Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gotta love Snow DAYS (yes, two!) and a Peek at my (short) Week!

We are on snow day #2 here in Northern VA. Not like the snow day's we are used to in upstate NY. My fellow NYer's just laugh at our snow days, but I am not going to complain for sure! I've had to change my visual plans twice, but that's okay too. A nice short week with a field trip, followed by our week leading up to Winter Break will fly right by and then it's back to NY for the holidays. 

And for my holiday gift to my students for next week before break...SNOWMAN SOUP! Found several different photos of this idea on PINTEREST (this one is from Coley's Corner, click photo for original post). I have cute little Christmas bags from the Dollar Tree, a pack of cocoa, mini marshmallows, a mini candy cane and Hershey milk chocolate chips. Not sure if I will make my own labels or get them from someone else. We'll see! I'll post my final products next week when I make them along with some photos from our Polar Express Days!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy Holidays: December Currently & Visual Plans

...I am a little later than usually for Currently, with Farley, but here it is!  

Listening: My husband came home from the store with Mortal Instruments from RedBox, so we are giving it a try. Not sure how I feel about it just yet. 

Loving: I had my first observation of the school year, I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it. I have always had good observations, but my class of 28 has surely given me a run for my money. I invited my principal in for guided reading and Daily 5 and the kiddos were ANGELS! I was so proud of them. She left my a note on my desk complimenting my lessons, my students and then said YOU ARE AWESOME! That just made my day! 

Thinking: I was all excited that I got the majority of my Christmas shopping done between Black Friday and Cyber Monday...that is until my four year told me she didn't need her own "iPad". Elf on the Shelf, ours name is Jefferson, has just started visiting our house and I told her to tell him what she wanted for Christmas. Just to see what she thought about the idea, I said told to ask for her own "iPad" in which she replies no. Well that just chapped my buns, especially since I had just ordered a Kindle Fire HD for $119!!! Seriously, saved $50 on the price and thought it was a great idea since she is always using our real iPad. So I cancelled the order. She is in the stage right now where when she doesn't want something, she gets cranky. So I guess it's out to find more pink Princess, Barbie and other things this weekend!

Wanting: As you know, if you already follow my blog, my husband and I are originally from NY. Our friends and family are back in NY celebrating the usual pre-holiday festivities and I am missing home. We stayed in VA for Thanksgiving because we did a lot of traveling this summer and early fall. Plus, my parents were in Wyoming and we planned a Friends Giving. This is the first year we missed Thanksgiving Eve out with our friends...and I am missing the girls ugly sweater/white elephant party...but new traditions in the making. VA is really starting to feel like our new "home". 

Needing: Not sure explaining here...I just need a pamper me day. 

Favorite Tradition: Watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with my parents. We have been watching this movie since I was a little girl, as far back as I can remember. It is HILARIOUS! And I want to buy this shirt from Kohl's to wear this holiday season:

And here are my Visual Plans for this week as well...(two birds, one stone!)

I'll be honest...I was waiting to do Currently because I am in the middle of creating a Christmas Centers Packet and a Holiday Packet of worksheets, but I just don't have the time or motivation to finish them. It's odd because I was like this last December too. I made a Thanksgiving packet last year and this year, tried to finish a Christmas packet both last year and this year...but no such luck yet. I do however have my Polar Express packets available in my TpT store...

Polar Express Activity Pack  vPolar Express Math and Literacy Centers

Check them out! And because it is the holiday season, I am feeling fabulous because of my observation and I have nothing new to share with you...the first five people to comment will get one of above packets for FREE! All you need to do is the following: 
  • PIN the cover on Pinterest with my blog address and Polar Express in the comment 
  • Follow me on my blog and blog lovin' if you aren't already
  • Leave your e-mail in the comment so I know where to send the packet (and tell me which one you prefer)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Not sure if I will be bloggin' again until I am officially on WINTER BREAK (December 20th is our last day...and YES, we have to go back on January 2nd and 3rd...don't get me started!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Visual Plans: Better Late than Never!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks so I am going to keep this short. Trying to tie up all of our units so that the 4 1/2 day break does not completely mess with my firsties brains. One Thanksgiving dinner down, and two more to go! I signed my husband and I up for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning so that should be fun. Then we are spending the day with our cousins. It will be the first Thanksgiving that we are not spending with either set of our parents, but we just couldn't justify traveling home for the 10th time in 2013 when we are going home in another few weeks for Christmas. Then Saturday we are hosting our 2nd annual Friends-giving with 25-30 of our friends! Should be much fun!!

Possible delay or snow day tomorrow in NOVA? We'll see...better where my PJ's inside out!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tieks for my FOLLOWERS!!!

