Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions: Fitness

Today's fitness resolutions start off as a fail.  Just warning you.  I actually went to the gym yesterday.  It was the first time back in a long time.  I used to run everyday, run 5Ks, attend spin class twice a week, lift weights, etc.  I was pretty buff and fit! got in the way.  :P  I get SO wrapped up in school from about August-December.  It's awful.  Everything else gets shoved to the side.  Then Christmas break rolls around and I reevaluate.  And here we are.  :)

Where to start?  Well, let's just say I want to get back in the habit of working out.  I've always found that the first week is often the hardest.  Then it's like a drug...your body just gets addicted to it and you HAVE to have it!  It's kind of wonderful, actually.  :)

I DEFINITELY want to hit up some more 5Ks!  I LOVE them!  I want to try to beat my time with each one I run this year.  That means training starts stat.  A.K.A. Tomorrow.

This is the biggest area I need to commit myself!  EATING.  Omg.  I love food.  But it hates me.  I just can't eat like I used to without it catching up to me.  ;)  That means I need to plan more trips to Whole Foods and Earth Fare!

I'll be back tomorrow to hit the rewind button and post the things I missed.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolutions: Downtime

Well hello there!  Long time no see!  I kind of took the last couple weeks off to get all my last school days through, shopping and wrapping done, and spend some sweet time with my family.  I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas!  We go back to school on WEDNESDAY.  :(  Booo!  I don't want to go back!  I do, but not yet.  I need a few more days to prepare some things.  :/  When do you go back?

So I'm going to jump in and team up with some bloggy friends and blog about my resolutions for the upcoming year!  I LOVE starting a new year.  It's SO refreshing and fun.  So I'm starting a bit late on this, so I'm going to start with where I need to and then in the following days go back and hit the ones I missed.  :)

Goals for Downtime!  Downtime?  What's that?  Maybe that's where I should start.  I need to carve out some time to just BE.  Relax, read , do something I love, take a bath, or whatever will qualify as ME TIME.

Spend more time with family!  I have the sweetest little family and my goal is to spend more time with them.  Maybe that means having a movie night at home, going out to dinner as a family, going swimming at the Y, or going to the zoo.  Or maybe it's just all snuggling for a few hours on a Saturday morning!

I have such a love for doing creative things, but I always find an excuse that I don't have time.  My newest found love is beading!  A friend of mine got me hooked on these Swarovski crystal beads.  Well, over Christmas break I decided just to learn how to make them myself.  I *LOVED* doing it!  It was sooooo relaxing and I loved just doing something for myself.  I also love to paint!  My playroom is flooded with painted canvases by moi.  It's such a neat personal touch.  I really want to get better!  And finally, with my fancy camera, I've taken a newfound interest in photography!  I love trying things out and looking at shots I've taken (like the flowers below).  All the photos below are things I've created.

With Pinterest, there's no excuse that I don't know what to cook.  ;)  Actually, I'm blogging and munching on some AMAZING buffalo chicken dip right now!  The few things I've made from Pinterest have been WONDERFUL.  And I just don't cook.  :(  I'm a bad wife.  But it works out, because hubby LOVES to cook!  I still want to get better at it.  Below are a couple pics I've found of yumminess that I've actually made.

Being outdoors is SOOOOOOOOOO refreshing!  Yes, even in winter.  Especially in winter.  I hate winter.  I mean, there are few things I hate more.  I hate spiders more, but that's probably it.  But I think the reason I hate it so much is because I'm stuck indoors all the time!  So if this snow ever gets cleared, I want to try to go on a weekly walk/run through my neighborhood.  Once spring and summer roll around, I want to make it a daily habit!  Oh, and a pool membership is definitely important this summer.  :)

Finally, the deepest love I have of all things downtime related is READING!  I love, love, love, love, love, love to read!  I have an ABUNDANCE of books.  I recently had to buy a bigger bookshelf, because they just didn't fit on the one I had.  I have 3 books sitting on my nightstand right now, waiting to be read.  Actually, I have 4.   I have a new devotional book ready to go for the new year.  I'm going to knock them out in 2013!  And hopefully more once I finish these. ;)

I will be back tomorrow with Fitness Goals!  

What downtime resolutions do you have?  What do you like to do (outside of school) when you have free time?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

Love to all as we reach, teach, and protect our babies.  My deepest thoughts and prayers are with Newtown, Connecticut.  May the Lord bring peace and healing to those affected.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who DOESN'T want a Nook Color???

I wish I had one!  But you actually have a better chance than I do.  :)  Wanna know why?  Because a bunch of us have teamed up to pull together ONE. AWESOME. GIVEAWAY!  And the grand prize? That's right.  A NOOK COLOR HD!!!!  What a cool Christmas present that could be for yourself!

It gets even better!  Even if you don't win the grand prize, you still have a shot at winning LOTS of free goodies donated from various bloggers!  I know I'm using tons of exclamation points, but I'm super-excited about this giveaway.  ;)  So how does one enter, you might ask?  Easy.  Head on over to and enter through the Rafflecopter!  You can earn a total of 27 entries.  I'm done blabbing for now, because you need to get over there and enter!  :P  GOOD LUCK!!!!

I'm giving away a copy of my December Math Centers - CC Aligned!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gingerbread Man: Escape Route!

My firsties did the cutest project today!

We made escape routes for our gingerbread men!  I gave them an oven and gingerbread man to cut out.  I cut a slit in the opening of the oven so they could stick him in to make him look like he was peeking out.  They glued a red hot for a nose and used sprinkles for the buttons.

