Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Final Good-Bye

So, I know, I haven’t blogged, in like FOREVER!!  It’s been a rough couple of months…okay, seriously, my life hit crisis mode and I abandoned everything!  Yes, life, blogging, teaching, friends, etc.  It makes me super sad, but that is how it is and I can’t and wouldn't change a thing.

I've left teaching - sort of. I'm currently teaching preschool (yes, I love it!) rather than in the public school setting.  There were a lot of things that drove me to make this decision. I won't get into all the nitty-gritty here because it was a very hard and emotional choice.

My plan is to return to business. While I LOVE  ADORE my students & parents (yes, they will always be my students), I didn't like all of the other things that come with teaching; the bureaucracy, the testing, the lack of respect, the pay, the testing, the politics, the testing - hey, did I mention the testing!?

So, I wanted to write my official last post.  I will still be selling my products on TpT and I'm making new things for my preschool kiddos so I'll still be posting new items.  I LOVE that part of teaching!!!

Thanks again to all of you for reading and following along on my teaching adventure - it was fun... and definitely REAL!!  Give me a shout by email if you ever need me!


I'll probably start a new blog at some point and would love your feedback!  I love writing and have found that it is something I think I'm pretty good at! When I have found the nerve to start writing my new blog I'll post a link.

Here are a few ideas I'm kicking around.  Let me know what you think and what YOU would be the most interested in reading:

1. Chronic pain, migraines & headaches
2. Brain Injury Awareness
3. A combo of the two - one caused the other.... no, this is not the reason I'm leaving teaching - please don't read into it
4. My adventures back into the business world....pursuing my MBA, and the world back in business dress

Friday, May 17, 2013

I've Been Gone Too Long!

Oh, my friends, I have not gone anywhere....I have just been super busy and my life has been a little (okay, let's get real here...a lot) overwhelming.  I am not going to give much "dish" because a lot of what I am going through is any extra time I've had, I've spent in my classroom, making sure my kiddo's get what they need.

I am tracked out right now...yes, I know you're wrapping up your year and here I sit, at home, waiting to go back at the end of May for another 4 weeks.  Don't ask... I'm staying off my soapbox for awhile!

So, while I've been home, I've been busy.... kind of.... I've been doing a lot of rejuvenation for me, but the teacher in me decided to come out and show herself today, so I finished up a few end of the year odds and ends.

I've never created a memory book for my kids before, but decided to do one this year.  It has been an eventful and unforgettable year....yes, for many reasons.... ugh!  Anywho - I created a Sweet Year Memory Book.  Since I created one for second grade, I went ahead and did one for first, third, and fourth.  Yes, some of my besties teach the older kids and I wanted them to be able to use it too!!

It is 27 pages - I know, that's a lot - but there are really only 14 pages in the book. I created a color and a black and white version.  Why spend money on ink if you don't have to?

For my kids books, I'm going to print the cover in color on cardstock and the rest in black and white.  And, of course, I could not do a memory book without a back!!  For the boys, I am going to have blue construction paper, and the girls will have pink construction paper... unless they choose otherwise - I know a few of my kids will challenge my system.  Yes, that's okay!

Enjoy the last few weeks my friends!!


Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm Back & I've Been Booking Across the USA

You’ve probably wondered where I’ve been for so long now…I’ve been up to my eyeballs in projects and other “teacher” stuff, but today I get to share with you the biggest project I have been working on!

 I am a huge fan of children’s literature – I don’t know many teachers who aren’t - and I have been working with an amazing group of bloggers on the project Booking across the USA!

I am so excited to share this project with you…and use it in my classroom.  What a better way to share the United States with our kids than through literature!?  I am in LOVE!

At first I thought this was going to be an easy project, find a book that features a person or place in your state, and create a unit or activity about it. Ha – was I wrong!!  There are tons of great books about North Carolina and the people who live here. So I decided to choose a “theme” of sorts.  I chose the Wright Brothers because I believe that children learn social studies and science best by reading authentic literature – it is easier for them to connect the material with their own experiences & because there are a ton of great books at all reading levels about the Wright Brothers. 

The book I am featuring is the Newbery Medal Winner The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane.

These activities can be used with any book about the Wright Brothers. You can download these by clicking on the picture below.

The materials that I have for you are:
  • Ran (Reading & Analyzing Non-Fiction) Graphic Organizer
  • Comprehension Response - Poetry Activity
  • Be an Inventor Writing Assignment
  • Making Words Activity
  • Achievement Award

I loved this project so much that I created a whole literacy unit about the Wright Brothers that you can find at my TpT store.

