December Monday Made-It

Oh my goodness, December is already here and I only have 2 weeks left until my Winter Break. Now how exciting is that? I realized that it has been a while since I linked up with 4th Grade Frolics for some Monday Made-it. I definitely would like to share with all my wonderful bloggy friends what I have been up to this month. So . . . here I go!

Acrylic Sub Tub

My good friend's birthday is coming up and I decided to hand make her a gift this year instead of buying something she might not need or like. Recently I have been obsessed with acrylic items; from my acrylic bed tray to my acrylic EC recipe box. So, when my friend Aris from Sailing into Second, introduced me to an acrylic file organizer from Target turned into a sub tub I just had to get myself one. 
Below is a picture of the one I made for myself:
(Yes, I was too lazy to take my tub out of my shelf. Don't judge!)

Here is the one I made my friend:
(I feel like the one I made her came out WAY better than mine. LOL)

Aaaaannnddd . . . here is what I mean by obsessed with acrylic:

(I even had to get myself an acrylic pencil holder, which is really a straw holder)

Nautical Whales Book Hospital & Box Top Bucket

This past summer, I remember going to Learning in Wonderland's  blog and telling myself that I needed to make myself a nautical book hospital and box top bucket like she did for her owl themed classroom. However, that project got put on hold since I was teaching a 2/3 combo class for the first 2 months of this school year. BUT now that I am a regular 3rd grade class teacher again, I have time during weekends and breaks to actually craft like I like to! I was finally able to create my projects using my Cricut Explore:

(I'm SO happy with how my project turned out! You can't tell from this pic, but the whale to the left is also holding a box top sticker)

Winter Classroom Projects

Pinterest has seriously been my best friend this past year. I saw this awesome D.I.Y for kids using mason jars as snow globes and decided to try it to test out the level of difficulty. It actually is a very easy project, especially if you have parent helpers helping in the classroom. I will be having my kiddos bring in an empty and unlabeled glass jar to school next week along with a picture of themselves. I also used my Cricut Explore to make labels that say, "There SNOW Place Like Home". Just search for "mason jar snow globes" on Pinterest and you will find all the directions and list of materials needed!
(Believe it or not I don't print out pictures and this old picture of me feeding a deer at the SD Wild Animal Safari Zoo was the only picture I could find of myself)

 Elf on a Shelf Delivery
Tomorrow, Santa will be delivering my Elf on a Shelf book along with a letter to my class. My sister made this awesome bow and I am using Jaimie Knudson from Kinder World Way Elf on a Shelf resources and note tags this year. I can't wait for my class to meet their elf!

 Stampin' Up

Isn't my sister so crafty? She held a stamp class for my teacher friends this past Sunday. These are the cards we all made! My favorite one is the car with the Christmas tree and the snow angel. I just hung mine up on my mini tree.

 O.C.D Tendencies

Lately I have been getting WAY too many clip art (I mean can you blame me? They're just SO cute!) and I was starting to lose track of what I had already purchased or not. So . . . my crazy, anal, needs to be organized or my life is chaotic self; was inspired by Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd's "Organize Your TpT Cover" to organize ALL MY CLIP ART COLLECTION! 

This is what my file cover and 2 out of 10 pages of my clip art file looks like:
(Don't you just love the Aztec background paper? I'm also obsessed with collecting digital background paper if you can't tell)

As you can see, when I need a file I can just open my document open on my laptop and see if I have the clip art already or not. I am still working on adding the actual title of each clip art above each picture. My summer plan is to have all my digital files that I purchased on TpT also organized by subject. Life is just easier when it is organized, that is all I can say! 

Whew . . . what a long post! 


December Currently

It's The Most Wonderful Time . . . of the Year!!! It truly is because Christmas time is my favorite time. You know what else is my favorite? Farley's Currently linky at Oh' Boy 4th Grade

Look how cute this button is! It even has a hidden elf on a shelf on the lower left. Ah...I die! Too adorbs!

Listening: Okay, Okay . . . so I have another teeny bopper song that I am listening to. Surprise surprise! But seriously, how can you not find this song catchy? I don't care if Selena Gomez is singing about the Biebs. Whatever she needs to heal and move on, I support ya, girl! After all, what female doesn't know or has not gone through a bad relationship but still was in it because that's what the heart wanted at the time? Luckily for a lot of us, our brain caught up with our heart.

Loving: I am SO in love with all the Christmas decorations that are up around my neighborhood! BUT, because nobody ain't got time to go house by house to take pics of my neighbor's decorations, I'll settle for showing you what I have been working on at my house instead.

This is my night view when I enter my community's gate:

Found this awesome Christmas countdown at Target:

My dress form even got a make-over all thanks to Victoria Secret:

Two new friends surround my night table. Aren't they cute? All at Lowes!

My work/craft table:

Thinking: 3 more weeks until my 3 weeks Christmas break! Let the countdown begin!!!

