Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Week of School

Well, I have officially survived the first week of school!
The first day back is always the hardest for students and teachers, because the students are all wound up and excited to see their friends, and the teachers have to start all over with a new group of children teaching classroom routines and procedures that we had forgotten/taken for granted because they became second nature by the end of last year.
The first week, chaotic as it was (with a power-outage to top things off!), went really well. I have a group of energetic, fun-loving students that are going to keep me on my toes this year.
We started school on August 22nd... a beautiful Wednesday morning!
On the night of our first day back to school, I was in bed by 8:00... talk about wiped out! Overall, I'm feeling exhausted and a little bit overwhelmed (just being honest!), but I know that it will get easier as I get back into my school year routine.
I still have gobs of beach pictures to share with you, so I'm hoping to have time to work on that post this week. Keep checking back... I will write more when I have time (and energy!).


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here We Go!

...And we're off! Tomorrow is the first day of school. I had the privilege of meeting 14 of my new little friends at Back to School Night on Monday, and it was wonderful to finally put faces to the names! It's a huge blessing to have parental support, so it was great getting to connect with the families of my kiddos. I still have a lot to do tonight (two hours until my school year bedtime of 10pm!), but I wanted to share my classroom blog website with you so that you can follow along with our learning this year. Click {{here}} to visit my classroom blog!

There are lots of "Teacher's Prayers" out there, but this one resonates with my heart the most:


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ringing in the New Year!

Ok, where's the giant glittery ball? Where are the excited crowds counting down, "Five... Four... Three... Two... One............... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!"? Because let's be honest. Wednesday August 22nd marks the real new year. For teachers all aross the country, now is the time to put on those party hats, grab the noise makers, and start counting down... because a new group of little minds is about to come through the doors!

I am so anxious to "get this party started." This is my second year in second grade. I thought this year was going to be slightly easier having a year under my belt this time around... however, with the implementation of the common core standards this year, I'm already having visions of more late nights in my classroom preparing materials. ...So maybe next year it'll be a little easier? We'll see!

I do know that I have a group of 21 seven year olds who are depending on me as their teacher, and I will do whatever I have to do to make sure they learn. I can't wait to meet my new group of kiddos. I worked 5.5 hours today (yes, it's Saturday) in my classroom. I began attaching the students' name tags to their desks. As I sat at each desk to work, I prayed for the little one who will be sitting in that seat. I pray that God gives each one a strong mind, healthy body, and a kind heart.

I'm really excited with how my room is coming together! While it's not completely finished yet, the bulk of the work is done... and you know what that means! Time for a picture tour :)


Welcome to my classroom!
A corner room! The view as you walk in and look to the left.

The view as you enter the room and look straight ahead.
This is my favorite whole group teaching spot.
My "Listen to Reading" Station :)
Saw this on Pinterest and had to recreate :)
Warm fuzzies for when I catch a student doing a great job.
My Interactive Word Wall, currently dressed-up with first grade words that my second graders should know. We will gradually start taking down some first grade words and adding our second grade words as we go.
My behavior chart for the school-wide color system: "PAWS" to Think: Make a Good Choice.
Love creating a soothing, warm ambience with lamps. Here's my newest addition this year.
My desk... but don't look too closely at the mess!
Can't wait to add some student work to the bulletin board above my desk.
Calendar Math & Student Computers
Math tool boxes
My writing center... Obviously still a major work in progress :)
Kiddo cubbies
Lunch choice graph using the t-shirt magnets (students will write their names on a magnet on the first day)
Mailboxes and Book Boxes
My "Macaroni Table" for guided reading/math groups, conferencing, and interventions.
Classroom Library
View of the room from the back
My new reading hut! Love it :)
Guided Reading Supplies: letter tiles, bells, pointers, martian fingers, wikki sticks, flash cards, post-its, sound cards
Guided Reading Group Names: Terrific Tigers, Hot Hippos, Funky Monkeys, and Flying Pigs
Love these name tags with learning tools on them, i.e. hundreds chart, number line, place value helper, 3D shape chart
The top of my technology cart with all of my teacher supplies
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What I'm Loving Today

Today is Wednesday, so I'm linking up {{here}} for What I Love Wednesday.

Although, today is not any ordinary Wednesday. Today, August 15th, marks my last day of peace and sanity summer vacation... because tomorrow is Day #1 of my required 190 work days before my next summer vacation.
Shall we start counting down to Thanksgiving break now?

