Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Currently

I'm linking up with Farley today for her monthly "Currently" linky.  It's been too long since I last posted and there is much to catch up on.


If you haven't already... check out Spotify!  It's like Pandora but can be downloaded onto the computer and comes with playlists created for just about every mood, taste, and genre.  My obsession is Afternoon Acoustic which has perfect music for before, during, and after school.

So the big news I've been waiting to share is... I'm now teaching at a new school!  It's an amazing school with great kids and great colleagues.  You know how I much I love my job?  Everyday I get to go in to work with one of my favorite blogger buddies and real life friend Mrs. Harris over at Adventures Of Room 129.  If you already follow her you know how great of a teacher she is, but working with her is a dream.

:)
"If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life."
Why am I thinking about my plans for next week?  You would too if you had a beautiful planner like the one I have from Erin Condren!  I LOVE THIS PLANNER.  If you can't tell by the picture I was so excited about getting my box I made Mr. R take a ton of pictures.

Unfortunately my want and need are warring in against one another.  
Diet Coke and shut eye don't exactly go hand in hand.  
I guess my drink will have to wait til tomorrow morning.

As for trips:
 Europe (Goal for the Honeymoon), 
Africa (Mission Trips), 
and Bahamas(because who doesn't want a tropical vacation)

If you haven't linked up with Farley yet, head on over and get started!!!  



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer time= Life Update

I know I was on a little hiatus with teaching blogging this past year... but I plan on getting back into the groove of blogging again, because I REALLY  missed weekly blogging time.

Lots of big life changes have happened during the 2013-2014 school year, but to save you from a really long and boring post I decided to create a top 5 list.

August 8, 2014 had to be on my top 5, because it was the day I helped welcome my nephew into this world. Talk about life changing moments... After nearly 12 hours of labor my little sister was told that she would have to have a c-section.  Scary stuff even for her big sister to hear.  My mom and I decided that I would get to go in for the surgery and mom would be in the nursery waiting.  You can't tell in the picture of me in the hospital gear, but I was shaking from nerves.  I managed to keep my cool and help my sister bring baby B into the world.  When we first started hearing his cries I teared up and started singing "Happy Birthday" and to my surprise... so did everyone else in the delivery room!  That little boy has become my world since then.
Around the same time my sister was having her baby I was adopting my fur baby.  Meet Khal Kitty, named after one of my favorite books/tv shows.  He's my favorite thing about coming home from teaching and my furry alarm clock.   
I would be a terrible blogger if I didn't include the Indiana Blogger Meet Up in my top 5 memorable moments!  It was hosted by the two most amazing and thoughtful bloggers Holly from Kindergarten Connections and Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard.  Shout out for all their hardwork and the awesome style both of them were rocking!  It was great to spend time with all of my favorite people in the world... teacher bloggers!  I have become super close with the ladies in the picture:   Amy from Math, Science, Social Studies Oh My, Krea from Learning in Progress, Brenda from Primary Inspired, Jenny from Luckey's Lilypad, Ciera from Adventures of Room 129, Heather from Teaching Through Turbulence, and Nicole from All Things Apple In 2nd. I even walked away with some awesome swag with a Vera Bradley bag filled with Scentos (amazing art products!), Jamberry (neat manicuring company), and classroom decorations from Creative Teaching Press (Can you say new classroom theme anyone?).  
If you've been following me for a while, you will know that there is a special guy in this blogger's life.  He's been my rock, cheerleader, and best friend for 3.5 years.  This year was a big one  for him because he was finishing his OWN teaching degree. (Side Note:  Isn't funny how teachers usually end up with other teachers?)  I was so proud of him this May because he's joining his family and me in the teaching legacy of 3 generations.
Yes!  You just read correctly, yours truly got engaged this school year.  Mr. R managed to surprise yours truly with a Christmas tree with a special message "Will you MERRY me?"  *cue awwwwwws*  
He then got down on his knee and said "You've made me happy for the past 3 and a half years.  I want you to make me happy for the rest of my life.  Will you marry me?" How could a girl say no??!  

So that's what you missed from me during the 2013-2014 school year.  I promise *CROSS MY HEART* that I will be better this coming school year because I truly missed blogging about my classroom.  Since there's been a lot of changes for me as a teacher, I've got a big teaching and blogging announcement to make soon!  

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten...

Yes Blog Readers, yours truly is still alive.  I know it's been a while since I last posted, but you would be surprised how much life has changed in the past months.  Here's what I've been up to teaching wise.  Stay tuned for a future blog post about some exciting personal life changes.

