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?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I am just dropping in to share with my fabulous friends that I GOT A TEACHING JOB! I am a fourth grade teacher, and I could not be more excited! I have mixed emotions rolling through my body every second of the day as I prepare! I can't believe it is finally here! In just a few short weeks, my wonderful kiddos will be walking through my doors! I hope everyone has positive thoughts and prayers for me and yourselves as we journey through the new chapters of our lives! I will post more soon! Thank you for all your positive thoughts and energy that you sent my way in the past week!

Anna :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A LATE Monday Made It!

As I mentioned in my Sunday post, things have been CRAZY in my life! Yesterday was no different...Hence, me not being able to post. But...HERE IT IS....DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....

I have a Monday Made It:

As I have mentioned, I am a recent graduate. I have very little money to buy a ton of things for my classroom, (whenever I get one). Therefore, I am prioritizing what needs to be bought and things that I can repurpose. My sister had twins four months ago. She goes through A TON of formula! (Seriously....there is a ton of formula that goes through that household.) Anyways, while we were talking about storage, we came up with the idea to repurpose the formula containers. I was so excited! They went from not very cute to being in my classroom color scheme!

The first one that I created! :)
I have multiple designs.

All you need to create this thrifty storage container are the containers and duct tape. I went to Target for the cute duct tape. They had a lot of different choices. I was, of course, in heaven looking at all the choices. One of the major things I like about this project would be that the containers are durable. They will hold different things that are accessible to my students. I want them to last, and the plastic and duct tape will be great materials for that purpose.
I hope this gave a useful tip for any thrifty storage needs! I CAN'T WAIT TO PUT THEM IN A CLASSROOM!
Question of the Day:
1. What thrifty storage ideas have you had?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hi friends! It has been a few days since I have posted, but I had a lot of things have come up recently. I cant share all of them yet, but needless to say, it is very exciting and busy in my life right now! I cannot wait to share it all as soon as possible!

Today, I decided to wake up and take a walk. Past knee injuries prevent me from running anymore because I am terrified of making my knees any worse. Instead, I walk, and I love every minute of it because I would MUCH rather be outside than inside. I knew I did not have time to beat my distance record today because I have church this morning. Instead, I set out with the goal to beat my current record pace. John and I usually set a pretty standard pace of 12.5 minute mile when we do our walks. That is what I was out to beat, and I DID! I walked an 11.67 minute mile this morning, and I walked 2.16 miles! I feel great! Seriously, when I make myself do it, morning workouts are the best thing! I feel so ready to start my day, and really, if I didn't want to, another workout is not required. I will probably do yoga or pilates before I go to bed tonight, however. It relaxes me. My walk was gorgeous, relaxing (despite the incredible humidity that the South provides me), and it gave me time to prepare myself for the upcoming week.

                                                 My neighborhood and the start of the walk
                                                     The community college that I circled

Yes, all in all, it was a wonderful way to start my day and the week. I highly encourage you to do morning workouts, whether it be a walk/run, pilates, strength training, or anything you enjoy doing! I think I am going to set a goal to workout in the morning at least twice a week for now. In the future, I will try to increase it. For my teacher friends, tomorrow holds my Monday Made It! I will be linking up! Please come back by to see what I have been working on! I am really excited. Even if you're not a teacher friend, you may find this helpful when you see it as well. It is a really cool idea! I hope everyone has a great Sunday! I am off to eat breakfast, go to church, and see my family!


Question of the Day:

1. Do you enjoy working out in the mornings? What do you do?
2. How do you start your week on the most positive note?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Taking My Own Life Advice

               I have never been more frustrated. The job hunt can be mentally exhausting! They do not prepare you for that in college. It does become incredibly hard to keep my chin up (although people tell me to at every turn and corner). Today was a rough day…Then, I thought back to my fresh new outlook from Sunday. I was so excited to start the week, and I had to remind myself at the end of the day that I am right where I need to be in life. Does any other recent graduate have this frustration? Is it just me? I truly hope not. Otherwise, I would feel completely crazy! I am lucky to have such a great family and boyfriend. They told me both what I wanted to hear and what I needed to hear. Despite the fact that he is hundreds of miles away right now, the boyfriend was very consoling. (I am totally ready for him to be home!)  After allowing myself to be lazy and mope during the day, I felt like I needed to do something. What can I do to get rid of stress, you ask? I decided to do a workout! I love working out my stress! It gives me this cleansing feeling!
                I decided to do a dance workout! It was incredible! This is a barre workout (dancer workout) that you can do at home. You use a chair as the barre. It felt great on my legs. This workout routine takes you step-by-step through the strength exercises one might see in a dancer’s daily routine. It helps strength, balance, and your core. I felt great afterwards…I have a confession to make along with this wonderful workout, however. As I did this barre workout, I watched Dance Moms! YES, friends! I love Dance Moms! I think that I am in academia all day as an educator, so I love to relax and watch reality television such as Dance Moms. It is definitely a guilty pleasure. I will say this, though; I truly love to watch the girls dance. It was a pretty great ending to a day that I thought would end badly. Visit my Pinterest to check it out!

