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Currently & New Year's Resolutions

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful break from work!  I have had such a great, and dare I say lazy, break!  Being at home with my son is one of the best things ever.  He's starting to talk more (autism), and we have actually had some real conversations.  Makes this Mommy's heart melt.  :)

This year was the first year Colton really "got" Christmas which made everything even more magical.  This was his reaction when he got what he asked Santa for.  (Ok, really this is staged reaction.  I missed the original.  I got a new camera for Christmas, and my first try was blurry.  lol)

I am linking up with two wonderful blogs today.  The first one is with  Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the oh so famous Currently.  This is only my second Currently, but I love reading them every month.  It's always so much fun to read everyone's lists!  So without further ado, here is my Currently list for January.

Listening:  My son loves to play games on the "TV computer" as he likes to call it. Right now he is playing a Thomas game.

Loving:  I am flying back to Kansas on Wednesday to see my grandma.  A few weeks ago, I got a call from my dad saying that my grandma was very sick.  I was going to make an emergency trip back, but she got better and we decided that waiting until break would be ok.  I haven't seen Grandma in almost 5 years.  I'm so excited to see her!!!  I do have to admit though that I'm not excited about the weather.  I love how it says that Friday and Saturday are "warmer."  Um, no, 35 degrees is not "warmer".  That's just plain cold.   Or it might be that I've lived in Las Vegas too long.  lol

Thinking:  I really should be using this time off (or at least some of it) to prepare for these next few months.  Maybe tomorrow.  ;)

Wanting:  I am wanting some new jeans and boots.  I only wear jeans on Fridays and the weekends, so I don't buy them often, but they are definitely on the "want to buy" list.  I also want a cute pair of boots.  I might have to go out tomorrow and get some before I go where "warmer" is 35 degrees.  lol

Needing:  I really, really need to get back to the gym.  I honestly have not one excuse for not going.  It is literally 5 minutes from my house, and I have about 2 1/2 hours in the morning between the time my husband and son leave and when I try to leave for work.  No excuses Amy, no excuses.

One Little Word:  Patience - I need to remember to have patience with my husband, my son, my colleagues, my class, and myself.  I think that I need to really slow down and be more patient in every aspect of my life.

I am also linking up with Jen over at The Teacher's Cauldron  for a New Year's Resolutions Linky Party.

For this super fun linky party, Jen is asking bloggers to identify just two resolutions - one personal and one for blogging.

Personal:  My personal goal is to get my house organized this year.  Yesterday, I cleaned out my son's closet, and it felt so good!  I am not kidding when I say there were years and years of clothes in there.  Some clothes were 3T and 4T.  My son wears a 10 right now.  I was so disappointed that I let it get to that point.  Throughout the year, I want to gradually go through the whole house.  I know that this won't happen quickly, but I know if I stick to it, I can get this place organized.  :)

Blogging:  I want to set up a blogging schedule.  I know this may not seem like much to you, but it will be big for me.  I kind of feel like I haven't lived up to my expectations for my blog.  I found a great inspiration for a blog calendar on Pinterest (where else?  lol).  I want to use this as a starting point for my own blog calendar.

Original Source
Thank you to Farley and Jen for the great Linkys!

Thanks for stopping by on this last day of 2012!  I hope that you have a fun and safe New Year!

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Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

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A Twist on an Old Favorite & A Pic of Dad's Truck

For many years my bestie and I did the turkey family project.  The students took home a construction paper turkey and decorated it with their families.  This was such a fun project!  We loved seeing how each family chose to decorate their turkey.

Last year we decided to change it up.  We were in a new grade level, and we thought that it would be the perfect time to change tradition.  We chose to send home cornucopias home instead.  We were so impressed with how well they came out!  So when November came around again, we sent home the packet and here are the results.  Love them!

You may have read about the fire that destroyed my parents' garage last night.  I talked to my dad tonight, and he was in a pretty good mood all things considered.  He's just happy that the fire was caught fairly quickly.  I thought I would share a pic of my dad's truck {or what's left of it}.  I see shopping for a new truck {and building a garage} in Dad's future.

Just a reminder that the big sale is still going on at Teachers Pay Teachers.  My entire store is on sale for 20% off and with TpT's code, cmt12, you can get an extra 10% off for a total of 28% off.  Happy Shopping!

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Numbers 0-10 and Goodbye to Some Family History

My class and I have been working hard on numbers 0-10.  I introduced ten frames and tally marks previously, and I wanted to put it all together.  That lead me to make our Numbers 0-10 book.  For each number, we wrote the numeral, drew pictures that matched the number, made a ten frame, made tally marks, and wrote the number word.  This project took quite a few days, but it looked great when it was done!

