Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Currently and a plea for a reader

Hi all! I hope you are enjoying this gorgeous Sunday!

First, I received an email from another Catholic educator while I was on vacation that I cannot seem to find.  I was on vacation when I received the email and was focused on family.  My intent was to respond when I returned...cannot find it.  If that was you, please resend your included questions about blog design and hiding children's faces in pictures.

Onto....the July Currently!  Pop on over to Oh Boy, Fourth Grade and join the fun!

Listening:As I said before, this last year was a rough one for me.  I was so happy to see it come to an end as I knew that my new position next year would be a better fit for me.  I got out of school and threw myself into planning for next year.  Then I realized that I wasn't present or in the moment of all that was exciting for my oldest, who was graduating from high school.  So, I stepped back, enjoyed that special time and our week-long vacation in Duck, NC that followed and truly focused on family and didn't give school a moment's thought.  So, now I am really kinda freaking out at all that I have to do.  So, the printer has been humming today.  It probably would like to take a break or at least have more paper put in its belly.

Loving: I have the sweetest puppy in the world.  Thankfully, she likes to watch Wimbledon, Downton Abbey, and Mad Men as we have been laying low this weekend getting over vertigo.  Aren't dogs the best company?

Thinking: I made a list at the beginning of the summer of things that I need to make for my classroom.  I just need to strategically attack that list.  I get a great amount of satisfaction out of crossing things off a list.

Wanting: My digits are in serious need of some attention.  But seriously, senior year, graduation, and vacation about broke the bank.  I have been doing it myself, but it is time to bring in the professionals!!!

Needing:  Oh my word.  Weeds are going to be the end of me!  I have a huge yard, and the abundance of rain has created a lush lawn...and gardens ripe with weeds!  Help!!!!

Tips, Tricks, or Hints:When I say "Just do you", I mean that at times I would find myself comparing myself with others at work as I worked with an extremely competitive colleague my first 6 years of teaching.  When I finally realized that I had my own strengths and my own voice, I shut my door and did my thing.  Funny how much happier I was...and a much better teacher!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Big Ebb and Five for Friday (on Saturday!)

Hello wonderfully talented bloggers who continue to impress and amaze me!  I guess with anything, we experience ebbs and flows.  Well, after a giant blogging flow came a big ebb for me.  We have been busy little beavers in our house since school ended.  I thought joining doodle bugs teaching for her linky may get me back in the blogging saddle.

Okay, so it is Saturday....but, I was diagnosed with vertigo that pretty much feels like this:

So I'm thinking y'all will understand and give me a pass this one time!

One of my most proud moments occurred on the 14th.  I know that was longer than last week, but I am not being my usual rule-following self today.  My oldest son, Alex, graduated, with honors, from high school!  I really hadn't given myself the time to think about the moment as there was so much chaos at the end of the school year.  But, it truly is an incredible moment of reflection and pride.  Couldn't be more excited about the person he has become!

So, then we headed off to a much-needed vacation in Duck, NC in the Outer Banks.  To say I love this quaint little beach town surrounded on both sides by the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound is an understatement.  Everything from the beaches to the restaurants to the shops is just me.  Many wonder why those of us who are blessed to live within minutes of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic still vacation at the beach.  Well, a vacation house allows you to relax without the stress that your own house provides, such as laundry, yard work, etc.  Plus, this house had a pool, hot tub, and was steps from the ocean.  Can't beat that!
The time with my boys, parents, and many carefully selected friends of my boys was priceless.  I truly could spend hours sitting on the beach and never be bored.  The weather was perfect!

The day after returning from vacation, Alex and I attended Old Dominion University's orientation.
My, how college has changed.  I will be curious if he ever even sees a piece of paper.  Everything is done digitally, which makes sense in our world.  He is all registered and ready to go.  My head was spinning as there is so much to keep up with, but he is a smart guy and will figure it out.  

Now I must attack the enormous list of things that I would like to accomplish this summer...both professionally and personally.  I do still plan to paint my classroom.  I just need to finalize the shade of pale blue, oh, and getting over vertigo may help with ladder climbing.. I don't do sick well, especially since I don't feel sick. I am working like a fiend trying to get organized.  My Erin Condren planner is just about set up.  

With all this time on my hands as I am afraid to drive due to the crazy meds I am on, I have been a TV junkie.  It hasn't been a bad week in which to be TV-obsessed as one of my favorite events all year is currently going on for a fortnight (such a tennis word....seriously.  When do you ever hear someone describe the passage of time as a fortnight?).
When Federer went out, I really struggled with whom to root for.  But, I just love the sport and believe it is at its best here and at the US Open.  There are some promising young American women for whom to root also.

