Friday, July 24, 2015

Five for Friday

Hello Friday! Here are five blurbs from my week! : )


After months of searching, we finally landed our perfect house! We close this week and move in August. It has been a crazy month, but we can't wait to make this place our house. I creep by anytime I'm in the area... 




And yes, you read that right...we have a POOL! I am so excited and can't wait to have some backyard parties.


New house, means new bedding. I finally tied the knot with this bedding from Restoration Hardware. Bedding is such a big commitment! It really helped me to go and see it in the store.





This week I got to have a coffee date with some sweet teacher blogging friends: Alexis from Mrs. Hudgens Hears a Who, Ashley for Teach, Create, Motivate and Ally from Loopin Littles.  It was so much fun and we have so much in common!







I have been kicked out of my classroom all week while the floors have been waxed, so I have been planning and working on what I can from home. I have been coloring my First Week of First Grade book! 



It's available on TPT Here. I also have it for K and 2nd! : )

I have also been going through pictures this week. I am so bad about having them printed. Confession: I have never printed out any of our wedding or honeymoon photos. Isn't that horrible? I have been trying to find a few favorites to print and frame for our new house.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Join the Five for Friday Link Up HERE.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

5 Ideas for the First Day of School


Summer is quickly coming to an end, which means the school year is about to begin! My first day of school is just around the corner (August 24) and I want to make sure I have a fun day planned for my first graders. Here are 5 quick ideas for the First Day of School!

1. Create a photo booth! 



I made this easy background using plastic table cloths in the hallway. I just taped a large white tablecloth up for a background and made a circus tent with a red and white striped tablecloth. My classroom is circus themed. ; ) I bought a little wooden sign at Hobby Lobby and printed a sign with our classroom information to go in the middle. Parents really appreciated this cute back drop for their pictures too. 



I even added props and printed out the pictures to go on my Class Clowns door. These pictures were also precious in my end-of-the-year photo albums.




2. Introduce yourself!
No matter their age, students want to feel a connection with you and find some common ground. I made my All About Me Book back in college and it's a hit every year! You can read all about it HERE. I need to update the cover with my married name and add a few pages, but it still does the trick! If you don't have the time to make an autobiography to read, print out a few pictures to share. 



Students especially love seeing pictures of you in school.

 Last year, my students loved hearing about my dogs AKA my children. They even wanted to write about them in the writing center.



They even got end of the year presents!



From Day 1, take the time to get to know your students and let them get to know you too! Building those relationships is essential!


3. Create a fun keepsake journal! 



I was inspired to create this journal because I have a journal like this I made in first grade. I also think it's so helpful to have a few independent activities for that first day (and first week) of school. I have versions available from Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade in my TPT store. The Kindergarten version is a picture journal that requires students only to write their name. They will draw pictures to match each prompt!




4. Arrange for some visitors.

I think it's so important for students to see the school as a community.Students should know all of the adults at the school and their jobs. Ask some of these people to pop their heads in on the first day and say hello. If that's just not possible, make a book of the important people to share with your students. I created this book last year and it was a popular class book!






It would also be really meaningful if you took a picture with the students and the person. It always helps your memory to connect a real experience to a picture.

I think it's always a good idea to introduce all of the other teachers in your grade level too. Sweet Kindergarteners don't usually understand that you don't go everywhere with them. I always have panic break out when they can't find me on the playground because I don't have recess duty. Make sure they know the other teachers and that they are there to help too!  


In special circumstances, a special visitor could even be a parent. The second year I taught, I had a precious boy in my classroom with special needs and he had some trouble communicating. His mom, a former teacher, asked if she could come and read a book she made about her son on the first day of school. Typically, I try not to have parents around the first week or two because it often creates tears, but I happily agreed. It was an absolutely wonderful experience and it really answered my student's questions and made the child feel so good! 

5. Tour the school. 


I always love having teachers kids because they know their way around the school. It's so helpful to have little friends who know where to take the lunch count or where the nurse's office is. I try really hard to teach ALL of students the way around the school.  In Kindergarten we always did a big gingerbread hunt and we chased the gingerbread man around the school with clues. This year I created a passport to use on our classroom tour. It includes stops at the library, the computer lab, the cafeteria, the playground, the office and the gym. You can check it out HERE. 




What are your favorite first day of school activities?



Monday, July 13, 2015

BIC Back to School Suite Giveaway

One of my favorite parts of going back to school is getting brand new school supplies! There are so many choices out there, but I tend to stick to a few trusted brands, one of them being BIC®. They have a few new products that are part of their Back to School Suite. AND you can win a set for your classroom too! Keep reading...


I love happy mail! : )


BIC’s 2015 Back to School Line Up:

BIC® Xtra-Fun #2 Pencil


I'm dying to add these pencils to my classroom school supply list. 

