Saturday, October 13, 2012

She's alive... Currently.

Hey, yo!

I'm still here.

I have just enough time to log on to Blogger {every once in a while} and read a few posts, but not enough time to do any posting, myself. Not only that, but every time I think, "Oh, hey, I should do some blogging," I get blogger's block.

I'm sure you've had it.

It's kinda like when you are given a writing assignment in school and you get writer's block because you have no idea where to start. But I think it's worse. Because you, as a blogger, write on a semi-frequent-ish basis {sometimes}, and you started a blog because you had the desire to do so, for some weird reason. And other people will probably look at it and read some of it at some point, so there's more pressure.

For me, it goes like this......

I have free time?!
Yay! Internet!
I should blog!
What should I say?
I should share a resource!
What resource?
Have I created anything lately? Oh, what about....
Wait... Can I even post that as a freebie or will copyright law get me arrested and take all of my money?
Hahaha... all my money... good one, Claire!
Oh, I know! I should tell a cute story about a student!
Hey, that's a good one.... wait. No. That's not funny enough.
I bet it was a "had-to-be-there" moment and no one will like it.
I should go to bed...

Anyway, I've been hanging out at the hubby's grandpa's house all weekend now, and I've done every bit of work I could possibly do for school at this point, so I started playing pinterest, which lead me to some good bloggy resources for school, and I realized that it's October. And that Farley posted her new Currently!

 Let me break it down for you....

I'm listening to the Tigers game... Listening, not watching. The hubs is watching, along with his uncle and grandpa. So, obviously, I am playing around on the Internet. Also, one of the players (or someone) has a name that kinda sounds like Voldemort. Every time I hear it, I do a double take. Haha!

I love my hubby! J continues to tolerate my lack of housekeeping skills, still tells me how proud he is and that I'm wonderful, and still wants to snuggle with me. Score!

And I love my new school friends. Basically, the staff at school rocks. I have no complaints about any one of them! And I'm kind of a complainer, so that's really awesome. But really, I love my 5th grade team and the other teachers & paras I've been able to get to know are all super fun and sweet and helpful and supportive. Like a really amazing bra, but funner.

I have not procrastinated at all today! 
Check this out... 
I graded assessments
entered grades online
went through my class' behavior points to see who earned behavior rewards last week
made a rubric for another assessment
found some cool resources online
planned out next week's schedule
and I read through the science curriculum & experiment breakdown that I'll be teaching for the next week.
Woot woot! I am thinking I should treat myself to a new purse. Or a new phone. Which leads me to...

I'm really wanting to trade in my lame-o phone for something that doesn't make me feel like an 11-year-old. When anyone with an iPhone replies all to a text, my phone can't open it! And sometimes when I get a regular text it just blocks out all the letters and replaces them with empty boxes. Yeah. I feel like I'm in the dark ages. I know this isn't twitter, but..... #newworldproblems. Right?

I really need to join a gym. I try so hard to watch what I eat. Ok, that is a lie. Sometimes I try. Sometimes I don't. Seriously though, I haven't been good lately. And while I haven't actually gained any much weight, at least according to the numbers on the bathroom scale, I'm just feeling like I have. You know what I mean?

I have been really bad about eating crappy food lately. And I'm not working out at all anymore. Last week, my teammate, Katie, dragged took me to the gym with her. It was so fun! I remembered that I really do like working out and I love the feeling good thing that happens afterward. I just don't have a good place at home to Shred it with Jillian or do Yoga with Denise Austin. And until now I couldn't justify paying for a gym membership. While planning for our work-out date, I figured I'd join the gym Katie goes to, but then I realized that the location would only be good for going before (ha!) or after work, and would be really inconvenient otherwise.... so then I'd have to drive almost 30 minutes to work out on a non-school day. Not ideal, right? Anyway, I'm thinking I'll suck it up and find a gym to join closer to my house.

The Fall/Halloween/October book that I love best is Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I've been planning on using it as my next class read-aloud in celebration of Halloween. I think it's really good, and a little creepy, and I think that reading it aloud during the school day would be less spooky than reading a scary book at home. The kids were really excited when I told them my plan. Right now, we're half-way though The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis. They love this one, too, and so do I. I highly recommend it!

