Monday, June 29, 2015

Makeover Monday!

As I ease back into blogging, I'm also beginning to revise previously made products in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

I'm linking up with...

Primary Possibilities for   

I went through and updated my Hundreds Chart Number Search!

It's a "write the room" where kiddos search for numbered/colored squares around the room.  After finding a number, they color it with the corresponding color on their 100s chart.  After finding all the numbers, a seasonal picture will appear.  Students then write what the picture it on the bottom.  My kindergarten kiddos LOVE doing this during morning math tubs or during their Daily 5 math station!  
I went from this...

to this...

  Also, I'm offering 100 Chart Hoopla for 50% off this week too!  

Hooray for saving money!  

Click the picture above to grab it for a great price.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Teachers, step away from the Dollar Spot! {YOU are enough!)

No, I'm not kidding.

Step away from the Dollar Spot immediately.

And while you're at it, step away from the dollar store, the office supply store, and the teacher store.

Maybe it's because I'm trying to manage a one income household so my husband can be the best stay-at-home dad I know.  Maybe it's because, last year, the things I would buy or make for my students were dramatically under appreciated.  Or, maybe it's because I'm tired...  Tired of spending money on things that aren't necessary for a student to have the best kindergarten year ever.

I have been reading a multitude of blog posts about ways to be thrifty in the classroom.  And, while I'm all for being thrifty and getting the best bang for my buck, I just can't get excited about the deals like I used to.

And amongst my lackluster sale spirit, I'm reminded...

I.  Am.  Enough.

  • My twelve years of teaching experience, full of successes, failures, and challenges makes me enough.
  • The fact that I learn from each and every class I've had makes me enough.  
  • The initiative I take to keep up on best practices makes me enough.
  • The love & dedication I have for my students makes me enough.
  • All the reasons I went into the teaching profession and continue to come back to it year after year makes me enough.

And... it makes YOU enough too.

So, I challenge you to use what supplies you already have in your classroom.  Or, if you're new to teaching, buy only what's absolutely necessary.

Your classroom is an extension of you, your home, and your finances.  Treat it with the respect and thoughtfulness you do your own household expenses.

And, use the number one resource you already have... YOU!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Organize it! {and a mini-giveaway}

I just busted out my school computer for the first time in three weeks.
Seriously, there are files everywhere!
No wonder I couldn't find electronic versions of recording sheets and centers during the school year!

I need a better way... especially since I have multiple cloud drives for home and school.  They're getting intermingled and I can't find what I need when I need it.

How do you organize monthly/seasonal/holiday files?
By month?  By holiday?  By season?  By all of the above?

Check out my current Google drive hot mess...
And that's just PART of it.  Add another Google drive folder for personal things, plus a Dropbox, and I'm losing my mind!  I'm trying to put files in folders by theme or month to help when I'm searching for things.  Any suggestions as I try to organize 12 years worth of teaching resources this summer?

Speaking of suggestions... my father-in-law gave me these fab containers from his protein shakes! But, what to do with them in the classroom?  

Leave your suggestions in the comments, along with your e-mail address, and I will choose one person at random to choose any one product from my TpT store

I'll close the suggestions tomorrow, June 18th around noon, so start thinking.  I need your help, and you can get a freebie for your time!

So, are you still relaxing from the busyness of the school year or are you starting to think about getting ready for 2015-2016?  Either way, I hope summer is treating you well!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Bucket List Linky

It's hard to believe week two of summer vacation is in the books after today!  What?!  How did that happen?

Even though summer has started, I still have weeks ahead of me and What the Teacher Wants! is hosting a Summer Bucket List Linky.  It's a fab place to see what others are doing with their free time... for school, themselves, and just for fun! So, check it out, make your own plans, and link up!


School:   I started Daily 5 last school year, and my students were obsessed!  They wrote in their end of the year memory books that it was their favorite part of the day.  I'm going to work on making a Daily 5/Work Station hybrid... adding more play-based stations, and of course... a yoga station, back in my classroom.  Also, I chucked my teacher desk out the door.  This means I'm going to have to be more creative about where I put the items that cluttered went in/on my desk.  I'm excited for the change since I rarely am sitting, and I know I'll love the additional room! 

Personal: When did I become an adult?  With a budget?  And bills?  And a baby?  We're reassessing expenses in our house, making cuts on things that aren't necessary... seriously, can we talk about cell phone bills?  And, then we're continuing making cuts on things like groceries by shopping at Aldi and couponing.  Basically, I'm streamlining my budget to be more effective, so I can put more money into savings!

Fun: Nothing.  Nada.  No plans.  My absolute favorite!  Do you like a busy summer or one with a little on your plate? 

So, what are you up to this summer? See what other teachers have on their lists and link up yourself! 

Happy Saturday! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Five for Fraturday... {Or, a day late & a dollar short!}

Hi friends!  I'm linking up with...

For her weekly... 

Check it out...

