Sunday, January 20, 2013

Balance-Updates-and Lesson Plans

How do you B-A-L-A-N-C-E it all?

Due to blogging, I am constantly taking pictures.  There is rarely a day that goes by without me taking a picture of something I feel is interesting or important.  I send my student's parents a picture newsletter (using smilebox) and I give them that same view of our week.  It's a great way to capture our learning, our friendships, our progress...but what this has taught me is that we are very BUSY! 

Do you ever go back through your picture files and as you open and look through them, you relive the emotions, and thoughts that you encountered that day or week?  It's incredible what a picture can capture.  It is so much more than a photograph.  This year I have been reminded numerous times about finding balance.  I struggle with this daily.  We all do right?

Honestly take a look at any reality show and you can spot that imbalance a mile away.  It's sometimes funny, or a bit horrifying, but it's always there.

It is harder to be a teacher that is constantly evaluating and changing curriculum to meet the needs of the students actually sitting in the chairs right now.  There are times when what I want to do just isn't what my students need to work on.  I am really pushing myself to stay tuned in to them and not to myself.  I may want the perfect slideshow at the end of the week, or the perfect visual plans at the beginning of the week, but sometimes what we really NEED is just not "perfect" looking.

Sometimes I get the question, how do you do it all?   ...I struggle.   But I love to laugh and have fun so no matter how crazy things get, I do try to work in some fun and stress relief.  I try to bring that to the blog too because staff meetings, teacher developments, and keeping up with the teachers next door can be a stressful demanding place.  We are all in this together.  Thank you for your blog posts, your honesty, and your friendship!

...Here's how another BUSY week went!

Highlights of Last Week:

It was a C-O-L-D week for San Antonio!
I just had to share a picture of breakfast and morning work... (you know how I feel about that breakfast in my room...)
 We worked on many skills this week:

It's my dance mom time:
We have late nights 3 times a week for my daughter's dance team.  We don't get home from school on Thursdays until almost 9.  It's a 14 hour day. 
Mondays and Wednesdays we get home at around 7 making it two more 12 hour days.
We live 40 minutes from school so I can't go home in between.  I just have to wait for her practices to end.
( I wouldn't trade it for anything I am so proud of her!)
 A terrific library lesson with Swersty!
 Skyping with Mr. Marc from Adventure to Fitness!!

It's time for visual plans for next week!  The original idea for my visual plans came from Dee Dee Will's Peek at My Week!  She has been doing this on her blog Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for as long as I have been reading it and I love reading them every week!

  I asked her if I could do my own and she was very gracious to me.  It has helped keep me so organized and on top of things this year.  Thank you Dee Dee for your inspiration and your organization!

Click the picture below to open my plans, once you have downloaded them you can click on the items and follow the links.  
Just to let you know I have been going back through some of my older units and updating them.  Please click the pictures below and get your updated version of these units for free.  I have changed fonts, graphics, and borders as well as added new activities!  We aren't starting penguins until February in my class, but I noticed that the units needed some updating!

Have a terrific week!
B-A-L-A-N-C-E! :)


  1. Love to read your blog and see all that is going on, I am always inspired. I don't know how you do it but your life seems very balanced with fun and learning and family....and you still find time to share so generously with the blogging world. I think you find the perfect balance of making us smile, feel motivated and learn so much. Thanks !! Oh, if you would like to feel a little colder, come on up to Canada.....minus 10 Celsius before windchill and it is crazy windy today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

  2. ha! I'm ALWAYS taking pictures too... but that's just in my nature :) at least now I have somewhere for them to go
    we're starting penguins this week :) How did I not know you had penguin stuff?? I thought I was a genuine stalker!??! lol

  3. Love 'ya, girl! I know your life is uber busy...and sometimes finding balance is a struggle..yet you find the time to share it all with us..thank you so much! :)

  4. Once again, thank you for keeping it real. :) I don't even have a blog (but I'm addicted to reading them!) and I struggle to find balance. You're doing great. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Reagan, you never cease to amaze and inspire me with all that you do!
    Swersty’s Swap Shop

  6. Love this post -- I have nothing to complain about when I have a long day . . . I will think of you!!!
    I hope you're off tomorrow and get some time to relax!!

  7. Striving for balance is tough! You are doing an amazing job. When my kids were younger I was so busy running to dance, cheer and hockey CONSTANTLY and now I miss it all SO much. Enjoy it Reagan!

  8. We must be on the same wavelength today, because I just posted about balance and my thoughts on blogging. We were thinking almost the same things. :) You are awesome, friend!

  9. Oh Reagan...I'm glad I'm not the only one who is dealing with balancing everything. It seems like since the baby has been here I'm harder on myself about spending time with her but making sure I'm still doing my best for my school babies. It's hard!!
    Love ya!!

  10. Hi from Australia! I was looking at your visual timetable, do you really start school at 7:30am???? The earliest I've ever had to start was 8.30am and that's because we had late start on a Friday. Our school day goes from 8:40am to 2:50pm and we have recess 10:40-11 and then lunch 1-1:40. I'm in Western Australia and the times may vary by 10-15mins depending on the school but the amount of time at school is the same. I teach year 6-7 (11/12 year olds) and most of them only get out of bed at 7:30 lol. I think working parents would love it though!

  11. Thank you for sharing your plans. I love seeing what other teachers are doing, and putting a few items in my TpT cart!

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  12. Let me tell you. Your are a professional taking pics.

    Fonts 4 Teachers
    Fonts 4 Teachers in TPT

  13. Mrs. Tunstall = Wonder Woman! My hubby's commute is about 45 minutes...but he says he wouldn't want it any other way. Of course, he doesn't have kids in the car with him on his way it's sports radio and chillaxin' ...

    Finding balance is SOOOOO hard...some weeks are better than others, right?


    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  14. Now that my children are off at college, I find a need to fill my empty nest with things to do. So I just started a blog and put up a few things on TPT. It's still a struggle and I still feel torn at times. Enjoy your kids while you can. They grow up and go away waaaay too fast!
    Meenal Parikh

  15. How could you do this all at once? It really takes time and effort to do all this stuff. I mean working on your lesson plans, taking pictures of your students and sending sharing it to their parents and not to mention your blogging. You taking it to another level. I salute you Sir (Sir is much cooler XD) :D