Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yes, it has been too long...

My dear readers, it has been way too long! However, I have a very valid reason! I GOT ENGAGED! My wonderful John proposed, and I have been on cloud nine ever since then! I have been spending all of my free time with him recently. I am so excited! It was the sweetest proposal, and it was soooo sentimental and special to the two of us.
 Right after we danced, and he proposed. I am sure I look crazy from all the crying, but I was quite emotional. Love, love, love!
 This is the ring right after he proposed.
This is a better view of my ring. It is emerald cut, with a white gold infinity band, and a rose gold halo. It is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen in my whole life. 

So after that wonderful weekend, the snow hit north Georgia! Again! This time there is even more snow. It is absolutely gorgeous. I am sorry that the pictures are not great quality, but I was much more interested in playing. Haha! 

 These are the pictures from the first day of snow fun!

This morning we have at least two more inches. It is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like something right off of a postcard, which is rarely seen in Georgia. We have had a lot of fun! I brought work home before I left school the other day. Today, I plan to decide what to do with my time. I have some Monday Made It ideas, so check back to see what I have going on. I also plan later to update some GREAT and FABULOUS work-outs that I have been using at the gym and at my house! I am sorry for the lateness of this blogpost, and I surely plan on being better going forward. Happy snow day to my fellow teachers, and for the rest of you, I hope you have as wonderful of a day as my past few! 

Question of the Day:
1. What has been making you overjoyed the past few days?
2. Has anything BIG happened to you lately?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I am very happy to be back home! School let out at 12:00, but all the roads home closed before I could leave. LUCKILY, I have some amazing teachers at my school. One took me in, and I had a safe place to stay. I am beyond blessed. All I can think of is how beyond blessed I am that all of my kids made it home safely. I want to personally thank EVERY SINGLE TEACHER that stayed at their schools with the kids who could not make it home. Our line of work is incredibly rewarding. Saying thank you on here seems so silly, so I hope people are telling you over and over in person. You certainly deserve it! This snow has completely thrown the south off...We were certainly not prepared for it.
This is what it looked like AFTER some of the snow had melted. It doesn't seem like a lot of snow when I look at it. Once I finally got home, I took a deep breath and relaxed for an hour or so...Then, I was ready to try my new gym! That's right! John and I found a new gym that is perfect for us. I am so excited! The great thing is that it is only a mile down the road from my house. John and I made the trek out, and we went to the gym. I had not been in one since I graduated. Don't get me wrong, I love my home workouts, but I need something more. I had been losing interest. I had a wonderful workout today.

35 minutes of cardio
25 minutes of arm strength training

Well! School has been cancelled for tomorrow, so I will be back with a new update! Have a wonderful day, friends!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Take a Risk to Put Yourself Out There

On our teacher in-service day this week, I sat in my classroom for about ten straight minutes. All I did was think about how far I have come from five and a half months ago when I first got hired. I can remember sitting in my room then with NO idea of where I was headed with my kids, lessons, and colleagues. In one word, I was terrified. I had no idea whether or not I was truly prepared to do this every day. I was shy, and I was afraid to speak in front of my co-workers for the fear of sounding like I shouldn't be there. Five and half months later, I thought about the fact that I had made it! I don't feel like it was survival mode (or at least a majority of it). My goal was for my students to learn, and I feel like I am doing that. My fears were quickly conquered when I realized that this is what I have worked for, and it is now or never. There is no time to slow down and worry. I just had to make it work. I make mistakes daily. There is no doubt about that, but I can handle them and recognize them for the future. This was enough to start my new semester in Room 911 even better than the last. I had no idea that I was about to have another life affirming moment.

I joined Twitter originally because the author of a blog I loved uses it for professional development by communicating with educators all around the globe. I took the opportunity to learn from anyone, so I joined. I was not very active. I would watch all the Twitter chats, but I would never participate. I just took the time to soak in the knowledge of the ones who I truly felt were more knowledgeable than myself. This weekend, I decided it was time to put myself out there. I joined in the Twitter chat that I was watching. What do you know? I was not torn down, but quite the opposite, I was told what a good point that was. More conversations stemmed from what I had said, and I was able to participate. I thought to myself, "I really have come a long way from who I was at the end of my college career. It is okay to try new things as a professional and as an individual."

I think so often we are afraid of making mistakes that we don't put ourselves on the line enough. This could be in our classrooms as teachers, in our personal lives, or in front of those we find intimidating. No matter what the situation is, I am learning that it is okay to put ourselves in new situations because more often than not, you will be affirmed rather than torn down. I tell my students daily, "Our class is a safe learning environment. We are here to support one another, so we will take risks, and if we make mistakes that is okay because we will learn from them to do better in the future." I wasn't living by those words...I was shying away from everything because I was afraid. This past week has taught me that it is okay. We make mistakes; that is human. It is what we do after the mistake that matters the most. The risk often turns into a wonderful story for you.