Then they did a little procedural writing to show their plan.  Each student was given a map to fill in with 4 empty boxes to show the obstacles the gingerbread man must pass.  Of course, I had some who wrote, "Go past the toilet."  Ha.  I love first grade humor.  :P

And a word of advice:  Be sure to glue the legs to the back so the poor gingerbread man doesn't fall through!

You can find this cute little craftivity at my store for only $2!  Click on the picture to check out it!

Short and sweet tonight, folks!  Oh, and you should swing by a new store!  A friend and co-worker has uploaded a few things.  She has a DARLING activity about Rory the Reindeer.  He's a cousin of Rudolph and he has superpowers!  They get to go through the writing process and plan out the character of Rory.  I can't wait to do it with my kiddos!  CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday + Tuesday Sale!

Y'all...I am SERIOUSLY pumped about this sale.  My shopping cart is FULL of goodies that I can't WAIT to get my hands on!  I'm so giddy right now...

So if you're in a shopping mood, swing on by my Teachers Pay Teachers store to enjoy 28% of all products!  Enjoy and have fun shopping!

I'm linking up with the 3AM Teacher for her Cyber Sale Linky!  There are soooo many great sales going on!


And I JUST made the deadline to upload my new December Math Centers!

My December Reading Intervention Kit is also up!  This is really helping my low kids.

Check out all these fabulous people participating!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Go Bucks!

In honor of the biggest rivalry, I'm throwing a 20% sale for today only!

My Store

Thanks to Lisa, from Fourth and Ten for the image! She's throwing a sale, too, so check her out! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CARPET! Reading Intervention! Thanksgiving Feast!

I have to say I am so thankful for Thanksgiving break!  It was one long day.  Another teacher and I were talking about the 3 longest, most painful days of the school year:  the day before Christmas break, the last day of school, and the day before Thanksgiving break.

I left school and went and got a manicure with a sweet teacher friend of mine.  Much deserved, if I do say so myself. ;)

Tomorrow I'm headed to Michigan to head to the grandparents.  My son and I are headed up in the morning and the hubs is heading up Thursday morning (he works tomorrow night...night shift...working for a Budweiser distribution center and loading up trucks...yuck...).  Are there any bloggy friends in MI?  I know this is totally last second, but we could get together for coffee tomorrow somewhere around Detroit!  Yeah, it's late.  This probably won't work.  I'll plan better next time. ;)  I guarantee I'll head up again in the summer at some point.  Besides, I live in Ohio.  You live in Michigan.  Technically, we can't be friends this week.  Hey, I don't make the rules.


Ok, onto all things teacher-related.

First of all, on Tuesday afternoon, I had the biggest surprise!!!!  At least I think it was days now run together.  Anyways, my firsties INSISTED on doing their morning work at their new carpet!  When they came in they went straight to the carpet and sat down.  I had to ask them to remove their coats and get out their morning work.  Seriously.


Today we had our annual 1st Grade Thanksgiving Feast in the hallway.  I stayed up last night making popcorn and cranberry muffins.  At least they ate it all.  Our class was designated as Pilgrims, so we spent all morning and afternoon making our garb.  Then after music we shut the doors and let the feast begin!

I've mentioned this before, but I teach the 1st grade Reading Intervention class.  We meet once a day for an extra 30-minutes of reading instruction.  This is in ADDITION to the Title I services they receive.  So basically, they're taught reading skills in the classroom, in Title for an extra 30 minutes, and then another 30 minutes for RI.  I take the bottom 10 or so kiddos in the 1st grade.  These are the ones that are in jeopardy of repeating.

We keep data with AIMSWeb, if any of you are familiar with that program.  My kiddos are tested weekly with AIMSWeb for progress monitoring.  I have really started to try and target the skills that they are assessed on.

I give you...READING INTERVENTION KITS!  That's right, folks.  I have 5 sets of materials to target all the necessary early literacy skills for the firsties.  Nonsense words, rhyming words, letter recognition, phoneme segmentation, and fluency.  I make all the cards based around the same idea for each month.  I just switch them up a tad so that they get exposed to different words, sounds, phrases, etc.  And it's always fun to change up the graphics so they're not staring at the same thing for weeks and weeks and weeks.

For nonsense words, I made nonsense word cards (6 for each short vowel).

I've suggested 4 different games/activities for each target area to use with the cards.  On this particular day, we used the nonsense word cards and sat in a circle.  I played music (Ohio State marching band IS football season, after all!) and the kids passed their card clockwise around the circle.  When the music stopped, they had to read the card that they ended up holding.  They LOVED this!

Another day we played with rhyming words.  I made a T-Chart with two words (in this case, "cat" and "dog") and gave each of the kids a word card. They had to decide if it rhymed with "cat" or "dog".  They came up and stuck it on the board.

For letter recognition, I gave each student approximately 3 cards.  I asked "Who has the letter that makes the /a/ sound?" and so forth.  Then I gave them time to line them up in order.

One of the activities for phoneme segmentation was to have the students create their own 3-letter words.

To practice fluency, I put several Fry Phrases on cards.  I split the class into two teams.  I would show one team a card and have them try to read it.  They got 2 tries to read it correctly AND they could help each other out (remember, these guys are pretty low...they struggle...we have an open, loving, encouraging classroom where they don't have to be ashamed to get it wrong!).  If they still couldn't get it, the other team had a chance to steal.  Whichever team was able to read the card got the point.  My kids love anything competitive.

I can hear you now..."But Sarah, Thanksgiving is over..."  Fear not!  I already have my December Kit up in my shop.  ;)

Alright, friends, time to knock out a little more on my December Math Centers and then I'm headed to bed.  Long day ahead tomorrow!  Enjoy your turkey and time with friends/family!