My new blogging and IG friend Kristen over at Easy Teaching Tools is having an amazing giveaway this weekend!!  Make sure that you check out the fantastic products below so you can enter this giveaway!

I don't know about you, but Kristen loves the idea behind Valentine's Day.  Spreading love, lots of pink {hot pink is the absolute best}, and watching students pass out valentines is the sweetest thing.  Who doesn't want to feel some love?  My bloggy friends and Kristen have teamed up to bring you another wonderful giveaway filled with lots of love...and pink!

We just celebrated the 100th day of school and we had a blast!  This packet was the best because it was engaging, covered ELA and math CCSS {plus a little PE}, and was a great independent activity.

Task cards are the best.  They get kiddos moving around while keeping them engaged.  These cover 2nd grade ELA CCSS.
Jen's amazing task cards are almost zero-prep., which I love.  I can only take so much laminating and cutting. These are great for 2nd and 3rd graders who need as much reinforcement they can get with regrouping. 
 I love all of Jamie's products, and so do my first and second graders.  These Valentine's Day and President's Day themed centers are perfect for any primary class.
Heather's products are always great and easy to use.  
Angie, from Lucky Little Learners has another fun activity that's best for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.
Kelly Anne has the best activities for the big kids.  These look awesome for math centers and early finishers.
How talented are my friends??? Cassandra created an adorable multiplication sort, great to practice math facts.
I can't wait to buy these!
Serena, my most favorite Instagrammer from New Zealand has been making the most adorable clip art the last few months. Grab these for your Valentine's products and activities for you classroom. 
All of her products are engaging and get the kids moving.  Use these for centers or the scoot game.
I've met so many innovative teachers thanks to Instagram.  Jen is a teacher from Alaska, yes, Alaska!  She makes the sweetest clip art that I love using in all of my products.  These lovebots are a favorite of my students.
Make sure you follow Kristen's blog to keep up with her monthly giveaways!
Are you ready for another giveaway!!

Kristen over at Easy Teaching Tools is getting ready to host another giveaway!!  This one is going to go from January 28 - January 31 and you will be able to win all sorts of Valentine's goodies!!  

Make sure you follow my blog, and head over to Kristen's blog so you can follow her so you can enter this giveaway as soon as possible!!  There are many great bloggers who are donating amazing products!!

I'm also linking up with Trina over at The Ordinary to Extraordinary Classroom.  I love her weekly Meet the Teacher Monday posts!!  They inspire me to become a better blogger, and at least give me something exciting to talk to you about every Monday night!!

This week, we are talking all about blogging!!  Something that I am brand new at (in the teaching world).

1.  How long have you been a blogger?  I have been blogging since we moved to Arizona in 2008.  I started a personal blog then to keep all of our friends and family updated on what was going on in our lives.

2.  Do you have any other blogs other than your teaching blog?  I do have another blog, that I do not update as much as I used to.  I was really good about keeping it updated when I was pregnant with my son, and then when I was on maternity leave with him.  Then I was better when I was pregnant again, with my daughter, but have not done such a good job now that I am back to work full time again.

3.  What niche is your blog in?  This blog is an education blog, and my other one would be a family blog that only close friends and family read.

4.  Do you have any plans to start any other blogs?  Not really, I don't think I could keep any more up!

5.  What do you enjoy most about blogging?  I love being able to express myself, and find out what is going on with other people.  I enjoy the networking too, and finding new ideas!!  I wish I could teach alongside so many people it is hard to pick one favorite!

6.  What do you enjoy least about blogging?  I hate that I don't have enough time for it.  I wish I could sit at home all day and blog, and create TPT products, and play with my kids.  If I did that though, then I guess I would have nothing exciting to tell you all about!

7.  How often do you blog?  Not enough!  I wish I blogged more.  My new year goal is to blog at least once a week.  I am going to work hard at completing that!

8.  If you could meet anyone from the blogosphere, who would it be?  There are many people that I would love to meet.  I really am in to Jen Hatmaker's book 7, and would love to meet her!  I also love Jennifer over at the Blessed Teacher, and am hoping that we can plan an Arizona meet up!  I have a few favorites on IG I would love to meet too, like @meetmissparker, @tongassteacher, +Serena Storey and @2ndisgreatinroom8!  These ladies inspire me, and help motivate me to become a better teacher!!

9.  Are there any hot button issues you will not discuss on your blog?  Not really.  I believe I will talk about almost anything.  We'll see if anything comes up though.

