Friday, August 17, 2012

I Survived!!

Wow! I cannot believe how time flies! I have been away from my blogging community for quite some time.... busy with kiddos!

I just finished my first full week with 6th graders... yes I survived, yes I would do it again if I had the choice. I LOVE it! It takes a special person to teach 6th grade, they say. I say, it takes a special hero to teach Kindergarten... so we all have our super powers :)

Here are some pictures of my classroom, this was before school started so some things have been added and taken away, it is exciting all the same! (I will take updated pictures on Monday)

reading corner, small I know, but I'm new!

I have a great group of kids and I am so excited for this school year and new chapter in my life!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teacher Videos... a little inspiration

So many of you have probably seen these videos already, however this first one I am going to share I saw it for the first time yesterday. I felt that it really explained what WE do for our kids. Not only does it feel real, it is honest.

I heard the other day that teachers have the most under appreciated job. But here we are, because it only takes that one kid, note, or smile to redeem it all.

Funny. True. Honest.

This next one, I am almost certain that most teachers have seen. I have seen it twice already, and I am only a first year teacher :)
It doesn't seem as "real" as the first but we all know a "Teddy", we have had an experience like the teacher in this story, maybe not in full length like this, but similar all the same.
My hope, is that one day I may be thought of as a favorite teacher, passionate for what I do, going above and beyond.

The Make A Difference Movie - The Teddy Stallard Story - by Mary Robinson Reynolds | The MasterMinding Maven® - Full Length Version

Just a little inspiration as you begin your school year :)


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August's Currently... & The Buddy Walk!

OK...... So I TOTALLY feel out of the blogging loop... I haven't been able to look at all my wonderful blogging friends' ideas or funny comments! I have been so busy with back to school trainings... decorating... trainings.... decorating.... you get the drift.

It is offically (7 days ago) August! Which means it is time for a new Currently! I am linking up with my friend Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade who does a wonderful Currently with her cute 'stash :)

Here is mine:

ON to my Buddy Walk, something that is near and dear to my heart. You may be asking, what is a Buddy Walk? Well, it is a national event that celebrates the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome, one being my son, Gage. I am a HUGE advocate for the acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities, not just Down Syndrome. October is national Down Syndrome awareness month and this is usually when you will hear about such events like the Buddy Walk. You can find out more about it at
This is my son's fundraising page for our local chapter of the Buddy Walk
I encourage you to find a local chapter and join a walk in October, support a great cause and an incredible group of people! 
If I weren't in such a rush this morning, I would write plenty more :) (maybe lucky for you)
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My First Blog Award!!

Wow! I was so surprised this morning when I woke up and found that I was nominated for my first blog award! THANK YOU Elizabeth from Hodges Herald for nominating me!!
7 Random Facts About Me:
1. I love spring and fall for the cooler weather, but not too cold to freeze my tail off.
2. My favorite colors are blue and yellow.
3. I've always wanted to swim with the dolphins.
4. I've known some of my best friends for 20+ years.
5. My husband and I were high school sweethearts.
6. I HATE to do laundry.
7. I LOVE Harry Potter. Books. Movies. Anything Harry Potter :)

Here are my nominees (they are all amazing bloggers and teachers!)

Follow these rules to to claim your award:
1. Thank who nominated you.
2. Include a link back to who nominated you.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself in your post.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link back to their blog in your post.
7. Let the bloggers you nominate know by leaving them a comment.

Again, THANK YOU, Elizabeth :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Go check out No Monkey Business because they are having a BIG 500 Giveaway! Do 5 things in order to enter, very easy stuff, and good luck!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It #3!

I am linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics once again for Monday Made It! Be sure to stop by her page to check out all her fun ideas and some inspiration from other fellow teachers.

So over the weekend I was finally able to get into my classroom. Let me tell you, it is a train wreck, er... organized chaos. I was assigned the old Literacy Lab for my classroom, so I have piles of stuff to go through. While this could potentially be a GREAT thing for a new teacher, it also adds to my To Do list. I have stuff from previous teachers and stuff from the literacy lab as well to go through. Needless to say I will be hanging out in my classroom most of the week.

