Ringing in the New Year: 2016 Resolutions

The dynamic duo is back and it feels so good.  When my sweet friend Jayme from TeachTalkInspire asked if I would be interested in doing a New Year's Resolution link up with her I jumped at the chance.  I have neglected my poor sweet blog and I hope to change that in the new year.  

2015 certainly was a year to remember.

Professionally, 2015 was the year I started my blogging/TpT journey and I'm so glad I did.  Not only has it given me a wealth of ideas and strategies to use in my classroom and put a pep in my step as I work with my students, but I have also formed friendships I cherish and groups of teachers who are supportive and always there.  I have had the chance to organize and attend blogger meet ups and meet such talented individuals.  It is truly inspiring to be around such dedicated and creative people.

I can't wait to see what 2016 has to be bring.

Personally, 2015 was a whirlwind of a year.  We put our townhouse up for sale in the summer and sold late fall.  We found our dream house and moved in October.  We also found out we were pregnant and can't wait to meet our tiny blessing in June.  

As 2015 comes to an end and 2016 rapidly approaches I can't help but stop for a moment and think of some resolutions I would like to try in the new year.  

1.  Around this time last year I started a writing goal chart where I put a few writing goals and students chose what writing goal they would like to work on each week. Some of the writing goals included: finger spaces in between words, uppercase to start a sentence, put an end mark at the end of a sentence, add one more detail to my writing.  It really helped to give the students more responsibility with their writing and take ownership of their work.  I would like to try this again this year. 

2. Oh man, this is a big one for me and I always seem to struggle with it.  I really need to up my intake of water especially now that I am pregnant.  I am the type of person who could go all day without drinking because I get so wrapped up in the day I forget.  I really need to be conscientious of this because I want to be healthy and I want the baby to be healthy.  

3.  I love to read.  Reading is such a great stress relief for me.  However, as I try to read a page or two at night I find myself drifting off to sleep before I even get to the second paragraph.  I really want to try to make it a priority to read for fun and finish a book each month.  If anyone has any good book recommendations send them my way. :)

4.  I've said it a time or two in my blog posts before, but I struggle with teaching math.  Math was never an easy subject for me and because of it I tend to shy away from it.  This year I have tried really hard to make sure I am putting 110% of my efforts towards math to make sure my students love it just as much as reading and writing.  I have done well with teaching a whole group lesson and then moving into math centers where I can pull kiddos to the side table and do some small group guided math with them.  It has been working really well and I want to continue to build my capacity in the upcoming year to continue to strength this subject area so that I can feel more and more comfortable as I teach it. 

5. In the new year I really want to make an effort of powering down at least an hour a night.  This might help with my number three resolution of finishing a book for fun.  I want to turn off the iPhone, the computer, the iPad, the iWatch, etc and just be free from all electronics.  It feels good to disconnect from the fast paced world and just be quiet.  

6.  The next resolution will help to make my blog feel not so neglected in the upcoming year.  This fall got away from me and I do not know where it went.  I am looking forward to making some time to blog at least once every two weeks.  I really love blogging and I love reading other blogs.  I think it is a great way to stay connected and learn great new ideas.

7.   I've always struggled with number seven and perhaps in the new year I can do a better job of tackling this goal.  I'm a worrier.  I worry about worrying.  I really want to make an effort to try and relax.  Worrying does not solve any of my problems.  You think I would have figured that out by now. ;)  I've really been trying to embrace the motto that opportunities for you will not pass you and everything happens for a reason because it really is true.  

Well, thank you for taking the time to read through my 2016 resolutions.  I have a feeling this is going to be a year for the books and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.  

If you would like to link up and share your 2016 resolutions grab the image below, write your resolutions, and share on your blog.  

Thanks for joining in this blogging adventure and I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year!

Cheers to 2016!


Five for Friday: Hello Winter Break

Happy Friday!  I'm particularly excited for this Friday because not only is it my favorite linky day with Doodle Bugs Teaching, but it's the last Friday before Winter Break!!!This teacher as I'm sure all the fantastic teachers out there needs a rest.  I need to recharge my batteries and have some serious Netflix and couch time.  Also, I can't wait to celebrate the holidays with my family and friends.  It is such a fun time of year.  

Well, let's get the show on the road, here are the top five from the week...

When I wasn't busy scraping the kiddos off the ceiling (can we say excited for Christmas ten times fast?!) we were busy reading and writing about gingerbread stories.  
We read:
The Gingerbread Man
 The Gingerbread Girl
 The Gingerbread Cowboy
 Gingerbread Loose at School
 Gingerbread Mouse
 Gingerbread Baby
 and last but not least Gingerbread Pirates.  

As we read each story we compared and contrasted and also did some writing about our favorite parts.


