Our Christmas Card Unveiled!

In keeping with sharing our family traditions for the holidays, our annual Christmas card is a fun way to share the love with our family and friends especially since we live afar from everyone these days. For years I’ve used the services of Minted for various projects and each holiday season I am always excited to browse through their new designs and I love they enlist the creativity of featured artists from all around the U.S.

Last year we opted for a Year In Review card versus the traditional Christmas card since we had just moved and were traveling for a wedding. It left us with little time to prepare, but luckily Minted was there to the rescue! Here’s our card from last year...

This year we’re settled and I finally had time to pull this together! These last 12 months have been exciting, but transitional, and I am eager to share in our excitement of Greyson’s arrival in March. What better way to do that than through a simple photograph? We had the lovely help from a friend take some photos of us in our courtyard and I am so thankful to have these moments captured as we move through our pregnancy (and it’s always a bit tricky taking family photos with a squirly pup!). On the back we opted to share our sonogram photo from our 18 week appointment, which will be a great keepsake for our parents (our next sonogram is in 2 weeks!). So without further ado, here’s this years Christmas card!
A favorite holiday tradition each year is creating and sharing our family’s holiday card! See what we’re sending this year using the help from Minted!

A favorite holiday tradition each year is creating and sharing our family’s holiday card! See what we’re sending this year using the help from Minted!

Other great aspects to ordering with Minted is their free address printing! I love how they match your chosen design and it really takes the muscle work out of addressing all of those envelopes. I also chose the wrap around return labels. I look forward to getting a personalized address stamp, but until we settle down for good I’ll just stick to my stickers.

Diving Into Matter!

An easy and comprehensive unit plan to get your students engaged and learning with matter! This packet includes five major lessons in note-taking format for your little scientists!

One of my favorite units to teach in science is our matter unit! Having fun with solids, liquids, and gasses, discovering those three states, and getting our hands dirty with exploration is just the best! I wanted to re-share my Matter Matters Unit with you all today and hope you can find it useful in your classrooms.

This packet contains all the important objectives in a fun fill-in-the-blank format, which is perfect for those beginner note taking skills. I incorporated videos from Scholatic’s Study Jams (which are fabulous resource videos if you haven’t already heard of them!) as well as Brain Pop Jr. I also use this packet as a companion to a PowerPoint slideshow I made, which helps me keep my lessons on track.

I made some edits to my original packet, but for the most part all of the content is still the same. If you have already downloaded this unit, be sure to re-download the newest version. For those of you who need it you can pick it up at my TpT store here.

Lesson 1: The Three States of Matter
Lesson 2: Mass & Volume: Measuring Matter
Lesson 3: Changing States
Lesson 4: Physical & Chemical Changes
Lesson 5: Experiment: Sugar Cube
Three States of Matter Poems

Another just for fun activity that has always been a hit, and one done at the very end of the unit (if there’s time), was creating Oobleck with my class. This was always a hit and something the kids really enjoyed year after year. All you need is water, cornstarch, and food coloring! We read the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck prior to the activity and discussed how students will observe that when we mix solid and liquid ingredients it creates something completely different!

November Currently

Happy Monday and the beginning of November! I say this all the time about how quickly time seems to fly, but seriously...it’s November already. In celebration of the harvest, everything Thanksgiving, and the approaching holiday season, I’m linking up with Farley and her Currently linkup and sharing what’s going on with me on this brisk November morning!

Listening // My husband just recently discovered Lisa Ling’s new CNN docu-series and currently watching an episode about motorcycle gangs. Not quite the best thing to listen to first thing in the morning, but I suppose neither is my Real Housewives to him ;)

Loving // With a show of hands, how many of us are excited that Starbucks has officially rolled out their red holiday cups?! I know, many people I know (and many more across the internet) believe that the holiday/Christmas season doesn’t/shouldn’t officially start until AFTER Thanksgiving, but consider me one of the few who gets excited nonetheless. 

