all I wanted for Christmas was teacher clothes.  I had to redo most of my wardrobe.  Now I have a job and can buy things for myself.  This made making my list a lot harder!  What do I want when I can spoil myself so much more now?

This year, here's what I'm wanting:



I realize that sounds incredible lame, but I have this thing.  I don't believe in white socks.  I realize this sounds completely ludicrous, but there's something about how ordinary they are that I don't like.  So I don't own white socks.  I particularly like obnoxious themed socks (holidays, characters, etc) from the Target Dollar Spot.  However, seeing as how these are primarily made for children, I've decided I should be more of an adult and branch out to bigger and better socks.

Wicked Soundtrack.

After seeing the musical when it came to Kansas City, I'm DYING to get the music on my iPod, iPhone, iPad….basically everything.

This gorgeous thing.

I'm not usually a gold jewelry person, but I've been wanting this baby forever.  I adore Stella & Dot.

Yoga pants.  Let's be honest, I want these in every color.

I'm lovin' these ones in particular because of the lace band.  I'm a sucker for anything lace.

Other than these few things, I've got a whole long list of movies I'm dying to get in my stocking.  I'm a huge movie buff; these are some of my favorites I'd like to have on DVD:

-Primal Fear
-The Departed
-Training Day
-The Town
-Little Miss Sunshine
-The Green Mile
-Pitch Perfect
-Good Will Hunting
-Black Swan
-The Fighter
-A Beautiful Mind

While I realize this is a pretty dull Christmas list, I really do prefer to give than receive.  I already have ordered some incredible gifts for my parents :)  I love picking out something that I know they will love!  There are still a few more people on my shopping list, though!

As far as ideas for giving, I would suggest baking something.  I'm planning on making some homemade goodies for the girls on my first grade team and my close friends in the building.  It's easy & delicious!

What are you most excited to give?  What are YOU asking for from Santa?  I want to see your ideas and maybe I can add them to my list too ;)

Hope by my Pinterest & check out some other items I'm lusting after:

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Love Anchor Charts, Anchory Anchor Charts!

I realize anyone reading this is just getting to know me.  But!  If you knew me, you would know I love anchor charts.  In fact, I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to anchor charts.  Definitely check it out if you're an anchor chart enthusiast like myself.

I have never considered myself to be a particularly talented artist (putting it nicely).  However, I can look at an picture and draw based on looking at it.

We started working on Author's Purpose today.  Our lesson only allowed for one day of this but I felt my kiddos needed more topic on this important topic.  I decided to take 3 days and focus on different purposes authors can have (to inform, to entertain and to persuade).  I was inspired by Amy Lemons' gorgeous charts.  Here are hers:

Here are my recreations:

I'll admit my kiddo drawings are a little on the hefty side.  How do you think I did?


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reasons Today Rocked

Say it with me: Scholastic Book Order.

I have a problem….and it's name is bonus points.  I love Scholastic.  I love getting points when my students (and I) buy books from Scholastic.  I love using said points to get MORE books.  I love the free coupons I got for being a first year teacher.  So, I went hard on my order in November.  I am SO PROUD of all I got for the price!

68 books.  Yes, you read that right.  I had a strategy.  I wanted to get a lot of non-fiction books for our current Reader's Workshop unit and I wanted to get a lot of good character books for our unit we will start in January.  So I made a wish list of the best non-fiction and characters books I could find.  I narrowed it down to an amount I was willing to spend and picked out the books I wanted most.  Then, I earned Holiday cash which earned me more books.  I also had 4 coupons for free $5 books.  Finally, I used bonus points.  I ended up getting everything on my wish list!!  Incredible.  Not to mention I earned back almost all the bonus points I spent when I bought more books!

My firsties were beyond excited when they came in and saw all of the new books!!

Tell me I'm not the only person obsessed with Scholastic.  Who else is with me?

Happy Tuesday,

December Currently

I so loved my first ever linky party so I decided to join the always popular Currently linky party tonight!

A big thank you to Farley for hosting this party.

Listening: Can we just talk about how weird Pandora gets sometimes?  I added Pop Fitness radio after reading about it in Cosmo and thinking it would help me start working out (it didn't).  After liking one Boyce Avenue song, it has turned into an A Cappella covers radio.  I'm not complaining but it's so strange!

Loving: This marks my fourth blog post and I finally have a FOLLOWER (thank you Susan!).  And after my link up yesterday, I hit close to 300 views.  I. Am. Shocked.  I honestly thought this would be some mini-diary that no one would ever read.  I'm so excited!

Thinking: I felt like I had accomplished so much over Thanksgiving Break, but my To Do list was still a mile long on Monday.  After staying late for two nights in a row, I have finally gotten my list down to a more manageable number (that number is nine, in case you were wondering).