10.  Name one thing (or more) that you would like to accomplish with your blog.  I hope to one day become a blogger that will inspire others to do better.  I know I look at other teacher blogs and am in awe of all that they accomplish.  I hope to one day be able to do that!
Lately I have been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I am trying to take on right now.  I have a class of 25 students this year, but this class was split last year so they were in classes of 15 last year.  It has been quite an adjustment for not only the students, but I think more for the parents.

The parents were used to things being done a certain way, and I am not the same as the second grade teacher.  I am not the same as either of the second grade teachers.  Apparently I was not doing enough for some parents, and I was doing too much for others.  I really do not think there is a way to please parents, or at least all of them.

I thought I was doing a good job on challenging the students.  We are working in math rotations, so they are able to complete different activities, most of which are at different levels, and I believe to be challenging for them.

For reading we are doing the Daily 5, so everything is based on where the student is at.  I can push students who need the push, and try to pull up the students who need that.

Last week I had a meeting with administration who told me that parents were saying my class was a wash, and that there child wasn't learning anything.  Then I had another meeting with administration the next day to try and figure out what I could do for these students to try to challenge them.

My administration came up with a whole list of things that I could do, but most of them are going to require technology that I don't have access to.  It is going to be quite a handful to figure out what these parents want.

To try and start I emailed 14 parents Friday to give them the weekend to think about if they want their child to begin an advanced spelling program.  I have developed a new spelling list for them, and a spelling test.  Of the 14 students I emailed, 10 responded and wanted the new list.  Only one said they didn't want the new list, and the other three never responded.

I am hoping this will hold them over for a few days, but as I try to plan my new social studies unit I am really going to be looking for ways that I can break this apart, and try to offer more to the students who need it.  (Or for those that their parents believe I am not doing enough)

On that note, I believe it is time for bed!!
I am linking up again this week with Trina over at The Ordinary to Extraordinary for this weeks Meet the Teacher Monday.  Yes, I know that today is already Wednesday, but she knows how busy we all are and I love that we can link up any day of the week!!

This week's topic is . . .


List three words that describe you:

1 - Organized - before we had kids I was even more organized than I am now.  I would still say that I am pretty organized, I do plan our meals a month at a time, and have to plan out my grocery list before I head any where.  I try to keep my classroom organized too, but that is something that I am continuing to work on all the time!

2 - Planner - I am a HUGE planner!  I like to plan everything.  If I don't know what is going on, then we usually don't do it.  My husband on the other hand is not a planner, and usually does not keep track of what things we have going on.  This has caused some missed events over the years, but we are starting to find a system that works better for us.  (Thank you iCloud for connecting our devices and calendars!)

3 - Introvert - I am very shy when you first get to know me, and I rarely am the first one to talk in a large group.  Even if I am in a group of friends I tend to be one of the quiet ones in the room.

What are three things on your bucket list?

I want to watch my kids grow old, vacation on a tropical beach with no worries, be debt free!  (You could say my bucket list is more of a wish list!)

What is your favorite music genre?  What are your three favorite songs (any genre)?

I love music!!  My favorite genre is probably Christian music or Country music.  I could listen to both all day long!  Currently I have a few favorite songs!

My favorite Christian song at the moment is Cornerstone by Hillsong.  I just love it!!

An oldie, but a goodie is This Man by Jeremy Camp.  This music video is crazy with scenes from The Passion, but the lyrics are AMAZING!!

Another favorite song is by Brad Paisley!  This was my first dance with my hubby at our wedding!  Since we used it my best friend and her husband had to pick a different song, even though we got married two years apart, and we were the only couple that was at their wedding that was also at our own wedding!

If you won the lottery, what three things are you going to buy first!?

The first thing I would do is pay off all of our debt!! I hate having debt, and just want to be debt free. After I did that, I would buy another car!!  We are living on one car right now, and have been making it work since my son was born, but it is starting to get hard!  Lastly, I would buy my class a set of iPads!

What is your favorite movie genre?  What are your three favorite movies?

My favorite movie genre used to be horror movies.  I could watch them all, and never be scared.  Now movies are too jumpy for me.  I hate when things jump out at me!  I love the Saw movies though, and my husband says that make me sick!  haha

My three favorite movies, that I could watch over and over again have to be:  Pretty Woman, The Breakfast Club, and too many to choose from!!  Step Up, RENT, Phantom of the Opera, The Proposal, Ice Age, Beauty and the Beast

List three of your character flaws:

I can be very indecisive if I don't really have an opinion - drives my husband crazy!

I take offense when parents say negative things about my class or classroom.

I will spend hours reading the car rather than having a conversation with my husband - also drives him crazy so I'm trying to work on it!