I'll end my post with a funny quote from one of my students yesterday...

The day after I worked out with Katie, I was holding my hands up above my head, using a time-out signal (my silent attention-getting signal for the class). The kids were taking forever to respond with a time-out signal of their own, so I said, "Fifth graders, I am still looking for 100%... Mrs. B made me work out with her yesterday and my arms are getting tired."

Then one of my 5th grade boys said, in all seriousness, "It takes my mom a lot to finally go work out..."

I almost died laughing inside, but managed to say, "Oh, C, please don't ever say that to your mother."

The end.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 2, Currently

So, this was my second week in the classroom as a full time teacher. I'm loving it, but, man, I'm exhausted.
I'm still getting organized and what not, and I'm about to start writing up my first science unit so I can submit it to my supervisors in the next few days. This weekend will be busy.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the lack off interesting posts, but I know you are understanding. :)

I will attempt to make up for it by linking up for Farley's September Currently!

I've been all about Friends lately. Sadly, I haven't been home early enough to watch the evening reruns, and the late-night ones don't come on til 11:00! :(

J has been so wonderful and supportive and understanding! Today, he helped me make lunches... yeah, I know, crazy. Love him.

My feet freaking hurt! None of my shoes thus far are going to cut it if I want to keep this job... I still haven't found a teacher chair, and I'm still figuring out how to best utilize the space in my room. Also, I think my days of wearing flats, especially my super duper flat sandals are over.... Dr. Scholl's here I come.
Now that I go to bed at the same time as a 10-year-old {should}, I am going to have to accept that I won't be able to watch basically ANY of my shows anymore. :(
I'll have to catch up by using my Papa's On Demand while I visit over there... lol.
I think I might invest in some cable with DVR or On Demand capabilities in the next couple months...
I was up far too late last night watching Parenthood. SO GOOD! But it was so hard to get up this morning... hence the need for DVR. :)
I've been all into chocolate, coffee and snuggle time with the hubby this week. There's coffee & basket of Hershey kisses in the lounge, and an over sized bag of M&Ms in my desk, just in case. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The BIG Reveal!!!

I am SO. TIRED. And my feet hurt. I need to find better shoes.

I have no time for a quality post, buuuut......

I thought I'd share a few pictures of my 5th grade classroom! :)

It wasn't 100% finished when I took these, but it's close enough.


Welcome to my rooooom!
Back of the room.... turn in baskets (I snagged those drawers for free, but the person didn't have the frame... sad), mailbox files and my super cute reflector vest for arrival/dismissal. Haha.

Teacher corner. Note my crayon project on the wall. :)

Word walls on the cabinets... ignore the boxes, please. :)

Reading nook, science bulletin board, moral focus b-board.
Class jobs chart... the kids' numbers are written on some super cute owls, and it looks awesome now!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Social: Days of Summer

The end of summer is always a happy-sad time for me.
  On one hand, summer-fun is over... :(
On the other, it's back to school time.
I can't believe school starts in TWO days! And I'm going back as a TEACHER this time!! Wweee! I'm super excited! :)
The past four days {has it really only been four days??} have been CRAZY... I've been trying to catch up on the PD I missed, trying to get familiar with some of the curriculum, setting up my classroom, and attending meetings. I spent almost my entire Saturday at school working... and I dragged some family in to help. Today I have to do laundry {like, really bad} and some other things at home, and tomorrow it's back to the school building with the hubby to finish up.
Anyway, I'm taking a break from my to-do list to link up with Ashley for a summer edition of Sunday Social.

Sunday Social
1. What was your favorite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
Shoot, this is really hard! I had a really fun summer this year, much better than last... last summer J was going through the fire academy, so we basically didn't do much of anything.

Anyway, I think my favorite trip would be camping up north with Justin! The couple time was so nice, and we had so much fun together!

A very close second would be taking my niece out for her first boat ride. She LOVED it! And she loved playing in the lake, too. Super fun. :)

2. What was your favorite outfit look of the summer/clothing item?
The lace-detailed tops! Love it!

And the bright, neon colors. Those were fun, too.

