Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Fresh New Year!

Happy 2015!

I'm excited for a fresh, new year. The last half of 2014 was filled with madness at our house. Madness, I'm telling you. A corporate move, time in temporary housing and hotels, unpacking in our new house, sickness, new job, new schools for my kiddos, missing our friends and not one, but two car accidents during the last two weeks involving my family (we're all recovering and neither one was our fault.)

When I saw this little gem this morning, I could totally relate.

Not that I really want to forget 2014, because it was also filled with wonderful moments and people.

*I went to Europe for the first time, and went on some fabulous adventures all by myself! The hubs was working in Vienna, and I took a day trips to Budapest, Hungary and Salzburg, Austria. So. Amazing.

*In June, I finished one of the most challenging, but most rewarding years of my career.  Good heavens, a K-1 combination class with thirty students is a ton-ton-ton of work! It was lots of fun, too, though and those little darlings were a delight.

*For Mothers Day 2014, the hubs arranged a trip to Disneyland for the family, and it was wonderful! And since he doesn't seem to get tired of being amazing, he got me an iPad, too. I felt so pampered and loved. Sweet.

*I've met lots of new teacher friends in Southern California. I had a ton of fun at the SoCal Blogger Meet Up in August, and shortly after, I met my new colleagues at my new school.

*I was involved in some great professional development... not just presenting, but learning myself. ISTE, Google GeoTeacher Institute, Google Summit, math training through TERC, the California Reading and Literature Project, and the Area 3 Writing Project. So much learning and so many opportunities for inspiration!

*Our family had many great moments together at various beaches, at the airport park near SFO, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, at swim meets, with friends... Lots and lots of good times.

So 2014 wasn't all bad, it just kicked us a little on its way out!

2015, though? Gonna be great!

A few years ago, I decided to read a book a week for the entire year. So 52 books in 52 weeks... and I ended up reading even more. I've been keeping track of the books I read in an old fashioned notebook since 2000. My son calls this "a special sort of OCD," but it's actually fun looking back to see what I've read.

And I'm doing it again this year! A bunch of my friends on Instagram and Facebook are joining me, and we're hoping to share book titles, maybe have a few virtual discussions, and who knows what else! Are you up for the challenge? Join us!

Feel free to comment here or share on Instagram! What book would you recommend for 2015? Did you read something recently that you loved? What book are you starting your reading year with? Use the hashtag #52Books2015, and tag me, too, if you would!

In 2014, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver and The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan were two novels that I enjoyed. My book club friends and I will read anything by Barbara Kingsolver! Amy Tan is a great storyteller, and although I have some criticism, it was definitely interesting. I also read Mindset, by Carol Dweck and thought it was worthwhile. It's a very quick read, and gave me some insight into the personalities of some of the people I interact with.

I'm starting 2015 with a book for my book club: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, but I've got a stack of other books to read as well. If you're a teacher and you haven't read Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins, put it on your list! I also recommend Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller and Word Nerds by Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie H. Montgomery, and Margot Holmes Smith. All those professional books are good for teachers of any grade!

And if 52 books seems like too many, given the fact that you HAVE A LIFE, then set another goal, but join us anyway! My kids and husband set reading goals, but some of them are going for 30. No matter!

Happy New Year!

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