Below are links to the other blogs participating in this great project! Please make sure to head over to their blogs read about their featured book and activities.

Alabama: Everyday Snapshots

Alaska: Little Wonders’ Days 

Arizona: Simply Kinder 

Arkansas: Homeschooling in Arkansas 

California: Juggling with Kids and The Outlaw Mom 

Colorado: Learners in Bloom and Living Montessori Now 

Connecticut: The Teacher Park 

Delaware: Mama Miss 

Florida: Teaching Stars 

Georgia: Fabulously First 

Hawaii: Teaching With Style 

Idaho: True Aim Education 

Illinois: Growing Book by Book

Indiana: Teach Preschool

Iowa: Surviving a Teacher's Salary 

Kansas: KCEdventures 

Kentucky: Chicken Babies 

Louisiana: New Orleans Moms Blog 

Maine: Maine Adventure Mom and Country Fun Child Care 

Maryland: Picture Books and Piourettes 

Massachusetts: Mama Smiles 

Michigan: Play DrMom 

Minnesota: The Wise Owl Factory 

Mississippi: Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk 

Missouri- Ready. Set. Read! 

Montana: The Honey Bunch 

Nebraska: The Good Long Road 

Nevada: Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

New Hampshire: Elementary Matters 

New Jersey: The Pleasantest Thing 

New Mexico: Enchanted Homeschooling Mom 

New York: What Do We Do All Day 

North Carolina: Realistic Teacher Blog  (Look Mom, it's me!!  Yes, my hand is waving wildly in the air!)

North Dakota: ND HealthWorks 

Ohio: Smart Chick Teacher’s Blog 

Oklahoma: Herding Kats in Kindergarten 

Oregon: Journey of a Substitute Teacher 

Pennsylvania: Land of Once Upon a Time

Rhode Island: Smiling in Second Grade 

South Carolina: Cookies and Kiddos and JDaniel4’s Mom 

South Dakota: The Wise Owl Factory 

Tennessee: No Monkey Business

Texas: Curls and a Smile and Kid World Citizen 

Utah: Teach Beside Me 

Vermont: Burlington Vt Moms Blog 

Virgina: Once Upon a Story, and The Freckled Homeschooler 

Washington: Home Learning Journey and Boy Mama Teacher Mama 

West Virginia: This Week @ Great Peace Academy and Mamas Like Me 

Wisconsin: Reading Confetti 

Wyoming: No Twiddle Twaddle 

USA: The Corner on Character

Oh – don’t go yet!  I forgot to share the two great giveaways that are being featured as a part of Booking across the USAGrowing Book by Book by Jodie (yes, she is the amazing creator of this project) is having to two amazing giveaways.  You can enter the first one – for a 3 month subscription to USA Little Passports from Little Passports -  on February 25th.  Her second giveaway is on February 26th for a United States Bingo Game from eeBo. Talk about adding some great materials to your social studies curriculum!  Make sure you head over to Jodie’s blog and enter those giveaways – today & tomorrow!

Hope you enjoy all of the great books and activities – make sure you share – pin, like, or just send a teacher friend “links” to all these great activities.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Missing in Action...My FREEBIE Apology

I know I have been missing in action for awhile now...I have been super busy!!  It is my track out (year-rounders you understand so skip the explanation).  Track out is approximately 3 weeks that year-round teachers and students receive every (approximately) 9 weeks during our year-round schedule.  It is often confusing, but to us, it is our "mini" summer break.  Anywho - I am rejuvinating (reading, spending extra time with my family, cleaning, etc.) and working on some really fun projects.

In exchange for your forgiveness, I offer you this freebie!  It is a poster that I created for my classroom to remind students of group expectations when we return.  I have not used this and am not claiming the idea...I've seen tons of other teachers use the same acronym, but if you like it, please head over to my TPT store and download it for free.

Please enjoy it....and forgive me...


Monday, February 4, 2013

Manic Monday Management Freebie & 5 for Five

Sweet – it is the last Monday of my track in!! Next Monday I will be taking youngest Realistic son to school and heading back home to snuggle in my comfy bed!  But, this week I have tons to accomplish before I can “shut down” my overactive brain!

So, let’s get started right away with my 5 for Five list!  Yes, my favorite Monday tradition thanks to Jenn and Jessica

The results are in and 3 out of 5 isn’t bad…but I’ll looking for better stats next week!

