Sunday, August 30, 2015

321… Back to School Bash with The Primary Pack!

Hi friends! I am so excited that you are joining me today for our Primary Pack Back to School Bash!! We have been working hard to put together some fun giveaways, freebies, and back to school tips for you! 
Our hop is a 3…2…1… BACK TO SCHOOL BASH because each member of The Primary Pack will be giving you 3 teacher tips, 2 giveaways (one on each of our blogs and one BIG one on the Primary Pack), and 1 freebie!

To enter our BIG giveaway, you need to head over to THE PRIMARY PACK first! As you "hop" through each of our blogs, you will collect a letter from each of us… 28 total. Those letters spell out a secret code that you need to enter our BIG giveaway! You will use the secret code to enter the rafflecoptor on The Primary Pack at the end of the hop.
 You need to collect the letters from us IN ORDER, so please make sure that you start from the beginning of our hop. Click on the button below to head over to THE PRIMARY PACK and start our BACK TO SCHOOL BASH!!

I hope that you have enjoyed your Back to School Hop so far!! Now it's my turn to share some of my favorite back to school  tips with you: 

Ok, so not ALL of your bulletin boards can stay the same the whole year, but some of them can! I plan to take a picture of my kiddos each season this year and create a "picture timeline" of our year together. This board hangs right next to my desk where my kiddos and families can see it. My overall theme is ocean in my room, and I am trying to leave up the same bulletin board titles on some of my boards all year and just swap out the student work! Hopefully this will save me some time and efforts later. :) 

I have to remind myself of this one ALL the time!! I've already finished 3 weeks of the school year and my students still sometimes just need team building activities and time to chat in groups. One of my favorite things that I started this year was "milk and cookie partners." I got those adorable milk & cookie cut outs at dollar tree & put my students names on all of them. Each time I want my students to have a partner for something, I shuffle them around and each milk gets a new cookie as their partner! We have used these for partner reading, and for the kiddos to practice asking and answering questions with each other. It has been so great for the climate in my classroom! I need to remember to use it more often :) 

Ok, so this might sound silly and like duh!! But I feel like as teachers sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves!! I feel like when I am in a happy mood, that carries over into my teaching and I have a great day with my kids. I am learning to let the little things go, and just try to enjoy each day! I try to do little things for myself so that I can stay positive… If that means treating yourself to a Starbucks every so often, saying a little morning prayer or reflection every day as you walk into your classroom, or just having a glass of wine at the end of the day to unwind… you should DO IT!! 

That's right.. our first giveaway is happening over at The Primary Pack!! You need to continue hopping through the rest of the blog posts and gathering the letters at the end of our posts. You will enter those letters on The Primary Pack for a chance to win a silhouette cameo!! 

But there's more!! I'm giving away something too: 
Enter the rafflecoptor at the end of my post to win $25 to my TPT store!! Yahoo!! 

I know that the beginning of the year is all about the alphabet in kindergarten and in 1st grade too! I have put together a small sampler from some of my ABC packs that I have found very useful the first 3 weeks of my school year! Click on the picture below to download your FREEBIE!

The fun isn't over my friends!! Make sure that you hop along to the next Primary Pack blogger: Brittany from Precious Steps Preschool! Click below to head to her blog: 

AND here is your special letter that you need to enter the giveaway over on The Primary Pack!! Save this letter… you'll need it later! 

Don't forget to enter my rafflecoptor below to win $25 credit to my TPT store!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School Survival Kit Linkup!

Hi friends! I'm here to talk about a super fun linkup that I was so excited to be part of for Back to School: 

The linkup was hosted by Mrs. D's Corner and Terrific Teaching and Learning. Each teacher who participated got paired with another teacher and we sent each other BTS Survival Kits! My partner was the fantastic Stephany from Primary Possibilities. She sent me an awesome package full of back to school essentials. Here are pictures of all of the fun things: 

I am in LOVE with this "to-do" list! It will be perfect to keep on my filing cabinet right next to my desk. I love that it has magnets too!! AND it matches this adorable post-it note cube and note cube. These will be perfect on my desk! 

These tissues are hilarious!!! I almost don't want to use them, and just keep them on my desk to make me laugh during the day! 

Flair pens are my absolute favorite, and I'm sure a lot of teachers agree with me!! I can't wait to open them up and start using them in my planner and to grade papers :) I haven't tried these ink joy mini pens before, but I think that they will be great too! 

How cute are these stickers!?? I plan to save them for our animals unit next month :) 

This water bottle is amazing!! It has two different lids and it fits in the cup holder in my car. It is hot here in CA right now, so this is essential for my classroom! 

Stephany is so sweet. She even thought of my little fur baby, Shelby! This will help ease the transition of me going back to school for her too. :) 

Thank you SO SO much, Stephany!! I am so excited and thrilled for my goodies!! Head over to Stephany's blog to see what I gave her, and make sure to check out the other teachers that participated in the link up below : 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

First Day of School- a "Working" Checklist!- A Plus Images T-shirt!

