Five For Friday ~ Checking In + Happy New Year!

As 2016 winds down, I'm feeling hopeful that a New Year will bring new adventures and more opportunities to make myself a little smarter and a little wiser every day.  Check out my Five For Friday:

New Collaborative Blog

 I'm excited to be part of a new blog:  Coversations from the Classroom which will launch on January 1st!
Click on the above picture to check it out on Bloglovin'

 Odometer Milestone

 I drive around in a 2005 Honda Pilot that has LOTS of character!  Last Monday, my odometer read:

 Luckily, I was able to pull over to the side of the highway to snap this picture!
 Watermelon Blanket and Gifts

 I'm just loving watermelons more all the time, especially when I receive watermelon-themed gifts:

This blanket was made by the very talented Purple Alligator, and you should definitely check out her store on Etsy.  Right now she's on break for the holidays.
Fun Pins!

I'm always on the look-out for unique jewelry and gifts.  Here's another option from Hibou Designs:

The owner of Hibou Designs is originally from France and now located in Boston.  The lace on the cat pin was French lace that her grandmother gave her.  Of course, I love the penguin, too!


If you love salad, then you need to check out Sweetgreen!  There are so many salad options, and all the fixings are locally sourced, fresh and healthy.  My current favorite salad is the Apple, Pear and Cheddar.  It's definitely worth checking out if you're trying to eat healthier in the New Year!

Thanks for visiting today, and have a safe and happy New Year!


Happy New Year = New Beginnings All Around!

Happy Vacation and Happy New Year!  I just LOVE being on vacation so I can wake up without the alarm and catch up on all the chores I let lapse, i.e. tidying up the piles of "stuff" (papers) that I create all around the house.  Of course, now I'm procrastinating, but it's so much more fun and productive!

I've been focusing on redesigning my blog.  I purchased the Sophie template from Georgia Lou Studios and new clip art from Striped Elephants.   Most importantly, I had an incredible opportunity to be a beta tester for Rachel from A Tall Drink of Water DIY Blog Design Course (click on this link to learn more - the class will be offered on January 1st).

Thanks to taking this course, I learned how to design a header and make all different blog elements such as a signature and a footer.  It was an amazing opportunity, and if you've ever wanted to learn blog design, check out this course for yourself!

The first step of the process was buying my own domain, and I chose  As I've been redesigning my blog, I've been looking at A LOT of different blogs - other than teacher blogs - and, I've even done some link-ups about fashion (I'm not a fashionista, but I do love picking out clothes than go with my personality/style).  Plus, teachers from other grades might want to read my blog so I decided to delete the "in 3rd grade" part of the title.  This meant I needed to create a new blog header and a new button, and I knew how to do this!

Here's another bonus I picked up from my DIY blog experience, I learned how to take a stock photo, add a quote and a watermark/blog button.

If you have any questions about the course, you can click on Rachel's link or write a comment below.

Thanks for visiting today!  Enjoy the rest of your vacation, and


Happy Holidays Five For Friday!

Happy times are here - it's Christmas vacation!  We have been extremely busy in school this week - we had to make sure to use all that energy in a positive way.  Here's what we've been doing:

Morning Messages

This week's messages focused on different holidays:

My favorite holiday is "Look on the Bright Side Day" because I try so hard to remain optimistic and persistent in all situations.  These days I'm trying to convince my students to like math.  Every time I mention subtraction, I hear groans.  Math phobia sure does start young, and it's really sad because math can be so much fun!  Luckily, the kids LOVE multiplication, and they've done well learning their facts.

Non-Fiction Text Features

We had so much fun creating posters about non-fiction text features using our Time for Kids.  Each student created a poster that included examples of captions, maps, charts, special print and pictures.

Pet Reindeer

Using the My Pet Reindeer project from TPT, each student drew a reindeer and wrote a story to accompany their drawing.  Here are some examples:

Holiday Happenings

This week was Spirit Week which included a variety of outfit challenges such as "Ugly Sweater Day" and Pajama Day.  Plus, I received several beautiful gifts.  I love this gift bag decorated by my student, Aedyn:

On the bottom right is a Dr. Seuss gingerbread that Sierra made for our Gingerbread Exchange.  It's the only gingerbread I took a picture of that our class made.

Book Recommendation ~ Perfect for National Braille Month (January)

My student, Sierra, brought in an excellent book about a seeing eye dog.  An added bonus was that the author is local.
Click on picture to check out more on Amazaon.
In this book, Sarah and her working dog, Perry, share a typical day in their lives.  They even visit a school!  It's a perfect book to read next month as January is National Braille Literacy Month.

Happy Holidays!


Cozy + Comfy Clothes

Hello there!

Today I'm linking up with A Stylish Fit for Cozy for the Holidays and A Pocketful of Polka Dots for Fabulous Friday to share my love of clothes with elbow patches!

These days I'm into clothes with elbow patches - I just love the look of them!

For Christmas, my daughter, Bethany, got me this adorable sweater from Anthropologie:

She also got me a cool J. Crew Factory tassel necklace which is right up my alley!  To complete the outfit, I'm planning on wearing my NYDJ gray jeans and my Vans slip-ons!  Now this is my idea of a totally comfortable outfit - after all, I'll be on vacation next week and am hoping to go out for lunch - with no rushing!  Plus, I just love pink and gray together!

