December 15, 2013

Gettin' into the holiday spirit!

I wanted to link up with Fabulous in First with this little linky because it's so much fun to see how everyone celebrates the holidays!

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog?
I am a lover of both- especially since the fiance just made some from scratch last night! Yuuuummmy! So I suppose right now I'd have to say eggnog!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
This year since we are planning (and paying) for our wedding our Christmas budget has been light. So, instead of gifts we are just saving more and putting it towards our wedding fund. So technically no presents this year under the tree.

Colored lights or white?
The boy likes the look of colored lights, however, I have always liked the cute and clean look of white lights on a Christmas tree! Maybe next year :)

When do you decorate?
I start getting into the Christmas spirit even before Thanksgiving but apparently I'm not allowed to start decorating until after Thanksgiving day. I personally think it's a dumb rule but I get to go all out the rest of the month :)

Real or fake tree?
Our first Christmas together we did real since I have a co-worker whose parents have their own tree farm! It was beautiful but with us traveling to Texas for the holidays we never really got to enjoy our tree. So, this year we made the decision to go fake.

What tops your tree?
Since we are beginning our family decoration collection we don't have much. I am still on the lookout for an angel (like what I had as a kid) or a star, but for now we have a D (for Daniel - last name initial) ornament that tops our tree.

Favorite Christmas memories or traditions?
Again, the fun thing about beginning a new life with someone is that you get to start your own family traditions and even blend the traditions from both our families. Something I've always loved doing was baking cookies from scratch. His family does the same thing by baking sugar cookies and as a family decorating them- I look forward to that every year!
Last year Philip and I baked cake pops and decorated them as elves. Needless to say we got pretty into it!

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
Barbies and all things Barbie! My grandmother would get me absolutely anything and everything...it's something that I hope my future daughter will enjoy as much as I did growing up. 
And I cannot forget how much I loved my Ginger Spice Barbie doll. Again, one of the best presents ever as a kid!

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
I am always the one that enjoys giving gifts more than receiving since I love the looks on my loved ones faces when they open them. I always try to put a lot of thought into the gifts I give and the feeling of making someone feel loved and appreciated is priceless.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Rudolf is always a fun and classic Christmas song that will always remind me of when I was younger and singing songs while decorating the tree with my mom and sisters. It's hard to pick just one but if I do it'll always be Rudolf!

Candy Canes. Yuck or yum?
I like candy canes but I do like how they come in all different kinds of flavors and not just peppermint. So technically I can say yum but only if they're the Starburst flavors (not real Christmas-y, I know).

Favorite Christmas movie?
Christmas Vacation all the way. The holidays are a time that everyone spends with family and every visit brings on some kind of stress in one way or another, haha. I come from a dysfunctional family and this movie does a great job at poking fun at it. It's just a fun movie that makes you laugh and remember that although you may want to kill your family sometimes, you'd never want to trade them in for anything.

Do you shop online or at stores?
I am a HUGE fan of online shopping, however I do like the instant satisfaction feeling of walking out of a store with the bags. It's just so much easier these days to order gifts online and have them shipped to your house. No crowds- no problem!

Photo Cards, Letter or Store-bought cards?
I am in charge of the Christmas cards and I love making and sending the photo cards. It really makes the message personal to family and friends and it's nice to see photos of everyone throughout the year, especially those that I don't get to see too often.

December 14, 2013

Five for Friday- Saturday Edition!

For the first time in a while I am linking up with the lovely Doodle Bugs Teaching for their weekly linky party! I tried so hard to get this up on Friday but I was so stinkin' tired from our week that I just passed out. But on to my 5!

1. New Downloads!

I've been very busy over this past weekend and had a couple snow days to help get on track with some reading centers and a unit packet on matter!

2. Christmas Cookies!
One thing I love to do at home is bake. I have always made chocolate chip cookies with my dad around the holidays and this was the first time I made some from scratch with my fiance. I was a bit nervous since it was my first time but they came out quite delicious! :)

3. Officially Adult Status
I am an official Costco member! I grew up in Costco with my family having 5 kids so I am not new to buying in bulk. However, I thought it was time for my fiance and I to start investing since our grocery bill seemed to get higher. He's the cook in our relationship so he loves buying every type of meat available and experimenting with new recipes. So, my take on it is - why not just buy 400lbs of meat and use what you need?! So far he's been having a lot of fun and it's great not having to spend so much every week on food!

4. Wonderful surprises from my students
I have to say that I think I have the most compassionate class...EVER. Ever since my sister passed my kids have been emotionally connected to me in a way I've never experienced. They seem to be more aware of my feelings and always checking in on me just to see if I'm feeling OK. Just the other day I found this on my desk....
*heart melts*

5. Christmas!!!

It's our first Christmas in our new place and this year we invested in a fake tree. He loves the pine smell and last year we got a real one but proved to be a bit of a hassle. The only issue with a real tree that we found with us traveling to Texas we weren't there to really enjoy it. So, this year we went faux. I am that weird person that gets into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving so needless to say, I am very excited about ALL things Christmas :)

Remembering Sandy Hook

Thank you to Amanda over at Teaching Maddeness for her beautiful button. Today is a day that I believe all teachers and anyone in education will remember as one of true tragedy but also an example of the unyielding love teachers have for their 'kids'. Not a day goes by that I don't think about what happened and what I would do if ever put in a situation like that- and I think many of us would do the exact same: protect your students no matter what.

Today is a day of remembrance but also one for reflection. I look back on the past year and I think about the ways I could be better. I don't need New Years to set goals for myself but this time of year is always a good reminder to always self-improve; no matter if it is personally or professionally. Amanda put it best: "we honor their memory with our service." Today and always, think about the random acts of kindness you can share with others. You never know the impact it could have on a life.

December 10, 2013

Snow Days and Matter!

Yay! Snow Day! This is our second day off from school this week and I couldn't be happier :) I've taken advantage of these days and was able to catch up on some grading, lesson plans, and new centers for reading and a packet on matter. It feels good to be productive and having no school to relax is even better!

The first product I've been working on is to enhance my matter unit (which we were supposed to start this week). I love student packets because it puts all the information and learning into one, easy to use, packet. My kids have been good about not losing them, which is even better. I just prefer to keep everything together.
This packet includes pages for each topic of learning throughout the matter unit outlined by Va state standards. We begin with discussing what matter is and the three states it is found in. In my packet I've included notes that align with BrainPopJr and Scholastic's Study Jams. The kids have always loved those videos and they provide easy to follow information. There's even a fun matter song found on Study Jams that my kids last year seriously sang for the rest of the year!

This packet also includes:
-Why Does Matter, Matter? [3 states of matter]
-Properties of solids, liquids, and gasses
-Matter Picture Sort
-Measuring Matter [mass/volume]
-Changing States [investigating heat]
-Changing States graphic organizer
-Matter Molecules
-Physical vs. Chemical Changes

Experiment: Physical/Chemical Change Investigation
-Sugar Cube

-Solid, Liquid, Gas Poems

The best part about study packets is that teachers can choose what to include and what to omit. Feel free to add nonfiction articles or other items to your packet to make it more interactive and focused on a particular skill. I love seeing the different ways teachers incorporate content into reading or writing activities.

I'll be posting my other activities soon!