Hi friends! I am here today to share with you my favorite tip for surviving the first day of school whether you teach Kindergarten or 1st grade: having a CHECKLIST! 

Before I officially start talking about back to school, I wanted to "flashback" to my FAVORITE part of summer for just a quick second! I got to meet some of my blogger besties at the TPT Conference in Vegas!!
AND I got this adorable shirt from A Plus Images! I am so excited to have my official logo on a t-shirt, and the quality is fabulous. I will enjoy wearing this shirt for years to come. Thank you A Plus!

Allright, now it's time to officially leave summer and focus on the first day of school! ;) 

My first day of school checklist is what I like to call a "working" checklist. I keep it saved on my computer and add to it/tweak it every school year! Many of the activities on there I have used in both kindergarten and first grade.

I have to tell you that I was shocked to learn that people wanted to see a copy of my checklist!! I posted this picture on Instagram on Friday as I was getting ready for the first day (which is tomorrow!!) and I had no idea that it would get such a huge response from people wanting a copy:

My first day checklist is obviously in line with my school specifics for times, drop off procedures, lunch and recess procedures, etc… but I hope that you are able to take it and tweak it to meet your needs at your own school! And yes, we really do have a brief assembly on the first day.. it's not that bad!!

Click on the picture above to download my complete first day checklist… it's pretty brief, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what I do!! I also like to write on it and take notes as I actually "live" the first day so that I remember how much I actually got done. :)
** Please make sure to download the document to your computer first so that you can edit it! **

Here are some of the things that I feel are essential and are "life savers" for the first day:

  • Start with something easy!! It's ok to let them color or "play" a little bit. I let my kiddos use snap cubes, magnets, manipulatives, puzzles, and all that good stuff on the first day. It helps them to ease back into the routine of school. I love to start off with a coloring page on their table for them: 
  • Make sure to give your students bathroom breaks as a whole class!! I like to walk my class over to the bathrooms a couple of times during the first day. They are going to need to use the bathroom more than just at recess and lunch time for the first few days or even weeks. This also gives me a chance to talk about bathroom rules and etiquette, and it gives us a chance to walk around and take a break from the classroom. 
  • Do a tour of your school and practice walking in a line! 
  • Do a tour of your classroom throughout the first week… don't be afraid to introduce things slowly and more than one time! 
  • Do BRAIN BREAKS or sing a song!! Try GoNoodle with your students.. it is the perfect way to give your students a chance to get their wiggles out during the first day of school. 
  • Play plenty of name games and take pictures of your students. I like to take individual and class pictures over the first couple of days. 
I use my "first day" frame to capture pictures, (Don't mind my silly self in the picture above!)  but I also like to take a class picture on the first day.

This is my seasonal timeline. I plan to take a picture of my whole class on the first day of each season this school year, and I want to start that tradition on day 1!

  • I also plan to put my kiddo's pictures on our word wall next to their names. This is another new thing that I am trying this year. Before I add sight words to the word wall, I decided to start off by just having everyone's names up there! 

Click on the picture above for an editable template for your students' names!! The font is KG Miss Kindergarten. Be sure to download the font first and install it in powerpoint. The adorable border is from KPM doodles
** Please make sure to download the document to your computer first so that you can edit it! **

  • I like to have plenty of "extras" prepared for the first day: extra books, worksheets, etc… I know that my first graders will be able to handle these alphabet review pages.. so I have them prepped and ready to go in case we need something extra to do during the first week! 

  • Two of my favorite "first day" stories to read are: "First Day Jitters" and "Miss Bindergarten."


If you are in a "pinch" for the first day and want EASY to prep printables and activities, feel free to check out my "Welcome to Kindergarten" and "Welcome to First Grade" packs by clicking on the pictures below: 

I hope that you enjoyed hearing about my first day! Check back soon for my official classroom reveal. Wising you all a fabulous school year!! :) 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Teachers are Sweet- Lollipics!

Hi friends!
I'm here today to tell you about the amazing lollipops that I got from to give to my students to start the school year!! Lollipics is an amazing company that creates one of kind lollipops for you to share. They have tons of adorable designs and right now they are featuring special lollipops that are just perfect for back to school

I was able to customize these adorable lollipops to have my name on them!! I know that my students will love them. They will be perfect to have out on their tables for the first day, or even for back to school night :) 

I just can't get over how beautiful these are in person!! I can't wait to share them with my new class next week.

Want to order a set to share with your class!? Good news! Lollipics is having a special deal right now for teachers. Here's how to order: 
2) Choose your image (birthday, welcome back, etc.) and add your personalized text
3) Use the promo code TEACHER to get your set for $1 each (minimum order of 30)

But wait… there's more!!

Want to win your OWN set of lollipics for your classroom and some goodies from Ellison!?? Enter below :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway