Wednesday, March 12, 2014

TPT Social Skills Purchases That I 100% Recommend...


In my previous posts, I complained about how my snipping tool wouldn't work (because Windows 8 is a little over my head in some areas). Well, in an effort to solve my excessive pop-ups problem, I found that I had "Launch [-ed] Google Chrome in the Windows 8 mode." Is anyone else a fan of Google Chrome? I love it until I can't figure something out. Well, now that I've got it back to "desktop mode," I can now have the internet window open at the SAME TIME as Snipping Tool. WHEW! I feel like I got my life back....

Moving on.... to what I came here to write about in the first place: 

So, the other day, last week, I finally submitted my receipts for PTA reimbursement. The deadline honestly snuck up on me, so I took advantage of some of the things on my wishlist, and I bought a million great activities to use during morning priming and lunch bunch. I can't wait to prepare everything and put it to use, but here's just a few of the amazing products that I purchased:
This is SUCH a great skill to practice with students who have Autism. I purchased this gem from the all-star Jivey! :) I've had my eye on it for a while. Click the picture to pick it up and place it in your shopping cart!

And I got the following items from the AMAZING Dabbling Speechie! Click each picture to go to the TPT store and pick them up! I just bought the bundle for $30, and if you're interested in that, click HERE.

These are all amazing, and I'm still in the process of printing, preparing, and organizing them all, but I recommend them to anyone who needs materials to teach social skills. You can read the Dabbling Speechie's blog here, to see more of the amazing things she does!

Some of her ideas come from the wonderful Michelle Garcia at Social 

Have you ever heard of SUPERFLEX? 
Well, Michelle Garcia and the Social Thinking team are to thank for this wonderful curriculum, and I have a Pinterest board of ideas to get you started. It may have some social materials mixed in, but it's a pretty great collection of ideas!! :)

That's all for now! Enjoy your new products! (Because I know you'll go buy them.... right?!)

~Sarah :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tesla, Bones, and Stomach Virus

What do these three things have in common? Well, it's how my week wrapped up after Tuesday.

Fortunately, Wednesday was a MUCH better day. It went along a pretty normal day, and around 3:15 I received a message from the hubby saying that he was able to borrow the company car for the night. :D

FYI: The last time this happened, we naturally had to go out on the town. {naturally, right?!} And we went to Dan's favorite restaurant: Houston's (it's in Buckhead, anyone ever been there?!)

This time was no different. Except this time, we invited a couple of friends. We went back to Buckhead, but I wanted to go somewhere I've never been before. And then our friend suggested BONES. (FYI: The best steakhouse EVER)

So it was a definite turn around from the kind of day that I had on Tuesday, that's for sure! Whew!

Here's some pictures from the night:
Pretty sweet, huh?

My best teacher friend and I

Yup, that's right. The battery is under the floor boards. So you get an extra Trunk (in the front) for extra storage. How cool is this?!

No joke, this is the navigation / camera / multimeadia screen (which is larger than the screen on my laptop). You can show two screens at once, which is pretty cool. The screen that we are looking at is the energy consumption, so you can be conscious of how well you're driving :)
 So, after a night in the Tesla, I decided that it is now my Most Favorite Dream Car, ever!!! I hope Santa brings me one this year!!  (Hey... It's called a DREAM CAR, right?!)

Randomly, I got this cute little piece of Chicken Soup from a student in one of my co-teaching classes on Thursday. TOO SWEET. I folded it and put it in my treasures box. :)
Back to topic: So Wednesday was amazing. Then Thursday was a pretty normal day, as expected. I got home, ate dinner,and took a nap. (SIDE NOTE: I've been going through an awful sleeping phase for the last two weeks... I can't turn my mind off at night, no matter how exhausted I am. and therefore, I stay up until past 12 and can NOT bring myself to get up at 6am. Does anyone else ever go through these phases?)

Well, on Thursday I decided to cut back on my caffeine so that it would help me sleep better. That was a failure, seeing as I fell asleep right after dinner. Then I got up, showered, and went to bed around 9, hoping to get a good night's sleep. Just before I went to bed, I started to get a stomach ache, which made me even more motivated to shut the lights and go to sleep so that hopefully it would go away....

Well, it didn't. I woke up time after time with hot/cold flashes and feeling nauseous. Finally, I got sick in the middle of the night, and it went downhill from there. For the rest of the night, if I did try to go back to sleep, I found myself dreaming about how I need to get up ASAP and start making sub plans.

Isn't it the WORST when you don't have emergency sub plans, and you have that over your head to keep you from resting when you're feeling so green?!