3. What is one thing you wish you had gotten to do this summer?
Visit my grandparents up north... my sister and I kept saying we'd go together with our families, but then we never did. :(
4. What was your favorite song of the summer?
Haha. I was in teeny-bopper mode most of the summer... Not all summer, but a lot of it. Here are some of my jams...

Some Nights by Fun
Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
Give Your Heart a Break by Demi Lovato (She looks so old now!)
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift

This is such a fun car-dancing song... even though the story is actually a little sad for the majority of it.
5. What was your favorite movie/tv show of the summer?
The Dark Night Rises
The Amazing Spiderman
I also watched a lot of Friends & The Office reruns. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Linking up with Jamie @ This Kind Of Love for

Here's what I'm loving this week...

I'm loving... THAT I GOT A JOB!!! Eeeek!! Tuesday, the day after I had the crazy interview, the school called and offered me the position! I'm going to be a 5th grade teacher! :) I couldn't believe that they called so soon after I went in. I am SO SO SO excited!! A little bit freaked out, too... I mean, school starts in 6 days and I have ZERO things ready, except random little things, and I've missed so much PD and all the staff meetings.... SO much to do.... and I can't go in until Thursday! Yikes!

I'm loving... my sweet hubby, family and friends for all their support and prayers!

I'm loving... that my hubby was so excited for me that he announced it all over FB before I could even think to do it. He stole my thunder! Haha!

I'm loving... that "What Makes You Beautiful" song by One Direction... bahahah. I can't get it out of my head! Oh, and also the Demi Lovato one, "Give Your Heart A Break." I'm in teeny-bopper mode these days...

I'm loving... that I get to spend the next week preparing for MY VERY OWN CLASSROOM, even if it means that my up-north mini-vacay this weekend will be cut short.

I'm loving... my cute niece. :)

Yeah, she stopped "reading" the book {upside down} to say "Sheeeeeeezzze!!"

What are you loving this week?!?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Crazy morning!!

This is how my day started:
8:00 - Wake up (late) for work... quickly get ready
8:30(ish?) - Stare at Bradley Cooper on The Today Show.... *le sigh*
8:35 Make a mental note: Must. See. Bradley. Cooper. Movies.
8:45 - Leave for the office
9:10 - Get to work... Yay! No Traffic! Boot up my computer, and open to my new emails. Get ready to make some instant oatmeal for breakfast.
9:15 - Receive the following phone call:
"Hi, is this Claire?"
"Yes, it is."
"Hi, this is Michelle from ____ ____ Academy. I'm calling to see if you would be interested in interviewing for a 5th grade ELA & Science position opened up at our building."
"Great, can you come in today, between 11am-4pm?"
"Umm... yeah, I think so."
"Tomorrow would also be ok, same time frame."
"Well, I am working at my office job today, so I will have to check with my boss when would be the best time. I will talk to her and get back to you."
"Great, thanks! We'd only need you for a half hour or so. My number is 123-4567. Let me know when you find out."
(Side note... this is the same school I interviewed at earlier this summer before school got out, but I didn't get the job then. Apparently someone resigned.)
9:25 - Talk to my boss about the best time to go. Decide to do it earlier and come back to work later.
9:35 - Call Michelle back. Schedule 12:30 interview.
9:40 - Google Map directions to the school & print.
9:45 - Forget the directions on the printer, and head back home.
10:10 - Get home. Print up a lesson plan sample, make some copies of my credentials, and Google "5th grade science ideas." Get excited that Ellen is on!
10:20 - Pin & read some 5th grade science ideas & activities.
10:25 - Visit school website and read up on the science curriculum, school philosophy, etc.
10:35 - Shower. Talk to myself about science instruction.
10:50 - Turn off shower. Realize I forgot to shave my legs. Turn shower back on.
10:55 - Get out of shower, finish getting ready.
11:25 - Leave for interview.
11:30 - Snag a late b-fast & coffee at Dunkin Donuts so my hands stop shaking.
11:45 - Chew gum. Talk to myself more about teaching.
11:50 - Low fuel light. Super.
12:10 - Arrive early & have a great interview (Woot woot!)
1:45 - Arrive back at the office.
1:50 - Write a thank you letter & edit 24,478 times.
{I went with email since I don't know how long it's going to be before they decide and before the letter would get there.}
2:30 - Finally email thank you letter & clock in to work.
Well, I didn't get the middle school ELA job I interviewed for last week.
I was so frustrated and discouraged that I would continue to sporadically burst into tears at random moments all weekend. I couldn't tell you how many times I prayed to find "my classroom" and to be at peace with whatever happens... I know that God's timing isn't my own, but it's just so hard to accept!
So, that phone call this morning was a welcome surprise, even though it was a little crazy... On the plus side, I didn't have time to stew and stress beforehand, so I think that was helpful.
I'm praying that this is where I am supposed to be next year. It's a brand new school and it's philosophy is nearly identical to mine. I'm trying hard not to think about it though, because neither getting excited nor preparing for a let-down have helped thus far.
Keep your fingers crossed for me, loves!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Social: The Internets

