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Happy Friday!  The week sure does fly by when you only have 3 days of school!  Apparently a blizzard that produces almost 2 feet of snow means you should stay home, curled up on the couch (until it's time to shovel).

The snowflakes started to fall on Monday morning and we knew it was going to be a big one.  My poor students could barely sit still.  We have only had small amounts of snow so far this year, so they were itching for a big one!  Instead of fighting it, I decided to take advantage of their excitement.  This was their writing assignment for the day.  They loved it!

This week our schedule is taking The Great Kindness Challenge.  We started Monday with an assembly to get the kids charged up about it and they received their challenges.  One of my students can already check off the "give your teacher an apple" box!  We have activities planned for each day of the week (which may go into next week now).  I'll share them as we go along!

I decided to take advantage of our snow days and play around with my Jamberry business.  Fun, fun, fun!  I got to send out hostess kits to some awesome ladies who are going to rock their parties!  Check out my Facebook page to learn more {or send me an email at thecolorfulapple@gmail.com}

After quite a bit of trial and error, I think I may have found a system that works for my Guided Reading Groups!  Check out my post to learn more!

And here's a random post for #5.  My husband decided we should BBQ during the blizzard.  He didn't seem to mind the swirling winds and blustery snow!  We did have power, I just turned the lights off so I could get a good picture.  He's crazy (but he made me dinner)!

Have a great weekend!
One of the most challenging transitions for me when I moved to fifth grade was the rotating schedule. The frustrating part is when our schedule has to change due to assemblies, meetings, etc.  I am a routine kinda girl!

I've been dying to do Guided Reading Groups since it is my absolute favorite part of teaching reading.  I enjoy meeting with students in a smaller setting and really interact with them on a more personal basis.  I've tried a few times in the past 2 years to get groups going and they kept falling apart.  We wouldn't have enough time to meet...then we would get behind...then we would just end up doing whole class discussions (which are great, but I don't feel as though they always have the same impact as a small group).

Then I stumbled upon this pin from Elementary Endeavors.  {Side Note: after some research, I discovered she is now This Elementary Life}

I thought that this could definitely work for my classroom.  It would keep me accountable for meeting with the students, it would keep them accountable for the work that they needed to complete (and when it was due) and, if our schedule changed, I could just erase the meeting date!

I decided to give it a whirl.  I started by grouping my students and challenging them to come up with a group name.  Oh my word, you would have thought I gave them a ticket to Disney World.  They were so excited!  I think this really helped set the stage for the groups and allowed for them to have ownership over it.

I have two reading classes, so each class gets a board (our classes are named after fictional book settings - isn't that fun??)  I use the center board to write on, hang anchor charts and for my projector.

To the far left are the group names, then the day that we are meeting, followed by the chapters they need to read and the assignment that they need to complete.

So far, this is working out really well and has allowed me to be really flexible, while staying accountable.  It's a great large visual for the students right at the front of the room.  If students are absent, they can quickly reference the board for what they missed as well.

We just finished up a whole class novel and now each group will be reading a different book.  I am hoping that our new system will lend itself to keeping everyone organized!
Whenever I post something on my blog or Facebook, there's a lot of background work that goes into those photos!  I clean everything up around what I am focusing on and take many shots before I decide on one that I really like.  Only the best for my readers!

Second Grade is Out of This World wants us to show you that, no, our classrooms don't always look like that!  Now, I'm a pretty neat person in general (my friends might use the term "OCD").  I have my weaknesses though!  This month, the focus is junk drawers.  We all have them!

This picture is from my second grade classroom.  Not only was it my junk, but a lot of it was left over from the teacher before me.  I just never had time to clean it out!  {please promise not to pin this!}

Now, I use one of these wonderful organizers.  It's made a world of a difference!

 Ok teachers, let's see your junk drawers!!  We won't judge, we promise.
As a parent, I'm learning that there are values that I want to be sure to instill in my child(ren).  Will my kids be perfect?  Heck no!

One of those values that I want to share with them is gratitude.  This time of year is when an "attitude of gratitude" can sometimes slip between the cracks.  Life gets busy and hectic, especially with kids.  It can be overwhelming for children.  I think that, by being grateful, we can help them to enjoy the season that much more.

For the record, my daughter is 9-months old and does not understand Christmas at all.  She just wanted to eat the wrapping paper.  I did have her "write" thank you cards though.  And, if she wasn't napping, she would have at least signed her name (with my help).  

I found these cute fill-in-the-blank thank you cards over at Kids Activities Blog.  

They are perfect for the next few years to get her started.  Next year, I'll have her color them in and maybe dictate to me (my daughter will be an overachiever haha).  Eventually she'll do all the writing and then write her own.

What are some values you hope to share with your children or students?
As much as I love the excitement of Christmas, there's something to be said about normalcy and routine.  I'm getting back into the swing of things with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

1. I am enjoying staying home these past few days with these two.  Pretty sure they are plotting against me in this photo...

2. My brother drew this amazing photo of Olaf for my daughter for her Christmas present.  You can check out the video of his progress on my Instagram page.  It's so cool!

 3. My husband and I went to NYC for a weekend getaway and we stumbled upon this awesome Barnes and Noble.  They don't look like this in RI!  I wish we could've gone in to check it out.

4. Facebook and I are fighting.  I am not winning.  Seriously, almost 4,000 people like my page and less than 100 people saw my post?!  Any tips would be appreciated.

 5. I did a little after-Christmas shopping for myself!  I was able to purchase this Coach bag with my Jamberry commission from just December.  Amazing!

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