Saturday, January 28, 2012

A day at the flea market

Today I decided to visit the Raleigh state flea market. My roommate Melina, Joe, and I left for the flea market a little around lunch time. I didn't think it was going to be as packed as it was but when we arrived it took us a while to find a parking spot. I was definitely amazed by how big it was, I wasn't expecting it take over the whole fairgrounds area. The area outside was like a big yard sale with different vendors selling all kinds of things from antiques to jewelry to pocketbooks to DVDs and movies. Inside there were more notable retailers selling things such as peanuts, wireless accessories, and furniture. My first purchase was at one of the indoor vendors where I purchased a pair of NC State earrings and a wax bar for my Scentsy warmer. For both they were only six dollars! Melina bought a ring for $15 which was very pretty. I was happy to find a vendor selling a lot of watches. I have been looking for a new watch for a while now. It is hard to find a small face watch but luckily this vendor had a silver watch with a face I really liked. He even removed some of the links for me so that it fit my wrist perfectly and the watch only cost $9.95.

I also bought some DVDs that were two for five dollars. One of the DVDs I got was the Dawsons creek series finale. Walking around it wasn't as crowded as I had thought it would be when we arrived. The weather was perfect for shopping outdoors today and I'm glad that I got the chance to visit the flea market. I will definitely be making some more trips to it in the future. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Myself as a Reader

Reading has had its ups and downs for me. When I was younger my mom read to me many of the Golden books which I still have today.  I remember by favorite story being "The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown.  I also remember my mom making up stories to tell me each night.  She would put people I knew into the stories so that I could relate to the story. Throughout elementary school I read books like Junie B Jones and the Amber Brown series. I continued to enjoy reading and  stories until the fifth grade.  In the fifth grade I had to read the book "Island of the Blue Dolphins" and after each chapter was required to answer questions about it for homework.  For some reason I just couldn't comprehend this book so I ended up doing poorly on the test and then lost my love of reading for a while.  I can't remember reading much more for pleasure, unless it was just a magazine, until I started college.

On the other hand, writing has been something that I've always liked.  When I was younger I would write in a diary. I can also remembering always writing notes to friends in school.  We had a big box of notes we wrote that I kept. I also loved getting writing assignments in school and did pretty well with them. I probably owe my imagination and love of writing to my parents.  By creating their own stories to tell me it helped spark my own imagination. I've always like expressing myself through writing and still do today.

When I started college I started reading the news, magazines, books for pleasure, cookbooks and the list could go on.  I developed a love for learning that reading helped me feed.  Books I read for fun were The Twilight Series, Memoirs of A Geisha, and several books that were made into movies. I also loved music and found myself searching for lyrics a lot. I like reading anything that I could make a connection to.  Any time I picked up a book and wasn't able to connect with it within the first few chapters I put down.

My passion for literacy grew a lot in my Junior year of undergrad at Appalachian.  I remember sitting in classes and working in groups to discuss textbook chapters.  There were a lot of people I came across that had a very hard time comprehending or with the vocabulary.  I found out that these same people didn't really enjoy reading for pleasure.  The worst part was that these people were getting their Elementary Education degree!  In my opinion, even if teachers aren't the best readers they should still have a passion for reading.  That year I created a club on campus called Appalachian Literary Society.  We had meetings that made reading and writing fun through cookbook nights, scrabble tournaments, read alouds, book discussions etc.  My goal was to show college students that reading and writing can be very enjoyable.

Currently, I read books that are about my future career, Special Education.  I don't much time to read books for pleasure now, but when I do I try to read books that teach me more about being a good educator.  As for writing, I love writing this blog.  It is a great way for me to share what is going on with my life and to be able to look back later to see what I have accomplished.  Another way I use writing is through Facebook, which I use to keep up with friends from undergrad and even to write to friends from high school.

My own experiences with reading and writing have made me very aware of the importance of good reading teachers.  Every teacher, no matter the grade level or the subject has the chance to affect the value of literacy in a child's life. When my fifth grade teacher chose not to help my reading efforts with the "Island of the Blue Dolphins," my love of reading left me.  That was the first bad grade I had made in elementary school and that left a mark that stuck with me.  I was lucky enough to later begin reading for pleasure on my own. I know people who something like this happens to and even as adults they chose not to read for fun.  I want to be a teacher who is always sharing my love of literacy with each student I come across.  Whenever I see a struggling reader I want to get down to what that student needs help with in the reading process and help them begin to enjoy reading.  By reflecting on my experiences I can see that making connections was the biggest way for me to want to read and write.  This is something that I will definitely remember as a teacher.   Developing good readers is about getting to know each student and finding out ways to help them make their own connections.  As for writing, even though I have always enjoyed it I wish I was better at it.  I really don't remember learning much about spelling or grammar use and it's something that I still am not very good with today.  Now that I'm aware of this I am working on it and want to make sure to blend all parts of literacy into my classroom.  Literacy isn't just about learning to read, it's about learning the process of reading and the development of good writing skills.  I look forward to helping all of my students become more literate and fostering their passion for reading and writing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Easy ways to earn some extra money

I thought I would share with you all how I make a little extra money online just by doing the things I normally do.
The first thing I use is swagbucks.  Swagbucks is a search engine that you can use to earn "swagbucks."   When you randomly search for things you will earn these swagbucks.  Then you can trade in your swagbucks for gift cards and other prizes.  I always cash in my swagbucks for amazon gift cards.  I've probably earned $100 in amazon gift cards so far.  I highly recommend using this site.  Even if you don't like the search engine if you just make a random search you are likely to earn swagbucks and then you can go use the search engine you prefer.  If you think you'd like try it click the banner below and I will get a refferal.  Referall's also lead to free prizes so then make sure to tell your friends about it.
Search & Win
The second thing I use is Ebates.  Ebates is a site that you can go through to get cash back for online purchases.  All you have to do is log on to ebates and search for wherever you want to shop at online.  Then from their make your purchase.  It even will tell you online coupon codes you can use to save you even more money.  I earned $22 just for purchases my textbooks online.  

