Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Having FUN with my FIRSTIES!

Believe it or not, I am already into week 3 of my student teaching experience! Here is what I have to say so far:

1. My cooperating teacher (CT) is AMAZING. She is so patient, helpful, kind, easy to talk to and open to welcoming any and all of my ideas.  She is fabulous.
2. My students are the sweetest.  There are 15 (yes, 15!!) little ones and they are all so sweet and special in their own ways! I have loved getting to know them the past couple of weeks and they have become comfortable with me being there now.  One student said on the third day, "Ms. Ryan!? You're still visiting?!" Haha! I think they understand now that I will be there until Thanksgiving! :)
3. Teaching is tiring, messy, sometimes frustrating, chaotic and crazy...but it is SO for me. I have been having so much fun and I am excited to continue on in this process.

Now, you may be thinking...shouldn't you be in school right now and not blogging?? Well, that's the other side of teaching.  It's full of germs ;) I have had a nasty, nasty strep bug since Friday afternoon (my CT was out on Thursday and Friday with it) and I am still recovering and gaining back energy.  However, two doctor visits, two prescriptions and lots of sleep later...I think I should be ready to go on Wednesday! :)

Friday is my first official observation appointment.  My cooperating supervisor, from my college, is coming to observe me teach Morning Meeting.  Morning Meeting is a HUGE part of our day in first grade.  I have had a great time planning greetings, sharing topics, activities and messages for my students! Anyone have any great MM resources to share?  I have gone through The Morning Meeting book several times - it's great! - but would love some more ideas to establish a wide variety of choices when I'm planning.

Other than Morning Meeting, I have started taking over our whole group math piece (not small groups) and I also planned an Author Study unit on Tomie dePaola! I will have to get that started when I get back tomorrow.  I had intended on starting on Monday, which was his birthday, but that obviously didn't happen.  Next week I will start teaching science! YAY!

Overall student teaching is going really well! So thankful!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Catch Up + My Favorite Fall Shows

Holy smokes y'all.  Okay, first of all I have one more week before I begin student teaching.  I have a feeling it will be a quick, bittersweet, but hopefully relaxing week.  I am getting together meal/lunch plans, my student teaching bible binder & finalizing all of my paperwork.  I can't believe that I get to meet 16 new kiddos! I am so excited.  Luckily for me, I am pretty good with names and I am quite certain I will have all of the names + faces down by the end of the day.

It will be sad to leave my job & the 40 kids I have there (and my awesome director/friend), but I will be looking forward to December when I will join them again!

Today I worked on a lesson plan template that I think I will use for planning, although that could all change very quickly.  If I have learned anything thus far in my "teaching career" is that sometimes you can plan for something (whether it's a lesson, field trip or a template) but when the time comes to use it or put it into action, it might totally fail.  That's OKAY! :)

I am still on the hunt for some comfortable teaching shoes that will "go with everything."  Any suggestions? I know danskos are kinda funky looking & would totally throw me into mom-zone, but I have seen a lot of teachers wear them.  They seem comfortable.
Hopefully I can find some Labor Day sales this weekend!  I will also be looking for some solid neutral color pants.

Please, any tips or tricks or suggestions or anything -- throw them my way :)

On a more fun note, I just recently looked up the premiere dates for all of "my shows" and WOW. Y'all can expect for me to be parked on the couch the last full week of September! All of my shows are coming back in a whirlwind week that might have me reaching for the DVR.  This gal can't stay up much past 10:30 so my mom and I might watch them the next day.  Here's my lineup:

September 11

September 22

September 23

September 24

September 25

Anyone else watching?? I am seriously obsessed with all of these shows. Any other Parenthood fans scream at their TV last night during the Emmy's when, not only did the promo commercial come on, but they announced it's the farewell season! Why do all of the good shows get the boot so soon? (I'm looking at you, Friday Night Lights.)

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Welcome, August!

This fall begins a new chapter in my journey to becoming a teacher.  In a little less than a month, I will begin student teaching!  A few weeks ago I found out that I received my first placement request in...first grade! I could not be happier.  I will be in a new school where I don't know many people, which I think will prepare me for when I land my first real teaching job.  I am going to try and update my blog throughout student teaching because I think it will be fun to look back on! Plus it will help me keep track of ideas for the future :)

While this is all very exciting, I am sad to be saying goodbye to the job I have had for five years.  I will be working a couple of weeks before and after student teaching, but will miss the bulk of the fall semester.  I am really going to miss seeing those kids & my director every day! :(

For the past several months (okay maybe years) I have been collecting teaching supplies, books, manipulatives, etc. and been following along with several awesome teaching blogs.  I don't know HOW teachers used to do it before they could look up tips & tricks online!  I hope that I am somewhat prepared for what lies ahead, although most people say that even if you feel prepared for student teaching, you will most likely get in there and realize it's not what you expected!