You can get a copy of the cover and inside page by clicking the picture below.  You will need to make 11 copies of the inside page.

Border by Scrappin Doodles

On a completely different note, I got a frantic phone call from my mother today.  We were having a great time putting up our Christmas tree and the phone rang.  My mom was crying and all I thought of was my grandma who went into the hospital last Sunday with pneumonia.  Turns out their garage was on fire.  My parents live on the farm that my dad grew up on.  There are so many outbuildings and trees that could have burnt down, not to mention the farmhouse.  Thankfully, the only casualty was the garage and my dad's truck.  My dad told me later that the fire almost reached the barn {The barn is my absolute favorite thing on the farm.  I even planned my wedding around that barn.}  My brother is a sheriff's deputy and was on duty when the 911 call came in.  The dispatcher sent him out right away.  I can't imagine what his thoughts were as he was driving out there.  I am so thankful that my parents are ok, and that this happened during the day.  It could have been devastating.  My dad is going to take pictures for me tomorrow.  I know I will be sad to see something that has a lot of family history gone.  I still picture my grandpa's truck parked right where my dad's truck probably was.  Thanks for listening {reading?} about my scare of the day.  I know it doesn't have anything to do with teaching, but I needed to get that out.
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Classroom Pics, A Sale, and a Freebie

I know, I know.  I didn't quite get back "later that week"  to post pics.  I'm sorry.  I have come to redeem myself with a freebie, and hopefully get back into the swing of things.  Hold on, this may be a little long.

First up are my classroom pictures.  These are pictures from the beginning of the year, so things have changed a little since 30 little Kinders have joined the room.  {Btw, my 30 little Kinders are the best.  I have a great class this year.  They are great listeners and are always trying their best.}

I have four crate seats for my computer table.  I am so proud of these!
They were a family affair.  My father-in-law cut the boards for me and
my husband upholstered them.  
My wall with my zebra paper.  (I had to add more papers after this picture.)
This was the first project up on the wall.  The students made Twinkle,
Twinkle, Little Star
This is my alphabet that I have up in my classroom.
I made number cards to match my alphabet cards.
I am loving my zebra and blue classroom!  My students seem to love it too!  I hope to show you even more pictures of my classroom soon.

Have you heard about the big Cyber Monday {and Tuesday} over at Teachers Pay Teachers?  Well, I am joining in and my entire store will be on sale for 20%.  TpT also has a code, cmt12, that will add an extra 10% for a total of 28% off.

Thanks to Ashley for the cute graphic!

Now, we will move onto the freebie. :)  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We celebrated with my husband's family at our house.  My husband made the best deep fried turkey - yum, yum!  We also got back to an old tradition - s'mores.  For many years, my brother-in-law and I would make s'mores after our meal.  Well, we stopped when my son started walking.  This year we brought the s'mores back with a vengeance!  Colton got to roast his very first marshmallow, and we had so much fun!

In honor of bringing back the s'mores, I made a little sight word freebie.  Click on the picture to grab your copy.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for sticking with me!  I know I haven't been the best blogger, but I am going to try to be a better one.  See you soon!
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Election Day Activities

Long time, no blog.  I'm not quite sure where my time went, but I am back!  I am so excited to get back to my little blog!  Poor thing feels so neglected.

I plan on sharing some pictures of my classroom later this week, but I wanted to share what we did today in class.  Tomorrow, of course, is the election.  We have a Staff Development Day due to the schools being used as polling sites, so today we had a little election in our classroom.

The first thing that we did was read this great book.  I just love Duck and all the antics he gets into.

After the story, the students made their own Voter Registration Cards.  We discussed how adults have to register in order to vote.  The students did such a great job on their cards!  You can find them here.

Next, it was time to vote.  Students brought their Voter Registration cards over when I called their table to vote.  They then took a ballot to make their choice between Duck and Farmer Brown.  One student was so cute.  He couldn't decide who he wanted to vote for.  The pen went back and forth many times.  Loved it!  Each student received a "I voted today" sticker when they were done.  They were so proud to wear them!  The students waiting to be called to vote colored this Election Day picture.  

After our specials, we tallied our votes to see who won.  You can get my graph here {clipart by KPM Doodles}.  

Duck won!  It was close there for awhile, but Duck pulled out ahead.  I was so proud of my students.  This was the first time that they had made tally marks, and I think they did a great job!

The students were so excited as I pulled each ballot.  The ballots can be found here.  

My students and I had so much fun today learning about the voting process!  It was great finding so many resources at Teachers Pay Teachers so that I could mix and match and make it what I wanted!

