Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reindeer Games

We have been super busy with all things REINDEER (and having waaay too much fun.) Like I mentioned before, I purchased Hope King's Run Run Reindeer Unit and it was just too much awesome for one post.

She's a genius. Besides the point. 

Anywho! My favorite part of her unit is the Reindeer Chow behavior incentive. The week leading up  to break, the kidlets earn money towards a sweet treat at the end of the week (i.e. REINDEER CHOW!!....so, like, trailmix...BUT IT'S REINDEER CHOW!!) 

The kids (and I) were just so excited this week about all the fun holiday activities that it was a really nice way to keep them focused and goal oriented even with a case of the Christmastime Crazies. Here are some pictures of our Reindeer Chow adventure. I set up a sort of "store" where the students got called up a few at a time and could use the money they earned to purchase tickets--each ticket with a different food on it (goldfish, chocolate covered pretzels, whoppers, M & M's, etc.). They then took that ticket over to our horseshoe table where our fabulous parent helper was waiting to help them put their chow together. It was such a fun afternoon and I, of course, can't wait to do this activity again next year.









Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 in 12 Linky Party!

I'm linking up with the 12 in '12 Linky Party (Hosted by Miss Kindergarten) and GUESS WHAT--You should too :)

12. Favorite Movie:
I LOVED the Hunger Games. Loved. It. The soundtrack, the actors, the costumes, the special effects, the story....oh the story. I loved the books and was so pumped for the movie to come out...and it didn't disappoint :) Cannot WAIT for Catching Fire.

11. Favorite TV Series:
To put it lightly, I'm a TV junkie. I love watching TV and I sort of feel like TV is going through some sort of Renaissance--there are SO many good SHOWS!!! Though, I think my favorite favorite would have to be New Girl. It is so funny every week and never skips a beat :) Love it. 

10. Favorite Restaurant:
I feel like a pretty lucky little duck because my town has so many cute little restaurants. And though Chipotle and Noodles and Company will always hold a special place in my heart, there's this restaurant in town that has bewitched me heart and soul--It's called The Valley, and they have these truffle fries that are so delicious I want to WEEP. Smothered in truffle oil and cheese, they are perfect. 

9. Favorite New Thing I've Tried:
My favorite new thing I've tried has been Daily 5. I love how independent my little kiddos are and how quickly they move from center to center. It really gives me time to sit with my guided reading group and FOCUS on how to best help them. Love that focus time :)

8. Favorite Gift You Got:
For my birthday, I got a BEAUTIFUL pair of black boots. I wear them on an almost daily basis...and basically  I love them so much it hurts :)

7. Favorite Thing I Pinned:








Ok, I realize that is just a picture of a table setting--but what it REALLY is (if you follow the link....) is a website called Pink Pistachio. Missy at Pink Pistachio is FABULOUS. She has so many wonderful ideas and tips and tutorials and just....everything. She's wonderful!!

Also, this :)




6. Favorite Blog Post: All of you guys have such AWESOME posts it's really difficult to pick just one. However, that being said, I really enjoy the math centers created by Hope King over at Second Grade Shenanigans. These math centers are PERFECT for my early finishers and a great way to constantly reinforce those basic math concepts--plus they're themed for each month! And you know how I love a good theme.... :)

5. Best Accomplishment:
I was never a runner. Ever. Like, seriously friends, I was the only girl to get a B in freshmen year gym class because I couldn't run a mile. This year I ran two races: A 10 Mile-er and a 15k. Crossing that finish line was maybe one of the proudest moments of my young life. I was told not to do the race, I was told that people didn't think I could do it. I did it anyway--and if I can then you definitely can!

4. Favorite Picture:
This one of my very best friends (Shel) and I at Thanksgiving.
She has accomplished so much this year and I'm so proud of
her that I could just BUST.
3. Favorite Memory:
My favorite memory would have to be the week of my 24th birthday. It. Was. Perfect. I had a wonderful dinner with my family, a fabulous night with my friends, we went to Chicago and I laughed more than I thought humanly possible (ab workout? Check!). My friends even woke me up at midnight the eve of my birthday in order to sing happy birthday and put a tiny tiara on my head. I am so blessed :) It was perfect.