 Linking up with Ashley and Neeley for Sunday Social!
Sunday Social
This week's Sunday Social is all about fun times on the Internet!
1. What is the first website you log into each day?
Usually I start with Facebook, check my email, and then visit Pinterest or Blogger.

2. Give us some funny websites that you visit that we need to know about.
Suri's Burn Book ~ A blog written by Allie Hagan as the one and only A-List Princess: Suri Cruise. It's full of tabloid-mocking and celeb gossip... written from the perspective of a well-read and snobby almost 7-year-old. Allie's actually got a real book coming out soon, which I am very excited to read.

Hyperbole and a Half ~ She hasn't posted in a a year or so (due to some personal struggles, she is taking a break from blog-land) but it is well worth it to scroll through every one of her past posts. She's absolutely hilarious!

3. Pinterest or Facebook? Why?
This is hard!! I like them both for different reasons.
I like Facebook for the following reasons:
1) Stalking Keeping in touch with family/friends/acquaintances.
2) Procrastinating / distracting myself / wasting time.
I like Pinterest for these reasons:
1) Finding cool ideas for my future classroom... if I ever get to have one... grrr...
 2) Finding ideas for crafts and home decor.
3) Fantasizing about how cute my kids' rooms / closets / pictures / faces will be.
4) Finding cool housewifey, beauty, and organization tips.
5) Finding recipes.
6) Laughing at funny ecards and quotes
7) Saying, "Aww" or "Ugh, that's so true," about various inspirational quotes
8) Teasing myself by looking at pictures of gorgeous homes that I'll never be able to afford because of the lack of my own classroom... aka... a real teaching job.
9) Putting together a dream-closet
10) Trying to get myself motivated to exercise more.
Ok, so maybe I vote for Pinterest, mostly because it's easier to justify lost hours spent online...

4. Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Instagram. Coming up with something interesting to say on Twitter is a pretty daunting task. And taking pictures is way more fun. :)

5. Favorite YouTube video. Post it!
 I'm actually not a huge you-tuber. But I still can't pick just one!! Here are a few of my faves... :)
This one is super cool... my hubby was totally obsessed with this for a while. Lol.

These girls are so talented!! I'm wondering why they weren't on America's Got Talent... or were they? I dunno... I don't watch it. Or maybe they're not from America? Lol.

 Hellogiggles made up some pretty funny youtube videos...

Jenna Marbles is always funny... even though she's also always innapropriate....

These two are actually the first parts of some fan-fiction musicals written & performed by a group called Starkid... if you love Harry Potter and musicals, you will love these videos.
 A Very Potter Musical


A Very Potter Sequel

Yes, I realize the last 2 videos make me a mega nerd...

6. Biggest online pet peeve?
This one's easy!
1) Facebook wall / blog comment wars
2) Pop-up ads
3) Spam-mail

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Club Friday: The Nanny Diaries


Here's what I read this week...
The Nanny Diaries: A Novel
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy.
Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless-bordering on masochistic
Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived pre-schooler
Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family
Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay
Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermes bag.
Those who take it personally need not apply.

Who wouldn't want this job?

Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn't work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day.

When the Xs marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.

The Nanny Diaries deftly skewers the manner in which America's over-privileged raise les petites over-privileged-as if grooming them for a Best in Show competition. Written by two former nannies, this alternately comic and poignant satire punctures the glamour of Manhattan's upper class.

My thoughts...
When I was looking for a summary of this book, I found some pretty negative reviews, but I thought it was really good! Maybe I'm just not picky, maybe seeing the movie first made me know what to expect (to a small degree), or maybe those people were just dumb....
I laughed, I teared up... I pretty much loved this book. Anyone who loves a child will feel their heart break for Grayer as he is continually disregarded by his parents, and will have their heart warmed again by the loving bond he has with Nanny. I liked the way the main character, Nanny, narrated, as if she's simply telling the story to a friend. I also enjoyed the combo of chick-lit, social commentary and sarcasm. It's not Shakespeare, but I'd recommend it!
The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, is also very good. It does differ from the novel... the main character's name, her family situation, her school work... but it evokes just as much emotion, at least it did for me.
And so, I think you should read the book, even if you've seen the movie. And if you've read the book, you should also see the movie. The story is just that awesome.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Linking up with Jamie @ This Kind Of Love for
Here's what I'm loving this week:
I'm loving... that I have such awesome co-workers! The ladies I'm teaching summer school with are just amazing, caring and helpful... some more than others, but still. :)
I'm loving... that I have a SECOND INTERVIEW tomorrow morning for a 7th/8th grade ELA position!! I'm super excited and super nervous... Prayers and good-luck wishes appreciated! :)
 I want the position SOOOO bad! Not only will it be amazing to teach my all-time favorite subject all day er' day, but I'll be teaching at my alma mater! The principals were so nice and enthusiastic about the great things happening there, and I want to be a part of it. Not only that, but the school is just 20 minutes from my house... in the opposite direction of the usual morning rush-hour traffic!!  :)
I'm loving... that my sweet coworkers and our boss were kind enough to find a way to cover my class to let me take this interview. Like I said, they rock.
I'm loving... that summer school ends tomorrow! It's a happy-sad thing, though. I loved having my own little class and I'll miss the kids who I won't get to see anymore. We had our ice cream party today, and tomorrow is math-game day.
I'm loving... these cute signs that Teaching In Flip Flops made:

Do you think they're middle school appropriate? Neon and zebra print should be cool, right?
I'm loving... my Papa's infamous spaghetti dinners and Spumoni Ice Cream for dessert... the chocolate and pistachio parts are my fave. :)

I'm loving... SLEEP! I have been so tired lately... Last night I actually fell asleep BEFORE my husband.... CRAZY!!

What are you loving lately?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Early Finishers: "What to do when you're done" Station

I'm linking up for Monday Made It.... Visit the link to see more awesome DIY goodies!

Ok, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but it drives me a little bonkers can be quite bothersome when I'm conferencing with students 1-on-1 or working with a small group, and I have a handful of early finishers causing distractions, or saying, "I'm already finished... what do I do?"

Well, during my time subbing at various locations, I came across a classroom that had a "What to do when you're done" station.

The teacher had flash cards, brain teasers, and other options for students who finish early. I LOVED this idea!

So, I created one for my summer school class.

This is my station for early finishers. I introduced it on the first day, told them about it's purpose and when to use it, and gave the students opportunities to try it out. My rules are to keep it neat and organized, and only use it when you're 100% done with the assignment. You may work with a partner, but only if they are also 100% done.

I used some magazine boxes on clearance from Ikea to store informational magazines. The students also have books available to them, but they're not stored in the same place. I thought about adding brain teasers and math puzzles, but since it's just a month-long summer school class I thought it'd be too much. I'd definitely add those if I had a real classroom though.

I got the two baskets from Target's $1 Spot and Dollar Tree.

In one basket I have math flashcards (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division & telling time).

In the other I have flash cards with sight words for the grade levels I'm working with, and four sets of Fact Cards from Target's $1 Spot.... I have the US Presidents set, The 50 US States set, the Space set and one of the Animals sets.

Target Dollar Spot Fact Flash Cards!

