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January Chapter Book

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I made several goals for the New Year.

One of them was to read a chapter book a month to my kids, mainly to Tryp.

He just turned seven and he absolutely LOVES to read together. I know that first grade is a huge year for growth but I guess you don’t really know until you see it happening to your own sweet babe.

When I thought about choosing a book, I knew it had to be something exciting and fun. I also wanted it to be a book that has a movie so we can watch the movie later and talk about how the book was different.

Tonight we started reading The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.

Tryp seems a little confused by some parts but he is following so well and making connections! I love it!

Not only do I know that the importance of reading is so high but I also want these to be moments that Tryp looks back on and remembers. I want him to remember our Thursday nights of reading. I want him to enjoy this special ‘us’ time on the couch. (Audrey is not ready to sit and listen yet but one day she will be.) I am all about establishing traditions with our family. I’ll have to share what we have started so far in another post.

My heart is overflowing tonight. I feel grateful for my sweet kiddos and grateful for time that didn’t pass too quickly tonight.

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Psalm 28: 7

January Memory Verse

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One of my 2015 goals was to have a monthly memory verse for our family.

I’m using the Primary Program for 2015 as a guide for which topic to focus on each month.

January is- We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ.

I went through the weekly lessons and wanted to find a Bible verse that we could all work on memorizing.

Here is our verse for January:

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Want to join in with us? I would love to see how others incorporate a monthly verse!

Wish me luck on teaching a 3 year old! :)

2015 Goals

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Recently I have been reading the book No Doubt About It by Sheri Dew.
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It has really helped me evaluate myself this last year and helped me to make some goals for 2015. In chapter 2 she tells a story about how someone approached her while she was on vacation asking if she was the person they thought she was. The question referred to her identity but the author let that question change her thinking. She wrote, “Am I the woman I think I am, the woman I want to be? More importantly, am I the woman the Savior needs me to be?”
I love that. I love that it guides me to think about who I am. Who do I want to be? Am I the woman that Christ needs me to be? With that being said…here are my goals for 2015.
Spiritual:
  • I will study scriptures daily for 20 minutes and complete a study guide journal.
  • I will read the Book of Mormon each day for fifteen minutes and finish the book by the end of the year.

Marriage:
  • We will go on a date every month.
  • I will write 1 love note to Hank each month.

Motherhood:
  • I will take more pictures of my kids and document their events.
  • We will read every Thursday night for 45 minutes and finish one chapter book per month.
  • We will memorize 1 scripture verse per month.

Myself:
  • I will run/walk 1 mile every day. 
  • Read 6 books for enjoyment.

Blogging:
  • I will plan blog posts in hopes to complete 2-3 blog posts per week. (Ha. Let’s see how I do with this.)
  • I will blog about more family/home events then teaching.


What about you? Do you have goals already in place? I would love to see what everyone else is working towards! We can help keep each other accountable. :)

August Happenings

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It doesn’t surprise me that I haven’t posted since August 4th. Life got crazy in August and here’s what happened…

The next day (Tuesday) I found out that I was going to be moved to another school that did not have enough third grade teachers. At my school we each had 19 students in third grade and we can have up to 25. Since I was on the nontraditional calendar, we had already started school. I had to get my classroom packed up and moved by Friday. I started professional development with my new staff on Monday. They moved my 19 kids into the other third grade classrooms and off I went.

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I worked frantically that weekend to get my new classroom set up because I wouldn’t have much time the next week as I would be in training. I’m so lucky to be blessed with some of the sweetest friends from church who dropped what they were doing to come and help me knock it all out! Oh and to make things worse, the AC was broke in my new classroom. MISERABLE.

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Then of course I had to go back to my old classroom because I forgot a few things. I cried all day.

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Some of my favorite people ate with me at IHOP to try to lift my spirits.

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Then two of my other favorites (one of my sweet coworkers from my old school) and her daughter went to a movie with me Saturday night. Everyone felt sorry for me and the situation so I think they were trying to keep my mind off of it. 

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Anytime I spend time with this sweet tinkerbell daughter of mine I start feeling better!

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Monday morning I met all my new coworkers and enjoyed the Super Hero theme.