Well, unfortunately, because my routine is so different from day-to-day, there's no way I can come up with emergency sub plans to have on hand for emergencies like this. I had to suck it up, and write them so that my amazing parapros could print them out before the sub came.

Ugh, so after all of that, I finally was able to sleep all day and feel MUCH better now. Hopefully I can make it to the end of the year without taking any more sick days!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

~Sarah :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One of those days...

Everyone has those days.... 

....The kind of day where it's just one thing after another.

Well, I haven't had a day like this since I could remember. Although it really wasn't too bad (it could have been much worse), I can definitely use some chicken soup :).

It all started before I could even get out of the house this morning. And then I knew that something was up when I turned on my Pandora station (to cheer me up) and of course it only wanted to play songs from the early 2000's that I've just heard wayyyy too many times, which really started to annoy me. Then, when I gave up on Pandora (only because I have the free version, where it would only let me skip a certain number of songs), I tried playing a new upbeat song, and somehow it didn't want to work.

Well, finally it did work (just in time, because I pulled into the school parking lot before it was half-way over), and I completely forgot that my day started out rough. I skipped into school remembering that breakfast was served by our PTA because of Exceptional Children's Week :). They served catered Chikfila, and I couldn't be happier (especially since I haven't had those Chicken Mini's since high school!!). It wasn't until later that I realized that this was just one of those days that was just not going to stop.

For instance.... I forgot something VERY important at 9:00 (making several people very angry) * I made a student cry at lunch bunch * the power went out 10 minutes before dismissal * my student's bus happened to be late, and then...... when a rescue bus DID come, the database was still down (from the power outage) * so we couldn't print out the bus info for the sub bus driver.

So on a normal day, we dismiss at 3:20, all students and staff gone by 3:50. With the new dismissal (added 30 minutes to make up from the storm) that started yesterday, we dismissed at 3:50, and should have been gone by 4:20, but the bus didn't come until 4:30, and didn't leave until 4:45.


At that point, I blamed everything on the full moon (I certainly checked when I got home, and it's not, but it really seemed like it was!!) The part that really got me down was that I couldn't help but feel like EVERYTHING was I hate that feeling! (Especially when I know I can't possibly be responsible for the power going out, the bus being late... etc. )

Well.... so when I got back to my desk, I pushed my to-do list out of the way, and did something relaxing. :)

Do any of you use Well I'm addicted. I can't remember who's blog I was reading that introduced it to me, but I read someone's tutorial on how-to-do-something-rather (I just can't remember!) and I've been hooked since. Also, on Sunday night, I was reading Kristin's post (from A Teeny Tiny Teacher) about organizing her desktop, and I was like:    :-o    This is what her's looked like:

Click the picture to go to Kristin's post!

Isn't it beautiful?! I knew instantly that I must have one!! So I followed the links that she posted from Mrs. M (from Color Me Kinder) which led me to Heather (from Moritz Fine Designs) and I saved Heather's template so that I could make one later. And then I went to bed. That was Sunday.

So as I was sitting at work this afternoon thinking what I could do to unwind, instead of packing my things and going home, I got started and made my own :)

I started with I clicked on "EDIT" and uploaded the wedding pic that I use as my current background on my work computer. I didn't even have to worry about creating a canvas and figuring out the resolution size, because I already knew that this size worked as a background for my screen (You may want to look into that, though if you're not sure! Just follow Kristin's tutorial, or ask and I'll help you out).

Then I faded it by sliding the "contrast" bar under the "Exposure tab." (I apologize for not having step-by-step pictures! I'm still figuring out how to use my Snipping Tool with my Chrome app on this Windows 8!)

So then it looked somewhat like this: 

I added some overlay labels, laid them out (I found that 8 fit on my picture), and I clicked on the gray color, and faded them so that my picture below could still shine through.

After sorting through my messy desktop, I listed out the categories that I would like to have (it worked perfectly that 8 boxes fit, because I wasn't sure if I wanted any in different sizes like Heather's template).

Then, I added some pink banners, text boxes, and the decorative corner overlays, and WAH-LAH!

So, it turned out like this: 

I am 100% in LOVE with my new desktop :) After I saved the picture to my computer from, I right-clicked on my desktop, went to "Properties," and uploaded it to be my desktop picture. You can check out Kristin or Annie's post to learn how. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know, and I'd be glad to help you!

Here is what it looked like after I finally saved it as the background and got everything all organized:
Isn't it like a breath of fresh air? It's so amazing :)

So after all, I got to sit back and look at the Happiest {absolutely best} day of my life... and I suppose my day sort-of evened out after everything. Hopefully I can get through the remaining 46 extended days (51 total) without another day like this! (*Fingers crossed*)

*On another note, ................does anybody watch How I Met Your Mother? I've only been hooked on this show since last January, but I REALLY loved last night's episode! I can't WAIT till the finale! 

