Monday, December 22, 2014

Fourteen in 14

This is my first time joining a linky party... so, hopefully I don't mess it up too much.

I have a lot of favorite quotes but one that really resonates with me in terms of my teaching is written below. I look back at my first year in the classroom and I shudder. What the heck was I do? Or, better yet, what the heck was I trying to do? Then I remind myself of this quote and celebrate all of the things that I do so much better now... on year 5. I'm sure in a few years I will look back at my teaching now and shudder. It's a learning process and this is a great reminder for us all, no matter how many years you've been in the classroom.

I ordered these bad boys on Black Friday from Macy's. I am pretty obsessed with wearing both black and brown so anytime I can find an item of clothing that works with either color, I am sold! Franco Sarto Clarity Tall Shaft Riding Boots!
Hmm..., my husband and I love going to the movies. I think my favorite this year was Gone Girl. Gone Girl is also one of my favorite books of the year.

I love The Mindy Project. I can't help it. It's beyond funny and after a long day of work that is what I need. 
Fairbanks, Alaska is not the mecca of fine dining, however, we do have some hidden gems. My husband and I love, love, love breakfast so there are a couple of great brunch places we frequent. This year though, I've discovered that I like Korean and Vietnamese food. There is a tiny new restaurant called Aha Oriental Kitchen and it is amazing! Lots of vegetarian (well technically a pescetarian... I eat fish) options for me!
I opened up a TPT store and started blogging this year. Those are both very new to me and also big accomplishments for me. I am giddy with the little bit of success I've had so far and I can't wait to continue. Not only does it bring in some extra money, but it's making me a better teacher for sure!
Oh, this is a hard one. I have been really spoiled this year by my family and friends. This precious sign hangs on my classroom door and it's absolutely adorable. My mother in law surprised it with me a few weeks ago. If you're interested in getting your own you can do so here for only $25. 

When I taught in Nashville one of the regular Specials each week for my kiddos was Art. Here in Alaska the classroom teacher is responsible for teaching art. This has been a major adjustment for me. I am not super artistic myself, and I've learned that crafts and craftivities are not art. In any event, I have done a lot of pinning when it comes to first grade friendly art lessons. Last week we did one of the art lessons I pinned. First, I read aloud Jan Brett's The Mitten.  See the final result below. The link to the actual pin can be found here. Unfortunately, it's all written in French. (Thank God for pictures)
Putting Circle Maps to Work was one of my favorite posts. Last year I learned about Thinking Maps and I can't tell you how much they changed my teaching practice. This blog post highlights one of the 8 Thinking Maps (the circle map) being used in one subject (math). 

See number 9 above. :) Simultaneously teaching, blogging, and TPTing especially, are big accomplishments this year for me. 
What can I say, I am a sucker for my dog. This is my precious greyhound. He is practically perfect.... just like his mom. (Did I say that??!)

My husband and I went to Iceland last summer as a delayed honeymoon. (We got married the summer before). Here we are on a biggie! You can read more about our trip here. 
I have so many goals for 2015. Mostly, I want to continue to work on living a healthier life -- clean eating and lots of working out. Luckily for me I enjoy working out and the friends I've made at my awesome gym. Now if only I could work on the eating part... 
I am so beyond blessed. I need to do a better job of showing the people around me just how much I appreciate them. (Okay, so maybe this is another goal...)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crafts for Days

I helped my 20 firsties make these today... and now.... I'm going to bed. It was ambitious, but it was worth it. We used sponges to make the tree and star and then finger painted the ornaments on. We did these onto extra big bags that will eventually dry (I think...) and hold all of the goodies we've been busy making this week.

My favorite is the ornament with the kid in the snowsuit walking away. We used Ezra Jack Keat's The Snowy Day as inspiration for that particular ornament. It's such a cute read aloud and the kiddos love it! The two ornaments and the door holder can be found here and the reindeer bag has "reindeer food" in it. PS "reindeer food" is just oats and glitter!

Say it with me... three... more... days....until break!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Let It Snow

There are so many good things about teaching in Alaska. One of those is having snow on the ground for 7ish months. It takes "winter art" to a whole new level. Yesterday my kiddos made the snowy scene you see below.

The key, in my opinion was the bubble wrap! I cut small sections of bubble wrap and gave each student one. They pressed the bubble side into the white paint and then dabbed it all over their paper.

If you need something easy this winter... this is it! Students first made individual house scenes and then we loved it so much that we made a joint-effort mural for the hallway.

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