Wanting: I have a shopping problem.  I always have so many ideas in my brain and on my Pinterest fashion board but often find I don't have the apparel to create my vision.  Not sure how this is possible when the rod in my closet is about to break but I digress!  I would looooove to add some more items.  The main things I'm craving right now are: statement necklaces, fall colored denim (is it too late for that?!), button downs to go under sweaters, sweaters to go over button downs and a new pair of black flat boots.

Needing: I can't decide what to do with my life!!  I want to start graduate school ASAP.  I'm hoping to go back to Northwest where I got my undergrad and do online classes/Kansas City center courses.  I'm leaning towards a Master's in Reading but I've also thought about Administration.  Thoughts??  Anyone have advice?  I'm planning on starting Summer 2014!

Favorite Tradition: I looove going and seeing the lights on the Plaza in my lovely city KCMO.  Here's what I'm talking about..

Gorgeous, right?  We always drive around and look at them on Christmas Eve.

Hope you liked this peek into my life at the moment.  Get prepared for another post soon about why I had a great day in first (because I'm OCD and didn't want to overload this post ha!)


Monday, December 2, 2013

I Went Back To The Sale...

Just when I thought I could handle my shopping addiction…oh TPT, you have gotten me into trouble again!  I love a good sale especially one for teachers.  I'm going to attempt my first linky party link up and share with you what I bought at the sale!  Make sure you click on the links of the products to see them in stores.  The sale is still going on through Tuesday!

Let's start with the things I bought on the first trip:

I adore the Busy Teacher's Best Friend sets.  They really do live up to the name!  I love just sending these puppies to the printer and not having to worry about extra preparations.

Please bear with me as I obsess over how much I love Susan Moran Jones' amazing writing packets.  I've had these bundles on my wish list FOREVER.  I can't wait to use these to add some pizzazz to my writing curriculum!

I'm planning on using these with my small reading group kiddos that need the extra practice on digraphs and blends.

This little packet is great for my firsties struggling with writing.  I have a few who struggle with ideas and where to begin so this will be a perfect fit!

To say I've been counting down the days until this came out would be the understatement of the year.  If you are a first grade teacher and DON'T own these packets, get out your Visa now.  They are a total Common Core game changer.  We are doing workshop models in both reading and writing this year and I have struggled with where to include language standards in my day.  These resources are so incredible, my kiddos don't even feel like I'm putting more information in their brains!  They love these activities.  I can't say enough about this product.  Susan has a bundled set of both parts in her TPT shop.  Obviously, the TPT stalkers like myself already owned Part 1 and had to buy Part 2 separately ;)

Believe it or not, that's all I bought……from Susan's shop.  Ha!  Now that I'm done selling her ah-mazing products, another TPT seller I'm a huge fan of is A Cupcake for the Teacher.  Here's what I got from her little shop:

My last item of my FIRST shopping day was this great product:

I bought the fall version on a whim & absolutely loved it!  I was patiently waiting at my computer for the winter version :)

If you're still with me, here's my mini-shopping trip from today.  I realized I wanted some fun activities for fact families and was browsing through the linky party and stumbled on this post which completely inspired me to buy this craftivity:

Being the wise person that I am, I figured I better throw a few more things in my cart to "make sure" I hit $3…which led me to these…

As an avid follower of both of these blogs, it was an easy decision to click :)

Thanks for reading this never ending post.  Guess this little blog was destined to be as long as my TPT receipt!

Happy Cyber Monday,

Sunday, December 1, 2013


What a whirlwind of a break!  I have so many shoutout thanks to give as I work on this little blog of mine.

1. The Cutest Blog On The Block - They designed this free gorgeous background.  It was essentialy idiot-proof for new bloggers like myself.  I am in love.

2. Cara Carroll - Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with this woman.  She's a Teachers Pay Teachers icon and fabulous blogger!  I am constantly blog-stalking her and purchasing her amazing products on TPT.  My header is in one of her beautiful fonts (CCWhackadoodle).  I have all of her font sets (did I mention I'm obsessed with her?!) but the font used came from this set.

I am beyond excited about how good this blog looks.  Kinda looks like I actually know what I'm doing, amiright?!

I spent a bundle on some ah-mazing TPT products.  I cannot wait to send them to the printer and get them to use in Room 102!  I'll have to make a separate blog post about that as I have BIG plans for today!  The Kansas City Chiefs play at 3:30 CT today and I have tons of work to do before then so I can cheer on my main man Dexter McCluster.  Here's my rockin' Sunday to-do list:

-Finish writing detailed plans for Writer's Workshop this week. (I am so blessed that our district purchased a Writer's Workshop curriculum but the books can be a tad overwhelming, so I like to write out my own mini-versions of the plans)
-Finish grading papers
-Send tons of goodies to the school printer (How incredible is it that I can use my school laptop at home and send things to the printer at school to pick up on Monday morning?!)

Have a great last day of your weekend!

Go Chiefs,