Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gearing up for Cyber Monday!


Is your wishlist a mile long like mine?!  I've loaded up with clip art and fonts and other fun things.  Can't wait grab all of my goodies tomorrow!

Button by: Ashley Hughes
 
I've been MIA in the TpT world, but I did manage to bundle up five of my best selling books into one download at a discounted price!  This set includes Santa, Santa books about flat shapes and 3D shapes and Snowman, Snowman books about flat shapes, 3D shapes, and number words. 
 

Alright, go get your shop on!  Check out Blog Hoppin' to take a look at other awesome stores that are having sales Monday and Tuesday!
 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gobble, Gobble! {freebie and a flash sale!}

It's that time of year again!  The holiday season has been in full swing for months now at Target and I've been blasting my Christmas music since it got cold enough for a jacket.  Aaah, I love the holidays!  Food, family, food, vacation, food...  This vegetarian just loves a holiday centered around a turkey.  NOT.  Thank God for tofurkey.  Tastes just like the real thing.  I think.  I really couldn't tell you.  It's been almost 10 years since I've eaten meat, so I really don't know.  Any other veggie friends out there?  Have a killer Thanksgiving recipe for me?  Not that I cook, but it's nice to know I have options.

This Thanksgiving my entire family is most definitely thankful for the fact that my brother landed back in the states within the past few days and won't have to go back overseas!  He headed out early this year on his first {and hopefully only} deployment to Afghanistan.  He will spend some time in Texas before coming back home in a few weeks.  Hopefully they will take good care of him there with a yummy Thanksgiving meal!

To celebrate with you all, here's a little freebie {originally posted last year, but I bet everyone's slept since then and there are more blogger buddies now!}:

And, plus, also...

Just in case you're looking for something to do during your short week next week...some of my favorite Thanksgiving activities are now only $1 until 10pm central time tonight!!  {This one's for all my last-minute buddies out there.}

Counting Cornucopia- Your kids will have fun practicing their numbers to 10 and representing each number in multiple ways!

Turkey Teens- Perfect way to practice using ten frames, writing numerals, and drawing representations of numbers from 10 to 20!
 
Fact Family Feast- Fun game to practice fact families!
 
 
Oh wait, don't go yet!  I need help.  My computer crashed...and inside my computer was my original files of all of my products, my fun fonts, my fabulous clip art, my images of all of my products, um, basically EVERYTHING.  What's a girl to do?  Any ideas? 
 
And for the love!  Does anyone have Windows 8 and know how to use it?  I'm not adjusting very well.  If all else fails, I'm hitting that Windows button, but I know there has to be a better way.  Help a girl out!
 
{Sign-ups for Holly Bloggy Christmas end next week!  Get signed up now if you haven't already!}
 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Normal

I'm not going to lie to you people.

Leaving teaching was hard.

It was hard because I loved my kids.

It was hard because I loved my co-workers.

It was hard because I loved school supplies and the first day and a new class list and all of the smiles and hugs and watching the kids play school during inside recess and pretend to be me and mimic all of my mannerisms to a T.

It was hard because I have never been in the real world.  Never held a "real" job.  I went straight from being a student to being a teacher.  Never worked during the summer.  Or on a break.  Or on a snow day.  Lord help me the first time it snows and I actually have to leave my house to go to work.  I'll probably take a vacation day because when it snows {even a slight dusting}, I must be at home in pajamas with hot chocolate watching Lifetime.  It's just part of who I am.

But...

This so-called real world job of mine is a lot like teaching.  Only better because I can leave for lunch.

There are kids.  That I love.  Dearly.  They're different from my kids at school.  I never really had a true special needs child in my classroom.  I never had kids with severe behavior outbursts that will bite you, swelling your arm to about four times its original size and leaving you sitting in a doctor's office being told that you might be ok or you might have permanent nerve damage or a permanent bite mark indentation in your forearm.  Luckily I ended up on the "OK" side of things.  And I definitely never encountered a two year old with big brown eyes and the sweetest smile that is a tad bit of a genius, but tantrums for an hour when you don't let him put his letters in order.  {I know, how dare us make the sweet boy cry!}  But these kids are pretty amazing and I don't know that I could work with typically developing children ever again because well, autism is a challenge.  And I love a challenge. 

There are co-workers.  That I laugh with all day.  But now I have to manage them.  And sometimes that can be worse than dealing with 30 kindergartners.

And there are school supplies and first days.  And these first days happen constantly because more and more kids need us every day.