And, I had saved this for a time I really needed it, which is now, but I finally dove in on Netflix.
Oh my word.  I get it.

Happy Friday/Saturday!

Monday, June 10, 2013

First Monday Made It!

I'm soo, soo excited to link up with Fourth Grade Frolics for my first Monday Made It ever at !  I got so inspired by Tara's blog.  It was the first one I ever read last December, and I truly just wanted to be like her!

I saw these letters, and I had to make them...
How cute is my little baby Smart Board?  Anyway, can't wait to add them to my new room!  They will find a perfect spot in my library.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hot Mess of a Classroom....hmph.

I'm on a roll here with these linky parties, so why not one more?  I'm linking up with 
 photo Slide1_zps0f4262e5.jpg 
over at The Applicious Teacher as my new classroom gives me nightmares!  Seriously, y' monster under the bed-type nightmares.  You see, I have history with this room.  I have taught in this room in an inclusion model as the reading resource teacher for an hour and a half each morning...first thing...and have left there with a 3-Advil headache afterwards.  And, the clencher.  It is Room 13.  I'm not sure whether to have one of the priests from our church (I teach in a Catholic school) come bless the place or what.  Here it is (I had to use Megan's cute freebie paper to make myself feel better).

Stop laughing.  Get down on your hands and knees and thank God for your nicely-colored room.  Plain old white would be an improvement.  This falls into the "what were they thinking?" category, for sure!

You see that I am not blessed with many windows, and the teacher left the blinds shut the entire two years I was in there.  I swear I suffer from that seasonal depression...this room made it worse.  A little vitamin D never hurt anyone.  First thing I will do is open the  There will be a wicked glare at which point the laugh will be on me...hardy harr harr.  Anyway, it will be a start.  The fluorescent lights threw me over the neon-tinted edge.  It reminds me of the dressing rooms in which you try on bathing know what I'm talking about.

There is also so much stuff lurking in the closet from teachers dating back to 1965 is my guess.  Jimmy Hoffa is probably in there, y'all.  I'm telling ya.  This place is scary.  At this point I would direct you to the header of my blog.  I am all bright and cheery.  I taught kindergarten for 6 years for goodness sake.  I'm all daisies and lollipops.  And, I think my principal knows as much as she told me.....drum roll....that I can paint!  I'm so excited!!!!

So, help a girl out.  Would blue work?  Like a pale, calm the wild beast kinda blue?  I hear that I have quite the class.  I have chosen to view this as a compliment due to the whole fact that they always give me the challenging angels because they know I can handle them and make a difference.  But, dang.  How many compliments does a girl need?  Got it.  Thank you.  Put the counselor on speed dial.  We need calm, calm colors.

Anywho.  I found these fabrics...

I will make those cute crate chairs with these.  I was thinking of painting the room the palest blue and using blue and lime green for everything else.

I also will put the desks in pods instead of the 1950 room arrangement in current use.  I am getting a new SmartBoard.  I will add a carpet in front with some kinda cool chair for me.  The library area will be many changes.  So little time! a girl a favor and lay some thoughts on me.  I will be forever grateful....and might just get some sleep! :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays: The Bomb!

Okay...shouldn't be posting for the second time today, but hey, it's better than the cleaning I SHOULD be doing...I am joining another linky party....
Head Over Heels for Teaching
as I just loved an awesome idea that a teacher for whom I provided support this year implemented with fabulous results last year.  Who doesn't get severely annoyed with the amount of time wasted for transitions...especially bathroom/water breaks?

Enter...the bomb!
I cannot tell you how much faster the kiddos took care of business and switching out supplies/books for the next class when this baby was ticking on the SmartBoard.  The fact that it explodes repeatedly made it even more fun for the 5th graders.  Give it a try...turned some tortoises into hares right before my eyes and shaved much time off transitions and added that precious time to instruction.  What a great way to motivate students to stay on task.  There are other timers as well...

Check out the website.


Optimum Organization: I Puffy Heart Erin Condren!!!!

I am linking up with this fabulous organization linky party with 

Fun in Room 4B
Each year I buy myself a piece of jewelry after making it through conferences in the fall and spring.  I had such a rough school year that I decided to celebrate my new position in 4th grade and splurged on an Erin Condren planner.  I went all in...cute pens, cute notepads....anywho, I LOVE it.  Like seriously...I'm talking mad love here.  And, it already has allowed me to throw so much away as it will all be housed in one place in the form of a fabulous planner.

