Monday, April 25, 2016

Gift Ideas for the Office Staff- Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals Day is right around the corner. This year it falls on a Wednesday, the 27th of April. At my school, we have outstanding office ladies. I truly feel that they are the glue that holds the school together. 
These ladies field phone calls, calm down angry parents, deal with naughty/sick children, handle all the paper work, answer billions of questions…. all with a huge smile on their face. They are so helpful, friendly, and kind. 
In honor of them, we usually collect money from the staff so that we can all chip in to make them feel special. Instead of only celebrating for one day, we actually turn it into a week long celebration. This year, I had the honor to put together their gifts. 
Today I'm here to share them with you. A lot of these could easily be used for Teacher Appreciation week which is May 2-6. 

I got the cute tumblers from Target, you can find them here. I used my Silhouette Cameo  to cut out the names and designs from Vinyl Sheets
You can snag the labels here
Next up are Chill Pills. I bought these Smooth Mason Jars  so that I could easily attach the labels using double stick tape. I hit up the Target after easter sale and was able to snag the Jelly Beans while they were on sale! #score 

I am also adding a Ruby Tuesday's gift card (right across the street from school) so they can pick up a drink if the Chill Pills wear off…lol   

I used EOS lip balm as the 'bomb'. You can pick that tag up here.

You can get this sign here.

Next up is an Ice Cream Sundae Kit:

Signs available here.

I hope you find some of these gift ideas useful! Let me know in the comment section if you end up trying any of these ideas out :) 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pinterest-Approved Recipe Link-Up

Good Morning and Happy Sunday Friends!
I am so excited to be bringing you the first {of which we hope there are many more}

AngeliaTonya, and Nicole are my go-to girls for questions about teaching, blogging, TpT, and  life in general. Just like you, we are all busy teachers who are trying our best to juggle work, home life and keeping up with our families. One of the things that we often find ourselves sharing amongst each other are quick, easy, and delicious recipes. 

Pinterest is a great source to find yummy recipes, but there are so many out there. When we get home from a busy day at work, we want to make sure we are feeding our families a GOOD meal. 
Aint' nobody got time for a Pinterest recipe fail!  

On the 3rd Sunday of every month, we will be hosting our Pinterest-Approved Recipe Link-up!! 
We will share our favorite, *successful* Pinterest recipes that we've done in the past or throughout the month and we hope that you will share yours too!! 
The rules for this link-up are simple:
Without further ado, I will be sharing 2 of my favorite recipes (that were a success on the first try) that I found from Pinterest. For convenience, I am linking you straight to the source that the recipe came from rather than to my Pinterest board. Enjoy!
One of my all time favorite pasta recipes is this Spicy Sausage Pasta that I found over at Kevin & Amanda's. This recipe is so SIMPLE to make and only takes 30 minutes (or less) from start to finish. The best thing is that you only have one pot for clean up! #jackpot 

This is the perfect recipe for a busy weeknight {or for one of those days that got you feeling like you were run over by a bus} lol. The ingredients are pretty basic pantry staples (except for maybe the heavy cream). I always like to buy sausage when its on sale and freeze them for when I need them in a crunch. 

My husband and I both LOVE all things spicy. The pasta has a good kick as is, but I like to kick it up a notch by using this sausage instead of the smoked turkey sausage. These sausages are sooo yummy {and cheesy}!! 
This next recipe is much healthier than the first. 
You can find the directions for this Quinoa Salad over at Cherished Bliss.

My husband does not like Quinoa but he does like this salad…so much that he will ask for me to make it. The reason I like this recipe is because it is so simple to toss together. I know that some people cook their quinoa on the stove, but I just throw mine into a rice cooker for ease. Not only is this a simple recipe but you could actually serve it as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner item. 

For breakfast I like to add this salad and some scrambled eggs to a tortilla to make a breakfast burrito (this is the hubbys fav.) You could also just scramble eggs and eat this on the side.

For both lunch and dinner, you could eat this salad as is or add it to some lettuce. We also sometimes do tacos and eat this as a side. 

If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, you can do so {here}. 
Our next link-up will be on May 15, and we hope you come back to find some new recipes and link up your new favorites. 

