Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My New Year's Resolutions

I have an unhealthy obsession a purposeful affection for To Do lists, and I think that all of us who are similarly afflicted motivated would agree that New Year's Resolutions are like the Big Mamma Jamma of all To Do lists.  So imagine my delight when I saw that my blogging buddy - the awesome Mrs. D at The Third Wheel - is hosting this perfectly-timed linky party:

It's super easy to play along!  Just go to Mrs. D's blog to download her graphic.  (But be careful, because she has tons of great things to read about, so you Must. Stay. Focused.)  Fill in the list (squee!), blog about it, then link up!

Here's mine:

Home: Your resolution related to your home life and/or family
Plan and Prepare Dinners
I have always enjoyed cooking and baking; in fact, those culinary endeavors typically are at the top of my "favorite activities" lists.  However, during the work week, it's just overwhelming sometimes!  I've decided to start planning, to become more intentional about my desire to nourish my family.  To be honest, sometimes the plan will be "Go out to dinner" or "Mr. Hedgehog's fabulous grilled chicken."  Planning does not always entail cooking... but it does save us from last-minute (and usually less-than-healthful) pizza orders and pantry foraging.

Work: Your resolution for yourself as a professional
Grade and Record Papers Before Leaving School
Confession 1:  I sometimes bring home giant humongous piles crammed into bulging-to-the-point-of-exploding tote bags the occasional stack of papers to grade.
Confession 2:  Sometimes they never make it out of the car  I do not get them all graded at home.
I resolve to wrap up this important part of teaching each day before I leave for multiple reasons:
*It will provide me with immediate knowledge of each student's understanding
*It will allow me to reflect on the value and success of the _____ (fill in the blank - lesson, unit, assessment, etc.) while everything is still fresh
*It will free me from the stress of procrastination
*It will increase the amount of undivided attention I am able to share with my family at home

Health: Your resolution about your health and personal wellness
Do 30 Minutes of Cardio First Thing
Remember how I just said that I love to cook and bake?  Well, I am a foodie through and through... Regular exercise has to enter the equation.  (Mr. Hedgehog calls it "Playing for the tie.")  I love yoga and ballet, but the only sure-fire guarantee I've got is a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical first thing in the morning - then everything else is frosting on the cake (or cellulite OFF the bum).

TPT/Blog: Your resolution for your blog or TPT store
Blog Three Times Per Week
I am very excited to start blogging more actively, and my true goal is to blog about things that matter.    I absolutely love sharing my teaching resources, and blogging seems like a natural extension of that.  I know how much I love reading other educators' blogs about effective instruction, timesaving tips, and overall best practices - so that is what I want to blog about!   Please join me in 2015 as I try to achieve this goal!

Hop on over to Mrs. D's blog and grab your New Year's Resolutions stuff to personalize and share - then I would love for you to leave a note here so I can go read YOUR resolutions!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pick 3: December's Top Pinterest Picks

True Confession:  My 7:15 a.m. playground duty does NOT rank on my List Of Favorite Things.  It's getting chilly out there, and I can always think of at least 17 OTHER things I'd RATHER be doing in that half hour before the first bell...   

But wonder of wonders...  duty this morning was fun!  Sure it was chilly, and sure there were lots of things on my To Do list that I would have rather been doing, but I found myself honestly enjoying duty this morning.

I think that it is as simple as this:

'Tis the season!  

All of the kids came to school smiling, as though expecting something wonderful to happen today.  I witnessed moments of kindness between students, older siblings hugging their little brothers and sisters as they escorted them to kindergarten...  kids on the soccer field extending a hand to someone who took a tumble... 

This morning's duty pretty much zipped by as child after child stopped by to share something special about right now, or to share something exciting about what they're looking forward to in the near future.  Decorations are going up, family visitors are booking tickets and claiming dibs on guest rooms, favorite shows are starting to enjoy prime time promotion...  there was even talk of a cool book... and a new tortoise... a haircut... and a mischievous puppy...  Before I knew it, the bell rang.  And I realized that I had not minded duty one little bit.