2. Goal for 2013:
I want to do MORE. I want to be less lazy. I heard a quote (and now I'm totally gonna get it wrong), but it said something along the lines of, "Next time you think about how long a goal is going to take, think about the fact that that time is going to pass anyway." I want to do more with my afternoons than sit on my couch and catch up on my favorite TV shows. I want to be actively in the process of making my life better--constantly.
Good luck, self!

1. One Little Word:
Sparkle.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New--and a shameless plug!

Hi Friendlies,

So I've started something new. Another bloggity blog. This will be a personal blog about all the things that I've really super want to share with you that aren't necessarily teaching related! You know, pinterest attempts, funny and/or poignant anecdotes, fashion-ie fun finds, recipes and (hopefully!) laughable tales of their marginal success, and whatever life decides to throw my way!

I felt like I needed a personal blog that I could share with you because so many times I wanted to tell ya'll about something, but then was hit with the thought, "Darnit...that's not really teaching related...could I make it teaching related...no? Shoot." And I was really tired of having that internal conversation with my self! And, let's be honest, that external conversation with Rory.

It would mean so much to me if you would take a minute and stop by! Maybe even follow?? Eh? Ehh?? It's still brand spankin' new, so, at present, there is only one post (haha), but I hope you'll have some faith in me and decide to follow anyway with the idea that there will eventually be MORE than one post :)

Anywho--here's the link! (It's so new I don't even have a button yet--for (blogging) shame!)

Sparkly, Quirky Lifebox

I hope to see you there!!




Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Currently

And (what??) it's on time too?!?! What is this world coming too?? Maybe the Mayans were right....psych! Anywho, here's my (on time) December Currently--Thanks Farley :)




Listening: Holiday. Music. For so long, I didn't really dig the whole holiday music thing. I'm pretty sure it was because I worked in retail for a while and when you work in retail they play the same 12 Christmas songs over and over and over again and it turns you into a big 'ol grinch. But now that I've had some time away from the wonderful world of retail, my heart has grown three sizes and I'm all about that holiday cheer :)

Loving: Keeping the theme, I'm LOVING my Christmas Tree right now. It's sparkly and silver and PERFECT! Thanks Momma for the help on that one :) Seriously, ya'll I lucked out in the Mom department. She's an interior designer and has the magical ability to look at ANYTHING and make it beautiful. Everyone has gifts and that is hers. It's like being besties with Martha Stewart--but better because she's not cray cray. 

Thinking: About all of those holiday deals..... The Shabby Apple has some great ones right now. I also can't stop thinking about all the fun stuff at Charming Charlie's...they're accessories are so great and so reasonably priced! I also can't stop thinking about the Reindeer Unit (Curtesy of Hope King over at Second Grade Shenanigans) my kidlets and I are going to be starting soon. We did this unit last year with my sweeties and it was a HUGE success. If you're looking for a great way to ring in the Holiday Season and stay aligned to the Common Core--then this unit is for you :) 

Wanting: I have a cold. I want it to skedaddle out of here and never come back. Never ever ever....like ever. (Thanks for that one, T. Swift)

Needing: TO GRADE. I have a big pile of papers with my name on it (well, technically it has all the names of my sweet little friends but that's neither here nor there...).

RAK: I want to go above and beyond for my family this holiday season. I'm not sure how I'll be doing it yet (I'm thinking something along the lines of making them dinner at my place and making everything look pretty for them....maybe? Any other ideas??) but I'll for sure be making it happen. I love them so dearly. 

Welp! Thanks for reading! I can't wait to see what everyone else is up to this time of year! :)  



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Exciting Things!

Hi Friendlies! I'm so super pumped to tell you exciting news :) I was recently contacted by Shabby Apple to become one of their affiliates. I feel pretty honored because I am just in LOVE with all of their clothes. Seriously, this website is teacher outfit heaven, but instead of puffy white clouds and pearly gates there are pretty white sweaters and pearly necklaces. Classy, modest, unique, perfect. So now, every once in a while, I'll be sharing some of my favorite Shabby Apple fashion-ie finds with you! Hooray for pretty things!

Let's look at some of the pretties, shall we?? Because let's face it, who doesn't love some Saturday shopping? Did I mention that a lot of it is on SALE?! Sale. It's basically my favorite word right next to coffee and the phrase "free gift with purchase."

