Five for Friday

Happy weekend, everyone! Time for a little Five for Friday love! I'm bringing to you a variety of recaps... from school, to faith, to personal life. Enjoy and hope everyone is doing well!

If you don't follow Proverbs 31 on Facebook, you need to. This was posted a few weeks ago, and spoke volumes to me. We are all trying to make changes, do a gazillion things at once, etc. This is profound because we need to remember to start small. Take small steps to get where you are going. You can't and won't do it all at once.

Get on up and DANCE!! I'm telling you... dancing on your table is liberating and fun! How could you make this happen in your classroom? Not only do I dance on the table, but I stand on them to give the students directions, teach, and get their attention. They love it! They also seem to listen more when I'm standing on the table or chair. Like it said above, start small. Maybe you're not ready to get up on the table, so try a chair!

Standing on a chair does wonders... for this lesson, I was able to see what all groups were doing from this point of view. It really was helpful and the kiddos love it. Have you tried Kahoot yet? If you haven't, you need to do it right away!! It is free and super easy to use.

In 5th grade, we have been spending a lot of time working on our annotations. Earlier this week, we started reading Arachne. First, we did our annotations. We went through the first page together to ensure that the students could see what this should look like. I modeled my thinking while reading, to show them how I stopped after every few sentences to annotate. From there, they worked with partners to annotate the rest. Next, we will move into "Texting the Plot" and determining the different components of plot from this story.

California, you may have my heart. 

I hadn't been there in years, and was reminded why I loved it so much.  My girlfriends and I took a trip to visit a friend, and while there, we ran a half marathon. It was such a wonderful weekend full of food, laughing, hiking, relaxing, and more dancing! We took over 400 pictures of the beautiful scenery and can't stop talking about our time there. I can't wait to get back there...

As you enter this weekend, take some time for you and enjoy the scenery. 


The NOW Year

Hey, everyone! Two posts in less than 7 days, say WHAT??? (woot woot!) I'm telling ya, I made that schedule for myself and I'm sticking to it!

A few weeks ago in church, they talked about the seasons of our lives. Not sure about you, but in the last year, I think I have experienced them ALL. I want to take you through each, and decide where you are. Then, think about how you can take the season you are currently in and make it your NOW year.

When I think about my life, I'm currently in Spring. I feel a lot of hope and excitement about what is to come. However (get ready for some real talk) it took me almost a year to get there. If you know me well, I am a pretty happy, calm, outgoing person who usually is in summer all the time! Well, this last year knocked me on my behind. I went through some personal things, and was in the season of winter for what seemed like an eternity. Then, the clouds started to part, and I could feel fall coming. As mentioned, fall felt a little shaky, but I was starting to let go of what I experienced in winter. Finally, over the summer, (the real one... haha) spring came through. A restoration of hope and clarity came through for me, and let me tell you... it. felt. good. Just like the actual spring, I could feel things blooming. It is refreshing and I'm learning how to embrace it.

Thinking about it all, made me realize that no matter which season you may be in, you have to weather the storm and know the sun will come shining through. I know it may not feel like it for some time, but I promise... it will.

Yes, the NEW YEAR is here, but try to not think about it as a NEW YEAR. Instead, think of it as your NOW YEAR. What are you going to do in the NOW? How are you going to be present? How are you going to take whatever situation you are currently in and make it the best for YOU. None of us have a perfect past. None of us know what the future holds. But what you do know is what is happening NOW, so embrace it.

Listen to this song... it really helped me. I'm also so thankful for my church. They seem to really get me, week after week! Love you all!


Five for Friday

First of all, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I haven’t had a chance to blog since I went to the Ron Clark Academy in November. (can you believe I’m still flying high from that trip?) As you all know, and I feel like I say this at the beginning of every blog post, things just get so busy. Have you ever changed grade levels and had to start new with everything that you do? Well, that’s my current predicament. It’s a good one to have because I get to create everything, but it sucks away a lot of my time. With that being said, I figured the best way to give you a little update on what’s been going on is to participate in one of my favorites, “Five for Friday.” 

Check out what’s been going on in the life of Crystal… 

My Teachers Pay Teachers store has also been neglected. Don’t you worry, I’ve been creating a TON, just haven’t posted the final products yet. Right now, my store is mostly geared towards 2nd grade. However, when I moved grades (5th grade literacy, writing, and social studies) I had to start creating some new things. Do I have any upper grade teachers out there? Since I’m rather new at this, I wanted to make sure all items are “kid tested” prior to me posting them. Here is a sneak peek of some covers that will be making their debut in my store very, very soon… 

This product is actually already posted! 

I’m weeks away from my fifth half marathon. Over the MLK long weekend, I’ll be taking a girls’ trip to San Diego to run the Carslbad Half Marathon. But guess what? My training has also been put on the back burner. Are you noticing a trend yet? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve ran here and there, but nothing like the way I used to train. (My last full marathon really did me in.) However, I have this little guy that I run for. He is my motivation. He pushes me to keep going. My godson, Bennett, was born with Spina Bifida. So, when I hit the 9 mile "wall," this little guy will be in my mind reminding me that I GET to do this. 

Do you ever feel like you are constantly waiting for something? I know for me, waiting is always present in my life. Awhile back, a friend of mine had posted about this devotional she was reading. When I saw the title, I knew I had to purchase it. Along with scripture and beautifully written words, there is a reflection piece that allows you to really delve deeper to how the idea of waiting may be affecting your life. Check it out here… 

Over break, I was able to travel home to Naples, Florida. This was a bittersweet trip for me, as it was my last Christmas in one of two childhood homes that my father built. I managed to make it through tear free, but I’m sure when I head back over the next couple months before the move, that won’t be the case. Have you experienced this? I had so many memories flooding through my mind while there: holidays, prom, high school sweetheart, sleep overs with my friends, laughs with my family, and the list goes on. I never loved the beach, but I found myself relaxing there and by the pool more than ever! I took the time to shut off my brain, and take time for me. I highly recommend you try it! 

Goals. Goals. Goals. I have so much I want to do and so little time. I want to travel. I need to blog more. I want to create more. I have meet ups and conferences I want to attend. I am trying to get back to the Ron Clark Academy. I want to spend more quality time with my friends and family. I want to have me time. I need to get into a better work out schedule. How in the world do we do it? Well, I’ve decided to create some goals for myself, and I want to share them with you. I’ve created this template and I’m going to REALLY REALLY try to keep with it. (Personally, I went ahead and planned out the whole month of January.) The goal of my blog was to help teachers find balance. We all need it. So, if you want to try and do the same, feel free to download the template here. I hope this helps you! 

2015 was quite the year for me. I’m thankful for everything that happened, and pretty pumped to see what 2016 brings. I wish you all nothing but the best!