Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tough Time With Transitions? There's a Go Noodle For That!

Surely you've heard about GoNoodle by now?  Right?  Oh my goodness... I just found this website a few weeks back and my kiddos BEG for it!  Let's be real for a few minutes {can we?}...  there are 20 days of school left and the kiddos KNOW IT.  The teachers KNOW IT.  My first graders are not doing well... and I have great classroom management if I do say so myself (I do say that! bwhahaha}.  My tricks are getting old and I have even almost lost my cool!   Last week the older grades took the state standardized test and we had to stay in our classrooms ALL morning...  no leaving!  All I'm saying is... we needed some inspiration, some motivation, SOMETHING to rescue them {from me!}.  Enter GoNOODLE!
So, what is GoNoodle exactly?  Glad you asked! ;)  GoNoodle is a FREE {that's right, free} brain break resource for teachers to use in the classroom.  It is open to teachers all across the world.  Their website is a one-stop-shop for brain breaks, offering a variety of activities (dancing, running,
deep breathing, etc.) for anytime of the day.  Research shows that bursts of physical activity help kiddos perform better in the classroom.  I think we all know this...  can you say inside recess?  These small humans need to WIGGLE and MOVE!  
My kiddos are OBSESSED with Happy by Pharrell right now and the GoNoodle version has the minions from Despicable Me.  Oh my goodness! They beg for it!  "Mrs. D, can we PLEASE dance to Happy?"  ... and I'm all like, "Well, maybe if we can get our work done well and our noise is pretty low for the next 15 minutes... I'll think about it!"  Or... as we are coming in from our 930 group trip to the restroom {trust no one at the end of the year to go alone...} I will play it as soon as we come in.  They don't have a chance to get off task and in trouble because they are supposed to be moving and laughing.  
Check out the video of my firsties ROCKING out to Happy on the SMART board.  I wish I had a video of them after the song... they went right to their seats and got busy working and it was amazing!  Be strong friends... the end of the year is in sight.  Be sure to check out GoNoodle today.  I suggest looking around on the site at home.. then introducing it to your kiddos!  
PS...  want to see how my Primary Chalkboard peeps are using Go Noodle?  Click HERE to check it out!  We are giving away a PREMIUM membership... so RUN over and check it out!!!  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

There's an App For That...

Hola...  I survived Monday back after spring break.  Heck, I even survived Tuesday.  Tomorrow is hump day so I'm going to go ahead and claim victory on this week!  If you're stopping by for the countdown... we're at 23 more days of school.  That 184 more hours.... just sayin'.

OK... today's post is short and practical.  It is a list of my favorite go to apps.  These are not teaching/teacher/education apps... but more like teacher/mom/wife/woman apps.  These are the apps that I use the most everyday and/or bring me the most joy!  {in no certain order}.  Disclaimer... I have an iPhone so I am not totally sure if there are Android versions of these apps, but it might be worth checking out!

 1.  A Beautiful Mess... this one I use almost every day.  I love to edit pictures with this app.  I like that I can zoom in/out, leave margins, and add text.
2.  Cuptakes...  I use this app at the beginning of every month.  They upload new designs monthly and I really dig their pictures with the monthly calendar.  I make it my lock screen so that I can easily access a calendar during the day!  
3.  Credit Karma... my husband is actually the one who told me about this app.  It's nice to know that it's free and it updates me every week to what my credit score is doing.  I also recently opened a credit card to use on some AC issues at the house (grrrr) and they even emailed me to let me know that there had been an inquiry.  Yeah, I kinda dig that.  
4.  Starbucks... it's no secret that this girl loves her coffee.  I use this app every morning to pay for my coffee but it has also come really in handy when we've traveled and I want to find the closest "fix"...  They also send you free apps to try out and free music.  Score!  
5.  Period Tracker Lite...  not sure that this one qualifies as "fun" but it is really useful.  You know... for when you go to the doctor and they're all, "so when was your last period" and you're all like "2005 maybe?"  ... I can't even remember what we ate for dinner last night... so this app comes in handy.  When my period starts and I am curled up in a fetal position...  I click my app and tell it I'm dying... and VOILA.. it keeps up with my girlness!  So... then when I go to the doctor I look like an amazing record keeper.... HERE... check out my last 17 cycles.  How about that?  ;)  
 6.  Fit Bit... I recently bought a Fit Bit to help me keep up with my daily steps and water intake... and also to find any sleepy (or lack of) patterns.  I have joined a few friends on there and it's neat to compete with them each day for who has the most steps.
 7.  Instagram... again...  DAILY!  I love instagram.  The end.  Do you follow me?  I'm random.  #sorrynotsorry  ....
 8.  Simply Noise... I use this app every night.  I click the PINK noise and turn it up to about 50%...  sleep like a baby.  Not really... but it is calming and I do feel like it makes me fall asleep faster.  Am I crazy?  Who knows!
9.  Total Connect Thermostat... ok... remember above when I talked about the AC (grrrr)?  Remember that?  Ok.. the best part of that yuckiness was getting a new thermostat that I can control on my phone.  That's right... after school I was able to check out the temperature of my house and bumped it down to 70 degrees and by the time I got home.. the house was BLISS!  
10.  I use this app every time I go to the HL!!!!!  No more clipping coupons!  Download this app and all you do is open the mobile coupon, show it to the cashier, and VOILA!  

