Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaching and Thailand...

Well today I was hoping to link up with Tara and Monday Made Its, but my day was quickly changed. Yesterday we found the house of our dreams. It was perfect.  Perfect cost, perfect location, perfect everything.  We told the owners we wanted the house and were planning on giving them a deposit this afternoon.  (side note, it is Tuesday night here just to clarify.)  So hubby and I decided to do some work on my classroom before meeting with the owners.  While working this morning we got a phone call saying that the owners accepted money from someone else this morning, thus taking the house away from us.  It was so incredibly sad.  
This beauty was 'our' house..... ($475 US dollars)
Anyway, our perfect afternoon turned into a sad and very different afternoon.  We ended up seeing a few more houses but could not get over the sadness... haha.  SO, after all of this we did end up getting a few things done in my classroom but not enough to show yet.  

But I did want to share a few other things about Thailand.  I went to the market yesterday and bought some fabric.  This was my first trip to the market and it was so cool.  But while there I bought 3 different fabrics for about 2 dollars a meter.  I was quite impressed with this cost. I guess I'm not too familiar with costs in the States but I bought 10.5 meters of fabric for 22 dollars.  I have 3 large bulletin boards and 2 small ones in the front (one of which I left covered in paper)  Anyway, this is my fabric.  The left fabric doesn't show well but I have close up pics too ;)

These are the close ups.  I LOVE the multi-colored one and wish I would have gotten other more colorful ones as well.... guess I will have to go back!
black and white
favorite :)
black and white polka dots :)
The other thing I am very excited about but do not have pictures for are baskets!! Baskets here come in ALL colors and sizes and are also very cheap!! I already have quite the stash in my room and will make great use of them. But I am very happy that they are cheap and readily available. I cant wait to label them and have a place for everything!  I hope to share pictures soon of some of the things I am doing.  I still need to get access to a printer so I don't have to hand write a bunch of things.... please let the printer be available soon!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

New {School} Year Resolutions

Today I am linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for New {School} Year Resolutions.  As a new teacher my resolutions are more survival skills but nonetheless I feel it is important for me to write them down so I can remember.  So without further ado - here are my resolutions!

1.  Survive! Although I very much a person who wants to do everything to the best of my ability, but this year being my first year I want to just get through things.  

2.  Along with this I need to try to keep as much work at work as possible.  I want to be able to explore this new place and spend lots of time with the hubby and making new friends.

3.  I also want to document as much as possible by taking pictures and blogging. Not only will it help me prepare and be ready for the following year but it will hopefully help someone else as well! It will also be a great way to remember what we did all year!

4.  I want to learn as much as possible.  Again being my first year I dont want to be a know-it-all (because obviously I dont!)! I want to learn and try new things and have fun!

Hopefully those are reasonable resolutions.  Check out Amanda's blog Teaching Maddeness and link up with her!  I would love to read your resolutions for the year too!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Encouragement

Today's Sunday Encouragement is about happiness. I have learned that happiness is a choice and one that, for me, needs to made every day.  I like that this quotes points that out by saying that you've 'decided' to look beyond the imperfections.  It is a choice you have to do. The imperfections will always be, but we can look past them and ignore them.  Happiness is also a realization that things are not perfect because they never will be!

Hopefully today you can choose happiness. Find the good in your day.  It is worth it!  Be blessed today :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Day Jitters Linky

Today I am linking up with Fierce in Fourth for her First Day Jitters Blog Hop.  She wants to know some of the things we are worried about for our first day!  Well.... I have a lot! But it is great for me to see everyone else having jitters as well. 


Rules are to share three things you are jittery about!  So I will definitely limit myself here!

1.  Not only have I moved to a foreign land and am trying to figure out how to function here, I have to learn all kinds of new names.  Most people here have a really long name but also nick names. So I have to decipher what the actual name and nick name are! So I am worried I am going to mess up everyone's names!!

2.  I had a nightmare dream that the first day I walked into my classroom and it was exactly how I left the other day.... a MESS.  The room had none of my personal things in it and I knew where nothing was.  Ugh. no fun thinking about that! 

3.  With it being my first year I am nervous about the curriculum and the flow of everything. I feel like I have soooo much to catch up on and learn this year. 

But all of this to say that I am super super excited about this upcoming year and my new adventures!!

Now go on and check out the Blog Hop with Fierce in Fourth.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finally got to see my classroom

A couple days ago I got the outside tour of my school and today I got the inside tour!! It was so fun and so overwhelming at the same time. It is has been raining all day so my hair was very huge and I was in ratty clothes running around town. Once we got to school though I met all kinds of people. (I wish I would have known we were going to school today!) I felt awful for looking so crummy but everyone was so warm and inviting I don't think they cared.

