Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fresh and Fun Ideas for Back to School and Currently for September!

Happy September!  August came and went and I just realized I never had time to blog about how things are going in my own second grade class!  I have to say, this year has been the best yet so far.  I've got an amazing group of students, and while many of them are academically very low, they are very sweet and excited to learn.  Can't ask for more than that...I'm one happy teacher!

In years past, (pre TpT) I spent the first few weeks of school scrambling for "Back to School" type activities that would help to instill the idea of basic rules, routines, and procedures in my classroom. To make things easier,  I created my own Back to School Unit with just the right combination of activities for those first few days (or weeks) of school!  You can grab this Back to School Unit here!    Scroll down to see a sneak peek of this unit in my previous post!

However, the most FUN part of starting off my school year was reading my favorite Kevin Henkes books with my students.  I got the idea from Amy Lemons (my all-time favorite teacher blogger... I aspire to be like her someday!)  She posted some great links on her blog here!  I absolutely love all of Kevin Henkes stories, and the students LOVED them!

And now... it's time for September's Currently!  I'm linking up again with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for her monthly LINKY PARTY!

Here's my CURRENTLY for this month.

1.  Listening:  It seems like I've always got Pandora on lately... I seriously don't know what I did before it existed!  I have a few stations I love to play at home -- like Amy Winehouse, Mayer Hawthorne, Duffy, or Empire of the Sun... at school, I love playing "Solo Piano", "Acoustic Guitar", or sometimes... when we're feeling fancy, a little "Opera Radio".  (We just read a story called Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea... and in the story, it mentioned how Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby would turn the opera up VERY LOUD and sing along... so we did it too!  Oh my gosh, they loved it.  It was so stinkin' cute!)

2.  Loving:  I am seriously in love with my old school Mr. Sketch Smelly Markers.  I read a post from a fellow TpT'er on Facebook about using them for her Daily 5 Anchor Charts, so I ran out and bought some. I really like the chisel tip -- it makes my writing much neater!  Added bonus - they smell delicious!  ;)
3.  Thinking:  About my endless list of chores that seems to grow and multiply while I sleep.  I know I'm not the only busy mom and teacher out there, so I'm not going to whine about it. It's just that Sundays are not really very restful around here... they're my day to make sure I'm all caught up on laundry, have groceries for the week's worth of lunches and dinners, and the house somewhat picked up. So, why am I sitting here blogging you ask?  Good point.  The answer...procrastination.  ;)  I'm really good at it.

4.  Wanting:  Someone to help with that endless list of chores!  My husband, Matt, is awesome and is very helpful when he's around.  However, it's football season and he's coaching local high school football... which means I'm on my own a lot more than usual.  Hiring a cleaning lady is on the top of my *wishlist!  Hopefully soon!  I can't even imagine how nice it would be to come home from work to a freshly cleaned house!  I want that!

5.  Needing:  To take some time for myself.  I was doing really great over the summer taking time for myself each day to exercise and eat healthy.  Now that I'm back to the daily grind of work, kids, homework, dinner, bath, bedtime... it's HARD to squeeze in any time for myself!  Add into that equation the fact that I'm trying to build products to add to my TpT store, and it's like I REALLY have zero time for myself.  But... I remember an exercise instructor I once had told me, "If you keep waiting for there to be EXTRA time to exercise, you'll never find it.  You have to build it into your day, and make it a priority to give yourself just ONE HOUR of time each day to exercise."  It really stuck with me... and although I haven't been putting it into practice lately, I know that if I don't make the time for myself, no one else will.

6.  This last one is a "Love Yourself" Spot:  I'm supposed to list a few things to do that will make my heart happy and make me a happier mom, wife, and teacher!  So... the first thing I'm going to do (that goes along with #5) is to make the time to work out each morning before work!  I am going to get myself out of bed right at 5:30... and replace my "SNOOZE BUTTON" for 20 minutes with exercise on my Elliptical!  I'm also going to take time to pack yummy, healthy lunches for myself.  Last on the list - a mani/pedi!  What better way to make a girl feel like a million bucks?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hey Samantha, I love your blog! We also do Kevin Henkes stories at the beginning of our school year and they always go over well. I can't wait to check out your Back to School Unit. You and I both seem to be in need of some good ol' fashioned physical activity and some "me" pedi time! If you get a chance, check out my blog Seconds Please! at


    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for stopping by! I will definitely check out your blog, too!

  2. Thanks Samantha! I'm not sure what happened to my currently., it was there when I posted, lol. I went back and redid it though. Thanks for stopping by and the encouragement!


  3. Hi Samantha...

    I found you at Farley's! I am right there with you on making time. I so have to get back at it! The beginning of the year is tough, but I think you are right; we have to make time. LOL...easier said than done!

    Flamingos and Butterflies

  4. Love Mr. Sketch! Markers are so awesome! Yay! I'm your newest follower. =)

    Just Wild About Teaching