I love that this center keeps the "I'm done already!" students from distracting others, that they're practicing math facts or sight words, learning something new, or just staying engaged in learning in general. Some kids are so hard to get back once they lose focus and this helps them stay on track.

I thought I'd share the new version of the sign I used for my station...

It's simple enough to create your own, but if you want/need something to get started from then this could help. Or if you want to do it exactly how I described above, that's fine, too!

Click HERE for the "What to Do When You're Done" FREEBIE!



Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Club Friday: Pretty in Plaid

Here's what I read...

Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase by Jen Lancaster

Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase
~ via


 In Pretty in Plaid, Jen Lancaster reveals how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be.

Think Jen Lancaster was always "like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?" (Jennifer Coburn) Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn't know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life-and wardrobe-before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.

The author who showed us what it was like to wait in line at the unemployment office with a Prada bag, how living in the city can actually suck, and that losing weight can be fun with a trainer named Barbie and enough Ambien is ready to take you on a hilarious and heartwarming trip down memory lane in her shoes (and very pretty ones at that).
~ via


My Thoughts...

This book was such a fun read! You should definitely read all of her books. :)

 Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite authors and every one of her memoirs is full of relatable and hilarious accounts of her life. There were many times that while reading in bed I would wake Justin up because I was laughing too loud. 

Out of all her books, I think her first, Bitter is the New Black, is still my favorite (I remember that I had a hard time reading it in public because I'd bust out laughing so often!) but this one was definitely worth the $4 I spent on it!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Interviewing & WILW!

I know I already posted today, but I'm so stinkin' excited that I just have to share.......

I have TWO interviews on Friday!!! :) :) :)

I'm SOOOO excited. One is for an elementary teacher position in the district I currently work for as an instructional para. The other is for a middle school English/Language Arts position in a different district, which is actually a little closer to my house.

I can't tell you how grateful I am. Last week I basically had a breakdown because I was so discouraged and frustrated.

Anyway, I thought I'd ask you guys...

What are your best bits of advice, tips & tricks for interviewing? Whether it's interviewing for a teaching position or any other career... I want to know! :)


I am linking up with Jamie @ This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving... that I actually have interviews this week!

I'm loving... that God answers prayers!

I'm loving... my sweet hubby for helping to clean the house... and helping me to keep it that way.

I'm loving... that we had some quality time with my dear friend Crystal & her soon-to-be hubby over the weekend. :)

I'm loving... my family's "top-secret" buttercream frosting recipe. On chocolate cake. YUM!

I'm loving... the new book I'm reading: The Nanny Diaries.

I'm loving... that I get to go camping AGAIN this weekend! It'll be our second-to-last trip of the season. Happy-sad.

What are you loving this week? 

Home-Made Dice & a Freebie: A belated Monday Made It

Ok, so I am a little pretty late on this, but I've been busy...

Here's my Monday Made It (on Wednesday) for this week... Visit the link to see more awesome DIY  goodies!

I turned these foam cubes from the Dollar Tree.....

... into FOUR SETS of my very own SILENT dice!

Yay! My very own homemade foam dice!

Blue dice are the regular #s 1-6.

Green dice are #s 7-12

Orange dice are #s 13-18

Red dice are #s 19-24

I'm sure you're wondering, "How did she do this amazing thing?!?"

Or maybe you're not... It's really super easy, and I'm definitely not the genius who thought of this. I made these a while ago and almost thought it wasn't worth posting about since it's been done, but these little guys have been SOOOOO handy in my summer school class for practicing fact recall I just had to share. Plus, I'm throwing in a FREEBIE so I know you'll be ok with it. 

So, here's what I did...

Step 1: My lovely coworker found these little guys at the Dollar Tree and shared her idea.

Step 2: Steal  Borrow the idea from my coworker to make dice.

Step 3: Take them home to make while watching The Bachelorette.

Step 4: Open the package.

Step 5: Separate the dice by color. (The package comes with 50 cubes, almost the same number of each color.)