In the meantime I am going to be planning some outfits to wear.  That is my worst area when it comes to getting ready in the morning.  I try to plan it out in the shower but it never works.  My goal is to find some solid "teacher clothes" that I can mix and match.  In the same boat, I am going to do some meal planning.  There is nothing like running late and realizing you still haven't packed a lunch!  Of course I shall turn to Pinterest for help on these tasks.  Pinterest never fails.
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Catching Up with Thursday Thoughts


I am well aware of the fact that I haven't blogged in a while.  I definitely hit a blogging wall and just didn't feel very motivated.  However, I have decided that I want to try and continue posting for my own memory's sake.  My mom recently showed me a "memory book", of sorts, that she jots down important dates and memories so that when we say, "What did we do last Easter???", we can look back and see.  That is what I want my blog to be.  A memory book.  Not a collection of posts that I make up just to fit in with the rest of the blogging world, but posts that mean something to me.  And if no one reads them but me (and maybe my mom), that will be alright with me.

So, here goes my thoughts for this Thursday:

Ready for summer!
Tomorrow is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!  I don't know about you, but I am ready for summer.  Saturday will be so glorious, I can hardly wait.

Visiting the reception site...holy hometown goodness <3
I don't think I have announced this on the blog yet but my BFSTG (BEST FRIEND SINCE THIRD GRADE) is getting MARRIED in October!!! To say that I am excited is an understatement.  This girl & I go way back to the days of roll-on body glitter & Hit Me Baby One More Time.  I am so honored to be her bridesmaid and support her through this exciting season - and beyond!

Her Bichpoo! via Katelyn James Blog
I have decided, thanks to stalking the amazing photographs of Katelyn James Photography, that a Bichpoo is the dog for me.  Now all I need is a full-time job and my puppy search will begin! Let me know if y'all know anywhere on the east coast to find one!

On Galveston Island
While I was away I visited Houston.  I have now been to Austin, TX & Houston, TX.  I can say that I like Austin a whole lot better than Houston, however I just love Texas in general! 

Lastly, today I am yet again wearing an outfit completely made up from LOFT.  Fact #32 about living in a small town: sometimes all of your clothing ends up from the same 2 or 3 stores (in my case that would be Target, Old Navy & LOFT...aka the only stores we have with clothing for my "age group", whatever that is.)

T.G.I.T., y'all!
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day: DIY Flower Canvas

We had a fun-filled weekend.  My older brother flew in from Texas for my mom's special weekend: graduation & Mother's Day!

My mom received her second masters degree on Friday, this time a Master of Science in Educational Leadership.  She's the bomb dot com.

For her graduation/Mother's Day gift, I gave her a flower themed gift.  Four different flowers for our garden, some gardening supplies (gloves, spade, planter) and a painting that I did on a small canvas.

I followed Evelyn Henson's DIY tutorial but changed a few things around.

I used a 8x10 canvas since I couldn't find a 5x7.  I also added leaves since it looked a little "spacey" when I was finished.
Here are the steps of my project:

Paint colors are from Michael's: White, Deep Midnight Blue, Foliage Green, Pink Blossom, Pink, Citron Green, Lavender, Ocean Breeze

Check out her tutorial for a more detailed version. It was so fun & easy to make! I might make another for myself since the canvases at Michael's were BOGO free :)

I'm enjoying my last week of "break" before my summer classes start up next Monday!
Happy Tuesday!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Things That Make Me Happy


a sunny spot on the bed where you can fall asleep,


the excitement and anticipation you feel before giving a gift,

bright flowers (even if they're fake),

kitten yawns,

slipping on worn in sandals from last summer that fit just right,

finding real life inspiration from a magazine,

sweet tart jelly beans,

putting away winter clothes,

this guy:

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Springtime + Running Goals

The warmer weather this week has certainly helped to turn my frown upside down.  I have been so tired of being cold that when it hit the 70s this week I just about fell over!

The tree next to our driveway even started to bloom this week, which made me smile:

I've begun the final countdown for spring semester.  I have just ONE class left for each of my classes, so class on Wednesday, Thursday, Monday & Tuesday (online) and then I'm a free bird until May 19th!  Of course our school system is going until June 20th so I'll still be working away, but I will be so thankful to take a load off my shoulders for a bit.

This warmer weather also has me thinking of getting back into race mode.  I was supposed to participate in a local race series but due to scheduling conflicts I missed one.  SO, now it's up to me to find some races to do.  I have the Monument Ave 10K under my belt, but I'm now looking towards another half marathon.  I would really like to run a PR this year and so I'm looking for some flat courses.  The race I have in mind is the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon in Washington D.C. in September.

