Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wrapping Up the Year! Fourteen in '14!

Here we are, it's the last day of 2014! This year has legitimately been the fastest passing year of my life. So many things have happened this year that I can hardly believe it! So I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten & friends to look back on such a busy, fun year with some highlights!

Change. We started our year in Colorado and are ending it in California. We were wondering what HSP would do in his professional life and now he works in a "dream job" sort of scenario. I thought I might become a coach in my former school district this year, but here I am as a first year in a new district again! So yes, change!

It's very hard to narrow it down to one (I think I have three, and in an upcoming post you'll find out what they are!). But I guess I'll say "Be courageous." In my professional life, my personal life, my relationships. If I want something, I need to go for it and not worry about the time it will take or the chance of failure!

Moving! This is the second time that we, as a couple, have packed up our lives and our dogs and moved *very far away* from everyone we know and love. I never in a million years thought I'd live in California. Honestly, I never even thought I'd make it out here to visit! When it became a realistic option, though, I was so scared. But now that we're here, I am so happy we took the leap of faith!

This is so hard, but...

I think I've got a theme going here...

Getting hired as a kindergarten teacher (again)! I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to teach kindergarten again. Somehow, though, I was blessed with the opportunity! I *almost* taught second grade which I think would have also been fun, but kindergarten is where my heart is (for now)!

My first one! I started this blog this year! I can't wait to see if it becomes everything that I imagine :) I hope so!

Well there is literally no way I could pick just one. I use Pinterest A LOT. Mostly for classroom and teaching inspiration, but also for recipes, style inspiration, and interior design. I probably use my Food & Drink board the most! Here are some of my favorite recipes that I cook all the time...

Emeril's Chicken Chimichangas
The Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta

Hmm, good one. I was most surprised and excited about my Christmas gift from my Mama this year!

Blogging! It's been challenging for sure. I went three months without posting anything! Now I'm trying be more *intentional* with my time and focus. My blog is one of those things that is taking more of a priority! Also, focusing more on creating items for my TpT store! It's existed since last year, but I really tried to make some things this year that I knew I would use and hoped that others would use as well. I think a few people have stopped by!

That's tough. I think I'm still looking for my California favorite...but we are LOVING the amount of delicious Mexican food out here. Tennessee has great Mexican food, but in Colorado it's awful! We went two years without good Mexican. Now, we eat it all the time! I love La Playita in Hermosa Beach because of its tasty food, good margs, but the patio is gorgeous! I take a picture every time I go. We haven't been in a while, though, because parking in Hermosa Beach is bananas! This is a picture I took at sunset while sitting in my chair at our table...

Aerial America, Sky View...I love the Smithsonian Channel lately it seems. Go figure! And of course cooking shows. I think my cooking really improved this year thanks to Extra Virgin, Southern at Heart, and Barefoot Contessa.

I can't remember all the movies I've seen this year! Gone Girl was pretty darn good though. It stayed with me long after we left! HSP still gets nervous every time I use a boxcutter to open something since we saw that movie, ha!

My scarf collection is getting OUT. OF. CONTROL. I'll never turn down a new scarf. And 90% of them are from Target. I will show you my current favorite...I got it at Anthropologie this summer at The Grove (but I did not pay full price, duh!).

Thanks so much for reading! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Well Hello Again, Little Blog!

It has been QUITE a while since I've been here! I had a feeling this might happen, but I've had so much fun with my kinders that I haven't even realized that my poor blog was being neglected! I can't believe we are on winter break already (and that winter break is halfway over). There are some changes in the works for this little ol' blog coming up for the new year! A makeover is in progress (bear with me!) as well as some other changes. In order for this blog to serve its primary purpose, I feel like I need to create for myself a regular post schedule and maybe even themed posts. I'm not sure if I'll realistically be able to post every day, but I am hoping that I can plan my posts with intent and purpose. Overall, I want to communicate my teaching style and my students' learning and experiences. I want to share with other educators and collaborate among them. I would like to keep communication open and ideas flowing. Overall, I'd like this blog to help me grow as an educator so that my students truly get the best experience in kindergarten that I can give them!

High hopes! Big dreams! Bright future!

With all that being said, I'm hoping to spruce up my TpT store and add more products that are student-focused. I started my store with products that focused on setup and environment, and I love those products. Some of my favorite things that I've created so far are...

These book bin labels have been a lifesaver in terms of organzation in my classroom. Even my students have become OCD organized like me! They relish any opportunity to put away a misplaced book back into its bin :)

Oh how I love hand signals! They have saved my sanity and our learning time! I cannot tell you how much I love teaching these very basic American Sign Language letters or gestures to students so that they can quickly show me one when they need something. No more interrupting to ask, "Can I go to the bathroom???"

I love simplicity in a classroom environment. Too much distraction from design can definitely distract students. Besides, basic and easy-to-read displays allow students to find things for themselves without needing to ask!

Now I'd like to focus on creating products that can be interacted with by children in other classrooms. Packets, centers, guided reading, I'd like to try it all! I've made a few mini-units and packets so far, but there is still a lot bouncing around in my head that I'd like to get out there! I am up for any advice or guidance during this creative process :)

I hope that I can turn this blog into everything I imagine. Thanks for reading, and check back soon for a whole new "Research and Play"!

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