Sunday, November 23, 2014

1000 IG Followers Giveaway!!!

When I started this blog back in April I had NO IDEA how it would affect my life. I honestly didn't think it would affect it at all! Who would want to read MY blog anyway? There are so many teaching blogs out there and 99.99% of them are way better than mine! I'm still honing my actual blogging skills and I know I'll get better in time and with experience.

However...I'm pretty good at taking pictures! I started an Instagram account to go along with my blog and I remember how excited I was when I got my first non-friend follower...someone who didn't know me AT ALL, just found me on there and thought my pictures were interesting enough to follow. 

Can y'all imagine how stoked I am that I have over 1,000 followers now on IG?! And I have no shame when I admit I take screenshots when a *famous* blogger follows me or likes/comments on one of my posts. Like that time when one of my absolute FAVORITE teacher bloggers Vickie Plant commented with hearts and proceeded to follow me...I know these amazing people get tagged all the time and comment on so many posts and it's just so darn cool when they do!!! 

But my absolute favorite part about this IG milestone is all the new friends I have made along the way. Some I've gotten the pleasure of actually meeting, thanks to meetups in Austin and Dallas. Others are "virtual" friends, but I know if I ever had questions about teaching/blogging/Stitch Fix/whatever I can always turn to them (I know I'll meet them in person someday--perhaps Vegas 2015??). 

Ok, ok, I hear ya, enough with all the mushy gushy stuff already! Get to the GIVEAWAY! These fabulous bloggers have generously donated some of their creations to make this prize pack an AWESOME one! Keep reading to see what you can win!

I'm throwing in my Number Posters!

This prize pack has a value of over $65...but can be yours FREE! Just complete the Rafflecopter below- the more you enter the better your chances of winning! The winner will be randomly selected on November 29th. Be sure to check back here to see if you've won!

Thank you to all my followers who've made this a reality and to my blogger buddies for helping me celebrate! 

Good luck y'all!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

{My first} Five for Friday!

This is my first time linking up with the adorable Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky. Kinda crazy, I know. Here goes nothing!

We started decomposing numbers (up to 5) this week. The kids used dot stickers and this freebie from Rowdy in Room 300 to show different combinations for 3, 4 and 5. They loved it!

I'm in the process of revamping my block/construction center. This is the first year I've worked in a district where play is actually encouraged so I'm learning as I go when it comes to these types of centers. A few of my girls built this wall for their animals. I asked one what the ramp was for and she said "It's for the penguins to slide down, duh!" :)

School pictures came in this week...I'm actually happy with mine! The photographer (a cute little man around 60) immediately started primping me when I sat down. When I told him thank you he responded with "I've been doing this for 20 years, I know how you ladies are about your pictures!" He meant in a nice way--and he was totally right!

My class is participating in a gingerbread man exchange organized by PAWSitively Teaching. We decorated ours this week. I don't know who is more excited about getting the gingerbread men in the mail- me or the kids!

And last but not least...I'm only a few months into the TpT creating business. It is HARD! Well, for me it is because I have lots of ideas in my head but struggle with getting them onto the screen. I did post a freebie recently and got this sweet feedback. Y'all, these 11 little words may not seem like much but they made my day!

Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday (on a Thursday no less!) -- check! Now it's your turn. Click the button to go link up! 


Thanksgiving is right around the corner y'all, we can do this! Have a happy Friday!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm Thankful For {Linky}

I'm linking up with Primary Powers for their Super Thankful Thread linky!

Here are some things I'm thankful for. Obviously this list in not all-inclusive (my list could go on and on);  I had to narrow it down some! In no particular order...

I have a very small family and they mean the world to me. One of the reasons I moved to Austin was to be closer to them. My mom is my best friend. My grandpa always knows the exact advice to give, sometimes even when I don't want to hear it. My grandma was the best person I've ever known, and even though she isn't with us anymore, I think about her every day and strive to be more like her. She was a teacher's aide for 39 years and people still tell me stories about her and how she touched their life in one way or another. 

Those of you who are from Texas (and are die-hard Texans like myself) know this is SO true! I have great pride in this state and I won't hesitate to defend it to anyone who starts trash-talking! 

This one speaks for itself. Knowing I have the Word to turn to when I need it is a blessing everyone should be thankful for. 

As I always say, Chip is my BFF- best fur friend! Human BFF's are a blessing but nothing compares to the companionship of a dog who loves you no matter what and is always happy to see you. 

Just some random things that make me happy! My life is just sort of incomplete when it's not football season. Target is one of my happy places. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Lattes. Need I say more? Texas country/red dirt music, especially the Turnpike Troubadours, is the best kind of music!

What are YOU thankful for? Go link up and let us know! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shining a Light

Normally I wouldn't advertise where I work on the internet but my school had a special event today that I would like to share with everyone. Please don't come to my school and stalk me (joking, sorta).

In 2012, Austin police officer Jaime D. Padron was shot and killed in the line of duty after responding to a call from a North Austin Wal-Mart. You can read about the incident and Officer Padron here

Officer Jaime D. Padron

In 2008, Austin voters approved a bond that would include a new elementary school in North Austin to alleviate overcrowding in neighboring schools. The district purchased a warehouse and converted it into what is now Jaime D. Padron Elementary, the district's largest and first adaptive reuse project. 

