Saturday, December 20, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is a…. TpT Gift Certificate! {GIVEAWAY!!}

Did you know that TpT now sells gift certificates?! This has been my go to perfect, no brainer gift for other teacher friends and student teachers! 

I know that most of us are now on our much needed Winter Break and don't even want to think about school or working!  I hope that you are able to find the time to relax and enjoy yourselves with family and loved ones….Too often we as teachers forget to enjoy ourselves and relax!

 The break is going to fly by for us all, and on that dreaded Sunday before returning back to school, most of us will be scrambling to come up with our lesson plans for the upcoming week. 
Don't sweat it though, because I will be giving away a $10 TpT Gift Certificate to one lucky follower!

 You can use it for some top-notch resources upon returning to school, OR gift it to another teaching buddy of yours :) I am linking up with Laura Candler from Corkboard Connections and a BUNCH of other great teacher bloggers who are also giving away a $10 certificate on their own blogs. Be sure to head through the link-up at the bottom of this post and enter each drawing!  

How to Enter
I'm using Rafflecopter to host my giveaway, and you can earn up to 5 entries if you complete all the items listed. To enter the contest, complete any or all of these entries before midnight EST on December 23rd. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you complete the entry form.

Remember, if anyone asks you what YOU want for Christmas, be sure to tell them that all you want for Christmas is a TpT gift certificate! I sincerely hope your winter holiday is fabulous and that you enjoy time with the special people in your life! Be sure to check your email on December 24th to see if you won!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Gifts

Happy December, Friends! 

Today I am linking up with my blogging buddies from the Elementary Grapevine to present to you a Holiday Blog Hop!!

Today I will be sharing some gift ideas with you that I have done in the past.

Student Gifts
Each year, I order books from Scholastic and stock up on the multiplication flash cards from the Target dollar section. I will usually add in a candy cane, Christmas pencil, and some type of holiday straw into their gift bags. 

I also bake these melted snowman cookies for them. 

If you would like detailed directions on how to create these cookies, as well as an awesome sugar cookie recipe you can check out this post.

If you're interested in using these editable cookie bag toppers, you can download a free copy in my TPT store.

Parent Gifts
Each year my students make snowman finger printed ornaments to gift to their families. It is super simple and easy. I purchase clear plastic ornaments (because the glass ones easily shatter) and fill them with glitter (fake snow).

Faculty Gifts
I usually like to give something small to the office staff, custodians, counselors, etc. They help to ensure the school runs smoothly but often get overlooked. It can get a bit pricy when purchasing something for all of these people, so I usually like to bake something. 

One year I made some chocolate covered pretzels and decorated them with sprinkles. In addition I baked some brownies and added some candy canes to this cute holiday box and then tied it up with a cute bow.

Another idea is to make some puppy chow, add some holiday m&ms and throw them into a Mason Jar. This comes out SUPER CUTE and who doesn't like puppy chow?! 

In the back row of the photo above, I also used some large Mason jars and added dry cookie ingredients. I decided to do M&M cookies, since they're much more colorful than plain chocolate chips (although I believe they have red and green chocolate chips now!) 

I added some ribbon and tied on directions on how to prep. the cookies (along with the wet ingredients needed). You can snag the labels I used here

I hope you are able to use some of these ideas this holiday season! All of these gifts are easily adaptable for anyone :) What are your go-to holiday gifts? I'd love to hear in the comment section below! 

Head on over to Lory's blog to find out about Classroom Snowball Fights!! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Juggling Housework and Work-work

Being a teacher is rough because our jobs never end. If you're like me, I know you've got a to-do list somewhere that is about a mile long. One thing many people don't know is that when teachers go home, they are still working- grading papers, lesson planning, creating/finding awesome resources for their students to learn with, printing, laminating, cutting, gluing, etc.

Teachers are T.I.R.E.D. 
(like this guy)

I can get so caught up and stressed out about all the things I need to get done at home..that I can sometimes  quite often neglect the housework. I get so caught up in crafting, grading, multi-tasking and using every bit of space I can find in my house….then get soo tired..very very tired....that things stay out on the table, overnight. Overnight turns to several days. Before I know house looks like a disaster zone!

 When this (above photo) happens, I get even more stressed about the mess, then think of all the time it'll take to get it cleaned. 

Please tell me that I am not the only one here, people!

SOOOO Today I wanted to share with you all how I avoid ending up in this situation!

I follow THIS:

This cleaning schedule helps me to stay on task and keep my house orderly. It only takes about 30 minutes each day to tidy up (keeping in mind my 1,100 sq. ft. home is probably much smaller than yours). As soon as I walk into the door, I get cleaning. 

I love it! It's soo much easier to clean a little each day, than to have a whole entire messy home to clean up all at one time. 

I feel relaxed and happy when I walk into my house when it's clean. I can focus and get work done a lot better when I have a clean home. 

This is what I came home to today…
Can you see my little puppy looking at the camera? He blends in with the kitchen rug ;)

I recently got rid of my dish rack. I love how spacious the counter looks now! Rather than using the dish rack, I pull out the drawers of the dish washer and let all my dishes dry in there. I can put them away when I have the chance and it isn't a total eye sore. The dish rack just looked super cluttered to me!

Do you feel a cleaning schedule can help you?  

If you do decide to try this out..I would LOVE to hear how it works for you! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Reading Wonders Organization

This year my school began implementing the new Reading Wonders Curriculum. 

Since it is our first year with the program, we are being told that we must implement with fidelity. I was and still am overwhelmed with this series. There is just SO MUCH to teach in a weeks time and there are also SO MANY resources. Today I wanted to share with you how I organize my Wonders materials.