And I love what I do.  And I didn't miss being off over the summer.  I didn't even completely realize that I was working while others were off.  Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

And today I really loved my job.  I went into a teacher store for the first time since not being a teacher anymore.  It felt like home.  I went a little crazy.  My co-worker saw a side of me she never had before.  My creativity was back and I was all, "Dude, I can totally make this!" and "We can come up with so many games that are like this, but with different skills and ability levels!" and I think I may have scared her a little with the ideas that I was firing off.  And it so made me feel normal again.  The bulletin board paper and the pocket charts and the Mailbox books.  It brought me back and made me miss teaching for sure.

But then I remembered staff meetings.

And ARC meetings.

And ridonkulous emails about nothing.

And the eleventy million changes that took place daily that were all allegedly for the greater good.

And how I was constantly guilted into doing any and everything because, you know, it was "for the kids."

And early morning duty.

And lack of discipline at the administrative level that caused mass chaos at times.

And professional development days.  {Praise JESUS that I don't have to go to useless trainings anymore!}

Suddenly I didn't miss teaching nearly as much anymore!  But I left that teacher's store so inspired to make all of these awesome games and resources to go along with what I do now.  And I'm super pumped to start working on it and sharing it with you all!  Tonight is like a normal night: TV, popcorn, clip art, fun fonts, and creating.  First time I've dusted off my fun fonts and clip art in a LOOONNNGGG time.  I am ready to use a font other than Times New Roman again {and all God's teacher bloggers said, "AMEN!"}. 

I feel like I need to change my name from Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots to Ms. Preppy's Adventures in ABA and Polka Dots...but that doesn't sound nearly as good...  What's a girl to do?!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holly Bloggy Christmas: Part Deux

Here we are again!  It's mid-November and after some arm twisting Sarah and I are back and ready to spread Christmas cheer through the teaching blog land!

We're going all thematic on you this year with Holly Bloggy Christmas 2012: My Favorite Things!

Grab button for Holly Bloggy Christmas

I know you can't hardly wait to use your Oprah voice and give your partner a brand!new!MAC lip gloss!  {I think that everyone should video themselves packing their partner's gift and using their Oprah voice.  Seriously.  How fun, right?!  Bonus points to anyone who actually does it for their reveal post.}

All of the details are over at the Teacher Blogger Exchange blog, but here are some basics:

Sign ups start right now and end on November 26th.  So get signed up and spread the word so that no one can say they didn't hear we were doing it!

You will pack up a super fab gift for your partner with all of YOUR favorite things (a $15 limit, not including shipping)!  I mean, I don't know how anyone lives without Dr. Jart's BB Cream, but I'm sure some of you have never tried it.  And that's a shame.  So that's what I might share with my partner.  And then she would wonder how she lived before I introduced her to it and she would be so grateful for having me as her partner!  Basically, we are going to change the world with Holly Bloggy Christmas this year.  {more like boost the economy with all of the product addictions that are sure to occur after we open our gifts...}

Make sure that you take a picture {or video a la Oprah!  I'm serious, people.  Bonus points.} before you send out your gift so that you can write a post for our linky party on Christmas day.

This is probably the most important part: mail your gift by December 10th and get a shipping confirmation.  Everyone MUST send us a shipping confirmation number.  We don't like getting emails saying someone's gift never came.  It makes us so sad.  You don't want us to be sad, do you?  There's an easy solution--send us the confirmation so that we can send it on to your partner to ease their minds! 

Then the worst part happens.  You have to wait until Christmas to open your special gift.  NO peeking!

On Christmas day, everyone will link up a post you write about your favorite things that you sent to your partner.  Go ahead and show your partner some bloggy love with a link to their blog too!

Oh wait, there's more!

We are also offering the opportunity to sponsor a giveaway during the exchange.  If you would like to give away one of your favorite things (must have a value of at least $10), please email us along with a guest post {include your blog button, store links, information about you} about your favorite thing.  Email this by November 26th too!

All Holly Bloggy emails should go to teacherbloggerexchange{at}gmail{dot}com.




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Long time gone...

Has it really been since July?!  No way!

That's a long time, my friends.

Wait.

Do I even still have any friends out here in blog land?

Oh, I hope so.

I've been completely immersed in a completely different world for the past few months.  Gone are the days of RTI and PBS and SST and Aimsweb and morning duty and discipline notices...  Now I toss around words like latency and frequency and duration and ABLLS and LRFCC and VB-MAPP and cumulative graph. {Anybody else out there into Applied Behavior Analysis?!}  And my non-teacher friends and family had JUST learned all of my teacher lingo.  Now they're back at square one trying to learn ABA lingo.  Bless their hearts for trying to keep up with me.

