Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time, of the Year!

Yep, you guessed it...Cyber Monday (and Tuesday!) are on the way, with a Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale.  Most stores, including mine, will be a whopping 28% off!

I usually try to focus my blog posts on anything but my products.  Since the sale is on the horizon, I'm going to indulge and showcase some products. My TpT holiday products are overflowing from my store, ready to help you make it through a hectic, whirlwind time of year.  Click on any of the product titles to go directly to the product listing, where you can see it in detail.   Make sure to go to the bottom of this post for a GIVEAWAY!  

Santa's Stuck is an instant writing activity.  It comes with a "cause and effect" map so that your students can brainstorm what could have caused Santa to get stuck, and the effects of him being stuck.  This map will help your students transition into a creative story of their own.  This makes an adorable bulletin board!

Candy Cane Contraction Task Cards are an effective way to review contraction words.  This product would be perfect for a Language Center in a 1st-3rd grade classroom. The kids will love the movement permitted in a round of Scoot, if you'd like to use the task cards like that! 

This set of Holiday themed Math Task Cards will be a fun way for your students to review basic, 3rd grade Math skills.  Print and place in a math center, or host a game of Scoot, where your students rotate around the room to answer the questions on the task cards.

The Gingerbread Rounding Task Cards emphasize rounding to the tens, hundreds, and thousands place.  Great for high functioning 2nd graders, 3rd graders, or 4th graders who need the extra practice.  Perfect for a math center or a game of Scoot--you choose!

Ready to start a new classroom tradition?  Incorporate Elf on a Shelf to your classroom for the weeks leading up to winter break.  Watch your attendance rates soar--the kids won't want to be absent!  Comes with blank templates for the Elf's notes and a student journal cover and journal pages for your students to write in each day. 

Squeeze in some expository writing with this simple Snowman building/writing activity.  Brainstorm on the Anchor Chart, then give your students a Planning Template to plan their writing.  Finally, the kids will use the Planning Template to write their instructions on how to build a snowman.  A cute Picture Frame is included, so the kids can illustrate what their snowmen will look like.  

So, you can see that there are sooooo many holiday items in my TpT store, designed especially for students, and teachers who need a boost to the curriculum during a busy time of year!  Thanks for taking a peek! I'd love to give one of my holiday products away, so enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of my holiday products!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Happens When You Slow Down

So, I'm on week 5 of 8 of being off on medical leave.  Still healing this broken foot of mine.  (Scroll down a few blog posts to hear the not-so-gory details of how it happened. Ha ha!)  I thought this month of being home would be nothing less than mental torture for this hyperactive (think puppy) 3rd grade teacher, who thrives on multitasking.  Why me?  Why am I the one with the broken foot? I'm always searching for the meaning behind things, and truly believe that there are life lessons involved with any circumstance.  I think I've come to the conclusion of "why me?"  What happens when you slow down?  Well, I can share what I've learned and noticed.

1.  Eating breakfast with my children each morning is a gift.  I've notice that they are eating better, telling me LOTS of stories from school, asking questions about things--silly and sweet, sharing observations about life, friendships, and more.  I get big hugs before my husband takes them to school too.  So special!!

2.  I suddenly love Sundays!  Yes, I love the peacefulness of Sundays in general.  But being stuck at home, with no school in sight on a Monday, has opened up a new world for me.  I love Sundays even more now, even into the evening hours where I used to get that anxious feeling.

3.  Eating is purposeful.  I no longer shove a banana down my throat as I'm walking out the door.  I eat when I'm hungry, and seem to actually put down food when I'm full.  That has NEVER happened to me before!  I'm not gobbling my lunch, with a bell looming in my mind.

4.  I notice light more.  As the day unfolds, I'm noticing the different shades of sunlight as they come through my house.

5.  Laundry can can most of the cleaning!  I can't do much since I'm not allowed to put any pressure on my foot.  So, the constant cleaning frenzy has come to a halt.  Guess what? It's not that bad.  That dust ball?  It can wait!  So can my son's solo sock that's been on under the table all week.  It's ok to let it go for a spell.

6.  My kids are more capable than I thought.  I really have had an iron pan hit over my head on this piece.  I used to make their lunch, fold their laundry, pack their backpacks, fill their water bottles, pick up their Legos and hair clips from around the house, and MORE.  They do it ALL now! Yep!  And they're getting better as the weeks go on.  What a great feeling to know that they are empowered now.

7.  My husband rocks!  This guy is scurrying from dawn to dusk, doing double duty.  He packs my lunch every day and leaves it near my special chair.  I wouldn't be eating otherwise, so this is a good thing. He packs me fruit and veggies, vitamins and water...all things I usually neglect to feed myself in my "old" ways.