1.  Reschedule that massage. Yep – the appointment is Thursday & I can’t wait!

2.  Make those dentist and doctors appointments.  NASA, we have a problem…. we went from if only they would call me back to….”what, you don’t participate with my insurance and want $220?!?”  No, thanks.  I’ll get a different referral.  Ugh – seriously!!!

3.  Blog at least 3 times.  Check – done!

4.  Work on my North Carolina book project.  Well, kind of…I have the book, I’ve got some ideas planned, but I have nothing officially checked off the list.  Okay – track out is here, so that is on my long list of will do’s!

5.  Get to the gym – twice. Yes! Thanks to my great workout friends – shout out to you Zumba ladies – who inspire me and call me names if I don’t go.  Yes, that is what besties do!!

So, here is what I have on my list for this week…

1.  Schedule those dentist and doctors appointments.  I’ll be relentless, I’ll call, I’ll be demanding (in my sweetest voice), I won’t rest until I get an answer!!

2.  Get to the gym – twice.  I’m going to keep this on my list until it becomes a habit again!

3.  Have my classroom packed up and ready by Tuesday afternoon so that the teacher who tracks into that room is not overwhelmed with my current chaos.  It is so hard for people to move into cluttered and dirty rooms!!  I promise I won’t be “that” teacher!

4.  Make sure my kids have math and reading assignments to work on during track out and they are ready to be sent home with my kids on Tuesday.

5.  Schedule a facial.  I don’t know exactly when I became old; but my skin feels like it needs some pampering…so I am assuming it has finally “aged”.  Ummm…not sure when this happened – where was I during this process?

Yayyy – you’ve done it – you’ve reached the end of my list.  Hopefully you gathered some great ideas and will share some with me.  What are you doing this week?  Does your week look a little like mine, or are we absolute twins!?

And, yes, finally, a Manic Monday freebie.  I created an I'm a Great Kid Behavior Checklist to use with some of my babies when I come back to help them remember the daily expectations during literacy and math.  We’ve got our anchor charts and review daily expectations, but these guys (and gals) just need a little more.  They need to be able to check each little box to see they are successful! 

I plan on making the copies front to back and posting it on their clipboards.  I know they will love it….and it will provide me with some great data about their most problematic behaviors and which times of day are most difficult for them (that part I already know, but the more information the better!).

Happy Monday peeps!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Super Sunday... Currently, Sales, and Socials

Ohmygosh – I can’t believe it is already February 3rd and I haven’t posted my Currently.  I am so sorry Farley – I love you and can’t believe that it has taken me so long!  My mind has been racing with so many other things lately and I am looking forward to a break!

So, here is my February (so far!)…

And – it is Super Bowl Sunday!!  Woohoo – nothing like a good football game in the house!!  I love today – it’s a perfect reason for a buffet of snack foods and an excuse for me to yell at the television!  Yayy! 

But, best of all, are the discounts I can save in my Teachers Pay Teachers cart.  I am so excited!!  I have about 10 things that I have been holding off on purchasing knowing I could scoop up some savings today… You’re Welcome Mr. Realistic (Not that he was listening/reading!)… but I’ll remind him when he sees the bill – ha!

Anywho – head over to my store and pick up some goodies at 28% off.  Use the promo code SUPER. 

And, time for a Sunday Social with Ashley and Neely… another favorite link up!!

Sunday Social

This week’s Questions:

1. If you were stuck on an island what are the two material items you would want to have?

My laptop (I would still need to blog, right?!) and an unlimited supply of Girl Scout cookies.  Blogging with a sugar high – yep, that’s the life!

2. What are two TV shows you’d watch over and over?

The Big Bang Theory & 2 Broke Girls

3. If your house was on fire what two things aside from family, pets, etc would you grab?  

Okay, don’t judge….my teacher bag. I know, seriously, but I have a ton of stuff in that important tote. It would save tons of planning and my phone is there so I would have EVERYTHING.  And my second thing would be my laptop.

4. What are your two most favorite articles of clothing?

Okay – let’s just get this clear – I don’t wear them together!!  My yoga pants – a girls needs to be comfortable – and my Dansko shoes.  Yes, true shoe lust!!

5. What two movies that you saw in the past year would you recommend to us?

We are not huge movie goers.  I love to watch a good movie – but usually we watch them here in Realisticville.  So, I’m going with The Hunger Games.  It was amazing, but the book was better in my opinion.