I'm back in school {surprise, surprise!} earning my board certification in behavior analysis {so I can go work with the FBI in the BAU...} and I'm also supervising two clinics.  So needless to say, I've been a smidge busy and my little blog has been very neglected.  Today I started missing my blog and jumped on here and saw that people still read it.  What?!  Shocking, I know.  So I thought I'd pop in and say HI!  I have missed all of you fabulous people.  I have to start blogging and pinning again!  I'm starting to type in default fonts only and well, that just can't continue to happen.  I am not a Times New Roman kind of girl, but I'm afraid I'm becoming one in the absence of my super fab teacher friends.  I need an intervention! 

I also realized that it is November.  And that starting up Holly Bloggy Christmas again slipped my mind.  Last year we started taking sign ups a lot earlier than this.  Think there's still time to make it work?!  Any ideas for a quick swap?  That was one of my favorite parts of last Christmas!  Thoughts?



Monday, July 2, 2012

I've Got My Eye on U {Review & Giveaway!}

I recently came across these absolutely adorable bracelets called Eye on U Bands.  Look how cute they are:


They're so fun and colorful!  They were designed to promote positive relationships and traits among kids.  Each band has a different color and meaning.  For example, the yellow one is called "Lucky Duck Yellow" and should be shared with a friend to wish them good luck on a test or game.  How cool is that?!  Kids love trading these with their friends and using them to encourage each other.  I let some of my kiddos trade these bands for a week and they absolutely LOVED them.  It was so great to see them encouraging each other and picking out the different colors to give to their friends.  It created such a positive environment!

Guess what?!  The awesome people over at Eye on U Bands are giving away a set of 6 bands to one lucky winner!

Here's how you can enter this fun giveaway:
-Like Eye on U Bands on Facebook.  (Mandatory entry)
-Head over to their website and check out the different color bands.  Then comment and tell us which band you would share with your best friend and why.
-Follow me on Facebook.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will close on Saturday, July 7th at midnight.  I will announce the winner on Sunday, July 8th.  

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review on my blog.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own and may differ from others.  This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop!

I don't know about you, but I'm super excited about today's Blog Swap and Hop!  You can find me over at The Convenient Teacher today!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to post on Ms. Preppy.  I love Caitlin's blog and when I made the arrangements for this blog swap, I sorta, might have, selected myself to go onto her blog because I love it so much.  But then, it came time to write my post.  I froze.  I blanked.  Not only do I have big shoes to fill, but now she's an ABA therapist.   That means that I should talk about behavior management or something, right?    Well, I've done a couple of those lately, and I'm kinda tapped out.  So, I tried to brainstorm for some common ground.

Organization!  Doesn't it seem like no matter what, we all could be better organized?  When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher used folders to keep herself organized.  She had a different folder for every day and she would store things in those folders.  I loved that idea!  I decided to use letter trays myself.  I have a different tray for each day, and since they come in packs of 3, I have a spare one for long term files.  My desk is still a disaster, but it's the best system I could think of.  I created some file folder labels for you if you'd like to try that system out.  I have a black and white one and a pink and green one since I know color printing isn't always an option for some people.  And they're polka dots because, well, I'm a big fan of polka dots!  Click on the pictures to download the file.

Last year, I started the year with a calendar that I wrote to do lists on.  Then I started using little yellow pads.  No matter what, I never could keep a system going.  I had post it notes all over the computer with reminders.  I don't want to be a disorganized mess this year.  My position is changing and it won't be as crazy (please don't let it be as crazy!) and so I've resolved to be clean and organized!  I created this weekly sheet that I think may help me.

Again, I created a color version and a black and white version.  I like having a To Do list because I love crossing things off.  Don't we all?  I want to put the dates on the bottom with information on important things that week or in the next week or two.  And I want to use the follow up circle for things I need to follow up on from previous weeks.  Plus, there's a little bit of space left over for notes if I need to throw a phone number or something down.  The files are images.  That way you can right-click and save the file.  Then you can paste it into Publisher, Word, or whatever program you prefer, insert a text box, and then type straight onto it.  I like to have my lists written out by hand, but I know many of you prefer the neatness of typing.  

Finally, a while back I bought myself a super fancy Erin Condren planner with some super coupons.  I hope to spend some time this year figuring it out, planning things out, and getting my money's worth.  If you haven't seen those planners, go check them out.  Tons of people love them.

I hope I've given you some resources that you can use to get organized now and for the next school year!

