Monday, December 22, 2014

Fourteen in '14

I LOVE winter break! I LOVE winter break! I LOOOOVVVVEEE winter break! I can't say it enough. After a busy and sometimes stressful semester, this break feels sooooo good. It mainly consists of sleeping in, coffee, more coffee, blogging, reading, family time, eating, and snuggling with the puppies. 

That's the good life right?

I'd say so. 

However, I am joining the wonderful "Fourteen in 14" linky party!

Here's my year!

14. Favorite Quote

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

13. Favorite Article of Clothing

I love my new faux vest from Forever 21. It's a little much, but I think it's fun and festive for the holidays.

12. Favorite Movie

If you haven't read the book, you need to! It's a fantastic book and the movie is just as good. Typically, the movie is never as good as the book, but in this case it is!  So you need to read it and then watch the movie! It's a must see. 

11. Favorite T.V. Movie Series

The most addicting show ever. It will leave you at the edge of your chair wanting more. It's that good. FYI: If you start this show…good luck getting off the couch this Christmas break. ;)

10. Favorite Restaurant

The Kitchen Sink dog

Oh my word. This restuarant has the most delicious hot dogs and hamburgers. It's a very unique atmosphere and the items on the menu are extremely different. A few weeks ago, I got, "The Kitchen Sink" and it's a bacon wrapped hot dog with everything imaginable on it. Served with sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo dipping sauce. 
 It is so worth the calories.
If you are ever in the Joplin, MO area…you need to try this place.

9. Favorite New Thing I've Tried

Dancing onstage at a luau.
While I was in Hawaii, we attended a Luau. They picked one person in the audience to come up and shake it. That lucky person was me. I was able to get over my fear of dancing in front of people with a bang. Dancing onstage in front of hundreds of people. 
Problem fixed…HA! 

8. Favorite Gift I've Received

My fiancĂ©'s mother gave me this beautiful charm bracelet for Christmas. It has an engagement charm with our date engraved on the back. You can add chains to it for life's future big moments. What a thoughtful and sweet gift.  I love it. 

7. Favorite Thing I've Pinned

This soup may be the best thing I've ever made. The thought of it makes my mouth water. If you love tomatoes, basil, and tortellini, this is the recipe for you! 

6. Favorite Blog Post

7 Ways to Tackle Anxiety: I have terrible anxiety and this post let me vent and alleviate some of the anxiety I was feeling at the time. As I reflect, it's one of the most meaningful pieces of writing I've ever written.

5. Favorite Accomplishment

I did it. I finally created my own teaching blog. I have wanted to create a blog for a few years and finally found the courage to create one. It has completely enhanced my teaching and made me find a new profound love for writing. It's been a wonderful hobby.

4. Favorite Photo
 Here is my sweet little family. 

3. Favorite Memory

I couldn't pick just one memory. Here are the sweetest memories of 2014 for me!

In April, the love of my life asked me to marry him!

In August, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows on the beach in Hawaii. They were kind enough to take us kids! 

2. 2015 Goal

To give back. This Christmas season made me realize how blessed and fortunate I am. I am able to pay my bills, rent, and provide food for my fiancĂ©, my puppies, and myself. I want to make a monthly habit of giving food back to the homeless and animal shelter. 

1. One Little Word

Listen: I need to do a better job listening. I'm a self absorbed person. I constantly like about me, me, and ME. Even when I'm listening… Sometimes, I'm hearing what the other person is saying, but not listening. I'm patiently waiting my turn to chime in what I want to say. How selfish is that? That is a personal flaw I need to desperately work on. I want to genuinely listen to what another person has to say.

What was your fourteen for '14? Join the linky party!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Celebrating Christmas in Room 209 *Link up Party!

Whew! We made it! What a long and wonderful week filled with Christmas activities. My kids were very well behaved for having so much excitement around. We really had a great time together. Here are some of the activities my class and I did through out the week. 
Hot Chocolate Party

The students had to earn the letters to "Hot Chocolate Party" by showing good behavior. Once they earned all the letters, they received a hot chocolate party! My kids loved it!

Got marshmallows?

Christmas Word Wall

We did plenty of writing this week. Our prompts were," What are your Christmas traditions?" and "If I was an Elf..." We had so much fun writing and this word wall really helped my students.

Elf Yourself Craft

Aren't these adorable?

Kindness Pup

Instead of using the Elf on the Shelf, I decided to get creative and used what I already had. The kids loved it and thought it was so much fun.

We wrote kindness notes to the residents at our local nursing homes.

2nd Grade Christmas Program

Oh my! What a busy and stressful production this was! We 2nd grade teachers were so extremely happy when it was over. However, the kiddos were adorable and sang their hearts out! 

My sweet girls.
Christmas Ornaments for Parent Gifts!

I went to Hobby Lobby and picked out 16 opague colored ornaments. I bought fake snow, white, black, red, orange, and green washable paint. I worked with the students one on one while they worked quietly on their holiday packets. I had the students dip their palm in white paint and then cup the ornament like a ball. I had it dry over night and then the next day they painted the snowmen. This is a gift I hope they keep for a long time!

So easy and so cute!

Christmas Writing Activity

Christmas Party Read Aloud

My younger sister came to the party and was kind enough to do our read aloud!
Megan read, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The Best Present

This is what it is all about.

Hope everyone had a great week of celebrating this wonderful Christmas holiday!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Help! The Holiday Fever is High!

