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'Tis the Season to be Collaborative! Join Kinder Peeps' Boards!

Graphics: Graphics from the Pond on TpT
Border:  Jess Cabral on TpT

Graphics: Graphics from the Pond on TpT
Border:  Jess Cabral on TpT

The holidays are right around the corner and Kinder Peeps has created a Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed collaborative board for elementary teachers! If you would like to join, please follow the links below (you can also click the images above and they will take you directly to their corresponding collaborative board):

Once you have followed the boards, I can add you.  Please limit your pins to 3 paid products per day. More than anything, please pin resources you deem to be of the highest quality. 

Happy pinning!

And before I sign off for the's a picture of my little turkey in his camo Uggs our neighbor bought him, haha!

Hello Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the cooler weather (especially after enduring the 100+ temps this summer while pregnant!), the fall decorations, the food, and the list goes on!

Have fun and get creative with your kids! I created a class book based on the pattern of the popular "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat" children's book. Have your students draw and write what they would swallow if they were the old lady. I like to have my kids brainstorm as a whole group first and then have them each complete a page for the class book. So much fun to come back together and read our book!  Download them from my TpT store!

This next class book is based on the pattern of the popular "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" children's book. I love reading this with them after they have created it!  I have them get in "trick-or-treater" mode (haha) and draw/write what they see as a trick-or-treater. Again, I would brainstorm with them as a whole group first and then have each student complete a page for the class book.  And...did I mention this is FREE?  Download it here!

I also included a link to BrainPop Jr.'s Halloween clip; it explores traditions associated with Halloween and also discusses Halloween safety.  As an extension and to make this personally meaningful to your students, I created a brainstorming web for students to include their own Halloween safety tips.  This could be done in groups or independently.  I think Halloween safety is so important to discuss...especially with the little ones!  Click on the BrainPop Jr. screenshot below and it will take you directly to the site.

Time to go walk...having a neighbor with a newborn is fun! I'll be adding more over the next few days!  Currently working on Thanksgiving and Christmas products (while Jet naps)!

The Most Amazing Gift...

Well, a lot has happened over the past 9 months to say the least!  

My kindergarteners and their parents gave me the sweetest baby shower at school. We had so much fun!  My kids gave me some great parenting advice, too!  One of their moms put all of their advice in a photo album and gave it to me...I will treasure it forever!  I love the way the student below referred to Jet as "it," haha! forward a few months to May:  I graduated from the Graduate School at the University of Texas!  I received my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Instructional Technology/Learning Technologies focus) and I am truly so proud.  Teaching kindergarten all day long and then driving to UT and walking 2 miles to my last class - at 6 months pregnant - was pretty intense!  And...graduate school itself was tough.  Really tough.  With this said, I appreciated the rigor.  I learned more than I could have ever imagined and met some unbelievably talented people from all over the globe.  It was such a rich experience on every level.  I could not wait to be finished...and, dare I say it... now I miss it!  One of my kindergarteners handed me this the day before I graduated...YES is right:

We celebrated after graduation (to the extent possible when you're 6 months pregnant, haha!) and had so much fun having family and friends come to Austin for the weekend.  The catering department at The Driskill certainly knew how to please a pregnant woman...

After I graduated, I still had a few more weeks of teaching and then...SUMMER!  What a great year all around.  I had such a wonderful group of kids and had so much fun sharing these special times with them.  Summer could not come fast enough, though!  I was getting so big and the temperature was on the rise!  Summer in Texas is not for pansies (and neither is pregnancy, haha)!  I spent the entire summer preparing for Jet's arrival and discovered a new passion:  decorating!  I had so much fun decorating his nursery!  It was truly a labor of love.

I did take a break from all of the decorating...I took a trip to California (Beverly Hills of all places...haha!) with some kindergarten moms from my school in Houston and had a lot of fun but realized traveling at 30 weeks was probably not the best idea!  My doctor approved traveling/flying through 33 weeks but it was pretty hard!  I was getting so big!  We did get to see Sandra Bullock and Jay Leno (front row seats...that's another story!) so it was definitely worth it!  And, I got to meet up with a friend I went to Texas Tech the famous Beverly Hills Hotel...who would have thought, haha!  From Lubbock to Beverly Hills.  Nonetheless, I had fun getting out of Austin for a few days and enjoyed the cooler weather.

And then came August!  It was almost baby time...almost!  I got my classroom ready (planned to teach 1st grade this year) and then got so big and became so exhausted within minutes of any activity, I went ahead and took maternity leave a week early.  I felt good about my classroom being ready, though!  I spent the remaining days resting, relaxing, and trying any and everything to induce labor!  

More fast forwarding...September 1st, my due date, passed and still no baby! Then came Labor Day and we checked into the hospital!  I finally got to meet my gorgeous, perfect baby boy on September 3rd at 7:33 pm.  The absolute best day of my life!

At about 2 weeks, Jet had his newborn pictures taken.  Ella Bella Photography here in Austin is amazing!  She is so good with the tiny little things!  Newborns are her specialty. I wanted to share my favorites...isn't he the cutest cowboy you have ever seen?


Little Jet is waking up from his nap...time is ticking!

Lots of love (and uploads coming soon!) -