Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Christmas

Well I don't know when you get out for Winter Vacation but my last day is Thursday December 20th. Then we return January 2nd. We got jipped out of two vacation days this year and they were reallocated to the day before Thanksgiving and President's Day.

Last year I blogged about the Christmas Ornaments I do every year. I just finished shopping for the paint at Wal-mart and I can't wait to do these tomorrow with the children. I'll send them home on Wednesday of next week.

I transferred to my current school last year and they party a little differently than my previous school. Our winter celebration consisted of a craft, cupcake and movie. Needless to say I was disappointed. So I've reinstated my Winter Luncheons! Next Thursday my students will have a 45-60 minute lunch in the classroom with holiday music and a delicious spread! I've even contemplating having a Hot Chocolate Bar:)

The menu includes...
Hawaiian Meatballs (I personally make these for the students and they love them!)
Chicken Nuggets from Chickfila
Turkey Biscuits
Fruit Tray
Vegetable Tray
Snowflace Ritz Crackers and cubed Cheese
Holiday Pretzels
Holiday Marshmallows

Here are a couple pictures from the past...
How are you celebrating the holidays with your students?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Presenting...Mr. & Mrs. Saunders

It's official... I was married on December 1st and it ended up being a beautiful day... like 64 degrees out! We honeymooned at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg Virginia and was able to visit Busch Gardens Christmas Town, Captain Georges Seafood Restaurant and the Premium Outlets. We return to work tomorrow and  I know I will be counting down the days until Winter Break!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Veterans Day

Update 11/9/14 I cannot possibly keep up with the requests to email this file, you can download here at this link Veteran's Day Booklet.

We celebrated Veterans Day last week and in Virginia it's covered in the third grade curriculum. I created flip books for the students and had them complete them after we had learned about the topic. After they completed the writing, they had to draw symbols that represented the topic. I used the font DJ Bang from DJ Inkers. I printed out the labels and then cut and pasted on to blank paper to make the master copy, then I copied front/back from there. What activities do you do to teach your students about Veterans Day?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Freebies!

Have you liked The Teaching Oasis on Facebook? Check Here for a special link to some Thanksgiving Freebies! Bookmark that appreciation page for future reference:)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

3 Weeks=21 Days

I have not dropped off the face of the earth! These last couple of months have been super busy for me. Not only did school start but I'm preparing for my December 1st wedding. I had my bridal portrait session last week and I'm pretty sure it's safe to post this portrait on my blog... I don't think my fiancee spends alot of time reading it!
Javaid and I have finished premarital counseling however I'm trying to soak in as much Godly information about marriage as I can. We had the opportunity to attend the marriage conference that our church hosts each year and it was awesome! I learned about the natural and the spiritual side of marriage.
I've been reading a couple of books and they have been a wealth of Christian information on marriage. I highly recommend the following books...
5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This book talks about how we each have a love language: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and it's important for us to understand our language and learn how to speak our spouses language. Mine is physical touch... which is probably why I'm quick to comfort my students with a hand on the back or shoulder and probably why I enjoy getting their hugs so much! His is receiving gifts... he feels loved when I buy him something special, it can be as little as a Snickers bar or when I take him out to eat or to the movies. We read this book in our Singles Ministry at church and I refer to it often.
The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage by Myles Monroe
This is the most comprehensive book I've ever seen on marriage! If there were a class to take about it, this would definitely be the textbook. It encompasses so much information... from how marriage began and how the Lord intended it to how to love yourself and your spouse. I learned so much from this book that I would need several blog posts to tell you all about it.
Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow
I learned about this book at the marriage conference we attended. I'm almost through reading it and just in time too. It's about being a "sensuous" wife and denying yourself and "ministering" to your husband when he's in need. I would recommend this book to all wives! Again, I learned so much from this book and it discussed intimacy issues and questions that Christians just don't talk about.
With only 21 days to go I must say I'm getting nervous. I've always had my own room/space (besides that one year in college when I had a roommate), I've been on my own for the last 8 years and I've done whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and  I've purchased whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. So leaving my apartment to move into his house will be culture shock for me.
Going from 0 to 100 overnight will be such an adjustment for me. For the last two years Javaid and I have honored God in our relationship and we've made a conscious effort to not put ourselves in "tempting" situations. So we don't spend time alone at home together, we go out. We hold hands but won't embrace (hug) for more than 20 seconds and we've only "pecked"... we've never... shall we say... "made out." So on December 1st we have to give ourselves the green light to cross over the dating line and onto the marriage side and enjoy the gift of intimacy that God has ordained for us.
So it may be quiet on the blog front for awhile. I'll be focusing on becoming the wife God called me to be while balancing work, friends and family!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Parent Handbook

We've been in school for 2 whole weeks! I'm exhausted but loving this group of children:) So this week is our Back to School Night for grades 3-5. I usually do my ABC's of Third Grade but this year I wanted to do something a little different. While on Pinterest browsing I came across this "pin" and thought it would be cute if I made these as well.

Here's the rough draft...
Basically cut and pasted onto blank sheets so I could try
to line everything up right.
Welcome information
Information on how best to contact me and what
the student binders are used for.
Our Daily Schedule
Classroom Management Policy
General Info: Grade Scale, Homework Policy, Classroom Celebrations
I copied them in our school colors, blue and yellow. As you
can see the Communication and Binders tab got cut off.
I'll fix that next year ;)
What do you do for back to school night?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Favorite First Lady Cookie

During the 2008 Election my teammates and I decided to hold an election using the Presidential Cookie Recipes from Family Circle.
Here's a picture of the team election bulletin board.

2nd Grade Election Results
Cookie A Recipe- Michelle Obama
Cookie B Recipe- Cindy McCain
I had such a blast doing this that I had to do it with my 3rd graders in my new school. I've created a document with the recipes and ballots. Last time I had 4 parent volunteers make the cookies and send them in. Each student got one of each cookie and marked their choice on the ballot. They placed the ballots in a ballot box and the teachers tallied them over night. The teachers annouced the winners the next day. *Beware of food allergies!*
Presidential Cookies
Do you think you'll use this idea in your classroom? What other election activities are you doing?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to School

I'm back! Teacher work week started last Monday. And Monday-Wednesday the entire third grade team were sitting ducks as our classrooms were still under construction. Thursday morning was the first day we could get into our rooms. Our bulletin boards didn't get put up until Saturday morning and I've worked a total of 42 hours in the last 5 days, (well 4 days, I didn't go in on Sunday) trying to get my classroom ready. My poor fiance has met "back to school Jessica" and I'm hoping he still wants to marry me after seeing me turn into a drill sargent barking orders at him when he came to help me in my classroom.

The Before- Thursday

The After- Monday


I would love feedback, please leave a comment!!!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Make me Like the Moon

I am a Christian, grew up in the church, both my mother and late father are ordained ministers and if spiritual warfare were an Olympic sport I'd have a gold medal!

My taste in music ranges from praise and worship from Hillsong United & David and Nicole Binion to gospel music from Fred Hammond, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, & Israel to gospel rap artists Canton Jones and a young lady named Blaze.

Blaze truly has the anointing of the Lord and he has placed tremendous talent on the inside of her. And she uses it to give all the glory back to him. She spent some time in Virginia this summer and visited/performed at my church several times. I had an opportunity to buy her CD and I've been listening to it ever since.

She performed a song called Reflections one Sunday that touched my heart. It is my sincerest prayer for the Lord to "make me like the moon" this upcoming school year. I want his love to be reflected through my thoughts, actions and words!

Check her out @

Giveaway: Guided Reading

Students return to school in about 2 two weeks. I feel like I'm back in college and cramming for an exam. I'm trying to finish all my professional reading and bring to life all these ideas that are swarming around in my head. FYI: Pinterest is not helping in this endeavor, since everytime I log on I pin another "something" for me to make and implement in my classroom!

I learned about Guided Reading in college (shout out to Chowan Univeristy!) Last year my school did a book study on The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson. I look forward to implementing more of her ideas next year. She also has tons on Online Resources to go with the book.

I happen to have an extra copy of the book and would love to give it away to someone who might find it useful. Just leave a comment on this post (I do have to approve them so it might take awhile to show up) with your favorite guided reading activity and your email address. I will use a random number picker on Tuesday to select our winner!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Me Museum

Well teachers report back to school on August 27th. But I will not be able to get into my classroom until Friday August 31st! It's still under construction so I will be working though Labor Day Weekend to make sure my room gets completed.

I work at a Children's Engineering and Design School. Which basically means we incorporate Children's Engineering Projects into our lessons. Thanks to Doris @ Third Grade Thinkers I had my students complete the "Me Museum" last year. This year I took her idea and created a Children's Engineering Design Brief to go along with it.

Do you think you'll use this in your classroom?
Me Museum

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pinterest Inspired: Back to School Treats

Here's another Pinterest Inspired idea... I'm going to give these to my students for our meet and greet in two weeks.

A while back I purchased some 1in by 8in clear cellophane baggies that had adhesive to close them. I filled them with plain M&Ms. I cut a tag using my Circut Expression and Plantain Schoolbook Cart at 2 inches on red cardstock and attached them to the M&M Sticks using some yellow ribbon. I used MyPinkStamper's *I Heart School* from her School Days stamp collection to decorate the tag. Very cute and very cheap!

What do you give your students?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

VA Bloggers Meet Up

So I had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with some educators in Virginia who also blog. It was nice chatting with teachers from other districts and I can't wait to do it again! Check out their blogs...