Yes, it's that time of year.  I love it!  December brings with it comfortable tradition, and hopeful anticipation...  cozy snuggles...  and joy.  It's contagious, whether that feel-good exuberance is on the school playground... or on Pinterest!

I saw this linkup on two of my regular blog stops - Crockett's Classroom Forever in Third Grade and Confessions of a Teaching Junkie - and immediately thought, "What a great idea!"  I've been a big squeaky chicken a bit apprehensive about jumping into the blogosphere... but this is a blog post I can write!  Pinterest, you say?  Yes!  Yes, I Pinterest!  I can very happily share with you a few of my current faves...

And that brings us to:

This linky party is a new monthly event hosted by Lisa at PAWSitively Teaching and Marissa at Inspired Owl's Corner.  On the third of each month, these lovely ladies share their Top Three finds on Pinterest that they plan on using in their classrooms.  They also invite the rest of us to join in the fun, and they even provide cute graphics for us all to share!

So without further ado, here are three pins that I plan on using soon in my classroom:
Click on the image to see the original pin.
This pin features a variety of science experiments and activities, including growing crystals, making candy cane goo, and - how cool is this - creating science kits to give as gifts!

Click on the image to see the original pin.

This pin takes you to a site chock full of crafts (some are even edible!) that are perfect for any classroom, because they are not directly reflective of any specific holiday.  Rather, you'll find a variety of snowmen, penguins, winter gear, and more - all designed for young crafters to create successfully.

Click on the image to see the original pin.

This particular craft clay smells of peppermint, is cool to the touch, and SPARKLES!  Really, what more could you want in a winter creativity medium?  I can't wait to try it out!

You'll find lots more evidence of my Pinterest addiction ideas to use in your classroom on my two boards created especially for this time of year:  {Seasons} Winter and {Holidays} Christmas!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween in 3rd Grade Linky Party

Welcome to my first ever linky party!

Anybody who's got some fun ideas to make Halloween especially BOO-tiful for our 3rd graders is cordially invited to participate - and it should be easy peasy - I hope!  Like I said, this is my first link party, so please do let me know if I've made any BOO boos.

Here's how to join in the fun:
Just post a link (down below this blog post, using the InLinkz app) to your blog post or TpT product that pertains to Halloween in our 3rd grade classrooms.  Each participant may link up to 3 posts or products.

I would love for you to share my little "Halloween in 3rd Grade" badge graphic on your blog, Facebook, or Pinterest to spread the word.  The more participants we have, the more frightfully fun ideas we can all collect!

In the spirit of Halloween fun, I am offering these two seasonal favorites in a random drawing:

The winner will be selected randomly on October 31, and I will mail the prize within 24 hours of the winner emailing me her/his mailing address.

Everybody who joins the Halloween in 3rd Grade linky party will get one entry in the drawing for each item posted.

Here are more ways you can earn extra entries in the drawing:
~ Pin the Halloween in 3rd Grade badge on Pinterest
~ Post the Halloween in 3rd Grade badge on your blog or Facebook page
~ Follow my Hedgehog Reader Facebook page
~ Follow my Hedgehog Reader TpT store

If you do any of these extra super helpful ways to spread the word and to help me become more active in the teacher blogger universe - thank you SO much!  Just leave me a little note in the comments section of this blog post or on Facebook telling me what you did, and you’ll get an extra entry for each - up to 8 entries total.

The Linky Party closes on Halloween, so please start sharing your ideas!  Ready, set, BOO!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Welcome to Hedgehog Reader!

I am so excited to introduce my new blog! Danielle at Crayonbox Designs did a beautiful job creating exactly what I had in mind :o) Hedgehog Reader is my place to discuss education - research, best practices, and teaching ideas. I *LOVE* children's literature, and will also be posting book reviews, tie-ins to movies (have you noticed how many YA movies have come out lately?), and applications for the classroom. I'll begin blogging actively in the next few days, but did not want to leave my little hedgehog all alone in the meantime. Please come back and visit!

Friday, January 10, 2014


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