Love the blackboard personalized cover with the polka dots!

The fact that it has a ruler...attached...will save me so much time!  I love a good straight edge!
With moving to a new grade/curriculum, I will plan my year here.
Even though I will produce my lesson plans digitally, I can plan my week here.

I have a bazillion cute notepads, but not at my fingertips when I need them.

All faculty meeting, and professional development notes along with anything else I need to remember also at my finger tips!

I can't say enough good things about this planner!  I will no longer lug around multiple spiral bound books as this planner has it all!  Money well spent!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday, Y'all!

I am so excited to be trying yet another new bloggy thing and am linking up for 

1.  I am officially out of school as of last Tuesday!  It was surreal the first few days, but I have settled in quite nicely.  I knew I would!  Last year was rough, so my body and mind are both eternally grateful for the rest.

2. But, I had to say "good-bye" to my home away from home at school, Guardian Angel Hall.  I have been housed in the building for the 6 years I taught kindergarten and the two that I served as the reading resource teacher.  I loved my little office with the adorable baby SmartBoard, but this girl was ready to spread her wings...again.  My support group in that building will now be across the way from "The Big School" in which I will teach fourth grade.  To say that I was surrounded by awesome, supportive individuals is an understatement.  Now I need to put my big girl panties on and shift gears.

3. In the shifting, I inherited this hot mess of a classroom.  Hello neon!
Yes, it is as bad as it looks.  The lack of windows (only a small strip at the ceiling in the wall opposite this one), the fact that the blinds were NEVER opened in the two years I offered support in the room, and the bad fluorescent lighting gave me a headache daily.  So, as I am an admitted aesthetic kinda girl, I knew some sort of change was in order.  Is there enough bulletin board paper in the world to cover this?  Nope.  So, when my principal (a six-foot nun...hello!) was in an exceptionally good mood at our end of the year party, I asked if I can paint the expense, my labor.  She said that she "wouldn't have a problem" with it!  I am so excited....I am thinking a calm blue.  I will write a post about this soon...ideas would be lovely!

4. I spoke of my son's baseball team being in the semi-finals last weekend.  Well, not only did they win that game, but they won the entire tournament!  Go, Lynnhaven Pony Phillies...Champions!  The fact that my oldest helped coach my youngest made it completely fabulous!  Insert proud mom....
5. I am so excited that summer means more time with this Lilly girl.

And, yes, she is as sweet as she looks...and feisty.  My mom swears she is me in dog form....I'll take that as a compliment!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Currently June!

I'm so excited as this is my first Currently!  I love reading others', but I have been too intimidated to post my own.  I'm new to this blogging world.  So, here goes...if I do it incorrectly, please forgive me!

Woo hoo!!!!  I did it!  I'm so impressed with to get it linked up.  Oh my.  So much to learn...

Listening to "The Today Show" as I do every morning.  I gave up on the newspaper.  I never read it and decided to save some trees.  I get what news I need in my quick viewing of the show.  Then I can further look into those news items that interest me and dump all the bad that we see...truly disturbing place for our country currently.

I could go on...and on...and on about my new Erin Condren planner!  It is my first, and I have feverishly been adding my calendar items with my cute pen, which is cleverly affixed to the side!  How could a girl not be organized with such fabulousness (new word)??  For sure!

This guy....
is graduating from high school as an honor graduate on June 14th!  He will be heading off to Old Dominion University next year to study Economics and Marketing.  To say that I am proud of him is an understatement.  He is an amazing young man with a heart of gold.  

We sat in the 90 degree heat to watch my youngest play two baseball games to advance in the pony tournament.  They play in the semi-finals today, and if they win, play for the championship on Tuesday evening.  They are an amazing group of boys, and I will be sad to take my baseball chair out of my car for the season...hopefully not today!  Alex has helped coach his younger brother this that!

To say that I am done (as in "stick a fork in her...she's done") with the current school year is an understatement!  I am so ready for my new adventure in fourth grade.  Once I hand the keys over to my office, I will immerse myself in all things fourth grade...and, I can't wait!!!

And, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel!  While I live at the beach, the Bay is less than five minutes from my house...oceanfront is a quick 15, I love to go away to a different beach for vacation.  After graduation, we are packing the car to head to Duck, NC on the Outer Banks...we went last year and had a blast.  This year we rented a bigger house even closer to the ocean...with a pool...and a hot tub...cannot wait!!!!

Well, that's it.  My little corner of the world.  I am blessed, and this Currently has made me focus on that fact, so thanks to get this linked up...fingers crossed!

Happy summer, y'all!

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