Question of the Day:
What new situation will you put yourself in this week?
Do you have a way you want to grow as a person?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snowy Days and New Years

School is closed today (for the "snow"), so I have plenty of time to reflect and move forward, while I curl up under a warm blanket with my coffee. I cannot believe a new year is here (granted it is January 6). I have taken a good amount of time to think about what my goals for 2014 are. However, I had not taken enough time to celebrate how amazing 2013 was for me! Thank you to Sarah Ohm from My Mostly Healthy Lifestyle for making me sit down to reflect on that. Here is a list of all the great things that I accomplished or happened in my life this year:

1. I graduated with a Bachelors in Collaborative Education.
2. I got my first job, at a great school, with amazing colleagues. I have loved being a fourth grade teacher to a wonderful group of kids!
3. I was there for the birth of my twin nieces, and I have watched them grow and develop. Nothing brings more joy to my life than being an aunt to the three sweetest children I have ever met.
4. I began a workout routine that has lead me to a much healthier and happier lifestyle.
5. I spent another year with my best friend in life. I also got to watch him achieve one of his life's dreams in August!
6. I have made new friends that make my life a happier one to live.
7. I watched John graduate with his Bachelors in Music Education to start the next chapter in his life.

These are just A FEW of the things that made my year an awesome one to be in. Now, I look forward to 2014. I spent a lot of time wondering what to write about. I always struggle with New Year's resolutions because I make a long list of them. I want to make all these goals that I fail to achieve them. This year, I have thrown that idea out the door! New chapter of my life means new ideas! That being said, my goals are very specific, and the list is short.

1. Stay up to date on current events- In the past year, I have not done the reading and news watching that I normally do. I want to be current because it helps me empower myself as a citizen in this country to make decisions and opinions that are important.

2. Work out regularly using a weekly routine- I have been working out, but with my new job it has been fairly sporadic. I am a scheduler. I love a routine, so this just makes my life a little easier. Haha!

3. Stress less- John and I have discussed this goal A LOT! I definitely find things to stress out about. He wants me to make more time for myself, and I definitely think he is correct. It can be finding solace in fifteen minutes of reading, working out, laying in a bathtub, or taking a date night. Either way, some time to reflect on my day and my own happiness. :)

4. Last, but certainly not least, blog more frequently- I love the creative outlet of my blog. I want to make it bigger and better. I plan to figure out a routine to blogging. As of right now, I plan on trying to blog 3 times a week. I think if I start out smaller, I will be much more likely to write quality posts, and I can build from there.

What are your goals for the year? I would love to hear them! I also want to hear your celebrations from 2013! Don't be afraid to celebrate yourself!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Students, lessons, and school..OH MY!

My first teaching job is four days under way! I am loving it, and I am stressing about it at the same time. I have been so busy that I have been very lacking in my blogging time. However, I think I have finally got my shoulders above water now, rather than just my head. I am taking some time to share what has been happening in my Fabulous Fourth Grade classroom!

The first two days we spent all of our time building a community. I want all of my friends to know that they can take risks because that is what creates a learning atmosphere. Therefore, we spent time getting to know one another. I have been able to use some of my favorite Pinterest items in the past few days to allow my friends to build relationships.

My students absolutely loved this activity! They loved hearing about their new friends in the classmate scavenger hunt! I highly recommend this because the students are able to make connections to one another. As I walked through, listening to their conversations, they were all sharing stories of their experiences. They listened with interest as their classmates told them about their summers and lives. It made me very happy.

 In this activity, the students did a carousel around the classroom to answer the questions on the chart paper. I told them to think about their responses before they answered because these posters will dictate our lesson designs. It gave me useful insight into what my students want to learn and what they feel as if they need throughout the school year. I still have them in the room as I begin to design my daily lessons. I want to remind myself daily of what the students need AND want. That should dictate what I am doing on a daily basis. I LOVED THIS ACTIVITY. The kids were able to move about the room and discuss their responses. It was a win-win!
This is another useful printable that allowed me to learn more about my students' hobbies, interests, and lives. I was able to see what their favorite subjects are and where they feel the exceed. We did it in the morning, as I figured out transportation home, attendance, and of course ICE CREAM MONEY! Haha! Then, we turned and talked to our partners about the responses, and we shared in whole group as well. As we shared, other friends were able to make connections with each student, yet again. The whole time was about building relationships and connecting with one another.

I am certainly not in the clear. There are plenty of things to do on my TO-DO list...However, I am confident. As soon as I make some good pictures of my classroom, I will share those as well.

My workout for today really helped me to release my nervous and stressful energy. I went through the routine twice. It was rough after a long day at school, but it definitely helped to relax me! I love releasing all that pent up nervousness. I am excited to get back into a workout routine. I need motivation! When I get home from school, I work, work, work...AND! I am already tired from school...Working out falls to the bottom of my list, but I know I need to, and I really WANT to. Hopefully, I am figuring it out this week since I am falling into a routine. My goal is to walk three times this week, do 3 strength trainings, and do relaxing yoga every night before bed. What are your workout goals?

Question of the Day?
1. How do you get motivated to workout after a long day at work?
2. Have you had an exciting week? What happened?



My students created images and patterns using pattern blocks to explore math

I finally brought him home! The best part is....HE IS A DCI WORLD CHAMPION! I am so proud of him!