...well a discount anyway! I bought my first pair of tieks about a month or so ago and I love them. They took a week to break in and at first I was not convinced, but then they literally just stared molding to my feet. I wear them almost every day to school and my feet never hurt at the end of the day.

So, I can send this discount opportunity on to four one of the first four and I will email it along. All you have to do is email it to four of your friends and get them in on the discount too! No purchase necessary, just share four friends emails and then you will receive a code in your email for 20% off! And if you are as crazy on a promo code hunter as I am, you know that it is NEAR impossible to find one for Tieks!

I am thinking I will use my code for these:


ALSO...come back soon to be the winner of a Polar Express Packet freebie! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

H is for Helpful Hints (We are THANK ful for Linky Party)

I'm linking up again with Blog Hoppin' for their Linky Party: We are THANK ful for...and today's post is...

I mentioned in my post yesterday to make sure you stopped in for today's helpful hints! Here are my Top Three Helpful Hints for Teachers:

I have been teaching on and off for the past 5 years...every grade K-6. Last year was my first ever FULL year of being a full time teacher. But not matter how long you've been teaching, it will always be important to plan ahead. This has always been a goal of mine each year: plan ahead at least one week. Not until this year, when I found an amazing linky party, have I been so organized in my planning. I am always a week, if not two weeks planned ahead because I am obsessed with creating and blogging with my Visual Plans. There are easy to make, but for your convenience, I uploaded by template on TpT. Click on Hint #1 to go and download it.

A few of my followers have asked me how I make my TpT here you go! Click on Hint #2 for the download.

And last but certainly not least, Donors Choose! This website used to confuse me soooo much and I would get frustrated and give up. Well it is updated in the last few months and now is SUPER easy to create a project. I am currently running a project for an iPad for my classroom. You can now put things in a project from Amazon, Best Buy and Scholastic. Before it was only teacher stores like LakeShore and others. Took me less than 30 minutes to get this project up and ready to go. You can share the project link on your facebook and friends and family can donate as well. Check it out!

Come back tomorrow and check out my post for:

Wednesday:  ACTIVITIES LIKE... We will post about activities that we just love doing in our classrooms!  Show us those WOW lessons!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Visual Plans and THANK ful For Linky Parties!

WOW! The 3-day weekend sure did go by back. Had a few outings including a birthday party and baptism to fill our weekend with friends and family. I also had a chance to make a couple new TpT products...and as one of the first five people to comment and you can choose which monthly addition practice packet you would like to have as a freebie!


I love when the bloggers that I follow create new linky parties. This week I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for We are THANKful for...

TIME-SAVERS: Both my husband I are teachers...we like to be at school at least an hour early in hopes that we can both get home and pick up our daughter Addy by 4:30pm. Well that barely ever happens, especially the first nine weeks. So we rely on the crockpot for several meals a week. It is pretty amazing to only have to put the ingredients in and then come home to a wonderful smell and dinner already prepared! 

My other time-saver is TeachersPayTeachers! It truly is a teacher's best friend. Not only does it save time so that I do not have to re-invent the wheel, it is always a great little money maker!

Stop in tomorrow for some HELPFUL Hints! Especially if you are just dying to know how I make my TpT products!

WHOA! Lots of things going on in the post, but I just want to get them all done tonight! Let me leave you with a few things...

Happy Birthday to those in the Marine Corp! I hope that everyone was able to take a second today to remember those that have fought for us and that are still fighting for our freedoms. Veteran's Day is a welcome day off, but let's not forget why!

Make sure you go check out the AMAZING giveaways going on over at one of the blogs (and 14 others!) I follow. They are giving away 3 $100 gift cards (Amazon, TpT and Target) and each of the 15 bloggers that are hosting the giveaway have their own giveaways on their own blogs (think Starbucks, more Amazon, TpT products, Home Depot, Michaels, etc.!!)

Last but not least...I leave you with what I am most THANKFUL for...My Family!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Visual Plans and Autumn Literacy Bundle!

Well I have been QUITE busy today with creating a new TpT bundle and my visual plans...phew...I am exhausted! Good thing I don't have students back in the classroom until Wednesday! I have been looking forward to this week since school began and I realized how much more I should have done over the summer. So tomorrow I will be spending the majority of the day printing, laminating, and sorting my new literacy centers including the 10 from my new TpT bundle: Autumn Math and Literacy Centers Bundle!

Which includes the following 10 centers:

...and because I am so tired...I leave you with my visual plans and nothing more for today...

Oh, AND I watched my first Hallmark holiday movie today...A rerun from last year, but I love it!

and of course, as I always do...the first FIVE people to comment with get the new TpT bundle for'll be able to check it out, preview it and let me know if it needs any edits!