Tessa Maguire is a former reading teacher and differentiated instruction coach.  She currently is in a dual role administration and curriculum coaching position.  She spends her days helping her K-3 teachers find what works best for them and their students.  She blogs about the resources she finds and creates and she shares tips and strategies for effective instruction.  You can find out more information on her blog Tales from Outside the Classroom: http://talesfromoutsidetheclassroom.blogspot.com








Sunday, June 17, 2012

When in Doubt: Ignore!

Now that I'm out of the classroom and working as a behavior therapist, I'm able to utilize something I've always been good at: ignoring.  It's in my job description to ignore.  Never thought that would happen!

A kid is throwing a fit?  Ignore.

Now they're waving their hands in your face?  Ignore.

And then they start banging a toy on the table?  Ignore.


I do a pretty decent amount of ignoring every day.  And the fits and noises and banging of toys are easy to ignore.  But let me tell you what's NOT easy to ignore: hilarious repetitive questions and statements.  One of my new friends frequently engages in repetitive questions and statements.  A lot.  And they typically require me to turn my head for a second while I regain composure.  On Friday we were working and all of a sudden he blurted out, "Friskies Seafood Sensations.  Feed the Senses."  And he said it just the same as the commercial.  And I had to turn away.  And then he repeated it 6 more times.  And I had to turn away.  Six. More. Times.  Here's a snippet of the commercial, just in case you want the full effect.


Can you imagine having to ignore that?  It was hard!  I'm getting better at the whole no smiling or laughing thing. But I still have some work to do.

What's the funniest thing you've had to ignore in your classroom?  Or the funniest thing you should have ignored, but couldn't control your laughter?


Sunday, June 3, 2012

What a {first} day!

It's been about two weeks since starting my new job as an ABA therapist (applied behavior analysis), and I must say...it's a blast!  It's also probably the closest I'll ever get to being a behavior analyst a la Criminal Minds.  I'll take what I can get.  And here's what I've got:

Six kids on my caseload.

Yes.  Six.  Let's compare that to the 90 kids I tackled each day as a teacher.  No comparison, right?  I don't even see all six kids in one day.  Usually just 2 or 3 of them.  I love it. They range in age from 3-17.  And they're all very interesting characters.  I'll share some stories later.  Right now I wanted to tell you a bit about my first day of work:

As I was gathering my things to head out the door and to the office, I got a phone call saying my first kid cancelled.  Great!  First kid on my first day cancels on me!  She hadn't even met me yet and she didn't want to come.  Now that she knows me, I'm sure she doesn't want to miss a session...

Then my next kiddo showed up, we get to know each other {which was interesting considering he's non-verbal and doesn't know any signs yet either} and I quickly discovered he loved to swing.  LOVED to swing.  Even more than that, he loved to SPIN on the swing.  We spun and spun and spun and do you know where this is going?  Why yes, you're right, he did throw up!  Success!

You know what they say... it ain't over til the cute little blondie throws up on his new therapist.  Wait, do they say that?  Well, they do now.  So luckily the day was over after I had a brush with barf.  Now it was time to learn all about the paper work that comes with this new job.  I was sitting in my rolling chair in the office and bent over to plug in my laptop when all of a sudden...BAM!  I was in the floor.  Yes.  That's right.  I completely flipped out of my chair and onto the floor, scraping and bruising my arm on the way down in front of two of my new co-workers.  We decided it would be best to trade my rolling chair in for a chair with four stable legs so I wouldn't be a liability.  It's been two weeks and I still stay away from rolling chairs.

So, yeah...  That was my first day.  Cancellations, vomit, and injuries.  Some people may look at that and think, hmmm...is that a sign?  But me, I love crazy.  It makes for good stories.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Haters to the left

Aren't you all just the sweetest?  I get one nasty comment and my sweet friend Jennifer calls in the troops.  That's what I love about this great community of teacher bloggers.

Unfortunately for Anonymous, I have a really good sense of humor.  Even if I'm a b*%^* who doesn't have a f%$^$%@ life.

My game plan was to delete and move on without mentioning it on here, but then I got this comment.  For your reading pleasure {I bleeped out some naughty words}:


{The comment he removed said, "Come at us b------!!!"}

What I love the most about this is that dear Mathew is all, you're never going to have kids, will for ever be alone {Mathew must not know that for and ever go together here to make forever.  Otherwise it seems like he's getting something for ever.  I don't really know what you get for ever.  I digress.}... and you probably "might" {why did you put might in quotes, Mathew?} be living with your parents {FYI, I don't.  I live on my own.}  Back to what I love most.

