Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Time to be Thankful Linky Party!

Happy Tuesday! I'm linking up with Bex at Reading and Writing Redhead to share what I'm thankful for. This has been quite a year...a TON of changes: new job, new house, new baby...lots to be thankful for!

I've had ups and downs, like everyone. I'd have to say the thing I am MOST thankful for this year is that while I was diagnosed with an IBD (irritable bowel disease) called ulcerative colitis, I am fortunate in that I don't have to take medicine to control it. I'm about 20 weeks pregnant and I was just diagnosed. I was told at first that medicine might be a necessary step and it was devastating to hear that. I won't even take Tylenol while I'm pregnant, I get that worried about how things affect my baby. So to take a serious medication (even if they say it is "safe") was terrifying to me. I prayed and prayed and fortunately God came through! I can control my symptoms through diet and I am SO thankful for that. It gives me peace of mind that I'm not harming baby number two and that is all I can ask for right now. :)

I'm also VERY thankful for the opportunity to blog and create for TpT and educators worldwide. Being a work at home mom is not easy but it beats being gone 12 hours a day like I was last year. I LOVE teaching, it is truly a passion of mine, but it is so hard to be away from my little one for 12 hours a day, five days a week. I look forward to going back as soon as my youngest is in preschool. But until then it's going to be homeschooling/mommying/teacherpreneuring (is that a word?) at home. I'm loving every second and I am so thankful for the opportunity!!

I want to give a shout out to some new blogging buddies! We will be hosting a huge event soon!! Here's a preview:

This huge event is starting December 1st. You can take a peek at their blogs below:

Ok I'm off to exercise while Jackson naps. Then it's play date time! Have a great afternoon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Manic Monday {Holiday Sight Word Freebie}

Hi friends! I'm linking up with Classroom Freebies to bring you a fun freebie. These pages were created with my nephew in mind. He is learning his dolch preprimer sight words and he loves to spin, read and color! This sight word activity is very low prep. All your kids need are pencils, crayons, a paperclip and a copy of the sight word practice page. I've included directions for playing in pairs or independently. 

You can pick the file up here. This is going to be a super short post. Mr. Jackson is napping and I need to get my pregnancy workout in now or it is NOT going to happen! But before I leave I wanted to let y'all know that I'm getting together with 12 other bloggers to host a HUGE event in December. So be on the lookout!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Oh BOY! Five for Friday!


Hey everyone!! I hope y'all have had a fabulous week. I'm so excited because it's starting to finally get cool here! Yay!! By cool I mean in the 60s, ha! I'm excited to link up for Five for Friday with Doodlebugs Teaching, I have so much to share!!

1. Sunday I worked with my nephew Hank. We learned about the letter E and reviewed some popcorn words with a fun spin and color game. Remember he's only 2 (almost 3) so his fine motor skills reflect that! We also did a beginning sounds review using a clothespin matching game I found a long time ago at Mrs. Meacham's Classroom Snapshots. I loved using her website when I taught kinder. Here are some pics of him working hard:

You can pick up the elf spin and color page here. 

2. I got my first mommy present!! Jackson's mother's day out program made handprint turkey gifts for us. *tear* I've made these gifts with my kinders several times, but now I know how meaningful they are!! I'm so glad I always did stuff like that. 

3. I got to go to the Texas game last Saturday! Woo hoo! It stinks we lost, but still so much fun to go. My bestie Hannah also bought me tickets to the Texas vs Texas Tech Thanksgiving game!! I'm so pumped!! The only thing is...I'm about 20 weeks pregnant, and I get REALLY winded yelling and cheering. Hopefully I can stay calm enough to not get dizzy or faint at the game. If you know me, you know I'm a HUGE Texas fan...that might be hard. 

4. I finally finished my Holiday Math Centers for K/1! I'm so happy with the way they turned out. I've had several of my K/1 guinea pigs give me positive feedback. You can check them out here.

5. And last but not least...IT'S A BOY!!! We are so thrilled that Jackson is going to have a baby brother this April. I'm sure one day my son will be like, "Thanks for posting this awesome picture of me on your blog mom...not embarrassing at all!" :)

We've told Jackson, he has no clue what being a big brother means. But I'm sure he is going to love baby number 2! :)

My husband seriously would have fainted if it turned out to be a girl. Not that we don't love little girls, but he is just terrified of having one! He's like, "I don't know how to take care of a girl, they are so delicate! What would I do?!" Eventually we would like a girl, but I think Daddy knows it's all over for him if he got one!!

I hope y'all have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Ideas {Bloghoppin' Linky Party}

Hey friends! I'm linking up with Bloghoppin' today to share some new ideas I found for my classroom. In my last two years teaching, my school adopted the Leader in Me curriculum. I am a HUGE fan of The Leader in Me. I think it's a great way to promote character development in your classroom. If you haven't heard of the Leader in Me, you've got to check it out. It was created by the late Stephen Covey and his son. 

Data notebooks or "leadership" notebooks were a big part of the curriculum. I was on maternity leave when a third grade teacher at my school started playing around with them. I came back and jumped on board with her and started my own data notebooks literally my first day back. And I'm so glad I did!! They turned out to be so fabulous and my kids loved them.

I ended up getting my best teacher friend Hannah in Kinder to do them too. Later that spring I gave a presentation to my school about how we were using them in our classroom. Here are some snapshots of what they looked liked in kinder:

Second Grade:

This is another relatively new idea: Class Dojo. I have an old post about it that you can read here. 

Third Grade:

I have a whole presentation on data notebooks you can read here. I loved using these in my classroom. It made a huge difference for my kids who struggled with motivation. They really took ownership and were proud of their accomplishments. It was great for parents to see at conferences and for me to take to RTI/IEP meetings.

Make sure you head back to Bloghoppin' to read about some more new ideas!