Thinking // It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to visit Virginia to see my family since moving to California with my husband and I am so excited to get the opportunity to visit during Thanksgiving. We are trying to visit both my family and his family in Texas this holiday season before our baby is born in the spring. It’ll be a lot, both financially and in stress, to travel while pregnant and with a dog, but it’ll be worth it!

Wanting // This is the first week that we’ve had temperatures below 80 degrees and I am welcoming it with open arms! It’s only about 70 degrees outside, so not quite scarf and sweater weather, but I’ll take it! Celebrating fall has been an interesting thing, especially since it’s been unseasonably hot here in CA. More cold weather!

Needing // How many of you have seen and fell absolutely in love with Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper?! I mean, seriously. I love their work and wish I lived in Waco just to have them makeover a house for me. They seem like an awesome couple and I love the example they set as Christians, spouses, and parents. Love them!

Yummy // I’ve been craving Thanksgiving Dinner, like the whole spread, for a few weeks now. This also adds to just how excited I am to visit my family since my dad goes all out for dinner and hosting our family. My heart skips a beat every time we walk into Trader Joe’s and I see the stuffing, gravy, turkey broth, etc. lining the walls. Just a few more weeks!

Preparing for Parent/Teacher Conferences

Today I am going to be discussing Parent/Teacher Conferences! These conferences are wonderful opportunities to meet with parents for the first time and discuss how the first couple months have been going for their child. Typically, after routines and procedures have been established, teachers hit the ground running with instruction and conferences are great times to share with parents the work students are doing and the progress they're showing! 

This means that teachers need to communicate a lot of information to parents and in a short amount of time. Here I have a resource that has been very helpful to me in the past and it keeps me focused the whole time! It's so easy to get sidetracked so here are a few things I've done that you may find helpful!

teachers need to communicate a lot of information to parents and in a short amount of time. Here I have a resource that has been very helpful to me in the past and it keeps me focused the whole time! It's so easy to get sidetracked so here are a few things I've done that you may find helpful!

Break down the information by quarter.
Obviously you want to focus on the immediate goals for each child so it's important to dedicate some time to look up student scores and make them easy to compare to quarterly benchmarks.
This resource includes conference forms for all 4 quarters. It includes areas to document important information about reading, writing, and math so you can focus your conversation with your parents. It also provides the teacher to discuss where the student is at in terms of their work habits and attitude. Having the benchmarks available helps show if students are below, meets, or exceeds the given benchmark for that quarter.
teachers need to communicate a lot of information to parents and in a short amount of time. Here I have a resource that has been very helpful to me in the past and it keeps me focused the whole time! It's so easy to get sidetracked so here are a few things I've done that you may find helpful!
Include student work samples
Student work samples are great tools to use during conferences to show where students should be performing or the goals they should be working towards. I keep previous students' work to help compare. I've gotten a lot of compliments from parents on how helpful it is for them to see what I'm referring to in regards to what I expect each quarter {especially writing!}.

Planning and organization!
I always put out the conference time sign up sheet at my Back to School Night and Open House that way I can get the majority of parents locked in to a time early and it's one less thing to do. However, everyone is different! Plan your conferences to be about 15-20mins each, especially if you're meeting with all your parents the first quarter. Give yourself a few minutes between each conference to prepare and have materials ready. 

Tip: have resource information readily available too like:
-specialists emails or phone numbers
-a laptop or iPad with your schools website so you can show 
them how to navigate it to find other resources

Keep a record...
It's important that teachers keep records of their conferences with each child's parents/guardians. It's important because it can be used as documentation in other meetings, especially if it's related to academic or disciplinary issues. 
teachers need to communicate a lot of information to parents and in a short amount of time. Here I have a resource that has been very helpful to me in the past and it keeps me focused the whole time! It's so easy to get sidetracked so here are a few things I've done that you may find helpful!

This form is good if you want to see your whole class at a glance as you have conferences throughout the year. Or...

teachers need to communicate a lot of information to parents and in a short amount of time. Here I have a resource that has been very helpful to me in the past and it keeps me focused the whole time! It's so easy to get sidetracked so here are a few things I've done that you may find helpful!

You can use this form, which looks at individual students and how often you've met or talked with their parents. I like this form personally because I can keep it in their file in my classroom. It's also helpful if you have students with IEPs or Child Study (in LCPS that the initial meeting that establishes interventions before officially giving a child an IEP).

Don't Forget!
I've included Don't Forget! slips with my resource pack because it's another small thing that parents really appreciate {especially if they signed up for a conference back in Sept}. Just fill out the student's name and the time/date of the conference and send home a week or so before your conferences begin! 
teachers need to communicate a lot of information to parents and in a short amount of time. Here I have a resource that has been very helpful to me in the past and it keeps me focused the whole time! It's so easy to get sidetracked so here are a few things I've done that you may find helpful!

Every year this packet has been such a time saver and an easy way to organize student progress and work in a nutshell for parents. What are some tricks of the trade you utilize during conferences?

Baby Daniel On The Way!

A lot of you probably have noticed that the blog has been very quiet over these last few months (or maybe not). It’s for a good reason, I promise! If you follow me over at my lifestyle blog, Primarily Inspired, you probably already know this news. But for those who don’t....here’s the reason behind my absence from this space...

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on
My husband and I are excited to be expecting a baby boy in March 2016! Since getting pregnant in early March of this year and unfortunately suffering a miscarriage, we were on the path for parenthood ever since. Our experience with miscarriage only brought my husband and I closer and made us realize that we were ready to embark on this next exciting chapter in our marriage and lives together. We are so excited and are truly appreciative to all the prayers and well-wishers from our family and friends.

If you’re interested in staying up to date with me, my pregnancy and life, be sure to follow me over at my lifestyle blog Primarily Inspired!

Monday Made It: An Organized Classroom

Happy Monday everyone! I don’t know about you, but all the photos from the Vegas TpT conference looked amazing. One year it would be awesome to make it, especially since it’s not too far for me with living in California. It just seems like an awesome opportunity to meet and network with all of those fabulous ladies behind those teacher blogs I follow!

On another note...today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics yet again for her linkup, Monday Made It. This week I’m focusing all on getting organized for the upcoming year and here are some of my tips, tricks, and resources I’ve used and work amazingly well year after year in my classroom.

One // Classroom Jobs

Classroom jobs are vital for any smooth-running classroom. It helps students learn responsibility and flat out helps you stay focused on bigger matters by having the kiddos help out with the smaller tasks around the classroom. In this download there is also blank cards to which you can edit and create your own jobs!

Line Leader: The obvious and most coveted of all jobs ;)
Caboose: Another obvious but necessary job
Teacher Helper: Need help passing out/collecting papers or materials? The teacher helper is there for you!
Substitute: Is a helper absent? Get a substitute to fill in for any jobs whose kiddo isn’t in school that day.
Scrap Collector: By the end of the day it’s always interesting to find all those little scraps that happen to fall on the floor. Get your scrap collector to recycle those papers!
Safety Monitor: Do you have a safety bag you have to take with you everywhere? Your safety monitor is responsible for remembering that bag during specials, lunch, and drills.
Lunch Counter: Do you have to report a lunch count to the cafeteria each day? If so, this job requires students to take a tally of each lunch choice and report it to the cafeteria.
Lunch Monitor: This helper keeps an eye on behavior during lunchtime and reports to the teacher about what happened. Our school’s lunchroom had a point system for behavior and this job correlates to that system. 
Attendance Runner: After taking attendance each morning this student runs it to the office.
Pencil Sharpener: At the end of the day this person sharpens all the pencils and throws out old ones.
Librarians: Our school had a cart that we would deliver to the library of all returning books that week. The librarians would be responsible for delivering the cart as well as making sure our classroom library was organized.
Messenger: Need to run something to another classroom or ask another teacher something? Send the messenger!
Calendar Helper: This student helps out with calendar math every morning and is responsible for preparing the calendar for the following day.
Door Holder: The obvious second most coveted job
Clip Chart Monitor: If you incorporate a clip chart in your room this helper is to put all the clips back to green at the end of the day
Trash Collector: Last but not least, this helper keeps the classroom tidy and takes the trashcans out at the end of the day for the custodians

Two // Common Core Aligned Objective Cards

This is my continuing work in progress and a resource many teachers have loved having in their rooms! I have been working on CCS aligned objective cards that are easily displayed in the classroom and represent the objectives being taught in reading, writing, and mathematics. Almost every school district requires teachers to display, somewhere in the classroom, the focus of each lesson and these cards make it super easy and quick to get those standards up there.

Three // Daily 5 Resource Pack

Launching the Daily 5 in any classroom can be overwhelming at first, but the first step is getting prepared and organized. Before the kiddos arrive on the first day it’s important to have your centers established and prepared based on what you’re introducing in each lesson. This download has all the resources you need to get your reading block running and off the ground. Let’s take a peek as to what’s included.

Colorful reading center cards grab your attention and clearly identify each center!

Corresponding posters that you can display around your classroom so students know where each center is located.

These helpful posters are perfect when launching your Daily 5 routines and expectations. They easily accompany your beginning of the year lessons and give wonderful visuals and reminders for students throughout the year.

Everyone knows that anchor charts when beginning the Daily 5 routines are a vital part of each lesson. These posters are perfect for printing or even display and write on them using your smart board!

Last but not least, have students begin charting their stamina as you build up your independent reading time each day! Stamina charts come with both a chart for the whole class or individual student charts!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find these resources to be as helpful as they have been for me!

Creating the Classroom Culture

The beginning of the year is both exciting and exhausting all at the same time. I always describe the beginning of the school year to my non-teaching friends like this: imagine being given 24+ puppies one year and spend all your time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into training them and molding them to be the best little puppies they can be during that year you had them. Then turn around and receive 24+ new puppies the following year and start all over again. That’s kind of like the first few months of the school year when trying to establish rules and routines in the classroom.

Today I am excited to share some of the beginning of the year activities and resources I use to introduce my classroom to my new kiddos. I incorporate a lot of fun read alouds, activities, and engagement to model to my students the expectations I have for the year. I’m always surprised as to how quickly my kids pick it up!

Launching Routines & Rules
This packet has everything you need for the first week of school and getting your rules and routines established. Of course, it takes longer than a week to practice and revisit your rules, but this resource allows you to introduce your students to the framework of your expectations through reading and discussion using some of my favorite books. 

Engage students by handing them the GOOD CHOICE, POOR CHOICE banners and throughout your reading have students participate by deciding whether or not the character made a good or poor choice and how that incorporates to how they should treat each other in the classroom.

I love developing the rules together through a classroom contract that every student gets a copy of. After reading, discuss the main four rules and have students draw a picture and write their understanding of that rule in their student workbook also provided in this packet. Once finished students may keep them somewhere visible in the room or take home. Also, laminate and hang the classroom rule posters somewhere in the classroom where students can be reminded of the rules they created together as a classroom community.

Take a peek...

Discuss with students how organization leads to preparedness and a readiness to learn. This skill is often overlooked and this packet helps students realize that keeping a clean workspace is important and is expected. After all most report cards include this skill each quarter. Why not teach them about it?

After a main lesson and read aloud, students are to discuss and fill out each page of their workbook that highlights the rule being introduced. This is an example of rule #1 which is to make good choices. Good choices come in all forms and it’s fun to see how students come up with different ways in which good choices can be made!

Acknowledging Awesome Behavior
Too often we are guilty of recognizing problem behavior and having to nip it in the bud, but sometimes it’s the positive behavior that can slip through the cracks. Students, even the ‘problem’ kids, want to be recognized and sometimes the easiest way to do that is through acknowledging the positive behavior being represented in the classroom. 