Ready?

This part:

"Anonymous is my friend and we are one of the best athletes and smartest people at our high school (we do have a life)."

{Mathew, I put quotes around that because I lifted it from your comment.  That's when you use quotation marks-- in case you were curious.  Who am I kidding?  You're the smartest person at your high school so I shouldn't have to tell you that.  Silly me.}

So let's get this straight:

Anonymous is one of the best athletes at his high school.

Mathew is one of the smartest people at his high school.

And they both have a life.

Which is why they were reading a teacher blog.

On a Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Because they have a life.

That makes total sense.

Thanks for the laughs, boys.  Now listen to your mothers and go clean your rooms.  Because you probably "might" still live with your parents.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Little Young Lady Who Was Afraid of Everything

I'm a scaredy cat.  Always have been, always will be.

When I was little, Santa came to visit me at my grandparent's house and it was such a terrifying event for me that I would ask, "Ho Ho coming?", anytime I walked past their front door for a long time after that fateful Christmas day.

As a teenager, when all of my friends were getting their driver's licenses, I was bumming rides because I was absolutely petrified of being behind the wheel.  I know, right?  Way weird.  I didn't get my license until I was 18.  Maybe even 19.  I don't remember exactly when.  All I remember is that it took threats of being forced to use city transportation from my parents before I broke down and learned how to drive the route from home to school to work.  I've gotten better about driving, but I still don't drive unfamiliar roads and I definitely don't turn across traffic or drive on the busiest street in town.  I know...the crazy--it runs deep.

My friend Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade keeps after me to see the movie Fear because she thinks I need some more exposure to Mark Wahlberg...  Well, I'm afraid to see that movie because it's called Fear.  HELLO?!  I'm afraid.  Why would I want to watch something called Fear?!  That doesn't make any sense!

Today I was packing up my classroom and I came across this book:
  

I should probably start calling myself The Little Young Lady Who Was Afraid of Everything.  My Nana gave it to me when I was in kindergarten. Now, the majority of my classroom library consists of books given to me by my Nana.  She was a kindergarten teacher.  And like any good kindergarten teacher, she gives books for gifts.  And they all have inscriptions.  This is what's inside:


And as I sat there with that book, those words, and the boxes, I realized...

I am brave.

Brave enough to take a risk.

Brave enough to change.

Brave enough to do something for myself.

Brave enough to start a new chapter.

Brave enough to leave teaching.  Which is something I never thought I would do.  I've been a teacher since I was four years old, with stuffed animal students and lessons that were a repeat of whatever my preschool teacher had done that day.

But sometimes things change.  I resigned from my teaching job a couple of weeks ago to take a new position as a behavior therapist.  I'm going to spend my days working one on one with special needs children.  And I couldn't be happier about the change.  I wasn't actively searching for something else.  It just fell in my lap.  In such a way that I couldn't say no.

There is such a bittersweetness to these last few days of school.  I am so excited to start something new.  But I am so sad to leave my babies and the girls who have truly become my family over the past three years.  And I'm probably going to suffer from withdrawals during back to school shopping time.  But like I said, I am excited and it truly was laid out in such a way that saying no would have led to regrets.  And I'm way too young to have any of those.

Ms. Preppy definitely won't be dealing in primary anymore.  But I'm sure I will have plenty of kid stories to share and maybe even some resources that I use with my therapy kiddos.  And I have some other blogging/writing plans in the works right now!  But I couldn't keep you guys in the dark any longer about this big change!  I hope it kind of explains some of my absence around here.  Wrapping up the school year and trying to pack everything up is just wearing me out!  Will you guys come over for a packing party?  I need some help.  Because you see, I'm also afraid of throwing things away...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In case you haven't heard...

There's a ginormous sale going on over at TpT!  Everything in my store is 20% off!  Use the promo code to get an additional 10% off!


I was excited to find the time to update some of the items in my TpT store to include 3D shapes!







Happy shopping!  I know my cart is FULL...and I keep finding more!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Thousand Little Things

It's been a long time, friends.  A. Long. Time.

But here I am!  Aren't you glad?!

Whew.

We are in state testing mode.  And last 9 days of school mode.  And my air isn't working again mode.  Basically, survival mode.  And I could probably write you a book filled with snark and complaints and insanity.

But--

This popped up in my Facebook feed the other day and I listened to it.  And it is upbeat.  And happy.  And good.  And who couldn't use a little something upbeat, happy, and good?  It also reminded me that there are a thousand little things that make my heart smile every single day.  Even when my classroom is 83 degrees and the kids are bouncing off the walls because OMG, did someone say SUMMER?!

