Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I've been doing some thinking lately.

I'll be 30 years old in a few months, and I still sometimes feel as lost as I was when I was much younger. I am definitely more confident than I used to be, however, I still wonder if I even know myself at all. I feel like my style and likes/dislikes are constantly changing, but are they mine or someone else's? Between Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, reading blogs, I don't even think that I have come up with one original or creative idea in years.  I am feeling a little out of touch with myself and I guess I just need some time to reflect and reconnect. Actually, just writing this made me feel a little better like I am airing my dirty laundry that sometimes I don't know who I am or what I want.  I really didn't quite mean for this post to be this much of a downer, but I guess I just needed it. Cyber universe therapy session closed. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sunshine Award

Wonderful Erin over at The Short and Sassy Teacher has gifted me the Sunshine Award. If you haven't checked out her blog, you need to! She has the best sense of humor and is so supportive and thoughtful of her fellow bloggers. :)

Here are the rules...
1. Post 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions written by the person who nominated you
3. Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine to the world
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer

11 Questions from Erin:

1. What is your favorite subject to teach?
I love to teach Social Studies. I get to teach Ancient Civilizations in 6th grade and I have to admit it's the best thing ever in my opinion.

2. What is a piece of advice you'd like to give to new teachers?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Do not feel like you are being a pain by asking.

3. What's one of your guilty pleasures? 
Laying in bed about an hour before bed watching my trashy reality shows on the DVR. It's the best - in fact it will be happening soon here shortly!

4. How would you describe your classroom using three words? 
Oooo this is a hard one!  Positivity breeds results.

5. When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
When I was 5, teaching my stuffed animals very in depth lessons I am sure.

6. How do you try and spread your sunshine to others?
I try to stay positive and enthusiastic. Life is too short to be negative. 

7. What's your song anthem?
Umm, Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta.... Haha, just kidding, I have no idea.

8. Name your teaching necessity.
My projector or document camera - I would be lost without it! And coffee.

9. What's your favorite snack food?
Clemetines! Can't stop eating them. I am pretty sure my fingertips are orange during the winter.

10. Who is your favorite children's author?
Betty MacDonald - I am obsessed with the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. I have loved it ever since I was old enough to read.

11. Why did you decide to start blogging?
I wanted to be a part of this wonderful community! I have met so many wonderful bloggers and am so thankful for all of the inspiration and knowledge I have received through reading and blogging!

I want to nominate:

Here are my 11 questions...
1.  What's your favorite thing to watch on Netflix/Hulu?
2.  What is your most memorable moment from teaching (good or bad!)?
3.  What is your favorite holiday?
4.  What has been the sweetest thing a student has given you/said to you?
5.  What is your favorite thing to cook? And yes, we would love the recipe.
6.  If you could be any Disney character, who would you choose and why?
7.  What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
8.  What is your Starbucks order?
9.  What was your favorite childhood book?
10. Tell us about your best vacation!
11. What if your favorite blog, non teacher related?

Thank you again Erin for nominating me! :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Year of Sundays

It's hard to believe that a month has passed by since Chelsea @ 5th Grade Wit and Whimsy and I have started this project!  I get so excited when Sunday comes around because, well, first off it's a day off of work, but secondly, I get to take a picture that represents my day.

Here's our Sunday diptych from the weekend before last.   Mine is on the left and Chelsea's is on the right.  I love how both of our photos depict a quiet day at home. :)

February 23, 2014
This weekend was rainy and gray in Phoenix and it was also the case in California where Chelsea lives.  Both of our photos just ooze coziness to me! So strange how there are always similarities between our photos even though we never talk about what we are going to photograph ahead of time. It's always a surprise!   I love Chelsea's rain photo on the right - absolutely gorgeous!

March 2nd, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Goals

The Babbling Box has started up a linky party setting goals for March. I love goal setting! I feel so accomplished when I can cross off (or, er, digitally cancel out??) a goal or even just something simple on a to do list.  It's kind of my favorite.

1.  Keep my garden ALIVE - or maybe plant more plants in it. This is going to be difficult because my basil is already dying...