Even though I'm sad to see the lazy/hazy/crazy days of summer come to an end, I'm stoked to meet my new class and dive head-first into a brand new curriculum. Should be fun... right?!

Anyways, here's what I'm loving today:

1. Hot Air Balloons
For a recent date night, J and I went out to dinner at our favorite Mexican joint here in town. After dinner, he surprised me by suggesting that we go check out the Hot Air Balloon Festival that was being held in town. Of course I responded with, "Yes, please!!!" ...and then I realized I didn't have my 'big' camera with me. All I had to capture that majesty of these balloon beauties was my cell phone and good ol' Instagram. These pictures turned out okay... but next year, I'm definitely going with my DSLR in tow!

2. My New iPad Cover
I wanted to start the new school year with a cute new iPad cover, so I scoured Etsy until I found the perfect one. I think it turned out adorable! I love the light grey chevron in contrast to the pink. You can click {{here}} to visit the store from which I ordered.

3. Classroom Improvements
Spent several mornings here and there over the past couple of weeks working in my classroom to get it ready for a new crew of second graders. I bought a yellow canopy (flame retardent, mind you) to replace the tiki hut from last year that the fire marshall did not approve of. I also made a sign for my door that I saw {{here}} on Pinterest. I had to make a few adaptations because I have a window on my door, and I like the look of all of the affirmations on one sheet in black and white. The superintendent of our county stopped by my classroom this morning while I was making the sign and he loved it. Score!

4. Chipotle
My favorite "fast food" to get on the go is a Burrito Bol from Chipotle. I get white rice, black beans, peppers & onions, chicken, two scoops of green chili salsa, corn salsa, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce. And of course, I get a bag of chips to eat with my Bol. YUM-O! Celebrated the end of summer today with a Burrito Bol by the pool at lunchtime (and then ate the rest of it for dinner!). Love me some Chipotle!

5. Quality Time with my BFF and my "Nephew"
My last hurrah of summer vacation was an afternoon spent by the pool with my BFF, Beth. She brought her little guy, Lane, along with her (my adopted nephew). We had fun playing in the water and soaking up some sunshine. Love these two!

6. My Kitty
She is just too cute. That's all.

7. Back to School Sales
Took advantage of Maryland's tax-free shopping on clothing while I was at the beach. We had a day of rainy weather, so we spent an evening at the Outlets. I scored BIG TIME at Bass. Remember how I talked about needing trousers that fit me in length? Well... they had my size AND length. These pants were originally $69.99 and were on sale for $19.99! I bought four pairs and didn't think twice. Love them :) Notice my kitty making herself at home ON TOP of my new pants. I think it's her way of silently protesting the fact that I'm going back to work tomorrow. Ha!

8. My Love <3
Last, but certainly not least, is my Hubby. Love him so much it hurts! Right before I left for the beach, he made sure my car was in good working order and he washed it for me, too. He takes such good care of me... I'm so blessed to share my life with him.


Monday, August 13, 2012


Hi, friends! I just returned from a five-night stay at the beach. For the first two nights, I stayed with my friend Amy at a condo with her family. Then, my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law drove down to the beach and met me for the next three nights for our annual girls' trip to the beach. I had a *blast* hanging out with Amy for a few days, and my time spent with my family did not disappoint, either. We usually end up laughing until we cry many times during our annual trip to the beach.

Here are some Instagram pics that I captured on my phone during my stay at the beach.

Enjoy :)

Goodbye, Home!

All packed up and ready to go...

Sandy Point State Park, Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Early morning sky

Kiddos riding the rides

The Ferris Wheel

Overcast morning sky

On our way to Assateague Island

Wild horses and ponies on the beach

De Lazy Lizard... Girl's Night Out!

Out with Amy for the evening <3

Mornings on the boardwalk

All that luggage for 3 days... ha!

The view from our room

Sites on the boardwalk

Boardwalk fun

No caption necessary :)

Pure bliss...

Toes in the sand

Best fries on the boardwalk!


My Momma!

Connie, my Mother-In-Law

Jamie, my Sister-In-Law

Beach read :)

Nose in my book

A gorgeous day

The Candy Kitchen... lollypops!

The Candy Kitchen... truffles!

Sunrise on the last morning

Linking up {{here}}, {{here}}, and {{here}}.