6. What are your two biggest guilty pleasures?

Chick-fil-a and reality TV

Have a Super Sunday friends!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Test Prep Freebie

We are working on test taking strategies in my classroom this week…well, we have been for a few weeks.  I want my kids to have the strategies to do well on their quarterly assessments.  Some of them get so stressed that they can’t even thing straight.  I feel so bad for them.  So, I have been teaching them the same strategies that I used with my seventh and fifth graders.

I’ve modified it so that it is much more kid friendly.  Actually, I can’t remember where I learned these tips – it was before blogging and Pinterest, but I’m sure it was online somewhere.  If it was you, please let me know so I can give credit where it is due!!

I think when students get these tests they are so focused on answering the questions that they skim the reading passage and head straight to the questions.  I’ve tried to teach my kids to slow down and think about each step in the process.  Hopefully these posters will help them.  The adorable backgrounds are from Fun for Learning.  Make sure you head over to my store and pick up your freebies.

 I hope that your week was simply amazing!
Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday Super Sale & A Pinteresting Wednesday

I wanted to share some great news!! Teachers PayTeachers is having a Sunday Super Sale!  You can get products for 28% off the original prices!  Those are great savings!  You know I can’t pass up a sale – so my wishlist is cram packed with products to purchase on Sunday!  I can’t wait!

Make sure you head on over to my store and add some items to your wishlist to buy on Sunday.

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for  The Vintage Apple's Oh, how Pinteresting!! I love today, I get so many great ideas from each of you!!

After last week, I’ve cleaned up my boards and rearranged a lot of things. I’m so excited to say I cleaned my Pinterest boards.  It’s like reorganizing your cabinets!!

So, here are some of my favorites this week…

To keep in mind...

Thinking I can do this during my “weather unit” because it is adorable!!

This looks delicious, but I am sure the calories would be off the chart! Delicious!


I just love wild weather!!!

Reading LOVE!!

Love the colors - might be a new spring look!!

Not too much teaching related again this week - but yes, there is another side of me.

Have an amazing Wednesday peeps!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday 5 for Five & A Manic Monday February Freebie

Only a few Monday’s left of my “track in” and then I’m out for 3 weeks!! Yes, I repeat 3 weeks.  Now, my personal babies are still in school so I will be home alone (awwww…) but I plan on getting a ton of stuff done!!

 The rest of Realistic family hates my track out (personally, I think they are jealous, but I feel the same when they have their WHOLE summer off!).  It doesn’t mean I get to sleep it – Youngest Realistic is a “carpool” kid so I will still be up early to drop him off, but it does mean I get to sneak in a nap during the day!! Yayyy!!  I shouldn’t get ahead of myself though…I still have 7 days with my kiddos and 3 work days until I can cherish this quiet and restful period.

Let’s get this party started… It has become a Monday tradition (that I LOVE).  I am linking up with Jenn and Jessica for 5 for Five. 

Here are last week’s results…
1.  Schedule my massage appointment for this month – oh my gosh!  I did it, I really did; I made my appointment for Friday. Then there was this God awful storm (ok, I am not a native of North Carolina, so it made me giggle…it was just some ice) and they cancelled all the afternoon appointments.

2.  Go to the gym at least twice this week – I went Monday…. but that was it.  Lame, I know – my bestie has reminded me at least 5 times this week – but I’m sure it was the bug that did it to me. I went to sleep at like 7 each night!!

3.  Make doctor’s and dentist appointments – do these people not want patients?!?  Seriously, I’ve left messages, sent emails…I don’t think I am that crazy patient.

4.  Get next week’s lesson plans, homework, and materials printed, copied, and ready! Yes, baby! Another one crossed off the list!!!

5.  Schedule at least 3 blog posts…. check, done!

A little disappointing… I mean, really, 3 out of 5.  I can do this – I must do this – this is my week!!!  So here goes…

1.  Reschedule that massage – I was so looking forward to it!!

2.  Make those dentist and doctors appointments.  I will be relentless!

3.  Blog at least 3 times.  I think I can, I think I can!

4.  Work on my North Carolina book project.

5.  Get to the gym – twice. Yes, I am going to have a bikini ready body by June!  Okay-  that is probably too graphic of an image and I may have seared your eyeballs.  Sorry!

Congratulations for making it through my list!! 

So, if you hung on long enough… or maybe skipped to the end, you’ve earned your Manic Monday freebie!

Here is my February Speller’s Choice Menu.  Nothing fancy, but my kiddos love it!!

Peace out peeps!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Social & Bit by the Bug!

I am linking up with Ashley Lately for her Sunday Social.  I am so excited to join up today!!  Today is her 3 year blogaversary!  Congratulations – I am in awe!!

1. What is your ideal way to relax?
I love reading!! I belong to a book club, and up until this year I have kept track of each book I’ve read.  It is an obsession!!  If I’m not reading you can find me playing games on my phone…I really need to upgrade to an iPad (hint, hint to one of the guys in my life!)

2. Where is your favorite place to be?
In the Mitten!  I miss home so much – the family and people, but also the feeling of being home.  I am looking forward to a day when I can spend a few uninterrupted weeks up north with my parents!

3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?
My mom - My mom is my best friend and biggest fan.  She is the strongest and most amazing woman I know…. and the one true lady who has been with me through EVERYTHING!! 

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?
Whoa – I have no idea.  3 years ago I wouldn’t have seen myself where I am now, so I am just along on this journey and making the best of each day.  I know that I will continue to be surrounded by the people I love, and to me, that is the most important thing of all.  Hopefully within the next three years we can add a new puppy to the mix though!

5. If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?
Not one.  Each decision, good or bad, has made me the person I am today.  I know that is so cliché, but it is true.  There have been many difficult journey’s in my life and I hated them when I was experiencing them, but they taught me something, lots of lessons learned.

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life so far?
My boys!  They are the most amazing accomplishments.  I cannot take even half of the credit for the young men they have become, but they simply amaze me every day.  After that, graduating from college.  Going to school and being a full time mom was tough stuff, but worth every minute.

I thought I had gotten through the "sick season" free and was about to celebrate whe I was bit by the bug!  Drats!  Although I have been trying to rest (I can't afford to take a break!) I was bitten by the Creativity Bug!  I hate when that happens - I can't even shut my mind off long enough to relax!

Anywho, I have a new product - Flower Power Compound WordMatch-up. I am ready for spring!  And my kids need to work on compound words so it's the perfect pair!

I also wanted to share an amazing giveaway at Mrs. Mc's page! She has TONS of great stuff!  Only one day left!

Have an amazing Sunday (yes, that is a compound word)!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday

It’s been forever awhile since I last participated in The Vintage Apple's Oh, how Pinteresting Wednesday… okay, maybe only a few weeks – but in blogland that feels like FOREVER!!!

I’ve found it hard to keep up with my boards lately – I think having two accounts has overwhelmed me. I have a personal account – please, people don’t need to know my “business” and I know not all of my followers want to see my teaching stuff – and I have a teaching account.  But… I have found that I am pinning a lot of the same things and I created some boards twice.  Ugh, seriously!?  So, here are some of my favorites this week…

Seriously – these are amazing!!! I’m not sure what I would use them for, but I’m sure they would make my room look ah-dorable!!

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Again – I think this is SUPER cute and it would make my room look so inviting. This may be a trend in my room next year!!

Yes, I am justifying the many occasional mistakes I make!

I neeeeeddd a puppy – Mr. Realistic, I hope you’re listening reading!!

My motivation for the week…

And, not that I bake, but I’m hoping Realistic Girlfriend will get the hint :) Yes, we follow each other’s boards. If she weren’t dating my son I just know we’d be friends. The fact that she dates Oldest Realistic is just an added bonus!!

I know, not all teaching related, but my life (contrary to popular belief) does constitute more than teaching.

Have an amazing Wednesday peeps!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Groundhog Day Differentiation

It’s that time of year again – Groundhog Day! I love this time of year – winter is coming to a close (in my mind) and spring is right around the corner. I’m already planting flowers in my mind!!

This year I have such a range of student abilities in my classroom that I need a few different activities for students to complete.  I have some students who would love to research different weather folklore:  

 and others who would rather research the groundhog and prepare a report.

So, I took what I already had, and created something different.  This will allow me to differentiate in my room and the kids will be none the wiser! Ha – I love when I can do this because they really share information with each other and everyone is successful in the end!!

I’ve tried to implement a little science and social studies into this year's Groundhog Day Unit – there is a map assignment and my weather detectives will be researching weather phenomenons. 

This will be my last holiday unit before I track out in a few weeks – yayyy!! Then I can really start working on my spring materials before we head back in March.

Happy Tuesday ya’ll!