The After Class Dress
How adorable is this dress?? This is TOTALLY something I'd wear to school. I love that it has a long hem. What's more is that this dress is pretty much perfect for going from school to a nice dinner with the family or a date with the husby!

The Ticket Booth Blouse 
This little top is just too perfect. The detailing at the neck, the fact that it's not superskintight , and the pretty color make it a winner :)

The Preppy Lady Pump
Shoes. Beautiful shoes with a vintage vibe. Enough said.

Check out their site if you get the chance--there's a link over on my side bar, as well as links below this post! There are so many fabulous things to see and buy. Happy Shopping!

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Even fun finds for the little apples in your life!
Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things.... Mini Post

My love for coffee is no big secret. I know it, my family and friends know it, even my students know it. I am almost never seen without some sort of coffee cup attached to my hand. Why? Because it lets me do the standing up and the talking and the sense making. Some days I really feel like the perfect storm of caffeine and genetics--these are the days when I feel like I'm at the top of my game....ya'll know what I'm talking about, right? Those days when you kinda feel like you should have a cape with some sort of emblem indicating that you are, indeed, super teacher lady?

Anywho today was one of those days when I stopped by Dunkin Donuts on the way to school and splurged for the EXTRA LARGE coffee (you know, the one that looks like it could serve an entire third world country and have a little left over?).

When I got to school, one of my little sweethearts came up to me and said, "You know today's gonna be extra fun 'cause you got the big coffee."

:)

Love them love them those little kidlets.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

That's Pinteresting Sunday!

Another weekend, another destiny, another time to organize my pins. Here are my favorite teacher finds of the week! Enjoy!!

Activity for a Fairy Tale Unit

This is so fun. This one project REALLY makes me want to put on my creativity pants and get to work coming up with a fun and funky fairytale unit....

Activity for the Holidays...

I do a Reindeer Unit in December and cannot WAIT to implement this into the mix this year.

More Holiday Shenanigans...

Speaking of adorable things I want to do to celebrate the holiday season......maybe with a fun elf-themed book or two?

Thanksgiving Cutesies

I found this and IMMEDIATELY decided to implement it into my classroom. The kidlets are making this adorable thankful cards and giving them to their parents next week. So sweet :)

And just a little bit of sass.

For Real.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Feelin' Crafty??


So this morning I was feeling particulalry crafty (and/or feeling like I didn't want to be hauling this big picture frame around in my car for the next however many months....) and decided to finally make my objective board! Here is the finished result! (please excuse the poor picture quality...)


I'd seen people use objective strips (written and displayed on sentence strip paper) and I'd seen people write their objectives on the chalkboard, but I knew this would not work for me for two reasons:

1. I'm a prissy pants and I like for everything to match. My room is light blue and orange, therefore I needed to display my objectives on something light blue and orange.

2. I'm a sucker for cutesie scrapbook paper.

The best part is that since it's a picture frame, you can use dry erase markers to write your weekly objectives onto the board and then just erase it when you want to change it! Wahoo! The ease of dry erase!!


Supplies Needed:
1) Straight Edge Cutter (or scissors if you've got a steady hand)
2) Cutesie scrapbook paper in a few different colors and patterns

The How To:

I traced the outline of the frame-back onto the scrapbook paper to get the correct size and then cut the paper using the straight edge cutter.

I made subject labels using clip art frames purchased from Print Candee and the font "smiley monster" courtesy of Kevin and Amanda Fonts.

From there, it's just print, cut, and arrange in a way that makes you look at your finished project and smile :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Inferencing Up a Storm!

This week me and my kidlets have been inference CRAZY! We've talked about how making an inference is like cooking up a pot of soup--mixing what you've read (or what you see) and what you already know inside your brainbox to create inference soup!

One of the activities we did involved diving into my purse (Yes. My Real Life Honest To Goodness This is What I Keep My Life In Purse.), pulling things out, and making inferences based on what we found inside! The kidlets. Went. Bonkers. "We get to look though your PURSE?!?!?!?" "Yes! You do!"

Here is the chart we came up with, listing the items that we found and the inferences we were able to draw.