As of this week I had not shared the exciting news with my class that I was having a baby.  I thought a fun way to tell them would be when we read Gingerbread Baby.  I wasn't really sure what to except because with a room full of five year olds anything is possible.  

We read the story Mooseltoe and afterwards did a math activity where they make a moose and then use pipe cleaner for the moosetache.  Then I passed out ten beads and they put the beads on either side to complete addition problems.  The activity idea is from Golden Gang Kindergarten.  

The Friday before winter break the staff has an ugly sweater contest.  One year a friend from school and I made an ugly sweater as a joke and everyone loved it.  For the past few years we have made our ugly sweater.  These are the sweaters we made last year

This year's ugly sweater is definitely a sweet treat!  I hope we win the contest again this year! ;)

On a personal note, I'm really looking forward to this weekend because it is our annual cousin Christmas.  We always do it the Sunday before Christmas and our families have gotten so big we have started to have it out.  My cousins from Tennessee come into town and it is such a great time to see everyone and catch up.  

I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and enjoy winter break.  Take the time to rest and recharge and spend time with those you love!

Happy Friday!

December Currently

It's that time again and I couldn't be more excited to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her monthly currently linky.  

Can I ramble for a moment and talk about how much I LOVE this time of year.  The decorations, the twinkling Christmas tree, the cookies, the gift giving.  It is just a magical time.  If I could leave my Christmas tree up all year and it would be acceptable I would.  I just love how cozy it makes the house feel.  I feel like this year is extra special because we were able to decorate our new house for the first time.  

Alright, enough rambling, let's get on with the Currently. 

Listening: Morning time is my favorite time because the house is so quiet and I get to have some "me" time.  I'm currently enjoying my oatmeal and listening to some Christmas music.  It's wonderful!

Loving: LOVING that we can share our wonderful news that Baby Schuda is due in June.  Kenny and I are so excited and it's been hard to keep this a secret.  It's been so fun sharing our news with everyone.  After the holidays I look forward to decorating the nursery.  We are going to keep it neutral because we are going to keep the gender a surprise!  I already have my eye on this adorable elephant bedding.  :)

Thinking: I want to try Elf on a Shelf next year in my classroom.  I am loving all these posts about Elf on a Shelf and I have never done it.  What a cute way to celebrate the month!

Wanting: I have a confession.  I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.  This weekend I plan to do some damage.  I still have time, right?!

Needing: I'm so excited one of my favorite guilty pleasures has started again, and I can't wait to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Oh the drama!

Real or Faux: My Hubby really tried to convince me to get a real tree this year for the new house, but I just couldn't.  I'm so afraid that something could go wrong.  Although the smell is wonderful.  Maybe next year we will try it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Currently.  I hope you have a wonderful month and enjoy the holiday season! 


Five for Friday

Happy Friday!  This has been a jam packed week and I am excited to be linking up with one of my favorite weekly linkys Doodle Bug Teaching for my Five for Friday.  Lets get this show on the road...

I couldn't let the week go by without doing one of my favorite Thanksgiving projects.  We read the story Turkey Trouble and then disguised our own turkeys to save them from Thanksgiving Dinner.  I mean who would want to eat a fire breathing dragon anyway?!  I think this turkey is safe. ;)

We have been learning about nouns and I put this packet together last weekend to practice.  The kiddos have loved the pirate theme.  

In ELA our focus has been Celebrate You and Me.  We have been talking about our characteristics and what makes us special.  This week we drew a self portrait and labeled characteristics about ourselves inside and out.  It has been fun to hear their discussions about themselves.  Yesterday, the kiddos got with a partner and we interviewed one another to find out facts about each other.  We have been practicing eye contact, listening while others are talking, and writing their response.  

It's a miracle, but I blogged twice this week.  I don't know about you, but I have found it so hard to keep up with everything this year.  Hopefully as the year continues I'll start to get into my groove.  Better late than never. ;)

Finally, I found these adorable thankful notes from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and I have enjoyed filling them out for my kiddos.  There is so much to be thankful for this time of year! :)

Well that wraps up my Five for Friday.  I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!


Introducing the Letter of the Week

Hello, and Happy Monday!  I wanted to write a quick post and share with you my letter formation routine that I have come to love.  After the first few weeks of school we start to introduce one letter a week and practice letter formation.  The students have handwriting homework for the week and each day we practice writing the letter and using it within words.

On Mondays we run through the following routine that I have found to be beneficial and my  kinder kiddos love!

This week we are working on the letter Aa.  I begin by having the kids come to the rug and we read the Alpha Tales or Phonics Tales book for the week.  We talk about the words we hear in the story that have the letter of the week and have conversations with our elbow partner.