Any hoooooo (focus Brittany) I got to see my classroom. I will show pics of the outsides and what not later. My classroom was surprisingly large. I was impressed with how much storage there is. I know just have to get everything organized!! I was left with lots and lots of things which is honestly a little crazy. Its a good thing I got here so early so that I can go through everything and figure out what I want to keep and what I need to get rid of.  

Today was quite interesting because not only did I see my classroom but also I made my first official teacher purchase. It was silly. I had bean bag chairs in my room that were being taken away, but the lady felt sorry for me and offered me some new ones, which I gladly accepted of course!! I even got to choose which colors I wanted for covers.  Then I was shown the other 4th grade teachers room. She had a wooden stool which I was fond of and the principal asked me if I wanted one, again of course I said yes!  Little did I know that this was something I had to order and then later fill out a form for. But still fun.  I also got my room key so I really do feel official.  Ok now for the long awaited pictures!
From the first entrance

From the second entrance. By law they have to have 2 doors!

From the other side of the room

Panoramic view of the back

The room apparently used to have a jungle theme....I am not impressed. It was a little too much for me.  I cant wait to get in and put my own stamp on things ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Encouragement

Two things: I am very glad that I have internet and can update this post live :) and I am very thankful for all of the bloggy support. It makes what I am doing that much more wonderful.

Anyway, Sunday Encouragement. Today's quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt.  I love Eleanor Roosevelt. However, I must admit that I do not know much about her life or what she did but I do know that many of my favorite quotes come from her!

This has brought me so much encouragement throughout this journey just getting here.  I was so worried and afraid about this transition but I knew that in order for me to grow, I had to let go and look fear in the face!! 

I know that this might not apply to everyone but I have to imagine that there are other circumstances in school in which you have to look fear in the face. Maybe it is integrating a new idea or lesson that others are afraid of, or maybe a new management system. Or maybe you have to confront a student, parent or teacher and it is scary.  But the reality still exists to gain strength, courage, and confidence, you must do the thing you THINK you cannot do.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Arrival to Thailand...nothing educational :)

Hey ya'll. Thank you so much for sticking with me.  This week has been absolutely crazy, but super fun also! First I should mention that I am 12 hours ahead of  where I came from, but I will posting in that same time zone it will just be crazy hours.  Did that make any sense?!?

Anyway, we arrived late on Thursday night and was brought straight to our 'guesthouse' which is lovely but more like a hotel.  We have a bed, bathroom, microwave and fridge.  There is LOTs of storage though so that is lovely.  I would show a picture but currently it is a mess, plus hubby is sleeping and I'm sure would not appreciate that! We have a lovely balcony with a view of the mountain, and that I can show you, even though it is slightly cloudy.  It is beautiful.

Yesterday we toured the town most of the day. We went to a 'western' lunch in which I got pancakes and hubs got Ham and Swiss Sandwich.  We went to a grocery store and found all of our comfort foods!! They are a lot more expensive than regular food but at least they have them.  We also went to a place similar to Walmart and it was HUGE. We were shocked to see how big it was and how much stuff they had.  I bought a hair dryer because voltage is different I didnt bring mine, but apparently they dont use hair dryers here so it was not what I was expecting.  ( I think that was a run-on sentence, but I am on vacation....right!?!) We had Thai dinner consisting of chicken, curry, rice and soup. It was delicious.

We have learned a lot of things about the culture and ways of Chiang Mai.  One thing you might be interested in is that children here are very respectful. This means that as a teacher I wont have many management problems.  I have been told that I will be able to calm and focus my classroom with just a look!! ahhh. How exciting. My first year teaching and I will have little management issues!! Yes, yes, I know I still will have to be prepared and expect some things but nothing compared to city schools and what not.

Anyway, I have yet to see the school or my classroom yet. I have walked past the school as we live right next door (Amazing!) but havent gone in yet. Hopefully next week we can do that! I am very excited about everything. Maybe tomorrow or Monday I will have some real teacher things or something for you, but not quite sure.

Thank you for all your support. You all are wonderful!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I know I havent been the best at blogging the past week or so and unfortunately it is only going to get worse.  BUT I have a very very very good excuse.  The past couple days I have been saying all of my goodbyes and packing all of my possessions into 2 bags.  It has been an amazing and stressful week.  Not to mention that I have a caught a cold.... I am one UNHAPPY camper.  It is so frustrating!!

Anyway, for those of you who do not know, I am moving to Thailand tomorrow.  It is entirely crazy.  The reality of it all is sinking in and I am beginning to wonder if I lost my mind when I signed up for this....  But I know that it will all work out and be fine.  Until then.....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! is about how I'm feeling. 

The teacher in me had to include a picture so this is where I am going!!

So on that note. I know for sure I will not be posting again until Friday. I hope you can all bear with me! I will have lots to share once I get there. Including pictures of MY CLASSROOM!!! I can't wait!

Thank you all for your support.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Encouragement

Encouragement for today.  Be so busy loving life!!  That is my goal for today.  Focus on how much you love life and how blessed you are.

Sorry its so short but dont have much time today.  Hopefully I can explain my situation better tomorrow!

Be encouraged today!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Birthdays and cupcakes

I have seen all over pinterest and blogs ideas for birthdays and early preparation for them.  I decided that I wanted to create something as well.  I personally love birthdays (it's is my favorite holiday!).  Anyway, because I love birthdays I want to do something a little special like choosing their favorite candy or something... clearly I haven't thought this part through all the way yet!

Anyway, I was at a yard sale this past spring and found this ah-mazing cupcake! It is HUGE.  So much so that I wanted to show you by including a ruler in the pic! I know super cheesy but can you sense my excitement!  My idea is to put this on the board by the door and write the name of the birthday person and leave it up for the day. Every kid likes to have their name on the board in a positive way right!?!

I also made these fun cards. I'm going to print them on cardstock.  I hope to write a personal note on the back to each student but that might not happen! 

Currently, all I have to do is sign the bottom. And you can too. I also have a candle border on the second page that can be printed on the back of these if you want to write a note as well. Here is the link that will get your copy as well.  Hope it works and hope you like it.  Any comments on it would be wonderful!

What do you do for birthdays? Any advice for a newbie? 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Inky Linky Party

Warning: This post is completely unrelated to educational things. It is summer vacation after all though!

Today I am linking up with Mr. B's Beach Brains linky party about teacher tattoos.  I am very excited about this linky party because I have always wondered about tattoos in the teaching field.  Growing up in a conservative environment, tattoos were frowned upon and the excuse was that it was "unprofessional". So it was quite the battle when I decided that I wanted one.  Even now, three years after getting it, my Grandpa still asks me what is on my arm and why I thought that it was a good idea.

Here is my beauty. I love it.  The first time I got it it was brown ink, but it got infected (which is a totally different story) and I had to get it re-done in black.  Why Hope? Well to get incredibly personal (I know I opened up this can of worms!) I struggled with hope for a long time.  I was a pessimist to the extreme and had little hope for success, happiness, or life.  One of my mentors used a phrase with me that changed my life.  She said "I am holding on to hope for you, until you are ready to have it back.  Once you have it you need to share it with everyone!"  Thus hope.  I placed it on my wrist so that I would always see it and be able to easily share it with others.  Again, I love it!

Do you have any tattoos? Link up with Mr. B.  Be sure to check out his rules first!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday Made It...Finally

I have wanted to link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics to do a Monday Made It for a long time but since I am moving haven't thought I could participate.  Then, I realized that I could do something digital that was practical for my classroom and traveling and what not.  

So here it goes. I have had this pinned on Pinterest for a super long time.  It is from Laura Candler's management strategies

I wanted to do something similar but want to be able to flip it so that only what we are doing is visible.  This is was what I made.  (I wanted them to be side by side but you get the idea!) I will bind them with 2 rings or something like that.  I know this isn't anything crazy but still something I hope to use in my classroom!


I also made this for my bulletin board near the entrance of the room (every school has one of those right!?!)  Anyway, I made these puzzle pieces with a di-cut machine in lots of fun colors.  I laminated them and cut them out again!! 

I couldnt take a picture of all of them but the idea is that they will all be up together in the shape of a puzzle.  I will write each student's name on a piece.  The final piece, the one that is not yet in place (top left corner) will have my name on it and put the whole puzzle together.  

I then made this sign to go with it. I will print it out and laminate it once I get settled!  

The idea for this bulletin board is for the students to know that they have a place in this classroom.  Each of them together make the class whole.  I hope to have an engaging discussion with them about what this means and how we will work together.  

I am very excited about all of these things, especially linking up with Tara!  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Encouragement

This past few weeks I have been so blessed by how wonderful everyone is on bloggyland!! (really bloggyland is not a word? What do they expect us to call this place anyway?)  So my Sunday encouragement is to let you all know how much I appreciate you all!  Thank you for encouraging me as I begin this journey into teaching.  My excitement has only increased because of these new connections.

So again.  Thanks for being wonderful!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scrabble Slam

As you may know, I AM ON VACATION!!!! Yes that is my very, very, very, happy voice.  It has been absolutely wonderful to spend time with family and do (almost) whatever I please!  Today, we went to the beach and out on the boat.  It was pure bliss for a girl like me.  Tonight we are relaxing at home so I decided to write a quick post.
I know it's not a great picture but still a wonderful day!
Anyway, I wanted to include something teacher focused.  One of the things I love about vacation is all of the games that we play.  Yesterday, we played Scrabble Slam.  It was so much fun.  I might be a little biased because I LOVE word games, but it was really interesting.  It is a fun, fast, easy game to play for all ages.  

As I was playing I could not help but think about how perfect the game is for the classroom.  For those of you who don't know the game you start with a 4 letter word like 'GAME'. Each player has a handful of cards with 2 letters on it.  The goal is to get rid of all of your cards by changing the word as many times as possible.  Repeating words is just fine as long as it is not the current word.  So a changing of the word goes like this 'GAME' can be changed to 'TAME' -> 'DAME' -> 'DATE' -> 'MATE' -> 'MAKE' -> 'CAKE' -> 'BAKE' -> 'WAKE' -> 'WAVE'  -> 'SAVE' -> 'GAVE'  -> 'GATE' -> 'MATE' -> 'MATS' -> 'BATS' and so forth.  Sorry I got carried away!

The point is that it makes the players think about word families.  You have to think about how to change the words only one letter at a time.  You can change any letter you want but it has to create a word and normal scrabble rules apply so proper nouns and slang do not work.

I also appreciate that this is a game for all learners.  Those who love words and are familiar with word families can fly through this and make it a race.  Those who struggle with word families can take their time to really think through how to change the words.  It also can help hand eye coordination since the students have to place the new letter on top of the old one.

I can't wait to incorporate this into my classroom as a station or an extra game. Have you ever played Scrabble Slam? Do you use games in your classroom? What other games do you use?

**Disclaimer:  This is my rendition of the game. There might be more to it, but this is how I played.  This is also not an official review or in any way an ad for this game.**

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More Awards :)

Wow, the blogging community continues to amaze me! I love how lovingly kind people are.  I have been awarded the Liebster Award and the Versatile Award from Lauren over at Adventures in Sixth.  She is so wonderful and we just found out we have a lot in common, including being very new to blog land.  In order to keep things simple I am going to award my people with both awards.
First is the Liebster Award.  Here are the rules:

This award highlights blogs that have under 200 followers. Here are the rules for it:
1. Copy and paste this award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Reveal 5 other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blog. 

Teaching with Blonde Ambition

Teach on a Limb

Miss R's Classroom

I am also nominating Heather from Peacocks and Penguins. I believe that she already has the Versatile award but not the Liebster award.  She definitely deserves it as she has a wonderful blog!!

The other is the Versatile Blogger Award

The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award & link back to that site.
2. Include the award image.
3. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate other bloggers for the award (suggested: 15 bloggers) and include links to their sites.
5. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

My 7 random facts:

1.  I do not drink anything hot.  This includes coffee.... I know I probably just lost many of my followers but I cant do it!  I do however LOVE the smell so I greatly enjoy my hubby drinking it all the time.  
2.  Since I do not drink anything hot, I have to have either a Mountain Dew or a Sweet Tea all the time!  I know both of these things are terrible for me but I gotta have 'em.  (Is that a slogan for someone because it sounds familiar!)
3.  I spent all of my schooling in private schools.  (Kindergarten through second are the exceptions but they do not really count!) This does not mean however that I feel called to teach in a Christian school. I am willing to go where ever I am needed. 
4.  I know this is sort of cheating since it is plastered all over my blog. But I am moving to Thailand in 14 days to teach 4th grade at an international school.  
5.  It is my dream to travel to every continent (minus Antarctica...that really shouldn't be considered a continent in statements like this.)  I have already traveled to 2 North America ;) and Europe and will be hitting Asia soon.  Travelling is something I really do feel called to doing!
6.  I hate not having my toe nails polished but I rarely paint my finger nails.  I think it is because my fingers always chip instantly after I put it on, but my toes will last much longer.  Plus I think my toes look hideous without polish!
7.  I realized my freshman year of college that my left pinky is significantly shorter than my right.  If enough people read this then I will post a picture to prove.  It is quite interesting because I don't remember ever hurting my finger or causing this difference.  

Hopefully, this finds these people well.  I love handing out awards and acknowledging how great people are. I apologize if anyone already has received this award.  But congrats to you all!  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Encouragement

Today, I need some personal encouragement.  This weekend was really hard as I said goodbye to many close friends that we visited for the last time.  We will be leaving in two very short weeks.  So here is a picture of an awesome verse.  I love the ending "without fear of the future".  
This is my goal.  To live without fear of the future. To be clothed in strength and dignity. And to be known for my laughter!  What blessings and powerful words these are.  

I hope that they can encourage you in whatever you may be encountering.  Be encouraged today to live without fear of the future!!

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