Another great site I use to find coupon codes is Here you can search for coupons to use online or to print out for stores.  If you take the time to search for a discount then you will most likely find that their is a discount out there somewhere.  I rarely pay full price for anything anymore and you don't have to either.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Hunt for Motivation

Why is that we say things that we want to do so badly but yet never find the time or motivation to do it?  For example,  how many people make New Year's resolution's to find themselves only keeping them for less than a week?  A recent study showed that only 12% of people actually achieve their resolutions.   How many college students wake up in the morning and say "I'm motivated today," but then end up only getting 15 minutes of work done?  I know I'm not the only one that this happens to but I wish I knew why it is so hard to find the motivation to keep the promises we make with ourselves.

Everyone finds motivation in different ways.  For me, I think I will try writing a list of small goals that I want to accomplish each day.  Tomorrow's goal will be to finish an assignment for an online class by lunch so I have the rest of my day free. If this works then I will gradually increase my list of goals each day.  It is time for me to start taking action in my hunt for motivation instead of sitting and waiting for it to come to me.

The Waiting Place sent me "The Waiting Place" by Eileen Button to review.  I actually read it a while back but haven't had a chance to write a review.  Inside this book are several stories that help us to learn to take the time to breathe.  It is filled with stories about waiting for something.  Button writes with humor and passion that makes the reader fell as though they are waiting with her.  This book is a great read for anyone who finds themselves always looking for tomorrow.  It teaches us to embrace the current moment and enjoy "The Waiting Place."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Teacher Alert

For all my teacher friends make sure you check out Scholastic this week.  They are having their huge dollar sale.

Sale prices good till Jan 18th

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back In Raleigh

After a few weeks at home for the break it is so nice to be settled back into Raleigh.  On Sunday I went to the NCSU vs Maryland basketball game with my roommates.   It was a great game and State ended up winning.   Tonight I went to Piola with Callie where we ate some great Italian pizza.  I got a pizza called the Rossa which had tomatoes and basil on it.  It was very good and the best part is that I have plenty for lunch tomorrow!

Classes have started for the semester and I'm pretty excited about it.  I think I will be learning a lot this semester which hopefully won't become too overwhelming.  I am taking 2 online courses and 2 courses on campus.  So far I have plenty of reading to do for next week which is always fun.  I'm very glad that I'm interested in my courses otherwise I don't know if I could survive this much textbook reading.  

I still need to start getting up earlier, I've gone to bed way too late recently which doesn't help getting much done in the mornings.  Tomorrow I plan on getting everything organized for my classes and creating a schedule outlining when all my assignments are due and when I need to read for each class. Staying organized is the key to doing well in graduate school. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Coupon Update

I apologize to all my friends who always are looking for me to inform them on the latest bargains.  I have been slacking since I started school as it is hard to find a lot of time to look for good deals.  But I have some good news; this week starts Harris Teeter Super Doubles.  It will start Jan 4th and last a week.  Here are a couple of links to go to where they post coupon matchups:
Coupon Teacher
For those of you who haven't been keeping coupons, still check out those sites to get printable coupons you can use.

I'll try to keep you more updated this year, as I need to start saving a lot of money if I'm planning another NYC trip!

Memories of 2011

I am very thankful for the year that I had last year.  Looking back I can say it was the best year I've had yet. Here is a short summary of my year:

At the end of January I went to NYC with my best friend Felicia and my sister.  This was an experience I will never forget.

In February I took my first teaching job at Central Middle teaching sixth grade Math and Science.  This is me and my teammate.  I couldn't have asked for a better teammate and teaching experience.

In March I passed the Praxis II for Middle Grades Math, which to me was awesome because Math isn't my best subject.

In May, I was accepted to graduate school at NCSU for Special Education.

In July, I moved to Raleigh and fell in love with the city.

In August, I started a job tutoring for a tutoring company.  It is an amazing opportunity and I'm still learning so much from this job.  All of my roommates moved into the apartment this month too and we have become sisters.  I couldn't ask for better girls to live with.

In September, I went to my first NCSU football game.  I've been a big football fan ever since.

In November, I was able to watch the Carolina Hurricanes play the Maples Leaves in vip seats! I also bought my own laptop and new gps this month.  Moving on up, haha.  Also, in November I went to see the Rockettes in Durham with my friend Callie.  I recommend this show to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  I hope to see it one day in New York.

Finally, in December I took my final exams and ended up ending the semester with a 4.0 gpa.

I don't think I could have asked for a better year.  I hope God blesses everyone in 2012 the way I was blessed in 2011. Happy New Year!