  • This little gal had her one year shots on Monday!  Can you tell she was annoyed?  She enjoyed her own berry scone from Panera after the torture appointment.  That, mixed with teething, has made it a difficult week.  I'm thankful for summers off to spend with my girl... even when she's grumpy!  

  • I'm reading a book for ENJOYMENT!  I know it's hard to believe!

Now, before you call child protective services on me, if you haven't read this book or Karen Alpert's blog Baby Sideburns you need to check it out!  She has a healthy dose of laughter and love on her page, along as in this book.  I laugh out loud daily by following her on Facebook and Instagram.

And don't worry... I AM reading the 2nd edition of The Daily 5 and The Cafe Book this summer, but I need to let my brain relax first.

  • I am obsessed!  Is anyone else obsessed with Trader Joe's brother/cousin/great uncle... ALDI?

Yes, Aldi owns Trader Joe's, and it is fabulous.  Black bean salsa anyone?  Also, run there as fast as you can to get a plastic kiddie pool for $4.99.  I bought one for my little gal, but think I need another for a reading nook in my classroom!

  • Does this even need an explanation?  Summer vacation + a toddler = lots of these!

  • I had a meeting yesterday about early enrollment for 2 kindergarten kiddos... Thoughts?  Ideas?  Pros? Cons?  Let me know what you think and what your district/school policy is... I'll share more about ours soon!
So, there you go... a day late, maybe a dollar short?  I'm just glad I had a chance to link up with such a fun linky party... and that I was able to do it in silence... with a cup of coffee... and my girl still sleeping! 

 Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 4, 2015


It's Throwback Thursday, people!
Week one of summer vacation is almost in the books.
That is so hard to believe!

I'm not going to lie.
I haven't done too much.
My days have been full of naps, playing with a one year old, and watching Yo Gabba Gabba!
I am SO not complaining.
My little gal has been my constant shadow, so I'm enjoying the tantrums, screaming, teething cuddles.

For #tbt, I'm throwing it back to when YOGA was a huge part of my classroom.  I love that being a teacher for allows self-reflection, especially during our time off in the summer.  With all the stress of assessments and increasing standards, I feel that I've lost some of the play that was pervasive in my classroom 10 years ago or so.

We have awesome resources like GoNoodle to help with brain breaks, but I miss practicing yoga with my kinder kiddos.  They loved it, and so did I.

So, take a look into my classroom... From January 29, 2012!  Click the picture below to hop on back in time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Catching up with Currently!

It is June.
It is June 3rd.
And, I'm catching up with Farley and her June Currently!
Check it out...

Thinking:  Please tell me I'm not the only one who lets the house go to shambles at the end of the school year?  Seriously!  I get so consumed in progress reports, end of the year gifts, closing down my classroom, etc. that I can't even think about my house.  Now, it's time to clean up the hot mess that is my home... after a nap of course!

Wanting:  My body has NOT shifted to a summer schedule yet.  Get on it, body!  Your daughter is a great sleeper, so why get up so early?

Needing:  Anyone have any teething tips other than teething tabs, ibuprofen, and letting her gnaw on anything she can get her hands on?

That's pretty much where I am right now... getting summer and life at home under control.

 Now, if only the weather would cooperate!
C'mon summer!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Wacky Last Day of School!

We made it!  Hooray!
At times, I didn't think we would make to the end of the year in one piece.

It was what we call a "challenging" year. 

To manage the chaos of the last day of school, we kindergarten teachers had a trick up our sleeves. It's called Wacky Olympics!  Now, let me be honest, Wacky Olympics has changed in the past 10 years that we've all taught together.  

Before I explain how it has changed let me lay out the general idea...
  • Each kindergarten classroom teacher has an assigned activity/game/station.  Examples include: Bubbles, Hoops & Scoops, Playground, Legos, Snack/Restroom, Puzzles, Blocks, etc.
  • Each class visits every classroom during the allotted rotation time.  We have an early release on the last day, so our rotations change every 8 minutes, but you could definitely go longer if you have time.
  • Your own class rotates right away, heading to their first station, while you have another class come to your station to start.  You END with your own class.
Does that make any sense?  Basically, every kiddo sees every teacher and gets to participate in fun activities on the last day.  There's no papers or teaching.  It's just a FUN day where everyone gets to enjoy each other before summer break.  

The children L-O-V-E this on the last day! They think it's fun to see all the teachers, all the classrooms, and have a day that's different than every other.  And, isn't that perfect for a last day?

Remember, I said it has changed?  Well, we used to have stations that involved being outside... the playground, etc.

What is the one thing you, as a teacher, want to do during the last week of school? 

Clean and organize the classroom!  

We shifted all of our stations into our classrooms so we could work in our rooms while the kiddos play.  

We still get to spend time with the children, but we also get some of the nuts and bolts of the classroom close down finished! Hooray!  It's the best of both worlds!

How do YOU spend the last day of school?  Is it laid back or busy, busy busy?  

I hope you're enjoying your start to summer vacation or are almost finished so you can relax!