Sunday Funday

It's Sunday, so it is time to link up with Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop.

This past week seemed to fly by, but I did manage to get a lot accomplished. This week I have to clear the mountain of laundry that has piled just a couple of days! We were busy all day yesterday away from the house so that means no cleaning was done. I have been frantically tidying up this morning. I do not like to start the week with a mess. I also have to finish some reading assignments...that way I can get to the things I hope to do. The first thing I hope to do some this week is read something for pleasure. With grad school, most of the reading I do is school-leadership related. Maybe this week I can slide something different in there. As the Instructional Coordinator at school, my office sometimes serves as the dumping ground for new materials, unwanted materials, and everything in between. I hope to reorganize my office at work this week to streamline some it and get it looking cute again. This afternoon the hubby and I are going to see American Sniper. We have both been wanting to see it, so it should be a good afternoon. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday Scoop!

I am linking up with the Teaching Trio for this week's Sunday Scoop!

With our new family goal of eating in, I have to plan our meals in advance. I have decided to do this one week at a time so I do not become too overwhelmed. I am in grad school, so of course, there is a pesky little paper hanging out there for me to write. This semester, I am trying to put myself at an advantage and work ahead of schedule. We will see how it goes. :) Also, it is time to schedule some parent conferences. This should not be too difficult, it is just finding the time during the time to make those phone calls. 

I had surgery at the beginning of December, so exercise has been off limits for me. I am hoping this week to slowly ease back into some exercise. I love to run, but I was advised to talk baby baby steps it is. The other thing I hope to accomplish this week is cleaning out my closet. I have done a quick sweep of clothing that doesn't fit, but now it is time to do a thoroughly exam of what wear, what I don't wear, what I want to keep, and what I need to get rid of for good. 

Tomorrow we are out of school. I hope to spend this time snuggling with my little girl and doing fun things with her. 

How is everyone's week shaping up to be? 

Friday Hooray! Five for Friday

Today, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to bring you the Five for Friday link-up.

We went to a birthday party on Sunday afternoon. While most of the other children were playing, mine decided she wanted to ride a horse. So she did just that. On our way home, she discusses the need for us to have our own horses and how she wants to start taking riding lessons. It was so cute!

We are using this month to see how much money we can save. We are tracking all of our expenses to see where everything goes and where we can reduce spending. Our daughter has been in on some of the conversations with us about the budget because we want her to know the importance of being financially secure. This is a picture of a my latest budget project...her our daughter. (I am not finished with it yet, but I will post a picture when it is completed.) These are her money jars...saving, spending, for each. She has a plethora of piggy banks in her room, but I want her to divide the money and use for specific purposes. I will keep you updated on this little project. 

I worked with a group of second graders this week on creating a lapbook about Martin Luther King, Jr. We had such a great time! In fact, I am working on two more lapbooks just for them to do per request. To get a better look at the resource click here.

This has been my reading material this week at night...not exactly Nicholas Sparks, but they had to be read by Saturday. So, I got through it. The positive of having class this Saturday is I get to see these two beautiful ladies. Working on this EdD degree has been tough, but we have all formed a tight bond and support one another every little step. I am so thankful for these ladies (and our lunch group guys) for the laughs and friendship. 

I was so excited this week when I got to dance with my little tappers again. I look forward to teaching tap each week. This was the first time since my surgery in December that I was able to dance with them. They told me to be very careful...they are so sweet! 

Happy Friday Everyone! Don't forget to check out what everyone else has been up to!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Lapbook Success

It's that time is the Hump Day Link-up with Mrs. Stanford's Class! 

This week, a group of second graders used my Martin Luther King, Jr. Lapbook Activity, so I had the opportunity to work with them. I had so much fun! 

They began on Monday with a brief introduction of this famous civil rights leader. I went into their classroom on Tuesday morning to help with the construction of the lapbooks. They seemed very excited and eager to get started. 

The main objective Tuesday was to talk to the students about the lapbooks, what their lapbook would look like after completing it, and how they could use it as a learning and study tool. After our lapbook discussion, we got busy cutting the templates and placing them into the lapbook. 

While I was helping guide the students, one boy raised his hand and asked, "Do you know what is the best part about these lapbooks?"

I responded with, "Please tell me."

With the biggest smile on his face (and scissors in his hands), he said, "Getting to make it ours."

Yes, yes, indeed! They were engaged, happy, and learning. I cannot wait to go back in there today.

To conduct a further investigation of Martin Luther King, Jr., the students will use iPads today to gather information and research about this great, influential leader. 

Click HERE to be directed to the lapbook resource. 

Don't forget to see what others are doing this week at Mrs. Stanford's Classroom

Monday Made It -Ribbon Paperclips

Happy Monday, Everyone! 

I was so proud of myself last night! I was in bed and ready to get some sleep by 9:00...yes, that's right! It hardly ever happens (although I need to make it a habit), but it happened last night. Hopefully, that means I will have a very productive Monday!

Today, I am linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics for the Monday Made It series. 

I love to read. During the holiday break, my daughter and I made those cute little ribbon bookmarks that you see all over Pinterest. We had a blast. We were a little slow making them at first, but when we got the hang of it, we zipped through them. She has given some to her friends and has enjoyed telling them "my mama and I made these." Too cute. 

For a step-by-step tutorial, you can click HERE.

For my Made It #2...I don't have any pictures to go along with this one, but I do want to share. I made a commitment to stop eating out! I could come up with some kind of excuses on why I had to pick up supper every night. I told my hubby after Christmas I was going to try to cook and eat at home. It is January 12th, and we have only eaten out once (and that was for his birthday dinner that we agreed to when I made the commitment). I am so happy! I know it has not been a whole month, and it may sound silly to some, but eating out was something we did quite it is an accomplishment for me. I will keep you posted. 

