Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Welcome Baby Hudson!

Hello blogging buddies!

I apologize for being MIA from the blogging world for far too long - however, I have some exciting news that will excuse my long absence...

Introducing Baby Hudson:
Born May 8, 2015
7 lbs, 15 oz.     19 1/2 in. long

This little guys has stolen our hearts - we are adjusting to our "new normal" of baby snuggles, late night wake-up calls, and lots of little laundry :). 

All joking aside, my heart is so full - Baby Hudson is definitely the best thing that has have ever happened to my husband and I. 

He truly is a gift from God.

So, while I won't make any grand promises about blogging daily or anything, I will say that I'm still here. Joy in the Journey will continue to bring you quality teaching ideas and resources - with some pictures of this cutie-patootie thrown in periodically :)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Celebrations! FREE Teaching Ideas about the TRUE Meaning of Easter

Happy Easter, friends!
Sweet Blessings: I Will Rise
Because Jesus conquered death on the cross, taking away the sins of humanity in a long-foretold rescue mission, and rose from the dead victoriously, we can live each day with joy, hope, and an everlasting relationship with the King of Kings!

Here's a super cute video that shares about the true meaning of Easter - from the mouths of babes :) Check it out:

  I know a lot of teachers were on Spring Break last week, so you might not have had the chance to teach about the Easter story in-depth - but that's okay! It's not too late :) And for those of you who teach in a public school setting, perhaps you can use some of these ideas with your own children or in a Sunday School class.

As a soon-to-be new mom (less than 6 weeks to go!), I have been thinking more and more about the importance of instilling biblical values in the hearts and lives of our kiddos.

Here are some awesome FREE ideas to teach about the
TRUE Meaning of Easter:
This is my newest Bible-based Interactive Notebook set and it is FREE for today and tomorrow:
If you download the packet and use it with your students, please leave feedback to benefit other teachers who are interested. Thanks!
***The product will go back to regular price ($3) on April 7, 2015

Secondly, my kiddos LOVED completing this Easter Wreath craft that tells the Easter story in sequential order using pictures and verses. It is a FREE printable activity from Wee Little Miracles
wee little miracles: Make an Easter Story Wreath {free printables!} still trying to get the printing to work-
Click HERE to be taken to her website.
Instead of the wreath, we put Erin's printables on a cross:

Here are some other FUN & FREE ideas to teach little ones about Easter: (click on each picture to be taken to the website of activities)
Empty Easter Tomb Biscuits #easter #JESUS #resurrectionsunday ---> Easter Activities and Crafts: Make the true meaning of Easter meaningful and memorable!
Sweet Truth of Easter - M craft for kids!Free Scripture Hunt Printable! Use this to teach your children the true meaning of Easter while also providing a fun and engaging activity!

As a special surprise, MY ENTIRE TPT STORE is 20% off today only - including bundles!
Happy Easter, friends!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Scoop & Giveaway Winners

Here's what I'm up to on this fine Sunday:

3 "Have-to's" - pretty basic and self-explanatory

2 "Hope to's" - We're *almost* done with Baby Boy's nursery (pictures will be posted soon!) 
Click HERE to check out my baby bump progress so far :) 
Today's project is organizing all of the beautiful baby books we have into baskets - yes, I know - very teachery :)

Secondly, my husband and I have recently been sucked into the show "Parenthood." I know, I know - we're late to the party,
but are loving it so far! :)

1 "Happy to"...
*drum roll please!*
The winners of my Weather Interactive Notebook Foldables are...
1. Angela from "The Teacher's Desk 6"
2. Karen H. 

Congratulations ladies - check your e-mails! :)

Thanks to everyone who entered! If you didn't win the packet, you can check it out in my TPT store and snag it for only $5!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Genius at Work

Happy Saturday!
Phew - this last week wore me out. I am so thankful for a quiet and relaxing Saturday to lay low, watch Parenthood in my pajamas, and do some baby shopping :)

While I was out running a couple of errands, I stopped at the Dollar Tree (aka Teacher Paradise). No matter what I'm there for, I always have to stroll through the Teacher Aisle. 
Anyone else with me?

