New Year's Linky

It's New Year's Eve!  Which for us usually means the hubby working until 4 a.m. and the kids and I hanging out at home and not even staying up until midnight.  This NYE though, we are having my husband's parents over for dinner (Prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and veggies.........It's the food my grandma makes for Christmas Day and my husband didn't get to go with this year).  Then we are going to his sister's house to hang out.  She literally lives about a block and a half from us.  We aren't big on going out and especially not on NYE.

Before I go help the hubby with dinner though, I am linking up with Jen over at The Teacher's Cauldron for the New Year's Linky.



My PERSONAL resolution for the coming year.....well I am going to have to have two.

1.  The old tried true weight loss resolution.  My best friends are getting married in August and that is my motivation to get this weight off.  I want to stick with being healthy after reaching my goal weight and continue to work out for the whole year.  I am usually good until summer hits and then lounging by the pool with an adult beverage sounds like more fun!

2.  Finish the projects we have started in our house.  Let me say that most of this resolution will require me to nag my husband to finish the projects as most of them are his expertise and not mine, but there are few that I can do by myself.  Need to get on that because we want to sell our house in about a year and a half.  It will probably take all that time to get the house ready (We still have to completely re-do the kitchen).

My BLOGGING resolution for the coming year:

My one and only resolution is to stay with blogging and blog on a consistent basis.  I had tried blogging before and usually stopped after some time.  This is the longest I have ever blogged and I want to continue.  It is such a great creative outlet for me and I love seeing what other teachers are doing in their classrooms.  

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's!

Winter Math Centers

I have been working hard on a new math centers pack for my TPT store.  I made a Winter Math Centers Pack.  I had never done math centers before this school year and now I can't imagine going a day without doing them!



I created 5 math centers in this pack.  There is a snowman skip counting activity with skip counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's.  You can choose which skip counting would be best for your students.

I included a class favorite.......roll & color games! :)  My students LOVE to play these games.

There is an adding to 8 activity.  This will be a challenge for my students, but I think it is a great idea to challenge them!  :)  Students will use snowflakes to add to 8 in different ways.

I have a patterning activity for ABB, ABC, and ABBC patterns.

Lastly, I also included a greater than and less than 15 activity.

My daughter saw these activities I created and wanted to try them out.  Since she is in kindergarten herself it worked perfectly.  Plus, it gave her some quiet activities to do while my son was resting from being sick.










Click on the image below to head to my TPT store to get these math centers for yourself!


2012 Bloggy Best and Brightest

I took a little break from blogging and school and I am now back and feeling very refreshed!  It is amazing what a little R & R can do for you!

Today I am linking up with Christina over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for the 2012 Bloggy Best and Brightest Linky.


I am first and foremost just grateful to have this wonderful creative outlet to share my ideas with others. I am so thankful that within doing this I have almost 50 followers so far!  I thought for sure just my family would be the only ones reading this! ;)

My most popular post was my Thanksgiving and Elf Yourself! post.  It received over 2,400 views.  In this post, I introduced my Elf Yourself Craftivity.  I just loved how these turned out with my own children and my students.




My favorite posts are probably my High Five for Friday posts.  I love reading about teaching, but I also love getting to know other bloggers.  I feel the High Five For Friday does that!

My big accomplishment this year was not only starting this blog, but also opening my own TPT store. I told myself when I started that I would be happy to make $5.  I really only make things that I am using in my classroom.  I was so baffled at how well my products were selling.  I feel truly blessed!

My favorite products from my TPT store:



I had a wonderful 2012 and am looking forward to a fabulous 2013.  Hoping to *meet* new bloggers this year and continued being inspired by all the blogs I follow!

Merry Christmas!

Hello all!  I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  I won't be blogging this week probably as we are starting all the family get togethers today.  I get officially meet and hold my new baby nephew Austin today......CAN'T WAIT!!!!

