Sunday, April 21, 2013

Five for Friday...err Sunday :o)

I found Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching a few weeks ago and I have honestly said to myself every week since then "I am going to do that next Friday!" Well, as you can see it is Sunday. Just like another blogger mentioned, Friday afternoons/evenings in my household are never used to work on school related things! Friday is our unwind day, our start to the weekend, normally with a glass of wine and bed by 8:30pm!

Anyways, I am just going to link up and do my weekly random five today instead. I love that Doodle Bugs Teaching started this because I think it really gives bloggers a chance to find new blogs. 

Sunday, however, is my school and blog day. Check out my latest products in my TpT store and the Under the Sea bundle of classroom management products. 

Friday we had a little fun making the moon phases out of Oreos! The kids really enjoyed this, and I did too! I love me some Oreos!

Here are my yard sale finds! All for $5. I think my first graders next year will enjoy them on inside recess days! Hope to continue to find great stuff at yard sales this spring and summer.
Fingers crossed for my husband who is still waiting to hear back from an interview! He is a really amazing husband, father and a super teacher. The school that hires him will be lucky to have done so!

National Lineman's Appreciation Day was April 18th! My dad is a retired electric company lineman. I remember my dad being called out on holidays, Christmas Eve, during birthday parties, during severe weather, is definitely a dangerous job and they deserve to have a day of recognition!

Looking forward to summing the week up next weekend for Five for Friday! :o)

Classroom Theme, BBQ season, and Yard Sales

This weekend definitely went wayyyy to quickly. The only good thing is, is that the weeks have been flying by as well. I cannot believe that there is only nine days until May! My countdown continues with only 41 school days left!

My husband, daughter and roommate went around to yard sales yesterday. We didn't find any great ones, but I blame it on my awful OCD about searching for them and wanting to go to certain ones. We should have just went to a few neighborhoods and left it at that. I wound up getting a good deal on Clue Jr, Guess Who, Monster Inc. Memory and a giant floor puzzle, all for just $4. I think my firsties next year will love them all. Hopefully next weekend will be more successful.

BBQ Season! Ahhh...I love it. It is getting warmer outside, everywhere you go you can smell the grill cooking up something delicious. We have been BBQin' the past few weekends and plan to do it every weekend until it is too cold to sit outside! I love soakin' up the sun, listening to music, hanging out with friends and family and mixin' up a new recipe. Here are two of my favorite side salad recipes:

Avocado Salad-
2 ripe avocados
1 can of corn (optional)
1 package of cherry tomatoes
mozzarella cheese (I like to get the fresh mozzarella balls that Harris Teeter has at their salad bar)
light Balsamic vinegar dressing (My favorite is Newman's Own)

(Borrowed picture from ValSoCal)
Simple Pasta Salad-
Tri-color rigatoni
black olives
summer sausage, hard salami or pepperoni
cheddar cheese (cut into cubes)
light Italian dressing (Kraft makes a good olive oil dressing that has a basil flavor, pretty good)

(Borrowed picture from Favorite Family Recipes)

Classroom THEME!!!! I decided to have an Under the Sea classroom theme for my new first grade class next year. Of course, I went right over to ScrappinDoodles and bought their Scuba Kids clipart collection and went to town. Many of my colleagues and friends seem to be fascinated by how quickly I put together my TpT products and the biggest tip I have is to re-use your original ideas and use them as templates for new ideas. I created my whole Under the Sea theme today!

In the bundle I have taken all my popular TpT items and transformed them into an Under the Sea theme including: Where Are We? Sign, Classroom Jobs, Digital Schedule Cards, Behavioral Chart, Calendar Months, Voice Levels, Hand Signals and Desk Name Tags. Click on the picture of each product to purchase them individually. Click on the bundle above to get all eight products for $15.00, that's $5.00 of savings!!!

And because I love freebies...the first five followers to comment on this post will get one of the items from the bundle for free!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

First Grade, New Themes, TpT, Running and some healthy ideas for the mix...

First Grade
Now that I know that I am going to be teaching first grade next year, I am getting really excited about it. What I would love to know from all the firstie teacher's out there is what kinds of materials or products they are looking for in a TpT item? 

Any ideas of products you would be interested in, I would love to hear from you!

Classroom Themes
Last year, about a month before school started or so, I decided to make all my own themed item for my classroom. I went with different types of polka dots. Then I decided to take those products and make other themes including stripes, zebra and a 31-Gifts Inspired theme. I want to make new ones this year. I have thought about ocean life, a simple school theme, and a twist on Dr. Seuss. Any other ideas? Anything you have been searching for and would love to use next year? I am open for requests!

Check out my themes from last year: 

Running & Some Healthy Ideas
Here is the DC Metro area it has gone from cold and snow days about a month ago, to 60 degrees (a nice spring feel), to was 91 when I was running last night between 5 and 6pm. I have been running between 2 and 5 miles on average twice a week for about 4 months and I ran my worst run in a long time last night. That leads to my first question, any tips on running in the heat? Also, I shared my favorite running items last week and I would love to know what others think about the best running shoes, running clothes, etc. 

I am not a huge fan of yogurt, but I LOVE Chobani Greek Yogurt. And most recently, I have fallen in love with the Chobani flips! Yogurt on one side and some toppings on the other and you just flip it over and mix together. My favorite flavors are key lime yogurt with graham crackers and white chocolate chips and coconut yogurt with almonds and dark chocolate. And lastly, a little crunch for my salad that are tasty and better for you that croutons: Calbee Snack Salad Snapea Crisps! My favorite salad is some spring mix, Gorgonzola, red onions, cherry tomatoes, snapea crisps and Marzetti Light Balsamic. 

Hey! Why not add a free give-away for your shared thoughts! Leave me an idea for a packet for TpT, a classroom theme and/or some running tips and I will send you any of my calendar months for free! Check them out on the links above. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Blog Face! And a slightly different approach...

Well...I finally did it! I re-created my blog with a new-ish theme. I am still quite into polka-dots, but I really wanted a new face for my blog. Just so happens that I am home sick today with a bad sinus cold. First day back to school from a 10 day spring break and I am there for less than a hour. Good news is that my husband is a sub in my district and because it was the first day back from break, no other teachers needed a sub apparently and he got to come in for me. Make lesson plans really simple! Then, after 30 minutes of being home, my daughters daycare calls and she needed to be picked up because of her continuous coughing. Little her has a cold too, just like her mama. So we are both home sick. 

On to my new blog! I decided that I don't want to limited myself to just a teaching blog. I visit so many blogs to find ideas, especially fitness blogs and DIY blogs for projects. So my new tag line is ... My journey as a teacher, mother, wife, newbie runner and everything in between! And for those of you that are following my blog...I just found out that I will be teaching firstie's next year! My principal told me this morning before I left to come home. My partner in crime/bestie at school (who is currently teaching third grade along with me) will also be on my new first grade team and I couldn't be happier. We will rock it for sure!

I think Farley's April Currently helped me to realize that if I really love to blog, then I should do it more often. Thanks to her advice heading, I read many great words of wisdom from other bloggers and decided to give it a go. 

Onward to a piece about fitness... at the beginning of the year I decided I need to lose about 15-20lbs. I successfully gained a whole person when I was pregnant with my 3 year old daughter and a year after having her, I went on a big ol' diet called Medifast. It worked for sure...almost 50lbs lost! Needless to say over the past two years I have gained only 8-10lbs back, which isn't too bad, but could definitely add up if I don't control myself. The biggest problem is that I am addicted to delicious food! Of ALL kind...chocolate, mexican, pasta, bread, ice-cream, salad (yes even a really good and most of the time healthy salad). I am also very fond of fond that my husband and I belong to a wine club. 

Anyways, I decided that I was going to be a runner. After all my high school years of soccer, cheerleading and softball, I had never been a runner. Could barely run a mile. I am proud to say that last July, around the same time I started blogging, I also started running. Slow at first, on the treadmill, and then finally out on the pavement. I slowly worked my way up to running a 5K (3.1 miles) in the fall. This winter, I have reached 5 miles! And my next goal is to train for a 10K. Although, I still have not ran in my first race (I am signed up for one called Run or Dye in D.C. on June 8th), I want to push harder and further so that my 5K is easy to run. Hope to sign up for a 10K by summer's end. 

Here are a few of my favorite things about running (or things I need to run)
1. Runtastic App: This app for my iPhone is awesome! I log every run into this baby. It gives me options for reminders, it tells me my time, distance, pace, speed...etc. I bought the PRO app so I could link my music to play through the app. It maps my run and allows my Facebook friends to cheer me on. I just love it when someone likes my status and while I am running I hear a manly voice come on that says, "I liiiiike it". 

2. Comfortable and cute running clothes! An absolute must. If I am going to go running in public, I need to look presentable. Even if sometimes I wake up and run without makeup on, at least my clothes are cute and most importantly, BRIGHT. My favorite running shirts are from Old Navy and Dicks (Reebok brand). I am on the look out for a new pair of running tights as well. AND you cannot forget the SHOES!!!! So important. Mine are Saucony Kinvara 2's. I am sad to say that they are not being sold much anymore and are hard to find. Hopefully I like the 3's or 4's. 
3. A Good Playlist! Also a must. I actually get excited to go out running when there are new songs that I love. Makes my run so much easier when I am running to a great beat. Some of the songs on my current playlist are: 
-Die Young by Kesha
-I Cry by Flo Rida
-I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
-Feel This Moment by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera
-Titanium by David Guetta and Sia
-One More Night by Maroon 5
-I'm Sexy and I Know It- LMFAO
-Fighter by Christina Aguilera
-Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris
-Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson (my cool down song)

That's it for time for some rest! Hopefully this cold is gone by tomorrow, or at least manageable enough to go to school.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Currently...and a great TPT deal!

Check out my not so April Fools deal below...

So glad we had today off from school. Not exactly a fun day to be with a bunch of students! Today is my last day of spring break, back to the grind tomorrow for the first of 54 days left until summer vacation. My parents, husband and I brought my daughter to Disney World for five days. After a rough start, being delayed for 5 hours and missing most of our first day, we made it and had a whirlwind of a week.

We waited in so many lines to get picture with princesses it probably took half of our time up. We had reservations for a lunch with the princesses on Friday, our last day, and I do not suggest doing that. Make it on the first day and then you won't have to wait in all the lines the first few days for your eager, excited little ones! Such an expensive vacation, but worth it to see the look in your child's eyes. 

Now on to April Currently, thanks to Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade...

Listening: Yea...I'm watching the first G.I. Joe because my husband brought me to see the second one and I was not happy when my eye candy, Channing Tatum, died in the first 10 minutes. The only way he got me to the movie theater to see G.I. numero dos is because I thought I was going to be able to watch Tatum the whole time.

Loving: That's right...I've counted the remaining days until summer vacation. It is that time of the year again when all of us teachers are stressing about tests and whether or not our kiddos are ready to move onto the next grade. I have a lot to look forward to this summer...weddings, trip to San Francisco and wine county, a possible Bon Jovi concert, spending time in NY with family...

Thinking: I still do not know my fate for the 2013-14 school year. I thought I was moving to Kindergarten, but now the school is changing and we might not be looping K-1, 2-3, and 4-5...K and 3 will be stand alone grades, and 1-2 and 4-5 will loop.  I should be finding out tomorrow what I will be teaching. 

Wanting: Fractions are my least favorite math topic to teach. I find it so hard to teach the concept of fractions, mixed numbers and adding and subtracting them. We are about 3 weeks behind the county pacing guide because of snow days and running behind on our last few units. I just can't wait until it is over!

Needing: 10 pounds is my goal for the next 12 or so weeks. I have lost 10 since the New Year...did really well the first month, eating healthier, exercising almost daily. I have plateaued the past month or so...eating what I want, but running longer distances. I guess the two are canceling each other out. I think I ran about 25 miles this month. My goal for April will be 30. I have a 5K June 8th, and I have done a few runs between 4-5 miles. I only run 2-3 times a week, and I need to do more. I also need to get back into using Fitness Pal to track my calories. 

Advice: I am not a novice blogger for sure! I am a beginner by all means, even though I have been doing it for almost a year. My number one advice for TPT sellers would be to blog about your products and allow 5 teachers to have the products for free to provide feedback. Become a premium member if you plan on keeping up with creating products, it really does make a difference!

I do not have any new products this month, but I am going to give the first 10 teachers to comment on this post and who buy an item from my TPT store, any free product that is equal or lower value. That's right, buy my spring packet and get any other $5 packet for free! Check out my storefront: If You Give A Teacher A Treat

Happy Spring Everyone!