I've been a Hal Higdon fan ever since I started my longer distance races and I stand by his books and training plans.  Therefore, I will probably use his Intermediate program to train for my fall half marathons.  This program includes some speed work which I have never done in the past when training for half marathons or my full marathon.  Hopefully incorporating some speed work will help me get to a PR.

Any other runners out there planning for fall races? I would love to hear which ones you're running!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K

Happy April! No fools around here...I've never really been into the whole idea.  I fall for things too quickly and then I look silly.  However, my mom does the announcements at school & she has a great one planned for the kids! ;) Let's just say...those snow days will come back to bite us...
I am so happy that it's finally April.  March seemed to drag on, in my opinion.  I'm ready for some (actual) spring weather, consistent sunshine and to say goodbye to my boots!

Unfortunately with April comes the thought of rain - April showers bring May flowers, anyone?  We definitely got a sprinkle or two of rain this past weekend in Richmond when we went up to run the Monument Ave 10K!
This race has always been on my bucket list purely because of how much everyone talks about it.  This is a HUGE race - 30,000 people - and is run up and back on Monument Ave., which is a historically significant road in Richmond.  It's a flat course (yay!) and has tons of bands/spirit groups along the way to keep you motivated.  So much fun.

I ran with my friend Sarah (we're in matching outfits) and my new friend Amanda!  We all stuck together and finished the race with our hands in the air.  Despite being completely drenched, it was so much fun!  We finished in a little over an hour, which I was particularly happy with since I didn't train......I blame the weather.

Sarah and I made shirts that said, "Run now, wine later" and we made tutus with purple tulle and purple chevron tulle.  We had headbands that said "Will run for wine" - I took my off because my head got so hot.

I would love to make this race a tradition!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy March, Happy Lent

In like a lion, out like a lamb.
Boy do I hope that's true.  This March brought with it yet another snowstorm that had me stuck in Northern Virginia.  Not that I was complaining getting to spend an extra day with my boy, but I am sick of the snow.  Yep.  I said it.  SICK OF IT.  20 inches of it really did me in a couple weeks ago...
I'm hoping we are done with the winter weather and heading towards spring.  My body needs some warm air & sunshine.  My body needs some short sleeve weather.  I'm tired of being cold & sleep.  Ya hear me?

Since it's March I am reflecting on my February goals & setting new ones for March.  Since it's Ash Wednesday, I am reflecting on the meaning and spirit of the Lenten season and what that means to me, and what I'm going to "do" for Lent.

{February Goals}
1. Update my computer. I updated to the next software pack that I had to order, BUT I also made a step in another direction and that is talking with my mom about getting a *NEW* Macbook! Stay tuned :)
2. Re-do my 101 in 1001 list. I finally thought of 101 things and here it is.
3. Run my 10-miler in under 1:45. Didn't happen because the race was postponed to last Sunday and I was out of town :(
4. Do something with my calligraphy. Didn't happen.  Life + school happened.
5. Label/bookplate my children's books. This one is mostly done. I used up all of the stickers that I had and they took care of my hardback books.  I'm thinking of getting a stamp (or just handwriting in them) but of course the OCD person inside of me is saying, "What about when you have a different last name??" So that makes me want to wait.

{March Goals}
My March goals will be centered around Lent.

"We give up that which we do not need to live, to gain that which we cannot live without: more Jesus."
That statement stuck with me today after reading day 1 of the Lenten plan with She Reads TruthThey're doing a 4 part plan - fasting, repentance, meditation and confession - and I am committing myself to follow it.  That's one of my Lenten promises.  I will probably post thing here & on instagram if you want to follow along!

Now, what am I "giving up" for Lent?
Candy + Soda
I'm guilty of having a big sweet tooth and a knack for grabbing a Coca Cola whenever one is available.  However, if I'm going to try and get/keep my body healthy, I need to be more conscientious about what I'm consuming.  Taking out candy & soda from my diet will definitely help reduce my sugar intake and will hopefully encourage me to drink more water, which will keep me better hydrated.  I'll still allow myself to have other drinks, just not straight up sodas.

What are some of your Lenten promises?

Happy Wednesday!
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Catching Up + Monday Motivation

I did a little re-vamp to my blog.  I feel like I need to go another direction with this little ol blog, but I'm not sure what that is yet.  Brainstorming :)
As for now, I need to catch up! The past few weeks have been crazy.  Snow + a long week of school + a gorgeous weekend = my mood is all crazy.  How can we go from layers on layers in 20 inches of snow to a 60* day?! Don't ask me...
On Saturday I put in my request for student teaching in the fall. I can't believe it's so close!! I hope I get my placement back soon so that I can start preparing.  Fingers crossed I get one of my 2 requests!

One last note, I recently hit 5,000 pins on Pinterest. Not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed...
I'm off to my science class! Here's some Monday Motivation for you:
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