Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Survival Bag Giveaway

Summer is in full swing. Ahhh. I am loving it! Lazy mornings. No schedule. Time to relax and recharge. To celebrate summer, I am teaming up with a group of bloggers to bring you this adorable Thirty-One bag and a few summer goodies! Enter to win below.


Prize: Thirty-One Summer Survival Bag (Thirty-One bag, sunscreen, flip-flops, beach towel, and cup TOTAL VALUE - $70)

Co-hosts:  Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway ends 7/28/16 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

End of the Year Camping Theme

Even though it's summer time, I've got some catching up to do here on the blog with all of the activities we did at the end of the school year. So file these ideas away for next year. 
During the last week of school we had a different theme each day. Yes, it was a lot of work for me. But it was so worth it! The days flew by and the kids were engaged and having fun the entire time. 
Typically the last week of school seriously drags.  Not this year! My kids were shocked to walk into the classroom and find the desks and tables were missing. In their place was a tent, camping chairs and even a little camp fire. Camp Read-a-Lot was ready to go!
 I made up some little 'Adventure Passes' for the students. They had to complete all six centers in the morning in order to make s'mores in the afternoon. Talk about motivation!  I used this free set of camping clip art to label our buckets and to make the adventure passes.
 I downloaded the center activities here and they were perfect for my kiddos. I also found some little freebies here and here that we used. I quickly prepped the centers and our whole morning was filled with learning and kept everyone busy. Well worth the work during that tiring last week of school!

Before lunch we turned out the lights and read by flashlight. The kids got a kick out of that. My classroom does not get very dark, but we made the most of it.

In the afternoon we were ready for a little treat. We used this sequencing and writing freebie to talk about how to make s'mores. We went step by step using the graphic organizer to build a s'more. Each of the students made their own (in the microwave) and it was just like we were in the great outdoors. After enjoying their s'more, they wrote their "How to make a s'more" paragraphs and made the little craftivity that went with it. Perfect end of the day activity!

This theme day is for sure a 'keeper' for next year! The students had so much fun and didn't even realize they were learning right up until the end of the school year!


Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday Made It- July 4th Edition

Hey! Hey! It's summer time!
Well.... for me summer school is still in full swing and I have not official started my summer quite yet. But it's coming very soon. I cannot wait!
Today I'm linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for my first Monday Made It of the summer!
 I found a little down time this weekend to make our Summer Bucket List board. 
First off, I found a frame at the Goodwill. I took out the glass, spray painted it black and added some mesh chicken wire to the back. Then I realized our tiny clothes pins were not going to fit in the mesh, so I tied on some bakers twine in order to clip on our cards.

 My girls and I sat down and thought about all the things we'd like to do this summer. They wrote on some Project Life tropical theme cards that I found on clearance at Joann's. My girls are 8 & 6 and I adore their little kid writing. I started to write on the cards as they dictated, but heck, why not have them write them out!?! I added the date that we completed that event at the bottom of the card. I think at the end of the summer I might make a little summer album with pictures and these cards. Super cute!

We clipped them onto the bakers twine. We didn't even have enough space for all the things they'd like to do! Apparently our summer is going to be pretty darn full!
I have been pretty busy working on my Curriculum Development class for some extra units this summer. No rest I tell you! So I'll share a few things I've done for my class.
I am working on putting together a sight word curriculum for my little guys moving up to my class. All of my students are deaf/hard of hearing so we don't spend very much time on phonics. =) It's all about sight words in my class. 

 I'm using Lavinia Pop's sight word readers, flip books, homework, and writing centers to create weekly sight word activities. I've paired them with nonfiction readers from Scholastic to also do some interactive reading. I was able to get all of my lesson plans done and submitted for my class. Boom. Done.

I found some ready to print Read Every Day homework folder printables here. I've got my envelopes prepped and ready to go for the new school year along with my parent letter. Check that off the to-do list.
Happy 4th of July everyone! I'm off to spend it with my family!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Win a $75 TpT Giftcard!

 Ekk! I am super excited to be apart of this huge giveaway! Who doesn't want $75 to spend on all those Back to School goodies you know you're going to need for your classroom next year? Okay, okay. Some of us aren't even done with the school year yet. But you know you're already thinking about next year. Who couldn't use some extra money to pay for all those goodies just waiting on your wish list!?! Well, now is your chance! 

Check out all these awesome bloggers who are bringing you this big prize! All you have to do is enter below! Easy peasy.

Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/13/16 and is open worldwide.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Good luck! I hope you're the lucky winner!

Monday, May 23, 2016

You Rocked the Test Celebration

Back in the fall, I threw a little "You Rocked the Test" celebration for the teachers at my daughter's school. You see, this was the first year that the SBAC test scores were released in the state of California. It turns out that my daughter's school had the highest test scores in the district. This is a pretty big deal. It's a complete underdog story. My girls go to an amazing school with staff that are dedicated to helping their students succeed. It's not even our "home" school. I purposely chose this elementary school knowing that the staff there really "get it". Sure, they could go to the school I teach at, or their home school, but I truly believe the school they attend has an amazing culture where kids really do come first.  It happens to be a Title I school with the highest percent of EL and special ed in the entire district. But their years of looking at learning in a different way with RtI and addressing all learners seriously paid off!

