January Currently!


Happy New Year everyone! My hubby wasn't feeling well, so we spent last night snuggled on the couch, drinking hot chocolate, and watching TV in pajamas. It wasn't our most exciting New Years celebration, but it was some much-needed relaxation and bonding time. 

Well it's that time again! I'm linking up with Farley for her January "Currently" linky party. 

Here's my Currently:

Listening: Jon and I stumbled onto this great show called "Sea Patrol." It's an adventure show about a patrol boat that surveys Australian waters. It's action-packed, but also has good character development. 
Loving: My new Vera Bradley kindle case! My in-laws got it for me for Christmas and I absolutely love it! 
Thinking: that I'm going to miss my hubby when he travels to Chile on Thursday. He's going on a mission trip for 2 weeks to partner with missionaries and do construction work in Santiago, Chile. I am so excited for him and cannot wait to see what God has in store, but I'll be lonesome here on my own.
Wanting: a few more days (or weeks!) of vacation! We had a lovely break, but a very busy one. We spent the last week in Montreal visiting my family, playing games, watching movies, and eating far too much :) Now I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

Needing: to plan out my upcoming scrapbooking projects. I love scrapbooking, but can rarely find adequate time to work on it. I have some friends who introduced me to Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies and they have frequent all-day scrapping events where ladies get together and we scrap til we drop! :) I have one coming up on January 12th and want to have my next project lined up, so I can hopefully knock out an album in that day.
OLW: Trust.
2013 is going to prove a year of great change for our little family. My husband will be graduating from NYU with his masters in Archiving and Public History, so we'll be off on a great adventure once the job hunt begins. Then, we'll be leaving our cozy little apartment where we started our marriage and heading off to wherever God leads. And then my job hunt will begin - again. Lovely. But I am trusting the Lord to direct us and take care of us as my husband and I seek His will. Rather than stressing about all that's in store, I'm choose to trust.


Head on over and link-up your January currently!

Well I'm off to enjoy the last few hours of 2012. I'll talk to you all next year! :)


2013 in (P)REVIEW!

Linky Parties warm my heart and here's one to help me get refocused and re-energized as we head into 2013.  This time of year brings lots of talk of making resolutions, setting goals, reordering priorities, etc. I am so thankful for the wonderful blessings God gave during 2012 and I look forward to 2013 with anticipation of all the good things in store!

I'm linking up with Michelle from "Making It As A Middle School Teacher" and her "What's Ahead in 2013" party:



What's ahead for you in 2013? Link up with Michelle and leave me a comment letting me know you did - I love getting to know the blogger behind the blog :)

~Jessica

Welcome 2013!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, blogging friends!

Well I'm back in the States after a wonderful white Christmas in Montreal. We had a lovely break, spending quality time with family, eating (and eating some more!), playing games, watching movies, and most importantly, celebrating the birth of Christ.

I took a "brain break" from teaching, blogging, pintrest, etc. :) but now I'm back and ready to rock and roll! Or at least get back into the swing of things.

Here are two things from my TPT store to kick off the new year. The first is a CC aligned 19-page activity packet called "Ringing in the New Year" It covers a wide variety of subjects and can be used independently as morning work, center work, or homework, or as whole class activities. It's on sale this week for only $3!


You can see the complete post about the activity pack here.

And, as a belated Christmas gift to you, my lovely followers, here is a "Welcome 2013" activity pack freebie! Click here for a list of 13-related activities to welcome the new year! :) Welcome 2013 Activity Ideas. It contains two copies: one in color and one in black and white.


Enjoy!

I've Been Featured on Budding Blogger!

Hello everyone! I am typing today from the great white north as I am visiting family in Montreal, Canada for the holidays! We've had lovely time, playing endless rounds of games, indulging in lots of food, and catching up with lots of family members. 

I logged on today (after far too long!) and was pleasantly surprised to see that Amanda from "Teaching Maddeness" has featured me on her "Budding Blogger" showcase!

 Teaching Maddeness
Check it out here!

Thanks, Amanda! :)

In other news, I'm sitting at the kitchen table at my aunt's, drinking tea, and watching the beautiful snow fall. We're snuggled in the house, still in pjs, as we are expecting 15-25 inches of snow! 

Here's a picture from a local news station:


And here's a picture of my car. Safe to say this girl's not braving the roads today!



Well I'm off to enjoy my winter wonderland. I'll be back to the states later this week and will be posting some new ideas and freebies soon!

Get a Jump-Start on Planning for the New Year!

Well we've made it down to less than a week before Christmas vacation begins!
I don't know about you, but my kids are definitely ready for the break - as am I! We've been rehearsing for our Christmas concert for the last two-days non-stop (!) and are gearing up for the performance tonight. I can't wait to get back in the classroom for a return to normalcy (if that's possible!) during our final days of Christmas festivity.

Now, with Christmas looming, I've also been looking ahead to what we'll do when we return to school in January. It is my goal to have everything planned (and copied!) for the first week back before I leave on Friday. That way I can sit back, enjoy time with family, and RELAX! And I want the same for you - so I have created two wonderful new packages that will make lesson planning for the week you return a breeze.

Check them out:

The first is a multi-subject unit entitled "Ringing in the New Year". It's a 19-page packet that teaches students about New Year celebrations and engages them with a wide range of activities for multiple subjects, including reading comprehension, writing, math(collecting data and creating graphs) , spelling/vocabulary, and poetry. It also includes a bulletin board idea, complete with template and title (in both color and B&W)

It is perfect for classroom or home use the first week back to school after the holiday vacation.

