Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Currently

It is November!!!  Time is flying and I must say I love November!!!  I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving.  And then it is Christmas, another favorite holiday! It is a busy time of year and this year, things are getting even I await the arrival of my little girl!  I am praying this Christmas will be our 1st one together!!!

Lately, I have had some great motivation to conquer some personal and professional goals, so no time like the present to get started!!!  I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade to share my November Currently!!!  What a great way to connect with awesome teachers!  Thanks Farley!!!  Don't forget to link up!!!

Listening:  I have to admit, I LOVE the sappy/romance/comedies on the Hallmark Channel.  But in November and December I love it more, because they have a holiday theme!!!! #sorrynotsorry

Loving:  Lately I have had the energy to get some stuff done and tonight I have an extra hour to do it!!!

Thinking:  A budget and a schedule are needed!!!  Lately shopping appears to be my middle name:)  I might need to reign in this habit as my expenses are going to be increasing soon.  I need a schedule!! I have decided I am much more productive when I follow a schedule.

Wanting:  THE CALL!!!!  Adoption is not a quick process (well normally it isn't!) and FINALLY things are moving.  I am praying for things to move a bit quicker, so my little girl will be home by Christmas!!!!

Needing: My house has suffered lately and well it is time to give it some lovin!  Preparing for a 2 year old and getting my crafty on has made my house look like a cyclone went through it.

Reading:  I bought Kim Bearden's Crash Course over the summer and never found time to read it!!!  Now is that time!  I have heard wonderful things about it and feel that during this month of Thankfulness, it will be an awesome read!!!  Has anyone else read it?????

That's my currently, what's yours????

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Breaking the rules... a little Sunday Scoop!

I mean I am normally not a rule breaker, but today I have so much to say!!!  And I am trying to get myself on the blogging track!!!  So here is my Sunday Scoop...what's yours???

Link up with Teaching Trio to add your Sunday Scoop!!!

First Annual Mid-West Teacher Blogger Meet Up

What's the best way to spend a Saturday?  Surrounded by AMAZING and POSITIVE teachers from all over the Midwest!  I was privileged to have been a part of the 1st Annual Midwest Teacher Blogger Meet Up.  I am a self-proclaimed BB...Beginner Blogger!  The ladies I got to spend the day with are far from that!  I have followed many of them via their blog, Facebook, or Instagram for awhile.  Some I met for the first time and have already started following them.  It was amazing to learn from them and get energized by the collective energy that was in one room.

I wasn't alone in this adventure!  It was a Road Trip with my pals, Molly (at Miss K's Kindergarten) and Sara (at Life in the Fast Lane).  We decided to make a day of it and started off with Portillo's for lunch!  I mean it is a must!!  And oddly enough, we all ordered the same thing!  Next we hit up the Container Store and Five Below!  Five Below was filled with amazing finds and the Container Store had just what I needed for an activity I am doing later in the week!  Then we hit the promised land, IKEA!!!  The IKEA in Schaumburg is almost OVERWHELMING in size, however we were up for the challenge.  We tackled half the store when we realized it was time to head to the Meet-Up!  So we checked out with our Round 1 purchases and head to Lakeshore Learning!  A huge THANK YOU to Lakeshore Learning for allowing us to invade their space.  At Lakeshore, we continued to get our shop on!

Below are some pictures from this great day!
Who doesn't love Portillo's???  What is your favorite thing to order?

Not going to lie...they had to test these cool chairs from the Container Store and their testing got a little dangerous! This is after testing!

Some go to IKEA to shop, some take selfies!

My pals that help me stay on the positive path!

My table pals!!! Back row L to R, Cretia (blog coming soon!) Me,  Tasia (Great Minds Teach Alike), Bobbi (Bitty Bilinguals), Front Row Michelle (Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching) and Kristin ( Teaching In A Nutshell)

The "after" of 3 teachers let loose in IKEA, Container Store, Five Below, and Lakeshore Learning)!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Scoop

Seriously weekends just fly by...don't they??  Each Friday night I have a HUGE to do list for the weekend.  Not jobs just things I want to get done, things I actually enjoy doing!!!  Then I blink and it is Sunday night and the list doesn't look as complete as I would like.  So let's see if today can be productive!!!  Here's my Sunday Scoop.....(leave me some feedback!)

Want to link up?  Head on over to 

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Free For All!

Who doesn't love a freebie????  The Primary Gal is hosting an awesome Free For All on Facebook!!!!  I am blessed to be a part of it and can't wait to see the amazing work of some awesome teachers.  Check it out, click on the picture below!!!  It starts at 12:00 am est!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Currently....October is here!

I am beyond excited that October is here!  I feel like October really means FALL!!  I must say I do LOVE me some FALL!!!  In fact, I might go as far as to say it is my favorite season!!!  I have BIG plans for if I can just muster up the energy!!  Thanks to Farley at Oh'Boy 4th Grade for hosting this awesome party!  Here's my currently....and as always...please make comments!!!  I LOVE comments...almost as much as I love Fall!

Listening:  I mean...I can't be the only one who watches "Watch What Happens Live.." right?  I love that show and pretty much all that is Bravo!!!

Loving:  I am blessed to work with 2 awesome teachers, who believe my Dollar Tree/Target obsessions and craftivity fun is normal!  So normal...that we are having a work night tomorrow!!! Can't wait!!!

Thinking: My list is long, but with the motivation I get from my work buddies...I am certain to get it all accomplished!!!

Wanting:  My daughter's adoption is slowly coming along.  I try to remind myself that each day that goes by is one day closer to her being home!!!  Just excited and really want to see some movement!!!

Needing:  A re-adjustment!  Lots of negativity lately....I pride myself on being a positive patty.. and it is time to get the naysayers out of my head!!!

Trick or Treat:  Office Max is having AWESOME clearance deals!  I got 3 binders, 8 pocket dividers, and a ream of pink paper for $5.18!!  You read that right!!!  SO run don't walk to your closest Office Max!!  And don't forget to use your Teacher Rewards card for points!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Let's try again...Sunday Scoop Take 2

So last week I was thrilled to link up with the Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!  Well I hate to say I was very unsuccessful:(  Let's just say learning we are going to add a 4th first grade tomm (yes, you read that right!) and my town having their annual festival (which is a must do) required me to re-evaluate my to-do list.  If at first you don't succeed...try try here it goes:)

Certainly I am not the only one this happens to...right???  Have a great week!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Scoop...a look ahead!

Just found a new linky!  The ladies at the Teaching Trio are hosting The Sunday Scoop.   I love anything that makes me put my goals out there!  Now I will feel like I am letting everyone down if I don't follow through.  Good motivation.  So here it goes....

This year my professional goals are to make sure the kiddos know what we are doing and trying to achieve!  My focus boards are a part of that, but of course the OCD teacher in me, needs them to be they are a work in progress.  Which of course brings me to my classroom reveal, seriously I love my classroom this may be my all time I have to take pictures so you can all see!!!  This week is one of my favorites, our annual Pumpkin Festival!!!!  I love every day of it and love that I live in such a fun and caring community.  Of course next year will be even better, as it will be Little J's FIRST Pumpkin Festival!!!  Have a great week everyone!

A makeover and a HUGE thank you!!!

What do you think???  I mean isn't it the cutest???  The colors were inspired by my classroom but the rest was the wonderful work of Lindsey at

She was wonderful to work with and truthfully underpaid for her great design.

I am inspired to create some great projects and activities that my firsties will love and now that the canvas is ready, you can bet I will be sharing it all right here!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for FRIDAY!!!!

Well it finally arrived...FRIDAY!!!  And in honor of my excitement, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday!  My pictures aren't great but I will get better, ya gotta start somewhere!!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

How great is it to be in floating in a pool on a Sunday afternoon and not worry about school stuff...all because you have another day off!!  Three day weekends are the best!!! A sunny warm pool day with a friend...priceless:)

Anyone else out there pin things like crazy on Pinterest and then NEVER do them???  Certainly I am not the only one..right???  Well I have big goals for myself and I want to be that teacher that really gets the kids engaged and be like all of you!!!  I have been so inspired not only by the teachers I work with daily, but also teachers in this awesome blogging community that I discovered over two years ago.  So now when I find it, I will TRY it!!  So what do 6 year olds like more anything else???  Using their hands and having fun!  So I decided that I would try some homemade playdough for rolling out our spelling words.  Well the recipe was simple but it didn't quite turn out right.  So back to the drawing board this weekend.  Be on the look out for pictures of my kiddos playing with playdough...I will find a recipe!!  And yes, I realize I can buy it...but where is the fun in that??

We began our Pete the Cat unit this week!  Nothing too exciting to share yet...but next week we will really get into it with Teacher by the Beach's Groovy Cat Unit.  I am so excited I can't wait!