When I found this out, I just knew that the PTA needed to celebrate all of the staff and their hard work! Finally all the work truly paid off and now everyone knew what ROCKSTAR teachers work at this school! I made invitiations and put them in all of the teachers/staff boxes inviting them to the celebration breakfast. 

I went to every thrift store in town looking for vinyl records.  I scored at the Goodwill with sets of 4-6 in one box for 50 cents! I bought a red/aqua digital paper pack and printed all the papers with my new HP Instaink. I cut out tons of circles with my circle cutter to cover up the middle of the records. My patient husband drilled holes into all of the records so I could hang them from the ceiling with fishing line.

For centerpieces, I cut out stars on the Silhouette machine.  I wrote all of the teacher/staff names on each of the stars that were glued onto wooden skewers. 

 I also made a Congratulations and You Rocked the Test banners to hang. 

 For the table runner, I used mesh wreath fabric to run down the center of the table. I added single records all the way down the table with a disco ball I also found at Goodwill.

For the food table, I typed up a note for the teachers/staff thanking them. I also found some old candle stick holders that I spray painted black and hot glued records to the top. The PTA provided bagels, coffee and juice from Panera Bread. 

 This theme was a huge hit with the teachers. PTA was delighted to provide the teachers and staff with a special celebration. It was exactly what they needed... surprise celebration to recognize their hard work.  A little thanks goes a long way.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Award Winning Classified Staff Appreciation

Each year my colleague and I decorate the staff lounge to celebrate our school's classified staff. We have quite a few support staff that work in our program and at our school. Without their help, our program would not run as smoothly. We enjoy decorating and bringing attention to all their hard work!
This past week we decorated the lounge using an Award Winning theme. It really turned out cute and we got lots of compliments from the staff. Since we decorate and celebrate each year, the staff look forward to it every year. 
 Luckily, we invested in a Silhouette last year which helped cut all 200 stars that we hung from the ceiling. I cut the stars and my colleague sewed them together. We make a great team!   

Each year we give the classified staff a little treat. This year I made little swag bags with Zebra popcorn. (Zebra popcorn is seriously addicting! Just a warning!) I bought the large bags of Zebra popcorn from Costco and filled up these cute little treat bags I found on Amazon.  I cut more stars and printed each of their names on the stars. I found these adorable little clothespins at Michael's for the perfect finishing touch. Simple and done!

 The table runner is made out of a roll of polka dot wrapping paper, a folded red plastic table cloth and strips of tickets. Throw on some star confetti, extra stars and some movie clap boards from Party City and it turned out pretty cute!

The popcorn center pieces were found at the Target Dollar Spot. The red starbursts in the center pieces are from Dollar Tree. Seriously simple.

We also provided the staff with a nacho bar on Monday. We typically do a sign up list for various snacks throughout the week. 

We saw this cute idea on Pinterest and created our own version. The "curtains" are plastic table cloths and the gold background is rolls of gold wrapping paper I found at the dollar store. The gold popped and turned out awesome!

We had a great week celebrating our Classified Staff! The lounge looks so plain and boring now that the decorations are down. Until next year.....

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Rise & Shine Staff Appreciation Breakfast

Hey! Hey! Long time no post! Now that the school year is winding down there are so many things to talk about! First off, how the heck do people do it? I don't know how they balance teaching, family and blogging. I just can't seem to get all three down at the same time! But I am looking forward to the summer when I have more time on my hands! Yahoo!
I've decided I'd like to be a party planner in my next life. It certainly taps into a creative outlet that I enjoy. I thought I'd share a few photos this weekend from celebrations during the school year that I helped with. 
One of my many other hats that I wear is Secretary on the PTA at my daughter's school. It's important for my girls to know that I am involved in their education and in their school. I may not be able to volunteer in the classroom or go on every fieldtrip, but being apart of PTA is the right balance for me. Plus, we make time for things that are a priority, right?
So I finally convinced the PTA President to let me decorate for the Staff Appreciation breakfast... oh you know, 24 hours before it happened. No problem. I got this! I quickly threw together some invites for the staff. Complete with Stickles. Because everything is better with a little sparkle.

I quickly put together some last minute decorations for a Rise and Shine breakfast theme. Simple, but bright and cheery. It's all about the colors. I hung some pom poms and lanterns. The huge sun is made out of poster board.

Oh Pinterest. You get me every time! I saw these sunburst pom poms and needed to make some. The round table ended up being too big and my table cloth too short to make the sunburst table cloth. So I ended up hanging them above the food table. I really could have used some more poms and lanterns there, but that's what I had to work with at the time.

I found this perfect little free You are My Sunshine printable. I had some frames laying around the house and decided to resize the prints to make them fit the IKEA frames I had. 

 I added lemon slices to the mason jars for the flower center pieces.  The four lines from the song fit perfectly down the staff table. (The runner is mesh wreath making material and worked perfectly for a long runner.)

This little celebration came together quick and the teachers really enjoyed it. As a teacher myself, this is really the least I could do to thank them for all of their hard work!

 But they sure were surprised when they came into the breakfast the next morning to new couches, tables and a rug! PTA showered them with love this year! Now they have a cozy place to relax and enjoy their breaks. You do not want to see the couch that was there previously. This was a major splurge, but the teachers are worth it!