I love Christmas exchanges...especially bloggy ones! Its always fun to connect with new bloggers!
I mailed out a few of my favorite things to Kara over at Spedventures. It was fun hunting around on her adorable blog to see what we had in common!
Jump over and tell her hi!
She has the cutest ideas ya'll!!

Holly Bloggy Christmas
Here's what I sent her:
*Jar #1: a sweet little potted succulent plant {because I love to gardening}.

My love of plants started when this big 'ol guy found his home in our classroom! I got him when he was just a few inches tall {my first year teaching}.


*Jar# 2: My favorite pens... in my favorite colors, of course.

*Jar #3: Jumbo binder clips {seriously can't live without these babies}
I use them for everything and they help me keep my life in order.

*Jar #4: Apple shaped post-it. I adore the cute shaped post-its you can find in stores these days! I also love the star shaped ones too but I think the apples are my favorite!

I put them all in mason jars because 1- I love all things shabby chic and 2- Kara loves cooking and canning her own jams, dressings and such. 

I painted the lids and added a little shiloutte love to the top of each jar. This is one of the very first projects I did with that amazing gadget so that makes this gift extra special.

Take a look at what the fabulous ladies over at Primary Possibilities got for me :)
This adorable oven mit is filled with goodies!
A note pad {who doesn't need one of those?!?},
a nail file {equally essential},
a rubber spoon thingy-ma-gig {LOVE}
and the best smelling candle ever {to add to my obsession} !
Thanks girls!! These were perfect!

What did ya'll get for Christmas??
DO SHARE!! :)





Click the graphic to shop around :) Maybe you'll find something you need!


 
Where has the time gone?
It feels like just yesterday I was rockin' my flippy flops and shorts on the beach!
...oh.wait.
It's Florida- so, maybe that was just yesterday. ;p
 
Either way- you get my point, right?
Christmas is in 15 days.
15 DAYS?!?
Insane.

This really is the busiest time of year.
Mr. Hubs and I just traveled to north Florida for Grandpa's 85th surprise birthday party!

It was a quick trip and nothing has really stood still since then.
 
My head is spinning with to-do lists:
1. Puerto Rico trip {pack}
2. Mid-term progress reports
3. Update data sheets
4. Mid-year Assessments GALORE
5. Wrap & ship Christmas presents
6. Cook for school potluck
7. Bake for team cookie exchange
 8. Laundry
 
I could keep going {and I'm sure you could too}...but I'll spare you the anxiety.
 
Seems like things never slow down.
 
My littles have been pushing hard too.
We have state reading assessments right after the winter break and I've kicked it into high gear! Our classroom has turned into the Maxwell House- "Good to the last drop"
 
Here's a few shots of our activities in action

...Jolly Holly Math Fact Families...
...the "Gift" of reading comprehension...
...Snowman Building {number ordering}...
 
All of these activities {and MUCH more} are included in my newest packet!
50 pages of hands-on learning, crafts and centers.
Click below for more details.
 
That's not all we've been up to!
We're finally reaching the finish line with double digit addition and subtraction.
Hallelujah!
This teacher is B.E.A.T!
I put together this fun 'lil activity to wrap up addition and subtraction with money.
 
Students chose two matching piggy banks {they are lettered}.
Then they wrote out their problem vertically on their work space.
 
We did two review days for addition, then two for subtraction. 
{I laminated the "work it out" sheets for reuse}
 
My kiddos recorded their answers on the included sheet so I could check for cent signs!
This math tub has been a favorite for over a week now!
That makes me a happy teacher :)
 
It's yours if you like it!
Just click the photos to download. 


It's all been a blur these past couple weeks!
{as you can tell by my lack of meaningful blog posts lately}
 
I'm off to tackle at least one more thing on the list before I hit the coach and never get up again.
I'll be back later this week to show you our holiday science experiment and how my amazing new Christmas present was used in the classroom for the first time!
 
15 days and counting!
CHEERS!!
 
First two people for comment & leave an email will get "All I Want For Christmas" for free!
Since I'm the holiday gift wrapper around the Santana casa {and I lack all patience} I opened the package that arrived today.
 
I've never been good at waiting.

Don't judge me.

I wasn't the only one excited about Santa's early delivery.
 
I seriously love that cat ya'll. He cracks me right up!
 
Anyway...check out what Mr. Hubs Santa brought me?!?
{squeal}
Now you know what we will be keeping this girl busy for the next few weeks nights!
My "to-create" list is growing as we speak!
 
I can't decide what to do first. I see a trip to the craft store in my future {like, tomorrow}!?!

