Wood Backgrounds

Monday, December 10, 2012

December is here!

So I was thinking... December is my favorite month.
1. It's my birthday month.
2. I LOVE Christmas.
3. and most important, we get to remember the reason for the season and celebrate our great gift of Jesus Christ and what he did for us. What a great time to remember the freedom He gave us and to celebrate in his holiness.

December always brings for fun times in the classroom and life.
I love making Christmas gifts and have since I was little. This year I have been embarking on a new adventure, opening up my Etsy shop. I've been making Christmas plaques and crosses! 

Freddy, our elf on the shelf, arrived December 3rd and boy have the firsties had fun seeing where he is each morning and trying to make good choices so Freddy will report back to Santa. 
He greeted us on my marker board, bring new pencils for all.
He poured out all of my magnet money and was rolling around in it one morning. 
The next morning, he made it to the top of the behavior chart and had an Oscar worthy performance so the next day he got to bring his good friend Frosty to read with. 

My Sunday school class had a fun get together the other night and we walked around historic Opelika for their Christmas display. Each house has mannequins dressed in Victorian attire. It was interesting for sure. A friend and I decided to take a picture with Santa at one house. Forgive the photo, didn't realize how much the light would affect it ha! 

Today we started the week with my birthday and our holiday musical so we'll see if we can calm ourselves down from our sugar high for the rest of the week! 
I'm so excited about next week though, POLAR EXPRESS time!!! I'm loving Sarah's packet!

Hope your holidays have started off merry!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finding the Holiday Spirit

So I was thinking... I love the time leading up to Christmas, anxiously awaiting the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

At school my kids are getting ready for the Christmas musical, which happens to take place on my birthday this year! To prepare I let the kids listen to the music during work time. There is nothing cuter than walking around and hearing them sing. It has put me in such a fun holiday mood that my crafty side was begging for a project. Check out my two Christmas signs in my Etsy shop.

Merry soon to be Christmas ~Rachel

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm Thankful

So...the other day I let you in on what my students were thankful for so I thought 
I would share what I'm thankful for. There are so many things that could be on this 
list but here are a few:
1. I am so thankful that my parents gave me the opportunity to attend a great university 
where I got a great education and fostered my love of teaching and where I met some amazing friends.

2. I am thankful for those friends who I lived with and who I was able to share so 
many memories with: wedding, cruises, agd, cooking dinners, night with The Nanny

3. I am thankful that God blessed me with the opportunity to go to Manila this summer 
and meet Angelica, who dreams of a great future of doing hair and knows that even though she does not have a biological father, that her Father in Heaven has a great future for her.

4. I am thankful with a great family on both my mom and my dad's side, I'm even thankful for our beach trips where all 30 of us cram into one house for a week!

5. I'm thankful for my mom and sister who are always up for a fun trip, where the main purpose is for us to spend time together: Chicago, NYC, Las Vegas, Atlanta

6. I am thankful for our freedom and what the brave members of the military do for 
us each day.

7. It may seem funny but I'm thankful for Disney World for helping me be imaginative in my childhood and sharing in so many of my childhood vacation trips! I still would love to be Belle one day!

8. Again I am thankful for PI because I got the chance to meet these 32 amazing students and spend time in their classroom laughing and learning. I am thankful that I have a job in the states that I get to teach a great group of kids and laugh everyday.

9. I'm thankful for a great family who has always been supportive in everything I do, and encouraged me to seek God in every part of life and to lean on His understand and His will. 

Take time today to thank God for all the blessings He has given us today. You may be overwhelmed with His love for us just like I am everyday. What a great blessing we have in the Lord.

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

We're Thankful!

So I was thinking how most of the time when I am having a bad day at school there is always  one of my friends that shows me Christ's love and brings me out of my funk. I have a friend in my room this year that is challenging to say the least. We are making some progress with behavior choices but with the very few breaks we have this year with the new schedule change, this friend's behavior has been taking a nose dive back to frustrating days. Today however, after a tough morning we started writing.
Our topic today: I am Thankful...
Boy, was I proud of the list we made! We got to discuss so many things, even how we are thankful for worms because they help some plants grow haha.
But most of all I was happy to share my PI experience with them some more and we got to discuss why we were thankful for God and Jesus and our families. I love hearing that my kiddos know what Jesus did for them and that they are thankful for it and even thankful that they get to go to church on Sundays!
Here are a few of their papers!
 I am thankful for my cat and dog.                             I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for
I am thankful for God.                                                 my food. I am thankful for my mom and my
I am thankful for Miss Anderson.                              dad and my sister. Her name is ......
I am thankful for Jesus.                                               I am thankful for Miss Anderson.
I am thankful for Freedom.                                        But most of all I am thankful for Jesus.
 I am thankful for my family including my sister.     I am thankful for my compass. I am thankful
I'm also thankful that I have friends too, and          for God. I am thankful for my family because
Jesus because he died for us.                                 they love me. I am thankful for Jesus. I am
                                                                                     thankful for food. I am thankful for life.
I am thankful for church. I am also thankful         I am thankful for the world &God & Jesus
for my family. I am thankful for God. I am            & my family and friends & school & my 
for my fish.                                                                  country the USA & the armed forces & food   
                                                                                     & life. I love life & the galaxy. 

They are a great reminder to count our blessings!
~ Miss A

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Catching up!

So I was thinking that I have not been blogging enough lately. I originally started this blog so I could document life and my teaching career and blogging 3-4 times a month is not enough. I will start trying to do better, I promise! Today I am catching up on lots of things around the house before I head North for a few days for Thanksgiving. It's also a great day to catch you up on what's been going on in my life!
1. I had to go to professional development two Mondays ago and one of the best parts was the CANDY! Major sweet tooth!
2. My students voted on Election day in our classroom, good news, I won! Look out, Romney and Obama.
3. I had a very busy weekend, last weekend. My Sunday School class had a bon-fire and it was a great time to catch up with everyone while enjoying the beauty of a bonfire. Good friends, good conversations, and SMORES, what could be better?
4. That same weekend my whole family came into town to tailgate for the AUvsGA game. We had a great time hanging out and going to the game together. My sister made these delicious pumpkin spice cookies that were a huge hit. 
That same weekend Jeff and his daughter Josie (Jeff's family started Kids International Ministries in PI) visited our church!!! Our whole group got to hang out with them and their friend Hannah on Monday so I made LB's cookies! They are  delicious!

In other news, NEWSIES was on Dancing with the Stars the other night, so I tuned in to watch them rock the stage. Oh, how I wish I could go back and see them again!!!

I hope everyone has a lovely Saturday!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

No School Today!

Today we are observing Veteran's Day, which means no kiddos and no work today. I have been very overwhelmed this year with a few of my friends so documenting my year has not been up to my usual standards. I have a great mom that has taken lots of pictures at school events, hopefully I will get some copies! Here are a few highlights I found on my phone!
 A few weeks ago when we were working on short vowels, I made these large sound reminders to display on the board. The 'a' apple is on the other side of the wall, oops. We spent one morning thinking of all the words we knew that used those vowels and stuck them to our posters. I then let them take one word from each chart to their desk and they practiced sentence writing with the words.
We have really been working hard on writing complete sentences so we needed some more practice with capitalization, so we made an anchor chart to display.
When the season changed from summer to fall we made a chart that tracked the seasons and characteristics of each one. I loved that when we got to Christmas someone wanted to add Jesus' birthday and in the spring we added Easter. I love it when my kids bring up our Creator!
Hope everyone has a happy Monday!
~Miss Anderson

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NYC Landmarks

So I was thinking... that I am very blessed to live in the country that I do. On Friday we had our Veteran's Day program and we were all challenged to thank a Veteran and their family for the sacrifices they made. While in the Big City, we had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 memorial. It was a very memorable experience and and reminded me of the men and women who went off to war after this event to protect our country. My sister went to New York in December 2001 and saw the rubble of the 2 buildings; I went to NYC in February of 2007 and saw ground zero and the beginning of the construction, so seeing the almost finished product brought the whole experience full circle for us.
They are still working on the site, as it is an on-going process, but the progress was amazing. The Freedom Tower stands out against the NYC skyline just like the twin towers did and is a beautiful site to see. There are 2 pools marking the spots where the twin towers stood.
Each pool has names etched into the metal sides to honor those who lost their life in the towers, pentagon, and those on the airplanes, as well as the NYC firefighters and policemen who were first responders. Todd Beamer was on Flight 93 where a few men fought back against the attackers. His wife coined his last phrase "Let's Roll!"
After that moving experience we walked down to the edge of Manhattan and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and boy was it a LONG walk! The middle is very cool with great views of the city and Statue of Liberty. We finally made it to the other side and were able to enjoy some great pizza while we let our feet rest. Needless to say, we took the subway back to Times Square, before heading back to the hotel to catch a cab to the airport. This trip was such a great time to spend with my mom and sister. We were able to do a lot of fun things and take in some great historical sights. I love this fun city, can't wait to plan a trip sometime soon to catch the fun new plays coming out!