Yes. I do keep a coffee mug in my purse. I may like coffee a little *too* much :) 

It was a fun and different way to approach making inferences--this is definitely an activity I plan to repeat next year. Let me know if any of you out there in blog land decide to try it out!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Currently!

It's that time again! Farley's November Currently :)


Listening: Imagine Dragons...Go. Now. Go Now and Listen. Seriously, just stop what you're doing and do it. You won't be sorry :)

Loving: I swear, I feel like I have just the BEST friends and family. So thoughtful, kind, giving, and good.....I am truly blessed.

Thinking: I'm thinking about Election Day of course! Our country is deciding as we speak who we want to lead us...how could I NOT be thinking about that?! :)

Wanting: I went to Molly's Cupcakes over the weekend while I was in Chi-Town and holy guacamole! I love love love love LOVE their cupcakes. I have never in my life been so happy as when I am enjoying a cupcake from Molly's.

Needing: Soo...I ran a 15K over the weekend and BOY OH BOY do my knees and hips still hurt. I ran on Sunday. It's Tuesday and I'm still feelin' it. I guess that's how you know you're getting older....

Music: My classroom music is usually some sort of pretty sounding piano music--Helen Jane Long's stuff is GORGEOUS.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My "Have a Real Life" Plan

Fall Break was a hoot. and. a. half. Between the haunted houses, the Halloween parties, the fun sized candy (I'm lookin' at you mini almond joy...), the apple cider, the costume craziness, and birthday shopping (less than one week! Eep!!) I am just WORN OUT. But in a good way :) You know what I'm talkin' about. The kind of worn out you get after a really great, but really busy weekend.

Anywho, back to the point of this post! My "Have a Real Life" Plan.

This was something I developed last year when I realized that my sweet teaching job was turning into my 24/7 life. I love teaching with all my heart and soul, but the 17 hour days were making me love it a little less (all you first year teachers out there, you know where I'm coming from, right?). So thus was born, my "Have a Real Life" Plan.

I came up with a weekly system to help me get everything done at school and have minimal work to take home with me at night. Using this plan, I am OUT of the BUILDING by 4:00 and not bringing anything home with me! Wahoo!! Ok, well except if I have something extra super special happening that week and I want to do some more funsie planning at home. But all the usual, regular stuff is done by the end of the school day! Again, WAHOO!

*This is the plan I use in my classroom that works for me--if you want to give it a try or tweak it for use in your own classroom please do so!! I picked Monday and Thursday for my grading days because those are the days my kidlets have gym and music (not just because the alliteration in the name worked...though that may have played a small part in my decision...haha), which gives me time to actually grade.

* The only time I stray from The Plan is shortened weeks and the end of the grading period when report cards are getting ready to be sent out.

*drum roll please.....* THE PLAN!!

Manic (Grading) Monday

  • As stated in the name, Manic (Grading) Monday is the day I reserve to do a lot of my catch up grading. You know, all the grading that totally should've happened last week but definitely didn't? In my opinion, that's why the Good Lord created Mondays :)

Techie Tuesday

  • Tuesdays are reserved for updating all technology related things...online grade book, blog, new (computer created) things for my classroom, updating computerized student files, yada yada yada

What's Next? Wednesday

  • Ahhh, planning day. This is the day I use my lunch hour to plan for the next week or two. I hunker down with my lean cuisine and get to it. I spend the 1/2 hour after school is done making all the copies--however, while I'm planning I'm also writing down each and every thing I need to copy so that I'm ready to go after school. 

Thoroughly Graded by Thursday

  • Another Grading Day. Self Explanatory Name.

Finalize It Friday

  • I double check to make sure grading is caught up, planning is done, copies are made and plans are finalized, organized, and ready to go for the next week.

TA DA!! There you have it, my friendlies. My go-to weekly plan for still having a life outside of school. Let me know if you try it and if it works for you too! 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

100?!?!

100 Followers?!? WOW! I can't even believe it, my friendlies!!

Thanks so much for reading and putting up with my shenanigans :) You're all so fabulous and wonderful! I just adore you folks out there in the blogging world. Thanks for the advice, the laughs, the friendship, and the support.

In short? You rock my brightly colored halloween-themed toe socks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Help Please!