8.  Meditation is awesome!  I signed up for the Deepak Chopra & Oprah 21 Day Meditation Challenge.  It's a 20 minute relaxation journey, with a daily focus to think about.  I look forward to it every day.  My son has started asking about it, and tries it with me sometimes.  So cool!  He's an energizer bunny like his mom, so to see him slow down and relax brings me so much relief.

9.  Make-up is optional.  I've only put it on a few times since my injury. It just isn't necessary when you're at home with a puggle all day.  He loves me as is!

10.  Baths and washing my hair are my favorite luxury. We've figured out a safe way to make this happen, thank goodness!  It's an ordeal, but I do feel like a new person when it's all done!

11. The electric carts at Target and Costco are semi-lethal.  I won't get into too much detail, but can assure you that they will need some touch up paint in their stores, STAT!

12.  There are people in the world who care.  Yep!  I knew it before, but now I'm certain!  From the Meal Train we were given by friends, to the sweet people at church who come out of their way to ask me what happened (as I sit in my wheelchair), people care.  I think I was always rushing around so much, that I might have overlooked this before.

So, in the midst of this set back, I have learned to enjoy the journey.  All of the twists and turns, sweet moments (minus the crash in Target), and kindness shown to me and my family will not be forgotten...ever.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Currently

I'm so thankful to Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade for hosting the monthly Currently blog post.  Since I just unloaded my woe's on yesterday's post, I won't get into too  much detail about what's currently going on in my life.

Listening:  My husband is knee deep in the Sunday newspaper.  It's his Sunday ritual! :)

Loving:  Cooler temperatures, big puffy rain clouds contrasting against a vivid blue sky--my favorite time of year for sure!!

Thinking:  In spite of my temporary set back with my foot, I'm slowing down to really notice all of life's little blessings...more time with my kids, the loyalty of my faithful puggle, fuzzy jambes, warm meals delivered to our door, visits with friends...

Wanting:  To walk.  I'll never take it for granted again.  

Needing:  My Halloween decorations to *POOF* be gone.

Reading:  The Fault in Our Stars, but getting way too distracted by daytime television.  I'm such a couch potato now.  

Until next month...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Everybody was a Kung-fu Fightin'

I'm on week 3 of 6 (hopefully!!) of being stuck at home with a broken foot.  This picture pretty much sums it up...

So, there I was, coming in from a fun Literacy event at my kids' school one evening.  There it was...a big black widow, hanging in my garage at eye level.  I decided to kung-fu kick the spider.  I gave it my best shot, then *thought* I saw that thing on my foot.  The open-toed sandals I was wearing only added to the panic.  I was certain that I saw it rubbing it's pedi-palps together, getting ready to swing up on me from its dragline.  To save my own life, I kicked my foot down on the cement to whack it off. According to my kids, I did it several times, flailing around in a frenzy.  As I stood there in pain, my daughter finally pointed out to me that the darn spider was still up on the wall, as if mocking me.  At this point, I knew I was in pain, but didn't realize I'd broken two bones.  I hobbled over to the nearest weapon of mass destruction (aka: Windex) and grabbed it, spraying the spider to death.  

After a trip to the ER and my doctor, I'm officially on "rest" for the remainder of November.  I was in shock when they told me that I couldn't walk for over a month.  What!?  Right in the middle of my favorite season, trick-or-treat time, decorating time, fun times with my students and children?!  It was the worst news I could've ever received.  I'll admit that I *might* have a touch of ADHD, so being trapped at home, unable to maneuver on crutches, has been tedious, slow torture.   Any busy, working mom will tell you that being forced to sit at home for 6 weeks and do NOTHING sounds like heaven. In reality, it's a bit of a mind game.  I miss being outside, tidying up my house, zooming around to take my kids to all of their activities, teaching, etc.  

My dear friends and mom have been life-savers to me.  Dinners are being delivered to us, rides are being provided to my appointments, and my kids are being taken care of.  My husband is busting and moving to keep on top of laundry, cleaning up, shopping, decorating for Halloween, and forcing me out in my pathetic wheelchair.  I'm beyond touched at the outpouring of love and support.

One of my dearest friends stopped by today to deliver this FUN package from my school staff.  I almost cried!  How clever and cute~all Spider-Themed, naturally.  They know how to yank my chain, that's for sure!

So, that's what I've been up to.  By the way, I'm SO caught up reading everyone's AWESOME blogs, pinning my heart out on Pinterest, stalking the TpT forums, and all daytime TV.  I hope you're all doing well~feel free to leave a comment since I have PLENTY of time to read and respond back to you. :)