June 26, 2015

Five For Friday Linkup 6.26


It’s Friday and finally I am linking up for the first time in forever with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly linkup! This week was the home stretch for our preschool summer experience and today marks the very last day of camp! It’s been such a great time working with my fellow teachers and assistants, meeting the newest kiddos to come into preschool next year, and get to do some pretty fun stuff each week.

ONE //

This week has been our American week and we’re celebrating with all things America! We did this fun little flag craft, made an Uncle Sam hat, and yesterday we decorated boxes for today’s parade!

TWO //
Yesterday was my little man’s birthday and he turned one years old. You can read my letter to him here. I can’t believe how fast a year went but I’m so blessed to have such a loving dog in my life.

And of course he had a birthday bone ;)

THREE //


I am hosting a giveaway for my Pledge of Allegiance packet for those beginning of the year objectives in Social Studies. I’ve always loved this activity because it really introduces those important vocabulary words and finally gives meaning to what students recite everyday. You can find this giveaway and download in my original post here.


FOUR //

The summertime can be a very transitional time for some teachers; I know it was for me last September when we moved. Some might be changing schools, moving states or even counties, or taking time off from the classroom entirely. This is also an important time to skim over your teaching portfolio and add to it with any new experience or PD you’ve gained. Here is my original post that outlines how to set up an easy to use teaching portfolio that prepares you for those job interviews you might find yourself in. Having a portfolio will automatically set you apart from the rest!


FIVE //


If you’re a Daily 5ver like me then this is will help you with those resources you need to set it up and be prepared on the first day of school. See my original post to find the download here!


BEFORE YOU LEAVE...

Be sure to stop by my lifestyle blog, Primarily Inspired, and enter to win a $50 gift card to Stitch Fix!


June 22, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Dream Big

It’s so funny how there are so many ways to discover new blogs and be inspired by teachers all over this country. Today was such a moment when I discovered Emily over at Third in Hollywood! She, along with a few other fabulous teacher bloggers, have created a fun weekly linkup that aims to challenge you as a TpT seller, grow your small TpT store business, and discover and support new blogs and bloggers. This linkup is called the TPT Seller Challenge and I’m happy to be joining in even though I missed the first week!

Curious like I was about this challenge? Here’s some details...

This week marks the beginning of week 2 and the prompt is DARE TO DREAM. I love this because as a seller, TpT has provided me with a convenient and easy way to earn some pocket money and provide for my family. 

So, what are my dreams that TpT could help me turn into a reality? Here are just a few that come to mind:

Support fellow teachers with helpful resources // This one is the whole purpose of my TpT business and reason I began selling my own resources. When you’re a first year teacher you have no idea what to do and for those 180 school days you’re just surviving. This can also be said for veteran teachers who are changing grades or moving and starting fresh in a new school. I love having TpT as a resource for myself because there are so many great ideas out there on how to tackle those objectives, regardless of what state you live in!

The ever lasting travel fund // Isn’t this the truth! One thing my husband and I absolutely love to do is travel. It’s so easy during the school year to get caught up with life and years have a way of just flying by. So, my TpT store is helping me save a couple hundred dollars a month to go towards something I love to do with my husband. Eventually this travel fund will evolve into a baby fund :)

A stay at home mommy // I’ve seen this one pop up on a few dream boards in this linkup and I’m right there with ya! Something that’s very important to me is being a stay at home mommy once Philip and I begin having kids. I want to be the one to raise my children and be there for those important moments. I can always teach but missing out on special occasions or moments is something I can’t get back. TpT is allowing me to save (see above) and put away for the next chapter in my family. 

Prove to myself that I can start something new and be successful // This one is huge for me! I would never have thought that I would have started a blog and be successful with it. The same can be said for my TpT store too. I don’t have a business degree and I certainly don’t find business interesting, however, there’s something to be said about venturing into the unknown and be blessed by the success I have seen from these two projects. Am I able to live off my TpT earnings? Nope! But, I am proud of the milestones I’ve hit and the growth I continue to see everyday!


Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to join in! A huge thanks to Emily and all of the other hosts of this wonderful linkup!


Monday Made It: Back to School Organization

I know...it’s summer and I’m sure the last thing any teacher wants to do is begin thinking about the upcoming year. However, the saying is true: the early bird gets the worm. Getting organized is always a goal for me as I enter each new school year. Thinking of new ways to manage reading groups, organizing homework, my grading book, and all of those forms at the beginning of the year is just the tip of the organizing iceberg.



Today I am linking up with Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics and sharing a few resources that have helped me stay on top of all of those pesky, but necessary, beginning of the year organizational tasks!