Step 6: Write numbers on dice using black permanent marker... Again, in case you missed it, I made the blue dice the regular #s 1-6; green dice are #s 7-12; orange dice are #s 13-18; red dice are #s 19-24. Oh, and underline your 6s and 9s so your students don't confuse the two, or claim they confused the two so they don't have to practice one or the other.

Step 7: Put each set of dice in their own separate baggies and label them.


So easy, right?! And they only cost $1.00 + sales tax + marker ink + 10-20 mins.

I only messed up a couple, so maybe I have 48 instead of 50 dice, and yes, I got some black marker ink on my hands. But, it was so worth it. They make NO NOISE and are great for math fact practice!

I use these games at my Math Facts station for math workshop almost every day. Unless I'm doing the cube toss games instead. The kids really enjoy both activities a whole lot more than a plain old worksheet.

I usually use the blue and green (1-6 and 7-12) dice to practice multiplication.

So then the orange and red (13-18 and 19-24) are for adding and subtracting... and I also use the blue and green for add/sub sometimes, too. Best part?? Either way you combine the dice sets, they need to regroup at least some of the time. :)

The Multiplication Dice Roll Game in action...

I'm still working on how to do division practice with dice.... Any ideas??? It's looking like it'll take a lot of planning and certain dice for each dividend. Like, have a dice with only multiples of  3, and another dice with numbers to divide it by? But, it could get too "easy" if the answer was always 3...

Seriously, any ideas or suggestions would be helpful! :)

Anyway, below you'll find a link to my set of my recording sheets for the dice roll games.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How do you plan?


Ok, so, how do I plan?

Well, it kind of depends on what I'm teaching and what kind of documentation I need to have for future reference or for data/record keeping purposes.

I always make up a weekly or daily plan sheet and I keep it on my teacher clipboard so I can reference it or tweak it at anytime, and so I can document what I did for future reference. This helps me manage my time, keep to the schedule, and helps me remember who goes to see what other teacher when. :)

Generally, I like to develop a skeleton plan of some sort to keep my long-term plans. If I'm planning a unit, sometimes it's just a bullet list of the things I need to cover each week and sometimes it's a more detailed "Day 1 - Some-kind-of Activity" description.

As far as daily lesson go, if I have a teacher's manual I get a little crazy with the sticky notes so I know what to do and what order to do it in. Plus, when I get to the lesson the next year, I already have an outline of what I did. I can also jot down what did/didn't work as I go!

If there's no TE I just put more details on my daily plan page.

For the intervention job I have now, I need to document everything per the government's standards for the program. So, my lesson plans are formally written out and are pretty detailed. Like college.
Yeah, fun.

And the winner is...

 It's time to announce the winner of my VERY FIRST giveaway! I'd say it was quite the success!

Before I disclose... I want to say thank you to Fern, Heather and Cindy for helping me out with this! :) You ladies are wonderful!

Here's what they donated to the cause:

Fern from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas donated a math center game to teach or review multiplying by 2s and 4s, called "Go Gator - Doubles & Double Your Doubles" from her TPT store!

Heather, from Heather's Heart, donated any TWO ITEMS of the winner's choice from her TPT store!

Heather's heart

AND Cindy, from All Things Teachery, donated one item, ANY ITEM, of the winner's choice from her TPT Store!


Can I get a drum roll, please...

... the winner is ...


Congrats, Sara!!
Check your email, lady! :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday, Friday

Friday Letters with Ashley...


Dear Bloggie Friends… I appreciate you so much! :) Thanks for following and entering my first ever giveaway! I'm choosing the winner in just a few days, and she'll be the recipient of FOUR free Teachers Pay Teachers products made by some lovely teacher bloggers, and a Target gift card, from me!

Dear Hubby… I’m excited for our “Date-Night-In” tonight! And, I love you!

Dear Public Library Near My Work… Thank you for having a constant “Friends of the Library” Book Sale and allowing me to get a new-to-me book for the low, low price of $ .50. Justin can’t be mad that I’m adding to my collection if it only costs us $ .50! That’s less than a Twix bar. {Mmmm ,Twix…} Plus, I can read this book many times. You can only eat a Twix bar once... So, it’s obviously way worth it.

Dear Self… Thanks for sleeping weird last night. The pain in my neck just makes today that much sunnier.