Listen.

Now.  I would so love to list the thousand little things that make my heart smile.  But we'd all be here forever if I did that.  So how about I just pick ten?

The first sip of a Sonic cherry coke at happy hour after a long day.  I close my eyes for it and let out a little Aaah afterward.

Watching my students blush after they realize they just slipped up and called me mommy.

Putting on my eyeliner just right.  {That is one thing I just cannot do consistently.}

Hearing my teammates fill the hall with laughter...and the anticipation that builds as I make my way to the door to figure out what has happened now.

Finding actual mail in my mailbox instead of junk or bills.

Realizing the outfit I chose to wear doesn't need to be ironed.

A Saturday with no plans.

Light bulb moments--for myself, my students, or just anyone.

Finding little pockets of time to clean out my DVR and catch up on my favorite shows.

A good hair day.

What about you?  What are some of the little, everyday things that make you happy?  Maybe if we all share, we can get to a thousand!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Sense of Teen Numbers: Freebie!

Once upon a time I posted these lovely little number representation cards with numbers one through ten.


Well, I had a few people email me asking if I would make some for teen numbers.  So...here they are!  Numbers eleven through twenty.  Click to download.

My kids love it when I pass out all of the cards and then make everyone go find the other representations of their number.  That is such a big focus of our math series, so it's great practice for them!  Hope you can find some use for them!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Let me introduce you to my alter ego...


...Ms. Snarky.  She's going to come out to play today because well, Ms. Preppy is feeling a little bit snarkalicious today.  Please be nice to her.

Mrs. Mimi of It's Not All Flowers and Sausages was my introduction to the teaching blog world way back when I was in college {I say that like it was soo long ago} and when her book came out, I was first in line at my local Barnsey {that's Mrs. Mimi speak for Barnes and Noble, if you didn't know} and read it cover to cover.  And laughed the whole time.  I re-read it not so long ago because now that I'm in the classroom, it's even more funny.  There's one thing in her book that I end up discussing with my team at least twice a week.  I'm not sure of the exact quote, but she's talking about parent teacher conferences and how some parents seem to have a million things to do, none of which include actively parenting their child.  I love that.  Actively parenting.  It is not enough to simply feed and clothe your child.  You must actively parent them.  And unfortunately, there are entirely too many parents who aren't familiar with the practice of actively parenting their child.

There are many things involved in this active parenting phenomenon, but one biggie is teaching your child to accept responsibility.  Please explain to me why parents think that all they have to do is call me and explain that there is no way in the world their sweet little one did whatever it is I saw them do with my own two eyes and I'll just cave and apologize profusely and take away or make up for whatever consequence I've given...  Why?  I mean, that just doesn't work.  I saw your child cut another child's hair with their scissors.  I saw that.  It happened.  There's no getting out of it.  Why do you think it's a good move to allow your child to escape accepting responsibility?  How is that setting them up for success in adulthood?

I mean, if I decided to drive in reverse down the highway at 90 miles per hour with all of my doors open and my head poking out of the sun roof, I'm going to get pulled over.  And I'm probably going to get arrested.  Because I'm breaking the law.  And I can't use my one phone call to call my mommy and explain to her how horrible the police are to pull ME over because I wasn't doing anything wrong.  It was a pretty day and I wanted to try something new, is having fun illegal now?  Yes, my mom thinks I'm the cutest, sweetest, smartest person in the world.  But she can't come up to the police department and explain that it was just a little misunderstanding and that I would never do such a thing and could they please not send me to jail or give me a ticket.  That's not going to work in the real world!  But I'm afraid this is what's going to happen to some of my little friends if their parents don't step up and make them accept responsibility for their actions.  It's pretty scary.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I have some amazing parents who work with me and we support each other and it's just beautiful.  But then I have some who just have too much going on to be bothered with the responsibilities of actively parenting their child.  I'm sure we all have at least one or two of those!

So I'm thinking that at back to school night, we don't need to explain our rules for the CHILDREN...we need to explain our rules for the PARENTS.  I'm thinking a looks like, sounds like chart for active parenting.  What do you think?  What does active parenting look like and sound like to you?



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tax Break Sale! 15% off!


Oh boy, oh boy!  I love a good sale, don't you?!  In honor of April 15th, several of us are throwing a 15% off sale in our TpT stores.  I know I'll be shopping like crazy today!