Until next time,
~Sarah :)

**PS: Can anyone figure out my question from my March Currently??? The answers were: "Grey and Yellow" ....... The pictures above may give you a HUGE clue!!    ;)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently March

Can you believe it?

 I cannot. It feels like last week (it was actually 3 weeks ago) that we were snowed in for a few days, here in ATL, GA. Yeah, go ahead. I hear you choking back your laughter .... Well, if you need a good laugh, you should go back and watch what Jon Stewart had to say about our FIRST storm (Snowpocalypse #1 2014) from January. So, go ahead. Laugh. Here, I'll even post it for you...

(TIP: You may want to skip along to 1:30)
(WARNING: I don't agree with all of the crude jokes and remarks made by Jon Stewart, but some of his jokes really were funny)

*I couldn't insert the video, but just click here to open in a new window *

Here's the only few pictures that I snapped from both Crisises:

#Snowcopalypse #1:

Look familiar? Yup, I was able to snap this same shot that Jon Stewart talked about in his segment.

There's my poor car, after school on Tuesday, Jan. 28th. Our school did NOT release early, but these were the last cars left, being responsible and taking care of those kiddos (I was not one of them.. I was still set on taking the hubby out to dinner!)

#Snowcopalypse #2: 

Don't you love having the time to spend preparing a delicious and nutritious lunch for you and your family?

...After a total of 7 days cancelled due to "inclement weather," it doesn't feel like we had much of a January OR a February. Since we got back from our last snow-cation, we've been running like crazy to catch up on lost time. SPEAKING of lost time, our school district decided to make up our four days by adding 30 minutes to the end of the school day. So, I know it's all over the ATL news, but I'm not sure if you've seen anything about it in your neck of the woods.

The thing is, I'm really not mad. If anything it should (hopefully) benefit me. I have to make up a few lunch bunch segments, which I can definitely do on Fridays. And I may have to pull students in the afternoon. However, I have no doubt that it should work out just fine, and if I do all my make-ups sooner than later, I might get a FULL planning period at some point (would you believe that?! Coming from the person who had ZERO planning last year...)

Another funny thing, is that I had read one teacher's blog post (I can't remember who it was for the life of me, and I just can't find it!) about a teachable moment from the whole experience. She gave students the freedom to write a persuasive piece about what the school system should do in order to make up the days. Her kids were RIGHT ON THE MONEY with extending the school day 30 minutes so that we don't have to add days to the end of our school year! But I thought, "Pssh, what a great idea (especially coming from a kid), but noone would EVER agree to that..." Interesting, right?

ONE THING is for sure: This year will go down in our minds as HISTORY. We've never had 7 snow days in a year (let alone within two weeks of each other). I know that it was memorable for my husband and I (especially since the first storm came on his birthday - and unfortunately, everyone closed up shop and drove home by 2:00 that day, so the only place we could find that was open, was CHINESE. We live less than a mile from a BILLION restaurants, and yes the hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant was the ONLY thing open. So yes, he got Chinese Take-out for his bday dinner. He didn't complain, but I was mildly sad that I didn't treat him to the Stoney River or J-Alexander's steak dinner that I had planned :(

*If you wanna read more highlights about our crisis in Atlanta, please this post from Kelly at First Grade Fairy Tales. She did an awesome job summing up the good & the bad!* 

So no, that's why I can't believe it's March. Here's what's up:

Click the picture above to link up with Farley!!
1) Listening... I've accepted the fact that my husband (who just turned 27) will never grow out of video games. He gave up the XBOX for nearly two years, but he still played games on the computer. And then the ONE came out. And .... well, all I can say is that Marriage is all about compromise :) Plus, it gives me the time to sit on my laptop and blog hop! :)

2) I have the best job in the BEST school in the world. HANDS DOWN. More to come about that later..

3) We have rented this house since July, expecting that with a 12-month lease, our house in Augusta would have sold [hopefully - which it did, a few weeks after we signed this lease], and we would have enough saved up for a new house in this area. The problem with going from an area with a lower cost of living to a higher one. Now that it's *MARCH* we have exactly 4 months to find, close, and renovate (if necessary) the house of our dreams before our lease is up! I can't wait..

4) .... Don't we all? ....

5) HINT: No, the question is NOT "What are my favorite colors?" I can't choose favorites, very well... so think again :)

I can't wait to see everyone else's currently! Have a great March, everyone!
~Sarah :)