We were lucky enough to have the school purchase all of the leveled readers for guided reading groups. The only problem that came with this was finding storage. I pretty much had every single shelf space in my classroom already occupied.. I decided to store them in file folders based on week in my filing cabinet! 
I love that the books are put away in the filing cabinet but are still easily accessible. 

I have also been creating some supplemental materials to go along with each week of Wonders. 

In these units I have anchor charts, supplemental worksheets and task cards to go along with the focus skills for the week. 

After the week is done, I take the laminated anchor charts and the master copies of the weekly worksheets and keep them filed away in the folder with the weekly readers. This makes it easy for me to have everything in one place from  year to year. 

I look forward to next year when all of my copies and already laminated anchor charts in one place and ready to go for that week! It has been quite a bit of work becoming familiar with the program, creating weekly units, and printing/laminating all of the anchor charts in time to teach it…but it'll be well worth it in the upcoming years! 

If you're interested in seeing my weekly plans for Wonders, you can check that post out here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Building Fact Fluency

Hip,Hip, Hooorayy! I am officially on Fall Break. This is definitely a very much needed break. 
The first thing I did on my break was write a blog post. I'm so happy I finally have the time. I have so many things I'd like to share but just haven't had the time. 

I've recently teamed up with some amazing bloggers in a NEW collaborative blog on the block. Check us out at the Elementary Grapevine! 
I just posted over there about building fact fluency! Head on over to read all about it (there may even be a freebie!) 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Currently!

Seriously?! Can't believe it is already October, folks. The year has FLEW by and I have been desperately trying to stay afloat this school year. I have a bunch of ideas brewing in my head of blog posts I want to share with ya'll. Give me a little more time, and I hope to gain a little sanity back after next week's fall break! Then I'll be back to share what I've been up to in the classroom!! 

Until then…lets go and link up with the fab. Farley for this month's Currently! 

LISTENING: I recently adopted a stray dog that was roaming around my neighborhood. He is the cutest, most loving dog around. It took my Princess awhile to get used to him, but now they absolutely LOVE each other. They are always running around the house playing together and their little collars go jingle jingle :) 

LOVING: That I only have 2 more days until I have a week off from school! This is some time that is desperately needed! I feel like I am struggling to stay afloat this year-maybe even just as much as I struggled my first year of teaching!…I thought things should get easier..not harder?!

THINKING: Of my mile long to-do list. I have so many things that I plan to do over break. I'm hoping I can at least get through half ;)

WANTING: A nice, hot slice of pizza! Hubs and I are eating healthy tonight but a slice of pizza sounds  devine!

NEEDING: If I only get one thing done over break, it must be to get my house CLEANED and ORGANIZED. It is a mess and has been driving me absolutely insane. :(

TREAT: Love this surprise in this month's currently. I am going to be giving you a treat!

My entire TPT store will be marked 15% off for the next 2 days ;) 

I've recently added some Reading Wonders materials:

and this fun Cultural Research Project


Sunday, August 31, 2014

September Currently!

Aloha, Friends! I'm linking up with Farley again for her September Currently!

LISTENING: To the Kardashians. Love this show :)

LOVING: My students!!! I absolutely adore this group and miss them when I'm absent! 

THINKING: I need to make use of this 3-day weekend. So far, I have done NOTHING school related :/ I did get to spend the day with the hubs and some friends on Saturday though which was really nice!!

WANTING: An acai bowl. Where I live now, there aren't really any good acai bowls around. I've been craving this for awhile!

NEEDING: More TIME! I have so many responsibilities this school year as Grade level chair and mentor teacher (to a college student and 2 beginning teachers). To top it off I am also planning a baby shower and bridal shower. I never have enough time in one day or week to get it all done. 

Love this last one! I have been wanting to travel to Tahiti ever since I was a little girl. I also really want to go to Japan for the yummy yummy food!! I've also always dreamed of going to New York. My dream as a little girl would be that I would be proposed to in NYC during Christmas time :) 

I'm off to make my grocery list so I can meal prep tomorrow. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale Weekend!!

Hi All,

So sorry. School has been in back session and I have been SWAMPED. This is probably my busiest year ever. I will give you all an update on what has been going on very soon. But for now, I need to get ready to host a Football party at our house for the hubby and friends. 

I wanted to let you know to make up for my MIA-ness…I wanted to bring you a little something special. 

Here are some products that have recently been added to my store:

Reading Wonders Supplemental Activities

A Cultural Research Project

Chalkboard and Chevron Lesson Plan Book. 

Happy Shopping!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Managing Student Work

Hello, Friends! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. I am so thrilled and excited to be teaming up with all of these fabulous bloggers to bring to you my second Bright Ideas Post!!

Today I will be sharing about my "Assignment Drop box" and how I use this to manage student Work. I've been trying out different methods for years and this is one that has definitely made life easier on me!

Each student has their own file folder. When assignments are completed, they turn it into their dropbox and move their number over to the 'Work in' side. 

At the ending of each block, I get a pre-made checklist with all of my students' names and I highlight the ones who are not done. The clips go back for the next block. 

Right next to my Assignment Drop Box, I also have student mailboxes. I use these mailboxes to return student work. Since I collect and correct their assignments in number order (from the dropbox), it's really easy to file them back out in number order. I also use their mailbox to distribute supplies/materials that will be needed for the day. 

Thank you again for stopping by today!! If you enjoyed this Bright Idea on managing student work, please consider following me on Facebook or  Instagram for more great ideas and tips!

For even more Bright Ideas from nearly 150 other fantastic bloggers,  be sure to check out the links below!! :)