Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Writing Prompt

Here's your next writing prompt! I hope you've been able to keep up with them and your students have enjoyed using them!

Printable: Faith: All The Things You Are

God does so many things for us and it's important we remember all that we are to Him. In case you forget, here it is...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Printable: Motivational: Dance in the Rain

I've mentioned before that I enjoy rain and how it's cleansing and comforting.  It's also really fun to do stuff in the rain. Yes, it's awesome to walk outside and see a beautiful day and feel the warm sun but it's something entirely different for it start pouring down rain and you decide it's a prime opportunity to not run for cover but do something the rain.  I have gone swimming (it's really fun to be in the water while it's raining), I've walked barefoot and splashed in puddles, and Superman kissed me in the rain. So enjoy something you think is ruining your day. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Disney: Snack Recommendation: Butterfinger Cupcake

So yes, today I'm talking cupcakes.  I love cupcakes and Disney makes exceptional ones. (They put grey stuff on cupcakes at Be Our Guest, come on!). Last time we were in Disney we finally stopped at the ever popular Starring Rolls Cafe. We tend to enjoy the soon to be gone Writer's Stop more but for 4 years we'd seen Starring Rolls at the top of lots of people's lists for yummy snacks and quick service. So we finally put it on our itinerary and tried it on our last trip.  Depending on when you stop the line can be long, the place is small so that means cramped and if you stop after breakfast time it's pretty much snacks only.  They didn't seem to have anything that made them stand out or different so it's not a must do for us.  However, I tried one of the most delicious and sweet cupcakes I ever had and it had my favorite - a mountain of icing on top with filling in the middle.  I discovered the legendary Butterfinger Cupcake.  First, it's a giant cupcake so you could eat it for a meal or share it with someone. It's a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache filling and it's topped with a peanut butter icing and covered in another layer of ganache with butterfinger crumbs.  There was so much icing! It took me a few bites to get to some actual cake.  This is a very rich cupcake so it will satisfy a sweet tooth and then give you a cavity.  I like the sweet stuff but even towards the end it started to be a bit much for me. I suggest using a fork to get through this thing because it's massive.  The cake was delicious - it was lush and dense and it worked well with the icing.  Make sure you have a drink, you'll need it.  It's a cupcake that worked for me and since it's a rich dessert it wasn't something I'd get over and over again which means it will always be a special treat. 
You can check out the Starring Rolls Menu here.

Printable: Binder Covers: Reading

Here's your next cover - for all your reading needs!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Printable: Teaching: What My Grade Means

Students know an A is good and if they get an F their parents will kill them. But do they understand it's a reflection of their knowledge. It shows where we may need to reteach with them or challenge them to make sure they continue to grow. But how do you get that point across to them?  I decided to make a printable to help showcase what it is that their grade means. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Printable: Easter Subway Art

Our next holiday is upon us!  Here's your Easter subway art. Enjoy! 

Printable: Lyrics: Carry On

Sometimes it is hard to move on, sometimes you get stuck. You can't see how you'll be able to continue, you can't see good.  Somehow you still have to put one foot in front of the other and you have to start pushing forward. It'll be slowly but you'll eventually be back to normal. But you have to start and you have to try. FUN's "Carry On" tells us to do just that. 

Printable: Disney: Disney World Subway Art

We are getting pretty excited around here. Superman has only 2 months until he gets to head back to the happy place and that means only 4 months until we get to go back. So, naturally I made some printables for Disney World. These are early attempts and I'll most likely try again in the future. There are 3 to choose from so pick your favorite or pick them all. 

Printable: Faith: 1 Peter 1:6

God is good. But our lives our not always good. We have bad hours, days, weeks or months. We have bad to appreciate the good, we have the bad to humble our pride, we have the bad to teach us. So you may be in a trial but what can you learn, how can you become better and stronger, 'cause this too shall pass. 

