New Year's Resolutions: Fitness!

Yes, I know that I am doing the dreaded double post in one day--hope you can forgive me, since I already resolved to be a better blogger and I wanted to complete all 5 days of this linky!!  :o)  
I'm linking up with Deedee at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for the final day of resolutions!!

I had to laugh when I read Deedee's post, since I feel like getting fit is always one of my goals too. But, I have a lot of inspiration since we want to expand our family. 

 I mean, wouldn't you want another blessing like this!?  

My resolutions are to:

(I did have to laugh when I typed exercise into Microsoft clipart and this image appeared!!  Hopefully, it will be more fun than this!!)

Don't forget to link up!  Happy New Year!!

New Year's Resolutions: Downtime!

I'm linking up with Amy at Step into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons for the 4th day of New Year's resolutions... downtime!

In keeping with my theme of 3... 
Here are my three downtime resolutions for 2013 
(for my husband and I too--but my daughter is cuter!)

Don't forget to link up too!!  

New Year's Resolutions: Professional Growth

I'm linking up with Amanda at One Extra Degree for Day 3 of New Year's Resolutions!

Today's topic is Professional Growth... here are my goals for 2013:
Number 1: Read, Read, Read
Like most teachers, I have a HUGE collection of teacher books--but haven't always finished all that I've started.  This year, I want to add a few new titles to my professional library, and--more importantly--to finish and/or re-read some of my favorites (the ones that inspire me to be a better teacher!)
My favorites for reading:

My favorites for work stations:

My favorites for writing:

Number 2: SHARE class and Wiki pages
My friend Kelly (From Kindergarten with Love) and I started a professional development class for our school division 2 years ago.  It's called SHARE (Staff Have Awesome Resources (for) Eachother).  It's been an incredible way to share ideas with other teachers in our large school district (with almost 60 elementary schools, we're one of the largest in VA).  Essentially, we meet each month (October through April) and teachers bring at least 2 ideas (with samples, photos) for the next month's topics.  Teachers share books, youtube videos, songs, etc that are used as well.  It's wonderful to leave each class with fun ways to implement our K-1 SOL standards (Standards of Learning).  After our "share" session, we take a tour of the K/1 classrooms--isn't it amazing how many ideas you can get from visiting other classrooms!?  Teachers can get recertification points for attending as well... so it's a win, win!

This year, we added an additional component to our class... a Wiki page.  Kelly had started one with her school team, and loved how it was going--so we started one for SHARE too.  Teachers add their shared documents to a private wiki page, so everyone can access them... plus, it saves the $$ from having to print multiple copies for everyone  (usually 15-20 teachers per class).  I'm lovin' it so much... that my team started one too!  So, my goals for this year are to improve the SHARE class experience, and make both wikis amazing resources!
Number 3: Blogging and TpT
I cannot tell you the amount of professional growth I've experienced from blogging and opening a TpT store.  It's amazing to think how many teachers across the country I now consider as friends--and truly value their professional feedback and support.  I am truly thankful!  (THANK YOU for your support--a 400 follower giveaway is in the works!!!!)
  and Photobucket
I also feel SO proud to be a part of Blog Hoppin'.  What an incredible group of educators--that are devoted to their students and to supporting other teachers as well!!! 
Don't forget to link up with Amanda to share your goals!!

New Year's Resolutions: Organization!

I'm linking up with Hope at Second Grade Shenanigans for day 2 of New Year's Resolutions!

 I should start by saying that I L-O-V-E organization!!!  There are lots of things that I think I'm doing really well... plus areas that I want to keep working on (isn't it always "time" that seems to get in the way!?).  Let's start with what's already organized (click on the pictures for more info--or where to find it)!!  

Classroom Library
I love to spread my library throughout the room--so it's easy to find everything and it helps space the kiddos out too.  :o)  There are slanted shelves by my meeting place carpet also, plus tons of labeled book bins!! 
Blue Math book tubs and green Science book tubs
White Readers book tubs and yellow Author book tubs (they were being re-labeled when this picture was taken)
Red Social Studies book tubs... on the end of another shelf

My closet
My classroom closet was made "famous" when Kim Adsit visited in October!  Ha ha!! Well, not really... but I did have to laugh when she mentioned it in her blog post (teachers do love storage space)!  We are really lucky to have HUGE closets in the kindergarten hallway--which is wonderful when so many other classrooms lack necessary storage.  I have been working at better organizing the space (but still have farther to go, see number 2 below!)   
These tubs hold my themed books for each month (I told you I LOVE books!)
These drawers fit perfectly under the built in shelving and store other materials for  each month.  I want to invest in more of these, so I can have 2 drawers for each month.  
Math Manipulatives and Math Work Stations
You can see a corner of the math organization shelves to the left of this photo.  Everything's labeled with pictures and words, so students can return items independently.  The clear containers with purple handles are now my Math work station tubs--labeled with numbers.  This is my first year doing it in the true Debbie Diller sense... and I'm lovin' it!  I'll have to take some better photos when we get back.  

EAGLE Notebooks
I want my kiddos to stay organized too--and I love using EAGLE notebooks in the classroom.  Here are the storage bins I use... click on the picture to jump to my Blog Hoppin' post about my notebook set-up.  

Data Notebooks and Data Wall
We keep track of individual data in Data Notebooks (folders with brads) and class data on our Data Wall (on the wall above our cubbies).  

Other Student Organization
I tried color coding my shelves with colored masking tape this year--for the book box shelf, and it has been a fabulous way to cut down on the time it takes to locate their book boxes!  (Of course, this was taken on the 1st day... when we only had one book inside  LOL!)  

Here are the student supply drawers on the counter by the sink (for extras like sharpened pencils, new glue sticks, highlighters, etc). With everything labeled--students can find what they need without any wasted time!