I will be back to blogging sometime after Christmas.  Enjoy your time with your family and loved ones!

Hug or High-Five

After hearing about the tragedy on Friday, I immediately thought about my two children at home and couldn't wait to get home and give them a hug.  I felt like the end of my school day on Friday was just a blur.  Since the weekend hit, all I could think about was my 23 other children at school.  I couldn't wait to see them Monday and give them each a hug.  I know you all were feeling the same way.  The tragedy was never mentioned in my classroom which was good because I probably would have started bawling.  I don't really think any of my students know anything about it.  I told them though that we have a new morning procedure in our classroom from now on.

*Each morning when the students get to school, they hang up their coat and bookbag.  Then they move their name for the lunch count.  {That is what we have always done.}  The new part is after they move their name for lunch count, they must come and see me.  We will say good morning to each other and the student can choose either a hug or a high-five for me to give to them.

Most students chose a hug and I am loving this new idea.  These students are my other babies and I love them dearly.  I would do anything in my power to protect them.  I want them to know that I care about them each and everyday.  So, for me this new idea is perfect for that.

On a side note, after school I had a parent come up and tell me thank you.  I asked her why she was thanking me and she said that she just wanted to thank me for all that I do with her daughter.  I started tear up.  She said she was just so happy her daughter had a teacher who cared about her.  I know she said these things in light of the recent tragedy, but it was nice to hear that parents understand how much we care about our students.

We have a busy week ahead.  We are having "themed" days each day this week.  I will hopefully be posting about it tonight, but probably not until tomorrow because.........My sister is in labor and at the hospital.  I am hoping to make the hour and a half drive after work tonight to see my new nephew!  I can't wait!

Have a great week everyone!

High Five for Friday.......Elf Inspired

I am linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday again, but this time my high five are mostly about the Elf on the Shelf.  {insert evil laugh}

I am really getting into finding new and creative ideas for my Elf on the Shelf not only at home, but also at school.  Thank you God for pinterest or I may be lost! :)  These are some of the places Hermie (our elf at home) has been hiding that has made my kiddos super excited!

1.  Hermie drew on my favorite picture of the kids.  {I had to use a 3M strip to hold him up in that position....shhhhhh....don't tell the kids ;)}



  2.   He wrote on the bathroom mirror with toothpaste.


3.  He popped some popcorn and watched a movie.


4.  My birch box arrived.  I am loving the items in mine this month!


5.  We had one of our many family Christmas parties this weekend.  My kids looked too cute so I had to get a pic.  We are so lucky because every year Santa comes to this party with a little gift for the children. {P.S.  I made that tutu Claire is wearing and I am making another one for her Christmas Program at school that is just red & green.}



My sweet little niece loved Santa, but didn't want to get close to him.  I just love this picture because I mean really don't we all have a picture like this??  {Santa doesn't look too excited either...ha!}



Have a great weekend everyone!  One more week until Christmas break!!!!

Elf Yourself & Elf on the Shelf

This week we are "traveling" to different countries to learn about the different holidays, customs, and traditions celebrated throughout the world.  I love this unit and I have taught this every year I have taught.  This year I found this wonderful unit on TPT called Holidays Around the World and I am using some ideas from there!

Unfortunately though with our Holiday Program coming up on Monday and these sweet little kinders who have never been on risers before, I haven't had as much time to focus on this unit.  We have spent a lot of time practicing how to safely get on and off the risers as well as time practicing our songs.

For our program, the teachers "decorate" the gym by hanging up student art work.  Of course, I am using my Elf Yourself Craftivity.  I can't believe the response it has received not only by the staff members, but also the students.  Everyone just loves them!  I can't wait for the parents to see them too!

Here is a sneak peak at a few of them!








If you are interested in this craftivity project, please click on the image below to go to my TPT store.




Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, has been helping with classroom behavior.  We have computer lab towards the end of the day so during computer lab each day he leaves us a note to let us know if we will be on the naughty or nice list for that day.  If we are on the nice list, he leaves us a special treat (Hershey's kisses).  Here are some pictures of where he has been hiding!

He brought us a new book one day.  That Elfie is awfully generous!!!


Hanging on the plant hook.  The kids went bananas for this!


Oh no, Elfie got out the legos while we were gone!


Elfie likes the art center.  He stuffed himself into the cup so no one could put a clip on the cup to go to that center today.




On a side note, I have had a TON of tattling lately.  One day I told the kids that they could no longer tattle to me.  I mean we have been working on the difference between a tattle and a "tell" since the beginning of the year.  Instead, now they have to tattle to Elfie.  If they want to tattle on someone, go right ahead, but don't tell Mrs. Pauley go tell Elfie.  It has been WONDERFUL!  I love it.  Granted, we spent a lot of time talking about when it was o.k. to talk to Elfie and when it wasn't, but I am loving this.  I am thinking about getting a "tattling turtle" or something along those lines for after Christmas.

What do you do in your room for tattling?  Do you have something that works really well?  I would love to hear about it!



12 in '12

I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten and A Teeny Tiny Teacher for 12 in 2012.   This is a look back at your favorite things of 2012!


12.  Favorite movie you watched:
The Dark Knight Rises - My hubby and I went to see this during the summer.  We saw it at the IMAX theatre.  I am not a huge action movie person.  I usually only go to those movies because thats what the hubby wants to see, but I really liked this movie and I felt like it had a good ending.  My hubby who doesn't really care for movies in general said it was the best movie he had ever seen.

11.  Favorite TV series:
While I do love all things reality {don't tell anyone though ;)}, my favorite show is Grey's Anatomy.  I don't know what it is about that show, but I just love it!

10.  Favorite restaurant:
This summer the hubby and I went away with our BFF's to Chicago and I talked everyone into eating at RPM Italian {Giuliana & Bill Rancic's Restaurant}.  O.M.G.  It was delicious!  We had the BEST meatballs of our lives.....all four of us decided unanimously that was our favorite thing there.  If you are ever in Chicago, you must try it......amazeballs {as Giuliana would say}.

9.  Favorite new thing you tried:
I have to pick to two:  blogging and TPT.  Every time I log on to my blog or TPT, I am just shocked that people actually want to hear what I have to say or buy what I have made.  It just makes my heart swell.  

8.  Favorite gift you got:
My dad paid for myself, my brother, and our children to come out and visit him in D.C.  It was the first time we were able to visit since he moved there and it was ah-mazing!  I am so thankful to him for that opportunity.


7.  Favorite thing you pinned:
I had a really hard time deciding on this one, but I have to say this is my favorite only because I laugh EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.  I read it.  If you don't watch Mythbusters it may not be funny to you, but I love it!




6.  Favorite blog post:
My Elf Yourself Craftivity post.  It has had the most views of any of my posts.  I just love how these turned out.  I am going to be posting about it again this week because my students just made their elf on Friday.  So cute!




5.  Best accomplishment:
Getting down to my goal before my 30th birthday {unfortunately I am not still there hence #2}

4.  Favorite picture:
25 years ago my mom took me to Disney World for the first time.  I have this amazing picture of the two of us on the carousel.  We went this summer and I got a picture of my mom, my daughter, and I on the same carousel.  I just love that we were able to capture this.  It meant so much to me and my mom.  I hope that one day it will mean a lot to my daughter as well.




3.  Favorite memory:
Our whole Disney trip is my favorite memory.  It is amazing to watch your children experience Disney.  I loved watching Claire meet Tinkerbell and all the princesses.  I loved watching Connor meet Mickey and Goofy.  I just can't say enough about the trip.  It was amazing.  Oh, and the wine walk at Epcot wasn't bad either ;)

2.  Goal for 2013:
Get back to exercising on a REGULAR basis {don't we all have a goal like this}.  Spend less time on school stuff at home.  I feel like my mind is on school too much at home.  I want my time at home to be my time at home.  It's kind of a constant struggle balancing my life with my hubby and kids and my life at school.  I'm sure you can all relate whether you have children or not.  