Wanting: Urban Outfitter's Macaron shaped jewelry boxes. I mean . . . let the picture speak for itself:

Even though it is Cyber Monday, I just can't bring myself to cough up $10 each for these. First of all, if I get it, I would have to get ALL of the colors, which there are a total of 10 on the website, so that would cost me $100. SIGH . . . decisions, decisions . . .

Needing: I said it before, but I'll say it again . . . I need to hit the gym! 2015 Resolution (again).

Giving: I have never done this before since I am not a TpT seller, but I will try it and hopefully it works. I am putting up my "While You Were Absent" folder covers that I have for my students when they are absent. I made several versions of it to last me an entire school year and here are 2 for you to choose from. Enjoy! (You can find my original blog post on how I use these HERE).

Wishing everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!


A Week of THANKS - The Letter S

I can't believe that today is already Saturday. My week has gone by so so fast! Time sure does fly . . .

I am linking up for the last day for A Week of THANKS with Blog Hoppin'

The Letter S is for . . .

Scarf season & Sharing!!!

Although the weather has mainly stayed on the sunny side here in So. Cal, the mornings and nights get a bit on the chilly side. I appreciate the fact that I can pull out all of my scarves and accessorize my wardrobe with these fuzzy and snuggly accessory! 

Lastly, don't forget that it is the season of sharing because sharing is caring (such a nerd)! But I truly believe in that =)

So . . . go out there and wear some scarves and share your love and kindness with the world! 


Five for Friday (last one for 2014)

WOW . . . I haven't linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday in quite some time. Since this is going to be the last one for the 2014 year, I thought I'd link up with what I have been up to during this week off.

Make sure you link up soon because this linky will be taking a break during the month of December, meaning the next time we will be linking up with this it'll be . . . wait for it . . . 2015! Holy....!!!

Riley Farm at Oak Glen Family Trip

My family and I decided to make a spontaneous trip to Riley Farms in Oak Glen last weekend after Riley Farm came to my school for a field day. I got to taste some freshly made apple cider and just had to go get me some more. Not only did I get 3 gallons of apple cider, but we also got ourselves 3 dozen of these fresh out of the doughnut maker, apple cider mini doughnuts. OMG...so delish!

Mani & Pedi
I finally was able to get myself a mani & pedi that my hands and feet really needed. Being a teacher, it's difficult to maintain our manicures. But during the week off,  I am able to make it last a tad bit longer!

Thanksgiving Day Dinner

This year, I was promoted from clean up crew to sous chef status. I was in charge of the potatoes au gratin, rice pilaf, and croissants. All hand made at my momma's kitchen. Oh, and the kitchen is still in tact...no burns! YAY! Thank you Williams Sonoma and Bon Appetite magazine for the awesome recipes!

Dining Room Make Over

It finally happened! My dining room, which no one EVER uses (it's for decoration purposes only which was pointless) is finally my make-up/crafting/office room. Oh yea . . . look at my extra clothes rack because apparently 1 full closet and 1 additional walk-in closet are NOT enough for all my clothes and accessories. 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Currently working on putting away "harvest" decor and taking out all my Christmas decor! Here are my 2 mini trees I used to have in my old apartment. I love my pink Christmas tree in my room and my white tree by the heater. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and enjoyed some Black Friday shopping! I know I did!

A Week of THANKS . . . N & K

Linking up with Blog Hoppin' again for a week of Thanks. Because I was a busy worker bee yesterday for my family's Thanksgiving, I forgot to link up on Thursday and will be doing letters N and K today.

N is for New Beginnings
This year, I am thankful for new beginnings. New school, new district, new students and their families to get to know, new colleagues, and new admin team. They have been so wonderful thus far and I am very thankful for this new chapter in my life.

K is for Kinship & Kindness

During the holidays, people always seem nicer and kinder. I am all about the joy of the holidays so bring it on, nice people! Of course, holidays are also about family and making long lasting memories of familial traditions with them!


A Week of THANKS - A is for . . .

Back again on this Thanksgiving Eve to join Blog Hopin's A Week of Thanks linky party.

A is for a cup (or more) of SBUX's Chestnut Praline Latte holiday drink!

I usually am a big boring person when it comes to trying out new foods and drinks. But for some reason, the new holiday line up at SBUX just really grabbed my attention one day . . .

. . . since then, that's ALL I can think about ordering. I will be SO sad when they go away. 

Thank you SBUX for this year's holiday drinks to keep me sane during the days I need it most at work!


A Week of THANKS- H is for Home Sweet Home

Linking up again with Blog Hoppin' for this week of THANKS.

Today is for the letter "H'

This past year I made a big decision to leave the school I was teaching in for 5 years to move back home to be closer to my family. It was a very bittersweet departure, as I have come to love the community that I taught in and have gotten to know so many wonderful and supportive families of my students in the years I was teaching at my old school. 

