Sunday, December 15, 2013

Monday Made-It Early!

Hello!  Happy Sunday-before-Christmas-break!! I know this is early, but I found some down time and I just HAD to post the actual Made-Its!! 

I hope this finds you well.  I am anticipating this time of year is as crazy for you as it is for me.  On top of that, all I have is Christmas on my mind... which makes school a difficult place to maintain focus!  I am sharing with you the finished version from last week's Monday (almost) Made It (this is the link to that post)!

My MMI this week is hand-made thank you cards.  They're nothing crazy fancy or super artsy, but I think it means way more to receive a card someone put thought into making.  I am super excited about how they turned out this year.    I love each and every one of them! So without further adieu...

Thanks for stopping in!  I hope you enjoyed my quick early post! :)

I hope you have a wonderful week! 

~Miss McDonald

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Questionaire!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVE!!!!  6 days until Winter Break!! WE CAN DO THIS!! :)  

As you may have noticed, I always aim to use this blog to share my teaching experiences, but this is a linky party I cannot resist.  For anyone who knows me, to say I love Christmas is an understatement.  I start listening to Christmas music as SOON as Thanksgiving is over.  I also start decorating our house on Black Friday.  I love the feeling of a house warmly lit with twinkly lights and candles. It's delightful!! :)  Tonight I'm linking up with Fabulous in First (for the first time ever.. woohoo!) to share with you some of my Christmas must- haves and traditions.  :)   Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog?  

Hmm.. Hot Chocolate! Lake Champlain brand with Whipped Cream and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk!

Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree?

Santa always wraps.  We all even got our "own" wrapping paper style! :)

Colored Light or white?

WHITE! ALWAYS.  I love the warm twinkly glow. Plus, I think the neutral goes with more.. This is a long standing debate between my sister and I. She loves colored twinkly lights. :) 

When do you Decorate?


Real or Fake tree?

REAL! Born and raised.  It's tradition to venture out as a family and pick the "very best one"! And it smells so fresh! :)  Here is ours this year :) 

What tops your tree?

A bright red sparkly star. I LOVE IT.

Favorite Christmas memories or traditions?

Every year on Christmas eve we all (Mom, Dad, Morgan, and I) would curl up on the couch and put on The Polar Express book on tape and follow along as the narrator read aloud.  It is the most amazing story to be read aloud!  It still gives me goosebumps.. to this day! :) 

Favorite gift as a child?

 Hmm.. probably my American Girl doll, Felicity.

Gift giving or receiving?

Both!! I love to make others happy, but I don't mind being surprised and excited myself.

Favorite Christmas Song?

"When Love Came Down" by Point of Grace.  Reminds me of car rides to Grandma and Pop-pop's house singing it at the top of our lungs!  Looking back on it, my poor dad!!

Candy Canes?

I could take 'em or leave 'em.   Honest!

Favorite Christmas Movie?

Hmm.. A Christmas Story. This was the staple background noise for Christmas Days at my Grandma and Pop-pops house.. such memories.

Shop online or in stores?

Both!    Some of the things my loved ones wanted this year could only be purchased online! ;) hint..hint..

Photo cards, letters, or store bought cards?

None yet.. I won't do Christmas cards until Ryan puts a ring on it! Haha.. When it's our turn, def. a photo card.  I think it documents time  really nicely. :) 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Christmas must-haves and traditions.. and I hope you and your loved ones have a joyous Christmas/Holiday season.  We as teachers have so much we can be thankful for! :)

~Miss McDonald

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Made It! (Mini..)

Well, hello!  I hope this post finds you cozy and warm in your home if you live in any area like ours... We had 4 inches of snow yesterday, a surprise snow day today, and possibly another storm hitting here tomorrow!  Good thing I got up off of my bum and got grocery shopping and Christmas shopping out of the way.. I'm being greedy and hoping we will be lucky enough to have at least a 2 hour delay tomorrow.. but I'm seriously doubting that...

While out Christmas shopping, I bought materials to make Thank You Christmas cards this year...  I am always so thankful for the thought and time put into gifts I receive from my students and their families.. 