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We were sent on a scavenger hunt with our team at a local garden/park/trail. My team includes (from left to right, top then bottom): Laurie, Stacy (our grade level aide), Ashleigh, Andrea, me, Ana (intern), Candice, and Kayla (intern).

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While I was busy getting to know my new team and go through a week of professional development, my old staff friends were sending me pictures of my baby. I decided to leave him at my old school because he wanted to and I love his first grade teacher. I’m also secretly hoping I’ll be going back to my old school next year.

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I somehow did it. I somehow got my classroom ready to go for Open House. It was no feat at all since I had already done it just two weeks prior.

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Then my second fist day of school came. I posted the same 6 questions that I posted last year and really enjoyed the responses this go round. Seems like most of the kids want a “nice” teacher. :)

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One of these sweeties stole my heart right away. And another sweetie cracked me up because he wanted his second grade teacher who happened to move up to third. She is pretty awesome though! And I feel like sweet Emma is getting what she wanted, I considered myself pretty creative. (Thanks to Pinterest!ha!)

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Tryp is thriving in first grade! I enjoy getting picture updates from his teacher or from the aides at  his school. He also loves Audrey’s new babysitter. Lacey has four kids and he enjoys playing with Kate. :)

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We love using the Penultimate app to practice spelling words each week. Sweet boy is very successful at spelling!

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Date nights are the best with this handsome husband of mine. We tried the new Texas Land and Cattle that just opened. Let’s just say that we will wait to go back until the cooks are a little more seasoned.

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I found this lotion at Bath and Body works and I’m in LOVE. It’s not new and certainly not new to me. I love the Sleep sheet spray but I have never tried the lotion. Love the scent and it’s just clean feeling. Not too perfumey.

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This month was definitely hard on me. The transition from one school to another really took a toll on me. I had a hard time adjusting to the way another school “operates” and especially had a hard time adjusting to a new team. I would cry during every planning period, recess, and lunch break. I didn’t feel like I fit in and that I belonged there. There were people that were being so sweet and accommodating to me. Not that I wanted pity but it was definitely hard. I had to get to that point where I knew that everything was going to be okay. Some days the only hope that I had was knowing that I could possibly go back to my old school after this year was over. I love this quote below by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf because it really helped me in August to get my mind where it needed to be to move forward.

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A trip to the temple always makes things better too. I went alone on Saturday August 30th to really just get some clarity about the new situation and find peace. It worked. It always does.  I’m grateful that I have a wonderful class of students to teach and I’m grateful for the Lord’s temples where I can leave the world behind and feel that sweet sweet spirit.

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First Day of School

Monday, August 4, 2014

It came and went in a flash. Friday (August 1st) was our first day of school. (I’m on a year round calendar.) I had my lesson plans filled out and ready to go. I planned on getting LOTS of things done. Most of those did not happen. So I removed the things that I did not get to so you can see what actually went down on the first day of school. I was so tired that I fell asleep on the couch at 6 pm and slept until 10 pm. Then I stayed up until 12. Ha! I’m sure you can all relate! I can’t wait to start a new week with my kiddos on Monday!

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2014-2015 Classroom Reveal

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The night before school started I had everything ready to go as I was leaving school at 9 PM I remembered to take pictures! So please excuse some of the pretty poor quality pictures. I shot them in auto *gasp* and used my flash too. Sorry, it was late and I didn’t have time to mess with settings. :)

