Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Back to School with Walmart

Back to School with Walmart  

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walmart. 
It is back-to-school time, which means that teachers who LOVE walking around the school supply aisles are about to get super excited! There is just something about the rows and rows of shiny and new school supplies that helps get us ready for heading back to school with our awesome students.  

I am so honored to be partnering with Walmart and WeAreTeachers to share with you how easy it is to do all your back-to-school shopping at Walmart.  
Did you know that you can upload your school supply list to Walmart? I uploaded my list in less than 5 minutes here. Now, our families can find our class lists online. They can even order online and pick up their supplies at Walmart! Easy peasy 
Easy Back-to-School Shopping  
Back-to-school shopping does not have to be stressful. In fact, Walmart wants to make it as easy as possible for families and teachers to get ready for a new school year. Here is a quick list of all the ways that Walmart has been working hard to make supply shopping a fun and easy process.  
  • *Parents can shop whichever way works best for them – online or in stores. 
  • *Walmart has the lowest prices! Families can save money by shopping for their child’s school supplies at Walmart. 
  • *Families can use the Walmart App and Walmart.com and then have your order to shipped to home or pickup in store.  
I like how families can choose Pick Up in Store or have their online purchases shipped to their house. There are so many options for each family to shop the way that is easiest for them.  

Yes, this is a sponsored post, BUT let’s get real for a second. I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t support or believe in the information I am sharing with you. This year, I shopped for some supplies I needed for back-to- school from the comfort of my couch. My family uses the Walmart App to buy groceries each week. We have an 8-month-old, so shopping is not easy at the moment. Plus, I would rather spend my free time loving on my family than shopping for groceries or household items thanks to the Walmart App.  

Personally, I loved how easy it was to upload my school list to Walmart and shop for items in record time. Not being stressed by back-to-school shopping has helped me have a smooth start to my school year, and I am so grateful. And, our school families? I love that they can see our lists, price check the items, and know that they are getting the best deals possible by shopping with Walmart 

And, I want to brag on Walmart, too! I have a family friend who is an assistant manager at one of our local Walmart stores. He reached out to me and asked me to connect with teachers and find out what supplies teachers wanted to be available during back-to-school season. They listened to the feedback they got from teachers to make sure that the shelves were stocked appropriately. I am thankful that they are thinking about families and teachers and helping us make sure that we can find what we need at our local Walmart stores.  

This wouldn’t be a true back-to-school shopping post if I didn’t share some items that I love.  

I am all about some Mr. Sketch markers and needed to grab some more lamination pouches to get the classroom ready for students. Walmart has both of these items for a great deal this school season! I also used their 5 for $1 jumbo color erasers to help me put together my student gifts on registration day.  

This school year is going to be our best one yet! Thank you to Walmart for supporting teachers and their students this school year.  
**This post is sponsored by Walmart and WeAreTeachers. All opinions and ideas are my own.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Really Good Box of Stuff Subscription Review

Happy Back-to-School season, educators! Now is the PERFECT time to sign yourself up for an awesome goodie box that offers treats for YOU and your students!

Back in the spring, Really Good Stuff launched their teacher box subscription. They tried it out, asked for teacher feedback, and used your suggestions to make the new subscription back even better than before! I love when companies value our voices and opinions! 

I am so excited to be sharing some inside pictures of what's in the first box and how you can sign up to get your own "Really Good Box of Stuff".

Box Details:
*Just $29.99 a month
*Each month has a new theme
*Enough goodies for 36 students
*Loyalty program that sends you a monthly gift and you can earn feature discounts and special offers

You can check out my video below on the box reveal and my review of the subscription box!

**This IS a sponsored post for Really Good Stuff but all opinions and ideas are my own. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Back to School Welcome Gift for Students

I want to preface this quick post by saying....students don't NEED gifts. Please don't feel pressured and feel like you have to give students gifts to start building relationships. Building relationships start with a smile, a greeting at the door, a welcome hug, an endearing statement, a handwritten note, etc. 

I just like to give something small because I am someone who's love language is giving gifts to others. It is what I enjoy. So, every year I am on the hunt to find practical, inexpensive ways to welcome the next class of students that I will be sharing my life with. 

For the past several years, I have purchased the three packs of mini composition books and mechanical pencils for my back to school gifts. I kept it under $12, because I simply could not and cannot afford anything more than that. That is just a quick idea that worked for me and may work for you as well! You can grab the gift tag for free here. 

This year, I happened to be walking through the Back to School displays at Walmart and noticed a bin of colored jumbo erasers that were 5 for $1. I quickly realized that I would be able to spend less than $6 on these, and the students would be able to use them for a long time in the classroom! I scooped them up and made a tag to correspond with them. 

