Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Super Cute Newlywed Calendar

photo credit from a fabulous etsy shop.
Between work, Timothy's soccer team, my volleyball team, our own random appointments and NELA dates we stay very busy around the Mudd house. However, there are many weeks when Tim and I are on completely different schedules; he'll have a soccer game at home and I'll have a volleyball game away. He'll have a faculty meeting and I'll have a hair appointment.  We definitely needed a system to keep up with one another, and of course I was able to find a calendar that is both function and super cute!

We snagged a wall-calendar decal from brownshades on  The decal is made-up of a number of dry-erase circles and applies directly to the wall.  We were able to customize the color scheme to coordinate with out kitchen colors. The decal comes  with easy to follow step-by-step directions and a super handy applicator (which is a must to ensure all the air bubbles are pushed out).  

 Start with a clean wall.
 Attach the decal (with paper backing) to the wall with tape.
 Ensure that it is level and anchor the decal with a long strip of tape across the middle.
 Tackling application is best if you apply the decal in sections; we started at the top.
 Remove the paper backing.
 Apply the decal using a plastic applicator to smooth out any air bubbles.
 Repeat for bottom half.
 Apply the heading in the same manner.
 After smoothing out any air bubbles, starting at the top peel back the protective-clear coat (we have no pictures of this step because Tim & I had to do this step together).
 Enjoy with standard dry-erase markers.
I am color-coding so it will be easy to see who has an event with one quick glance.

I absolutely love our calendar. 
Hopefully it will keep our busy newlywed life organized and well scheduled.

Kelly Anne 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My New Classroom

 I have 10 awesome All-Star Students
For the last five years, I taught special education at a school roughly 40 miles from my house in Henderson, NC. I was originally placed there in 2006 when I joined Teach For America, and I remained at my placement school three additional years after my TFA commitment (for a total of five years).

I absolutely loved my students and many of my coworkers in Henderson, but I did not love the 80+ miles and 2+ hours in the car everyday, nor did I enjoy filling up my gas tank every fourth workday either. So when a teaching position opened up about 12 minutes from the house, I decided to take the job and make a very bitter-sweet professional change. 

I feel very fortunate to be in a similar self-contained teaching postion as I was previously,  as classroom positions such as mine do not open up very often (I teach students with moderate cognitive disabilities). I am definitely feeling some transition pains and missing the comfort zone of my old school, but slowly I'm finding my place in my new building. And I'm loving the extra money in my pocket and NOT in my gas tank.

So far I have two very helpful assistants who seem to be on board with our classroom goals and outlook.  I also have an amazing classroom space for my All-Star students!  I have a HUGE classroom that lends itself to small groups, centers and learning stations.  Slowly but surely I'm finding the most effective ways to use the AMAZING space.
(Sorry about the poor lighting, I could not get my camera and the lights to corporate).

Looking towards the front
 I have 5 computers!
Looking towards the back and towards the learning stations.
 Looking towards our Choice zone, the beginnings of our Word Wall 
& our Spelling Quiz-Whiz Mastery Chart

 Our "I Can Try" Rules

All-Star Jobs.

 The beginnings of our Math zone

 What do good readers think about...

 I have a separate "office" space that is now our classroom library
 We have picture books and grade level books to read

 Ticket Banks for our reward tickets (that can be cashed in on Fridays for prized and fun!)

All-Star Work (These are our picture and sentence responses to Hurricane Irene)

We're off to a great start! Check back periodically for blog updates on the All-Stars and my continued transition to my new school.

Kelly Anne

Sunday, September 18, 2011

YooHoo, Over Here!

Here I am! Boy have I been busy, but hope to be back and blogging more frequently very soon.  For the time being here's what I've been up to...

I've been settling in at my new school.
New School. New Staff. New Students & TAs.
New commute = 12 minutes!

I'm helping coach the JV and Varsity volleyball teams at Nash Central High.
 We definitely have a great team of girls when they keep their heads in the game.
 I'm with the Bulldogs every afternoon.

(the image above displays the counties from cohort I, counties from our cohort(II) include:
Granville, Vance, Franklin, Nash, Edgecombe, and Martin).

Tim and I both are honored to be members of the Northeast Leadership Academy, otherwise known as "NELA." Similar to Teach For America's mission to place highly effective teachers in low-performing/low-income schools, NELA plans to place highly effective school leaders in schools across the rural northeast region of NC.

NELA is a division of North Carolina State University's Graduate School of Education.

To reach the goal (of placing highly effective change agents in rural ENC schools), the master's program has been designed to rigorously prepare us for the challenges specific to rural communities and schools. Currently, this includes day long sessions at least one Saturday a month, a number of night sessions and a few full weekdays as well. Next semester the program kicks into high gear and we'll be in day long sessions every Tuesday and most Saturdays. 

I will definitely devote a full blog post to NELA one day soon. 

On top of all the lesson planning, teaching, coaching and grad schooling, I have also been dealing with a terrible case of allergies/cold/sinuses. Thankfully (after 12 days of misery), a cocktail of MucinexD and Amoxicillin seems to be doing the trick.

Finally, I have been spending what little free time I do have obsessed with If you haven't visited this fabulous site, please click the link above with caution, as your productivity will decrease for sure. Pinterest is a virtual cork board of ideas in everything from fashion and home decore to recipes, quotes and art.  Proceed at your own risk. 
I warned you.

So that's where I've been and what I've been up to lately.  I hope to be back with a few recipe blogs, updates on our summer garden, a few tips on vegetable preservation and more random ramblings very soon.

Kelly Anne