While I was there, I found these awesome little signs:
Displaying IMG_4656.JPG
I bought a couple of each type to put on the desks of hard-working students who are setting a role-model example. I know my kiddos will LOVE to get one of these (with a few reward tickets, perhaps!) on their desks during work time.

I think yes.

So head on over run to your nearest Dollar Tree and see if you can snag a couple of these cute signs - at just a buck, you can't go wrong!
Hop on over to Joanne's blog for other motivating ideas!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Baby Update: 30 Weeks!

Hello friends in the blogosphere!

Today I am 30 weeks pregnant: 3/4 of the way done! 
30 Weeks Pregnant Chalkboard
(although, with the size of Baby Boy, my OB isn't too confident that I'll make it to my due date! 
My hubby was 10 lbs at birth - I was 5 lbs. 
Enough said.

It's been a while since I updated, so here's an overview of my baby bump progression:

2 weeks ago I entered the 3rd trimester:
And here's today!

Baby Boy is the size of a big butternut squash (about 18 inches long and over 3 lbs!)
I'm feeling quite "large and in charge" and have definitely started to waddle!

Baby Boy seems perfectly healthy and is plenty active, keeping me on my toes with lovable pokes, somersaults, and bicycle kicks.

We're *ALMOST* done the nursery and I promise to post pictures soon. We've decorated it as a woodland forest - the perfect spot for our little guy to grow and explore.

Question to all moms out there:
What are (were) your baby must-haves?!?! All of the options out there can be dizzifying and I'd like some tried-and-true products that YOU (and your baby) LOVED.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Birthdays in the Classroom

Happy Thursday from beautiful, sunny, Spring-is-on-its-way Seattle :)

Today I want to show you my birthday chart:
 I cut out suitcases (using my handy-dandy Cricut!) and labeled each with one of the 12 months. Then, I wrote each students' birthday on a yellow "luggage tag" and attached it to the appropriate month. It's cute and easy for me to look at a glance to see who's birthdays are coming up this month.

On a student's birthday, they come into the classroom to find this on their desk:
The birthday certificate can be used as a Free Homework Pass.
The "Crazy Cool" balloon is a crazy straw with a packet of Kool-Aid attached :)
You can grab the balloon template for FREE by clicking here:

About 2 weeks before each student's birthday, I give them a blank "All About Me" newspaper (that I got from Lakeshore) that they will out and bring in on their birthday. After they present them, I hang them in the hallway outside the classroom.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Weather Interactive Notebook Giveaway!

This is what my prep periods and after-school-work-time has been consumed with lately:
I've been planning, printing, cutting, and perfecting my Interactive Notebook foldables for our weather unit! 
 QUESTION for I.N. users:
When you're planning a unit, do you build sample pages ahead of time or do you do it with your students as you go? I've done both ways, depending on the unit (and the prep ime I put into it!)

As promised, I'm going to do a GIVEAWAY of my new packet to one of my blog followers:
If you'd ike to WIN a FREE COPY of my Weather Interactive Notebook Foldables MEGA Packet, please leave a comment with your e-mail address and your favorite science topic to teach.
I'll choose TWO winners on Saturday night.

Hop on over to Miss DeCarbo's blog for other wordless (or almost wordless, like mine!) posts! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Types of Clouds - Engaging Activities to Help Retain Information

In science, we've been working on an in-depth weather unit, focusing on air, the atmosphere, precipitation, severe weather storms, and clouds.

To learn the types of clouds, we took notes in our interactive notebooks:
Stay tuned for a giveaway :)

We sang a great (albeit cheesy!) Cloud Song to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell" which I found on (AWESOME website, by the way!)
We then practiced "creating" clouds in two ways:
First, with cotton balls
Storm in the Night  Lots of cool ideas for clouds, water cycle, weather
And then, for the more tactile learners...
Shaving cream! :)
At first, of course, we had 30 seconds to play in it:
Then we got down to business shaping the different cloud types: 
While I hope the students retain the different types of cloud shapes, I KNOW that they all went home, clamoring about how they got to play with shaving cream in class! Happy students = happy teacher :)