I want to say a special thanks to everyone on Instagram that helped me come up with sayings for these. As promised, here is the freebie gift tag that you can use should you want to do this for your students as a back to school gift this year. You can find the printable here.

Much love, 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Our Classroom Reading Nook "Starbooks" Style

Recently, one of the education classes from our local community college donated an AMAZING reading nook for our classroom. The college students collaborated with each other to design, create, and build this fabulous new place for our students to read. 

 It has been such a wonderful addition to our classroom, and we are so grateful for the college students for their thoughtfulness and talent! Their professor was my professor once and it is such a treat to see her continue to help shape college students for their future careers. 

I am so excited to share the photos with all of you! The students love this special place. 

The box is actually a recycled refrigerator box. 

 The students had a plan for assembly before they got there, and I was so impressed with how well they worked together. They put the whole thing together in about an hour while the kiddos were gone to specials. 
 The "Starbooks Cafe" sign is a vinyl sticker!

It fits perfectly in the cove between our huge air conditioning unit and our computer space. 

How adorable is this menu of play on words as well as the genius lights for the nook? The lights are one of my favorite features and the students love turning them on and off each day. 

The finished product! We LOVE it!

Also, I made a video explaining all of the different parts of the reading nook. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Open Your Teacher Heart

For the past seven years, I have had the honor of being an educator.

Yes, it is an honor. It is a privilege, and it is a true blessing.

Teaching is fun. It is rewarding. And, it is also hard, humbling, draining, exciting, and every other emotion in-between.

My students have broken my heart. They have stomped on it, beat it up, played the drums on the poor thing, and left me so raw and open that I felt like I didn't know what to feel next. And, in that very next moment, my students-the very ones who just tore me open to my core-have filled my heart and soul back up more full than it ever has been before. They have taught me some of my most important lessons in life, and they have made me a better person. 

You see, teaching is funny like that. For many of us, teaching is our life. It consumes almost every fiber of our being. And, that can be challenging because many of us have families at home that need those pieces of us, too. I have long said that balance is impossible when you are a teacher.  Some days(most days), my school kiddos get the best of me that I have to offer which leaves the husband and my family getting the scraps. But, I am fortunate that I have family who understands and is there to keep me in check and reel me in when needed. They understand my "why" and they support my path in this amazing profession. For that, I am forever grateful.

Over the past seven years in the classroom, I have learned a lot. I have made mistakes, I have grown, and I acknowledge that I still have so much more learning and growing to do by the time I turn out the lights and close the door on the teaching profession.

However, there is one lesson that I hope always remains on the forefront of my teacher heart--LOVE them first and LOVE them hard.

Every year, my number one goal is to build relationships with the students that I am privileged to teach. There is an occupational hazard when you make this your number one focus, and that occupational hazard is the broken and rebuilt heart that I mentioned above. Our students go through so much trauma, turmoil, and transition within their K-12 educations. I don't care what type of demographics or socio-ecomomic status your schools have; the students all need the same thing.... LOVE. Sure, the way in which you love kiddos will be different depending on what they need, but every single one of our students need something from us. They need to know we care about them. They need to know that WE believe in them, that we SEE them, that we believe that they MATTER, and that we are there for them no-- matter --what.

I had an amazing conversation with a colleague of mine this week after I shared this article on Facebook. She had just attended a conference where the focus was relationships, bullying prevention, etc. and we spent some time talking about different ways that staff members in our building could continue to strengthen our relationships with our students and "check in" with ourselves to make sure that we, as teachers, were really taking the time to know EVERY single one of our kiddos. She shared an idea that challenged me, and I wanted to share it with you here.

Take your class list, and write down a non-academic fact about each student in your class. Can you do it? Were there some that were harder to write down than others? Were some of your facts way more detailed that others? If so, spend time learning more about the students that you don't know well enough. Make the time to learn something new about them. It is never too late to start this activity. Do it now! It is eye-opening! 

Sure, it takes time. Sure, its not always easy, but it--is--WORTH--it. Our students are worth it. They deserve to have educators who KNOW them.

So, the purpose of this blog post tonight is simple. If you are stressed about assessments, worried about scheduling, over writing lessons plans, getting exhausted with grading papers, just pulled a 15 PLUS hour day because you had morning bus duty then after school parent teacher conferences;just remember that while all of that is important, what is truly important is that EVERY single one of our students know that we care. They know that we love them, and they know that we SEE their hearts, their struggles, and we are going to be there for them no matter what.

Open up your hearts to them. Give them the control. Let your students change your life. All they ask in return is that you care.