My first year I used a "Thank You" template, but I didn't feel that was personal enough.. So, last year I made my own handmade (hand-stickered and stamped) cards and mailed them to each child (and family).  I felt like that showed my appreciation more, and I had many families and students thank me for their "special" card... So, I am doing it again this year! 

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics (for the first time since summer.. YAY!!!)  and sharing my pre-card materials with you. They are Monday Almost Made-Its... but I was feeling a post, and thought that would be close enough. :)

Here are the stickers I bought...

 And the blank cards...

I can't wait to use my festive Thank You stamps and stamp-pads,  and create these babies!  I will share a few finished versions next week with you.. :)

I hope you have a wonderful week!  9 school days until break!! We can do this!!

~Miss McDonald :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Flippin Friday! and December Currently!

Hello, wonderful world of ideas, bloggers, and readers!  It's hard for me to believe that my last post really was two months ago.  To be honest, I had to take a break from lots of things to get my teaching and personal life in order.  With all of the changes our school system is going through, I really had to set my gaze on what's important: my teaching, mental sanity, and personal life (Ryan and Family!).... There is something wrong that my brain thought of the important things in that order... Hmm..  Anyway,  if you are still reading this, THANK YOU for still showing my blog some love!

I was hoping to post a Tried it Tuesday, but I had a formal observation scheduled for Wednesday.. and there was nothing I could focus on other than writing my lesson plan, uploading artifacts, and trying not to have an anxiety attack.  I think announced formal observations will always make me anxious.  There's something about having a person watch and document your every move that really sets me on edge...  Can anyone shed light on this?  Does it get any better?? I hope so..

So, for my Tried It Tuesday (3 days late), I have implemented yet another positive behavior system in my room to help my kiddos self-monitor.  This idea came from a friend, but it really solved 2 problems I was having.  1) It speeds up transition times, and 2) It allows students who are always doing what they are supposed to be doing greater chances of receiving an awesome reward for that.  They are actually quite simple-  all it is is two pieces of chart paper hung on the board in the front of the room.  One says "Quietest Worker" and one says "Great Example".  Below each header, there is a list 1-10 with space for names to be written next to each number.  Throughout the day, if I see students working quietly or being a great example for others, I say their name and which chart to write their name on.  They choose the number.  A student can be on either chart multiple times, and sometimes, that happens!  Then, as the charts fill up, I pull a number 1-10 out of my jar.  The student whose name is next to the number that was pulled receives the reward.  So far rewards have been: special seat for a day, chew gum, and 5 tickets.  My students are SO motivated to have their names on that list!  Here is an example of what it looks like in action:  sorry for the quality of the photo and the appearance of the charts.  It was one of those ideas I had that never reached the "cute" phase.. there isn't much time for all of that this year... :)

 What do you do in your classroom to make sure the kiddos that are almost always doing what they are supposed to be doing receive recognition for it??

And I am also linking up with Oh' Boy Fourth Grade! for Currently... December!  This is a busy post!

Listening to: "Now That's What I Call Christmas!"  I have had the Christmas tunes on since the day after Thanskgiving! Wahoo!

Loving: Our house is completely decorated.. and Christmas break is 11 days away! (it was 12 when I made the Currently..LOL!)

Thinking: I needed to finish my students Reader Responses!  DONE!

Wanting: New jeans- mine are old and blah!
                To hit the lottery.. I think that one's pretty obvious why.. these paychecks aren't cutting it!
               A gingerbread coffee- I have a French Press now and I love to use the Trader Joe' flavored  coffees.  This is my most recent fave: 

Needing: More supplies!  To Christmas Shop, and SLEEEEEP.  All self-explanatory!

Favorite Tradition: My family always had an advent calendar and my sister and I loved to take turns opening the windows to find the surprise behind.  I have one for house this year, as a matter of fact!  Another tradition that I miss dearly is my sister, my dad, my mom, and me would make ourselves comfortable on the couch.  Then, we would put our Polar Express tape (I'm dating myself!) into the cassette player and follow along as the narrator read the story aloud beautifully.  It brings back such feelings of nostalgia, excitement, and gratefulness that I was able to share such a tradition with my family. 

I hope your week has been wonderful.  Happy Friday!

~Miss McDonald :)