  1. I am finishing this year teaching at a charter school which has been quite the experience.  We started in a section of high school, moved to a brand new building, and are still being renovated.  Lots of changes.  It's been quite a different experience than teaching in my little village in Alaska.  The needs are all the same though and as Mr. R always says, "There are children in need everywhere!" I also made some really great friends from my colleagues and was able to get a whole bunch of professional development. 
    • Whole Brain Teaching:  Mirror Words and Gestures
      For those of you not familiar with Whole Brain Teaching, let me just say it's amazing!!!! I can't believe I didn't know about it until this year.  You combine learning and classroom management with movement and fun.  From Day 1 in my classroom my class got used to "moving and grooving".  They know when I say, "MIRROR WORDS AND GESTURES"  there is something they will be learning and practicing with their mirror partners.
      http://teachlikeachampion.com/books/teach-like-a-champion/
    • Teach Like A Champion Behavior Management:  Weekly our principal had us come in for feedback meetings which, from experience can really stretch a teacher.  Most of his advice came from the the book Teach like a Champion (TLC).  The main components of TLC are "Right is Right", "Do It Again", "Check For Understanding", and "J-Factor".   Most teachers do lots of these naturally, but if you're being focused on a specific one regularly you can't help but grow.  Although it is based from a charter school perspective, everyone one should check out the book if you're curious to learn more.
  2. I wrote third grade curriculum from scratch.  For an entire year.  My non-teaching friends may not get how difficult that is, much less do it on top of teaching as well.  But, I survived and enjoyed some of the awesome things my kiddos were able to accomplish.
    Displaying ABM_1401551126.jpg
    My favorite day of the year, Market Day

    • Economic and Persuasive Unit:  I was able to combine the ideas from Barnard Island's Economic Unit of Study and my own Persuasive Writing Unit to make writing and social studies something full of impact and engaging.  Besides understanding goods and services, supply and demand, and types of resources... my kids really got into assembly lines and how they changed economics as we know it.  I got some really great pictures of their favorite lessons, Assembly Lines and Market Day.
      Displaying ABM_1401551607.jpg
    • Black History Wax Museum
      You may recognize those kids up there.  They are the living wax figures of famous African Americans such as Muhammad Ali and Diana Ross.  As a school of nearly 90% African American population we took Black History Month very seriously.  I was put to the task to create and facilitate the school's first Living Wax Museum.  But, don't worry we didn't just pick sports and music stars for our scholars to look up to, we also chose famous African American's such as Thurgood Marshall, Ruby Bridges, Phyillis Wheatley, and the late Maya Angelou.
    • Fraction Lines
      Displaying ABM_1401551889.jpg
      If anyone asks you what's the hardest concept for 3rd graders to grasp, they will probably say fractions on a number line.  If they don't say that, I think they're lying.  Haha, but seriuosly, my kids really struggled with figuring out where a fraction would go.  What I ended up doing eventually is coming up with the idea of combining fractions and candy.  Talk about engaged!  My kids now have no problem finding where 4/6 is on a unmarked number line.
      Ahh...standardized test season. Love that my reputation as a third grade teacher is in the hands of an 8 year old.
    • Prepping for IREAD and ISTEP
      Oh standardized testing... The time where the teachers and the students all feel the pressure of states and schools on their shoulders.  On the bright side, my scholars went from struggling to write a paragraph to a prompt to actually writing their little hearts out on the test.  They also were really struggling with finding text evidence.  But with the help of one of my favorite bloggers Jenny at Luckey Frogs Lilypad, my kids were able to mark up text like real college students.  I wish I would've gotten pictures of their silent engagement, but when it's ISTEP season in Indiana teachers are lucky to make it out alive. 
And there you have it... my first year teaching in Indianapolis. Like I said before, it has been quite the experience with it's own ups and downs just like Alaska.  Who knows where the 2014-2015 school year will take me.  But, I for one can't wait to find out.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Indiana Goes Back to School Blog Hop

Thanks Hilary for the shout out and sending readers my way!  I'm excited to see what you've created!

It's that time of year again!  BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!!! YAY!!!

Now I know some of you teachers are still enjoying your summer vacation, but the busy bloggers in Indiana have been preparing their arsenal of tricks for the beginning of school.  One of my awesome blogging buddies had the brilliant idea to have a blog hop between us and boom  the Indiana Back to school blog hop was born.

My contribution is a song lyric sheet I plan on using in my classroom.  My new school is with high expecations for EVERY student.  No matter where they come from all kids in this school system are expected to go to college.  It starts at the youngest grades and continues to high school.  Because of this I was inspired to use Will.I.Am's What I Am song in the classroom to build classroom community.  If you've never seen the video with Sesame Street characters check it out here and afterward, check out my freebie here!