I definitely don't regret my decision, as I am in an awesome and well known school district. But the best part is being able to see my family, enjoy nightly conversations with them, and see them happy. I used to be a free spirit that wanted to get away as far as possible from home when I was a teenager and young adult so that I could be free as a bird. 

Now that I am in my 30s and partied out, I have come to realize how short life is and how limited the time we have with the ones we love. So this Thanksgiving season, I am definitely giving thanks to still being able to see and have my family members in my life and being Home Sweet Home!


Week of Giving THANKS - T is for Total Peace & Quiet

Ahoy there, bloggy friends! I am SO excited to have an entire week off for Thanksgiving break. It gives me some much well deserved rest and recharge time. I am linking up this entire week with Blog Hoppin' for this super fun linky! Look how cute the graphics are for this:

Since today is all about T . . .

As much as I love to teach . . . I can't stress how much I have come to appreciate some total peace and quiet time. I feel like I am surrounded by so much noise (good noise that is, you know . . . of students having meaningful academic conversations amongst each other, chatting and collaborating with my team, etc . . .) and need time where I can just turn my brain off and R-E-L-A-X! Having a week off allows me to rejuvenate and recharge my batteries! So YAY and HOORAY to being able to do that!


Sunday Scoop

It's Sunday and I am definitely NOT ready for Monday at all! I have Parent-Teacher Conferences and need to print out their child's report cards. Instead, here I am linking up with The Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop! Oh well, I will get to it. Procrastination gives me power to perform my best. HA!

Have To Do:
They're pretty self explanatory, but as you can still see. . . I am still here procrastinating. 

Hope To Do:
This whole upcoming week will be Parent-Teacher Conference Week. The kids leave at our minimum day schedule and we start conferences at noon ish (depending when you decided to start). I really hope everything goes well and that a lot of the parents remember to show up!

I also hope that I will make it okay until the end of the week. I will be attending the Hunger Games: Mockinjay premiere on Thursday and probably won't be getting home until midnight ish. I hope that Friday treats me well and that I can wake up early enough to make my morning Starbucks run!

Happy To Do:
I am happily content blogging, replying to comments, and trolling around other sites from having to do any of my Have To Dos at the moment. I am always exhausted . . . Go figure...

Happy Sunday Everyone!


You Oughta Know About: Minimizing Interruptions from Students During Small Group Instructional Time

Ahoy, my fellow blogging friends! I am SO excited again to link up with Jasmine McClain from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for this month's You Ougta Know About . . .


This month, I wanted to share with you some awesome management tips I learned during my Project G.L.A.D training about 4 years ago on: "How to Stop Students from Interrupting you When You are Pulling a Small Group or Providing One-on-One Instruction." Since then, I have been using it every time I am teaching small group or one-on-one instruction with a group of students & it has been a TOTAL LIFESAVER!

Above is a picture of my kidney table where I meet students for small group instruction. Notice how I have some student numbered cards and a sign on the left side of the table.

Some Materials You Will Need:
  • a chart stand (I blogged about how I made this on this post)
  • a sign with all your small group instruction rules
  • cards with each student's numbers 
Step 1:
You will need a stand to hold up your sign. I am using one that I made out of PVC pipes. I hang all sorts of mini anchor charts in this chart holder, but I always have my small group instruction rules sign when I am working with a group of students or providing one-on-one instruction.

Step 2:
Create your sign and your rules. I was told that too many rules confuse kids. So the most you would want is a total of 3 rules. Here is what the sign I made looks like:
I made sure that the first rule I had was that students HAD to re-read the questions or the directions of their independent work. A lot of times, I have found from experience, that students ask me questions because they don't read the directions on each page or the questions correctly. 

Next, if that still didn't help them, then they need to ask 3 students before they ask me. I always assign a "captain" (usually a challenge student that can handle independent work in all subject areas) for each table that is in charge of their classmates. They are also allowed to ask captains from other tables in case their own table captain is not sure how to answer their classmate's question themselves.

 Step 3:
FINALLY . . . if students still need additional help, then they bring me their number cards.

Students place the cards by the small group rules sign from left to right so that I know which student came for help first. (I got mine from Hope King from Second Grade Shenanigan's "Gone Coastal" classroom decor).

My students wait for me to call on their number to see me. When my small group works on something, I take that opportunity and window of time to call on students that have additional questions. Most of the time students figure out the answers after thinking for a longer time and often just want me to see if they did do their problems correctly. 

Step 4:
 Model, model, model!!! During the first few days of school, my students are constantly modeling and practicing the classroom rules and routines with me. They ALL participate so that the routine and rule has been instilled in their brains. And IF for any reason, my students interrupt me because they have forgotten our classroom rules, then I simply point to the sign without saying a word while I am still providing small group or one-on-one instruction.

 Of course, students also know that if there is a case of emergency, then they can interrupt me. We have made charts earlier in the year discussing what would be considered an emergency that needs immediate attention from their teacher & what it would possibly look like.

I hope you will find this strategy helpful & as useful as it has been for me!