Our classroom has been infected with little tattle-bugs! What I mean is, I have never had a group of students so completely interested in tattling on one another and getting each other into trouble. Has anyone run into this problem in their own classroom?! I'm looking for any suggestions. Please leave a comment--my sanity may depend on it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Currently

Once again...better late than never :)


1. Listening--I cannot get enough of Spotify. It's changed my tiny world. Love. It.
2. Loving--I am just in love with my class this year. They are so sweet and say the FUNNIEST things. I've started keeping a journal of all the crazy things they say and it's pretty great to be able to look back on :)
3. Thinking--I am ALL about Halloween so I can't stop thinking about super spooky fun ways to decorate my classroom and apartment. So fun :)
4. Wanting--Scary movies. I watch them year round (don't ask, I have no idea why I like them so much), but especially this time of year. I just can't get enough!! My friends and I turn off all the lights in my apartment, get some cereal (because what is a scary movie without sugary cereal to eat while you watch it??), and pick the scariest movie we can find. It's perfect :)
5. Needing--I need to cool my jets with the Halloween candy....yep, I'm lookin' at you Almond Joy.
6. Book--My favorite school book is The Ugly Pumpkin. Both poignant and silly it's the perfect autumnal story. My favorite not school book for this time of year is The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (all about the Salem witches). Such a fun read :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things (About The World)

So in our Treasure's Unit, we were reading the story My Name is Yoon and a lot of different questions came up about what it would be like to move to another country and/or moving to America...here are some of the best responses I've gotten.

Conversation Numero Uno:
Me: So, why do we think so many people want to move to America?
Kiddo 1: Because there's no slaves
Kiddo 2: Because there's no stores in China and they don't have to wear thingies on their heads.
Kiddo 3: Because we're free from the Germans!

Conversation Numero Dos:
Me: What would be the hardest thing about moving to another country?
Kiddo: Well, I would move to Ireland and the hardest part would be fighting the Vikings.

Out of the mouths of babes....

Daily 5

Ok ya'll. I just have to take a moment and tell you how much Daily 5 has flipped my world around. I've said it before, but last year I did my own version of Daily 5 centers--not really and truly following the plan. This year, I decided to really and truly try what they'd written and HOLY. GUACAMOLE. My world may never be the same. I absolutely adore it!! The process of building stamina, though lengthy, is so incredibly worth it. I feel like when I'm pulling kids, they really and truly are getting my uninterrupted attention. The room is quiet, the kidlets are focused, and the world is at peace (mostly).

Now that it's up and running, I have to ask, have you made any adjustments to Daily 5 that have really worked well for you? I'd love to hear about them :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yacker Tracker

Um....has EVERYONE SEEN THIS?!?!

The Yacker Tracker
I know what your thinking..."Uh...Steph? Just a traffic light."

BUT NO! IT'S NOT!!

It monitors the noise level in your classroom and when the kidlets get too loud--the red light flashes and a siren goes off!

Has everyone heard of this except for me?! Where have I been living under a ROCK??? This is now at the TOP of my list of funsie things that I want to purchase...with this *adorable* collar for Rory in a close second... :)

Adorable. 


Isn't that cute?? He'd be a little gentleman dog!

Back to the Yacker Tracker--does anyone have this in their classroom? If so, does it work like it says it was?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Currently!

Better late than never! :) This month's currently--thanks to Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade!


Kids Say The Darndest Things (About My Marital Status) MEGA POST!

I am not a married lady. This is just fine with me, as I'm sure prince charming will make an appearance at some point. However, since he's still off fighting dragons, or whatever I'm perfectly fine not being married.

My kidlets are not so ok with this. This group of chillins is particularly distracted by the fact that I am a *gasp* unmarried woman!! And some of the resulting conversations have been HILARIOUS. So I thought I'd share :)

Conversation Numero Uno:
It's the end of the day and the kidlets are all getting ready to go--I have a particularly enthusiastic hugger wrapped around my waist and he is at this point now in danger of missing his bus.

Me: Sweetie, thank you for the hug but you really need to skedaddle--the bus is coming and you don't want to be late.

Him: Nope!! I'm going to keep hugging you!

Me: Thank you, buddy, but it's time. I don't want you to miss your bus, my friend!