ONE//

I have updated this download to include forms that are not only perfect for second grade, but are all geared towards any grade level! Having changed grade levels a bit it occurred to me that this resource should be beneficial no mater what grade I may teach, so with that experience I made sure to include a little something for everyone.

Since creating this packet, I’ve used it every year and it has saved me SO much time in the area of preparing information for parents. There's so much that goes home or things needed from parents and these forms were super easy for parents to fill out as I gave my presentation at Back to School Night, which for my school district back in VA was a few days before the first day of school.

I simply print all of my materials and in order to keep it looking professional, I decided to create Welcome Parent folders in which I put all of my classroom forms AND forms from the school in one convenient place. This way if families or students don’t attend back to school night, all of their important information is in one place. Plus at Staples one year I was able to find simple red folders for .25! Easy peasy.


TWO//

Labeling the classroom library is one of my most hated tasks ever when heading back into the classroom. My first year teaching I remember getting into the classroom and having NO CLUE as to how to even begin organizing the books that were left to me. I know that depending on your grade level there are different ways to label and group them, but that was the only thing I knew going in.

Then I thought, oh Pinterest will help me...wrong! I was so overwhelmed by the billions of different ways people label and organize their books. So, I just decided to go with what worked for me and the reading material I had to work with. In doing so I have only just added to the billionth-and-one way to label your classroom library with these fun chevron labels.


There are about 35 labels to this set and it includes favorite authors, series, and genres that pop up in second grade classrooms. However, I'm sure many of these labels will work in any primary grade level. I'm really happy with how they turned out and have been so helpful in keeping my library organized all throughout the year. Having photos as well as print helps my kiddos find the right bin when they’re checking out or returning books.


How have you tackled labeling your library in the classroom? What tips make it easy for fellow teachers heading back to the classroom?

THREE//

VistaPrint is my BFF during the summer because I am able to create resources that add a specific touch to my room and class each year. Here are a few of my favorite things to make that help keep my classroom organized.

#1 Return Labels: I used return labels to create ‘This Book Belongs To’ stickers for the backs of my classroom library books or read alouds. This helps me differentiate between books I’ve purchased and those provided by the school or school library throughout the year. It’s funny to see this photo with my maiden name on it!

#2 Car Magnet: Saw this original idea from Pinterest (couldn't find original owner so if you recognize it please message me!) and thought it was genius to use magnets for all kinds of things. For me, I am using it as a No Name poster for all those pesky papers with no owner. It helped make the kids accountable by putting no name work where they could see it. I had them check the board before leaving each day to make sure they wrote their names.

Another tip I use to reduce no name papers is getting my kids in the habit of highlighting their names before turning in their work. I keep a bowl of highlighters right near the turn-in bin and it’s amazing to see that little step helped cut down the number of no-named work being turn in.




#3 Business Cards/ Loyalty Cards: This fantastic idea of birthday reward cards came from Emily over at I Love My Classroom and using loyalty cards to incentivize doing homework/tests/behavior, etc. came from Tiffany at The Learning Effect. These cards were so wonderful to add to my classroom because the kids got so excited when they filled up their reward cards. It was also a great incentive for students to try their best on the two areas I’ve found difficulty with and that was with our Word Study words and behavior. 

What do you like best about VistaPrint in the classroom?

Thanks for stopping by! I can’t wait to see what everyone made this Monday!

Before you leave...

I personally love Stitch Fix because it has helped me do some personal shopping but in the comfort of my own home. If you’re interested, check out my lifestyle blog, Primarily Inspired, where you can enter my GIVEAWAY here for a $50 gift card to Stitch Fix and begin receiving your very own fixes! 

Primarily Inspired

June 21, 2015

Styling With Stitch Fix: June + Giveaway

Happy Sunday! I am sharing this post, which is also featured on my lifestyle blog, Primarily Inspired, this morning. Stitch Fix has been a wonderful addition to my wardrobe and here’s why...

I just received my June fix and this is by far the best shipment I’ve received yet!

But let me back up...

I had taken a little break from Stitch Fix after a few of my shipments were completely wrong. I had cute items, but they looked horrible on me. The fit was wrong, the colors and patterns didn’t look flattering on me, so I ended up sending everything back. Within a few days Stitch Fix personally (not just some pre-generated email) contacted me to figure out what the problem was and hoped that I would consider giving them another chance to make it right. They paid for my next fix just to prove that they care about customer satisfaction. What business does that anymore?!

I started to realize that it wasn’t so much the stylists fault for selecting wrong items for me, rather it was me who wasn’t being clear enough about what I wanted or needed from my fixes. So, I got to thinking and came up with ways to better communicate with my stylists so that I could ensure that I received exactly what I wanted. Check out my helpful Stitch Fix tips here if you’re interested!