If you'd like to use these images in  your post, feel free to snag them below:

We would love it you'd link up with us. Don't forget to leave some love for those you visit ;) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Teaching and Practicing Measurement

In the third grade, students are required to generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths. In the second grade, students learned how to measure objects to the nearest whole unit.
For those of you who teach third, you know that this is often a difficult concept for students to get. In the beginning, they have a very rough time understanding and recording measurements to the nearest half (not as rough) and quarter inch. Today I'm here to share with you how I go about teaching this skill to my kiddos. It has made all the difference in the world in their understanding of how to use a ruler.
We always begin working on this standard after students have had an introduction to basic fractions. If you teach the common core, third graders are also required to identify fractions on a number line….so this standard really helps out with measurement. 
When we first start, we take a quick look at the ruler and discuss that there are 12 inches that make up a foot/the ruler. We then put the ruler aside and work on creating 'The Giant Inch'. 
Each child gets a piece of scrap paper. We begin by folding the paper in half and marking a line for the half.
 We fold the paper back in half, and then in half again (to make quarter marks). Open it up and mark those lines again. We have extensive discussions when going through marking the lines..I make sure the students understand that from 0 to the first mark (A) that is 1/4 because 1 of the 4 parts have been covered or measured. From 0 to the second marking (B) it is 1/2 because 2 of the 4 parts have been covered or measured…we then discuss how 2/4 is equivalent to 1/2 and when we measure we say 1/2. 

This activity really helps the kids understanding the markings on the ruler. I make sure that they understand it is a continuous pattern. To do this, we practice going through the markings on a ruler. The students also practice with this sheet...

Once I know they've got this down…we move onto activities with the Giant Ruler….
I have the students put all of the 'Giant Inches' together to make a 'Giant Foot'. We then use this big scale ruler to practice plotting measurements. Once we've gotten some practice in this way, and all students seem to get it…we move on to a partner activity.

Partners A write a measurement on their whiteboard and Partner B goes to plot it. They double check each others work and then switch off.
With this standard, it truly just takes a whole lot of practice with measuring. Introducing measurement in this way though really helps my students to understand and be able to measure proficiently with their own rulers. 

A favorite activity is flying paper airplanes!

I sometime invite some upper grade students to our class to teach the kids how to make different planes. The requirement is that they each come prepared with a different type of plane to present to the class. The kids can then choose which 6th grader they would like to learn from based on the type of plane they present. This also serves as a great listening activity!!

There were other times that I assigned my kiddos to make a paper airplane for homework. They decorated a piece of scratch paper, then folded it up into a plane. 

The next day, we headed out to fly our planes and measure the distance traveled. 


Students record the distance traveled on this recording sheet. To further extend this activity, you could have your students create a line plot to mark the distances traveled. 
If you'd like to try any of these measurement activities out with your students, you can find them here in my TpT Store. 

I hope these tips and ideas were useful to you! 


Saturday, April 2, 2016

April Currently

I swear, the older I get…the quicker time seems to fly! I really need time to slow down…because I am NOT ready to turn 30 next year :( 
Anyways, today I'm linking up with the fab. Farley for this month's Currently! 
Listening: Decided to leave the tv off this morning, so I won't get distracted! I have big plans of being productive today…
Loving: That it is the weekend! I have so many things to get done, and there just isn't enough time during the weekdays.
Thinking: About getting a head start on all the blog post ideas I have swirling in my head. Tons of new things coming in the near future…….and a surprise new-link up that will go live later this month ;) 
Be sure to check back! You won't want to miss it!!
Wanting: To do a house swap. I always see others post such beautiful photos on Instagram of the snow, countryside, city-living and everything else in between. This little island girl wants to experience it all. One day, I would LOVE love LOVe to do a house swap with someone! 
I've only really been to the West coast…nowhere else :/ 
Needing: To get my office cleaned up and running. When I moved out of my classroom last school year, it became a storage space. It is so cluttered and I need to get it cleaned up so I can use it for a workspace. My poor husband has to deal with all my work stuff taking over the countertops and dining table #thestruggleisreal
Whatever: Totally looking forward to our vacation to San Francisco and Napa at the ending of March. 
For those of you who have been (or live there) where are your favorite places to eat and what wineries do you recommend?! 
Head on over to link up with Farley and drop a line here! I'd love to head over and read your Currently!! 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Printing on Sticky Notes!

Today I'm here to share with you an easy and practical tip that can be used in your classroom.

I love printing on sticky notes! It is so simple, versatile, and a major time saver! 

Some of the ways that I use printed sticky notes are:

To send home notes or reminders to parents.
To label paperwork with instructions.
To provide a checklist for paperwork that needs to be filled out.
Journal prompts.
Cute notes to students or other teachers.
Label my post-its with a signature from me (so others know who it's coming from when I send hand written notes). 

The options of how to use printed sticky notes are truly endless! I love the simplicity of just peeling them off the paper, rather than having to cut each square out if you had just printed on paper. 

Step 1: You can download the template here.

Step 2: Once you've printed the template on plain white paper, you will then add sticky notes to each square (as shown in photo above). 