Him: BUT DON'T YOU LIVE ALONE WITHOUT A HUSBAND?!?!

*cue my (very loud) laughter*

Another Kidlet: Miss Rudakas, you laugh like a princess!


Conversation Numero Dos
The class is doing a lesson on finding "good fit books" (thank you daily 5...) and using shoes as an analogy.

Me: (holding up a black high heel shoe) Now how might I use this kind of shoe?

Kidlet 1: Out dancing!

Kidlet 2: On a dinner date!

Kidlet 3: Wedding shoe!!

Kidlet 2: Nuh uh. Her wedding shoes would be WHITE.

Me: Well, what if I was a guest at the wedding?

Kidlet 2: I was talking about your wedding. You should have one of those! Have you tried online dating?

All the Kidlets: Yeah!! Have you tried that?

Me: Haha Let's get back to the lesson.

Conversation Numero Tres
Cheerfully putting book bags back onto the hooks as we transition to something else

Kidlet: Miss Rudakas, don't worry.

Me: Worry about what, sweetheart?

Kidlet: You'll be married in three years. I'm a future teller, so I know.

Me: *laughing* I'll be sure to write that down, nugget.

I guess you never realize how silly these kiddos brainboxes are until you have a conversation with them! That being said, it's these silly moments that really and truly make me LOVE (all caps were definitely necessary) being a primary teacher :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kids say the darndest things....

Funny conversation from earlier today with one of my little seconds :)

There we were, making glyphs shaped like beetles that would describe each of us. One of the things we had to do was put stripes on the beetle to show how many people live in our house...this is the conversation that ensued.

Me: For example, if I was making a beetle glyph, I would put one stripe because it's just me in my house.

*a little boy raises his hand as if something VERY important has popped into his head and he MUST share*

Me: What's up, Friend?

Little Friend: Well don't you have a husband or anything?!?

Me:....nope! It's just me!.....

Another Little Girl: Don't be silly. She's too young to get married. 

Oh man, I have MISSED having conversations with little kidlets :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Classroom Pics!

Hey there bloggy friends! I've been locked in my classroom trying to put it together--it's not completely done, but here are a few "sneak peek" pics :)

The Reading Corner! Complete with inspirational wall quotes above the white board :) 
The Math and Writing Corner

Homemade curtain and Welcome Board (I love that the curtain covers the cluttered shelves) 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Can ya feel it??

I know EXACTLY how you feel, Buddy 
It's that time of year, Friendlies! It's almost time to start school up again and, I tell ya what, I'm more excited than a bird with a french fry! I keep checking my email to see if the final class lists are up because I really and truly cannot wait to find out who my new little kidlets are this year. Don't get me wrong, I love summer. Really, I'm all about it. But, *THIS*.... this new-school-year-autumn-is-coming-walmart-is-having-a-blow-out-sale-on-school-supplies feeling is my favorite. I just want to get started! I just had to gush about it--sorry I'm not sorry :)

What about you, sweet teacher friends? Anyone feel the same way? :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Daily 5 Advice, Anyone?

Hi Friendlies!

Ok. So last year, I sort of did my own version of the Daily 5/Literacy Stations...I'd really like to dive head first into true Daily 5 classroom practice this year. So as I was sitting there reading my Daily 5 book and thinking up new ideas, I thought to myself, "Self--why don't you just ask blog world what they do?!" So here I am, my brilliant bloggy friends, asking your advice. Do you do Daily 5 in your classroom? If so, do you have any nuggets of wisdom or sage advice for a newbie? Thanks Sweet Teacher Friends!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Currently

Hi there Friendlies!

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade! for her monthly currently. Wahoo! Here we go!


Listening: First of all, Spotify. Holy cats, ya'll. I don't know what I did before downloading this little baby onto my iPhone and iPad...it's basically this app where you can make all of your own playlists and also listen to "radio" based on different songs. It's like...if iTunes and Pandora had a baby and named it Spotify. Love. It. Also, I upgraded to the premium which means for 9.00 a month, I can make as many playlists with as many songs as my little heart desires :) The best part? You can make your playlists available offline, so you can listen to them whenever. I'll give you all a minute to stop hyperventilating :)

Loving: Have you all heard of spoonflower.com?? IT'S AMAZING!! I recently decided on a whim to redo my apartment and that, of course, meant finding new fabric. I scoured Hobby Lobby, JoAnne Fabrics, and all sorts of other places but was met with disappointment. Then, I found spoonflower. These fabrics are deliciously adorable. I can't handle them. My mom and I were gonna make pillows out of the patterns we ordered, but when the fabric came in it was so pretty we decided we're going to frame it and turn it into wall art instead haha 

Thinking: Where. Did. Summer. GO?! That is all.