OK... now onto my organization resolutions!!
Number 1:  Work Station Storage
I need to update and organize my system for *storing* all the fabulous activities for work stations!  I think I will organize by work station, not seasonal (like I have other things) since I build my stations so there are choices at each one, and then rotate old activities out.  I'd love any ideas on how YOU store your stations (literacy and/or math)!!

Number 2: My Classroom Closet
I mentioned above how I LOVE my classroom closet... and all the wonderful organization that exists inside.  Unfortunately, it also becomes a place to "stash" stuff when it needs to be out of sight!  YIKES!  So, resolution number 2 is to keep it as neat and organized as it can be!

Number 3: My "Teacher Room"
I have this lovely little room in my basement for housing my "teacher stuff" as my husband lovingly refers to it.  Unfortunately, the room is far from lovely and usually becomes a dumping ground for other things... I am going to change that!!

Now... it's your turn to link up with Hope!

New Year's Resolutions: Technology!

I'm linking up with Kathleen at Growing Kinders to share my New Year's Resolutions... technology style!  

Number 1:  Blogging! 
The top technology resolution on my list is blogging! I've learned so much-- and "met" so many amazing people through the blogging world, and I hope 2013 holds even more opportunities to expand and improve my blog--and online collaboration!  (you may have noticed that I am only 1 away from 400 followers.... wouldn't a giveaway be an INCREDIBLE way to begin the New Year!? hint, hint)  I'm definitely making it a priority to be a more regular blogger!!

Number 2: Learn about and Use my new Cameo!
I'm SUPER EXCITED that I recently received a Silhouette Cameo from a Donors Choose grant!  I have only just started testing it out and another resolution is to find out all the wonderful ways it will enhance my students' learning!!!
Number 3: Organize my iPod!
I began adding my school music files to my iPod 2 summers ago, and pretty much finished up last year--except for the new stuff!  :o)  My 3rd resolution is to finish organizing all the songs into themes/folders. It's been a big job--but it has made such a difference in my ability to find songs quickly... especially if you're like me and LOVE using  Jack Hartmann, Heidi Songs, Dr. Jean, Shari Sloane, etc, etc in the classroom!  

Don't forget to link up!!

Merry Christmas!!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends!!  Thank you for following me and being so supportive throughout the year!  As a special Christmas gift from me to you... I am having a flash Christmas sale--and since I'm only getting it up now, it will last through tomorrow.  MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

A Tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary

As a kindergarten teacher and parent, I cannot wrap my mind around the events of yesterday--in a school and classroom much like my own. We practice lock down drills and other emergency procedures to keep our students safe, since school should be one of the places that children feel safest. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.

As a form of our support for the families of the teachers, principal, and students who lost their lives, I will be joining the Blog Hoppin' authors and many teacher bloggers throughout the country in a day of silence on Sunday, December 16. Simply post this image and title your post "Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary." Please join us in this simple, but powerful memorial for the precious lives lost on Friday. Thank you to Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for creating this tribute.

A Merry and Bright Blog Hoppin' Giveaway... only 1 day left to enter!

There's only 1 more day left to enter...
This HUGE giveaway includes 30 holiday units---and there will be 2 WINNERS!!   I'm so proud that my Holidays Around the World pack is a part of this giveaway!  
Click on the graphic above to enter over at Blog Hoppin'

Currently... December and a Freebie!

I'm linking up with Farley for....
Hop over and link up!!

Also, I promised a freebie yesterday..and here it is!  This is a fun way to countdown to the new year and practice an essential kindergarten skill... tying shoes!!   
Click on the graphic to download it from my TpT store. 

Copy the snowman page on colored card stock (I use light blue).  Attach a baggie of cotton balls (31) and the direction sheet to send home with your class families.  VOILA!  You now have the makings for a fluffy project to show your students they are "SNOW" Smart!  Every day your kiddos practice tying their shoes, they can add a cotton ball to the snowman.  By 2013, they should have added 31 cotton balls... and practiced tying shoes for 31 days!  

They can now (hopefully!)  be members of your class' Shoe Tying Club!!  My kiddos were SO EXCITED to try this... hope yours are too!

Show Us What You Bought LINKY!!

I hope you had as much fun shopping during the Cyber Monday and Tuesday sales at TpT as I did!  There were so many amazing items to choose from... it was difficult to narrow it down!!  

Here's what I picked up:
from Deedee Wills @ Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

from Deedee Wills @ Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

from Cara Carroll @ First Grade Parade

from Kathleen Pedersen @ Growing Kinders

from Kathleen Pedersen @ Growing Kinders

from Lidia Barbosa @ Kinder Alphabet

AND Lots of frames to make some new items:

I also wanted to say a special THANK YOU to everyone who supported my store during the sale... I was thrilled to have a product on the top 100 from last week (#58!) for the first time!! 
I will have a special FREEBIE tomorrow as a small token of my thanks! 

Don't forget to link up on Blog Hoppin' to Show Us What YOU Bought!!!  I have a feeling I'll be making a few more purchases after I check out this linky!  :o) 

I can't forget to mention my friend Leilani's brand new blog, "Olive Teaching" (don't you just love the name!?) and TpT store!  You're just going to LOVE her... she is one of the sweetest, most creative (and funny!)  people I know.  
She already has so many great items up in her store including...
Gingerbread Man Story Retelling Bracelet and Emergent Reader (the gingerbread man slides along as you tell the story!!)
Literacy and Writing with Gingerbread Friends
Mitten Story Retelling Bracelet and Emergent Reader (the mitten slides along as you tell the story!!)

PS I will choose one random comment to select a free product of their choice from my store!! I love your comments!!!