Here is my bulletin board outside my classroom door for student work! I used Schoolgirl Style’s By the Sea Theme. My mom cut out the waves from blue glitter paper from Hobby Lobby. I love the crabs! They are so cute!
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I love this sign that I made that says “this way to the beach”. The turquoise frame was actually a mirror that I think I purchased at either Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart. The mirror broke in it’s travels to school so I used the outer part as a frame. I really think that my room could use more details that make it feel more like a beach but every year I add a little something. It takes time. 
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This is the view from my door. It’s not that yellow inside, it’s the lighting.
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To the left I have a bookshelf that I put a turquoise sheet on, red chevron border, glitter clothespins (attached with command hook sticky backs) and then clipped on some cute starfish from Schoolgirl Style. I will use these clips to hang wonderful work from students.
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To the right I have my dry erase calendar which I  moved from the back white board to the front. I will use it to put all events that the students need to know. You can purchase your own sticky dry erase calendar HERE on Amazon. I also have my schedule cards from Ladybugs Teacher Files but I don’t have my times/clocks up yet because our schedule literally changed that day. Below the calendar I have a sign that says “we are happy to help” and then I usually put up two pictures of my students. (a boy helper and a girl helper) I used to use a big ole’ job chart but I don’t anymore because it was too much to manage.
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My white board continues on and you’ll see my alphabet which I’m thinking about going back to my previous alphabet. I also have my finger rules posted.
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Straight ahead is my desk.
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My walls seem really bare but we create a lot of anchor charts! 
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The lighting is so much better in this picture below! This is what it really looks like. That is our library to the left.
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Another picture of our library.
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I got this rod and the two baskets from IKEA. It hold our new iTouch, which is actually my old iPhone 4. (the other cup has the plug)
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Here is a peek inside my library. I love it this year because I finally created book bin labels that I LOVE. I keep a yellow stool on the bottom shelf so the students can use it to turn of the lamp and Christmas lights. The black bins on this shelf contain all pictures books. The clear bins on top are chapter books.
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The clear bins on top of this shelf are chapter books but the white bins on the bottom are all picture books. (except for Historical Fiction, it’s a mix of both)
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The books on the stool still need to be put into bins! I LOVE LOVE buying books for my classroom so I always have books that need to be put into bins! Don’t mind the empty frames on the shelf! I just got my first Groove Book order in and plan on taking some of the pictures out to put into the frames.  This shelf houses all pink bins which are also chapter books.
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The blue cart was provided to each classroom by our district with a mix of books in it. I have sorted all my books so that the only books on this cart are nonfiction.
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This white board in the back has our class Brownie Points pan. The students can fill the brownie pan with brownies and get class parties/rewards. You can read more about Brownie Points at What the Teacher Wants. I also created a Lunch Count “station” out of black electrical tape and black vinyl cut out letters using a Cricut. The numbers 1-4 and lunch count were cut out of glitter paper (also using the cricut).
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I bought 1 1/2 inch wooden circles, created the circles in PowerPoint and then hot glued them onto the wood. They look a little wavy and that’s because I didn’t take the time to laminate them before gluing them on. I just didn’t have time! :) Then I put a magnet on the back. I bought the magnets from Wal-Mart that have a sticky back.
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I love my back counter area. I have this really awesome orange bulletin board! (It’s not paper!) I love my new colorful drawer labels. I got them HERE. Students turn in box tops into the pink pail.
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Here is my small group table and my stacks of copies (aka MESS) on the counter. I love my new stools! I got them from IKEA. I think they were $4.99 each and shipping wasn’t bad at all!
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I bought these new FUN orange chairs online at Wal-Mart. These seats are reserved for my helpers of the week. This carpet is also light green even though you can’t tell in this picture.
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Here is the area behind my desk. I moved my desk back as far as I could so that I’m utilizing as little space as possible!
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I like for things to be as organized as possible!
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Behind my desk I have a sub tub and this three drawer unit that I also purchased from IKEA. The top drawer houses my favorite read alouds I use each year and the second drawer houses all my sticky notes. I haven’t found a use for the third drawer yet but I’m sure I will soon. I like to keep my pacing guides binder and data of my students within close reach. I also have a small addiction to sharpies and keep that tub full of them.
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I keep my year at a glance and reading levels charts close by. Along with a picture of the temple. It helps me keep an eternal perspective on life and to remember that my little sweeties are children of God.
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I bought another three drawer unit, in this I keep notebook paper for the students, markers for group projects, and sticky notes for Park It’s. Looking at that filing cabinet up close is telling me that I have a future painting project.
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This year I’m trying something new. Each table has a shelf that has drawers for pencils, blue pens for revising, red pens for editing, and glue sticks. There are also five white boards on the shelf for each member of the table. The second shelf has math toolboxes and writing notebooks. The third shelf holds their book boxes.
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I have some other things that I want to share in more detail but this is just the overview of my classroom. I hope you enjoyed a little tour around the place that I spend a majority of my time in. I like clean, fresh, simplicity, and organization. Thanks for stopping by!

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