Wanting: I really am just itching to get into my classroom. I was able to get a few things done before the floor waxing process started, but haven't been able to stop by in a couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong, I get that a clean school is mondo important. That being said, I am chomping at the bit to get organized. haha

Needing: TO PACK. I am a procrastinator when it comes to packing and unpacking. I don't know what it is about packing and unpacking but I just cannot make myself do it. haha That being said, hopefully the wedding of one of my very best friends will prove motivational enough to pull myself away from Grey's Anatomy re-runs and towards my waiting suitcase. 

B2S Must Have: *These* Paper Mate Pens. These are, in my humble opinion, the perfect grading pens. They don't bleed through, they don't smudge, and there are so many pretty colors! Win. 





Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tell Me More Linky Party!

You know me, I love a good linky party and I feel like *this* is a GREAT one :) I'm linking up with Amy Lemons over at Step into Second Grade and sharing a little bit about myself with you!



My Baby Brother and I at our most recent trip to Disney


I'm extremely close with my family. I have one brother (who is in college still) and my parents who still live in the home where my brother and I grew up--though now it has a pool....after my brother and I have left the nest...go figure. I see them every day--no really, every. day. I love it :)










Just sittin' around being adorable. 
I am in LOVE with my Dog, Rory. He's 14 weeks old and (literally) the most adorable puppy ever. He thinks he's a lot tougher than he actually is. Dogs really are a girl's best friend :) Although I have to say, he thinks taking all the toilet paper off the roll and dragging it through the apartment is really fun...I disagree. 











I LOOOOVE junk food. Pringles, cookies, chips and dip, Doritos, s'mores...I'm all about it. I also love all fast food--seriously, throw some Taco Bell or McDonald's--Heck! Even Long John Silvers!-- my way and I will love you forever. I do occasionally have those moments where I think about not eating so much junk...then I go to Wendy's. Oh well! We all have our flaws. haha



I'm a pray-er. I talk to the Lord on a daily basis. In all honesty though, I pray most often while I'm in the shower...I have no idea why! haha Though, I'm told that God hears your prayers even when you're in the midst of lathering, rinsing, and repeating. 


Me (many moons ago...) as Catherine in Pippin

I've done theatre for most of my life. I've been in over 45 different productions and was lucky enough to dabble in some professional theatre when I was really young. Sometimes I miss being on stage, but I miss all the backstage funtime shenanigans even more :) Though, to be honest, I do still sing and dance around my apartment on a daily basis...Rory doesn't mind the singing, but he really doesn't dig the dancing. I think he'll eventually just learn to deal. 



I can't wait to learn more about all of you!! Thanks for reading!





Monday, July 23, 2012

That's Pinteresting Monday!

Ok, ok. I know this was supposed to get posted on Saturday....but it's summer and the days just kinda fly away from you. It happens and it can't be helped. haha

Here are my favorite pins from the past week :)

Printables Organized

I really dig this idea for organizing printables and handouts--great way to stay organized. And check out that snazzy box at the end for "next week"...love. it. I love to plan ahead, so figuring out where to put all the "next week" stuff was always a puzzle.

Quiet Critters

So these little guys are just too cute. You give the kiddos a couple at the beginning of a lesson they need to be especially quite for, and if they get chatty they get their critter taken away--the kiddos with all their critters left at the end of the lesson get to move their clips up. Fabulous :)

Transportation Clips


Enough Said. Hello no more transportation mix-ups. Love. It.

Number of the Day Sheets

I used something similar to this in the mornings last year and really liked it--I think I may put together "Morning Books" for my kiddos to have with word and number of the day sheets ready to go....hmmm.... :)

...And Ryan. 



Why thanks, Ryan. You really are too sweet.