1. They come sharpened! AMEN! As a teacher, I love pre-sharpened pencils. They save me lots of time at the pencil sharpener.

2. They erase! I can't stand that nasty eraser mark that so many pencil erasers leave. 

3. THE COLORS! Need I say more? 





I am going to use these pencils at my back table for small group activities. The lead is also break-resistant! I pushed really hard, and I couldn't get one to break. I think these would really hold up in the classroom!

BIC® Xtra-Craze™ Mechanical Pencil





I'm a mean teacher and don't let my kids use mechanical pencils. BUT I LOVE THEM! That's all I use. I just love the precise writing! And how cute are these fun patterns? I have loved using these pencils to make my classroom to-do list. 


My list grows by the day!

BIC® Cristal® Stylus



I absolutely love this pen! I use my iPad all of the time and this stylus is perfect! I love that I can use one pen to take notes AND surf the web. This stylus would be wonderful in a classroom with technology. 

BIC Atlantis® Ultra Comfort Pen

Teacher confession: I hold my pen (and pencil) completely wrong. Please don't judge my old Kindergarten teacher! ; ) I always end up with gross-looking blisters on my fingers because pens just rub me the wrong way...hehe. Let me tell you this pen is wonderful! It has an extra-soft grip that was comfortable even after writing for long periods of time. This will definitely be in my teacher bag for upcoming professional development.

BIC® Brite Liner® Erasable Highlighter

And I saved the best for last! These highlighters are perfect for studying. I have been working my way through my school's summer reading book. 


You can highlight and then if you change your mind...erase! These highlighters would be perfect for highlighting textbooks; or if you're like me and like to highlight as you read.

Want to win these goodies for your classroom? 
Just enter the giveaway below and one lucky winner will have the set magically appear on your doorstep!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


BIC is also on a mission to save handwriting through its Fight For Your Write initiative - which aims to educate everyone about the importance of writing by hand, and providing parents and educators with information and activities that encourage and inspire writing.  By taking the pledge at www.BICFightForYourWrite.com, you can help join the crusade! For every signature collected, BIC will donate a pen or pencil to students in need across the country through their partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

#tptvegas15 in Review



After years of wishing, I finally made it to Las Vegas to attend the Teacher Pay Teachers 2015 Conference. It was absolutely amazing and worth every penny. You must go! 

I just wanted to share a few highlights from my trip. I traveled with my sweet friend Alexis from Mrs. Hudgens Hears a Who. Our adventure began at 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning and didn't stop until I made it home at midnight on Friday!

 We were both newbies to Vegas, and we definitely weren't disappointed with the room!






We kicked off the fun with the Teacher Blogger Meet Up! According to the event on Facebook, over 1100 people were there! It was AMAZING! 


This was part of the line to get in the door! The lighting at the hotel is a little bit funky.


The event was sponsored by many teacher friendly companies! There were TONS of door prizes and great products in the swag bag! Go Noodle even had a photo booth set up!


I also met Freckles Sinclair. I look scared because I was scared. When I got close to him, this creepy voice said "Do you Pop See Ko?" And it terrified me. But, I do in fact Pop See Ko, 2.0 style. If you don't know what I'm talking about you must sign up for Go Noodle immediately. 


I am hoping this photo will give me instant cool status with my first graders in August.

It was also really fun to meet some "famous teachers." I was trying to relay what a big deal this was to my husband and he didn't quite understand. But, maybe you will...

Kickin it in Kindergarten! This girl was HILARIOUS!

Amy Lemons was a doll!


I have met Deanna Jump before, but I just love how real and down to Earth she is. Y'all, she even eats breakfast! 



Thursday and Friday were an absolute blur of learning! I have pages and pages of notes. The presenters were incredible and I made so many new and sweet friends. I was so sad when it was over.


Can't wait for #tptvegas16! I hope to see you there!

Click the link below for the Viva Las Vegas Linky Party! I have enjoyed reading about everyone's experience!













Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Circus Classroom Poster Freebie

This will be my fourth year to have a circus themed classroom. I honestly never dreamed of keeping a theme so long, but I absolutely love it! I also try not to go too overboard, and just stick to primary colors so I don't get sick of it! 

Meet the Teacher Night has always been really important to me. I want my parents to see how excited I am to be there and just feel the happy energy in our classroom. You can read all about it HERE.









One of my favorite little touches is this poster. Pretend I'm reading this in my ring master voice...

COME ONE! COME ALL! TO THE GREATEST CLASS ON EARTH!


I created it and ordered it from Vistaprint my first year, and I have used it every year since. Yesterday, I received a sweet message from another teacher asking for it so I decided to upload it to TPT! Just click to download. 


I hope you can use this to welcome your student's families too!