Click here to download the resource on Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers

Here are some preview pictures:





Click here to download the resource on Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers

The second idea is a "Holiday Re-cap," a 7-page packet in which the students fill in a graphic organizer and then write about the highlights of their holiday vacation, including the best give they gave/received, their best memory, the funniest thing that happened, as well as sections where they look back on 2012 and forward to 2013. The packet also includes rough draft paper, a revising/peer-editing checklist, and 2 template options for the final draft. This can be done in a Language Arts or Reading class over 4 days and the final product (or the graphic organizer itself) could be used as a bulletin board display.

Click here to download it on Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers.

Here are some sample pictures:




Download these packages now and get a jump-start on your planning for the New Year! Trust me - you'll be glad you did!

Praying for Sandy Hook Elementary

I'm joining my friends in the blogging world in praying for the victims' families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Tomorrow my students are going to write prayers for the families and classmates affected. I'm praying for peace for children and families all over the country who are reeling from this horrific tragedy.

Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal


 I found this image from Lisa at "Fourth and Ten"


12 in 12 Linky Party!

Hello friends! Boy, I'm on a blogging frenzy this week! But who can blame me with all of these great linky parties to join?

Now I'm linking up with "A Teeny Teacher" for her "12 in 12" Linky Party:


Stop by here to link up!

Favorite Movie:
My favorite movie is Ice Castles, the new one released by Hallmark. I love the story, the skating, and the soundtrack (!). I like it more than the original. If you haven't seen it, you must! It's such a winner...

Favorite TV Show
My favorite movie this year was Chuck! My hubby and I started watching it this fall (on DVD) and quickly became obsessed! It became a nightly routine for us to watch an episode or two :)

Favorite Restaurant:
My favorite restaurant we tried was Big Daddy's in New York City. Juicy burgers, creamy, thick milkshakes, and more tater tots than is good for any one person. Bring it on...

Favorite New Thing You Tried:
Opening my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I've had so much fun working on setting up my store, creating and refining products, and sharing ideas with colleagues. I only opened it this past weekend, but having been adding priced and free items daily.  Check out my TpT store here.


Favorite Gift You Got:
My favorite gift I received was a a beautiful new edition of Little Women. It's one of my all-time favorite books and I am collecting classic novels. (Our apartment is going to collapse under the weight of our books!) My husband gave it to my for our anniversary in June.


Favorite Thing You Pinned:
My favorite thing I pinned was this collection of Reading Strategies posters from "One Happy Teacher" We've been spending A LOT of time talking about different reading comprehension strategies and have focused on each of these during Reading Groups each week. I love how colorful, clearly written, and practical these are:

Strategies....FREEBIE!


Favorite Blog Post:
My favorite movie this year was "Back to School Night"
It was from when I first started blogging and I was first intermingling my original ideas with those of other wonderful bloggers.



Favorite Accomplishment:My favorite accomplishment was being named BrainQuest's Teacher of the Month in August! It was a joy to share how I make learning an adventure each day in my classroom :)
Check out my winning essay here.

Favorite Picture:
My favorite picture:
This is a very typical scene in my life :) My husband and I were apple picking with his family and he got a little goofy.

Favorite Memory:My favorite memory of this year was going to Lee, MA  for a mother-daughter getaway weekend for my birthday! We stayed at the Chambery Inn, which is an old schoolhouse-turned-bed-and-breakfast. We relaxed, played hours of Scrabble, went to the movies, and shopped til we dropped at the Outlet Mall!

 

Goal for 2013:My goal for 2013 is to live more generously. I want to give, not only money, but also my time to those who need it. I want to invest myself in someone or something so that the love of Christ can be spread.

One Little World:
One word: JOY


I'm linking up with "A Turn to Learn" for her weekly "What Did They Say?" Linky party. It's such a wonderful idea - sharing memorable quotes/funny stories that we hear from our kiddos all day long.

What Did They Say!?
When I did my student teaching in second grade, I sent a weekly email (before blog!) to friends and family called "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Even now, teaching fifth grade, I hear things that make me laugh right out loud every day! :)

Here's one from my class this week:

We were discussing a journal entry: "If you had a private jet that would take you anywhere you wanted to go, where would you choose and why?"

One of my students was chewing on his pencil, tapping it on the table, etc. When I went over to see why he wasn't writing, he said, "Mrs. Lawler, I just can't make up my mind...Should I choose Fiji or Dorney Park?" 

  
OR
 

I told him I'd choose Fiji in a heartbeat :)

Go on over and link-up to share your memorable quotes from this week!

A Look at 2 New MATH Units: Cookies for Santa...Addition and Multiplication


I wanted to highlight two new products in my TpT store, which are Common Core Aligned and just in time for the holidays!

They're Common Core Aligned MATH activities that engage students during the final days before Christmas and reviews math facts (addition and multiplication). It can be used as a partner game, an individual assignment, or a math center activity. 

It can be used in a variety of classrooms - it may look a little young, but I plan to use it with my fifth graders - they can definitely still use the practice! I think they will benefit from the review and it will help me see what differentiation I need to implement in the new year.

Each 8-page packet includes:
  •        Cover sheet (with directions)
  •        12 cookie game pieces
  •        1 game board (with 2 Santa plates - sorting products or sums)
  •        Recording sheet
  •        Scratch paper
  •        Answer Key
I have made an addition version for younger grades and a multiplication version for the upper grades.

Here are some sample pictures of the MULTIPLICATION packet:






Here are some sample pictures of the ADDITION packet:


Stop by my TpT store to preview these products and many more!