Speaking of taxes...I just finished mine last night.  I have no idea why I wait until the last minute.  It drives me crazy that I do.  It's a lot like how I know my clothes should go in the hamper, but instead I put them on the floor and don't pick them up again until I do laundry.  It would make my life easier if I would just put them in the hamper.  But for whatever reason, I just don't.  I could have gotten my refund back in like, February.  But instead I waited until the last minute.  Again, I have no idea why!  Especially since there's money involved.  Makes zero sense.  I'm going to blame it on the fact that I run around like a chicken with its head cut off most days and by the time I sit down and things slow down for a second, I'm falling asleep.  I know...excuses, excuses.

And speaking of excuses...my lack of blogging as of late is totally because the new Blogger has completely thrown me.  I can only get it to open in Safari.  And I never use Safari on my computer.  It's just different and I don't really like different.  And things are different in Blogger and I start a post and then have to just close my laptop because it stresses me out!  I feel like I need some kind of therapy to get me through this.  Hopefully I'll manage to pull through...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring break's lease hath all too short a date...

My alarm started screaming at me at 5:30 this morning.  It was just plain rude.  I felt a little bit like Veruca Salt {the band, not the brat} and wanted to sing back, "leave me lying here, cuz I don't wanna go..."  but I just hit snooze until 6 and hit the ground running.  It's so hard for me to get back into a routine.  I think it's because it takes me so long to get out of the routine.  I didn't start sleeping in until Thursday.  Stupid internal alarm clock.  Spring break always gives me just a little taste of summer and leaves me wanting more!

I had big plans for my break with great to do lists.  Want to guess how much of it got done?

If you guessed "very little to none", you were right!

I managed to work out every day, shop, pick up some around the house, do laundry, and go to school long enough to get things ready for today.  {So much for trying to plan for the rest of the year...}  I needed another week to get through the rest of the things on my list.  I think maybe the hours in my spring break days were somehow shorter than the hours in my work days?  Kind of like how Saturday and Sunday are significantly shorter than Monday and Tuesday...

Luckily the kids were just as tired as I was today.  They'll warm back up here pretty soon and be back to their usual shenanigans.  Then hopefully I'll have some kid funnies to share with you.  But right now...I need a nap.  I'm sure that most of you who were on spring break with me last week are feeling the same!  I hope that you guys got more accomplished than I did!



Friday, March 30, 2012

Finally...a break!

Ahhh...I'm on day 2 of my much needed spring break.  And I still have a whole entire full week of nothingness!  I'm so excited about sleeping in and being able to pee whenever I want to!  I've been making a Spring Break To Do list ever since Christmas.  Here goes:

-Clean out my closets {yes, closetS. I'm one girl in a two bedroom apartment. Both bedrooms have clothes EVERYWHERE and I need to get it under control.} and either donate or eBay things I don't wear.  It's kind of sickening, but I'd say half of the clothes in my closets still have tags on them or have only been worn once.  I always think I'm going to look sooooo cute in this or that, but when it comes down to it, I spend my days with small children.  They're messy and they hug you even though there's snot all over their face or paint on their hands.  So I end up wearing my school t-shirts pretty much every day to keep my dry cleaning bills down.  And even though it would be very nice of me to donate everything, I just love to eBay it all so I can buy more.  I can't help it.  Do you donate or eBay?  Or a mix of both? 

-Straight up CLEAN my apartment.  It's a hot mess.  Maybe if I can get it all straightened out over break, it will be easier to maintain?  Right? 

-Plan and make copies for the rest of the year.  When I get back from spring break, there will only be 27 days left of school.  I can totally get all of that planned and copied and have things ready for my sweet volunteer grannies to do and then the rest of the year will be smooth sailing.  Hopefully.

-Work out every.single.day.  I totally bought Insanity.  And it is just that.  Insane.  But I kinda like it.  It kinda feels good.  And with all the hard work and sweating I've been doing, I better look AMAZING when the 60 days are over.  I'll be insanely ticked if I don't.

-Blog more!  Things have been so crazy busy around here that I feel like I've been neglecting my blog and all of my favorite blog reads.  I can't wait to catch up!

-Get the Very Pinteresting Spring Exchange organized!  Sign ups end next Wednesday, so I'll spend Thursday getting everyone matched up and emailed!  If you want to participate, head over and check it out.  If you want to host a giveaway, you need to email us by April 1st to be included!  {teacherbloggerexchange at gmail dot com}
So...those are my plans.  What do you want to bet I won't get much of it done at all?!  My DVR is pretty full.  And catching up on Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl sounds sooo much funner than cleaning and planning.  But who knows?  I just might end up being crazy productive and get a bunch of work done. 

