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! 


My Thankful Thread

Hello there, world! I can't believe October has already passed and that November is halfway over already! What a perfect time for me to link up with the awesome bloggers from Primary Powers to talk about a few things that I am thankful for this holiday season.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my wonderful and loving family. Without them, I would not be the person that I am today nor would I have been blessed with all the happy childhood memories that my parents have given me. As an adult, I have come to realize how special and important these people are in my life. Every moment that we spend together is another extra memory that I will cherish in my heart for the rest of my life. 

Secondly, I am thankful for my friends. My friends make me smile and are always there for me through my toughest times. They accept me and love me for who I am, but are honest and not afraid to keep things real with me. That's how you know when you have found some true friends; they're honest with you so that you can be a better version of yourself.

Then, there is my BFF since my senior year of High School. Here we are waaaaaaayyyyy back in a day when I had orange hair and awful roots showing. We have been each other's sidekick and wing woman forever! I love how even though we no longer get to spend time everyday together due to our demanding careers, when we DO see each other, it is like we never missed a day. 

I am also VERY thankful for my freedom to read books. Nerdy, I know... I know... but talking to my relative who teaches and lives in China, made me realize how we take the little things that we enjoy doing for granted. Before I even knew about the politics of different communist countries, I read a book in junior high called Fahrenheit 451. It was a world where books didn't exist and people burned them because it caused chaos and gave people ideas. (The title is for the degree it takes to burn a book. Oh, do you love my pic of me getting my Harry Potter book after I lined up at midnight at B&N to get my copy? I even got free Harry Potter glasses to go with it!)

Lastly, I am thankful that I am a girl! I love being a girl (except for 7 days out of every month). I get to dressy girly, play with make-up, do my hair, and like this AWESOME picture depicts...I can come home and still enjoy sitting like a boy if I want to because that's MY prerogative! 

And ... there you have my 5 things that I am thankful for this wonderful Thanksgiving season! To link up to this linky, head on over to Primary Powers and blog about what you are thankful for.

Primary Powers


Sunday Scoop!

Ahoy, on this lovely Sunday evening! I decided to link up with The Teaching Trio to bring you my Sunday Scoop!

Have Tos:
1). I don't get a 4 Day weekend like a lot of my teacher friends. Super bummer! Instead, my entire District has a Pupil Free Day where teachers come in to work on report cards. It totally made my Sunday today gloomy!
2). I need to go get me some baking materials so I can make my colleagues a Thanksgiving pretzel stick!
3). Look at this bad boy below and tell me it isn't the most beautiful thing in the world? I saw it at HSN during Craft Week and decided to get it even though I wanted a Silhouette. I'm a sucker for cute colors and this one just won my heart! It's been sitting in my room in its original package for the last month. I need to open it and make sure it works and that it isn't damaged. 

Hope Tos:

1). I need to start exercising and eating right. I will be going to Oahu during Spring Break and I do not want to spend my week in Hawaii covered up. MUST...MUST lose weight!

2). My super awesome friend invited me to go to Tulem, Mexico with her. I am hoping we get to go soon because it has always been on my Bucket List to go see the Mayan Ruins.

Happy To:

I am always more than happy to spend time with my family, even it means waking up early before my dad's business flight so that I can have that one more hour of quality time with him. 


November Currently

Of course I am LATE to the November Currently linky. But I suppose it is better late than never. Here I go linking up for my favorite linky party, Farley's Currently Linky Party from Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Taylor Swift's or TSwizzle's, as some people call her, 1989 album DLX edition from Target. I LOVE LOVE LOVE absolutely every single song from this album! I know, I know... I am THE biggest teener bopper ever! But I think she is so talented and hearing the extras of how her song writing turns into music is amazing! Some of my favorite soundtrack from this album besides Shake it Off are: Style, Bad Blood, and Welcome to New York (be warned it is SUPER catchy)!

Starbucks's salted caramel hot chocolate. I am usually not a fan of hot beverages at all, but this one has been treating me well since I have been sick with the flu the last week. Some passion fruit with kumquat oolong tea has also helped soothe my sore throat.

Thanksgiving 1 week vacation for some much needed R&R and stuffing! I LOVE stuffing!!! Oh yea, I am also waiting for Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 to come out. My sister and I will be attending the premiere of it even though we both have to go to work the following day. Who does that by the way? Have movie openings during the middle of the week??? Bleh!

My favorite dessert of all time, Creme Brûlée! If it wasn't because I need a torch thingy to make that awesome sugar crust topping, I would be making it all the time. Unfortunately, flames and heat and I just DON'T get along!

A good hot stone massage! My stinking neck and shoulder blades have been hurting like crazy! I am starting to think all the chart making, circle time, and reading my iPad at night in bed is making my neck bad. I will wake up from a great night's sleep or nap and my neck and shoulders will be killing me. UGH!

Gone Girl. I am not finished yet NOR have I watched the movie yet. I am usually an avid reader and read everything in my NOOK app in a few days, but being sick and having to work on report cards, conferences, and everything else we teachers have to do, I am just not anywhere I want to be with that book yet. 

My brain is fried so I'm off to bed! Goodnight, world! Zzzz....