Fun fact I just learned today... Teachers Pay Teachers now has an app!  It's free of course, and totally amazing.  I love the look of it already and know that I will use it A TON... like when I'm in bed but can't sleep and I'm blog-stalking and adding items to my TPT wish list.  It's so hard to use the TPT website on my iPhone because everything is simply too small!  This app is just what the doctor ordered.  So go download it already!

Get this app NOW!

My TPT Products... they are looking good in this app!

A quick way to check out the current sales!



And, now, on to what's truly important... IT'S CHRISTMAS VACATION TIME!!!  Phew.  We made it.  And we had fun along the way.  The week was filled with holiday-themed activities each day, from crafts to centers to games.  Here are a few things that we've been up to...

Parent gift courtesy of Oriental Trading... so easy!

Hard at work creating a lasting memory for the tree!

Sorting Common and Proper Nouns

Sorting Nouns and Verbs

Sorting Nouns and Verbs... Despite the exasperated hands-on-head, it wasn't that stressful of an activity!


Thursday we spent the day focusing on gingerbread activities.

If I Were a Gingerbread Boy...

If I Were a Gingerbread Girl...

Roll, Say, Keep Gingie Sight Word Game

Making Gingerbread Houses

There was A LOT of sugar in our classroom!

This lil' guy was meticulous!  



Official "Most Candy Used" Gingerbread House!


Friday was dedicated to the Polar Express!

Measuring Center

Vowel Sorting

Missing Addend Center

My Polar Express PJ Day Outfit!


I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a RELAXING break!!!

I'm linking up with A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Miss Kindergarten for their 12 in 12 linky party!


12 FAVORITE THINGS!

12.  Favorite Movie You Watched
The Hunger Games... best book-to-movie I have ever seen.


11.  Favorite TV Series
Scandal on ABC.  If you are not watching, you are seriously missing out!  This is one of those shows that when an episode ends, you wonder how you will get through the week while you wait for the next one! And, I totally want to be Olivia Pope!!!


10.  Favorite Restaurant
There is a great local restaurant here in Syracuse called The CopperTop.  I go there a lot, and I do mean A LOT.  Luckily there are several locations, so the wait staff hasn't quite gotten to know me by name yet!


9.  Favorite New Thing You Tried
This is an easy one... blogging!  When I put "start a blog" on my summer to-do list I never actually thought I'd do it.  Now I can't imagine not blogging and reading all the amazing teacher blogs I follow. It truly has made me a better teacher.


8.  Favorite Gift You Received
When my old laptop died on a Friday night in late spring, I was in a panic.  I knew I couldn't get through the rest of the school year without a computer.  My parents gave me an early birthday gift in the form of a donation towards the purchase of my MacBook Pro.  I love, love, love my MacBook and don't know how I ever lived without it!


7.  Favorite Thing You Pinned
Should this be school related?!  Because it definitely is not.  Pizza roll-ups!  Crescent Roll + 1/2 cheese stick + pepperoni = DELICIOUS!


6.  Favorite Blog Post
I think my favorite blog post was my very first one, Blog Beginnings.  It was so fun to get started, and I love that it also contained my very first TPT (freebie) product, which happens to be my Whole-Brain Teaching Rules.  I love WBT!


5.  Favorite Accomplishment
Making my first sale on Teachers Pay Teachers... and then my second, and third... and every single sale since I started in July!


4.  Favorite Picture
This pic was taken at my friend's wedding.  I love it because my best friend Deb and I were bridesmaids and we are all dolled up.  If only my hair and make-up could look that good every day, haha!


3.  Favorite Memory
I don't think I can pinpoint just one when it comes to my niece, Taylor.  Every moment I spend with her is a favorite memory, especially because she lives so far away!  She is now 18 months old, full of personality and has such a sunny disposition.  Everything is better when she is around (and she always brings my sister and brother-in-law with her when she comes, BONUS!)  Below is a pic of us from her first birthday weekend.


2.  Goal for 2013
Get (and stay) healthy!  I love teaching first grade, but ever since I moved down to primary three years ago, I have gotten sick more than ever.  Those loving six year olds bring me gifts of strep and tonsillitis far too often.  I'll be ringing in this New Year with a tonsillectomy.  Once I get through that, I expect to be HEALTHY in 2013!!!


