Monday, August 3, 2015

Pick 3 PINspiration

 Here are 3 great pins I've recently found:
I *LOVE* this door decorating idea:
We are gearing up for our first flight with our little man, so I've been reading up on tips for traveling with a baby.
Does anyone have any to add?

Getting students to explain their thinking is key:

Have some pins you're loving? I'd love to see them! Leave a link in the comments section to your Pinterest boards - I'm always looking for new friends to follow.

Looking for some more PINspiraton?
Check out these awesome bloggers:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

First Day of School: Tried & True Ideas!

Well, there's no getting around it: 
the Back-to-School Season is upon us!
Today I want to 7 quick and easy tips to make your first day of school run smoothly:
1. Community Supply Bins:
When students first come in, they are over-laded with new backpacks stuffed with binders, pencils, and markers. In their arms they are juggling tissue boxes, hand sanitizer bottles, and wet wipes. I find it's best to have clear designated areas where to put each item:
It avoides chaos and keeps the supplies organized:
2. Student Check-Off
When my students entered the classroom, they unpacked their school supplies and got cracking on this "Classroom Check-off" Sheet to get acquainted with their brand new classroom
*This is completely customized to my classroom, so I'm not posting it to TpT. However, if you would like a copy to customize for yourself, send me an e-mail :)
3. Student Info:
Then, once they had looked around and checked off each item, they got busy working on this 
Click HERE to grab your FREE copy!

4. Then we did a POP QUIZ!
On the first day.
Yes, that's right.
The kids were freaking out.
And it was the hardest quiz they've ever taken...
because it was all about me :)
The teacher they've never met!

But they got through it, learned a lot about me in the process, and I used it to model how we label our paper, how to grade a partner's paper, and how to score it.
It was a win-win-win-win :)

5. Then we went over procedures.
And more procedures.
And some more.
I have created this handy-dandy procedure list

to keep myself straight:

The best part? It's FREE!
6. Class Procedures Interactive Notebook Foldables 
Once you've decided on your procedures, you can keep your classroom running smoothly by using these Interactive Notebook Foldables to teach your students the routines and procedures in your classroom: 
This is a FUN & ENGAGING way to go over how things run in your classroom - plus the students can refer back to them if needed.
7. Lastly, every year I read First Day Jitters.
The kids had never heard it before - and they rolled at the ending!
We do several activities to extend the book
You can check out my fun and engaging packet HERE.

Phew! There you go - 7 easy-to-implement ideas
for your first day of school!
Looking for more ideas?
Check out these awesome bloggers: 

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Happy August, blogging friends!
Here's what I'm CURRENTLY up to :)
I love me some Tangled :)
I think it's one of the best Disney movies ever - and the soundtrack is AWESOME. Zachary Levi = one of my all-time favs
I have been a PC girl forever, but last week I made the switch to Mac
I absolutely LOVE my new toy - I've been playing around with it, experimenting, and creating to my heart's content!
This summer some girlfriends and I have been doing a great Bible study
There are never enough hours in a day, are there?
This was my to-do list for July and August - and I feel like it just keeps on growing! :)
Plus, my time is eaten up by hanging out with this little man :)

 Some days you just need a spoonful of Nutella.
Today was one of those days :)
Since I'm stepping out of the classroom to be a stay-at-home mom to my sweet little guy, I was feeling slightly bummed about not buying school supplies (one of my favorite past-times!). However, I recently found out about this cool program that my church does where we can "adopt" a middle schooler who cannot afford to buy school supplies. I had a blast shopping for my middle school girl:

What are you CURRENTLY doing?
Hop on over to Farley's page to link up :)

Back to School Blog Hop, Upper-Elementary-Style!

Hello friends!
Can you believe how quickly the summer has FLOWN BY? 
It's crazy to think that we're already talking Back to School!

To help you in your BTS preparations, 
I have a fun FREEBIE for you!
Though I loved being in a self-contained classroom and teaching each subject, my favorite to teach in my 5th grade classroom was Social Studies.
I love making the past come alive for my kiddos - and it was so encouraging to see them mature as they developed empathy for those who lived before them. It expands their horizons and gives them a broader perspective on life - and what 10 year old doesn't need that? :)

In 5th grade, our history curriculum covers 1900-the present, chronologically. I decided to utilize the sequence of our chapters to create a "passport" for my students to keep track of their "travels through history."
At the end of each unit that we studied in Social Studies, I gave my students a Passport Page to complete. It acted as a study guide before the unit test and then was compiled into their Passport Folders that we added to all year long.

The packet comes with complete teacher directions and suggestions
My students filled out a page for: World War 1, The Roaring 20s, The Great Depression, World War 2, the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement, the Korean War, the 1980s, and the War of Terror.

Depending on your curriculum or scope of study, you can customize the page to meet your classroom needs:

Then, at the end of the year, have the students look back through their "Passports" and reflect on the different "stops" that they made:

Click here to snag this freebie:
If you download the packet, please leave feedback!
*Note: if you use this resource in your classroom, please send me an e-mail at and you'll be featured on my blog!

Next stop on this wonderful hop:
Check out Lisa's blog and snag her awesome FREEBIE!

Keep hopping for the chance to WIN BIG!
Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win some 
TpT cash!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 30, 2015

FREE Minion-themed Math Centers

What makes you happy? 
Well, how about
Minion Freebies? :)Minion Freebie - Educents 3 
These free math activities on Educents offers 22 printable pages of math activities for Minion fans. 
It covers addition, subtraction, measurement, money, and more!

Minion Math Centers Freebie

Minion Addition (to 12)
Minion Subtraction (to 12)
Minions Making Ten
Minion Measurement
Minion Money Match
Missing Minion Numbers
Minion Number Cards

Minion Freebie - Educents 2

I hope this math freebie made by Amy of Teaching in Blue Jeans makes you happy. Download the Free Minion Math Centers, then go ahead and do a little dance! :) 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Cookin' Wednesdays: Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Hello friends!
Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere :)

As I transition out of the classroom to be a stay-at-home mom and full-time TpT creator, I am expanding this little ole blog to include not only teaching tips and activities, but also home-y things such as cooking, baking, crafting, and organizing! 
I'm immensely looking forward to this new adventure.

Part of this transition is a new weekly blog series:
My mission is to share yummy, easy meal ideas with you!

Today I'm sharing one of my quick and easy
go-to crock pot meals:
Sweet & Spicy Meatballs!
Here's what you need:
3 ingredients.
That's it.

I used my handy-dandy jar opener to get these lids off
 Best Christmas present ever :)

First off, pour 16 oz. of grape jelly into a sauce pan and heat it until melted
 Then add in 16 oz. of salsa
Stir frequently until the sauce is boiling
Let it simmer on low while you pop your meatballs in the crock pot
 Coat the meatballs with the mixture
Cook on low for 3-4 hours
While it's cooking, you can waft in the delicious smell while you tackle that housework (or catch up on your favorite show on Netflix), and rest easy knowing that dinner is taken care of!

4 hours later...
I usually serve it with rice and veggies.
Simple, quick to prepare, and delicious
Sounds like a win-win-win to me! :)

Click the picture below to download the recipe as a PDF

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes - leave a favorite in the comments below!