I have several "Made Its" that I am in the process of working on now, so I will share all of them with you very soon! 

I hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Hump Day Highlight Linky

I am linking up with Mrs. Stanford's Class Hump Day Highlight. These will occur each Wednesday to give you a glimpse into what everyone is working on and using. This is going to be so much fun!

Today, I am going to share with you a resource I am working on with my daughter. We are discussing nouns, and this Winter Nouns Activity provides a cute center activity to use for sorting common nouns and proper nouns. 

It comes complete with two posters: common nouns (definition, example) and proper nouns (definition, example). Other components included are 24 nouns, "Common Noun" column, "Proper Noun" column, recording sheet, and answer key. 

This is the perfect center activity for independent work or to use in collaborative pairs. The students are engaged and having fun, all while mastering common and proper nouns. 

For the Winter Nouns Activity CLICK HERE.

To see what others are doing, click here to be redirected to the link-up. 

How to Get Students Excited about Writing...Again!

Most of us have made it half way through the school year by now. Yippee! But how many of you have noticed your students becoming bored with writing? Is it topics? Was it because they (and us) needed a break?

Whatever the reason, January is a wonderful time to get that spark back in their fires and finish out the year strong! How do you get students excited about writing...again?

1. Choices: Students want choices. I know journal writing is probably the best way to incorporate this idea. Have "free write" days where the students decided what they want to write. I know this is the day I usually read the most creative writings.

2. Round-Robin Writing: As the teacher, write a title at the top of a blank sheet of notebook paper. If you want, you can even write the first sentence, too. Pass the paper to a student (you can start it anywhere in your classroom). Have that student write a sentence either about the title, like a first liner, or a second sentence following your first sentence. Then that student passes it to the person behind him/her. Each student adds something to the story until everyone had the opportunity to write a sentence. If it is working smoothly, you can go two or three rounds until you have a full-blown story. After the story is written, read it aloud to the class. They will love it, and it is usually funny to see the direction the story is most likely to be very funny.

3. Writing Pals: Group students in pairs. You can randomly select the groups, or you can even let the students choose their writing pals. Have students work in partners to complete a writing activity. They will enjoy getting to work with a pal while writing, especially struggling writers. Have the pals trade their writings with another set of pals to revise.

I have a January Writing Bundle that you can use to incorporate both journal writing and essay writing into your classroom. It contains 20 journal prompts, and they come is two formats. Also included are three essay prompts (informational, argumentative, and narrative). They come complete with topic pages, writing papers, and a scoring rubric. Below is an example of one of the essay topics.

Also, before I forget, I have started another blog...this one is personal. It is called It's Okay, Mom!, and I would love to have you stop by and take a look. It is new, as it launched on January 1st! I am very excited about it because I will be sharing real life stories with you about how our little family lives, budgets, saves, and live each day to the fullest. There are some very cool posts that are already scheduled, so if you like to learn about budgeting tips, making every penny work for you, getting crafty, or cooking up a feast, this blog is for you. I hope you will check it out, follow, and come along on this exciting adventure with me.

How Would You Like a Freebie?

I am not sure when you return to school, but we are back at it on Monday. The students return on Tuesday. Here is a writing freebie that is super easy to implement into any lesson all you have to do it print it out for each student. 

It includes a graphic organizer for the students think put their thoughts on paper, and then there is a writing paper where they use their ideas from the organizer to writing an organized journal entry. I have had this freebie in my TpT store for a year, but I just updated it to also include a template for the students to use in their interactive notebooks. You could really use this freebie as two separate writing entries for your first week back...with no stress or prep on your part. 

I would love to know when you are heading back to work. Leave a comment below and where you are from so we can see what everyone is doing. Happy Teaching this Year!!!

Happy New Year! and Currently

Happy, Happy 2015, Everyone! It seems like 2014 was a blur, but I am excited to see what all the new year has in store. 

Listening: Oh, yeah, we are a football house. The games have been playing and the family has been cheering and booing. I always find it humorous when my hubby finds it necessary to yell at the tv screen. I am sure no one knows what I'm talking about, right? (wink)

Loving: I love all of the time I have been able to spend with my daughter over the break. We wish my hubby could join us on our lazy days, but since he is not a teacher, off to work he goes. But we enjoy him when he is off. 

Thinking: I am a sucker for new books. I am really into reading finance books right now- nerdy, I know. I just received a new release (Live Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup) the other day. I am dying to read it, but I will not let myself pick it up until I finish some of my projects around the house (see "needing"). 

Wanting: I know, I know...But I have enjoyed this time off so much that I would really like some more. 

Needing: I need to finish cleaning out the closets that I started earlier in the week. I think I can, I think I can...

Yes: Yes, to more family time in 2015. Sometimes I let life, job, life, job get in the way of the time I want to spend with my little family. I will resolve to make more time for the family. We are going to do some fun family things this year that I have planned that require little to no money, and I will share them with you along the way. 

Maybe: I am working on my Education Doctorate in Leadership. I have two semesters left and then my dissertation. I have been diligently working on my Lit Review all along, so I am hoping that after summer semester, I can wrap up my dissertation and graduate in December. This is a big maybe because there are a lot of things that have to happen along the way, but I am going to remain optimistic. 

I wish...I wish I could find a little more time to write the book I have been longing to write. I love to write, and it has always been a dream of mine to publish a novel. Maybe after I finish my dissertation, I will have some freedom to write the novel. Here's to wishing! 

I hope each and everyone of you have a fabulous 2015!