1.  One Little Word
BALANCE
I have hit 50 Followers, WOOHOO!!!  When I started my blog back in July, I was so happy just to hit 10 followers, and let's face it, most of them were family members, haha.  Shout out to my supportive family and close friends!

I wasn't sure when I started blogging if anyone in the bloggy world that I followed would ever care to follow me.  So happy to find all the support from other teacher bloggers.  You all make me a better teacher!

So, now that I'm at 50, time for a giveaway... my very first!  I set up the Rafflecopter, so fingers crossed it works!  The giveaway runs from now until Friday at midnight.

The weather is truly getting cold out now!  How about a warm and toasty drink or two to get you through the season?  I am giving away a $10 gift card to either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts (your choice!) and any product from my TPT store.

  



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Quick post tonight... just wanted to share some of the photos from what we have been up to in our classroom and recommend a new product!

Sneaky has an important job... watching over us!

Hiding in our marbles... what team will fill their cup first?!

We made our own elves with this glyph.  Click HERE to download the patterns.

Hard at work!

Love those polka dots!

All done!

My bloggy buddy Lisa over at Growing Firsties just came out with her S.T.A.R. Readers pack.  And guess what?  She asked me to be one of her contributing editors.  I was so flattered!  S.T.A.R. Readers is a foundation for a reading workshop.  It stands for Study, Think, Ask, Respond.  It is 82 pages of goodness!  And the best part?  It's on sale right now.  Hop on over to her TPT Store and check it out!



On another note... I am one follower away from 50.  So excited!!!  When I hit that magic number I'll definitely need to have a giveaway.  Hopefully I can figure out that Rafflecopter thingamajig!  

Ten more days of school until Christmas break... we can make it!  
Time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade...


I absolutely adore holiday movies... ABC Family, Lifetime, Hallmark... I love 'em all!  It's non-stop holiday movie time here.  My DVR is pretty full and I keep adding more daily.  It makes no difference that I've seen most of them multiple times.  Anyone else a holiday movie addict?!

I need new living room furniture.  My couch has seen far too much of me.  It's become sad and has lost most of its comfort.  Boo.

Despite the 70 degree heat wave here today, we will be back to snow in Upstate New York tomorrow.  I live in a fantastic apartment complex with super nice neighbors.  They deserve to be RAK'd.  I mean, really, who wouldn't love to come outside to a snow-free car?!  I can definitely complete this RAK (Random Act of Kindness) many times this winter!

On another note, my class has really gotten into the spirit of the holidays!  I love seeing Christmas through their eyes.  They love coming in and trying to be the first to spot our elf "Sneaky."  We have used the words "naughty" and "nice" about 300 times in the past two days... and I'm sure we will continue right up until break!  So far, so good on the behavior front...
It is officially the holiday season!  There are 23 days until Christmas.  (And 19 days until we begin our Christmas break at 3:30... but really, who's counting?)  This week I'm kicking Christmas into full gear in my classroom.

Click HERE for Natalie's FREEBIE

I'm makin' my list, and checkin' it twice!  I started my holiday preparations by stocking up at the TpT Cyber Sale.  Here are some of the goodies I snatched up for December...

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download

And I picked up a few things for future social studies units...

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download


This weekend I got my stockings ready to hang by the chimney with care.  I always label each stocking with a student's name in puffy paint, and hang them on the windows at the beginning of December.  Then on the last day of school before break I fill them with my Christmas gift (a book from Scholastic) and yummy treats.  My firsties go crazy when they see them all filled up!


And, of course, I wrapped my holiday read alouds.  I found this idea on Pinterest in the spring and have been waiting all year to do it!  I added date labels to mine, because I have a certain order I like to read my December books in.  

A lil' "Home Alone" action on the TV.  LOVE my holiday movies!

All wrapped up!

Our Elf on the Shelf will be making his debut tomorrow...

I am so excited to start all the holiday fun in my classroom!!  Now hopefully my kiddos can have fun learning and not go TOO crazy...
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