Today, our school held a formal dedication ceremony to honor Officer Padron. Padron's family, current members of the Austin Police Department, including Chief Art Acevedo, school and community officials, Padron Elementary staff and members of the community attended and spoke about Officer Padron. 

Our principal 

AISD Superintendent

Austin Police Chief

Jaime D. Padron's sister (who was his favorite sister, she exclaimed, then proceeded to tell us she knew this to be fact since she was his ONLY sister). :) 

Some of our students singing the school song

Padron's daughter cut the ribbon-this is the best picture I could get since everyone crowded around her

One of the things that stood out to me from all the speeches was his sister's comment about the school having so much light. You would think that a school re-purposed from a warehouse would be dark and gloomy. Think again. The architects kept this in mind when designing the school and thanks to them we have so much natural light flowing through our building from a TON of skylights and windows. Even the interior hallways feel open because the walls of the classrooms that form the hallways are all windows. She said all the light reminded her of a time when Jaime kept humming the song "This Little Light of Mine" all day. I get kind of emotional at things like this and I definitely teared up when I heard that story. 

Several people referred to Officer Padron as a true hero, which he absolutely is, along with all other public defenders who risk their lives for us on a daily basis. AISD Board of Trustees member Ann Teich stated that teachers are also true heroes. We don't necessarily risk our lives every day (although I'm sure you would agree with me when I say I'd put my life on the line ANY day if someone tried to harm my students), but we educate America's youth and try to prepare them for the best future they can possibly have. That's pretty heroic if you ask me.

This dedication helped remind me why I do what I do. I'll be honest with you, there are some days when I leave my classroom and feel like I accomplished nothing that day, or parents just keep wanting to tell me how to do my job, or I get overwhelmed with all the "extras" that go along with teaching. It makes me want to throw in the towel. I know I'm not alone in this. We all need reminders every now and then that what we do is IMPORTANT, we teachers are NEEDED, and we HAVE AN IMPACT on those little ones we see every day. 

The message at my church this morning was all about worrying and how we do too much of it. About how we aren't living by faith when we worry. That sermon combined with our school dedication knocked a little sense into me today. The only worrying I need to be doing is if I'm doing my best to let Him SHINE HIS LIGHT through me to my students. 

I'm glad I have so many skylights to remind me of this every day.

On a lighter note... :) Here's a couple more pictures from today's event!

Here's to a great week y'all!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November {Currently}

The Currently linky always seems to come fast but I seriously feel like I was JUST typing out my October currently. Time is FLYING. It's a good and a bad thing for me...good since it means Thanksgiving and Christmas break are around the corner. Bad because it means...Thanksgiving and Christmas break are around the corner. Why is that a bad thing? I have a LOW, LOW class and HIGH, HIGH expectations from administration (and myself). They aren't where they need to be by this time of the year and I'm stressing worrying FREAKING OUT a little y'all. I'm just praying that "light bulb moment" happens. Soon!

Until then, there's only one thing to do. November Currently!

Listening: Not sure about y'all but I just love my early morning peace and quiet. I feel I do my best coffee-drinking, blog-stalking and pajama-lounging when I hear nothing but nature outside. No joke, I'm being totally serious. Anyone else the same?

Loving: I went to my second blogger meetup in Dallas recently. Remember the aforementioned blog-stalking I do in my early morning peace and quiet? Well, I got to meet some of my favorites and let me tell you-- these women continuously blow my mind with their talent and knowledge. Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner got it right when she says she feels she's meeting celebrities. You are all celebrities in my mind too and you inspire me to become a better blogger/TpTer/teacher every day! I'm so glad I'm getting to meet you and call you a friend. I can't wait to meet more of you!

Thinking: From IG accounts and blog posts I know most of you just love the weather right now. I, on the other hand, am NOT such a fan. Don't get me wrong- I love fall. The colors, smells, the warm-fuzzy-feeling I get seeing all the pumpkin patches...but the weather? This cooler, soon-to-be COLD, FREEZING, ICY, YUCKY weather?? Who likes that? I can't eat, write, think, walk- basically I can't function when I'm cold. Sorry for the grumpy cat soapbox. Summer and your 100 degree wonderfulness- come back soon!

Wanting: The grocery store always seems to be the last thing on my mind. I'm not a good cook. I can't cook. I once botched a bagged salad. A bagged salad y'all! And I'm cooking for one, so when I DO cook I end up eating the same thing for DAYS. I need some tips! Help!

Needing: I don't have a dining room in my teeny apartment, only the kitchen bar, so right now when I eat my delicious take-out (since I can't cook) I'm eating at my desk or on the couch or on the floor in front of the TV. Maybe if I invest in some cute bar stools it will give me motivation to cook more so I can sit in them to eat?? That's my logic and I'm sticking to it!

Reading: The million Lucy Calkins books that I have for my year-long writing training. They're an easy read, it's just a matter of finding the time to read them. Writing is one area I struggle with, much less a solid writer's workshop. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Ok, now your turn! Go link up with Miss Farley and remember the rule of 3! Have a happy week y'all!