December 31, 2014


2014...  It's been real...

I'm linking up with Farley for Currently, January 2015 edition.

Listening:  T. Swift on NYRE...  Did I mention I got tickets to her concert for Christmas???

Loving:  I've sincerely loved being off with my kids these past few days.  We've done nothing.  It's been glorious.

Thinking:  Monday?  Don't tell me I'm the only one dreading that 5:00 alarm.

Wanting:  Cha-cha-cha changes...  I sincerely hope this is a year of change for me.  I have no clue where I want to go professionally.  Do I want to keep teaching but venture into the presenting world? Do I want to change grade levels?  Do I want to move out of the classroom altogether?  Do I want to pursue administration?  The truth is, I have no clue.  I pray God guides me where I am supposed to be.

Needing:  Just because I'm lazy.  And it's pretty.  But mostly because I'm lazy.

Yes:  I was selected to present at ISTE in Philadelphia this summer!  I'm stoked, to say the least.
Maybe:  See above...
I wish:  Bottom line, I want to share this love of teaching with others.  At the end of the day, I hope I can inspire others.  

Hello, 2015.  I know you won't disappoint.

December 30, 2014

French Lick Blogger Meet-Up

As we get ready for 2015, I know we are all thinking of resolutions for the coming year.  One of my resolutions for the new year is to be a better blogger.  I have really slacked this time of year, for this reason or that reason.  Either way, I want to do better!

Last year, I was in the same funk.  Trying to do everything is hard!  Around March, my blogging was pretty much non-existent.  And then I heard about the big blogger meet-up hosted by the fabulous Holly from Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections.  I signed up to go, and boy, was I motivated after that weekend!

Holly is planning another epic meet-up.  You can read all of the details by clicking her button below!

Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections

Here is the low-down on what we will be doing that weekend:

Friday, March 13th

IF YOU CHOOSE... You may check in on Friday night and check out the resort on your own.. or meet up with those of us who check in early!   Rooms will be offered at the French Lick Springs Hotel in the "blogger block"  for a discounted rate.  (There is a concert on the grounds Friday night, so the rate for Friday is higher than Saturday's rate.  Friday's rate is $205 and Saturday's rate is $169.) Regular rooms have two queen beds and sleep 4...but there is room to add a roll-away and pack in even more co-workers or blogging friends!  The room rate doesn't just have one person book the room and then split the cost! Also, please note that during registration you can indicate that if you are willing to share a room with another teacher(s) and I can match you up with other teachers to save some money!  

Saturday, March 14th 

12:30 pm - Blogger Meet-Up Luncheon
(Private Meeting Room at the French Lick Springs Hotel)
Join us for a get-to-know-you luncheon event filled with TONS prizes and product give-aways! We guarantee some epic teacher-swag giveaways, my friends!  We had over $10,000 in the BEST teacher product giveaways last year... and we are working on surpassing that this year!  We will also be playing some seriously fun get to know ya' games, which will result in forming friendships for life!  Oh! And I can't forget to mention our annual "Teacher Tool" gift swap game! #funandfunctional 

The cost for attending this luncheon event will be $35, which includes your lunch and beverages, as well as a portion of the room reservation/technology fees.  This is the ONLY required fee for the entire weekend!  The rest of the event (hotel fees, if you choose to stay on site, and the remainder of the meal fees will be on your own, based on your choices!).  If you live close, you may choose to drive in for the day.  This fee needs to be paid by Feb. 25 to guarantee your registration.  (More details for payment will be sent via email/FB messager if you register using link at bottom of this post.)

2:00 pm - Teacher Tips & Tricks for Blogging, TPT and more!
After the luncheon and meet-up fun, we will be having a sharing session about teacher technology, blogging and creating TPT products.  Bring some of your best ideas and a list of your favorite resources to share with others!  You might want to bring your laptop for this too!  This session is totally optional...but is a fun way to share ideas and set up networks for blogging, Pinterest, "linky" parties, etc.  Last year's workshop session was INCREDIBLE... and this year's will be even better!  We will be sending out an email survey to everyone who registers, asking for topics of interest. Then, we will be recruiting topic discussion leaders with experience/expertise on the hottest teacher topics to help facilitate our group sharing. Oh! And look forward to lots and lots of informal pop-up presentations, as our questions lead us! We will also be doing some round-table sessions with special topic/grade-level break outs.  We believe everyone has an area of expertise and something to share!  

5:30 pm - Dinner Reservations at Resort Restaurant/s
We will meet up for dinner at one of the resort's casual, but classy restaurants!  This event is not required (just in case you plan to bring your spouse and would prefer a romantic dinner!?), but we will be offering group reservations for dinner that will offer an incredible meal at reasonable prices! (We are teachers, ya' know!)  

7 pm - After Dinner Options
After dinner, attendees may go their own ways, or travel in groups via complimentary shuttle, to any of the resort's entertainment hot spots!  Suggested group after dinner activities include visiting the West Baden Hotel's spectacular dome, where you can enjoy drinks at Ballard's Bar while watching the dome's colored light show, or visiting the French Lick Casino for some gaming fun! Other options include visiting the Xanadu Coffee & Creamery for dessert or gathering with new friends in one of the resort's grand lobbies to share blogging tips and tricks!  We're even considering planning a late night, teacher PJ party!   More details to come on that!

Sunday, March 15th

9:30 am - Sunday Breakfast/Brunch
We will meet at the resort's famous breakfast buffet for our last gathering!  
Good food, good conversations, and goodbyes!

After brunch, you are free to explore the resort or head home, 
re-energized to be the best teacher-blogger you can be! 

Look at that porch...  It's just as peaceful in real life!

Here is the French Lick Resort, where the meet-up will take place.  It's a gorgeous hotel with so much to offer!

This is the West Baden Springs Hotel.  Drop. Dead. Gorgeous!  Make sure to spend some time over there also.

This is the lobby of the French Lick Resort.  You'll feel like you are walking into a scene of The Great Gatsby.

If you've never been to French Lick, you are in for a real treat.  The town is just 45 minutes from my home, and my family goes there often for weekend getaways.  It's breathtakingly beautiful, and the hotels have lots to offer!

Are you ready to sign up for a weekend you will always remember?  

Simply click HERE to get more information about this event! 
We hope to see you there!

December 7, 2014

Peek at Our Week... All Aboard the Polar Express!

It's hard to believe we only have two weeks until Christmas break!  

Next week is all about The Polar Express.  This week has always been special to me, but it is even more now that I have kiddos of my own.  You see, The Polar Express is a family tradition for us.  Every year, we head over to the historic town of French Lick to ride on the "real" Polar Express train.  It's likely the most popular holiday attraction in our area, and we've been going for five years now.  In fact, we've already booked tickets for next year.  Porter says he wants to go until he turns 32, so it's evident that we will be lifers. :)

Here are my crazy kiddos.  The looks on their faces say it all. :)

Anywho, I'm linking up with my friend Deedee to tell you all about our week!

All week, we will use the book The Polar Express as our anchor text.  We will also pull in non-fiction stories about trains.  The main resource we will use comes from my newest Polar Express pack (available on TPT).  Click the picture to learn more.

We are in the middle of so many things right now.  We are currently busy rehearsing our play, The Gingerbread Man, by HeidiSongs.  We perform it for our families the Wednesday before Christmas break, and on the Tuesday before break, we will be performing at a local nursing home for the residents.  

We are also knee-deep in our latest PBL event.  We have been busy creating greeting cards to sell to raise money for a local child advocate agency.  The kids are rocking it.  The only coffee shop in town has agreed to sell the cards for us, so I cannot wait to see the results.  

These kiddos amaze me.  Here, they are working on designing their cards.

On Friday, we get to come to school in PJs, drink hot chocolate and eat yummy cookies, and watch the movie, The Polar Express.  I absolutely love this day.  Partially because I can wear pajamas.  Mostly because it's an amazing day.  

Here is a peek at our week!

Now head on over to Deedee's blog to tell us about your week!

December 4, 2014

Christmastime Is {Almost} Here!

I know... Crickets, right?

It's been a long while.  

I'm not going to lie... I haven't missed blogging.  Life has been way to crazy to worry with it.  It seems as if I have been pulled in a thousand different directions in the month of November.  It's not just a hectic time in my personal life, it's also one of the most hectic times in the classroom.  The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has so much to offer.  Almost too much, really.  Pinterest and blogs have made it even harder to pick and choose what you want to do with your little darlings, who, by the way, are crawling up the walls during this time.  There are so many wonderful things to do between the turkey and the Christmas carols.  Trying to fit it all in is impossible; trying to decide what to do makes me want to cry.  The struggle is real, folks.

I've been teaching for eight years, and for at least seven of those years, two themes have remained constant in December:  The Gingerbread Man and The Polar Express.  I never tire of any of these topics, and there is SO MUCH you can do with them!

This year, I have created two very special math and literacy station packs that are perfect for those themes!  Click the pictures below to check them out for yourself!