Alright!  Check out the rest of the Indiana bloggers throughout this blog hop.  Personally I can't wait to see what Nicole has in store for us as we all return back to school.  Check out her freebie as the caption for our button.  HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

All Things Apple In 2nd

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Indiana Blogger Meet Up

I'm very much behind my fellow Indiana bloggers with the post... so I'll put down my delicious Panera salad to tell all about the amazing women I had the pleasure of meeting recently.
Thanks again to Graphics by Kady Did Doodles 
On July 11, I spent 3 hours eating delicious Mexican food and gabbing with wonderful women.  Before I even walked into the building I was getting out of my car and was told by a man leaving the restaurant, "You must be one of the teachers meeting up here."  I guess I exude teaching like a pheromone.  I walked in and found the fabulous ladies who planned the whole event.   Heather from Teaching Through Turbulence and Cierra from Adventures of Room 129 were amazing at planning the get together.  We had personalized name tags and even a picture frame with in an inspiring quote. They even thought of a "Dirty Santa Teacher" gift giving game.  Everyone brought a school supply or TPT product to be gifted, traded, and stolen. 


This beautiful collage was created by Jenny at LuckeyFrog's Lilypad
It still amazes me that a group of 14 other bloggers from ALL over Indiana and some surrounding states all were chatting away like friends within a few minutes of meeting.  The afternoon I only took a few pictures to document the fun... but boy did we ever have a great time.  I'm still a bit star struck by meeting some of the people I have been following and now being able to say I actually have meet them.  Check out these awesome ladies on their own blogs through the linky.  I'll be reading their blogs and keeping in contact until our next meet up, which if you ask me can't come soon enough.

PS:  I just am working on transferring my blog to Blog Lovin... so <a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6349335/?claim=375xf6nbr77">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Saturday, July 6, 2013

CURRENTLY

Grr!!! Don't you hate it get annoyed when you have a post almost completely finished and ready to post when all of the sudden it disappears... yeah me too.  Let's try this again.


I love Farley  and her awesome linky party.  I know I'm super late in posting this...  but I have no internet in my new apartment.  So here's the run down.

Listening:  All of you T. Swift haters out there can put your haterade down right now.  I've been a loyal fan of her music since I was a high school senior.  And proud of it.  :)

Loving:  Sipping on my Skinny Iced White Chocolate Mocha is my summer version of my favorite winter drink.  And I can use the internet at Starbucks for as long as I want.

Thinking:  The exhausted woman in me is saying, "Go back home and curl up with a book and nap your Saturday away."  The proactive teacher in me is saying, "GET OFF YOUR REAR!"  Oh internal conflict. Thankfully this post is on my to-do list so both sides are appeased.

Wanting:  I just moved into my BRAND NEW Indy apartment.  I've got the furniture in for the most part.  Unfortunately it's still pretty barren and boring.  Pinterest has been my best friend for a little over 2 weeks.  Too bad my pocketbook is that of a teacher and not an interior designer. There will be future posts about the progress.  I promise.

Needing:  Longer weekends.  Need I say more? 

Tip/Hint:  Blogging is a thing that can be overwhelming especially as a beginner.  I have just come to the conclusion that if I write truthfully about what's happening then I will stop comparing myself to other teachers... I will still beg, borrow, but never steal ideas from other teachers. 

Alright! I'm off to do productive things today.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Here's What You Missed

I'm back from an extended hiatus from blogging.  Why was I such a terrible blogger?  Probably because I have been living out a suitcase for 4 weeks. But there have been a lot of changes in my life since then.  Buckle up blogger buddies...  Here's been my journey back home so far!


1.  This week is my 4th week for my summer day camp job.  Hooray!  I get to work with kiddos all year long and workout for free because the place I work at allows staff free membership during their employment.  Here's a picture from a lunch outing with another counselor that resulted in a cupcake bakery find. 
Can't you just imagine the taste of that cupcake?


2.  I went to visit my aunt in Chicago this Wednesday.  We bonded over my favorite breakfast restaurant Le Peep foods, talked about life,  and did a bit of apartment furniture window shopping.

Gotta love this woman!

3. I got a new car recently.  Yeah I'm so excited.  This is my first and only car I've ever owned myself. Say hello to my Silver Senorita!
Getting the keys!!
 
4. I am officially a teacher in Indiana.  Yes ma'am and sir!  I got a job in Indianapolis.  I will not lie to anyone it was scary moving back with no job possibilities, but it worked out in the end.  As of right now I am supposed to be teaching 3rd grade.  Which, in my opinion is the best grade EVER!

This is what I looked like on the Orientation Day.
5.  I am moving in my very own Indiana apartment.  More pictures to come.  :)

After 4 weeks of searching, prayer, and hard work... now I'm ready to start my new life in Indiana! 

As you can tell from this post this is a summer of lots of craziness, so the next time I'll be posting on here I will be writing about the Indiana Blogger Meet Up.  SoOoOo excited about meeting up with the other teachers from my home state of Indiana.  Be on the look out for more details.