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 ;)


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!

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!

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!

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?