What are three friendship personality DEAL BREAKERS?!

Someone always trying to one up you - you know the people who always have something better or bigger than what you are talking about.

Someone who never has anything positive to say, about anything!!

Someone who can't listen, but always has to talk.

Three things you want more of?

Sleep - baby girl will be one in April, hoping that is the magic number for her like it was for her brother!

Time - my babies are growing up WAY TOO QUICKLY!!

Books - I can never get enough!!  I love to read!

If you made it this far thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little bit more!! I would love to hear from you!!  Let me know if we have anything in common, or if you hate any of my favorites!!  :)
I am linking up with Trina over at The Ordinary to Extraordinary Classroom!  She is doing a meet the teacher Monday where we will be answering questions every Monday.

This week she had us do a Vision Board.  I used my new year goals to create my vision for the year.

1.  Where did I win in 2013?  In 2013 I was blessed with my baby girl completing my family!  I am so blessed by my sweet girl, and she is for sure my mini me!!

2.  Where did I lose in 2013?  In 2013 I lost all of my baby weight after having my baby girl.  I was so excited with how quickly I bounced back!  I am still not where I want to be, but at least I am trying to working at it.  I lost my best friend to a new school too!  That was hard, but I am glad that she is enjoying where she is!

3.  What did I learn?  I learned a lot about how much I can handle.  I can function on less than 6 hours of sleep.  I can read a book, and feed a baby at the same time.  I am loving all of the information I am getting about the Daily 5, and centers for math.  I can't imagine teaching math or reading a different way!

4.  Where do I want to be this time next year?  Next year I have big hopes for where I will be.  I am excited that I will have a one and a half year old, and a three year old!!  I can't believe how quickly time goes!  I am hoping for big changes next year, but I can't share them yet!

Make sure that you go and check out Trina's blog and link up!!  I can't wait to see what we can learn about each other next month!!
During the summer I have always had high hopes of what I was going to do with my plan book for the year.  I custom make my plan book, and spend a lot of time setting it up during the summer.  Then once school starts I am really good in the beginning, and then I get lost, and stop using it.  Now don't freak out, I still plan, just not in my plan book.  You see, we have to write all of our plans on our web based system, so I rarely ever look at my plan book.  I plan out my units on paper, and then just input them all online.  This has been working, but it has also left me scrambling a few times to find enough math activities, or to make sure that I knew what I was supposed to be doing.

I think I have found a way to plan that 1) I will LOVE, and 2) that I will use!!

Using something is even more important then if I love it, and if it looks pretty.  It really doesn't matter what it looks like if I won't use it.

I am pretty stoked about this, and know that it will take more paper if I wanted to print it, but really, why do I need to print it?  If I just keep these all on my computer, I could have them all set up, and look through.  Plus it will make planning next year that much easier!

Planning this way I'll know exactly what TPT product I used, what page I used in the packet, and then I could always go back in and leave notes on the document I created these in if I have notes to leave about what worked and what didn't work!

I love this, and look forward to planning this way for the rest of the year!
I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade!

I always LOVE this post, and checking out what others are doing!

I am listening to HIMYM - my husband and I are almost done with the series on Netflix.  I need to make sure that we get our hands on season 9 before season 10 ends!  I am determined to catch up so that way we don't find out what ending before we see it!

I am loving my new hair cut!  My husband gave me money to go and get my hair cut for Christmas and I went today to get it done.  I haven't had my hair cut since July!  I love having someone else do my hair, it is almost one of my favorite things!

I am thinking that I have too much to do before we go back to work on Monday.  I love my breaks too much, and I have done nothing to prepare for class on Monday.  I know I need to get my act together though because I have a student who is going to be out of town next week, so I have to email her homework before this week is over.

I am wanting another week off.  I love spending time with my kiddos, laying around in our PJs and doing puzzles!  It is times like this that I wish I could stay home with them, but I do love my job!

I am needing to get work done.  I want to make sure that I have January planned by the time this week is over.  I like to plan units at a time, and we are starting our new science unit.  Plus I have chapel this month, so I need to starting figuring that out.

My favorite memory and tradition we have in our family is opening presents.  We always wake up first thing Christmas morning and go and see what Santa has brought us.  Before we can go to the tree and check our stockings we have to make sure that everyone is up.  After we open our stockings, then we we open our presents.  We go oldest to youngest, so it takes a long time, but we get to enjoy and see what everyone gets!

I am excited that this post is the first one of the year, and also that it is my first accomplishment of my new year's goal!

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