Friday, August 2, 2013

IT HAS BEEN TWO WEEKS! (A crazy two weeks at that) I hate that I have gone so long without reading a blog, let alone sharing with my blog friends on my own. Between my new teaching job and teaching a week of band camp, I have zero time to even look at my computer. It has been really hard, but I think that all of my work on the front end of the school year will allow me to share more with my fabulous readers throught the actual school year. I am sad to say that I haven't done a ton of working out in the past week. I have been in meetings all week, and I am exhausted when I get home, with work to do on top of that. However, the week of my band camp I did a lot of unintentional working out! I guess that is where I will start.

I have been teaching band camps for four years now, and this year I only accepted one. I taught at the school I have taught their camp the longest. I love teaching camps! I love watching the kids progress through their show. (That is most likely the teacher in me.) However, it is exhausting! You teach music and marching for 12 HOURS A DAY! However, the benefit of of teaching camps is you are outside for a majority of it. You're jogging, marching, and getting lots of cardio in each day! Not to mention, I get to chill and hang out with the instructors. which is always fun for me! I enjoy teaching flute. I don't get to play as often as I would like anymore, so I had a blast for the week.

                              This is what happens when we get in a Subway box fight with our students
Along with having a wonderful time teaching my band camp kiddos, I have been frantically getting ready for the fast-approaching school year! Time flies every time I step in my classroom! It has been insane...So far, teacher friends, I have organized my room down to the small things last. Now, it is time to get in there and put up my bulletin boards, labels, and cute decor! I am really excited about having everything organized. My OCD does not allow for things to be in chaos. Everything is accessible for my students. They are ready to investigate and learn! They could literally run the classroom if I have a substitute. They will know where everything is. I have groups of four and five, and I have a community area. I have an independent reading area for my students to use during independent reading time, if they are not in guided reading. My school uses Literacy Collaborative as the framework for our literacy blocks. I am so excited to dive into my planning with my fourth grade team members. I am truly excited to share my journey!

These are my groups, and in the corner by the easel is the community area.
(My OCD really needs to remember a screwdriver, so I can level the desks)

The students' book boxes for reading time

LAST,  BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST! In just 7 days, I am going to Indianapolis to bring my boyfriend home from his last year of drum corps....Most readers probably don't know what drum corps is, so let me explain a little. Drum corps is basically a competitive summer marching band. They only have brass instruments, percussion, and colorguard. John has been marching for 5 years, four of which are with Carolina Crown. The season has been incredible, and he loves doing it. I am really excited, however, that he is coming home soon! I cannot wait to go watch his last show ever! I had not seen him in a month and a half until this past weekend. I got to see him on Friday and Sunday! It was fantastic! Saying goodbye was hard, but a week and a half is certainly better than the two months it was at the beginning of the summer! I am praying Carolina Crown wins it all!

                                         The first time I had seen him since the beginning of June!

He is the last one kneeling

The Carolina Crown signature set! He is the right point!

My fellow band camp instructors to see DCI!

Me, the boy, and his little sister (who also marches with a different corps)
Well, that is my update! I promise to get back to my regular routine of blogging! I have missed you, friends!

Goals for the week: Work out every day, walk at least four times, finish my bulletin boards, and GO TO INDIANAPOLIS!


Questions of the Day:
1. What are your weekly goals?
2. Did I bore you with my updates?
3. John is really passionate about music and drum corps, but what are YOU  passionate about?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A successful week in every way!

I am really excited about being a fourth grade teacher. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of going with my sister to start working on my classroom. I didn't take too many pictures because I was frantically trying to get anything that I could done. I put my groups together, relocated my independent reading center, and arranged my small group tables. I love my room setup! The next step is to bring in all of my storage and finish the classroom up.
                                                                My desk groups
I have five group with no more than five students in each group. I am constantly having my students do group work and partner talk. These groups are the perfect size for our lesson activities. I cannot wait for my walls to fill up with examples that my students create throughout the year. We will have student work and anchor charts to being life and community in our classroom. I promise to put up more pictures as the classroom begins to transform.

Lastly, it is Saturday! On Sunday, I made a goal to exercise in the morning at least twice throughout the week. I am happy to announce that I did three times this week! I got out and did walks twice more throughout the week. I love achieving goals that I have set out to accomplish! I had a great week of workouts. I have settled on a pretty wonderful routine for myself. I love variety in my actual workouts, but I have to have a routine to follow. Otherwise, I would never find the time. If I schedule it in, I have no excuse to not do it. I do I alternate between cardio and strength every other day. It seems to be working because I lost another two pounds this week, and my endurance is steadily increasing. The endurance part is actually a miracle because of the crazy humidity that is occurring in Georgia. As soon as I step out of my door, I step into this thick mugginess. It happens no matter what time of the day that I get out and go! I love it, though! Each morning, I am set for my day. I feel so peaceful and calm while I am out. Check out the WORKOUTS page to see my favorite workout routines from this week! :)

I hope everyone had a successful week! Have a wonderful Saturday!!!


Question of the Day:
1. Did you have a workout that really stood out to you this week?
2. Teacher friends, what is your classroom setup like? Groups? Rows? Circles?