Step 3: Now that you've printed the template out, you can add text boxes to each square {in Power Point} and type your message out. 

Step 4: Printing. Once all of your notes are typed out, you will then insert your sticky note paper into your printer. The way my printer works, I stick my template in facing down. 

How do you use sticky notes in your classroom? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tech Tip Tuesday-Save Time w/Google Drive

Hi, Friends. It sure has been awhile, but I am back today to share another tech tip. Way back in November, I wrote my very first tech tip post. I had planned to post these tips monthly, but life happened. 

We all know that teachers are B.U.S.Y! We have so much on our plates and sometimes it is hard to keep up. So today, I am here to share with you about how you can save A LOT of valuable time using Google Drive, specifically Google Docs. 

When you are in Google Docs, under the Tools tab you can select Voice Typing. This Voice Typing feature is AMAZING. As I'm sure we've all experienced from using voice typing on our cell phones, it isn't always the most accurate. What I love about this voice typing feature is that it will self correct what it originally wrote based off of context. 
Don't get me wrong. It isn't always 100% accurate, but it is waaay faster to talk out what needs to be typed, than me sitting there and typing it all. It only takes a few seconds for me to go back and fix any errors, if there were even any! 

To access this feature, you will go to Tools and select Voice Typing from your dropdown menu. A little microphone will pop up. You will need to click on that microphone (and allow access to your mic) and begin speaking. It's pretty easy to use, but if you'd like a more in-depth tutorial on how to use Voice Typing, you can check out this tutorial from Google.

Here is a quick video of voice typing in action. (Please don't mind the horrible quality of my recording) lol. 
Another way that voice typing could be utilized to help you (and your students) is that they could type their papers using voice typing. I know, I IS important for our kids to learn how to type and that they get the practice. But let's face it. Sometimes we are in a time crunch- and sometimes it may take a certain kiddo 2 hours to type a paragraph or two. #Aintnobodygottimeforthat 
Another great way to utilize voice typing is if a student needs an accommodation. Sometimes our poor little kiddos come with a broken arm or hand, and cannot write. Typing is usually an accommodation, but finger pecking takes forever. Now-we can make life easier for them with this great feature!
Voice Typing is an easy way to get it all done, in a short amount of time. 
I was working on creating this checklist document so I could see which standards were taught in what quarter. It took me FOREVER to get down the Language standards.
Then it hit me. I could use voice typing. I finished the rest of this document in 15 minutes, as opposed to a few hours typing. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Currently!

Happy February, Friends!

It's been awhile but I am back for my first Currently of the year. Head on over to check it out and link up with the fabulous Farley

To Jane the Virgin. I absolutely love this show..but surprisingly-this is the first time I've ever watched it  while being shown live on the TV. I'm a total binge watch on Hulu/Netflix kinda gal :P 

 The way I feel.
 I've always been a pretty active girl my whole life…but things changed when I started teaching. I put all of my time into planning, prepping, grading, creating (I'm sure you can all relate)…that I left no time for myself. I'm a bit ashamed to say it, but I've gained 20 lbs. since I've started teaching. I never had time to work out and I LOVE to eat (which is partially the problem, too). 
This year I decided that I am going to MAKE time to work out and eat healthy. I only have one body and I need to take care of it. I've been working out and eating clean and I am LOVING the way that I feel. I still have a long way to go before I achieve my goals..but can't wait to continue on this journey for me!

Of tackling my to-do lists. I get home at around 5ish every day. By the time I'm doing with my workouts it's almost 6:30. My hubs and I eat dinner, clean up, then I prep my meals for the following day. I usually shower, then head to bed. 
Although I feel great, I really haven't been getting much done during the week. I am going to set aside an extra 20 minutes every day (even if I need to stay up a little later or give up my before bed Instagram time) to work on one thing that has been sitting on my to-do list. 

More time in a day. See above ;) 

A massage! With all of the working out I've been doing, my body is sore (in a good way). It would feel oh so good to get a massage. I am one lucky girl because the hubs bought me a gift certificate to the spa at Aulani. This spa is to die for! 

Aulani is the Disney Resort on the island of O'ahu.
This is where you can go before and after your spa treatment to relax and rejuvenate. 

I can't wait to go. I'm heading there in a few weeks with one of my girlfriends.

Over my hubby. Every single day I fall more in love with this guy. He is the most supportive and encouraging person in helping me to achieve my goals and aspirations. In order for me to workout, he prepares dinner every night, does the dishes, and does most of the housework so that I can find time on the weekend to create. I am definitely a lucky girl :) 

What are you currently up to? Be sure to head on over and link up with Farley!