Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me! (Weekly $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway)

Hi guys,

I've got 2 days of Parent-Teacher Conferences to get through this week and then a half-day on Wednesday, but it'll all be worth it come Thursday!  Not only is Thursday Thanksgiving, but it's also my birthday!  Yup, every couple of years it'll land on the big day!


So in light of my upcoming birthday, what better way to show my appreciation to all of my followers than by having a giveaway?  Enter for your chance to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card!  Read on for details on how you can win!





GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  
Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 11/28/16 and is open worldwide.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!
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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Monday, November 14, 2016

$25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway

Hi Guys!  I hope you've all settled in nicely this school year.  It has been a little crazy for me, switching grade levels and all, but I finally feel like I'm starting to get a handle on things.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, what better way to show my appreciation to all of my followers than by having a giveaway?  Enter for your chance to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card!  Read on for details on how you can win!





GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  
Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 11/21/16 and is open worldwide.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Winner Wednesday! - August Edition: Lightboxes in the Classroom




Hey guys!  I'm teaming up with Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do and Sara from Sara J Creations for this month's Winner Wednesday link up.

What's Winner Wednesday, you ask?  It's a monthly link up where you can have a chance to win some amazing products and resources!  All you have to do is hop along through each of the blogs participating in this month's link up and enter for your chance to win.





This month, it's all about lightboxes!  If you've been on social media at all this summer, then you know that these Heidi Swapp Lightboxes are all the rage!  So much so, in fact, that I don't even think I was on summer break for a week before I bought mine!  Talk about peer pressure...





So, yes I jumped on the lightbox bandwagon, but now what?  Well, now I needed lots of pretty little things to put in to my lightbox.  And while Heidi Swapp offers lots of adorable accessories for her lightbox, I'm a firm believer in making things myself if I can.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem spending a buck or two if it's worth it, but if I know that I can do it myself, I always give it a shot.  And so... I did.

There were some other amazing TpT sellers offering lightbox products and then I came across a how-to tutorial from Lori over at Live, Laugh, Love Second.  So with the guidance of her tutorial, I went ahead and started creating.

It started off small, at first, but you know when you've got an idea in your mind and you get the ball rolling and next thing you know you've got over 100 slides?  Yeah, that's what happened to me...

So low and behold, I created my first (and best selling!) Lightbox Design Set. 



This adorable set is perfect for Back to School to welcome your kiddos back in style!  And you can have your chance to win it here for FREE!  That's right, free!




Now, you will need a few things in order to print out the slides.  You'll need either transparency sheets (you know, like the kind that we used to use on the old overhead projectors) or printable vellum.  I've used both and they both work just fine.  The only thing I will say is that the transparency sheets can be a little expensive and the printable vellum was a little more affordable.  But, for overall printing purposes and functionality, they both worked the same (in my opinion). I was fortunate enough to get some transparency sheets from a friend and I bought the vellum sheets from Office Depot.

**Note: Before you purchase either of these types of paper, please make sure they are compatible with your printer.**


I also recommend using a paper trimmer when you're ready to cut out your slides, to ensure straighter edges.  I left some light gray guidelines on the pictures to help you with your cutting. 


This Back to School Lightbox Design Set includes:
  • Specific printing & cutting directions (Please read carefully!)
  • 11 different Back to School designs:
  • Welcome Back to School (Generic)
  • Welcome to ____ (all grades from Pre-School to 5th Grade)
  • Back to School 2016 (Colorful Background Design)
  • Back to School 2016 (Plain Background Design)

Ready to find out how you can win your free copy? All you have to do is enter your name in to the rafflecopter below. The winner will be emailed on Thursday morning. Be sure to visit the other blogs that are participating in Winner Wednesday this month for your chance to score some more freebies!

So there you have it, folks!  I hope you've enjoyed this month's edition of Winner Wednesday.

Here are some other Lightbox Design Sets you might like:


Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

End of the Year Student Gifts & Freebie

Hey guys!  I know I'm a little late with this, but I wanted to share what I gave my students as EOY gifts with you.

My first few years of teaching were spent in Pre-K and I would normally give my kiddos a "Summer Survival Kit" which would include things like workbooks for their next grade level, goggles, beach balls, water squirters, bubbles and sidewalk chalk all nicely packed inside of a beach bucket - shovel and all!

Now while that's all well and good, it was also very EXPENSIVE!  I still wanted to give my students something but I didn't want to spend a fortune doing it.  I also wanted to be sure that the gift I gave them would be something they could use more than once, not something that they would just throw out after a few days.  So, I thought to myself, what would be something useful that the kids can use during those hot summer days?  And then it hit me - water bottles!  I did some searching on Pinterest (of course) and I came across this pin from The Polka-dotted Teacher.  I opted not to give the kiddos the Kool-Aid packets, however.

First, I ordered these awesome water bottles from Dollar Tree.  They came in four bright colors and they were 30 to a case! Next, I needed to find a way to figure out what color water bottle my kids wanted without giving away the surprise.  So, I pulled up a blank PowerPoint slide and simply displayed the words "pink, blue, purple, green" on the SMART Board.  Then, I called the kids up one by one and asked them to look at the colors displayed on board and to list (just those colors) for me in order, from the one they like the most to the one they like the least.  I had a class list printed and ready to go, so when the kids listed their choices for me, I could just write them down next to their names.

Lastly, I printed out these adorable poems from Primary Peach and got to work on making my labels.  I used a hole puncher to punch a tiny hole in the label, then I used some ribbon to tie it around each water bottle.



When I got to work in the morning, I laid out the poems and water bottles on the kids' desks and just waited to see their reactions when they came in.





If you'd like to grab a copy of these labels for free, you can do so by clicking here.  I hope you've enjoyed this post and have found some of these ideas useful.

What do you give your students as End of the Year gifts?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Winner Wednesday! - July Edition

Hey guys!  I'm teaming up with Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do and Sara from Sara J Creations for this month's Winner Wednesday link up.

What's Winner Wednesday, you ask?  It's a monthly link up where you can have a chance to win some amazing products and resources!  All you have to do is hop along through each of the blogs participating in this month's link up and enter for your chance to win.

This month, I'll be featuring a product that I've blogged about before - my 
I Rocked This Test! (A Test Taking Motivational Kit).  You can read all about how I used this with my fifth graders this year here.


This was my first year working in a grade level that took standardized tests.  You could tell my kiddos where a little stressed out, especially since they were taking the test just two days after returning from Spring Break.  I wanted to find a way to boost their confidence before the big day, so I searched for test taking strategies on Pinterest to see if I could find any ideas and I came across this anchor chart. Then, the kids and I made our own version of the anchor chart and hung it up.




We also made some mini versions of it for each of the kiddos to keep.




This next thing is what got the whole ball rolling on my Test Taking Motivational Kit. I wanted a way to really get their confidence levels up, so I created this form and assigned it for "homework". I wanted them to really reflect on what makes them so special and to see themselves how I see them - wonderful, kind, caring, funny and amazing!  I gave them two days to work on it and it was due the morning of the big test.  Sneaky, huh?




Lastly, when the big day finally arrived, I surprised them with some fun gift boxes for a little motivation.


I got the idea from this pin, then I went ahead and created my own labels and put my own little spin on it.  I went to Party City and picked up some adorable gift boxes. They came in so many different colors, but I settled on these four.



The kids were so excited about the gift boxes.  I really didn't expect much more than a "thank you" from them.  But, to my surprise, many of them brought their gift boxes every day of testing as their "lucky charms".  That made my little teacher heart melt!

This Motivational Test Taking Kit includes the "10 Reasons Why I'm Awesome" worksheet, the "Smarty Pants" labels, the "RELAX" testing strategies poster as well as some mini "RELAX" bookmarks for your students and much, much more!

Would you like a chance to win a free copy of this Motivational Test Taking Kit? All you have to do is enter your name and email address in the rafflecopter below. The winner will be emailed on Thursday morning.  Be sure to visit the other blogs that are participating in Winner Wednesday this month for your chance to score some more freebies!

So there you have it, folks!  I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I used the "I Rocked This Test!" set with my students.

Thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Preparing for "The Big Test"

Hello friends.  It's that wonderful time of year again - standardized testing season! My kiddos started theirs when we got back from Spring Break.  They had two "regular" days before the testing began so I wanted to find a way to boost their confidence before the big day. 

I searched for test taking strategies on Pinterest to see if I could find any ideas and I came across this anchor chart. When the kids came in Monday morning, we made our own version of the anchor chart and hung it up.