I have to get better at keeping my table CLEAR!!!  The whole purpose of using a table is so I can work with kids!!!  I MUST get organized.  This was taken about an hour before Back to School night.  I got it clear before I met with parents.  Not as great of a turn-out as I would have liked...but it was nice to connect with some parents I hadn't met yet.  It was a long hot day and the good news is we all survived!!!

I am working with Lindsey at L.Paull Designs for All for a new blog design!  I am over the moon excited with what she is creating and I can not wait to share it with everyone.  Maybe next week my new look will be LIVE!!!  Check in next week to see!!!

Thanks for checking in on my week!  Please leave me a comment, I love meeting new bloggers!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's Time for September's Currently!!!

Time to link up with Farley at Oh'Boy Fourth Grade for September's Currently!  I have to say that I am pretty excited it is September.  I am hoping that means cooler temps and fall will soon be here.  Summer is awesome, but teaching in a building with NO air conditioning with 24 firsties who would rather be anywhere but our sauna of a classroom... has kinda gotten the best of me!  So bring on FALL!!!

Listening:  Friends has become my new obsession, while I am getting work done!!!  And Nick at Nite luckily provides me at least 2 hours of it every night!!

Loving: 3 day weekends!  I was able to have family time, friend time, and still have tomorrow to conquer some work!

Thinking: I will be much more productive tomorrow on my work, IF I make a to do list!!!

Wanting:  I hope I am not the only one who has made goals and not stuck to them, well I am re-focusing and starting tomorrow.  I have made some great goals and I really feel they are attainable.  SO here goes nothing!!!

Needing:  My cutie to be home!!!  Adoption is not for the weak of heart and though I try VERY hard to be patient, I want her home!!!

3 Trips: Ireland, well this Irish girl will get there someday!!  I mean it is on the Bucket List.  Charleston, South Carolina just looks beautiful and I mean who doesn't want to go there??? And then Animal Kingdom, I had to put it!  I love Walt Disney World and can NOT wait to take my little one there soon!!!  I have never been to Animal Kingdom, so we can enjoy it together!!!

That's it for this Currently!!  Check back in and see how I am doing on my goals....this girl needs all the encouragement I can get!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School 2014: Who Monday?

Who am I?  Well since I should be tweaking my lesson plans for the 1st day of school, you might say I am a procrastinator!  I like to push deadlines, but I also hate missing I always get it done.  I like to say I work best under pressure!

I am also a first grade teacher in the heart of Illinois, entering my 8th year of teaching at the same school.  I am a "non-traditional" teacher, as I spent ten years working in the Community Health/Injury Prevention field.  Making the decision to become a teacher was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  It didn't come as a shock to my friends and family, when I told them I was going to go back to school to become a teacher.... as they said they always knew that is what I was meant to be.  However, I will say working outside the world of education only helps to make me a better teacher, so I wouldn't change my career path for anything!

I am also an aspiring blogger and TPT'er!  I can't tell you how many things I have learned following everyone out there.  The blogging/TPT community is filled with so many great ideas and support!

I am a mom to a little girl, who hopefully will come to her forever home this year! I am the daughter of the greatest parents a girl could ask for!  A sister/sister-in-law to my wonderful brother & sister-in-law, an aunt to the coolest 6th grader & 8th grader in the world, a teacher to 26 little firsties (that I am anxious to see tomorrow morning), and a friend to the best friends out there!

Join me tomorrow to see WHERE I teach!!!

To learn about more teachers....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...How do you organize?

Today I am linking up with Christina at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday!  What a fun concept, especially since working in my room is completely exhausting...anyone else tired???

This year, we made a big switch and went to tables...

Do you use tables?  If so, how do you organize supplies???

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I did a little shopping!!

I am trying to be good and not spend too much, but after checking out what some of you bought...I am pretty sure I need to go back and make a few more purchases!  That's what you get when you link up with....

One of my goals this year (I am have many...) is to use Interactive Notebooks.  I am nervous and excited to try this.  I hope my kiddos are up for the challenge, as I am sure there will be a little bit of a learning we get started!  Maybe I should hope that I am up for the challenge!

Here is what I bought....

Our district doesn't use a Reading Series, so we don't have a set of stories and/or a curriculum to follow.  I thought that the First Grade Grammar and Phonics Interactive Notebook Bundle by Teaching with Love and Laughter would be a great start.  I think it will be a great supplement as I follow our pacing guide.

The Teacher Talk has a great Interactive Math Journal!  I am excited to use it.  There are some great counting and number sense pages that we will start the year off with and hopefully help them get use to using interactive notebooks.