There you have it... my 10 favorite apps right now!  What is your favorite non-teaching related app(s)?  I hope that y'all had an amazing Tuesday!  Talk to y'all soon!  <3

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Monday After Spring Break Stinks...

No... really it stinks!  Some teachers down the hall decided to dye eggs with the class and the trashcans at the end of the hallway REEK of vinegar!  Bleh!  It also is stinky for other reasons... mainly having to get out of my bed this morning.  I seriously set 2 alarms on my phone, one on my real alarm clock.  Then around 545 I bartered with myself.  It sounded something like this:
Me:  "Your hair isn't that dirty...  set your timer for 15 more minutes."
Me:  "You're totally right...  this is happening."  {sets timer on phone}

Fast forward:  I'm happy to report that I came home and while the hubs took the boys to karate... I got all nice and shiny/squeaky clean.  Monday after a break is HARD,  y'all! 

Did you see this little gem on the Extra Energetic Educator's FB page?  Yeah, I totally fell in love with it and stole borrowed it.  It looks like me, except she's in a skirt... and I don't do skirts. 

In other happy news though... there are only 24 more days of school since today is already done.  That's only 24 more times to wake up to an alarm clock.  I'm kinda excited!  The countdown on my phone tells me that I only have 54 days until my peeps and I leave for a week at the beach.  Woot! 

Countdowns aside... I really did have a great spring break.  A friend and I grabbed our kiddos and headed to the zoo one day, we did pottery painting one day, lots of karate, goldfish cracker eating and SpongeBob marathons.  The boys built some kick butt creations on Minecraft and I made a few things for my classroom and TpT.  We had doctors appointments, dentist appointments, allergy shots, etc.  I really am always genuinely shocked how fast those weeks off go! 

Here's what I posted this week: {any Lulu fans out there?}

This week at school is all about plants and Earth Day.  This is one of those weeks I am super thankful for TpT.  I have never made anything to go with plants or Earth Day.  No problem... just login and do a quick search and VOILA!  I can't even remember what we said was planned for next week, but guess I have the rest of this week to figure that out!  I hope that y'all will have an amazing week... talk to y'all soon!  One more gem for you...  this was me today...  a multiple cup of coffee kinda day!  Can you relate?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's Currently April ... No Joke!

HoLa, friends!  It's the first day of April... you know what that means!  Me and my bloggy friends race to work on and post their Currentlys hosted by Farley!  I am so stinkin' excited that it's April.  This means the end is near!  Truly near!  Without further ado:

Listening: to "Happy" by Pharrell.  I love the message of this song.  I love the beat.  ......and I love that I can play it in my classroom because it is a clean song!  Yay for a popular classroom friendly song.  They beg for it!!!  We like the Go Noodle version with the minions!  Instant mood shifter! :)

Loving: My new obsession with Plated.  It's a meal service that come delivered to your front door with ALL the ingredients that you need to make a gourmet meal.  I made baked gnocchi last week and was quite proud of myself!  Now I can add that recipe card to the others that I know our family loves!  It is a little pricey so I am only planning on having a few meals delivered every month and using it as a date night at HOME with the hubs after the kidlets are asleep!  It came in an insulated box with ice packs so that everything was super fresh.  Click the pictures to go to their website if you're intrigued and watch their video on how it works!
Thinking: about all my summer plans!  I am a planner, list maker, over-analyzer, list re-writer, schedulin' chick!  I have a master plan for my summer.  It goes by so fast and while I want to have lots of lazy days... I also want to be really purposeful with that time!  Excited about my Vegas trip which will balance fun with my bloggy peeps but also professional development (Hello I Teach 1st Conference)!!!  My week at the beach is paid for and I have started buying Publix gift cards so that grocery buying for that week won't be a stress (9 of us and a babysitter... that's 30 meals a day + snacks= a whole lot of food).  The boys are excited about VBS and other local summer camps.  I am hoping to use the time they are in camps to go to the gym maybe!

Wanting: a Fit Bit ...  I just want one.  Just because.  I really want to keep up with my steps and try to be better about water intake.  I also really like that it tracks your sleep cycle.  I think that would be helpful to show to the doctor... especially since I still don't feel like I sleep well.  Do you have a Fit Bit?  Do you love it?
Needing: the next 8 days of school to FLY by!  We still haven't had spring break... it is falling extremely late this year.  There are only 33 days of school left... when we get back from break... only 25 days....  One of those is field day... another is a field trip.  Let's just call it and start summer now... who is with me?  :)

My Hours & Last Day:  teachers report at 7:15.  The first bell rings at 7:20 and the students can start walking down... but they aren't tardy until 7:50.  Students leave around 2:25 each day and teachers can head home at 3:15 (bwahahaha).  Also, our last day of school this year is May 23rd with students... teachers have one post planning day after Memorial Day... the rest are furlough days.  {sigh}

Oh... I almost forgot... I posted the other day over at Primary Chalkboard about how to use your clip art and TpT purchases into posters for the hallway and bulletin boards.  Won't you stop by and leave me some love???  You can find my post HERE!!!  Hope your week has been great so far!  I will talk to y'all soon!