2012 Resolutions and a New Year's Freebie

30 December 2011
And the parties keep coming ... I'm linking up to Mor's 2012 Resolutions Party over at A Teacher's Treasure.  I'm never very good at keeping my resolutions, so maybe my resolution should be to keep my resolutions ... does that count as one???  Mor's going to try to keep us accountable for our resolutions, so that should help, right?

So, here goes...


  • I think I mentioned this one before - I MUST try to keep the piles off my desk - I swear I could lose a student in some of my piles.  I WILL clean off my desk at least once a week (probably during independent reading time on Fridays).
  • I will try to mark and return completed work in a more timely fashion.  I start off so well at the beginning of the year, and then ... well, you know the story.  I must use my prep time better to get through the work (good thing I moved my coffee maker into my room - less trips to the staff room may help me with this resolution).
  • I will keep learning new ways to incorporate foldables into my math journals.  In September we started out with 2 or 3 entries a week, but in the last month or so, we've been lucky to get one in every two weeks.  I know things get busy, but the kids (and I) really enjoy them, so I must stick to a stricter schedule.  Maybe I can make a foldable schedule ;).
  • Remain positive.  Instead of griping about the seemingly impossible amount of things administrators want us to incorporate into our classroom programs, I need to remember the things that I am doing well.  It's OK to give myself a pat on the back once in a while, instead of stressing about the things I should (could?) be doing better.
  • I am embarrassed to admit I'm often told, "I don't know how you do it all!".  To which I always respond, I don't do it all - not even close.  I do seem to have a little more time than others because ...  I am a TERRIBLE housekeeper.  AND.I.MEAN.TERRIBLE.  You know that show, Hoarders?  Well, it's not that bad yet, but I worry it might come to it.  I MUST find some sort of way to start organizing more in my house.  I know I have to start small so that I actually stick with it.  I'm thinking a 15 minute timer, with all 5 of us in the house cleaning for that time, might be a start.
  • I want to become a healthier ME!  Not just losing weight (although I'd like to lose about 40 pounds), but I also need to strengthen my core.  My back has been a huge issue the past two years, and I'd like that to be part of my past.  I've done pilates in the past and really enjoyed it, so I might start there.
  • Cook more through the week.  Lately we've become take-out junkies (which I hate for my kids).  But I get home so late, it seems an impossible task to cook dinner.  I want to start planning better and using my slowcooker more - I've pinned so many great recipes, it's time to put some of them to the test.

Whew ... uh oh ... I'm feeling a little overwhelmed ... but I can do it - I HATE backing down from a challenge.

Secondary Solutions

Speaking of New Year's Resolutions, Kristen over at Secondary Solutions has made it her New Year's Resolution to bring more awareness to middle school and high school blogs.  She is obviously one who gets started on her resolutions immediately, as she has already started a blog party.  Go on over and take a peek.  Link up your blog, or find some new blogs to follow.  Enjoy!!!

Lastly, I've got a freebie for those of you with SMARTboards.  This is a fun New Year's Resolution activity I created for my students last year.  It is a koosh ball activity (but we've used bean bags, beanie babies, basically anything that won't damage the board) full of questions for students about their resolutions.  It's a great first day back activity.  Just click on the image to download it from my TpT store.  

Happy Friday!  (I think ... isn't it great how you can lose track of the days of the week during holidays???)


  1. I'm curious how you make this work. I have tried several different things including a koosh ball... but nothing works!!! Is there a setting that makes it more sensitive to touch? Kinda frustrating!!!
    First Grade Delight

  2. I know exactly what you mean. When I first read about koosh ball activities on the SMART tech website, I was so excited ... until I couldn't get them to work on my board. YES - it does have something to do with your settings (I think it has something to do with sensitivity). I can't remember exactly what I did to fix mine (it was a few years ago), but if you google search it, I'm sure you will find it. If you can't find it, let me know, and I'll try to google it.

  3. Thanks, I'm afraid if we keep it up, we are going to have some major dents in our smartboard!! :-)

    First Grade Delight

  4. I think your resolutions are awesome! I love the foldables one and if you need anything I'm happy to help! I think that by putting the timer on and EVERYONE in the house contributing to organize and clean it can really work wonders!

    Thanks for the freebie! Left you a message on TpT :)

    Thanks for linking up!!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  5. I want a Smartboard! I think I'm the only teacher in America without one!! wahhh!!

    I was cracking up reading about losing a student in your piles and running to the coffee machine! I need to work on my piles, too! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one with piles because everyone looks so polished through their blogs, but it is reassuring to know that there are other real teachers out there! Don't even get me started on the correcting!! Our gradebook is going public for parents & students to see, in two weeks. I may need to edit my resolutions now!

    Loved reading yours! :)

  6. I feel like I found a twin. I have all the same resolutions and things to work on as you:).

  7. Great resolutions Jen. I second your last two personal resolutions. My back has been killing me lately too and I really need to start exercising again. I also want some quick weeknight dinner ideas. I need to plan it ahead of time because if I wait till I get home from work, I don't want to even bother thinking of something to make let alone make it. The problem is, I need fast dinner ideas (as I'm sure we all do). I've got a couple fast favourites, but I'd love to add to the list for more variety. Let me know your fast favorites. My current fast favorite is meatloaf and roast potatoes. It literally takes 5 minutes to prepare and then the oven does all the work! Happy New Year's!!

  8. To make the Smartboard react to having something thrown at the board it has to be something that actually hits and hesitates for 1-2 seconds. The typical Koosh ball won't do this. Use a bean bag and it works fine.

  9. What wonderful goals! I feel like all of yours could be mine too! I often wonder what life would be like WITHOUT piles on my desk...I see other teachers with nice clean desks and I am SO JEALOUS haha!

  10. have you seen the pin.... :"just one stack of "stuff" away from an episode of Hoarders?" yep.... that's me too!!! totally empathize.....hang in there.....

  11. Hi Jen,
    I can totally relate to the whole housekeeping thing... I am always too tired when I get home from school to do any cleaning or cooking! I recently discovered an amazing housekeeping program online www.flylady.net.
    It is super easy and starts with "Baby Steps" which is exactly what I need to get into a routine at home. Check it out, it's great!
    Thanks for being "normal" while keeping us inspired!