Printables: Motivational: Dr. Seuss' The Places You'll Go

Dr. Seuss is a great source of inspiration and here's one to make sure no matter your age or the subject to always be curious and hungry for more knowledge. Even G.I. Joe says, "And knowing is half the battle."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thoughts of a Day: This Is your Teacher's Brain Right Before Spring Break

Tonight there are no pictures or cute stories.  Tonight is not full of printables of songs, quotes or to hang on a classroom wall. Tonight my heart feels heavy.  Today I woke up but something in my spirit didn't feel quite right. I couldn't put my finger on it and nothing specific to point to but I was cautious about my day.  And what a day it was. It went fast but the moments seemed too long.  Today tested me and it stretched my limits.  In the big picture, my day was insignificant and petty.  People elsewhere are wondering how they will survive to the next day because they can't figure out where they will get their next meal from. Families in Brussels had their lives shattered because some idiot thought he was making a statement by blowing up people who didn't do anything but wake up to go about their day and had nothing to do with the decision that "offended" you.  I put my day into perspective and I tell myself repeatedly to shut up. I know where my next meal is coming from. No one I know died today.  And no matter what else happened I still ended the day alive and breathing. So I want to tell myself to shut up, just breathe and move on.  Do that thing that Irish people do so well. Ya know that thing that comedian John Mulaney describes so well, "The plan with Irish people is I'll keep all my emotions right here (pointing to the middle of his chest) and then one day I'll die." And that's what I've done for as long as I can remember. Not wanting to create a burden on someone else, I just kept it inside. And that's not a good option. Those feelings I never shared nearly ended me, literally.  So no matter what perspective I put it in, no matter how I try to play it off today is a day that is weighing on me.  I won't be able to fix it. Today will end and tomorrow will be new and I'll have to move on and see people and talk and go through motions but I wonder will I really hit my reset button tonight. Will I move on? Or will it still feel hollow?  I started this school year optimistic and the biggest contributing factor of that is that I was happy with who I was as a person. I embraced all my inner nerdiness and for the first could have cared less what random people thought or even co-workers or close friends because I can only control me, not them or their reactions. I was doing new things and was doing things I had no idea I was capable I was doing, seeing how strong I really am. Letting people see me crack and show a little crazy too so they could help and we could continue to do great things.  Then it started to all slip from my grasp. Most it's me being paranoid and since 2016 everything that took me so long to build, I was unraveling piece by piece. Frustration has been a near constant companion.  Frustrated and tired of people who could care less do their job or take pride in it. Frustrated and tired of parents not being cooperative partners but instead want to blame teachers and the school when your child didn't perform or didn't behave.  I'm tired of parents not taking responsibility for their children.  I love my daughter. I think she is smart and amazing and creative but she's not perfect and she messes up and she pushes her boundaries. She's a kid, she'll do that. However, I accept she'll falter and fall and sometimes she'll get hurt and sometimes she'll need consequences for her actions so she understand those behaviors are not acceptable and those behaviors will always have consequences no matter how old she is or where she tries to pull them off. She's fallible, just like I am, just as we all are.  She goes to school where I work. I love it. However, just because I work there doesn't mean she needs special treatment. I still love her just as much when I send her off to her classroom with a hug as I do when she tries to get me to come in her classroom to hug her during math and I just wave but won't go in. I need students to take ownership of their learning and their behaviors.  I may not like it, it may not have been safe, you might have made someone bleed or put a wrinkle in their heart but we'll talk about it and we'll move on.  I'm not interested in your excuses or what the other person did (that's between me and that person) I need students to be able to have a dialogue with me so we can have a teachable moment about how we treat others and some strategies to handle different situations that they might not like. Social and emotional education does not end in Kindergarten, it still continues well past elementary school.  I feel frustrated and indignant and I have no control over them. I can only deal with me. So today, I didn't like how some handled or didn't handle their classes or responsibilities, I didn't like how some students were not bothered about not working on their art project on abstract expressionism and took the 0 for the day.  I didn't like how parents think they can barge into an office and talk to me or my principal however you want. I have support at school, I see people who are still trying and haven't given up but I felt alone and beat up upon. Today the feelings didn't bounce off, I couldn't talk them away, I can't sing them away. I'm going over and over different scenes and what I could have done differently or what I wish others would do differently.  I've been on the verge of tears since noon but haven't cried.  Which at school I was proud about but here at home with Superman out with a friend watching his namesake fight Batman and the Cupcake dreaming sweet dreams I wish I could cry.  I wish I could break down because that means all this emotion would release and wouldn't be on my heart or soul anymore.  I wish every day I didn't feel so deeply, that everything that's flung my way didn't stick right in my heart. I wish all this feeling would go away.  If you knew me in high school - specifically sophomore year - you knew I was a fan of RENT (and that's putting it mildly).  I still know every word to every song. RENT changed my life, gave it a perspective I was desperate to have about only having today and to live in love.  I need that perspective again. I need something different. This most didn't make much sense, it's jumbled, and I don't think I could sum it up if I tried.  Today was a day that weighed on me.  Maybe I've had too many days that have weighed on me and now I can't shake it off. I question if I'm strong enough to continue. And yet, the kicker I was still going to sit down and do work tonight.  I look at that blue bag but I can't do it. I actually am taking the night off. Putting these random thoughts on paper and hoping it will release me from them. And as I ended that sentence the perfect words came through my speakers and I think it's my signal of that's how I should end it, "Forget regret or life is yours to miss."