Tomorrow we have a half-day of school, and then I can come home and recover from spending a week  with a class of totally excited third graders who have elves and can't wait for the BEST holiday of the year!

My students have gradually been bringing in gifts for me, but I like to wait and open them on Christmas so I can enjoy each gift.

Happy Friday and Happy Holidays!


Show and Tell Tuesday ~ December Style!

Let's see ~ what can I show you today?  I'm sure I'll think of something so I can link up with Forever in Fifth Grade for:

Striped Elephant Clip Art

I know the trend in blogging is minimalism, and I tried to stick to those clean lines,...but I just needed a background.  I had bought my watermelon clip set from Striped Elephants so I headed right back there to check out the background papers.  I'm very happy with my pop of color in my blog, and I highly recommend checking out her shop next time you're in the market for clip art.  Plus, everything is on sale right now!


Last week I managed to come down with a "monster" cold which resulted in laryngitis.  I'm thinking teachers are more prone to this condition due to our need to talk.  Our voice is our instrument.  Well, I did some research to find some remedies which include tea with honey and/or lemon; apple cider vinegar; gargling with salt water; using a humidifier,...One of the remedies was marshmallows!

Here's some research from the Fox News Web Site:

Although there's no hard evidence that it works, sap from the marshmallow plant has been used for hundreds of years—usually in tea form—to treat coughs, colds, and sore throats. And while real marshmallow bears little relation to the puffy campfire treats that took its name, both may have sore throat-fighting properties.

According to anecdotal reports, modern-day marshmallows can help ease sore throat pain, possibly because the gelatin coats and soothes. 
"It's not the wackiest thing in the world," Linder says. "If your throat is really swollen and it really hurts to swallow anything, I can see how something slippery and sweet like marshmallows might provide some relief."

I just love folkloric medicine!

Have you watched the TV show This is us?

 My sister was raving about this show and claiming that I had to watch it.  Then I saw Chrissy Metz, one of the actresses from the show, on Ellen one afternoon.  Needless to say, I started watching the show, and I love it!  It's on NBC, and if you have "on demand," you can watch the ten shows so far.

Happy Holidays!

Five For Friday on a Snowy Day!

Today I'm creating my own personal Five For Friday to keep you up to date on all the excitement at school and on my adventure to Boston to see the reenactment of the Boston Tea Party meeting at the Old South Meeting House:

 Morning Messages

Check out our Morning Messages which focused on suffixes and National Chocolate Covered Anything Day:

One of my new favorite additions to my whiteboard Morning Messages is the gif for falling snow.  Click here to check out the snow gif and other animated ones.

A fourth grade teacher at school asked her students how many digits there were.  The first answer was "infinity," and that's from one of my former and smarter students.  I reviewed digits with my current students - of course, when they're in fourth grade,....

Holiday Concert

We had our school holiday program with a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, and the actual program on Thursday.  I forgot my phone both days, but I managed to snag a photo from my colleague, Ms. Aufiero, of the dress rehearsal:

The kids sang a Hanukkah song, Jubilation, as well as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Future Caldecott Winning Books

Every grade level at our school received six possible Caldecott Medal books to read and review with our classes.  In January, the kids will vote on the book they feel will win the coveted Caldecott Medal.  Now presenting, the book selection:

If you want to read more about some of these books like Are We There Yet? (click here)Make Something Beautiful (click here); or The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles (here).

As we read and review these books, I'll be sure to write about our opinions.

Boston City Hall Re-imagined and Amazing!

If you've ever been to Boston City Hall Plaza, it's not a place you'd want to revisit.  That's all changed now because there's an outdoor skating rink, shopping chalets and food vendors!  I can't wait to go back when it's a little warmer than it was last (Friday) night.  Here's a peek at the skating rink and the shopping chalets (pictures from

Experienced skaters and novices alike are invited to lace up and skate around New England’s first custom-designed skating path.

A shopper’s delight! More than 40 European-inspired chalets selling unique gifts for everyone on your list.

Click here to read more!

Highlight of the Week = Boston Tea Party Reenactment!

Last August I bought tickets to go to the Old South Meeting House in Boston to watch the Boston Tea Party Reenactment.  Of course, last night and yesterday turned out to be frigid, but I was determined to check it out, and it was worth it!

Every year on December 16 at 6:30 p.m. the Tea Party is reenacted starting with the meeting at the Old South Meeting House.  There are so many reenactors dressed in their colonial finery.  In the above picture to the left, that is Samuel Adams in the red.  I accidentally called him "Sam," and I was immediately corrected.  Audience participation is encouraged and welcomed; it's a very interactive program that truly brought history to life.  Next year it will be on a Saturday night so please try to come if you can.

Click here to read more about all the history that has taken place in the Old South Meeting House!

In closing, I managed to get a monster cold last week and now have serious laryngitis.  I just read that whispering is more stressful to your larynx that talking softly.  I'm spending a day in silence - which is probably just what I need!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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