Big Ideas for Little Hands: December 2015

2015 - Year in Review

Can you believe that it's already 2016!!!! This year has gone by so fast and so many great things have happened this year! Today I am linking up with Mrs. Beattie's Classroom for a look back at 2015!

One of y goals for 2015 was to blog more and I think I have accomplished that. In 2016, I am hoping to find the time to blog more than once a week. Fingers crossed!!! Let' take a look back at my top 5 blog posts of 2015!

One of my favorite things to do around Christmas time is having our Elf come and visit. It's so fun to see all the mischeivious things he does and is also a great way to motivate students to behave with all of the crazy Christmas excitment. Come take a peek at how I introduced our new friend and some fun things our elf did!

I absolutely love decorating my classroom, my home away from home. I love walking into my bright room everyday. It alwasy brings a smile to my face. I spend a good bit of my summer adding new details and perfecting it. Come take a look around my room!

Meet the Teacher Night is one of my favorite days of the entire school year. There is something fun and exciting about meeting your new students and their families for the first time. I try to make this night fun for the students and families so they are ready to start the new year. Come check out some fun ideas I do to welcome the new families to my class!

This year was an exciting year for me blogging. I was invited to join my first collaborative blog! This was a huge honor for me and I was beyond estactic that I was asked to be a part of this amazing group of teachers and to get to know and make more friends! Click below to check out this amazing group!

Over the summer, I participated in a book study that completely changed my Guided Reading time. Seriously, if you have not read this book you need to! Come take a peek at some ideas for your guided reading groups and grab some freebies too!

2015 was an amazing year filled with some many new adventures. I am so excited to see all of the new adventures that 2016 has in store. 2016 will be the best year yet and I cannot wait! Now head on over to Mrs. Beattie's Classroom page to see a look back at 2015 from many other bloggers! Happy New Year and cheers to a great year!

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Mindful Eating Challenge: Week 3

I am linking up again with Rachelle and DeeDee for another week of the Mindful Eating Challenge. I missed linking up last week because I was stuck in stopped traffic coming home from Thanksgiving with my family then the week was just crazy. No words to describe it. So here is like a two week recap.

What worked:
Logging food has been a real eye opener and sometimes confusing. Some things that I think are a good choice really are not the best while other things that I think will just ruin my entire food diary were not as bad as I thought. But seriously, 1150 calories for a club sandwich at O'Charley's!!!! I still cannot get over that one. Good thing I only ate half. Logging my food has definitely made me become more aware of what is healthy and what is not as healthy. My fitness pal app has been great at helping me with this.
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Exercise. I absolutely love exercising!!! I make a point to go to the gym everyday and me and my daughter walk every night, or at least until it gets to cold and I cant feel my fingers. It is a great bonding time and helps us stay fit together! These past two weeks we were actually able to go on a 4 mile hike at a local (small) mountain and we also went on a walk with my school to look at Christmas lights by the river. It was beautiful! Can I also say that today I ran for the first time in forever!!! A few months ago I tore my Achilles and trust me, it hurts. I ignored it for a while and kept running and going to the gym. Finally I went to the doctor and he told me it was a pretty good tear. However, because I continued to exercise, I may not need surgery!!! Thank goodness. But I had to take a few weeks rest from high impact. Well, today I decided to give running a shot again. And I did it!!! I'm a little sore but am determined to be 100% again soon.

Haylee also marched in a parade this weekend. While all of the other parents stood on the side cheering. I chose to walk the 1.5 mile parade route with her too. Gotta get my steps in where I can.

Speaking of steps, I love my Vivofit! It definitely helps me keep track of how active I have been during the day. And I love reaching my goal and get so sad when I do not reach the step goal for the day. I know it's just a number but it's a goal for me to meet and I don't want to let it down. That 4 mile hike the other day definitely helped me get some steps in.