Disney: Restaurant Recommendation: Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

Today we are going to talk about one of my top 5 restaurants in all of Disney World and definitely my favorite Hollywood Studios Restaurant. Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano will not disappoint - it redeems where Tony's Town Square disappoints. Read on to find out how delicious it is and if you book the right dining package a huge perk that goes along with eating here. 

Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Area: Streets of America (by The Muppets 3D)

I've never had a bad meal at this place. They have all kinds of Italian dishes from pizza to pasta.  I love the atmosphere in the restaurant with the hanging grapes and twinkling lights.  You could be eating outdoors in Italy. The food has always been cooked well, nothing over done or under cooked. My favorite meal here has been the New York Strip Steak that comes with a side of mac and cheese. I've also tried the Chicken Parmesan.  I have nothing to say about anything I've tasted a bite of, it's always been spot on.  The staff has always been really nice and helpful.  The one visit Cupcake couldn't decide on what dessert she wanted and they brought her both.  The biggest perk about eating here is it's one of the restaurant you can book with the Fantasmic! Dining Package. You can choose from 3 different restaurants to eat at and then you get VIP seating at the first showing of Fantasmic! (like center section VIP seating).  Also, no matter what dining plan you are on you get an appetizer, entree and dessert.  There is no downside to not booking this package. This is a must eat at Disney. 

June 2014 - with the biggest steak ever.  Note the Cupcake giving me a hand with my expression

Monday, March 21, 2016

Printable: Binder Cover: Professional Development

We all know we need a place to keep everything we collect or need from our Professional Development throughout the school year

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Printable: Teaching: 4S Line

I've used this strategy for the last 3 years and it's worked well for me. You show them what the 4S' are and model it and then all you have to do is ask for a 4S line.  Enjoy!

Printable: Lyrics: Candle on the Water

We all have a time when it's hard to find hope, you need help getting to the light. "Candle on the Water" is from Pete's Dragon (which has been redone and will be out in August), no matter your circumstance, someone is always on your side, always wanting to help. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Printable: Disney: All Started By A Mouse

We've all heard Walt Disney say his quote, "I hope we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse." I love this quote because no matter how big the Disney company got, he still remember how it started and it was humbling.  Every time I am in Disney World I am in awe that it was all started by a mouse.  Think of all the things that snowball because of one little thing.  So no matter how big you get, be humble and remember where it all started.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Printable: Faith: Romans 5:8