If you haven't entered my Shutterfly Photobook giveaway yet- click here! Giveaway ends on Friday.
I wish I had time to snap a few shots of the fun things happening in our little room.
Unfortunately, my mind has been in a million other places.
 
My observation is tomorrow.
 
Enough said. You get it.
 
So, instead a fun idea to share...how about a fun giveaway instead?

I have a Shutterfly Photo Book up for grabs to one lucky winner!
These make the sweetest gifts ya'll!
You could use it for anything, really.
The site is super easy! I love how simple it is to customize your book, or just choose an adorable premade layout.
Mr. Hubs and I gave photobooks as gifts after our wedding and our parents LOVED them!
This could make a perfect Christmas gift!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends Friday, the 7th at midnight {EST}
Wish me luck tomorrow :)

p.s. Did you notice how close I am to 600 followers?!?!
Ya'll make my day :)
 
CHEERS!
Was today tough or what? I think I hit the snooze button at least twice ya'll.
 
The day flew by and I hit the ground running with holiday fun.
Check out this lil fact family craftivity.
Hopefully this freebie makes your Monday a little better.
You could do lots with this template!
This is just one example.
You could do word families, multiplication, main idea & details...
I'm sure you could think of a million more ideas!
 
Click on the cover to download your freebie.
 
Hope this makes your Monday a little jollier!
If you grab it- please let me know what you think!!
 
 
Link up with us and help spread a smile :)



Dear Friends,
You make a difference.
 
Happy Monday!
Link up with us and spread a smile!
  
 



What a day!
We started our morning with one of my all-time favorite stories!
We also reviewed a story from our basal series: The Elves and The Shoemaker.
Both stories have great examples of giving!
We did a mini-lesson/review on comparing and contrasting using examples of giving and receiving from both pieces of text.

The topic and discussion of giving led right into Thanksgiving and what we're grateful for..
 
As a class we made a list of everyone around the school we were thankful for.
I finished the list by telling the kids I was thankful for them
{even though our intern teacher was first on their list- I didn't hold a grudge for too long.}
 
Now for the part of the lesson that doesn't show up on a data graph...
 
I presented my class with a pumpkin pie.
 
You should have heard the squeals.
For a moment I thought One Direction walked in the room.
 
Not even kidding.
 
I made a big deal about how yummy it looked and happy it would make me if I was given a piece. Then I slapped a giant question mark on my face and said, "Wow- I wonder what we should do with this yummy, delicious, tasty pie?!?"
 
The class erupted with debate.
 
"Add cherries and eat it."
"Add whip cream!"
"Let us stick our faces in it!" 
 
I heard a small voice through all the shouting say, "We should give it away."
 
DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!
 
I jumped at the change to make her thought grow.
We were giving this pie away whether they realized it or not.
That WAS the lesson objective...standard or no standard.
 
The class was torn so we took it to a vote.
I may or may not have given a thumbs up and a "great choice" to every kiddo that agreed we should give it away.
Is it still called peer pressure when you're the teacher?!?

It came down to 9 votes: "give it" and 7 votes: "eat it".
 
 Teacher, 1
Students, 0
 
I cut up the pie while they wrote out notes to give with the sweet treat.
This one went to our PE coach.
Our kiddos don't have scheduled recess so our PE coach was pretty high on their "thankful list".
The kids were so excited to delivery their "gift".
I wish you could see the proud smiles.
 
 
 Later in the afternoon, I asked administration to deliver a fresh baked apple pie as a reward to my sweeties for being such wonderful givers.
I let our assistant principal take all the credit {and the hugs} for the surprise.
I was in a giving mood. ;)
 
A few kiddos asked if the Giving Tree from the story could see them like Santa.
I told them, "You just never know who's watching."
 
You can download the free tags by clicking on the picture below.
Graphics: MelonHeadz
Font: KG Strawberry Limeade
If you do pick 'em up- leave me some love on TpT!
 
We also wrapped up informational writing about pilgrims.
 
 These cuties are the brain child of my friend Teri over at A Cupcake For The Teacher. Her craftivities are always precious! I didn't have the energy time to trace out the patterns onto colored paper so my class colored them instead.
No less adorable, I think.
 

There's moments that my heart doesn't agree with the regulations of what education can be.
Can't we remember that they're kids? Tiny humans that need our love, support and guidance. I got into teaching for them... The love of their light bulb moments.
That's what keeps me going.

And if that ever fails me...if I get lost in the shuffle of papers and meetings and data graphs and conferences and assessments- I remember what Christina Yang would say:
Two high school students document teacher quotes on myhipsterteacher.


I'll leave you with a little truth laugh. 

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Remember to dance today friends!



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