These Positive Behavior Notes are quick ways to inform students and their parents of positive behavior, especially on those days when it seems there were a full moon the previous night. Simply jot down a quick behavior you noticed and give them to students to take home. Every year these are a hit with parents since it’s so often parents are only contacted for poor behavior.

Interested in a BUNDLE of all of my favorite, and most popular, behavior management tools?

How do you begin the school year and establishing those classroom rules and routines?

Thinking About Behavior Management

Establishing a good behavior management plan is vital to a successful year regardless of how long you’ve been teaching. It’s taken me a few years to figure out what works best for me and always having to keep in mind that this plan may change from year to year based on the kiddos I receive. 

One aspect to my plan that never changes and works with almost every child is a Think Sheet. A think sheet is a simple form that students fill out that describe, in their words, what happened and explain how they’ll change their behavior next time. It gives them responsibility over their words or actions, forces them to be accountable for their behavior, and cuts down on time taken away from teachers during the day. Also, it’s a super easy way to keep parents in the loop as to what’s happened at school and how it was handled.

Because how many times have parents asked their child about ‘what happened’ and they’re response every time is: ‘I don’t know.' No longer with these Think Sheets!

One of my most popular product since the beginning of this blog has been my Behavior Management: Think Sheets. I was inspired a number of years ago when I was teaching at a before and after school program out of my church who used a similar method. This think sheet process works for many reasons:
  1. gives the child time to calm down and reflect on their behavior
  2. the teacher facilitates the discussion and help bring the child to understanding why their behavior was wrong
  3. places responsibility and accountability back on the child by having them think and write out exactly what happened and caused the behavior
  4. note is signed by the teacher, student, AND parent....then returned to school to be kept on file by the teacher

These forms have been extremely helpful in my classroom and I’ve found that parents love them too! It’s the perfect tool for students to talk about their feelings and subsequent actions because it’s written by them and checked by the teacher before going home. Parents are able to see how the child reflects on their behavior and notice if they understand what they did was wrong or not, a common problem with just a talking-to. It’s amazing to see the difference when students actually understand and can communicate what they did and how to improve next time. Most importantly, students learn that mistakes are made but that one can learn from them and always be given a second, third, fourth....chance.

This bundle differs from my previous Think Sheet because it includes forms that are appropriate for K-6th grade! It’s perfect for those teachers switching grades or for differentiation within your own classroom. We all know children mature at different ages and grades and their Think Sheets should reflect this, even with discipline. 

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 ;)


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.


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!


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!


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

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!

Back To School Parent Packet
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.

I tend to give out quite a bit of information at Back To School Night because I am able to be right there to explain to the parents exactly the important info I need for my class as well as those important documents the school gives us to hand out. This updated packet has welcome letters, student information forms, permission slips for various activities, and extensive parent volunteer forms. I have also included optional parent surveys so I can get the skinny on the little details about my new kiddos that way on the first day of school I have an idea about each one of my little people. Then, I also have included a student survey that I love giving as morning work on the first day of school for the kids to fill out about themselves. Parents can give us teachers good insight into their child, but anytime I can get feedback from the students themselves it has proven to be well worth it! Plus my kids love to share about themselves so it’s a win, win!

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 Virginia was a few days before the first day of school.

I simply printed all of my materials and in order to keep it looking professional and neat, 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 and it made it easy for the parents who did attend to hold all the important stuff we send home.

Classroom Library Labels V2!
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 even though they were all useful. 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 classroom library labels.

These labels have been updated to include even more genres, topics, and authors to compete any library in any grade. I am also happy to announce that this download also includes labels for organizing by Lexile, DRA, F&P, and AR! Seeing as teachers use various ways to organize their libraries I was happy to introduce these to the bunch! See all the different labels included here.

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

VistaPrint for the classroom!
See how I use VistaPrint for the classroom!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.

See how I use VistaPrint for the classroom!

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. 

See how I use VistaPrint for the classroom!See how I use VistaPrint for the classroom!

See how I use VistaPrint for the classroom!

What do you like best about VistaPrint in the classroom?

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!

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 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!


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.


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