Remember to thank a Veteran and their family this week, as well as every day. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012


It is crazy to think that I was in New York just 2 weeks ago, 2 weeks before Sandy hit the big city. My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected up North in the tri-state area.

If you are a reader of this blog, you might remember last Christmas (here), my mom surprised my sister and I with a trip to see NEWSIES on Broadway! Well almost 11 months after my mom, sister, and I hopped on an airplane and finally made our trip a reality. To be honest, I thought it might not happen, we all did. However, it was such a fun weekend to get away from the 'real' world and visit the Big Apple.

We flew up early Saturday morning and started the day taking in the sights of Broadway and times square. Saturday night was also the MAIN EVENT: NEWSIES! Let me tell you, I have been a fan of Newsies for a LONG time, I had the soundtrack from the movie years before the Broadway family picked it up, so my expectations were pretty high! There is one word to describe the play: FANTASTIC! It was such a fun show, a little different than the movie line, but the performance was absolutely amazing! Definitely worth the 11 month wait!

We also took in some local sights on our 3 day trip.

 This was my 3rd time visiting NYC, but it was my first time making the trip to Grand Central Station. It was gorgeous and so large, it is crazy to think that it was built so many years ago in such grandeur. I am so glad we saw it at night, because the lights gave it an even more picturesque setting.

Our hotel was in a great location about half way between Central Park South and Times Square, so we spent our first afternoon visiting the park.

The fall leaves and weather made for great pictures and a nice day for walking. We saw the carousel but opted out of the ride. We found many, many tunnels and bridges and took in the sights of the locals on a Saturday afternoon at Central Park. Of course we had to see Lady Liberty, we were lucky that she/he was hanging out at the park that day with a silver robot!

On Sunday morning, we lucked into finding the 7th avenue market around times square. It is pretty much like China town but with pop-up tents and Broadway theaters surrounding you.
LB and I picked up some fun 'Tory Burch' purses, plenty of fun scarves and Mom was able to pick up some fun glass pendants for herself and for us to send to our kids we sponsor in the Philippines. Fun Fact: During the day Times Square is now filled with your favorite movie characters. People now dress up in costumes (Minnie & Mickey, Buzz Lightgear, Hello Kitty, Spider Man, Batman, & Ironman, etc) and walk around Times Square waiting for you to take your picture with them, but wait they CHARGE you for it! It was so crazy because people were actually paying to take pictures with the people ha. 

Before we left on Monday we took the Behind the Scenes NBC tour and LB got to make her television meteorologist debut. We walked out of 30 Rock only to see the great Tina Fey and Tracey Morgan filming!
We couldn't visit the big city without eating some great food. We stopped by Little Italy for some Italian, the Shake Shack for a good burger and delicious peanut butter & marshmellow shake, and we made it to Juniors for some great cheesecake. (Fun Fact: the last scene of Sex in the City the Movie was filmed there!)

We also got to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and visit the 9/11 memorial, check back in next week for a post about those events, they were breath-taking!

~Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween came early

So I was thinking... that Halloween is fun after all. During the past few years, Halloween has not ranked highly on my favorite holiday list; however, this year Halloween came a little early at my school and it was quite spooktastic!

Each month, the teachers at my school provide treats for the lounge, it is one of our favorite days of the month! This year I volunteered to supply the decorations for our Halloween themed party! With a little research I found some fabulous ideas and re-created them with my own twist.
Step into our shabby-chic Halloween event!
Get your taste buds ready for some yummy treats!

I used all of my new Halloween adjectives to create these fun place cards to display in front of the treats that the first grade teachers and a few friends brought. 

Cute peeping cheese cakes and Mummified pigs in a blanket! Yum, yum!

Now on to some fun decorations. 