It can be hard to love yourself.  There are times when it seems you can't say anything correct or do anything correct and even when you can't look at yourself you God will still love you and will stay with you while you love again.  He's there loving you through every horrible moment. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Printable: Motivational: Dr. Seuss's Youer Than You

Always remember there is only one you. No one can ever take that away or change it.  If you need a reminder just remember Dr. Seuss...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Disney: Ride Recommendation: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

You know the theme song. You probably have a few favorite episodes. Well in Disney you can step into the Twilight Zone and become the story. This is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Area: Sunset Boulevard
Height Requirement: 40 inches
Fastpass + Available

This is the second highest attraction at Disney World at 199 feet. (Expedition Everest wins by just half a foot).  When you are standing below it, looking up it certainly is a sight to behold.  Our family runs the gamut of emotions when it comes to this ride. Superman loves it. I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I hate it up until the moment of drop from then on I love it.  Cupcake hates it. She's rode it twice and when it's all over says it wasn't so bad but it is by no means at the top of any list. Just like all Disney attractions this has a back story and this is no exception.  You know you are entering a hotel as right on the building it says Hollywood Tower Hotel. The line queue brings you through the hotel lobby where you can tell it had its hayday back in the 1920's-1930's but as since been abandoned.  Everything is covered in cobwebs and a layer of dust.  Similar to entering the Haunted Mansion you are put in a room where you get the backstory.  So the mystery is in 1939 5 people mysteriously disappear in an elevator and you are there to "find out" what happened to them. It's all done on a TV as you were watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. Then it's time to board the elevator.  You ride to the top, your elevator moves forward and another seemingly elevator door opens before you - you can see Hollywood Studios and then whoosh! You're dropping.  This isn't an ordinary free fall ride. You don't just drop. You could drop 2 times or 4 times. You could go up first (this is true, I've ridden the ride when we went up first).  You never know what kind of drops you are going to get.  And hold on because once you start dropping and bouncing you are out of your seat, held down by your seat belt but your bottom is not touching a seat.  Last time my Photopass lanyard came up over my head and I had to catch it.  It's something you have to try and experience. I hate going through the elevator and the initial drop (I hate that kind of suspense, just drop me already!). But we keep going back over and over because at the end of the day its fun and you want to be in the story again and again.  They also snap your photo just as you are dropping and please stop by and take a look, we've always had some hilarious faces...check them out.

February 2013 (Cupcake's first ride)

June 2014 (We are on the right in the back - Cupcake was already losing it)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Printable: Teaching: Teacher's Definition of Talking

If you are a teacher then you totally get the frustration of constantly debating with students when or when they are not talking.  This printable ends that - it covers it all. 

Printable: Lyrics: Born to Fly

Today's printable is pretty simple. It comes from Sara Evans' song "Born to Fly".  If you want to fly, if you have dreams that reach beyond where you are, then fly.  Don't worry about keeping your feet on the ground. 

Printable: Disney: True Measure of a Hero

Being a hero isn't about telling everyone what you did but having a heart for truly helping someone

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Printable: Faith: Psalms 31:7

Today's verse might work its way into being one of my favorites.  It's a constant reminder to read so it can become ingrained in my brain that I must enjoy God's love, thank Him every day for it and trust in it because it's how He takes care of me.  He already knows my troubles and cares about how they eat me up and so if I just trust in His love, He will help take care of that for me. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Printable: Motivational: Second Chance

Each day is a new beginning.  If yesterday wasn't what you wanted that means today is a new chance.  If you messed on Thursday, you can fix it on Friday.  Enjoy your new slate today!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Disney: Recommendation: Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial

So you're at Disney World and you want to be a pirate? Well, there's only one thing for you to do and that's go to Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial.