Now, on to my Monday Made It.... I made a Calendar for my classroom! I used poster board from Walmart and blue cardstock I had on hand. I printed all my words and such off of Word and cut to fit with cute decorating scissors. I had Scotch brand 5x7 self laminating sheets on hand to laminate the months, however I need to get into the school's laminating machine to do my whole calendar. I put velcro pads on the months, so that they can be removed. I plan on using an overhead marker to write the numbers on..... we will see how this works once it is actually laminated. If they do not wipe off easy enough I will print numbers with velcro on the back to be able to remove. 

I added an "Important Dates" piece so that the students can quickly check for upcoming events.. such as tests, picture days, no school... etc. 

The hardest part was measuring and drawing lines so that it all fit and looked just right. I plan to add a Jayhawk in the upper right hand side once I get access to the school printer :)

So why make my own, you ask? Well, because it was WAYYY cheaper and it matches my decor!

What has inspired you this week?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Teaching with Courage

Courage... humm, well many can attest to having it, but how many really use it? As teachers our courage could amount to something HUGE, no matter how small it may be. I got my inspiration from Kim at Finding Joy in 6th Grade. She shared many instances of teaching with courage, at the end of her post she asked others to share their experiences. My hope, in sharing my experience is to (hopefully) give someone in a similar situation courage to speak out for their students, as this is what I did.

I graduated in May of 2011, as the school year approached I had one interview through all the millions of applications I had filled out. That didn't pan out. I was upset, needless to say. I thought I would NEVER get a job. So, when the anticipation of having my OWN room died down, I applied to be a substitute in several districts around the area. After some time a teacher in my home district asked me to long-term sub, knowing I wasn't real sure of when or how long I would be there. I accepted.

In November I began my long-term spot. Right away I noticed the lack of structure in the classroom. These students have had various subs prior to me and it was chaos. I felt like things needed to change if I was going to stay for an extended time, but I was scared to do anything about it. After some time I pulled up all the courage I had and approached the Principal. At this time, he didn't know much about me or my credentials. I told him I would like to make some changes for the students best interest, and that I felt they were not getting the education they deserved. He questioned me on what I knew or why I would want to change the way the classroom was ran. I was scared out of my mind to say how I felt. But slowly it did come out. Surprisingly, he gave me permission to change things in the class. Time went on, the class adjusted and the Principal visited frequently. I ended up staying 6 months with this class and I felt as if they were my own. 

It was the last week of school and the Principal asked me to an interview for another position in the building that would be opening up. I was offered it on the spot! He said he had high hopes for me and loved that I was flexible and willing to speak up for my students. It was courage that found me where I am today. My students had more respect for me at the end of the year because I made it my own. 

I encourage you to find that courage when you feel something isn't just right. We do this for THEM. We are here to educate, inspire, and mold these kiddos. Give them every opportunity to succeed and reach their highest goals!

Now it is your turn to tell your story of Teaching with Courage! Please add the picture below to your blog with the following link:, if you don't blog and would still like to share your story, I would love to read it so please comment!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I am a....

I found this awesome idea for a writing journal on Pinterest. I thought it would be a great "get to know you" assignment at the beginning of the year. You can find the link to the original here. It is also a great literacy blog!

This is my example I will use for class. I think it is a neat project to use at the beginning of the year so my students get a chance to know me as well.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It!

This is my first official "Monday Made It" linky with 4th Grade Frolics! Be sure to link up with her and show off your Monday Made It!
Ok, so I am a Pin-aholic.. is that a word? Well, anyway I love all the amazing ideas I find on Pinterest. So for this week's "Monday Made It" I got my first idea to create a "No Name" paper holder. My actual product is slightly different from the original. The link to the inspiration came from 3rd Grade Thoughts, and hers is just as cute, if not cuter :)

However, I took a cheaper more economical way out. Instead of buying wooden letters and paint I found a cute, 11x14 red frame at the local dollar general on clearance for $2, BONUS! I already had the clothes pins, but they have them at dollar general in red, yellow, and blue if you do not have any and do not want to paint them. I hot glued (my favorite way to adhere things) the clothes pins to the frame. After some scrapbook paper and punch out letters, this is my finished product:

I am excited for this! No need to leave little holes all over my bulletin boards :)

My other Monday Made It item is for all those little notes, drawings, and inspirational goodies we get from our little lovelies. I also got this idea from Pinterest. You can find the link here, at Lesson Plan Diva. This way it isn't all over the desk or pinned on the wall. I will probably keep mine by my desk, but one pinner suggests to keep it in your class library for others to look at :)

I used sparkly foam letters on mine (that I had laying around in my landfill massive craft supply).
I had fun making these cute things for my classroom and will be even more excited to get it INTO my class next week!

July's Currently!

Ok, so last year as I was subbing I would see all these neat signs on the doors of other teacher's classrooms. The signs always said "Currently" at the top and would list things about the teachers. Now, as I am surfing different blogs I see these posts AGAIN. So, there must be something with these things, and I MUST be missing out on the fun! So, thanks to my friend over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade, you can find the link to this month's "Currently" here.

With that being said, here is my July Currently!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Excited.... with a little anxiety.

Probably a good way to describe my current feelings on my new blogging hobby and the quick approach of my "premier" as a 6th grade teacher.
I've been searching and browsing the web for classroom ideas, blogging techniques and designs. All my new blogging "friends" have amazing blogs with creative little tid bits and clip art. It gets my head churning and ideas stirring. I'm new to this blogging thing, so I don't know how to do all the cutesy things they do! Is there a book on all this, like Blogging for Dummies? ;)
Be sure to check out all the amazing sites I have found (listed to the left). If you do not currently follow my blog and would like to, I have added that at the right side of my page thanks to my friend Heather from Heather's Heart :)
On another note... I am so anxious to get into my classroom! I have yet to even see it, I have no idea what I need or what is already in the classroom! I have training next week and then we start the 6th, and kiddos on the 10th! Woot!!
Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The R-word

Something you may need to understand about me, my son has Down Syndrome. He is a beautiful creation of my Lord and Savior, as are all children. I do not, and never have, like the R-Word. It is a shameful use of words, that discriminate people with disabilities. When Gage was born it heightened my sensitivity to this word. Here are my thoughts on this subject:

To those who use the word "Retarded", perhaps you don't understand the significance of your choice of words, perhaps you truly don't mean to hurt someone's feelings because you are just using an "acceptable" termed word in replace of stupid, ignorant, dumb, etc... Let me define the word “retarded” for you: (adj.) slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress. Now just because you forgot your homework, lost your keys, tripped, ran into something, or miscounted does not qualify you as “retarded”. You may not grasp the impact of your words, perhaps you utter this word as checking out in the store and do not realize that the clerk or person standing behind you has a child/sibling with a disability, and you have just insulted them. These are people who cannot defend themselves against your hurtful choice of words. My son has more persistence and determination to figure out something than you do in your little pinky, please do not categorize him, or others with a disability, in your ill-mannered choice of words. I can assure you that you do not fully comprehend the term “retarded” because if you did you would not use it. You could be making fun of people with a disability (or without) by using this term and one day you end up in an accident which places you right with those type of people you were just demeaning, now how do you feel? Or perhaps one day you have children and you are blessed with a beautiful child of God who is disabled. Would you want someone to use this word about your child who could not defend themselves? I think not. So next time you decide you want to use the word “retarded”, think about your freedoms to be able to think, speak, and act as you wish and CHOOSE a word more defining to your situation rather than demeaning a group of incredible people who CHOOSE to be fighters and persevere through your ignorance.

If you would like to support those with disabilities and fight for their inclusion and elimination of the R-word, I encourage you to visit and sign their pledge. I always tell my students at the beginning of the year how I feel about this word, and as far as I am concerned it is just as bad as any other cuss word out there.

Preparing for the big day!

I am so excited to start teaching in my OWN classroom! Over the summer I have been compiling and creating things for my class. I have found a multitude of amazing blogs and ideas on Pinterest (that site is amazing!) I have made an Absent Box, which holds two weeks worth of assignments so the students are responsible for retrieving their own work. I will provide them with a sheet that tells them the instructions but they need to get their own assignments out of the box.