                At the end of the day, I realized my dream is to rewarding to give up on. I love teaching, and I have never wanted to do anything more! In my workout, I let my bad day go, and I made the decision to keep fighting for what I want. How is that I tell my friends every day to keep their chins up because a better day is right around the corner? I am full of encouraging advice, but I was ready to give up on myself. I have always fought for what I want. I am ready to fight again. My inspirations are the people who pushed me to achieve my degree in education in the first place: my family, my boyfriend, and my peers. 
My wonderful classmates who still inspire me daily!

 Question of the Day:
1. Do you take your own life advice?
2. What are your dreams and goals in life?

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Week, New Outlook

                A new week started yesterday, and I started it with a fresh outlook. I went back to church for the first time in awhile. Since I have been home, I have been afraid to find a church. I decided to go with my sister’s family, and I was so happy I did. It was the MOST refreshing way to start a week. I loved being able to let everything go as I worshipped. Why did I let myself wait so long? Before I left for church, I did a wonderful 30 minute cardio workout. What an amazing way to start the day! I was able to work off stress, and I really felt ready to take on the day! I am realizing more and more that I enjoy working out in the mornings. It wakes my body up and helps me prepare mentally for my day. I was also able to spend some time with my mom today…Which seeing as I live with her, you would think that would not be hard to do at all! We are so busy all the time. We rarely find free time to just hang out. We watched Les Mis because she had not seen the movie yet! If you haven’t seen it either, I highly recommend it! I LOVE IT! Granted, as a musician, I love the music. I couldn’t imagine not loving the musical, movie, and soundtrack! I ended my Sunday by doing a short (15 minute) core workout before calling it a night.
                This relaxing and new Sunday really helped me to start the week out with a new outlook. I have certainly been stressed as I hunt for a job, tackle my to-do lists, and balance my personal life. After the church service, I was able to take a breath and allow myself to take in all the wonderful blessings that I receive daily. I tend to forget about all the small things that make my life wonderful. Therefore, today was a much better day! After work, my dad and I went to visit my sister. Seeing my wonderful nieces and nephew were not taken for granted. I see them every other day, and sometimes I definitely take it for granted, but it is the best blessing of all! Watching them grow each day makes me smile, and I love every second of it! Have I gushed about how much I love those kids enough? I have decided to take at least 5 minutes a day to reflect on the small things in my life that could easily be taken for granted. Today, it is my nieces and nephews and the ability to encourage my mom to keep being healthy by a 1.2 mile walk.

Questions of the Day:
1.       Do you have any small blessings that you take for granted?
2.       What kind of weekend workouts do you do?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

BlogLoving Link

I am linking up to BlogLovin! :)

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/9759483/?claim=kxnb6js6z6z">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Blogging Firsts

                Today is my first blog post! I am really excited to start sharing my ideas and thoughts. It occurred to me in planning this blog that I am not ONLY an educator. There are so many different facets to me as a person, so I am excited to share all of them as I journey through this new chapter in my life. My posts will consist of everything from my teaching endeavors to my workout routines for the day. In creating my blog, I have really been thinking about what I want to share with my readers, and I have learned that I really want to show people that it is okay to be healthy rather than skinny. I have struggled with this a lot in my life. I have learned that I want to be healthy, and I just want to live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. I am really excited about the new chapter I am starting, and I hope that this blog gives my readers some ideas for their lives as well!
                Until I find a teaching job, I am working on projects that are very general to help organize any classroom that I get. I cannot wait to share the final products. The first one is storage bins in my classroom. The problem is that I just graduated college recently, so I do not have money to spend on things for my classroom. Besides, I am not an excessive spender anyways! I love being thrifty with things I find. My sister has some awesome ideas, and I owe her BIG credit for this one! As a mother of twins, she has tons of formula containers. I am going to take the containers, and I plan to decorate them in different color patterns for different groupings in my classroom. I don’t want to give away too much until I show the final product! Needless to say, I am super excited to get started on something. I feel completely lost because I am not actually in a classroom right now, and I have no idea if I will be in the fall.

Question of the Day:
Teacher friends: How did you get through the stressful job hunt?