Thursday, January 1, 2015

Walking in a Winter Wonderland in So Cal

Happy New Year!! I'm so excited to participate in my first Blog Hop with an INCREDIBLE group of Southern California teachers!! The Blog Hop is a fun way to get to know fellow teachers; find some at your grade level or with similar teaching philosophies, as well as the opportunity to download 25 FREEBIES!!!  Enter the Rafflecopter below to win one $60 dollar TpT gift certificate or one $60 Target gift card!!
I love Winter in So Cal; it's usually sunny & (relatively) warm, although this year we've been blessed with a bit of much-needed rain! My family enjoys rollerskating or bike riding at the beach, especially after the tourists leave (after the Rose Bowl!). And my youngest daughter's favorite: ice skating at the outdoor ice rink (only open in the Winter). Although some years it's been like swimming through a lake because the ice melts too fast! Lol!
Since we're all posting pictures of our hometown during Winter, I had to really think on this. My hometown looks like many other hometowns! One favorite tradition is to drive around Candy Cane Lane, a local neighborhood where most of the homes are decorated to the hilt! It's always so much fun and there're often carolers strolling and singing through the streets, as well as children offering cups of hot cocoa in front of their house!
Keeping with the theme of Winter, I'm very excited to give you my newest product as a FREEBIE (only through January 4th!!). It's a Winter Math Gallery Walk, the perfect way to review Fall skills when you go back to school in a week or two! Click here to download!

The New Year is always a time for reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the upcoming year. Here are a few random thoughts, reflections, and goals. . .
2014 was full of new beginnings, such as starting this blog! I can't believe it's already been 5 months! I've learned so much and am excited again about teaching, sharing, writing, and creating! I love connecting with so many like-minded and enthusiastic educators and continue to be impressed and motivated by all the ideas out there!
Unfortunately, 2014 ended on a sad note for our school. Our principal passed away due to an accident. There was a lovely memorial service and hundreds came to pay their respect.  It was such a tribute to his kindness and love for his staff and students.
Our school community has really come together and we are planning ways to honor him, as well as how to address the needs of our students when we come back from Winter Break. Not knowing where to begin, I created a Pinterest  board on Grief & Loss resources: books, tips, websites to help children understand and process what they are feeling. His presence will be missed at school. Feel free to check it out.
2015 is a personal BIG year; as my youngest, Becca, reminds me, "Mom, I can't believe you're turning half a century!" Although. . . much to my glee, the sales guy at the AT & T store last week thought my teenager, Kayla, & I were sisters! (However, Kayla said he was just being nice & he didn't really think we were sisters.) Hey, I'll take compliments when I can! That being said, I am looking forward to another year and celebrating throughout the year!
My goal for 2015 is to be the year of balance, focus, and priorities. You know, the usual: the balance of my daily quiet time, family, teaching, blogging, exercising, reading, scrapbooking, cleaning the garage, relaxing, blah, blah, blah. . . But I'm writing them down to be more intentional in following through and giving myself deadlines!!
Enter the Rafflecopter below to win one $60 dollar TpT gift certificate or one $60 Target gift card!!

Click on the link below to hop to the next So Cal blog! Thanks for stopping by!! I'd love to hear from you!!
Teacher Ms. H

31 comments:

  1. What a great idea for a Pinterest board, I'll give it a look!
    Kristen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a tragedy that prompted the board, but there are so many terrific resources out there!

      Delete
  2. I grew up going to Candy Cane Lane!!! Sorry to read about your principal's passing.

    Layla
    Fancy Free in Fourth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Layla. I grew up going to Candy Cane Lane, too, so it's fun to share with my own kids!!

      Delete
  3. What a sad way to end the year. I'll be sending some positive vibes your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Holly. Our amazing staff will be meeting to plan next steps with our students. But I was happy to see my principal's son was marching in the Rose Parade this morning (he's in the Oregon marching band); his dad would have been so happy!

      Delete
  4. Kathie, my heart goes out to you and your school community. Your principal was a wonderful man who touched many lives. I am so sorry for your loss. On a brighter note, I am so glad you shared the picture of the the outdoor skating rink in our 'hood. It brings back many memories. I hope 2015 is a beautiful year to remember for you and your family. -Jaime

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jaime!! Did you also used to skate at the indoor rink at Topanga Plaza? That's where I grew up skating!! :)

      Delete
  5. Happy New Year! I enjoyed reading your post ! Driving around in pj's with a hot drink is one of my FAVORITE things to do during the holidays! I'm sorry to hear about your principal passing. He sounds like a great leader! That is inspiring when you can turn a tragedy into something positive to benefit others! Good for you girl!
    Jessica :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jessica!! I hope to blog more about how we handle it at school and our students' reactions.

      Delete
  6. Happy New Year! Thanks for a great freebie! Have a wonderful 2015!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Happy New Year Kathie! Your blog is beautiful! Mine is new this year too. I hope you have a wonderful year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Peggy! I love your blog, too! Here's to more blogging in 2015!!

      Delete
  8. 50 is the new 30! I LoVe it! :-D
    Palma (KFUNdamentals)

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you live near Pasadena then I grew up going to the same area with lights! What a fun time. I hope that the new year brings your school much healing from your loss! I wish you a blessed new year! ~Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I live in the SF Valley; I love the lights in Pasadena though!! Thanks for the good thoughts, Laura!

      Delete
  10. Kathie, I love Candy Cane Lane!!! Thank you for sharing your freebie with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can use the gallery walk! (I was SO excited to see your name in my comments; I LOVE your blog, Katie!) Happy New Year!

      Delete
  11. Kathie! I think we are from the same town...unless there are two Candy Cane Lanes!!!
    Looking forward to meeting you at the next SoCal Meet Up - or maybe sooner!

    Lauren
    A Teachable Teacher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lauren!! Is your Candy Cane Lane in the valley? :) Happy New Year!!

      Delete
  12. I haven't been to Candy Cane lane in years!! One day I will have to go back. Have you been to the one in Santa Clarita? It is supposed to be amazing! Thank you for the freebie and happy New Year!

    Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your kids would love Candy Cane Lane! (Just don't go on a weekend) I'll have to check out the one in Santa Clarita! Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!

      Delete
  13. I am so sorry for your loss- I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been. Blessings to you and your school family.
    2 Smart Wenches

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks of that cool freebie! That'll do very nicely with my class of fourthies! I'm so sorry to hear about your principal. That had to be really, really rough on every body....I can't even imagine. Glad you all pulled together to support one another. I saw a few stories on the news on Candy Cane Lane in the SF Valley. I guess it's a tradition for those who live in that area. So neat!
    It was my first blog hop too---super fun, huh? I can't wait to do another....an Easter Bunny hop, perhaps? During spring break?
    Ali
    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you can use the Gallery Walk; I'm doing it with my class first week back! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I loved the blog hop!! Happy New Year!

      Delete
  15. Sorry to hear of your loss. I love Candy Cane Lane! I heard about the Santa Clarita one being much bigger, but haven't been to it yet. Thank you for the FREEBIE! TeacherMsH~ThirdIstheWord

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Julie! Can't wait to "hop" again in the spring!

      Delete
  16. Kathie,
    Happy New Year! I am sorry to hear about your principal. You may want to look at "Counselor - GRIEF Small Group Ideas" at http://www.thebestofteacherentrepreneurs.net/2014/12/free-misc-lesson-counselor-grief-small.html. It may give you a few activities you may do with your students.
    Wishing you the best in 2015,
    Vicky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vicky! You're always such a wealth of resources!! Pinning that now!!

      Delete