I whipped up this bow with some ribbon from Dollar General ($1.50!) I loved making the Trick or Treat banner, inspired by this pinterest find. 
 Close up!
 Cute paper pumpkins(be looking for a tutorial later; and some lovely flowers 
provided one of the teaches!

Another view of the fun pumpkins I made!

Hope these help with your holiday decorating!!

Linking up here:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

School Fun!

School is going well but very tiring so I am sorry for the lack of blog posts. I promise I will get better. This group is going to be a challenge but I know that the Lord has placed these 19 friends in my room for a reason and I am excited to see His plan. 

Here is our week in review:

We studied short 'o' and the plural 's' so we made a chart of our examples. They decided to write some in the middle if it was plural and short o!

We are finishing up our chapter on subtraction in Go-Math. As we were learning, we added our facts to our Subtraction anchor chart that will go up on the wall next week.

Next week we will finish our farm unit with horses, but this week we studied sheep and ended the week making these cute little friends with cotton balls and Tunstall's Teachings template.

We did a fun writing for our "All-Star Work produced by" board. Here was the prompt:
"If I was a (farm animal) I would..."

Here are some examples of students who did their All-Star best!

 I stocked up at Wal-Mart on these fun crates(didn't even take the sticker off ha). They were a $1!!! I use them to hold my students Production folders(folder work). When they finish their work they place their folder in here, which makes for quick and easy checking for me!
On Friday we practiced addition and subtraction with our marker boards. They LOVE using the marker boards instead of paper and pencil. We use the dice to roll and the cubes to count. We started with subtraction and then ended Math time with reviewing addition.

Hope you all have a great Monday tomorrow!
~Miss Anderson

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy Hearts

So I was thinking that my heart has been moved in many different ways today. It was a great day at school, one of my students who had a B-A-D day yesterday, came in today and acted like a completely different child, she was an ALL-STAR. My stress level dropped a few points and I was soo proud : ). Happy Heart

Yesterday we were discussing 9/11 in my class because I had an American flag on the calendar and my students really had an interest in it, so today we took a few minutes to discuss the events of that day. Some of my students even watched some of the specials on TV about that day the night before. I showed some of my pictures that I took in '07 of the construction.
and then my uncle's pics of the finished reflection pool and Freedom tower this past February.
My students kept asking questions and why? and when? and so we talked through it and even discussed why it could be called the Freedom tower (land of the FREE). One little girl came up with "The bad guys must have done that awful thing because they don't like God and the USA" 

So we discussed how God told us to love everyone and to do good things, so that could be true. 
I finished by reading this book I found at the book fair last year. It was written by a 1st grade class in MO. I told them of my experience with this day and all of our hearts were sad for the people involved but happy that we could honor them with this day. 
I got home and had a great surprise in my inbox. An email from my K.I.M friends in the PHILIPPINES! Tears poured as I watched this video and missed all my precious students and friends from Cuatro, but my heart was also glad because I knew that they knew that God loved them and even though I couldn't be with them I knew God was with them as they were celebrating being in their NEWly re-done classrooms. I'm still so blessed by this experience in the PI and at my school I try to teach my kids about how to show God's love everyday like these friends showed me!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to Business

Well, I have made it through the first two weeks of school and to say that I was tired was an understatement. EXHAUSTED, would be a better word; however, the long weekend has been just what I needed to rest up and get back into the swing of things. I have lots of pictures and stories to tell so I will apologize for the long post.
Funny saying in the first weeks:
"Miss A, how do you spell 'pecause'?"  Do you mean because? 
"Nope, pecause, like I want to be a doctor pecause"

Ready for Open House!
 Whole Brain Teaching Rules!
 Whole Brain Teaching Methods
 Gifts for the Firsties!

 The boats have the students' names on them. There are also red strings all coming from AL to London, Uganda, & the Philippines! Places people in my family traveled to this summer.
New behavior chart, taken from Cara and tweaked a little for my kiddos. 
 Last year I was given this extra desk, however, it was covered in SpongeBob stickers. Now I'm not a huge fan of the underwater gang, so it got a fresh coat of paint this year!
 New book organization

Our favorite first grader!

         Eric Carle tissue paper characters

 School is Cool
chilling with our shades on
  Started back this week with Sam, Come Back. We're learning
short 'a' and final 'ck.'
~Miss Anderson