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October 2016 Goals

I pretty much am a terrible blogger.  One of my goals this school year was to beef up my blog with new, fun posts for you.  However, life has happened and well, the blog was abandoned.

But today, I'm back.  And this time, I'm looking for some accountability.  I hope that by posting my monthly goals on the blog, and updating you at the end of the month, I'll be more likely to cross these off my to-do list!

Here are 2 things I want need to accomplish during the month of October:

- Go to the gym at least 4 times a week.
I joined a new gym that I love (I just don't love that the closest gym is 30 minutes away from my house!) back in August.  But since school started, I haven't been once.  And my clothes are yelling at me for it.  So...back to the gym I need to go!

- Read 3 books.
I've been alternating between fiction and religion reads recently, but I want to read more than I am.  Three books this month is my goal, but I definitely wouldn't mind reading more!

- Finish my Rome resources.
I spent a lot of time getting my Greece resources ready to use in my classroom...and now that I'm almost finished teaching Greece and am preparing for Rome, I'm finding little time to get my Rome resources done.  Must.  Finish.  Soon!


2016-2017 Classroom Tour

Welcome to the new school year!  Our first day of the school year is tomorrow!  I've been at school today finishing things up and getting ready for my kids to walk through the door tomorrow.  And I think I'm finally ready!  I've thought that I was finally ready about five times already, and then I find something else that I need to do.  But hopefully...this is it!

Here's a quick look at my classroom!  It's my favorite classroom I've ever had!  I just love all the fun colors.  I can already tell this is going to be one amazing year!

This year, I used many resources from Creative Teaching Press' Upcycle Style line of classroom decor.  And I just love every bit of it!

When you first walk in the room, you see my Science bulletin board, my turn in table, and my lightbox!  

This lightbox is totally unnecessary to have a great school year.  But I know it's going to add just a little extra fun in the classroom!  I can't wait for my students to read their morning messages on here!

Here's my announcements/jobs/lunch choice/attendance board.  The fun jobs are from Primary Polka Dots.

Here's a closer look at the jobs from Primary Polka Dots.

Here is my Word Wall (waiting for words) above my storage containers from Ikea.  What am I keeping in these?  Nothing at the moment!  But soon it will hold my manipulatives, center activities, and indoor recess games!  

My desk and "teacher area."  Behind my desk is my classroom calendar and birthday chart.

My classroom library.  The library is still a work in progress - I have a DonorsChoose project currently going on to add new books to the library, if you are interested in donating!  We'd be forever grateful to you for doing so!  But I added some fun this year with the polka dot chair from PBTeen.  It's a few years old, but has been in my house since I bought it.  I figured it deserved a spot right here!

A few of the front of my classroom.

Sorry for the blurry image.  But here's my Objective board.  I'll have more information on this coming soon!

Alphabet and classroom rules.  The iPod Alphabet is available in my TeachersPayTeachers shop, if you are interested!  It comes in many colors!  

Our carpet and individual book bins.  Students will keep notebooks, reading group book, and other resources in their book bins.

And that's my classroom for this year!  If you haven't started school year, have a great first day back!  If you have already returned to school, I hope your entire year is a fabulous year!

Ireland | Part 1

A few weeks ago, my family and I returned from a week in Ireland and we had an amazing time!  I quickly grew to love the country so much more than I ever could have imagined.  From the beautiful countrysides to the extremely nice residents, it was a magical week.  I can't wait to go day!

We arrived in Ireland at the Shannon Airport, on the western side of the country.  Over the course of the week, we rode across the country and ended up in Dublin, which was where our week ended.  Our first major stop for this trip was the quaint town of Galway.

Our hotel in Galway was the Harbour Hotel.  It, like all three of our hotels, was very modern in the design and was a great place to stay!

These flowers were outside of our hotel.  Everywhere we went in Ireland, there were beautiful flowers.  I guess all of their rain helps!  It rained at least once a day.  It was never a heavy rain, but at most was a heavy drizzle.  Luckily, we were on the bus some of the days when it rained, so we didn't always get wet!

See that wall across the street from the hotel?  That is a remnant from the medieval city wall, built around the year 1232, that used to surround Galway.

Found this beauty outside of our hotel...and I just loved it!

It was fun to see the signs with Gaelic on them.  While everyone pretty much speaks English throughout the country, many people in the small towns and villages do still speak Gaelic as well.

This is the Spanish Arch, which was once an extension of the medieval city wall that I mentioned earlier.  This arch was built in 1584 and sits along the River Corrib.

Every good city has a Latin Quarter, right?!  This is definitely where all of the happenings are in Galway!  Packed with restaurants, shops, and street entertainment, this was such a lively atmosphere.  In fact, we were in town at the start of the Galway Races, so there was a lot more action than is typically found there.

A quick look down the Latin Quarter.

This building has been painted to represent Galway 2020.  One city in Europe each year is named the European Capital of Culture.  Those cities are asked to present cultural programs that highlight cultural diversities in Europe.  Galway has been chosen as the Capital of Culture for the year 2020 and it had just been voted on when we visited.  Everyone in town seemed very excited for that to be happening.  You can read more about the Capital of Culture here.

More of the gorgeous flowers that were seen all over Ireland.

Behind these buildings, you can see the clock tower for the St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, which was our next stop.

We visited a number of churches and cathedrals on this trip, and they were all stunning in their own way!

The King's Head - a fun pub that we enjoyed lunch at one day.  This has a very interesting background and history, which you can read about here.

Before 1916, Dublin had it's own time zone, which was abandoned.  They lost their time zone, and went to the same time zone as the rest of Ireland.  And in the process, they lost 25 minutes.  This clock was in the square in Galway, and showed Dublin Time.

This remnant of the medieval city wall is now located inside of a shopping mall.  It's kind of cool that this wall is being preserved in the least likely place you'd think to find it!

This Galway Cathedral was located just outside of town limits.  It definitely didn't disappoint in it's beauty either.  Opened in 1965, it's one of the newest cathedrals in Europe.

This marble is called Connemara marble, and we later would visit the factory where the marble was made.

Next up, we visited Connemara, a district on the west coast of Ireland.  This is where the marble was made for the Galway Cathedral that I mentioned earlier.  After we took the tour, the guy at the factory was even telling us about the different places that Connemara marble is used, including a few buildings in Pennsylvania.

Following our stop at Connemara marble, we rode through the countryside, along the coast, and back to Galway to finish up our excursion for that day.

It was pretty neat to see the Atlantic Ocean from the other side.  That doesn't happen often!

Back in Galway, this is the River Corrib which separates Galway from the neighboring town and flows into Galway Bay.

And that neighboring town is Claddagh, home of the ever famous Claddagh rings.

A view of Galway from across the river.

And that finishes up your tour of Galway!  Stay tuned for Part 2, and maybe Part 3.  I'm not yet sure just how many 'parts' this blog series will have.  Next up...the Cliffs of Moher, one of my favorite spots in Ireland!  Have you ever been to Ireland?  Is it on your dream list?  I'd love to hear in the comments below!