What did not work:
Food prep. Food prep. Food prep. I start out the week with a plan in place and such good intentions. Then life happens and I grab something quick. It's never fast food but it's always something quick at home like frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, and things that I know are not good for me. What I want to learn how to do is to prep all of my meals on Sunday then pop them in the oven each day. I think that would be a major help. I need a class or workshop with ideas. I'm open to any suggestions anyone has. Please help me!!!! I am going to really try to stick to my meal plan this week. Fingers crossed I can do it. Small goals, baby steps. We can do this!

Now head on over to Rachelle's blog!
For Blogness Sake

Peek at Week: Christmas

Does anyone else feel like that today? What a busy weekend. I seriously think this is the first time I have sat down all weekend.I totally feel like that cute little puppy right now. Between multiple Christmas parades, Christmas shopping, painting classes, and everything else, I am exhausted and tomorrow is Monday!!!!

Haylee marched in the city's Christmas parade this weekend. Despite it freezing outside, she did great. So proud of her.

Ok, tomorrow is Monday and back to school. Need to get in school mode. Can you believe that we only have 10 days until Christmas break!!! I am so excited!!! Last week was everything Gingerbread and we had a blast reading all of the different gingerbread stories. We made these adorable Gingerbread journals from Deanna Jump to compare the ending of each Gingerbread story we read.

We also made these cute Gingerbread Glyphs also from Deanna. I just love how they turned out and how different they all are!

We also worked on our Gingerbread Flippy Flaps! They were so fun!

We ended the week making Gingerbread Houses with our 3rd grade buddies. We had so much fun. And seriously, look at all of that candy!!!

Next week will be everything Christmas. We will be using my Christmas Flippy Flap. Check it out below.

Now grab a copy of the plans and see what we are up to this week!

And by the way, Happy Chanukah to all that celebrate. We lit our first candle tonight!

Head on over to DeeDee's blog to see how others are surviving the Holiday Craze!

Elf Antics

Today I am linking up with I Teach Kinder to bring you some great ideas for this time of the year!

That magical day finally arrived. The day that all of my kids have been waiting for (since yesterday) but the day I have been waiting for all year long!!! The day that, fingers crossed, my room may have a chance to be slightly calmer. Hahaha no such chance with Christmas around the corner but hey, a girl can hope :) Today was the day that our elf arrived! Ok, let me back up to yesterday. Yesterday afternoon we talked about if anyone had an Elf on the Shelf and I explained to the kids that I have never had one but thought it would be neat to have a classroom elf. So we watched the Elf on the Shelf video, which by the way, is super cute and explains the elf perfectly!

Then we all wrote letters to Santa asking him to send us our very own classroom elf! The writing template came from Melonheadz. I then explained to the kids that I would mail the letters to the North Pole right after work so Santa would get them that night.
Then today came, the big day! The kids walked into the room to see a big box wrapped from none other than Santa himself!!! You cannot imagine how excited we were to open this special box.

Inside the box was our Elf on the Shelf! Well, kinda, keep reading. We opened the Elf on the Shelf box to find the book and a note from Santa but no elf. The note is a freebie in Maria Manore's store.

After reading the note we found out that our Elf was already in the room watching us!!! Wait!! How did we not see him earlier?!?!?! We had to go on a hunt to find that sneaky little elf. Can you find him?

What about now? Do you see him?

Once we found our elf, we read the book and quickly gave him a name. Our school's theme for the year is Peanuts so we thought Snoopy would be a perfect name. So welcome Snoopy to our classroom and fingers crossed am hoping that the students will be on their best behavior so that Snoopy will only have good things to tell Santa each night.

Now our elf in years past has been very mischievous. I wonder what Snoopy will do this year. Check out some things that our elf did last year at school and at home. Oh that silly elf! Can't wait to see what he has in store for us this year!
Now head on over to check out some other amazing bloggers and their great ideas to get you through the next few weeks until your much needed and well deserved break!
Happy Holidays!