Who else is spring breaking it with me this week?  I am so very sorry to those of you who aren't on break right now.  I'll try not to talk about it too much...  But hey, even if you're not on break, at least it's FRIDAY!  Happy Friday!



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Announcing...A Very Pinteresting Spring Exchange!!

Sarah and I are ready for the next exchange!  Head on over to get the scoop.  We hope you'll join the fun!





Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Winner.....and some teacher chat!

So sorry I didn't get to post my winner yesterday!  It was way late by the time I got home and well, I was too tired for the ol' blog.  I know, so sad.  BUT!  Here I am today!  With a winner...

SunshineSandandScissors.blogspot.com

Congrats, Meredith!  Send me an email at mspreppyblog at gmail dot com and I'll get the books right to ya!

I wanted to chat with you about one of my favorite parts of the day.

Lunch.

My team is pretty hilarious.  Like, I think Chelsea Handler should invite us for an all teacher round table.  It's that funny.  Sometimes people in the office come down to our room and tell us we're too loud.  And then we wonder exactly how much they heard...

Anyway, I thought I would share today's lunch experience with you.  I'm warning you that it's going to be jumpy.  And stream of consciousnessy.  Mainly because that's how we roll.  Here goes:

Lunch started when I walked in singing, Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as hiiiiiiigh...take a look, it's in a book, a reading rainbow... Because I was way excited that I found a math themed Reading Rainbow to keep in my back pocket just in case the temperature in my room became mind melting {which it did} and we all needed to take a little breather because OMG, who can work when it's 85.4 degrees in the classroom?? 

{Yes, I showed a video.  Call me a bad teacher if you want, but seriously.  We were all sweaty and I was about to die from heat exhaustion and we were all pretty much fried by 1:45.  Aaannddd...  I totally spent some quality time with TI on my way to school this morning and he was all, you can have whatever you like.  And what I'd like is for my air to be fixed.  But TI lied.  I did not get whatever I like.  That's the last time I'll ever trust a rapper.}

So that's how lunch started.

I ran into one of my teammies at the store the other day and while we were there, we both encountered quite the sight.  So we decided to share our story with the rest of the crew.  We were trying to explain how this lady looked and really, the best thing to do was use TV characters.  And she looked a LOT like Xena, Warrior Princess.  Sooooo tall, amazon-like, super thick and long hair...the whole shebang.  So we've got Xena, Warrior Princess.  Xena was pushing a toddler in a stroller who had these really big scary, sneaky eyes.  Like totally mischievous.  To get the point across, I turned to TV characters again.  This kid was a lot like the baby from that show Dinosaurs.  Only this time, they didn't catch my reference on the first try.  So I had to pick up my imaginary pan and pretend to hit my friend over the head with it while screaming, "Not the momma, not the momma, not the momma!"  Then they got it. 

Anyway, so the whole not the momma bit took us back to our youth.  Now, I'm the baby in the group.  And I'm 24.  One girl is two years older than me and the other is five years older than me.  So when I say youth, you can think Spice Girls, Tamagotchis, Mary Kate and Ashley...  You know, nineties thrills. 

Well, our reminiscing took us to TGIF.  Who remembers TGIF?  All those great shows...Family Matters, Step by Step, Boy Meets World...Aaahh.  Loved TGIF.  LOVED IT.  Now I have to watch my TGIF shows on TV Land. 

Then after TGIF you had SNICK.  You know, Saturday Night on Nick.  Kenan and Kel, All That, Are You Afraid of the Dark... 

So what ever happened to Kel?  We all keep up with Kenan on SNL, but what about Kel?  Did something happen to him?  Is he OK?  Cue a quick iPhone google search at the lunch table.  Kel is fine!  He was even on an episode of Good Luck Charlie recently.  Life can go on.  Oh!  Remember that Good Burger movie?  Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, may I take your order?

At this point we're laughing so hard we're about to pee our pants because Lord knows we haven't been to the bathroom since we left home.  Someone takes a break from laughing to ask, How did we end up here, anyway?

So we work backwards {great strategy}: Good Burger...Kenan and Kel...SNICK...TGIF....Dinosaurs...Not the momma...Xena.  XENA!  Then we look at the clock and guess what?  Our lunch time is up.  Story unfinished.  I'm sure you can tell that the majority of our stories remain unfinished.

Is your lunch like my lunch?  Is your lunch funner than my lunch?  If it is, can I visit?