Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thirteen in '13 Linky Party

Today I am joining the Thirteen in '13 Linky Party.

2013 has been a year full of transitions for me. My husband's transfer meant leaving the town I had lived in since high school, one of my adult sons, a Pre-K teaching job I loved, a house I considered perfect, and many wonderful friends.  We moved one day after dropping our youngest child off in her college dorm on my fiftieth birthday!! 

I made a conscious decision to "bloom where I was planted."  So, four months later our home feels homey, my kids all managed to come for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in January,  I will be teaching kindergarten at a school I have been subbing at.   God is good!

For some reason, this also seemed like a good year to change my blog to  I had added a blog to my original site,, but got tired of the very old technology on that site.  So, I plan to leave the old site up indefinitely, but anything new is posted to

Now, I am going to attempt to fit my 2013 into these topics...

13. Favorite article of clothing:

I treated myself to this black coat a few weeks ago.  Funny- it's longer on me than it is on the model.   It is cold here a lot more than it was in Houston, so I deserve it :).

12. Favorite movie you watched:
I watched Despicable Me 2 on dvd with my family last night -  fun!

11. Favorite TV series:
Downton Abbey

10. Favorite restaurant:
Gloria's (Mexican)

9. Favorite new thing you tried:

Recovering a chair seat - I also painted this thrift store find with chalk paint, but I had done that before.

8. Favorite gift you got:
Santa brought me a Nikon camera.  As much as I love taking pictures, I have never had a "real" camera.  I am looking forward to learning how to use it!

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
How do you choose just one?!

This is the next thing I plan to make for my classroom:

This is one of my favorite pins for home:

I want to create a gallery like this on our stairs wall!

6. Favorite blog post:
While I continued to organize it, I didn't actually participate in GrowinginPreK's Gingerbread Man Exchange this year (since I didn't have my own class....).  Several great teachers sent me photos to use on the blog:


I loved seeing what they did with the Exchange in their classrooms.

5. Best accomplishment:

Presenting a session on read aloud activities at the Houston Area Association of Early Childhood Educators.  (Once upon a time I was deathly afraid of public speaking.)

4. Favorite picture:  My kids in our Christmas card photo

3. Favorite memory:
My mom's eightieth birthday party - so many special people in one room at the same time

2. Goal for 2014:
To make a great transition from teaching Pre-K to teaching kindergarten.

1. One Little Word:


Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little News

Here are a few more wonderful Gingerbread Exchange 2013 photos.  Thank you Angela and Drea for emailing these to me!

Love, love, love this idea shared by Sarah from North Carolina:

A little background on how we share:
We get our gingerbread mailbox and sing: "We just got a gingerbread, we just got a gingerbread, we just got a gingerbread, let's see where it's from!"  (like the song from BLUES CLUES - "we just got a letter").
Then we open our gingerbread mail, pass around the gingerbread boy/girl, and then find the place where the gingerbread came from on the fabric/cloth map. Later, Ms. Nik places a gingerbread sticker (as a marker) on the laminated poster map and a matching gingerbread sticker on the gingerbread received to be displayed.

Leah and Sue and Debi also emailed me some great photos:

I also have some news.  I will be teaching kindergarten in my new city starting in January!  So... I look forward to participating in the 2014 Valentine Exchange with my new class.  I will put the information here in mid January.

It seems appropriate for me to change the name of this blog slightly.  It will now be called GrowinginPreK and K. The link to it will still be



Friday, December 13, 2013

Gingerbread Exchange Photos

Thank you very much to Jeanne  and Jess for emailing me some photos of this year's Gingerbread Exchange.

 I'd love to add some more here if you will email them to

Looking for more gingerbread activities?
The FREE printable gingerbread man sight word hunt that I created last year is still available at my Teachers Notebook Shop.

Hope everyone has a wonderful last week before Christmas Break!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Dinosaur Days

I've been stuck in the house for most of the last four days because the roads are too icy to drive on.  This gave me some time to finish up the Dinosaurs Days printable for my Teachers Notebook Shop.  Here's a sample of what it includes:

Word Wall Cards

 Cover and student pages for a class book

A reader for students to color and a full size color version for the teacher

3 Number Puzzles

Calendar pieces in an ABC pattern.

Add your own cubes for this measuring activity.

Once again, I am using Kate Hadfield's adorable art.
These activities would go along very well with some favorite dinosaur books:


There are more dinosaur ideas at my old site.