Next, I had the kids make their own mini versions so they could keep it with them.  I laminated them for durability and bonus - they make great book marks, too!



I didn't want to add to their stress by assigning strenuous homework.  So instead, I created this form for them to fill out. I wanted them to really reflect on what makes them so special.  I wanted them to see themselves how I see them - wonderful, kind, caring, funny and amazing!  I gave them 2 days to work on it and it was due Wednesday morning (the day of the big test).  They really enjoyed working on this.  One of them even thanked me for assigning it!



Lastly, when the big day finally arrived, I surprised them with some fun gift boxes for a little motivation.


I got the idea from this pin, then I went ahead and created my own labels and put my own little spin on it.  


I went to Party City and picked up some adorable gift boxes. They came in so many different colors! I settled on these four.


Here's a closer look at what was inside.  I got those awesome pencils from Office Depot and I had just received a bunch of free book coupons from Scholastic, so it worked out perfectly!


The kids were so excited about the gift boxes.  I honestly thought that they would just bring them home and forget about them.  But I was pleasantly surprised when many of them brought them back every day of testing.  That really put a smile on my face.  



I hope you've found many of these ideas useful.  Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers page and download the "I Rocked This Test!" bundle which includes the "10 Reasons Why I'm Awesome" worksheet, the "Smarty Pants" labels, the "RELAX" testing strategies poster as well as some mini "RELAX" bookmarks for your students and much, much more!

How do you motivate your students before a big test?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments. 

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Classroom Friendly Supply Pencil Sharpener

Let's be honest, one of the worst parts about being a teacher is having to sharpen all those pencils!  It's constant!  Sometimes I wonder whether it's a conspiracy... Having taught many grade levels over the years, ranging from Pre-K to 5th, I can say with certainty that sharpening pencils is the one task you cannot escape.

So, raise your hand if this has ever happened to you.  You buy a fresh pack of pencils, you're all excited (don't deny it, you know you are!) and you begin to sharpen them, when:

  • Your electric sharpener only sharpens one side if the pencil (the other side of the point is still covered in wood).
  • The fancy design on your pencil starts peeling off because your electric sharpener's too rough.
  • The point immediately breaks after "sharpening".
  • Your electric sharper eats your brand new pencil. (because apparently this particular pencil doesn't have any lead, or the pencil gods must not like you...)

So you went through all that trouble to sharpen your batch of shiny, new pencils and if that's not bad enough, one of these scenarios will inevitably happen:

  • Your student breaks the point on it's very first use.  So...
  • Your student asks if they can sharpen their pencil...
  • Your student will linger at the sharpener, prolonging the fact of returning to their seat, continuing to interrupt your lesson with that loud, incessant noise...
  • All of a sudden, 12 more of your students need to "sharpen" their pencil. (insert eye roll here)
Any of this sound all too familiar?  Yeah, I thought so.  I've tried it all, trust me!  I've tried electric sharpeners, countless hand-held ones, I've tried having the cute "Sharp" and "Dull" pencil buckets, the "no sharpening pencils during a lesson" rule and still, there's always a sharpener issue.

Then, I started to see all these blog posts and pins about "The Quietest Classroom Sharpener" and everyone was saying how great it was.  Being a school supply junkie, I naturally had to check it out.  At first glance, It just looked like a regular pencil sharpener, except it comes in all of these cute colors! (You know how much teachers love cute colors!)  



So, I decided to give it a try and see just how good it was.  Can I just say, this thing is A-MAZING!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!  This thing is not only quiet, but it provides a perfectly sharpened point every time.  I tried 4 different types of pencils:



First, I tried one of those cool color changing mood pencils:


Next, I tried one of those fancy design pencils (the design ALWAYS peels off when I use my electric sharpener):


Then, I tried a glitter pencil (these are always difficult to sharpen using an electric sharpener - the point always comes out rough):


Lastly, I tried a good ol' number 2 pencil:


The results?  See for yourself!





Awesome, right?!  This thing is so great!  And the kids love using it, too!


They could barely contain themselves when I showed them our new sharpener.  All I heard was a sea of "oohs" and "ahhs".

If you're in the market for a new sharpener for your class, go ahead and give this one a try! It will not disappoint.

Have you tried out The Quietest Pencil Sharpener yet?  What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy sharpening!