1.  One Little Word:  
Relax - I am a worrier.  So for 2013 I am going to try to relax and not sweat the small stuff.  Fingers crossed!



High Five for Friday

I am loving that we are all in the Christmas spirit at my house.  I have a very Christmas themed High Five this week.  :)  Linking up with Lauren again for High Five for Friday.

1.  The kids woke up to our Elf on the Shelf, Hermie (you know Hermie from Rudolph) sitting here.  He took off the stockings and hung the kiddos underwear instead.  It was a riot to watch the kids reactions that morning.


2.  Yet another Hermie incident....the kids also kept laughing about this one.  Yep, he T.P.'ed our Christmas tree.



3.  This past weekend I got to take this little man on a mommy-son date to a movie.  We went and saw "Rise of the Guardians" in 3D.  It was a good movie.



4.  Which means that tonight I am taking this little cutie-pie on a mommy-daughter date.  Not sure exactly what we are doing, but I know we are headed to dinner together and then maybe a little shopping.  :)


5. My mom sent my kids this book as a gift for St. Nicholas Day, but I am more excited about it!  We love Pete the Cat in our house!


Have a great & relaxing weekend everyone!

Reindeer Fun!

We have been working hard learning about reindeer in our classroom this week.  Here is some of what we have done.

We made a reindeer schema and new learning chart.  This chart is from Tuesday.  We have added many more new ideas since then. :)


We are making an "All About Reindeer" book from Deanna Jump's Reindeer Unit.  I did a directed drawing of the reindeer and I think the students' reindeer turned out so cute!


 This one is pregnant. Hahaha......we learned about what it means to be a mammal and one thing that stuck in their heads was that mammals carry the baby in their belly.  I just loved this illustration!!

Reindeer & baby reindeer


We did another directed drawing of reindeer in our science journals and then labeled the reindeer.  The students LOVED this!  I love seeing how excited they are about knowing how to draw something.  It gives some of my students the chance to really shine.






Today we made Reindeer Glyphs from my new TpT product.  Here are some of my little sweeties' reindeer.


If you are interested in this glyph activity please click on the image below or visit my TpT store {here}.



I found this idea on pinterest through our amazing art teacher {here} and I just had to make this for my classroom door.

I know this has been a long post, but I want to share with you our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie.  Each day when the students come to school they must find him and then write about where he is in their Elf Journal.  Here are some of our lastest additions. :)

Elfie hanging upside down from our Christmas lights.



Elfie riding Mr. Caterpillar


Yesterday my kids were quite wound up and would NOT.  STOP.  TALKING.  So, I wrote a letter to Santa for Elfie to take to him and he wrote us back a letter and look now where Elfie ended up today ;)  


You guessed it.....right by our classroom rules.  Unfortunately, they weren't any better today :(  But there's always tomorrow (I am totally singing the song from Rudolph as I type that...ha!)

But now I have to share with you the best thing that happened today.  Today is St. Nicholas Day and my mom usually sends my kiddos a little package with some "fun" socks and a little bit of candy. (Got to love grandma's right?)  Today we got home and saw we had a package, but instead of socks this year she sent two books:  one about how St. Nicholas became Santa Claus and the other was this.



So of course we downloaded the song right away and read along.  Loving this new Pete the Cat book!!  I don't really know who was more excited about the book the kids or me!  Honestly I think it was me, but the kids were pretty darn excited like jumping up and down excited so you can imagine my reaction.......I was jumping up and down with them!  :)

Since I am now in a FABULOUS mood thanks to my mommy, I have decided to giveaway my reindeer glyph free to the first person who comments below.  Make sure to include your email address.