Park: Magic Kingdom
Area: Adventureland
*To the left of Pirates of the Caribbean Ride*

We did this experience back in 2013 and it was a lot of fun.  You can find it running several times a day in Adventureland right outside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Captain Jack comes out with his first mate and starts to survey the crowd looking to train some new crew members.  For the training part he only picks out 4 kids but at the end everyone can take the pirate oath and be initiated in. Cupcake was determined to get picked and as luck would have it, Captain Jack picked her that day.  She was the only girl to join his crew and he kept saying he didn't trust her because he couldn't see the whites of her eyes (she was wearing sunglasses).  It was a funny show that had enough adult humor to keep all ages interested for the entire 25 minute show.  The actors did a great job - the first mate was the right amount of bumbling and Jack was spot on. I wasn't sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it was. They get adults involved too as one of the distractions they teach them is to yell, "Look it's Blackbeard's Daughter!"  I got to be Blackbeard's daughter throughout the entire show.  It was rather hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing.  It was fun to watch, fun to participate in so we recommend going to try it out.  Here are some pictures from the show. 

Printable: Teaching: I.A.B.D.A.I.G.T.B.A.

If you've ever gone to Mercersburg Swim Camp then you might recognize these letters.  When I taught a grade that was old enough to start to figure it out I loved putting these letters on the board.  It drove them nuts.  I refused to tell them and let them figure it out.  None of my kids ever got it so on the last day of school I spilled the beans.  Maybe if you leave a nice comment below, I'll spill the beans too...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Printable: Binder Series: Math

Here's your next cover...Math!  Enjoy!

Printable: Lyrics: Bring On The Rain

I'm really glad God is in charge of how much I can take and handle.  If it were up to me, I'd have tapped out long ago.  Life is hard but the fact that I make it to the next day alone shows me I can make it.  It inspired today's printable

Friday, March 4, 2016

Printable: Disney: Worth Melting For

In Frozen, before Anna can save Elsa, Olaf saves Elsa by risking melting. Olaf says some people are worth it.  Yeah, there are some people I would melt for.  Why? Because I love them so much I have to make sure they are taken care of before me.  And when you realize what you would do for them you start to examine that they are doing the same for me.  I have that love in return.  So who would you melt for today?  Tell them. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Printable: Faith: God Answers

It's the eternal struggle between us and God - the answer we want and when we want it.  We forget that where we end up isn't just about the end result but God also makes the journey just as important. It doesn't get answered on our terms or the way we want it but in God's time and the way He wants it.  When started at the school I am in now it was not my first choice but it was exactly where I am supposed to be.  No matter what always remember that...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Printable: Motivation: Smile When Raining

I love the rain. I'm that person. It doesn't make me depressed, it is comfort. If weather were a comfort food, rain would be mine. It's soothing and a little cleansing even.  There is beauty in it.  I feel we need to find beauty in our world. And so if you like the rain and it makes you smile - then you're my kind of person. Let's find beauty in something unexpected today. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Disney: Snack Recommendation: Croque Glace

So you're in Disney and most of the year it's on the warm side so it's always time for ice cream. Today I'm recommending the delicious Croque Glace from L'Artisan des Glaces.

Area: World Showcase
Country: France

This little ice cream place is tucked away in a back corner in the France pavillion but it is not to be missed. We visited this place our last trip and fell in love with the delicious ice cream.  I do have one regret - not getting the Croque Glace like my husband did. I went with just a regular cup of ice cream since it was a snack credit but my husband opted to buy his. I'm hoping that since they changed the snack to a single serving that it is this time - either way I'm all over it. It's a scoop of ice cream (your choice) with raspberry or chocolate sauce (again, your choice) and it's pressed between some brioche bread.  I was lucky my husband let me taste and it was delectable!  The salty and sweet with the hot and cold made this a must have combination.  I recommend the sea salt caramel flavor - it was so smooth and silky that it's my new measure of caramel of flavor.  We will return to this place in 2016 and I will have my own Croque Glace...with sea salt caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce.