December 31, 2013

New Year's Sale!!!!

Happy 2014!!!! Let's ring in the New Year right with a little sale shall we? I've got a great New Year's Resolution activity for the kids when we's only $1 and I'm having a 15% off SALE! Woot! Click here to head on over to my TPT Store.

So let's make our Education Resolution to help each other out this year. Let's be a community of teachers that cares and shares. My goal is to continue to provide quality free items in addition to paid products :) I wanted to start this blog to build up the Middle/High School connections because I saw a lacking in the blog world. I love hearing other people's ideas and can't wait to implement new activities in my class this year! :)

Happy and Prosperous 2014 everyone!!
[Photo from:]

December 30, 2013

Thirteen in '13 Linky Party!

I love a good Linky! I'm linking up with A Teeny Tiny Teacher and her pals for the Thirteen in 13 Linky!!!

I'm going to do a mix of their things and what Hadar did with 13 highlights of 2013. 

 I LOVE black skinny jeans. I wear them all the time because I can tuck them into boots or wear them with flats or heels :) I in 4 days ago....just found the perfect pair at Tilly's. They're heavier than leggings, but thinner than jeans-but I don't think they're jeggings ;)

I watched Pitch Perfect several times so I'll go with that :) So funny and yet the mash-up songs are really good. I might even buy the soundtrack. Catching Fire was a close second :)

 I have really gotten into White Collar on USA network. I'm also extremely into Sons of Anarchy, but that had it's season finale already and While Collar is still going on :)

My favorite restaurant is 2 Good 2 B. It's a gluten free bakery/restaurant that also has dairy free items. They have a few locations here in San Diego, and their North County location is only about 25 minutes away!!!!

The favorite new thing I tried was my Renaissance Faire!!! It was hard work but so much fun and the kids had a blast! I was so worried about it 'cus they're high schoolers and tried to act "cool" like they didn't want to do it, but they liked it!

Hmmmm....For my birthday in April my mom and sister took my to a spa in Santa Barbara for the weekend. Got a lovely massage and went to a great sushi restaurant that was VERY gluten-free accommodating :)

I decided to have my first annual Christmas Craft party this year [around Thanksgiving break time] and pinned some great crafts that my friends and I made! It was awesome :)

Hmmmm. That's a tough one. I always really like Farley's Currently. I look forward to those every month!!!

 Education wise, my Best accomplishment was starting my English Support class. I worked so hard on setting it up and making sure the kids were prepared for the high school exit exam. The proof was in the pudding, so to speak, when all but 2 of my kiddos passed the English portion. 

Personally, my BEST accomplishment was diagnosing, dealing with, and trying to overcome my recent "diagnosis" of being Gluten and Dairy free. It's been a tough, challenging, depressing, emotional journey. Most people have no idea how it runs your every day life. But I'm getting there and trying not to let it bring me down!!

Well....sorry to disappoint, but my favorite pictures are of me and my now 1 yr. old nephew and I don't know that my sis would want his cute little face up here on my blog. So just imagine the cutest little thing you've ever seen, double it, and then you've got my little nephew :)

My favorite memory is just hanging out with my little nephew. Since I don't have kids of my own yet, it's so great to get to hang out with him when I can. I drove up to Sacramento [where they live] over the summer and spent 4-5 days with them and it was so great!!

I have a few goals for 2014:

1) I'm going to make a new gluten free/dairy free item each month. Nothing crazy, just one a month. I figure that is easy to follow up with. That will expand my food options too :)

2) Job wise, I'm going to make sure that I remain CALM and recognize that each student needs something from me. I will try my best to be available to each student. That's a lot in high school, but the goal is to try :)

I think my word for 2013 was Faith. I had to believe that I would find out what was wrong with me. I had to have faith that it would be ok. I had to have faith that I would get through it and still be able to teach [I had to use ALL my sick days last school year]. I still have faith that God has a plan for me and my personal life...

And that's my 13 in '13!!




December 28, 2013

New Year's Resolution activity for your classroom!

As promised, here is a new activity for the classroom. Very timely as we are coming back to the classroom in 2014! I created a one page activity that is a fun way to remind them of Common Core reading, writing, listening, and speaking: New Year's Education Resolutions :) I'm going to use it as my Journal entry on our first day back at school...but you could just do it as a fun activity.

The zip file contains both the Word doc and the PDF version. I did both because if I just do one or the other, I get complaints either I'm being proactive! :) Head on over to my TPT Store to pick this baby up in time to use in January! 

Hope your students have a little fun with it!

December 26, 2013

It's been too long...

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone. Seems like just yesterday I was counting down the days until school was out, then til my nephew came to town, and then Christmas. And now it's all come and gone.

Christmas was bitter sweet this year, as my grandmother passes away on the 24th. But I think having my one year old nephew here really helped my mom. It was wonderful to have Christmas with a little one around and see him enjoy all the fun things :)

Christmas was up early and headed over to my parents to watch the little man open his first stocking...he was not too impressed. I guess it's hard to impress a 12 month old. Then he took a nap and we opened presents around 10am. That kid got spoiled!! But that's ok because a lot of the gifts were books...yes, a book from the English Teacher auntie...I know :)

I got a really great knife block set, so now I have no excuse not to cook great meals :) I also got a really cool mason jar set and mason jar drink dispenser...yay!!

So other than that, I've been grading essays...
I shouldn't complain...I'm grading in 72* weather on my patio :) Using my new mason jar! 
[Those are strawberries and blueberries mashed in water there :)]

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying and hopefully relaxing. Look for a new, timely, 2014 product for the classroom coming soon!

December 15, 2013

Renaissance Faire SUCCESS!!!!

Well, it was a lot of work...but we have a success ladies and gentlemen! Even though my 10th graders pretended they were too cool for it, they had so much fun! The guys had so much fun sword fighting [with cardboard swords of course], that at one point I was worried an eye would get poked out, but they kept it under control and I even heard "this is the best day ever"!!!

Many of you may have seen my TPT Unit for the Shakespeare Renaissance Faire, and I used everything in that to create mine. I started by, weeks ago, sending out the Parent Volunteer flyer to get supplies donated for the faire. [Our parents have to do 25 hours of 'community service' for the school a year, or they can pay $10 for one hour. So I sent out this flyer [below] and got all the pipe cleaners and ribbons to make the girls' headpieces. Then I also received fabric scraps for the guys to make belts, and cardboard for their shields and swords.

I wanted to bring some decorations to the faire, so I created some banners and a wooden sign to bring some 'reality' to the faire. [The banner template is in my TPT Unit]
Surprisingly, laminating 100 flags only cost $5 at the local teacher supply store!

I bought the wooden arrows at Michaels, and then the good guys at Home Depot build me the stand! Literally had 1/2" to spare when fitting it in my car!!! yikes!

I also played Renaissance Music during the faire, which made it seem a little more authentic as well. Here's a link to the YouTube video I found; it is an hour long 'video' that plays music the whole time:

So, on to the faire. Each student, or pair of students, picked a role and did their research based on that. They had to create a one page handout and dress for the role. If they were on food, they had to make at least one of the items and put the recipe on the handout. If they were on games, they needed to put the rules and how to win on their handout. The handout also included all their research. They needed to make enough copies for everyone in the class, so that each student took home all the information.

I do have small class sizes, and this is the one time I wish I had bigger classes. It was a little tricky to have students manning their booths and have fair goers :/ I think next year I'll invite the Jr. Highers to come be fair goers and have my kids run the booths. It did help that the French teacher brought over her students during 4th period, my smallest class, so they were the fair goers. I also had some visitors from the 11/12 English teacher for about 15 min or so. That was fun for my students too because they explained their games and food and it was just more fun with more people!

So here are a few pics. I tried to take pics so I wouldn't have to blur out the kids' faces, and I think for the most part it worked :)

The gypsy tent...we borrowed a pop up tent and strung fabric throughout.

This kid was awesome! He painted horses on posterboard, tied a sash to them so the kids could put them over their shoulders, and made a Jousting station!!

This team made bacon, mini mince-meat pies, and brought a meat/cheese platter!!

General Faire shot....sorry about the blurred out tacky, I know. :/

And finally, my costume. My mom made this in 8th grade...we had to add fabric to the bodice, and made a new hat...but it turned out great!!!!

I really hope this encourages you to have your own faire, or a version of it, when you do your Shakespeare unit. I know that some schools use a whole day; I left everything up and then each period had their own mini faire--whatever works for you!

Here's the TPT link again, and a link to the "How to speak Shakespearean' handout I gave the kids so they could try to stay in character. Overall, a great & exhausting day!! :)

And with that, I bid thee Anon. :)

December 11, 2013

Shakespeare FREEBIE

In gearing up for our Renaissance Faire on Friday, I've created this little freebie handout entitled, "How to speak 'Shakespeare'".

I'm so excited to start our 3-week Shakespeare unit and read Much Ado About Nothing. Kids always fret and moan about Shakespeare, and so this year I decided to make researching the times fun! We're holding a Renaissance Faire on Friday!!! Each student has a role to fill and will be asked to dress, and speak, in 'Shakespearean' should be so fun! [My mom has helped me create my costume...she can sew ;)]

Click here to get your FREEBIE handout from my TPT Store.

You can find my Renaissance Faire unit here on my TPT Store. It actually meets Common Core standards and is a lot of fun! I even have a donation request flyer for parents! :)

Don't worry...I'll take lots of pics!!! Here's a preview of my costume though :) [I have like zero make-up on so no judging ;) LOL]

Looking forward to sharing all about the success of the faire!!!

December 10, 2013

Blogiversary Winner Announced!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the Blogiversary giveaway! The winner is Mandy Moniforte...Congrats Mandy! Even if you didn't win, I hope you enjoyed the 15% off at my TPT store, which is still going on through the end of the day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please email me at: with your mailing address so I can send you your $10 Starbucks card! 

Have a great day everyone!

December 8, 2013

It's my Blogiversary!!! Sale :)

Happy Blogiversary! It's been 2 years since I started my blog and I could not have imagined the places it would take me. I started this blog because I couldn't find many resources for middle/high school teachers out there. There were TONS for elementary teachers, but I don't often get to do arts and crafts ;) I wanted to create a place where secondary teachers could share ideas and support each other....and hopefully this has proved that opportunity for some.

So thank you to everyone who follows my little blog, follows my TPT store, and the Facebook and Pinterest pages. I get wonderful ideas from all of you and hopefully you get a few from me :)

My goal for this upcoming year is to continue to provide ideas for you guys, and to try to create a little more "community" feel amongst us secondary teachers :)

As a thank you, I'm hosting a Blogiversary Sale, now until Tuesday, where you can get 15% off my products...and the free ones are still free ;)

Head on over to my TPT store to take a look and enjoy your 15% off as my way of saying thanks :)

I'm also holding a raffle!!!! I'll be giving away a $10 Starbucks card to one lucky winner! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great day! 

December 1, 2013

Currently December!! I can't believe it!

I can not believe it's December already! Where has the time gone!?! So once again I'm linking up with Farley to do the Currently for the month. My favorite :)

Hope everyone has a great few weeks before break!!

My Favorite Tradition is making banana bread for the neighbors. My mom started doing this when we were little, and I've kept it going. I love the smell of the house and the fun of making it. This year I'm going to make a few gluten free batches so I can have some too ;)

I'd love for you to share some of your favorite traditions too!