Afterwards I show them the proper formation of the letter (Uppercase and Lowercase) on their letter homework.

The kids also practice spelling words by writing the sounds they hear for each picture.  This is a chance for me to review who is hearing the beginning/middle/ending sounds of each word.

Afterwards everyone goes to their chairs and they practice writing the letter on sentence strips as I walk around and help.  

Next, students walk around and read the room to find words that start with the letter of the week.  The kiddos love walking around with their slates and writing words.  I overhear them helping each other and brainstorming together.  

We finish our letter discussion by gathering at the rug and sharing the words we found.  We also play a clue game where I have objects that start with the letter and the students try to guess what each object is.  Then we work together spelling the word.  I write it on my easel and the kiddos spell it on their slates.  I always thought if I had kids bring slates to the rug they would be so distracted they wouldn't listen, however it is the exact opposite.  They are so engaged during this time and it is such a great hands on opportunity for them to practice writing and sounding out words.  I also have found the clue game is beneficial for my English Language Learners because they are visually seeing the objects and writing the words.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my letter practice routines.  If you are interested in the handwriting practice you can click on the letter packet below.  

Have a wonderful week! 

November Currently

Happy Sunday!  I'm still in a little bit of denial that it is actually November 1st, but I am excited to be linking up for my favorite monthly post with Farley's Currently

Listening: I am currently loving my lazy Sunday morning.  I'm relaxing on the couch listening to my dog Mario snore next to me and episodes of Parenthood play in the background.  I'm also listening to my wonderful Hubby scrape the wallpaper off of our office walls.  We recently moved to a new house and one of the first projects we have is to paint the office.  I can't wait to see what it looks like. 

Loving: I am loving the extra hour due to fall back.  This morning is going nice and slow and I will take it.  I love lazy morning, I feel as though they are much needed, we work so hard it's nice to veg every once in a while. 

Thinking: Of course while I sit here I can't stop but think about the laundry list of things I should be doing.  We have conferences starting this week so I need to start my notes, I need to plan, I want to finish a TpT product.  It will all get done, right?!

Wanting: I have a serious sweet tooth right now and even though we just had french toast for breakfast I can't help but think about finding something sweet to munch on.  I have a serious problem, haha.  

Needing: Sometime this afternoon I need to venture to the grocery store.  It's not my favorite place so I tend to put it off as long as possible.  

Yummy: I just love Thanksgiving.  The food, hanging out with family, it just feels cozy to me.  My all time favorite dish has got to be my Mom's famous cornbread casserole.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to their November.  I have so much to be thankful for and I love this time of year when I can reflect and count my blessings.  

Happy November!


Turkey Trouble Writing Activity

Good Morning!  This blog post is extra special for me because not only am I sharing the news that I blogged on our collaborative blog Primary Punchbowl for the first time, but it is also my 100th post on this blog!  I have loved this adventure from the moment I decided to do it and have learned so much and feel so inspired by all of you!  I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.  Now I feel so lucky to be apart of the collaborative blog The Primary Punchbowl with some wonderful teachers who support and inspire me everyday!

Be sure to click on the picture below to read my post about a November writing activity you can do with the book Turkey Trouble.  It has a FREEBIE included! 

Have a great day!

Five for Friday

Happy Friday Friends!  I am so excited to be linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching for one of my favorite linkys.  I always feel it starts Friday off on the right foot.  I have missed the past few weeks, but for a good reason.  

The Hubby and I moved to our dream house a few weeks ago and we have been buried in boxes and unpacking our little hearts away.  We couldn't be more happier and feel so blessed.  Our two dogs, Mario and Joey have a yard with a fence to run freely in and to have more space is just wonderful.  I am happy to say we are mostly unpacked and I feel like our lives are going back to normal.  Moving is a lot of work.  We plan to stay here for a long, long, long time. :)

This week we have been busy learning how to listen to our peers and take notes.  We are finishing up our last week of our Unit 1 for ELA.  It's been fun to watch the kiddos interact with each other and give eye contact, listen, and then draw a picture or write words to remember their partner's ideas.  Today we are going to start sharing our notes.  It has been a great reading, writing, speaking and listening activity.

That moment you are planning for the next week during your prep and you have a major sweet tooth attack.  Then you remember you have a Hershey's bar in your purse.  Milk chocolate for the win!

We are labeling fanatics and I love it!  They are doing a really nice job stretching out the sounds that they hear and writing the letters.  

I'm going to end with this lovely picture of the tree outside my classroom.  We can't stop starring at it.  Each day it gets more vibrant and it's breathtaking.  

Well, that wraps up my Five for Friday.  It felt so good to recap my week again.  Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful day and weekend!  Hold on tight folks, we almost made it. ;)