This time around...

I requested plenty of fit and flare dresses, bold colors and prints, as well as a coveted layered cardigan. Seriously, my stylist Whitney heard exactly what I wanted and responded with some fabulous pieces for me. Let’s take a look at what I got in my June fix!

This post contains affiliate links.

 I just had to catch this snapshot of Murphy invading my space and successfully photobombing me!



Brixon Ivy $74.00 | MAYBE?
Initially I would have skipped this dress if I were shopping for myself but that’s the great thing about having Stitch Fix stylists. They find items for you that you may never would have tried on in the first place and this dress is exactly that for me. I love the textured print and the bright yellow is a color you’ll for sure be noticed in. My husband loved it even though it was a bit outside my comfort zone.  

What do you think?


Papermoon $68.00 | KEEP
This fit and flare dress is so adorable and I couldn’t wait to try it on! I was a bit worried about the horizontal stripes since I’m curvier in shape and that tends to be a tricky print. However, when I tried it on the dress fit like a glove and the material was so soft and comfortable!


Henry & Belle $148.00  | SENDING BACK
These jeans were very comfortable (due to the stretchy material and no denim is found whatsoever). I asked for a light colored skinny jean and these were a cute cropped version of what I was looking for.  It’s a bit pricier than I would have liked for jeans with no actual denim in them, but cute nonetheless.


Brixon Ivy $54.00 | KEEP
I had pinned this item forever ago and it was so exciting to see that my stylist found this on my Pinterest board. Just goes to show that the stylists really do keep an eye on your boards and by filling out personal notes in the description really helps them gauge what you want or need. It fit beautifully and I love that it is a single cardigan but gives the allusion of layering with the soft blush inner fabric.



Look By M $34.00 | KEEP
It’s a bit pricier than I would have preferred for a scarf but it’s lightweight, something I asked for, and with the American colors it’s perfect for July 4th weekend. I’m loving this infinity scarf!

THE BREAKDOWN AND INCENTIVE TO BUY ALL FIVE

Merchandise Total: $378.00
Buy Five Discount: -$94.50
Styling Fee Credit:  -$20.00
Credit:                       -$5.00

TOTAL: $258.50

Total without the jeans (because I thought they were too pricy)...$222.25. For $30 more I could get the jeans and enjoy that Buy Five Discount. 

However, this time around I am going to stick with just the items I’m in LOVE with and am skipping on the jeans. But isn’t it a great deal? With just one shipment I was able to purchase 4 new items that I love and can’t wait to start wearing.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 20, 2015

Tackling Those Citizenship Objectives

It’s summertime and now it’s the season for teachers to begin planning the upcoming year. I always have to laugh to myself whenever I hear people comment about teachers having their summers ‘off.’ If they only had the time to actually discuss this misconception they would realize that a lot of teacher’s summers consist of professional development, lesson planning, etc.

I’m here today to share a fun lesson I always look forward to doing with my kiddos at the beginning of the year. One of the first standards I taught at the beginning of the year was citizenship and what it means to be a good citizen. It’s actually pretty fascinating to ask my class each year what the Pledge of Allegiance means and why we say these words every day before class and to hear crickets in response. A lot of students have no idea what it means to pledge their allegiance to something and it’s a shame they memorize the words but have no clue as to what they’re saying.

My goal is to not create robots, but free thinkers. I do this by simply educating and informing my kids of what it truly means to be allegiant to the United States and what those big words mean.


This workbook is so easy to prepare and it’s something my kids always loved learning about. This packet combines a little language arts, handwriting, as well as an interactive component. Plus there’s coloring involved and who seriously doesn’t like to color?

What’s Included...

The United States of America

In this section, students quickly locate their state and it’s membership to the United States of America. You can easily slide in geography standards or objectives here by having students locate their state on a U.S. map!

Color, Paste, and Match
Students have pictures that they must color and match to the correct section of the pledge. If you want differentiation, skip the matching pictures and have your students create pictures of their own that reflect each line of the pledge.

Practice language arts and handwriting by having students copy and write the pledge line by line. Discuss with your class the reason certain words are capitalized and others aren’t, punctuation found throughout, and introduce new vocabulary.

Interactive Pages
This workbook has many interactive pages where students work together to learn the different terms found in the pledge. This is a snapshot of ‘and to the Republic’ where students practice voting to make a decision, which is similar to how our government works today.

After completing this lesson I found that my students stood a little taller during the morning announcements when they recited the pledge and I have to say it makes me heart happy to see that.

Be sure to enter my GIVEAWAY to earn this packet for FREE!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you tackle beginning of the year objectives in Social Studies?