Dear 15ish Jobs That I Applied for This Week… *waving hands frantically in the air* Oooh! Oooh! Pick me, pick me! Pick me! PICK! ME!

Dear Coffee… You got so cold, so fast today. Sad. :(

Dear Self {again}… Think of something better to write on your blog. Ready. Set. Go.

Dear Olympics… You’re the only athletic event I look forward to catching on TV… You’re also the only one that could make me inadvertently tear up.

Dear Weekend… I need you to come around more frequently and for longer periods of time. This 2-day business isn’t working out for me.

Dear Crystal… I’m so excited to hang out with you this weekend!!!! I love when we get to be real friends. :)

Dear Self {again again}… Paint your toenails this weekend. A home-made, half-hearted attempt at color blocking only looks good for so long.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's ok!

Time to link up with Neely and Amber!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

* that Justin had to go out and buy two new bookshelves to accommodate my collection of personal and classroom books.

* that I'm still not done organizing the aforementioned books.

* to shamelessly plug my giveaway... Check out this post to see the grand prizes and to enter!

* that I haven't been home before 8:45pm since Sunday.

* that I'd rather relax and read my book instead of clean the house when I do finally get home

* that I apparently ran out of inspiration this week so all I've done is linky parties. Oops... :)

* that I've applied for every. single. classroom teacher opening within a one-hour radius. Shouldn't the fact that I'm willing to drive an hour (or more considering rush hour traffic) show how desperate dedicated I am to this profession?

* And it's ok... Ok, that's a lie. I'm trying to be ok with the fact that I've only had one interview this summer and I'm still looking for a full time teaching job.

I am determined to keep a positive attitude about this excruciating, frustrating and discouraging job hunt.

I want to be at peace with what happens because I know I'm supposed to be where ever God puts me, whether it's where I wanted to be or not.

What's ok with you this week?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I'm Loving

Linking up with Jamie @ This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday... I haven't done one of these in a while!

Here's what I'm loving this week:

I'm LOVING... that I'm celebrating a follower milestone this week with a giveaway!! Check out this post to see the grand prizes and to enter: Hooray!! It's a 75 follower giveaway!

I'm LOVING... the book I'm reading, Pretty In Plaid by Jen Lancaster. She basically rocks. It was a happy/sad feeling when I found this {hardcover} book in an 80% off bin at Walmart! Happy because it was only $4, sad because I love her writing!

I'm LOVING... my summer school class! I'm teaching fractions to a bunch of 3rd and 4th graders. AND I LOVE IT! Who knew teaching fractions would be so fun!? Seeing all these "aha-moments" is the BEST!

I'm LOVING... my sweet hubby for rubbing my back last night after a long day of work, followed by a physical training session at the fire department. :)

I'm LOVING... Dunkin Doughnuts coffee. It's so hard to go without...

I'm LOVING... that my co-worker and I are moving to a bigger room next year at school! Fingeres crossed we won't even have to share a computer this time!

I'm LOVING... my church family and that our VBS is going so well this week! It's the first time our church as hosted a VBS in several years. And it's very much our own... no pre-planned curriculum! Between all our volunteers, we made up the whole theme/decor, lesson plans, crafts, and planned the games! We originally expected about 20 kids... we have over 30!! I'm coordinating the "whole-group games" with the help of another woman and the teen group... on the first day I said to the teen group, "So... you guys are my helpers, right? You like to run? Good. Because I don't." Haha.

I'm LOVING... my new Chi Bling hair dryer from Emily! I won it in one of her awesome giveaways. Check out her blog... she's always got something good going on!

I'm LOVING... the Target sandles that I've been wearing all summer.

These were on clearance for $5.00 when I got them!! Not exactly great for arch support or long walks, but they're fun!

Women's Target® Exclusive Flat Sandal - Pink.Opens in a new window

These are also not super supportive, but they go with everything and the price was worth it!

Women's Merona® Esma Sandal - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window

These are my fav... they're comfortable and I always get complements on them!

Women's Merona® Esta Flat Sandal w/ Flowers - Assorted.Opens in a new window

What are you loving this week??