I hope you have a great Election Day!

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Book Sorting and Before Classroom Pictures

 I finally finished sorting my books very late last night.  I ended up with 68 {yes 68} categories.  I was shocked to say the least.  Some of my categories are pretty pathetic though.  I only have 2 Curious George books and only 1 Earth Day book.  What in the world is up with that? At least it gave me a heads up on what books I need to buy, and which ones I have enough off.  Can we say "no more books about apples and leaves" anyone?  lol

This is what a guest room looks like with over 500 books in piles. lol 

I was also finally able to go into school and get my keys.  I took some "Before" pictures to share with you.  Be sure to notice my plethora of doors.  {Side note:  I just love the word plethora.  lol}

Door 1:  Closet
Door 2: Out to playground 
Door 3:  Out  to playground
Door 4: Closet
Door 5:  To girl's bathroom
Door 6:  To hallway
Door 7:  To hallway
Door 8:  To boy's bathroom 

I'm so excited that I get to start putting my room back together tomorrow!
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Back to School Jitters Linky Party

Happy Monday everyone!  Today has been quite the productive day for me.  I worked on my book sorting project, and I made my ABC and numbers posters. Apparently I work well under pressure!  Our first "official" day back is the 22nd, but we will be able to get into our classrooms this Friday.  I can't wait to get started!

Today I am joining Jessica at A Turn to Learn in her Back to School Jitters Linky Party.  First Day Jitters is one of my favorite back to school books!  I love how it shows students that teachers are people who get nervous too.  Click on the picture below to hop over and check out this fun linky.

Back to School Jitters Linky Party

Here is my list of back to school jitters. {Love the Lego guy icons.  I was immersed in Legos last week at Legoland.  :) }

*Every year I get so excited to see my class list.  I love to see if I have any families from the past.  Last year I had a little girl that I knew from when she was 2 and her brother was in my class.  This year I know that I have a boy whose sister was in my class a few years ago.  {I haven't actually seen my list.  They caught me at the grocery store.  haha}

*I want to be organized this year.  I say it every year, but this year I am going to be organized.  I have a plan in mind.  Let's see if I can stick with it.  :)

*I am in love with my new blue and zebra theme this year!  I love my pillows for my library area, my book bins, my alphabet line, etc.  Can't wait to put it all together!

*I became a teacher to teach children.  I think sometimes I let other "stuff" get in the way of that.  My main goal this year is to stay focused on my students and their learning.  I feel that if we step back and remember why we became teachers in the first place, we will find that the "stuff" is not so important.  {I hope that this isn't too cryptic or a downer.  I just needed to get that out. :) }

Jump over to A Turn to Learn to join the Back to School Jitters party!
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Baby Giraffe Cuteness

I mentioned in yesterday's post that our family had just returned from San Diego.  One of our stops in San Diego was the zoo.  I have very fond memories of going to the Topeka Zoo growing up.  I loved seeing the animals and learning all about them.  Well, I wanted Colton to have the same kind of memories.  Turns out, he's not into animals.  :(

We walked around the zoo for a little while.  Colton basically took about a second to look at each animal and then he wanted to move on.  We finally decided to take the bus tour so that Mommy would at least be able to see most of the animals.  Colton decided that we were going to sit on top of the double decker bus.  We got our seats and we were off.  As the bus driver/tour guide drove us around the park, we realized that we sat on the wrong side.  All but one of the animals were on the right side.  We sat on the left.  Yes, you could stand up to check out the animals, but it was difficult to see over all of the other people.  I told my husband that I was kind of disappointed and that next time we should sit on the other side.  Not more than a minute after I made that comment, we came up to the giraffes on our side.  I was so happy to be able to see them well.  Turns out we had the best seats in the house.  That morning a baby giraffe was born.  Our tour guide told us we would probably not see the baby.  A second later we saw this cute little guy {or girl - they didn't know yet} come from the building with his mother!  Your should have heard all of the excitement.   I have to say that this is probably one of the cutest things that I have ever seen!

Well, yesterday I couldn't get that cute baby giraffe out of my mind.  I remembered seeing a giraffe clip art picture at My Cute Graphics and I just knew I had to do something with it.  I came up with numeral, number word, and tens frame matching cards for numbers 0-10.  I also included two skills sheets.  One sheet has the students coloring in a tens frame to match a numeral and the other has the students cutting out number words to match to tens frames.  You can get the packet {here}.

Also, don't forget about the big Back to School Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!  My store is 20% off today and tomorrow!  Use the code BTS12 to get an extra 10% off my sales price for a total of 28%.

Thanks again to A Turn to Learn!

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