Happy Monday, Sweet Teacher Friends!! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

*Crickets*

Hi there Teacher Friends,

First of all, I'm sorry I've been so MIA lately, but to be completely honest there really hasn't been a lot of blog post worthy STUFF going on! I've been working on getting my new classroom (I moved rooms this year) all set up and the nice thing is now that I've taught for a year, it's so much easier to figure out where to put everything--you know, what works and what just doesn't? I had NO idea when I was getting set up last year but this year there's plenty of time (and, yes, even a littlebit of experience) to help in the whole "setting up" process. I'll be sure to post pictures soon :)

Besides that, I've been spending a LOT of time with my family and friends. Seriously, it's so nice to just enjoy their company...I'm a lucky gal.

Finally, I've also decided to re-decorate my apartment--eep! The main room went from a sea of orange and reds to a very calming gray and yellow combo (I may be a little bit in love with my new room....)

Anywho, just thought I'd check in :) What "not blog worthy, but still fun" stuff has been going on in YOUR lives?? I wanna know! :)

~Steph

Friday, July 13, 2012

Liebster

A big thanks to Allie over at the Gypsy Teacher for giving me the Liebster Award! If you haven't checked our her blog, you should because it's fabulous :)

The Liebster award is for blogs with less than 200 followers who need to get the attention they deserve--the rules are as follows:
1. Copy and paste the award onto your blog
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Nominate 5 other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blogs.

And the Oscar Liebster goes to....
1. A Day in First Grade
2. Gypsy Soul
3. Wee Wise Ones
4. Sprinkle Teaching Magic
5. Super Pig and Tyrant King

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Advice for a First Year Teacher Linky

Better late than never! Thanks so much to Deb over at Fabulously First for hosting such a sweet linky party. I'm still fairly new, but would've LOVED to have seen this when I was starting out last year. :) The advice every one has posted is not only useful for a first year teacher--but for anyone who still wants to learn how to be better in this fabulous profession.


1. I can't tell you how many times the "plan" was scrapped this past year. As a first year teacher, you really have to be ready to improvise because so much of what we're doing in the classroom that first year comes from improvisation. Just don't be afraid to scrap the plan! If your first idea didn't work--so what?! Try something new on the spot--you might end up pleasantly surprised :)

2. The text books offer some awesome lesson plans. That being said, be sure to look for other ideas in other sources as well. You will become VERY WELL acquainted with Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers--some of my very most favorite lessons/units last year were from the fabulous folks over at TPT. Be sure to utilize these fantastic resources.

3. Have fun with your little kiddos. You only get one year with this group of munchkins. Have fun with them because they really ARE so much fun :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

That's Pinteresting Saturday and a 31 Idea/Question

WHOA! It must be a good day if "That's Pinteresting Saturday" is getting posted on time :)

DIY Hanging Pocket Folders







Now *this* is what  I call practical. A set of hanging pocket folders you can make in the colors that match your room?? Yes please. (Made with duct tape and file folders....brilliant.)

Word Boxes

If a student doesn't know how to spell a word, they check the card in the box. If it's not there, they bring the card to me, we spell it together, and then the card goes back in its spot when they're done. Promotes independent writers :)

Teacher Organizational Board

Now, this wasn't originally meant for  the classroom, but with a few changes--why not? I really loved the "Daily, Weekly, Monthly" lists.

Portable File Tote




I sell Thirty-One products and just HAD to add this when I saw it today on Pinterest. I'm all about making this portable file tote because sometimes you just want your files at home with you!



Ryan Gosling

Oh Ryan. You always know just what to say....haha

Also, If anyone ever wants any Thirty-One products, please let me know and I'll order it for you! Like I said ^up there^, I'm a Thirty-One Consultant. My ordering email address for Thirty-One is StephanieRudakas31@gmail.com.


Also, be on the lookout--to celebrate a milestone amount of followers (100, perhaps??) I may be having an online Thirty-One giveaway/party...is that something anyone would be interested in? Please comment and let me know your thoughts! Thanks!!

Thanks for reading, Sweet Teacher Friends!! Have a great Saturday! I know I will. Plans include spending the day with Rory and Blarso...also going to see the movie Brave (finally!!). :)