I have also made the infamous Teacher Toolbox, I got the inspiration from Fun in Room 4B (an awesome teacher blog). I used her template (found here) to fit my needs, however you need to be aware that unsharpened pencils and some markers/highlighters/pens will not fit as the length of the individual boxes are not sufficient. I did not know this until I created mine. I found mine at Walmart Online, it is red casing, but you can find black as well. I am told you can find them at Ace Hardware and Lowes. It is labeled as "Stack-On 22 Bin". As you can see I have a red and blue theme going here, I am totally a KU fan through and through ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! :)

Lastly I am starting to compile some wall art. Again, I have to credit Pinterest for this lovely idea. I think it is personal for the students and they feel appreciated and loved to see this daily. I created mine in Publisher and saved it as a JPG file. I printed it poster size 12''x18'' (same day) at Walmart for $8.86. Not a bad price for same day and personalized. I don't know about you, but I cannot go into Walmart without finding something I think I need for my classroom!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Banana Ice Cream

Summer, 'tis the season for ice cream. If you are like me and enjoy an ice cream here and there, or everyday if I am truly being honest, and if you like bananas then you are in for a treat. I have a love-hate relationship with said Ice Cream, love it for it's yummy goodness but, hate what it does to my girlish figure. I cannot even qualify fat free ice cream as an "ice cream" as it is usually more ice than cream, I shudder at the thought.

On another note, Bananas, also a love-hate relationship. I love them when they are fresh off their tree, where the peel is still a tad green. Then, the days go by and the ugly brown spots start popping up and the instant gag reflex kicks in.... gross. However, I hate to waste them and yet, my girlish figure (yet again) would thank me to not make banana bread, as I would probably be the only one eating it in this house. So here lies my prediciment, cannot eat the delicious creamy substance my children so love, and I cannot eat the browning mush on my counter.... what to do?

LET ME TELL YOU! (no, I did not invent this, in fact, many people do this... how did I not know until now?)

First you cut up your bananas into slices and put on a plate, place into the freezer. Wait until the bananas are frozen before you remove them, this can take 20 min. or you can wait a few hours for best results. After the time has passed, take out your banana slices and place in a blender or food processor (which I use). Blend. At first it will be chunky, trust me, it will work. As you keep blending it will turn into a creamy ice cream like texture. You can eat it soft serve just like this or place into a bowl and freeze for 20 min. to get a thicker ice cream and it will not have that icy taste we fear with typical Non-Fat Ice Cream. 
Thats it. I promise, it is delicious. No sweeteners, artifical or otherwise, unless you want, such as honey. No fat... yes. No.Fat. Just pure wholesome goodness, just the way God intended. YUM. You can add to it, perhaps you are a peanut butter lover, like I, or coco, chocolate chips, coconut... what ever suits you. Not to mention the fact that the kids love it too, I just became the cool mom... Yummy, check. Toppings, check. Healthy, check (shh.. don't tell, it's our secret).

No need to thank me, just enjoy  ;o)

Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Something I struggle with, daily. Am I really? I suppose but, in a world so devoted to beauty and perfection, it really makes you question yourself.

As the school year quickly approaches I have decided I need to get some things in line before it is too late and I am too busy. I have began a journey, again, to get myself healthy. It is a trying process. First the cravings, then my body begins to eat itself because it is ALWAYS hungry, finally I have to deal with my family who are not on such a health kick. While I prepare their meals and watch them eat with such voraciousness and here I am with a plate of rabbit food... yay me. 

The hardest part is trying to get motivated enough to want to exercise. I can eat healthy all day long but don't see the results unless I actually do the work. Once I get on a routine, it isn't bad. Just getting there is the problem. And I know once school starts it will be even harder to get into a routine if I haven't started it.

I've decided I do not need to be super skinny or macho woman, I just need to be healthy, fit. My desire for food is unhealthy and keeps me from being the godly woman I was made to be. I was fearfully and wonderfully made, I know He created me for wonderful things and I plan to be here for them.