The Christmas tree, the holiday lights, the festive decor, and the talk of presents is brewing though the halls. Christmas is the hot topic, and boy, are the students ready for break!

Well, let's not lie, their teachers are ready too! (Maybe even more so!)

In my classroom I am trying to keep calm and am practicing deep breathing to keep my sanity! I'm trying to keep daily routines as normal as possible. However, the kiddos have been a tad more squirmy and jittery.

I mean, can I really blame them? 

Santa Claus is coming to town in less than two weeks. 

This is obviously big news which causes commotion for the days leading up to Christmas. 

This next week is going to be a challenge for my patience. I was browsing through blogs when I stumbled upon Lauren's blog at A Teachable Teacher, (She's brilliant by the way!) and I found my inspiration for next week...

Are you ready to hear it?

A HOT CHOCOLATE PARTY! Filled with plenty of hot chocolate, a fire, a good Christmas story, and marshmallows. Could life get any sweeter?

Okay, I got lazy and copied and laminated the letters onto blue card stock. It's not the prettiest, but it works! 
Now, the kids must earn the letters to be able to get the hot chocolate party. However, they are going to make the party. It's already in my plans.

How in the world am I going to pull off having a fire in my classroom? It's simple, YouTube is amazing. Check out this video!

I'm going to put it on my Smart Board and we are going to have a read aloud. I'm thinking, A Charlie Brown's Christmas, The Polar Express, or Twas the Night Before Christmas

Any other great Christmas story suggestions?

This is how I'm motivating my class next week. How are you surviving the holiday fever?!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

5 for Fraturday

Good morning! Hello December! Hope you all had a wonderful school week and the kiddos didn't drive you too crazy!  Here are my five things from my busy week!

Elf Yourself! The time is finally here! I love Christmas and all the holiday decorations that go along with it! My students surprisingly didn't think it was as adorable as I thought it was. I heard many say, "This is creepy". Ha! I plan on hanging their Elf's above their seats. You can find the Elf Yourself activity on TPT here.

Wahoo! Good behavior always needs a reward! My students have earned over 700 stars for excellent behavior shown through out the school. Therefore they earned a Sweet N Salty party! I sent letters home and expected a few students to bring treats. Boy, I was shocked to see almost every student brought in a treat. We had a smorgasbord of sweet and salty treats. The students enjoyed their party by filling themselves with Flaming Hot Cheetos and candy while watching, "A Charlie Brown's Christmas". 
What could be more fun for a 2nd grader?

My students are absolutely wonderful and I adore them. However, with the holidays around the corner, the next few weeks will be challenging! As I was reading Kristin's post at A Teeny Tiny Teacher, I loved the idea she got from Lauren at A Teachable Teacher. The students will have to earn the letters  to the words, "Hot Chocolate" for good behavior. Once they have earned the two words, they will be rewarded with a hot chocolate party! Lauren has also posted a wonderful youtube video of a fire burning! It's perfect for a read aloud. I already have this written in my plans so my students WILL show good behavior so we can have our party! Ha! I'm excited! 

My 14 year old baby brother debuted his basketball career playing junior varsity and scoring 8 points! Unfortunately, I was unable to make it, but my mother sent me videos every five minutes. So therefore, I felt like I was right there! Couldn't be more proud of this little nugget and his achievement. Keep working hard! Can't wait to see you play! xox!

After a busy and stressful week, a little wine is necessary! 

Hope you have a stress free, relaxing, and restful weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Currently December

Hello! Good evening! Hope everyone has had a wonderful Friday! I am linking up with Farley for her monthly "Currently" link up. I needed to post this last Sunday but better late than never right? 

Listening: Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I am loving all of Taylor Swift's new songs on her CD, "1989". Shame on me, but I do.

Loving: I love the spirit of Christmas. I love the music, the tacky sweaters, decorations, and all the festivities that go along with Christmas. So much fun!

Thinking: I am looking for easy, inexpensive, and creative ideas for parent gifts for Christmas. Have a great idea? Let me know!

Wanting: After a stressful and busy week, I want to kick my feet up, drink coffee, and relax with my fur babies.

Needing: To do lesson plans for this week! Ahhhhh!

Giving: A shout out to Lauren at A Teachable Teacher for providing a fantastic December Management Freebie. It involves hot chocolate, a fire, and a party. What could be better? Check out her blog for more information!

Thanks for checking out my blog! Leave me a comment for feedback!

Monday, December 1, 2014

'Tis the Season...5 Ways to Get into the Christmas Spirit!

I'm a seasons and holiday girl. From the smells to the scenery to the spirit displayed through our little town. I love it. However, I don't start celebrating Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving, watch out! I belt out Christmas carols for the whole world to hear! Fa la la la la la! 'Tis the season to celebrate this exciting Christmas season!

Will Farrell knows how to do Christmas. 
Here are 5 ways that help me get into the Christmas spirit:
1: Blast Christmas music, preferably Michael Buble or Mariah Carey (All I Want for Christmas just never seems to gets old).
2. Buy some holiday candles (TJ Maxx always has some Yankee Candles for a great price).
3. Put the tree up and decorate it with your loved one(s). 
4. Decorate your house with your favorite Christmas decor. I love snowmen so they are throughout my little house.

Some of the holiday decor in my house!

5. Give back to those less fortunate. I plan on adopting a family this Christmas season.

I think we all would live a better life if we followed Buddy the Elf's famous line...

How do you get into the Christmas spirit?