Now I need to go buy more notebooks!  And then I might try creating a cute label for them!  Off to go buy one or two more things!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It

It is time for my 1st Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics!  It only took 3 Monday's but least it is done!!!  Hope you enjoy!

Step 1:  The picture above is the start of a little re-furb, which consists of 5 gallon paint cans (I got mine at Home Depot, but you can get them at Lowe's also).  I sprayed my cans with navy paint.  I didn't use primer, which I might regret later, but the blue did a great job of covering.

Step 2:   Next I tackled the padding.  I tried to get it at Jo Ann's, where unfortunately I received some not so nice customer service, and it was WAY expensive!!!  I then found myself at Michael's, where I was able to find it pre-packaged and could use a coupon!  Well I am not going to lie, this step of cutting the padding into circles was a little rough.

Step 3:  I glued the padding to the lid and laid it down on the fabric.  I wasn't sure how to secure the fabric to the lid!  I ended up hot gluing, then tucking the fabric into the lid crevice as I went.  It wasn't perfect, but I was ok with it!

And in the end, I was pleased!  I hope my kiddos like their seats and I can't wait to see them in use!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently

Yikes!  Today is August 1st!  It has been a great summer but today I stepped back into school mode and visited my new room!  It was a little overwhelming, but isn't it every year???

I am excited to link up with Farley's Currently!

Listening...I mean who doesn't love a little reality TV?  I do and can't believe I didn't know this season had already started!!  Good thing I found the marathon! new room (same grade, same school) it is huge and today I just wondered around and made notes about what I want to do!
Thinking...There is still fun to be had this summer and I am ready!! little one's adoption to be final and to have her home!
Needing...Office Max is a NEED right?  I mean who doesn't need school supplies!

1st day!  Yikes, 14 days!!  Kiddos will visit on the 15th and meet their teacher and drop off supplies, so excited can't wait to see their little faces!!

Are you excited for the first day????

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Beliefs on Education...

The Primary Gal posted a great challenge and I decided to take that challenge.

So I became a teacher because I believe...
1.  All kids can learn, just not the same way.  I feel many teachers would say that the word differentiation is overused, however it is the best way to sum up my belief.  I believe that teachers have to give time to all children and figure out the best way they can learn.  In the younger grades, kids can't tell you I am an auditory or a visual learner, but through talking with them about their likes and dislikes you can get a great idea of what might work for them.

2.  Engagement is the key to getting kids excited to learn!  I went to the best session at the I Teach 1st conference in Vegas by Hope King at Elementary Shenanigans.  Her session was about Setting the Stage to Engage!!!  And boy did she do that.  We has teachers were overly engaged in her session, by her putting that extra effort into her presentation.  Engagement doesn't have to cost you a lot, however your reward will be great.  And if you do want to spend a little, check out the great teacher spots, Dollar Tree and Target!  A few dollars can provide return in your investment!

3. If you love what you do, your students will benefit.  I am a non-traditional teacher.  Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a teacher.  However, in college I chose a different route and went into Community Health.  After working in that area for 8 years, I realized that life was too short and you should follow your dreams.  So I went back to school, driving to Chicago weekly for 2 years all while working a full-time job.  Why?  Because I knew I was meant to be a teacher!  I love being a teacher, I love seeing my students excited and wanting to learn more!  When they can see that I love it, it makes them want to love it as well!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Creative Juices...

Tonight, I had a long to do list and guess what?  I still have that list but I also have my calendar and word wall ready to go for my classroom!  WOO HOO!!  That also means I will have 2 new items posted to my TPT store.  Baby steps!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Vegas Ready

Well 24 hours from now I will be preparing for take-off to VEGAS!!!!  I am thrilled beyond belief.  I am over the moon excited to meet the bloggers that I have stalked, I mean followed for the last 2 years!!  I am ready to learn new things that will make me a better teacher for my firsties:)

I have not packed:(  I can't decide what to wear!!  O'what a problem to have!  I am going to try not and over pack, so I have room for the goodies I get when I am there!

Hopefully I will come back, re-charged and creative!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Comfort Zone

This year I have left my comfort zone a couple of times and starting this blog is another one of those times!  I have followed teacher blogs for almost 2 years.  I have become a better teacher because of people I have never met, but who have encouraged me so much!  My friend Sara (@ lifeinthefastlaneblog) has in her first year in the classroom gotten me to push the envelope and try to do things, I use to watch others do.    Please join me as I switch rooms, take on my 2nd year back in 1st grade, bring my little girl home, and try to become a better teacher!!!