2.  Organize our closet under the stairs. Carefully. Watch out for evil gnomes.

3.  Repaint my family's ancient desk.

4.  Workout at least 3 times a week. I mean, c'mon, quit being so lazy, sheesh.

5.  Have a cocktail craft party.  I really can't think of two things I love more together in one.

Who else is going to set goals for March? Join in on the fun!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Planbook.com - Online Lesson Planner

We all have different ways of writing lesson plans. Different grade levels have different needs. I used to be a handwritten lesson plan kind of gal. I had my cute lesson plan book and I used different colored pens - it was pretty fancy. Then I transitioned to a word document table kind of lesson plan similar to Jodi's at Fun in First Grade.  I just felt like it was all so much work writing out the standards and my learning targets and my accessing prior knowledge and bell work and... I could get on, but you got the idea, right?

Enter: Planbook.com

This has been my saving grace this year. You can develop your own custom schedule and everything is so user friendly on it. My school figured it out so that the more people that signed up, the better a deal we all got/the longer we got to use it for free. So try the free trial, if you like it, bribe all of your buddies to use it too!

Here's my week at a glance - ignore the sparse lesson plans. Sub day + early release = lame looking plans. To my defense, there is a lot you can't see because it's below the screen shot, like a lot. ;)

My categories on my lesson plans are Bell work, Learning Target, Preview of New Content/Identify Critical Information, Chunk Instructional Content, Record and Represent Knowledge, Group Process, Reflection, and Standards. Of course, you don't have to have all of those. That's the cool thing; you can add whatever you want to be in your lesson plans. If your school is anything like mine, we were basically told what we have to have in our lesson plans.

It's easy to backtrack and look at previous week's too. I picked this week to show you especially because you can merge your school calendar in with your plan book so it knows ahead of time when you have no school or early dismissals. I don't know about you, but it has happened to me on more than one occasion where I have lesson planned an awesome lesson that took me forever and then I realized, oh yeah, we have early release that day...

You can add standards so easily. They have everything! Common core, every state's content standards, you name it, they got it. I can easily pick out my science/social studies state standards while picking my ELA Common Core standards that I am supporting at the same time. Super easy!

My favorite buttons by far are the "Bump", "Bump Back", and "Extend" buttons (see above). We all have lessons that either go too long or we ended up having to do something different last minute and this makes it so easy! Before I used to have to copy and paste a bunch of stuff and then reformat it all, what a pain! Excuse me while I center myself from those bad memories.

Need to print them off or upload them to your school portal for your administrator? No problem? You can print them to PDF really easily.

Do you type your lesson plans on planbook.com? How do you write your lesson plans?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently March

I love Farley's new blog design - if you haven't seen it you have to check it out.  Her Currently March looks a lot like her new website so here's a little peek-a-poo to her new blog design.

Listening:  My husband plays candy crush a little too much... I used to, but then I decided that I had better things to do (but really it's because I couldn't get past a level, let's be honest here).  Have you guys seen this video about candy crush addicts? It's hilarious!

Loving:  This is pretty self explanatory and probably my biggest accomplishment this weekend. It's pretty blog worthy.

Thinking:  My grades close next Friday and I can't even express to you the amount of grading I need to do before then.  It's sick.

Wanting:  I really need a new couch. We haven't actually had our current couch for that long, but it's made from a dark microfiber corduroy which makes it look disgusting at all times! No matter how many times I clean or vacuum it, it always looks like a lint/pet hair trap. What is that stain? I have no idea! What is that weird crumby flaky mess? No clue!  Never again.
This is the one that I want... so purty... I am not sure about the color yet, but it will take us like 10 years to save up for the couch so we have some time to make that very important decision.

Needing:  I keep thinking that I should only blog when I have done a groundbreaking DIY or when I have taught something mindblowingly (word?) spectacular to my students. Because of those ridiculously high expectations, I end up blogging only half of the time that I should be doing. Let's face it, not every day of teaching is so special that you can blog about. Not every day is occupied with DIY wondrousness.  I need to blog about things that make me happy because in the end, our blogs are for us.

???????????:  These are the three chores that I hate to do most around the house. Mostly I was thinking about them because I know I have to do them this weekend.  The dread has commenced!