Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Proverbs for the New Year

It's a new year!  It's a little hard to believe.  I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy New Year.  I'm also sharing a couple of proverbs.  It's always good to start a new year with a little wisdom and sound advice, right?

Here are some fun proverbs from my Proverbs for the Classroom Pinterest board.  Clicking on the image will take you right to the pin, so you can follow it to its original source.

And, one of my personal favorites...

I also have a freebie that I've shared before.  It's a cooperative activity. Small groups are given 3 proverb cards and some short stories that illustrate the proverbs.  Their task is to match the stories with the correct proverb.  Here's an example of a proverb  and two of the stories that match it. 

The freebie includes 8 proverbs with 2 or 3 mini-stories to go along with each one. There are also sheets for students to explain proverbs in their own words. I used those as an assessment.  My students were really engaged when I used these materials last year.  Click here or on the image below if you would like to grab it.  

Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fourteen in '14

I've just discovered this fun linky hosted by Traci, Hadar, and Kristin.  Somehow I missed this linky last year, so I'm excited to participate.

I don't have one favorite quote.  Different quotes and scriptures mean more to me at different times. So, I'm sharing couple of favorites!

Source:  Joy Forney at

Sweaters and pajamas! I am not really a clothes shopper. I shop for clothes simply because I need to wear them.  

It's a comedy.  It's an action movie without vulgarity, nastiness, or graphic content. It's an inspiring teacher movie!  If you haven't seen this, you want to.  Trust me.  It stars Kevin James and also Henry Winkler (the Fonz).  

We don't have satellite or cable at our house. We stream everything to our Playstation through Netflix and Hulu.  We watched every season of Chuck this year.  

We go out to eat more often than we probably should.  This relatively local place is one of our favorite places to go.  It's family friendly and has REALLY good food.

I'm so glad I've entered the teacher blogging community.  It took a long time for me to decide to try it.  I have a brave friend who started blogging first, and she inspired me.  My blog is definitely not one of those places you visit for professional development, but I hope it's a fun place for people to visit.  I love to walk by my colleague's classrooms and see what they're up to.  My intention is to give readers a peek into MY classroom. Peeks into my family life are also provided!

There is simply no way I can answer this one!  My husband is a master gift-giver though. He built me a shelf for my classroom.  See that post here.  For Christmas, he gave me new jammies, a heated blanket, and a $100 Hobby Lobby gift card! Those were all pretty great.  Here are some photos of a gift my daughter wrapped for me.  She wrapped it and put it under the tree a month ago.  The gift is a book she made.  On the cover is a picture of our cat Sunshine.

Again, how can I pick one favorite?  I've done LOTS of pinning this year.  Too much.  I've decided to share a few of the pins that make me smile.  So, enjoy!

I haven't been blogging for long, and I don't feel like I've shared anything particularly profound or groundbreaking.  This Five for Friday post is a favorite,though.  It gives glimpses of me, my classroom, and my family.  And... there's a freebie!  

Hearing my daughter talk about how much she loves the Lord...  Listening to my son sing worship songs while he does chores... These are things that bless me.  Truly, I know all too well that I'm not doing enough to teach my children about Him.  But, when they share their thoughts about God with me I realize that SOMETHING is sinking in.  I'm thankful.  

We have very few photos of our entire family.  Yesterday, we did a little family photo shoot using the tripod and the timer.  Love this one.

This is a tough one. My family makes lots of memories, so it's hard to choose one.  My dad has been living in a nursing home for the past two years, and he isn't doing all that well.  Some visits are better than others, and I'll definitely treasure the good ones.  My kids hug and kiss my father, and he perks up and almost smiles.  I respect and treasure my Dad, and I know that the memories of him with my kids will stick with me.
I plan to start nightly devotions with my kids.  I purchased them each a devotional, and I'll do them with Seth and Gabrielle before bed.  

For many years, the pain of not being ENOUGH was hard to handle.  Every failure just hurt.  I've come to realize that I'm NOT enough on my own, and that's okay.  

Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."  
John 15:4

I no longer fear not being enough.  I fear being apart from the One who is MORE than enough.  This song is a favorite.  I hope it ministers to you as it does to me.  

Enjoy the last few days of 2014!

Visit Traci, Hadar, and Kristin for more "Fourteen in '14" posts.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you a Merry Christmas.  
I hope your time with family and friends has been a blessing!    

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Scoop

I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio today for their Sunday Scoop linky. Christmas is almost here! I'll be working a full day tomorrow and a half day on Tuesday.  I know lots of you are already on break.  I hope you've been resting and having fun!  

My friend and I are taking our children Christmas caroling at the nursing home on Tuesday! She made cards with her children.  Today, the kids and I made some cards as well. We'll pass them out as we visit and sing.  We're big fans of glitter glue at our house!  It's NOT just for adhering things! Have a wonderful holiday and a restful break.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Everyone's Ready for Christmas

Three days this week... Two days next week...  Then I'm on break!  While I'm having fun with my students doing Christmas-y math and grammar activities, I'm looking forward to Christmas and a vacation!  My cat, as you can see, is ready too.  He seems to think we've put the tree up just for him.  And he thinks the gifts are pillows.  

Do you have a cat who's a tree climber? An ornament batter?  A garland swiper?  I'd love to hear about it! 

You can join in the Wordless Wednesday fun by visiting Miss DeCarbo's blog, Sugar and Spice.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Conversation Linky

We just got back from driving around and looking at Christmas lights, so I thought it would be a fun time to link up with Abby at The Inspired Apple for a little "Christmas Conversation".  Join in the fun!  Head over to Abby's blog to grab the graphic and join in!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Five for Friday

I miss linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching.  She's taking a break from Five for Friday for a little while.  Despite the lack of linky, I plan to share five things from my week.  It's just fun!

The students wrote Christmas letters. We then placed the final copies of the letters into construction paper cards.  I didn't take photos, but I thought I'd share one of my student's letters:

Dear Mom and Dad, 
     You've done so much for me. I am going to tell you all the stuff you've done for me.  First, I'm going to start with dad. You have bought me a 1,200 dollar Suzuki quad and then you fixed it for $2,000 and I am so thankful for that. 
     Now Mom, I am so glad for all those clothes you bought because if you hadn't I'd be wearing a potato sack and I would not enjoy that.  Also if I did not have you, I would have to live like the Pilgrims and hunt my food and that could take forever. Plus we would have to make cloth.

So precious, right?  Of course, the best thing about his letter is his heart.  I also love that he included a topic sentence and organized his thanks so that Mom and Dad each had a section.  And, of course, he pulled in some of the facts we'd learned when we read about Pilgrims!  He made my day.

NWEA MAP testing this week!  We worked in our own classroom with the laptops, which was nice. Grant money purchased 3 laptop carts for our district, and it's been great.  We should have been finished with testing yesterday, but we could not get onto the website.  So, there will be more testing next week. 

I want to get my students more involved with goal-setting. It's one of those things that I intended to do, but the time escaped me.  I did create these little charts for motivation so kids could shoot for more points than last time on each test.  It was very motivating. In the fall, one student completed his entire reading test in 13 minutes.  This time, he slowed down and was more thoughtful.  His score went up by 21 points. I know scores aren't everything, but I do want my students to be successful. To grab a copy of the forms, click here. I've included several examples. One of them includes a spot for spring scores.

Krista Wallden has been sharing weekly holiday freebies in her Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Along with each freebie comes a Selfless Challenge.  This week, I created little notes with the clip art to surprise my family with. I also created some gift tags for my students' presents.  I purchased holiday Geronimo Stilton books from Scholastic for them.  You can grab a copy of the gift tags by clicking here or on the image below.

As I promised last week, I'm sharing some photos from our family gingerbread-house-building competition.  My husband and son made the sleigh with the Yoda-headed Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Penguin.  Look closely.  You'll see it. The pink, Hello Kitty house was created by Gabrielle and me.  

Have a great week! Enjoy your last few days with students before the break.  They're squirrely but fun this time of year!