Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm definitely in my zone...

Aaah...I've been so excited to be back in a school this past week and hear kids in the hall and smell the laminating machine and feel the warmth of stacks of paper as I grab them from the copy machine.  This week has been a whirlwind!  I arrived at my new school early on Tuesday morning and walked into my new classroom.

No student desks or tables!  It was pretty empty, except for this extremely random find:

Yes, those are 8tracks and yes, that is Barbra Streisand.  And no, I did not take them home to rock out.

So I spent Tuesday de-cluttering and forming a game plan for room arrangement and decoration.  Then I worked like crazy the rest of the week to pull something together.  It's  not exactly how I'd like it, but it will do for now and I'll just keep spiffing it up as I go along...

I have a SmartBoard, which I'm pretty pumped about!  And only 18 kids in my class!  I've NEVER taught fewer than 25 kids.  Ever.  The last year I taught, I had 32 kindergartners.  Yikes!  I mean, it's doable {I lived through it.  Barely.} but definitely not ideal.

The third grade team is departmentalized and they added me in to the mix about a month after school started.  So there's one teacher doing math, one teacher doing reading, and then I will be teaching spelling, supplementing with additional math curriculum {Do the Math} and teaching phonics to one group and focusing on vocabulary with another group.  A little bit of everything!  I'm used to ONLY teaching math, so I'm pretty excited to get to teach reading too!  I will be using Fountas and Pinnell with my phonics group and am looking for good resources to teach vocabulary and context clues to my other group.  Please share if you have something fabulous or know of something fabulous!

This weekend I finally got to create something that was NOT in Times New Roman font.  Aaahhh... I've missed my fun fonts and clip art.  I made a fun little book to go with our study of consonant blends this week.

{Sheesh.  I feel like my photography skills leave much to be desired.  My apologies!  Trying to be quick with a pic from the trusty iPhone.}

Anywho, y'all will still love me regardless of my photography skills, right?  Especially since I'm posting this little booklet as a freebie!  Grab your copy here.

On top of all of this new job excitement, it's also my birthday!  So now I'm off to find some icing cake to eat and presents to open.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.  I can't wait for tomorrow-next week will be my first full week teaching!  Hopefully the kids don't eat me alive. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back in the saddle...

Hello there again!  It's just been a little over a month since I've posted.  Which is a major improvement for me.

Anybody remember a little over a year ago when I left my teaching position to explore some other options?  Well guess what, my friends?  The grass isn't greener on the other side.  When you're a teacher, you're a teacher and that's all there is to it.  I've been missing teaching for a while and really got the itch to get back in the game a month or so ago.

Sooo....  Ms. Preppy is officially returning to the classroom as a third grade teacher!  And I couldn't be happier!  Tuesday will be my first day and I am PUMPED to be back in a school with a bunch of sweet kids and some awesome co-workers.  I have missed so many things about teaching and can't wait to soak it all back in.

I took a little trip down memory lane last night and read through all of the fun I used to have as a teacher...

I loved giving my students amazing advice.  Like, "Your nose is not an all you can eat buffet."

I forgot how often I used to say things and then wonder, "Seriously?!  Did those words just come out of my mouth?  I mean, did I REALLY just ask a five-year-old why she has a belly button ring in her mouth?!"

Once upon a time when I was a teacher, I made all kinds of catch-phrases happen, such as "WYDTIFOJB" {Would You Do That in Front of Justin Bieber?}

I have missed giving the "everyone passes gas" speech.  And trying not to crack up while giving it.  Because let's face it, sometimes it's just funny.

I used to feel like Bill Cosby in his "Brain Damage" sketch.  Daily.  I've lived the whole brain damage phenomenon in a very different way over the past year.  Like the brain damaged were the people I worked with.  They said "seen" instead of "saw" and "was" instead of "were."  Made this teacher's skin crawl.  

There's just nothing better than having adventures in primary and polka dots.  And I am oh so glad to be back in the land of elementary teacher funness.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stay {I Missed You}

Oh, hi.

Is this thing on?  Is there anybody out there?

Crickets, I’m sure.  Oh well.  I’d talk to a brick wall, so here goes nothing.

My last blog post was in November.  That was very many moons ago.  I’m afraid I kind of suck at this blogging thing.  And for that, I express my deepest, most sincere apologies.

But here I am.   Not so secretly wishing that I was going back to school shopping and picking out a theme for my classroom and wondering about the 25 {psht, who am I kidding…32!} new friends that would be there to greet me on the first day of school.  Last year I was just SO! PUMPED! about my new job that I hardly noticed all of the back to school funness that I was missing.  But this year I’m noticing.  And it makes me a little sad.  I kind of want to put up a bulletin board in my living room.  But I don’t think my new landlords would go for that.  Oh yeah.  I moved.  To a deluxe apartment in the sky.  No, really.  I totally got lucky and scored a superfab downtown apartment overlooking the river.  If I liked to entertain, I could have some really awesome parties on my deck.  But I’m just too tired after the work week to have a party.  So that’s not currently happening.  Someday…

In other news, I have finished the requirements to sit for my BCaBA exam.  Woot, woot.  Anyone out there in blogland taken this?  Or maybe you’re preparing to take it?  We should form a support group.  I’m not a fan of tests.  Especially major exams that are somewhat life or death.  Well, I probably won’t really die if I fail it.  I’ll just be really disappointed.  And have to shell out more money to take it again.

Speaking of behavior analysis, I really can’t wait until the FBI contacts me to go work for the BAU.  Because that’s totally what I do: criminal profiling.  Not.  But that’s what most people think I do when I tell them I’m a behavior analyst.  Thank you, Criminal Minds.

What I really do is spend my days with a bunch of little people who have autism. It’s pretty fun.  They’re all unbelievably cute and lovable.  Until they try to bite you.  And then it’s more like Shark Week and you’re running for your life.  So far I've made it out with all of my limbs.  Whew.

I have a couple of new friends who have extensive vocabularies.  And by extensive vocabulary, I mean they can drop the F-bomb like a rapper.  It’s quite shocking to hear a five year old say, “What the f--- are you looking at?!”  But after a few weeks of “F---! F---! F---!” being screamed fifty million times in the span of 2 hours, I don’t even notice it anymore.  It’s just like hearing someone say, “Have a nice day!”

 My days are never dull, that’s for sure.  But sometimes {like during the SUMMER}, I wish they were dull…that way I could be at the pool with my teacher friends.   I was born a teacher.  Which means I was born to take a little break during the summer months and an even littler break in the fall and at Christmas and in the spring.  The only breaks I’m getting now are called the weekend.  And they’re not long enough.  BUT….

If I wasn't working all year round, I would have a list T-H-I-S long of stories to tell you people.  Stories about weaves on coffee tables and people swimming down the sidewalk and spider infestations and parents who think I’m also a bank and so many more.

So stay tuned.  Ms. Preppy is back and she has stories to tell!

{She also feels like she needs a new name.  She’s not having adventures in primary and polka dots anymore…  More like adventures in underage cussing.  But that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.}     

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


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.


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.